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Tuesday 06 October 2009
The rAge experience
MaTiCa , Tuesday 06 October 2009 - 21:23:20 //

Going to rAge is a pilgrimage for any South African gamer. As the country's biggest gaming expo, developers, distributors and stores are all vying for your attention.

From the get-go, there were surprises galore, with publisher Take 2 and local distributor Megarom keen to show off Borderlands. Unfortunately for us, Megarom prohibited pictures or videos being taken of their forthcoming products. But we managed to get an extensive playthrough on the PC version (write-up coming soon!)

Megarom went all out this year, buying up a ton of floor space to demo games like Assassin's Creed 2, Avatar, DJ Hero, Red Steel 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction in addition to Borderlands, with some of them being playable by the public.

With exclusive presentations for unreleased titles such as Borderlands, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Assassin's Creed 2, Take 2 and Ubisoft showed that they were very serious about business in South Africa.

Sony, never one to let down their SA audience, left their mark at the event, showcasing the PSP Go and officially launching the PS3 Slim.

Rhythm action was also big at rAge; with DJ Hero, Guitar Hero 5, Singstar, Lips and Rock Band all vying for the crowd's attention. This is one of the easiest games for casual/non-gamers to get into as evident by the huge public interest in it.

Speaking of casual games, the Wii was out in full force, with games ranging from The Saboteur and Wii Sports Resort and Need for Speed: Nitro to the aforementioned Red Steel 2. Local distributor Nu-Metro also hit back with their own unreleased games such as military shooter Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising, Tim Schafer's Brutal Legend and Dragon Age: Origins.

Independent titles were also represented, with Ultimate Quest, an unpublished Xbox Live Arcade game from SA developers shaping up to be a fun, quirky, self-parodying game. Trials HD and 'Splosion Man were also some 'indie' titles represented.

Of course, what would rAge be like without the LAN? More than 1800 gamers converged for 53 hours of gaming, with games like Call of Duty 4, Counterstrike Source and Quake 3: Arena being firm favourites.

Speaking of Quake 3, South African gamers were treated to a Swedish team's skills in Quake 3 on a special screen set up near the LAN area as part of the Arena 77 tournament.

Of course, there were more than just games and consoles on display. Various gadget manufacturers and stores popped in with their wares, such as Wintec Solutions' solar-powered cellphone charger. Various other stores held sales during rAge, with jaw-dropping bargains to be had.

rAge also catered to lovers of anime with an anime cafe, allowing visitors to have a bite to eat while watching their favourite series with questionably-attired nurse-types serving them. There were comics and manga to be had too, thanks to a special anime store.

Yes folks, rAge catered for everyone, from the mothers dragged along by their children, to the hardcore gamer – rAge has once again blown people away and we look forward to next year's event.

SOURCE: iafrica.com

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Gmail, AOL and Yahoo email logins posted online in phishing scam
MaTiCa , Tuesday 06 October 2009 - 21:17:17 //

More than a quarter of a million email accounts on the biggest webmail services are believed to be at risk from online criminals after thousands of passwords belonging to users of the Yahoo, AOL and Gmail services were posted online.

The breach, likely to be the accumulation of a number of separate phishing attacks using fake sites to lure people to leave login details, is believed to be one of the biggest of its kind.

Graham Cluley, a consultant for the security company Sophos, said: "The danger is that people will be using the same password on many different sites, so the criminals will go and try them on Amazon or PayPal or wherever."

Users of those services, and of Microsoft's Hotmail service, are being urged to change their passwords and the security question they use as a precaution.

The discovery comes after 10,000 passwords belonging to Hotmail users with accounts beginning with A or B were found posted online over the weekend. That list suggests there could be about 130,000 compromised Hotmail accounts in all, from its total of 250m.

It emerged today that Yahoo, the biggest online email provider, with about 260m users, Google's Gmail, with about 100m users, and AOL, with 50m, have also been targeted. If the proportion of successful phishing attacks on those users is similar to those affected on Hotmail, more than 250,000 account details would have been captured.

Phishing uses emails with credible-looking web links which lure the reader to click on them and enter personal details. Some masquerade as coming from banks or PayPal, for example, and take the user to fake sites that use the same images as the genuine ones. There they are asked to enter personal information, which can be used to log in to the original email account, and take control of it and other services that use the same details.

