Friday, September 24, 2010

UK Survey finds kids more proficient with tech than reading

A company from the UK called Protect your Bubble commissioned a survey about kids and technology that looked at kids from 3 to 10 years old to see what they could do in relation to tech. According to the survey results, many of the kids were more proficient with tech than they were with reading and writing. I can certainly see this as accurate in many cases. My son was using a computer alone by three to play a game called Reader Rabbit.

kidatcomptuer sg

The study found that 47% of the 3,000 parents that participated thought their kids knew more about gadgets than they do. Another 19% of those parents say that when they can’t figure out the computer, they turn to their kids and 16% get kids to work the DVD player.

The top ten things a kid can do alone according to the study include turn on the TV at number one. Next is get dressed, followed by write their name. In the fourth spot is turn on a computer, next is work a DVD player, and sixth is ride a bike. Number eight on the list is read a book, nine is use Sky+, and the last is make their own breakfast. My kids are better at using a computer than making breakfast. A computer doesn’t spill everywhere.

AVA Direct ships X7200 desktop replacement gaming computer

AVA Direct makes a bunch of different computers that are aimed at gamers and computer enthusiast. The latest new desktop replacement aimed at computer gamers to ship from the company is called the X7200. The new X7200 notebook has some very nice specifications and should be very powerful.

avadirectx7200 sg

The machine supports a pair of the new NVIDIA GTX 480M GPUs with 50% more RAM and cache than previous graphics processors. The machine has new storage and memory options as well and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The machine can be fitted with up to 12GB of RAM and has enough room for 2TB of storage for normal HDDs or 1TB of SSD storage.

AVA Direct also states that it will sell a workstation version of the machine in the future with a pair of Quadro 5000M GPUs and 6-core Xeon processors. The starting price for the X7200 is about $2700 with a quad core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a single GTX 480 GPU.

Microsoft takes PC vs. Mac trolling to Facebook

Microsoft takes PC vs. Mac trolling to Facebook

Microsoft has launched a PC versus Mac campaign on Facebook, via its Windows Australia account. The page is under its own "PC or MAC" tab, where users can try to pick who the PC user is based on uploaded pictures, and then share their results with their Facebook friends.
There's even an option to upload your own photo and fill out a "PC or Mac personality survey" for others to guess "where your allegiances lie." In addition to the usual questions, the survey asks what you associate with (cocktails or beer, safety or risks, folder or "scruncher," texting or calling, dj or bands, voyeur or performer) as well as five yes or no "have you ever" questions (borrowed someone else's ID, forgotten mother's day, "wagged" school, gone skinny dipping, or snuck into a cinema without paying). Some of the answers are used on the main page when your picture is paired with another's so that users can pick who the PC user is, while the rest live in your profile.

Every week there is a HP Pavilion dv6-3030TX Notebook and a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium you can win for describing in 25 words or less "How you would use a Windows 7 laptop to get off a desert[ed] island."

Microsoft's plan is to break the stereotype that Apple started with its "Get a Mac" campaign that ended a couple of months ago (i.e., PC user = older business type, Mac user = young and cool). Last month, Microsoft added a PC versus Mac section to its Windows 7 website, and is now taking the trolling to Facebook.

SteelSeries Introduces the Shift Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries has introduced a new gaming keyboard called the SteelSeries Shift. The Shift is supposed to redefine the customizable keyboard market. The Shift adapts to games through interchangeable keysets with pre-defined mods and common commands. Players at either the Professional level or Novice level, will be able to create multiple layers of macros for every key and fully remap every key on the entire keyboard. The Shift is designed to reduce reaction time in First Person Shooters, and increase Actions Per Minute in Real Time Strategy titles and can even do advanced macros (including timed delays) in Massive Multiplayer Online games. The Shift is available now for an MSRP of $89.99.
SteelSeries Shift

Adobe shows off plenoptic lenses that let you refocus an image after it's taken

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marvell unveils 1.5GHz triple-core application processor, all current smartphones look on in envy

Marvell's decided to whip out the "game changer" tag for its latest slice of silicon, but when you read the spec sheet that accompanies it, you might be willing to forgive it. Just this once. The new Armada 628 application processor delivers three cores, two of which crank along at 1.5GHz, and enough graphical prowess to churn 200 million triangles a second. You might remember we were once impressed by the Hummingbird's 90 million -- yeah, not so much anymore. The 628 is capable of 1080p 3D video and graphics (meaning it can sustain two simultaneous 1080p streams, one for each eye) and pledges to have an "ultra" low power profile: more than 10 hours of 1080p video or 140 hours of music playback are on offer. If that's not enough, it's also the first mobile SOC to include USB 3.0 support, adding yet another speed crown to its bulging resume.

