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Messages - Zeus

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We have just posted our review of the TUNAI DRUM Bass Enhanced Audiophile Earphones. They are priced to sell and offer incredible performance for the money. They have a very wide frequency response range and can even thump out the bass down to 25Hz. If you are looking for a solid set of earbuds that keep up with the big, expensive brands - check out our review for all the details.

Audio is such a subjective thing, but I'm super happy with these earphones. If they were packaged with the name Beyerdynamic, Shure or Sennheiser, you'd be happy spending $100+ on these and marvel that they could put this kind of sound in such and "affordable" package. When you consider that Tunai makes these for a mere $40 regular price, they are a steal of a deal.

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General Hardware / Google Pixelbook is Google's New Chromebook Pixel
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:40:22 am »
Google has been quite successful with their Chrome OS and while they push hard to deliver ultra-premium Chromebooks with the Chromebook Pixel and now the Pixelbook, I think the market is quite limited when it comes to $1,199 USD Chromebooks. I use my Chromebook for a cheap alternative that can travel without cringing. Still, it's a sweet unit that replicates more of a Macbook Pro than a cheaper unit. Would you pay $1,199 for a Chromebook?

   Yep, Pixelbook is the official name, which kind of makes sense since the line used to be called Chromebook Pixel, yet Google appears to be ready to fully embrace the “Pixel” branding for hardware. Or does that make sense? I can’t decide, but am looking forward to the explanation on October 4.   
   Shop ChromebooksSource: Droid-Life

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LAN & General Gaming / Steam Fights Review Bombing with Histograms
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:34:08 am »
Steam has had to do a bit of damage control in the wake of the racist PewDiePie comments and the game company responding by issuing a DMCA takedown of some content uploaded to YouTube by the racist. Gamers have responded by review bombing (writing and leaving bad reviews) of the publishers game and Steam has tried to step in by showing a histogram of the reviews. That way you'll be able to see if and when the review shift altered course and that it might be some poor basement dwellers getting their knickers in a twist. It sucks that Steam has to implement these measures because of a racist gamer and a bunch of poor sports who still live in their mom's basement.

   “As a potential purchaser, it's easy to spot temporary distortions in the reviews, to investigate why that distortion occurred, and decide for yourself whether it's something you care about,” Kroll wrote. “This approach has the advantage of never preventing anyone from submitting a review, but does require slightly more effort on the part of potential purchasers. It also has the benefit of allowing you to see how a game's reviews have evolved over time, which is great for games that are operating as services.”Source: Polygon

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LAN & General Gaming / Regular Pre-Orders for Xbox One X Open Up
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:28:18 am »
If you want to spend some money and snag yourself an Xbox One X for Christmas, the pre-orders have opened up and are ready to go. This console isn't the cheapest thing you've ever bought at $499 USD, but you do get a solid console that runs games at true 4K. The storage options aren't huge at this point with the only version up for grabs topping out at 1TB, but that should be enough to get you going as Microsoft has integrated easy external storage options in their box. 

   Microsoft's Xbox One X console is the first to run games at True 4K, making it the most powerful console that exists. The company confirmed today that there are now over 130 games that are to be enhanced for the One X, and that now includes Far Cry 5, L.A. Noire, GreedFall, and Okami HD.   
      (Pre-Order Here)

Pre-Order yours in Canada here.

Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / Customers are Making Phones More Expensive
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:21:28 am »
I can't help but feel that the article linked below is a propaganda piece from phone manufacturers, but there is a lot of truth to it as well. Back in the day when we went from a 4-inch to a 4.7-inch display, the cost of the upgrade was essentially free. It didn't cost $80 more for each new generation of device. Now that we are pretty much topped out on hardware, the screen and some materials are the basic differences between devices and if you want premium, you have to pay a premium price. As consumers keep forking out for the $800 phone, you can bet companies will add a few new materials or some other tweaks that justify the hiked price. If no one bought a $900 phone, there would never be a $1000 phone. Even though the screen is the biggest expense of a phone, do I really need an iPhone X crushing screen of 2960x1440 on my S8? I don't, but I do love the quality and was happy to get it. It's my fault basically. Sorry.

