After careful consideration and much regret I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain.  I purchased in 2012 and have been working hard to build a new and improved Ninjalane on that domain.  If you are reading this you have reached one of the archived articles, news, projects and reviews that were left behind during the site migration. 

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Ninjalane News

Mad Catz Cyborg MMO 7 Gaming Mouse Review @ Hardware Asylum

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Not sure if the UN would sanction a surgical strike just to take down a rouge mouse but you never know.

With its aggressively angled body styling, innovative adjustable control features, and 13 programmable buttons, I think someone should be phoning up the UN because I'm pretty sure Mad Catz just produced a WMD with this little beast.

Personally I think these MMO designs have to many buttons.  However, much like driving a car you need to keep your hands on the wheel and having more buttons on your mouse is about the same thing.

Razer Hammerhead Pro In-Ear Gaming Headset Review @ Custom PC Review

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

As a hardware enthusiast I rarely concern myself with headphones but that doesn't mean I don't care, in fact that is just the opposite. 

Luckily it seems like Razer is catching onto the fact that there is such a void in the market and have introduced the Razer Hammerhead along with the Hammerhead Pro – the only difference between the two is that the Hammerhead Pro comes with an inline microphone and play/pause/call/stop/etc. button while the Hammerhead standard doesn’t. Today though we’ll be reviewing the Hammerhead Pro..

This should be an interesting review.

Intel DZ87KLT-75K Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

I'm pretty sure that Intel stopped making motherboards,  It was like big news and there was people rioting in the streets and hitting the Internet to complain.  And, just as we got everything cleaned up "this" lands in my inbox.

The Intel DZ87KLT-75K is a high-end socket LGA1150 motherboard targeted for the "Haswell" processors (fourth-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors), coming with a Thunderbolt port, one Mini PCI Express/mSATA slot, a PLX switch chip, and more. Let's see what this motherboard has to offer.

Dunno about you but seeing Intel branded skulls over blue heatsinks is flashing me back to those rioting days and all the death and destruction forthwith.  I just hope when Intel apologizes this time for the lapse in their judgement that their loyal buyers don't pull stock and walk away. 

Icy Dock FlexCage 2 Bay and 3 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ HiTech Legion

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Sometimes you have to wonder if people write reviews to show off their writing skill or if they are really passionate about the product they are reviewing.  It is a little known fact that many review sites make their new writers "pay their dues" by reviewing smaller products like USB drives, software, cases and External drive enclosures.  The majority of these are the external drive cases since it seems EVERYONE has one available.

Just looking at the quote in this review I have to wonder, was this a hazing event or does the reviewer really like the drive bay?

The Icy Dock MB973SP-1B and the MB974SP-2B are very similar to each other in that they both sport an aluminum chassis with an 80mm cooling fan. The Icy Dock FlexCage MB973SP-1B is able to fit three 3.5" SATA HDDs in two 5.25" drive bays using a trayless design.  Both FlexCages are powered by two 4 pin power connectors or by adapting two 15-pin power connectors via the included adapters. The tray less design means that not only is installation of drives toolless – it is as simple as sliding the drive in and closing the door. This makes it an ideal platform for hot swapping hard drives with minimal hassle. They are both cooled by an included 80mm fan that, in its shipped configuration, pulls air from the front of the drives and exhausts it out of the back. Each of the hard drive bays has an individual hard drive activity LED that is only active when a hard drive is successfully inserted. Both fans can easily be removed and replaced with any 80mm fan using a 2-pin or a 3-pin connector.  The aluminum chassis makes it both very durable and far better at dissipating heat than plastic.  The main difference between the two is that pricier of the pair, the MB974SP-2B, has 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front connected via a standard USB 3.0 motherboard header, and can hold one more drive than the MB973SP-1B. This can be very useful for older cases that may not have as many places to mount a hard drive or don’t have any USB 3.0 ports on the front panel.

Dunno about you but this chunk of text could have been consolidated. Wadda you think?

Online pornography to be blocked by default in UK

Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

This is interesting, I really had no idea that pr0n was such a huge deal in the UK and instead of just blocking "the really bad stuff" they decided to block everything and call it a day.

Most households in the UK will have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron has announced.

In addition, the prime minister said possessing online pornography depicting rape would become illegal in England and Wales - in line with Scotland.

I wonder what process someone would have to go thru to get pr0n unblocked and what happens when someone shares out their wireless (with pr0n enabled) to people who don't want to see it?.  I suspect it would be 60 days in the stocks with Internet privileges revoked for 2 years. (you know something harsh)

Of course if they request to have access to pr0n they might go into a national register of sex watchers and be denied simple things in life like walking in a park during the day or getting married.

