(*And a conclusion that, I guess, could be considered a fifth thing, but that’d really be reaching.)
Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage is the first drop in an irradiated stream of DLC that Bethesda has planned for its fantastic revamp of the Fallout universe. It sees your wastelander – presumably, by this point, an Iron Man-esque mishmash of cutting-edge weaponry, cold steel, and a 40’s-era radio – stripped right out of his/her tin can and flung (via simulation) into the future’s past that’s still technically our future. Once there, it’s your job to play border patrol for Alaska, keeping China’s Communist government from nabbing Democracy’s swank American job. And make no mistake, son – this is war. But is it a war worth fighting? Well, yes and no. Here’s why.
1. Installing it is like giving birth – Er, not that I’d know what giving birth is like, but I’ve installed Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage, which I’ve heard is a comparable experience. So here’s the rundown: Remember when you feverishly chucked GFW Live into computer limbo because, right after buying Fallout 3, you just wanted to play Fallout 3? Well, that’s actually important now. In order to purchase and subsequently install Operation Anchorage, you must rent out a portion of your precious hard drive to GFW. Then, if you don’t have a GFW or Xbox Live account, you have to snooze your way through some paper work too. Next up, purchasing Microsoft Points. No, your hard-earned dollars are about as worthless as bottle caps here, so you’ll need to have them irreparably mangled into Microsoft Points. After passing Microsoft’s battery of trials (note: I still haven’t said “finally”), you’ll be deemed worthy of downloading Operation Anchorage. Oh goodness, what’s this? Why, has this amount of ridiculous hoop-jumping necessitated a paragraph break – the first in “Five, or Four, or Whatever Things About’s” history?
Jump past the break to, er, find out? Really though, I think the answer's kind of obvious.
Stop the presses! (Ok, maybe not). We wanted to let you know that Best of the Best, our comprehensive list of our favorite PC hardware components, has just been updated and overhauled with new categories and parts that you’ll need to consider for your next PC build or upgrade.
In addition to three new processor categories (Extreme, $500, and $250), we’ve listed our pick for the top Core i7 motherboard. The budget through high-end GPU lineup as also been refreshed, and we now make two hard drive recommendations based on performance and capacity.
Spam senders suffered a few temporary setbacks in 2008, including an FTC bust on HerbalKing, one of the largest global spam networks allegedly responsible for sending billions of unsolicited emails, and the shuttering of web host McColo Corp, who the FTC said was responsible for roughly 75 percent of the world's spam. It may have taken a few months, but spam levels have now risen back up to 150 percent, according to Postini Message Security.
"As spammers fill the void left by McColo, it's reasonable to anticipate a decreasing rate of growth as spam reaches November 2008 levels," wrote Amanda Kleha of the Google message-security team on the company's blog. "However, since the November levels weren't even the peak for the year, and since spammers appear to be quickly recovering, the question remains: Where will spam volume top out in 2009? Will it be near the November 2008 level? The April 2008 level? Or higher?"
Symantec also notes a concerning rise in spam, noting that it has seen spam volumes return to within 5 percentage points of the pre-McColo shutdown numbers. In other words, the break is over and barring another bust, spam levels could rise even higher than what they were before a series of crackdowns took place.
Many a hardware-encrypted disk has crossed the path of the consumer market lately, but they’ve universally been a questionable investment. All the encryption systems have been proprietary, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that’s looking to store all their valuable data on a system that can’t be read in a few years down the line.
Thankfully, the Trusted Computing Group has just announced that (almost) every drive maker has agreed on 128-bit encryption for all SSDs and HDDs. The major vendors, such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital, IBM, Wave Systems, LSI and Ulink Technology have all hopped on board.
With any luck we in the consumer market will be looking at simpler disk encryption sometime very soon.
Should you find yourself using Street View to observe Five Points Road in Rush, NY you’ll see an image of the fawn in question running out in front of the car, and subsequently lying dead (still on one piece, thankfully) on the side of the road. Notably, that’s the last of the data for that road as they reportedly pulled over.
We can’t help but wonder why they didn’t just use this data? Sure, there’s an astronomical number of pictures that these folks have to go through and add to each region, but don’t you think this is something the drivers would have mentioned? Surely, it had to be more obvious to the driver than the “hot babes” truck.
If the settlement is approved, the owner of each eligible iPod Nano sold without a protective slipcase would receive $25. Owners of iPod Nanos sold with a protective slipcase would receive $15 per unit. Learn more at the settlement website's FAQ page.
Did you buy an early iPod Nano? Join us after the jump for your chance to tell us your scratch horror stories.
Thanks to Samsung, the first 4GB DDR3 chip has been made available to the world, making them the first to double the maximum capacity of DRAM modules. This advance will allow Samsung to offer high-end, dual-die devices that will support up to 32GB of RAM.
Born from 50 nm process technology the new 4GB monster chips will be made available to servers first, followed by DIMMs fit for desktop computers and then notebook size SODIMMs.
These chips will run at only 1.35 volts, which is 20 percent less than the usual 1.5 volt DDR3 memory that you’ll find on the market today. Samsung hasn’t made any mention yet about the pricing or availability of these chips.
If you followed David Murphy's path to building a budget PC with a cardboard chassis, then why not compliment it with your own homebrewed Surface, also with a cardboard exterior?
Microsoft technology evangelist Paul Foster posted a YouTube video showing how you can build a functioning multi-touch surface using budget parts. Items you'll need are paper, scissors, picture frame with glass, tape, cardboard box, a webcam, and multi-touch software such as Touchlib.
From start to finish, it takes Foster less than four minutes to complete the project and run a short demonstration. Of course, that's with a cardboard box - skilled modders will want to invest a bit more time coming up with custom enclosure.
If you are a website developer, you know how frustrating it is to get the appropriate content indexed on your website. You want your website indexed, but you do not want a certain page indexed. As a site owner, you want to control the content that is indexed on search engines. For example, you do not want your boss to find a description of what you do during the day in the office. On the other hand, you could have made a devastating mistake on the creation of your website and do not want people to see the mistake page.
February's turning out to be a busy month for gadget gurus. There's been talk of Amazon unveiling the Kindle 2 on February 9, and one week later, Acer said it will debut its first handheld smartphone. It was less than a year ago that Acer acquired smartphone maker E-Ten.
Barring a typo that says "smartphones launch" on Acer's invitations to a press event next month during hte Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it appears as though the launch will consist of multiple handhelds, and not just a single model.
Not much else is known about Acer's upcoming smartphone(s), including price points or availability. However, Acer will have to contend with Asus, who recently said it plans to make a bigger push into the smartphone market in 2009, promising at least 10 new models, most of which will support 3G and sport a touchscreen. Dell is also expected to get in on the smartphone game at some point, but has remained vague on when that might be.