Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2012 - 02:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: meduza, input, gaming mouse, epicgear
If you can't decide if you prefer an optical sensor or a laser sensor better then EpicGear's new mouse is a great find. It sports laser, optical and the blended HDST mode which combines them both and offers better sensitivity than the optical sensor though not quite as much as in laser only mode. They also offer a hybrid mouse pad designed to be used with the mouse, which OC3D also tried out. The software for programming macros is also worth a mention, not only does it properly record pauses between button presses but is easily editable after you've recorded them, just in case you didn't time it perfectly.
"Epic Gear are willing to throw their hat into the gaming mouse ring with the innovative Meduza mouse."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Genius DeathTaker MMO/RTS Gaming Mouse @ Pro-Clockers
- Razer Naga Hex Gaming Mouse Review @ eTeknix
- Mad Catz Cyborg M.M.O. 7 Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Corsair Vengeance M90 Performance MMO and RTS Gaming Mouse @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Vengeance K90 Performance MMO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Tweaktown
- Cyborg M.M.O.7 Gaming Mouse Review @ eTeknix
- TteSports MEKA G-UNIT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- ROCCAT Isku Illuminated Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair Vengeance K60 Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- Thrustmaster T500RS @ LanOC Reviews
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 2, 2012 - 12:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: NVIDA, gtx 680, reviewer guide
A long held tradition in the hardware reviewing world is to accuse reviewers of biasing their reviews by only running the benchmarks that the manufacturer wants you to run and providing slanted results. It really doesn't matter if every single site comes out with similar results, for some if a review doesn't fit their personal bias it is obviously flawed. As [H]ard|OCP mentions, there was a time when Reviewer's Guides did resemble something along those lines but they have changed over time as suppliers realize the more biased they attempt to make their guidelines, the less likely a review site is to follow them.
These guides are now more of a mix between a white paper and a lengthy PR release, with relatively in depth discussions on the capabilities of the product along with highlights of what the company feels are the key features on the new product. [H] has posted the document which arrived with their GTX 680, discussing features and yes ... suggesting the appropriate games with which to show off their cards features, though what game could you test PhysX with other than Batman?
"Many times we have been asked what exactly CPU and GPU companies "require" of us when working on a review of yet-to-be-released hardware. Published here is the Reviewers Guide from the recent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 launch in its entirety. Besides it being a great geeked-out read, you will likely learn a few things."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Adobe Lightroom 4 reviewed @ Ars Technica
- GNOME 3.4: Are We There Yet? @ Linux.com
- Coolest jobs in tech: hackers for hire @ Ars Technica
- 25 Years of IBM's OS/2 @ Slashdot
- Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight @ Slashdot
- Apple's LLVM 3.1 Clanging On Intel Sandy Bridge @ Phoronix
- Intel to launch own-brand Z77 motherboards on April 8 @ DigiTimes
- Haswell’s GPU prowess is due to Crystalwell @ SemiAccurate
- Dell to buy Wyse to extend its cloud client range @ The Inquirer
- Icy Box IB-PL500D Powerline Network Adapter Kit @ Rbmods
- The NVIDIA Ninja Graphics Tech Report @ TechARP
- Weekly Giveaway #25: Infused and In-Win Dragon Rider Black Chassis @ eTeknix
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 2, 2012 - 02:39 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: used sales
I start to wonder how people got so successful at business with such a short-sighted mindset.
When I arrived home tonight I cautiously browsed the tech news as I often do. Many complain about April Fools being difficult for journalists due to the plausibility of certain pranks conflicting with the fact checking process. In my travels I came across an editorial from Don Reisinger about the ethics of used game sales. While it is marginally possible to have been an early joke, the sentiments contained in the post are too common in the industry.
Piracy and used game sales are sore spots for an industry of companies who believe you either make a sale or you lose a sale. The truth of the matter is that you should be thankful that your product was not flat-out ignored and attempt to derive as much value from that relationship as possible.
First they came for my used copy of Mechwarrior 3...
Used game sales have been mostly extinct on the PC platform since the wonderful invention of recorded product keys. Users have flocked to the consoles to retain the second sale and have often berated the PC platform for it. As consoles move closer and closer to denying used sales I wonder where they will flock to next. Perhaps maybe they should instead demand that the publisher accept used sales?
For a publisher, a used game sold is a new user of your product. Your retail partner gained extra revenue and brought users closer to your other products which might be first-sale. The user might purchase DLC, sequels, spin-offs, sister-titles, expansion packs, merchandise, and franchise tie-ins as a result of that used game. The user will probably end up playing more video games altogether than they otherwise would. Do you really wish to give up all of that value by indulging in how you feel ripped off by your own paying customers? Also, what about the first sale customer who sold their game to make up the used sale?
They are your customers -- and they are always right. Shut up and take my money when you can.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 31, 2012 - 07:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: laptops, desktops
ZDNet and others published articles discussing the rising prices of PCs: it needs a grain of salt.
