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February 2015
Misc Pics (31 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-February-2015  14:34:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again!

Thursday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 26-February-2015  00:20:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Choice have responded to the proposed anti-piracy scheme, with concerns about consumer rights. Although an 'education scheme' to stop piracy sounds harmless, the proposed Code will actually funnel internet users into court actions where industry can seek unlimited amounts of money for alleged piracy, and provide a way for rights holders to gain access to your internet records and personal details so they can sue you or send you a letter demanding payment.

AMD recently previewed their Carrizo mobile APU and Tech Report have the details. This week, in conjunction with ISSCC, AMD has begun to tell the story of how it achieved major improvements in power efficiency and performance in its upcoming Carrizo APU. More info here on Tweaktown. AMD recently introduced the world to its latest mobile APU, Carrizo. With it, AMD promises large power savings and performances in the years ahead. Also here on TechARP.

PCWorld checked out the new Raspberry Pi 2. Let’s cut right to the chase: This thing rocks. The new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B fixes the most glaring issues of the three-year-old original Pi, and even better, it manages to do so at the same $35 price point of its predecessor. This credit card sized-mini PC delivers a shocking amount of value for the money.

Guru3D looked into PC Express performance. Have you ever wondered about game performance differences in-between PCI Express slots and the different generations ?? Join us in a review where we look into the PCIe slot in Gen 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 configurations as we measure performance versus single and Multi-GPU solution. Will that outdated slot configuration really have a huge impact on today's high-end graphics cards?

PC Perspective tested USB 3.1 on an ASUS card. ASUS has a new revision of several motherboards planned with integrated on-board USB 3.1 but is also going to be releasing an add-in card with USB 3.1 support for existing systems. Today we are going to test that add-in card to measure ASUS' implementation of USB 3.1 and see how it stacks up to what MSI had to offer and what improvements and changes you can expect from USB 3.0.

If, like me, you're a sucker for anything Blade Runner related, you'll enjoy this article. What if your city elected a Replicant as mayor and you didn't know it? There's only way to guard against this situation, and that's by administering the Voight-Kampff test to every single candidate during the mayoral election. One newspaper in San Francisco did that back in 2003, and the results were amazing.

Wednesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-February-2015  21:24:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Core i7-5960X vs i7-5820K Gaming-Performance - FullHD, 1440p, UHD on OCAholic.
ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S on OCAholic.
GIGABYTE GA-X99M-Gaming 5 on Vortez.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Intel NUC5i5RYK NUC Mini PC (with Broadwell) on Tweaktown.
Xiaomi Mi4 64GB Smartphone on MadShrimps.

USB 3.1 SuperSpeed+ tested with the ASUS Z97-A/USB on Guru3D.
ASUSTOR AS7004T 4-Bay NAS on Tweaktown.
Crucial MX200 250 GB on TechSpot.
Crucial BX100 SSD on HWHeaven.
Crucial MX200 and BX100 Series SSD on LegitReviews.

Audio Visual:
Sub-$100 Gaming Headset Roundup on TechSpot.
Turtle Beach Earforce Z60 DTS Headphone X on eTeknix.
Griffin Twenty Digital Audio Amplifier on ThinkComputers.
Kingston HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset on Tweaktown.

Input Etc:
Roccat Tyon FPS Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.
Cougar 500K Gaming Keyboard on BenchmarkReviews.

BitFenix Alchemy Connect LED Strips Case Lights on APHNetworks.
Reeven Justice (RC-1204) CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
Hue Stik Ultra Sleek 2600 mAh Power Bank on Tweaktown.
Thermaltake Core V51 case on HWAsylum.

Tuesday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 24-February-2015  12:32:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS X99-DELUXE Motherboard on Techgage.
ASRock X99 WS-E/10G on Vortez.

Input Etc:
VGA Torq X5 Mouse Review: Ambidextrous Design Done Right on Modders-Inc.
COUGAR 600K Mechanical Keyboard on FutureLooks.
Adesso iMouse E10 – 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse on eTeknix.
Cougar 200K Keyboard & 200M Mouse on eTeknix.
Kingston HyperX Skyn Mousing Surface on APHNetworks.

Video Cards:
GTX 980 SLI vs R9 290X 8GB CF vs R9 295X2 on the AMD FX-9590 at 8K on Tweaktown.
Gainward Phantom GLH GeForce GTX 960 2GB on eTeknix.
ASUS GTX 980 Matrix 4 GB on TechPowerUp.
GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs GeForce GTX 980 - Should I upgrade? on OCAholic.

Toshiba TransMemory-EX II USB 3.0 Flash Drive on MadShrimps.
ASUSTOR AS7010T NAS Server on NikKTech.
BeyondCloud BC214se 2300 by Synology on TechWareLabs.
Crucial BX100 SSD Review (500GB/1TB) on TheSSDReview.
Lexar JumpDrive M20 2-in-1Flash Drive on eTeknix.
ASUSTOR AS7004T Network Attached Storage on APHNetworks.
Serial Cables 24-bay 12Gbps SAS Enterprise JBOD Enclosure on Tweaktown.

Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX on TechPowerUp.
Xigmatek Nebula on OCAholic.
Fractal Design's Define R5 on TechReport.
Silverstone Sugo SG13 Mini-ITX on TechSpot.

