Tech News May 2008

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HTC Stereo Handsfree with Volume Control
Dragonsteel Mods :: Tuesday, May 27, 2008
USBFever (and it's really three things in one, a mini-USB to 3.5mm jack adapter, volume control and a microphone. This little gadget essentially lets you turn any headphones or earbuds you have into a handsfree setup. There are many choices out there for handsfree sets but really most have sub-par headphones included with them, and it's usually only one earpiece, with this gadget from USBFever you get to use your own headset. Being able to use any headset is very nice indeed, also you can get this for about $15.00 shipped to you from USBFever, so not only is it very useful but very inexpensive and well worth it…

Vizo Mini Ninja Notebook cooler
Dragonsteel Mods :: Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Vizo (Mini Ninja Notebook Cooler, and I've got two notebooks on hand to test with it to see how well it handles the heat. The Mini Ninja is well made and quiet, it even features a pass-through USB power connection so you won't lose a USB port while using it to help cool your laptop. So read on to check out the Mini Ninja and see if it can handle the heat or not?!

FriendFeed Gets Rooms, Nerds Rejoice For a Bit
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Social media hounds have been in a constant orgasmic fit since the day FriendFeed launched. Early adopters have been on board and championing the coolness of FriendFeed. And, indeed, it is a cool social media service. For those not in the cool kids club yet, FriendFeed is a social media site where you can aggregate your […]

Dell Crystal 22-Inch LCD Monitor
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
If you can afford it, this LCD monitor will look great sitting on your desk–but for the price, its performance should be better.

SpaceNavigator for Notebooks
Dragonsteel Mods :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
3DConnexion (, a Logitech (subsidiary, have released a portable version of their SpaceNavigator mouse line. The SpaceNavigator for Notebooks ( weighs in at a little over ½ pound and is portable enough to be easily packed in a laptop bag. What makes this 3D mouse different from other mice, is that it allows you to work in the X,Y and Z planes, allowing simplified navigation in a 3D environment. So, if you are a 3D designer or an enthusiast, let’s see if the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is the right mouse for the job. Let’s get started …….

Dell XPS 630 Gaming Desktop PC
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Customizable desktop system provides affordable gaming performance in a stylish package.

Where Social Networking Fails
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
[Source: Tame The Web]

iGo powerXtender
Dragonsteel Mods :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
iGo (…

Does The Mac Need AntiVirus?
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Ever since I personally made the transition to the Apple platform late last year, we have (obviously) had a lot more coverage of Apple here on PCMech. This has helped raise the awareness of Apple products on what used to be a very PC-centric tech site. As a result, I often get asked questions about […]

Roku Netflix Player
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Inexpensive streaming box makes it simple to access movies in your Netflix Instant Queue.

Google Sites Now Open
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Google announced that their Sites service is now open to anyone who wants to use it. According to what the big G says about it, it’s a thing where you can create a site (duh,) and have the ability to share it, collaborate it and so on and so forth. So I tried it out. This is the […]

Palit GeForce 9600GSO Sonic 768MB
Techgage :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
On a budget and need the best bang for the buck? NVIDIA’s new 9600 GSO might be the answer, despite not being that different from a 9600 GT. We are taking a look at Palit’s Sonic version of the card, which comes pre-overclocked, doubles the memory and includes adapters for both HDMI and VGA.

SQLite Manager Inside Your Browser
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Developers who use database back ends are probably used to having nice graphical environments in which to build and maintain their databases. Many of the popular choices (MySQL, SQL Server, etc.) have readily available environments, but one simple and easy database, SQLite seems to lack in this area. No longer with the SQLite Manager Firefox […]

I Am IronKey, and I Can Encrypt Anything
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
The $79-and-up IronKey secure USB flash drive takes its task seriously, using hardware encryption, and self-destructing if physical tampering is detected.

