Intel Re-Invents the Transistor – Huge Implications!

“It is what both wide-eyed engineers and anxious executives have described as the ‘Holy Grail of semiconductor technology,’ and Friday morning Intel revealed it has developed working 45-nm processor samples running Microsoft Windows Vista, Mac OS X, Linux and other operating systems, where this material – a compound based on the element hafnium, atomic number 72, a frequently occurring impurity in zirconium typically found in fake diamonds – serves as the dielectric gate between the current source and the current drain. With the hafnium material serving as the gate, Intel will then replace the polysilicon electrode layer with a metal electrode, the exact alloy used here also being kept secret. As a result, transistors for 45 nm semiconductors starting with Intel’s Penryn family will be fabricated at half the size of those used in today’s 65 nm Core 2 processors. At the same time, transistor switching power can be reduced by as much as 30%, while still obtaining a performance improvement of as much as 20%. And current leakage at the gate will be reduced by a factor of 10.”

Intel Re-Invents the Transistor

Wow! I know this is a highly geeky article, but read it over and try to understand the implications! Smaller, faster, more efficient chips! Very cool tech coming down the pipeline… this is cool stuff!

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Geek Software of the Week: VLC Viewer

While searching for the best ways to stream video… I ran across this video/audio player. At first I was kinda “so what?” Then, I tried it. It is fast, smooth, and, of course FREE! And, if you do not have software to play DVDs on your system, it will play DVDs as well (with appropriate hardware of course!)

VLC media player

“VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.”

So, check it out! It really is a solid media player… and works very well!

There are binary installations available for:
* Windows
* Mac OS X
* BeOS
* Debian GNU/Linux
* Ubuntu Linux
* Mandriva Linux
* Fedora Core
* Familiar Linux
* YOPY/Linupy
* Zaurus
* SUSE Linux
* Red Hat Linux
* WinCE / PocketPC
* Slackware Linux
* ALT Linux

And, with the source code, you can compile it for:
* NetBSD
* OpenBSD
* FreeBSD
* Solaris
* QNX
* Gentoo Linux
* Crux Linux

Features available in VLC

Paint.NET 3.0 is Out!

No longer a beta version… the full Version 3.0 of Paint.NET is now out!

Get Paint.NET V3.0

New Features:

This major release introduces a new multi-document interface (MDI), availability in 8 languages, a highly-requested interactive gradient tool, four new effects, a user-definable color palette, lower disk space usage for scratch files, and a generally cleaner and improved user interface.

New Features in Paint.NET V3.0

Podcast 73 – Video Netcast 4 – “The Litigious Society Edition!” (Video)

Dr. Bill Podcast – 73 – (01/27/07)
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The Netcast and Chroma-keying! Some tech resolved, some to be resolved. How to Install and use Virtualbox on Ubuntu. Geek Software of the Week: Super, a Video and Audio Converter. Densest chip ever made, best prices on Vista, installing network tools on Ubuntu, a New Zero Day attack on MS-Word!

Podcast 73 – Netcast 4 – “The Litigious Society Edition!” (Audio)

Dr. Bill Podcast – 73 – (01/27/07)
Click on the “Streaming MP3” badge below to play Streaming Audio of this Podcast.
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the MP3 file locally on your PC.)

Click on the “Streaming Ogg” badge below to play Streaming Ogg Vorbis Format Audio of the Podcast.
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(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the Ogg Vorbis file locally on your PC.)

The Netcast and Chroma-keying! Some tech resolved, some to be resolved. How to Install and use Virtualbox on Ubuntu. Geek Software of the Week: Super, a Video and Audio Converter. Densest chip ever made, best prices on Vista, installing network tools on Ubuntu, a New Zero Day attack on MS-Word!

A New Zero Day Attack on MS-Word

Here we go again!

