Ripley would probably use the Razer Nostromo

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2010 - 12:29 PM |
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You might remember seeing an odd looking one handed keyboard from Belkin a few years back, called the SpeedPad.  It seemed like a good idea but never really caught on, but perhaps if one of the major peripheral makers were to try it might meet with more success.  Enter the Razer Nostromo, a new one handed keypad that Gizmodo is reporting on here.  No word if it comes with a self destruct sequence.

Source: Gizmodo

Zambezi and Llano; a pair of revealing slides

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2010 - 11:49 AM |
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It is always fun for the community when someone slips and breaks an NDA, letting the community take a peek at something they weren't supposed to see yet is always enjoyable.  The Inquirer caught a slip of a pair of slides from an AMD presentation from October, detailing the upcoming family of AM3 CPUs and new socket FM1 APUs.  Head on over to see when the 125W eight core should be available for you to own.

"CHIP DESIGNER AMD has delayed its Llano models further while its Zambezi chips are still on track, according to leaked chipset roadmap slides that AMD has confirmed to The INQUIRER are genuine."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

PCI-SIG Releases PCI Express 3.0 SPECIFICATION

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2010 - 01:21 PM |
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BEAVERTON, Ore. – November 18, 2010 – PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe®) industry-standard input/output (I/O) technology, today announced the availability of the PCIe Base 3.0 specification to its members. The PCIe 3.0 architecture is a low-cost, high-performance I/O technology that includes a new 128b/130b encoding scheme and a data rate of 8 gigatransfers per second (GT/s), doubling the interconnect bandwidth over the PCIe 2.0 specification.

Source: Email

A closer look at WiFi Direct

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2010 - 01:17 PM |
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Drop by SemiAccurate for an overview of the talks that the WiFi Alliance has been having about WiFi Direct, which will be a software upgrade that extends the usefulness of wireless connectivity by allowing connections to multiple devices.  The connection remains WPA2 or WPS, offering secure connectivity to up to three wireless devices, think of it as a turbo charged Bluetooth connection.  There is much more to learn about from their talks.

Source: SemiAccurate

The sound of a multi-platform Sharkoon

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 06:24 PM |
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Sharkoon, a semi-frequent mention on the PC Perspective Podcast thanks to the unlikely name they've chosen have recently released a new gaming headset called the XTACTIC SP USB.  Perhaps the most interesting feature of this headset is that it is tested to work on just about any platform you would want to use it on, something other brands sometimes have an issue with.

Source: Funky Kit

Do you approve of Black Ops?

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 02:41 PM |
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The long running CoD franchise has a new member and for a game about Black Ops, there sure is a lot of attention being payed to how it is operating.  The reactions have been mixed, from those whose heads are exploding from the rage and disappointment trying to find an outlet to those who are happy to wait until it is patched to the point where playing the game, especially in multiplayer is more fun than frustrating.  HEXUS tried the single player campaign and gives you a quick run down of what is new in the

Source: Hexus

A quiet chat with Steve Ballmer

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 12:50 PM |
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The current CEO of Microsoft might not quite be at the status of Richard Branson but for a tech company he is rather famous, especially when he loses his temper.  While there is no outburst in the interview he completed with Ars Technica there is certainly a lot to draw the attention of anyone interested in the current mindset of Microsoft and the plans they have for the future.  Four pages worth of questions and answers await.

Source: Ars Technica

SSD's getting cheaper at the cost of more expensive HDDs

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2010 - 12:36 PM |
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According to the numbers that DigiTimes is seeing, the drop in costs for SSDs are having an effect on the price of HDDs but don't expect to see the price per gigabyte get all that close.  We've seen price cuts from Intel and Adata is also going that route and you can expect the introduction of 20nm flash chips to also help drop the cost of SSDs over the coming year.  On the flip side it looks like large capacity HDDs are going to go up a little bit while the new flash is being rolled out.

Source: Digitimes

A sneak peek at Sandy Bridge

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2010 - 12:54 PM |
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The Tech Report has some nice pictures of the next generation of motherboards for Intel processors, aka Sandy Bridge or the 6 series.  They've a few examples from ASUS although not the full lineup of 17 motherboards. One of the most unique of the bunch is the Sabertooth P67 which has a Tactical Jacket, a plastic piece covering the entire motherboard except for slots, which is supposed to direct airflow over various onboard components.

