Items tagged with odd

You have to hand it to the European Commission--those folks are not shy about going after tech companies with guns blazing if they believe there have been antitrust violations. The latest alleged offense is a bit of a doozy, as it pertains to a baker’s dozen optical drive companies selling their wares in Europe; the EC believes they may have colluded in a worldwide cartel. No companies have been fingered by name, but an EC press release indicates that there were two major OEMs organizing a bid rigging endeavor that has lasted five years. Bid rigging is “one of the most serious breaches of EU antitrust rules”, and the EC is concerned that it affected customers who bought drives... Read more...
Microsoft isn't too keen on discussing the Xbox 720 or whatever it plans to call its next generation game console, and apparently the Redmond outfit isn't all that keen on optical drives, either. We've heard reports that the next Xbox iteration might ditch optical storage hardware entirely, and now at least one website claims to have confirmed as much with an un-named source. The source tells MCV that Microsoft's hardware and software partners are under "the strictest NDA" they have ever signed, nevertheless they were willing to leak the fact that the Xbox 720 will ship sans a disc drive. Instead it will use a type of solid-state card storage, though it's unclear if that means it will have a... Read more...
Introducing a new optical drive may not be top priority these days for tech companies -- particularly with many machines going without one altogether -- but Samsung's looking out for those of us who still rely on those tried-and-true coasters. The company has just revealed a new pair of drives, with one in particularly being especially exciting. The SE-208BW is a new hybrid product that combines an external ODD with a wireless module. It offers traditional CD/DVD playback and writing capabilities, but also features Samsung's own app to enable smartphones, tablet and PC users to wirelessly stream and play CDs/DVDs to their smart devices. Not bad! It basically doubles as a wireless access point,... Read more...
Samsung announced the new SH-222AB internal DVD writer which features ultra fast load times. Using new technology from Samsung, the SH-222AB DVD writer claims to reduce Lead-In-Time by up to 60 percent, letting users enjoy the content on a disc much quicker than with other DVD writers. The SH-222AB internal DVD writer uses a SATA interface and supports the following speeds: 48X CD-ROM reading, 40X CD-RW reading, 22X DVD±R recording, 12X DVD-RAM recording, 16X DVD+R Dual Layer recording, 8X DVD+RW recording and 6X DVD-RW recording. Samsung's SH-222AB is currently available for about $29. Samsung Unveils New DVD Writers with Ultra Fast Load Times SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsung... Read more...
Not long ago, we saw some of the newest external Blu-ray drives hit the market. Those were useful for adding BD support to machines that lacked it, particularly smaller netbooks and ultraportables that lacked an optical drive altogether. Now, Samsung is taking it the next level with the addition of 3D. The new SE-406A optical disc drive is an external 3D Blu-ray combo drive, complete with an anti-fingerprint surface, CyberLink TrueTheater software and the ability to transform 2D DVD movies into 3D movies. The drive also handles CDs and DVDs, and it's completely powered via USB. The SE-406A drive is engineered to be compatible with all major operating systems, including Win7 and Mac OS. In addition,... Read more...
LaCie may be offering a portable Blu-ray drive for those who own ODD-less notebooks, but not everyone is ready or willing to invest in BD. Lite-On, which is a company that has made a name for themselves in the storage sector over the years, is catering to that group with the new eNAU608 8X External Slim DVD Writer. They're also catering to the folks who love to style things up, offering one of the only (if not the only) portable DVD writer with lids that can be swapped out. These decorative interchangeable top cover inserts are included with the drive, and they provide a unique level of customization to a kind of product that is rarely tweak-able. Moreover, users can create their own inserts... Read more...
On thing that could bother some netbook buyers is the lack of an internal hard drive. Even Apple's MacBook Air line lacks them. Many machines are shipping these days without an optical drive, partly because more and more things are streaming and partly because it's a cost/space savings. But sometimes, there's just no good alternative for having an optical drive on hand. LaCie's new Slim Blu-ray is meant to be your go-to drive in those situations. This new USB 2.0 Blu-ray burner is sleek and slim, meant to fit in your laptop carry-on and be accessible for those times when you need to burn or watch a Blu-ray or DVD (or CD). At $249.99, it's actually fairly cheap to be a BD burner, with a max burn... Read more...
