Win a Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Black WindForce Edition
We just reviewed the Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Black with that magnificent WindForce cooler. And we are giving it away for free in a contest. To participate, you need to do is "Follow" our Facebook page (if you haven't already) and answer a simple question on ther corresponding Facebook item. Good Luck!
Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO Trailer
AMD Athlon X2 7750 BE review [Guru3D]
Today we have a test on the Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition processor. Anyone thinking Phenom X2 ? The product we are reviewing today is exactly that. AMD developed a new K10 dual-core processor based on the TLB bug-free (B3) revision, under the codename KUMA.
And quite frankly... it's a really interesting product, as for less than 79 USD/EUR you get to have quite a nice performing product with fairly nice clock frequencies. Yeah... 79 USD.
You can read this review at this URL:
IE Zero day Vulnerability. Work arounds available.
Microsoft issued a security advisory with workarounds for dealing with hacker attacks targeting a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer 7. Users await word as to when to expect a patch or an update to fix the IE 7 browser security issue.
Microsoft has issued an advisory to help users deal with a zero-day flaw affecting Internet Explorer.
In an update, Microsoft stated the flaw affects not only Internet Explorer (IE) 7 as originally thought, but also versions 5 and 6. However, as of Dec. 11, Microsoft had only seen attacks against IE 7. "The vulnerability exists as an invalid pointer reference in the data binding function of Internet Explorer," according to Microsoft. "When data binding is enabled (which is the default state), it is possible under certain conditions for an object to be released without updating the array length, leaving the potential to access the deleted object's memory space. This can cause Internet Explorer to exit unexpectedly, in a state that is exploitable."
The vulnerability itself is a memory corruption error in the handling of DHTML data bindings. The attacker does a "heap spray" and then an invalid pointer dereference in an array of data binding objects. They don't exactly give proof of concept code, but this is more than they usually say.
The workarounds fall into three classes, those that:
(A) block access to the vulnerable code in MSHTML.dll via OLEDB, protecting against current attacks
(B) apply the most secure configuration against this specific vulnerability.
(C) make it much harder to heap spray.
|1. Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to "High" to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones||X||X|
|2. Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone||X||X|
|3. Restrict Internet Explorer from using OLEDB32.dll with an Integrity Level ACL||X|
|4. Disable Row Position functionality of OLEDB32.dll||X|
|5. Unregister OLEDB32.DLL||X|
|6. Use ACL to disable OLEDB32.DLL||X|
|7. Enable DEP for Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista and on Windows Server 2008||X|
|8. Disable Data Binding support in Internet Explorer 8||X||X|
The (A) workarounds, are more desirable because they disable the least functionality, and some of them are very targeted. The (B) workarounds, if you ask me, may be necessary but are undesirable. Breaking scripting breaks a lot of software and prompting for it is of dubious value because users won't know which prompts to say yes to. The only (C) entry that's really interesting is to enable DEP and you should do that irrespective of this issue. Microsoft recommends one from column (A) and, to be really comprehensive, one from column (B). I guess they have to say this.
TN Games HTX Helmet lets you feel headshots
Ohw dear ... A bit more than a year ago TN Games gave gamers the 3rd Space force-feedback FPS Vest to get a shock when someone shot at you in a FPS game and soon they will release the HTX Helmet, a product that will let you feel the impact of getting shot in the head.
The HTX Helmet is the next product in development for TN Games using its 3rd Space
The Dark Knight selling 600,000 Blu-ray copies in first week
In hopes that the Batman summer blockbuster would generate unprecedented sales, Warner Home Video shipped one million Blu-ray copies for the release of the DVD.
OCZ Technology Gold Series SDHC Cards
OCZ Technology announced the launch of its new Gold Series Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) flash memory cards, to offer professional photographers and videographers unbridled performance combined with ample storage capabilities for high-resolution pictures and video. These premium memory cards offer photography enthusiasts incredible speeds and capacities to deliver the tailored storage they demand.
