Welcome Stranger to OCC!Login | Register

News Archives for January 2012

iPad-Equipped Orangutans to Use Skype for Video Chatting

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: edwardquilo

A few lucky orangutans at the Milwaukee Zoo have been using the iPad for playing games and watching videos, but can these precocious primates use the ubiquitous Apple tablet for far more complex tasks like Skype video-chatting? That's what the zookeepers and the Orangutan Outreach charity group want to find out - to further enhance communications among orangutans from different enclosures using either Skype or FaceTime. The orangutans seem to have developed a liking for the games Doodle Buddy and Flick Flick Football, although one inquisitive ape couldn't take his eyes off David Attenborough's nature documentaries. Orangutan Outreach stresses that the funds for purchasing the iPads came out of their own pockets, and spokesperson Richard Zimmerman goes on to explain why they're going to such lengths to aid these orangutans: "The orangutans loved seeing videos of themselves – so there is a little vanity going on – and they like seeing videos of the orangutans who are in the other end of the enclosure. So if we incorporate cameras, they can watch each other."

The iPad-toting primates will, in theory, be able to recognize fellow iPad-using orangutans from other enclosures through constant Skype access and thus improve communication among the species. Orangutan Outreach also hopes this endeavor will garner enough public support to warrant stronger conservation efforts for the endangered species.

 


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: Nemo

Welcome to a brand new year and our first roundup of 2012. We have a couple of storage-related reviews so we'll start with the newly released Synology DS212 2-bay NAS Server. The second item in the storage department is the RunCore Pro V 120GB SATA III solid state drive. The other hardware item in today's roundup is the Isurus Headset from Thermaltake. You can also read Computer Ed's look back over the past year as he bids farewell to 2011. Please also accept best wishes from all of us at Overclockers Club for a happy and prosperous New Year!

Speakers/Headphones
Thermaltake Isurus Headset @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
RunCore Pro V 120GB SATA III Solid State Drive @ TweakTown
Synology DS212 2-bay NAS Server for Workgroups and Offices @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Goodbye 2011 @ Computer Ed


Complete Story


Decreasing the Cost of Fuel Cells

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 12:46PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Fuel cells are hardly a new technology but with oil prices increasing and a growing interest in environmentally cleaner power sources, there is renewed interest. A fuel cell works by passing an atom or molecule through a barrier without all of its electrons. These abandoned electrons want to be reunited with their partners, so they will travel through the path man built for them through our electronics. To aid this process a catalyst is used, and researchers at Aalto University have discovered a new way to manufacturer fuel cells with a particular catalyst.

Possibly the kind of fuel cell best known by the public is the hydrogen fuel cell. This design uses hydrogen as fuel and produces water vapor as waste. Though possibly the cleanest possible fuel cell, the hydrogen fuel cell is hardly the cheapest or safest. Hydrogen readily combusts and already has a tarnished safety record in transportation. Also the most common catalyst for this design uses platinum, a rather expensive metal.

The type of fuel cell Aalto University developed uses alcohol, either methanol or ethanol, for fuel and palladium for a catalyst. These alcohols are considerably safer to transport and easier to store, as they are liquids at room temperature. Palladium is half as expensive as platinum too, so this design will not only be safer and easier to work with, but also cheaper.

While the researchers have advanced fuel cell technology, you may not want to hold out for a vehicle using one of these fuel cells. Commercial production is not expected to start for another 5-10 years. The good news is you have that much time to save up.


Complete Story


Thermaltake Launches Frio Extreme CPU Cooler

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 03:01PM
Author: bp9801

Thermaltake is one of the leading manufacturers of computer components, and this time has a new product being released. The Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU cooler was first shown at Computex 2011, and now will soon be available to purchase. The Frio Extreme features six 6mm heatpipes and dual heatsink towers paired with two 140mm fans. All told, the Frio Extreme has a cooling capacity up to 250W, ensuring every overclocker can take their CPU to the highest possible frequencies on air. The Frio Extreme also has a VR and PWM controller for the two 140mm fans, which lets you control the speeds between 1200 and 1800RPM. It will work with all Intel and AMD sockets, including the new Intel LGA2011 socket, thanks to its universal all-in-one backplate.

The Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU cooler will be available soon, though no price was mentioned.


Complete Story


Turbomachinery Simulation Optimized

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 03:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

You may not realize it but you use turbomachinery every day. These are machines which transfer energy between a rotor and a fluid, like the fans and pumps in computer cooling systems. Some of these cooling systems have unique designs, such as specially angled fan blades, to, supposedly, improve performance. To accelerate the design process of turbomachinery the Ohio Supercomputer Center has worked to optimize some simulation software. The better and more available a simulation, the faster and cheaper a design can be tested.

Named TURBO, this piece of software can now be efficiently run on a large computer cluster, which should prove quite beneficial to the industry. While the obvious means of testing some pieces of turbomachinery would be a wind tunnel, these facilities can be expensive to operate and maintain while also being limited in the information they can gather. Probes cannot be placed just anywhere in a wind tunnel, but in software there is practically no limitation. This allows for a greater level of experimentation by engineers as products will not have to be manufactured to be tested.


Complete Story


AMD HD 7770 Pictured, Benchmarks Leaked?

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 05:14PM
Author: bp9801

The AMD HD 7000 series isn't even officially available yet, and aside from the HD 7970, the performance is not known about any of them. However, some leaked information concerning the AMD HD 7770 may shed some light on the more budget-friendly alternatives in the upcoming Southern Islands family. A photo of the HD 7770 has been revealed, along with some benchmark information. When paired with an Ivy Bridge Core i5 3550K processor running at 3.3GHz, the HD 7770 scored X1077 in 3DMark 11 on the Extreme setting, which makes it 25-30% faster than an HD 6770. The HD 7770 is also said to have 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface, along with 896 Stream processors, 56 texture units, and 16 ROPs. The price is expected to be right around $140, and if that holds true, AMD could have a winner on its hands in the under $150 video card segment.

The AMD HD 7770 is projected to launch in February or March for $140, but we are still waiting to see what the HD 7800 series can bring. All of this is still just speculation, and until review samples are out, take this information with a grain of salt.


