Loading recent posts...

Oct 28, 2011

Microsoft's Vision Of Our Technology Future, Awesome Video Presentation

Here's Microsoft's concept future vision on how people will get their things done at work, home, and on the go in coming 5-10 years. Watch the concept video to get a glimpse of the future of productivity, a must watch futuristic video for every tech lover.

AMD Radeon HD 7900 GPUs to Ship in 2011

During the company's conference call for announcing its Q3 2011 financial results, AMD has revealed that its next-generation 28nm are on track for being shipped until the end of this year, which probably means that AMD will launch its next-gen GPUs before its main competitor, Nvidia.

The chip maker's press release for the Q3 2011 financial results reads: “AMD’s next-generation family of high-performance graphics cards is expected to ship for revenue later this year.”

It's important to note that shipping for revenue doesn't necessarily mean that the GPUs will also be available into the market, but rather that AMD will be shipping Radeon HD 7000 chips to its AIB partners.

If all goes well, the first Southern Islands parts cold still make their appearance by the end of this year, but a more probably launch date is early 2012.

AMD's Radeon HD 7000 graphics cores, known under the code name of Southern Islands, are built using TSMC's advanced 28nm fabrication node and will be split into two different product families.

The first of these will target low- and mid-range graphics solutions and will be based on the same VLIW4 architecture AMD introduced with the Radeon HD 6900 GPU series.

These will be the first to arrive, while later in 2012 AMD will introduce Radeon HD 7900 GPUs based on the Next Generation Core (NGC) architecture, the company detailed at its Fusion summit.

NCG was specially designed in order to break free from the VLIW (very long instruction word) architecture and was designed to improve performance and functionality of GPGPU computing in AMD's graphics cores.

The entry-level and mid-range Radeon HD 7000 GPUs will be known by the code name of Thames and Lombok, while the NCG HD 7900 series will use the Tahiti designation.

Nvidia's next-generation graphics cores, built using the same 28nm TSMC fabrication node and code named Kepler, will also arrive in 2012 and will be officially announced in December of this year, according to a recent report.

DotA Guide: Azgalor - Pit Lord Introduction

DotA is the most popular custom made map for Warcraft III. To allow players a better understanding of this complex and sometimes complicated game here is a hero guide.

Pit Lord is a strength hero that can be recruited at the Scourge Strength Tavern. He was one of the least picked heroes in DotA, until, Icefrog decided it's time for somechanges. With 6.72, Pit Lord's power grew and how he is a strong hero capable of playing various roles.

Let's take the time and study this big guy's past a little bit: "One of the many regents of Lord Archimonde who became stranded on the physical plane after the Legion fell in Kalimdor, the devil Azgalor's love of destruction allowed him to accept the Lich King's invitation to help lead the Scourge in conquest with few regrets.

After all, this Pit Lord is happiest when he conjures fire to scour his opponents from above, roasting them slowly as the dead literally explode from beneath their feet.

With such hateful power in the hands of a monster such as this, it's no wonder he inspires so much terror as he roams across the battlefield."

Depending on your skill build, Pit Lord takes various roles: pusher/defender, tank, semi-carry, ganker. All of them require lots of farming so make sure you choose your spells wisely.

Firestorm (Shortkey F) - Brings down flame and boulders that do damage to opponents in a fixed area. There are three waves, each of them dealing initial damage (55/80/105/130) and a 3 second after-burn. This is a useful spell against tower and barracks as it deals 30% damage to buildings.

Pit of Malice (Shortkey T) - The Pit Lord opens up a deadly pit that immobilizes any unit that enters it. Besides disabling units (1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds), it also deals 100 damage.

Expulsion (Shortkey E) - Combined with Firestorm this is very useful pushing skill. It will set on fire dead bodies around you making them explode and deal 20/40/60/80 damage to surrounding heroes and units. The explosions fuel each other and a graveyard of dead creeps can become a graveyard of enemy heroes.

