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ASUS Unveils New M4A78-HTPC Series Motherboards Catering Specifically to HTPC Users

ASUS, the world's leading producer of motherboards, today released its new M4A78-HTPC Series motherboards that are developed specifically for use in Home Theater Personal Computers (HTPCs). HTPCs have become more prevalent due to the vast popularity of the Internet and the ease with which content can be found, downloaded and viewed. Also, the chipset technology that supports Full HD 1080p is maturing, and large-sized widescreen LCD monitors are becoming more mainstream—allowing users to download and watch HD videos directly on their PCs. M4A78-HTPC Series motherboards are based on the AMD 780G chipset, which fully integrates HDMI/DVI support to display HD videos smoothly. Together with audio innovations like the ASUS Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi and DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC Technology, audiophiles can look forward to pure, crystal-clear sound for the most exhilarating HTPC enjoyment. Furthermore, M4A78-HTPC Series motherboards come with a user-friendly media center dubbed Home Theater Gate and a low-noise, energy efficient Tranquil Mode that offer users greater convenience and a more conducive music environment respectively.

Google Launches the Internet Bus in India

Google has launched what is essentially a mobile internet cafe called the Internet Bus, to go around India providing poorer people, experience and education in using the internet. Using a high speed connection via what appears to be satellite, the vehicle has the words "Explore the World of the Internet" along the sides, it has not been cheaply done either. The whole vehicle appears to be a custom build, with large flat screen monitors, custom stands and lots of pretty lights. It has been said by the source, that the amount of people in India who are officially below the poverty line, is nearly as much as the total population of the USA. A video advertisement has also surfaced on YouTube, which you can find here.

Source: Alien Babel Tech

Korea to Get 1Gbps Internet Access by 2012

Imagine internet connectivity at 1Gbps, speeds at which a 120 minute SD film gets downloaded in 12 seconds! The Korea Communications Commission is reportedly spending $22 Billion in upgrading its telecommunications infrastructure that facilitates public internet connections with such extremely high bandwidth as 1Gbps for fixed-lines and up to 10 Mbps for wireless connections. Korea plans to to operationalise this by the year 2012, starting with urban centres, mainly large cities with relatively affluent populations. Other places in the country will still get internet access at speeds of up to 100 Mbps.Source: Far East Gizmos

Opera 10 Sneak Peek

Today, Opera Software introduces the first look at Opera 10. An alpha version of Opera 10 is now available here. This release gives people a taste of Opera’s new rendering engine, Opera Presto 2.2 — the foundation of all future Opera 10 products. Opera Presto 2.2 offers approximately a 30-percent-faster browsing experience as compared to Opera Presto 2.1, introduced in Opera 9.5 in June 2008. Opera has fine-tuned its standards support and, as a result, Opera 10 alpha achieves an Acid3 100/100 Test score. This version also provides Web developers with a whole range of new technologies for building better Web sites.

Microsoft Announces Silverlight 2

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Silverlight 2, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences through a Web browser. Silverlight 2 delivers a wide range of new features and tools that enable designers and developers to better collaborate while creating more accessible, more discoverable and more secure user experiences.

Microsoft also announced further support of open source communities by funding advanced Silverlight development capabilities with the Eclipse Foundation’s integrated development environment (IDE) and by providing new controls to developers with the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP) under the Microsoft Permissive License.

ASUS Eee PC 901 to Feature 3.75G for Internet Access Next Month

ASUS today informed that it will be adding 3.75G connectivity to its hugely-popular series of Eee PC netbooks, enabling convenient and high-speed access to the Internet anytime, anywhere. The inclusion of 3.75G will allow for low latency mobile broadband Internet access at high downlink and uplink speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and 2 Mbps respectively. 3.75G will make its first appearance in Eee PC 901 netbooks released to market from October 2008 onward.

