Thursday, February 19, 2009

Afghanistan, trade on table as Obama visits Canada

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNN) -- President Obama touched down in Canada on Thursday in his first foreign trip as head of state.

Trucks wait at an oil sands site in Alberta in 2007. Obama has environmental concerns about the sands.

Trucks wait at an oil sands site in Alberta in 2007. Obama has environmental concerns about the sands.

And though he enjoys an 81 percent approval rating north of the border, Obama is expected to tackle several explosive issues with America's largest trading partner.

• The war in Afghanistan: Canada has about 2,800 troops in Afghanistan, but Parliament has voted to pull them out by 2011.At the same time, Obama has approved a significant increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan, bringing the total there to 55,000. View a chart of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan »

Obama said he will take up the issue of Canada's troop withdrawal with Prime Minister Stephen Harper when the two meet in Ottawa. Video Watch what Obama will tackle in Canada »

"My hope is that in conversations that I have with Prime Minister Harper, that he and I end up seeing the importance of a comprehensive strategy, and one that ultimately the people of Canada can support, as well as the people of the United States can support," he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday. Video Watch more on the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan »

• A "Buy American" clause in Washington's economic stimulus package: Canadians worry about protectionism because of a provision in the package that requires the use of U.S.-produced iron, steel and other manufactured goods in public works projects paid for by the $787 billion package. "[There is] a lot of concern in Canada that [the provision] is going to cut Canadian firms out, especially in the steel area," said Peter Mansbridge, the anchor of CBC's "The National." Administration officials altered the language in the final version of the stimulus bill to ensure the provision will not trump existing trade agreements. Canadian companies will therefore still have the chance to sell products used in stimulus-funded projects. Canadian government officials, however, perceive the provision as indicative of rising protectionist sentiment in the United States that could potentially spark a trade war and, in their opinion, deepen the global economic crisis. The Canadian government says more than 7 million American jobs directly depend on trade with Canada.

• The environmental effect of Canadian oil: Obama has said he is concerned about the effect on the environment of the oil sands operation in Alberta, in western Canada. " What we know is that oil sands creates a big carbon footprint. So the dilemma that Canada faces, the United States faces, and China and the entire world faces is how do we obtain the energy that we need to grow our economies in a way that is not rapidly accelerating climate change," Obama said in his CBC interview.

Experts have said that producing a barrel of oil from sand creates three times the emissions of a conventional barrel of oil. The oil sands have made Canada the top foreign supplier of crude oil to the United States. The administration of President George W. Bush viewed Canada's reserves as one way to end U.S. dependence on Middle East oil.

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Obama Stimulus Saves Microsoft Billionaire Hundreds Of Millions

(See Also: Sir Allen Stanford's Circle of Friends)

Billionaire Paul Allen is a Microsoft cofounder, the owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the owner of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers.

And, thanks to the stimulus bill President Obama signed this week, he's also about to be as much as a billion dollars richer.

Here's how:

  • Allen owns a majority stake in cable provider Charter Communications.
  • Charter Communications this month said it would reduce its debt load by $8 billion and enter Chapter 11.
  • Normally, partners at a firm like Charter Communications would have to pay taxes on the amount of debt forgiven in this process, which is, in a sense a one-time income windfall. Tax law calls it a "deemed distribution."
  • But under the new bill, companies like Charter Communications will be able to avoid paying taxes on forgiven debt until 2014. Even then, Paul will have until 2018 to pay it completely off.
  • Paul owns about half of Charter, so his share of the Charter Commuincations' $8 billion debt forgiveness is around $4 billion. At a tax rate of 25%, Allen could avoid paying as much as $1 billion in taxes until 2014, tax expert Robert Willens told the WSJ.

Not clear how a corporate tax benefit would be passed through to Paul's personal tax payments? A reader informs us:

"It's not a 'corporate tax' since it's a partnership rather than a corporation. The partners pay tax on their share of a partnerships income, which is why partnerships are referred to as "pass-through" entities."

For what it's worth, one of Paul's representatives told the WSJ the billionaire didn't lobby for the windfall. It just fell into his lap, lucky dog.

So what will Paul do with that money until 2014? Invest it in technology that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates new "green collar" jobs for America, per the goals of Obama's stimulus plan, of course.

Or maybe Paul could buy a new boat! Here are the two he already owns:

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Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL search up; Google down

by Dawn Kawamoto

Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL each carved out a little more U.S. search market share in January, but Google still had the biggest piece of the pie, according to a report Wednesday by ComScore.

