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News Archives for September 2008

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: September 1, 2008 @ time: 04:33AM
Author: Nemo

Let's get your week started off with another look at the MonCaso HTPC case from Moneual Labs (OCC reviewed the case here). Palit makes an appearance today with offerings from both videocard camps with a GeForce 9800GT and a Radeon HD 4870 up for review. Be sure to check out the rest of the review articles today and for those of you who are off today for the Labor Day holiday - be safe and have fun.

Cases
Moneual MONCASO 972 HTPC Enclosure @ Virtual-Hideout

CPUs
Mobile GPU Comparison Guide Rev. 7.4 @ Tech ARP

Digital Photography/Video
Panasonic HDC-SD9 Camcorder @ NVNews

Power Supplies
Topower PowerBird 1100 watt Modular Power Supply @ TweakTown

Video
Palit GeForce 9800GT Sonic 512MB Video Card @ ThinkComputers
Palit Radeon HD 4870 512MB @ Techgage

Miscellany
x264 HD Benchmark Version 2.0 @ Tech ARP


Complete Story


First Letter Of Your Email Address May Affect How Much Spam You Get

Posted: September 1, 2008 @ time: 06:48AM
Author: jammin

The next time you go to create an email address, you might want to consider the first letter a little more carefully than usual. A study of over 500 million junk email messages by University of Cambridge computer scientist Dr Richard Clayton has revealed that certain starting letters attract a higher proportion of spam. For example, addresses starting with "A" ,"M", "S", "R" and "P" accumulated around 40% spam, while those beginning with "Q", "Y" or "Z" got considerably less (about 20%). Dr Clayton believes the differences in spam numbers could be explained by the way spammers generate the e-mail addresses they send junk mail to. Dictionary attacks (a popular method) commonly re-use common names, which are more likely to start with certain letters. Strangely, the study also showed the starting letter "U" getting more than 50% spam, something that Dr Clayton said would require further research.


Complete Story


ISP Web Tracking Hits a Snag

Posted: September 1, 2008 @ time: 02:30PM
Author: ClayMeow

You would think companies would know better by now....but anything for a quick buck, right? Several ISPs across the U.S. thought they could increase revenues by partnering with a company called NebuAd. The plan sounded simple enough; use NebuAd's web tracking system to help deliver targeted ads to consumers. Even if you've never heard of NebuAd before now, you can probably guess what happened; privacy concerns were immediately raised, even prompting Senate and House sessions on the issue. It's unclear how many, if any, ISPs are still NebuAd users, but it is clear that several have ended their trials indefinitely. Though I see the benefit of such a service by all parties, I think Anick Jesdanun of the Associated Press put it best: "Imagine the post office opening your mail to gauge your preferences and then deciding which catalogs and fliers to leave in your box." Though NebuAd claims they do not read e-mails or register visits to "sensitive" sites, that's not going to ease the minds of most consumers.


Complete Story


Google Browser Reportedly to be Announced

Posted: September 1, 2008 @ time: 03:52PM
Author: Nemo

It seems as if Google is getting into just about everything Internet related and now you can add browser to that list. According to reports, Google's browser, Chrome, is slated to be launched tomorrow. Supposedly, Chrome is an all-new browser that is going to be tab-based with features built in to prevent multiple tabs from slowing your system down. It will also be packed with security features including anti-phishing and sandboxing to isolate malware from the rest of your system.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 03:57AM
Author: Nemo

Thecus is well known for their networked storage solutions and our roundup includes a look at its N3200 3-bay NAS appliance. Also on tap is a sweet-looking HTPC case from Zalman along with Gigabyte's EP45-Extreme motherboard (also reviewed by OCC here). Follow the links below for even more of the latest reviews on keyboards, headphones and videocards.

Cases
Zalman HD160XT Plus Premium HTPC Case @ Tweaknews

Input Devices
NMEDIAPC Wireless Keyboard with Track Ball & Remote Combo Set @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
GIGABYTE EP45-Extreme Motherboard @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 Headset @ RBMods

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N3200 Networked Area Storage (NAS) Server @ Bjorn3D

Video
Palit 9800GT Super+ 1GB Single/SLI Video Card @ motherboards.org


Complete Story


Google Announces Chrome as Expected

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 01:32PM
Author: Nemo

Google finally ended years of speculation on whether it would enter the browser market by formally announcing its first browser version named Chrome. As typical of Google, Chrome was released in beta format and is currently available for Windows and XP only. Google has said it is working on versions for Mac and Linux with no set release date. The Chrome download page contains links to more information about the browser. Analysts are seeing Chrome as more than a browser though. As Google takes on the likes of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and, eventually, Safari, Chrome needs to offer a lot more than a way to access search pages. This could be Google's web OS with access to Google's search and software applications and another way to pt ads in front of users. Some analysts seem to be quite excited over Chrome, but may be prematurely predicting the demise of Microsoft’s presence in the browser and search markets.


Complete Story


Dell Set to Announce Netbook This Week

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 01:45PM
Author: Nemo

Call them mini-notebooks, mobile Internet devices, netbooks or whatever, the ultraportable market got a little more crowded today. Dell announced it is joining the likes of Asustek, Lenovo, MSI and Acer with its own mini notebook. Dell wouldn't release any details but information has been floating around the web for a couple of weeks. The device is reportedly to be named Inspiron Mini 9 and come with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, SSD support and up to 1GB memory. The launch date is expected to be later this week but Dell is remaining mum on any further details.