Free Microsoft Security Essentials now for small business, too

Microsoft Security Essentials has won a lot of praise since its introduction last year. The anti-malware software is unobtrusive and reasonably effective, and its price—free—can't be beat. One fly in the ointment has been the software's licensing terms; MSE is only licensed for home users. Businesses have to look elsewhere for their anti-malware needs.

That's set to change, at least a little, next month. From early October, small businesses—defined here as those with ten PCs or fewer—can use MSE, too. Microsoft claims that enterprise security software is too expensive, complicated, and hard to use for these organizations, hence its decision to expand the reach of MSE.
While it's interesting to see yet another definition of "small business" from Redmond (Small Business Server is good for up to 75 desktops, and the forthcoming cloud-based Small Business Server "Aurora" is for companies with up to 25 users), this is certainly a good move.

Free anti-virus for home users has been around for a long time, but most of the free products include similar restrictions to MSE—if you want to use them on corporate desktops, you have to pay for the privilege. Microsoft's entry into the free anti-virus market was met with mixed reactions by its competitors, with some voicing antitrust concerns even when MSE was a consumer-only product. This foray into the corporate anti-malware market is sure to raise the hackles of the company's competitors once more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bored Hunters in Oregon Are Regularly Shooting Down Google's Fibers

Bored Hunters in Oregon Are Regularly Shooting Down Google's Fibers 

When there's no deer, or quail, or whatever it is hunters shoot up in The Dalles around, bored gunmen have been playing target practice with the insulators on Google's electricity distribution poles. It's so problematic Google's moving their fibers underground.

The fibers that are continually being shot down connect with Google's $600 million data center in The Dalles. It happens as soon as hunting season starts each November, so now a fed-up Google is building an underground path for it.

On one snowstormy occasion, Google repairmen couldn't be transported to the area of a recent cut. Normally sent out by helicopter or Caterpillar tractor, three technicians had to cross country ski for three days to reach and then fix the damaged fiber.

NVIDIA and PGI Announce CUDA-x86

NVIDIA announced this morning that they have entered a partnership with The Portland Group and that the company is bringing the CUDA parallel computing framework for both 64- and 32-bit x86 architectures. This means that CUDA-x86 will compile CUDA applications in order for them to work with x86 processors. This is great news for NVIDIA as their CUDA applications will now run in theory run on "any computer, or any server in the world." There will be some exceptions, but this is good news.


NVIDIA GPU Roadmap To 2013 - Kepler and Maxell GPU's Coming

NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference 2010 opening keynote just ended her in San Jose, and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has announced the successor to the Fermi GPU that was released in 2009. The new GPU will be called ‘Kepler’ and is scheduled to be released later in 2011. Jen-Hsun said that hundreds of engineers have been working on this processor and that it will be their first 28nm design. NVIDIA said they will have billions invested into the development of the processor and that it will be 3 to 4 times the performance per watt compared to Fermi. After Kepler is released at some point in 2011 the roadmap then shifts focus to Maxwell in 2013. This processor is said to be 10 to 12 times the performance per watt compared to Fermi, a sixteen-fold increase on parallel GPU computing and will be built on the 22nm process.


AMD Introduces Six New Desktop Processors - Phenom II X6 1075

AMD today announced new arrivals to its processor line giving more reasons than ever to upgrade to the visual experience of a new PC featuring VISION Technology from AMD. These processors join AMD’s award winning AMD 8-series chipset and ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics for PCs that combine stunning high definition video and 3D graphics with multi-tasking performance.

