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Apr 3, 2012

Inno3D Twin-Fan GeForce GTX 680 Pictured

Like all other NVIDIA OEMs, Inno3D will have several GeForce GTX 680 graphics cards by the time it is done fiddling with the product.

One of them got pictured just a short time ago and may be quite convenient for people who prize silence above all else.

The item has copper heatpipes to lead the heat away from the GPU, a metallic orange shroud and two fans that spin at a lower rate than the reference product.

That way, they can keep it cool without producing too much noise.

As a convenience, the shroud is affixed via thumb screws, which means that it will be easy to clean the heatsink beneath it.

Furthermore, the PCB of the video controller is probably the reference one, although nothing is certain.

Alas, no prices or availability dates are known yet.

Motorola MOTOBLUR Launcher Now Supports Most ICS-Based ROMs

Motorola has yet to deploy the long awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the RAZR, but several official ROMs have already leaked on the Internet.

Although none of them indicates that it could be the final build, there are lots of new features and improvements that Motorola RAZR owners might take advantage of, if they are willing to root their devices.

In this regard, the folks at XDA Developers managed to adapt Motorola’s personalized MOTOBLUR launcher so it can work on any ICS-based ROM.

This means that any tech-savvy that wishes to cook a customized Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for any compatible devices would be able to include Motorola’s MOTOBLUR launcher as well.

For more details on how to download and install the MOTOBLUR launcher, head over to the original thread on XDA forums.

Mango-Based LG LS831 Smartphone Spotted at FCC En-Route to Sprint

Shortly after LG Miracle made headlines earlier today, another Windows Phone device has been spotted in the wild.

Codenamed LG LS831, the smartphone has just been approved by FCC (Federal Communications Commission) with CDMA band 800 MHz support, which indicates that the smartphone will be launched by Sprint.

Although LG and Sprint have yet to announce the LG LS831, the documents filed at FCC reveal that the device comes with Windows Phone on board, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a secondary front-facing camera for video calls and microUSB port.

It is also worth mentioning that the phone received approval for 1900 MHz bands, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. No other details on its specs sheet are available for the moment, but Sprint may announce the LG LS831 in the following weeks. (via PhoneScoop)

PlayStation 4 (Orbis) Will Be Out in 2013, According to New Report

Another day, another report about the upcoming PlayStation 4 (aka Orbis) next generation home console from Sony. A new rumor says that the device will be released at the end of 2013, ahead of Microsoft’s new Xbox.

The next generation of consoles is coming sooner or later, no matter how much both Sony and Microsoft are saying that their devices will still be around for a few more years.

After some pretty big rumors that arrived last week about the PlayStation 4, which might be called Orbis, a new report has surfaced via website VG247.

According to one of its inside sources, Sony is putting the finishing touches on the PlayStation 4 and will release it in 2013, ahead of Microsoft’s next Xbox console.

The website claims that the design process of the new PS4 started a few years ago and is now entering the home straight. Specifications and hardware prototypes are already being sent out to large publishers like Ubisoft, so that their internal teams can make games that will accompany the console’s release.

More publishers and developers will get to admire the new PlayStation in the next few months during secret meetings organized by Sony before E3 2012.

The actual announcement of the console, however, won’t be made this year, as Sony is still keen on hearing more about Microsoft and its potential Xbox 720, before showing off its next device.

According to the source, the Japanese company wants to make sure that the PS4 arrives before the next Xbox, fact that was actually admitted by Sony executives last year.

In terms of hardware, the website confirms previous reports that the new PlayStation will be powered by a CPU and a GPU from AMD, thereby bringing it closer in terms of architecture to platforms like the Xbox or PC.

Last but not least, the recently released PlayStation Vita will be deeply interconnected with the PlayStation 4, since it can be used as a controller for the console.

As of yet, all these facts are still rumors, so take them with a grain of salt until something official appears.

Sony PS3

Matrox Releases New Mura MPX Video Wall Controllers

Looks like the AMD-Based adapters from MEN Micro aren't the only video wall controllers that enterprises can take a look at today, as Matrox also has something to offer.

