Apple Magic Mouse Reviewed

Posted October 31st, 2009 at 11:11 PM by RHochstenbach

Apple has always been known for their unique mice. To date, the have all had just one button, and were designed to be user friendly. The last mouse released by Apple was the Mighty Mouse. It had a soft scrolling ball, buttons on the side (to activate Exposé), and one button that could sense with which finger you are pressing it. Now Apple comes forward with a new mouse: the Magic Mouse. We have it, so it’s time for a review!

apple-magic-mouse

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SEED MA-280 Mini-ITX Reviewed

Posted October 18th, 2009 at 10:10 AM by Anti-Trend

We recently had the opportunity to take a detailed look at two Mini-ITX chassis from Lutec, a Taiwanese company which has specialized in ergonomic and space saving products for the Asian market. They are extending their SEED line to western audiences and asked us for our honest and unbiased impressions. With the review that follows, I will do my best to provide you with just such an assessment.

SEED MA-280 (vertically oriented)

We tackled the SEED MA-280 this time around. This impressively small unit has a MSRP in the neighborhood of $70/USD, which is mid-priced for a Mini-ITX nettop chassis. The focus of its design is in light desktop or multimedia use, which is apparent in its form and function.

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SEED MU-380 Mini-ITX Reviewed

Posted October 14th, 2009 at 6:06 AM by Anti-Trend

We recently had the opportunity to take a detailed look at two Mini-ITX chassis from Lutec, a Taiwanese company which has specialized in ergonomic and space saving products for the Asian market. They are extending their SEED line to western audiences and asked us for our honest and unbiased impressions. With the review that follows, I will do my best to provide you with just such an assessment.

SEED MU-380 (Pictured with LITE-ON Slot Load Slim CD/DVD)

First up is the SEED MU-380. With a MSRP of around $70/USD, it is a mid-priced Mini-ITX nettop chassis aimed at light desktop or multimedia use. It comes in two varieties, the always classy black and a stylish black/silver two-tone. We received the black model, although we expect little in the way of functional differences.

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PS3 Slim

Posted September 3rd, 2009 at 1:01 AM by Swansen

Yep, just like all previous iterations, there will be a slim, thats read PlayStation 3, from the little known PLAYSTATION 3. Along with that they are also changing the logo slightly to try to appeal to ‘casual gamers’ along with a textured finish to the Slim. Internal changes however are immense. The hardware has been completely redesigned to accommodate the smaller enclosure, this includes all parts, from semiconductors to the Cell. With all the change they have achieved around 30 percent reduction in size and weight. The greatest reduction of all is that the Slim is cutting power consumption by two-thirds. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact that the Cell is now made on a 45nm process. There are a few negatives, only two USB slots, Linux will not be able to be installed, there is no backwards compatibility, and you have to buy a vertical stand if you want that orientation.

ps3-slim-comparison-1

I was going to complain about the lack of backwards compatibility, but when i play PS2 games, i end up playing them on the PS2 anyways, as i have no real other use for it. Also, any negatives are squashed by a $300 price tag. If your still unhappy, just think about all the power it doesn’t use, along with being MUCH more quite now, and producing less heat in the process. As well, you can still upgrade the HDD without voiding the warranty. Really, the only real disappointment here is the exclusion of the ability to install an operating system. For the old units, pricing will be set at $399 and $499. As for why anyone would buy the 80gb i have no real idea, but the 160 still has promise despite being $100 more than everything else, via all those crazy features you’ll probably never use anyways.. Read More

A Look At Some Lesser Known Video Search Engines

Posted July 17th, 2009 at 5:05 PM by athomas

video_search

Are you in need of some video inspiration? Tired of the same old video search engines you’ve been using all these years? Let’s have a look at a few video and multimedia search engines that may help you with some fresh ideas for your upcoming creation. We’ll leave out the usual suspects and take a look at some you probably weren’t even aware of.

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0 A.D. Video Game Goes Open Source

Posted July 12th, 2009 at 12:12 PM by Anti-Trend

zero_ad

In a surprise move by development group Wildfire Games, their long-standing strategy game project, 0 A.D., has just been re-licensed under the GNU General Public License v2. Additionally, all game content and art is being released under the terms of the popular Creative Commons license.

0 A.D. is a historically-centric real time strategy game which is slated for release on multiple platforms including Linux and Windows. The game has been in closed development since 2001, but the developers felt they could make more progress by removing licensing barriers to attract fresh manpower to the project. Indeed, this decision may bode well for the project, significantly advancing both the speed of progress and the size of their user base.

