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AeroCool Readies XPreadator X3 Devil Red and White Editions

AeroCool is working on as many as four new gaming PC cases for launch in fall-2012, two of which are part of its premier XPreadator X3 line, the Devil Red Edition, and White Edition. The Devil Red scheme is an even combination of black with blood-red, which could go well with a ton of hardware (such as motherboards, graphics cards, sound cards, SSDs, and PSUs that are using this scheme. The White Edition scheme, on the other hand is mostly white with a dash of black.

Built with 0.7 mm-thick sheets of SPCC steel, the new XPreadator X3 cases are bound to be sturdy (and heavy). The ATX full-tower cases will measure 533 mm (D) x 223 mm (W) x 527 mm (H), and be spacious enough for CPU coolers as tall as 186 mm, will feature eight expansion slots (to support double-slot graphics cards using the bottommost expansion slot on the motherboard), graphics cards as long as 31 cm, and eight 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drive bays. The cases will support as many as nine fans to ventilate it from various points. The XPreadator X3 Devil Red and White Editions from AeroCool will be generally available by the end of September, 2012.

Giada Launches i53: Powerful Performance in a Book-Sized Mini PC

Giada, a brand of Shenzhen Jiehe Technology Development, Co., Ltd, today announces the i53 Mini PC. With full HD 1080P video, high connectivity, support, and an attractive design, Giada's new book-sized i53 Mini PC is an ideal choice for home entertainment, web browsing, and document writing.

The i53 is based around Intel's Mobile HM76 Express chipset and Ivy Bridge technology platform. Even while offering great performance, this environmentally friendly PC only uses 35W.

X-ES Supports 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 Processor Across Product Line

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is supporting the 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor across eight industry-standard form factors -- COM Express, 3U VPX, 6U VPX, 3U CompactPCI, 6U CompactPCI, VME, air-cooled PrPMC/XMC, and conduction-cooled PrPMC/XMC. The XPedite7470 3U VPX Single Board Computer (SBC) and XCalibur4401 6U CompactPCI SBC are the first products available from X-ES to support the 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor.

3rd generation Intel Core i7 processors provide higher performance and lower power compared to 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors. 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processors also include Intel HD Graphics with DirectX 11, supporting OpenGL 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1.

COM Express Modules With Brand-New, Quad-Core 3rd Gen. Intel Core Processors Released

MSC Vertriebs GmbH presents the first COM Express modules based on the 3rd generation Intel Core processor family (formerly codenamed 'Ivy Bridge'). The 3rd generation Intel Core processor family utilizes Intel's advanced 22nm process technology with three-dimensional transistors for higher performance at lower power. The new COM Express modules feature a further leap forward in computing power, graphics and video performance in comparison to modules based on the previous generation Intel platform. Important innovations of this new product generation are lower power consumption at higher clock frequencies and improved graphics and video performance. For the first time, the new Intel platform supports DirectX 11.

Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support for Vista Today, End of Support for XP in 2014

Microsoft Windows Vista is out of its "mainstream support" from today. Users will continue to have free access to security updates, but those without a commercial support contract will have to pay for bug fixes or other patches. This phase between end of mainstream support and end of support is called "extended support", and for Vista, it will last till 2017. The decade-old Windows XP, on the other hand, will see Microsoft pull the plug on its support no later than in 2014.

Source: Microsoft

Rocstor Unveils Amphibious Ruggedized Portable Hard Drive

ROCSTOR, a leading provider of fast, high-capacity data storage and encryption solutions, announces the launch of Amphibious, an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree. The Amphibious is a secure, ruggedized portable hard drive with real time hardware encryption and offers advanced two-factor authentication, USB 2 and Firewire 800. In addition, the crypto module is FIPS 140-2 certified.

