Author: Adamson Rust

HP pouts over T3 awards snub

Hewlett Packard has been caught trying to wing its way back into the good favour of the T3 Awards panel, after being left off this year’s shortlist.

An internal email from PR agency Edelman – accidentally emailed to journalists – revealed HP is a tad put out about not being included on the list of nominees at the gadget awards bash.

It seems that HP thought it would get an award for the mantlepiece but was removed from the running for some reason.

Edelman is now asking event organisers for a couple of quid off their table booking fee – that or getting HP’s name back on the roll call.  

The email said about the awards: “Following HP’s removal from shortlist at T3 Awards, Edelman to speak to T3 about reducing the price of HP’s table or enquiring into the possibility of re entering HP onto the shortlist for the Awards.”

Edelman was also concerned about Sky 1 TV show Project Runway, which Hewlett Packard has sponsored in the past. The email read: “Edelman to confirm if and what channel/date Project Runway will air in the UK so that a press release can be distributed”.

A fashion journalist commented, to TechEye, on Project Runway: “In blunt terms, it’s s***. It’s just another TV show which aims to make money seemingly promoting the fashion industry. Once the “recruits” have gone through their paces and embarrassed on air, the likelyhood that they’ll get anywhere after the show is small.”

EyeSpy – We notice HP is holding an event at Shoreditch house. We presume we are on the guestlist.

Love affair between AMD and GloFo cools

Sources close to the foundry action here in Las Vegas suggest that the tryst between AMD and GlobalFoundries (GloFo) is set to founder at the end of this year.

Relationships between AMD and GloFo haven’t been brilliant after some setbacks with the production of processors. Our sources said that it was unlikely that AMD would use GloFo to shrink the die size from 32 nanometers, meaning that another foundry is set to take up the task of producing microprocessors.

GlobalFoundries was spun off from AMD and was expected to grab the lion’s share of the business. After the spin-off, GloFo acquired Chartered Semi, based in Singapore.

It doesn’t mean curtains for GloFo though – it will just mean the business will be re-aligned and will compete with other foundries for customers. Chips are not going to go away any time soon.

The likely beneficiary from the freeze in relationships between AMD and its spun-off foundry is expected to be TSMC. AMD has a relationship with TSMC already.

Neither GloFo nor AMD could be reached for comment at press time.

Sony and Intel share hardware information

There was a session at IDF yesterday where several fellows were, so to speak, interrogated by a vast audience of many many people.

Some might have been real developers – the first question was from a chap who asked all about sort of lines on chips, such an interesting question that the moderator kind of just gave up.

People asked so many different questions on such diverse topics that we almost wished that we had just stayed in bed all day, and had a holiday.

But the relentless questions continued until about 6PM. One of the fellows disclosed details of a relationship between Sony and Intel where hardware configurations were shared on the internet – and produced better benchmarks than Sysmark shared over the interweb.

Apparently, between them, Sony and Intel have collected over five million configurations of Sony Viaos on the interweb and that has helped these companies discover what software is on their computers.

Er, have neither Sony nor Intel ever heard of privacy?

We put our hand up at one point and wanted to ask the several fellows, apart from Dr Genevieve Bell, whether they knew how to get water out of frogs in Aussieland.

But this Sony one is interesting, isn’t it? There didn’t seem to be many spinners around, nor shills

We think Intel and Sony need to be interrogated more. 

Ancient idea of paperless office touted again

In 1975, the venerable Business Week touted the idea of the paperless office. That was around about the time that people were predicting that computers would give us heaps of leisure time to do all those things we wanted to do, such as spending more time with our kids, thinking, and other fun things.

These two paradises never came to be. Instead computers have not only caused countless layoffs, our security systems depend on the unreliable pesky things and worse than that, we and our kids are locked into computer screens, into our smartphones and our DSes, and it’s now not considered bad manners, in mid conversation, to pick up your CrackBerry and read your emails.