Audio Visual:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 PlayStation & Mobile Wireless Headset on eTeknix.
Turtle Beach Recon 320 PC & Mobile Gaming Headset on eTeknix.
MPOW Smartphone 3 in 1 Fisheye, Wide Angle, And Macro Lenses on Tweaktown.
Andromedia Curve Mini Bluetooth NFC Speaker Stand on Tweaktown.
ARCTIC P614 BT Bluetooth 4.0 NFC Headphones on Tweaktown.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Lenovo B50 All-in-One 23-Inch Multi-Touch Desktop on HotHardware.
Intel NUC5i5RYK SFF System Review - Broadwell NUC on PCPerspective.
Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK Running HyperX Impact 1600MHz & 1866MHz on LegitReviews.
Dell XPS 13 ultraportable on TechSpot.
Shuttle DS57U mini PC on GlobeGadget.
AK Informatica Rig Super9 on OCaholic.

Power Supply:
Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup on eTeknix.
Sandberg Outdoor Powerbank 10400 mAh on NikKTech.
Antec Mobile Products Lifecard Portable Battery Charger on ThinkComputers.

Corsair H110i GT Liquid CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Cooler Master Nepton 240M Closed Loop Water Cooler on APHNetworks.

BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer on TechnologyX.

Monday Morning (10 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 23-February-2015  00:39:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Comms Alliance (an industry body representing some but not all Australian ISPs) have unveiled their draft anti-piracy scheme, which centres on a three strikes system. As of September 1, Australian internet service providers will be forced to send warning notices to alleged movie pirates, under a draft Copyright Notice Scheme industry code unveiled on Friday. Get caught three times in 12 months and rights holders can "facilitate an expedited preliminary discovery process" – in other words ask your ISP to hand over your details.

Lenovo are in hot water, with some pre-installed malware called SuperFish on certain laptops. Anandtech have a good summary of why it's bad. Despite whatever good intentions Lenovo had behind the software, the implementation as well as the execution leave a lot to be desired, especially in a climate where security and privacy are key factors with their main user demographic. Lenovo have now provided an automatic Superfish removal tool to help customers get rid of the software, and Windows Update will get rid of it too. I'm reminded of this story from 2013 about Lenovo being blocked by international security services.

Telstra's CEO, David Thodey, has announced his intention to retire soon after six years at the helm. He will be replaced by Telstra's current chief financial officer, Andrew Penn. Penn will be based in Melbourne. Thodey will briefly stay on at Telstra following his retirement on May 1 to assist Penn's transition to the CEO role. He will completely exit the telco in "late August", according to a financial filing.

So, there's backdoors in HDDs and SSDs, malware shipping on laptops, zillions of dollars being hoovered out of banks around the world and now there's the NSA and GCHQ in your mobile phone. According to documents released by Edward Snowden and obtained by The Intercept, though, it was also the target of a covert, coordinated hack committed by NSA agents and allies at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters. Their goal? To quietly get their hands on the encryption keys that keep our phone calls and text messages private so they could tap people's communications without raising suspicions. More info here.

Gizmodo meanwhile think Microsoft are really turning it all around. It's tempting to think of Microsoft as some aging dinosaur. But it's wrong. Change has been building for almost a year now. Yes Windows 8 was a mess, and the Xbox One's early days were embarrassing, but Microsoft's been sharpening its game with impressive speed. And now it is once again, hands down, the most exciting company in tech.

NVIDIA however are copping more flak over GTX 970 performance. Gaming enthusiasts have been griping for months that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 graphics chip doesn't operate up to snuff, and now someone has taken the company to court over it. Nvidia was hit with a class action lawsuit Thursday that claims it misled customers about the capabilities of the GTX 970, which was released in September. Nvidia markets the chip as having 4GB of performance-boosting video RAM, but some users have complained the chip falters after using 3.5GB of that allocation.

Photoshop recently turned 25. By the end of the decade, Adobe had sold more than 3 million copies. But more than that, they had created a powerful new verb — to photoshop — which entered the dictionary in 1992. Artist David Hockney was an early customer. Magazines realized they could use it to manipulate photos, and everything changed — not least when TIME photoshopped a cover photo of O.J. Simpson in 1994 to make him look darker.

Could Apple be preparing to make an electric car within the next few years? Apple Inc., which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Misc Pics (26 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 20-February-2015  14:24:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

All the best to everyone caught up in the cyclones at the moment. Thanks to mpot and Tony_L this week!

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 20-February-2015  11:43:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
OcUK GTX 970 Review (NVIDIA 980 PCB/Cooler/ Enhanced Components) on HWHeaven.
PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB on TechWareLabs.

Motherboard & CPU:
GIGABYTE MD70-HB0 (Intel C612) Server Motherboard on Tweaktown.
ASUS Z97-Pro WiFi AC on OCAholic.
Core i7-5930K vs i7-5820K Gaming-Performance on OCAholic.
ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 on OCAholic.

Input Etc:
ROCCAT RYOS TKL Pro Gaming Keyboard on ThinkComputers.
Cooler Master Storm Mizar mouse on LanOC.

HyperX Predator DDR4 3000Mhz CL15 Quad Channel Memory on Modders-Inc.
Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 32GB 2400MHz on Bjorn3D.

Thecus N4310 NAS on TechSpot.
Samsung Portable SSD T1 on HotHardware.

Cooler Master NotePal ERGOSTAND III on Techgage.
Phanteks PH-TC14S Dual-Tower CPU cooler on Modders-Inc.
Phanteks PH-TC14S CPU Cooler on TechnologyX.

Audio Visual:
Polaroid CUBE HD Action Camera on ModSynergy.
AOC U3477PQU WQHD 34 inch LCD Monitor on NikKTech.
AC Ryan Veolo 4K UHD Media Player on Tweaktown.

