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Is Windows 8 worth it?

Windows 8 is great!

Back to Windows 7!

What is windows 8?

Posted by Christo [PCD]
Votes: 221
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Thursday 12 May 2011
WACS lands in South Africa
Christo [PCD] , Thursday 12 May 2011 - 10:20:49 //

Taken Directly from Mybroadband!

The 5.12Tbps West Africa Cable System (WACS) landed in Yzerfontein on the West Coast

The newly constructed West Africa Cable System (WACS) has landed at Yzerfontein on the West Coast of South Africa today.

Deployment of WACS, done by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, began in 2009 and the company recently announced that the design capacity of the cable has been increased from 3.84 terrabits per second (Tbps) to 5.12Tbps.

With commercial services expected by 2011, the 5.12Tbps WACS will connect South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and Portugal.

Local participants include Telkom SA, Neotel, MTN, Vodacom, Broadband Infraco and Gateway Communications.

Telkom South Africa is the landing partner of the cable in South Africa, and is constructing and managing the landing station in Yzerfontein as well as the backhaul fibre network for delivering WACS bandwidth.

“Various reasons led to the choice of Yzerfontein as landing point for WACS and allocating the responsibility to land the cable in South Africa to Telkom. All submarine cables that enter South Africa is located at either Melkbosstrand or Mtunzini, thus effectively two international fibre gateways,? explains Casper K Chihaka, Managing Executive: Telkom Wholesale Services.

“Events such as earthquakes or even a large ship dragging its anchor has seen several cables being cut during singular events across the world. South Africa needs a third international fibre gateway to reduce the risk of complete isolation from the rest of the world. Telkom operates submarine cable gateways at Mtunzini, Melkbosstrand and now also at Yzerfontein,? he continues.

Once WACS commences commercial operation, Telkom will be able to provide services through three diverse gateways from South Africa providing the redundancy for a connected South Africa even under disastrous conditions.

Furthermore Telkom’s submarine cable portfolio will now comprise of a complete ring around Africa enabling Telkom the ability to offer redundant and restorable international bandwidth services.

[Submitted by Siversmith[PCD]]

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Tuesday 11 January 2011
Ruiz lasted five years, Meyer only two and a half at chipmaker AMD
Dade_182 , Tuesday 11 January 2011 - 15:31:40 //

Advanced Micro Devices has struggled over the last few years. Despite having briefly seized the discrete graphics sales lead from NVIDIA (courtesy of acquisition ATI) and having its first competitive CPU product in a couple years (Fusion) in some regard (power efficiency), the chipmaker faces an uphill battle.

Though it beat analyst estimates, the company posted losses in Q2 and Q3 2010, after having enjoyed its first profitable quarters in some time in Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 (thanks in part to a $1.25B USD civil suit payout from rival Intel).

Now the company has announced [press release] that its Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Meyer will leave the company immediately as per a "mutual agreement" with the company's board of directors.

Bruce Claflin, chairman of the board since March 2009 comments on the split with Mr. Meyer, "Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market."

"However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company’s ability to accomplish these objectives."

Mr. Meyer had assumed the role of CEO in July 2008, placing his reign at just under two and a half years. He replaced Hector Ruiz, AMD's long-time chief from between 2002 to 2007. He was integral in orchestrating the closing of Mr. Ruiz's deal for ATI and smoothing the GPU and CPU divisions' integration and collaborative efforts.

Mr. Ruiz had been billed as the replacement for long-time CEO Jerry Sanders, who co-founded the company and served as President and CEO from between 1969 and 2002.

The CEO picture thus becomes somewhat unsettling for the chipmaker -- the original CEO stayed 23 years, the next 5, and the most recent a mere two and a half. This shortening longevity is almost certainly reflective of the company's growing struggles, similar to U.S. automaker General Motors' uncontrollably accelerating rate of CEO turnover.

