Is lightscribe technology dead?


If you’ve been paying attention to the DVDRW drive market recently you may have noticed one thing standing out – there are almost no DVD burners available with lightscribe technology anymore. You may say that lightscribe technology is being made obsolete.

Granted, lightscribe was never really a universally adopted technology and while people were interested in buying lightscribe drives, I’m not sure many ever got around to using the etching technology. But the fact that the market on lightscribe drives has all but disappeared so quickly really does stand out.

You will find lightscribe technology on select blu-ray burners and some externals, but that also seems to be on the way out.

If you’re curious as to what lightscribe technology is, please read the wikipedia article on lightscribe or visit

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What is a wireless hard drive?


A wireless hard drive (or also commonly known as a Wifi hard drive) is much like any other type of external hard drive with the added bonus of being able to direct-connect to your wireless network. What this means is that you don’t need to plug the drive directly into a computer AND that you have a central storage device that can coordinate between all the other devices on your network – including other computers, laptops, servers, ipads, cell phones, Xbox, etc.

Stream your audio, video, pictures, movies, and more wirelessly to any device and take your data on the go with you as you please. These devices also make great backup drives where you can backup your entire network to a single location.

For more see our selection of wireless and external hard drives or take a closer look at this 1tb wifi hard drive from Seagate.

What is Moore’s Law


We’ve all heard of it – but what does Moore’s law really mean? Back in 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that every 18 months the number of transistors in a CPU would double, and the cost of production would fall in half. Moore’s law has generally held even up to today’s modern-day semiconductor market (such as computer processors).

It’s a very simple law and it’s amazing that it’s held true for many many decades.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Aerocool Shark fans Resurface at OutletPC



OutletPC is excited to announce the new line of Aerocool products that just came in! The brand is best known for their 15-blade Aerocool Shark computer case fan. The shark fin-like fan blades give them that edgy look that PC mod enthusiasts love to sport on their customer computer cases. Having the most number of fan blades in any computer case fan in the market translates to greater airflow which means high performance computer cooling fans!



As their name suggests, you would think Aerocool’s focus is solely on cooling products. But fear not, they have answered the call of the times and have expanded further into the computer parts industry by introducing the Aerocool Strike X and the Aerocool Xpredator series gaming computer cases.

Aerocool Strike X
Aerocool Strike X

Make your gaming computer the center of attention at LAN parties or on gaming PC build forums and Be Cool! Be Aerocool!


7 reasons to stay with Windows 7

Since the release of Windows 8 in October, there has been a heated discussion between professional and amateur users alike over whether or not it makes sense to upgrade from Windows 7 to its descendant. Many have raved about the look and feel of Windows 8, especially on new hardware like the Microsoft Surface tablet. Other trusted voices in the PC community were not as thrilled with the new release. Valve’s Gabe Newell, the darling of PC gamers the world over, called Windows 8 a “giant sadness,” as well as a “catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.” Without going too far into the business ramifications of Windows 8, there could be a large incentive for users to stick with Windows 7 instead of upgrading to Windows 8.


There are plenty of reasons why it might not be the right time to upgrade to Windows 8. That’s because Windows 8 is…


1) …Struggling With Compatibility Issues


Live tiles are neat, but only insofar as the programs you use are compatible with live tiles. As of now, not many support full live tile functionality. Sure, you can get plenty on the Windows Store, but many of those apps’ tiles don’t go far beyond being an attractive, square shortcut icon.


This could be a problem for people who wish to rely on these desktop tiles for most of their vital information, but aren’t fully immersed in the Windows ecosystem. If your email isn’t in Outlook, you might be out of luck. If you don’t use Windows Live Messenger for chat, you might be out of luck. It’s possible that some of the apps you need don’t even have app logos in the tiles, in favor of plain white text.


Of course, that is a problem with the app developers, and not necessarily Microsoft. It will go away with time, as more developers keep putting out apps that have increased Windows 8 compatibility.