Complete Story


US Military going GREENS

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 05:20PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Though armies may have run on their stomachs in the past, today a modern military force requires electricity where ever it goes. Getting the fuel for generators to the front lines though can be quite expensive, depending on the distance to be traveled and the dangers on the path.

Recently Michigan State University developed a water purification system for the front lines and now the Office of Naval Research has started the production of 300 watt hybrid battery generators. The Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) is a portable continuous power supply. Its batteries will keep the output constant while the solar panels on it will recharge the batteries whenever possible.

This system is already seeing field use as full production has recently started. Some US Marine Corp outposts have in fact used GREENS as their only power source, proving the capability of the devices. The devices have even exceeded expectations as the final prototypes operated at 85% capacity while in temperatures in excess of 116 F. Not bad for a design meant for simplicity and portability.


Complete Story


AMD Pushes Launch of HD 7950 to February

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 07:20PM
Author: bp9801

Just a few days removed from the possible specifications leak of the AMD HD 7950 video card comes the news it will not be available next week. The HD 7970 will be launching next week, January 9th, but the HD 7950 will not launch until the first week of February. The AMD HD 7970 had a paper launch before Christmas, but only review samples were sent out. To avoid another paper launch for the 7950, AMD decided it will release it at the same time as review samples are sent out. This could be good news for some, since NVIDIA is expected to launch its 28nm Kepler products around the end of January or first of February. It could give AMD a leg up with the HD 7970 launching a few weeks prior to the rest, and then the HD 7950 will be competing directly with the NVIDIA products. Whatever the case will be, it looks like the beginning of 2012 will renew the video card rivalry all over again.


Complete Story


What's Damaging our Hearing?

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 07:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When considering what noises is so loud it could cause hearing damage, most people would think of loud motors, trains, planes, and jackhammers. A recent study from the University of Michigan and University of California, San Francisco finds there is another major player in hearing damage: mp3 players and other stereo usage.

Researchers have traditionally believed it was noise in the work place which is the major contributor to hearing loss. The focus of the study was actually to find what the average annual noise exposure is for people using public transportation (the study specifically used residents of New York City) and comparing it to that of those who do not use transportation. Surprisingly, the transit system, on its own, only accounts for a tenth of the excessive noise levels transit users would subject to. When considering all noise sources, the primary cause of exceeding the recommended 125 db limit, was mp3 players and stereo usage. Some 90% of transit users and 87% of non-transit users were exposed to these high volumes.

This unexpected discovery does worry some as even momentary exposure to noises above 125 db can cause permanent damage. Persistent exposure can also lead to other health problems including stress, sleep problems, and even heart disease. Might not be a bad idea to turn it down a few notches.


Complete Story


Mass Effect 3 is just a Short Time Away

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 08:50PM
Author: bp9801

We are officially in to 2012, which means the third installment of the Mass Effect trilogy is nearly upon us. You haven't played the first two games? Well, go ahead and play through them. I'll wait.

Ok, so you've finished Mass Effect 1 and 2, and have a good grasp of what kind of a person your Commander Shepard is? Good, because that will be key when Mass Effect 3 comes out this March. According to designer Casey Hudson, Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 3 is part how you have shaped him/her, and also part of the "underlying themes" since the first game's opening moments. The common experience across everybody's Commander Shepard is that Shepard (male or female) is just an average person thrust into amazing circumstances. The team at BioWare wants to try and get players into the head of their Shepard in new ways to give you a glimpse of what the character is facing.

At the heart of Mass Effect 3 are the Reapers, the race of sentient machines hellbent on wiping out all life in the galaxy. You have to race to fight back against them by gathering capital ships, special forces squads, and armies of warriors, each of which is a War Asset. It is a similar method to gathering the companions in Mass Effect 2, except this time on a much grander scale. The effectiveness of your armada in the final battle is determined by how well the overall war effort has gone up to that point. If your allies suffer huge losses, you will have a much tougher time in the final battle to determine the fate of the galaxy.

Those allies fighting separately from the Normandy and Shepard's team is where the co-op multiplayer comes into play. You become one of these special forces teams fighting across the galaxy, and your performance there helps your overall readiness in the single player campaign. How well that is pulled off remains to be seen, but BioWare has a knack for that sort of thing. For the single player campaign, the weapons get an improvement thanks to weapon mods. You will be able to increase the rate of fire and reload time on a sniper rifle, add a scope to a pistol, or any number of other possible combinations to help your Shepard on their mission.

Mass Effect 3 will launch on March 6th, for the PC, PS3, and 360. Hang on to your save game files, as ME3 will wrap up your Commander Shepard's story in a way few other games have ever done before. The battle for the galaxy is depending on you.


Complete Story


Cooler Master Unveils Cosmos II Chassis

Posted: January 2, 2012 @ time: 11:50PM
Author: premiumgfx

Cooler Master has unveiled its latest chassis, the "ultra tower" Cosmos II. The new chassis combines aluminum, mesh and steel to create a refined look. The Cosmos II supports motherboards up to XL-ATX form factor, along with up to 13 Hard Drive Disks (HDDs)/Solid State Drives (SSDs) using the X dock (two HDDs), middle cage (five HDDs) and bottom cage (six HDDs). Three 5.25" drive bays and 11 2.5" drive bays (converted from 3.5" drive bays) are also provided. The Cosmos II includes ample space for four-way CrossfireX and SLI GPU configurations, and is compatible with video cards up to 385mm in length and CPU coolers up to 190mm high. Cooling is provided by one 200mm LED fan (front), one 120mm fan (top), one 140mm fan (rear), two 120mm fans (bottom HDD), with the option of adding up to three more fans. The I/O panel is located on the top of the chassis and includes a four-channel fan speed control, along with two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out and an e-SATA port. Other features include cable management holes for easy cable routing and tool-free installation of hardware. The Cosmos II chassis measures 344x704x664mm (WxHxD), will be available in "midnight black" and will retail for around US$349.99 (€349.99) later this month.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 07:15AM
Author: Nemo

Cooler Master begins the new year with the announcement of its latest case, the Cooler Master Cosmos II Ultra Tower, and we have several other reviews in addition to OCC's own look at the new chassis. We also have included another review on the Corsair Carbide Series 500R and Carbide Series 400R mid-tower cases. There are a couple of reviews on video cards including the Galaxy MDT GeForce GTX 580 and AMD's Radeon HD 7970 cards. Troubleshooting computer problems is always easier when you have the right tools and the Thermaltake Dr. Power II power supply tester makes the job of checking out your PSU a lot easier.

