Gear Guide
2021 Spring Gear Guide

P34A80 1TB
Silicon Power P34A80 1TB NVMe

PD35TAC Patriot
Fenix PD35 TAC LED Patriot Ed.

TCL 10 Pro
TCL 10 Pro

Microsoft Slashes Technet Product Keys - Again

In a move that will piss off more than a few Technet subscribers, Microsoft has once again cut the number of keys that are allowed by Technet users down to 3 for each product.  They are doing this to try and curb piracy, but in my experience, it's just going to annoy and frustrate legitimate users of Technet.  ZDNet has more details.

In addition to that restriction, Microsoft has also imposed restrictions on the number of keys that can be claimed on any given day. As another support page notes, a TechNet Professional (Retail) subscriber can claim 44 keys in a 24-hour period.

Episode #151 -

Episode #151 of Weekly Tech Update is now available on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace.  This is our weekly podcast that covers the hottest stuff in tech - not only around BCCHardware, but also the world.  Check it out over here - as well as a free download in the iTunes store and the Zune Marketplace.

In this episode we will be discussing the FAA may change rules for gadgets on aircraft, Windows 8 to ship in October and the nXbox isn’t coming anytime soon. We have those stories and more...

Download Episode #151
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in Zune Marketplace!

Free Apps Eat Up Battery - Ads to Blame

New Scientist has posted up some information that claims free apps for your phone actually use more battery - a lot more battery than paid apps.  Why?  Because the free apps are add supported and this requires GPS, 3G and more.  Take a look and find out why that $0.99 app may be worth buying.

Struggling to make your smartphone battery last the whole day? Paying for your apps might help. Up to 75 per cent of the energy used by free versions of Android apps is spent serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data: running just one app could drain your battery in around 90 minutes.

Zotac ZBOX ID80 Plus Mini-PC

HiTechLegion has a look at the Zotac ZBOX ID80 Plus Mini-PC.  This unit packs in an Intel Atom D2700 and a NVIDIA 520M GPU.  Also combined in the bundle is 2GB DDR3-1066, 320GB 5400rpm drive, HDMI, USB2.0 and more.  


Noise is generally a concern when it comes to HTPCs but, thankfully, the Zotac ZBOX ID80 was whisper quiet, even under heavy loads. In fact, I couldn't hear anything unless I stopped and gave it a few seconds of silence and listened very closely. The temperatures are well-within optimal for a small space and there are generous ventilation holes on both sides and bottom to allow the internal components to breathe.

Mobile Action

Let's face it - more and more people are packing smartphones as they allow you to do so much more than just make calls.  In fact, there are a lot of times that I will travel and even do service calls without my laptop - if I have my phone handy.  TechReviews gives us the scoop on the new Nokia Lumia 710 - Nokia's entry-level Windows Phone 7 device and shares their thoughts.  It's a pretty low-spec phone, but it gets the job done.

On the other side of the Operating System and Spec coin is the Samsung Galaxy Note.  HardwareHeaven pulls off a full review while the TechReport discusses life since they made the plunge to the Note.  Also, TechReviews looks at this device in a full review as well.

What if one device solved the need to have a separate 3/4G enabled tablet, or laptop in addition to a phone? Well that is what Samsung aim to achieve with the Galaxy Note. Sitting very much above the phone space, yet below a full blown tablet, with its 5.3" screen it could be the answer... then again it could also be too big to be a phone or too small to be functional for other tasks.

Tuesday Case Collection

As we wrap up the news for this fine "spring" day, we've got a small collection of cases to check out this morning.  Take a look and see if anything grabs your attention.


VulcLAN 2012 Wrapup

Wow.  Thanks guys for making VulcLAN 2012 possibly one of the most fun events that I've had the pleasure to host.  It was a great time, and thanks to the awesome sponsors, we gave out over $5,800 worth of prizes over the weekend.  Amazing.

I'd like to offer up special thanks to Fujitsu for his mad organizational skills on the tournaments and for GuyOnABuffalo for all of his help setting up the match schedules. 

