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Microsoft to Offer Anti-Virus Software for Free From Next Year

Software giant Microsoft might offer a free anti-virus software next year, the company said on Tuesday. Code-named "Morro," this streamlined solution will be available in the second half of 2009 and will provide comprehensive protection from malware including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans. This new solution, to be offered at no charge to consumers, will be architected for a smaller footprint that will use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs.
"Customers around the world have told us that they need comprehensive, ongoing protection from new and existing threats, and we take that concern seriously," said Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft. "This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware."
When released, "Morro" will be available as a stand-alone download and offer malware protection for the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.
With the arrival of "Morro", Microsoft will also discontinue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription service.Source: Microsoft

Centrino 2 Overclocked to 4 GHz Thanks to Aggressive Cooling and Software

A desktop-replacement laptop using the Centrino 2 Platform, Intel's highest dual-core mobile CPU, the Penryn-based Core 2 Extreme X9100 to be precise, was overclocked to 4.00 GHz with help from aggressive cooling made by CoolIT and Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility. Seen in the first picture is the laptop seated on an unreleased notebook component cooler made by CoolIT. The cooler uses external thermoelectric couple (TEC) and air cooling to draw heat away from the laptop. Despite using overclocked settings using this cooler, the CPU reaches a scorching 50° C.

The cooler releases in January 2008 and will be priced around US $120. This feat was also helped by Intel's new Extreme Tuning Utility (Iron City). Intel's Dan Ragland used the software to overclock the laptop's CPU to over 4GHz, stably. He commented that the notebook-cooler added around 500MHz over and above what's achievable by using the laptop's cooling alone.

Source: Hexus.net

Microsoft to Offer Software on a Subscription Basis

Soon, among your usual utility bills of electricity, water, gas, telecom, could be a new addition, software. Microsoft has come up with a new subscription model, where instead of outright buying a license to use the software, consumers can subscribe to use it. A monthly or annual subscription charge has to be paid by the user (subscriber) to continue using the product.

This scheme for now covers products such as Microsoft Office and One Care security software. Analysts are already beginning to predict this will be Microsoft's next big business model which will fuel its growth in the years to come. There's much in store for both consumers and the company.

NVIDIA BIOS Editor (NiBiTor) Version 3.7a Released

MVKTech took it upon himself to punt another great version of everyone's favorite NVIDIA BIOS editor, NiBiTor, out into the hungry world of hardware enthusiasts/modders/overclockers. Version 3.7a mainly fixes a bunch of support issues. Namely, it fixes issues with the GeForce 8800GS, 6800XE, and QuaddroFX540. NiBiTor 3.7a also adds support for all current cards on the market running off of the G92 core. The Auto Select Timing Set is also fixed.

If you'd like to download, install, and run the latest version of NiBiTor, please go here. We're not liable if you blow up your computer.Source: Nordic Hardware

Blogger Compiles List of 50 Reasons to Switch to Mac OS X

Somebody took the time and effort to write a fairly neutral list of reasons why people should switch from any Microsoft operating system to Mac OS X. The full list is available at the source link, but I think you might be interested in what made the top five.
  • It seems that the future of Windows development is happening largely for corporate environments and customers.
  • Excellent power management in OS X. When I close the lid to my MacBook Pro, it falls asleep. When I open the lid to my MacBook Pro, it wakes up. Imagine that!
  • I’m ready to experience different frustrations. OS X isn’t perfect, certainly - but I already see its noticeably more stable than Windows Vista has been. Kernel Panics at least look prettier than BSODs.
  • There’s more interesting, useful, beautiful, and affordable software being developed for OS X
  • VMWare Fusion
Source: Some Blog on the Interweb

Apple Releases Aperture 2

Apple today introduced Aperture 2, the next major release of its groundbreaking photo editing and management software with over 100 new features that make it faster, easier to use and more powerful. With a streamlined user interface and entirely new image processing engine, Aperture 2 also introduces new imaging tools for highlight recovery, color vibrancy, local contrast definition, soft-edged retouching, vignetting and RAW fine-tuning, and lets users directly post their portfolios on the .Mac Web Gallery for viewing on the web, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. At a new low price of $199, anyone can easily organize, edit and publish photos like a pro.