News publications love to publish large stories about how an industry is forcibly altered. For instance, are you sick of stories proclaiming the term “Post PC” yet? It is the season’s fashion to paint darker tones over any portrait of the personal computer.
According to a report from Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital, certain PC components have gotten more expensive due to a series of recent events. It does not look like such a bleak future, however. Granted, ZDNet and Barclays Capital are both focused on their investment-oriented customers, but still.
As you can clearly see, the PC is doomed.
Image from Don McMillan presentation.
Foremost on the list of concerns is the elevated price of hard drives. ZDNet claims that Apple will have an advantage due to their switch to solid state devices in Macbook Airs and iPads. Apple does not have an advantage -- anyone can put an SSD in their devices, and many PC manufacturers who sell their product for a base price of a thousand dollars do if it suits the goal of the product.
LCD panels are expected to elevate in the near future as OEMs build up inventory ahead of the launch of Windows 8-based products. I am sorry, but come on. Prices of components tend to rise when you abruptly spike in sales. Moving on…
DRAM prices have also risen about 7 percent compared to just a few months ago. My issue is that RAM prices have absolutely plummeted since even just last year. For a PC which costs four hundred dollars, RAM is expected to make up just $15 of that. 7 percent on $15 is, for all practical purposes, a rounding error for a $400 device.
The sky is not falling.
Subject: General Tech | March 30, 2012 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, roccat, cave headphones, 5.1 headset
With four mini-jacks to provide surround sound and a USB connection to control the lighting, a pair of these would put even an NFL coach to shame. A control is also attached to the USB cord, which allows separate control of each of the front, rear, centre and bass speakers, pushing this beyond the capabilities of many 5.1 headsets on the market. Hardware Secrets were impressed by the audio capabilities of the earcups and the microphone as well as the compactness of the headset when folded up. They did feel that at a price of $120 Roccat could have included a carrying bag; it would also be nice to see them back in stock.
"Roccat is releasing the Kave, a large foldable headset with 5.1 surround sound and a separate unit for volume control. The connectors include four minijacks (3.5 mm for the sound channels) and a USB (for the control unit and headset lighting). Let's describe the Kave and then proceed to its evaluation."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NoiseHush NX70 Multimedia Headset Review @ TechReviewSource
- Clar1tyOne EB110 Earphones @ techPowerUp
- Tritton AX 720 Gaming Headset Review @ Tech-Reviews
- ROCCAT Kulo 7.1 USB Headset Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Logitech Squeezebox Touch Wi-Fi Music Player Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | March 30, 2012 - 01:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tricorder, DIY
The plans for the Tricorder Mk II have been released by The Tricorder Project and just who in their right mind would not want to build one for themselves ... or their kids. The device uses an Atmel AT91RM9200 processor, 32MB SDRAM and a pair of touchscreen OLEDs powered by an Epson S6E63D6 and runs Debian Linux.
The sensor suite onboard can monitor a variety of atmospheric, electromagnetic, temperature and spatial values. Toss your old IR thermometer away, the Tricorder will give you that measurement and distance as well. You might as well dump the GPS as well since the Tricorder has you covered. You will need a bit of skill in assembling electronics and soldering to finish the project, along with roughly $500 but the instructions are very detailed and in the end ... you get a working Tricorder!
"The Science Tricorder Mark 2 prototype sensor board contains ten different sensing modalities, organized into three main categories: atmospheric sensors, electromagnetic sensors, and spatial sensors. Many of the sensors are similar to those used in the Science Tricorder Mark 1, where the differences are centrally in upgrading sensors to higher-resolution versions where possible. The prototype sensor board also includes an imaging sensor, in the form of a cell phone camera, that is untested. Sensor boards for the Mark 2 are designed to be self-contained, include separate microcontrollers for low-level sensor communication, and as such are more easily upgraded."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Behold! Or rather, don't: Bendy see-through DRAM @ The Register
- What’s the right way to launch a graphics card? @ SemiAccurate
- What Red Hat Has Done is Worth So Much More Than a Billion @ Linux.com
- Google fixes Pwnium vulnerabilities in Chrome 18 @ The Inquirer
- Adobe auto-update eases Flash update chore - on Windows only @ The Register
- Introducing Our 2012 Case Testbeds and Revised Methodology @ AnandTech
- TEXT GOES HERE
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - March 2012
Subject: General Tech | March 30, 2012 - 04:36 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: IOLO, Adobe
A recent Adobe auto update included a poorly labeled advertisement for IOLO System Checkup. The ad urges you to purchase System Checkup by dramatizing mundane events on your PC to be remedied only by their paid product. The scan also fails to alert for issues which actually are serious and commonplace.
Adobe has been known to be slightly haphazard with using their update application for advertising purposes. If you are not ever vigilant it is possible that your computer could be gifted a trial of McAfee antivirus or something.