Source: ASUS

Happy 10th Birthday Google

On September 7th we celebrate the birthday of Google. Ten years ago in 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google Inc. a designation that has now become a synonym for the world's most famous Internet search engine. Initially having only two employees, now Google has nearly 20,000 workers and a $150 billion market value. At the moment Google is still on top of all internet search pages, and without a doubt can be considered an Internet icon, everybody knows about Google even our grandparents. If there's something you can't find, just Google it! Once again, Happy 10th Birthday Google. There're a few sites below that have covered the occasion:

NYTimes | Wired | BBC | ZDNet

RivaTuner Creator Protests Anti-Russian Nazism, Bans NvNews Linkage

Alexey Nicolaychuk, popularly known by the computer enthusiast community as "Unwinder", creator of RivaTuner graphics card tweaking utility, lodged a strong protest against community members of NvNews for allegedly using slurs against his national identity. Community members of NvNews will not be able to post links to download RivaTuner as they are explicitly blocked by the author. Not that they can't get the software some way or another, but that it is more of a retaliation by Unwinder to contents of this thread, which portrays mockery against Russia and the recent Russian-Georgian conflict. The most recent license-agreement of RivaTuner now shows an added clause:
New license agreement explicitly restricts publishing any links to RivaTuner on homepage or in discussion forums. Russian software can not co-exist with the community tolerating anti-Russian nazism.

IPv6 Protection by OSes Inadequate, Potential Vulnerabilities Surface

Rudimentary software-level protection for IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6), a network protocol which comes pre-installed with several operating systems (OS) but poorly implemented in the real-world makes it a protocol ignored by security providers, and effectively a soft-target for hackers to compromise a system.

Several OSes including Linux 2.6 upwards, Windows Vista, Solaris, Mac OS X and mobile OSes such as Windows Mobile 5 and 6 come with IPv6 enabled by default, though the user would probably not use the protocol in a year 2008 setting where the networks haven't embraced the protocol to level that makes it an explicit requirement for all internet-enabled computers the way IPv4 is. Keeping this in mind, software level protection for IPv6 is close to non-existent, having strong intrusion detection-enabled protection might keep you safe at an IPv4 level that's still standard, but with IPv6 enabled and with protection that doesn't cover IPv6, the PC is as vulnerable as one without any firewall at all. With IPv6 'listeners' (programs that open ports and allow incoming connections) in place the PC becomes vulnerable to intrusions. All it takes is for a hacker to create an IPv6 listener program (malware) and plant it on a PC.

Charter Communications Gives Up on Behavioral Add Plan

One of the United States largest cable-based ISPs had been planning to implement a program to monitor users' web surfing habits and specifically tailor adds to them. The program was to use NebuAd to track its users. Privacy advocates called the program an attack on users’ privacy. Charter announced today that it was suspending the program. The announcement comes less than a week after two digital rights groups, Public Knowledge and Free Press, accused NebuAd and participating broadband ISPs of spying on users. While Charter’s original focus groups reacted favorably to the program, since then many customers have raised questions and suggest improvements. Two senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives also sent a letter to Charter questioning the plan.

Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic

Not everyone uses the internet for the same purposes. Some simply check their e-mail and/or scan the news for the latest headlines and promptly log off, while others download gigabytes of data every day, if not every hour. For years the internet was an egalitarian service with both types of users paying an equal amount despite the amount of bandwidth they used. Now it seems the major ISPs are preparing to implement some form of bandwidth limiting for users that utilize the most. Earlier this month Time Warner cable began a trial program of “Internet metering” in one Texas city. Customer will be asked to select a monthly plan with a certain amount of allotted bandwidth. When a user exceeds the bandwidth of their plan he or she will be forced to pay a surcharge, similar to exceeding the allotted minutes of a cell phone plan. The same week Time Warner announced its plan Comcast announced that it will be expanding its plan to manage Internet traffic, which involves slowing down the connections of the heaviest bandwidth users. While, as of yet, AT&T places no restrictions on bandwidth they stated that limits on heavy use were inevitable and are considering pricing based on data volume. The three companies insist these forms of billing will insure fair access to the internet for all users. Critics of the bandwidth limits say that metering and capping network used could hold back the inevitable convergence of television, computers, and the Internet. Internet metering could have serious consequences for companies such as Blockbuster and Netflix who are providing more and more downloadable/streaming content.

Survey Says: Internet Users Selfish, Impatient

Every once in a while, a market research group or two will bother to determine just how the general populace of the internet will respond to certain types of media. This most recent market research shows that most people using the internet are more likely to possess the qualities of an ADHD riddled 5 year old, and only spend a few minutes on a web page before switching tasks. This does not help advertisers, who would rather users take a slow, mellow approach to the internet, and notice all the subtle nuances embedded in the website designed around making the user buy some trinket or another. Instead, they have to deal with a crowd that is suspicious of anything that tries to get the user to spend more than the absolute minimum required time looking at a web page. The conclusion to this study said that most web page authors really ought to keep fancy widgets to themselves, and merely facilitate what the user is really trying to do, whatever that may be.Source:

