Wednesday, March 31, 2010

YouTube Gets A Redesign, We Hate It!

As of 7pm PST today YouTube will begin rolling out it's newly revamped, more streamlined YouTube homepage to the masses. User wanting to get a peek at the new design can do so by visiting this YouTube page. Users who then agree with us and dislike the new changes and want the old design back can then opt back out by visiting this page here.

Only about 10 percent of YouTube's users can see the new format now; it will be officially rolled out to everyone by 7pm Pacific time on Wednesday for everyone else.

YouTube's old design

YouTube's new design

For more details on the new page changes you can checkout the Official YouTube Blog announcement

ReCellular Launches New Cell Phone Trade-in Program

Mobile phone recyclers ReCellular has launched what they are calling a comprehensive easy to use trade-in program for both consumers and phone retailers.

Consumers can visit and follow a few basic instructions provided. Once they have found their phone and trade-in value they then Fed-Ex their phones, via free shipping, off to ReCellular who promises guaranteed data protection.

Once they have the phone they then match it to your information and verify that it works, yes to get cash for your phones they must be in working order, they'll then mail you a check.

The company guarantee's a 0% waste policy which they says means that they will never contribute to any landfill.

ReCellular has built a network of nearly 1,100 collection partners, representing nearly 40,000 collection sites across the nation which collects nearly 5million phones per year. These partners include:
  • Wireless carriers such as AT&T Mobility and Sprint, and retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart, partner with ReCellular to facilitate recycling programs for their customers.
  • Individual businesses partner with ReCellular to dispose of their corporate communications equipment.
  • Grassroots and charitable organizations such as Cell Phones for Soldiers partner with ReCellular to operate donate-a-phone fund-raising programs.

Isohunt Becomes MPAA's Next Victim

Popular file-sharing search site isoHunt may be the next inline, behind sites like Mininova and The Pirate Bay, to fall to legal actions brought forth by the MPAA.

isoHunt has been in a long standing legal battle, one that the MPAA has won on many fronts. A federal court sided last year with the MPAA, ruling that Isohunt was liable for secondary copyright infringement. Gary Fung, the 27-year-old Canadian who runs isoHunt, said he and the MPAA are now battling over how to comply with the March 23 injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles.

“It is axiomatic that the availability of free infringing copies of plaintiffs’ works through defendants’ websites irreparably undermines the growing legitimate market (.pdf) for consumers to purchase access to the same works,” Wilson wrote in support of his injunction. The judge added that “upwards of 95 percent of all dot-torrent files downloaded from defendants’ websites” return infringing material or works “at least highly likely to be infringing.”

Wilson ordered Fung to comply within his order within 14 days of the MPAA providing Fung a list of content to be removed giving the parties until April 12 to hammer out an agreement.

In order for Fung and isoHunt to comply with the judge's ruling the site would effectively have to investigate every single file and or link returned by the site's search engine to see whether it's legal or not. Unfortunately this type of hands on verification would be nearly impossible to implement. Therefore it looks like Fung will have little to no choice but to shutter the site for good.

“Filtering against keywords. It amounts to nothing less than taking down our search engine,” Fung said in a telephone interview with His position is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires Hollywood and the MPAA to provide links to infringed files to be removed, nit just a simple keyword filter.

Keyword searches, he said, could scoop up non-infringing works adding such keyword filtering is nearly impossible to implement if it's to have any sort of precision, nor can it avoid conflict with fair use cases, free commerce, or extra-territorial law.

isoHunt is not the only site affected by the judge’s ruling. Torrent sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis may to be affected.

Read More:
ARS Technica - IsoHunt told to pull .torrent files offline, likely to close - Isohunt Ordered to Remove Infringing Content

MSI Says 'RTFM Email' Was an April Fool's Prank, Apologizes

Anyone in the tech support sector has had one of those days, you know when you get that call asking you that all so basic of questions that is right there in the manual. You hang your head in disgust just wanting to say couldn't you have just "read the f'n manual."

Well it looks like at least one person over at MSI has a pretty good sense of humor about it. Late last week reports began emerging from the MSI HQ User Forums about a new "RTFM-chip" that the company has installed. The announcement via email and forum posts reads as follows:

New announcement: RTFM-chip details revealed!‏
From: MSI HQ User to User Forum (
Sent: 26 March 2010 06: 16AM

The MSI-forum and MSI-support team are fed-up with explaining you what can be found in the manual. I mean, come on, how hard is it to read a manual?

They are printed on paper so you see them.

We have been talking to MSI for a couple of years and came up with a solution.
It has been implemented on a few boards for some time and with big success. It had various names, like CoreCenter (1st gathering tool) upto DrMOS (fully automatic)

Some of you noticed because Windows wanted you to install a driver, but you couldn't find the manufacturer. On AMD systems this was called the Away-driver.

What you didn't know is this, this driver activates the RTFM-chip. (Re-Turn inFormation to Manufacturer chip) It means it can detect if you read a manual as well stores the parameters you have set in the BIOS. As soon as you start Windows we are informed about your settings and manual readings.

As we have been monitoring peoples behavior for some time and combined those with the RMA information from returned boards. At the same time monitoring questions on the forum and matched the IP's.

We have made a discovery.

A lot of RMA is unneeded and unwanted, many happens due to user mistakes, numbers show that 90% of the RMA is OC people killing boards and newbies connecting the wrong connectors or insert parts that should not be inserted. Or simply forget to remove standoffs or CPU-power. MSI plans on tackles those numbers, and the RTFM-chip will give a readout of what you have done when it did post or attempted to post!

Checking on you isn't new, Homeland-security done this ever you installed XP-SP3 or above, but their info in encrypted so useless to MSI. So MSI decided to ban people from support, RMA and the forum who has done the damage themselves or didn't read the manual the first of next month. We know who you are, and we have gathered enough information via our RTFM-chip.

The only question is, should MSI continue to do this? As some information is real bad. Will this hurt your relation towards MSI products?

Please let us know, as we have to talk to MSI management the first of next month and make them decide what to do with the information.

To unsubscribe from these announcements, login to the forum and uncheck "Receive forum announcements and important notifications by email." in your profile.

You can view the full announcement by following this link: link since removed

The MSI HQ User to User Forum Team.

MSI has since written a nice little apology explaining that they didn't believe anyone would actually take then seriously. "We are sorry people took this for prank for serious ," says a forum post and email message from the company's support team head. "We thought of this prank after answering the many posts where people ask the obvious that is already in the manual."

I've just got to say kudos to the MSI team for having a great sense of humor and even bigger kudos for saying something many of us in the sector want to say many many times a day! I know this is just the nature of the beast, and often times people just want a little hand holding to reassure them of what they are doing. But c'mon people, save your support teams some undo pressure and try to take the time to at least double check the specification, manual, FAQ's or main website for information before asking those unnecessary questions that could have been resolved by spending a few minutes time checking it yourself.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

AMD Makes Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition A Reality

ati logoAMD Expands DirectX 11 Gaming up to 12 Times HD Resolution with ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Graphics

Harnessing the world’s most powerful graphics processor, AMD today introduced the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition graphics card. Equipped with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 is the first graphics card capable of rendering in excess of 1 billion pixels per second in today’s titles, unleashing PC game environments of unprecedented size and resolution. Enthusiast gamers now have access to a seamless, stunning perspective across six displays, enabling up to 12 times more resolution than 1080p HD.

“The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition graphics card opens the door to a new era in personal computing,” said Matt Skynner, vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics Division. “With the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition, PC users get the ultimate panoramic computing experience in one powerful card. By bridging the innovation in ATI Eyefinity technology with broad ecosystem support, AMD is revolutionizing the PC visual experience.”

