Friday, November 28, 2008

Netgear EVA9000 Media Streaming Box Leaked
In the technology business it is often difficult to keep secrets--especially when products require legal protection for intellectual property as well as government-regulated certification. Some news hounds scour U.S. patent applications to see what potential products might be on the horizon for key manufacturers; others examine recent submissions to the FCC for Class A or Class B certifications (any product that emanates unintentional radio waves and that is intended to be sold in the U.S., must be tested to ensure that it will not interfere with radio and television broadcasts--Class A products are used in commercial environments, while Class B devices are used in homes). The FCC database is the latest source of product leaks for Netgear: the gang over at Engadget has discovered a treasure-trove of information about the (presumably) soon-to-be-released, Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9000 media streaming device...
The MSI WindBox is a Nettop PC Designed to Be Mounted on the Back of a Widescreen TV
The nettop PC category seems to be getting more crowded by the day. Perhaps the most-talked-about nettop PC to date has been the Asus Eee Box, but it is far from the only low-cost, low-power, nettop PC around. Nettop PCs tend to come in one of two form factors, either a small-form-factor desktop design, such as the Asus Eee Box or the HP Compaq Presario mini-Q Series; or an all-in-one design, such as the Asus Eee Top or MSI Wind Neton. Now it appears that MSI is bringing a third form-factor nettop design to market with its MSI WindBox...
Cyberpower Offers Eight Very Configurable Intel Core i7 Desktops
Most desktop manufacturers that have announced or released new desktop PCs based on Intel's new Core i7 CPU architecture, have taken a conservative approach by only releasing a single Core i7 model or only a couple of different models to choose from. Cyberpower, on the other hand, has chosen to leap head first into the Core i7 waters, by selling no less than eight different models, with starting prices that range from $999 to $4,875. Not only does Cyberpower have eight different Core i7 SKUs, but each one can one be custom configured with a boatload of options. This is about as close you can get to building your own Core i7 system, without actually physically constructing it yourself...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HP Announces Two New Intel Atom-Based Nettops: The HP Compaq Presario mini-Q 2030 and 2020
Engadget China reports that Hewlett-Packard (HP) just debuted two new nettop PCs in Taiwan: the HP Compaq Presario mini-Q 2020 and the HP Compaq Presario mini-Q 2030. Both units are powered by Intel Atom processors and are similar in functionality to the MSI Wind Neton, Avaratec 18.4" All-In-One PC, and the Asus Eee Top nettops. Unlike the MSI, Avaratec, and Asus Nettops, however, the HP mini-Q models do not use an all-in-one desktop design, but instead use a small-form-factor case connected to an external monitor...
OMG: A Keyboard for Blondes!
The keyboard as we know it just got a makeover. What started initially as gag, apparently got so much positive feedback that the creators of the Keyboard for Blondes decided to turn it into a real product. First of all, the Keyboard for Blondes is a real keyboard. It has all the normal functionality you would expect from a traditional keyboard...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The OverdrivePC BigBlock.GTR Offers Big Performance in a Big Box
When a high-end, enthusiast-level desktop PC has a starting price of $4,499, there is no doubt that the system is aimed squarely at the hardcore gamer. Such is the case with the Intel Core i7-based OverdrivePC BigBlock.GTR. If you are not familiar with OverdrivePC, the company is a Richmond, Virginia-based boutique PC manufacturer that has been building high-end gaming rigs for almost ten years. Overdrive PC dedicates precision detail to every gaming system it builds, including hidden cable routing, testing and benchmarking for optimum over-clocked performance, and even including a "personalized leather owner's portfolio complete with component documentation and driver disks...