Netbooks now come standard with dual-core processors, and some of them even sport respectable graphics (Nvidia Ion). But save for a very small few, the vast majority of netbooks still don't ship with an optical drive. What's an optical disc-toting user to do? Buy an external optical drive, of course. Samsung hopes you'll be drawn to its new SE-S084F extneral DVD writer, which the company promises will be on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. "Weighing less than one pound and available in five distinct colors, the Samsung SE-S084F DVD Writer was built for netbook and mini PC users, who require the flexibility of a smaller device, but do not want to sacrifice the benefits of... Read more...
We know things innovate quickly these days. Really quickly. In the CPU world, a new processor barely stays "new" for six months now, and the same is true in the GPU world. There's a saying that explains how your "new" PC is probably old by the time it actually gets to your doorstop, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Life's short, we might as well enjoy the innovation while we can! Hitachi-LG introduced a unique new product a few months back at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, and already a second generation version is being introduced. Hitachi-LG Data Storage, known as HLDS, has revealed the AT 6.0Gbps based 2nd Generation, 'Hybrid Drive,' which is the follow-up drive to the product shown... Read more...
Slim is definitely in, just ask Samsung, who has gone and introduced one of the skinniest external optical drives you're ever likely to see before the technology is supplanted by whatever storage medium the future holds. Called the SE-S084D (we would have gone with AN0R3X1A), the new drive brings sexy back to a peripherals that perhaps never had it in the first place. Apparently we're not the only ones who think so - the sleek design and stylish metallic centerline were enough to win an iF Product Award Design, Samsung says. "With a more compact footprint and lighter weight than competitive offerings, the new external DVD writer delivers high performance with a USB power source to eliminate electrical... Read more...
In case you haven't noticed, very few netbooks have ever shipped with an optical drive. You've either had to get a more expensive ultraportable, a thin-and-light or an external ODD in order to have the ability to read/burn a disc while using a compact mobile computer. There's now a good chance that the trend may be shifting, and while optical drives do indeed take up a lot of precious space and require a lot of precious power, we aren't quite in the world yet where not having one isn't a pain at some point. Hitachi-LG just might be the company that convinces thin and light notebook makers to add an optical drive, and they've got a fairly interesting proposition to do so. Today, the joint venture... Read more...
A sad statement on humanity, as in Pennsylvania a two-year-old was beaten and killed by her mother's boyfriend - with a video game controller.  Still worse, it was reported that the boyfriend had abused the child previously, yet the mother had not left him.It was clear from the bruises and other injuries on the little girl's body that Sunday was not the first time she had been abused, Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick told WGAL-TV. He said it was one of the worst cases of child abuse he has ever seen.Baez, 19, called for an ambulance Sunday and said (Harve) Johnson had brought the unconscious child to her, limp and wet from an attempt to revive her in a bathtub, a police affidavit said.Johnson,... Read more...
As with all rumors, please take the following news item with a grain of salt until we can receive official confirmation or denial from either Intel or NVIDIA.Rumor has it that Intel doesn't want to share all of its secrets in regards to Common System Interface (CSI) technology with NVIDIA.“And the same sources claimed that while Intel hasn’t exactly fallen in love with AMD, it appears happy to talk to Nvidia’s bitter competitor, which, of course, now owns ATI.Olive branches are being wafted in the direction of Sunnyvale.”One possible reason is that the crystal ball for NVIDIA is not very clear, but many are wondering how they'll survive the merging of the GPU back onto the CPU die, something... Read more...
XBox Live allows users to connect their systems to the Internet and play games online. Apparently some systems have been banned in the recent past due to "hardware modifications" that violate certain agreements. But that hasn't stopped crafty modders from going about their business. In fact, the development of new firmware allows one's XBox 360 to fly under the radar. "A new firmware version has just been released for all 360s with the TS-H943 DVD drive preventing against any Xbox Live detection attempts and allowing the 360 to play all "backup" game copies. This firmware update ultimately prevents Microsoft from "seeing" the modded 360 thus not allowing them to ban the console from Xbox Live."... Read more...
iPods are nifty. But you are immune to their charms if you don't want to stick in earbuds and listen to music. They don't do anything that isn't fun. The Wizpy does what the i-Pod does, and a whole lot more. Sporting a 256,000-colour OLED screen, the Wizpy looks like any of of number of would-be iPod killers, and all the media playback features - MP3, Ogg, AAC, DivX and JPEG formats supported - are all present and correct. There's a radio on board too and a text viewer. That's fantastic, of course. But the "killer app" here is plug it into any USB port, and boot up... Read more...
