AMD has released the new AMD Catalyst 12.3 driver today for download. It's mainly a support upgrade where is features full support for Windows 7 64-bit/32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit/32-bit for the 7000 series. Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series will be made available in AMD Catalyst 12.4
Additionally, the drivers have fixed the following issues:
AMD Catalyst Control Center startup issues/delays have been resolved
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim : No longer displays flickering and texture corruption with Anti-Aliasing enabled
Alan Wake : A system crash is no longer experienced when running the game in DirectX 9 mode with Crossfire enabled.
Far Cry 2 : A random system hang is no longer experienced when running the game at high in game setting.
Tom Clancy HAWX : No longer crashes after task switching with MLAA (Morphological Anti-Aliasing) and Anti-Aliasing enabled.
Furmark Benchmark : No longer crashes when launched in High Performance mode.
Quake 4 : No longer display corruption after task switching when run in High Performance mode
XPlane : Textures no longer exhibit flicker and corruption.
You can download Catalyst 12.3 here
Our Download of the Day is FinalWare's AIDA64 v2.30.
AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. AIDA64 Extreme Edition provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
The change log is below:
- Enhanced UPS support
- Revamped Desktop Gadget
- Preliminary support for Intel "Haswell" APU and Intel "Lynx Point" PCH
- Preliminary support for Intel "Penwell" SoC
- Intel 520 and Intel 710 SSD support
- GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series and nVIDIA GeForce 600 Series
You can download AIDA64 v2.30 here.
At NVIDIA's GeForce Kepler event (sadly, I was not invited), NVIDIA reportedly stunned people at the event by showing off a smooth-running Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 "Samaritan" tech-demo, which ran on a single GeForce Kepler-based GPU. Previously, the demo required three 500-series NVIDIA GPUs to run.
But, Samaritan isn't Kepler's official tech demo, the official tech demo is a next-generation Dawn demo dubbed "New Dawn". New Dawn is a retake on the Dawn tech-demo, which blew the industry away when it hit nearly 10 years ago now. At the time, Dawn was impressively detailed, but the environment around her, was not.
This time around, NVIDIA focused on environmental elements such as realistic physics simulation, improved hair animation, and of course, much more detail. NVIDIA has a bunch of new tools at their disposal on the Kepler GPUs, such as a level of tessellation that was simply impossible to render not only on their generations ago GPUs, but on their competitors GPUs. NVIDIA could be ready to dump this on NVIDIA.com and GeForce.com at any minute now.
The above picture is from the 2003-based demo, where the video is a sneak peak at the New Dawn tech demo.
Now, it's none of my business how many bits you process at a time. That's between you and your software vendor. But, if you want to continue using Adobe Photoshop on your Mac, you better jump on the upgrade train and grab a new multi-core Mac that has a 64-bit os, Snow Leopard or later. Windows retains 32-bit support, but only for Windows XP.
Part of this change in support structure is Adobe dropping support for Windows Vista. The logic behind retaining support for Windows XP is simple: many Photoshop users are still on Windows XP based system. With this update, any existing 32-bit Photoshop plugins will need to be updated for 64-bit. The requirements for the current beta are:
Our Download of the Day is CCleaner 3.17.
CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download.
- Added wildcard support for Cookie cleaning.
- Improved Google Chrome Saved Form Information cleaning.
- Improved Google Chrome History cleaning for Search Engines.
- Added Hosts history cleaning in Aurora.
- Added Shortcuts history cleaning in Google Chrome Canary.
- Improved JumpList menu to avoid possible UI lock.
- Improved option to close running browsers when cleaning.
- Improved IE AutoComplete Form History and Saved Passwords cleaning.
- Improved shortcut cleaning in Windows 8.
- Added cleaning for CyberLink PhotoDirector 10, DivX player and Snagit 11.
- Improved cleaning for Vuze, Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 and Game Explorer.
- Improved BitTorrent detection.
- Minor bug fixes and improvements.
Download CCleaner 3.17 here.
The latest iPhone app to hit is 'Black SMS'. What does it do? Well, it can keep your text messages covered in a black shroud, until you're ready to read them. Everyone has secrets. Think of it, I know you do. I do. I'm secretly a lady. What? You can't see what I typed there, it has a black shroud over it.
