Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best and Worst Places to Work
The folks over at Glassdoor.com have been busy mining through their data of user-submitted information and have assembled lists of the best and worst places to work. The lists are based on data from almost 75,000 participants in 2008, representing over 11,000 companies, from a 20-question survey. A number of tech companies made significant showings in "The Top 50" best places to work, including Netflix (rank: 3), Adobe (rank: 4), and Google (rank: 7). For a company to be considered for the list, it must have at least 25 user-submitted reviews from U.S.-based employees, "satisfied" or better ratings in all categories, and at least a 50-percent approval rating for its CEO...
MSI Announces a Hybrid SSD/HDD Nettbook
MSI has just announced the MSI U115 Hybrid, which it claims is "very first notebook computer in the world that is capable of operating both SSD and HDD hard drives simultaneously." We're highly suspect of that claim, as we know of at least one notebook right off the bat that is currently selling with the option to use both SSD and standard hard drives simultaneously: the Dell XPS M1730 we did a Video Spotlight of back in July. MSI's U115 Hybrid is more of a netbook than a notebook, however, and as such it might be the first netbook to have both a standard hard drive and an SSD (although, we're sure one of our well-informed readers will correct us of this impression)...
DFI to Release Two More Intel X58-Based Motherboards For the Intel Core i7
Even though the Intel Core i7 platform has only been around for couple of months so far, we've seen a steady stream of Core i7-related product announcements from manufacturers in the form of Intel X58 chipset-based motherboards, triple-channel DDR3 SDRAM, and CPU coolers. Of these, it would seem that Core i7 motherboards appear to be product type that is making it to market the quickest, with no less than 21 different models presently available from Newegg—from motherboard manufacturers such as Asus, Intel, and MSI. It also seems that the DFI LANParty UT X58-T3eH8 motherboard that we reported on last month is now shipping and selling for $299.99 at Newegg...
Muskin Announces 12GB DDR3 1,600MHz SDRAM Triple-Channel Memory Kit
The last few weeks we've reported on a handful of computer memory manufacturers who are coming out with high-speed DDR3 SDRAM triple-channel memory kits for the new Intel Core i7 platform, such as from OCZ and Corsair. These memory kits are geared towards desktop enthusiasts who are willing to pay premium prices to get ultra-fast performance from overclocked components...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Protest Over Facebook Yanking Breastfeeding Pix
There's a big kerfuffle brewing over on Facebook over the posting of photos showing moms breastfeeding their babies. Apparently, Facebook has not only pulled some of these photos, but it has also sent warnings to some users who posted the photos; and even terminated the account of at least one user. Facebook claims that the pictures it pulled were obscene. The ensuing response has been both a growing virtual protest and well as a physical protest that took place just this last weekend...
Photos of New Remote and Wireless Keyboard and Mouse for Eee Box Nettop PC Leaked
Asus's Eee family of products just keep growing. In addition to the Eee PC netbook, Eee Box nettop, Eee Top all-in-one nettop, Eee Videophone, and the Wii-like Eee Stick controllers, photos have recently leaked showing a remote control and wireless keyboard and mouse for the Eee Box nettop PC. The German Website, Eee PC News was the first to publish photos of these new Eee family accessories, with no official word yet to come from Asus...
HP Announces the Mac-Friendly MediaSmart ex485 and ex487 Home Media Servers
HP has just announced a pair of servers designed to be used in the home: the HP MediaSmart Server ex485 and the HP MediaSmart Server ex487. As the product names indicate, these servers are about a lot more than just serving files; they are meant to also act as a repository for shared media files and to enable automatic backups for all the networked computers in a home...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mercedes Implements a Drowsy Driver Alert System
Over one-third of all drivers in the U.S. admit to having fallen asleep while driving. About 60 percent of U.S. drivers admit to driving while feeling drowsy. And what is the cost for this behavior? About 100,000 car crashes per year by fatigued drives, with about 71,000 of them resulting in injuries, 1,550 in deaths, and $12.5 billion dollars in losses. In response to this problem, Mercedes will be implementing its news Mercedes Attention Assist system in its E-class sedan production starting in 2009...
