Enhancing video podcasts with WMA

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2005 - 03:45 PM |
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Jealous of the things people can do to videos with their Macs?  Head over to MediaBlab to see just how much you can add to a plain old Windows Media video file.

"Apple's AAC format allows podcasters to create "enhanced podcasts" complete with embedded photos

at publisher defined points throughout the podcast. These files are only compatible with iTunes

and iPods, leaving a large universe of listeners out of the picture.

Even your wires can be upgraded

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2005 - 03:22 PM |
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If your stereo system just doesn't sound good enough, consider upgrading the cheap and nasty wiring between your component's and speakers, before going out to buy a whole new system.  While I would not recommend buying cabling that costs $100/ft, The Tech Zone has an article describing why when you spend $0.02/ft on cables, the sound may not quite be "live". 


"The very basic reason why audio cables are important is because they change the signal going

through them.

Fan Commander to the rescue

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 25, 2005 - 01:09 PM |
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Cooling off a hot system is about more than just putting as many fans into the PC as the chassis will allow; unless you live alone, and like wearing earplugs.  Fan controllers allow you to monitor your temperatures, and reduce the speed, and therefore the noise eminating from under your desk.  Ultra Product's newly released Fan Commander may be what you need, and Big Bruin can tell you all about it.

"Ultra Products has a new fan controller called the Fan Commander which can control up to seven fa

Source: Big Bruin

Say hello to Microsoft's little friend

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2005 - 12:12 PM |
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Microsoft is finally re-doing it's command line,

the Microsoft Command Shell (MSH), to bring it up to date with it's .NET inititatives.  If you know (or at least know of) Windows Scripting Host (WSH), do not despair.  The new MCS will be mostly Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins built on top of the existing MSH and WMI.  Don't take my word for it, get it straight from Ars Technica.

"Also known by its code name Monad, the new Microsoft Command Shell hopes to revolutio

Source: Ars Technica

1 in 5 PC's uses an AMD processor

Subject: Processors | October 25, 2005 - 11:55 AM |
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AMD is showing it's strengths in the market, with just over 20% of desktops, and 17.8% of all PC's globally being based around an AMD processor.  With their ~25% price reduction on most CPU's just before the christmas season, that number could be different by Q1, 2006.

"Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) surpassed a 20% share of the desktop PC-use CPU market worldwide in the third quarter of 2005, its first time since 2001, according to Mercury Research.

Source: Digitimes

Intel Invests $650 Million In U.S. Manufacturing Site

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2005 - 11:40 AM |
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2005 — Intel Corporation today announced plans to invest $650 million in the company's existing manufacturing site in New Mexico. The investment will be used to increase the capacity of the 300mm wafer fabrication facilities in Rio Rancho, N.M., called Fab 11X.


'Today's announcement signals another important addition to one of Intel's pre-eminent U.S. manufacturing sites, and better positions us to meet customer requirements,' said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini.

Is your HDTV lacking definition?

Subject: Displays | October 24, 2005 - 05:15 PM |
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Designtechninca takes you through a simple guide to make your HDTV get the best out of digital signals.

"Your new HDTV looks atrocious. It doesn't produce a picture any better than the old analog TV you

just demoted to the bedroom. The first realization may hit you smack on the head. Then again, it

might just sneak up on you gradually. Either way the result is the samedissatisfaction,

disappointment, disillusionment, suffering, pain, misery, death.

Intel's renewed focus on Mobility

Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2005 - 02:18 PM |
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Hardware Zone looks at Intel's plans for the mobile market in 2006, including the dual-core Yonah and Napa the 3rd gen of Centrino chipsets.

"Intel's new Centrino Mobile Technology will be launched by January 2006, paving the way for a

Next Generation Micro-Architecture that should swing Intel back on track with rival AMD.

DFI's NF4 Infinity - Function over Form

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 24, 2005 - 02:12 PM |
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hardCOREware likes DFI's NF4 Infinity.  Unlike their LAN Party series, this board gets the job done with a minimum of embellishments.  It handles the latest Athlon's, will overclock fairly well, and costs less than $100!

"We have soft spot for motherboards that offer nothing more than the basics, but are superb

overclockers and performers.

Source: hardCOREware

Steel Headphones, built to travel

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 02:04 PM |
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Adrian's Rojak Pot reviews Steel Sound's 5H-USB Professional Gaming Headset.  This headset has LAN party written all over it, from the stylish lines to the earphones that fully cover your ears from the ineviatable cries of anger from fellow gamers.  It is easy to completely dissasemble, and come with a USB "Soundcard" that allows similar acoustical performance on any system it's plugged into.

"The new Steel Sound 5H-USB professional gaming headset looks just like any other gaming headset.

