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Friday, May 28, 2010

Iron Baby

There was Iron Man and now there is Iron Baby! Check the clip below... soooo cute!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Apple Mac or PC?

After 6+ years of using my current PC (Personal Computer; AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+) I've decided that it's time to move on to something abit more substantial and have been debating on which system to get. The problem is that there are just too many choices available in this technological environment we live in.

For some time now I've been looking at the Apple range of computers and thought yeah it would be nice to switch over just for the aesthetics of the design and generally if you're working with multimedia related stuffs then the Macs are probably the way to go. I mean comparing OSX and Windows comes down to one common ground. They are both still a graphical user interface which lets you point and click; am I wrong? Oops... :P

Anyway though they are very nice systems, I've decided to stick with a PC instead and the main reason is performance & value versus design. If I compare the core specs here...

Apple: 27-inch iMac
2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
4GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1066MHz
1TB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory

PC: Custom built
2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-930 processor
12GB DDR3 Triple-channel SDRAM @ 1600MHz
120GB Crucial RealSSD C300 drive
ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics processors with 2GB of GDDR5 memory

If you know technical specs then you can see that there are some pretty big differences between the two. The iMac of course being an all-in-one system comes with a 27” wide screen which is quite nice actually. A quick search on the Internet points out that Apple are using the i7-860 processor which means they could be using either the single or dual-channel type RAM. Anyway if you want to go all technical of which is better, do a search for "i7 930 vs 860", "ati 4850 vs 5970".

So in the past few days I've been sitting at home putting the new system together, performing fresh installs, migrating existing data from old to new, etc. and thus have been pretty busy. Have to say that now everything is installed and general folders tidied up, I am pretty happy with its performance. With the SSD as the main OS (Operating System) drive, the system now loads in well under 30 seconds from time of you switch on the PC to able to start working on various things in Windows 7 (64-bit too). Loading applications in general now takes about a second or two depending on the program with the longest takes around less than 5 seconds.

Graphics wise, no competition there. It's the best graphics processor/card available in the general market at the time of this post so no complaints there. Only main problems now are really the noise levels of the case. I always knew that moving back to an Intel based system would have problems with noise. Even though the case itself has noise dampeners in place to keep it quiet, it's the fans themselves that are noisy unfortunately. With three 18cm fans in the case I can understand. It is a Silverstone FT-02B-WRI case and while putting them all together, figured out that the case ain't that well designed after all. Oh well...

Anyway have to say I'm very happy with the new system. Just have to get used to Windows 7 now. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron PC minimum specs

Here are the minimum specs required to play Transformers: War for Cybertron on the PC.

Processor Type: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300 processor, AMD Athlon™ 64 x2 Dual Core 4000 processor
Processor Speed: 2GHz
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
System Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard Drive Space: 9GB
Video: 256MB DirectX 9.0c-compatible NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT or ATI Radeon X1900 video cards (excluding NVIDIA 8400 and Radeon HD2400, HD2600 and HD3450 video cards)
Sound Card: 16-bit DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound cards
Drive Type and Speed: DVD-ROM 6x

If your PC is not up to play... As Skids from Revenge of the Fallen said "It's Upgrade Time!!!"

You can order TF:WFC @ Amazon as mentioned in this post.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charlie Bit Me

Would you believe this is the highest ever viewed video on YouTube?

Classic... Always brings a smile to your face.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who is Adyen Amsterdam?

Just noticed something weird on my statement this morning. Noticed that there were a payment for a company called Adyen Amsterdam. No idea why there would be any charges for this company and so after abit of research on the internet, found out that they are an online payment system for e-commerce businesses. But why would these guys charge me?

In a few blog posts ago I had recommended a website called MyCityDeals where they provide discounted prices on services and or products. The amount charged seems to match what I had bought at that time so yeah, false alarm.

Hope that helps some of you who thinks that you have a fraudulent charge on your card.

Edit March 2011: MyCityDeals is now known as Groupon

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

KFC Leicester Square branch *BARF*

Kentucky Fried Chicken has been fined. They've been fined almost £19,000. Why? Here comes one of those stories that make delicate readers dry-heave.

Inspectors found a whole bunch of grim stuff in a London branch, including, rather amusingly, a cockroach eating a chip. City of Westminster Magistrates' Court heard during an inspection at the Leicester Square branch, that the officer also discovered a dead mouse, some flies pissing about and dried chicken blood on the floor.

"There was no soap in the ground-floor food preparation room so, on the day of the inspection at least, it was not possible for food preparation staff to wash their hands properly," said Michael Goodwin, prosecuting.

District Judge Howard Riddle fined KFC £11,000 for the offences as well as ordering them to cough up £7,927.80 in costs and a victim surcharge of £15. No, we've no idea what a "victim surcharge" is either.

Nina Arnott, a spokesperson for KFC said: "These charges date back to August 2008, and as soon as we were made aware of the results of the inspection, we took immediate action to bring the restaurant back up to our strict hygiene standards. The restaurant has undergone a complete renovation, and the EHO's barrister has told the District Judge that there is no longer a concern about these premises."

Story from Bitterwallet.com

Friday, May 07, 2010

Facebook's new features secretly add apps to your profile

When a piece of software is automatically installed on your computer without your knowledge, it's called malware. But what do you call it when Facebook apps are added to your profile without your knowledge? We discovered Wednesday that this is actually happening, and stopping it isn't as easy as checking a box in your privacy settings.

