Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2012 - 12:35 PM | PCPer Staff
Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 Dual-core Small Form Factor Desktop for $359.00 @ Lenovo (normally $450 – use coupon code 7DAYSOFDEALS).
13.3" Dell XPS 13 Core i5 Ultrabook w/ 128GB SSD for $749.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $950 – use coupon code 1BBBZLJSCTPSS3).
13.3" Toshiba Portege Z935-ST3N02 Core i5 Ultrabook for $779.99 with free shipping @ Toshiba (normally $1,000 – use coupon code TECHBZ100).
18.4" Alienware m18x r2 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/ 2GB GeForce GTX 660M for $1,699.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $2000 – use coupon code 144VZ6QP3FKX1S).
Dell Inspiron One 2330 23" Core i3 1080p All-in-one PC for $549.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $650 - use coupon code: QLR?368JCWZ0MF).
21.5" Dell E2211H LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $125.99 plus free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: GXGR7B6RJP354G).
Linksys E3200 Dual-Band Gigabit Ethernet USB Port Wireless-N Router (Refurbished) for $62 plus free shipping (normally $120 - Use coupon code HSDISH5).
Sony Walkman NWZ-E475BLK 16GB MP3 Player for $89.99 (normally $110).
60" Sharp AQUOS LC-60LE745U 1080p 3D 120Hz LED HDTV + $100 Restaurant Gift Card for $1,288.99 with free shipping (normally $1,800 - use coupon code: LOGICBUY15).
Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2012 - 01:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mining, gpu, btc, block reward halving, block reward, bitcoin
Earlier this week, the 50BTC reward given to miners that successfully find blocks of Bitcoin transactions was halved to 25BTC. This means that the gross income of miners is now half of what it has been since the cryptocurrency’s inception. As a result, many miners – especially those using graphics cards – will have to re-evaluate their net earnings to determine if they are still making any profits from mining coins after hardware and electricity costs are taken into consideration.
As an example, when mining bitcoins using a single shader-unlocked AMD Radeon HD 6950 graphics card, I was able to obtain approximately 0.12 BTC per day. Now, because the reward is cut in half, I am able to make about 0.06 BTC per day. Unfortunately, that is approximately the same amount of BTC (when converted to USD) that it costs in electricity to run, negating profits. Technically, according to Allchains.info, I am (just barely) still profitable with a net profit of $0.076 USD per day after electricity costs. As the exchange rate has gone up slightly, it is a bit more than that in actuality but it is still a good estimation of profitability. There are also non-monetary costs associated with mining bitcoins in the form of the extra heat and noise generated by the graphics card being run under load 24/7. And at $0.076 cents a day, it really does not seem worth it anymore. Then again, it does act as a room heater in the winter and it at least subsidizes part of the cost of heating the room (heh) even if it does not pay out much more than it costs to run.
It will be interesting to see how miners react, especially once the colder months are behind us. Some Bitcoin miners have moved on to alternative cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Terracoin, however that has caused the difficulty of mining LTC to double without an equal increase in exchange rate which has actually made mining LTC less profitable than mining BTC (d'oh!).
The reward halving is not an unexpected event, and, in fact, it has been intentionally executed by the bitcoin developers to prevent inflation. Just as the mining difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks, every four years the reward is cut in half until mining blocks no longer provides rewards (with the intention that transaction fees will provide all of the incentive to mine from then one). As such, many miners knew about it before hand, and planned accordingly. Some miners sold off their rigs, others (mostly those with free electricity) are continuing to mine, and yet other miners moved to alternative cryptocurrencies. (That's not to mention those that mine for the purpose of securing the network which is not always a profitable (albeit necessary) pursuit.)
Interestingly, the difficulty of Bitcoin is estimated to increase rather than decrease with the upcoming adjustment despite the reward split and a certain number of users moving away from mining. This may be the result of miners speculating that the price (exchange rate of USD/BTC) will increase and/or that other miners will drop off and the difficulty will begin to decrease at some point. Miners with lage farms of gaphics cards may also be able to hold out despite the block reward halving as they have enough hashing power to keep profits at a worthwile level. While my single card is only making about $18 a month now (versus ~35+), users with more cards can still be seeing sizable returns. So long as profits are there, mining will continue, though newcomers looking to invest in mining rigs are less likely to join in the current climate (seemingly vaporware ASICs notwithstanding). There may also be users that are mining solely for BTC that they will hoard or spend with merchants (like WordPress) that accept bitcoins without concern for exchanging to USD or other national currencies.
In all, there are an astounding number of factors surrounding the block reward halving along with many theories about what will happen as a result of it. At this point, it is still to early to tell, but It will be interesting to see which theories hold true.
Read more about the bitcoin cryptocurrency and how mining works at PC Perspective.
What do you think about the bitcoin reward being cut in half? How will it effect you, and will you continue to mine at the current exchange rate and difficulty? Let us know in the comments below (no registration required).
Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2012 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, laser, Celluon, Magic Cube, keyboard
Who needs a mechanical keyboard if you can have one made out of lasers with an IR sensor to detect where your fingers are typing? With both USB and Bluetooth connectivity the Celluon Magic Cube will beam a virtual keyboard onto any flat surface allowing you to type on a full keyboard without having to cart one around with you. This will be more handy for tablet and phone users but still might be worth using with a laptop just because it is made of frickin' laser beams. Hardware.Info tried out one of these hard to get a hold of devices and loved it as it performed as advertised and even has a mouse mode. You may not type quite as fast as you would on a normal keyboard but you will look far more impressive.
"It still looks and feels like science fiction, but this actually works. With the Magic Cube from Celluon you can create a fully functional keyboard on any surface, that types much better than the mini-keyboards on your average smartphone. The added value for tablets is more limited, because for those there are many more alternatives in terms of external keyboards."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Razer BlackWidow 2013 Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Custom PC Review
- Max Keyboard Nighthawk Custom Keyboard @ LanOC Reviews
- Das Keyboard Professional Model S Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master Quickfire TK Gaming Keyboard Review @ Ninjalane
- CM Storm Quick Fire TK Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- CM Storm QuickFire TK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- AZiO Levetron Clicker Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Rosewill's Illuminated Gaming Keyboard and RK-9000I Keyboard @ AnandTech
- HP 3005PR USB 3.0 Port Replicator @ Hardware.info
- Use PlayStation3 Gamepad with PC Games @ Benchmark Reviews
- Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse @ Tweaktown
- AZiO GM533U Gaming Mouse Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Thermaltake brings BMW to the mouse
Our friends at Thermaltake recently sent us a fun new toy, the Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M adjustable gaming mouse. Yes, that's a lot of letters to describe a mouse, but I can assure you this mouse is unlike any you might have seen before.
Here are the key selling points:
- Air-through Ventilation
- 3D Steering
- Macro / Lighting software
- RGB LEDs in several places for customization
- Laser sensor up to 8300 DPI
The idea of the ventilation is to keep your sweaty hands a bit drier and cooler while the 3D steering allows the user to adjust the mouse surface in two different directions (one for height, one for horizontal angle) to find their preferred placement. The LEDs do allow for some interesting color combinations as long as you are okay with the preset colors that Tt eSPORTS has available in software.
Speaking of software, the application for customization is a little over exaggerated on the "extreme" design cues but enables the feature set you are looking for. Custom macros can be created and assigned to one of four buttons (A-D) with adjustments for timing, delay, etc. In addition, you can combine macros, lighting and DPI settings into one of five profiles that you can switch between easily with the thumb stick on the left side of the mouse.
Even better - all of this information (macros, profiles) is saved in the mouse after you disconnect it and take it to a different PC - no need to install the software to get the presets you configured before.
After a couple of us have used the mouse for a few days in the office, we put together the video below for you to see our thoughts and opinions as well as how the Level 10 M looks and feels. Even though it was designed in partnership with BMW, a current selling price of $95 on Newegg makes it hard to recommend the mouse to anyone but those of you that know for sure this is the mouse you want to use going forward.
Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2012 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nand, EMC, phase change memory
SSDs are not that old but already there is a challenge that must be overcome if it is to remain a viable storage medium. As Allyn has discussed many times in articles and on the podcast, as NAND process shrinks continue, the number of write cycles before failure drops which lowers the life expectancy of the drive even while it allows for high capacity chips and lower power consumption. Zahid Hussain is EMC's flash product division general manager and he is confident that his company will be able to do what Hynix, Samsung and others have so far been unable to do; work with Micron to replace the NAND chips with Phase Change Memory based chips. This type of chip is non-volatile and could also find its way into DIMMs as well. Read more at The Register.
"It is anticipated that, as NAND process geometries shrink beyond 15nm or so, the working life will fall off drastically, speed will slacken and the error checking and correction logic will become much more complicated. At that point, roughly, it is hoped, a post-NAND technology will be productised and deliver chips that are denser than flash, faster than flash, approaching DRAM speed, byte-addressable instead of block-addressable, and with a longer working life. That seems like a real big ask."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- RIM announces updates to developer ecosystem programs @ The Register
- Updating the 2012 AnandTech SMB / SOHO NAS Testbed
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - November 2012
- Double Fine’s Brad Muir dishes out BRAZEN details @ Kitguru
- In Calculator Arms Race, Casio Fires Back: Color Touchscreen ClassPad @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2012 - 12:46 PM | PCPer Staff
27" Dell U2713HM UltraSharp 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $719.10 @ Dell (normally $800 – use coupon code 2501D84$TJ5SMV).
14" Alienware m14x r2 Core i5 Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop w/ GeForce GT 650M for $899.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $939.99 – use coupon code 144VZ6QP3FKX1S).
15.6" Dell Vostro 3560 Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $554.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $630 – use coupon code 051348KD$Z8QDB).
15" Dell XPS 15 Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" 1080p Laptop / Windows 8 for $1,199.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,300 – use coupon code 144VZ6QP3FKX1S).
Dell Vostro 470 "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 Desktop for $524.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $670 - use coupon code: 051348KD$Z8QDB).
