From records and 8-tracks to MP3s and Walkmen, technology changes the way in which we absorb our music. At this point, few people have memories of hauling suitcases full of cassette tapes (or even CDs) around with them on vacation as kids, and in a few more years perhaps even the ever-ubiquitous iPod will be just a memory of the past, removed from it's throne by a software that streams music to you directly in your head.
Until then, we have to make do with the technology that we have - and increasingly music fans are incorporating cloud-based, streaming services into their repetoire. From long-standing services like Rhapsody, to just-released softwares like Spotify, there are a slew of streaming music services to choose from. So, which one will work best for you? Read on for the highlights of twelve of the top options and be sure to let us know what your favorite is in the comments!
What matters most when you game? I imagine we each have a different answer, and that answer may change with time. After many years of playing military shooters, I finally realized this month that I’ve had enough. I’ll certainly go on steering around my little guy as he bobs behind an iron site in a brownish-grayish world, but I won’t miss the genre if it vanishes.
With 64-player maps, exquisite textures, amazing physics, and tessellation that consoles can only dream of, PC gaming is undergoing a renaissance.
Wasn’t it just four years ago that the pundits and game media gathered in wake, made a few pithy quips about graphics and soundcard drivers, and poured their 40‑ouncers over the grave of PC gaming? Well guess what, baby—PC gaming ain’t dead by a long shot. In fact, there’s a strong argument that PC gaming is not only alive and well, it’s thriving and poised to dominate consoles.
Don’t believe us? Battlefield 3, one of the most anticipated launches of the year, only offers 64-player goodness to those on the PC, and tweaks the frak out of PC-only graphics that make game consoles look like peddlers of VGA output in a 1080p world. Smash a window in Batman: Arkham City on a PC with PhysX support, and you’re rewarded with glass particles flying everywhere—just as if you threw a thug through a plate glass window in real life. Do that on a console, and you’re rewarded with a pathetic tinkle.
Let’s not even talk about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which has enhanced textures and graphics on the PC that its developer, Bethesda, says will “melt your face.” And hell, we haven’t even gotten to the PC-only titles of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dota 2, and Diablo III, or the free-to-play phenomenon and MMOs.
So are we seeing a resurgence of PC gaming, or are we just fooling ourselves? To find out, read our report on whether “real” gaming has returned. Then read our reviews of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, two of the latest games to celebrate what PCs uniquely offer; and finally, take a gander at our list of the 10 best free PC games online. If we are fooling ourselves about a PC gaming comeback, we’re having a kick-ass time of it.
Skyrim is torn by civil war: A weakened Empire struggles to retain control of the province, while rebel Nords vie for self-determination. Dragons have returned after centuries, and nobody knows why. Undead infest the crypts, cairns, and barrows, and more dangerous things haunt deep Dwarven ruins. Elsewhere, ordinary people are living their lives. Guilds struggle to reclaim past glory, shopkeepers try to scrape by, lovers quarrel, and everyone could use your help. Time to make your mark on the world.
CES did a good job this year of getting us excited about 2012 by showing us some awesome gadgets, technologies and products. From ultrabooks and tablets, to speakers and home automation, from software to televisions, from smartphones to solar power there was something at CES that every Maximum PC editor wanted to get their hands on.
Click through to get a gander on what each Maximum PC editor is most looking forward to in the next 365 days, and let us know what gadgets you're most looking foward to in the comments!
Ask ten geeks about their preferred thermal interface material (TIM) and you’ll get six different answers. Five will go with Arctic Silver 5 and the others will have five totally different favorites. Ask a non-geek about their favorite thermal paste and you might get slapped.
But is Arctic Silver 5 really the best? Is the thermal testing compound we’ve been using in the lab really cutting the mustard? We gathered seventeen premium thermal pastes and an overclocked test bed and set about finding out whether thermal paste really makes a difference, and if so, which one is the best.
The competition for voice activation technology in mobile products has escalated in the last six months in large part due to the launch of Siri, Apple's "personal assistant", on the iPhone 4S. Several developers have attempted to fill in the gap on Android by offering voice-centric apps that provide access to search and other functions, with mixed success. One such app is Dragon Go! by Nuance Communications.
You've probably read the soundbites: critics say that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act working their way through Congress will stifle technological innovation, trample free speech and unravel the Web as we know it. Thousands of websites have “gone dark” and shut down for at least a portion of the day just to protest the depths of the bills’ combined sucktitude. But do you really know why SOPA sucks? (Hint: The answer’s different now than it was a few weeks ago.) Do you know which websites joined the blackout? Do you know what YOU can do to help? No? You will after reading this.
The Internet’s 43 years old this year—that’s the same age as The RZA and Patton Oswalt—putting 1969 in the running for Best Year Ever. But for all we know about the Wu-Tang Clan and KFC Famous Bowls, the mass majority of users surfing the interwebz know next to nothing about its history. To get you up to speed we’ve put together a pictorial timeline of 20 of the most significant events in the history of the Internet, from its inception right up to the meme, kitteh and rickrolling phenomenon it is today.