AMD Phenom II X6

Zotac GeForce GTX 460 3DP Quadruple-Display Graphics Card

ZOTAC today announced the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460 3DP – the world’s first NVIDIA Fermi-powered graphics card capable of up to four native display outputs. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460 3DP enables multi-monitor computing with up to four simultaneous displays from a single graphics card for enhanced productivity, gaming and multimedia.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460 3DP

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gigabyte H55 Mini-ITX motherboard and Silverstone SG07 used to build (almost) perfect gaming toaster

We know you've seen Mini-ITX motherboards before, but how many have managed to fit in a PCI Express x16 lane, two full-sized DIMM slots, and Intel's LGA1156 socket? Gigabyte has done just that with its H55 circuit slab, squeezing the basic requirements for a gaming rig into a 6.7- x 6.7-inch footprint, and the lads over at Tech Report have taken notice. Pairing that tiny rig with a Silverstone SG07 small form factor case, they set out to discover if the PC craze of the Naughties -- SFF computing, mostly sparked off by Shuttle's efforts -- can be resurrected with more modern gear. What they found was that the SG07's 600W PSU stood up to the power demands of a GeForce GTX 470, all parts were somehow maintained in an acceptably cool state without making the enclosure sound like a wind tunnel, and gaming performance was highly satisfactory. Of course, there were some compromises and flaws to both the motherboard and case, but overall it turned out to be "one heck of a midget gaming system."

Michael Jackson MMO Planet Michael announced

SEE Virtual Worlds and the Michael Jackson Estate have announced they are teaming up to bring a new MMO based on Michael Jackson to the PC market.
In news which can only be filed under 'WTF?', Planet Michael will "celebrate Michael Jackson's life as an artist and humanitarian" and "allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide."
planet-jackson-it-s-what-he-would-have-wantedIt turns out that this new "planet" should see the light of day at some point in 2011 and, "will be an immersive virtual space themed after iconic visuals drawn from Michael's music, his life, and the global issues that concerned him."

Off the wall...

As this is part of the Michael Jackson Estate you will be surprised to hear that the game will actually be free to download.
However, there will be ways that this cash cow will be milked, including: "the real world in-game economy features gameplay monetisation that allows players to take on dozens of different occupations and, in certain instances, contribute to a charitable cause at the same time."
As Jackson put it himself: "And when the groove is dead and gone..."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nvidia Sees Potential of External Notebook Graphics

One of the problems with buying a notebook as a gaming machine is that most mobile PCs don't allow much in the way of upgrades. Once that GPU starts to spit and sputter on the latest titles, you might as well toss the whole thing in a river, or chuck it up on Craigslist if you can stomach the depreciation and inevitable lowball offers.

External graphics has long been a promising solution to this dilemma, particularly since most notebooks do allow for CPU and RAM upgrades. It sounds great on paper, anyway, but real world solutions have failed to gain much traction, and GPU makers haven't really taken the idea of external graphics very seriously. Could that be about to change?

Asus' XG Station, one of a handful of attempts at bringing external notebooks graphics into the mainstream.
"Fusion and Intel's Sandy Bridge solution will put a lot of weight on Nvidia but Mr. Hass, [General Manager of Nvidia's Notebook group] told Fudzilla that the company is working on its version of external graphics," news and rumor site Fudzilla reports. "He believes that AMD did a good job with Lasso, despite a few flaws that kept it from being success... it was a shot in the right direction."
There are some downsides to external graphics, such as portability, but for the gamer looking to lug his 17-inch desktop replacement to LAN parties, it'd just be an extra piece to toss into his laptop bag. Cost is another issue, but if games are willing to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading their desktop GPUs, is it such a stretch that they'd do the same for their gaming notebooks?
Do you like the idea of external notebook graphics, or does gaming hardware belong strictly on the desktop? Post your thoughts!

Foxconn Unveils Two New 1.8GHz Atom Boards

Foxconn has quietly slipped a pair of new mini-ITX Atom motherboards into its lineup, but unlike most Atom boards already in the wild, these new parts come equipped with 1.8Ghz chips instead of the slower 1.6Ghz Atom parts.
The D52S sports a dual-core D525 Atom processor nestled into Intel's NM10 chipset. Despite the tight confines, users can install up to 4GB of DDR2-800/667 memory (2 DIMM slots) and also have access to Intel's integrated GMA 3150 graphics, a single PCI slot, two SATA II slots, 5.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, and a bunch of ports (four USB 2.0, VGA, Parallel, Serial, audio jacks, etc).
The D42S sports a similar feature-set, but trades the dual-core D525 part for a single-core D425 processor, which is also clocked at 1.8GHz.
Both boards are listed as "coming soon" with the D52S expected to sell for around $95 and the D42S for around $80.