Yahoo Web sites accounted for 21 percent of the market (up half a percent) compared to the month before, while Microsoft grabbed an 8.5 percent slice (up 0.2 percent), and AOL nabbed 3.9 percent of the market (a 0.1 percent increase).

Google, while still holding the largest slice of the market by far, accounted for 63 percent of the search industry in January, down half a percent.

One interesting observation from Silicon Alley Insider is Yahoo's consecutive five-month run in posting modest monthly gains in U.S. search market share.

In August, for example, Yahoo's market share stood at 19.7 percent, according to SIA. But in the past five months, it has steadily grown, garnering more than a 1 point increase during that time.

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Intel SLI vs. Nvidia SLI

HOW MUCH is the NF200 chip worth to your PC? Future Looks is comparing SLI with and without the Nvidia SLI chip. The whole experience shows little gain in standard SLI, in favour of Nvidia's solution. There's little to get excited unless you go for Tri-SLI. Kingston's HyperX T1 tri-channel 3GB and 6GB kits are on review at Legit Reviews. This is rated DDR3-2000 for Core i7 operation and uses some fancy new aluminium heatsinks to keep things cool.

OCaholic is reviewing a Zalman CPU cooler, the CNPS9900 LED. You'll be shocked at how much heat this shaves off the CPU. Mouse pads won't keep you awake at night, but some gamers need the extra slide for their sniping. Enter the Slidamat Platinum R, on review at XS Reviews.Legion Hardware is a bit disappointed with the Asus Extreme HD 4870 X2 TOP. For all Asus' reputation, it fails to deliver on something novel.

XBit Labs gathered some 320GB 2.5-inch HDDs. Hitachi, Fujitsu and Seagate have their pros and cons, and none get to trump the others in benchmarks.Techware Labs is going over an Asus S101 netbook. This one comes with a 64GB SSD which gives it a little boost in boot times and... price.Bit Tech has written up a guide to TIM - or thermal interface material for you there in the back. Personally we prefer the credit card approach over the "finger in a plastic film".

Metku Mods is reviewing Swiftech's H20-220 Apex Ultima Plus. This is the company's top-range kit in the liquid cooling business, and it performs that way...

If you're in the business of merchandising/customisation, you might like the DV Hardware article about PromoLocker and their Custom USB drives. Tom's Hardware Store is testing a bunch of SDHC cards and proving that the Speed Class convention is moot. Some interesting things you can do with these, like installing an OS, or running portable apps...

OCIA is testing the Cooler Master Storm Sniper PC case. Lots of airflow and an affordable price gave it OCIA's top award. Ninjalane is reviewing the Sapphire HD 4670 with GDDR4 memory. Great value and low power in this card, says William. If not for geekish curiousity, IT Reviews has a 2-pager on Dell's PowerEdge R900, 24-core Xeon server. A mere £17454...

Hot Hardware is playing around with a Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725 gaming notebook. Chunky plastic look aside, it harbours some impressive hardware. OCZ's Vertex SSD is under scrutiny at PC Perps. These SSDs break in a custom ARM-based controller and RAM for caching, to good effect, says Ryan.

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WD 2TB hard drive gets shiny new coat

Now comes in external NAS flavour

HOT ON THE HEELS OF THE WORLD'S FIRST 2TB internal drive, Western Digital has followed suit with a network-capable external version.

The My Book World Edition features gigabit ethernet connectivity and can act as a media server for DLNA-compliant devices. A USB port allows the addition of further storage.

A 1TB version is available right now for around £170 and the 2TB big brother is expected to turn up later this month sporting a £370 price tag.

The drives are capable of automatic incremental backups and work out of the box with Macs and PCs. ยต


Click here to find out more!

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T-Mobile offers special $50 unlimited wireless plan

T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest cell phone operator in the U.S., is launching new service promotions in an effort to keep long-term customers and attract new ones.

The company plans to offer a special $50 per month unlimited voice service plan to its long-time customers in San Francisco. And it will also offer new customers who switch from a competitor a $135 rebate, Reuters news service reported Thursday.

T-Mobile's new plan will only be available to customers who have used its service for 22 months or more, according to a T-Mobile representative who talked to Reuters.

