VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue 2

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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, iphone, android, internet

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Indonesia threatens to shut down BlackBerry service Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/indonesia-threatens-to-shut-down- blackberry-service/14206.html December 12th, 2011 The Indonesian government has threatened to shut down the BlackBerry service in the country as it continues a disputre with Research In Motion (RIM) over access to encrypted call and text data. The Indonesian government has threatened to shut down the BlackBerry service in the country as it continues a disputre with Research In Motion (RIM) over access to encrypted call and text data. The Indonesian Telecommunication Regulatory Body said that it will cut RIM's BlackBerry data services if it does not fulfill the government's demands. RIM met with the Indonesian government on Thursday about progress made since January, but the government claims that while it fulfilled some requests, it did not go far enough, especially in regards to its main demands. Indonesia wants RIM to establish an aggregator and customer carecentresinthecountry,blockpornographyondevices,and give the government access to encrypted data that is being transmitted on the network. Designed for youths and especially the ladies, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray features a unique quality design, and claims to offer great ease of use. Measuring a mere 9.4mm thin, the compact smartphone comes in a stylish and durable aluminum frame, and sports a 3.3-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine for superb visuals. The Xperia ray also packs a powerful 1GHz processor, 8.1- megapixel camera with Exmor R image sensor for mobile and highdefinitionvideofunctionality,andrunsthelatestAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. If black isn't your favorite color, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is also available in Gold and Pink. Price: S$598 (before telco subsidies) Where to buy - All three telco operators - SingTel, M1 and StarHub,andSonyEricssonConceptstoresatJunction8,Ang Mo Kio Hub and Parkway Parade Shopping Centre. RIM said it was receiving mixed messages from Indonesia, claiming it was never formally asked to build a centre in the country. It said it complied with all of the government's requests, including a router in Indonesia which acts as an aggregator. As for access to encrypted data, an issue that arose in other regions like India, RIM is working with law enforcement agencies, but the Indonesian goverment indicated that it was unhappy that the company won't reveal exactly who it is working with. Indonesia is one the biggest markets for BlackBerry devices, making this ban potentially disastrous to RIM's revenue. RIM also got into trouble in the country recently after a botched promotion led to a stampede . Samsung breaks record with 300 million mobile phone sales Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-breaks-record-with-300- million-mobile-phone-sales/14205.html 3

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December 12th, 2011 December 12th, 2011 Samsung sold over 300 million mobile phones this year, a record figure in the company's entire history. The Korean electronics giant issued a statement on Sunday saying that it had broken its sales record at the end of last month, which means that the total number for 2011 will be even bigger, thanks to the strong Christmas shopping period. The figure is significantly higher than the 280 million sales Samsung recorded in 2010, which was a positive year for the smartphone industry. It claims that its Galaxy S series of smartphones were primary contributors to the achievement, withtheGalaxySIIselling10millionunitsalonesinceitsApril launch, another record for the company. “We look forward to extending this success going into 2012,” saidJ.K.Shin,PresidentandHeadofMobileCommunications at Samsung. Samsung is the second largest handset maker in the world, behind Nokia, which has been losing market share as smartphones overtook feature phones. A decade ago Samsung was in fourth place, and if Nokia fails to recover sufficiently with its planned Windows Phone 7 smartphone range, Samsung could end up creeping into the top spot. Published by: VR-Zone NVIDIA Project Denver "Lost in Rockies", to Debut in 2014-15 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-project-denver-lost-in-rockies-- to-debut-in-2014-15/14204.html December 12th, 2011 Samsung sold over 300 million mobile phones this year, breaking its company record. The Galaxy S smartphones are primary contributors to the achievement. There is a lot of virtual ink spilled over the upcoming NVIDIA CPUarchitecturewhichcompanycalls"ProjectDenver".Nota lot is known though, on when the design is expected to debut. There is a lot of virtual ink spilled over the upcoming NVIDIA CPU architecture which company calls "Project Denver". Not a lot is known though, when the design is expected to debut. According to Jen-Hsun's talk at the third quarter financial results conference call, NVIDIA is working on Project Denver to "supplement, add to ARM's capabilities by extending the ARM's architecture to segments in a marketplace that they are not themselves focused on". It is no secret that NVIDIA sees Project Denver as a processor notorientedtowardstabletsandnetbooks,butratherdesktops and high-performance computing. According to information available, the first product based on the 64-bit Denver architecture will be Stark, i.e. Iron Man - Tegra SOC set for introduction in late 2014, with real availability in 2015. Prior to the debut of NVIDIA's own 64-bit architecture, the company will launch Kal-El and Kal-El+ (28nm die-shrink), bothbasedon32-bitARMCortex-A9architecture,followedby Wayne (Cortex-A15) and Logan, all before Stark comes alive. NVIDIA is developing Project Denver for better part of the past decade. The company acquired Colorado-based Stexar in 2006, with a plan to develop a binary compatible architecture with the x86 instruction set, with or without Intel's permission/license. The original architecture called for a similar approach used by Transmeta with a translation layer being the core part of the architecture. However, luckily for NVIDIA, then tiny ARM started its ascent into the contemporary computing with the new generation of smartphones. As such, NVIDIA's R&D shifted focus from being binary compatible with x86 into an extended ARM architecture. Needless to say, this practically required starting from scratch. 4

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December 12th, 2011 Given that NVIDIA takes four years to develop a new GPU and thattypically,CPUrequiresfiveyearsofdevelopment,thefirst silicon coming out of Stexar will only come after eight years of development. One of terms we heard about Project Denver from a highly ranked executive in a competing firm was "Lost in Rockies". Yet,NVIDIAcannottakeanychancesandneedsaproprietary, ARM-compatible architecture to extract X86 out of their GPGPU servers. Project Denver is expected to bridge the performance gap between Tegras oriented towards smartphones and other mobile devices with the desktop and server performance requirements. According to Jen-Hsun, ARM currently has no plans to do that in mid-to-long term. The project shares similar fate to Intel's own Haswell, which changed its description and architecture for about four times, first being on the map as a NetBu(r)st architecture, only to launch half a decade later as a completely new architecture. In any case, Stexar team has full support of NVIDIA management,andStarkshouldarriveonthemarketonlyafter the market accepts 64-bit ARM as a mainstream computing architecture. Hitachi Makes 4TB Deskstar and Touro HDDs Official Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-makes-4tb-deskstar-and-touro- hdds-official/14203.html December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The Deskstar 4 TB (model number: HDS5C4040ALE630) is part of the 5K4000 series. It is based on the standard 3.5- inch form-factor, and features a SATA 6 Gbps interface. It is designed more with storage in mind, with a spindle-speed in the range of 5400 RPM. As the picture might show you, it packs 5 platters and 10 recording surfaces. The 5400 RPM design brings about energy efficiency of about 28 percent comparedtoahypotheticalsimilarly-specc'd7200RPMdrive. Naturally lower spindle speeds also contribute to lower noise. The Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB packs 32 MB of fast cache, which should take advantage of the 6 Gb/s interface bandwidth for high burst speeds. First spotted in the bylanes of the Akihabara district of Tokyolastweek,Hitachi'suber-capaciousDeskstar4Terabyte internalharddriveswerefinallyannouncedtotheworldtoday. Along with it, Hitachi also announced its Touro avatar, a portable HDD that makes use of one of these drives. Increasing hard drive capacities are inevitable, but these are turbulent times in the hard drive industry, with a huge chunk of it gone for a swim in the recent Thailand floods. Hitachi got ahead of bigger players Western Digital and Seagate in being the first HDD vendor with an internal hard drive with 4 TB of unformatted capacity. Incidentally, Hitachi was also the first to market with a 1 TB HDD. 5

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone HDDs twice its volume, because they needed two internal drives to achieve its capacity. The new drive takes advantage of the new USB 3.0 SuperSpeed interface to ensure there are no interface bottlenecks, and that its performance is nearly on par with that of the Deskstar running inside your computer. The Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB is priced at US $399.99, and is released to retail markets in limited quantities (go figure!). It will be released to OEMs in early 2012. The Touro 4 TB, on the other hand, will be released to the retail channel in January 2012, and will be priced at $419.99. Ivy Bridge benchmarks brought early by Santa Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-benchmarks-brought-early- by-santa/14202.html December 12th, 2011 If you, like us, have eagerly been awaiting the first Ivy Bridge benchmark numbers then we have good news for you, they've arrived as an early Christmas present courtesy of Chiphell. It's 6 thehigh-endCorei7-3770Kthat'sbeenputthroughitspacesin a somewhat limited selection of benchmarks, but if the results are anything close to the final CPU revision, then we can look forward to a decent performance boost over Sandy Bridge. If you, like us, have eagerly been awaiting the first Ivy Bridge benchmark numbers then we have good news for you, they've arrived as an early Christmas present courtesy of Chiphell. It's thehigh-endCorei7-3770Kthat'sbeenputthroughitspacesin a somewhat limited selection of benchmarks, but if the results are anything close to the final CPU revision, then we can look forward to a decent performance boost over Sandy Bridge. The CPU was fitted to an un-named Z77 chipset motherboard –an early revision with an early BIOS/UEFI – and paired up with 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. As we know, the Core i7-3770K sports Intel HD Graphics 4000 and the integrated graphics was being used for the tests, so we're looking at early graphicsdriversheretoo,inbestcasewe'relookingatanAlpha driver here, at least according to information we have at hand with regards to Intel's driver release schedule and judging by the driver revision used. The next launch from Hitachi is the Touro 4 TB, a portable hard drive that packs the Deskstar 5K4000 launched today. Measuring 129mm (W) x 183mm (H) x 60mm (D), this drive providesyoucapacitiesthatcouldonlybeachievedbyportable Let's start with 3DMark06, not really the most taxing benchmark these days, but as you can see from the screenshot below, we got a score of 6841, a respectable improvement in performance compared to the Core i7-2600K which ends up somewhere around 5000 points, although we had a bit of a hard time tracking down some comparable figures, especially using recent drivers. Looking at the CPU score for 3DMark06 the Core i7-3770K scored 7170 which should be compared to about 6700-6800 for a Core i7-2600K, so only a minor performance increase here. MovingonwehaveacoupleofrunsofCinebench11.5wherein single core mode the 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K scored 1.65 easily besting a Core i7-2600K which scores 1.53 – co-incidentally the 2700K is barely any faster at 1.54 points here – although moving on to using all available cores we're looking at a score of 7.52 for the Core i7-3770K which is a decent performance bump over the 2600K which scores just under 7 points whereasthe2700Kscoresjustover7points.IvyBridgeisbyno means a Sandy Bridge-E beater here where the Core i7-3960X manages 11.44 points with all cores enabled at stock clock, although due to the lower clock it only manages 1.58 points in single core mode.

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December 12th, 2011 ThethirdandfinalbenchmarkisFritzChessandheretheCore i7-3770K scores 13869 points whereas a Core i7-2600K scores around 1000 points slower. None of these numbers are that 20 percent performance advantage Intel suggested Ivy Bridge was going to offer over Sandy Bridge earlier this year, but it does seem to line up with the lower end of the spectrum that we saw from Intel's own benchmark figures that were part of the leaked roadmap from a couple of weeks ago. The publisher of the benchmarks over at Chiphell is expecting Ivy Bridge to hit 5GHz quite easily, although none of the benchmarks are at anything but stock clock speeds. We've still got another four months to wait until we'll know how final silicon behaves alongside final BIOS/UEFI and drivers, but we'd expect a small performance increase between now and then. Hit the source link below for some additional screen shots. Pioneer introduces STEEZ Dance Gears audio solutions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pioneer-introduces-steez-dance-gears- Published by: VR-Zone Dancers can now rejoice as Pioneer releases STEEZ Dance Gears series, a line-up of portable audio equipment to power their groove. The term “boombox” is given a new definition with the STEEZ Audio series, consisting of the Type S, Type T, and Type Z portable speakers. Featuring an in-built 4GB storage capacity and connections for iPod dock, USB and auxiliary3.5mmjack,theSTEEZAudioseriesplaysyourMP3, WMA, AAC and WAV music files loud and proud. The real shine comes from a nice mix of play functions, such as Auto Battle Mode, which automatically plays a list of your favorite music of the same genre, accompanied by a countdown timer to signal the end of the session. Other play mode features include Tempo Control Function, Dance CUE function, and Eight-beat Skip to fast forward or reverse by eight counts in the music for choreographic practices. STEEZ Portable audio-solutions/14200.html December 12th, 2011 A new dedicated line of audio equipment made specially for dancers has been unveiled by Pioneer. The attention grabbing series of speakers, music players and headphones celebrate this urban youth culture by empowering street dancers with the beat to match theirs skills. STEEZ Audio The STEEZ Portable is a music player with a 4GB storage capacity and touch panel interface. It is equipped with play functions such as Non-Stop Mix Play for automatic queuing of similar tracks; Tempo Control Search which queues tracks of similar temp; Tempo Control; and Bookmark function to add trackstothecurrentplaylistwhilelisteningtomusic.Pumping continuous music becomes fast and hassle-free for seamless dance sessions. STEEZ Headphone 7

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone execution advance play functions. The user-friendly interface makes sure import of your library is a breeze. The good news is it’s free, right here . Pricing: STEEZ Audio TYPE S - S$399 STEEZ Audio TYPE T - S$499 STEEZ Audio TYPE Z - S$699 STEEZ Portable - S$199 STEEZ Headphone - S$99 A Visit to EVGA Labs - X79 Classified 3DMark WR Setup and SR-X Preview Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-visit-to-evga-labs--x79- classified-3dmark-wr-setup-and-sr-x-preview/14198.html December 12th, 2011 Last week, we visited EVGA's headquarters in chilly Taipei to check out the latest and greatest creations from Vince "k|ngp|n" Lucido and crew. It turned out to be a fruitful affair as new 3DMark 11 world records were being made on their new Classified range of X79 motherboard and GTX580 Graphics Card. We also snagged a preview of a pre-production overclocking mammoth Super Record X (Dual Xeon Socket 2011) motherboard. 3DMark Overclocking Legend Vince "k|ngp|n" Lucido doing what he does best - breaking records at work The STEEZ Headphone delivers crisp sound with rich low- pass bass, bringing out dance beats effortlessly. It is easy to store in your bag with its foldable design, along with a variety of monitoring styles thanks to its housing reversal and swivel mechanism built around the drivers. MIXTRAX Pioneer brings their experience in producing DJ equipment by offering the MIXTRAX music management application. Analysis technology gathers information of all kinds of music suchasmelody,beatpositionsandchorusblocks,thusplacing all music into various relevant categories and enabling the The 3DMark 11 WR LN2 Setup - Intel SNB-E 3960X, X79 Classified, 4 X GTX580 Classified X79 Classified Motherboard - it will be coming to stores soon after a slight delay due to Japanese earthquake induced component shortage. 8

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone A sensible and practical UEFI bios layout and design for overclockers EVBot for useful Voltage/Temp readouts and control The GTX580 Classified has a reworked PCB and features 14+3 Phase power design that can deliver over 1000W of power. kingpincooling.com LN2 pots 9

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone specifications--details/14199.html December 12th, 2011 To conclude one of the quietest years for the GPU industry, the rumour mill has been working overtime, fueled by speculation about AMD's upcoming HD 7900 series, codenamed Tahiti. 3DCenter has compiled expected and rumoured specifications, and also mention a tentative release date - 10th January 2012. The Tahiti chip is rumoured to debut the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture, featuring 32 Compute Units with a total of 2048 shaders. TMU count could be 128. The clock speed While most of the above information should be considered as rumours, what we do know is that Tahiti features a 384-bit memoryinterface,tiedtoGDDR5memory.Thisshouldleadto memorybandwidtharound250GB/s.Basedonthe PCB shots of Tahiti , forum members have used Photoshop to estimate the die size. As we speculated previously, the die size is now reported to be similar to Cayman - around 380 mm 2 . Considering Tahiti will be manufactured at TSMC's 28nm process,thisputstheestimatedtransistorcountatawhopping 4.5 billion transistors. Here's another die size estimate from Beyond3D forum : Rumour: AMD Tahiti / HD 7900 Specifications & Details Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-amd-tahiti-hd-7900- AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series has been heavily rumoured for a release during CES 2012. The release date is now being pegged at 10th January 2012, Tuesday, and also the day CES 2012 commences. HD 7800 series is expected to release in February, with the dual-Tahiti New Zealand / HD 7990 flagship in March. The rest of the HD 7000 series will be rounded up by Q2 2012. Turbo overclocking on High TDP CPUs; the 8-core Intel Sandy Bridge EP example Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/turbo-overclocking-on-high-tdp-cpus- the-8-core-intel-sandy-bridge-ep-example/14197.html December 12th, 2011 is likely to be under 1 GHz, providing a theoretical compute potential of around 4 single precision GFlops. Performance for Tahiti XT / HD 7970 could be close to today's dual-GPUs flagships, and considerably faster than GTX 580 and HD 6970. BothIntelandAMDnowincludeautomaticoverclocking-style 'Turbo' performance enhancements in their CPUs. Once you reach the very high TDP territory, like what it is with the Bulldozer or will be with the upcoming 8 core Sandy Bridge EP, what would make best sense? Turbo, Overdrive, call it whatever you want - Intel and AMD alike figured out the potential of that built in 'headroom' that is available in most of their CPUs well beyond the stock clock. The overclocking enthusiast community used it for years now to achieve some incredible results. However, we should distinguish between 'suicidal overclocking' including some LN2 and other exotic deeds, where the dies become pretty much unusable after sustained exposure to such stresses, and so called 'productive overclocking' where a measurable performance enhancement 10

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December 12th, 2011 is achieved by upping the clocks and tightening other parameters without major voltage increases or other stresses on the CPU or system, leading to expected long term productive usage at that higher speed. Obviously, the vendors are interested in the latter one. Of course, they have to be far more careful with Turbo, since it, unlike overclocking, falls within the warranty specs. Its automatic adjustments also vary depending on the cooling efficiency, power delivery from the mainboard, and of course the compute load on the CPU. What happens once your TDP at default state reaches 150W, like the upcoming high end of the Xeon E5 2600 'Sandy Bridge EP' line? of the word. Sandy Bridge already implements power spike control in its Turbo mode management to avoid breaching the Icc_max value, and ensures that everything is ran within thermal capacity of the CPU die, packaging and voltage regulation circuitry - all in 1 millisecond sampling intervals. It can also use transient thermal headroom to exceed the performance further for a limited time. With all these enhancements, Intel is expected to provide substantial Turbo power and thermal headroom limits for its upcoming flagship processors of the Sandy Bridge EP line. If we look at the 150W top end part, the one that enthusiasts would like to see unlocked in mainboards such as EVGA SR- X, it by default allows for constant usage at 180W TDP, and maximum usage at 230W TDP - not to say that, with the right mainboard and cooling, it couldn't run consistently at 230W as well. If we assume the starting frequency is, say, 3.1 GHz , and we can go all the way to 3.5 GHz when using all the cores if the system power and cooling allow, this by itself is not bad improvement over the base line. However, three categories of uses - enthusiasts including gamers; workstation 3-D & HPC 11 Published by: VR-Zone application users; and high-frequency traders - will want even more. After all, let's not forget who bought most of the EVGA SR2 mainboards over the past year or so. When we have such high TDP figures at default, is it better to just leave things as they are and rely on Turbo, or get an unlocked version and reach into the overclocking realms with TDP going beyond 250W per socket? Remember, here you'll also have a 4-socket version, the E5 4600, which would then mean a kilowatt just for the four overclocked CPUs... Based on what could be done with the Core i7 3960X, which after all is just a reduced 6-cores-out-of-8 version of this same die, and assuming progressively better cooling and power delivery to be provided for the full 8-core version, there is no reason why there can't be 4 GHz 'productive overclocking' dual-socket Sandy Bridge-EP systems at very reasonableminimalvoltageandsystemtweaks,providing25% performance above the baseline. With further cooling and tweaks, even 4.3 GHz should be OK for medium to long term use. Anything beyond that, we need to wait for D-stepping, I guess. In summary, Turbo will provide a decent performance hop even on super high TDP CPU like the Xeon E5 top of the range in the 150W range, however, the cooling and mainboard design choices have progressed so far now, together with the overclocking experience, that it would be a pity not to open up the headroom to those willing to make the best use of it - whethertoreachnewrecordsinsuicidaloverclockingof16full cores at one go, or 'productive enhancement' to monetize the extraGHzforthosewhoneedit-engineers,designers,gamers or traders alike. At that point, the default speed is already 'hot' in every sense HP makes webOS open-source Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-makes-webos-open- source/14195.html December 12th, 2011 Hewlett Packard has finally come to a conclusion for the fate of their ailing WebOS. In the footsteps of rivaling software Android, the company have decided to make WebOS an open- source project. While developer communities are celebrating thedecision,muchremainstobeseenifHPwillcarryouttheir commitments as promised.