However, this isn’t just a problem revolving around live tiles. A lot of apps either need to be completely re-designed or massively tweaked to work effectively within the Modern UI. A lot of third-party apps just feel fragmented – discordant, if you will – within the Windows 8 environment. If you want to use the Refresh function in Windows 8, which saves your apps, data, and preferences while reinstalling the OS, only your Modern apps will be preserved – traditional Windows apps will be lost in the process.


This is all indicative of the main, overarching issue with Windows 8 as an OS—it’s just not fully functional out of the box.


Oh, and if that wasn’t bad enough, a lot of those default Microsoft apps for Windows 8 have ads in them. That’s right – Microsoft put advertisements in apps that came pre-loaded in an operating system that you paid for.


2) …For Play, Not Work


All things considered, Windows 8 is actually pretty fun for the casual user to work with. It’s pretty, it’s interesting to play with on a touch screen, and it makes consuming media feel natural. However, power users and enterprise users won’t have such a good time working with the new Windows.


A lot of this has to do with the issues I brought up above, but with so few programs built to specifically work with Windows 8, it shouldn’t be surprising that very few enterprise-specific applications work natively with Windows 8. Frankly, I would be surprised if any of these apps end up working with Windows 8 the way enterprise users would like them to.


The Modern UI offers lots of cool inroads to increase productivity for enterprise users, especially in terms of customization for specific positions and departments, but for now, those users are at the mercy of app developers who may not be eager to re-develop their software so soon. Windows 8 offers a lot of interesting new tools to power users, but Microsoft might have put the cart before the horse when it comes to real PC pros.


3) …Not Designed to Be a Desktop OS


Almost every – and I mean every – aspect of Windows 8 is designed to work with touch screens. The new tiled desktop, navigating and scrolling, and the fancy new touch-to-unlock feature are all meant to be used with a touch screen. Great for tablets, great for convertible laptops, but not for a traditional laptop or desktop.


At best, a computer has to adapt to use the full set of features included in Windows 8. It has to add a touch screen, or a gesture-based touch pad, or some third-party peripheral. In other words, Windows 8 is an operating system that might need additional hardware to use the key functions that differentiate it from its predecessor.


Maybe that additional hardware will become more accessible in the near future, but as of now, there is only a small number of peripherals that are compatible with Windows 8’s gesture functions. This can easily get in your way as you work with Windows 8. For example, in Modern UI apps, there is no longer a big red X button to close the window with. Instead, you’ll have to use a shortcut to close a window.


Microsoft can pretend that Windows 8 is a leap into the future of operating systems, and that’s wonderful and interesting, but it isn’t an excuse to leave keyboard and mouse users in the dust. I don’t know what world Microsoft thinks it exists in, but in my world, it doesn’t ever make sense to upgrade to an operating system that your hardware can’t use to its full advantage.


4) …Not Even That Much Different from Windows 7


This was one of the biggest surprises for people who upgraded to Windows 8 early. Once you peel back the Modern UI interface, the new shortcuts and other fancy stuff, left naked and exposed in front of you is just an (arguably) prettier version of Windows 7 without much added functionality. It’s hardly faster than Windows 7 (on comparable hardware), and tweaks like the ribbon, file transfer, Charms and such do not seem like compelling reasons for ol’ John Q. Public to go and upgrade his OS.


What does this mean for the average user?


It takes a leap, not a hop, to get people to upgrade to a new operating system in the mass numbers that Microsoft was expecting. Windows 7 re-defined Windows because it was a massive leap from Vista and XP, thanks to massive speed increases, a beautiful re-design, and a more intuitive interface. The plain truth is that, unless you have a touch screen or other necessary peripheral to use the new functionality in Windows 8, you don’t need to upgrade. If limited to a keyboard and mouse, like most computer users, it’s highly likely you’re just going to end up using an essential version of Windows 7 within Windows 8 anyway.


5) …A Bore to Explore


The new Windows Explorer has permanently integrated the ribbon interface – introduced in Office 2007 and improved in Office 2010 – into every Explorer window. The ribbon includes shortcuts for copy, paste, move, rename, delete, etc. , all the stuff that used to be in the right-click menu…where it’s supposed to be.


