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Sony Ericsson's Z610i says hello
7th August - 9:14 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
From The Pocket

 http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/08/se_z610i.jpg

It's just a little bit obscure what's going on in terms of specs and details over at Pocket Israel's joint with the Sony Ericsson's Z610i, but really, what do you need to know? Sony Ericsson's following up their Z520 -- which is a hot little number in and of itself -- but we will, of course, fill in the blanks as soon as we can. It's just nice to know what's coming down the pipeline, right? 
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The Vega Ultra Portable
7th August - 9:03 pm
Posted by: Irdawood

 http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/08/vega_4.jpg

Hard to believe that anyone would willingly stare at Windows XP on a tiny screen (the five-inch display on the OQO and the 4.5-inch display on the Sony UX are already pushing the bounds of XP's usability), but some info and images have turned up over at AVING about one with an even smaller display, the new Vega Ultra Portable. No slide-out QWERTY keyboard like either the OQO or the UX, but the Vega does sport what looks like a full numeric keypad on the front, as well as a 4.3-inch touch screen, an AMD Geode LX800 processor, 30GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, and integrated WiFi. Should be out sometime next month, at least in South Korea. 

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New Vista build?
31st July - 3:18 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
According to the rumour mill build 5488.0.winmain.060727 is to be released either today or tomorrow on connect. There has also been a lot of talk about this on the Vista newsgroups to say there will be a build for testers before we see the main RC1 CPP release 
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Today was a Good Day...
31st July - 3:15 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
I went to the Intel Core 2 Duo launch today. It was a very good event, well organized in a marquee tent outside of the Intel campus. There were a number of people I knew and many I didn't, and there was much ado about the new processors. I met with My Intel rep, as usual, did a bang up job making sure we were taken care of. He introduced me to pretty much everyone and made the event very comfortable.

I was surprised to see Craig Barrett there - and in his usual conservative style he was sitting amongst the who's who of the engineering team during the keynote rather than stepping up on stage. I had a little discussion with Mr. Barrett as he looked over our Omen machine and he said it reminded him of his white and blue Ford GT. Pretty cool stuff.

The highlight of the keynote for me was the video of the two guys on the plane. This was hilarious -- Intel made a video of two employees travelling cross country with two different notebooks. One of the notebooks was Core 2 Duo based, while the other was an unnamed competing product. It was so well done, I wish they would You-Tube it!

Yesterday I wrote a fairly long detailed entry regarding the ramifications of the ATi+AMD deal. The entire blog entry was overshadowed by the following statement:

“So, there’s an upcoming launch event for Conroe as many of you know. We’re very excited to launch our Conroe systems at the event – and we were supposed to have a system on stage with ATi. Apparently this isn’t happening anymore.“

I am not going to post the angry comments I received from certain people (because they were ridiculous - and there's no need to rub their noses in it) – but here is my response. ATi was indeed pulled from the event, and ATi was going to have a showcase there of which we were pulled from (collateral damage). It would obviously be an awkward situation to have ATi employees on stage at the event - the media would have had a hay-day with it.

I didn’t say I was “upset” about this – and I didn’t say that Voodoo would not be at the event either! I said that we were pulled off stage with ATi. Instead our system was showcased at the front of the venue.

Then there was this comment:

“ATi has been removed from the event and I suspect that Intel is changing the configurations of all the machines based on the feedback I’ve been hearing. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this - because we all know that ATi Crossfire works on the 975 chipset...”

Yes all of the systems on stage were last minute changed to Nvidia. I didn’t understand this because I still believe ATi has the most flexible graphics offering for the Intel Bad-Axe motherboard and other 975 configurations. Intel will sell more Bad-Axe motherboards with ATi graphics than they will with Nvidia at least until they work a deal. This deal with ATi+AMD won't close for many months to come either.

It’s unfortunate that the event had to be changed last minute due to the press release a few days earlier - but at the end of the day it was a good event and the Core 2 Duo launch should not be overshadowed by other industry events. 
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Detector for locating hidden Mobile Phones
31st July - 3:13 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
Cellular phones have become the latest epidemic in prison contraband, posing a danger that extends beyond prison walls. Correctional authorities have indicated that cellular phones have become more valuable inside a prison than drugs or other contraband, and are often referred to as the new prison cash because inmates can sell minutes or cellular phone use to other inmates.


 http://www.esato.com/gfx/news/img/z136_2006_07_29.jpg

The GEO Group Inc., the second largest private prison management company in the United States, is leading the Correctional industry by implementing a new application of patented high-tech equipment for detecting and locating hidden contraband cellular phones (even if the phone is not transmitting or even turned off).

The equipment, the ORION Non-Linear Junction Detector (NLJD) manufactured by REI in Algood Tennessee, responds to electronic components, allowing the user to detect and locate electronic items (such as hidden cellular phones), even if the electronic item is turned off or not transmitting. This technology offers a working solution for correctional facilities to manage contraband cellular phones.

