News articles search results by Matt Horne
Musicians are working together to fight against DRM policies
Musicians involved in the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, or CMCC, are working together to help rid their work of the pesky DRM bugs. In a move to show that the current DRM policies and recent lawsuits are entirely the work of the record labels and not the artists who created the music, a group of musicians have created the Coalition to bring awareness to these matters.
"Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies," the coalition said in a statement released this morning, "but let's be clear: Lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists."
The Coalition includes big names in the Canadian Music scene including: Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Stars, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), Billy Talent, John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Broken Social Scene, Sloan, Andrew Cash and Bob Wiseman (Co-founder Blue Rodeo).
The CMCC is united under three key principles:
- Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
Artists do not want to sue music fans. The labels have been suing our fans against artists will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in artists names
- Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
Artists do not support using digital locks to increase the labels control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music or laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures. Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.
- Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
The vast majority of new Canadian music is not promoted by major labels, which focus mostly on foreign artists. The government should use other policy tools to support actual Canadian artists and a thriving musical and cultural scene.
This is a bold move on the musicians' part and will hopefully prove to give the fans what they really want, to be able to listen to their favorite music on a medium they want to use and not be forced to have only one form of playback for this purpose.
To read more on the CMCC and its policies visit the website here.
In an effort to stop DVD piracy, Warner Home Video lowers price on DVD's in China. Warner has begun its testing with the movie 'The Aviator' and dropped the price in China to $1.50 USD.
The DVD will not be package in the regular plastic DVD case, but will be available in a cardboard folder, which will be cheaper for Warner to produce. Sales of the newly packaged DVD's are being monitored to see if this is something the consumer will want.
This could mean that more will be released this way and hopefully will lead to a North American release in the future. For more information, see the original article here.
Shock proof portable hard drives announced
Plextor, a company well known for its optical drives, has designed a 'shock proof' portable hard drive. The new drives were announced on Monday and will be available in two capacities including an 80GB and 120GB unit.
The new drives entitled PX-SP08U(80GB) and PX-SP12U(120GB) will include a silicon bumper for increased protection against accidental dropping of the drive. Both units will be Windows and Mac OS compatible and feature a 480 Mbps USB 2.0 interface.
For more information visit the Plextor website here.
Security patch causes problems with Office and IE
According to various Windows users out there, the latest security patches from Microsoft have been causing problems with both Office applications and Internet Explorer. Problems have been reported by users of HP hardware. The patch seems to conflict with the HP's 'Share-to-Web' software that is installed with its products.
Users have reported lockups and freezing when performing key tasks in Office, including opening and saving documents. Internet Explorer has also been reported to no be able to function properly either.
Microsoft is aware of these problems and has offered solutions through its 'Help and Support' web page located here.
Sega works on re-entering the console game
According to the website, Inpact Virtuel, Sega is working on releasing a new portable console by the end of 2007. The reported specs will include a 566MHz Samsung processor, 128 bit NVIDIA graphic accelerator, the evolution of the GeForce 3d 4500 chipset and 128MB of RAM. The unit will also sport an LCD screen supporting a resolution of 640 x 360.
The format would be cartridge based, but would also incorporate expandable flash memory in the form of CF and SD formats. Sega's handheld will also make use of USB to be able to connect various peripherals and to make use of advanced features on your PC.
To read the full article translated from French to English, visit the link here.
Latest version of Catalyst drivers released from ATI
ATI has released the next version of the Catalyst Driver suite today. The driver includes performance improvements as well as two new features, including a video conversion utility for those running Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system.
This release of Catalyst introduces the following new features:
- Video Quality Improvements
- Windows Media Center Edition Video Conversion Utility
Video Quality Improvements
Improvements have been made to the Avivo video processing engine during standard definition (SD) video playback. Edge enhancement or sharpening effectively improves image quality by enhancing details lost during encoding and processing. Noise reduction algorithms are improved to ensure original detail is preserved, while removing unwanted noise.
Windows Media Center Edition Video Conversion Utility
Catalyst 6.4 introduces a Windows MCE Video Conversion utility. This utility allows users to convert video content that is recorded by MCE, or video content that is available to MCE, to variety of different formats. The video content can be converted to MPEG-2, MPEG-4 SP, MPEG-4 AVC and Windows Media. Ipod Video and PSP video are listed as separate formats for easy recognition.
As with most Catalyst releases, performance has increased in various situations.
