Modern Warfare 2

It’s been a long time since I’ve lost myself in a computer game, but the story of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is just kind of amazing. Piloting snowmobiles, boats and other things is just so cool. What story. Anyway, finally flew through at regular and it was haaard. Now is the time to go back and really learn it. There is alway multiplayer which is more like run-and-gun, but the levels are fun. There are lots of strategy guides from places like http://www.themodernwarfare2.com/ and a host of amazingly cool weapons too. They sold 4.7 million copies in a single day. Wow, that is kind of amazing. Last record was 1.1m with Grand Theft Auto.

There are some pretty cool new weapons at least to me like:

  • FAMAS which is a bullpup rifle that is the standard issue for the French Army.
  • SCAR-H is the Special Forces Combat Assault Rifle used by the US SOCOM and made by Fabrique National. It is brand new and is being deployed this year with the 75th Ranger. H means heavy and uses the 7.62mm round. It will rplace the M4A1 and also sniper rifles as well. It beat the M4 carbin, HK415 and the HK XM8. It will also have a grenade launcher option. In MW2, it has a smaller capacity but is a one shot kill. It also has a Heartbeat Sensor
  • TAR-21 is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle firing 5.56mm rounds and stands for Tavor Assault Rifle 21 century. Since it is bullpup, it is shorter in length but has the same barrel size. In MW2, it is one shot kill and has low recoil so is highly accurate. At 50-150 meters, it will outgun every other SMG and assault rifle.
  • FAL fires the 7.62 round and was used udring the Cold War and was first developed in 1948.
  • F2000 is also bullpup and is a 5.56mm system developed in 2001
  • Striker is a 12-round revolver shotgun developed in Rhodesia

Then there are some new light machine guns, like

  • L86 LSW is the light support weapon of the British Armed Forces.
  •  AUG HBA and machine pistols like the PP-2000.

Finally, there are new walkthroughs

Turkey Day Gadgets

No life is complete without the right gadgets for cooking on Thankgiving. Here are some highly rated ones”

  • Pyrex Bakeware 9 Inch Pie Plate. It is only $4 but Model 6001003 is still the very best for making pies. Get is at shopworldkitchen.com
  • Claphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan was the best back in 2006 when cooksillustrated.com reviewed them at $12. They didn’t review the All Clad Roasting Pan though but this new exclusive attachment from Williams Sonoma looks pretty cool

Radar radar radar

On the road again and here’s the latest update on the cat and mouse of radar detectors

Radar Roy’s Blog

The one major drawback with these devices was the mobile photo radar vans that are moved, sometimes on a daily or even hourly basis. Trapster then emerged on the scene, building a social network of users that would notify each other via their iPhone or Blackberry of photo enforcement locations or other high enforcement locations.

Netflix comes to PS3 at last!

Netflix coming next month to PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced that they are joining forces to make thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix available to be streamed instantly to TVs via the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system. Netflix expects to begin streaming via the PS3 system next month at no additional cost to Netflix members in the United States who have a PS3 system.

Mac pricing search

Here are lowest prices so far. No word on how reliable these are.

  • MacBook. 2.26GHz. $899 from Onsale ($999 Street)
  • MacBook Air. 1.86GHz. $1400 vs. $1500 from MacMall
  • iMac 27″. 2.66GHz Quad. $1790 vs. $1999 from ClubMac

AppleInsider | Mac Pricing Matrix: Find the best prices on Macs

AppleInsider’s Mac Pricing Matrix aims to make it easy for readers to find the lowest price on all of Apple’s current generation Mac models. The best prices are highlighted in bold. The “Discount” column to the far right reflects the amount of savings between Apple’s retail price and the lowest price offered

BMW Ugh and AAA wonderful

Arrrggggh. I love BMWs and owned them for something lol 15 year for their ultimate-driving-machineness. But ugh i just hate. Hate their maintenance costs and how enormouse pieces fail.

A friends seven year old BMW had a coolant light on and a high oil gauge light. Walked in with some lights. Walked out with nearly $3k worth of repairs. Including a $700 water pump. OMG how could a car require that much service.

48 hours later the check coolant light goes off. Then off. Then driving along and there is amazingly no chime so just have to notice a small red light at the engine temp gauge. Pull over.

Turns out the little plastic overflow cracked and dumped all the coolant. Fixing the tub costs $500!!!! Now of course that the engine has overheated I’m sure we will see another $10k of related failures.

Two good things to report

1. If u buy a BMW make sure to get the six year and 100k full maintenance contract. Sell the thing at 5.5 years for whatever u can get. At least they offer this otherwise u have unlimited downside.
2. If u have a car like this get AAA. It is $89 and make sure the card and number are taped to the glove box inside. Or make sure if have the BMW towing service u have those numbers. While unlikely the failures will for older vehicles be likely enuf to need it. Btw AAA is amazing. Signed up online via iPhone and then called and got towed.

Samsung UN55B8500 reviews

Amazing LED based set is the 55″ Samsung because it has great blacks. Google shopping has it for $4500 list price or from ABT for $4,050 so that is quite a deal.

Samsung UN55B8500 Flat-panel TV reviews – CNET Reviews

Deeper black levels than any HDTV available aside from Pioneer Kuro; solid shadow detail; reduced blooming compared with other local dimming LED-based LCDs; accurate, highly saturated color; excellent video processing with adjustable dejudder; numerous picture adjustments; extensive interactive features including Yahoo widgets; beautiful styling with 1.6-inch deep panel; extremely energy efficient.

