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Thought for the day -
What's gonna happen when all the lights go out?


 Battlefield 2: Euro Force released Battlefield 2: Euro Force released

Euro Force the first Battlefield 2 "Booster Pack" has been released and is available immediatly for download through EA's Downloader service for $9.99US. Just to refresh, Euro Force adds the following to Battlefield 2:

# The all-new Euro Force Army, with a full arsenal of the latest technology.
# 3 new maps, from battles in the Taraba Quarry and Operation Smoke Screen to close-quarters mayhem around the Great Wall of China.
# 4 new vehicles including the Leopard battle tank, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Tiger attack chopper.
# 7 new weapons including FAMAS and P90 rifles.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 20, 2006, 4:05 pm
News Source : Neowin



 24: The Game Released 24: The Game Released

Fans of the popular TV show "24" are now snapping up the latest addition to the franchise, the 24 game for PlayStation 2. Released yesterday to stores in the UK, the game retains the look and feel of the show with key cast members lending their voice talents. The game takes place between Season 2 and Season 3, and answers key questions such as "How did Kim Bauer end up working at CTU?" and "Who ran the country while President Palmer was fighting for his life?".

While first reviews have criticised some of gameplay elements, Sony Computer Entertainment (based in Cambridge, UK) have worked closely with the TV show's directors and storywriters to produce a game full of action that fans will want to buy, if only for the plot.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 20, 2006, 4:04 pm
News Source : Neowin



Google MarsGoogle Mars

As a tribute to Percival Lowell, Google geeks have launched Google Mars and placed a space-based logo on their homepage.

Alert readers will remember Google Moon, which maps the Apollo landing sites via the company's slick mapping interface. Google Mars takes a similar approach, using data from NASA researchers Noel Gorelick and Michael Weiss-Malik, from Arizona State University. It allows users to explore the planet's (red) surface. You can view the martian landscape by topology, what is visible to the naked eye (think satellite imagery), and an infra red view.

Lowell was an Astronomer working in the 18th and 19th centuries. He described in numerous works on Mars an intricate system of non-natural 'canals', designed to channel water around the planet for a presumably alien race.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 17, 2006, 4:53 pm
News Source : Neowin



 Windows Vista interim build expected Windows Vista interim build expected

According to my sources, Microsoft will soon ship an unexpected "refresh build" of Windows Vista to its technical beta testers and some corporate customers. Previously, the company had been shipping only semi-monthly Community Technical Preview (CTP) builds of Vista to testers and other audiences, including MSDN subscribers. The refresh build is currently build 5342, I'm told. It will require different product keys than the previous CTP.

It's unclear why Microsoft has chosen to ship a Vista refresh build at this time, though I'm told the company is using it as a testing board for the extensive feedback they've gotten since the last CTP, which was issued in February. According to my sources, the refresh build will not meet CTP quality measurements, and will ship only in the Vista Ultimate edition, for both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) systems.
Microsoft originally expected to ship a CTP build in April, though that release could slip until May, according to sources. That CTP should be made available to the public via Web downloads.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 17, 2006, 4:52 pm
News Source : Wininformant



 Sony: PS3 released worldwide in November 06 Sony: PS3 released worldwide in November 06

At Tokyo's 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing Sony Computer Entertainment have announced that they are delaying the release of their long-awaited PlayStation 3 console till November due to technical difficulties.

Despite not providing a more detailed release date, the company have said they will ship one million units per month after the launch and plan to have produced six million PS3s before the end of 2006. Not only will the unit be completely backwards compatible, but will rely on a 60GB Linux-based hard drive unit which Sony is now reporting may or may not be included in the box.

Ken Kuturagi, Sony's PlayStation guru, said: "The hardware was developed with the hard disk in mind."

Sony also let slip their plans for the online element of their new console, which will be free to play via the "basic" package and include community tools such as a lobby matching, voice chat and commerce features incorporating software bootable directly from the PS3's hard drive.

Games will come in the form of Blu-ray in the hope to minimise piracy, though the machine will of course play movie DVDs and PS2 DVDs. SCE also said that developers will get their hands on the console's software development kit (SDK) not in June as first announced, but July.

