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iiNet acquires Internode for $105 million

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: BREAKING STORY | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 7:08 am

Two favourite ISPs, Internode and iiNet are merging into one. iiNet are buying Internode for a cool $105 million. The deal is said to be completed by the end of February. This isn't the first ISP that iiNet have scooped up, they purchased Westnet and Netspace previously.

 

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Internode will continue to as a separate business unit, with business as usual. "Off-net" customers, those who are using services wholesaled from Telstra, will be merged onto the iiNet network. This is said to be 15,000 of Internode's total 190,000 customers. Right now, there's no short-term plans to change any of Internode's existing plans, with iiNet CEO Michael Malone saying:

 

There's no short term intention to do that.

Continue reading 'iiNet acquires Internode for $105 million' (full post)

Android Market is no longer blocked on the Kindle Fire

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 6:37 am

Last month, we reported that the Kindle Fire would not feature the Android Market, and that any attempts to browse the market redirected you to Amazon's own AppStore on the tablet. But, we have some good news to report, Amazon released a new update to the Kindle Fire on Wednesday, which allows Fire owners to browse the Google Android Market website.

 

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This is great news for current, or future Kindle Fire owners. Being blocked from one of the biggest app markets on devices, it would be a shot in the foot for Amazon if they wish to take some market share in the coming 12 months. The next question is, can you install Android Market apps to the Kindle Fire over the web?

 

Well, not really. There's no easy way to associate the Kindle Fire with a Google account, which is how Google's web-based Android Market links to devices, nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction for Amazon.

Cost-effective Radeon HD 7900 PCB teased

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 5:29 am

Most of the first batches of AMD's Radeon HD 7900-series will use the original PCB we talked of earlier today, but the first pictures of the cost-effective Radeon HD 7900 PCB have surfaced on Asian media sites. AMD add-in board partners have the ability to use this cost-effective PCB if they'd like to fine-tune their pricing.

 

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AMD is set to counter NVIDIA with some competition against their GeForce Kepler 104 (GK104) GPU. The cost-effective PCB is pictured above, with the shot above being the front of the card itself, with the two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, an 8+2 phase cost-effective analog VRM, most likely driven by a cost-effective CHIL controller, and a different display output connector loadout.

 

The cost-effective PCB has display outputs consisting of a two DVI, one HDMI and one full-sized DisplayPort. Partners can still use a single DVI connector, and keep their cards single-slot capable, something that would be great for HTPC, or SFF users.

Continue reading 'Cost-effective Radeon HD 7900 PCB teased' (full post)

Spotted: AMD's Radeon's HD 7970 PCB

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 4:30 am

The first picture of AMD's upcoming flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 7970, has had its PCB spotted. It reveals that the HD 7970 has the provision for two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, but on the sample picture below, there are two 6-pin power connectors. There have been other sightings of and 8 + 6-pin PCIe connectors.

 

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The HD 7900 single-GPU reference board uses a digital-PWM power design, and what appears to be CPL-made single-phase PWM chokes, and Volterra-made regulators. The die is orientated diagonally, with a strong brace around it to reduce and stabilize the pressure applied by the cooling assembly. There are twelve memory chips around the GPU, as this chip provides a 384-bit wide memory interface, which is set to deliver a near 50-percent higher memory bandwidth over the previous generation.

 

It also sports redundant BIOS, loaded into two separate EEPROM chips that can be toggled using a small 2-way switch located next to the CrossFire connectors. Display connectors include one DVI, one HDMI, and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. The picture below shows the curvy back-side of the cooling assembly. Lookin' good, AMD!

 

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Ice Cream Sandwich coming to Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note in Q2 2012

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 3:31 am

Samsung have just confirmed through a post on Samsung Tomorrow, that they will roll out Ice Cream Sandwich to the various models of Galaxy S II smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Note, in the first quarter of 2012. This lines up with other manufacturers and their Android 4.0 rollouts.

 

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Other Samsung models would get updated afterwards, including the Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Stateside, carrier testing will play a role in when we see the updates. Samsung's Ice Cream Sandwich updates should be baked in the best, as they've spent the most time with the update, having collaborated with Google for the first ICS-sporting smartphone, Galaxy Nexus.

