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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks 2012 Issue 2

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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, …

A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, internet

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  • 1. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Behind the scenes: VR-Zone's PSU Testing Station Mark II Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/behind-the-scenes-vr-zone-s-psu- testing-station-mark-ii/16485.html July 1st, 2012 Here at VR-Zone we continuously strive to provide you with the highest quality and most accurate product reviews. Thoroughly and accurately testing a power supply is a complicated matter, not only because the testing has to be done in a controlled environment and with full control over the power load but also because laboratory grade instruments have to be used for taking readings. For that purpose, we performed major hardware and software upgrades on the testing station that we have been using for the past couple of years. In order to be able to fully control our testing procedures and emulate real world conditions as closely as possible, we upgraded our reading instruments and replaced our resistive loads with fully electronic loads, thus achieving quality and accuracy in line with the most expensive of power supply testers currently available. In VR-Zone we continuously strive to provide you with the highest quality and most accurate product reviews. Thoroughly and accurately testing a power supply is a complicated matter, not only because the testing has to be done in a controlled environment and with full control over the power load but also because laboratory grade instruments have to be used for taking readings. For that purpose, we performed major hardware and software upgrades on the testing station that we have been using for the past couple of years. In order to be able to fully control our testing procedures and emulate real world conditions as closely as possible, we upgraded our reading instruments and replaced our resistive loads with fully electronic loads, thus achieving quality and accuracy in line with the most expensive of power supply testers currently available. In order to create a real-world environment for our testing we decided to modify and use a common SECC steel tower case for housing the power supplies during our testing. Inside the case we installed three Watlow Firerods, rated at 500W power each, the output of which is being controlled by a common AC rheostat. The stock rheostat and its axle have been replaced with a multi-turn precision rheostat for accuracy, driven by a DC motor with a modified speed control circuit which is controlled by our CompuLAB interface and custom software. In layman's terms, we only have to enter our desired ambient temperature in our software and it automatically adjusts the power of the Firerods to match it throughout our testing.
  • 2. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 Apple Users Unlikely To Switch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-users-unlikely-to- switch/16487.html July 1st, 2012 A study by Goldman Sachs has shown that, not only are iOS users unlikely to switch from Apple's products to a competitor's products, but that they are also extremely valuable to the company, making up nearly half of the company's market cap. One analyst, Bill Shope at Goldman Sachs, has estimated the value of loyal Apple users, which are unlikely to switch to another platform, at nearly $295 billion. In a note to investors on Friday, the analyst said that he believes the average iOS customer is worth $1,053, assuming the average selling price of an iOS device is $535 with an erosion of 5%, a gross margin of 45%, and annual defections of 5%. Sharpe wrote that, without considering content, services, peripherals or growth potential, his valuation implies a value of nearly $295 billion for the current install base. That represents roughly 55% of Apple’s current market cap, before including the $110 billion cash balance the company has, a continuously growing install base or the Mac and iPod businesses. Goldman Sachs also conducted a survey of 1,000 iOS users, which found that 21% of respondents would never defect from Apple’s platform, regardless of discounts. More than half of those who would switch, however, said they would need a discount of greater than 30% in order to do so. 71% of respondents said they were “highly likely” to choose Apple for their next tablet or smartphone; only 1% were “unlikely” to stick with Apple. Possible Half-Life 3 concept art Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/possible-half-life-3-concept- art/16488.html July 1st, 2012 It has been almost five years since Valve released Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and up until now there have been very little signs that Valve will continue or is working on another Half- Life game. A few days ago, however, some supposed leaked concept art of the next Half-Life surfaced via Valve Time. It has been almost five years since Valve released Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and up until now there have been very little signs that Valve will continue or is working on another Half- Life game. A few days ago, however, some supposed leaked concept art of the next Half-Life surfaced via Valve Time. The concept art doesn't reveal much about what Valve may have in mind for the next Half-Life because most of the
  • 3. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 pictures are depictions of Alyx Vance and some apparel for enduring cold weather. The ending of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 suggested that Freeman and Vance were heading to the Borealis, hence, the crashed helicopter in the snow and some snuggly outfits. You can check out all the concept art via this Facebook page, and follow this steam forum thread and decide for yourself if Valve is indeed working on another Half-Life title. We have reached out to Valve concerning the concept art, but have not received any response. We’ll update if and when Valve decide to reply. ASUS Readies Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II Graphics Card Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-readies-dragon-hd-7850- directcu-ii-graphics-card/16484.html July 1st, 2012 ASUS unveiled pictures of its Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU II Dragon Edition graphics card. The new SKU is designed for specific markets, and is expected to be priced on par with reference clock speed models, perhaps even replacing the HD 7850 DirectCU II. Factory overclocked speeds, and a revamped DirectCU II cooler give it the edge, even as it steers clear of the HD 7850 DirectCU TOP. Regardless of how high-end graphics card SKUs fare in the markets, it's the cost-performance "sweetspot" SKUs ($150- $250), that provide bread and butter to GPU makers.As NVIDIA readies new GPUs for this segment in its GeForce GTX 600 series, AMD wants to make the most out of its current offerings. As part of its efforts, it recently altered the reference clock speeds of SKUs such as HD 7750. ASUS is ready with a new custom-design graphics card targeting select markets (Greater China region is one such market), which offers factory-overclocked speeds and noise- optimized cooling at prices comparable to those of some of the most affordable Radeon HD 7850 graphics cards in the market, perhaps even replacing its own Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU II (reference clocks) graphics card. It is named Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II. To sweeten the deal in the immensely competitive market segment, ASUS tossed in a few goodies. To begin with, the ASUS Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II (SKU: DRAGON HD7850-DC2O-2GD5) features slightly differerent board and cooler designs from those of the ASUS HD 7850 DirectCU II reference (HD7850-DC2-2GD5) and ASUS HD 7850 DirectCU II TOP (HD7850-DC2T-2GD5). The PCB features a strong 6 + 2 + 1 phase VRM, which consists of ASUS' SuperAlloy chokes (don't whine on load), high-grade LFPAK MOSFETs, Japanese condunctive polymer capacitors, tantalum capacitors, and Digi+ VRM controller (likely rebadged CHiL CHL8318), which works with the included GPU Tweak software to provide software voltage control. The card draws power from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors The cooling assembly of the ASUS Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II is a slight variation of the cooler featured on the other HD 7850 DirectCU II cards. While its top stage (shroud and two 80 mm fans) is identical, the heatsink beneath is different, in that it appears to make use of five greatly S-shaped 8 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes to convey heat from the GPU to the aluminum fin stack. In the other HD 7850 DirectCU II cards, there are just three 8 mm-thick heat pipes, which pass through the length of the heatsink. While the aluminum fins are stacked along the length of the PCB in this design, they are arranged along the height of the PCB, in the older HD 7850 DirectCU II cooling solution. The aluminum fins themselves feature a curvy, turbulence- inducing design, for better heat dissipation. Beneath the main heatsink is a base plate heatsink that draws heat from the VRM MOSFETs and memory chips. Although there are no hot components on the reverse side of the PCB (that we know of), ASUS strapped the PCB with a back-plate, complete with a "hot surface" caution sticker.
  • 4. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 The ASUS Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II comes with clock speeds that are higher than AMD reference specifications, but lower than those of the HD 7850 DirectCU II TOP. The GPU is clocked at 910 MHz, and the memory at 1250 MHz (5.00 GHz GDDR5 effective), against AMD reference clock speeds of 860/4800 MHz. It packs 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, across a 256-bit wide memory interface. Based on the 28 nm "Pitcairn" silicon, the Radeon HD 7850 is armed with 1,024 Graphics CoreNext stream processors. Display outputs have changed with the ASUS Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II, compared to the other HD 7850 DirectCU II models. This card features two DVI, and one each of standard-size HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2, whereas the other cards have two mini-DisplayPort connectors. Pricing of the ASUS Dragon HD 7850 DirectCU II is a mystery, though it's expected to be highly competitive with the other reference-clocked HD 7850 graphics cards in the market. Expect a US $199-229 price-range, if the card ever makes it stateside. Apple Wins Samsung Galaxy Nexus Injunction Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-wins-samsung-galaxy-nexus- injunction/16483.html July 1st, 2012 Apple has won a second victory in the space of a week against Android devices today with an American judge granting its request for an injunction against Samsung. The Galaxy Nexus smart phone by Samsung and Google has been barred from the US market - the world's largest just ahead of China – due to the probality that it is engaging in patent infringements against competitor Apple Inc. Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court for the Northern District of California found the Galaxy Nexus probably infringes four patents belonging to Apple Inc and agreed to grant an injunction to Apple while the court considers Apple's claim that the South Korean company has infringed its patents. "Apple has clearly shown that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary injunctive relief," Judge Lucy Koh stated. The four patents that Samsung has likely breached are: Slide-to-lock/unlock, Data tapping, Auto correct and Siri's unified search function. Judge Koh then ordered Apple to post a $96 million bond — the sum being an estimation of the damage suffered by Samsung from the temporary ban on its sales —should the iPhone maker lose to Samsung in later proceedings, scheduled for 2014. The sales ban in the United States will be effective immediately when Apple posts the bond. With the Galaxy SIII already the subject of preliminary legal proceedings by Apple, there is little doubt that either a settlement or further legal proceedings lie ahead for the Samsung Google partnership. This case has ramifications for future patent disputes relating to fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory licensing. Xbox 360's Future Hangs in Balance Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-360-s-future-hangs-in- balance/16482.html July 1st, 2012 Motorola's patent claim against Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console has resulted in a ruling by the ITC that the Xbox 360 console infringes four Google/Motorola patents; however it’s not all bad news for US Xbox fans just yet due to a remand ordered by the Federal Trade Commission. Motorola's patent claim against Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console has resulted in a ruling by the ITC that the Xbox 360 console infringes four Google/Motorola patents; however it’s not all bad news for US Xbox fans just yet due to a remand ordered by the Federal Trade Commission. Motorola’s claim of Standard Essential Patents against Microsoft is allegedly being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, a six-member decision-making body who have now ordered a remand of the decision, referring it back to the Administrative Law Judge. While this doesn't necessarily mean that the preliminary ruling will be overturned, it is likely that a variation will be made to the initial determination in Microsoft’s favour. The Commission's remand decision has directed Administrative Law Judge Shaw to apply the Commission's opinion in the matter of S3 Graphics v. Apple, a case where the final outcome was an outright dismissal, despite an initial ruling that established several infringements. The ongoing patent dispute between the hardware giants has seen a rejection by Microsoft of Motorola’s offer of settlement. The future of both Android phones and Xbox 360s in the United States continues to hang in the balance
  • 5. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 with a deadline being set for a final decision to be made by the ITC on July 2. KT will make indoor LTE speed faster with 'One Chip Femto Cell' Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kt-will-make-indoor-lte-speed- faster-with-one-chip-femto-cell-/16447.html July 1st, 2012 KT (formerly Korea Telecom) announced yesterday that it will eventually expand the commercialization of 'LTE Femto Cell' throughout South Korea. 'LTE Femto Cell' is a miniscule base station that allows users to enjoy fast LTE WARP even in basements, buildings and metropolitan cities. 'LTE Femto Cell,' a miniscule base station, offers a stable LTE service inside buildings by being installed in gaps within the buildings. The installation can increase LTE speed in major areas by three to five fold. LTE Femto Cell consists of a modem and a CPU in a typical SoC, built with the aim of small size, low electricity consumption and low cost. In addition, KT's LTE Femto Cell utilizes the world's best 424,000km optical communication internet cable, which enables it to provide a stable and fast LTE network, whereas the standard 3G Femto Cell utilizes VDSL interent cable. Moreover, LTE Femto Cell can send and receive LTE signals to and from all the gaps within buildings. The feature is being recognized as a critical technology for stable VoLTE voice calls. KT is planning to offer a stable VoLTE service by linking its service to virtualization technology of LTE WARP and LTE Femto Cell which will reduce any interference of borders between base stations. Motorola's Droid RAZR emits most radiation, Korean study shows Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-s-droid-razr-emits-most- radiation-korean-study-shows/16479.html July 1st, 2012 According to a study by Korea Communications Commission (South Korea's FCC equivalent), the Motorola Droid Razr XT910 emitted 1.38 SAR, the highest amount of radiation measured from popular smartphones since 2009. Prolonged exposure to harmful electromagnetic waves may cause ADHD in young humans. The smartphone that emits the most amount of electromagnetic radiation in South Korea is found to be Motorola's Razr. Korea Communications Commission disclosed the electromagnetic wave data of all the smartphones that have been registered since 2009 in South Korea. And on July 2nd, they are going to announce the measured data of smartphones' Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) through South Korean National Radio Research Agency's website (http://www.rra.go.kr). SAR means how much electromagnetic wave can be absorbed into bodies. The maximum allowed upper limit in South Korea is 1.6W/kg. Only products that meet the standard rate are allowed to be manufactured and sold. So far, there has not been a centralized database of such records, which made it difficult for users to check every single time they purchase a new phone. Korea Communications Commission has been preparing disclosing a comprehensive list of SARs based on
  • 6. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 'Electromagnetic wave Comprehensive Policy' established in September of 2011. A certain fruit flavoured company's products also showed a relatively high SAR. Among Apple's products, 'iPhone 3G' is tops with 1.18W/kg, followed by 'iPhone 3GS' with 1.13W/ kg. The only Apple product that had SAR below 1.0W/kg was 'iPhone 4', which emits 0.89W/kg. Samsung's products boasted the lowest SARs among all the products that were tested, which were only about 30% of the standard rate. Galaxy S2 HD was measured to output from 0.24 to 0.402W/kg and Galaxy Note 0.269 to 0.405W/kg. Meanwhile, although LG's 'Optimus LTE Tag' had a relatively low SAR about 0.607-0.749W/kg, 'Optimus LTE 2' was shown to emit a high SAR with 1.12-1.2W/kg. In last May, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute announced that the more a child uses a cellphone, the more he or she is likely to develop ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Today's Announcements: Guardians of Middle-Earth, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Prototype 2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/today-s-announcements-guardians- of-middle-earth-star-wars-the-clone-wars-and-prototype-2/16481.html July 1st, 2012 Time for another quick update on what’s going on in the gaming and entertainment world. Today we have news regarding Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Prototype 2. Time for another quick update on what’s going on in the gaming and entertainment world. Today we have news regarding Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Prototype 2. First off, Monolith showed us a preview video of its upcoming title Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle- Earth at E3, but no actual gameplay. So finally it arrives, a video revealing some actual game play. Will it be another disappointing LOTR title or will developers get it right this time around. You decide. Expect the game to hit the shelves this fall. Next, Star Wars: The Clone Wars complete season four will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD October 23. If an animated spin off of one of the most popular franchise in history has made it past the fourth season then it has some substance to it (personally, I love it). You can save yourself some money and enjoy watching the CG version of Obi-Wan hack enemies with his light saber on DVD or spend extra on the Blu-ray. If you opt to purchase the Blu-ray version then you’ll be getting extra content such as an extensive database of special effects footage, concept art, and 3D character and object turnarounds visualization. More details here. To end things off, Activision made it clear that they will no longer create games for Radical Entertainment, thus a possible indefinite end to the Prototype franchise. However, Activision will release the PC version of Prototype 2 on July 24th as planned. “We're very proud of what we achieved with the Prototype franchise, but unfortunately, the Blacklight virus didn't spread as far as it could,” Radical said on their Facebook. Activision is looking into what it can do with Radical, and one option is to sell the studio. Twitter and LinkedIn call it quits Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/twitter-and-linkedin-call-it- quits/16480.html July 1st, 2012
  • 7. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 After several years of partnering with each other, Twitter and LinkedIn have decided to part ways. Their partnership began in 2009, but even a long term relationship such as theirs was not strong enough to keep them together. After several years of partnering with each other, Twitter and LinkedIn have decided to part ways. Their partnership began in 2009, but even a long term relationship such as theirs was not strong enough to keep them together. LinkedIn suffered a huge blow recently when over 6 million users had their password stolen, and this could possibly be one of the reasons why Twitter decided to distant itself from LinkedIn. Furthermore, a $5 million lawsuit came about when users said that LinkedIn’s security policy had contradictions that did not abide to industry standards. Secondly, Twitter has amassed such a huge following that it simply doesn’t need or want to share its potential ad revenues with LinkedIn. Users can post a Tweet directly from LinkedIn, but they can no longer directly share their post to LinkedIn from their Twitter account. The split could be mutual in every respect, but LinkedIn’s recent security breach suggests that it will take some time for LinkedIn to restore its reputation. Talking on a smartphone is not a priority Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/talking-on-a-smartphone-is-not-a- priority/16478.html July 1st, 2012 According to analytics from O2, people are using their smartphones more for tasks that are unrelated to making or taking phone calls. According to analytics from O2, people are using their smartphones more for tasks that are unrelated to making or taking phone calls. People spend about 25 minutes on average per day on their smartphone surfing the internet, 17 minutes on social networking, 16 minutes on music, and 14 minutes on playing games. That’s not including tasks that uses less time than making phone calls. What about for making phone calls? Well, according to O2, making phone call accounts for less a tenth of the total amount of time people spend on their smartphone—12 minutes. If you want to analyze it even further, just take 12 minutes and times that by 30 and you’ll find out that (based on O2’s data) people are spending roughly 360 minutes on their smartphones making or taking calls per month! So unless people have carry overs on their smartphone plan, the thousands of minutes they’re paying for are going to waste every month. Now you know why carriers offer high minute plans, and charging outrageous amounts for the data. Even they know you will most likely NOT use your phone for making or taking calls. Megaupload's Kim Dotcom extradition update Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/megaupload-s-kim-dotcom- extradition-update/16477.html July 1st, 2012 The case against Kim Dotcom has just gotten a little weaker, and there may be a slim possibility that his extradition to the U.S. may not happen. The case against Kim Dotcom has just gotten a little weaker, and there may be a slim possibility that his extradition to the U.S. may not happen. We reported earlier that New Zealand’s High court ruled that the FBI’s warrants for searching and seizing of Dotcom’s properties were “invalid.” In the ruling, the court determined that the warrants were too vague and that they didn’t specifically state any evidence or offenses against Dotcom’s Megaupload site. Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, told a radio station in New Zealand that his client has been violated not only once but twice during the search and seize process. Rothken is defending his client’s innocence by saying that Megaupload is used for storage and that Dotcom is not directly involved in the distribution of any copyrighted materials. Secondly, after New Zealand’s High court verdict, Rothken claims that the FBI’s seizure of Dotcom’s properties was wrongful because “they weren’t allowed to.” Under New Zealand law, extradition requires that a person must be punishable by jail sentence in both of the countries. Therefore, if somehow Dotcom manages to wiggle his way out of jail sentence in New Zealand then his extradition to the U.S. may not happen. The New Zealand High court ruling is a small victory for Dotcom and company, but he and his supporters still have long ways to go.
  • 8. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 UMC and IBM to create 20nm FinFET chip Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/umc-and-ibm-to-create-20nm-finfet- chip/16476.html July 1st, 2012 After having reportedly landed a contract to produce Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chip, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) has confirmed that they will be partnering with IBM Corp to produce a next gen 20nm chip that features FinFET 3D transistors. After having reportedly landed a contract to produce Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chip, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) has confirmed that they will be partnering with IBM Corp to produce a next gen 20nm chip that features FinFET 3D transistors. FinFET is a space saving, finbased, multigate architecture aimed at energy efficiency. According to UMC, they are hoping that their 20nm R&D capacity along with IBM’s FinFET know-how will help expedite the development of the next gen 20nm chip. “We are happy to engage with a recognized technology leader such as IBM for this technology advancement effort,” says UMC’s VP, I.C. Chen. “Leveraging IBM’s technology expertise to shorten our 20nm and FinFET R&D cycle will create a win-win situation for UMC and our customers.” UMC has announced prior that it plans to invest $8 billion to expand its 28nm chip making capacity, and therefore establishing a solid foundation for R&D of 20nm chips in the future. RIM's "refocusing" plans Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-s-refocusing-plans/16474.html July 1st, 2012 RIM has confirmed that the BlackBerry 10 will be delayed until the first quarter of next year because developers cannot deliver a complete software by the end of this year. Adding injuries to insult, RIM is hemorrhaging money and has to lay off nearly a third of its employees. RIM has confirmed that the BlackBerry 10 will be delayed until the first quarter of next year because developers cannot deliver a complete software by the end of this year. Adding injuries to insult, RIM is hemorrhaging money and has to lay off nearly a third of its employees. At this point, RIM may be better off delaying BlackBerry 10 until a highly refined product is completed. iOS 6 and Jelly Bean will most like make their debut later this year, so that might give RIM a competitive edge by looking at what the competitions have got to offer before releasing a product of their own. However, it still stands that the opportunity cost of delaying BlackBerry 10 is that RIM has to keep on losing money if they aren’t making money from their main product. “It is necessary to change the scale and refocus the company on areas of highest opportunity,” Thorsten Heins, RIM’s CEO, answered to the press regarding the company’s decision to delay BlackBerry 10 and laying off workers. RIM is reporting that it’s losing almost much as money this year as it earned last year. RIM netted $695 million last year in profit, but it posted a net loss of $518 million this year. Part of RIM’s refocusing involves reducing the number of phone offerings to put more resources into developing BlackBerry 10. Apple is not doing this, but Android and Microsoft are licensing their OS to OEMs, so RIM is said to be looking into eliminating the exclusiveness of the BlackBerry brand. Google blames Android fragmentation on manufacturers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-blames-android- fragmentation-on-manufacturers/16473.html July 1st, 2012 Google has blamed the fragmentation of the Android platform on manufacturers and suggested the nature of the ecosystem would mean that it would never be the same as Apple's approach with iOS. Google has blamed the fragmentation of the Android platform on manufacturers and suggested the nature of the ecosystem would mean that it would never be the same as Apple's approach with iOS. Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering on the Android team, said that it was up to manufacturers to provide upgrades to the latest version of Android, and that since Android is open source, they have the freedom to make those upgrades or not, and on their own timeframe. “It’s up to the manufacturers to see what their targets are; some may say we want to be the first one, or they may decide a fully customised reskinned experience is what they want to do,” Lockheimer said.
  • 9. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 Fragmentation has long been a major criticism of Android, with hundreds of devices out there on different versions of the mobile operating system, which means many people cannot access the latest features, games, or apps, which require the newest version of the software. While Lockheimer argues that this is a natural side-effect of the freedom of the Android model, he also suggested that fragmentation would be less of a problem in future, as Google is working on a platform developer kit to encourage developers and manufacturers to accelerate updates and to make sure the manufacturers have time to optimise their products to ensure those updates are released. Google brings Chrome browser to iPhone and iPad Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-brings-chrome-browser-to- iphone-and-ipad/16472.html July 1st, 2012 Google has released its Chrome web browser on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, allowing users to sync with the browser on their desktop and laptop computers. Google has released its Chrome web browser on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, allowing users to sync with the browser on their desktop and laptop computers. The 12.8MB download gives iOS users access to version 19.0.1084.60 of Chrome, which will help Google expand the reach of the browser beyond the 310 million active users it currently has, up from 160 million at last year's I/O event. Chrome touts high browsing speeds, a bookmark sync option, and deep integration with other Google products, including Google Drive and Google Apps, so it is interesting to see it show up on Apple's tightly-controlled App Store. If you thought Google might start stealing away Apple customers, however, you'd be wrong, as initial reports and benchmarking tests show that Chrome for iOS suffers speed issues when it comes to JavaScript, with Anandtech reporting that MobileSafari works faster, and one reviewer of the app stating that Chrome “runs 3.5 times slower doing JavaScript than Safari.” Apple's policy on not allowing custom JavaScript engines, like Google's open source V8 engine, is the reason behind the slower speeds, and, of course, Apple won't share Safari's Nitro engine either, leaving rival browsers on iOS lagging behind unnecessarily. BlackBerry 10 delay drives analyst fears of RIM bankruptcy Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-10-delay-drives-analyst- fears-of-rim-bankruptcy/16471.html July 1st, 2012 Research In Motion (RIM) could face bankruptcy, analysts say, after delaying the release of its BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system and cutting staff numbers by 5,000. Research In Motion (RIM) could face bankruptcy, analysts say, after delaying the release of its BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system and cutting staff numbers by 5,000. The Canadian firm, which was once a dominant player in the burgeoning smartphone market, reported abyssmal quarterly results, with losses of $518 million, several times more than analysts predicted. This sent shares down by more than 20 percent and lead to some brokerages cutting their price targets by up to 50 percent. RIM had originally planned to release BlackBerry 10 this year, but fans of RIM will need to wait until early next year at the earliest to get their hands on a new smartphone powered by the operating system. The delay comes at a bad time for the company, as it was this software and the range of
  • 10. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 devices built around it that were largely expected to save the company. Nomura Equity Research believes “the company will eventually fail” if it continues its current operational plan, and even BlackBerry 10 will not help it make a successful turnaround. Analysts at Citi said the company “could run out of cash” and also expressed doubt about the viability of BlackBerry 10 as the saving grace many expect it to be. Cannacord Genuity agreed on this point, suggesting that RIM's only hope would be to sell. However, Baird Equity Research believes there are no buyers interested in the plummeting firm. The delay has also forced RIM to implement new cost- cutting measures, including plans to axe 5,000 jobs, which amounts to 30 percent of its workforce. With fewer employees and the threat of bankruptcy looming ever closer, there are tough times ahead for the BlackBerry maker. Adobe will stop supporting mobile Flash beginning August 15 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-will-stop-supporting-mobile- flash-beginning-august-15/16470.html July 1st, 2012 One of the main reasons why Android has drawn so many loyal users is because many Android devices support Adobe Flash. The days of “I can watch Flash videos on phone” will soon be over as Adobe has declared that it will cease to support mobile Flash on August 15th. One of the main reasons why Android has drawn so many loyal users is because many Android devices support Adobe Flash. The days of “I can watch Flash videos on phone” will soon be over as Adobe has declared that it will cease to support mobile Flash on August 15th . Okay, we all know (or at least people that care enough to dig into these things) that Steve Jobs—and by extension— Apple had issues with Adobe, therefore iPad loyalists never got official Flash support. Essentially, Jobs decreed that the iPad will not have Flash support, and therefore it doesn’t. Some devs have managed to make some flash contents work on the iPad through certain app, but it’s nothing comparable to streaming YouTube contents from a desktop. It’s simple with the iPad, but why is Adobe deciding to stick it to Android users now after several years of supporting mobile Flash? There could be a variety of reasons, but one main reason is perhaps there are just too many Android devices (with all sorts of specs) to support —fragmentation. Imagine working on trying to make one software compatible with literally thousands of devices from different OEMs. On top of that, Android users are all over the place with regards to the OS that’s powering their phone. Albeit, over half of all Android users are still on Gingerbread, there are many more that are on Froyo, Eclair, ICS, etc… Did I mention that some OEMs also heavily modify their Android OS (i.e. Amazon’s Kindle Fire)? Okay, you get my point by now—that is, it just takes a lot of work to make Flash work on Android devices. People that purchased Android tablets and smartphones recently with the intention of using their devices to view Flash content will just have to live with the fact that their device may not support Flash in the future. Flash may become obsolete in the future, as HTML 5 is supposed the next medium for delivering media online. So Adobe may not be dropping Flash support for mobile devices based solely on how much work is needed to make it work, but rather they may see HTML 5 as replacing Flash sooner than we expect. It’s unknown when HTML 5 will become the predominant form for delivering online content, but we can’t help it if Adobe wants to stop supporting mobile Flash. Until then, Android users will have to anxiously await a complete YouTube transition to HTML 5. Again, Android users will have until August 15th to get the most out of their “Flash enabled device.” Click here to see Adobe’s reasoning on why they are dropping mobile Flash support.
  • 11. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 16 Today's Announcements: The Expandables 2, The Amazing Spiderman and Guild Wars 2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/today-s-announcements-the- expandables-2-the-amazing-spiderman-and-guild-wars-2/16467.html July 1st, 2012 We have a bunch of video game announcements for you today. Starting things off is The Expendables 2 Video Game, coming to the XBLA, PSN, and PC. A tie-in to the upcoming Expendables 2 movie, the game will tell the story leading up to the movie. Players will be able to play one of four characters as they attempt to rescue a kidnapped billionaire. Offering four-player local and online co-op as well as challenges to compete with each other in, the game will feature the over-the-top action the Expendables franchise is known for, and has been set up to provide a seamless introduction to the upcoming movie. While no exact release date has been given, look for it to release before the movie comes out on August 17th . Next up is a game that already released on PS3 and Xbox 360: The Amazing Spiderman. While it has garnered mediocre reviews in the press, Activision has confirmed that the game is being brought to the PC. PC gamers wanting to get their hands on the web-slinger’s newest game will be able to purchase the game on Steam on August 10th . Finally, the highly-anticipated MMO, Guild Wars 2, has had its release date announced by NCSoft. Guild Wars 2 will have its final beta weekend July 20-22, with the game releasing in North America and Europe on August 28. Dropbox adds "undo" command Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dropbox-adds-undo- command/16469.html July 1st, 2012 Undoing an accidental action while using many computer programs is as easy as hitting an “undo” option, and Dropbox has only just started implementing the undo command. Undoing an accidental action while using Dropbox is as easy as hitting an “undo” option, and Dropbox has only just started implementing the undo command. “We just launched a quick way for you to unwind those slips of the mouse or gaffes on the keyboard when you’re using Dropbox on the web. Now if you make a mistake when moving, renaming, copying or even deleting a file or folder, you can quickly reverse it. Just click the ‘Undo’ link in the green dialog that appears at the top of your screen. (Ctrl+Z and ?+Z work too!)” So the next time you accidentally uploaded a file to Dropbox, you can instantly undo that action without having to go through the troubles of manual removing those files from your box. Microsoft Surface Tablet may not come preloaded with Office 2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-surface-tablet-may-not- come-preloaded-with-office-2013/16468.html
  • 12. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 17 July 1st, 2012 If you are planning on purchasing the upcoming Windows RT Surface tablet, keep in mind that it may not come with Office 2013 preloaded. Insiders suggest that Microsoft has only just finished the beta, and therefore Office 2013 may launch a few months later than Windows 8 and the Surface RT tablet. If you are planning on purchasing the upcoming Windows RT Surface tablet, keep in mind that it may not come with Office 2013 preloaded. Insiders suggest that Microsoft has only just finished the beta, and therefore Office 2013 may launch a few months later than Windows 8 and the Surface RT tablet. Now if consumers won’t get a Surface tablet with MS Office 2013 then what will they get? Chances are MS will preload the RT tablet with an earlier version of MS Office and offering Surface tablet users opportunities to upgrade to Office 2013 when it’s ready. People that are interested in the Pro Surface tablet may not have to worry as much as MS Office 2013 may launch alongside the Pro tablet. MS does not have a robust app developing community like that of iOS or Android, so an MS Office preloaded Surface tablet will be one of the main reasons why people will consider the Surface at launch. Savvy tablet users know that office suite apps are available for purchase on both iOS and Android, and for increased productivity they just need a small and cheap keyboard add on (some peripherals are more expensive than others, it just takes a little bargain hunting to find a cheap alternative). Polaris Office, Documents To Go, and OfficeSuite Pro, among others, are some of the popular office software that are available for Android and iPad. The prices of these apps vary, but if paying for a document editing app is not a priority then people can opt to use free software like Google Doc. We don’t know how robust MS Office is on the Surface tablet, yet, but hopefully the Office suite that comes preloaded with the Surface tablet is on par with its desktop counterpart. Windows 8 Upgrade Details Leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-upgrade-details- leaked/16458.html July 1st, 2012 Microsoft has begun to share with select partners some specific details about what users can expect when upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP, Vista, or 7. Reportedly, the following points were released privately this month by Microsoft: • Users upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium will be able to maintain their existing Windows settings, files and applications. • Users upgrading to Windows 8 Pro from any Windows 7 edition will be able to maintain all existing settings, files, and applications. • Users upgrading to Windows 8 Enterprise (which will only be available to volume licensees with Software Assurance contracts) from Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise will be able to maintain all settings, files and applications. • If upgrading from Windows Vista, only personal files will be maintained, unless SP1 is installed, in which case system settings will also be maintained. • Users can upgrade from Windows XP with SP3 installed, but only personal files will be maintained. All other installations of Windows 8 will require a full format, leaving none of the data intact. This includes cross- language installations and cross-architecture installations (i.e., moving from a 32-bit edition to a 64-bit edition). Earlier this month, Microsoft launched its latest Windows Upgrade Offer, which will allow users who purchase a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 to purchase a copy of Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99 when it becomes available. Analysts expect that Windows 8 will be shipped to manufacturers in July, with general availability coming sometime this fall. Delta Expanding WiFi Offering to International Flights Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/delta-expanding-wifi-offering-to- international-flights/16456.html July 1st, 2012 Delta Airlines has announced that by early 2013 its fleet of international aircraft will have internet connectivity through the use of Ku-band satellites. Delta has announced that they will begin offering their in- flight internet service on their fleet of international aircraft, encompassing roughly 150 aircraft including models such as the Boeing 777, 767, transoceanic 757, 747, and the Airbus 330. The satellite-provided service will begin operations on the planes in early 2013, complementing existing air-to- ground service already in place for domestic flights. Delta Airlines, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is among the largest WiFi-enabled aircraft providers in the world, with over 3,000 daily flights connected to the web. These flights include the entirety of its domestic fleet, some 550 mainline aircraft, and more than 250 additional aircraft, including all of their Delta Connection regional jets.
  • 13. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 18 Delta’s WiFi portal, called “Delta Connect,” provides free access to real-time travel information, news from The Wall Street Journal, People magazine, and other services, including Amazon.com (from March). The new international service will use high-bandwidth Ku-band satellites for internet coverage. Scheduled for 2015, when the rollout is complete, Delta plans to be operating roughly 1,000 WiFi- capable aircraft in its fleet. Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus Q music device, Google Glass, and Siri- busting Google Now Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-unveils-nexus-7-tablet-nexus- q-music-device-google-glass-and-siri-busting-google-now/16466.html July 1st, 2012 Google has unveiled the Nexus 7 Android tablet, the Nexus Q music device, Google Glass for consumers, and a Siri-like Android service called Google Now, making the search giant's I/O event this year jam-packed with exciting announcements. Google has unveiled the Nexus 7 Android tablet, the Nexus Q music device, Google Glass for consumers, and a Siri-like Android service called Google Now, making the search giant's I/O event this year jam-packed with exciting announcements. Nexus 7 The company showcased the Nexus 7, its 7-inch Android- powered tablet computer with a 1280x-800 pixel high- definition display, a Tegra-3 chipset, quad-core CPU, 12- core GPU, and a dirt cheap price tag starting at just $199, with a release date of mid-July in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The low price is for an 8GB model, with a 16GB version available for $249. Google is hoping to entice multimedia buffs of all kinds by preloading the Nexus 7 with the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the book The Bourne Dominion, magazines like Condé Nast Traveler and Popular Science, and music from bands including Coldplay and the Rolling Stones. There is also $25 free credit provided on Google Play for a limited time. Not everyone is impressed with the announcement, however. Jan Dawson, chief telecommunications analyst at Ovum, criticised Google's approach, suggesting the tablet would not be sustainable long-term, due to subsidising of the cost to keep the price down, and that Google has failed to address problems with Android for tablets, such as the sparsity of tablet-sized apps. Of course, more success in the tablet market for Google will result in more developers flocking to this area, so this may not be a major problem. Nexus Q Those looking for a less mobile device for music may enjoy the Nexus Q, an unusually-designed home entertainment sphere, which plugs into speakers or a TV and allows streaming of music from Google Play. With a price-tag of $299, however, it is more expensive than Google's new tablet and does less things, so consumers may not be as enamoured by it as interior designers appear to be. It will ship in mid- July as well. Google Glass It was only a few short months ago when Google unveiled a new research project to develop augmented-reality glasses, but a mock demo of its features had fans salivating and throwing their wallets at Google employees in anticipation. The company is now going beyond merely a “what if” scenario, with the only questions remaining being “when?” and “how much?” Google is hoping to have a version of the glasses ready for public consumption within two years, with a price tag expected to be drastically lower than its existing developer cost of a pricey $1,500. The glasses are effectively a smartphone on your head, albeit without a phone network, allowing users to see, hear and speak in a semi-android experience. The company hopes to bring a Google Maps experience to the glasses, among a variety of other features shown in the demo. If none of that was impressive, some Google Glass-wearing skydivers almost stole the show. Google Now If you were won over by the sweet nothings whispered in your ear by Siri, you might want to consider cheating with a certain little green robot. As part of the Android Jelly Bean offering, Google announced a new service called Google Now. As the name implies, it's all about getting information to the user immediately, and so it mimics many of the offerings of Siri, such as finding the score of a sports match or locating a nearby restaurant. That is all pretty standard fair, but where Google Now differs, and potentially wins out, is that it seeks out information before you even ask it. When you leave your house it looks for traffic updates. When you go to a restaurant it checks the menu and recommends the top- rated choices. So instead of having an electronic friend who
  • 14. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 19 will answer your questions, you have an electronic friend who will make suggestions and pre-empt your actions. Nintendo announces release date for latest Pokemon games Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-announces-release-date- for-latest-pokemon-games/16465.html July 1st, 2012 Nintendo has announced the release date for the latest Pokémon games, including two DS titles and one downloadable 3DS game. Nintendo has announced the release date for the latest Pokémon games, including two DS titles and one downloadable 3DS game. Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 will join a host of other Nintendo colour variations of the classic monster-catching series on 7 October, playable on both the DS and the 3DS in 2D mode. Collectors will want a 3DS, however, as there are rare Pokémon to catch in the downloadable Pokémon Dream Radar title, which lets players use their 3DS camera, motion control and augmented-reality technology for a more interactive experience. Creatures caught can then be transferred into the other two games. The sequels to the Black and White versions will see the return of Cheren and Bianca to the region of Unova two years after the events of the original games, with new areas to discover, including Virbank City, where players can visit the Pokéstar Studios to make their own Pokémon-starring movies. Some of the Pokémon up for grabs include Eevee, Riolu, Tyranitar, Arcanine, and Mareep. Those who get Dream Radar will also be able to catch the new Therian Formes of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus. Gamers looking to learn more about the various Pokémon will also be able to buy the Pokédex 3D Pro from the Nintendo eShop, expanding upon the original Pokédex 3D with details about all known Pokémon to date. Twitter to combat trolling and hate speech Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/twitter-to-combat-trolling-and-hate- speech/16454.html July 1st, 2012 Twitter is attempting to combat trolling and hate speech on its micro-blogging service, which could see a difficult balance between removing offensive material and maintaining freedom of speech. Twitter is attempting to combat trolling and hate speech on its micro-blogging service, which could see a difficult balance between removing offensive material and maintaining freedom of speech. Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, told the Financial Times that the company was planning to address the issue, which he said was in some cases “horrifying.” Racial abuse appears to be on the increase on the service, which limits messages to 140 characters. Recent examples of high-profile cases include racist remarks by users against footballers Ashley Cole, Ashley Young, Stan Collymore, and Fabrice Muamba, all of which resulted in police investigations and, in some cases, arrests. Measures to tackle the problem could include censoring responses from accounts that do not have followers, a profile picture, or a biography, making them more likely to be newly-created accounts designed specifically for the purpose of “trolling,” internet lingo for users who go out of their way to cause offence purely for the fun of it.
