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Dec 30, 2011

DotA Guide: Syllabear - The Lone Druid Introduction




DotA is the most popular custom-made map for Warcraft 3. To offer players a better comprehension of this complicated and sometimes complex game, here is a hero guide.

One of the best pushers in the game, Syllabear can end a game even before it starts. You can recruit him from the Sentinel Agility Tavern.

"Syllabear was spared a time of great strife due to the deeds of his people. Sensing their settlements impending destruction they turned their child into a bear and sent him to the wild.

Syllabear grew up strong and savage, like the bears that inhabited the forest of his home. Using druidic powers, he can enter a state of almost rabid frenzy, and even call powerful bear companions to aid him. 

Awakened into his elven heritage by Furion the Prophet, Syllabear has regained his true elven form, and brings the bestial spirit of the bear to the battlefield". 

With a nature-themed set of skills, Syllabear also benefits from some great stats. Let's take a close look at these abilities:

Summon Spirit Bear (B) - Using the powers of nature, Syllabear is able to call upon a bear companion that, with each level, has increased hit points: 1400/1800/2300/2800 and some new interesting skills: Inventory/Return/ +20% Entangle/Demolish + 33% spell resistance. The "pet" will feature right from the start a powerful and very useful skill: Entangle, which traps opponents using spiked vines.

Rabid (R) - Make the hero and the companion move faster 5/10/15/20 and attack faster 10/20/30/40%. The spell last for 10 seconds (if not improved by Synergy).

Synergy (Y) - Increase the connection between the Spirit Bear and the Lone Druid making them both more powerful and upgrading their abilities. With each level, you'll gain: increased Rabid duration by 10/20/30/40, +10/+20/+30/+40 damage and movement speed. True Form is also improved by 100/200/300/400 hit points.

True Form (F) - Renouncing his ranged form, Syllabear becomes a huge melee bear with lots of advantages: 250/400/600 bonus health, 4/6/8 armor and a new ability: Battle Cry. This new skill will improve armor and damage for both the hero and the companion.

With a companion that acts like an additional hero, Lone Druid has to build items for two. I recommend Power Treads, Radiance, Hyperstone for the bear, while for the hero Power Treads, Assault Cuirass, Butterfly, Battle Fury and Stygian Desolator.

If you have other suggestions please let all the DotA fans know in a comment.



LG’s Windows Phone 7.5-Based Jil Sander only £149.99 Now




One of the first Windows Phone 7.5-based handsets to have been unveiled to the world during the ongoing year was the LG Jil Sander smartphone, aka LG-E906.

The handset was made available for purchase a few weeks ago, and is now put for sale in the UK at a discounted price tag.

Online retailer Expansys has it available for £149.99 ($232 / 179 Euros) at the moment, down from the £299.99 ($469 / 360 Euros) it featured before. 

For this kind of money, you will get a Windows Phone that packs a 3.8 inch TFT / LCD capacitive touchscreen, a 1GHz application processor, 16GB of internal memory, and a 5MP camera with auto focus and LED Flash on the back. 

Of course, all of the features that Windows Phone Mango sports will be included into the mix as well.


New Google Music App Included in CyanogenMod 9




One of the appealing features that the new CyanogenMod 9 release brings along is a custom Google Music application. 

The ROM itself comes with a variety of features, and the same applies to the said application, it seems. 

Some of the enhancements include the ability to skip track through simply shaking the phone, or to play/pause the very same way. These new controls should work regardless of whether the screen is on or off, or the application that users are running on the phone. 

At the same time, the custom version of Google's Music application should pack new notification area controls, along with the option to search the Android Market or set ringtones, among other features. 

The new app flavor will be included in the future releases of CM9, but the development team also plans on making it available in the Market for all Android users to take advantage of it.


Toshiba’s Upcoming Nvidia Tegra 3 Tablet Presumably Spotted




Acer and Lenovo aren’t the only two companies determined to prepare Tegra 3 powered tablets for 2012, as Toshiba also seems interested in Nvidia’s quad-core SoC.

This was unveiled just recently when a benchmark results was submitted to AnTuTu’s online database, listed under the name of “Tostab06,” which is in-line with the company’s previous tablet code names (the AT100 was the “Tostab03,″ while the AT200 is named “Tostab05”).

While the listing doesn’t specifically mention the Tegra 3 name, AndroidOS.in seems to believe that thie tablet sports Nvidia’s quad-core SoC as the 1.4GHz clock frequency and benchmarks result seem to closely match those of the Asus Transformer Prime.

We tend to agree, but we can’t tell anything for sure until more info becomes available, most probably during CES 2012. 


DotA Guide: Rikimaru - The Stealth Assassin Introduction




DotA is one of the most popular custom-made maps for Warcraft III. To offer players a better understanding of this complex and sometimes complicated game, here is a hero guide.

The Stealth Assassin was a common sight in early versions of DotA, but is now increasingly more unpicked nowadays. You can find him at the Sentinel Agility Tavern.

