Cheese Nibblets

Thought for the day -
You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same stuff?

 Firefox 'passes 20 percent market share' in Europe Firefox 'passes 20 percent market share' in Europe

Mozilla Firefox has achieved an market share of over 20 percent in Europe, according to the latest figures released by French Web metrics firm XiTi.

XiTi, which based its figures on a sample of 32.5 million Web site visits that took place on Sunday 8 January, said that Finland has the highest proportion of Firefox users, followed by Slovenia and Germany. It found that the open source browser is used by 38, 36 and 30 percent of users in these countries respectively.

The UK has one of the lowest proportions of Firefox users in Europe, accounting for only 11 percent of Web site visits. The figure of 20 percent across Europe was obtained by calculating an average from the figures obtained for each European country, according to XiTi.

But XiTi's figures should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, as Firefox usage tends to be highest over the weekend, according to Tristan Nitot, the president of Mozilla Europe.

"We should emphasise that these measures have been done on a Sunday, when Firefox' usage peaks. The Firefox browser is less used during the week, as enterprises are more conservative when it comes to using a newer browser," said Nitot, in a blog posting that commented on earlier figures released by the Web metrics company.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:21 pm
News Source : ZDNet

 Fedora Core 5 Test 2 released Fedora Core 5 Test 2 released

The Fedora Project announces the second release of the Fedora Core 5 development cycle, available for the i386, x86_64, and PPC/PPC64 architectures. Beware that Test releases are recommended only for Linux experts/enthusiasts or for technology evaluation, as many parts are likely to be broken and the rate of change is rapid.

Fedora Core is a completely free, user friendly, and secure general purpose platform based on Linux that is always free for anyone to use modify, and distribute, now and forever. The Fedora Project is an open source project that pioneers leading edge technology and concepts, which is sponsored by Red Hat and supported by the Fedora community.

Test3 is scheduled for release February 13. This aggressive schedule makes vitally important your help in testing, reporting and suggesting fixes for bugs.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:20 pm
News Source : Linuxcompatable
Download : Core 5 Test 2

 Microsoft Delays XP SP3 Microsoft Delays XP SP3

Bink has an interesting article up on his site concerning Windows XP SP3. Microsoft has apparently pushed back the scheduled release date of SP3 to the second half of 2007. Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer had originally announced that the 3rd service pack for XP would be released before the launch of Longhorn (now Windows Vista).

Bink suggests that we could see a "Rollup Package" coming from Microsoft in the near future for XP, with the possibility of that package replacing SP3 all together. One can also reason that Microsoft will use the delay of SP3 to further the cause of upgrading to Vista later on this year. Server 2003 SP2 is still scheduled for release in Q3/4 of this year and no more service packs will be made available for Windows 2000 or NT4.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:20 pm
News Source : Bink

 Seagate Ships Momentus? Perpendicular Storage Drives Seagate Ships Momentus? Perpendicular Storage Drives

Drive manufacturer Seagate Technology has begun shipping its new Momentus? 2.5 inch perpendicular storage drives for laptops that were debuted at CES earlier this month. In the past, typical hard drives have stored data in a horizontal fashion on the drive platters. Increasing drive capacity has always been done by reducing the actual size of the magnetic particles that make up the storage area used by the data bits. The proverbial brick wall was hit when developers and manufacturers realized that they risked catastrophic data loss by making the particles so small that they interfered with their neighboring particles. The new design overcomes that obstacle by arranging the way that bits of data are physically stored on the drive. By arranging the particles vertically not only is potential drive capacity increased, but fewer components are needed which reduces overall power consumption. For laptop users, that's an important concern. Originally scheduled to be available in February, Seagate Momentus? drives are available immediately in 4,200, 5,400, and 7,200 RPM drives with capacities of up to 160GB.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:19 pm
News Source : Seagate

 Previewing the upcoming KDE 4 Previewing the upcoming KDE 4

Recently at a Linux show, John Littler saw a preview of a new version of KDE running on a KDE developer's laptop. The interface looked cleaner than before, and apparently there was a whole raft of new stuff under the hood. John recently interviewed KDE developer Aaron J. Seigo about the forthcoming KDE 4 (due in the fall) and also a little about the recent controversy surrounding the porting of KDE to operating systems other than Linux.

