Webian OS: Like Chromebook, just Chromeless

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 08:09 AM |
Tagged: webian, mozilla, chromeless

Google Chromebooks have been talked about quite a bit lately particularly with the announcement of Samsung and Acer varieties nearing retail. You may believe that Google will be your only option as Microsoft and Apple are ignoring the stripped down OS market but you would be wrong. Webian OS has recently been released in preview form and combines Mozilla’s Chromeless project-based Webian Shell with openSUSE to make a self-contained OS similar to Google ChromeOS

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Tired of what Simon says?

Webian Shell has a very minimalist interface with a tab-focused taskbar, the closest analog to application switching in a web-based operating system. Beyond the tab taskbar there is just a location bar which doubles as a progress bar; combined stop, go, and reload button; a clock; and the site itself. The project is not near completion yet as the developers anticipates to add home screen, widgets, onscreen keyboards, and other features as need arises. Have ideas or wish to contribute? Check out their website and GetSatisfaction.

Source: Mozilla Labs

PC Perspective Podcast #158 - MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 10:47 PM |
Tagged: podcast, Intel, computex, amd, 990fx

PC Perspective Podcast #158 - 6/09/2011

This week we talk about the MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:00:43

Program Schedule:

 

  1. 0:00:33 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:50 AMD 990FX/SB950 Release: Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX and the MSI 990FXA-GD80
  6. 0:04:10 MSI P67A-GD80 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review
  7. 0:06:42 MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK Graphic Card Review
  8. 0:14:23 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. 0:15:02 PowerColor Shows Off New 4GB AMD Graphics Card With Two Stock Clocked 6970 GPUs
  10. 0:20:18 Antec Performance P280 Case First Look at Computex
  11. 0:23:40 ECS Motherboards on display at Computex 2011
  12. 0:27:02 MSI shows Gen3 PCIe, X79 Motherboard and GTX 580 Extreme
  13. 0:33:12 Thermaltake Level 10 GT White, Frio GT and BigWater coolers and USB Power Strip
  14. 0:39:05 AMD Brings Back FX Branding For High-End CPUs and Motherboards at E3
  15. 0:40:18 Corsair recalls entire Force Series 3 SSD line, cites hardware defects
  16. 0:44:05 PNY and Asetek Team Up to Deliver Sealed-Loop Water Cooling for CPUs and Graphics Cards
  17. 0:48:30 Just Delivered.  Large, nifty video card. - MSI N580GTX Lightning Extreme
  18. 0:49:45 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
  19. 0:51:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Gold bar USB 3.0 drive
    2. Jeremy: Still like the newstweak, but if'n I used it up then IPv6 didn't destroy the world!
    3. Josh: Boston Lager Cut!  http://www.samueladams.com/promos/lager-and-beef/lagercut.aspx
    4. Allyn: Intel 320 Warranty = 5 years
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. 0:59:23 Closing

 

 

Source:

Tweak your SSD: Notice the difference, and frown

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 9, 2011 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged: tweak, ssd

The people who stick an SSD in their PC are typically the type of people who would want to optimize their performance as best as possible. Particularly with the larger investment of the earlier SSDs tweak guides were quite common to squeeze every IO/s and MB/s out of their device. Tom’s Hardware has just posted a list of common tweaks and a series of benchmarks performed on the tweaked system. According to their findings, you may wish to undo your tweaks.

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Don’t do it!

Some tweaks saw the occasional increase in performance though on the whole performance suffered by some extent. Tweaks that were designed to reclaim capacity gave you back quite a bit of space however, though you should expect that if your drive is not storing system restore points, file system indexes, or your swap file that you would have more usable space on your drive. The hit on performance from the performance tweaks typically were not too great with the exception of write caching on Intel drives bringing their write speeds to single digit MB/s. Check out Tom’s Hardware’s full guide for more information.

Acer shows trust in AMD, orders 80K Z-Series APUs from AMD

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: acer, amd, desna, bobcat core, APU, AMD z-series, brazos

AMD's C-series and E-series of APUs have been selling quickly, with an estimated 1/2 million processors sold already to tablet and SFF PC builders and putting plenty of pressure on Intel's Atom+ION lineup.  AMD has made themselves so popular by providing better performance at a lower TDP and power draw, mostly because of the age of the Oak Trail based CULVs, once Huron River arrives we may see that change drastically.

Now we learn that Acer has orders in for 80K of the new dual core 1GHz APU, with a TDP of 5.9W.  Obviously AMD and the OEMs purchasing the chips are intending these for tablets and SFF PCs running Windows.  There will be no need to wait for Win8's ARM architecture support if you are looking to run a Win7 ultramobile PC right now.  ARM, Tegra and even Intel's announced Moorestown pull less power and are more appropriate for smart phones, so don't expect to be seeing Desna in that particular form factor.

Check out DigiTimes coverage here.