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone is available to consumers and developers to be modified and improved on. The webOS feature various benefits to different segment of its market. Developers will find applications easy to construct from standard web technologies, while device manufacturers will enjoy the seamless integration to multiple devices with its web-centric platform. “WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to bemobile,cloud-connectedandscalable,”saidMegWhitman, HP's president and chief executive officer. “By contributing thisinnovation,HPunleashesthecreativityoftheopensource community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.” It is also mentioned that the resulting developments and new versions of the software can be released in the marketplace, suggesting the level at which HP is supporting distributions of open-source enhancements. HP promises to deliver ENYO soon, a Javascript app framework with native hardware acceleration and fast app loading speed, and the rest of the user space elements after that. With yet another open- source program, a healthy dose of competition and consistent innovationwillhopefullyariseandbringprogresstotheentire OS ecosystem. surfaced-again/14189.html December 12th, 2011 Sony Ericsson's rumoured upcoming flagship was sighted yet again, and this time it is from a Chinese source. The amazingly thin profile and a mysterious illumination strip along the bottom of the phone certainly leads one to wonder what the phone manufacturer is up to this time. Inasurprisingturnofevents,computermanufacturerHewlett Packard (HP) has officially declared their mobile platform webOS released for for open-source development. This means that they are taking a similar approach to rivaling operating system(OS)Android,wherebytheentiresourcecodeoftheOS Yet another image of Sony Ericsson’s smartphone-in- development, the Xperia Arc HD (codenamed “Nozomi”), has surfaced. It is reported to be undergoing carrier tests in Hong Kong. From the image, it can be seen that the Xperia UI has been tweaked considerably, while the phone remains true to its predecessor’s slimness. The seemingly illuminated strip around the phone near the bottom looks like an interesting decoration but perhaps there is more than meets the eye. The source of this leak also claims that the phone will be announced during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January. Reports state that the specification of the new phone include a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of memory, a 4.3-inch 720p resolution screen, and a 12- megapixel camera, in line with previous rumours. If all the informationturnsouttobetrue,SonyEricssonmightjusthave a winner in their hands. OCZ ZS Series 650W PSU Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-zs-series-650w-psu- review/14172.html December 12th, 2011 Sony Ericsson "Xperia Arc HD" images surfaced again Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-ericsson-xperia-arc-hd-images- It has been over half a decade since OCZ has begun marketing performance power supplies. The company turned into a major player in the PSU market after they acquired PC Power & Cooling, a company which specialized on the field. OCZ currently markets three series: The premium ZX series, the modular ZT series and the value range ZS series. A few weeks ago we had a look at the ZT 550, a high performance modular power supply designed to please hardcore enthusiasts and modders. Today we are going to put to the test the 650W 12

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December 12th, 2011 version of a ZS series power supply and see what the value range of OCZ’s power supplies can offer. It has been over half a decade since OCZ has begun marketing performance power supplies. The company turned into a major player in the PSU market after they acquired PC Power & Cooling, a company which specialized on the field. OCZ currently markets three series: The premium ZX series, the modular ZT series and the value range ZS series. A few weeks Manufacturer features and specifications · 550W, 650W, and 750W Configurations · · · · · · · · · · Single +12V Rail Continuous output rated at 40°C 150 x 160 x 86mm (W x L x H) ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V Non-Modular 80 Plus® Bronze Certified High Efficiency: 85% at typical load Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection Active PFC MTBF:100,000 hours · 135mm temperature and load controlled double ball- bearing fan · 3 year warranty backed by OCZ's exclusive · PowerSwap Warranty replacement program. AC INPUT 230V ~ 10A 50Hz DC OUTPUT +5V +3.3V +12V -12V +5Vsb MAX CURRENT 22A 22A 46A 0.3A 3A MAX 130W 552W 3.6W 15W COMBINED WATTAGE TOTAL POWER: 650W Continuous Published by: VR-Zone Thailand floods lead to 3.8 million fewer PCs in Q1 of 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thailand-floods-lead-to-3.8-million- fewer-pcs-in-q1-of-2012/14194.html December 12th, 2011 ago we had a look at the ZT 550 , a high performance modular power supply designed to please hardcore enthusiasts and modders. Today we are going to put to the test the 650W version of a ZS series power supply and see what the value range of OCZ’s power supplies can offer. There will be 3.8 million fewer PC shipments in the first quarterof2012duetothedisastrousfloodinginThailandover the last few months, according to a report by market analysis firm IHS iSuppli. There will be 3.8 million fewer PC shipments in the first quarterof2012duetothedisastrousfloodinginThailandover the last few months, according to a report by market analysis firm IHS iSuppli. IHS had previously predicted that there would be 88 million shipments of PCs around the world in the first quarter, but it has revised this figure downward to just 84.2 million. 2012's overall shipments have also been lowered from the previous expectation of 399 million to 376 million. As a result, global growth in the PC market will drop from 9.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent next year. The primary reason for the drop is a severe shortage in hard drisk drives (HDD) caused by the Thailand flood. Without this storage it is impossible to ship ready-made computers to consumers and businesses. The shortage has led to existing HDD prices doubling at most shops. OCZ ZS 650W “The PC supply chain says it has sufficient HDD inventory for the fourth quarter of 2011. However, those stockpiles will run out in the first quarter of 2012, impacting PC production during that period,” said Matthew Wilkins, senior principal analyst of compute platforms at IHS. 13

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December 12th, 2011 There is some hope for the HDD market, however, with Western Digital recently announcing a return to production at one of its previously flooded plants, but it will still take a number of months to restore supply. IHS expects that by the end of 2012 HDD supply will have returned to normal or could even surpass normal capacity, leadingtoaninventorysurplus,whichwouldbeanironictwist of fate compared to the world's current predicament. More AMD Tahiti / HD 7900 Pictures Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-amd-tahiti-hd-7900- pictures/14193.html December 12th, 2011 Not long after the first pictures of AMD's Tahiti leaked, we have a detailed shot of Tahiti's PCB, which reveals more details.The12memorychipsareclearlyvisible,confirmingthe 384-bit memory bus. It also offers a first glimpse at the Tahiti die. Not long after the first pictures of AMD's Tahiti leaked , we have a detailed shot of Tahiti's PCB, which reveals more details.The12memorychipsareclearlyvisible,confirmingthe 384-bit memory bus. It also offers a first glimpse at the Tahiti die. The card most likely features 1.5 GB GDDR5. The 5+1 phase PWMisalsovisible.Mostimportantly,wegetthefirstglimpse of the Tahiti die. It is rotated by 45 degrees and covered by a partial heatspreader. However, the die itself is exposed to the heatsink. Tahiti is a big chip - at first glance a similar size to Cayman. However, it is still visibly much smaller than NVIDIA's previous flagships, GF100/GF110 or GT200/ GT200b, so AMD continues to dismiss NVIDIA's big die strategy. The card features 2x CF connectors as well as the dual BIOS switched introduced with the HD 6900 series. 14 Published by: VR-Zone There is a crucial difference from the previous leak - this sample consists of 2 x 6-pin PCI-e connectors, as opposed to the 8-pin + 6-pin configuration previously captured. This could suggest that this is either an advanced production ready sample, or Tahiti Pro, or HD 7950, which should feature a lowerTDPthanTahitiXT/HD7970.ThiscardthushasaTDP somewhere between 150W and 225W. Hackers threaten world's oil supply Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-threaten-world-s-oil- supply/14192.html December 12th, 2011 Hackersarethreateningtheworld'soilsupplyinanincreasing waveofcyberattacks,accordingtotopoilcompanyexecutives, spelling potential devastation for the economy and the environment. Hackersarethreateningtheworld'soilsupplyinanincreasing waveofcyberattacks,accordingtotopoilcompanyexecutives. Oilcompaniesarewarningthattheyarefacingmoreandmore attacks on their systems, which could lead to a situation where valves are accessed. This could result in a scenario where oil rigs are set on fire, people are killed, the environment is damaged, production is halted, and oil supply to industrial nations is cut, which in turned would have a monumentally negative financial impact. “We see an increasing number of attacks on our IT systems and information and there are various motivations behind it - criminal and commercial,” said Ludolf Luehmann, manager of IT at Shell, Europe's largest oil company. “We see an increasing number of attacks with clear commercial interests, focusingonresearchanddevelopment,togainthecompetitive advantage.”

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December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone production and distribution. Riemer Brower, head of ITsecurity at Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, said that the oil industry has so far avoided any major incidents, but qualified this by saying that the companies in charge are no longer really in control. French court denies Samsung request to ban Apple's iPhone 4S Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/french-court-denies-samsung-request- to-ban-apple-s-iphone-4s/14190.html December 12th, 2011 A French court has refused Samsung's request to ban Apple's iPhone 4S in the country, the latest twist in an ongoing legal dispute between the two companies. A French court has refused Samsung's request to ban Apple's iPhone 4S in the country, the latest twist in an ongoing legal dispute between the two companies. The court said it would not impose a preliminary sales ban on the latest iPhone, but Samsung can still pursue a normal lawsuit against Apple over the alleged patent infringement. Samsung was ordered to pay €100,000 in legal fees, but it escaped a fine, despite Apple asking for the court to award damages in its favour. Thismightsoundlikescience-fictiontosome,buttherealityis that most industries operate on computers that are vulnerable to attack, and hackers are increasing in numbers, becoming more knowledgeable, and making more daring attacks on systems. The Stuxnet worm, which crippled Iran's nuclear reactors, showedthepotentialdevastationthatcouldbecausedbycyber warfare. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, this kind of attack can be replicated on many essential infrastructures systems, including water supplies, electricity grids, and oil This is the latest decision in the bitter patent war, with Apple alleging that the Galaxy Tab is a rip-off of its iPad and that several of Samsung's smartphones infringe its patents. Samsung has responded in kind by claiming that the iPhone 4S uses some of its patented technology. Even if Samsung had won its case in France, it could have easily been overturned, just as Apple's injunction against sales of the Galaxy Tab was overturned in Australia last week . That case was further affirmed today with the formal lifting of the ban. Samsung is awaiting the decisions for other injunction motions against Apple in Australia, Japan, France, and Italy. 15

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December 12th, 2011 Report: AMD Radeon HD 7800 (Pitcairn) in February 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-radeon-hd-7800-pitcairn- in-february-2012/14191.html December 12th, 2011 AMD is planning to introduce their next-gen performance part, replacing the HD 6800 / Barts series, in February 2012. The rumoured date is the week of February 20th, the week afterChineseNewYear.CodenamedPitcairn,therewillbetwo SKUs at launch - Pitcairn Pro and Pitcairn XT, expected to be branded Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7870 respectively. AMD is planning to introduce their next-gen performance part, replacing the HD 6800 / Barts series, in February 2012. The rumoured date is the week of February 20th, the week afterChineseNewYear.CodenamedPitcairn,therewillbetwo SKUs at launch - Pitcairn Pro and Pitcairn XT, expected to be branded Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7870 respectively. Pitcairn Pro is rumoured to cost $199, with Pitcairn XT at $299. These are the same price points at launch as the immensely popular Radeon HD 4800 series, hitting the price/ performance sweet-spots. ThefirstSouthernIslandscardsarestillexpectedtobeTahiti/ HD 7900 series, to release at CES 2012. They will be followed byPitcairn,withthedual-GPUflagshipNewZealand(possibly HD 7990) releasing at CeBIT 2012, in the early March. The first Kepler GPUs from NVIDIA are also expected to show up in March, although rumours suggest NVIDIA might release mainstream GPUs first, with performance parts coming later in Q2. Report: AMD Vishera (next-gen FX) in Q3 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-vishera-next-gen-fx-in- q3-2012/14188.html December 12th, 2011 AMD is planning to release their next-gen FX CPUs in Q3 2012. Codenamed Vishera, these CPUs will feature Piledriver cores, and today's FX-Series Zambezi CPUs with Bulldozer cores. The report from Fudzilla also mentions that Vishera will be compatible with the AM3+ platform and 900 series chipsets. AMD is planning to release their next-gen FX CPUs in Q3 2012. Codenamed Vishera, these CPUs will feature Piledriver cores, and today's FX-Series Zambezi CPUs with Bulldozer Published by: VR-Zone cores. The report from Fudzilla also mentions that Vishera will be compatible with the AM3+ platform and 900 series chipsets. AMD's earlier Zambezi successor, Komodo, which is reportedly canceled, was planned to fit into the FM2 platform, shared with Trinity. AMD is also preparing 1000 series chipsets, with 1090FX and 1070, which will likely be the chipset of choice for Vishera. Trinity will be the first AMD product to feature Piledriver cores, releasing in Q2 2012, and will give a good indication to Vishera's performance characteristics. Vishera will continue to be manufactured at GloFo's 32nm process, which should hopefully be mature by Q3 2012. Rumours indicate Vishera will continue to contain 4 Piledriver modules, although the canceled Komodo it replaces was said to feature 5 Piledriver modules. Intel's Ivy Bridge-E enthusiast CPUs are also slated to launch around the same time, although AMD's Vishera will most likely battle Intel's Ivy Bridge quad-core CPUs, particularly Core i7 3770K, unless Piledriver brings unexpectedly massive improvements over Bulldozer. Samsung to launch monster tablet in 2012? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-to-launch-monster-tablet- in-2012-/14187.html December 12th, 2011 Korean manufacturer Samsung may be unveilng a new tablet with improved specification next year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Along with a recent announcement of the Exynos 5250 processor and its whooping 2560 by 1600 screen resolution, the pieces for a new beast of a tablet seems to be in place. The recent patent war has not dampened the spirits of electronics giant Samsung as they are reported to be readying an 11.6-inch tablet for announcement at the Mobile World Congress in February 2012. The tablet is said to have a resolution of 2560 by 1600 with a 16:10 wide aspect ratio, which will position itself to compete effectively with Apple’s upcoming tablet device, which is rumored to incorporate a 16

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Published by: VR-Zone December 12th, 2011 Retina Display. Despite the bigger screen, a thinner bezel will help to keep the overall size of the tablet within the familiarity of 10.1-inch tablet users. From Samsung's recent announcement about their new Exynos 5250 , it is no doubt that the 2GHz processor will be capable of supporting high screen resolutions, including this 11.6-inch impressive display. Other features of the monster tablet may include Android Beam for convenient media syncing and a wireless docking mode for gaming in conjunction with a HDTVs, which will probably help Samsung to compete against the upcoming television race. Garena launches League of Legends Dominion in Singapore and Malaysia Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/garena-launches-league-of-legends- dominion-in-singapore-and-malaysia/14186.html December 12th, 2011 Game publisher Garena has launched Dominion, a new game mode for the popular multiplayer game, League of Legends, in Singapore and Malaysia. The refreshing game mode will be released together with limited-edition boxed sets containing various character boosts and other goodies. To celebrate the launch, Garena will also promote a special boxed game set for fans and collectors. Only 3000 sets are available in selected stores (including Comic Connections branches) across Singapore and Malaysia, and it costs S$4.90. It comes with a comprehensive Dominion handbook and a bundle of premium in-game items worth over S$20, such as the Champion Ranmus the Armordillo, a 10-win experience boost, a four-win Influence points boost, and 100 Riot point boost. Players can get their hands on these goodies from 16December. MIPS Architecture Crashes ARM, X86 Party: 28nm chips to operate at 1.5GHz, Run Android 4.0 ICS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mips-architecture-crashes-arm-x86- party-28nm-chips-to-operate-at-1.5ghz-run-android-4.0-ics/14170.html December 12th, 2011 The debate between "PC Everywhere" and "Post PC" is currently raging in the boardrooms and between consumers and there are mostly two bases everybody discusses: X86 or ARM architecture. Well, not anymore… Asian online game publisher Garena has launched a new game mode “Dominion” for their multiplayer game League of Legends for Singaporean and Malaysian players. The player versusplayer(PvP)modetakesplaceonthe“CrystalScar”map in which five strategic nodes in a circular formation must be takenoverbytwoopposingteams.Theobjectiveistosecureas manyofthesenodesthantheopponent.Whenthisisachieved, it will reduce the opponent’s base points over time. If the base pointofanyteamreducestozero,fromastartof500,theywill lose the game. Opposing teams can attack and take away these nodes to turn the tides of war. 17

