Come back zinc, Come Back!!

Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2008 - 12:07 PM |
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The dire warning we heard on The Simpsons may soon come true, if the story on Slashdot is correct.  For some strange reasons the rare earth elements used in many processes today are in short supply.  You may not have heard much about hafnium, gallium or indium but they are present in trace amounts in almost all of your electronics, and they are necessary for current technology.  If there are no replacements, substitutes or large undiscovered deposits that can be reached, peak oil may be the le

Source: Slashdot

Visible war

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2008 - 11:39 AM |
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AMD's HD4870 and HD4850 finally deliver on what many enthusiasts have been waiting for these past few generations of GPUs; some competition.  nVIDIA has been far and away the better choice for performance and often for price as well.  These two new cards from AMD have worried nVIDIA enough that HEXUS thinks we should see some significant changes to nVIDIA's next generation of chips.  We all expect performance increases, but nVIDIA may have to tighten up their bottom line and sell the next generati

Source: Hexus

Summer heat is good for the user; not so much for the hardware

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2008 - 06:22 PM |
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Psychiatrists are currently arguing about codifying Internet addiction into the next update to the DSM as a mental disorder, but they are ignoring a far, far worse condition; hardware upgrade addiction.  Help a forum member avoid the social stigma of this horrible disease by offering advice on the components most likely to provide enough performance to delay his next upgrade as long as po

A torrent of FUD

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2008 - 11:50 AM |
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As shocking as it may seem, Bell may not have been completely honest about the effect P2P has had on network congestion.  As many were probably already aware, since packets really don't care what route they take, the 2-5% of their network that supposedly suffered from P2P related congestion was simply Bell being too lazy to re-route the traffic.  This is good news even if Bell isn't your ISP; you are using their copper and fibre, which your ISP has leased and suffering from the throttling.  Get more info, and a link to the inevitable 'data isn't a Chevy' analogy

Source: The Inquirer

A handy way to share what you play

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2008 - 06:48 PM |
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If you are looking for an easy way to play your iPod in your car or anywhere else you are having difficulty connecting it, try the Belkin TuneCast Auto.  It is an FM transmitter that will broadcast whatever your iPod is playing to an FM channel that you pick, it is as easy as that.  circuitREMIX were a little dissapointed with the Clearscan feature, but didn

Source: circuitREMIX

Those minor inconveniences

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2008 - 11:35 AM |
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Users of NoScript are accustomed to seeing a message telling them that they need to install Flash player to view a web page properly, and since they specifically installed that add on for that purpose it doesn't bother them.  Users of 64-bit OSes on the other hand are not quite so happy, seeing as how Adobe has yet to create a 64-bit version.  [OC]ModShop can offer some help to those who haven't found a work around that they like.

Source: OCMODSHOP

No, the video game version

Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2008 - 12:08 PM |
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Alone in the Dark is back and HEXUS spent some quality time with it.  Being fans of the original series, they were not disappointed with the story line and they thought the new graphics were superb.  Unfortunately they also found a serious flaw with the controls; as they put it, "You don’t so much move Carnby as drive him about like a human shaped remote control car".

Source: Hexus

You think you're upset

Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2008 - 11:43 AM |
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The last copies of XP, as well as the last new licenses will be shipped June 30, after that it is a two year (or so) wait until 7.  This may seem like bad news to the gamer and home user who don't want to switch to Vista for a variety of reasons.  Put that aside for a minute and think of the poor IT worker, who will find it increasingly difficult to get their hands on a replacement machine that doesn't have Vista on it.

Source: Slashdot

Lycosa psychosis

Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2008 - 05:57 PM |
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Bjorn3D recently reviewed the Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard and found that they liked it a lot.  With glowing WASD keys, auto-disabling of the Windows key, full programmable macro keys and more there is a lot to like about the keyboard.  As you read through the review, you do start to get the feeling that maybe they are just a little too excited by the keyboard?

Source: Bjorn3D

Tiny capacitor, big capacity

Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2008 - 11:41 AM |
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Drop by Ars Technica for an overview, and link to, a paper on using ferroelectric nanocapacitors as a storage medium.  The papers claim of one Tb/inch2 is a bit of an exaggeration for their current process, but as lithography progresses, the terabyte may be in reach.  If they can advance it quickly enough, we may see a whole new type of solid state storage.

Source: Ars Technica

Need a new security robot?

Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2008 - 01:14 PM |
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Rememer Dr. Who?  What?  Are you in need a new device to spy on your friends and/or co-workers?  Are they also fans of Dr. Who?  If so, this Dalek-toy-turned-spy-device would be right up your alley.  ChannelFlip has video preview of a specially designed unit that would fit the bill nicely...

Source: General

Should've remembered the first time

Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2008 - 01:10 PM |
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Among with the other problems that Windows XP SP3 caused, HD audio support was reported as missing thanks to the exclusion of the UUA in SP3.  The good news is that those problems only existed in the Release Candidate, the Final has no such problem.  Along with that tidbit, TechARP also offers a bit of advice that anyone who is running XP should heed, "install SP3 only if you have a fresh Windows XP SP2 installation."

Source: Tech ARP

Throw it out and start all over again

Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2008 - 11:48 AM |
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It almost seems that graphics card companies are out to bite the hand that feeds them.  Without hardware reviewers, their sales would look fairly different, and they would not have the chance to sell as many different models as they currently do.  That didn't stop AMD from crash launching the HD 4850 and it certainly didn't stop nVIDIA from springing the 9800 GTX+ which lead to a very long Wednesday for hardware reviewers trying to get at least something up for their readers. 

Source: The Inquirer

The first 'cast of summer

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2008 - 06:32 PM |
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There are plenty of threads in the forums on what pieces of kit should go into a new system, and the hows and whys of whatzit A being better that thingamajig Q, but advice on

It's always the calm, quiet ones

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2008 - 11:51 AM |
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AMD has been very quiet about their GPU SDKs, but don't assume that they do not have one.  Close-to-Metal, their first offering was available before nVIDIA's CUDA and they have since added a second SDK called Brook+ which has an interface similar to C.  The Tech Report had a chance to talk about these two developers kits, and AMDs future plans for Stream computing and physics, along with the other uses these kits can be applied to.

Make your coffee break a little more relaxing

Subject: General Tech | June 19, 2008 - 11:59 AM |
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As we are all feeling a little worried about

Source: Hack a Day

Come sail away ...

Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2008 - 05:32 PM |
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The Speed Link Styx
may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think gaming mice, but that may just mean you are North American.  On the other side of the pond Speed Link have made a name for themselves; with the Styx's 7 programmable buttons that can be programmed to fire up to 4 times on a single click plus on the fly DPI changing up to 2200, they are fit to compete with Razer and others.  Take a peek over at Hi-Tech Reviews.

If you are a fan of Metal Gear ...

Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2008 - 12:51 PM |
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Then Metal Gear Solid 4 is probably for you; if you never liked it, or never played it, probably not.  The review at Ars Technica does contain a few spoilers, as it was hard for them to discuss how bad they felt the ending played out without mentioning why it was bad.  Still, they did find plenty to like about it, including the well done mulitplayer game.

Source: Ars Technica

Not the coffee!!! Anything but the coffee!!!

Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2008 - 12:24 PM |
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Spam, phishing and malware are certainly inconvenient, but they are nothing compared to the evil of attacking one's caffeine source.  According to the story on Slashdot, some nefarious poltroon has figured out how to compromise a particular brand of coffee makers via it's internet connection, assumedly java enabled, and from there onto the PC that is connected to.  Don't worry about why a coffee maker should have an IP address, worry about the possibility of over-caffeinated morning people and IT workers d

Source: Slashdot

World's Fastest Supercomputers Employ AMD Opteron Processors

Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2008 - 11:16 AM |
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DRESDEN, Germany - June 18, 2008 - At the International Supercomputing Conference, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that its AMD Opteron processors have helped deliver many of the top performing supercomputers in the world. For the first time ever, AMD technology plays a role in the number one supercomputer in the world and this same processor technology that helps drive the number one supercomputer is also readily available for business and personal computing.

Source: AMD