  • 15. July 1st, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 20 Of course, the problem with such measures is that genuine accounts that have failed to secure followers or update their profile may be caught up in this. That said, if Twitter is clear about its policy then more users will update their profiles to avoid the restrictions. Trolls may do likewise, however, simply uploading fake photos and biographies, and possibly even following themselves from multiple troll accounts. However, Costolo does not want to Twitter to be too heavy- handed with its actions. He said the service will continue to allow pseudonyms, as that is the only way some people can speak freely in some parts of the world. He expressed frustration at finding the perfect balance between the two extremes, recognising that “emboldening people to speak politically” can also embolden trolls and lead to further cases of hate speech. The debacle is a problem for many on the internet, as it is a fine line between protecting people and crossing into the dangerous waters of online censorship.
  • 16. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Next Xbox could be called Xbox 8 as Microsoft secures domains Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/next-xbox-could-be-called-xbox-8- as-microsoft-secures-domains/16528.html July 3rd, 2012 Microsoft's next-generation gaming console may be called Xbox 8 rather than the expected Xbox 720. The Redmond, Washington-based company managed to secure a number of domain names from a Chinese national named Cheng Juan, after bringing two cases to the National Arbitration Forum. The domains include XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, XboxCompanion.com, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org, according to Fusible. On the surface of it, Microsoft may simply be pre-empting any potential future Xbox products it may plan to release and ensuring it owns the relevant domain names. However, the new Xbox would only be the third of its kind, so a literal Xbox 8 would be decades away, making a move to protect its name now a little hasty. Xbox 720 is a logical extension of the Xbox 360 name, simply doubling the number, but Xbox 8 seems like an odd potential choice for the console, until we take into consideration Microsoft's big investment in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, which will have a shared core. The number 8 is clearly a big deal for Microsoft over the next year or two, with many considering the next version of Windows to be a potential game-changer and money- maker for the company. Windows Phone 8 is also looking promising, and, of course, Xbox is central to Microsoft's strategy to entice people to its operating systems. Xbox 8 as the next console name is all about brand unity then, and the gamble could pay off big-time, as it ensure that people think of Microsoft's collective product line when approaching any of the three. Using 720 only differentiates the Xbox console from Windows, while Xbox 8 could be the beginning of a new marketing style for the software giant. Activision and Tencent announce Call of Duty Online for China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/activision-and-tencent-announce- call-of-duty-online-for-china/16527.html July 3rd, 2012 Activision and Tencent have announced Call of Duty Online, a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter targeted at a Chinese audience. Activision and Tencent have announced Call of Duty Online, a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter targeted at a Chinese audience. Gamers are still gearing up for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which is to get a revamped Nuketown map, but players in China will have something potentially just as exciting within the Call of Duty franchise. Details are thin, but a trailer shows that the game plays fairly similarly to other titles in the series, with pretty good graphics to boot, which is often an area that receives some cartoonisation by many studios in order to combat the intense lag possible in MMO games. According to reports, the game will be free-to-play, likely charging players for additional content, maps, gear and weapons. It will also draw on previous content from other Call of Duty titles, while adding new material from Tencent.
  • 17. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The game would undoubtedly appeal to players around the world, but it looks like it will initially only launch in China. This may be a strategic move to entice gamers to buy Black Ops II later this year or localisation may simply be taking some time to do. It may also turn out that Call of Duty Online never launches elsewhere in the world, but we expect that this is unlikely. Microsoft writes off $6.2 billion over 2007 acquisition Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-writes-off-6.2-billion- over-2007-acquisition/16526.html July 3rd, 2012 Microsoft has written off a whopping $6.2 billion after admitting that one of its largest acquisitions, made five years ago, was essentially worthless. Microsoft has written off a whopping $6.2 billion after admitting that one of its largest acquisitions, made five years ago, was essentially worthless. The software giant bought aQuantive, an advertising agency, in 2007, hoping to compete with Google after it bought DoubleClick. It was the largest acquisition in the company's history at the time, with $6.3 billion spent, dwarfed only by the $8.5 billion it spent on Skype last year. The deal failed to deliver, however, with Microsoft still lagging behind its rivals in the advertising market and many of aQuantive's executives moving on to greener fields. It took five years for Microsoft to admit its failure, announcing to investors that it would take a “non-cash charge” of $6.2 billion, almost the entire amount spent on the ill-fated acquisition. The decision will have a significant affect on the company's profits this year, and particularly for the company's fiscal fourth quarter. Microsoft is expecting to turn a net profit of $5.25 billion, almost guaranteeing the company will lose money this quarter. The dire news for Microsoft does not end there, however, as it also admitted that some of its other products are not performing so well, including Bing and MSN, which it said will return lower than previously estimated growth and profits. Twitter opens up through transparency campaign Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/twitter-opens-up-through- transparency-campaign/16525.html July 3rd, 2012 In an effort to make their business more transparent, Twitter has released some rather interesting figures in regards to its compliance to remove copyrighted materials and government requests. In an effort to make their business more transparent, Twitter has released some rather interesting figures in regards to its compliance to remove copyrighted materials and government requests. In the category of copyrighted content removal, Twitter received 3,378 requests from January 1 to June 30 this year. Out of the 3,378 requests, Twitter complied with about 600 of them—so the compliance rate is roughly 20%. However, when it came to government requests for user information and withholding of content, Twitter complied 75% of the time. Another thing to note is that the majority of the government requests are through agencies in the United States. Christine Chen, Spokeswoman for Twitter, told Venture Beat that “the more transparent that companies and governments are, the more meaningful the public debate can be about the free flow of information online.” Get full details on what exactly Twitter is trying to do here. iPhone combusts in teenager's pocket Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iphone-combusts-in-teenager-s- pocket/16524.html July 3rd, 2012 iPhones are supposed to be of the highest quality, and rarely do we get news about an Apple product exploding while in someone’s pocket.
  • 18. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 iPhones are supposed to be of the highest quality, and rarely do we get news about an Apple product exploding while in someone’s pocket. In a recent Finnish pub SK24 report, 17-year-old Henri Helminen had his iPhone spontaneously began to heat up and nearly drowned him in a cloud of smoke. The phone’s Lithium battery may have something to do with the combustive event, and although there are no confirmations as to what caused the iPhone to fail so miserably, a video may help you figure out how. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) Android Jelly Bean melts under California sun Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-jelly-bean-melts-under- california-sun/16522.html July 3rd, 2012 Google’s Android Jelly Bean is hot, so hot that it melted. I’m not talking about the actual OS causing smartphones to melt, but rather the Android Jelly Bean’s head on the lawn of Google’s Mountain View campus melted due to extreme heat under the California sun. Although you can find an article on Samsung's recent Galaxy smartphone explosion here. Google’s Android Jelly Bean is hot, so hot that it melted. I’m not talking about the actual OS causing smartphones to melt, but rather the Android Jelly Bean’s head on the lawn of Google’s Mountain View campus melted due to extreme heat under the California sun. Although you can find an article on Samsung's recent Galaxy smartphone explosion here. Orange cones along with yellow caution tape now surround the out-of-commissioned Jelly Bean statue, but prior to that, some passerby allegedly dipped their hands into the Jelly Bean’s torso and stole some of the flavorful organs. Chinese woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing a mobile phone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-woman-sentenced-to-10- years-in-prison-for-stealing-a-mobile-phone/16521.html July 3rd, 2012 What is a justifiable punishment for a mobile phone theft? How about a slap on the wrist, reparation, and a month or two in jail? Apparently, a Chinese woman’s phone theft crime landed her a 10 year prison sentence. The woman’s punishment has sparked a debate on whether or not the sentence is absurd or just. What is a justifiable punishment for a mobile phone theft? How about a slap on the wrist, reparation, and a month or two in jail? Apparently, a Chinese woman’s phone theft crime landed her a 10 year prison sentence. The woman’s punishment has sparked a debate on whether or not the sentence is absurd or just. Forty-eight year old Zhang Yun stole a mobile phone from her employer—claiming, she did so because she was not compensated for her service. The phone theft was traced back to Zhang through the use of security surveillance. Yun tried to hide her tracks by burying the phone in a radish field, but ultimately her employer managed to cast a decade long prison term unto her former employee. According to ecsn.cn, the phone’s value is 60,000 (~$9,444), and if you think that’s an absurd number then you have every right to think so. The average income per year for people in China is less than the value of the phone which Yun stole. On top of her 10 year prison term, Yun has to also pay a fine of 20,000 yuan (~$3,148). A Survey taken on tencent.com has revealed that 95% agreed that the sentence is much too harsh. Will people’s interest in this Yun’s punishment give her a chance at another trial to reduce the degree of punishment? What do you think? Ivy Bridge i7 vs Bulldozer FX @ 4.6GHz - July 2012 Battle of the Flagships Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-i7-vs-bulldozer- fx--4.6ghz--july-2012-battle-of-the-flagships/16520.html
  • 19. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 July 3rd, 2012 After months of BIOS firmware updates and software patches, both platforms from Intel and AMD should have reached some level of maturity by now. We run a myriad of tests with HD 7970 GHz Edition CrossfireX and G.Skill 16GB 2400MHz ram to see how everything goes at a typical 4.6GHz CPU overclock. Price Comparison Intel Core i7-3770K -USD$349 AMD FX-8150 - USD$199.99 Prices from NewEgg as of 3rd July 2012 CPUID Validation Intel Ivy Bridge i7-3770K setup - http:// valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2425748 AMD Bulldozer FX-8150 setup - http://valid.canardpc.com/ show_oc.php?id=2426606 Operating System Windows 7 SP1 with all Windows Update patches until 2nd July 2012 Core Parking Fix
  • 20. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Apple faces Snow Leopard trademark lawsuit in China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-faces-snow-leopard- trademark-lawsuit-in-china/16519.html July 3rd, 2012 Apple is facing yet another lawsuit over trademarks in China, and this time it deals with their Snow Leopard OS. Apple is facing yet another lawsuit over trademarks in China, and this time it deals with their Snow Leopard OS. The recent Chinese court decision to award Proview Technology $60 million in its dispute with Apple over the “iPad” trademark may be considered as extortion to an extent, but no one really knows what went on behind the scene three years ago. Move forward a few days, and a Chinese household chemical company by the name of Jiangsu Xuebao is suing Apple for infringing on their “Snow Leopard” trademark. The Chinese translation for “Xuebao” is Snow Leopard, hence, they are claiming that Apple is infringing their trademark based on the translation. The case against Apple this case may not be as strong as Proview’s case since the chemical company registered “Xuebao” and not the English translation. In the end, however, it all depends on how the Chinese court decides to rule this matter. Jiangsu Xuebao is demanding an $80,645 compensation as well as an apology, and a court hearing has already been scheduled for June 10. Apple can settle this matter with money demanded and apologize, but if that Apple does that it may be perceived as a crack in the Cupertino-tech giant’s armor. Whichever method Apple decides to go about the Snow Leopard trademark dispute, it’s almost a guarantee that other companies, individuals, and/or organizations are
  • 21. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 currently looking into to how Apple has violated their trademarks. Microsoft's Risky Move: Upgrade to Windows 8 for Just $14.99 and $39.99 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-risky-move-upgrade-to- windows-8-for-just-14.99-and-39.99/16515.html July 3rd, 2012 Microsoft chose the first working day of the third quarter to announce the Windows 8 Upgrade pricing model. We expect to see a lot of fireworks over this one, since the upgrade cost dropped beyond belief. Bought a new computer and want Windows 8 Pro? That’ll be $14.99, sir. Even with all the marketing preparations, Microsoft pulled a never-before-seen move to get as much traction as possible. The whole idea of paying hundreds of dollars for an operating system seems like an idea from 1990s. Faced with obvious competition in the form of Apple and its continuous reductions in upgrade prices, Microsoft pulled quite an unexpected move. If you own a Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 operating system, you will be able to upgrade the system to Windows 8 Professional for just $39.99. The company released images of its Windows 8 upgrade advisor which will take you through the process. If you wish to order the version on a DVD, you will have to pay $69.99. If you have just bought the computer (Windows 7 SP1), you will be able to upgrade for just $14.99, with that offer expiring end of January next year (2013). This is a quantum shift from Windows 7 upgrade prices, which ranged from $119.99 for Windows 7 Home Premium to $199.99 for Windows 7 Professional. Naturally, if by some odd reason you don't have a Windows license already, regular prices will be announced in the next couple of weeks. Which leads us to the question - why Microsoft started to follow Apple with its OS prices? Is Windows 8 bombing that badly with the user experience groups, media and analysts that the company is going for price dumping so that it could say that Windows 8 installed on XXX million of computers? ITC denies Apple's bid for emergency ban on HTC products Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/itc-denies-apple-s-bid-for- emergency-ban-on-htc-products/16517.html July 3rd, 2012 In a last-minute ditch to prevent HTC from importing HTC’s One series smartphone into the U.S., Apple filed for an emergency ban of HTC’s product with the U.S. ITC, but ultimately the agency denied the request. In a last-minute ditch to prevent HTC from importing HTC’s One series smartphone into the U.S., Apple filed for an emergency ban of HTC’s product with the U.S. ITC, but ultimately the agency denied the request. Apple filed a complaint against HTC for infringement of a patent that dealt with the detection of phone numbers in emails, and if tapped, the number can be directly dialed without having to manually input the number. After several days of reworking the phones, HTC received approvals of U.S. customs officials. However, Apple remained adamant that HTC had not completed all the requirements necessary to get the ban lifted. HTC argued that the infringement which Apple was referring to was beyond HTC’s control, because the Gmail app which infringed Apple’s patent was a closed-source software from Google. Since HTC’s product bans were lifted, their stock prices rose and today it added nearly 1 percent to its NT$393.50 at closing—a tremendous boost for a company that haven’t seen a figure like that in almost four weeks. HTC’s peaked smartphone market share was 10.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012, but has since slipped to 4.5 percent due to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line. Today's Announcements: Assassin's Creed III, Rome: Total War sequel, Starship Troopers: Invasion, and Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/today-s-announcements-assassin-s- creed-iii-rome-total-war-sequel-starship-troopers-invasion-and-halo-4- forward-unto-dawn/16516.html
  • 22. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 July 3rd, 2012 Assassin’s Creed III, if you don’t already know, is headed to a retail store near you October 30 along with fandom extras. If RTS is your flavor then Sega has announced that it will release a sequel to the 2004 Rome: Total War. If you’re not in the mood for video games then some futuristic sci-fi flicks may tickle your fancies. Starship Troopers: Invasion hits store on Blu-ray and DVD August 24. The game won’t drop for couple more months, but the live-web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will begin airing this fall. Assassin’s Creed III, if you don’t already know, is headed to a retail store near you October 30 along with fandom extras. If RTS is your flavor then Sega has announced that it will release a sequel to the 2004 Rome: Total War. If you’re not in the mood for video games then some futuristic sci-fi flicks may tickle your fancies. Starship Troopers: Invasion hits store on Blu-ray and DVD August 24. The game won’t drop for couple more months, but the live-web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will begin airing this fall. In the next Assassin’s title you will take on a young American frontier in the midst of a revolution, but there’s no point in outlining that now. What’s important at the moment, however, is that Ubisoft will deliver a special edition for North and South America. For $119.99 you can purchase the special edition of Assassin’s Creed III for PS3 or Xbox 360 with a 9’’ statue of connor, a special flag, and a belt buckle. If you’re not a console gamer, then the downloadable Digital Deluxe Edition for PC is available for $64.99. The PC Deluxe Edition won’t come with any physical toys, but there will be extra in-game contents such as George Washington’s notebook which contains actual stories from the American Revolution. Metacritic raved about Rome: Total War in 2004 and gave it a 92 rating, and in 2012 Sega announced that they will be releasing a sequel. Surprising? Not especially. Rather, it’s surprising that it hasn’t occurred to the developers sooner that they can capitalize on an outstanding game by releasing a sequel. The cinematic of Hollywood’s Starship Troopers may have disappointed many, but perhaps CGI-animated Starship Troopers: Invasion will help the franchise regain the interest of fans. The Blu-ray and DVD is set to hit August 28. Last but not least, Halo 4 the game is taking up much of the spotlight surrounding the Halo brand, but don’t forget that the series Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn is coming this fall. So while you wait for Halo 4 to launch, you can catch some Master Chief live-web action via Halo Waypoint and Machinima. Trailer? Of course. It's a little short, I know. Enjoy! Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $40 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro- for-40/16518.html July 3rd, 2012 An upgrade to Windows 8 won’t set anyone back, and if one carpools for a couple days he will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
  • 23. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 An upgrade to Windows 8 won’t set anyone back, and if a person carpools for a couple days he will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7, Vista, and XP. In addition to wooing consumers to upgrade with a relatively reasonable promotional price tag, Microsoft is also tagging on Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” after an upgrade is purchased. The Windows 8 upgrading process is very similar to previous versions of Windows. Users are notified that the upgrade may cause incompatibilities among the users’ current hardware, and then they will be given the options to keep all, some, and none of the current Window’s files and settings. Also, depending on the version of Windows a user is upgrading from, he may not be able to keep all settings and or files. The next step will be downloading the upgrade, and how fast the download finishes varies on network conditions on both sides. Once the upgrade finishes downloading, users will be given the options to install the upgrade now or later via various methods which include USB drive or ISO-to-DVD. If people prefer to purchase the physical backup DVD it will cost an extra $15, and a complete retail upgrade version will also be available for $69.99. The promotions of both retail and downloadable upgrades end January 31, 2013. Micron Acquires Elpida and the Future of Computer Memory for $5 Billion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-acquires-elpida-and-the- future-of-computer-memory-for-5-billion/16514.html July 3rd, 2012 The modern world has ton of companies that were on the verge of making a revolution, only to exhaust its cash reserves and crash before they could change the world.
  • 24. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 Regardless of are we talking about 3dfx and 48-bit color, or Elpida and ReRAM i.e. Resistive RAM - the story remains the same. In the very recent past, we saw many of long-lasting industry standards coming to pass, but the basic principle how computer operates - hasn’t changed in a very long time. Regardless of being a mainframe, server, desktop or a smartphone, the principle is the same - computing logic (CPU, GPU, SoC) has several layers of immediate memory (Level 1-3), followed by the system memory (Level 4) and ending with storage subsystem (5th level onwards). That subsystem ranges from a hard drive or a USB stick to large external storage boxes (NAS – Network Area Storage). But what if a technology comes along that unifies the system memory with the storage, and offers bandwidth exceeding the one offered by the Level 1 memory (L1 cache, for example)? Last year, we saw Micron and Intel Demonstrating Hybrid Cube Memory, a 512MB stacked DRAM which achieved bandwidth of 128GB/s from a single chip (imagine a CPU with 4 memory channels and 512 GB/s). That concept is just the beginning. ReRAM or Resistive RAM is considered to be the next phase of memory, supporting the pairing with DRAM and NAND Cells, and ready to replace both in the future. Elpida was considered as the company closest to mass production but due to turmoil in the DRAM industry and as one of consequences of big earthquake in Japan - had to file for bankruptcy in March 2012. Enter Micron - the company announced that “the parties have signed a definitive sponsor agreement for Micron to acquire and support Elpida.” For 200 billion yen, i.e. 2.5 billion U.S. Dollars will be paid off to Elpida’s creditors (secured and unsecured). Furthermore, the company will acquire Elpida as a company for $750 million, as well as additional $1.75 billion secured in annual payments going until 2019. This caused another shakeup on the Taiwanese market as well, as Micron acquired 24% Share of Rexchip Electronics Corporation for about $334 million. Elpida owned 65% of Rexchip, bringing Micron’s share to 89%. Jointly, Elpida and Rexchip can manufacture more than 200,000 300mm wafers (wspm), increasing Micron’s overall capacity to massive 600,000 wafer starts per month (all foundries manufacture chips using 300mm wafers). Roy Taylor, Ex-VP in NVIDIA and MasterImage 3D Joins Rightware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/roy-taylor-ex-vp-in-nvidia-and- masterimage-3d-joins-rightware/16512.html July 3rd, 2012 Today, Rightware announced that a former MasterImage 3D and NVIDIA executive joined the team in the position of Chief Sales Officer (CSO). The person that started NVIDIA’s push in Europe and won many deals for MasterImage 3D will push its future outside the hardware world - by expanding the 3D user interface to as many devices as possible. If you ask any fan for any company, he or she will tell you that the most important asset of that company are the products, be that a mobile phone, graphics card or a Formula 1 team. However, should you ask the CEO of the said companies “what is the most important asset”, the answer would be almost unanimous: people. There are no products if there aren’t people behind them, and Roy Taylor’s career was quite stellar - from founding NVIDIA Europe, The Way Its’ Meant To Be Played to first Tegra design wins with telecoms around the world. After leaving NVIDIA, we saw relatively unknown MasterImage 3D rising into the technical and mainstream press. Now, Roy’s job is to make Rightware a well-known brand. This Futuremark spinoff may be creating and shipping its creations to Volkswagen-Audi Group (VAG) or BMW, but the real challenge will be to enter one of “big-wigs” such as Samsung, Sony, HTC - you’ve guessed it right - smartphone and tablet makers. If you like in China, you can already enjoy their 3D interface for Android operating system made in cooperation with Konka, as well as some other designs we’re not able to publish at present. Can Rightware become a household name or will the company end up being acquired by some player? There’s no answer. Just like Dave Perry’s Gaikai and its recent $380M acquisition by Sony Computer Entertainment.
  • 25. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 Apple iPad Mini to launch this October Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ipad-mini-to-launch-this- october/16513.html July 3rd, 2012 In a recent investment report from Pacific Crest, analysts predict that Apple will launch a 7.85’’ iPad mini this October priced at around $299. In a recent investment report from Pacific Crest, analysts predict that Apple will launch a 7.85’’ iPad mini this October priced at around $299. Rumors of a 7’’ budget slate from Apple have been on the table for a while, and they’re still rumors. However, many OEMs have been either rumored or confirmed to be developing and launching 7-inchers, so it’s no surprise that Apple don’t want other tablet makers to cannibalize their brand. “Based on our supply checks, we expect Apple to launch a 7.85” iPad in October. We anticipate an entry-level 7.85” iPad with 8GB of NAND capacity to price at $299,” states the report. The late Steve Jobs, was an opponent of a 7-incher, but apparently Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, have something else in mind. An article from Tab Times a couple of months ago rumored that the R&D in Cupertino was testing a 7.85’’ tablet. Also in the report, analysts suggest that the current gen iPad will receive some upgrades which may include a repositioning of the camera, improved touchscreen interface, reduced weight, and improved battery life. As for the iPad 2, the firm predicts that its shelf-life will end with the launch of the iPad Mini. Mozilla announces Firefox Mobile OS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mozilla-announces-firefox-mobile- os/16511.html July 3rd, 2012 The WebOS platform is virtually extinct due to stiff competitions from iOS and Android, but more than anything else, the WebOS “technology wasn’t there yet.” Paul Mercer, former senior director of the WebOS project, claimed that WebOS was “ahead of its time.” So perhaps now is the time for a web based mobile OS to take on the challenge. Firefox announced today that they will be partnering with various OEMs and carriers to create an open sourced HTML5-driven mobile platform using the Firefox brand—it’s called, “Firefox Mobile OS.”
  • 26. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 The WebOS platform is virtually extinct due to stiff competitions from iOS and Android, but more than anything else, the WebOS “technology wasn’t there yet.” Paul Mercer, former senior director of the WebOS project, claimed that WebOS was “ahead of its time.” So perhaps now is the time for a web based mobile OS to take on the challenge. Firefox announced today that they will be partnering with various OEMs and carriers to create an open sourced HTML5-driven mobile platform using the Firefox brand—it’s called, “Firefox Mobile OS.” Firefox claims that they will be able to “unlock many current limitations of web development” by utilizing their “Boot to Gecko project.” The Mozilla technology, they also claim, will allow HTML5 applications to access capabilities of phones which have been only available through native applications previously. In an earlier presentation this year, Mozilla teamed up with Telefónica’s Digital unit to demonstrate how every feature of a phone such as calling, messaging, and games can be powered by HTML5. Mozilla is quick to hint that they are not aiming to take on the “high-end” smartphone market just yet. Their mobile OS platform will initially be aimed at entry-level smartphones, whereby, they are hoping that the elimination of “unnecessary middleware layers” will allow mobile operators to fully customize the OS for the right price and functionality. OEMs such as ZTE has announced that they intend to produce smartphones featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPUs to run the Firefox Mobile OS. The project has already submitted various Web APIs to W3C for standardization, and Gary Kovacs, Mozilla’s CEO, hope that the arrival of Firefox Mobile OS will spark “openness, innovation and opportunity” from users and developers on the web.
  • 27. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 Press Release: Industry support is growing behind Mozilla’s plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5. The operating system, which Mozilla today confirmed will use its Firefox brand, will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device’s capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications. Mapping to key Firefox footprints around the globe, leading operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant to the smartphone marketplace. They have also identified the potential of the technology to deliver compelling smartphone experiences at attainable prices. Device manufacturers TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE today announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon™ processors from Qualcomm Incorporated, the leader in smartphone platforms. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo. The Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko project” which unlocks many of the current limitations of web development on mobile, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications. Telefónica’s Digital unit joined forces with Mozilla earlier this year to take this work and showcase a new phone architecture where every phone feature (calling, messaging, games, etc.) is an HTML5 application. Due to the optimization of the platform for entry- level smartphones and the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, mobile operators will have the ability to offer richer experiences at a range of price points including at the low end of the smartphone price range, helping to drive adoption across developing markets. Mozilla and all other participants are committed to ensuring the project is fully open and the reference implementation of the required Web APIs is being submitted to W3C for standardization. “The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings.” About Mozilla Mozilla has been a pioneer and advocate for the Web for more than a decade. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones. For more information please visit https://www.mozilla.org/ Supporting Quotes from Operators Matthew Key, Chairman & CEO of Telefónica Digital commented, “Firefox OS will bring a better smartphone experience to a higher proportion of the population at a lower cost. This is crucial for us to accelerate the adoption of smartphones in developing markets. The breadth of support for this initiative across the industry makes it clear that there is an opportunity in the market for a new, open mobile ecosystem.” Fared Adib, Product Chief at Sprint said, “Sprint continues to support an open mobile ecosystem that enables choice for Sprint customers and a healthy competitive ecosystem for the technical community. Firefox Mobile OS can help us drive an HTML 5-based platform for creating lower cost smartphone options for prepaid, postpaid and wholesale customers.” Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Deutsche Telekom said, “Deutsche Telekom’s objective is to provide our customers a choice from a variety of attractive, and best of breed, products and services – from DT as well as from our partners. Partnering is key for Deutsche Telekom and our cooperation with Mozilla is one important initiative for us. We support Mozilla’s Firefox OS project since we really believe that it embodies openness, innovation, and competition, and it is part of a growing cloud and HTML5- based ecosystem. As a function of our commitment, our Innovation Laboratory’s Silicon Valley Center is working closely with Mozilla’s development team and e.g. is contributing NFC enabling software to Boot to Gecko Platform.” Orlando B. Vea, Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart said, “We welcome the introduction of the Firefox OS, and we recognize the exciting potentials of an HTML5-based, fully open mobile ecosystem. As the leading wireless services provider in the Philippines, we are keen to work with industry players like Mozilla to create relevant and delightful mobile Internet experiences for Filipino mobile users as we make data connectivity even more pervasive in the country.” “Firefox entering the smartphone market is a welcome development and we look forward to seeing HTML5 bring mobile technology to new levels not thought possible before,” Vea added. Cesare Sironi, Head of Innovation and Industry Relations, Telecom Italia commented, “Mobile operating systems natively based on HTML5 will lower the barriers to provide our customers with performing and innovative mobile applications and services. Open web technologies are the key for the development of a sustainable and valuable application ecosystem.”
  • 28. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 Kristin Skogen Lund, CEO Telenor Digital Services commented, “We are pleased to be part of the coalition supporting the launch of the new open mobile ecosystem. This will enable free and open service distribution to our customers, in addition to providing attractive smartphones at attainable prices, which is especially important for the adoption in emerging markets”. Essa Al Haddad, Chief Commercial Officer at Etisalat Group said: “Etisalat aim to enrich the user experience and improve the life of its customers by providing enhanced services across a complete portfolio of devices and operating systems. Firefox OS will provide an open source platform to our customers and various ecosystem players, such as application developers, to experience innovative services. Thanks to this strategic initiative, the industry will benefit from a sustained growth in mobile data and the development of cutting edge applications, as well as the promise of affordable smartphone devices that provide an enriched customer experience.” Call of Duty: Black Ops II to get reimagined Nuketown map Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/call-of-duty-black-ops-ii-to-get- reimagined-nuketown-map/16510.html July 3rd, 2012 Treyarch has revealed that it is revamping the popular Nuketown map for the upcoming first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Treyarch has revealed that it is revamping the popular Nuketown map for the upcoming first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The original Nuketown was a small multiplayer map set in a fake town used for simulating nuclear effects on urban life, replete with mannequins and other interesting terrain. Nuketown 2025 will involve a re-imagining of the classic map, though Treyarch is remaining tight-lipped about what this will involve. The combat will remain close-quarters like the original, but the setting will involve a 1960s conception of what a futuristic home would look like, giving that somewhat dated science-fiction appeal. “Multiplayer fans of Call of Duty: Black Ops LOVE Nuketown,” said Mark Lamia, Studio Head of Treyarch. “Flat out, Nuketown was a blast to play before, and we're excited about the reimagined Nuketown 2025 in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. We can't wait to play with everyone come this November.” The map will be given for free as a bonus download across all platforms to anyone who pre-orders the game before its release on 13 November. Weekend website troubles raise questions over internet reliability Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/weekend-website-troubles-raise- questions-over-internet-reliability/16508.html July 3rd, 2012 Storms and the “leap second” have caused severe downtime for many websites over the weekend, including popular services like Reddit, Foursquare, Netflix, Instagram, and Amazon Web Services, raising questions over the reliability of the internet in the face of relatively simple obstacles. Storms and the “leap second” have caused severe downtime for many websites over the weekend, including popular services like Reddit, Foursquare, Netflix, Instagram, and Amazon Web Services, raising questions over the reliability of the internet in the face of relatively simple obstacles. The United States has suffered lightning storms in recent days, with many along the East Coast left without power, which has caused a knock-on effect to any internet-based service operating in the area. This meant that Amazon Web Services was partly knocked offline, with even its back-up generator roasted by the storms. Since many companies rely on this service for hosting, thousands of other websites were affected by downtime. Netflix, Instagram and Reddit were also affected.
  • 29. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 Nature is one thing, but the addition of an extra second added to the world clock, designed to address fluctuations in the Earth's rotation, resulted in chaos in the way many feared the Millenium Bug would. The leap second added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) at midnight on 30 June meant that many services that rely on the precision of time to deliver data suffered disruption, including severe errors where data was out of sync or missing entirely. Websites affected by this included Reddit, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Gawker, and StumbleUpon, among many others. Even online booking systems were disrupted, and doubtless there were other incidents around the world as a result of the extra second. Google avoided the problem by dividing the extra second throughout the day, adding just a few milliseconds at a time over regular intervals. This meant its clocks had already taken the extra second into account before it was suddenly added to UTC. The disruption raises questions about the reliability of the internet in the face of such relatively simple issues. Electrical storms are a common occurrence, and when even backup generators face outage because of them it suggests we have not yet developed sufficient protection for computer equipment from the forces of nature. The leap year issue is a computer problem, but since Google was able to bypass any difficulties, and since 25 leap seconds have been added since 1972, this is more of a sign of lack of preparation than lack of skill. In fact, Google shared its "leap smear" solution on a blog last September, giving many services ample time to copy its approach and save themselves and their customers many headaches. Samsung launches S Health app for Galaxy S III Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-launches-s-health-app-for- galaxy-s-iii/16507.html July 3rd, 2012 Samsung has launched the S Health “personal wellness” application for the Galaxy S III, hoping to help improve the health of its smartphone users. Samsung has launched the S Health “personal wellness” application for the Galaxy S III, hoping to help improve the health of its smartphone users. The app, which was first demonstrated at the Galaxy S III Unpacked launch event in May, collects and collates data on the user's health to chart changes and help with improving lifestyle. The software is compatible with a number of healthcare sensors, including blood glucose meters, blood pressure monitors and body composition scales. These currently include the Lifescan Blood Glucose Meter, connected via USB, the OMRON Blood Pressure Monitor and Body Composition, and the A&D Blood Pressure Monitor and Body Composition, the latter two connecting via Bluetooth. Much of the data is added automatically through the above devices, but users can also manually enter information about diet, exercise, medication intake, and other relevant health data. For those who need a little motivation to improve their health, the app is integrated with Twitter, allowing users to share goals and achievements, and get the support of others in their quest for better health. The app can be downloaded through the More Services app on the Galaxy S III.
  • 30. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 Court Deals Blow To Samsung Patent Claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/court-deals-blow-to-samsung- patent-claims/16492.html July 3rd, 2012 On Saturday the ongoing legal battle over patents between technology giants Apple v Samsung & Google took another step forward as California District Court Judge Lucy Koh refused all of Samsung's pre-trial summary judgement motions against Apple's smart phone patents. On Saturday the ongoing legal battle over patents between technology giants Apple v Samsung & Google took another step forward as California District Court Judge Lucy Koh refused all of Samsung's pre-trial summary judgement motions against Apple's smart phone patents. Samsung submitted the motions after Apple filed motions against it for purported smartphone-related IP infringments, plus Apple's FRAND-related antitrust claims. As the matter has progressed, Apple's defense of it's patents has been found to be mostly sound , while Samsung's technology and Google's programming ethics have been called into question by Apple's string of wins. In this decision the Court found Samsung / Google did not have sufficient property rights over the patents in dispute to justify an injunction favoring them, and they were all refused. By rebuffing Samsung's claims to those patents, the court has put the Samsung / Google partnership on the back foot in the lead-up to the trial in late July. The string of courtroom wins by Apple in relation to several patents as well as procedural issues are highlighting Samsung's design strategy and direction and the ethics of Google's programming involvement in the smartphone market. Judge Koh's decisions and Apple's concise submissions on this matter highlight what appears to be a dubious design and software practices by Samsung and Google. Gaikai Cloud Gaming Platform Sold to Sony for $380 Million Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gaikai-cloud-gaming-platform-sold- to-sony-for-380-million/16506.html July 3rd, 2012 Ever since Dave Perry started his big push in the media for Gaikai, seasoned analysts could see a distinctive pattern – this will be the year of sale or the last funding series ahead of the IPO. In the end, it was the first one, with Sony winning the bidding war alongside quite a few interested parties. There is no doubt in our mind that David “Dave” Perry is an industry legend with several multi-million titles that came from the era before gaming became “larger than Hollywood”. Four years ago, he started an adventure called Gaikai i.e. a cloud gaming service which would harness the power of GPUs to run multiple virtual instances of the same game and give the high-end gaming experience to everybody. For example, Gaikai technology was able to virtualize six instances of World of Warcraft onto the single Kepler-based GPU, presumably GeForce GTX 680. Naturally, the problem with pixel streaming services was that in order to serve, let’s say a million WoW gamers you would need to have - in the very best case scenario – 166,666 GPUs. For some other games, they were able to run from eight to twelve instances. Now, while we know of two cases where future Tesla GPUs will be deployed in a similar volume, you can be sure that those supercomputers won’t be used for gaming. Thus, when we heard the announcement between Gaikai and Samsung, it was clear to us that there is a bidding war going on for the company, and the biggest question was – who will provide the biggest ROI to the investors that backed the project since 2008, as well as who will expand the service. The answer to that is no other than Sony Computer Entertainment. While Sony has laid low following one of the biggest security disasters of our time (70 million accounts stolen), the company wants to come back swinging into profitability, and it is obvious that SCE believes Gaikai is the “Secret Sauce” the company needs to win over tens of millions of gamers. Also, big winners are investment groups and companies such as Benchmark Capital, Intel Capital, Limelight Networks, NEA, Qualcomm, Rustic Canyon Partners and TriplePoint Capital. Even though it is not mentioned, we were informed that some players at NVIDIA are also quite happy with the acquisition as there were some green people funds involved in not just one, but several funds which invested in Gaikai. What we find especially funny though, is that the executives at Sony Computer Entertainment specifically denied any takeover attempt. However, we all know when the big companies are lying e.g. deceiving the general audience and its own investors in order to outbid the competitor, which in this case was – Samsung. The Korean CE giant was very close to Gaikai and announced quite a substantial “get together” at the Electronic Entertainment Expo held in early July in Los Angeles, CA. Ultrabook Sales Picking Up: 11% of the Market Already? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultrabook-sales-picking-up-11-of- the-market-already-/16401.html July 3rd, 2012 According to Intel, 2012 is the year of the Ultrabook. According to AMD, 2012 is the year of the Ultrathin. No matter how you look at it, the fall should be marked with thin notebooks. NPD Group shows that both companies are right, as consumers are starting to purchase more and more compact laptops.