But today the chimera of the paperless office is being touted again. ICSA Software, a company selling something called Blueprint Boardpad 2, claims that board meetings of the UK’s largest companies will be “completely paper free by 2014”.

It is not entirely disinterested in the matter of course – it has just released a miracle application for the iPad.
 
Group CEO, Mike Evans claims: “No other application can guarantee the same security of data and offer so many features that save time, reduce waste and cut the huge cost of board meetings for large companies. In the future, every large company will move to a system like this one but, currently, Blueprint BoardPad 2 is far and away the most advanced.” He would say that.

It also has advanced security features, Evans said.

This may be good news for makers of tablet like Apple, but if Evans’ prediction, made 36 years after the idea was first proposed, will cost fear, trembling and malediction in some boardrooms. We suspect that makers of printers are relying on us humanoids to keep printing out those bits of paper rather than endlessly gazing into screens, however bright and shiny they are.

Court rules that wanting to kill Obama is OK

A US appeals court has ruled that that it is perfectly legal in the US to go on a website and talk about wanting to kill the President of the Land of the Free.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a conviction of a man who threatened to shoot President Obama, saying that his comments were fine if he did not mean to carry them out.

The court felt that prosecutors “failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt” that the man had the intent to threaten Obama

The Judges said that if the coppers had looked at the construction of the words in his postings, it was fairly clear that they did not constitute a ‘true threat,’ and they are therefore protected speech under the First Amendment.

Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against a presidential candidate in comments he posted on a Yahoo.com website

The Appeals panel said that Bagdasarian’s comments were “particularly repugnant” because they endorsed violence but any sane person would have twigged that he was not going to carry them out, USA Today reports.

Bagdasarian told investigators he made the mistake of posting after he had a few.

After all, who has not sunk a few lagers and claimed that a presidential candidate “will have a 50 cal in the head soon” and demand someone shot.

The panel was divided on the matter. One of the panel thought that the fear engendered by true threats limit a candidate’s freedom to participate fully in the debate leading up to the election.

If prosecutors did not take such threats seriously they could ultimately deprive the US of a potential leader. 

iPhone is most recycled phone

Ah, nostalgia. There’s so much less of it about than there used to be. But according to Orange, the next generation is taking up the torch, with a staggering 23 percent of British 18- to 24-year-olds hanging onto their old mobile phones for sentimental reasons.

Indeed, according to the Orange survey, Brits are hoarding £2.7 billion worth of old mobile phones between them. Four in ten people have never recycled an old phone, and a third don’t have a clue how.

“I’m surprised that so many people have never recycled a mobile phone or even considered that they could get cash back for them,” says Dan Thomas, head of Orange’s new Recycle & Reward scheme.

“Recycling old handsets is good for the environment and good for consumers’ pockets  –  and we’ll reward any customer from any network that wants to recycle their mobile with cash.”

Apparently, most people have a rather better quality of electrojunk than yours truly, with the average payout being £45.

And interestingly, while surveys generally show iPhones as being the most desirable phones, Orange reckons they’re also the ones people are keenest to get rid of. The most recycled handset is apparently the iPhone 3GS 16GB, followed by the 8GB version.

Anyone tossing out an iPhone 4 – perhaps because it isn’t diamond-studded – can expect to net a cool £148.

We thought we might have found a useful source of extra revenue here at Techeye – the blackmail’s not been quite so lucrative of late. Unfortunately, Orange says it checks every handset against a crime protection database.

Nokia sales warning hits suppliers

Nokia’s shares have plummeted, following a warning that sales for the quarter are likely to be well short of the €6.6 billion it was predicting, and causing a knock-on effect on the company’s suppliers.

While Nokia’s still the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, its market share is falling. And its announcement that it’s to discontinue the Symbian operating system has been seen as a little premature, given that it still has to bring any Windows Phone models to market. It expects to start shipping these in the fourth quarter this year.

In the meantime, the company says, operating margins from April to June will be “substantially below” the six to nine percent it was previously forecasting.

