Yamaha to unveil first Blu-ray player
Yamaha waited for the HD format war to see who'd win, and thus now is Yamaha getting ready to jump into the Blu-ray market with its BD-S2900 player, according to a leaked report, pre-empting the player's expected release at the CEDIA show at the start of September. The unofficial specifications have the BD-S2900 compatible with the Profile v1.1, allowing users to view extra BonusView content without turning to their PC's Blu-ray drives, capable of 1080p/24fps HDMI video output, and upscaling of standard DVDs.
The player will also sport an SDHC-compatible SD Card slot for quick viewing of photos and movies captured on digital cameras and camcorders. For clean integration into a home theater set-up, the S2900's design will mimic that of the company's flagship A/V receivers, while an RS-232C serial port integrates it with home automation gear.
On the audio side, the 192kHz / 24-bit audio DAC will deliver high-quality digital sound, while Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio will be supported.
Pricing is not official, but is expected to be in the $1,200 range, while availability pegged at soon after CEDIA.
NVIDIA shows interactive GPU raytracer
NVIDIA this week announced it will be demonstrating the first fully interactive GPU-based ray tracer. The NVIDIA-developed tracer is running on four of the company's next-generation Quadro GPUs set in Quadro Plex 2100 D4 Visual Computing System. It is capable of three bounce linear scaling rendering at up to 30fps at resolutions of 1920x1080. The demonstration features linear scaling rendering of a complex, two-million polygon image of a car, the Bugatti Veyron, pictured, that is anti-aliased.
Ray tracing allows generating images by tracing the path of light through pixels in an image plane, resulting in high levels of realism, as it's capable of creating shadows, reflections and refractions in real time.
NVIDIA did not reveal how much the Visual Computing System cost, or when or if it would be available to customers. The Qudro Plex, will cost $10,750 for the entry model, it launches this fall.
Microsoft first with native Blu-ray support
Microsoft on Friday tipped its hand and revealed itself as the first major operating system developer to incorporate more complete Blu-ray support into its platform. A test version of Microsoft's Feature Pack for Storage will give Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 the option of burning Blu-ray discs directly from the operating system, averting the need for a third-party app record to the larger storage format.
Upgrading with the Storage patch will also add the ability to lock down removable storage with a certificate or password to prevent the theft of secure material and will also add new forms of Smart Card support for government workers and others that depend on the standard to access networks and data.
The update is still in the beta stage and isn't yet known to have a set completion date, though the scale of the release suggests a comparatively near-term launch.
Microsoft's approach gives it an inroad into more secure workplaces and should also speed the rate of adoption for Blu-ray hardware, whose costs have often remained elevated due partly from a need to bundle third-party software. Linux, Mac OS X, and other operating systems lack both burning and playback support without third-party tools.
Crucial System Scanner
[QUOTE]The Crucial System Scanner is a freeware tool that scans your computer for what type and how much RAM it currently has in it and what your options are for installing more RAM.
Although the makers of this tool intended for it to be used to so you can buy the right type of RAM in their brand (Crucial). Its a really handy way to find out what type of RAM a certain motherboard can take. This tool can be an absolute godsend with laptop motherboards than tend to be a little sensitive to what type of RAM they can take.
Once run, this tool will very quickly open a command window, close it, pause for about 5 seconds and launch your browser with the results.[/QUOTE]
Force3D going for a Freeze with DTH
Force3D, a manufacturer of ATI graphics cards just issued a press release in which they announce custom cooled ATI Radeon 4870 products. The cooling method is called "Freezer DTH" and should allow for clock speeds up-to 800 MHz. DTH stand for Direct Touch heatpipe andf should cool a nice 33% better than the reference coolers from ATI.
The DTH (Direct Touch Heatpipe) adapts new technology in which the heatpipe is contacted with the GPU directly. The heatpipe absorbs heat from the GPU, cooling performance should really be excellent.
Guru3D Rig of the Month August 2008
Each month we here at Guru3D.com we choose a rig of the month. Guru3D's Rig of the Month - August 2008 is ' Le PC' from Ann le who build a pretty normal PC (for Guru3D standards) yet did a real nice water-cooling job.