Tom Warren, a writer at Neowin.net, which discovered the breaches, noted that many of the Hotmail passwords seemed to come from Europe, suggesting that British users could be substantially affected.

SOURCE: guardian.co.uk

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Thursday 01 October 2009
Nvidia unveils Fermi GPU Architecture
MaTiCa , Thursday 01 October 2009 - 12:44:47 //

Nvidia has unveiled next generation computational graphics processor architecture codenamed Fermi. Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO, stated that Fermi GPU architecture represents the foundation for the world's first computational graphics processors in Nvidia GPUs family - GeForce, Quadro, Tesla. Fermi architecture incorporates three billion transistors and 512 CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) cores to deliver super computing features.

Nvidia's next generation 40nm process Fermi architecture also carries codenames of GT300 aka GF100 that succeeds GT200 GPU architecture. GT stands for GeForce Tesla while GF is presumed to be GeForce Fermi. With Fermi architecture, Nvidia confirms its interest in High Performance Computing, GPU Stream Computing and Super Computing business.

Huang said, "The Fermi architecture, the integrated tools, libraries and engines are the direct results of the insights we have gained from working with thousands of CUDA developers around the world. We will look back in the coming years and see that Fermi started the new GPU industry."

Fermi architecture based GT300 GPU has three billion transistors and has 512 shader processing cores which are organized as in 32-core configuration in 16 shader processors. For memory, Nvidia GT300 GPU will have six channels of 64-bit GDDR5 memory controllers with totally 384 bit memory bus width and supporting up to 6GB of video memory. Entire GPU has 768KB L2 cache and acts as common bridge between 16 stream multiprocessors.

Nvidia remains quiet about the power requirement of this Stream processing monster and probably working out to make it less power hungry. Being manufactured from 40nm manufacturing process, this GPU would be cheaper and we can expect to consume as much energy or little more than GT200 chips.

Touted as world's first computational GPU, Fermi architecture is designed to support current programming tools in Fortran, C, and C++ for optimal performance to be extracted in parallel computing tasks. And with Nexus, Nvidia brings Visual Studio 2008 computing application development environment.

500

Nvidia also took a big leap ahead by adding memory technology such as ECC memory support

The new set new technologies that arrive in Fermi architecture are:

* C++, complementing existing support for C, Fortran, Java, Python, OpenCL and DirectCompute
* ECC, a critical requirement for datacenters and supercomputing centers deploying GPUs on a large scale
* 512 CUDA Cores featuring the new IEEE 754-2008 floating-point standard, surpassing even the most advanced CPUs
* 8x the peak double precision arithmetic performance over NVIDIA's last generation GPU. Double precision is critical for high-performance computing (HPC) applications such as linear algebra, numerical simulation, and quantum chemistry
* NVIDIA Paralle DataCache - the world's first true cache hierarchy in a GPU that speeds up algorithms such as physics solvers, raytracing, and sparse matrix multiplication where data addresses are not known beforehand
* NVIDIA GigaThread Engine with support for concurrent kernel execution, where different kernels of the same application context can execute on the GPU at the same time (eg: PhysX fluid and rigid body solvers)
* Nexus, the world's first fully integrated heterogeneous computing application development environment within Microsoft Visual Studio

106666 Dieshot


Nvidia didn't share any performance levels of Fermi for leaving its existing graphics cards business unaffected. Now, the question that rises here is about competing with AMD's freshly announced Radeon HD 5800 series DirectX 11 supporting graphics cards. However, Huang emphasized that Nvidia had little interest in replacing the CPU (DirectX 11 based) and is more focused on advancing the computing industry.

Huang said, "No one likes it when competition has a product out in the marketplace. But we have a different vision and it is not only about market share. Of course, we don't want to keep our fans and enthusiasts waiting for the next generation GPU. But we want to take the industry forward and won't change the way we are doing things even by a little iota. We want to make sure the product is ready when it ships in a few months. And it will be - modular, flexible and powerful."

Chart

We aren't sure when Fermi architecture based consumer graphics card would come out. Though the company refused to comment on the availability of Fermi graphics cards, it's said that GT300-based Tesla cards would be out in first quarter of 2010. In another note, a Wikipedia entry about GeForce 300 series reveals some GeForce 300 graphics models but there's no authentic information in it. Hence, we count it as speculation.

