AMD 40th Anniversary Giveaway - 20 Xbox & Wiis

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2009 - 10:08 PM |
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May 1, 2009, marked AMD’s 40th anniversary. Formed by Jerry Sanders and seven co-founders in 1969, AMD is a company with a rich and colorful history. AMD's 40th anniversary is a testimonial to our longevity, our employees, our customers and our unique business approach. AMD takes great pride in our role of igniting next-generation technology solutions, as well as our ability to see where customer and end-user needs are headed next and then collaborate with the industry accordingly.

Source: AMD

Taking a hacksaw to a large Persian rug

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2009 - 12:27 PM |
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You may remember back in the days when we were all eagerly awaiting an OS named Longhorn, mention of a project called MinWin.  The idea was to put the Windows kernel on a serious weight loss program after its original NT kernel bloated itself while transforming into Win2K and WinXP.  We had hoped to see the MinWin kernel, as well as a new file system with Vista but that just didn't happen.  The MinWin project its self is alive and well, focusing on minimizing and compartmentalizing server code along with possible applications in mobile devices. 

Source: Ars Technica

It's just going to die on you

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2009 - 01:03 PM |
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Gizmodo has compiled information on the reliability of various laptop brands and as past users of HP products already knew, HP does not fare well.  ASUS and Toshiba both did well, both with less than a 16% failure rate over 3 years where as cheap netbooks reached 6% failure rates within the first year.  Fully 1/4 of HP laptops suffer failures within 3 years, followed closely by Acer, Lenovo and Gateway.  Check out the rest before you pick up your next netbook or not

Source: Gizmodo

Lose the wire but pick up some random signals

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2009 - 01:34 PM |
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Logitech is trying something new with their ClearChat headset; they have gone against conventional wisdom and made it wireless.  It the advantages of most USB headsets, plugging in the USB transmitter is all that is required, there are no drivers to install, simply plug in and you are broadcasting at 2.4 GHz.  Without wires, the controls need to be moved, the mute notification LED now sits on the microphone boom its self and the volume and mute button

A besmirched reputation

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2009 - 12:15 PM |
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As you have heard from listening to the PCPer Podcast, no one is happy with the delay of the Lucid chip bearing MSI Big Bang motherboard that has been delayed.  Ryan has since managed to get his hands on a test bed, but we have yet to see any retail models.  Certain fingers have been pointed at a company who's colours are often equated with jealousy and who have had a bit of a questionable history of sharing nicely; not to imply that particular trait is uncommon in the electronics industry.  The Tech Report had a chance to speak with an MSI rep, who has disavowed the rumours of nvIDIA's involvement, instead placing the blame on the development of the software.  Perhaps it is best to wait until most of the bugs are ironed out, but that still doesn't make it easy.

"Recently, we've heard rumors that Nvidia might be involved in the delay of motherboards based on Lucid Hydra chip, which promise to usher in a brave new world of vendor-agnostic multi-GPU support. After a little prodding, Nvidia and MSI have both given us statements denying any shady reasons for the postponement. More importantly, Nvidia has vowed not to block Lucid's path with driver restrictions and the like."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Kalashnikov's baby turns 62

Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2009 - 06:55 PM |
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Building PCs isn't all fun and games you know, some people do it for a living.  One of the hardest and perhaps most rewarding ways to do that is running your own boutique shop.  One forum member is looking for inspiration, reselling HP equipment isn't really the most exciting way to do business; do you have any suggestions on how to entice people into buying the good hardware, or hints on what pulls you away from the mass produced crap and into the cream of custom built systems.  While we're on the top

A web protocol the network guys have never heard of

Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2009 - 11:50 AM |
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It seems that in their spare time between reinventing the browser, mobile phone and book storage, the guys at Google are also looking at changing web protocols as well.  spdy:// is their proposed replacement to http://, a protocol designed to speed up transfers of large web pages with a lot of content.  They argue the current protocol generates a request of a kilobyte or more, slowing down connections while their usage of SSL encryption and gzip compression trims that down and gives up to a 50% speed increase.  The downside is the pressure put on the web server at the other end

Source: Ars Technica

A tablet at 20% of the price?

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2009 - 06:59 PM |
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A basic Wacom tablet will set you back over $350, so can a $70 tablet actually be of any use to anyone?  That is exactly what OCMODSHOP decided to find out when they picked up the Adesso CyberTablet 6400.  You get a a scroll mouse and a 6" x 4" work space along with a wireless pen that boasts 512 different pressure levels and even sports two mouse buttons so you don't need to switch back and forth between peripherals.  The only real drawback they found throughout was the necessity of batteries, somethin

Source: OCMODSHOP

Forget Vista, how does it measure up to XP

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2009 - 04:01 PM |
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ExtremeTech recently published a performance comparison between Vista and Windows 7, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of switching to the new OS.  That made a number of users pipe up; there are many who took one look at Vista and turned their noses up, continuing to
happily stick with XP.  They've now complied with those users requests and have compared Windows 7 to that old OS stand by.  How do they stack up?  Read on and find out.

