entertainment geek tech

Graphics cards comparison: Radeon R9 285 vs R9 290 vs GTX 760

Only recently I found out that the R9 graphics line from ATI was build upon the HD7000 series and so on. In any case, the guys were going up with the numbers like crazy. Setting on R9 as name is a good choice.

While R9 280 is build upon an older HD7000 graphics card, the R9 285 is a totally new thing. From that point on we’re talking new type of graphics cards and the 285 crushes the 280 and the GTX 760.

You can rest assured that if you buy a R9 295 you’ll all set for at least two years, until the game developers find out how to use more of your computer’s resources. For now, if you wanna buy a graphics card choose one starting with R9 285 and above. Great and quite cheap.

learn science tech

Why you shouldn’t put metal in your microwave oven?

Because science. You can put metal int he microwave oven, but if it has sharp edges it will spark and it may create big electric bolts. Those might destroy the oven if you let them be in there like that for too long. People have tested various metal things in the microwave oven and it wasn’t do destructive as they thought, but still… they fried the oven.

Best is to avoid metal altogether when putting food int he microwave oven. The oven works be transferring energy from the microwaves to the water molecules in the food. If there are no such foods to transfer the energy to then the waves will return to the magnetron and fry it.

If you have a metal ball in there, then the microwaves will excite the electrons from its surface and heat that thing up like crazy. Don’t wanna be around when that happens.

geek learn tech

The history of submarines: those things are quite old

The first submarine was a home made wooden craft built in the 1770s by David Bushnell. His first design was a simple wooden barrel with some levers that would make the vessel move around and dive. It wasn’t very robust, but it sparked a new era in navy combat. David bushnell’s “turtle” could not be used to defend New York in the upcoming war of 1771, but after more than 100 years the US Navy had it’s own submarines. And these worked!

(image source Wikipedia )

geek tech

How was the first telephone built and how did it work?

The telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and its setup is way more complicated that I’ve previously thought. It isn’t just a simple rope/wire with some cups at the ends. It involves a battery, water, wires and a drum too.

How did the first telephone work? You needed a battery from which current would flow into a liquid. From that liquid the current would flow through a rod wire that was attached to a drum and then trough a wire attached to that rod. From there on the current would flow to a receiver, an electromagnet, where the sound was replicated.

Basically, when Bell spoke into the mouthpiece the air vibrated and then made the drum vibrate too. The rod attached to the drum would enter in the liquid thus affecting the flow of current through it. Since there was a difference in the current flowing in the wire the electromagnet at the receiving end would generate different types of vibrations in the drum that was used in that receiving end. Thus sound was created.

geek opinion tech

Jeff Jarvis: Technoeuropanic, or how Germany leads the technosceptic movement in Europe

If I want to read a good piece of journalistic endeavour, then I read Jeff Jarvis, the writer of What Would Google Do?, an awesome book I have read in 2013 about the corporate policy and changes inside Google, explains why Germany is leading a technosceptic or, dare i say, a technophobic movement in Europe by targeting Google and Uber.

In this article Jeff reminds us that Germany blocked Uber from functioning in that country, before that it forced Google to not photograph its streets for the Street View project, then played into the “Right to be forgotten” craziness and now spearheads the attack on Google via publishers who ask it money to show their pages in the search results.

Well, here comes the fun: Google may very well stop showing all those sites in the SERP, search result pages. What will happen? Well, they will cry that Google only shows its own news services and theirs not. Now, if Google gives in and then shows their pages in the SERP they will ask for money.

That pretty much sounds like racketeering, my dear German neighbours. Really, Germans are targeting US services like crazy. Google has done a lot of good things for customers, even if it wronged many a webmaster, of AdWords partners and so on.

Germany seems to not like the internet as it is now: Google is showing your results in the pages and then Google is giving you some traffic. You don’t like that, then ask Google to not index your site. Is that simple.

Also, as Jeff points out, I find it amusing that the Germans ask Google to favor in some way third party services when it is showing the results page. Guys, Google is a private company and anyone is free to not use its search capabilities. Being a private company, even if a monopoly, you need to play by their rules because you’re in its house. Don’t like what Google has done, then do something better yourself instead of acting like crazy technosceptics or technophobics.

geek learn tech

Techquickie explains: 32 vs 64 bit and what software drivers are

Linus, from Tech Quickie, explains the difference between 32 and 64 bit computers. Long store short: it all boils down to how much RAM memory a processor can handle. You need to remember that all parts in a computer need to fit in the ranges they should: a processor will determine what type of RAM memory you can use, for example and a motherboard will determine what type and version of processor you need to use.

