$42 million in Megaupload assets seized in Hong Kong
The investigation by law enforcement officials on the Megaupload file sharing site went into another part of the world today. Hong Kong customs officials have announced that, working with the US Department of Justice and the FBI, they have seized assets from Megaupload in the city that are worth about $42 million.
Customs officers had also made inquiries with target individuals, including company directors, and detected about HK$330 million worth of crime proceeds of bank savings and security investment. The assets have been frozen in accordance with related ordinances. The operation is on-going.
During the investigation, it was found that the hotel rooms rented by the syndicate for office use and rest area were luxury suite rooms, which cost HK$100,000 odd per day. Besides, the room was equipped with a number of large-scale high-speed servers and large-model TV screens, which are suspected to be in connection with the case.
Space Quest 2 Remake + Patch Available
A fan-made remake of Space Quest 2 is available thanks to Indie developer Infamous Adventures. They have remade Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge from scratch, adding improvements along the way.
PC-purists need not panic, this remake is still displayed in 320x200 and boasts 16 whopping bits of color. Let's not forget about the over 4,000 lines of dialogue also included. Since then the free game has been downloaded around 20,000 times, and a new patch is now available to update it to version 1.1.
Samsung 830-Series SSD Firmware Update Could Brick SSD
Samsung has managed to build quite a reputation for itself in the SSD industry thanks to its high-quality drives that seemed to be far more reliable than their SandForce-based counterparts, but recently even Samsung has run into some troubles with its SSDs.
These were uncovered just recently by a forum user who, when trying to upgrade the firmware of its 830-series SSD to the latest version, got a BSOD that made the drive undetectable to the system.
When it contacted Samsung about this problem, the company replied that this is a common issue with the firmware update and that the only solution available is to RMA the drive.
Little is known about what causes these problems, but some users have reported that reconnecting the drive or letting it sit for a while can return it back to life.
These problems seem to appear no matter the method used for connecting the drive to the system, USB or SATA.
Samsung has introduced the 830-series of solid state drives in the second half of last year as the successor of the popular 470-series that was extremely popular among OEMs.Compared to its predecessor the 830-series delivers far better performance as is capable of reaching read transfer speeds of up to 500MB/s.
Samsung had to introduce two major changes in the 830 series SSDs in order to achieve these impressive speeds.
The first one is of course the support for the SATA 6Gbps interface, while the latter is the introduction of 2x-nm Toggle NAND Flash support, which will also help drive prices down similarly to what Intel has experienced when it switched to 25nm IMFT Flash.
AMD Radeon HD 7950 clock speeds Surfaced?
Over at DonanimHaber some gossip regarding the supposed clockspeeds of AMD's Radeon HD 7950 video card have surfaced.
The reference clock speeds of the HD 7950 will be clocked at 800 MHz, and the memory at 1250 MHz (actual), 5.00 GHz (GDDR5 effective). The HD 7950 should be a good overclocker considering the speeds it comes with. Board partners can customize the products as they please as well. Obviously unknown att this time is the number of active shader processors.
The Radeon HD 7950 is expected to be around $125 cheaper than the Radeon HD 7970, which would put it around $400 to $450. Well, it wont be much longer.
AMD Radeon HD 7900 driver 8.921.2 RC11
Download AMD Radeon HD 7900 driver 8.921.2 RC11 for windows Vista and 7 64-bit
Feature highlights of the 8.921.2 RC11 AMD Radeon
Ubisoft changes Anno 2070 DRM after Guru3D critique
Over the past week a news post of ours resulted in a lot of coverage on the web. Long story short -- while we where testing the RTS game Anno 2070 for PC (from Ubisoft) we ran into downright silly DRM copy protection issues. You may install Anno 2070 on three PCs as you get three activations. That's fair and OK we feel.
However we discovered that while swapping out NVIDIA graphics cards, each time after reinstalling a card the DRM kicked back in, rendering the game inactivated. Three strikes, an you are out.
Our news post on this went viral on the web and Ubisoft got a lot of heat due to this. After getting into contact with the game producer BlueByte our activation limitation was lifted.
By itself great, but then we ran into a judgment call we needed to make. Initially we had a hard time rethinking, should we even test Ubisoft titles anymore as the DRM protection is way too heavy. We've thought about it hard and long.
In our opinion not writing about something is the most bad thing you can do and as such we decided to continue with that article. By excluding Ubisoft from the benchmarks we'll never be able to address issues like this DRM story, and they'll continue what they are doing. In fact if we'd have excluded Ubisoft titles we never would have been able to report about this issue.