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December 12th, 2011 After spending most of their time outside the limelight, MIPS Technologies marked a very strong week by announcing that the company successfully started the manufacturing of the brand new high-performance , three-way microprocessor chip using 28nm-SLP (Super Low Power) process node at GlobalFoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany . The chip was a development between MIPS Technologies and eSiliconCorporation,withtheexpectedclockbetween1GHzas worst-case scenario, while the optimal clock target is 1.5GHz. Given that the chip is in manufacturing right now, it will take about three months to deliver first chips to customers. Still, bear in mind the 1GHz minimum, 1.5GHz optimal figure. The week continued with MIPS Technologies making another joint announcement , this time with Chinese manufacturer Aionovo (no relationship to Lenovo). Aionovo debuted NOVO7,world'sfirstandroid4.0"IceCreamSandwich"tablet for the non-subsidized price of $100, i.e. you can expect that carriers will be offering them for free with subscription. This tablet is powered by Ingenic Semiconductor JZ4770 SoC, containing a single MIPS32-based processor core operating at 1GHz, paired with Vivante GC860 GPU featuring complete Full HD acceleration (video processing engine). While this 7" tablet won't be sold out of China until at least spring-to-summer period, the magnitude of this announcementspeaksvolumes.Ourindustrysourcesworking at companies that manufacture x86 and ARM-based solutions almost unanimously expressed their concern. If Ice Cream Sandwich ends up working smooth on a tablet for $100, all it takesisadecentCPUupgrade,capacitivetouch-screeninstead of the ultra-cheap resistive one and voila, a competitor for the current and future ARM and X86 based designs is born. MIPS is not a small player either. While ARM likes to boast that the company ships billions of devices per year, MIPS also powers numerous set-top-boxes, TVs, network switches, automotive and avionics systems - competing against ARM. MIPSTechnologieshadmanagementissuesthroughtheirlong historybutthingsstartedtochangelastyear,afterSandeepVij was named CEO. The company went through reorganization and the result is a more nimble competitor. OneofpeoplegivingthumbsuptoMIPSisAndyRubin,Senior VP of Mobile, Google Inc. He stated that he is "thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market". Furthermore, Andy stated that Google wants to see more high-performance MIPS solutions, as "low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android's openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world." MIPS already speaks 64-bit UnlikeARM,MIPSdevelopeda64-bitarchitecturequitesome time ago, with the products based on MIPS64 shipping inside networking equipment. According to information available, Cavium Networks, NetLogic Microsystems and even CISCO areeithershippingorevaluatingMIPS64architecturefortheir network products. In comparison, ARM is now talking about 64-bit but the company did not announce 64-bit part as of today. 32-bit Cortex-A15 and derived products will debut in 18 Published by: VR-Zone products next year, and 64-bit is only expected in 2013-2014 timeframe. While MIPS originally worked with their own licensors using less advanced processing nodes, the launch of 28nm part which targets as high clock as the fastest clocked Cortex- A9 speaks volumes. While SOC needs to be bundled with a powerful graphics, image processing and connectivity systems, ARM just might find themselves in dead heat with MIPS Technologies. Also, bear in mind that Qualcomm already heavily modifies Cortex architecture and flat out refuses to specifically name ARM in their marketing materials, NVIDIA is developing its own 64-bit ARM-based architecture…thenumberofcompaniesusingfuturereference Cortexcoresinhighendpartsmightdroptojustafewplayers. Good Enough Computing coming back to haunt ARM? By launching the already mentioned Aionovo NOVO7 tablet, the 32-bit JZ4770 is already operating at 1GHz, while the upcoming 28nm parts are expected to scale to 1.5GHz and beyond. Should the company optimize their 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture alongside 28nm-SLP and introduce 20nm- LP and -SLP nodes at GlobalFoundries and TSMC, MIPS Technologies just might have a ticket to ride to pressure ARM and their gigantic ecosystem. Naturally, Intel is also coming to the mix with 22nm based Silvermont, who is set to debut in 2013. Power consumption also seems to be the strong side of the MIPS architecture. The JZ4770 SOC consumes only 0.25W under 100% CPU and video engine load (1080p playback), which is significantly less than ARM competitors. Naturally, as you beef up the GPU and add a second core, the power consumption will go up, but still below ARM- based products. And when ARM posed a question of "good enough" computing to counter Intel and AMD claims of high-performance requirements for desktop computing, did the company thought that a competitor might say the same question to them? Is MIPS making lower power consuming parts than ARM for "good enough computing"? While we won't know the answer for this for quite some time, but the battle is on. MIPS vs. ARM vs. AMD vs. Intel.

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Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 VR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. AMD Brings the Launch of Radeon HD 7900 Series Forward: December 22nd, 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-brings-the-launch-of-radeon- hd-7900-series-forward-december-22nd-2011/14255.html December 15th, 2011 According to conversations with fellow journalists and AIB partners, AMD brought forward the launch of HD 7970, while theavailabilityandHD7950shouldlaunchonJanuary9,2012 - one day before CES. Last minute decisions can turn in quite a mess when people involvedaren'tafraidtospeakupandvoiceouttheirconcerns. Yesterday, there was flurry of activity on various chat boards between board vendors and journalists, all trying to figure out what happened. According to the information at hand, AMD wishes to end the 2011yearbywinningtheaccoladesforthebestmicroprocessor and the best graphics processor in the world. In order to do that, the company brought forward the launch of Radeon HD 7970,whichwas revealed here .Asyouknow,AMD'sCEORory P. Read proudly announced that the company started to ship the 28nm GPUs for revenue , and there are numerous leaked pictures , pricing rumors and an alleged specifications slide leak. Now, it looks like the Radeon HD 7970 will launch on December 22, 2011, bringing a Christmas gift to all the current AMD users and those that want to become one. This will be a very limited launch, with the real availability only coming on January 9, 2012 - which should be the launch date for the Radeon HD 7950. TheinterestingbitabouttheRadeonHD7950isthattheboard is coming out as a custom part, and AMD gave freedom to partners to clock the part anyway they want, there is flexibility in terms of amount of memory, 3rd party cooling - just like GeForceGTX560launch,expectalotofdifferentpartscoming from all the usual suspects. As far as HD 7950 availability is concerned, several sources in the know gave out conflicting information. One information floating around claims a limited launch on December 22 for HD7970 only, with widespread availability of HD7970 and HD7950 coming on January 9, 2012, and another rumor is thatbothHD7970and7950arecomingonDecember22,2011, albeit in very limited quantities. Again, both sides of the coin revolve around Dec 22nd and Jan 9th. The truth will be known on next Thursday, December 22nd. Microsoft signs up to US and EU cloud standards for Office 365 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-signs-up-to-us-and-eu- cloud-standards-for-office-365/14253.html December 15th, 2011 Microsoft has signed up to US and EU cloud standards with its Office 365 software suite, making it one of a small handful of companies that meet data protection and security requirements for cloud computing in both regions. Microsoft has signed up to US and EU cloud standards with its Office 365 software suite, making it one of a small handful of companies that meet data protection and security requirements for cloud computing in both regions. The company has received compliance with the Data Protection Directive established by the European Commission. It has also previously agreed to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the US, addressing concerns by some about moving healthcare data to the cloud. The ISO/IEC 27001 certification means that Microsoft will have to agree to yearly audits of its information security policy 1

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December 15th, 2011 by an independent expert and share the results of these with customers. in order to meet the US requirements. “Developing cloud-based productivity tools that meet the needs of European businesses means more than simply building apps in a browser,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International. “Microsoft has a more complete approach to European data protection and security laws than any other company, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to ensure the widest range of organizations can move to the cloud with confidence — or choose an equally functional on-premises option.” Microsoft also announced the launch of its new Office 365 Trust Centre, a website which provides detailed information about the privacy and security policies relating to the latest Office software. Scientists break data speed record with 186Gb/s transfers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-break-data-speed-record- with-186gbs-transfers/14251.html December 15th, 2011 Scientists have broken the world record for data speed over a long distance with a transfer of a whopping 186Gb/s, the equivalent of sending over 4,000 Blu-ray discs worth of data in just one hour. Scientists have broken the world record for data speed over a long distance with a transfer of a whopping 186Gb/s, the equivalent of sending over 4,000 Blu-ray discs worth of data in just one hour. The achievement was made by researchers at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle, who transfered data back and forth over a 131 mile distance at speeds of 186Gb/s, significantly faster than the previous 2009 record of 119Gb/s. 2 Published by: VR-Zone TransferswerealsosentfromSeattletootherUSlocationsand even Brazil and South Korea, showing that vast distances are not an issue with this latest discovery. The move will also result in increased safeguards for its online services,bothonaphysical,administrativeandtechnicallevel, The technology used included highly tuned servers running over a 100Gb/s circuit set up by Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE). The California Institue of Technology, University of Michigan, Florida Internatonal University, and the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) also participated. Thebreakthroughwillaffectscientificresearch,bigbusinesses and consumer life, as the technology could be used by the Large Hadron Collider for physics developments, by companieslikeGoogleandAmazonthatdependonhighspeed transfers,andbybroadbandcustomerswhoarestillstruggling with paltry speeds in the low Megabits. To put the speeds into perspective, the highest speed available in the UK is 1.5Gb/s, and that is only a limited trial by Virgin Media in East London. Some people are lucky to get 1.5Mb/ s, with the average speed throughout the UK being just under 7Mb/s. Within a few years we could all be downloading files at speeds over 100Gb/s. Apple to sell 190 million iPhones in 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-to-sell-190-million-iphones- in-2012/14252.html December 15th, 2011 Apple could sell upwards of 190 million iPhones next year, according to a report by financial services firm Morgan Stanley.

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Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Apple could sell upwards of 190 million iPhones next year, 3DMark and PCMark Graphics and Synthetic Benchmark Files mirrored by VR-Zone.com Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/3dmark-and-pcmark-graphics-and- synthetic-benchmark-files-mirrored-by-vr-zone.com/14250.html December 15th, 2011 according to a report by financial services firm Morgan Stanley. The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to ship between 31 and 36 million iPhones in the final quarter of this year, up to 30 per cent more than other analysts project. Thatfigureisprojectedtojumpto41millioninthefirstquarter of 2012, with up to 190 million sales predicted for the entire year, showing that demand is increasing, rather than falling, for iPhones, despite strong competition from rival Android smartphones. Special anniversary edition GTA 3 now available on Android and iOS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/special-anniversary-edition-gta-3-now- available-on-android-and-ios/14249.html December 15th, 2011 The popular Grand Theft Auto III, by game developer Rockstar, is now available as a special anniversaryeditiononbothAndroidMarketandAppleiTunes AppStore.Thegameoffershighdefinitiongraphicswithsome improvements from the original, and is priced at an affordable US$4.99. Apple is also enjoying high sales for its iPad range, with forecasts that the company will sell 52 million iPads in 2012. This figure could almost double to 90 million if Apple is willing to cut $100 off the price-tag, particularly considering the entry of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet will present people with a choice that is significantly cheaper. Whether or not Apple is willing to reduce its profit margin remains to be seen, but it might be forced to do so if Amazon steals a large chunk of its market share. Fans of popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) games could now get their hands on this special anniversary edition of GTA III which is now available on both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The special anniversary edition of the Rockstar game is almost identical to the original, except that the controls are all touchscreen, with graphics enhanced to high definition, and improvements on the game play including missionretryandautosavemodes.Youcanpurchasethegame at US$4.99 on Android Market or Apple iTunes App Store. According to the game developer, Galaxy Nexus owners can also expect to get a version of the game in the near future. 3

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December 15th, 2011 The list of support devices include:- Apple-iPad1,iPad2,iPhone4,iPhone4SandiPodTouch4th Generation Android Phones - HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R and T-Mobile G2x AndroidTablets-AcerIconia,AsusEeePadTransformer,Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S and Toshiba Thrive Join Now! GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia Season 1 Online Competition Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/join-now-gigabyte-battlefield-3-cup- asia-season-1-online-competition/14247.html At the IT Supply Chain conference, AMD CEO Rory Read confirmed that AMD has begun shipping 28nm GPUs, fabbed at TSMC, for revenue. This should come as no surprise, as the release for Radeon HD 7900 - on 9th January 2012 - is just over 3 weeks away. At the IT Supply Chain conference, AMD CEO Rory Read confirmed that AMD has begun shipping 28nm GPUs, fabbed at TSMC, for revenue. This should come as no surprise, as the release for Radeon HD 7900 - on 9th January 2012 - is just over 3 weeks away. CEO Rory Read stated, "We are ramping 28nm [products] withTSMCinTaiwanandshippingtheproductshereandnow. We are very excited about the products". At this point we have some information about the Radeon HD 7900 series - some concrete, some speculation. We have seen pictures , speculatory specifications , pricing rumours and a purported specifications slide leak . However, as usual, little information has been publicly announced by AMD. 4 Published by: VR-Zone Celebrate Christmas with Atlas Sound & Vision Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/celebrate-christmas-with-atlas-sound-- vision/14245.html December 15th, 2011 If you are planning to get some superb quality audio products for your loved ones this Christmas, check out the offerings from Bose, brought to you by Singapore distributor, Atlas Sound & Vision. Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system December 15th, 2011 Everything in a nutshell: Battlefield 3 Online Competition, 8v8 Conquest Format, USD$3,400 Prize Pool, 8 x GTX580 SOC Graphics Cards, and Premium GIGABYTEgamingperipheralstobewon!Moredetailscanbe found at http://battlefield.gigabyte.asia AMD: 28nm GPUs shipping for revenue Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-28nm-gpus-shipping-for- revenue/14246.html December 15th, 2011 Make your music, games and movies come to life with the surround sound performance of the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system. Featuring a simple, elegant design, the Companion 5 is easy to use. Users simply have to connect it to their computers through a single USB port – no adaptors, no complicated wiring and no sound card upgrade required. Usual price: S$749 Christmas promo: S$639 Bose MIE2 / MIE2i mobile headset

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Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Enjoy music and make calls on your mobile phone with high-quality audio with the Bose MIE2 mobile headset. Featuring proprietary Bose StayHear tips for comfort and stability on the go, the MIE2 mobile headset ensures a comfortable fit for hours of listening or phone calls. The MIE2 is compatible with any mobile phone, while the MIE2i is designed exclusively for listening to and control of select Appleproducts,includingtheiPhone,iPod,iPadandMacBook Pro. Its in-line microphone provides access to certain voice applications in Apple products, and the in-line remote lets users adjust volume and navigate through stored music directly from the headset. Usual price: S$199 Christmas promo: S$169 Featuring a comfortable design with the added convenience of fold-flat earcups and a collapsible headband for increased portabilityandeasystorage,theBoseOnEarheadphoneisthe perfect accessory for music lovers on the move. Earcups rotate front to back and top to bottom, resulting in uniform pressure on the ears that enhances audio performance and comfortable fit of the headphones. Usual price: S$225 Christmas promo: S$199 Bose SoundDock 10 Featuring new and existing Bose technologies, the Bose SoundDock 10 is a digital music system that delivers audio performance previously unattainable from a one-piece speaker system for the iPod. Boasting a small, elegant design, the SoundDock 10 maintains dock-and-play simplicity, yet plays from the iPod or iPhone with exceptional clarity across the full musical range, while at the same time delivering the low-noteperformanceandvolumelevelsofmuchlargersound systems. Usual price: S$1,249 Christmas promo: S$999 Bose On Ear headphones Video of Samsung GALAXY S II with Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/video-of-samsung-galaxy-s-ii-with- google-android-4.0.1-ice-cream-sandwich-leaked/14243.html December 15th, 2011 A leaked video of a Samsung GALAXY S II running the latest Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich indicates that development for integration is underway. And needless to say, the Korean company will incorporate their proprietary TouchWiz user interface onto the operating system to provide a unique user experience. An insider report reveals that Samsung is currently working to integrate the Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile platform on their GALAXY S II smartphone. The video reveals 5

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December 15th, 2011 that Samsung is still inclined to layer most of their TouchWiz user interface (UI) over the Android 4.0.1 OS at this point, which may be a little disappointing to those who prefer the stock Android experience. Some nice features were demonstrated such as the lock screen which now conjures a lock icon at the very spot where the finger has contact with the screen. The improvement is mostly cosmetic, however, as unlocking still utilizes the current method of sliding the finger across thescreen. While the home screengenerally looks the same asthe currentGoogle Android Gingerbread version, a new multitasking interface, call forth by a long-pressing of the home button, appears to make scrolling and closing running programs more intuitive and visually pleasant. Face unlock was also unveiled with its setup option present in the video, although demonstrations of the setup and usage were not shown. It may appear that most of the TouchWiz UI in Android 4.0.1 resembles the current one, but it should be noted that the system is still in development. New-generation GPU memory bandwidth increases: more for compute than for graphics? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-generation-gpu-memory- bandwidth-increases-more-for-compute-than-for-graphics-/14244.html December 15th, 2011 NewGPUs will have even wider and faster memory buses than their predecessors, with AMD moving to 384 bits from 256 bits, and Nvidia hopping even further, to 512 bits, in their high end SKUs. But is it more beneficial in the usual graphics tasks, or for the future vector FP math jobs in GPGPU operations? Youmusthavenoticedbynowhowthenextgenerationofhigh end GPUs, both AMD 'Tahiti' 7900 series and Nvidia 'Kepler' GK100 processors, have further increased their memory bandwidth and even bus width as well. AMD is now one step up from the 6900 series, with its 256 bit GDDR5 memory bus being widenedto 384 bitsin the7900 series coming early next month. The Nvidia GK100, a quarter or two later, will have a 512 bit wide memory bus, a hop from 384 bits seen now in the GTX580 and its Quadro & Tesla brethren. Now, this doesn't seem as complicated a job as widening the CTE over andoveragainforourLTAhereinSingapore,butitisstillquite a work, as those wider buses require more pins, power drive and present board layout challenges to get both the speed and width. Published by: VR-Zone Now, the obvious use in graphics, with - hopefully finally - 4K resolution displays coming to the PC world, and the extra refresh loads of stereoscopic 3D, comes to mind. However, the current memory subsystems on high end GPUs actually take quite a good care of that, aside from of course getting higher frame rates with faster memory. What's then the other use then for this width increase? Well, GPUs have very very high peak FP compute rates, but the real performance in FP-heavy code is greatly affected by the available memory bandwidth. While a game may get a 5% FPS boost from a 33% memory bus width jump, a vector FP run may gain over 20% from the same enhancement, all other things staying the same. So, whatever the vendor's primary intentions are for widening the graphics local memory buses on new GPUs, the extra bandwidth - and yes, extra capacity headroom from being able to add more chips and keep things in local RAM - will have the greatest benefit exactly for GPU compute apps. The impact? More HPC-like stuff running oh so fast on your PC, and more true HPC apps running faster on GPGPU arrays. Globalfoundries and ARM announce 2.5GHz 28nm SoC success Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/globalfoundries-and-arm- announce-2.5ghz-28nm-soc-success/14241.html December 15th, 2011 We've already reported about Globalfoundries and ARM's relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back in September and back then the two companies had 2GHz Cortex-A9 test chips up and running. Fast forward three months and the two have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, again on test chips, but they've also announced that they've taped out 20nm technology qualification vehicles based around the Cortex-A9 architecture. We've already reported about Globalfoundries and ARM's relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back in September and back then the two companies had 2GHz Cortex-A9 test 6

