unts writes "Taking DRM further than it's gone before, a group of designers have built a DRM'd chair that will melt its own joints and destroy itself after 8 uses. The chair uses an Arduino and sensors to monitor the number of uses, then triggers the melting of a set of joints that hold it together, making the product unusable without some carpentry skills. The video of device at work is both amusing and a little disconcerting... could a company decide that this is a genuinely good idea? Maybe some more spectacular pryo effects would make sure nobody tries to circumvent the DRM measures." Link to Original Source top
Wire-up your home with no extra wiring: Powerline Ethernet Wallplates
unts writes "HEXUS has a review of a new Power Ethernet Socket made by the appropriately named Power Ethernet. The product is essentially a replacement wallplate for electrical receptacles that includes four powerline ethernet RJ45 connections, providing connectivity throughout a building without the need to run CAT 5e/6 cabling. Performance appears to be good (better than the 802.11n router tested, at least), but what's to stop you simply using regular powerline ethernet adapters where you need them?" top
MythTV 0.25 released, new HW acceleration and audio standards support
unts writes "The highly configurable Linux PVR, MythTV, has reached the 0.25 release, over 500 days after the previous full release. New features include VAAPI support, E-AC3, TrueHD, and DTS-HD audio, the ability to control other home entertainment devices via HDMI CEC and additions to the API to allow HTTP live streaming. The release notes for 0.25 don't reflect the release status at the time of writing, but should contain most of the relevant changes.
MythTV can be used as a backend (recorder) and frontend (viewer), but can also feed other frontends such as appropriate versions of XBMC. Hopefully the new HTTP streaming API will lead to even more ways to get your video fix from MythTV." Link to Original Source top
unts (754160) writes "The popular-amongst-tweakers media centre software MythTV has almost completed its transition from SVN to Github. I've noticed a growing number of high profile projects have moved to Git, and I myself now use it for versioning of personal projects. The mailing list announcement gives no indication as to the motivation behind the move, but does state that more information will be posted to mythtv.org tomorrow." top
unts (754160) writes "A growing number of N8 users are reporting that their phones are no longer charging and are completely unresponsive when attempts are made to power them on. A discussion thread on the Nokia users forums reveals that a possible fix is to put the device in a freezer, although Nokia has officially stated that this is not advised and in the process did nothing to acknowledge whether there is indeed a problem with the N8. If the problem becomes widespread, this will be yet another blow to Nokia's N8 and its waning Symbian OS." Link to Original Source top
unts (754160) writes "MIPS Technologies wants in on the action that ARM has seen of late. This week it has announced its latest CPU design, the elegantly named MIPS32 1074K. The company claims the multi-core design is 2.5 times faster than Intel's Atom within a smaller silicon footprint. Android on MIPS looks to be where the company wants to carve out a bigger market share, so it will be interesting to see which companies pick up the new design." Link to Original Source top
unts (754160) writes "UK chip designer ARM today released the first details of its latest project, codenamed "Eagle". It has branded the new design Coretex-A15, which ARM reckons demonstrates the jump in performance from its predecessors, the A8 and A9. ARM's new chip design can scale to 16 cores, clock up to 2.5GHz, and, the company claims, deliver a 5x performance increase over the A8.
"It's like taking a desktop and putting it in your pocket," said [VP of processor marketing — Eric Schorn], and it was clear that he considers this new design to be a pretty major shot across the bows of Intel and AMD. In case we were in any doubt, he turned the knife further: "The exciting place for for software developer graduates to go and hunt for work is no longer the desktop."
unts (754160) writes "Recently a German mini-notebook manufacturer took exception to Qualcomm's use of the term "smartbook" to refer to ARM powered mini-notebooks. Smartbook AG set about a legal campaign against Qualcomm and has obtained a temporary restraining order in Germany. But the firm hasn't stopped there, seeking to litigate against any media outlet that dare use the word "smartbook" when referring to ARM based notebooks. HEXUS recently fell foul of such a lawyer's letter, but isn't keeping quiet about it:
[...]why has Smartbook AG sent us this letter? Surely they can see that the genie is already out of the bottle. Furthermore, it hasn't even registered the trademark in the US, China, or countless other countries so what does it expect to achieve by threatening a few European journalists?
