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News Archives for February 2009

Hardware Roundup: Superbowl XLIII Edition

Posted: February 1, 2009 @ time: 06:36AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Today is the day, in slightly over 10 hours millions of us will sit down in front of the TV with beer and pizza to watch commercials. Oh yeah, I'm sure there are a couple of us that will actually be paying attention to the big game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is a round up of reviews sure to keep you busy until the big game starts.

Cooling
Zalman CNPS9300AT CPU Cooler @ Extreme Overclocking
hermaltake MeOrb @ Legion Hardware
ThermalTake SpinQ Heatsink @ Ninja Lane
GELID Solutions Silent Spirit @ Pure OC
Gelid Silent Spirit CPU Cooler and GC1 Thermal Paste @ Tech Reviews UK
SilverStone Noble Breeze NB01 Notebook Cooler SST-NB01B @ Test Freaks

Memory
G.Skill F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK Tri-Channel DDR3 @ Bit-Tech
Kingston HyperX 2GHz DDR3 3GB (3 x 1GB) Triple-Channel Memory Kit @ Extreme Overclocking
G.Skill 3x2GB PC3-12800 Triple Channel DDR3 @ Hardware Canucks
CSX 3GB DDR3-1600MHz @ Phronix
Patriot Viper DDR3-2000 @ PureOC

Motherboards
XFX MB-X58I-CH19 Motherboard @ Motherboards.org
DFI X58 T3eH8 Ultra Motherboard @ Overclock 3D
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 Intel X48 Express @ PC Stats
MSI G41M Micro ATX @ Trusted Reviews
ECS A780GM-A Ultra @ T-Break

Power
Enermax Liberty ECO 500 W @ Hardware Secrets
OCZ Fatal1ty 700w @ OCIA
Tagan SuperRock 680W TG680-U33II @ Tech Powerup
InWin Commander 850W @ Techware Labs

Video
BFG Tech GeForce GTX 285 OCX 1GB @ Bit-Tech
HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX 512MB @ Elite Bastards
BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCX @ Guru 3D
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition @ HardwareLogic
Inno3D GeForce GTX 260 OC vs. Gigabyte Radeon HD 4870 @ Hexus.net
Sapphire Ultimate HD4670 @ Metku Mods
9800GTX+ Dark Knight TOP Edition @ T-Break
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Graphics Accelerator @ XBit Labs

After you are done reading all of those, stop by our forums and join in on the Superbowl XLIII discussion.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 05:10AM
Author: Nemo

If you're looking to build a new rig based on Intel's latest processor our roundup includes a pair of reviews that might be of interest starting with a look at the Core i7 920 CPU (reviewed by OCC here). Of course, the latest Intel architecture will require a new motherboard based on the X58 chipset such as the MSI X58 Eclipse SLI Core i7 motherboard. What does a company with a name like Popcorn Hour have to offer? Why, a multimedia player of course, so pop up some popcorn and sit back and enjoy the rest of the reviews by following the links below.

CPUs
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Processor @ ThinkComputers

Gadgets
Spire SP331CB USB CombiPod Card Reader @ RBMods
Popcorn Hour A-110 @ Viper Lair
Slingbox Pro-HD and SlingLink Turbo @ TechSpot

Memory
Kingston HyperX TC DDR3 2000 (KHX1600D3ULT1K3/6GX) @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
MSI X58 Eclipse SLI Core i7 Motherboard @ TweakTown

Networking
What's next for Bigfoot? New CEO Michael Howse speaks out @ Tech Report

Video
ASUS HD 4850 MATRIX HTDI 512M A @ Motherboards.org


Complete Story


Saturday's Google Glitch Also Affected Gmail

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 01:11PM
Author: Nemo

Not only did a Google glitch this past weekend manage to tag every URL returned by Google search as potentially harmful, the problem also extended to Gmail. According to a Gmail Blog post the glitch also managed to send some legitimate email to users' spam folders. Google rolled out an automated fix on Sunday that restored most email to its rightful place, but Google is suggesting you check your spam folder for emails received between 6:00 - 8:00 AM PST on Saturday to make sure no legitimate mail is still lingering there.


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Tucson Comcast Viewers Subjected to Super Bowl Porn

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 02:17PM
Author: Nemo

Viewers in Tucson got much more than they bargained for during the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday.  According to reports, the game froze and viewers were treated to about 30 seconds of a feed from Club Jenna, an adult cable channel, that showed a definitely not family-friendly segment. A Comcast spokesperson used the word “mortified” to express the company's reaction to the incident. Apparently, non-cable viewers of the local TV station were also affected because the video feed was sent through Comcast's digital lines prior to reaching customers' homes. Comcast is investigating the incident and said initial results pointed to a intentional, malicious act.


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Google Earth Expanding To Include Oceans

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 02:48PM
Author: jammin

Google Earth is undoubtedly a useful tool for many, or just a fun way to waste an afternoon hunting down coincidentally humorous objects on the planet's surface. Expanding the project's imagery to include the world's oceans has been on the cards for a while now, but Google are expected to announce the addition of a large amount of underwater photography and seabed maps at an upcoming event in San Francisco. It is also expected that detailed environmental data, which will give insight into how climate change effects the oceans will accompany the new information. For those simply looking to have a bit of fun, it is likely users will also be able to take virtual tours of famous diving spots around the globe. I imagine virtual sharks are considerably less intimidating too.