  • 31. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 16 All the major players in the industry are pulling forward with the thin notebooks. Regardless of the platform manufacturer, being thin is not just the obsession in fashion, but the computing world seems to like thin as well. NPD Group, a well-known market analysis firm released a report on notebook sales in the U.S. during the first five months of 2012. The report states that Ultrabook and Ultrathin devices (the group makes no difference between Intel and AMD) already make for almost 11% of premium priced notebooks on the U.S. retail market. When it comes to premium price, the bar is set at $700. While this sounds quite good, the fact of the matter is that the premium notebook market in the U.S. is allegedly dominated by Apple, as sales of premium Windows-based notebooks dropped by 17%. Looking into the report, it seems that Windows devices are pressured from multiple sides. For starters, we are witnessing the rise of mobile devices such as tablets, as well as the continuing wait for the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. Most premium notebook customers are well-educated in market trends and the technology in general, and in general they want to get the latest and the greatest. Do note that the analysis did not cover the graduation month e.g. June, which we estimate to be one of strong pushers for awarding graduates, as well as Fathers Day events. Furthermore, the report served a point on smoke and mirrors. While there seems to be an illusion of Apple dominating the premium notebook sales, the fact of the matter is that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system share isn’t growing at the pace stock analysts would like to. For example, In August of 2011 Mac OS X had a 6.03% share. Almost a year later, the share grew to 6.72%. At the same time, Microsoft Windows OS share dropped from 92.90% to 92.23%. Tectonic movements? We don’t think so. It looks to us that the company has a core audience that continuously upgrades its platform as soon as the new one shows, but most of new customers come from purchasing tablets and mobile phones. Still, seeing Ultrabooks capturing 11% of the market is encouraging, as it helped to drive the ASP (Average Selling Price) up by $13 for the overall Windows PC platform when compared to 2011. When Ultrabook platform first appeared on the market, we saw the prices averaging $900 and more, but the prices are now coming down to a more reasonable level, dipping to an average of $885 in May 2012. Second half of the year will be a completely different story. Over the past seven weeks, we attended no less than five trade shows and conferences, in which it was clearly shown what level of innovation we can expect – Windows 8 will bring a series of touchscreen thin notebooks e.g. Ultrabooks/ Ultrathins, and only the end of the year report will confirm or deny real trends in the industry. Chinese court demands Apple pays $60 million for "iPad" trademark Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-court-demands-apple- pays-60-million-for-ipad-trademark/16504.html July 3rd, 2012 The legal battle for the "iPad" in China is finally over, and Apple is to pay Proview Technology $60 million. The legal battle for the "iPad" in China is finally over, and Apple is to pay Proview Technology $60 million. Apple claimed that it had purchased the rights the iPad brand in 2009 from Proview Technology, but Chinese authorities said that transferred never happened. The iPad is one of Apple's most important products, and China is one of the most lucrative markets. So Apple has to swallow this $60 million bullet and move forward. Two Apple stores were said to launch in China, one in Shenzhen and another in Chengdu, but were delayed possibly because of the Apple-Proview dispute. According to the Tech In Asia, the court proceedings ended July 25, but it was not until today that an official announcement was made. Apple reportedly offered Proview Technology $16 million, but that sum was well short of Proview Technology's asking price of $400 million. Investors, creditors, and bankers have been keeping a sharp eye on Proview Technology since the trademark dispute began in 2010, and why not? Proview just netted $60 million for the "iPad" name. Asustek co-brands Nexus 7 to increase value of their own brand Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asustek-co-brands-nexus-7-to- increase-value-of-their-own-brand/16503.html July 3rd, 2012 Asustek and Google are partners in the development and distribution of the Google Nexus 7, and, according to analyst, Asustek is utilizing the co-branding opportunity to enhance their brand rather than to make money.
  • 32. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 17 Asustek and Google are partners in the development and distribution of the Google Nexus 7, and, according to an analyst, Asustek is utilizing the co-branding opportunity to enhance their brand rather than to make money. The price tag of a Nexus 7 will be $199.99, and that’s the same price as the production cost. Now, why would an OEM produce a co-branded device for no profit, and hoping just to break even? An analyst, Thompson Wu of Credit Suisse, from Taiwan suggests that Asustek is not aiming to net any profit from the Nexus 7. Contrary to traditional OEM business methodology, they are seeking to build their brand in a system where OEMs “have limited opportunities to differentiate” from the brands which Asustek is making hardware for. “We believe Asustek realizes that in a market where OEMs have limited opportunity to differentiate without content and operating systems, it's demonstrating its edge via research and development and innovation, while building upon its brand value,” Wu says. Asustek has already cemented itself as a high quality OEM, but perhaps they are aiming for something more. Perhaps they want to totally dominate the Android tablet market, and the recent flood of Asus-branded Android tablets is testimonies to how “valuable” the Asus brand is. Apple charges for required free service in Italy Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-charges-for-required-free- service-in-italy/16502.html July 3rd, 2012 Apple is constantly going after other companies for patent infringements, and, ironically, consumers are constantly going after Apple for consumer rights infringements. In a recent article we discussed that Chinese consumers were unsatisfied with Apple’s support in China, and now it’s the Italian’s turn to take a bite out of the Apple pie. Apple is constantly going after other companies for patent infringements, and, ironically, consumers are constantly going after Apple for consumer rights infringements. In a recent article we discussed that Chinese consumers were unsatisfied with Apple’s support in China, and now it’s the Italian’s turn to take a bite out of the Apple pie. It is the law in Italy for consumers to have the right to get two years of free assistance on electronics and durable goods, but it just so happens that Apple is only offering one year free and consumer has to pay to get support in the second year. Basically, Italians that are paying for an extra year of support from Apple need to get their money back. According to Reuters, various Apple divisions in Europe have already been imposed with fines of 900,000 euros, and if Apple continues to not comply with Italian authorities then another 300,000 euros will be imposed. Apple has 30 days to respond to the AGCM’s compliance request. Today's Announcements: Super Mario Bros 2, Monster Hunt 4, Gears of War: Judgement, Left 4 Dead 2: Cold Stream Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/today-s-announcements-super- mario-bros-2-monster-hunt-4-gears-of-war-judgement-left-4-dead-2- cold-stream/16501.html July 3rd, 2012 In today’s announcement; the Mega Mushroom returns in the next Super Mario Bros title, a long overdue trailer for Monster Hunt 4, Gears of War: Judgment will possibly launch in early 2013, and the Cold Stream DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 is due out July 24. In today’s announcement; the Mega Mushroomreturns in the next Super Mario Bros title, a long overdue trailer for Monster Hunt 4, Gears of War: Judgment will possibly launch in early 2013, and the Cold Stream DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 is due out July 24. Super Mario Bros is Nintendo’s most revered franchise and the release of Super Mario Bros 2 later this summer will make many reminisce on the days of the NES and Super NES. As depicted in a recent screenshot (above) of the 3DS XL, the gameplay appears to remain true to the early days of Super Mario. Mario and/or Luigi begin a stage at point A and finish at point B, and along the way they collect power ups and coins to receive extra continuations.
  • 33. July 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 18 But wait, what do we have here? Is that a gigantic Mario smashing and leveling the whole stage? It appears that the Mega Mushroom will be among the lineup of power ups in Super Mario 2. Take that Koopas! Next, Capcom announced Monster Hunter 4 at the Tokyo Game Show 2011, but there weren’t any trailers until now. An official release window for Japan is spring 2013, and for North American fans, keep nagging Capcom if you want an NA release. Moving onto FPS, the previous rumored launch date for Gears of War: Judgement was around the end of this 2012, but according to Game Informer, Microsoft may be releasing it in early 2013 instead. Disappointing news for GoW fans, but cheer up, if you’re a fan of Left 4 Dead then just know that Valve has announced they will be releasing the Cold Stream DLC July 24. So hopefully some additional zombie-mutant-blasting can be a substitute for alien-blasting for another couple of months. Valve also promises some highly requested “surprises” will be a part of the DLC if you decide to purchase Cold Stream.
  • 34. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Wikileaks to publish 2.4 million Syrian emails Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wikileaks-to-publish-2.4-million- syrian-emails/16561.html July 5th, 2012 Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks is to publish 2.4 million emails from Syrian officials and government accounts, marking the latest project in its efforts to show the world what is going on behind closed doors. Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks is to publish 2.4 million emails from Syrian officials and government accounts, marking the latest project in its efforts to show the world what is going on behind closed doors. The emails reputedly reveal communication between the Syrian government and Western companies, suggesting potential controversy over the alleged collusion between the Syrian regime and its supposed enemies. Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks told journalists that the leak will cause embarrassment to both Syria and its opponents, with messages dating from August 2006 to March 2012, and some originating in Syria's Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The source of the leak has not been revealed, but Harrison claims that WikiLeaks is confident that they are genuine. The group has already begun posting the emails online, with a handful available to be viewed from today. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, faces extradition to Sweden over charges of alleged rape and sexual assault, which he denies, claiming that he is being set up over his role as a whistle-blower. The case has overshadowed the work of WikiLeaks, but this latest release may take the limelight off Assange and back to the group's efforts. Image Credit: WikiLeaks Twitter reunites dog with owner Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/twitter-reunites-dog-with- owner/16560.html July 5th, 2012 The power of the internet to affect real lives was demonstrated recently when Twitter helped reunite a dog with his Irish owner. The power of the internet to affect real lives was demonstrated recently when Twitter helped reunite a dog with his Irish owner. The adventurous Jack Russell terrier called Patch took an hour train ride from Kilcock, County Kildare, to Dublin, where Irish Rail realised this did not look like a normal passenger. The company tweeted “Lost dog!” with a picture of the animal and after 500 retweets over the course of just 32 minutes, the owner, Deirdre Anglin, noticed that it was her pet.
  • 35. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Patch disappeared on Tuesday night, possibly to ask other dogs what the best public transport to Dublin was, and Anglin posted pictures on Facebook to see if anyone saw him. Little did she know that it would be a different social network entirely that would lead to their reunion. “It was good she showed up so quickly, because the staff in the office were getting quite attached to him,” said Barry Kenny, spokesperson for Irish Rail. While lamposts might still be a hotspot for dogs to congregate, it looks like pet owners will be turning to Twitter instead when posting their “missing dog” posters. Microsoft discovers Android spam botnet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-discovers-android-spam- botnet/16559.html July 5th, 2012 Microsoft has discovered an Android botnet responsible for sending large volumes of spam across the web, raising further concerns about the security of mobile operating systems. Microsoft has discovered an Android botnet responsible for sending large volumes of spam across the web, raising further concerns about the security of mobile operating systems. Terry Zink, security engineer for Microsoft, revealed that spam messages are being sent from the Yahoo! Mail app on Android, showing that at least one botnet exists on Google's popular mobile platform. All of the spam detected was from compromised Yahoo accounts, so it probably says more about Yahoo than it does Android, but all of the messages also feature “Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android” at the bottom, as well as an Android-specific Yahoo.com email. Zink found that most of the infections were in the following countries: Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela. He said that users in developed countries tend to have fewer malware infections than those in developing countries like many of the above. Zink also suggested that the infections are the result of downloading illegitimate apps, including a possible rogue Yahoo! Mail app. Smartphones are, in many ways, more computer than phone, but users tend to not treat them like they would their PC or laptop, which most people have anti-virus software for. As the smartphone market continues to boom, users will need to adjust their security habits. Image Credit: Bodo Akdeniz FBI to shut internet access to thousands of infected computers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-to-shut-internet-access-to- thousands-of-infected-computers/16558.html July 5th, 2012 The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is to shut down internet access to thousands of computers around the world which have been infected with the DNSChanger trojan. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is to shut down internet access to thousands of computers around the world which have been infected with the DNSChanger trojan.
  • 36. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 A whopping 350,000 computer users may lose their internet connection on Monday 9 July as the FBI takes extreme action to deal with the threat posed by this malware. 85,000 of the infected computers are in the United States, while 20,000 are in the UK. The trojan, which has been in the wild for five years, infects DNS servers and let Estonian cybercriminals redirect internet traffic to websites with adverts on them, from which they gained millions of dollars of profit. The FBI obtained a court order in March to allow the Internet Systems Consortium to deploy and maintain temporary clean DNS servers in order to give users time to repair their infected computers, but the substantial cost involved in keeping such systems in place meant it was only a matter of time before the plug would be pulled and infected computers become isolated from the internet. There is a simple fix for the trojan, however, and those concerned about potentially losing their internet connections have been advised to use the free DNS Check web tool from McAfee to scan for and remove the malware. Unfortunately it is unlikely that all those affected by the trojan will remove it in time, leaving many users without access to the web, emails, social networks, and other internet services. Olympus Japan announces that they're "back" in the AR Glasses game with MEG4.0 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/olympus-japan-announces-that- they-re-back-in-the-ar-glasses-game-with-meg4.0/16556.html July 5th, 2012 Olympus announced today that they're developing a new AR glasses prototype, which they're calling "MEG4.0", that will incorporate all the know-how they've accumulated in making wearable computing devices thus far. Google made big waves when it announced Project Glass, and chances are they will be the ones to popularise AR glasses when the product finally ships, in the same way Apple popularised voice control. But Google certainly wasn't the first company to envision a future where everyone walks around looking like Vegeta from Dragonball. In fact, Olympus's been trying to make them for over a decade now. First with IBM in 1999, and more recently with NTT DoCoMo. At CEATEC 2010 in Japan, Olympus and NTT DoCoMo even showed off a working prototype, called AR Walker, that was connected to a HTC Touch Diamond Windows Mobile 6.5 handset. Representatives said that the prototype would have to be revised - to make it comfortable for prolonged usage and, well, support anything other than WinMo 6.5 - before it could be commercialised. Two years on, the AR Walker is nowhere closer to commercialisation. At last year's CEATEC it wasn't even on the showfloor. But who needs NTT DoCoMo when the world's your oyster, now that Google has effectively captured the whole world's imagination with Project Glass? Olympus announced today that they're developing a new AR glasses prototype, which they call "MEG4.0", that will incorporate all the know-how they've accumulated in making wearable computing devices thus far.
  • 37. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 The MEG4.0, in its current state, is 196mm-long, lightweight at under 30g (including battery), and equipped with a high- luminance QVGA display (320x240, 10cd/m2?2,000cd/ m2). According to past reports of Olympus-made AR glasses (not the MEG4.0), the experience is likely to be similar to looking at a 7-inch display from a meter away. A gyroscope sensor is also embedded into the MEG4.0, which will come in handy when connected to smartphone applications via Bluetooth 2.1. There's also mention of a positioning sensor, although there's no confirmation if this is GPS. Olympus also described the MEG4.0 as energy-efficient, lasting approximately eight hours under "normal usage scenarios", which they've defined as "having the display on for 15 seconds every three minutes". If you were to leave the display on all the time, a full charge is good for approximately two hours. Even without comparing it to Project Glass specs (er... specifications), I get the feeling that Olympus will need to further re-iterate the MEG4.0 (it doesn't even have a camera on it) before I could wear it as happily as this guy here: Blizzard admits Diablo III does not have enough for "long-term sustainability" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-admits-diablo-iii-does-not- have-enough-for-long-term-sustainability-/16557.html July 5th, 2012 People waited over a decade for Diablo III, and that wait has amounted to a game that doesn’t have enough content for people to enjoy in the long run. Blizzard admits Diablo III does have “enough for a long-term sustainability end-game.” People waited over a decade for Diablo III, and that wait has amounted to a game that doesn’t have enough content for people to enjoy in the long run. Blizzard admits Diablo III does have “enough for a long-term sustainability end-game.” In a recent official forum post, Community Manager Bashiok wrote: “We recognize that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game. There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they're going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven't already). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks. But honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren't going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it's not there right now. We're working toward 1.0.4, which we're really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we'll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we're of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they're not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end- game. We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it's a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out.” Blizzard may not have spent a whole decade working on Diablo III, so we can’t expect them to deliver a product that will keep gamers entertain for another ten years. And speaking of hindsight, rarely does a major gaming studio step forward and admit they did not deliver “enough” content in their product. Moving onto the solutions for maintaining player interest in Diablo III, Blizzard claims that they are working to include more modes and content in future patches. For Diablo III to simply “end” may not be in the best interest of players, therefore, a progression system will be a very welcoming solution. In essence, if Blizzard opts to go for the progression route, it means that they will have to dedicate a lot resources and development time into creating new and unique content —which then leads to the question of, “will I have to pay for these new contents?” If fans know anything about Blizzard, they should know that Blizzard takes a lot of time to develop a new game and/or content. Even Blizzard admits that the progression system that is being proposed is “still a ways out.” If players are willing to wait a decade to dive right back into the Diablo franchise, then there’s a high possibility that they will wait for Blizzard to add more to Diablo III. However, by admitting that they did not provide enough content to keep players interested, Blizzard may also be assuming that if they don’t act quickly to add more things for people to do then the
  • 38. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 value of the Diablo brand will shrink—which isn’t something Blizzard wants. Buy and eat an iPhone for less than a dollar Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buy-and-eat-an-iphone-for-less- than-a-dollar/16555.html July 5th, 2012 Would you eat an iPhone? Alright, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to digest a Lithium battery, silicon chips, PCBs, metals, etc… But how about slurping away at an iPhone ice cream on a hot day? That sounds a lot more delectable than a real iPhone. Would you eat an iPhone? Alright, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to digest a Lithium battery, silicon chips, PCBs, metals, etc… But how about slurping away at an iPhone ice cream on a hot day? That sounds a lot more delectable than a real iPhone. An ice cream maker in the Lioaning Province of China has created an iPhone ice cream that is very popular among students in the area, according to a report from Sina. Before being able to dig into the tasty treat, a person has to tear up a wrapper that has a picture of a product that looks exactly like the iPhone 4. Once the wrapper is off; people can chomp away at an ice cream that looks like Apple’s logo. The owner admits that there’s nothing especially unique about the taste of the ice cream, so perhaps the popularity of his product actually reflects how desirable an Apple product is in China. Okay, onto a more serious matter. How is this not some sort of copyright or trademark infringement? According to a staff member of the Shenyang Industrial and Commercial Bureau, the popular iPhone ice cream does not infringe Apple’s copyright or trademark because food and tech are in two different sectors. Hence, if Apple wants to own the logo or trademark in the food and tech sectors, it will have to register the logo and trademark in both sectors. The ice cream sells for 1 yuan (~$0.16) each. Excuse me sir, how many can I get for a dollar? No Retina for iPad Mini Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/no-retina-for-ipad-mini/16554.html July 5th, 2012 Speculations that Apple will release an iPad Mini has been rampant, but aside from the “Mini” 7.85’’ portion of the rumors, we don’t know much else regarding what Apple may have in store for consumers. Speculations that Apple will release an iPad Mini has been rampant, but aside from the “Mini” 7.85’’ portion of the rumors, we don’t know much else regarding what Apple may have in store for consumers. However, some interesting new rumors have led many to believe that the iPad Mini will come with the display technology found in the iPhone 3GS. The third gen iPad has a Retina display boasting a 2048 x 1536 resolution. However, the Retina display may not be available on the iPad Mini as the price point is well below that of the lowest priced version of the third gen iPad. For the smaller iPad Mini to be compatible with many current Apple iOS tablet apps, it has to have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. By applying the display technology that’s in the iPhone 3GS, Apple can produce a 7.85’’ tablet that will have the same resolution as the two previous gen iPads for a much cheaper price. No iPad Mini with Retina display? I suppose Apple can still compete with other 7’’ tablets without the need of a Retina display. CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cm-storm-sentinel-advance-ii- review/16552.html July 5th, 2012 Looking for a new mouse? Get ready for CM Storm’s latest addition to their premium line of gaming device. The Sentinel Advance II comes straight out of a Transformer
  • 39. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 movie, complete with a streamlined ergonomic shape, multi- colour LED lights and an OLED display. Everything about this mouse spells high tech and next generation. Packaging The front of the outer packaging features black with red accents, with the 200 to 8200 DPI capability of the new Avago ADNS-9800 sensor emphasised as the main selling point. The back of the box lists the specifications of the mouse. The feature flap is cleverly fastened by two Velcro dots. After lifting the flap, the actual mouse is revealed while the inner flap explains the specifications in greater detail: • Superior Gaming Grade Sensor – For higher precision and elimination of Z-Axis issues • 128KB Sentinel X Memory – For storage of profiles and macros directly in the mouse itself • Customizable Profile Light Effects – For changing colours when changing profiles • On The Fly DPI Fine Tuning – Changing DPI by pressing a button • Add Your Clan or Community Logo – Personalizing a 32x32 logo for display on the OLED screen • Advanced Driver Panel – For recording of macros, mapping functions to mouse buttons and customization • Weight Fine Tuning System – Adjust the weight and balance of the mouse using 5 x 4.5g weights • Storm Tactics Multiplier Key – Double available buttons to 17 by using combinations of buttons. The contents of the box are pretty sparse - A pamphlet directing you to www.cmstorm.com to download applications and drivers, another pamphlet detailing warranty information, a set of replacement mouse feet and the actual mouse itself. While the lack of a CD is certainly environmentally friendly, the actual size of the software is a considerable 125MB, which could be a drawback for users with slower internet connections or restrictive data caps.
  • 40. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 NC State researcher develops "clickjacking rootkits" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nc-state-researcher-develops- clickjacking-rootkits-/16553.html July 5th, 2012 Android has seen increasing numbers of threats from malwares and viruses recently. As the popular open sourced platform becomes even more widespread, so will the threats. Researchers at NC State have found a hole in the Android GUI and services that allows malwares to disguise itself as a normal app. The team developed a “clickjacking rootkit” that allows malwares to hijack a phone’s regular icon and replaces it with its own user-information-theft software. Android has seen increasing numbers of threats from malwares and viruses recently. As the popular open sourced platform becomes even more widespread, so will the threats. Researchers at NC State have found a hole in the Android GUI and services that allows malwares to disguise itself as a normal app. The team developed a “clickjacking rootkit” that allows malwares to hijack a phone’s regular icon and replaces it with its own user-information-theft software. The clickjacking rootkit allows people to disguise their malwares in the form of legitimate Android software. What this means is that icons of a normal (non-harmful) software gets replaced with a malware, and when a user clicks on the seemingly “normal” icon he will launch an application that may seem to function normally, but underneath it are hijacking codes that steals user information. This vulnerability, as you will see in the video demonstration, is apparent in Android ICS 4.0.4. The rootkit hasn’t been tested on previous Androids, but the chances of this vulnerability existing on previous platforms are high. Android Jelly Bean 4.1 is still being investigated, and until then we cannot assume that any Android OS is secured. The rootkit exposes how various malwares can infect an Android phone and steal user information. Even harmful apps can pass as being “normal” and un-harmful can still be downloaded from Google Play. All this is possible because the vulnerability doesn’t require root access. Apple loses 4 patent claims against HTC in the U.K. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-loses-4-patent-claims-against- htc-in-the-u.k./16551.html July 5th, 2012 U.K’s court has determined that HTC does not infringe four of Apple’s patent, and thereby opening the door even further for other smartphone manufacturers to compete in a $219 billion global market. U.K’s court has determined that HTC does not infringe four of Apple’s patent, and thereby opening the door further for other smartphone manufacturers to compete in a $219 billion global market. Apple tried to knock out HTC in the U.K. by claiming that its patents regarding photo management, slide to unlock, changing of the alphabet through scrolling, and software allowing users to touch two spots at the same time were infringed. The court ruled, however, that HTC did not infringe three of the patents, and one was invalid. The disappointment continues as Apple is faced with trademark lawsuits in China, and failed attempts at banning HTC’s One X, among others, in the U.S. Earlier this year, and late last year, Apple won various patent suits against big brands such as Samsung across the globe, but that rush of victories have been slowed in recent months. “Competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours,” Apple spokesperson said in an email to the press. While Apple remains adamant about protecting its interest in the court room, competitors worldwide are seeking to compete with Apple through innovations in the marketplace. Andrea Sommer, spokeswoman for HTC, addressed the press by saying HTC was happy with the U.K’s court ruling, and that HTC (among others) was “disappointed that Apple continues to favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace.” Samsung GALAXY Chat targets entry-level Android market Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-chat-targets-entry- level-android-market/16550.html July 5th, 2012 The Samsung GALAXY brand, seemingly, is attached to higher end devices, and in a bold move, Samsung has decided to market an entry-level Android phone under the GALAXY marker. Samsung is releasing the GALAXY chat this month to markets in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia. This new smartphone, they claim, will be available “at a competitive price point.”
  • 41. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 The Samsung GALAXY brand, seemingly, is attached to higher end devices, and in a bold move, Samsung has decided to market an entry-level Android phone under the GALAXY marker. Samsung is releasing the GALAXY chat this month to markets in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia. This new smartphone, they claim, will be available “at a competitive price point.” Specs-wise, the GALAXY chat will have a 3.0’’ touchscreen (240 x 320), full QWERTY keypad, 850MHz single core processor, 4GB internal memory, and Android ICS to boot. These specs closely reflect that of the GALAXY phones from 2-3 years ago. You can’t blame Samsung for trying to sell more phones using the GALAXY tag, but a “GALAXY” branded phone with an 850MHz single core may cause people to think less favorably of a Samsung GALAXY phone—this is relative to current high-end GALAXY devices (i.e. S III, Note, etc…). Aside from the substandard specs, Samsung will release the Chat with some preloaded software that it hopes will provide for a complete mobile experience. ChatON will be Samsung’s exclusive chatting software that enables users to “spontaneously” group chat or message. For gaming, the Chat will come with “Game Hub”, a “pre-packed” software with the “most popular social games.” A multimedia software, AllShare Play, will enable people share and view contents from other devices. If I don't know any better, I can say that the Chat will come with a lot of Samsung bloatware. Will this GALAXY device sell? Perhaps, but this candy-bar QWERTY phone is well below the high-end standard of other GALAXY devices. Former Apple exec says Nokia should abandon current CEO and adopt Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/former-apple-exec-says-nokia- should-abandon-current-ceo-and-adopt-android/16549.html July 5th, 2012 Nokia, according to Jean-Louis Gassée, should fire current CEO, Stephen Elop, dismiss its current board, ditch Microsoft Windows Phone, and adopt Google Android. Nokia, according to Jean-Louis Gassée, should fire current CEO, Stephen Elop, dismiss its current board, ditch Microsoft Windows Phone, and adopt Google Android. Gassée, former executive for Apple in the late 80’s and 90’s, claims that Elop knows nothing about what makes smartphone, smartphone. “He has zero experience in terms of what makes a smartphone maker tick. And what is his experience in supply chain management? Zero,” he told Computing in an exclusive interview. Elop has been widely criticized for his decision to not offer Windows Phone 8 upgrades to Nokia's current line up of phones. This is a puzzling move considering major Android smartphone manufactures—such as Samsung— offer OS upgrades to their smartphones even after the device has been released. Furthermore, Gassée accuses Elop of not carrying out business strategies that he should have. “He did a very good thing, which is to tell everyone that it is an eco-system ‘play', not a platform play. That was very insightful. But then he reveals the plans without implementing them. Everyone knew that Symbian phones were dead-enders and Nokia's partners – the carriers – ran away from Symbian in large numbers,” Gassée gave Elop a small compliment but tagged on a lengthy criticism. When Gassée said Elop “reveals the plans” he was referring to a Nokia blog leak that ultimately gave away the company’s strategy. Now, onto Nokia’s ultimate failure. Gassée says that Elop should have eloped with Android instead of Microsoft. By making Windows Phone their primary platform, Gassée affirms that Nokia did not side “with the winner.” The clear cut winners in the smartphone business, as of this moment, is Google’s Android and Apple's iOS, and since iOS is exclusive to Apple, that leaves Android the only alternative to siding with the “winner”. However, contrary Gassée’s belief about the winners in the smartphone arena, the International Data Research (IDC)
  • 42. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 firm predicts that Windows Phone will match iOS’s market share by 2016. Gassée has every reason to believe that Elop is not leading Nokia in the right direction, but we will have to wait and see if Nokia's decision to stick with its current CEO (and hope that their bank account doesn’t run dry until 2016) will pay off. Google, Microsoft & now Apple vie for the 'Second Device Market' Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-microsoft--now-apple-vie- for-the-second-device-market-/16542.html July 5th, 2012 Bloomberg announced on July 4th that Apple is releasing a smaller and cheaper version of its wildly popular iPad near the end of this year. This rumor, which has been swirling for months is also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal in an article announcing that production has begun on a compact version of the iPad. With Apple's almost cult-like customer base, this smaller iPad will no doubt rocket directly to 'King of the Hill' status in the second device market. Google and Microsoft are fiercely challenging with 'Nexus 7' and 'Surface.' Bloomberg announced on July 4th that Apple is releasing a smaller and cheaper version of its wildly popular iPad near the end of this year. This rumor, which has been swirling for months is also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal in an article announcing that production has begun on a compact version of the iPad. With Apple's almost cult-like customer base, this smaller iPad will no doubt rocket directly to 'King of the Hill' status in the second device market. Google and Microsoft are fiercely challenging with 'Nexus 7' and 'Surface.' The upcoming iPad, rumored to be released in October, is reported to be smaller and less expensive than the currently available model. Early reports reveal a device with a screen smaller than 8 inches, screen resolution of 1024 x 768 and falls in the price range of $200 to $250. The currently available model, the 'New iPad' or iPad 3, has a 9.7 inch screen with twice the resolution and prices starting at $499.00. Google plans to release its new small tablet, the 'Nexus 7' this month in the U.S, Australia and the UK. The Nexus 7, no doubt gaining its moniker from its 7" screen, has a 1280 X 800 resolution display and the new Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' operating system. Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 doesn't take advantage of the one of the greatest features of the Android OS over Apple's iOS - memory expansion. Android system users have always enjoyed the ability to add memory to their devices by simply inserting a memory card into an expansion slot in their device. The Nexus 7, oddly, lacks such a memory expansion slot. While the Nexus 7 is fully featured, other than the lack of a memory expansion port, the price is competitive with other comparable devices at $199. Samsung's entry into this market, the 'Galaxy Note' is confusing. With its 5.3" 1280 x 800 pixel screen - is it a large smartphone or a small tablet? Potential customers don't seem to able to figure it out and predictably sales have been disappointing. Microsoft has also embarked on challenging the tablet PC market with 'Surface'. Surface is equipped with Windows 8, a 10.6-inch touch screen and supports a stylus that uses digital ink. It also supports a full-size keyboard that comes with touchpad which can enable one to use it as a laptop. The price of the Surface has not been announced, but it is expected to be competitively priced with currently available small tablets and slightly less ecxpensive than 'New iPad'. The biggest drawback is that there is no niche established for Windows 8 though. The release of the new small tablet by Apple is expected to solidify its position in the market and pose quite a challenge current small laptop makers. LG's latest smartphone move: Apple-like batteries Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-latest-smartphone-move-apple- like-batteries/16496.html July 5th, 2012 The latest move by LG ELectronics' in the smartphone market is now an Apple-like battery. Starting this fall, LG has decided to follow Apple's lead and integrate batteries into the design of its major smartphones. This battery integration with smartphone design results is a much sleeker phone, but the user can no longer replace the battery when it fails.
  • 43. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 The latest move by LG ELectronics' in the smartphone market is now an Apple-like battery. Starting this fall, LG has decided to follow Apple's lead and integrate batteries into the design of its major smartphones. This battery integration with smartphone design results is a much sleeker phone, but the user can no longer replace the battery when it fails. LG is planning to put integrated batteries into its soon to be released 'Optimus View 2'. Insiders at LG Electronics confirmed that beginning with the Optimus View 2, almost all smartphones made by LG will have integrated batteries. Design and size are the major factors cited by both LG and Apple when asked why they decided to use integrated batteries. Integrated batteries allow manufacturers to put the batteries in between components which can reduce thickness. LG indeed took advantage of that when they manufactured the Optimus View, reducing its thickness by 1mm. Integrating the batteries into the design allows simpler and more elegant design. The fact that LG's Optimus View sold well in the South Korean market helped LG in its decision to go with integrated batteries, according to analysts. The Optimus View, which was released in March, has sold over 300,000 units despite the limelight put on LG's 'Galaxy Note.' While the Optimus View was a bit slower in reaching the 300,000 units sold mark, compared to Optimus LTE, sales results were considered to be quite good in the relatively obscure 5- inch smartphone niche. A major strength of LG's integrated battery is that it is constructed using lithium polymer that is about 40% more efficient than batteries in current use. It is harder to exchange old integrated batteries with new ones but the latest LG batteries have overcome that shortcoming to a great extent by making the batteries more efficient. Foxconn's CEO resigns for unknown reasons Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/foxconn-s-ceo-resigns-for-unknown- reasons/16548.html July 5th, 2012 Foxconn’s CEO, Terry Cheng, has decided to call it quits and is awaiting approval of his resignation from the board chairman. Foxconn’s CEO, Terry Cheng, has decided to call it quits and is awaiting approval of his resignation from the board chairman. Terry Cheng, an engineering specialist, joined Hon Hai in 2007 after serving ten years as Texas Instruments' president of Asian operation. Cheng took over for previous CEO Chen Wei-liang on January 1, 2012. It’s unclear why Cheng has decided to step down only after just a few months of captaining Foxconn. Terry Gou, board chairman, is reportedly trying to persuade Cheng to keep his post. Foxconn incurred losses of around HKD 218 million (~$28.1 million) in 2010, and was able to regain some lost ground in 2011, netting about HKD 73 million (~$9.4 million). Zhi Zhen Internet Technology sues Apple for "Siri" trademark Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zhi-zhen-internet-technology-sues- apple-for-siri-trademark/16547.html July 5th, 2012 After the dust of the Proview-Apple iPad dispute has settled, the barrage of trademark infringement claims against Apple in China is beginning to build up steam again. A few days ago, a chemical company filed a complaint against Apple for the Snow Leopard trademark, and today Zhi Zhen Internet Technology has come forth with a complaint about the “Siri” trademark.
  • 44. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 After the dust of the Proview-Apple iPad dispute has settled, the barrage of trademark infringement claims against Apple in China is beginning to build up steam. A few days ago, a chemical company filed a complaint against Apple for the Snow Leopard trademark, and today Zhi Zhen Internet Technology has come forth with a complaint about the “Siri” trademark. Zhi Zhen is claiming that their “Xiao i” robot is the rightful owner of the Siri trademark, because according to the official Zhi Zhen website, Xiao i is described as the “Chinese Siri”— a “chatting robot system” Apple’s website describes their Siri technology as being able to “understand what you say, knows what you mean and even talk back.” Apple’s robotic-query-answering Siri, Zhi Zhen believes, is similar to their chatting system in description (not so much in function), and therefore Zhi Zhen should be the owner of the Siri trademark. Zhi Zhen reportedly contacted Apple in May to settle the dispute without litigation, but nothing fell through, which then led the internet firm to file a lawsuit against Apple on June 21. Final Fantasy VII returns to PC with achievements and online profiles Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/final-fantasy-vii-returns-to-pc-with- achievements-and-online-profiles/16545.html July 5th, 2012 Cloud Strife and AVALANCHE is making a comeback to the PC, and this time Square Enix hopes that FF7 will grab an even larger fan base through achievements unlocking and sharing of profiles online. Cloud Strife and AVALANCHE is making a comeback to the PC, and this time Square Enix hopes that FF7 will grab an even larger fan base through achievements unlocking and sharing of profiles online. In one of our recent publishing, we revealed that Square Enix registered FinalFantasyVIIPC.com, and now we know why. It wouldn’t make much sense for Square Enix to register that domain to announce anything but Final Fantasy VII. As per improved graphics for the game, we speculate that there may be minor improvements, but nothing big because the DirectX requirement is still based on DX9—late 2002 APIs. The only features that are confirmed for the next PC release will be 36 achievements to unlock and online profile sharing. System requirements: • Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 (32/64-bit) • 2GHz Processor or faster • 1GB RAM • DirectX 9-compatible graphic card The ETA for FF7 is unknown, and the site is teasing fans with the generic phrase “coming soon.” There is a trailer, and while FF7 loyalists wait for the game, they can download some wallpaper from the site with resolution of up to 2048 x 1536! New Mac OS X backdoor discovered Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-mac-os-x-backdoor- discovered/16544.html July 5th, 2012 Kaspersky Lab has discovered a new Mac OS X backdoor being used for an Advanced Persistent Threat campaign, creating further concern about the security of Apple's desktop operating system. Kaspersky Lab has discovered a new Mac OS X backdoor being used for an Advanced Persistent Threat campaign, creating further concern about the security of Apple's desktop operating system.