Giada touts Ion-based ultra-mini PC

Giada Technology is showcasing its Ion-based, ultra-mini PC at Nvidia’s GPU Conference in San Jose, California.
The N20 - which is capable of smoothly processing rich media content (1080p) - boasts embedded Adobe Flash, H.264 and a Blu-ray hardware decoder based on Nvidia’s GT218 graphics with 512MB dedicated graphics memory.
The compact, $450 system also features an Intel dual-core Atom processor (D510), 2GB Memory (expandable up to 4), 320GB HD, 11n/g WiFi, eSATA, media card reader, HDMI/VGA dual display and Windows 7 Home Premium. 
Giada touts Ion-based ultra mini PCAdditional specs include:
  • Remote control - powers the unit on or off independently of the OS.
  • Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Digital Optical SPDIF-out 5.1 Audio.
  • USB 2.0/E-SATA combo port.
  • Front and back I/O.
  • 23.24mm thick.
  • 160 x 175 x 23mm.
  • Available colors - white or black.

Cyber protestors nuke MPAA and RIAA websites

According to Mashable's Samuel Axon, 4chan users (particularly Anonymous) have been responsible for several memorable attacks against various sites in the past, including Gawker, YouTube and Twitter.

A seething mass of angry cyber protestors recently deployed Low Orbit Ion Cannons (LOIC) against the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and Aiplex Software.

Cyber protestors nuke MPAA and RIAA websites
The digital offensive was reportedly led by 4chan users, who successfully downed sites belonging to the above-mentioned organizations.

"As word spread of the attacks, sympathizers who had never even been on 4chan joined the attacks, simply by loading up their LOICs and following some very simple instructions," TorrentFreak's Enigmax confirmed. 
"The ultimate in decentralized protests [went] ahead and there [wasn't] a lawyer or police force in the world who can do anything about it. Is this the protest of the future? Well, if nothing else, it certainly can’t be stopped."

"[But] this time around, they used Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which overwhelm websites with a flurry of requests that would be harmless if they were coming in reasonable numbers or from just one source.

"[Clearly], Internet piracy, particularly that conducted over the BitTorrent protocol on sites like The Pirate Bay, has been an issue of concern for the MPAA, the RIAA and other organizations for years now.

"[And] while they've won small victories along the way, they obviously haven't quelled the rebellion just yet."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Intel Wants to Charge $50 To Enable HyperThreading and To Unlock Your Cache

Intel has been offering an 'Upgrade Service' that enables upgrades of your PC platform capabilities after the initial hardware shipment by paying extra and downloading an unlock code from the internet. You basically enter a code into your machine and it unlocks features on the CPU that were blocked before. In 2010 Intel began rolling out a small pilot program offering performance upgrades on Intel Pentium G6951 Processor for starters. The guys over at Engadget found out that Best Buy is part of the program with the Gateway SX2841-09e that happens to be running the Intel Pentium G6951 Processor. For $50 you can unlock or enable HyperThreading support and unlock the full 1MB L3 cache on the processor. It sounds like it the features have always been on the processor, but they were locked out by a software block before. What do you guys think about this business model? You are basically paying extra to unlock features the processor already has. You can check out the process here on Intel's upgrade site.
Intel Pentium G6951 Processor

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I've Lost Count Of The Excuses Apple Can Use To Reject This App

GPU acceleration boosts Chrome browser speeds by 60x

IGN gives indie game developers a free place to work


In one of the most generous moves ever seen for independent game makers, online publishing company IGN has introduced a new initiative that will give developers free 24/7 access to their offices and facilities.

It's called IGN's Indie Open House program. Developers will get full unfettered access to IGN headquarters, including conference rooms and kitchens. In addition, they can even get time to meet with IGN editors and executives.
GameSpy, which is owned by IGN, is also going to offer free technical consultation services, and GameSpy's open development platforms will be completely accessible to the developers.

Other perks include a spot at IGN's "Demo Days" events and even a special spot at GameSpy's 2011 booth at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco.

If that all wasn't enough, the developers will even be eligible to receive advertising and promotions for their products among IGN's network of sites.

In an interview about this with, IGN president Roy Bahat said, "We don't take any ownership rights in your game. There's absolutely no obligation. You're not committed to deliver anything. We respect that the creative process is unpredictable. And so, the fact that this program comes with no strings attached, is also we think a pretty special thing."