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South Korea Aims For 1Gbps Net Connections By 2012

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 03:07PM
Author: jammin

Thankfully the days of dial-up connections and the "distinctive" modem squeal that goes with it are behind us (well most of us, anyway), but a lot of countries still have a long way to go before super fast broadband connections are ubiquitous. So in steps South Korea to instill jealously into the hearts of us less fortunate beings by announcing plans to roll out broadband connections that are ten times faster than those available at the moment, within three years. Now considering Koreans already enjoy pretty snappy speeds, that could see 1Gbps connections become a reality by the time 2012 comes around. Naturally the Korea Communications Commission is hoping the move will enable more interactive TV, home schooling and e-commerce services, along with 120,000 or so jobs the whole thing is likely to create.


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Elton John Produces New iPod Nano Line

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 08:48PM
Author: gebraset

Apple has been one to produce many variations of their music devices, offering up products such as the Shuffle, iPod Touch, iPod Classic, and the iPod Nano. With each product comes different colors that allow the consumer to somewhat personalize their music device. Elton John, who is best known for his musical talents, will be releasing a new lineup of iPods in the Nano form. The new revisions will benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation and will be able to be found in both 8GB and 16GB forms with each featuring different colors of Swarovski Crystal. Though some people may want to pick up the device just to benefit the foundation in a unique way, the line will be hard to find. This is due to Apple only making the new Elton John iPods in a limited amount, as only 100 of each colors will be produced, which include black, blue, orange, green, purple, pink, red, yellow, and silver.


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Cell Phone Kills Man in China

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 08:53PM
Author: gebraset

Recalls have marked the battery market for over the past couple years, mainly coming from manufacturers such as Sony. Luckily, not many people have been injured by these defective batteries in laptops and notebooks. Now however, a Chinese man has been killed by an exploding cell phone battery in a local Lenovo store. As of yet, the make and model of either the phone or battery is not known, but statistics show that this incident marks the seventh time a case like this has occurred in China in the last six years. It will be interesting to hear updated news on the make and model of the battery however, since it was the probable culprit of the explosion.


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Seagate to Offer 2TB HDD for the Enterprise

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 08:58PM
Author: Nemo

Seagate announced today announced new enterprise-class hard drives that will be offered in capacities up to 2TB. The new Constellation family of drives are intended for near-line storage applications and will be offered in 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch models. Both models spin at 7,200RPM in a choice of either SATA 3.0 Gb/s or the new SAS 2.0 interface running at 6Gb/s. The Constellation 2.5 inch drives come in either 160GB and 500GB capacities. The 3.5-inch Constellation ES hard drive will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Seagate is billing the Constellation ES as the world's only 7,200 RPM 3.5inch 2TB drive. Western Digital launched its own 2TB drive last week for the desktop market but, since it's part of the Caviar Green family, it spins at somewhere less than 7,200RPM. Seagate says it expects to begin shipping the Constellation ES drive in the third quarter of this year but did not disclose pricing.


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Touch Recognition Tweaked For SMART Boards

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 08:58PM
Author: gebraset

In schools around the world, and also in some businesses, the SMART board is a resource that has proven practical and very useful. The product is now being upgraded with the ability to recognize the different between a pen and finger touch, even while the pen tool is in the users hand. With the new upgrade to the SMART board, objects being projected onto the board can be moved by the touch of a finger, and items can even be erased with the palm of a hand. This can all be done with the same tool, as no switching is required. Obviously, the update is not good enough o call for a new purchase is a odler model is already owned, but it will benefit the new consumers of the product for educational and business purposes.


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Google Earth Now At Version 5 Beta

Posted: February 2, 2009 @ time: 09:00PM
Author: gebraset

With the news regarding Google Earth and their expansion to include oceans, the popular program with its geographic viewing capabilities has been an application that many users have come to both know and love. The program has now been updated to the beta of version 5, which includes a couple new features such as a new three-dimensional view of the Earth’s undersea terrain. There is now a new view of the ocean floor, featuring 3D bathymetry, which allows users to view the ocean floor in a three-dimensional state instead of a 2D relief map. Also including with the update is the ability to view Mars and its unique terrain, with the same controls that Google Earth has always shown to its base.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 05:41AM
Author: Nemo

The Brando MP4 watch and video camera may be more Dick Tracy than James Bond but it is definitely a gadget that screams "Geek!" as you can use it to shoot video, take pictures, play MP4 files and listen to music, and I think it tells time as well. If you've ever used a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can be exposing your laptop to all sorts of nasties and thats where the Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico comes in. It's a self-contained security appliance not much larger than a standard flash drive designed to protect your system from attack. There's lots more in today's roundup so read on and enjoy!

Cooling
Cooler Master V10 200+W Hybrid T.E.C. Cooler @ TweakTown

Digital Photography/Video
Brando MP4 Watch and Video Camera @ Bonafide Reviews
AKAI ADPF10x LCD Digital Picture Frame @ TweakTown

Networking
Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico @ Maximum CPU

Operating Systems
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Details @ Tech ARP

Power Supplies
Antec Signature Series 650W @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Icy Dock MB671SK Internal SATA HDD Enclosure @ Tweak News

Video
BFGTech GeForce GTX 285 OCX @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
EVO-G LB1 LAN Bag @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Google Executives Face Jail Time For Video

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 05:55AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Four Google executives are on trial today in Milan, Italy over a video that was published to Google Video in 2006. If found guilt, they could face jail time for a video that they were not involved directly in handling. Yes, the are facing personal criminal charges and possible jail time, for something they didn't do.