Previously correctional institutions were limited to physical searches or struggling with other forms of technology that were ineffective or inefficient for detecting and locating hidden cellular phones, or violated FCC regulations by potentially interfering with legitimate cellular phone transmissions. www.reiusa.net 
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Centrino notebooks to gain SLI support
31st July - 3:09 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
With a handful of exceptions, NVIDIA's SLI multi-GPU technology has thus far been exclusive to NVIDIA chipsets. This situation may change in the near future, though. HKEPC says it has heard directly from Intel's Regional Sales Manager of South China, Vincent Lee, that NVIDIA authorized SLI support in Intel's 945GM/PM mobile chipsets for Centrino Duo notebooks. While not tailored for multi-GPU support, these chipsets can reportedly have their PCI Express lanes organized in a x16/x4 configuration. SLI compatibility with 945GM/PM core logic is already built into NVIDIA's latest ForceWare 91.31 drivers, HKEPC says, although final products are not yet ready. For now, mobile users seeking an SLI fix will have to contend with notebooks based on AMD's mobile processors and nForce4 SLI core logic.

As far as SLI support on Intel's desktop chipsets goes, Vincent is reported to have said Intel is looking for "more chance to cooperate." Nothing has been confirmed yet, however. 
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Catalyst 6.7 drivers released
31st July - 3:09 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
ATI's latest Catalyst 6.7 drivers are now available for download. While ATI doesn't claim any performance improvements for these new Catalysts, the company says the drivers enhance CrossFire dual-GPU support:

The enhanced support allows for CrossFire™ Alternate Frame Rendering mode for Direct3D applications to be forced on by setting the Catalyst® AI slider to the Advanced position. Users are encouraged to enable this setting if they are not seeing significant performance gains in applications when Crossfire is enabled. This enhancement is available for all Direct3D applications except for Direct3D applications known not to work with Alternate Frame Rendering.

The Catalyst 6.7 release also fixes some bugs, including texture corruption in Quake 4 and loss of response after task switching when running The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion at 1600x1200 on a CrossFire setup. A complete list of fixes and known problems is available in ATI's release notes for the drivers. As with the previous Catalyst 6.6 release, only graphics cards from the Radeon 9500 up are supported. 
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HTC MTeoR Windows Mobile 3G Smartphone
31st July - 3:07 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
The MTeoR is the latest in a long line of Windows Mobile Smartphones, (as opposed to PDA phones), but it is the first to support 3G. As well as UMTS, it also offers quad band and EDGE support. It appears courtesy of manufacturer HTC.

In June, HTC announced that it would start to sell devices under its own name but stated that it would while continuing to also supply network operators with kit for them to brand.

Along with the HTC TyTN, its Windows Mobile connected Pocket PC, the MTeoR may well turn up in due course as a network operator branded device. For the moment though, your only chance to get hold of it is SIM free or bundled with a contract from a supplier other than a network operator. On its own, the MTeoR is quite expensive, so you might want to hold out.

As a 3G handset, the MTeoR can only ever be a partial success because it lacks a front facing camera. Clearly if video calls are not what you want 3G for this won’t matter, but I think that any 3G handset lacking a front camera lets its users down from the start. As it is, the MTeoR is a 3G data device.

Design wise, HTC has really pushed the boat out. The mostly black casing is ever so slightly art deco in its shaping around the number pad area and the finish, which is predominantly matt and almost rubbery to the touch makes a nice change.
The MTeoR is a great looking Windows Mobile Smartphone.


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Sony VAIO VGN-TX3XP - Ultra-Portable Notebook
31st July - 3:05 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
Back in March I reviewed the Sony TX2XP and although I liked it, I didn’t consider it a big enough step forward from the previous model. Now I have the Sony VAIO VGN-TX3XP sitting in front of me and it’s time to see whether Sony has managed to move things on a bit this time.

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Like the previous two TX models before it, the TX3XP is a beautifully designed notebook. It really is one of those bits of kit that makes people stop and stare, while anyone else in your vicinity using a notebook will somehow feel self conscious about the size and weight of their mobile computer. Talking of size and weight, the TX3XP measures 272.4 x 195.1 x 28.5mm and weighs in at 1.25kg - exactly the same numbers as the TX2XP in fact. The carbon fibre chassis construction helps keep the weight down, while maintaining robust build quality.



Hit Read More for the full story at Trusted Review 
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Apple Newton takes down the Samsung Q1 UMPC?
31st July - 3:03 pm
Posted by: Irdawood

 http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/07/7.30.06---newton-v-umpc.jpg

