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[H] Enthusiast Archives: September 2005Archive Listing

Friday September 30, 2005

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

New Worm Spoofs Google, Yahoo & MSN:

Cut and pasted from ZDNet, we have news that security experts have discovered a malicious program aimed at tricking users into clicking on phony search results on fake Google, Yahoo and MSN sites. Machines can become infected with the program, called PremiumSearch, when visiting Web sites that distribute pirated software and pornography. If you frequent the warez / porn sites, beware…well, I guess that means all of you better be careful!

Machines can become infected with the program, called PremiumSearch, when visiting Web sites that distribute pirated software and pornography, Panda reported. Hinojosa said he doesn't know how many machines have been infected.

[H]ardNews 9th Edition - Blair's Tech Ed.

IC Resale Scandal Rocks AMD:

Former employees from AMD, 3M, Seagate and STMicro were thrown in jail this week for a chip resale scam that involved Singapore’s Citiraya Industries, an electronics waste recycling specialist, according to The Business Times.

The former chip and disk-drive employees pleaded guilty in taking bribes from executives of Citiraya, the report said. In return for the bribes, the individuals allegedly resold chips in the open market that were meant for destruction at Citiraya, according to the reports.

Optical Breakthrough:

Holy cow, 100Gb/s Ethernet over optical? I’d say that is an “optical breakthrough”. Damn near caused an optical breakthrough when I read that…my eyes popping out of their sockets.

Lucent Technologies Bell Labs announced the first reported transmissions of 100 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet over optical. Bell Labs says these results are a significant milestone in the industry's march towards migrating to 100Gb/s data networking.

Behold The Flying Carmack!

October 6th is right around the corner…your chance to see John Carmack fly! Heh…I’ll skip all the obvious “rocket arena” jokes.

The burgeoning commercial spaceflight industry is about to hold its first big convention, replete with rocket launches, flying space vehicles and the first demonstration of games whiz John Carmack's spaceship-in-progress.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

WinXP SP3 Confirmed:

[H] reader "Millhouse" sent in this link to a story that says Microsoft has confirmed that SP3 for Windows XP will be available some time next year.

"There will be a Service Pack 3 for Windows XP," Bernard Ourghanlian, technical and security director at Microsoft France, confirmed, revealing that Microsoft's OS is set for another major update.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition


If you need an inexpensive board with both AGP and PCI-E slots, says that the ASRock 939DUAL-SATA2 is a decent choice. While not the fastest board around it does come with enough features to warrant consideration.

Further, with both an AGP and a PCI Express slot present on the board, you can use your old AGP card until you have a PCI Express card to drive the graphics. Feature-wise, the extra features make up for the shortcomings on the board.

Best Buy Selling Used Games?

According to this report by Chris Morris at CNN Money, Best Buy is testing the sale of used games. We posted a story last week about game developers hating the practice of selling used games, will this make things worse?

The retailer confirmed it has quietly started testing the sale of used video games in select markets, but declined to give details. An analyst note said four stores in Illinois and California are currently involved in the test.

My advice to publishers? To combat this, try selling your games for $29.99 - $39.99 instead of the whopping $49.99 - $59.99 they are now. I have picked up 15 games in the last 45 days and only one was under $40 (Indigo Prophecy). I can't help but think that dropping the price would increase the volume of sales significantly. Please leave your thoughts here.

AOpen’s Pandora Mini PC:

Legit Reviews has some information on the AOpen Pandora Mini PC, a Mac Mini “look-a-like” powered by a Celeron 1.3GHz and features 256MB DDR II, 40GB hard drive, Slot-in Slim Combo Drive, HDTV Cable, Windows XP or Linux.

They will be sold as complete systems only. Estimated prices are: Linux based ($399/unit) or Windows based ($499/unit). That is a very low price point considering that the Mac Mini starts around $499 and comes without a monitor and keyboard.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

ATi CrossFire Editorial:

Our friends at The Tech Report have posted a bit of an editorial on ATi’s CrossFire, the availability (or lack of) of master cards and how the whole CrossFire launch has been more of a “misfire” than anything else. The editorial echoes many of the sentiments we expressed in our CrossFire review. Good reading all the way around.

In any event, for the record, this "patsy" has no problem calling out ATI on CrossFire availability, nor on a wide range of subjects when the situation warrants. CrossFire availability problems are real, and they are unfortunate.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition - [H]ardForum [H]appenings

[H]ardForum [H]appenings:

Welcome to the TGIF edition of [H]ardForum [H]appenings! First of all, Friday means Folding, if you aren’t Folding for a cure then you NEED to be!! If you need to know why we DC hit this thread up. If you have the desire to Fold but your hardware is lacking, check out the distributed computing parts swap thread and get that box running. So now you have the desire, the hardware but you just don’t know “HOW” to get Folding, this thread will tell you everything you need to know. We need everyone folding that we can get… and besides, it is so simple to do, even I fold for the [H]orde. Now that we have Folding taken care of, let’s talk about the “deep thought” thread of the day…Is computer gaming expensive? We hear so much about the cost of a high end gaming system, do you think it is too expensive? More importantly, is it worth it? Take the poll. The For Sale & Trade forum is hopping today. Great place for good deals! I got a great deal on a PSP there last week! You can get a 30” LCD HDTV for $750 in this thread. That is definitely deal of the day. If that doesn’t thrill you, you can get $700 off a 42” Plasma in this thread. As always, have fun in the forums, we’ll see you in there.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

AMD PICs At Radio Shack:

Remember those uber-cheap “personal internet communicators” that AMD came out with recently? You’ll be able to get them at Radio Shack starting this Sunday. While you aren’t going to be playing DOOM 3 on these babies, they will be great for anyone just looking to get on the net.

