Does every rapper need a headset now? Ludacris' new Soul line of gaming headsets

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2012 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: ludacris, gaming headset, soul sl150, soul sl300, audio

While Dr. Dre partnered with Monster to create his Beats line, Ludacris went to a company called Signeo to design his headsets.  While priced similarly to Dr. Dre's offerings, [H]ard|OCP starts the review by pointing out that there are already many counterfeit models on the market and Signeo does not offer serial number verification like Monster does to ensure that you did get what you paid for.  Aesthetically [H] found the headsets to be very similar to the Beats line but preferred the audio quality of the Soul headsets.  They do warn the SL150's do let ambient noise in, so if you want noise cancellation you should pay the extra for the SL300 model.

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"Rapper Ludacris is the latest celebrity to endorse a line of trendy headphones and ear buds. Will his name and manufacturer Signeo's product design come to signify quality audio products with cutting edge looks or are these just two more pairs of glossy plastic headphones with exaggerated bass beats?"

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Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP

HP isn't out of the tablet business yet

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2012 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: hp, tablet, webOS

According to what The Register has heard HP and webOS are headed back into the tablet business.  After HP relinquished their hold on webOS and made it open source, as well as the PSG stop developing the TouchPad, it was thought that HP was done with tablets.  A new branch of HP has been recently created, bearing the name Mobility Global Business Unit, which has spawned numerous questions about their plans.  Will they design an ARM based tablet or look to another supplier?  Will they use webOS or perhaps MeeGO as the operating system, which will run on ARM?  So far we have more questions than answers so hopefully HP will publish an official announcement some time in the near future.

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"If you thought HP's decision to spin off its webOS division into a new subsidiary signaled the end of its adventures in the mobile market, think again. According to reports, the PC maker is reshuffling its Personal Systems Group to launch a new business unit aimed at getting HP back in the tablet race."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction, Design And Features

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The gaming keyboard market seems to rigorously follow a common rule of consumer products - more is more. If a keyboard is for gamers it should include lots of fancy gaming related features, and the more that are included, the more hardcore the keyboard. Macro buttons, customizable back-lighting and LCD screens are all features of modern gaming keyboards–and you don’t see many companies going the other direction.

But there are products that buck the trend. One of them is the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid, a mechanical gaming keyboard that became available in North America earlier this year. Unlike most competitors, the QuickFire rapid cuts features instead of adding them. Back-lighting? Macro keys? You’re kidding me, right? This keyboard doesn’t even include a numpad.

Cooler Master (the company behind CMStorm) has not cut out the features that matter, however. This keyboard comes with Cherry MX keys (the blue variant, in this case) and also supports PS/2 connections for full NKRO. For those who’ve seen the light of day recently, this gobbly gook means the QuickFire Rapid scans key activation individually and therefore can detect new key activations even when other keys are still depressed. It’s a feature hardcore gamers love because of their tendency to press multiple keys simultaneously.

Cutting back on unneeded features has a notable side effect–it reduces price. Currently this keyboard is available for $79.99 at retail or as low as $65 on Amazon.com. Only Razor’s bare-bones version of the BlackWidow keyboard sells for less, and it only beats the QuickFire by $5 dollars.

So can you really buy a decent gaming keyboard for $65, and will you miss the numpad? Let’s find out.

Continue reading our review of the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid Keyboard!!

So much for your Linux powered Retina system

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2012 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: retina display, macbook pro, linux

While the hardware is certainly attractive, a Core i7 3615QM, 8GB DDR3-1600, a GT 650M and of course, the Retina display at 2880x1800, the new MacBook Pro is not for Linux users ... at least not yet.  The issues Phoronix have seen with Thunderbolt on Linux also seem to extend to the MacBook Pro as a whole.  No matter what distribution they tried, the display either did not work or it mangled the image to an unusable state as you can see below.  Even worse, when Phoronix managed to at least connect to the machine in a way they could monitor it, they saw much greater power usage than with OSX.