Let's have a closer look at this hero's past: "Born as the heir to the satyr dominion, Rikimaru was trained by the mightiest warriors of his race. However, the power of the Burning Legion managed to corrupt many of his kind, leaving them as mindless beasts in the forest. 

Vowing revenge against the Scourge, he sharpened his skills for battle. Using his small size to his advantage, he can render himself invisible, enabling him to stab his enemies in the back. And by using thick smoke as cover he becomes nearly untouchable."

An interesting set of skills awaits you if you pick this hero:

Smoke Screen (C) - As the name suggest, Rikimaru throws a smoke bomb that silences all the enemies in a 250/275/300/325 AoE and makes the miss factor grow to 40/50/60/70%. The bomb has a fixed time limit of 6 seconds.

Blink Strike (Stealth Assassin) (B) - This is a useful spell that can be used to harass heroes or to finish them off. When activated, it teleports the hero to an enemy target and does extra physical damage: 30/60/90/120. This skill can also be useful to escape pursuers, while it does no damage to allied units.

Backstab (K) - Being a small, invisible hero, Rikimaru's specialty is to harass and terrorize opponents. With this skill, he's able to do bonus damage to targets, if located behind them: 0.25x/0.5x/0.75x/1x of Stealth Assassin's Agility.

Permanent Invisibility (E) - Stealth Assassin is the only hero that features a permanent invisibility (starting from level 6). The ultimatum reduces the fading time after attacking: 3/2.25/1.5 seconds. When silenced, Rikimaru's invisibility disappears.

There are several items that can render this hero completely useless and thus ruin your game: Gem of True Sight, Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards. If you spot any of these items on your lane, I suggest you switch with a teammate immediately. 

Being a very adaptable hero, you can use any of the orbs effects available: life steal, Stygian Desolator, Diffusal Blade, or Sange and Yasha. Power Treads are a must and if you can farm fast enough, an early Radiance can really improve your chances to win!

If you have other suggestions please let all the DotA fans know in a comment.



Android and iOS Gain Market Share in the US




Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS platform gained more market share in the United States subscriber segment during the past three months, a new report from comScore MobiLens service shows.

The report is based on data collected during the three months ending November 2011. The company surveyed a number of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers in the time frame. 

Their findings show that Android has gain a bit more market share in the US since August 2011, now accounting for 46.9 percent of smartphone subscribers in the country. 

At the same time, the report showed that Samsung managed to maintain its leading position on the market, with 25.6 percent market share.

In the three-month period, a number of 234 million Americans age 13 and older had mobile devices in their hands. 

91.4 million people owned a smartphone, 8 percent more than during the previous three-months period. 

“Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 46.9 percent market share, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period,” comScore explains.

“Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 1.4 percentage point to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent).”

When it comes to device manufacturers, Samsung was at the top of the market with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, while LG ranked second with 20.5 percent share. 

Motorola came in on the third position with 13.7 percent share, Apple landed on the fourth with 11.2 percent share, while RIM remained in the fifth with 6.5 percent share.

Apparently, Samsung and Apple were the only vendors to gain more market share when compared to the previous three-month period, while the other three top-five companies lost percentage points. 

You can have a look at the tables below to learn some more details on the market share changes that occurred during the past three months in the US mobile phone subscribers segment.



Fastboot Files for ATRIX 2 and DROID Bionic Leak




In case of emergency, reverting the handset to its stock configuration can always prove a great option. 

Owners of Motorola ATRIX 2 or DROID Bionic handsets can now do so, courtesy of leaked fastboot files that have just made an appearance into the wild. 

In case something wrong happens with their phones, they can now restore the original files on them, courtesy of the guys over at XDA-Developers. 

Those who would like to learn more on the fastboot files for the Motorola ATRIX 2 should head over to this forum thread. Specific details on the files leaked for the Motorola DROID Bionic are available in this thread

The fastboot files can be used for flashing unsigned partition images via USB. Recovery images can also flashed this way, which spells heaven when a handset is bricked.


Stuxnet, Duqu and Others Created with ‘Tilded’ Platform by the Same Team




After the extensive analysis of a large number of Stuxnet and Duqu drivers, Kaspersky Lab experts concluded that the two Trojans, along with other pieces of malware, were created by the same team, using a platform called Tilded, created around 2007-2008.

They believe that Tilded (named so because its authors tend to use file names which start with the symbol tilde followed by a letter d (~d)) was utilized to create the two now infamous Trojans, which may have been the results of simultaneous projects. 

The details indicate that other spyware modules and programs are based on the same platform.

Now, researchers present a precise timeline to show the connection between Duqu and Stuxnet, but also to show the evolution of their drivers from one year to the other. Their studies show that a driver called jmidebs.sys is the connecting link between mrxcls.sys and the drivers later used in Duqu.