Power Supply:
Justin 2,000mAh Ultra Slim Power Bank Mobile Battery on Tweaktown.
Patriot FUEL iON Kit case and charging stand on ThinkComputers.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell PC game on OCClub.
Sunless Sea PC game on Bjorn3D.

Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet on PCPerspective.
Silverstone Sugo SG13 case on LegionHW.

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 19-February-2015  12:49:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a snapshot of what's going on in some of the forums. You can also find new interesting things you might have missed via the Who's Online page, the New Posts page and the Live forum view. Also try the Today's Posts link (find it on the Quick Links menu) and the handy Who Quoted Me? feature.

School me on air flow in Overclocking & Hardware.
SO MUCH HEAT: PC generates so much! in Overclocking & Hardware.
Antec Kuhler 650V2 "review" in Overclocking & Hardware.
CoolerChip Kinetic Sandia AIR Cooler in Overclocking & Hardware.
New PC, AMD? in AMD x86 CPUs and chipsets.
What are some common mistakes people make when setting up or buying a home theatre? in Audio Visual.
Attention Panasonic TV Owners on Audio Visual.
Welders in Hobby Engineering.
Why I left Apple, and why I'm going back in Mobile Phones & Devices.
Range extending RFID in your credit card in Electronics & Electrics.
Frozen CPU close their doors (or maybe not) in Extreme & Water Cooling.
Little Snitch - Protecting your Privacy (Warning: Large Pics Inside) in Apple Desktop Hardware/Software.
Scientists invent new steel? in Science.
How long would steel last underground until it was no longer recognisable? in Science.
Kia Cerato Si MY2015 Description and (as time goes by) review in Motoring.
Why is media allowed to lie and why do we accept it? in Current Events & Serious Discussion.
Money lending as a business in Career, Education & Finance.
My Inflation Nightmare in Career, Education & Finance.
Just can't seem to get my life together in Career, Education & Finance.
Three-parent babies in The Pub.
Describe your brain in PC parts in The Pub.

Thursday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 19-February-2015  01:43:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Happy Chinese New Year!

The big story of the day would have to be Kaspersky's report that there are NSA backdoors in HDDs and SSDs. Russian cyber-security company Kaspersky Labs exposed a breakthrough U.S. spying program, which taps into one of the most widely proliferated PC components - hard drives. With the last 5 years seeing the number of hard drive manufacturing nations reduce from three (Korean Samsung, Japanese Hitachi and Toshiba, and American Seagate and WD) to one (American Seagate or WD), swallowing-up or partnering with Japanese and Korean businesses as US-based subsidiaries or spin-offs such as HGST, a shadow of suspicion has been cast on Seagate and WD. Discussion here.

A few people sent in this deal for 100GB of OneDrive storage. Not sure if it's still valid but see how you go. First only for US, now all over the world. You can grab 100 GB extra storage for your OneDrive for 2 years - free.

Rezin let us know that HTTP/2 is finished. When published, HTTP/2 will be the first update to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol since 1999, when HTTP 1.1 was adopted. It will, as you'd hope, bring some hefty benefits to the web. It should make for faster page loads, ensure connections last longer and facilitate servers to push data to your cache, so your computer doesn't have to pull it at a later date.

Here's a super high density SSD, thanks Rainwulf. Fixstars Solutions Inc., an innovator in flash storage solutions, today announced the start of sales for 3TB SSD, SSD-3000M, and 1TB SSD, SSD-1000M, in North America. The products feature enterprise level reliability and unprecedented sequential read/write performance aimed at professional content creation, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), HPC, and Datacenters.

Meanwhile with all the GTX 970 shenanigans, some people are apparently getting partial refunds from some American vendors. Two readers, Tim Spencer and Akaki Mukhigulashvili, sent in chat logs with Amazon customer service, who after a little persuading, agreed to issue 20 per cent refunds on the GTX 970 purchase as a ‘one time exception’. Amazon customer service is usually pretty good and in this case, they are being very generous. These refunds follow on from US retailer, Newegg, which also agreed to give 20 per cent refunds to those that bought a GTX 970.

Wednesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-February-2015  22:05:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

be quiet! Pure Rock CPU cooler on OCClub.
Noctua NH-D9L and NH-U9S CPU cooler on Guru3D.
ID-Cooling SE-204K CPU cooler on OCClub.

HyperX Predator DDR4 3000Mhz CL15 Quad Channel Memory on HWAsylum.
G.SKILL Ripjaws4 DDR4-3000C15 16GB on OCAholic.
Crucial Ballistix DDR4 on HWHeaven.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Android 5.0 Lollipop Tested: Performance and Battery Life on TechSpot.
Apotop i-Selfie Join Me Wireless Smartphone Photo Snapper on Tweaktown.
Intel's Broadwell-powered NUC mini-PC on Tech Report.
Dell's Venue 8 7000 tablet on TechReport.
Asus Zenbook UX305 on HotHardware.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Works Great As A Linux Ultrabook on Phoronix.

Audio Visual:
Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset on NeoSeeker.
NZXT DOKO PC Streaming Device on ThinkComputers.
GIGABYTE Force H3X Gaming Headset on Modders-Inc.
NZXT DOKO PC Streaming Device on MadShrimps.

Kingston MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Card Reader on LegitReviews.
PNY Optima 240GB 2-Drive SSD RAID on Tweaktown.
Crucial MX200 SSD on TheSSDReview.
PNY CS2111 XLR8 SSD 480GB on TheSSDReview.
Crucial BX100 250 and 500GB SATA SSD on PCPerspective.

