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Telstra opens $13M Experience Centre in Melbourne

Steve Dougherty | Trade Shows | Jul 29, 2011 11:20 PM CDT

Yesterday Telstra opened the doors for the first time to the Telstra Experience Centre (TEC) in Melbourne. This comes after the first TEC was launched in Sydney in November 2007, which has seen triple growth in customer traffic numbers in its 3 years of operation with over 1000 customers visiting the centre last year.

Telstra opens $13M Experience Centre in Melbourne 01

The Melbourne centre was constructed over a 190 day period in which over $13 million was outlaid. The complex is Telstra'a largest customer facility yet covering a total of 3,055 square meters and features 16 demonstration areas used to showcase various active technologies as well as two user-testing laboratories and two product design areas.

The Experience and Collaboration zones alone cover 2,185 square meters, while the eight video conferencing demonstration rooms cover an additional 870 square meters. Over 40km of cabling was used during construction with 897 data points, and 8km worth of fibre optic cabling ran in the wall of the New Horizon room.

Continue reading: Telstra opens $13M Experience Centre in Melbourne (full post)

Biostar intros updated budget oriented Z68 board w/ improved CPU VRM

If you're looking for a decent entry level Z68 on the cheap, you may be interested to know that Biostar are delivering what looks to be a fairly well rounded budget board in the new TZ68K+ that they've just launched this week.

Biostar intros updated budget oriented Z68 board w/ improved CPU VRM 03

Biostar actually already has what looks like an identical board in its current lineup, the TZ68A+, however the new TZ68K+ differs in that it sports a stronger CPU VRM arrangement with 8 phases vs. the 4-phase VRM setup on the TZ68A+, making it a bit more attractive if you want to get a decent overclock. As a result of the chunkier VRM setup, it now has its own heatsink to assist in keeping temps at bay.

Continue reading: Biostar intros updated budget oriented Z68 board w/ improved CPU VRM (full post)

AMD FX 8150P Bulldozer pricing, $300

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jul 29, 2011 12:21 AM CDT

This can't be confirmed as 100% truth yet, but it seems AMD has "accidentally" leaked out the pricing of their upcoming eight-core Bulldozer chip. AMD announced a give away of 5 x AMD FX-8150P processors and if you scroll through the terms and conditions of the competition, the following line can be found:

AMD FX 8150P Bulldozer pricing, $300 | TweakTown.com

Top tier prizes: Five (5) AMD FX series eight-core processors. Approximate Retail Value: $300 USD each.

Oh really... well, it seems the processor will compete against the Intel Core i7 2600 Sandy Bridge CPU which is currently retailing at $300. Can AMD bulldoze Intel over with this chip and the competitive pricing, we'll have to wait and see!

Continue reading: AMD FX 8150P Bulldozer pricing, $300 (full post)

Skype releases official 5.5 Update with Facebook integration

Steve Dougherty | Software & Apps | Jul 28, 2011 11:32 AM CDT

Based on user feedback from its June beta release, Skype has now rolled out the final 5.5 build of its software which is available for download immediately.

Skype releases official 5.5 Update with Facebook integration | TweakTown.com

Skype 5.5 adds deeper Facebook integration in that you can view which of your FB friends are online from it directly as well as being able to instant message them from the new 'Facebook Contacts' tab. The ability to view and update your Facebook status is also possible as well as being able to view and 'like' posts from your wall directly from Skype Home.

Continue reading: Skype releases official 5.5 Update with Facebook integration (full post)

NVIDIA 280.19 Beta Driver brings a ton of fixes

Steve Dougherty | Software & Apps | Jul 28, 2011 9:54 AM CDT

A new beta driver for NVIDIA cards has been made available over at GeForce.com today in the R280.19s. It promises a ton of fixes along with new and updated 3D Vision profiles as well as a couple new features.

NVIDIA 280.19 Beta Driver brings a ton of fixes | TweakTown.com

Furthermore, while it isn't mentioned in the release notes, these drivers are recommended for testing the BattleField 3 Alpha release as they are said to address a number of in-game glitches seen in previous driver releases while helping in the performance dept.

If you happen to be running an SLI rig in conjunction with a 3D Vision kit, these drivers are also recommended to enable 3DVisionLive.com and YouTube 3D video support. On that note, the 280.19s will also give you the ability to enable Window mode in the most recent version of the 3D Vision player.

For a complete rundown on the release notes, head over to this page on GeForce.com folks.

Continue reading: NVIDIA 280.19 Beta Driver brings a ton of fixes (full post)

Police arrest 19-year old LulzSec hacker 'Topiary'

Anthony Garreffa | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Jul 27, 2011 9:30 PM CDT

A member of both "Anonymous Operations" and "Lulz Security", 'Topiary' has been arrested on Wednesday, news coming from the Metropolitan Police Service. 'Topiary' served as the publicist of both hacker groups and often posted press releases and statements via Twitter. He had an apartment in Shetland Islands, Scotland and the apartment is currently being searched. A second 17-year old person in Lincolnshire, England is also being interviewed by has not yet been arrested.