Cases
Video Perspective: Corsair Carbide 500R and 400R Case @ PC Perspective
Cooler Master Cosmos II Ultra Tower Chassis @ TweakTown
Cooler Master Cosmos II @ Neoseeker
Cooler Master Cosmos II Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Gadgets
Thermaltake Dr. Power II Power Supply Tester @ ThinkComputers

Video
Galaxy MDT GeForce GTX 580 Video Card @ [H]ardOCP
Does AMD have a 2304 stream processor GPU in waiting? @ PC Perspective
AMD's Radeon HD 7970 graphics processor @ Tech Report

Miscellany
The state of gaming - What will be the next big push in the world of games? @ TweakTown


Complete Story


The Ultra Portable Timberland Folding Shoes

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 09:55AM
Author: edwardquilo

Travelers know how much of a hassle shoes can be to pack inside a traveling bag or suitcase, what with their inflexible shapes taking up a considerable amount of precious space. Timberland solves that dilemma with its Radler Camp shoes, which can fold and zip in half to give you that extra interior bag space. Although the company advertises the shoes primarily for hiking or camping trips, aesthetically these look good enough for casual wear as well. The Radler Camp shoes come in several colors, and can even be clipped outside your bag like a giant rubber keychain. If the shoes are as comfortable on the feet as they are inside a bag, then the $65 price tag could be well worth it. 

 


Complete Story


Passive Optical Diode Created

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 12:09PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a good chance that the data of Overclockers Club traveled through a fiber optic cable on its way to your computer. Before your computer could use the information though, it had to be translated from the photons, used in the cable, to electrons which computers understand. This extra and required processing slows the data transmission system and is a potential target to hackers. Researchers at Purdue University have devised a passive optical diode with the potential to replace the conventional devices used. This would allow a fiber optic cable to be connected directly to a computer, increasing both bandwidth and security.

The key achievement of the design is its one-way transmission. When photons enter it, they can either continue forward or be dissipated. This opens the door to directly processing the optical information. The researchers achieved this by using two rings of silicon and a waveguide. Light passes through the waveguide, which then directs the light through both rings, sequentially. Whether the light keeps going or is dissipated is dependent on which ring it enters first.

Large scale data transmission is not the only area which may benefit from this design, but also supercomputers. These computational giants have a great number of processors all linked together, and using optical instead of electrical transmission could greatly increase their performance.


Complete Story


Bastion Sells 500,000 Copies, Team Will Self-Fund Next Game

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 04:46PM
Author: bp9801

Supergiant Games' debut title was the action-RPG Bastion. The game has a unique art style and story, but what really sets it apart is the narrator who details your every action and helps to provide some background for your character. Bastion has been on sale recently, and thanks to that, has now sold over 500,000 copies. Supergiant Games is enjoying the success of Bastion, and its next game will have the team taking its time to get everything right, as well as self-funding the development. The "core team" at Supergiant will be staying together to develop it, but the next game will not necessarily be Bastion 2. The team at Supergiant intended Bastion to stand on its own, and will only do a sequel if the development team wants to make one. It will not be motivated by money, but rather a desire to return to the world of Bastion. That kind of philosophy is kind of refreshing in a day and age of countless sequels, and for those hoping to see more of the Bastion universe, perhaps Supergiant will work on some more DLC.


Complete Story


First Certified Reference for Nanotubes

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 05:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The ability to compare samples is of the utmost importance in science, but consistency is not always easily had. Carbon nanotubes are cylinders of carbon thousands of times smaller than a human hair. Their size and structure gives them very interesting optical, thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties. Producing them though is very tricky.

The production of single-wall carbon nanotubes often uses metal particles to act as a catalyst. On a larger scale this process will create so many impurities that samples prepared in the same lab cannot be compared, let alone samples from different labs. Now researchers at the NIST have created the first reference material single-wall carbon nanotubes. Before this the researchers developed methods to measure and separate nanotubes, as well as protocols and standards for documentation.

This may not seem important, but the ability to properly compare samples is needed for nanotubes to enter into computers and other pieces of technology. Quality cannot be assured without some means to measure it.


Complete Story


Steam Reaches Five Million Concurrent Users just Days into the New Year

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 05:33PM
Author: bp9801

Steam has recently ended its holiday sale, but that did not seem to have an effect on the amount of gamers logging in to the service. Steam recently reached five million concurrent users just days into the new year, most likely thanks in no small part to the big-name titles in the holiday sale. As you might have guessed, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has the most gamers playing it currently, perhaps even some new ones due to the discount it had during the sale. Skyrim has been the most popular game on Steam since the game's launch on November 11th, with other huge titles, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, coming close but never really challenging Skyrim for the top spot. Five million users on Steam at one time is no small feat, and just goes to show how popular the digital distribution platform has become.


Complete Story


Hunting for Memory

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 06:17PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The records and logs of a computer are stored on the hard drive, a single and specific piece of hardware. Could there be a similar single and specific area of the brain responsible for memory? Researchers at MIT believe they have found something which may lead to such a discovery.

Just as with computer storage, human memories are stored in physical changes to the brain. Instead of the magnetic field of a bit being flipped though, it is the connections between neurons which encode memory. To initiate new connections to form requires genes within the neurons to be activated, and the researchers have identified a gene which may activate these other genes. Called Npas4, this gene controls the transcription process of other genes into messenger RNA. The RNA strands are what would trigger a neuron to produce new connections.

This gene’s use was identified using contextual fear conditioning. Mice learned to fear a specific chamber by receiving an electric shock every time they entered it. By monitoring the mice, the researchers identified its activation coming very early into the conditioning process, unlike many other activity-regulated genes. Though the learning involved was associated with fear, the belief is Npas4 affects many other learning processes. If this is true it may also be possible to identify were memories are stored in the brain.

To verify this gene directly impacts learning, the researchers suppressed it and repeated the test. The mice were unable to learn to be afraid of the chamber, unlike the unaltered mice.