The news marks the first time Sony plan a global release for their PlayStation hardware.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 17, 2006, 4:51 pm
News Source : IGN PS3 Portal



 ATI Catalyst 6.3 ATI Catalyst 6.3

ATI has just posted the official 6.3 Catalyst drivers to their site

They have also integrated a new 'Anti-Leeching' system into their website, so unfortunately you have to visit their site to find the appropriate package. We can't even link to the release notes directly. Again, those of you looking for a complete driver package without the .NET based control package are out of luck. There is however a standalone driver package, which only contains the 6.3 drivers but no control set for Windows.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:39 pm
News Source : Neowin
Download : ATi



 Google Acquires Writely Google Acquires Writely

Discussion of a web based productivity suite from Google has been making the rounds on the internet for quite some time, and with the recent news of a Google Calendar project in the works many see Google positioning itself to take on Microsoft Office Live which is currently in beta. The acquisition of Upstartle, a Silicon Valley based software development company is sure to add fuel to the debates.

Writely, the first product from Upstartle, is more or less a web based word processor. It allows users to edit and publish documents online, either privately, in collaboration with specific people, or publicly on the internet. Writely is currently free for use as it is still in beta, but representatives state that once released they hope to provide the basic service for free with additional features to be made available for a reasonable subscription fee.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:38 pm
News Source : Google Blog



 Symantec warn of phishing, DoS attacks rise Symantec warn of phishing, DoS attacks rise

Security firm Symantec have released a bi-annual report claiming two of the web's most illicit activities are on the increase.

Phishing attacks, where scammers send fake emails in a bid to gain private data, have risen 39% and DoS (denial of service) attacks on websites were up a whopping 50% over the last six months. The firm said that the increase in cybercrime was geared more towards subtle theft and less towards gaining attention.

Nearly eight million phishing emails are sent per day, according to the report, and DoS attackers are increasingly taking advantage of unwitting PC users by installing exploits such as software robots to silently commit their crimes for them.

Symantec's director of technical services for northern Europe, Richard Archdeacon, said: "Gone are the days when script-kiddies used to develop attacks which would cause maximum damage and attract as much attention as possible.

"The people behind today's cybercrime are using silent and more targeted methods to steal data," he added.

It seems today's developments in technology come with their own repurcussions, as the increase in web users creates a wave of fresh targets for fraudsters.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:37 pm
News Source : Symantec



 Google Settles 'Click Fraud' Suit Google Settles 'Click Fraud' Suit

Google has agreed to pay up to settle a law suit which alleged that customers of their ad program were being billed falsely for click-throughs that never occurred. The suit focused on Google benefitting, and doing next to nothing, about ad-clicks caused by computer controlled bots or malicious individuals.

The search giant has agreed to pay $90 million dollars worth of additional advertising and to cover the cost of legal fees to clear its name. Almost all of the revenue generated by Google comes from its highly successful text-based advertisements, which are found on most Google pages and other large sites around the internet. Google has promised to make credit up to the settlement amount available to all AdSense customers within the last four years, if they can provide sufficient evidence that certain ad-based traffic was the result of click fraud.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:37 pm
News Source : Neowin



 Intel Demonstrates Simple Liquid Cooler Intel Demonstrates Simple Liquid Cooler

With the release of details concerning their new 'Core Microarchitecture' lineup, one would think Intel has done enough to get the boys over at AMD pulling all-nighters. Details have just been posted over at Hexus and bit-tech concerning an interesting new liquid cooling solution from Intel, which was demonstrated cooling a stock 3.8GHz P4 EE chip clocked up to 5.0GHz. Although that's not difficult to do with expensive, complicated, and at times messy kits from 3rd party vendors, you'll be impressed at the way Intel did it.

The Extreme Edition P4 was cooled by a very small, very cheap solution Intel is calling their "Advanced Liquid Cooler". Using a case fan and some clever metal tubing, the tiny water cooling system kept the CPU temperature well within thermal limits. The system has no parts or liquid that needs to be serviced and looks to have a relatively simple install procedure:

"It consists of a block unit which attaches to the processor. This contains the copper core which makes contact with the CPU, as well as a centrifugal pump which uses a DC brushless motor. This pumps the water up through solid metal tubing to a more traditional radiator, cooled by a 120mm fan. The integration of the cold plate improves thermal performance. The main body of the unit is made of injection-molded plastic."

