Power to the people's USB devices

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2009 - 12:11 PM |

MAKE:Blog calls upon you to modernize your power outlets with a nice USB device recharging plug.  Why keep a variety of adaptors that plug into a plain old wall wart when you can either order or build USB plugs directly into a power outlet?  Drop by for a link to the company that will soon be selling them or head to the Instructable on how to build your own.  Be careful; make sure you don't end up extra crispy.

Source: MAKE: Blog

Positioning the lowly sound card

Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2009 - 01:55 PM |

Sound cards have quickly gone from an absolute necessity to an afterthought for most PC enthusiasts thanks to the huge jump in quality from onboard sound.  Some of the motherboards today come with HD 7.1 sound built in, an numerous ways of outputting that signal.  This means sound cards have also had to grow, offering more than just the benefit of offloading the processing from the CPU.  The Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Profe

Google as an ISP alternative

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2009 - 12:11 PM |

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at ISPs for them to be able to deliver the internet to you.  From bandwidth monitoring to quality assurance; the list is quite long but the current focus of Google has narrowed to DNS resolution.  If you are unfamiliar with domain name resolution, a simple way to describe it is that it is the service that changes Google.com to, or whichever IP address of the server you are trying to hit currently resolves to.  The speeds of that translation can vary significantly from ISP to ISP, so Google has created a public DNS that

Source: Slashdot

Stop hogging my side of the bandwidth

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2009 - 12:26 PM |

Ars Technica links to an analyst's blog about the mythical status of the bandwidth hog.  Benoit Felten proposes that most ISPs simply measure the total amount of data downloaded per user and then list the top 5 percent as bandwidth hogs, not even checking if the traffic might not have been torrents or if the activity only took place during low usage times.  There seems no reason to be polite about your downloading, it is simply the sum total you download that

Source: Ars Technica

It's a self contained input device

Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2009 - 02:15 PM |

The Roccat Kova mouse has a lot going for it on paper, it is ambidextrous, requires no software and all of the various effects and resolutions are managed by combinations of button pushes on the mouse, including LED breathing.  If you are wondering what that is, R&B Mods has a video showing the mouse in action.  They loved the mouse, so if you are looking for a mouse with no software that fits either hand perfectly you really should read the full review.

Just a drop in the bucket

Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2009 - 12:31 PM |

Intel has stated that that $1.25 billion payout to AMD to bring an end to the legal battle between the two processor companies is not going to have an effect on their research budget.  Of course they also state that their business practices "have and will continue to be fair, lawful and pro-competitive", an assertion that seems a little odd considering the legal battles Intel has lost recently because of their so called lawful business practices.  The DigiTimes story also touches on the topic of conditional a

Source: Digitimes

One screenshot and the believers are back

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2009 - 12:18 PM |

You thought you had heard the last, at least until an open source mod is made, but you were wrong.  Duke Nukem has raised his aged head once more, this time on Facebook with a grand total of one screen shot.  Perhaps that is all you need to raise the hopes of Duke junkies, especially those whose main gaming system is an Xbox or PlayStation.  If you want to witness the continuing slow motion train wreck that this franchise has become, or if you are a true believer, then follow the link from HEXUS fo

Source: Hexus

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2009 - 11:49 AM |

Perhaps the yields from TSMC's 40nm process have been very low and supplies of many of AMD's latest and greatest video cards are very low because of that and maybe GlobalFoundries is working on a 32nm process that AMD is not yet finished developing cards for; but that doesn't mean they are looking for a third supplier.  Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Graphics Products Group stated that they are not looking for a new partner when he was asked directly. 

Source: Digitimes

That's not the right colour of death

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2009 - 11:37 AM |

The brother of the Blue Screen of Death has been visiting hapless PC users for a long time, but it seems that it is becoming more common.  The Black Screen of Death leaves you with nothing but a black screen and possibly an Explorer window, your desktop, taskbar and those familiar icons disappear.  This particular run of BSODs has been triggered by a recent Windows Update, though not all systems have been affected, and the victims include every windows from NT on to Win7.

Source: The Register

DiRT 2 Offers Exhilarating DirectX 11 Gaming Experience - Only On ATI Radeon Graphics Cards

Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2009 - 11:56 AM |

AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today that the Games for Windows Live Edition of DiRT 2 is now shipping and marks the first racing game developed from the ground up to take advantage of advanced graphics features available with Microsoft DirectX 11 and the incredible new ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology for the most engaging gaming experience yet.