According to a Google spokesman, three of the executives being charged are David Drummond, Google’s senior VP and chief legal officer; George Reyes, former CFO; and Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel. The fourth executive worked at Google Video in London, however the person's name has not been identified.

The video in question was posted to Google Video in 2006 and shows four kids in Turin, Italy harassing another kid that suffers from Down Syndrome. The video was removed from the site after an Italian advocacy group complained about the video. Prosecutors are arguing that the video should never have been published in the first place. Do they really expect sites that allow users submitted content to be screened first? In my opinion, the system worked as it should; The video was reported and removed. If any legal charges are justified here, they should not be directed at Google, but rather the kids that did the harassment or their parents.

Google issued a statement on the matter:

"As we have repeatedly made clear, our hearts go out to the victim and his family. We are pleased that as a result of our cooperation the bullies in the video have been identified and punished. We feel that bringing this case to court is totally wrong. It’s akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post. What’s more, seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet. We will continue to vigorously defend our employees in this prosecution."

If the court rules against Google in this case, it could have a strong impact on any site that allows photos and videos to be published. Not just sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr but also blog, personal sites, and even sites like OverclockersClub.com.

Source: New York Times via Mashable


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Buy It Now: 867-5309 Being Sold On eBay

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 06:20AM
Author: d3bruts1d

There is a pretty good chance you've heard the number 867-5309. A song with those digests was made popular by Tommy Tutone in the 80's, and has been getting stuck in people's heads ever since. So, why am I writing about this 80's song on OCC you ask? This morning I received an email linking to an eBay auction for the number. Yes, the famous number is being sold by someone who manged to snag it on Vonage VoIP service.

According to the current owner, his number (201) 867-5309 is one of the few remaining active 867-5309 numbers still in service and receives 8,000 - 10,000 calls per year. The auction has over 120 bids and is currently sitting at $365,300.00. With just over 6 days left in the auction, you had better hurry if you want to own this ultimate piece of pop culture. ;)


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IBM Building Mega Supercomputer

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 10:52AM
Author: Nemo

Countries and companies are quick to point out when one of their computers makes the Top 500 list of supercomputers. A rank in the top 10 certainly garners attention, but what if you were to build a computer so massive it would possess more processing power than all the computers on the Top 500 list combined? IBM is planning a new computer called Sequoia with a goal of reaching 20 petaflops. Just last year, IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer was the first machine to break the 1 petaflop barrier. Sequoia will be housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and be used by the U.S. Department of Energy for nuclear stockpile research. IBM plans on using 1.6 million processing cores based on a new IBM Power chip design still under development. The system will be housed in 96 racks and have 1.6TB of memory. Lawrence Livermore will be undergoing a massive power system upgrade in conjunction with the project as the new supercomputer is expected to consume 6 megawatts of electricity. Currently, there are only two supercomputers in the world capable of 1 petaflops, IBM's Roadrunner and Cray Inc.'s XT Jaguar, both housed in government laboratories in the U.S. IBM expects to have Sequoia operational in 2012.


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Toshiba Unveils TG01 Smartphone

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 04:30PM
Author: jammin

Toshiba uncovered its new TG01 smartphone today, a device which features a massive (by mobile standards) 4.1 inch touchscreen weighing in at 800 x 480 pixels. The TG01 makes use of Quacomm's Snapdragon chipset, which features a 1GHz processor that Toshiba say will make it faster than any other device currently available on the market. You get important stuff like GPS, Wi-Fi and HSDPA, as well as a microSD slot and a customised interface that takes the edge off the Windows Mobile platform underneath. Coming in at 9.9mm thick (or should that be thin?), it's a bit slimmer than an iPhone, but a bit bigger in other dimensions (a 4.1" screen will do that). The TG01 should launch in the summer, with more details due at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona that kicks off on the 16th of February.


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Transcend Introduces New SSD Drive

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 08:20PM
Author: gebraset

With solid state drives growing larger in performance month by month, consumers are obviously seeing that the technology is getting cheaper and performing better than ever. While not one of the cheapest drives around, Transcend has just rolled out a new 192GB 2.5-inch drive that is connected by the SATA II interface. The latency on the drive is 0.2ms, while there is a sustained write speed of 150MB per second and a sustained read speed of 90MB per second. Also included with the new solid state drive is Error Correction Code, which insures that the data transferred to and from the drive stays accurate. There is no set price as of yet, though the drive should retail soon to consumers and will feature a two-year warranty by the company.


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Panasonic Focuses On Green Technology

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 08:23PM
Author: gebraset

Japan this spring will be hit with new models of Panasonic plasma televisions that will be less thick and also consume half as much electricity as the current models. The main reason for this move is due to the economic recession. Currently, Panasonic is leading SAMSUNG in their sales of plasma televisions, and is hoping to boost its lead even more with an increase of LCD and plasma sets by a total of fifty percent. A new 50-inch model will be about an inch in depth and consume approximately 260 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. Panasonic plans to sell this set for around 600,000 yen, which is about $6,685. A 54-inch model along with this one will also be introduced into the company’s product line. While the new models will be featured in Japan this April, North America should see the products sometime this summer.


