Not so pretty in pink

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2009 - 11:51 AM |
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The bumpy ride downhill for the IT industry has picked up a little more speed today.  Slashdot has linked to three very similar stories of woe for three major tech players.  Microsoft is going to spend the next 18 months laying off up to 5,000 employees, with no specifics on where these jobs will be lost. 
As we saw yesterday afternoon, Intel is shutting down two elderly U.S.

Source: Slashdot

What have I got in my pocket?

Subject: Mobile | January 21, 2009 - 06:08 PM |
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At 635g and 279mm x 199.8mm x 23.6mm, the Sony VAIO Pocket is one of the smaller Atom based UMPCs available.   Don't let the small size fool you, it has 2GB DDR2 and a 60GB HDD or 64GB SSD for storage which will help it run Vista at an acceptable speed.  All in all, apart from the bill you will get from Sony for any repairs; this will give you a fair amount of mobile power without the hernia.  Hardware Zone's claims of it being a total chick magnet may be a bit exaggerated though.

Intel to Consolidate Manufacturing Operations; Company to Halt Production at Five Older Factories

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 05:44 PM |
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2009 - Intel Corporation today disclosed plans to restructure some of its manufacturing operations and align its manufacturing capacity to current market conditions. The company will consolidate and streamline some older capacity without impacting the deployment of new, leading-edge 45-nanometer and 32-nanometer manufacturing capacity.

The company plans to close two existing assembly test facilities in Penang, Malaysia and one in Cavite, Philippines, and will halt production at Fab 20, an older 200mm wafer fabrication facility in Hillsboro, Ore.

Wacom's middle tablet

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 01:34 PM |
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If you are a graphics professional, you have probably had your eyes on the Wacom Cintiq, and if you have just started in on the idea of tablets, you are more likely to be looking at the Graphire.  For those who have graduated from the Graphire, but aren't ready to invest in a Cintiq, there is the Intuos.  MaximumCPU tried out the tablet, pen and mouse, so drop by for a look.

Source: Maximum CPU

AMD drops quad-core Phenom processor pricing

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 12:15 PM |
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AMD has reduced the price of its quad-core Phenom II X4 940 and 920 CPUs from US$275 and US$235 to US$225 and US$195 in thousand-unit tray quantities, respectively.

In addition to reducing the price of current CPUs, AMD also plans to launch the Phenom II X4 950 in the second quarter with a core frequency of 3.1GHz.

AMD commented that the price drop provides consumers products with a better price/performance ratio.

Source: Digitimes

A reluctant manifestation

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 12:07 PM |
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There is an undead monster in the closet which is having some serious issues.  For quite a while now, the license to the Ghostbusters franchise has been possessed by a number of different companies, each sucking a little more life out of it, either doing nothing with it, or worse, by releasing pathetic games or.  Now unless Atari can trap the spirit of the game it may never be anything but a phantom release.  Ars Technica has details on the whole sordid story.

Source: Ars Technica

87 out of 88 ain't bad

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 11:29 AM |
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Intel still isn't saying that they will be taking a loss, but they aren't suggesting it will be a positive quarter either.  The Register's coverage suggests that Intel employees are worried about job security at this point, and are advocating a solution like AMD has recently adopted; salary cuts for everyone. 

Source: The Inquirer

Form and function from your HTPC case

Subject: Systems | January 20, 2009 - 04:14 PM |
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For just over $200 you can get your hands on the Thermaltake DH-101 VF7001BNS, an HTPC case with the styling you would expect from Thermaltake.   Not only is it pretty on the outside, there was plenty of room inside to fit a HD 2900XT.  Motherboards.org takes you through their whole experience, from unboxing to final assembly in their review.

ThermalTake is thinking big

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 20, 2009 - 01:49 PM |
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The reason the Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro has a 14 in it's name is thanks to the 140mm fan providing the airflow on this enormous heatsink.  The sheer size, 140mmx140mmx30mm may prevent it from working in some cases and it's 800g weight will want a solid mount.  Join Overclockers Club in admiring the performance and the lack of noise from ThermalTa

There's a new flash drive in town

Subject: Storage | January 20, 2009 - 12:18 PM |
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The USB flash drive has a competitor with the release of OCZ's Throttle 32GB eSATA drive.  It may look like your every day thumb drive, but this one plugs into a powered eSATA port.  If you wonder how that might affect your day, consider that Legit Reviews tested the drive by copying 29.3GB worth of files onto the Throttle and an OCZ ATV usb drive and then copied them back. 

The botnet is coming, the botnet is coming!

