Tuesday, August 31, 2010

.post { font-size: 100%; } Apparently Font size = normal is broken, as any time I try to change a part from Small to normal it ends up reverting, for now every post is getting put up in "Large" although I can't seem to fix font sizes in either the design tab via the advanced section of design or with the HTML code, I've been at this for a few hours with no luck, if anyone else knows a fix or has the same problem can you post it?

HP Set to Improve RAM/VRAM and More With "Memristors" Which Emulate Human Brain Synapse Responces

For a while now computer manufacturers have been concerned with the future of electronic memory. There has been talk of Carbon nano-tube electron prisons, quantum synapse structures, and googles idea of using electron impressions on tiny pieces of glass all as potential solutions for fitting ever more transistors onto a single chip and managing to keep the heat and energy use down. But it seems that HP has taken a different route. 
Picture taken from CNN, courtesy of HP.

The so called "Memristors" that HP is working with and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (HSI) of Icheon, Korea, (The world’s top tier memory semiconductor supplier offering Dynamic Random Access Memory chips (DRAMs), Flash memory chips (NAND Flash) and CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) for a wide range of distinguished customers globally.) To develop and bring to market the new technology. The team has revealed in a press release that they will first attempt to use the technology to make Re-RAM a non-volatile memory solution that can work as a DRAM or hard drive type storage.*

The memristor works differently then typical RAM solutions which involve storing charges in capacitors and transistors and refreshing working effectively as a binary system of "On/true" when an electron is present and "Off/false" when the cell is vacant. The Memristor however works by pushing 
electrons across a titanium dioxide chip, they nudge atoms ever so slightly, sometimes no more than a nanometer.

These subtle bumps record changes in the data.

Which could significantly change how our future computing will work, no longer will we have to rely on a "true/false" system, by using a variable movement system we get "How much" as such HP estimates that the system is 100 times as fast as flash storage and uses about a 10th of the energy. If these figures are accurate its quite possible that we will see the battery life of devices such as MP3 players, notebooks, netbooks and other portable electronics not reliant on radio signals (radio drains a great deal of battery power) increase greatly, anywhere from double to 10x!

Another Interesting comment from HP is that due to Memristor's non-binary nature it is possible for it to preform logical functions in addition to storing data, which could have the effect of combining processors and their memory in the near future! 

Although no date has been official released I believe that since HP has already entered a partnership with Hynix that we should be seeing Memristor products within the next 5-10 years.

*Volatile in electronic memory refers to the transistor/capacitor's inability to maintain its charge without a constant electric current. 


Aggghhh dogs+sick = pain in the ass

Not the best start to the day, as one of my dogs decided it would be a good idea to have explosive diarrhea right in-front of my bedroom door, I just spent the better part of 45 minutes cleaning it up. someone tell me something to cheer myself up =/.

Pic related: it was the black one...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Even More Loss of Personal Freedom: Technology in Schools (UK)

    As I'm sure many of you are aware, as of late there has been a trend of decreasing personal freedom in favor of government control. With the passage of the patriot act in the USA, Government Censoring of the Internet in AUS, Tightening border and gun restrictions and crack downs on criminal punishment and drug enforcement, along with the recently proposed international treaty ACTA, the new Schools Minister Nick Gibb in the UK seems to be taking this even further. And it is happening inside the school system.

   As any of you who have been or are currently students know the entire school system is built upon levels of interactions between students and facualty, and in order to be successful students must learn to trust teachers, and teachers must learn to empathize with their students needs.

  The whole system's success revolved around interpersonal bonds between the students themselves so that they may learn topics on a deeper level. As of recent much of this that was once done face to face is beginning to happen inside cyberspace. Online sites such as myspace, facebook, and twitter allow students to keep up-to-date on the goings on of their ever increasing social circles. And while away from the computer students rely on Cellphones and other mobile devices to stay connected. Allowing them to share news on anything from how bored they are to helping each other with their homework. Another key piece of technology has become the MP3 player which allows students to share their musical tastes with peer groups in an a communal way. Helping to further build social networks, and increase their strength. But the UK's Schools Minister Nick Gibb doesn't see it this way.

  In a written statement to Parliament Mr. Gibb Announced that he wanted to improve behavior and reduce bullying by extending the powers that teachers currently have to search pupils for knives or other weapons, and has told schools that from September they will be allowed to search for alcohol, controlled drugs, and stolen property. Although invasive one could see the desire for such searches, but he goes a step further by promissing to add to the list of items which are considered so undesirable or dangerous that students must be forced to surrender their civil liberties and allow teachers to search them.

From the autumn this will include currently legal items including: fireworks, legal highs - ie completely legal chemicals - pornography, cigarettes and "personal electronic devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and cameras".

Where will it end?


Sunday, August 29, 2010

ATI Releases 10.8 Drivers for 3xxx 4xxx 5xxx Series

I don't know how many of you use ATI cards, but given the cost/performance compared to the top nVidia I decided to pick up a shiny new 5870, and it sure hasn't disappointed in its ability to give me those massive framerates, and it seems the windows 7 related bugs and crashes get less and less every time a new patch comes out. so it comes with little surprise that I am pleased to hear about the release of the 10.8 drivers. If you have an ATI card I would suggest updating as well.

"GPU accelerated web browsing, Quad-CrossFireX improvement

In its usual cycle of monthly driver updates, ATI has just released the Catalyst 10.8 for Radeon HD 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 series users, bringing the version display driver version up to 8.762. Surprisingly, it appears these drivers are dated August 3, 2010 meaning ATI's driver development team have been testing these for over three weeks.