The Amphibious is considered as one of the most secure and user-friendly devices in the world for size, strength of encryption, and method of authentication. It offers users the option of using the device in a cross platform and Operating System independent fashion, and no GUI or software installations required. The Amphibious is the result of several years of intensive R & D effort and collaboration. For the user it offers the value of data security by using an original concept of two-factor authentication with Smart Card and Keypad, real time hardware encryption, and futuristic design sense. The Amphibious is appropriate for consumers, SOHO's, enterprises, institutions, military and government applications who want to store data in a secure manner.

NVIDIA GeForce 290.36 Beta Drivers Released

The latest beta drivers and the first in the 290 series have been released by NVIDIA today, supporting all graphics cards since the venerable 6-series. Their main new feature are official support for enabling ambient occlusion settings in the control panel separately for specific games and enabling NVIDIA Surround on the new X79 SLI-certified motherboards. Ambient occlusion (AO) is settable for uber-popular games The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. So, what does AO do? We'll let Andrew Burns of NVIDIA explain:
If you're unfamiliar with Ambient Occlusion, it is most easily described as a way to make in-game shadowing more realistic, and therefore better.
What he doesn't say of course, is how it kills your frame rate, especially on lower end hardware. Anyway, there's all the usual goodies in this release: 3D Vision game profiles for games such as MW3, Diablo 3 & LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (yes really). There's a HD audio update and nine fixes too, including one for random flickering of the Windows boot logo as it's loading or fading away and a fix for the mouse cursor flickering and shaking in games such as Crysis 2 & Deus Ex when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play. The NVIDIA product release page is here and they have a snazzy-looking driver selector here. The release notes follow.

Windows 8 Secure Boot Feature: Not So Secure?

We have brought you the potential perils of the upcoming UEFI Forum-implemented - www.uefi.org - Windows 8 secure boot feature here, here and here. However, it appears that it may not be so 'secure' after all, since there appears to be a surefire way to circumvent it, at least for the moment, while it's in development.

Softpedia has scored an exclusive interview with security researcher Peter Kleissner, who has created various Windows (XP, Server 2003 etc) "bootkits", which allow OS infection at the highest privilege level, giving unrestricted access to the whole of the PC. His latest one, called Stoned Lite, shows how the Windows 8 secure boot process, still in development, can be subverted, as it stands. He is planning to release details of how the code works at the upcoming International Malware Conference (MalCon) - http://malcon.org - that will take place in India on November 25th. It appears that the real vulnerability exists in the legacy BIOS boot procedure, not in Microsoft's implementation of secure boot, as Kleissner said:
The problem with the legacy startup is that no one verifies the MBR, which makes it the vulnerable point. With UEFI and secure boot, all the boot applications and drivers have to be signed (otherwise they won’t be loaded). You can compare it to TPM, although Arie van der Hoeven from Microsoft announced that the secure boot feature is mandatory for OEMs who want to be UEFI certified. It is a good message that security is not an option.

Got A Virus? It's Your Fault Says Microsoft

Yes, that's right the maker of notoriously vulnerable software is now blaming you, the user, should you get a virus, trojan or other malware infection on your Windows computer. However, it does look like they have some justification for saying this. For those with long attention spans, Microsoft have just released their 168 page Microsoft Security Intelligence Report 6MB PDF, with the stated aim of providing:
An in-depth perspective on software vulnerabilities and exploits, malicious code threats, and potentially unwanted software in the first half of 2011
The first thing to note about the report is that it is limited to its Malicious Software Removal Tool and Microsoft's other anti-malware products. Zero-day attacks that it can't detect are not included in the findings. So, surely it can't all be the user's fault then? It also means that the security angles from third party security vendors such as Kaspersky, Norton and McAfee aren't represented here.