Sunnyvale-based AMD originally conceived the device last year for low-income consumers in developing countries as part of an effort it calls ``50x15.'' AMD Chief Executive Hector Ruiz wants more than half of the world's population using computers by 2015.

P2P Users Are Cheats & Thieves:

According to a survey sponsored by the RIAA, people who illegally download music are also thieves and cheats. Did we need a “study” to tell us what the RIAA thinks of P2P users?

Nearly 27 per cent of younger people surveyed said they would consider cheating on a test or exam, compared with 10 per cent of the general population. Of those asked, 6 per cent of younger Canadians said they would leave a store without paying for a piece of clothing, compared with 2 per cent of the population at large.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition - Mods & Ends


Powercolor Heat Buster @ Bytesector


GameDr Excelerator Motorized Automax Disc Repair System @ Gamers Hell - CaseGears 450W Modular Cable PSU @ Madshrimps - Steelsound 5H USB Headset @ PC-Base - Shuttle XPC Tools @ SFFTech - CaseBuy's EZ Power Supply Tester 2 @ TechTastic - Sunbeamtech X-1300 Sensor-X Gaming Mouse @ BigBruin - Logisys Remote Multi-Function Panel @ Viperlair - XG Magnum 500W PSU @ Driver Heaven

Cases & Modding:

Thermaltake VB6000BWS Swing Case @ Pro-Clockers - KickButtComputers Flame Case @ BoxGods - Hiper Ultra Flat HTPC Case @ PC-Inpact

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Motion To Dismiss RIAA Lawsuit:

Lawyers, working through the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have filed another motion to dismiss in Federal court hoping to get one of the latest RIAA P2P suits thrown out of court. I am not a lawyer, but I like the argument:

The Complaint makes no attempt to describe the specific acts of infringement or the dates and times on which they allegedly occurred. Indeed, the Complaint does not allege any actual instances of downloading or distribution. Moreover, the allegation that defendant merely made these recordings available for distribution to others fails to state a copyright claim. It is well established that there is no liability for infringing upon the right of distribution unless copies of copyrighted works were actually disseminated to members of the public.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - Press Releases

VIA & Mini-box Announce First Sub-$300 Car PC Kit:

VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator of PC platform solutions, and, a subsidiary of Ituner Networks Corp., today announced the VoomPC™ family of compact, high performance yet affordable x86 car PC kits aimed at driving telematics mainstream. Based on low power VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards, the x86 platform of choice for car PCs, the VoomPC is specifically designed for the ultra power sensitive conditions of in-vehicle applications.

AIF Honors Hector Ruiz:

The American India Foundation (AIF) is getting ready to roll out the red carpet in Silicon Valley as it hosts its 2nd Annual Fall Benefit Gala at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 8, 2005. Titled Bow Ties & Bangles: an Evening of Rhythm, Rhapsody and Color, this black-tie event will feature an exclusive cocktail reception, gourmet dinner and a mélange of scintillating entertainment. With the goal of raising $1 million, proceeds from the Gala will go towards furthering AIF’s mission in its three thematic pillars of work in India: Education, Livelihood and Public Health.

Thursday September 29, 2005

[H]ardNews 11th Edition

ECS KN1-SLI Extreme:

If you are considering a nForce4 Ultra motherboard for your next upgrade, PCStats says the ECS KN1-SLI Extreme is one to keep an eye. For comparison purposes, you can see our review here.

ECS does not have much of an overclocking history, but the KN1-SLI Extreme did well in that regard when it reached 260 MHz. If you want to join the AMD Athlon64 ranks without spending a load of money, the ECS KN1 Extreme motherboard is definitely worth consideration.

Confessions Of A Techno-Geezer:

Most of you will find this Computer World article, written by Robert Mitchell, entertaining. Apparently he feels like a “techno-geezer” (behind the times) because he isn’t into the whole teenage-cell phone-text message–instant messaging craze.

My college-age niece uses the technology to IM her friends. But my niece uses the away message feature in IM as a public P.A system. She uses it to broadcast the party she's going to this weekend, what class she's in right now and other pertinent details of her personal life to her family of IM friends.

Something young kids / teenagers tend to forget is that everything they enjoy today: movies, music, games, phones, cartoons, etc. are all made by “old people”. Everything kids think is “cool”…was made by an old person. So while they may inherit the earth…our generation made it for them. Think about it.

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

X800 Series Does Adaptive AA?

Bit-Tech has a few screenshots of what they say is Adaptive Anti-Aliasing working on X800 series cards courtesy of a registry hack. They have a taken a few screens from someone who says they have it working and stitched them together for comparison purposes.

While we were expecting ATI's upcoming R520 GPU to have some form of Transparency Anti-Aliasing, we didn't expect it to come before then on the products derived from R420.

Skype Banned In China:

[H] reader “Mize” sent along this news item that says Skype is banned in China. While that doesn’t come as a big surprise, it still sucks none the less.

This week, subscribers to China Telecom's broadband access service in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, found that they could not log on Skype any more. When they complained to China Telecom, the carrier said that Skype was not allowed.

Futuremark Licenses AGEIA PhysX SDK:

AGEIA™ Technologies, Inc., the pioneer in hardware-accelerated physics for games, today announced that Futuremark has signed an agreement to license the AGEIA PhysX™ SDK for use in future products. The inclusion of AGEIA PhysX technology will add comprehensive physics benchmarking to Futuremark’s traditional battery of performance tests for 3D graphics, CPUs, memory and other component and system parameters.