TECHNOLOGY

News About Keyboard: Best budget gaming keyboard

Thermaltake Poseidon Z

Pros

  • Extremely affordable for a gaming keyboard
  • Decent build quality
  • Has backlit keys
  • Full numpad

Cons

  • Flimsy and slippery keycaps

The Thermaltake Poseidon Z has been around for nearly two years, but its tremendous value still firmly seats it as one of the most popular mechanical keyboards on the market. At the time of writing, you can easily pick one up for around $65.

Those who crunch numbers will definitely appreciate the inclusion of the number pad. At a budget price, this is a huge bonus compared to many of the other tenkeyless (TKL) options in this price category. It also comes with blue backlighting, a feature that’s often lost in the pursuit of lowering the cost.

Thermaltake’s decision of going with Kailh switches instead of Cherry MX which may upset some die-hard Cherry fans. Kailh switches are often perceived as inferior in quality when compared to Cherry MX switches. In reality, you’d be hard put to tell the difference between Cherry and Kailh, even if you are a veteran.

The Thermaltake Poseidon Z comes in either Kailh Blue or Brown flavors. What you choose is up to you. Blues have fantastic feedback for typing but have a loud click, Browns offer slightly less tactility but are much quieter.

There are no ornate designs with the Poseidon Z: It’s cased in a plain but durable plastic chassis. While its shell feels solid, there’s an unsightly red logo sprayed above the number pad. The Thermaltake logo has also been etched into the center of the spacebar, but we’re willing to overlook these small details considering its price

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Windows 10’s Start menu: It’s not really a secret.

Guess what? Windows 10 has a “secret” Start menu. I say “secret,” because it’s not really a secret — it’s not something you have to turn on, it’s just a little trick that makes accessing important features, such as the Command Prompt, the Control Panel and the Task Manager much easier.

To access the ‘secret’ Start menu, all you have to do is right-click the Windows icon/Start button. You’ll see a pop-up menu with a variety of administrative tools, as well as shutdown options and a Desktop link for quickly viewing the desktop (you can also do this by clicking the small, sectioned-off part at the very right side of your taskbar).

These are the options you get inside of the “secret” Start menu.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you’re using a touchscreen, you can access this menu by tapping and holding the Start button for a couple of seconds. You can also access this menu with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + X.

I’m a big fan of this shortcut menu, because it lets you access tools that you would normally have to go through multiple menus to get to. For example, the Event Viewer, System information as well as the disk and computer management tools can be found in Start > All apps > Windows Administrative Tools, while the Command Prompt, Control Panel, Task Manager and Run command are found in Start > All apps > Windows System. The “secret” Start menu puts all of these handy tools right at your fingertips in one click.

You can replace the Command Prompt link in the secret Start menu with a link to the Windows PowerShell.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you happen to be an avid Windows PowerShell user — and you don’t have much use for the Command Prompt — you can replace the Command Prompt link in the secret Start menu with a link to the PowerShell. To do this, right-click the taskbar and click Settings. Under Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Windows key + X, turn the switch to On.

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Reviews About Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)

A gorgeous remake of the PS1 classic, but DQ VII’s slow start and fragmented story line fail to give it much of a future on 3DS

Specifications

Available formats: Nintendo 3DS

Dragon Quest VII is the original paint-by-numbers JRPG. Instead of throwing players into a huge, sprawling world they can explore from the off, it’s up to your band of heroes to restore each individual island one by one, journeying back in time to save them from the perils of the past so they might live on in the present day. The more you meddle with fate, the larger your world becomes, with each restored island filling in a new piece of the ever-expanding overworld map.

It’s classic time-travelling fare, and the sort of time-paradox story we’ve seen hundred times before in films, books and TV. And yet Dragon Quest VII stops short at what makes those stories so gripping, as each rescued world is simply a happier version of the one you left behind.

There aren’t any consequences to your actions and no cost you have to pay for having changed these people’s lives. Instead, everything is just fine and dandy, which rather makes the return visit a bit disappointing when you’ve spent so long bending time to your will. A statue would have been nice, you know, or a park bench with our names on it – is that too much to ask?

Admittedly, it probably was too much back when Dragon Quest VII first came out back in the hazy days of 2000 for the original PlayStation, but given that this new 3DS remake (which is the first time the game’s ever been officially released in Europe) has modernised the game in almost every conceivable way, you’d have thought a couple of small plaques wouldn’t have been beyond the realms of possibility. For much like the remakes of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VII sees what was once a largely 2D game transform into glorious 3D, providing a brand new coat of paint for this ageing PS1 title.

At times, you can see the 3DS groan under the sheer weight of its ambition, with object pop-in and frame rate dips in battle being regular grievances throughout. However, when each monster is so beautifully animated and the environments so overrun with intricate details, you soon learn to look past its flaws and revel in its hopping, sword-wielding kangaroos and smiling, googly-eyed aubergines.