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7 December 15th, 2011 chips up and running. Fast forward three months and the two have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, again on test chips, but they've also announced that they've taped out 20nm technology qualification vehicles based around the Cortex-A9 architecture. The big news here is that we should be able to expect both 32nm and 28nm ARM based processors to be manufactured by Globalfoundries in large quantities come next year, at least as long as there are customers. It should be noted that the current chips are based on Globalfoundries 28nm high performance technology and the company is expecting further performance improvements one it moves to its high performance plus (HPP) platform. The press release talks about the HPP parts to be for “wired networking applications” ratherthansmartphones,althoughthe2.5GHzchipsthatwere announced should be suitable for a wide range of mobile consumer devices. As for the 20nm technology qualification vehicle or TQV, well, Globalfoundries is expecting a 35 percent increase in performance and nearly half the power consumption compared to a 28nm counterpart, much higher than what was said back in September. This isn't likely to be something we'll see until 2013 of Globalfoundries roadmaps are anything to go by. We're still curious about the fact that the two companies hasn't mentioned the Cortex-A15 architecture at all, as we're expecting the first SoC's based on ARMs next generation core to arrive towards the end of next year, but maybe it's not that different to manufacture from the Cortex- A9, or the two aren't willing to give away too many details at the moment. The good news for Globalfoundries is that the company should be able to find a few additional customers this way, as we're fairly certain that ARM would recommend to go with Globalfoundries over say TSMC due to the closer relationship between Globalfoundries and ARM. LG and PRADA unveil PRADA phone by LG 3.0 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-and-prada-unveil-prada-phone-by- lg-3.0/14239.html December 15th, 2011 Last month, PRADA and LG announced the renewal of their collaboration to develop the new PRADA phone by LG 3.0, as well as released a teaser picture of the phone. Today, the two companiesunveiledthehighlyanticipatedsmartphone,which is the third model from the partnership. Published by: VR-Zone ThePRADAphonebyLG3.0,finishedinclassicblack,features a glossy touchscreen on the front and PRADA’s signature Saffiano pattern at the rear. Measuring just 8.5mm thin, the phone incorporates LG’s NOVA high brightness display, which claims to be one of the biggest and brightest screen at 4.3-inch and 800-nit brightness. Powered by dual-core 1GHz processor with dual-channel architecture for superb performance, it also comes with dual-band Wi-Fi for high- speed mobile surfing. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 also features an 8-megapixel camera that is capable of 1080p high definitionvideorecording,andrunsAndroid2.3Gingerbread. According to the manufacturer, the phone is also upgradeable to Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when the update becomes available. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will be available for pre- order in January 2012. Consumers who purchase the phone through pre-order will also receive a PRADA-branded accessory with the phone. Details on the pre-order will be made available via the LG Singapore homepage and the LG Mobile Singapore Facebook page . GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 Specifications: Network 3G 2G HSPA+ 21 900/1900/2100 Chipset Application Processor OMAP4430 1.0GHz Dual Core / Channel Memory ROM User External Slot Display Size (Inch) Resolution Brightness Camera RAM 1Gb + 512MB 8GB eMMC Micro SD (up to 32GB) Type 4.3 inches WVGA (800 x 480) 800nit Main 8Gb LP DDR2 TFT 8MP AF Connectivity USB Bluetooth 3.0+HS 2.0

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December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Wi-Fi A-GPS SW Spec 802.11 a / b / g / n Yes OS / UI Android 2.3 Gingerbread / P UI Codec Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ Video: MPEG4/ H.264/DivX Video Recording: 1080P@30fps Playback: 1080P@30fps Browser Features Battery Web-kit based Dimension 127.5 x 69 x 8.5 mm 1,540mAh / Li-Ion Speaker Receiver Audio 3.5mm Headset Jack Color 1810 1208 FM Radio Black Pogoplug launches Series 4, ads USB 3.0 connectivity and USM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pogoplug-launches-series-4-ads- usb-3.0-connectivity-and-usm/14240.html December 15th, 2011 The latest addition to Pogoplugs growing family of devices is adding quite a few new features and it looks like the company wants to take a serious slice out of the home storage/home cloud market with the Series 4. That said, the price has also gone up and you still have to add your own hard drives, but at least the Series 4 comes with a little twist to make this a lot tidier. The latest addition to Pogoplugs growing family of devices is adding quite a few new features and it looks like the company wants to take a serious slice out of the home storage/home cloud market with the Series 4. That said, the price has also gone up and you still have to add your own hard drives, but at least the Series 4 comes with a little twist to make this a lot tidier. The Series 4 Pogoplug appears to be the same as the recently announced Pogoplug Mobile, but with a few additional features. However, the two are only sharing the same look and basic features as the company has made quite a few changes. First of all we're looking at a larger device, as the top comes off to reveal a SATA/USM (Universal Storage Module) connector which will accept either a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive or one of Seagate's GoFlex 2.5-inch hard drives. There's also a USB 2.0 port hidden in here somewhere. As with the Pogoplug Mobile the Series 4 sports Gigabit Ethernet and an SD card slot, but it also adds a pair of rear USB 3.0 ports for further storage expansion. We're not sure if theARMprocessorinsidetheSeries4hasreceivedanupgrade as well, but it's entirely possible that Pogoplug is using the same PLX NAS7820 SoC as it did in the Pogoplug Video, a productthatisnowdiscontinuedandthatsoldfortwicethatof the Series 4, especially as this dual core ARM11 SoC (ARMv6 architecture) has a PCI Express interface which would allow it to connect to a USB 3.0 host controller. It's also entirely possible that we're looking at the same Marvell 88F6192 KirkwoodARMv5SoCasfoundinthePogoplugMobile,asthis two has SATA and PCI Express support, although it's only a single core SoC. Pogoplug is making a big deal out of the fact that its products features infinite storage expansion, although this is only true in as far as you can plug in additional storage devices until you runoutofports.Aswithpreviousproducts,theSeries4comes with 5GB of cloud storage, something that was announced last month by the company. We're not sure why you need to use anothercouldservicewhenthePogoplugismeanttobeacloud storage device, but such is life and not all things make sense. In as much as we think the Pogoplug Series 4 is a neat device, especially as it allows you to stream media around your home or share it over the internet as well as use it as a simple NAS, we can't but wonder why anyone would be willing to spend US $99.95 (S$130) on one when you can pick up a two bay NAS for little more. The ability to share files might be better than 8

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December 15th, 2011 withabasicNAS,butthere'snodataredundancyandwedoubt the performance will be as good as that of even a cheap NAS. Investment firm claims Intel Q4 cut is not due to HDD shortage Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/investment-firm-claims-intel-q4-cut-is- not-due-to-hdd-shortage/14237.html December 15th, 2011 Intel chips. An investment firm claims that Intel's decision to revise its fourth quarter sales revenue downwards was not just due to theharddriveshortagecausedbythefloodinginThailand,but due to a general lack of demand for Intel chips. NomuraEquityResearchbelievesthat Intel's downgrade from $14.7 billion to $13.7 billion is due to “weak sell-through” caused by poor performance in the Chinese market, low overall demand compared to ARM chips, and low volumes of ultrabooks. This contradicts Intel's statement on Monday that the $1 billion shortfall for the last three months of this year is primarily due to the lack of hard disk drives, which is causing Published by: VR-Zone 0.4 billion below its estimate for 2011. This means that 2012 could see a decline in growth for Intel as it continues to struggle with falling demand and other external issues. IDT announces low-power timing solution for Intel Romley server platform Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/idt-announces-low-power-timing- solution-for-intel-romley-server-platform/14236.html December 15th, 2011 Investment firm Normura Equity Research claims that Intel's decision to revise its fourth quarter sales revenue downwards was not just due to the hard drive shortage caused by the flooding in Thailand, but due to a general lack of demand for Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has announced what it claims is the industry's most complete and lowest-power timing solution for the Intel Romley server platform. Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has announced what it claims is the industry's most complete and lowest-power timing solution for the Intel Romley server platform, due for release next year. The system consists of three chips: a main clock (932SQ4xx), a peripheral clock (9FGP20x), and a Z-buffer (9ZXxxxxx), all of which feature a number of configuration options to help optimise a motherboard's bill-of-materials to suit the varying sizes and power requirements of cloud computing, enterprise servers, blade servers, workstations, storage and security appliances. an overall supply issue for the entire PC chain. The main clock is available in 64-pin, 56-pin, and 48-pin versions,whiletheperipheralclockhasanoptiontocomewith wake-on-LAN support. The Z-buffer is available in 19-output, 15-output, or 12-output versions, with an option for a low- power model. Nomura admitted that hard drive shortages are a concern, but it believes that the real issue has nothing to do with that. It wasparticularlycriticalofIntel'sfailuretocompetewithARM, which it said delivers more power-efficient processors. Nomura likewise cut its estimate of Intel's fourth quarter growth to $13.7 billion and also shaved off $3 billion from its estimated growth for 2012, which is now set at $53.4 billion, 9

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December 15th, 2011 All three chips enable PCIe Gen3, SAS 12G and QPI 9.6 Gb/s. The Z-buffers also meet the low-drift requirement of Intel's Romley platform, while the low-power version reduces consumption by up to 1 watt and cuts out 40 discrete components, making it more efficient. “Our new family of timing devices provides OEMs the options and flexibility they need to develop the best-performance and cost-optimized motherboards,” said Ram Iyer, VP and GM of the Computing and Multimedia Division at IDT. “These new products complement IDT’s extensive lineup of industry- leading PCI Express switches, bridges, flash controllers, and signal integrity products to complete their Romley platform designs.” The chips are now available for sampling via the IDT website or sales representatives. Google buys Clever Sense to compete with Apple's Siri personal assistant Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-buys-clever-sense-to-compete- with-apple-s-siri-personal-assistant/14235.html December 15th, 2011 and learns more about user taste over time, becoming more personalised and more accurate. Thesoftwarefeaturesascorebasedonhowgooditisatmaking a match, and it also provides reviews, directions, and other things you would expect from a personal assistant. Google's decision to buy Clever Sense is clearly a reaction to Siri, one of the selling points of the iPhone 4S. Alfred is not quite as broad in scope as Siri, but it shows great potential for development under Google, which could roll out the software Published by: VR-Zone as a standard feature in the next version of Android – while pulling support for it from iOS. “Thejourneyhasbeennothingshortofincredible,”saidBabak Pahlavan, co-founder and CEO of Clever Sense. “Our vision has only become bigger, and our commitment stronger. With Google and Clever Sense working together, our entire team looks forward to building more intelligent, serendipitous and magical services!” The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. AMD Radeon HD 7970 specifications slide leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-specifications- slide-leaked/14238.html December 15th, 2011 A slide purportedly to be part of the press deck, detailing Radeon HD 7970, has leaked online. As previously rumoured, the HD 7970 features the GCN architecture with 32 CUs. A slide purportedly detailing Radeon HD 7970 has leaked online. The slide resembles AMD's standard presentation design, and is seemingly part of the press deck held. As previously rumoured , the HD 7970 features the GCN architecture. Google has bought Clever Sense, the developer of personal assistant software Alfred, a move that will likely see Android competing directly with Apple's Siri. Google has bought Clever Sense, the developer of personal assistant software Alfred, a move that will likely see Android competing directly with Apple's Siri. Alfred is a free mobile app for Android and iOS built on the CleverSensePlatform.ItactsverysimilarytoSiriinthatitcan find places, such as restaurants and shops, in the real world The HD 7970 features 32 CU containing 2048 ALUs, clocked at 925 MHz. This amounts to 3.5 TFLOPS (Single Precision). TMUs are upped to 128, as expected. However, ROPs remain at 32 compared to Cayman, which is odd considering the memory bus, as we have observed , is 384-bit. Memory speed remains unchanged at 5.5 GHz, meaning a 50% boost in memory bandwidth. The TDP is rated under 300W, while the idle power is incredibly only 3W. This means a 8-pin + 6-pin power connector configuration. HD 7970 features 4 display outs - 1x DVI, 2xmini-DisplayPort and 1x HDMI. Finally, the slide mentions the embargo release date - 9th January 2012. Needless to say, faked slides are nothing new for the rumour mill, so the information contained within this slide must 10

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December 15th, 2011 be considered with caution. However, most of the details contained are realistic, and the image of the shroud looks identical to the leaked pictures . Futuremark Launches Powermark: Good Bye to MobileMark? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/futuremark-launches-powermark- good-bye-to-mobilemark-/14234.html December 15th, 2011 With the advancements of notebooks, reviewers often felt left out in terms of software choice for benchmarking. If you need to benchmark a processor, graphics card or even a whole system such as a desktop or a workstation - the choice of benchmarks is nearly endless. However, selecting benchmark applications for testing notebooks is always a challenge… what benchmark is the best fortestingthebatterylife?Foryears,theonlyrealisticsolution was to use MobileMark by BAPCo , which solely focused on business applications performance and is not without controversy . Alternative method was to manually create a benchmark by running infinite loop of 3DMark or a movie or some sorts and use the chronometer until the battery expires, but this method was quite tough on testers. Luckily, after months of development, Futuremark came out with another benchmark of their own: after having 3DMark as a reference 3D benchmark and PCMark as a overall system benchmark - Powermark is a PCMark7-based benchmark that measures complete system performance on a notebook . According to Jukka Makinen, CEO of Futuremark, " Battery life is critical to delivering a positive user experience. Powermark helps PC industry OEMs and their suppliers strike a balance between performance and power 11 Published by: VR-Zone consumptionbyprovidingaconsistent,accurateandreliable testing and measurement tool created with Futuremark's deep experience in quality benchmarking software. " The test consists out of complex suite of benchmark routines which emulate the operations performed by various applications, such as Windows startup etc. For the first time since we follow Futuremark, the end result is not an index of some kind, but rather a runtime of the tested product. Nokia to launch 4G-capable Lumia 900 in February 2012? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-launch-4g-capable- lumia-900-in-february-2012-/14233.html December 15th, 2011 After year and a half of work in complete silence, Futuremark released Powermark 1.0.0. This is the first generation battery testing benchmark based on PCMark7. The Lumia 800 Windows Phone was announced at Nokia World in October, and was only recently launched in Singapore. And from online sources, it looks like the Finnish company could be announcing a 4G-capable Lumia 900 in February next year with a larger touchscreen display. LG introduces Optimus LTE smartphone in Japan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-introduces-optimus-lte-smartphone- in-japan/14232.html December 15th, 2011 The LG Optimus LTE was recently launched in USA and Korea. And now, the company, in collaboration with NTT Docomo, has brought the Android smartphone to Japan.

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December 15th, 2011 Korean manufacturer LG, in collaboration with NTT Docomo, has introduced the Optimus LTE smartphone (model:L-01D) in Japan, following the launches in North America and Korea. Both LG and NTT Docomo have collaborated to make the Japanese Optimus LTE unique, with a red color available on the Japanese edition of LG Optimus LTE that would only be exclusive to Docomo customers, including the 1seg Digital TV and Near Field Communication (NFC) features. The LG Optimus LTE sports a 4.5-inch True HD IPS touchscreen (1280x720) that is capable of displaying sharp and crisp images,isequippedwith1.5GHzdual-coreprocessor,1024MB RAMand4GBbuilt-instorage,supportsupto32GBmicro-SD card, and runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread. RIM launches white BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-launches-white-blackberry- bold-9900-smartphone-in-singapore/14231.html December 15th, 2011 12 Published by: VR-Zone The Blackberry Bold 9900 smartphone claims to be the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone when it was launched a few months ago. And it looks like Research in Motion has announced the launch of the white version of the Bold 9900 which would be available in stores this weekend. Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the Pure White BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone in Singapore. It claims to be the slimmest BlackBerry smartphone yet at only 10.5mm, and the first to offer QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen display. It is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to include built-in support for Near Field Communications (NFC) that can pair with NFC-enabled accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the phone. It runs the latest BlackBerry 7 operating system with next generation BlackBerry browser that provides significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience. Other enhancements to the browser include optimized zooming and panning for smoother web navigation and optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences. The Pure White BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone is expected to be available from all RIM’s authorized partners on 17 December 2011. For pricing details, please check with respective operators. Twitter for BlackBerry updates now available on BlackBerry App World

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December 15th, 2011 Twitter for BlackBerry update v2.1 is now available on BlackBerry App World. Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones v2.1updates include: - Multi-Account Support - Have up to five accounts on your Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones app. Switch between accounts and cross-post Tweets and Retweets from one account to another without switching the current account view. - Enhanced “Share with BBM™” functionality - Easily share Tweets with BBM Contacts and Groups. - View multiple Twitter accounts in a single timeline - View a stream of Tweets from up to five Twitter accounts in the Social Feeds timeline, or opt to filter individual Twitter accounts. - Post a Tweet to multiple Twitter Accounts – Publish a Tweet to one or more Twitter accounts simultaneously using Social Feeds. Fusion APUs to continue to be memory speed-sensitive? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fusion-apus-to-continue-to-be- memory-speed-sensitive-/14230.html December 15th, 2011 The current AMD Fusion APUs, Brazos and Llano, do provide a good balance of integrated CPU and GPU performance, although the system designers, or the PC assemblers using them, should note that there is quite high performance dependence on the memory speed used, especially for the quad-core Llano. This is expected to be even more the case for the upcoming 'Trinity' successor to Llano TheAMDFusionphilosophyhascometoitsinitialfruitionthis past year, with the first two generations, the entry level Brazos and midrange Llano, having successfully been unveiled by now. The challenge of putting together two distinctly different processing unit types with nearly opposite performance and Published by: VR-Zone bandwidth requirements does affect the component choices at the board level, especially when it comes to the memory modules. Right now, entry-level Brazos and mid-range Llano APU families form the current spread of AMD Fusion offerings. In short, they each offer a balanced CPU-GPU combination, with Brazos combining a very low power dual-core CPU with an entry level GPU, and Llano having a quad-core Phenom-class CPU with a mid-range Radeon 6500-class GPU. From the system architecture point of view, both Brazos and Llano are not very demanding parts, fitting well within the expected limitations of their respective target markets. Since Llano doesn’t have a L3 cache, the benchmark in the reviews uptonowshowedquiteabitmoreloadonthememorysystem from the combined CPU and GPU access pattern, so you will very likely notice more substantial overall performance improvements when integrating faster memory – both lower latency for the CPU-bound apps, and higher bandwidth where CPU and GPU parts share the access paths. Think of it as a 20% or more performance headroom when moving from DDR3-1333 CL7 to DDR3-1866 CL8. AsthefirstBulldozercoreforthedesktopdoesn'tseemtohave the impact on the market as expected due to its performance issues, the next Fusion APU from AMD will have an updated ‘Piledriver’ core which, hopefully, will address some of the problems that the initial Bulldozer has. If we do get some 20% extra performance there over the current Bulldozer, the Trinity CPU portion should show good performance jump vs the current Llano one. Else, we may have a problem... The more critical aspect of Trinity APU is the higher bandwidth with the CPU portion, as well as tighter interconnect to the GPU portion, which by itself should be up to 50% faster than the one in the Llano. At the same time, the socket compatibility with Llano requires the dependence on the very same dual-channel memory system, restricting any performance improvements there to the usage of faster DDR3 modules above DDR3-2000 to provide the extrabandwidthneededespeciallytotheGPUportion.Iwould in fact recommend supporting as fast as DDR3-2400 CL10 memory speeds on this platform to maximise the graphics performance gains in particular. Why? Well, since the socket compatibility limits us there to just two memory channels, speeding that memory up is the only way to obtain more juice. The same bandwidth issue would even more affect the eventual future Bulldozer based high end APUs for server and HPC markets, although those are still far, likely not before 2014-aneternityinthecomputerworld.Fusionapproachkey benefit, where it will ultimately make the graphics processor just a tightly attached coprocessors with in-line standard programming and shared main memory space, just like any other execution unit within the CPU, results in both CPU and GPU having one single main memory pool at the physical level and, if you have both a fast multi-core CPU and a many-core GPU on the same die, with a common memory 13

