Users Brick Samsung Laptops by Booting Linux on Them

Upon taking ownership of a new computer, especially a laptop, may of us like to make radical changes. I, personally, install a fresh copy of Windows 7, free of the bloatware than many OEMs like to install. There are a growing number of people however, that like to run their new computer on everyone’s favorite open source OS-  Linux. However, many customers who have taken this step on their shiny new Samsung laptops have completely bricked the device.

Users booting Ubuntu 12 from a USB drive have been faced with a blank screen after a kernel driver on the machines crashed. Although some, upon powering down their machines and booting back into Windows have had no permanent damage, there are many reported cases of this crash damaging the firmware chip on the laptop’s motherboard, making the computer completely inoperable.

So far, the confirmed cases have been caused by attempting to boot Ubuntu 12, but like as not other Linux distributions will cause the issue. Samsung models reported to have the fault so far are the, NP700Z7C and 530U3C-series laptops, although this problem is believed to be more widespread, and I suggest you do not attempt booting Linux unless your model has been reported clear.

It is clear that the fault is not one of Linux, but of the laptops, and the blame seems to be pointed towards the Samsung hardware driver and UEFI, with the UEFI already proving unpopular. So far, Samsung has not released a date for a fix, and does not seem close to finding the fault, stating that they think it may be triggered by the kernel driver. The Ubuntu developer Steve Langasek has been discussing the problem with Samsung engineers and advises users to install Ubuntu using their latest live image which will force the machine to boot using our old trusty BIOS as opposed to the new UEFI.

Matt Fleming of Intel has been working on the problem and has come up with some workarounds here.

 

Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 (Z77) Motherboard Review

Gigabyte’s top level motherboards have always stood out from the rest of their motherboard offerings, not just on paper with the best specifications that they have to offer, but they also physically stand out with striking designs and colour schemes to suit. To accompany the new UP7, dubbed as “A New Legend Is Born”, we find Intel’s ever popular Z77 chipset, and this combination is set to make this one of Gigabyte’s most powerful consumer boards on the market.

On top of the highly extensive overclocking features within the BIOS, the UP7 offers a large array of physical overclocking benefits including an industry leading 32+3+2 power phase design and high capacity ferrite chokes. But this is not all that we find, to steer the board in the right direction of the modern environment we find other included features such as WiFi and Bluetooth showing the board is right up to date and Gigabyte are giving the customer exactly what they want.

We already know that this is a world record holding board with records repeatedly being smashed by the professionals on a number of grounds, one of which is a whopping 7.102GHz on a 3770k CPU. Furthermore we are expecting this to be one of Gigabyte’s best ever boards with a very high level of performance.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am4_lcK0lnQ[/youtube]

Evercool Silent Shark (HPO 12025) CPU Cooler Review

Here at eTeknix we are always looking to work with a wide variety of companies. Big or small, we will always take the time to give their products a thorough going over and produce an honest and objective review on it.

On that same theme it is clear to see Evercool are a company that very often get over-looked on western review websites. They fall into the “small” category because they don’t do much, if any, marketing or advertising in western countries, and stock is, in the most part, difficult to come across. Evercool are a huge company in Asia and we want to see what all the fuss is about. Today we have a new product from Evercool’s line up, the Silent Shark (HPO 12025). This mammoth CPU cooler boasts two 120mm fans and two large aluminium heat sinks.

The main selling point with Evercool’s products  in western countries is that you should get a lot more “bang for your buck” compared to more reputable brands like Corsair and Zalman because Evercool can bring the benefit of lower Asian production, r&d and marketing costs. We will be doing our best to see if this is really the case. The Evercool costs $75/€58/£45~ – making it cheaper than a lot of other coolers we have tested.

You can find more about Evercool here, and detailed specifications on the Silent Shark CPU cooler here. Without any further ado let us proceed to the main part of the review.

Microsoft’s 64GB Surface Pro will have only 23GB of usable storage space

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet which is expected to be released on the 9th of February is set to have a very disappointing amount of storage space available out of the box. A spokesman for Microsoft has confirmed that the 64GB Surface Pro will only have 23GB of usable space left over for storage after the factory software has been installed. After mixed reviews of the Surface and many criticisms of Windows 8, it seems that Microsoft will be sticking with a bloated 41GB install which consists of the OS, built in apps and backup storage.

