We interview AMD to get the lowdown on the company's new, 3D immersive sound technology
Perhaps the biggest surprise—and the best kept secret of AMD’s new R7 and R9 graphics chips--was the inclusion of a new advanced audio technology dubbed TrueAudio. That’s right, a video card with audio support. With advanced PC audio considered a long forgotten technology, Maximum PC played 23 questions with AMD’s Carl Wakeland. Wakeland is a Fellow Design Engineer and considered the “author” of TrueAudio.
Maximum PC: In one sentence TrueAudio is:
AMD: A programmable audio core built into the GPU, representing our effort to breathe life into game audio environments as the programmable graphics pipeline breathed life into the diversity of PC graphics.
If the scientists at CERN ever actually succeed at recreating the Big Bang and discovering that elusive and oh-so-tantalizing Higgs Boson particle, some folks reckon bad things might go down. Goodbye world-style bad things. That's probably not true, but if it were to occur, wouldn't you want to be able to stare down into the swirling vortex of doom and say "Hey, I helped make that!" Well, now's your chance – CERN's giving you the opportunity to donate your precious computer cycles to a virtual Large Hadron Collider with the newly launched LHC@home 2.0.
TIE Fighter is the single greatest game ever created; that fact is undeniable, so let’s not even bother trying to address it in a flurry of comments to this post. Case closed.
The problem? This is 2010. TIE Fighter came out in 1994. We’ve seen great changes in the computing industry within that sixteen-year gap: The growth of the multi-core platform. The death of the space-sim genre. And the uber-death of those strange contraptions called, “joysticks,” which one would use in said space games to fly about and rip things up with lasers or what-have-you.
Do I plan to go out and purchase a joystick just to play a sixteen-year old title? Or, for that matter, any game in the space-sim (or racing!) genre that requires such a device? No. That would require effort and money. And why should you invest those in a retail product when applications like PPJoy can give you exactly what you need to play such titles using the very devices that already sit at your fingertips!
Data security specialist Imperva on Tuesday announced the availability of its SecureSphere Virtual Appliances data security suite. With this release, Imperva promises fast and flexible deployment.
"Today's secure datacenters aren't all virtual or all iron alliances – having the flexibility to choose virtual or hardware solutions based on their particular business and risk needs is what is really needed," said Gartner Research Vice President Greg Young. "Enterprises prefer having virtual and iron managed under a single console both for management and to monitor for attacks."
The security suite provides web application and database firewalls, in addition to database activity monitoring. According to Imperva, it can also be installed on a company's preferred hardware of choice running VMWare ESX.
Some of my favorite kinds of freeware apps to find (and install) are the ones that build new functionality into the Windows operating system. I'm running Windows 7 right now, but even this latest version of Microsoft's OS has substantial room for third-party improvements.
It's not difficult to find free or open-source apps to boost the common interactions one has with one's operating system. The tough part is in the classification: I'm really not sure how to best lump this week's applications together, save for the fact that they're all awesome ways to enhance Windows with new and useful features. And I'm not talking about super-complex, command-line scripts or what-have-you. No, these apps are all super-easy to use-if you even see them at all, given that most will modify some form of your Windows OS without needing any further interaction past the installation screen.
Anyway, if you can think of a better way to classify this week's Freeware Files other than, "Apps that Make Windows Rock," I'm all ears. Otherwise, click the jump and get ready to take your operating system to new places!
That's all it takes for Apple to crush your dreams: Fifty little words. In fact, it's only one word--technically a hyphenated compound of two words--that spoils the flavor of the soup.
"Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, unless you have purchased a Family Pack or Upgrade license for the Apple Software, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time." (emphasis mine)
Don't get the pitchforks and torches out just yet, faithful Maximum PC readers. We're all geeks here. There's nothing wrong about wanting to do a little experimentation. You can say it just as easily as I can: Some parts of OS X are simply superior to what you might find in any Windows-based environment.
