Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pioneer console Sega Dreamcast turns 10

onsoles have come a long way in a short time, evolving alongside computers as one of the center pieces for video game entertainment. As the line between computer and console begins to blur, it's easy to forget just how far the console has journeyed. A good reminder of that came this week, when the Sega Dreamcast turned ten years old.

The much-hyped console was highly anticipated by gaming communities all over the world, but it ended up proving to be a disaster for Sega as a company, as it was their last console endeavor. Even though it was a commercial failure, the console pioneered many of the ideas that are common among modern consoles.

The idea of an Internet-connected gaming console was first realized with the Dreamcast, which came stock with a built-in dial-up modem and featured one of the first console web browsers. Along with the PC, it was one of a very few hardware devices that allowed people to play games with each other online. The Dreamcast also had a controller design that is suspiciously similar to the Xbox 360's -- though that may be just a coincidence.

Though other consoles quickly surpassed the Dreamcast, including the current most popular console in the world (PlayStation 2), it was an example of high technology at the time and is curious to look back on.


Russia drops Microsoft antitrust probe over Windows XP

ussia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), has dropped a probe launched against Microsoft back in June over alleged violations to the country's laws. The agency had accused Redmond of having unfair pricing policies and restricting Windows XP sales to retailers and OEMs, even though there was continued demand for the older operating system, forcing customers to use Vista instead.

As noted in our previous coverage, Microsoft is obviously keen to move customers on to its newest operating systems not just to increase sales but also to reduce support costs. Despite this the company reportedly supplied evidence to the FAS that XP was in fact still available and that it had sold over a million Russian language copies of the operating system in fiscal 2008 (which ended on June 30, 2008).

As part of the agreement to drop the case, Microsoft said it will give Russian users the option of exchanging their copies of Vista Home Basic or Home Premium for Windows XP Home, free of charge. The exchange program will kick off in the next three weeks and will last until the end of 2009.


Apple updates iPod lineup, nano gets video camera

s expected, Apple unveiled new iPod models across the board today which bring added functionality and lower prices. A recovered Steve Jobs took the stage for the first time in almost a year to announce that over 225 million iPods have been sold since its introduction in 2001, with the iPod touch representing 20 million of that number and contributing to an overwhelming 74% market share.

Starting at the high end, Apple touted an update to the iPod touch line that will see it packing the same processing platform as the recently introduced iPhone 3GS -- meaning they now support improved graphics with Open GL ES 2.0. This is true for both the 32 and new 64GB models, priced at $299 and $399 respectively, while the last-gen 8GB iPod touch will remain available for just $199. There doesn't appear to be a built-in camera, however, contrary to all the rumors.

Moving on the iPod classic was updated with a 160GB HDD but kept its $249 price tag. On the other end of the spectrum, the shuffles are now at $59 for 2GB, $79 for 4GB and come in black, silver, pink, green and blue. There's also a polished aluminum 4GB version for $99.

Last but not least, Apple's iPod nano got a revamp and is now available in capacities up to 16GB. Its design remains mostly unchanged from the previous model, if not for the larger 2.2-inch display, but gains a built-in camera and mic for recording 640 by 480 pixels, 30 FPS video -- apparently it does not take still photos. After years of dismissing the feature, Apple has also added an FM radio tuner to the nano, as well as pedometer and voice over functionality. The 8GB iPod nano is priced at $149 while the 16GB model goes for $179.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Intel Core i5 750 Processor Review

t has been 10 months since Intel unleashed its Nehalem architecture and we showed you the Core i7 920, 940 and 965 Extreme Edition. Not much has changed in the high-end sector during this timeframe, as Core i7 processors are still brutally fast and equally expensive.

The new Intel Core i5 750 is the first release in a series of processors based on a mainstream version of the Core i7 platform. It is a quad-core part based on the "Lynnfield" architecture, fabricated using a 45nm process and utilizing the new LGA1156 platform. The Core i5 750 is set to cost just $199, it will operate at a healthy 2.66GHz and feature a whopping 8MB L3 cache, but no Hyper-Threading support will be present.

In our review we will go into more detail about Intel's reworked desktop CPU line-up, the new P55 chipset (LGA1156), and our usual load of benchmarks comparing this new processor against current Core 2 Quad offerings, the Core i7 920 and the AMD Athlon II X4 965.


Zero-day Windows Vista, 7 vulnerability discovered

icrosoft is looking into a zero-day vulnerability today, which reportedly affects systems running Windows Vista and 7. Researcher Laurent Gaffie said that a hacker could exploit the flaw on Windows 7 to cause a critical system error. The flaw lies in a Server Message Block 2 (SMB2) driver.

