PC shipments sluggish in Q2 despite ultrabook push

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Market research firms Gartner and IDC released separate reports yesterday suggesting PC shipments slowed down during the second quarter of the year, as shifting technology trends and a shaky economy dampened demand. The firms estimate worldwide PC shipments fell 0.1% from the same period last year, while the decline in the U.S. was decidedly steeper ranging from 6% to 11%.

Hewlett Packard and Dell suffered the biggest drops during the three months spanning from April through June. Gartner’s figures show the former sold 13 million PCs during this time frame, down by 1.8 million units or 12.1% compared to Q2 2011, while Dell was down 11.5% shipping 9.3 million units versus last year’s 10.6 million. IDC’s estimates are rather similar with a 12.3% drop for HP and 11.9% for Dell.

Gartner: Preliminary worldwide PC vendor unit shipment estimates fo 2Q12

Company 2Q12 shipped 2Q12 market share 2Q11 shipped 2Q11 market share Growth HP 13,036,548 14.1% 14,838,734 16.9% -12.1% Lenovo 12,820,301 14.7% 11,160,303 12.7% 14.9% Acer 9,646,383 11.0% 9,315,341 10.6% 3.6% Dell 9,349,212 10.7% 10,570,007 12.1% -11.5% Asus 6,120,957 7.0% 4,416,125 5.0% 38.6% Others 36,495,872 41.7% 37,256,607 42.6% -2.0% Total 87,469,273 100% 87,557,116 100% -0.1%

IDC: top 5 vendors, worldwide PC shipments, second quarter 2012 (preliminary)

Company 2Q12 shipped 2Q12 market share 2Q11 shipped 2Q11 market share Growth HP 13,422,000 15.5% 15,298,000 17.6% -12.3% Lenovo 12,885,000 14.9% 10,290,000 11.9% 25.2% Acer 9,637,000 11.1% 10,934,000 12.6% -11.9% Dell 9,020,000 10.4% 8,980,000 10.3% 0.5% Asus 6,121,000 7.1% 4,379,000 5.0% 39.8% Others 35,645,000 41.1% 36,944,000 42.5% -.35% Total 86,731,000 100% 86,826,000 100% -0.1%

both Lenovo and Asus showed extremely healthy growth during the quarter. The Chinese computer maker is rapidly approaching HP's number-one spot with around 12.8 million units shipped, a 15-25% growth over the year ago quarter depending on who you ask. Asus on the other hand held on to the fifth spot with 6.1 million units shipped, representing a year-on-year growth of nearly 40%.

when it comes to ultrabooks, the super thin and light laptops that Intel has spent a good chunk of change promoting, the two firms agree that there hasn’t been a significant rise in sales, partly due to pricing and people holding off their purchases until the next version of Windows launches later this year.

also of note, Apple maintained its number three spot for PC shipments in the U.S. with ~12% of the market. Gartner reported a 4.3% increase in shipments to 1.9 million units while IDC estimates it actually dipped 1.1%. Although their data naturally doesn’t include iPad shipments, they did note that the tablet along with popular smartphones in the market are partly responsible for the slowdown in PC sales.

Valve Boss Wants Steam On Linux Because ‘Windows 8 Is A Catastrophe’

July 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Published on Jul 26, 2012

Valve is dead set on bringing Steam’s 2,500 games to Linux as “a hedging strategy” because “Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space” according to boss Gabe Newell.

Speaking at an industry dinner in Seattle last night, Newell spoke about a range of subjects but was most damning about Windows 8 according to the summart on AllThingsD.”The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” Newell said of Steam’s transition to the platform.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”Windows 8 finally launches on 26 October.Newell also revealed that Valve has a $70,000 wearable computing system, expects touch inputs to last for just 10 years, and revealed that a a kid in Kansas is making $150,000 a year making virtual hats.

GTD for SEOs – Simple Tools to Get More Done

July 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

From: seomoz.org julio 9

Posted by CraigBradford

I want to keep this post as short and actionable as possible; do you have any tools that do just one thing really well? you know the kind I mean, those plugins and projects that you may only use once a year but when you do use them, you really appreciate them.