“The drivers from the still unknown malicious programs cannot be attributed to activity of the Stuxnet and Duqu Trojans. The methods of dissemination of Stuxnet would have brought about a large number of infections with these drivers; and they can’t be attributed either to the more targeted Duqu Trojan due to the compilation date,” Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said

“We consider that these drivers were used either in an earlier version of Duqu, or for infection with completely different malicious programs, which moreover have the same platform and, it is likely, a single creator-team”.

In mid-2010, Tilded went through some changes which may have resulted from the need to better avoid detection by antivirus software, but also because its code could be improved. 

Security experts are currently seeing other modifications brought to the platform which can only mean that other malicious elements, more or less similar to Duqu and Stuxnet, will soon see daylight.


CyanogenMod 7 Official Build for Samsung Epic 4G Now Available for Download




One of the oldest Android-based smartphone launched by Samsung, the Epic 4G is now officially supported by the CyanogenMod team.

In this regard the community of developers have just released the first official build for the Samsung Epic 4G, CyanogenMod 7.

Those who are worrying that this build features Samsung’s TouchWiz UI will be happy to know that the CyanogenMod team confirmed that it will never include the user interface in any of its builds.

To install the official CyanogenMod 7 ROM for the Samsung Epic 4G for the first time follow the usual procedure: unlock/root device and install Clockwork Recovery, do a Nandroid backup, wipe, and then install the ROM. Epic 4G owners can optionally install the Google Addon as well.

However, those who upgrade from a nightly build or come from an earlier CyanogenMod 7 build must follow these instructions: do a Nandroid backup, and then install the ROM. Don’t worry about any of the Google application installed on the smartphone, as they will be backed up automatically.

There’s a relatively long list of changes added on this first official CyanogenMod 7 build for the Samsung Epic 4G. Some these fixes are detailed below, but for the full change log head over to CyanogenMod’s official forum thread:

  • Fixed init.d;
  • Fixed cache errors;
  • Fixed issues with logwrapper;
  • Backup/Restore fixed;
  • Compiled kernel from source; 
  • Fixed torch overlay;
  • Fixed MMS overlay;
  • Fixed incoming call routing;
  • Fixed brightness control;
  • Wi-Fi appears to be stable (you may need to wipe old settings.

There are some known issues as well, which will probably be fixed in future releases:

  • Wi-Fi Hotspot is broken. Third-party apps are known to work.
  • Charging notification LED does not light until full charge is reached;
  • WiMAX.

The first official CyanogenMod 7 ROM for Samsung Epic 4G can be downloaded from CyanogenMod’s forum here.


Sharkoon USB 3.0 Internal Adapter Is Small But Useful




Sharkoon is continuing its string of USB product releases with a new adapter for desktops.

What it is now releasing is quite different from the A, B and C 3.5-inch front panels from last week. One thing easily noticeable is that the newcomer is much more tiny.

Basically, this is an internal adapter that converts one, standard, 2-port USB 3.0 front-panel header into a pair of type-A USB 3.0 ports.

This is useful for people whose cases have USB 3.0 on the front but a cable that lacks an actual header.

Also, some people could decide to permanently leave a flash drive or portable HDD/SSD on the inside of their case, just in case they want to hold PageFile and ReadyBoost on it without worrying about the drive getting yanked out by accident.

The price of the item is 5.99 Euro ($7.74).


Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE Now with Special Edition 10 CORSE COMO Case




The popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is now more appealing than ever with the recently announced special case designed by a concept store.

Designed by Kris Ruhs, the 10 CORSE COMO Galaxy Tab Case features a floral and polka dot pattern and can be folded and turn it into a tablet stand.

Although there’s no word on the price tag of this accessory, the concept store that sells the special case confirmed that it will be launched sometime in January, 2012.

According to them, the 10 CORSE COMO Galaxy Tab Case was created to celebrate the launch of the 8.9-inch slate in South Korea. 

It is also worth mentioning that the special case is the result of the collaboration between 10 CORSE COMO concept store and the Korean handset manufacturer.


CyanogenMod Now Supports LG Optimus 3D, Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro




The CyanogenMod groups has just announced that it now supports the LG Optimus 3D, Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro officially.  This is great news for LG Android-based phones users who have yet to receive their software updates as promised by the Korean handset maker.

With the risk of being too harsh, I'd say that LG is the only important company that did not manage to deploy the Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade to all its high-end smartphones.

In fact, half of these are still running Android 2.2 Froyo, though they have been scheduled for a Gingerbread upgrade for a very long time.

Unfortunately, LG kept delaying the release of the upgrade until the end of the year, for at least three of its Optimus series devices, the Optimus 2X, Optimus 3D and Optimus Black.

Although the company promised these smartphone will receive their Gingerbread upgrade by year’s end, it appears that LG was able to push the long-awaited software update only in some regions.

Most LG smartphone users are still complaining on the fact that they were promised Gingerbread this month, but the upgrade is nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully, the folks at CyanogenMod decided to lend a helping hand to those who are desperately looking for a way to root their LG devices and flash the latest custom ROMs.

In this regard, the CyanogenMod team announced that Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro already received RomManager support beginning yesterday.