Well, no one's shot one another over a Wii yet, but it's still early. The media might run out of Playstation 3 horror stories, so you never know. Nintendo's new Wii gaming platform launch  is kind of flying under the radar. But it's cheap, and new, and innovative. And you can buy add-ons for its motion sensing "Wii-mote" controller already. Nintendo wants you to hold the motion sensing controller, lovingly dubbed the 'Wii-mote', in your hands to control your bat, racquet, club, steering wheel or more. But along with the launch of the Wii in the US has come a range of Wii-mote add-ons that are so cool and affordable, you'll want them for the novelty value if nothing... Read more...
Cooler Master Annual Case Modding Contest is now extended for two weeks! Don't forget to submit your Mods to enter in Coolermaster Annual Case Modding contest. This year they have an awesome list of prizes to give out. Retail value is worth over $3000 USD. So hurry and enter your Mod's today! You never know, Christmas can come a bit early for you this year. Enter today!... Read more...
There were some interesting tid-bits flowing out of E3 this year, a few of which our friend Samit has posted up here, with more to follow.   If you have time to kill and are perhaps feeling a bit on the randy side, check out PCApex's E3 Booth Babe Circus Side-Show... I don't know, something about chicks in Space Warrior gear that just doesn't flip my biscuit.  Why can't we just stick with the usual skimpy-wear? Perhaps a bit more interesting is PCPer's quick-take "perspective" (oh I'm killin' myself here) on a little Easter Egg they found at E3, in the form of a Dell XPS system with Conroe and Quad SLI, no less. And when you're all done... Read more...
Good afternoon folks.  We have to apologize for the delay in news this morning.  We had some gremlins acting up on the server earlier that gave us some unscheduled downtime.  But now we're back and we've got some good reading to get you through your day. LeadTek WinFast A400 Ultra/GT TDH 6800 Review @ Beyond3D: "At a glance, the only noticeable difference between the two boards is the additional Molex connector visible on the 6800 Ultra-based card - aside from that, both boards use the same, near-silent two slot cooling solution. Despite its 'monster cooling' look, the fan noise from these boards is indeed reasonably quiet, and certainly not noticeably loud over the rest of... Read more...
As we start out this Friday morning, we've got multiple reports of sites who've had time to work with the latest Far Cry patch v1.2 and Shader Model 3.0.  It's no secret this is one of the best games I've played to date and it looked great even on mid-range cards.  Can't wait to see what differences the new patch makes.  Check the first post below for a series of sites with the dirt on Far Cry's latest patch.  With the latest v1.2 patch, the Far Cry now utilizes Shader Model 3.0. Here's a list of sites with comparison screenshots and benchmarks for your review: -The Tech Report -XBitlabs -PCPerspective -TBreak.com  Corsair TWINX1024-3200XL PRO Series Dual Channel Memory... Read more...
Whoa!  I've only been offline for about 8 hours, and already our news box is chock full of goodies!  For a geek like me, there's not much better than waking up to a healthy sampling of hardware related articles.  I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee, slammed down a pastry and some toast, and now I'm going to settle in for some good reading.  When I'm done with that, I'm going to button up a review of Asus' excellent Radon X800 Pro!  I figure some of you might want to do the same (minus that part about writing a review), so here's enough hardware news to keep you busy for most of the morning - just don't spill any coffee on your keyboard...  Shuttle's XPC SK83G SFF... Read more...
Good morning all.  JeffB stopping in as we say good bye to another work week and hello to the weekend.  My wife and I, recent residents of North Carolina, enjoyed a nice little pool party in our community last night with a live reggae band and good food and drink.  The carribean tunes seemed quite appropriate with the general theme being sunny and hot. Tomorrow we get to check out a local pig roast that is an annual tradition that brings in 15,000 people each year.  It's definitely a different world down here compared to New York, but one thing is certain, these folks like to eat!  They are also a hefty community of techies too, with the Research Triangle being home to... Read more...