GeForce 180.84 Beta driver revision 3 released (download)
It seems that NVIDIA moments ago released a new Beta of their 180.84 GeForce drivers. This is tagged with Beta 3 opposed to the previous Beta 2. It also seems that a lot of stuff for GTA 4 users was fixed. If you play the game, definitely check out this batch.
There's a discussion thread open on these drivers right here.
United Keys shipping OLED gaming keyboards
Rumors about this new keyboard from United Keys doing an OLED gaming keyboard date back quite a awhile.
But Yeah here it is, in reality, ready to simplify your life. The keyboard features 103 regular old, everyday keys, and boasts nine monochromatic OLED display keys on the left side which can be custom mapped and identified by text or images -- really giving the Optimus Maximus a run for its money, huh?
This bad boy is 20.5-inches long and 7.25-inches wide, but the good news is that if you don't want the full keyboard (and who can blame you?), you can order just the keypad of nine OLEDs. They're taking orders now, and apparently shipping within two weeks. The full keyboard is going to run you $259.99, while the OLED keypad is $199.99 [via engadget].
NVIDIA 12 Days of NVIDIA promotions
NVIDIA started a new campaign fighting, obviously the horrible economic crisis. Starting December 11TH and continuing all the way through December 22ND, NVIDIA will feature 12 offers that you at the very least need to check out.
Check back each day to discover what new holiday bargains are in store for you. Each offer is good from the day is revealed through December 23RD.
This first day started with a 10% price cut on all games. Well check it out yourself I'd say.
Google Chrome browser nearly out of Beta
NetGear readies media hub with 1080p, 500GB
NETGEAR hopes to lead the increasingly crowded networked media hub field with a new flagship, the company tells Wired. The Digital Entertainer Elite or EVA9150 will focus on brute hardware superiority to compete against rivals such as the Apple TV and will be one of the few in the category to play 1080p video. Appropriately, it will also carry a 500GB hard drive in an accessible bay that lets owners upgrade themselves if the storage is lacking.
Significantly, however, NETGEAR has declined to tie the Elite directly to any paid online video services and is instead relying on transfers from locally networked PCs to load commercial content. Free Internet content is available from Flickr for still images and YouTube for videos. Expansion and networking haven't been completely revealed but should include USB, component or HDMI for video, and at least Wi-Fi for its data link.
The new Digital Entertainer isn't due to start shipping until the early portion of 2009 and will cost $400 due to its feature set.
Logitech announces new G13 Advanced Gameboard
15 second Mafia 2 Spike VGA Trailer
AMD says PhysX will die if it remains a closed and proprietary standard
Author: Tim Smalley
Published: 11th December 2008
Godfrey Cheng, Director of Technical Marketing in AMD's Graphics Product Group, has said that PhysX will die if it remains a closed and proprietary standard.
"There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX," said Cheng. "As we have emphasised with our support for OpenCL and DX11, closed and proprietary standards will die."
This was part of AMD's response to our questions about EA's and 2K's decision to adopt PhysX across all of their worldwide studios earlier this week.
When asked what impact major publishers adopting PhysX across all of their studios would have on the PC gaming industry as a whole, Cheng responded by saying:
"We cannot provide comments on our competitor's business model except that it is awfully hard to sustain support by monetary incentives. The product itself must be competitive. We view Havok technologies and products to be the leaders in physics simulation and this is why we are working with them. Games developers share this view. We will also invest in technologies and partnerships beyond Havok that enhances gameplay."
It's interesting that Cheng says game developers share the view that Havok is the market leader in physics simulation - does that mean both Electronic Arts and 2K Games adopted PhysX against their development studios' wishes? Cheng pointed out that "People need to scrutinize various announcements on what is being "licensed". Is it to replace the whole physics simulation / tool stack within a game or within the whole studio? Is it for a specific physics simulation product or just a couple of titles? Remember PhysX also has game physics libraries in addition to its new GPU based products.
