Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category

Smile Time All – Work’s Over

February 5, 2010

Good afternoon all, we’re not sure about you, but it’s been a long week here in Komplett Dublin, so we’re pleased to be able to sign off at the end of it all and looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully everyone else is feeling at least as cheery as we are now, but we know that the short days can get people down, so we like to post something just for laughs at the end of the week.

Someone sent me the above YouTube clip in a mail earlier on in the week and… well, if you’ve seen it I hope you responded in a similar fashion. Aside from that, a few interesting bits and pieces hit our inboxes this week, not least of which this image:

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Get Going on VOIP for Home Use

February 5, 2010

VOIP was, for a very long time, something that we couldn’t get away from in tech media. It’s convenient, it can save you money, it’s not a total pain in the face to set up (something that can be true of traditional phone options), and it’s something that, for most people, hasn’t quite caught on as much as expected.

While a vast number of people have a Skype account and indeed, at any given time there seems to be anywhere between 15 and 25 million people actually logged in to the service, the fact is that there just doesn’t seem to be too much drive towards VOIP for general home use. Still, it’s worth considering, given the potential savings to be had, and especially with the existence of services like SkypeIn, which mean you’re still contactable at the same phone by others.

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Notebook and Netbook Users – Windows 7 or XP?

February 4, 2010

Battery running low. On a rickety Irish Rail train with no outlet in sight. Notebook or netbook about to die. Little you can do about it but tap away at the keyboard until you’re left with a black screen and an over-priced chicken and stuffing sandwich to distract you when it does so. It’s moments like this that have led to articles like this.

We decided it was time to look at some expert views to help guide both notebook and netbook owners on what’s the best bet for getting the most out of their battery between Windows XP and Windows 7. The men who work in the bowels of Komplett Towers are usually the best to ask these kinds of questions and thankfully Shelton and Ryan – our two RMA guys to the uninitiated – gave some answers and didn’t complain about me distracting them from more important things.

The Canuck Buck Shelton (as absolutely nobody around here calls him) said that “from a ‘keeping current’ standpoint” he’d prefer, if getting a newer notebook, to go with Windows 7. Asked to explain, he said, “It’s a hell of a lot better than Vista was and I generally enjoy it as an alternative to XP. I think though, as Marc (fellow Komplett blogger) recently pointed out to me, XP was never truly written with notebooks in mind, so even though it has less features and is less demanding on the hardware, it’s not as efficient and may end up sucking up a bit more power over time.”

For his part, Ryan – mentioning that you have to remember that battery performance will of course vary from netbook to netbook and notebook to notebook – said that “Windows 7 has more power saving features, if the hardware supports”, but added that’s “pretty much the only thing it offers over XP,” when it comes to trying to save your battery, at least.

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Review of the Reviews: ATI Radeon HD 5670

February 3, 2010

Launched under the promise that “HD gaming starts here”, the ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics processor make a few boasts from the get go; the promotional notes start by telling us how it offers “best-in-class performance and features, with complete DirectX 11 support and the world’s most advanced graphics, display and memory technologies”.

Overall then, from the promo material they’re not exactly selling themselves short then, but a few weeks on from its release onto the market has ATI really lived up to its word? Previous Radeons such as the HD 5870, HD 5850 and HD 5770 cover a lot of bases when it comes to DX11 but where the 5670 is set to make its mark, as one review notes, is as a low cost DX11 card (around €70 or $100) that, perhaps most importantly considering its mass market audience, does not require an external power connector.

The ATI Radeon HD 5670 - solid for the price if not spectacular overall

As Bit-Tech reveal, “Of course, dropping an external power connector and targeting a lower price point mean that there have had to be some significant cuts when it comes to the core hardware involved. The 40nm GPU, codenamed Redwood (to the 57xx series’ Juniper and the 58xx series’ Cypress) sports a lowly 400 stream processors running at 775MHz (in comparison to the HD 5770’s 800 and the HD 5870’s1,600 stream processors, running at 725MHz and 850MHz respectively), with those 400 comprising just twenty texture units.”

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Hi-tech Exam Cheats Increasing

February 3, 2010

These kids today eh, a new UK report on last year’s GCSE’s shows that cheating by using various forms of technology is on the rise. The little scamps are not only using mobile phones – so often the cause of my ire at pub quizzes… it’s a tainted victory folks, tainted – but they’re also taking advantage of products from sites that are openly selling “exam cheat equipment”.

The old fashioned way of cheating.