Video Streaming (Finally) Coming to the Wii
In a move that will leave many saying "it's about time," the Nintendo Wii game console will finally be getting a streaming video service. Reuters reports that starting in early 2009 in Japan, Nintendo and ad agency Dentsu are partnering to launch the video-streaming service, which will become available "overseas" (presumably in Europe and the U.S.) later in the year. Before Wii owners get too excited with the vision of Netflix streaming movies dancing in their heads, so far all that has been announced is that the new service will "offer cartoons and other entertainment programmes created for the new service to differentiate it from other online content delivery operations, which often offer existing programmes...
Verismo VuNow PoD Set-Top-Box Streams Online Videos Direct to Your TV
These days, it seems that you can watch online videos, such as from YouTube, directly on your TV from a wide variety of devices, such as with a PS3, Xbox 360, or Apple TV. You can now add another device that streams online videos to your TV to the growing list: the Verismo VuNow PoD set-top-box. The VuNow PoD is a small set-top-box that streams audio and video from a variety of online sources, as well as your own home network devices, to your TV...
Buffalo Announces the Fastest DDR3 SDRAM to Date With its 2,200MHz Buffalo FireStix Inferno Series
The Intel Core i7 processor in concert with the Intel X58 chipset (currently the only chipset that supports the Core i7) can use only DDR3 SDRAM modules. The officially-supported DDR3 memory speed that the X58 supports is 1,066MHz—and 6GB (2GBx3) 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM kits current sell for less than $200. But that doesn't mean that with the proper cooling solutions, motherboard, and BIOS settings that you can't run an X58 motherboard and Core i7 processor with much faster memory...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Notebooks Outsell Desktops Worldwide
According to market research company, iSuppli, this is the dawning of the age of the notebook. iSuppli makes this declaration because for the first time ever, notebook shipments worldwide have exceeded desktop shipments. This paradigm shift is marked by only a difference of about 100,000 units, but it follows a long trend of declining desktop PC growth and growing notebook sales for sometime now. Notebooks sales have exceeded desktop sales in the U.S. for a number of quarters now, but this is the first time this trend has gone global...
The Trigem Lluon B2 All-in-One Desktop PC is Likely Destined for the U.S.
Thanks to a posting we saw on Aving, we discovered that Korean manufacturer TG Sambo is releasing a new 26-inch all-in-one desktop PC, the Trigem Lluon B2, in Korea. Before you ask why we are reporting on a PC that so far has only been announced for Korea, note that TG Sambo is the parent company of Averatec; so there is a very good chance that what is announced for Korea today under the TG Sambo name will be announced for North America and Europe tomorrow under the Averatec name—albeit probably also with a different model name...
Asus Announces the Asus Triton 88 CPU Cooler for Overclockers
Not only do PC enthusiasts need special gear to help keep their overclocked desktop systems cool, but they prefer if those special components also look cool. Asus—which is no stranger to high-end components for enthusiasts and overclockers—has just announced the new Asus Triton 88 CPU Cooler, which offers a number of eye-catching design features...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

LG Display's New Sunlight-Illuminated LCD
The quality of laptop displays seem to get better with each product generation: Brighter screens, richer colors, faster response time, higher contrast ratios, and better viewing angles are just some of the improvements we've seen. But not matter how good a traditional laptop display looks, it typically still has at least one Achilles heel: If you are using your laptop outdoors, it is often very difficult to see the display in direct sunlight. Mind you, this is not a problem that many of us have, but for those who do use their laptops in outdoor environments--especially for work--this can be real productivity killer...
ECS Annouces the AMD Phenom II-Compatible ECS A790GXM-AD3 Motherboard
We're just a few weeks away from AMD's official launch of its new 45nm manufacturing process-based, Phenom II CPU family and announcements of related products are starting to trickle in now. In addition to the existing DFI LANParty motherboards that have been tested and qualified with Phenom II processors, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has announced the new Phenon II-capable ECS A790GXM-AD3 Black Series motherboard...