Black SMS is not expensive, either, at just $0.99. The app sends blacked-out messages through Apple's iMessage service, so when you receive a black SMS, you then copy the message from your Messages folder, and paste it into the Black SMS app to reveal what it says. Kind of like a next-gen scratchy.
Even if your iPhone is stolen, Black SMS requires a password to decode the black shroud-laden message. HAHA, pranksters. The app makes a person questionable, though, as if the situation arose that you had secret SMS messages, one would ask what is so secret? But, what if you just didn't want people knowing what you're talking about?
The U.S. Army proposed an app store a while ago now, but it has now become quite real. The U.S. Army over the weekend announced the prototype of the Army Software Marketplace, a web-based app store that currently only features twelve different training apps that have been approved for Army-wide use.
At first, they are just iOS apps, but the Army have promised that it will soon sport apps for Android-based devices, too. The 12 apps that currently reside on the web-based app store will definitely grow, and the Army have noted that the prototype is just:
a first step in establishing and exercising new submission and approval processes that will eventually enable Army members, organizations and third-party developers to release applications for Army-wide distribution.
Popular HTPC software suite, XMBC, has hit version 11.0 and is now available for download. The new version sports, according to XMBC's website:
Addon Rollbacks, vast improvements in Confluence (the default skin), massive speed increases via features like Dirty-region rendering and the new JPEG decoder, a simpler, better library, movie set scraping, additional protocol handling, better networking support, better handling of unencrypted BluRay content and structures, adjustable display refresh rate in OSX (to match the already available feature in Windows and Linux), AirPlay support, an upgraded weather service with geoip lookup, and much, much more.
Just a little bit of an upgrade, wouldn't you say? On top of that, the team have also increased the hardware support of XBMC, too. Eden now marks the first in-sync stable release for the Apple TV2, iPad, and other iOS-based devices. The team have also said to have improved the method they use for input, including "heavily upgrading JSON-RPC support" which makes remote control support much simpler in Windows, reportedly.
XMBC 11.0 Eden is available now for Windows, Linux, OSX and iOS. Download it here.
Over the weekend, Instagram opened up a sign-up page for the much-anticipated Android app. At the moment, it's not known what the sign-up page actually does, whether it gives you an early entry into the app, as users are encouraged to supply an e-mail address to be the "first in line".
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has hinted previously that the Android-based version of the popular camera app would be just weeks away, and has also teased that it might be more feature-rich than its iOS competition.
Instagram saw a surge in users when the iPhone 4S was released, and now sits at a very respectable 27 million users. As soon as Instagram for Android drops, you can be sure that we'll let you know.
Our Download of the Day is Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 15 (w/ NVIDIA Kepler support).
The main updated features of MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 15
* Added NVIDIA Kepler graphics processors family support
* Added GPU power consumption monitoring for NVIDIA Kepler series graphics cards
* Added, core clock offset, memory clock offset and voltage offset support for dynamic overclocking on NVIDIA Kepler series graphic cards
* Fixed issue preventing applying new settings from control shared memory
* Fixed issue with video capture timer display, causing hours to be incremented erroneously after each 6 minutes of videorecording
* Skin format reference guide has been updated to v1.5 to document new indicator types support
* Added new "Force fan speed update on each period" option to the "Fan" tab. New option may improve compatibility of software automatic fan speed control mode with some bugged display drivers, overriding manually programmed fan speed under certain conditions
You can download Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 15, here.
DriverTT: NVIDIA release new GeForce 301.10 WHQL driver, designed for the GTX 680 and includes some truly kick-arse features
NVIDIA released their latest Kepler-based GEFORCE GTX 680 only hours ago now, with TweakTown super star and VGA Editor, Shane Baxtor being the first in the world to release a review on the new card. I heard NVIDIA weren't really mad and started making blue-colored cocktails to match the TweakTown colors, in celebration that they knew it really amplified the buzz for the card (kidding).
Anyway, NVIDIA have released the new GeForce 301.10 WHQL-certified drivers designed for use with the newly-released GEFORCE GTX 680 GPU. The new driver throws in some new features, and enhancements, but are are GTX 680-exclusive.