SteelSeries Ikari Optical Gaming Mouse
Dragonsteel Mods :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
SteelSeries (Ikari Laser Gaming Mouse and I found it to be an excellent choice overall, today I've got the optical version of Ikari and I think I actually like it better than the laser Ikari… It offers choices of DPI or CPI settings, but that's about it, it's not as feature packed as the Ikari laser, there's no special LCD screen and you can't change the settings on the fly, but that's ok with me as I never really used any of those features anyway. If you're looking for a great mouse for gaming and everyday use that just is that, a great mouse, then read on to check out the Ikari Optical Gaming Mouse…

Links to Reviews for May 19-21
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Aeneon DDR3-1600 4GB XMP RAM AXH860UD20-16H – “Windows Vista has given the hardware industry a good reason to feed Microsoft’s pig of an Operating System nothing but the finest high-performance hardware. The very first thing I noticed during testing was the incredibly sluggish performance compared to Windows XP.  Windows Vista caches start up programs so boot […]

MeBeam Video Conferencing
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Once in a great while something comes along on the internet that’s so unbelievably simple yet works so well. Twitter is one of them. On the video conferencing side, now we have MeBeam. MeBeam is literally so simple it will confuse you. You will probably say “Um.. that’s it? Just go there, create a room and […]

Review: Nintendo Wii Fit
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Intuitive and downright cute in its presentation, the Wii Fit makes working out in front of your TV a genuinely interactive and fun experience.

Links to Reviews for May 21-23
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Eagle Tech N and I Series HDD Enclosures “You may have seen some Eagle Tech products while shopping the online e-tailers. They certainly offer some attractive prices, especially their power supplies. But Eagle has a fairly wide selection of gear, from chassis to speakers, power supplies to external storage. Today I have for review two of […]

Casual Friday: Wii Fitness and Gaming Rehab
PC World :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
We’re all about being healthy this week. Break a sweat with Wii Fit, learn about some other games designed to overcome your lazy streak, and check out a couple of characters that we placed in a 12-step program.

Coolink GFXChilla Review
Icrontic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Coolink’s new low-profile GFXChilla VGA cooler boasts some impressive features and is priced very attractively. Compatible with just about every nVidia and ATI card on the market, we cook it up in the IC labs to see if its performance is as impressive as its price.

Watercooling Radiator Shoot-Out
Bit-Tech Modding :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
With all of the components in watercooling, one always seems to get overlooked – the radiator. So much effort goes into waterblocks that we seldom see a complete “here’s the best” test. Fortunately, we’re fixing that problem today, with the first in a series of radiator shoot-outs.

Slipstream SP3 Into A Windows XP Install CD
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
If you find yourself performing clean installations of Windows XP often, you may want to take the time to build your own installation CD which includes the recently released SP3. This process is called “slipstreaming” and basically creates an install CD which includes SP3 as part of the installation process. This process is very easy to […]

Common Browser Myths
PC Mechanic :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
As long as the Internet exists (as we know it at least), a browser is simply going to be a requirement. As you probably know, there are several major players in the browser market, each having their own “nuances”. Of course these nuances lead to myths and misconceptions as the infamous “I heard it does […]

XPSP2 vs XPSP3 Performance Comparison
Dragonsteel Mods :: Saturday, May 24, 2008
So Service Pack 3 for Windows XP has come and gone with not much really said about it, sure there was plenty of talk before it came out but you don't hear much after the fact. Of course I installed it I was curious as to what if any differences there were between them, from what I can recall Microsoft said that the Service Pack didn't include any performance enhancements or anything like that to the core of the OS, and honestly if doesn't feel much different to me. It does actually 'feel' a bit slower though to do things, like load thumbnails for instances, I've got tons or pictures on my computer and they just seem to load much slower now, also I noticed when I click 'My Computer', click a drive to open it or pop in a USB drive it seems slower there as well to react, maybe it's me as I haven't really heard anyone else mention it. So for my own purposes I decided to run a bunch of tests to see if there was any real differences, after all Benchmark and testing software is designed to pick up very small imperceptible differences in things that we normally wouldn't notice. We wouldn't notice a few nanoseconds or milliseconds most likely but the software will as that's what it's for, to measure things like that. So I ran SiSoft Sandra, Cinebench, 3dmark06, SuperPi Mod 1.5 and TmpgeNC before and after the upgrade to SP3, I decided instead of just keeping it all to myself, why not share the results, and well there is a difference between SP2 and SP3 and it's a mixed bag of results really, in some cases SP2 is better and in others SP3 is, but there is obviously something going on, something changed and I'm not sure if it was for the better… So continue on to see the results…

Alienware Hangar18 HD Entertainment Center Review 
Think Computers :: Thursday, May 22, 2008
Home theater PC’s have become very popular lately. It seems almost everyone I know has been taking their old computers and turning them into media machines. Well what if you want the best media machine money can buy? The Alienware Hangar18 HD Entertainment Center could be just that. Alienware is mainly known for making gaming machines, so it will be interesting to see how they do on the Hangar18. The Hangar18 is an all-in-one media machine that can play DVD’s or Blu-ray media, watch live TV, watch internet TV, listen to music, and share it all wirelessly. Let’s check it out!”