Complete Story


Early Speed Tests on Google's Chrome

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 05:54PM
Author: IIxNullxII

With the official announcement of Google's Chrome web browser just a few hours past, we already have preliminary benchmark data thanks to the folks over at Cnet Tech news. Google has been kind enough to provide a web site to pit their new browser against your current favorite. Head on over to the benchmark page and give it a try. Keep in mind that for now it’s just a test on how well browsers can handle JavaScript; keep your eyes peeled as we will be posting new data as it becomes available.


Complete Story


GIGABYTE P45 Boards Now Offer Native Support for 1333MHz DDR2 Memory

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 07:22PM
Author: Nemo

If you read the OCC review of Gigabyte's EP-45 Extreme motherboard you know the board supports DDR2 1200MHz memory. That's about to change as Gigabyte has announced that all of its P45 chipset boards will now natively support DDR2 1333MHz memory with a simple BIOS upgrade. In addition, the company is also bumping the P43 boards up to DDR2 1200MHz speeds. These increases are not limited to just a few boards in their extensive lineup but will be available to all 10 P45 and 4 P43 boards currently offered by Gigabyte. Just head on over to their web site and choose your board to download the latest BIOS upgrade.


Complete Story


GO OC 2008 Open Overclocking Championship Event

Posted: September 2, 2008 @ time: 07:59PM
Author: Nemo

Later this month, overclockers from around the world will be gathering in Taipei, Taiwan to take part in the Gigagbyte Open Overclocking Championship. Contestants from around the world representing 23 different countries are slated to take part. There will be two different events - Battle for the Best P45 OC and a Free Style Contest. Contestants were culled from regional competitions held worldwide with the winners in each area chosen to take part in the world championship. In addition to the world crown and bragging rights, the winner will receive prizes worth over $5,000 US including cash and products from sponsors. Gigabyte has garnered support from the likes of Intel, AMD with its Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards, Corsair memory and Western Digital's VelociRaptor drives. You can get more information and up to the date news from the GO OC 2008 site.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 03:44AM
Author: Nemo

We've been following Google's announcement of it's browser, Chrome, and our roundup includes a detailed looked at what's under the hood. Some people may believe the writing is on the wall for traditional disk drives and that solid state drives are the future. SSDs offer many benefits over traditional hard drives, but currently price is not one of them. So what do traditional storage technologies have to offer that can compete against SSDs? Take a look at the latest Cheetah 15K RPM drives from Seagate. There's lots more in today's roundup including the NZXT Tempest case (also reviewed by OCC here), monitors, mice and a pair of power supplies.

Cases

NZXT Tempest Crafted Series Mid-Tower Case @ PC Perspective

CPUs
Desktop CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 5.7 @ Tech ARP

Input Devices
The Best Gaming Mouse: Logitech vs. Razer vs. Microsoft @ TechSpot

Monitors
ViewSonic VX1962wm 19-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor @ ThinkComputers

Peripherals
Samsung SCX-4500 - Not Your Average All-in-One Laser Printer @ ExtremeMHz

Power Supplies
Xigmatek NRP-HC1001 1000w PSU @ [H]ardOCP
GlacialPower GP-AL650 Power Supply @ Virtual-Hideout

Software
Chrome - Google's Attempt at the 'Ultimate Browser' @ Techgage

Storage/Hard Drives
Seagate Cheetah X15K.6 Hard Drive @ HotHardware
iStarUSA xAge-N99-US USB 2.0 Hard Drive Docking Station @ Legit Reviews

Miscellany
Maximum Risk HD Movie @ TweakTown


Complete Story


The Ultimate Excuse for Building an HTPC

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: Nemo

According to a recent study, owning a DVR can improve your relationship. That alone may be just the ticket to convincing your other half to give you the green light for that home theater PC you've been wanting to build. The study was commissioned by a company that makes digital pay TV equipment and looked at 1,000 DVR users from the U.S., U.K., Italy and Australia. Of the U.S. participants, 79 percent said DVR ownership has improved their relationship with 43 percent reporting they are happier in their current relationship because of the DVR recording and time shifting capabilities. While we're spouting statistics, 80 percent of those with a DVR said they couldn't live without it ranking the device just behind the washing machine and microwave in terms of importance.


Complete Story


Commodore Brand Coming to a Netbook Near You

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 04:34PM
Author: Nemo

It may not have much in terms of lineage with the Commodore computers of yore, but a Dutch company began showing off a 10-inch netbook at the recent IFA 200 show in Berlin. Yeahronimo Media Ventures, dba Commodore International Corporation, had the device on display at the show using the tongue-twisting name of UMMD 8010/F. The device will have 10" screen, an 80GB drive and 1GB RAM. Bucking recent trend where everyone else seems to using Intel's Atom processor, the UMMD 8010/F will be running on Via's C7-M 1.6GHz processor and use Windows XP as the OS.


Complete Story


Free Wireless Broadband by Fall 2009?