A quick search online reveals that ‘invisible’ Bluetooth earpieces could be available for between €80 to €145 and it’s these sort of products that are worrying British school chiefs in particular, along with kids surreptitiously listening to audio files on regular MP3 players or even using programmable calculators that can hold text, formulas, or even pictures. A BBC report notes that while students are being targeted by these ‘cheat’ sites, schools are in turn “receiving adverts from technology firms selling detection equipment, promising to identify texting, e-mails or pupils using mobiles to search the internet”.

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TV Tech for 2010

February 2, 2010

Speaking as someone who, due to circumstances beyond my control (I’m poor), presently watches TV on a late ‘80s Panasonic behemoth that has outlasted Governments, wars, Glenroe and the Police Academy franchise, looking through the types of TV tech that will make a mark over the coming year became just a rolling series of me finding a product, going through the specs, and screaming ‘I want, I want, I want’.

Well small innit! The Kula TV

For now, I’ll have to stick with the Panasonic (a machine so sturdy I’m nearly certain it could survive a nuclear attack ala that fridge in Indiana Jones), but for those with a little change in their back pocket there’s some great options out there. For one, we can start well away from enormo-screens or 3D hype and take a look at the Kula TV, announced last week by US-based Sungale and available in March.

The little fella delivers up TV treats via a modest 4.3-inch LCD screen and Wi-Fi connectivity “The Kula is the next big thing that will revolutionize the way people watch TV,” enthused Sungale vice president of sales Gary Bennett. Though he remained tight-lipped over any model for usage fees, TheTechHerald did report however that, “Content will be offered to prospective users through a number of different packages, which include Basic, Kid and Grand. While both the Basic and Kid options provide free access to between 20 and 30 channels, the fee-based Grand package will have more than 300 channels to choose from.” A similar system should be reasonably easy to set up this side of the Atlantic.

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Italians Salute Mussolini iPhone App

February 1, 2010

The Italians have always been that little bit different – the fiery temperament, the penchant for living at home into their mid-thirties and a fondness for hair gel that has kept the industry alive for generations. It should be no surprise then that unlike other countries around Europe who might have CoPilot Live, The Sims, Scrabble or Worms at the top of their iPhone Apps bestsellers, the current favourite in Italy is a collection of the speeches of Benito Mussolini.

Stop! Hammer Time!

While this might sound like a gag from an updated version of Allo Allo, it’s true and it has also been the source of fierce condemnation from Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors. iMussolini – subtitled ‘The man who changed the history of our country’ has, according to The Times,  reached the point where it is being downloaded over a thousand times a day.

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Cheer up all – Two Days Off

January 29, 2010

Good afternoon all, hopefully this week hasn’t been too crushing for the rest of you, as it’s been quite nice to us. It’s been a long week, and indeed, a long January, but that seems to be the way with Winter months. Hopefully February will move along a little more quickly.

Anyway, as with every other Friday, we just wanted to do up a quick post with some of the various bits and pieces we’ve found across the web that have gotten at least a smile and often a bit of a giggle from us. This simple Korean comic is among the best things to have hit my inbox this week, and I thought that it might be something you’d all enjoy.

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Review of the Reviews: Garmin Nüvi 200W & Nüvi 205

January 28, 2010

When Nokia recently announced the launch of an updated version of Ovi Maps that offers free walking and driving navigation to users of Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones, it’s fair to say that some of the guys at Garmin and TomTom might have been a tad peeved at the prospect of a new buck in town trying to steal their business, indeed stock prices at both companies took a minor hit when the announcement was made last week.

However, a Garmin spokeswoman hit back almost instantly, saying that the company is “already innovating” and noted that it offers similar free services, including on its Nüvifone line. If Nokia are to make a dent in the market though, it will most likely be at the entry level side of things, but a glance through reviews of two popular entry level Garmin models – the Nüvi 200W and Nüvi 205 – reveal that for reliability and functionality, a trusted name in a trusted format may still be the choice for many when it comes to navigation on a budget.

Even the mini Jeremy Clarkson's out there like them...

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Blame Canada! Facebook Face Privacy Questions

January 28, 2010

Right, now that we’ve got that fantastic little number from the South Park movie dancing around your head, time to tell you the full story. It seems that Canada’s privacy commissioner is starting a probe into Facebook’s practices following a series of complaints about the privacy policies of the site.

Facebook employees make their feelings known.

The BBC report that the complaints concern a tool that Facebook introduced in late 2009 that makes users of the site review their privacy settings. The complaint alleges that the tool makes it harder for Facebook users to manage who sees personal information, something which a friend of ours was complaining about only last night (only they used more four-letter words and moved the discussion on to ‘that bloody Turbidy’ afterwards).

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