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Nov 10, 2011

Exceleram Gives Sandy Bridge-E 32 GB of Grand RAM

Since Sandy Bridge-E CPUs are almost here, and with so many motherboards out or on the way too, Exceleram decided to introduce a memory kit that can keep up with everything the beasts can do.

With latencies of CL 9-9-9-24 and frequency of 1,333 MHz, the modules that make up the 32 GB quad-channel Grand kit are four in number and, obviously, have individual capacities of 8 GB.

Red heatspreaders cover them, since so much memory in one place is bound to produce more heat than the stuffy, or even ventilated, air inside a case can cool on its own.

Exceleram's memory offering operates at 1.5V and should start shipping soon, probably by the end of the month.

The report that mentioned them didn't have anything to say about the price, however.

High-End Coolink Corator DS-LGA2011 CPU Cooler Released

Coolink has announced a new cooler for central processing units that should already be found up for order online, at a price of $44.90 in the US and 39.90 Euro in Europe.

The US price would normally translate into 33 Euro or thereabouts, but this is, once again, one of those cases where exchange rates don't seem to be reflected in reality all that well.

The Corator DS – LGA2011, as it is called, has four 8mm copper heatpipes, which is enough on its own to cement its high-end status.

The heatpipes even feature the Gapless Direct Touch (GDT) technology, which boosts heat transfer.

The aluminum fin stacks are two in number and boast an asymmetrical design, as well as a SWiF2-120P 120mm hydro-dynamic bearing fan between them.

Said spinner has a maximum rotary speed of 1,700 RPM and a lower limit of 800 RPM (rotations per minute).

Even at the highest rate, though, it won't make more than 27.1 dBA of noise (the lowest level is 8.5 dBA).

“The upcoming release of Intel's Core i7-3000 series Sandy Bridge-E processors will raise the computing performance for enthusiast and professional users alike, so they can look forward to an interesting platform. However, these high performance processors need an adequate cooling solution to unleash their full potential and the Corator DS is predestined for this task,” explains Timothy Chu, Coolink CEO.

“With the Corator DS - LGA2011, which is based on the successful and award-winning Corator DS, we are proud to offer an attractive Core i7-3000 cooling solution for customers who are looking for great performance at reasonable costs.”

Weighing 1,040 grams, the cooler measures 155 (H) x 140 (D) x 121 (W) mm (6.10 x 5.51 x 4.76 inches), is backed by a five-year warranty and is sold in a bundle with thermal grease.

Roboto, Ice Cream Sandwich’s New Typeface

Along with the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile operating system, Google also announced the introduction on a new typeface for Android, called Roboto. 

Meant to replace the older family of fonts available in Android, called Droid, Roboto brings along increased visual appeal, and should prove modern, crisp, and in line with the new UI that Ice Cream Sandwich brings along. 

In a recent post on Google+, Matias Duarte explains that the development team aimed at creating something new with these fonts, and that all was driven by the idea of delivering something different from print, but in line with the evolving interactive display medium. 

“We wanted to take maximum advantage of ultra high density screens like that of Galaxy Nexus, yet still be crisp and legible on lower resolution displays like that of Nexus S,” he explains. 

“Because Roboto would be used for the UI we wanted to make the bold very similar to the metrics of the regular weight, so that text could gracefully switch from bold to regular (like when you read emails in your inbox).”

He also notes that the team was set to add tabular figures (numbers that are all the same width) into the mix, which were supposed to help displaying time, dates and other counters without modifications to the characters. 

Roboto was supposed to mark a design change and to prove a great medium for content. The typeface was supposed to be recognizable, distinctive without being distracting.

“Roboto’s straight sided capitals and distinctive racetrack-shaped rounded letters turned out to be perfect for our needs in a system font. It is space efficient and and holds its own for the short terse messages that are so common in UI,” he continues. 

“It has a high degree of compatibility with legacy designs created for Droid, because in almost all cases the same size Roboto sets in the same amount of space. 

“Yet because of Roboto’s more structured forms we can actually set it smaller and with tighter line spacing, allowing us to put more information on the screen without inducing claustrophobia.”

In Roboto, the upper case letters are softened up, while the lower case ones have been enhanced with a bit of diversity, all aimed at eliminating the structured evenness of a type, one that might have resulted in making text difficult to read. 

Minor details of letters have been the main focus, and the character set has been extended to Greek and Cyrillic. With touches brought to rendering as well, Roboto started to look well on all sizes and resolutions. 