John Littler: The new features I remember include a bucketload of bug fixes, a universal messaging client, and a big cleanup of the GUI. Are there more things that you should mention?
Aaron J. Seigo: For KDE4, there is a lot more than just this. We are:switching to Qt4, which brings a host of new capabilities when it comes to visuals (via the Arthur paint engine) and application design (improved threading, model/view), as well as having a smaller memory footprint and allowing us to write non-GUI apps that don't require an X server

Other additional features include extensive use of SVG graphics which allow for resolution independent images, improvements to's acceleration architecture, redesigning applications so they are able to be optimized better. Seigo explains that "For example, the desktop and panels are being merged into one app, which also provides for functionality now only available in Superkaramba. The resulting design allows us to much more efficiently share application launch, graphics, and geometry coordination data while also avoiding the overhead of multiple processes where just one will do quite fine. This will allow people to have quite flashy desktops (or even simple plain ones) that are snappier and take fewer resources."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:19 pm
News Source : Linux Dev Centre

 Intel: Our other customers aren't boring Intel: Our other customers aren't boring

Apple's television ads for its new Macs boast that for years, Intel's chips have been "trapped inside PCs--dull little boxes, dutifully performing dull little tasks." Now, the voiceover proclaims, the Intel processor will finally be set free.

Of course, that's not exactly the way Intel would put it.

"Never would we characterize our customers that way," Intel Vice President Deborah Conrad said in an interview.
Conrad said that Intel cooperated with Apple for some particulars of the TV spot, but added, "We didn't know what the end result was going to be."

The company did get a peek at the ad before Tuesday's keynote, but it wasn't too much earlier.

"It's probably a good thing that we didn't see them earlier," Conrad said.

That said, if Intel's work with Apple inspires some PC makers to think more creatively, Intel wouldn't complain.

"We certainly hope that this innovation engine kind of picks up and that you do see the beige box makers going, 'You know, maybe we could do something that looks and feels like that.' That would be a good thing, I think, from our perspective."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:18 pm
News Source :

 LCD Monitors to Take 80% Share in 2006 LCD Monitors to Take 80% Share in 2006

Displaybank have brought out an interesting report on the projected market share that LCD monitors will have this year. ?LCD monitors are expected to account for more than 80%?, stated CEO Peter Kwon. They also expect LCD Monitor shipments to hit 125 million, 20 million more than 2005. If true this will equal a impressive 80.4% share.

According to Displaybank size will also become a major factor in LCD sales this year. 19? monitors will account for 28% of LCD sales in 2006, and current mainstream 17? monitors will make up 61% of the market. Consumer demand for larger panel monitors has meant that release dates have been pushed forward as demand is already high.

Sales of CRT monitors have been falling each year since the introduction of LCD?s into the mainstream market. Sales of CRT monitors in 2006 are expected to be half that of 2004, which had 64.2 million sales.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:57 pm
News Source : Display Bank

 Cell Developers to Develop 32nm and Smaller Tech Cell Developers to Develop 32nm and Smaller Tech

Cell processor co-developers Sony, Toshiba, and IBM announced yesterday the beginning of a five-year technological alliance, part of which will focus on developing 32nm thick and smaller manufacturing processes which will dominate the computing market in years to come. Masashi Muromachi, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Company at Toshiba, had this to say about the announcement:

" With Toshiba?s cutting-edge process technology and manufacturing capabilities, Sony?s various semiconductor technologies and deep knowledge of consumer markets and IBM's state-of-the-art material technology, we can anticipate breakthrough process technologies for the 32nm generation and beyond. Toshiba will apply these advances to assuring continued leadership in cutting-edge process technology and the accelerated development of essential devices for the age of ubiquitous connectivity."

Over the past five years the three companies along with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. worked together to develop the "Cell" microprocessor for use in multimedia devices, most notably the Playstation 3, and its underlying silicon-on-insulator process technology at 90nm and 65nm diameters.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:56 pm
News Source : Xbit Labs

 Symantec Caught in Rootkit Controversy Symantec Caught in Rootkit Controversy

Symantec has been forced to fix a "flaw" in Norton SystemWorks which could possibly allow malware authors to hide files from users. While the feature is designed to prevent SystemWorks users from accidentally deleting files vital to the software package's NProtect feature, weaknesses in the technology could be exploited by opportunistic developers of malicious software.

The hidden directory is also hidden from most antivirus scans, including Symantec's own. This allows malware/virus writers with knowledge of the directory can easily hide their files undetected. While no exploits have been made to this point, it did not take long for Sony's rootkit to become exploited and quickly spiral out of control in weeks past.

Users of 2005 and 2006 versions of SystemWorks and SystemWorks Premier are urged to run LiveUpdate to patch the flaw, which will then allow the directory to be seen and scanned by antivirus software.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:55 pm
News Source : TechWorld
Download : Symantec Norton Protected Recycle Bin Exposure

 Longhorn Datacenter will have no extra virtualization costs Longhorn Datacenter will have no extra virtualization costs

Today virtualization is expensive for licensing. Microsoft asks people to license every OS installed on virtual machines, even if powered off. But something is changing.