Alienware X51 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" mini Gaming PC w/ Blu-ray, GeForce GTX 660 for $1,099.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,350 - use coupon code: 144VZ6QP3FKX1S).
27" Dell S2740L1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $260.99 plus free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: 2501D84$TJ5SMV).
23" Dell U2312HM UltraSharp 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitor for $224.99 (normally $230 - use coupon code: GXGR7B6RJP354G).
23" Three (3) HP W2371d 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitors for $469.94 (normally $600).
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 & Premiere Elements 11 for $74.99 (normally $150).
HP Wireless Audio for $69.99 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: SVP471394).
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | November 29, 2012 - 10:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: surface, Surface Pro, windows 8
When surface was originally announced we were promised the availability of two different models: Surface RT and Surface Pro. The two devices are what Microsoft considers canonical to the modern Windows experience. The original Microsoft Surface, an interactive table designed for commercial applications, was stripped of its trademark and rebranded Microsoft PixelSense.
The Surface RT was positioned as the introductory and lower-end Windows tablet incapable of x86-support. With a base price of $499 the ARM-based device takes up the lower end of the market with an attempt to bring laptop form to an iPad-style platform.
The Surface Pro will come in two SKUs: a 64GB version will cost you $899 or fork over $999 to double that to 128GB of flash storage. All SKUs will include an Intel i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel HD 4000 GPU driving a 10.6” 1080p display. You will be able to attach an external monitor via mini display port. Windows 8 will be the driving operating system behind this device and bring support for x86 applications to the Surface platform.
Neither Surface Pro SKU will include a keyboard-cover in the price but both will include a stylus. You still have the option of augmenting your device with their magnetically attached keyboards. I can only assume that Microsoft did not include them solely for pricing.
The Surface family will complete in January 2013.
Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2012 - 02:20 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vector, ssd, socket, podcast, ocz, LGA, layoffs, Intel, Indilinx, BGA, amd, 3550p
PC Perspective Podcast #228 - 11/29/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Intel Socket Controversy, a new OCZ SSD, GPU-less Ivy Bridge and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the 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
Program length: 1:22:57
Podcast topics of discussion:
- 0:01:20 Never Settle Contest Part 2 is running!
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:40:30 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:41:30 Intel Broadwell goes BGA Only; Desktop is dead?
- 0:56:00 More AMD Layoffs coming?
- 0:58:45 Intel CEO is leaving too
- 1:00:00 Western Digital 4TB Black HDD
- 1:02:00 Fujifilm working on 1TB optical discs
- 1:06:00 Jon Peddie Q3 GPU Results
- 1:08:00 Microsoft sells 40 million Windows 8 licenses
- 1:09:45 Rumored 'Blue' Subscription based Windows OS
- 1:12:00 Intel Updates SSD Toolbox, 335 Firmware
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2012 - 12:58 PM | PCPer Staff
15.6" Dell Inspiron 15z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook (optional Touchscreen) for $699.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $939.99 – use coupon code 07J3ZFPC$14XS$).
HP ENVY 23-d060qd TouchSmart 23" 1080p Core i7 Ivy Bridge All-in-one for $974.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,300 - use coupon code: DT1261).
Dell Optiplex 7010 Core i7 Ivy Bridge Quad-core Mini Tower for $629.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,057 - use coupon code: X?TWNHV1G8VMCB).
Linksys E3200 Dual-Band Gigabit Ethernet USB Port Wireless-N Router (Refurbished) for $61.74 (normally $120 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
25" HP 2511x 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $249.99 (normally $300).
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 SC Signature 2GB Video Card + 2 Free PC Game for $429.99 (normally $470 - use coupon code: GMC78619).
Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2012 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pentium, celeron, Intel, 22nm, G2130, G2020, G2020T, G1620, G1610, G1610T, Ivy Bridge
There won't be any new Intel desktop processors for Christmas and even in the New Year it will be the entry level lineup that is first refreshed. Six older Pentium and Celeron models will hit EOL and be replaced with new Ivy Bridge based 22nm models, likely with similar specs and reduced power consumption. The news for mobile processors is a little better with the Core i7-3687, Core i5-3437U, Celeron 1037U, 1007U, 1020M and 1000M all slated for the first quarter of 2013. DigiTime also mentions a new 20nm member of the 530 series of SSDs should be arriving at the same time.
"Intel is set to upgrade its entry-level desktop Pentium and Celeron product lines in the first quarter of 2013 with the launch of Ivy Bridge-based 22nm Pentium G2130, G2020 and G2020T and Celeron G1620, G1610 and G1610T processors, while its existing Sandy Bridge-based 32nm Pentium G870, G645 and G645T as well as Celeron G555, G550 and G550T will be phased out of the market starting the end of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ten weird Chinese mobile phones @ The Register
- RIM reveals Blackberry 10 Dev device with physical QWERTY keypad @ The Inquirer
- Samsung printers have secret admin account @ The Register
- Electrical Applications for Infrared Thermometers @ TechwareLabs
- Protect Your Home from Burglary & Vandalism: There’s an App for That @ TechwareLabs
- Win a Nokia Lumia 820 Windows 8 Phone With Scancom @ eTeknix