Take the PC Perspective Survey - Win Prizes!

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: survey, ocz, giveaway, corsair, contest

Every once in a while take an opportunity to learn about YOU, our faithful fans of PC Perspective.  Today is one of those days as we have setup a small survey to help point us in the right direction for the future of the website.  We can learn a lot from your help with this:

  1. We learn about you.
  2. We learn what you want to read on PC Perspective.
  3. We learn what you don't want to read on PC Perspective.
  4. We learn what you want to see as the future of PC Perspective.

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over what is going to happen here, so wield it wisely.  If you write in the comments section that we should fire Josh then we'll probably do it probably not do it. 

Other than the obviously great feelings you'll receive from helping out your friends at PC Perspective, we decided that to entice you to spend the 5 minutes on the survey that it will require we are going to offer up a handful of prizes as well!

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1 x OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD

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1 x Corsair Vengeance C70 Military Green Chassis

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1 x Gigabyte Z77 G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard

All you have to do to win one of these great prizes is:

  1. Fill out our survey.
  2. Wait for us to pick you as a winner.

Man, we pride ourselves on making our contests and sweepstakes easy, but this is ridiculous!  The competition is open to ALL people around the world though you can ONLY enter one time!  The survey will run through the 8th of June, so get your entries in!

Good luck and thank you so much for being a part of PC Perspective!

Continue on to the survey for your chance to win and support PC Perspective while doing it!

How consoles would have gouged Diablo 3 over $44 million

Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2012 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: diablo iii, consoles, blizzard

Matt Ployhar of Intel has posted on their Software Blogs about how much money in royalties would be given to Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo if Diablo 3 were published on a console platform. Activision-Blizzard along with a couple of other publishers recently pocket the difference -- but unlike the consoles it is not an actual cost so the publishers can, and many do, lower their prices to the $50 point at launch. It really shows how expensive the seemingly cheaper console platforms really are.

So who would make a device for $805 to sell it for $499 after billions in research, development, and marketing?

Sony does and they get that money back from you in good time -- subtly.

The perception of consoles being a cheaper gaming platform than the PC is just a perception. Over the lifespan of the platform you can pay less for a better experience with a somewhat larger upfront cost on the PC. You are paying a premium with the consoles to experience exclusive titles that are only exclusive because you allowed the platform to charge you to pay the publisher to make it exclusive. Imagine how that cost grows if you own multiple consoles?

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But I find good value in paying extra so that others cannot play too.

Matt Ployhar of the Intel Software Blogs does a very rough calculation of how much Blizzard would have paid Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo had their game been on a console platform. With 6.3 million units of Diablo 3 sold in the last two weeks and a typical royalty rate of $7-10 per game sale for console platforms the platform owner would take $44-63 million away from Blizzard.

This means that you would have been paying the platform owner $44-63 million to have Diablo 3 be placed on a platform which will be unsupported probably long before you finish with your game.

Blizzard has been selling Diablo 2 since the Nintendo 64 era. Consoles are paid to be disposable, the PC is not.

Source: Intel Blog

Red Hat gives Enterprise Linux a new Fedora

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: Red Hat, linux, Fedora, Beefy Miracle

Ubuntu certainly steals the show for end users but on the enterprise side it is Red Hat's that is the star, with Fedora being its flavour more suited to personal use.  A brand new release has arrived today, which will give home sysadmins a bit of work to test for compatibility with their current systems.  Thankfully the base kernel has not changed much, this release deals with patches that have been fully tested over the past six months along with updates to the software which comes with Fedora.  The Inquirer makes mention of Ovirt, a virtual machine management program, JBoss Application Server 7 and enhancements in Openstack, all of which should be well received by professionals.  They will also be happy to know that Red Hat's Beefy Miracle has stuck with the Gnome interface instead of switching to Unity.

