Archive for July, 2012

Mac AdLinux offers some interesting advantages, but let’s face it, the only consumer alternative to Windows is Mac OSX. Around here we’ve made our preference for Windows perfectly clear, however we are also excited to welcome the plethora of new users to our preferred platform after these new Mac ads start hitting the TV’s of millions of Olympic viewers around the world. 

The ads feature a single Apple Genius Bar employee, and his never ending quest to correct the utter stupidly of his customers. The young genius is shown working day and night to explain to completely inept Mac users how a computer works, and how to pull off basic everyday tasks. If Apple is trying to position its products as the perfect companion for the clueless masses, they’ve succeeded flawlessly.

You might feel differently of course, and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Video #1 – Mayday

Video #2 – Labor Day

Video #3 – Basically

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Google StreetviewGoogle put itself in political hot water by “accidentally” collecting un-encrypted Wi-Fi data alongside roadside images, but offered to make amends by immediately deleting it with the co-operation of local governments. It’s hard to understand how such a human error could occur, however most people were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. It turns out however, another human error prevented them from carrying through on their promise, and an undisclosed amount of data remains on Google servers.

Google continues to insist that it has never been used for any commercial purpose, and will work with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office” to make sure it is properly addressed.  Given how transparent Google has been on the issue, its difficult to fault them, however two user errors in a row doesn’t instil confidence. Of course the argument could be made that unencrypted information being transmitted in the clear is fair game, but world governments seem to disagree.

Google will hopefully put this issue to rest as soon as possible, as further human error will likely not be tolerated. 

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BlizzardIn a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.

Rob Pardo, Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard took to Twitter to rally behind Newell, adding simply “not awesome for Blizzard either”. “Not Awesome” and “Catastrophe” are most certainly not the same thing, but it does point out a growing ground swell of rebellion by some of PC Gaming’s top developers. 

Love or hate the new Windows 8 UI, we have to admit we are slightly confused as to why they feel so threatened. Microsoft has proven time and again with Games for Windows Live they are completely incapable for executing in this space, and a Metro version of Steam and the Blizzard launcher might actually make for an interesting portal. Windows RT for ARM is a much more closed down ecosystem, however developers shouldn’t have much to fear from Windows 8 for traditional desktops. It if will run on Windows 7, chances are it will run on Windows 8.

It is possible Valve and Blizzard are fearing users will flock to Mac OSX en-mass as a result of the changes, though Microsoft will likely respond with a Windows XP style extension for Windows 7 if the wind of change turn into a hurricane, and they need to make a rapid about face.  

Is all the hate justified? Let us know in the comments below.

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HP Slip UpWhen it comes to manufacturing in North America we make food, cars, and import just about everything else. Our hunger for high tech has gone into hyper active mode over the last decade, and the thousands of new products pouring into our local Best Buy are usually made in China, Taiwan, or just about anywhere inexpensive labour can be found. The repetitive tasks and long hours have led to a PR nightmare for companies such as Apple, who in earnest, have offered up several guided tours to help highlight the positive aspects of life at these city sized plants responsible for making our gadgets. These tours have been guided, carefully staged events however, and many have wondered what a candid un-staged video might look like. If that’s you, wonder no longer. A manufacturing slipup by Quanta has given us a rare glimpse at one of the HP manufacturing lines, and it’s pretty darn dull.

We chose to highlight this video not because its particularly action packed, but because of how rare a candid look into these facilities actually are. HP doesn’t have much to do on this one in terms of damage control, as life at this Chongqing manufacturing facility seems pretty mundane. The workers depicted here seem to be part of the quality process, and are testing the various hardware components as the machines move down the line. At one point the worker glances up to make eye contact with the web camera he is presumably testing, but that’s about it.

If these workers are lucky, they are making about $2 an hour. Does the video change your opinion on “Made in China”?

Check out the video here.

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Micro-Star International is currently busy refreshing its C-series multimedia notebook line. But instead of getting through with the update in one fell swoop, the Taiwanese vendor is taking its own sweet time, announcing new notebooks one at a time. While it was the 15.6-inch CX61/CR61 last week, it’s the slightly smaller CR41 this time.

The 14-incher’s royal brown chassis packs a 1366×768 (16:9) LED display, an Ivy Bridge CPU, integrated graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 720GB of hard-drive storage, and a DVD Super Multi optical disc drive. Further, the CR41, whose tapered profile resembles  a sports car to MSI, includes Intel 802.11 b/g/n Bluetooth V4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and HDMI 1.4. Like the CX61/CR61, it too is capable of lasting for as long as 7.5 hours on its 6-cell, 4,400mAh battery.

“The color film print technology gives it character and natural refinement that make it stand out from the crowd,” MSI said in a press release Friday. “The CR41 is the perfect mobile companion when you’re enjoying some summer rays.”

There’s no word on pricing and availability yet.

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