Tech News December 2005

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Looking Ahead to CES, the Show I Love to Hate
Designtechnica :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“The annual CES, the US Consumer Electronics Show, is a treat beyond compare; it provides a way to see a massive number of cool products (unfortunately for someone like me, who loves to buy this stuff and has no patience, resulting in a massive level of frustration). Every year I miss more than I see, and in my mad rush to see as much as possible I generally find the week to be a time of blisters, muscle pain, and deep longing for things I cannot yet have. My wife has learned a defense mechanism that takes effect as soon as I return; the more excited I am, the more creative she is in hiding my credit cards. This is one incredibly wonderful and expensive show.

In a week or so, I’ll share with you what I saw at the show; for now, let’s talk about what I expect to see. I actually have a relatively good idea in some areas because analysts are pre-briefed under double, super-secret NDAs, which gives me a view few others are lucky enough to get. ”

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Customizing Fedora 4 @ Phoronix
Phoronix :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Summary: “With the number of fresh Linux installs we perform on a weekly basis with a variety of hardware, simply using the stock install CDs have become a sizable task due to the number of FOSS updates available on a daily basis. In fact, alone on Red Hat’s servers and mirrors are over 839 updates just for the FC4 i386 architecture! Although the Red Hat Up2date process is relatively easy to perform the process can be quite time consuming even with an Up2date server running on the LAN. To fix the updating issue, as well as to provide a few other Phoronix additions, we have begun to re-master the Fedora Core 4 (Stentz) build. We share a few steps to the re-mastering process today in this guide.”

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FCC to Reverse Decision Regarding À la carte Cable Pricing
Designtechnica :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“As most readers are now aware, the FCC is about to issue (or reissue) a report stating that cable companies should offer à la carte pricing to their customers instead of force-feeding them prepackaged tiers. According to the FCC, consumers should have the ability to select and pay for only the channels they want to watch, versus having to pay for bundles or “tiers” comprised of many channels they never view.

The FCC stated that the agency’s latest research concludes that “…à la carte could be in the best interest of consumers” as well as being “economically feasible.” This runs counter to last year’s FCC report which found that à la carte pricing would result in substantial price increases for consumers and negatively impact the cable TV industry.”

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Titan Eagle Universal VGA Cooler @ ThinkComputers.org
Think Computers :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Quote: “Titan is a relative newcomer to the cooling business, but from what I have seen they are a rising star. They produce quality products that not only look good but perform good as well. It seems everyone is coming up with aftermarket cooling solutions for today’s high end video cards, and everyone is trying to lure customers with some sort of attractive packaging. Recently I reviewed the Evercool Nighthawk VGA cooler, its cover was in the shape of a Stealth Airplane. Today for review I have the Titan Eagle Universal VGA cooler, as the name suggests it has an eagle theme to it. It might look good but does it perform? Let’s find out…”

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Compact Flash Card Round-Up
The Tech Lounge :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“I’d like to answer one question that I think many amateur and even some professional photographers have. What kind of performance can you expect in a real-world situation from various Compact Flash (CF) cards? The reason this issue is important is that the price varies for CF cards of different brands and speed ratings. I will attempt to find out what benefit higher-speed CF cards actually have under various circumstances, and going a step further, I will find out if there is any bottleneck incurred when transferring data via card readers or directly from cameras. I have rounded up 8 CF cards from various vendors with various speed-ratings, as well as 4 different card readers, and I’m ready to put them through their paces.”

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Vantec Vortex2 HDD Cooler Review #632:
3dgameman :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

This Hard Drive Cooling System does actually work! Some hard drive cooling solutions do not really accomplish much in the way of keeping a hard drive cool. Many have small fans that do next to nothing. The reason why this one does work very well is because of the cross-flow blower fan. This fan pushes enough air across the hard drive to prevent overheating. Overheating is very dangerous for a hard drive and can result in system instability, data loss or worse. It’s very important to keep current hard drives cool, especially SCSI hard drives… ~3dGameMan.com

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Enermax Liberty 400W PSU review @ DH
Driver Heaven :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

“We’ve looked at numerous supplies here in the past and on the whole they have all been high specification units and those generally come at an equally high price. It goes without saying not everyone has a huge budget to work with; however stability is still an important factor. So today we are going to look at Enermax’s mainstream model which comes in at 400w. Enermax are not a company known for skimping on quality so we should be in for a treat at a very reasonable price.”

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Wacom Graphire4 4×5 Tablet Review @ WindowsAtoZ.com
Windows A to Z :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

“Have you ever tried to draw something with your mouse and have it turning out like something totally different? Well that’s because with a mouse, you cannot get coordinated enough to draw something as neat as you would with a normal pen and paper. So companies, like Wacom, have come up with a digital tablet that uses a pen-like stylus to “draw” on a digital surface and it acts like a mouse so you can have more coordination to draw and do things like that.”