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Google Chrome OS

Posted July 9th, 2009 at 4:04 PM by Swansen

I’ll be as brief as Google is in the official Google blog. They are creating an OS that while overlaps Android in areas, it takes a different approach. It will be built on top of Linux but have a Google windowing system. The main focus of the OS is speed, security, being as light weight as possible, and being as web centric as possible. They are basically taking all of their online “OS” features and creating them into an actual OS. chromeos

All i can say is finally, i will admit, i basically live on various Google applications. I think if i could be transported to my Gmail inbox, i would be alright… Anyways, this should be fairly interesting regardless, and knowing Google they should do a pretty good job, and should put up a pretty good fight against the Ubuntu misguidedness… WE WILL SURE SEE

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FLO TV

Posted June 29th, 2009 at 9:09 AM by athomas

FloTV

FLO TV Incorporated, provider of the FLO TV™ live mobile TV service and a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced that the FLO TV service will expand its service nationwide following the DTV transition on June 12, which frees up broadband spectrum for FLO TV’s dedicated network. FLO TV will expand into 39 new markets, offering its service to an additional 60 million customers with a total reach of more than 100 major markets and more than 200 million potential consumers nationwide by the end of 2009. This will complete FLO TV’s creation of the only dedicated, linear, live mobile TV network, allowing consumers to access broadcast-quality news, sports and entertainment on their mobile devices.

Fifteen new markets will go live immediately following the DTV transition on June 12, bringing service to major markets such as Boston, Houston, Miami and San Francisco, while others will follow throughout the year. In addition to adding new markets, immediately upon the transition, FLO TV also will expand service in existing markets including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.

“The DTV transition is a milestone for TV lovers everywhere; with the completion of FLO TV’s nationwide network, consumers across the country now have the ability to watch TV on the go with the same high quality they’d expect in their living rooms,” said Bill Stone, president of FLO TV. ”With this national coverage, we are poised to take on the next level of consumer engagement by bringing the FLO TV service to customers on multiple entertainment devices beyond the mobile phone.”

In January, FLO TV announced that it has teamed with Audiovox, the marketer of automotive entertainment systems, to be the exclusive supplier of in-vehicle units that will work with a car’s existing video viewing equipment to enable passengers to watch FLO TV in their cars. In addition, Audiovox also will produce the only FLO TV-ready overhead drop down video as well as head rest systems units in the market. Continued cooperation with leading companies will ensure that FLO TV is available to consumers across multiple platforms in conjunction with the expansion in service coverage.

The FLO TV service is delivered using a technology that delivers video over the company’s own dedicated mobile network, offering full-length simulcast and time-shifted programming from some of the world’s top entertainment brands including CBS, ESPN, FOX, MTV and NBC. FLO TV also offers original content, having last month announced a deal with famed video blogger Amanda Congdon to bring exclusive content to subscribers.

Mobile TV Usage on the Rise

According to a recent report by Nielsen, mobile video viewing grew 52 percent in Q1 2009 compared with the previous year.* FLO TV market research shows that viewers who watch the FLO TV service are spending an average of more than 25 minutes per day watching television on their phones. This is comparable to the average time U.S. cell phone users spend per day talking on their cell phones, according to CTIA’s Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey 2008. The appeal of FLO TV’s live programming is illustrated by a consistent pattern of increased viewership and consumer demand for major sporting and significant news events including an increase of 80 percent or more during the Presidential Inauguration and the 2008 Summer Olympics (exclusive programming to AT&T).

The FLO TV service is available on the top two U.S. wireless carriers, including AT&T as AT&T Mobile TV.

HRD (hard rectangular drive) An SSD Killer?

Posted June 29th, 2009 at 4:04 AM by Swansen

I’ll spare your the technical jargon, but this is a very interesting idea indeed. Simply put, the platters are plates that oscillate on heads which are built in. There are thousands of heads on the surface, each made of a semiconductor material — nano tech diamond sheet — and any one of them can read or write independently. Also realize that the movement involved is minuscule. An easy way to envision this in contrast to standard hard disk drives is that instead of large circles which each have a head, think of it as many, many tiny squares which each have their own head.

The target for this new technology is a bit of an in-between market. While HRD’s will reportedly be cheaper than an SSD, though arguably not quite as good, they are theoretically much better than a typical HDD. HRD reportedly achieves higher data rates than that of some SSDs, but uses a little more power in the process. Additionally, it is supposed to have as good or better reliability than a regular HDD. Contrast this with SSDs, which have a given number of read/writes after which the drive is useless. Another fundamental advantage HRDs have over HDDs is that sectors are arranged in rows and columns rather than being forced to make them fit on a circle.

hrd

In this writer’s opinion — very cool. Regardless if it will actually trump or compete with SSDs it is very, very cool. However, one has to contemplate that there is no such thing as a friction free material. While diamond sheet would do VERY well, it’s still not free of the constraints of physics. Even if we understand that the movements are very tiny, it’s assumed there would still be some noise and/or sensation of vibration. Would it buzz? Hum? Yell obscenities? Time will tell.

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Optimized Kernels for Debian “Lenny”

Posted June 24th, 2009 at 8:08 AM by Anti-Trend

Hardwareforums.com kernels

Hardwareforums.com is now hosting architecturally-optimized Linux kernels! Currently we’re packaging custom kernels for Debian “Lenny”, which should also work with many Debian-derivative distributions of Linux. These kernels are based off of the latest stable source from kernel.org, and will be updated as frequently as schedules allow. There are some advantages to running a custom Linux kernel, but also some disadvantages which should be taken into account.

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