Latest Front Page News

ICANN set to approve web addresses using non-Latin characters

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 08:48 AM | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | (url: http://www.downlo...)

There are web pages written in virtually every living language. If you read Japanese, Korean, Arabic, or Hebrew, odds are you can find web sites written in your native tongue. But in order to find them, you'll probably have to enter a string of Western characters into your browser's address bar.

That's because up until now, the organization that oversees domain names has only accepted URLs with Latin characters. But this week the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is expected to approve a new rule allowing addresses to be written in different scripts, including Arabic, Greek, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Cyrillic (Russian).

While the change might not affect English speakers reading this web site all that much, this is huge news for the 1.6 billion internet users who speak languages that don't use Latin characters. So while we have no plans to change the web address for Download Squad, I did consult with Google Translate today to learn that the site would be called something like загрузка Сборная in Russian. Because, you never know.

The new rule could be adopted as soon as Friday, although we probably wouldn't see the new Internationaliised Domain names (IDNs) until mid 2010.

ICANN has been looking at the change for a few years. But there have been technical kinks to work out. Essentially, under the new system, users will be able to enter URLs in a variety of different scripts and the domain name system will apply some new translation techniques in order to ensure that users are taken to the correct web page.

Category: Technology | 8 Comments
Tags: icann internet

Fusion-io ioXtreme PCI Express SSD Sneak Peek!

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 02:05 PM | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | (url: http://hothardwar...)

If you've been watching our previous coverage of Fusion-io's almost too good be true PCI Express SSD products, you'll know that while the company makes no bones about the fact that their enterprise class cards are ridiculously expensive, they are also planning on delivering an "enthusiast" class card that will align better price-wise with the average end user just looking for killer storage performance. It appears the planning process is over today and though it was delayed a month or two, Fusion-io is now executing on that plan.

Fusion-io's ioXtreme and ioXtreme Pro cards just showed up to the Boston HH Test Labs and as we like to say around here, they're looking pretty .

We've received two cards for testing here; one is the ioXtreme Pro, that you can install multiple cards into a system for RAID configurations and the other is the ioXtreme for single-card installations. Save for the heat sink color coding and the "X" logo on the standard card's backplate, it's almost impossible to tell the two cards apart, at least mechanically.

It's true, your eyes do not deceive you. You're looking at a product that offers 300MB/sec average write throughput and 750 - 800MB/sec of average read throughput. We're going to strap on a drool bib and get back to testing these bad boys a bit more. RAID 0 anyone?

Category: Hardware | 7 Comments
Tags: fusionio

Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi face U.S. antitrust probe

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 05:25 PM | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | (url: http://www.usatod...)

Japanese electronics giants Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi said Tuesday that their optical disc drive operations are under investigation by U.S. authorities for possible antitrust violations.

Sony said its California-based sales unit Sony Optiarc America has received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice seeking information for an antitrust probe related to the company's optical disc drive operations.

Company spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa said the company is "fully cooperating with U.S. authorities," and that he could not provide any other details about the case.

Toshiba and Hitachi said they also received similar subpoenas for optical disc drive operations at their subsidiaries, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology and Hitachi-LG Data Storage They also declined further comment.

Optical disc drives are used in computers and in CD and Blu-ray disc players. The three companies account for about 60% of the market.

Hulu to Charge Users in 2010

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 10:23 AM | Friday, October 23, 2009 | (url: http://www.tvweek...)

Chase Carey, the deputy chairman of News. Corp -- which co-owns Hulu -- says the popular online destination that carries TV programming, will start charging users, probably as soon as 2010, B&C reports.

Noting that Its time to start getting paid for broadcast content online, Carey added that I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value. Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.

Carey made his remarks at B&C's On-Screen Summit in New York on Oct. 21. He later told B&C's Claire Atkinson that not all content on Hulu would be behind a pay wall.

Category: Technology | 76 Comments
Tags: hulu

Microsoft to Add Blu-Ray Add-on for XBox 360

Submitted by: XTasy @ 05:03 PM | Thursday, October 22, 2009 | (url:

More than a year after Sony declared victory in the format war, it appears that Microsoft is officially embracing Blu-ray, to an extent. In an interview with Gizmodo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seemingly confirmed that the Xbox 360 will eventually be receiving an external Blu-ray drive.

The confirmation came when Ballmer was asked whether the Xbox 360 would be getting a Blu-ray drive anytime soon. He replied, "Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there - you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories."

Starsiege: Tribes -- death and resurrection

Submitted by: Beren @ 05:43 PM | Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | (url: http://www.examin...)

Here is a news article about Tribes (shock). It goes over some of the history of the game and then rounds up touching on GG buying the rights and some mention of it at PAX this year and a hopeful release towards the end of this year.

