Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2012 - 12:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, otellini
This may be the most amicable of the recent departures, Intel's leader for the past eight years will be stepping down in Spring. The last eight years have seen a lot of successes at Intel as well as a few projects which did not pan out as hoped. He is the man who oversaw Intel's chip design change from an inefficient architecture which lagged behind AMD's to their current undisputed role in the market today. When he first started at Intel 40 years ago, the company had only been in existence for 5 years, so he has had a large influence on Intel's growth and it will be interesting to see the changes that will occur at Intel under a new leader. Check out who The Tech Report thinks might be the next Intel CEO here.
"Wow, what is it with high-profile tech executives leaving lately? On the heels of Scott Forstall's departure from Apple and Steven Sinofsky stepping down at Microsoft, Intel CEO Paul Otellini has announced that he, too, is going to be leaving his post."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Not-Ready Btrfs and ExFAT Linux Filesystems @ Linux.com
- Cisco to acquire Meraki for $1.2bn @ The Register
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Review @ TechReviewSource
- TSSDR GIVEAWAY: Super Talent USB3.0 Express RC8 100GB Windows to Go Flash Drive
We go inside the Wii U
Last night after the midnight release of the new Nintendo Wii U gaming console, we did what any self respecting hardware fan would do: we tore it apart. That's right, while live on our PC Perspective Live! page, we opened up a pair of Wii U consoles, played a couple of games on the Deluxe while we took a tri-wing screwdriver to the second. Inside we found some interesting hardware (and a lot more screws) and at the conclusion of the 5+ hour marathon, we had a reassembled system with only a handful of leftover screws!
If you missed the show last night we have archived the entire video on our YouTube channel (embedded below) as well as the photos we took during the event in their full resolution glory. There isn't much to discuss about the teardown other than what we said in the video but I am going to leave a few comments after each set of four images.
OH! And if you missed the live event and want to be apart of another one, we are going to be holding a Hitman: Absolution Game Stream on our Live Page sponsored by AMD with giveaways like Radeon graphics cards and LOTS of game keys! Stop by again and see us on http://pcper.com/live on Tuesday the 20th at 8pm ET.
During the stream we promised photos of everything we did while taking it apart, so here you go! Click to get the full size image!
Getting inside the Wii U was surprisingly easy as the white squares over the screws were simply stickers and we didn't have to worry about any clips breaking, etc. The inside is dominated by the optical drive provided by Panasonic.
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2012 - 07:27 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbmc 12, xbmc, Media Center, htpc, frodo
A new version of XBMC recently became available on the developer’s website. After eight months, XBMC version 12 “Frodo” is now in beta, and it brings several improvements over previous iterations of the media center software.
The XBMC 12 beta is available to download for Windows, Linux, OSX, Raspberry Pi, iOS, and AppleTV2. The beta is also rolled into a customized Ubuntu-based Linux distribution called XBMCbuntu which comes as an .iso image download. New features in the XBMC beta include:
HD audio support via the new XBMC AudioEngine:
- DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD
- Live TV and PVR support
- h.264 10bit (aka Hi10P) video software for decoding anime
- 64-bit version for OSX
- Improved image support and additional formats
- Raspberry Pi support
- Initial Android platform support
- Improved Airplay support across all platforms
- Advanced Filtering in the library
- Advanced UPnP sharing
- Translations now powered by Transifex
In addition, the user interface and software startup feels snappier from my informal testing. After loading up my video and music folders, it worked without issues or crashes. XBMC does note that this is still beta software, so it is not advisable to use in a production environment. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to try out the live TV functionality.
You can grab the new beta from the XBMC.org website.
Have you tried the new XBMC 12 beta?
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | November 17, 2012 - 04:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: layoffs, amd
Personally, I am starting to get numb to AMD restructuring news -- and that is never good.
Less than a month ago we reported on the semiconductor design company’s decision to cut 15% of their workforce. The company still has life in it and has a respectable presence in all upcoming videogame consoles along with its inclusion within many consumer laptops and desktops but it is clearly not as much life as they need.
Original rumors stated that cuts could be on the order of 10-30% which 15% would be on the lighter side of. With rumors of more cuts coming in January I wonder if this was a last minute decision to break up the layoffs into two less dramatic installments.
One of the beauties of the tech industry is the low cost of starting or turning a company around; it would be irresponsible to completely count out a player while it still has access to millions of capital. AMD is also sitting upon lots of assets which could be liquidated and their employees have ridiculous talent to be employable elsewhere. I have been noticing that most chatter about the topic is not based in concern with AMD and their employee’s future but with concern about an x86 competitor to Intel.