Source: AMD

For when your netbook goes a wandering

Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2009 - 12:27 PM |

Loosing a netbook will not have a huge monetary impact; replacing it will only cost about $300.  That is not the full scope of the problem you are about to have because of that lost netbook; especially if you have no password on your main account.  Think how many websites have your username and password set to automatically log on.  Maybe even MSN, ICQ, AIM or whatever your IM client of choice is also happens to be set to log in at boot.

Source: Ars Technica

It's a Black Friday on the PC Per Real-time Pricing Engine

Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2009 - 05:47 PM |

Our Tech Talk Forum is a great place to get help for all of those random little problems that make PCs so much fun.  Ranging from Windows installation issues, to a bit of strangeness during boot to the best way to integrate a Blu-Ray player into an HTPC.  We

Arr, I be a boycotter

Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2009 - 11:53 AM |

Forums dedicated to PC Gamers of a similar mindset reach a certain fevered pitch when a beloved game just isn't what they had expected; even worse are the flame wars that erupt in the weeks leading up to a release or the weeks after a delay of release.  The vitriolic ALL CAPS POSTS, members starting up threads faster than mods can lock them down, it is perhaps a great way to vent but it is not constructive in any manner whatsoever.

Source: Ars Technica

OCZ faces a tough choice

Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2009 - 12:22 PM |

The Register has spotted an interesting product that OCZ is working on, an external SSD with a USB 3.0 connection.  From the picture in the article you can tell that this will resemble a 2.5" drive far more than it will a thumbdrive and with the recent release of their 1TB Colossus SSD it makes sense that they chose to go with the larger form factor.  The Colossus uses SATA II and manages 260MB/sec, the USB 3.0 standard can go as high as 400MB/sec, so it offers a higher possible bandwidth than SATA II

Source: The Register

Come to the Renaissance, meet interesting people and assassinate them

Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2009 - 02:37 PM |

Ars Technica delves into the world of 15th Century Italy and reviews the sequel to Assassin's Creed, bearing a very similar name to the original, as they've simply added a 2.  It takes place about 300 years after the first game and is perfectly playable for those who missed the first game.  It is the Renaissance, so expect some interesting gadgets to appear during your travels to supplement your trusty blade. 

Source: Ars Technica

Cancel or allow?

Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2009 - 01:49 PM |

ExtremeTech has taken Microsoft's claims that Windows 7 is the most secure ever as a challenge and put the new features under the microscope.  There are 5 different sections, detailing UAC, the firewall and networking as well as the new Filtering Platform, all of the new features and the new implementations of familiar features are all covered.  Check it out and see if Win7 passes the grade.

Source: Extremetech

Firming up your expectations for Fermi

Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2009 - 12:51 PM |

The Tech Report has compiled all the information they have gathered about nVIDIA's upcoming new architecture that we have all been hearing so much about.  Not just a graphics solution and not quite a full GPGPU, the Fermi can be a little hard to wrap your head around.  They take you through all of the terminology you will need to understand the architectural changes to the G80 processor, the GF100 and then move onto the actual meat of how the processor will work.  Stick through to the end and you can see some e

For those that play e-Sports

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2009 - 06:32 PM |

The unfortunately named Zowie Gear Hammer e-Sports Headset has a rather rugged, almost military feel to its design.  It looks like you could swing them around above your head by their cord and lay down the hammer on whichever ex-friend of yours just based camped your team, without the headset suffering any damage.  The headset that Overclockers Cafe reviewed used a pair of 3.5mm jacks as opposed to a

Play starts on the 40, fumble on 32 ... recovery on the 28?

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2009 - 11:55 AM |

The difficulties at TSMC with their 40nm process are very familiar to anyone who watches the industry or has tried to by an HD5xxx series or 4770 graphics card.  The volume is tiny which has also had the effect of bringing prices up.  The same issues have occurred in their 32nm process, though with less song and dance as there are no retail cards with a 32nm process GPU.  According to SemiAccurate, TSMC has made the decision to stop work on their 32nm process and head s

Source: SemiAccurate

Happy Birthday SETI, you don't even look 25!

Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2009 - 07:34 PM |

Building computers is, in a way a matter of knowing the rules and following them.  On a basic level it is plugging the right connector into the right plug, be it a ZIFF socket or a 12V power connector.  Beyond that come secondary rules, like not mixing RAM and ensuring that temperatures remain reasonable.  Others are more complex, like overclocking in small increments to find the perfect settings instead of instantly trying for your megahertz goal.  There are other unwritten rules to follow that are no less important, rules vary greatly from those stating that