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WiFi Vs. WiMAX @ The TechZone
The Tech Zone :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
QOS (Quality of Service) is an major issue with WiMax because of the number of people accessing a tower at once. Some would think that a tower could be easily overloaded with a lot of people accessing it at once. Built into the WiMax standard is an algorithm that when the tower/base station is nearing capacity then it automatically will transfer the user to another WiMax tower or cell. Unlike a Wifi clients who have to kind of fight to stay associated with a given access point; WiMax will only have to perform this hand shake at the MAC level the first time they access the network.

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[Phoronix] Mobile HDD Cache Comparison
Phoronix :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Summary: “In an effort to gain a larger mobile penguin presence we have numerous notebook related articles under works and our first to deliver is a mobile cache comparison examining the benefits of an increased ATA-6 cache size, which is one of the ways to seek an increased performance over a HDD speed increase with the downfalls of that being an excessive amount of heat along with being noisy and wearing down the battery life. Just how well does the standard 8MB compare to 16MB on the Pentium M front?”

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XSPC X2O Performance PC Water Cooling Kit Review
MODTHEBOX! :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

“With the bolts installed we can test the fit of the water block and mounting plate. With no obstacles in the way, you can easily use the configuration illustrated on the left. If large tall standing capacitors are in the way XSPC includes a mounting ring which elevates the mounting plate an extra 6mm away from the motherboard. This is a very thoughtful innovation and adds to the universal compatibility of this system.”

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ECS PF88 Extreme @ techPowerUp!
techPowerUp! :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
The ECS PF88 Extreme is a unique motherboard. Its SIS 656 chipset offers users the possibility to purchase CPU add-in cards, called SIMA cards which allow to run a completely different CPU architecture on the motherboard. At the moment SIMA cards are available for Intel Pentium M Socket 479, AMD Socket 754 and AMD Socket 939. Together with the on-board Socket LGA 775 this means that you can run any mainstream CPU available today. However, there are a few BIOS bugs, one allowed us to get a POST screenshot at 6750 MHz.

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GAIM v2.0.0 BETA 1 @ Phoronix
Phoronix :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Summary: “GAIM, the popular open-source multi-protocol multi-platform instant messaging client, has finally released its initial BETA for the upcoming v2.0.0. Since the GAIM v1.5.0 release, the developers have dedicated their time and efforts on version two and their strenuous work is definitely visible in the latest BETA. In GAIM v2.0.0 BETA 1 there are improvements with everything from status drop-down menu to improved plug-ins.”

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Tt Kandalf Enhanced Aluminum chassis review @ DH
Driver Heaven :: Saturday, December 31, 2005


“It’s time to look at the Thermaltake Kandalf Enhanced Aluminum Chassis Series, in the form of the VA9000 series aluminum chassis identified as the VA9000 SWA. You’ll never lack for storage space with the Kandalf chassis or complain about cramped quarters. The versatility and cooling options abound with this particular product, which will be discussed in more detail below.”

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Enermax Liberty 400w PSU (Modular)
Driver Heaven :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
We’ve looked at numerous supplies here in the past and on the whole they have all been high specification units and those generally come at an equally high price. It goes without saying not everyone has a huge budget to work with, however stability is still an important factor. So today we are going to look at Enermax?s mainstream model which comes in at 400w. Enermax are not a company known for skimping on quality so we should be in for a treat at a very reasonable price.

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The Thumb Drive RAID Experiment
Big Bruin :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Quote: The idea of a thumb drive RAID array might not be practical for every day needs, but it is a novel idea that could be of benefit to some people. For one, owners of mini-ITX systems that boot from a flash drive might be interested in the sizable speed burst a RAID 0 array could provide… In the end, results were achieved that showed great promise for thumb drive RAID arrays.

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Valves Editors Day
Driver Heaven :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“Jason Mitchell spent 8 years working for ATI, where he headed up the 3D Application Research Group. He is now utilizing his 3D graphics hardware wizardry on new projects at Valve. Gabe Newell who is the Founder and Managing Director of Valve, made several poignant points during the presentation. Doug Lombardi, Director of Marketing also made appropriate references and helped bring the whole gathering together with the help of able assistant Ms. Kathy Gehrig.”

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Enermax Laureate EB305C 3.5” External HDD Enclosure @ SystemCooling
SystemCooling :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

snip: “Enermax currently offers three different external drive enclosures with USB 2.0 connectivity that provide support for 2.5” HDD’s, 3.5” HDD’s, and 5.25” optical drives. The new Enermax Laureate series EB305C features an attractive aluminum case and mounts one 3.5” HDD with support for both PATA/IDE and SATA interfaces.”