An advertisement for System Checkup by IOLO has recently been added to the site you are directed to after a manual update of Flash. Upon running the “Free PC Health Check” you are prompted to purchase the full product to fix the problems it finds. Ed Bott over at ZDNet takes exception with the advertisement.
At least it does not cripple your machine until you pay.
Ed Bott complains about the advertisement, and Adobe’s distribution of it, on two main grounds: the scanner urges you to fix things that do not need to be fixed allegedly to alarm you and it fails to warn you about things that you should be alarmed about.
Throughout the article, he runs the scanner a couple of times on a couple of setups and discusses the issues it claims to have found and points out what it should have detected but failed to.
First and foremost if software wishes to protect your PC from attack it should, at the very least, ensure that you are patched. On a completely unpatched machine, the scanner did not even try to warn the user to update their operating system.
Likewise, the application claimed that the user’s RAM required defragmentation. Most of our users should be aware of defragmenting, what it does, and why it is not useful for SSDs. Extrapolate that thought to RAM.
The moral of this story is to be absolutely careful about what you run on your PC. While the scanner itself is harmless outside of alarmism, there are plenty of others which are malicious. Even if you trust the site, it is possible that the website could have been compromised by an attack and forced to deliver you malicious content.
While, again, this situation is not malicious -- just feels annoying and grossly misleading -- it should be one more event to teach you that the only thing to keep your computing device safe and properly functioning is your constant vigilance.
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | March 30, 2012 - 02:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi has been further delayed while it acquires an additional certification to conform to British Law. The delay affects all regions because the products are shipped to the UK before being distributed internationally. The delay is expected to last just a couple of weeks.
It has almost been a year since the first announcement of the Raspberry Pi ultra-cheap PC and we can almost taste its arrival. Originally inspired by David Braben, developer of games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon, the Raspberry Pi was built to cheaply enable students to learn computing.
As it turns out, the cost and performance of the device drew massive attention from the hobbyist and home theatre crowd. All interested parties will need to wait, however, as the product has been briefly delayed again because someone forgot to cross their t’s.
C’mon, almost there, almost there.
All joking aside, the delay is quite small and minor and will still ship within their original target window. The delay was caused by the foundation failing to be granted a Conformité Européenne (CE) mark for their product. The CE certification is the direct analogy to the FCC’s electromagnetic (EM) noise certification which must be obtained for cellphones and other electronic devices in the United States. CE certification is expected to take just a couple of weeks.
Delivering a product is an involved task. I am willing to give the foundation a pass on this specific delay due to their lack of experience in their field. That is unless of course the product is found to interfere with EM broadcasts of some protected frequency. That -- would suck.
Then again, I have also not attempted to order a Raspberry Pi so perhaps my opinion is invalid. What do you think?
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | March 29, 2012 - 07:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Rovio, Futuremark
Rovio Entertainment purchases Futuremark Games Studio, but not all of Futuremark, for an undisclosed amount.
Rovio is known for making graphically lightweight yet intensely addictive games for about as many desktop and mobile platforms as they can get away with. Futuremark Games Studio is known for making beautiful PC games which are entertaining to some extent. Naturally they make a perfect couple.
So *that’s* how it got shattered!
Of course the real topic for discussion is why Rovio would want to purchase Futuremark Games Studio. One possible reason is that Rovio wishes to challenge Infinity Blade by Epic Games and capture the market of mobile eye-candy games. The other possibility would be that Rovio wishes to expand into making large budget games themselves.
In their purchase, Rovio has only acquired the studio but not any of their intellectual properties. Shattered Horizon and their other games remain property of the original parent company, Futuremark.
What do you speculate is just over the Shattered Horizon?
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 29, 2012 - 04:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Red Hat, linux
Red Hat becomes the first Linux company to be worth over a billion dollars (edit for clarity: I meant take in over a billion dollars in revenue) with $1.13 billion in revenue last year.
Red Hat, Inc. is an open source software company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company’s identity is primarily with their current flagship product, Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- and a Cornell University lacrosse hat. The company also sponsors and holds liability over the Fedora Project which counterbalances Enterprise Linux by providing a free and community-supported operating system.
Just for clarification, that’s a rich penguin, not a rich drake.
Red Hat reported earnings of $1.13 billion dollars in revenue with $146.6 million in earnings. Subscriptions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux were declared responsible for $965.6 million dollars of their total revenue.
ZDNet has also reported that Linux is progressively eating market share from UNIX and Windows for servers shipped with preinstalled operating systems. Red Hat and other Linux vendors are progressively getting more of the same treatment as Microsoft has enjoyed in the past.
The future is bright for Linux, which is unfortunate due to the hole in the Ozone layer over Antarctica. Maybe the rest of the $1.13 billion is sales of sunscreen?