AMD to abandon its Sempron, Athlon and Phenom brand names?
AMD are rumored to can the Athlon, Sempron and Phenom brand names in favour of its AMD Vision trademark. AMD are set to introduce their codenamed Llano and Zambezi microprocessors later this year but, will not introduce a brand-name for them. Instead, AMD will put them into different classes of Vision platforms.
Zambezi-based processed which are built on the Bulldozer micro-architecture will include four, six or eight cores will be branded under the FX-series and sold under AMD's Vision Black and AMD Vision Ultimate labels. Llano on the other hand will include two or four cores as well as sporting Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cores and will be known as A-series processors. These chips will be part of the AMD Vision Ultimate and AMD Vision Premium platforms.
The lower-end of the market will be given E-series units with single or dual cores and a basic Radeon HD 6000-series graphics code-named Zacate under an AMD Vision sticker. AMD slashing the Athlon, Phenom and Sempron range is not an easy thing but, it will eventually lead to a more simplified line up of CPU's. Having different classes will help the end user who is not necessarily 'tech-savvy' to differentiate between the AMD range of products.
Continue reading: AMD to abandon its Sempron, Athlon and Phenom brand names? (full post)
Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - An update on donations!
Well folks, we are about 16 days into the TweakTown Aussie Flood Appeal and I thought it was time that I give you all an update on the donations we have received so far.
At this very moment, the donations total $4,655.17 AUD - yes, some of you donated odd amounts like $11 and $16, but thanks all the same for the extra. It all counts! We have converted to Australian Dollars since that is what will be given.
This means we are only a little short of our minimum of $5,000 USD and still a long way short of our target of $10,000 USD. The first end date for the appeal is Feb 26, 2011, but as mentioned in the original news post, we may extend up to March 31st in one week intervals if required.
Continue reading: Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - An update on donations! (full post)
New phone camera sensors from Samsung hopes to bring better shots
While smartphones have taken over a lot of useful functions in our lives, it's no secret that most phone cameras stink. Unless you've got a steady hand and perfect lighting, getting a really good shot is nearly impossible without hours of setting tweaking. Samsung has heard the cries of blurrycam victims everywhere and are working on two new camera sensors that could let you say goodbye to your point and shoot forever.
The tech serving to help improve photo quality is back side illumination, which allows a ton more light to enter the sensor even in low light conditions. Generally, rule number one for better photos is get as much light as you can. Samsung's 8 megapixel sensor, labeled the S5K3H2, is capable of capturing 1080p video at 30 FPS, 720p video at 60 FPS, and VGA video at 120FPS. While VGA, or 640×480 resolution, may seem pointless in this setup Samsung's giving the ability to play back VGA video in slow motion for those truly epic YouTube fail videos. The big dog of the lineup is the 12 megapixel S5K3L1, which sports all of the above listed features but also includes pixel-correction to clean up photos and videos.
The timeframe for these sensors to hit manufacturer's hands for implementation is about six months, which means we'll probably be waiting until 2012 before we see these in any of our phones. If it works, point and shoot cameras may officially become a thing of the past.
Continue reading: New phone camera sensors from Samsung hopes to bring better shots (full post)
Both Facebook and Google wanted to acquire Twitter, at $10 billion
Facebook and Google both had Twitter in their targets last year and even went as far to have talks with Twitter. Obviously all three companies have declined to comment on the news.
The meetings have let the flood gates open and rummaging through the wreckage is a golden nugget of info, Twitter was valued by Google and Facebook at between $8 billion and $10 billion. This is all according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal:
Executives at both Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., among other companies, have held low-level talks with those at Twitter Inc. in recent months to explore the prospect of an acquisition of the messaging service, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks have so far gone nowhere, these people say. But what's remarkable is the money that people familiar with the matter say frames the discussions with at least some potential suitors: an estimated valuation in the neighborhood of $8 billion to $10 billion. This for a company that, people familiar with the matter said, had 2010 revenue of $45 million-but lost money as it spent on hiring and data centers-and estimates its revenue this year at between $100 million and $110 million.
Continue reading: Both Facebook and Google wanted to acquire Twitter, at $10 billion (full post)
dB Logic ships new EP-100 earphones that protect hearing
Every time I go to the gym and see someone wearing headphones, it never ceases to amaze me that I can hear their music with them wearing earphones from 10 feet away. I can only imagine how loud that must be in their ears and how bad that must be for their hearing.
If you worry about your hearing or the hearing of your kid or another loved one that wears earphones a lot dB Logic has a new set of earphones that will be perfect for you. The earphones are called the EP-100 and are shipping now for about $30. The headphones have special SPL2 technology inside that protect the user from hearing damage associated with listening to music too loudly for a long time.