Microsoft Word Zero-Day Attack Discovered

Microsoft’s security response team has launched an investigation into reports of a zero-day attack against a previously unknown vulnerability affecting its ever-present Microsoft Word program. The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker said it’s aware of ‘very limited attacks’ exploiting the reported Word flaw. If the vulnerability—and attack—is confirmed, the company is likely to issue a pre-patch advisory with workarounds or suggested actions or vulnerable customers. The vulnerability was discovered during an actual live attack by anti-virus vendor Symantec. It affects multiple versions of Microsoft Word and can be used in successful code execution attacks against users of Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP.”

So, we will wait and see how long it take them to create a patch for this. Right now there is none. So, in the meantime, switch over to OpenOffice.org, or don’t use Word!

Howto: Install Network Monitoring Tools in Ubuntu

Here a great “howto” article on how to install network management tools in Ubuntu Linux:

Ubuntu Network Traffic analyzers

Here is what the tutorial covers:

ethstatus
ethstats
potion: an IP Flow Monitor
Darkstat: a network statistics gatherer
Wireshark
EtherApe: a graphical network monitor
bmon: a portable bandwidth monitor
bwbar: show current bandwidth usage
bwm: BandWidth Monitor
bwm-ng: small and simple console-based bandwidth monitor
iftop: does for network usage what top does for CPU usage
ipfm: IP Flow Meter (IPFM), a bandwidth analysis tool
Speedometer: Measure and display the rate of data across a network connection
cbm: Color Bandwidth Meter — displays the current traffic on all network devices
pktstat
ibmonitor: an interactive Linux console application which shows bandwidth consumed and total data transferred on all interfaces
iperf: measure network performance
cptrack: a sniffer which displays information about TCP connections

Best Prices I Have Seen on Microsoft Windows Vista!

I know that not everyone is interested in Vista… and some are going to either stay with XP or go to Linux (can’t say I blame you.) However, if you can stomach the heavy handed DRM (Digital Rights Management) and have the hardware for it, here’s the best prices I have seen on OEM copies of Vista!

Newegg Vista Prices

Also, check out what they recommend for hardware requirements:

Windows Vista Hardware Planning Guide

Densest Chip Ever Made!

Wow! Imagine a computer chip that is as small as a human white blood cell, and yet has the capacity of 160,000 bits of information! This is the densest chip ever made!

Researchers go molecular in design of a denser chip

“Although the chip is modest in capacity–with 160,000 bits of information–the bits are crammed together so tightly that it is the densest ever made. The achievement points to a possible path toward continuing the exponential growth of computing power even after current silicon chip-making technology hits fundamental limits in 10 to 20 years. The scientists, led by James R. Heath of the California Institute of Technology and J. Fraser Stoddart of the University of California, Los Angeles, will report their findings today in the journal Nature. As far back as 1999, Heath and Stoddart reported on aspects of their work, which included specially designed molecular switches and a novel technique for making ultrathin wires. The new work pulls the components into an integrated circuit.”

Geek Software of the Week: Super!

While working with the new video netcast… I found that I needed a way to incorporate a video from the web into my video editor. In this case, the Weird Al Yankovik video, “Don’t Download this Song.” It was on the web as a flash video on MySpace. First, I used the Firefox plugin called “Video Downloader” to capture the video as a Flash “FLV” file. Then, I needed a way to convert it to an MP4 format video to pull into my video editor, Ulead VideoStudio. Now, where to find a free, excellent, video format converter? Enter, “Super” to the rescue!

Super Video and Audio Converter

“If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER © is all you need. It is a Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player, easy-to-use with 1 simple click. SUPER © is totally FREE to download and to use. It plays & converts very fast full length movies to any other format without any time or function limitation. NO trial or evaluation version of SUPER © but one unique fully working version. SUPER © does NOT require any additional external codec to be installed, absolutely nothing. Necessary codecs are built in! SUPER © can also play and save Internet Media Streams with different protocols ( mms:// rtsp:// http://)”

It was VERY nice, and easy to convert the file, then I was able to pull it right into the video! By the way, here’s the link to the Firefox Video Downloader:

Firefox Video Downloader

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