I&;ve gathered a bunch of these (some I use everyday) and I want to share them with the community. Could I ask a though? if you have similar tricks, , plugins or bookmarklets, could you leave a comment and share it with everyone? This could then turn this average list into an epic list that’s been built by the SEOmoz community and we can all come back to and reference in the future. Do we have a deal? Ok great, first things first though, a bit of a disclaimer; a lot of the tips below you may have heard of before, but if everyone who reads this post gets just one or two actionable tips I think it’s been worthwhile.

let me know your favourites and don’t forget to share your tools in the comments.

Knowing how to use things like import XML can be a massive but there’s a learning curve to get really good at it. This plugin for Chrome is a great tool to quickly scrape any elements you want and automatically put them into a Google doc. I use this a lot for scraping lists of websites or on a page. It’s super simple to use, just right click on what you want to scrape and off you go. get it here

Use Text to Columns for extracting  

Ever have a list of backlink that you just want to extract the root domain from? the Excel text to columns feature makes this easy.

Select the column that has the URLs, go to “Data” in the menu and click on the text to columns button as shown below.

Instead of the option select the and add a “/”. Click finish and you’ll have a list of the root domains. I highly recommend going through the Distilled Excel for SEO guide if you haven’t already which shows you how to do this and more.

if you have a kindle you’ll love this plugin that lets you send any webpage you are reading to your Kindle. I use this to help keep up to date on all the latest SEO news. Before leaving the office I’ll visit a few of my favourite SEO blogs and send a bunch of posts to my Kindle for reading on the tube.

want test rich snippet markup? This bookmarklet form AJ Kohn lets you quickly use the Google rich snippets testing tool.

I can’t tell how many times this tool has saved me. if you use gmail go into the labs section and enable the undo send feature. See here for more details

the following formula will allow you to search for a letter word or number within a string:

=if(isnumber(find("filtertext",A1)),"Yes","No")

Combined with filters, this can be really useful for categorising keyword groups, type of links or site structures. Just replace the “filtertext” with whatever you want to look for.

I love this tool; Install this plugin and if you are on a page that has a canonical tag on it, a little blue icon will show up in the address bar as shown below: 

Jing is the tool I used to take and annotate all of the screenshots for this blog post. It’s a free desk tool that allows you to instantly take a screenshot or short video and share it with colleagues. When you click copy, it uploads then automatically copies the sharable url to your clipboard meaning you just need to paste the link to wherever or whoever you want to share it with. Get it now.

I use this all the time when checking guest post or press coverage. rather than going to each website one by one, I copy all the URLs, dump them into this tool and press go. each site will then be opened in a new tab.

Add the following code as a bookmarklet to quickly check the Google cache of the page you are on:

javascript:location.href='http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:'+location.href

the maximum number of keywords (or anything else) you can view or export in Google Analytics is 500 but you can change this by editing the URL in the address bar. When you select 500, the URL will end in: 

It’s no surprise that the 500 is the number of keywords, just change that to whatever number you want and hit export.

the more I use this tool the more I love it. This does exactly as you would think, it adds a send and archive button next to the regular send button making clearing out your inbox that little bit faster. This is another labs feature which you can read about here.

This is the fastest way I know to get some quick and dirty long-tail keyword research. if you’ve never used it before, Ubersuggest basically makes use of the Google suggest feature. you input a word and it will enter a letter in front of it to give you a list of hundreds of new combinations, you can then export these, dump them into the Google keyword tool to get search volume. there are normally one or two gems in there.

That's it for now, thanks for reading and I look forward to reading the comments, give me a shout on twitter if you have any questions: @CraigBradford

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AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Video Card Review

July 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

When it was released last December, the Radeon HD 7970 was the fastest single-GPU video card available on the market. however, the GeForce GTX 680, released in April, proved to be faster. To counter the faster GPU from NVIDIA, AMD first dropped the price of the Radeon HD 7970, and now is releasing a second version of the Radeon HD 7970, dubbed “GHz Edition,” with higher clock rates. was the increase of the clock rates enough to take the crown away from the GeForce GTX 680? Let’s check it out.