Dark Rift (Shortkey D) - With the help of the underworld, Azgalor will open a portal and transport himself or even allied heroes through it to a targeted allied unit or building.

Azgalor is a useful hero and as far as items go they depend a lot on the role that you wan to give to the hero. Here are some suggestions: Pipe of Insight, Heart of Tarrasque, Shiva's Guard, Assault Cuirass, Guinsoo, Bloodstone and even Vladimir's Offering that will increase your pushing power.

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

AMD Confirms Trinity APU Will Launch in Early 2012

In a conference call that announced the company's financial results for the third quarter of 2011, AMD has confirmed that the first APUs based on the next-generation Trinity core will get launched in early 2012.

During the Q&A part of the conference, Thomas Seifert, senior vice president and chief financial officer of AMD, said: “One of the first product we launch will be Trinity. And we have not released an official launch date yet but it will happen early in the year.”

The company's CEO, Rory P. Read, also commented on the yield of these chips and said that even if the company is disappointed with the execution around the yields in the 32nm space, things look to be shaping up pretty good for Trinity as Q4 will see a significant increase in the number of 32nm units shipped by Globalfoundries.

AMD's next-generation APU combines either two or four processing cores based on the Bulldozer architecture with a VLIW4 GPU derived from the Cayman graphics used inside the Radeon HD 6900 series.

The computing cores will go by the odd name of Piledriver and, much like the current Llano APUs, lack any sort of Level 3 cache memory as AMD wanted to increase the die area available to the on-board GPU.

An AMD document, that was leaked earlier this week, has reveled that in terms of computing power, Trinity is expected to be about 20% more powerful than the current Llano APUs.

In addition, the chip will also bring support for a series of new instructions sets introduced with the Bulldozer architecture, such as AVX and AES-NI, as well as support for DDR3-2133 memory.

On the graphics side, the new Radeon HD graphics core is expected to deliver 30% better performance than Llano, while also coming with a new Video Compression Engine and support for AMD's EyeFinity technology.

Intel's Upcoming Xeon E5-2600 CPUs Get Priced - Report

After at the end of September we published the prices of a series of upcoming Xeon E5-1600 series processors based on the company's high-performance Sandy Bridge-E architecture, a new report has now come to detail the MSRP of the chip maker's dual-socket Xeon E5 CPUs.
The upcoming E5-2600 server processor range is expected to replace Intel's Xeon 5600 series, so the company has kept pricing pretty consistent between these two product families.

According to the info published by CPU-World, the MSRP of these server chips will range between $202 and $2057 (142 to 1450 Euros), depending on their specifications.

As expected, the highest prices CPUs are those models that feature eight processing cores, although there is also a six-core part, the 2.9GHz Xeon E5-2667, that retails for more than $1000 US.

Intel's upcoming E5-2600 series processors will feature between four and eight processing cores and can handle up to two threads per core thanks to the HyperThreading technology.

Their TDP will be rated between 80 and 150 Watts and include all the technologies that come standard with the Sandy Bridge architecture outside of the on-die graphics core.

Intel's Xeon E5 chips will also boast up to 20 MB L3 cache, 2 QPI links, 40 PCIe Gen3 lanes, 4 DMI 2.0 lanes, and an integrated quad-channel DDR3 memory controller that support up to three DIMMs per channel for a maximum of 96GB.

The Xeons will work with registered and unregistered DDR3 memory, including low-voltage DIMMs, and support speeds up to 1600MHz.

Xeon E5-2600 chips are compatible with socket R (LGA 2011) motherboards as well as with dual-socket server motherboards.

A firm release date wasn't provided, but the same source that also unveiled the specifications and prices of the CPUs also said that these are expected to arrive in the first half of 2012.

Nokia N9 Hands-on (Video Included)

It looks like Nokia has put all its effort into making the N9 a compelling smartphone. This is one of the few Nokia devices that truly breathes freshness.