Complete Story


ECS Wi-Bridge Wireless Display Solution Announced

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 07:23PM
Author: Nemo

ECS has announced its Wi-Bridge wireless display solution designed for HDMI display devices. The Wi-Bridge is a wireless display adapter in a small and portable package designed to bridge PC or notebook to your big screen display device supporting 1080P high-definition resolution via HDMI. The ECS Wi-Bridge supports all the various video/audio/photo formats. In the office, the Wi-Bridge is ideal for switching between multiple presenters. The ECS Wi-Bridge is effective up to a range of 30 meters and can be used with the bundled remote control. ECS has yet to announce pricing and availability.


Complete Story


Nintendo Sold Over Four Million 3DS Systems in the US in 2011

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 07:46PM
Author: bp9801

It looks like Nintendo is seeing some success with the 3DS, as the company announced over four million 3DS systems were sold in the US in 2011. Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 both sold over one million copies, giving the 3DS more million-selling titles to complement The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. The 3DS has not been without some controversy, as it originally launched at $250 but dropped to $170 not long after. It was one of the fastest price drops for any gaming device, but it looks like the lower price helped Nintendo sell more systems in the US. Nintendo also announced new Mario Party and Pokemon games would be coming to the 3DS, though no release dates were given for either one. The new Pokemon game could tie together the recent Black and White games, or it could be a spinoff like the Mystery Dungeon games. Either way, the Pokemon franchise should help Nintendo sell even more 3DS systems, as will the upcoming Animal Crossing game.


Complete Story


Crysis 2 is Most Pirated PC Game of 2011

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 08:01PM
Author: bp9801

Say what you will about illegally obtaining a game, but the fact is video game piracy is still quite prevalent. It did decline from 2010 to 2011, but not nearly enough. Torrent Freak compiled a list of the most pirated titles using public BitTorrent trackers, and found Crysis 2 to be the most pirated PC game of 2011. Crysis 2 came out in the early part of 2011, and managed to be torrented 3.92 million times. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was next in line at 3.65 million downloads, which is impressive considering it came out at the tail end of 2011, and then Battlefield 3 follows at 3.51 million, which also came out near the end of 2011. FIFA 12 came in fourth at 3.39 million illegal downloads, and then Portal 2 at 3.24 million. All of these numbers are around three times the amount of the most pirated console game, and just goes to show that piracy is still a major problem for publishers and developers. I know, some of you will say some pirates do tend to buy the games afterwards, but there are always those who do not.


Complete Story


Neoseeker Game Store Update

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 08:48PM
Author: bp9801

Neoseeker's Christmas sale may be over, but there are always more deals to be had throughout the year. Today, there are some titles you may be interested in that are on sale at Neoseeker for a limited time or have received a price drop. First up, there is Tropico 4 at the low price of only $11.98. That is a 70% discount on the tropical island simulator where you can control the population however you see fit. The reduced price on Tropico 4 only lasts until January 12th, so you have a bit of time to purchase it. Dead Island and its Bloodbath Arena DLC are 40% off until January 12th as well, letting you do something a little different on a tropical island, as you fight to survive the zombie horde. Dungeons and its sequel The Dark Lord are bundled together at 67% off until January 12th, letting you craft dungeons to regain your position as the Dungeon Lord. For those interested in FPS games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has a price drop down to $29.95, letting you try out one of the recent CoD entries for a lower cost.


Complete Story


MSI Big Bang-XPower II X79 Motherboard

Posted: January 3, 2012 @ time: 09:35PM
Author: Nemo

MSI announced its new flagship motherboard, the Big Bang-XPower II, based on the Intel X79 Express chipset. As you might expect, the board features PCI Express Gen 3 standard and 4-way NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFire. It also comes with eight quad-channel memory slots. The next feature lends credence to the X-Power part of the name as the board also uses a 22-phase PWM design that uses a dual 8-pin CPU and single 6-pin VGA power connector along with MIL-STD-810G certified Military Class III components.

The MSI Big Bang-XPower II supports the latest PCI Express Gen 3 standard. doubling the bandwidth of the previous generation at 32GB/s. The eight DDR3 memory slots can support a whopping 128GB of memory. The MSI Big Bang-XPower offers a 22-phase PWM design, an industry first, with dual 8-pin CPU power connectors to provide an additional 300W of power for intensive CPU operations. Throw in support for 4-way NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFire multi-GPU processing technology and you can expect some pretty serious 3D performance.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 06:19AM
Author: Nemo

Let's look into a pair of cases today as we have another review of the just-announced Cooler Master Cosmos II Ultra Tower chassis in the roundup. Also  for your consideration is a review on the Lian Li PC-TU200 small form factor case that fits Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards. Continuing on to storage we have an article on one of Synology's latest storage offerings, the DiskStation DS212 dual-bay NAS server. The other item in the storage department covered today is RunCore's RCP V mSATA T50 SATA III 120GB solid state drive.

Cases
Cooler Master Cosmos II @ LanOC Reviews
Lian Li PC-TU200 Case @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Trident Case Kraken Case for Apple iPad2 @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
RunCore RCP V mSATA T50 SATA III 120GB SSD @ TweakTown
Synology Diskstation DS212 @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


Sinde: The Spanish SOPA

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 09:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While the SOPA and ProtectIP bills are still sitting in the US Congress, Spain has passed the Sinde Anti-Piracy Law. Similar to the American bills, Sinde gives rights holders the power to request legal action against an allegedly pirating website. There are some differences between the bills though. Sinde creates the government commission for the rights holders to turn to while SOPA and ProtectIP use the already established Attorney General’s office. Also the power to take down a site rests with Spanish courts, whereas the US bills give that power to the Attorney General.

There has been great opposition to this bill which has existed for years, it appears. It has been passed now because the ruling party, which just came to power in November, chose to implement it. It is worth mentioning that Spain has a great pirating problem, with as much as 97.8% of music consumption in the country being illegally driven, for just the first six months of 2010. Movie and game pirating were at 77% and 60.7%, respectively, for the same time period.


Complete Story


AMD Sued by Quanta (Not Over Patents)

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 12:55PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Here’s something you may not have seen for a while; a suit between two tech companies without patent infringement involved. The plaintiff in this case is Quanta Computer Inc, the largest contract maker of laptops in the world. Its claim is AMD sold it chips which did not meet heat tolerances. These chips were then used in the laptops ordered by NEC and later malfunctioned.