And the announcement is bad news, too, for Nokia’s suppliers. The company’s one of the biggest customers for chipmaker CSR, for example, and is now one of the biggest losers on the FTSE exchange.

According to Reuters, Numis analysts have now slashed their recommendation on the company from “buy” to “add”.

“CSR should benefit from some other customers like Samsung gaining share from Nokia and RIM in smartphones, however this is not likely to completely offset the severe pressure in the feature phone category, where CSR generates the majority of its handset revenues,” it says.

ARM, too, is feeling the pain. Its shares have also dived, and are now hovering at around 557p. This’ll be a big disappointment for the company, one would imagine, as it must have hoped that this week’s sneak preview of  Windows 8 – which will run on ARM’s architecture – would have given things a bit of a boost.

Malaysian tweets 100 apologies for libel

A Malaysian man has promisted to apologise 100 times on Twitter for making a defamatory tweet.

Fahmi Fadzil, who describes himself as a performer and writer, whinged on the microblogging site that a pregnant friend had been poorly treated by her employer, a magazine by the inspiring name of Female Magazine owned by Blulnc Media.

He thought better of the tweet a few hours later and apologised to the company in another tweet – but, Asia One News reports, Blulnc wasn’t in a forgiving mood. It slapped him with a lawyer’s letter claiming damages.

Happily, though, the two managed to come to an agreement and settle things out of court. Now, Fadzil’s 4,200 followers are being treated to a series of tweets even more repetitive than those of most Twitter users. Starting today, he’s agreed to tweet his contrition 100 times over the next three days.

“I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media and Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR policies are untrue. I retract those words and hereby apologise,” he says.

The decision might just get the British legal authorities out of a sticky situation if they care to take it as a precedent. With everybody tying themselves in legal knots over the legality of breaching super injunctions on Twitter, perhaps public apologies could be the answer.  Of course tweeting the entire country if a gagging order is broken might be a marathon.

Copyright holders clean up in Germany

German ISPs are handing over subscriber details to copyright holders at the rate of 300,000 a month, according to the country’s internet industry association ECO.

As a result, it says, while most of the world is seeing an increase in piracy, it’s dropped by a fifth in Germany since 2008. This is despite the fact that the number of legal downloads in the country has grown by 30 percent.

ECO‘s released the figures to challenge European Commission plans to adopt measures forcing ISPs to block file-sharing sites altogether.

“The increasing availability of digital content on the German market shows that one can combat internet piracy effectively without deep intervention in the basic rights of the population,” it says.

“Barrier methods such as those planned and advertised last week by the European Commission at the G8 Forum in Paris are unnecessary.”

German file-sharers receive letters from rights holders demanding anything up to $1,700 to avoid legal action – something which ECO believes is excessive.

“In most cases a warning letter would be enough,” says Oliver Süme, the organisation’s spokesman for copyright issues. “It does not always have to be a warning for several hundred euros.”

But, hey, it’s a nice little earner. Although the number of illegal downloads in Germany is declining, says Süme, the number of warning letters each year is increasing.

We build a fab Intel Media PC

We decided to go and build  a PC using the Intel Sandy Bridge 2nd Generation Core processors and the new LGA 1155 socket. The processor is the i5 2nd Generation Core – 2500K Unlocked version. When paired with the H67 chipset on this motherboard it means that Graphics Overclocking is enabled. Early reviews jumped the gun because Intel was forced to a chipset recall, as we explain later on in this review.

This is one of Intel’s so called Media platforms. It is a micro ATX motherboard and its specification is designed to take advantage of the Intel 2nd Generation Core processors and their HD graphics support.  This platform uses  the Intel Series 6 chipsets – in particular the H67 Express Chipset designed to support HD audio, SATA both 6Gb/s (2) and 3Gb/s (3+1 eSATA), 2 PCI Express connectors and one PCI connector,  Intel PRO 10/100/1000 network connection,  2 USB 3.00 and up to 14 USB 2.0. The DH67BL also has the Intel Rapid Storage Technology for RAID 0,1,5 and 10, an optional extra for this chipset. 