  • 45. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 Researchers at the Russian security firm discovered that Uyghur activists in China were being targeted by hackers, who sent customised emails with a zipped attachment containing malicious Mac code, disguised by a jpeg image. The code is a new and primarily undetected variant of the MaControl backdoor, which supports both i386 and PowerPC Macs, and once executed, it connects to a Command and Control server, which gives an operator access to files and the ability to run commands on the infected Mac. Kasperksy Lab found that the Command and Control server utilised in the infection of its research computer was located in China, suggesting the source of the attack comes from within the restrictive country, where activists frequently risk exposure from targeted malware. “Macs are growing in global popularity, even amongst high- profile people. Many choose to use Mac OS X computers because they believe it’s safer,” said Costin Raiu, Director of Global Research & Analysis at Kaspersky Lab. “However, we believe that as the adoption increases for Mac OS X, so will both mass-infection attacks and targeted campaigns. Attackers will continue to refine and enhance their methods to mix exploits and social engineering techniques to try and infect victims. Just like PC malware, this combination is commonly the most effective and cybercriminals will continue to challenge Mac OS X users’ security, both technically and psychologically.” Macs were largely considered more secure than Windows- based computers for years, often leading to many users not installing any anti-virus software. However, hackers are beginning to target Apple's software more often and many users are paying the price for security complacency. Recently Apple took down a comment from its website which claimed that Macs are not susceptible to the same volume of malware as Windows computers, showing that the company is no longer confident that this is the case. RIM CEO denies BlackBerry is in trouble Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-ceo-denies-blackberry-is-in- trouble/16541.html July 5th, 2012 Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), has denied that the BlackBerry is facing the strong likelihood of failure, as many analysts predict. Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), has denied that the BlackBerry is facing the strong likelihood of failure, as many analysts predict. Heins, who took over the top job in January of this year, is facing increasing pressure from investors and supporters of the BlackBerry platform after recent announcements that BlackBerry 10, the expected saving grace for the company, would be delayed until next year. Despite many questions about the company's future, Heins remains adamant that there is “nothing wrong.” “There's nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now,” he told a Canadian radio show, according to Reuters. “I'm not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I'm talking about the company (in the) state it's in right now.” The problem with this kind of denial is that it appears to be mostly within the company, as a slew of analysts recently suggested that, even with BlackBerry 10, RIM faces the distinct possibility of bankruptcy, with its shares and profits plummeting in recent months. In response to these predictions, Heins said that RIM is not “in a death spiral” and that it is not ignoring the world out there.
  • 46. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 “We do not believe RIM is a company at the end,” he said. “RIM is a company at the beginning of a transition that we expect will once again change the way people communicate.” However, it looks like he will have a hard time convincing people that the end is not in sight for the BlackBerry. Xbox co-creator reveals $99 Android gaming console Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-co-creator-reveals-99-android- gaming-console/16540.html July 5th, 2012 One of the co-creators of Microsoft's Xbox is reportedly working on a $99 Android-powered game console that provides games for free. One of the co-creators of Microsoft's Xbox is reportedly working on a $99 Android-powered game console that provides games for free. Ed Fries, one of the people behind the original Xbox, and designer Yves Béhar, the man behind the design for the One Laptop per Child project, are developing what could become a potential fourth major console for the next generation of console gaming. The project is called Ouya (or Oooh! Yah!, as the phonetics is obviously designed to convey) and the significantly lower price-tag could give all the current players a run for their money, even beating out Microsoft's recent $99 Xbox, which requires a two-year subscription to Xbox Live to get it at that price. Even better for the cash-strapped among us, the games will reputedly be free, which will win over many of those who cannot afford the often extravagant prices of current console games. Of course, this point also raises questions about how developers will make profits and how high quality the games will be; chances are ads will be involved to make up the shortfall. The fact that the console will run on Android means it should theoretically be possible to play any existing Android games, though scaling them for a TV may be a problem. Presumably a separate Ouya Market will be employed for Ouya-compatible games, but undoubtedly someone will find a way to access the normal Android Market and its larger selection of titles. Those excited about the project will have to wait a while, however, as it is currently only in the design stage, with a few concept images of the device, which looks like a slightly rounded cube (and thus reminiscent of Nintendo's GameCube, albeit without the bright colours), available. Concept images of the interface show that it looks a little like Xbox Live. As mobile games become a bigger part of the industry, the possibility of bringing these back to the traditional console arena is an interesting one, but the chances of it completely toppling the reign of the existing console giants is likely slim. ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T Hands-on Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-transformer-pad-infinity- tf700t-hands-on/16509.html
  • 47. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 July 5th, 2012 We first saw during CES 2012 an early engineering sample of the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T, which is essentially a 1920x1200 screen upgrade of the much acclaimed Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF200 . Our counterparts at Chinese VR-Zone have put it through its paces to find out why it is probably the best convertible Android tablet around. The ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T is the direct successor of the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. It is equipped with a 1920 x 1200 Full HD screen (yey 16:10) and a 1.6GHz quad core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor which also has a 12 core GPU (there is also a LTE SKU with Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 dual core). It also comes with 1GB of DDR3L RAM and 32 or 64GB flash storage capacity. For its chassis, ASUS retained the attractive spun aluminum shell with 3D coaxial hairline polish for the body. This time however, it uses plastic for its antenna housing in order to avoid interference with its WiFi and GPS functionality. The display panel is LG's high definition Super IPS+ and has a wide 178 degree viewing angle augmented with a whopping 600 nits ultra bright backlight which allows viewing under glaring conditions or outdoors. In addition, the Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protects the screen from cracks and scratches. The TF700T supports 802.11 g/b/n wireless protocol, Bluetooth v3.0 and A2DP. Like most other recent ASUS tablets and Ultrabooks, the TF700T uses in-house SonicMaster technology for an above average audio experience. One can take very sharp photos quickly due to its rear 8MP camera with 5-element lens, large F/2.2 aperture, LED flashlight and back illuminated CMOS. Obviously the main attraction of the Transformer series is the QWERTY keyboard dock companion which provides an additional battery, SD card reader and USB OTG port. The chiclet keyboard design itself is similar to its predecessors and offers common Android shortcuts and is comfortable for typists . Built for road warriors, the TF700T will last an impressive 9.5 hours of continuous use and 14 hours when docked. Lightweight and Fashionable The TF700T measures 263mm x 180.8mm x 8.5mm and weights around 598g. The spun aluminum finish is a uniquely ASUS design When docked, it looks like a small notebook computer
  • 48. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 Although the entire setup is still fairly slim even when docked; it is still a wee bit thicker than most Ultrabooks The power and sleep button is located on the upper side of the TF700T The volume button is located on the left. However, without ridges or raised indications, locating it becomes a bit of a challenge The bottom is brush metal finished with rubber feet Antec announces the availability of the High Current Pro Platinum 1000 Watt Power Supply Unit Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-announces-the-availability-of- the-high-current-pro-platinum-1000-watt-power-supply-unit/16539.html July 5th, 2012 Antec today announced the availability of their new 1000W power supply. The High Current Pro Platinum unit boasts an 80 Plus Platinum certification, modular design, four 12V rails and a 7-year long warranty. Othen notable features include "stealth wires" (darkened wires and connectors that reduce visibility in the chassis when connected and routed) and a set of slim 8-pin connectors.
  • 49. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 16 "We wanted to give users the best possible feature set for their investment in a 1000 watt power supply. We designed a highly versatile, practical cabling to maximize cable management options and pushed High Current Pro to Platinum-certified efficiency to create a PSU package unrivaled by competitors at this wattage class." OCZ Fatal1ty 1000W PSU Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-fatal1ty-1000w-psu- review/16538.html July 5th, 2012 Even though OCZ bought PC Power & Cooling several years ago, the firm never stopped developing and marketing power supplies under their own brand name. Today we are going to have a close look at one of the latest and most powerful units from OCZ, the Fatal1ty 1000W unit. As the name suggests, this is a product “approved” by Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, the famous professional gamer. OCZ goes as far as to market this unit as a “gaming” power supply. Although it will certainly not help you attain better framerates or become a professional gamer yourself, the Fatal1ty 1000W certainly has a very distinct set of features which have it standing out of the crowd. Even though OCZ bought PC Power & Cooling several years ago, the firm never stopped developing and marketing power supplies under their own brand name. Today we are going to have a close look at one of the latest and most powerful units from OCZ, the Fatal1ty 1000W unit. As the name suggests, this is a product “approved” by Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, the famous professional gamer. OCZ goes as far as to market this unit as a “gaming” power supply. Although it will certainly not help you attain better framerates or become a professional gamer yourself, the Fatal1ty 1000W certainly has a very distinct set of features which have it standing out of the crowd. Manufacturer’s features and specifications "Pros don't just play games, pros win games! - Dedicated to delivering premium power solutions, OCZ’s latest PSU was co-developed with twelve-time world champion Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel to meet the specific needs of fellow gamers in performance, stability, and ease of integration to reduce system downtime. Built for Gamers - The OCZ Fatal1ty 1000W PSU sports a gaming-ready look with a sleek design, clean connectors, and a glowing red LED fan. With a high build quality using 100% Japanese capacitors and a powerful single +12V rail, this PSU is capable of delivering 1000W of continuous power at 50°C ideal for a demanding multi-GPU gaming rig. Efficient Performance - With 80-PLUS Gold certification and powered by a large 140mm thermally-controlled fan to reduce heat in your case, maintain ultimate stability and silence during the most intense gaming sessions by eliminating distracting noises from your PC. Premium Modular Cabling System - Featuring individually- sleeved modular cables, the Fatal1ty Series eliminates unnecessary wire clutter for a cleaner overall presentation and superior airflow in high end systems that are packed with components. Leading Warranty and Support - The Fatal1ty 1000W Series comes backed by a 5-Year warranty for the ultimate peace of mind." • Continuous 1000W output at 50°C • Built with 100% Japanese low ESR 105°C capacitors • Single +12V rail • Temperature and load controlled 140mm double ball- bearing fan with Red LED • 80-Plus Gold certified for up to 90% efficiency (typical load) • Individually sleeved modular cables • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) • ErP compliant for low power usage in standby • Heavy-duty protection circuitry • Dimensions: 150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 180mm(L) • MTBF: 100,000 Hours • 5-Year Warranty Apple granted patent for peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-granted-patent-for-peripheral- treatment-for-head-mounted-displays/16537.html July 5th, 2012 Google’s Project Glass, thus far, has amounted to essentially a camera mounted eye glass, and the possibility of making personal computing available anytime and anywhere seems out of reach. While Google is hacking away at trying to make their augmented reality glasses a reality, Apple has been tampering with the notion of computing through head- mounted-displays.
  • 50. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 17 Google’s Project Glass, thus far, has amounted to essentially a camera mounted eye glass, and the possibility of making personal computing available anytime and anywhere seems out of reach. While Google is hacking away at trying to make their augmented reality glasses a reality, Apple has been tampering with the notion of computing through head- mounted-displays. A patent granted to Apple today outlined some key features that reveal Apple may be on a collision course with Google in the future. The patent entitled “Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays” discusses the techniques for projecting an image into someone’s eyes through the use of head-mounted-displays. The Abstract section states: “Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus for a user. A first display projects an image viewable by a first eye of the user. A first peripheral light element is positioned to emit light of one or more colors in close proximity to the periphery of the first display. A receives data representing a source image, processes the data representing the source image to generate a first image for the first display and to generate a first set of peripheral conditioning signals for the first peripheral light element, directs the first image to the first display, and directs the first set of peripheral conditioning signals to the first peripheral light element. As a result, an enhanced viewing experience is created for the user.” Basically, an image will be projected onto someone’s eye via LCD screens, and to fill in the gaps of a user’s peripheral vision, the patent include “mechanisms” for coverage of a person’s entire field of vision. The distinction between Apple’s head-mounted device and Google’s is that Google’s Glass won’t cover all of a person’s field of vision. Promising news for tech junkies, but will Apple make a head-mounted device that appeals to the masses—will it be attractive to wear in public? Or will it be a hideous contraption? US Patent Office expands across major cities, spurs new wave of inventions? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-patent-office-expands-across- major-cities-spurs-new-wave-of-inventions-/16534.html July 5th, 2012
  • 51. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 18 The US Patent Office announced on Monday that it will open four new satellite branch offices early 2013 in Detroit, Dallas, Denver and Silicon Valley. The US Patent Office announced Monday that it will open four new satellite branch offices early 2013 in Detroit, Dallas, Denver and Silicon Valley . Those wishing to register new patents will no longer have to trek to Washington, where there are currently over 640,000 patent applications awaiting first review. The new offices, each in a seperate time zone, will enable the Patent Office to hire more staff to deal with that backlog. By locating offices at known centers of R&D, the Patent Office wants to also help spur the innovation economy nation-wide by speeding up the application process. “The single most important step we can take to support an economy built to last is to bring new inventions to market as quickly as possible,” said David Kappos, director of the Patent and Trademark Office. It is expected that each new office will form the basis of a hub including local inventors, investors, entrepreneurs and law firms. Mr Kappos explained that after comprehensive lobbying by various cities, Detroit was chosen as a location because of it's automotive innovation, Dallas for its energy technology development, the Silicon Valley for its ongoing development of computer science, and Denver for both its status as an aerospace center and because a high proportion of highly educated veterans live there, and the Obama administration has a policy to hire more veterans. Samsung Announces 16GB DDR4 DIMM Modules for 2014 Platforms Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-16gb-ddr4- dimm-modules-for-2014-platforms/16533.html July 5th, 2012 It takes a long time to certify a platform, especially one intended for mission-critical tasks. While desktop and notebook platforms typically end up qualified within 2-3 quarters, it often takes up to 2 years to verify that all the parts of server platform work in order. We already wrote about DDR4 memory as the integral part of the future memory standards, especially with Intel Haswell and AMD's Post-Abu Dhabi future architectures. Furthermore, GDDR6 memory is also expected to debut in 2014, meaning we have about a year to year and a half to go with the current DDR3/GDDR5 combination. In order to enable the complete platform qualification (processor, motherboard, chipset, memory modules etc., Samsung started sampling the key industry vendors with DDR4 memory modules. The very first DDR4 server modules come in the shape of "Registered Dual Inline Memory Module" with 16GB (128 Gbit) capacity. Performance is no slouch either - while the DDR3 Registered ECC memory featured clocks of 1333 and 1600 MHz, the official designation PC4-17000 (+16GB/s), shows that DDR4 is continuing where DDR3 stopped: DDR4-2133 (2.1 billion transfers per second). At the same time, the power consumption was reduced by as much as 40%, with the operating voltage being 1.2V, compared to 1.35V. Current (Amps) remained the same. While first memory modules are manufactured in 30nm process node, Samsung announced that the shipping memory modules will feature 20nm DDR4 DRAM. Once 20nm chips arrive, Samsung will be in position to offer 8GB, 16GB and 32GB DDR4 modules. If we do the math on Haswell-EP and -EX platforms, we're talking about 256GB of memory per CPU, or 1TB on a single quad-socket motherboard. Besides memory modules, expect DDR4 in SAS/SATA Express controllers, low-end and performance graphics cards, accelerator cards and so on. 4K Video Hits the Sweet Spot: A $945 4K Webcam? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/4k-video-hits-the-sweet-spot- a-945-4k-webcam-/16531.html July 5th, 2012 While RED Digital Camera and other manufacturers like JVC are keeping the prices of 4K cameras in the non- palatable price range for the vast majority of consumers, Point Gray has released a $945 camera capable of recording video in 4K quality (full 4096x2160 resolution). 4K video, i.e. 3840x2160 or 4096x2160 resolution represent the next step, "the beyond HD" resolution in digital cinematography. With pioneering cameras such as RED One, Scarlet or Epic as well as JVC's GY-HMQ10 are priced in thousands of dollars, a small Canadian company is changing the pecking order.
  • 52. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 19 Point Grey Research Inc. is a Canadian company out of greater Vancouver area, with all the design, research and manufacturing located on one spot - no Made in China here - dedicated to bring the next generation of technology in surveillance. While majority of companies are stuck in a race to the bottom, Point Grey Research wants to reach the top, and Flea3 webcam represents the next stage of evolution in the crowded webcamera space. Flea3 is one of world's first, if not the first webcam that uses the USB 3.0 standard, capable of delivering Full HD (1920x1080) resolution in up to 150 frames per second. If that level of fidelity is not high enough, you can capture up to 21 frames per second using the 4096x2160 (True 4K) pixel resolution. The camera uses Sony Exmor R (IMX121) 8.8 million CMOS sensor known from Cyber-Shot cameras, with electronics extended in a way that capturing 4K video is not a gimmick, but a real thing. If you're interested in shooting 4K video and are running on a very tight budget, this webcam just might be the thing you need. You can mount various lenses onto the CS mount as well. While not ideal, this just might be the closest thing we have to a sub-1000 dollar 4K camera. Can Unotelly Really Remove the Content Borders? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-unotelly-really-remove-the- content-borders-/16529.html July 5th, 2012 Regional restrictions are single most common cause of content piracy. Today, we live in a internetworked world and for as long as you try to keep those borders closed, you'll have a potential legal issue. Until now. While you can already watch for example, British television if you use apps such as ExPat Shield, Unotelly is the first global DNS system we can think of. The concept behind the service is to rely on multiple DNS (Domain Name Servers) across the globe and give access to US television to the rest of the world, or UK television etc. According to the information we received from the app maker Kostas Polichronos, Unotelly works on multiple devices and doesn't exactly have a limitation on what device it can work on. The number of supported devices is amazing, which is not uncommon - if you have Internet connection, you can use UnoDNS service: "PC, Mac, linux,PS3, XBOX360, Wii, iphone, ipad, itouch, androids, playbook, WD TV Live, Roku, boxee box, OpenElec, XBMC, Apple TV, Google TV, LG smart TV, Sony TV and players, Panasonic VIERA, Samsung TV and players and all rooters including DD- WRT." When it comes to amount of TV channels, you can access over 70 regionally locked channels and services, ranging from Netflix or Hulu websites to BBC's iPlayer, Speed or ESPN TV networks. Furthermore, if you're a law-abiding U.S. citizen and find yourself on the road, you'll lose all the access to services such as Amazon Web Player. With Unotelly DNS service - not anymore. The question is, what do you think? Gates asserts that Surface tablet won't hurt OEMs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gates-asserts-that-surface-tablet- won-t-hurt-oems/16536.html July 5th, 2012 In an eco-system where OEMs and Microsoft are each other’s benefactor, MS’s recent decision build its own tablet may have been perceived as a blind-sided blow to OEMs. Bill Gates, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, defends this company’s decision by asserting “you can have a rich eco- system of manufacturers” even if the line between PCs and tablets is removed. In an eco-system where OEMs and Microsoft are each other’s benefactor, MS’s recent decision build its own tablet may have been perceived as a blind-sided blow to OEMs. Bill Gates, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, defends this company’s decision by asserting “you can have a rich eco- system of manufacturers” even if the line between PCs and tablets is removed. "I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds. You can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, wow, what's the difference between a tablet and a PC?" There’s no doubt that there is a fine line between current PC’s and tablets, and Gates’ statement resonates the possibility that OEMs may one day become an extinct breed. Current PC’s are much more powerful in terms of flexibility and productivity, but tablets are slowly building momentum in both departments.
  • 53. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 20 The Surface tablet will come preloaded with an Office suite, not to mention a cover that conveniently turns into a keyboard. Professionals who rely heavily on their laptop PCs to create documents and presentations may find the Surface tablet especially attractive since it will cover much of the bases regarding productivity, and as for flexibility, the Surface is slim and very mobile. Now, if the Surface possesses both flexibility and productivity then how is it distinguishable from a laptop PC? Perhaps the only base that the Surface tablet doesn’t cover is the power aspect. Take for example, if a professional needs a device that is powerful enough to encode an HD video quickly, then perhaps an RT Surface may not be an option. The same can’t be said for the Pro Surface tablet, which will most likely boast an Intel processor found in most ultrabooks. Therefore, the only “wow” factor that coincides with the Surface tablet is that it’s more of a PC killer rather than a product that will compete with current tablets. Gates may have contradicted himself by attaching a “rich eco-system of manufacturers” to the topic of the Surface tablet. There won’t be any competition if Microsoft is to charge OEMs for the Windows 8 OS, while negating the cost of an OS in their product. Price is one of the main criteria in competition, and without competition there is no “rich eco- system of manufacturers.” Gates may be referring to the "rich eco-system" between Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Ultrabook OEMs face possibility of U.S. importation ban Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultrabook-oems-face-possibility-of- u.s.-importation-ban/16535.html July 5th, 2012 Ultrabooks from various OEMs are under attack in light of the U.S. granting Apple the design patent for the “wedge or teardrop” profile in the MacBook Air. Ultrabooks from various OEMs are under attack in light of the U.S. granting Apple the design patent for the “wedge or teardrop” profile in the MacBook Air. Taiwan’s PC brands and laptop makers will meet with local government officials to discuss the possible impact of Apple’s 14 year ownership of the design patent. The meeting is to include major brands such as Acer Inc., Asustek Computer Inc., Compal Electronics Inc., and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. According to Focus Taiwan, the meeting may spur discussions on how to counter Apple’s possible lawsuit against Taiwan’s manufacturers. The U.S. market makes up a huge portion of the Taiwan’s ultrabook exports; therefore, it is crucial that these OEMs are ready to face the possibility of having their products barred from entering the U.S. “We should share our information with Taiwanese vendors in case Apple takes action against them,” said Wang Mei- hua, director-general of the Ministry of Economics Affiars’ Intellectual Property Office. The patent situation is dire if OEMs don’t find a solution, such as developing a new design for ultrabooks instead of cloning Apple’s wedge design. Worse comes to worst, OEMs can file an opposition to the validity or applicability of Apple’s design patent. HP webOS smartphone dead or alive? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-webos-smartphone-dead-or- alive-/16532.html July 5th, 2012 Awhile back, HP was rumored to be working on an all touch interface webOS smartphone to compete with the EVO, but AT&T did not favor the phone because it did not have LTE— thus HP pulled the plug. Awhile back, HP was rumored to be working on an all touch interface webOS smartphone to compete with the EVO, but AT&T did not favor the phone because it did not have LTE— thus HP pulled the plug.
  • 54. July 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 21 Transparent House, a design firm that worked with HP on the rumored phone, uploaded a demo video of the phone to Vimeo nine months ago, and left the video live up until now. The video is no longer available on the Transparent House’s Vimeo channel, which then begs the question why are they deciding now to remove the video? About a year ago, rumors of an HP webOS smartphone, code named “Stingray”, surfaced that looked eerily similar to that of the Transparent House Vimeo upload. HP’s aspiration for the smartphone market through webOS ultimately failed, and the company decided to discontinue all webOS operations last year. It's clear that HP has no intention of reviving the forsaken webOS hardware development, therefore, the removal of the video from Vimeo may be due more to HP’s desire to not have to deal with the press’ inquiries about the possibility of a webOS resurrection. That said, we have reached out to HP and Transparent House regarding the removal of the video, but no one is available to comment on the matter. WebOS is practically dead, but we'll keep you all posted if we get confirmation of a possible HP webOS revival. Japanese teenager arrested for distributing Wii software mod Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-teenager-arrested-for- distributing-wii-software-mod/16530.html July 5th, 2012 A 19-year-old Japanese college student has been arrested for distributing software that circumvented Nintendo’s copy protection, thereby, enabling Wii console owners to play pirated games via a USB drive. A 19-year-old Japanese college student has been arrested for distributing software that circumvented Nintendo’s copy protection, thereby, enabling Wii console owners to play pirated games via a USB drive. The teenager made the software available on his website, and according to Asahi Shimbun, he told the police “my website was making money, so I kept it running.” There were no distribution of any video games, physical goods, or service provided by his site, and the $2,500 which he earned was strictly through advertisement. According to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, “the act of providing devices to circumvent technological restriction measures” is an offense punishable by law. Japanese authority believes that the young man is not the creator of the software which he is accused of distributing. Therefore, he may face charges on the account of distribution while authority hunts for the creator of the software.
  • 55. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Michael Fassbender to take main role in Assassin's Creed film Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/michael-fassbender-to-take-main- role-in-assassin-s-creed-film/16599.html July 9th, 2012 Actor Michael Fassbender is to take on the main role in the upcoming Assassin's Creed film, which he will also co- produce. Actor Michael Fassbender is to take on the main role in the upcoming Assassin's Creed film, which he will also co- produce. The adaptation of the popular video game series will see Fassbender star as Desmond Miles, who explores the lives of his assassin ancestors through the Animus machine, allowing him to experience the time periods of the Crusades, the Renaissance, and, in the upcoming third game, the American Revolution. Ubisoft Motion Pictures is hoping to turn its largest game franchise, with 30 million games sold since the series' debut in 2007, into a blockbuster success, with several films planned over the coming years, most likely exploring the different epochs of history that the games traverse through. The fate of the future films will largely rest on the initial one, however, as many planned series have failed to take off due to poor sales, such as the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time film in 2010. The films were originally intended to be a team effort between Ubisoft and Sony, but negotiations failed to produce a deal. Ubisoft has since decided to go it alone, setting up Ubisoft Motion Pictures in 2011, giving it a significant role in the film industry, where adaptations are on demand. Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures, said that Fassbender was their first choice to play the main character. German-born and Irish-raised Fassbender has starred in many significant roles in recent years, including playing Magneto in X-Men: First Class and Lieutenant Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. He has also voice characters in video games, including Logan in Fable III. There is no word yet on co-cast or a possible release date, but we likely won't see the film for around three years. Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed III will be out on 30 October for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and 23 November for PC.
  • 56. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 3rd Gen. Ultrabooks Pack 3D HD Displays, New Sensors Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/3rd-gen.-ultrabooks-pack-3d-hd- displays-new-sensors/16598.html July 9th, 2012 Even as the market for super compact notebooks, or Ultrabooks, is a work in progress; sources in the supply chain have a fair idea of what's in store with third- generation Ultrabooks, based around Intel's next CPU micro-architecture, codenamed "Haswell." The Ultrabook appears to be going the smartphone way on multiple fronts. Even as the market for super compact notebooks, or Ultrabooks, is a work in progress; sources in the supply chain have a fair idea of what's in store with third- generation Ultrabooks, based around Intel's next CPU micro-architecture, codenamed "Haswell." The Ultrabook appears to be going the smartphone way, on multiple fronts. To begin with, it's no revelation that the third generation of Ultrabooks, super-compact notebooks whose basic specifications are governed by Intel, will be based on its next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed "Haswell." The new processors will be built on existing 22 nm silicon fabrication processes, but will pack architectural changes that will yield higher performance, and faster graphics. According to sources closely associated with companies that contract-manufacture Ultrabooks (ODMs), third generation Ultrabook will pack better displays, better display capabilities, improved chassis design, and a suite of new sensors that add new user-interface elements. There is talk of displays with stereo 3D and HD resolutions. 1920 x 1080 pixels seems like a plausible resolution standard candidate, as today's Ultrabooks already do 720p. Display panel makers achieved extremely high pixel densities with displays of certain high-end smartphones and tablets, and it's expected that these could make their way into Ultrabooks, without impacting costs significantly. Further, standardizing multi-touch displays is on the cards, even for Ultrabooks in the conventional "clam-shell" form-factor. Next up, there's talk of giving the Ultrabook a suite of sensors, that gel with the user interface of Windows 8. Facial recognition and gesture recognition, integrated with the operating system, seem high on the cards. Other sensors could include those which are common with today's portable computing devices, such as accelerometer and digital compass. With Apple seeking to patent the "wedge" shape chassis design of its MacBook Air, Ultrabook ecosystem partners seem to be looking up to Intel for solutions that could save them future trouble with the Cupertino, California-based company. This could mean that Intel could come up with [patent] troll-proof designs that partners could build on. The chassis design could implement two standardizations: the first is a new durable hinge (that joint between the two halves of the notebook), and the second is chassis materials. Intel recently announced a breakthrough in design that allows chassis made of plastic to have durability comparable to those made with aluminum, which could result in reduced manufacturing costs (once the technology has proliferated enough, and good volumes are reached). Third generation Ultrabook could see this chassis become standard. Lastly, Intel could mandate the use of solid-state drives (SSDs) as storage devices, and quite some R&D could be carried out for coming up with a newer battery standard. In conclusion, notebook manufacturers will find Intel babysitting the Ultrabook specification looking deep into 2013, as well. The improved display, sensors, and chassis design sure are things to look forward to. With inputs from DigiTimes. Activision and Terminal Reality announce The Walking Dead game Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/activision-and-terminal-reality- announce-the-walking-dead-game/16596.html July 9th, 2012 Activision Blizzard and developer Terminal Reality have announced a video game of the popular The Walking Dead zombie TV series. Activision Blizzard and developer Terminal Reality have announced a video game of the popular The Walking Dead zombie TV series. The game will be a first-person action title that allows players to take on the role of Daryl Dixon, accompanied by his brother Merle, as they try to get to the safety of Atlanta. It is being described as a “do-whatever-you-need-to-survive” game, suggesting plenty of suspense and grittiness to match the show. “The work AMC has done with the TV series has been amazing and we're ecstatic at the opportunity to be brought into the fold,” said Drew Haworth, Creative Director at Terminal Reality. “The studio is made up of fans of the show, and we think other fans will see that the situations and walkers featured in our game are every bit as gruesome and shocking as they are in the TV series — they look, move and react as expected with full authenticity — and they will surprise you. The player's fight-or-flight survival instinct is constantly engaged. 'Flight' is usually a good bet.”
  • 57. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Players will frequently find themselves in situations where they need to assess threats and analyse everything as they try to avoid being spotted by the undead walkers, which will use a combination of sight, sound and smell to hunt them down, making it extra difficult for players hoping to survive the onslaught. There will be a choice of fighting or using stealth to escape, providing an interesting balance of brute force and tactical gameplay. To make things even more tense, players will have a limited supply of everything, requiring them to ration supplies. Food, medical equipment, ammunition and other goods will be scarce and scattered around the in-game world, and players will be required to use their wit and intellect in choosing the best supplies. The game will release in 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Nintendo to showcase 3DS XL and games at Comic-Con 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-to-showcase-3ds-xl-and- games-at-comic-con-2012/16595.html July 9th, 2012 Nintendo is to showcase the 3DS XL handheld console and a number of games for the 3DS and Wii at Comic-Con 2012 later this week. Nintendo is to showcase the 3DS XL handheld console and a number of games for the 3DS and Wii at Comic-Con 2012 later this week. The gaming company announced the 3DS XL, which features a screen that is 90 percent larger than standard versions, in late June, but this event will give the public a chance to try it out before its launch on 19 August. Nintendo also plans to show off a large number of upcoming games for the 3DS and 3DS XL at booth #5135 and at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge, which the company will be hosting at the San Diego Ballroom near the Comic-Con event. The game lineup includes: New Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, Heroes of Ruin, Kingdom Hearts 3D, and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Some footage and trailers of these can be seen here. Other games that will be available to try out will include Pokémon Conquest for the DS, and Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition and Just Dance 4 for the Wii. There is no word on the possibility of the Wii U being available for demos, but we expect Nintendo might have a few surprises up its sleeves. Comic-Con runs from 12-15 July. Those wishing to attend the Nintendo Gaming Lounge do not require a Comic-Con badge to gain entry. ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-670-directcu-ii-top-2gb- review/16580.html July 9th, 2012 Everyone already knew back in early May that the Nvidia Kepler GK104 based GTX 670 is a serious contender for the price-performance crown. We re-visit that conclusion again with ASUS's factory overclocked GTX 670 fitted with their DirectCU II heatpipe cooler and run a few tests with the latest 304.79 drivers. Quick recap on the GTX 670 As we can see from this block diagram of the GK104 die, the GTX 670 has one of eight SMX units disabled, which is a common way of putting crocked ASICs that do not meet full binning standards to good use instead of throwing them away. As a result, the GTX 670 has 12.5% less fillrate/ pixel pushing performance and lower TDP than the GTX 680, much like how the HD 7950 Tahiti Pro is to the HD 7970 Taihiti XT. Given that everything else remains the same (number of ROPs, memory bus bandwidth, fancy AA algorithms and other technologies), do the loss of shaders
  • 58. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 really matter for most use cases? We find out in the following pages.. The red slash marks box design of the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP is similar to the GTX 680 we reviewed a while ago, which is not too surprising given their common heritage. Most of the recent graphics cards with the DirectCU II coolers that we've seen recently from ASUS have reverted back to the more practical 2-slot design (rather than obtuse 3-slot), allowing for better motherboard compatibility and quad-GPU setups. Having said that, ASUS opted for their own custom PCB which is longer than the surprisingly short 7-inch board from Nvidia, presumably to accomodate the extra power circuitry. No changes at the I/O panel from the reference GTX670/ GTX680 offerings (1 x HDMI, 1 x DP, 2 x DVI). There is also a metal backplate at the back spanning across the whole card, adding to the impression that it is a premium product. A beefy four micro-capacitors can be found behind the GPU core, which can give it more instantaneous power as opposed to two on the regular board.
  • 59. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Two 6-pin PCIe power inputs add 150W of power on top of the 75W supplied by the slot (GTX 670 has a 170W TDP). There are red/green LEDs to indicate if the connectors are plugged in correctly. Nokia, RIM, and HTC steadily losing grounds to Samsung and Apple Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-rim-and-htc-steadily-losing- grounds-to-samsung-and-apple/16594.html July 9th, 2012 Samsung and Apple are dominating the smartphone market, and that trend won’t stop in the second half of 2012. Various reports have concluded that Nokia, RIM, and HTC won’t be able to compete with Samsung and Apple in the later part of this year. Samsung and Apple are dominating the smartphone market, and that trend won’t stop in the second half of 2012. Various reports have concluded that Nokia, RIM, and HTC won’t be able to compete with Samsung and Apple in the later part of this year. Nokia has been struggling to make its mark on the smartphone market ever since Android and iOS became the predominant smartphone OSs. Windows Phone, being Nokia’s primary smartphone platform, hasn’t helped Nokia regain its market share. Nokia is currently on shaky grounds as it is betting heavily on Windows Phone 8—which won’t be available to current Nokia devices. “It will also be more difficult for Nokia to push sales of Windows Phone 7.5-based models in the third quarter as consumers are waiting for the launch of Windows Phone 8 smartphones,” sources told DigiTimes. Onto RIM’s woes, the once-upon-a-time smartphone goliath will delay their latest platform until early 2013. BlackBerry 10 (BB10) is supposed to be RIM’s savior, and if RIM doesn’t deliver an OS that can compete with iOS and Android, then more people will be out of a job—or even worse, RIM goes bankrupt. The company is reportedly spending over $1 billion to produce and market BB10. Nokia and RIM are sailing in turbulent weather, but HTC’s situation may not be as bad. The Taiwan-based handheld manufacturer is expected to ship 8 million units in the 3Q. Unfortunately, analysts also predict that HTC will only ship 7 million units in the 4Q. HTC’s problem is mainly due to stiff competitions from its Asian competitor from South Korea—Samsung. The two Android-favored smartphone makers both have flagship devices that are comparable in specs, but Samsung’s GALAXY SIII seems to be besting HTC’s One X by a slight margin. Nokia, RIM, and HTC are currently under immense pressure to catch up to Samsung and Apple, and hopefully Nokia, RIM, and HTC don’t bow out of the smartphone race— leaving consumers with fewer choices when selecting their next handset. NVIDIA and AMD will likely stick with TSMC's 28nm Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-and-amd-will-likely-stick- with-tsmc-s-28nm/16593.html July 9th, 2012 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) may have lost its contract with Qualcomm to produce the Snapdragon S4, but it’s still holding onto NVIDIA and AMD. Sources familiar with TSMC’s business outlook are confident that NVIDIA and AMD will continue to rely on TSMC to manufacture their chips. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) may have lost its contract with Qualcomm to produce the Snapdragon S4, but it’s still holding onto NVIDIA and AMD. Sources familiar with TSMC’s business outlook are confident that NVIDIA and AMD will continue to rely on TSMC to manufacture their chips. Sources have indicated to DigiTimes that: “TSMC has the upper hand over Samsung in 28nm technology, yield rate and price and therefore changing foundry partnership involves high risks, the sources said. In addition, Nvidia is expected to consider Samsung's ARM-based processors in competition with its Tegra 3 processors.” TSMC worked with AMD on the 28nm Southern Islands graphics chips, and production is scheduled to begin this fall. AMD is also expected to adopt TSMC’s 28nm Bulk CMOS technology in 2013, which helps to further confirm that TSMC will hold onto other contracts despite losing Qualcomm. Update: According to X Bit Laboratories Samsung and TSMC will both manufacture the Snapdragon S4 for Qualcomm. We revealed earlier that UMC reportedly won a contract to produce the S4, which hints that Qualcomm may have switched foundry. There are no confirmations as to whether or not Qualcomm will continue its partnership with TSMC in the future.
  • 60. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 The new iPad to launch July 27 in China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-new-ipad-to-launch-july-27-in- china/16592.html July 9th, 2012 Chinese consumers may not be happy with Apple’s customer support, but apparently they’re still consuming Apple products like it is oxygen. Apple’s revenue in Greater China was $7.9 billion (20% of global total) according to a financial report released on March 31. With the Proview-Apple iPad dispute out the way, Apple may now unleash the new iPad unto the Chinese market. How much more money will Apple rake in beginning July 27 when the new iPad is set to release in China? Who knows, if the trend continues like all other Apple products, the new iPad will definitely be a hot commodity. Chinese consumers may or may not be happy with Apple’s customer support, but apparently they’re still consuming Apple products like it is oxygen. Apple’s revenue in Greater China was $7.9 billion (20% of global total) according to a financial report released on March 31. With the Proview- Apple iPad dispute out the way, Apple may now unleash the new iPad unto the Chinese market. How much more money will Apple rake in beginning July 27 when the new iPad is set to release in China? Who knows, if the trend continues like all other Apple products, the new iPad will definitely be a hot commodity. According to Want China Times, the first batch of iPads will only have Wi-Fi, but that doesn’t mean that the 3G version won’t appear soon after. Apple has been given network license from Chinese authorities some time in May, so the 3G version will undoubtedly be an integral part of the iPad world in China. Recent rumors suggest that Apple will be releasing a refreshed version of the new iPad later this fall alongside the iPad Mini, so Chinese consumers who are up to date on their Apple gadgets will most likely hold out until the latest iPad is released. Although the iPad is clear for sales in China, Apple is still facing multiple trademark lawsuits which include their outdated “Snow Leopard” OS and the “Siri” communication technology. Apple may have just lost $60 million to Proview, but that’s a small price to pay considering China is generating 20% of Apple’s total revenue. ASUS Shrinks Radeon HD 7950 DirectCU II Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-shrinks-radeon-hd-7950- directcu-ii/16591.html July 9th, 2012 Without much fuss, ASUS slipped out a revision of its Radeon HD 7950 DirectCU II graphics card. The revision breaks away from the common board design between the HD 7950 and HD 7970 DirectCU II models, and uses newer, compact PCB and cooler. The revision could ready ASUS for future price cuts of the GPU. Without much fuss, ASUS slipped out a revision of its Radeon HD 7950 DirectCU II graphics card. The revision breaks away from the common board design between the HD 7950 and HD 7970 DirectCU II models, and uses newer, compact PCB and cooler. The revision could ready ASUS for future price cuts of the GPU. The new board design will be applied to both the standard and TOP variants. Its most notable feature is the reduced length, which appears to be down by an inch, if not more. It's unclear if there are any casualties of this design change. The cooler appears to be just a compacted version of the original, that looks a little less rough on the edges. According to one source, the new cooler features denser aluminum fin stacks, and uses six heat pipes to transport heat, instead of five on the original design. A secondary heatsink runs the entire length of the obverse side of the PCB, drawing heat from memory, MOSFETs, and other hot ancillary components, and cools them under the air-flow of the main heatsink. The display output configuration is also changed, with the revision featuring two dual-link DVI apart from one- each of HDMI 1.4a and standard-size DisplayPort 1.2; in comparison to the original featuring two mini-DisplayPorts, and just one dual-link DVI. Apart from the design changes mentioned, both the base and TOP models of the new HD 7950 DirectCU II graphics cards retain the clock speeds of the originals. The base model ships with 800 MHz core, 5.00 GHz (effective) memory; while the TOP model ships with 900 MHz core and 5.00 GHz (effective) memory.
