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Apr 29, 2012

Script: Mura CMS

For every programming language there's an open source CMS that is considered the best and everybody loves using. Right now in PHP it's WordPress (some might consider Drupal, but that's another discussion), for Python it's Plone and for ColdFusion it's Mura CMS.

Designed to help users in managing content as simply as possible, Mura boasts all the features you may want from a CMS: graphic installer, WYSIWYG editing, cross-browser support, multi-database support, SEO-friendly, themes, plugins, multilingual, user manager, file browser, templating engine, categories, versioning, marketing tools and much more.

Some of the world-renown services that use Mura for their websites include Intel, United States Homeland Security Department, Navy's Marine Corps, Michigan State University, Auburn University, Amtrack, FDA, Lockheed Martin, AT&T and many more.

As you can see, the CMS can work without glitches in large scale projects, but it can be used in smaller projects as well.

Mura CMS' development is handled via its GitHub page. For themes and plugins, visit the Mura Marketplace.

Download  Mura CMS here.

GeForce GTX 690 Dual GPU Video Card Officially Presented

Nvidia has just announced the GeForce GTX 690 dual GPU video card, on its official website. This is a design that’s surprisingly close to the GTX 680 SLI specifications and, just as we've said, it launches just a month later after the GTX 680.

The new GTX 690 is powered by two fully fledged GK104 very efficient GPUs. As we already suspected here, the GTX 690 design will not handicap the GK104 GPU like the GTX 590 did. 

GTX 590 has significantly lower GPU and memory frequencies, but that was expected at the time as the regular GTX 580 card has a TDP of almost 250 watts. Doubling that would have meant that the dual GPU GTX 590 was supposed to handle and be able to cool a huge 500 watts worth of heat.

So Nvidia instead went for a more modest clocking of the GPUs mounted in the GTX 590 card.

Situation is much different with the GK104. The efficient design of the architecture and close collaboration with the GPU’s manufacturer TSMC, yielded a generation of GPUs with much lower heat dissipation than the older 40 nm GeForce 580.

Therefore the GTX 690 card will sport the same 6008 MHz GDDR5 memory frequency despite the fact that it will come with a 2 x 2 GB memory configuration. The memory BUS width will be the same 256 Bit in a 2 x 256 Bit configuration.

As each GK104 GPU is comprised of 3.5 billion transistors, the GTX 690 video card will come with a total of 7 billion transistors built on TSMC’s 28 nm process and offering an architecture that’s capable of 1/24 FP32 double precision floating point.

So, we have 2 x 1536 CUDA cores clocked at a decent 915 MHz base clock with the possibility of a boost clock of 1019 MHz.

Thus Nvidia’s dual GPU combination of the GK104 GPUs will come with a 9% lower core clock and just a 3.5% lower boost clock. Basically we have double GeForce GTX 680 performance in a single card.

As we’ve said before, the GK104 design on the 28 nm process is so efficient that it’s expectated that Nvidia won’t have to do too much binning to find GPUs with higher than average power qualities. The GTX 580 GPUs that were suitable for the GTX 590 dual GPU configuration were much more rare and harder to find than the GK104 GPUs.

The default power target for the GTX 690 board is 263 watts. That’s the full load power of the card without benefiting from any boost in GPU clocks. The total TDP is 300 watts.

Power will be administrated through two 8-pin power connectors that will allow the card to draw up to a high 375 watts. So overclockers should be quite safe and achieve good results even with the standard design.

Cleaning and leveling the current will be taken care of by the card’s 10 power phases, 5 phases for each GPU.

Software wise the GTX 690 will have an adjustable power target and clock frequency just like the GTX 680 has. NVIDIA’s GTX 690 has a max power target of plus 35%, which given the card’s default power target of 263 watts means you can set it up in the software and allow it to draw up to 355 watts of power.

New to the dual GPU GTX 690 is the use of the PLX PCIe 3.0 bridge chip. Nvidia’s previous dual GPU card, the GTX 590 was still using the NF200 PCIe bridge chip designed by Nvidia’s own chipset division. Since Nvidia’s chipset division has been restructured and the NF200 chip was a PCIe 2.0 bridge, the company went to a 3rd party for a new PCIe 3.0 certified bridge.

