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Doctoral student finds good and bad in dissertation for online gaming in college

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:00 PM CST

There are numerous studies that have looked at gaming and the incidence of violence and other issues when it comes to players of games with violence. The studies come down on different sides of the topic often with some showing no link between video games and how people act in the real world and others showing an alleged link between games and real world behavior. A doctoral student at the University of the Rockies did her dissertation on the relationship between demographic factors, social anxiety, proneness to boredom, grade point average and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game playing.

Doctoral student finds good and bad in dissertation for online gaming in college |

The student found that college students that are prone to excessive playing of MMORPG titles often miss meals, classes, and lose sleep to play their favorite video game. The study found that males are more prone to excessive play, but the effects are the same for males and females. The study author is Sabrina Neu and she claims that 42% of those in the survey cited online gaming for interfering with work or academics.

Neu also found potential good benefits for online gaming. "Players cite social opportunities as a primary reason for play. Players can overcome shyness, actualize previously untapped talents, mentor other players, free themselves from physical disabilities, develop a sense of purpose and achievement and engage in altruistic, heroic and generous acts," she said.

Continue reading: Doctoral student finds good and bad in dissertation for online gaming in college (full post)

Best Buy ends high-priced restocking fees

Shane McGlaun | Business, Financial & Legal | Mon, Dec 20 2010 11:06 AM CST

I think I can speak for everyone when I say restocking fees suck. We all know it doesn't really cost companies 10% or more of what the purchase price of a gadget is to restock them. Those fees are just a way for the company to help talk us into keeping the gadgets we really don't like and would return if we didn't have to pay a fee. Best Buy has announced it has finally stopped being such a douche and eliminated restocking fees.


The fees were killed off on December 18 and the store will even refund you that restocking fee if you made a return in the 30 days or so prior to the 18th and were charged 10% or 15%. The old restocking fees were 10% of the price on an iPhone and 15% on other electronic devices like notebooks, TVs, GPS devices and more. Those high fees could add up to some really big losses for the consumer.

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Amazon investigating Kindle cover issue that allegedly causes lockups and more

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Mon, Dec 20 2010 10:00 AM CST

One of the best selling gadgets on the Amazon website and one of the most popular eReaders on the market is the Kindle. The Kindle sold in droves since the reader first debuted and many of those buyers also picked up the official Amazon Kindle case for the reader too. Many consumers who purchase the case with no light have noted some serious issues with the case.

Amazon investigating Kindle cover issue that allegedly causes lockups and more |

There have been many reports that the non-lighted case for the Kindle is causing the Kindle to have screen freeze issues and to reboot repeatedly. Amazon has announced that it is investigating the cause of the issues when the kindle uses the non-lighted case. The company also notes that anyone who purchased a non-lighted Kindle case can return the thing for a replacement or a full refund.

The issues with lockups and reboots are thought to possibly be a result of metal hooks integrated into the case, but that is unconfirmed. The lighted case for the Kindle has not suffered from the same issues. "There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover, and our engineering team is looking into this," the company said in an email statement that was also posted to its customer forum where users were complaining. "Regardless, if anyone is having any problem with an Amazon-manufactured Kindle cover, please contact us at, and we will be pleased to replace it for free or accept a return for a full refund, no matter when the cover was purchased."

Continue reading: Amazon investigating Kindle cover issue that allegedly causes lockups and more (full post)

Blizzards leaked plans reveal next-gen MMO - codenamed "Titan"

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Fri, Dec 17 2010 6:23 PM CST

Last week Blizzard's Five-Year plan was leaked, which had a few super-duper golden nuggets of information including a next-generation MMO coming in 2013.

Blizzards leaked plans reveal next-gen MMO - codenamed

At the moment, Blizzard have a next-gen MMO coming in 2013 currently codenamed "Titan". Other tidbits of info included Diablo III released in Q4 2011, StarCraft II expansion and Phoenix campaign for Q4 2011 also, another StarCraft II expansion in Q1 2013 with Diablo III expansions in 2013 and 2014.

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Vietnam released tomorrow

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Fri, Dec 17 2010 5:54 PM CST

An expansion pack for Bad Company 2 is about to land. For people who pre-ordered it will be available tomorrow for those who didn't it's just two days away from being in your hands!

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Vietnam released tomorrow |

The expansion pack is like the old Vietnam Battlefield gaming - new maps, weapons, vehicles. The review seems to point toward it being an entire game worth of assets which for $15 is pretty awesome value for money and it makes an even better Christmas present!