Microsoft Hastily Ends 'Privacy for Free Software' Promotion

People hoping to jump on the Windows Vista bandwagon without paying a cent of hard-earned cash jumped for joy when Microsoft offered free software in exchange for the occasional survey and three months of observation. As of December 11th, anyone who was signing up for the program got a nasty surprise: no more free software. Microsoft is of course welcoming more test subjects to be monitored. However, Microsoft will not be giving these subjects anything in return for their time and privacy, except a marginally better product in a few years.

Anyone who signed up after the cut-off date date and time under the idea they were getting a free piece of software worth $400USD or more MSRP will be sorely disappointed. There is no word as to whether or not Microsoft plans on honoring the people who signed up before the cut-off.Source: DailyTech

'IYule' Log Puts Fireplace in Your Pocket

If you ignore the bad romance novel pun, the iYule really does put a fireplace in your pocket. You can install the iYule on various digital devices, including the iPod, iPod Touch, Zune, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and of course computers (as a screen-saver). When initiated, the clever 30-minute looping track is a full-screen video of a crackling log fire, complete with crackling, popping, and sizzling sounds from a fire recorded in HD. It also comes with an intriguing piano soundtrack, but you can choose to get a version that does not include the music. The iYule is priced at $5 for mobile versions, $7 for the PC/Xbox 360 version, $7 for all versions sans music, and $10 for every version available, with "bonus features". 10% of all proceeds from the iYule will go to charity. You can see a full flash sample here, to help you decide whether or not a digital fire is your kind of thing. If you'd like to buy your very own iYule, please go here.

Source: The Inquirer

BBC Listens to Open Source community; Makes software compatible with Linux

The BBC is releasing a digital content player, called "iPlayer". However, the Open Source community got very upset when they found out iPlayer was only compatible with Windows XP. And so, after asking the BBC to remedy this (and threatening to go to the European Commission), the BBC has made the iPlayer compatible with multiple operating systems. All the owner of the operating system has to do is pay the BBC for a license, and the player will be made compatible with the operating system.Source: The Inquirer

Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Beta

Microsoft just released the beta version of the new Windows Live OneCare 2.0, its anti-malware and general windows maintenance software kit.
The updated version adds support for monitoring the status of other PCs on a home/corporate network, as well as an updated firewall that has an Auto-Adjust settings mode depending on the network along with 64bit support.
Windows Live OneCare is offered as a subscription service for $49.95 USD per year.

Live OneCare Site

Guru3D Driver Sweeper 0.4.5

Guru3D - Driver Sweeper is a fast tool to remove driver leftovers from your system. It's very important to remove your drivers on a proper way, because driver leftovers can cause problems like stability and startup problems. You can use it if you want to update/remove drivers from your system.

The change log for this release is:

GIGABYTE Odin PSUs with Software Control

GIGABYTE today announced its new Odin line of power supply units will ship soon. Two versions will be available: Odin Pro and Odin GT, ranging from 550W to 800W - across each model. All PSUs are equipped with Active PFC, over-voltage, over-current, under-voltage and short – circuit protection. Odin GT, the flagship model covers the Intel 12V V2.2 specification and has four +12V rails (2x18A, 2x25A). One of the most special features of the Odin GT power supplies is their software control. In brief, it manages the following: output voltages and load on each rail, power fan speed tweak, localized or preset temperature monitors, power supply lighting control, proximity warning bells and even present user modes for performance, normal use or silent operation. Other features include +80% efficiency, a silent 140mm fan, high-quality Japanese capacitors, SLI ready and modular cable management.