Many users will consider this unacceptable and makes the Surface Pro a less viable contented, especially considering the high price. It also bring into question once again the relevance of Windows 8 and what Windows are trying to do with tablets. It seems that Windows 8 is an OS filled with bloatware expected on a desktop with the UI of a tablet, “a jack of all trades, but a master of none”. I believe that Microsoft is trying to blur the distinct line between a desktop and a tablet, which may be appealing to some users, but most customers will want a tablet to function as a tablet, not a portable, touchscreen desktop.

Microsoft has suggested that to increase the available storage space from 36% of the advertised capacity, users could “create backup bootable USB and delete the recovery partition”, which is a logical solution, but not what many people want to do with their tablets, not to mention many tablet users would not be capable of doing this. Thankfully, due to the openness of Surface compared to other tablets such as the iPad, users will be able to extend their storage through a variety of methods such as external storage devices or memory cards.

China’s video gaming console ban maybe lifted soon

Since 2000, the Chinese cultural ministers have implemented a ban on gaming consoles as (according to the ministry) it causes potential harm to the physical and mental development of the young. But according to China Daily’s sources, the Chinese maybe re-thinking on that policy, even lifting the ban.

It should be noted however that despite the ban, one can obtain gaming consoles illegally through many retailers and wholesellers. It is also found that console makers used loopholes to get their product inside the Chinese market legally. Nintendo did so via a local partner company to introduce iQue, a device that plugs directly into the TV and have access to several games for Nintendo 64 console. Also, they have been selling Nintendo DS with the name “iQue DS” since 2005. Microsoft sells Kinect in China but for scientific and medical research.

The ban didn’t affect the PC gaming business in the country at all. Many Chinese players play mostly MMORPG, but there are concerns from the consoles makers too, at the very least from the Sony Corporation. After convincing the Japanese government that the console won’t be used for a missile guidance system, the company withdrew the support to introduce consoles in China, citing piracy as a reason.

Nevertheless this news increased Nintendo’s stock to 4% up and Sony observed a 9% gain at the Tokyo stock exchange.

Source: ArsTechnica

Newegg scored a major victory against “online shopping cart” patent troll

Online retailer Newegg successfully defeats a well-known patent troll who was trying to collect licensing fees from one of the well-known online shopping stores.

The ruling was passed in a Texas district court last week where the case was filed by Soverain software against Newegg for over $2.5 Million.

Soverain Software owned many patents that covered the important parts of any E-commerce websites such as Shopping cart and Checking out. Soverain Software got these patents when they acquired Divine, Inc. 10 years ago.

But in 2005, Soverain Software did win a case filed against Amazon, which resulted in making the online retailer to cough up $40 Million. It was then in 2010, Soverain Software filed against Newegg and seven other retailers. Everyone agreed to a licensing deal except Newegg. The company back then filed against Newegg for $34 Million.

The case was won because Newegg’s lawyers pointed out that Soverain Software cited CompuServe Mall. Compared to what was used in today’s e-commerce website, its not the same. The court agreed which gave victory to Newegg and other e-commerce sites such as Home Depot, Best Buy, RadioShack, etc.

Lee Cheng, Newegg’s chief legal officer gave credit to Fred Chang who did not give up when battling with Soverain. According to Chang said in Ars Technica that lot of the system that they used are homegrown and it was coded completely from scratch without knowing about these patents.

Via: PCMAG 

Google to Release it’s Next-Gen Nexus 7 Tablet with a Full HD Display

After the enormous success following the release of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google are said to be debuting their ‘next-generation’ of the popular tablet in May, teaming up with Asus.

This updated tablet is said to include a 1080p HD display and feature a narrower bezel along with other tweaks. Changes to the operating system are also expected which is said to be a Jelly-Bean based Android OS which is designed to “enhance integration between the hardware and software.” The pricing of this new model is rumored to be similar to the original Nexus 7 at around $199-249 (£126-158) and combined sales of the first and second generation tablets have been projected at 10 million units in 2013.

Steelseries Mobile Gaming & Headphone Review

Today I decided I would take a look at something a little different, a change of pace if you will. As many of our readers already know, we recently spent some time in Las Vegas at International CES, providing coverage of some product launches and keeping tabs on what’s hot in 2013. While we were there we managed to spend some time with the people from Steel Series, who as many of you will be aware are a premium gaming peripheral brand that make keyboards, mice, headsets and more.

Most recently SteelSeries have been tinkering with the mobile market and lets be honest, they would be mad not to. Love it or hate it, the mobile industry is booming, I’m not just talking about smartphones either, but Tablets, Phablets (I hate that term, just saying), Surfaces, Portable Games Consoles, it doesn’t matter what you choose, there are millions of digital things you can do at the bus stop that allow you to avoid talking to people.

