Eight is Enough, Left 4 Dead Style

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2010 - 12:38 PM |

If Left 4 Dead has been collecting a little virtual dust in your Steam account it might be time to brush it off and fire it up.  Ars Technica has some information for you not only about the new downloadable mission with new weapons and a beastie but also information on what Valve is calling Weekly Mutations.  This sounds similar to the mutations in Unreal Tournament and every week there will be something a little different about the game.

Source: Ars Technica

Intel decides to socket to us again

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2010 - 12:10 PM |

Foxconn, LOTES and Tyco AMP must be jumping for joy at the news about Intel's upcoming SandyBridge CPUs as it turns out they are not socket LGA1156 chips but are instead a brand new socket type, LGA1155.  The main motherboard partners with Intel are probably considering burning down warehouses full of Nehalem boards and making an insurance claim since Intel is not going to emulate AMD's strategy with socket AM2+ offering an upgrade path without having to completely replace your motherboard.  On the other hand, the new socket does allow for the changes that are reported to be in Sandy

Source: Slashdot

Take the Sandy Bridge E to Waimea Bay

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2010 - 10:49 AM |

It is going to take a while to finally start to see actual products for testing but the information about Intel's new platform is coming out slowly and from the naming scheme it seems Intel knew it would be taking time off.  We know a bit about their plans for the mid to low range market but the real question is their plans for the high end.  As you can read at VR-Zone the platform is called Waimea Bay and would consist of a socket LGA1156

Source: VR-Zone

Now your mouse can be gellin' too

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2010 - 06:28 PM |

There is something deeply wrong with making the selling point of your mouse the coating of gel it comes with, but yet that is exactly what the Jelfin Gel-covered Mouse sports.  Thankfully they did not refer to it as 'organic' gel, as the possibilities are already too nasty.  The brave fellows of Think Computers not only received one of these mice, they actually touched it; a terrifying thought when you realize this mouse comes in a sealed can.  Follow the link, if you dare.

If you haven't got up to speed on memristors ...

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2010 - 12:19 PM |

ExtremeTech gives a good breakdown of this experimental technology that the tech world has been abuzz about.  HP has been working hard on this project that is trying to build the replacement for flash memory, which might be hitting a scaling problem.  Trying to reduce the process size of flash memory is taking a long time, we don't expect to 20 or 30nm for about a year which is really impacting storage density.  If memristors transition to the Fab smoothly then the density will be attractive as HP has made parts of 3nm in their labs.  As if that wasn't enough to put a smile on the faces of those needing high speed, high density storage it turns out that memristors have an interesting and unique trick.  Not only can they function as storage, they can perform logic functions as well.  The speculations of them being able to learn are perhaps a little exaggerated in the media, but the theory that the speculation comes from is sound.

"Last week, I read a lot about HP's advances with the memristor. This is a new class of tiny switch that could eventually change some of the fundamental ways computing devices are designed, and I am very intrigued. In theory, at least, the new technology could allow for a replacement for NAND Flash memory, maybe for DRAM and hard drives, and maybe even for logic at some point. It's fascinating technology—but of course, the path from theory to commercial product is often longer and more complex that it initially appears."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk


Source: Extremetech

AMD Reports a Record Q1 Revenues and Courts New Potential Customers

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2010 - 06:11 PM |

AMD announced yesterday that they had a record Q1 with revenues of $1.57 billion and a net income of $257 million.  The previous quarter saw revenues of $1.65 billion, with a $1.1 billion net income due primarily to the $1.25 billion settlement that Intel paid AMD.  Considering the typical weakness of Q1, AMD has done very well.  This stronger than usual quarter was not unexpected as Intel also saw a very profitable Q1.

Source: AMD

nVIDIA's future with Apple does not look Optimustic

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2010 - 11:29 AM |

nVIDIA is rightly proud of it Optimus technology, a rather smooth way to save battery life and still offer graphical performance when needed thanks to a GPU that can disable its self.  They also had reason to be proud to be supplying GPUs to Apple for their various systems.   But then suddenly Apple releases their new Macbook Pro which features a GPU that can be enabled and disabled on the fly that does not use nVIDIA's Optimus Technology.  It would seem that Apple's antipathy towards exclusive relationships with suppliers is still strong. 

Source: The Inquirer

Is the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe a herald of doom for the sound card?

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2010 - 11:41 AM |

The Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe
that Josh just finished reviewing is a fine soundcard.  It can pas through protected HD audio via an HDMI 1.3a cable letting you shatter your ear drums watching the newest Michael Bey movie.  It has switchable OPAMPS for the audiophiles to colour their music with.  Dig into the control panel and you will find no end of things to tweak, up to and including telling the s

Intel Posts Record Q1 Earnings in 2010

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2010 - 05:07 PM |

Intel released their Q1 2010 results yesterday, and the entire industry seemingly breathed a sigh of relief.  Intel’s Q1 results were, for lack of a better word, tremendous.  Q1 is typically the slowest quarter in a year, coming in right after the very busy Holiday season that is encompassed by Q4.  In a complete turnaround from historical results, Intel had a larger profit in Q1 than they did in Q4.