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Razer Scarab hard mouse pad debuts

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Fri, Dec 17 2010 1:06 PM CST

I have talked about the different types of PC gamers before when it comes to peripherals like mice and keyboards. Some like lots of macro capability some want smaller and more compact keyboards. The same goes for mice, some want low-resolution mice and others want high-resolution mice. Mouse pads typically have different sorts of gamers too. Some want a smooth and slippery hard surface; others want a textured cloth mat to suit their needs.

Razer Scarab hard mouse pad debuts |

If you are, the sort of gamer that likes hard and smooth pads for gaming Razer has a new offering for you. The new mouse pad is called the Scarab and it has a new Fractal 2.0 gaming surface. The surface is supposed to be uniform in construction allowing the mouse to track more smoothly when gaming. The bottom of the pad also has a new rubber base.

The rubber base will keep the pad in place no matter how hot the acting gets and the soft rubber is supposed to be able to smooth irregularities under the mouse pad to make your mousing even smoother. Razer ships the mouse pad with a carry case to keep it safe when you travel to LAN parties. The mouse pad will ship next month for $39.99.

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Hitachi GST ships 7mm thick 2.5-inch HDD

Shane McGlaun | Storage | Fri, Dec 17 2010 10:04 AM CST

When it comes to HDDs you can usually have a really thin drive or you can have a high-capacity drive, but not both. Hitachi has unveiled a new HDD that gives mobile devices the best of both worlds with a thin design that also packs in a lot of storage space. The new HDD is the Travelstar Z5K5000 and it is the thinnest 2.5-inch 500GB HDD in the world.

Hitachi GST ships 7mm thick 2.5-inch HDD |

The HDD packs 500GB onto a single platter allowing the thickness of the drive to be only 7mm. That means that the thin profile device will work in devices that are really thin and typically rely on more expensive and lower capacity SSDs for storage. The drive spins at 5400 rpm and is a direct replacement for 9.5mm thick drives in all sorts of notebooks and external storage devices.

Other than being thin, the drive is also very green needing only 1.8W when reading or writing and 0.55W during idle. The drive is also nearly silent with 1.9 bels at idle and 2.1 bels during seek. The drive uses Hitachi advanced format tech to allow for HDD sectors of 4K bytes rather than 512 bytes improving capacity and reducing errors. The drives are shipping this month at an undisclosed price.

Continue reading: Hitachi GST ships 7mm thick 2.5-inch HDD (full post)

eLocity A7 Android Tablet lands at Micro Center and Fry's

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Thu, Dec 16 2010 12:04 PM CST

It's been a while since we first heard of the eLocity A7 tablet. At the time I first ran across the tablet there was no competition on the market to the iPad so the thought of a new Android tablet coming was a big deal. Now that that are other Android tablets on the market, the A7 isn't such a big deal to many. Still, if you have been holding out for the eLocity A7 tablet you can walk into Micro Center or Fry's and get hands on one right now.


If you missed the A7 before the thing is pretty slick. It has a 7-inch screen and runs Android 2.2 with NVIDIA Tegra T-250 dual-core power. The screen has capacitive touch and supports 1080p resolution video. It also has a 3-axis accelerometer for 3D gaming. Other features include USB 2.0 , a 3.5mm audio jack, and WiFi.

The device has a docking connection for an optional docking station and it has HDMI out and even ships with a HDMI cable so you can watch video on your big screen. Storage is to 4GB of internal flash memory and it has a SD card slot for more storage and can store to a USB drive as well. The tablet sells for about $350 and would make a cool Christmas gift for a geek on your shopping list.

Continue reading: eLocity A7 Android Tablet lands at Micro Center and Fry's (full post)

WikiReader gets update with 33,000 eBooks

Shane McGlaun | Apps | Thu, Dec 16 2010 10:00 AM CST

I would bet that just about everyone has read a Wikipedia page about one thing or another. There are pages for just about everything you can think of, even if some of those pages are suspect. If you like Wikipedia and want to be able to look at the pages you like without having to be online you can with a little gadget that has been around for a while called the WikiReader.

WikiReader gets update with 33,000 eBooks |

The WikiReader is a small square handheld device that has a touchscreen. You can type whatever subject you want to know into the device and it will then retrieve the listings about your search without needing a web connection. The device has all the wiki pages stored on its internal memory.

The company behind the WikiReader offers updates every so often that adds new content and changes to existing Wiki content to the device. The latest update also gets the users of the WikiReader access to 33,000 new eBooks. All of the eBooks come to the reader by way of Project Gutenberg and include titles ranging from the Bible to Walden according to Openmoko, the company that makes the WikiReader. You can pick one up right now for about $100.

Continue reading: WikiReader gets update with 33,000 eBooks (full post)

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