SoundBlaster diversifies; heads into the headset market

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2011 - 05:49 PM |
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The Tactic3D Sigma gaming headset represents Sound Blaster's move into other markets now that they no longer have complete domination of the discreet sound card business.  They have a more hefty look than many others, with large padded earcups and a slender microphone boom.  As well the removable THX USB module that it comes with enables you to turn a headset using SP/DIF into a USB headset, as the module is essentially a self co

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD is splitting the Atom's market share

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2011 - 12:34 PM |
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The Acer Aspire One 522 is a Brazos 10" netbook with a 720p display, a Fusion APU with Radeon graphics, an HDMI output, and Windows 7 for just over $300.  Playback of 1080p and 720p video was flawless, at least until the Tech Report tried streaming 720p YouTube videos with Flash 10.2.  They noticed some dropped frames and when they contacted AMD about that issue, AMD r

Another Zero Day Flaw to worry about

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2011 - 11:57 AM |
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In pre-Vista versions of 64bit Windows it seems that not only has a vulnerability using BrowserWriteErrorLogEntry() and the mrxsmb.sys driver be discovered, it is already out there in the wild.  As The Register is quick to point out, in this particular case browser refers to how older versions of Windows discovered workgroups, domains, and the computers belonging to them, as opposed to being an IE flaw.

Source: The Register

Can't get enough TRON? Try a matching mouse and pad from Razer!

Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2011 - 03:58 PM |
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If you are unsure what the Razer TRON Gaming Mouse and Mat are, you are probably on the wrong page.  For those that are still riding the TRON wave, you can get a 290x207x3mm hard mouse pad and with a bioluminescent surface which glows after the mouse light has travelled over it.  The mouse, as mentioned, has several blue LEDs and a pattern reminiscent of the circuit paths prominent in the TRON movies.  Even the control software s

Did you know Crysis 2 is part of the "PC packaged goods market"

Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
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If you've had your head under a rock for this week, then you might not have heard that a version of Crysis 2 is available on torrent sites.  While not a finished version it should certainly give you more satisfaction than a YouTube video ...

Source: Hexus

nVIDIA is putting the super into superphone with Kal-El

Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2011 - 12:44 PM |
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Just two weeks after receiving the first silicon back from the Fab, NVIDIA is already demonstrating their new 40nm quad core Cortex A9 SoC called Kal El.  They've abandoned Tegra2 3D which was what we had originally believed would be the next generation of mobile chip, which was a faster clocked Tegra2 capable of 3D support in favour of this new(ish) chip architecture.  The GPU is also upgraded, AnandTech saw the demo model manage a 50Mbps 1440p H.264

Source: AnandTech

Attention Rumour Mongers: Dell might want to buy AMD

Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2011 - 02:28 PM |
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The details are sketchy and mostly involve the recent departures of high level employees from AMD, CEO Dirk Meyer in January and the COO Robert Rivet early in February.  The lack of current leadership implies to some tech wonks that perhaps AMD is looking for more than just new leadership.  The interim CEO is the once CFO Thomas Seifert, who has publicly stated that he does not want to continue in that leadership role.  Read the speculation at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot

Intel offers some Sandy Bridge love to their partners

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2011 - 01:11 PM |
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According to DigiTimes, today is the first day of mass production for the new and improved B3 version of P67/H67 boards, now shipping without the possibly faulty SATA ports.  By next week they will be shipping these new motherboards to ASUS and and Gigabyte in small quantities, though apparently not to MSI or others.  By April they expect to be in full swing, having replaced the early adopter's boards and filling the channel as well.

Source: Digitimes

Wake n Bacon, making mornings bright

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
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Being a geek is an expensive hobby, from the mental and financial costs of staying on the bleeding edge to picking up the proper tools and software you need to test your machines and keep them running healthily.  One way to avoid bankrupting yourself is to keep a close eye on the PC Perspective Hot Deals Forum as well as the Trading Post, but how do you feel about the refurbished component dea

Antec jumps into the audio biz with their soundscience rockus3D 2.1 Speakers

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2011 - 12:52 PM |
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Antec's new soundscience rockus 3D  2.1 Speaker set is comprised of a control pod, a subwoofer sporting passive radiator technology and a pair of interesting looking anodized aluminium satellites, combined with some proprietary DSP algorithms.  [H]ard|OCP contrasted their performance against Klipsch's Promedia 2.1 system as well as Corsair's recently released SP2500 2.1 system (

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The IE9 Release Candidate is here

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2011 - 11:29 AM |
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Microsoft has been advertising the release of the IE9 RC to the world via many channels this morning.  Most will lead you to a site called Beauty of the Web where you can grab the RC in either a 32bit flavour or a 64bit flavour.  Download and install, wait through the inevitable reboot and you will be surfing the web with their newest browser.  It will not coexist peacefully with IE8 nor with WinXP and you can expect a few glitches, but happily it is uninstallable.

