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Archive for May, 2012

Getting your hands on a hot new PC game isn’t as simple in China as it is in the United States. The Chinese Ministry of Culture needs to clear a title before it becomes available in stores, a process that’s been known to take months, or even years. As a result, impatient Chinese gamers looking to engage in demonic hack n’ slashing have resorted to pineapples, phonics and search trickery to get their hands on the much-coveted game.

Since Diablo III has yet to be approved, PC World and Kotaku are reporting that searches for the translated Diablo III name turns up fruitless on the eBay-like Taobao. Enterprising online retailers, however, are selling the game under the name “Big Pineapple 3” — because “Big Pineapple” in Chinese is “dà bōluó”. See what they did there? The listings for the game even include pics of a pineapple, in case verbal punnery isn’t your strong point.

Of course, since this is being fairly widely reported, the creative backdoor probably won’t stay propped open for long. But the people who did manage to snag a copy are in for some good news; yesterday, Blizzard outlined some massive Diablo III patches coming down the pipeline. PC Gamer has a great summary of the scheduled changes.

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You can try and keep your Facebook page safe from prying would-be employers, but you can’t protect yourself against your own stupidity. One Australian family learned that the late last week. A 17 year old girl was helping her grandmother count a large sum of cash and posted a picture of the riches on her Facebook profile under the appropriately-named title “Large sum of cash.” Seven and a half hours later, two masked men broke into the girl’s mother’s house looking for the loot, sporting a knife and a wooden club.

But as we said, the cash pile was 75 miles away at the girl’s grandmother’s house, not her mother’s. (Oops!) Heck, the girl didn’t even live with her parent any more. That didn’t deter the knife- and wooden club-wielding bandits. They (presumably) terrified the three people who were home at the time, then (definitely) ransacked the house and made off with personal effects and a much smaller amount of cash.

Maximum PC? Maybe not. But it’s a good reminder to keep sensitive personal info off of those social networks, especially, when said sensitive personal info includes pictures of large sums of cash and some sort of real name or location info. And please, if you must post pictures of your large sums of cash, make sure not to tag it “large piles of cash.” C’mon now.

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NSW Police Force via BBC News. Image via 401k/Flickr


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Ron Lee Christianson’s known in modderati circles for the outstanding attention to detail in his case mods, and his latest project is no different: the Iron Man PC blows our mind. Commissioned by Thermaltake and built with Thermaltake’s new Armor Revo case — though you’d never know it just by looking at it — this kick ass case contains the extra touches that make a difference, such as a replica of Iron Man’s chest-bound Arc Reactor and a front-facing copy of Iron Man’s helm that actually opens and closes. We spoke with Ron about the Iron Man mod and other things over the weekend.

He told us that the Iron Man PC, which will show up in Thermaltake’s booth at Computex next week, could be just the first of many Marvel-inspired cases; “Thermaltake and I are discussing the entire Avengers line of case mods,” he writes.

Thermaltake approached Ron with the Iron Man mod idea way back in January. “After discussing design ideas for weeks I got started on the build in early March. The greatest challenge was staying true to Marvel’s design of the Iron Man suits and incorporating it into a PC case. I watched the movies over and over as I worked on the build trying to pick up on the fine details and personality of the suits.”

Ron keeps his skills honed by following the build logs of other in-progress case mods around the Internet. (You can see the build log for the Iron Man PC on Ron’s BlueHorseStudios website, complete with a material list and dozens and dozens of pictures.) He also offers some tips and tricks for would-be modders:

“The advice I’d give to anyone starting a build is to do a ton of research on your subject matter (and) document your work in work logs and free media outlets like Facebook and Youtube. Everyone has their own skill sets that they feel comfortable in, master those skills and don’t be afraid to try new things… Attention to detail is everything.”

Click through the gallery below to see a bunch of pics of the final Iron Man build and two awesome in-progress pics of the Arc Reactor. More pics can be found in the worklog Thermaltake has up on its Facebook page. Speaking of Facebook, if you like what you see, head over to the May edition of Xoxide’s “Build of the Month” competition, where Ron’s Iron Man PC is one of several finalists vying for the top spot. 

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Malware writers figured out long ago that infection rates go up when you target current trends. Potential victims who aren’t particularly computer savvy tend to let their guard down when an email arrives related to current events, and with the London Olympics less than two months away, malware writers are getting a head start by sending out malicious Olympic themed emails.

According to F-Secure, a malicious PDF is making the rounds on the back of Olympic emails. The PDF exploits CVE-2010-2883, which is a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability found in outdated versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

“A typical PDF exploit will launch a clean decoy as part of its attack, and in this case, the decoy is a copy of the London 2012 Olympic schedule circa October 2010,” F-Secure explains.

As always, downloading and clicking on attachments from unknown sources is asking for trouble, and you should be careful of any unexpected email attachment, regardless of whether it came from one your contacts or a stranger. Of course, we’re preaching to the choir here, but if nothing else, you may want to give your family and friends a heads up before they ring through and ask you to fix their PC.

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There’s a new CPU overclocking record to report and, surprise-surprise (not really), AMD’s spunky FX-8150 chip is the one breaking new ground. This time a Taiwanese overclocker who goes by “ksin” was able to push AMD’s record setting processor to 8,805MHz (8.8GHz), inching ever closer to the coveted 9GHz mark. It’s worth mentioning that these ultra-high frequencies aren’t practical because they’re not sustainable without a constant dose of LN2, but that’s also missing the point.

A certain amount of skill and technical savvy is required to reach speeds in excess of 8GHz; it’s not as easy as pouring LN2 and calling it a day. Careful component selection is also a factor, and according to the details on HWBOT, ksin achieved the record breaking overclock on an Asus Crosshair V Formula motherboard with 4GB (2x2GB) of A-Data DDR3 memory running in a dual-channel configuration with 9-11-10-30 timings and a 2,834MHz (effective) frequency. He used a x29 multiplier and fed 1.86V to the CPU.

It’s also worth mentioning that two of the four processor cores had to be disabled to achieve the 8.8GHz. Disabling CPU cores isn’t unusual, but it further underscores the point of practicality.

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