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Plug-in Prius Offers Excellent MPG

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 08:28PM
Author: gebraset

Toyota has been one automaker along with many others, such as Honda, that are producing gas efficient cars. Honda has been catching on with their technology, but Toyota is now announcing that their new Prius that is a plug-in model hybrid, gets around sixty-five miles per gallon on average. Obviously, the car has to be plugged into an electric source and allowed time to charge in order to drive the vehicle. What is interesting is that the auto company is claiming that the figures are based on actual driving tests by normal drivers, and that no hypermiling techniques were used.


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Over 90,000 Sex Offender Profiles Identified on MySpace

Posted: February 3, 2009 @ time: 09:26PM
Author: Nemo

When Connecticut's Attorney General's office subpoenaed MySpace looking for registered sex offenders it got more than it bargained for. Somewhere around 90,000 member are registered sex offenders which is about 40,000 more than previously disclosed. MySpace was quick to point out that those 90,000 profiles were uncovered over the course of two years and all have been removed from the site. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal blasted MySpace for not having the proper controls in place to prevent sex offenders from creating profiles in the first place. MySpace, on the other hand, stressed its role in cooperating with law enforcement and states attorneys generals and pledged its support of any investigations that might take place. Blumenthal's office has also issued a subpoena to Facebook and is waiting for that site's response.


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Google Latitude

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 05:31AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Today Google launched their newest service Google Latitude, which basically bridges Google Talk and Google Maps and turns it into an easy away to see where friends are and what they are doing. The service is completely opt in, which should calm the privacy concerns. However, it does leave me wondering how Google plans to expand on this type of service. If I update saying I am at West Town Mall in Knoxville, TN will it eventually send me advertisements related to the shops there?

While Google's service is just now starting, there are already several other competitors in the market right now. Loopt, which is based in Google's home town, is probably the biggest competitor Google faces right now. It'll be interesting to see if the little guy can keep the Google giant at bay.

I find it strange that Google is releasing this service. It was just a few weeks ago that Google announced it was killing off Dodgeball.com in addition to several other services. Dodgeball.com was a company that Google acquired in 2005 that essentially did the same thing. The main difference is Dodgeball.com was text message based, where Google Latitude is more intended for smart phones.

Additional information is available at the Google Blog and the Google Mobile Blog.


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Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Released

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 05:38AM
Author: d3bruts1d

An update to Mozilla Firefox has just been released. Here are the changes in Firefox 3.0.6 according to the release notes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • In previous versions of Firefox, some users experienced a problem where parts of the screen were not properly displaying after Firefox was open for long periods of time.
  • Improved the ability for scripted commands (including those included in popular extensions like Adblock Plus) to work properly with plugins. (bug 438830)
  • Removed the client user ID from crash reports.
  • Fixed issues with the display of some Indic scripts.

For a complete list of the bugs fixed in this version, click here. You can download the update via Firefox's automatic update, or from the Firefox website.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 05:48AM
Author: Nemo

One of the biggest forces defining the mobile computing market today is the netbook with reported shipments of over 14 million units in 2008. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Nvidia announced its Ion platform last December ahead of CES 2009. The platform pairs an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor with Nvidia's Geforce 9400 graphics processor to up the graphics capabilities of netbooks over Intel's aging 945G graphics chipset.  For mainstream systems our roundup picked up reviews on four X58 chipset motherboards and an Intel Core i7 965 processor (also reviewed by OCC here). We also have reviews on the Thermaltake Spedo case (reviewed by OCC here), Western Digital's latest 2TB Caviar Green drive and more.

Cases
Thermaltake Spedo @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
NZXT Cryo LX Vs. Vizo miniNinja 2 @ XSReviews

CPUs
Intel i7 965 Processor & DX58SO "Smackover" Motherboard @ Virtual-Hideout

Mobile
NVIDIA ION Platform Review: Death (and Life) of the Netbook @ PC Perspective
Nvidia's Ion platform @ Tech Report
NVIDIA Ion Reference PC Platform Deep Dive @ HotHardware

Motherboards
ASUS P6T Deluxe OC Palm Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
DFI LANParty UT X58-T3eH8 Core i7 Motherboard @ TweakTown
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P Intel X58 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Notebooks
Netbook Round-up: Lenovo Ideapad S10, Asus Eee 904HA, Acer Aspire One and Smoothbook Slice @ TSesp

Operating Systems
No Windows 7 drivers yet? Try using Vista's @ TechSpot
The Microsoft Windows 7 SKUs @ Tech ARP

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Retail Desktop Drive @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Amazon Game Download Store (Beta)

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 06:06AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Amazon.com may have started out as an online bookstore in 1995, but since then it has grown to be America's largest online retailer and sells just about everything. Over the last few years, Amazon.com has introduced DRM-free MP3 downloads as a competitor to Apple's dominate iTunes, as well as their own Video On Demand (formally called Unbox) service that allows people to download movies and TV shows to their PC, Mac, or TiVo DVR.

Yesterday Amazon.com made the next step in their digital download department, video games. According to the Amazon.com Blog, the new Amazon.com Game Download Store has over 600 games available for less than $10. Right now it doesn't look like there are any "major" games available through the service, it appears to be mainly the games you would already find in the $10 bin at Wal-Mart. Also, every game in the library has a free 30 minute demo available.

