Archive for the ‘technical’ Category

With the release of Windows 7 in October, PC gamers will finally have another platform on which to play their favorite games. Those who didn’t quite enjoy Windows Vista as a game platform or have stuck with Windows XP are probably looking forward to the opportunity to buy some new hardware, install Windows 7, and get the most out of their favorite games.

Windows 7

Development of Windows 7 is over and now is the time to peep into it. How will it be beneficial to the gamers. Does it have features that will help it beat out Windows Vista or Windows XP in the game space?

Let’s check this out:

DirectX 11
DirectX 11, which is set to run on both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, is highly anticipated. A recent blog post on Advanced Micro Devices’ official blog asserts that DirectX 11, “in combination with new graphics hardware, and in some cases Windows 7, brings significant changes to the computing experience, changes that mean upcoming games and other applications are about to get a lot better.”

AMD believes that with the help of “a beast called the tessellator,” game developers will be able to create even better-looking games. The company contends that titles will be “smoother, less blocky, and more organic-looking.”

Thanks to better support for multithreading and GPGPU compatibility, game developers should be able to get more out of their games on Windows 7 than any previous version of the operating system.

AMD contends that games will have “higher frame rates” and “more realistic characters.” It also believes that game development costs might be kept down, thanks to a simplified, more efficient Windows 7.

In a recent posting on the Windows Partner blog, Intel’s Brandon LeBlanc wrote that Windows 7 will be a far more efficient platform than its predecessor. According to LeBlanc, Microsoft worked with Intel to implement “a new feature called SMT parking, which provided additional support for the Windows 7 scheduler for Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, enabling better performance on hyperthreaded, multicore Intel processors.”

Nvidia product manager Chris Daniel wrote on the Windows Team blog last week that Windows 7 is “the first Windows operating system to treat the graphics-processing unit as a real peer to the CPU.” He went on to say that Windows 7 is doing a fine job of making its platform more appealing to gamers.

“Microsoft is really opening up the immense parallel-computing horsepower of the GPU natively right in the operating system,” he wrote.

Those are just a couple examples, but most companies, albeit with a vested interest in seeing Windows 7 succeed, are saying the platform is more powerful than its predecessors. Regardless of the motives, that can only be good for gamers.

Games Explorer
Perhaps Games Explorer won’t top the list of the features that will help make Windows 7 a great gaming platform, but it could help.

Although that feature originally launched with Windows Vista, Microsoft has promised that the Windows 7 version of Games Explorer will make gamers much happier with what they find.

Once they add titles to their PCs, gamers will be able to update those games from the Games Explorer pane, rather than open up each title and download updates in the software. If they want in-game statistics, they can have that too.

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Intel has launched a low-cost quad-core mobile processor and added more mobile Core 2 Duo processors to its chip lineup, according to an updated price list dated December 28.quadcore

Acer was one of the first PC makers to announce a system with the new quad-core processor. On Monday Acer released the Aspire 8930G-7665 laptop designed for extreme gaming using the new Intel Core 2 Quad Mobile Processor Q9000, which runs at 2.53GHz. The laptop comes with a 18.4-inch WUXGA screen and Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics. It is priced at $1,799.

The Q9000 processor is listed at $348, significantly less expensive than the existing QX9300 mobile quad-core processor, which is listed at $1,038, and the Q9100, listed at $851. Both of these processors, however, have 12MB of cache memory, twice the amount of the cheaper Q9000, which integrates 6MB of cache. Generally, the more cache memory, the faster the processor.

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Google has Launched its Beta version of the new browser Named “Chrome”. Google stated correctly that earlier when browsers were first invented, watching videos, chatting, and even playing Web-based games didn’t exist. Google wants to focus on the applications and pages users are viewing rather than just the browser. Right now only the Windows version of Chrome is available to download from the site itself and it has been released in 43 languages and in 122 countries.

Chrome is based on the open-source project Webkit, the same rendering engine used by Apple Safari.

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Microsoft is leading Google with a gap of a  decade. It is said that the place at which Google is today was acquired by Microsoft 10 years before. “Google’s a great company, got some great products, but you know in some respects I think Google is where Microsoft was 7 or 10 years ago”, Peter Cullen, Microsoft’s chief privacy strategist.

“Google had not invested enough to build privacy into its products. Microsoft has over 40 full-time people invested in privacy and over 400 part-time people. Google hasn’t–at least from what I read about them–evolved to that.”

“We think about privacy as part of the core design…We have thought about how to design privacy into the product, as opposed to how to react to the negative impressions,” he commented.

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AMD Chief Marketing Officer Nigel Dessau says AMD will pass on the low-cost notebook or netbook market for now, although Web sites are offering interesting details about a low-cost AMD notebook chip. Dessau is also looking to strengthen AMD’s Opteron brand after problems with the quad-core version of the processor.

Advanced Micro Devices is taking a pass on the low-cost notebook market for now, but new marketing chief Nigel Dessau says the chip maker will continue to watch the so-called “netbook” space as it continues to develop.

