On Gear Live: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review

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How To Use Your Gaming Headset with Xbox Live

Xbox Live Headphones

If you’re anything like me, and I’m making an assumption here (because that’s what irresponsible journalism is all about), you might only have so much money to go towards fancy gadgets and various electronic compensations for a strikingly diminished sense of personal worth. That can lead to some trouble if, for instance, you have a decent gaming headset that you want to use for your instead of a bona-fide sound sytem, since you can no longer use Xbox Live without Microsoft’s proprietary, flimsy headset.

A few headsets, like those from Turtle Beach, alleviate this problem by offering individual chat volumes and the ability to both listen to your game and communicate with your buddies. It’s a worthy investment, but a bit of a waste if you already have a good gaming headset - dedicated XBL headsets can hover around the $150 range. All you need is a $5 adapter and zero soldering.

Hit the jump to see what you need.


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Bleeding Edge TV 326: Windows 7 tips and tricks

In this episode, we give you a look at a bunch of the new little features that you’ll find in . They’re all small things that, we think, will lead to a nice increase in productivity and time-saving. We are talking about things like Aero Peek, Snap, Pin, and the like. None of those terms ring a bell? Then you might wanna hit the play button up there on this episode of Bleeding Edge TV.


Use Google Voice voicemail with your current number

Posted by Dan Hughes Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Internet

Today, “announced” a feature that technically already existed before now, but giving it a name makes it more real, right?

Google says that by taking advantage of the conditional call forwarding feature your carrier provides, you can forward calls that you do not answer on your phone to your Google Voice phone number, thereby replacing your company’s voicemail with Google’s.  This functionality has actually always existed: Google Help forums reveal countless people already were setting up their functionality long before Google made this announcement. 

It boils down to setting up your call forwarding feature (*71 or the like) to forward to your Google Voice number (or your “Access Number” if you sign up “Without a Google Number”).  Then, when your call is forwarded to the Google Voice number, the voice mail is logged and transcribed and stored online, with delivery options such as email or text message to your cell phone.  You don’t get all the features you get if you use an actual Google Voice number for people to call, but it is still a nifty service.

A bit more information about Google Voice after the jump.

Click to continue reading Use Google Voice voicemail with your current number

Read More | The Official Google Blog

Don’t wanna wait for iPhone MMS? Enable it right now!

iPhone MMS

Okay, we were all disappointed by AT&T’s decision to delay iPhone MMS to early fall, but that doesn’t stop ambitious folks such as ourselves from finding a way around it. And we have. I can confirm that I was able to get MMS working on my with about 3 minutes worth of effort. You wanna do it to? Read on for complete instructions for enabling MMS on iPhone 3.1.

Click to continue reading Don’t wanna wait for iPhone MMS? Enable it right now!


HTPC Building Series: The Final Tally

Check out out series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

The challenge presented at the beginning of this process was for us to build a great home theater PC while sticking to a budget of $1,000. We knew we were up for the challenge, and wanted to walk you through that process with us. Here’s what we’ve done, as a refresher:

So, now that we have reached the end of this process, we need to take a look at how we did, right? Were we able to stick to our budget? Let’s see how we did…

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: The Final Tally


HTPC Building Series: Laying out all the components

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In our quest to build the ultimate inexpensive hoome theater computer, we’ve walked you through selecting all the major components that will power our labor of love PC. I’m talking about things like why we picked our chosen motherboard, the MSI MS-7411, a look at how we will drive 7.1 sound from the HTPC to our receiver, and the smart way that we will move content to the HTPC so it’s displayed on our television.

But what about the rest? The pieces that, although not major, are still required to have a - you know - functioning HTPC? Well, that’s where this article comes in. We are going to be giving you a quick rundown of the smaller components that you will need in order to get this thing built, before we do our wrap-up in our next article.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Laying out all the components

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

We’re starting to wind down the layout of all the parts that are going into our Home Theater PC. First, let’s recap some of the main components that we’ve thrown into this project this far:

We’ve come a long way to far. In this article, though, I wanted to talk about the TV card that we’ve chosen. Since we are doing this on a budget, we are hoping for a nice balance of good performance at an inexpensive price. This is why we’ve chosen the TV Wonder 650. Amazon has it for 43% off of the retail price. This card supports both over the air HD broadcasts, as well as ClearQAM cable TV.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

Continuing our quest to build the ultimate, while inexpensive, home theater PC, the one thing you need to consider when talking about media is how you are going to actually get the media to the computer. After covering the main mission, carefully going through our selection of hardware, giving you a first hand look at the MSI motherboard we chose (and explaining exactly why we chose that one,) and then bringing you up to speed on how we are going to drive 7.1 surround sound from this thing, you were probably thinking that the brunt of the thinking was done, right? Well, while that may be the case, there are still some important considerations that need to be taken into account.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: Achieving great 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In previous posts, while talking about building up our Home Theater PC, from the ground up, and on a budget, we’ve focused on a few goals. Things like what we want to see the system, as a whole, do for our home entertainment experience. We’ve talked, in general, about some of the hardware we plan on ordering to put into this bad boy. We’ve even gone into detail on the one essential piece that is going to drive everything - that being the motherboard. Today we want to focus on how we are going to get amazing sound out of this system.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Achieving great 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: Choosing the MSI 7411 motherboard

MSI 7411

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In this installment of the Home Theater PC building log, we wanted to focus on the core of our system. Previously, we took a look at the process of selecting hardware along with a look at the overall mission to build the best HTPC we can, on a budget. To understand what we are aiming to do, though, I thought it would be best if we were able to take a look at what’s going to be at the center of everything: the MSI MS-7411 Media Live DIVA 7.1 motherboard.

That’s a mouthful, we know - but it’s also an amazing centerpiece for our system. The foundation is MSI’s MS-7411 micro-ATX motherboard featuring AMD’s 780M chipset with UVD support and side-port memory for smooth 1080p playback. This motherboard can be ordered with either pre-amp or amp audio card solutions (one purchase package) directly from your distributor of choice. Note that this motherboard uses the mobile variant of the 780 for additional power savings features that are useful in a home theater environment. It pulls less power, and it doesn’t get as hot, which means much less fan noise. Nothing kills a movie experience like fan noise, seriously.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Choosing the MSI 7411 motherboard


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