So why do it in the first place? What's in it for IGN?

"We actually care about the whole gaming ecosystem. I mean, we've got an editor who's solely focused on social games. And we've got folks who already have relationships with the indie community and cover indie titles. We believe that if we're going to be serving the audience of gamers, we got to serve the full audience of gamers," said Bahat.

Indeed, indie games have a stronger position in the market than ever before. Gamers are increasingly no longer buying one $60 game and playing it for a month. They're buying 20 $3 games and playing each of them for a week. That's a much better value proposition.

Having more content to write about gives IGN a larger lifeblood. Plus, they'll instantly get on the good side of all these developers. That's valuable enough right there.

Who knows what kind of financial burden this will be for IGN? The end result, though, is a win-win situation for gamers. And for that, IGN should be commended.

Friday, September 17, 2010

AMD to release next-gen graphics pre-Christmas

AMD Director David Hoff has confirmed to TechRadar that there will definitely be new AMD graphics cards available before the end of the year.

"It's going to give people some nice things to think about for the holiday shopping," he said.
Hoff was chatting to us in the St. Regis hotel, San Francisco, just down the road from where Intel was tearing down the IDF show at the Moscone Centre. AMD showed off its new Fusion APU, the 18w Zacate chip.

Hoff was also happy to speak about it's upcoming new range of DirectX 11 graphics cards. "It's certainly more than changing a sticker," he said with a grin. "I wouldn't say it's an absolute, complete from the ground up new architecture .It's a nice, different architecture."

Range refresh

It's been a full year since the launch of the HD 5000 series, the first DX11 GPUs, and AMD is only now facing serious competition from Nvidia's competing Fermi cards. Because of the lack of competition the AMD representatives agreed that was the reason there had been no change in the price of its cards since launch.

"We're right about that point where we should do a refresh," Hoff said.

"A one year cadence is about the best you're ever going to see on a new architecture," he continued. "We've got another unbelievable launch, with a wide range of products. That's about the best we could dream of."

He confirmed that it wouldn't just be the high-end card hitting the shelves by Christmas either. It wont be the full lineup, but we will see multiple SKUs of the card with the complete range following very quicky.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A quarter of people stay online during sex

What are you doing now, at the same time as reading this article? Be honest, now - because security firm PC Tools has done a survey, and says lots of you like to get jiggy while online.
The survey of 1,000-odd Americans, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that a quarter thought it was perfectly acceptable to go online during sex.
In fact, the results indicate, almost anything goes. For many, chatting to God is less important than chatting to one's Facebook friends, with eight percent thinking it was okay to go online in church. For six percent, this even applied during a wedding service.
The swankiness of the venue has a lot to do with it, says PC Tools. Forty-one percent of people think it's fine to be plugged in during dinner at home with family and friends, but only 26 percent say it's okay at a fancy restaurant.
But it's no laughing matter, says PC Tools' VP of sales and marketing Stephanie Edwards - who's got software to sell, after all.
"While some of these results may seem amusing, they show that staying connected is a very serious issue to many, no matter what the circumstance," she says sternly.
"Because Americans are interacting with the internet everywhere and at all times, we need protection and performance tools that are effective, affordable and above all, simple."
Another part of the survey examined just how horrible it is cleaning out one's computer registry to prevent crashes and improve speed. Apparently, 43 percent of people reckoned it was worse than changing a baby's diaper, and 12 percent would rather have a colonoscopy.
Do us a favor, and don't stay online during that, okay?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HTC Desire Z is the QWERTY slider your Android's been waiting for

HTC has just announced the Desire Z, an Android-friendly QWERTY slider. Like the T-Mobile G2, the Desire Z features a "pop-out" (don't call it a slider) QWERTY keyboard with user assigned keys and system-wide shortcuts that let you quickly launch your favorite apps. Around back you've got a 5 megapixel camera with flash that's HD video capable while an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor pumps away efficiently inside with HSPA+ and 802.11n radios providing the data. Unlike the US G2, however, the Deisre Z comes loaded with HTC's enhanced Sense UI and new services. Look for it to land in major European and Asian markets in October. Lets Users Manage Their Phones Online -- and Remotely Wipe Them Lets Users Manage Their Phones Online—and Remotely Wipe Them

"No longer is HTC just about putting a phone in your hand," said HTC at their event, ushering in, a service which pairs up a HTC user's phone with their computer, for easy data management.

