Patching kernels is a modern game of whack-a-mole

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2010 - 12:02 PM |

Having just patched a vulnerability tied to how Windows handles Control Panel icons and a day before a rather heavy Patch Tuesday arrives we have a new and nasty kernel vulnerability that affects all Windows versions.  This one seems a little odd but is no less threatening because of its target.  It would seem that pasting a large number of colour values, more than 256 specifically, into an improperly allocated buffer could allow one of those nasty net denizens to sneak in something malicious that will get to run its self with kernel level privileges. 

Source: The Register

It wasn't Whale and Dolphin, it was Pig and Cow!!!

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2010 - 06:47 PM |

There are more than a few decades of cumulative knowledge available to our members in the PC Perspective Forums, so if you have a general question, such as a query about the quality of a certain brand of GPU reseller, the chances are very good you will have a few replies to let you know how well they do their jobs.  More specific questions might take a while but be patient, your chances are good that someone knows.

Apple stays with AMD, skips on Fermi

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2010 - 11:46 AM |

According to The Inquirer it is official, the next breed of Apple iMacs and Mac Pros will be using the AMD instead of switching to an nVIDIA Fermi based GPU.  For the Mac Pro the standard will be the HD5770 with an optional upgrade to the HD5870 for those looking for more rendering power.  The iMacs will feature an HD5750 for the largest 27" model with the smaller versions using the HD5670 or HD4670 in some 22" models.  Looks like Apple still hasn't forgiven nVIDIA for B

Source: The Register

Acer makes it easy to meet the Chrome OS

Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2010 - 12:36 PM |

Acer is going to release a $375 dual boot laptop sometime in the near future, though they have not yet specified when.  The first OS is the familiar and aged WinXP and the second is the very young and unfamiliar Chrome OS from Google.  This should give you a chance to get to know Chrome and its capabilities while still being able to switch to a more familiar OS.  The Atom N450 processor and 1GB of RAM offer enough processing power for simple tasks, it sports a 10.1-inch screen and has a 160GB hard drive, so don't expect performance miracles but do expect it to be light. 

Source: The Inquirer

Cooler Master extends their mouse family line with the Inferno

Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 05:39 PM |

New around the pad is the CM Storm Inferno Laser Gaming Mouse a debatably
scaled down version of their Sentinel mouse.  Its buttons go all the way to 11, though they are in a rather unique configuration that should be viewed before you rush out to buy this mouth.  It sports CM's 4000 DPI Storm Tactical Laser Sensor
with five different customizable sensitivities and the buttons can be customized in a rather impressive variety of ways.  Head on over to Benc

What the web thinks about StarCraft II

Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 12:35 PM |

Here at PC Perspective, as well as at other sites like TechSpot, the focus was on performance.  The amount of change in hardware over the past decade means a lot to this new StarCraft, as the original did not have to worry about leveraging multiple cores on single CPUs or 3D effects using multiple GPUs.  Many will find the results an interesting look at a game that has been in development as long as a certain FPS but has actually stuck with a tec

A big platter based drive to go with your SSD

Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 11:56 AM |

When the Western Digital EcoGreen F4EG drive arrives in September it is going to be rather popular.  A new larger platter means that the 1.5TB and 2TB flavours will sport 3 platters instead of two which will bring power consumption down.  It does still remain a 5400rpm drive, though that will not matter so much if your OS and active programs reside on an SSD and the WD drive is used for large term storage as the 32MB cache and SATA 3 interface should give you enough bandwidth for that purpose. 

Source: The Register

Pump up the volume of your laptop without adding to the weight

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 12:14 PM |

If you are looking to boost the audio on your laptop by carrying around some extra speakers you run the risk of an encumbrance penalty, as the speakers large enough to sound good are bulky and the tiny ones tend to sound no better than the ones built into the laptop.  The Choiix Boom Boom
compromises and comes in a form reminiscent of an iPhone (12mm x 160mm x 90mm), though in reality it is a clamshell which opens to reveal the grill covering the 4 speakers inside.  Powered by USB and connected via a 3.5mm RCA jack so there will be a pair of wires connecting the speaker. 

It's not patch Tuesday but you should hit Windows Update

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 11:35 AM |

Earlier in July a rather nasty Windows flaw that takes advantage of the way that Windows displays Control Panel shortcuts to install a rootkit on your system appeared.  Simply displaying the icon, via explorer for instance, would give the attacker control and that control was targeted at a rather specific and unpleasant task, the disruption of programs used to control and monitor large manufacturing plants.  As [H]ard|OCP

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Mr. Hoffa, I presume?

Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2010 - 06:26 PM |

There are a wide variety of questions in the Tech Talk Forum, especially now that the Webmastering forum has been merged into it.  You can find questions and recommendations on system builds, printer choices and choice software but a request for viruses is always goi