If Intel had its way every single device on the planet would be powered by one of its processors, but one thing is holding them back from world domination, namely their dependence on x86 architectures. ARM Processors have proven to be the faster and more power efficient design for mobile up until now, leaving Intel to spectate jealously from the sidelines. So how will Intel find its way inside some of the most coveted consumer devices on the planet? Well, if recent rumors are true than a few billion out of the war chest to buy Germany-based Infineon might just do the trick.
Infineon chips show up in mobile products from Nokia, Samsung, and even Apple which power everything from the 3G radios to the interface chips for high resolution cameras. These critical pieces of hardware don’t get the same level of press as the A4, but are just as important to the final package. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story is that Intel is more or less buying back technology that they invented and sold off to Marvell back in 2006.
Intel has a fair bit of work to do before it can become entrenched in mobile platforms, but an acquisition of Infineon would be a positive first step buying them a valuable chunk of PCB real estate inside the iPad and iPhone 4.
We don’t typically report on the release of beta video card drivers, but ATI has slipped in an awesome new feature that is probably worth it if you’re playing Starcraft II. Catalyst 10.7a brings driver level Anti-Alliasing support that can be enabled through the Catalyst Control Center and helps to smooth out all the jagged edges for those who like to zoom in on the action.
Driver level forced AA support comes with a bit of a performance hit over a native implementation that could have been done by Blizzard, but if you’re rocking a relatively modern 5xxx series card you have more than enough spare horsepower to make this work.
Admittedly Nvidia has had support for this feature from day one, but ATI was curiously silent on the issue leading us to believe Radeon owners would have to do without. We are glad to hear this isn’t the case, and its certainly worth checking out if you have ATI hardware.
The Black Hat security conference attracts the creme de la creme of the security industry. This year the organizers even offered a paid live stream for those unable to make the trip to Vegas. Called Black Hat Uplink, the service carried a $395 price tag. But as security expert Michael Coates found out, the price could be waived entirely, thanks to “a combination of logic flaws and misconfigured systems which provided access to a testing login page that could be used with user credentials that were not fully "registered" (e.g. no payment received). “
Coates, who oversees web security at Mozilla, wrote on his blog that he was unable to attend this year's event and so decided to closely monitor it online. “In this process I noticed the new "Black Hat Uplink" service that would allow remote individuals access to streaming Black Hat talks from two select tracks,” he wrote.
“I identified a series of flaws that would enable the creation of an account with only providing an email address (e.g. no name, address, phone etc) and I was never asked to enter any credit card data. Odd I thought, perhaps you enter the credit card info upon your first login.” Upon completing the registration, he was faced with a slight problem: he didn't have a registration email do direct him to the login page.
“A few select Google searches and I ended up on a relatively vanilla looking login page. I have a username and a key, let's give it a shot. To my surprise the login was accepted and I was now sitting in front of the live Black Hat video stream.”
He wasted little time in contacting the event's organizers, holding off the public disclosure until they had fixed the flaw. He also revealed that Black Hat used a third-party solution for the video feed. Can't see them using the same vendor for the next event, though.
Every year, a wave of nostalgia comes crashing down as we make the final tweaks and finishing touches to our annual Dream Machine. Because we remember the amazing machines we built in the past, and know that the knowledge we gained and the lessons we learned directly influence our newest ultra-beast computers, year after year. So, as we wipe the sweat from our brows for 2010, we invite you to take a look back at four of our favorite Dream Machines of the past couple of years. Hit the jump to check them out, and click to enlarge them if you'd like to pick up some spiffy new wallpapers. Enjoy!
As we worked on this years 15th Dream Machine, we couldn't help but think about how far we've come. From the original 200MHz, 8MB-of-RAM 1996 Dream Machine up to this years 12-core, 24-thread, 24-gigs-of-RAM version, the ultimate computer has grown exponentially more powerful. But that's not much of a shocker (we've all heard about Moore's Law, and all) so we decided to delve deeper into the history of the Dream Machine. We collected data about the vital statistics of each years machine, and made a bunch of graphs showing how they've grown. (You can also see our 2004 predictions for this years Dream Machine here!) Some of what we found out surprised even us.
Keep reading for all the charts, as well as our thoughts about why they look the way they do. And since it wouldn't be any fun if we couldn't gawk at the old beige-box beasts, we've included a gallery of every year's Dream Machine cover at the end.