The Low-Profile Okoro OMS-LX100 is a New CableCard-Based HTPC From Boutique Vendor Okoro
Boutique systems manufacturers are nothing new--they tend to specialize in a particular type of PC, instead of offering a wide swath of systems options that try to cater to everyone's needs and whims. These days, these small systems-vendors tend to fill one of two popular, high-end niches: enthusiast PCs for hardcore gamers and home theater PCs (HTPCs) for audiophiles and videophiles. One such company that has earned itself a strong reputation over the years making quality HTPCs is Okoro Media Systems; and Okoro has just announced its latest HTPC, the Okoro OMS-LX100 "Digital Entertainment System" (the system also has the alternative name, the Okoro 2009 LX CableCard Media Center...
YouTube Videos Go Widescreen
In the unlikely event that you've gone more than a day watching a YouTube video, the next time you see one you'll probably notice that it's going to look a little different. Yesterday, YouTube switched all of its videos over to a larger-sized player window with a widescreen format...

Monday, November 24, 2008

SpaceX Successfully Test Fires Falcon 9 Rocket
If space truly is the final frontier, then one company just took another small step toward the eventual giant leap toward reaching space. SpaceX, (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), a privately-held space-transportation company, just conducted a successful test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's first-stage rocket booster. This comes less than two months after SpaceX successfully launched its two-stage, Falcon 1 rocket to become "the first privately-developed liquid fuel rocket to achieve Earth orbit...
Commodore Gaming Offers two High-End Intel Core i7-Based Gaming Rigs
Those of us old enough are likely to fondly remember the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga personal computers from the 1980's. For many, these platforms offered the first true introduction to the concept of the personal computer. Things have changed quite a bit since then, including the bankruptcy of Commodore in the 1990's. Commodore's old platforms might be long gone, but the Commodore name still lives on. The Commodore brand was resurrected last year and the company now known and Commodore Gaming, now focuses on enthusiast gaming rigs. Two of the most-recent additions to Commodore Gaming lineup are the Intel Core i7-based Commodore Gaming GX and the Commodore Gaming XX...
The Intel Core i7-Based Falcon Northwest Mach V is More Robust Than Its Talon Sibling
One of the very first Intel Core i7-based systems Computer Shopper looked at was the Falcon Northwest Talon. We thought the Talon was a very capable machine, but ultimately found the iBuypower Gamer Paladin F870-SB to be a better value. The Talon represents an interesting challenge for Falcon Northwest in that while it is highly configurable, it is still meant to be more of a budget gaming system. Falcon Northwest's enthusiast-level gaming desktops line, the Falcon Northwest Mach V, however, might not fit into the budget category or scream "value," but it offers a number of significant component and aesthetic options that you can't get with the Talon...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Neuros Link Brings Internet Video Back To the TV
It used be that if you wanted to watch a specific TV show, you had to make sure you were home in time to watch it. Those who were born in the sixties and seventies probably have memories of rushing home after school to catch their favorite cartoons. Not long after that, a major tipping point in how we consume television happened with the arrival of the affordable VCR. For the first time, we could watch our favorite TV shows when our schedules allowed it. Next came the DVR with its time-shifting capabilities--letting us watch and record different shows simultaneously, rewind and fast-forward without impacting the recording, and skipping through commercials (insert TiVo beep sound here)...
Maingear Announces Two Intel Core i7-Based Systems, the F131 and ePhex, For Enthusiasts and Gamers
In the past few days we've covered a few new Intel Core i7-based desktop system announcements from a small handful of boutique systems vendors, such as AVADirect and Vigor Gaming. What differentiates these much smaller vendors from the larger and more well-known brand names, is that the boutique vendors specialize in making only a handful of different types of system configurations. Additionally, these systems are usually always hand-built using quality components and focused directly at meeting the needs of PC enthusiasts. Another boutique systems manufacturer to develop new desktop models around the Core i7 architecture is Maingear with its F131 "performance" line and its ePhex "luxury gaming PC" line...