The special thing about today’s review is that we will be taking a look, not at one product but at a range of products from SteelSeries. I must point out though that I wasn’t asked to review these items but after spending time using them since CES I felt it would be a fun review to keep myself and our readers entertained. SteelSeries were kind enough to hand out CES Survival Kits when we attended a one-to-one meeting with them and while there were stuff like stickers and coffee vouchers (see: life saver) the main items in there were a Bluetooth controller, some stick on tablet controls and a set of headphones, so lets take a look and see just what these three items had to offer.

Asus’ ESC4000/FDR G2 powers up 2nd most energy efficient super computer “SANAM”

The Asus ESC4000/FDR G2 HPC server which is currently used by Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is now ranked #2 in the Green500 List. The list is maintained to rank supercomputer on the basis of energy efficiency.

210 HPC server nodes are used in the SANAM HPC cluster, with 420 AMD FirePro S1000 Dual GPU’s and Intel Xeon E5-2650 processors that totals upto 38,400 cores powered by twin 1620w 80 Plus Platinum certified power supplies where it claims 94% efficiency.

The supercomputer is used primarily in fields such as aerospace, weather forecasting and even chemical reaction & particle movement. Together with HPC Technology and Infiband FDR, it allows data transfer of up to 56Gbps which makes it a choice for many heavy-duty calculations. SAMAN achieves 2.3GFLOPS per watt/2.3 Billion calculations per second per watt.

Rick Rozalsky, Adtech Global’s VP said that the SANAM super computer was focused to give better performance while maintaining lower costs and reduced power consumption and felt that the solutions that Asus offered suited their needs who even received assistance in Bios-level development and mechanical design flexibility.

Asus’ ESC range of hardware is used for finance, Virtualization and high-end scientific uses.

Microsoft and Qualcomm developing Windows 8 reference design

According to a report, Microsoft is working with Chipset makers such as Qualcomm to develop a Windows 8 reference design. This is done so that they can attract the Chinese smartphones makers to product WP8 phones in entry level and mid-range smartphone segments in China and other markets.

The reference design is expected for release in Mid-2013 and the manufacturers should be releasing the reference version mobiles by the second half of the year. The development of WP8 phones should help Microsoft to expand and get more market share.

Currently Qualcomm is expected to tie up with Microsoft as they have been offering solutions for WP 7.5 and WP8 based models, followed by MediaTek who has strong business ties with China-based smartphone makers.

Source: Digitimes

Sega get serious in PC Gaming business, acquires game developer “Relic”

Sega recently spent US $26.6 Million to buy THQ’s Canadian based game development firm Relic Entertainment Studio during the bankruptcy auction, therefore acquiring titles such as “Company of Heroes” and “Warhammer 40K”. Warhammer 40 Dawn of War sold over 7 Million copies worldwide and Company of Heroes sold over 4 Million. The Japanese-based company said that it purchased the firm to reinforce PC game development in the U.S. and Europe. 

Sega’s bid of US $26.6 Million was awfully close with Zenimax’s bid of $26.3 Million accounted to the documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Sega is the company behind the now phased-out console Sega Dreamcast but is behind well known titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, chain of arcade games and is a part of a larger company that earns money from Japanese gambling hardware. Relic was founded in 1997 which was later bought by THQ in 2004.

Company of Heroes 2 viz. developed by Relic is planned for release this year on PC. Its unclear if the acquisition of the firm will alter the game’s release date. Also, Sega also acquired a game project with the codename “Atlas” that is currently under development and scheduled for a 2014 release.

Via: Polygon

Logitech continues with PC Gaming peripherals despite losses

Logitech recently announced their 3rd quarter results for fiscal 2013 which showed that their sales were down from $715 Million in Q3 FY 2012 to $615 Million in Q3 Fiscal 2013, reflecting a 14% loss.

Bracken Darrel, president and chief executive officer of Logitech said that they plan to expand their presence in the tablet accessories category. However, the company plans to discontinue products such as speaker docks and even console gaming accessories and peripherals by the end of 2013, but the company plans to stick with PC platform related products.

He said,”Our goal with PC-platform products is to maximize profitability, while investing selectively in growing categories. We have also identified a number of product categories that no longer fit with our current strategic direction. As a result, we have initiated the process to divest our remote controls and digital video security categories, and we plan to discontinue other non-strategic products, such as speaker docks and console gaming peripherals, by the end of Calendar Year 2013.”

