Monday Shortbread


  1. Samsung: Solid state will match hard drive price
  2. reports Muskin releases its first SSD series called Europe
  3. Web founder warns against website snooping
  4. Techdirt reports content companies demand subsidies from ISPs…

    While ISPs demand subsidies from content companies

  5. Variable pricing coming to mobile broadband?
  6. Slashdot on Blockbuster Total Access’s unannounced policy change
  7. Legit Reviews has liquid nitrogen and dry ice CPU cooling insulation guide
  8. Tech ARP posts BIOS optimization guide rev. 10.6
  9. accelenation’s editorial: BFG Tech warranty & support
  10. ScienceDaily reports American adults flunk basic science

Software and gaming

  1. iPodNN reports Facebook Connect for iPhone debuts
  2. GameSpot tackles netbook gaming
  3. Wired on how the Atari 2600’s crazy hardware changed game design
  4. Battlefield 2 / 2142: Update 1.50 / 1.51 + community maps
  5. [OC]ModShop on hard-core gamers losing their edge
  6. Gaming Heaven reviews Resistance Retribution (PSP)

Systems, storage, and networking

  1. InsideHW reviews Phenom II X4 810
  2. Björn3D reviews Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P
  3. Hardware Canucks review 6GB OCZ PC3-12800 Platinum kit
  4. CdrInfo’s 3ple 6GB PC3-12800 memory roundup
  5. Technic3D reviews 6GB Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 CL8 memory kit (in German)
  6. Benchmark Reviews on G.Skill Titan SATA SSD
  7. CdrInfo reviews 64GB Super Talent Luxio and Godfather Edition USB flash drives
  8. PCShopTalk reviews TEW-664UB dual-band wireless N adapter

    and TEW-672GR dual-band wireless N router

Multimedia, power, cases, and cooling

  1. SilentPCReview on Asus EN9400GT Silent Edition
  2. CCE Reviews on Samsung LN52A630 52" LCD TV
  3. Viper Lair reviews NZXT Avatar gaming mouse
  4. Futurelooks reviews 750W Antec True Power TP-750 power supply
  5. SilentPCReview on Nexus Value 430 PSU: Affordable silence
  6. DV Hardware and TestFreaks review Cooler Master Sniper Storm case
  7. PureOverclock reviews Thermaltake Xaser VI case
  8. Overclocker Café reviews Thermaltake V14AX cooler
  9. DeXgo’s CPU coolers roundup 2 (in German)
Comments closed
    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    I was going to say, this is embarrassing, but it was already talked about:

    * Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
    * Only 59% of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
    * Only 47% of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water.*
    * Only 21% of adults answered all three questions correctly.

    I just questioned my kids on these answers and they got it… Ages 12 and 8! C’mon, America, you can do better than that! Just stay in school and read a little more…

      • ish718
      • 11 years ago

      Not really embarrassing at all, those things are not at all relevant to a person’s everyday life. Not that I support NOT knowing…

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        i think knowing how long a year is is quite relevant to most people’s lives.

    • GTVic
    • 11 years ago

    American adults also think CSI is quality dramatic television going by the ratings. I guess that is the same thing as saying they flunk at science 🙂

      • FireGryphon
      • 11 years ago

      CSI is modern Sherlock Holmes, and it’s entertaining in that respect.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        Depends on which CSI you’re talking about. I love the original and Miami, not big on the NY one, but Miami is a comedy and David Caruso is the star.

        But yeah, it’s not meant to be a totally scientific television show.

        • Mystic-G
        • 11 years ago

        CSI Miami makes me wanna puke at the blatant lack realism and wit within each episode. It’s like plotting is done by a 12yr old.

        I used to love the original but even that gets old after a while.

      • burntham77
      • 11 years ago

      The real science can be found on Frisky Dingo, where planet Earth is moved about three feet thanks to the Annihilatrix, which cures global warming. Boosh.

        • yogibbear
        • 11 years ago

        What global warming?

          • indeego
          • 11 years ago

          Climate change. happy nowg{

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    That Atari 2600 article was really cool. I’m embarrassed to admit, but I don’t know *how* a frame buffer works. Here’s my confusion regarding frame buffers:

    -From what I’ve read, a frame buffer is a completed frame that is next in line just “behind” the currently-displayed frame. My problem with this, conceptually, is “how can the machine know what’s going to happen next?”

    Say, for instance, you are playing a game of Mega Man. The NES knows what the background tilesets look like, and what enemy sprites to draw, and how the enemy sprites will move, BUT it won’t know exactly HOW Mega Man will move. When you press right on the d-pad, MegaMan moves right, so is the framebuffer being loaded with (x + 1) frames? What about when Megaman stops moving? Then the next frame isn’t (x + 1) anymore but that’s all you got!