CERN Developing New Internet

CERN, home of the world’s most advanced particle accelerator and birthplace of modern day TCP/IP internet connections, has begun work on a replacement for the current internet. The new system can run at speeds 10,000 times faster than today’s typical connections, and has been developed to meet the demands of CERN’s new Large Hadron Collider. The grid, which utilizes fiber optics, already boasts 55,000 servers (a number which is expected to reach 200,000 within a couple of years) and connects CERN to 11 research locations in the USA, Canada, Europe and the Far East. Each of these locations is then linked to academic locations, and it is expected that by autumn a student at any university in the UK could connect to the new high-speed grid rather than the current internet. The development could make desktop storage a thing of the past, although it would probably be a nightmare for music labels.Source: DailyTech

Wikipedia Reaches Ten Million Articles

Earlier this week the Wikimedia Foundation reached a significant new milestone: on Thursday, March 27, at 00:07 UTC the official article count for all Wikipedias combined reached 10 million. The ten millionth article, a short biography of 16th century English goldsmith and painter Nicholas Hilliard, was created in the Hungarian Wikipedia by user Pataki Márta.

Opera Gets Full Marks in Acid3

It looks like Opera’s development team has done a good job of improving the browser's compatibility, as it has now managed to achieve an impressive score of 100 out of 100 on the Acid3 web standards test. Opera Software’s Head of Core Technology, Lars Erik Bolstad, wrote:
Since the test was officially announced recently, our Core developers have been hard at work fixing bugs and adding the missing standards support. Today we reached a 100% pass rate for the first time! There are some remaining issues yet to be fixed, but we hope to have those sorted out shortly.
Source: Opera Software

Firefox Released

Mozilla has released a new minor update for its popular Firefox browser, bringing the version number to Six security issues have been fixed in this release, and if Firefox hasn’t already prompted you to update it’s recommended you click on “Check for Updates...” from the application’s Help menu. Alternatively, you can download the update from this website.Source: Mozilla

Apple Releases Safari 3.1

Apple today introduced Safari 3.1, the world’s fastest web browser for Mac and Windows PCs. Safari loads web pages 1.9 times faster than IE 7 and 1.7 times faster than Firefox 2. Safari also runs JavaScript up to six times faster than other browsers, and is the first browser to support the latest innovative web standards needed to deliver the next generation of highly interactive Web 2.0 experiences. Safari 3.1 is available immediately as a free download at for both Mac OS X and Windows.

Internet Explorer 5.5 Beats IE 6 and 7 in Web Standards Test

Some readers may already be familiar with the Web Standards Project, which claims it “fights for standards that reduce the cost and complexity of development while increasing the accessibility and long-term viability of any site published on the Web.” The Acid Tests provided by the project are commonly used as a benchmark to see how compatible different browsers are, and Internet Explorer has found itself on the end of much criticism when it comes to this, being beaten by nearly all competing browsers such as Opera, Firefox, Safari and Konqueror. However, in the recently launched Acid Test 3, the ancient Internet Explorer 5.5 manages to outscore both IE 6 and 7, reaching a still rather miserable 14% compared to 12% for the other two. Meanwhile, Konqueror leads the pack with 62%, with Firefox in fourth on 52% and Opera a little way down the table at 46%, ahead of Safari on 39%. In terms of beta browsers, Safari is well out in front on 90%, and IE 8 trails at the bottom on 17%.

Source: Anomalous Anomaly

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Coming Soon

A number of Microsoft enthusiasts this week received invitations to a “limited technical beta program” for Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 1. According to the invitation, Microsoft is planning to make IE 8 Beta 1 available to the general public, as well. But before that happens, an invitation-only tet program will be conducted. The invitation describes IE 8 Beta 1 being focused on developers. Microsoft officials have said they plan to show off IE 8 at Microsoft’s Mix ‘08 conference in early March in Las Vegas. Officials also have said they are planning to add a developer-selectable “super-standards” mode to IE 8 that would enable the browser to qualify as more standards-compliant. Microsoft still has not offered a final-delivery target date for IE 8. Microsoft released IE 7 in 2006. Microsoft officials have said they are shooting to deliver more frequent, regular builds of IE. The full text of the note Microsoft sent to IE 8 beta invitees can be see here.Source: ActiveWin, ZDNet