Game downloads are nothing new, game publishers (EA, Ubisoft) and a number of other services (Impulse, Steam) have been doing this for a while now. Like Steam, it appears as the game information is tied to your account and can be downloaded again should something happen to your computer.


Complete Story


Panasonic to Eliminate 15,000 Jobs, Close 27 Factories

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 12:00PM
Author: Nemo

In the face of a $4.3 billion loss for the year, Panasonic announced it will cut 15,000 jobs over the next year due to the economic downturn. Panasonic said its sales dropped off sharply in the fourth quarter, down 20 percent compared to the previous year. Panasonic experienced a perfect storm of decreased consumer spending, higher raw material prices and a stronger yen. Along with the job cuts Panasonic will also be closing 27 plants worldwide, including 13 in Japan.


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Lian Li Launches PC-A06F Chassis

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 04:51PM
Author: jammin

Last month we mentioned the release of Lian Li's PC-A05N Mini Tower, which used an unconventional PSU placement (down at the front of the case). The PC-A06F follows a similar for factor, but opts for a more standard approach with power supply position, up at the back of the case to push hot air out. The PC-A06F also comes with a front mounted 140mm intake fan and a top mounted 120mm exhaust, so even though it may be compact, cooling capability shouldn't be hit too hard. You also get anti-vibration mountings for your hard drives, 4 5.25" bays (respectable for a case this size) and top panel mounted USB and audio ports. The PC-A06F should be available now for a suggested price of $100+VAT.


Complete Story


XFX Releases Radeon HD 4870 X2

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 05:07PM
Author: jammin

A manufacturer releasing a Radeon HD4870X2 card isn't really news, as the part has been available for quite some time now. However, it is still the top of the line card in the ATI/AMD stable at the moment and what is more interesting is that it is XFX that is releasing it. A long time NVIDIA partner, XFX announced it would start selling Radeon 4000 series based cards late last year. The HD 4870 X2 will complete the line up of cards, which already includes other models in the 4000 series. As far as the card itself, you get everything you expect, that being 2GB of GDDR5 along with 1600 (800 x 2) stream processors and all that other good stuff. Typically, XFX is keeping quiet on pricing for now.


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MS XP Users to Get Upgrade Path to Windows 7

Posted: February 4, 2009 @ time: 07:33PM
Author: Nemo

Yesterday Microsoft announced that Windows 7, its follow-on version to Windows Vista, will be offered in six different versions. Today, Microsoft added more information by disclosing that existing Windows XP users will be able to upgrade to Windows 7. According to what information was available, the this will not be an in-place upgrade, but rather require a clean install, meaning all existing data will have to be backed up to avoid losing it. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that 'upgrade' refers to the license, meaning XP users will get discounted pricing but will get the full version of Windows 7. Not having to support an in-place upgrade means less development work for Microsoft, but could lead to lots of grief for users having to back up applications, settings and data prior to installing the new operating system. Microsoft has not released any details on pricing for any of the versions of Windows 7.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 05:40AM
Author: Nemo

Checking out things around the web today turned up reviews of several items including NZXT's Zero 2 full-tower chassis (reviewed by OCC here). Moving on to CPU coolers, we get a look at the Silent Spirit from Gelid that weighs in at only 370g, much smaller than many of its counterparts. We also have a chance to check out the Thermaltake SpinQ cooler (reviewed by OCC here) which is a lot bigger and weighs 667g. Our roundup also turned up a pair of power supplies from Enermax and Tuniq along with Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision glasses (also reviewed by OCC here).

Cases
NZXT Zero 2 Case @ RBMods

Cooling
Gelid Silent Spirit LGA 1366 CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews
Thermaltake SpinQ CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Gaming
Nvidia goes stereoscopic with GeForce 3D Vision @ Tech Report

Power Supplies
Tuniq Ripper 1000W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP
Enermax Pro 82 @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Flash Voyager 64GB @ Viper Lair


Complete Story


Yahoo Adds Notebook Like Service

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 07:56AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Google left many users unhappy when they decided that they would stop development on Google Notebook. While the service will remain online and accessible, without the hope for future updates users are now looking for other options.

Yesterday Yahoo! announced that they were testing a new service called Search Pad, a service that is very similar to the Google product. While the service is not currently available for users at this time, the Yahoo! Search Blog has posted a video demonstrating how Search Pad works. Search Pad, as you might tell from the name, relies more on your search results and history when creating notes, something that might raise concerns from some over privacy. Additionally, Search Pad allows users to manually add and edit notes. This is one of the big differences between Google Notebook, Evernote, Clip Marks, and similar services that are more of a open note system.


Complete Story


Corsair Launches Dominator GT Lineup of DDR3 Memory Modules

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 12:43PM
Author: Nemo

Corsair today announced it is launching a new series of high-performance DDR3 memory modules for systems based on Intel's Core i7 processors. The 3-piece 6GB kits feature latencies of 7-8-7-20 and are rated at PC3-15000 speeds. The Dominator GT is encased in an aluminum heat spreader featuring dual-path heat exchange  technology. Each module also comes with a removable heatsink painted in what Corsair is calling a "racing red color scheme". The kits also ship with an active air cooling kit to ensure maximum heat transfer away from the memory modules. The removable heat sink paves the way for future cooling options, including water cooling, as well as a custom-designed thermoelectric cooling system to actively cool the modules to as low as 20°C below ambient temperature for maximum overclockability. Corsair will also be offering a limited number of hand-picked and hand-tuned PC3-16000 kits in 3GB and 6GB sizes. These kits will only be available online through Corsairs' GT Performance Shop due to the screening and testing processes involved. Corsair said kits in the Dominator GT family are available immediately but did not disclose pricing.