Maybe this is just my preference or personal resistance to change, but all of those functions seem more natural and intuitive when housed in a context menu. In Office, the ribbon makes a lot of sense – it has shortcuts for things like formatting tools, spell check, and all the other functions that are nice to have easy access to in a word processor, where the position of your mouse pointer doesn’t bear on your interaction with the program.


In an Explorer window, on the other hand, you are almost exclusively interacting by pointing and clicking. It seems less than convenient to point at, click on, and select one or more files, then have to move up to the top of the window to do whatever it is you are trying to do with the file(s) you picked.


Just as well, the Explorer window seems much more cluttered now that the ribbon dominates the top inch or so of the window. File explorers are designed to display one thing – FILES. Any file explorer that doesn’t put files front-and-center is not doing its job effectively.
6) …A “Non-Starter”
Let’s be honest – Windows 8’s widget tiles are a really cool idea, and they look great. On a Windows Phone device or a tablet, tiles make perfect sense, because they’re easy to tap and they put useful information at your fingertips. However, making this tiled interface the default desktop in Windows 8 might have been a mistake on the part of Microsoft.
If you’re used to the traditional Windows desktop, you will not find Windows 8’s tiled desktop to be at all intuitive. This might be one of those issues where Microsoft wanted a little bit too much integration. Most of us are used to having our notification center separate from our app launcher, and this has some logic behind it.
It would be nice if this were more like an Android home screen, or even the Mac OS X Dashboard, with individual widgets that are interactive beyond a point and a click. Take email for example – on Android, you can set up an inbox widget that shows you a certain number of the messages in your inbox, as well as an unread count. You can scroll, delete and archive from the widget. However, on Windows 8, the email widget only shows you an unread count upfront.
This tiled interface often spills over into different issues that make Windows 8 very difficult to use at times. The first computer I ever used was a Windows 95 machine. It had a Start button. Then Windows 2000, with a Start button. XP, with a Start button. Vista and 7, Start buttons! Every Windows OS that I’ve ever used in my whole life has had a Start button. I don’t know about you, but Microsoft has yet to give me a good enough reason to justify why I have to learn a new desktop interface from scratch, when there was very little wrong with the existing, tried-and-true interface in Windows 7.


7) …Going to Be Replaced Sooner Than Later


My friends and I often refer to Windows 7 as “Windows Vista Service Pack 2.” I know, great joke, we’re so hilarious, but it’s a point based on the perception that Windows 7 was released because of massive public backlash to the quality of Windows Vista. The two operating systems were not much different visually or in terms of interface, but Windows 7 added lots of new functionality and features that set it apart from Vista in terms of quality.


That being said, we could see the same scenario play out with Windows 8. Vista was a visual leap from XP that didn’t add a lot of unique capability, so a large number of people just stuck with XP. Windows 8 looks very different, and dare I say better, than Windows 7, but it just doesn’t add the significant amount of functionality that will drive people to upgrade in droves.


If Windows 8 doesn’t result in an increase in the Windows user base (the release of Windows 8 correlates almost directly with a 20%+ drop in PC sales already, according to Valve head honcho Gabe Newell), it is not out of the question that Microsoft will want a fast turnaround on the yet un-named Windows 9, with a large amount of new capability that will hopefully set it apart from Windows 8.


Mark Twain once said, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Microsoft’s OS releases don’t just rhyme, they echo. This smells just like what happened with the release of Windows Vista. It’s the intellectual and technological equivalent of a singer/songwriter performing their own song at karaoke.


Each new Android or iOS release represents a large shift in the ability of the software. Apple enjoys listing the 100 or more new features, regardless of how big or small, added to each new release of Mac OS X. Microsoft hasn’t shown us that Windows 8 has enough moxie compared to Windows 7 to compel enough people to upgrade their systems.


Microsoft scored hits with XP and 7, and a dud with Vista. If Windows 8 turns out to be a dud as well, it might be too difficult to come back as strong as before in its wake. I don’t know if I want to be around to see the fallout.

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OutletPC’s most anticipated video games of 2013!