"I will make it short and simple, my name is Le, 27 years old and currently working as a system admin for a training facility center. I
NVIDIA slips GTX 280 GX2 rumor
A statement made by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during the firm's fiscal Q2 2009 earnings sparked rumours that the graphics firm might be working on a dual-GPU card with two GeForce GTX 280:
Hans Mosesmann -- Jen-Hsun, a couple of questions; the way NVIDIA introduced GPUs into the marketplace, a single GPU at the high-end and you cascade going forward into higher volume segments -- has that strategy changed in relation to what AMD has done here with their strategy?
Jen-Hsun Huang -- As, you might recall, we were actually the world
OCZ intros faster Core V2 solid state disks
Sunnyvale-based OCZ on Thursday unveiled new Core Series V2 SATA II 2.5-inch SSD drives, offering users speedy 170 Megabyte-per-second read and 98 Megabyte-per-second write times, with much larger sizes. The drives represent a continued effort for OCZ to supply SSD drives to consumers at more affordable prices. While OCZ neglected exact prices from its release, it said that the new Core Series V2 drives cost half of what comparable products do, while offering sizes of up to 250GB.
They announced their Core Series V2 2.5" solid state disks with higher storage capacity and improved performance. The new drives will be available in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB and 250GB capacities.
Leaked Intel slides show 8-core CPUs, AVX
Surely it is not exactly the biggest secret in the world. But Intel's upcoming processor generations will double the number of cores per chip and add a brand new language for specialized code, according to leaked slides obtained by CanardPlus. Although the semiconductor company's Core i7 will just receive a manufacturing process shrink down from 45 nanometers to 32 during 2009, reducing its power use and allowing more complex parts, a replacement architecture codenamed Sandy Bridge will replace it by 2010 and double the number of cores per die to eight. Hyperthreading support will let it handle as many as 16 code threads at once, while a large 16MB pool of Level 3 cache will be shared to make best use of the cores.
The most important advancement of Sandy Bridge is nonetheless described as software, according to the roadmap outlined in the slides. Intel will reportedly introduce a new instruction set termed Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) that will ultimately supercede the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) found in today's Core 2 and eventual Core i7 designs. The improvement will double the size of instructions to 256 bits and will optionally perform as many as four calculations in a single instruction. AVX will also be extensible and let Intel add new code over time to improve features without changing the hardware itself.
The extensions should accelerate performance in media encoding, 3D modeling, and other areas where vector-based math has been used in the past to accelerate performance.
Even longer-term plans for Intel hardware have also been revealed and focus on Haswell, a 22 nanometer architecture for 2012 that would deliver more substantial changes; it will have a new memory cache system as well as "revolutionary" power management. It will also finally support the ability to both add and multiply in a single instruction and potentially result in much more simplified code than processors which can only perform one type of math operation at a time.
Intel is believed to be confirming some or all of this information at next week's Intel Developer Forum, which will primarily focus on Core i7.
Fujitsu Zero-Watt Standby Monitor
The world's first monitors to feature power supplies that automatically switch off completely in power-save mode start shipping today.Developed by Fujitsu Siemens Computers, the leading European IT provider, the revolutionary new power-saving technology goes on sale in the SCENICVIEW Premium Line ECO range.
Patent-pending zero-watt power save technology means the new SCENICVIEW ECO monitors draw no power when not in use - as the DC power converter shuts down completely. This is a world first, because monitors in standby mode normally continue to draw between one and six watts of power. The Eco mode is enabled by default.
The display includes a switching element in the power supply, controlled by the PC. When the monitor powers down, it triggers the power supply to totally disconnect from the mains. When the PC next sends output to the monitor, a small electrical pulse restores display power. This function works with analogue and digital monitor outputs.
Across Europe, reducing power consumption through the adoption of electrical goods that use zero watts in standby mode would save an estimated 35 Terawatt hours per year, according to the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (Bundesanstalt fur Materialforschung)*. The EU Stand-by Initiative reports estimates that stand-by power accounts for about 10 percent of the electricity use in homes and offices of the EU Member States. The ECO monitors also introduce DisplayView AutoBright functionality, an automatic brightness control that adapts monitor brightness in harmony with ambient light, offering power savings during operations of up to an additional 30 percent as well as reducing eye strain. When maximum brightness is needed, the new units reach an impressive 300 cd/m2.