Vigor Gaming Offers the Intel Core i7-Based Vigor Gaming Recon T7 for Hardcore Gamers
Most consumers are probably not familiar with the Vigor Gaming brand of PCs. Most hardcore gamers, however, are likely very familiar with Vigor Gaming desktop systems. Vigor Gaming is a company with a rather single-minded purpose: to build and sell high-end enthusiast systems to hardcore gamers. The company even proudly claims that it was founded by the very type of customer it caters to, so—at least in theory—it should be able to design gaming rigs that meet the demands of those looking for high-quality components and the fastest performance possible...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yahoo! Glue Visually Organizes Search Results
You might not realize this, but Yahoo quietly launched a new way to provide search results last night. This new paradigm is called Yahoo! Glue, is currently in beta in the U.S., and is based on a similar program Yahoo! has already been experimenting with in India for the last few months. If you perform a search on Yahoo! you are not going to see anything different--Yahoo! Glue currently resides on its own standalone site at glue.yahoo.com, and you'll need to perform searches specifically from Yahoo! Glue if you want to see the new search results selections and layout...
MSI Announces a Line of Intel Atom-Based All-In-One Nettop PCs
Engadget China reports that MSI just unveiled a series of new Intel Atom-based, all-in-one nettop PCs that will go by the name of MSI Wind Neton. There will be at least three models in the MSI Wind Neton line: the M16 with a 15.6-inch, 1366x768 screen; the M19 with an 18.5-inch, 1366x768 display; and the M22 with a 22-inch, 1920x1080 screen. Each model will be available in both single-core and dual-Core Atom processor versions. The single-core Atom-based units will ship running Windows XP, while the dual-core Atom-based models will use Windows Vista...
Alienware Offers Two Intel Core i7-Based Desktop Gaming Systems
As we predicted last week, Alienware announced new Intel Core i7-based desktop gaming systems this week. We're not soothsayers and we didn't jump the gun by violating a non-disclosure agreement. It was simply a safe bet that a company that prides itself on making some of the fastest, high-end gaming rigs for enthusiasts would be one of the first vendors to offer systems using Intel's newest processor technology. Additionally, being owned by Dell certainly must help Alienware considerably in its ability to get early access to new technologies. The new Core i7 systems that Alienware now has available are the Alienware Area-51 X58 with a starting price of $1,649, and the Alienware ALX X58 with a starting price of $3,699...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LIFE's Photo Collection Goes Online With Google
In the almost seventy years that the photojournalism magazine LIFE magazine was published, the publication amassed a huge collection of images. Some of the images in this collection even date back to eighteenth-century etchings and nineteenth-century photographic glass plates. The total collection of images in the LIFE archive numbers approximately 10 million--the vast majority of which have never been published before...
AVADirect Offers Highly-Configurable Intel Core i7 Desktop Systems
When you think of PC manufacturers, AVADirect is probably not one of the first vendors that come to mind. However, many PC enthusiasts swear by the company's ability to build quality custom systems. Not only are all of AVADirect's systems custom-built by hand (as opposed to an assembly-line approach that larger PC manufacturers tend to utilize), but the sheer quantity of configuration choices that AVADirect offers for most of its systems is mindboggling. Taking it even a step further, AVADirect's online configurator for its various system offerings provides some of the most detailed, supplemental technical information about the various component options that we've seen...
Dell Expands its XPS Gaming Desktop Line with the Intel Core i7-based Dell XPS 730x
Intel's new core processor technology, the Intel Core i7 architecture, promises to herald in a new level of performance for desktop PCs. Some of the more significant changes with the Core i7 platform are the integration of an on-chip memory controller, new triple-channel memory support, replacing the front-side bus with the faster Intel QuickPath Interconnect, and the reintroduction of Intel Hyper-Threading. Needless to say, a number of systems manufacturers are looking to the Core i7 as the means to build even faster desktop gaming rigs. Not surprisingly, Dell is one of the first vendors out of the gate with a high-end, Core i7 based system for gaming enthusiasts with the new Dell XPS 730x...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Korea Remakes the Soldier of the Future
It appears that the military brain trust over in Korea might have seen Iron Man or Star Wars: Clone Wars too many times. It's difficult to say exactly where the inspiration came from for their concept for a new battle-dress uniform (BDU), but it definitely looks like something right out of the realm of science fiction. The Korea Times reported on the concept design for a new BDU and related gear that Korea's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) will allegedly start developing next year...
