Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Goodbuy Robert Goulet

As you may know, Actor - Singer Robert Goulet has passed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who's Gone Crazy Here?

You may have heard that Musical Artist Prince has been on a mission to remove his copywritten music off of Social Networking Sites such as MySpace and YouTube. We learned this weekend of a case however in which a women named Stephanie Lenz received an email from YouTube telling her that the video she had on her YouTube account had been taken down due to copywrite infringement. The video featured her 18 month young baby boy playing and dancing to the Prince Song "Let's Go Crazy."

The "Crazy" thing about this is that the music is on in the background and the total running time for the video is about 29 seconds. The song can barely be heard but the name of the YouTube post "Lets Go Crazy" is certainly what caught the attention of Prince and the Universal Music Publishing Group who demanded the video be removed. According to ABC News, Ms Lenz was advised to refrain from further copywrite violations or she would have her account deleted. At the time the video was taken down she only had recieved about 28 views from mostly friends and family.

After transistioning from fear of the music group to anger, she contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation and is suing the Music group citing abuse of the DMCA. YouTube restored the video after a filing with them from Ms Lenz. It was my belief in film school that music in the background of a scene could be legally heard, the DMCA may have changed all of that? we'll have to wait and see how this one plays out.

Read the Full ABC News Story

See the YouTube Video

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

no more single-core

Intel will be phasing out single-CPU production...they plan to introduce dual-core Celeron processors targeted at the low price segment of $34-$59.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Comcast interferes with Net traffic

...The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests...

...uploads of complete files are blocked or delayed by the company, as indicated by AP tests.

Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer — it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: "Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye."

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sprint has a New Toy in its stable and it looks AWESOME

We received word this morning from Sprint that they will have the latest HTC SmartPhone available November 4th, The HTC Touch!

The Touchscreen Wireless Phone device runs Windows Mobile 6 features a 3" Touch screen and allows emailing, listening to music, watching over the air video and checking out on demand services from Sprint. As a part of the On Board Memory, user will find a 512MB MicroSD card which is upgradable to 4GB. A on board camera captures at 2.0 MP camera and can also capture video with the phone with up to 5X zoom. Users of the Bluetooth® will like the Stereo bluetooth capabilities and Voice-activated dialing.

The Phone is priced at $249 with a two year agreement from Sprint with a $100 mail in rebate.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wacom delivers with the new Bamboo Line

Wow! That's the first word that came out of my mouth with the unboxing of the latest Wacom Tablet products under the new Bamboo Line. Not only does Wacom deliver with a tested and strong product but also with packaging that gives the user the feeling they are opening up a long cherished gift handed down through the generations or something you would find on the bed of a 5 star resort.

An opening of the box will present the user of the Bamboo Fun with a welcome that states "This is your Bamboo, Use it to get more out of your computer. Let us know how it goes. "It is signed by Dennis Hoff, Wacom Consumer product manager. The Bamboo and the Bamboo fun both offer 4 programmable buttons that Wacom identifies as ExpressKeys to set up as Undo, Copy or a wide range of the commands most frequently used. A Ring in the center of these keys can be used for Zooming in and out of projects. The Bamboo and the Bamboo Fun work with both Mac and PC and supports Win2000 - Vista on the PC Side and Mac OS X on the Mac Side.

We opened up the Bamboo Fun Medium size unit in Silver. The Active Area for the screen is 8.5'Wide and 5.3" from top to bottom. Wacom has two different sizes for the Bamboo Fun, Small and Medium. The Small size Bamboo Fun features an active area of 5.8"W x 3.7D. There are 512 levels of pressure sensitivity with the Bamboo Fun and the resolution is 2540LPI. The colors available are black, silver, white and blue.

The Bamboo Fun ships with the tablet, USB cable, a Bamboo Fun Mouse and Bamboo Fun Pen. Both the mouse and the pen use Wacom's Patented No batteries, Wireless technology. The stylish looks of the tablet itself spill over to both the mouse and the pen holder which can be displayed nicely on the desktop. Software on DVD also ships with the Bamboo Fun to get you up and running with Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Win/4.0 Mac, Corel Painter Essentials 3.0 and Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 GE. we love the feel of the Bamboo Fun unit, it is in line with the other Wacom products we have looked at including the Intuos 3 which offers more in detail and fine desktop graphics work. Users for this will still enjoy the ability to Edit, Paint, Draw, Handwrite and be up and running in no time. More information can be found at

The other product we took a glance at is the Wacom Bamboo Small Unit with an active area of 5.8" x 3.7D. This unit is available only in Black however also features the 4 ExpressKeys and Zoom in/out ring. This unit is more designed for the user that will work this into handwriting type of features which are a part of Windows Vista or with the Mac Inkwell program. The tablet and included pen will work with Windows 2000 as well as XP and Vista as well as the Mac OS X 10.3.9. The Software bundle that ships with the Bamboo Fun is not available with this unit however with the recent release of the Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 it is certainly worth getting that program to work with the tablet. The Bamboo unit has an SRP of $99 while the Bamboo Fun in the Small size retails for $99 and the medium for $199. You can find the Wacom Bamboo products at most computer retailers. We found the Bamboo at CompUSA in the Mac Section.

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new Mac OS Oct. 26

Figures...after I review a MacBook, Apple is about to release a new version of the operating system...

"Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard will be available on October 26 at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $129 (US) for a single user license, and online pre-orders can be made through Apple's online store ( Mac OS X Leopard Family Pack is a single-household, five-user license that will be available for a suggested retail price of $199 (US). Volume and maintenance pricing is available...The standard Mac OS Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after October 1, 2007 for a shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US). Leopard requires a minimum of 512MB of RAM and is designed to run on any Macintosh® computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 (867 Mhz or faster) processor. Full system requirements can be found at

------------------------------------------------ Braille support for VoiceOver with Apple Braille Regular, Apple Braille Outline, and Apple Braille Pinpoint fonts.

"...Alex — a new English male voice...

"...refreshable Braille displays. VoiceOver detects and configures as soon as you plug them in. No additional software or setup is required.

"For the first time ever on a desktop computer, you can use a Braille display while installing or upgrading your operating system.


Application-Based Firewall


"..parental controls...

"Control exactly how much time your children spend with the computer each day. Limit total daily usage and define hours the computer can or can’t be used (set differently for weekdays and weekends)...

"...Apple technology automatically trys to detect inappropriate content and prevents those web pages from appearing. You can override the filter by identifying sites you wish to explicitly allow or disallow certain websites.

"...Leopard logs websites visited and applications used. It also maintains a list of people who have chatted with your child using iChat and a transcript of each text chat session.

"...setup and monitor parental controls on your child’s Mac from any Mac on your home network.


"...TextEdit automatically save copies of your document at a specified time interval.

"...TextEdit support for the Word 2007 and OpenDocument formats for reading and writing.


"...iChat recording...stores completed audio chats as AAC files and video chats as MPEF-4 files...

"In Leopard, iChat allows you to log in to all your chat accounts simultaneously, whether you use .Mac, AOL, Google Talk, or Jabber.

"Show nearly any file on your system through an iChat video conference. Put on an entire photo slideshow, click through a Keynote presentation, play a movie, and more — in full screen, accompanied by a video feed of you hosting.


"Synchronize Address Book on your Mac with your Yahoo! address book. Just enter your Yahoo! account information in Address Book preferences to get started.


"...Use a new action called Watch Me Do that lets you record a user action (like pressing a button or controlling an application without built-in Automator support) and replay as an action in a workflow.


"Copy, open, modify, or delete files in Mac OS X that you saved to your Windows partition. Leopard understands the Windows FAT32 disk format.

"Run Windows XP and Windows Vista on your Mac at native speed with full compatibility. (Windows not included.)

"Install Windows without affecting your existing files. Boot Camp Assistant carves out the necessary disk space required by Windows automatically.

"Microsoft WHCL-Certified Windows Drivers...Enjoy the unique hardware features of your Mac including the iSight camera, trackpad scrolling, keyboard backlighting, and volume keys using fully compatible Windows drivers.

"Easily delete Windows and restore the disk space being used by the Windows partition back to Mac OS X.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Want a gold MacBook Pro?...

(Oh, BABY!!!...)

MacBook review

Keep in mind that the intent of this review is to evaluate the MacBook, not necessarily the operating system. iMacs and PowerMacs have other/more applications and abilitites.

It is my opinion (and experience) that the Macintosh operating system has not been as flexible as Windows and Linux. This scenario has lead to less opportunities for possible modifications that could cause instability...and, I imagine, limited opportunities for contributions to the platform.


I was allowed to review a "model a1181" MacBook...

For external monitors, it has a mini DVI out port.

Magnetic attraction is used to keep the unit closed...

...and, the power connection is magnetic. Tripping over the cord doesn’t send your MacBook flying off a table or desk: it breaks away without damage to the cord and the system.

The AC powercord shows green when battery is full. There are lights on the battery so you can check its capacity status. You can check it with the computer off, and the battery out of computer.


After booting to a desktop, I chose to "install" the Mac OS X...choosing the option to erase the hard drive, and install the operating system.

After completion, I found there is no easy/simple way to disable the startup sound. To not have the sound at boot, you must mute sound before shutdown. (After a search of the internet, I found other options...but none I preferred.)

The bottom of the notebook was warm enough for me to use a notebook lap desk...

The touchpad is nice and large...sometime too sensitive to the touch...sometimes I had to press on the pad to get a response. I consider myself a "Windows power-user", so I wish there were a "left-click" button. When I rested my hands near the touchpad and keypad, the sharp edges of the MacBook began to indent my skin causing some uncomfortableness and pain. I assume by its looks, the MacBook Pro gives more space...

The "sleep" function is nice! When in "sleep" mode, you open the MacBook, and it awakens. And using the wireless remote will do the same.

VoiceOver is an application that reads aloud the contents of files, web pages, Mail messages and word processing files (allowing you to navigate the interface and interact with application and system controls...visually impared individuals I have been in contact with give me the impression that they prefer the "Jaws" application).


The operating system indicated...

Hardware Overview:
Model Name: Mac
Model Identi?er: MacBook2,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MB21.00A5.B07
SMC Version: 1.17f0

For me, 1 GB RAM felt a little slow...

System Software Overview:
System Version: Mac OS X 10.4.10 (8R3032)
Kernel Version: Darwin 8.10.2
Boot Volume: Macintosh HD
Computer Name: TechTalkRadio MacBook
User Name: S!ick (slick)

Revision: ZB0E
Protocol: ATAPI
Socket Type: Internal
Low Power Polling: Yes

Only 120 mm round discs can be used in most models...a 120 mm round disc is a standard CD/DVD.

To boot to the optical drive:
power on computer...
insert the optical disc...
and hold the "C" key.


I am dissappointed that there is no "Firewire 800". (It is available on the MacBook Pro...)