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December 15th, 2011 management unit and memory accesses, how fast do you have to go to maximise the performance? I guess, if it was, say, a 4-module Piledriver core setup, plus an equivalent of Radeon HD7700 graphics (with double precision FP extra) on a single die, as a speculative assumption, we would need six- channel DDR3-2000 memory for a truly good performance maximising the execution resources potential. If an efficient and large - not an AMD strength recently, though - L3 cache was in place, handling both random CPU accesses and buffering of GPU streaming loads, then four- channel DDR3-2400 could still do a fair job. However, either way, new sockets are the must for AMD to prepare for such future high end APU infrastructure upfront. Else, we get stuck likerightnowwithAM3generationdual-channelmemorydue to socket compatibility pressure. Intel's Core i7-3612QM verified as 35W part Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-core-i7-3612qm-verified- as-35w-part/14229.html December 15th, 2011 Yesterday we broke the news about Intel's mobile quad core OEM Ivy Bridge processors and we now have confirmation thattheCorei7-3612QMisa35Wpart.OddlyenoughtheCore i7-3615QM and the Core i7-3610QM are not despite being a mere 200MHz faster. Yesterday we broke the news about Intel's mobile quad core OEM Ivy Bridge processors and we now have confirmation thattheCorei7-3612QMisa35Wpart.OddlyenoughtheCore i7-3615QM and the Core i7-3610QM are not despite being a mere 200MHz faster. The only difference between the Core i7-3615QM and the Core i7-3610QM appears to be the packaging, usually something Intel doesn't have different model numbers for, but it seems like the company has decided to change things for Ivy Bridge. The Core i7-3610QM is a socketed part whereas the Core i7-3615QM and Core i7-3612QM are BGA parts that are soldered onto the notebook PCB, much like the Core i7-3720QM and Core i7-3820QM. Published by: VR-Zone The GPU clock for the Core i7-3612QM will also have a lower max dynamic frequency of 1100MHz, whereas the Core i7-3615QM and most likely the Core i7-3610QM will come in at 1200MHz, 50MHz slower than their retail siblings. Other differences between the retail CPUs and the OEM CPUs include lack of support for vPro, Intel TXT and VT-d, just like some OEM Sandy Bridge parts. All the other features appear to remain mostly the same, but it's clear that there's a disadvantage for some users to get a notebook with an OEM CPU. Intel's DX79TO motherboard finally arrives, disappoints Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-dx79to-motherboard-finally- arrives-disappoints/14228.html December 15th, 2011 We don't quite know what to say, but Intel's Extreme motherboards are getting less and less extreme by every iteration and after a slight delay Intel's more affordable X79 motherboard, the DX79TO has arrived, but it fits more into Intel's lower-end motherboard ranges than in the extreme category in our opinion. In fact, the DX79TO is a feature stripped DX79SI, something we didn't quite expect, especially as the DX79SI wasn't exactly breaking new territory so to say. We don't quite know what to say, but Intel's Extreme motherboards are getting less and less extreme by every iteration and after a slight delay Intel's more affordable X79 motherboard, the DX79TO has arrived, but it fits more into Intel's lower-end motherboard ranges than in the extreme category in our opinion. In fact, the DX79TO is a feature stripped DX79SI, something we didn't quite expect, especially as the DX79SI wasn't exactly breaking new territory so to say. So what are we looking at here? Well, for starters Intel has gotten rid of the x8 PCI Express slot and in lieu of that you get a x1 slot. Gone is also the front USB 3.0 ports, the secondary 14

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December 15th, 2011 Gigabit Ethernet port, two audio jacks and the optical S/PDIF out. The two lower heatinks appear to no longer be connected via a heatpipe, instead a piece of metal connects them and it's possible that Intel has removed the top PWM heatsink as it's missing in the manual, but still present in the product brief. Also missing is the bundled Wi-Fi/Bluetooth ad adapter that comes with the DX79SI. Stripping out all of those features makes the Intel DX79TO a really poor purchase, especially as it's listed for a retail price of around US$230 (S$300), i.e. not much cheaper than the DX79SI which retails for around US$260 (S $340), not to mention plenty of much more feature rich motherboards from Intel's motherboard partners. It looks like Intel decided it wasn't worth putting too much effort into its Whenitcomestoitsrangeofmotherboardproducts,Sapphire has been quite slow to bring new products to market and today the company finally announced its AM3+ motherboard, the Pure Black 990FX. However, we have details of three additional motherboards alongside with pictures, all of which we're expecting should arrive before the end of the year from Sapphire. Whenitcomestoitsrangeofmotherboardproducts,Sapphire has been quite slow to bring new products to market and today the company finally announced its AM3+ motherboard, the Pure Black 990FX. However, we have details of three 15 Published by: VR-Zone additional motherboards alongside with pictures, all of which we're expecting should arrive before the end of the year from Sapphire. The Pure Black 990FX may be late, but at least is has some competitive features such as six x16 PCI Express slot – in a dual x16 or four x8 configuration with two x4 slots – and nine internal SATA 6Gbps ports. Other features include two front USB 3.0 ports – bracket included – a Molex connector for extra power to the PCI Express slots, a POST80 debug LED, manually selectable BIOS and a power and reset button. X79 motherboards, possibly due to the fact that Intel isn't expecting to sell a ton of them, but the DX79TO really is a lame duck that should never have been put into production. Apologies for the poor resolution picture of the board, but it was the best we could find. Sapphire readying three new motherboards, AM3+ launched Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-readying-three-new- motherboards-am3-launched/14227.html December 15th, 2011 Around the back the board has a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Bluetooth 2.1 dongle, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports via Marvell chips and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. The downsideisthattheboardisquiteexpensiveataround€160(S $275/US$210)whichmakesitfairlyuncompetitiveunlessyou really want a board with the specific slot layout on offer here.

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December 15th, 2011 Sowhatabouttheotherthreemodels?Well,continuingonthe AMD theme we have the Pure White A55M which unlike what thenamesuggestsisanotherblackandbluemotherboard(no- one's beaten it up as far as we're aware). This is set to be Sapphire's budget FM1 motherboard, but at least Sapphire hasn't skimped on all the features here. The board is a mATX model and it has a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI Express slots and a PCI slot. Add six SATA 3Gbps ports, dual BIOS, power and reset buttons and a feature Sapphire calls Memory Free which appears to be some kind of push button memory configuration solution and things aren't looking too bad. Around the back we find a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports via an ASMedia host controller, a Gigabit Ethernet port, three audio jacks for 5.1-channel audio, a D-Sub, DVI and HDMI port. Note that the DVI and HDMI ports on this board can most likely not be used at the same time. One thing that did catch our attention was a pin-header labelled FUSB3 which appears to be for front USB 3.0 ports, but it doesn't look like the standard USB 3.0 pin-headers, nor does there appear to be a second USB 3.0 host controller on the board. That said, the silk screening on the board reads PW-A8A75M so it's possible that Sapphire is/was planning an AMD A75 chipset version of this board and it's possible that some things will change before launch. Apple in talks to buy flash storage firm Anobit Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-in-talks-to-buy-flash-storage- firm-anobit/14226.html 16 Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Apple is in talks to buy flash storage company Anobit for upwards of $500 million in a move that could give it more control over the storage element of its successful iPhone and iPad ranges. Apple is in talks to buy flash storage company Anobit for upwards of $500 million in a move that could give it more control over the storage element of its successful iPhone and iPad ranges. The Cupertino, California-based company is allegedly in “advanced negotiations” with Israeli company Anobit to acquire the firm for between $400 million and $500 million, according to a report in Israel's financial newspaper The Calcalist. Anobit develops flash chips that enhance performance via signal processing. These are already used by Apple in its iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air devices. Apple is apparently looking to buy Anobit in order to increase the memory volume and performance of its devices, which could double with the use of Anobit chips. This marks an unusual departure for Apple, which traditionally has bought software firms instead of hardware. It may mean a shift in direction following the death of Apple's iconic leader Steve Jobs in October. Anobit also supplies chips to companies like Hynix and Samsung, the former of which makes flash memory for the iPhone 4S and the latter of which manufactures the A4 processor chips for Apple. If the Anobit acquisition goes ahead it would mean that Apple would become a supplier to Samsung, a move which could either strengthen or worsen relations between the two companies. Google launches Street View for tsunami-stricken Japan regions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-launches-street-view-for- tsunami-stricken-japan-regions/14225.html December 15th, 2011

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December 15th, 2011 Google has launched Street View for the tsunami-stricken parts of Japan, providing a digital archive of the effects of the disaster that hit earlier this year. Google has launched Street View for the tsunami-stricken parts of Japan, providing a digital archive of the effects of the disaster that hit earlier this year. The project involved over 44,000 kilometers of driving in Googlemobiles to map the affected areas, delivering on a promise the search giant made in July to deliver a record of eventscalled Build the Memory ,aspecialwebsitethatdisplays before and after images of destroyed towns. Users can check Street View via Google Maps for a 360-degree panoramic view of destroyed buildings and landscape left in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March. but the company believes that this digital archive will be of value to researchers and scientists studying the effects of natural disasters. It also ensures that the devastation and loss of life will not be forgotten, and it will hopefully go a long way to helping prevent such destruction in the event of future natural disasters. Hitachi launches fastest 10K RPM enterprise hard drives (Ultrastar C10K900) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-launches-fastest-10k-rpm- enterprise-hard-drives-ultrastar-c10k900-/14223.html 17 Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the launch of its Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise storage device, which it claims is the industry's fastest 10K hard drive, touting high capacity and strong encryption features. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the launch of its Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise storage device, which it claims is the industry's fastest 10K hard drive. The Ultrastar C10K900 is up to 17 percent faster in random performance and 18 percent faster sequentially when compared to competitors. It also touts a high-performance SAS 6Gb/s interface, a 64MB cache buffer, and average seek times and latency times of 3.8 milliseconds and 3.0 milliseconds respectively. The 2.5-inch hard drive is available in 900GB, 600GB, 450GB and 300GB capacities, with the 900GB being one of the highest for a 10K hard drive. The images display a month and year from when they were taken, which could prove valuable for historical work in documenting the effects of the tsunami. The timestamp feature, which Google said was much requested, has also been rolled out to other Street View images across the world. Some people might see this as an insensitive move by Google, The device also boasts of good power efficiency, utilising 28 percent less power than other hard drives, thanks to Hitachi Advanced Power Management technology. This results in an operating power specification of 5.8 watts and an idle mode of 3.0 watts. The hard drive also comes with Bulk Data Encryption, which gives the user the option to turn on self-encryption for enhanced data security. This meets the Trusted Computing Group Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption specification.

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December 15th, 2011 Xiaomi M1 smartphone running Android 4.0 ICS spotted Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xiaomi-m1-smartphone-running- android-4.0-ics-spotted/14220.html December 15th, 2011 Chinese company Xiaomi is reportedly preparing their M1 smartphone for an update with Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Initial reports claim that thephonerunswellwiththenewsoftware,whileavideoshows some exciting interface enhancements are in the works. Chinese company Xiaomi has been tinkering with their recently launched M1 smartphone and has produced images and a video of the phone running on Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile software. Initial reports claim that the phone runs very well with Google’s latest operating system (OS), and would be due to be releasedverysoon.Itisalsoapparentfromthevideothatmost of the user interactions are smooth, with advancements in the rendering of cascading gallery animations in the home screen and a more elaborated widget resizing animation. It will also include MIUI V4 user interface, an Android launcher layout created by a Chinese developer. If the upgrade arrives soon enough,XiaomiM1maybecomethefirstsmartphoneinChina to be powered by Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and quite possibly the second in the world, just after Samsung Galaxy Nexus. AMD Radeon HD 7970 Pricing Revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-pricing- revealed/14224.html Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Turkish website DonanimHaber has revealed the European pricing of AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7970. As per reliable sources,thecurrentpricingfortheHD7970standsatjustover 500 Euros. Turkish website DonanimHaber has revealed the European pricing of AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7970. As per reliable sources,thecurrentpricingfortheHD7970standsatjustover 500 Euros. Given European pricing trends, this could equate to a US retail price of upto $550. If so, the HD 7970 could be the most expensive single GPU Radeon ever, and certainly the most expensive since the ATI Radeon X1800 XT launched at $500.ThisalsoaheavyupswingfromHD5870andHD6970- thepreviousfastestsingleGPUcards-whichlaunchedat$379 and $369 respectively. The Radeon HD 7970 will release on 9th January 2012 with 3GBGDDR5memory.TheHD7000serieswillalsobringa3D version of Eyefinity to take on NVIDIA's 3D Vision Surround. Rumour: NVIDIA GK104 Specifications, release in Q1 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-nvidia-gk104-specifications- release-in-q1-2012/14222.html December 15th, 2011 Not long after the rumour mill at 3DCenter came up with specifications and details for AMD's Tahiti, they have now moved onto NVIDIA's first next-gen 28nm chip - rumoured to be GK104. Succeeding GF114 and the GeForce GTX 560 cards (except the 448 Core version), GK104 is rumoured to release in Q1 2012 with a smaller die than GF114. Not long after the rumour mill at 3DCenter came up with specifications and details for AMD's Tahiti , they have now moved onto NVIDIA's first next-gen 28nm chip - rumoured to be GK104. Succeeding GF114 and the GeForce GTX 560 cards (except the 448 Core version), GK104 is rumoured to release in Q1 2012 with a smaller die than GF114. GK104 is reported features between 640 and 768 SP, 80-96 TMU and either 256-bit or 384-bit memory interface. The performance is likely to be a bit faster than GeForce GTX 580. To make an early launch possible, the speculation mentions GK104 could be a hybrid between Fermi and Kepler, with the first true Kepler part coming with GK100. GK104 also aims at a die size smaller than GF114, presumably to undercut AMD'sTahitiandincreaseyieldsforanearlyrelease.IfGK104 does release in early-mid Q1 2012, as rumoured, it will go up directly against Radeon HD 7800 series / Pitcairn, also releasing around the same time. Meanwhile, the flagship GK100 chip could release in Q2 2012, with early speculation pointing towards estimated 18

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December 15th, 2011 specifcations of 1024 SP, 128 TMU, 64 ROP and a 512-bit memory interface, and performance closing in on GTX 590. Much of the information coming from 3DCenter is contrary to the previously leaked roadmap by 4Gamers . At this early stage such contradictory speculation is the norm, and all such rumours must be taken with a grain of salt. NVIDIA: Kepler on track, 28nm samples in house Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-on-track-28nm-samples- in-house/14221.html December 15th, 2011 In a conversation with Fudzilla, a Senior Product PR Manager confirmed that NVIDIA's next-gen 28nm Kepler GPUs were on track, and samples were in house. However, there was no specific information as to a timeline of "on track". In a conversation with Fudzilla, a Senior Product PR Manager confirmed that NVIDIA's next-gen 28nm Kepler GPUs were on track, and samples were in house. However, there was no specific information as to a timeline of "on track". The PR Manager said, "We are on track with our Kepler roadmap. We have 28nm silicon in house now. Our transition to 28nm is going better than 40nm, and yields are better than our original plan." However, it is worth noting that Keplerwasn'tspecifcallymentionedassampling-theinhouse samples were simply described as "28nm silicon". While AMD's Southern Islands / Radeon HD 7000 series releases first in January, the delay to NVIDIA's competitor is likely to be shorter than the 40nm HD 5000 vs GTX 400 generation where AMD beat NVIDIA by 6 months. Fudzilla suggests that NVIDIA could have its first Kepler GPUs out some time in Q2 2012. Also, more information may be presented at CES 2012 - also the time for AMD's big release. Dell launches Alienware Aurora gaming desktop PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-launches-alienware-aurora- gaming-desktop-pc/14219.html December 15th, 2011 Today, Dell launched their most advanced desktop, the Alienware Aurora, which claims to deliver extreme gaming performance and immersive experience to users. In a stylish compact form factor, the gaming machine supports AMD CrossFireX technology and is capable of housing two graphics cards for maximum graphics performance. Published by: VR-Zone Dell has unveiled their new Alienware Aurora gaming desktop computer today, which is said to be the company’s most advanceddesktoptodeliverextremegamingperformanceand experience that game developers intended for their players. In a sleek, stylish and compact form factor, the Alienware Aurora’s chassis houses the new second generation Intel Core i7-3000 series six-core CPUs, factory overclocked with high performance CPU Liquid Cooling and Active Venting system that provides additional heat dissipation during heavy gaming; Intel X79 Express Chipset, Quad Channel DDR32 memory and the latest SATA technology. The desktop also supports AMD CrossFireX technology, and is capable of housing two graphics cards to offer beyond 1080p high definition resolution with immersive multi-display and 3D gaming experience. All Aurora graphics cards use GDDR5 graphics memory, and combined with Microsoft’s DirectX 11 graphics API, complex virtual worlds look to come alive. The Alienware Aurora, like its laptops and desktops siblings, comes complete with the Alienware Command Center, which provides intuitive, user?friendly access to exclusive applications and controls, including AlienFX lighting effects, Thermal Controls and AlienFusion power management system.AlienFXallowsuserstocustomizetheexteriorlighting zones on the chassis with over 25 billion color combinations for a one-of-a-kind personalized experience. Pricing and Availability Alienware Aurora is available now on Dell.com.sg with a starting price of S$3,499. Detailed information 2nd Generation 3000 series Intel Core i7 Six Core Processor Options - New Intel X79 Express Chipset with Unlocked BIOS for Overclocking - Single and Dual Graphics Options: 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 68702 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 69502 19

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December 15th, 2011 1.25GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti2 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 5802 3GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 5902 Dual 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6870 - AMD CrossFireX2 Dual2GBGDDR5AMDRadeonHD6950-AMDCrossFireX2 - 4GB Dual Channel 1600MHz up to 32GB Quad Channel 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Options2 - Up to 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with Native Command Queuing4 (Standard is 1TB) - Single and Dual Optical Drive Options; Including Blu-ray Disc Reader and Burner - High Quality Audio Options: Internal High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio with Waves MAXX Audio Software (Standard) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio (Optional) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (Optional) - System Dimensions: height: 16.77” (426mm), depth: 25.39” (645mm), width: 9.85” (250mm); weight: starting at 45lbs (20.41kg) AMD Enthusiasts Dinner Event (29th November 2011) Report Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-enthusiasts-dinner-event-29th- november-2011-report/14217.html December 15th, 2011 A few weeks ago, 60 VRForums power users and Sim Lim SquareretailerswereinvitedtoourinauguralAMDEnthusiast Dinner which was held at IBIS Hotel Bencoolen. Along with the mandatory sumptuous buffet spread, the event was graced by senior AMD evangelists Sasa Marinkovic and Terry Makedon, and also attractive lucky draw prizes generously sponsored by ASUS Singapore and Kingston. Registration Booth 20 Published by: VR-Zone Hands-on Battlefield 3 Eyefinity Setup on display with ASUS and Kingston hardware

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December 15th, 2011 Lucky Draw Prizes - ASUS HD6970 DirectCU II Graphics Cards, Kingston HyperX SSDs and Memory, AMD Water Cooler Published by: VR-Zone Personal robot for you, expertise not required Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/personal-robot-for-you-expertise-not- required/14216.html December 15th, 2011 Ez-Robot from Canada has recently released a complete Do- It-Yourself (DIY) robot kit which is suitable for anyone to assemble and manipulate via an easy-to-use software. The small but versatile kit has more sensor functions than meets the eye and will surely give hours of tinkering fun. EZ-Robot,aCanadianstart-upcompany,hasrecentlyreleased a complete modular Do-It-Yourself (DIY) robot kit capable of supporting various modifications easily. The kit is suitable to all users, from typical consumers with no programming background, to the most hardcore tinkerers. Arduino and iRobot Roomba users will be glad to know that the kit also supports elements from their systems. The complete setup comprises of a Bluetooth-enabled wireless robot controller, EZ-Builder control software, tracking camera, ultrasonic distance sensor, five servos, a battery pack and other essentials. Theadvantageabouthavingthisrobotkitisthewidevarietyof modification options that are open when building from it. The fundamental components allow users to add various parts to create a robot that will look and respond the way they want. A rangeoftutorialsforthesemodificationsarepresent here ,and the website also includes some famous robot characters such as Wall-E and Dalek from television show “Doctor Who”. High End CPU Battle in 2012: Back to the Future Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/high-end-cpu-battle-in-2012-back-to- the-future/14215.html 21