Once, Matrox graphics cards were highly regarded, but we can only wonder what could have been if Matrox managed to excel in consumer and professional graphics instead of being reduced to a minor supplier of niche products. 

Before we go on to talk about the Mura MPX Series, we'll have to point out that the previously mentioned AMD-based G214 is more than a means to show spreadsheets on video walls.

In other words, where the G214 is used for professional A/V, radar, video imaging and other industrial applications, Matrox' Mura MPX are intended for classrooms, auditoriums, conference rooms, control rooms, etc.

That said, the products are fanless video wall controllers compatible with the PCI Express x16 Gen 2 interface.

There are three of them: Mura MPX-4/0 (four outputs, zero inputs), Mura MPX-4/2 (four outputs, two inputs), Mura MPX-4/4 (four outputs, four inputs).

"With these fanless models, Mura further distinguishes itself as the market’s video wall controller board standard,” said Helgi Sigurdsson, product manager, Matrox Graphics Inc. 

“Even greater product reliability complements the high degrees of performance, image quality, and scalability associated with Mura MPX Series.”

The newcomers support HD image quality and, due to the lack of moving parts, are quiet too.

One board can run a small video wall on its own, but multiple boards in a single system can easily scale, according to how much need and space is available.

Furthermore, Matrox tossed in support for HDCP capture and output, as well as three-year warranties. Finally, all the boards boast single-slot designs.

Sales should begin this very month (April 2012), for yet unspecified prices. Fan-using versions will be made available too, just in case.

RIM Officially Debuts BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Solution for Business Customers

Teased by Research In Motion (RIM) several weeks ago, the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion MDM (mobile device management) solution for enterprise customers has just been launched on the market.

The new service is based on RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server and aims to deliver a “cost-efficient, secure, reliable and scalable solution.” 

According to RIM, the solution is fully compatible with smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry OS, including the PlayBook tablet and future BlackBerry 10 devices.

Aside from that, the service supports devices that run other mobile operating systems, such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion enables users to manage all their devices regardless of the platform they operate, in a single, web-based console.

The following mobile device management (MDM) capabilities are available for iOS and Android devices: support for multiple devices per user, application and software management, connectivity management (Wi-Fi, VPN, certificates) and more.

“For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic. Organizations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, and they are looking to RIM as the global leader in the enterprise mobility space to solve that problem,” said Alan Panezic, vice president, enterprise product management and marketing at Research In Motion. 

Potential customers should know that BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software is available as a free download, but it is priced by the number of devices being managed. 

RIM mentions that client access licenses (CALs) start at $99 (€75) per user or $4 (€3) per user per month, which is billed annually. It is also worth mentioning that RIM is offering a 60-day free trial, which is available here.

“BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows organizations to manage a mixed environment of devices in the most secure, simple, and cost efficient manner possible. It also means that businesses and government do not have to move to the lowest common denominator on security for all the devices they need to manage,” concluded Panezic.

Script: Valid8

Valid8 is a jQuery plugin that processes data entered in form fields, providing instant feedback to the form's user.

Because it works on the client's side and in real time, Valid8 always ensures any data that makes it to the server via form submission is always correct and properly introduced.

Valid8 can be used for simply making a field request, or even in more advanced ways, by adding complex validation rules that work on the user's entered data itself. The possibilities are endless, being limited only by the way JavaScript itself works with regular expressions.

A small demo is provided with the download package (seen above), to get developers started on their own projects.

If you’re interested in contributing to the project, development is handled via a Google Code account.

Download Valid8 here.

Bring the Classic Start Menu to Windows 8

For those not yet ready to trade the functionality of the classic Start Menu for the launchpad in Windows 8, there is a compromise solution that can bring back the orb. Classic Shell is designed to add a customizable start button and the recently released version 3.5.0 also works with Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Classic Shell is actually a clone of the original Start Menu that was available in all Windows versions up to Vista. Some of the functions, however, are incompatible with Windows 8 or are simply redundant, such as the copy dialog replacement.

