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RumorTT: NVIDIA introducing new Anti-Aliasing algorithm with Kepler

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 10:35 am

NVIDIA are mere days away from releasing their Kepler-based GEFORCE GTX 680, but there is still secrets that are leaking through the cracks. It seems that NVIDIA could have baked a new anti-aliasing (AA) algorithm into the Kepler family of GPUs.

 

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There are plenty of different forms of AA, including FXAA, which have enabled higher levels of image quality, all while not being as taxing on the GPU as MSAA. This leaves one area to improve, to offer better image quality (IQ) while lowering the performance penalty when its enabled. According to the above screenshot, which is rumored to be sourced from NVIDIA's GeForce Kepler press-deck, the new algorithm is compared to 8x MSAA, where it gives superior image quality.

 

We all know that 8x MSAA is not easy for a GPU and definitely takes an arrow to the knee in terms of performance degradation for a GPU. But, this new screenshot shows us an anti-aliasing method that does indeed look taxing, but if NVIDIA has rubbed their genie lamp, we could expect some amazing AA, where it won't be too taxing on the GPU itself. The latest NVIDIA rumor showed that when Battlefield 3 was running its AA, it had some stellar performance.

1080p iTunes flicks, can they compete with full-blown Blu-rays?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 9:31 am

AnandTech have tackled something I haven't had the time to test yet: iTunes gear in 1080p. They've tested the iTunes 1080p downloads to the proper Blu-ray Discs (BRD). The only issue is they were forced to take actual photos of the screen, versus screenshots, because of the hardware and DRM-based limitations, boo.

 

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The screen used was identical in both tests, a Dell U2312HM monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution, a MacBook Air connected through the DisplayPort port, and a Panasonic DMP-BD65 Blu-ray player that was connected with a HDMI-to-DVI cable. AnandTech then used the movie 30 Days of Night, which was filed in the common Super 35 film format, and transferred itno the 2k digital intermediate, which means it was edited in the digital domain.

 

Now, considering that the BRD version of the movie is a dual-layer BD 50 disc that sports both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS-HD tracks, the iTunes version is not very big at all. The iTunes version is just 3.62GB, and contains the stereo AAC track as well as the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. AnandTech have a few photos showing the difference between the versions, so you should check the rest of the story out here.

Sparrow for iPhone released, iOS gets a much-needed e-mail overhaul

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 8:26 am

If you're like me, you'll thrash your smartphone for e-mail, and if you're an iPhone user, this news might make you happy. Popular e-mail client, Sparrow, has been released for the iPhone.

 

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The iPhone app is just $3, and brings the formerly Mac-only app into the iPhone world. It drags along the pane navigation from apps like Facebook and Twitter, swipes bring in the main navigation for folders and labels, as well as quick shortcuts to deal with individual messages.

 

Simplification is the message here, though, where Sparrow has features that Apple left out of their mail client. Contacts and messages can sort by priority, users can mark all messages as read, and users' profiles feature prominently. You can also attached photos directly from within Sparrow, solving a problem with Mail that required you to go to the photo library first.

 

Sparrow works on any iOS device running 5.0 or later, and supports just IMAP mail accounts such as Gmail, iCloud or Yahoo. At the moment, it's not clear whether POP3 accounts will get support, but for a decently featured mail client, I see that coming in a future revision.

iPad launches in Australia, Japan, other countries

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 7:26 am

Apple's latest third-generation iPad is now here, folks, I have one on the desk next to me, but I have a tonne of news to deliver to you loving readers, who are more important than that little thing.

 

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We all know it has hit, and Australia was first, because well, you know, we rock. Anyway, we had midnight launches in some states with some telcos like Telstra opening their doors (and arms and tills) at midnight. This is a full eight hours before Apple opened their retail doors, so some people were greeted with iPads very early today.

 

It has been reported that there were "snaked" queues, but I'm based in South Australia and had no problems. I called Big W, JB Hi-Fi and a few of their local retailers, and all of them had stock. My local JB's had all 6 flavors of the iPad in stock, and I drove down and picked two of the iPads up without any problems.

Continue reading 'iPad launches in Australia, Japan, other countries' (full post)

Only in Japan: No power? That's fine, hand-cranked vending machines are now possible

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 6:22 am

I'm beginning to love these "Only in Japan" stories, where another one was spotted today that is actually a great idea. A vending machine that in the case of an emergency, will still dispense goods.

 

 

How so? Well, it's hand-cranked, where food and beverages (or other supplies) would be dispensed when the power is down. Something that is perfect in the tsunami and earthquake-prone country. Sanden, a Japanese vending outfit, developed the system that would allow the country's 5.5 million machines to run without electricity or solar power, and rely on hand-cranking.