"An agreement to support PhysX may be for a limited portfolio of features. If you recall, Ageia had tremendous difficulty giving away its technologies and products for free whereas Havok could charge licensing fees. The quality of Havok's product and support hasn't changed nor has the preference by the developers for Havok. Games developers and studios are always interested in NRE and co-marketing deals which may be the catalyst for recent PhysX announcements."
So, what about the promise of GPU-accelerated Havok Physics on ATI Radeon graphics cards? It's still coming apparently and Cheng said that "[AMD] will provide more clarity to our work once more milestones have been achieved between AMD and Havok."
"Our guidance was end of this year or early next year but, first and foremost, it will be driven by the milestones that we hit. To put some context behind GPU based physics acceleration, it is really just at the beginning. Like 3D back in the early 1990s. Our competition has made some aggressive claims about support for GPU physics acceleration by the end of this year. I.e. Support in many titles....but we can count the titles on one hand or just one or two fingers," added Cheng.
"It should be noted that title support for GPU accelerated physics simulation is NOT the end game. The end game is having GPU physics as an integral part of game play and not just eye candy. If it is optional eye candy, GPU physics will not gain traction. The titles we have seen today with shattering glass and cloth waving in the wind is not integral to game play and the impact on the game's experience is minimal. We are looking for ways to integrate GPU physics better into game play. Or even things like AI instead of focusing on eye candy / effects physics."
Cheng's final words make a lot of sense and I find myself agreeing with him. We said something similar when Nvidia announced that the PC version of Mirror's Edge was delayed because of the PhysX implementation which, following a brief hands-on preview last week, does nothing but add some additional eye candy. None of it influences the actual gameplay experience.
However, it still remains to be seen when we're actually going to see Havok Physics running on Radeon GPUs - we get the feeling that Intel is holding the aces back until Larrabee hits the scene. All we're hearing at the moment are buzzwords like OpenCL and DirectX 11 Compute - but they're not here today and Radeon owners are expected to play a waiting game.[/QUOTE]
Download - Rivatuner 2.21 released
Rivatuner has been updated towards version 2.21 This release has a small number of updates yet mainly is a hotfix for a Grand Theft Auto 4 missing texture issue for some GeForce owners in combo with this tool. Obviously support has been added as well as (ForceWare) GeForce drivers 180.60, 180.70 and 180.84 are supported and AMD ATI Catalyst 8.12 driver support has been added as well. Please check out the changelist.
RivaTuner is a complete powerful tweaking environment, providing you everything you may need to tune NVIDIA GPU based display adapters. The widest driver-level Direct3D / OpenGL and system tuning options, flexible profiling system allowing to make custom settings on per-application basis, both driver-level and low-level hardware access modes, unique diagnostic and real-time hardware monitoring features and exclusive power user oriented tools like built-in registry editor and patch script engine make RivaTuner's feature set absolutely unmatched. RivaTuner supports all NVIDIA display adapters starting from Riva TNT family up to the latest GeForce series and widest range of NVIDIA drivers starting from the oldest Detonator 2.08 up to the newest ForceWare drivers family. In addition to complete NVIDIA hardware support, RivaTuner also provides support for display adapters based upon newer ATI graphics processors. All RivaTuner's features besides driver-level tuning options are also available on supported ATI hardware.
For novice users, we have a guide to help you through Rivatuner and setup fan speeds and overclocks on your graphics card. This guide will hopefully help you understand how to use the features that Rivatuner provides.
- FOURCC INTZ and RAWZ formats are no longer forcibly disabled on GeForce 6 and newer display adapters when closing the 'Textures' tab in Direct3D tweaks dialog. Please take a note that these formats are required for proper GTA IV functionality, so if you experience problems with missing textures in this game on NVIDIA GeForce 6 and newer display adapters then please try to open the 'Textures' tab and press the 'Defaults' button.
- Fixed 'Restore after suspended mode' option in low-level fan control tab, corrupted in the previous release due to multi-GPU related core changes.
- Updated databases for Detonator and ForceWare drivers. Added databases for ForceWare 180.60, 180.70 and 180.84.