The N9 was highly praised even before it hit shelves, which proves the fact that Nokia did a great job with the phone's design.

The phone uses a polycarbonate unibody design with a innovative outward curved display. There are no touch sensitive keys, and the only external keys are those on the right side: dual volume key and power on/off, which is also used to lock/unlock the phone.

Just like Apple's iPhone, Nokia N9 works only with microSIM cards and, given its unibody design, doesn't have a replaceable battery.

The 8-megapixel camera on the back features Carl Zeiss optics and is neatly embedded into the phone's chassis.

Check out below our Nokia N9 hands-on video and pictures.

Battlefield 3 Review (PC)

System Requirements:
OS: Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
Processor: 2GHZ Dual Core (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHZ or Athlon x2 2.7GHZ)
Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard drive: 20GB
Graphics card AMD: DirextX 10.1 compatible with 512MB RAM (ATI Radion 3000, 4000, 5000 or 6000 series, with ATI Radion 3870 or higher performance)
Graphics card Nvidia: DirectX 10.0 compatible with 512MB RAM (Nvidia GeForce 8, 9, 200, 300, 400 or 500 series with Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or higher performance)
Sound card: DirectX compatible
Keyboard and mouse
DVD ROM drive

OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Quad Core CPU
Memory: 4GB RAM
Hard drive: 20GB
Graphics card: DirectX 11 compatible with 1024MB RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 or ATI Radeon 6950)
Sound card: DirectX compatible
Keyboard and mouse
DVD ROM drive

The good:

  • Great multiplayer
  • Polished gameplay
  • Gorgeous graphics

The bad:

  • Lackluster story
  • Short co-op mode
  • Some glitches
This year we’ve seen the release of quite a lot of blockbuster games but many shooter fans have no doubt anticipated Battlefield 3 the most, the next installment in DICE’s very successful series, and one of the few franchises from Electronic Arts that might stand a chance against Activision’s Call of Duty behemoth.

With the promise of a “next generation engine for current generation platforms,” in the form of Frostbite 2, and a multiplayer even more refined that the modes from previous games, Battlefield 3 definitely looks like the shooter most gamers will talk about, at least until next month when Modern Warfare 3 rears its head.

So, after all this waiting, does Battlefield 3 distinguish itself in the extremely crowded shooter genre or does it need to be dishonorably discharged? Let’s find out.

You play mainly as Sergeant Blackburn ...

... but your story isn't that exciting

It’s odd to start Battlefield 3’s review with the story section because this is arguably its only flaw, in an otherwise extremely sharp package. While visuals look great, gameplay feels sharp, and the multiplayer is top notch, the story in the campaign looks to be from a different game altogether.

You mainly play as Sergeant Blackburn, a U.S. Marine that was stationed in the Middle East, who is now being interrogated (Black Ops anyone?) by a couple of government agents in regards to a terrorist threat involving, you guessed it, WMDs, in the form of the perennial favorites, tactical nuclear bombs. 

While at first you fight against the PLR, a terrorist organization from Iran, you quickly learn that behind the threat is actually a Russian called Solomon, who, surprising no one, has a grudge against the good old US of A.

You also control a few other characters, including an airforce gunner or a tank operator, not to mention a Russian special forces agent, but most of the action focuses on Blackburn, which is a bit of a shame, as most of the touching or dramatic moments happen when in control of others.

While the events sound nice in theory, in practice the story of Battlefield 3 takes you through lots of claustrophobic maps, where most of the times you just follow one character or another, blasting bad guys and proceeding forward. While in the last two Battlefield games, Bad Company 1 and 2, we were treated with some tongue-in-cheek characters, especially in the first, Battlefield 3 tries to pull off its narrative with a straight face and just ends up awkwardly trying to replicate things from Call of Duty games or from Hollywood movies.