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"Acer has recently placed orders for 80,000 Z series APUs from AMD for use in tablet PCs, targeting the enterprise market, according to sources from upstream component makers. However, both Acer and AMD did not confirm the orders.

In addition to Acer, Micro-Star International (MSI) is also developing tablet PC models using AMD's APU.

Since Google Android 3.0 currently still has issues which need to be resolved, while the next-generation Android operating system codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich will not appear until the end of 2011, some tablet PC vendors have decided to launch Windows 7-based tablet PCs targeting the enterprise market to maintain their shipments.

Since Intel's Oak Trail-based Atom processor is higher in both price and power consumption, several notebook vendors have already started considering AMD's platform. In addition to Acer and MSI, some vendors have also started inquiring about AMD's Z series APU.

AMD's Z series APU is produced through Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) 40nm process and is already shipping, targeting the Windows-based tablet PC market, noted the sources adding that they expect shipments of Z series APUs to reach at least 500,000 units in the second half of 2011, creating strong pressure on Intel's Oak Trail processor."

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Source: DigiTimes

Silverlight Developers revolt against Open Standards

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 04:25 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, silverlight

Microsoft announced their new User Interface to Windows 8 last week. The interface is very tablet-minded and uses a Windows Phone 7-like tile architecture with widgets based on HTML5 and Javascript. Silverlight developers took that as a slap in the face and flooded Microsoft’s developer network forums to voice their opinions. Microsoft has not confirmed or denied that they will continue support for Silverlight in Windows 8; Microsoft has thus also not stated if they do support Silverlight on Windows 8, how much ongoing support will be provided to Silverlight.

That interface doesn’t look very silvery, or light.

I think the real message here is that when you invest (through time, money, or otherwise) in a proprietary infrastructure you need to expect that you have no real recourse should the owner work against you; you voided all recourse except for what is explicitly contractually bound to you. In the case of an open, particularly copyleft, platform: should support from the original owners be absent or insufficient you are legally allowed to take over provided that right is also granted by you. Often it may still be worthwhile to invest in proprietary platforms, but remember, you give up your right to maintain your dependencies. All your dependent art is relying on your trust in the platform owner, and you have no legal recourse, because you gave it away.

Do you have any comments on this? Discuss below.

Source: itnews

GamersGate Offering Free Ad-Supported PC And Mac Games

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 04:01 AM |
Tagged: PC, gaming

You may remember versions of Far Cry and Psi-Ops being released a few years ago that were free-to-play and supported by advertisements. In the case of Psi-Ops, at the start of the game you were presented with a 30 second video ad, after which you were able to jump right into the full game. Far Cry also saw a similar ad-supported version for a time that made the game free.

GamersGate is looking to continue in a similar manner with their upcoming FreeGames service. This new service, which is set to release this fall, will allow gamers to “download, install, and play up to five titles at once” for free. These games will be preceded by a short advertisement before the game launches. Gamers will further have the option to add additional game slots, possibly for a monthly subscription fee according to the FreeGames website.

GamersGate CEO has been quoted by Tom’s Hardware as saying “the new service offers the best of both worlds for both gamers and publishers.” Further, he believes that the ad-supported free-to-play model will be a great way for gamers to test out a new game before they buy the non-ad-supported version as well as a cheap way to catch up on game series. The company expects that the majority of its current catalog will be available on the free-to-play ad-supported service in the fall. The website currently has a countdown timer to the launch as well as a beta sign up via email option.

GamersGate, and its FreeGames service’s popularity will largely depend on the catalog, ad relevance and ad length. If GamersGate can provide a wide selection of new PC and Mac games as legally free-to-play, I suspect that it will see a good amount of adoption and will likely replace the once popular but now rare demo. On the other hand, the long-term success of the service will depend on publisher cooperation and DRM. The service will need a fair bit of stable DRM in order to dissuade casual pirates from stripping out the ads, because if this happens than ad and game publishers will pull back from the service and legal gamers will lose out.

You can find more information by following PC Perspective as well as the FreeGames website itself. Do you feel that the service can succeed? Would you use it?

Razer announces better mouse, better trap in question

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 8, 2011 - 11:48 PM |
Tagged: razer, E3

You may have noticed a slew of gaming-related news flooding from various cracks in the internet this week. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is currently in progress in Los Angeles and much news spawned from its presence. PC Gamers are not left out of the expo, however, as companies like Razer announce their latest wares and technology. While a standard mouse is sufficient for most users there are some who desire extra sensitivity and extra buttons and those are precisely the customers for companies like Razer. Today, Razer announced that two of their upcoming mice would have two independent sensors, one optical and one laser, for enhanced tracking.

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If they announce a five sensor Razer, The Onion won. (Image by Razer)

Razer listed a series of benefits to adding a second sensor to their next generation Mamba and Imperator mice:

  • One sensor can calibrate the other to the surface you are using.
  • The user will be able to determine how far away from the surface the mouse will stop tracking.
  • Less latency tracking the surface you are operating on.
  • Higher tracking precision.