Also, BoneRak and RoNiN once again brought servers and rocked our event with lag-free CoD4, MW3 and UT3 machines.  It was awesome.  Probably the most fun I had was with the some "Greed" mod on the CoD4 where we had 10v9 for some total mayhem.  Shipment was just a little chaotic.

Samsung dropped a couple of 59" TVs our way for the console tournaments and I'd like to thank Tigger for keeping things going (even though it got late) with the NFS:MW tournament.  I'd also like to thank everyone for being flexible and understanding as we had to swap out NFS:Carbon for NFS:Most Wanted.

One of the highlights of the whole LAN for me was announcing the impromptu Jedi vs. Padawan (BoneRak & Nicao vs. Echo & Epithanatios).  The wit and sarcasm of Fujitsu and MadScientist was pretty epic.

One of my most disturbing moments had to be when Ess chainsaw melee'd both Nicao and I in the Gears of War 3 tournament.  I still feel a little whipped that I got sawed by a girl... heh  Nicely done.

Thanks again to everyone - sponsors, staff, players, organizers for making this such a fun event to do every year.  We already have some ideas for next year as we will be adding a RTS to the mix.

I've posted the pictures up over here and we'd love it if you'd leave some comments in the forum.

iPad Reviews

The new iPad (3) has landed and arrived at many people's doors over the weekend and if you are wondering if you should spend the money on this refreshed tablet from Apple, check out the reviews from TweakTown, HardwareHeaven and TechReviews.  It's no coincidence that I picked three reviews today.  See?  I pay attention!

What we have here, is an iPad 2S. That's all it is, this is why Apple didn't call it the iPad 3, because there are not enough fundamental changes to justify going from a 2 to a 3. I agree with Apple, but consumers will surely be confused. I stepped into my local retailer, who had plenty of stock of all the 6 variants and flavors of the iPad, where one of the employees walks next to me and says out aloud "so which one is the new iPad?"

Video Game Releases & Reviews

As we kick off spring this week, there are a few games that are coming down the pipe that may be worth staying inside for.  I'm not convinced though as some of these are re-warmed games that are just a cash grab.  Still, Ninja Gaiden 3 for the 360 and PS3 may be worth checking out.  ShackNews has more details.


  • Angry Birds Space
  • Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai
  • Waveform (Steam)
  • Yesterday
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana (Steam - $14.99)


  • Armored Core V
  • Dirt 3 Complete Edition
  • Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Rayman 3 HD (XBLA)
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  • Silent Hill HD Collection
  • Sine Mora (XBLA)


  • Armored Core V
  • Dirt 3 Complete Edition
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Rayman 3 HD (PSN)
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  • Silent Hill HD Collection


  • Sumioni: Demon Arts (PSN - $20)


  • Kid Icarus: Uprising
  • Paws & Claws Pampered Pets Resort 3D
  • Zombie Slayer Dios (eShop)


  • Canabalt (PSP Mini)


  • GoGo's Crazy Bones


If you are looking for some game reviews, check them out below.  They may save you some money if you were planning on buying one that sucks.

Lumines: Electronic Symphony - TweakTown
- HardwareHeaven --=-- Uncharted Golden Abyss - HardwareHeaven

Journey - TweakTown --=-- Jak and Daxter Collection - HardwareHeaven

Magicka - eTeknix --=-- APB Reloaded (Free-to-Play) - eTeknix --=-- All Zombies Must Die! - HardwareHeaven

Shoot Many Robots - HardwareHeaven --=-- Mass Effect 3 - TweakTown


SteelSeries Desmo Snow by GUNNAR Optiks

HardwareHeaven has a look at some glasses that are designed to be work when gaming that will help you see better (even if you have 20/20 vision) and improve your game.  They have the Desmo Snow from SteelSeries that are made in fact by GUNNAR Optiks and find out if the claims of increasing contrast, enhancing detail, help reduce glare, improving endurance and decreasing eye fatigue and dry eyes actually hold true in real-world testing.

After using the glasses I can quite honestly say they have made an improvement and where I'd usually expect to be feeling tired eyes or perhaps using some 'refresh' eye drops at no point during my time with the glasses did my eyes feel fatigued. Using the glasses with over the ear headset proved no problem either, something that couldn't be said for my original 3D Vision glasses.

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