2012 was an amazing year for video games. With additions to popular franchises like Call of Duty, Halo, and Borderlands, groundbreaking new titles like Dishonored and Journey, and cool indie newcomers like Spelunky, it will take quite the effort for 2013 to put together a game roster that compares to the great games we saw in 2012.

However, there is a massive slate of games awaiting release in 2013 that we are super duper excited for. We are set to see tons of new additions to beloved franchises, including reboots of gaming classics, as well as a whole crop of new titles. Understandably, it’s hard to keep track of the hype surrounding all these games, so we decided to simplify things and give you the five games that we can’t wait to see in 2013.

Read more OutletPC’s most anticipated video games of 2013!

OutletPC’s Interview with Scott Ellison II of Saving Content!

At OutletPC, there are two things we hate more than anything else: bad video games, and paying too much for them. Sometimes, we just need someone we trust to let us know which games are awesome and which ones suck. That way we never have to waste our money on the sucky games.

That’s why we love Saving Content.


savingcontentlogo, which was launched in 2011, doesn’t just play through a game and tell you if it was fun or not. Their video game review process focuses just as much on value as it does quality, so you know how much game you’re getting for your hard-earned dollars. Offering news, reviews, guides, video, and as of recently, podcasts, Saving Content is one of our favorite video game review sites.


We had the opportunity to sit down with one of Saving Content’s co-founders and the site’s Editor-in-Chief, Scott Ellison II, to talk about the site, his favorite games, and more. Check out what he had to say below.




When did you found Saving Content, and why did you start the site?


The reason we started Saving Content was because, for a long time now, I’ve always been asked what I think of a game after I’ve played it. I’ve always been people’s recommendation engine for what to get and what to avoid. This was with strangers and friends alike, not ever sure why I was asked what I thought – but it was nice. So myself and Ed Acosta brainstormed in October 2010, and decided that we should start a website and write our thoughts out in official reviews we could refer people to. And by January 2011, I had the site launch with a design and we haven’t touched the ground since.

What is the goal or mission of Saving Content?

The goal of Saving Content is to provide people who read our reviews a unique spin on the review system. While we feature the standard star rating for games which scores the quality, we also include a price value. The price value is to indicate the game’s worth. For example, a game can be good but isn’t worth the money asked due to game length or replayability. On the flip-side, a game can be bad but worth its money. For example, it’s a $10 brand-new Xbox 360 game – you are getting what you’re paying for. More often than not though, the game’s quality and price end up equal in scale. It just helps for us, and for those who read us to see a dollar amount attached to their future purchase. It allows them to be more aware of what they are throwing their money at.

Explain the process you use when reviewing games. What criteria do you evaluate? How do those criteria differ across different game genres?


When I review a game, it’s a much different process than when I am playing a game to simply play it. During reviews, I will marathon the game the best to my ability and time permitted to me. I don’t ever swap between games, and I’ll focus solely on that experience and take notes along the way. Some notes don’t ever make it into the review, but help me remember key points. We don’t necessarily break down a game by story, gameplay, graphics, sound, etc. specifically, but they are evaluated . We just speak to their qualities, whether good or bad.


The criteria differs across game genres due to expectations and standards set. If a game doesn’t have good graphics, there may be a reason for it. It could be a design decision that it was to be the art style, and doesn’t compare to other games in the genre. Those things are taken into consideration to then say whether the art style is good or bad rather than just saying the graphics are bad or ugly.

How long does the review process usually take? Do you typically finish the game before publishing a review?


The review process is dictated by the time it takes to complete the game, whatever that may entail. For example, a first person shooter like Call of Duty: Black Ops II only took me about 6 hours to complete the campaign. Then, it has two additional modes: Zombies and Multiplayer. I played the Zombies mode for about 3 hours, and then the Multiplayer for 6 hours. I ended up having 15 hours of playtime with the game before I felt comfortable giving a verdict on its quality and value.


I think it’s crucial that, in a game that includes a singleplayer campaign, to have it completed before reaching a decision. There might be key plot points or events that you may completely miss that may influence your
decision. If it’s a multiplayer-only game, then it’s understandable that there isn’t anything to complete, but a period of time must be invested to properly cover it.


