Sony is trying to get into your machine again ... in a good way

Subject: General Tech | July 17, 2012 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: sony, tim, thermal paste, thermal sheet

Say goodbye to messy thermal paste and the time you spent cleaning up the goop that ended up somewhere it shouldn't thanks to Sony's new thermal sheet.  In fact it looks like this new thermal interface material is so easy to use you could do it blindfolded!  The demonstrated performance is equal to that of traditional thermal paste, with Sony claiming a much longer effective lifespan.  At 0.3mm thick it will also provide a thinner layer of TIM than even the most practised of us cannot match by hand.  Check out more at Slashdot and try to avoid the rootkit jokes.

sony_thermal_sheet_01-580x344.jpg

"Sony has demonstrated a thermal sheet that it claims matches thermal paste in terms of cooling ability while beating it on life span. The key to the sheet is a combination of silicon and carbon fibers, to produce a thermal conductive layer that's between 0.3 and 2mm thick. In the demonstration, the same CPU was cooled by thermal paste and the thermal sheet side-by-side, with the paste keeping the processor at a steady 53 degrees Celsius. The sheet achieved a slightly better 50 degrees Celsius. The actual CPU used in the demonstration wasn't identified. Sony wants to get the thermal sheet used in servers and for projection units, but I can definitely see this being an option for typical PC builds, too. It's certainly going to be less messy and probably a lot cheaper than buying a tube of thermal paste."

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Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction

Following the successful launch of its HS1 headset, Corsair has come back with a Vengeance line of gaming peripherals including three new headsets. Included in the new lineup are the 1100, 1300, and 1500 gaming headsets.

The Vengeance 1100 is the smallest of the three gaming headsets, and features a behind-the-head headphone design using 40mm drivers and an unidirectional boom microphone extending from the left speaker. The 1100 can be connected via two analog 3.5mm audio jacks or by USB with the included adapter.

Corsair_Vengeance_Headset_Review.png

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headsets!!

Microsoft Releases Office 2013 Customer Preview

Subject: General Tech | July 17, 2012 - 06:56 AM |
Tagged: office, microsoft, windows, Metro, windows 8, software, outlook, office 2013, customer preview

Microsoft’s next generation Windows 8 operating system is due out later this year, which generally means a refreshed version of Microsoft Office – the company’s productivity software – is also on its way. To show off the new interface and updated features, Microsoft has decided to release what it is calling a Customer Preview of Office 2013 that will allow you to try out the new versions of Access, Excel, Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.

Office 2013 Title.jpg

The new Office programs feature a refreshed interface that does away with the aero glass windows in favor of the flat metro look, and integrates into Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud storage service. By default, you log into your Skydrive account during installation, and from then on it will store your documents and other files in your Skydrive folder. In addition, Office will allow you to log into the various social networks to retrieve contact data, which is a nice addition to the Outlook email client (in my opinion). You can also utilize the chat features to communicate with friends or coworkers from within the Office 2013 applications. Of course, being designed for Windows 8, Office 2013 has several new ways to interact with the applications using touch controls or a stylus.

The other major change with Office 2013 is the introduction of several new subscription service. While Microsoft has had the Office 365 subscription brand for awhile, they have not really advertised it. With Office 2013, you can choose from four tiers including Office 365 Home Premium, Small Business Premium, ProPlus, and Enterprise. The Home Premium tier is the one that will interest the majority of people as it provides an extra 20GB of Skydrive storage space, a synced Office experience on up to five computers, the ability to stream the Office 2013 applications to another Internet connected computer with Office on Demand, and sixty minutes (every month) of Skype calling minutes. From there, the Small Business Premium and above tiers add business-centric features like HD conferencing, encrypted email, archiving, and other goodies.

Outlook 2013_ Main UI.jpg

Outlook 2013. As you can see, Office 2013's interface has been heavily influenced by Windows 8's Metro UI.