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December 15th, 2011 December 15th, 2011 Intel, AMD and, at the very top, IBM, had the total performance and feature lead in high end general purpose microprocessors for a decade now. However, few 'strategic mistakes' that the US microprocessor and system vendors made a decade ago now haunt them back, as China and Japan embraced the superior technologies that the US discarded for short-term interests of the time. By now, you are almost certainly used to hear the words Intel and AMD, and sometimes IBM, if talking about big machines, when it comes to high end microprocessors. These 10 past years, the general purpose X86 CPU leadership was with Intel for 7 years, and with AMD for 3 years. On the other hand, IBM firmly had the RISC - and overall - microprocessor performance lead per socket with its POWER 4, 5, 6 and Power7 CPU families, of course at the matching prices. Do not confuse these with much lower performance PowerPC CPUs used in PowerMac systems of the past. Looking at the current roadmaps, that domination is expected to continue, with all the Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell and so on microarchitectures being followed by AMD Bulldozer, Piledriver and so on, and IBM keeping the performanceleadwithPower8andbeyond.Asidethenowvery common delays - as you can see in our stories nearly daily - things sound pretty simple. Or, do they? Let's rewind the clock back some 13 years ago, to 1998, when yours truly was busy creating systems based on the 64-bit Alpha microprocessor, the Formula 1 of CPUs for the whole of late '90s. Being much faster than not just Intel, but also other processors at the time, yet offering extremely compact and elegant RISC architecture - simpler than Power or Sparc or ARM - with comparatively small but fast cores and high system bandwidth, coupled with excellent compilers, Alpha waspopularinthehighendcomputingcircles-andalsointhe nascent64-bitPCcommunity,sinceithadnativeWindowsNT without all the X86 viruses - around the world. Even Samsung and Mitsubishi were making the Alpha CPUs, including their own derivatives. Do note that one of the most interested parties in the Alpha was, of course, China. It even officially licensed the complete Digital-Compaq Tru64 UNIX OS, one of the best at the time, andtheassociatedsoftwarestack.TheChinesesawthebenefit of a superb architecture and its programming model, and, I wastoldatthetimeintheinternalmeetings,wouldhaveloved it to continue the development at a maximum pace. That was not to be then, unfortunately. The US corporate shenanigans surrounding the buyout of Compaq by HP and its nasty boss at the time, the political pretendent Carly Fiorina, Published by: VR-Zone and the seeming need to diminish the company's value before it's bought, saw Alpha literally murdered at the peak of its prime, for HP to justify its - later proven foolish - Itanium move,whichalsokilleditsownHP-PARISCarchitecture.That reminded everyone of an equally foolish move a few years earlier by Silicon Graphics, today known as SGI, killing the MIPS RISC architecture it helped create to subscribe to the Itanium story - which we all know how is ending now, and I advised everyone on that outcome exactly ten years prior to now. For the sake of the later read, do note that MIPS architecture was the close second best to Alpha in performance, simplicity, intra-core and, see today, inter-core scaling, and it was truly 64-bit since 1989!! Alpha was, of course, 64-bit only, without any 32-bit modes, since 1991, and, guess what, ARM will only be 64-bit in shipping products in 2013... tells you something, doesn't it? Add that MIPS cores arefaster and smaller yet than ARM, and have vector FP for ages already... Fast forward to 2011: China, which saw the true goodness of what were the best CPU architectures of the time, and without the 'software support pressures' of companies like Microsoft, or the corporate plays that saw the best things go, continued to develop both MIPS - read: Loongson - and Alpha - read: Shenwei - all this while. With the ground-up approach, and (fast shrinking) semiconductor process gap, it took them a decade, over multiple generations, to perfect things up. I have seenwhatShenweiandLoongsoncando,andthecommitment of their teams with the huge resources of central government behind them. Even at the 65 nm process, the FP power per socket of each of these CPUs is matching or exceeding that of currentIntelandAMDhighendprocessors.Whatdoyouthink they will do at 32 nm, and then 22 nm? The 8-core and 16-core Loongson and Shenwei CPUs may not have catchy marketing names as their US counterparts, but they have the performance, low power consumption - the Jinan Petaflop Shenwei system consumes less than 1/3 power perteraflopcomparedtoitsUScounterpartJaguar-andclean (both technically and legally, IP-wise) vector-enhanced RISC architecture that can ultimately scale well from smartphone to supercomputer. Add to this the indigenous Chinese ARM architecture design companies, and you'll see that, despite its low starting position, China is managing to catch up with the US on the 'trophy prize' high end microprocessor front. Japan is not giving up, either - Fujitsu, which for years designed faster SPARC RISC CPUs than Sun Micro (now Oracle) the original SPARC creator, used a vector version of its SPARC64 to make a 10 PFLOPs K-system in Kobe, the world's fastest this year. The incredibly fast memory and interconnect systems come along as well. Interestingly, the design approach is similar to the vector-enhanced units that Chinese develop as well. Some common thinking there... Now, as far as I understand from the people in charge, the 2012 may be the year when China starts more aggressively marketing the fruits of its design. Isn't it an irony that the best that US design long ago, and then foolishly discarded, now, manyyearslaterandIPrightsexpired,appears new,enhanced and sped-up, from China, to compete at the global level? Well, 22

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December 15th, 2011 maybe it is about time for some more variety in this business, or "back to the future". Next Generation Computing Experience Forum 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/next-generation-computing- experience-forum-2011/14201.html December 15th, 2011 Have you ever wondered how science has those breakthroughs, like the sequencing of dna or computing weather patterns? Well, it takes a little more than just science it takes raw computing power and that power doesn't come cheap as it requires a lot of resources in terms of manpower and actual electrical power. Imagine the next leap in computing power, the Petaflop may require power from a dedicated nuclear power plant. What do you get when you put six high profile speakers in the same room to talk about high performance computing? You get a heterogeneous group of minds each with their own ideasonhowtomakeheterogeneouscomputingwork.Eachof the six speakers will undoubtedly have their own thoughts on pushing the performance envelope. Would any one of them be right or wrong or is it one of those cases of any answer could be the right one. The first part of the morning was graced by Dr Marek Michalewicz, Director A*STAR Computational Resource Centre (A*CRC). Dr Marek Michalewicz spoke a little of the history of computing showing off some interesting virtual models from the past and fast forward to the now with a conceptual image rendering of the Next-Generation Supercomputer with 705,024 Cores and requires a whopping 12,659 Kilowatts of power. The computer is the K computer at RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science. 23 Published by: VR-Zone Dr Marek Michalewicz commented that most Super Computing needs are driven by nationalistic requirements and since Singapore does not really have a need driven by Mission Critical Research, Simulation modeling or Complex computations, it is probably the reason why Singapore does not have a Super Computer. Leica unveils V-Lux 3 compact digital camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leica-unveils-v-lux-3-compact-digital- camera/14213.html December 15th, 2011 Leica has announced a new compact digital camera, Leica V- Lux 3, which claims to be a versatile all-in-one camera for creative stills and videos, and an ideal companion to take with wherever you go. The V-Lux 3 will be available early next year.

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December 15th, 2011 Leica Camera AG, Solms, have introduced the Leica V-Lux 3 compact digital camera that comes with an extensive range of features. The V-Lux 3 features a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4.5-108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. 24-fold super-telephoto zoom lens with a wide range of focal lengths equivalent to 25– 600 mm in 35 mm format, which is ideal for photographers who enjoy shooting landscapes, architecture, sport, travel, portraits or wildlife. It also incorporates a newly developed 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor that promises exceptional image quality for all applications. On top of that, the V-Lux 3 also has an extensive range of video options and video quality comparable with that delivered by premium-range video camcorders. The Leica V-Lux 3 can capture full High Definition (HD) video in AVCHD format at 1920×1080 pixels and 60 full frames per second. It is also capable of 24-fold zoom range during video recording and has an integrated stereo microphone with electronic wind noise filter to provide a clear audio. Another highlight of the V-Lux 3 is its high-speed burst- shooting capability - burst mode of 12 frames per second at full resolution, or 60 frames per second at a resolution of 3.5- megapixel. The camera is compact, lightweight and offers simple handling. It has a 3-inch LCD display (460,000 pixel resolution) that can be twisted and turned in almost any direction, even in the most unusual angles, and an integrated handgrip that keeps your shot steady. All its controls are clearlylaidoutandsimpletouse;forexample,videorecording can be started quickly and easily at the touch of a button on the top deck of the camera. Bundled with the V-Lux 3 includes a comprehensive software package. The image-processing software Adobe Photoshop Elements offers users options for viewing, organisation and administration in addition to a wide range of image-processing solutions. The high-quality software Adobe Premiere Elements is especially designed for video processing. Both programs are available as free downloads from the Leica website after registration of the camera. The Leica V-Lux 3 will be available from authorised Leica dealers from January 2012. 24 Published by: VR-Zone Intel gets Panther Point USB 3.0 certified Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-gets-panther-point-usb-3.0- certified/14212.html December 15th, 2011 Look at that, the USB-IF has issued a press release about four monthsearly,wellatleastifyou'reIntelanddon'twantdetails of your upcoming products out in the open. The press release is merely an announcement that Intel has passed the USB-IF certification for USB 3.0, although it's with regards to Intel's upcoming 7-series chipsets as well as the Xeon friendly C216 chipset which has not been announced as yet. Look at that, the USB-IF has issued a press release about four monthsearly,wellatleastifyou'reIntelanddon'twantdetails of your upcoming products out in the open. The press release is merely an announcement that Intel has passed the USB-IF certification for USB 3.0, although it's with regards to Intel's upcoming 7-series chipsets as well as the Xeon friendly C216 chipset which has not been announced as yet. TheactualUSB-IFdatabaselistsIntel'ssingleentrybyitscode name, Panther Point, but as we all know by now, this is Intel's 7-series chipsets, although the specific model for Intel's next generation of entry level Xeon processors will be known as the C216, something that as far as we're aware, have been under wraps so far. The press release detailed the C216 chipset, but didn't point out any specific 7-series chipsets which is a little bit strange, as we know that one of the models in the Intel 7- series of chipsets doesn't support USB 3.0. This pretty much makes Intel the last company to receive USB-IF certification for a USB 3.0 host controller, although we're expecting second generation products from many of the host controller makers come next year, especially if a x2 PCI Express interface becomes reality. There are still a lot of unknowns with regards to Intel's USB 3.0 implementation as well and we're still hearing rumours about it being a two port solution with an internal hub/splitter for a total of four ports, although this is something Intel is officially refuting to be the case. We also heard rumours that Intel had some performance issues about five months ago and didn't follow the USB 3.0 specificationtotheletter,butagain,it'snotsomethingwehave seen first-hand. That said, we should find out soon enough how well Intel's USB 3.0 implementation compares to third party solutions.

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Published by: VR-Zone December 19th, 2011 VR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Seagate and Western Digital cut HDD warranties Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/seagate-and-western-digital-cut-hdd- warranties/14290.html Seagate and Western Digital are cutting their warranties for harddiskdrivesasdemandandpricessoarfollowingextensive flooding for months in Thailand. Seagate and Western Digital are cutting their warranties for harddiskdrivesasdemandandpricessoarfollowingextensive flooding for months in Thailand. Seagateischoppingitswarrantyperiodfromfiveyearstothree yearsonitsNearline,BaraccudaXTandMomentusXTdrives, fromfiveyearstotwoyearsonconsumerelectronics,andfrom five years to just one paltry year on a number of desktop and The Seagate changes will take effect from 31 December, while the Western Digital ones will come into play on 2 January. The cynical among us might wonder if the manufacturers intendtoputinferiorcomponentsthataremorelikelytobreak down in their next batches of hard drives in order to bump up production to deal with the supply crisis, and that this is why the warranties are being butchered. However, it is far more likely that they simply don't want to have to replace old hard drives right now when they desperately need to provide new ones to consumers and PC manufacturers to address the market drought. December 19th, 2011 The question, of course, is whether or not they will increase thewarrantyperiodstowhattheywerewhensupplyreturnsto normal, and if this could become a selling point for some rival brands that keep their warranty periods intact. The lower warranties will likely only add to the problems facing the HDD market and push more people to buy SSDs instead . Nvidia selects low-power LVDS transmitters for Tegra 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-selects-low-power-lvds- transmitters-for-tegra-3/14289.html December 19th, 2011 notebook bare drives. Western Digital is cutting its warranty from three years to two for its Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives. Nvidia will use THine Electronics' low-power LVDS transmittersontheTegra3platform,makingtheprocessoran even better fit for power-hungry mobile devices. Nvidia will use THine Electronics' low-power LVDS transmittersontheTegra3platform,makingtheprocessoran even better fit for power-hungry mobile devices. The THC63LVD827 and THC63LVDM87 transmitters come in small form at 7mm x 7mm and 5mm x 5mm, in 72pin and 49pin models respectively. Power consumption is 83mW for the former and 43mW for the latter. They also tout a flexible input/output mode, power down mode, and the input clock triggering edge can be selectable by an R/F pin. The partnership represents a union of world records, as the Tegra 3 is the first quad-core mobile processor and THine's LVDStransmittersconsumethelowestamountofpower,upto 1

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December 19th, 2011 two thirds less, compared to similar products, enhancing the existing low power features of Nvidia's mobile platform. The technology is significant as mobile devices are becoming increasingly powerful at a rapid rate, while batteries are struggling to keep up. Until we get to a stage where batteries are capable of powering quad-core mobile devices for a long time, we will need to rely on manufacturers of the other components to make them as energy efficient as possible. Volume production of the new transmitters will begin in the first quarter of 2012. THine also plans to work on further energy-saving developments for the tablet and smartphone industry. Expected Ivy Bridge pricing leaked, stays mostly the same as Sandy Bridge We'restillaboutfourmonthsawayfromtheactuallaunch,but now we have one of the last pieces to the Ivy Bridge puzzle, pricing. The good news is that Intel seems to be pretty much sticking to its current pricing structure for Sandy Bridge with a few minor changes compared to the Sandy Bridge launch pricing. Published by: VR-Zone We'restillaboutfourmonthsawayfromtheactuallaunch,but now we have one of the last pieces to the Ivy Bridge puzzle, pricing. The good news is that Intel seems to be pretty much sticking to its current pricing structure for Sandy Bridge with a few minor changes compared to the Sandy Bridge launch pricing. According to CPU World we're looking at identical pricing as forSandyBridgeformostofthemodels,withtheKSKUsbeing theexceptionfromtherulehere.TheupcomingCorei5-3570K is US$9 more than the current Core i5-2500K; although it might be priced the same as the expected Core i5-2550K suggesting that Intel is trying to squeeze out some more cash from high-end consumers that want to overclock their system. "THine has accumulated its high-speed interface technologies and has achieved the world lowest power consumption of LVDS transmitters," said Mr. Fumitaka Nishikawa, CTO and MD of THine. "We are proud that Nvidia recognizes THine's low power technologies and know-how in high-speed interfaces for mobile devices. Nvidia has unveiled Tegra 3's record-breaking performance and energy efficiency. By collaboratingwithsuchterrifictechnologies,THinewouldlike tocontributeconsumers'excitingexperienceswithconvenient battery life." The other model that gets more price is the Core i7-3770K, at least if you compare it to the Core i7-2600K launch price of $317, but it's in fact priced the same as the recently launched Core i7-2700K at $332. As for the rest of the range, well, no big surprises are expected although the pricing only cover the initial launch models and as such we'll have to wait and see how Intel prices the rest of the range which is expected to launch later next year. Apple supplier hit by explosion in China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-supplier-hit-by-explosion-in- china/14287.html December 19th, 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/expected-ivy-bridge-pricing-leaked- stays-mostly-the-same-as-sandy-bridge/14288.html December 19th, 2011 Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61 employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised. The incident could affect Apple's supply chain. Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61 employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised. The company's CFO Charles Lin said that the plant is currently closed to production while it carries out pre- operation inspection. Both Pegatron and Apple indicated that they were investigating the incident. 2

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December 19th, 2011 The plant, which belongs to Pegatron subsidiary Riteng Computer Accessory Co, is in the Songjiang industrial park in Shanghai. Some machinery is reported to have been damaged, but it is believed to be minimal. ThiscouldcausesupplyproblemsforAppleinthenextquarter if the plant does not go back into production very quickly, but it will also have a knock-on effect on Apple's image, which has become increasingly tarnished by association with poor safety and working conditions in Chinese factories. production to the region. Apple has particularly been criticised for employing Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, to assemble its iPhone and iPad ranges. Foxconn has gained notoriety for its poor working conditions, which led to a series of suicides over the last few years. There were explosions at two of Foxconn's plants in May and September, adding possible safety negligence to the list of concerns about the company and others like it. Pegatron will not want to gain as poor a reputation as Foxconn has over this latest incident. Massive giveaways for ASUS New Year Facebook celebration Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/massive-giveaways-for-asus-new-year- facebook-celebration/14284.html Published by: VR-Zone December 19th, 2011 This festive season, ASUS is giving away some great prizes to their Facebook fans. A top prize stand to be won every week with prizes including the recently launched ASUS ZENBOOK and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. So, what are you waiting for? This is the latest in a series of accidents at plants in China, which has raised safety concerns and questions over whether or not big businesses like Apple should be outsourcing To celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as to thank fans, ASUS has recently launched a massive giveaway on their official Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/ ASUS ).Fanswhojoinedwillbeautomaticallyincludedineight weekly draws starting from December 12, 2011 to February 5, 2012. Fans who share this giveaway with friends stand a chance to win Super Prizes as well. Prizes include a wide range of ASUS products including the highly anticipated Eee Pad Transformer Prime, ZENBOOK, and the PA238Q Pro Series display. Inadditiontothemainprizegiveawayeachweek,ASUSisalso giving away a more valuable Super Prize. To win the Super Prize, the participating fan must invite his or her friends to join. If any one of the friends wins the main prize for the week, the participating fan will automatically win the Super Prize.* Don’t miss the chance to win some exciting prizes from ASUS during the holiday season. ASUS Transformer Prime to launch in Italy with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-transformer-prime-to-launch-in- italy-with-android-4.0-ice-cream-sandwich/14283.html 3