Sentey Shield GS-6090 Mid-Tower on Tweaktown.
Thermaltake Core V1 Mini-ITX on NikKTech.
Antec ISK 600M on TechPowerUp.
Fractal Design Define R5 on ThinkComputers.

Power Supply:
Corsair CS Series Modular 850W on PCPerspective.
Deepcool Quanta DQ750 750W on APHNetworks.

Input Etc:
EVGA TORQ X5 USB Gaming Mouse on BenchmarkReviews.
Tt eSPORTS Black V2 Laser Gaming Mouse on Tweaktown.

Dying Light PC game on Techgage.
ASRock X99 Extreme6 motherboard on OCAholic.
Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290x 8GB Tri-X video card on Modders-Inc.

Tuesday Night (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 17-February-2015  23:52:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA recently enraged people by disabling overclocking in certain drivers. Nvidia surprised members of the overclocking community this week when it pulled OC support from drivers for its 900M series mobile graphics cards. Although Nvidia hasn’t gone out of its way the GTX 900M cards as being overclocking-friendly, many users (particularly those who bought laptops with higher-end cards like the 980m) were overclocking – until the latest driver update. Now, Nvidia is telling customers not to expect OC capabilities to return.

USB 3.1 is definitely on the way, with ASRock announcing cards and motherboards supporting it. ASRock distributed a press release today confirming that they will be launching a couple of interesting USB 3.1 devices. Up first are the USB 3.1 PCIe cards, capable of either two Type-A ports or a combination of Type-A and Type-C.

NewScientist report on using DNA for data storage. Just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of holding 455 exabytes – enough for all the data held by Google, Facebook and every other major tech company, with room to spare. It's also incredibly durable: DNA has been extracted and sequenced from 700,000-year-old horse bones. But conditions have to be right for it to last.

ArsTechnica meanwhile have info on the upcoming Ubuntu phone. Over the next few weeks, the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be available in Europe, priced at €170 (about $190) through a series of online flash sales. It won't be directly available in the US. As the pricing implies, the Aquaris is sadly nothing like the fabled Ubuntu Edge; rather, it's just a mid-range Android phone that has been adapted to run Ubuntu.

Forum Projects (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-February-2015  21:49:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few projects and reviews from people in the forums:

Tomma_Liu has a very tidy
Corsair Air 240 project

d33g33 is building a PC
and lapping his CPU

gazza30 reviewed the
DeepCool Captain 360

Mrfocal is building a
custom Stacker Mark-S PC

Mrfocal also has a
CaseLabs STH10 build

and elvis has made
a Moon Patrol arcade machine

alexciobanu has a
"Green Molecule" project

AMD2400 reviewed the
AlphaCool Eisberg Solo

and STUdog reviewed the
Fractal Design Node 804

Monday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-February-2015  16:21:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A notebook belonging to Alan Turing will be for sale soon. Hatton has handled the first editions of Galileo's "Dialogo" and Newton's "Principia" as well as manuscripts written by Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman. Yet she counts Turing's journal, surfacing publicly for the first time since his death 61 years ago, as one of the top scientific documents she's held. That's because it's the most extensive example of Turing's handwritten notations -- covering 56 pages -- ever seen. Bonhams, which will put the document up for auction in April, expects it to fetch "at least seven figures," a portion of which will go to charity.

Kaspersky claim that malware has been used to steal millions from banks. In a report to be published on Monday, and provided in advance to The New York Times, Kaspersky Lab says that the scope of this attack on more than 100 banks and other financial institutions in 30 nations could make it one of the largest bank thefts ever — and one conducted without the usual signs of robbery.

Vint Cerf has warned that lots of digitised material may be lost from the current era as technology changes. Is this a new problem? There's lots of data out there on tape which is difficult to retrieve now. Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk. Although, I did realise the other day that my photos backup doesn't seem to have any images from my first digital camera, so I should probably find those and add them to the archive.

TechSpot benchmarked Evolve, using the latest CryEngine. We've been eagerly anticipating more games based on the latest CryEngine build and now that wait is over: after being delayed from its original October 2014 release date, Evolve has launched this week on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios (creator of Left 4 Dead), Evolve is the company's latest squad-based co-op shooter and unsurprisingly, it calls for some fairly beefy hardware.

Meanwhile Guru3D compared video cards in Dying Light. In this article we benchmark Dying Light - almost 30 graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked. We have a look at DX11 performance with the newest graphics cards and technologies. We'll also look at frametimes, graphics memory and a thing or two more.

Here's an interesting morphing touchscreen for tablets, called Phorm.

Monday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-February-2015  01:40:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Plextor M6e Black Edition PCIe 256GB SSD on eTeknix.
Inateck HB3001G OTG 3-Port USB Hub and Card Reader on Eteknix.
Plextor M6 Pro 256GB SSD on Tweaktown.
Thecus W2000 Windows Storage Server on PCPerspective.
WD My Passport Wireless on HotHardware.
Silicon Power Mobile X31 OTG USB 3.0 Flash Drive on MadShrimps.

Audio Visual:
Asus Echelon Forest Multi-Platform Gaming Headset on eTeknix.
Func MS-2 Optical Mouse on APHNetworks.
Kingston HyperX Cloud II on Techgage.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Verizon Sony Xperia Z2 and Z3v smartphones on LanOC.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Media Preview on TechARP.
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i5RYK on LegitReviews.
verykool s5511 Juno Quatro Smartphone on ModSynergy.

Xigmatek Spirit M Mini-Tower on Tweaktown.
Raidmax Hyperion Form Factor MATX/ITX Gaming Case on PureOC.
Origin Genesis on Modders-Inc.