Replacing Mr. Meyer is CFO and Senior Vice President Thomas Seifert, who will serve as interim CEO while a long term replacement is searched for. Mr. Claflin will lead the CEO search committee. An interim replacement CFO has not been announced -- Mr. Seifert will presumably hold down the positions of CEO and CFO.

Mr. Seifert promises to stay on course with the company's key objectives, commenting, "AMD enters 2011 with considerable product and financial momentum. Our roadmap for the year, including our "Llano" APU and 32nm "Bulldozer" based processors remain on track. I believe we have significant opportunities to cement our leadership positions in several key market segments based on the strength of our upcoming products."

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Monday 03 January 2011
Mozilla Loses Users Names, Email Addresses, Hashed Passwords
Christo [PCD] , Monday 03 January 2011 - 09:36:39 //

File containing sensitive information was posted to common file server for all to see

These days internet firms seem to be having a tougher and tougher time holding on to your private data. Following lost emails databases at Walgreens, McDonalds, and others; Microsoft's leak of business users' contacts from the cloud; and Gawker's loss of users names, passwords, and site information, Mozilla has become the latest to fail to keep its users confidential data secure.

Chris Lyon, Director of Infrastructure Security at Mozilla, wrote users of its addons page to let them know it might have accidentally shared their encrypted passwords. Writes Lyon:

Dear user,

The purpose of this email is to notify you about a possible disclosure of your information which occurred on December 17th. On this date, we were informed by a 3rd party who discovered a file with individual user records on a public portion of one of our servers. We immediately took the file off the server and investigated all downloads. We have identified all the downloads and with the exception of the 3rd party, who reported this issue, the file has been download by only Mozilla staff. This file was placed on this server by mistake and was a partial representation of the users database from The file included email addresses, first and last names, and an md5 hash representation of your password. The reason we are disclosing this event is because we have removed your existing password from the addons site and are asking you to reset it by going back to the addons site and clicking forgot password. We are also asking you to change your password on other sites in which you use the same password. Since we have effectively erased your password, you don't need to do anything if you do not want to use your account. It is disabled until you perform the password recovery.

We have identified the process which allowed this file to be posted publicly and have taken steps to prevent this in the future. We are also evaluating other processes to ensure your information is safe and secure.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the infrastructure security team directly at . If you are having issues resetting your account, please contact . We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Chris Lyon

Director of Infrastructure Security

Worse yet, it turns out that the file contained passwords protected by an older hashing algorithm MD5, without any salting (random input to protect against dictionary attacks). Writes Lyon in his blog:

The database included 44,000 inactive accounts using older, md5-based password hashes. We erased all the md5-passwords, rendering the accounts disabled. All current accounts use a more secure SHA-512 password hash with per-user salts. SHA-512 and per user salts has been the standard storage method of password hashes for all active users since April 9th, 2009.

In other words, active users likely don't have much to worry about, but if you created an account in the past, which you haven't used in some time, it's likely that malicious parties may have at least your name and email address. And if your password is weak, they'll likely soon have that as well -- so users who fall into this category might want to immediately change any identical passwords on accounts on other sites.

For those confused what these accounts even are, Mozilla encourages users of its popular extensions/add-ons to register. According to Mozilla:

You only need to register if:

* You want to submit reviews for add-ons
* You want to keep track of your favorite add-on collections or create one yourself
* You are an add-on developer and want to upload your add-on for hosting on AMO

Judging by the number of inactive accounts, many of Mozilla's millions of users decided to take the plunge and create an account. Now some of those users' security may be at risk due to the organization careless post of user account information to a public server.

Given that a third party noticed and reported this file was available, it's safe to assume that someone preserved a copy of it. And just like that, Mozilla became the latest to allow its users to become the victim of a security bungle.
[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1294040112 Mozill

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Tuesday 07 December 2010
Intel and NVIDIA Prepare to Kiss and Make up With Settlement
Christo [PCD] , Tuesday 07 December 2010 - 11:32:55 //

Union may represent effort to hold off surging AMD

NVIDIA has new GPUs (the 500 series) -- but so does AMD. And AMD is currently beating NVIDIA in sales of discrete GPUs.

