317w ago - Well, that didn't take long -- just a few hours after Intel confirmed that those hot new 45nm Penryn processors are shipping, Alienware blasted out a press release announcing the Area-51 ALX CF, the first machine to use the new chips.
The QX9650-equipped machines can be ordered overclocked up to 4.0GHz, and Alienware also bumped the graphics to dual CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 3870 cards. All that power won't come cheap, though -- the CF line starts at $5499.
317w ago - If you look at the central processor in Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 you will see something that can trace its ancestry right back to the Intel 8086 of 1978.
Over its evolution this has forced endless fudges and compromises. An analogy might be trying to build a working supertanker on the plans of a model rowing boat. And the 360 itself owes its architecture to the IBM PC of 1981 and so carries with it the accommodations that this architecture imposes. These factors, ultimately, must impinge on the working of the console.
Compare that to Sony (SNE), who were able to design the processor and the console it is in with a clean sheet of paper. The Cell processor, designed jointly with IBM and Toshiba at a cost of $400 million is the state of the art in processor dessign. It is scalable, highly flexible and excellent at distributed processing.
So it is little surprise that the PS3 now holds the Guiness world record for the most powerful distributed computing network. Or that an astrophysicist has replaced a supercomputer with eight PS3s. This is one very special and very powerful machine and when game programmers eventually work out how to get the best from it we are going to see some spectacular results.
But there has been a price to pay. Whilst the 360 was cheap to develop and cheap...
317w ago - Unlike Sony, Microsoft likes to make updates to its games consoles in big chunks. So while the Japanese company will trickle its PS3 updates out regularly, Microsoft issues two big Xbox 360 updates a year. The so-called 'fall update' is already late, and looks like hitting consoles at some point in early December.
But what's going to be included in it? One of the new features that Microsoft has already confirmed is the so-called 'Family Timer'. This is a tool that enables parents to track how much time their kids have spent playing games.
Xbox 360 'Family Timer'
It'll also empower those parents to limit the amount of time the consoles can be used per day. Once those limits are hit, the password-protected console will shut down. It's the feature all mothers across the world have been waiting for, and every child's worst nightmare.
According to Bach, with more than 13 million Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide, the company's drive to empower parents is a core Microsoft responsibility.
"We've seen a tremendous response to the robust parental controls offered on Xbox 360 and Windows Vista, and the Xbox 360 Family Timer will continue to deliver on our promise to provide safer, balanced and fun entertainment for everyone," he said.
317w ago - Cpasjuste has updated his Custom Firmware Extender plug-in again today, fixing two small bugs and adding an additional configuration parameter to the "cfe.config" file for disabling or enabling text transparency.
* Fixed a stupid bug with nethost in cfe_vsh that was causing to always connect to the
computer IP address "192.168.1.2″
* Fixed a bug with usbhost iso streaming while using normal mode.
* An option is added to the "cfe.config" configuration file to enable or
disable text transparency.
317w ago - Sony CSR admitted to reader Ive that dust should not void a Playstation 3's warranty. Transcript and audio, after the jump.
Ive: I'm calling just to pretty much clarify the PS3's warranty, if there's any clause in the warranty that makes it so that if the PS3 is too dusty that the warranty is void.
CSR: No. The only way that it, um, voided is if it was neglected, um, abused, dropped or anything like, modificated like if you opened it up, modification, if you didn't have your receipt, um, any power failures like mother nature or anything like that then that actually does void the warranty. Other than that any defective PS3s or anything like that is still, um, still under the warranty.
Ive spoke to several CSRs, each of whom took a similar position until they read the account notes. Apparently, a tech determined that the fearsome dust constituted neglect and presented a threat to his health.
To his credit, the CSR handled a ridiculous situation fairly well.