Upcoming HP Firebird 803 with Voodoo DNA Mini-Gaming-Tower Leaked
It seems that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep upcoming product designs as secrets anymore in the tech biz. Whether people are getting more enterprising at digging up information, companies are getting sloppier at keeping information under wraps, or many of the "leaks" are really the result of viral stealth marketing is unclear—perhaps a combination of all of them—regardless, the end result is that consumers of late are getting unprecedented previews as never before into what products will be coming to market in the coming months...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Neflix Player by Roku Now Streams HD
The Neflix Player by Roku was one of first devices available to allow Netflix users to watch streaming video from Netflix's growing library of TV and movie titles available via Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. But while other devices have since also recently gained this capability, such as the XBox 360, TiVo HD DVR, and Samsung BD-P2500/BD-P2550 players--including supporting the few HD titles that Netflix currently streams--the Roku device has only supported SD titles until now. Roku has just announced that with a firmware update that is available starting today, however, that the Neflix Player by Roku can now stream HD titles...
OCZ Announces the 6GB 2,000MHz DDR3 Blade Series Triple Channel Memory Kit
A steady stream of Intel Core i7-compatible motherboards and DDR3 memory kits has been announced ever since the Core i7 CPU architecture was officially unveiled last month. Some of the product announcements have coincided with actual products being available for purchase; but the vast majority of announcements have essentially been teasers of products coming soon--many with no specific mention of exactly when they will become available or even how much they will cost. Perhaps the one product category that has been the most egregious about withholding such key information has been that of high-speed DDR3 SDRAM kits for enthusiast-level rigs...
CyberPower Launches the Power Video Series of HD Video Editing Workstations
As of late, the only "special purpose" desktop PCs we've seen being marketed have been either budget systems, home theater PCs, or high-end gaming rigs. Everything else seems to fall somewhere in the wide-range of general-purpose, mainstream desktops. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to us to see that CyberPower has just launched a new line of HD video workstation desktops, which CyberPower calls the "Power Video Series." With the ever growing popularity of YouTube and other video sharing sites as well as the cost of HD video cameras continuing to drop, it makes sense that more and more people are looking to edit and produce videos on their computers...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yahoo! To Retain User Data For Only 90 Days
There is a famous New Yorker cartoon from 1993 with a dog using a computer, where the dog says: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The implication is that you can be completely anonymous when online and be anyone, or anything, you want to be. That might have be mostly true in the early 1990's, but privacy advocates will tell you that today it's almost impossible to be completely anonymous online. We leave tracks wherever we go online in the form of stored login data, IP addresses, search terms used, and cookies stored on our own systems. Businesses claim that they need this data in order to deliver relevant content and targeted advertising. Advocates claim that too much personal information winds up get collected and saved about the browsing habits of users...
The CoolIT Domino ALC is an Easy-to-Install CPU Liquid-Cooling Kit for Less Than $80
PC enthusiasts who overclock their desktop systems know that in order to achieve higher clock rates they need to make sure that their system's overclocked components don't overheat. One way to keep an overclocked CPU cool is to use a CPU liquid-cooling kit. Some cooling kits can be difficult to install and can cost upwards of several hundred dollars, which tends to scare some less-technical folks away from giving water cooling a shot. CoolIT Systems, which has made CPU and GPU cooling kits as well as other system cooling solutions for a number of years, is now introducing what it claims is an inexpensive, easy to install, maintenance-free, CPU cooling system, designed to be used by "the masses" (which is their way of saying that the kit is for folks who have been too afraid to try liquid cooling until now)...
