OCZ faces a tough choice

Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2009 - 12:22 PM |
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The Register has spotted an interesting product that OCZ is working on, an external SSD with a USB 3.0 connection.  From the picture in the article you can tell that this will resemble a 2.5" drive far more than it will a thumbdrive and with the recent release of their 1TB Colossus SSD it makes sense that they chose to go with the larger form factor.  The Colossus uses SATA II and manages 260MB/sec, the USB 3.0 standard can go as high as 400MB/sec, so it offers a higher possible bandwidth than SATA II

Source: The Register

Come to the Renaissance, meet interesting people and assassinate them

Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2009 - 02:37 PM |
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Ars Technica delves into the world of 15th Century Italy and reviews the sequel to Assassin's Creed, bearing a very similar name to the original, as they've simply added a 2.  It takes place about 300 years after the first game and is perfectly playable for those who missed the first game.  It is the Renaissance, so expect some interesting gadgets to appear during your travels to supplement your trusty blade. 

Source: Ars Technica

Cancel or allow?

Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2009 - 01:49 PM |
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ExtremeTech has taken Microsoft's claims that Windows 7 is the most secure ever as a challenge and put the new features under the microscope.  There are 5 different sections, detailing UAC, the firewall and networking as well as the new Filtering Platform, all of the new features and the new implementations of familiar features are all covered.  Check it out and see if Win7 passes the grade.

Source: Extremetech

Firming up your expectations for Fermi

Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2009 - 12:51 PM |
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The Tech Report has compiled all the information they have gathered about nVIDIA's upcoming new architecture that we have all been hearing so much about.  Not just a graphics solution and not quite a full GPGPU, the Fermi can be a little hard to wrap your head around.  They take you through all of the terminology you will need to understand the architectural changes to the G80 processor, the GF100 and then move onto the actual meat of how the processor will work.  Stick through to the end and you can see some e

For those that play e-Sports

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2009 - 06:32 PM |
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The unfortunately named Zowie Gear Hammer e-Sports Headset has a rather rugged, almost military feel to its design.  It looks like you could swing them around above your head by their cord and lay down the hammer on whichever ex-friend of yours just based camped your team, without the headset suffering any damage.  The headset that Overclockers Cafe reviewed used a pair of 3.5mm jacks as opposed to a

Play starts on the 40, fumble on 32 ... recovery on the 28?

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2009 - 11:55 AM |
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The difficulties at TSMC with their 40nm process are very familiar to anyone who watches the industry or has tried to by an HD5xxx series or 4770 graphics card.  The volume is tiny which has also had the effect of bringing prices up.  The same issues have occurred in their 32nm process, though with less song and dance as there are no retail cards with a 32nm process GPU.  According to SemiAccurate, TSMC has made the decision to stop work on their 32nm process and head s

Source: SemiAccurate

Happy Birthday SETI, you don't even look 25!

Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2009 - 07:34 PM |
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Building computers is, in a way a matter of knowing the rules and following them.  On a basic level it is plugging the right connector into the right plug, be it a ZIFF socket or a 12V power connector.  Beyond that come secondary rules, like not mixing RAM and ensuring that temperatures remain reasonable.  Others are more complex, like overclocking in small increments to find the perfect settings instead of instantly trying for your megahertz goal.  There are other unwritten rules to follow that are no less important, rules vary greatly from those stating that

Diverse diversification diversified

Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2009 - 01:40 PM |
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It has long been a mantra in the business world that you must always continue to grow your business or you will die.  Most have taken that to heart and began diversifying their businesses, getting into industries they never tried before and moving away from one strong product line into many varied product lines.  Now this is all well and good, many companies have found success in new lines of business and consumer have benefited.  This still does not explain the sudden surge in PC enclosure makers broaching the computer mouse market.  The latest entrant is Cooler Master and

Remember to eat your Chrom-eos

Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2009 - 12:51 PM |
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Thinking of Google's new Chrome OS as a competitor to Windows or Linux is not really getting the point of what Google is trying to do.  The OS has some very significant restrictions on how it runs, only flash can be used for storage, there will be a custom firmware layer which is non-optional, and a only Google-approved system and peripheral devices will be recognized by Chrome OS.  This is not designed for open box systems, think very proprietary on the hardware and software level.  The OS its self treats everything as a window in a browser, so no installation need ever occur,

Source: Ars Technica

Ninth time is the charm

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2009 - 12:18 PM |
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When there were only a handful of browsers around, one proprietary to the competition and a text only browser or three,  the default winner was Internet Explorer.  Years later there are many browsers out there snatching market share from IE and even the coding standard are moving away from IE's interpretation and now favour the ones who stick to a generally accepted standard.  IE9 is looming on the horizon, which will support CSS 3, but it will also use the new Direct2D and DirectWrite found in Windows 7 only.  Of course, there will also be improvements to Javascript. 

Source: Ars Technica

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