Think Bethesda shouldn't have spilled so much Oblivion into the good ol' Fallout formula? Think you can do a better job? Well, here's your chance. After heralding its arrival a couple weeks ago, it's our pleasure to inform you that the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit) is here! Break out the irradiated champagne bottles!
On top of that, Bethesda has also blown the cover off its G.E.C.K. wiki, a "community-run site where you'll find everything you need to use the The Garden of Eden Creation Kit and make mods for Fallout 3." Or, if you only have text-reading eyes for Maximum PC, you can ride the Internet over to Bethesda's blog, where you'll find a number of handy video tutorials.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to craft the Fallout 3 equivalent of a child's first macaroni drawing. We sure hope our mom likes it enough to tape the computer to the refrigerator door. That'd just be tops!
If you sometimes use your computer for something other than gaming, your ultra-powerful GPU might be twiddling its thumbs, waiting for some 3D deathmatches - until now. This week, Nvidia released the final 1.0 version of its OpenCL specification, which enables programmers to use the power of the GPU for general-purpose data crunching (aka General Purpose GPU or GPGPU). OpenCL enables programmers who aren't accustomed to shoving around vertices or telling hardware T&L registers what to do to write code for GPU execution without using OpenGL or DirectX commands.
Nvidia isn't exactly new to GPGPU, as its CUDA parallel processing architecture is somewhat similar to OpenCL. CUDA is currently supported by virtually all current GeForce, GeForce Mobile, and Quadro FX GPUs when equipped with at least 256MB of dedicated video memory.
To demonstrate the "Open" in OpenCL 1.0, Nvidia has worked closely with Apple Computer, which first proposed a parallel processing standard as part of its forthcoming Snow Leopard OS X release, with arch-rival ATI's parent company AMD, and with other partners including 3DLABS, Activision Blizzard, Apple, ARM, Barco, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, HI, IBM, Intel Corporation, Imagination Technologies, Kestrel Institute, Motorola, Movidia, Nokia, NVIDIA, QNX, RapidMind, Samsung, Seaweed, TAKUMI, Texas Instruments and Umeå University.
So, who's managing the OpenCL standard, and what about Microsoft's rival DirectX 11 Compute standard? Updated 12-11-08:And, what class of computers can benefit from OpenCL coding?To learn more, and for your chance to sound off, join us after the jump.
While it’s presently believed that 22nm will be the maximum achievable process shrink using silicon, recent discoveries might allow chip makers to cut the 2020 goal set by Moore’s Law loose.
The discoveries come in the form of a manganese-doped germanium substrate, which will allow the creation of nanowires that can be easily magnetized. The magnetizing effect is reportedly showing “the potential of using these nanowires as building blocks for electronic devices,” such as “ferromagnetism above 300 K and a superior performance with respect to the hole mobility of around 340 cm2/Vs and other industrially relevant parameters.”
So what does all this mumbo-jumbo mean? Well, in short there’s a chemical element (number 32 on the periodic table, if you’ve got one handy) that, when mixed with a magnetic field, is showing some promise for chipmakers looking to break the 22nm barrier. With any luck, in the 10 years between today and the marked date for the 22nm barricade, the research will come full circle.
This past year we've seen a major push by several manufacturers to move solid state drives (SSDs) into the mainstream market, but the lower pricing has often come at the expense of performance. Enter Intel, who did away with any notion of bang/buck and instead focused on lightning-fast read speeds with its X-25M SSD.
Now OCZ is getting into the high performance SSD game with the introduction of its new Vertex series. Unlike the company's existing Core series SSDs,which target average users, the Vertex is aimed squarely at enthusiasts.
"The new Vertex Series of SSD drives are a premium MLC based SSD solution that are designed for consumers that require fast, rugged, and reliable solid state storage,” commented Eugene Chang, Director of Product Management for the OCZ Technology Group. “The Vertex makes use of our newest architecture and controller design complete with 64MB of cache to offer faster transfers and superior overall system response times in a broad range of applications and games."
Write speeds have traditionally been a weak spot for MLC-based SSDs, but that doesn't appear to be the case with the Vertex drives, at least on paper. OCZ claims read and write speeds of up to 200MB/s and 160MB/s respectively. By comparison, Intel claims up to 250MB/s and 70MB/s read and write speeds for its X-25M, making the Vertex appear to be a more balanced higher performance solution.
No word yet on availability, but OCZ did say the Vertex series will come in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB capacities. MSRPs for the 30GB-250GB will be set at $130, $250, $470, and $870 respectively.
According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group the use of malware on websites intended to steal passwords and other personal information has jumped significantly over the past year.
The exact number of pages sporting hidden code meant to get your secret goodies has almost tripled between July 2007 and July 2008 to a staggering 9.529. And of those, there are 442 different types waiting for you.