The new promotions come as T-Mobile faces stiff competition from the three other major cell phone operators in the U.S. During the fourth quarter, AT&T and Verizon each added customers. AT&T added 2.1 million customers, including 1.9 million iPhone users. And Verizon added about 1.4 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter.

T-Mobile USA added customers too during the fourth quarter, but at a much slower rate. The company only added 621,000 new customers. This was down from the previous quarter when the company added 670,000 new subscribers. And it was down considerably from a year earlier when it added 951,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The bulk of T-Mobile's new subscribers came from pre-paid accounts, as the total number of customers signing up for contracts slowed compared to previous quarters.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel, which reported fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, continued to lose customers, shedding a total of 1.3 million customers during the quarter.

The results from the four major carriers suggests that higher value customers, who enter contracts and generally generate more revenue per month, are gravitating toward the two biggest carriers rather than T-Mobile or Sprint.

T-Mobile and Sprint seem to be duking it out for value customers, which is where these new promotions from T-Mobile are targeted. In fact, it looks as if T-Mobile's new promotions may be in response to a new plan that Sprint's prepaid brand Boost Mobile launched in January. Boost is offering an unlimited mobile plan for $50 a month. During Sprint's quarterly conference call on Thursday, executives for Sprint said the service is off to a good start.

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Beberapa saat yang lalu saya browsing di yahoo, saya menemukan permainan matematika secara online. Dan ada beberapa yang bisa di lakukan secara langsung, dan ini menarik untuk anak-anak.

Nama Program Deskripsi program
Anda diminta mengurutkan angka pada suatu kotak 3x3. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Sama dengan permainan kotak ajaib tetapi untuk permainan ini dilengkapi dengan memilih tingkat kesukaran. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Anda diminta menebak suatu bilangan yang dibangkitkan oleh komputer dan anda diberi petunjuk dalam menebaknya. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Ini versi lain dari program tebakan bilangan yang di atas. Selain berapa kali anda mampu menebaknya juga diberitahukan waktu sampai anda berhasil menebaknya. Maksud dari Hilo adalah HIgh untuk nilai tertinggi dan LOw untuk nilai terendahnya.
Anda diminta untuk mengambil suatu bilangan dalam pikiran anda dan komputer akan menebak bilangan yang anda pikirkan dengan memberikan pertanyaan yang anda harus jawab dengan betul. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Program ini juga dapat membaca pikiran anda. Anda diminta untuk menentukan suatu bilangan 2 digit, kemudian anda diminta mengikuti langkah-langkah yang dianjurkan dan komputer akan menebak simbol yang sesuai dengan yang anda pikirkan. Cobalah!
Permainan untuk memecahkan masalah menara hanoi dalam bentuk aplikasi internet. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Permainan untuk menukarkan letak katak merah dengan katak hijau. Permainan ini dibuat dengan program Java.
Permainan loncat katak versi Flash.
Ada tiga galon air yang hanya dapat memuat 3, 5 dan 8 liter air. Dua galon yang pertama kosong, dan yang terakhir terisi 8 liter. Dengan menuang air dari satu galon ke galon yang lain buatlah salah satu gelas berisi air tepat 4 liter. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Permainan untuk mengganti huruf-huruf dengan angka sehingga membentuk ungkapan aritmetika yang valid. Untuk menjalankannya klik tulisan di kolom paling kiri.
Permainan untuk mengisi kotak dengan angka sedemikian rupa sehingga setiap baris, setiap kolom dan setiap kotak 3x3 mengakomodasi angka-angka 1-9 tanpa ada perulangan. Permainan ini sangat terkenal di Jepang

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mona Lisa Chair

by Michael

Designed by a Korean designed named Kwang Hoo Lee the Mona Lisa Chair is a concept—chair that can be transformed into wall art to save space. The chair doesn’t looks to comfortable and I think that this design was just created to get some attention. What do you think ? - Via


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The Reason HTPC Makes Sense (Now)

by Chris Angelini

The Reason HTPC Makes Sense (Now)

As mentioned, our previous objection to a PC in the living room was its redundancy, especially in the face of modern networked gaming consoles designed to be there. Why bother booting a PC to watch a DVD when the PS3 has Blu-ray functionality built-in? Why bother booting a PC to record a TV show when so many services include their own DVR as part of your monthly package anyway? Why bother booting a PC to listen to .mp3s when your console is already wirelessly connected to the whole collection?