While it is possible that you may appreciate those extra features on your mouse the largest factor in your gameplay will not be your hardware. The largest benefit I received switching from a three-button Microsoft mouse to a gaming mouse was the extra thumb buttons which I bound to an AutoHotkey script for single-button scrolling up and down large documents. (Available here if that's something you desire.) If these features speak to you however, check out Razer’s website.

Source: Razer

Announcing the XFX PSU Contest

Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2011 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: xfx, PSU, easy rail, contest

PSUContest_Image_100.jpg

XFX is giving away 10 PSUs, one each day, to a lucky winner who has registered for their giveaway.  Each day they zero out the applications so you must re-enter the contest every day, though only one entry per day will count.  Winners will get an email and have 24 hours to respond otherwise XFX will pick a new winner.  You can also read more about XFX 's PSUs on this page in case you aren't convinced that getting one for free is a good enough reason to try them out.

XFXcontest.jpg

Click here to enter ... every day until the Monday the 13th!

Official Rules

  • Contest Period: June 6-10, 2011 and June 13-17, 2011.
  • Everyone that registers from 12:01 AM to 12:00 PM on the contest period above will be drawn each day for a daily prize.
  • Please register only once a day. Duplicate entry on the same day will be taken out to give everyone equal winning chance.
  • Winners will be chosen in a daily drawing. If you don’t win today, you can register again tomorrow for a chance to win tomorrow’s prize.
  • Winners will be contacted via email. You have to reply back to us within 24 hours of the time of receiving the notification to be able to win the prize. If 24 hours are past, we will contact the next eligible winner of that day.
  • Once winners are confirmed, we will announce their name on this contest page. This contest is open to North America residents only
  • You must be 18 years old and up to be qualified for this contest. You must register with a valid email address and mailing address in order to qualify to win. You are not qualified to enter the contest again if you are already win the prize in this same contest.
Source: XFX

It's not Invisible War 2, we promise!

Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2011 - 04:24 PM |
Tagged: deus ex, gaming

About the only thing more dissapointing than Deus Ex 2:Invisible War would probably have to be Daikatana.   Eidos Montreal however promises that Deus Ex 3 will be nothing like that and will try to focus on what made the first game so enjoyable.  Many sites, including Ars Technica, were given a 10 hour preview of the game and so far the feedback has been quite positive.  That is no guarantee of a good game but it does bode well for fans of the original.

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"There are few games with both the respect and baggage of Deus Ex. The original PC game is considered by many to be a masterpiece, and the sequel—Invisible War—is considered by many to be one of the most disappointing games ever released. Eidos Montreal has been working on a new Deus Ex title that is part prequel and part reboot, with Square Enix as the publisher."

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Source: Ars Technica

It's world IPv6 Day

Subject: General Tech, Networking | June 8, 2011 - 03:38 PM |
Tagged: what could go wrong, networking, ipv6, 404

On February 3 of this year, the last block of IPv4 addresses were allocated which brought IPv6 to the forefront of the minds of many network heads.  NAT and internal LANs can extend the usage of IPv4 for quite a while and many of the allocated addresses are not actually in use which is a good thing as not many OSes support IPv6 natively, nor do many network appliances.

That brings us to today, where many major websites are cumulating all of the internal testing they have been performning by doing a 24 hour dry run of IPv6.  Companies like Juniper and Cisco have been working to ensure their portion of the Internet's backbone will be able to handle the new addressing scheme so that clients can connect to the sites that are testing IPv6.  Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Bing have all turned on IPv6 as have several ISPs including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, with Verizon's LTE mobile network are also testing IPv6.  You can see a full list of the participants here.

This will of course involve a little pain, as new technology does tend to have sharp edges.  You may well see a few 404's or have other problems when surfing the net today but overall it should not be too bad, Google predicts about a 1% failure rate.  The hackers will also be out to play today, likely using the larger sized packets for DDoS attacks.  Since the IPv6 packets are four times larger than an IPv6 packet, a flood of the new protocol will be super effective at DDoS attacks.  As well, most of the IPv6 packets will be bypassing companies current deep packet inspection hardware and software, IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4 so the network appliances used for that type of scan simply cannot inspect IPv6 packets.  That is not to say that these devices cannot inspect IPv6 packets, simply that for a one day test major providers are reluctant to completely reprogram the devices.   In the case of an attack, most of the participants have a plan in place to revert immediately back to IPv4.

So, if possible on your machine, fire up IPv6 and give it a whirl.  There is a simple test here to see if you are IPv6 compliant and if it is enabled or a more comprehesive test here.

ipv6.png

"Sponsored by the Internet Society, World IPv6 Day runs from 8 p.m. EST Tuesday until 7:59 p.m. EST Wednesday. The IT departments in the participating organizations have spent the last five months preparing their websites for an anticipated rise in IPv6-based traffic, more tech support calls and possible hacking attacks prompted by this largest-ever trial of IPv6."

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