Richard Huddy, Senior. Manager Developer Relations at AMD recently blogged about Why we should get excited about DirectX 11. It’s an excellent post on how DirectX 11 will improve graphics for us. He talks about tessellation, GPGPUs and the efficiency of DirectX 11 with multi-core CPUs. But the most interesting part of his blog post, which should really come as good news for all gamers and hardware enthusiasts is the following snippet:
Quite often you get to hear rather bland but optimistic statements about the future versions of DirectX. “It’ll be faster and better” – but you don’t get to hear much in the way of substantial justification.
This time around I hope it’s abundantly clear – I predict that:
- We’ll see higher frame rates because the way DirectX 11 uses CPUs will be more efficient.
- We’ll see higher frame rates because games developers will be able to use our GPUs more like CPUs.
- We’ll see smoother, more realistic characters and more realistic terrain as we move away from blocky polygonal representations to the kind that are used in movies.
- And a side-benefit, that will help PC gaming generally, is that the new version is easier to use, so it will help to keep game development costs down.
Higher frame rates, better performance, more realistic graphics and low development costs. What else would you desire from a new version of DirectX ? There’s no DirectX 11 hardware out yet, but AMD will probably be the first as they have announced their plans and Nvidia hasn’t. DirectX 11 surely seems to be geared to change more than just gaming graphics. It’ll have a major impact on daily computing as well.
Yahoo has released a new Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox with features aimed at making information easily and quickly available specially if it’s a part of any Yahoo service. Available for Internet Explorer 6+ and in beta for Firefox, the new toolbar takes a clue out of Internet Explorer 8 Web Slices and MSN Toolbar and provides a new Preview and Go feature. You can add more apps from Yahoo! and other third party ones to customize your toolbar with the information you want.
Yahoo has also integrated Inquisitor’s technology in the toolbar, which is a lot like the Visual Search in Internet Explorer 8, only better looking. It provides the basic query suggestions, search history and ability to search other websites like Flickr and Wikipedia.
Here are the system requirements for the toolbar:
- Windows 2000 or Higher
Browser requirements (You need one of these):
- Internet Explorer (version 6.0 or higher)
- Firefox (version 1.5 or higher)
Mac and Linux users
You need Firefox 1.5 or higher
I was actually going to review the toolbar, but sadly it doesn’t work if you’re using Windows 7. Neither on Firefox or Internet Explorer. It’s weird why a browser toolbar would be dependant on the OS version, but there we have it. I’ll try to review it as soon as they make it Windows 7 compatible.
Download Yahoo! Toolbar
Microsoft has recently released a free anti-virus solution that proves out to be better than almost all paid solutions available for consumers out there. We did a detailed review of the AV earlier and you can read it at the link given in the post. But during extended usage, we came across the following. Turns out that it’s true, there’s no such thing as a free meal. The Microsoft SpyNet membership is a part of Microsoft Security Essentials ( Read Review), which you can’t disable or walk out off, and has 2 types — Basic and Advanced. Both of them have one thing in common though, which says
In some instances, personal information might unintentionally be sent to Microsoft. However, Microsoft will not use this information to indentify your or contact you.
So, be careful if you’re concerned about your privacy and personal data. While Microsoft claims your information will not be used for any purposes, they will have it though.
Microsoft Security Essentials, codenamed ‘Morro’ is the free antivirus solution by Microsoft expected to launch with Windows 7. Recently a few screenshots were leaked, and just after that the whole application is available of the Internet to download. Microsoft Security Essentials is available for Windows XP (32 bit only), Vista and 7 (32 and 64 bit). Continue Reading
One of the main features of iPhone 3G S is called Voice Control, which allows you to place a call or play music just by using voice commands. It’s not part of the iPhone OS 3.0 as everyone presumed. The reason behind this can be attributed to the faster processor and larger amount of RAM in iPhone 3G S, which makes it more suitable for an intensive task such as Voice Control. Even the current generation iPod Touch, which has a support for a mic which you can Skype with, doesn’t support this feature. The iPod Touch is a bit faster in performance than the iPhone 3G, so Voice Command could be touted as a main selling point to give users a reason to upgrade to the iPhone 3G S.
So, if after upgrading your current iPhone to OS 3.0, you find this feature to be missing, now you know why it’s not there in the first place at all.
Mozilla is celebrating the first ever Mozilla Service Week from 14th to 21st of September, 2009. The theme of the service week is to make a difference by using the Web for the betterment of the community. Mozilla believes that everyone should have the opportunity to know how to use the Internet and use it well. Anyone with the passion to share, give, engage, create and collaborate and has the skills to program, develop, write, design or just technical know how can join Mozilla Service Week.