But as soon as we got Maui into a living room, it became clear that this can not only be a play on enhancing the functionality of your entertainment center, but also on saving money. There’s no longer a need for redundancy, if you don’t want it. The HTPC we’re building here can take the place of your CD/DVD player with a built-in Blu-ray drive. It can displace your console with the help of an add-in graphics card. It can almost nudge your DVR out of the way, thanks to AMD’s TV Wonder card with dual tuners. And—most important—it’s able to displace your amplifier with its own 5 x 100 W PCI Express card. Or install the optional seven-channel pre-amp and use an existing amp to drive your non-powered surround sound speaker system.

Our Maui box, turned sideways so its cables would reach far enough...

Our Maui box, turned sideways so its cables would reach far enough...

Hardware is only one half of the picture. We’ve also seen software take a huge stride forward.

It’s true that there’s plenty to like about a Playstation linked up to a home’s media server with access to music, movies, and pictures—in addition to its core competencies as a gaming platform and Blu-ray player. But the console isn’t perfect. If you’re not meticulous about keeping your media organized, trying to find your favorite tunes on the PS3 can quickly become frustrating.

In contrast, the Media Center software built into Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta does a beautiful job of tracking down album covers, movie information, and scheduled programming all on its own. Just point the software to your audio repository and video library. It does the rest.

Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the 10-foot interface, too. Once you fire up Media Center, you can almost forget about the underlying platform running in the background (even though you’ll undoubtedly find yourself tabbing out to check email or search Wikipedia—I wanted to know more about the F-35 during Live Free or Die Hard). Flipping between music, movies, live television, Internet television, and photo albums with an IR remote is incredibly convenient and much more tailored to the content on your home network.

Let’s move on to the hardware inside this improved HTPC.

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How To: Build An HTPC (With Windows 7) : One Small Hawaiian Island At A Time...

by Chris Angelini

One Small Hawaiian Island At A Time...

I’ve been trying to build great HTPCs for several years, and several generations of PR folks at AMD (formerly ATI) have tried helping me piece together the right components to make my theater room shine. Incidentally, this is one niche where Nvidia has historically had little impact. Of course, those efforts have forever centered on All-in-Wonder graphics cards, which integrated 3D, OTA television reception, time-shifting, and video playback.

Not that anything was wrong with the AiW lineup—the cards demonstrated tremendous engineering prowess, as ATI managed to fit all of its multi-media strengths onto boards that didn’t compromise 3D viability. The AiW boards simply didn’t break down all of the barriers to getting PC technology into the living room, as attractive as they were.

Pardon the cabling mess; this project required a little re-wiring.

Pardon the cabling mess; this project required a little re-wiring.

Ironically, now that the All-in-Wonder family is all but deceased (with one lonely model representing), the age of the HTPC is arguably upon us.

You see, previously, incorporating an HTPC into a home entertainment rack almost felt like showing off, since much of its functionality would be redundant. Yeah, you could get a PC wedged in between the stereo receiver and the standalone DVD player. But so much of the concept’s functionality still depended on other components in the rack.

You’d run video from the graphics card out to a DVI input, ideally, or a component input if your TV didn’t have the digital connection. You’d run optical or coaxial audio to a stereo receiver, which would be responsible for taking that sound signal, decoding it, and outputting to the non-powered speakers typical in a theater.

Adding an HTPC just seemed superfluous. And with a Playstation 3 in the loop, sporting its almost instant-on and rich audio/video playback (plus wireless network connectivity), there’s almost no reason to power-on a PC and wait for it to boot up into a Media Center environment—until now.

Maui Makes Nice With The Living Room

AMD recently (actually, not so recently—it was late last year) sent us an example of its Maui platform, a collection of hardware that, put together, achieves a remarkable degree of living room functionality despite its desktop PC pedigree. We’ve had the hardware in an HTPC role for a few months now and recently shifted the system’s software environment from the Vista Ultimate/Media Center/TotalMedia Theatre configuration that AMD shipped to a more streamlined (at least we think so) Windows 7/PowerDVD build.


In this How To guide, we’ll explain why the HTPC now makes so much sense, we’ll show you the hardware that goes into our test platform (and how it all fits together), and we’ll walk you through using it with Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta, which should be shipping by the end of the year. Truly, this is the hardware/software configuration for which we've been waiting.

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DRAM Prices Soar Despite Large Oversupply

The price of DRAM continues to soar for the second week in a row after a major DRAM manufacture files for bankruptcy.