   As consumers, we still have a wide breadth of options that can keep us satisfied without being at the absolute pinnacle of new technology. The Moto Z2 Play, the iPhone SE, the Honor 9, and a smattering of well designed ZTE phones can fulfill most people’s mobile needs (it’s not like Snapchat demands an especially awesome camera, right?) while costing a third of the price of an iPhone X. But the premium market is definitely drifting up, and we’re going to see more stratification than we used to have, even while things like dual-camera systems become table stakes for most devices. It’s going to be an uneven path forward, though the likelihood is high that we will continue to enthusiastically support phone makers as they make that shift.Source: TheVerge

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Microsoft really wants to be able to play with Sony, but Sony wants to keep people on their more popular PS4 platform. Sony also says that this requires a bit of work and it is work that developers may not be interesting in doing. It seems that it is probably just a simple line of code that is basically "If Peer = Xbox Then Deny" "If Peer = PS4, Then Accept". A configuration error in the game "Fortnight" confirmed this and both camps - Micorosft and Sony, were able to play together for a time. Whoops. Next excuse please?

   The phenomenon was discovered two days ago by a Reddit user playing Epic Games' recently launched early access game Fortnite on the PlayStation 4. The user noticed that a player who killed him in the game's new battle royale mode had a name tag with a space in it, which is impossible to do on a PlayStation 4, but not a problem on the Xbox One or PC.Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / Pi Can Charge Your Phone from a Distance
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:57:53 pm »
Wireless charging is pretty cool - but it does have limitations. In the past, Qi wireless charging has worked pretty well, but it is slower than the new phones that have fast charge available. That being said, there are new wireless chargers that are pretty fast as well. Still, the device has to make contact with the base in order to charge. All that is changing with the Pi wireless charger. It can now charge your phone as long as it is "close". That means there are even more radio waves slamming into your body and invading your home. Still, I think it's kind of handy. So is the natural radiation treatment this is delivering to cancer patients.

   Despite Apple finally releasing phones with wireless charging, the technology has actually been around for several years. And the fact is, charging via a pad is still kind of a pain -- you can't really use them when they're being charged and you either need a charging pad for every device or one ginormous pad for all of your devices. There have been other companies that promise long-range wireless power before -- Energous' WattUp says it can charge devices up to 15 feet away -- but these products have yet to come to market.Source: Engadget

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General Mayhem / Google Boards the Ailing eBook Train
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:48:27 pm »
Google has waited a long time to really embrace eBooks. In fact, eBook sales are declining at a rapid rate, and it's just now that Google decides to get interesting and enable a service that lets you see what eBooks are available at your local library. eBook lending follows the same rule as physical books, but previously you'd have to go to your library website to see what was available. Now a simple Google search takes care of that for you. Nice. Just 5 years too late.

   Google has added a new feature to Search that will show you if your local library has the ebook you’re looking for in stock. If you’re old like me and didn’t know that you could borrow ebooks, well you can, and many libraries across the US have a digital collection that you can borrow from.Source: TheVerge

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General Hardware / AMD APU Ups the Game in a Big Way
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:45:25 pm »
It seems that AMD has been really picking up their game - not just with the Threadripper - they are making big performance improvements generation-to-generation with their APUs as well. In the past, the APU was a good chip for a low-end all-in-one, but that has changed with the past couple of generations. The new 'Raven Ridge' APU picks things up even further with 90% performance gains over the previous generation. While Intel is still a HUGE contender and a larger player in the market, the boys and gals at AMD have got to be smiling these days.

   Both Zen and Vega are designed to run on a 14nm process architecture, compared to their predecessor technology's 28nm. While Zen, in the form of Ryzen desktop CPUs, have been well received, the reception for Vega has been more muted, with debut devices not providing the big performance leap over rival Nvidia many had expected.Source: TheInquirer

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General Hardware / Western Digital 12TB Gold HDD
« on: September 17, 2017, 10:14:42 pm »
Western Digital has joined the magic 12TB crowd with their WD Gold drive. This beast of a drive has 8 platters and is filled with helium to help cooling. While the idea is wonderful, if you ever get this close to full, just image the backup job required to keep all your data safe. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a NAS full of these for sure. Due to platter density and the 7,200 spindle speed, the transfer rates on this mechanical drive reach and blistering fast at 255MB/sec. That's steller for a mechanical drive.