I'll skim over some of the new features, and let you read the rest at the source. First up we have NVIDIA Control Panel FXAA, which is a high-speed, shader-based anti-aliasing technique that can be enabled directly through the NVIDIA control panel. Called FXAA, this new technique is up to 60-percent faster than 4xMSAA, and can produce results equal to MSAA at minimum, and in some cases, provide better-than MSAA quality.
Another stand-out feature is the three monitor surround plus accessory display. The GEFORCE GTX 680 cards sport four monitor connectors, where you can use a 3D (or non-3D) Vision Surround setup, with the fourth monitor connected NVIDIA use this as an "Accessory Display". Very cool new feature.
Adobe unveils Photoshop CS6 beta, sports redesigned UI, 65 new features, and you can download it for free, today!
Adobe haven't released a new version of Photoshop for nearly two years now, which means Adobe's engineers have been knuckling down for a very long time, without anyone seeing the goodies they're working on, until now. Adobe are now ready to show off their latest beta version of Photoshop CS6.
Adobe have added no less than 65 new features, which are said to be from a tonne of user feedback ideas, including a new crop tool, expanded video editing options, auto recovery and the ability to search for specific layers. Fans of the dotted lines in Illustrator will be in love with Photoshop, which now receives the same vector tools.
Every slider for the Camera Raw 7.0 plug-in, including exposure, contrast and more, now has a tweaked algorithm. One of the stand-out features is the ability for Photoshop to save projects in the background, whilst you work on other things. In the words of Borat, "very nice!"
One the full product goes on sale, it will cost $699 as a standalone product, or $999 for the extended version.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Baconit for Windows Phone.
Baconit is a modern metro Reddit app for Windows Phone. Baconit fully supports Mango, and provides a beautiful, clean, fast, and easy interface to reddit.
"We're pretty sure that Baconit is the best Reddit.com app on the Windows Phone Marketplace today." - WP Central
* Beautiful, fast, animated interface
* Pinning of subreddits and stories with nightly updating
* Beautiful live tiles with full images from subreddits
* Full screen endless image viwer mode show images for all subreddits
* Instant loading of any subreddit / reddit url / or search
* Message inbox with automatic updates
* Unread message / karma live tile
* Endless subreddit scrolling
* Ability to post / edit / and delete stories and comments
* Real-time formatting preview in post submit
* Manage local and account subreddits
* Submit links / images to reddit
* Hide and save stories
* Reddit profile support
* Windows Phone share picker support
* Great light theme support
* Fast app switching / multitasking
* And much, much more...
Reddit is the web's best source for news, events, politics, technology, gamming, humor, and much more. With Baconit, the user is able to easily and quickly browse all of the information on reddit with a quick, clean, and beautiful metro inspired interface.
Join our subreddit here: http://www.reddit.com/r/baconitWP
Apple's latest iPad has a gorgeous screen, but there's going to be an issue for a while until app developers upgrade their apps to the appropriate 2048x1536 resolution that the new screen outputs. Netflix is the latest one to do this, upgrading their app to version 2.1.1.
The new version adds high-res artwork, but also fixes for VoiceOver, improved playback on external displays and a few other little tweaks. Netflix's Twitter account is also promising that HD video streaming is coming soon. The new update should please some people, but as usual, not every person can be happy with updates.
For those with older iPads, nothing really changes... most of the time, that is. Streaming-only customers have reportedly lose the ability to even view or rate DVD-only titles in the new version 2.1.1 of the Netflix app. This is strange, but I expect a new version to slide onto the iTunes App Store shortly, well, hopefully.
Our Download of the Day is TechPowerUp's GPU-Z v0.6.0.
- Added optional GPU-Z installer which launches when GPU-Z is started for the first time, or can be started manually via the GPU-Z system menu
- Added support for AMD Radeon HD 7870, HD 7850, HD 7670M, FireStream 9370, FirePro V3900
- Added support for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, GT 640M, GTX 560 SE, GT 550M, GeForce 510, NVS 2100M
- Fixed clocks not showing correctly on some systems with Catalyst 12.2
- Fixed board id reading on pre-Fermi cards
- Fixed OpenCL detection for ATI Fusion (Sumo & Ontario)
- Fixed GPU-Z window getting cut off at certain DPI settings
You can grab GPU-Z v0.6.0 here.