Dessau, who took over as AMD’s senior vice president and chief marketing office in March, said in a telephone interview AMD is interested in how the low-cost notebook market will develop, but has no immediate plans to offer specific processors for these laptops.

We are not saying it’s not an important segment and we’re not saying it’s not a growing segment,” Dessau said. “What we are saying is that we are a smaller company and we have to focus on what we do well at this point. We are watching that segment rather than playing in it, but as it matures we’ll see where it goes. At this moment, we are going to focus on what we do best.

AMD, which has placed an emphasis on processors that are low-cost and use less power, would seem to be well positioned to enter this market with an x86 processor.

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Google is doing a great benefit to all the mobile users all over the world by providing them the latest information on Summer Olympics 2008  in Beijing .

Searching for any Olympic sport on Google’s mobile Web site will bring up, in addition to the regular search results that Google would normally offer, a timetable of Olympic schedules and results for that event. The search also works in 35 other languages, and Google has created an additional mobile Web site as a general repository of Olympic information.

When results start to come in, mobile searches for things like “swimming medals” and “French medal count” will bring up relevant Olympic data too.

The Olympics tie-ins are a little bit more extensive on Google’s regular browser search; other search engines, such as Yahoo, are doing something similar. Google is also serving ads on NBC’s online-video coverage of the Olympics using its DoubleClick technology.

If text-based mobile search just isn’t fancy enough for your precious handset, NBC will be serving up mobile video to customers of Verizon’s V-Cast service, thanks to a partnership between the two companies.

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Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley led by mechanical engineering professor Xiang Zhang have devised a way to confine light in incredibly small spaces on the order of 10 nanometres or about 100 times thinner than current optical fibres.

To make this happen, the researchers have bound light photons to electrons, which allows them to propagate along the surface of a conductor — a process called surface plasmonics. Simulations showed that not only could the light compress into spaces only tens of nanometres wide, but it could travel distances nearly 100 times greater than by conventional surface plasmonics alone. The compressed light would make smaller optical fibres possible.

The research team’s technique consists of a very thin semiconductor wire placed close to a smooth sheet of silver. The system acts like a capacitor, storing energy between the wire and the metal sheet. As the light travels along the gap, it stimulates the build-up of charges on both the wire and the metal, and these charges allow the energy to be sustained for longer distances.

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Adobe Systems is revamping its Media Player with a new interface and a deal that will let users of the software watch movies from Sony Pictures.

The interface update presents users with a larger number of video shows. “There’s more content that we surface earlier,” said Ashley Still, senior product manager for Adobe Media Player.

Users can browse various content categories, selecting some as favorites, or subscribe to their own video feeds via RSS, Still said.

Full-length episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, 48 Hours, The Love Boat from CBS, which expanded the content already  are available through its existing partnership with Adobe. CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.

Content providers get free access to the player, and can control whether the content is available only in streaming format or can be saved onto a person’s hard drive.

Shows can be encoded in the Flash video format, called FLV, or in H.264. The Adobe Media Player uses Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), a programming foundation that lets software run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. Adobe Media Player, though, works only on Windows and Mac OS X, Adobe said.

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If you’re a Windows user you know full well the tight integration among Microsoft products that has made the operating system a little less than friendly when it comes to tying in various Web apps. E-mail in particular is one of those actions that will usually pop up Outlook or Outlook Express, forcing you to either install a third-party mail app like Mozilla’s Thunderbird or go in and tweak your registry.

If you’re a Gmail user, and looking to get that same level of integration in Office documents and elsewhere on your system check out gAttach. This simple program will append all your mail extensions, getting them to open up in Gmail instead.

One thing that’s nice is that it’ll simply tack onto whatever browser you’ve got open, or simply open your default one if you don’t have it running. It’ll also suck in multiple files at a time (up to Gmail’s 20MB limit of course).

Yahoo mail users can also take advantage of a sister product called yAttach, which will do the same thing, although you can’t have both installed at once.

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A US court has forced Google to disclose the user details of every viewer of its YouTube video site. Google will have to disclose the user log-in names and IP addresses of every viewer who has ever watched content on the YouTube site.

This means even non-members of YouTube could be tracked by Viacom, which says its copyrighted video content has been illegally posted on the YouTube site.

Google says it has no real control over what is posted on YouTube, although it often takes things off the site after complaints.

The mammoth viewing database awarded to Viacom includes the log-in ID of users, user IP addresses, and details of what they have viewed.

To get a positive identification of each user, Viacom would need the details of the ISP used by viewers, but it has not requested these details and has not so far indicated that it is after anyone but Google for allowing the copyrighted content to be posted.

Viacom owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, among other content generators.

The UK Premier League is also seeking class action status with Viacom on the issue. It says YouTube, which was bought by Google in 2006, has been used to watch copyrighted football highlights.

When Viacom initiated its legal action in March 2007, Viacom said it had identified about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes on YouTube, which had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

The court also ruled that Google must disclose to Viacom the details of all videos that have been removed from the site for any reason.

Viacom says Google is not doing enough to stop copyrighted content appearing in the first place, although Google has recently introduced some filtering controls.

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