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2009 - 12:05 PM |
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Our next virtual Chicken Little is Conficker, a voracious and evolving worm spreading thanks to unpatched Windows systems.  Unfortunately for those responsible people who have patched their systems, it can still infect you via an infected USB drive and a little time to brute force your password.  If you are infected, you may not notice as the little bugger is being polite, for the moment.  Slashdot's story covers the invetible outcome, at some point this worm is going to go active as a

Source: Slashdot

MSI's new BIOS

Subject: Motherboards | January 19, 2009 - 06:33 PM |
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Fans on MSI motherboards may be interested to read about their new Click BIOS, a UEFI BIOS which allows the use of a mouse, among other things.  It has taken until Vista x64 SP1 to make a Windows machine work with a UEFI BIOS, previously only found in Apples.  The MSI P45D3 Platinum is the first motherboard to feature this BIOS, head over and take a look.

Source: bit-tech

Antec's Signature series upholds it's reputation

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 19, 2009 - 02:40 PM |
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Lee recently finished reviewing the Antec Signature Series 850W PSU, and gave it an Editors Choice Award thanks to Antec's incredibly well done design.  850W total, with four +12V delivering up to 65A combined load
and four PCI-E connectors will ensure even high end gamers with multiple graphics cards will not run out of power.  The total power of the unit isn't it's only

ASUS is loud and proud

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2009 - 01:50 PM |
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ASUS has released another Xonar audio card, this time the $200 Essence STX.  Some serious hardware has gone into this card, which goes beyond the quality expected by a gamer and heads more into the realm of the audiophile.  Tweaktown feels this card would be much happier living in an HTPC syst

Source: Tweaknews

nVIDIA's small steps to success

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 19, 2009 - 12:08 PM |
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It's a fair jump for the graphics core to go from 648MHz to 702MHz, the stream processor from 1.476GHz to 1.584GHZ and the memory from 2.484GHz to 2.646GHz, but that is exactly what EVGA did with their GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition.  Even more impressive is [H]ard|OCP's final numbers when they try overclocking this card even further.  Architecturally the GTX 285 does not really differ from the 280 it replaced, but the die shrink has really opened up the maximum clock speeds.  Read

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AM3 can't come too soon for AMD

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2009 - 11:45 AM |
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According to The Register, AMD will be cutting 1,100 more workers, as well as reducing the wage of anyone who still finds themselves with a job.  A lot of these jobs will be in the handheld and TV chip portions of the ATI purchase, which AMD is looking to sell to a nice home.  There will also be cutbacks in benefits, such as the companies matching of 401K/RRSP contributions.  The news on Thursday, January 22 does not look to be very positive.

Source: The Register

Would you like your Friday soft or hard?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2009 - 05:55 PM |
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Perhaps it is not the best sign for your safety that the Virus Alerts/Security Warnings/Solutions in our networking forum has been very active over the past few weeks, but you can be assured that the advice you find in the thread will keep you from being sorry.  Several dedicated members are continually vigilant for the latest nasties running amok on the net, as well as the best ways to avoid them.  They can't do it alone, there are

Lucky number 13

Subject: Displays | January 16, 2009 - 02:48 PM |
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X-bit Labs has hit the thirteenth iteration of their series of comparisons of 19" monitors, this time with seven models from four different companies.  Thanks to the popularity of larger sized monitors, and general reduction in the price of LCDs, you can get a 19" display for very little money.  Perhaps even better is that for a little more money, you can get very nice features on that 19" monitor.  Those same features on a 22" or larger display make the cost prohibitive.

"In our today’s article we are going to discuss another seven displays with 19-inch diagonal from Acer, Asus, Samsung and ViewSonic. Among them are a couple of pretty unusual solutions: one based on PVA matrix and another one with a built-in web-cam."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

  Displays

Source: X-Bit Labs

Nickel plated samurai

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 16, 2009 - 01:59 PM |
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When you read through the review of the AVC Black Samurai on Frosty Tech, you get the idea that the cooler is bipolar.  One personality is almost silent and offers mediocre cooling, though certainly better than a stock cooler.  The second personality is very loud and can cool just about any processor you feel like putting under it.  The dark nickel plating makes this heat sink attractive, regardless of which personality you prefer.

Source: Frosty Tech

Just like you were there

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 16, 2009 - 12:37 PM |
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Just about every possible CES 2009 display and booth has been captured from every angle.  We have seen spotlighted vendors and broad highlights, even shots of a nearby and totally unrelated expo.  Finish up the last of the show with Big Bruin and their take on the most fun electronics at the show.

Source: Big Bruin