Sandy Bridge-E VT-d Broken In C1 Stepping, Fixed In C2 Stepping, Shortly After Launch

PC enthusiast customers and companies running corporate datacentres looking to buy into the new Sandy Bridge-E platform may want to wait a little while before handing over their hard-earned money to Intel. The initial batch of C1 revision Sandy Bridge-E processors have a bug – “errata” in Intel terminology – in them with VT-d, which means that hardware accelerated virtualization doesn’t work properly with them (software only mode is unaffected). The feature when working properly, allows all hardware acceleration to work on the hosted operating system (virtual machine). This would allow things such as hard drive controllers to work, plus applications such as high-powered 3D games, typically First Person Shooters, to run at nearly full speed and the full Windows Aero desktop to be displayed on the hosted OS, as the hardware features of the graphics card can be used. Therefore, working VT-d is a critical feature for these kinds of applications.

Windows 7 Slowly But Surely Nudges out Windows XP From the Top Spot

Microsoft’s first attempt at replacing XP with Vista failed miserably, since Vista had many initial issues and was so poorly received, that the brand was irrevocably tarnished. However, Microsoft’s second attempt with Windows 7 has been very successful, since it has always worked very well, even during its development phase and is well liked. Now, if figures from Stat Counter are to be believed, then Windows 7’s share of the market has climbed to 41.64%, while Windows XP has dropped to 37.20% - still a hefty percentage and one that Microsoft will be keen to see drop to zero as soon as possible. This means that Windows 7 is now finally the most popular Windows version after almost two years since the retail version was released on October 22nd 2009, with Windows 8 due out likely in summer 2012.

Shuttle Announces New Fanless Slimline PCs

Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, European subsidiary of Shuttle Inc., one of the leading developers and manufacturers of compact PC solutions such as the world-renowned XPC Mini PC Barebones today announces the sales launch of Version 2 of its XS35 product line.

Just as its predecessor, the new generation of XS35 models is built around energy-saving components and runs virtually silently. The new XS35 series does away with any fans and remains nearly inaudible at any time which predestines such space-saving PCs use in the living room at home, in the office, classrooms and even in libraries. The energy-efficient Intel Atom D525 processor provides sufficient power for all daily computing applications. While the basic version, XS35V2, comes with integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics, the XS35GTV2 barebone is equipped with NVIDIA’s Next-Generation ION graphics solution that even allows for playback of full HD content at 1080p.

New Roxio Game Capture Products from Rovi Let You Share Your A-Game

Rovi Corporation today unveiled Roxio Game Capture and Roxio PC Game Capture, two affordably priced products that offer a straightforward way for gamers to quickly and easily capture and share PC and console game play videos.

In-product tutorials help everyone get set up quickly and immediately begin to capture and showcase their latest campaigns, adventures, ball skills, and race sequences. Gamers may use the products to post their high scores, tips & tricks, game reviews, or even a feature-length movie, or Machinima, based on game play footage. See the products in action here.

NVIDIA GeForce 197.13 WHQL Drivers Released

NVIDIA today released version 197.13 of its GeForce system software. The suite includes drivers for all NVIDIA GeForce GPUs and IGPs since GeForce 6 series, NVIDIA ION platform, as well as system software for NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, and drivers for the on-chip HDMI audio which the latest GeForce GPUs are shipping with. The WHQL-signed driver includes PhysX 9.10.0129 system software, updated HDMI audio driver to version 1.0.9.1, application-specific performance increments for several games, notably the following:
  • Up to 13% performance increase in Crysis: Warhead with a single GPU, up to 30% performance increase in Crysis: Warhead with SLI technology
  • Up to 13% performance increase in H.A.W.X with single GPU, up to 15% performance increase in H.A.W.X with SLI technology
  • Up to 30% performance increase in Left 4 Dead with single GPU, up to 28% performance increase in Left 4 Dead with SLI technology
SLI profiles are added for the following applications: Assassin Creed II, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Command and Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight, Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes from Liberty City, Mass Effect 2, Napoleon: Total War, and Zombie Driver. SLI support is improved for: Metro 2033, Supreme Commander 2, Unigine, and World of Warcraft- Ambient Occlusion support for Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Need for Speed: Shift, Resident Evil 5, RUSE, and Street Fighter IV. Anti Aliasing can now be overridden for Mass Effect 2. As always, a number of new and existing bugs were fixed. For more information, refer to the Release Notes documents for Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 197.13 WHQL

Do Not Press F1 If Requested To Do So By A Website.