DRAM prices continue to surge upwards after Qimonda, a major DRAM manufacture, filed for bankruptcy an hour before the Asian market closed on January 23, 2008. The price of 1Gb DDR2 667 MHz DRAM chips already increased 16-percent last week, with average prices for all DRAM capacities rising by as much as 8.7-percent during that time. The worst may yet still come however as prices are further increasing this week as brokers and traders in Taiwan and China return from a week long Lunar New Year holiday. China has the largest spot market for DRAM as it is where many of the world's PCs get assembled.

Despite the recent hike in DRAM prices though, market researcher IDC is expecting prices to begin trending downwards in the long-term as there is a large oversupply of DRAM in the market. Qimonda is still manufacturing DRAM, despite the bankruptcy, but even if it were to stop all production, there would still be more than enough DRAM in the market to meet all demand. The current global economic crisis has resulted in a decrease in the demand of consumer electronics, which puts pressure on DRAM makers.

As of Tuesday this week, DRAM prices were still trending upwards, but the market demands had stabilized. Even though this recent shock to the highly-sensitive DRAM market may soon pass, there may be more shocks soon to come. ProMOS Technologies is one such company that may soon be forced to follow the lead of Qimonda, as it is currently facing a $330M debt that it needs to payoff by the middle of February. The Taiwan-based company is appealing to the Taiwan government for funds as it cannot pay off the debt itself.

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Tom's and AMD Overclocking Contest Opens!


Listen up, AMD overclocking enthusiasts, Tom’s Hardware’s next big competition is for you!

Starting Today, those of you with AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition processors will have the opportunity to push your CPU to the limit for a shot of being crowned the winner of the AMD CPU Virtual Overclocking Contest.

For this month’s contest, we’ll be sticking with the Phenom 9950 Black Edition, but those of you with the Phenom II 940 will get your chance in March.

As long as you have an AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition and are a U.S. Resident (sorry international folks, but those are the rules we’ve been given), then you’re qualified to compete! Here's the kicker though: you can enter even if you're not going to overclock! Non-competing entries will be placed in a weekly random drawing for prizes, but if you don't compete, you can't get dibs on the grand prizes.

To get started, you will need to prepare and then send us some information. When you enter, you'll automatically be emailed a copy of the requirements and rules.

For starters, we’ll have to know about the rest of your system besides just the requisite CPU. Tell us your motherboard model, memory configuration, graphics card, and any hardware and software modifications. We’ll also need to know your cooling method (e.g. air, water, liquid nitrogen, or, for the brave, liquid helium; where appropriate list any non-stock heatsink and cooling fan manufacturers and models).

We want to see what your bad ass rig looks like too. The winners of the Phenom 9950 Black Edition and Phenom II 940 will be flown out to our offices here in Los Angeles, all expenses paid for, to receive the prizes and have an opportunity to replicate or even exceed the winning overclock! Best of all, you'll get to hang out with us and AMD.

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Hynix Produces 40nm 1 GB DDR3 for Q3'09

Sunday South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor said that it has developed the world's highest-density memory chip built on 40nm process technology.

As technology progresses, sometimes bigger isn't always better. Case in point: Hynix Semiconductor has figured out how to develop 1 GB DDR3 DRAM (dynamic random access memory) built on 40nm process technology... in other words, the circuits within this new memory chip are just 40 nanometers apart. To put its size in perspective, a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. As a result, the new chip is no larger than an adult fingernail.

Hynix's new DRAM will deliver a maximum speed of 2133Mbps and show a 50 percent productivity increase over the previous 50mn process technology, requiring less energy than its predecessor. The company also said that the new product will be cheaper to make, and by applying three-dimensional architecture, will see minimal leakage current.

"Hynix has become the world's first to apply the 40-nanometre-class technology to the DDR3 DRAM chip successfully," said Hynix spokesman Park Hyun. "The new chip development will help the company continue to lead the fast-changing memory chip market."

However, due to the plunging global economy, the memory chip industry has taken a huge hit below the belt. Still, the company hopes to expand its DDR3 specification and 40nm technology to other products including mobile DRAM, graphics DRAM, and even mass storage memory modules. That's bold news considering Toshiba slashed flash memory production at the beginning of the year, reducing output by 30 percent.

Hynix said that the new 40nm 1 Gb DDR3 is slated to enter mass production in Q3 2009.

