11/DEC/13

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This Week's Hardware Highlights
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Alienware's 'Allpowerful' m17x Obliterates Crysis With Dual 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M Graphics Car
Submitted by kplant 1823 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1814 days ago
The mystery of the Alienware 'allpowerful' has been pierced a few days before E3—a brand new m17x stuffed with so much power it might just cause cancer: Dual 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M graphics cards and a Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core CPU for starters. You can also stuff it with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD, Blu-ray and all important for gaming, an edge-to-edge 1920x1200 display. It has an Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated GPU, so you can boost our battery life from 15 seconds to 26.3 seconds when you need to go that extra mile. And ports, ports, ports—the thing is so beastly the USB ports are arranged vertically: 4 USB, eSATA/USB combo, DisplayPort (go Dell) and HDMI. And yes, it's completely blinged out—lights pour out of it like it just landed on earth after a long trip from a planet populated entirely by a evolved race of disco lights. It's heavy, too—almost 12 pounds—but despite being thicker than a 18-wheeler it's easily the best-looking machine Alienware has put out (at least once you turn off the lights). It starts at $1800, but don't expect to stay that way once you start tricking it out with heavy-duty firepower

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Score 2,200 for Sony's PS3
Submitted by kplant 1823 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1814 days ago
Apparently the Department of Defense believes that PS3s are a better value when it comes to supercomputers than IBM products specifically designed for the purpose. Granted recent price drops probably didn't hurt in justifying a 2,200 console order either. This isn't the first time that the DoD is using PS3 consoles for supercomputing. In fact, these 2,200 units are going to be added to an existing Linux cluster of 336 PS3s used by the United States Air Force. According to Justification Review Documents, the purchase is all about getting the best value out the DoD's budget: With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications. I'm all for balancing cost and features, but isn't it just a bit curious that someone thought to save on upgrading the supercomputer just after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released?

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Microsoft offers $30 Windows 7 upgrades to students
Submitted by Vegeta 1853 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1850 days ago
In little over a month, Windows 7 will officially launch starting at $120 and $200 for their respective Upgrade and Full versions. If you're a college or university student, however, Microsoft has a much sweeter deal in store. Starting today through January 3 next year, anyone with a valid .edu email address can purchase the upgrade version of either Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional for just $29.99. The operating system will be offered as a download through Digital River, a company which specializes in downloadable software, on October 22. Copies are restricted to one download per email address and you'll have to choose between the 32 OR 64-bit versions.

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Man Files Class Action Suit Against Sony For PlayStation 3 Firmware Update Issues
Submitted by Vegeta 1878 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1872 days ago
A disgruntled PlayStation 3 owner in Florida has filed a class action lawsuit against Sony, claiming that a firmware update made live in early September caused PS3 units to "malfunction and actually damaged the hardware on many units." The suit claims Sony is charging $150 to repair PS3s with "sustained hardware damage" from the update. After some early reports of a problem with update 3.0, Sony issued a fix, but the Florida man claims Sony's update doesn't actually correct the problem. In fact, he says the "fix" actually caused further problems with the console's Blu-ray drive. The suit accuses SCEA of breach of implied warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and other counts. The suit is seeking restitution, unspecified monetary damages and legal fees. As of yet, Sony hasn't commented on the matter. Although I've read a few scattered posts on the internet about the issue, my PS3 is fine, and no one I know has had this happen to his or her system either -- G4 has a lot of PlayStation 3 owners, too. Still, there are scattered reports on the internet, and a guy in Florida is angry enough to sue, so maybe there is something to this.

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Sony: PS3 disc drive errors not a firmware issue
Submitted by Vegeta 1881 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1879 days ago
The trouble started with Uncharted and has now reportedly grown to encompass all manner of media fed into the PlayStation 3 disc drive. The comments section of PlayStiaton Blog's Firmware 3.01 announcement has been overwhelmed by user reports of disc drive errors since Firmware 3.00 and 3.01 were released; most commonly, read errors reportedly occur when running Blu-ray games or movies, but in some alleged cases plain old DVDs are not working either. Eurogamer has reached Sony for comment, and the console manufacturer has disavowed responsibility for the apparent drive failure, declaring it "not an issue with the firmware." In other words, corresponding repair costs are currently placed squarely on the shoulders of the affected consumers.

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Apple Event Confirmed for September 9
Submitted by Vegeta 1913 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1913 days ago
After weeks of rumor and speculation, Apple has finally confirmed that they will be hosting a media event on September 9 in San Francisco. The invitation-only event will be hosted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Theater and is expected to include the unveiling of several revisions to Apple's iPod series. While Apple's intent to refresh the iPod lineup has been more or less confirmed by the invitation's "It's only rock and roll, but we like it" graphic, which depicts a woman holding an iPod, there has also been fervent speculation that Apple will be unveiling their long anticipated tablet PC.