Since the release of Windows Server 2003 R2 Microsoft started approaching a per-use licensing model instead of a per-installation model. So that now Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition owners can run up to 4 virtual machines with same OS at no additional costs.

This trend is going be stronger in the near future: the next Microsoft operating system for servers, codename Longhorn, actually in beta, will permit to use infinite virtual machines with same OS onboard at no additional costs, buying the Datacenter edition. So if you have a performing hardware able to run 100 VMs, you'll still have to pay just 1 Longhorn Datacenter Server license.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:54 pm
News Source : virtulisation

 GeForce 7900 Reportedly Coming in March GeForce 7900 Reportedly Coming in March

Hardware site appears to have received confirmation that NVIDIA's next graphics processor, codenamed G71 and its first using the 90nm process, will be launched this March at CeBIT 2006 as the GeForce 7900.

The flagship 7900 GTX will sport 32 pixel pipelines and have a clock speed between 700 and 750MHz. To give perspective, NVIDIA's current flagship part, the ultra-high-end (and ultra-rare) GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB comes clocked at a comparitively measly 550MHz with 24 pixel pipelines. Cards will be outfitted with 1.1ns GDDR3 memory clocked anywhere from 800 to 900MHz, much like the aforementioned 7800 GTX 512MB.

Information obtained from one card vendor boasted a single 700MHz GeForce 7900 reaching a score of 13,000 in 3DMark 2005 coupled with an AMD Athlon FX-60, which is more than 70% the record achieved by dual 7800 GTX 512MB configuration in SLI.

Plans this time around are for GT and GTX models to be launched simultaneously, as opposed to the staggered approach which saw the 7800 GTX debut roughly two months ahead of the GT last summer. Keeping with the trend set by the company last year, availability is expected to coincide with the official unveiling.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:54 pm
News Source : Hexus

 Dell, AMD Rumors Heat Up Again Dell, AMD Rumors Heat Up Again

Hot on the heels of Dell's quad-SLI XPS 600 Renegade introduction at CES 2006 come new rumors that Dell is stockpiling AMD processors for use in its systems later this year, possibly even in the XPS 600 Renegade itself.

According to comments in a recent report by Les Santiago of market research firm Piper Jaffray, the company strongly believes that Dell will begin shipping PCs with AMD processors as early as the second half of 2006. The prediction outlined in the report comes after conversations with unnamed sources in the PC components industry, press releases which surfaced last fall indicating Dell partners in Asia were told to start working on AMD-based components, and recent AMD inventory shortages that may suggest Dell is purchasing vast quantities of chips.

While Dell refused to comment, Chairman Michael Dell told reporters at CES last week that adding computers with AMD processors to Dell's product line "is a distinct possibility." The rumors have done well for AMD's stock, which closed up almost four percent a share for the day.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:53 pm
News Source : Xbit Labs

 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard Back On Track 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard Back On Track

After much quarreling, the groups responsible for determining wireless standards are closer to reaching a compromise. If the revised draft being presented next week is approved, we can expect to see Wi-Fi devices using the new 802.11n standard available within the next 12 to 18 months.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, formed a group over a year ago to lay the groundwork for the next wireless standard known as MIMO or multiple input, multiple output, which will quadruple data rates for wireless local area networks.

Progress towards the new standard ground to a near halt this past spring when groups from Intel and Airgo Networks, a small company which ships the only MIMO chips currently available, reached a stalemate over Intel-backed proposals. IEEE leaders then ordered the two groups to form a joint team to reach a compromise on specifications.

Intel countered in October by forming the Enhanced Wireless Consortium, or EWC, along with 26 other companies including Broadcom and Marvell. The EWC planned on submitting a proposal to the IEEE during its November meeting when the joint group was to submit its revised proposal. Airgo and other companies cried foul, claiming the entire standards process was being "hijacked." Not surprisingly, no proposal was agreed upon. After it became clear that device makers still wanted the IEEE seal of approval, even those within the EWC, Intel and others once again began working more closely with the joint proposal team.