Logitech confirmed via Twitter that they will not exit from PC gaming and still will continue to be their top priority.

NZXT Phantom 630 Ultra Tower Chassis Review

Today we have something a little special in the eTeknix office, the brand new Phantom 630 ultra tower from NZXT. Many of you will already be fully award of the existence of this premium grade chassis, especially since it was launched at CES earlier this month and anyone who was following our coverage of the show will have seen some fantastic pictures of this chassis already. NZXT have already gone on to great things with their Phantom and Switch range, their unique style and unrelenting pursuit for chassis performance has caught the eyes of many system builders, enthusiasts and gamers.

I think it is also true to say that the Phantom range has become somewhat of a legend in its own right, much like the Ferrari’s and Lamborghini have become the desirables of the car world, NZXT chassis are the desirable of the chassis world, for many people at least, not all. Thanks to the unique style choices of NZXT’s premium chassis, they’ve become something you either love or hate. The most important factor for me however is their performance and everything from the original Phantom to the 820 have had plenty to offer in that area, yet can NZXT really improve on an already impressive design structure? That’s what we hope to find out today.

The Phantom 630 comes in at retail at a staggering £169.99, which is a lot of money but still cheaper that the gargantuan 820 and just a little more expensive than the Switch 810. Regardless of being cheaper or more expensive than others in the NZXT catalogue, its still a serious amount of cash in terms of investment and for that amount of money you’re going to want more than just style. Today I will be looking for nothing short of exceptional in all areas, performance, build quality, style, component compatibility and anything else I can think of, so lets move and see just what the Phantom 630 has to offer.

Google Transparency report reveals U.S government seeking number of user data

Like every year, Google has published their latest transparent report which reveals that the Federal government and many police agencies have been pushing Google to give numerous amounts of user data. The data statistics reveals that the authorities are not just only looking for personal information, but even search data.

According to the the report, Google complied up to 21,389 requests of user data information which belongs to nearly 34,000 users and out of which 8,438 requests come from the U.S. Federal government. Its also shows that there’s an increase of 17% compared to the previous year.

The U.S. government has the Electronic Communications Privacy act in which it gives power to the police agencies to obtain information and communications data from private individuals. After 9/11, many laws were passed which allows the government to access your emails and other transmitted data without your consent and you knowing about it. There are some conflicting laws which collided with privacy rights where even some U.S. courts deemed it illegal.

Still, Google publishes the request report as a part of their open policy on an annual basis. Google is planning currently to offer data on government censorship to their users as well.

Source: VR- Zone 

AMD phase out FX-4100 CPU, replaces it with FX-4130 with and improved stock heatsink

AMD will no longer be offering the AMD FX-4100 processor from now onwards. However, with the same price of £80 including VAT, you will be getting the FX-4130 in its place.

AMD’s FX 4100 is a processor with a 125W TDP whereas the 4130 uses a 95W TDP. According to what AMD says, they found 3-9% performance difference on the FX 4130 at their default clock speeds.

That’s not all, the AMD FX 4130 would be coming with an improved stock heatsink where the chip-maker says that they were able to achieve stable clock speed with “several” MHz, but more than what the AMD FX-4100 can be achieved with its stock cooler.

Although as points out by Bons via Facebook in the specification below, it should be noted that the FX 4130 is .2GHz lesser on base clock and 2MB L3 Cache short in comparison with FX 4100.

The following is the specification of the processor and in comparison with FX 4100:

Apple ends relationship with Chinese supplier after the use of underage workers

Recently Apple, Inc. discovered 74 under-aged workers being used by one of their suppliers in China during their audits which resulted in ending the relationship with the company. The company behind employing children is Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics. It is found that 16 year old children were found making circuit boards for a few technology firms, two of them being Apple, Inc and HP.

It’s been further revealed that a recruitment firm; Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources provided fake papers for these children to work. The regional government revoked its business license for now.

Apple, Inc. has conducted 393 audits to identify any unacceptable working conditions. Senior VP of operations Jeff Williams stated that the company has increased its efforts to ensure that no under-aged workers are being used by their suppliers and that the working hours are limited to 60 hours a week.

Source: Reuters 

Kingston HyperX ’10th Anniversary’ DDR3 1866MHz 8GB Memory Kit Review

In one of my last memory reviews, I made a note of how rare it is that I get to look at some Limited Edition memory. Low and behold I get to CES and I get news of a new Limited Edition kit design and that one will be making its way to be imminently. Not a bad start to 2013 then, not even a month in and now I’ve looked at two Limited Edition kits, time for some humble pie I guess.