As you can see in the table below, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition’s core clock rate was increased 75 MHz, from 925 MHz to 1 GHz, an 8.1% increase. The memory clock rate was increased 500 MHz, from 5.5 GHz to 6 GHz, a 9% increase. All other specifications remained the same, so the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is simply an overclocked Radeon HD 7970. For a more complete analysis of features present on the Radeon 7970 GHz Edition, please read our review for the original Radeon HD 7970.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. The prices listed below do not include rebates. The prices for the original Radeon HD 7970 were researched at Newegg.com, and the prices for the GeForce GTX 680 were researched at Tigerdirect.com on the day we published this review. The price for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is the price advertised by AMD. due to availability issues, the price for the GeForce GTX 680 is above NVIDIA’s suggested price of USD 500. It is interesting to see that the suggested price for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is USD 50 lower than the suggested price for the original Radeon HD 7970 when it was launched.

Video Card

Core Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

DirectX

Price

Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Now let’s take a complete look at the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.

Aedas’ Abu Dhabi towers win Innovation Award

June 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

The 25-storey project is on course for completion this summer.

RELATED ARTICLES: Qatar ‘gherkin’ named Middle East’s best tower | In Pictures: best tall buildings of 2012 | Foster + Partners wins CTBUH award for Dubai tower

Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas, picked up the first Innovation Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The newly introduced prize is part of the council’s annual tall building awards, which lauds the top towers across the globe.

Aedas’ twin-tower project for Abu Dhabi Investment Council was praised for its computer-controlled ‘mashrabiya’ facade which responds to the sun.

Speaking to CW, Peter Oborn, Aedas deputy chairman and project director, said: “We’re delighted that the Al Bahar Towers has been recognised in this way, particularly as the building reflects the Emirates commitment to innovation and sustainability.

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The 25-storey project is on course for completion this summer, with the mashrabiya currently being commissioned, according to Oborn.

“Once this work has been completed the building will literally come to life as the facade opens and closes throughout the course of the day in response to the movement of the sun,” added Oborn.

This year’s CTBUH Awards also crowned Jean Nouvel’s Burj Qatar as the best tower in the Middle East and Africa.to view the image gallery of winning towers, click here.

Page: 1

Akron Ohio News – South Side Neighborhood Watch

June 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

5/31/2012 – South Side Leader      

By Staff Writer

COVENTRY: A Maryland Avenue man reported to Summit County sheriff’s deputies may 16 an acquaintance from Akron stole $280 from him. He said the man also forged his name on a personal check and cashed it for more than $50.

Employees of a Manchester Road doughnut store reported may 18 someone stole a $5,000 sign belonging to a roofing business in the same plaza.

A man reported he was assaulted by two females following a road rage incident on Manchester Road may 19, which ended when the motorists stopped their vehicles in the parking lot of a grocery store. the females were gone when deputies arrived.

On may 20, deputies responded to a report of a fight at Logan Field, where a man reported a Cuyahoga Falls man assaulted him during a verbal altercation. Three witnesses confirmed the victim’s story, and the man was charged with assault and released with a court summons.

The manager of a Manchester Road gas station reported may 20 a woman used a credit card to purchase merchandise, a $50 gift card and three gift cards worth $105.95 each. After the woman left, the manager determined the credit card she used was fraudulent. Deputies are investigating.

Deputies investigated a may 22 report of endangering children at a Lakota Avenue residence, where an intoxicated male and female were caring for two children. Deputies determined the children had not been harmed, and they released them to a relative.

Employees of an automotive business on Manchester Road reported may 22 that someone stole scrap metal from the rear of the business.

On may 23, a South Arlington Road man reported a friend stole two laptop computers. Akron police received consent to search the person’s residence and vehicle, and the items were not located. the victim was referred to the prosecutor’s office.

Deputies are seeking the person who threw a can of soda from a red Pontiac on Cormany Road may 23, striking a woman’s daughter in the stomach. the victim was transported via EMS to Akron City Hospital for treatment.

— Compiled by Maggie DeMellier

GREEN: Security agents at an Arlington Ridge Road discount store reported may 17 a man went into a restroom, used a box cutter to remove packaging from a cell phone, concealed the phone in his clothing and left the store without paying. Summit County sheriff’s deputies found the phone packaging in the trash and stopped the Uniontown man outside the store. He was charged with theft and released with a court summons. the merchandise was returned to the store.