  • 61. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 The revised ASUS HD 7950 DirectCU II graphics cards will initially sell at the same prices as those of the originals, although it's expected that the revisions will give ASUS a better cushion against falling prices. Based on the 28 nm "Tahiti" silicon, the Radeon HD 7950 from AMD features 1,792 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface holding 3 GB of memory, and support for the DirectX 11.1 API. iPad Mini to be manufactured in Brazil and keeps 4:3 screen ratio Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ipad-mini-to-be-manufactured-in- brazil-and-keeps-4-3-screen-ratio/16589.html July 9th, 2012 Recent rumors are suggesting that the iPad Mini will be manufactured in Brazil, a twist on Apple's history of having their products manufactured in China. Recent rumors are suggesting that the iPad Mini will be manufactured in Brazil, a twist on Apple's history of having their products manufactured in China. Hon Hai plays a big role in manufacturing quite a few iPhones, among other Apple devices, for worldwide consumption, so the news that the iPad might come via Brazil’s plants may surprise some. Apple has long employed Asian OEMs to produce their Apple products, but Hon Hai is reported to have outsourced much of their workload to the Brazilians. Thus, although the iPad Mini may be manufactured in Brazil, it will still be under the directions of Hon Hai and Apple. Sources that suggested the iPad Mini will be manufactured in Brazil also added confirmation to the torrents of rumors surrounding the 7.85’’ display of the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini is rumored to have the same height as the Google Nexus 7, but the width may be wider—perhaps to accommodate the extra .85’’. Other Apple tablets have retained the 4:3 aspect ratio, and it appears the iPad Mini will continue that tradition. This is in direct opposition to other major tablet vendors such as Amazon, Google, and Asus who are currently endorsing and implementing the 16:9 ratio. The rumored launch date for the iPad Mini is sometime in October, the same time frame for the launch of many other hand held devices, specifically tablets. This fall will be an exciting part of the year for many tech enthusiasts. AMD Piledriver FX and Opteron refresh? After summertime.. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-piledriver-fx-and-opteron- refresh-after-summertime../16588.html July 9th, 2012 The eagerly awaited Vishera FX desktop and Abu Dhabi server refreshes of AMD processor lines seem scheduled for late summer or early fall (Q3 to Q4 2012) as of now. What's in store? Yes, Bulldozer core microarchitecture didn't exactly impress on the desktop, with the power-performance ratio being the biggest problem even with discounted pricing. On the server front, the dual die 8 core-pair 'Interlagos' implementation of Bulldozer fared somewhat better as there are more apps that can benefit from many-thread resources, especially integer bound Web environments where the shared FP units aren't that much of a hindrance. Since the Trinity APU already has the updated 32nm 'Piledriver' core included, the question was when will we really see it in the desktop and server general purpose CPUs. While there may be samples of Vishera floating around, this Bulldozer desktop follow-on is still nowhere near the official release. The 'Abu Dhabi' dual die follow-on to Interlagos, implementing the 'Piledriver' core, is howewer, pretty much confirmed for the September to October timeframe. Any reason to wait? Well, there are two expected main benefits: one is the supposedly improved instructions per- clock efficiency, which could be up to 15% based on the more optimistic figures, and the other one is the higher clock frequency, up to some 20% vs similar Bulldozer cores especially on the Opterons. Finally, yes, Haswell- compatible FMA3 fused multiply add format. And, oh yes, further improved power management. Note that there will be no new sockets (meaning AM3+ and G34/C32 still), everything has to fit within the current TDP, memory and I/ O bandwidth limits. No support for PCI Express 3.0 either... Now, how would it impact the competitive positioning? Not much as of now - 22nm Ivy Bridge-E / EP updates (more on that this week) to Core i7 and Xeon E5 lines will keep the performance chasm as it is today. It would, however, show that AMD is still in the game and continuing to develop its CPU/Heterogenous Computing stuff so that, by the time
  • 62. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 the Steamroller and Excavator core designs come, it can hopefully compete again vs Intel. BitTorrent aims to revolutionize the internet again with Torque Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bittorrent-aims-to-revolutionize-the- internet-again-with-torque/16587.html July 9th, 2012 BitTorrent has become an integral part of the internet since its inception ten years ago and the folks that helped deliver BitTorrent is aiming to revolutionize the internet even further—with something they call BitTorrent Torque. BitTorrent has become an integral part of the internet since its inception ten years ago and the folks that helped deliver BitTorrent is aiming to revolutionize the internet even further—with something they call BitTorrent Torque. BitTorrent Torque, according to the official BitTorrent site, will allow developers and users to integrate BitTorrent into web browsers. “Simply put, it allows anyone to utilize our powerful technology to create completely fresh and new experiences for users with just a couple lines of code.” One such integration, dubbed Paddle Over, involves drag and drop of files for transfer between computers, social sharing tools, social networks, and more. Another feature is OneClick, which allows torrent downloads to turn into normal in-browser downloads. The team claims that BitTorrent Torque is their attempt at providing internet developers and users with the opportunity to become even more involved with the BitTorrent technology. “Torque Labs is part of our ongoing commitment to maintain an open conversation between our developers and our developer community. We are confident that together we can create some really kick-ass applications.” BitTorrent Torque is currently in alpha, but the team hopes that the internet community will help drive their new technology “beyond desktop clients.” Interested? Check out the official BitTorrent Torque page. Samsung to launch Windows RT tablet this October Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-to-launch-windows-rt- tablet-this-october/16586.html July 9th, 2012 Hewlett-Packard (HP) decided several days ago that it won’t back Microsoft’s Windows RT tablets at launch, and that announcement left many wondering which OEM giant will fill in the hole left by HP. Wonder no more, according to Bloomberg, Samsung will launch a Windows RT tablet later this October. Hewlett-Packard (HP) decided several days ago that it won’t back Microsoft’s Windows RT tablets at launch, and that announcement left many wondering which OEM giant will fill in the hole left by HP. Wonder no more, according to Bloomberg, Samsung will launch a Windows RT tablet later this October. Microsoft’s decision to launch its own hardware created quite a stir among partnering OEMs, and HP was not hesitant to express their discontent with the Microsoft Surface decision. We’ve discussed, recently, the various impacts that the Surface will have on the OEMs that partnered with Microsoft in the past, and one of the major impacts is the price point in which OEMs has to deal with if they produce a Windows RT tablet. The Surface will not incur an operating system cost, but OEMs that want to produce a Windows RT tablet will have to pay for the OS (unless Microsoft decides to offer Windows RT for free, which is unlikely). Therefore, OEMs won’t be able to compete with Microsoft in pricing without having to cut corners. Despite many OEMs’ opposition to the Surface, Samsung will launch its own ARM Windows RT tablet alongside the Surface. We can speculate that Samsung’s hardware cost will be lower than Microsoft’s, and therefore, that may help Samsung to lower the price of their Windows RT tablet. Apple’s iPad still dominates the tablet market as it is currently holding onto 58 percent of the market share. The ARM-based iPad, along with other ARM devices, outnumber Intel and AMD-based devices by a longshot. Intel has been trying to crack into the ultra-mobile market for quite some time, and the relatively successful backing of the ultrabooks is a testament to Intel’s persistent. The Surface Pro will come with an Intel based processor, which makes the Surface Pro a borderline tablet-ultrabook device. Get ready for CyanogenMod 10 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/get-ready-for- cyanogenmod-10/16585.html July 9th, 2012 An official stable version of CyanogenMod 9 was released last week, and according to developers at XDA, the release of Jelly Bean may cause CM9 to have a very short shelf life. An official stable version of CyanogenMod 9 was released last week, and according to developers at XDA, the release of Jelly Bean may cause CM9 to have a very short shelf life. Most ICS-capable devices are also capable of running Jelly Bean (JB), and that means the CM team will most likely
  • 63. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 switch to supporting CyanogenMod 10 exclusively. Despite not having early access to the JB source code, the CM team is apparently already prepping to start work on CM10. The CM team is awaiting the AOSP JB release, so expect the team to continue to deliver full support for CM9 until then. CM7 will continue to be maintained, but don’t expect too much updates (if any at all) in the future. Take a ride with 4DX at the movie theater Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/take-a-ride-with-4dx-at-the-movie- theater/16584.html July 9th, 2012 4DX is the next big thing in cinema, as if 3D movies aren’t good enough. This new method for delivering cinematic thrills at the movie is backed by CJ CGV—a large South Korean multiplex firm. 4DX is the next big thing in cinema, as if 3D movies aren’t good enough. This new method for delivering cinematic thrills at the movie is backed by CJ CGV—a large South Korean multiplex firm. 3D movies have been around for quite some time, and in most cases all that are required is 3D glasses. Moving onto 4DX, and no, the extra “D” does not literally mean an extra dimension. The extra dimension which 4DX is referring to are additional special effects that sync with the movie reel. So imagine a chair that rocks and back and forth (or side to side) when Iron Man is bombarded with enemy firepower. How about feeling the wind in your face when the Avatar is flying through the air? Sounds a lot like a ride at Universal Studio or any major theme park, right? Pair the motorized chairs and real world elemental effects with a 3D big screen and you have 4DX. CJ CGV owns 700 screens in Asia, and this alone offers the multiplex firm a huge leverage in pushing for adoption of 4DX. There are currently 29 4DX theaters spread out across the globe, and CJ CGV is planning to expand the 4DX experience to 1,500 theaters by 2016. A 3D movie ticket costs almost twice as much as a regular 2D ticket, so we can safely assume that a 4DX experience will cost movie goers more than an arm and a leg. I’m sorry honey; we can’t have the overpriced popcorn today. TSMC remains confident in their 28nm manufacturing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tsmc-remains-confident-in- their-28nm-manufacturing/16583.html July 9th, 2012 Reports earlier last week revealed that United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) had won a contract with Qualcomm to produce the Snapdragon S4 chips, and that contract came at the expense of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Reports earlier last week revealed that United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) had won a contract with Qualcomm to produce the Snapdragon S4 chips, and that contract came at the expense of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). TSMC is touted as the world’s largest contract chip-maker, but it's losing its contracts to the likes of UMC and Samsung. Korea Times has reported Samsung will be producing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chips using the Korean tech- giant’s 28nm manufacturing process. According to various reports, Qualcomm’s decision to switch partners may not be due to TSMC’s production quality, but rather due to quantity. Despite Qualcomm’s lack of
  • 64. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 confidence in TSMC’s ability to keep up with demands, TSMC still believes that their 28nm manufacturing process is among the leaders. “We do not comment on business with clients. We're confident in our leadership status in 28-nm and will fulfill customers' demands in the fourth quarter,” said a company spokesperson. Galaxy Nexus available once again in Google Play Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/galaxy-nexus-available-once-again- in-google-play/16582.html July 9th, 2012 The Galaxy Nexus is once again available in the Google Play store after a few weeks of going on hiatus due to an injunction from Apple’s lawsuit. The Galaxy Nexus is once again available in the Google Play store after a few weeks of going on hiatus due to an injunction from Apple’s lawsuit. Although Google Play marks the Galaxy Nexus as available again, Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung hasn’t officially ended. The Samsung-Apple dispute is ongoing, and the availability Galaxy Nexus is that it “ships in 1-2 weeks” and not immediately. Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court temporarily lifted the ban on the Galaxy Nexus sales, but Apple has not responded to the court’s decision. Samsung is not ready for clear sailings just yet, but if you want to buy the Galaxy Nexus then now is the time to do it before Apple files another lawsuit against Samsung. Root, Kernel, ROMs, and much more for unreleased Nexus 7 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/root-kernel-roms-and-much-more- for-unreleased-nexus-7/16581.html July 9th, 2012 XDA developers have already begun working on various custom features for the unreleased Nexus 7, and why shouldn’t they? The upcoming Google 7’’ slate will be competing with the likes of the Kindles and Nooks, which already have huge development communities. XDA developers have already begun working on various custom features for the unreleased Nexus 7, and why shouldn’t they? The upcoming Google 7’’ slate will be competing with the likes of the Kindles and Nooks, which already have huge development communities. First things first, if you’re wondering if the Nexus 7 will be root-able, then yes it is. The Nexus 7 will come with an unlockable bootloader, and an instruction guide has already been set up. Check it out here. Next up is full tablet UI for the Nexus 7, as the tablet will come with a UI optimized for phones. Google unveiled their tablet at the I/O using a phone interface, and that disappointed many. So the folks at XDA have conjured up a quick hack pack that will allow users to unlock the Nexus 7 to full tablet interface. Now if you don’t want to put in the work to customize the Nexus ROM yourself, download some pre-packed ones. These ROMs and kernel will include: (some, if not all) insecure, init.d support, overclocking to 1.5 GHz, voltage tweaks, zip aligned, superflows apps removed, busybox, ad- blocking host file, aroma installer, and DSP manager. RIM Will Burn Through $1 Billion To Launch BB10 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-will-burn-through-1-billion-to- launch-bb10/16579.html July 9th, 2012 RIM is currently flushed with cash, and analysts believe that they will need that cash in order to get BlackBerry 10 launched. Research In Motion is flushed with cash, despite a poor quarter and an announcement that BlackBerry 10 is getting delayed. Current cash-on-hand for RIM is around $2.25 billion, or about $4.29 per share of the company. Analysts are predicting now that most of that cash will be burned through to launch BlackBerry 10, possibly destroying the book value of RIM stock. Analysts at Barclays are only projecting a “burn” of $677 million and targeting RIM stock at $6 per share; this implies that they are valuing the patents, handset business and BBM network at roughly $1.6 billion. However, J. Mintzmyer, an analyst from SeekingAlpha, has a different opinion on RIM’s cash situation. He has calculated the average expense per quarter for the company at $386 million for research and development and $690 million for sales. Using these figures, he expects RIM to lose roughly $1 billion in cash over the next three quarters as BlackBerry 10 gears up for launch. Assuming that BlackBerry 10 flops, RIM will have $1.25 billion in cash, or $2.38 per share, along with warehouses filled with Playbook tablets and new BlackBerry phones; even if this inventory has to be sold at 50% of retail, the company will make money. Mintzmyer calculates that if the business and inventory is worth $1 billion, the network
  • 65. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 is worth $1 billion, and the patents are worth a conservative $2 billion, the stock is still worth $10 per share. He says the only way the shares are worth only $6 would be if the patents were worth only $1 billion and RIM was out of cash. In essence, Mintzmyer is saying investors should buy stock in RIM, as even though the company will burn through roughly $1 billion in cash, the stock price is severely undervalued at the moment. FBI submits incomplete evidence in Megaupload's Kim Dotcom extradition case Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-submits-incomplete-evidence-in- megaupload-s-kim-dotcom-extradition-case/16577.html July 9th, 2012 The FBI has sparked a debate amongst the lawyers in Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing by submitting just 40 pages of emails out of the 22 million stored on Megaupload's servers. The ongoing Megaupload saga continues, with arguments over what evidence Kim Dotcom will be allowed to see in order to prepare his defense. A New Zealand judge has ordered the FBI to copy 150TB of potential evidence that they seized from the Megaupload servers they seized, though it’s still unclear as to how much of the data Dotcom will be given access to. Now, it appears that the FBI has “cherry- picked” just 40 pages of evidence out of some 22 million emails stored on the cyberlocker site’s servers; they intend to hand over these 40 pages before an extradition hearing, sparking a heated disagreement between the prosecutors and Dotcom’s defense lawyers that could delay that hearing. The head of Dotcom’s legal team has said that the summary document is inadequate; the legal team is being forced to argue their case with “their hands tied behind their backs.” The Crown Prosecutor for New Zealand, however, has said that having all the information for a hearing that merely determines whether or not Dotcom can be tried in the US is unnecessary. If the case does indeed proceed to an American court, this issue will be argued again, delaying any trial even further. The Department of Justice has suffered some major criticism for their handling of the case against the eccentric Dotcom; the criticism stems from many areas, including the use of illegal search warrants in order to secure the evidence for the case as well as their refusal to return non-infringing material to the Megaupload users. The Department of Justice is still charging Dotcom with running what they call an “international organized criminal enterprise,” though at this rate an actual trial is still a long way off. UKFast reveals top 10 security failures Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ukfast-reveals-top-10-security- failures/16575.html July 9th, 2012 UKFast, a hosting specialist in the UK, has revealed what it believes are the top 10 cyber security failings of 2012, showing a surprising amount of complacency among people when going online. UKFast, a hosting specialist in the UK, has revealed what it believes are the top 10 cyber security failings of 2012, showing a surprising amount of complacency among people when going online. “As a society we rely on technology more than ever nowadays. We communicate through social networks, pay bills and manage our bank accounts online, and carry a wealth of personal data around with us on our mobile phones,” said Stuart Coulson, director of data centres at UKFast. “We are so comfortable sharing information on the net that people don’t realise that their over-sharing could hand cybercriminals access to their bank accounts and leave them vulnerable to identity fraud.” The top 10 security issues are: 1. Images Some users are actually posting images of their credit and debit cards online, making it incredibly easy for cybercriminals, as they only need the three-digit security number on the back, of which there are only 1,000 possible combinations. The idea of posting pictures of credit and debit cards may surprise many people, as it seems like an obvious oversight. However, often the reason why people share these images is because of what is displayed on the card. Our research revealed that dozens of people shared pictures of their cards to show off a photo that has been printed on the card, either of themselves or the “stock” photo, such as in one case of the Manchester United team. These photos also show the full card name and number, however. 2. Sharing Contact Numbers
  • 66. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 Many people share their new phone number on Facebook, and while this is bad enough, the “via Facebook for iPhone” note shows hackers that the number belongs to a brand spanking new iPhone. All a hacker has to do is text the phone with a malware-laced message. 3. Location Services When users have location services enabled, their updates to Facebook, FourSquare, and other social media services will tell all and sundry where the user is. This might seem harmless enough, but when one message tells people that they are at home, and the next tells people that they are away on holidays for two weeks, the message would-be burglars see is: “Here is my home address. It will be empty for the next few weeks. Make yourself at home and try not to steal too much.” 4. Password Stealing Tricks Many free password strength checks are not designed to test the strength of your password, but rather the strength of your security awareness, as they often simply log the passwords you enter and then employ them in all kinds of criminal activity. Some people not only hand over their Facebook passwords in this manner – some do the same with their bank account passwords. 5. Reusing Passwords Many people still use just one password for all their online activity, which means that if one account is compromised, all of the user's accounts are vulnerable to attack. This is such a common issue that it has been largely to blame for huge attacks on email servers, with some people's Hotmail being hacked, only to give cybercriminals their password for their Gmail and Facebook accounts as well. Each different account should have its own separate and unique password. 6. QR Codes QR codes have grown big time with the boom in the smartphone market, but the lack of information surrounding them means that users could be putting their devices at risk. Flyers containing a QR code may provide access to a genuine app, a viral marketing campaign, or some malware waiting for the next victim. Often users are too quick to scan any barcode they encounter, without considering the possible threats. 7. Public Computers Clicking “Stay logged in” on a public computer is an obvious faux pas, but it is one many do largely from habit, leaving their accounts exposed to the next individual who uses the computer. While many people will simply log out of an account they encounter, not everyone is so honourable. Users need to be extra cautious when accessing public computers, which include test products in stores, such as a display iPad. 8. Public Wi-Fi Public Wi-Fi is not secure, which means anyone can snoop on what users are doing. Certain high security things like online banking are best employed on a private Wi-Fi network. 9. Downloads
  • 67. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 Downloads remain one of the most common sources of malware, as many users download files, software and apps that they know next to nothing about. Users should always be extremely cautious with downloads, ensuring they are genuine products from a genuine source, and that they actually instructed the download to begin. 10. Shortlinks The limited space on Twitter has led to a number of link shorteners like Bit.ly coming on the scene. These provide a valuable service, but they also help mask links, which means a user has a harder time finding out if that link to a supposedly cute kitten is not directing them to malware. Twitter's implementation of its own link shortener has helped this issue somewhat, but users still need to be careful when clicking shortened links. First iOS App Store malware detected Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-ios-app-store-malware- detected/16574.html July 9th, 2012 The first malware on Apple's iOS App Store has been detected, marking the latest in a series of security problems for the Cupertino, California-based company. The first malware on Apple's iOS App Store has been detected, marking the latest in a series of security problems for the Cupertino, California-based company. Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab found a trojan disguised as a Russian-language app called Find and Call in both Apple's App Store and Google Play, formerly the Android Market. Once downloaded and installed, the malware grabs GPS coordinates and steals the user's address book, using the emails and phone numbers to send spam messages, recommending friends try out the Find and Call application. Since it appears to come from a genuine user, more people get sucked into the malware scheme. “The Find and Call app has been removed from the App Store due to its unauthorised use of users' address book data, a violation of App Store guidelines,” said Trudy Muller, spokesperson for Apple. The app has also been removed from Google Play. Android has suffered with malicious apps for some time now, largely thanks to the openness of its platform, but Apple's closed approach to iOS has helped it evade disguised malware until now, making this break in Apple's security particularly significant. The developer of the app claims the spam messages are the result of a bug, which is being fixed, but that explanation is unlikely to wash with many people. Even if the incident is genuinely an error, the bad press alone suggests that Apple and Google will be hesitant to reinstate the app. Apple's reputation for producing devices and software with high security has taken several knocks recently. A backdoor in Mac OS X is being exploited to target activists, while Apple itself has removed its security guarantee as it finds the popularity of its products drawing the eyes of more hackers, spammers and cybercriminals. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to launch in Sept with 5.5-inch Display & 13MP Camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-note-2-to-launch- in-sept-with-5.5-inch-display--13mp-camera/16568.html
  • 68. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 July 9th, 2012 This fall, Samsung plans to follow up its wildly successful Galaxy Note and hopefully repeat the performance with its latest offering, the Galaxy Note 2. While most sources have pegged the release date as sometime in October, other sources have reported that Samsung will release the new model in September in an effort to beat the new iPad to the street. This fall, Samsung plans to follow up its wildly successful Galaxy Note and hopefully repeat the performance with its latest offering, the Galaxy Note 2. While most sources have pegged the release date as sometime in October, other sources have reported that Samsung will release the new model in September in an effort to beat the new iPad to the street. The latest "phablet" is said to sport a slightly larger 5.5 inch screen, featuring a precursor to Samsung's flexible screen, the 'Unbreakable Plane'. The new smartphone will come equipped with a quadcore processor and is rumored come with 2 GB of memory and run the latest Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' OS. An insider disclosed that "the camera resolution of the new model is expected to be around 12-13 MP, a considerable improvement over the 8MP of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note." Galaxy Note 2 boasts improved memo and document editing features. After the introduction of the original Galaxy Note, Samsung offered various writing features including 'S Note' through 'Premium Sweet Upgrade' and the Galaxy Note 2 is anticipated to have professional writing features for several specialized fields. An insider has reported that the writing features supported by Galaxy Note 2 will be further specialized into general business, design, and sales, each of which needs special memo features. The new technologies including the sensor technology introduced to 'Galaxy S3' are said to be limited on Galaxy Note 2, however compatiblilty with other devices has been improved. Pantech, in second place behind Samsung in the South Korean smartphone market, is planning to release a 5.3 inch quad-core smartphone with a capacitive screen this October. As the demands for bigger screen smartphones increase smartphone makers are responding accordingly. Composing documents and playing games, the features that used to be exclusive to tablet PCs or laptops, are now arriving on 'big' smartphones. Google denies Microsoft's Android spam botnet claim Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-denies-microsoft-s-android- spam-botnet-claim/16572.html July 9th, 2012 Google has denied claims by Microsoft about the existence of an Android spam botnet, but security firms are not so sure. Google has denied claims by Microsoft about the existence of an Android spam botnet, but security firms are not so sure. Terry Zink, security engineer for Microsoft, blogged earlier this week about a possible threat, citing Android-specific email addresses and a “Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android” note at the bottom of the message. Google said its investigation of the issue shows that Android has not been compromised and that spammers operating from PCs are simply formatting their emails to make them look like they originate from Android smartphones, a tactic designed to help them evade spam filters. Google said there was no evidence of an Android botnet.
  • 69. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 Google is not the only one questioning Microsoft's claims. Kevin Mahaffey, head of security firm Lookout, said that his company had found security issues with the Yahoo! Mail app and had advised Yahoo of the problem, suggesting there might be a threat, but that it is related to a third-party app and not Android itself. However, Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, said that there was some evidence that the spam came from smartphones. He said that Sophos could not see that the formatting had been faked, and some things, such as email addresses owned to mobile operators, could not be altered. Zink has since admitted that it is possible that the messages were sent from PCs, with key elements faked to give the illusion of coming from smartphones, but that he believes it more likely that malware on Android has become more prevalent, that this is motivating spammers to abuse the platform, and that therefore the spam is being sent from an Android botnet. Image Credit: Tom-b China Mobile Announces 4G enabled iPhone in 2014 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/china-mobile-announces-4g- enabled-iphone-in-2014/16571.html July 9th, 2012 China Mobile has announced, among plans for the expansion of their 4G network, that Apple will be releasing an iPhone compatible with the new network by 2014. While 4G service has been around for a while in the US, it has seen a very limited roll-out due to the cost of placing new hardware across essentially an entire continent, along with a slow uptake in customer adoption of new 4G smartphones capable of taking advantage of the new network; most 4G rollout in the US has been centered on major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. Across the Pacific, however, China Mobile has been working hard deploying its 4G TD-LTE network; while no phones yet exist to take advantage of this network for sale in China, the vice GM, Li Zhengmao, recently said that the phones would be coming to the market soon. One such phone is set to be available by the end of the year, with at least ten available by the middle of 2013 and more than 100 by 2014, including a 4G-capable version of Apple’s iPhone. This gives us the first hard deadline for the iPhone’s release in China, though there is a possibility that this timeframe will slip. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT, has yet to approve of China Mobile’s plan. In fact, the MIIT has been slowing China Mobile’s 4G plans for some time, so there is a strong possibility that the iPhone could be delayed even longer. Even if the plan is approved of in its entirety, waiting two years for a China Mobile-compatible iPhone is probably the last thing their customers wanted to hear, but China Telecom and China Unicom can breathe a collective sigh of relief; no matter the new phone released by Apple, they won’t have to worry about fast 4G competition in China until 2014 at the soonest. Amazon Planning to Create Smartphone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amazon-planning-to-create- smartphone/16570.html July 9th, 2012 Reports have surfaced of Amazon's ambitious plans to incorporate a smartphone into their line-up of inexpensive hardware tied into their digital marketplace. It seems like Amazon isn’t done challenging Apple, as several sources have reported that Amazon is developing a smartphone to compete with Apple’s iPhone, along with other handheld devices running Google’s Android operating system. It’s safe to assume that the phone would run on an Amazon-branded version of the Android operating system, similar to the operating system that runs their Kindle Fire tablet. Reportedly, Foxconn is working with Amazon on the device; Amazon is looking to acquire patents covering wireless technology as well, in order to help protect itself from patent litigation, such as the massive battle raging between Apple and Samsung. Originally Amazon had considered buying patents from InterDigital Inc., though those plans fell through when the Pennsylvania-based company announced in June that they would be selling the patents to Intel for $375 million. Amazon is currently looking for new sellers from whom to purchase wireless technology patents. A smartphone would give Amazon a foothold in the growing, lucrative handset market in which traditional manufacturers
  • 70. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 16 shipped 398.4 million units last quarter. Amazon took a stab at the tablet market as well with their release of the Kindle Fire, and a smartphone would help them bolster their strategy of focusing on profits from digital books, songs, and movies. While sales of the Kindle Fire haven’t been as quick as Amazon had hoped, it showed that the company could provide solid hardware comparable to its competitors for cheaper than they could. If Amazon can continue this trend, we might see a new line of cheap, sturdy smartphones tied into Amazon’s massive library of digital goods soon. Acer founder recommends Microsoft stick to software Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-founder-recommends- microsoft-stick-to-software/16569.html July 9th, 2012 Acer founder, Stan Shih, has publicly expressed that Microsoft should stick with its core business—software. He “recommends” that Microsoft should withdraw from the hardware market because it will have a negative impact on the OEMs that are partnering with Microsoft. Acer founder, Stan Shih, has publicly expressed that Microsoft should stick with its core business—software. He “recommends” that Microsoft should withdraw from the hardware market because it will have a negative impact on the OEMs that are partnering with Microsoft. “I think Microsoft's getting involved in the hardware business is designed to promote its Win8 OS. But I sincerely recommend they withdraw from the hardware market when they get what they want,” Shih said. Contrary to Shih’s belief that Microsoft’s entrance into the hardware market will hurt OEMs, Bill Gates believes that OEMs and Microsoft can share an eco-system. Gates wants the Surface to eliminate boundaries between PCs and tablets. The PC market has slowed down in recent years due to increasing consumer interests in tablets. Shih believes, however, that laptop PCs can remain competitive in the personal computing sector—specifically for students. “For students, laptops with keyboards will still be the best choice,” he said, pointing out that many current tablets lack a physical keyboard. AMD Radeon HD 7990 Debuts as a Very Limited Edition in July? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7990-debuts-as-a- very-limited-edition-in-july-/16567.html July 9th, 2012 Even though summer is in the full swing, it's not that companies are taking their time off. According to our sources, AMD is gearing up to launch the dual-GPU card, illusive Radeon HD 7990 in the second half of July. Known under the codename "New Zealand", Radeon HD 7990 represents AMD's highest-end part from the Southern Islands architecture. Consisting out of two Tahiti XT GPUs and 6GB GDDR5 memory (special edition 7990s could reach 12GB), Radeon HD 7990 goes head to head against the GeForce GTX 690. By default, AMD has the advantage in terms of 50% more video memory (GTX 690 has 4GB), significantly higher memory bandwidth and the new Turbo mode, technology similar to the Turbo mode used on NVIDIA Kepler-based cards with a few major differences. Our sources are telling us that the boards are starting to be sampled, all in preparation for the product launch in the second half of July. We will release more details as the launch day approaches, as well as the final retail price, which still isn’t decided as we write this story. While we know AMD's press deck, the company has a long tradition of changing the price at the last moment. At the same time, a lot of AMD partners are running the card in their labs but aren't aware of the actual product launch. We will see in just a few weeks time. All Your Data Belongs To Zuckerberg - Facebook Invests in Asian Undersea Cable Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/all-your-data-belongs-to- zuckerberg--facebook-invests-in-asian-undersea-cable/16562.html July 9th, 2012 Facebook has announced that it, along with a consortium of other investors and firms, is investing into the development of the Asia Pacific Gateway, a new undersea cable that aims to increase the speed, availability, and reliability of internet access in South and East Asia. News has reached us of a new investment made by Facebook into an Asian undersea cable project. Called the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), the new cable is designed to improve internet speeds and availability for both consumers and businesses. The APG will run from Malaysia to South Korea and Japan, more than 10,000 kilometers, with branches leading to other countries along the route. A spokesman from Facebook said the investment would help support their efforts to boost membership in South Asia, which is already one of their fastest growing markets. “Our investment in this cable will help support our growth in South Asia, making it possible for us to provide a better user experience for a greater number of Facebook users in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore,” the spokesman said, although he declined to reveal how much the social networking giant had invested
  • 71. July 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 17 in the cable plan, only confirming that a group of investors (including Facebook) had invested a total of $450 million. The construction and maintenance of the APG is being funded by a group that includes two of the largest Chinese ISPs, China Telecom and China Unicom. The fiber optic cable will allow faster upstream and downstream connections to North American servers. “This lowers our dependencies on Singapore as the main gateway for internet traffic,” said the consortium’s chief executive, Saiful Husni. “We can now channel high volumes of this traffic on our network with the lowest latency, directly to the US.” In essence, by removing servers in Singapore as a gateway, the latency drops as Internet signals have fewer servers and cables to go through before reaching North America. While Facebook’s growth in the US has shown signs of a sharp slowdown according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, a study by Nielsen suggested that the social network was booming in Asia, enjoying a rapid growth rate. The study showed that Japanese-based visitors to Facebook had skyrocketed to 17.2 million in May, more than doubling from the number of visitors at the beginning of the year. The report also indicated that South Korea was also enjoying a similar boom, with room for even more growth in the coming months. Despite this rapid growth, Facebook still trails behind Mixi in Japan and Cyworld in South Korea, both domestic social networks that benefit from having local servers with faster, more reliable connections than Facebook’s US-based servers. Other markets that Facebook could capitalize on with a more reliable Asian connection are India and the Philippines, both areas with a heavy presence on Facebook but patchy connectivity. A faster, more reliable connection would benefit both users and Facebook, as usability of the site would increase, making users’ interactions easier and leading to more users for Facebook. Facebook is not the first major internet company in the US to invest in major internet infrastructure, however. In 2008, Google announced that it would be investing in a $300 million undersea cable between Asia and the US called Unity. It was completed in April of 2010, and provides a trans-Pacific link capable of transmitting up to 7.68 Tbit/s. Is a thinner Sony Playstation 3 on the way? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/is-a-thinner-sony-playstation-3-on- the-way-/16564.html July 9th, 2012 Sony has filed paperwork with the FCC that seems to indicate that a new model of PS3 is on the way. It appears that there may be a new model of PS3 on the horizon. Sony has a habit of redesigning their flagship console every few years, taking advantage of cheaper costs and new efficiencies in manufacturing. If history is anything to go by, the new model will be smaller and cheaper than current models; Sony released a compact, cheap version of the PlayStation 2 at the end of its lifecycle and it appears that they might be doing the same thing here for the PlayStation 3. Japanese site Pocket News is reporting that Sony has filed paperwork with the FCC, which a perusal of their site confirms, for a new model of the PS3; the model numbers listed in the paperwork are in the CECH-4000 range, as opposed to the current models, numbered CECH-3000. The pictures included with the filing don’t give any indication of size or capabilities, but there have been rumors of a thinner console on the horizon. This filing may indicate that those rumors were true; at the very least, we expect to hear something official from Sony soon.
  • 72. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. PCI Local Bus Turns 20, PCI- Express 10, PCI-SIG Looks Ahead Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pci-local-bus-turns-20-pci- express-10-pci-sig-looks-ahead/16624.html July 11th, 2012 The Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) Special Interest Group (SIG) celebrated 20 years of the PCI local bus, an I/ O technology in use by computers to this date. This is also the 10th year for PCI-Express interface, which drives most of today's high-bandwidth computer devices. The SIG gave us a glymse of what lies ahead. The Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) Special Interest Group (SIG) celebrated 20 years of the PCI local bus, an I/O technology in use by computers to this date. This is also the 10th year in market for PCI-Express interface, which drives most of today's high-bandwidth computer devices. The SIG gave us a glymse of what lies ahead. (Image Credit: Jonathan Zander) The PCI-SIG notes that while the greater part of the past 20 years posed challenges related to bandwidth, the future adds newer ones, including compacting the PCI- Express interface to newer, smaller form-factors, with newer electrical configurations. This leaves bandwidth (performance) and form-factors as the two factors the SIG has to keep in mind, when drafting future standards. Addressing the issue of performance the SIG noted that development of a succeeding standard to PCI-Express Gen 3.0, the PCI-Express Gen 4.0, is already underway. PCI- Express 4.0 will be designed to further double bandwidth over its predecessor. A single PCI-Express 4.0 lane will be able to push 16 GT/s. The SIG also touched on the concept of PCIe-attached storage, pointing out how PCIe add-on card storage devices such as SSDs and HBAs benefit from processor-integrated PCI-Express 3.0 root complexes. Addressing the issue of portability and proliferation to newer, smaller form-factors, the SIG talked about PCIe OCuLink, a new cable-based standard (such as Thunderbolt, USB), that lets two devices communicate with each other without a host-device hierarchy, with minimal protocol overhead. The standard appears to be based on PCI- Express 3.0 x1, and offers 8 Gb/s bandwidth (single- lane). The connector is designed to support up to four PCIe lanes, resulting in a staggering 32 Gb/s bandwidth. The SIG touched briefly on upcoming standards such as next-generation form-factor that's part of the Mini CEM specification, and the SFF-8639, a connector standard that will become relevant with PCIe-attached storage devices. Researchers make breakthrough with phone- charging t-shirt Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/researchers-make-breakthrough- with-phone-charging-t-shirt/16625.html July 11th, 2012 Researchers have created a t-shirt that can store electricity and be used to charge mobile phones and other portable devices. Researchers have created a t-shirt that can store electricity and be used to charge mobile phones and other portable devices. A duo at the University of South Carolina, Professor Xiaodong Li and researcher Lihong Bao, managed to convert a cheap t-shirt bought at a discount store into a wearable power source. The t-shirt was soaked in flouride, dried and then baked in an oxygen-free room at a high temperature, which changed the fabric from cellulose to activated carbon, without damaging the flexibility of the material.
