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Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2006 - 02:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Ars Technica reports on a change of plans for Valve. Half Life 2 may have several sequels, that appear like TV series, and are downloadable via Steam. While probably not as long as a normal game, hopefully there will be many of them.
"The Half-Life franchise is moving to an episodic release schedule according to comments from
Valve's Doug Lombardi. Lombardi has revealed that Half-Life 2: Aftermath has been renamed to
Half-Life 2: Episode One.
Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2006 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The media player flaw that Microsoft patched on Tuesday already has 2 proof of concept attacks according to CNet. That makes it very likely that exploits are already roaming around in the wild. Patch 'em if you got 'em.
"The "proof-of-concept" exploits that take advantage of a flaw in the media player were posted on
the Web over the past couple of days.
Subject: Systems | February 16, 2006 - 06:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
'Starting at the top, the biggest difference we see is a move from an nForce4-based SLI system to an ATI Xpress 200 CrossFire-based system sporting the new X1900 XTX GPU and the X1900 CrossFire cards. While this did increase the price of the graphics on the system, the fact was that even IF the NVIDIA 7800 GTX 512s had been in stock, they just aren't as fast as ATI's R580 core. Plus...they weren't in stock. :)'
Subject: Memory | February 16, 2006 - 05:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
While AMD enthusuasts await the day they can use DDR2, memory makers are continuing to improve the speed, since Intel chipsets do support it. Neoseeker reviews Crucial's Ballistix PC2-6400 (800Mhz), a perfect example of how tight timings (4-4-4-10) can push performance to almost equal the performance of PC2-8000 (1000Mhz).
"The Crucial PC2-6400 got the second highest score here -- it was only 4.2% slower than the
Corsair PC2-8000, even though the PC2-8000 was running at a 25% faster memory clock
Subject: Mobile | February 16, 2006 - 04:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Laptop Lifestyle reveals every trick they know to extend the battery life of your laptop. Don't get caught with a dead laptop again, go check it out.
"You've got a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York City, and one battery in your laptop.
You've got work to do, DVDs to watch, and games to play. How are you going to get that battery to
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 16, 2006 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
AnandTech has grabbed a representative sample of XT and XTX cards in a big graphics shootout. Now that ATI has regained the performance throne, it's time to see which card can out do the rest.
"The X1900 took a long time in coming, but now that it's here, it's taken its place squarely on
the top in graphics card performance.
Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2006 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Can the WolfKing's Warrior, a very round keyboard-like device, with 52 keys and a few extra buttons, add something to your FPS experience? ExtremeTech has a review of this odd device, and they even seem to like it. Maybe you can finally abandon your normal keyboard while gaming.
"That was until we came across the Wolf Claw Type II keyboard from a small company in Singapore
last summer. To a normal keyboard, the Wolf Claw added a dedicated WASD-friendly gaming area to
Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2006 - 12:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
CNet reports on an MIT project that might soon provide us with a commercially available flying SUV. The folding wings they propose are not terribly new, the technology has been fully tested on fighter jets. Even better they are hoping to get a vehicle that get 30 miles a gallon in the air, and about 30-40 miles per gallon on the ground. It will carry just over 400 pounds, and hit 120 miles per hour in the air.
"Terrafugia, a start-
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 15, 2006 - 06:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Think Computer has posted a review of AC Ryan's new BlackFire fans. They are very bright and colourful, and have LEDs, on seperate power leads, so adding the fans to a fan controller won't necessarily mean that the LEDs dim when you slow the fan down. They could well be one of the easiest ways to get into modding your box.
'If you know modding, chances are you know AC Ryan. They make a lot of cool modder related
supplies, but it's not all just for modders.
Subject: Motherboards | February 15, 2006 - 04:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
t-break wanted to know what improvements came about when nVIDIA switched from it's original SLI to SLI X16. They tested 4 games, and several benchmarking tools with a pair of 7800GTX's, and have came to a pretty solid conclusion.
"We initially started out by conducting tests at only 0X and 4X AA however we really didnt see any
difference at all. We contacted nVidia about this and they suggested doing tests using 8X and 16X
AA and thus we went back and benched all four games using that setting as well.