“In particular, we opened up the ‘e’ and ‘g’ while keeping the ‘a’, ‘c’ and ‘s’ characters closed. The rhythm starts to compare more to book types and makes for really nice reading over longer spans of text,” Google's Matias Duarte explains. 

While the new Android typeface looks great, there still is a lot of work to be done, especially since the team aims at making it look great on desktop computers as well.

A Look Behind the Curtains: Nokia Lumia 800 Design Story

Nokia Lumia 800 announces itself to be a great device, and those who already put hands on it have been reportedly impressed. 

End-users will enjoy the design and capabilities of Nokia Lumia 800, while the people that worked to have it available in the short period of time that passed since Nokia and Microsoft announced their partnership rejoice seeing the great impression the mobile phone can make.

In the video embedded below, you can learn a few more details on what the design process for the Nokia Lumia 800 involved, and you can learn what some of those involved in the phone's creation feel about it.

Unveiled to the world last month during the Nokia World conference, the Nokia Lumia 800 arrives on shelves as the very first handset from the Finnish mobile phone maker to pack the Windows Phone platform.

The new Nokia Lumia 800 was build on Nokia’s “fabula” design language, which is a visual style aimed at enabling the creation of more devices. The Nokia N9 and the Lumia 800 were both born starting from here.

“But in creating Nokia’s first Windows Phone there was a whole lot more to the process than simply blending together Nokia hardware and Microsoft software,” a recent post on Nokia Conversations reads.

“There was an amazing amount of collaboration and a brave new approach to design that was applied to enable this product to come to life.

“This process was underpinned by a shared vision and determination from both Nokia and Microsoft, passionately articulated by Stefan Pannenbecker, VP of Industrial Design at Nokia.”

The video is 8 minutes long and will offer you an in-depth view on the design process for the first Nokia Windows Phone, while enabling you to make an idea on what switching from Symbian to Windows Phone was all about for the handset vendor.

Corsair Performance Pro Completed, Marvell Powers New SSDs

Corsair just released the Performance Pro series of solid state drive products that could imply that the company is going to start developing solid state drive firmware.

Though a solid state drive based on a Marvell controller is cheaper, it is also one that forces adopters to make their own firmware.

Corsair may or may not be promising to invest in this through the Performance Pro collection of SSDs.

As the second-generation Marvell-based SSD line, it has a read speed of 515 MB/s and a writing speed of 440 MB/s.

Two models exist, with capacities of 128 GB and 256 GB, respectively (pretty much the standard capacities nowadays, besides 64 GB).

“We are pleased to provide a fast SATA 3 SSD that's designed specifically for real-world performance,” said Thi La, vice president of Memory Products at Corsair.

“High-performance PC users work heavily with media files, and unlike some other SSDs, the Performance Pro can save, load and move music, photos and movies without significantly reduced performance. It offers consistent, reliable speed regardless of whether you're running Windows, OS X or Linux, and whether you're using a single drive or a RAID configuration.”

Both compressed and non-compressed data should be possible to move around at the same speeds.

Also, the Performance Pro Series boast advanced background garbage collection, which preserves the performance over time even if the operating system of the PC, or whatever else, using them lacks support for TRIM.

Corsair also says that this is a reason why the newcomers are very well suited for RAID configurations, which usually lack TRIM support themselves.

Needless to say, the SATA III (SATA 6.0 Gbps) connection is used, though backwards compatibility with SATA II (3.0 Gbps) was not forgotten.

Go here to read about the Force 3 and Force GT solid state drives that, instead of Marvell, use SandForce controllers.

Windows 8 pre-Beta Windows To Go

Windows 8 Beta is not quite done yet, but it’s certainly worth looking forward to, just for the new features it will introduce, if nothing else. 

Case in point: Windows To Go. Microsoft has already demoed this particular feature at BUILD in mid-September 2011, but did not include it in the Windows Developer Preview it offered to early adopters for testing.

Windows To Go allows users to install Windows 8 on a USB device, and take the bootable copy of the operating system with them.

And it seems that Windows To Go has just made an appearance in the latest interim Build of the next iteration of Windows, according to Winunleaked.

Windows 8 is still in pre-Beta stage at this point in time, with Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) being the only release available to the public.

Microsoft cut a number of features from Windows 8 Developer Preview, including Windows Media Center and Windows To Go, but the same won’t be valid for Windows 8 Beta.

The software giant stresses that Windows To Go is designed for IT professionals, and of course, the vast majority of users won’t get to take advantage of it.

