Trailer: The Godfather 2 Teaser
Godfather .. what a great name for a nickname eh ? Electronic Arts has just released a new teaser trailer for The Godfather 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360).
After being promoted by Michael Corleone to Don of New York, players expand to new cities, as they build up their families through extorting businesses, monopolizing illegal crime rings and defeating new families in an effort to become the most powerful mob family in America. To help players manage their empire, The Godfather II introduces "The Don's View" - an innovative strategy meta-game that allows players to oversee the entire world as they grow the family business. Using the Don's View, players will be able to build, defend and expand their crime rings, while keeping an eye on the movements and plans of the rival families. Players will also learn to master the business of organized crime by building a family of Made Men, hiring crew, handing out orders, and promoting their best men up the ranks.
Possible flaw with 440,000 Sony Vaio TZ laptops
More than 200 laptop computers of Sony's Vaio TZ series, manufactured from May 2007 to July 2008, overheated, the company said. Of the cases, 83 were reported in Japan and the rest overseas. Seven people suffered light burns which were not serious, it said. Sony urged the owners of 440,000 laptop computers, which span 280 models, to come to the manufacturer for free repairs.
"The laptop computers overheat in the section connecting the display and the keyboard, as the joint section bites into a bunch of wires inside the computer," a Sony spokesman said.
Apparently there's a risk of overheating leading to "abnormal heat deformation of the enclosure"
Download: nForce Driver 19.06 - XP|Vista 32-bit WHQL
Good enws - Fujitsu Siemens released a new NFORCE Driver for the entire NVIDIA nForce motherboard series. The new revision build is version: 19.06 The bad news, it's available for 32-bit Windows XP/Vista only.
These drivers are WHQL signed 32bit nForce chipset drivers. They are part of the brandnew nForce chipset driverpacks v19.06 dated 08/13/2008, which obviously were designed for MCP79 chipsets, but they do support a lot of other chipsets too. The Vista drivers are compatible with all NF4-7 chipsets (except nForce4 Intel Edition). The included binaries are:
- Ethernet Driver (v67.86) WHQL
- SataIDE Driver (v10.3.0.39) WHQL
- RAID Driver (v10.3.0.39) WHQL
- RAIDTOOL (v10.3.0.39)
- SMBus (v4.67) WHQL
- SMU (v1.58) WHQL
- Audio Driver (v1.00.0.33) WHQL
- AwyMode driver (v.6.0.6000.107)WHQL
- Installer (v6.08)
Download - Click here
New Sony Blu-Ray players and theater systems
Sony today issues press releases informing us of their latest movie gadgets. Among the list several Blu-Ray products, the BDP-S5000ES player and two complete home theater systems, the BDV-IT1000ES and BDV-IS1000.
Among the new features the BDP-S5000ES has new "HD Reality Enhancer" and "Super Bit Mapping" technologies claimed to further sharpen and enhance picture quality. Like many of the players coming out recently, this is compatible with Profile 2.0, allowing BD Live access through an Ethernet connection. An external port allows connection with flash memory, and Sony has included a 1GB Micro Vault storage device.
The "Elevated Standard" ES series of products represents the highest levels of technology that Sony has developed. The start up time for the BDP-S5000ES is claimed to be around 6 seconds in Quick Start mode, which would be much quicker than the older models. A 14-bit HD video processor allows the HD Reality Enhancer to sharpen edges and reduce film grain, according to Sony. The new bit mapping technology is said to produce better color gradation, allowing true 14 bit color from 8 bit sources.
The audio board uses isolated analog circuitry, with construction designed to minimize reduce vibration. A low-leakage R-core transformer also reduces interference. Sony is employing technology common to audiophile level products with the ES series. Audio formats including 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Res. are all supported. Advanced Current Segment D/A converters allow compatibility with legacy decoders.
A backlit remote control allows control over this device and any Bravia Synced connected components. Shipping is scheduled for November, with a suggested price of $2,000.
The complete Blu-Ray home theater setups will be a first for Sony. The BDV-IT1000ES and BDV-IS1000 both support 5.1 channel surround, with S-Air wireless technology to communicate with the rear speakers or across rooms. The BD-IS1000 includes five small speakers the approximate size of golf balls.
The ES model allows 7.1 channel support, and features thinner speakers 3/4-inch wide and 22 inches long, driven by neodymium magnets and composite drivers. Each of the seven speakers is complimented with a 100W subwoofer. Additional bass response is delivered with a 200W dedicated subwoofer.
Both theater systems are also BD Live compatible, with "Precision Drive HD" technology to reduce wobble of damaged discs. The full range of Dolby HD audio formats are supported, and 1080p output through HDMI connections. Ports can be purchased for docking with media players including iPods.