Nvidia Looks to Make Netbooks and Nettops Into Full-Fledged PCs With its New Ion Platform
As netbooks and nettop PCs contain to grow in popularity and gain in market share, companies are looking for more ways to make these low power, small-form-factor, and inexpensive computers fulfill more needs. Some might argue that netbooks and nettops are product categories still in search of useful functions. They've made some inroads as second or even third PCs, but their relatively limited performance capabilities have relegated them mostly as cloud-based computers for getting online and little else...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New York State Looks To Implement "iTunes Tax"
How do you stem a state's $15.4 billion budget gap? By implementing the age-old American tradition of creating new taxes, that's how! Because of the current state of the economy and New York State's dire budget woes, New York state residents might be surprised to find that Governor David Paterson's new $121 billion budget proposal looks to tax items and services that have been traditionally been tax free in the state, including digital downloads. According to Ron Deutsch, executive director of the New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness advocacy group, "the governor is nickel-and-diming working class families" with his new budget proposal...
Corsair Allegedly Coming Out With a 2,000MHz DDR3 Memory Kit
We were greatly impressed when A-Data announced that it would be manufacturing DDR3 SDRAM memory modules that could run at 2,133MHz. Even though the price is still unknown for the A-Data XPG DDR3-2133X v2.0 series modules, however, it is a sure bet that they will be very expensive—some enthusiasts are guessing that they will sell in the $600 to $800 range for a 6GB triple-channel memory kit (3x2GB). But hardcore overclockers who are willing to pay almost anything to reap the fastest possible performance will be certain to be the first in line to get their hands on this super fast memory for overclocking their Intel Core i7-based rigs...
Okoro Media Announces a Number of New Intel Core i7-Based, High-End HTPCs
Okoro Media Systems might not have rushed to market with Intel Core i7-based desktop systems like other bigger-named vendors might have, but Okoro is finally unveiling a number of high-end home theater PC (HTPC) models that feature Intel's latest processor technology. All of Okoro's desktop systems are HTPCs, or as Okoro prefers to call them, "Digital Entertainment Systems" (DES). With prices that start at $1,695 (for Okoro's Low Profile Series we reported on last month) and which generally go several thousand dollars higher, Okoro caters almost exclusively to the high-end HTPC market...
Daniel Begun on Fox 61 Morning News: Tech Toys For the Holidays

Monday, December 15, 2008

WSJ Claims Google Not Practicing Net Neutrality
Net neutrality continues to be a hot topic of debate and pundits are queuing up to guess whether President-elect Barack Obama will eventually advocate such legislation. Google has long-held the stance that net neutrality is a good thing and has been frequently outspoken on the issue. But an article in today's Wall Street Journal titled "Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web," indicates that Google is in fact seeking preferential treatment for its traffic, which goes against the very principles of net neutrality...
Prince of Persia 2008 for PC is DRM Free
To DRM or not to DRM, that is the question. (For the uninitiated, DRM stands for digital rights management, and it is a means publishers use to restrict users from making unlicensed copies of software and other digital media--in essence, it is copy protection.) On the one hand, DRM limits the ability of casual users from making copies of media and then giving the copy to someone else. On the other hand, many DRM implementations impact the ability to easily access the media and sometimes even cause the media to be inaccessible--so that while publishers attempt to protect their intellectual property from pirates, they wind up biting the hand that feeds them: paying customers...
The A-Data XPG Gaming Series Memory Modules Are Geared Towards Gaming Enthusiasts Who Want to Stay on a Budget
There is more to a fast system than just a speedy processor; you also need a fast hard drive, graphics card, and memory, as well as a motherboard that supports overclocking and a decent component cooling solution. The problem is, the very fastest, highest-end components also tend to be the most expensive. Take for instance, the 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition. It is presently the fastest consumer-level Intel CPU available—and easily costs around $700 more than the lower-end 2.66GHz Core i7-920. Another example is A-data's recently announced XPS DDR3-2133x v2.0 memory modules, which run at 2,133MHz (twice the speed of the officially-stated speed that the Core i7 platform supports)—A-Data hasn't announced pricing yet, but they are sure to cost considerably more than standard DDR3 SDRAM modules...
