Few computer-related acts bring the full Maximum PC ethos to bear as much as extreme overclocking. Damn the torpedoes; give ‘er MOAR POWER! and so on. Fridays are always slow news days, and the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s seems to be doubly so, so why not take advantage of the lull and shine on a spotlight on a pair of overclocking feats that showed up on the radar over the past couple of days?
If Japan ever decides to ditch the “Rising Sun” bit, “Land of the Awesome Vending Machines” would be an apt second slogan. A multitude of useful, weird and wacky vending machines litter the landscapes of the country’s major cities, offering up goodies ranging from exotic drinks to delicious noodles and heck, even space gold and hotel rooms (as shown by Tom Edwards in his 24 hour vending machine survival stint in the heart of Tokyo). Now, those ubiquitous Japanese vending machines are getting even more useful, as one company plans on rolling out units that double as free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2012.
If you subscribe to GameFly, your plan just got a whole lot better. The GameFly Unlimited PC Play finally threw off its private beta shackles and entered public beta today, which means that anybody with a GameFly account can play select PC titles as much as they want, as often as they want after downloading GameFly’s client. The program also lets you manage your queue and buy games. Best of all, it’s completely free! No extra subscriptions required.
Hey, Bulldozer fans: if you’re regular readers of the site you may remember that we told you a few months back that AMD expects to see better performance for its FX chips in Windows 8, as the company claimed that Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently. Turns out they were right! Kind of. Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently, but you still might not see a performance jump in Windows 8 – because today, Microsoft released a hotfix to correct the problem and help Bulldozers run better on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
You know that game that mimes play, where they mimic your every action, pretending to be a mirror? Well, if we’re ever going to get down and dirty with some true quantum computing, scientists are probably going to have to teach photons to pull mime impressions en mass. A complex process called quantum entanglement makes it so any changes that happen to one particle happens to others as well; harnessing that power is the theoretical key to quantum computing. Now, researchers from the University of Bristol have created the world’s first fully programmable photon-entangling silica chip, which could be a major step towards true quantum processing.
There’s a two-way street of animosity that runs between many console gamers and PC gamers – but at the heart of things, aren’t we all just gamers? Can’t we all just get along? If our high-horse appeal to reason doesn’t sway you, consider this: a trio of multinational Minecraft freaks has showed us The Good that can happen when we set our virtual pickaxes aside and embrace both console and PC games, in the form of pixel-perfect recreations of Super Mario Land, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and more, using only stop-motion and millions of Minecraft blocks. These videos will boggle your mind.
Once you’ve conquered your fear of static electricity and successfully built a kick ass custom PC from the ground up, making the jump to custom electronics isn’t all that intimidating. The open-source Arduino microcontroller breaks down the entry barrier even further. Flexible, powerful, easy-to-use and licensed-to-alter (under Creative Commons Share-Alike), the Arduino is the linchpin behind scads and scads of nifty DIY electronics projects. And hey! It just so happens that we’ve gathered 25 of the coolest, craziest, and most useful Arduino-powered projects in this gallery for your viewing – and building – pleasure. Mind-controlled Nerf guns, anybody? No, it’s not black magic. It’s the magic of Arduino!
Overclocked graphics cards and Apple products; now there’s two things you won’t hear uttered in the same breath very often. You’re hearing it today though! Don’t bother looking out your window – pigs aren’t flying, the moon isn’t blue and Apple hasn’t spontaneously decided to let end users tweak their systems. Instead, MSI has brought its AfterBurner app to the iPhone and iPad. Overclocking has never been more convenient! Unless, of course, you already had the Android version, which has been out for months now.
What better way is there to get in the spirit of Halloween than to dress up like a zombie or vampire and splatter blood and scars all over yourself? Answer: there isn’t one. But doing that in real life takes tons of expensive costume makeup and waaaaaay more patience than we have. Fortunately, you can get the same effect without all the tedious paint application thanks to some Halloween filters available in Google+’s new Creative Kit for photos.
Remember that nifty little “Skinput” interface that researchers at Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University were working on about a year and a half ago? It registered touches made to your skin, allowing you to use your body as an input device – hence its name. Well, it turns out that’s not all CMU and Microsoft were working on. They’re working on a device called “OmniTouch” that projects interfaces onto any surface – and includes multitouch touchscreen capabilities. That’s right, you can dial home on a loaf of bread.