In the complaint Quanta says it has, "suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits." AMD disputes these claims and states it has never received a report of the chips involved failing. In fact, Quanta itself admits it used the same chips in a different large order for NEC without issue.

Additional allegations in the complaint include breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract.


Complete Story


Pre-Order Bonuses for Mass Effect 3 Revealed

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 01:58PM
Author: bp9801

Mass Effect 3 is fast approaching its March 6th release date, and today we have a new bit of information about it. This does not concern anything with the story, but rather what you get with the game. The pre-order bonuses for Mass Effect 3 have been revealed, and there are three different items you can get. Every pre-order will receive the M55 Argus Assault Rifle, while pre-orders from GameStop and Origin will each get another item. Origin pre-orders will receive the AT12 Raider Shotgun, and GameStop pre-orders will receive the N7 Warfare Gear. The M55 Argus Assault Rifle and AT12 Raider Shotgun look to be powerful additions to your arsenal, but the N7 Warfare Gear includes a new set of armor and a new weapon.

The M55 Argus Assault Rifle is capable of rapid-fire bursts, the AT12 Raider Shotgun has more firepower than a regular shotgun, the N7 Defender Armor has amplified shields, and lastly the N7 Valkyrie Assault Rifle can stop your enemies with its high caliber rounds. All of the pre-order bonuses sound like a great addition to your game, but you just need to decide whether going with Origin for the shotgun or GameStop for the armor and weapon combination is more worth it.

Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6th for the PC, PS3, and 360.


Complete Story


Removing CO2 from the Atmosphere

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 02:28PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Alongside research to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) from emissions is research to remove the greenhouse gas from the air. Unfortunately most of the traditional methods are energy intensive and don’t work well, amongst other issues. Now being reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society is news of cheap compound being used to capture CO2 from the air.

Polyethylenimine is cheap and readily available material and has achieved one of the highest CO2 removal rates ever observed, for humid air. To further impress the researchers, the material is able to quickly and easily release the CO2 as well. Though it may seem odd that researchers would want to release the captured CO2, the gas can be used to make other substances. For example, recaptured CO2 could be used to create gasoline or petroleum based plastics and medicines. Alternatively, the CO2 could just be sequestered somewhere permanently while the cleaned polyethylenimine is used to capture more CO2.


Complete Story


Microsoft Flight will be Free

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 03:09PM
Author: bp9801

Recently, Microsoft started taking applications for the beta of the next title in its Flight Simulator series. This time, the game is known simply as Microsoft Flight, and seeks to let everyone enjoy flying a plane without the need for fancy equipment. Sure, you can use a flightstick and pedals if you are part of the hardcore flight sim crowd, but you can also fly just fine with a mouse and keyboard. For newcomers to the flight sim world, Microsoft Flight will even let you take control of a plane while it is in mid-flight, eliminating the risk of crashing on takeoff. Microsoft Flight is another first for the series by being a free download. You will get access to the big island of Hawaii and the Icon A5 airplane with your free download, while other aircraft and the remaining Hawaiian islands can be purchased for a small fee.

Yes, Microsoft Flight is limited just to Hawaii, but there are various missions and challenges for you to do while flying around. You can even join up to fifteen of your friends online to either fly around together or complete any challenges you wish. When you sign in with your Games for Windows Live account to play with your friends, Microsoft will give you the Boeing Stearman N25 for free, as well as additional challenges. Microsoft Flight will run on a wide variety of hardware, meaning you do not need an ultra powerful rig to run it, but it will look even better on the more powerful systems.

Microsoft Flight is a different approach to the flight sim genre, but one that should bring even more people into the fray. Microsoft Flight will launch in full this spring.


Complete Story


Razer to Unveil a Gaming Tablet at CES 2012?

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 04:34PM
Author: bp9801

At one point in time, Razer just created computer mice with the gamer in mind. Then it branched to keyboards, mouse pads, and audio gear throughout the years, offering the same high quality gear to gamers demanding a little more precision. During the middle part of last year, Razer unveiled its Blade gaming laptop, a much larger version of the Switchblade prototype it had shown off previously. The Razer Blade is a high-priced gaming laptop, but it offers some impressive components and features to those wanting something a little smaller than a desktop computer. Now, it looks like Razer has its eyes set on another market: the world of tablets. Project Fiona, as it is known, has been kept under wraps so far, but Razer released a teaser video that shows off something resembling a tablet. The beginning takes a stab at Apple and the iPad, then showcases some computer games "on an all-new form factor." Near the end, the shot pulls away to reveal something tablet-esque. This could be a new gaming tablet from Razer, but we will know more when CES 2012 starts next Tuesday. Personally, I would like to see the Switchblade since a miniature gaming laptop would be more interesting to me.


Complete Story


Roku Announces Streaming Stick

Posted: January 4, 2012 @ time: 06:15PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Roku has announced a new product to complement its current streaming products, the Streaming Stick. The compact device is the size of a USB flash drive, and brings the streaming software provided by its set top boxes to a much smaller form factor. The Streaming Stick features Wi-Fi, a processor, and enough memory to run the software that will allow consumers to stream Netflix and more than 400 channels available on the Roku platform to their qualified televisions. The Streaming Stick won't require any external power sources, but will need a TV with an MHL-enabled HDMI port. It will be available in the second half of this year, and can be bundled with a TV or sold on its own.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 06:43AM
Author: Nemo

So, what do we have in store for you today? Tablets and ultrabooks promise to be one of the hottest items at this year's CES event coming up January 10-13. One of the more anticipated Android tablets has been the ASUS Transformer Prime based on the latest Tegra 3 processor reviewed here today. We also have a review of the Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E processor. Gaming enthusiasts will tell you having the right mouse gives them an edge and Razer is offering the Naga Epic MMO gaming mouse for dual-mode (wired/wireless) gaming. For those who are fans of racing sims, we have a review of the SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 wheel. Also in today's roundup are reviews on an 8GB GeIL memory kit, a Kingwin 1000W power supply and the Corsair Performance Series Pro 256GB solid state drive.

