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Nov 6, 2011

Sony Ericsson Nozomi LT26i Photos Available

Sony Ericsson has been long rumored to plan the release of a new handset powered by Google's Android operating system, one that would sport the codename of Nozomi, and confirmation on its existence has just emerged, courtesy of leaked photos with the device that emerged at iAndroid.

On top of that, some of the handset's specifications also emerged, offering us a better view of what should become a high-end Sony Ericsson smartphone in the near future.

The Sony Ericsson Nozomi LT26i is said to pack a 1.5GHz dual core processor complemented by 1 GB RAM, while sporting a large 4.3-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution (320 dpi).

A front facing camera was also confirmed for the mobile phone, as well as Google's Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread platform. No specific info on the handset's landing on the market emerged for the time being, but more should become available in the not too distant future, so stay tuned.

Nokia N9 Tips and Tricks (II)

It's been almost a month since Nokia N9 hit shelves and the excitement built around the MeeGo device brings more fans to the Finnish company.

Nokia created almost the perfect symbiosis between a smartphone and a mobile operating system. The way a user interacts with the N9 is simply fabulous, different from anything that's been thrown at users in the last 3-4 years.

Obviously, there are some similarities in the fact that the phone uses technologies embedded in other mobile platforms, but the way they've been integrated is unique and innovative.

We will continue our previous article about Nokia N9's tweaks, because we discover something new every day we spend with the MeeGo-based smartphone.

For those unfamiliar with the phone's layout, the N9 only features three external buttons: two volume keys and a lock/unlock key.

The latter is used to unlock the phone's display everytime you want to use. However, instead of clicking the unlock button on the left side of the phone, simply tap the screen twice and the screen will be unlocked.

If double tapping on the screen does not unlock it, you need to enable this option by going to Settings / Device / Display and use the toggle for the specific feature.

Another interesting tweak is the Quick menu, which provides users the option to quickly access: Phone, Messages, Camera and Browser.

To bring up the Quick menu simply swipe up about 1/3 from the bottom edge of the screen and then slowly swipe down until the shortcuts appears at the base of the screen.

Nokia N9 is a great notifier as the phone displays on the screen all events missed by owners, including missed calls, emails, Facebook or Twitter mentions and more.

A special icon will be displayed on the screen when you have missed a call, or when you have new email. As soon as you unlock the screen double-tapping the “event” will be shown at the base of the screen. Simply tap and hold on the “event” and swipe to the right to get directly to the Phone feature, email Inbox or Facebook account.

Feel free to suggest your own Nokia N9 tips and tricks, especially if you're an advanced user.

Apple Offers Download for iOS 5.0.1 Beta 2 via Dev Center, OTA

Targeting developers enrolled with Apple’s $99 yearly program, iOS 5.0.1 beta 2 is being made available on the Apple Dev Center and via OTA update.

The release increments the previous beta (build 9A402) which arrived just days ago with fixes for battery drainage, a security fix for iPad, and more. The beta introduces new file attributes for managing data backups.

“iOS 5.0.1 beta 2 is now available on the iOS Dev Center,” reads an email sent out to developers this week. “You can also install the update over the air from devices that have iOS 5.0.1 beta installed.”

According to the company headquartered at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, Calif., “iOS 5.0.1 introduces a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations.”

Since the current beta increments the previous one, this build also includes the changes delivered a few days back, such as fixes for the issues affecting battery life on some devices running iOS 5, fixes for bugs with Documents in the Cloud, improved voice recognition for Australian customers using dictation, and multitasking gestures for the iPad 1.

The two betas also contain security improvements, one of which is a fix for the iPad Smart Cover bug. iOS 5.0.1 no longer allows the iPad to go to sleep while in power-off mode by means of laying the Smart Cover back on its display.

The main role (so far) of iOS 5.0.1 is the battery drainage fix. Customers all around the world have reported issues with battery life, not only on the newly released iPhone 4S, but also on older-generation devices that have iOS 5 installed. Apparently iOS 5 has a few power management issues that iOS 5.0.1 promises to fix.

According to a statement provided by Apple earlier this week, iOS 5.0.1 should be released to the masses by the end of the month.

AMD to Unveil 'Project WIN' on November 9

Laying off 1400 of the company's employees seem to have been just the first steep in Rory Read's plans to restructure AMD as the new CEO is now preparing the so called Project WIN, which will be revealed on November 9.

