During my many years of Taekwondo training (no, really) I've seen a fair share of faux-martial artists come and go. Not all of them were masters of the ol' chop-socky, but that doesn't mean they weren't good company. One of those long-since retired combatants was big into games, so naturally, we hit it off. In between feasting on one another's punches and kicks, we talked about all of the latest releases -- mostly on the PC. But, in one major way, we were different: I purchased; he pirated.
Of course, he had a reason. PC games can sometimes be buggy and unreliable -- even going so far as to not run on certain PCs. He raked in torrents as "extended demos," and presumably purchased the games he liked. Even so, I'm not sure if I agreed with his methods. After all, isn't that what regular demos are for? Plus, I never really got the impression that he actually followed through with step two of his little plan.
So, question of the day: Do you pirate games?If so, what's your justification? Do you even call it "pirating"? Don't worry, I'm merely asking as a discussion question -- not to judge anyone.
Today's Roundup contains a few possible methods of diverting cash back into the pockets of those who create games, though I'd wager none of the wannabe saviors really have a concrete idea of how they're going to end the Yarr-ing menace once and for all. On one had, Microsoft sees downloads usurping retail's throne in the near future, which could create an iTunes-like situation for the gaming industry. On the other hand, Turner has decided to toss GameTap to the curb like a box of unwanted kittens (an $18 million box of kittens), so obviously not all is well in the realm of downloadable games. Read about all of that and more after the break.
Mozilla has issued an open invitation to all people with a vibrant imagination, regardless of their calling, to posit ideas that could determine the future of Firefox and the web. It is especially interested in bringing aboard designers that haven’t worked on open source projects hitherto. Mozilla Labs’ website is asking for people to turn in their ideas that can be “a sentence, paragraph, or even bullet-points kick-start the process.” If Mozilla sights real potential in the idea it will turn them into reality. The website also flaunts a number of exciting browser concept videos. If you have any fascinating ideas, feel free to deposit them in the comments section.
MAPP provides advance notification to third-party security providers of vulnerabilities that are being addressed by Microsoft security updates, such as the ones rolled out each month on "Patch Tuesday." MAPP is designed to help stop exploits that are launched between the announcement of upcoming patches and the availability of patches. MAPP starts in October, according to eWeek.
Security providers can learn more about MAPP by downloading the fact sheet (MS Word 97-2003 format). For additional insight from a former military and government security specialist who now works for Microsoft, see Steve Adegbite's blog entry about MAPP.
The Microsoft Exploitability Index will provide ratings of how likely each vulnerability is to being successfully exploited. The index will rate each vulnerability at one of three levels:
Consistent exploit code likely
Inconsistent exploit code likely
Functioning exploit code unlikely
Microsoft's fact sheet suggests (MS Word 97-2003 format) that vulnerabilities with the "Consistent" rating should be treated as the most serious threats, followed by the others. To get more insight into the need for this index, see Microsoftie Mike Reavey's blog entry (Reavey is part of the Microsoft Security Response Center). The index will be included with each new security bulletin, also starting in October.
For your chance to sound off about Microsoft's newest security initiatives, see us after the jump.
The future of computing may find its roots in optics technology, and if so, there's a good chance the brainiacs from Berkeley will be the ones ushering in the new era. The newest breakthrough comes courtesy of mechanical engineering professor Xiang Zhang and his team of researchers who managed to pass light through a gap just 10 nanometers wide, the equivalent of only five times the width of a single piece of DNA. Prior to this, the record stood at 200 nanometers, or about 400 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
"There has been a lot of interest in scaling down optical devices," Zhang said. "It's the holy grail for the future of communications."
As research associate Rupert Oulton puts it, light and matter make strange bedfellows, and because their characteristic sizes are on vastly different scales, linking electronics and optics is a difficult task, no matter how much researchers would like to do so. But the processor of confining light can alter the interaction between light and matter, so just as computer engineers keep cramming more and more transistors into computer chips, optics researchers are continually looking to squish more light into smaller wires. Ideally, researchers would like to cram light down to the size of electron wavelengths for force light and matter to cooperate.
Get all the geeky details in Berkeley's press release.
The rumor mills stand vindicated as far as the buzz about Comcast acquiring Daily Candy goes. But the magnitude of the deal is way more than what the initial reports suggested. The popular newsletter that rants about a range of things from lifestyle to fashion has been bought by Comcast for a whopping $125 million. Daily Candy was founded in 2000 and later sold to Pilot Group Ventures for $3 million in 2003 by its founder Dany Levy. Reports suggest that even Viacom was keen on adding Daily Candy to its bouquet of prime internet real estate. Daily Candy’s outgoing owner, Bob Pittman, expects it to turn in $25 million in revenues.