Input Etc:
Cougar 600K mechanical keyboard on HWHeaven.
XTracPads Carbonic, Ripper, Ripper XXL mousepads on OCClub.

Cryorig H5 Universal CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI vs Radeon R9 290X 8GB at 4K on AMD FX-9590 on Tweaktown.

Misc Pics (26 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-February-2015  14:26:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Ooh, Friday the 13th. No kidding, today I actually read the label on the bag of coffee pods I've been using for the last week or so and realised they were DECAF. Also, I managed to break two blades off the chassis fan in my PC yesterday.. I've still got the touch. Thanks to danstoejam this week!

Friday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-February-2015  13:02:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Shitbox Rally 2015 is gearing up again, to raise money for the Cancer Council by driving cheap cars across some of the country's most demanding roads. There are two teams of OCAU people going this year: Team Nacho Men and team Team Byrnt-Out. So, get behind them!

Tony spotted this story about NBN Co punishing high-volume satellite users. Is it Ziggabytes all over again? NBN Co has ordered all retail service providers on the interim satellite service to enforce a 50GB four-week usage threshold for customers to combat ongoing congestion on the service. In communications sent to RSPs late last month, sighted by iTnews, NBN Co warned any customer who breaches the 50GB limit during any four-week period will have their speed slowed to 128Kbps for two weeks from when they first exceeded the limit.

Tech Report compared five overclocked GTX 960 cards, while LegionHW have a six-way GTX 960 shootout. The GTX 960 might not be in the same league as the Radeon R9 290X or even the R9 290, but at just $200 it will likely find its way into far more gaming systems. Designed to compete with AMD’s Tonga powered R9 285, the GTX 960 became the best value $200 GPU upon its January 22nd release.

Meanwhile TechSpot have a budget CPU shootout. These days you might expect buying a new processor to be fairly straightforward. The choice seems clear: Intel has proven to offer superior core performance with considerably greater efficiency. However, many enthusiasts argue that AMD offers better overclocking on its more affordable processors and therefore delivers a better bang for your buck. We put that notion to the test.

PC Perspective take a look at USB 3.1 (Superspeed+). We first got a peek of USB 3.1 at CES 2015. MSI had a cool demo showing some throughput figures including read and write speeds as high as 690 MB/s, well over the ~450 MB/s we see on USB 3.0 options shipping today. We were of course eager to play around with this for ourselves, and MSI was happy to oblige, sending along a box of goodies.

Windows 10 for phones is now available for preview on certain devices. Just as promised, Microsoft has made its preview for the phone version of Windows 10 available. In order to try it out, you’ll have to install the Windows Insider app (and sign up for the Insider Program, if you haven’t already). More info from Microsoft here.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-February-2015  11:29:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Portable & Prebuilt:
Shuttle XH97V w/ Pentium G3258 barebones on TechPowerUp.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Performance Preview on PCPerspective.
Samsung Galaxy A5 smartphone on TechSpot.
ZTE Grand X Plus smartphone on MegaTechNews.

AeroCool XPredator X3 Devil Red Edition Midi Tower on NikKTech.
Be Quiet Silent Base 800 on Modders-Inc.

Power Supply:
LUXA2 P1-PRO 7000mAh Outdoor Power Bank on NikKTech.
SilverStone Strider Gold S ST1500-GS Power Supply on PCPerspective.

Video Cards:
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition on Tweaktown.
Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream on Guru3D.
AMD Radeon R9 290X 8GB vs R9 295X2 at 4K on the AMD FX-9590 CPU on Tweaktown.
MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G on LanOC.
MSI GTX 960 Gaming GPU, The Sweet Spot on Bjorn3D.

Input Etc:
Cougar 600K Gaming Keyboard on OCaholic.
EVGA TORQ X5 Gaming Mouse on ThinkComputers.

Motherboard & CPU:
ASRock X99 OC Formula on HWHeaven.
GIGABYTE MD60-SC0 (Intel C612) Server Motherboard on Tweaktown.

Audio Visual:
SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism on Vortez.
HyperX Cloud II Headset on PureOC.
Razer Adaro Stereos Headset on Tweaktown.

Patriot Ignite SSD Review (480GB) on TheSSDReview.
Inateck FD1006C UASP USB 3.0 Docking Station on LegitReviews.

Netgear ProSAFE GSS108E Click Series 8-port Gigabit Switch on Tweaktown.
AKRACING Premium Gaming Chair (AK-7002-CS) on OCClub.
Dying Light PC game on OCClub.

Silicon Power Mobile X20 (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 12-February-2015  11:53:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I've checked out a tiny USB drive from Silicon Power. It's only USB 2.0 and 32GB, but its party trick is having two connectors so you can use it in your PC or your smartphone. Also, did I mention it's tiny?

click for the review!