LogMeIn have just announced that they have teamed up with device maker HTC to bring over remote support services to HTC's Android-based devices. New models incoming from HTC should have LogMeIn Rescue preloaded onto the device.
LogMeIn Rescue will allow HTC's support staff to remote to your device to diagnose or troubleshoot technical problems you're experiencing. The system relies on a secure data connection to provide support staff with the required configuration details and remote control capabilities. HTC representatives can then change settings on the phone, or run diagnostic utlities.
LogMeIn also offer software that is similar to LogMeIn Remote, for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian as well as the desktop editions available for both the PC and Mac. HTC have not yet announced any launch plans for LogMeIn-sporting Android devices.
Our Download of the Day is Thunderbird 11.0.
New user interface with Tabs above the main menu bar to facilitate navigation and make it more contextual
Various security fixes
Thunderbird notifications may not work properly with Growl 1.3 or later
Fixes a crash seen during importing of Microsoft Outlook profiles
If you are unable to view content for your RSS feeds in the Wide View Layout, you may need to disable the Lightning Calendar add-on if you have it installed or switch to Classic View and restart Thunderbird.
You can read more on, and download Thunderbird 11.0, here.
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.
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.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Pixlr-o-matic.
Add retro effects to your photos in a snap!
Awarded 2011's "Best App Ever" award for the Best Photo Editing App on Android by 148apps.com
You can add fun retro effects to your photos in a snap and transform your photos into cool looking vintage images. Editing is as easy as one, two, three with Pixlr-o-matic to add effects, overlays and borders. So many options to choose from, there are more than 2,000,000 possible finishes to make your photos look spectacular!
✓Color overlays help you adjust the mood - amplify the tone, cool it down, or add surreal shades
✓Lighting effects add drama, sparkle or a grunge look
✓Finish off your photo process with the right frame - pick a border style that fits you
✓Want it all in a single swipe? Try the randomizer and we'll select an effect, overlay, and border for you.
✓No camera required! Select a photo from your gallery and start applying effects. If your device has a camera, you can also snap a new picture from within the app
✓Share your vintage image directly with your friends through Facebook or imm.io
✓Export your finished image back to your gallery. Images can be saved in high resolution, depending on the resolution of the original image
NVIDIA have just released a fresh set of drivers, where we have them split into two variants. First off, we have the GeForce 296.10 which is available for Windows XP, Vista and 7 users, where it boosts SLI performance in a few titles: Blacklight: Retribution, Dirt 3, Dishonored, Dungeon Defenders, F1 2011 and rFactor 2.
The update also includes improvements or adds 3D Vision profiles for Dear Esther and Deep Black: Reloaded. Support for the newly-released GeForce GTX 560 SE is included, as well as a bunch of bug fixes for various applications when running single or multi-GPU configurations. As a bonus, the 296.10 are WHQL-certified. You can grab those, here.
Windows 8 and NVIDIA user? You're in luck! NVIDIA have simultaneously released the GeForce 296.17 drivers specifically for Windows 8. These drivers add full support for the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.2 as well as 3D Vision and 3DTV Play products for over 600 games, Blu-ray movies and photos. You can grab the 296.17's here.
Instagram is huge, I have so many friends who post their picture of the day on my Facebook wall, and to be 'cool', I've always wanted to get in on this, but, I have an Android phone. Instagram's co-creator, Kevin Systrom, used a presentation at South by Southwest's technology conference to showcase the Android-based version of Instagram.
The version shown was a closed beta, but should support multiple screen resolutions and should 'run very quickly'. Systrom did hint that there could be some features that the iOS version doesn't include, where he said to the audience "in some ways, it's better than our iPhone app".
Systrom didn't give a timeframe for when the app will hit Android, other than it is coming "really soon". Systrom also reiterated his view that Instagram had kept an iOS-exclusive app since launch its launch in 2010 in order to focus on the basics of scaling the platform, as well as coping with the insane number of users.