The Windows 8 USB devices that IT professionals will get to use, will feature not just the platform, but also all of their business applications as well as data, and personalized settings.

Windows To Go ties a bootable copy of Windows 8 to an encrypted USB device that users can connect to any machine and run their platform, at any time. After removing the device, there will be no trace of use left on the computer.

IT administrators can provide users with preconfigured USB drives that will be used to install Windows 8, but customers can also opt to deploy the OS on their own USB devices.

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

No QWERTY for BBX Smartphones, RIM Says

Canadian mobile phone maker Research in Motion is gearing up for the release of a new mobile operating system and of new devices that will run under it, namely BBX, and it seems that it will also adopt a new design for these devices. 

Unlike previous BlackBerry smartphones that packed QWERTY keyboards, future handsets from RIM will include only touchscreen displays, which will bring them closer to the BlackBerry PlayBook launched last year.

In a recent article, PCMag cites RIM’s vice president of developer relations and ecosystem development Alec Saunders, who stated that the company planned on moving away from the popular BlackBerry Bold form factor with the upcoming BBX devices.

Moreover, he explained that the company intended on making these devices resemble the PlayBook even more, and that they would come with the same screen resolution as the tablet PC.

That would be a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, which differs from what today's smartphones have to offer, namely 800 x 480, 960 x 540, or 1280 x 720.

“Look, if you build [an app] for the PlayBook, then it will run on BBX. We have maintained aspect ratios, BBX also has the ability to upload multiple dimension graphics … [and the standard resolutions] are the same as PlayBook,” Saunders stated, PCMag reports.

Some of the previous rumors suggested that BlackBerry Colt, supposedly the first smartphone that RIM will bring to the market with the new BBX platform on board, would feature a similar design as the BlackBerry Bold, but it seems that this is not the case.

Basically, RIM plans on making the BBX platform superior to the OS that was loaded on its PlayBook devices, and it would make sense to drop the physical keyboard from future devices, although this is one of the most popular feature of existing RIM smartphones.

The first BBX smartphones should be released sometime next year, with native email and BES support on board, Saunders confirmed.

Download Windows 7 SP1 Security Release ISO Image for November 2011

The November 2011 Security Release ISO Image is now available on the Microsoft Download Center, packing all the patches released by the software giant this month. 

Security Release ISO images are a tradition at Microsoft, with the releases designed to cater to IT professionals that don’t use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), or another solution to automate the downloading and deployment of Windows patches.

Although the Redmond company offered only four Windows security bulletins this month, the download still weighs in at 370. MB. This is because the security updates packed inside come in all the languages supported by Windows.

MS11-083 – Critical, MS11-084 – Moderate, MS11-085 – Important and MS11-086 – Important, are the four security bulletins released for Windows in November 2011, all of which can be found in the DVD5 ISO image file.

In addition, the download also offers MS11-037 – Important released initially in June and MS11-071 – Important, provided to customers in September.

MS11-083 is designed to patch a Critical vulnerability in the TCP/IP stack, which affects all versions of Windows, including Windows 7 SP1, but not Windows XP or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft also provides information on the additional security bulletins included into the November 2011 Security Release ISO Image:

“MS11-084 – [patches a security hole which] could allow denial of service if a user opens a specially crafted TrueType font file as an e-mail attachment or navigates to a network share or WebDAV location containing a specially crafted TrueType font file.

MS11-085 – [resolves an issue which] could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate file (such as an .eml or .wcinv file) that is located in the same network directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file.

MS11-086 – [fixes a vulnerability that] could allow elevation of privilege if Active Directory is configured to use LDAP over SSL (LDAPS) and an attacker acquires a revoked certificate that is associated with a valid domain account and then uses that revoked certificate to authenticate to the Active Directory domain.”

The November 2011 Security Release ISO Image is available for download here.

XFX Expands Pro-Series PSU Line with Gold and Platinum Models

XFX just said that its line of Pro-Series power supplies for desktops has increased by three, all new members featuring at least 1000W outputs. 

Two 80Plus gold rated models have been released, with outputs of 1250W and 1050W, respectively, while the third, 80Plus Platinum one is a 1000W unit.

The official website has all the info enthusiasts could possibly need on the matter, though some things do deserve a mention, like the EasyRail, HybridFan, SolidLink technologies.

Also, they have a single 12V rail and active PFC, plus 135mm PWM fans and protection from power, over voltage, over current, short circuit, and over temperature.

The PSUs come just in time for the many desktops that will be put together as soon as Intel's Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, and associated motherboards, start selling in earnest.

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