Micro Center Announces Two Intel Core i7-920-Based Desktop Systems: The PowerSpec G401 and the PowerSpec G410
PowerSpec might not afford the same brand-name recognition of system manufacturers such as Dell or Gateway, but that's no reason why you shouldn't give their systems some consideration. PowerSpec is actually the in-house brand of Micro Center Online and Micro Center retail outlets, and Micro Center has built a strong reputation with its PowerSpec line of selling quality desktops that are often less expensive than comparably equipped systems from the aforementioned brand-name vendors...
Gateway Announces Two Intel Core i7-Based Systems as Part of its FX Line of Desktops
The onslaught of Intel Core i7-based desktop system announcements continues with Gateway adding two new Core i7 systems to its FX Series of desktops. One of them is the $1,249.99 Gateway FX6800-01e that we recently reviewed. The FX6800-01e uses a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7-920 processor, and comes with 3GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM memory, an ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB graphics card, and a 750GB SATA-II hard drive...
Network Talk Radio - Interview:
Now Playing: SKYPE...VoIP Internet Telephony and Sooo Much More
For those of you not familar with Skype, you need to listen to this interview about a simple, effective and inexpensive platform to communicate with friends, family and business colleagues. Joining your host Edward Weatherby on the show today is Daniel Begun, Consumer Communications Expert for Skype. Daniel shares with us some of the innovative technologies of the Skype platform and a look at the future of this VoIP, peer to peer communication technology. In addition, Daniel currently writes for Computer Shopper magazine and the PC enthusiast site, HotHardware.com. Daniel has almost 18 years of experience in technology journalism from CNET, ZDNet, Computer Shopper magazine, and PC Magazine. For more information on how to download the Skype program for free and start experiencing it, visit their website at www.skype.com.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TiVo Offers On-Demand Domino's Pizza
It's time to score another win for the couch potato generation. With TiVo's most recent partnership--this time with Domino's Pizza--you can now order a pizza directly from your TiVo without ever leaving your couch or even picking up the phone...
The Dell Studio XPS is an Intel Core i7-Based System for Under $1,000
Just because a new Intel core processor architecture is launching today that promises to herald in a new level of PC performance, does not necessarily mean, however, that all systems using the new technology have to be high-priced. In fact, Dell's new Dell Studio XPS, which is based on the new Intel Core i7 processor family, starts at a very reasonable $949—yet still offers a solid configuration for most mainstream users.
The Velocity Micro Edge Z55 is an Intel Core i7-Based System With Many Configuration Options
Today marks the official launch of Intel's new core processor architecture, the Intel Core i7 family of CPUs. As such, we fully expect a plethora of new Core i7-based product announcements from systems manufacturers today and in the days and weeks to follow. We've already been privy to a few such announcements, as well as even being lucky enough to get our hands on three such systems from Falcon Northwest, Gateway, and iBuypower...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scythe Kama Panel 3.5" Merges Fan Controls and a Multi-Card Reader Into an Easy Access Panel for DIY System Builders
Custom building your own desktop system means that you can not just have every single component you want in your PC, but you can also put every port and control exactly where you want them for easy access. There's nothing fun about groping around the back of a system for a USB or audio jack. It's one thing if your system is an off-the-shelf PC, but if you built the rig yourself, there really is no excuse...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Smooth Creations Announces the Intel Core i7-based Prophet i7 Series Gaming Desktops
Smooth Creations has just announced its brand new Intel Core i7-based, Prophet i7 gaming series of enthusiast desktops. The new line is powered by Intel's new Core i7 processors and MSI motherboards using the new Intel X58 chipset. There are a total of three different lines in the series, and each line has three default configurations—for a total of nine Prophet i7 models. Of course, any model can be custom configured, not just with different components, but also with one of Smooth Creations custom paint jobs...
Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable Eases the Migration From Windows to Mac
A growing number of computer users have been switching to the Mac from Windows PCs. These folks are often referred to as "switchers," and are one of the core target audiences for Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign with Justin Long and John Hodgman. Ever since Apple moved its entire Mac line over to the Intel platform, the ability to run the Windows operating system on Macs has also been a strong motivating factor for people to make the change...
Keep Your Data Encrypted With the Lenovo ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive
While portable media has the obvious advantage of being very transportable, the very fact that it is so portable also means that it's also easy to lose or be stolen. And once your data is out of your hands and into the hands of someone else, what they do with your data can be potentially devastating to your finances or your business...
AMD's ATI Stream Acceleration Turns HD Radeon 4000 Series GPUs Into CPUs
Pop quiz: How many processors are in your system? If you have a new system or at least a relatively new graphics card in your system, you might have more processors in your system than you realize. Yes, we are referring to your graphics processing unit (GPU), but we're not talking about specialized 3D graphics acceleration; we're talking about harnessing the power of the GPU to help all sorts of applications run faster...
Obama's Transition On YouTube For All To See
According to the Washington Post, President-elect Barack Obama's campaign team uploaded more than 1,800 videos to YouTube, which were viewed over 110 million times. And apparently, even though Obama has already won the election, he will continue to use YouTube as a primary means of connecting with the American People...
Alienware Launches the "Mainstream" Alienware Area-51 750i Gaming Desktop
Alienware has been busy this week with new product announcements, such as its "QuickShip Edition" desktops and laptops. If that wasn't enough, Alienware now announces a new "mainstream" gaming desktop, the Alienware Area-51 750i. The uptick in recent Alienware product announcements makes sense for two reasons. First, with Black Friday only a week away, Alienware wants to capitalize on the fact that consumers are starting to think about their holiday shopping...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google Earth Steps Back in Time to Ancient Rome
There's a lot more to history and archeology than just uncovering the past. Sometimes recreating the past in our present time is the best way to understand how people lived thousands of years ago. One such project, the Rome Reborn project of the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, seeks to digitally rebuild the city of Rome "as it might have appeared at the height of its urban development in the time of Constantine the Great in A.D. 320...
Shuttle's new Small-Form-Factor XPC Barebones SG45H7 For Home Theater Systems
Great things come in small packages. At least that what the folks over at Shuttle have proven time and time again with their small-form-factor desktop systems and chassis designs. In fact, Shuttle chassis tend to be used frequently by many second and third-tier systems manufacturers for their own small-form-factor PC designs (first-tier systems manufacturers usually make their own chassis or have custom-designed chassis made for them)...
AMD Switches Opterons Over to 45nm and Promises 45nm Phenoms Early Next Year
AMD announced today that its Quad-Core Opteron processors are now available using a new 45nm process. AMD claims that the switch from the 65nm process-based "Barcelona" platform to the new 45nm process-based "Shanghai" platform gives the new chips up to a 35-percent performance boost and as much as a 35-percent decrease in power consumption at idle...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

iBuypower Announces Three Intel Core i7-based Paladin F-Series Gaming Desktops
We don't know this for a fact, but we suspect that somewhere on Intel's Santa Clara, California campus is a big clock counting down until this next Monday, November 17, when Intel's new core processor architecture, the Core i7, is officially unveiled. We fully expect to see an onslaught of Intel Core i7-related announcements from just about every major PC manufacturer come next week...