Sadly, while there are some moments that stand out, it mostly falls short of actually showing you what you can actually do in a Battlefield game, and its length, around 6 hours or so, depending on your skill level, also disappoints.

If I was disappointed with the narrative, the gameplay of Battlefield 3 kept me going, and, once you reach the multiplayer, it becomes apparent that DICE is still one of the best shooter studios around.

Everything feels sharp, from moving around to targeting or even shooting, as you always feel like you’re in complete control, and responsible for your own actions, whether they end in taking down a foe or being shot yourself. During the single-player or cooperative campaigns, however, sometimes you do feel a bit cheated, as the AI always manages to spot you, even in complete darkness.

Speaking of darkness, light plays a huge role, especially during the nighttime missions, as you can easily be blinded by enemies that use their flashlight to your disadvantage. You can pull the same maneuver in multiplayer against others, but you might often leave yourself exposed to others.

Cover plays a pretty big role, but you shouldn’t forget that this is a Battlefield game, so, given enough time, the enemy’s bullets will erode the pile of sand bags, piece of concrete or the vehicle you’re hiding behind. As such, you need to choose your moments, your weapons and your course of action if you’re to be successful.

Another trademark of the Battlefield series, vehicles, also play a big role in this new game, although you might not think so after the campaign. In it, you barely get a few glimpses of these array of vehicles in BF3, and even then it’s usually just a second hand view, like with the fighter jets where you’re just a gunner, picking out targets and launching rockets. Sure, it serves to help those who can’t really handle a jet, but a choice would’ve been great, even if it might break the scripting.

In multiplayer, however, you can jump in whatever vehicles you want, from tanks, to jets or choppers, and often engage, like with jets in particular, in your own battles, forgetting that other players are fighting it out on the ground.

The Frostbite 2 engine isn’t just a gorgeous one, like I’ll detail below, but also serves to produce some great gameplay and even set piece moments, with massive buildings falling down or other such feats of destruction.

That said, there are some glitches, however, with potted plants rolling around uncontrollably, fellow soldiers just warping through fences or vehicles, or other such issues that prove DICE has yet to master the engine. Still, for its triple-A debut, Frostbite 2 impresses, and then some.

Ride in fighter jets ...

... or actually control tanks

Let’s first talk about the cooperative multiplayer in Battlefield 3, which sees two players engage in six missions, a la Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode, where they need to work together, even alongside other AI companions, and just survive until the end of the stage.

While this can be fun at times, on consoles there’s no form of split-screen, while the online connectivity on the PC is done through Battlelog, which sometimes might not work as well as you’d expect. 

You do get to control more vehicles in these co-op missions, but, like with a chopper in a certain stage, you can’t choose who does the flying and who does the shooting. As such, you might end up with someone who can’t control the flying machine or someone who can’t even spot the enemies.

While that might not such a big problem, all of the missions are heavily scripted, so, if you start going through them again, it’s just a test of memory, knowing from where the bad guys spawn and where the optimal cover can be had.

But, while the single-player disappoints and the co-op mode fails to provide the best experience, Battlefield 3 and DICE make it up when you jump into the competitive multiplayer.

This is where everything fits together: the maps are huge and sprawling with lots of places to explore, the number of players even more impressive, especially on the PC where you can have up to 63 other people playing with and against yourself, the amount of customization options and unlockable items, as well as the variety of play styles that it can accommodate.

You have four classes, Assault, Support, Engineer, and Recon, and can engage in gameplay modes like Conquest, Rush, Squad Rush, Squad Deathmatch and even Team Deathmatch. While this doesn’t sound all that appetizing, the multiplayer mode has a distinct Battlefield feel, and it’s unlike most shooters out there.

I can go on and on, but, simply put, if you care even remotely about shooting other people online, then Battlefield 3 is definitely for you.

Admire the game's stunning visual design ...