With graphics capabilities of up to 1680 x 1050 pixels, the new ECO monitors do not scrimp on display sizes, either - while a 5 millisecond response time ensures crisp, sharp graphics and no screen artefacts. Thanks to HDMI interface support, the screens are also ideal for working with high-definition graphics.
In September, two more models will join the zero-watt monitor line-up: the 24-inch and 26-inch models.
Intel Turbo Memory - We're gonna speed up Vista
Interesting. Intel plans to speed up applications with their Intel Turbo Memory.
Intel Turbo Memory (codenamed Robson, also known as a Robson cache) is a technology introduced by semi-conductor company Intel to utilize NAND flash memory modules, reducing the time it takes for a computer to power up, access programs, and write data to the hard drive.
The technology was publicly introduced on October 17, 2005 already at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taiwan when it gave a demonstration using a laptop that booted up almost immediately. The technology attempts to decrease hard drive usage by moving frequently accessed data over to the flash memory. Flash memory reacts faster than hard drives and requires less power, allowing notebooks to be faster and more power efficient. The Robson cache connects via a mini-PCIe card with on-board NAND flash memory modules, supporting new features available in Microsoft Windows Vista, namely ReadyBoost (a hard-drive caching solution via USB flash drives) and ReadyDrive (a hard-drive caching solution via hybrid drives), allowing both read caching and write caching of data.
At the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., Intel will be demonstrating its latest version of Turbo Memory based on flash memory to accelerate application performance in Windows.
Intel is offering a "dashboard" for Windows that allows the user to choose and control which applications or files are loaded into the Intel Turbo Memory cache (based on flash memory chips) for performance acceleration. Intel calls this "User pinning."
Intel is trying to address a longstanding shortcoming of Windows: its inability to take full advantage of flash storage devices. "There are issues related to taking full advantage of the speed of a (flash drive)," said Troy Winslow, marketing manager for the NAND Products Group at Intel, in an interview at the Flash Memory Summit.
In related news, Intel announced a new Z-P230 PATA (Parallel ATA) SSD drive that comes in 4 gigabyte (GB) and 8GB capacities, with a 16GB version following in September. Pricing is $25 for the 4GB version for 1,000 unit quantities and $45 for 1,000 unit quantities for the 8GB version.
Photos and Specs Radeon HD 4670 Surface
Of course we all know it's on it's way, yet some info and photo's of the lower mainstream targeted Radeon HD 4670 popped up on the web. This videocard is based on the all new RV730 GPU , produced on 55nm and reportedly has 320 stream processors. What would pretty much boil down to the Radeon 3870 actually.
It is expected that this video card class will retail with 512 MB GDDR3 video memory. There's no info on clock speeds just yet.
US judge decrees open source licenses valid
Openistas are celebrating a major court victory over a legal spat involving model railroad hobbyists that will have big implications for the Creative Commons license.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled that just because a software programmer freely gave his work away, it didn
Fallacy of the anonymous Internet vanishing
The Internet is a very powerful tool and this has not escaped the notice of people who wish to subvert the law. Some countries around the world have very strict controls, with massive Internet firewalls to ensure the public only sees what the government wants them to see. There is a common feeling that the UK is moving to a surveillance society, and with laws coming that will require communications providers to retain telephone and internet records and allow local councils and public bodies access to these the parallels with the old East Germany will be obvious to many.
A consultation period is running on the final phase of the Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC which ends on 31st October 2008. The consultation period covers the areas of internet access, internet telephone service, and internet mail. At some 300 plus pages, the document is not easy going, but it is keen to point out that while the law would require retention of the fact an email went from Fred to John on 14th August 2008, the content of the email would not be recorded.
The report confirms that a number of communications providers already retain the necessary records as part of their normal business or under previous voluntary schemes. The concern of many will centre around areas like how RIPA has been used by local councils. The family in Dorset that was under surveillance for three weeks could with the new law expect the council to be trawling their email records for any communication with a school outside their catchment area.