  • 73. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The result is that the fabric could be used as a capacitor, which can store an electrical charge. The outcome was further enhanced by coating the fibres with manganese oxide, resulting in what Li called a “stable, high-performing supercapacitor.” The professor said that when these are stacked together they could be used to charge phones and tablet computers, making clothing that little bit more useful than it currently is. Of course, the potential downside is the unknown risks of wearing “charged” clothing. Electric shock is one possibility that will need to be addressed, made even more problematic when considering what might happen if the fabric gets wet. If these concerns were addressed, however, we might be plugging into our t-shirts and jeans instead of the wall sockets. Image Credit: University of South Carolina Ouya console raises $3 million and counting Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ouya-console-raises-3-million-and- counting/16623.html July 11th, 2012 The Ouya $99 Android-powered gaming console has taken a huge step towards reality with the raising of nearly $3 million on Kickstarter in just over 24 hours. The Ouya $99 Android-powered gaming console has taken a huge step towards reality with the raising of nearly $3 million on Kickstarter in just over 24 hours. The console, which will run on Android 4.0, will make gaming incredibly affordable, not only because of its low initial price, but because the games will all be free (though we expect some kind of advertising or locked features to entice developers to make games for this platform). The console will feature a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal flash storage, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, HDMI, USB 2.0, and a wireless controller and touchpad. It will also be open to rooting, which won't void the warranty, and the team behind it say “hackers welcome,” inviting hardware hackers to create their own peripherals. Supporters of the project have come out in force, pledging anywhere from $10 to $10,000, with rewards for pledges ranging from reserved usernames and a copy of the console to developer goodies and dinner with the creators. A whopping $2,925,677 has been pledged at the time of writing, and growing rapidly. With the next-generation of consoles just around the corner and such significant support for Ouya, we could see some major new competition in the market that the big three, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, may find difficult to match. SteelSeries Ships Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition Gaming Headset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/steelseries-ships-siberia-v2-frost- blue-edition-gaming-headset/16622.html July 11th, 2012 Mark another one to the plethora of Siberia V2 variations. SteelSeries announced the retail availability of its Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition USB gaming headset. The new variant is characterized by a mostly-white body, with soft blue lighting on its earcups. Mark another one to the plethora of Siberia V2 variations. SteelSeries announced the retail availability of its Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition USB gaming headset. The new variant is characterized by a mostly-white body, with frost blue lighting on its earcups.
  • 74. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 The Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition is a medium-large size gaming headset with a native audio processing logic, which connects to the system over USB 2.0. The same connection is used to power the illumination, made up of 16 LEDs (8 on each earcup), which produce a "frost blue" glow. The brightness and illumination mode of these LEDs can be configured by the SteelSeries Engine software, which is also used to configure the USB DAC driving the headset. The Siberia V2 uses a pair of 50 mm drivers with 18 Hz to 28 kHz frequency response, and 40 Ω impedance. The microphone, which is retractable into the left earcup, features 50 Hz to 16 kHz frequency response, -38 dB sensitivity, and a uni-directional pickup pattern, backed by active noise-cancellation. The USB cable extends to a total of 3 m. The Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition USB headset by SteelSeries, is priced at US $119.99 (around S$150). Angry Birds developer shows trailer for next game Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/angry-birds-developer-shows-trailer- for-next-game/16621.html July 11th, 2012 Rovio, the developer behind the popular Angry Birds series, has released a trailer for its next game, Amazing Alex, which promises to bring more physics-based puzzles to mobile gamers. Rovio, the developer behind the popular Angry Birds series, has released a trailer for its next game, Amazing Alex, which promises to bring more physics-based puzzles to mobile gamers. The game focuses on Alex, a kid who sets up various contraptions with his toys, giving players over 100 levels of physics puzzles that will make use of toy cars, footballs, balloons, and any piece of furniture in the vicinity. Another unique feature of the game is a level creator, which means gamers can expand the possible game experiences with 35 interactive objects, a number which is sure to grow over time. Player-created levels can also be shared online and Rovio is promising plenty of free updates. If the game is as well-crafted as Rovio's bird-flinging pig- crushing antics the gaming world could be in for another puzzle phenomenon. Amazing Alex launches tomorrow, 12 July for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Scientists discover graphene heals itself Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-discover-graphene-heals- itself/16619.html July 11th, 2012 Scientists have discovered that the material graphene has the power to heal itself, opening up new possibilities for a number of future applications. Scientists have discovered that the material graphene has the power to heal itself, opening up new possibilities for a number of future applications. The material is made up of carbon sheets that are just a single atom in thickness, making them incredibly thin and very easy to damage. Yet their fragility also introduces a major strength, the ability to self-repair.
  • 75. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 The discovery was made by scientists at the University of Manchester and SuperStem Laboratory of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in Daresbury, both in the UK. The co-discoverer of the material, Nobel Prize winner Konstantin Novoselov, was part of the research team. Research on the flimsy sheets frequently produced holes, but the scientists were shocked to find that nearby atoms would snap into place to repair the breach. It did not matter if these were carbon, metal or hydrocarbon atoms – they all did the job at mending the material. However, pure carbon atom would push metal atoms out of the way to create an even more perfect repair job. “We know how to connect small strips of graphene, to drill it, to tailor it, to sculpt it, and it now seems we might be able to grow it back in a reasonably controlled way,” said Dr. Quentin Ramasse, co-author of the study, published in Nano Letters. It is not yet clear what this could be practically used for, but the possibilities are endless, as self-repairing material could be in used in almost any field. Image Credit: Quentin Ramasse Samsung denies responsibility for Galaxy S3 screen burn-in Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-denies-responsibility-for- galaxy-s3-screen-burn-in/16616.html July 11th, 2012 Disputes are arising over the recent discovery that Samsung is unwilling to take responsibility for warranty replacements for Galaxy S3 smart phones because of premature screen burn-in. Disputes are arising over the recent discovery that Samsung is unwilling to take responsibiliity for warranty replacements for Galaxy S3 smart phones because of premature screen burn-in. The AMOLED screen, used in the popular Galaxy S3, is often susceptible to 'burn-in' or a permanent discoloration of particular areas of the screen. Burn-in is generally caused by a combination of inconsistency in the material used to make the screen and the same image being shown shown on the screen for long periods of time, such as a 'splash screen' or menu screen. For the past week or so, many Korean bloggers and community members have been hotly debating Samsung's recent denials of problems with the new AMOLED screens. The problem showed up almost immediately after Samsung introduced the AMOLED screen with the Galaxy S2. Screen burn-in was a frequent problem with the S2 and Samsung had to offer warranty repair of the screen or exchange of the defective unit with a new one. They apparently learnt their lesson with the Galaxy S3 and have solved the problem - not by rectifying the underlying problem but sneakily changing the product manual to avoid in-warranty repairs. Samsung warns its users in the S3 product manual 'Do not operate your device with a paused screen for a long time." Further the manual states flatly "We are not responsible for any problem arising from the said cause." This effectively shifts the responsibility of screen burn-in to the consumer, disregarding any manufacturing or technology problem with the new screens, allowing Samsung to avoid any warranty replacements of the screens. The bigger problem lies in the fact that most customers do not pay much attention to the product manual before purchasing a new device and won't realize that Samsung is using this tactic to avoid replacement of defective units. Toshiba Releases AL13SE Series 10K RPM Enterprise HDDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-releases-al13se-series-10k- rpm-enterprise-hdds/16618.html July 11th, 2012 Toshiba launched the AL13SE series of enterprise hard drives, built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SAS 6 Gb/s interface. The drives come in capacities as high as 900 GB, and with spindle speeds of 10,500 RPM. Toshiba launched the AL13SE series of enterprise hard drives, built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SAS 6 Gb/s interface. The drives come in capacities as high as 900 GB, and with spindle speeds of 10,500 RPM.
  • 76. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 The AL13SE series consists of four models based on capacity, the 300 GB AL13SE300, 450 GB AL13SE450, 600 GB AL13SE600, and 900 GB AL13SE900. All four models offer read/write seek times of 3.7 ms and 4.1 ms, respectively. Although with a typical spindle speed of 10,500 RPM, the drives feature Supported Enhanced Power Condition State (SEPCS) technology, which lowers spindle speed in tune with the amount of drive activity, to conserve power. All four models pack 64 MB caches. Measuring 69.85 mm x 100.45 mm x 15.00 mm, (W x D x H), the drives weigh about 240 g, and feature typical power draw of 4.7W. The company did not release performance numbers of its own, but recommended the use of 512 byte sector size. Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at Toshiba’s Storage Products Business Unit, said "The AL13SE Series provides enterprise customers with capacities up to 900GB that support a broad range of enterprise applications,” adding “The increased performance and reliability of the AL13SE reflect our collaboration with our key partners to deliver small form-factor hard disk drives that address market requirements for mission-critical storage.” Sony Launches S-Series XQD Memory Cards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-launches-s-series-xqd-memory- cards/16617.html July 11th, 2012 Sony launched what it touts to be the fastest memory card ever made. The S-Series memory cards from Sony conform to the XQD specification, and guarantee read/write speeds of 168 MB/s, a tiny bit faster than the fastest CompactFlash card in the market. Sony launched what it touts to be the fastest memory card ever made. The S-Series memory cards from Sony conform to the XQD specification, and guarantee read/write speeds of 168 MB/s, a tiny bit faster than the fastest CompactFlash card in the market. Sony's new S-Series XQD cards will be available in 32 GB and 64 GB capacities, priced at US $260 and $460, respectively. A media with 168 MB/s of bandwidth allows professional photographers to capture approximately 108 frames in continuous shooting, in the RAW format. This would allow photographers covering fast-moving subjects (such as athletics, motorsport, wildlife in action, etc.,) the ability to pick the best shot from a wider range of shots. Higher bandwidth also benefits workflow, where on-site image processing time can be chopped. Data transfer is one of the most time-consuming parts of a photographer's workflow. To let users take advantage of the S-Series XQD cards beyond their compatible imaging equipment, Sony also launched two new devices a PC/Mac-compatible XQD card reader (model MRW-E80) that uses USB 3.0 interface (USB 2.0 backwards compatible); and an ExpressCard 34- compatible card reader (model QDA-EX1). Commenting on the launch, Viviano Cantu, Director of Consumer Media for Sony Electronics, said "Professional photographers need to shorten their workflow - the time between shooting, processing and editing," adding "With transfer times up to 30% faster than even the fastest CF cards, the S Series gives new meaning to high-performance digital image capture, more than conventional CF can offer, for pro shooters and advanced photo enthusiasts." Man vs Machine - Biomechanical legs gets an upgrade Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/man-vs-machine--biomechanical- legs-gets-an-upgrade/16614.html July 11th, 2012 The human gait has been tuned over millions of years of evolution to be as efficient as our anatomy allows. But technology is catching up, according to scientists in the United States. A pair of biomechanical legs that accurately recreates human locomotion has been developed by scientists at the University of Arizona. M. Anthony Lewis and Theresa Klein, researchers from the university’s Robotics and Neural Systems Laboratory,
  • 77. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 have published their findings in the Journal of Neural Engineering revealing the development of a highly advanced pair of mechanical legs that are able to mimic human walking in a “biologically accurate, energy-efficient manner.” The legs are intended for researching how humans learn to walk, but potential future applications include giving the ability to walk back to patients with spinal-cord injuries. The scientists, of the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, claim their biomechanical legs are the most advanced ever, and the first to accurately reproduce human gait characteristics. The new legs can adjust for varying surfaces with the help of a small computer taking readings from load sensors in the feet, allowing the legs to mimic the up and down movement of human legs. The legs consist of a copy of the human hip, knee and ankle controlled by nine “muscles”, which are in fact Kevlar straps that move up and down as required. The movements are determined by an electronic version of the central pattern generator (CPG), a neural network in the base of the spine which is semi-autonomous from the brain. The CPG gathers information from the body and responds to the environment accordingly. This is why humans can walk without thinking about it. When the elements of the legs were combined with the electronic CPG, the legs were able to move in much the same way as a human. This was verified by comparing to data gathered in human studies, paying particular attention the movement at the hip and knee. While other bipedal robots, perhaps the most famous of which is Honda’s ASIMO, are able to walk, run and even climb stairs, the energy required to do so is so great that battery life is a major limitation to their widespread use. This design is claimed to be the first which does so without using vast expanses of energy. The implications of this could include legs that could walk all day without recharging. This would obviously be a huge leap forward in the rehabilitation of spinal cord injury victims. This development is an example of what Lewis calls “soft robots, which can be used around human beings”, continuing that “conventional robots derive their heritage from industrial robots and they are very stiff – they wouldn’t be safe around grandma. So this is a step in that direction.” Where to from here? According to Lewis the next phase includes the addition of tactile sensors and vision capabilities “so that if you stumble, the system will correct itself and not fall over.” He went on to state that they have received interest in the legs from two major corporations and that they “are currently looking at transferring this technology to one of them.” Kingston Intros DataTraveler Locker+ G2 Secure Flash Drive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-intros-datatraveler-locker- g2-secure-flash-drive/16612.html July 11th, 2012 Kingston Digital launched its newest line of secure USB flash drives, under the DataTraveler Locker+ G2 series. The drives use USB 2.0 HiSpeed interface, and provide some very mainstream transfer speeds, but provides native data encryption, and a cross-platform user authentication system. Kingston Digital launched its newest line of secure USB flash drives, under the DataTraveler Locker+ G2 series. The drives use USB 2.0 HiSpeed interface, and offer some very mainstream transfer speeds, but provide native data encryption, and a cross-platform user authentication system. The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 is available in four capacities, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB; and offers transfer- rates as high as 10 MB/s reads with 5 MB/s writes, a trade- off for the drive's native (hardware) data-encryption feature. The drive uses an auto-run user-authentication system that's password-based, and runs on both Windows and Mac OS X. The system sets a changeable master password on first use, which can then be used to grant access to all the contents of the drive, or select contents, using account-based authentication. Up to 20 accounts, each having access to select portions of the drive's contents, can be created. The drive locks down and formats itself after 10 invalid login attempts. Measuring 58.00 mm x 18.6 mm x 9.75 mm, the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 has an operating temperature range of 0-60°C. It is built in the conventional capped form-factor, with a ruggedised metal body covering most parts of the drive. Commenting on the launch, Andrew Ewing, Flash memory business manager, Kingston, said "Data security for consumers is simple and affordable with the new DataTraveler Locker+ G2. The data encryption makes this the perfect USB drive to keep your information safe and out of strangers’ hands in case it ever gets lost." Backed by a 5-year warranty, the 4, 8, 16, and 32 gigabyte variants of the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 are priced at $18, $21, $37, and $82 (USD), respectively. Kingston also started a co-branding programme that allows businesses ordering in sizable quantities to have their company logos printed on the drives. Microsoft to release Windows 8 in October Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-release-windows-8-in- october/16613.html
  • 78. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 July 11th, 2012 Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will release in October, with enterprise customers and hardware partners getting access as early as August. Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will release in October, with enterprise customers and hardware partners getting access as early as August. The highly-anticipated next version of Windows will be available to manufacturers in the first week of August and early August for enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits. General availability will be by the end of October, which means Windows 8 and Windows RT computers will be available to buy starting in October. Upgrades to Windows 8 will also be available then. The Windows 8 commerce platform will be turned on at the beginning of August so developers can begin earning money for their apps. This news suggests Microsoft is well on track for a major Christmas blitz of Windows 8 products, which should include desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets. A whopping 231 markets across the world will sell Windows 8, with 109 different languages available. Microsoft also announced that Windows 7 has passed the 630 million licences milestone, making it the best-selling operating system of all time. The company will be hoping to beat that figure with Windows 8, which has the added advantage of functionality for the booming tablet market. Samsung wins case against Apple by being "not as cool" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-wins-case-against-apple- by-being-not-as-cool-/16611.html July 11th, 2012 Samsung won its latest legal battle with Apple by being, in the words of the judge, “not as cool,” a rare occasion where not being hip might actually be a good thing. Samsung won its latest legal battle with Apple by being, in the words of the judge, “not as cool,” a rare occasion where not being hip might actually be a good thing. Judge Colin Birss ruled that Samsung was not guilty of infringing Apple's patent for the design of the iPad because Samsung's Galaxy Tab designs produced a different effect. “They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.” The judge said that the tablets may seem similar when viewed from the front, but there were significant differences, particularly with the “unusual details on the back.” The two firms have been at each other's throats for several years now after Apple originally accused Samsung of “blatantly copying” its designs. A series of tit-for-tat lawsuits in nearly a dozen different countries has resulted in temporary product bans, numerous appeals, and a general mockery being made of the patent system. Samsung issued a statement saying: “Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”
  • 79. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 RIM to sell corporate jet, thinks BlackBerry future not so bleak Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-to-sell-corporate-jet-thinks- blackberry-future-not-so-bleak/16610.html July 11th, 2012 Research In Motion (RIM) is to sell one of its corporate jets in order to raise much-needed funds, while the company has also suggested that the delay of BlackBerry 10 might not be such a bad thing after all. Research In Motion (RIM) is to sell one of its corporate jets in order to raise much-needed funds, while the company has also suggested that the delay of BlackBerry 10 might not be such a bad thing after all. The Canadian smartphone maker may get between $6 million and $7 million for one of its two corporate jets, which holds nine people. The firm will keep its 14-passanger jet, but it looks like upper management might be flying in less style in the future as RIM tries to save $1 billion in operating costs this year alone. With heavy cuts being made and analysts fearing the worst for the company's success, RIM's new marketing chief, Frank Boulben, was remarkably upbeat about the recently announced delay of BlackBerry 10, which many saw as the potential saviour of the company. “The short delay is not detrimental if the quality is there when we launch early next year,” Boulben told Reuters. “We will have much more attention and focus and ability to leverage our carriers.” Of course, Boulben's job is to make the company look good, so it is not entirely surprising that he is putting a positive spin on things. The “short” delay is from late 2012 to early 2013, missing out on the lucrative Christmas period, and the company may not be able to wait that long if things continue to decline. RIM's CEO, Thorsten Heins, denied that the company is in trouble, but many analysts believe that even with BlackBerry 10 the firm faces the real possibility of bankruptcy. Western Digital Announces WD Red HDDs for SOHO NAS Systems Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/western-digital-announces-wd-red- hdds-for-soho-nas-systems/16609.html July 11th, 2012 Western Digital's family of consumer hard drives has a new member after Blue (balanced), Green (low power), and Black (high performance); the WD Red. The new line of consumer SATA hard drives are designed to fill the vaccum between WD's cost-effective consumer hard drives, and expensive enterprise hard drives. Western Digital's family of consumer hard drives has a new member after Blue (balanced), Green (low power), and Black (high performance); the WD Red. The new line of consumer SATA hard drives are designed to fill the vaccum between WD's cost-effective consumer hard drives, and expensive enterprise hard drives. Western Digital is specifically targeting SOHO (small/home office) NAS (network-attached storage) systems, with up to five drive bays. Such NAS devices are usually in the desktop form- factor, while those with more bays are usually in the rack- mount form-factors, and target larger businesses. The WD Red is designed to offer durability comparable to enterprise segment SATA hard drives. For starters, they are designed for 24x7 operation, with energy efficiency. Think of them as a refined, durable version of WD Green. Since performance of NAS devices, particularly SOHO NAS, are limited by local network bandwidth (usually 1 GbE), the design focus of WD Red appears to be reliability, more than performance.
  • 80. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 The WD Red hard drives are built in the 3.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. The lineup initially includes three models, the 1 TB WD10EFRX, 2 TB WD20EFRX, and 3 TB WD30EFRX. All three models feature 64 MB caches. Western Digital did not mention a specific spindle speed, and marked it as "IntelliPower." One would find a similar rating for WD Green, which have sub-5900 RPM spindle speeds that vary between 5400-5900 RPM, depending on the disk activity. A USP of the WD Red is NASware, a combination of technologies that make the drives fit for NAS. These include improved durability for 24x7 operation, error-recovery controls that make the drives better suited for RAID, improved technical support from WD, and tested support for NAS devices. Western Digital will be working with a variety of NAS device manufacturers to ensure compatibility with their upcoming products. Available through select distribution channels, the 1 TB, 2 TB, and 3 TB variants of WD Red hard drives will be priced at US $109, US $139, and US $189, respectively. Intel Buys 15% Stake in ASML to Speed up Fab Machines Development Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-buys-15-stake-in-asml-to- speed-up-fab-machines-development/16608.html July 11th, 2012 Intel just committed to spending $4.1 billion, to grab a 15% stake in ASML Holding NV, a company that specializes in equipment for semiconductor foundries. The company particularly values this purchase as it is in the process of re- equipping its fabs to let them dole out bigger semiconductor wafers, improving yields and cutting manufacturing costs. In its latest press release, Intel announced acquisition of a 15 percent stake in ASML Holdings NV, a move that could accelerate its fabs acquiring 450 mm wafer manufacturing capabilities. Wafers with 450 mm diameter reduce manufacturing costs, and work to increase yields. Intel initially committed an investment of approximately $1 billion to ASML's research and development programs that are developing new technologies for 450 mm wafer manufacturing (bigger wafers), and extreme ultraviolet or EUV silicon lithography (smoother transition to finer silicon fabrication processes). The investment could accelerate the two R&D programs by as much as 2 years. Intel also announced purchase 10 percent shares of ASML issued before the transation, for roughly $2.1 billion. The company committed to purchasing another 5 percent (at $1.05 billion). Together, the share purchase and R&D investments total up to $4.1 billion. Phase 1 450-mm Lithography Phase 2 EUV Lithography Total R&D Investment in ASML €553 million (~$680 million) over 5 years Incremental €276 million (~$340 million) over 5 years €829 million (~$1.0 billion) over 5 years Equity Investment in ASML €1.7 billion (~ $2.1 billion), 10 percent of pre- transaction shares Incremental €838 million (~$1.0 billion), 5 percent of post- transaction shares €2.5 billion (~ $3.1 billion) 15 percent of post- transaction shares Total €2.2 billion (~$2.7 billion) €1.1 billion (~ $1.4 billion) €3.3 billion (~ $4.1 billion) Status Pending regulatory approval Pending regulatory and ASML shareholder approvals The two companies will close the transactions after due regulatory approvals, and shareholder vote. Intel's senior vice president and COO, Brian Krzanich, said "Productivity improvements driven by enhanced wafer manufacturing technologies, especially larger silicon wafers and enhanced lithography technologies with EUV are direct enablers of Moore's Law, which delivers significant economic benefits to consumers," adding "The transition from one wafer size to the next has historically delivered a 30 to 40 percent reduction in die cost and we expect the shift from today's standard 300-mm wafers to larger 450-mm wafers to offer similar benefits. The faster we do this, the sooner we can gain the benefit of productivity improvements, which creates tremendous value for customers and shareholders." What does this mean to consumers? Intel is making an all-out effort to ensure it doesn't hit a fab process roadblock to keep its tick-tock CPU development cycle going. Technologies like 450 mm wafers are important to maintain acceptable yields, as complexities of chips rise exponentially, every few generations. The advancements in EUV lithography technology, on the other hand, will enable chips with finer transistors and circuits.
  • 81. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 This 21.5" Android 4.0 "tablet", from Japanese OEM Kouziro, doubles as a 1080p monitor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/this-21.5-android-4.0-tablet--from- japanese-oem-kouziro-doubles-as-a-1080p-monitor/16607.html July 11th, 2012 Your typical 10" tablet too small for your tastes? Try the SmartDisplay FT103, a 21.5" Android 4.0 tablet from Japanese computer maker Kouziro that can also be used as a 1080p full-HD display (via micro-HDMI). It does, however, have some serious shortcomings - find out what after the jump. First of all, although all of the verbiage detailing Kouziro's SmartDisplay FT103 describes it as a "tablet", there is really nothing portable about this device. With dimensions of 512.8(W) x24.8(D) x353(H)mm and a weight of roughly 5 kilograms, for all intents and purposes this is practically an Android all-in-one "PC". To that end, the makers deemed it fit not to include an accelerometer or even a battery. The FT103's AC adapter needs to be plugged in at all times for it to operate. Powered by a Texas Instrument dual-core OMAP 4428 processor (1GHz maximum clock speed) with 1GB of LPDDR2 memory and 8GB of on-board storage (expandable via SDHC, up to 32GB), the SmartDisplay FT103 isn't exactly the fastest Android around either, which is a shame given Kouziro's asking price of 34,800 yen (US$438). And that's without a 3G antenna, too - not that you need one, since the FT103 is not designed to be carried around. Still, the device packs enough horsepower to handle most of the apps you'll find available on the Google Play market. Its key selling point is a 21.5", 1920x1080 full-HD TFT LCD touchscreen, and the fact that it can be used as an external monitor. Brightness is rated at 250 cd/m2, contrast ratio 1000:1, and response time at 5ms. The touchscreen, as with most around this size, uses optical imaging technology (cameras at the edges of the screen detect shadows that form when you press on the touchpanel) that supports up to two points of contact at once. In their press release, Kouziro did not address if the touch capabilities would be useable while in monitor mode. The fine print at the company's webstore, however, clearly says that touch is not supported when used as a display. This is rather unfortunate, given that the FT103 comes with two USB2.0 ports - hook the device up to your Windows PC via HDMI and USB, and all you really need are some compatible drivers for the functionality to work. Rounding up the Android 4.0 device's features are 802.11g/ n WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, ethernet port, headphone jack and stereo speakers. The Kouziro SmartDisplay FT103 is available in Japan starting today, direct from Frontier, the PC maker's webstore. Thermaltake Outs BigTyp Revo Top-Flow CPU Cooler Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-outs-bigtyp-revo-top- flow-cpu-cooler/16606.html July 11th, 2012 Thermaltake is looking to cash in on the PC enthusiast community's newfound love for high-end top-flow (down-
  • 82. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 draft) CPU coolers. The company rolled out the BigTyp Revo, a large C-type CPU cooler, along the lines of Noctua NH-C14. Thermaltake is looking to cash in on the PC enthusiast community's newfound love for high-end top-flow (down- draft) CPU coolers. The company rolled out the BigTyp Revo, a large C-type CPU cooler, along the lines of Noctua NH-C14. Measuring 148 x 141 x 105 mm, excluding the 120 x 120 x 25 mm fan, the BigTyp Revo is a medium-large sized CPU cooler. Its design consists of a CPU base, where five 6 mm- thick copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU, conveying heat to a large aluminum fin stack that is arranged along the plane of the motherboard. The heatsink is then ventilated by a military green coloured 120 mm fan, which supports PWM control, and spins at speeds of 800-1,800 RPM. Other components, such as CPU VRM, and memory can be cooled under the air-flow of this fan. The Thermaltake BigTyp Revo fan can push up to 85.16 CFM of air, with a noise level as low as 20 dBA. The fan draws power from a 4-pin PWM fan header. Its rated life time is 30,000 hours. The BigTyp Revo is designed to handle thermal loads of up to 160W, meaning most kinds of CPUs, with moderate on-air overclocking. Most current CPU socket types are supported, including Intel sockets LGA2011, LGA1155/1156, LGA1366, LGA775; AMD sockets AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2, and FM2/FM1. Thermaltake did not reveal pricing of the BigTyp Revo, although we expect it to be around US $50, if not more. Astronomers Confirm First "Middleweight" Black Hole Discovered Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/astronomers-confirm-first- middleweight-black-hole-discovered/16602.html July 11th, 2012 Astronomers in Australia have confirmed a remarkable discovery: the first known “middleweight” black hole. Researchers from Australia, France, Britain and the United States worked together to refine estimates of the size of the black hole, whose existence was first published in Nature in 2009. Prior to this find, the only black holes that were confirmed to exist were so called “stellar mass” back holes, up to 30 solar masses, or 30 times the mass of the Sun, and supermassive black holes with masses in the region of a million to a billion solar masses. The black hole, named HLX-1, or “hyper-luminous X-ray source 1”, is located about 300 million light years away in a galaxy called ESO 243-49 and falls in between the two previously known categories in terms of mass, at around 20000 solar masses. The research team was led by Dr Sean Farrell from the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. Explaining the discovery, Dr Farrell said “black holes are areas where the matter is so densely squeezed into a small space, that it makes gravity pull strongly enough to stop light from escaping” and “black holes change state from a high luminosity to a low luminosity X-ray state, and back again. As they change state they release jets of superfast moving plasma which can be measured by the radio waves emitted.” Using the Australian Telescope Compact Array and NASA’s Swift satellite, the team analysed radio emissions during two state transitions of HLX-1 in September and December of 2010, and August 2011. They found that it exhibited the same radio activity shown by black holes when they change state. In the words of Dr Emil Lenc, “we know that when black holes suck in gas they create X-rays, but there’s a sort of reflux, with the region around the black hole shooting out jets of high energy particle that hit gas around the black holes and generate radio waves. So what we tend to see is the X- ray emission and then, a day or two or even a few days later, the source flares up in radio waves.” As HLX-1 changes state, it undergoes this “transient jet ejection”. By examining the radio emissions released by HLX-1, the team were able to calculate its size. Dr Farrell said “we’ve been able to refine our estimate of how big HLX-1 is to be around 9 x 103 times the size of our sun and 9 x 104 times the size of our sun.” “It’s further proof that HLX-1 is indeed sized as an intermediate mass black hole.” AMD Does a Negative Preannounce of its Second Quarter Results Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-does-a-negative-preannounce- of-its-second-quarter-results/16604.html July 11th, 2012
  • 83. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 When the news ain't good, the best thing you can do is to divide the bad news into multiple segments, and that's exactly what AMD did with its pre-announce of weaker- than-expected quarterly results. Next week will bring us the second quarter earnings from players such as Intel, AMD, Microsoft and others. Just a week after Microsoft announced its "non-cash accounting charge", which will drag down the profit of the company, AMD went through what is called "a negative pre- announce". The company announced that the revenue for the second quarter (April 1st to June 30th) decreased by around 11% from the first quarter results. When we take the first quarter results into account ($1.59B), it looks like AMD will hover around $1.41 billion mark, without any indication of profit or loss. Previously, the company stated that they expect to see a 3% increase, which means the revenue dropped by as much as 14%. What happened for such a dramatic drop? The company quoted the following: "The lower preliminary revenue results are primarily due to business conditions that materialized late in the second quarter, specifically softer-than-expected channel sales in China and Europe as well as a weaker consumer buying environment impacting the company's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) business." Given that AMD is very sensitive to the consumer markets, the problematic economy in China and Europe took a big toll on the company. Good news is that AMD decreased its internal spending to just 605 million dollars, meaning there is around 800 million dollar revenue that could or won't cover for losses. One thing is certain, though. AMD needs to start investing in new business opportunities, otherwise the company risks to continue being under the pressure as chip manufacturer, instead of being a solutions provider. War of the Tablets - Microsoft Surface production troubles and iPad origins Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/war-of-the-tablets--microsoft- surface-production-troubles-and-ipad-origins/16601.html July 11th, 2012 When Microsoft surprised the whole world by unveiling its Surface tablet in an event in Los Angeles, the company put an accent on its innovative aluminum-magnesium chassis. Now, it seems that the chassis Microsoft insisted on is bringing more trouble than the company anticipated. According to a report at DigiTimes, there are troublesome rumors spreading from the sources very close to the manufacturing well where all those Intel and NVIDIA powered Surfaces are supposed to come from. As we all know, while it is all candy dandy when western companies announce their products, but given that they're producing their wares in Far East, it is only logical where the (bad) news will come from. During the said press conference, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky talked a great deal how the company produced the thinnest chassis in the world, using MegVapor technology, baking magnesium at ultra-high temperatures. Unlike its competitors, such as Apple's methodology for the iPad's aluminum case, it might be that Microsoft "overdone it" in terms of mass production. According to sources in the know, MegVapor technology suffers from lower yields and producing five million cases will not be as easy as the company originally planned. Microsoft pulled a lot of extra weight in terms of creating its first computer e.g. tablet PC, but the lack of experience is obviously costing the company a great deal. First sacrifice was to quit on the idea of launching the Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro versions together (Intel version will only follow in 3-4 months after the release of NVIDIA-powered version). To us, this looks like typical Microsoft behavior, underestimating the engineering and manufacturing effort that takes place in creation of every product. For example, even though many engineers think of iPad as an Apple product, one of Silicon Valley's dirty secrets is a little known matter of who created the first iPad. Unlike the official stories which get repeated over and over, the first iPad was created almost five years before Apple launched the product, in a project which was backed by a large semiconductor player that wanted to have a signature product for their newly-acquired ARM division from Intel. Thus, the company went in and spend couple of million dollars, let's say six - to have a small team of people create the complete hardware product, coupled with a Linux version of operating system that ran on ARM core. Fortunately for Apple, and very unfortunately for the said company - management wasn't
  • 84. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 marvelous as the name of the company would imply and they've canned the project. Those people left the project, got employed by Apple. Fast forward a couple of years, and there we have the late Steve Jobs with a tablet in his hand. Thus, one might think that Microsoft learned on mistakes of the past, but the company is acting more like Marvell, and less like Apple… who got almost the finished product in their hands (and still took 4 additional years to develop). Somehow, we believe that Microsoft will have to join Boeing, its neighbor in the State of Washington and put a tight control over its supply chain. Boeing suffered a three year delay and a manufacturing catastrophe with outsourcing and offshoring key components of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and who knows, Microsoft just may be forced to do the same with its new supply chain. Because no matter what columnists of reputable publications write, to manage a hardware supply chain... it's a whole new ballgame called physics. Corsair Accelerator 30GB Caching SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-accelerator-30gb-caching- ssd-review/16603.html July 11th, 2012 One of this year’s most popular system upgrades is the installation of a caching SSD, mainly due to their low cost and trouble-free installation. There are many approaches which manufacturers take when designing a caching SSD; others opt for maximum performance, others strive for balance and others aim for the best possible value. Today we will have a look at a device which falls into the last of the three design categories, the Corsair Accelerator 30GB Caching SSD. The 30GB version of the Accelerator drive can be found selling for as low as 60 USD but can the small drive really provide a noteworthy performance boost? We will find out in this review. One of this year’s most popular system upgrades is the installation of a caching SSD, mainly due to their low cost and trouble-free installation. There are many approaches which manufacturers take when designing a caching SSD; others opt for maximum performance, others strive for balance and others aim for the best possible value. Today we will have a look at a device which falls into the last of the three design categories, the Corsair Accelerator 30GB Caching SSD. The 30GB version of the Accelerator drive can be found selling for as low as 60 USD but can the small drive really provide a noteworthy performance boost? We will find out in this review. Coming soon: Larger storage densities thanks to Ferroelectric Nanomaterial breakthrough Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/coming-soon-larger-storage- densities-thanks-to-ferroelectric-nanomaterial-breakthrough/16590.html July 11th, 2012 Electron holography has allowed Brookhaven scientists to observe nanomaterials at the atomic level. This discovery may pave the way for a new generation of storage devices. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have captured images of the electric fields created by exotic ferroelectric nanomaterials with picometre precision. This trillionth of a metre resolution is crucial for understanding these materials. To achieve this they made use of a technique called electron holography on two particular ferroelectrics, insulating barium titanate and semiconducting germanium telluride. These materials were engineered at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Brookhaven physicist Yimei Zhu said of this, “this kind of detail is just amazing – for the first time ever we can actually see the positions of atoms and link them to local ferroelectricity in nanoparticles. This kind of fundamental insight is not only a technical milestone, but it also opens up new kinds of engineering possibilities.” Ferroelectrics are related to the better known ferromagnetics, which are found in everything from toy magnets to computer hard drives. Ferromagnetic materials have magnetic dipole moments, meaning they always orient towards north or south. On a large scale, these dipole moments align and we observe magnetisation as attraction and repulsion. With an external magnetic field, the dipole can be switched, allowing the material to be altered. This is the basis of modern storage media, as the flipping of individual dipoles is analogous to the ones and zeroes in a computer’s binary language. This enables the material to be “written” onto, and, as these materials retain their memory even when turned off, they are fundamental in our modern, computer based world. Ferroelectrics also have a dipole moment, but with a positive or negative electric charge, rather than a magnetic charge. The polarisation of these ferroelectrics can be altered with the application of an external electric field in the same way that the magnetisation of ferromagnetics can be flipped with a magnetic field. This characteristic of the ferromagnetic materials is due to a subatomic asymmetry, which was imaged by the Brookhaven scientists. One major possibility is a new generation of compact, high capacity storage devices. While on the surface ferroelectric devices may seem very similar to the analogous ferromagnetic devices, they have much greater potential for data manipulation. Like ferromagnetics they are non- volatile, but, according to Zhu, “ferroelectric materials can retain information on a much smaller scale and with
  • 85. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 higher density than ferromagnetics. We’re looking at moving from micrometres down to nanometres. And that’s really exciting, because we now know that on the nano scale each particle can become its own bit of information.” In the words of Brookhaven’s Myung-Geun Han, “ferroelectrics could ramp up memory density and store an unparalleled multiple terabytes of information on just one square inch of electronics.” The next challenge is scaling up individual ferroelectric nanoparticles into useful devices. The key to this is in understanding how tightly they can be packed without compromising their individual polarisations. This is vital because ferroelectrics require some space between them to operate effectively. The work done by the Brookhaven team with electron holography will instrumental in determining how this can be achieved. Huawei moves into supercomputing (too) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-moves-into-supercomputing- too-/16600.html July 11th, 2012 The Shenzhen giant company which, as its proponents will repeat, started without any government help - although, of course, it is well linked with it today - is, in line with their 'next IBM' strategy we unveiled here some months ago, widening its reach. Geographically, they pretty much covered the Earth, and their componentry are bound to go beyond this planet too, in Chinese space missions. Target market wise, the telecoms (both consumer and enterprise related) markets are covered as well, with CPUs and systems markets now under the assault. The newest arena Huawei is entering is at the very top: supercomputers. Why bother, when it rarely makes money? Well, Huawei management, according to our sources, thinks high performance computing can make money, and not just in China. There is enough differentiation to make the designs blades and other nodes more HPC optimised, both CPU and memory performance wise, and then use Huawei network and interconnect expertise to improve on the inter-system connection efficiency, where even the Infiniband leaves a lot to be wanted. Huawei, according to our high level sources, already got a substantial system portion of some of the upcoming ultra large systems in China, including what would likely be the world's first 100 Petaflop supercomputer in a year's time, at least five times as fast as the just unveiled fastest US system two weeks ago. This includes the node board design and rack infrastructure, among others. Of course, more of the same will follow, both above and below that performance threshold - some of it likely with Chinese - even Huawei's own - CPUs. Since supercomputers are a costly and tough to earn money market with even tougher customer support for most generic vendors like HP or Dell, it'll be interesting how Huawei will handle the challenges of high performance computing marketing, sales, integration and support. If the past is anything to go by, looking how Cisco fared trying to compete with Huawei, the Western SI vendors better beware. After all, they themselves killed off their only advantage - their own CPUs like Alpha or MIPS or HP-PA - to be left essentially as large scale Intel or AMD system integrators. At that point, price and little tweaks, plus support, become the only differentiators, and the Chinese can do it just as well, if not better. After all, for over a decade, even IBM's main PC server server design solution, integration and manufacturing facility for Asia Pacific was right in Shenzhen. The staff must have learned a lot during all those years, before many of them moved to the local big vendors, including Huawei... 2013 Haswell Mobile CPU Lineup - Power Sippers to Guzzlers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/2013-haswell-mobile-cpu-lineup-- power-sippers-to-guzzlers/16597.html July 11th, 2012 One may think that the Ivy Bridge 17W Ultrabook bins power consumption is a great feat, but it may pale to next year 22nm Haswell's 15 watts TDP - including the PCH chipset in the same CPU package! What happens then if you want a bit more performance at a bit more TDP? The answer is... ... well, nothing! Haswell (Shark Bay platform) will, according to the well informed sources, bring in a much sharper TDP range distinction, even in the mobile markets. So, above the coveted - and a big focus for Intel anyway - UltraBook domain, there will be a huge chasm above. Haswell Ultrabook ULV parts, codenamed Lynx Point LP, all being dual core but offering a choice of one to three graphics units, are expected to be all budgeted at 15W TDP for the whole dual die package, including the CPU and the PCH, the old 'South Bridge'. Now, that's something of an advantage over the 17W plus a few watts for a chipset in the current Ivy Bridge. You save both on power and on the board space, yet gain quite a bit of performance, especially in graphics, doing away the need for a power sucking discreet GPU. What happens if you either want to go up in performance, or want to save some bucks (for heaven's sake UltraBooks
  • 86. July 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 should not cost more than MBAs) and go for standard format notebook? Well, you'll have to change the socket and and the TDP. The chipset will not then be in the CPU package anymore, but you'll have a flexibility to choose between two and four CPU cores. The power envelope? In the first case, 37W TDP, and in the second case, 47W TDP. Wow, quite a difference when it comes to cooling and battery life... Of course, we haven't covered yet the top end, with four cores, GT3 graphics and that 'something extra' L4 cache on a separate die in the CPU package, linked over a wide backside bus. Here we talk about 57W TDP, of course for a very powerful desktop replacement device. The impact? After the migration to Haswell, the massive TDP distinction between different parts will impact even the formats, with ever thinner and lighter UltraBooks on one side, and constant-weight heavy mainstream stuff on the other. Of course, the uber enthusiast 18-inch or so monster gamer notebooks will also be there for the 57W parts, driving - hopefully - 4K-quality 16:10 screens at acceptable framerates with those GPUs by then. After all, if today's Apple Mac 15-inch can deliver 2880x1800, why can't a future 18-inch Haswell notebook bring in 3840x2400 display? It surely won't take more juice than the CPU driving it...