Do you only review games, or do you review other products as well? If so, what kind of other products would you like to review?

We review games mostly, but have a few times dipped into products. Our latest review was of a new, chrome-plated Xbox 360 controller. Beyond that, we would want to test everything that relates to PC and console gaming. We’d like to cover monitors or TVs, sound systems, computer peripherals like gaming mice, keyboards, etc. We have no objections to any hardware for review.

What was your favorite game of 2012? Your least favorite?


We’re still deliberating our site’s top game of 2012. My personal favorite is probably Max Payne 3. It had fantastic storytelling, explosive combat, and it gets downright emotional at the end of it and really sinks into you. It leaves you a little emotionally damaged by the end of things. Rockstar rarely disappoints.

What’s your favorite game of all time? Favorite console?


That’s a tough question, I’ve always been torn between Duke Nukem 3D and Myst, both for different reasons. Duke Nukem 3D was raunchy, but had highly replayable levels to get better scores and find it’s hidden secrets. Myst, though, was mentally taxing, gorgeous, and a world I got lost in while exploring.


My favorite console was the Sega Genesis. I had that system the longest and there were just so many solid games for it. I never regretted not owning a Super Nintendo. The old: “Sega does what Nintendon’t”.

What is your favorite console of the current generation? 


I have both a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 has been the most influential in the way that I play games with friends and the inclusion of the Achievements system.

Do you prefer console gaming or PC gaming?


I have, and continue to prefer PC gaming.

Where do you see Saving Content a year from now? Do you wish to compete against sites like IGN or Gamespot?


Much bigger, as current trends are showing. We were allowed one pass to E3 2012 earlier this year, so I hope that during next year we expand even further as we’ve been on a steady incline. I think that’s a good sign as a website, is how many E3 passes you get each year. I would love to compete with IGN or GameSpot, but I honestly don’t ever see that being a reality. And I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. If it comes to pass, I’ll be more than pleased and extremely happy at Saving Content’s progress.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing about games, and might not know how or where to begin?


It’s funny. I knew nothing about how making a video game website would work, I just kind of winged it and got lucky. We had our goal of how the site’s review system would work, and everything else got built out around it.


I think first you should have a passion, or at least an interest in writing. If not, it’ll show. Secondly, you should be doing it for the writing – not the free games. There’s nothing a publisher, developer, or PR person hates reading about, is someone just wanting “free games.” You’ll be blacklisted and will have a hard time making a name for yourself. Lastly, self-promote. You have to get the name out there for others to see it, and you have to give them a reason to read it.

If a genie gave you the ability to wish for one game to come out tomorrow that you’ve been waiting for or wanting for a while, what game would you wish for?


Ooh, what a tough question, but an easy answer: SimCity. That game encapsulates a lot of what I enjoyed in my younger years on PC, and the new one will likely recapture that magic for me.




Thanks to Scott for talking to us and telling us about reviewing games! Remember, Saving Content doesn’t just review games, they have fun guides too, like this one that teaches you how to play the entire Star Wars X-Wing Series on a Windows 7 PC and make them all playable with an Xbox 360 controller! Also follow Scott on Twitter! Thanks for reading!

OutletPC’s interview with Bill Owen of MNPCTech!


OutletPC had the opportunity to talk to Bill Owen, Owner of Bill and MNPCTech customize and mod computer cases for businesses and individuals, built with Bill’s expertise as well as his own personal twist and style. Bill has built cases modeled after the popular Joss Whedon show Firefly, Doctor Who, Medal of Honor, Star Trek, Battlefield 3, and Wolfenstein. Bill’s a really interesting guy and we’re really, really glad we got the chance to sit down with him. He even wore an OutletPC shirt in one of his latest videos!

Check out what Bill had to say after the break.

Read more OutletPC’s interview with Bill Owen of MNPCTech!