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Sony, Nintendo, Apple sued over wireless tech
Submitted by Vegeta 1932 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 1932 days ago
Sony, Nintendo, and Apple are being sued by a company, claiming that the latter is using Wi-Fi technology that they have patented and demand reimbursement for damages, caused by Sony's PS3, Nintendo's Wii, and Apple's Iphone who used their Wi-Fi technology.

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A Peek at the New Alienware Laptop
Submitted by LordXenophon 2007 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2005 days ago
This is Alienware's new m17x gaming laptop. To give you an idea of what's going to be inside it, you should know that it weighs 12 pounds, and costs an absolute minimum $1800. We say "absolute minimum" because there are hardware options for the thing that may prove too tempting to pass up on. Like, in addition to the dual 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M graphics cards and Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core CPU, you can cram as much as 8GB of DDR3 RAM into its guts. You can also opt to have either a 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD for storage. And you can top all that off with a Blu-Ray drive, which should look rather nice on the machine's 1920x1200 display.

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New Computer Ships With WoW Account-Stealing Software
Submitted by LordXenophon 2011 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2011 days ago
Examiner has reported a brand new computer shipped out the door with factory-installed software designed to steal World of WarCraft and they presumably any other online game account information. In addition to a worm that spread through USB devices, a rootkit and password-stealing program were discovered hiding deep within the opened package of the tablet PC. The M&A Companion Touch, a mini-tablet PC designed for students, had been updated with the latest drivers at the factory prior to shipping out to retail. The USB device used for the updates was apparently the culprit, inadvertently spreading the evil programs to an unknown number of PCs before it was discovered. The purchaser of the new PC had luckily scanned it prior to connecting to the Internet, discovering and destroying the malware before it could do any real harm (other than to M&A’s reputation). The company has not yet commented on the situation. But we presume they are working on it.

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Smelly Consoles In The Works
Submitted by LordXenophon 2019 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2018 days ago
Research into technology part-funded by the UK's Ministry of Defence will allow computer simulations to release odours to teach recruits the importance of smells on the battlefield. Professor Bob Stone, research director at Birmingham University's Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre told The Daily Mail the technology would be available commercially within the next five years if it were successful. Primarily, the ‘scent delivery system' will teach British Army recruits that the presence, or indeed the absence, of smells could be a sign of danger. Although the technology is still in the early stages of research, and currently focused on war, smells such as cordite, burning electrical wire, weapon fire and harbour and hospital smells already exist, but there are plans for other unpleasant smells such as raw sewage, cat urine and mildew.

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HDMI 1.4 Includes Ethernet, 2-Way Audio
Submitted by bamaredwingsfan 2022 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2020 days ago
Additional details regarding the upcoming High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) 1.4 specifications were revealed today, listing several features that enhances the current video standard used by gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, and more. HDMI was originally designed back in 2002, and over the years has adopted additional compatibilities including Super Audio CD support, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. With the latest version of HDMI (1.3c), the technology can generate imagery up to 2560x1600p75, and a maximum color depth of 48-bit/pix. On a single cable, HDMI currently provides high-definition, standard, and enhanced video outputs and up to 8 channels of audio. The updated specs call for an impressive new data pipe--the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC)--that can actually replace a hardware Ethernet connection. In addition, HDMI 1.4 will also provide reverse-direction for sound called the Audio Return Channel (ARC), removing the need for a separate optical cable when sending compressed surround sound to a home theater receiver or other intermediary device. Outside the new data channel and ARC support, HDMI 1.4 will offer support for future resolutions up to 4096x2160, color spaces used by digital cameras, and even support 3D. The big news surrounding HDMI 1.4 is the HDMI Ethernet Channel, enabling data transfers up to 100 Mbps between supported devices. This means that a HEC-enabled device--such as a broadband-connected television--can provide internet connection sharing with another HEC-enabled device such as a DVR or a future gaming console. There will be other future applications for HEC as well that may allow device-to-device content distribution through a home HEC-enabled network. The drawback to the new HDMI 1.4 specs is that current HDMI cables aren't compatible. Consumers will need to purchase a new cable designed specifically for v1.4; unused wires found in current cable will be replaced with a twisted pair wire structure. As it is, current HDMI cables aren't exactly cheap, and to make matters worse, the upcoming HDMI 1.4 specs will come in two flavors: low-data rate and high-data rate. Hopefully, third parties will swoop in and provide cost-effective versions once HDMI 1.4 overtakes the market. Despite the new cables however, the group reported that 1.4's Audio Return Channel support will not require the new 1.4 cables, working on existing cable setups. While the upcoming ARC feature eliminates the optical connection, end-users will not have access to DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD formats, but rather all current lossy audio formats instead. As previously mentioned, the new 1.4 specs will ramp up the output resolution, add color space used by digital cameras (for correct image presentation), and even provide future 3D support, all done through 1.4's Automatic Content Enhancement (ACE) feature. The HDMI group also said that a heavy-duty version of HDMI technology is heading to automobiles for high-def audio and video distribution. Called the Automotive Connection System (ACS), this version of HDMI will offer an inter-locking connector and cables built to withstand excessive heat, cold, vibrations, and other in-car conditions. On a final note, Silicon Image has already announced that two upcoming HDMI parts will support the latest 1.4 features: the Sil9387 Port Processor and the Sil9334 Transmitter. The company expects to send out a round of samples by the end of spring, and ship HDMI 1.4 enabled products sometime next year. HDMI Licensing LLC posted a press release today claiming that the information has not been confirmed by the licensing body and may change.

