Tech News

  • Mebotics Debuts World's First Machine Shop in a Box

    Somerville, Mass. – August 28, 2013 – Mebotics, LLC is launching the Microfactory – already gaining notoriety as the “world’s first machine shop in a box” – on Kickstarter this week.  The Microfactory will be the first widely-available machine to marry both additive and subtractive manufacturing, integrating machining and 3D printing into a safe, self-cleaning, networkable unit.  The company has announced a $1 million fundraising goal.

    The Mebotics team conceived, designed and built the Microfactory over the past year.  “After putting so much effort into what we truly believe to be a revolution in accessible 3D printing technology, we’re thrilled to be ready to share it with the public,” said Jeremy Fryer-Biggs, one of the four co-founders of Mebotics. “The beauty of the Microfactory is its broad range of applications.  Imagine being able to do most of your prototyping work, including machining parts and etching circuit boards, on a single machine.”

    The Microfactory contains four printing heads on two separate heaters, plus a milling head.  This allows it to print in four colors of the same material, or two colors of two different materials, on the same part.  The milling component is capable of cutting and etching wood, plastic and some metals (with optional upgrade).  Its user-friendly features are designed to bring more industrial capability to smaller workshops.  They include a vacuum port to remove all the debris created by cutting, an air filter, prominent emergency-stop button, covered belts and motors (to keep clothing from getting caught by moving parts) and a noise-reducing housing (to keep late-night makers from getting caught by angry neighbors!).  The Mebotics team drew on many years experience building and using industrial tools to create an easy-to-use machine for people who are serious about making.

    Unlike many other 3D printers, the Microfactory contains a full on-board computer, which gives it many unique capabilities.  With its Internet connectivity, the Microfactory will allow users to watch the progress of jobs in real-time from a phone or tablet, start and stop jobs remotely, or network machines together for more efficient production.  All of the software components of the Microfactory are open-source, and the hardware is designed to be upgraded and modified by more intrepid users:  The gantry is intended to support the attachment of different heads, and the entire left wall of the machine is removable to support alternate modules.

    “The Microfactory is an open platform designed to be adaptable to the needs of its users,” Fryer-Biggs explained.  “Printing and milling seemed like the most obvious initial combination, but we envision people going a lot further -- whether it’s adding a 3D scanning head, converting it to a computerized paint-shop, or making an innovative food-extruder.”  He adds, “If anybody does use it for making awesome new food, they’re invited to bring it by the shop.”

    Mebotics aimed to make the Microfactory the ultimate all-in-one factory for small businesses -- biotech and design firms, architects, teachers --- as well as artists, early adopters and avid hobbyists.  “We’ve tried to leave the door open for even some really extreme applications.  With WiFi connectivity, the Microfactory can be run from the middle of nowhere:  a research station in Antarctica, a basecamp in the Himalayas, or even a military outpost could download a file and make replacement parts on the spot.”  This creative spirit is embodied in the company’s slogan: Ask Me What I Can’t Make.  

    To learn about the full range of machine specs and available upgrades, visit the Microfactory page on Backers can donate from $1-$9,995, pre-ordering the Microfactory starts at $3,995. To learn more, visit and follow Mebotics on Facebook at

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Goes RTM

    Appears the Internet is ablaze about the release of Windows 8.1 (Blue) to manufactures.  Windows 8.1 addresses many of the issues people had with Windows 8 including a few UI tweaks that made headlines around the world. 

    Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button and also features Internet Explorer 11, SkyDrive integration, an updated Windows Store experience, DPI scaling improvements (enabling better readability on high-DPI displays), 3D printing support, more customization options, tweaked mouse and keyboard navigation, and a boot-to-desktop option.

    Of course none of that really matters since the UI is only useful on a "small" touch device but there are people raving about Windows 8 claiming its the best thing since Windows 3.1.  

    Look for the new OS sometime around October 18th with ISO leaks on Bittorrent sometime sooner.

  • Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition: Too Soon?

    Darren and I have talked about Borderlands 2 quite often on the podcast and its no secret that I really enjoy the game but releasing a GOTY edition before all of the DLC has been released just sounds stupid.

    The GOTY Edition allegedly includes all of the game's released DLC to date which would include.