Before today, PC enthusiasts needed two or even three graphics cards to simultaneously drive six independent computer monitors at and beyond 1080p HD resolutions. The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition delivers that capability in one graphics card, reducing the cost of ownership for a six-screen display while streamlining the ease with which gamers and productivity experts can set up hundreds of possible multi-monitor configurations.

radeon 5870 eyefinity 6 edition

Users can also benefit from a well-developed ecosystem around ATI Eyefinity technology, including broad support by the game development community. Updates in the latest ATI Catalyst graphics driver software continue to improve the ATI Eyefinity experience by periodically enabling new features, while a partner program exists to help assist users in identifying ATI Eyefinity-validated components to use in their set-ups.

Features of the new ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition include:

  • 2GB of GDDR5 memory to enable high frame rates and image quality settings in the latest DirectX 11 games in three- and six-display gaming setups.
  • Full display flexibility right out of the box, with the inclusion of five adaptors: two mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapters, two passive mini DisplayPort to DVI dongles, and one passive mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle.
  • Support for 3x2 display configuration with new configurations supported in upcoming ATI Catalyst software updates.
  • Broad support for software developers worldwide including Bioware, Codemasters, EA, and Turbine who have adopted ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology in the latest DirectX 11 games such as DiRT 2 from Codemasters and Battlefield Bad Company 2 from EA DICE.
  • The ability to use ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU technology in conjunction with ATI Eyefinity multi-display capabilities as released in ATI Catalyst graphics drivers version 10.2, enabling increased gaming performance when driving high-resolution ATI Eyefinity display groups.
  • ATI Eyefinity technology enhancements were made available in ATI Catalyst graphics update version 10.3, including bezel compensation, which helps simulate a more integrated display surface by adjusting for display bezels. 

Speeds &Specs

  • Engine clock speed: 850 MHz
  • Processing power (single precision): 2.72 TeraFLOPS
  • Processing power (double precision): 544 GigaFLOPS
  • Polygon throughput: 850M polygons/sec
  • Data fetch rate (32-bit): 272 billion fetches/sec
  • Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered): 68 Gigatexels/sec 
  • Pixel fill rate: 27.2 Gigapixels/sec
  • Anti-aliased pixel fill rate: 108.8 Gigasamples/sec
  • Memory clock speed: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory data rate: 4.8 Gbps
  • Memory bandwidth: 153.6 GB/sec
  • Maximum board power: 188 Watts
  • Idle board power: 27 Watts
  • Full HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition Specifications

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Reviews

Related Articles:
MSI Releases R5870 Eyefinity 6 Graphics Card
Maximum PC - Eyefinity Performance Preview: The First Benchmarks!

Samsung Launches March to a Million Cell Phone Recycling Program

SAMSUNG Mobile Reaches More Than 7 Million U.S. Students With Nationwide Mobile Phone Recycling Program

Samsung Telecommunications America is kicking off a nationwide in-school education and recycling program as part of its March to a Million pledge to collect one million mobile phones for recycling in 2010. Reaching an estimated seven million middle and high school students in approximately 9,500 schools across the U.S., the eco-focused program will educate teens about the importance and ease of mobile phone recycling.

“Samsung Mobile has numerous eco-friendly initiatives in place, including our Mobile Take-Back program and last year’s launch of the Samsung Reclaim, the first phone in the U.S. constructed from eco-friendly bio-plastic materials,” said Paul Golden, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung Mobile. “The March to a Million program is taking our green initiatives one step further to educate consumers on the importance and ease of recycling mobile phones. The goal of the in-school program is to reach an influential demographic and one that we think will help us spread the word throughout their communities.”

Students will learn about the importance of mobile phone recycling and the impact that it can have, both environmentally and socially, and participate in activities that will allow them to educate their peers, parents and local communities. Each participating school has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win either a VIP concert from the pop/rock band, Hey Monday, or one of fifty $1,000 “Green Grants” to put towards making their school more environmentally friendly. The winner of the VIP concert will be announced in June.

In addition, Samsung Mobile unveiled the official March to a Million logo. To meet the goal of collecting one million phones for recycling in 2010, Samsung Mobile is creating eco-friendly educational programs, supporting wireless carrier’s mobile recycling programs and utilizing existing Samsung Mobile event sponsorships to collect and recycle mobile phones.

Samsung Mobile’s cell phone recycling efforts speak directly to their longstanding partnership with the EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling program. With only 10 percent of cell phones recycled annually, Samsung Mobile urges Americans across the country to recycle their cell phone during this year’s Plug-In To eCycling National Cell Phone Recycling Week the week of April 5 through April 11, 2010.

Samsung Mobile’s March to a Million program supports Samsung’s Eco-Management 2013 Plan announced in July 2009. The plan details a comprehensive set of sustainability goals to be achieved by Samsung in 2013, which include the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manufacturing and product, the development of eco-friendly product, financial investment in eco-management initiatives and enhanced green partnerships with suppliers and partners.

For more information about Samsung Mobile’s In-School Recycling program4 or Samsung Mobile’s March to a Million initiatives, please visit or To find out more information about Samsung’s Eco-Management 2013, please visit

Source: Samsung

GeForce GTX 480 and 470 Released

nvidia logoNVIDIA has released their new flagship FERMI GF100 based GPU's the GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX470. The top end GeForce GTX 480 packs 480 shader units (now referred to by NVIDIA as "CUDA cores"), branched geometry processing along with multiple tessellation units, and a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface to connect to 1536 MB (1.5 GB) of memory. The slightly more affordable GeForce GTX 470 packs 448 CUDA cores, and a 320-bit GDDR5 memory interface to connect to 1280 MB (1.25 GB) of memory.

Both models support new features by NVIDIA, such as CUDA 3.0, faster PhysX acceleration, Stereoscopic 3D, 3D Vision surround multi display technology, as well as support for OpenCL and DirectCompute 5.0.

The GeForce GTX 480 has a suggested retail price of US $499, the GTX 470 is suggested to be priced at $349, although these are suggested prices finally pricing by partners such as XFX Gigabyte and others could vary. NVIDIA says the cards should be available on or shortly after April 12th.

GeForce GTX 480/470 Specifications:
  • Microsoft DirectX11 Support
  • NVIDIA CUDA Technology with CUDA C/C++, DirectCompute 5.0 and OpenCL Support
  • NVIDIA PhysX Technology
  • NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
  • NVIDIA 2-way and 3-way SLI ready
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready
  • PCI Express 2.0 Support
  • Two Dual-Link HDCP DVI-I Connectors
  • One Mini-HDMI 1.3a connector
  • OpenGL 3.2 Support
  • Engine Clock speed - 700 MHz/607 MHz
  • Processor Clock (MHz) - 1401 MHz/1215MHz
  • Memory Clock speed - 3696 MHz/3348 MHz
  • Memory - 1536MB GDDR5/1280MB GDDR5
  • Memory interface - 384-bit/320-bit

GeForce 470 Benchmarks
 @ Hartware
 @ Hardware Canucks
 @ Tweaktown
 @ PCPer

Geforce 480 Benchmarks
 @ TweakPC
 @ Legion Hardware
 @ InsideHW
 @ Hi Tech Legion
 @ Benchmark Reviews
 @ Legit Reviews
 @ Hardware Canucks
 @ HardwareHeaven
 @ Ninjalane
 @ HotHardware
 @ OCC
 @ Bjorn3D
 @ NeoSeeker

Related Articles
EVGA Announces GTX 480/470
ZOTAC Unleashes Next-Generation Graphics Cards
SPARKLE Proudly Announced GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards
Inno3D GeForce GTX 480 & 470 – Adrenaline Rush!
Engaged in the Future of Gaming—ASUS Leads the Way

Want A 'Free' iPad, Try Attending Seton Hill University

Seton Hill University announced on today that starting this fall semester, all 2100 of the school's full-time students will receive an iPad tablet device in an effort to boost learning ability and technical know-how.

