Less is more - the pretty cool sPult remote
It seems everyone has tried their hand at designing the best all-in-one universal remote control. So many buttons so little time to actually learn what they all do. Well the
WD Ships RE3 SATA Hard Drives
WD announced it is now shipping the new bration environments.
In line with the WD RE drive heritage, WD RE3 drives feature 1.2 million hours MTBF, native command queuing (NCQ), time limited error recovery (TLER), and an extensive and enhanced testing process.
- Dual processor - Twice the processing power that results in a 20 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
- RAFF technology - Resulting in up to 60 percent performance improvement over previous generation drives, WD's fourth-generation RAFF technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration simultaneously, in real time for maximum performance in high vibration environments.
- IntelliSeek technology - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration in active seek modes without degrading performance.
- Multi-axis shock sensor - An additional third sensor has been added to RE3 models to automatically detect the subtlest shock events and compensates to protect the data.
- RAID-specific, Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) - Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
- Third-generation dynamic fly height - With this next generation dynamic fly height technology, each read-write head's fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability.
- Thermal extended burn-in test - Extended burn-in testing with thermal cycling added to ensure only the most robust drives are produced as RAID Edition.
- NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.
WD RE3 500GB (WD5002ABYS), 320GB (WD3202ABYS) and 250GB (WD2502ABYS) hard drives are available now. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD RE3 500GB is $119, the 320GB is $89 and the 250GB is $79 USD. WD RE3 drives are covered by a five-year limited warranty.
Pioneer BD Combo Drives Become 40% Cheaper In China
Hmm, hopefully a new trend that'll spread ? So far only the Chinese market is known to offer reduced prices. But, perhaps, Pioneer will do the same in other regions as well.
According to the source, a couple of days ago, Pioneer reduced the retail price of the BDC-S02BKZ down to $145, thus cutting its price by 41.2%. According to industry sources, the reduction will affect other suppliers of BD Combo and BD-ROM drives.
BDC-S02BKZ was introduced to the Chinese market in Q4'2007 for about $390 and underwent the first price cut this March. Market observers believe this new price correction has been made to whip up the demand that is to start growing as Beijing 2008 Olympic Games approach.
Besides, in July Pioneer plans to cut the retail price of BDC-S02 drive from $312 to $230 in Taiwan.
As BD Combo retail prices are higher than those of BD-ROM drive by about 30%, the price reduction will narrow this gap.
Network Solutions writes hypocrisy into press release
After spending the last six months front-running internet domains,
Network Solutions has announced that ICANN should prevent people from
front-running internet domains.
In early January, the well-known domain registrar began self-registering domains that web users show interest in. If you searched the NetSol website for a given domain without immediately buying, the company would hold the domain hostage for the next four days. You could still buy the address from Network Solutions, but you couldn't buy it from anyone else.
NetSol claims this was an effort to prevent domain front-running, but the Virginia-based company is guilty of extreme hypocrisy.
According to the company, certain people have found a way of monitoring searches on its site. If you show interest in a domain, these mystery front runners are waiting to snap it up, NetSol says, and that self-registering trick prevents them from doing so.
You see, in NetSol's world, front-runners are synonymous with domain tasters - those net miscreants that register hundreds upon hundreds of domains just to test their "marketability". And NetSol insists it would never sell to tasters.
Of course, self-registering domains is also a very good way for NetSol to boost its profits.
Network Solutions can pull this trick because under current ICANN rules, anyone can return a domain within five days without paying a penny. But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is now considering a non-refundable 20 cent fee for every registration.
This would kill NetSol's front-running scheme. But it would also kill domain tasting. And if others are front-running - which we highly doubt - it would kill that too.
Naturally, NetSol continues to say it's merely interested in
preventing anyone else from gaming the system. Yesterday, the company
issued a press release announcing that it fully supports ICANN's 20 cent proposal. And the release specifically badmouthed front-running.
The release also said that Network Solutions continues to practice its own front running scheme - but it didn't use those words. It called the scheme "an opt-in domain protection measure that reserves available domains for four day." Fair enough - except the opt-in bit is new. When the company began front-running domains, there's was no opt-in, no opt-out, and no press release telling the world what was going on.
Network Solutions can say whatever it likes. It wanted the extra revenue.
Download: NVIDIA System Tools 6.02 (ESA)
System tuning and monitoring support:
- nForce 4, 5, 6 and 7 series motherboards
Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA) support:
- nForce 790i Ultra SLI
- nForce 790i SLI
- nForce 780a SLI
- nForce 780i SLI
- nForce 680i SLI
- nForce 680i LT SLI
GPU overclocking and temperature monitoring support:
- GeForce 5 (FX), 6, 7, 8, 9, and 200 series GPUs
- Windows XP users must install Service Pack 1, at a minimum, prior to attempting to install this package. Failure to do so will result in the inability to support USB 2.0.