If you read yesterday’s article, you already know that Wicked Laser was kind enough to send us its new Spyder III Arctic laser. In the coming days, we’ll be testing the laser’s strength and other attributes at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. But because we didn’t want to face the embarrassment of showing up at LBL with a non-working laser, we thought it prudent to test the device first, and make sure it survived its trip from overseas. The following photos were shot in the Maximum PC Lab.
Electron have done a great job ferrying our data. But electronic signals are no longer the answer for humanity's constant craving for greater data speeds. The world is a step closer to replacing electronic signals with light beams for data links in and around computers, thanks to a breakthrough at Intel Labs. The Santa Clara chip maker has designed the world's first silicon-based optical data link, which is capable of moving data at 50 gigabits per second (Gbps) over long distances and promises tera-scale data rates in the future.
“Today computer components are connected to each other using copper cables or traces on circuit boards. Due to the signal degradation that comes with using metals such as copper to transmit data, these cables have a limited maximum length. This limits the design of computers, forcing processors, memory and other components to be placed just inches from each other,” Intel said in a press release. But the chip maker expects the Silicon Photonics Link to effect a revolution in computer design, with its impact reverberating throughout the computer industry – from data centers to consumer electronics.
Intel's latest effort should not be confused with its Light Peak technology, which is meant as “a multi-protocol 10Gbps optical connection” to supplant existing computer bus technologies like USB, FireWire, HDMI and SATA.
Who here likes getting something for nothing? Everyone? Good, because once again our friends over at Warner Home Video have given us a whole bunch of DVDs and Blu-rays to give away, and this time we're going to make it very easy for you to win. The movie is Clash of the Titans, and all you have to do to be entered to win is follow us on Twitter. Here's what Warner says about the film:
In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth.
Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD 7/27
That's right, all you have to do follow us on Twitter (we're @maximumpc), and one week from today (that's Wednesday, August 4th) we'll pick 20 random winners from our who pool of Twitter followers to get a copy of the movie, (either DVD Blu-ray, given out first come first serve).
We're as tired talking about all these upcoming no-show tablets as you are of reading of them, but sooner or later, these early announcements will have to translate into actual shipping products, right? Well, it happened, and in most unlikeliest of places: Kmart.
Kmart's latest circular advertises the Augen 7-inch tablet on sale for just $150 through July 31, and as you might imagine, that caught a lot of interest. So much so, that Kmart is having to hand out rainchecks.
"It's taking us a bit longer to get the product in all of our stores, but if you go to your local Kmart store and pick up a raincheck for the device -- it's on sale for $149.99 right now; the regular price is $169.99 -- wi will honor the lower price when you pick it up in stores," Kmart wrote in a blog post. "The Augen tablet should be in Kmart retail locations soon. (Of course, if you don't have the raincheck, you can still pick it up at the regular price, which we still think is a bargain!)."
The 7-inch Gentouch78 tablet sports a touch panel LCD screen with an 800x480 resolution, 800MHz processor, 2GB of internal memory and 256MB of RAM, SD card slot with support for up to 16GB, and Wi-Fi, all wrapped into Android's 2.1 platform. It will also have access to the Android Market App Store.
It doesn't appear as though the Gentouch78 comes with any USB ports or webcams, but hey, neither does the iPad, and that costs several hundred more.
Chalk it up to successful marketing or a genuine desire to consume 3D content in the home, goofy looking glasses be damned, but according to DisplaySearch, 2010 will come to an end having seen 3.4 million shipments of 3D TVs. And that's just the beginning. By 2014, that number will skyrocket to 42.9 million, more than a 12-fold increase.
"TV manufacturers have managed to launch products very rapidly. We have seen a full range of 3D TVs in sizes from 40 inches to 63 inches already available, and without a doubt, there will be another wave of new products at the IFA show in Berlin in September," noted Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research.
DisplaySearch feels pretty confident this is much bigger than a passing fad and predicts that the 3D TV market penetration will grow from 5 percent of total flat panel TVs in 2010 to 37 percent in 2014. That's more than a third of all flat panel TV shipments.
"Based on early indications, the launch of 3D TVs is similar to Samsung's rollout of LED LCD TVs at the beginning of 2009, albeit at a slightly slower pace," said Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research at DisplaySearch. "This would be in line with our forecast of just over 2 million 3D TVs shipped in North America for 2010.
Despite all this, DisplaySearch points out that the electronics industry is outpacing content availability, which so far is limited to a handful of movies and sports events on pay TV.