Both home theater systems will ship somewhere in October, right in time for the silly season shopping. The BDV-IT1000ES will cost $2,000, while the BDV-IS1000 will be priced at $1,000.
15 Second bootups for Windows 7
The Windows 7 development team says that there is a team of engineers dedicated to start up performance that has set a goal of having a 15 second or less boot time. The post goes into detail about what it takes to achieve that goal and how the team is progressing. Here's an excerpt:
" From our perspective, too few systems consistently boot fast enough and we have to do much better. Obviously the systems that are greater than 60 seconds have something we need to dramatically improve-whether these are devices, networking, or software issues. As you can see there are some systems experiencing very long boot times. One of the things we see in the PC space is this variability of performance-variability arises from the variety of choices, and also the variety of quality of components of any given PC experience. There are also some system maintenance tasks that can contribute to long boot times. If a user opts to install a large software update, the actual updating of the system may occur during the next boot. Our metrics will capture these and unfortunately they can take minutes to complete. Regardless of the cause, a big part of the work we need to do as members of the PC ecosystem is address long boot times.
Before discussing some of our Windows 7 efforts, we'd like to point out there is considerable engagement with our partners underway. In scanning dozens of systems, we've found plenty of opportunity for improvement and have made changes. Illustrating that, please consider the following data taken from a real system. As the system arrived to us, the off-the-shelf configuration had a ~45 second boot time. Performing a clean install of Vista SP1 on the same system produced a consistent ~23 second boot time. Of course, being a clean install, there were many fewer processes, services and a slightly different set of drivers (mostly the versions were different). However, we were able to take the off-the-shelf configuration and optimize it to produce a consistent boot time of ~21 seconds, ~2 seconds faster than the clean install because some driver/BIOS changes could be made in the optimized configuration. For this same system, it is worth noting the resume from sleep time is approximately 2 seconds, achieving a nearly instant on experience. We do encourage users to choose sleep as an alternative to boot.
As an example Windows 7 effort, we are working very hard on system services. We aim to dramatically reduce them in number, as well as reduce their CPU, disk and memory demands. Our perspective on this is simple; if a service is not absolutely required, it shouldn't be starting and a trigger should exist to handle rare conditions so that the service operates only then. Of course, services exist to complete user experiences, even rare ones. Consider the case where a new keyboard, mouse or tablet HW is added to the system while it was off. If this new HW isn't detected and drivers installed to make the HW work during startup, then the user may not be able to enter their credentials and log into the machine. For a given user, this may be a very rare or never encountered event. For a population of 100s of millions of users, this can happen frequently enough to warrant having mechanisms to support it. In Windows 7, we will support this scenario and many others with fewer auto start services because more comprehensive service trigger mechanisms have been created.
In terms of reading files from the disk, Windows 7 has improvements in the 'prefetching' logic and mechanisms. Prefetching was introduced way back in Windows XP. Since today's disks have differing performance characteristics, the scheduling logic has undergone some changes to keep pace and stay efficient. As an example, we are evaluating the prefetcher on today's solid state storage devices, going so far as to question if is required at all. Ultimately, analysis and performance metrics captured on an individual system will dynamically determine the extent to which we utilize the prefetcher."
Trailer: Bionic Commando Lookout
Xbox 360 Prices to be Lowered
Well, it wasn't exactly a surprize, but Microsoft has made it official: the Xbox 360 is officially going to drop to as low as $199 starting Friday, September 5 starting in the U.S.
The three currently offered SKUs will get a price drop in North America, following multiple retail leaks and a similar pricing adjustment for the Japanese market. The new MSRP for the current line up is as follows.
- Xbox 360 Arcade (No Hard Drive): $199, down from $279
- Xbox 360 Pro (60GB HDD): $299, down from $350
- Xbox 360 Elite (120GB HDD): $399, down from $449
Indeed, that makes the Xbox 360 officially the least expensive current generation console following an $80 price cut on the Arcade model.
Download: NVIDIA BIOS Editor 4.5 released (nibitor)
Johan released version 4.5 of Nibitor, the NVIDIA BIOS Editor. The application is a BIOS tweaker that supports the latest NVIDIA graphics cards, and which is updated on a regular basis. NiBiTor allows graphics card enthusiasts, or the hardcore overclockers to have full control over some advanced features and functionality found on firmware of supporting cards. Doing so users gain some extra performance, enable certain hidden features, tweak memory latencies, provide extensive information, adapt bootup settings, change fan speed options and/or get extra stability on the NVIDIA based graphics accelerators.