The financial crisis is at part to blame for this huge boost in malware-oriented sites. “The current financial crisis has also been used by phishers to create new scams that try to scare consumers into entering their usernames and passwords into sites that mimic those of well-known distressed financial institutions,” said Dave Jevans, the AWPG Chairman. “As the economy degrades, we are seeing a continual increase in malicious and criminal activity on the Internet.”
Not even a moment after Microsoft fixed 28 vulnerabilities in their software this past Patch Tuesday, a brand new exploit popped up in Internet Explorer 7.
The new exploit allows attackers the ability to execute arbitrary code whenever someone visits a malicious website. Currently only users running Windows XP and Server 2003 are being targeted, so you Vista users haven’t a thing to worry about. Microsoft said they’re currently working on a patch to fix the issue, but they were unable to set a date.
“Internet Explorer remote code execution vulnerabilities have very high impacts since the source of the malicious payload can be across any site on the Internet,” said eEye's director of Research and Preview Services, Andre Protas. “An even more critical problem is generated when clients are administrators on their local hosts, which would run the malicious payload with Administrator credentials.”
Until this issue is taken care of, those of you that are using IE7 can go and snag eEye’s Blink Software for protection from this threat. Or, you could go snag one of the other browsers, such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome. I hear they’re not too shabby!
Two months ago AMD made the decision to split into separate design and manufacturing companies. Under terms of the deal, which involved significant investments from the Abu Dhabi government, AMD was to own 44 percent of the new entity involved with chip making, temporarily known as the Foundry Company.
More recently, AMD cut its 4Q revenue forecast by 25 percent citing a sluggish global economy as the culprit. In an effort to reduce its manufacturing costs and realign itself with the current state of the economy, AMD said it will own less of the Foundry Company spinoff.
Abu-Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) was already a majority owner in the Foundry, and under terms of the new deal, ATIC will increase its share to 65.8 percent, with AMD dropping down to 34.2 percent. Other changes to the original deal include a restructured agreement that now says Mubadala, a minority owner, will purchase 58 million shares of AMD's common stock at a revised purchase price.
"All other material economic terms of the transaction agreements remain unchanged. ATIC will still invest $2.1 billion to purchase its stake in the Foundry Company, of which it will invest $1.4 billion directly in the new entity and will pay $700 million to AMD," the chipmaker said in a statement.
Yesterday, Logitech announced that they’ll be releasing the G13, a gameboard keypad peripheral designed to streamline PC gaming by allowing one-handed access to dozens of programmable keys. It’s akin to niche controller products like the Belkin Nostromo Speedpad or Zboard Fang. Well, it just so happens that today we got a shiny new G13 delivered to our office, which we were more than happy to playtest. Read on to find out what we thought of the device.
VIA has announced the ARTiGo A2000 barebones storage mini-server, a tiny box with a small price tag. The compact mini-server offers a high capacity, low power power storage system while also claiming to keep noise levels below 26.8 dB.
1.6GHz VIA C7-D processor
VIA VX8000 Unified Digital Media IGP chipset
1 x DDR2 SO-DIMM Socket (up to 2GB)
2 x 3.5" SATA II
1 x CF socket
3 x USB 2.0 ports (1 on front panel)
Other specs include a LAN port, audio ports, wireless LAN support, built-in HD audio, and support for Windows XP/Vista, and Linux. But perhaps the ARTiGo A2000's biggest appeal is it's small stature. The mini-server is designed using a custom Nano-ITX form factor and up to 3TB of data can be crammed into a chassis no higher than a CD and only 10.2 inches long.
Included software gives uses the ability to create up to 10 encrypted virtual drives, with the encryption being "performed with virtually no CPU load."
Several e-tailers have begun offering the device on pre-order for $299, and depending on where you order it from, could ship as early as this month.
President-elect Barack Obama has yet to officially take office, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has already begun briefing him with its political wish list, which is available for all to see. New transition team policies means that the Obama transition team is publicizing its meetings with interest groups and making all materials provided by those groups available on the change.gov website.
In the one-page MPAA document, Canada and Spain are singled out for "priority trade policy attention," and a call is made for more pressure on other countries to curb camcording in theaters, which the MPAA claims "remains the major source of pirated motion pictures." But the most interesting part of the document is a section titled Fighting Internet Piracy.
"One of the MPAA's top priorities is attacking internet piracy, through vigorous investigation and enforcement worldwide, as well as working with governmens to ensure that their laws provide adequate remedies to stop internet piracyand are in full compliance with the WIPO Treaties," the MPAA writes.
The MPAA goes on to point out recent efforts by the governments of France and the UK as having useful models, which is a reference to the controversial 'three-strikes' rule (officially dubbed 'graduated response') the music industry has been pushing in Europe, according to ArsTechnica.