Source: Tech ARP

500GB, and there's still never enough storage

Subject: Storage | October 24, 2005 - 01:52 PM |
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The 500GB Seagate 7200.9 SATA HDD that CoolTechZone reviews may not solve all your storage problems, but it should keep you from having to clean out your hard drive for a few weeks.

"Man's need for storage is insatiable. We initially thought that we could make do in a few

kilobytes; however, we then moved up to megabytes, gigabytes and now hundreds of gigabytes.

Source: CoolTechZone

Help choosing a cooling solution

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 24, 2005 - 01:10 PM |
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Red & Blackness Mods try to help out with the vast amount of choices available for cooling off your system.  If you find yourself wonder what cooler to pick, and are maybe frustrated about having to do so after choosing all your other components, this article may give you some hope.

"It seems like the market makes it harder and harder for the average consumer to make choices.

Walk quietly with a big Heat Stick

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 24, 2005 - 12:08 PM |
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Legion Hardware reviews ASUS' Extreme X800 Silencer.  As the name implies, this is a new ATI card that runs dead silently.  The heatpipes heatsink may be huge, but with it you can overclock this thing very well.

"This new passive cooling design by ASUS has proven to deliver exceptional performance while

operating with complete silence. The demand for silent cooling methods has become increasingly

popular as volume has become a real concern over the past few years.

AMD Turion 64 Price Cuts

Subject: Processors | October 24, 2005 - 12:08 PM |
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DigiTimes is reporting that AMD has cut prices on their Turion 64 processors. Their chart shows the classic "Trickle-Down" effect in pricing with the ML-40 now priced like a ML-37, the ML-37 priced like a ML-32 etc. AMD's Turion 64 laptops are gaining momentum in the market and these price cuts will certainly help.


On the same topic, we have just posted a new review on Compaq's latest Turion 64 laptop.

Source: Digitimes

Don't FEAR the tweaker

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 11:54 AM |
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You bought F.E.A.R. as soon as it came out, but now comes the frustration of getting the game to run perfectly on your system.  Instead of starting out by trying the first level 42 times, with different resolutions and detail levels, let the folks at Tweakguides give you a head start!


"Before getting into any game-specific settings and tweaks, this section covers the obligatory system optimization information I include in all my guides.
Source: Tweak Guides

Spansion Extends Wireless Family With Introduction Of 3-Volt Mirrorbit(TM) Product Line

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 11:42 AM |
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 SUNNYVALE, Calif., -- October 24, 2005 --Spansion LLC, the Flash memory venture of AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702), today announced the introduction of the 3-volt MirrorBit™ technology-based PL-N product line, designed to satisfy the growing code storage demands in wireless handsets. The 256 Mb devices build on the momentum of the successful 1.8-volt products and allow designers to migrate from floating-gate technologies to Spansion's award-winning, two-bit-per-cell MirrorBit technology for improved price performance.

Source: AMD

AMD EXPANDS CHINA RELATIONSHIPS WITH KEY X86 MICROPROCESSOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 11:41 AM |
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BEIJING - Oct. 24, 2005 - At a ceremony today in China's Great Hall of the People, AMD executives signed agreements with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Peking University to license AMD


x86 microprocessor design technology that will enable Chinese development of low-power and embedded computer solutions for consumer and commercial markets.

Source: AMD

AMD UNVEILS COMMERCIAL CHANNEL PROGRAM ENHANCING AND EXTENDING CHANNEL INITIATIVES WORLDWIDE

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 11:39 AM |
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SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Oct. 24, 2005 - AMD (NYSE:AMD) today introduced the AMD Commercial Channel Access Program to enhance and extend the company's commitment to partners' business needs and contribute to their continued growth and success in the commercial market. The program is designed to foster an environment of collaboration and innovation within the growing worldwide AMD64 ecosystem of systems integrators, value-added resellers (VARs) and distributors.

Source: AMD

AMD TO USE 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY IN AUSTIN

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2005 - 11:37 AM |
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Oct. 24, 2005 - Austin, Texas - AMD today announced a new agreement with the Austin Energy GreenChoice(r) Program to purchase green energy derived from renewable resources that will power all AMD Austin operations for the next 10 years, including the new AMD Austin Campus which is expected to be operational in 2007. The new agreement makes AMD the largest private Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner in Texas, the fifth largest private Partner in the U.S. and 12th largest overall Partner in the nation.

Source: AMD

256, 512, 1024 & 2048, what does more RAM do to gaming

Subject: Memory | October 21, 2005 - 06:31 PM |
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Legion Hardware runs a series of test benchmarks using differeny amounts of RAM, both single and dual channel.  See what the tests say about the effect of gobs 'o RAM on your Frames Per Second and load times.

"Given we now know 1GB of memory is the sweet spot, how much faster is 1GB than 512MB or even

256MB in today's games? There are still a huge amount of gamers out there fragging away with just

512MB of memory.