Nvidia Halting Nforce Chipset Development

Submitted by: Beren @ 08:05 PM | Thursday, October 8, 2009 | (url: http://www.pcmag....)

Nvidia has announced it will cease development of future Nforce hardware until its suit with Intel is settled sometime in 2010. Intel has alleged that a previous chipset agreement between it and Nvidia does not apply to the Core or Nehalem series of processors.

Hackers Target Xbox Live

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 11:50 AM | Thursday, October 8, 2009 | (url: http://www.intern...)

As next-generation gaming consoles go online, some of the same problems that have faced consumer and enterprise IT networks are surfacing.

At a session during the SecTor security conference, Chris Boyd, director of research at Facetime security labs, detailed the myriad methods by which gamers and in particular, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox 360 users are under attack by cyber criminals.

"Though the Xbox doesn't have the number one market share, it is the top target for hackers," Boyd said. "Xbox Live has 17 million plus subscribers and that service requires payment."

Xbox Live provides a number of online products and services to gamers. According to Boyd, Xbox Live gamer accounts are now an established commodity on the black market.

CoD:Modern Warfare 2 Delayed for PC

Submitted by: Beren @ 01:56 AM | Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | (url: http://www.rockpa...)

Activision has delayed the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 it seems, pushing the multi-platform game back by two weeks on the PC, but not on other platforms.

The game will now be released on November 10th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but has been pushed back until November 24th

Category: PC Gaming | 60 Comments
Tags: codmw2

Review: AMD HD 5850

Submitted by: Beren @ 07:43 AM | Thursday, October 1, 2009 | (url: http://www.hardoc...)

As a very happy owner of a 4850 from the last gen I am obviously very interested in the 5850. Looking at the specs the 5850 look to be even closer to the 5870 then the 4850 was to the 4870. So anyone looking for a midrange part to kick some serious arse this is the ticket.

Category: Hardware | 9 Comments
Tags: 5850 amd ati gpu review

Review: AMD HD 5870

Submitted by: Beren @ 07:36 AM | Thursday, October 1, 2009 | (url: http://www.hardoc...)

The first DX11 card to hit the shelves. A very impressive card that has me drooling and thinking buying one shortly. Check out this review to see for yourself.

Microsoft Security Essentials Released

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 02:52 PM | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | (url: http://www.micros...)

Microsoft's new antimalware solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, is now available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Category: Software | 49 Comments
Tags: free microsoft

The Witcher 2: Gameplay Video

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 10:52 AM | Friday, September 18, 2009 | (url: http://www.euroga...)

CD Projekt boss Marcin Iwinski has revealed The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

He presented an alpha build of the game in an internal, "confidential" demonstration video. Luckily for us, the internet was peeping (via Kotaku).

The bread and butter Witcher experience, which went on to sell 1.2m copies (on PC only), returns. Mutant monster-fighter Geralt, therefore, is back and swishing his sword at toothy enemies and toothy harlots. Graphics, combat, magical powers and dialogue will all be overhauled, however.

Console Gaming = Lag

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 10:22 AM | Monday, September 7, 2009 | (url: http://www.euroga...)

In basic terms, controller latency is very easy to define. It's the time, usually measured in frames or milliseconds, between pressing the button on your controller and the appropriate action kicking in on-screen during gameplay. The longer the delay, the less responsive the controls, and the more unsatisfying the game can feel.

In-game latency, or the level of response in our controls, is one of the most crucial elements in game-making, not just in the here and now, but for the future too. It's fair to say that players today have become conditioned to what the truly hardcore PC gamers would consider to be almost unacceptably high levels of latency to the point where cloud gaming services such as OnLive and Gaikai rely heavily upon it.

The average videogame runs at 30FPS, and appears to have an average lag in the region of 133ms. On top of that is additional delay from the display itself, bringing the overall latency to around 166ms. Assuming that the most ultra-PC gaming set-up has a latency less than one third of that, this is good news for cloud gaming in that there's a good 80ms or so window for game video to be transmitted from client to server.

Category: Console Gaming | 40 Comments
Tags: lag lol

OnLive Opens Beta Program

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 09:19 AM | Thursday, September 3, 2009 | (url: http://www.onlive...)

And, Im very excited to say that we are now opening the OnLive Beta to outside gamers who signed up on our website. Its not too late to sign up if you havent already. We are very much looking forward to hearing from gamers all about their experience with the OnLive Service.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about OnLive Beta and how we are rolling it out.

One of the key challenges that OnLive technology addresses is providing a high-quality, fast-response gaming experience over a wide range of situations: different speeds/locations/types of broadband services, a variety of different PC and Mac configurations, several kinds of input and display devices, etc. So, a major focus of OnLive Beta is to test as many of these different situations as we can.