Archive for July, 2010

Hell, it’s about time. Wait, wrong game. Still though, Battlefield 2 came out before Twitter or Facebook hit it big, the iPhone became the tech toy everyone loves to hate but still owns anyway, and even before this snazzy, updated-on-a-regular-basis version of came to be. So, for obvious reasons, it feels like we’ve torn an eternity’s worth of pages from our media-centric calendars while waiting to catch a glimpse of DICE’s next non-spinoff Battlefield sequel. Fortunately, the finish line’s finally in sight.

Via an announcement about Medal of Honor’s Limited Edition, EA gave its first official confirmation of Battlefield 3 – and with it, the Battlefield 3 beta. So, how does one nab a spot in the highly anticipated test? Yes  – you, in the back. With the shirt that has “Captain Obvious” written all over it. Buy the Medal of Honor Limited Edition, you say? Why yes, you are correct!

Oddly, the Limited Edition will make the same attack on your warchest – $60 – that the standard edition will, and as a result, seems to be the only version listed by many retailers. Aside from the Battlefield 3 beta key, it also packs a little extra heat in the form of a few bonus weapons.  

Really though, if a slightly shinier virtual pistol is a deal-breaker for you over Battlefield 3 beta access, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, because you do not exist.

Back in September of 2004, we ran a sidebar in the Dream Machine issue where a couple of editors made their predictions about what the Dream Machine of 2010 would look like. Well, it just so happens that the 2010 Dream Machine issue is on newsstands now, so we thought we’d take a look at how those predictions held up. First, the predictions in question:

So how’d we do? Well, Logan (now the Editor in Chief of PC Gamer) pretty accurately described the modern smartphone. Still, don’t expect to see an iPhone on the cover of the September issue of Maximum PC any time soon. Josh Norem…. Well, the less said about his predictions, the better. We will, unfortunately, have to wait for another 90 years before we can test Will’s predictions.

But Gordon’s predictions… Not half bad! Being as he’s right here in the office, we asked him to tell us about his predictions, and about the reality of this year’s Dream Machine. Here’s what he had to say:

“As some of you may know, I successfully predicted many months before the iPad launched that it would have an Apple OS, CPU, and no keyboard. 

But how did I do in my 2004 prediction of what Dream Machine 2010 would have? Let’s take a look:

Cooling: I predicted that liquid or phase-change would be standard in power rigs and I was right. I haven’t seen a high-end gaming rig without liquid-cooling. Of course, most of that is due to the hotter than hell GPUs, but the CPU also gets a lift from it.

CPU: I predicted a CPU with four cores on a single-die. Sure, I was off a couple of cores but my single-die prediction was right. That may not seem like much of a prediction now, but in 2004, a single-core 90nm Prescott was state of the art. From there Intel went to two chips on a die, but still connected to a front side bus, to dual-cores on a die and then two dual-cores in a chip. We didn’t really see the first “real” quad-cores from Intel until the Core i7 was introduced. AMD, of course, got there first.

RAM: I predicted 16GB would be the high-end with 8GB as standard. I’m off a bit. Today, I really believe that the standard enthusiast machine packs 4GB/6GB with power users running 8GB and 12GB.

HDD: OK, right on the money here. I predicted 4TB of “storage” running on “SATA III.”

Motherboards: I predicted that the BIOS would be gone by 2010 and I’m wrong – by a bit. Obviously, we’ll soon be moving to UEFI in the next 12 months so I was a little ahead of the curve.

Interface: Right on the money. The mouse and keyboard is still the premier way to game then and it is now.

Formfactor: You know, it didn’t even take more than a couple of years for my prediction of BTX being standard to proved wrong. I was wrong technically but I am right morally. I still see our clinging to ATX as irrational considering the needs of today’s computers. BTX may not be the answer but there needs to be some evolution.

But enough about today. I’ve been experimenting with overclocking to FTL  speeds using trilithium thermal grease and having returned from 2015 I can pronounce that Dream Machine 2015 will have:

CPU: a single 24-core CPU with graphics functionality.

GPU: a single multi-GPU card with a 6GB frame buffer.

HDD: Three 10TB hard drives on SATA9 and a 2TB SSD

Formfactor: ATX.

RAM: 72GB of RAM.

Don’t believe me? I’ll meet you here in 2015.”


The Black Hat security conference attracts the creme de la creme of the security industry. This year the organizers even offered a paid live stream for those unable to make the trip to Vegas. Called Black Hat Uplink, the service carried a $395 price tag. But as security expert Michael Coates found out, the price could be waived entirely, thanks to “a combination of logic flaws and misconfigured systems which provided access to a testing login page that could be used with user credentials that were not fully “registered” (e.g. no payment received). “

Coates, who oversees web security at Mozilla, wrote on his blog that he was unable to attend this year’s event and so decided to closely monitor it online. “In this process I noticed the new “Black Hat Uplink” service that would allow remote individuals access to streaming Black Hat talks from two select tracks,” he wrote.

“I identified a series of flaws that would enable the creation of an account with only providing an email address (e.g. no name, address, phone etc) and I was never asked to enter any credit card data. Odd I thought, perhaps you enter the credit card info upon your first login.” Upon completing the registration, he was faced with a slight problem: he didn’t have a registration email do direct him to the login page.

“A few select Google searches and I ended up on a relatively vanilla looking login page. I have a username and a key, let’s give it a shot. To my surprise the login was accepted and I was now sitting in front of the live Black Hat video stream.”

He wasted little time in contacting the event’s organizers, holding off the public disclosure until they had fixed the flaw. He also revealed that Black Hat used a third-party solution for the video feed. Can’t see them using the same vendor for the next event, though.


Every year, a wave of nostalgia comes crashing down as we make the final tweaks and finishing touches to our annual Dream Machine. Because we remember the amazing machines we built in the past, and know that the knowledge we gained and the lessons we learned directly influence our newest ultra-beast computers, year after year. So, as we wipe the sweat from our brows for 2010, we invite you to take a look back at four awesome Dream Machines of the past couple of years. Click to enlarge if you’d like to pick up some spiffy new wallpapers. Enjoy!


Sources are saying today that RIM’s rumored iPad competitor is coming in November of this year, just in time for the holiday tablet buying season. The device is expected to have the same approximate physical dimensions of the iPad, i.e. a 9.7-inch screen. The tablet will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth would be used to tether the tablet to a Blackberry smartphone for data.

Apple has, thus far, run away with the consumer tablet space, selling over 3 million iPads since March. Analysts fear that any company that cannot become competitive by the holidays will be unable to catch up to Apple. 

The Blackberry operating system has been falling behind in recent years, though a new version is expected to bring some improvements. Still, we were never completely happy with the Storm or Storm 2. Do you think a Blackberry tablet will fare better against the iPad, than the Storm did against the iPhone?



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