   From a hardware point of view, the WD Gold 12 TB is similar to the HGST Ultrastar He12 12 TB hard drive: both are based on the fourth-generation HelioSeal technology that uses eight perpendicular magnetic recording platters with a 1.5 TB capacity for each platter. The internal architecture of both HDDs was redesigned compared to predecessors to accommodate the eighth platter. Since the WD Gold and the Ultrastar He12 are aimed at nearline enterprise environments, they are equipped with various sensors and technologies to protect themselves against vibration and as a result, guarantee sustained performance.Source: AnandTech

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Google Chrome is working on putting the finishing touches on a feature that has been a long time coming. Their latest feature will allow you to choose a setting that will disable autoplay video ads. I'm sure developers and advertisers will find a way around this very quickly, but I'm glad to see that Google understands how irritating it is to have junk playing the background on one of your open tabs. This features will be available soon in Chrome 63. This is one feature that I'm actually looking forward to.

   Google Chrome is currently the most popular internet browser, beating the competition by quite a distance. Google consistently updates the software in order to add new features or to fix bugs. However, not all of the changes that are made to Chrome from time to time are favored by its users. One such feature is autoplay videos - videos that play autonomously, sometimes with sound enabled, regardless of whether you interact with them or not.Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / Pirate Bay "Borrows" CPU to Mine Virtual Currency
« on: September 17, 2017, 09:52:23 pm »
Although Bitcoin fell a bit (almost half-price) last week, that's not stopping the Pirate Bay from getting into it on a bit of a shady side of things. There is a nice malicious piece of code floating around over at the site that hijacks your CPU to crunch cryptocurrency for the Bay. I guess they probably just need it for their legal defense now that they are under heavy attack. This is not good that browsers and systems can be exploited through ads and such. Be careful where you search - and remember - nothing, absolutely nothing is free. There's always a price to pay.

   The site tells TorrentFreak that it was testing the feature for about 24 hours as a new way of generating revenue, and that it could eventually be enough to replace ads. In short, don't be surprised if this becomes a mainstay of the site going forward. Users have found that they can block the miner through their browser settings or add-ons like ad blockers, so it's not inescapable.Source: Engadget

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General Mayhem / iPhone X Compared to the Best Android Has to Offer
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:04:11 pm »
With Apple launching a new "flagship" device with the iPhone X, there are always comparisons to the other devices out there. Apple hasn't really been paving the way for years now, but they have been making solid products. It's interesting to see that the iPhone X comes close to the Galaxy S8 in terms of specifications. Even though the S8 has been out for half a year, the iPhone X falls a bit short.

   But if Apple has shown one thing time and again with every iPhone generation, it’s that optimization of hardware and software matter just as much - if not more - than the hard numbers of which phone has more RAM, which is why Apple’s phones tend to perform so well, even with comparatively weaker hardware.Source: TheVerge

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General Mayhem / iPhone X vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:43:13 pm »
Apple launched their newest three phones on Tuesday and they range from somewhat affordable, to as much as your current mortgage payment. They start at the bottom end with the iPhone 8, followed by the iPhone 8 Plus. On the high end of the spectrum is the iPhone X (Ten). For some reason, Apple decided to release two generations of devices at the same time and skip the one in between. Make sense? No? Neither do the differences on how they compare. More details at the link below.

   There's always a lot to consider after an iPhone event, and today we're looking at three new phones. The iPhone X is the new flagship, offering up an edge-to-edge screen and TrueDepth front camera for unlocking your device with Face ID. But those who were looking forward to something less dramatic along the lines of a 7S will be right at home with the 8 and 8 Plus.Source: Engadget 

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