802.11n Wi-Fi lets you connect to: 802.11n, 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless networks.

Bluetooth 2.0+EDR is included.
There is an infrared port.
Audio in and out ports also support optical digital connection (as well as 1/8" plugs).


The operating system will allow connnectivity to Windows server networks.


An integrated iSight camera is placed about the display screen...the microphone is positioned to the right of it.

The iChat application allows access to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) accounts. You may video chat with up to three connections, and audio chat with up to 9.


I love the Front Row application. Via its interface it gives access to music, photos, and videos and can be controled with the included wireless Apple Remote control unit.


I like the iCal calendar application: it's makes me want to use it...


Every Mac comes with iLIfe ’08 to allow creation of photo books, greeting cards, calendars, DVDs, websites, and podcasts.


After using Garage Band, I can only recommend it for creating very basic podcasts...

There's iPhoto...iDVD (for playing DVDs)...


I would use iMovie for video mail, diaries, blogs, etcetera. You can export movies to different file formats, including:
apple tv
QuickTime movie (MOV)
MPEG-4 (considered to be the latest, worldwide standard)

I recorded some example videos and posted them in my Revver account.


Having never attempted to install applications into a Mac operating system before, after a few tries, I was able to (install Yahoo Messenger). I didn't know what I was doing wrong, and I wasn't sure how to do it...

I was very dissappointed that I needed to install software for a (Logitech) mouse. I expected that if I connected a mouse I would at least get basic functionality.

I did not attempt to do so, but removing applications is supposed to be easy: delete them from the hard drive. You will need to search the entire hard drive for remnants (THIS IS WHY I LOVE "PORTABLE" APPLICATIONS)...


At an Apple Store, a "Genius" can transfer your data from PC to Mac:


While I was reviewing the MacBook, I read a post from a guy that had trouble getting his issue resolved by Apple, he received a response...and an offer for a free iPod. I've heard that a lot of the Apple/Mac faithful have not been happy with the company lately...but I feel that this guy's experience is something worth mentioning, and considering.


For what it's worth to you, I was able to boot to an Ununtu CD...


In summary:

As they say, "It just works". Novice, elementary, and intermediate computer users should consider a Mac as their:
first computer...
and only computer.

More experienced computer users should be able to determine on their own if they should purchase one.

If I were to spend my money, it would be on a MacBook Pro (with the RAM maximized).

Friday, October 12, 2007

free mac software

During the show, I gave a link on air as my "Website of the Week"..and since have found two more to suggest:

The Free Mac Classroom (the one I mentioned on-air)...

Open Source Mac...

and FreeMacWare.


Give a Laptop and Get One

Give a Laptop and Get One

Nicholas Negroponte hopes the One Laptop Per Child's "Give 1 Get 1" initiative will jump-start distribution of the new XO Laptop.

After two-and-a-half years of relentless organizing, product development, and evangelizing, the so-called $100 laptop is ready to go into production in October. At a time like this, you'd think that übertechnology visionary Nicholas Negroponte and his team at the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization would be stockpiling champagne for a blowout celebration. Far from it.
While the notebook computer for schoolchildren in underdeveloped nations is just about ready for prime time, the goal of distributing tens of millions of the cute green-and-white machines still seems a far-off dream. The reasons: The computers, now called XO Laptops, will cost about $188 each to produce initially, nearly twice the original estimate; and, so far, not a single government has written a check.

That's why on Sept. 24, the OLPC announced a money-raising gambit called "Give 1 Get 1." Originally, the organization had no set plans to sell or distribute the computers in the U.S. Now it's hoping to capitalize on widespread interest from American gadget fans to raise enough money to pay for shipments of XO Laptops to four countries that are among the poorest of the poor: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, and Rwanda.

Laptop Donations
Under Give 1 Get 1, which will run for two weeks starting Nov. 12, U.S. customers will be able to pay $399 to buy two laptops: one for themselves and one to be shipped to a child in one of those four countries. About half of the purchase price will be tax-deductible. Also, starting Sept. 24, people can simply "give" a laptop by making a $200 donation. Those who'd like to participate can sign up for e-mail alerts on the Web site The machines, which are being built in Taiwan, will begin shipping to U.S. customers in January or February.
While the highly quotable Negroponte has been a master at getting publicity for OLPC, this effort is mostly about cash: "It has become important for us to raise money this way," says Negroponte. "I have met with about 30 heads of state. They're all enthusiastic. But there's a huge gulf between a head of state shaking your hand and a minister making a bank transfer." Negroponte won't predict how many laptops might be sold through Give 1 Get 1, but factory capacity presents no limitations: Quanta Computer in Taiwan can produce 1 million XO Laptops a month, if need be.

Interviewed during a stop in Europe, Negroponte admitted that the difficulties of his task sometimes discourage him. "You wake up some mornings feeling that way, but then I think about all the good people who are helping us and supporting us," he says. He hopes that by subsidizing the purchase of computers in the four countries, OLPC will prompt other countries to make their own investments.

Read more about the Give a Laptop and Get One at

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Easy Principles to Becoming a Master Designer

Rule Three: Contrast, Contrast, Contrast

Good contrast in your design goes hand-in-hand with your color selections. Contrast is the value difference between the colors on your design. Value is how bright or dark the color (ink) is. Ever see a blank white canvas and as a joke someone says: “Hey – it’s a white cow in a snow storm!” This is an example of no contrast. White on white is no contrast – you can’t see anything.

Elementary right? I mean what kind of stupid tutorial is this? I’m explaining that the piece I’m designing needs to be visible?? This is a retarded concept for a tutorial right?


