Unless you have been hiding under a rock ...

Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2009 - 04:07 PM |
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You most likely know that Windows 7 is on its way, unless you are in the UK, and it is time for an upgrade.  In order to familiarize yourself with what is known about the new OS, or just to help you remember Tech Spot has put together an overview of the new OS from Microsoft.  From upgrade paths to the choice between 32bit and 64bit, anything you need answered will be addressed from their many links.

Source: Tech Spot

Second time is the charm for Microsoft's mobile music player

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2009 - 04:22 PM |
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The original Zune met with a lot of resistance from the market, its one unique feature of being able to share your music with other Zune users was not terribly well received.  The second incarnation has found a crowd of followers, the new HD version of the Zune provides great quality.  As well the design has changed, slimming down what was a rather chunky MP3 player.  If you haven't acquainted yourself with the new Zune, drop by ExtremeMhz to see it in action.

Source: ExtremeMhz

... and me with this terrible heat in all the diodes down my left side. ...

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2009 - 02:27 PM |
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Heat may finally prove useful in computing applications, a big turn around considering it has been the archenemy of designers and builders until this research came to light.  A one way thermal diode takes waste heat on a one way trip away from the heat source, a great boon to heatsink makers everywhere.  That is not the most impressive application, follow the link from Engadget and you will learn about the possible applications of this new technology, such as thermal

Source: engadget

The mouse has risen; celebrate 96 years of copyright extensions

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2009 - 06:56 PM |
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Upgrading your PC, especially when it is an entirely new system is wonderful experience.  The assembly is certainly a big part of the fun but it has a hard time comparing to that feeling when everything is running perfectly.  What happens though, when everything is running but it just lacks that fast new computer feelingYou head to our Overclocking Forum, that's what!

Kindle, Google Edition?

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2009 - 12:08 PM |
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Google is launching its own ebook service called Google Editions in what can only be a shot at Amazon's market share.  The ebook behemoth is already watching its back for signs that Walmart is heading their way and now they have a different competitor shouldering their way in.  Google says that their books will be readable on 'smartphones, netbooks and personal computers and laptops', a big difference from Amazon's Kindle.  Expect to see a lot of the same legal wrangling that accompanied the creation of Google Books,

Source: Slashdot

Nobody talks about Fight Mouse

Subject: General Tech | October 15, 2009 - 02:01 PM |
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Graphics companies making supercomputers, CPU companies focusing on graphics, it is a mad market and one of the more popular areas to branch into is input devices.  The latest company would be Revoltec as they bring you the FightMouse Pro.   3600 DPI, 1ms response time, six buttons, modifiable weight and enough memory to keep track of a few profiles help place it in the high end of gaming mice.  TestSeek Labs was also very happy with its flexibility

Your P55 may have some hot pin on pad action goin' on

Subject: General Tech | October 15, 2009 - 11:47 AM |
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Click over to AnandTech and take a very close look at the first picture in this article.  You might not notice the one pad on the first picture until you look at the second one where the damage is much more obvious.  Through extreme overclocking, headed towards the 5GHz mark and over, they have damaged several boards and processors.  You probably won't see this on air cooling as the power draw required for those kind of overclocks tends to involve liquids that are more usually gases.  It is worth

Source: AnandTech

Just another face in the MMORPG crowd?

Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2009 - 12:23 PM |
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Aion The Tower of Infinity is a new MMORPG with a few interesting twists, the most noticeable is that just about everyone is a flying supermodel.  The graphics are impressive for an online game and Aion takes advantage of that when you create the face of your character.  They do not skimp on the scenery and atmosphere either, all of which are much more detailed and interesting than others in this genre.  The levelling system allows you to avoid grinding, crafting will also help you gain experience to help you reach level 25, when you sprout wings and can start PvP play. 

Source:

nVIDIA's new friends will display in Tegra

Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2009 - 12:06 PM |
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Ryan spotted a bit of news yesterday which places Tegra in the upcoming Nintendo hand held, currently called Nintendo TS.  There is more good news for nVIDIA spotted by SemiAccurate, the new Mobinnova
3G Smartbook, named the Beam, will sport a Tegra 650 SoC and run Windows CE.  It will be interesting to see if the battery life is indeed as long as they claim; any system that can provide a full days work without a recharge is going to be very popular

Source: SemiAccurate

Message in a BIOS

Subject: General Tech | October 13, 2009 - 12:27 PM |
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It is very important not to lose your sense of play as you work and somehow the tech community has no problems doing so, as evidenced by the amount of easter eggs that have accompanied our hardware and software.  Software easter eggs are most often found in games, but there have been a few office applications that either have them in obvious spots or hidden away in the code.  Hack a Day wants to gather all of the best hardware hacks, messages on tracings on PCBs or inside cases, but somewhere you wouldn't notice unless you were actually working with the hardware. 