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Reports: Windows 7 Releasing This Year

With the warm reception and the solid feel of the Windows 7 public beta, most are expecting the new operating system from Microsoft sooner rather than later. Microsoft, however, has remained tight-lipped on any earlier-than-expected release date, even hedging that we may not see it until 2010.


Microsoft has told everyone that Windows 7 may not ship until early 2010, but we’re starting to see signs pointing to a release that will happen sometime this year. Granted, the original date the software giant gave was for 2010, and it would be foolish for the company to promise a new date if it is still unsure if it can deliver.

Even at CES 2009, just when Microsoft announced the Windows 7 public beta, Windows executive Bill Veghte said regarding either a 2009 or 2010 release, “I'm telling them that it could go either way. ... We will ship it when the quality is right, and earlier is always better, but not at the cost of ecosystem support and not at the cost of quality.”

The Inquirer points to a webcast where Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich said that Windows 7 would be sent to manufacture three years after Vista did the same, which was in October 2006. Of course, that could be an approximate ballpark date, but it does lend hope for those who really want Windows 7 in time for Christmas.

CNet cites PC industry sources as saying that they have heard that Windows 7 is on track for a holiday release, which is what OEMs want as it would help boost sales of new computers.

It’s hard to see Windows 7 not being ready for consumption for another 10 months. The public beta that some enthusiasts are running as their primary OS is set to expire on August 1, 2009. It would be an all-too-perfect situation if those users would be able to transfer from the beta version to the final version, though expecting Windows 7 to be in a retail box by summer might be a little optimistic.

Still, the evidence is growing. Just last week we saw an early proposal for the free upgrade program for those who purchase a Vista-equipped machine after July 1, 2009.

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Shuttle's New Flagship SX58H7 HTPC


Looking to downsize your rather large and mundane tower case that currently hosts your Home Theater PC or semi-extreme gaming rig? Shuttle delivers with its latest Prima flagship model--the SX58H7.

The new Shuttle SX58H7 features Intel's X58 chipset and is capable of running both ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI. Some other interesting features of this new mini-beast is that the power supply unit (PSU) has an 80PLUS Bronze certification with high efficiency and 500 watt max output. The included CPU cooler has a vapor chamber base with heat-pipes and allows efficient thermal movement while lowering CPU temperatures by up to 7 degrees Celsius over standard coolers and heat-pipe implementations.

Judging by what the Prima SX58H7 has to offer, you could pack a lot of punch inside of its small walls, effectively making it a prime choice for enthusiast gamers on the go or those that wish have a home theater PC that is also capable of playing all of today’s latest games. Don't get too excited about going too extreme with your CrossFire or SLI setup though--only single-slot cards will fit in this case.

Technical specifications for the SX58H7:

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Sparkle Says DLC Heatsinks Help Overclocking

by Aaron Heibert, Tuan Nguyen

Sparkle Computer Co. this week announced a technology for cooling its video cards called Diamond-like-Carbon (DLC) coating. Stated as a new process to help dissipate heat from heatsinks, Sparkle sets sights on overclockers.


The new coating uses what Sparkle refers to as diamonds sputtering technology, and Sparkle claims that the DLC coating increases the rate at which heat is transferred from the source and dissipated away through the heatsink fins. Sparkle is claiming that its DLC coating can lower temperatures by up to 5 degrees Celsius.

Giving a nod to the molecular structure of carbon, Sparkle says that heatsinks coated with DLC will be able to draw away heat from GPU cores significantly faster than direct copper contacts. A DLC coated heatsink also allows fins to transfer heat from metal to air--essentially, the entire heatsink is coated with DLC.

Sparkle also mentions that its DLC coating is able to achieve high thermal transfer rates by acting as a barrier between metal to air contact. Because it's chemically inert, DLC helps prevent corrosion due to oxidation, which reduces thermal conductance. While we think that a DLC coating can help to protect copper-based heatsinks, aluminum heatsinks aren't susceptible to rust and most heatsinks are machined from aluminum.

Typically, DLC has several properties, including:

  • Low friction
  • Hard but flexible/Wear resistant
  • Chemically inert
  • Atomically dense
  • Bio-compatible and anti-thrombogenic

DLC is often used to coat bearings and engine parts to prevent heat build-up. However, heat build-up is avoided by reducing the friction between the bearing and the housing, and preventing heat from transferring into the bearing. Judging from Sparkle's measurements, it's unclear whether temperature readings were performed on the heatsink or on the GPU die. The supplied chart is also visually skewed, as the graph supplied by Sparkle shows a 50-percent reduction but really only measuring a decrease of roughly 5-percent in temperature from 88C to 83C.