We’ll be playing around with the Office 2013 Customer Preview this week and will report back, so stay tuned. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can grab the Customer Preview download from the Microsoft website (an Internet connection is required during installation). It can be installed on computers running either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Also, according to Tom’s Hardware, a version of Office 2013 – specifically Office Home and Student 2013 RT – will come pre-installed on all Windows 8 RT (ARM-based) computers, so that is a nice touch (especially since it’s basically the only traditional desktop application that the ARM tablets will be able to run, at least at launch).

Source: Microsoft

Deals for July 16th - OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD for $90!

Subject: General Tech | July 16, 2012 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: deal of the day

SSD prices keep going down and today's deal keeps that trend moving! 

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Head over though this link to pick up an OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD for $90 with free shipping!!

More deals below!!

Laptops

17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R-2nd Gen Core i5-2450M 2.5GHz Dual-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD & Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $675 with free shipping (normally $849 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

15.6" Asus A54C-TS31 Core i3-2330M 2.2GHz Dual-core Laptop w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $400 (normally $480 - use coupon code UJJ65794).

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R (5520) Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz Dual-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD & Adobe Elements Bundle for $650 with free shipping (normally $838.99).

15.4" Apple MacBook Pro MC975LL/A 2.3GHz Core i7 Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GeForce GT 650M & Retina Display for $2,090 with free shipping (normally $2,199).

12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Dual-core Ultra-portable Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $747 with free shipping (normally $1,485 - use coupon code X230SAVE).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 260 Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-core Desktop w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD & 20" LCD Monitor for $549 with free shipping (normally $848 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).

HP Pavilion Elite h8-1380t Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-core Desktop w/10GB RAM, 2TB HDD, Radeon HD 7570 & Adobe Elements 10 Bundle for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,200 - use coupon code DTF9725).

HP Pavilion h9-1210t Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Desktop w/10GB RAM, 2TB HDD, Blu-ray, Radeon HD 7670, Beats Audio & Liquid Cooling for $975 with free shipping (normally $1,300 - use coupon code DTF9725).

Monitors

24" Dell P2412H Professional 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/3-year warranty for $218 with free shipping (normally $299 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

24" Acer G245HQ5ms 1080p LCD Monitor for $130 (normally $160).

Peripherals

120GB OCZ Agility 3 2.5" Internal SSD (AGT3-25SAT3-120G) for $90 with free shipping (normally $120 - use this form).

64GB Crucial M4 2.5" Internal SSD (CT064M4SSD2) for $68 with free shipping (normally $90).

32GB Patriot Axle USB 2.0 Flash Drive (PSF32GAUSB) for $13 with free shipping (normally $35 - use this form).

D-Link DIR-655 Extreme Wireless-N Gigabit Router w/ USB Port for $80 with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code JJK65170).

Dell 2150cn Color Laser Printer for $256 plus free shipping (normally $350 – use coupon code B>RX$T7MTF1$BLB8).

Gaming:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor for $100 with free shipping (normally $149).

320GB Microsoft Xbox 360 Gears of War 3 Limited Edition Console (Refurbished) for $190 with free shipping (normally $299).

ArmA 2: Combined Operations [PC Download] for $20 (normally $30).

Home Entertainment:

60" Samsung UN60EH6000 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $1,300 with free shipping (normally $1,500).

55" Samsung UN55EH6070 3D 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV + Blu-ray Player Bundle + $200 Gift Card for $1,400 with free shipping (normally $1,699).

WD TV Live Streaming WiFi Media Player (WDBHG70000NBK-HESN) for $80 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Personal Portables & Peripherals:

10MP Canon ELPH 530 Black Digital Camera for $270 with free shipping (normally $329 - use coupon code LOGICBUY10).

16.1MP Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H90 Digital Camera Bundle for $185 with free shipping (normally $220).

Miscellaneous:

Brookstone ZX Crossbow for $10 (normally $25).

Brookstone USB Desktop Missile Launcher for $40 (normally $50).