 

The amount of cranks required? 70. 20 seconds until it powers up to do so, also. The machine displayed above will shoot out around seven bottles in 20 seconds before the machine needs to be re-cranked. This is such a great idea, something that should be rolled out across all countries in my opinion!

Nokia finally confirm that they're creating a tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 5:23 am

Finally, Nokia have confirmed that they are working on a tablet, with Nokia chief design guru Marko Ahtisaari is spending a lot of his time creating the new tablet for Nokia, which they hope will stand out in a very crowded marketplace.

 

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Marko spoke with Finnish magazine Kauppelehti Optio and actually said "we are working on it". Stephen Elop, Nokia's chief, wants the company to enter the tablet market, but instead of releasing something that everyone else is doing, they want to do something different in order to stand out.

 

Most companies who are competing in the tablet market, aren't really competing in the tablet market per se. They're really just competing against the benchmark in the tablet market: Apple's iPad. A Nokia spokesperson said "we continue to eye the tablet space with interest, but have made no specific announcements".

 

With Nokia and Microsoft teaming up, we should expect a Windows 8-based tablet, and hopefully, something quite different. Exciting times for Nokia, and consumers.

BlackBerry will hit the PlayBook, says RIM

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 4:31 am

Research In Motion (RIM) have been having a little bit of trouble hitting homeruns with their smartphones since Apple, and Google have entered the market space, but they're hoping that BlackBerry 10 marks a change in direction.

 

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When BB10 hits, the PlayBook will be next in line, according to RIM's VP of product management, Rob Orr. He confirmed the news to TechRadar, saying:

 

We've said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that's still firmly the case. At some point after the launch we'll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks, yes.

 

Other than that quote, there hasn't been any specifics, which is expected because it's so early in the year still. RIM have confirmed they've seen a spike in updates to PlayBook OS 2.0, which only arrived last month. According to the executive, roughly 50-percent of all users made the jump to the OS the day of release... which is just not too shabby at all. GG, RIM.

18 firms sued for using privacy-invading mobile apps

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 4:26 am

A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas earlier this week by 13 individuals alleging that "the defendants -- several of the world's largest and most influential technology and social networking companies -- have unfortunately made, distributed and sold mobile software applications that, once installed on a wireless mobile device, surreptitiously harvest, upload and illegally steal the owner's address book data without the owner's knowledge or consent." The defendants in question are Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Yelp and 14 other companies.

 

This claim, if true, is pretty worrisome for users of the apps, such as myself. Last month, one of the companies named in the suit was pressured into issuing a public apology after a Singapore-based programmer uncovered the fact in a blog post. An article, Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission by the New York Times, was cited several times in the 152-page complaint. This lawsuit comes at a time privacy concerns over mobile applications appears to be steadily rising.

 

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According to our source:

 

Apple, Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this week's lawsuit. A Twitter spokesman said the company did not comment on pending litigation.

Continue reading '18 firms sued for using privacy-invading mobile apps' (full post)

AU Optronics gets pwned, found guilty of US price fixing, appeals

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 3:28 am

AU Optronics, you naughty, naughty company. They've had their name thrown through courts before, where in a 2009 group suit they were targeted for LCD price fixing. But, it's not like LCD price fixing is anything new, but it seems that AUO will be getting slapped with the decision process in the US.

 

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A US court found the Taiwanese company guilt in a case, where the fine could be as large as $1 billion. Quite a lot of green, if you ask me. The company was charged as part of an alleged price-fixing group, that operated for quite a while it seems, between 1999 and 2006 to be exact, where they were the only Asian LCD maker in that lot to plead not guilty.

 

This ruling comes after LG coughing up a $400 million fine in 2008, where Samsung talked themselves into an early deal to sidestep prosecution. A duo of AUO executives were also found guilty, but its former CEO, L.J. Chen, was not. AUO are expected to appeal, which could take a year, but that hasn't stopped their stock price from dropping in the meantime.

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680 specs are here, cracks open a can of whoop ass

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 16, 2012 2:28 am

Chinese media site PCOnline.com.cn have released what they claim to be an snipper from the press-desk of NVIDIA's GEFORCE GTX 680 launch, which is scheduled for March 22. The specs look interesting indeed.

 

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We should be expecting the GTX 680 to sport 1536 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1006MHz, boost clock of 1058MHz, 2GB of GDDR5 ram with a 256-bit wide bus, 6.0Gbps effective memory speed, power connector-wise we should see dual 6-pin, 195W total TDP, dual dual-link DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2 and finally, will arrive in PCI-Express 3.0.

 

If this is true, it goes hand-in-hand with most of the information that has slowly leaked over the last few weeks, and should be some great competition for the already kick ass Radeon HD 7970. Not long to go now everyone! Wave your Team Green flags, now!

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