- Installation of DirectX 9.0 or higher is required in order to use NVIDIA System Monitor.
Download - click here.
update: 3DMark Vantage - 3Way SLI - GeForce PhysX
After we posted our 3DMark Vantage results in combination with 3-way SLI GeForce GTX 280 / PhysX drivers / and 4200 Mhz CPU overclock I received quite a lot of emails. A couple among them entailed the question if we could post the Extereme performance setting in 3DMark Vantage as well.
Therefore I just ran a couple of additional results for all modes in 3DMark Vantage.
Dell extends XP sales "due popular demand"
Dell today issued a last-minute stay on its XP cut-off date and has posted notice that it will continue selling some of its systems with the older Windows operating system until June 26th at 7AM Eastern, or four days before Microsoft's mandatory date for switching most computers to Vista. The extension applies to three variants of the Inspiron 530 desktop that start from $549; a special version of the XPS 630 gaming system also comes with Vista Ultimate but makes XP Professional the default installation.
As promised, Dell will also continue to make the XPS 630's downgrade option available after June 26th along with similar options on the XPS 720 H2C and the XPS M1730 notebook.
All of Dell's business lines already require the downgrade choice for users who would prefer not to use Vista.
The unusually short extension isn't explained by Dell beyond the popularity level but points to continuing resistance to Vista among home users, who are less likely than corporate buyers to be affected by backwards compatibility issues but have in the past raised concerns over software driver support as well as relative performance for both budget and gaming systems.
BenQ launches 21.5 16:9 Full HD LCD Display
That's a first I think, a 21.5
49% Say Government Should Regulate Internet
Nearly half of Americans (49%) believe that the federal government
should regulate the Internet the same way it does radio and television,
according to a new Rasmussen Reports national survey.
Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree, and 16% are undecided.
Americans also believe overwhelmingly -- 73% yes to 13% no -- that it should be a crime to harass someone on the Internet.
The findings come as a Missouri woman faces an unprecedented federal prosecution for allegedly setting up an account for a fictitious 16-year-old on an online social networking site to harass the 13-year-old daughter of a neighbor. The girl, Megan Meier, ultimately committed suicide after being viciously rejected by the made-up boy.
Lori Drew, the woman in question, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of conspiracy and accessing a protected computer to obtain information. She allegedly created the MySpace account after her daughter had a falling out with Meier.
Seventy-one percent (71%) have some awareness of the Drew case, with only 25% saying they know nothing about it at all. Women (79%) more than men
(67%) think Internet harassment should be a crime. Age is also a factor, with support for criminalizing such behavior higher the older the respondent.
Women also feel much more strongly about federal regulation of the Internet, with 55% in favor, 25% opposed and 20% undecided. Men reject federal regulation by a small margin
Inno3D first to unveil GeForce 9800 GTX+
Inno3D is the first to actually send out a press-release on their new GeForce 9800 GTX+ graphics card. Previous reports indicate the GeForce 9800 GTX+ uses a 55nm G92 GPU - the card should be available in July for around $229. The GeForce 9800 GTX+ from Inno3D features 128 stream processors, 738MHz core, 1836MHz shaders, 256-bit memory bus and 512MB GDDR3 memory clocked at 2200MHz. The memory bandwidth is 70.4GB/s and the texture fill rate is 47.2 billion/s.
The card has 3-way SLI support and according to Inno3D it's 15% faster than the original GeForce 9800 GTX.
Aquacomputer Presents Liquid Cooler For GTX280
German Aquacomputer presented its aquagrafx G200 liquid cooling solution for NVIDIA GTX280. The cooler is produced from highly purified electrolysis copper and provides very high cooling capacity. Due to the up to 20mm broad channels inside the block it has very low flow resistance. The GPU area is covered by an optimized cooling surface which is about 25% larger than that of the previous solutions. The unit has G1/4" connectors.
The copper plate of the cooler is approximately 8mm thick and weighs about 660g. It is made of a solid copper block weighing almost 2.2 kg.
Priced 94.90 EUR, the product will go on sale on June 25, 2008. However, pre-orders are already available.
Call Of Duty 5: First Trailer
3DMark Vantage and 3x GeForce GTX 280 + PhysX
So with the GeForce PhysX features currently being seeded to the press, and after my initial results I figured .. if PhysX processing over the GPU shows such a big advantage in the overall 3DMark vantage score, then surely I must be able to break my personal 25.000 points barrier ?
So roughly half an hour ago I started building my test rig again, this time prepared to go heavy ... and with a nice overclock.