“Project WIN, will help drive operational improvements, increase efficiencies and lower our operating costs,” said Read in a letter to the company published by the Bright Side of News Website.

Little is known about this project which seems to get its name from a comic book and which will be unveiled by Rory Read on November 9th in the CEO's upcoming Worldcast.

If you were to ask me, I would say that lowering operating costs doesn't sound all that good for AMD as the chip maker really needs to step up its efforts to compete with an ever more powerful Intel.

After all, losing AMD won't help anyone of us, no even the most die hard Intel fans out there.

Gigabyte '3D BIOS' Is Awesome, Even if Just a Tiny Bit Impractical

If anyone was hoping that motherboards would finally get a nice-looking BIOS, Gigabyte is about to make this dream come true.

Sure, it will start off on enthusiast motherboards, even though it is made in such a way as to be more comprehensive to entry-level and mainstream users, but it will land in all Gigabyte UEFI motherboards eventually.

Dubbed 3D BIOS, it has an isometric view of the motherboard and lets users easily access component settings through use of the mouse.

All it takes is to hover the cursor over an area and it will become highlighted (Gigabyte even threw in pop-up 'bubbles' with helpful info).

All in all, it makes the BIOS much more approachable and even fun to play in for a while.

Gigabyte will manufacture its platforms with Dual UEFI BIOS implementation (both 3D BIOS and an advanced BIOS mode will be available).

Intel Core i7-3930K Available from Stock in New Zealand Store

New Zealand computer enthusiasts seem to be a lot luckier than those of us living in other parts of the world, as a local retailer has now added the upcoming Intel Core i7-3930K CPU to its website and this can be shipped right now from stock.

For those of you that need a refresher, the Core i7-3930K is built on Intel's high-performance Sandy Bridge-E architecture and it includes six processing cores with Hyper-Threading support.

These are run at a 3.2GHz base clock frequency and are seconded by 12MB of Level 3 cache memory and a quad-channel DDR3 controller.

The chip is compatible with LGA 2011 motherboards based on the Intel X79 chipset, which are expected to arrive at the same time with Intel's launch of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs.

Right now, pricing for the chip is set at $849.00 New Zealand dollars which equals to about $673 US or 486 Euros.

Download Firefox 8 Final for Linux

Dear readers, a few minutes ago Mozilla unleashed the stable version of the highly anticipated Mozilla Firefox 8.0 web browser for Linux, Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Yes, we're talking about the final version of Firefox 8, which is aready available for download on the official FTP site of the Mozilla company.

Mozilla Firefox 8.0 brings new features, as well as performance and stability enhancements. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Implemented Twitter search;
  • Tabs can now be loaded on demand, greatly improving start-up time;
  • Implemented an one-time add-on selection dialog to easily manage your installed extensions;
  • HTML5 context menus support;
  • Better memory performance;
  • Third party add-on are now disabled by default;
  • insertAdjacentHTML support;
  • Better CSS hyphen support;
  • Better WebSocket support;
  • CORS support.

Mozilla Firefox 8.0 is supported on both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, which means that it will run on any Linux distribution.

Canonical will also update their supported Ubuntu releases to Firefox 8 via the official channels, just update your systems in a few days.

So, just as Mozilla is getting ready to roll out the new Firefox, here are the most notable features in the upcoming major release.

Twitter search is now included
Mozilla has made a change to the default search engines list. Along with the regular default options, Firefox now includes Twitter Search so you can check out the freshest news from the site with ease.

You can now switch to the new Twitter search which means that you can start a Twitter search from the search box, the Awesomebar and even from the "Search Twitter for *" context menu entry.

Tabs load on demand, at startup
One feature that power users are going to be very happy about in the new Firefox is the option of loading tabs on demand, when first starting up. If you're the type of user with at least 20 tabs open at all times, you know that starting Firefox and waiting for all of those to load is quite annoying.

If you choose to enable the "Don't load tabs until selected" option, now in the General tab of the Preferences screen, only the tabs that you see are loaded, the background ones are not. Then, as you click on a new one, those tabs will be loaded as well.

Firefox 8 will check for and disable add-ons installed by third party software
Finally, the big touted new feature in Firefox 8 is the third-party add-on checker. This tool, the first time after you update to Firefox 8, scans the installed add-ons and searches for those installed via and by third-party software, not from Mozilla's Add-ons repository or manually by the user.