Microsoft is investigating a vulnerability in VBscript that occurs when a user presses "F1". The vulnerability makes use of an interaction between VBscript and the help files of Internet Explorer. Once "F1" is pressed malicious code can be executed in the security context of the logged in user. This security issue only applies to users of Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, and Windows XP; Windows Vista and Windows 7 users are not affected. There is no word yet from Microsoft on what would occur if malicious code was executed using the vulnerability.Source: Microsoft TechNet

ZOTAC Unleashes World's First Everywhere PC

Combining a high-performance NVIDIA ION graphics processor with a choice of energy-efficient dual-core Intel Atom 330 or single-core Atom 230 processors, the ZOTAC MAG delivers an eco-friendly computing experience that still packs a performance punch in a compact 186mm x 189mm x 38mm package.

“As users start equipping every room in their house with computers for a true networked digital home experience, space and power conservation becomes an issue, especially for larger houses,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “With the ZOTAC MAG series, we’re providing users with a system suitable anywhere inside a house. The compact size, performance and energy efficiency makes the ZOTAC MAG perfect for all computing uses.”

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 185.68 BETA Drivers

Less than a week since they released the 185.66 BETA drivers (which in themselves superceeded the 182.50 WHQL and 185.65 BETA drivers in the space of 24 hours), NVIDIA has released yet another GeForce BETA Driver of version number 185.68. From these latest BETA releases, it seems NVIDIA has dropped support for the 8-Series graphics cards which as of now are only supported using the 182.50 WHQL driver. With the recent release of so many driver revisions from NVIDIA, it could be their answer to what EVGA were trying to do with their SLI Enhancement Patches, to keep up to date with the latest releases. This driver supports GeForce 9-series, 100-series, and 200-series desktop GPUs, the only documented change in this version over the 185.66 BETA drivers is:
  • Optimized performance for the PC game The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
DOWNLOAD: GeForce 185.68 BETA for Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit | Windows Vista 32-bit | Windows Vista 64-bit

Samsung Adopts VIA Nano Processor for the Samsung NC20 12.1'' Mini-Notebook

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced that Samsung has adopted the VIA Nano processor in the new Samsung NC20 mini-notebook.

Mobility is enhanced by 802.11b/g and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and a six-cell battery that provides up to 6.5 hours of use independent of any power supply, while storage options include either a solid state disk or a SATA hard disk drive. Other features include an integrated 1.3 mega pixel digital motion camera, 3-in-1 memory card reader and three built-in USB ports.

Technology Analyst: Get Over Vista Hate

A reporter and technology analyst for the Washington Post recently took a rather strong point of view regarding Windows Vista and XP. He accepts that Vista has it's flaws, such as "steep hardware requirements, its strict anti-piracy measures, its sometimes-intrusive security measures, its incompatibility with some older products." However, he points out that the current market behavior, which is something along the lines of "don't upgrade until Vista gets better, and beg to keep XP on shelves" is not doing Vista or Microsoft any good. He points out that XP is not a historic monument in need of preservation, and is more like an old car: it's had a good run, but in view of some XP flaws when compared to Vista strongpoints, it's time to move on. The analyst also pointed out that fundamental supply/demand economics is keeping Vista from rising to greatness. As long as the market holds on to XP, and refuses to move on to Vista, software makers will not see a very good reason to adopt or support Vista, which causes most of the problems Vista has today. You can read more details at the source link.Source: Daily Tech