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"The Red Hat sponsored Fedora project serves as the proving ground for new features that eventually end up in the firm's Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Now Red Hat has announced that it has released Fedora 17 including updates to Gnome, Eclipse, GIMP and Openstack along with numerous patches."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

AMD and Intel both need to improve their Linux support

Subject: General Tech | May 28, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: linux, Intel, amd, Ivy Bridge, llano, opencl

Two different stories today focus on how both major CPU vendors have allowed their support for the new features present in their architectures to fall behind for Linux OSes.  From The Inquirer we hear about the how poor OpenCL support from AMD is leaving APU accelerated computing for Linux to lag behind Windows development.  This goes far beyond purely graphical tasks and the complaints we have heard from gamers as OpenCL is a computing language that can handle far more than just pushing pixels.  The two most common OpenCL applications that people are familiar with are the GPU clients for BOINC and Folding@Home, which enable you to chug work units on your graphics card or the graphics cores on your CPU.  AMD's Neal Robinson who is the current senior director of Consumer Developer Support has taken up the challenge of promoting Linux OpenCL support from within AMD, so keep your eyes peeled for news from his team.

Intel's Ivy Bridge is no better according to Phoronix, as testing shows very little improvement on the default Ubuntu Unity desktop with Compiz.  That is what allows Ubuntu users to show the iconic Desktop Cube on the Gnome desktop environment and using it shows negative effects on the general performance of the system.  Switching to KDE and OpenGL generally resulted in better performance as did Xfce.  Phoronix does not hold out much hope for the improvement of Compiz on Ivy Bridge processors or Intel's open source drivers for the near future, either for graphics or GPU accelerated computation.

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"For AMD flaky Linux support isn't just a matter of gamers complaining, but now with its APUs, standard applications are simply not making use of the compute power that AMD needs to compete with Intel."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

HP to cut 27k jobs over 2 years. More depressing layoff news.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 26, 2012 - 03:10 AM |
Tagged: hp

ZDNet reports that HP will cut 27,000 jobs over the next two years which represents approximately 8 percent of their global staffing. The company claims that it will take those savings -- which are expected to be slightly over 3 billion dollars -- and re-invest them in research and development.

Yes that is right: 27k as in 27,000 jobs over two years.

CEO Meg Whitman made a statement that over the next couple of years HP will cut around eight percent of their workforce to refocus on research and development. They expect that with their projected cuts they will be able to recover $3-3.5 billion from wages to spend on their research into “cloud and big data” technologies.

Let us hope that they can keep their projected revenue even with the lessened workforce.

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So many printers -- but none print money.

And let us just think about the announcement for another second. The expectation is to lay off all those employees over the course of two years to reduce the short-term morale dip.

So instead you have practically all of your employees dust off their resumes in case their Russian roulette chance is not an empty chamber?

Congratulations HP -- you now probably have a company full of paranoid personnel.

Once again the loss of jobs is under 10 percent and thus I hesitate to make any guesses about the health of HP as a company. My general rule of thumb is that you can very loosely tell how bad a company is off depending on how many employees they lay off percentage wise. Up to approximately 10 percent is tragic but somewhat standard restructuring for a larger company. Up to 30 percent is seriously hard times. Approximately 100 percent means the company is either attempting to reboot or get picked apart for liquidation.

Again, that is just my rule of thumb when I look at these stories.

Source: ZDNet

Kingdoms of Amalur developer laid off entire 379-person staff

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 10:04 PM |
Tagged: 38 Studios

38 Studios, developer of Kingdoms of Amalur, has laid off their entire payroll of 379 staffers to pay off outstanding loans to the state of Rhode Island. The game sold 1.3 million copies in its first three months which is great but far short of the 3 million units required to pull a profit.

Kingdoms of Amalur was hotly anticipated and sold decently -- but just not decently enough.

Critics were somewhat positive about the quality of Reckoning and sales were likewise good. The game sold 1.3 million units in its first 90 days which is quite effective for the start of a franchise. Unfortunately finances were much tighter than the developer let on as sales were under half of where they needed to be. While they were able to make the $1.125 million loan payment to the state they were unable to do so while also paying their staff. All 379 were let go from the company.

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3 million units sold was pretty unreasonably optimistic for an expectation…

Alex Rubens of G4 and PC World has set up a public Google doc for those who were employed at 38 Studios to find potential new employers. Despite some vandalism it is still maintained by the original author albeit read-only for the rest of us.

