pwn2own 2011 day 1: Safari and Internet Explorer 8 fall Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Thursday, 10 March 2011 08:58

Is your web browser secure?  If you're reading this using Internet Explorer 8 or Safari, probably not...

A team of security researchers from the French pen-testing firm VUPEN successfully exploited a zero-day flaw in Apple’s Safari browser to win this year’s Pwn2Own hacker challenge.

VUPEN co-founder Chaouki Bekrar (right) lured a target MacBook to a specially rigged website and successfully launched a calculator on the compromised machine.

The hijacked machine was running a fully patched version of Mac OS X (64-bit).

ZD Net have the full story.

Next-gen Unreal Engine 3 video posted Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 17:18

We talked recently about Unreal Engine 3 getting a DirectX 11 facelift - if you're curious what this new, improved version of the engine might look like, here's a taster for you.

The video comes courtesy of IGN.
Interview with Toshimichi Mori and Daisuke Ishiwatari Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:26

As a bit of a rare convergence of two interests, this weekend just passed I got the chance to interview Toshimichi Mori and Daisuke Ishiwatari, the creators of the Blazblue and Guilty Gear fighting game franchises respectively.  Check out what they had to say in this exclusive interview.

UK Anime: Of all the various elements that make up your games, what would you say is the most important element as a developer to get "just right" to make the game enjoyable?

Toshimichi Mori: I believe that making a good game is down to whether the creators and programmers are enjoying making the game - if they do, then it will reflect in the final game that they create.

UK Anime: What's the process like for designing a character for one of your games, and what comes first - the look of the character, the story behind them or the practicalities of making them fight?

Toshimichi Mori: First, I create the whole story and the game's world, then I create what I see as the main character and establish how the world revolves around this main character.  From there, I create all of the sub-characters, such as the main character's rivals, heroines and so on.  Only then do I look at putting the together the fighting game elements for the character - throw attacks, long-range attacks, mid-range attacks and so on.

Read the full interview at UK Anime.

Western Digital acquires Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:05

I, for one, welcome our new hard disk producing overlords.

Western Digital and Hitachi on Monday announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby WD will acquire Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $4.3 billion. The proposed combination will result in the creation of the largest storage company in the world.

Under the terms of the agreement, WD will acquire Hitachi GST for $3.5 billion in cash and 25 million WD common shares valued at $750 million, based on a WD closing stock price of $30.01 as of March 4, 2011. Hitachi will own approximately 10% of Western Digital shares outstanding after issuance of the shares and two representatives of Hitachi will be added to the WD board of directors at closing. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to close during the third calendar quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. WD plans to fund the transaction with a combination of existing cash and total debt of approximately $2.5 billion.

X-Bit Labs have the full story.

NVIDIA may see GPU market share impacted in first half of 2011 Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 08:59

Is the loss of MacBook Pro GPU orders going to eat into NVIDIA's market share?  A number of sources seem to think this is exactly what will happen.

Nvidia may see its GPU market share impacted in the first half of 2011 as the company lost GPU orders for Apple's MacBook Pro notebook to AMD, according to sources from notebook players.

Although the initial shipment volume of the MacBook Pro was not large, the sources believe AMD and Apple cooperation may be expanded to other product lines in the future and should benefit AMD's market share in GPU market.

Despite Nvidia has regained 60% of market share in desktop discrete graphics card market, AMD has been achieving strong result from the notebook market, in addition to Apple MacBook Pro, Sony has also recently adopted AMD's solution into its new notebooks.

DigiTimes has the story.

A look at AMD's Catalyst 11.4 driver Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 08:54

Yesterday's Radeon HD 6990 launch also brought with it news of what AMD have in store for future driver releases, with a particular focus on Catalyst 11.4.  TechGage take a look at what new additions will be emerging some time in April.

A feature that some might consider long overdue (including me) has been introduced... an update notifier. Alright, let's be fair... update notifiers can be some of the most annoying pieces of software ever to appear on the PC, but AMD promises a seamless and non-intrusive experience - and of course, the feature can be disabled if the user chooses.

For the enthusiast, checking up on driver updates at on a regular basis might not seem like a big hassle, but for the regular consumer, or "normies" to quote Peter Griffin, an automatic notifier might be appreciated. To AMD, this is important, because it ensures that its customers will always have the most up-to-date driver to use for playing the latest games, and that's critical. Ever go to the forum of a newly-launched game and see how many people complain about their graphics card, when all that's required to fix the problem is to update the driver? Enough said.

Read the article in full over here.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 reviews Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 08:21
It's time for AMD to enter the fray once again the ever-changing battle to claim the fastest graphics board in the planet.  This time around it's the dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 that takes to the stage, but can it reclaim the crown from NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 580?  Check out our comprehensive list of reviews below.

- Anandtech
- Benchmark Reviews
- bit-tech
- Bjorn 3D
- Guru 3D
- Firing Squad
- [H]ard|OCP
- Hardware Canucks
- Hardware Heaven
- Hot Hardware
- PC Perspective
- Rage 3D
- TechGage
- techPowerUp
- techPowerUp (CrossFire)
- The Tech Report
- TweakTown
Battlefield 3 'Fault Line Episode 1' gameplay trailer Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Thursday, 03 March 2011 10:35

Given the popularity of Battlefield 2: Bad Company, its successor looks likely to hold similar sway amongst gamers.  If you're curious as to how this title is shaping up, check out this first gameplay trailer from Battlefield 3.

Apple announces iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Thursday, 03 March 2011 08:58

Yesterday was another big launch day for Apple, as they lifted the lid on the iPad 2 (faster, slimmer and ultimately still as unwiedly for most productivity tasks as its predecessor) and iOS 4.3 (with all its best bits carefully trimmed out of pre-iPhone 4 products).

Apple took this opportunity to move from the Apple A4 processor it used in the iPhone 4 and original iPad, which combined a Cortex-A8 processor with a PowerVR SGX 535 GPU. The A4 is very closely related to the processors used in the iPhone 3GS, so that should give you a frame of reference for how long we've been waiting for a true architecture bump.

The new A5 processor is a dual-core affair running at the same speed as the A4 in the original iPad. Just as Apple was coy about mentioning the A4 being powered by an ARM Cortex A8, it's quite possible that the A5 is powered by two ARM Cortex A9 cores. Thankfully, the increased performance doesn't come at the cost of decreased battery life - the iPad 2 is rated at about 10 hours of battery life, same as the original iPad.

The new iPad's graphical capabilities should be impressive, though; Apple claims that it is up to nine times as fast as the original iPad. The improvement in GPU performance is likely due to the rumored PowerVR SGX 543 that's inside the A5. We'll need to wait until we have the device in hand to separate the actual speed from the on-paper speed, but if this claim holds up we should be seeing games and apps that look an order of magnitude better on the new iPad.

Anandtech has the story.

Unreal Engine 3 update to support DirectX 11 features Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:58

It appears that the latest iteration of the Unreal Engine will be joining the DirectX 11 club, courtesy of help from NVIDIA, in the near future.

Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 game development tools are by far the most popular third party software tools used by game developers around the world. Today at GDC 2011, Epic Games announced that an upcoming unreal to Unreal Engine 3 will allow the tools to support DirectX 11 graphics features including tessellation.

The demo is running at Epic's GDC 2011 booth using Nvidia's GeForce GTX 500-based graphics cards. Unreal Engine 3 already supports Nvidia's propiertary gameplay features such as PhysX (for in-game physics) and APEX (for more realistic animations). In addition to Unreal Engine 3 the free UDK software will also get an update that will support DirectX 11 graphics features.

Big Download has the story.

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