Moving onto this kit then, what makes it Limited? Well naturally its got to be partly down to a short term heat spreader design but underneath we have a PCB laced with chips that are something rather special and this leads to another question of why now? Well, simply put, its because it’s the 10th birthday of Kingston’s HyperX memory module and since 2002, Kingston’s HyperX memory has been one of the select choices for gamers.

“Since 2002, our HyperX products have been the memory of choice for gamers, computer enthusiasts, overclockers and system builders,” said Dara Mullarkey, HyperX business manager, Kingston. “The newly launched HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition Memory encompasses ultimate style and performance. As part of the Genesis family line, this stunning low-profile memory enhances the overall PC experience. In addition, hosting the StarCraft II tournament allows us to thank and give back to our customers and fans.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24ZzZgCP2b8[/youtube]

Unlocking of cellphones became illegal in U.S. on January 26th

The 26th January saw that the unlocking of cellphones or tablets is considered as a crime in the United States. This started in October 2012 when the Librarian of Congress laid down the rule in Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that unlocking cellphones will be illegal. There is a 90-day window period offered to people before the law applies to people with unlocked gadgets.

For those who don’t know, unlocking is a term used to “unshackle” cellphones that is locked to use a particular cellphone carrier that the cellphone company partnered with. Unlocking the phones gives freedom to the end users to use their phone with any of their desired carrier.

Will this law stop people to unlock phones or will this law slowly creep through other countries?

Via: BGR 

Nvidia rumoured to be working on $899 GK110-based GeForce Titan GPU

Its reported that Nvidia is working on a new graphic card that will be placed between the GTX 680 and GTX 690 graphic cards. According to SweClockers, Nvidia’s Titan will appear late next month. Nvidia named the card with the reference of the Titan supercomputer built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory which uses the Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU with 18,688 nodes.

The GeForce Titan card is said to appear late next month for $899. The card will be using the GK110 viz. used in Nvidia’s Tesla range, but the Titan card is said to have at least one SMX unit disabled and hence it comes with 2688 CUDA cores. Chances are that Titan should consume less power in comparison with the Tesla K20X which is rated at 235w.

Via: Techspot

A strand DNA can store upto 2.2 petabytes of data

Researchers from the European Bioinformatics institute were able to encode 154 Shakespeare sonnets and Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech in a single strand of DNA. This came to a total of 739KB but the researchers are confident that it can hold 2.2 petabytes of information.

It is also noted in a report that DNA has a capacity for high-density storage for information, as well as encoding and the ability to preserve data for a very long time.

The procedure however is expensive. A DNA manipulation method to hold per GB of data costs around $12,400 per MB. We’ll have to wait till this becomes feasible. They’ve also noted that embedding information on a strand of DNA takes a lot more time than it needs to be calculated in months rather than seconds.

Via: Gizmodo

THQ are now officially dead

Games designer THQ who made games such as Saint’s row series and Metro series sent a mail to its employees which indicates that the company is calling it quits.

The letter also contains information of which companies have acquired the following games. Sega purchased Relic, whereas Koch Media purchased Volition and Metro, whereas Crytek bought Homefront, Take 2 purchased Evolve and Ubisoft purchased Montreal and South Park.

Some months ago, THQ has a Humble Bumble giveaway where the amount collected for charity.

To All THQ Employees:
We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction that occurred:
Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business, along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets. During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority of the company.

Shortly, we will present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must concur with our assessment.

The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :
Sega agreed to purchase Relic
Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro
Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront
Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve
Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.

What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of your employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note
The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative, artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have accomplished despite today’s outcome.

It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the company will cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. We were hoping that the entire company would remain intact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will be operating as part of new organizations.

For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you take the next steps in your career.

Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Brian Farrell
Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin
President

Mozilla developer testing Firefox browser for Ouya Console

The open source browser Firefox is being tested on Ouya, an open source cube-shaped console by Mozilla. Mozilla’s mobile platform engineer Chris Lord mentioned it on Ouya’s forum that they’re finding what is needed to make Firefox usable in OUYA.

“It already works and we have some preliminary patches for gamepad support, but there’s still quite a bit of work to be done to make it really usable.”, he continues. Do note that there’s still no guarantee that Mozilla Firefox will work on the Android based console that is set to cost $99. 

To those who don’t know, Ouya was a project that has taken shared thanks due to backing they received via Kickstarter which resulted in raising $ 8.5 Million. OUYA is said to run on a custom Jelly Bean OS with a TV UI interface version with mobile gamepad, Tegra 3 chip, 1.7 GHz processor and 1GB of memory.