Photography Gallery (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 11-February-2015  21:12:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a quick snapshot of what people are up to in our Photography Gallery forum.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 11-February-2015  06:03:32 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Cooler Master CM Storm Ceres 500 Gaming Headset on TweakTown
SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Gaming Headset on NikKTech
Plantronics Voyager Edge UC & Blackwire C725 Headsets on Legit Reviews
Sennheiser Urbanite On-Ear Headphones on TechnologyX

MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G Video Card on Modders-Inc
MSI GT80 Titan SLI on Vortez
MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 2G OC Edition Video Card on TweakTown
Asus R9 290X Matrix Platinum on LanOC Reviews
MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G Graphics Card on ThinkComputers.org

Gaming PC:
ASUS Republic of Gamers G20 Gaming PC on Techgage
Alienware Area 51 (2015) Gaming PC on Hot Hardware

Xigmatek Nebula C Cube Case on Ocaholic
Lian Li DK-02X on techPowerUp
Raijintek Aeneas Cube Case on Ocaholic

Phanteks PH-TC14S CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.org
Corsair H110i GT LCS Liquid Cooler on Guru3D
Corsair H110i GT Cooler on Hardware Heaven
Corsair Hydro H110i GT CPU Cooler on Madshrimps

Plextor M6 Pro 128GB SSD on TweakTown
ADATA Premier Pro SP900 M.2 6Gbps SSD on The SSD Review
Plextor M6e Black Edition 128GB PCIe SSD on TweakTown
Plextor M6e Black Edition 256GB PCIe SSD on PC Perspective
Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD on Hot Hardware

MSI X99S MPower Board on PureOverclock
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W Gold PSU on Technology X
G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2666 Memory on Technology X
TP-LINK Archer C9 AC1900 Dual-Band Router on Technology X

Tuesday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 10-February-2015  00:41:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The data retention laws loom ever closer, with some of the pressure seeming to come from copyright holders. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urging Labor to expedite through parliament new powers which force telecommunications companies to store metadata for two years. The laws, which have yet to be debated in the lower house, are designed to give ASIO more scope to identify terrorism but are opposed by civil libertarians and privacy campaigners.

If you've got a Chromecast (as reviewed by Sciby here), there's some free Google Play credit for you. Actually, I checked the offers page and there were 4 waiting for my one, so it's worth checking. Google is sending out the generous freebie to encourage folks to rent a movie (or maybe two) for Valentine's Day next week.

Radio Shack has long been absent from Australian shores, but it seems it's not doing too well in the USA, either. Long-running electronics company RadioShack, which filed for bankruptcy last week, will see the closure of 1,784 stores across North America by March 31, the company confirmed in court documents. Bizarrely, one rumour is that Amazon might buy some stores from them.

Microsoft have trademarked "Windows 365", which has people speculating. Last spring, the idea of 'Windows 365' popped up several times and the logic behind it was that Microsoft would soon offer a subscription based Windows service. Much like Office 365, the rumors hedged that Microsoft would charge an annual fee for the OS instead of a typical one-time fee that is generally quite expensive. But, seeing that Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be free, for anyone upgrading from Windows 7 or 8, 'Windows 365' did not materialize in the way that many had speculated.

Here's an oddball one: the Raspberry Pi can be crashed by a camera flash. What’s going on here is pretty weird. Any cameras with a Xenon flash trigger a reaction in a chip on the Raspberry Pi. One of the chips on the exposed computer’s circuit board seems to be sensitive to light and poorly shielded, so when the camera’s flash triggers, it causes the entire device to crash.

Apple's smart watch is on the way (and various other products exist already), which has prompted some UK universities to ban watches during exams. Smart watches can be used to send and receive text messages, access the internet, make notes and perform calculations which otherwise might not be permitted in examination halls. Indeed, it will be almost impossible for test proctors to confirm whether a student is just checking the time or using his wearable to provide an unfair advantage over other students.

Here's an interesting article about Arthur C. Clarke's predictions for 2014. This week, AT&T released another Clarke video from its archives that was recorded at a conference in 1976. In a brief interview, Clarke expands on his vision of the time we're living in now, with a focus on communication. He nails almost everything, from the Internet and email to smartphones, Google and even smartwatches.

Secret Santa (31 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 9-February-2015  00:55:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The present I got via the 2014 OCAU Secret Santa was so special I thought it deserved a mention on the news page. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to put this together:

A cool framed set of glasses.. but what's this?

A Celeron 366A! Anyone who knows the history of OCAU will recognise why that's significant.

And some sensible advice to use the rose-coloured glasses when looking back. :)

Thanks Santa!!!!!!!!

Sunday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 8-February-2015  23:47:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Vantec DSH-300U3 USB 3.0 Universal Dual-Video Docking Station on Tweaktown.
QNAP TurboNAS TS-431 NAS Server on NikKTech.
Plextor M6e Black Edition 256GB PCIe SSD on Tweaktown.
Synology DiskStation BeyondCloud Preconfigured NAS on Techgage.

Portable & Prebuilt:
9-Way Linux Laptop Performance Comparison From Intel Nehalem To Broadwell on Phoronix.
Intel NUC5i5RYK Broadwell-U Mini-PC Hands-On Video With Benchmarks on HotHardware.

Video Cards:
Asus GTX 980 Strix on LanOC.
GeForce GTX 960 Overclocking Report: 13 Cards Tested on PCPerspective.
Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming 4GB on Modders-Inc.

SilverStone Fortress FT05 on APHNetworks.
Sentey Optimus Plus Mid-Tower on BenchmarkReviews.

Cryorig H7 CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 360 watercooler on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.

ASRock X99X Killer motherboard on HWHeaven.
Battlefield Hardline Beta Benchmarked, Performance Preview on TechSpot.
G.Skill RipJaws 4 16GB DDR4 2800MHz Memory Kit on NeoSeeker.

Misc Pics (30 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 6-February-2015  14:30:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Fundraising continues for Panda's Ear - there's information on some fundraising auctions here and here in the forums.

Meanwhile, here's some Misc Pics thanks to Frank and t1mbot this week! The 2nd last one might be NSFW, I suppose..

Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 6-February-2015  13:29:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Portable & Prebuilt:
Gigabyte BRIX S BXi7H-5500 Broadwell Ultra Compact PC on PCPerspective.
A First Look At The Intel Broadwell NUC Kit (NUC5i3RYH) on Phoronix.

Xigmatek Aquila Micro-ATX on eTeknix.
Corsair Graphite Series 760T on LanOC.
Aerocool Strike-X Cube Micro-ATX on eTeknix.
Silverstone Kublai KL05 on LegionHW.

ID-Cooling SE-214X Heatsink on FrostyTech.
Noctua NH-D9L CPU Cooler Review: The Mini NH-D15 on Modders-Inc.
DeepCool GamerStorm Captain 240 All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.

Audio Visual:
BenQ's XL2420G G-Sync monitor on TechReport.
Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage USB V2.0 headset on Vortez.
Inateck BP2001 Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Portable Speaker on eTeknix.

Video Cards:
Testing Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 960 2GB Graphics Cards In SLI on eTeknix.
ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum on Guru3D.
ASUS STRIX GTX 960 on LegitReviews.
Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming 2GB on Modders-Inc.

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 2666MHz on NeoSeeker.
Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 16GB 2666MHz Memory Kit on LegitReviews.

Motherboard & CPU:
Supermicro X10DAX (Intel C612) Workstation Motherboard on Tweaktown.
HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset on LegitReviews.

Input Etc:
Tt eSPORTS DRACONEM Aluminum Mouse Pad on ThinkComputers.
Cougar 500K Gaming Keyboard on OCaholic.
ROCCAT Ryos TKL Pro Mechanical Keyboard on Techgage.
Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard on TechPowerUp.

Emtec International Power Plus X150 240GB Solid State Drive on PureOC.
Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3.0 OTG 64GB USB Flash Drive on NikKTech.
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I SDXC Card (256 GB) on TechARP.
Patriot Memory Supersonic Boost XT 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on MadShrimps.
Seagate Enterprise Performance TurboBoost 15K 600GB HDD on Tweaktown.
Plextor M6e Black Edition M.2 PCIe SSD on LegitReviews.

OCAU's New Hosting (37 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 4-February-2015  22:23:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I hope you're enjoying the speed of our new hosting at Micron21! There's still a couple of tweaks to be made but for the most part everything seems to be whizzing along nicely.

People have been asking for technical details, but here's the twist: one of the major goals of this hosting migration was to make the hosting infrastructure Someone Else's Problem. For 15.5 years OCAU has been running on servers that I have specced, usually built, installed and maintained myself - sometimes with assistance, admittedly, but ultimately the responsibility has been mine. But I strongly felt this time around that it was time to move into the 21st century, hand over that responsibility to someone who does it full-time and remove those background worries from my mind. So this time we have moved to a fully managed virtual solution and I only know very general details of the setup. I know this will be a shock to my fellow geeks and to be honest it feels quite odd to me too, but really it's for the best. To keep us all happy though, Micron21 have been kind enough to provide the following info about our new infrastructure, and even some photos:

OCAU is hosted within Micron21's Cloud Infrastructure located within their Kilsyth-based Datacentre in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Micron21 provides a fully managed environment managing memory allocation, CPU processing capacity, disk space allowance, software development, optimization and high level systems support. Our solution is designed for customers who require the very best service and support for mission critical applications. Under the hood of the OCAU cloud platform is a combination of the following technology:

Brocade MLXe core routing via Micron21 global DDoS Protected IP transit network AS38880. Micron21's network peers directly with Optus and soon Telstra (March 2015) along with Pipe Networks in QLD, NSW, VIC Australia IX plus Megaport, whilst internationally peering with over 170 networks globally. This extensive network provides OCAU members with direct and low latency high speed network capacity to the OCAU application stack both nationally and internationally.

At the front end, the web servers are supported by A10 Networks AX 3200-12 hardware load-balancers that boast 20gbit of uplink capacity per device. In addition to load-balancing, this technology provides WAF, secondary DDoS-protection along with application acceleration.

Each core software component for OCAU is within a VMware ESXi Enterprise Plus virtualization environment powered by Dell PowerEdge R620 server technology. These servers are utilising dual E5-2650 V2 8-core Intel Xeon processors, 128GB of ECC memory along with a combination of RAID 10 SAS and SSD storage.

Wednesday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 4-February-2015  14:03:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It turns out some big names will be excluded from metadata retention, which kinda makes it easy for people to avoid the scheme if they choose to. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said this would potentially drive people away from ISP-based email. "All I need to do to avoid mandatory data retention is just to take a webmail service," Ludlam said. Harmer said iiNet and Internode would be subject to it, but Google would not. More in this radio interview, and unsurprisingly local telcos are not happy. Data retention discussion continues here.

Geo-nerds will be happy to hear that Google Earth Pro is now free. Google sliced the price from $400 a year, so this is a pretty solid deal. If you like to make 3D measurements or create HD videos of virtual trips around the world, I'd jump on this. You can download the software key directly from Google and start an online global journey.

The British Army have set up a new information age brigade. An Army spokesman said the unit would "play a key part in enabling the UK to fight in the information age" and that it "consists of more than just traditional capabilities". Interesting, because by contrast it was many years ago that the US Air Force added the word "cyberspace" to their mission statement.

There's a new Raspberry Pi 2, thanks gasman. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is likely to provoke a global geekgasm today with the surprise release of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. It's a turbocharged version of the Pi B+, boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip with 1GB of RAM – all of which will drive performance "at least 6x" that of the B+. Raspberry Pi discussion continues in this thread.