Thus, running it on the Consumer Preview won’t provide the full functionality, but this does not make it less appealing. As you can see from the image gallery below, the menu is populated by familiar choices.

You can download Classic Shell from this link.

Nokia Lumia 900 Review Leaks, Claims Camera Disappoints

Nokia Lumia 900 is expected to be a great device when launched at the end of this week. 

However, it appears that it might still let some people down in various areas, including camera performance, as the first review for it shows. 

The review, coming from chipchick.com, leaked ahead of schedule, and claims that Lumia 900 is indeed the Lumia 800 upgrade that everyone was expecting. 

The handset packs great build quality, along with a unique design at an affordable price tag. Not to mention that it promises fast data speeds on AT&T’s LTE network, and great call quality. 

One the other hand, the phone’s camera is said to be only good, and not excellent, as one might have expected from a photo snapper with Carl Zeiss optics.

Of course, Nokia might be working on the delivery of enhancements for the phone’s camera, and things might change soon.

Samsung Delays Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and (10.1) for Late April

Unveiled back in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and (10.1) have just been postponed for the end of the month. Initially slated for a March release in the UK, the devices have been delayed for late April. 

The reasons behind the handset maker’s decision are unclear for the moment, but rumor has it that Google and Samsung are still working to adapt Ice Cream Sandwich platform to these slates.

According to Slashgear, both Galaxy Tab 2 tablets will be launched in the UK at the end of April, and then be rolled out worldwide. No word on the pricing options yet, but differences between their predecessors are minimal. 

It appears that Samsung has some difficulties in optimizing Google’s latest Android 4.0 platform to its devices, but, hopefully, these problems will be solved soon. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Intel's H77 Motherboards Pictured Properly

As always, Intel has a complete array of chipsets ready to welcome its next-generation CPUs, and now we have some actual, detailed images of the H77-based models.

Intel seems to like to make it hard for people to find large photos of its motherboards, especially when online vendors have yet to list them, or perhaps this is just our impression.

Fortunately, VR-Zone managed to get some photos of the three H77-based Media Series platforms.

For those who don't know yet, they are called DH77KC (ATX form-factor), DH77EB (micro-ATX), and DH77DF (mini-ITX).

The DH77DF somehow manages to cram more than the bare minimum on its small PCB, which means a 4+1-phase VRM, two full-size DDR3 memory slots, a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, a mini-PCI Express slot and five SATA ports (one eSATA, two SATA II and two SATA III).

The mini-ITX platform also comes with 8-channel HD audio, Gigabit Ethernet, a DisplayPort, HDMI and FireWire.

The second motherboard, DH77EB micro-ATX, has a 4+1-phase VRM, four DDR3 memory slots (dual-channel DDR3), a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, mini-PCI Express (one slot) and five SATA ports (two SATA III 6.0 Gbps, three SATA II 3.0 Gbps and one eSATA).

The rear panel provides DVI, DisplayPort, USB, Gigabit Ethernet, etc. (no PS/2 combo port though).

As for the DH77KC desktop board, its VRM has 9 phases and there are four DDR3 slots, a PCI Express 3.0 slot, PCI Express 2.0, two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, three SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors, an eSATA port and even mSATA connectivity.

Finally, when it comes to I/O, buyers will find four USB 2.0 ports (Mini PCI adds two more and there are four more via headers), five analog audio outputs, one optical S/PDIF out port, 10-channel (7.1+2 independent multi-streaming) audio subsystem (using the Realtek ALC892 audio codec) and DVI-I, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs.

Intel DH77DF

Intel DH77DF

Intel DH77EB

Intel DH77EB

Intel DH77KC

Intel DH77KC

Alleged Photo of Google’s Nexus Tablet Emerges

Photo of what appears to be the long rumored Nexus tablet PC from Google has just made an appearance online; hopefully it's more than just a concept image. 

Available courtesy of Pocketnow, the rendering supposedly offers us a glimpse at what Google might have in store for users with the upcoming slate, though there is a good chance that this is not the actual product that will be launched. 

Running under Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the slate should arrive on the market with no third-party applications, just as other Nexus devices before it did. 