Intel board

The H67chipset was  recalled due to the Cougar Points fault, which affects the 3Gb/s SATA ports only. The degradation is slow and take one to two years to exhibit fully, however it is enough for the whole H67 chipset motherboards including non-Intel ones using this chipset, to be recalled. TechEye therefore did a before and after test of this platform with the replacement H67 B3 Revised chipset too, which is supposed to have fixed this, in order to get the full picture and deliver a fair review to our readers.

Intel

The system we built used a standard Gigabyte ATX case, an Antec  Basiq 550W power supply, 4 GB of DDR3 1333, an Intel 80GB SSD, SATA DVD Blue-Ray drive, a Seagate 500GB SATA hard disk as backup to test the 3Gb/s SATA channels. The operating system was Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit edition. We used exactly the same processor and peripherals on both revisions of the motherboard, seating them in exactly the same way with Intel Fan Heat Sink DHA-A and Arctic Silver 5 heat sink compound.

It is worth noting that the Integrated Graphics only supports up to DirectX 10.1 though DirectX 11 was installed.

The comparison of the before and after for the 3Gb/s SATA channels using the Seagate 500GB SATA did show a very slight degradation for the original motherboard. This was not exactly calibrated however and simply compared several read specs of the Seagate 500GB SATA. It showed that in a couple of weeks on the original H67 it had degraded by a few tenths of percentage.  The benchmarking software can vary that much from test to test, so it was run several times but the trend was always downwards. On the new B3 release there was noticeable improvement from the outset for the same drive of several per cent and it has not degraded at all as yet. I therefore conclude that this issue has been resolved.

For the B3 revision the BIOS was updated to the most recent versions as were all the drivers. This may also account for some of the improvements.

Sandy Bridge and the saga of the faulty motherboards
The story of the new Intel 2nd Generation Sandy Bridge processors with the  LGA 1155 and the corresponding Intel motherboards has been an on-going saga this year. In December 2010 we were asked to review the DP67BG with i7 and the DH67BL with i5. Due to delays we did not get everything set to do this review until the time of the recall of the H67 and P67 Express Chipset Motherboards in late January. We at Techeye felt that we were not happy reviewing this product after that, unless we could also review the replacement motherboards with the revised chipsets in a before and after capacity. So we have waited for replacement motherboards and have done thorough checks on the faulty version and the new replacement for comparison. We felt this was only fair to our readers as many early reviews of these platforms were glowing and yet they still turned out to be all faulty.

The problem was not with the processors at all, as our tests show, but with the H67 chipset on the motherboards and not just Intel’s motherboards but all using this chipset. It was the Cougar Points on the SATA controller. This did not affect Channel  0 or 1, usually reserved for the boot devices but with time all the other channels would degrade in performance.  The significance of this was somewhat downplayed, many saying it was a minor  fault and would not show up with any significance for one or two years but this is still a critical fault. Product recalls are very expensive and the degradation was faintly noticeable in our investigation in as little as two weeks. It therefore looks like the early version was simply an unfinished product, not ready for release and it has to beg the question, was this more likely the result of marketing strategies overruling some of the quality assurance concerns?

In conclusion the replacement B3 H67 and P67 chipsets do appear to fix the problems. It is unfortunate that it had to come to this and perhaps some may not be so quick to get there first with such new hardware releases in future. Hopefully many lessons have been learned and we can look forward to more rigorous quality assurance in future. The B3 H67 and P67 chipset is the finished product that should have been the first to market release. The original releases have been shown to be more of a prototype. Our results show the B3 version to be a stable and fast platform for both we reviewed.