 

I can't wait, as I'm dying for an Ice Cream Sandwich update to my Galaxy S II.

NVIDIA release GeForce 290.53 beta drivers, includes Skyrim tweaks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 2:33 am

AMD have been releasing a constant onslaught of drivers lately, but NVIDIA have stayed even with them, constantly releasing new drivers in this holiday season as there have been many AAA+ titles released. The latest release from the green team is the 290.53 beta drive, which includes performance optimizations for Skyrim, as well as other, miscellaneous enhancements.

 

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NVIDIA mentioned the Skyrim in their list of improvements, which is a good sign:

 

Increases performance by up to 25 percent vs. 290.36 drivers on indoor scenes (measured with GeForce GTX 560 at 19×10 Ultra).

Updates the NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support to a higher performance profile.

Adds new 3D Vision laser sight /crosshair options to better match Skyrim crosshairs.

 

Other bits included with the 290.53 beta drivers are SLI and 3D Vision profiles for a bunch of new titles, including Trine 2. NVIDIA says that GeForce 400- and 500-series GPUs should no longer see "random instances of triangular artifacts" when playing Battlefield 3.

Mozilla renew Google agreement, still the default search in Firefox

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Dec 22, 2011 1:28 am

Mozilla have reportedly renewed their search partnership with Google for another three years. Mozilla haven't disclosed the financial details, but have said that it will be significant and mutually benefit both parties. For example, in 2010, Google contributed 84-percent of Mozilla's $123 million total revenue.

 

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The previous agreement, which lasted for three years, expired last month. Mozilla said at the time it was in "active negotiations" with Google, but with Chrome ramping up its market share, most believed that Google would use that as leverage to cut down on a competitor or just let them go.

 

There were doubts that Mozilla wouldn't tap Google for its search engine, with the end of October seeing Firefox offering a "Firefox with Bing". This of course started rumors that Firefox might use Microsoft as their default search engine, but this in the end, was not the case.

Wednesday Morning Roundup

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Dec 21, 2011 2:44 pm

The latest happenings from around the web - December 21st, 2011

 

Motherboard

 

- Digi+ Power Control Rampage IV Formula @ Ocaholic

- Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Supreme Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

 

Video/Monitor

 

- Squeaky Wheel: NVIDIA Driver Fixes GTX 560 Ti 2Win and X79 Issue @ PC Perspective

- Sparkle GTX560 2GB OC Edition @ Kitguru

 

Cases/Modding/PSU

 

- Fractal Array R2 Mini ITX NAS Case @ LANOC

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Download of the Day: GPU-Z 0.5.7

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 21, 2011 12:58 pm

Our Download of the Day today is GPU-Z 0.5.7.

 

TechPowerUp today released GPU-Z version 0.5.7, the latest version of our popular graphics system information and diagnostic utility. This release of GPU-Z comes just in time for the launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series. It packs tested support for Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7350. It packs an updated PCI Express 3.0 detection routine, with better detection reliability. It fixes a bug related to "APIC counter broken" on AMD Fusion APU platforms. Detection is improved for some rare GPUs, such as HD 6450A, HD 6470M, and the more popular HD 5570.

 

Several reliability updates were introduced. This includes fixed (improved) fillrate calculation on Fermi architecture, fixed ROP count on GT 420, GT 520, HD 5450, HD 6450; fixed random values showing as default clocks on some NVIDIA cards; fixed random value showing as shader clock on NVIDIA cards without shader clock; and addition of process size, die size, transistor count for Radeon E6760.

 

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Continue reading 'Download of the Day: GPU-Z 0.5.7' (full post)

700,000 - the number of Android devices activated each and every day

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 21, 2011 12:25 pm

Google's Andy Rubin announced through Google+ and Twitter that "There are now over 700,000 Android devices activated every day." He also notes:

 

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…and for those wondering, we count each device only once (ie, we don't count re-sold devices), and "activations" means you go into a store, buy a device, put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service.

 

The last figures from Google were 550,000 devices per day when Chairman Eric Schmidt announced it in Germany earlier this year. To put these numbers into perspective, 700,000 devices per day is nearly 5 million per week, 21 million per month and an insane 250,000,000 (or a quarter of a billion) per year.

Continue reading '700,000 - the number of Android devices activated each and every day' (full post)

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