Tech Update

posted by on 31st May 2007, at 9:52pm

This month has been an interesting one in tech, from Dell offering Linux on new computers to the HD-DVD keys being cracked. Let’s take a look.

HD-DVD processing key cracked, Digg swamped

In early May, the key for HD-DVD disc protection was cracked and released on the internet. This cryptographic key (beginning with 09 F9) allows people to decrypt and play HD-DVDs on ‘unauthorised’ players, such as the free and open source players within Linux. Within just a few hours of being posted, a page with this key on appeared on, got about 500 diggs, and was taken down because of a violation of Digg’s terms of service. Within another few hours, it was reposted, and got an amazing 16,000 Diggs before being removed from Digg again. The article was one of the fastest-dugg articles on digg ever, gaining its 16000 diggs in less than 10 hours.

A few hours after these occurrences, Kevin Rose, Digg’s creator, decided to stand with the users and not remove any more articles regarding the HD-DVD key. Two hours later, the entire Digg front page was swamped with articles about the crack. Within fourteen hours Rose’s article became the most dugg story ever, and now stands at more than 39000 diggs. Link

Of course, the AACS-LA, the group who create the encryption, werent happy. Within just a few days they updated the key to a new one. And guess what? It’s been broken again. Link

Dell chooses Ubuntu

The computer manufacturer Dell is now offering Ubuntu Linux on some of its laptops and desktops. This signifies a giant leap forward for Linux, as this is the first case of a large computer manufacturer offering Linux on computers aimed at normal users. Dell has been offering Red Hat and SUSE Enterprise versions for some business desktops for a few years now, but these have been on servers and business desktops only.,131426-pg,1/article.html

Intel announces Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is the name of a new chipset released by Intel. It boasts better wireless features, a faster FSB (front side bus), as well as the ability to support the new Intel GMA 3100 DirectX-10 compatible graphics chip. This all adds up to faster computing and better powersaving features for laptop users. With this new chipset, Intel are releasing six new versions of their laptop Core 2 Duo processors, the T7100, 7300, 7500 and 7700, clocked at 1.8GHz, 2GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz respectively, as well as the L7100 and 7300, at 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz, which are specially desgned for lower power.

It is rumoured that Apple will be including this new platform in their Macbooks and Macbook pros as early as WWDC, which is on June 11th.

Microsoft accuses FOSS of violating 235 of their patents

FOSS, or Free and Open Source Software, has been accused by the software giant Microsoft of violating 235 of their patents. Microsoft have not yet declared which patents, nor will they show anyone the code within the supposedly infinging software that violates the patents. A site, in fact, has been set up,, with an open letter to Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft), appealing him for actually to show them what violates the patent.

AMD unveils native Quad-core chips… at last

Over the last few months, Advanced Micro Devices has been very critical of Intels ‘quad-core’ chips, as they arent technically quad-core – they’re dual dual core. AMD has created some new chips, codenamed Phenom, which are proper quad-core chips.

However, Intel isnt going to sit back and let AMD unveil these without bringing their own ones out. Its new chips, with 45-nanometre transistors, codenamed Penryn, will be released later this year. Intel’s Core 2 architechture has been superior to AMD’s Athlon series for the last few months, and Phenom offers the first chance for AMD to redeem themselves in the processor market.

MacBooks get an update

Apple’s Macbook range of laptops have recieved an update this month. The lower-priced Macbook has been upgraded from a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo to 2GHz, and the higher-end ones have been upgraded from 2GHz to 2.16GHz.

Anticipation Builds for WWDC 07

Anticipation has been steadily building for Apple Inc’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Further details about the iPhone, as well as further details about ‘Top Secret’ features in Apple’s next version of it’s operating system, codenamed Leopard. Reports have also been flooding in about updates to the iMacs and Macbook Pros, as well as the possible discontinuation of the Mac Mini and 17-inch iMac. The event will be held on June 11th.

Predictions for WWDC 07:
Apple seen unloading new Macbook Pros and possibly iMacs at WWDC:

Gmail increases attachment size to 20MB

Google’s Gmail service, which previously had a limit of 10MB to attachments, has increased the attachment limit to 20MB. Windows Live Mail and Yahoo Mail are still limited to 10MB on their free plans.

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