ATI Catalyst Control Panel displaying Catalyst 10.8 drivers installed

The drivers features a unique variety of new features, including full support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification, Video Quality default options, AA support for Starcraft II, and most importantly, a long-awaited performance boost for Quad-CrossFireX users.

The inclusion of support for OpenGL ES 2.0 enables fully 3D accelerated webpage graphics on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP and should be considered an important milestone in the road to fully GPU accelerated web browsing.

The Default video options for ATI Catalyst have also been expanded to allow individual customization options for desktop video as well as Internet video. In the "Advanced Color" menu, new default settings have been adjusted for Color Vibrance (default = 40), Flesh Tone Correction (default = 50) and Brighter Whites. In the "Advanced Quality" menu, new default settings have been adjusted for Edge-Enhancement (default = 25), De-Noise (default = 64), Mosquito Noise Reduction (default = 50) and De-blocking (default = 50).

ATI has also stated in its Catalyst 10.8 Release Notes that Quad-CrossFireX users running EyeFinity can expect a noticeable performance boost in comparison with previous driver releases. Although we aren't sure if the performance enhancement also applies to Quad-CrossFireX users who are not using EyeFinity, we are in the process of testing and benchmarking our two Radeon HD 5970s in order to quantify the performance changes.

The new Catalyst 10.8 driver release can also be expected to improve performance in Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Stormrise.

The driver release also resolves several issues on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, all of which can be found in the releases notes.

ATI Catalyst 10.8 drivers can be downloaded here: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

Saturday, August 28, 2010


As some of you are probably aware there are rumors cycling of "ad-bombing" on these blogs, I would like to remind you all that it is a breach of contract of the agreement we all signed, please refrain from spamming clicks on ads as i want to keep this blog up.

If you see something that interests you by all means click it! Please continue to check in and read the content I post here! I appreciate your input on my ramblings and our discussions of current tech related news.

Bacon deliciousness for reading

Stock trends: Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Apple

I don't know how many of you guys pay attention to stocks, but its been a fairly hard year for Yahoo Who just recently lost their head of social platforms.
  "In yet another major departure from Yahoo in recent days, Yahoo VP for Social Platforms Neal          Sample has left the company for eBay, where he will be the chief of the e-commerce giant's               architecture."
Yahoo owner of Yahoo Domains /Domain names Yahoo /Yahoo Search and current partner with microsoft in the "Bing" search engine has been suffering lately. I'm sure many of you have seen their advertisements on TV to bring back their success, but with other engines moving so far past them its hard to see they're future going well. Many of the people who once used Yahoo Search have changed to "Bing" because of their more stern privacy policy then either goggle or Yahoo. But microsoft has had more of a problem converting google users who are for the most part too set in their ways to even try another engine.

This has shown strongly in the stock figures. Microsoft despite the success of its Windows 7 operating system is still having problems getting people with slower computers to upgrade from XP as a result of this and their efforts in making the Bing search engine they have fallen just over 3% this last year.

Google doing the best has suffered as well, although whether this is a direct result of bing or because of internal struggles in the company is not totally clear.

Yahoo/ Yahoo Domains / Domain Names Yahoo has suffered the worst falling just over 9.5% this year alone.

Disproportionately Apple (AAPL) has grown 42% although based on current trends that should shrug its way down. As the release of the iPhone 4 has the stock over-inflated as well as the release of the Apple iPad which drove the stock up almost 20% overnight, despite its almost uselessness in everyday life.

I guess if theres one major thing to take away from this is: steer clear of Yahoo, they are having serious problems, Microsoft and Google are good for the long haul, but if you feel like making some serious cash quick, wait for the announcement of apple's next "Wonder device" and buy buy buy, apparently shiny aluminum toys with an "i" in the product name are worth their weight in gold.

 (pic unrelated but I'm looking at buying a watercooling kit soon)


PS3 Hackchip Banned

I don't know if you guys have been following the news around the PS3 hackchip but I just stumbled across this article, seems Sony is pissed.

Sony obtains Australia ban on PS3 hack chip

Gamers have given a mixed response to the reports

Sony has won a temporary ban to prevent Australian distributors selling a hardware hack for the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

The PS3Jailbreak "dongle" allows gamers to play homemade and pirated games on the game's console.

The ban prevents OzModChips, Mod Supplier and Quantronics from importing, distributing or selling the device.

Sony has until August 31 to makes its case to the court for a permanent ban.

If it fails, the chips could go on sale on 1 September.

The firm declined to comment on the proceedings. The Australian distributors could not be reached.

The court order also gives Sony control of all of the dongles in the firms' possession and allows the electronics giant to test the devices - including "destructive analysis" - to see how they work.
Homebrew games

PS3Jailbreak is a dongle containing software that allows users to save games to the console's hard drive.

It is the first product to crack the security on the PS3.

It was met with scepticism when videos of the device - posted by OzModChips - first appeared online in early August.

At the time, a spokesperson for Console Pro, another distributor based in the Netherlands, told BBC News the "dongle converts a retail unit into a dev unit".

Dev units are used by developers to test code for the machine.

"Dev mode means it will run any - even unsigned - code," said the spokesperson. "Using a simple backup maker or player software, you can play backed-up [saved] games without the actual disc being in the PS3."

The legality of these products - commonly called modchips - differs by country.

In Australia they are legal, whilst in the UK a recent court case brought by Nintendo said that "game copiers" were illegal to import, advertise or sell.

Proponents of modchips say they are the only way to play homemade games, known as "homebrews".

It is not known whether distributors in other countries have been served similar notices.

But, a spokesperson for Console Pro told BBC News in the wake of Friday's ban that the firm had "not heard anything from Sony or any lawyer or court yet".

"I really doubt Sony has grounds to ban this dongle."