    • Creature Slaughter Dome
    • Psycho Pack
    • Captain Scarlet’s And Her Pirate’s Booty
    • Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt
    • Mister Torgue’s Campaign Of Carnage
    • Tiny Tina’s Assault On Dragon Keep
    • Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade
    • Mechromancer Pack
    • Creature Slaughter Dome

    I realize that GOTY editions are basically the last version to go out the door before the game developer ties it off but it just seems like this particular one is getting rushed.

  • Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp

    For me I think that Gigabyte motherboards are a diamond among motherboards.  Not only do they perform well but they are very consistent across the various product lines meaning that you can expect the same level of performance from a UD3H as you do from a UD7 or even the OC.

    The difference is in features. 

    Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H is a board I like to refer to as "The Sleeper". Built to meet the needs of most average consumers, it not only comes with everything you need for daily use but also has an overclocking focus, though it may not appear so.

    UD3H may sound like a low end bomber but its actually a high midrange motherboard designed for the mainstream system builder and hardware enthusiast on a budget.  Heck I have one of these running a 24/7 development server right now which speaks to its versatility.

  • MSI GTX 780 Lightning Edition Pictures Leaked All Over the Web


    An Inspiring hardware enthusiast over at HardwareZone posted some photos of the upcoming MSI GTX 780 Lightning that quickly became one of the most talked about fiascos today.  (not to date btw)

    The story started in this thread at HardwareZone with the following, after the fact, comment.

    New arrival :

    Oh gosh.
    I didnt realise there was an nda.
    I'm so screwed this time.

    Of course anyone with a fetish for awesome hardware will know that the story got picked up all over the place.

    Saw this one on Twitter from Overclockers MSI GTX 780 Lightning Edition Pictures Leaked Which had photo credits back to TechPowerUp with a rather lengthly news post.  MSI GeForce GTX 780 Lightning Pictured There is no doubt that TPU has the card already so by posting the news they are breaking NDA, (or at least being bad).  The TPU article had photo credits to WCCFtech who has been known to post NDA stuff like this. Their Story:MSI GeForce GTX 780 LIGHTNING Flagship Graphics Card Unveiled – Equipped With TriFrozr Cooler Talk about a long ass title. shock smile

    The WCCFtech article had photo credits back to the source at HardwareZone.  Sources close to me confirmed the unique look of the 780 Lightning so I can say, Damn!

    I would fully expect some of these links to go dead after a few hours, but you never know.

  • GIGABYTE Launch First AMD Gaming Motherboard: G1.Sniper A88X

    Packs Exclusive GIGABYTE Audio Features: USB DAC-UP and Gain Boost

    City of Industry, California, August 16, 2013 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced its new FM2+ motherboards including the newest addition to its G1-Killer range of gaming motherboards, the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X. Debuting two exclusive audio features including GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP, an exclusive feature optimized for users employing a Digital-to-Analog Converter, and Gain Boost which provides high gain output for advanced headphones and speakers, the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X provides the highest caliber onboard audio experience for discerning audiophiles.

     “We’ve had a lot of customer interest in expanding our G1-Killer gaming motherboard range to include an AMD platform model.” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. ”By also developing unique audio features that make a real difference to the overall experience, we’re confident this board will be a real hit with gamers and audiophiles alike.”

    GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X: Ready for Kaveri on AMD Socket FM2+

    The GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X motherboard features the new FM2+ APU socket, and is designed to get the most from forthcoming ‘Kaveri’ AMD APUs, while preserving compatibility for current AMD FM2 ‘Trinity’ and ‘Richland’ APUs.

    FM2+ AMD APUs offer native support for 8 GT/s PCI Express gen 3.0 as well as DX11.1 support, integrating the high performance ‘Steamroller’ core. AMD socket FM2+ APUs also offer native support for 4K resolution displays on HDMI and DisplayPort.

  • The desktop PC needs a makeover @ TR

    Cyril Kowaliski is at it again and this time attacking how large his PC is. 

    My PC is full of air and unoccupied slots and bays. I have four 5.25" optical drive bays that I don't use. The top one houses a DVD burner, but I can't remember the last time I stuck a disc in it. I moved to Canada over three years ago, and I'm positive that I've never purchased a blank DVD in this country.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and simply agree with Cyril's views. (most of them)  Yes, the modern PC is too large and the modern case has too many drive bays, too many expansion slots and often come with external hot-swap docks.  None of this stuff we need however there was that one guy in some "other" country, lets say China, that claimed it was needed.  