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Silverstone SST-LC10B HTPC Case @ Viperlair
ViperLair :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
A beige box simply won’t do if you’re building a HTPC. We look at a solution from Silverstone that certainly has the form, but does it have the function?

“We think the Silverstone Lascala SST-LC10B definitely has the right look to go with the rest of your living room A/V components. Putting everything together is quite easy, but upgrading the PC afterwards is a little more tedious than it needs to be.”

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OCZ PC-4000 Gold Gamer eXtreme XTC DDR Memory Kit Pictorial Review!
Tech ARP :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Quote – “Want a large and fast memory kit for your system? The new OCZ PC-4000 Gold Gamer eXtreme XTC might be just what you are looking for.

Sporting the new XTC heatspreader and double the memory capacity of usual OCZ memory kits, the PC-4000 Gold GX XTC is an interesting new subject for us to investigate.”

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[News] Logitech Cordless Desktop MX5000 Review @ Virtual-Hideout
Virtual-Hideout :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

” The many extra features offered, such as the LCD, touch-sensitive controls and rechargeable mouse, complement a comfortable setup, one that not only looks great but performs well too. The keyboard and mouse work as well as any corded counterpart, but have the benefit of freedom of movement.”

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PimpRig Review // Vantec Nexstar GX External Hard Drive Enclosure
PimpRig :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“Although it may look like aluminum the enclosure is made primarily of a sturdy gray plastic. The hard drive cage however is aluminum and acts as a very effective passive heat sink. The fins on the bottom of the cage radiate heat to the outside of the enclosure. When mounted properly, the cage fits snuggly on a hard drive insuring good heat transfer.”

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ED#29 : Seagate Speaks About Maxtor Posted!
Tech ARP :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

Quote – ” By the end of 2006, Maxtor becomes part of Seagate. What does this mean to us? More choices? Fewer choices? Higher or lower prices?

What about current Maxtor customers or Maxtor employees? How are they affected? Let’s find out! ”

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Coolermaster Centurion 5 Review
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
Let’s face it, the days of the plain-jane beige computer case are long gone. Over the last several years, modding has gained immense popularity in the power user community, resulting in a slew of new cases and styles to come into the market. While adding windows and lighting were one of the major additions to ordinary beige cases, colors have changed widely as well.

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HEXUS.reviews :: Rockdirect Xtreme 64 4800+ DTR
Hexus :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

The last six months has given Rock the time to engineer an even faster laptop, replete with a dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ processor and twin 100GB 7,200RPM hard drives. Sounds like just the thing for you? Read on to see if it’s as good as it appears to be on paper.

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Thermaltake Swing Midtower Case Review
OCIA :: Saturday, December 31, 2005

“The Swing comes outfitted with this Thermaltake 120mm exhaust fan, held in place by a plastic bracket. The case is also predrilled with mounting holes for 120mm and 92mm fans in case you wanted to change this one out.”

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Thermaltake SI-120 Heatsink @ Pro-Clockers
Pro-Clockers :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
Quote: Thermalright have been making quality heatsinks for awhile now and usually lead the pack with new innovations to make the humble PC users’ life easier. Today we test the SI-120 from their latest line of ‘Light ‘n’ Easy’ products. Weighing in at 400g, it certainly is light, but is it easy?

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Self Destructive SMS: What’s the Point? @ CoolTechZone.com
CoolTechZone :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
“If there were one phenomenon besides e-mail that revolutionized communication, it would have to be SMS (text messaging). The sheer convenience apart, the technology has taught the art of saying what you want in 160 characters to the entire world.”

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News Flash – Datacolor SpyderTV Color Calibration Device Review
Futurelooks :: Saturday, December 31, 2005
Now you don’t have to be afraid to change those picture settings for your TV. You might even discover what the TINT setting does! Check out this device for getting those colours JUST right on your TV.

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Nero 7 Ultra Edition @ ThinkComputers.org
Think Computers :: Thursday, December 29, 2005

Quote: “Let’s face it, the majority of people who own a computer also burn CDs or DVDs in some fashion or another. There are many reasons to burn CDs, and there are many programs out there that can help you with that process. One of my all time favorite software suites is Nero, I have used it as long as I have owned a burner. Nero is pretty much world known for their software, and very much established as the leader in utilities for burning or creating CDs and DVDs. If you are like me then you have a few copies of Nero lying around that came packaged with the CD/DVD burners you have purchased, almost every burner bought today comes packaged with a short version of Nero, it works great but just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the full featured version. Today for review I have Nero 7 Ultra Edition, the latest version from Nero AG. Honestly I’ve never owned the full version of Nero, I was always satisfied with the ‘bundled’ versions that came with my burners, and I never realized just what I was missing till now.”

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