Changes in this Version
- Added GeForce 9800 GT (55nm) Support
- Added GeForce 9400 GT Support
- Added GeForce 9500M GS Support
- Added Suppor for dual GX2 BIOS's Backup
This new version is build upon the logic of the previous version, with some minor fixes and a redesign to support as well unknown devices in a limited way. As always for extra features, settings and support please provide us your original BIOS, so that we can use it as reference to analyze the changes and to code the approriate support of the new video card or new features accordingly.
Download - Click here.
Patriot going for Warp 1 on SSD
Patriot's Warp Solid State Drives (SSD) offer fast and reliable data storage solutions to consumers at an affordable price. These SSDs have read speeds of up-to 175 MBps and write speeds of 100 MBps. Two years warranty, and the 32GB will cost 199 EUR, 64GB for 249 EUR and the 128GB version is to be sold for 449 EUR.
Fremont, California, USA, July 15, 2008 - Patriot Memory, a global provider of premium quality memory module and flash memory solutions, today released their "Warp" Solid State Drives (SSD). Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, Patriot's Warp SSD's offer many benefits that are superior to traditional hard disk drives.
Built with NAND flash rather than traditional magnetic platters as the storage medium, Patriot's Warp SSD's offer faster read/write speeds, uses less power and are more rugged and reliable versus traditional HDD drives. In addition Warp's SSD offers Error Checking and Correction (ECC) as well as proprietary wear-leveling algorithms which ensure both data integrity and prolonged life of the SSD's.
"Solid state drives are the future of data storage," said Jay Meng, Flash Product Manager for Patriot Memory. "With so many advantages over traditional HDD's, Patriot's Warp SSD's will undoubtedly become the mobile professionals and enthusiasts first choice for data storage."
FoxConn A7DA-S (AMD 790GX) mainboard review [Guru3D]
With the more high-end consumer in mind AMD released the new 790GX series mainboards. This mainboard is a lot about status, as AMD want to re-establish their status and performance levels for their products again. Hey, in the end, all you have is your reputation right? And for a chipset manufacturer that means top dog electronics.
Therefore AMD unleashed its new AMD 790GX platform. A mainboard chipset that is aimed at the performance computer users and packs in a host of features, we'll check out the FoxConn edition loaded with integrated HDMI, DVI, 8-channel sound, GPU and some great aesthetic features ...
Read the Guru3D full review here.
GeForce GTX 260 to beat Radeon HD 4870?
The new card should be available at some point in September and it definitely win over Radeon 4870. That is the whole point and it looks like the new GTX 260 will end up around $50 more expensive than the current ones.
It looks like that this is the first
Logitech Releases Illuminated keyboard
Logitech released a new keyboard on the market, with lit keys. ANd that should help you in the dark a little I guess. The new Logitech Illuminated Keyboard makes typing easy - even in the dark. To optimize existing backlight technology, Logitech combined microlens reflectors, a multilayer painting process and laser etching - creating a backlight experience that is brighter, sharper and easier to read.
Whether you're typing an e-mail or chatting with a friend, the adjustable backlight gives you just the right amount of light. Logitech uses its PerfectStroke key system with precision micro-scissors behind each key for improved travel and typing feel. The palm rest area has soft-touch material covering it and the keys on the keyboard are full size. One-touch multimedia keys are included for volume, music, and video as well as one-touch access to applications like email and web browser. The keyboard measures in at 18.03-inches x 7.56-inches x 0.37-inches (L x W x H) and weighs 2.2 pounds. It is compatible with Windows Vista or XP and will be available in September for $79.99. Logitech also announced a new version of its thin diNovo series keyboards specifically for the notebook. The keyboard is called the diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks and looks similar to the diNovo Edge. The wrist rest area has brushed aluminum and the rest of the keyboard is a glossy black.
The keyboard is currently considered a Windows-only model and ships in October for $80.
Also released will be a related diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks which is more compact, and relies on dual-role function keys to reduce the depth of the keyboard for notebook owners using the peripheral as part of a desktop replacement setup. Although thicker at 0.87in, the newer diNovo makes up for the bulk by connecting through 2.4GHz RF-based wireless that the company boasts should last for three years on batteries. Operating system support hasn't been outlined, though the notebook keyboard ships in October for $100.
The Cordless Desktop S520 (not yet pictured) abandons the straight-angled design of the keyboard-only models for a curved shell. It has shortcuts to common Office apps and comes bundled with a wireless laser-tracking mouse; battery life is shorter at eight hours for the mouse and about 15 months for the keyboard. The performance contributes to a lower $60 price tag for the S520's September launch.