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Xbox 360 On 269 Inch TV Is Impressive

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 05:27PM
Author: jammin

Panasonic may have brought its massive 150 inch plasma screen along to CES again this year, but compared to the 120 foot long, 11 foot high screen at the IAC building it's kinda small. Sure it takes 21 projectors to bring the whole thing to life and the super wide aspect ratio isn't exactly gamer friendly, but Adma Frucci from Gizmodo, along with the guys from CollegHumor's Bleep Bloop video game show got the opportunity to hook up an Xbox 360 and play some games using a section of the huge screen. They dabble with a little Mirror's Edge and break out some old skool classics as well, with the verdict being that if you happen to have the funds available, then a massive screen like this is "pretty sweet". I would tend to agree.


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IT Security Study States The Obvious - Humans Are The Weak Link

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 05:42PM
Author: jammin

Deloitte publishes a study on IT security annually, which inevitably comes to the same conclusion every year; that human error is the biggest threat to security. Human error clocked in as the greatest weakness for this past year (at 86%), followed by technology (at 63%). Social networking and new technology were identified as critical threats, though some postives also came out of the report. For example external breaches from viruses and worms for those responding dropped from 43% in 2007 to just 15% in 2008. Email and phising attacks also dropped off, falling to 24% (from 57%) and 7% (from 38%) respectively. Human error isn't likely to suddenly go away though, so just remember to think before you click (and let something nasty in the back door).


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Over 70s Wanted For Wii Experiment

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 05:56PM
Author: jammin

If you are over 70 and not too good on your feet, would using the Nintendo Wii Fit balance board help prevent you falling? That is the question researchers at the Unversity of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian want to answer, as they are looking for elderly volunteers who have fallen at least once in the past year to take part in regular sessions with the popular gaming accessory. The research will look at the effect of gentle exercises using the balance board, with the aim of reducing the number of falls experienced and therefore improve quality of life. A large number (90%) of hip fractures are due to falls, along with being the most common cause of accidental death for those aged 75 and over. Reducing the number of falls would obviously be beneficial (to the health system as well as to patients), though the idea of Grannies all over the UK wobbling around trying to ski down virtual slopes or head virtual footballs is somewhat amusing (to me, anyway).


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Time Warner Plans More Capping

Posted: February 5, 2009 @ time: 08:01PM
Author: gebraset

Being one of the first Internet Service Providers to begin testing a bandwidth cap for broadband subscribers, Time Warner is announcing that it will expand its capping to more locations. While testing, those who paid $30 for internet service had a 5GB cap and were charged $1 for every gigabyte used over the limit. This was disappointing to consumers at the least, as even a few DVD quality movies would set subscribers close to their cap limit. It is not yet known however if the company will increase the cap limit for its variety of subscribers or what locations will be receiving the expanded cap limits to their Internet service.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 05:06AM
Author: Nemo

After a bit of a lull these past couple of days, today's roundup includes several videocard reviews. A pair of Sapphire 4000-series cards are evaluated including the Toxic HD 4870 512MB (reviewed by OCC here). For those interested in Nvidia cards, check out the ASUS GeForce ENGTX285 TOP (also reviewed by OCC here). There's a lot more included in today's collection with reviews on Western Digital's media player and Badaboom's media converter software. In Win's Commander 850w PSU (check of the OCC review here) also gets reviewed. Check out the rest of today's lineup by following the links below.

Gadgets
Western Digital's WD TV HD Media Player - Video Review @ TweakTown

Monitors
Samsung Syncmaster 2243BW 22" LCD Display  @ PCSTATS

Motherboards
X58 Showdown: ASUS Rampage II Extreme vs. MSI Eclipse @ HotHardware

Operating Systems
Windows Vista SP1 vs Vista SP2 Release Candidate Performance @ TweakTown
Latest Details On Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Rev. 2.2 @ Tech ARP

Power Supplies
In Win Commander 850w Power Supply @ Virtual-Hideout

Software
Badaboom Media Converter v1.1.1 @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
ATP Toughdrive @ Maximum CPU

Video
Sapphire Toxic HD 4870 512MB Video Card @ Tweaknews
ASUS GeForce ENGTX285 TOP Graphics Card @ TweakTown
Sapphire HD 4650 @ Bjorn3D.com

Miscellany
Why even pay for software? A declaration against poorly implemented DRM @ TechSpot


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Pioneer to Exit TV Business?

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 05:40PM
Author: Nemo

There's a report out in Japan's Nikkei newspaper claiming that Pioneer is going to withdraw entirely from the TV business and split off it DVD player unit into a joint venture with electronic maker Sharp. After suffering losses in the TV business, Pioneer is supposedly withdrawing instead of facing any more red ink. While Pioneer is not commenting on the report, analysts are saying the report hold a grain of truth to it as Pioneer did not have any new TVs on display at CES 2009 in January.