Source: GIGABYTE

Mozilla Thunderbird 2 Released

Mozilla Thunderbird 2 is now available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux in over 35 languages. Thunderbird 2 offers easy ways to manage and organize your email with message tags, advanced folder views, message history navigation, find as you type, and improved new mail alert notifications. Thunderbird 2 also includes a refreshed user interface and support for Microsoft Vista. Download it from here.Source: Mozilla

Microsoft Unveils Silverlight to Power the Next Generation of Media Experiences on the Web

LAS VEGAS — April 15, 2007 — Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Silverlight™, a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc.

Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows® Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery. Delivered to end users through a seamless, fast installation, Silverlight offers consistent experiences to both Macintosh and Windows users on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer®, Firefox and Safari.

New Intel Tools Help Developers Create, Debug And Tune Applications For Windows Vista And Latest Mul

Intel Corporation today announced the availability of new versions of its Intel® Thread Checker, Intel® Thread Profiler, Intel® VTune™ Performance Analyzer and Intel® Threading Building Blocks. These software development products enable developers to create more reliable, scalable applications, and have now been enhanced for the latest multi-core processors – Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6800 and Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 – and newest operating systems - Microsoft Vista*, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise*, Red Hat Enterprise Linux* and Fedora Core*.

"Our Intel Core 2 processors have essential new profiling capabilities we're taking advantage of for the first time in our VTune Analyzer 9.0. Since nearly all systems shipping with Windows Vista will be multi-core systems, developers targeting Vista have been asking us for these parallelism tools," said James Reinders, director of marketing for Intel's Developer Products Division. "Developers on all operating systems want their move to parallelism well supported by development tools and we're committed to keeping up with our aggressive pace of supporting developers in as many ways as possible."

File Sharing to get a speed boost

File sharing could become a lot faster in the near future as a team of researchers has developed a new technology which could see speed increases of up to 500%. Current technologies such as BitTorrent are limited by the number of people sharing a certain file, however the new research will allow software to spot chunks of data from a different download that contain identical or very similar data, therefore allowing more download locations. For example, if a song were being shared from a number of locations, it may have different information in the ID tags for various reasons and therefore conventional sharing methods would not recognise it as being the same data. But Similarity-Enhanced Transfer (SET) would spot these other songs and allow the user to download from these locations as well. The system basically assigns a rank based on how similar files are, and will then allow chunks of the file to be shared based on this.techPowerUp! does not support the use of file sharing software for illegal purposes. The above is just an example.Source: BBC News

Instant Messaging with Windows Live Messenger Comes to Xbox 360

Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360, connecting friends across Xbox 360 consoles, Microsoft Windows-based PCs and Windows Mobile-powered devices. With this update to Xbox 360, friends and families can easily connect and chat directly from their television using Windows Live Messenger, a network of more than 20 billion relationships and more than 260 million active accounts.

Stalker Savegame Converter in the works

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl is a great game, but the developers missed bugs in the initial version and had to rush out a patch. This patch did some good, and some bad, because one could not use the old saved games to carry on the adventures of "The Marked One". For all those people who feared to start all over again there is a solution, in form of a tool, on the horizon that will convert older saved games to make them playable with patched game versions. Though such a converter sounds very promising it remains to be seen if this converter applies for the initial version's saved games, or to already patched ones as details of this tool are really sparse.Source: GameStar.de

OpenOffice.org 2.2 Released

Edinburgh, UK (PRWEB) March 29, 2007 -- The OpenOffice.org Community announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.2, the latest version of the leading open-source office suite. With upgrades to its word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, and database software, the free software package provides a real alternative to Microsoft's recently-released Office 2007 product - and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users. OpenOffice.org 2.2 also protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users' PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed web sites set up by, malicious individuals.