Moreover, the image shows icons for easy access to various Google applications that should come pre-loaded on the tablet, although the device appears to pack a much larger screen than the already rumored 7-inch display for Google Nexus tablet. 

Right now, there's no info on price or release date, but it might not be too long before these details are unveiled.

Sapphire's Radeon HD 7970 Toxic 6GB Graphics Card

6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM would be enough to turn any graphics card into a monster of a video board, but Sapphire gave the Radeon HD 7970 Toxic more than that.

Not only does the controller have a custom PCB, but the company also tossed in a special cooler, with an aluminum heatsink, some extra heatsinks for the side FETs, two 80 mm fans, a back-plate on the rear side (for the 12 memory chips there).

peaking of memory, there are 25 chips in total (12 on the front, 12 at the back).

Performance-wise, Sapphire's creation will operate at 1,150 MHz (core) and 1,500 MHz memory (6 GHz effective), although the OCLab.ru folks pushed it to 1,300 MHz / 1,900 MHz in their benchmark (they got P12463 points in the 3DMark 11 performance preset).

We're definitely waiting for this thing to hit the shelves.

Windows Phone-Based LG Miracle Emerges En-Route to TELUS

South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics has been long rumored to be about to bring on the market a new Windows Phone device. More info is now available.

The handset, supposedly set to hit shelves as the Miracle, was spotted on its way to Canada’s TELUS as model number E740H (the phone will be available around the world as LG E740).

Featuring a four-inch WVGA NOVA display, and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, along with 8GB of internal memory and a five-megapixel photo snapper on the back, the new device is also rumored to sport a 1,500mAh battery inside. 

The phone will arrive at TELUS with a front camera on the left, and with flash beneath the back photo snapper, the images that emerged over at Pocketnow show. 

There's no info yet on when it might be launched, but stay tuned for more on the matter.

Gigabyte's New 3D BIOS Features Dual UEFI Setup

It looks like companies really like the idea of 3D BIOS setup programs with isometric views of the motherboard, and Gigabyte is no exception.

In fact, the company is shipping all LGA2011 motherboard with 3D BIOS, a BIOS that has now been updated to a newer version.

The user interface still has those GUI elements, but they are more function-oriented.

For instance, the true-color 3D image of the mainboard is swapped for a single solid-color 3D render. This lets users find more easily the sections they can configure.

The pop-ups and clickable sections are still there, but the render can be viewed from different angles now too.

Check out the video embedded above to see exactly what to expect when buying a Gigabyte motherboard. You'll notice several basic configuration pages, as well as an “Advanced” setup icon, among other things.

Koolance Intros Water Block for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 hasn't been out for long, but there are already special coolers selling for it, like the Koolance VID-NX680 water block.

The product isn't cheap by any measure, requiring $119.99, or 90 Euro, give or take.

It covers the GPU, the memory chips and the VRM, which means that the item is an overclocker's dream.

The Koolance VID-NX680 uses high-performance microfins and an acetal top cover, plus anti-corrosive nickel plating over the solid copper “skeleton”, so to speak.

Standard G 1/4" threading is compatible and, in case people want SLI configurations of two or more GTX 680 boards, connect nozzles are available as well.

That said, without further ado, drop by the company's official website if you want to go ahead and buy this thing (click this link here).

40% of Nokia's Outsourced Symbian Developers "Laid Off Voluntarily" by Accenture

It appears that things are going bad for the Symbian platform and, indirectly, for its users. Although Nokia outsourced some of its employees that were directly involved in Symbian development and support to a third party company, it looks like support for the platform is close to being shut.

Those who are not familiar with the matter should know that Nokia decided to drop Symbian and MeeGo platforms over Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. 

However, the Finnish company promised its fans that it would continue to offer software updates and dedicated support for Symbian platform at least until 2016. 

This is why Nokia decided to transfer 1,200 employees from China, India, the United Kingdom, Finland and the United States to a well-known company called Accenture.

Well, it appears that it didn’t take too long for Accenture to almost pull the plug on Symbian support. Although the company is keeping it low profile, the folks over at Yle got word that no less than 40% of the Nokia employees that were transferred last year accepted to sign leaving agreements.