As for the committee in charge of granting the loan to 38 Studios: two of the twelve members have resigned recently including the Vice Chairwoman Helena Foulkes who resigned under advice from the Governor. I personally tend to be forgiving of mistakes and would not desire for someone to be forced to leave after a single error unless it was malicious or negligent. And even if you disagree with my statement -- Foulkes was hired after the deal and thus was not even involved.

Oh well -- politics is as politics does. It looks better to have someone lose their job than to solve problems.

Source: Ars Technica

Blizzard further delays Diablo III real-money auction house

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 09:15 PM |
Tagged: diablo iii

Ars Technica reports that Blizzard has delayed the Diablo III auction house where users could buy and sell equipment using real money. While the delay is technically “indefinitely” as reported -- they just mean that no alternative release date has been announced.

This Diablows.

In the wake of recent security concerns Blizzard decided to further delay the ability to trade in-game items with fellow gamers for real money. The original launch of the real money auction house was set for some time this past week. Since then we have seen a delay to this upcoming Tuesday which today has also been overturned: launch date TBD.

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I wonder if I can be paid in Vespene Gas...

While Blizzard has been known to take a painstakingly long time to launch products I do not expect the delay to persist too much longer. While this delay has no definite timeframe it feels more like the company just cannot estimate development time rather than expects extensive attention is required.

In other words: it seems to be a question about how little work is required rather than how much.

Source: Ars Technica

The Facebook Browser -- a soap Opera

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 25, 2012 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged:

A source for Pocket-Lint claims that Facebook is looking to purchase Opera for a branded web browser. There is still question about whether Opera wants to sell or whether Facebook is able to muscle market share away from Google, Firefox, and Microsoft.

I, personally, find this rumor quite difficult to believe.

I could see Facebook being able to push a web browser -- they have the money and the user-base -- and I could see the deal but not expect it. Facebook would need to push for a web browser and Opera would need to sell.

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That said, with what goes on Facebook -- all we would need is Tide ads.

The main reason why this news sounds fictitious is because it occurred so close to the IPO. Going public would not contribute to the ability or desire for Facebook to acquire Opera. If it would not contribute to the acquisition then it is easy to assume it contributed to the rumor…

It is also unclear whether the source suggests that Facebook would like to purchase Opera and/or whether Opera would like to be purchased by Facebook.

I could see Facebook desiring to own a browser but this whole rumor does not smell right. Facebook is still quite good friends with Microsoft and I would expect that getting further involved in the Internet Explorer market share would be more desirable for the time being.

Source: Pocket Lint

Trimming the price but not the quality from their KNS series of headsets

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: audio, headset, gaming headset, KRK Systems, KNS 6400

If you are looking for a decent pair of circumaural headphones that simply offer great performance and do not delve into simulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound and have a budget of around $100 then check out KRK Systems' KNS 6400.  One of the best features of both this headset and its more expensive brother are the cords, which are not integral but can be replaced if they become damaged or if KRK Systems follows TechPowerUp's suggestion of selling custom cables for those with specific needs.  The audio quality is not top notch when compared to more expensive headphones but for $100 KRK Systems seems to have done very well.

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"KRK Systems is well on their way to becoming a big name in the headphone business. Today we will be taking a look at yet another interesting set of closed back headphones, namely the KNS 6400s which feature the same mechanical design as the KNS 8400."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: TechPowerUp

NVIDIA's big chip, the GK110

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTC 2012, gk110

We at PC Perspective were not the only ones who became a wee bit excited when we had the news from NVIDIA about what the GK110 Kepler chip is going to be capable of.  The chip will be powering professional HPC systems with the Telsa K20 board which will deliver over a teraflop of double precision processing power.  That precision is not so important to the proper rendering of fluid dynamics in the underground water of Crysis 2 but for scientists trying to model the real world it is double what they say from the previous generation of Fermi based Tesla boards.  Check out The Tech Report as they delve into how NVIDIA tweaked their new architecture to deal with new choke points and the compute enhancements they've added.

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"At its 2012 GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia revealed plenty of details about the biggest GPU of its Kepler generation. Here's what you need to know."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk