Sony Noise Reduction review

Sony Noise Reduction consists of four professional DirectX sound restoration plug-ins that can clean up your vinyl recordings and tracks, eliminating noise that has been accidentally introduced or unwanted and annoying sound sources from otherwise good recordings. To use them effectively, however, you need to know what you are doing.


Great performance: Sony Noise Reduction includes Audio Restoration, Clipped Peak Restoration, Noise Reduction, and Click and Crackle Removal, all of which work as advertised.

Plug-in settings: You start with the default values and, if the result is not satisfactory, you can adjust many settings. Once you are happy with … Read more

Microsoft won't bring DirectX 11.1 to Windows 7

Windows 8 will have sole custody of DirectX 11.1, according to a Microsoft engineer.

Responding to a question on an MSDN forum, Daniel Moth, a Microsoft program manager, broke the news that "at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7."

That same holds true for versions prior to Windows 7, leaving the new DirectX version exclusive to Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012.

DirectX is a collection of programming interfaces from Microsoft that enable 3D animation and other multimedia effects used mostly in games. Developers … Read more

AMD to intro second-gen DX11 GPUs next week

Advanced Micro Devices plans to unveil a new line of DirectX 11 graphics cards next week, CEO Dirk Meyer said in the chipmaker's earnings call yesterday.

According to Meyer, AMD will host "launch activities next week" for a second-generation of Direct X11 cards. He added that AMD plans to release "all the family members of that product line I'll call it, by the end of this quarter."

AMD expects to ship "several hundred thousand or hundreds of thousands of units" of the new graphics card during the quarter.

Microsoft's DirectX 11 technologyRead more

Buzz Out Loud Podcast 1145: China to Google: Suck it

The Google-China drama continues as China makes a veiled response that only law-abiding companies are welcome in the People's Republic. More information came out indicating the Gmail hacking was done by the government in China. This isn't over folks. We'll keep on it. But there is other news. Apple lawyers strike back over tablet rumors, and app stores are all pretty much the same.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1145

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With IE 9, Microsoft fights back in browser wars

With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft showed Wednesday it's trying to retake the browser initiative.

IE remains the Net's dominant browser. But perversely, it became something of a technology underdog after Microsoft vanquished Netscape in the browser wars of the 1990s and scaled back its browser effort.

That left an opportunity for rivals to blossom--most notably Firefox, which now is used by a quarter of Web surfers, but also Apple's Safari, which now runs on Windows as well as Mac OS X, and Google's Chrome, which aims to make the Web faster and a better foundation for applications.

Microsoft has been pouring resources back into the IE effort, though, and at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, some fruits of that labor were on display. In particular, Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky showed off IE 9's new hardware-accelerated text and graphics.

The acceleration feature takes advantage of hitherto untapped computing power in a way that's more useful than other browser-boosting technology--Google's Native Client to directly employ PC's processor and Mozilla's WebGL for accelerated 3D graphics, for example--according to Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer.

"This is a direct improvement to everybody's usage of the Web on a daily basis," Hachamovitch said in an interview after Sinofsky's speech. "Web developers are doing what they did before, only now they can tap directly into a PC's graphics hardware to make their text work better and graphics work better." … Read more

Future AMD chip boasts 'human eye' reality

On Thursday, AMD demonstrated graphics chip technology that the company says approaches the arc and clarity seen by the human eye.

Eyefinity is a multi-display technology that will be part of future Radeon graphics chips designed to use up to six connected high-definition displays that can achieve "up to 12 times 1080p high-definition resolution, which approaches eye-definition optical clarity," the company said in a statement.

The goal is to create virtual environments so detailed that they seem optically real to the human eye. In a single PC, this yields a resolution of 268 megapixels, roughly equivalent to the … Read more

Intel, Microsoft event to highlight Windows 7 improvements

Intel and Microsoft will hold an event next week to discuss collaboration on improvements to Windows 7.

The event, on September 1 in San Francisco, will "share how the two companies collaborated on key enhancements during the development of Windows 7," according to Intel. Steve Smith, vice president and director, Intel's Digital Enterprise Group Operations, and Michael Angiulo, general manager of Windows Planning and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft, will talk at the event. Microsoft plans to launch Windows 7 on October 22.

Windows 7 collaboration will be demonstrated by engineers from both companies, according to Intel. Not … Read more

Windows 7 will give boost to PC hardware

Windows 7 will be more than just a better interface. Under-the-hood changes will allow chips from Intel, Nvidia, and Advanced Micro Devices to ratchet up Windows 7 performance above previous Microsoft operating systems.

Microsoft on Wednesday said it has finalized the code for Windows 7, set to ship with new PCs starting October 22. Improvements will include how Windows handles multitasking, graphics acceleration, and solid-state drives.

Microsoft is working closely with Intel, whose chips will power the vast majority of PCs running Windows 7. A July 22 post from Intel's Joakim Lialias, Alliance Manager responsible for Microsoft, described how … Read more

As AMD fetes chip milestone, analysts fret about future

Updated at 11:10 a.m. PDT: adding Walmart dv2 laptop information.

Concerns about Advanced Micro Devices' future are being aired as the company celebrates a chip milestone.

The chipmaker said Wednesday that it has shipped 500 million x86 (Intel-compatible) processors since the company's founding in 1969. And to celebrate, AMD is giving away four Hewlett-Packard dv2 ultra-thin notebooks based on its low-power Athlon Neo X2 chip. But the laptop giveaway, ironically, underscores one of AMD's challenges.

Doug Freedman, analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, said in a research note earlier this week that the dv2 laptop has "failed … Read more

DirectX targeted in Microsoft security updates

Microsoft said on Thursday that it will issue six security updates on Patch Tuesday next week, including a critical one that will fix two outstanding holes in DirectX that have been targeted in attacks.

In May, Microsoft announced that there had been attacks against a DirectX vulnerability that could allow someone to take complete control of a computer using a maliciously crafted QuickTime file.

Earlier this week, Microsoft warned of attacks being launched that exploit a hole in the Video ActiveX Control when used in Internet Explorer for recording and playing video in DirectShow. Microsoft offered a workaround on Monday … Read more