... and wreak havoc

Visuals and Sound
After praising the game for its multiplayer, it’s time to highlight yet another part where it performs flawlessly. Battlefield 3 is a gorgeous game and when I say that, my eyes mean it with all their cells: Battlefield 3 is by far the most impressive game of this generation, managing to delight not just with the nitty gritty war visuals from Middle Eastern conflict zones, but also with sharp vistas from urban environments like Paris, in which a building is certain to remind players of the same sharp design and vibrant colors used in DICE’s Mirror’s Edge.

From big details like lens flares to smaller, less in-your-face moments like the lighting effects of actual flares, Battlefield 3 will leave a lasting impact on the player and will remain a benchmark for quite some time, or at least until the next generation of consoles will be out.

We tried out Battlefield 3 both on an AMD (formerly known as ATI) graphics board, as well as on one from Nvidia, and we have to point out that the Nvidia card delivered the most impressive experience. We cranked up all the details to Ultra, on a full HD 1920x1080 resolution and the graphics card, a 570 GTX, always kept a smooth framerate even in the most hectic moments from the single or multiplayer modes. What's more, Nvidia's proprietary PhysX effects made some scenes pop out even more, especially ones set in Iran, where papers and debris are flying all over the place.

In terms of sound, things are pretty good, with quite a few established actors lending their voices and likenesses to the main cast in the single-player, although you won't remember anyone in particular once the credits roll.

In terms of the score, regular battles aren’t disturbed by music, with DICE letting you listen to the symphony of bullets and shouts, but high points are emphasized by some pretty good instrumental music.

Battlefield 3 is a game of contrasts, starting with mediocre, in the form of the single-player story, building up to decent, with the pretty short co-op campaign, and finishing up with excellent, in the form of the competitive multiplayer.

It’s one interesting ride, to say the least, but if you stick with it, Battlefield 3 will deliver one of the best and most visually advanced shooter experiences of the year.

Battlefield 3 is now available across the world for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Game Rating:
Story:               7/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Concept:         9/10
Graphics:         10/10
Audio:         9/10
Multiplayer: 10/10
Overall:         9/10

Images and videos attached on this article taken from softpedia.

Nokia N9 MeeGo Swipe UI Quick Look

Nokia has done very good job with the N9's design, but it has outdone itself with the smartphone's MeeGo user interface.

Although it does not come up with new concepts, the UI is truly innovative in the fact that is based on a single gesture – 'swipe.'

In addition, it's simply to use, as it only features three panes that are very intuitive and easy to manage: Applications, Events and Open Applications, or in Android-terms Launcher, Notifications and Task Manager.

Every time finish working with an application you can just simply remove from the screen by swiping toward the center of the screen from any edge.

However, the application will go directly on the Task Manager screen, where you can resume it anytime you want, or you can close it.

There's also a special setting that will let you close application by using this “swipe” gesture without having to send it in the Task Manager.

Early Windows 8 Beta Builds Dogfooded, New Post-8102 Feature Confirmed

New features are planned for introduction into Windows 8 Beta, and Microsoft offered a glimpse of an enhancement testers can expect in the next major public development milestone. 

The new Task Manager will sport new capabilities in Windows 8 Beta compared to the Developer Preview release, streamlining management of in excess of 64 logical processors, according to Ryan Haveson, a group program manager on the User Experience team.

Even as it released Windows 8 Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) Developer Preview to early adopters, Microsoft was hammering away at Builds of the operating system leading up to the first Beta.

Members of the Windows team are already dogfooding Windows 8 Builds compiled after the launch of the Developer Preview, and testing some upcoming features.

One improvement related to Task Manager just “showed up in our daily builds,” Haveson  revealed on October 27, 2011, promising that “you will be able to see for yourself in the future, in the Beta release.”

The evolution of Task Manager better equipped the tool to help server administrators and customers using mega-PCs to deal with large number of logical processors, no less than 160 in the particular case highlighted by Haveson.

Enhancements in Windows 8 Beta Task Manager come to make it easier for users to compare CPU real-time usage, deliver a better view over processor activity and making it easier to find the chip ID.