Firefox disables these add-ons which more often then not provide no useful functionality, clutter up the interface and slow down Firefox, not to mention worse scenarios.

Once it's done, it presents a list of installed add-ons and gives the user the possibility to enable or disable anything they want.

Since add-ons installed by third-parties will be disabled by default, it is very likely that a lot of people are going to have a much cleaner Firefox and not even know what happened.

No more tab animations
One cool feature planned for Firefox 8 has been removed. Firefox 8 was to have smooth tab animations, for re-ordering and tearing them off.

During the beta phase, the feature seemed to perform quite nicely, but Mozilla has recently removed it and it is even disabled in the Firefox 9 Aurora builds. It's safe to say, Firefox 8 won't be getting tab animations.

Of course, Firefox 8 comes with plenty of updates under the hood, but these technical details usually don't interest regular users, apart from the memory performance improvement, perhaps.

Download Firefox 8 for Linux via link below:
Mozilla Firefox 8 Final [tar.bz2] 32-bit
Mozilla Firefox 8 Final [tar.bz2] 64-bit

Sapphire Pure Black X79 Motherboard Shows Off

Since a number of X79 motherboard were already previewed, it was only a matter of time before Sapphire leaked one of its own, so the Pure Black X79 definitely didn't go by unnoticed.

Then again, this isn't so much a formal preview on the company's part as it is an unofficial photo shoot, of sorts, carried out by VR-Zone.

The X79 Express Chipset may or may not be supplemented by a PCI Express bridge chip.

The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 memory slots, which means that up to 32 GB of RAM can be in a system at any one time,(4 x 8 GB).

Also, six PCI Express x16 slots are present, of which three are x16 electrical.

CrossFireX setups should be easy to set up (multi-GPU AMD card configurations), though SLI (NVIDIA) doesn't seem to be on the list of supported features.

The list goes on, though, with a significant degree of thoroughness as far as expansion capabilities go.

In addition to four SATA 6.0 Gbps ports (SATA III), Sapphire threw in the same number of SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors (SATA II).

Meanwhile, the back panel has a pair of eSATA connectors and four USB 3.0 ports (two more are available as headers on the motherboard), plus Bluetooth, 7.1 channel audio and dual Gigabit Ethernet.

Other specifications include UEFI BIOS, a debut LED, Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, voltage read points and an active cooler on the chipset.

Like all the other X79 platforms, the Sapphire Pure Black X79 (obviously, it gets the name for the PCB) will reach stores in a week or so.

While the Intel Sandy Bridge-E CPUs will get to stores around mid-November, 2011 (14-15), the LGA 2011 motherboards should show up and start competing a bit sooner. Unfortunately, no price was mentioned.

EVGA Releases Dual-GPU GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win Graphics

Not wanting to let enthusiasts go for too long without their dual-GPU card fix, EVGA officially launched the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win.

This video adapter takes the concept of high-end graphics and then goes a little beyond it.

Obviously, it has two graphics processing units, specifically GF114 chips, which would be enough of an asset even in their base form.

After all, a normal GTX 560 works at 822 MHz and, in a dual-card SLI configuration, two of them beat the GeForce GTX 580 by up to 30% or more.

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win goes beyond even that level by having its two GPUs working at 850 MHz.

Here it bears noting that an NF200 chip is present on the card, which has the GPUs operating in the very same setting as above (SLI).

As such, the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win qualifies, essentially, as a dual-card configuration that needs a single PCI Express slot.

Nevertheless, there isn't really much question as to whether or not the item is preferable to two GTX 560 boards.

After all, it actually isn't that much more expensive than a GTX 580 and has a clearly superior performance per dollar.

For those who don't know, the newcomer costs $519 (exchange rates say this is the same as 376 Euro) while the GTX 580 has a price of $465-$535 or more, depending on model and retailer (340 Euro upwards)

As such, if gamers believe that games will keep getting better at supporting SLI, this card is unique enough that it doesn't have much competition right now.

EVGA has set up the official product page of the new beast here. Go there to see its specs and the large, three-fan cooler.

For those who just want a quick rundown, there are 768 CUDA cores, a shader clock speed of 1,700 MHz, a memory clock speed of 4008 MHz and four video outputs (three DVI-I and Mini-HDMI).

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