The point is ultimately moot, however, because Apple simply won't allow its operating system to exist on any platform but its own. It's not like there's much of a technological gap to leap: If the industrious (albeit illegal) third-party hackers can get OS X to work in a Windows-based virtual environment, I bet the smart minds over in the engineering department at One Infinite Loop can figure it out in short order.
Cloud computing has grown from an intriguing concept into serious business in 2009, and in 2010, it's going to be all out warfare, with IBM leading the offensive. According to an IBM exec, Big Blue will accelerate its cloud computing efforts in the coming year and invest in the cloud at a rate that is commensurate to a $120 billion cloud computing market, eWeek.com reports.
The cloud isn't new territory for IBM, who in 2009 rolled out several cloud-based initiatives covering servers and storage. But the real battle may be in collaboration, an area where Google is hot to trot with its Google Apps. IBM's counter is its LotusLive Connections, a SAAS (software as a service) version of its social networking suite.
"IBM is in earlier in the cloud than it has moved into the market in the last 10 years," said Sean Poulley, vice president of online collaboration for Lotus Software. "The reason is that we have a unique set of assets that no one else that is comparable to IBM has in that we have world-class delivery skills in our global services organization, we have world-class infrastructure software, and we have world-class experience of running other peoples' systems in a 24-by-7, 99.999 percent availability, way."
While Poulley didn't get into specifics, he did say you can expect IBM to use the cloud to create simple business processes across company firewalls, and that more information would be forthcoming next month during Lotusphere 2010.
IBM is taking virtualization security to the next level with a new product designed to safeguard enterprise virtual server infrastructures, the company said.
The product -- IBM Virtual Server Security for VMware vSphere -- purports to help growing companies stay protected as they consolidate their data centers. IBM said it has been working with clients to simplify and optimize their virtual infrastructures, and that this product allows those same businesses to put up a shield against next-gen security threats.
"Clients are asking for solutions to secure their data centers as they move from a traditional environment to virtual deployments. To that end, IBM has built this solution based on feedback of hundreds of customers looking to answer this urgent need," said Brian Truskowski, general manager, IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS).
Some of the automatic protection features of IBM's Virtual Server Security for VMware vSphere include Virtual Network Access Control (CNAC) to limit network access from a virtual server until security posture can be confirmed, rootkit detection, virtual infrastructure monitoring, and more.
The new product will be available in December 2009.
With the imminent launch of Windows 7 and its much-hyped Windows XP mode, the word "virtualization" is going to be everyone's lips throughout the month of October. Never one to let a fad slide on by, I'm jumping on the bandwagon in this week's freeware and open-source application roundup. I'll be taking a look at five different programs that enrich your computing experience with some kind of virtual add-on.
What does that even mean? A number of things. Windows XP mode is a great example of the common definition of virtualization--running a second operating system inside your primary operating system in a way that typically allows you to quickly switch between the two and access the contents of your primary machine's hard drives from the virtualized environment. Virtual desktops are a lesser derivative of this concept. Instead of running a separate operating system, you're merely extending the size of your workspace by stacking on additional desktop layers that you can swap back-and-forth. You can also install a virtual keyboard that sits overtop your programs--analogous to what Windows offers for tablet PCs--if you're concerned about keyloggers somehow getting their hands on your mission-critical information.
I won't go on, as that might spoil some of the fun applications you'll find after the jump. The virtual world, er, world of virtualized software is vast and interesting, featuring many applications that can expand your computer's functionality without adding a crazy amount of complexity. The coolness of these apps is only rivaled by their ability to save you precious time and headaches from doing things the old-fashioned way.
For those of you that are looking to get a Windows 7 Vaio from Sony, don’t plan on using the Windows XP mode to run applications, because it won’t be included with the systems.
According to Sony’s Xavier Lauwaert Windows 7’s XP mode will be disabled due to security reasons. According to one of Sony’s engineers, they’re “very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.”
Apparently Sony still plans to enable XP mode on some machines, but as to which models they choose or when it’ll be available, nobody knows.