A nine Iron Drive man reported may 19 he was a victim of a scam and sent a $1,500 money order to someone in another country.

Employees of the Akron-Canton Airport called deputies to the location may 19 when they found a female inside a secured area. She told deputies she scaled a fence to enter the area to escape her husband, who was abusing her. Deputies were unable to verify the statement. the female, who was carrying a volleyball and three golf balls, was charged with criminal trespassing and transported to a facility for a mental health evaluation.

A Hedgewood Drive man reported may 20 a riding lawnmower was stolen from his yard.

Deputies patrolling Graybill Road may 20 stopped a driver for a traffic violation and arrested a passenger for possession of drug paraphernalia and having an open container of beer in a vehicle after the North Canton man admitted possession of the items during a consent search of the vehicle.

A Robin’s Trace resident reported may 21 someone stole a gold necklace and bracelet, totaling $3,400, from his residence.

On may 21, an Akron woman reported someone stole prescription medication from her room at a Chenoweth Drive hotel.

Deputies investigated the theft of numerous tools from the garage of a South Main Street apartment complex may 23, when a man reported someone entered the garage and stole a tool bag, router kit, levels, three routers and other items.

A Leighton Drive man reported may 24 someone stole a $380 semiautomatic pistol from his home. He said several people were working in the yard and were in and out of the house during the time the item was stolen.

— Compiled by Maggie DeMellier

LAKEMORE: An East Waterloo Road man reported may 22 that someone used his identity to file for an IRS tax refund.

On may 24, an East Turkeyfoot Lake Road woman reported two teens in a 2000 gold Chrysler Sebring threatened her and her passenger, and when she dropped her friend off at a Pressler Road location, they kicked her car, cut her convertible top and blocked her car in. She was eventually able to flee.

— Compiled by Maria Lindsay

NEW FRANKLIN: Police responded to activated alarms may 19 on Lahm Drive, may 20 on West Nimisila Road and may 24 on Channel Drive, and determined all were accidental.

A wallet found on Manchester Road may 21 by a Hermann Drive resident was eventually returned to the owner.

On may 25, a South Main Street man reported that while riding his bicycle on Manchester Road, an unknown motorist threw a cell phone at him. Police recovered the phone.

— Compiled by Joyce Rainey Long

SPRINGFIELD: A Buena Vista Drive man reported may 17 that the ignition in his car was damaged during an attempted theft.

A Brunk Road woman reported her 1996 VW Cabrio was stolen from her driveway may 19. She told police the keys were left in the car, but not in the ignition. the car was found the next day in a Uniontown park.

A Coach Lane man who fled from police during questioning was Tasered after a brief foot chase may 19. Police allegedly found drugs and drug paraphernalia on his person, and he was charged with possession of drugs and drug abuse instruments, as well as obstruction.

On may 20, a Celia Avenue resident reported a video was tossed into her yard and someone wrote, “have a nice yard” on her concrete driveway using a food item.

A Canton Road woman reported $150 in $1 bills was stolen from her purse may 20.

A Faylor Drive man reported may 21 that someone accessed his account to make $319 in unauthorized purchases.

Also that day, a Kubler Trail church reported someone made $368 in unauthorized purchases using the church credit card.

A 1999 tan Jeep Wrangler was reported stolen from a Hayne Road location may 21. Police entered the vehicle into a database of stolen vehicles.

Police are searching for a man who pumped $130 in gas at a Canton Road GetGo station using a Giant Eagle card may 21 and fled without paying.

On may 22, a Laverne Lane man was charged with assault after pushing a Hyland Drive man during an argument at a Canton Road gas station.

An East Waterloo Road woman reported the frame on a side door was damaged during an attempted break-in may 22.

Someone broke out a basement window on a vacant Killian Road home may 22 and entered the residence, but nothing was reported missing.

After being called to a South Arlington Road restaurant may 23, one man and two women, all from Tarson Terrace, were charged with disorderly conduct, and one of the women also was charged with possession of marijuana.

A Ronald Road man called police to report his 12-year-old son’s teacher allegedly grabbed the boy’s arm, causing some bruising, may 23 and his son said it was because he would not stop talking in class.