Microsoft Zune Firmware Update 1.3 Released

Microsoft has released firmware 1.3 for its Zune media player. The new firmware improves device and software reliability, such as device detection and synchronization. The new firmware also corrects a skipping problem with content downloaded from the Zune Marketplace as well as the FM tuner which no longer drains the battery when running in sleep mode. Zune users can update their devices from within the Zune software package.Source: Zune Insider

Free Open-Source disk encryption now supports Vista

If you are one of those guys who either want to keep the data on your harddrives secured from foreigners or you are just keen on the latest software technology you should check out TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt lets you encrypt files later to be mounted as a virtual drive. Imagine you want to share an important pile of data with your friends, with TrueCrypt done right you don't need to worry about its security anymore.
But there's more, you can of course encrypt an entire partition on your internal and external hard drive or USB flash drive. The encryption however is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent too.
The new version 4.3 is now completely digitally signed by Microsoft and therefore compatible to Windows Vista and it's User Account Control System (UAC). So there is no hassle anymore if you want to fiddle around with it using Bill's latest creation.Source: TrueCrypt.org

Adobe Unleashes Creative Suite 3

Largest Software Release in Adobe’s 25-year History Revolutionizes Creative Workflows

SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 27, 2007 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Adobe Creative Suite 3 product line, a revolutionary offering of tightly integrated, industry-leading design and development tools for virtually every creative workflow. Adobe’s new Creative Suite 3 line-up unites the best of Adobe and Macromedia product innovation to provide designers and developers with a broad spectrum of creative options for all facets of print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production. There are six all-new configurations of Adobe Creative Suite 3. These include, Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions; Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions; and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium (see separate releases). Rounding out the product line is Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection which combines 12 of Adobe’s new design and development applications in a single box—the most comprehensive creative environment ever delivered.

Future versions of ATI Catalyst hope to have more features...and possibly more complexity

A recent interview with ATI/AMD at ExtremeTech shows some insight to future versions of Catalyst Control Center (CCC) software. AMD/ATI knows that previous versions have been lagging, complicated, and somewhat bloated. AMD made a good effort to fix this by a complete rewrite of CCC, but it still feels a bit lacking to some people. Instead of working on making the current CCC faster and more streamlined (like the old control panel), AMD/ATI is focusing on making one centralized application to manage all AMD/ATI products.

Says AMD representative Phil Rogers: "Longer term our goal is continue to improve the user experience and to move towards a single or central user interface where AMD customers can configure the majority of AMD product settings... It is our goal and vision to eventually have a single UI for all AMD products (graphics, CPU, chipset), but this is of course a major project, and it will be quite some time before we're able to release such a product"

This means that AMD hopes to make their control center much more featured, but this may prove to backfire upon release. With great power comes great responsibility, as Spiderman's Uncle Ben once said. And if AMD can't quite handle the responsibility, we may be looking at one complex, bloated driver interface.Source: The Inquirer

CeBIT: Sparkle Shows Self-Designed Graphics Cards


At CeBIT, Sparkle showed several unique self-designed cards, apart from the well known Calibre P880+ GeForce 8800 GTX cooled by TEC active cooler system from MACS Technology. VR-Zone has pictures of a very interesting graphics card, the self-designed Sparkle GeForce 8800 GTS without any additional power connectors? VR-Zone informs us that Sparkle will have their own self-designed G84 and G86 cards with better cooling solutions which will increase overclockability of the cards by 10-15%. There is also another interesting technology created by Sparkle where a small PCB is inserted into the graphics card with POST LEDs and a reset button. It allows voltages adjustment and temperature management through software. This concept will be available for upcoming Sparkle DX10 cards.Source: VR-Zone

Google to increase Gmail storage space to 3.5GB....by 2012.

Google is rumored to have put into effect a timeline for giving more storage space to Gmail accounts. Gmail account sizes have slowly been increasing over time, and this is the most recent timeline to that increase.
  • 2800MB: Already reached
  • 2835MB: In 18.22 days
  • 2980MB: In 384 days
  • 3125MB: In 749 days
  • 3270MB: In 1114 days
  • 3415MB: In 1479 days
  • 3560MB: In 1845 days
Please remember to take this timetable with a grain of salt, as my source does not site their, well, source.Source: Nirajsanghvi
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