Because unfortunately, I see lots of problems with designer’s contrast all the time. Not only that, but contrast, when used properly can be an important tool.

Here is one big mistake I see frequently: Designers use color difference to produce contrast instead of value difference. For instance… a medium value blue sitting on top of a medium value red produces some contrast. You CAN see the difference between the two. But when you have two colors together of the same value – it produces what is known as “vibrating.” You’ll notice that at the line where the blue and red meet your eye seems to oscillate back and forth between the two. It almost feels like the text is pulsing.

If your goal is to produce something really vibrant - you can use this technique. But it’s hard on the eyes and most people will find it annoying. Here is another example of the same design using different colors that have more contrast:

This second one is obviously much easier on the eyes.

A quick way to evaluate your design to see if there is sufficient contrast is to convert the entire thing to grey scale momentarily and see if the design still looks clear and easy to read. In Illustrator you do this by selecting your design, and select: Edit>Edit Colors>Convert to Grayscale. In Photoshop you’ll need to flatten your work then you can select: Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. This will convert it to Grayscale.

In either case, you’ll want to undo this action once you’ve had a chance to see how your design looks put to this test.

Here is a sample of the same design –one with good contrast, one with bad contrast. And just under each one is how they both look in grayscale.

You can clearly see how much easier it is to read the text in the design on the left, particularly when it’s converted to grayscale. The design on the right uses less contrast and more color difference to define the shapes.

One question I get all the time is: “what opacity setting should I use for a background water mark?” I think a good watermark background should be between 10%-15% opaque. Once again – this is all about maintaining contrast in your design. If the background is light – then the watermark should obviously also be fairly light and vice versa. Here is an example of a good and bad watermark:

The last little thing I want to note about contrast is how it can be used as a tool. If, for instance, you have a need to direct your audience’s attention to something specific on your design – you can accomplish it with contrast! You might keep the entire design relatively light and then make the one spot you want your audience to focus on dark. Here is an example of a well designed landing page:

This is a page on E-Harmony’s tour section of their website. While they want to give people a “tour,” what they REALLY want to do is get people to actually sign-up. So, when you look at this page - what is the biggest darkest thing on the page? It’s a non-clickable picture of a girl and the “Get Started Now” button. Obviously they want you to click on the “Get Started Now” button. Look at how much bigger and darker the “Get Started Now” button is compared to the “Next Step” button. The Next Step button is what someone on the tour SHOULD be pushing to continue the tour - but how tempting is that Get Started Now button? And why? Why does it jump off the page at you? Simple - CONTRAST!

This concludes a fairly basic but fundamentally critical lesson in design. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Four more basics to go. After that I promise I’ll teach you how to draw!

Here is the link for more Easy Principles to Becoming a Master Designer:

Thanks for the link Andy!! Great points to know...

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Geeks.Com makes Laptop Shopping Easier

Geeks.Com has produced an Buyers Guide for Laptops for the Holiday Season. Rob Hughes, the Chief technologist at says that pricing for systems and componants is available as well as recommendations on the full range of capabilities for todays systems.

Check out the list at

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wheres the other Bloggers?

It's funny, I've been jumping on here for the last few days and adding to the blog and knew as soon as I would do that, Slick would stop blogging! At least here. Slick has another blog that is really well done but I do miss his post on here and hope he realizes he isn't stepping on toes when he blogs..he's always so afraid about the toes thing. Other than that we're ramping up for a couple of things including the Holiday Gift Giving Season and how Tech will play into some of the choices this year. The Magic price points will be between 299 and 399 for electronics.

I've already decided I would love to get myself a iPod Touch. Even thought I really don't need an MP3 player, audio device, they look so very cool! I'm in my phone contract so an iPhone isn't on the list but the touch seems like it would be fun to play with. Whats on your list?

Just got in the new Medal of Honor Airborne from EA for the PC. We're excited to be able to take a look at the full control that is supposed to be available with the characters. We'll be sure to give you the heads up on the gameplay as well as the Multi-player capability as well.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Logitech extends the Notebook

One of the greatest features of laptop computers is that you can just about take them everywhere. The downside to all this mobility can actually be the lack of it as well. Notebooks in most cases tie you to them. Want to send an email? You would be in front of the notebook to type it out.

The Hip Twist will be a condition we will no doubt hear about in another 10 years that will rival carpal tunnel. Hip Twist, my own definition, is achieved by the twist of the body to type on that other keyboard on the laptop, separate from your work system.

Logitech has a solution that not only looks good but also is easy on the pocketbooks! The Alto Cordless is a system that allows the user to place the notebook computer on a stand which features a USB 2.0 hub with three ports. The ease of the unit is to flip open and snap together. After that is done, easily connect the notebook (up to 15.4) running XP or Vista with an available USB port. The Cordless keyboard runs off 2 AAA batteries and has many of the features found in Logitech Keyboards. The full size keyboard includes many buttons for customizing and easily selecting functions for multimedia, internet and applications. While the unit could be carried in a notebook bag, it's more for the desktop fixture and with the wireless keyboard can be used without having to twist the body to type.