Likewise Intel, long having dominated the netbook/light laptop market with its Atom process is concerned about AMD's new "Fusion" accelerated processing unit, which packs a better integrated GPU than atom. Intel's primary hope to hang on to its market share involves pairing Atom with NVIDIA's ION lightweight GPU at an affordable price. But Intel and NVIDIA have been involved in a bitter long-standing feud that has resulted in Intel making ION offerings more expensive than its own inferior chipset.

But much like Lex Luthor and Superman occasionally do in the comics, these bitter enemies have found cause to try to set their difference aside, while facing a common threat. The pair was set to go to battle with each other in a trial starting Dec 6 in Delaware's Chancery Court. NVIDIA and Intel, though, have asked the court to postpone the trial concerning licensing issues to 2011, buying time for a settlement.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang coyly commented, "We’re always in talks. Our two companies are always in talks."

The settlement would be advantageous to both firms. Both have grown weary during the long legal campaign, which has stretched over six years, since being filed in 2004. The legal battle has been filled with suits and countersuits, with both chipmakers trying to deny each other access to their respective technologies, and alleging breaches of contract.

While Intel is the largest CPU chipmaker and NVIDIA is the world's second largest graphics chipmaker, both companies have missed out on potential revenue that could have come from joint products.

If they can reach a settlement, the quality of desktop hardware could be boosted. By allowing NVIDIA the right to make chipsets for its new CPUs, something that Intel has currently rejected, consumers could gain access to faster gaming and productivity offerings. And in the netbook sector the pair could at last offer an affordable ION+Atom platform that would mark a true competitor to AMD's dual-threat "Brazos" Fusion chip.

Is NVIDIA finally ready to put away its "can of whoop-[censored]"? We should have an answer to that in weeks or months to come.

Intel and NVIDIA have a common enemy -- the resurgent AMD. The pair are reportedly in talks to settle a long-standing lawsuit and increase their cooperation. (Source: Anandtech)

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1291714314 Intel

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Wednesday 09 June 2010
NVIDIA Brings Out the Big Guns -- a Dual Fermi GPU 430W Beast
Christo [PCD] , Wednesday 09 June 2010 - 13:49:01 //

Somewhere in Taiwan a power supply is weeping

Fermi was long delayed, but it is finally hitting the market and reminding ATI that it hasn't totally won the graphics war, even if it did get quite the head start on DirectX 11. At Computex in Taiwan NVIDIA unveiled an impressive portfolio of upcoming products that looks to jump start the struggling GPU maker. Highlights included upcoming Fermi mobile GPUs and a mid-range GPU, the GeForce GTX 465, which is based on GF100 chips binned aside for minor defects.

But NVIDIA saved perhaps the best for last. Today, along with board partner Galaxy it unveiled a beastly dual-GPU Fermi board designed to make even the toughest gaming rigs weep over some incredible high framerates -- and power draws.

The board carries two GTX 470 chips and draws over twice what a single Fermi draws -- which means that it sucks down loads of power, falling inside a massive 430 W TDP. It requires two (!) 8-pin connectors to feed its mighty cities of transistors.

Power supply manufacturers can breathe a brief sigh of relief, though; there's no word when or if the card will be officially released. The card is thought to carry 3 GB of GDDR5 memory -- matching NVIDIA's current Quadro card, which primarily retails for commercial use. And it can likely double for a portable space heater in a pinch.

The dual GPU spotting in the wild confirms months of rumors. Many rumors point to an upcoming release of a dual chip version called the "GTX 490". While there's no word from NVIDIA on whether this is indeed the official title, we can at least take the dual core Fermi off the list of mythical monsters, leaving behind dragons, sasquatches, and, of course, the ever-popular Kraken.

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1276083956 NVIDIA

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