Sans Digital MOBILSTORE Hard Drive Enclosure Review
Hardware Canucks :: Thursday, May 22, 2008
The subject of today’s review is the Sans Digital RAID MOBILSTORE dual bay external storage enclosure, which has both USB and eSATA connectivity options. This enclosure not only supports the normal range of RAID modes such as Raid 1 and 0 but even has what Sans Digital calls Safe33 and Safe66. We will go into detail about what these new hybrid RAID modes are all about later in this review, but for now it is suffice to say which they have the potential to bring a whole new dimension to your typical external enclosure experience!

Interactive Protein Folding Game
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
If you are a Folding@Home junkie who is looking for a way to challenge your brain and help contribute to protein folding, then check out the Fold It interactive online puzzle game. Fold It is a simple game where you interactively solve protein folding puzzles, the same thing Folding@Home accomplishes, but with a twist: your efforts […]

Roku Arrives And Completely Owns Apple TV
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Said honestly I’m not hot on the idea of little digital boxes to rent movies from. However there are companies who feel there is a market for this. When Apple first released Apple TV it crashed and burned so hard sales-wise it was a wonder they even kept it around for more than six months. […]

Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6
Techgage :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Building a new machine and want DDR3 support? Then the X48T-DQ6 should be up for consideration. It offers great performance, very stable high overclocks (500MHz) and lots of connectivity, including a full eight USB ports at the back. The layout is not ideal, but the board still proves good overall.

OOPS! Best Buy Recommends Windows Software For Linux Laptop
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Y’know, you gotta hand it to the crack staff that runs the Best Buy web site. Granted, it’s cool they sell the Asus EeePC.. BUT.. Does it make much sense to recommend Microsoft Office and Norton Anti-Virus for Windows as Linux laptop accessories? Here are screen shots taken from Best Buy’s web site today. Click for large version – […]

Linux is at its best when the user doesn’t even know they are using it
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The title of this article is a quote from a really good article called Linux is in Bed with Mom. The reason the article is so frickin’ good is because it completely nails what Linux is absolutely best at doing on the consumer end, that being the OS in an embedded system. Part of the whole […]

D-Tek FuZion v2.0 Waterblock
Bit-Tech Modding :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The original D-Tek FuZion waterblock is one of the best in the business. Now, the guys over at D-Tek Customs have finally revised the old classic. The FuZion v2.0 may be a chip off the old block, but does it do better for the upgrade? Read on to find out.

HyLighter Helps Groups Collaborate on Documents
PC World :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This new Web service uses sophisticated color coding to highlight areas of contention.

Links to Reviews for May 15-18
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
AcBel Polytech iPower 660 Power Supply – “AcBel Polytech, a traditional OEM manufacturer, is trying to enter the retail market. We made an in-depth review on their iPower 660 model.” Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP – “Whether you’re a corporate chieftain or a gaming guru, the UltraSharp 2408WFP will impress. It has excellent colour reproduction and has almost every modern […]

Secure Your Network
PC World :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
One-stop “security-in-a-box” devices can help you repel numerous threats.

Computer Information As Your Wallpaper
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Another great, yet oh so simple, tool from Sysinternals is the ability to plaster local computer information on your desktop background using BgInfo. BgInfo allows you to select from a couple of dozen system information fields and have them displayed on your desktop background. Additionally, you can capture this information and have it written to a […]

Saitek Cyborg Command Unit Review
Overclockers Club :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Social Networking Will Soon Get More Confusing
PC Mechanic :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
BusinessWeek dared (gasp) to throw out a Web 1.0 term, portal. The Web 2.0 term is called social network. Before continuing, I’ll attempt to explain the difference between portal and socialnetwork. A portal is an entryway. It is the place where you begin when using the internet. For example, many people use Yahoo as a portal. […]