S3 Chrome 540 GTX - the perfect HTPC card?

Steve Dougherty | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 9, 2009 8:06 PM CST

S3 Graphics are still hanging in there and mostly rely on their Chrome series of graphics cards to help keep them afloat. In November of last year the Chrome 500 series made its debut with a single new offering dubbed the Chrome 530 GT and now S3 extends that to two models with the new Chrome 540 GTX appearing on S3's GStore sub-site.

S3 Chrome 540 GTX - the perfect HTPC card?

As the model implies, this particular card is better spec'd than the 530 GT and uses a full-size PCB instead of the low-profile PCB used on all Chrome cards in the past. The GPU is clocked at 800MHz whilst the 256MB of GDDR3 memory is also clocked at 800MHz.

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nVidia might be making an x86 CPU

Sean Kalinich | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Feb 9, 2009 1:19 PM CST

The rumor mill is in full swing today as there are rumblings that nVidia is working on an x86 based CPU.

nVidia, who entered into a state of almost open warfare with Intel over the need for a CPU over a GPU, seems a very unlikely candidate to make an x86 based CPU. But there does seem to be some evidence pointing to this.

nVidia has been seeking talent in the x86 marchitecture and has been actively recruiting x86 engineers. Issues with this rumor are retty big though, nVidia has no license to make an x86 CPU and are not likely to get one from Intel or AMD. They could opt to have someone else build it for them (like IBM or less likely the new Foundry Company) but that would not stop the lawsuits from flying.

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OpenDNS launches tool to combat Downadup virus

Sean Kalinich | | Feb 9, 2009 12:24 PM CST

The downadup virus has been making a few headlines lately as one of the most widespread and potentially dangerous pieces of Malware out. It is estimated that over 10 million systems are infected. The virus works by forcing infected systems to phone home to up to 250 different domains per day.

These domains as of right now have not had any malicious code attached to them but it is only a matter of time before this happens. But OpenDNS has figured out a method for helping Sysadmins and home users alike to deal with this growing threat.

The way this works is to open a free account with OpenDNS and add your IP to your dashboard. OpenDNS will monitor the network and flag any attempt to reach the downadup domains by systems on your network. The service just went into action today so no one knows how well it works just yet but I have setup and account and will be checking back to let you know.

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Kaspersky US site hacked with full DB access

Sean Kalinich | | Feb 9, 2009 10:13 AM CST

Security firm Kaspersky had its US website subjected to a SQL injection attack recently. The attack, which used SELECT statements to force the SQL backend to cough up a listing of tables, was announced on the 6th by the person claiming responsibility for the attack. Kaspersky did not respond until 24 hours later with a small statement claiming that the attack was halted in 30 minutes and no data was affected.

The story would end here if it were not for the fact that the attack actually took place several days earlier according to an Admin at Hackerblog.com. The hacker who discovered the vulnerability only went public after receiving no response from Kaspersky.

As for the claim that no data was exposed that is also not true as a full list of the tables in the data base are listed over at hackerblog.com. The hackers responsible for finding the vulnerability stated they did not download any user data as this was not the intention of the exercise and only wanted to point out the issue to Kaspersky.

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Microsoft Changes directions for Windows Mobile

Sean Kalinich | | Feb 9, 2009 9:13 AM CST

In more Microsoft related news MS is changing the way it deals with Smart Phones.

In response to the success of Apple's iPhone and App Store; Microsoft will be opening its own online bazaar to flog software for its Windows Mobile OS. A newer version of the aging Windows Mobile (6.5) will also be out soon.

This new version is rumored to just be a stop-gap in preparation for version 7 which, if rumors are to be believed, will be a departure from the business only focus previously seen by Win Mobile.

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Microsoft seeks new Director for Open-Source

Sean Kalinich | | Feb 9, 2009 8:36 AM CST

Microsoft is looking for a new Director of Open-Source Strategy. A Linkedin search popped up on the 5th suggesting that Redmond might be reacting to new developments in the Linux market.

Speaking as a Linux and Windows user, for the last several years MS has had very little to worry about in the general adoption of Linux for the desktop. While there will always be the hardcore Linux user group and the people that flirt with its use for specific purposes. It was not until the launch of the netbook that Linux found an outlet to the regular consumer.

Also disturbing to MS are the improvements to the Ubuntu and the launch of the Ubuntu Desktop edition that make it more modern and easier to use by the mainstream user. Ubuntu is a popular Linux distro for first time linux users as it is one of the easier distros to work with.

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February 7th, 2009 - "Hell on Earth" in Australia

Steve Dougherty | | Feb 9, 2009 2:17 AM CST

As many of you would have heard no matter which part of the world you reside in, parts of Australia were engulfed with massive raging fires on Saturday the 7th of February in what is being deemed by local officials as "Hell on Earth".

February 7th, 2009 -

The weather here in Victoria where I live reached the highest temperature in recorded history, peaking just 3.5 degrees Celcius short of 50c (over 115F). Not only that; very strong northerly winds were pushed across the state and allowed these fires to develop extremely quickly and hit towns with little to no warning, some of which are now nothing more than streets full of ash, rubble, car shells and just overall decimation.

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Another cost-cutting PCB for GTX 260s coming

Steve Dougherty | | Feb 8, 2009 8:19 PM CST

In further efforts to reduce manufacturing costs of its high-end VGA lineup, NVIDIA will soon start shipping GTX 260 graphics cards to partners with a new PCB that brings some more cost-cutting changes and the lads over at Expreview have acquired these first pics of the new "P897" model PCB.

Another cost-cutting PCB for GTX 260s coming

Here's some information about the changes made:

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Samsung NC20 netbook available for pre-order

Sean Kalinich | Laptops | Feb 6, 2009 12:50 PM CST

Samsung's new NC20 Netbook has shown up for pre-order on shop.bt.com.

The new thigh-top has a 12.1" display and a Via Nano under the hood.

The NC20 as it will be called sells for 390.98 (GBP) and is available in both white (ala Apple) and a sleek glossy black. The availability dates are listed as Feb 09 for the white model and March 09 for the black.

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Tegra to debut in Microsoft Smart Phone

Sean Kalinich | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Feb 6, 2009 11:10 AM CST

It looks like the rumors we reported on a few days ago might have a nugget of truth in them. Earlier in the week we pointed to an article stating that Microsoft would be partnering up with nVidia to make its next generation of smart phones.

Today we see another story indicating that Tegra (nVidia's SOC ARM officering) will be used in MS' next gen smart phone. This is possibly where all the nPhone rumors have their basis.

nVidia has been hard at work on Tegra and needs a success with this while Microsoft desperately needs a makeover for its boring Windows Mobile OS.

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