This is pretty much the same concern which I have been having about Windows 8: the house of cards may be standing but it is still a house of cards. We rely upon the proprietary standards which Intel and others impose upon the art, the word being used both in literal and “artisan / practical art” contexts which includes utensil applications.
Concern mounts but practically no-one grafts it to similar instabilities in other platforms.
No I am not saying abolish technology patents or anything like that: I am simply saying that this is yet another drop in the torrent of concerns with content upstream to proprietary platforms.
These issues rightfully cause alarm but are not isolated events.
Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2012 - 05:53 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wine, windows, ubuntu, silverlight, Netflix, linux, firefox
One of the major hurdles preventing me from switching to Linux completely (despite my love for Mint) has been Netflix support. While there is a Silverlight-equivalent called Moonlight for the Linux operating system, it does not support the necessary DRM aspects to facilitate Netflix Instant Streaming. Aside from installing VirtualBox and booting an instance of Windows (which basically defeats the purpose of switching), Linux users have not been able to stream Netflix shows.
Thanks to a Linux developer by the name of Erich Hoover, there is a ray of hope for Linux users that want to take advantage of the streaming side of their Netflix subscriptions. Using a patched version of WINE (Wine Is Not An Emulator), Firefox, and an older version of Microsoft Silverlight, he was able to get Netflix streaming to work without breaking the DRM. That’s good news as it means that even though it is not officially supported, Netflix is not likely to actively break or fight it.
Netflix Instant Streaming running on Ubuntu 12.10 (32-bit).
Currently, it has been tested on the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 12.10, but other distros are likely to work as well. Users will need to compile WINE from source, apply five patches, and then install Firefox 14.0.1 and Silverlight 4. Right now, there is no GUI or pre-compiled version, and at least the first few steps require the use of the terminal. Thankfully, I Heart Ubuntu has put together a step-by-step guide outlining exactly what you need to type into the terminal to get Netflix streaming up and running. The site notes that the WINE patching process could take a good chunk of time if you are on an older computer. Further, Silverlight 5 does not work, so using the older version is necessary.
This is great news for the Linux community, and along with the Steam for Linux beta things are definitely looking up and moving in a positive direction for the open source operating system. Obviously, this is far from native support, but it is a huge improvement over previous workarounds. A PPA is also reportedly in the works to make the installation of the patched WINE version even easier for those not comfortable with the terminal. Until then, check out the I Heart Ubuntu guide for the full setup details.
The developer asks that you donate to the WINE Development Fund if you find his Netflix support patches useful.
Image credit: iheartubuntu
Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2012 - 02:22 PM | PCPer Staff
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Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System for $179.99 with Free Shipping (normally $299.99).
GoPro HD HERO2 Surf Edition Camcorder for $200 with free shipping (normally $300).
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Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2012 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, portable speakers, resonance
The Paddytek Paddy Vibe BT Edition Resonance speaker is not a pair of desktop speakers, instead it is a single small but heavy speaker which uses the surface it is placed on as a resonance speaker. The key to making the speaker sound better is to put it on a surface which can propagate the sounds waves, in R&B Mods testing it was a hardwood table which gave them the best fidelity. It is powered by USB and can accept either a 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth input for audio reception which gives you some flexibility, especially if you have an adapter to plug it into mains power instead of your electronic device. It may not be available in North America yet put it is worth keeping your eye out for similar devices.
"With more and more smartphones being used as music players we see more portable speakers on the market. Paddytek, a swedish company, has created a portable speaker that can be ran with both a 3,5mm connector or Bluetooth. Their claim is that it uses resonance to supposedly create a high quality sound,. So lets take a look at what we can expect from this 50$ portable speaker!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Jabra SOLEMATE The Ultimate Portable Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Sharkoon X-Tatic Pro Gaming Headset @ Tweaktown
- RHA MA-350 Noise Isolating Aluminum Earphone @ Hi Tech Legion
- Genius GX-Gaming Cavimanus 7.1 Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- Steelseries Guild Wars 2 Headset @ Funky Kit
- Steelseries Siberia V2 Counterstrike:GO Headset @ FunkyKit
- Spinning Some Tunes with the Revamped Grooveshark @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 16, 2012 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oled, Samsung, smartphone
If the marketing had been accurate we would now all be using millimetre thin displays with vibrant colours and near instantaneous response, either on our desks or in some form of electronic paper. Unfortunately organic LED screens have proven both difficult and expensive to make, with manufacturers still trying to find a way to make large OLED devices affordable for consumers. The next possible product is one we have seen prototypes of but if Samsung is to be believed they will be hawking bendable plastic phones next year. OLED phones would have several benefits, without glass they would weigh less than a traditional phone and could be somewhat slimmer, but the biggest benefit to OLEDs is that they can tolerate bending and twisting and still function properly. Hit up The Register for more on Samsung's new plans as well as a look at some of the prototypes previously offered by their competitors, but not Apple.