Those who one of these smartphone can now install it following the usual procedure: root the device, install RomManager, install recovery, and then install ROM.

In addition, the Optimus 3D build seems to be only available for the P920 model and need the new radio, but the CyanogenMod team promised that it will make the P925 builds available within the next few days.

In the same news, LG Optimus Black owners will be happy to know that CyanogenMod announced the return of the nightlies, which are available for download here.


Sirius XM Lynx Portable Satellite Radio Runs Android Underneath




Sirius XM has just announced the introduction of a new satellite and Internet device dubbed the Lynx Portable Radio which is based on the Android operating system and is touted as the company’s most advanced radio built to date. 

Going for Google’s mobile OS has enabled Sirius XM to include a series of new advanced features into its creation, like the "Tune Start" option that lets you start over at the beginning of a song if you tuned to a station right in the middle of your favorite track.

Pause, rewind and replay controls are also available, while the "Show finder" feature displays a guide that shows the content which will be set over the air the following week.

Furthermore, subscribers can build a library of up to 200 hours of programming from their Favorite satellite radio channels which are automatically recorded to allow for playback anywhere. 

Another good news is that the Android OS run by the Lynx Portable Radio can also be updated by Sirius XM to install new features and to provide users with even more content.

As far as connectivity is concerned, Sirius’s latest creation comes with both a standard 3.5mm jack output and Bluetooth, so it can be linked to most stereo speakers, headphones, and vehicle stereo systems out there.

“Lynx gives subscribers the expanded SiriusXM 2.0 content lineup and advanced features, enabling time shifting and storage of content, offering listeners more control over the programming they subscribe to," said Jim Meyer, President, Operations and Sales, SiriusXM. 

"Lynx will offer even more options to manage our exclusive and expertly curated content through future software updates," concluded the company’s rep.

The SiriusXM Lynx is available right now from the company’s online store for $249.99 (roughly 193 EUR), but it should also reach retail stores in early 2012.


Gigabyte Motherboard Sets CPU Overclocking Record with F7 BIOS




After the news about fried motherboards, people around the world probably didn't expect a Gigabyte X79 model to set a new overclocking record. 

Ironically, this is precisely what happened, as this submission on HWbot proves. 

The exact motherboard is X79-UD3, while the central processing unit was an Intel Core i7-3930K chip. 

Faulty firmware was found to have been responsible for the failure of some Gigabyte X79 mainboards (GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2). 

The company quickly released a new BIOS for the boards that had not yet failed in such a manner but were in similar danger. 

Thus, while unfortunate customers have to replace their burnt platforms, the rest of the populace can download BIOS version F7, which can be found on links below this article. 

Unfortunately, this BIOS cripples overclocking by throttling the CPU clock speed when extreme workloads are detected, or so people feared. 

Overclocker HiCookie, who also happens to be part of Gigabyte's PR team, took it upon himself to prove that the new BIOS doesn't hinder overclocking at all. 

Thus, he put a dual-core Core i7-3930K on an X79-UD3 and pushed the processor all the way to 5,543.2 MHz. 

The overclocker also made sure no one could say this was just a fluke by running the Super Pi M, Super Pi 32M and PiFast benchmarks. 

The base clock of the chip was set at 99 MHz, the multiplier at 57.0x and the voltage at 1.584V. 

To assist with the experiment, HiCookie equipped the motherboard with 8GB Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3 RAM (random access memory) and an AX1200W PSU (power supply unit) from Corsair. 

Needless to say, much liquid nitrogen was poured over the CPU during the experiment (a home-made cooling array was required). 

At this point, it is safe to say that the F7 BIOS does not, in fact, eliminate the overclocking potential of Gigabyte motherboards.

F7 BIOS download links:
Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 (rev. 1.0) BiosF7

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 (rev. 1.0) Bios F7
Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 (rev. 1.0) Bios F7






Third Redsn0w (0.9.10b3) Update Fixes MobileSubstrate Apps




In order to fix issues with MobileSubstrate-based apps acting up under a jailbreak, the iPhone Dev Team has rolled out yet another version of Redsn0w for Mac and Windows.

Labeled 0.9.10b3, the new build “fixes a problem where re-running redsn0w over an existing jailbreak would cause MobileSubstrate-based apps to stop running until MS was installed again,” according to a new entry over at the Dev Team’s blog.

“Now you can re-run the redsn0w jailbreak step without worrying about that (but still remember to de-select the “Install Cydia” option if it’s already installed),” the Team said.

They also have a tip for you guys if auto-detection fails and redsn0w tells you it couldn’t find any identifying data: “you can always pre-select the appropriate 5.0.1 IPSW using ‘Extras->Select IPSW’,” says the Team.

Intel Clover Trail-W Tablets Set for Late 2012, Succeed Medfield




Even though the Medfield itself hasn't actually launched, the web is already looking into what will come afterwards.

Medfield is the codename that Intel has chosen for the processors which, it hopes, will finally allow it to actually compete on the smartphone and tablet sectors.

The first such devices will make their appearance in the first half of 2012.