SOURCE: techtree.com

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Apps From The Serious To The Fun Go Google Wave
MaTiCa , Thursday 01 October 2009 - 11:31:49 //

A wave of developers ranging from giants like SAP and salesforce.com to small companies like personalized Web gadget and game developer LabPixies are building extensions to the new Google Wave tool.

Google's new online tool, Wave, marries real time communications with natural language tools to let users create a "wave" and add other users to that wave, all of whom can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets and feeds from other Web sources to replace common email and other traditional communication tools.

Google has asked developers to create their own APIs for the Wave offering, and several have done so. Many of their demos can be accessed by clicking here.

SAP for instance, has shown a prototype of Gravity, which the company said provides real-time, cloud-based collaborative business process modeling within Google Wave.

Gravity, with the collaborative features of Google Wave, allows business process modeling activities to be propagated in near real-time to all other participants of the Wave, SAP said.

In its demo of Gravity, SAP showed how two merging companies could re-engineer their business processes in order to capitalize from cross-selling opportunities. Gravity color-codes each individual modeler's content, shows the history of the model, and allows both asynchronous and synchronous editing. The results could also be imported into SAP Netweaver BPM for further refinement and execution.

salesforce.com showed how Wave interacts with cloud platforms like its Force.com platform. As an example, it showed a fictitious company asking customers to register the products they purchased, and returned an e-mail address for support. That e-mail address was actually a Wave robot which gets information from the customer about a problem, identifies the customer, and tailors the interaction based on the customer's purchase and support history.

Should the customer request a live chat, Wave sends the request to the robot which then makes a request to salesforce.com to find an available representative. All the interactions between the customer and salesforce.com are included in the Wave, and can be embedded directly into a case detail page from which any support representative can carry on the conversation with the customer.

Google Wave is not only for serious business users.

LabPixies has extensions which allow multiple players to solve Sudoku puzzles together and see who is the best player in a group.

Ribbit, Mountain View, Calif., showed a beta of its Ribbit Message Gadget which allows Wave participants to connect to a Wave via a phone. The Ribbit Message Gadget displays a transcription of audio messages and attaches original audio message as MP3 files. It also includes an embedded player to let users listen to messages, with all messages and responses to requests from the Gadget automatically tracked by a Ribbit Message robot.

Other applications for which Google Wave extensions are being developed include the 6rounds live meeting point application from GixOO, an interactive itinerary application from Lonely Planet, a trip planning gadget from AccuWeather, and another trip planning application from Google Maps.

SOURCE: ChannelWeb
[Submitted by MaTiCa]



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Apple and Intel develop 10 Gbps optical data technology - www.mybroadband.co.za
MaTiCa , Thursday 01 October 2009 - 11:30:33 //

From www.mybroadband.co.za

Apple’s intends to offer an interoperable connectivity standard, that handles all major input/output on a single port

At the Intel Developer Forum held last week, a hot topic was Intel’s unveiling of the Light Speed optical cable technology. The thin optical cable can transfer data at speeds of 10Gb/s, and Intel claims it will deliver speeds of 100Gb/s within 10 years. The data can be transferred over a cable of up to 100 meters in length.

Aside from the technology unveiling, those attending the event couldn’t help but notice that Intel was demonstrating the product on a “hackintosh? – an unbranded PC running a patched Mac OS.

Thanks to Engadget it emerged over the weekend that there was an explanation for this. Apple had approached Intel back in 2007 to create a single interoperable standard which would “replace the multitudinous connector types with a single connector (FireWire, USB, Display interface).?

Apple plans to introduce Light Peak as a new standard for its systems around the American fall of 2010 (South African spring). There are plans to follow up with a low-power variation in 2011, aimed at handhelds and cell phones. A single universal port would be extremely useful in small devices, such as the anticipated Mac tablet PC.

If the timing for the introduction of Light Peak holds true, it would be in direct competition with USB 3.0. The ability to offer a superior 10Gb/s over USB 3.0, which operates at 3.2Gb/s, raises the question as to whether Apple will simply skip USB 3.0 in favour of Light Peak.

[Submitted by Enigma_2k4]



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