Source: LogicBuy

Ribbons and Clippy and Clouds, oh my! Office 15 may be revealed today

Subject: General Tech | July 16, 2012 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, office 15, office 2013, Metro

If you want to see professionals absolutely lose it, hang out in a office during the first time the encounter a new version of Microsoft Office.  Suddenly their barely tamed tool which delivers their emails and allows them to put together slide decks and documents has turned into a wild beast which stands between them and their deadlines.  Those that claim Microsoft has to change their Office Suite in order to stay relevant in the marketplace do not have much familiarity with the Sharepoint and Exchange driven companies which don't decide to stick with MS Office because the ribbons are pretty, they do so because their entire infrastructure is built around Microsoft products.

That hasn't stopped Redmond however and those of you in support positions at work or in your family are in for a nightmare as Office goes Metro.  That's right, if you thought explaining Ribbons to 'C' level executives was difficult just wait until you have to explain the new Windows GUI as the rumours and leaks we have seen all point to Office going Metro.  On the plus side, we should see some sort of Office Suite for ARM based WindowsRT systems, and it isn't Office 365.  The Register has some key dates and should post more info as it arrives.

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What Supersite for Windows saw

"Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is widely expected to announce details of the next version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite on Monday USA Today reports, giving the public its first glimpse of a product that has so far remained shrouded in secrecy.

Microsoft has been calling the new version "Office 15," but come Monday we'll probably know it as Office 2013, assuming Redmond sticks to convention. To date, only "a select group of customers" have had their mitts on the new suite, via a technical preview program that began in January, and then only under a strict nondisclosure agreement."

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Source: The Register

Kontron Readying Mini-ITX Form Factor ARM System

Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2012 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: quad core, arm, SoC, Android, xbmc, htpc, mini-itx

This week has been rife with ARM computers. The latest ARM system comes in the form of a mini-ITX form factor motherboard and quad core ARM processor combination from embedded system manufacturer Kontron. Named the KTT30/mITX, it measures 17 cm x 17 cm, the little motherboard provides a plethora of IO ports and the relatively short (depth-wise) motherboard would be great in a HTPC box, assuming the software is there (an XBMC release ported over from the Raspberry Pi build would be nice to see, for example).

kontron.jpeg

The motherboard is paired with a quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor running at 900 MHz, video hardware acceleration coprocessor, and up to 2GB of DDR3L memory. It is reportedly capable of playing back 1080p H.264 videos. Internal connectors include two SD card clots, a SIM card socket, and two mPCIe connectors. Rear board IO includes three USB 2.0 ports (one micro, two regular-sized type A), an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet NIC, S/PDIF audio, two RS232 serial ports, and three analog audio output jacks.

It looks like a neat little board, though only if the price is right. If it is prohibitively expensive, it may be bumping up against AMD’s APU and accompanying motherboards. And because the APUs can utilize x86-64 software, that is a big positive in its favor. With that said, if this board is cheap enough, it could make sense as the base of a cheap HTPC.

Read more about the Mini-ITX ARM-powered system over at Fanless Tech.

Source: Fanless Tech

Hardkernel Launching Quad Core ODROID-X Android Computer

Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2012 - 08:53 AM |
Tagged: SFF, Samsung, linux, hardkernel, Exynos 4, computer, arm

If you are an Android developer and have been itching to get your hands on some high end, quad core hardware, than Korean company HardKernel may have just what you’re looking for. The new ODROID-X is an Android developer board (meaning it comes as just a single board computer sans case or accessories. For $129 plus shipping and customs fees, you can have a 90 x 94mm PCB with a Samsung Exynos 4412 ARM Cortex-A9 quad core at 1.4 GHz (1MB cache), Mali 400 GPU, 1GB RAM, and runs on a 5V, 2A power adapter.