According to the announcement, "The iPad initiative kicks off the University's Griffin Technology Advantage Program. This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools, ensuring that Seton Hill students will be uniquely suited to whatever careers they choose - even those that have not yet been created."

The Griffin Technology Advantage will provide all first year undergraduate students at Seton Hill not only a shiny new iPad but also a brand new 13" MacBook laptop which will be replaced for a new updated version every two years.

Pretty cool of the school to offer the free MacBook's as well as the bi-annual updates but I have to question the reasoning behind offering the iPad's.

Rumor HD and CDMA iPhones Coming This Summer

The Wall Street Journal has been reporting that two new iPhones may be in the works for the coming months. One is reportedly going to be a High Definition version while the other is said to work with Verizon's CDMA network. Both AT&T and Verizon has declined to comment on the speculation at this time however the timing does seem likely as Apple has released a new iPhone model every summer for the past three years and is widely expected to do so again this summer.

While the WSJ story makes no mention of an HD iPhone Engadget has been spreading speculation that the next generation iPhone will be named the “iPhone HD.” They are also speculation that the new model will have an A4-class SoC, a 960 x 640 display, a front-facing camera, and that iPhone OS 4.0 will enable third-party multitasking.

The best guess as to a release time has Apple unveiling the next generation iPhone and iPhone OS 4.0 on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

Garmin Releases the New Forerunner 110 GPS Watch

The Garmin Forerunner Series has always had a great reputation as being on the forefront in running related devices. Be it training for that next 5k or just the every day walker these compact devices are simply put the easiest way to track your training.

Garmin this week announced the new Forerunner 110 sports watch – a sleek, intuitive and affordable solution for runners, joggers and walkers who simply want to know the most essential of real-time workout data: how far and how fast. Forerunner 110 was announced in preparation for world-class marathons in Paris, Boston and London, where it will be on display at Garmin booths in each location.

“Forerunner 110 fills the needs of runners of all levels by focusing on simplicity without sacrificing accuracy,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Within seconds of stepping outside, you simply press start and instantly know your distance, pace and time – all without any complicated setup or excessive accessories.”

Inspired by the countless runners who have the same request at race expos and retail outlets – “Show me the Garmin watch that has GPS and is easiest to use” – Forerunner 110 is the ideal entry-level device for easily tracking progress and goals in exercise and training. In addition to displaying time and distance, Forerunner 110 shows pace in one of two ways, averaged out either over the current lap/mile (if auto-lap is enabled) or over the duration of the run. Runners wearing a Garmin heart rate monitor (included in some bundles or available separately) can monitor how hard they’re working while they exercise as Forerunner 110 displays current heart rate data and features heart rate-based calorie computation. Between workouts, the simplified menu system helps users review run data, change auto-lap, set an alarm or edit the user profile.

Water-resistant and slimmer than any other GPS-enabled fitness watch on the market, Forerunner 110 boasts a high-sensitivity SiRFstarIV GPS receiver with Garmin’s HotFix technology to quickly acquire and sustain satellite reception, perfect for wooded trails under dense trees or in the urban canyons of skyscrapers.

Available in three stylish color combinations – black/gray, charcoal/red and gray/pink – Forerunner 110 looks fashionable on the run, in the office or out on the town. Lasting up to 8 hours in GPS/training mode and up to three weeks in power-save mode, Forerunner 110 can be an everyday watch even on an off day of training. Users can save time by charging the battery and uploading workout data to Garmin Connect at the same time through an easy-to-use USB connection, which also is used to upload free software updates quickly from

Because Forerunner 110 stores and displays up to 200 hours of saved history, runners can see their totals even when they haven’t had a chance to upload to Garmin Connect. But once at Garmin Connect (, users can quickly and easily log their workouts, track their totals, set goals, share workouts with friends and family and participate in an online fitness community of more than 20 million activities around the world. Garmin Connect displays metrics such as time, distance, speed, elevation and heart rate. This information is shown through charts, illustrations, reports and a variety of map representations including street, photo, topographic, and elevation maps as well as the popular Google Earth application.

Forerunner 110 is the latest breakthrough from Garmin, which has spent 20 years developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ lives, making Garmin a household name in the automotive, aviation, marine, wireless, outdoor and fitness industries. For more about features, pricing and availability, as well as information about Garmin’s other products and services, go to, and To watch step-by-step, feature-specific tutorial videos for Forerunner 110 and other Garmin products, visit the online learning center at

Source: Garmin

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miller Snubs Apple and MS Says 'Find Your Own Bugs'

Following his feats at Pwn2Own security researcher Charlie Miller gave the snub to software giants Apple, Microsoft and Adobe when he refused to provide the companies with the more than 20 vulnerabilities he has found in their software.

When Miller took the floor at CanSecWest many believed that his intent was to fully disclose the vulnerabilities he found, however that was never his intention. He instead demonstrated how he found the vulnerabilities, hoping that Apple, Microsoft and other vendors would listen to what he has to say.

Using a "dumb fuzzer", which is basically just a few lines of code that search for flaws in software by inserting data to see where the program fails, Miller quickly uncovered 20 vulnerabilities ranging across several different applications including; Apple's Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, and its Safari browser; Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation maker; Adobe's popular PDF viewer, Reader; and in, the open-source productivity suite.

"People will criticize me and say I'm a bad guy for not handing over [the vulnerabilities], but it actually makes more sense to me to not tell them," Miller said. "What I can do is tell them how to find these bugs, and do what I did. That might get them to do more fuzzing." That, Miller maintained, would mean more secure software.

"We find a bug, they patch it," said Miller. "We find another bug, they patch it. That doesn't improve the security of the product. True, the software gets incrementally better, but they actually need to make big improvements. But I can't make them do that."

Miller's hope is that vendors like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe, which spend millions of dollars and have teams of security engineers and scores of machines running fuzzers looking for flaws, will sep up and learn from something that one researcher with three computers has done in a short time. If the companies will duplicate his work, and maybe, just maybe, be motivated to do more of their own research prior to releasing the software they can learn to find these flaws before the release rather than taking findings from researchers after the fact and creating a reactionary fix. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Set to Open at Universal Orlando Resort June 18

Not your typical Geek News from us we know but hey its hard to be a geek and not love Harry Potter!

One of the most widely anticipated theme park entertainment experiences ever created – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort – is set for a public grand opening on June 18.

Universal Orlando Also Unveils Details for the Highly Anticipated New Attraction: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Today, Universal Orlando Resort also revealed details about what is expected to be one the most exciting theme park experiences ever created:  Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  It will be one of three themed attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience.

And as they live their adventure, guests will feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved, experience film like no one else ever has, explore vast sets punctuated by amazing special effects – and have an adventure only possible in Harry Potter's world.

The new attraction lies deep within Hogwarts castle, a majestic structure that towers over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - the only place in the world where the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films comes to life.

The Adventure
...meeting Harry, Ron and Hermione as if they were in person
...soaring over Hogwarts castle with Harry
...being swept into a Quidditch match
...feeling the chilling effect of a Dementor
...exploring your favorite places inside Hogwarts castle adventures you've only been able to imagine – until now.