It’s charming to a fault, but even the sight of its puckering, lip-smacking slugs aren’t quite enough to erase what’s arguably the slowest and most tedious opening I’ve ever encountered in a JRPG. Fetch quests and lethargic story exposition abound, and it wasn’t until about 90 minutes in that I even got to swing my sword (err, stick) in an honest-to-god fight.

Thankfully, the pace does eventually improve, and the superb localisation of each individual village (complete with European accents and regional dialects) does an excellent job at giving each place its own unique flavour and personality. Some island stories are more absorbing than others, but they rarely feel repetitive. However, for all the time it spends setting up the game’s central premise, it actually does a pretty poor job at explaining why you need to save these towns in the first place, leaving the overarching narrative feeling rather weak by comparison.

As a result, the whole game ends up feeling rather fragmented, with these small, micro stories never really feeding in to a larger, more cohesive whole. It might have held together better if there were repercussions you had to face on your second visit, for example, or even a new set of quests, but when each saved town sees you visiting the exact same locations as before (this time to find more stone tablets to open up new portals to the past) as well as the same round of blank faces, the lack of anything new and different makes it feel very much like you’re just going through the motions to get to your next objective.

Combine that with its wearisome opening and I fear most newcomers to the game will end up leaving a lot of Dragon Quest VII’s map unfinished. However, if you were one of the lucky ones who managed to play it the first time round, either by import or playing it overseas, then you’ll probably get quite a kick out of seeing the game reimagined in its new 3DS form.

That said, there are certainly more compelling time-travelling games around – Chrono Trigger and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D to name just a few – and compared to the likes of more modern 3DS JRPGs like Bravely Default and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, Dragon Quest VII just feels a little too quaint and rigid to really stand out. It paints a pretty enough picture when all’s said and done, but this is one JRPG that simply doesn’t tolerate those who like to colour outside the lines.

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Elite Slice: New modular PC of HP

Why buy more PC than you need? Especially if you’re buying a business desktop, or potentially an entire office full of them, and you’re looking to save space or money by skipping extras that aren’t important to you.

hp-elite-slice-07.jpg
The base PC, surrounded by add-on modules.

Sarah Tew/CNET

HP has designed a clever new take on the modular PC idea, called the Elite Slice. It’s a very small desktop, 6.5 inches square, roughly similar in size and shape to Apple’s Mac Mini or even HP’s ownPavilion Mini. But rather than being one-size-fits-all, the Elite Slice can be configured with a series of stackable add-on units that quite literally sit on top of one another.

The base unit, which is under 2 inches tall, can support up to an Intel Core i7 processor, and can include a fingerprint reader for security. To this, you can add the HP Collaboration Cover, which has special touch controls for Skype video and audio calls; an Audio Module, with dual microphones and Bang & Olufsen tuned speakers; an optical disc drive module; and sometime next year, a charging cover for wireless phone charging.

hp-elite-slice-01.jpg
Several optional modules stacked together.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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By just ordering the parts you need, you can put together a business desktop that’s tailored to a specific company or task, rather than ordering off the shelf. We don’t have full international pricing yet, but in the US, the HP Elite Slice goes on sale this September, and will cost from $429 to $999, depending on how you slice it. Converted, that starts at about £330 or AU$570.

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Jabra’s Elite Sport earbuds: Bluetooth Headphone For Sport

Several wireless earbud headphones have trickled into the market in recent months, including theMotorola VerveOnes, Samsung Galaxy Gear IconX, Erato Apollo 7, Earin and Here One.

Now Jabra enters the zero-wire fray with its Elite Sport, which it calls “the most technically advanced, true wireless sports earbuds available.” It’ll be available in the US ($250), UK (£230) and the EU (€250) at the end of October, with an Australian launch slated for later in the year (pricing not yet announced, but US price converts to approximately AU$330).

What makes the Elite Sport so elite? For starters, the ‘buds are fully sweat- and waterproof. There’s also an integrated heart-rate monitor that provides “ground-breaking in-ear fitness analysis” and, as you’d suspect from a Jabra headphone, they work well as a headset for making calls, with built-in noise reduction technology. According to Jabra, the earbuds analyze external sounds and automatically switch to the earbud with least background noise.

I haven’t tried them yet, so I don’t know how they sound or fit, but they certainly look intriguing.

jabra-elite-sport-lockup.jpg

With in-ear noise-isolating headphones such as these, it’s crucial that you get a tight seal to get the best sound quality. And with “true” wireless earbuds, the ability to maintain a steady, hiccup-free connection will also make or break a product.

Like competing products, battery life isn’t great — they’re rated at just three hours of music listening — but it is easy to get extra juice by slipping them into their charging case, which has an integrated battery.

