Publishers agree to $69 million settlement over eBook price fixing allegations

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Aug 30, 2012 3:30 PM CDT

I'm sure most users have heard about the alleged eBook pricing that several publishers were involved in. Three of the major publishers that were accused of price fixing have agreed to settle with 54 District Attorneys across the United Sates. They announced the settlement in which Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to pay $69 million over the alleged eBook price inflation.

"While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace," Attorney General Jepsen said today in a statement. "This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers' long-term benefit."

Apple has, of course, refused to to settle. Macmillan and Penguin have also declined to settle. Steve jobs could be the root cause of bringing attention to the issue when he told his biographer about offering them the agency model, which came with higher prices.

Continue reading: Publishers agree to $69 million settlement over eBook price fixing allegations (full post)

Corsair announces availability of AX1200i Digital ATX power supply

Trace Hagan | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Aug 30, 2012 1:29 PM CDT

That's right, you can now own the power supply that helped TweakTown set a world record just a short while ago. The AX1200i received a Must Have award right here from TweakTown because the device is just that good. And our award for the device was just one of many bestowed upon this excellent power supply.

"We're hugely excited to announce that our award-winning AX1200i PSU is now available to enthusiasts and gamers worldwide", said Thi La, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the PC Components Group at Corsair. "This incredible power supply has created a huge stir in the market, winning numerous prestigious accolades, and securing Corsair's position as the leading manufacturer of premium quality PSUs."

Using a digital design also allows Corsair to provide some cool features: "The use of a Digital Signal Processor also results in a simplified circuit design, and incredible energy efficiency. The AX1200i easily achieves 80 PLUS® Platinum certification, and can operate in a silent fanless mode until the PSU reaches between 30 - 40% of its1200 watt power rating. In addition, the AX1200i's DSP-based design and Corsair Link™ technology provides real-time monitoring of temperature, current draw, and power efficiency, as well custom control of fan speeds and overcurrent protection settings."

Continue reading: Corsair announces availability of AX1200i Digital ATX power supply (full post)

Samsung introduces slate PC with detachable keyboard, Windows 8

Trace Hagan | Laptops | Aug 30, 2012 12:29 PM CDT

If you are shopping for a new laptop, your choices just got a bit harder. With the slew of Windows 8 laptops and tablets starting to be announced, you know have more choices than ever and you have to decide whether or not to wait until the end of October to purchase a new machine, not always something a college student can do.

"With the introduction of our new Slate PCs, we are providing customers with greater choice while maintaining the power of a traditional PC," said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung's Enterprise Business Division. "We created our Slate PCs with a focus on beautiful design, powerful performance and ease of use, attributes that our customers have come to expect in their Samsung computing experience. Our mobile PC business has grown significantly over the past year, which is a testament to our ability to meet customer needs in this space, and we expect strong growth to continue with our new Slate PCs."

The new devices by Samsung weighs in at less than 2 pounds, so it is really pretty portable. The Series 7 slate also features a full Core i5 processor, so it should perform beautifully, if not a bit on the hot side. In the press release, Samsung says, "Samsung's renowned design inspiration is evident through the device's curved edges and smooth lines"--I just hope these lines and curved edges don't get them sued by Apple.

Continue reading: Samsung introduces slate PC with detachable keyboard, Windows 8 (full post)

Acer Aspire S7, the first of Windows 8 Ultrabooks breaks cover

Trace Hagan | Laptops | Aug 30, 2012 10:28 AM CDT

Brace yourselves, Windows 8 devices are coming! Today, the Acer Aspire S7 has broken cover and are we glad it did. This thing is absolutely gorgeous. Thin, stylish, and constructed from aluminium and magnesium, this device could be in the running for best looking laptop ever, if there were such a competition.

Of course, since it features Windows 8, this super sleek notebook features a capacitive touchscreen. According to The Verge, who got their hands on the device at IFA, "it's the prettiest laptop I've come across since first laying eyes on Apple's 2010 MacBook Air redesign." However, that's not to say it's perfect.

While using it, they experienced issues open the lid due to the stiff hinge, something that is required to have a touchscreen notebook, and the weird cutout that was supposed to aid lifting the screen. In a world of ever pushing the envelope, machines have gotten larger and less portable while just squeaking by Intel's specs.

Continue reading: Acer Aspire S7, the first of Windows 8 Ultrabooks breaks cover (full post)

Western Digital unveil the Thunderbolt-powered My Book VelociRaptor Duo

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Aug 30, 2012 7:00 AM CDT

Western Digital are ready to shake up the external storage industry with their latest Thunderbolt-powered storage product, the My Book VelociRaptor Duo. The My Book VelociRaptor Duo comes with two 1TB 10,000RPM drives in RAID.

This means that the VelociRaptor Duo is capable of an astounding 760MB/sec write and 800MB/sec read. One of the better features that the new My Book VelociRaptor Duo sports is that it's user-serviceable. If you want to replace a drive, simply open the case, pull the existing drive out, and replace it with a new one.

The VelociRaptor Duo is also capable of daisy chaining with Thunderbolt, as the Thunderbolt technology has much more room to move within its architecture. USB 3.0 limits at around 350MB/sec of real-world performance, but Thunderbolt scales right up to 1GB/sec, meaning that you'd need to have some seriously fast internal storage to get close to that 1GB/sec mark.