Since DLC prevents heat from entering an object, we're curious to find out from Sparkle if its prototype DLC heatsink actually prevented heat from transferring from the GPU to the heatsink, therefore producing a cooler heatsink. We contacted Sparkle to inquire but have yet to receive a response.

Sparkle has yet to mention which products will use DLC coatings and when consumers can expect to see them on store shelves. We'll follow up with Sparkle on this one.

Quoting from the Sparkle press release:

Now with more and more advanced relative technologies, the performance of video cards is getting stronger and stronger, there will be more heat generated by video cards, which significantly impairs the life expectancy of GPU and video memory chips on video cards. Video card companies have a lot of programs come and go to solve the problem of heat dissipation. The most commonly seen in general is the use of fans with cooling fins to do additional cooling. in the early days, the cooling job can be done simply with a fan or cooling fins, but in today's graphics cards with more intense heat than before, the cooling job must be done on the technologies not the same as before, not just rely on the fan and cooling fins. Video card companies must go to find some relatively new method to solve the problem of heat dissipation.

With a strong R&D team, SPARKLE introduced Diamonds Sputtering technology, which plate a Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) membrane on the surface of video cards cooling fins to realize the cooling effects of DLC. Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) membrane can help to quickly transfer the heat from GPU and video memory chips to the cooling fins. SPARKLE R&D team found in the study that Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) which gradually been found in the past few years has many high-natures, such as high optical penetrating, high-chemical corrosion-resistant, excellent friction properties and good compatibility. In addition, Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) also has a high heat conduction. General heatsink is relies on the electronics movement within the metal (such as copper) to do heat conduction. The diamonds do heat dissipation four times faster than copper, it relies on the phonons which is produced by the crystal lattice vibration, to bring heat to lower temperature places. Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) can achieve both functions at the same time, that is, transferring heat to lower temperature places with both graphite metal bond and diamond insulation bond (the covalent bond) . Apart from this, Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) can transfer carbon surface heat (atomic vibrations) into the infrared radiation of electromagnetic waves in bold (Black Body Radiation) , directly to the air molecules.

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How to Start Decorating Your Home

Starting home decorating can be full of so many emotions. On one hand, you can’t wait to get started and on the other, you can. There is a lot of work to be done and all of it is before you. Sometimes, there is no way of knowing where to start or what to do or even how to decorate.

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Still, you are at the starting gate and soon you will have all your questions answered. Before you actually begin decorating your home, I would recommend looking through home design magazines and browsing through some wonderful sites; starting with if I can be so modest.

That being said, it is important to take all those ideas that you love and make a little scrapbook with them. Don’t worry, everyone does this and it ensures that you won’t forget an idea or accidentally toss out the magazine.

Once you have some ideas as to what you would like and colors you would enjoy using, it is time to get down to business. Now most people will tell you to start with a notebook and sketch out your room and write down all of your ideas but before you do that, put that notebook to a different use.

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First, before anything else, you will need to look at a budget. As much as we would all love to have an endless supply of funds to decorate with, that just isn’t realistic. You will have a cap on your decorating budget so actually look at what it is now before you shoot for a design that is just out of your price range. Once you have your budget, add a few hundred dollars on top of that for mistakes or finds that you just couldn’t pass by.

Now that you have your budget, start making a list of rooms in your home that needs to be decorated. Obviously, if your budget is limited, you are not going to be able to do all of them over the course of a few months so you will need to prioritize your rooms. Generally, the first rooms that you will want to focus on are the high traffic rooms. These are, after all, the rooms that most guests see when they come over so you will want to have them looking their best.

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The other rooms can be decorated at a later time and as money allows so don’t stress if you can’t get them done right away. I have heard stories of homes taking several years to get from point A to finished.

Okay, so you have your budget, your ideas and your priority list. Now it is time to get decorating. The first thing that you will want to do is decide on a design for your home decor. Generally, when you design your decor you will keep the same design throughout the home especially in rooms where you can’t close the door to the theme. The last thing that you will want to do is have a country-style kitchen with an Asian themed dining room. There are several different types of design styles and really it is a matter of personal choice. Lately, there has been a real shift to eclectic and modern decor and you can add elements of both into just about any style.