  • 87. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Apple demands retailers to cease selling Samsung Galaxy Nexus Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-demands-retailers-to-cease- selling-samsung-galaxy-nexus/16657.html July 14th, 2012 Apple recently sent out various emails demanding retailers to cease the act of “importing, offering to sell, or selling within the United States,” the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Apparently, Apple assumes that it’s justifiable to go after retailers that affiliate themselves with Samsung. Apple recently sent out various emails demanding retailers to cease the act of “importing, offering to sell, or selling within the United States,” the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Apparently, Apple assumes that it’s justifiable to go after retailers that affiliate themselves with Samsung. The following email was sent to one such retailer: Re: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al. United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. C-12-00630 (LHK) We represent Apple Inc. in the above-referenced action. We enclose a copy of the June 29 preliminary injunction order entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in this case together with a copy of Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 (the “604 patent”). With the posting of the requisite bond, the order is now in effect. The order provides as follows: For the foregoing reasons, Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction is GRANTED. Accordingly, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Samsung Electronics America, Inc.; and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC; its officers, directors, partners, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, subsidiaries, and those acting in concert with any of them, are enjoined from making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and any products that is no more than colorably different the specified product and infringes U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 (emphasis added). As the italicized language provides, the order applies not only to the named Samsung entities, but also to anyone “acting in concert” with them. Apple thus believes that the order extends to you because you may be selling, offering to sell, or importing Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Please comply with the order by ceasing immediately to engage in any of the specified acts (e.g., importing, offering to sell, or selling within the United States) in connection with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and any product that is no more than colorably different from it and infringes the ‘604 patent. At a minimum, Apple believes compliance with the Courter’s order requires immediately removing for sale the Galaxy Nexus from all physical and online venues under your direction or control. It appears that Apple is hell bent on closing down all avenues of Galaxy Nexus distribution in the United States. Samsung may have the pocket to support the legal battles against Apple, but the small time retailers may not. Retailers that have strong ties with Apple such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy may consider compliance, but there are still others that may not follow through with Apple’s request. First Unreal Engine 4 Game is PC Exclusive, Tim Burtonesque "Fortnite" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-unreal-engine-4-game-is-pc- exclusive-tim-burtonesque-fortnite-/16655.html July 14th, 2012 With the Comic-Con in full swing in downtown San Diego, the time has come for Epic Games to unveil the first title based on the fourth generation of its ultra-successful Unreal Engine. To us, the announced title looks like something produced by Tim Burton. Fortnite only goes to show just how flexible UE4 is. E3 came and went, but besides the long awaited public announcement of Unreal Engine 4 - we did not see much from Epic Games. In the week marked by Comic-Con Conference 2012 which is taking place in San Diego, CA, Epic Games hosted a panel with Tanya Jessen and Cliff Bleszinski discussing the first UE4 game. Titled Fortnite, it looks like it came straight from Tim Burton's animated movies.
  • 88. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 First and foremost, the title is PC-exclusive, since no console is capable of handling the graphics demands of the brand new UE4 engine. This title is no kiddy game, though. According to Tanya (producer), Fortnite is a "co-op sandbox survival game". Coming in 2013, this game utilizes DirectX 11 engine to its full extent, so don't expect to see the game running on DirectX 9 or DX10 capable hardware. This is as next-gen as it can get, so better get those DirectX 11 APUs and GPUs ready for an adult bonanza in a world which can only be described as a combination of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and "Corpse Bride". When it comes to the features of Unreal Engine 4, it features a completely new digital pipeline which enables artists to go from demos such as Samaritan to cartoony style animation, all using one workflow. Naturally, all the workflow in the world won't help you if the engine itself would not be a work of art. One good example just how advanced UE4 is a quote from Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games and lead developer of Unreal Engine 4: "Global Illumination refers to the calculation of light bouncing around a scene. GI is responsible for many of the subtle shading effects and ambience we see in real-world environments, as well as glossy and metallic reflections. Introducing real-time Global Illumination into Unreal Engine 4 is the biggest breakthrough in lighting since Unreal Engine 1 introduced real-time Direct Illumination in 1995." In order to enable Global Illumination (you can see GI at work in the second screenshot), the company developed new technique called SVOGI, which stands for Sparse Voxel Octree Global Illumination. UE4 is able to maintain the real- time octree data structure encoding all visible direct light emitters in the scene in multiple resolutions. This way the authors created a scalable effect which can go from high- end graphics processors to a more mainstream environment. Best part of SVOGI is that Epic did not went to request a feature-set in new graphics processors, rather utilized shadow buffers to capture the first ray bouncing off in the scene. Knowing Epic, this game will be quite an amazing gameplay experience. As far as engine goes, we might want to add - it's looking to be an epic one (pun intended). Intel's Next-Gen Atom Processors to Only Arrive End of 2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-next-gen-atom-processors-to- only-arrive-end-of-2013/16629.html July 14th, 2012 Behind the scenes, Intel is trying to raise uncertainty around its competitors in the mobile field which have as crushing share as Intel has on the PC market. However, with continuous delays of their next-gen hardware, one must ask is "Intel's manufacturing advantage" really all that? Over the course of last couple of weeks, the author of these lines traveled 38,000 miles back and forth between three continents and the amount of information received sometimes leaves a person analyzing for week or so - where the shift in the industry actually is. Quite a good example is the comparison between four recently held conferences - NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, AMD Fusion Developer Summit, Freescale Technology Forum and Qualcomm UPLINQ. However, there was one common thread between all four mentioned conferences - where is Intel, what are they doing with their mobile lineup, have you seen their reference phones etc. Given that we have a tendency for demanding meat rather than listening to lovely FUD stories, we started digging to see where is Intel hiding its Valleyview SoC processors which threaten to "unleash the power of Intel's manufacturing" and all other typical marketing stereotypical statements. When we spoke with sources within Intel last year, we were told that their true mobile attack will come in 2012. When Mobile World Congress ended in February, we were told that the full out attack will start on the next MWC (February 25-28th, 2013). According to the latest roadmaps, that target is becoming more and more distant, with Valleyview SoC and the corresponding BayTrail platform won't see the light of day before the end of 2013, with the proper rollout of respective products (mobile phones, tablets, microservers) during 2014.
  • 89. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 On paper, the whole platform looks promising. We have Bay Trail-T and Valleyview-T for mobile phones (until then, you're stuck with Oak Trail-based Atom Z6xx processors) which will support LPDDR3 memory from Day 1. Valleyview-T will be available in quad-core format as well, which means that by Q4 2013 both Qualcomm and TI need to have their processors candy-dandy, given the lead from HiSilicon, NVIDIA and Samsung. The only problem is that taking a look at competitor's roadmaps, they seem to be more than ready for continuously-delayed "Intel chips that will change the world". Ultimately, Intel plans to utilize its 22nm fabs to the full extent, with the future migration to 14nm, but the mobile platform is looking to lag one process node behind the traditional desktop/notebook/server processors. The official line is that the company still prepares 22nm mobile node, but that node slipped deep into the 2013 and as we all know, you can buy 22nm processors from Intel… today. All in all, the company has a lot of work on its plate and while you can never discard Intel's size and the will to put billions of dollars (if needed be) to get their products right. But for now, Valleyview's main competitor will be custom 64- bit ARM architectures such as Project Denver from NVIDIA and Qualcomm, as well as 64-bit ARM processing cores from HiSilicon, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Marvell and countless others. Furthermore, AMD will have their first generation of hybrid x86 + ARM + GPU processors. Love the smell of napalm in the morning. Socket 2011 to become the dominant Intel high end physical format even on Xeon EX - but different pin-outs, of course Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/socket-2011-to-become-the- dominant-intel-high-end-physical-format-even-on-xeon-ex--but- different-pin-outs-of-course/16633.html July 14th, 2012 With all the confusion of different little sockets on the desktop end of the story, from LGA1156 to 1155 to, next year, 1150, will Intel do the same to its high end? The answer is - no, at least till 2014. Even the 4-socket and above Xeon E7 families will follow suit. In fact, based on our sources, the physical Socket 2011 format and pin number will be the most widely adopted one across all high end product ranges, from single socket high end enthusiast PCs like those using the Core i7 3960X today and its Ivy Bridge follow-ons later, to all the dual processor Xeon E5 workstations and servers now and in 2013, and all the quad processor and beyond Xeon E7 platforms, from the upcoming Ivy Bridge EX to its socket-compatible follow ons Haswell EX and, sometime in 2015 or 2016, 14 nm Broadwell EX. And, you may have seen from my old friend Charlie Demerjian at SemiAccurate that the (likely early 2014) Haswell EP dual socket Xeon E5 v3 will also keep the physical Socket 2011 format, just a very different pinout. Obviously, even with the same socket and pin number, the pinouts would differ - in the EX series, there will be more QPI links, at least three, and the memory interface will be to the external dual-channel buffers rather than directly to the DIMMs. Since the Haswell EX and beyond are confirmed to support DDR4 memory, don't be surprised to see some sort of unofficial DDR4 support even in their predecessor, the Ivy Bridge EX, less than a year from now - at least for 'validation' purposes. Of course, that would require clocking the memory controller much higher, up from 1600 to 2666MHz JEDEC standard speed level, but then, Intel has just enabled that memory controller speed in the Ivy Bridge EX anyway for the lockstep mode functionality. Therefore, if keeping the same speed, but using the future external DDR4 memory buffer, you possibly could 'test' DDR4-2666 memory enablement on that CPU too. The key take is that, seemingly, Intel accepted the Socket 2011 format as sufficiently versatile to manage the physical format and cooling issues for the near future at one go - with high TDP parts coming on all high end fronts, having the unified socket platform for thermal validation will help a lot with heatsink, board space and other issues that come along. So, the users and peripheral vendors alike have a reason to cheer up, as their highly valued cooling solutions and enclosures should stay relevant quite a bit longer... AMD cuts prices on the high end GPUs - in preparation for the dual GPU HD 7990? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-cuts-prices-on-the-high-end- gpus--in-preparation-for-the-dual-gpu-hd-7990-/16654.html July 14th, 2012 The sped-up HD 7970 GHz edition came out last month to knock down the GTX 680 from the gaming performance throne. Now, and before another top level announcement, the rest of the high end line up received price adjustments to further attack Nvidia gamers' holdout. Three weeks ago, the 1050 MHz - in perpetually switched on Turbo mode - HD 7970 GHz edition officially broke through the 4 TFLOPs FP per GPU - or any other kind of processor - barrier, and also, with sped up GPU, memory and drivers - dethroned the Nvidia GTX 680 from the gaming
  • 90. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 performance leadership. While now we await the dual GPU HD 7990 offering to 'handle' the Nvidia GTX 690, AMD is targeting the rest of the high end gamers by reducing the MSRP prices on the rest of the high end line up as of Monday July 16th. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 will come down to $429 USD, and the AMD Radeon HD 7950 will be available for $349 USD. Both will be bundled with the Three-for- Free promotion, getting three free DirectX® 11 games for free (a $100 value) with the purchase of any AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series product. One key benefit here is, of course, getting 3 GB of graphics memory that the competition doesn't have, for play at maximum resolutions or details. Also, the more mainstream AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition will now be available for $299 USD, inclusive of a free copy of DiRT Showdown (a $50 value). With this move, the standard GTX 670/680 cards will feel increased pressure, as well as the impending GTX 660 next month, but the real icing on the cake would be the early launch of Sea Islands at the year end, before Nvidia can bring in the big die GK110 into consumer cards. Microsoft Scrapping Retail Boxes of Windows 8 in Favour of System Builder Package? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-scrapping-retail-boxes-of- windows-8-in-favour-of-system-builder-package-/16653.html July 14th, 2012 Full retail copies of Windows could become a thing of the past with Windows 8. According to Windows Weekly co- hosts, Redmond plans to make the new operating system available in fewer kinds of packages. Full retail copies of Windows could become a thing of the past with Windows 8. According to Windows Weekly co- hosts Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, Redmond plans to make the new operating system available in fewer kinds of packages. A license to use Windows is either sold by computer manufacturers (on desktops and notebooks that have the OS pre-installed), can be purchased in the store as "Full Retail" or "OEM" packages, or bought in bulk via Microsoft's various volume licensing programmes. Those already with licenses of older versions of Windows can typically buy "Upgrade" licenses. While "Full Retail" is the package intended for sale to consumers who want full copies of the various variants of Windows, these consumers typically end up buying the significantly cheaper "OEM" version, which is intended for purchase and installation by system integrators. The OEM version is supposed to be sold with hardware, but as far as most retailers are concerned, it's not cast in stone. The only differences between the two are superficial (better product presentation and slightly better aftersales support for the "Full Retail" package), and cease to matter once the operating system is up and running. Microsoft wants to change this. According to Thurrott and Foley, there will be three ways in which consumers can get their hands on a Windows 8 license: buy devices that have it pre-installed; upgrade their existing Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 installations using Upgrade copies; or buy what will come to be known as "System Builder" copy. The System Builder copy, as Thurrott and Foley describe, is similar to today's OEM copies, except that its EULA (end user license agreement) could allow people to purchase it standalone (or with components to build new PCs with), and install it without needing to be "system integrators." The move could simplify the forms in which the operating system will be made available to the public, on the web, and through retail stores. How the move impacts pricing is a totally different issue, something we'll learn more about as we inch closer to the October 2012 (tentative) launch of the operating system. Apacer Outs SAFD 25A Series Enterprise SSDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apacer-outs-safd-25a-series- enterprise-ssds/16652.html July 14th, 2012 Apacer launched its newest line of enterprise/industrial SSDs, the SAFD 25A series. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the SSDs come in variants with SLC and MLC NAND flash memory. Apacer launched its newest line of enterprise/industrial SSDs, the SAFD25A series. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the SSDs come in variants with SLC and MLC NAND flash memory.
  • 91. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 The SAFD25A SSDs from Apacer are designed for enterprise environments with demanding data-transaction loads, or large amounts of "hot-data" (data that's frequently accessed, such as a database). The company did not reveal what is the make of its controller, but specified some performance numbers on its end: up to 475 MB/s reads, up to 360 MB/s writes, up to 50,000 IOPS random access performance. While the SAFD25A packs single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, Apacer also has a cost-effective multi- level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory-based variant, the SAFD25A-M. There is just one capacity option for the two - 512 GB. Kontron Designs Tegra 3 Mini-ITX Motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kontron-designs-tegra-3-mini-itx- motherboard/16651.html July 14th, 2012 Computer-on-module (COM) and industrial PC (IPC) major Kontron designed the first NVIDIA Tegra 3 motherboard in the mini-ITX (slim) form-factor. The board measures 17 x 17 cm, and should fit in most ITX/ATX cases. Computer-on-module (COM) and industrial PC (IPC) major Kontron designed the first NVIDIA Tegra 3 motherboard in the mini-ITX (slim) form-factor. The board measures 17 x 17 cm, and should fit in most ITX/ATX cases. The board is armed with most current and legacy connectivity, and a powerful SoC. The Kontron KTT30/mITX makes use of an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core (4 + 1 power-saving core) SoC. Its four CPU cores are built in the ARM Cortex-A9 micro-architecture, and are clocked at 900 MHz. It features NVIDIA GeForce ULP GPU. The GPU is capable enough to handle 3D acceleration, 1080p video playback, and an LVDS link with 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution. The GPU also provides h.264, MPEG4 hardware encoding/decoding acceleration. The Tegra 3 SoC is backed by up to 2 GB of DDR3L system memory (RAM). The KTT30/mITX is filled to the brim with connectivity. For expansion, the board has a total of three mPCIe slots, of which one doubles up as mSATA, and another one as reserved for 3G HSDPA MODEM. The board has a SIM card slot on-board. Apart from the three, the board has two SD card slots, and a bootable eMMC module. There are a plethora of peripheral interfaces, some more familiar to the PC crowd, others with embedded/COM designers. PC users will find a total of three USB 2.0 ports (two standard type A, one micro-USB), a gigabit Ethernet interface, stereo analog and multi-channel digital (SPDIF) audio outputs, and HDMI 1.4a display output supporting digital resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels. Embedded connectivity includes two RS232 (8-wire serial/ COM), LVDS display output supporting up to 2048 x 1536 pixels @ 18 bpp, three MIPI connectors (1x DSI, 1x CSI, 1x either DSI or CSI), eighteen GPIO connectors, a 2-pin DC power input, and 4-pin PWM fan output. The KTT30/mITX has a target power draw of less than 7 Watts, it should be able to run off a fairly light and compact AC adapter. It should be able to drive most Linux derivatives for the ARM machine architecture, including Android and Chrome OS. Find finer details in the datasheet. Microsoft unveils Halo 4 Xbox 360 bundle Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-unveils-halo-4-xbox-360- bundle/16649.html July 14th, 2012 Microsoft has unveiled a limited edition Halo 4 themed Xbox 360 bundle, with a copy of the standard edition of the game and a 320GB console. Microsoft has unveiled a limited edition Halo 4 themed Xbox 360 bundle, with a copy of the standard edition of the game and a 320GB console. The bundle was briefly available for pre-order on Microsoft's online store with a price tag of $399.99, but was pulled soon after media outlets reported on it, suggesting it may have been put up earlier than planned. The bundle features a very cool Halo-skinned console and two matching controllers. The console features LEDs and even makes different sounds when turned on and when the disc drive opens. It also comes with the standard Xbox 360 headset and, of course, the game itself.
  • 92. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Those who are not enamoured by the aesthetics might still fork out for this bundle for the exclusive Halo 4 content it offers, including a unique armour skin, unique weapon skin, unique emblem, matching avatar armour and unique avatar prop. It is not clear how many units will be available, but the “limited edition” tag suggests there's a set number on offer, which will likely be whipped up over the Christmas holidays. Halo 4 launches on 6 November. Icy Dock Intros Unique Dual 2.5" + Slimline Bay Internal Enclosure Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/icy-dock-intros-unique-dual-2.5-- slimline-bay-internal-enclosure/16647.html July 14th, 2012 Icy Dock unveiled its newest enclosure, the MB994IPO-3SB. It is designed to reorganize a 5.25-inch drive bay into two 2.5-inch hot-swap bays with SAS/SATA backplanes, and a slimline optical disc drive bay. Somebody likes bentos. Icy Dock unveiled its newest enclosure, the MB994IPO-3SB. It is designed to reorganize a 5.25-inch drive bay into two 2.5-inch hot-swap bays with SAS/SATA backplanes, and a slimline optical disc drive bay. Somebody likes bentos. The design concept behind Icy Dock MB994IPO-3SB is painstakingly simple: use one to convert a 5.25-inch drive bay in your system into three bays: two 2.5-inch hot-swap SAS/SATA, and a slimline (notebook) optical drive. The three bays are wired out directly from behind, where power is drawn from Molex connectors, and a 40 mm fan ventilates the whole enclosure. Looks simple enough? The three drive bays of the Icy Dock MB994IPO-3SB come with detachable caddies, the drives (HDDs, SSDs, optical drives) have to be installed manually, and the process isn't exactly tool-free: The Icy Dock MB994IPO-3SB is made almost entirely of metal. The front bezel, the body cover, and the hot-swap bay lids are made of SECC steel with matte black powder- coating. Each bay has its own activity LED. The enclosure could be a life-saver for those with slim form-factor (SFF) cases that ship with just one 5.25-inch drive bay, and have limited number of other bays. The Icy Dock MB994IPO-3SB is slated for market release on 31st July. Its price is still under the wraps. Assassin's Creed III delayed for PC, next games will go further back in time Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/assassin-s-creed-iii-delayed-for-pc- next-games-will-go-further-back-in-time/16648.html
  • 93. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 July 14th, 2012 Assassin's Creed III has been delayed for the PC, while future instalments of the popular game series will go further back in time rather than continue their gradual shift towards the present day. Assassin's Creed III has been delayed for the PC, while future instalments of the popular game series will go further back in time rather than continue their gradual shift towards the present day. Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, delivered the bad news that the third title will not launch on 30 October on the PC, but the console version appears to be unaffected. Hutchinson did promise that the game will be out in time for Christmas, however, and that the delay won't be long, so we can probably expect it out by the end of November. As for future games, Hutchinson told a Comic-Con panel: “I don't think we'll necessarily always go forward, or we're dooming ourselves to run out of history.” The first game dealt with the Crusades in the 12th Century, the second covered the Renaissance in the 15th Century, and the upcoming third game deals with the American Revolution in the 18th Century. If this trend continued then players would only have a small period of time left to play in, with modern history making for a less convincing playground for the Templar versus Assasins storyline. Hutchinson's comments suggest the studio is already looking at other time periods for future titles. There is a lot of potential over the course of history and once the games break the existing sequence the possibility of jumping back and forward to other iconic periods opens up. Updates: According to GameSpy, the game is still on for October 30th release. Ubisoft PR just contacted us to let us know that the PC version of Assassin's Creed 3 is still "coming out on October 30, day and date with the console versions." Joystiq, who we sourced in our initial post, has updated their story as well. So apparently Alex Hutchinson, who is the creative lead on Assassin's Creed 3, simply misspoke at the Comic- Con panel yesterday. I'm still pretty skeptical about AC3 making that release date on the grounds that history is not on Ubisoft's side. Nearly every PC version of a multi-platform Ubisoft game has met with some sort delay, most recently Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Rayman: Origins. It's hard for me to believe that Assassin's Creed 3 is going to break from that unfortunate tradition. Billionaire Richard Branson to be first tourist in 2013 space voyage Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/billionaire-richard-branson-to-be- first-tourist-in-2013-space-voyage/16646.html
  • 94. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 8 July 14th, 2012 Billionaire Sir Richard Branson is to be first among hundreds of people to travel 60 miles into space in the 2013 maiden voyage of the Virgin Galactic programme. Billionaire Sir Richard Branson is to be first among hundreds of people to travel 60 miles into space in the 2013 maiden voyage of the Virgin Galactic programme. 529 people have already booked their holidays for late 2013, but they won't want to be “in the Sun” for this once in a lifetime trip, worth $200,000 per ticket. Only 528 people have been in space since the first mission of Yuri Gagarin in 1961, making this a ground-breaking achievement if successful. The SpaceShipTwo, or SS2, spacecraft will be launched by the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft into space. Six people can be flown at a time, making for plenty of flights, with 80 successful test launches to date. Branson and his children, Holly and Sam, will be the first to boldly go where only a handful of people have gone before. Celebrities and the rich are all lining up for the gravity- defying experience, with those confirmed on the list including Sarah Brightman, Bryan Singer, and Stephen Hawking. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are rumoured to be among the number, and Branson hopes to sell 700 tickets in total by the time of the first flight, a figure that should easily be achieved. The budding astronauts will required a week of training before their flight. In addition to the incredible sights from space, they will also be able to experience the weightlessness of zero gravity. Digg sells for just $500,000 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/digg-sells-for- just-500-000/16645.html July 14th, 2012 Digg, once one of the internet's biggest social content voting sites, has been sold for a measly $500,000, highlighting the intense competition in the field. Digg, once one of the internet's biggest social content voting sites, has been sold for a measly $500,000, highlighting the intense competition in the field. Betaworks nabbed the website for the bargain sum, promising to turn it into a cloud-based platform, adding to its existing offerings, which include Bitly, SocialFlow and Bloglovin'. “Over the last few months, we've considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place -- to discover the best stuff on the web,” said Matt Williams, CEO of Digg. “We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.” Digg's fate was pretty much sealed after most of its staff left to join Social Code in May, leaving the company with a skeletal crew on which to operate. The low sale value reflects what little Digg now has to offer, both in terms of skilled engineers and a once popular, now quiet social content network. Digg was established by Kevin Rose in 2004, long before most of today's popular social media sites even existed, allowing users to "digg" stories and content they liked and "bury" stuff they didn't. Its glory days are long gone, however, largely replaced by rival firms like Reddit, not to
  • 95. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 9 mention the tweeting of Twitter, +1'ing of Google+, and liking of Facebook. NVIDIA Forums Hacked, User Data Compromised Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-forums-hacked-user-data- compromised/16644.html July 14th, 2012 Late Thursday, NVIDIA deactivated its user forums (forums.nvidia.com) on the company website, citing security reasons. According to the company, a security breach was discovered. Critical user data may have been compromised. Late Thursday, NVIDIA deactivated its user forums (forums.nvidia.com) on the company website, citing security reasons. According to the company, a security breach was discovered (the forums website was hacked). Critical user data may have been compromised (stolen). Even as investigations into the breach are underway, the company ascertained that the hackers gained access to user data such as user names, hashed passwords along with random salt value, e-mail addresses of the users, and contents of the "About Me" field. The forum passwords, according to NVIDIA, are not stored in plain text, but in a hashed form. Passwords in this form, along with random salt values, could have been accessed. Along with user names and passwords, the hackers also gained access to the registration e-mail addresses of the users. These addresses are typically used by forum software to send administrative messages (about registration status, private messages, friendship requests, infractions, and bans), and for password recovery. NVIDIA will likely enforce a password (and possibly registration e-mail address) change once the forums are back online. The company also strongly recommended that people with similar login details on other forum websites, change their passwords and relevant info. To avoid having to remember multiple login details, it is common practice for online forum users to have similar (and sometimes, identical) user names and passwords for multiple websites. If you have an NVIDIA forums account, and you think your VR-Zone forums login details are similar or identical, we recommend that you change your password on our forums, immediately. ASUS Maximus V Extreme is a Time Machine - Pause and Un-Pause Benchmark Runs! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-maximus-v-extreme-is-a-time- machine--pause-and-un-pause-benchmark-runs-/16643.html July 14th, 2012 Imagine having the ability to pause a prolonged WR benchmark attempt halfway and walk off for a smoke/snack, carrying on where you left off later. The latest beta BIOS update for the Maximus V Extreme does just that, which is a godsend for hungry or breathless extreme overclockers around the world. Imagine having the ability to pause a prolonged WR benchmark attempt halfway and walk off for a smoke/ snack, carrying on where you left off later. The latest beta BIOS update for the Maximus V Extreme (our own review coming soon) does just that, which is a godsend to hungry or breathless extreme overclockers around the world. Procedure (OCKey must be installed): CTL + F1 = Pause CTL + F1 = Unpause If reboot during a pause phase, shutdown and use OCKey to unpause and turn on again to make sure it boots properly without being paused. This latest development on the Maximus V Extreme comes after a host of other innovations on the recently released motherboard which includes Subzero Sense (integrated thermometer with subzero support) and VGA Power Control (i2c access to control voltage and OCP/LLC settings). We will update this section again after we ask ASUS engineers about how this time machine works. Samsung doesn't want you to use their smartphones... sort of Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-doesn-t-want-you-to-use- their-smartphones...-sort-of/16641.html July 14th, 2012
  • 96. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 10 The Galaxy S3 has been under heavy scrutiny recently. Some people have claimed that Samsung was deliberately trying to avoid its warranty obligations regarding screen burn-in problems by sneaking in new disclaimers. We bring to you some other common scenarios where Samsung doesn't want you to use their phones. The manual is a link between a company and its customers. It is where all the product use and warranty information is found. Although lots of paper manuals are disappearing, companies are beginning provide electronic versions. They also usually have legal teams to go through and include warnings in an effort to prevent anything that could harm customers or the companies. The following phrase or one like it is always included in a mobile phone product manual: 'Be cautious using cell phone while walking or moving.' However, it is rather contradictory to warn against using cell phone while moving because cell phone is basically a mobile phone (phone that's been designed for mobility!) The reason why this warning has been appearing in manuals is that more and more customers who have been injured in accidents while using a mobile phone have begun suing the mobile phone manufacturers. Similar to the infamous Mcdonalds hot coffee warning, the reason behind ruling when customers win these lawsuits is usually the lack of clarity or information in manuals. Companies have been forced to include even the most obvious warnings in their product manuals to avoid costly judgments against them. The warning about recently popular burn-in problem is included in the manual because of that reason as well. The AMOLED display is what Samsung has been employing since Galaxy S. Ordinary users do not typically experience screen burn-in because they occur when a user leaves a paused screen turned on for a long time or lets a screen display the same images repeatedly. For any burn-in to occur because of the reasons mentioned above, a user would have to turn on the screen for a long time on purpose. But even before any screen burn-in happens, a phone would likely be out of power. In the past year, however, customers requesting product exchanges due to broken displays drastically increased. After noticing this increase Samsung began to include the warning about improper usage causing screen burn-in. Similar warnings in the product manual include 'Do not put a cell phone near or inside a heater, a microwave or any cooking equipment, or a high pressure container' and 'Do not let children or pets lick or bite a cell phone or its battery'. The latest reported blow-up of Galaxy S3 was because a customer heated the phone near a microwave. An insider source explained that "warnings in manuals are to suggest or advise rules and insights that users should observe in ordinary environments rather than companies trying to evade any responsibilities," and also added that "unless one purposely and unreasonably messes up a product, any user will receive proper warranty services." Puremate announces 3D protective screen film for Galaxy S3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/puremate-announces-3d-protective- screen-film-for-galaxy-s3/16638.html July 14th, 2012 Puremate, a protective case maker based in South Korea has released a 3D fit screen protective film for Galaxy S3 recently. The unique feature of the new Puremate screen protector is that it fits the curvature of the screen perfectly, covering the entire screen. It provides the screen complete protection from any damage. The Puremate 3D fit screen protector is the first to be developed in the world using only South Korean technologies. Puremate, a protective case maker based in South Korea has released a 3D fit screen protective film for Galaxy S3 recently. The unique feature of the new Puremate screen protector is that it fits the curvature of the screen perfectly, covering the entire screen. It provides the screen complete protection from any damage. The Puremate 3D fit screen protector is the first to be developed in the world using only South Korean technologies.
  • 97. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 11 While screen protectors have previously been available, until now protective films only covered a partial area of Galaxy S3 screen due to its contour. Galaxy S3 users who wanted a screen protector that covered the entire screen had to resort to a flexible urethane film and attaching it with an adhesive spray. Although a urethane film offers flexibility and complete coverage, it is susceptible to a yellowing effect when it is exposed to sun for a long time. Urethane films can also cause a failure in the device if the liquid adhesive seeps into the device while applying the film. With no adhesive liquids required by the new Puremate screen protector, this is no longer a danger. The optical properties of the new screen protector are excellent, allowing at least 93% light transmittance, not compromising the vivid visuals of the Galaxy S3 HD Super AMOLED screen. The film is currently patent pending. Mind Reader: Stephen Hawking Tries Out The iBrain Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mind-reader-stephen-hawking-tries- out-the-ibrain/16642.html July 14th, 2012 Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientific minds of our time, has long relied on technology to communicate. Now he is trialling a device that may one day convert his thoughts directly into speech. Stephen Hawking suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also know as motor neuron disease. This disease involves the progressive weakening and atrophy of muscles. It leads to an inability to move independently and difficulty with speaking, swallowing and breathing. The 70 year old has been confined to a wheelchair for decades and a computer speaks for him. In spite of this, he has made a number of important advances in modern cosmology and found time to author a number of popular science books. Since losing his speech in the 1980s, Hawking “speaks” by using a series of cheek twitches to select words on a screen. However, this is a slow process, and as he loses control of his cheek, the need to find another way is becoming more and more important. Enter Philip Low: founder, chairman and CEO of healthcare company NeuroVigil. Low’s device, called the iBrain, records brain activity from a single point on the scalp. The device makes use of an algorithm to extract useful information from the data gathered. According to NeuroVigil’s website, “the iBrain is a miniature electronics box attached to a light and flexible elastic head harness and electrodes that can effortlessly be applied to the head during sleep.” It has a rechargeable battery and USB port for data transfer. In a preliminary test of the iBrain’s capabilities, the device was fitted to Hawking’s head and he was asked to “imagine that he was scrunching his right hand into a ball.” While his body has long lost the ability to do this, his motor cortex can still generate electrical waves in his brain. The device was able to identify which movement he was imagining by monitoring this electrical activity. The dream is that this technology will enable Hawking and others to communicate by using their thoughts and imagination to instruct a computer to generate words on their behalf. Low presented this work on July 8 at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference in Cambridge, UK. The topic of the conference was “Consciousness in humans and non- human animals.” NeuroVigil has gained publicity through its association with Hawking, but Low stresses that the technology has been developed for everybody. He states that the “mind-mapping” performed by the iBrain is not limited to this particular communication application, but has so many potential uses that Low funded the startup on his own, refusing offers of venture capital. “I knew that if they funded us they would want to concentrate only on one specific use for the device,” he said. “I didn’t pay myself for three years. I wanted to build a better telescope – one that could be pointed all around the universe.” With his motorised wheelchair and distinctive computer voice, Stephen Hawking is one of the most iconic figures in modern science. He is the author of A Brief History of Time, which has sold over 10 million copies since its initial publication in 1988. Steam deep discount sales hurt developer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/steam-deep-discount-sales-hurt- developer/16637.html July 14th, 2012 In a recent interview with Games Industry, head of EA’s Origin, David DeMartini says that Steam sales are hurting developer by “cheapening” the image and branding of the products. In a recent interview with Games Industry, head of EA’s Origin, David DeMartini says that Steam sales are hurting developer and partners by “cheapening” the image and branding of the products. When asked whether or not Origin will offer the same type of “deep discount” sales like Steam, DeMartini said no. He believes that developers have poured incredible amount of time and resources into their product should be rewarded with fair pricings, and therefore the games should not be sold like it’s a “going-out-of-business sales.”