- 3DMark06 CPU scores improve as much as 4.9% across all product lines
- 3DMark06 HDR 2 Deep Freeze (SM3.0) test improves as much as 2%
- Call of Duty 2 improves approximately 1.4-2% on Radeon® X1900 and Radeon® X1800 Crossfire configurations. Gains are slightly less (1.3%) for non-Crossfire Radeon X1900 and Radeon® X1800 products
- FarCry improves 2-3% on ATI Radeon X1900 non-Crossfire configurations. Greatest improvements result from tests with no AA and AF
- Half Life 2 improves as much as 3.8% on Radeon X1900 non-Crossfire configurations. Greatest improvements result from tests with no AA and AF
- Unreal Tournament 2004 gains 3-5% on all Radeon X1x00 non-Crossfire configurations
For more information and to download the latest driver, visit ATI's driver page here.< p="" />
Driver revision released to patch The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion
ATI has released a beta version of the Catalyst driver for Bethesda Softworks' newest offering, Oblivion. The driver was created to address HDR and Crossfire capabilities that were previously not enabled.
Beta Catalyst driver 6.3, also known as 'The Chuck Patch' includes the following fixes and issues:
737-21960: Beta 6.3 Catalyst for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - aka The Chuck Patch
The information in this article applies to the following configuration(s):
- Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - aka The Chuck Patch
- Radeon X1000 series CrossFire
- Windows XP Professional / Home Edition
- Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition
- Windows 2000
This special driver is provided to enable additional functionality for Oblivion.
Specifically this driver will:
- Permit High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR) concurrently with Anti-Aliasing (AA) on RADEON X1000 series graphic boards
- AFR mode for CrossFire (2 GPUs)
This driver is provided as a proof-of-concept and is not supported by Bethesda, 2K games or ATI Technologies.
- SuperAA with CrossFire in HDR mode is not enabled. If you have SupperAA enabled you will get the quality and performance of one card as opposed to two.
- Rendering issues with grass shadows
- On an ATI Radeon X1600XT CrossFire configuration, the game may intermittently crash if the resolution is set higher than 1600x1200
- On an ATI Radeon X1900 series card, the game may crash while task-switching between the desktop and game (alt-tab).
ATI Engineering is currently investigating these issues. Updates will be posted as they become available.
To download the beta driver, visit the ATI page here.
Beta software enables dual-boot of OS X Tiger and Windows XP
There has been a lot of talk lately about loading Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac. Recent contests were held to allow those interested the chance to make Windows possible on the Apple's new Mac offerings.
Apple has now released a public beta release of the newly designed boot partition software capable of dual-booting Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.6 and Windows XP. The software is only a beta version, but Apple has announced the inclusion of this technology in the next major release of OS X.
For the complete release information and to download the software, visit Apple's website here.
AMD has been working on solutions for single board computer development. Today the Geode LX EPIC has been released to the development community for use in creating a variety of solutions including GPS, POS terminals and telecommunications products.
Primary Product Features
The AMD Geode LX EPIC RDK is a ready-to-go design that calls for minimal customer development.
This allows for accurate customization based on customer needs and provides a complete solution
including the key features listed below.
AMD Geode LX firstname.lastname@example.orgW* processor with AMD Geode CS5536 Companion
Small EPIC form factor 115mm x 165 mm
6 layer, lead-free board design
64-bit DDR SDRAM
High-speed data port
8MB SPI Flash
4 USB 2.0 ports and 1 port configurable as client
2-channel/6-channel audio software
Dual 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45) PCI Power Management
JTAG Debug Interface
Hardware Watchdog Timer
3V PWM and Digital I/O
RS232 serial interface
IEEE1284 parallel interface
PS2 keyboard and mouse
5V Digital I/O (8 bits)
Analog I/O (6 channel)
SPI Flash Interface
For more information on the uses and availability of the Geode LX EPIC visit the AMD Embedded Developer Support Website here.
Apple has responded to the recent problems brought to light by concerned consumers, by offering a software update that will allow limiting of the iPod volume control. The software update will support user-controlled locking of specified volume limit.
iPods are capable of producing over 114 decibels of sound, which is above the 90-95dB needed to damage hearing with prolonged exposure. This sounds bad on Apple's end, but to be fair, the iPod is not the only portable music player capable of these sound levels.
To download the update for your iPod, visit here.
NVIDIA has acquired a new company to add to its ranks
NVIDIA has been hard at work on the mobile graphics scene lately and has acquired another company to help expand its resources in this market. The company, Hybrid Graphics Ltd., who are known for embedded software development in the handheld market.
This merger will enable a bigger standing within the handheld market by using both companies' resources, to create a bigger impact in the expanding worldwide market. Hybrid Graphics Ltd. brings an impressive portfolio to the table, with a customer base that includes most of the key players in this market. This merger should definitely help NVIDIA solidify a top ranking in the handheld market.
For more information, read the official press release here.
Today, Microsoft has released the second version of the Internet Explorer 7 Beta. The update includes functionality changes and improvements.
Here is a list of what has been changed:
Functionality Removed and Changed in Internet Explorer Beta 2 Preview
This section describes previous Internet Explorer functionality that has been
substantially modified or deleted in the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview release.