    Just seems like a paradox.

      • Mourmain
      • 11 years ago

      No, no, you’re overcomplicating it… it’s just like a second artist’s easel, it’s not about “predicting” the next frame.

      The framebuffer is a region in memory where the program can draw the next screen. When it’s done it tells the video chip that the image should now be read from this region of memory. And the old region (screen/frame) becomes the new framebuffer.

      The advantage is that the program doesn’t have to draw the screen in real-time as the electron beam scans the phosphors. The ATARI 2600 seems to not have had this advantage… crazy stuff!

      I might try to break out my Atari and see if it still works!

        • Hattig
        • 11 years ago

        Double buffering is quite new, relatively (or a very memory costly operation on the memory limited systems of the 80s). Most old systems would have to redraw the screen to a hard time limit because they were single buffered, and you didn’t want to alter any of the screen where the display was being updated.

        I wince when I see modern systems get frame synchronisation issues (e.g., video on Linux). I think that might be down to single buffered windows-as-textures in Compiz.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      The easiest way to understand the framebuffer is to think of it as a big bitmap that’s exactly the size of the screen, but it’s a special one that the video hardware knows how to “paint” onto the display. It knows to use this bitmap because it has a register that points to the piece of memory it should be using as the current screen contents. And 30 times a second (or whatever the refresh rate is) the hardware goes to that memory and uses it to redraw the screen.

      But the hardware can be displaying bitmap #1 (the current frame, or “front buffer”) while your code is busy constructing #2 (the next frame, or “back buffer”). So your code builds the next frame — first drawing the background, then drawing stuff on top of it like Mega Man in his new position, etc — and when it is done, it updates the register (changing its value from 1 to 2) to “flip” the buffers. Now the video hardware paints the screen with the newly-created buffer (#2), and your code can treat #1 as the back buffer. This is when the code looks at the control inputs, figures out what should be moved where — Mega Man’s new direction, the locations of any missiles or other things that might be moving — and draws a new buffer. When you’re done with that, you update the register again (from 2 to 1 this time), and start over. Repeat ad infinitum.

      In practice, it can be more complicated than that — anti-aliasing, more than 2 buffers, etc — but that’s the basic idea. Well, it is for most modern systems. Older systems didn’t have a convenient register to point to different parts of memory, so you had to implement the flipping in software by copying. Very old systems were too slow to copy the contents of screen memory 30 times a second, so in effect there was just one frame buffer, and the hardware always used that to update the screen. So you couldn’t update an entire screen at a time; instead, you had to erase and redraw just the parts that changed. If you had a static background you could draw it and leave it, but anything that moved on top of the background had to be carefully drawn in its new location and the background put back in the old location as it moved. And this was a problem, because the video hardware was still redrawing the screen 30 times a second from that memory, so if you weren’t quick enough, the video hardware would redraw the screen while you were in the middle of changing it, resulting in all sorts of weirdness. Or coolness, if you were smart and quick enough to stay ahead of the redraw. And this is where the 2600 comes in: it had no framebuffer at all, so you had to be smart and quick to stay ahead of the redraw all the time. Even if you had a static background, you had to draw it again every refresh — with a very slow CPU and almost no memory. That they could do anything at all, let alone a satisfying game, in such limited hardware is remarkable.

      Of course these days you don’t control the video hardware, the OS and its frameworks (like DirectX or OpenGL) do, and you may not be working at screen resolution but instead be updating just a window. But the principle is the same: you’re drawing to some off-screen buffer that will get flipped into view when you’re ready.
      §[<< ]§ §[<<]§ If your hardware and code is fast (and these days, it generally is), you can actually run on "into the future" creating additional frames to make motion look smoother. Of course you're not making use of new inputs from the player, but how many new control inputs can a human provide in a 30th, or a 60th, of a second? And there are plenty of other things going on independent of the player, so you can safely run two or three frames ahead.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 11 years ago

        tl dr

        Actually I did read it, but it sounds cooler if I say that I didn’t.

          • FireGryphon
          • 11 years ago

          like, oh em gee. saying you didn’t do something when you actually, like, did it, is like, sooo the newest thing. it’s like, saying you did do it but… like… not!


    • dragunkat
    • 11 years ago

    they released 1.50 for battlefeild 2142 a while ago. the next one is 1.51.

      • BenBasson
      • 11 years ago

      From the article, BF2 => 1.50, BF2141 => 1.51.

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    The netbook gaming article seems more like a blog post than a review. It also only covered modern games, really. It should have mentioned

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Well it’s GameSpot. They haven’t been relevant since 2005.

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