While Nvidia has not yet released the full specifications of the card, we can easily see is the official pictures that the cooling system has one big fan in the middle of the card that’s pushing the hot air out in the front and back of the card. This means that the hot air coming from cooling the GPU situated first on the left will go out of the system case and in the back of the computer. The hot air coming from the right GPU will be unfortunately blown inside the case.

This design has its advantages. As the GTX 690 is not such a hot card as the GTX 590 was, the amount of heat dissipated inside the case will be practically less than what a normal single GPU GTX 680 would dissipate in all those custom designs that aren’t pushing the heat out.

Therefore the rotation speed of this central fan will be much lower than a turbine-like back blowing fan. Those turbine-like fans usually have to rotate faster than this design as they’re pushing the air through a much longer tunnel and the friction of the air with the fins is slowing the air speed down. Thus a back, turbine-like fan needs to spin at a higher speed to compensate.

The cooling is using two separate vapor chamber radiators located on the two GPUs. 

This is the first time we’ve seen a vapor chamber used with a 600 series card.

On the connectivity side, Nvidia is using the same 3x DL-DVI and 1x miniDP port configuration that we saw on the GTX 590.

Pricing is quite an unfortunate surprise.

It seems that Nvidia wants to ride the wave of Kepler’s popularity and, at least until AMD launches its own dual GPU card, the official price will be a record 999 USD. That’s around 750 EUR for the European gamers, but we expect that Nvidia won’t miss the chance to overcharge them and we expect prices closer to the 900 EUR mark.

This makes the GTX 690 the most expensive GeForce card in the history of the company. Even the 2007 launched GeForce 8800 Ultra seems cheap at its official launch price of 830 USD.

Since TSMC is so capacity constrained and the demand for regular GTX 680 is so high, the initial availability of the GTX 690 card will appear similar to a paper launch, but that’s not the case. Nvidia has everything it needs to make as many GTX 690 card as the customers want, but right now, since there are so many GTX 680 customers, the GTX 690 will be quite rare as most of the GPU’s will go the GTX 680 way.

Wider availability is expected on May the 7th while the initial reviews should be popping up in the next two days.

Script: ProcessWire

ProcessWire is a content management system which can easily be installed and used to build nice-looking, modern websites.

On a closer look, ProcessWire is not just a simple CMS, but it blurs out the line between a framework and the CMS itself, becoming a CMF, a content management framework.

Under the hood, ProcessWire is packed with a powerful selector engine and jQuery-inspired API, allowing developers super-fast access to resources and an easy way to customize website core behavior.

As the ProcessWire homepage states: “Managing and developing a site in ProcessWire is shockingly simple-and fun-compared to what you may be used to.”

Check out a ProcessWire demo here. The admin account is 'admin', while the password is 'processwire2'. For updates and news, ProcessWire development is managed via its GitHub page.

Download  ProcessWire here.

Lenovo Laptop Enables Unbeatable Entertainment and Gaming

Propaganda is the norm on the IT industry, and pretty much every other facet of the world's economy, so we aren't all that shocked to see Lenovo praising its new notebook as the one that provides an “unbeatable entertainment and gaming experience.”

Of course, this also means that we aren't exactly buying into it, unless you add “for its size and price point” to the statement, and even then we have reservations.

As such, we'll allow you all to decide on your own if the IdeaPad Y480, as the item is called, really is all it's crocked up to be.

We'll get the tag out of the way first: $949, or 715 Euro, based on exchange rates.

The price goes up depending on what configuration you find most appealing of course, so think carefully.

The central processing unit can be the 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-2370M or 2.3 GHz i7-3610QM, from the third-generation Intel Core series.

Meanwhile, graphics prowess is provided by an NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M discrete GPU, based by 1 GB or 2 GB of VRAM.

Furthermore, a hard disk drive of 1 TB and an SSD of 32 GB work together to make sure that not only is the storage capacity high, but that it also runs well.

Everything else (connectivity and I/O) falls in the realms of the easily expected: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a webcam (1-megapixel), a 6-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and HDMI.