It's afterwards that Clover Trail-W Atom CPUs will show up, according to Digitimes, though it is unclear precisely when.

Clover Trail-W devices will run Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and will be directly opposed to the WOA (Windows-on-ARM) devices.

Naturally, there is, at this time, no information on what those chips will be able to do, although it is assumed that the power consumption will be low enough for battery life to rival that of ARM competitors.


AMD Radeon HD 7770 Video Card Is Stronger than People Thought




The Radeon HD 7770 graphics card from Advanced Micro Devices is supposed to be a mainstream board but recent findings suggest it is stronger than people might think.

That is not to say that Advanced Micro Devices has changed its naming scheme and made the 7770 part of the high-end spectrum.

Rather, the board's capabilities are probably higher than what consumers would have given it credit for.

The new photo that surfaced on Chiphell shows the back of the PCB (previous leaks only showed the top side).

It was already known that the product has four memory chips on the upper side, but this shows that there are four extra chips on the underside.

In other words, the adapter possesses 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, clocked at 1.125 GHz, instead of just 1 GB.

Meanwhile, the memory interface is of 128 bits and the GPU clock speed hovers at 1 GHz (the first GPU to break the 1 GHz barrier without factory or home overclocking).

Other specifications include 896 stream processors (SPs), support for DirectX 11.1 and compliance with the PCI Express 3.0 specification.

Finally, the thermal design power is rated at between 90W and 100W (a single 6-pin PCI Express connector supplies the energy).

Going back to the benchmarking results, beta drivers enabled scores of P3421 (Performance Preset) and X1077 (Extreme Preset) in 3D Mark 11.

That is quite far ahead of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti and even AMD's own Radeon HD 6790. The HD 6850 barely succeeded in maintaining something resembling a lead.

If one were to factor in the performance optimizations of perfected drivers, the HD 7770 gains an even greater appeal.

Sales aren't underway, though, and they won't begin until February, 2012. When they do kick off, the price will be of $150 (116 Euro).


Dec 29, 2011

Intel Core i7-3820 Is Based on an Entirely New Sandy Bridge-E Die




When it shrunk the Sandy Bridge-E architecture from six to just four cores, Intel didn’t only disabled some of the hardware logic found on die, but developed a new chip all together.

Compared to the 2.27 billion transistors packed by Intel’s six-core Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, the Core i7-3820 includes “only” 1.27 billion transistors installed inside a 294mm2 die, reports AnandTech.

This is a significant departure from the original 435mm2 die size of the Core i7-3960X and i7-3930K and was achieved by dropping not just two computing cores, but also 10MB out of a total of 20MB L3 cache (5MB are disabled in desktop SNB-E CPUs).

Why has Intel decided to go this route with the Core i7-3820 you ask? Well, because the company wanted to decrease manufacturing costs as this processor will sell for $285 (220 EUR) when it arrives in early 2012.

A smart move if you ask me, which should pay off for Intel in the future.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Product Family Specifications Leaked




Yesterday, we brought you some basic info regarding the Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards that AMD plans to launch in the first quarter of 2012, and today we entered into the possession of some new documents detailing the specs of these upcoming GPUs.

The docs were provided by the Lenzfire Website and cover all the graphics cards based on the GCN architecture that AMD plans to unveil in the first half of 2012.

As many of you surely know, the first solution from the HD 7900 series to arrive will be the HD 7970 and HD 7950, which will both become available on January 9.

We are not going to get into too many details as far as these GPUs are concerned as we already covered them in previous reports, but it’s worth mentioning that March 2012 will mark the introduction of a special HD 7950 that comes with “just” 1.5GB of GDDR5 VRAM and which will retail for 399$ (308 EUR).

Right below the high-performance HD 7970 and HD 7950 will come the HD 7800 product line which will be comprised out of four graphics cards.

It’s interesting to note that the highest performing of these, the Radeon HD 7890 is based on the LE version of the Tahiti graphics core, the same one used for the HD 7900-series, and now on the Pitcairn GPU of the remaining HD 7800 solutions.

Just as it’s the case with the HD 7950, the HD 7850 will also be available in two different versions, one featuring just 1GB of video buffer compared to the 2GB used for its older brother.

Finally, the last graphics cards in AMD’s HD 7000 lineup to be based on the GCN architecture are found in the HD 7700 series.

Three solutions will be available in total, one based on the Pitcairn LE GPU, while the other two use the Cape Verde graphics core. All these three graphics cards feature 1GB of VRAM.

Detailed specifications, prices and the approximate release dates are found in the two tables accompanying this article.




Fastboot Files for Motorola DROID RAZR Now Available for Download




Motorola DROID RAZR owners afraid to flash custom ROMs on their devices will be happy to know that the fastboot files for the smartphone have just leaked in the wild.

XDA forum user daywalker04 managed to grab these important files and published them at XDA Developers for everyone to download it.

The file is over 1GB in size so make sure you have enough space before starting to download this fastboot files. daywalker04 was kind enough to split the file in two parts in order for everyone to be able to grab it.