I saw this unit at Costco for under $60 and the MSRP is $99 More Info can be found at

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Genius G-Pen F610 Tablet

New tablet from Genius, The G-Pen F610 functions under the Mac OS X and Vista/XP/XP 64/2000 operating systems. The working size for this ultra slim tablet is 6" x 10" and features a Electronic Users Manual and Macro key manager for the 29 macro programmable keys along the edge of the tablet. The Pen on the unit sports what Genius is calling 1024 Level Pressure sensitivity giving users control over the line flow and size in programs such as Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

The tablet support in Windows Vista also adds to the functionality of the unit with handwriting recognition, sticky notes and Office 2007 Digital Inking as well. Shipping with the tablet is Corel/Ulead PhotoImpact 12se for working with photos, Office Ink, Free Note, Macro Key Manager and Power Presenter LE. The tablet plugs into the USB slot on the PC or Notebook and the wireless pen powers with a AAA battery.

The unit is one of the slimmest we've seen and the frosted plastic cover that lifts off the tablet will give the user the ability to trace images easier with the pen. Some of the hot keys that are a part of this tablet include the ability to magnify, flip3D, access music, photos, messenger and email. All with a point and tap, users can work with Office Apps and save, print or cut info from documents. Resolution for the unit is set at 2000 lpi. One are that disappointed us in the pre-install was with the documentation which ships in just about 20+ languages for install. To get info on the program such as Office Ink, the program needs to be installed. Even the Electronic Program guide on the disk did not seem to offfer up info about this program.

If size is an issue, this is certainly going to take up a minimal amount of space on the desktop and store easily due to its slim footprint. For those looking for other sizes, Genuis has an expansive line of tablets from the G-Pen 340 with a 3" x 4" work area to the Pen Sketch 9 x12 which also comes with a mouse. More info can be found at the Genius website at

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Intel Core 2 Quad at TechtalkRadio

Core 2 Quad is Here! We'll get a chance now to take a look at the Intel Core 2 Quad Technology and give it some test. The model we are looking at is the Core 2 Quad Q6600 LGA775 running at 2.40GHz with 8MB L2 Cache Total 1066MHz FSB. This should be a screamer and will pair nicely with the Shuttle System DVO we got in to take a look at.

We'll have some pics up later of the new Shuttle mini form factor PC and video of us putting it all together.

Monday, October 8, 2007

EA Releases 27 titles for the Holiday Season

Electronic Arts today announced a lineup of 27 titles that will be available for the Holiday Season! The Titles cover different platforms and different genres. Here is the list from EA


Combat. Camaraderie. Cash. Master two-man combat with a live or AI partner to form the deadliest private military partnership a government can buy. Preorder Army of Two this holiday on the Xbox 360, and gamers will receive exclusive community created weapons. Pre-order Army of Two on the PLAYSTATION 3 and receive an exclusive dossier including hints and content from the graphic novel.

Release date: November 13
Platforms: Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
MSRP: $59.99

Shake it. Sing it. Create it. The ultimate party package for gamers of all ages, Boogie on the PlayStation 2 and Wii will have players dancing, singing and creating music videos to hit songs from over four decades. Players can even take their dancing act on the road with Boogie on the Nintendo DS. This version offers unique dancing modes including 3D gameplay using the 3D glasses packed in the retail box as well as mini-games not found on the consoles.

Release date: November 15, 2007 (PlayStation 2/ Nintendo DS), August 2007 (Wii)
Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
MSRP: $59.99 (Wii) and $49.99 (PlayStation 2) – includes microphone; $29.99 (Nintendo DS) – includes 3D glasses

Experience Command & Conquer™ like never before with The Command & Conquer™ Saga —thirteen Command & Conquer games spanning three generations of the series in a single package! This massive compilation spans over a dozen Command & Conquer games including the award-winning Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™ and all the titles featured in Command & Conquer™ The First Decade. Available in North America this October for the PC, The Command & Conquer Saga marks the largest PC franchise compilation to date.

Release date: October
Platform: PC
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: $49.99
Get ready to break out your Nanosuits! Powered by Crytek's CryENGINE™ 2, Crysis is a technical achievement featuring stunning visuals, cunning gameplay and an epic storyline. One of the year’s most anticipated first person shooters, Crysis is set to set a new bar for the way FPS’ look and play on November 16th. Fans should be sure to grab the Crysis Special Edition, featuring a 16-page book full of concept art, an exclusive in-game vehicle and a bonus disc with behind the scenes footage from Crytek.

Release date: November 16
Platform: PC
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
MSRP: $49.99, $59.99 for the Special Edition

EA Playground captures the exuberance and nostalgia of your neighborhood playground, turning your gaming space into an arena of interactive fun with immersive activities designed for kids, and the kid inside all of us. It smartly delivers all your playground favorites on the Wii and Nintendo DS. Every game is easy to pick-up-and-play and uniquely capitalizes on the control mechanics of both platforms.

Release date: October 23
Platforms: Wii and Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $39.99 (Wii) and $29.99 (Nintendo DS)
FIFA Soccer 08 challenges players to master the skills required to play like a pro soccer player by introducing a new mode called Be A Pro: Offline Training. Be A Pro locks you into the role of a single, fixed player the entire game and challenges you to master the same disciplines as a real soccer player—from positioning and tackling to reading the field and passing. Users receive real time feedback and analysis on the fly and a unique camera angle keeps both player and action in focus, zooming in when you’re on attack. Featuring new Pro Skills moves that enables you to combine tricks and skill moves together to recreate signature moves from the real-world superstars and the inclusion of 576 licensed teams, 30 leagues, and more than 15,000 players.