Twas a bloody battle between the cult-classic Apple Newton MessagePad 2000 and the flashy Samsung Q1 UMPC, but in a 10 round bout, the Newton threw two big blows which left the Q1 reeling. The punches started flying on the issues of networking, screen beauty, and application support, where the Q1 stunned the Newton with its high-resolution LCD and Windows-based OS. When it came to usability and synchronization, the two were deemed evenly matched, rendering these two categories a draw. The Newton stole the glory on design, size, and reliability, as CNET UK editors were quite annoyed at the "crashability" of the Q1,and crowned the Newton's OS champion of stability. Although there wasn't a unanimous decision made based on these brawls alone, the Newton pulled out all the stops by landing a mean 30 hours of battery life, while the Q1 waved the white flag at 2.5 hours. To add insult to injury, the Samsung costs well over $1,000 (if you can manage to find one), while the Newton can be acquired for substantially less on the used market. While we realize it may be hard to comprehend that a portable from nearly 10 years ago could best a UMPC, there's no denying that even the most ingenious handheld in the world won't do you much good after the battery craps out, and maybe these results are just the Apple needs needs to make good on all these tablet patents, right Steve? 
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iPhone software found in iPod updater?
31st July - 3:02 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
Yeah, everybody's been grasping at straws (including us) for possible info on the iPhone for, well, the last couple of years now, and the latest adds fuel to the speculative fire without providing any answers. So what else is new? Anyhow, in the June 28th iPod updater package, apparently if one were to analyza few particular files with a hex editor, one would produce some very peculiar and anomalous commands, like t_feature_app_PHONE_APP, kPhoneSignalStrength, clPhoneCallModel, clPhoneCallHistoryModel, prPhoneSettingsMenu, and so on. They're confirmed to have absolutely nothing to do with the Moto iTunes phone line, which makes sense, and we will concede that such a find seems highly unusual.


 http://www.engadgetmobile.com/media/2006/07/macphone-sm.jpg

Still, we'd hardly be willing to call this type of thing nascent evidence of an iTunes phone; on the other hand, if there was one around the corner, WWDC would be as good a place as any for Apple to announce. After all, what better place than Apple's own developer conference would there be to announce a new mobile device platform, hm? 
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Sony Ericsson P990i smartphone to launch this week
31st July - 3:00 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
We don't really know if we should trust Expansys on this, but according to them, the Sony Ericsson P990i smartphone is set to launch this week at the price of about $1,100.

Features of the Sony Ericsson P990i include a 262.000 color QVGA touch screen, push email, WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0, USB, Symbian 9.1 and UIQ 3.0 software platform, music player that supports MP3, AAC and AAC+ formats with a flight mode allowing you to listen to music while the phone is turned off.

Back in February 2006, Sony Ericsson announced that it has turned the P990i's 2 megapixel camera with autofocus into a Business Card Scanner, which uses a character recognition software to convert the scanned information from the card to contacts on your P990.

The same thing happened in January, when Mobilebee announced that the Nokia E61 business phone will launch in mid February. It never happened, so don't get your hopes up this time. 
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Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows/Linux/Mac OS (Alpha) 2.0 Alpha 1
31st July - 2:57 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
Mozilla Thunderbird is a redesign of the Mozilla mail component. The goal is to produce a cross platform stand alone mail application using the XUL user interface language. The intended customer is someone who uses Mozilla Firefox (or another stand alone browser) as their primary browser and wants a mail client based on mozilla that "plays nice" with the browser. 
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AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor Driver 1.3.2.16
31st July - 2:56 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor Driver for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Version (x86 and x64 exe) 1.3.2.16 - Allows the system to automatically adjust the CPU speed, voltage and power combination that match the instantaneous user performance need. Download this Setup Installation program (EXE) to automatically update all the files necessary for installation.

This package is recommended for users whom desire a graphical user interface for installation. This .EXE driver is a user friendly localized software installation of the driver designed for end-users. This driver supports AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core processors on Windows XP SP2, Windows 2003 SP1 x84 and x64 Editions. 
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Video Cards Will Soon Face their Own Energy Crisis
31st July - 2:55 pm
Posted by: Irdawood
Over two years ago, I wrote an article called "The End of the Era of Speed." That article talked about CPUs, though we did note later on that it was a matter of time before the GPUs caught up.

Well, they've just about caught up. It's not the first time we've seen power estimates like this one. If true, these are video Prescotts.

Hit Read more for the full story! 
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08/19/06
 
   
 

 
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Posted by BOFH
 
For those of you who pay a daily visit to your User CP (why?!), you may have noticed that for the last 36 hours there's been a new option called "Brushed". You may also have noticed brief periods of outages as I adjusted the PHP files to essentially make the proprietary portal, coded by thedarkavenger, skinnable.

I succeeded, and therefore today, after roughly 18 hours hard work, the new theme (Brushed) went live as SlipStreamX v4. We hope you enjoy the new site as much as we enjoyed the old one, and hopefully it should make a nice change from the "medium gray" look of the old design.

Incidentally, the Brushed concept was created by TDA, and given to me in source PNG format, with which I wrapped the rest of the site. The crystal selections were my own work, except for the crystal icons found in the Posting form; the rest (I think) I got around to replacing with Everaldo's new Crystal SVG (thanks Everaldo ), which makes a nice change from the old Crystal GT style.

If you notice any problems with the theme, don't hesitate to let us know, either in the thread which will undoubtedly be posted in The Lounge, or in the Site Issues forum.

Kthx, bai.
  28th June - 8:54 pm / Comment
 

 
 
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