I’ll put together an in-depth review as soon as I get these in my ears. In the meantime, here are the Sport Elite’s key specs:

  • Superior sound with up to three hours of music and calls (plus up to six hours additional charge from the portable charging case)
  • Flexible wearing options with single or stereo earbud use
  • Advanced heart rate analysis with automatic fitness level testing of VO2 Max, recovery advisor and race predictor
  • Two integrated microphones in each earbud
  • Background noise reduction
  • Audio pass-through allows you to tune in to your surroundings at the touch of a button
  • In-ear audio coaching with real-time feedback
  • Integrated training management with Jabra Sport Life app
  • Three-year warranty against sweat and waterproof to IP67 rating
  • Tested to work for at least 30 minutes while submerged in up to 3 feet of water
  • Supports all major smartphone operating systems, including Android and iOS
  • Support for all leading third-party fitness apps
  • $250 exclusively at Best Buy stores on October 30. Preorder on BestBuy.com will begin in early October. £230 in the UK.

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Great things that you might not know about Facebook

As there are more and more people using Facebook these days, it now becomes one of the most popular social networks with enormous users all over the world. Let’s check out here some of the most interesting facts about Facebook that you might have never known despite using it so often.

facts about facebook

  • Facebook has over 350 million active users. More than 35 million users update their status each day, with more than 55 million status updates each day.
  • More than 2.5 billion pictures are uploaded to Facebook each month.
  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends and sends eight friend requests per month.
  • Among children under 18, Facebook was ranked third in the top 100 searches of 2009, behind YouTube and Google. Sex and porn rounded out the top five searches.
  • Facebook is not only beating MySpace traffic, but it is also the second-ranked site overall in the U.S. behind Google.
  • Americans spend 13.9 billion minutes a year on Facebook and five billion minutes on MySpace.
  • Adult Facebook users in the United States spend 68% of their mobile device time using apps. Despite this, there were only approximately 8,400 app advertisers on Facebook in 2013 – and these 8,400 advertisers drove more than 145 million app installs in that year alone.
  • Years ago the Facebook logo on the homepage was a picture of a pixelated white man. It ends up that man is young Al Pacino covered with binary code.
  • Approximately 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
  • Forbes dubbed 25-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, the creator/owner of Facebook, as the world’s youngest billionaire, worth $1.5 billion.
  • Facebook earns an average of $5.85 for every Facebook user in the United States and Canada. These two countries also have among the highest monthly active users of any country in the world, making North America a vitally important market for Facebook.

Source: facts.randomhistory.com, knowable.com, wordstream.com

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Mobile phones facts

Quick facts to know about mobile phones

Considered one of inseparable items for almost any one of us, mobile phone or cell phone now is used widely all over the world with million owners. Check out some interesting facts about mobile phone right below here to refresh your mind now.

Mobile phones facts

  1. Have you ever used Nokia 1100? Be proud, it was the bestselling electrical gadget in history with more than 250 million pieces sold.
  2. $4000 is the cost of first mobile phone in US, in 1983.
  3. In 2012 Apple sold more than 340,000 iPhones per day, which is around 4 per second. Also see amazing facts about Apple Inc., and evolution of iOS.
  4. Be careful while using your mobile phone, it has 18 times more bacteria than toilet handles.
  5. Is your phone water proof? 90% of mobile phones in Japan, are waterproof.
  6. Insomnia, confusion and headaches are caused due to mobile phone radiation. Experts have identified ringxiety, nomophobia, telephonophobia and frigensophobia as conditions that can effect people.
  7. This sounds odd, but you can charge your phone by using urine, scientists developed it.
  8. The first mobile call was made by Martin Cooper in 1973.
  9. 70% of mobile phones are manufactured in China.
  10. Do you know that the present mobile phones have more computing power than the computers used for the Apollo 11 to land on the moon.
  11. In Britain more than 100,000 mobile phones are dropped down in the toilet every year.
  12. In 1993, world’s first Smartphone was debuted at Florida’s Wireless World Conference by BellSouth Cellular, it has a LCD touch screen display. This was designed by IBM and named as Simon ,priced at $899 and only 2000 Simmons are made at that time.
  13. Around 80% of the world’s population has a mobile phone.
  14. There are more mobile phones than PCs, the ratio is 5 times.
  15. More than 4 billion people own mobile phones. But only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush.
  16. Within 3 minutes of delivery, 90% of text messages are read.
  17. More than 80% of adults in U.S. own a mobile phone.
  18. What is your monthly mobile phone bill? 142,000 pounds is the highest ever mobile bill by Celina Aarons.
  19. According to Guinness World Records, Sonim XP3300 Force is recognized as the toughest phone. It survived an 84ft drop without any operational damage.
  20. Mobile phone industry is the fastest growing industry in the world.
  21. 74 % of smartphone users use their mobile phone to help with shopping, of which 79% ultimately making a purchase.
  22. iPhone 5 Black Diamond is the costliest phone in the world, which costs $15 million. It will take nine weeks to build, made of 135 gram solid gold of 24 carat and the chassis was inlaid with 600 white diamonds.
  23. Mobile phone users mostly spend their time on games and social networking (49% and 30% respectively).

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