USB vs. Thunderbolt: In Defense of USB


Most people know that there’s a fancy little plug referred to as “USB” that is able to do magical things like transfer data and power from a computer to their other USB compatible devices. There is, however, another fancy plug, called “Thunderbolt.” While Thunderbolt, with its 10GB/s data transfer and 10w power transfer via PCI-E and DisplayPort protocols, is an impressive and very exciting prospect for techies everywhere, Intel has said that they are not intending for Thunderbolt to replace USB, but for the two technologies to work alongside each other to create a more robust tech-world. Well, that’s the gist of what they said, at least. The newest version of USB, USB 3.0, is by no means superior to Thunderbolt, but it is very impressive in its own right. USB 2.0, the previous generation of USB, supported one-way data transfer of up 480Mbps, but USB 3.0 supports speeds of up to 4.8Gbps, a considerable leap forward. USB 3.0 also allows for duplex data transfer in which data is able to transfer upstream and downstream (to and from a connected device) simultaneously. The same is true for Thunderbolt. It is apparent that USB is not technologically superior to Thunderbolt, but it is not getting tossed aside anytime soon, and there are a few reasons why.


Universal Serial Bus is the name hidden behind the acronym of our most popular transfer protocol cable, and this is one piece of tech that truly lives up to its name. For just about any device that has been contrived for use with computers, there has been a USB incarnation. From the most basic of input devices, such as mice, keyboards, joysticks and game pads, to more complex devices such as external hard drives, Ethernet adapters, wireless antennas, and many more devices that I don’t have room, or, frankly, the knowledge of them, to list. USB is a ubiquitous technology, pervading our technological society. One example is that most smart phone and tablet manufacturers have decided to use USB instead of a proprietary connector, making it easy for consumers to link their devices with cables they likely have already. Though nearly every device comes with a cable (especially proprietary), the ability to use whatever cable you happen to have next to you is much more convenient than needing to have one particular cable with you at all times.

But this is not about USB versus proprietary cables; this is about USB versus Thunderbolt. Currently, there is little support for Thunderbolt devices for anyone but Apple customers, making it uninviting and even unusable for the larger portion of PC owners. Microsoft and other non-Mac users will need to add a Thunderbolt controller card, build a computer with a Thunderbolt enabled motherboard, or look very hard to find a pre-fab system (most likely in a laptop) that has the Thunderbolt I/O already included. USB, on the other hand, is found in pretty much every computer available on the market. It’ll differ between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, but it will be there. USB 3.0 has increased in popularity over the last year, and is supported by a large percentage of both peripheral and core hardware manufacturers through the use of Micro USB and Mini USB connectors. One of the best attributes of USB 3.0 is its backward compatibility to USB 2.0,  which essentially makes USB 2.0 ports obsolete.  USB 2.0 devices can be plugged into a USB 3.0 port and work just fine, and vice-versa with USB 3.0 devices. This means that USB 3.0 has an unfathomably large amount of compatible devices, while Thunderbolt still has a comparable handful.

Price Point

USB and Thunderbolt have two very distinct price points. A 2-meter USB 3.0 Cable costs roughly $4.49 (USD) while a 2-meter Thunderbolt cable will cost roughly $49.00 (USD). One question we as developers and consumers should ask is, “Is the cost worth it?” This question has led to the downfall of many technologies, even though they were undoubtedly more capable than whatever may have won out in the end. It is also the reason some technologies stick around. VGA is still readily available today, even with vastly superior technologies like DisplayPort and HDMI available. As stated previously, Intel has said the Thunderbolt is not a USB replacement. This makes sense in many respects because the two different technologies are at opposite ends of the consumer spectrum.

USB 3.0, in particular, is lower-end computer cable tech compared to Thunderbolt, and is far more affordable to the average consumer, making it a reasonable I/O for most peripheral and mobile device developers to utilize in the majority of their products. Thunderbolt, a higher-end, higher-cost tech, is more for the professional, or even enthusiast, market, where fast data transfers and high quality multimedia connections can mean higher productivity.