Source: Ars Technica

FUD News: Hacking with superphones edition

Subject: General Tech | February 10, 2011 - 11:12 AM |
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The Register looks at the downside of the miniUSB plug on the side of your superphone, which they define as the current generation of phone that is in all essences a shrunken but fully functional PC and not just something that can sort of browse the web.  That handy plug that lets you recharge your phone and copy files back and forth from a secure network to your very vulnerable phone.  Even better, with the power of a Tegra chip, one of the new ARM processors and their like, you ca

Source: The Register

Not counting expansions or Bad Company, Battlefield is beyond 3

Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2011 - 11:58 AM |
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Don't even count The Road to Rome and skip the game before it was officially Battlefield Something or other, even skip the online only version and you still end up with far more than 3 games bearing the Battlefield moniker than 3.   Regardless, that is the name of the new game and HEXUS has a trailer.

Source: Hexus

Coolermaster continues to expand their lineup of mice with the Inferno

Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2011 - 03:45 PM |
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Not to be confused with their Spawn, the Inferno looks a little plainer without the bright red trim which is a good feature for those not wanting a flashy mouse.  It doesn't lack for controls, you can program five different DPI settings between 500 and 4000DPI and all five settings allow you to map the sensitivity of the X and Y axis separately along with support for both scripts and macros to be programmed to the 11 buttons. 

Source: Bjorn3D

An ARM roadmap from TI

Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
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Drop by AnandTech if you want a complex diagram of the new OMAP 5, a SoC which will be using a pair of 28nm Cortex A15s.  According to TI you can expect a 50% increase in processing power at the same clock speed compared to the previous generation A9.  The new OMAP 5 will also sport a pair of ARM Cortex M4 which should help speed video encoding and decoding.  If you are into these tiny stand alone systems then head over for a look under the hood.

Source: AnandTech

Bluetooth powered speakers

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2011 - 04:37 PM |
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With a Bluetooth enabled laptop you can use that earpiece that normally talks to your phone to listen to audio, but it mostly remains underutilized.  A company by the name of iui Design has another idea for you, their BeLive Bluetooth portable speaker will let you share your audio and not have to use the built in speakers that are often not the best way to listen to a movie or song.  Techware Labs had a chance to check them out and were quite impressed with the quality, specificall

SandyBridge continues to improve over Linux

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2011 - 04:25 PM |
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Fans of Linux have some good news today from Phoronix involving Advanced Vector Extensions the successor to the SSE4 instruction set.  We are still waiting on AMD's first part to arrive on the market while not only has Intel released a part that can handle the new technology, Linux is now able to take advantage of that with the new GCC 4.6.  You can see how well the support has been implemented by reading through the variety of benchmarks in the full article.

Source: Phoronix

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2011 - 06:31 PM |
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The Tech Talk Forum abounds with mysteries this week, from an ECS motherboard with some issues and far too many BIOSes to choose from to an attempt to recover some unpartitioned space on a HDD.  The Motherboard Forum is more concerned about how a single transistor can ruin an entire motherboard family.  The Graphics Forum is also pretty busy, though in a

2011, the year of socket madness

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2011 - 11:32 AM |
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In case you were feeling on top of things and feel that you can tell the difference between a Core i7 on LGA1366 versus LGA1156 accurately and aren't overly concerned about discerning an LGA1155 or yet to arrive LGA2011 SandyBridge part, Intel has made things more confusing.  The server room has avoided most of the socket ecosystem flourishing but that is not going to last according to SemiAccurate

Source: SemiAccurate

ARM's low latency is key to it's market share in the mobile world

Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2011 - 11:49 AM |
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Josh recently touched on the state of the current mobile processor generation, contrasting the efforts of NVIDIA and ARM to improve the performance of the upcoming generation of smart phones.  The Inquirer has done something similar, sitting down with Richard York, director of product marketing at ARM
to hear what he had to say.  The resulting article focuses more on the connectivity side of the required processing power from the silicon within smartphones and the very low latency displayed by ARM's new baseband

Source: The Inquirer