- ScriptletsInternet Explorer 7 disables Dynamic HTML (DHTML) scriptlets, by default. (Scriptlets were deprecated in Internet Explorer 5). They can be reenabled by system administrators, changing URLActions with the Internet Control Panel (INetCPl.) The INetCPL text should read "Allow Scriptlets." If your programs rely on scriptlets, we recommend that you use DHTML behaviors which are more efficient. Disabling scriptlets is part of our continued work to ensure that unsupported technology is deemphasized in Internet Explorer.
- ActiveX controls--ActiveX controls are disabled by default in Internet Explorer Version 7. The ActiveX Input TYPE=FILE control no longer submits a fully-qualified path; it now submits only a filename. The ActiveX control for XEnroll certificate enrollment was removed from Windows Vista and replaced with a new control.
- Channel Definition Format (CDF)--All CDF support was removed from Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview.
- DirectAnimation--All DLLs to support the Internet Explorer DirectAnimation component were removed in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Update.
- XBM--Support for XBM, an imaging format designed for X-based systems, was deleted.
- SSL--Support for weak SSL ciphers was removed from Windows Vista and support for SSLv2 was disabled for all Internet Explorer 7 platforms
- Windowed Select--The Windowed Select Element was removed from Internet Explorer 7 because IE7 is not using the Windows API. This results in some cosmetic changes in padding. The animation associated with the popup is gone as well, and the popup simply pops up.
- BASE Element--Internet Explorer 7 strictly enforces the BASE element rule, as documented in the HTML 4.01 standard. We no longer allow BASE tags outside of the HEAD of the document. The standard specifies that the base element must appear within the head of the document, before any elements that refer to an external source.
- window.opener and window.close--Internet Explorer 7 no longer allows the window.opener trick to bypass the window.close prompt. Browser windows can't close themselves unless the windows were created in script. This security enhancement no longer allows browsing to a random site when the main browser window closes unexpectedly.
- WWW-Auth--Internet Explorer 7 changes the precedence rules for WWW-Auth. Previous releases of Internet Explorer used the first header encountered. Internet Explorer 7 uses the first header except when the header is Basic. We use Basic auth if no other authentication mechanism is present.
- HTTPOnly Cookies--HTTPOnly cookies can no longer be overwritten from scripts.
- _SEARCH--The _SEARCH sidebar is no longer supported in Internet Explorer 7. It can be reenabled using a URLAction.
- View Source--The view-source protocol no longer works in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Update.
- Gopher Protocol--Support for the Gopher protocol was removed at the WinINET level. (Gopher support was turned off by default in Internet Explorer 6.)
- windowexternalImportExportFavorites()--windowexternalImportExportFavorites() has been removed in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview.
- Telnet--The telnet protocol handler is no longer supported in Internet Explorer.
- SysImage URL Scheme--The SysImage URL Scheme has been removed from Internet Explorer.
- Status Bar Scripting--Script will no longer be able to set the status bar text through the window.status and window.defaultStatus methods by default in the Internet and Restricted Zones. This small step helps prevent attackers from leveraging those methods to spoof the status bar. To revert to previous behavior (allowing script to set the status bar through window.status and window.defaultStatus) select the Security tab from Internet Options in the Control Panel. Select Custom level for the Internet (or Restricted sites) zone. Find Allow status bar updates via script and change the setting to Enable.
To get more information and download the beta release, visit this page.
A new Trojan virus has been found to zip files and demand a ransom for their release. The virus, named Cryzip, is able to go unnoticed by anti-virus programs and targets word, excel, PDF and JPG files.
The Trojan, once in the computer, will find the files and drop them into a zip file. The Trojan will then send out a set of instructions on how to pay for the password-encrypted files, using an online payment system.
While this kind of threat is not very new in terms of viruses, it does show how vulnerable our computer systems can be to such attacks.
For more information, visit here.
The Eurocom M590K Emperor notebook is sporting the first known SLI configuration. Featuring two Nvidia Geforce Go7800GTX mobile GPU's, Eurocom claims two times the performance over the single card solution.
While featuring SLI, the Emperor also includes very impressive hardware lineup. With a 19-inch display and 64-bit mobile processing, the Emperor truly earns its name.
EUROCOM M590K Emperor notebook
The first notebook to feature two NVIDIA GeForce Go7800GTX notebook graphics processing unit (GPUs) equipped with 256MB of superfast GDDR3, is EUROCOM M590K Emperor sporting 19-inch Widescreen WSXGA+ 1680-by-1050 pixels resolution display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and the fastest 64-bit Mobile Turion64 processor. This high-end gaming and professional fully upgradeable Supernotebook is coming to the market wonderfully suited for users doing 3D animation, 3D simulation, publishing and graphics work. The 290-nits brightness ensures that even in direct sunlight you can see the display clearly.