The files were already reported as working, but it will remove the root and it will take the phone’s software from 748 to 744.

All in all, with the new fastboot files leaked Motorola DROID RAZR owners will no longer have to worry about bricking their phones after flashing a custom ROM.


AMD Makes Official the FX-6200 Six-Core CPU




Just a couple of weeks ago, we learned about AMD’s plans to introduce a new six-core processors based on the Bulldozer architecture, the FX-6200, and now it appears that this new CPU was made official by the Sunnyvale-based chip maker who has listed the new SKU on its website.

Donanim Haber has spotted the processor of AMD’s site, and its specifications seem to resemble to a great extent our original report from mid-December.

As we mentioned above, the FX-6200 is a six-core CPU which means that it comes with three out of its four Bulldozer modules enabled and has a base frequency of 3.8GHz.

The CPU will be able to dynamically adjust its operating speed, according to the number of threads run, thanks to the inclusion of the Turbo Core 2.0 technology which enables it to reach a maximum speed of 4.1GHz.

The rest of its specs are rather standard for a six-core FX-Series chip as it includes 6MB of L2 cache as well as 8MB of Level 3 cache memory, but the TDP has been increased to 125W from the 95W of the current FX-6100.

As far as performance is concerned, a slide that was leaked previously places the new Bulldozer chip between the original 3.3GHz clocked AMD FX-6100 and the 3.6GHz FX-8150 in video encoding tasks.

The same graph also shows Intel’s Core i5-2400 running this application, reveling that the two processors are almost equal when it comes to video encoding.

Pricing for this new CPU seems to be set at $175 in the US, and €150 in Europe, which makes the processor slightly less expensive than its Intel counterpart, the Core i5-2400, that retail for $184 to $195.  The FX-6100 has an MSRP of $155 US, according to AMD’s latest CPU pricing list

Sadly, we still don't know when the FX-6200 will make its appearance in retail.




CyanogenMod 9 Now Available for DROID 2 Global




The team behind the CyanogenMod 9 project promised they would release the final version of the ROM sometime in January. From time to time we’re offered short sneak peeks on their work, but we will have to wait one more month for the final release. 

However, XDA forum user ngocha2006 surprised everyone with the release the CyanogenMod 9 for the Motorola DROID 2 Global.

Although this is only an alpha release, it appears that most of the smartphone’s features are functional and there are only a handful of features that need to be fixed.

There’s a long list of features that are fully functional and a short one with things that are not working and need to be fixed in the future.

Here is the list with what works in this CyanogenMod 9 Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 Alpha 1 release for Motorola DROID 2 Global: Phone GSM\CDMA, Wi-Fi, SMS, audio, sensors, SDCard, EGL, GPS, Bluetooth, Hardware acceleration 2D and 3D, USB and charging.

The person who is responsible for this release confirms that camera, Android Market download, talk and data are not working for the moment, but other features may not be functional as well.

Fortunately, a solution for the Android Market download unable to start issue has already popped up at XDA Developers. It appears that there’s a problem with the DRM server that does not start at boot, so users will have to add one line on shell as root.

For more details on how to fix this issue or how flash this ROM onto your Motorola DROID 2 Global smartphone head over at XDA Developers thread.

It is also worth mentioning that CyanogenMod 9 for DROID 2 Global doesn’t work with Froyo kernel, so users will need to update to Gingerbread before flashing this one onto their smartphones.


Nokia Lumia 900 to Land at AT&T on March 18th




Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia might have its first LTE-enabled Windows Phone available on shelves at wireless carrier AT&T as soon as March next year, recent reports suggest. 

We already knew that the handset was coming, but specific info on when that might happen hasn’t emerged so far. 

New reports, however, suggest that the smartphone, dubbed Nokia Lumia 900, could be set for a March 18th release at AT&T, after being made official at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month. 

A recent rumor suggested that HTC and Samsung were also planning the release of Windows Phone devices with LTE capabilities inside. These mobile phones are expected to arrive on shelves at AT&T too. 

Basically, this means that the wireless carrier’s users will soon be able to purchase three new Windows Phones to connect to the carrier’s LTE network, in addition to the currently available Android devices.


RIM to Launch BlackBerry Torch 10000 Soon




Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion has been using a four-digit model number for its BlackBerry handsets so far, but it seems that it is about to change that. 

Rumor has it that the company is gearing up for the release of a BlackBerry Torch 10000. A help site maintained by handset-insurer Asurion broke the news, though nothing has been officially confirmed so far. 

Chances are that the handset vendor will move to the new naming scheme as soon as the first devices running under the BlackBerry 10 OS will emerge on shelves. 

The upcoming Torch smartphone should be QNX-powered, which means that it would also pack higher hardware specifications. 

A dual-core application processor should be packed inside it, along with a high-resolution camera and the like. The phone might hit shelves sometime in the second half of the next year.