During a traffic stop may 23, a Crestline Drive man was charged with possession of drugs and carrying a concealed weapon (a knife), a Meadow Road man was charged with possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia and drug abuse instruments and possession of criminal tools, and a Wyley Road man was charged with possession of drugs.

A $250 truck battery top post was stolen from a Krumroy Road location may 24.

On may 25, a Connecticut Court man reported he found the doors on his and his son’s car open as he was leaving for work and discovered a GPS unit, radar detector, CDs, a tackle box and lines, fishing poles, an extension cord, clothing and personal items had been taken.

A GPS unit also was stolen from another car on Connecticut Court that day.

— Compiled by Maria Lindsay

Editor’s note: The reports provided here are a sampling of those filed with area police departments and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. For questions related to the reports we’ve included or others we have not, call the South Side News Leader at 330-665-9595 or toll-free at 888-945-9595. To provide information on an alleged criminal act noted in this week’s report, call the appropriate police department.

     

Top 10 Predictions for the Looming Facebook IPO

May 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bangs a celebratory gong at company headquarters

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The Facebook IPO. few would argue against the social media giant’s initial public offering being one of the most anticipated and watched debuts of recent history. I’d wager a tidy sum that you’re one of the 845 million reported daily users of Facebook, unless you shun technology or are a card-carrying member of protest groups that claim Facebook is destroying civilization (according to Hitwise, Facebook accounts for a ridiculous 20 percent of all Web pageviews). 

Even if so, if you read the news, it’s nearly impossible to escape the hype surrounding Facebook’s stock market opening. Valuation estimates are high, and speculation is swirling in the final days before we see if the market is ready to hit the “like” button. Here’s a look at some of the potential outcomes of Facebook going public:

1) Facebook will exceed its expected valuation in the first few days of trading. Zuckerberg et al filed IPO docs in February indicating it was seeking to raise $5 billion. with shares reportedly priced between $28 and $35, Facebook’s valuation is now expected to be between $60 billion and $75 billion. but some analysts are predicting the company’s valuation to rise as high as $140 billion. 

2) The company’s valuation and share prices will tumble after the first week. We saw it in Groupon’s stumble, as well as with Zynga, Pandora and Demand Media. Tech stocks may rise fast but just as quickly can drop off a cliff. in a way, they are as tumultuous as the whole of the technology sphere.

3) Facebook will begin—finally—to maximize mobile ads.  A recent amendment to the company’s S-1 showed that it has experienced a drop in overall ad revenue. Meanwhile, the value of each Google user is $30, compared to Facebook’s paltry $4.39 per person. why? The ability to use geolocation in the targeting of ads (not to mention that Google's been at this monetization game for a lot longer). Facebook claims an amazing 425 million mobile users, yet the company's only mobile ads are in fact the same as its Sponsored Stories. this is going to have to change. Facebook is hiking ad rates ahead of the IPO, but the social giant—in spite of its mission to keep Facebook from becoming like ad-clogged MySpace—is losing out on a large swath of business by not maximizing mobile.

4) Zuckerberg will continue his acquisition spree. Since its inception in 2005, Facebook has swallowed up competitors and companies with technology that could be assimilated into its model. For example, in 2009 it purchased the social network aggregator FriendFeed; in 2010, it purchased rival network Friendster’s patents. last year, Facebook made a total of nine acquisitions, including the purchase of location-based service Gowalla and mobile app developer Snaptu. this year, young as it is, has already seen Facebook acquire Instagram for $1 billion, and most recently, social discovery platform Glancee. Depending on Facebook’s stock market success, more such acquisitions could be imminent.

5) Zuckerberg will continue to wear hoodies to all major press events and executive board meetings. If nothing else on this list comes to be, this is at least certain. whether he’s amending his “I’m CEO, Bitch” business cards is unknown.

6) A bunch more people will delete their Facebook profiles. Deleting Facebook profiles has become the new rebellion. just like when quitting smoking cigarettes, it’s often helpful to have a catalyst or a set date on which to say goodbye—perhaps an IPO date?

7) Zuckerberg will retain majority control of Facebook, but the company’s corporate culture will change. For example, Facebook has come out in support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which has many Internet entrepreneurs (like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian) boycotting the IPO. A public company has much more to lose by taking such polarizing positions. Much has also been written about how much fun it is to work for Facebook—with Zuckerberg banging gongs to celebrate good ideas, etc.—but as a public entity with shareholders, more attention is going to be paid to profits and professionalism. Zuckerberg has previously been criticized by his own employees for not being a more professional CEO.