Smooth Creations' $20K Smooth HD SCinema HTPC
Someone must have forgotten to tell the folks over at Smooth Creations that there is a recession going on. Otherwise the timing seems a little off to be announcing a $19,975.00 home theater PC (HTPC). Then again, the gang at Smooth Creations has never been exactly conservative with their sports car-inspired, custom paint jobs and tricked-out, high-end, enthusiast PCs and laptop configurations...
iPhone is the Hardiest Smartphone of Them All
Kudos to the folks over at the independent product warranty company, SquareTrade, for not just offering warranties beyond that of merchants and manufacturers, but for also actually analyzing the failure rate data from over 15,000 new cell phones they covered. Their recent analysis, which is available as a PDF report here...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dell "Silently" Launches the Dell XPS 430 Mini-Tower Desktop
Both Electronista and SlashGear report that Dell "silently" launched the mid-range, Dell XPS 430 mini-tower desktop series today. It is considered a "silent" launch as the usual fanfare of press announcements and news wire stories that typically accompany new product announcements were not to be had this time around. As to why Dell didn't accompany the new product series with any form of media alerts is uncertain...
SGI Helps Keep Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Safe
We all know Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) as the company that has historically made high-end workstations for creating and rendering 3D animations for games and movies. But there is a whole other side to the company that many are probably less aware of. This very lucrative part of SGI feeds high-performance computing (HPC) solutions to the government and military...
Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac Makes Running Windows On Your Mac Even Faster
Ever since Apple switched over its entire Mac line of PCs from using PowerPC processors to Intel x86 processors, the prospect of being able to run more than just the Mac OS on a Mac became a reality. Perhaps the biggest potential advantage for multi-OS users was that they could now run both the Mac OS and Windows on a single machine. In fact, we recently devoted a series of articles about running Windows on a Mac...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Commentary: Running Windows on Macs (Part 4)
In our previous installments, we discussed a number of ways you can run the Windows operating system on your Mac. You can run Windows natively via Apple's Boot Camp, or via virtualization applications (also known as hypervisors), such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Both of theses means are viable options that provide you with all (in the case of Boot Camp) or nearly all (in the case of virtualization) of the full functionality of Windows. But what if you don't want to install Windows or don't want to purchase Windows...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Commentary: Running Windows on Macs (Part 3)
In the previous installment of this series we discussed running Windows on your Mac natively using Apple's Boot Camp utility. The downside to running Windows on you Mac natively via Boot Camp is that you have to reboot your Mac into Windows, leaving the Mac OS behind until you later reboot back into the Mac OS—you can only access one operating system at a time. However, using a virtualization application on your Mac, you can use both the Mac OS and Windows simultaneously...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rambus Seeks To Block the U.S. Import and Sale of Nvidia-Based Products
The days of RDRAM in our PCs are long over, but the company behind RDRAM, Rambus, is still alive and kicking. Although, these days, most of the kicking seems to be in the form of law suits against rival memory manufacturers and other companies that utilize memory technologies. Rambus has long held that it owns the patents on many of the memory technologies in use today...
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe Claims To Be the World's Fastest Graphics Card
Truly hard-core gamers will spare no expense at acquiring the equipment necessary to eke out the very highest frame rates. And with the latest, power-hungry DirectX 10 game titles, the highest-end, fastest components are a must-have if you want to fully enjoy all the features the games offer and at the highest resolutions...
Circuit City Baits-And-Switches Close-Out Prices
If you are thinking of taking advantage of Circuit City's closing of 155 retail store locations to score a sweet deal on a new HDTV, the folks over at HD Guru warn that not only are deals not to be had, but that you might actually wind up paying more for it and potentially taking home a lemon. HD Guru visited a Circuit...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nvidia Announces a Low-Cost Integrated Graphics Workstation Solution With the Nvidia Quadro FX 470
The workstation market has seen increasing competition from consumer and business level systems these last few years as the computational power of mainstream PCs have reached new heights. Why pay several thousand dollars for a specialized workstation when you can get the same level of performance from a sub-$1,000 desktop...
Wi-Fi WPA Encryption Protocol Cracked
We've always been warned to be vigilant about what information we provide when online. Between phishing, malware, and DNS spoofing it's difficult to blindly trust any online entity these days. But if we have a secure connection to a known site, we're okay then, right? Not always... Someone might still be listening in...