Source: Extremetech

An end to the legal wrangling

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2009 - 12:45 PM |
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The decision is in from the AMD versus Intel is in, the Delaware court did not get a chance to rule as AMD and Intel have worked out a settlement themselves worth $1.25 billion.  This agreement puts an end to every current legal dispute between the two processor companies across the globe.  The exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, what we do know is that there will be a 5 year cross license agreement between the two companies.  This is perhaps

Need for Speed patch races to [H]

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2009 - 04:03 PM |
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AMD GPU owners who happen to be fans of racing sims had a nasty surprise waiting for them with the arrival of Need for Speed SHIFT.  They took a big performance hit compared to similar nVIDIA GPUs, enough that the attention of both AMD and EA's attention.  Thus the pending release of the second patch, specifically designed to improve the performance of AMD cards along with a beta of Catalyst 9.12, tantalizingly labelled Hemlock, arrived on [H]ard|OCP's door.  Check ou

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Finally some numbers from Lucid

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2009 - 03:52 PM |
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There were many who felt quite disappointed by MSI's failure to deliver on their Oct.

A visit to the cleanest room in Dresden

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2009 - 02:50 PM |
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If you have yet to click on the link at the top of the page then you are missing out on some serious geek pr0n and some information about the future of the industry.  Ryan flew to Germany for a visit with Global Foundries.  There are a few snaps of the automation system and the clean rooms in which AMD and others have their chips made.  He also got some information on how their lineup will change and when we will start to see the new processes start up.  It is a must see.

Handy in those 'close enough to slap' LANParty situations

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2009 - 04:00 PM |
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If you want to look unique at the next LANParty you hit, or maybe you are just THAT into Medal of Honor and want to add to the experience, pick up Gameskulls' GS-1 Tactical Gaming Helmet.  It is made to resemble the Army's PASGT Ground Troops helmet or the USMC Light Weight Helmet and hides inside a pair of earcups with 50mm drivers and a boom microphone.  USB, PS3 and XBox 360
connectors all come in the package, there is no installation software.  OCIA did find that ambient noise bounced aroun

Source: OCIA

Defend yourself from the cloud

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2009 - 02:02 PM |
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Cloud computing is either the new Web 2.0 or it is at least how that magical new Web will manage to perform all of the miracles that most CIOs dream of happening ... soon.  For the geeks in the trenches it is becoming a nightmare; which is really too bad.  The blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of management so upper that it has it's head in the cloud already.

Source: Ars Technica

Deformed triangles are easy on the eyes

Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2009 - 12:02 PM |
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Tessellation is the killer app of DX11, making the jump from DX10 much more impressive than the jump from DX9 to DX10.  There is a bit of bad news for HD5xxx owners out there which is the performance hit that comes from the breaking up of large triangles into dozens of tiny ones.  In [H]ard|OCP's testing of the Unigine Heaven benchmark they saw a drop of about 40% when they enabled tessellation, but the visual impact is much greater.  Check out the screenshots and pay particular attention to how the wire frames change.  That huge increase in the amount of polygons is

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Exit the Dragon?

Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2009 - 12:28 PM |
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AMD is all about the platform right now; the synergy created between utilizing an AMD CPU, GPU and chipset to allow graphical megatasking.  The new VISION platform will come in four different flavours ranging from Basic up to Black offering more features as you move up from the Basic version.  Most of the features have to do with HD video encoding and decoding as well as audio, but your gaming experience will also improve.  Check out the pictures Ryan took of the laptops and business class desktops in Germany in his full article

It's like a benchmark you can play

Subject: General Tech | November 4, 2009 - 12:21 PM |
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Since the days of 3DMark03, many gamers who used the benchmark to compare their current tweaks to their own previous results as well as the results of others, there have been many who wished that some of these benchmarks were playable.  Finally that wish can come true and in a rather interesting game concept, free fall.  Shattered Horizons has been demoed and talked about for quite some time now but finally we are approaching the release date.  If you are interested in multiplayer combat without the restriction of a gravity well,

Intel's Universal Serial Blindspot

Subject: General Tech | November 4, 2009 - 11:59 AM |
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It would seem that Intel chipsets will not be natively supporting USB 3.0 until sometime in 2011, according to a confirmed rumour you can read about on Engadget.  nVIDIA has stepped out of the chipset business, only supporting their current platforms, so you can count them out as well.  ALi, SiS and VIA have pretty much backed out of the enthusiast market; which leaves AMD to fill the needs of USB 3.0 fans that want native support.  There are no licens

Source: engadget

Fermi's not so firm deadline

Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2009 - 12:18 PM |
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CES 2010 is just a hair over 2 months away and is the prime time for nVIDIA to show off Fermi and its processing capabilities
alone or in parallel.  Fermi A2 silicon has taped out according to Charlie at SemiAccurate, raising hopes that at least some silicon, perhaps even working, will be shown off sometime between now and the end of CES.  We know that TSMC has had yield difficulties with the 40nm process that have not aba

Source: SemiAccurate