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 04:58PM
Author: ClayMeow

Two weeks ago, I reported that the FCC Chairman is pushing for free wireless broadband across the United States. Now, a small wireless start-up called M2Z plans to do just that. As last reported, the FCC will be auctioning off a portion of wireless airwaves next year and M2Z hopes to snatch it up. Aside from the usual opponents to the plan, like T-Mobile, M2Z will most likely have to worry about phone and cable TV companies as well. After all, if M2Z accomplishes what it's setting out to do, those companies will have to either charge less or provide better speed and services. The spectrum is expected to go for at least $50 million and for a start-up that was founded in 2006, that could be a tall order. M2Z's chairman and co-founder, Milo Medin, wouldn't divulge details on the funding but stated that they are very confident they can raise the money needed to construck the network and launch the free service. Once live, the service will be ad-supported, and if all goes according to plan, available to 95% of the country. Big plans for a two-year old company with eight employees, but I for one hope they can pull it off.


Complete Story


When You Need A New USB Drive, Who Ya Gonna Call?

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 04:59PM
Author: Nemo

We're all used to getting games and what not as bundled accessories with hardware we buy, but this could be a first - a USB stick with a movie pre-installed. PNY is bundling Ghostbusters on it 2GB flash drives. Although the movie includes DRM protection, you can download it onto your PC and play it as long as the USB drive is plugged in. In addition to the movie, PNY claims the stick will hold an additional 12 hours of video, 33 hours of music along with over 1,000 pictures. Just remember - don't cross the streams.


Complete Story


Chrome's Tracking Raises Concerns

Posted: September 3, 2008 @ time: 06:30PM
Author: ClayMeow

As we previously announced, Google released its new broswer Chrome early this week. Not surprisingly, many OCCers quickly downloaded and tested it out for themselves; after all, we're all computer enthusiasts here, right? But almost just as immediately, Google's trustworthiness was brought into question in the forums. Well it seems privacy advocates are equally concerned. That's because, by default, Google records your IP address as well as anything you type in its "Omnibox" (aka. the address bar). And by everything, I mean everything...whether you hit Enter or not. Did you wonder how Chrome could present results in its Omnibox in real-time as you type, similar to Vista's Instant Search? Sure, it goes thru your broswer history first, but it also sends the data to Google's servers to analyze what you're typing and figure out the best sites or searches to display. Google says that if a user turns off the auto-suggest feature, selects a default search provider other than Google, or uses the "Incognito" mode then data won't get sent to its servers. Nevertheless, for many paranoid users (and let's face it, there are a lot of them nowadays), they still won't feel secure with a browser with Google's name on it.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: September 4, 2008 @ time: 02:18AM
Author: Nemo

Looking at videocards in our roundup today, we see cards at both ends of the spectrum. at the high end of the performance (and price) spectrum we have another look at the ATI HD 4870 X2. At the other end, we have a pair of Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT cards. The TRENDNet wireless N adapter is a fairly cost effective way to upgrade your laptop to 802.11n connectivity, but can it deliver on the promised speeds? Follow the link to find out just how well it performs.

Cooling
Xigmatek HDT-S1284EE Heatsink @ FrostyTech

Networking
TRENDnet TEW-624UB 300Mbps Wireless N USB 2.0 Adapter @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Antec Signature Series 850W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Video
Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 @ Bjorn3D
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 @ [H]ardOCP
ZOTAC GeForce 9500 GT ZONE Edition Graphics Card @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Sony Issues Recall for 73,000 Vaio Notebooks

Posted: September 4, 2008 @ time: 07:33PM
Author: Nemo

Sony today issued a voluntary recall for 19 models of it Vaio notebook family due to faulty wiring that could potentially present a burn hazard. Sony received 15 complaints concerning the overheating hazard with 6 users reporting minor burns. It seems as if the problem lies in faulty wiring near the laptop's hinges. Sony is providing a web site and a toll free number in support of the recall. Users can check the web site to see if their laptop is affected by the recall. This isn't Sony's first recall involving overheating. Approximately two years ago Sony issued a previous recall over batteries that could result in the laptop overheating.


Complete Story


Patriot Viper 4GB DDR3 PC3-16000 Memory

Posted: September 4, 2008 @ time: 08:40PM
Author: Nemo

Patriot Memory today released a new set of high-density, low-latency memory modules. Part of its Viper series of performance memory, the DDR3 2000MHz memory kit comes as a 2 x 2GB set of memory modules rated at 9-9-9-24 at 2.0V. Equipped with Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP), the memory will boot at the rated specifications on boards supporting the Epp2.0 standard. These kits are geared toward gamers and overclockers looking to expand memory capacity without sacrificing performance. As with other members of the Viper lineup, the kits come equipped with the signature Viper heat shields featuring an aluminum-copper composite for maximum performance under extreme conditions.  Patriot is also offering a 2GB (2 x 1GB) version as well.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: September 5, 2008 @ time: 04:03AM
Author: Nemo

We have a strong finish to the week with quite a few items in today's roundup starting with the NZXT Avatar gaming mouse (you can read OCC's review here). There is the Razer Goliathus mouse pad to go along with that. In the cooling arena we have a pair of reviews on the CNPS9300 AT heatsink from Zalman and a look at Titan Cool Idol heatsink. With the battle between Nvidia and AMD/ATI still in full swing, users are presented with a wonderful array of choices and our roundup includes a few more with looks at the top end cards from both camps as well as a pair of cards from ASUS.