All the above are held within a brushed-metal chassis and accompanied by a 14-inch LED-backlit HD LCD (1,366 x 768 pixels) and an optional backlit keyboard.

Finally, Lenovo tossed in Windows 7 home Premium 64-bit and a 6-cell battery that can keep the whole thing running for up to four hours. Naturally, heavy gaming will deplete the energy faster.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y480
Image credits to Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad Y480
Image credits to Lenovo

Mind-Controlled Robots Now a Reality, for Real

It really was only a matter of time before this happened, and we only hope that the technology doesn't work both ways.

After all, it would not be fun for you to put on a cap and direct your robot only for it to suddenly decide to control you back.

Anyway, a team of scientists from Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne made a technology that allowed a quadriplegic man to record his brain signals with a special cap.

Those signals were then transferred to a small wheeled robot that could be moved left and right with just a thought.

Immobile patients in need of seeing areas outside of their hospital beds are seen as the prime beneficiaries.

There are some issues to sort out though, like the fact that the signal will degrade if you get in any way distracted. You also have to “order” the robot to stop if you don't want it to keep doing whatever you told it to.

A home version is expected to be ready in a matter of years.

First BlackBerry 10 Prototype Live Pictures Leak

Although BlackBerry continues to lose market share to Android and iOS, Research In Motion (RIM) promised it will offer those developers who did not switched sides yet, a glimpse of what's to come.

Basically, RIM tries to keep developers to its side by giving them a BlackBerry prototype smartphone that would run a modified version of PlayBook operating system.

These devices will be given to those developers who will attend to BlackBerry 10 Jam, at BlackBerry World 2012. This is a 3-day event, which is set to take place between 1-3 May, in Orlando, Florida.

Well, it appears that the first live pictures of the said device have just been spotted on CB forums, two days before the event's opening. 

Even though RIM was pretty clear and stated that this is only a prototype device, which is meant to offer developers the chance to get acquainted with the company's next generation operating system.

This means that it's the software that matters and not the actual spec sheet and design of the product, especially given the fact that RIM announced it won't be able to come forward with any new BlackBerry 10 device until fall.

Moreover, one of company's rep confirmed for CNET that RIM won't be unveiling any BlackBerry 10 hardware. Obviously, hardware is an important part of a product, but lately we've seen that software matter at least as much as the electronics inside.

RIM's only chance to survive is BlackBerry 10 platform, which is why the company wants to make sure it's a success by allowing developers to have a first look on their work. 

It's almost sure the feedback received will help RIM make some changes and improve BlackBerry 10, but it might not be enough for the company if they plan to release the first devices to run the next generation operating system only in October.

First Windows 8 Business Tablet, HP Slate 8, Spotted

In addition to media tablets, business-oriented slates will appear when Microsoft finally launches the Windows 8 operating system, although not in as high a number.

As one may or may not be surprised to hear, HP is among the companies that will launch a tablet fit for businessmen.

According to murmurs, there is a high chance that it will be part of the EliteBook product line.

For now, though, the rumored “first Windows 8 business tablet” bears the name of HP Slate 8.

The screen size is 10.1 inches, so no surprises here, unless HP somehow equips it with a high-resolution display similar to the Retina.

Given that this is an enterprise product, there isn't as high a need for HD or full HD support. No videos will be played on it after all or, at least, that won't be the point of the product.

Instead, HP focused on security, installing the HP ProtectTools, TPM embedded security and Computrace.

As people may or may not know, many electronics devices get lost or misplaced every year and, oddly enough, laptops are among the most often forgotten in airports or other transport stations, not to mention cabs.

Needless to say, tablets run the same risks, and this can lead to disasters when something holding trade secrets and other business data falls into strangers' hands.

The security features mentioned above should help mitigate the risks, which means that you'll only have to worry about premeditated sabotage attempts.

That said, HP's Slate 8 will be 9.2mm thin and capable of running for up to 8 hours on a single charge, 10 in some cases.

As for the enclosure, it should make use of plastic panels here and there, since wireless Internet and GPS don't run very well when impeded by common chassis metals. Finally, the display will be covered by a reinforced glass panel, probably Gorilla Glass.

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