Tech News Bento Box, Post Christmas Edition - Dec. 29, 2009

Subject: General Tech | December 29, 2009 - 07:25 PM |
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The tech news is slowing down as the industry slowly recovers from a massive Egg Nog hangover... or is this the calm before the CES 2010 storm?

Christmas aftermath - It's always interesting to hear what readers of PC Per got for Christmas. If you got something really cool you'd like to share, drop me a line at jon@pcper.com and tell me about it.

OnLive gaming technology demonstrated at school

Subject: General Tech | December 29, 2009 - 03:03 PM |
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Just not YOUR school.  In this case, some students at Columbia University got to hear from CEO Steve Perlman about OnLive's upcoming game streaming technology.  Someone was able to grab some video from the event and shared it with the world so we can all see how the tech works, what the user interface is like and how the iPhone will likely integrate into it.

Tech News Bento Box - Dec. 23, 2009

Subject: General Tech | December 23, 2009 - 07:06 AM |
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@ DigiTimes:USB 3.0 controller chip prices drop below $3 USD which is down almost 50%. Manufacturers are expecting USB 3.0 to overtake USB 2.0 by 2012 / 2013.

Source: Digitimes

Microsoft going to be barred from selling Word

Subject: General Tech | December 22, 2009 - 01:54 PM |
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In what must come as an unwelcome stocking gift to CEO Steve Ballmer this holiday, a Federal Circuit Court has upheld a ruling that will prevent the software giant from selling new copies of its Word word processor (ugh) due to a patent infringement.  From the engadget posting:

Source: engadget

Tech News Bento Box - Dec 21, 2009

Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2009 - 12:25 PM |
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After posting the first Bento Box on Thursday, someone asked me what a Bento Box was. A Bento Box is a traditional Japanese lunch where the meal is compartmentalized into different portions. This way you get a variety of distinct flavours in one meal. So with that backgrounder, it's time for another installment of the Tech Bento Box.

Tech News Bento Box - Dec. 17, 2009

Subject: General Tech | December 17, 2009 - 01:22 PM |
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@ Intel - While most companies prefer calling employees into an office to give them a pink slip, Intel prefers to fire their employees by shooting them from a cannon.



Careful with those pdfs

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2009 - 09:28 AM |
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Yet another zero day exploit has appeared, taking advantage of a flaw in the way Acrobat and Acrobat Reader parses JavaScript.  Adobe found out about the problem Monday so it is likely that exploits are already running around the net.  Even better, most antivirus programs cannot spot the problem yet.  For now the advice Slashdot offers is your best defence, disable JavaScript in Acrobat.

Source: Slashdot

Accept the ribbon, or else!

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2009 - 09:41 AM |
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Users of Office 2003 that have been avoiding the change to 2007 were in for a nasty surprise over the weekend. If their company uses Microsoft’s Rights Management Service to protect their documents then thanks to an expired security certificate then when a file was accessed, instead of the file opening they were greeted with "Unexpected error occurred.

Source: 3DCenter

Ponzi thought small, the Madoff scheme is superior

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2009 - 01:24 PM |
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We here at PC Perspective are nothing if not topical, for instance those of you living far enough from the equator that water occasionally turns solid and falls from the sky in a strange white power can certainly benefit from Jon's latest contribution to the front page.  If you don't end up stuck in a snowbank because you stayed at home, there are still things you can do to increase your comfort and productivity.  It is not just about personal improvement,

Who needs a mouse when you can have a 'sword of the giant'

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2009 - 11:11 AM |
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The new Mionix gaming mouse is called the Saiph 1800, strangely it is indeed an 1800DPI mouse, with 7 buttons and oversized Teflon feet.  It is fairly large, about the same size as the Razer Death Adder
and the 2m cord should allow you free movement while gaming.  Hi-Tech Reviews took it out for a spin and were impressed with the mouse its self, but were a little unhappy at the lack of a dead tree manual or a driver on optical media in the box with the

Nice ... if you can find one

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2009 - 09:12 AM |
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It has been said before and it will be said many times again, while AMD has some incredible graphics cards out there, it is almost impossible to get your hands on a 40nm process 5000 series card.  If you can find one in stock though, you will not be disappointed.  The HIS Radeon 5850 will set you back about $315 and offers 2 dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort
on the back, sending 1080p signals

Google gets into carbon sinks

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2009 - 08:52 AM |
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As hard as it might be to believe, Google Earth can be used for more than just spotting flying cars, inter-dimensional portals, Chinese nuclear subs, giant

Source: Ars Technica

Faster and harder to scratch installation media

Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2009 - 10:30 AM |
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If you are a regular viewer of the PC Perspective you know that Colleen is not the biggest fan of optical media; she goes as far as to ensure none of her boxen have an optical drive unless absolutely necessary.  One might wonder how she goes about installing Windows, or even Linux, without a DVD drive.  The answer is very simple, a bootalbe USB drive can do everything the original DVD can and more.  Ars Technica offers two different ways in which to set up a bootable USB drive tha

Source: Ars Technica

Get dirty in high def

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2009 - 09:39 AM |
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With the advent of DX11 and affordable cards that can handle the new features comes a whole new language of features to explore.  High Definition Ambient Occlusion, High Dynamic Range in 64-bit and even updates to shadow mappings.  [H]ard|OCP takes you on a visual trip through the differences between DX9 and DX11 using the only game out there that currently takes advantage of the new instruction sets, DiRT 2.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Power to the people's USB devices

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2009 - 09:11 AM |
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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 - 10:55 AM |
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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 - 09:11 AM |
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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 74.125.45.100, 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 - 09:26 AM |
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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 - 11:15 AM |
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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 - 09:31 AM |
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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