Asus Adds a Celeron Processor to the Eee Box Family With the Asus Eee Box B203
Asus's Eee family of netbooks and nettops just got a little bigger. On top of the wide variety of Eee PC netbooks (19 different models to date), the all-in-one Eee Top nettops, and the Intel Atom-based Eee Box nettops, Asus has just added a new Intel Celeron-based Eee Box to the mix, the Asus Eee Box B203. The Eee Box B203 is now the fourth Eee Box to be announced (although the Eee Box B204 and Eee Box B206 have yet to show up on Asus's site). Unlike the B202, B204, and B203, which are all powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, the new B203 comes with an 1.2GHz Intel Celeron C220 processor under its hood...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Harvesting Electricity From Moving Vehicles
"Parasitic energy harvesting" might sound like it is part of a Sci-Fi plot where alien beings feed off of the energy emanating from human bodies, but it is actually a means of reclaiming wasted energy. An Israeli company, Innowattech, says that it holds the patents to technologies that can harvest the mechanical energy from vehicles traveling on surfaces such as roadways, railways, and airport runways, and convert that energy to electricity. Not only does Innowattech have the technology, but it wants to implement it into our highway, rail, and airport infrastructures...
The XFX X58i Motherboard is Geared Towards Core i7 Enthusiasts
As soon as Intel's latest processor technology, the Intel Core i7, was officially launched in November 2008, a slew of Core i7-related products were also announced. These products were mostly either new desktop systems, new motherboards using the new Intel X58 Express chipset, or new triple-channel DDR3 memory kits. As the Core i7 represents the latest iteration of Intel processors, the Core i7 products ran the gamut from entry-level, low-end products up to high-end products designed for the hardcore enthusiast to tweak and overclock. And as the Core i7 presents potentially unprecedented levels of consumer-level computing performance, it is the ideal platform for enthusiasts to work with...
The Sapphire Atomic 4870 X2 is a Limited-Edition Liquid-Cooled Graphics Card
The English-language version of the Greek enthusiast site, HWBox reports that Sapphire Technology is about to introduce a limited edition, liquid-cooled ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2-based graphics card, the Sapphire Atomic 4870 X2. The card features two Radeon 4870 GPUs with a clock speed of 800MHz and 2GB (2x1GB) of 1,000MHz GDDR5 memory...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ericsson & Intel Can Remotely Lock Laptops
Ericsson and Intel have announced that they are collaborating on a way to keep your laptop's contents safe when your laptop goes MIA. Using Intel's Anti-Theft Technology - PC Protection (Intel AT-p) and Ericsson's Mobile Broadband (HSPA) modules, lost or stolen laptops cans be remotely "locked." Similar to Lenovo's recently announced Lockdown Now PC technology, the Ericsson-Intel technology uses SMS messages sent directly to a laptop's mobile broadband chip. Once the chip receives the lock-down message, it passes it to the Intel AT-p function, which is integrated into Intel's Centrino 2 with vPro technology platform...
The $55 Addonics NAS Adapter Turns Any USB Hard Drive Into a NAS Device
You'd be hard-pressed these days to find a family household that doesn't have more than one computer—in fact, it's not unheard of for each family member in a home to each have their own computer (sometimes even more than one per person, such as someone having a desktop and a laptop). But without some sort of centralized storage, it's often difficult to share files with each other. This is one reason why Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are becoming increasingly popular with multi-PC homes. Before you consider plunking down several hundred dollars for a brand new NAS device, however, consider that Addonics Technologies is offering a $55 device that can turn any USB hard drive you already own into a NAS device...
Dell Introduces an Intel Atom-Powered Nettop PC: The Dell OptiPlex 160
If you thought the three-inch-wide Dell Studio Hybrid was a skinny, small-form-factor (SFF) desktop PC, then you'll be even more surprised by the skinnier, 1.85-inch-wide, SFF, Dell OptiPlex 160 "tiny desktop." Unlike the Studio Hybrid, which is meant to act as a full-function desktop computer for consumers, the OptiPlex 160 is actually a low-power nettop pc, designed for "general purpose" business use, "basic" usage (such as e-mail and Web access), and for utilizing cloud-based applications (such as Google Apps)...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coming Soon: Jolicoud, the Netbook-Specific OS
Some folks would argue that trying to use any of today's existing operating systems on a netbook or nettop PC is like trying to stick a Porsche engine into a Volkswagon Beetle. It can be done, but it's not really the best use of the engine or the car. These days, netbooks and nettops tend to come with either Windows XP or Linux installed on them. Low-powered systems might struggle with Windows; and even those units that have the necessary horsepower, typically can't utilize the full functionality of the OS and chew up precious hard drive space with the bloated OS. Linux installs can be streamlined to take up less hard drive space, but Linux is not the most user-friendly OS available--and the OS and its apps tend to intimidate less than tech-savvy users...