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"If you are planning to buy one of the new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display for use under Linux, hold off on your purchase. Running the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux isn't a trouble-free experience and after using even the latest development code and jumping through various hoops, Linux on the latest Apple hardware is still less than an ideal experience. Linux support will improve for the Retina MacBook Pro in the coming months, but it's not likely to see any proper "out of the box" experience until next year."

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Source: Phoronix

Podcast #214 - 2 GTX 670 Cards, AMD's HD 7950 with Boost, Microsoft Surface rumors and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2012 - 06:39 PM |
Tagged: powertune, podcast, Intel, HD7950, gtx 670, amd, 7950, 670, 660ti

PC Perspective Podcast #214 - 08/16/2012

Join us this week as we talk about two GTX 670 Cards, AMD's HD 7950 with Boost, Microsoft Surface rumors and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes 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 Malventanto

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:06:12

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:45 AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB Boost Review
    2. 0:15:30 MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition
    3. 0:24:55 Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 GC 4GB
    4. 0:28:10 Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook Review
  2. 0:29:34 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:32:30 MS Surface to be $200??
      1. Lenovo Thinkpad/Ideapad Windows 8 Pro and RT tablets
    2. 0:37:30 Corsair Acquires Raptor Gaming
    3. 0:39:30 NVIDIA Fiscal reports
    4. 0:44:00 Random videos:
      1. UT2004 LAN Party
      2. Crytek 3 Tech Demo
    5. 0:47:50 GTX 660 Ti shows up for sale at CompUSA
    6. 0:49:00 Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Core SoC. ARM Cortex A15 CPU and ARM Mali T604 GPU
    7. 0:51:20 Intel RST Windows 8 compatibility
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:53:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Diamond VStream Wirless USB to HDMI
      2. Jeremy: Wireless power for the price of a penny
      3. Josh: 512 GB SSD for cheeeeeap. Or sorta cheap.
      4. Allyn: iPazzPort 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Fly Air Mouse Keyboard with IR Remote
      5. Tim: Skydrive UI rehaul
      6. Scott: FEDEX tracking info sucks...
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper and http://twitter.com/joshdwalrath
  4. Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
  5. Closing/outro

Remember VIA Technologies?

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2012 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: VIA, purchase

There was a time when VIA was a common name in computers for motherboard chipsets and low power processors, but it has been quite a while since they've been in the news.  It's PC division has been having a very rough couple of years; only their telecom, USB and ARM branches have been bringing in money.  They do however own quite a few patents which has attracted the attention of an unnamed China-based communications chip player who, according to DigiTimes, are looking to purchase VIA.  This will likely have little effect on the North American market but could put them in much better standing in the Asian markets.

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"In the first half of 2012, VIA suffered net losses of NT$1.86 billion (US$62 million) and compared to the same period a year ago, the amount increased 63% with EPS already at negative NT$1.89. Although the company achieved an on-month growth in July revenues, due to the weak global economy and strong competition in China's white-box market, market watchers are mostly conservative about its future performance."

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Source: DigiTimes

Time to start up the old Half Life 3 rumour mill again

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2012 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: half life 3, gaming, valve, rumour

If you have yet to recover from the shattering realization that Valve lied about Episode 3 then you better not look at this post on The Inquirer.  It seems it is time to drag out all your old theories on how Apeture Science and Black Mesa are related, just how Gordon spent his time where the G-Man stuck him or if Breen is truly dead.  That's right, a listing for Half Life 3 was spotted at the German gaming convention, Gamescom and the rumour mill is going crazy. It has since been removed but keep an eye out when the convention opens tomorrow and runs through until Friday.

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"RUMOURS about the next installment in the Half Life game series have re-ignited after a listing for Half Life 3 was spotted in a Gamescom event document.

The listing was spotted by T3 magazine in the Gamescom exhibitor list. The PDF document, which is still available through the Gamescom web site, does include a listing for Half Life 3, but it also includes a cautionary note."