8) Facebook will either completely revamp or kill its f-commerce platform. It hasn’t taken off. Many companies would vastly prefer commerce traffic take place on their own websites. A few companies are buying in, but many more big names are not.

9) Facebook and Google will end up in some kind of death match. Facebook doesn’t offer search yet, but it doesn’t mean it won’t look into it—especially when the company finds itself flush with IPO cash. Same goes for streaming video. Google is a mighty contender, thanks especially to its efforts to integrate its various services, but Facebook has the means and audience to give it a run for its money. A symbiosis? not likely.

10) Facebook will finally create its own ad network. It will likely continue to try to preserve its (relatively) clean website feel by using its ad network to serve targeted ads to Facebook users on other sites. but Google and Facebook compete for ad dollars, and with its own network in place as a competitor to AdSense, it could give Google a run for that money. It’s already been working hard to beef up its analytics. 

Do you have some predictions of your own? Feel free to leave them in the comments. And remember to share this Facebook story on Facebook, just because it's meta.

Hondo: Yu gotta believe!

May 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Slosh Backett was roughed up by the Tribe last night, which caused Hondo’s deficit to plummet to 1,080 ramoses. However, don’t be too hard on Slosh, Sawx fans, he probably was tired out from playing 36 holes yesterday.

Tonight, Mr. Aitch expects the Rangers to make Wilson pay for defecting — 10 units on Darvish to be toughish.

With John Travolta having been accused of sexual harassment by John Doe no.1 and John Doe no.2, Hondo was guessing that maybe Travolta is attracted to men who share his first name. Then another accuser came forward yesterday, so apparently he not only allegedly likes men named John but those named Fabian, as well. . .Time Magazine’s cover this week features a hungry, 3-year-old boy on a chair as Mom stands with one out, providing a heaping helping of breast milk. The cover refers to a story inside about “attachment parenting,” which calls for children to be breast-fed long after the customary six months-to-one-year period. Dairy farmers around the country, foreseeing a reduction in demand for their product, were united in their response to the concept: That sucks!. . .Is it any wonder Jeff “Good Times” Bontemps and others are no longer in the dairy business?

Packard Bell One Two M

April 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

More and more people are using a laptop as their main computer, but there are still advantages to having a larger desktop PC to use at home. Packard Bell’s new one two M is an all-in-one desktop PC with some useful features.

It’s not terribly exciting to look at, but the compact design of the one two M measures just 60mm thick, which makes it a good choice for use in a bedroom or home office where space is a bit tight. we tested the cheapest model, which costs £599 with a 21.5in touch-sensitive screen and dual-core Intel Core i3 processor running at 3.3GHz. There are also more expensive models with i5 processors and 23.5in screens starting from £699.

That i3 processor is a budget model but the 3.3GHz processor speed is still quite respectable and gives the one two M enough power to handle a wide range of tasks, from simple office tasks up to more demanding photo or video-editing work.

The 21.5in screen produces a bright and colourful image. the high-definition 1,920×1,080 pixel resolution is great for watching video or working in several programs simultaneously.

Its Intel HD 2000 graphics processor is a bit disappointing, though – it’s fine for playing video, but lacks the extra horsepower needed to cope with the latest 3D games. However, the one two M also includes an HDMI port that allows you to plug in a games console and play games on its high-definition screen.

There is also a digital TV tuner for watching and recording programmes, all of which makes up for the poor 3D performance to a large extent. the built-in speakers do sound a bit thin but there is an audio connector for plugging in a proper set of external speakers if you want to.

Other useful features include six USB ports – two of which are high-speed USB3 ports – a built-in webcam, memory card reader and wireless networking. the 1TB hard disk provides plenty of room for storing all your music, photos and videos, although the one two M’s 3GB of memory is a bit miserly – even at this price it really ought to have at least 4GB.

We were also a little disappointed with the touchscreen. Packard Bell’s Touchportal software provides an attractive touchscreen interface for browsing music, photos and videos. However, the touch controls aren’t as responsive as we would have liked – you have to press quite slowly and firmly on the screen before it responds properly – so that aspect of the one two M does seem more of a gimmick than anything else.