Source: Techradar 

Intel to launch Haswell processors 2 days before Computex 2013

Intel is all set with their plans to launch the newer Ivy Bridge processors and also processors with the new core codenamed “Haswell”. According to Digitimes‘ sources, the processor manufacturing giant will make the 4th gen Core series processors appear on June 2nd along with other PC related hardware, just 2 days before Compute, that will be hosted in Taiwan from June 4th till June 8th this year.

According to the report, Intel predicts that the newer architecture will account for 14-16% of its CPU shipment in Q3 2013, and there’s an expectation that this will help the PC market to start recovering. As stated before, Intel will be launching a series of Haswell processors first, whereas Ivy Bridge-E series and i3 Haswell processors will appear in the next quarter.

Lenovo considering takeover bid of BlackBerry maker RIM

Lenovo is thinking of buying Canadian based Blackberry maker RIM. It’s confirmed by a top executive of Lenovo that the Chinese based company is considering to acquire RIM in the future and revealed that there were talks and even discussions about moving funds between the 2 companies. During an interview with Bloomberg, Lenovo’s CFO Wong Wai Ming said,”We are looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others. We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along.”

However Lenovo may find it difficult to acquire ARM due to the tough Regulations in the U.S. and Canada and will find it even tougher if the new BlackBerry 10 turns out to be a major success for RIM, seeing Lenovo possibly backing out from the deal. Canada may also not approve of this deal as it blocked acquisitions of a few Canada based companies by foreign firms in the past, citing security issues, as clearly mentioned in Bloomberg’s report.

Via: VR- Zone | Bloomberg

Fractal Design Adjust 108 Fan Controller Review

Today we are taking a look at the Adjust 108 Fan Controller from Fractal Design, which on the face of it is a simple six channel fan controller, but being a Fractal Design product it has no doubt got a few subtle style touches to be found.

Fractal Design are quickly working their way to the top of my favourites list in terms of product design, I still think their Fractal R4, Node 304 and Node 605 are some of the finest chassis’ on the market for their respective categories and in my mind the name Fractal Design is synonymous with high quality products, something that I have reflected on many a time in previous reviews of their products, all of which have proven themselves worthy of various eTeknix awards.

Fan controllers are by nature fairly simple devices, in the sense that they have one intended function. Sure some products on the market find all kinds of complex and creative methods of performing this task, but the end result should always be the same, a method of maximising cooling efficiency, or minimising fan noise with ease.

Technical specifications:

  • Stylish, minimalistic front in aluminum
  • 6 channels
  • One LED per channel
  • Uses only one 5.25″ bay
  • Intensity jumper for the LEDs
  • Vertical sliders
  • 36W per channel
  • Shifting LEDs
  • SATA power connector

With the technical specifications out of the way, let’s dive in and take a closer look at what Fractal Design have to offer to the fan controller market.

The hashtag has been banned in France

The hashtag really hit mainstream with Twitter, but in France, it looks like it’s about to be put six-feet under. The French government want to preserve their language by changing the settled will of the online community. This translates into the hashtag no longer being used in official communications or papers.


The replacement term? Well, it’s mot-dièse.

mot-dièse, n.m.
Domaine : Télécommunications-Informatique/Internet.
Définition : Suite signifiante de caractères sans espace commençant par le signe # (dièse), qui signale un sujet d’intérêt et est insérée dans un message par son rédacteur afin d’en faciliter le repérage.

So, in order to preserve their language, the French government have banned the use of the hashtag – why not go after swear words? It seems weird, as the hashtag is a standard placement on any keyboard, but I get where they’re coming from.

Source: Forbes

Intel gets approval to have 14nm Chip Plant worth $4 Billion in Ireland

Intel announced its ambitious plan for building a new plant for fabricating 14nm chips named “Fab 24”. Intel will be investing $4 Billion and it will take 2 years for its construction.

Final approval is still required from Intel’s board of directors, but once its gets the final approval which is said to generate approximately 3,500 construction jobs and 800 permanent high-tech fabrication jobs. One of the reasons that Intel maybe having a fabrication plant in Ireland is the fact that the country has only 12.5% as corporate tax, one of the lowest in the world. 

The local regulatory agency approved the plan last Thursday. The 14nm manufacturing fab will be built on an existing campus with 224,819 sq. meters, out of which 101,000 sq. meters is dedicated for a 3-story fab facility with an open-air clean room for ICs.