CPUs
Intel Core i7-3820 Processor Review - Quad-Core Sandy Bridge-E under $300 @ PC Perspective

Input Devices
SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel @ Benchmark Reviews
Unboxing the Razer Naga Epic MMO Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Memory
GeIL Evo Corsa 8GB 2133CL9 Dual Channel Kit @ Madshrimps

Notebooks/Tablets
Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime Tablet @ Twch Report

Power Supplies
Kingwin LZP-1000 1000W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Performance Series Pro 256GB Solid State Drive @ TweakTown


Complete Story


CES Partners with NSF for Eureka Park

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 09:44AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a part of the US government which gives grants and other forms of backing for science and engineering projects. The grantees include universities and small businesses, including some which have spun off from universities. To recognize the importance of these innovative companies, the Consumer Electronics Association, the association that puts together CES, has partnered with NSF and CNET to create Eureka Park, a new TechZone for CES 2012. Initially Eureka Park only had 28 participating companies, all of which were NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees, but now there are 94 start-up companies registered to have their own booths at the show starting January 10.

Without a doubt the Eureka Park section of CES will have a rather eclectic mix of technology to demonstrate to the attendees. Transparent, flexible, polymer solar panels; electrofluidic display technology for ereaders; a DIY assistive robot with uses ranging from social therapy to education; an advanced robotic whole arm manipulator; contact lenses to enable near-eye micro-displays to be viewed while keeping a distant background in focus; a social networking system designed to be easily accessible to those without much computer knowledge; and more will be at the show.


Complete Story


Kopimism: the File-Sharing Religion

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 10:03AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is probably one of those news items you would never have expected to read. (I know it’s one I never expected to be writing.) The Swedish government has recognized Kopimism as a religion. The core belief is all information is value unto itself and sharing the information increases the value. Two of their sacred symbols are CTRL-C and CTRL-V, and the act of copying and sharing information is a religious service.

The religion was founded by a philosophy student who hopes file-sharing will now be given religious protection. The church of Kopimism does not explicitly support piracy but only the open distribution of information to all, and experts do not believe religiously protected file-sharing would stop anti-piracy laws.


Complete Story


Bringing 3D to a Smartphone Near You

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 01:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like high definition before it, the new craze in media is three dimensional video and pictures. Movies and video games are being made with the third spatial dimension in mind while monitors and TV’s can be bought to view the content. Creating an accurate depth map though can be intensive and require hardware inaccessible to the average consumer. Traditional time-of-flight depth sensors are inefficient as they can require measuring the distance to every pixel or need expensive light sensors. Now MIT has developed a new time-of-flight depth sensor, which is so efficient and simple it could be deployed in smartphones.

Like other time-of-flight sensors the MIT method uses a light source to illuminate a scene and a camera to capture the reflected light. By knowing the time between the flash and the detection, the distance to an object can be determined. However a few key things have been changed to improve the system. Instead of using a battery of light sensors, this technique uses a single camera with a single pixel. Also the light source does not always give out an omnidirectional burst of light, like a camera flash. Instead it will emit a pattern that looks like an irregular checkerboard. Even though the camera is a single pixel, it can actually distinguish between the different patterns.

Though the math involved in creating a depth map from the camera’s signals isn’t something most people could do, it is simple enough for a smartphone’s processor to work out. Compared to the Microsoft Kinect, which requires the power of a GPU, this is quite an accomplishment. The intended use of this technology is actually not so much to make 3D images with a phone, but to enable gesture control, like that used in Kinect-enabled games.


Complete Story


Accurate X-COM Remake on the Way from Firaxis

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 03:21PM
Author: bp9801

In April of 2010, 2K Games announced it was reviving the X-COM franchise as a first-person shooter called XCOM. Many fans, however, were less than thrilled about that because X-COM was always a tactical game that required some thought before you acted. Suffice it to say, 2K Games has finally learned what actual X-COM fans want, and that is an updated version of the classic formula and not another FPS. 2K Games has tasked Firaxis Games with handling the remake of X-COM to deliver a more accurate representation of the past games. Firaxis is best known for the Civilization series, and seeing how that is one of the better turn-based strategy games around, it looks like 2K Games has finally got it right. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a return to roots for the series, but with Firaxis giving it an all-new story and updated gameplay experience that is sure to please fans both new and old. Firaxis is keeping things under wraps for now, but the upcoming February issue of Game Informer has plenty more details.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown will launch on the PC, PS3, and 360 later this fall.


Complete Story


Gotham City Impostors Delayed to February for Unknown Reason

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 04:17PM
Author: bp9801

Gotham City Impostors is not exactly the type of game you would associate with Batman. For one, it is a first-person shooter that actually has guns, and two, Batman and The Joker are nowhere to be found. Instead, the impostors are ordinary citizens of Gotham fighting on behalf of The Dark Knight and The Clown Prince of Crime, with costumes to match. The game has had some closed betas over the last few months, and in fact it was supposed to have been released next Tuesday on the PC, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live. I say "supposed to," because Warner Bros. has delayed Gotham City Impostors until February with no information given to the delay. Gotham City Impostors features customizable characters that you can deck out however you want to fit the Batman or Joker theme, but you will have to wait just a little bit longer to do so.

Gotham City Impostors is due out in February for the PC, PS3, and 360. It is a downloadable title that will set you back $15.


Complete Story


Epic Games Does Not Support SOPA

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 04:58PM
Author: bp9801

Earlier in the week, the Entertainment Software Association announced its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), joining other big names supporting the bill. One of the ESA's members, Epic Games, does not like the decision made by the ESA. In fact, Epic Games does not support SOPA, at least not the current version of the bill. Epic Games' senior PR manager Dana Cowley explained the studios' stance thusly:

Epic Games supports efforts that would stop overseas websites profiting from pirating our games, but we have to do that in a way that's compatible with freedom of speech and due process of law. Thus, we do not support the current version of SOPA.

Those are some pretty terse words concerning SOPA and why Epic does not support it, but it is a welcome change. Several companies supporting SOPA, like the NFL and the Motion Picture Association of America, argue necessary protection for content creators is afforded by the bill, while those opposed, like Google, Facebook, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, say SOPA goes against First Amendment rights. Several major media corporations also support SOPA, and I am sure everyone has their own opinion of it. It is nice to see companies like Epic speaking out about SOPA, especially when the ESA supports the bill.