If you visit certain sites while logged in to Facebook, an app for those sites will be quietly added to your Facebook profile. You don't have to have a Facebook window open, you don't need to be signed in to these sites for the apps to appear, there's no notification, and there doesn't appear to be an option to opt-out anywhere in Facebook's byzantine privacy settings.

The apps appear to be related to Facebook's latest sharing features and tools. The sites currently leaving this trail all have Facebook integration, and the list includes heavyweights such as the Gawker network of blogs, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNET, New York Magazine, and formspring.me.

It isn't entirely clear what information these apps are pulling from user profiles or feeding back to Facebook. They aren't automatically visible to friends viewing your profile page, but if you go to an application's profile page, you can see a list of your friends who also have that app installed, essentially getting a unintentional peek at their browsing habits. On the other side there are sites like the Washington Post's, which has a Facebook Network News box showing a list of your friends who have recently shared a Washington Post article on Facebook.


How to block the apps? Opting out of Instant Personalization does not stop these apps from appearing. Unfortunately, removing these kinds of applications requires more vigilance than just altering a setting.

To see a list of your current Facebook applications, click Account in the top right corner of Facebook, then select Application Settings from the drop-down menu. If you click on the Edit Settings link for one of the new applications, you'll always see one tab called Additional Permissions that has a box that's unchecked by default. Checking it will give that application permission to "Publish recent activity (one line stories) to [your] wall." Sometimes there is a second tab with an option to add a bookmark for that link to your wall. And a few apps also have a Profile tab where you can add a box to your profile for that site and pick a privacy level for it.

Clicking the X to delete an application will temporarily remove it from your applications list, but it will just be re-added as you return to that site. One work-around is to always log out of Facebook before surfing the Web. Another is to block each application after it appears. In order to permanently block an application, you have to click on the Profile link for that application in the Applications Settings window, then click Block Application in the menu on the left side of the app's page.

Article from: MacWorld

Android on the iPhone 3G!

If you remember not too long ago I had posted how to set up Android on the iPhone 2G, now the original developer, David Wang is a hobbyist hacker better known as "planetbeing" has gone one up and has done it for the iPhone 3G! The installation procedures aren't there yet but I'm sure it will be made available soon. In the mean time check out the video below.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Transformers - War for Cybertron available for pre-order

Right... for Transformers fans who have been watching all the new trailers of the upcoming Transformers game, War for Cybertron from Activision should be glad to know that the game is due out around the end of June this year (2010). A little digging confirms that Activision is actually using Epic Games' Unreal® Engine 3 for the game itself which is good news to me.

My current PC is getting quite dated itself and it can barely play most of any new games at half the settings. But games that use the Unreal engine have always been pretty good even on this PC. I haven't seen the minimum specifications yet but I hope my PC can still make it for some gaming goodness. Otherwise I'll just have to get the PS3 version instead which is the most likely route.

Anyway below is the latest trailer showcasing the multiplayer aspect of the game.


Just like the Starcraft II pre-order, Amazon also has the pre-orders available for Transformers - War for Cybertron ready.

Amazon.co.uk: PS3 @ £39.91, Xbox 360 @ £39.91, PC @ £25.99
Amazon.com: PS3 @ $56.99, Xbox 360 @ $56.99, PC @ $39.99

What a year it's going to be. So many new games are due out. :)

Sony PlayStation 3 Firmware 3.30 Update

Sony have decided to remove the OtherOS option from the PS3 firmware that due to all the hacking that's been done by GeoHot and others in the PS3 community; thus disabling you from installing any Linux OSes on the system. This came into effect since firmware 3.21. So most were stuck on the previous version 3.15 and weren't able to sign into the PSN until you update. For some, there are arguments stating that the OtherOS was a selling feature of the original system and thus lots of people are not very happy with this change.

For some who were luckily enough to get a refund due to the change, I couldn't be bothered since I doubt Tesco (where I bought mine) would do refunds on a system that was bought nearly 2 years ago. So I went forward and updated it to the latest version 3.30 without a hitch. I don't use the OtherOS anyway so it's no lost to me.

If you were luckily enough to get a refund from Tesco, please comment below on what you did to get the refund would be appreciated.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty available for pre-order

We've been waiting a long time now for a new Starcraft game and Blizzard has finally delivered. It is due out around the end of July this year (2010) so am quite looking forward to it. I'm certainly pre-ordering my copy but am not sure if my current PC can handle it. It is abit dated after all. Blizzard is releasing two versions of this game which comes in a standard edition and a Collector's Edition. No suprise there.

If you get the standard edition, you basically get the game only. Where if you get the collector's edition, you get a load of additional bits to make it the Collector's Edition.

The inventory of the Collector's Edition:
- Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Game
- The Art of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
- Jim Raynor "Dog Tag" USB drive incl. original Starcraft Anthology
- Wings of Liberty Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes DVD:
- Starcraft Comic Issue #0
- Collector's Edition Soundtrack
- Exclusive In-Game World of Warcraft Pet
- Exclusive Battle.Net Downloadable Content

For more details on the Collector's Edition check out Blizzard's website.

Amazon actually have the game now in pre-order stage so if I were you I would jump at the opportunity to secure one before it solds out.
Amazon.co.uk: Standard Edition @ £29.91, Collector's Edition @ £69.99
Amazon.com: Standard Edition @ USD$59.99, Collector's Edition @ $99.99