Roll your own SMT hot air pencil

Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2008 - 11:59 AM |
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Trying to replace a dead capacitor on a motherboard, or playing with advanced tweaks and repairs to add on cards is incredibly difficult to do successfully without a hot air pencil to help you get the solder off.  All to often you will get the component off, and bake the area around where it used to be.  MAKE:Blog has a project for all you modders out there, with an inexpensive hot air pencil you make yourself.

Source: MAKE: Blog

Regaining CPU cycles on the cheap

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2008 - 05:37 PM |
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Diamond Xtreme Sound 5.1 offers you away to get 5.1 (or 2.1) sound out of your PC without relying on the onboard sound, which frees up CPU cycles ...

Source: Gamepyre

Mmmmmm, open sauce

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2008 - 11:43 AM |
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Looking for a substitute for WinZip, FrontPage or Norton Ghost, either because of the price, or to support the open source community?  Over at WHDb is a list of 50 common programs and an open source alternative, plus a huge amount of comments with suggestions for alternate programs.  Some of the choices on the list may not be the ones you would choose, and it is inconsistent in mentioning if some software is Linux only, but it is a great time sav

Source: WHDb

Another member of the campaign for real benchmarks

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:58 AM |
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When you are reviewing a game, or more often a video card, there are several methods that present themselves.  The first is to load up a timedemo or a built in benchmark, let it run through a few loops and write down the numbers it gives you.  A bit of math and a bunch of typing and your review is done and ready to be published so that your readers can make informed decisions about their next purchase.  On the other hand, you can sacrifice a day (and probably a night) spending quality time with a PC and a box of beer, playing through the game and saving a specific spots where th

Source: [H]ard|OCP

To boldy go ...

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:39 AM |
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If you are sick and tired of the internet and your browser working the way you want them to, why not try FireFox3 Beta3?  You do get a sneak peek at the Gecko1.9 rendering engine, and if you run under Windows it will install to a separate directory; leaving your FireFox2 installation alone.  Not so the case on Linux or Mac, it will install overtop of your existing FireFox.  Read what else you can expect over at The Inquirer.

Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF AGEIA TECHNOLOGIES

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:08 AM |
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SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 13, 2008 - NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA), the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of AGEIA Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in gaming physics technology. AGEIA's PhysX® software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX SDK.

Source: NVIDIA

AMD Sharpens Focus On Latest Multimedia Technologies To Create Immersive Mobile Entertainment Experi

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2008 - 01:17 PM |
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BARCELONA, SPAIN - Feb. 12, 2008 - Today at the GSMA Mobile World
Congress, AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced an expanded portfolio of products
and technologies to enable such popular, media-rich applications as
mobile TV, 3D games and high-fidelity audio, delivering immersive
entertainment to tomorrow's mobile phones and handheld devices.
AMD has enhanced its established line of innovative, open-standard
handheld device technologies with upcoming AMD Imageon processors,
as well as next-generation 3D and vector graphics cores available for
licensing.

Source: AMD

The kids these days get the best toys

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2008 - 11:40 AM |
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VIA Arena reports on a very neat use for students, the ALMASpace Ground Station which has an EPIA mainboard at it's heart, letting students video conference with the International Space Station.  It also allows data transfer, to upload data that the students want the ISS cameras to focus on and calculate orbital patterns, as well as letting them download the data once it has been collected.  Check out the specs of this learning aid in the full article.

Source: VIA Arena

Can you hear me now?

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2008 - 01:35 PM |
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The

Source: BCCHardware

Yahoo plays hard to get; looks for a threesome

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2008 - 12:01 PM |
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Yahoo has decided that it wants Microsoft to show that it truly loves them, by upping their desired price by $9.00 a share, taking the total price per share to $40.00, all told they want about $58 billion.  The Inquirer has quotes as to exactly how Yahoo announced this to their shareholders.  Microsoft has the option to go directly to the shareholders, to try a buyout that way and to perhaps gain extra leverage to finish the deal.  Just in case they press their suit

Source: The Inquirer