How Microsoft could successfully kill off the Desktop

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Here is an interesting article that talks about Windows RT and how there is a chance that Microsoft could kill the traditional desktop if they so desired.

The clues have been there right from the beginning. A few months after the Windows 8/Windows on ARM schism, WoA was renamed Windows RT. The RT designation has absolutely nothing to do with ARM; instead, it refers to the Windows Runtime (WinRT) that powers Windows 8?s Metro interface and Windows Store (Metro-style) apps. Why then did WoA get renamed? Because Windows RT is the trial run for a version Windows that has no Desktop at all — a version of Windows that does away with the old Win32 runtime, leaving just the new WinRT-powered interface and its new Metro-style apps.

This is really scary since it really would spell the end for open source development on Windows and curb 3rd party developers from creating new applications.  Just imagine a world without Adobe, that likely wouldn't happen but it could if Microsoft doesn't approve the application.  

I think we can look at the troubles game developers have with the XBos as a precursor to the iron fist of Windows RT. 

Pro gamers now qualify for US visas as Professional Athletes

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

As a citizen of the US I often forget that getting into the country takes planning on the part of the traveler.  Visitors to this country often have to apply for a Visa even if they are just changing planes.  Well, it would seem that Pro Gamers now qualify for landing visas like other pro athletes opening up e-sports to be considered on the same level as chess or golf..  

The change, Beck said, could let non-American players join US teams: "It's like David Beckham coming to LA Galaxy." He said convincing US Immigration and Citizenship Services to offer players pro sports visas was "a long process" that hinged on proving League of Legends can offer people the chance to make a living as professionals. "A lot of people have been dismissive of it because they don't understand the scope of this," he said. "Our viewership numbers are stronger than 80 or 90 percent of the sports covered on ESPN."

This is a milestone moment for e-sports since it has long struggled to be defined as an actual professional sport despite some of the top players winning real money.  I guess now they need to work on proper drug testing and establish anti-doping rules.  happy smile

There is no indication as to how long a pro gamer can stay in the US but we can thank Riot Games for laying the groundwork and ensuring that our favorite League of Legends players will be able to complete for real cash money at events hosted in the US.

The Highest-Paid Professional Video Gamers

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Cannot say I wanted to be a professional gamer but the prospect of playing games all day and getting paid does sound pretty good.  The list here shows the top 15 gamers in the world starting with Luo "Ferrari_430" Feichi and ending with the popular Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel.

You'll have to check out the article to know how much they all made.

Playing video games for a living is the dream of pretty much every adolescent male at one point or another.

Believe it or not, there are gamers who are doing exactly that. And they're making some serious money.

e-Sports Earnings has ranked the 100 players with the highest overall earnings from competitive gaming.

As with most "sports" the player makes big bank in the beginning and slowly falls from the limelight in favor of easy money.  I'm just glad these guys are playing things smart to keep the party rolling.

ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp

Published: Monday, July 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Is it just me or does it seem that ASUS has started releasing more motherboard versions than before?  I have also noticed that the "gold" boards haven't featured in many reviews lately.

New to the ASUS ROG line-up, the ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO is for those looking to get that high-end ROG "GENE" experience in a full ATX format, but does stretching the GENE also stretch the HERO's ability too thin, or has the ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO come to save the day?

GENE was a good motherboard type, compact and powerfui.  Out of all the MicroATX motherboards I have reviewed I did like that one the best.

Chassis makers reducing notebook business

Published: Monday, July 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

It would seem that notebooks are going the way of stuff that is going away.

Seeing notebook demand gradually weakening, chassis makers have turned their focuses to non-notebook product lines, trying to minimize the impact. Catcher Technology has successfully reduce its notebook product line's revenue contribution to below 40% and the percentage is expected to rise slightly in the second half.

Chassis maker Ju Teng is also expected to see the revenue contribution from its tablet business rise significantly from 4-5% in 2012 to 20% in the second half of 2013, dropping its notebook business' proportion to only 80%.

This isn't good.  Consider that most large businesses have started issuing laptops to their employees for the following reasons.

  • portable
  • easy to replace
  • smaller 
  • do everything a desktop does. 

Some content producers are still issued workstation machines but overall there is a reduction of desktop PCs across the board in favor of notebooks.  Now there is a global demand reduction for notebooks in favor of tablets.

I wonder, where is all of this demand? Could it be that people buy more than one tablet device and never upgrade their laptop/notebook?  Ya thats it, thanks Intel and Microsoft you are doing the world an awesome job. worry smile