Cases
Nexus Clodius Case @ RBMods

Cooling
Zalman CNPS9300 AT @ XSReviews
Zalman CNPS9300AT Heatsink @ FrostyTech
Titan Cool Idol TTC-NK75TZ(RB) CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Leaked slide echoes January 45nm Phenom launch @ Tech Report
Fall Processor Pricing - Finding the Best Bang for the Buck @ Techgage

Input Devices
NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse @ TweakTown

Mouse Pads
Razer Goliathus Speed Edition Mouse Pad @ Bjorn3D

Networking
Is Your Linksys SD2008 Switch Overheating or Losing Connectivity? @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
4-Way SSD Round-up - OCZ, Super Talent and Mtron @ HotHardware
Thermaltake Vi-On Actively Cooled SATA/USB2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure @ Tweaknews

Video
Geforce GTX 280 & Radeon HD 4870 X2 AA Scaling with XP & Vista @ Madshrimps
ASUS EAH3850 X2 1GB Graphics Card @ Virtual-Hideout
ASUS ENGTX260 TOP GeForce GTX 260 Graphics Card @ Tech ARP


Complete Story


The Comcast-FCC Battle Rages On

Posted: September 5, 2008 @ time: 07:22AM
Author: ClayMeow

Last month, the FCC said that Comcast was violating the federal policy that "guarantees unfettered access to the Internet" by selectively blocking customers' Internet traffic. It all started when Comcast began aborting trasmissions from file-sharing software without informing customers. The FCC ruled that Comcast's practices were "discriminatory and arbitrary"; it wasn't up to Comcast to control what its customers could and could not do on the Internet. Comcast was ultimately forced by the FCC to disclose its "discriminatory network management" within 30 days of the ruling, and also must present a new plan to the stop these practices by year's end. Not surprisingly, Comcast isn't exactly thrilled over this ruling and as such, has appealed the case to the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, seeking review of the case and a reversal of the ruling. We'll have to wait and see how this pans out.


Complete Story


Samsung Considering Purchase of SanDisk

Posted: September 5, 2008 @ time: 10:40AM
Author: Nemo

Reports are circulating today that Samsung has its eye on flash memory maker SanDisk. Samsung is the largest memory maker in the world and is interested in SanDisk flash and solid state drive products. Samsung confirmed it was considering opportunities with SanDisk but said nothing has been decided yet. The prolonged slump in flash prices has cut SanDisk's market value with it stock price dropping from $80 in 2006 to below $14 yesterday. The purchase, if it occurs, would serve to increase Samsung's market share while reducing its licensing costs. SanDisk and Toshiba have a joint venture in producing flash memory and a move by Samsung could drastically affect the market dynamics and shift some of the market power away from Toshiba.


Complete Story


Wireless HDMI Unveiled at CEDIA

Posted: September 5, 2008 @ time: 07:33PM
Author: ClayMeow

Is your home theater system plagued by way too many wires? Well, if they have HDMI connections, you may be in luck. At least three companies unveiled wireless HDMI products at CEDIA* Expo in Denver, CO this week; Monster Cable, Belkin and Gefen. Monster Cable's transmitter and receiver combo has an MSRP of $699 and is expected in late 2009. Belkin's FlyWire Wireless system is expected to ship in November with an MSRP of $1499.99, but you can pre-order now for $999. Lastly, Gefen has two wireless HDMI devices; the first one is scheduled to ship late September with an estimated price of $700, while the second one is scheduled for November release with an estimated price of $1000. But before you jump at the chance to have wireless HDMI, as with any first-generation products, do your research! There are no industry standards at the moment and as such, the devices are using different wireless chipsets and/or encoding technologies, thus making cross-compatibility unlikely.

*CEDIA stands for Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association and "is an international trade association of companies that specialize in planning and installing electronic systems for the home."


Complete Story


Dell Looking to Shed Manufacturing Facilities?

Posted: September 5, 2008 @ time: 07:48PM
Author: Nemo

AMD may not be the only company with an Asset Lite strategy. If reports from the Wall Street Journal are true, Dell could be looking to sell a large portion of its worldwide manufacturing facilities over the next year and a half. Dell wouldn't comment on the speculation but a spokesman did point out that the company has publicly stated its intention to strengthen its ties to original design manufacturers and increase its use of third parties to make some of its products. This would be a significant change for Dell as it built its business and reputation on being able to tightly control its own manufacturing process and delivering a better range of customized computers than its competitors. Dell's stock recently took a hit as its performance fell below analysts' expectations.  Although revenues were up, margins had narrowed, so this rumor may be based on Dell's intention to become leaner and moving to greater use of ODMs could be a way to reduce costs and trim the balance sheet at the same time.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: September 6, 2008 @ time: 09:01AM
Author: Nemo

Our weekend roundup includes a pair of motherboards from Gigabyte. First in line is a P45 chipset board - the GA-EP45T-Extreme. On the AMD side of things, Gigabyte offers the GA-MA790GP-DS4H based on the 790GX chipset. What else do we have in store for you this weekend? The Thecus N5200BR NAS server offers a myriad of choices in terms of RAID and number of drives. There is also coverage of PAX, videos cards from NVIDIA and more. Enjoy your reading and the rest of the  weekend.

Motherboards
Gigabyte GA-EP45T-Extreme Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H Motherboard Gigabyte @ motherboards.org

Power Supplies
BFG Tech ES Series 800W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N5200BR NAS Server @ Legit Reviews

Trade Shows/Conventions
Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) 2008 @ Virtual-Hideout

Video
ZOTAC GeForce 9800 GTX+ ZONE Edition Graphics Card @ TweakTown
ASUS ENGTX260 TOP GeForce GTX 260 Graphics Card @ Tech ARP


Complete Story


Technology of Yesteryear: 1998

Posted: September 6, 2008 @ time: 03:13PM
Author: IIxNullxII

Although it may not seem like it to some of the younger generation, we've come a long way in the past 10 years. Google, iPods, HDTV, Bluray etc. I wanted to share with you some interesting tidbits from PC past by taking a look at some old magazines found stashed away deep in the corners of the OverclockersClub.com vault.