The Story
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey draws you into the excitement and chaos of Harry's life.  As you venture through Hogwarts castle, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice, you travel by Floo powder, and begin the adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

"Guests will experience firsthand a completely new adventure featuring the iconic characters, amazing creatures and recognizable locations they've only read in the books or seen in the films," said Thierry Coup, creative director for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Location
The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey experience starts as soon as you walk through the gates of Hogwarts.  Within the towering Hogwarts castle, you explore a truly magical place. You journey through iconic locations taken from the films and take in the extraordinary detail of each scene.  They include:
  • Dumbledore's office: Here, you meet the Headmaster as he welcomes you to Hogwarts
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom:  Where you first meet Harry, Ron and Hermione
  • Gryffindor common room: You meet three additional characters who prepare you for your journey
  • Room of Requirement: Here, with hundreds of floating candles above, you take your seat on an enchanted bench and begin the Forbidden Journey
  • Other locations: In addition, guests will pass through the Dungeon passageway and hallways of Hogwarts where they will have the chance to see hundreds of wizard portraits from the films, including several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four founders of Hogwarts. Guests will even get a glimpse of the Sorting Hat.

The Innovation
This is more than just an attraction and it is unlike any theme park experience ever created.  It's a revolutionary, 360-degree theme park experience and first-ever combination of live-action, advanced robotic technology and innovative filmmaking – specially designed and developed for this brand-new adventure.
"We have created an entirely new way to place our guests into the heart of one of the most compelling stories of our time," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative.  "What we have done will forever change the theme park attraction experience."

The attraction's newly created ride system envelops guests in filmed action scenes and moves those scenes with them as they travel through the ride, allowing more time in the center of the adventure and with their favorite characters.  This fusion of robotic technology and filmed scenes has never been achieved until now.  In some cases, technology had to be invented to achieve the highest level of guest experience.   The combination of pioneering, state-of-the-art technology, innovative filmmaking and surprises around every corner make this attraction the embodiment of the Harry Potter book and film series—and the future of theme park entertainment.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Quick Facts
  • Storyline: As you venture through Hogwarts, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione , who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice you travel by Floo powder, and begin your adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.
  • First-ever combination of advanced robotic ride system technology with innovative, immersive filmmaking
  • Award-winning composer John Williams oversaw the creation of the attraction’s score
  • The queue includes the following Harry Potter book and film elements: Headmaster Dumbledore’s office, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, Gryffindor common room, Room of Requirement, and the greenhouse; talking portraits including the Fat Lady and the never-before-seen four founders: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw; the Sorting Hat, the One-Eyed Witch statue and the Mirror of Erised
  • Duration of ride: The full attraction experience, including the queue, takes about an hour
  • Number of scenes in the attraction: 12
  • Characters (featuring Harry Potter film talent): Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Draco Malfoy

    • You may also catch a glimpse of Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom

For the latest news about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit

Source: PR NewsWire

Blizzard Announces BlizzCon 2010

 Blizzard announced today its fifth BlizzCon gaming convention will kick off on Friday, October 22 in Anaheim, California. Details about ticket availability and pricing will be announced on the official BlizzCon web site in the near future. The company did state tickets will be sold in much the same way as last year, meaning a account is required, and tickets will be sold to the lucky few that queue into the system first.

Anyone wanting to attend better get on the ball because lastt year's show sold out in just eight minutes.

Adobe Wowing Users With CS5 Preview Videos

Adobe this week released a new video showing users a sneak peak of some of the tools that will be available in Photoshop CS5 when i'ts launched in April. Beware after viewing this video you may feel the urge to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the new software!!

This video is for the new 'Content-Aware Fill Tool'. This new tool allows you to remove unwanted items, like camera lens flare or stray objects, even big things like trees with a few clicks. Adding, moving and repairing items within your pictures just got a whole lot easier – all you have to do is select the problem area with the Content-Aware Fill Tool, click and Photoshop does the rest.

Honestly all I can say is WOW!! I'm ready to give it a test drive.

Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless Launches Today

skype logoBeginning today, new and existing Verizon Wireless customers with Android 3G smartphones and BlackBerry 3G smartphones can get Skype mobile in a number of ways. Visit or from a PC to enter the mobile phone number to receive a text message with a link to the application. Verizon Wireless customers can also text “SKYPE” to 2255 to receive the link. In addition, Android customers will be able to download the app from Android Market. New BlackBerry customers will find the application on their 3G smartphones’ home screens in the Downloads folder when activated.

Skype mobile gives Verizon Wireless 3G smartphone users with data plans a simple new way to stay in touch with friends, family and business colleagues around the corner and around the world while on Verizon Wireless’ network. Skype mobile users can:
  • make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype contact around the globe;
  • send and receive unlimited instant messages with other Skype users;
  • manage the Skype contact list directly from the mobile application; and
  • call international phone numbers at competitive Skype calling rates.

Customers need a Verizon Wireless smartphone and data plan to use Skype mobile. Skype-to-Skype calls will not be charged against their monthly minute allowances or data plans. Verizon Wireless customers can visit to purchase Skype Credit to make Skype Out calls and make calls to international landline or mobile numbers.

Skype mobile will be available initially on millions of best-selling Verizon Wireless 3G smartphones, including the BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition, and Tour 9630 smartphones, as well as DROID by Motorola, DROID ERIS by HTC and Motorola DEVOUR.

More details can be found via the Skype Blog

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hackers Go Four-for-Four As Firefox 3 on Windows 7 Falls at Pwn2Own

I see a reoccurring theme here, all four teams that have competed at this years Pwn2Own contest have successfully exploited their targets and compromised the machines at hand. This time it was a Windows 7 equipped machine running Firefox 3.

@TheZDI Nils from MWR InfoSecurity (@MWRLabs) succeeded against Firefox on Windows 7 with the quintessential calc.exe launching payload.

As with most of the hacks there aren't many details given out as to how they were accomplished. Its really not surprising me that most have fallen but what is surprising me is the rate at which they are being exploited. In most cases it has taken less than 30mins. Now keep in mind most of these target hacks are exploiting third party software and not the OS itself, but it's still a bit unnerving.

Update: Via Threat Post

A 26year old German hacker known simply as "Nils" exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in Mozilla Firefox to take complete control of a 64-bit Windows 7 machine. "Nils" who heads up the security research team at U.K.-based MWR InfoSecurity, used several tricks to bypass Address Space Layout Randomization (ALSR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) to get his drive-by download to load an executable on the target machine.

ASLR+DEP are held up as significant roadblocks to thwart malware attacks on the newest versions of Windows but, as this contest shows, skilled hackers with enough motivation and resources can bypass those mitigations easily.

Nils said Mozilla can do a better job of opting into ASLR on Windows, a clear hint that implementation errors make it easy to bypass the Windows defenses.

Windows 7 And IE8 Fall At Pwn2Own

So far the hackers are three for three at Pwn2Own, with the ZDI now confirming that Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 have fallen.

@thezdi Peter Vreugdenhil (@WTFuzz) succeeded against Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 with a technically impressive exploit bypassing DEP.

It'll be interesting to see if the rest of the smartphones the, RIM Blackberry Bold 9700, Nokia E72 device running Symbian and HTC Nexus One running Android as well as the two browsers Google Chrome 4 and Mozilla Firefox 3 can withstand the onslaught.

Update: Via Threat Post
Dutch hacker Peter Vreugdenhil pulled off an impressive CanSecWest Pwn2Own victory here, hacking into a fully patched 64-bit Windows 7 machine using a pair of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities.