Logitech extends their G series of mice

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2010 - 03:39 PM |

Logitech has a new gaming mouse out, the G9x Laser Mouse with a resolution that adjusts between 200 to 5700 DPI.  It also comes with a shell allowing it to switch from the smaller 'Precision" form to a much larger "XL" version with the shell added to the mouse.

Just put those classic games down and back away slowly

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2010 - 12:07 PM |

The creative industry on this ball of mud seems to have gone into a recursive phase, deciding the path of least resistance to riches lies in poaching from the intellectual property of previous generations creative souls.  The majority of major releases are sequels, some entertaining, some rather tarnished and worn from the passage of time.  In some ways it is rather nice to see these old friends again, but when you realize that the only changes since you last saw them were the addition of some bad habits and sparkly bits of bling, well you kind of wish you could hold onto your old, f

The incredible flashing thumb drive

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2010 - 11:34 AM |

Flashing your BIOS EEPROM chip has gotten a lot easier and safer over the years as we have seen companies develop several strategies to prevent a bad flash from happening and bricking whatever it was you were trying to update.  Those who have been bitten several times over the years tend not to trust these features and some components, such as your graphics card may not have features to make flashing easier.  For those situations a boot disk with the absolute minimum of TSR programs is the weapon of choice even if the disk has changed from a 3.5" floppy to a thumb drive.  If you

Source: Bjorn3D

Doping chips with graphene

Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2010 - 11:38 AM |

Graphene is a rather neat material, a single layer of carbon in a honeycomb shaped crystalline lattice that has some very interesting properties.  For instance the electrical properties are being eyed as a basis for a new transistor as electrons travel incredibly fast over a graphene lattice, rather close to the universal speed limit.  Those transistors are a long ways off but there is another interesting property of graphene, its thermal conductivity is better than that of diamond, the current king of conductivity.  We won't be seeing quite that impressive of a performan

Source: nanotechweb

But it's not an HD5890

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2010 - 02:35 PM |

If you passed over Ryan's peek at the upcoming ASUS Ares graphics card on the assumption it was just another overclocked HD5890, you missed out on something big.  It is in fact a pair of true HD 5870 GPUs, both with a bit of an overclock bringing their cores up to 850MHz and each GPU gets a full 2GB of RAM to use.  Now this extra power does have some side effects, the card is very large and requires not only two 8-pin power connectors but also a 6-pin as well.  28.4k on the GPU result in a quick run of 3DMark Vantage beats the

Careful out there on the web, someone spiked the Java again

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2010 - 12:01 PM |

Apparently it took a pair of independent researchers discovering and reporting a fairly nasty and very unpatched flaw in Java for Oracle to even consider breaking their normal patch cycle.  The Register reports on a flaw that can affect Windows and Linux based machines using the commands that Java Web Start will accept.  Not every machine will be vulnerable thankfully, an ActiveX control known as Java Deployment Toolkit and a Firefox plugin known as NPAPI are two ways this flaw can be e

Source: The Register

Celebrate the 99th day of 2010 with the 100th Podcast of PC Perspective!

Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2010 - 06:52 PM |

When your young child approaches you (assuming you knew you had a kid) and complains that their PC is slow, often the solution is as simple as Spybot, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or rkill but not always.  Sometimes it is a problem that requires a bit of thought to fix.  There might be some things you want to consider to prevent the former problem, if

When Intel's new chipset finally comes ...

Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2010 - 01:42 PM |

We've told you that Intel has no plans to release any new chipsets in 2010 but obviously they are eventually going to.  Now, thanks to DigiTimes we know that some time in the first few months of 2011 we will finally see the 6 series of chipsets arriving.  The details on what these new chipsets will bring is rather sparse though we did get some information on the naming scheme and the fact that Intel sees themselves still producing the i3, i5 and i7 series of chips along with the Core i7 Extreme series.

Source: Digitimes

Don't toss out those speakers, fix them!

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2010 - 05:44 PM |

If you've owned pets, small children or drunken roommates, then at least you can blame any broken speaker cones on someone other than yourself.  That has limited success as a tactic and you can be guaranteed that asking the aforementioned to fix the damage that they might or might not have caused will not be at all effective.  OCMODSHOP offers a process that will work, step by step instructions to re-edge your speakers something that needs to be done of you are going to replace damaged cones.  It is not as


More storage, same speed and a lesser price, all hail the new VelociRaptor

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2010 - 05:36 PM |

At the extreme end of density and savings lie the 2TB platter based hard drives and at the extreme end of storage speed you find SSDs.  The middle ground, where the price matters somewhat and performance matters somewhat has been WD's VelociRaptor line up.  Not exactly the cheapest drives and not as fast as the SSDs but for most the series has represented the best of both worlds.  The line up has been getting a little elderly and we finally have a refresh to the line up with two new drives, a 450GB and 600GB.  The speed is still there and the price is even better,