Hardkernel ODROID-X.jpg

IO for the ODROID-X includes headphone and microphone jacks, six USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet, SDHC card slot, 50-pin GPIO connector, UART serial connector, MIPI-CAM camera connector, HDMI, and a power jack. In other words, it is extremely expandable. It is capable of outputting 1080p video over HDMI when using the H.264 video codec thanks to dedicated hardware acceleration. Hardkernel will happily sell you accessories but you would likely be better off buying it from a local retailer or online shop that is in-country to avoid the extra shipping and customs fees. The power jack and other ports are standard, so there aren’t any worries there. Android 4.0 ICS is reportedly available for download, though no word yet on when the newly announced Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" OS build will be up on the site.

Thanks to the Samsung Exynos 4, you definitely have more oomph than the 700 MHz ARMv7 in the Raspberry Pi, though this board isn’t nearly as small (and costs about four times as much). If you need the extra horsepower, this may be worth considering at this price but be sure figure out the import taxes and shipping for your location to figure out what it will really cost you to get your hands on. Read more about the ODROID-X's specifications over at the Hardkernel website.

Source: Ars Technica

Attention audiophiles, ASUS has heard your pleas and answered with three sound cards

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: audio, asus, DGX, DSX, xonar, ROG Phoebus, pcie

While many of us are perfectly content with the quality of the audio output from the motherboards onboard audio codec there are others who because of incompatibilities (looking at you PunkBuster) or who are gifted with good ears who are still in the market for a discrete sound card.  A forum member recently pointed out that the sound card on the Hardware Leaderboard was so old it didn't ship with Win7 drivers so ASUS's timing on releasing three new sound cards couldn't have come at a better time.  The ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 is the lowest cost of the three cards at $40, though currently on NewEgg the Xonar DSX 7.1 card is only $37 after MIR.  Finally is the Republic of Gamers Xonar Phoebus at $200, with a long list of features for those who want the best.  Drop by [H]ard|OCP to see how these three cards do when put to the test.

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"Asus recently released it's new flagship gaming sound card, the ROG Xonar Phoebus, as well as updated PCI-Express versions of its popular DG and DS sound cards. All three of these cards feature quality components for products in their respective price ranges. Today, we will tell you exactly what each card may bring to your PC audio experience."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Desktop Trinity may be retarded

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: amd, trinity, fm2, A10-5800k

After launching the mobile version of Trinity, AMD let desktop users know that they could expect to see Socket FM2 processors released in the summer.  That may no longer be the case according to a report that DigiTimes heard about which puts the timeline closer to October.  Even worse, this delay is due to them making some changes to the processors design which hints at all sorts of horrible possibilities of which the best you can hope is that they are having yield problems.  Hoping that AMD just wants to see existing stock of Llano processors sold makes little sense, none of the major tech companies seems to feel any regret at pushing out new designs over top of old ones no matter how much stock currently exists.

Worth noting is that in October, assuming we do see Trinity launch, AMD will have current generation chips and motherboards using AM3, AM3+ (Vishera), FM1 (Llano), FM2 (Trinity) and FT1 (Brazos 2.0).  To say that this is going to confuse customers is an understatement. 

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"AMD has reportedly postponed the launch of its Trinity processors for desktop platforms from August to October in order to make some adjustments to the processors' designs. Downstream motherboard makers are also rushing to make adjustments to their new motherboard projects set to release in the second half, according to sources from motherboard makers."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AMD Social Media Reviewers Wanted - 2000 AMD APUs Available Free!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | July 12, 2012 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, comiccon

If you are in the San Diego area today or tomorrow, you should make it a point to stop by Belo San Diego (http://www.belosandiego.com/ 438 E Street), a night club near the convention area, to visit with the AMD and the Geek and Sundry group.

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Felicia Day, most popular for her role in the web-series The Guild, will be part of the on going event between 10am and 2am both today (the 12th) and tomorrow sponsored by AMD.  She is excited to be there - just look!

If you stop by the Belo nightclub during those hours you can take home a FREE AMD A8-3870K APU (with accompanying motherboard) if you agree to use your social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook) to tell your friends about the experience.  You will in fact become an AMD Social Media Reviewer!

Sorry, if you aren't in the San Diego area, you are out of luck on this promotion.  This is just another reason why attending ComicCon is so enticing!

Source: AMD