Vreugdenhil, an independent researcher who specializes in finding and exploiting client-side vulnerabilities, used several tricks to bypass ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and DEP (Data Execution Prevention), two significant security protections built into the Windows platform.

“I started with a bypass for ALSR which gave me the base address for one of the modules loaded into IE. I used that knowledge to do the DEP bypass,” he added.

Update: Via PCWorld

"[The exploit] reuses Microsoft's own code to disable DEP," said Vreugdenhil. "You can reuse Microsoft's own code to disable memory protection."

In a paper he published today ( download PDF ), Vreugdenhil spelled out how he evaded both ASLR and DEP in more detail.

"It was a two-step exploitation," Vreugdenhil said of the unusual attack. "I could have done it with one, but it would have taken too long." Using the double-exploit technique gave him control of the machine in a little over two minutes; if he had used only one exploit, the task would have required 50-60 minutes.

"I didn't know how much time I would have at Pwn2Own," he said, referring to the constraints of the contest, where hackers had limited time slots. And he didn't want to bore his audience. "I put some eye candy in the exploit," he said, referring to a progress bar he inserted that read "Please be patient while you are being exploited..."

Mac Book Pro Running OS X Falls In Under A Minute @Pwn2Own

 Correction: Miller actually hacked the full patched MacBook Pro in under 10seconds!!

Wow Charlie wasn't kidding when he said he had a bag full of hacks ready for this years Pwn2Own. The ZDI just confirmed that Miller (@0xcharlie) successfully hacked the MacBook Pro running OS X via Safari what looks like less than a minutes time. His payload returned a full command shell.

@thezdi Charlie Miller (@0xcharlie) popped the MacBook Pro via Safari. His payload returned a full command shell.

As we reported a few days ago Miller said he was ready to report on no less than 20 zero day exploits that he had discovered within OS X. It looks like he might have know at least a few that are affecting Safari as well ;)

"I can't talk about the details of the vulnerability, but it was a Mac, fully patched, with Safari, fully patched," said Miller on Wednesday, not long after he had won the prize. "It probably took five or 10 seconds." He confirmed that he had researched and written the exploit before he arrived at the challenge.

iPhone Hacked Via Safari At Pwn2Own

 Hackers,  Iozzo and Weinmann compramised their fully patched iPhone in a total of 20 seconds.

The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), an initiative founded by TippingPoint which organizes the security competition Pwn2Own, has confirmed via Twitter that contestants Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Philipp Weinmann successfully exploited the iPhone via a 0day Safari hack! 

@thezdi Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Philipp Weinmann successfully exploit the iPhone via Safari! Their payload pulled the SMS database. #pwn2own

The team of Iozzo and Weinmann were the first candidates in the hacking contest and the iPhone, which was hacked in less than 10 minutes, is the first smartphone to fall in the contest in the last two years. The iPhone was a 3GS model and was running iPhone OS 3.1.3.

Up next Charlie Miller gets to take his crack at exploiting Safari I believe on an Apple Macbook Pro running OS X. Stay tuned for more details.

Update: additional details courtesy the ThreatPost:

The exploit crashed the iPhone's browser session but Weinmann said that, with some additional effort, he could have a successful attacked with the browser running.

"Basically, every page that the user visits on our [rigged] site will grab the SMS database and upload it to a server we control," Weinmann explained. Iozzo, who had flight problems, was not on hand to enjoy the glory of being the first to hijack an iPhone at the Pwn2Own challenge.

Halvar Flake, a renowned security researcher who assisted with the winning exploit, said the biggest hiccup was bypassing the code-signing mitigation implemented by Apple on its flagship mobile device.

"This exploit doesn't get out of the iPhone sandbox," Flake explained, noting that an attacker can do enough damage without escaping from the sandbox.

"Apple has pretty good counter-measures but they are clearly not enough. They way they implement code-signing is too lenient," Flake added.

In addition to hijacking the SMS database, Weinmann said the winning Pwn2Own exploit could have exfiltrated the phone contact list, photographs and iTunes music files. He was unsure if the exploit could have hijacked e-mails.

Weinmann declined to publicly discuss the techniques he used to find the vulnerability. "We're working on developing techniques to find a certain class of vulnerabilities. I don't want to discuss it too much."

Aaron Portnoy, a security researcher at TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative (the company sponsoring Pwn2Own), described the attack as "very impressive."

"It was a real world exploit against a popular device. They exfiltrated the entire SMS database in about 20 seconds. It was as if a Web page was loading."

TippingPoint ZDI acquired the exclusive rights to the flaw information. The company will report the issue to Apple and will withhold details until a patch is released.

Weinmann and Iozzo won a $15,000 cash prize and got the keep the hijacked iPhone.

Review: Adesso WKB-4200UB Wireless Keyboard

We've reviewed our share of Adesso products over the last several months and while we've thought they all were good enough products in their own right however we had yet to find one that stood out head and shoulders above anything else we've reviewed. Well that all changed when Adesso sent us the Adesso WKB-4200UB. A few weeks ago this little beauty showed up at our door and almost immediately took over as our every day keyboard.

For starters the new keyboard is sleek and stylish. It features a black and grey design, which fittingly reminded me right away of the Oakland Raiders (no I'm not a fan). Gone is the center placement of the trackpad, which was one of the issues we had with the WKB-4000UB we previously reviewed.

Keyboard dimensions are 16.5" x 8.0" x 0.75" making it roughly 2" shorter and 1.5" skinner than our everyday keyboard which is the Logitech MX3200. The micro usb receiver is also much shorter than that of our Logitech receiver, although we still had to use both considering the WKB-4200UB lacks a compatible mouse/ 

The full specifications are as follows:
  • Connection: 2.4 GHz RF Smartlink with 12 Auto-Changeable channels (65000 IDs per channel)
  • Wireless Range Distance: 30 ft
  • 4 Internet Hotkeys: (Scroll Up/Down, Home, E-mail and Forward/Back
  • 6 Multimedia Hotkeys:(Play/Pause, Stop, Previous Track, Next Track, Vol+/Vol- and Mute )
  • 3 PC Hotkeys:(My Computer, Search and Sleep)
  • Keyboard Dimensions: 16.5" x 8.0" x 0.75"
  • Mini USB Receiver Dimensions: 1.65" x 0.75" x 0.25"
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs
  • Number of Keycaps: 87 Keys Mini Layout in an ultra-stylish design.
  • Keyboard Technology: Membrane Switch
  • Mouse Function: Touchpad with two Buttons
  • Switch Life: 5 Million Cycles
  • Switch Travel: 3.0+/- 0.3mm
  • Includes 2 AAA Battery
  • Power Consumption:

As you can see from the images the numeric keypad is gone, replaced by a very functional, very well placed trackpad. The trackpad along with the new hotkeys and media keys make this keyboard ideal for use in a media center, or office presentation type environment, yet the size and layout make it suitable for everyday use.
ADESSO Pro Touchpad Keyboard

When used for everyday things like browsing, document writing, blog posting emails ect. the trackpad is very convenient. The right hand placement is aligned almost perfectly with the position held by a normal users mouse.  Touch sensitivity is very responsive and not overly assertive. For more advanced use such as gaming or apps that need a more precise faster mouse response you'll be disappointed. The response just isn't up to par in that area.

Tactile response on all the keys is fairly good. The keys are a bit noisier than I'd like and are a little firmer what I'm accustom to. Being a slim keyboard they keys are a bit smaller than normal and some are a bit cramped, but nothing that can't be overcome by a few weeks adjustment. Integrating the numeric keys into the right side of the keyboard adds a little more functionality for a kiosk environment but seems to serve little purpose for any daily needs. You'll find yourself either forgetting to switch off/on the num lock or not using then at all.