In Windows 8 “it is now easy to see all the logical processors at a glance and know which are being utilized to high and low capacity,” Haveson said.

“In the new CPU graph, you can also get the logical processor ID that maps to each entry via a tooltip, by hovering over the entry with the mouse.”

“A major benefit of a heat map is that it scales really well to large data sets. The new Task Manager will show as many logical processors as the OS supports.”

Customers with machines leveraging multiple processors will be able to use Task Manager in order to associate a specific process with the CPU they want. This can be done by locating the process in the list under the Details Tab, and selecting ‘Set affinity’ from the right-click contextual menu.

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

AMD Q3 2011 Financial Results Show $97 (€68) Million Profit

AMD has recently posted its financial results for the third quarter of this year and while the numbers were not so impressive as those made public by its main competitor, the chip maker still managed to gather $1.69 billion (1.19 billion Euros) in revenue with a profit of $97 million ($68 million).

This represents a 7 percent sequential increase and a 4 percent increase year-over-year, in revenue.

AMD's original target for Q3 asked for a 10 percent increase over the previous quarter, but back in September it was forced to reconsider this target and reduce it to 4-6% after a series of 32nm manufacturing issues limited chip supply.

Gross margins for AMDs chips were down one percent from Q2 of 2011 to reach 45%, manly due to a lower than expected supply of higher-margin 32-nm products as Bulldozer failed to deliver the performance it was expected to.

The star of this quarter, however, seems to be AMD's Fusion architecture as the company has reported 60 percent sequential increase in mobile accelerated processor unit (APU) shipments.

According to EE Times, APUs make up for around 90 percent of all its mobile processor shipments and approximately 60 percent of total client processors.

AMD's graphics department also reported some higher than expected revenue, up 10 percent sequentially and 4 percent year-over-year.

"Strong adoption of AMD APUs drove a 35 percent sequential revenue increase in our mobile business," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO.

"Despite supply constraints, we saw double digit revenue and unit shipment growth in emerging markets like China and India as well as overall notebook share gains in retail at mainstream price points.

"Through disciplined execution and continued innovation we will look to accelerate our growth and refine our focus on lower power, emerging markets, and the cloud," concluded the company's rep.

After the announcement of its financial results for the third quarter of this year, AMD's shares had risen to $5.33 (3.76 Euros).

Motorola DROID 4 Makes a Photo Appearance

Mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility has been long rumored to plan the release of a successor for the newly released Motorola DROID 3, and that device has just made an appearance into the wild. 

Supposedly called the Motorola DROID 4, the upcoming device should pack a similar design with the current DROID series, including the large touchscreen display and the side-sliding QWERTY keyboard.

The mobile phone was rumored before, and some of its specs have been brought to light at that time, but the new leak unveils even more of it.

In addition to the said photos that emerged over at Droid-life, you can also have a look at the full specifications list of the new device, which look quite appealing, that's for sure.

The new mobile phone is expected to arrive on shelves with a large 4-inch screen on the front, along with a full 5-row “illuminated” keyboard that would slide from beneath it.

The handset would also sport a high-quality photo snapper on the back, with full HD 1080p video recording capabilities.

Moreover, the hardware specifications for this device show that it will feature a non-removable battery, along with HDMI out and MotoACTV syncing.

The upcoming mobile phone would run under Google's Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system (though a newer OS flavor might actually be loaded on it) and should offer support for Verizon Wireless' LTE network.

One other important piece of information on this handset is the fact that it sports a similar design with the newly launched DROID RAZR, even if it keeps the sliding design of the series.

For the time being, no specific info on the application processor that will be packed inside this smartphone is known, though it is expected to be a dual-core chip, clocked in at least at 1.2GHz.

The DROID 4 that can be seen in the photos attached to this article seems a finished device, but no specific info on the release time frame has emerged until now.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | coupon codes