Also, we can't find any evidence of Smartbook AG selling its products outside of Germany. How can it register a trademark in countries where it has no presence? Our feeling is that it's an indirect way of pressuring Qualcomm into settling the matter out of court and buying the trademark for as high a price as possible.
Qualcomm is disputing the restraining order in Germany, and Smartbook AG has stated its desire to sell the trademark." Link to Original Source
unts writes "Dell's new Latitude Z series of laptops feature a separate ARM-based CPU subsystem containing a MobileLinux installation. Dell says the system boots in 2 seconds and comes with Firefox installed. They significant news here is that Dell has opted to include a distinct set of hardware to run its instant-on solution — one using ARM's IP. If this optional extra proves popular, then it could assist ARM and its licensees in competition with Intel, and indeed Linux in its battle with Microsoft. HEXUS.channel reports that Dell isn't likely to make this a one-off, either:
We asked the big question: is Dell thinking of offering ARM-only products in future? "It's not in our short-term plans — we will probably have a mix," [Bohar] said. "You can use it for single tasks, but it's not really powerful enough to multitask."
unts (754160) writes "UK CPU designer ARM is moving to make it easier for companies to produce systems containing ARM processors. The company is offering up "hard macro" implementations of its newest Cortex-A9 CPU, ready for integration into System-on-Chip designs, reducing the cost and time involved in designing and testing them. In doing so, it claims it is upping the ante in its battle to beat Intel in the mobile and netbook spaces, and indeed beyond. This is a departure from the existing so-called "ARM ecosystem" whereby its partners must come up with the hard implementation of the cores themselves. However, HEXUS.channel mulls over the possibility of such a move creating issues with existing partners who've already invested heavily in their own ARM-based designs:
The likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA didn't spend zillions of dollars developing Snapdragon and Tegra respectively, only to find themselves having to compete with numerous other entrants to the market, all facilitated by their supposed partner ARM. This could be an additional reason for ARM to continually make such a big point about how its targeting Intel.
Steve Kerrison writes "Today the lid is lifted on Intel's new Lynnfield mid-range processor models, with such names as Core i5 750, Core i7 860 and Core i7 870. Making sense of all the model numbers, HEXUS examines the new Core i5 and i7 models, explaining the difference between them and existing Core i7 processors along with a brief look at the new P55 chipset. The chips are then benchmarked against other Core 2, Core i7 and AMD Phenom chips.
Intel's decision to release new processors based on the potent Nehalem architecture has been long overdue. There's been little change in the previous 10 months, really, as the chip giant's harvested the range-topping LGA1366 architecture for all it's worth. Now, though, the introduction of the Lynnfield range of CPUs will see Intel transition much of its mid-to-high-end stock to LGA1156-based Core i5/i7 CPUs.
Steve Kerrison writes "HEXUS.channel has a video interview with Mike Rayfield, General Manager of Nvidia's mobile business unit. Mike answers questions on competing against both the ARM ecosystem and Intel's movements towards new mobile processors.
Rayfield doesn't pull his punches in assessing Intel's low power processor strategy, dismissing it as "dehydrating a notebook", but concedes that he needs to keep an eye on them.
Steve Kerrison writes "Despite a lack of new high-end graphics chips from Nvidia and AMD so far this year, add-in-board manufacturers are finding ways to make the most of what's already out there. Asus has gone the route of outrageously outlandish, by designing and manufacturing a dual-GTX 285 on a single PCB and equipping it with 4GB of memory. That probably rules it out for 32-bit systems, then. Hexus has an exclusive look at the showboating graphics board, dubbed the Asus ROG MARS, examining its construction, performance, power consumption and heat output.
We can think of ten reasons not to buy one, easily, but also one immutable rationale for throwing down a lot of cash for the MARS. It's fundamentally outlandish enough to be cool — a sheer brute-force approach to graphics. If you win the lottery or are lucky enough to work for Goldmine Sachs and it's bonus time, buy a bit of history... and a 5GHz Core i7 to get the most out of it. Everyone else wistfully laugh at the exuberance of ASUS' R+D department.