I'll admit the $100 price tag we found the WKB-4200UB listed for at Newegg seems a bit high, especially when you take into consideration the fact most people are going to want to add on a decent wireless mouse. I'd like to have seen Adesso packaged it with at the very least a generic three button wireless mouse for when I'm gaming or just plain get tired of using the trackpad. But when compared to other offerings out there in terms of size, functionality and features it's really hard to beat.

From what I've seen on the market you just can't find a 2.4ghz slim wireless keyboard out there with both a trackpad and full sets of both media and hot keys. For what I'd use it for, which would mainly be a media center PC, I think the Adesso WKB-4200UB might just be perfect. You get a size and shape that easily fits on your lap, or a sleek stylish keyboard that would show nicely on the coffee table.

AT&T Launches New Music Service

AT&T today announced a new AT&T Music application that combines the most popular mobile music services – song and album downloads, streaming radio, song match, lyric search and an enhanced music player – into a single, cohesive experience for AT&T mobile phones. The service is available first as a download on three of AT&T's most popular quick messaging phones, delivering the tightest integration of mobile music services available to this category of devices.

Within one mobile broadband application, subscribers to AT&T Music can:
  • Listen to 40 commercial-free genre radio stations;
  • Customize unlimited personal radio stations;
  • Use song match to identify the tune by holding their phone up to music playing on the radio, TV or elsewhere;
  • Search for lyrics to identify song title and artist;
  • Preview, buy and download songs and albums straight to their phone; and
  • Listen to personal music saved on their mobile device, including the ability to create and manage playlists and find music by artist, album, song or genre.

"We've long been a leader in mobile music and have been at the forefront in evolving the category to offer some robust experiences, but those experiences have largely been available though separate applications," said Mark Collins, senior vice president of Data and Voice Products for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We recognized a need to create a 'no dead-ends' experience that weaves together all of the most popular music services, so customers don't have to jump in and out of different applications depending on how they want to access mobile music."

The app was designed to deliver deep integration of tasks while maintaining simple, easy-to-use navigation. A customer with a song line stuck in his or her head can enter those lyrics into the lyric lookup function to identify the song and artist and, from there, view full lyrics, access the artist's bio, preview and buy the song, or create a personalized radio station from that song.

AT&T plans to enable full song and album downloads through direct deals with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and indie music distributor The Orchard. Details on additional content providers will be announced in the future.

The new AT&T Music experience is available today on the LG Xenon, Samsung Solstice and Samsung Impression. AT&T plans to make the service available as a download on additional handsets soon and will begin preloading the service on devices beginning this summer.

Feature enhancements, such as the ability to purchase and manage ringtones and ringback tones from within the application, are also planned.

The service is available for $6.99 per month to customers who subscribe to an unlimited data plan. Song and album purchases are charged a la carte.

Customers with currently compatible handsets can download the new AT&T Music experience through the AT&T App Center, available directly from their phone or Customers can also text MUSIC to 7299 to receive a link to download the application; messaging rates apply.

Source: AT&T

Users Continue To Open Spam Despite Warnings

According to a recent research study by MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group) tens of millions of people continue to open, read, forward or respond to spam. This despite the fact that they are aware of how bots and viruses spread through risky email behavior.

In the new survey (found here), more than half of the users said they had opened spam, clicked on a link in spam, opened a spam attachment, replied or forwarded it – activities that leave consumers susceptible to fraud, phishing, identity theft and infection. While most consumers said they were aware of the existence of bots, only one-third believed they were vulnerable to an infection.

"Consumers need to understand they are not powerless bystanders. They can play a key role in standing up to spammers by not engaging and just marking their emails as junk," said Michael O'Reirdan, MAAWG chairman.

"When consumers respond to spam or click on links in junk mail, they often set themselves up for fraud or to have their computers compromised by criminals who use them to deliver more spam, spread viruses and launch cyber attacks," O'Reirdan said.

The research findings on awareness of bots, email security practices, and attitudes toward controlling spam were generally consistent with the first MAAWG consumer survey in 2009 covering North America. The new 2010 survey was expanded to cover Western Europe and looks at consumers' attitudes in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It Won't Happen to Me Syndrome

Less than half of the consumers surveyed saw themselves as the entity who should be most responsible for stopping the spread of viruses. Yet, only 36% of consumers believe they might get a virus and 46% of those who opened spam did so intentionally.

This is a problem because spam is one of the most common vehicles for spreading bots and viruses. The malware is often unknowingly installed on users' computers when they open an attachment in a junk email or click on a link that takes them to a poisoned Web site, according to O'Reirdan.

Younger consumers tend to consider themselves more security savvy, possibly from having grown up with the Internet, yet they also take more risks. Among the survey's key findings:
  • Almost half of those who opened spam did so intentionally. Many wanted to unsubscribe or complain to the sender (25%), to see what would happen (18%) or were interested in the product (15%).
  • Overall, 11% of consumers have clicked on a link in spam, 8% have opened attachments, 4% have forwarded it and 4% have replied to spam.
  • On average, 44% of users consider themselves "somewhat experienced" with email security. In Germany, 33% of users see themselves as "expert" or "very experienced," followed by around 20% in Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.A., 16% in Canada and just 8% in France.
  • Men and email users under 35 years, the same demographic groups who tend to consider themselves more experienced with email security, are more likely to open or click on links or forward spam. Among email users under 35 years, 50% report having opened spam compared to 38% of those over 35. Younger users also were more likely to have clicked on a link in spam (13%) compared to less than 10% of older consumers.
  • Consumers are most likely to hold their Internet or email service provider most responsible for stopping viruses and malware. Only 48% see themselves as most responsible, though in France this falls to 30% and 37% in Spain.
  • Yet in terms of anti-virus effectiveness, consumers ranked themselves ahead of all others, except for anti-virus vendors: 56% of consumers rated their own ability to stop malware and 67% rated that of anti-virus vendors' as very or fairly good.  Government agencies, consumer advocacy agencies and social networking sites were among those rated most poorly.

The survey was conducted online between January 8 and 21, 2010 among over a thousand email users in the United States and over 500 email users in each of the other five countries. Participants were general consumers responsible for managing the security for their personal email address.

Both the survey's key findings and the full report are available at the MAAWG Web site, The 2010 research was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, and the full report includes country comparisons for many of the questions along with detailed charts.

My thoughts

Honestly this doesn't surprise me much, not when you consider the billions of dollars that are being made each and every year off the same old tried and true spam tactics. What did surprise me was the shear volume of people that said they opened and forwarded the spam knowingly. I mean its one thing to want to check it our for yourself but its another to forward it on to an unsuspecting friend who then thinks its coming from a credible source.

Think people, think! Your action not only affect you but others around you. That suspicious email you might be reading just for the hell of it might be the one that not only steals your identity but that of a friend or relative or worse causes millions of dollars of information to be stolen from your company. Please practice safer internet habits!

Source: MAAWG

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adobe to Launch CS5 April 12th

Adobe will release the next major version of its Creative Suite collection April 12 via Adobe TV. A teaser site is now live where you can watch some video previews, keep track via a countdown clock and register to watch the global launch on the 12th. Overall, we can't wait to see what new features CS5 will have to offer even if it is out of our price range.

Readers wanting to checkout the launch are invited to pre-register by clicking the image below.