NVSCENE 2008 60 MB demo downloads online
NVSCENE is the subtitle of the creative section at NVISION - a completely separate venue with only people who use the visual processing power for what it was meant for: creating stuff. This download package contains the top 5 winners of the generic competition results, with demo's up-to 60 MB.
NVIDIA wants to embrace the demoscene for what it is: a tightly knit community of people who live for their dedication to the scene, for creating demos and intros. With that in mind, NVIDIA would like to offer a brand new platform for sceners to show their works, an event so large that it has been unprecedented so far. NVSCENE will offer classic demoscene competitions: demo, for people who just want to let their ideas flow and 4k intro for coders who like to shave bytes off one-by-one. Two competitions that have been pillars of the demoscene for so long, presented the way it's always been.
01 202 Texas - Keyboarders
02 165 Receptor - TBC
03 130 Photon Race 2 - Archee & Slyspy
04 114 Astra - AxON
05 112 Statics - Traction
06 107 eco - s_tec, matecha
07 105 Solitude - Unknown Artists
08 102 KYBERNETIC - mad/STILL
102 kevinspacy - Alcatraz
10 98 Voxel - Fresh!mindworkz
11 94 WhiteOut - BoNZai Bros.
12 88 geburah - muhmac / speckdrumm
13 77 rutebyen - prostyle corp.
14 60 IsoHack - GL-Fusion
15 59 Das weisse Rauschen - Kraftaktor
16 51 512 byte Domination - Polaris
17 48 Peak-load - HARDREAD
18 42 Evil Helicopters Attack With Bombs - Lord Graga
19 41 Snailmail - T$ / Scoopex & Alcatraz
01 181 Stargazer - Andromeda & Orb
02 177 Into The Pink - Plastic
03 146 Midnight run - Andromeda Software Development
146 n-0505 - xplsv feat. nine inch nails
05 124 Binary Alchemy - Northern Dragons
06 95 moove - fresh!mindworkz
07 94 Rarefaction - Youth Uprising
08 93 Proton - Science and Blackmaiden
09 90 Ersatz - Limp Ninja
10 86 Echoes - Anadune
86 Life on Air - System K
12 64 Visage - Nah-Kolor
13 61 Shmakalucha - imbusy & kondencuotas pienas
14 59 See em Why Kay? - Guideline
15 47 Biocore - eXtrait
Download and be sure to check out the demos you guys, it is just amazing what these folks can do with such small budget in KBs or MBs !
Sandra 2009 gets GPU support
Software maker SiSoftware is announcing its Sandra 2009, and it has GPU support. Sisoftware Sandra has been popular for a long time due to its rich graphics, multitude of CPU, memory and I/O tests, as well as easy-to-create summary reports in a variety of formats. The new GPU features are quite expensive as you'll be able to measure stuff like floating point computing power over the graphics processor (ATI & NVIDIA), yet also you get to measure memory bandwidth. Next to these two features we spot a Video Rendering benchmark which will deal with overall DirectX graphics rendering performance.
The NVIDIA GPUs are addressed through CUDA and the AMD/ATI adapters through CAL. Once DX 11 is here, we'll have a thing call compute shaders, and without any doubt SiSoft will then use that API to make their lives a little easier :)
Unfortunately, ATI/AMD does not have Vista support just yet and CAL is only 1.01 *beta*
The upcoming Sandra however has several new features:
- Graphics (GPGPU) Processing: Benchmark the graphics performance of the graphics processors (GPGPUs). Such operations are used by specialised software, e.g. scientific software, image manipulation, video decoders/encoders, games that make GPU performance pretty important.
- Graphics (GPGPU) Bandwidth: Benchmark the bandwidth of the memory of the graphics processors (GPGPUs) and the bandwidth of the bus that connects them to your computer. The speed at which the data can be sent to the GPGPUs, internally processed and the results sent back is as important as the processing power of the GPGPUs.
- Video (GFX) Rendering: Benchmark the graphics performance of the video adapters (GFXs). Shows how your graphics processors handle rendering in comparison to other typical graphics processors. Such operations are used by all graphics software, image manipulation, video decoders/encoders, games and modern operating systems.
- Video (GFX) Memory: Benchmark the bandwidth of the memory of the video adapters (GFXs) and the bandwidth of the bus that connects them to your computer.
- Cryptographic Performance: Benchmark the cryptographic performance of modern processors that support hardware cryptographic engines. The most common algorithms, AES (AES128, AES256) for encryption/decryption and SHA (SHA1, SHA256) for hashing are supported.
Sandra 2009 is not yet available for download, yet we expect it to be released real soon.