CyberpowerPC Also Outs Fang III Viper and Rattler Gaming Desktops




Together with the Black Mamba and Cobra gaming desktops from the new Fang III product line, CyberpowerPC also unveiled the Viper and Rattler systems that bring the prices of the Fang III line to $999 (roughly 775 EUR).

At the heart of both of these systems stand Intel’s second generation Core processors, also known as Sandy Bridge, which come factory overclocked by 10% in order to deliver even higher gaming performance.

In the case of the Viper, CyberpowerPC has decided to go with the Core i7-2600K that is paired together with an AMD Radeon HD 6870 graphics card as well as with 8GB of system memory.

Storage is provided by a single hard drive with a capacity of 2TB and the system also includes a Blu-Ray combo drive, for a base price of $1,249 US (969 EUR).

Moving to the Fang III rattler, this packs an unnamed Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors which is paired with 8GB of RAM, while for graphics duty CyberpowerPC went with an AMD Radeon HD 6850 graphics card.

The rest of setup includes a 1TB hard drive and a 24X DVD burner, while pricing starts at $999 (about 775 EUR).

Both of these desktops are water cooled, in order to deliver lower operating temperatures as well as quieter operation, and are assembled inside an Azza Fusion 3000 full-tower gaming case which includes a pair of front-mounted USB 3.0 ports.

According to CyberpowerPC, every Fang III system is meticulously built to ensure optimal airflow and a clean aesthetic appearance.

All CyberpowerPC’s Fang III gaming systems can be customized on the company’s Website, where they are also available for purchase, with a number of performance hardware and components such as SSDs, Blu-Ray drives, gaming memory, gaming peripherals, business and productivity software.


Elpida Starts Sampling 4Gb Wide IO Mobile RAM and LPDDR3




Elpida has begun to promote 4 Gb Wide IO Mobile RAM and 4 Gb DDR3 Mobile RAM (LPDDR3) memory chips.

The memory manufacturer believes that these latest products can simultaneously satisfy both of the two, great needs of customers.

Those needs, for performance and energy efficiency, are rather hard to fulfill at once.

For the most part, makers of DRAM chips have been resigning themselves to creating special solutions for each of these two.

This is why low-voltage chips form a category all on their own, distinct from that of mainstream and high-end / enthusiast-grade memory.

Elpida's latest approach is the Wide IO mobile RAM, which uses the x512-bit data width, ten times larger than what existing DRAMs sport.

This enables a data transfer rate of 12.8 gigabytes per second while the clock speed is of just 200 MHz.

In turn, the low clock frequency cuts power requirements by about 50%, compared to DDR2 Mobile RAM (LPDDR2).

Given that LPDDR2 (800 MHz / 1,066 MHz) is, right now, the most widespread across mobile devices, this is no small feat.

Elpida's new 4 Gb LPDDR3 is not quite as far ahead of LPDDR2, but it still gets to function at 6.4 GB/s (12.8 GB/s in dual-chip configurations) and consumes 25% less than LPDDR2.

It has a frequency of 1,600 MHz but a data input/output width of 32-bit, no different from that of LPDDR2.

All in all, the 4 Gb Wide IO Mobile RAM and 4Gb DDR3 Mobile RAM (LPDDR3) should visibly improve smartphone and tablet performance while also extending battery life.

Volume production has not begun (that will only happen in 2012) but Elpida is already sending sample shipments to interested partners.

The outfit will make two-layer and four-layer high-density packages as well (8 Gb and 16 Gb capacity, respectively) and will explore data width of x64-bit.

Go here for the exact specifications of both memory chips.


Nokia 1 Concept Tablet with Windows 8 Emerges




Although Nokia already denied all rumors concerning a certain tablet bearing its logo that should be announced in 2012, it appears that the idea of having a Nokia tablet was more than tempting for some fans.

In this regard, a person that goes by the nickname YrOnimuS has just published an interesting concept design of a Nokia tablet.

Dubbed Nokia 1, the tablet should be powered by Windows 8 for ARM and features a large 11.6-inch AMOLED screen that boasts 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.

In addition, it packs 2GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB of internal memory, as well as a Wacom active digitizer and an ARM processor of unknown power.

Nokia 1 is supposed to weigh 580g (battery included) and is only 8.5mm thick. There’s also a 5-megapixel rear camera that can capture full HD (1080p) videos, a secondary 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 7500 mAh battery.


Intel's Only Motherboard with Thunderbolt Is DZ77RE




One would think that Intel would be particularly proactive in its promotion of the Thunderbolt interface, but a leaked roadmap slide shows otherwise.

Intel's Thunderbolt has again caught the eye of market watchers, though not directly.

It was through a motherboard roadmap slide that the high-speed connectivity technology sparked some figurative murmurs.

As usual, leaks are providing people on the web with knowledge about products that have yet to be announced.

Apparently, only one of Intel's motherboard is going to support Thunderbolt.

Though it is a lesser known fact, Intel does make its own motherboards instead of relying exclusively on manufacturing partners (MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock, ASUS, etc.).