Finally, after much drama and deal making, most involved in the process appear to be satisfied. Changes were made to appease handheld device makers, who had concerns that 802.11n power requirements would leave them in the dark, without sacrificing speed. The open nature of the standards process has been re-established, and the revised proposal is expected to get the 75 percent vote needed when the task group meets next week in Hawaii to make it an official standards draft.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:53 pm
News Source : CNet

 Wacom Introduces 12x19 Tablet Wacom Introduces 12x19 Tablet

Wacom has introduced a new 12x19 tablet into its Intuos3 line, specifically designed with users of large displays such as Apple's 30" Cinema display and Dell's new 3007FP in mind. After the success of the widescreen 6x11 model, Wacom decided to release a larger version to accommodate the high end graphic designer. The 12x19 Intuos3 carries an MSRP of $779.95

Also introduced was a square 12x12 model, designed specifically for CAD designers who wished to overlay templates on the translucent display for digital conversion. Both new models, like the previous Intuos3 designs, have twice the resolution of their predecessors for enhanced sensitivity. The 12x12 model has an MSRP of $579.95.

To cap off the new releases, two new accessories were introduced at $69.95 - the Intuos3 Lens Cursor and 6D Art Pen. The Lens Cursor is a CAD design utility while the 6D Art Pen gives a better illusion of natural media when working in industry-leading applications.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:52 pm
News Source : Neowin

 Sky Available Through Wires - skybybroadband Sky Available Through Wires - skybybroadband

Sky TV has launched a broadband only service which allows users to download films and programmes legally. Customers who are on Sky?s Digital package and have either Sky Sports or Sky Movies will be able to access a wide range of videos, at no extra cost.

The videos are encoded at 860kbps and are at a resolution of 540x432. Sky reckons a 2 hour movie will be about 750MB. Windows XP is needed to watch the videos according to Sky. They hope to offer over 1,000 films through their back catalogue, whilst Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch sports clips. Films will usually be viewable for 30 days until the license expires.

Richard Freudenstein, of Sky, said the new services were part of a "continuing stream of innovations". Sky By Mobile is another new service being offered by Sky, and is available to Vodafone 3G users.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 13, 2006, 4:52 pm
News Source : Neowin

 FireTune 1.0.9 FireTune 1.0.9

FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox. It is based on a collection of popular and well working optimization settings used and tested by the experts. Usually you have to optimize Firefox manually, which can be time consuming and difficult for the novice user. FireTune helps you here - it includes all the performance optimizations. The only thing you must do is: make your selection. FireTune does the work for you.

According to your specific computer speed and internet connection speed, FireTune will optimize several internal settings of Firefox for better performance. FireTune does NOT modify the Firefox executable, or any other Firefox binary file. Everything can be undone easily provided you saved your original profile configuration file with FireTune's profile backup feature before. Details on what exactly FireTune does can be found in the FireTune helpfile.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 11, 2006, 3:01 pm
News Source : Neowin
Download : Firetune 1.0.9

 Microsoft's FAT Patents Upheld Microsoft's FAT Patents Upheld

After a nearly two year long battle, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has decided that Microsoft?s two patents on the FAT file system are in fact valid. Last October the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected two Microsoft patents over the popularly used FAT file format. This came after a re-examination of Microsoft's patents sought by the Public Patent Foundation. The Public Patent Foundation argued that others had done similar file format work before Microsoft's patent, and that awarding Microsoft this patent would only hurt the computer community.

Now that the re-examination is over, the Patent Office has concluded that Microsoft's FAT file system is in fact novel. This decision now means that the two FAT file system patents Microsoft submitted can become patentable. While this is in fact very good news for Microsoft, others in the computer industry are not so pleased with this decision. Who could blame them? After all last October Microsoft published an outlined version of its FAT file system license, with prices ranging from cameras to standard televisions.

The FAT file system is used not only on versions of the Windows operating system, but also on removable flash memory cards, Linux/Unix products, and is a common file system used to transfer data with Windows. The Public Patent Foundation is sure to fight back, but with the patent almost handed to Microsoft they may already be out of time.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 11, 2006, 3:00 pm
News Source : Neowin

 AMD Releases Athlon 64 FX-60 AMD Releases Athlon 64 FX-60

AMD has released the first dual core processor in its Athlon 64 FX line, the FX-60. Clocked at 2.6GHz, the new flagship desktop processor uses the Toledo core, which features 1MB L2 cache on each core. Preliminary reviews show the processor to be a decent overclocker, with average overclocks reaching 2.8-2.9GHz. Like all processors in the FX line the FX-60 has an unlocked multiplier which allows for more freedom when it comes to front side bus adjustments.