The goal is to empower people to:
Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation says:
“We’re inviting people to get involved with Mozilla in an active way, even if they can’t code, test or localize. It let’s anyone and everyone feel like they are contributing to the cause of building a better internet.”
No mater where you live, you can be a part of Mozilla Service Week. You can even ask for help on the Mozilla Service Week website where volunteers will be available. Be a part of the community and help make a difference !
If reading the title made you think that this guide is for dummies on how to lead a successful life, you’re wrong. Microsoft has released a new guide aimed at businesses to succeed in the current recession. Titled ‘15 great ways financial services enterprises can cut business operating costs, reduce risks and grow in the new economy’, it provides valuable advice to companies to survive through the economic downturn and credit crisis. The contents would help companies to
- Save costs.
- Attract and retain customers.
- Increase operational excellence.
- Enable governance & compliance.
- Improve risk management.
- Improve enterprise-wide business intelligence reporting.
A lot of case studies have been used to support each of the 15 ways, with a lot of self advertisement of services and products by Microsoft, which isn’t a bad thing as they’re all proven industry solutions as evident by the examples. The guide is divided into 3 parts
- Customer-Facing Solutions,
- Business Operations Solutions,
- Investment Management and Trading Solutions,
all aimed at different groups of people in a typical enterprise.
I wont bore you with more details of the guide. For those concerned, it can downloaded here.
The Pirate Bay, the most popular torrent indexing website in the world, has managed to come up with an encrypted VP called IPREDator. Currently in beta testing by 3,000 users, and 18,000 more in the waiting list, it is scheduled to launch next month for everyone. It wont be a free service and will be priced at €5 per month. The beta invites are closed at the moment.
The Ipredator website currently says:
IPREDator is a network service that makes people online more anonymous using a VPN.
it costs about 5 EUR per month and we store no traffic data.
the network is under our control. not theirs.
the pirate bay likes and knows real kopimism. and waffles.
IPREDator will be secure and will actually be a helpful tool for those using The Pirate Bay for piracy as it’ll make sure that your activities leave no trace for any agency to capture against you. I reckon this service is going to cause further uproar from the RIAA as well as create more controversy for the Pirate Bay, which most of the time happens to benefit them as some sort of Robin Hoods of the current era.
There could be better uses for Ipredator such as for business purposes or vulnerable transportation of documents although the objective for its development seems pretty much obvious.
Apple released an update for Java for OS X 10.5 Update 4 OS X 10.4 Release 9 to fix a vulnerability in Java for OS X which could allow a remote user to take control over your system through malicious Java code. According to Apple Insider this vulnerability could leave users open to ‘drive by’ downloads. No cases had been reported of users been actually harmed by this security flaw though.
Although Apple was aware of this vulnerability since January, the update as released yesterday. Also fixed were some vulnerabilities in Aqua Look and Feel for Java implementation for Java 1.5 which effected OS X 10.5.7 and later.
The updates can be downloaded from the following links:
For OS X 10.5
For OS X 10.4
Windows Live Messenger, the most used IM service in the world will be turning 10 years old on 22nd of July. Started in 1999 as MSN Messenger, WLM has grown to an active user base of 330 million users per month! Messenger has had a big impact on the lives of so many people that the official blog Messenger Says has decided to celebrate the birthday by sharing your personal and emotional stories related with Messenger.
We want to learn about those very personal stories and moments and we would ask you to share your story with us. What was your funniest, most unexpected or most emotional moment with Messenger? If you have a great story and you would like to share it with others, please send it to us! Please note that we will publish the best anecdotes in our Windows Live Messenger marketing or public relations communications. Of course we will do that anonymously, only mentioning your first name and home country (and maybe a related picture if you decide to add one).
To take part in the celebrations and share your stories with others, send your story in English to ILoveMessenger@live.com by 28th of June. Remember to add your first name and home country along with a related photo ( optional ). The best stories will be shared on the blog in July. There’s also a little disclaimer attached to the blog post.
By submitting your Messenger story and/or photo you agree that your entry only includes material that you own, or that you have permission from the copyright/trademark owner to use. By submitting your entry, you agree to allow your entry, in its entirety, to be exhibited on the internet and in other media, without compensation. You further agree to allow your first name, likeness and country to be used in connection with your entry, including exhibition on the internet or in other media, without compensation.
Here’s to a very happy 10th birthday to Windows Live Messenger!