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Intel Ships New Atom Processor

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 06:17PM
Author: Nemo

Intel confirmed it has begun shipping a new version of its Atom processor to OEMs. The new processor, dubbed the N280, replaces the current N270 Atom and is coupled with Intel's GN40 chipset to provide improved video playback on netbooks. In addition to improved video, the N280 got a small speed boost to 1.66GHz, up from 1.6GHz, and a faster 667MHz front side bus. The new processor/chipset combination comes ahead of Nvidia's Ion platform that includes the Atom CPU along with a GeForce 9400m graphics processor.


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Get a ComputerTan and Get Scammed

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 06:33PM
Author: Nemo

There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 people whose faces may be red, but not tanned, because they fell for a scam that offered the chance to get a tan from their computer monitors. The ComputerTan web site lured the unsuspecting users in by promising to transform computer monitors into UV-emitting lamps so users could get a tan while they worked. Unbeknownst to the victims, it was all a marketing ploy by a skin cancer charity. Once users signed up for a free trial at the Web site, their computer monitors displayed bright lights before moving on to a message warning of the risks of tanning and skin cancer.


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Microsoft Preps Windows Mobile Storage Beta

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 08:24PM
Author: gebraset

Windows Mobile Online Storage, which will be known as My Phone, is very similar in terms of features with Live Mesh. The Live Mesh product lets users upload photos and other information to a Web page and also access the given date from a various amount of mobile devices. My Phone, while basically offering the same thing, will allow the synchronization of a wider array of information from a mobile device, and will only be available on Windows Mobile 6 phones. While not out right now, Microsoft is planning to hand out invitation-only beta editions to a select group of people. The company is also expected to reveal more about the service at the Mobile World Congress trade show, which takes place this month.


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German Company Joins Psystar in Offering Mac Clones

Posted: February 6, 2009 @ time: 09:27PM
Author: Nemo

A German company is offering Mac clones to customers in the UK claiming it has discovered a loophole in German law that makes it legal. HyperMegaNet UG is selling its PearC starting at €500. The machine is fully customizable including an option for a Core i7 965 Extreme Edition processor. Apple has historically been very protective of its property rights and is currently in a legal battle against Miami, Fla based computer maker Psystar which began selling its own cloned versions last year.


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CyberPower Announces Phenom II X4 Gaming PCs

Posted: February 7, 2009 @ time: 03:35AM
Author: jammin

CyberPower announced its new Gamer Dragon series of custom pre-builts yesterday, utilizing AMD's Phenom II X4 CPUs. There are three models in the series, starting with the entry level Gamer Dragon 8000, followed by the mid-range Gamer Dragon 9000 and topped off with the high-end Gamer Dragon CrossFire X Ultimate. The CrossFire X system features the AMD Phenom II 940 CPU, an Asetek liquid cooling system and a pair of 2GB HD 4870 video cards all wrapped up in a NZXT Khaos chassis. That will set you back $2235, with the Gamer Dragon 9000 and 8000 offering more affordable single graphics card configurations. All models have a wide range of customization options and come with a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime labor and phone support.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: February 7, 2009 @ time: 07:57PM
Author: Nemo

Nvidia announced its 3D Vision technology as part of this year's Consumer Electronics Show and it finally looks as if the days of cardboard frames and red and blue lenses may finally be over. Also at CES this we saw AMD showing off its Phenom II X4 overclocked past 6GHz. So is 6Ghz a realistic goal that can be repeated? Check out the review below to find out.

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Subzero Overclocking Test: 6Ghz Obtainable? @ Madshrimps
Desktop CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 6.7 @ Tech ARP

Music/Video Players
Apple iPod Nano 3rd Generation MP3 Player @ ThinkComputers

Notebooks
Asus G50vt Gaming Notebook Video Spotlight @ HotHardware

Operating Systems
How to get rid of unused Device Drivers in Vista @ [OC]ModShop

Video
NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision @ Legit Reviews
LeadTek WinFast GTX 285 @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


Google Adds Multiple Inboxes To GMail; Not What You Think

Posted: February 8, 2009 @ time: 05:37AM
Author: d3bruts1d

On Thursday Google added a feature that they are calling "Multiple Inboxes" to GMail via the GMail Labs. It isn't exactly multiple inboxes as many of you may think. The new feature allows you to specify up to 5 different labels that can be displayed on your main GMail page, in addition to the normal inbox. To make use of this feature, you really need to have filters set up to automatically apply labels to incoming messages. For example, my GMail account checks my OCC email as well as my ISP email. Any message that comes in is automatically labeled appropriately, and skips the inbox completely. I also have a filter set up that checks for messages with certain key words in the subject or from sections, and will automatically label those messages as receipts and bills. It really comes in handy with keeping my main inbox clean. Now, I can display the content of those filters along side (or above or below) my current inbox.

There is one thing I don't like, if you set the boxes to the right of your inbox you lose the check box option. However, if it is above or below your inbox, the check boxes are available. Click below to see some additional images I snagged for you.


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AT&T MicroCell Update For iPhone Available

Posted: February 8, 2009 @ time: 05:50AM
Author: d3bruts1d

This morning I was syncing my iPhone and was prompted with a different kind of update message than what I've seen before. An update to the carrier settings for your iPhone is available. After digging around, I found that TUAW and AppleInsider had a bit more information.