Mainstream 64 USB Flash drives now a reality
Transcend Information introduced its new 64GB JetFlash V20 high-capacity USB flash drive. For added value, users can download and install Transcend's free JetFlash software pack onto the V20 flash drive to enable V20 to automatically log on to website accounts, temporarily lock the computer to prevent unauthorized access. The end-user may also browse their bookmarked websites and check email from any compatible computer with the included Internet Favorites and Mobile Email functions.
The JetFlash V20 works with Windows Vista and also supports Windows Me / 2000 / XP, Mac and Linux.
- Pearl-white finish
- High-Speed USB2.0 interface
- JetFlash software: Website AutoLogin, PC-Lock, Mobile Favorites, Secret-Zip, E-Mail, DataBackup, Online Update
- Lifetime Warranty
No price is available just yet.
Intel intro's three budget CPUs
Chipzilla Intel silently introduced three new desktop processors, according to a Monday report. The new quad-core Q8200 and dual-core E5200 share a more modern 45 nanometer architecture, while the Celeron D 450 is made on the older 65nm topology. The new quad-core chip is meant as a true entry-level quad-core chip and runs at 2.33GHz with a simpler 4MB of L2 cache along with a 1,333MHz front system bus.
The dual-core E5200 will trade the extra cores for a 2.5GHz processing speed, also halving its Level 2 cache to 2MB and reducing the system bus to 800MHz. The 65nm Celeron D 450 shares the same-speed bus but uses a 2.2GHz core frequency and just 512KB of L2 cache.
In bulk, 1,000-unit quantities, the chips will be priced at $224 for the Q8200, $84 for the E5200 and $53 for the 450. No word has been given of price cuts to faster models.
Commodore is alive (again) as a netbook
Like most others in the segment, the UMMD 8010/F is to include a 1.3-megapixel camera and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi capability, with Bluetooth as an option. With a price tag of nearly $600, the Commodore netbook isn't likely to steal any sales away from ASUS' more established and less expensive Eee PC range. No release dates are currently known.
Google Chrome browser based on Webkit
"On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web," the company wrote in its blog. "Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go."
The company claims that it separates each tab or visited website in its own "sandbox," a private secure environment that keeps information from other sites: it not only protects privacy, but also offers better stability and performance, the search giant claimed. The user interface will allow a tab to be created "incognito," a privacy mode that will not log any of the activity onto the computer, cookies are wiped out and history is not saved when it is closed.
The company will "sandbox" plugins into their own process and also focus on improving java script , which is used to build and deploy a variety of advanced features on. Google plans on using a separate java script virtual machine that generates machine code, directly using the capabilities of the CPU for optimal performance.
Another benefit of sandboxing, according to the comic, is that the rights for each process are reduced, not allowing malware to install itself on a computer or affect what is happening in another tab. According to the engineers, the processes "can compute but they can't write files to your hard drive or read files from sensitive areas like your documents or desktop." The user must give explicit permission for high level access.
"We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful java script engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers," Google said.
Google's comic pointed out that current browsers can be affected by fragmented memory, pushing the browser closer to a crash as the user opens new tabs and closes old tabs, even though they might only have a few open at one time. Without the ability to separate the processes, if one thing goes wrong, the whole browser is liable to crash. Chrome's multi-process approach will allow each tab to run individual independent processes- if one tab fails, the browser recognizes the problem, ends the process in that tab, but the others retain function.
Even within one tab, when the user switches from site to site, Chrome will completely switch the process and reclaim the memory. If a slow-down occurs, a task manager can be opened to see exactly what pages or even what plugins are hogging memory, CPU power, or bandwidth.
Google also hoped that its efforts will begin to address the lingering performance and compatibility issues that face a wide variety of cross-platform browsers by using an automatic testing -- an internet "bot" -- to check and test millions of the most popular pages each week (based on Google PageRank).
During the testing thus far, Google has used Webkit to run page layout tests. When the project began it was only passing 23 percent of the tests. "Moving from there to 99 percent has been a fun challenge and an interesting example of test-driven design" said Pam Greene, one of the project software engineers.
The choice of Apple's Webkit was no coincidence. Google claimed they were attracted to the speed potential. When the Chrome team consulted the Android engineers and asked them why they chose Webkit, they responded "it uses memory efficiently, was easily adapted to embedded devices, and it was easy for new browser developers to learn to make the code base work."
Much like Apple did with Safari on the iPhone, Google will use Chrome as part of its Android mobile platform and hopes that its use of Google Gears, a plug-in that extends the standard browser experience, will help developers deliver native-app like performance over the Web with cross-platform compatibility.