Complete Story


LEGO Batman 2 Announced, Features More DC Characters

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 07:47PM
Author: bp9801

The Batman news keeps on coming today, though this one is of a happier sort. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes has been announced, and like the name says, the sequel features more DC characters than just those in Batman's world. Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern will team up with Batman and Robin to save Gotham City from Lex Luthor and The Joker. Not much other than that has been revealed so far, but Warner Bros. and Traveller's Tales will expand the gameplay mechanics seen in the first LEGO Batman game. LEGO Batman 2 will be packed with more action and light hearted humor, meaning the game will be fun for anyone, not just younger kids.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes will release later this summer for the PC, PS3, 360, Wii, DS, 3DS, and Vita. The first game sold over eleven million copies across all the platforms, so the sequel should enjoy just as much success.


Complete Story


Plantronics GameCom 780 7.1 Headset Leaked Early

Posted: January 5, 2012 @ time: 08:47PM
Author: bp9801

When CES starts in the next several days, we should be seeing a wealth of new information on all the products coming out this year. A few things do get leaked early, and this time from the company itself. The Plantronics GameCom 780 7.1 headset was leaked early by Plantronics, but this headset has a different appearance than other models in the GameCom line. For one, it has a distinctly retro appearance with the exposed metal and wires, but the internals are all new. It packs 40mm drivers into each ear piece, and makes use of Dolby Headphone and ProLogic IIx to deliver the best sound possible for your games. The GameCom 780 also has reinforced joints and wiring to better protect it when you take it to LAN parties, plus the ear pieces can fold up flat for easier storage. There is a noise-canceling microphone on the headset, a button to toggle the surround sound on/off, plus an on-ear volume wheel and mute switch. The GameCom 780 connects to your PC or Mac via a 6.5 foot USB cable, but the surround sound will only work on the PC.

The Plantronics GameCom 780 7.1 headset will launch on January 10th for $80. The Plantronics GameCom 380 headset, identical to the 780 but lacks the Dolby technologies and USB connection, will only set you back $50.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 05:18AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup includes a review on a series of water cooling kits from Swiftech which come in both a 220 and 320 version. We've seen several USB 3.0 flash drives hit the market lately and we have another one, the RunCore Pro IV USB 3.0 MoonDrive, a 32GB drive based on the faster SLC flash memory. Also in store today is the OCZ ZT Series 650W power supply and the iBUYPOWER Gamer Paladin XLC gaming system.

Cooling
Swiftech H20-X20 Edge HD Water Cooling Kits @ TweakTown

Operating Systems
Tech Tip: Enable Concurrent Desktop Sessions in Windows @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
OCZ ZT Series 650W Power Supply (OCZ-ZS650W) @ Bjorn3D

Prebuilts
iBUYPOWER Gamer Paladin XLC Intel X79 Gaming System @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
RunCore Pro IV USB 3.0 MoonDrive @ TweakTown


Complete Story


New Draft on Protecting the BIOS

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 12:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As overclockers we are quite aware of the utility of the BIOS. It starts before the operating system, so changes made in it are independent of the software on the hard drive. This not only makes it powerful when trying to get the most out of a machine, but also makes it a potential target to hackers and virus writers.

This past September, Mebromi was found; the first known piece of malware made to infect the BIOS. Fortunately a method to remove this Trojan has been created, but it does still show it is possible to attack this fundamental component of a computer.

The NIST has released a draft of its security publication on how to secure and monitor the BIOS. This should lead to the development of products to maintain the integrity of a computer’s BIOS as well as methods to deploy them.


Complete Story


Gigabyte Clarifies the 'Recall' of Three Socket LGA2011 Motherboards

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 04:23PM
Author: bp9801

Last week, some news surfaced concerning some of Gigabyte's Intel LGA2011 motherboards. A video surfaced showing the VRMs on the motherboards would explode with a high CPU frequency, causing Gigabyte to issue a recall on three of the LGA2011 motherboards. The problem with that is Gigabyte never issued a formal recall, and odds are the translation of the notice on the Gigabyte Taiwan website was not that accurate. The notice was limited to Taiwan and a few other areas around it, but the kicker is the video showing the exploding VRMs was due to user error and not a design flaw. You see, the video in question (curiously with comments and embedding now disabled) has the Gigabyte Intel LGA2011 motherboards running on an open test bench with no airflow. There are no case fans aimed at the motherboard to push air over it, and the closed-loop watercooler being used does not exactly have any airflow going over the motherboard either. Without some air movement, the heatsink on the VRMs cannot keep up with higher CPU frequencies and thus, go up in flames.

Gigabyte's answer was not a recall, but rather issue a new F7 BIOS to remove some of the more extreme voltage settings on the X79-UD3, UD5, UD7, and G1.Assassin 2 motherboards. This new BIOS does not impair the overclocking capabilities of the motherboards, like some had suggested, but rather stops the VRMs from going over their limits. Gigabyte says you only need the F7 BIOS if you are overclocking, but will ensure all motherboards sold in the future come with it just to be safe. So, in the end, a little airflow can go a long way to keeping everything from getting out of control.


Complete Story


Smallest Silicon Wire Not Dominated by Quantum Mechanics

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 04:23PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Researchers at University of New South Wales, Melbourne University and Purdue University have recently created the smallest silicon wire ever. At 4 atoms wide by 1 atom tall, and at only 4.2 K the scientists involved expected to find quantum mechanics dominating the conduction of the wire. Instead the classical Ohm's Law was still working. This is great news for traditional computers, which are continually approaching the limit of classical mechanics, but not for quantum computers.

Quantum computers rely on quantum mechanical phenomena like superposition, but a wire still using classical mechanics could cause the superposition to end. This would make the quantum computer no better than an electronic computer, but the researchers do believe wires a single atom thick may still work.

Electronic computer manufacturers should not be rejoicing just yet. Moore's Law may celebrate this finding, but the method used to create the nanowires is quite different than the current etching processes used. Instead of taking material away, the research made the wires by placing single atoms exactly where they needed to be. Still, if wires this small will still work, I'm sure someone will figure out how to mass produce them.