The consultation paper talks about retention of internet connection info, e.g. where and when, internet telephony and e-mail, but does not mention other areas such as instant messaging. It is possible that due to the voice and video aspect of most instant messaging applications these will count as internet telephony. The successes under current retention policies are highlighted in the paper, but there is little talk of how false positives will be handled, and what abuse safe guards are in place. The aim of the regulations are "to ensure that this data is available for a minimum of 12 months to assist in the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime".
There will be concerns about those with access to these powers abusing them. One could see a local councillor perhaps abusing the powers to spy on political opponents. Most people will accept that investigations into serious crimes such as child abuse and kidnaps will benefit from the obligation to retain internet communications data but public confidence in such measures for local authorities is unlikely to be strong.
Intel Atom sells much better than expected
Intel's Atom processors have been off to a great start, beating initial expectations. According to Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith in an interview posted on InformationWeek, the processors are used in small electronic gadgets or small PC's. The success of the processor is welcomed news for a company that has been affected by the slowing market of personal computers. "It's the perfect recession product to have in the marketplace" Smith said Tuesday.
Atom processors are designed for low-cost devices Intel calls "Mobile Internet Devices." Consumers' tendency to tighten budgets recently may factor in the strong sales for lower cost computing devices. Many companies are releasing mini-notebooks this year, some of them fitted with Atom processors. Manufacturers have pushed these devices with new marketing campaigns, anticipating the possibility of strong sales.
The success of Intel's target segment remains to be seen, many of these products being new and the market itself just emerging. Intel is aware of the uncertainty, Smith adding "we'll know kind of in six months how much of this demand (for Atom) is real and how much is customers thinking they're going to win in the market place and double-ordering."
Smith claimed they can produce roughly 2500 Atom chips from a single silicon wafer. Atom chips will not be as profitable as their Core or Xeon chip, but they claim the profit is still healthy. Smith does not anticipate the Atom chips cannibalizing the market for their other chips except for a part of their low-cost Celeron processor market. Intel has not changed their third quarter revenue forecast from the original estimate of 10.0 billion to 10.6 billion. Smith indicated confidence that Intel has positioned itself well for the current economic situation, adding "Even in the downturn, we're seeing investments in technology continue."
Have you ever heard a pig sound this good?
The iPig's eyes are actually speakers, while its ears act as touch-sensitive volume controls. The iPig's mouth lights up whenever the iPig is powered on, and will confirm instructions sent from the remote control with a flash. An amplifier is built into the iPig, as is a dynamic airflow design to cool the device.
The iPig is available now in yellow, pink or white on Speakal's website, priced at nearly $140.
Cooler Masterchassis HAF 932 with High Air Flow structure
The new Cooler Master full-tower chassis HAF 932 presents its sturdy sentinel housing and revolutionary High Air Flow structure to enhance and protect any hardware component that is worthy of the highest performance. Cooler Master HAF 932 can be modified to fit an internal radiator while the pre-drilled retaining holes by the rear makes for easy routing of any liquid cooling kit of choice.
To boost and sustain all around system performance, Cooler Master included steel meshed vents vertically stretched over the whole front panel, and then further strengthened the flow of heat dissipation by including three massive 230mm fans on the top, the side and the front of the chassis.
Microsoft Security Updates for August 2008
Microsoft has issued a hefty 11 bulletins addressing 26 vulnerabilities in its August security release. The monthly security update includes six bulletins that address issues rated 'critical', the highest of Microsoft's security alert levels. Four of the critical bulletins addressed vulnerabilities in Office. Those patches included fixes for an ActiveX control in Office 2003 and older, flaws in Office filters, Powerpoint and Excel.
All four could be used by an attacker to remotely execute code. The company also fixed remote code vulnerabilities in the Image Color Management software for Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003. The remaining critical bulletin was an update to a previous patch for Internet Explorer 6 and 7. The five remaining vulnerabilities were all rated 'important'. Those included fixes for remote code flaws in Word and information disclosure risks in Outlook and Windows Messenger. Also fixed was an information disclosure flaw in the IPSec software for Windows Vista and Server, as well as a remote code execution vulnerability in the Windows Event System component for all versions of the operating system.