Conclusions
Though the on board graphics (Intel HD Graphics Family) is only DirectX 10.1 compatible this platform is excellent for all but high end gaming and 3D design. With the DVI-I and HDMI display options, Graphics Overclocking with the B3 H67 Chipset, Realtek High Definition  audio output including Toslink optical connector, the extra USB ports and MicroATX size board this makes it a very versatile platform for all media manipulation and development. It would also make a very good basis for a Home Theatre PC.

Specifications
Intel Core i5-2500K Processor Key Features
·    4-Way Multi-Task Processing
·    Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
·    Intel Smart Cache
·    Graphics Overclocking Enabled with Intel H67 Express Chipset (and H67 B3 Revised)
·    Integrated Memory Controller
·    Chipset/Motherboard Compatibility
·    AES-NI
·    Built-in Visuals
Intel Desktop Board DH67BL (Media)
·    2nd generation Intel Core Processor support (LGA 1155)
·    Intel H67 Express Chipset (revised to H67 B3)
·    Support for processor graphics included in all 2nd generation Intel Core processors
·    Intel Rapid Storage Technology for RAID 0, 1,5 and 10
·    Dual-channel DDR3 with four connectors for 1333/1066 MHz memory support (32 GB max)
Supports  1.2 V to 1.8 V memory voltage control for maximum DIMM compatibility
·    Gen 2.0 PCI Express* x16 graphics connector
·    Two PCI Express* x1 connectors and one PCI connector
·    Two SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports and three SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports, with one port compatible with an eSATA extension
·    One eSATA 3.0 Gb/s port
·    Two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports: 5.0 Gb/s signalling rate
·    Fourteen Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports: Six back panel ports and eight additional ports via four front internal headers.
·    Integrated Intel PRO 10/100/1000 Network Connection
·    Ten-channel Intel High Definition Audio with multi-streaming capability: Features internal S/DIF header and front panel audio header with 7.1 Analogue output and one Toslink optical output from back panel
·    DVI-I + HDMI*: Supports dual independent display and allows for the most flexible display output for Intel processors with Intel® HD Graphics.
·    MicroATX Form Factor

Benchmarks
NovaBench Score 673
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Intel Core i52500K 3.30GHz @ 3301 MHz
Graphics Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family

4004 MB System RAM (Score: 157)
– RAM Speed: 12947 MB/s

CPU Tests (Score: 474)
– Floating Point Operations/Second: 102768688
– Integer Operations/Second: 422686308
– MD5 Hashes Generated/Second: 1183689

Graphics Tests (Score: 28)
3D Frames Per Second: 99

Hardware Tests (Score: 14)
– Primary Partition Capacity: 74 GB
– Drive Write Speed: 94 MB/s

SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2011 SP1
Display
Connection    Local Connection

Processor Arithmetic
Combined Score    70.75GOPS
Result ID    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4C 3.6GHz, 3.6 GHz IMC, 2 x 256kB L2, 6MB L3)
Finished Successfully    Yes

Processor Multi-Media
Combined Score    181.90MPix/s
Result ID    Intel(R) Core(TMA) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4C 3.6GHz, 3.6 GHz IMC, 2 x 256kB L2, 6MB L3)
Finished Successfully    Yes

Memory Bandwidth
Combined Score    17.40GB/s
Result ID    Intel Core (Sandy Bridge) DRAM Controller; 2 x 2GB Kingston 99U5471-002A00LF DIMM DDR3 (1.33GHz) PC3-17000 (9-9-9-24 4-33-10-5)
Finished Successfully    Yes

Physical Disks
Combined Score    251.74MB/s
Result ID        INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC (80GB, SATA300, 2.5” SSD)
Finished Successfully    Yes

Video Rendering
Error (335)    Direct3D 11 Devices: Intel(R) DH Graphics Family. Display call failed. Try another interface or update video drivers.
Combined Score    21.64MPix/s
Result ID    Intel(R) HD Graphics Family (12 SM4.1 850MHz, 64MB, DDR3 1.33GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics)
Finished Successfully    Yes

Overall Score
Combined Score     1087 (total)
Finished Successfully    Yes