Even so, the One two M is still good value. It is quick enough for most routine computing tasks, and its good-looking, high-resolution screen and TV features means that it is versatile alternative to a laptop PC.

Review: These Wheels of Destruction Fail To Spin (PlayStation Network)

April 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

While I appreciate the fact that Sony is going for a more diverse game collection for its PlayStation Network service, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s going to be batting out of the park with their efforts.  Case in point – Gelid Games’ Wheels of Destruction, a game that obviously takes its inspiration from the Twisted Metal series, but tries to add its own diverse touches here and there to make it feel different.  And indeed, it does.  Unfortunately, it’s not for the better.

It doesn’t entirely help that David Jaffe’s recent take on Twisted Metal is so damn good that it makes Wheels of Destruction look so much more second rate.  But that bigger budgeted game aside, this downloadable game has its fair share of problems.

In the game, you choose from five classes of vehicles, some larger and bulky yet slower, some speedier yet more susceptible to damage, and hit the open road in five battle arenas placed throughout the world.  the game only features three modes, including traditional Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag offerings.  There’s no story mode in sight, but, honestly, it’s hard to really tie together a story with a car combat game, unless you’ve got a solid character like Sweet Tooth.  Which Wheels of Destruction clearly does not.

The game provides both online play through PlayStation Network, as well as offline play against AI bots.  honestly, the online option is much better, if only because the computer opponents are the cheapest we’ve ever run into.  Here’s an example: we make a run for an opponent’s flag and blow up three cars that are in pursuit, thinking we’re in the clear.  But the second – and I mean the EXACT second – I pick up the flag, I’m bombarded from behind by two other cars, and left to die.  It’s bad enough that I can’t defend myself from surprising ambushes like that, but my fellow teammates wouldn’t even budge to save me.  Hey, guys, teamwork?  hello?

However, even the online play isn’t good, as we ran into a couple of baffling bugs that saw our car flying off the track entirely (weird) and the kind of voice chat you can’t make out at all.  we asked a teammate about a strategy and I swear he came back saying, “Ahhhh mfmmmf cupcakes.”  obviously not, because I’ve never heard of a battle plan involving cupcakes, but that’s how garbled it truly gets.  You’ll probably get tired after a few sessions and then go right back to Twisted Metal.  Now there’s a game that gets online right – even without a cupcake plan.

Controls are pretty awful too.  instead of going with routine, responsive controls that have worked in past car combat games, Wheels of Destruction tries to go with Warthog-style controls, where you aim the left cursor where you want to drive your car, occasionally using R2 for tight turns.  That’d be great, except your vehicle takes forever to turn in that direction, meaning you’ll get stuck on a wall, fall off a ledge, or miss a road entirely, leaving you wide open for an enemy attack.  Worse yet, the launch pads in the game are scattershot.  little do you realize you have to use a boost AFTER you hit the jump button to launch yourself in order to reach a ledge.  this should’ve been better explained in a tutorial.

As for the visuals, they’re okay, but the locales aren’t really as personified as those in Twisted Metal.  sure, you can battle through Seattle, Tokyo and Paris, but outside of a name label, we couldn’t really distinguish that many differences between the levels when we fought in them.  Not too many personal touches here, and way too much terrain to cover.  What’s worse, some particular spots are traps, like an underground cavern that gets nowhere fast and launch pads that are SUPPOSED to get you to another area, but instead jettison you to your death.  How helpful.  the frame rate is acceptable and the music is okay, but it’s all forgettable, for the most part.

Had Wheels of Destruction come out last year, I could see some folks considering it as a passable car combat affair to spend a little time with before the arrival of Twisted Metal’s “big gun” package.  Unfortunately, with that game out and defining what should be done right in the genre, this game feels like a retread with nothing left to do but spin its wheels.  Pass.

About the Author Robert Workman Senior Writer/Editor

Robert has years of experience in the video game industry, writing for such sites as AOL GameDaily, PlanetXbox360 and Comic Book Resources.  he can also outdrink you any day of the week.  And twice on Sunday.  Follow him at www.twitter.com/thedcd.

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