While the clock speed is 200MHz slower than the last single-core FX, the FX-57, the dual core design helps increase multitasking performance and speed up tasks such as audio and video encoding. Gaming performance with current titles falls behind the FX-57's sheer clock speed advantage, but once game designers implement better threading procedures we can expect that to change.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 11, 2006, 3:00 pm
News Source : Neowin

 Steve Jobs Keynote, From Macworld (New Laptop, Software) Steve Jobs Keynote, From Macworld (New Laptop, Software)

We've been following this years Macworld keynote from Apple chief, Steve Jobs. Read up for our summary of what's new, what's been updated. Jobs started giving some information on the current state of Apple products. Apple have sold 42m iPods since launch (32m last year) and claim it to be the 'best music player in the world'. The company also claims to have sold 850m songs on iTunes (3m / day), and have 80+% of the market.

New for the iTunes store is SNL content. Comedy sketches from the show will be available for purchase from iTunes for the normal price. Also of note is new sports content for iTunes. Jobs commented that " for the first time last week we added some sports. For the first time with ABC and ESPN we put up some Bowl games." Apple have confirmed a FM tuner / remote for the Nano, and 5th generation iPod videos, costing $49.99 (image at engadget). Users will be able to tune the radio via the standard iPod interface. The FM feature announced today fills a hole that has long needed plugging, and marks a significant feature improvement for the product.

Jobs left arguably the best bits till the end of the keynote, so we've brought them forwards. Apple discussed their work with Intel, and said that thanks to Intel's hard work, the company had stayed on track with their goal of shipping Intel chip powered products. The first device to be powered by Intel will be the iMac. All other devices currently on the PPC platform will be converted to Intel by the end of the year. The new iMac comes with a built in iSight, as well as front row. However, it keeps the same design as well as the same size (17", 20" screen). Powered by dual core Intel chips, Jobs claims the iMac will be 2-3 times faster than existing models. Existing software is being transferred across (see below), with programs such as Office running well under Rosetta (universal binaries coming soon, free update), and programs such as Quark running as universal binaries. Microsoft, incidentally, have committed to supply Office for Mac users for the next five years at least.

Apple are launching today the Macbook Pro, a brand new laptop powered by a dual-core Intel chip. The Macbok Pro solves the heat issue that Apple had trying to get a G5 chip into a Powerbook. Slightly thinner than an existing Powerbook, the Macbook Pro will feature 15.4" screen ("as bright as the Cinema Display units), an iSight camera, and will run 4-5x faster than the Powerbook. It also features a IR sensor for the recently released remote control units. A rather novel magnetic power cord (in terms of the attachment mechanism) called MagSafe is also included, perhaps meaning an end to yanking laptops off tables. The Macbook Pro will ship in February, but Apple will be taking orders from today. Priced at $1999 and $2499 for 1.67GHz and 1.83GHz respectivly, they come with an ATi Radeon X1600, Airport Extreme and Bluetooth, 4x Superdrive, 512MB/ 1Gb RAM and 80Gb / 100Gb Harddrives. It weighs 5.6 pounds and comes with features previously seen on the Powerbook, like the backlight sensor, and DVI out for 30" displays.

Click here, for more information on the new Apple products.

All in all, a lot of new and updated products from Apple. The fact that so little time was spent on the iPod and iTunes puts to bed any sense that Apple might be drifting towards only that market, and proves the company has a lot more to offer. Interestingly, we didn't see either a cheap iBook release (see comments on new Intel chip based products later in the year) or the Mac Mini media center that so many had predicted. Neowin, sadly, wasn't at Macworld - we'd like to thank,, and the ever reliable,, for doing what Apple should do themselves.

Update Apple's store seems to be having some serious problems; the message saying 'back within the hour' has been up for the last hour or so; if you can't get through, we suggest you try again in a few hours.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 11, 2006, 2:58 pm
News Source : Macbook

 Blu-Ray format specs finalized Blu-Ray format specs finalized

Recently, the Blu-ray Disc Association announced that the format specification for its new standard has been completed, and it is now ready to begin licensing. Both the Blu-ray Disc single and dual layer specifications have been approved.

Pioneer unveiled the first Blu-ray disc player at the Consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. It is designed to deliver 1920p x 1080p output, which is the highest of the three high-definition signals. Also, Philips unveiled its all-in-one disc burner called the TripleWriter (which supports both BD-R and B-RE, with both single layer and dual-layer recording capabilities). The TripleWriter will be available in the second half of 2006.

Movies expected to be out soon in Blu-ray format include "Four Brothers," "Sahara," "The Italian Job," "Tomb Raider" and "Mission Impossible," as well as "Mission Impossible 2" and "Mission Impossible 3."

The storage space on a single-layered Blu-Ray Disc is 25GB, and 50GB for the dual-layered disc.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 11, 2006, 2:58 pm
News Source : BluRay Homepage

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