Samsung’s UN55B8500 55-inch LED LCD HDTV: Mmmm… Pretty: BigPictureBigSound

With local dimming the 8500 series LED/LCD TVs can selectively shut off lighting to areas of the screen as the picture dictates, allowing the set to approach (perhaps event meet) the black levels of top of the line plasma televisions.

iPhone Battery backup

Monoprice iPhone/iPod Battery Backup: Such a deal

The Monoprice Backup battery pack is the simplest of devices. When your iPhone or iPod is running low on juice, just plug this battery pack into the 30 pin connector. You can then either keep running with a fairly large dongle hanging off the bottom of your device, or wait and the battery pack will charge your device in 3.5 hours according to Monoprice (or about 2.5 hours according to my tests). It is just $14.50 and ugly for 1150 mAh.

This is especially impressive when compared to some of the more elegant competition, like the Morphie juice pack air with a capacity of 1200 mAh and a selling price of US$79 direct, or its larger sibling the Morphie juice pack holding 1800 mAh and selling for US$99 direct. But the Morphie is much nicer as a carrier.

Intel Core naming and Technology

You need a doctoral degree to figure out what all these Intel processors are. I’m completely confused myself. Here is an article. But basically, all that Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad are going away and you get i3, i5 and i7. Confused yet? More confusing is that the desktop and mobile chips are actually completely different internally but will have the same name. The net is that the Core i5-750 is an awful nice processor in the iMac i5 and a great value for the iMac while the Core i7-870 is like a Extreme Edition and definitely faster at $200 more and gets you a little more speed. In Photoshop CS4, it is 2:03 minutes vs. say 1:50 minutes for an intensive application.

  • Bloomfield. This is the high-end Core i7 for LGA 1366 (the number of pins it has). 3 memory channels. There are two variants, $300 i7-920 2.66GHz and $1,000 i7-965. Has all the bells and whistles, 8MB shared L3 cache, Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading. And also has PCI Express 2.0. Of course Intel doesn’t even at this level name the clock rate, so for instand the i7-975 is actually a 3.33GHz processor. Sigh. Turns out Core i7-900s are for LGA 1366 and are older Bloomfield
  • Lynnfield is the desktop chip for mid-range. It is a Core i7 in a smaller LGA 1156 array because it has just 2 memory channels not three. The Core i5 is a little slower but mainly doesn’t have Hyperthreading. It has a slower PCI Express at 16 vs. 32 lanes in the Bloomfield. It integrates the PCI Expressitnerface. As an aside, it looks like the new iMacs are using Lynnfield with the Core i7-860 (2.8GHz) and the Core i5-750 (2.6GHz). So for instance net, net, the Core i5-750 can overclock from 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz for a single thread application. Turboboost really looks like it matters.  Core i7-800s are for LGA 1156 as are the Core i5-700s. Net, net, the last three digits give you enough information to figure out the family and the clock speed, but you need a decoder ring.
  • Nehalem. This is the name of the whole 32nm big shrink now going on.
  • Clarkfield. 32nm process shrink that is in 1Q2010. It will integrate the GPU targeting the mainstream desktop in 2010.

BTW, Turboboost adds even more complexity, it basically increments the clock ratio by one. So with a base rate of 133MHz, it means, you get 133MHz additional performance. It works well when you have a program like MP3 encoding which isn’t highly parallel, so it is better to shut off extra cores and punch the clock speed.

Intel Reveals Core i3, i5, i7 CPU Naming System – Tom’s Hardware

Intel corporate communications manager Bill Calder wrote in a blog post, “Today the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives (such as Core2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc). Over time those will go away and in its place will be a simplified family of Core processors spanning multiple levels: Intel Core i3 processor, Intel Core i5 processor, and Intel Core i7 processors.”

Intel Reveals Core i3, i5, i7 CPU Naming System – Tom’s Hardware

The new Core line will be naturally be position from bottom to top Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7. The odd-numbers convention makes sense with the possibility that some consumers may confused Core 2 Duo and Quad with 2 and 4.

The desktop processors codenamed Lynnfield, which are due this fall, will marketed as both Core i5 or Core i7, depending upon the feature set and capability. Interestingly, all Clarksfield mobile chips will have the Core i7 name.

The lower-cost line will remain mostly unchanged with the Celeron being the entry point, the Pentium for basic computing and the Atom doing what it’s been doing to the netbook and MID segment.

Conclusion – Review Tom’s Hardware : Intel Core i5 And Core i7: Intel’s Mainstream Magnum Opus

Alright, so the Core i5-750, specifically, is priced well. What is there to like about it? Reasonable power consumption, a base clock rate comparable to Intel’s Core i7-920, a more-aggressive Turbo Boost able to take the chip to 3.2 GHz in single-threaded workloads, CrossFire and SLI compatibility—it’s a pretty compelling list, actually.

Nehalem and Intel Core explained

So more hard choices, the Core i5 is only available in the iMac available November, but the MacBook Pro and the iMac will presumably get i7 in early 2010, so if can hold on, the i7 seems like a big release.

Core i7 (Nehalem) Based MacBook Pros Possible in Q4 2009? – Mac Rumors

Tom’s Hardware reports on Intel’s plans to offer their first Core i7 (Nehalem) mobile processors by the fourth quarter of 2009. These 32 nm Arrandale processors will be suitable for notebook designs, and Tom’s Hardware speculates that we’ll see these in Apple’s notebooks:

It is highly probable that Apple will base new MacBook and MacBook Por units on 32nm Arrandale Core i7’s. With 2 cores and able to process 4 threads, the new MacBook models will be able to save even more power, thanks to the smaller fabrication process as well as optimized processor features.
Apple’s MacBooks and MacBook Pros, however, were last updated in October with the latest 45 nm Penryn processors. So the very next Apple notebook updates will likely come prior to the release of these processors.

The 32 nm process also represents a die-shrink over existing 45 nm-based Intel chips. The new 32 nm process is said to offer an estimated 22 percent performance boost according to Mark Bohr, an Intel senior fellow.