In an interesting twist Asus, a company that has had a few technical support and reliability issues in the past has surpassed Apple in the early days of 2009 as the most reliable computer manufacturer.
This is according to a study done by RESCUECOM, they compare technical support calls against the number of systems shipped.
RESCECOM noted that Asus had a very high score of 972, this is more than likely due to the mass of EEEPCs shipped in the early parts of this year. The score may settle out as the year progresses and we may again see a change of leadership.
Fudzilla has the rumor mill going again about the Foxconn Channel division. According to their sources Foxconn will officially close out its Channel (retail) division in June.
With June as the date of close it means that more than likely the staff has already been given notice of release and they are in the process of shutting out the lights and leaving the building.
Foxconn had started to build up a nice following with their Enthusiast based boards like the Block Ops and Blood Rage but was never really able to keep the momentum going. This closing is a sad affair for the lost jobs and the loss of a competitor to help drive innovation and prices.
There is some scary security news out today as reports of a DSL and Cable Hardware Router based Botnet hits the Internet.
DroneBL reports that new exploit for MIPS based router processors and their Linux based embedded OS systems are being systematically turned into Bots. This attack is using code inserted using a modified UPX packing (to get by deep scanning antivirus applications) and using a form of brute force attack on usernames and passwords.
DroneBL states that not all hardware routers are susceptible to this attack. It seems to be mainly ones that keep the default username and password, and allow for remote management or remote SSH (from outside the internal network) an indication of infection is a blocking of ports 22, 23 and 80.
Hitachi announced their second generation of small form factor enterprise hard drives, the Ultrastar C10K300.
The new drives are optimized for power and performance requirements of rack-mounted servers and networked strage arrays. The C10K300 uses only 3.4W of power when idle and 6.1W when under load.
Valve has announced a new set of features as a part of Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide. Steamworks is integrated with Valve's Steam, was launched back in early 2008, and has already shipped with many major PC releases such as Dawn of War II and F.E.A.R. 2.
The new feature that Valve is mainly talking about is the Custom Executable Generation technology, which is a friendly approach to anti-piracy measures. It works by creating unique copies of games for each user allowing them to install and access applications on multiple machines without install limits or draconian DRM such as SecuROM.
AMD has begun volume shipments of the Radeon HD 4890 to distributors and retailers, however GPUCafe is a little bit miffed that nobody will come clean with the official release date.
It looks like there will be over 40,000 cards available at launch and the company has hopes of 250K cards being available by the end of the first half of this year. As the Catalyst driver team just released the 9.3 drivers and they usually like to release updates in the latter half of the month, it looks like previews using beta drivers should start showing up soon.
That should be enough quantity for most and for the Radeon 4890 to not qualify as a phantom product.
Novell has released SUSE Version Linux Enterprise 11; this new edition to the open source community includes a runtime environment for Microsoft's .net environment.
Other improvements to the new OS are in the areas of interoperability, mission-critical computing and virtualization. With one of the biggest being the release of Mono. Mono is a set of programming tools for Microsoft's .net extensions.
Other features in the new OS are designed to lure customers away from UNIX with a high-performance, feature-rich high-availability offering.
BFG announced today the BFG EX-1200 modular power supply with Frequency Conversion Technology, which emulates virtually any size power supply and is at least 80% efficient, even with loads as low as 10% of the unit's maximum capability.
The EX-1200 is rated at 1200W continuous at 40°C and will put out 98 amps on the 12V rail. It also hs a separate +5VSB which provides better rfficiency when in standby or powered down. The new power supply is 80 Plus certified and supports 3-Way SLI.
Bigfoot, makers of the Killer NIC, have announced the Killer Xeno, the company's next-generation NIC for gamers.
The Xeno has more memory, an upgrade network processing unit (NPU), and integrated audio for hardware accelerated voice-chat. The Xeno will work with TeamSpeak, Vivox, and Mumble and is an answer to the most requested feature requested by online gamers.
With the launch of the ATI Radeon HD 4890 just weeks away, it should come as to no surprise that pictures are starting to pop up all over the web. It is unusual however that we see non-reference designs so early.
ASUS is working on a high-end version of the 4890 with beefed up power circuitry. TechPowerUp thinks that it will fit in nicely as either a "TOP" or "MATRIX" lineup when released.