"Development work on Samsung mobiles fitted with flexible OLED displays is nearing completing, with handsets set to be released in the first half of 2013, it has been claimed.
A source said to be close to the matter reckons Samsung is almost ready to launch flexible displays for mobile handsets, the Wall Street Journal reports."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung fabs 64Gb NAND chips on a 10nm process node @ The Inquirer
- Sinofsky denies failed putsch led to his defenestration @ The Register
- Everspin makes ST-MRAM a reality @ SemiAccurate
- Lenovo UEFI Bug Only Likes Windows and RHEL @ Slashdot
- Newer Technology NuGreen LED Desk Lamp Review @ Madshrimps
- The Ultimate Kitguru Giveaway – Modded GTX690/SSD/RAM
- Win an Antec P280 Window or P280 White Window Computer Case @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2012 - 06:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, logitech, washable, K310, keyboard
It doesn't sport fancy mechanical switches, LEDs or movable macro keys like many keyboards sold today; this Logitech is special because it is washable. You may have seen this product around before but if you haven't you can check out The Inquirer's review here. The key design is unique looking and functional too as a spill will be directed around the keys and the bit that does get through will exit through the back. Once you have spilled on the keyboard you just unplug it, take it to the sink and give it a thorough cleansing. Once it has dried you can plug it back in and get back to what you were doing before your beverage took a nose dive. This may not be the sturdiest design or the best type of keys you have encountered though at $40 you really shouldn't expect that from this board, instead enjoy having the cleanest keyboard in the neighbourhood.
"Pulling the Logitech keyboard out of the box, the first thing you'll notice is its bright blue underbelly that we assume is meant to connote the keyboard's friendly relationship with water. Lined around the edges on the back are drain holes, for spilled liquids or cleaning water to run out of."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Azio Levetron Mech5 Gaming Keyboard @ Metku.net
- GIGABYTE Aivia Osmium Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- Genius DeathTaker Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Logitech Zone Touch T400 Wireless Mouse for Windows 8 Review @ Legit Reviews
- Roccat Kone XTD Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- CM Storm Recon Mouse and Skorpion @ Benchmark Reviews
- Steelseries: Guild Wars 2 gaming mouse Funkykit
- Roccat Kone XTD 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
- Zowie Ec2 gaming mouse @ Rbmods
- ROCCAT Savu Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews
- OZONE Gaming Gear Radon Opto Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- CM Storm Recon Gaming Mouse & Scorpion Bungee @ techPowerUp
- Epic Gear Meduza Gaming Mouse and Skorpios Bungee @ Kitguru
- Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse Review @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Kana Counterstrike Global Offensive Edition Review @ Madshrimps
- CM Storm Recon Gaming Mouse and Skorpion Mouse Bungee Review @ HardwareHeaven
- How to Use a PS3 Controller in Windows 8 (and others) in Local Mode @ hardCOREware
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 15, 2012 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, call of duty, black ops 2
NVIDIA will be celebrating the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II by launching the first-ever “GeForce GTX Call of Duty Rivalries” competition which pits top colleges against each other in Call of Duty: Black Ops II four-person, last team standing multiplayer matches. Participants in the first round of competition include the storied rivalries of Cal vs. Stanford, USC vs. UCLA and UNC vs. NC State. Two additional wildcard colleges from any accredited college in the United States will also be chosen by the Facebook community to field teams. See details on GeForce.com or visit NVIDIA’s Facebook page on how you can walk away with a Maingear gaming rig.
In addition to the contest NVIDIA also released the GeForce 310.54 beta driver with specific benefits for players of Black Ops 2, specifically the inclusion of TXAA.
- Delivers up to 26 percent faster performance in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and up to 18% faster performance in Assassin’s Creed III.
- Provides smooth, shimmer-free graphics with NVIDIA TXAA antialiasing in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed III.
- Improves performance by up to 16% in other top games likes Battlefield 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and StarCraft II.
As always, our new driver includes new profiles for today’s top titles, increasing multi-GPU performance.
- Hawken – Added SLI profile
- Hitman: Absolution – Added SLI profile
- Natural Selection 2 – Added SLI profile
- Primal Carnage – Added SLI profile