Police arrest 19-year old LulzSec hacker 'Topiary' | TweakTown.com

The FBI began raiding apartments and arresting a number of people believed to be involved with Anonymous and LulzSec starting on July 19th. The hacker groups have said in response to the arrests that there is "nothing - absolutely nothing - you can possibly do to make us stop." During that time, Topiary is said to have tweeted "Arresting people won't stop us, FBI. We will only cease fire when you all wear shoes on your head. That's the only way this is ending," which is from the official LulzSec Twitter account.

Continue reading: Police arrest 19-year old LulzSec hacker 'Topiary' (full post)

AMD releases Catalyst 11.7 and 11.8 Preview drivers

Cameron Wilmot | Software & Apps | Jul 27, 2011 1:59 PM CDT

Just before the end of the month and in keeping with AMD's new Catalyst driver every month thing, we get word of Catalyst 11.7 as well as a bonus driver Catalyst 11.8 preview.

AMD releases Catalyst 11.7 and 11.8 Preview drivers | TweakTown.com

As you would expect, there are a long list of resolved issues.

• All issues experienced with mouse cursor lag have been resolved

• Log event (Event ID 62464) issues when playing video content have been resolved

• Resolves system hangs seen in the AMD Catalyst™ 11.6 driver on specific HDMI and DP displays

• Bluray playback using PowerDVD 10 under High Performance mode no longer randomly displays a blank screen.

• Some Divx format files no longer display video corruption using WinDVD.

• AMD SteadyVideo is now applied to Home Video clips using WinDVD 10.

• Chequerboard corruption is no longer displayed intermittently when playing DirectX 10 titles in a Crossfire configuration and Eyefinity enabled.

• Shogun II now renders the cinematics correctly when run in various Eyefinity configurations.

• Video playback now works correctly when Hardware acceleration is enabled with VLC Player version 1.1.9.

• Crossfire now functions correctly when playing Hamilton's Great Adventure.

• PowerDVD now correctly handles 3D Bluray content.

• Portal 2 no longer displays flickering on water surface textures with Medium and Low Shader detail settings.

And in the 11.8 preview driver you can look forward to the following...

Continue reading: AMD releases Catalyst 11.7 and 11.8 Preview drivers (full post)

AMD say they'll have 28-nm GPUs this year

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Jul 26, 2011 11:18 PM CDT

In a repeat of what we saw two years ago when AMD launched the HD5000 series and slipped down to the slender 40nm process, it seems as though AMD will beat NVIDIA to the punch again and have 28nm GPUs by the end of the year. AMD let slip that they'll have 28nm GPUs in the following quote:

AMD say they'll have 28-nm GPUs this year | TweakTown.com

We also passed several critical milestones in the second quarter as we prepare our next-generation 28-nanometer graphics family. We have working silicon in-house and remain on track to deliver the first members of what we expect will be another industry-leading GPU family to market later this year. We expect to be at the forefront of the GPU industry's transition to 28-nanometer.

Continue reading: AMD say they'll have 28-nm GPUs this year (full post)

Battlefield 3 to be scaled down to consoles, dreams do come true!

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Jul 26, 2011 9:08 PM CDT

This is something I have covered in my editorials, forums and Facebook, that games should be created and developed on the much more powerful PC platform and scaled down to consoles that are no way near as fast. Instead of being developed on ageing hardware and then ported across to PC where they don't scale up in graphics or use DX11 properly, or multi-GPU setups properly, etc.

Battlefield 3 to be scaled down to consoles, dreams do come true! | TweakTown.com

DICE have come out and said that the biggest difference between the PC and console versions are shown in the multiplayer side of things, down from 64 players on PC to just 24 on consoles. DICE studio head, Patrick Bach says:

The biggest difference between the PC and console version of Battlefield 3 is that we have 64 players on PC and 24 players maximum on console. The rest is more or less the same: we use the same engine, the same technology, the same animation system, the same lighting system. Our aim is to give the player the exact same experience and not try to dumb down the console version. If you want the same quality of game, I would say it's really, really hard. We tried to get more players in [to the console version] but then you need to scale down all the graphics, scale down all the destructibility, and sometimes you need to scale down all the map sizes. Everything is a compromise on: where do you cut?

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 to be scaled down to consoles, dreams do come true! (full post)

ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills

Steve Dougherty | Motherboards | Jul 26, 2011 9:42 AM CDT

ASRock seem to be pumping out an astonishing number of feature packed motherboards these days, with most of them looking quite respectable indeed and select models even getting some additional support from Mr. Fatal1ty these days. Gone are the days when everyone was so fast to think ASRock was all about budget level 'dodgey' offerings any enthusiast wouldn't go near.

If you're not up to date on the type of quality assurance and attention to detail ASRock has peaked at these days, just check out the large batch of ASRock motherboard reviews here at TweakTown over the past few months. Our picky motherboard reviewing extraordinaire Shane generally finds they're leaps and bounds ahead compared to years past.

ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills 04

Having said that, ASRock has just dished up another very attractive board for those looking to build a compact high performance system or HTPC. Their new Z68M-ITX/HT was revealed to the world today which is a mini-ITX motherboard using the Intel Z68 chipset. As far as we're aware, only two other Z68 based mini-ITX offerings are currently on the market, both of which are from ZOTAC.

Continue reading: ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills (full post)

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