Clearly Intel is trying to capture the attention of computer enthusiasts that have flocked to AMD in droves over the last few years. With an anticipated release price of only $50, Intel is bringing simple liquid cooling to the mass market. It's still unknown if they will offer the new cooler inside 'retail box' processors or provide any sort of warranty waver when overclocking other chips with the cooling system.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:35 pm
News Source : Hexus.net



 Windows Vista Marketing Shaping Up Windows Vista Marketing Shaping Up

Although we are still months away from the initial release of Windows Vista, Microsoft is hard at work planning to hype up their next-generation OS. Bill Gates has reportedly told the Vista marketing team that he wants a repeat of the Windows 95 launch, with people lining up at stores ready to purchase the OS on the first day.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, a senior product manager with Microsoft laid out the anticipated adoption goals for Vista. The marketing folks hope to have over 400 million computers running Vista within 2 years of its release, and having over half of those running one of the top-tier versions of Vista. (Ultimate etc.)

Microsoft also plans to have a massive marketing event touted as a 'dry run for the Vista launch' just before E3 this May, so the press can see in more detail the scope and specific tactics that will be used to push Vista last on in the year.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:35 pm
News Source : CNet



 AMD Releases Live! Hardware Specs AMD Releases Live! Hardware Specs

Advanced Micro Devices has released the first hardware specifications to get its AMD Live! consumer-electronics plan up and running, although the vision will have to wait until at least 2007 to be realized. AMD executives said this week that the technology would roll out in at least two phases, the first one of which may be delivered in 2007.

Strategically, AMD's Live! technology also represents a counterpoint to Intel's "Viiv" ? the two words even rhyme. Both words encapsulate a grand strategy to insinuate their own technologies in front of the user, making them the entry point to the digital home. AMD. This week, Intel has crafted its stage at the Intel Developer Forum to discuss Viiv, while AMD executives discussed their Live! technology in briefings with reporters.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:34 pm
News Source : ExtremeTech



 Microsoft Shows Off New 'Windows Live Search' Microsoft Shows Off New 'Windows Live Search'

Microsoft has released a preview version of what will eventually become the flagship search engine for the Redmond Washington based software giant. Windows Live Search is the cornerstone of Microsoft's new "Live" campaign, which aims to unite all the companies? web services under a single banner.

"With expected delivery in 2006, Windows Live Search will deliver powerful and personal search services that help consumers find what they are looking for on the Web, their desktop, their mobile device or in their local geographic area, such as instant answers, documents, pictures, multimedia content, local information and immersive maps. Windows Live Search will be a core element of the overall Windows Live experience, powering compelling scenarios across the Windows Live services."

The new search engine is concentrating on producing relevant information to the user, while providing applicable local search results the user might find informative. The preview also demonstrates Microsoft's brand new image and video search, which is no longer based on licensed technology provided by Picsearch of Sweden. Live Search has been integrated into an improved Live.com site since March 8th, and is scheduled to 'go live' sometime this summer.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:34 pm
News Source : Neowin



 Intel Demonstrates New 'Microarchitecture' Processors Intel Demonstrates New 'Microarchitecture' Processors

Intel has just revealed more details concerning its next-generation computer processors. The 'Core Microarchitecture' will replace NetBurst based offerings from Intel in the second half of this year trying in an attempt to catch up with AMD, who have undoubtedly won the recent round of chip battles, especially in the area of physical multi-core processors.

?The Intel Core microarchitecture is a milestone in enabling scalable performance and energy efficiency,? said Intel Senior Fellow and chief technology officer John Rattner. ?Later this year it will fuel new dual?core processors and quad?core processors in 2007 that we expect to deliver industry leading performance and capabilities per watt. People will see systems that can be faster, smaller and quieter with longer battery life and lower electric bills.?

In his keynote address at this year?s Intel Developer Forum, Rattner showed how the Conroe desktop processor could provide roughly a 40 percent boost in performance and a 40 percent decrease in power as compared to Intel?s current high?performing Intel? Pentium? D 950 processor. Other notable features in this round of chips from Intel include the ability to process 4 instructions per clock cycle as compared to 3 with Core-Duo chips, smarter L2 cache, and improved data pre-fetch algorithms.

