A big platter based drive to go with your SSD

Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 11:56 AM |
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When the Western Digital EcoGreen F4EG drive arrives in September it is going to be rather popular.  A new larger platter means that the 1.5TB and 2TB flavours will sport 3 platters instead of two which will bring power consumption down.  It does still remain a 5400rpm drive, though that will not matter so much if your OS and active programs reside on an SSD and the WD drive is used for large term storage as the 32MB cache and SATA 3 interface should give you enough bandwidth for that purpose. 

Source: The Register

Pump up the volume of your laptop without adding to the weight

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 12:14 PM |
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If you are looking to boost the audio on your laptop by carrying around some extra speakers you run the risk of an encumbrance penalty, as the speakers large enough to sound good are bulky and the tiny ones tend to sound no better than the ones built into the laptop.  The Choiix Boom Boom
compromises and comes in a form reminiscent of an iPhone (12mm x 160mm x 90mm), though in reality it is a clamshell which opens to reveal the grill covering the 4 speakers inside.  Powered by USB and connected via a 3.5mm RCA jack so there will be a pair of wires connecting the speaker. 

It's not patch Tuesday but you should hit Windows Update

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 11:35 AM |
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Earlier in July a rather nasty Windows flaw that takes advantage of the way that Windows displays Control Panel shortcuts to install a rootkit on your system appeared.  Simply displaying the icon, via explorer for instance, would give the attacker control and that control was targeted at a rather specific and unpleasant task, the disruption of programs used to control and monitor large manufacturing plants.  As [H]ard|OCP

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Mr. Hoffa, I presume?

Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2010 - 06:26 PM |
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There are a wide variety of questions in the Tech Talk Forum, especially now that the Webmastering forum has been merged into it.  You can find questions and recommendations on system builds, printer choices and choice software but a request for viruses is always goi

Llano and Ontario make an early appearance on BOINC

Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2010 - 11:39 AM |
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It looks like AMD was trying to get an idea of how their new chips will work by running a little bit of distributed computing and someone noticed.  BOINC does only measure two types of performance in their benchmark, floating point and integer speeds but that is still enough to tell us about the performance of the chips.  The Ontario core hit 1,300+ million ops/s on with its floating point performance and just over 3,000 million ops/s in integer speeds, which puts it above the Atom at 871 million ops/sec for floating point and 2,249 integer. 

Source: SemiAccurate

Another peek at Intel's coming year

Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2010 - 11:33 AM |
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As is usual, Intel declined to comment on the information that DigiTimes has uncovered about the plans Intel has for 2011 but don't let that shake your confidence that DigiTimes is probably right on the money.  The upcoming Waimea Bay platform will consist of a Sandy Bridge E-based processor in conjunction with the Patsburg chipset and will handle the upcoming generation of DDR3 as it will support RAM speeding up to 2666, though it may be a while before we see that RAM.  Bromolow will be giving some love

Source: Digitimes

That game that came out yesterday

Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2010 - 12:18 PM |
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It has become usual for the release of a PC game to disappoint anyone who tries to grab it on the first day, as brick and mortar stores can't be bothered to carry enough physical copies and the publishers download service collapses under what should have been an expected demand, but many people are now happily playing.  Many of those are probably finding that their actions per minute aren't quite as impressive as they were a decade ago but the nostalgia combined with the new experience is a formidable pair. 

Intel's illuminating new transfer technology

Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2010 - 12:00 PM |
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The big news from Intel yesterday was the announcement of photonic signalling to transfer data at an incredible 50Gbs and that is just to start.  Using four non-interfering wavelengths of light in the form of silicon lasers, Intel has found a way to combine the four wavelengths each capable of 12.5Gbs into a single signal which can be passed across to a receiver that can then split the signal into the original four beams.  They are talking of scaling up to 40 beams or 1Tbs which sounds a lot more interesting than TBS reruns.

More news about AMDs upcoming chips

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2010 - 12:29 PM |
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DigiTimes has some news on AMD's release plans for the near future.  We should see an integrated USB 3.0 controller on the upcoming Hudson D1 southbridge chipsets that will be arriving before the end of the year.  Along with that release a number of processors including the Phenom II X6 1045T; dual-core X2 560; a pair of quad-core Athlon II X4s and triple-quad Athlon II X3's and even a single-core Sempron 150.  Hopefully those releases will keep AMD's CPU business going until the release of Llano ear

Source: Digitimes

Believe it or not, set up a hardware file quickly, cheaply and easily

Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2010 - 12:12 PM |
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Setting up a hardware firewall is not quite like it was just a handful of years ago when the appliances were purpose built and rather expensive.  Now with dd-wrt you can flash your routers firmware and change it into a powerful security appliance with far more options than the router had previously. 