Gaffie said in a blog post yesterday, "SRV2.SYS fails to handle malformed SMB headers for the NEGOTIATE PROTOCOL REQUEST functionality." People who have commented on his blog post are reporting that the exploit can not only lead to denial of service, but also remote code execution.

Gaffie has contacted Microsoft, and it has since responded by saying that it is investigating the issue but that it is "unaware of any attacks trying to use the claimed vulnerability or of customer impact." The H has successfully tested the proof-of-concept code, which caused a reboot on Vista -- but did not work on Windows 7.


Firefox 3.6 to arrive this year, 4.0 in late 2010

lthough Mozilla released Firefox version 3.5 not long ago, the team has been showing mockups of future designs. In addition to embracing glass on Windows Vista and 7, future versions will have reorganized interfaces. Previews of Firefox 4.0 suggest that it may have a combined and relocated reload, stop and go buttons, as well as a tab sidebar, tabs on top, and many other UI tweaks -- none of which are set in stone.

Mozilla is now indicating that we may see the launch of Firefox 4.0 next October or November. It has also reportedly updated its roadmap for the release of Firefox 3.6 and 3.7, with the former expected to debut later this year and the latter to arrive in the second quarter of next year. There are also reports that Fennec 1.0 -- the mobile version of Firefox -- will be made available at the same time as Firefox 3.6, and Fennec 2.0 with Firefox 4.0.

If the suspense is killing you, fear not; pre-release builds are available. Feel free to download Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 at your own risk.


Worm attacks WordPress blog software

erving as a stern reminder of why it's important to keep desktop as well as server software up to date, a new worm can reportedly infect certain versions of the WordPress blog software. WordPress announced the discovery today, saying that a security bug which has already been fixed is now being exploited in the wild.

The worm is able to attack versions of WordPress prior to 2.8.4 and its immediate predecessor. Version 2.8.4 was released in early August to specifically address this flaw, which results in a password reset of WordPress accounts and allows someone to take control of the admin account. Doing so would give the person access to further information, as well as the ability to wreak havoc on the blog itself.

Though the vulnerability was initially published several weeks ago, this is the first report of malware specifically identifying and trying to exploit it. The WordPress developer is concerned that many servers are still running old versions, which puts them at risk. If you're maintaining a WordPress server that's behind on updates, consider this a heads up.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Samsung hopes to launch OLED laptops next year

amsung is hoping to launch OLED-equipped laptops by the third quarter of next year. According the company's head of worldwide sales and marketing, Kyu Uhm, Samsung is the largest OLED screen manufacturer. Uhm added that Samsung will adopt OLED displays as soon as they are commercially available for laptops.

Research firm Gartner believes that mainstream OLED notebooks will have an increasing presence over the next five years. Samsung is surely sold on the technology, having already shown off an AMOLED notebook prototype. Introducing an OLED laptop toward the end of 2010 woul

In October of 2007, the company said it planned to have 3.5" to 7" panels prepared for ultra-portable systems in 2008, which would be followed by 14", 15", and 21" displays for laptop and desktop computers in 2009. It predicted that it would have full 40" and 42" HD OLED panels by 2010 and Flexible OLED (FOLED) displays by 2012 at the latest.


Toshiba announces Blu-ray-equipped Satellite P500

oshiba has announced its new media-centric notebook, the Satellite P500. The Satellite P500 features an 18.4" 16:9 (1680x945 or 1920x1080) LCD display, an Intel Core 2 Duo, up to 8GB of DDR2 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce G210M (512MB VRAM) or 230M GT (1GB VRAM), and two 500GB HDDs.

Equipped with a Blu-ray drive and focused on entertainment, the P500 ships with more than just the expected trimmings. Additional specs include a TV tuner card, VGA and HDMI-out, a remote control, 802.11a/b/g/n, an HD webcam, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, three USB 2.0 as well as Firewire and eSATA ports, S/PDIF digital audio interfacing, an Express Card slot, a 5-in-1 Bridge Media port, and Harmon Kardon speakers.

Toshiba boasts that the Satellite P500 is Energy Star 5.0 certified -- but that seems moot with an 18.4" display, an Nvidia G210/230M GT and dual HDDs. The P500 will hit shelves in the fourth quarter of this year, which likely means you can expect to see Windows 7 installed. Pricing wasn't disclosed. Catch a video after the jump.


  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP