Data mining the gold farmers

Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2009 - 11:42 AM |
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While you probably never met a bespectacled man with a pipe who asked you to sit down on a couch and tell him about your mother while playing Everquest, you may well have been psychoanalyzed
at some point in your questing.  Four years of data for over 400,000 characters was passed on to researchers looking for various patterns in the demographics of the players and what they used the game for.  Probably the neatest trick was writing software to deal with over 60TB of data, the EQ2 servers capture absolutely everything that happens in the game, and that raw data is what had to be de

Source: Ars Technica

How does the extra work always time it's self to arrive late Friday afternoon

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2009 - 07:04 PM |
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Trying to get good audio out of a PC can be a little frustrating at times, not just because the audio drivers tend to move options and settings around with sadistic glee, but also because of the sheer amount of output choices.  If you really do want to send a 5.1 signal over a single cable and are having difficulties, try this thread out for some help.

For those who want to rock

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2009 - 03:54 PM |
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If you have an unused PCIe slot and a hankering for some great audio quality then check out the new Xonar Essence STX from ASUS.  The Guru of 3D have put together an 18 page review covering everything from the components and their quality to the ability to add EAX emulation to games.  In some ways any audio review is

Source: Guru of 3D

Hot and cold running video

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2009 - 11:40 AM |
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There is a blog at AMD and on this blog are some rather interesting topics, including the one posted today.  The section of the blog that the link comes from is AMD at Home, where a Senior Developer Relations Engineer named Jay Taylor covers topics of interest to the HTPC enthusiast.  The long list of online providers of TV shows, both old and new will grab anyones attention.  As long as you can stream video, you can be watching Battlestar Galactica from the beginning.

Trade in your copy of Vista

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2009 - 11:48 AM |
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Good news for owners of Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate Editions, if you purchased them within the Eligibility Period which is July 1, 2009 through January 31, 2010.  The plan is not to allow everyone to trade in their Vista disks for new Windows 7 disks, but to help OEMs sell PCs during the interim instead of waiting to purchase a new PC until after Win7 is released.  From the looks of the screenshots at TechARP, the upgrade process should be fairly painless.

Source: Tech ARP

Battlefield addicts rejoice

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2009 - 12:11 PM |
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Slashdot has information on two upcoming Battlefield releases, Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 1943.  Bad Company will be on PS3, Xbox and PC and should follow the same free style combat and unique graphical styling as the original, but with more ...

Source: Slashdot

Fab fight

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2009 - 11:42 AM |
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AMD's plans to strip down and go fab-less have run into a small snag in the form of a vote which fell short of a quorum.  Only 42% of shareholders showed up to vote yesterday, though 97% of those who voted did vote in favour of the fab spin off to the Foundry Co.  Currently the next vote is scheduled for next Wednesday, Feb.

Source: The Inquirer

Hey big spender

Subject: General Tech | February 10, 2009 - 12:19 PM |
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Intel isn't letting the economy slow them down, having just announced a $7 billion plan to build or upgrade manufacturing facilities within the USA over the next 2 years.  It would seem that the majority of Intel's 32nm chips will be fabbed in the USA, perhaps pushing their overall american manufacturing above the 75% mark.  Drop by The Inquirer for more details on their plan and some pictures of the proposed fab upgrades

Source: The Inquirer

nVIDIA is picking what looks to be a lose - lose battle

Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2009 - 12:14 PM |
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It has been rumoured for a while now that nVIDIA will be developing an x86 processor, backed up by their recent headhunting activities.  PC Authority has gathered a couple of links on the history as well as a theory on how they will try to develop the chip.

Source: PC Authority

The integrated circuit turns 51 today

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2009 - 06:01 PM |
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The middle child always has it rough and the Corei7 family is no different.  Those who can afford it buy the 965, while every one else chooses the 920.  One member wonders why exactly it is that no one buys the 940.  Even if you know the answer it is worth a drop by to compare your clock speeds to others.  The faster CPU can help out when you are gaming, as it does take a lot to keep a GTX 295 fully fed, which is why a membe

Doing an about face

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2009 - 12:13 PM |
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When last we heard of Hercules, they were a partner of ATI, building their own take on the 9xxx series.  They've not gone out of business, they merely refocused on other components such as the audio subsystem.  Their Hercules XPS 2.1 50 speakers won't compete with 7.1 systems, but as far as other 2.1 speaker kits go Hercules has done an incredible job.  The look is a far cry from the off white boxes that one would usually think of as

Source: Guru of 3D

Do you think they care?

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2009 - 11:49 AM |
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The Better Business Bureau has been a longstanding proponent of consumer protection.  Almost everyone has heard of them at one point or another and some people may have even used their complaint process, except perhaps for PC parts.  NGOHQ was idly searching through the BBB website and happened to search for nVIDIA, who as it turns out is rated an "F".  As you might think, the "F" rating implies some rather dirty pool being played on nVIDIA's part.  Amuse yourse

Source: NGOHQ

Turn based combat isn't dead yet

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2009 - 12:33 PM |
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While Gamepyre may not remember the name Jagged Alliance, the game had enough impact to give a sense of deja vu when confronted with Hired Guns - The Jagged Edge.  For those that are familiar with that ageing series and the successful mods like Urban Chaos, Hired Guns offers an end to a very long wait for Strategy First to work on Jagged Alliance 3.  If you have no idea what these games are, you may not be a fan of turn based tactical squad combat and are probably happy to see Fallout turn into an FPS.  On the other hand, if you enjoy micromanaging a squad or sqauds into taking

Source: Gamepyre

Tecch a new dog old tricks

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2009 - 12:07 PM |
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There is a handy little trick that Windows 7 beta testers have been using fairly reliably that makes beta testing the new OS a lot more interesting.  If you are installing a driver for a system component and 7 presents you with compatibility errors, simply right click on the .exe file and choose "Troubleshoot Compatibility". 
That brings up a wizard that you can go through to tell 7 to install the driver in Vista compatibility mode
and you are ready to go.  You can see picture

Source: Tech Spot

Frag with a little style

Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2009 - 02:32 PM |
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Sometimes it is important to show off a little, and a nice monitor and mouse only go so far if you are using a nasty off-white keyboard.  The Razer Lycosa Mirror will help solve that problem, it's shiny finish and backlighting will look at home paired with any gaming mouse and widescreen LCD.  If you are the type that likes things to look good as well as sport a few extras

What to do after you've killed the NIC

Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2009 - 12:03 PM |
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Bigfoot Networks was big news about a year ago with the release of their 2 Killer NIC cards, designed to provide superior online gaming by eliminating lag, as well as some other specific settings and options.  While there was at least some benefit to using the cards, it was hard to justify spending $150 or so to see a tiny improvement to the NIC built into your motherboard.  They have been busy, trying to get their cards into boutique system builds, like Alienware, but we haven't seen anything new from them.  Th

Windows 7: Security in Question

Subject: General Tech | February 2, 2009 - 12:06 PM |
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While I first saw this information posted on Leo Laporte's blog last week, Dailytech has a good write up on the issue and a response from Microsoft on a possible issue that leaves UAC in state that is less secure than some people would like.  The person who details the attack issue even claims that this should vindicate the security in Windows Vista.

Source: Daily Tech

Richard Skrenta and Elk Cloner, an anniversary we could do without

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2009 - 04:31 PM |
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Usually when you are looking for recommendations on security software like anti-virus, you ask those in the know to tell you their favourites.  You can also gain a lot by asking them which are the worst anti-virus programs, to build a list of software to avoid, just like in this thread27 years after the inception, the problem just keeps going like some sort of infected Energizer Bunny.

Intel seems to be getting bored

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2009 - 11:40 AM |
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AMD hasn't been holding up their end of the fight recently, and as they can't manage to pick up nVIDIA, Intel has decided to take on any comers.  The recent battleground has been to make the smallest possible system, a special niche that was the exclusive territory of VIA.  That hasn't stopped Intel's Atom smashing into the market and making the netbook popular.  Now they are setting their sights on Microsoft and the Linux community by developing Moblin, their own mobile OS. 

Source: The Inquirer

Losing a little polish

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2009 - 12:23 PM |
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That popular new kid on the browser block, Google Chrome, has had a little of it's shine knocked off thanks to a clickjacking vulnerability recently discovered.  Following the link [H]ard|OCP will bring you to the Bugtraq page and a proof of concept for the vulnerability.  Unfortunately, the link does not lead to a solution or workaround, Google is still working on that.

Source: [H]ard|OCP