For privacy-minded types and people in repressed parts of the world, Tor is a valuable tool. The anonymity-enabling onion routing service does have a few drawbacks, however, including its sometimes sub-optimal connection speeds. Tor's browsing speeds have gotten noticeably better over recent months and years, and the poor connections may disappear completely if a proposal that's currently under consideration is adopted: actually paying people and organizations with fast connections to act as a Tor exit relay.
The boutique system builders at AVADirect tell us they've updated their professional server and workstation systems to now include Intel Xeon E5 processor options. Intel's E5 Xeon chips are based on the chip maker's Sandy Bridge-E architecture and come in quad-core, six-core, and eight-core flavors starting with the E5 2603 (four cores, 1.8GHz, 10MB cache, 80W TDP) on up to the E5 2690 (eight cores, 2.9GHz, 20MB cache, 135W TDP).
Advanced Micro Devices isn't afraid to spend big bucks acquiring companies seemingly out of the blue, such as it did when it acquired ATI for $5.4 billion in 2006. Fast forward to today and AMD is getting ready to spend over a quarter of a billion dollars scooping up SeaMicro, a startup that's been intensely focused on low-power, high-bandwidth microserver solutions.
It's not all fun and games for the PC building gurus over at a AVADirect. The boutique system builder also caters to the enterprise crowd with a robust line of server system and storage solutions, and the company's newest piece of work-related equipment is a monstrous 36-bay SATA/SAS 4U rack manufactured by Supermicro and powered by up two Intel Xeon 5600 or 5500 series processors.
DRM sucks. You know it, we know it, Gabe Newell and CD Projekt know it. Ubisoft apparently never got the memo however, and in the process of switching servers next week, the company will offer up yet another reason for DRM sucktitude. Thanks to that nasty always-on DRM, six games won't be playable whatsoever during the move -- single player included. Plenty of other games will have their multiplayer capabilities "impacted" during the transition, including console versions of the games.
Some interesting revelations are coming out of the court battle between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle. At issue is Oracle's decision to stop supporting Intel's Itanium platform based on claims the processors are nearing end-of-life (EOL) status, the timing of which is suspect. Oracle made the decision to ditch Itanium after hiring former HP CEO Mark Hurd, which itself prompted a legal battle and subsequent settlement. Not long after, Oracle said it was ditching Itanium, HP cried foul, and a big legal mess ensued. Some of it was resolved last night.
While Blizzard may taketh away with one hand, it giveth away with the other: disappointed Blizzcon fans are still smarting from news of the convention's 2012 cancellation, but hardcore WoW-heads now have reason to rejoice. Through the 30th, Blizzard is auctioning off hundreds of server blades used to house World of Warcraft in its infancy. All of the proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
When it comes to PCs, AMD processors are the only thing keeping Intel from complete and utter market domination. But could the plucky little David (OK, AMD's actually pretty pretty big) be preparing to throw in the towel against Intel’s x86 Goliath? A couple of comments by AMD spokesmen over the past few days makes the company's future on the PC seem much more hazy than it did just a few weeks ago, when Bulldozer launched.
Ask Oracle and the company will tell you the only reason Intel hasn't pulled the plug on the Itanium is because Hewlett-Packard is making secret payments to chipzilla to keep the server chip alive. Oracle executives said as much in a recent court filing, which is in response to a larger lawsuit filed by HP accusing Oracle of violating an agreement between the two vendors by announcing back in March it would no longer develop software for Itanium.
It wouldn't be a supercomputing conference without Intel in attendance, and at SC11 this week, the chip maker offered up details about its Xeon E5 family and Knights Corner MIC (many integrated core) platform. Slated to ship sometime in the first half of 2012, Intel's Xeon E5 processors share the same DNA as the Core i7 3960X that's making the rounds on the Web, and is the world's first server chip to support full integration of the PCI Express 3.0 specification, Intel claims.