While the world still waits for notebooks built around Intel's Centrino 2 platform to hit the market in full force, the chipmaker is already looking forward to its next big release. If the latest rumors turn out to be true, Intel needn't look very far, either, as the company is said to be on schedule to launch it's next-generation notebook platform, Calpella, by the the third quarter of 2009.
Calpella parts are expected to be second generation Nehalem chips, and like first generation Nehalem processors, Calpella will deviate from current northbridge and southbridge chipset arrangements, instead integrating the memory controller onto the CPU itself. Citing un-named sources, DigiTimes reports a single integrated chipset codenamed Ibex Peak-M will handle the remaining duties.
Ibex Peak-M will also reportedly support Intel's next-generation Clarskfield and Auburndale CPUs, the latter of which will come with an integrated graphics core setting the stage for a showdown with AMD's upcoming Fusion.
AMD knows it doesn't have a processor line capable of competing with Intel's Core 2 architecture clock for clock, so instead the chipmaker looks to push a new chipset that promises improved overclocking performance. The new 790GX chipset is intended to target the "performance" gaming community, filling the spot just below its 790FX, which hones in on the ultra-enthusiast market.
According to AMD, the 790GX makes it possible to "shift your system performance into next gear with Advanced Clock Calibration that allows you to get the highest overclocking out of your AMD Phenom CPUs." To illustrate the effect, AMD uses a graph showing a 2.5GHz Phenom topping out at 3.0GHz with "standard overclocking," but jumping to 3.2GHZ and beyond with its Advanced Clock Calibration.
Hardcore gamers are likely to be turned off by the 790GX's integrated Radeon HD 3300 graphics and will opt to add in a discrete GPU solution. By doing so, gamers can take advantage of ATI's Hybrid Graphics technology and utilize both GPUs at the same time.
AMD also looks to push the budget angle, pointing out that gamers can pair a quad-core X4 9850 Phenom with a 790GX-based motherboard for $355, or $90 less than a comparable Intel rig sporting a quad-core Q9300 slapped on a P45-based motherboard.
Does AMD have a winner on its hands with the 790GX?
Notebook hard drives have a ways to go before catching up to their desktop brethren in terms of storage capacity, and Samsung takes them one step closer. With the release of Samsung's new Spintpoint M6 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive, the company can lay claim to offering the world's highest capacity HDD for notebooks.
Samsung stuffed three 167GB platters into the 9.5mm high Spinpoint, and combined with the perpendicular magnetic recording technology, the company says its new drive can store 160,000 digital images, 125 hours of DVD movies, or 60 hours of high definition video images.
With a 5400RPM spindle speed and 8MB of cache, the new drive looks to focus more on storage space and reliability than all-out performance, though it does sport a 3.0Gbps SATA interface. Other performance specifications include
12ms average seek
5.6ms average latency
860 Mbits/s data transfer rate (to/from buffer)
300 MB/s data transfer rate (to/from host)
600,000 controlled ramp load/unload
At standby, Samsung says its new Spinpoint will sip just .25W, and typically 2.3W during read/write operations. MSRP has been set to $299.
What weighs 4 pounds and measures 12.1 inches? The answer has nothing to do with John Holmes and everything to do with Hewlett-Packard's upcoming "ultralight" business notebook line to be built around Intel's Centrino 2 platform.
Cost of entry for the HP-Compaq 2230 series will start at $999 and include an Intel Core 2 Duo T5670 (1.80GHz) processor, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard disk, 802.11n wireless, a DVD burner, and Intel's GMA 4500MHD graphics. Users looking for a bit more power have the option of moving up to an Intel T9400 (2.53GHz) processor, bringing the starting price up to $1,649. All models will also come equipped with three USB ports, an HDMI port, and a 4-cell lithium-ion battery.
No release date has been given for the new subnotebook line, but according to Cnet, they should start shipping later this month.
Malware is the vile scourge of the internet. It invades your privacy, tracking where you’ve been on the internet to sell to marketing companies interested in your browsing habits. It invades your computer, sending pop-ups for products you don’t want, or it tricks users into buying some bogus program to fix nonexistent problems with their PCs. It steals resources from your computer, taking up CPU time, RAM and drive space. Being a malware programmer must rank up there with pimp-meister for jobs that you don’t tell friends and family that you do.
It used to be that you would pickup malware from ending up on a bogus site someplace, but it turns out that it is coming from almost everywhere now, according to a Websense report. About 75 percent of it comes from legitimate sites that have been compromised. That is an almost 50 percent rise over Q3 & Q4 of 2007. Of the top 100 websites on the internet 60 percent either hosted malicious content or contained a redirect to lure victims to malicious sites.
Always have your protection when surfing the internet boys and girls and not just FireFox like in the poster image below. An up to date Internet Security Suite is a must have.
You can visit the complete Websense report here for all the latest info on the filth lurking on the internet.
What do you do to protect your computer from Malware? Wrapping it in latex doesn't count.