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IBM Jeopardy Challenge: Day 2

IBM’s Watson supercomputer opened up the second night of Jeopardy completely obliterating Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and topped it off with a $6,000-and-some-change Daily Double wager and nailing it. There was really no stopping the IBM supercomputer. The night ended with Watson at $35,734, Brad Rutter at $10,400, and Ken Jennings at $4,800. Obviously, Watson still makes some stupid mistakes like all of us, especially when he thought Toronto was a U.S. city during Final Jeopardy.

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Retailers Are Secretly Screwing You

Well, this isn’t much of a surprise. We know that retailers have been screwing people over ever since sliced bread, but Cracked goes into a little more detail and explains some of the aspects that you probably didn’t know, like how the warranties on water-proof cameras don’t cover water damage and that ink cartridges have secret kill switches that tell you to switch out cartridges, even when it’s not remotely empty.

“Yes, it turns out that many of the ink cartridges made by HP and Lexmark have switches in them that make the cartridges fail after a certain period of time, whether they’re empty or not. This isn’t just some crazy conspiracy theory, either. HP’s senior “ink scientist” (yes, that’s actually his real title), Nils Miller, admitted to this during an interview.”

To read more about how retailers are screwing us over, head over to Cracked for the full article.

Thanks, Patrick

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IBM’s supercomputer, named Watson, is taking the Jeopardy challenge by competing against two of the best contestants that the show has ever seen. The challenge is lasting three days and day one is in the bag. Currently Watson is tied for first with Brad Rutter at $5,000. Record-setting contestant Ken Jennings is in last place at $2,000.

So, how does Watson work? In a nutshell, once the supercomputer receives the question (or answer, in this case), Watson searches his massive database of info for possible answers. He takes the three best answers and figures out the probability of the three answers out of 100%. If one of them goes over a certain threshold (which was set at 50% for Jeopardy), Watson will buzz in. However, if none of the answers goes over the threshold, Watson will not buzz in.

Hit the break for a brief overview of the IBM Watson Jeopardy challenge.

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The most recent rumor about the arrival of a MacBook Pro refresh arrival date was March 11th. MacRumors has heard word from a Danish blogger who claims that a major Danish Apple reseller has said new MacBook Pros are incoming on the first of March. This is a Tuesday and if history is correct, Tuesdays are typically days when Apple unleashes new products.

On top of the expected Sandy Bridge update, it’s also been rumored that some aspects of the new MacBook Pro design may be borrowed from the MacBook Air‘s. This possibly means that some MacBook Pro models might sport SSDs and no optical drive.

via [MacRumors]

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While we at least know that new MacBook Pros will be arriving sometime soon (rumored for March 11th), word has gotten around that Apple will also update the MacBook Air this summer, and it’s none other than a Sandy Bridge update. While this may not seem like a huge piece of news, keep in mind that the current MacBook Air line uses last-gen Core 2 Duo chips with less-than-stellar graphics. Despite this, there not all that bad, but with Sandy Bridge, the MacBook Air could possibly be an amazing piece of work, since the graphics are built directly onto the CPU chip.

via [CNET]

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Thermaltake Unleashes Level 10 GT Case

The original Thermaltake Level 10 is obviously one of the most bizarre and coolest computer cases we’ve ever seen. We even used it in our 2010 Dream PC. The company has decided that they haven’t taken it far enough and have introduced the Level 10 GT. What’s new? Well, it’s got a much improved ventilation system thanks to one 140mm fan and three 200mm fans, all of which have LED color-changing capabilities and the ability to adjust fan speed and even the direction of air flow. It also has a neat little window that you can look through to see your machine in action processing those bits and bytes. As for the smaller features, it’s got USB 3.0 and eSATA support and even a cool little hanger to hang your headset from during off-gaming hours. Thermaltake is asking $280 for this beast and it’s available now.

For a full gallery of photos of the new Level 10 GT, head on over to Thermaltake’s Flickr page.


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In March of last year, Dell discontinued the crazy-thin Adamo XPS laptop, but then brought it back days later. This time, the company has decided to completely oust the entire Adamo lineup. The reason? Too expensive. The Adamo packed a Core 2 Duo processor with a solid state drive and 3G capabilities all inside an aluminum casing that was only 0.65 inches thick and weighed around four pounds. It also started at a steep $2,000.

As far as Dell starting up another ultra-portable laptop line, we can’t say it’s impossible, but hardly unlikely.

via [CNET]

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Set Up Your New Router the Proper Way

There’s always a time where we all get that new router. Whether it’s because our old one died or we’re making the jump to 802.11n, there are some essential steps that we must take to properly set up a new router. Tech review site Tested has made a list of 15 steps for properly setting up a router. Some of them are obvious like setting up WEP/WPA security and positioning the router in an optimum location, but there are things that we tend to overlook, like choosing that perfect wireless channel and even installing third-party firmware to overhaul your router.


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It’s obvious that Apple will release a refreshed line of MacBook Pros come this spring, but the exact time period is still foggy at this point. However, 9to5Mac has obtained word that Best Buy stores have placed “dummy SKUs” of MacBook Pros into their databases. The release date for those? March 11th. These dummy SKUs also shows a $1,199 for one of the models, which is the cheapest model of the current 13-inch MBP. This means we might not see a permanent price drop when the new models roll in.

via [9to5Mac]

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You’ve undoubtedly heard about the craze of “green” hard drives from companies like Western Digital and Seagate. They promise that these drives will consume less power and cost less (since they only run at 5400RPM or 5900RPM), but from what Ars Technica reports, these “green” drives don’t differ all that much from regular drives.

“In terms of cost, using a green hard drive compared to a normal one makes very little difference. Assuming your drive spends 4 hours reading and writing and 20 hours idle per day, switching from the WD Black to Green saves you only 45 kilowatt-hours per year. The national average cost of a kilowatt-hour is 11.93 cents, netting you a whopping $5.38 per year for your sacrifice of 1800 RPM. For comparison, changing one 60-watt lightbulb used 4 hours a day to a 7-watt fluorescent one saves you more, about $9.23 per year.”

They’re obviously not completely useless since they’re still relatively quieter and stay cooler than regular drives, making them ideal for HTPCs and backup storage.

[Ars Technica]

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