The AOpen i45GMt-HD is a Mini-ITX Motherboard For Small HTPCs
The line between our living rooms and computers continues to blur. We've got primetime TV on our PCs with the likes of Hulu and iTunes, and online content streaming to our TVs with devices like the Roku Netflix Player and the Apple TV. But before any of these services or devices vied for our attention, we had the home theater PC (HTPC)—a desktop computer meant to reside in the living room, serving audio and video media to a home theater setup. And while the HTPC continues to gain competition from all sides, the platform still serves the needs of many—with new HTPC products continuing to come to market...
The ATI Radeon HD 4870-Based Gigabyte GV-R487D5-1GD Graphics Card Includes DisplayPort Support
Hardcore gamers know that if you want the fastest possible frame rates, you need the speediest graphic cards available. Unfortunately, few of us are willing to part with the cash needed to purchase these ultra-high-end cards—especially when for the highest level of performance, you'll want to run the cards in pairs or even triples (using ATI CrossFirex or Nvidia's SLI). But the truth is that you can still get powerful gaming performance with single graphics cards that are a few notches down from the top end, and that are also considerably less expensive. With this crowd in mind, Gigabyte has recently announced the Gigabyte GV-R487D5-1GD graphics card—an ATI Radeon HD 4870-based, PCIe 2.0 x16 card with 1GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Own a Piece of Hollywood Sci-Fi History
True science fiction aficionados can often be spotted by their collections of figurines, movie posters, and large Sci-Fi DVD collections. It's typically not enough to just watch the films and read the books--true fans like to steep in a more tangible world where replicas and miniatures can make the experience seem even more real. But for the ultimate Sci-Fi geek, nothing rivals reliving the world of cinema than actually owning an original piece of a favorite movie; we're not talking about a strip of cellulose film here--we're talking about an actual prop, like Luke Skywalker's lightsaber ($150,000) from the first two Star Wars films or the actual cowl ($15,000) worn by Christian Bale in Batman Begins...
Super Talent Announces an SLC-Based SSD Series for Servers and an MLC-Based SSD Series for High-End Laptops and Desktops
When it rains solid state drive (SSD) news, it pours... We just finished reporting on the new SSDs from OCZ, when we learned of two new lines of SSDs from another memory manufacturer stalwart, Super Talent. Super Talent has just announced the UltraDrive LE and UltraDrive ME series of SSDs...
OCZ Adds The "Performance"-Level Vertex Series V2 SATA 2.5" To Its Growing Family of Solid State Drives
Pundits keep telling us that the future of hard disk storage will be Solid State Drives (SSDs), and that this future will be here sooner than we think. SSD drives offer compact storage in devices that have no moving parts, so they are far more durable that traditional platter-based hard drives; and SSDs also have the potential to operate much quicker than traditional drives with both reads and writes. The only reasons why SSDs haven't supplanted traditional hard drives yet as the mass-storage medium of choice are that SSDs are still much more expensive than traditional hard drives and SSDs still come in relatively small storage capacities—especially when compared to today's relatively inexpensive, large-capacity, platter-based drives...
Via Artigo A2000 Barebone Storage Server Is an Inexpensive Home Media Server Solution for DIYers
Media servers might not be a regular household appliance for most people, but with more homes having multiple computers and hard drives filling up with music, photos, and videos, a media server might just be what the connected family needs. Media servers comes in many different shapes, sizes, and prices from a wide variety of vendors—the trait that they all share is that they are designed to store and serve lots of different types of media to multiple PCs in a single household. Via Technologies offers a relatively inexpensive home media solution for DIYers willing to build the server themselves, with its $299 Via Artigo A2000 Barebone Storage Server...