Office for Android tablets is now available, thanks aftahours. As long as you have a Microsoft account, most features of the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for Android tablets are free to use. A handful of things are locked behind an Office 365 paywall, but even with a free account you get a level of functionality that's more-or-less equivalent to the Office Web apps that come with a OneDrive subscription.

NamTaf spotted this impressive virtual tour using the Unreal Engine.

Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 4-February-2015  13:37:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Noctua NH-D9L Low Profile Tower Cooler on NeoSeeker.
Fractal Design Kelvin S36 watercooler on OCaholic.

ID-Cooling T60-SFX on TechPowerUp.
Raidmax Hyperion Micro-ATX on BenchmarkReviews.
Corsair Carbide 330R Titanium Edition on NeoSeeker.
ID Cooling T60-SFX Mini Gaming Chassis on Tweaktown.
be quiet! Silent Base 800 on ThinkComputers.

CPU & Motherboard:
ARM unveils Cortex-A72 CPU, Mali-T880 graphics, and more on TechReport.
Asus' Crossblade Ranger motherboard on TechReport.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Getting A Real Sense Of Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet on HotHardware.
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix (2014) on TechSpot.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 with the Exynos 5433 processor on TechReport.

Thecus N4310 Consumer NAS on Tweaktown.
SilverStone TS431S Four Bay miniSAS Storage Enclosure on Tweaktown.

Power Supply:
Fractal Design EDISON M Series 650W on TechPowerUp.
Antec EDGE 750W on NikKTech.

Audio Visual:
Creative Sound Blaster Z and Zx Sound Card on LegitReviews.
LUXA2 Lavi-S Bluetooth Headphones on ThinkComputers.
ARCTIC Z2 Pro Monitor Arm on APHNetworks.

Guardzilla All-In-One Video Security System on LegitReviews.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 vs. GTX 960 SLI on OCaholic.
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Talon Gaming Mouse on OCClub.

Forum Projects (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 2-February-2015  21:45:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few projects and reviews from people in the forums:

havabeer has an
impressively orange PC

Lots of people reviewed
the Aorus Thunder K7 KB

Imfacerool is building a
watercooled cabinet PC

Huggy_Bear64 reviewed the
Tronix Slim 8000mA battery

Kosti has a monster
watercooled server

wilchelus walkes us through
his custom guitar build

Sunday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 1-February-2015  22:02:33 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Renice S8 64GB SDHC UHS I and 32GB H1 Compact Flash on TweakTown
Transcend JetFlash 790 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on TweakTown
Crucial MX100 512GB 3-Drive SSD RAID on TweakTown
Plextor M6e Black Edition 512GB PCIe SSD on TweakTown
Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD on TweakTown
Samsung T1 Portable SSD on Techspot
Asustor AS5104T NAS on Legion Hardware
VisionTek 120GB USB 3.0 Pocket SSD Drive on Legit Reviews
Crucial M550 512GB CT512M550SSD3 mSATA SSD on OcInside

Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler on APH Networks
SilverStone Argon AR05 Low-Profile CPU Cooler on NikKTech
Reeven Hans RC-1205 Heatsink on FrostyTech
Thermalright Macho 90 CPU Cooler on TweakTown
Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler on Think Computers

GeFoce GTX 980 and 970 Cards From MSI, EVGA, and Zotac on Hot Hardware
Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming 2 GB on Tech Powerup
Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 2GB Graphics Card on eTeknix
Asus GeForce GTX 960 DirectCU II OC STRIX 2GB Graphics Card on eTeknix
EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX 2.0+ Video Card on TweakTown
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 WindForce 2X OC on Guru3D

ErgoDox Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Kit on LanOC
Cougar 600M Gaming Mouse on ThinkComputers.org
Cougar 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on Overclockers club
Cougar 600K Mechanical Keyboard on Benchmark Reviews

Shuttle Barebone XH97V on Madshrimps
ECS LIVA X Mini PC SFF Desktop PC on TweakTown
Cyberpower Infinity Hercules Pro on Vortez
Lenovo ThinkStation P500 Tower Workstation on TweakTown
MSI Nightblade ITX Gaming System on ocaholic

BitFenix Flo PC Gaming Headset on Techgage
Sound Blaster E5 on LanOC
Kingston HyperX Cloud 2 Headset on Bjorn3D
Kingston HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset on TechnologyX
SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism on Vortez

Asus C300M Chromebook on TechnologyX
Dell XPS 13 (2015) Ultrabook on Hot Hardware
Asus ROG G751JY-T7051H Gaming Notebook on eTeknix

NZXT S340 Case on ocaholic
Primochill Wet Bench Test Bench Case on PC Perspective
Silverstone DS380 NAS Chassis on eTeknix
Corsair Graphite 780T Case on Techgage

Linksys WRT1900AC AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router on NikKTech
Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart Wi-Fi Router on TweakTown

Luxa2 EnerG Slim 10,000mAh Power Bank on Overclockers Club
CyberPowerPC Syber Gaming Vapor - Steam Machine Alternative on TweakTown
CyberpowerPC SYBER GAMING VAPOR A on Bjorn3D
NZXT Doko on ocaholic
NZXT Doko on Vortez
Apple iPad Air 2 16GB Tablet on Madshrimps

Welcome Back! (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 1-February-2015  11:43:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

If you're reading this, you are seeing OCAU on our new hosting! We've been back up and running since 8pm on Friday night, and it seems that pretty much everyone's DNS has changed over and is connecting to us fine. If you're seeing anything strange when you use the site, please report it in this thread.

More details to follow, but for now I'll simply say that we are now happily hosted by Micron21!


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