For example, a 32 bit processor can handle up to 4 GB of RAM (2^32 bits), while a 64 Bit processor can handle up to 16 billion GB of RAM(2^64 bits) or this much RAM: 18.446.744.073.709.551.616 bits or 17.179.869.184 GB. Wow, that is a lot.

That does not mean that you can put that amount of RAM into your computer as the motherboards and type of RAM can set a limit. Older motherboards can’t go beyond 4 GB of RAM, newer ones may go up to 64GB of RAM. DDR3 is also twice as slow as DDR4.

In any case, that is the difference between 32 and 64 bit processors or computers.

But was is a software driver? It is a piece of data collected in one or more files (usually an .inf file among them) that instructs the computer on how to work with a given device:

geek tech

AMD FX 8 core processors: sweet dreams. FX 8370 vs FX 8370e

While AMD gets pretty close to the i5s and the i7s from Intel, it does so by being a bit cheaper and this is something I like. The guys at Tek Syndicate tested the 8 core FX processors FX 8370 & FX 8370e and found out that the first one was a bit better, by 2-3 frames in each test they did while running the video games at max settings.

What caught my attention and what needs to be stressed: certain processors only go best with certain motherboards and wit certain graphics cards.

Check the image from below taken from the video above:

As you can see, an AMD FX-9590 processor, like the one form my dream gaming pc, works best on an AMD 990FX motherboard and with an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card. You could couple these with a Cooler Master Nepton 280L PC CPU Liquid Water Cooling System and a 100W power supply with PSU from Fractal Design called Tesla R2 .

Now you’re ready to game!

geek science tech

How does an electron microscope work? Check Jeol JSM T200

Ben Krasnow, from Applied Science, created his own electron microscope a few years back, but now he received a gift: a Jeol JSM T200 that was used in the 80s. What is an electron microscope? It is a microscope that relies on electrons instead of light to capture high detailed images of very small things.

A regular microscope relies on visible light that is between 390 and 700 nm, but you get a magnification of max 1000x. With an electron microscope like Jeol JAM T200 you get a magnification up to 100 000x, but the technology can go up to 20 000 000x, because the electrons have a wavelength 100 000 times shorter than the visible light.

A simple thing to remember: the smaller the information carrier (light, electrons), the highest the resolution.

Jeol JSM T200 was created in the 80s, but still can offer 100k magnification, which is pretty impressive. Ben Krasnow explains how you can see a video feed of the microchip he used for testing and how you can get high-res images in 10 or 60 seconds. He uses a Tektronix MDO3104 oscillocope to gather the info from the electron microscope and then export a CSV file with data points. The CSV is then interpreted using Octave, an open-source Mathlab alternative. As a side note, I used Mathlab in college where I learned aerospace engineering, and that thing can crush skulls. Literally 😀

Once Ben Krasnow has the data in Octave he can compute it and then get the hi-res image. It is stunning how some wave functions from the electrons that were detected can result in such an incredibly detailed image. Electron microscopes rock the microscope world (well, the scanning tunneling microscope has a resolution 100 times better than electron microscope, at 0.1 nm, so almost rocks the microscope world).

geek learn tech

How does BitTorrent work?

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (p2p) protocol that allows us to send big files around the world. It was developed by Bram Cohen and it allows companies to send big chunks of data without having too much trouble. It does not work like FTP does, whereby you download the file form one place and then wait for the server to push the data to you.

BitTorrent works by distributing parts of the file to different computers in the network and, during the time you download a file, you also allow parts of it to upload to the network. This way you won’t download the one file from a given server, you will download many different parts from many computers making sharing easy for the donor computer or server.

While p2p or bittorrent protocol is a legitimate one, there are certain parties that use it for pirating and thus gave it a bad name. Or maybe because it is such a good system, albeit a public one, in which anyone can see your computer on the network, bittorrent got to be used by digital pirates.

In any case, don’t take illegal copies of things via bittorrent. If you want to anonymise your bittorrenting then you may want to use something like BT Guard.

geek infographics tech

Google Street View with Sounds – check it out now

You can check the Sounds of Google Street View in three locations for now: Place du Palais, Hapuna Beach, and Balboa Park. You will be able to move around like you do in Google Street View, but you will also hear the sounds that were recorded at that time.

Now, that is something you need to experience before you go into a given place. Have fun!

Via Presurfer.