From any computer in the world, the user can log in and find text messages—even from years ago. The example used by John Wang, HTC's CMO, was if you left your phone at home and couldn't remember the restaurant you were meant to meet friends at later.

If you can't find your phone in the house, the online service can "call" your phone, so it rings and can be located. If the phone was left at home and you're at the office, the online service can even redirect calls to your office line.

Similar to the iPhone service, if a phone is lost, the online service can even remotely erase all data from it.

Algiz XRW: 10-inches of rugged, well-specced laptop nirvana

Come on tough guy, step right up. $20 says a roundhouse kick to the casing won't even scratch the bad boy you're peering at above. Well, unless you're rockin' a pair of Kenny Powers' K-Swiss Tubes. Asides aside, Sweden's own Handheld Group has just introduced its latest rugged offering, the 10.1-inch Algiz XRW, which is powered by Intel's 2GHz Atom Z550 and Windows 7 Ultimate. Other specs include a 64GB SSD, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a pair of USB 2.0 sockets, inbuilt Bluetooth / WiFi, GPS, 2 megapixel webcam and an optional (but totally necessary) Gobi 2000 WWAN module. The whole thing tips the scales at just 3.3 pounds, and that's including the IP65 / MIL-STD-810F rated enclosure, which is fully capable of rejecting dust, water, debris and mythical powers of persuasion. We're told that the internal battery can keep things humming for eight solid hours, and in case you're wondering, that 1366 x 768 resolution panel is of the daylight viewable variety. Mum's the word on pricing, but the first shipments should head out in December for those with a brutal winter ahead.

IT industry starts adding jobs at last

Happy days are here again: the IT industry is hiring once more.
It may be a tiny gain - only 0.05 percent - but it marks a reversal at last, says TechAmerica Foundation, which based its report on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
It shows that the US high-tech industry added 30,200 jobs between January and June of 2010, after shedding 215,000 in the same period last year.
The technology industry entered the recession relatively late, continuing to add jobs until the last quarter of 2008.
"Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008 – 2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it," said Josh James, VP of research and industry analysis.
"Tech employment as of June 2010 stood at 5.78 million, compared to 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we’ve made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain. With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic."
High-tech manufacturing added 9,100 jobs in the first half of 2010, software services added 14,200 and engineering and tech services added 29,700. Things weren't so good in communications services - including internet and telecom companies - which shed 22,800 jobs.
The report shows less improvement than that predicted by Robert Half Technology earlier this year, which reckoned we'd see a five percent increase in hiring during the second quarter of the year. But while fears are still high of a double-dip recession, those organizations that can afford it are gearing up for a recovery.

Blizzard: StarCraft II Cheaters will be Banned from Single-Player and Multiplayer

You've probably heard the little devil on your shoulder whispering in your ear on at least a couple occasions: “It's easy. You'll finally get to taste victory against those jerks with no lives who make your life miserable. And besides, you don't even know them. Who cares if they're not having fun?” Now though, there's one pretty major argument against all those tiny temptations: If you get caught cheating in StarCraft II, Blizzard's gonna huff, puff, and blow your StarCraft II account down.

“If a StarCraft II player is found to be cheating or using hacks or modifications in any form, then as outlined in our end user license agreement, that player can be permanently banned from the game. This means that the player will be permanently unable to log in to to play StarCraft II with his or her account,” Blizzard said in a recent statement.
“If a account is banned, a player will no longer have access to the single and multiplayer content,” the developer later clarified to PC Gamer.

So basically, Blizzard has your hard-earned cash hostage, dangling over a pit of flames. You cheat, and snap! That thin cord holding it aloft tears in two, and you lose every last dime you spent on your copy of StarCraft II. Not to mention, of course, your progress, achievements, win-loss record, etc. Everything goes down the drain. Which, honestly, still doesn't sound quite as good as our preferred cheat deterrent of allowing us to personally punch each and every cheater in the face, but until we can work out the logistical kinks in that plan, this will have to do.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MW2: Twixtor Slow Mo 60 fps w/ Pixel Blending. AcrezHD

Shooting 1,000fps Video With a Canon 7D

7D 1000 fps from Oton Bačar on Vimeo.