Source: Extremetech

Franz Ferdinand ain't just a band you know

Subject: General Tech | July 23, 2010 - 06:18 PM |
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While you can get lost in the complexities of the tech world, especially if you listen to the PC Perspective Podcast, but on the forums you will be welcomed be you totally new to the wide weird and wonderful world of PCs or a seasoned old salt.  A basic question about the fundamentals of networking will never bring a demeaning reply, instead at least one of our members will take you through the steps required to fix your problem.  If you have been lurking in the forums

ARM, the little company you didn't know you counted on

Subject: General Tech | July 23, 2010 - 12:28 PM |
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The ARM Cortex, especially the more recent models like the A8, are showing up just about everywhere.  HTC, Apple, Samsung and just about any other company producing smart phones depend on ARM for their processing power.  It is estimated that there is around 20 billion ARM processors in use when you count them all, almost putting the x86 and x86-64 architectures to shame.  ASUS was showing off an ARM based tablet running Win7 at Computex so running Windows on an ARM has been done.  Perhaps that is why it is not much of a surprise that Microsoft is now licensing ARM architecture, bringing the two companies three year relationship to a new level.  [H]ard|OCP can fill you in.

"ARM and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they have signed a new licensing agreement for the ARM® architecture. The agreement extends the collaborative relationship between the two companies. Since 1997 Microsoft and ARM have worked together on software and devices across the embedded, consumer and mobile spaces, enabling many companies to deliver user experiences on a broad portfolio of ARM-based products"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Too Psyko for the Podcast but not for your ears

Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2010 - 12:30 PM |
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We didn't have time to cover a recent review of Steve's on this weeks podcast but

The replacement processors are on their way

Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2010 - 11:41 AM |
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The Inquirer touches on the same topic that Josh covered on the podcast and in his article on AMD's second quarter, before the year is out we will have new CPUs.  Unfortunately that is the pinnacle of the good news, though the bad new is not too depressing.  What we will see is most likely Intel's LGA1155 Sandy Bridge which is a 32nm replacement to the currently available 45nm quad core Lynnfields, not a huge change but good to see apart from the socket change.  From AMD it is Llano and the Ontario Fusion chip, lower powered and

Source: The Inquirer

Spore turns to the dark side in a new expansion

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2010 - 11:57 AM |
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Spore is trying to evolve and take out the competition in a bid to become the dominant game on this planet.  We have seen mutations like the online creature builder that have tried to entice gamers into the Spore realm, an iPhone app emulates the beginning stages of the game and there is even a mutation that has spread to the Wii and DS.  Now we will be witness to a new PC/Mac game called DarkSpore which will be online and play very differently than the other games.  Ars Technica had it described to them in terms of playing a mutated beast that wanders around sticking random bod

Source: Ars Technica

Dell server board pre-infected for your convenience

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2010 - 11:29 AM |
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Why waste time waiting for a random user to infect your server with malware when Dell will ship you a board that comes pre-infected.  The PowerEdge R410 Rack server comes with spyware built into its system management software which is embedded on the hardware.  Security experts have been warning about this sort of hardware infection, though it is not clear if the spyware is truly embedded in hardware.  According to The Register, a small number of boards were affected and they have been

Source: The Register

"How Can a Kingston SSDNow Drive Change Your Life?" Challenge Offers $16,000 in Cash Prize

Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2010 - 01:39 PM |
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Fountain Valley, CA -- July 19, 2010 -- Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced it is holding a "How Can a Kingston SSDNow Drive Change Your Life?" video contest. The contest (for U.S. residents only) asks entrants to come up with the most creative way to demonstrate how using a solid-state drive can change one’s daily life. Entries will be judged on creativity in presenting an idea or story in a video format.

Intel expands their roster of CULVs

Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2010 - 11:38 AM |
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While MSI's 3D notebook is rather interesting for those who want to game and watch movies, there are many who are looking for a notebook with a little difference focus.  Intel has been trying to fill that niche with their CULV platform and they have recently refreshed their offerings in hopes of tempting a few more consumers.  SemiAccurate has a breakdown of the various Arrandale powered CULVs, ranging from a rather small, Celeron U3400 powered CULV up to larger Core i7 powered models. 

Source: SemiAccurate

Not just a mouse, it's a keyboard and joystick as well

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2010 - 01:04 PM |
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The $79 WarMouse Meta
is not just a mouse with a high DPI, it sports a joystick and 19 buttons.  The familiar two buttons that are present on any modern mouse have been replaced by 9 buttons on each side offering some serious button power for those willing to learn to use it.  Each and every button can be programmed as a mouse button itself, a key stroke or a held keypress, a macro, a combo or a special command.  Drop by ExtremeTech to find out exactly what all that means.

Source: Extremetech

A shortcut to taking over your system

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2010 - 12:49 PM |
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The attack takes a little doing to complete successfully but it is very effective.  A malformed shortcut, usually present on a USB drive can install a rootkit on your PC, simply by displaying the shortcut icon.  The exploit lies in the way that Windows handles shortcuts to Control Panel icons and is helped by the fact that part of the malware payload it installs masquerades its self as signed drivers from Realtek, though that particular identifier has now been revoked.  To make matters worse Ars Technica reports, there is a specific target, Siemens' SIMATIC WinCC software whi

Source: Ars Technica