Several technology sites have managed to get time in on the new Intel hardware a full four months before they are expected in the marketplace, and the results look promising. Hexus and Anandtech for example, looked at a new 2.6 GHz Intel 'Conroe' desktop processor and compared it to a tweaked dual-core AMD FX-60 processor running at future FX-62 speeds. Obviously Intel trounced the AMD offering in every test Intel allowed them to run, but both sites came to the same conclusion: AMD has something to serious worry about.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 10, 2006, 3:32 pm
News Source : Intel Press Release



Battle for Middle-earth Rages AgainBattle for Middle-earth Rages Again

EA ships the sequel to its popular Lord of the Rings-inspired PC real-time strategy game; Xbox 360 version coming later in the year.

Of all the games based on the Lord of the Rings, the most critically acclaimed was the Battle for Middle-earth. The PC real-time strategy game let players control any of the various good and evil armies that warred for control of the realms in author J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. Like other EA Rings games, it featured art assets and video clips from director Peter Jackson's multibillion-dollar-grossing film trilogy based on the aforementioned books.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 2, 2006, 3:42 pm
News Source : Gamespot



Acclaim Is BackAcclaim Is Back

The company formerly known as Acclaim is back as, well, Acclaim, but they're hardly the license-heavy publisher of yester year. Instead, Acclaim's running under new management ready to pluck the dozens of undiscovered online games and bring them to the US.

Howard Marks, formerly of Activision, has taken over as CEO with the intention of restoring the company to its "previous glory" and refocusing the company by offering free online games. "These games were created to captivate gamers and provide the exciting multiplayer experience that youth users demand," he says.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 2, 2006, 3:41 pm
News Source : 1UP.com



Microsoft Steps up Battle Against RSIMicrosoft Steps up Battle Against RSI

Microsoft is looking into deploying foot controls to give computer users' hands a break from typing and moving the mouse around. The technology might aid in battling repetitive stress injury.

At its annual TechFest in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft Research presented its Step User Interface. Using a sensor mat, researchers demonstrated how individuals can use the technology to perform repetitive tasks such as scrolling and to open, close, delete or flag email messages or move them to folders by tapping on six buttons on the floor. In another application they created foot controls to brows and sort a digital photo collection.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 2, 2006, 3:40 pm
News Source : vnunet



Four plead guilty to online piracyFour plead guilty to online piracy

A group of three men have admitted distributing music illegally and another man pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement.

Matthew Howard of Colorado, Aaron Jones of Oregon, Derek Borchardt of North Carolina, and George Hayes of Virginia were members of piracy groups accused of leaking music to the internet before the CDs even appeared in shops. Each could be sentenced to five years in prison and be forced to pay a $250,000 fine.

US attorney Paul McNulty said: "By stealing the creative product of talented people, this form of piracy deprives artists of the rewards they deserve . If left unchecked, such crime would drain the incentive to create that enriches our lives. "

The Department of Justice warned these were the first arrests of pre-release online music pirates as part of a crackdown called Operation FastLink.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 2, 2006, 3:39 pm
News Source : Neowin



Vista Versions Not so Confusing After AllVista Versions Not so Confusing After All

Yesterday Microsoft released information about how Windows Vista will be packaged when it’s ready for retail delivery later this year. (The press release, unfortunately, is written in very broad strokes. I hope Microsoft publishes a detailed feature matrix soon.)

When the rumors of Vista versions first began flying several months ago, I read many complaints about the potential for mass confusion among Windows consumers. Now that the official announcement is out, those fears seem overblown.

Set aside the Starter version, which is designed for use on cheap PCs in emerging markets (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, India, and many more) and won’t be sold in the U.S., Europe, and other major markets. Forget about the N versions, too - those are the Media Player-free versions the European Commission required Microsoft to make available to OEMs as part of its antitrust decree, and they’ve been a spectacular flop in the marketplace.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : March 2, 2006, 3:38 pm
News Source : ZDNet



Blu-Ray Launch Date set for May 23rd in North AmericaBlu-Ray Launch Date set for May 23rd in North America

Players and discs finally in the shops in late May, but where's the PS3?

Sony has announced that its Blu-Ray next-generation DVD format will launch in North America on May 23rd, giving a clear timeline for the first time for the arrival of the media format which will be used by the PlayStation 3.

Eight Blu-Ray titles will launch on that date from Sony's two major film studios, Sony Pictures and MGM, namely 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, The Last Waltz, Resident Evil Apocalypse and XXX.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : February 28, 2006, 4:40 pm
News Source : Games Industry


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