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 Half-Life 2: Aftermath available April 24th Half-Life 2: Aftermath available April 24th

Mod-hq is reporting that the Half-Life 2 expansion "Aftermath" will be released on April 24th. Doug Lombardi of Valve confirmed this report himself. Also released on April 24th will be a "Platinum" package for Half-Life 2, which will include the following: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 DeathMatch, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and of course Aftermath.

Half-Life 2: Aftermath is an expansion to the multiple game of the year winner Half-Life 2. The game is set ironically right after the end of Half-Life 2, where you have dealt a serious blow to the Combine, and the Citadel itself is exploding around you. Gordon Freeman, and Alyx will both be playable. City 17 itself will of course have changed in the expansion, monsters previously off limits will now appear. Not much else is known about the storyline, but being a Valve game, we can be sure it will be a blast.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:24 pm
News Source : Mod-HQ



 Google Talk activates XMPP server-to-server communications Google Talk activates XMPP server-to-server communications

It appears Google Talk has started federating with other Jabber servers. Gary Burd, a Google software engineer, flipped the switch to connect the Google Talk Service to the public XMPP network this morning. Google Talk users can now chat with users on other XMPP services and vice versa.

One of the most promoted features of Jabber/XMPP (the protocol which Google Talk uses) is its ability to communicate with other federated servers, much like email and its ability to communicate with any other server. You email bob@someplace.com, your mail server contacts someplace.com to send the message. You IM bob@someplace.com, your Jabber server contacts someplace.com to send the message. In both cases, the domain has to be running the appropriate server. So, you can't add hotmail.com or yahoo.com people, since neither Hotmail nor Yahoo are running Jabber servers.

Basically GTalk can now communicate with users of other Jabber/XMPP servers -- before GTalk was limited to only other GTalk users. This does not mean communication between MSN, Yahoo, or AOL because these services all use difference protocols. A full explination can be found on the Jabber.org website here.

A few days ago Google opened up their staff's XMPP server to the world, and it was anticipated that this was in preparation for the opening of Google Talk.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:23 pm
News Source : Planet Jabber



 Ubuntu 6.04 Ubuntu 6.04 "Dapper Drake" Flight CD3 released

Work on Ubuntu 6.04 continues and The Dapper Drake continues to improve bringing with it new software and many very beneficial improvements. This week brings us Flight 3, the third alpha.

Improvements in this release include an updated installer CD boot splash, X11R7, GNOME 2.13.4, improved and simplified menus, new default desktop panel configuration, some new applications such as XChat-GNOME, a faster Live CD and Live CD persistence (yes you read right, Live CD persistence) and much much more. In addition to software improvements, Launchpad is now officially open for business for all bug tracking.

X.org's X Window System version X11R7 is now in Dapper. X11R7 is a very significant ?Landmark? release bringing, among other things, a completely modular X server. The benefits of this are far-reaching, including the ability to simplify updating and improving X, and being able to apply/get fixes to specific components (a video card driver for example) without having to rebuild (or re-download) all of X.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:22 pm
News Source : Ubuntu Wiki



 Firefox 2 Firefox 2 "Bon Ocho" alpha due in February

Hot on the heels of 1.5, the first alpha version of Mozilla Firefox 2 codenamed "Bon Ocho" will be released on February 10, 2006 while the final public release of Firefox 2.0 is expected in middle of this year.

Bon Ocho, the Firefox 2 code name is taken from a public park - Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada that translates to "good echo". There are plans for enhanced security, blacklisting and anti-phishing measures to be fitted to the new version. However, no details of what they might be have been released yet.

Although the first alpha release of the next version of the popular alternative browser will not be feature complete, it should give users an idea of where the company plans to take Firefox in 2006. The year is expected to be a busy one; work on Firefox 3 is already underway with a release possible late this year or early in 2007.

According to BetaNews, Mozilla plans to release an early alpha version of Firefox 2.0 by February, with builds of Firefox, Camino and Thunderbird for Apple Macs running on Intel processors.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : January 18, 2006, 2:22 pm
News Source : Neowin



 Companies push Linux partitioning effort Companies push Linux partitioning effort

A push is under way to endow Linux with a virtual partitioning technology used by rival operating systems to make servers more efficient.

SWSoft is trying to get OpenVZ made part of the mainstream Linux kernel--the software at the heart of the operating system--and a part of the major commercial Linux versions, said Kirill Korotaev, a project manager at the Herndon, Va.-based company.

In this, it has a major ally: Red Hat, the top seller of the open-source operating system, which plans to add the software to its free Fedora version of Linux for enthusiasts.

The companies' move to make OpenVZ partitioning standard in Linux is timely, said Pund-IT analyst Charles King.

"I believe virtualization is a current or coming fact of life for every information technology vendor," King said. "Vendors who figure out how to easily integrate virtualization features into their solutions will have a leg-up on competitors."

Over the years, new ways to carve a single server into separate sections have been introduced. Such divisions make it easier to run multiple independent tasks on a machine, keeping it gainfully employed instead of letting it idle through operational lulls. That increase in efficiency means collections of underutilized servers can be replaced with a smaller number of machines, lowering administration and operation costs.

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



 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 X.org'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 : News.com



 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 HEXUS.net 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


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