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December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone ASUS has just announced that the Italian release of Eee Pad Transformer Prime will be delayed to the end of January next year, but for good reason. Sources state that the release will come with Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which gives credibility to the recent reports of ASUS readying Android 4.0 upgrades for existing tablets in the coming months. Thus far, the only device that is officially known to be running Android ICS is the Samsung GALAXY Nexus smartphone. The release will probably make the Transformer Prime one of the first tablets with the new mobile operating system. It has also been confirmed by ASUS that that WiFi- only version will be launched, which shadows the release strategy of Germany, in view of the redundancy of mobile data capabilities on tablets whereby smartphones and their tethering technology can cater adequately. Free upgrade to exclusive Asia limited steel book edition of The Darkness II for all pre- orders in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/free-upgrade-to-exclusive-asia- limited-steel-book-edition-of-the-darkness-ii-for-all-pre-orders-in- singapore/14282.html December 19th, 2011 Have you pre-ordered The Darkness II yet? 2K Games has announced that all pre-orders in Singapore will be entitled to a free upgrade to exclusive Asia limited steel book edition of the first-person shooter game. December 19th, 2011 ASUS has stated that their Italian release for the Eee Pad Transformer Prime will be delayed, but the tablet will bepreinstalledwiththehighlyanticipatedGoogleAndroid4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Only the Wi-Fi capable version of the tablet will be available, however. 2K Games has announced that as of today in Singapore, all pre-ordersof"TheDarknessII",thesequeltothemillionunit- selling "The Darkness" in 2007, will receive a free upgrade to the Asia exclusive steel book with lenticular sleeve limited edition. Inspired by the supernatural horror comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, and developed by Digital Extremes, "The Darkness II" takes players down a brutal and personal path as Jackie Estacado, wielder of "The Darkness" – an ancient and ruthless force of chaos and destruction. The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence that breaks from the traditional first person shooter conventions withitsuniquelystylizedgameplay.ThefervidQuad-Wielding gameplay empowers players to slash, grab, and throw objects at enemies using ruthless Demon Arms, while simultaneously firing two weapons. It has been two years since Jackie Estacado, now the Don of the Estacado crime family, used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for the murder of his girlfriend. Estacado continues to have haunting visions of his beloved Jenny since her death and tried to cope by bottling up his supernatural power, and now The Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for TheDarknesstore-emerge,andsetsJackieonajourneytohell and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness itself. The Darkness II Asia exclusive limited edition box set will include: - Asia exclusive steel book with lenticular sleeve packaging - Poster illustrated by Marc Silvestri (co-creator and original artist of The Darkness) - Free digital download of The Darkness Origins Volume 1 and 2 trade paperbacks via comiXology (can be read on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and web provided via redemption code in-box) - Exclusive alternate darkling outfit - Exclusive talent pack: Gourmet Hearts (provides essence bonusforeatinghearts),RelicHunter(locatesrelicswithinthe world) 4

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December 19th, 2011 The Darkness II will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3and Windows PC on 10 February 2012 in Singapore. The game can be pre-ordered from leading gaming outlets in Singapore from December 19, 2011 at the following retail prices: Xbox 360: S$69.90 PlayStation 3: S$79.90 Windows PC: S$59.90 Sharp plans to sell 90-inch LCD TV in US, 80-inch in China and Japan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-plans-to-sell-90-inch-lcd-tv-in- us-80-inch-in-china-and-japan/14281.html December 19th, 2011 AccordingtoJapanesemediareportonarecentinterviewwith Sharp's president, Mikio Katayama, the company is planning to push their 90-inch LCD TVs in USA next year 2012. The model will be Sharp's largest LCD TV product to date. Sharp is already selling their 80-inch products in USA, and is currently the market leader in the country on large-size LCD TVs. Katayamasaidthatthecompanyisplanningtointroducetheir 80-inch LCD TVs in China and Japan, in the first half of 2012; Sharp is already retailing their 70-inch in both countries. The Sharp president also expressed that the company intends to use the AQUOS branding for large-size LCD TVs. On December 8, Kozo Takahashi, executive managing officer of Sharp, North and South America Group, said that it was thanks to the 60-inch LCD TVs that the company's sales have exceeded expectations. This year, the sales in US has reached 1.9 million units, which is almost a 40% growth compared to 5 Published by: VR-Zone last year, and about 1.1 million of the total are 60-inch LCD TVs. Jabra Christmas Gift Ideas Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jabra-christmas-gift-ideas/14280.html December 19th, 2011 Go hands-free this festive season with these wireless Jabra headsets - Jabra Halo2, Jabra Supreme and Jabra BT2090. The headsets give clear conversations as well as let you enjoy superb multimedia and music from your smartphone and tablet. LCD TVs are getting bigger by the months. Japanese manufacturer Sharp has recently announced plans to sell the 90-inch LCD TV in US, and 80-inch LCD TV in China and Japan. Jabra Halo2 Rock out in style to holiday tunes with Jabra Halo2 where the sound is even more divine now with Virtual Surround Sound and Power Bass. Never miss a call or beat: this wireless headband-style headset seamlessly switches between phone calls and music and offers up to 8 hours of talk time and/ or playtime. Control your music experience directly from the headset through touch sensors. Usual price: S$148 Christmas special: S$133.20

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December 19th, 2011 Jabra Supreme Got to make calls in between the feasting, partying or chilling with loud-talking pals? Top-of-the-line Jabra Supreme has active noise cancellation technology that cuts out the din – so you hear your caller better, almost as if you’re in a quiet room. With Noise Blackout and Wind Noise reduction to cater to noisy outdoor conditions, your caller also hears you loud and clear. Use your voice to issue the commands, such as making, answering, ending, redialing or rejecting calls, all without having to touch your phone. HD Voice-ready, Jabra Supreme also boasts a 24mm speaker and an advanced design patented boom arm that “flips” to power on/off. Usual price: S$198 Christmas special: S$178.20 Need more time to talk even while on the road? Now it's easier than ever to keep those two hands on the wheel while taking a phone call. Jabra BT2090 is designed to be the most user friendly, cost-effective, quality headset in town, providing all the basic functionality and comfort you need with ease of use. With BT2090, it’s never the wrong moment for an incoming call. BT2090 is an excellent gift for those unfamiliar with Published by: VR-Zone Bluetooth technology headsets but sense it’s time to cut the cords and go wireless. Usual price: S$68 Christmas special: S$48 Expensive hard disks boosting SSD sales? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/expensive-hard-disks-boosting-ssd- sales-/14279.html December 19th, 2011 The effect of last month's Thailand floods is still felt far and wide in the storage industry as well as the computer market in general. Prices triple that of usual are still not uncommon for many hard disk drive types, as the componentry for them was coming from flood-affected areas - even then, it's hard to find them. Now, SSDs don't suffer from the same problem, it seems, so what to make out of it? Yes, it does seem that there is benefit for SSD sales, even the biggies like Intel have privately acknowledged that. The immediate benefit for them is that, coupled with some SSD price reductions and X'mas period promotions, having a 120 GB-class SSD is now not exactly unaffordable even for a mainstream PC. A 240 GB one may still feel a little pricey, but not nearly as much as it was a quarter ago when the price- per-GB vs hard disk was like five times higher. And, when you take into account that exponentially higher read performance - writes can still be a bit of problem sometimes depending on the controller you're using - and the 'cool' factor of having a solid state drive to show off, the sales would improve surely. With the differential being much lower now, having the first systemdriveasSSD,andusingyourold-noextrapricetopay- HDDastheseconddriveforthepagingfileandoften-rewritten documents or data, meansgood sense. However, keep in mind that, within a quarter, the HDD supply situation should come back to normal, so SSD vendors better figure out the way to maximise the use of the current hard disk supply doldrum before their comparative price benefit diminishes again. AMD Radeon HD 7770 Pictures Leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7770-pictures- leaked/14278.html December 19th, 2011 Jabra BT2090 A forum member at Rage3D has leaked the first pictures of AMD's performance GPU - Cape Verde XT - to be branded Radeon HD 7770. Cape Verde is the direct replacement to Juniper - first sold as Radeon HD 5770 and then rebranded to HD 6770. AMD will finally give its mainstream performance class products an performance upgrade for the first time in over 2 years. 6

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December 19th, 2011 The Radeon HD 7770 reference design inherits its overall design cues from the HD 7970. The standard cooling design for AMD GPUs in this range - blower fan at one end - has been replaced by a large diameter fan pushing air down vertically. This design is very similar to the one first introduced with GeForce GTX 460. The length of HD 7770 is also similar to the memory to run at a higher frequency. Finally, the Cape Verde die itself is relatively small for this segment.WhileJuniperXTweighsinat166mm 2 andGF116at 230 mm 2 , Cape Verde at first glance appears to be well under 150 mm 2 . Cape Verde is expected to be the cheapest GCN based product. Everything below HD 7700 series - from HD 7600 and down - is expected to be rebrands with minor tweaks from HD 6000 series featuring the VLIW-5 architecture. ASUS P9X79 Pro Motherboard Review - The Next Best X79 Choice Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-p9x79-pro-motherboard-review-- the-next-best-x79-choice/13953.html 7 Published by: VR-Zone December 19th, 2011 A month has passed since the relatively uneventful launch of the Socket 2011 based Sandy Bridge-E and X79 Patsberg platform. We gave our Editor's Choice award to the madcap enthusiast oriented ASUS Rampage IV Extreme for its outstanding engineering and overclocking ability, which is a tad expensive for most buyers. Fret not though, because if you're not into setting world records, then the ASUS P9X79 Pro we have here today is the next best thing. Introduction We have previously did a preview of the P9X79 Pro and its more feature-filled Deluxe brother . Still we'll take a quick look again... GTX 460 - and by extension HD 5770/6770 - around 8.25". Don't we just love the ASUS boxes? They never fail to use hyperactivity-inducing colours and graphics HD 7770 features 3 display outputs - DVI, HDMI and miniDisplayPort. Like Juniper XT, it is requires a single 6-pin PCI-econnector,withapowerconsumptionsomewhereinthe early-100s Watts. A single Crossfire connector enables multi- GPU with a maximum of 2 GPUs. The reference PCB features 4 memory chips - which indicates a 128-bit memory interface, as in HD 5700/6700. Of course, we can expect the GDDR5 Back of box

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Published by: VR-Zone 8 December 19th, 2011 The Board - Despite being an entry level model, the P9X79 Behind Accessories and Manual Proretainsthefull8-dimmmemoryslotconfigurationthatthe platform can support. We particularly liked the large heatpipe coolers over the VRMs and X79 PCH, which can get toasty during full load. Specifications Table Specifications CPU Chipset Memory P9X79 PRO Supports Intel LGA2011 Processors Intel X79(Patsburg) 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB Quad Channel Memory Architecture * Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Install a 64- bit Windows® OS when you

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December 19th, 2011 want to install 4GB or more memory on the motherboard. Multi-GPU Support Expansion Slots Storage LAN Audio USB Ports Form Factor Supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology, nVidia SLI Technology 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 2 x PCIe 3.0 x8 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 Intel X79 chipset : 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, white 4 x SATA 3Gb/s ports, blue Support Raid 0, 1, 10, JBOD Marvell: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, white Intel 82579V Gigabit LAN Controller(s) Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking Audio Feature : - DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel USB 3.0 - 6( 2 front, 4 rear) via 2x ASMedia USB 3.0 controller + 1x VIA USB 3.0 Hub USB 2.0 – 12 ( 8 front ; 4 rear; 1 white port shared with USB BIOS Flashback) ATX Form Factor 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm ) ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router Preview (Final Retail Revision) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-rt-n66u-dual-band-gigabit-router- preview-final-retail-revision-/14242.html December 19th, 2011 9 Published by: VR-Zone Two months ago, we previewed an engineering sample of the much anticipated RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router from ASUSwhichwasfirstspottedatCOMPUTEX2011.Aftergoing through some hardware and software changes, we finally have the final version in our labs to be stripped bare again, and it is expected to hit local retail shelves soon.

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December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 2 USB ports, config reset button, WPS setup button, Gigabit WAN and LAN RJ-45 ports A stand is bundled with the router so that it can operate upright. 3 Reversed BNC connectors for the antennas, Power Button, A shot of the power adapter, capable of up to 30W of output Back view - the screws for disassembly are under the 4 rubber feet Report: AMD to rebrand Low- end Radeon HD 7000 for OEMs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-to-rebrand-low-end- radeon-hd-7000-for-oems/14276.html 10

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December 19th, 2011 December 19th, 2011 AMD is planning to rebrand their low-end Radeon HD 7000 products, for OEMs only. Every AMD product from Radeon HD 7600 down will essentially be using GPUs from Northern Islands and even Evergreen families. As expected, a large factorbehindthissignificantrestructuringistheriseofAPUs. AMD is planning to rebrand their low-end Radeon HD 7000 products, for OEMs only. Every AMD product from Radeon HD 7600 down will essentially be using GPUs from Northern Islands and even Evergreen families. As expected, a large factorbehindthissignificantrestructuringistheriseofAPUs. AMD and NVIDIA have both announced their low-end "next- gen" mobile parts - Radeon HD 7000M and GeForce 600M. Both featured rebrands. While AMD slightly re-specced the HD 7000M parts, the 600M GPUs were direct rebrands from the 500M series. The rumour mill had strongly suggested thatthe7000M/600Mrebrandswerelargelyforeshadowinga similar fate for the desktop market - so it is not as surprising that AMD is making this move. The performance and enthusiast end still continue to feature brand new, GCN-based, 28nm GPUs. From Radeon HD 7900 down to HD 7700. However, the rebrands begin with HD 7600. Replacing the HD 6670 will be HD 7670 - both based on Turks XT while Turks Pro will feature in HD 7570. HD 7450 will be based on Caicos. The lowest-end HD 7300 series will reprise Cedar - first released as HD 5400 nearly two years ago. Wecanexpectsomeminorclockbooststoslightlydifferentiate them from their predecessors. The line-up looks sparse with lots of empty spaces for a good reason - it will be filled by Trinity APUs. One of AMD's main problems in recent years has been supply, rather than demand. From GPUs, APUs to CPUs, Published by: VR-Zone AMD products have built a dubious reputation to be supply constrained most of the times. By splitting the range between 28nm and 40nm, AMD is distributing resources and ensuring greater wafer starts at 28nm dedicated to the high-end GPUs. Another reason could be the costly nature of a cutting-edge process, and low-end GPUs are better off at 40nm. With Fusion APUs effectively replacing the lower end, the demand is decreasing as well. In addition, AMD is also moving these parts to OEMs, and retail availability of the same is unknown. Cascading the reschedules: If Sandy Bridge EP comes later, so will Ivy Bridge EP Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cascading-the-reschedules-if-sandy- bridge-ep-comes-later-so-will-ivy-bridge-ep/14275.html December 19th, 2011 Now that the cream of the crop of the Sandy Bridge generation moves towards the end of Q1 2012, what's the point of rushing its socket-compatible follow-on? After all, time has to be given fortheplatformtorunitscourseandtheonlyrealcompetition is Intel themselves... Happy with your current Dual 'Westmere' Xeons - especially if running overclocked above 4 GHz on EVGA SR-2 maybe - but hungry for more power? Well, you may have to wait a while longer, since it is still roughly three months till their successors, the Xeon E5 class Sandy Bridge EP chips in the Socket 2011 platform appear. These are, as we wrote countless timeshere,thetruefullyenabled8-core20MBL3cachechips, unlike their early desktop brethren with some1/4 of the chip disabledtoallowhighcorespeedswithadequatedesktopTDP. To make the platform surely available at that point in time, Intel is also expected to allow the Patsburg chipset versions without 6 GBps SAS support to stay on permanently available and endorsed during the Sandy Bridge EP generation, and the full feature versions later in 2012. All would support the 10- core, 25 MB L3 cache follow on Ivy Bridge EP as well. Talking about Ivy Bridge EP, should we expect it earlier then, since it shouldn't be affected by the Sandy Bridge EP delays? Well, the deep throats tell us a firm 'no', suggesting roughly a firm year or even a bit more space between the two. If, say, Sandy Bridge EP is 'officially' with us three months from now, the Ivy Bridge EP may take as much as 18 months from today to publicly appear on the shelves - yes, we're talking of close to midof2013here,aboutthesameasHaswelldesktopplatform. The implications? Well, when purchasing that Xeon E5, go ahead and get the speed bin you really need for a long time, don't just get the cheapest bin to save money, and then wait in hope for the Ivy Bridge EP replacement in the same socket. 11

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December 19th, 2011 Afterall,oncetheIvyBridgeEPdoesappear,thenewerchipset revisions as well as newer boards with optimised memory layouttosupportDDR3-1866supportbyIvyBridgewillbeout there, so may as well just replace it all. Also,countonatleasttwostepping-basedclock-boostupdates to Xeon E5 within the Sandy Bridge EP generation itself. One would obviously be the mid-year 'D stepping' as usual, and the other one - especially if pigs can fly and somehow the competition churns out something truly competitive - would be the 'last breath' stepping like the Core i7 990 or Xeon 5690fromtheWestmeregeneration.Thatone,asweallknow, providedextraone-stepclockboostandalsofurtherimproved overclocking capabilities. In this case, who knows, the PCIe v3 validations could also benefit with further steppings, although - officially - there may never be anything stated to that extent. And, yes, the 'unlocked' version for OC on boards like EVGA SR-X too. Finally,forthedesktopuserpopulace,itisalmostdefinitethat one of these two likely future major steppings will now enable atruefullyenabled8-core20MBL3desktopCorei739XXofa sort,oncetheyieldsandTDPatthetopallowthat.Thecurrent LGA2011 high end cooling solutions can handle 200W+ of TDP without much problems, and the top mainboards from Asus, Gigabyte and EVGA provide the power drive needed as well. So, a 4.5 GHz 8 core Sandy Bridge E desktop should be a reality by mid-2012. Eitherway,Inteldoesn'treallyloseanything,asmoretimewill be there for the Sandy Bridge EP to recoup the investment, and those chips aren't cheap anyway. Yes, they'll sell for thousands of bucks per socket at the high end, but then this platform was one of the most complex and troublesome in the recent history for Intel, it seems - both the behemoth of a die for the microprocessor itself, stretched across multiple usage markets, and then the chipset platform with its own set of issues. If AMD had their 'Piledriver' core updated products to fill in the competitive void faster, maybe then things would speed up, though... Nokia Lumia 800 fails to impress in Europe Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-lumia-800-fails-to-impress-in- europe/14273.html Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 800 smartphone, has failed to impress European consumers, according to a report by investment research firm Exane BNP Paribas. Published by: VR-Zone Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 800 smartphone, has failed to impress European consumers, according to a report by investment research firm Exane BNP Paribas. Of those surveyed only a paltry 2.2 percent of people said they were interested in getting the Lumia, a figure that can't be reassuringforMicrosoftandNokia,whichjoinedforcesearlier this year in a deal worth $1 billion. Exane cut its prediction of Lumia sales from two million to just 800,000 for its launch quarter, a huge drop from the four million sales of the N8, Nokia's previous flagship model, in its firstthreemonths.TheN8waspoweredbyNokia'snowretired Symbian operating system. Exane also trimmed its price target for Nokia shares from €3.70 to €3.30. It classes Nokia as “underperforming”, suggestingthat2012won'tbetoomuchbetterforthecompany than 2011 was. Of the close to 500 people in the survey who intend to buy a smartphone within the next month, most were drawn by the big names like Apple and Samsung. Nokia's previous dominanceinthephonemarketisquicklyfadinganditdoesn't seemthatMicrosoft'smobileoperatingsystemisgoingtohelp. RIM delays BlackBerry 10 lineup Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-delays-blackberry-10- lineup/14272.html December 19th, 2011 December 19th, 2011 Research In Motion (RIM) is delaying the launch of its new lineup of BlackBerry smartphones until late 2012, a year after they were expected to hit shelves and help put the company back into a prominent market position. Research In Motion (RIM) is delaying the launch of its new lineup of BlackBerry smartphones until late 2012, a year after 12