I took a nForce 790i Ultra SLI with 2 GB DDR3 memory. A Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor. Slapped three GeForce GTX 280 cards on there and started overclocking a little. I got the CPU cores clocked at 4200 MHz. The three GPUs are clocked at 631 MHz on the core, Shader domain at 1409 MHz and the memory towards 2600 MHz.
Now combined with the GeForce 177.39 driver and then with the NVIDIA PhysX (8.06.12) driver installed I fired up 3DMark vantage again. Here's the new personal score folks:
NVIDIA PhysX Quick Test
As you guys likely know NVIDIA issued a new PhysX supporting driver to the press, which (driver) actually already got leaked.
This driver will enable and allow a significant set of Physics functions to be ran over the GPU. Now I just put this quickly to the test, though in very early stages testing I must say it pushes out some pretty interesting results.
First off, there are some new included demos in the additional PhysX software you need to install, which really work out well. This trick is however to get some software going with this new feature. Currently I am testing a GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition from XFX; tried out the new PhysX driver and installed a press version NVIDIA PhysX software build on there (not available just yet).
Though within games offloading PhysX to the GPU would take a toll on your framerate there seems to be one application benefiting from this new option greatly .. 3DMark Vantage.
Let me show you a test run with the new GeForce 177.39 driver and then with the NVIDIA PhysX (8.06.12) driver installed:
- PhysX driver on: Overall Performance score 7493 - GPU score 6029
- PhysX driver off: Overall Performance score 5823 - GPU score 6022
It causes a bit of a concern as what exactly is the new score now telling us ? Definitely not GPU performance, but it does boost the overall Vantage score significantly. Looking further ahead ... If you measure game performance with PhysX enabled in a game that actually supports it, the framerate will be slower opposed to a competitor who doesn't have that function enabled/supported.
My suggestion to NVIDIA, definitely make an on/off switch in the drivers so the press can measure objectively. It's a great feature though, and I love to see this well developed and become a standard in games.
If you like to discuss NVIDIA PhysX, we've opened up a thread right here.
CoolIT unveils liquid cooling GeForce GTX 280 and 260
CoolIT Systems announces the availability of the NV200 VGA Coldplate compatible with the new GeForce GTX280 and GTX260 cards recently announced by NVidia. The solution features a single slot, high performance liquid cooling solution that effectively cools the GPU, RAM, nVio Chip and VR that, when mated with CoolIT
Sony unleashes HD vidcam with smile detection
Nono, that was not a joke. Sony on Thursday issued a relatively surprising mid-year Handycam update through the CX12, a new mid-range camera. The handheld is Sony's first to use smile detection and does so to give videographers a hands-off approach to taking photos alongside video; the camera can automatically snap 10-megapixel still photos when it sees smiles without having to interrupt video capture. Like recent Cyber-shots, the CX12 can also prioritize those shots to take photos only of smiling groups or of adults or children. The Handycam can even take these photos in standby mode.
The camera records full-sized 1920x1080 video in AVCHD format and uses Sony's Memory Stick Pro Duo cards as its sole storage medium; a 4GB card is included in the box. Sony touts relatively strong video quality with a 12X stabilized optical zoom lens and Dolby 5.1 surround recording, complete with zoomed audio to properly capture sound from distant subjects.
Sony packs the CX12 with a sync cradle and ships the camera in early August for $900.
Asus ARES the Ultimate Gaming Powerhouse ?
Catering to gamers who require only the best equipment, Asus today unveiled the new Asus ARES CG6155 Desktop PC. This powerful piece of gaming hardware comprises an array of top-notch components to provide gamers with the performance and stability for their every gaming need.
Asus ARES is equipped with the most advanced Quad-core CPUs, 3-way SLI GeForce GTX 280 graphic cards and extreme factory over-clocking that boosts CPU performance by up to 33%. Additionally, gamers will be able to enjoy cutting-edge technologies such as a Blu-ray optical disc drive, high-definition audio and DDRIII memory.
The unique exterior design of Asus ARES CG6155 is inspired by ancient and modern armor with both Eastern and Western influences, and presents an aesthetic appeal that exudes pure power! ARES opens a new chapter in gaming hardware design. Due to its unique Dual Power and customized liquid cooling modules, Asus ARES offers excellent stability. This Dual Power design supports up to 2 kilowatts of power. The built-in liquid cooler ensures that system stability is maintained for cooler operations. ARES not only looks bullet proof; but also incorporates an arsenal of features which make it one of the most stable and secure gaming PC systems ever.
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway August 26 release
Personally this is one of the titles this year I look very forward to. Software's latest World War II shooter Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway hits PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on August 26, publisher Ubisoft has revealed.