The devices created for the two I/Os also have considerably different price points. A quick Google search retrieved over 8,000 results for “USB 3.0 Hard Drive” (having a restriction of 1-2TB) with the first ten results averaging around $120 (USD). “Thunderbolt Hard Drive” (same restriction of 1-2TB) returned just over 200 results with the top ten averaging around $287 (USD). That is quite a price hike, and while the difference in speeds that the cables are capable of is substantial, you’ll have to take in consideration the speed that the device you are purchasing is capable of as well to truly get your money’s worth. It may substantially bottleneck your transfer speeds. For instance, there is an external drive with both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt I/O. The Thunderbolt connection is definitely faster, right? Wrong. They have the same top speed of 380Gbps. That is somewhat of a bottleneck for USB 3.0, let alone Thunderbolt.

Average Users

This has been brought up a bit already, but it is a valid point that could use some expounding upon. Thunderbolt opens up new possibilities and has several more features that have been left out of this post, mostly due to the fact that an average user will never use them. Most users don’t connect their laptop to monitor at home, and most users don’t have an external multi-drive RAID device set up to save massive amounts of data, two very prominent features given in support for Thunderbolt. There are other impressive possibilities for Thunderbolt that are not generally what consumers are looking for. One suggestion has been external discrete GPUs, given that PCI-E protocol is a part of Thunderbolt. That is an exciting prospect for certain, and could open up amazing potential for high end mobile gaming and mobile workstations, but, is one that is not a major interest for the better portion of either PC or Mac users. While it will likely grow more common, and its potential will continue to rise, every consumer doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that Thunderbolt provides beyond that which USB already does so well.

In The End…

With Super Speed USB 3.0, we have an I/O that is fast, cheap, and solidly in place in the market. It is being evolved to become better as time and technology progress. USB 3.0 has given the USB protocol a great step ahead, even if it does fall behind Thunderbolt in many respects. But for the average consumer, USB 3.0 is more than capable enough for the majority of our I/O needs. We can charge phones, use keyboards, connect cameras (rocket launchers (woohoo!)) and just about any other electronic device, all via USB, and at a fast rate. Because of the inexpensive cost of USB, all this is very unlikely to change anytime soon. The truth is that it doesn’t need to change.


Android Game Review: Furdiburb – Beta

Furdiburb's home

Game: Furdiburb – Beta

Platform: Android (Available via Google Play)


Price: Free

There are a ton of games out there for our mobile devices. One of my favorite things about the vast mobile game library is finding the really strange and quirky, yet delightful, games that make you want to keep playing, if not just to find out what crazy thing will come up next. I’ve discovered such a game called Furdiburb – Beta. I downloaded it and have been playing it for a few weeks now. It’s called a beta in the description and title, so I’m hopeful for its future.

Furdiburb and the nightingale
Delightful vector-based artwork

Furdiburb – Beta is a quaint virtual pet game, kind of like a Tamagatchi except that it has vector graphics, runs on Android, and has several mini games that are actually engaging. The game starts out by discovering an alien life form that hatches from an egg, and then proceeds to have you care for this little guy until he grows up and is strong enough to return to his home planet, or until you forget about him and he gets sick and dies. Well, I haven’t actually killed mine yet, but I imagine that it’s possible. I haven’t found out cause I just don’t want my little Furdi-friend to die.

Furdi’s well being basically hinges on you bathing and feeding him. Bathing the little guy is great because it ends with you blow-drying him in a tornado. To feed him, you’ll need to grow and feed Furdi fruits, vegetables, and sushi. Apparently sushi grows on the vine wherever the developers are from.

There are many areas to explore, and to access them all you need to achieve certain goals by playing through the mini games. One example is a mini game that involves sliding Furdi left and right via the motion sensor to collect fireflies while dodging other bugs in order to charge a lightbulb that is needed to light up a dark cave that then opens up more activities.

Furdiburb – Beta is available as a free download on Google Play, and is full of all kinds of crazy quirkiness, like what appears to be a Jawa guarding a giant landbridge meandering into the background and the fact that Furdi’s waste product is gold. If those aren’t great selling points, I don’t know what is. Get it for yourself or for your kids.


Furdiburb and the Jawa


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