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December 19th, 2011 they were expected to hit shelves and help put the company back into a prominent market position. “We ask for your patience and confidence,” said Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, at an investor meeting. “We realize we've not met expectations.” RIM reported a 70 percent drop in profit last quarter, making this delay even worse timing. Many were looking forward to devices with the BlackBerry 10 operating system, previously called BBX , and some analysts projected that it would set the company on the road to recovery. market and are beginning to eat into the business market, where RIM previously reigned supreme. By the time the new BlackBerrys are out Nokia will have produced a full lineup of Windows Phone 7 devices, adding further competition to the smartphone arena. While RIM mighthavestartedoffasoneoftheleadersinthissector,itwill now be playing catchup, which could mean game over for the company if BlackBerry 10 doesn't take the world by storm. At the time of writing RIM's shares were down $1.64, or 10.84 percent, to $13.49. It's no wonder shareholders are furious with the poor performance of the company. Published by: VR-Zone Microsoft to automatically upgrade old versions of Internet Explorer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-automatically-upgrade- old-versions-of-internet-explorer/14271.html December 19th, 2011 Microsofthasannouncedthatitwillautomaticallyupgradeold versions of its Internet Explorer web browser, addressing one of the big security problems facing many business users. Microsofthasannouncedthatitwillautomaticallyupgradeold versions of its Internet Explorer web browser, addressing one of the big security problems facing many business users. The plan will involve a trial run in Australia and Brazil in January, where obsolete versions of Internet Explorer will be upgraded to the latest version that will work on their computer, which will be IE9 for Vista and Windows 7 users, and IE8 for XP users. Microsoft has been trying for years to get people to upgrade to the latest version, but many people are still using IE6 and IE7, the former of which even Microsoft has labelled as a security threat, due to the fact that it is no longer providing updates for it. RIM claims that its huge loss in market share is due to poor marketing and advertising, which it plans to overhaul in the new year. However, it is far more likely that the plummeting demand is because people are buying iPhones and Android phones instead, both of which have dominated the consumer IE6 is used by 8.6 percent of internet users, a shockingly high number considering it's over a decade old. This is down 5.9 percentage points compared to 2010, however, thanks to an initiative by Microsoft to get people to upgrade, including a countdown website . Automatic upgrades for those who have Windows Updates enabled is the next logical step in killing off the zombie web browser altogether. “Automatic updates are a very good idea based on every piece of security research I've seen,” said Jeremiah Grossman, CTO and founder of WhiteHat Security. “Keeping software up to date-particularlyWebbrowsers-iscriticalforonlinesecurity. Withthatinmind,I'mpleasedthatMicrosoftismovingtoward an automatic update model, particularly since their approach balances the needs of enterprise customers who still need a mechanism to manage software updates.” For individuals and companies who are crazy enough to want to stick with an outdated browser, Microsoft is providing an Automatic Update Blocker. Those who have already refused 13

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December 19th, 2011 to update to IE8 or IE9 via Windows Update will not be upgraded. Considering the significant benefits to security, it would probably be better if these users were also forced to upgrade, but Microsoft's approach is, at least, a step in the right direction. Report: Intel preparing Core i5 2550K Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-intel-preparing-core- i5-2550k/14270.html December 19th, 2011 Intel is reportedly preparing a refresh for its popular Core i5 2500K. Branded Core i5 2550K, it features a 100 MHz speed bump over 2500K - up to 3.4 GHz base and 3.8 GHz turbo. Intel is reportedly preparing a refresh for its popular Core i5 2500K. Branded Core i5 2550K, it features a 100 MHz speed bump over 2500K - up to 3.4 GHz base and 3.8 GHz turbo. Ineveryotherway,thefeaturesandspecificationsareidentical to the Core i5 2500K - 4 cores without HyperThreading, 6MB L3 cache, HD 3000 graphics, unlocked multiplier 95W TDP. However, it is not known whether this is a direct replacement to the Core i5 2500K or a new complementary product at a higher price point (similar to the relationship between Core i7 2600K and 2700K. Interestingly, the Core i5 2550K did not feature in the latest official roadmaps and has only recently been conceived. A possible explanation is that it is a last minute response to AMD's FX-series refresh, due in Q1 2012. We can expect the i5 2550Kreleasearoundthesametime.Corei52550Kwillsurely be the last Sandy Bridge CPU before Ivy Bridge / Core ix 3000 releases in April 2012. Microsoft Pulls Down the AMD Bulldozer Multi-Threaded Patch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-pulls-down-the-amd- bulldozer-multi-threaded-patch/14267.html December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone "An update to optimize the performance of AMD Bulldozer CPUs that are used by Windows 7-based or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computers is available" As we reported previously, this kernel hotfix properly detects the Bulldozer processing cores , which was not the case since the product launched. Bulldozer CPU architecture is closely tied to optimizing the Turbo mode as much as possible, and Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 don't recognize the FX and Opteron processors as they are supposed to. Do note that 2012 operating systems such as Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server already built-in the proper threading scheduler. According to Microsoft, this patch increases performance anywhere between 2-7%, which is not bad for a software update. However, upon releasing the update into the wild, there were users that reported problems and even performance decrease. In order to address the matter, Microsoft pulled down the patch. The KB2592546 page is still live on Microsoft Support, and it states that there is a "hotfix download available." If you try to download the patch , you will be taken to the EULA page in which you give permission to "sell your soul" and proceed. Unfortunately, the next page is not going to give you what you came for. As you can see on our screenshot - the patch simply isn't there anymore. Win a Club3D Radeon HD 6870X2! (VR-Zone.com Exclusive) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/win-a-club3d-radeon-hd-6870x2--vr- zone.com-exclusive-/14268.html Yesterday, Microsoft released a hotfix download under the code KB2592546. Not 24 hours passed, and Microsoft pulled down the patch due to unforseen problems. 14

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December 19th, 2011 December 19th, 2011 This holiday season, we have partnered with Netherlands based graphics card maker Club3D to give away their cool and innovative Radeon HD6870x2! Read more for details... The Club 3D Radeon™ HD 6870 Dual GPU graphic processor harnesses the power of dual GPUs to unleash unrivaled performance and flawless image quality, making it the definitive solution for those who refuse to compromise. Featuring 2 GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory, the Club 3D Radeon™HD6870DualGPUisthedefinitesolutionforultra- highresolutiongamingacrossuptosixsimultaneousdisplays. Play the most advanced DirectX® 11 capable games in uncompromising"Eye-Definition"withtheClub3DRadeon™ HD 6870 Dual GPU. Custom CoolStream cooler with 6 heatpipes for increased performance. Published by: VR-Zone ProductPage: http://www.club-3d.com/index.php/products/ reader.en/product/radeon-hd-6870-dual-gpu.html ASUS X79 OC Challenge! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-x79-oc-challenge-/14266.html December 19th, 2011 Club3D Radeon HD 6870X2 Winnersofthe"ASUSX79OCChallenge!"willwalkawaywith high end motherboards from ASUS such as the Rampage IV Extreme with Battlefield 3, Sabertooth X79 and P9X79. First Prize: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme with Battlefield 3 Full Game Second Prize: ASUS Sabertooth X79 15

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December 19th, 2011 Lucky Draw Prize: ASUS P9X79 ASUS and VR-Zone will be having another online competition before the year ends. ASUS X79 OC Challenge is already on-going and will end on 8 January 2012. Participants are required to make a submission each week. The ASUS X79 OC Challenge is divided into 4 weeks. • 1st week: 12th December 2011 - 18th December 2011 • 2nd week: 19th December 2011 - 25th December 2011 • 3rd week: 26th December 2011 - 1st January 2012 • 4th week: 2nd January 2012 - 8th January 2012 Points are awarded at the end of each week! The deadline for the 1st week's submission is 18th December 2011, 2359H. Be sure to make a submission before the deadline to be eligible for the Lucky Draw! Published by: VR-Zone For more details, please refer to the forum thread: ASUS X79 OC Challenge Enjoy your music with the new Philips DJ-Style headband headphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/enjoy-your-music-with-the-new- philips-dj-style-headband-headphones/14265.html December 19th, 2011 Targeted at deejays and music lovers, the Philips headband headphones SHL9700/10 claim to offer superb audio quality with comfortable ear cushions for long hours of enjoyment. It comes with 1.2m optimal cable and is available at all major electronics retail outlets in Singapore. ThenewPhilipsHeadbandHeadphonesSHL9700/10features a sleek and subtle over-the-head design with soft ear cushions thatprovidecomfortableusageevenafterlonghours.Whether you are listening to house music or trance, the headphones claim to provide deep bass and clear treble for deejays and audiophiles. The Philips SHL9700/10 incorporate studio- grade 40mm speakers and superior drivers that can deliver precised and enhanced audio quality. With its foldable design makesthemextremelyconvenienttobringalongfortravelling, and comes with a 1.2m optimal cable length that gives you the freedom of movement. The Philips SHL9700/10 Headband Headphones are available at all leading electronics retail outletsinSingaporewitharecommendedretailpriceofS$119. Key Radeon HD 7970 Slides Leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/key-radeon-hd-7970-slides- leaked/14259.html 16

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December 19th, 2011 December 19th, 2011 A little earlier this week, AMD conducted its usual press briefing of the upcoming Radeon HD 7900 series, across variousmarketregions.DonanimHaberscoredandpostedkey slides from that presentation, with information that matters the most to enthusiasts. To begin with, specifications. AMD's Radeon HD 7900 family will make use of a brand new high-performance GPU built on the 28 nm fabrication process, codenamed "Tahiti". This chip is said to pack no less than 4.3 billion transistors. With Tahiti, AMD makes its first big architecture change since Radeon HD 2000 series, a change from scalar VLIW- based computing GCN Quad SIMD, which is said to improve performance per mm2 die-area (a fascinating new way of measuring architecture efficiency). Tahiti packs 2,048 stream processors, all of which are enabled on the Radeon HD 7970. These stream processors are arranged along 32 computing units, each holding 64 SPs. AMD reference board design retains the black + red color scheme, and will use black colored PCB. The cooler shroud design is a bit more curvy, compared to the boxy HD 6900 board design. Display connectors include one each of DVI Published by: VR-Zone The cooler uses an aluminum channel design, to which heat is fed by a vapor chamber plate that draws heat from the GPU, memory chips, and VRM. The aluminum channels are then ventilated by a blower. AMD improved its blower design to have higher air-flow and better acoustics. Reference HD 7970 will feature dual-BIOS, much like reference HD 6900 series did. The two BIOS ROMs can be toggled using a small switch. The first BIOS ROM can be flashed, the second one is "locked', and packs a fail-safe reference BIOS. AMD gave Tahiti a wide memory bus. This chip has a 384- bit wide memory interface, which is said to dole out memory bandwidth upwards of 260 GB/s. It is populated with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory using twelve 2 Mbit memory chips. Radeon HD 7970 draws power from two PCIe power connectors, an 8- pin connector, and a 6-pin one. Radeon HD 7970 will have a core clock speed of 925 MHz, which AMD claims can easily be overclocked to 1 GHz, "and beyond". We'll see about that. Dell kills off Mini 10 netbooks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-kills-off-mini-10- netbooks/14261.html December 19th, 2011 and HDMI; and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. All four connectorsareconfinedtoasingleexpansionslotarea,leaving the second slot area dedicated to the cooler's hot-air vent. Board partners are required to include HDMI to DVI and active-DP dongles. LookslikeDellhasquietlykilledtheirMini10netbooks.Ifyou gotoDellOnlineStoreandtrytosearchforit,youwouldeither not find it, or find that the product is still listed, but no longer available for purchase. 17

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December 19th, 2011 Just a few years ago, netbooks dominated the portable computer market with their small form factor and affordable pricetags.Butthathaschangedwiththeincreasingpopularity of tablet devices, and the slim and stylish Ultrabooks which were launched recently. The netbooks have gone quiet and slowly becoming non-existent. According to a Dell's spokesperson, the product line is finished and the focus would be shifted to "thin and powerful" notebooks, which may mean thatthecompanyisalsoreleasingtheirownlineofUltrabooks. With the entry-level netbook product line being killed off, it TurkishwebsiteDonanimHaberhasleakedmoreofficialslides from AMD's Radeon HD 7900 press deck. These slides detail HD 7970's reference design and also presents its overclocking capabilities. Published by: VR-Zone Better cooling seems to be the primary objective around HD 7970's reference design. Unlike HD 5870 and HD 6970, which had the second slot's exhaust vent partially taken up by a DVI connector, HD 7970 dedicates the second slot completely to cooling. This results in improved airflow. The card continues to feature 4 outputs, in HDMI + DVI + 2xminiDP configuration. HDMI-to-DVI and Active mini- DisplayPort adapters (which enable 6 outputs in total) are included so there's no compromise. The fan is noticeably wider, with new blades. This results not only in a higher CFM, but also quieter acoustics. Finally, an improved vapour chamber heatsink further improves cooling and acoustics. leaves the question on what would occupy in that place. Well, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just weeks away, and perhaps the company would have some announcements on that. More AMD Radeon HD 7970 Details Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-amd-radeon-hd-7970- details/14263.html December 19th, 2011 AMD is actively pushing overclocking for HD 7970. The base clockisindicatedtobe925MHz-makingitthehighestclocked GPU. It should be no surprise then that it will overclock to "1 GHzandbeyond",asAMDputsit.Aspreviouslyglimpsed,HD 7970 continues to feature the dual-BIOS feature introduced with HD 6900 series - for safe BIOS overclocking. The reference design will feature 3GB GDDR5 and require 6-pin + 8-pin power connectors. AMD Radeon HD 7970's launch has now been moved forward to December 22nd . However, this will be a limited release with wide availability only in January. The HD 7950 could still launchontheoriginalreleasedate-January9th.Interestingly, the HD 7950 will not feature a reference design, and there will be great variety from AIB partners, which could be a reason for its later release. 18

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December 19th, 2011 Plextor announces PC free DVD burner Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/plextor-announces-pc-free-dvd- burner/14262.html December 19th, 2011 When it comes to backing up data, most of us aren't doing nearly as good job as we should and these days we have so many different devices that needs to be backed up that most of us just don't bother. Plextor has come up with a somewhat interesting solution to the problem of backing up files on smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and just about anything else, without the need of a PC, namely the PlexEasy PC free DVD burner. The Plexeasy is in essence a laptop size optical drive with a couple of USB ports, an SD card slot, an LCD display and a couple of buttons. What it allows you to do is to connect up Published by: VR-Zone all your gadgets to it and back up the data directly from the device and/or memory card. Plextor claims that the PlexEasy iscompatiblewithmostdigitalcamerasaswellasAndroid,iOS and Blackberry devices, but the press release doesn't mention WindowsPhoneorothermobileoperatingsystems,butthey're most likely going to be supported. However, there's a catch, the PlexEasy only works with mass storage devices, so if you don't have a mass storage setting on your phone, it's not going to work. When it comes to backing up data, most of us aren't doing nearly as good job as we should and these days we have so many different devices that needs to be backed up that most of us just don't bother. Plextor has come up with a somewhat interesting solution to the problem of backing up files on smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and just about anything else, without the need of a PC, namely the PlexEasy PC free DVD burner. As an added bonus the PlexEasy can be used as an optical drive for your notebook, although it apparently requires two USB port for power which might not be ideal when it comes to Ultrabooks which tend to have one USB port on each side of the notebook. We're not sure DVD media is the way forward forbackingupdatathough,asevenyouraverageSDcardthese days is about 8GB and most higher-end phones comes with at least as much internal storage memory making the not so old silver disc feel quite dated with its 4.7GB. However, as an easy way to archive photos directly from a camera or a phone/ tablet it might not be such a bad solution. One critical piece of information is missing though, price and knowing Plextor it's not going to be cheap. MSI releases second X79 motherboard with 8 DIMMs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-releases-second-x79-motherboard- with-8-dimms/14260.html December 19th, 2011 We're not sure if Intel's X79 motherboards and accompanying processors have taken the high-end PC world by storm, but apparently there's still room for more motherboard models, at least MSI seems to think so. The company has announced a new eight DIMM model called the X79A-GD45 and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's simply a slightly changed version of the four DIMM version, but that isn't the case. We're not sure if Intel's X79 motherboards and accompanying processors have taken the high-end PC world by storm, but apparently there's still room for more motherboard models, at least MSI seems to think so. The company has announced a new eight DIMM model called the X79A-GD45 and you'd be 19

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December 19th, 2011 forgiven for thinking it's simply a slightly changed version of the four DIMM version, but that isn't the case. The X79A-GD45 8D as the board is officially known is MSI's fifth X79 motherboard to launch and it actually seems to have moreincommonwiththehigher-endX79A-GD658Dthanthe X79A-GD45. For starters, the two eight DIMM boards share the same slot layout with a total of five x16 PCI Express slots and a single x1 PCI Express slot. It should be noted that two of the x16 slots only have one lane worth of bandwidth each which doesn't really impress. Both of the eight DIMM boards also have an additional power connector for extra power for thePCIExpressslots,somethingthefourDIMMversionlacks. The GD45 models lack tantalum capacitors and features like debug LEDs and FireWire are missing alongside with the bus speed adjustment buttons, although the power button and OC Genie buttons are present alongside a pair of front USB 3.0 ports.For what is a fairly high-end board it's a poor show from MSI side to only include the standard six SATA ports provided by the chipset, as most competing products have at least a pair of extra ports. Around the back things are fairly spartan with twoPS/2ports,sixUSB2.0ports,twoUSB3.0ports,aGigabit Ethernet port (Intel chip), 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF and a clear CMOS button. Published by: VR-Zone when 16GB DIMMs become readily available. As such you're “limited” to a mere 64GB for the time being if you fill all the DIMM slots, although keep in mind that you'll limit the speed of the memory to 1333MHz with all eight slots populated due to the way Intel has designed its memory controller. That is of course without overclocking the memory, but it's also the reason why most X79 motherboards only have four DIMMS. No word on pricing as yet, but we'd expect it to retail close to the same as the two DIMM version, as the two GD65 models retail for close to the same price and the overall difference between the two boards aren't that big, especially considering that the four DIMM version has some additional features that the eight DIMM version lacks. MSI has also keeps teasing its upcoming Big Bang XPower II on its Facebook page and this will be MSI's third model with eight DIMMs. The only additional piece of information provided by the new picture is that MSI is going for a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers. However, we did find some pricingfortheBigBangXPowerIIandifitprovestobecorrect then we're looking at the most expensive X79 motherboard to date as a pair of European online stores are asking for about €450(S$775/US$595)forit,whichisahorrendousamountof money to spend on a motherboard and only just cheaper than a Core i7-3930K processor in Europe. Google patents technology for self-driving car Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-patents-technology-for-self- driving-car/14258.html December 19th, 2011 Google has recently patented a "landing strip" technology for its self-driving cars, which allows the vehicles to go into autonomous mode and find parking spots. MSI is making a big deal about the fact that the X79A-GD45 8D supports up to 128GB of DDR3 memory, but that is only 20