XP Service Pack 3 Could Slow Down Vista Adoption

Face it, the Windows XP code is reliable, practical, useful, secure and cost-effective. Most people, especially those in the business sector, simply don't see the need to upgrade to Windows Vista. It's no news that Windows XP Service Pack 3 is coming out soon. However, Microsoft may not have considered the effect XP SP3 may have on Vista sales. If a lot of users adopt XP SP3, they may be even less tempted to move on to Windows Vista, which is ultimately what Microsoft would like their customers to do. However, Microsoft may find that XP SP3 doesn't have any effect on Vista sales at all. After all, those who want Windows Vista will upgrade to Windows Vista, no matter what XP offers. Those who want to stick with XP will stick with XP, and may not even upgrade to the latest service pack.Source: Neowin.net

Microsoft Responds to 'Save XP' Petition

The folks over at Redmond are very serious when they say that they're trying to make Windows a product developed with a lot of user feedback. The 'Save XP' petition that we reported on yesterday got some recognition by Microsoft. Beating extreme improbabilities, and documenting one of the few times a petition actually does something, Microsoft acknowledged the users' concerns, and promised that fresh Windows XP licenses will be around as long as partners and customers feel like they need them. In the words of a Microsoft spokesperson...
We're aware of it, but are listening first and foremost to feedback we hear from partners and customers about what makes sense based on their needs. That's what informed our decision to extend the availability of XP initially, and what will continue to guide us.
Source: The Inquirer

Windows XP SP3 Yields Hefty Performance Boost Over Vista SP1

We've been hearing about the latest service packs from Microsoft for some time, but until recently, there have been no mentions as to how either performs. An independent researcher took test versions of both Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3 and pitted them against each other. What he found was astounding, to say the least. Vista SP1 at most points was no faster than the release version, and in some cases was twice as slow. However, XP SP3 was able to claim a very hefty performance boost from Vista SP1, and even XP SP2. If the beta performance carries over to the final versions, Microsoft will be making quite a pretty penny off of XP SP3, considering the massive performance gains seen at this time. Have a look at this very telling benchmark chart (Officebench, in seconds, less time is better).

Source: Neowin.net

Windows Vista leads to increased XP sales

When Windows Vista was released, Microsoft touted it as the most advanced, best version of Windows yet. And so far, it has lived up to it's word. Unfortunately, Windows Vista has an enemy that even the brightest engineers at Microsoft could not combat: utter incompatibility with XP programs that developers can not move to Windows Vista, for reasons unknown. This incompatibility has recently brought XP back from the grave Microsoft might want to imagine XP falling into. Windows XP is now available in product lines from such powerful OEMs as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba.

Dell Bringing XP back

After making the switch to offering just Vista on most of its systems, computer manufacturer Dell has backtracked a little and decided to re-introduce Microsoft’s ‘old’ OS. This move comes due after customers were asking for XP back via Dell’s IdeaStorm project which asks customers to help the company come up with product ideas. "We heard you loud and clear on bringing the Windows XP option back to our Dell consumer PC offerings," said Dell. Bringing back XP was one of the most popular requests, but it was still well below the demand for features such as Linux and OpenOffice on Dell PCs. Windows XP will be introduced to at least four Inspiron laptops and two Dimension desktops – a move which Microsoft is unlikely to support as it persuades customers towards the new Windows Vista, however Microsoft representatives were unavailable to comment.Source: CNET

Windows XP to be Phased Out by Year's End

Computer makers have been told they'll no longer be able to get Windows XP OEM by the end of this year, despite consumer resistance to Vista and its compatibility problems. By early 2008, Microsoft's contracts with computer makers will require companies to only sell Vista-loaded machines. "The OEM version of XP Professional goes next January," said Frank Luburic, senior ThinkPad product manager for Lenovo. "At that point, they'll have no choice". Despite Microsoft's constant promotion of Vista, manufacturers are still seeing plenty of demand from customers for systems preloaded with XP, especially in the SOHO market. Click here to read the full story.Source: APC Magazine
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