Source: Hack a Day

It's Leif Erikson Day! Please note that normal Viking activities are still frowned upon

Subject: General Tech | October 9, 2009 - 06:11 PM |
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This week has been about nVIDIA, but not in the way they might want.  From the predictions of nVIDIA's complete withdrawal
from the high end market by an infamous member of the tech community to the article 

AMD and CyberLink Acclerate Applications with DirectX11 and ATI Stream

Subject: General Tech | October 9, 2009 - 02:25 PM |
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Sunnyvale, Calif. - Oct. 8, 2009 - AMD (NYSE:
AMD) and CyberLink Corp announced the
companies are expanding their existing engineering engagement with a
strategic focus on Microsoft DirectX 11 DirectCompute, taking advantage
of the capabilities of AMD's new DirectX 11-capable graphics
architecture.

Source: AMD

AMD tells about its horoscope

Subject: General Tech | October 9, 2009 - 12:04 PM |
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Abandoning the river theme, AMD seems to be looking to the stars to see its future platforms, Dragon being replaced with Leo next year and Scorpius to follow in 2011.  Scorpius will feature a 32nm Zambezi CPU
sporting four cores at the very least, along with an integrated DDR3 controller and fit into a Revision 2 AM3 socket, just to make CPU sockets even more confusing.  SemiAccurate also touches on their plans for an Accelerated Processor Unit which brings a GPU on board. 

Source: SemiAccurate

More mobile Nehalem news

Subject: General Tech | October 8, 2009 - 02:14 PM |
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The Tech Report is comparing the performance of the mobile versions of the Core i7 processor.  The mobile version of the P55, along with mobile 920, 820 and 720 processors are all arriving soon.  In this case the 920XM is compared to its non-mobile cousins in their latest article.  The 17.1" Clevo's W870CU
is the laptop they are using, plugged firmly into the mains as this 9lb powerhouse is only technically mobile, not really feasibly portable. 

You and me and the ECC

Subject: General Tech | October 8, 2009 - 12:22 PM |
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The same discrepancies that apply to software benchmarking programs also apply to predictions of hardware failure rates based on subjecting them to extreme stress conditions.  Much like a graphics card, the only way to know how it will perform is to actually use it in real life conditions for hours, days or years.  Such is the case with DRAM errors, as proven by a study done by Google.  Instead of the current estimate based on synthetic testing, as Ars Technica puts it, '

Source: Ars Technica

Nobody said stopping the Chinese invasion would be easy

Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2009 - 01:07 PM |
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The original Operation Flashpoint was a hard game and not because of monster closets or ridiculous boss fights, it was hard because bullets kill.  One good shot could take you out or is at least guaranteed to slow you down.  There is no health metre nor any med kits lying around, you have to finish the mission with every bump, scrape and bullet hole that you accumulate over the mission.  The sequel, Dragon Rising looks to be every bit as daunting, and every bit as fun. 

Mayhap we shall see a new mobile RAM standard

Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2009 - 12:16 PM |
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RAMBUS, one of the last attempts at serial volatile memory
standards didn't do well when it was first tried on the market; a long story that by the end had many glad to see RAMBUS go.  DDR and its successive generations has had success in the PC world, but that is a small share of the total memory market.  A PC can provide the cooling and power that defines DDR.  Now The Inquirer reports on the return of serial memory, this time targeted specifically towards m

Source: The Inquirer

Well, that won't help you become more popular

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2009 - 12:00 PM |
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Physics is fun in games, be it chopping down trees with heavy fire in Crysis or FarCry2 or the joy of levelling entire buildings in Silent Storm to deny your enemies cover.  What isn't fun is slapping down $100+ for a PPU to find out that there are a total of 2 maps that support that particular physics engine or that the sum effect of having that PPU is that paper and dust react to wind in a slightly more interesting way than without the $100+ PPU.  nVIDIA wanted to make the PPU more approachable, to do so they let you slap in any of their recent cards into a second PCIe slot and you

Source: NGOHQ

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM, and You

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2009 - 11:09 AM |
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Today GF has released news of a partnership that it has developed with well known CPU designer ARM (Advanced RISC Machines).  While ARM itself does not actually produce their CPUs for end users, they do license out their designs to anyone and nearly everyone in the industry.  One of the latest ARM enabled designs is NVIDIA's Tegra, which features the ARM 11 processor.  While not the most cutting edge ARM design, it has allowed NVIDIA to successfully enter the smartphone and MID market with a pretty robust product with excellent features.  So far the biggest application of t

Not everyone loves the cans

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2009 - 02:26 PM |
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For $100 you can pick up a great set of headphones with surround sound and possible even noise cancellation technology, but some like their audio to fill the room, not just their heads.  Logitech has an answer, the 2.1 Logitech Z523
speaker system
.  They are not really audiophile quality but for those who play games or stream music via their PC will be quite satisfied with the quality.