HomePC: March 1998 headline: Ultimate Gaming! It's all in the 3D cards.

The first thing I see when I open this issue is a massive desktop PC, complete with gigantic speakers and a CRT that looks like it weighs 50 lbs. Skipping ahead to the main article, I'm greeted with: "New 3D video accelerators and sound cards can add mind-blowing realism to your games". Sounds great, right? Let's take a look.

The writer tells us about how he can hear enemies from behind in the game Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II because he just installed a new 3D sound card. Awesome, but what caught my eye was the test machine he was using. A HP Pavilion 7350P with a 166Mhz Pentium MMX CPU, 32 MB of RAM and a 2D/3D S3 ViRGE graphics card. Yikes. The various highlights of the article include: "What is a dedicated 3D video accelerator for?" and "Will 3D video acceleration improve performance on a 200-MHz PC as well as on a 100-MHz system?". We all know the answers to those questions, so no need to go into detail. Overall the author does a great job at explaining what was at the time, new and powerful technology.

In closing, I'd like to share the specs of a 3D Card you might have expected to see on the store shelves:

A 3Dfx Voodoo graphics video processor on a Diamond Monster 3D board would have featured 2MB of frame buffering memory and 2MB of texture memory. The APIs supported were Direct3D, Glide and OpenGL. Games included: Descent II, EF2000, Hyperblade, MechWarrior2, VR Soccer and Whiplash. (6 games!) Pros: Excellent performance & generous software bundle. Cons: Only 2MB texture memory. And the price? $179.


What will the future bring? We'll have to wait for 2018 to see. Thats it for this edition of: Technology of yesteryear: 1998.


Complete Story


Happy Birthday, Google

Posted: September 6, 2008 @ time: 11:54PM
Author: ClayMeow

Ten years ago, the Internet was changed forever...scratch that...the world was changed forever. On September 7, 1998, equipped with a mere four computers and $100k from investor Andy Bechtolsheim, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google Inc. Ten years later, the company is worth $150 billion, employees nearly 20,000 people, and is one of the most well known brands in the world. It's hard to imagine a world without Google, as it has become synonymous with searching; so much so, that in 2007, "google" officially became a verb. So we at OCC would like to take our hats off to Google and its founders and wish them many more successful years ahead.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: September 8, 2008 @ time: 03:50AM
Author: Nemo

The Asus Eee PC was the catalyst for jump starting the ultra-portable PC market. Today we get a look at one of the latest versions, the Eee PC 901 as well as an evaluation of the 2G Surf after several months of hands on use. AMD's 4800 series videocards make an appearance with reviews of the HD 4870 x2 and HD 4850 cards. Today's roundup also includes enclosures from Apevia and Hiper, a review of Gigabyte's EP45T-DS3R motherboard and more.

Cases
Apevia X-Sniper Case @ Overclocker Cafe
Hiper Osiris Mid-Tower Enclosure @ TweakTown

Gaming
Star Wars The Force Unleashed Demo @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
Gigabyte EP45T-DS3R Intel P45 DDR3 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Notebooks
Asus' Eee PC 901 netbook @ Tech Report
Messing around with the ASUS Eee PC 2G Surf @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies
Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W PSU @ RBMods

Video
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Overclocking Guide Rev. 2.0 @ Tech ARP
HIS Radeon HD4870x2 @ Overclocker Cafe
MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card @ motherboards.org


Complete Story


10 Tips and Tricks for Google's Chrome

Posted: September 8, 2008 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: IIxNullxII

Continuing our coverage of Google's new Chrome, we would like to share what the guys over at PC World have put together, a quick list of Tips for the new browser. Go have a look!

*Keyboard Shortcuts
*Custom Searches
*An Easter Egg
*Larger Comment Boxes
*Adding a Home Button
*Exploring Tabs
*Privacy Settings
*Incognito Links
*Adding the Google Toolbar
*Mod Firefox to Run Like Chrome


Complete Story


Lamp-free & Liquid-cooled 1080p Projector Unveiled at CEDIA

Posted: September 8, 2008 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: ClayMeow

Liquid-cooling PCs has increased in popularity over the last few years, but it's still seen as a hardcore, geeky thing to do. Taiwanese OEM / ODM supplier Chilin Technology is hoping to bring liquid-cooling to the mainstream, but this time in a projector. Partnering with Luminus Devices and Texas Instruments, Chilin has produced the world's first "lamp-free 1080p projector with liquid cooling" with some impressive specs; 600 ANSI lumens, 100,000:1 contrast ration, 128% NTSC color gamut, and 50,000 hours of lamp life. Sadly, no price or release date has been stated.


Complete Story


HP Announces 24-Hour Notebook Battery Life

Posted: September 8, 2008 @ time: 06:50PM
Author: Nemo

Hewlett-Packard today announced a specially configured version of its EliteBook 6930p notebook the company claims has a 24-hour battery life. In order to achieve the extended run, the notebook makes use of several features starting with a 12-cell lithium ion battery along with a solid-state drive in place of a traditional hard drive. In addition, HP will also offer an optional 14.1 inch LED that can extend battery life by an additional 20 percent. The downside to the larger battery is the additional 1.8 pounds to the notebook's weight.