Kitguru @ IDF 2010 - Zacate APU demonstration with Chris Mikesell

On-board graphics to get some DirectX 11 loving soon

Though Sandy Bridge doesn't have a DirectX 11-capable GPU on die, there's one on the way.
Intel Fellow and key part of the team integrating the GPU onto the Sandy Bridge die, Tom Piazza, told us today that Intel "wont be far behind" in terms of bringing an integrated DX11-capable GPU to market.

Sandy Bridge is one of the key focuses of this year's IDF in San Francisco, as we've heard in the opening keynote speech, but there's one thing that Intel's new 'fusion' chip can't do and that's run DirectX 11.
In a panel discussion with the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture team, Tom Piazza spoke about the lack of DX11 support in the new chip.

"There are no exclusive DirectX 11 games out yet," Piazza says. "In fact most people skipped over DirectX 10 and most of the games fall all the way back to DirectX 9. I don't see the issue right now specifically about DirectX 11" So far so damning for the API, indeed he said later on that the tessellation functionality was the only impressive thing about Microsoft's DX11.

But going forward it's still going to be an important part of the graphics jigsaw, especially with AMD's Fusion APUs on the way sporting its own DX11 architecture.

Piazza wouldn't give any specifics, but did go on to say "DirectX 11, shall we say, is around the corner on Intel products as well." He followed that up by saying that it wouldn't be "far behind" in terms of bringing that functionality to its own integrated graphics.

Ocosmos OCS-1: Oak Trail meets Windows 7 in a 5-inch gaming handheld

Ocosmos OCS 1
SAN FRANCISCO--Tucked away at one corner of the Intel Developer Forum Technology Showcase area is Korea-based company Ocosmos. Never heard of the brand? You're not alone, but the company's product, scheduled to be showcased at Wednesday's IDF keynote, is generating quite a buzz . We're talking about the OCS 1--a handheld gaming device based on the Oak Trail mobile CPU which runs the full Windows 7 operating system.
According to the company's representative, the OCS 1 is primarily designed as a portable gaming and entertainment device, but there are plans to embed a 3G or even an LTE radio in the future. Its selling point is that it can run both online and offline games such as Starcraft II and World of Warcraft along with 3D development tools. In a nutshell, you're looking at a full-fledged PC OS on a mobile device.

Dell Previews DUO Convertible Tablet Notebook

Dell has chosen the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco to give us the first glimpse of their upcoming DUO 10-inch convertible tablet computer. The device itself is expected to be packing a dual core Intel Atom N550. It will at least have Windows 7 Home Premium. The real is the way the screen "converts" into a tablet.
Unlike the last round of convertible tablets, there is no swivel hinge on this device. Instead, the screen itself rotates inside the bezel to flip around. The lid can then be closed, and you have a Windows 7 tablet. Dell plans to push a docking station for the computer to plug into when in tablet mode. 
The DUO is expected to launch later this year. In the demo, the touchscreen did not look particularly responsive, but this is still a prototype. The DUO's screen does appear to support multitouch input, though. Still, you have to admire the self-control it must have taken to pretend it was just a slate for 5 minutes of the demo in preparation for the big reveal. No pricing information was available. What do you think would be a reasonable price? The internals appear to essentially be that of a netbook, but it does have a few extra tricks.

Full version of Angry Birds for Android 'in 2-3 weeks'


Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, has announced that the full version of the game for the Android platform will be out within the month.
The game has been a huge hit on the iPhone – the paid-for version has been downloaded some 7 million times – and there is even talk of a movie in the works.

The popularity of the app has meant that Android users have been eagerly awaiting for Angry Birds to land.
Prayers were answered this month when a Lite version of the game landed on Android Market, available for those handsets with 2.1 and above and for those phones with VGA+ screen resolution.
Now Rovio has announced a full version of the game is a mere two to three weeks away.

Best game experience

"We are currently working hard to ensure that Angry Birds on Android will offer best game experience for as many people as possible," explained a Rovio spokesperson to TalkAndroid.
"The expected release date is within 2-3 weeks."

Before the game is launched, Rovio is hard at work making Angry Birds compatible with QVGA devices. It is also trying to sort out lag problems it is having with the game on older Android devices - which means the onset of fat chicks being thrown at pigs will be even greater.