By posting an article and explaining/mentioning DRM time after time, there will be more awareness about it and in the end that message will get across to Ubisoft and the producer. In the hope that one day they'll see the light.
Secondly, BlueByte certainly do not deserve getting the heat that they do this way. This company together with the developer Ralated Designs makes such brilliant and very unique game titles. It would be such a shame if they'd get damaged in the process. I would not like to have that on our account.
That said and with the VGA performance review posted moments ago we received an email from BlueByte, the producer of the game with the following information:
Just wanted to let you know, that we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC.
That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.
We are very happy to see that the activation scheme has been changed for anybody and everybody who purchased and is purchasing the game, you may now swap out as many graphics cards as you want. It doesn't mean though that you can change hardware (significant hardware like motherboards) more then three times. As that protection will still will apply.
But this certainly is progress, a small success really and we are happy to see that the game industry does listen towards their user-base. Overall though BlueByte and Ubisoft should have realized earlier on that this is just not the way to go.
DRM has become an annoyance factor for end-users. And though we agree there should be a certain level of game-copy protection, DRM has evolved way too much up-to a point where the publisher slowly but steadily moves into the same level as what they are fundamentally fighting, piracy and software pirates. And you as a consumer, should be protected from a publisher sniffing and checking your PCs hardware components and demanding that you are on-line to play a game.
With this statement made I'd like to invite you to check out our Anno 2070 VGA Graphics performance review. We thank everybody that helped out and although it leaves everybody with a bitter taste in their mouth something did change on the positive side of things .. and that's progress.
What do you think about this step ? Let's us know in this thread.
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 Card Leaks
Sapphire, being one of AMD's partners on the video card market, is naturally preparing its own Radeon HD 7900 cards, one of which has become the subject of a recent information leak. Yet again, information on an unannounced product has found its way to the Internet, whether its maker intended it or not. Thanks Asder00 in our forums for this one.
Output:1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI (with 3D)
2 x Mini-DisplayPort
GPU: 900 MHz Core Clock
28 nm Chip
1792 x Stream Processors
Memory: 3072 MB Size
384 -bit GDDR5
5000 MHz Effective
Dimension: 275(L)x115(W)x42(H) mm Size.
Anno 2070 VGA Graphics performance review
For Anno 2070 the graphics engine has been updated, the game is now DirectX 11 compatible. And as such it is time to throw a couple of graphics cards (well we can't say that nineteen graphics cards are a couple really) at it to see how well the game performs with DX11 cards Anno 2012.
Check out the article here.
Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K Overclocking
The tests run by TOPPC covered both the stock and overclocked performance of the Ivy Bridge CPU and while no exact numbers were specified it seems like, on average, the ES i7-3770K was 10% faster than the current Core i7-2600K.
Overclocking wise, the chip also had a similar performance with that of its Sandy Bridge counterparts, the highest frequency achieved with all cores active being set at 4.8GHz.
TOPPC expects these results to improve when the CPU hits retail, with 5GHz being possible with all cores active, as Lenzfire reports.
Despite the not so impressive overclocking frequency achieved, the Core i7-3770K does allow for higher DDR3 speeds to be achieved as the maximum available memory option is now 2800MHz.
The Core i7-3770K will include four computing cores with Hyper-Threading support running at a base frequency of 3.5GHz, and also support Intel
GeForce Kepler 104 (GK104) 256-bit GDDR5 Memory Bus - 225W TDP
Another report has revealed more details on the NVIDIA GK104 GPU (graphics processing unit) based graphico card.This is the chip that will power the Santa Clara, California-based company's mainstream cards, also known as mid-range models.
That means that the GK104 will land on the card, or cards, that will succeed the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
That is to say, the successor to the GTX 560 Ti will have a performance around the level of AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series. The GK104 has a memory interface of 256 bits and will be backed by up to 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
Meanwhile, the TDP (thermal design power) is of 225W.
Needless to say, the implications of this are massive, but one should not be too quick to jump headlong into excitement just yet. But when looking back at the GeForce 400 series being prepared, there was a similar level of hype, with many hoping for a product series that would clearly best AMD's Radeon.
The GTX 680 could arrive as early as February.