Release date: October 9
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS, PC and mobile
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 (Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3), $49.99 (Wii), $39.99 (PC, PlayStation 2 and PSP); $29.99 for Nintendo DS

Harry is tasked to help fellow students in “Dumbledore’s Army” fight against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle which lies ahead. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Release date: Available now
Platforms: PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance, PC, Mac and mobile
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for the PSP, Mac, PlayStation 2, Wii, and Xbox 360; E for Everyone for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $39.99 for PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360, $29.95 for the Mac, $29.99 for PlayStation 2, Wii and PSP, $19.99 for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, $19.99 for the PC, and as low as $3.49 for mobile

It’s 2038 and London has been decimated by hordes of horrifying demons -- you are the only thing standing between them and the extinction of mankind. From the core team behind the global blockbuster Diablo comes Hellgate: London, the next benchmark for the action RPG genre coming to PCs this Halloween. Hardcore Hellgate fans can also pick up the Collector’s Edition featuring an exclusive in-game pet, the Dark Horse graphic novel, a bonus disc featuring a “Making of the Game” documentary and the complete game soundtrack!

Release date: October 31
Platforms: PC
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
MSRP: $49.99, $59.99 for the Collector’s Edition
Subscription price (optional): $9.95/month

Feel what it’s like to be a field general making key personnel decisions on both sides of the ball during the game’s biggest moments in Madden NFL 08. Quickly identify the strongest players on the field before every snap then move them into position to make game-changing, momentum-altering plays. Play to your team’s strengths by immediately reading your opponent’s schemes and reacting to the action as soon as the ball is snapped. Create mismatches and exploit weaknesses as you read and react with Madden NFL 08.

Release date: Available now
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube™, PSP, Nintendo DS, PC, Mac and mobile
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, $49.99 for Wii, $39.99 for PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox, PC and Mac; $29.99 for Nintendo DS

Get ready to get airborne! For the first time in an FPS game, players airdrop into combat from a C-47 and land anywhere in an open battlefield. The first step is everything and the player’s landing spot can dramatically change the course of battle. Conflict on the ground offers unprecedented tactical choice in vertical, open battle spaces with a wealth of attack routes and flanking opportunities.

Release date: Available now for Xbox 360 and PC; November for PLAYSTATION 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PC and mobile
ESRB Rating: T for Teen; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3; $49.99 for PC; As low as $3.49 for mobile

Designed from the ground up for the Wii and PSP, Medal of Honor Heroes 2 puts all the action of WWII into your hands. Battle enemies in a full-length single player campaign, or choose to jump online anytime, anywhere, for 32-player multiplayer action! Featuring innovative combat controls and gestures built specifically for the Wii, plus full support of Nintendo’s Wii Zapper.

Release date: November 13
Platforms: Wii and PSP
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: $49.99 for Wii and $39.99 for PSP

MySims is the first game in a revolutionary new product line from the developers of the blockbuster franchise The Sims that allows players to build a town, grow a community and discover a world of their own. Created especially for the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms MySims gives players to ability to unleash their creativity in every aspect of the game – from building furniture and one-of-a-kind homes to creating characters with crazy hairstyles and cool new clothing.

Release date: September 20
Platforms: Wii and Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $49.99 for Wii; $39.99 for Nintendo DS

When the game is on the line and the ball is in your hands, what will you do? Will you penetrate, drive the lane and rise above the rim for a monster dunk, or find an opening on the perimeter and sink a game-winning three? Take control of the game with a full arsenal to win the one-on-one match-up from every spot on the floor. Building upon a solid foundation of 5-on-5 gameplay, NBA LIVE 08 introduces a set of 4 all-new features – Quickstrike Ballhandling, own the paint, hot spots and signature go-to moves to increase user control, while providing an unrivaled level of authenticity to the sport of basketball. Now you can dominate with your Go-
To Move with NBA LIVE 08.

Release date: October 2
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, PC and mobile
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3; $49.99 for Wii, $39.99 for PlayStation 2, PSP and PC; As low as $2.49 for mobile

Put your heart, hustle and toughness on the line and lead your program to the BCS National Championship Game in NCAA® Football 08. With all-new Leadership Control, boost the motivation level of your teammates by taking control and making big plays. Featuring an all-new Campus Legend mode and an even deeper Dynasty Mode, put your coaching prowess and integrity to the ultimate test. With all-new My Shrine, Home Field Advantage, and exciting new plays like the Statue of Liberty NCAA Football 08 is everything that’s great about college football. What kind of legacy will you leave?

Release date: Available now
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $59.99 (Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3), $39.99 (PlayStation 2 and Xbox)

Need for Speed ProStreet is a racing experience like no other. For the first time, you're designing and building a car, competing in iconic locations from around the globe and battling in four distinct racing styles – grip, drag, drift and the all-new speed challenge. This holiday, preorder Need for Speed ProStreet to unlock the Subaru Impreza WRX STi; then using the all-new Blueprints demo, gamers can customize their ride at (beginning October 15). Once Need for Speed ProStreet is released, upload the ultimate driving machine straight into the game and begin racing.

Release date: November 14
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PC and mobile
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending; (E for Everyone confirmed for Nintendo DS); no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3; $49.99 for Wii, $39.99 for PlayStation 2 and PC, $29.99 for Nintendo DS; as low as $4.99 for mobile

NHL 08
EA SPORTS – pioneers in the Golden Age of hockey videogames – continues to lead the charge in the next gen era with advancements in AI intelligence, innovative controls, online depth and an unmatched level of authenticity to the sport. The revolutionary Skill Stick System evolves in NHL 08 and delivers an unparalleled level of control. An all-new deking system enables you to move the puck off your stick, to walk around a defender and give you space in front to challenge the goalie. Enhanced analog speed control and a new skating engine give you the precision and fluidity to play like you would on the ice. With unlimited control, unmatched depth and infinite possibilities, no game is ever the same with NHL 08.