That said, one would think that the Santa Clara giant would put more effort into promoting an interface it created itself, but only one mainboard based on a 7-Series chipset will get the USB 3.0 rival.

DZ77RE is the name of said platform, a model that will probably end up as a member of the high-end Extreme Series.

For those unaware, Intel divides its motherboards into several tiers, each with a specific consumer segment in mind.

The Essential Series is for the low-end / entry-level segment, right below the Classic Series, which serves office PCs that may want to get upgraded down the line.

Meanwhile, the Media Series of motherboards is geared towards content-creation professionals and, finally, the Extreme Series is the top-grade line

All things considered, the most sense would make for the Media Series motherboards to include Thunderbolt in their feature sets.

After all, with its ultra-high bandwidth, the connection could easily sustain multiple high-resolution video streams without image quality loss, ideal for video-editing systems.

Alas, there seems to be no Media Series board with Thunderbolt, which is somewhat confusing and contradictory to how the content creation industry is bound to reap the most benefits from using it.


Intel Medfield Reference Tablet Spotted in the Wild




We talked about Intel Medified-powered reference tablet quite a lot here, but now we finally have some pictures accompany all these reports.

The tablet was spotted into the wild by the crew from SlashGear, who snagged a couple of pictures of the device with a Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch it happened to have on hand.

Sadly, little is known about this Medfield-powered tablet, but from the images provided it seems like the screen measures roughly 10-inches in size, and sources say that this is running Android 3.x Honeycomb with Intel’s 1.6GHz dual-core Medfield Atom mobile processor. 

This combo should be able to deliver quite some nice performance if we were to believe Intel’s own benchmarks, mostly thanks to the inclusion of some special hardware logic found inside Medfield that is meant to accelerate the Android OS.

More info should be available at CES 2012, but until then make sure to check out the pictures of the tablet included in the gallery bellow.








Biostar Intros Yet Again the TPower X79 Motherboard for LGA 2011 CPUs




Biostar is well known in the motherboard market thanks to its budget-oriented but high-performance solutions and today the company has announced the availability of the TPower X79 board for LGA 2011 processors, which should reach retail stores in the coming weeks.

Biostar's creation makes use of the company's now traditional black and red color scheme and includes all the features one would come to expect from a high-end motherboard, including AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI support.

Just like most other LGA 2011 solutions out there, the TPower X79 comes equipped with four DIMM sockets supporting speeds up to 2400MHz when the board is overclocked.

To the left of the memory sockets, Biostar has placed a series of expansion slots, including three PCI Express x16 sockets.

The Taiwanese company hasn't said how many lanes are routed to each of these slots, but most probably the two red ones are PCIe x16 compliant, while the white one is limited at supporting PCI Express x8 speeds.

The rest of the expansion options include a pair of PCIe x1 slots, a legacy 32-bit PCI slot, and no less than seven SATA ports, at least two of these working at 6Gbps speeds.

An additional port is routed to the back of the board as an eSATA connector, where is accompanied by six USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and THX-certified 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out.

Two more USB 3.0 ports are available through an on-board header that is placed right near a series of Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons as well as near a POST80 debug LED display.

Power to the CPU and memory is provided via a 9-phase VRM, which on the TPower X79 gets its juice from not only just the regular 24-pin connector but also from a pair of 8-pin plugs, while a MOLEX plug delivers extra power for multi-GPU setups. 

Pricing wasn’t revealed, but we expect the TPower X79 to be one of the more price friendly LGA 2011 solutions available out there once it arrives.




iPad 3 with 8MP Camera Reportedly Launching January 26, 2012




Two separate versions of Apple’s next-generation iPad will be unveiled at the Macworld|iWorld expo scheduled for January 26, 2012, according to a report citing industry sources in Taiwan.

Apple has withdrawn its presence from trade shows like Macworld since 2009, making it very unlikely that the company has booked stage time at the forthcoming event to unveil its third-generation of tablet computers.

The Cupertino, California-based computer giant uses its own venues to showcase new products, and heavily relies on its iconic retail stores to reach the masses. However, Apple might host a special event on or around January 26, 2012.

The report in question cites sources at Apple’s supply chain partners as saying that the new models will join the iPad 2, which will sell at a lower price starting next year to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire.

As for the newer iPad 3, it will not boast the previously rumored 7.85-inch display, the sources say. Instead, it will feature the exact same screen size as the current model (9.7-inch), but with a higher pixel density.

The resolution on these new displays will reportedly be of the QXGA level - 1,536x2,048 pixels.

Samsung is said to have scored a trio of orders with Apple for the next-generation iPad. The Korea-based electronics giant will be supplying a portion of the displays, 5-megapixel camera sensors (for a lower-end version of the tablet), and the quad-core A6 CPU powering the tablets.

Sony will reportedly supply 8-megapixel imaging sensors for a higher-specced iPad 3.

Finally, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology have been tapped by Apple to supply batteries with capacities as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh). The current generation of iPads offers 10 hours of battery life.


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