Steve Kerrison writes "With the explosion of netbooks now available, the line between PC and mobile phone is becoming much less distinct. ARM, one of the biggest companies behind CPU architectures for mobile phones (and other embedded systems), sees now as an opportunity to break out of mobiles and give Intel a run for its money. HEXUS.channel quizzes Bob Morris, ARM's director of mobile computing on how it plans to achieve such a herculean task. Right now, ARM's pushing Android as the OS that's synonymous with the mobile Internet. But it's not simply going to ignore Microsoft:
What if Microsoft offered a full version of Windows (as opposed to Windows Mobile or Windows CE) that used the ARM, rather than X86 (Intel and AMD) instruction set? Then it would be a straight hardware fight with Intel, in which ARM hopes its low power, low price processors will have an advantage.
Morris wouldn't be drawn on whether this will ever happen, but he seemed quietly confident it would, pointing out that Microsoft will be missing out on an increasingly large market if it doesn't. "The pieces for fundamental change are already within the industry," he said.
Steve K writes "Historically, Nvidia has been regarded as the better candidate for providing 3D acceleration in Linux. But with more people than ever dipping their feet into the desktop Linux pool, AMD/ATI has responded by increasing its Linux driver efforts. HEXUS's Jo Shields takes a look at a pair of beefy graphics cards, one Nvidia, the other ATI, taking a look not just at 3D performance, but also at accelerated video playback and their control panels. FTA:
So who is the winner of this heated battle then? You are — the consumer. Whilst NVIDIA still came out on top, it did so with only the smallest of margins in most cases — and you can feel confident that owning a Radeon is no longer a blocker to a decent experience in Linux.
unts writes "Chinese firm Lenovo has suspended the sale of its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Currently, there's little information on why, although the company has stated the suspension pre-empts an announcement that is "price-sensitive in nature". It is presumed the announcement will be a restructuring of the company amid the current economic downturn." Link to Original Source top
Steve Kerrison writes "UK broadband provider Virgin Media is bringing the reliability of online "speed test" websites into question, alleging that some can't even cope with speeds above 8Mbps. The company has issued a letter to a number of speed test websites stating that it will be testing the testers — so to speak — in order to share with potential and existing customers the accuracy of the tests they're using to determine the speed of their net connection. The company has a vested interest in ensuring speed tests have suitable testing capacity — it will soon be launching a 50Mbps cable service in the UK. However, the company has come under fire for what some claim is an aggressive throttling policy that means it's very difficult to use its high-speed services for anything other than short bursts." Link to Original Source top
Steve Kerrison writes "360 jobs are to be lost at Nvidia by the end of October, accounting for 6.5% of the existing workforce. The "difficult, but necessary" decision will aid the company in staying competitive, assures Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang. The company has had a tough few months, as HEXUS.channel reports:
NVIDIA has had to contend with a number of "challenges" this year. On top of the current economic climate everyone finds themselves in, NVIDIA has had to contend with a resurgent AMD/ATI and the, as yet unresolved, repercussions of manufacturing defects in a number of its products.[...] It needs all the resources it can muster to fight a war on two fronts against its main competitor and its own shareholders.
Steve Kerrison writes "Taiwanese technology firm Abit will be pulling out of the mainboard market at the end of this year. HEXUS.channel, citing sources close to South East Asian distributors, reports that the company will continue to deliver mainboard products until the end of 2008 and will still honour all warranties in subsequent years. Rumours of this decision circulated in May but were dismissed. Apparently the decision was made in the last couple of weeks. Abit is a popular brand amongst PC hardware enthusiasts, many of who will be disappointed to see it leave the market." Link to Original Source
unts writes | more than 7 years ago
Boredom leads to the most wonderful things, like a website called Name That Google, that I wrote nearly a year ago now. Google's website is available in a plethora of languages across over one hundred domain names. Some of them are rather obscure, so in my madness I decided to turn Google's list of top level domains into a country quiz.
It's the biggest waste of time you're ever likely to come across, yet it's strangely interesting. Any idea what country google.dj represents? Me neither!