Complete Story


Job Ad Gives Clue to Windows Home Server Future

Posted: September 8, 2008 @ time: 08:00PM
Author: Nemo

Deciphering a job ad on a Seattle-area computer jobs web site reveals a few clues about the direction Microsoft wants to take with its Windows Home Server product. According to the posting, Microsoft wants to take on Apple's Time Capsule. According to the ad, Microsoft is looking to spruce the Windows Home Serve UI by adding backup and restore features and integration with Windows Media Center and Live Mesh. It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Home Server.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 03:48AM
Author: Nemo

Competition is a good thing as it fosters innovation, drives down prices and offers consumers more choices. Nowhere is that more evident than in the videocard market as the war between AMD and Nvidia has given us the AMD's 4000-series cards and the GTX 260/280 cards from Nvidia. With AMD back in the competition, Nvidia has had to respond with lower prices and additional product offerings. But competition has not been limited to just videocards. Lately the 'green' movement has brought us an array of choices from motherboard makers as well and our roundup includes a look at a comparison of energy saving technologies from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI.

Cases
Ultra Grid ATX Case @ OCModShop
Rosewill's Conqueror enclosure @ Tech Report
NZXT Khaos - Evolution of the PC chassis @ Bjorn3D

Input Devices
OCZ Dominatrix Gaming Mouse @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ASUS EPU 6 vs. MSI DrMOS vs. GIGABYTE DES Advanced @ TweakTown
ECS GF8200A Motherboard @ Virtual-Hideout

Storage/Hard Drives
Seagate FreeAgent Go 120GB Portable Hard Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
Palit Radeon HD4870X2 Videocard @ PCSTATS
ATI HD Radeon 4850 vs NVIDIA Geforce 9800 GTX @ Madshrimps
XFX GeForce GTX 280 and 260 XXX Edition @ [H]ardOCP
Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 @ TechSpot
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series Fan Hacking Guide @ Tech ARP


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Hardware Roundup: Intel X25-M Solid State Drive Edition

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 04:42AM
Author: Nemo

Solid state drives are being heralded as the future of storage and some say that traditional hard drives will be relegated to the secondary roles just as tape technology is today. Yesterday, Intel began shipping an 80GB version of its SSDs announced at IDF last month. The first drives come in 1.8- and 2.5-inch formats and are based on multi-level cell technology. Pricing will be $595 in 1,000 unit quantities with a 160GB version to released later this year. SSDs have already shown up in applications such as notebooks with Asus' Eee netbook being a prime example. HP was the first manufacturer to jump on the X25-M bandwagon with it's announcement yesterday of the HP EliteBook 6930p and its 24-hour battery life. The lighter weight, reduced power budget and greater shock resistance make SSDs idea for mobile applications, but how do these devices stack up to traditional drives in terms of performance? We have several reviews of the latest from Intel so read on to find out.

Intel X25-M 80GB Solid State Hard Drive @ PC Perspective
Intel's X25-M solid-state drive @ Tech Report
Intel X25-M 80GB SATA Solid State Drive, Intel Ups The Ante @ HotHardware
Intel X25-M SATA Solid State Drive @ Legit Reviews


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Google Caves on Data Retention Period

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 10:29AM
Author: Nemo

Like a petulant child refusing to admit to wrongdoing, Google is reluctantly reducing the retention period for storing IP addresses in its logs to nine months. Google is under increased pressure and scrutiny on several fronts, both here in the States as well as Europe, over its data retention policies as well as its pending pact with Yahoo where Google will sell ads through Yahoo's portal. In April of this year the European Union working party on privacy issues declared that six months was sufficient time to hang on to IP addresses used in searches and must be anonymized after that time. Google has maintained it needed data for at least 18 months to improve the users' experience. Now Google has said, rather reluctantly, that it will reduce that period to nine months but maintains it will be difficult to implement and does little to increase users' privacy while making it more difficult to prevent fraud.


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London Stock Exchange Back in Business

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 10:43AM
Author: Nemo

The London Stock Exchange was back in business Tuesday after a Monday outage that lasted almost an entire day. The LSE electronic trading system was taken off line Monday approximately 45 minutes after trading began and service was not restored until 16:30 (BST). The exchange is not revealing the reason for the problems, although it said the cause has been identified and a fix put in place. A spokeswoman did say that the problem was software related and was due to two "unpredictable events" occurring simultaneously. Trading was resumed after the fix went in and trading is now back to normal.


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Google Working to Expand Newspaper Archiving Project

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 11:02AM
Author: Nemo

Google is nothing if not ambitious and it has announced it is expanding on a project begun in 2006 with the New York Times and the Washington Post to index digital archives of old newspapers. According to Google's blog, the project has been expand with the goal of digitizes every story from small local papers to the largest national papers. Initially the goal is to make these papers searchable via Google's news archive and ultimately make them searchable via a standard Google search. Each article will be available in its original format, not just n text form. That means not only can you read the original article, but you'll have access to any photographs, headlines and even advertisements as they originally appeared.