  • 98. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 12 “We won't be doing that. Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value - we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.” DeMartini also claims that Steam maybe benefitting from the humungous sales, but the partnering publishers are hurting because they are making next to nothing on the games they produced. “Also what Steam does might be teaching the customer that "I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off." It's an approach, and I'm not going to say it's not working for Valve. It certainly works for Valve; I don't know if it works as well for the publishing partners who take on the majority of that haircut.” Origin, according to DeMartini, is attempting to build a cloud gaming platform that doesn’t rely on heavy discounts to attract customers. Rather, Origin will build “long-term” relationships with its customers through other methods —such as, publishing independent, “crowd-funded”, and charging no fees for 90 days. Steam is currently having a summer blowout sale. Hackers allegedly steal 450,000 Yahoo account details Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-allegedly-steal-450-000- yahoo-account-details/16636.html July 14th, 2012 As many as 450,000 account details have allegedly been stolen from a Yahoo server by a new hacker group. The group, which goes by the name D33DS Company (“Leetspeak” for “deeds,” which uses numbers in place of letters), claims to have hacked into a subdomain of Yahoo's website to gain access to unencrypted account information. The data is believed to belong to Yahoo's VoIP service, Yahoo Voices, which runs on the company's instant messenger. The hackers claim that this act was done to demonstrate Yahoo's lack of security, not as a threat. It does raise questions about Yahoo's approach to user data, as account details should always be encrypted, regardless of where they are stored or how secure one believes the servers to be. D33DS Company appears to be a new group on the scene, though it is not clear if it has any affiliation with other hacking groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec. It offers paid hacking services, promising full privacy for those who request this. It is also considering a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) offer if there is enough interest. Hacking has become a growing concern for internet users, governments and companies, with many high-profile cases, such as numerous attacks on Sony's servers, including its PlayStation Network, highlighting that more needs to be done to ensure account security. Chinese online stores open for iPhone 5 pre-orders Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-online-stores-open-for- iphone-5-pre-orders/16635.html July 14th, 2012 Online retailers in China are accepting pre-orders for the unreleased and un-announced iPhone 5, Apple's much- anticipated next smartphone. Taobao, the country's largest e-commerce website, lists numerous offers for the iPhone 5, with many sellers showing concept pictures and expected specifications, while also asking for a deposit of as much as 1,000 yuan, which is around $160. At least one seller wants the full payment up front, totalling a whopping 6,999 yuan, which is about $1,100. Reuters reports that sellers plan to buy the new model in Hong Kong or the US and then bring it back to China for re- sale, exploiting the delayed release date that mainland China usually suffers from.
  • 99. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 13 With no delivery estimates and so few details about the device to go on, one would think that no one would pre-order the non-existant product. However, reports suggest that the pre-orders are selling like hotcakes, with some users buying two of the hallowed phones. China is a major market for technology that Apple has been attempting to expand further into. It has five stores in the country and plans to open more, while consumers there often turn to the black market to get their hands on Apple products. The new iPad release in China on 20 July. EA and BioWare announce Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-and-bioware-announce-ultima- forever-quest-for-the-avatar/16634.html July 14th, 2012 Electronic Arts (EA) and BioWare have announced the latest title in the popular Ultima role-playing game series, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. Electronic Arts (EA) and BioWare have announced the latest title in the popular Ultima role-playing game series, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. It has been over a decade since the last Ultima game, and the original Quest of the Avatar, the fourth game in the series, was released all the way back in 1985, when pixelated artwork was all the rage. This latest game will see action role-playing matched with BioWare storytelling, reintroducing players to the world of Britannia. Since BioWare launched Star Wars: The Old Republic and since Ultima Online is well-known in the annals of gaming history, you would be forgiven for thinking this game is another MMO, but it is a standard single-player game, though there will also be a multiplayer experience. “As huge fans of the Ultima franchise, the team at BioWare Mythic is not only excited to be able to bring this reimagining of the original rich world to the fans of the classic RPGs, but also to introduce a new generation of gamers who have never had a chance to discover why this is one of our industry’s most beloved worlds,” said Eugene Evans, Studio GM at BioWare Mythic. Details about gameplay are under wraps for now, but EA promises to show off more at Comic-Con this weekend (check out booth #5405). Gamers can also sign up now for a chance to take part in the beta. Windowed Corsair Carbide 300R Launched Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windowed-corsair-carbide-300r- launched/16632.html July 14th, 2012 For those in need of taking a peek into their gaming PC build every so often, or showing it off to others at a LAN party, Corsair launched a new variant of its Carbide series 300R value gaming PC chassis, with a windowed side panel. For those in need of taking a peek into their gaming PC build every so often, or showing it off to others at a LAN party, Corsair launched a new variant of its Carbide series 300R value gaming PC chassis, with a windowed side panel.
  • 100. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 14 The side panel of the new Carbide 300R is decked up with a large, square, clear acrylic window, with two 140/120 mm fan vents. This is a window with a view, letting you see everything from the PSU to CPU cooler, nearly every drive bay, and the entire length of installed expansion cards (such as graphics cards). The windowed side panel really is the only thing that sets the new Carbide 300R Windowed apart from the original. Made mostly of SECC-steel, the 300R measures 19.1” x 8.3” x 17.7”, supporting ATX and micro-ATX motherboards. It features three 5.25-inch drive-bays, and four 3.5-inch/2.5-inch drive caddies (without SATA backplanes). Its cooling system consists of a total of six 140 mm/120 mm fan mounts, including a front 120 mm intake, a 120 mm rear exhaust fan. The interiors are all-black, with the motherboard tray featuring cutouts for cable and CPU cooler management. The front utility panel includes two USB 3.0 ports (standard header), and front-panel HD audio jacks. Carrying the SKU CC-9011017-WW, the Carbide Series 300R Windowed case from Corsair is priced at US $99.99. In comparison, the original 300R goes for US $89.99. Blast from the Past - USB polling induced performance slowdowns Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blast-from-the-past--usb-polling- induced-performance-slowdowns/16620.html July 14th, 2012 You all remember how USB, even when used by the keyboards and mice, tend to ever so slightly slow down the system, due to the often unnecessary CPU polling? Well, once even these key input devices standardize on USB3 and Thunderbolt, that sorry story should be over... [Disclaimer: The following views are solely the author's and do not necessarily represent those of the VR-Zone team] The ancient (some 25 years old by now) PS/2 keyboard and mouse interface, developed by IBM for the same- named PC series in the mid eighties, is pretty much adequate for those two input devices, unless you're talking about extreme gamer-style super-responsive mice that send their movements like 1,000 times a second or so. The little Intel 8042 keyboard controller chip handled all the work, not bothering the CPU much there. However, these connectors are, despite the still wide device availability, increasingly rare on the modern mainboards nowadays. Why? Well, conspiracy theorists say that when Intel first pushed their Universal Serial Bus, one major issue for them then was that the CPUs weren't fully loaded by then-typical OS and apps, so there had to be ways found to coerce buyers to part with their money for ever faster CPUs any possible way. One way was to load the CPUs with the I/O processing burdens, such as 'software sound' instead of Sound Blaster, 'software modems', and, yes, USB. The trick with USB was that it constantly had to be polled by the CPU, even if the peripheral connected did absolutely nothing, like the case of a keyboard without any key pressed. Polling introduces interrupts, task switching and such overhead, which of course bogs down the CPU, introducing the 'need for more speed'. Sometimes, even PC benchmarks were, and still are, slightly but still negatively affected by using the USB keyboard and mouse instead of the PS/2 one. Not to mention the battery drain on mobile devices... Fast forward to today and USB 3.0. It is the first USB update to finally remove the need for polling. After all, the bloatware of today knows well how to load any CPU, even multi core ones, so too-probing I/O interfaces become a liability. Now, if you have a super-speed mouse that needs polling to get its response speed, it can have it - but a keyboard with a few letters typed per second, doesn't need it that much, obviously. Here's the problem though - there are no USB 3 keyboards. Simply, they don't need USB3 extra speed, so why add the cost? Then comes the Thunderbolt, essentially an extended PCIe v2 lane combined with a DisplayPort link onto a single connection. Now, this goes, via the controller, directly to the chipset or CPU PCIe lanes, with minimal complexity - therefore less CPU load as well. So, both USB3 and Thunderbolt peripherals should, where possible, reduce or eliminate the unnecessary CPU I/O monitoring load left from the ancient USB times.
  • 101. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 15 Again, you're not likely to see these two interfaces on keyboards and mice. So, to complete the picture, the old PS/2 should, in my mind, make the comeback - and yes, both connectors, just like in the good old days without the artificially induced slowdowns. Intel Mulls SSD Price Cuts Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-mulls-ssd-price- cuts/16631.html July 14th, 2012 Intel is chalking out a wide range of price cuts for its consumer SSD families, which will likely take effect in August. The updated pricing will see prices go down by as much as 37 percent. Prices of several models in the SSD 320, SSD 330, and SSD 520 series, are on the chopping block. Reliable sources told VR-Zone that Intel is chalking out a wide range of price cuts for its consumer SSD families, which will likely take effect in August. The updated pricing will see prices go down by as much as 37 percent. Prices of several models in the SSD 320, SSD 330, and SSD 520 families, are on the chopping block. To begin with, prices of most lower-capacity models of the SSD 320 series remain untouched. It's the 300 GB and 600 GB models that Intel is after. Given its mainsteam performance, buyers need a bigger incentive to buy higher capacity SSD 320 drives. Each of the two are available in four packages, spanning two form-factors: 2.5-inch 9.5 mm- thick, and 2.5-inch 7 mm-thick. The OEM price (in multi- unit quantity) of the SSD 320 300 GB is slated to go down from US $499 to $444, a 11% cut. The retail package (off- shelf) of the drive is expected to go down from $519 to $464. The SSD 320 600 GB, on the other hand, will see its OEM price drop from $1,039 to $859; and retail price from $1,059 down to $879. The business end of these price cuts focus on SSD 520 series, the performance-segment consumer SSD family from Intel. Most popular capacity variants, such as 60 GB, 180 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB, are slated for price-cuts: • SSD 520 60 GB: OEM price down from $99 to $89; Reseller pack down from $109 to $99 (9% cut) • SSD 520 120 GB: OEM price down from $179 to $129; Reseller pack down from $189 to $139 (26.4% cut) • SSD 520 180 GB: OEM price down from $269 to $189; Reseller pack down from $279 to $199 (28.6% cut) • SSD 520 240 GB: OEM price down from $339 to $249; Reseller pack down from $349 to $259 (25.8% cut) • SSD 520 480 GB: OEM price down from $799 to $494; Reseller pack down from $809 to $594 (37.7% cut) Prices of Intel's newest mainstream SSD line, the SSD 330 series, are also boud for cuts. In fact the most interesting pack of cuts target this series: • SSD 330 60 GB: Reseller pack price down from $94 to $69 (26.5% cut) • SSD 330 120 GB: Reseller pack price down from $149 to $104 (30.2% cut) • SSD 330 180 GB: Reseller pack price down from $234 to $154 (34.1% cut) In all, Intel is making an effort to capture large swathes of the market with these prices, to compete with other players in the consumer SSD market. Many of these prices are already in effect with competitors' SSDs, respective to the capacities, in markets such as the US. All prices mentioned above are in USD, excluding taxes, and the OEM prices are price-per- unit in multi-unit quantities. Genius Outs Lychas HS-G550 Foldable Gaming Headset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/genius-outs-lychas-hs-g550- foldable-gaming-headset/16630.html July 14th, 2012 Peripherals major Genius launched the Lychas HS-G550 gaming headset. The headset's ear cups are foldable, making it easy for LAN party-animals to take it places. The HS-G550 also packs a feature rarely found on headsets in its price- range.
  • 102. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 16 Peripherals major Genius launched the Lychas HS-G550 gaming headset. The headset's ear cups are foldable, making it easy for LAN party-animals to take it places. The HS- G550 also packs volume control for each individual ear cup, a feature rarely found on headsets in its price-range, which allows you to fine tune the volumes to each of your ears, and make it easier for you to hear teammates without voice-chat. Each ear cup tilts and swivels along three joints with the head-band, which allows you to fold the headset. Just one of the two ear cups has the common cable, reducing cable clutter. The microphone is suspended on a hinged arm, like with most headsets. The ear cups have an eliptical- shaped around-the-ear cushion. Although it doesn't looks otherwise, the head-band is cushioned. The headset packs a pair of 50 mm neodymium drivers, with 102 ±3 dB sensitivity, 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, and 32 Ω impedance. The microphone, on the other hand, has an omni-directional pickup pattern, with 56 ±3 dB sensitivity, 100 Hz to 10 kHz frequency response, and 2.2 kΩ impedance. Both the headset and mic are analogue, and connect to the source using standard 3.5 mm jacks. The cord is roughly 2.5 m long, with no pesky volume control modules (they're on the ear cups). Available now in the US and Canada, the Lychas HS-G550 gaming headset from Genius is priced at US $49.99. Dwarfs in Good Company as Fifth Pluto Moon Discovered Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dwarfs-in-good-company-as-fifth- pluto-moon-discovered/16628.html July 14th, 2012 The news of a fifth moon discovered orbiting Pluto is exciting for astronomers, as there may be more to the dwarf's system than we previously thought. The dwarf planet Pluto has another companion, it has recently been discovered, with the announcement of a fifth moon being sighted by the Hubble Space Telescope. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado took to Twitter to proclaim the good news. “Just announced: Pluto has some company – We’ve discovered a 5th moon using the Hubble Space Telescope!” the tweet read. Stern continued with “we fully expect to discover still more moons”, hinting at an exciting time ahead for astronomers. “Every time we look harder, we find another.” The moon was spotted by Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, while pouring over images captured by Hubble. The new addition to Pluto’s family has not yet been officially named and is being referred to simply as P5 for the time being. The plan at this stage is to wait and see how many more moons Pluto has before working on names. “If we’re naming them as a group, we’ll just handle it a little differently,” says Stern. Size-wise, P5 is a tiny dot in space, measuring somewhere between 10 and 25 kilometres in diameter. It joins Charon, Nix, Hydra and the recently discovered P4 in Pluto’s current list of companions. While the team are confident of finding more moons in the future, they concede it is no easy task. “We’re looking right next to Pluto, so there’s this bright searchlight that we have to deal with.” This discovery is of interest to Stern as he is the principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission. This will fly by Pluto in 2015, and, as exciting as the discovery of a moon is, it does also represent a potential hazard for the spacecraft heading in that direction at 48,000km/hr. Of this Stern said “the inventory of the Pluto system we’re taking now with Hubble will help the New Horizons team design a safer trajectory for the spacecraft.” There also seems to be hints of some puzzle in the relationship between Pluto and her moons. Charon, the largest, orbits Pluto in 6.5 days. P5 has an orbit about three times as long as Charon’s. Nix’s “Pluto-year” is four times as long as Charon’s, P4’s five times and Hydra’s six. In the words of Showalter, “the moons form a series of neatly nested orbits, a bit like Russian dolls.” “The way these things are spaced in a uniform way – there’s a story in that, but we don’t know what it is yet.” Before it’s demotion to dwarf planet in 2006, Pluto had been known as the ninth planet in our solar system since its discovery in 1930. It was thought to be alone until Charon
  • 103. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 17 was discovered in 1977. Nix and Hydra were discovered in 2006 and P4 followed in 2011. ARM and Google Android own the skies with Qatar's Boeing 787 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arm-and-google-android-own-the- skies-with-qatar-s-boeing-787/16626.html July 14th, 2012 During the Farnborough International Airshow 2012, Qatar Airways demonstrated its latest airplane, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. However, for a technology site like VR-Zone we encountered something more interesting - the airplane entertainment system is powered by... Google Android. If you're an airplane enthusiast, you should not miss out visiting Britain for the Farnborough International Airshow which takes place every second July. Today, Qatar Airways was kind enough to provide us with the information needed about their latest aircraft, the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. The company configured the aircraft with 22 business class seats and additional 232 in Economy class, both utilizing the same IFEC (In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity) system - Thales Avant TPMU (Touch Passenger Media Units). Under this cryptic name, there are two versions - 17.3" LCD for Business and 10.1" LCD for the Economy Class. Unlike the previous-gen systems which all used boxes beneath seats, i8000 Avant TPMU is a completely integrated unit consisting out of STMicro airline grade dual-core processors based on the ARM architecture, 1GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. That's right, a single 787 airplane entertainment system will feature 508 ARM Cores, 254GB of memory and 63.5TB of SSD space. This however, is not all, as the central server comes with a 32-core processor (Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron, your guess is as good as ours), 128GB of memory and 4TB storage… all SSD, of course. For operating system, Thales selected Google Android running a customized application suite. Furthermore, the airplane comes with Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity, thus you will be able to connect your phones and tablets to Wi-Fi or 3G GSM network and enjoy connecting to your family while flying 38,000 feet in the air. In words of Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales IFEC "The Avant system is the future of IFE for us, you can now get on board an aircraft and not just watch the movie in front of you, but perhaps view the moving map, play a game, or order meals or drinks simultaneously while watching what's on the main screen." Qatar Airways is not the only customer, though - British Airways signed on as well, and will be equipping its future 787s and with the same system as well. When it comes to Airbus A380, both Qatar and British Airways signed Thales to develop the next generation system, which will debut next year. Codenamed i9000, it will bring next-generation hardware, continuing being powered by the Google Android operating system. Now, would you object having a 17.3" Full HD tablet with 256GB of onboard storage? Or a 10.1" one? If you're wondering about the cost, bear in mind that in the airline industry, the only real measurement is the weight, because this system, with all the crazy terabytes of solid state memory - weighs 80% less than the previous system. According to our rough calculations, the savings in carrying less weight will reduce the fuel consumption by 0.8% per flight. If the plane consumes 33,000 gallons of (Jet-A) kerosene per long-range flight at 2 flights per day, the plane will save of 528 gallons of kerosene per day. At current prices, we are talking about $4,065 in savings. In a year, we're talking about saving $1.48 million. Given that Qatar refurbishes cabins every 5-6 years (and replaces them with even lighter solutions), this system will save at least 7 million dollars. Given its cost (give or take $1.5-2.2M per plane), we would not be surprised if Qatar and other airlines end up putting this system in as much planes as possible. Western Digital Announces WD2Go App, Dropbox Integration Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/western-digital-announces-wd2go- app-dropbox-integration/16605.html July 14th, 2012 In the past eight months, integration with cloud storage services is entering mainstream. First Sony Ericsson (now Sony Mobile) packed 50GB (a $99 value) with its Android phones, then Samsung, and now Western Digital is joining
  • 104. July 14th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 18 the frame... by not offering any free storage on Dropbox. Confused? There's no secret that vendors are pushing the cloud storage idea left and right. Going with Windows Phone platform gets you 25GB "lifetime" storage on Microsoft's own Live service, large amount of smartphone makers made their announcements which ranged from 5 to 50GB of free storage and now we have Western Digital offering - none. The company launched second generation of their "WD 2Go" app with an appropriate press release touting tighter integration with their personal cloud products such as My Book Live, My Book Live Duo (2 HDDs) or their latest entry, My Net N900 - a Wi-Fi router with embedded storage. According to the company, "personal cloud products provide shared storage on the home network, letting customers..." to do this and that. Furthermore, you can move files between mobile devices, Dropbox account and the WD personal cloud. In case you exceed the available storage on your Dropbox account or overflow the memory on the smartphone, you can use email to send a link for downloading the large file. All in all, a neat package - but it would be much sweeter if Western Digital added a bit of a free storage to the cloud - given that their competitors already do so with select products from the GoFlex line of external storage. The app is available for Android and iOS, so if you're interested, head to the respective stores.
  • 105. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Samsung accuses LG of OLED technology theft Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-accuses-lg-of-oled- technology-theft/16689.html July 17th, 2012 Samsung is under attack from Apple on all fronts globally, but in South Korea Samsung is attacking competing firm LG. LG and 11 other people have been accused of stealing Samsung’s OLED technology between 2010 and 2011. Samsung is under attack from Apple on all fronts globally, but in South Korea Samsung is attacking competing firm LG. LG and 11 other people have been accused of stealing Samsung’s OLED technology between 2010 and 2011. Three of the accused currently work at Samsung. LG is denying that neither it nor its employees are involved in the technology theft. Samsung is also tagging on the accusation that LG has been poaching Samsung’s employees. LG and Samsung are both prominent display makers, and their products are shipped worldwide. OLED technology allows manufacturers to produce thinner, lighter, and even flexible displays. The two South Korean tech giants are currently vying to become the world’s largest suppliers of OLED displays. Mahdi Trojan threatens Middle East computer infrastructures Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mahdi-trojan-threatens-middle-east- computer-infrastructures/16688.html July 17th, 2012 Seculert and Kaspersky have uncovered a cyber espionage campaign targeting Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran. Dubbed as the Mahdi Trojan, the threat allows remote attackers to steal information, monitor emails, hijack instant messaging clients, record audio, log keystrokes, and take screen shots of infected computers. Security experts are suggesting that the attacker(s) are fluent in Persian because the communications tools used in the campaign are written in Persian. “It's for sure somebody who is fluent in Persian, but we don't know the origin of those guys,” Seculert Chief Technology Officer Aviv Raff told the press. So far the threat has managed to infect infrastructures and computers of companies, engineering students, financial services firms, government embassies in the Middle East— the majority of the infections are in Iran. The goal of the campaign is still under investigation, but experts have reported that gigabytes of data have been uploaded. Furthermore, the ongoing Mahdi threat suggests that the campaign is a part of something bigger. “Somebody is trying to build a dossier of a larger scale on something. We don’t know what they are going to do at the end,” said Aviv. iPhone 5 to have thinner screen Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iphone-5-to-have-thinner- screen/16687.html July 17th, 2012 Apple's much-anticipated iPhone 5 will feature a thinner touchscreen, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. The paper cited insider knowledge of the upcoming smartphone, which it said will employ “in-cell” technology that allows for a thinner panel, which should make the overall device much thinner as well. The technology works by integrating touch sensors into the LCD itself, eliminating the need for a separate touch-screen layer, which has been the norm for most devices to date. This will not only make the screen thinner – it will also improve the image quality. Sharp and LG Display are reputed to be producing the ultra- thin panels, which means that Wintek and TPK Holding, which make panels for the iPhone 4S, have failed to secure the lucrative contracts for the new device.
  • 106. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The iPhone 5 is expected to release in Autumn of this year. Some online stores in China have already started taking pre- orders. Concept Image Credit: HandyFlash US Navy inks $7.7 million deal for robot technology Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-navy-inks-7.7-million-deal-for- robot-technology/16686.html July 17th, 2012 The US Navy has partnered with iRobot to deliver robotic technologies to sea warfare in a deal worth $7.7 million. The US Navy has partnered with iRobot to deliver robotic technologies to sea warfare in a deal worth $7.7 million. The money will secure the Navy Sea Systems Command upgrades to the iRobot Aware 2 software and advanced sensor suites for 248 fielded Man Transportable Robotic System MK 1 MOD 1 robots, which are modelled after the iRobot 510 PackBot. The sesors include the iRobot Wide-Angle Robot Vehicle Vision System camera, thermal camera and User Assist Package, giving more situational awareness via increased fields of view and imaging in low light conditions. The User Assist Package also improves the operator control unit, adds GPS mapping and several critical semi-autonomous features, such as self-righting, retro-traverse and heading hold, which can result in a faster, more successful use of robots. “iRobot is pleased the Navy is continuing to invest in its current fleet of robots. These upgrades will provide our troops with some of the most advanced, life-saving robotic technologies available today,” said Tim Trainer, interim general manager of the Defense & Security unit at iRobot. “iRobot’s UAP improves mission effectiveness while reducing workload and further minimizing operator exposure to dangerous environments.” Robots are used throughout the world by military and civil defence forces, for a variety of missions, including search, reconnaissance and bomb disposal. iRobot has delivered over 4,500 robots as part of military contracts to date. The robots and upgrades are expected to be delivered by November. Samsung Proves Apple is Not the Only Patent Troll Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-proves-apple-is-not-the- only-patent-troll/16684.html July 17th, 2012 Samsung has purchased the development operations of British chip maker CSR, a move which grants the Korean giant 21 US-registered patents, as well as a perpetual license to use CSR’s handset technology. In exchange, CSR has agreed to cease developing handset connectivity and location technology, and to transfer 310 human brains to Samsung. Resistance is futile... Samsung is already one of the dominant players in the technology market, and with the acquisition of CSR, it has grown even stronger. The more technology that
  • 107. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Samsung controls the rights to, the more power it will have in the market. This is especially evident with this move because Samsung effectively eliminated some of its competition. Through the acquisition, CSR agreed that it will no longer develop mobile connectivity and location technology; i.e., it will no longer compete with Samsung’s development of this technology. Instead of Samsung competing with another company to develop better technology for the consumer, it just purchased the company, and eliminated the competition. Again, less competition means less innovation and higher prices. The patents that Samsung acquired are very important to wireless communication, as well. Much of the technology that CSR developed were in the areas of Bluetooth and Wi- Fi – in some ways the core of wireless technology. Now that Samsung has a perpetual license to use the technology of CSR, it no longer has to pay royalties. Of course, they did pay $310 million dollar for the acquisition, but now Samsung will be able to charge its own royalty fees to other companies that use this important technology. This will certainly not ease the already contentious nature of technology licensing. At the end of the day, the consolidation of power amongst the technology giants means that there is less competition. This undoubtedly leads to less innovation and higher prices. It also means that there will be an increase in contentious litigation regarding the licensing fees that Samsung will now be able to charge. The major technology players have made clear that litigation is preferred over settlement. Unfortunately for the consumer, settlement is much better than litigation. EA offers Battlefield 4 beta access with Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition pre-orders Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-offers-battlefield-4-beta-access- with-medal-of-honor-warfighter-limited-edition-pre-orders/16685.html July 17th, 2012 Electronic Arts (EA) is offering exclusive beta access to Battlefield 4 for anyone who pre-orders the Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition. Electronic Arts (EA) is offering exclusive beta access to Battlefield 4 for anyone who pre-orders the Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition. The pre-order bonus confirms the previously unannounced next title in the Battlefield series and should give players an exciting first look at what developer DICE has in store. “Though Battlefield and Medal of Honor Warfighter each offer players a completely unique experience, they are united by their underlying technology base – Frostbite. These are two of the hottest shooters, coming together to deliver a one- two punch of action, intensity and shooter entertainment,” said Frank Gibeau, President of EA Labels. The beta will begin in Autumn 2013, more than a year away. This all but confirms that we won't see the game until Christmas 2013 at the earliest. Battlefield 3 still has some life in it, with several more DLC packs on the way, including End Game in March 2013. Pre-orders of the Limited Edition of Warfighter also unlocks the Navy SEAL Sniper and McMillan Tac-300 sniper rifle for roughly 40 hours of multiplayer action. Medal of Honor Warfighter launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on 23 October in the US and 26 October in Europe. SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] Gaming Mouse Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/steelseries-sensei-raw-gaming- mouse-review/16573.html July 17th, 2012
  • 108. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 4 All serious gamers will agree that a good mouse is all about ergonomics, weight balance and tracking accuracy. It should not be a liability during those critical reflex shoot-to-win moments or tire you out when using it. Read on to find out we think the SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] gaming mouse could well be one of the best ambidextrous mouse ever. Steelseries is a Danish maker of gaming-grade computer peripherals founded in 2001, initially selling headsets and mousepads before moving on to keyboards, mice and other accessories. They also have a long history of being at the forefront of the professional Esports scene, with world- class teams like Evil Geniuses, SK-Gaming and Fnatic under their sponsorship umbrella. Today we have the opportunity to review the company's latest offering - Sensei RAW, a no-frills ambidextrous laser mouse targeted at the upper echelons of dicerning gamers. This newcomer is identical to the original Sensei minus gratuitous features like the 32-bit ARM processor, LCD menu screen and onboard memory. There is also a choice of a glossy or rubberized surface. Specifications wise the Sensei Raw is no slouch, featuring a 5670DCPI-12000fps laser sensor augmented by industry leading Omron gaming-grade switches for the buttons. Sensei is not the only ambidextrous model that SteelSeries sells, with physically smaller offerings like Kinzu and Kana at more affordable price ranges with less buttons and a cheaper infrared sensor. Father of Intel 486, Pentium Pro and Net Neutrality Joins VMWare as the New CEO Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/father-of-intel-486-pentium-pro- and-net-neutrality-joins-vmware-as-the-new-ceo/16656.html July 17th, 2012 If you are an industry insider, chances are you heard of Patrick P. Gelsinger. If you're a consumer, chances are you're reading this story through one of technologies which Pat brought to market. Yet with the market opening, Pat will be announced as the new CEO of VMware. We just received information that Patrick P. Gelsinger, an industry veteran credited with dozens of information is one step ahead of reaching his goal of becoming a CEO of a technology company. This chip engineer joined Intel in 1979 and quickly progressed to the role of Director and later become the first CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of Intel. Pat Gelsinger is considered as the key contributor in development of the i286 (16-bit) and i386 (32-bit) microprocessor architectures.
  • 109. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 5 He was group leader on developing the Pentium Pro and a person which brought Internet and Wireless-related technologies into Intel's product stack. The development of Pentium Pro, as well as Intel's pushed focus on Internet technologies represents the founding stone of VMware, a company which Pat will start leading following the official announcement. Like him or not, he was pushing the technologies inside Intel which would often maddened the competitors, who had no other choice but to follow. However, Pat's coming of age inside Intel, and being groomed to become a CEO took a dent downwards with the damaging contract Intel signed with Rambus on bringing RDRAM to market. Mr. Gelsinger pushed RDRAM to Pentium III and upcoming Pentium 4 platform, leading to so-called Caminogate, product recall and a loss of billion dollars. The fall of Intel's stock in 2000 is something we believe it should be taught in schools, when a company valued almost half a trillion dollars (peak was $436.69 Billion) tumbled down by $174.88 billion in just two days. To this date, Intel's market cap did not pass the value the company lost in just those two days in August and October. Still, even with the Rambus story not developing in is groups' favor, the star darkened when AMD's K7 architecture flat out leveled Pentium III and subsequently less-efficient Pentium 4 "NetBurst" architectures. Pat had a good chance of becoming the CEO of Intel with the success of wireless push and the wireless radio strategy, but insistence of Big Iron Pentium 4, cancellation of Tejas and the rise of Israeli-developed Core (Yonah, Conroe) architecture sent Mr. Gelsinger to push for development of Intel's first Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), codenamed Larrabee. Mr. Gelsinger then begun a war against NVIDIA at the time when Larrabee extensively used NVIDIA and AMD intellectual property. With the bill reaching billions of dollars (our sources estimate that including the settlement with NVIDIA, but excluding settlement with AMD, Intel lost around 4-4.5 billion dollars on Larrabee, i.e. LRB). That was also coup de grace for Pat, who was pushed out from Intel and ended up being the Chief Operating Officer e.g. COO at EMC, a company located on the same street as Intel in Santa Clara, California (Intel is 2200 Mission Blvd, EMC is headquartered at 2831 Mission Blvd, just below the college campus). However, he is credited with the development of a framework with the FCC which later became "Net Neutrality". With Pat being the CEO of VMware, the company is gaining a person not afraid to take a bet on technology and insists on developing that technology until it wins the market. Will it be enough to take VMware from 11,200 employees and $3.77 Billion going into the future… we'll see. Silicon Power Outs Velox V70 SSD Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silicon-power-outs-velox-v70- ssd/16682.html July 17th, 2012 Silicon Power announced its newest line of performance- segment client SSDs, the Velox V70. The drives come in capacities as high as 480 GB, and are driven by SandForce SF-2281 controllers. Silicon Power announced its newest line of performance- segment client SSDs, the Velox V70. The drives come in capacities as high as 480 GB, and are driven by SandForce SF-2281 controllers. The Velox V70 is a client SSD built in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gbps interface. The drive features a brushed aluminum body that's anodized to a golden color. The drive uses 25 nm synchronous toggle- NAND flash memory along with the SF-2281 controller. It is available in 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities. All models in the series are rated with the same performance numbers - sequential speeds of up to 557 MB/s reads, up to 507 MB/s writes, and up to 86,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The drives can tolerate shock of up to 1,500G. The Velox V70 features nearly all SandForce-exclusives, such as DuraWrite (wear-leveling). Features such as TRIM (garbage collection), NCQ, ECC, AES-128 native encryption, come standard. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties, and although Silicon Power did not release pricing, we expect it to be competitive.
  • 110. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Valve Ports Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valve-ports-steam-and-left-4- dead-2-to-ubuntu/16681.html July 17th, 2012 Months after beginning work on it, Valve formally announced that its Steam client and Source game engine have been ported to Ubuntu, and that the two will be introduced to the Linux crowd with Left 4 Dead 2. Finally, a big game studio and distibution giant took the leap of faith by porting its key IP to desktop Linux. Valve, in its latest official blog post titled "Steam'd Penguins," announced a fully-functional Steam client for Ubuntu. Valve's measured steps in Linux territory will be initially confined to Ubuntu, a popular desktop Linux distribution. Sticking to one distribution could help Valve minimize costs incurred in optimizing things for every popular distro. The client could work just fine on Ubuntu derivatives such as Linux Mint, and the community is free to get it to somehow work on other major (more enterprise-oriented) distros such as Red Hat / Fedora and SuSE, if a few requirements are met. Valve doesn't indend to make a half-hearted effort, and want it to be as genuine as the Mac OS X port, which drew the Apple crowd to its fold. The company ported its key game development IP, the Source engine, to Linux. Source has already been rewired to work with the OpenGL graphics API on Mac OS X, and we'd imagine the Linux porting to have been a bit easier on the developers. The very first game to feature on Steam for Ubuntu is the hit multi-player title, "Left 4 Dead 2" (L4D2). The developers are still in the process of optimizing the game to get the most performance (frame-rates) out of the Linux platform. The game could be launched with SteamPlay capability, letting gamers who already own the Windows or Mac OS X versions of the game to simply download and play the game on Ubuntu, at no extra cost. Other Valve game franchises, such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Team Fortress, and Portal, will join L4D2 in Tuxland, a little later. Valve credits the Ubuntu port to Gabe Newell's interest in porting the company's IP to Linux. The company already has software for Linux, but those are merely servers for hosting multi-player games. Good one, Gabe! Sapphire Debuts Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-debuts-radeon-hd-7970- ghz-edition-toxic-6gb/16680.html July 17th, 2012 Sapphire launched its flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB. The card has been in development for over six months, and we've been tracking it all the way back since CES. It combines a 28 nm "Tahiti" chip on steroids, with 6,144 MB of memory. Yeah, that much! Sapphire's "Spruce Goose" finally takes flight, as the company launched it as its newest flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB. The card has been in development for over six months, and we've been tracking it all the way back since CES. It combines a 28 nm "Tahiti" chip on steroids, with 6,144 MB of memory. Yeah, that much! The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB was earlier based on the conventional HD 7970 chip, with AMD's out- of-the-blue introduction of the HD 7970 GHz Edition, the company was forced to make some last minute changes. The card ships with out of the box clock speeds of 1,050 MHz core, 1,100 MHz boost frequency, and 1,500 MHz (6.00 GHz GDDR5 effective). These could have made for impressive clock speeds, if the HD 7970 GHz Edition hadn't come to be. Yet, one should appreciate how Sapphire managed to get 6 GB of memory clocked at 6.00 GHz (taking into account stability and power draw). The 6 GB of memory is spread across twenty four 2 Gbit GDDR5 memory chips. To power the beast, Sapphire is using an 8-phase VRM design, which uses "Black Diamond" chokes (lower core energy loss, doesn't whine on load), and International Rectifier DirectFETs (quality meets avoinics standards). To improve signalling efficiency, Sapphire is using a 12-layer PCB. The card draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
  • 111. July 17th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 7 To cool the beast, Sapphire deployed an in-house design cooling solution, which makes use of Vapour-Chamber technology. The primary cooler design consists of a vapour- chamber plate and a heatsink surrounding it, that make contact with the GPU and memory chips on the obverse side of the PCB; from which the aluminum fin stack draws heat. Heat is conducted directly from the vapour-chamber plate, and by four nickel-plated copper heat pipes (two 8 mm- thick, two 6 mm-thick). The aluminum fin stack is ventilated by two 90 mm high-airflow fans. An anodized aluminum back-plate cools memory chips on the reverse side of the PCB. The Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB packs a suite of features for overclockers, including the TriXX software, with which clock speeds, fan speeds and voltages can be tweaked, diagnostic LEDs on-board that indicate temperatures, and dual-BIOS, with a failsafe BIOS, which protects against sloppy BIOS updates. Display outputs include two-each of dual-link DVI and mini- DisplayPort 1.2, and an HDMI 1.4a connector. The card can pair with three more Radeon HD 7900 series GPUs, in CrossFireX configuration. Based on the 28 nm "Tahiti" silicon, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition packs 2,048 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide memory interface. It supports the DirectX 11.1 API. The card will be available from later today, in select markets, and in limited quantities. The company did not give out pricing. Mission Impossible: Mars Rover Curiosity Headed for Blind Landing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mission-impossible-mars-rover- curiosity-headed-for-blind-landing/16679.html July 17th, 2012 NASA's newest Mars rover faces a tricky landing, and scientists face an agonising wait... Nokia Slashes Lumia 900 Price in Half Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-slashes-lumia-900-price-in- half/16678.html July 17th, 2012 Nokia has but cut the price of their Lumia 900 smartphone in half in the US with a two-year contract in a bid to increase anemic sales of their flagship smartphone. Just three short months after releasing their flagship smartphone, Nokia has cut the price of the Lumia 900 smartphone in half. The cut from $99 to $49.99 (with a two- year contract) is seen by many as an attempt by Nokia to win market share back from Samsung and Apple. The company’s ambitions for the Lumia 900, sold through AT&T, were severely dented by a major software bug that caused many of the phones in the US to lose their data connection. Much of the consumer desire for the Lumia 900 was also damaged by news from Nokia that the device would be unable to run the newest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. A Nokia spokesperson denied that the price cut was an act of desperation, saying that the price cut was “not unusual” at this point in a smartphone’s life, calling it part of the company’s “normal strategy” for handsets. There has been no word as to whether or not the price cuts would be extended outside of the US, however. Until the beginning of this year, Nokia had been the worldwide leader in handset sales; Samsung has since overtaken Nokia as the world leader in handset sales. According to Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, Samsung sold a whopping 25% of all phones in the first quarter of 2012, with Nokia in second place at 22.5%, dropping by 24% in the previous year. In attempting to staunch the corporate bleeding, Nokia announced last month that it would be cutting another 10,000 jobs, bringing the total number of jobs lost at the company to 40,000. Another measure they will be taking is to phase out the Symbian operating systems on their phones in favor of Microsoft’s software. Data Suggests British ISP Block of Pirate Bay Ineffective Source