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Sean Kalinich

Audio on gaming computers is one of the things that gets overlooked when people are building their systems. While they are busy making sure they have a powerful CPU, GPU and enough RAM they seem to forget that audio is an important part of the gaming experience. With good audio the gaming experience becomes more immersive. Of course even if you do get a good audio card you still need something that can reproduce the audio properly or that is just a waste of money. Headphones, Speakers, etc. all need to be able to do their job or you lose a part of the overall gaming experience. With that in mind we are taking a look at set of gaming headphones from Cooler Master’s CMStorm line, the Ceres 300. Let’s see if this set of headphones can bring out the best in your gaming audio.

Cisco has made the decision to dive even deeper into the cloud with a $1 Billion investment in cloud services. The money will be spent over the course of the next two years and is earmarked to build infrastructure services similar to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. Over the past few years Cisco has been investing more heavily into cloud services and even bought a cloud networking company (Meraki) with the intent of integrating some of their cloud management technologies into future Cisco products. In the long run this is a financially smart move as cloud services can represent a sustainable revenue stream and also allow Cisco (or another business) to reach new markets and customers they might not have access to. It also gives existing customers an option to utilize a “trusted” partner for something they might be considering, but not willing to move on due to not having a vendor they like.

In the browser wars there is always going to be the argument over which browser is “better”. You will hear people talk about how fast, secure, cool, feature rich their favorite browser is, but in the end all of them really fall short of where they should be. Oddly enough it is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that gets the brunt of the jokes and jabs (in many cases rightly so). However at this year’s Pwn2Own it was Mozilla’s FireFox that got tossed around like a rag doll.

After a long beta testing that went on for months, Blizzard has announced that the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has come to life in its final form. Free-to-play card game on the theme of the popular Warcraft franchise already in beta aroused great public interest and attracted players with simplicity and extremely addictive gameplay.

The big news today is that Google is preparing to encrypt their search data. They are planning to automatically encrypt not only the connections, but the information sent back to the user. On the surface this would seem to be a big step towards preventing people like the NSA from finding out what we do on the internet and it would be in line with consumer demands for more protection from spying eyes. The question is, will this move actually do anything or is it all just a feel good PR event.

We talk a lot about privacy, net neutrality, digital right and other topics that have become more and more important over the last few years. As the internet becomes the defacto way we communicate these items HAVE to be addressed or we end up in a situation where the rights of people using these services simply do not exist. For years the average consumer’s information has been treated like a commodity that can be traded, sold or used in any manner the holding company sees fit. This type of behavior, while currently legal, is simply unacceptable as are the myriad of other abuses of our digital communications. These many abuses all beg the question, why do we not have the same rights in the digital world that we have in the real world?

When Microsoft announced Windows 8 there were many consumers and people in the industry that raise their eyebrows. Here was an OS designed to integrate with Microsoft cloud services and gaming products. It seemed like a bad move for Microsoft as it put them in competition with many companies that developed games and software for the PC. Still some held out that even though Windows 8 would be more integrated into the Microsoft Eco system than ever it would not mean they could not use whatever software or application they wanted. Microsoft even seemed to confirm this in a few of their building Windows 8 blog posts.

On Monday at the South by Southwest show infamous NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden talk via a live video conference. By all accounts the hall where the conference was held was packed as people were very interested to hear what Snowden had to say. For those of you that might not know, or need reminding Edward Snowden was a contractor to the NSA and is responsible for leaking information about multiple, highly-classified and potentially illegal (unconstitutional) surveillance programs being run on US Citizens and also on foreign diplomats.

PC enclosure reviews are not exactly the most exciting things on the internet. In far too many cases (no pun intended… ok well maybe) we find that the differences between one company and another is wholly cosmetic and are not much more than fancy side panels and extra plastic to give the case a different shape. This is not to say that there is no innovation in the market, just that really innovative features and designs are not all that common. One company that has recently stood out is In Win. Over the last few months In Win has released some very novel and innovative cases. These have not been your standard “hey I have more HDD bays and fans” type of innovations, but actually new and innovative designs and even materials (like a glass case). Today we are taking a look at one of them, the In Win 901. This is a very interesting SFF case that just might be one of the coolest enclosure designs we have seen in a very long time.

It seems that Windows 8.x is not selling as well as Microsoft would like it to. After boasting about how game changing the new OS would be for end users, the only game that seems to be changing is Microsoft’s revenue stream. Just before the new OS came out we talked about the impact of Windows 8 on OEMs especially with Microsoft entering into direct competition. Most OEMs were not happy about the licensing costs they would have to pay for Windows 8/RT and felt that Microsoft’s entry would make things even more unfair.

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