Complete Story


Both the Xbox 360 Successor and PlayStation 4 to be Announced at E3 2012, According to Report

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 05:05PM
Author: bp9801

Let's face it: the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are old. The Xbox 360 came out all the way back in 2005, while the PS3 came out a year later. In terms of hardware, that is pretty ancient, and even though both have had newer, slimmer versions released, the internals have remained mostly the same. For some time there has been speculation concerning when exactly we would see the next Xbox (the rumored Xbox 720) and the PlayStation 4. Both Sony and Microsoft have said the consoles have ten year lifespans, but Microsoft did retire the first Xbox pretty quick. However, according to a new report by MCV, both Sony and Microsoft will announce the successors to the current consoles at E3 2012. The report says it is 100% accurate both the next Xbox and PlayStation 4 will be announced, but that does not necessarily mean a full reveal will be shown.

People have expected Microsoft to announce the next Xbox at E3, and if Microsoft does, then Sony will announce the PlayStation 4 as well. If Sony does, that will be a smack in the face of the ten year lifespan it has always stated for the PS3. Nintendo is also expected to announce the pricing and availability of the Wii U, which could make this year's E3 the largest ever. Whatever the case may be, we will have to wait until this June to be certain.


Complete Story


Apple Patents Power Adapters that Store Passwords

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 07:18PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The security of Apple products is easily a matter for debate and argument in the computer world. Some believe Macs are safe and do not require the security Windows machines use, while others recognize any computer is a vulnerable computer.

A simple, and often effective, way to secure a computer, or any piece of data, is with a password. Despite this there are many people who do not use a password, but Apple thinks it knows how to help them. Acting under the assumption it is the difficulty and inconvenience of recovering a password that causes people to not use them, Apple has filed a patent for a power adapter that includes a memory chip to store an encrypted password or recovery question. The encryption key is stored on the Apple product, so when paired together, the password can be recovered simply.

Of course an additional assumption of Apple’s is that a thief, when stealing a device, is not also going to get the power adapter. However, Apply says it could create a similar system that uses other peripherals, like printers or routers, which are less mobile.

Personally I would think adding a fingerprint reader to a MacBook would be easier and safer, though it may not look as good on the shiny case.


Complete Story


Neoseeker Game Store Update - January 6th

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 07:54PM
Author: bp9801

The Neoseeker game store has you covered if you want some good games at even better prices. Neoseeker still has a few titles for sale until January 12th, so now would be the perfect time to grab them before the deals run out. Tropico 4 is marked down 70%, making it an easy option to get if you want to rule a tropical island as you see fit. At a mere $12, anyone can jump right in to experience the new campaign, buildings, and features of Tropico 4. If you are looking for a different tropical island experience, then you cannot go wrong with Dead Island and its Bloodbath Arena DLC. The combo is marked down 40%, and lets you experience life on a tropical island teeming with zombies. If you want to get away from everything and build some underground levels, perhaps the Dungeons bundle is up your alley. The bundle includes Dungeons and Dungeons: The Dark Lord, the sequel, so you get two games to experience life as a dungeon lord for an incredible 67% off. These titles are only on sale until January 12th, so you are running out of time to pick one or all up.


Complete Story


Nanowiggles is a Word and a Useful Structure

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 09:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Graphene, our favorite atom thick material, is back again with new and curious properties. Already we know it conducts electricity very well but at the cost of a band gap, a needed characteristic for electronics. Making pure graphene sheets though can be very difficult. Researchers at EMPA, Switzerland recently found a way to make high quality graphene, but not as sheets or ribbons. The process creates a structure which is not perfectly straight, but will zigzag.

This new structure sparked the interest of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Often in nature different structures of a material can greatly change its characteristics. Graphene is a perfect example of this as it, graphite, and diamond are all forms of carbon but with such different structures to make one form more valuable than the others. Using a supercomputer to analyze the different nanowiggle structures (such as armchair, armchair/zigzag, zigzag, and zigzag/armchair) the researchers found the different structures have very different properties, including different band gaps.

Many scientists are already interested in using graphene to replace silicon in computers, but the absence of a band gap and mass production issues may have kept their work in a lab for some time. This research gives scientists the ability to not only produce graphene easily but to design its band gap to what they want. The researchers also found the nanowiggles can be used to control the magnetic properties of graphene, which will also prove useful in technological use.


Complete Story


Valve Releases Some Information on Steam: 100% Sales Growth, 40 Million Registered Users

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 09:09PM
Author: bp9801

There is no denying the popularity of Steam, the digital distribution platform ran by Valve. Already this week we have seen more than five million concurrent users on Steam, and today Valve has released some more information on the service. Sales on Steam have grown by 100% for the seventh year in a row in 2011. There are over 1800 games available on Steam, 40 million registered users (though not all are active), and lastly, 780 petabytes of data have been downloaded by customers just in 2011. There have also been 19 million items traded, but Valve did not say how many of those were hats or items from the recent holiday sale. Four hundred of the games currently available on Steam make use of Steamworks, with 14.5 million copies being sold for a 67% increase over the total in 2010. Valve also plans to release a Big Picture UI mode that is designed to fit Steam to large screens, but did not state when that would be coming out.


Complete Story


Blizzard Says Diablo III 'Almost Done'

Posted: January 6, 2012 @ time: 09:34PM
Author: bp9801

This is the news many have been waiting for, although it is not completely bursting with revelations. Blizzard says that Diablo III is "almost done," which fits in nicely with this year being the 15th anniversary of the Diablo franchise. Blizzard still did not say when we would be getting our hands on Diablo III, but with it nearly being done, the early 2012 launch date could still happen. The developer released a video interview where Jay Wilson and Chris Metzen take a deeper look at the Diablo franchise. You can head over to Battle.net and watch the video for yourself, but the first video uploaded by Blizzard contained some spoilers about Diablo III. That was quickly taken down and replaced with a spoiler-free version, since Blizzard does want some surprise with Diablo III's story. Hopefully we do not have too much longer of a wait for the third installment of the franchise.


Complete Story


© 2001-2014 Overclockers Club ® Privacy Policy

Also part of our network: TalkAndroid, Android Forum, iPhone Informer, Neoseeker, and Used Audio Classifieds

Elapsed: 0.0270090103