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Monthly Archives: September 2008

IDC Survey Reveals Rude Behavior as Potential Issue for Online Gaming in Asia

IDC announced the results of a regional survey exploring the likes and dislikes of online gamers in Asia. A major insight from the survey was that Asian online gamers see bullying of weaker players and rudeness of other players as the biggest negatives for their online gaming experiences. The survey is the third round of a series of surveys that IDC is conducting in 2008 to evaluate the impact of Web 2.0 on Asian enterprises and consumers.
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On average, more than 64% of the respondents named “bullying of new or weaker players” as a major dislike about online gaming and more than 70% mentioned “players who are rude”. Online bullying and rudeness of other players were especially an issue among all Chinese and young Singaporean gamers who participated in the research.

“The social aspect of the online gaming experience is at the center of what draws Asian gamers online”, said Claus Mortensen, Principal, IDC Asia/Pacific Emerging Technologies Research. “But while the social experience of interacting with other players and making friends online are a main driver for young gamers, online gaming environments can also be a tough and rough world to enter – and bullying of weaker players by stronger players appears to be a serious problem. So what we are seeing is that social issues are outweighing technical issues when it comes to good gaming experiences.”

The survey showed that, while most players find online games rewarding and exciting in their own right, the social aspects of the experience are becoming extremely important. More than 50% of the respondents mentioned “meeting other gamers online” as an important element in the online gaming experience – especially among younger gamers. On average, the respondents said they had made 26 friends online. For gamers below age 25, this number was as high as 28 friends.

“Online gaming is often mentioned as an opportunity to meet friends online,” Mortensen said. “And friends who meet through online games often become connected through other media as well. More than 60% of the respondents said they also interacted with these friends either in person or through other online platforms such as Social Networking sites.”

IDC conducted the web-based survey among 664 Asian online gamers in August 2008 across six markets (China, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam). The survey also sheds insight into buying trends and preferences of young gamers when buying virtual items and services online.

IDC will present further details about this survey in an upcoming report, and to key industry players at the Asia/Pacific Gaming Marketplace Forum on September 17, 2008 in Singapore. This forum, which is sponsored by Leipziger Messe International (LMI) Asia Pte Ltd. and supported by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, kicks off the Games Convention Asia (GCA) and Games Convention Asia Conference (GCAC) 2008.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2008 in Technology

 

ASUS P6T Series Features Revolutionary Wind-Flow Design for Ultimate Thermal Performance

Several months ago, the ASUS P5Q Series motherboards drew much user attention with its aesthetic-driven heatsink and heatpipe design. Now, ASUS, world-leader in motherboard production, has once again carried on in this tradition to provide outstanding design concepts to users with the new ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard. The upcoming P6T Deluxe will utilize the new Intel X58 platform, and will combine the latest technology with a revolutionary thermal concept to help create a brand new user experience. This exclusive thermal technology, dubbed the Wind-Flow Design, integrates a heatsink with a radical design to efficiently disperse and cool down chipset temperatures—providing users with more stability for reliable operations.
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New Wind-Flow Design Concept
The new heatpipe design on the P6T Deluxe combines the concept of wind flow with an integrated cooling heatsink for the Northbridge. The heatsink is crafted with curvaceous grooves that not only creates a visual impression of wind flow, but smartly manages the airflow of the CPU fan to direct system heat away from the PC to aid in lowering temperatures.

Effective New Design Thermal Solution
Aesthetics aside, when it comes to real-life performance, the curved grooves on the Northbridge heatsink do indeed work as air flow “channels” for effective heat dispersion. When heat generated by the CPU is directed away by the CPU fan, part of this hot airflow is directed towards the Northbridge area. It is here that the grooves on the Northbridge heatsink work effectively to guide the heat away from the CPU according to the curves’ direction. Furthermore, in order to cater for more stable overclocking, users will be able to attach a 4cm chipset fan* directly to the Northbridge heatsink—allowing even better airflow for cooler temperatures during overclocking.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in Asus

 

HP Encourages CIOs to Rethink Virtualization in Business Terms

HP announced new products, services and solutions designed to simplify the implementation and management of virtualization so that the technology delivers greater business value.

Recent global research conducted on behalf of HP revealed that while 86 percent of technology decision makers have implemented virtualization projects, the vast majority of respondents expect to have virtualized just 25 percent of their technology environments by 2010.(1)
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While many of those surveyed anticipate eventually reaching 75 percent virtualization of their total environments, only one-third of these technology implementers recognize virtualization as a valuable business tool. Two-thirds of implementers relegate virtualization to the role of technology enabler.