Once you have decided on your style, you can pull out that notebook once more and start sketching out the room. Make a few notes on what furniture are a must have for the room and also identify which items must be brand new and which items can be refurbished pieces. Both can make wonderful statements to a room but you can find some wonderful quality pieces through garage sales, auctions and flea markets for only a fraction of the cost to buy new. Trust me, when it comes to meeting a budget, used can be your best friend.

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Color is one of the most important areas for launching your decor and it should be one of the first steps that you take when starting to decorate your home. Many people feel that your starting place should be your floors and walls but it isn’t the only rule for creating your color palette. Instead, you can start with an accent piece and work out from there, choosing your colors for your flooring and walls after you have pulled out the colors from the accent. The end result is really what you are going for so it doesn’t matter how you started the journey.

After you are finished with the walls, it is time to start decorating the space. Hopefully, by this point you have been going to auctions and flea markets and you have the furniture bought and refurbished the way that you want it. You can set up the room, and then add the accessories. Remember that you don’t need to go with traditional accents or furniture. An old chest can work well as a table, and an old door can be refurbished into a headboard. Feel free to experiment and find some great articles on using unusual pieces in your decor for inspiration.

So now that you have your budget, your idea and your style theme, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from starting your home decor…except, of course, finding the time to do it all.

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5 Basic Ideas of Modern Home Decor

Simplicity. If you were looking for a word that described what modern home decor was then that would be; it is simplicity. Of course, simple doesn’t mean boring and modern decor with its clean lines, neutral color palette and geometric shapes is anything but boring. Instead, modern home decor can be warm, inviting and completely stylish in just about any home. But how do you achieve modern home decor? Obviously, it isn’t as simple as walking into a store and choosing items that have clean lines. There takes a bit more to that and there are several basic ideas that should be incorporated into a modern decor.

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The first idea is to keep it simple. Remember that word that best describes modern design and make sure that you incorporate it into your space. There is no need for the room to simply be four walls and a chair for sitting, we aren’t going to that extreme, but you will want to keep things as uncluttered as it possible. Studies have shown that clutter can lead to stress in your life so keeping your decor simple will help alleviate some of the stresses that you feel.

The second idea of modern home decor is function. Not only should your rooms be simple with those clean lines and minimal artwork and accessories, but it should also be functional. This varies greatly from room to room but when you go into a room, it should be easy to access and use various items in it. So, for instance, a kitchen that is designed with modern decor in mind should have ample workroom and everything should be easy to access.


Technology is the third idea for a modern decor in your home. It is actually a lot more than simply stating “technology” and any electronics that are in your home should work with the space. It is often recommended that all electronics be streamlined, so flat panel televisions, built in DVD players, small flat screen televisions in the kitchen, and computers tied in to a room rather than being a lump in it, are important to keep those lines clean.

Open spaces. If you are going with a modern decor, then you will want to utilize our fourth idea by having lots of open space in your home. This may not be possible in some homes that offer closed rooms instead of an open concept but you can create the appearance of open spaces by using color, fabrics and furniture. You can also keep windows coverings that are light in color and airy in feel to create an open feel in to the room, even if it isn’t.

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The last idea for creating a modern decor in your home is to add a little bit of character to the space. It can be amazing how one splash of color on an otherwise neutral palette can create such an alarming effect to the room. Don’t hesitate to explore your options with color and make the space one that you will enjoy sharing with every.

Creating a modern decor doesn’t have to be difficult and there is a lot of room to play around with your spaces. All you really need to remember are these five simple rules and before you know it, you will have a modern decor that shines.

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Canonical Tag Announced: Google's Matt Cutts Interviewed

"Cesspool" of duplicate content cleaned up by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search.

Eric Schmidt once famously (or infamously, depending on how you look at it) called the Internet a cesspool. Now Google along with search rivals Yahoo and Microsoft are working together to clean up that cesspool to some extent.

Much of this "cesspool" comes from duplicate content, and a tag has now been revealed jointly from the three search engine giants that can give your pages the URL format that they all prefer. This is called the Canonical Tag and looks like this:

As Google explains (see here for example, and FAQ), you can simply add this tag to specify your preferred version of a URL inside the section of the duplicate content URLs:

and the search engines will understand that the duplicates all refer to the canonical URL: Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well.

If you have unanswered questions about the canonical tag, now is the time to ask. Google will be happy to answer them. Yahoo and Microsoft have additional posts about the tag.

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