UltraCell battery to provide 14 hours of portable usage
Fuel Cell Manufacturer, UltraCell, has created a fuel cell that runs from Methanol. The cell weighs in at 2.2 pounds and is aimed at the portable market.
The fuel cell has been tested to run in a laptop and provide 14 hours of battery life. Whether or not these cells will get used as a laptop power source anytime soon is not known, but a 14 hour battery life on a laptop would be an impressive feat.
Latest revision of the Catalyst driver suite available
ATI has just released the new version of the Catalyst driver. Version 6.3 includes two new features and various bug fixes and performance enhancements.
This release of Catalyst introduces the following new features:
- Overlay Theater Mode Enhancement
- Avivo Video Converter
Overlay Theater Mode Enhancement
This release of the Catalyst introduces an enhancement to the
Overlay Theater mode found in the Catalyst Control Center.
This enhancement allows for higher resolution than the current
desktop setting to be available for the Overlay Theater mode.
Avivo Video Converter
This release of Catalyst introduces the Avivo Video Converter.
The Avivo Video Converter is a transcoder tool that provides
a quick and easy way of converting videos from one format to
another. The Avivo wizard found in the Catalyst Control Center,
allows the user to select the input file, and output format,
along with the quality level and file location. The Avivo Video
Converter accepts a wide variety of file formats as a source,
and outputs to file formats such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4/DivX,
WMA, H.264/AVC and more. Click on How to use the Avivo Video
Converter, for more information.
To download the new driver, visit here.
Intel will be launching its new WiMax cards for the PC later this year. The new cards which are aimed at taking over wireless networking over the next few years, will support some impressive speeds.
"We are now at the point where there is a clear coalescing around the 2.3GHz-2.5GHz, 3.5GHz and 5GHz bands. It looks likely that the planet can be covered using those frequency bands," as told by Sean Maloney, general manager of the Intel mobility group, at the Intel Developer Forum.
For more information on Intel and WiMAX, visit here.
ATI announced yesterday that it has bought XGI Technology Inc. and will keep the existing staff at both California and Shanghai locations. The new merger will help establish ATI further into China and put it directly in the center of the technology sector.
"From a worldwide perspective, China will continue to be
the dominant manufacturing base as well as a major market
for both computers and mobile handsets," said Oliver Xu,
principal Shanghai-based analyst with Gartner Inc.'s
Semiconductor Group. "Therefore the acquisition is important
for ATI's further success in China and will enhance the
company's performance in the global market."
To read the full press release, visit this page.
2.4 pound 1.3GHz Pentium powered notebook to be marketed in Korea
The new Xnote TX Ultra is an energy efficient notebook announced from LG. The notebook will feature a 1.3GHz Pentium mobile processor along with 1GB of RAM and a GeForce Go 7300.
With a screen resolution of 1280x800 and weighing in at a mere 2.4 pounds, the new notebook will make a very portable solution. While the notebook is targeted at the Korean market, a North American version would prove to be a great addition to the LG line.
The new ATI chipset features 2x16 PCI-Express
ATI has officially released its new chipset to the public. The new chipset is aimed at the enthusiast market and will showcase some impressive additions the last revision.
The Crossfire Xpress 3200 will be the first chipset to offer 2x16 PCI-E as a single chip solution. This alone should offer up some very impressive performance.
Here is an official list of the features direct from ATI:
- The worlds first single chip 2x16 PCI-E chipset
- Enhanced support for over-clocking, and PCI Express performance
- Fastest multi-GPU interconnect
- Support for all AMD CPUs: Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core, and Sempron processors
- Support for 64-bit extended operating systems
- Highly overclockable and robust HyperTransport interface
PCI Express Interface
- 2 x16 PCI Express lanes to support simultaneous operation of graphics cards
- Dedicated high speed A-link NB-SB interface
- Additional 4 PCI-E General Purpose Lanes for peripheral support
- Compliant with the PCI Express 1.0a Specifications
Power Management Features
- Fully supports ACPI states S1, S3, S4, and S5
- Support for AMD CoolnQuiet technology for crisp and quiet operation
Optimized Software Support
- Unified driver support on all ATI Radeon PCI Express discrete graphics products
- Support for Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Linux
- 8 USB 2.0 interfaces
- PCI v2.3 (up to 7 slots)
- Provides LPC (Low Pin Count) and SM (System Management) bus management and arbitrations
- Serial ATA controller with hot plug and RAID 0,1 to enhance performance and data security
- Support for up to 4 parallel ATA 133 peripherals
- Supports PC Legacy compatible functions, RTC (Real Time Clock), interface and power management support
for all AMD 64-bit processors
- Support for High-Definition Audio
- TPM 1.1 and 1.2 support
For more information on the new chipset, visit this page.