“Virtualization is a powerful step in transforming IT,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, HP. “To do it right means successfully managing and automating mixed physical and virtual environments. HP delivers the industry’s broadest portfolio for virtualized environments, covering applications and operations management, infrastructure and client architectures.”

HP’s approach to virtualization is focused on removing the technology inhibitors that reduce virtualization’s impact on the business. It highlights how applications and business services can perform well regardless of where and how they are hosted, networked or managed. It dramatically simplifies management across a combined virtual and physical world, and it addresses the issue of pooling infrastructure resources across an organization.

HP’s new offerings support business needs that span the desktop to the data center. They are focused on lowering operational cost, mitigating the risk of a heterogeneous environment and freeing resources to deliver new business services. These offerings are designed around three specific areas: applications and operations management, overcoming infrastructure barriers, and maximizing client architectures.

Rethink … applications and operations management

HP Business Service Management (BSM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions have been enhanced with new virtualization monitoring and support capabilities to seamlessly link business services to the physical and virtual resources that deliver and manage them. This leads to faster deployments, lower costs and quicker problem resolution.

– HP Operations Agent, HP Performance Agent and HP SiteScope have been enhanced with hypervisor management capabilities, including the ability to collect management data to automate event and availability monitoring and management processes across heterogeneous infrastructures.
– HP Network Node Manager i-series has been updated to monitor the performance and availability of networks supporting dynamic, virtualized environments. This allows customers to proactively plan and monitor network capacity.
– New HP Asset Manager identifies and manages virtual machine asset inventory and licenses, allowing customers to pay for only the licenses they need.
– A new strategic development agreement with Red Hat simplifies the monitoring and management of virtualized environments.
– New and enhanced HP Virtualization Support Services achieve a smooth transition to, and ongoing management of, new virtualization technology while reducing the risk of unplanned downtime.

Rethink … infrastructure barriers

Current infrastructure was not designed to take complete advantage of virtualization. New HP offerings are designed to lower costs, mitigate the risk of downtime and free up resources that can drive additional business services to support growth.

– The HP ProLiant BL495c virtualization blade is the world’s first server blade designed specifically to host virtual machines. The BL495c eliminates key virtualization performance bottlenecks of memory, data storage and network connections.
– HP StorageWorks 4400 Scalable NAS File Services integrates the HP StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array, file servers, management software, and Microsoft Windows® or Linux support to virtualize the connection between servers and storage. The solution lowers maintenance costs and mitigates the risk of data loss with advanced replication software.
– HP-UX 11i V3 and the HP Virtual Server Environment have been enhanced for mission-critical virtualization with significant performance improvement, automated optimization, improved protection and simplified management capabilities.
– HP Virtualization Accelerator Services are new, predefined consulting services for planning, designing and implementing virtualization initiatives. This yields a faster return on investment.

Rethink … client architectures

Businesses can leverage client virtualization to achieve greater reliability, security and improved management of end-user computing. This decreases the cost of client management and support while increasing productivity.

– The new HP t5630, t5545, t5540 and t5145 Thin Clients feature scratch-resistant HP DuraFinish and provide expanded multimedia features, enhanced brokering capabilities, greater performance and improved management support.
– The HP ProLiant xw460c Blade Workstation with Graphics Expansion Blade supports a full range of graphics capability with the latest NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics. This provides more secure, easily managed data center workstation computing for the financial trading, public sector, mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD), and oil and gas segments.
– Enhancements to the HP Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution include new planning, quick-start and implementation services. These services determine specific VDI needs and associated business value, so customers can implement the right solutions. HP also unveiled the new HP VDI with Citrix XenDesktop, which is designed to enable everything from smaller, entry-level implementations to enterprise-wide desktop delivery.
– “Citrix Ready” blade PCs and thin clients are now certified for use within Citrix XenDesktop environments. They deliver a dedicated one-to-one remote computing experience at radically improved economics for knowledge workers requiring a broad range of application support and a rich graphics experience.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in HP

 

SAP launches SAP Extended Business program

SAP announced that it has launched a worldwide initiative, the SAP Extended Business program, to further ease collaboration among SAP channel partners and other non-partner companies in order to benefit its growing number of small and midsize enterprise (SME) customers.