- Added Catalyst 8.12 driver family detection.
- Added 'Enable FOURCC INTZ surfaces' and 'Enable FOURCC RAWZ surfaces' options to the 'Textures' tab of the Direct3D tweaks dialog.
- 'Restore after suspended mode' option in low-level fan control tab is multi-GPU oriented now. Now the option affects all display adapters in the system instead of currently selected display adapter only.
- 'Allow separate 2D/3D clock frequency adjustment' option is no longer provided when enabling driver-level hardware overclocking. The option is now hidden to reduce the amount of false bugreports posted by the beginners trying to disable 2D/3D clock frequncy then claiming that the hardware stays at extremely low boot clocks. Power users can still control this option via AllowMaxPerf registry entry.
- Extended list of detectable supported FOURCC formats in 'IDirect3D9 HAL adapter formats' diagnostic report category.
OCZ NIA - Neural Impulse Actuator review [Guru3D]
We all know that when really bad things happen to people with a head injury, in the hospital they use an EEG (Electroencephalogram) to check your brain activity. There are several wave lengths that can be monitored, precisely. Brainwave-reading (EEG) technology is now swiftly emerging onto the video game scene, adding a new dimension to our gaming experience.
OCZ has developed a product called NIA - The Neural Impulse Actuator. OCZ's NIA utilizes a headband to capture readings from your head. You can think of it as a brain controlled mouse or joystick. This kit resembles a pair of what looks like headphones, with a single electrode contacting the user
Top selling PC Games week ending 29 November
There's a lot of shifting on the PC games sales this week. This is the NPD chart detailing the best selling PC games in the USA for the week ending November 29. Blizzard's MMO expansion pack World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King still hit the number one spot for the week, which proves that Blizzard fans still want their game no matter what the price. What a great deal that is for sure.
BioShock is actually back in the top 4 thanks to it's 11 USD sales price.
- World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack (Activision Blizzard) - $38
- The Sims 2 Double Deluxe - Electronic Arts - $14
- Spore - Electronic Arts - $47
- Bioshock - 2K Games ( Take 2) - $11
- The Sims 2 Deluxe - Electronic Arts - $6
- Left 4 Dead - Electronic Arts - $46
- Call Of Duty: World At War - (Activision Blizzard) - $50
- Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition - Ubisoft - $11
- World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest - (Activision Blizzard) - $25
- The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts- $20
Microsoft fixes 28 flaws - 6 critical
MS08-070: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files (ActiveX Controls) Could Allow Remote Code Execution (932349)", this bulletin affects the Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files; all supported editions of Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2002, Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2003, Microsoft Visual FoxPro 8.0, Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0, Microsoft Office Project 2003, and Microsoft Office Project 2007.
MS08-071: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in GDI Could Allow Remote Code Execution (956802)", this bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft says "exploitation of either of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted WMF image file. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
MS08-072: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution (957173)," this bulletin is rated critical for supported editions of Microsoft Office Word 2000 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. For supported editions of Microsoft Office Word 2002, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Microsoft Works 8, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, this security update is rated important. Microsoft says this bulletin resolves "eight privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office Outlook that could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) file. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
MS08-073: Critical - Titled "Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (958215)", this bulletin is rated critical for Internet Explorer 5.01 and Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, running on Microsoft Windows 2000; Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows XP; and Internet Explorer 7. For Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows Server 2003, this security update is rated "moderate." Microsoft says the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer.
MS08-074: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (959070)." This bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Office Excel 2000. For all supported editions of Microsoft Office Excel 2002, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, Microsoft Office Excel Viewer, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, this security update is rated important. For Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows Server 2003, this security update is rated moderate. Microsoft says if a user opens a specially crafted Excel file an attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities and take complete control of an affected system.
MS08-075: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Windows Search Could Allow Remote Code Execution (959349)" This bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft says that "these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens and saves a specially crafted saved-search file within Windows Explorer or if a user clicks a specially crafted search URL. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system."