Subject: Storage | February 15, 2006 - 02:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The TechZone walks you through steps that can rescue a failing hard drive in an article posted today. They also go over the ways that a hard drive can go bad, maybe even helping you to prevent the problem in the first place.
"Hard drives are extremely fragile and can suffer failures in many different ways, leading to a
loss of data. The five most common types of drive failures are: logical errors, mechanical
failure, electronic failure, firmware corruption, and bad sectors, or any combination these.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 15, 2006 - 12:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
With the newer, more powerful X1000 series, and newer drivers, ATI has been able to increase the scope of Avivo. With better transcoding abilites, native High Definition output, better support for dual-DVI, this updated guide from Beyond3D is worth reading. You may even find things you weren't aware you could already do.
In the initial part of the Avivo article we took a look at an overview of many of the technologies
that ATI's video and display engine technology encompasses.
Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2006 - 11:53 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Hopefully the idea of InfoCards in the upcoming Windows Vista replacing passwords won't prove to be as inaccurate as the famous 640K comment, though at least this time, we have Bill Gates on record, whereas the 640K quote may just be hearsay. Read more about the new InfoCards at CNet.
"Now, with Windows Vista, Gates feels he finally has the right weapons to supplant the password as
a means of verifying who is who on computers and over the Internet.
Subject: Systems | February 14, 2006 - 06:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
T-break will help you build one of those itty-bitty HTPC's by offering a guide on the best things to put inside it. Assuming you've already found a nice barebones enclosure, follow their advice, and your home theatre system should be impressing people in no time.
"In fact, for non-gamers we would recommend an Intel CPU + chipset combo. While we havent had a
chance to look at any VIIV platform from Intel yet, we're guessing that it would be an ideal
choice for an HTPC.
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2006 - 04:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Elite Bastards has posted the first review of the new Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1 PCI card. It claims to bear the first real DTS Connect logo, and should be able to turn any 2 channel audio into 7.1 surround. According to thier tests, the card uses 2% of the CPU at a constant rate, which would put it well below the Audigy's peak usage.
"The big addition to the X-Plosion along those same lines is support for DTS' equivalent to Dolby
Digital Live, n
Subject: Memory | February 14, 2006 - 03:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Overclockers Online put the new OCZ EL DDR PC-4000 Gold GX XTC 2GB through it's paces. Not only do you get the benefit from the already tight timings of 3-4-3-8, these modules are not particularly hot, nor will you need to overcolt them. The overclocking potential is not huge, but the DIMM's give a respectable showing right out of the box.
"The 2GB PC4000 Gold Edition that was developed with gamer's distinctive needs in mind.
Subject: Systems | February 14, 2006 - 02:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Motherboards.org has posted a review of Ultra Products X2 PSU, with it's 120mm fan, modular flex force cabling and dual PCIe cables. Even with dual 6800's running through 5 interations of 3DMark05, the power barely flucates.
If you are worried that 550W won't cut it, make sure you read Lee Garbut's review of the BFG 600W PSU, it is a beast.
"What impressed me the most was that even while holding down a high powered SLI set
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2006 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Burbank, Calif., San Jose, Calif. and Santa Clara, Calif., February 14, 2006 — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), Cisco Systems and Intel Corporation, through its leading investment arm Intel Capital, today announced they have invested in MovieBeam, Inc., a newly formed digital entertainment venture. The series A financing round, worth a total of $48.5 million, includes additional investment from tier-one venture capital firms the Mayfield Fund, Norwest Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners.
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2006 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2006 — Intel Corporation today provided extended lifecycle support for the IntelÂ® Core™ Duo processor used by developers of embedded solutions, such as industrial control, test and instrumentation, aerospace, defense and medical imaging systems.
Embedded system designers increasingly wrestle with two challenges: balancing performance with power efficiency and supporting general purpose and special purpose functionality in embedded applications.
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2006 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you have a bunch of old PC components around, and you have come to the realization that you really aren't going to be rebuilding that K6-2 system, or find a use for that old Matrox PCI video card, get in touch with FreeGeek, and they will rebuild or properly recycle it. Read more info about them at Designtechnica.
"Free Geek, a nonprofit company in Portland, Oregon takes unwanted computers and gizmos, rebuilds
them and gives them away or breaks them down for proper recyclying."
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