Continue reading: Western Digital unveil the Thunderbolt-powered My Book VelociRaptor Duo (full post)

IBM announces next-gen mainframes, 'zEnterprise' sport 5.5GHz processors

IBM has bragging rights at the moment, with the world's fastest server chip clocking in at an incredible 5.5GHz. IBM's new zEnterprise EC12 mainframe cost the company $1 billion in development, and offers 25% more performance courtesy of their hexacore processors.

IBM's zEnterprise EC12 mainframes are available in multiple configurations, with as many as 120 cores available. All models will include transactional execution support, as well as Enhanced-DAT2, allowing 2GB page frames for more efficient utilization of huge quantities of RAM.

Another jewel of the newly-introduced zEnterprise EC12 mainframe is IBM's cryptographic co-processor, Crypto Express4S. It's quite special as its tamper-proof, providing privacy when handling transactions, and other similarly sensitive data. Crypto Express4S also offers multiple security configurations to support the requirements, and needs of bankers and other organizations handling sensitive data. This includes the information on smart passports and ID cards.

Continue reading: IBM announces next-gen mainframes, 'zEnterprise' sport 5.5GHz processors (full post)

Samsung introduces Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy Camera

Anthony Garreffa | Cameras, Printers & Scanners | Aug 30, 2012 12:31 AM CDT

I've been wondering for a while now, when we'd see Android-powered cameras. After all, we're seeing super-slim phones that have a million and one features on top of being a camera, but Samsung have answered my prayers with the Galaxy Camera.

Samsung's Galaxy Camera is a point-and-shoot digital snapper, sporting an insane quad-core 1.4Ghz processor, 8GB of internal storage expandable by SD card, and best of all, is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Samsung's Galaxy Camera will have the ability of sharing the taken photos through Wi-Fi and 3G, to social networks, meaning it would be just as useful as a smart device.

Smartphones and tablets may sport 8-megapixel or better cameras, but we know they aren't the same quality as a point-and-shoot digital camera, and no way near the quality of a DSLR. Samsung's Galaxy Camera measures at 2.7 inches by 0.75 inches and weighs in at 10.7 ounces. The guts of it contain a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of ISO settings between 100 and 3,200 that takes data from a 21x optical touch zoom lens.

Continue reading: Samsung introduces Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy Camera (full post)

President Obama does an AMA on Reddit, just secured a bunch of voters in the process

Anthony Garreffa | Current Affairs | Aug 29, 2012 8:36 PM CDT

President Obama has turned to popular 'first page of the Internet' site, Reddit, to do an AMA. If you haven't heard of an AMA before, I suggest you visit Reddit, and from now on in, goodbye, it was nice to know you. Reddit is a huge time waster, and is one of the best sites on the Internet.

Obama's staff must know this, and this is why he did an AMA. An AMA is "Ask Me Anything", and there are plenty of them on Reddit. Having Obama do one, well, took the site to a whole new level, causing some serious issues of traffic congestion for the site. Even the link to Obama's AMA is in "read-only mode" due to the heavy traffic the site is experiencing.

Obama answered questions for thirty minutes, where he tackled just a handful of them on his AMA. You'll notice on the picture that Obama is using an Apple MacBook Pro. Just thought I'd point that out.

Continue reading: President Obama does an AMA on Reddit, just secured a bunch of voters in the process (full post)

Unreal Engine 3 ported to Windows RT ARM-powered tablet

Trace Hagan | Gaming | Aug 29, 2012 6:20 PM CDT

Unreal Engine 3 has been ported to run on Windows RT ARM-powered devices, bring full gaming to the ARM market. The port was a joint effort between Epic and NVIDIA and was made available to developers last week. This means that some of your favorite Unreal Engine 3-powered games should be available on Windows RT tablets.

"The Unreal Engine 3-powered 'Epic Citadel' demonstration for Windows RT tablets implements the full DirectX 9 pipeline, with shaders and materials, all running beautifully on Tegra 3," said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "By porting the full engine as opposed to a modified mobile version, NVIDIA and Epic have made it easy for UE3 developers around the world to bring their best content to Windows RT, Windows 8 and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor. Windows RT code is available to licensees from Epic now and we're excited to see the great games they develop with it."

The nice part about this port is that it is the full version that has been ported. It's not some stripped down version, which is good for developers and consumers. It makes porting games easier for developers and it allows consumers to receive the full version of the game and in a much shorter time frame than would otherwise have been required.

Continue reading: Unreal Engine 3 ported to Windows RT ARM-powered tablet (full post)

New Java security exploit means that you should probably disable Java

Trace Hagan | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Aug 29, 2012 5:27 PM CDT

A new vulnerability has been found in the latest version of Java. The vulnerability is a rather massive hole and users with Java installed in their browser should likely disable it right now to prevent themselves from being infected. Have I scared you enough? But wait, I haven't even told you the problem!

The new security hole allows malicious people to break into users' computers and install nasty malware and viruses. This security hole fits into a category of security flaws known as a "zero-day" threat because it is the first time it has been found. Due to this, there currently exists no way to fix the problem or defend against it, other than disabling Java.

The vulnerabilities were actually found back in April, according to a few sources, and they reportedly told Oracle about the problem. However, Oracle had decided to hold off until the October patch release date to do anything about them. Now, the vulnerabilities have been integrated into BlackHole, a hacking tool.

Continue reading: New Java security exploit means that you should probably disable Java (full post)