Adobe CS5 - First look April 12

Samsung Announces The Android Powered Galaxy S

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today introduced the Galaxy S (Model: GT-I9000), a smart phone that makes users’ lives more convenient, more exciting, and more integrated. JK Shin, president and head of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business announced the global launch of the Galaxy S at his keynote speech at the International CTIA Wireless 2010. The Galaxy S will be available in Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia, and Asia soon.

samsung galaxy s

The Android-powered Galaxy S incorporates a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen and a 1 GHz application processor that enables vibrant HD videos, rich augmented reality content through Layar Reality Browser, and advanced LBS (Location Based Services). The ‘Social Hub’ provides always-on social networks connectivity allowing users to enjoy communications with their friends, colleagues, and families whenever they want and wherever they are.

The Galaxy S is designed to provide immersive, intelligent and integrated experiences, with the power to enrich people’s lives through best-in-class services and technologies. The Galaxy S will allow users around the world to experience the “Smart Life,” which Samsung anticipates will shift the way that consumers view smart phones and how they interact with them in their daily lives.

The Galaxy S immerses users in a world of rich multimedia. The large 4-inch Super AMOLED display delivers unrivalled screen quality, with less reflection, free viewing angles and super-fast touch-response. The mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) – a technology used in Samsung’s best-selling LCD and LED TVs – boosts an even sharper and crisper viewing experience for photos, videos, and e-books. It creates a perfect environment to record, edit and play HD video, to browse the Internet, and to read your favorite e-books. A variety of applications from Android Market™ allows users to even more extend the benefits and excitement of smart phone experience. Plus, users have access to Google mobile services, such as Google Search, Gmail, and Google Maps.

Living a “Smart Life” requires intelligence, and the Galaxy S delivers just that by utilizing personal preferences to gather information online that each user needs and wants. With a user-defined daily briefing, lightning-fast processing speeds and location-based search options like Layar Reality Browser – the Galaxy S gives users the information they need wherever and whenever needed. The Galaxy S represents the next level of intelligence in smart phones.

The Galaxy S integrates every aspect of life in a smart and sophisticated way. In addition to wireless integration with a variety of other devices, such as notebooks, TVs and cameras, the highly advanced Social Hub plugs users quickly and conveniently into their complete world of social networking and email.

“The Android-powered Galaxy S will set a new standard for smart phones,” said JK Shin, president and head of Mobile Communications Business. “The Galaxy S is the perfect device for people in all corners of the world who want that extra edge; to be more effective, productive, better connected, and in tune with their smart life – both personal and professional – all in a very easy and simple way.”

Key Features
  • Daily Briefing: Offers instant access to weather, news, stocks, and the scheduler.
  • All Share: Enables inter-device connectivity via DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology.
  • Home Cradle: Enables use as a digital photo frame, table clock, calendar, and music station.
  • Write and go: Jot down an idea first and later decide on a format such as SMS/ MMS, email, calendar or memo.
  • Swype: Provides fast and easy way to input text on screen while on-the-move.
  • ThinkFree: Apps to view and edit Microsoft Office 2007 documents.
  • Smart Alarm: Wakes up with a natural alarm sound and automatically turned-on display light.
The Galaxy S is exhibited at The International CTIA Wireless at booth # 1023.

Source: Samsung

AT&T's Cup Runneth Over With Smartphones

AT&T may have exclusivity to sale the iPhone, which is one of the hottest phones on the market, but that's not keeping the company from adding even more hot phones to their line-up.

Last month the company made the move to Google's Android platform when they added the Motorola Backflip, the companies first Android powered device. Then they continued adding to an already packed line-up when earlier this month they added four new smartphones, the Pantech Link and Pursuit as well as the Samsung Sunburst and Strive.

This week the company made slightly bolder moved when they added the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus and their second Android-based smartphone the Dell Aero. Add to that the announcement from Google that they have released a 3G ready Nexus One that is compatible with AT&T's network and it looks like AT&T customers might have a tough decision to make when it comes to buying that next phone.

Opera Mini Submitted to Apple's App Store Will It Get In?

As of today Opera has officially submitted their Opera Mini for iPhone application for inclusion into the Apple App Store now the question is will the popular mobile browser be accepted or denied by the iron fist of Apple?

We are all very aware that Apple likes to keep a strangle hold over the app's it accepts and denies and they often remove, or simply reject, any applications that might compete against their own software. So the question is will they step up and allow users to use Opera Mini over their own Safari Browser?

According to Opera the Opera Mini for iPhone browser is fast, really fast, powering through Web pages up to six times faster than Safari. They give credit for the speeds due to server-side rendering, Opera Mini compresses data by up to 90 percent before sending it to the phone, resulting in rapid page loading and more Web per MB for the end user. This allows Opera mini to deliver more information MB/MB than Safari meaning it would substantially drop a users data usage.

I for one hope it gets in not because I'm an Opera fan, in fact I'm not even an iPhone/iPad user. But I hate to see good hard work kept out because someone is afraid of a little competition. 

Check out Opera's iPhone count-up counter on My Opera community site and enter the contest to win an iPhone.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Does Hacker Charlie Miller Have Up His Sleeve For Pwn2Own 2010?

Charlie Miller quickly gained notoriety two years ago at the CanSecWest security conference when he and his team used an exploit in the Safari web browser to hack the brand new MacBook Air in just under 2mins winning himself and his team not only the new MacBook Air but also $10,000 from security firm TippingPoint Technologies.

A year later he repeated the feat when he used yet another of his already known exploits to win him his second MacBook Air and an additional $5,000.

This year looks like it will be a three-peat for Miller who took second slot and first draw for Safari yet again. The security expert claims to have found no less than 20 zero-day exploits within OS X. Miller via Twitter last week stated he will present details on how he found the exploits during the conference but he made it clear he will not reveal the exact details on how the exploits work.

While the full details will not be disclosed Miller eluded to the approach in finding the zero-day flaws. According to his interview with Heise Security, Miller discovered the new vulnerabilities by fuzzing, a process which involves bombarding an application's input channels with as much corrupted data as possible. His presentation is subtitled: "An analysis of fuzzing 4 products with 5 lines of Python". The expert explained: "The talk is about what you really find when you fuzz and it tries to draw conclusions about what to expect in the future when you fuzz a mature product." Parts of the presentation apparently consist of statistics, for instance, about which percentage of flaws causes crashes, and which percentage can be exploited remotely.

Pwn2Own 2010 should be an interesting event this year, not only because of the flaws Miller found but because many including Miller himself are predicting the fall of the iPhone this year, this coming in-spite of the fact that last year not a single smartphone was hacked.

If you want full detail on the event including a schedule checkout the TrippingPoint Blog and to follow along with real-time updates and real-time feedback follow the TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative via theirTwitter account @theZDI.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Linux Geeks Get Their Very Own Store

Earlier this month The Linux Foundation, a non-profit organization well know for their supports in the efforts in accelerating the growth of Linux, announced the launch of The new site is a Linux themed merchandise store where people can purchase a newly launched line of original T-shirts, hats, mugs and other items that reflect “geek culture.”

The Linux Store has been open for a few weeks now and features tons of great geek items. You can check them all out at

In addition to the new Linux store The Linux Foundation has also launched a desing contest for your would be graphic artists and designers. The T-shirt Design Contest is calling for your best designs themed around the Linux and or Geek culture. 

Design submissions are due by April 11, 2010. The top five designs will be available for community vote at through June 6, 2010. The winning design will be included on T-shirts available for purchase in the Store and the designer will be awarded with travel to Boston, Mass., to attend LinuxCon ( in August.