The circuits inside the headphones regulate the volume without causing distortion and other issues with the music. The technology needs no batteries either and is transparent to the user. The earphones come in silver, red, blue, pink, green, and orange colors and are available right now on Amazon and directly from the manufacturer.
Continue reading: dB Logic ships new EP-100 earphones that protect hearing (full post)
Scythe launches Gouriki 3 power supplies
Typically when I talk about Scythe we are looking at pics and specs on a new cooling solution for CPUs or video cards. Cooling isn't all Scythe has and the latest product to come for the company is a new line of power supplies. The line is all the same with the only difference being the power rating.
Scythe offers a 500W, 600W, and 700W version of the new Gouriki 3 PSU. They all share the same dual 12V rail as recommended by the Intel ATX 2.3 standard. The dual rails promise more stable power for computers. The PSUs also all measure in at 150 x 155 x 86mm and have a Scythe fan inside for cooling that is 140mm.
That fan has a special circuit that spins at only the speed needed to keep the PSU cool. The maximum speed is 1100rpm for the 500W offering, 1200rpm for the 600W, and 1450rpm for the 700W. The line is rated 80 Plus Bronze and has lots of protection built in for overvolt and more. Pricing and availability are unknown.
Continue reading: Scythe launches Gouriki 3 power supplies (full post)
Guitar Hero getting the axe from Activision
Fake guitarplayers everywhere are mourning today as Activision released that they are discontinuing their popular Guitar Hero franchise after a six year run. Slipping sales are the most likely culprit, with the latest release "Warriors of Rock" setting a new low in sales for the $2 billion gaming franchise.
While it may be the first game people think of when you're naming music-based video games, new competition from the likes of Rock Band and others have severely bitten into Guitar Hero's fanbase. Activision said in a statement that "due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011." Well, it's easy to make millions when you're the only game in town but when the competition comes you've got to step it up and Guitar Hero just wasn't able to do it. Reports are stating that Activision may continue to make new downloadable content available for current Guitar Hero games; although there is no timetable on how often or how long it will continue.
Continue reading: Guitar Hero getting the axe from Activision (full post)
Thermaltake introduces three new members of their Toughpower Grand power supply lineup
Thermaltake's Toughpower line of power supplies have been a big hit for high end PC owners. The folks at Thermaltake are looking to keep the momentum going as they release three new flavors of their Toughpower Grand line, complete with 80 Plus Gold certification for maximum efficiency.
The new Toughpower Grans PSUs will be available in 850W, 1050W and 1200W Models. Dual 12V rails provide most of the juice that your PC needs and an ultra durable 3 oz PCB design provides a solid base. A flower shaped 140mm fan keeps the unit cool and the FanDelayCool feature keeps the fan running for 15 to 30 seconds after shutdown for added cooling after long gaming or benching sessions. No prices or relase dates were released at this time.
Continue reading: Thermaltake introduces three new members of their Toughpower Grand power supply lineup (full post)
March 3rd date set for Black Ops: First Strike DLC for PS3
Owners of PS3 consoles and PCs have been licking their chops to get their hands on the release of First Strike, the new downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops since it was released for Xbox 360 owners. The folks at Sony have some news for the console side; a firm release date.
Black Ops fans with a PS3 will be able to get their hands on First Strike on March 3rd, which is around the end of the 30 day window that Microsoft owns for exclusive rights for the DLC. Berlin Wall, Discovery, Stadium, and Kowloon are the four new multiplayer maps that will be included as well as Ascension to continue the Zombies saga. The expansion will cost $15. No word on an arrival date for the PC as of yet.
Continue reading: March 3rd date set for Black Ops: First Strike DLC for PS3 (full post)
Apple to release the iPad 3 this fall?
Apple's iPad 2 has not even been announced yet and there's news floating out there of the iPad 3. Earlier today HP held an event in San Fransisco to until their latest bag of goodies based around the webOS software in which they acquired through the purchase of Palm last year. One of these devices is a tablet, called TouchPad. The TouchPad looks like an iPad, but is better specced. Some are already wondering if it's a possible "iPad-killer".
Daring Fireball's John Gruber has said "Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they're not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3. And not only did they announce this with a distant ship date, they did it with no word on pricing."
He does mention iPad 3 in that quote. But, Apple are also touted to release a "big fall surprise". This surprise could be different to the usual iPod/iTunes or MacBook line of products. Right now, if there is an iPad 3 on the horizon, it could mean the iPad 2 is more like the difference from an iPhone 3 to iPhone 3GS, with the iPad 3 being the massive leap (much higher resolution screen, etc).
Continue reading: Apple to release the iPad 3 this fall? (full post)