Author:
Manufacturer: Nintendo

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.

Continue reading to see ALL the images from our Nintendo Wii U Teardown!!

XBMC 12 Beta Now Live, Brings Several Improvements

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2012 - 07:27 AM |
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.

XBMC 12 Frodo splash screen.jpg

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?

 

Source: XBMC

AMD Facing Even More Layoffs

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | November 17, 2012 - 04:09 PM |
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.

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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.

Source: All Things D

Netflix (Finally) Playable On Linux Using Patched Version of WINE

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2012 - 05:53 AM |
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.

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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

Deals for November 16th - BOSE Companion 5 Multimedia Speakers for $359

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2012 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

BOSE Companion 5 Multimedia Speakers for $359.99 with shipping @ Dell (normally $400).

deal1116.jpg

Laptops

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 1080p Core i7 Laptop w/ Windows 8 for $899.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,288.99).

Dell Pre-Black Friday: 18.4" Alienware m18x r2 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/ 2GB GeForce GTX 660M for $1,899.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $2,074.00 - use $100 coupon code 9NLWM92ZQNTZBS).

Desktops

Dell Pre-Black Friday: XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ Windows 8 for $699.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $874.99)

Computer Components

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card for $45 plus free shipping (normally $60).

Netgear R6300 Wireless-AC Dual-Band 450+1300Mbps Gigabit Router + USB Adapter for $240 plus free shipping (normally $270).

Western Digital 3TB My Book Live Personal Cloud Network Storage for $179.99 with free shipping(normally $200 - use $100 coupon code B7J4DTN?81NR2V).

Entertainment

32" Insignia NS-32L120A1312 720p LCD HDTV for $199.99 with free shipping (normally $229).

80" Sharp AQUOS LC-80LE844U 1080p 3D 240Hz LED HDTV for $4,063.99 with Free Shipping (normally $5000).

Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System for $179.99 with Free Shipping (normally $299.99).

Accessories

GoPro HD HERO2 Surf Edition Camcorder for $200 with free shipping (normally $300).

Movado ESQ Men's Octane Watch (07301376) for $119.95 plus free shipping(normally $295).

Realspace Corveza Leather Guest Chair for $79.99 plus free shipping (normally $189.99 – use coupon code367597258).

Realspace Harrington Burgundy Leather Chair for $167.99 plus free shipping (normally $209.99 – use coupon code70694869).

Source: LogicBuy

A different kind of portable speaker

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2012 - 01:16 PM |
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.

RaB_Paddy.jpg

"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:

Audio Corner

Ready for the next OLED let down ... bendable cellphones

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 16, 2012 - 12:35 PM |
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.

ElReg_samsung_flexible_1.jpg

"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:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

The cleanest keyboard going

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2012 - 06:51 PM |
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.

theinq_logitech-washable-k310-keyboard-wash-540x334.JPG

"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:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

GeForce GTX Call of Duty Rivalries competition ...and more

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 15, 2012 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, call of duty, black ops 2

header-rivalries.jpg

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.

logo_geforce.png

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

You can grab the driver and read about all the improvements right here.

Source: NVIDIA

Deals for November 15th - Dell Vostro Core i5 IVB Desktop for $459

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2012 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Dell Vostro 270s Core i5 Ivy Bridge Slim Tower Desktop for $459.00 with shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00).

deal1115.png

Laptops

11.6" HP ENVY x2 Dual-core Notebook/Tablet for $849.99 with free shipping @ HP

17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R 3rd Gen Core i5 17.3" Laptop w/ Windows 8, 1TB Hard Drive for $649.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $779.00 - use 12% coupon code 5J8MMN12$3H?DZ).

Desktops

Apple Mac mini Core i7 Ivy Bridge (newest model) + Parallels Desktop 8 for $794.00 with free shipping @ B&H (normally $800)

Computer Components

Samsung 840 Series 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 7mm 2.5" SSD for $380 plus free shipping (normally $400).

Western Digital 2TB My Book Live Personal Cloud External Drive for $144 with free shipping (normally $160 - Use coupon code VJ7$295NPV28MN).

WD Elements 2TB External Hard Drive for $90 with free shipping (normally $110 - Use coupon code JPF76591 and Use this form).

Entertainment

40" Samsung UN40EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $100 Gift Card for $599.98 with free shipping (normally $700).

50" Sceptre X508BV-FHD 1080p LCD HDTV for $499.99 (normally $800 - use coupon code: LLG77005).

47" Panasonic VIERA TC-L47ET5 3D 1080p 120hz LED HDTV for $749.99 with Free Shipping (normally $1040 - use coupon code: STL73852).

Portables

Apple iPod 64GB 5G Blue Touch (MD718LL/A) for $389.00 with free shipping (normally - use coupon code: passthesavings10).

Dyson Air Multiplier 10" Bladeless Fan (AM01) for $239.99 plus free shipping (normally $299.99 – use coupon code 70694869).

Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS 16.1MP Digital Camera for $129 plus free shipping (normally $179).

Source: LogicBuy