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Gaming

Source: The Inquirer

Rumour has it Microsoft's Surface will be $200

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2012 - 01:27 PM |
Tagged: rumour, microsoft, arm, surface

With yesterdays announcement that Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung will all be releasing ARM based WinRT systems, the rumour we are hearing from The Register today is very interesting.  If indeed the ARM powered Surface will be selling for $200 it would be less than half of the price analysts predicted it would arrive at.  That Acer is not on that list of manufacturers lends credence to their CEO's statement that the $200 Surface will have a negative impact on current tablet vendors.  On the other hand, if it turns out that a reasonably functional and sturdy ARM based tablet/laptop can be designed and sold for $200 then it will be a definite win for the consumer and compete with Google's new tablet as well as certain high end eReaders.

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"If the latest Redmond rumors are to be believed, Microsoft's ARM-based Surface tablet models could arrive priced as low as $199, positioning them as heavyweights in the burgeoning low-cost tablet category."

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Source: The Register

Corsair Acquires Raptor Gaming

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2012 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: raptor gaming, mechanical keyboard, gaming mouse, corsair

We haven't heard much about Raptor Gaming on PC Perspective, mostly because their products are sold in Europe and only infrequently seen in North America.  That hasn't stopped Corsair from acquiring the company and their intellectual property which will extend Corsair's peripheral business worldwide.  Raptor also holds patents pertaining to gaming keyboards, mice and other peripherals which should allow new innovations to start to appear in Corsair's next refresh of their gaming mice and keyboards.

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Cologne, Germany — August 15, 2012 — Corsair®, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced the acquisition of certain assets of Raptor Gaming, a maker of high-performance PC gaming peripherals headquartered in Heinsberg, Germany. Established in 2004, Raptor Gaming has a strong retail presence in Germany, the largest market for video gaming in Europe, with products widely available in major chains including Media Markt, Saturn, Real, Kaufland, and Conrad.

As part of this transaction, Corsair receives Raptor Gaming's full product portfolio of keyboards, mice, headsets, and accessories, which will form a new series of gaming products alongside Corsair's existing award-winning line of Vengeance® PC gaming products. Raptor Gaming executives CEO Dirk Schunk and COO Heinz-Dieter Ludwig will remain engaged with Corsair to facilitate a smooth transition.

"Corsair and Raptor share the same goal, bringing best-in-class PC hardware to gamers around the world," said Andy Paul, President and CEO of Corsair. "Raptor Gaming's strong retail presence will allow us to offer a wider range of PC hardware to gamers across Germany."

"As gamers ourselves, we formed the Raptor Gaming business to create high-performance PC gear to give gamers the absolute best gaming experience," said Dirk Schunk, CEO of Raptor Gaming. "Corsair's strong global brand and worldwide distribution will open up Raptor Gaming products to a wider audience of gamers around the world."

Source: Corsair

WinRT spreads to the major vendors after they touched the Surface

Subject: General Tech | August 14, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: winRT, asus, dell, Lenovo, Samsung, microsoft, arm

When Microsoft released their Surface tablet/notebook, the tech community wondered if this move by a software company would upset the Tier 1 hardware vendors who might not want the competition.  That discussion was ended when Microsoft announced that Surface was a proof of concept and would be released in very limited qualities.  Today The Inquirer reports on upcoming mobile devices running on ARM hardware and WinRT from all the major vendors, giving us a rough idea what to expect in the way of performance.  The quoted specs include user interface animations at 60FPS and touchscreen sampling rates of 100Hz per finger.  Battery life will be impressive, 320 hours and 409 hours of standby time and for video playback you can expect 8-13 hours of HD playtime, though they do not talk about the quality of that playback.

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"SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has revealed Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung Windows RT devices will be available at the launch of the operating system.

Microsoft has been playing a very dangerous game with its Surface tablet hogging the Windows RT limelight, something that its long-term and invaluable partners will not like. Now the company has come out and said that Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung will also have Windows RT devices when the operating system launches later this year."

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Source: The Inquirer