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Sapphire HD 4670 and HD 4650 Cards

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 02:24PM
Author: jammin

September will see ATI following up on the highly successful 4800 series cards with the introduction of the more mainstream oriented HD 4670 and HD 4650 GPUs. Sapphire, the largest supplier of ATI based cards will be releasing a number of cards based on these GPUs, which aim to provide superior performance for equal or less cost than competing NVIDIA offerings. The first of these cards, which should be popping up at retailers as very soon is the HD 4670 (pictured). Sporting the 55nm RV730 XT GPU running at 750MHz and 512MB of GDDR3 running at 1000MHz it will launch at $79, with Sapphire claiming decent performance increases (almost double in some cases) over the 9500 GT. A 1GB version of the card with slightly slower DDR3 memory will also be coming in late September. You can expect to see the HD 4650 cards at around that time as well, with a 512MB GDDR3 version for $75 and DDR2 versions starting at $69.


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Online Dating for Animals

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 03:26PM
Author: ClayMeow

Sorry, this isn't a joke about your ex or annoying sibling. Rather, it's the new path zookeepers are taking to match up animals for breeding. Zoological Information Management Systems is new software hitting the Web that acts much like the online dating sites for humans. The system isn't expected to see wide distribution for at least a year, but so far there are about 150 zoos and aquariums collaborating...sharing such information like age, sex, weight, and yes, even an animal's personality. Most importantly, the system will allow zookeepers to share important information regarding species-specific mating habits, improving the chance of successful breeding. Currently, the offline databases used for such things are out-dated, so having an online repository for such information would be a huge step.


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Microsoft Releases New BlueTrack Mice

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 09:28PM
Author: Nemo

Microsoft announced two new mice featuring its patented BlueTrack technology. Billed by Microsoft as a laser-killer, BlueTrack is designed to function on virtually all surfaces including reflective surfaces where laser and optical mice fall short. The new Explorer mice will come in two versions - one regular sized and an Explorer Mini that is a travel sized version selling for $100 US and $80 respectively. Microsoft continued it new product spree with its Arc mouse and Wireless Mobile mouse, ergonomic and gaming keyboards and two new web cams. These new products will become available beginning in late September and continuing through October and November.


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O3b Networks Plans Satellite Network for Internet Service

Posted: September 9, 2008 @ time: 09:38PM
Author: Nemo

Google's name popped up again today in connection with a new announcement from a company named O3b Networks. Google is providing the financial backing for a constellation of 16 satellites planned for an equatorial orbit once launched. The satellites will provide Internet service to markets throughout Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Designed to provide speeds of up to 10 Gbps, O3b plans to offer the service to regional ISPs. In addition to Google, O3b has also lined up two other primary investors.


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Apple Makes New Nano Official

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 02:27AM
Author: IIxNullxII

After numerous leaks and rumors of the newly redesigned iPod Nano, the much anticipated official release is now... official. The new Nano has moved away from the short, fat design and back to its roots of tall and slim. Check out some hands on pictures over on Engadget, as well as the wrap-up of Apple's 'Let's Rock' event. Starting at a very reasonable $149 for the 8GB model and going up to $199 for the 16GB model will get you 2,000 and 4,000 songs respectively. This new model will also sport a built-in accelerometer, giving it the ability to change display orientation by rotating the device onto its side. With the addition of the accelerometer, Apple has added the feature 'Shake to shuffle' which, as it's name suggests, lets you give the device a little shake to shuffle to a new song. So if you’re one of the 10 people on earth without an iPod (like me) it may be time to finally bite the bullet.


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$699 PC To Run Crysis Warhead

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 03:09AM
Author: IIxNullxII

With the original Crysis, you had to have a seriously beefy rig just to play with the settings anywhere near high quality, but what about the new sequel, Crysis Warhead? EA has announced a PC built specifically to run the new FPS. The price? $699. Specs include an Intel Core 2 Duo E7300, GeForce 9800GT and 2GB of RAM. Those of us with systems running anything better will obviously be in great shape. Optomized to run the game at 30fps, but still no word on what settings this PC is meant to run the game at. Full specs, as well as some new screenshots, can be found over at BigDownload.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 03:50AM
Author: Nemo

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few months, you're probably aware of all the new offerings from AMD and Nvidia in the ongoing war for videocard supremacy. Sometimes though, spending upwards of $300 is either not in the cards (pun intended) or just not necessary. Both sides have been filling in the niches below their top of the line graphics cards and that's where the HD4670 from AMD and the 9500GT from Nvidia come in. These cards are targeted at the below $100 market and may just be ideal for a HTPC setup. Speaking of which, the SilverStone ST45NF 450W power supply is a low-noise PSU due to its fan-less design and quiet operation is a key factor in a good home theater PC build.

Cooling
nPowerTek NPH-775-140HC Heatsink @ FrostyTech

Memory
Aeneon Xtune PC3-12800 @ XSReviews
OCZ Flex II 4GB PC2-9200 DDR2 Memory @ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
MSI P35 Platinum Combo Intel P35 Express Motherboard @ PCSTATS

Power Supplies
SilverStone Nightjar ST45NF 450W Fan-less PSU @ PC Perspective
Thermaltake Toughpower Power Express 650W VGA Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Mega Fifteen-way USB 2.0 Flash Drive Roundup @ TweakTown

Video
Twintech 9600 GT Overclocked With Phase-Change Cooling @ Madshrimps
Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 in Crossfire @ TweakTown
HD 4670 Review: Mainstream muscle card? @ Neoseeker
Leadtek WinFast PX9500GT @ Bjorn3D
Geforce 9500 GT SLI vs Geforce 9600 GT Performance Comparison @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Audio Archiving Guide: Part 1 - Music Formats @ Techgage


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Stock Holder Sues Nvidia Over Faulty GPUs

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 06:48AM
Author: IIxNullxII

Angry Nvidia share holder Lisa Miller has filed suit against the GPU manufacturer on behalf of shareholders and customers. She claims that Nvidia knew about the faulty units as far as a year back, and that the information was withheld from shareholders. Alleging that anyone who purchased stock between November 8th 2007 and July 2nd of 2008 were misinformed. Stating that had the problems been disclosed, Nvidia's stock would have had an obvious impact at the time, thus prompting a much different buying pattern. See the whole story over at Bit-Tech.Net.