"G2" (SandForce-1200) 64GB SSD $99 at Microcenter B&M or $105 shipped

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2010 - 12:36 PM |
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Allyn just had to pass on an amazing deal for an Sandforce based 64GB Micro Center SSD.  Sure you might not recognize the MicroCentre brand, but what really counts is the controller, the same one found in the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SSD who's specs are in the SSD Decoder Ring.

At $99 plus shipping it is a great deal.

If you haven't noticed our forum restructure yet ...

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 06:28 PM |
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If you haven't been spending much time browsing through the forums, you might not have noticed that a lot of the smaller sub-forums have been rolled up into large, more active forums.  Whereas once we had segregated Motherboards not only into Intel versus AMD but also they were broken down by manufacturer they are now all together in one monster sized forum.  That means you can benefit from the multitude of eyes that will see your question, as all of our motherboard gurus are on the s

Patriot's new Inferno SSD burns through benchmarks

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 01:23 PM |
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Patriot's new SF-1222TA3-SBH based Inferno 120GB SSD features
Sandforce's DuraClass technology, meaning that it has a number of features designed to extend the life of the drive as well as prevent dips in speed due to the collection of garbage sectors over time and other neat tricks like real-time loss-less compression.  In Th

Some fun for AMD-centric hardware programmers

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 12:09 PM |
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If you have fond memories of flashing custom BIOSes that made hidden features accessible for you to tweak with then this story at Slashdot is going to excite you.  It seems a hardware hacker has posted documentation on a way to enable a debug mode in AMD processors.  If you are more into enabling cores via ACC then this might not be your cup of silicon tea but for many the idea of getting up close and personal with AMD's registers makes them a little hot. 

Source: Slashdot

FinalWire Announces AIDA64 v1.20

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2010 - 07:41 PM |
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BUDAPEST, Hungary - November 11, 2010 - FinalWire Ltd.

Source: Email

ARM outs their GPGPU

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2010 - 02:45 PM |
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While most eyes have been on AMD and their first APU, Zacate; ARM has revealed the new Mali T-604 OpenCL GPU.  Their choice of OpenCL over CUDA speaks to ARMs long history of supporting open standards, something that OpenCL is while nVIDIA's solution is at least for now considered proprietary.  They've also chosen a very different route, siting memory bandwidth limitations as a reason for eschewing textures in favour of directly computing screen data. 

Source: The Inquirer

Shush! I can't hear myself type

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2010 - 02:58 PM |
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Mechanical switch keyboards, the most famous being the IBM Model M with buckling spring keys will cause a reaction, for some it is a lovely sound but for most it is an incredible annoyance ... especially if the Model M user is a touch typist.

Guess how much Battlefield Play4Free costs

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2010 - 02:44 PM |
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EA is expanding their Battlefield series again, with a free to play mashed up game with BF2 maps and BF Bad Company 2 classes.  We will see it hit the web next spring expect for those who are signed up and will be accepted to the closed beta.  This is not the first free Battlefield game, though the implication is that this will be a more serious game than Battlefield Heros.  It may also bring back some old players of the Battlefield series upset with the release of BF: Vietnam, BF2 and BF2142 in such quick succession. 

A smart and simple way to increase 'free' Wi-Fi

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2010 - 02:10 PM |
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A researcher at Sophos has come up with a very simple answer to basic security on free wireless connections such as the ones you would find at coffee shops.  It is so simple that you might wonder why no one has thought of it before.  By simply applying the password 'free' to all WiFi hotspots, so that everyone already knows what the password is, you will enable the encryption available through WPA2.  That will mostly protect you from nastiness from programs like Firesheep and possibly even WireShark. 

Source: Slashdot

The ASUS Xonar sound bundle

Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2010 - 03:18 PM |
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Picking up the Asus Xonar Xense Premium Gaming Audio Set will get you a Asus Xonar Xense One sound card and a Sennheiser PC 350 headset.  As you can tell by the $290 pricetag, this is intended for use as a high end sound solution and not simply a way to improve your sound during gaming.  An onboard solution will satisfy all but the most discerning of ears, unless you are intrigued by swappable op-amps and 150

Intel bets big on Sandy Bridge

Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2010 - 01:54 PM |
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DigiTimes reports that Sandy Bridge is set to take a large share of Intel's chips going to market in early 2011.  According to unnamed motherboard makers, who should have a decent idea what is come, you will be seeing a huge influx of both Sandy Bridge CPUs and compatible motherboards.  At 20% of market share you can expect to see more than just high performance parts arriving.  Check it out here.

Source: Digitimes