AT&T is planing on rolling out a device that can help alleviate 3G dead zones in your home or workplace. MicroCell is a device that can provide a strong signal for up to 10 devices, and allow for up to 4 simultaneous voice or data connections via a connection to broadband Internet. No pricing information is available yet, and the AT&T MicroCell web page is still "under construction".


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Intel Drops SSD Prices

Posted: February 8, 2009 @ time: 07:27PM
Author: gebraset

Intel recently has decided to go ahead and drop the cost of their 80GB X-25M solid state drive to a nicer looking price tag of $390. With the drop in cost for the drive, more consumers may be looking at Intel’s storage device, out of the numerous ones they have manufactured, for use in their own personal systems. Previously, the drive could be had for just under $600 in quantities up to 1000 units. This obviously was too much for most consumers to spend on storage, as a good budget desktop system can be built for roughly the same price. Other drives by the processor manufacturer are still set high as far as price is concerned, but performance is getting cheaper as time goes on overall.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: February 9, 2009 @ time: 04:56AM
Author: Nemo

Intel has released three new Core 2 quad processors in what its calling the 'S' series and two of them are the subject of reviews today. The 'S' series processors are identical to their non-'S' counterparts except that they all feature a TDP of 65W. Case reviews make up the other half of our roundup offerings today with a couple of looks at the Cooler Master ATCS 840 full-tower chassis (reviewed by OCC here). Sunbeamtech has another one of its acrylic cases being examined along with Tagan's A+ Seenium BM case.

Cases
Sunbeamtech Mini-ITX Acrylic Case @ RBMods
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Full Tower Classic ATX Case @ Tweaknews
Tagan A+ Seenium BM Case @ Motherboards.org
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Full Tower Classic Case @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S Processor @ Legit Reviews
Q9400S & Q8200S: Intel's 65W Quad-Cores @ Techgage
AMD PiFast World Record Broken @ Madshrimps

Operating Systems
Fix: Hard Drive goes to sleep even in High Performance Power Profile @ [OC]ModShop

Video
Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 16.2 @ Tech ARP


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: AMD Phenom II Socket AM3 Edition

Posted: February 9, 2009 @ time: 05:32AM
Author: Nemo

AMD officially launched the Phenom II series of processors at CES back in January. The first of its desktop CPUs using a 45nm manufacturing process, the processors were based on the AM2+ socket and supported DDR2 memory. At the time AMD also said it would be offering a new AM3 socket processor that would finally offer support for DDR3 memory. Today we get a chance to look at the first of the new AM3 processors being released in both quad- and triple-core models. These processors are also backward compatible with AM2+ boards running DDR2 memory, which offers a flexible upgrade path for current AMD users. The Phenom II X3 720 is a triple-core processor clocked at 2.8GHz with 6MB L3 cache and 1.5MB L2 cache (512KB each core). It is also a Black Edition processor with an unlocked multiplier for potentially higher overclocking room. The Phenom II X4 810 is clocked at 2.6GHz with 4MB total L3 cache and 2MB L2 cache (512KB each core). Both processors will support DDR2 1066MHz and DDR3 1333MHz memory speeds using a 128-bit wide integrated memory controller.

AMD Phenom II 720 and 810 AM3 @ OCC
Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 Processor Review - DDR3 Arrives for AMD @ PC Perspective
AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 BE @ Lost Circuits
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and X4 810 Processors @ HotHardware
AMD Socket AM3 Arrives The Real Phenom II Detailed @ TweakTown
Phenom II Gets Affordable with DDR3 & AM3 @ [H]ardOCP
AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE & Phenom II X4 810 Processor @ Legit Reviews
Phenom 2 X4 940 BE, X4 810 & X3 720 BE @ Bjorn3D
AMD Phenom II X4 810 Review & Overclocking @ Neoseeker


Complete Story


Microsoft's New Ad Campaign: Kill You With Cuteness

Posted: February 9, 2009 @ time: 08:18AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Most people will agree that Microsoft has failed so far in the whole advertisement section. The "Gates & Seinfeld" ads left people scratching their heads wondering what exactly they were watching. The "I'm a PC" ads that were suppose to show the diversity of people using a Windows PC were rather dull and boring. And the "Mojave Experiment" ads showed people that probably shouldn't be using a computer to begin with.

Microsoft's new ad campaign called "The Rookies" is taking a different approach to the "I'm a PC" ads. They plan to kill you with cuteness. The fist video shows Kylie a cute four and a half year-old girl, demonstrating Windows Live Photo Gallery. Awww.


Complete Story


Google Contact Sync for iPhone, Windows Mobile and Other Devices

Posted: February 9, 2009 @ time: 03:20PM
Author: d3bruts1d

If you use Google's GMail for contact management or Google Calendar for events, you've probably felt the pain in keeping things synchronized between the online services and your mobile device. It was never impossible to do, but usually required more hassle than it should have. Mac-iPhone users often resorted to a combination of Apple's MobileMe service along with a 3rd party program like SpanningSync or BusySync, while Windows Mobile users would use something like OggSync.

Today Google rolled out Google Sync (beta) a service that should simplify synchronizing your Google Contacts & Calendar events with your mobile device. Just be careful and back up your information on your mobile device, the Google Sync will wipe the existing (local) information before the sync starts the first time. Additionally, due to different formats not all information may be synced. Be sure to check out the known limitations for the iPhone & Windows Mobile. let me say it one more time, back up your information before you start the sync.


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