If you've been keeping up with some of our more recent developments, you probably already know that we received a dangerously powerful laser for a Maximum Tech feature. What you don't know is the extent of testing that needed to be done to fully understand and appreciate this powerful device safely.
Virus writers are a tricky bunch, though their schemes are often glaringly obvious, at least to the tech savvy. The problem is, there are scores of users who don't fall into this category, and according to Symantec, there's a new ploy making the rounds that we have no doubt will be effective. It's called the AnVi Antivirus, and what it does is instruct victims to uninstall their AV software.
"Uncertified [AV program name] antivirus software detected on your computer. You need to remove [AV program name] software for correct operation of the Antivirus," the rogue popup reads. "Attention: If you don't remove [AV program name] software, the performance of your computer will dramatically degrade. Press 'OK' to remove the [AV program name].
At this point, it doesn't even matter if the user mashes the 'OK' button, the uninstall process will initiate regardless. Once removed, the malicious program then connects to a website to download its own supposed AV program, which as you might have guessed is a virus in sheep's clothing.
After a rocky development period and a delayed launch, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 GPU is finally entering that middle stage: Factory overclocked, not-quite-standard products are emerging, offering better performance, improved cooling, and the potential for even higher overclocks.
This new card doesn’t offer a fully redesigned cooler. EVGA altered the design of the back-plate, enlarging its vents to facilitate more efficient airflow. The back-plate also helps dissipate heat, though there is a small chance that you may encounter thermal issues with some case or motherboard designs.
The Superclocked+ pushes the core clock to 726MHz versus 700MHz stock, and memory to 950MHz memory as opposed to the reference design’s 926MHz. This translates to a shader clock frequency of 1,451MHz, which is just a bit higher than the standard 1,401MHz. The higher clock speeds give you more robust performance—and a higher price tag: The Superclocked+ can be found for around $520, while EVGA’s stock design costs less than $500.
For the inevitable comedian who thinks he's being witty by posting a comment asking, "Yes, but can it run Crysis," the answer is, "Yes, it can, so go out and buy a dozen of them." That's wrong, of course, but IBM's latest Power7-based system does have what it takes to top the 10 million transactions per minute mark using the industry standard TPC performance benchmark, IBM says.
With a 10,366,245 tpmC score, IBM lays claim to the highest TPC-C benchmark result using a Power Systems configuration with its DB2 database software. According to IBM, that's more than twice as fast as HP's best result, and 35 percent better than what Oracle was able to achieve.
That's impressive, even if it isn't designed to run Crysis, or any other game for that matter. So who can use these systems?
"Smarter healthcare providers, cities, retailers, smarter energy grids, and financial systems, all require support for ever greater data volumes and transaction throughput," said Arvind Krishna, General Manager, IBM Information Management. "The results of this benchmark demonstrate how IBM innovations combine to deliver unprecedented performance and cost efficiency for data intensive applications. Not only can you scale to massive data volumes and transaction throughput, but you can do so economically in an energy efficient way."
The record breaking benchmark score was achieved using DB2 9.7 with a cluster of three IBM Power 780 servers, each one sporting 8 processors, 64 cores, and 256 threads.
Enabling jumbo frames can significantly increase your network’s throughput while consuming fewer CPU cycles (we’ll explain why in a moment). But before you configure your PCs to use jumbo frames, you should know that their value lies primarily in speeding up large file transfers within your network (versus to and from the Internet).
You should also be aware that enabling jumbo frames might cause problems with latency sensitive network applications, such as VoIP and online games. Lastly, jumbo frames are available only on gigabit networks, and every device in the path of the file transfer—all your switches (starting with the one in the router), your PC, server, and/or NAS—must all be equipped with gigabit Ethernet interfaces. What’s more, each of those devices must be capable of passing the same size jumbo frames. Okay, here’s another twist: There is no such thing as a standard-size jumbo frame.
Confused? Click the "Read More" button for an Ethernet primer.
Dozens of comparisons between LCD and E-ink screens are made almost every day, but this is the first time we’ve seen both at 375x magnification. It still doesn’t really settle the argument as to which is better for reading, but it’s interesting to check out for yourself either way. The two technologies pictured above are the iPad’s 1024-by-768 IPS 132 pixel per inch LCD, along with the Kindle 2’s 600-by-800 167 pixel per inch e-ink display.
It would be interesting to see how much crisper the new “pearl” e-ink screen would look by comparison, but we still have a long way to go before it reaches parity with print.
Below is also a comparison between the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 LCD. Does the retina display live up to the hype? See for yourself.
One of the Blackberry’s number one selling features has just turned into a major negative, at least if the trend overseas continues. The hallmark of RIM’s success has always been its push notification and messaging services that are unmatched in the wireless industry, unfortunately, RIM also put itself in a position where it was handling all of the messaging traffic going across the network. This allowed them to offer unmatched end to end encryption, but has also now become a tempting target for governments wishing to snoop on the private data of its citizens, and RIM is co-operating.
According to notes obtained by the Wall Street Journal, negotiations between Research in Motion and India on July 26 set the framework for unfettered access to all messaging services, including those offered by third parties such as Gmail. RIM issued a statement on Thursday in an attempt to reassure its customers that it was negotiating with foreign governments "in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations." It is unclear if RIM is still willing to relocate servers to government run facilities upon request, but it seems they are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid getting shut down.
Either way it appears as though governments will soon have the right to eavesdrop on secure communications sent over a Blackberry, let’s just hope it doesn’t open the floodgates.
Google just can’t seem to catch a break these days. Not only is it now engaged in an ugly legal battle with Oracle over its Java implementation in Android, but it’s also now stuck defending its business negotiations with Verizon. Just in case you haven’t followed the story up until now, Google and Verizon unveiled a joint proposal that would preserve net neutrality on the land based internet, but accomplished this by essentially giving away any hope of similar fairness in the wireless world.
Many have called this act a brazen sell-out, but Google’s Richard Whitt instead wrote it off as a compromise instead. "It's true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services, however, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye."
The primary argument Google uses to defend itself is that there is more choice and competition the wireless space. While most households have only one or two choices for wired broadband service, many have at least 3-4 wireless options. The main issue here is that Google has put itself on the side of the wireless carriers who are clearly putting business concerns ahead of consumers. Wireless spectrum is a scarce resource, we get that, but if wireless companies can arbitrarily limit our access to new bandwidth intensive services they have little incentive to continue upgrading their networks.
Call it the Swiss cheese of software if you will, but Adobe this week managed to idenfity no less than six vulnerabilities in its Flash Player platform affecting versions 10.1.53.64 and earlier.
"These vulnerabilities could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," Adobe warns in a security bulletin.
This is the third round of updates for Adobe's Flash Player so far in 2010, which is found on an estimated 99 percent of PCs. Earlier updates in March and June plugged up another 33 security holes, bringing the total to 39 for the year.
Going forward, Adobe might switch to a quarterly schedule and pre-patch warning system, like it does with its Reader and Acrobat software.