The program is institutionalizing an already existing cooperation model in the SAP channel. Members of the SAP Extended Business program become part of the company’s wider ecosystem by partnering with valued-added resellers (VARs) under the SAP® PartnerEdge™ program. The role of SAP Extended Business program members is to identify and promote opportunities in the SME space during all phases of sales and implementation as well as promoting, marketing and implementing the selected SAP and partner solutions in collaboration with an authorized VAR. The manner in which SAP Extended Business program members and VAR partners cooperate and provide compensation is at their discretion; the commercial relationship between VAR and customer remains unchanged by the new program.
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Under the SAP Extended Business program, members will be granted the appropriate access to SAP systems, resources and training to support their business relationship with their VAR. Employees of members of the SAP Extended Business program are entitled to participate in the same training programs SAP provides to its authorized VARs, to ensure that their organization is properly enabled to take on SAP business opportunities and ensure customer satisfaction.

With the new global program, SAP is further strengthening its ecosystem targeted at SMEs, which currently comprise more than 2,100 partners of various categories, by helping to create a partner network and enable it to scale business quickly. The program also aims to help companies – those working in the broader SAP ecosystem today or those looking to start a new SAP business – stay up-to-date with SAP software and technology, and effectively work with SAP partners to deliver SAP solutions for small businesses and midsize companies.

Involved parties can benefit from the following:

– The authorized SAP channel partner can offer a broader and more flexible range of solutions and services to SMEs, thus delivering best-fit solutions and quicker implementation with expanded geographical coverage and additional implementation and sales resources at lower costs.
– SAP Extended Business program members can align with an established authorized SAP channel partner in order to broaden the outreach and create more awareness of its offering, thus targeting and attracting a larger volume of prospects, increase revenue from additional services and earn commissions from related sales activities. Furthermore, members of the program benefit from designated product information and trainings.
– The customer benefits from the broader solution and services portfolio offered by the SAP channel partner of choice, as well as from the greater flexibility in meeting its specific demands.

Participation in the program is voluntary, free of charge and open to companies working with the SAP Business All-in-One solution as well as the SAP® Business One application. There are currently more than 30 SAP channel partners in the ecosystem maintaining particularly close business relationships with more than 100 third-party companies.

Current program participants include: Seidor, a VAR in Spain; Infracom Consulting, a VAR in Italy; and All-for-One, a VAR in Germany. Prerequisites to become a program member are a qualification by SAP, a signed agreement with an SAP reseller and dedicated resources. The resale of SAP solutions is not permitted and remains the sole business arena of SAP resellers.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in SAP

 

ASUS Launches First Glide-enabled PDA Phone

ASUS launches the ASUS P552w PDA phone which features Glide – an innovative touch-responsive user interface that makes navigating and performing tasks on a mobile phone more intuitive and interactive than ever before. Equipped with a 624MHz processor and a host of market-leading features such as 3.5G HSDPA connectivity, GPS and seamless Google integration*, the ASUS P552w PDA phone is a perfect fit for the rising tide of young, tech-savvy professionals who appreciate a good-looking mobile companion that packs a wealth of fun features and yet is no slouch when it comes to work.
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Glide to a New Mobile Experience
Underpinning the ASUS P552w’s revolutionary touch-responsive user interface is its cutting-edge Gester technology that enables users to perform a variety of navigational actions – such as selecting, zooming, scrolling and flipping – easily through simple flicks of their fingers. Incorporated into Glide are also applications that enable users to access a wide range of functions such as looking up the latest news, checking the weather forecast, viewing photo slideshows and listening to music within a few finger taps. These applications, dubbed Multi-Home, Anytime Launcher, EziPhoto, and EziMusic, give the expression “the world at your fingertips” a whole new meaning.

Unprecedented Processing Power, Speed and Connectivity
The ASUS P552w boasts one of the most powerful CPUs (624MHz) on the market today. Apart from posting exceptional Vsbenchmark scores, the ASUS P552w’s real-world results are equally tangible – applications and games run noticeably faster and video frame rates are markedly smoother. The ASUS P552w also features 3.5G HSDPA (3.6Mbps) connectivity for the fastest Internet browsing, file sharing and TV program-streaming experience possible. Furthermore, it offers Bluetooth, WLAN 802.11b/g, GPS, USB and other connectivity standards to enable easy data transfers to and from other devices.

Deep Google Integration
The ASUS P552w features Google Maps* which not only facilitates navigation, but is capable of furnishing users with information on points of interest. The ASUS P552w’s navigation capabilities are further bolstered by a feature known as ASUS SMS Location Link. With this exclusive feature, users at two different locations can locate each other easily by sending each other SMS messages. Clicking on the URLs which are automatically embedded in the sent messages will link the phones up to Google Maps, which will then provide the users with clear directions on how to get to each other’s positions. The ASUS P552w also features a convenient Google Search Bar on the Today screen that makes it easier to perform online queries.