Release date: Available now
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2, PC
ESRB Rating: E10+
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3; $39.99 for PC; $29.99 for PlayStation 2

The award-winning fantasy RPG mobile game, created by the legendary id Software™ and developed by Fountainhead Entertainment comes to the Nintendo DS. Enhanced with more levels, weapons and fierce foes, Orcs & Elves offers a breathtaking dungeon-crawling experience for any fantasy RPG gamer. As a young half-elf, a player will explore a massive Dwarven fortress riddled with ancient treasure, powerful weapons, and waves of ruthless enemies, on a quest to expel the ultimate evil from the mountain’s core.

Release date: November 13
Platforms: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: $29.99

From the creators of DoomRPG™, Orcs & Elves II continues the epic story from the original game. Journey to a place filled with adventure, where heroes are born and legends are made! Explore foreign towns, mysterious caverns & haunted forests. Battle strange & mythical beasts with an arsenal of powerful and enchanted weapons. Orcs & Elves II combines the best of first-person action and fast-paced tactical RPG gameplay. The second mobile installment of the first-person adventure from id Software and Fountainhead Entertainment.

Release date: November
Platforms: Mobile
ESRB Rating: no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: As low as $3.49 for mobile

Ready, set, draw! Enjoy the classic, beloved game of quick draw® on your phone. Play solo, and guess what your phone’s drawing, or enjoy the fun of networked multiplayer*, competing with up to four people in teams of two. Take turns playing as artist or guesser. Simple interface makes it easy for you to sketch with a pencil, paint bucket, shapes and stamps. Erase a portion, or delete the whole. Challenge your word imagination and your creativity. Pick up your phone for a rousing round of Mattel’s Pictionary®.

Release date: December
Platforms: Mobile
ESRB Rating: no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: As low as $3.49 for mobile

Awarded “Best of Show” at E3, Harmonix and MTV Games' Rock Band is an all-new platform for gamers and music lovers to interact with and experience music, giving players the chance to rock in the shoes of the biggest guitarists, bassists, drummers and singers of all time – as a solo superstar or as part of a hard rocking band, in person or online. Built on unprecedented deals with top record labels and music publishers, Rock Band spans all genres of rock and includes many master recordings from legendary artists ranging from Metallica to The Who. Rock Band is developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games, distributed by EA Partners.

Release date: November 20 for PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360, December 11 for PlayStation 2
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: Special Edition $169.99 (including software, guitar, drums, microphone) for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3; Special Edition $159.99 (including software, guitar, drums, microphone) for PlayStation 2

SimCity Societies allows players to construct not only the cities they desire, but create their cultures, societal behaviors and environments as well. Build an artistic city, green city, spiritual community or most any society you want! Using the accessible, innovative and versatile city-builder, players can create their own kind of city in SimCity Societies.

Release date: November 13, 2007
Platforms: PC and mobile
ESRB Rating: E10+; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $49.99 for PC, As low as $3.49 for mobile

EA’s critically acclaimed SKATE videogame is the closest thing to skateboarding without actually putting your feet on a board. With innovative Flickit controls that take advantage of the dual analog sticks, SKATE delivers a fresh, new and authentic boarding experience like no other videogame.

Release date: Available now
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and mobile
ESRB Rating: T for Teen; no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3; as low as $3.49 for mobile

How smart are you? Do you know more than your Grandma about world history? Does your little sister know more than your Dad about sports? Find out this holiday when Smarty Pants, the first Wii trivia game, ships to stores nationwide. Smarty Pants finally levels the playing field for people of all ages, allowing simultaneous play using age-targeted trivia plus action-based gestures, making it a truly trans-generational game made exclusively for the Wii. Tailoring questions to the contestant's age, gamers from eight to eighty can join in on the fun all at the same time. Exciting Wii gestures make everything a game, from spinning the category wheel and tug-of-wars over correct answers, to "dance-offs" for additional points. With both competitive and collaborative game modes and 20,000 questions in multiple categories, the fun
is virtually endless!

Release date: November 19
Platforms: Wii
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $49.99

The Orange Box delivers five innovative action games from Valve – creators of the blockbuster Half-Life® franchise, in one box. The Orange Box includes Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal™ and Team Fortress® 2 in addition to full versions of award-winning Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One for the most complete first-person action experience anywhere. Gamers who pre-order The Orange Box from select retailers will receive $5 dollars off the game. In addition, gamers who pre-purchase the PC version from select retailers will be admitted into the Team Fortress 2 beta.

Release date: October 9 for the PC and Xbox 360, Holiday 2007 for PLAYSTATION 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and PC
ESRB Rating: Teen to Mature
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3, $49.99 for PC

Get into the groove with The Sims™ DJ! Create your Sim, and make your own music by mixing a wide selection of samples. Compose unique songs in multiple genres like Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, and Dance. Lay down your rhythm tracks, hit the clubs and rock the house. Watch the Sims crowds dance to your best beats on your fun journey to DJ superstardom. Share your new tunes with your friends – create ringtones from your original songs and save to your phone!