    Looking back at my Antec SX635 (that I still use) you will see the epitome of the perfect mid-tower chassis.  it is compact, fits a full sized motherboard and comes with 5 drive bays.  The problem is the case doesn't cool well so to solve the problem I added some larger fans.  92mm was the biggest that would fit and sadly the blowhole fan had to be removed because my Corsair HX850 was too long.  At idle the case is quiet however when I game the fans have to activate because my GTX 670 and Core i7 980X generate too much heat.

    Heat is the main reason computer cases have gotten big.  People complain that their PC's are too loud and the only way to solve that is to increase the airspace and install large slow moving fans.  Cases like the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E Evolution are a perfect example of how this can be done but they don't sell well in high volume regions that are more concerned with what you get than what you really need.

  • Gamers May Save the PC Market

    The TechReport crew talked about this article on their latest podcast and it really got me thinking.  If you think about the US PC Market the trend is moving towards mobile and tablet devices which is causing the of PCs and Laptops to dwindle.  Hardware Enthusiasts and Gamers often strive to have the latest and greatest hardware which is something that Laptops and Tablets cannot deliver.

    Knowing that and factoring in that hardware makers often make no profit ($0 dollars over R&D costs) on flagship and high-end hardware.  You have to wonder if the sale of high-end gaming gear and custom PCs is really a long term solution or just a stop gap before the Microsoft and Intel driven mobile world takes over.

    IDC Insights Research dropped some doom and gloom earlier this year, reporting that Q1 2013 PC shipments were down a drastic 13.9% globally, compared to the same period in 2012. This represented the worst decline in the US since 2006, despite Windows 8 and some inspired hardware to accompany it from the likes of Lenovo, ASUS, and Dell DELL Apparently no one told PC gamers about this decline, as a new report from Jon Peddie Research illustrates.

    I had a "over drinks" discussion during CES about the future of hardware review sites and flat out said there is no future for hardware review as we know it.  Simply put we all need to adapt or die.  The reason being that mid and low end hardware is what makes money and the high-end flagship products are only built for marketing.  So, without mid level sales there are no high-end products, and if high-end products remain the prices will go thru the roof.

    I really hope the market doesn't come this that and its up to the consumers to demand change.  Sadly everyone with this power has their heads buried in their ipads.

  • All Android-created Bitcoin wallets Are Belong to Us

    This seems like a bad thing and given that I have distaste for Java I can safely say that this is a problem created by Java developers lazy in their coding standards or done on purpose to rule the world and take advantage of non-elitists who know not better.  Which would be just as bad. released a security advisory over the weekend warning the Bitcoin community that any Bitcoin wallet generated on any Android device is insecure and open to theft. The insecurity appears to stem from a flaw in the Android Java SecureRandom class, which under certain circumstances can produce numbers that aren't truly nondeterministic. This can allow an attacker to work out a victim's cryptographic private key. Private keys are used to sign Bitcoin transactions; if an attacker has a victim's private key, the attacker can execute Bitcoin transactions as if he were that person.

    So far, it appears that the vulnerability has been used to steal at least 55 BTC (approximately $5,720 as of this morning).

    The first paragraph in the Ars article tells all and is one reason why Open Source software is good but can also be bad.  I'm sure by now the company has issued a security update but, if memory serves, once the Bitcoint wallet has been created the only way to change it would be to create a new one and move the money. 

    Seems the thieves have beat them to the punch.  Or, maybe this is a Superman 3 sort of scam, either way.  Go Java! 

  • MSI Product Launch - GTX 760 Hawk

    This news launched a few days ago but there seems to be a new video card on the loose, the MSI GTX 760 Hawk.  Strangely enough I thought all the Hawk edition cards went away with the new MSI.

    Seems I was wrong, and all on the day rumored to be the GTX 780 Lightning launch which will forever be known for the EVGA GTX 780 Classified.

    Web Review
    - MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK review
    - MSI GTX 760 HAWK @ PureOverclock
    - MSI GTX 760 Hawk @ LanOC Reviews

    Sadly in the old days I might have gotten one of these cards for launch,  Seems I traded video cards for motherboards with the MSI camp.