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Intel Readies Six-Core Xeon 7400 for Release

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 10:59AM
Author: Nemo

Intel is expected to release its six-core Xeon 7400 processor to coincide with VMWare's VMWorld conference that begins next week in Las Vegas. The Xeon 7400, formerly known by the code name Dunnington, is based on a single piece of silicon, unlike Intel's quad-core processors which use a pair of dual-core chips. This processor is aimed squarely at the virtualization market allowing users to run a greater number of virtual machines on one physical server. The Xeon 7400 will also be useful for large transaction-based applications and databases which already take advantage of multi-threading. AMD is also working on a six-core chip, named Istanbul, but isn't expected to make it to market until the second half of 2009.


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Powercolor Introduces 4600 Series Cards

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 02:43PM
Author: jammin

Yesterday we talked about the introduction of the new 4600 series GPU cards from Sapphire, and today it is Powercolor's turn to get in on the action. The lineup of cards from the company is much the same as those we talked about yesterday, with two flavours of the HD 4670 and three versions of the HD 4650. There are some obvious differences however, the main one being the cooling setups employed. Powercolor has opted to use a Zerotherm dual slot solution on its two HD 4670 cards (pictured), which come in same 512MB GDDR3 and 1GB DDR3 varities as the Sapphire cards (with memory running at 1GHz and 873MHz repsectively). Core speeds on both 4670 cards is 750MHz. The HD 4650 cards also appear to diverge from stock cooling, with a modest cooler used on the 1GB and 512MB versions (clock speeds of 600Mhz and memory speeds of 500Mhz on both of those). In addition to that there is the SCS3 HD 4650, which carries a large passive cooler for silent operation. Pricing and availability aren't mentioned, but I wouldn't be surprised if those were reasonably in line with the Sapphire parts also.


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World's Largest Physics Experiment Off To A Good Start

Posted: September 10, 2008 @ time: 03:03PM
Author: jammin

The worlds of physics and computing naturally find their paths crossing on numerous occasions (the undertanding of how tiny circuits behave has paved the way for todays powerful CPUs), so the switch-on of the Large Hardon Collider at Cern on the Swiss-French border will probably be of interest to some of you. The £5bn (nearly $9bn) machine was started for the first time today, with two beams of protons being fired around the 27km tunnel. These were simply test beams fired around the circuit in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Scientists aren't sure when exactly they will run the first collisions (where the beams smash into each other in an attempt to create conditions simlar to those found a short time after the big bang), but these could come within the next few days (albeit it at low energies). So you still have time to worry about all the highly improbable consequences of what could go wrong yet.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: September 11, 2008 @ time: 04:00AM
Author: Nemo

If you've been following the news on the front page here at OCC this week, you know that AMD has introduced a new series videocards. The 4600 series will consist of HD 4650 and HD 4670 cards and are being billed as 'mainstream' GPUs designed to fill in the niche below AMD's 4800 series and will be priced under $100 US. Today's roundup includes two reviews of the Radeon HD 4670 GPUs. Keeping your rig cool while maintaining a sane level of noise is the perfect job for a fan controller such as NZXT's Sentry LX (also reviewed by OCC here). Intel's P45 chipset has proven to be a very popular foundation for enthusiast-class motherboards such as the ECS P45T-A (you can also read OCC's review here). Manufacturers often team up with well-known companies outside the computer industry to help market their products and we see that in our roundup today with names like Lamborghini and Bang & Olufsen.

Cooling
NZXT Sentry LX High Performance Fan Controller @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Desktop CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 5.8 @ Tech ARP

Memory
Chaintech APOGEE GT DDR2-1150 4GB Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Mobile
Samsung F400 Bang & Olufsen Music Phone @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ECS P45T-A Motherboard  @ PCSTATS

Notebooks
Asus' Lamborghini VX3 notebook @ Tech Report

Video
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Mainstream GPU @ HotHardware
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Video Card @ Legit Reviews


Complete Story


Is Google's Latest Privacy Move Just Smoke and Mirrors?

Posted: September 11, 2008 @ time: 09:41AM
Author: Nemo

Earlier this week Google announced they would reduce the amount of time it retains users' IP addresses and search information from 18 months to nine months. On the surface this seems like a positive move on the search giant's part. As one blogger puts it, this is laughable as a closer level of analysis reveals two problems. Google stores each user's IP address, the search terms and cookie identifier every time a search is performed. After 18 months, Google anonymizes the IP address by removing the last 8 bits of the IP address and scrubs the cookie information using an undisclosed process. Under the new policy, Google will remove some of the bits of the IP address, but not as many as they now do after 18 months. That by itself is pretty weak, but the real problem is that the cookie information will not be touched allowing anyone with access to that information to easily reverse the anonymization process.


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