BitFenix Shinobi XL Full Tower Case
Since its release in April 2011, the BitFenix Shinobi has proven to be our most popular chassis design yet. Today, BitFenix is proud to introduce a bigger and badder follow up to this classic design - Shinobi XL. Packing XL-ATX compatibility, superior flexibility, and an all-new SuperCharge
Intel Reports Record Year Revenue Up 24 Percent
Intel Corporation today reported full-year revenue of $54 billion, operating income of $17.5 billion, net income of $12.9 billion and EPS of $2.39 - all records. The company generated approximately $21 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.1 billion and used $14.1 billion to repurchase 642 million shares of stock.
For the fourth quarter, Intel posted revenue of $13.9 billion, operating income of $4.6 billion, net income of $3.4 billion and EPS of 64 cents. The company generated approximately $6.6 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.1 billion and used $4.1 billion to repurchase 174 million shares of stock.
AMD drops Fusion branding makes it Heterogeneous
AMD decided to ditch its Fusion branding. Bit Tech writes the company has decided to rebrand its Fusion System Architecture (FSA) to Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA).
With AMD supporting languages including C++ AMP and OpenCL for GPGPU offload, the company clearly feels it's time to bring the technology to a new audience under a more professional brand identity.
'We have built a heterogeneous compute ecosystem that is built on industry standards,' boasted AMD corporate fellow Phil Rogers in a statement regarding the renaming exercise. 'As such, we believe it
ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II Photo's
A custom-design PCB, three slots coole amd mucvh more are the keywords. The PCB itself uses a 10+1+1 ASUS Digi+ VRM that draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
This heatsink uses a large aluminum fin-stack heatsink to which heat from the GPU is conveyed by six heat-pipes, which make direct contact with it. The heatsink itself isn't very thick, but what makes the card span across three slots are its two 100 mm fans. The GPU is clocked out of the box at 1000 MHz (vs. 925 MHz reference), and 5.60 GHz/1400 MHz actual memory (vs. 5.50 GHz/1375 MHz actual reference).
MegaUpload shut down by FBI - Founders Arrested
An indictment unsealed today by the Department of Justice claims that MegaUpload has caused the entertainment industries more than $500 million in lost revenue and generated $175 million in criminal proceeds.
Two corporations Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia on January 5th, 2012, and charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.
Today, the authorities executed in excess of 20 search warrants in the United States and eight other countries.
Data centers in the Netherlands, Canada and Washington housing MegaUpload's equipment were raided. In an apparent reference to the latter location, a source has just informed TorrentFreak that the FBI are currently detaining everyone at the ISP Cogent Communications' headquarters in Washington DC, in connection with a Mega-related search warrant.
In addition to MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom who was arrested today in New Zealand, another six alleged members of the Mega conspiracy were charged in the indictment:
- Finn Batato, 38, Mega's chief marketing officer and a citizen and resident of Germany
- Julius Bencko, 35, Mega's graphic designer from Slovakia
- Sven Echternach, 39,Mega's German head of business development
- Mathias Ortmann, 40, the German CTO, co-founder and director of Mega
- Andrus Nomm, 32, programmer and head of the development from Estonia
- Bram van der Kolk, 29, a Dutch citizen who oversaw programming and network issues.
Sniper Elite V2 - Organ Piercing Rounds Interview
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Lost Alpha Trailer
Resident Evil 6 Coming
Capcom today confirmed Resident Evil 6 is in development and is coming this November.
The game is arriving on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 20, 2012. A PC version is coming at a later date. Capcom describes the game as a "blending action and survival horror" and is "the most ambitious, immersive and feature rich title of the series to date and promises to be the dramatic horror experience of the year."
Resident Evil 6 will follow Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield who will be "joined by new characters, each with their own unique perspective and involvement, in this relentless dramatic horror experience enacted on a global scale."
Here's a synopsis of the game's plot:
It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place in the belief that it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity. Due to be by the President�s side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S.
Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a President transformed beyond recognition and make his hardest ever decision.
At the same time, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance member Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack. With no country safe from these attacks and the ensuing outbreaks, the entire world�s population is united by a common fear that there is no hope left.
�Resident Evil 6 represents a giant stride forward in the evolution of the series,� commented Katsuhiko Ichii, Head of R&D and Global Marketing. �The development team, led by Hiroyuki Kobayashi, is working tirelessly to deliver the most impressive Resident Evil title ever both in terms of scope and production values.
"We are all genuinely excited by the title and cannot wait to share it with the world.�
Resident Evil 6 is also getting numerous retail pre-order bonuses. GameStop, Best Buy and Amazon.com will each get an exclusive map that will function with various modes in the game. Additional details will be revealed at a later date.