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AMD Breaks 1 GHz Video Card Speed Barrier
Submitted by LordXenophon 2023 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2022 days ago
How pleased is AMD? So pleased. Pleased enough with its video card accomplishments to issue a press release—and pretty product shots!—about its 1 gigahertz ATI Radeon HD 4890. There's just a slight catch. The new ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU does get to say "First!" to reach those speeds straight from the factory, but AMD does note that processor is overclocked, running at a higher speed than it was originally designed for. (In the 4890's case, the standard speed was 850 megahertz.)

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Microsoft loses patent case, gets $388 million fine
Submitted by LordXenophon 2025 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2025 days ago
Microsoft was hit with a $388 million patent infringement fine yesterday, following a lengthy legal brawl that dates back to 2003 with security software vendor Uniloc. The patent in question was for an anti-piracy solution that prevents the creation, distribution and use of unauthorized copies of software – which Microsoft allegedly infringed with its software activation methods. The decision is a reversal of an earlier judgment in which the courts originally favored the software giant, with Uniloc appealing their losing verdict on the argument that a key expert witness used by Microsoft had a conflict of interest in giving his testimony. The appeal was granted and Uniloc won this second trial in court. The damages awarded are one of the largest on record in legal disputes involving patents. However, it might take a while before Uniloc actually sees any of that money, as Microsoft has announced its intention to appeal.

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Is Apple Secretly Planning a Video Game Console?
Submitted by LordXenophon 2028 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2026 days ago
California based Apple Corporation has been making some quiet moves that suggest a growing interest in the video game console market. Flush with cash from sales of its wildly successful iPhone, the company may be seeking to extend its fledgling video game experience from mobile phones into the living room. Two recent hires from chip-maker AMD suggest that the company is acquiring the know-how needed to enter the home console space. The company recently grabbed Bob Drebin, who is most well known for having designed the internal graphics hardware in the Nintendo GameCube (the same tech was later enhanced and re-used in the Wii). This week, it was announced that Apple has also poached Richard Teversham, head of video game strategy for Microsoft. Teversham was one of the key executives in the development of the successful Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles for his old employer. What on Earth does Apple need with a console strategy whiz and two graphics chip eggheads, unless it is planning to release some gaming hardware of its own?

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Windows 7 XP Mode intel compatibility matrix
Submitted by vanel86 2033 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2033 days ago
A table with all the intel processor supporting hardware virtualization, required by windows 7 xp mode to run or in general for all virtualization software to have a speed boost

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Nintendo DSi Taken Apart
Submitted by Doctorzongo 2059 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2036 days ago
iFixit.com takes apart the DSi.

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Build a Cheap Ass Gaming PC
Submitted by LordXenophon 2037 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2037 days ago
Exactly what kind of gaming PC would one be able to buy with seven hundred Canadian dollars? Would this budget PC come at a detriment to the gaming experience? The answer? Hell no! Read on to find out how even cheap asses can play the latest games!

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Do It Yourself: X-Box Hard Drive Upgrade
Submitted by LordXenophon 2042 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2037 days ago
Are you jealous of your PS3-owning friends having easy access to their hard drive bays? Do you think paying $150 for a 120GB Hard Drive from Microsoft is ridiculous? Then check out this guide for complete, step by step instructions on to how to do it yourself for less than half the cost!

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General Electric makes breakthrough in microholographic storage
Submitted by bamaredwingsfan 2039 days ago on Hardware
tagged as hot 2039 days ago
New data format could give Bluray a run for its money, at a cheaper price per medium

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