This means that around 400 Symbian developers have sought the pay-offs, which leaves Accenture with only 800 devs who are to continue to deliver Symbian updates and dedicated support.

The reason behind their decision is unexpected to say the least. It appears that they were offered less work than promised. 

Yle also claims that the compensations included severance packages worth up to 15 months’ pay, but not everyone that left Accenture by its own will benefited from these packages.

It appears that the pay-off conditions require ex-employees to return the money if they find another job sometime during this year. This is why many Symbian devs employed by Accenture decided to leave the company without the pay-off.

Accenture has yet to issue any official statement, but the company explained in an email that this lay-off project is voluntary. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

iPhone 5 Release Schedule Leaked by Foxconn Recruiter

A recruiter for Foxconn Technology Group has spilled the beans on the potential release date of the iPhone 5, telling TV Tokyo reporters that the company’s recent hiring spree is directly tied to the fifth-generation Apple smartphone.

Earlier this month, reports from The China Morning News and M.I.C. Gadget revealed that Foxconn was building “a new base for iPhone 5 production” in Taiyuan, the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in Northern China.

The giant electronics manufacturer was said to be hiring about 20,000 new workers.

Although the news was regarded more like a rumor rather than actual confirmation that the new iPhone was entering production, it was easy to speculate that Apple had ordered Foxconn to start work on the new handset.

And now it seems we have our confirmation. A person involved with the recruiting for 18,000 individuals that will handle iPhone 5 assembly has told TV Tokyo reporters that the device will, most likely, be launched this summer.

"Because it seems it will go on sale in June," the recruiter said, in response to a question, according to a Japanese translation of the original interview (in Chinese).

For those who are familiar with the language, this particular portion of the conversation starts around the 7:10 mark, according to CNet.

Should Apple be launching the device in June, as previously speculated by several rumor sites and blogs, the company has managed to keep a tight lid on the developments surrounding its impending iPhone refresh this time around. The last two models got leaked months before going on sale.

Sadly, the TV Tokyo interview fails to churn up any additional details, such as some of the technical specifications.

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, rumored to be held June 11-16, should be the time and place for the iPhone 5 unveiling, if this leak proves accurate.

AMD-Based Graphics Card Gives High-End Video to Multiple Displays

People may pay the most attention to AMD's ventures on the consumer graphics market, but the company is active in other fields as well, such as embedded computing.

Speaking of embedded computing, the Sunnyvale, California-based company now powers a fairly mighty embedded video card.

This isn't primarily its merit though. After all, it is MEN micro Inc., a worldwide maker of embedded computing and I/O products, that created it.

And by “it” we mean the G214, a 3U CompactPCI Serial multi-display controller board powered by the AMD Radeon E6760 graphics processing unit (GPU).

The GPU works at 600 MHz and supports DirectX 11 graphics (through a programmable 3D engine), and includes a third-generation unified video controller (UVD), for H.264, VC-1, MPEG4 and MPEG2 compressed video stream decoding.

In addition to the above, the card also has 80 processing elements (480 shaders), leading to 576 GFLOPS peak single precision floating point performance (puts ultrasound, radar and video imaging applications to the support list).

All these feature work on up to 35W of energy and MEN micro even made the product capable of withstanding shocks and vibrations. The MTBF is over 150,000 hours.

That said, what makes the board suitable for video surveillance, simulators, professional A/V equipment and digital signage is its output setup.

There are four DisplayPort 1.2 connectors there, each capable of supplying a resolution of 4,096 x 2,560 at 60 Hz and a color depth of 24 bpp.

Should one aim for more, though, a wider front panel can add two more DisplayPorts, although their maximum resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels.

Nevertheless, the real advantage is that, in a standard setup, a single CPU board can control up to seven multi-display boards of this sort. As such, assuming each board has four ports, the total number of panels that the machinery can use at once becomes 28. Said panels can be used independently or together to form one big image.

MEN Micro has given the G214 a price of $1,344, or 1,007 Euro.

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