EziPhoto, EziMusic and Other Applications
The ASUS P552w comes preinstalled with applications that allow users to get an easy handle on entertainment. The most exciting of these are EziPhoto and EziMusic. EziPhoto enables users to flip through their photo collection with their fingertips, akin to how they would with a real album. It also has a Calendar option which organizes and displays the thumbnails of photos users have taken according to the dates in which they were snapped, allowing them to relive those moments in chronological order at a single glance. EziMusic offers an interactive interface – complete with exciting animations – for users to play and manage their music, performing each task with colorful aplomb. The ASUS P552w also houses applications that enable easy access to web content like RSS newsfeeds, YouTube movies and photos on Flickr, ensuring that users have a full complement of entertainment options to choose from while out of the house or office.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in Asus

 

HP Announces New Software, Collaboration with Red Hat to Simplify Management of Virtualized Environments

HP announced new Business Technology Optimization (BTO) software for virtualization to help customers minimize business service risk and lower costs.
In addition, the company announced an agreement with Red Hat to jointly develop integrated solutions that simplify the monitoring and management of heterogeneous IT environments.

Virtualization presents unique management challenges for customers due to the increased complexity and dynamic nature of virtual environments. Furthermore, the proliferation of virtual machines can lead to performance degradation.
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To address these problems, HP’s new Business Service Management (BSM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) virtualization capabilities optimize the performance of virtual infrastructures, balance the ratio of physical to virtual machines, and ensure appropriate control of virtual machine environments.
In addition, building on HP’s automated configuration management virtualization solutions, the ITSM solution helps customers control costs and provide increased visibility into data center resources.
 
“Infrastructure boundaries are becoming more ambiguous, and the addition of virtual machines (VMs) to data centers already leveraging other virtualization technologies, such as storage area networks, virtual LANs and so on, can make knowing where the problem exists harder to identify and possibly remediate, resulting in higher costs and potential impacts to service quality,” said Cameron Haight, industry analyst, Gartner.

New HP BTO Software virtualization offerings
New HP BTO Software virtualization capabilities are now available through HP Operations Center, HP Business Availability Center, HP Network Management Center, and HP Service Management Center. Unlike specialty tools that only monitor either physical or virtual environments, HP solutions manage across both environments.

–  HP Operations Agent, HP Performance Agent and HP SiteScope – New enhancements add hypervisor management capabilities. For example, the ability to collect management data from all key virtual machine hypervisors, and then use that data to automate event and availability monitoring and management processes across heterogeneous infrastructures.
–  HP Network Node Manager i-series – Monitors performance and availability of networks supporting dynamic virtualized environments. In addition, these products allow proactive planning and monitoring of network capacity, as well as network interface cards, for virtualized environments.
–  HP Asset Manager – Allows customers to identify and manage virtual machine inventory and licenses, so they can plan for future resource allocations while reducing costs.

With HP solutions unifying the management of both virtual and physical technology environments, customers can now experience comprehensive service monitoring, faster problem isolation and more reliable application diagnostics. In addition, companies can consolidate, simplify and standardize traditional and virtual technology assets.
 
New collaboration with Red Hat
Building on strategic collaborations with VMware and Microsoft, HP Software will also work with Red Hat on joint product development and integration efforts to help customers seamlessly automate the management of heterogeneous environments, including management of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.
“Virtualization technology delivers a quantum step in IT operational flexibility, speed of deployment, and application performance and availability.

Virtualization allows IT managers to deliver more to their customers while gaining control of their costs,” said Katrinka McCallum, vice president, Management Solutions, Red Hat. “We look forward to working with HP Software to develop new solutions to meet the needs of our joint customers.”
“We see many companies in Asia Pacific with virtualization platforms from multiple vendors, which often leads to increased complexity and spiraling management costs,” said Anthony McMahon, vice president, HP Software, Asia Pacific & Japan.

“HP’s new BSM solutions provide greater visibility and control over multi-vendor virtual and physical environments, enabling CIOs to take advantage of virtualization to improve business services.”