Release date: December
Platforms: Mobile
ESRB Rating: no ESRB rating for mobile
MSRP: As low as $3.49

Take on the world in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08. For the first time ever, every portion of your game is recorded—from the first tee box in Play Now mode to your final putt in a FedEx Cup tournament. Post your most amazing—and unthinkable—performances on EA SPORTS™ GamerNet, a revolutionary interactive gaming hub that hosts user-created content online. Set the bar high by posting your top moments or take on challenges set by others to determine who truly is the world’s greatest golfer. Whether you’re uploading an unbeatable round or the craziest shot, take the world by storm with Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08.
Release date: Available now
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PSP, PC, Mac
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, $49.99 for Wii, $39.99 for PlayStation 2, PSP, PC and Mac; $29.99 for Nintendo DS
And of course...

This year, The Simpsons celebrated their eighteenth season finale with the airing of their 400th episode followed in July with the long-awaited first feature film, which to-date has become a worldwide box office phenomenon. Now fans of this multi-award-winning TV show are ready for the next major milestone this year: THE SIMPSONS GAME. THE SIMPSONS GAME recently announced their pre-order campaign with exclusive parody posters and limited edition Homerball as well as their Xbox LIVE Demo of the in-game episode Shadow of the Colossal Donut.

Release date: October 30
Platforms: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii, and Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3, $49.99 for Wii, $39.99 for PlayStation 2 and PSP, $29.99 for Nintendo DS

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Web Changes

It's been a nutty week as we decided last weekend to move the TechtalkRadio site from Web.Com to Go Daddy. Part of the decision to move the site came from a price increase at the site we had been with since it was Interland back in 1997. I understand that companies have to pay for new technology but when you get nothing new, it's time to start looking. One would think that with Offshore Customer service, they could afford to increase the storage, add, we seem to have gained little with the company we had always given high marks to.

Go Daddy is an interesting company as over the last 5 years they have become a giant in Domain Registration. The offered a smaller price compared to Network Solutions and made the process easy and soft on the wallet. We had heard though that GoDaddy was not a company for hosting and your best bet was Domain Registration with Go Daddy and hosting with another company. After trying some hosting of other accounts at 1 and 1, which was a totally awful experience, we decided to give GoDaddy a try.

This was one of the best moves we've made! Go Daddy service agents are the easiest to understand and they do their best to help and truly support the product. We also are saving a great deal of money with our hosting which allows us to purchase extras that we didn't have before. We have gone from a 5GB site to 200GB, not that we have gotten close to the 5GB, upward and forward - this is good to have.

The problems though, came this week, when we finally decided to move the site. After hosting the TechtalkRadio test pages for the last couple of weeks, we decided the speed was just as good as web and the load was handled no problem. Originally we were going to stay with Network Solutions however after some customer service that we couldn't understand due to the langauge barrier and that had us questioning the answer more then our original question we decided to move the entire package.

Five days later, our site is back up!! The problem came when we had started the process and then realized our Mail Server settings we're not correct! We went in and adjusted them through the Network Solutions panel, throwing out our DNS information in the middle of the change, when this happens - you can't do anything till the site is transferred which is 5 days! Luckily it's done, and the problems are behind us. I just wish we would have looked at GoDaddy sooner and that we would have known about the timing issues when moving the site. Probably our error on a couple of counts.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

buying monitors

Wayne called about buying monitors: he was shopping for one...


Some info from Smart Computing:

A perfectly flat screen is easier on the eyes...

According to IBM, the average life span of an LCD (liquid-crystal display) was six years versus three for a CRT (cathode-ray tube)...

A monitor's advertised size is the size of the CRT measured in inches along the diagonal area. The viewable glass is generally an inch or so smaller due to the plastic casing surrounding the tube...look for the measurement of the viewable area.

Dot pitch: the space between pixels. The more closely spaced pixels are, the clearer the image.
The lower this number (generally between .24 and .28mm), the smoother the image will be.

Resolution is the measure of the number of pixels that can be displayed on a screen. This measurement is noted as the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels (for example, 800 x 600, 1,024 x 768, and so on). Higher screen resolution accomplishes two things: since more pixels mean smoother edges, it increases the sharpness of text and images. Higher resolution lets you fit more information on the screen at once...

VGA (Video Graphics Array) resolution (640 x 480)
SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) resolution (800 x 600)
XGA (Extended Graphics Array) resolution (1,024 x 768)
SXGA (Super Extended Graphics Array) resolution (1,280 x 1,024)

The larger your monitor, the higher the resolution you can comfortably use.
Graphics professionals and desktop publishers need monitors that support higher resolutions, such as 1,600 x 1,200. These high-end users should stick to 19-inch or larger monitors.

If the refresh rate is noninterlaced, it means the monitor updates every line of pixels during each cycle.
If the refresh rate is interlaced, it means the monitor updates every other line of pixels during each cycle.
The average user probably won't be able to tell much of a difference between interlaced and noninterlaced monitors.
Monitors that offer noninterlaced refresh rates can produce higher-quality images and typically cost more.

Analog LCDs require incoming video data to go through a digital-to-analog-to-digital conversion, which may lead to on-screen flitters, fuzzy images, and other viewing problems. These viewing problems are not an issue with digital LCDs.

Broken Pixels...manufacturers vary in their definition of what constitutes a defective LCD display...find out what your seller's or manufacturer's policy is on this point before buying...

Talk to the salespeople and ask what extras come with each monitor.
Three year parts-and-labor warranties are considered to be the standard...a monitor should come with at least a one-year parts-and-labor warranty.
The manufacturer should provide a toll-free number you can call if you experience any technical problems or installation issues.
Find out if you'll have to pay for the delivery of a large monitor and be sure to ask about the shipping price.


Some other weblinks to look at:,125652-page,1/article.html