Pakistan Blocks YouTube

It seems that America and the United Kingdom aren't the only countries caught in a sudden desire to become authoritarian. Pakistan is blocking websites that they feel either will pervert their citizens culturally or politically. YouTube recently made the list for both reasons. There's plenty of sketchy X-rated material on the website, and it's cousin, X-tube. However, it's more likely than not that YouTube was blocked in Pakistan due to political footage. To be precise, someone managed to sneak proof of election fraud, in video form, onto YouTube. Pakistan obviously doesn't want anybody to see this, so they bury the video. When it comes bouncing back later, Pakistan got mad and completely blocked out the site.Source: All Things Pakistan

Netscape Navigator to Officially Die Next Week

While most of us hardly even thought that Netscape was still seeing regular updates and security patches, AOL was making sure that exactly that was happening. Apparently, that's all going to stop next week, as AOL is hunting for ways to cut costs around the house. Neowin published a nice eulogy for the classic web browser all too many of us with dial-up grew to know all too well...
Netscape was founded in 1994, and quickly won customers by providing software that made it easy for people to navigate the Internet. Netscape went public a year later and saw its stock price nearly triple on its first day of trading. At one point, the company had an $8 billion market cap and 90% of the Web browser market. But soon it all went south. Microsoft introduced its Internet Explorer browser and began eating into Netscape’s market share. Microsoft later paid AOL, which bought Netscape in 2000, $750 million to settle antitrust charges.
Netscape accounts for less than 1% of internet users now. Anyone known using Netscape has been sent an E-mail from the Netscape development team, urging an immediate switch to Firefox or Flock browsers.Source:

Windows Live 'SkyDrive' Storage Increased to 5GB

One day, a dude working for Microsoft checked his G Mail account, and then checked his Live account. He noticed that he could shove a lot more stuff on his G Mail account than he could his Live account. To be precise, Live used to hold 1GB of digital goodies, while G-Mail can hold 6.4GB. And so, this dude brought this issue to the dudes in charge of developing and maintaining Windows Live, and bumped up Skydrive storage to 5GB. This move will make several dudes who subscribe to Windows Live quite happy, and makes Live more competent with the likes of Yahoo, AOL and of course G Mail. Live Skydrive storage is officially out of beta, and available in several countries around the globe.Source:

Facebook Losing Popularity in England

Social networking giant Facebook has suffered it's first drop in members since the site was conceived, probably due to the fact that users now have a way to delete their accounts. Since January, Facebook has lost a whopping 5% of all user accounts. Why, exactly, Facebook popularity is going down the tube is a matter of speculation, at the moment. It could be that some inconsiderate Facebook application developers force users to spam their friends before they can make the application do anything. Users could simply have become tired of getting an E-mail every time they're bitten by a vampire. Perhaps Facebook was just a passing fad, and people have come to accept that it's time to move on from the social networking site.Source: The Inquirer

Norwegian Police Pwn MPAA Lawyer

"Pirate chasing" lawyer Espen Tøndel works for the MPAA, and would love to see everyone who's ever used a file sharing network/client to download or upload copyrighted content either make reparations or go to jail. Tøndel was most recently seen in Norway, chasing a bunch of IP addresses. When Tøndel took this list of IP addresses to the police, they flat out told him that they will not chase petty criminals when murderers, rapists and other baddies roam Norwegian streets. Tøndel, infuriated, decided to take his case to higher court. He requested a meeting with the Norwegian department of justice. He instead got a flat "no" answer, and was effectively told that he might as well file suits against the pile of IP addresses, because no Norwegian police agency was going to bother itself with solving the petty piracy cases. It is unclear whether or not Tøndel has actually tried to sue the IP addresses, or if the suits utterly failed because he never could tie the IP addresses to a name.Source: TorrentFreak

Accredited Psychologists Warn of 'Technology Addiction'; Compare it to Sex Addiction

New medical research confirms what hardware enthusiasts, gamers, workaholics and teenagers have known for a while: people are literally becoming addicted to technology. Professor Nada Kakabadse of Northampton University got concerned when she noticed people that had a serious problem putting away their phones, PDAs and other links to the digital world. Remarkably, Professor Kakabadse was able to link addiction to technology and addiction to sex. The professer found that nearly a third of everyone carrying a technological device is addicted. This is most likely because we are creatures of habit, and "can get addicted to anything that is remotely interesting." Professor Kakabadse also was quick to point out that technology got a lot more addicting since the introduction of the internet. Witty Inquirer writer Nick Farrell wonders how the professor could possibly avoid citing porn as a reason for this sudden burst inaddiction.Source: BBC
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