Monday, December 8, 2008

A-Data XPG DDR3-2133X v2.0 Memory Modules for Overclocking Intel Core i7 Memory to 2,133MHz
The recent release of Intel's latest core CPU architecture, the Core i7, has ushered in a new level of blazing performance for desktop PCs; and with it, even potentially higher speeds that enthusiasts can try to push their rigs to via overclocking. In fact, a 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme Edition has already been overclocked to 5,510.09 MHz. But an overclocked system is only as good as the sum of its parts—the higher the individual components can be pushed, the faster a system can go...
Gaming Helmet Lets You Feel Headshots
We're probably still a long way off from a realistic, full-immersion game-playing environment, but one vendor is trying to get us a little closer to the experience--although this company's approach appears to be more akin to using a Holodeck with the safeties turned off (alternatively, if you didn't get the Star Trek reference, it's like paying someone to kick you in the chest or head). The vendor is Redmond, Washington-based TN Games, and it makes force-feedback gaming products that you wear--designed to help you actually feel what is happening inside the game world...

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Versions of CPU-Z and GPU-Z Released
Hardcore PC enthusiasts who try to squeeze every possible MHz out of their systems by overclocking and swapping out core system components need to have access to tools that deliver precise information about those components--especially the respective speeds those components are running at. Two such tools that have long-assisted overclockers and benchmarkers are CPU-Z and GPU-Z--both are free applications that run on Windows machines. CPU-Z gathers information about your system's CPU, motherboad, and memory. GPU-Z gathers information about your system's video cards and GPUs...
Kanguru and OCZ Announce eSATA Flash Drives
The portable flash drive (a.k.a. a "thumb drive," "JumpDrive," "key drive," or "memory key") has long ago supplanted the floppy disk as the primary means of relatively inexpensive, portable media. As a point of comparison, a 2GB portable flash drive can hold as much as roughly 1,422 3.5-inch HD floppy disks. Many actually refer to the portable flash drive as a "USB drive" or "USB flash drive," as the storage device's nearly ubiquitous interface is almost always USB. But not always...
Intel Launches Three New Processors (That Aren't Core i7 CPUs)
The vast majority of attention Intel has received lately has been for the company's new Core i7 CPU architecture for desktop PCs. Three Core i7 processors (the 2.66GHz Core i7-920, the 2.93GHz Core i7-940, and the 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme Edition) and a new motherboard chipset (the X58 Express) were officially unveiled only a couple of weeks ago and have been showing up in a slew of new desktop models, as well as there also being an onslaught of Core i7-supported component announcements, such as motherboards and triple-channel memory kits. While the Core i7 architecture with its integrated memory controller, triple-channel DDR3 SDRAM memory support, new 1366-pin processor socket, and the return of hyper-threading might be getting all the limelight, the Core i7 is not in fact the only new processor to be released by Intel. Just this week, Intel released three new processors for three existing processor lines...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Comcast to Release Bandwidth Usage Meter
The days of "unlimited" broadband Internet access are gone. Many major Internet Service Providers (ISP) claim that providing unfettered access will saturate the available bandwidth and slow down or even halt access for everyone--sort of tantamount to the urban myth that if everyone flushed their toilets at the same time the sewage system would overload. The answer to this ISP-claimed conundrum is to set up speed/pricing tiers and to cap bandwidth usage...
The Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 is a PCIe 1x Low-Profile Soundcard That Uses Creative's X-Fi Audio Chipset
San Jose, California-based Auzentech was the first manufacturer that Creative allowed to design and sell a stand-alone soundcard using Creative's own X-Fi audio chipset. This card was the PCI-based Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1, which was released in the fall of 2007, and is still available from numerous resellers for around $200. Now Auzentech has just announced a second X-Fi-based soundcard, this time a native PCIe 1.1 1x-based card: the Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1...