All revenue generated from the Store will go directly towards Linux Foundation activities, events and strategic initiatives. The Linux Foundation uses funds from a variety of revenue streams to support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and to sustain important services such as technical events; travel grants for open source community members; a vendor-neutral forum for projects such as MeeGo; and free training resources direct from the kernel community; among others.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

5 Reasons Tablets Suck And You Won't Buy One

Tuan Nguyen, from Tom's Hardware, has put together a great piece outlining some of the issue faced by the newest wave of tablet pc's. Mainly the article points out the fact that tablet, or slate pc's have been around for ages and yet despite that fact many out there in the tech world look at this newest wave of enthusiasm towards the platform as being the one that will finally catch on.

Nguyen opens the article with a great sub-headline:

"Let's admit it: tablets suck. They've been around for at least a decade and many are faster and offer more capabilities than Apple's iPad. But why haven't you bought one yet?"

For more checkout his full article "5 Reasons Tablets Suck And You Won't Buy One" , personally I think he brings out some really interesting points. A few of which some of you might take notice of since I'm sure there are several readers out there dying to jump on the bandwagon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Make Older Firefox Extensions Compatible With Easy Hack

Ever wanted to run older extensions with your new Firefox release just to find the author hasn't created an updat3e yet. Well there are two easy ways to force compatibility of older extensions with some of the newer versions of the popular browser.
The first and easiest way is to use the Nightly Tester Tools Add-on. This extension is a quick easy way to run those add-ons and extensions you use with either new or nightly builds of Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird and Toolkit Seamonkey (Suiterunner).

The following is a brief list of the extension’s features, for the full set of features please take a look at the features list.
  • Extension compatibility fixing
  • Titlebar customisation
  • Build ID retrieval
  • Screenshots
  • Breakpad information
  • Restoring tabs from previous session
  • Leak log analysis
Another easy way is to simply hack the existing code in the old add-on itself. This might sound a bit more complicated however it's a fairly simple process that only requires a user to change a few things.

To perform the hack for yourself, you'll want to start by downloading and saving the Firefox extension from .XPI to .ZIP. Once you've done that you can use your favorite ZIP program, I recommend 7Zip, and unzip it. From there you need to look for the install.rdf file open that file with “Notepad” so that you can change the number for the “maxVersion”.

The exact code looks like this

Once you've changed the "maxVersion" to whichever build you are working on now zip up the contents again, rename the file from .ZIP back to .XPI, and then you can simply drag the file into the Firefox add-ons window to install it.

It should be noted that forcing an incompatible extension to install is risky. There are many cases where Firefox will stop working completely or behave incorrectly because an incompatible extension is being forced to work where the author never intended.

i-Got-Control App Turns iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Into Universal Remote

i-Got-it Corp. announces the launch and immediate availability of i-Got-Control, a plug-and-play accessory that turns an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a universal remote, allowing the user to control virtually any infrared device — TVs, stereo systems and more — at home or on the go.

Boasting an industry-leading database of more than 40,000 IR codes for consumer electronic devices worldwide, the i-Got-Control accessory and its associated iTunes app support a nearly unlimited number of IR electronics worldwide, making it easy to take control anytime, anywhere. And, with i-Got-Control's built-in IR library, users can CONNECT, SELECT and CONTROL their A/V components quickly and hassle-free — with no Wi-Fi network, wires or batteries needed.

"i-Got-Control empowers users to operate A/V devices, as well as many other pieces of IR equipment, including lighting and HVAC systems, no matter where they are," said Doug Schwartz, president of "It also features an extensive built-in IR library, which means that — unlike most remote controls and other similar products in the marketplace — i-Got-Control does not require 'learning,' making it simple and easy to set up and use."

Getting started with i-Got-Control is easy. Simply download the free i-Got-Control application via iTunes and connect the compact accessory to an iPhone (OS is 3.0 or higher), iPod touch or iPad. Launch the i-Got-Control application and select the devices to control via pre-defined, user-friendly screens. Last, choose the make and model of the IR devices and save the settings. It's that simple.

The graphic user interface is highly intuitive, providing master volume control, as well as both audible and visual feedback. In addition, if a particular device's IR code cannot be found, i-Got-Control's user-friendly learning capabilities make it easy to control virtually any device. And, with a price of only $69.95, i-Got-Control makes it simple to take control anywhere, anytime.

For more information, please visit

Source: i-got-it-corp

Monday, March 15, 2010

iPads Go On-sale, We Hit The Snooze Button

Apple began accepting pre-orders for its hotly anticipated iPad tablet last Friday and according to at least one report the iPad is a very hot seller possibly selling as many as 120k units on Friday alone.

Pricing on these hot little devices range from $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version up to $829 for the 64GB Wi-Fi 3G enabled iPad. The devices will not ship until April, but Apple fans can now place their orders via Apple's online store.

Given the fact that most of the general public has yet to set eyes on the device, let alone handle it these preliminary numbers are a bit surprising (at least to this geek). I've mentioned before that I was not overly impressed by the initial details of the iPad, nor do I plan on buying one anytime soon. But I do stop short of saying I'll never own one, at least not before I have the chance to set eyes and hands on the device.

I know the iPad is based on the same OS that drives the iPhone and iPod Touch and much of the functionality of the device should be similar. However until you actually get your hands on one and test it you will not now how they compare. For one the device might simply be to large to offer the same ease of use. They may also lack the same responsiveness and feel that their brethren do.

Apple fanboys can be Apple fanboys but this geek is going to sit in a holding pattern and wait and see what other device come down the chutes before making a move.

Intel Tries To Match OCZ With New $125 SSD's

Earlier this month OCZ made a big move in the SSD market when they announced their new sub $100 Onyx series solid state drives. Today Intel looks to keep pace by offering a new more affordable 40 GB Intel X25-V Value series SATA SSD priced at $125.

Both the OCZ Onyx series and the Intel Value series will come in 2.5" form factors and will feature Intel's feature sustained sequential read speeds up to 170 MB/s and write speeds up to 35 MB/s, while the Onyx series is slightly slower read speeds at up to 125MB/s but a more robust write speed at up to 70MB/s.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WD Introduces My Passport AV Designed Specifically For Audio Video Devices

With the ever increasing number of media devices featuring USB ports for USB drives to add storage and play multimedia content from the drive to an HD TV more consumers are opting to add ultra portable drives to their systems. Today WD introduced the new My Passport AV portable media drive designed specifically to meet the requirements of this demanding video streaming environment. These new drives delivers the formatting and low-power consumption that assures out-of-the-box compatibility with many leading CE (consumer electronics) devices.

The new 320 GB My Passport AV portable media drives are designed to operate seamlessly with the Direct Copy feature offered in Sony's new Handycam video recorders Blu-ray Players gaming consoles, televisions and many other popular media players.

My Passport AV Compatibility
My Passport AV portable media drives are formatted FAT32 and are compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X and Apple's Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard. My Passport AV portable media drives utilize the same drive technology found in WD AV drives inside leading cable and satellite set-top boxes and DVRs (digital video recorders) around the world.

The My Passport AV portable media drives are compatible with the following devices:

  • WD TV family of media players;
  • 2010 and later Sony camcorders with Direct Copy functionality;
  • Sony 2010 Blu-ray Disc Players including BDP-S370, BDP-S470, BDP-S570;
  • Sony 2010 Blu-ray Disc Home Theater Systems including BDV-E370, BDV-E570;
  • JVC LT-32P689 television;
  • Samsung LN32A550 television;
  • Phillips 42PFLA332D television;
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 (compatible with the USB media playback feature); and,
  • Sony PlayStation 3.

For a complete list of devices compatible with the My Passport AV portable media drives, please visit the WD Web site. A product specification sheet and photos of My Passport AV drives are available on the company's Web site at

Source: Western Digital