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2008 in HP

 

ASUS Expands Matrix Series with ASUS ROG EN9800GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M

Following the mammoth success of the ROG (Republic of Gamers) EN9600GT MATRIX graphics card, ASUS, world-leading producer of top quality graphic solutions, has today released the new ASUS ROG EN9800GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M. Combining cutting-edge technology and features, this innovative piece of hardware unleashes the true power of graphics cards – allowing gamers to enjoy unrivaled gaming experiences. It achieves all this by incorporating several unique features that include:

– Integrated hardware and software for total graphics card control
– Accurate adjustments of the GPU and memory voltages
– Complete monitoring of the GPU/memory/Power IC/ambient temperatures
– Complete monitoring of the GPU/memory/board power consumption
– Automatic control of fan speeds according to advanced GPU loading detection
– Power savings that surpasses generic boards
– Customizable functions to add a new level of control for gamers
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The Perfect Answer to Gaming Needs
A stylish design that comprises of daring lines, a futuristic-looking Hybrid Cooler and a black circuit board allows astute gamers to instantly identify the ASUS ROG EN9800GT MATRIX as a piece of top-notch gaming hardware; while the ROG logo prominently displayed on the cooler is a mark of promise to signify that this graphics card will deliver extreme gaming performances. Equipped with the ASUS Super Hybrid Engine, Hybrid Cooler technology and iTracker, 15% performance boosts in 3D mode can be achieved; while 30% less power consumption and much quieter cooling can also be guaranteed under the 2D mode – allowing gamers to fulfill their every gaming requirement.

Auto Hardware Detection and Adjustments with Super Hybrid Engine
The new Super Hybrid Engine technology showcases its intelligence via a two-fold process. First gathering detailed information about the GPU loading and temperature, memory and power IC; Super Hybrid Engine then calculates an optimized solution for the best performance. Furthermore, all of this happens in real time, without requiring any tinkering from users – making it easy to achieve multi-level GPU and memory voltage adjustments for the ultimate graphical performance or maximum energy savings.

Hybrid Cooler for Auto-managed Proactive Cooling
The leading and intelligent thermal innovation Hybrid Cooler draws its inspiration from Hybrid cars of the same namesake. With a revolutionary combination of the fan and heatsink solutions on one card, the Hybrid Cooler targets guaranteed performance with power savings in mind. When required, the fan and heatsink will work together for optimum cooling, while the fan is automatically controlled according to advanced GPU loading detection – providing users with more proactive cooling and power savings in the event of lower graphics utilization – much like real Hybrid cars.

iTracker Offers Easy User Selection for the Most Suitable Usage
The iTracker feature comes built-in with the Super Hybrid Engine technology, and offers 4 default profiles for entry-level gamers: namely the Optimized Mode, Gaming Mode, Power Saving Mode, and Default mode. This handy application is also able to display real-time graphics card information that includes the GPU/shader/memory clock, GPU/memory voltage, GPU loading, GPU/memory/power IC/ambient temperature, and fan speed. In addition, the 5th profile – the User Defined Mode, allows timely adjustments that include GPU/shader/memory clock, GPU/memory voltage, and fan speeds to suit different individual requirements.

Up to 15% Faster in 3D Mode
GPU and memory voltage boosts from 1.2V up to 1.301V and from 1.9V up to 1.92V respectively when the ROG EN9800GT MATRIX is running in 3D mode. This allows the GPU, shader and memory clock performance to be boosted from 600MHz up to 750MHz, from 1800MHz up to 2000MHz, and from 1512MHz up to 1753MHz respectively. Such unprecedented performance upgrades helps raise the ROG EN9800GT MATRIX’s 3DMark Vantage Extreme Mode score from 2013 to 2308 – an unbelievable 15% speed improvement when compared to any other reference designed board*. Gamers can now feel the adrenaline rush of superb gaming performance – only with the ASUS ROG EN9800GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M.

Up to 30% Power Saved and Quiet Cooling in 2D Mode
While in 2D modes, less power consumption is required, and the ROG EN9800GT MATRIX is able to reduce GPU and memory voltages from 1.2V down to 0.9V, and from 1.9V to 1.8V respectively for great energy savings. Furthermore, the Auto Phase Switch technology optimizes the power supplied by the power phase for maximum power efficiency. In combining the exceptional voltage reduction with the Auto Phase Switch technology, the ROG EN9800GT MATRIX’s power consumption is lowered from 46.27W to 32.44W – an astonishing 30% in savings when compared to any other reference designed board**. Additionally, Hybrid Cooler will help reduce fan rotation speeds in 2D modes – allowing users to enjoy much quieter cooling for comfortable computing environments.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2008 in Asus