SilverStone Wireless Upgrade Roundup Review

Introduction


It is one thing to buy a wireless network card and set it up, but a lot of the time you can improve the performance of these cards with a few aftermarket items. Today I’m taking a little look at some of the upgrade offering that SilverStone offers, the WAB1B Magnetic WiFi antenna base, the WAD17 7 dBi high-gain antenna, and the 9 dBi WA219 high-gain antenna.

An antenna base can help you with two things: Move the antennas to a more open space where it’s less crowded than behind your PC with all the add-in cards and cables running there. The second bonus is that you can move the antennas to a place where they will get a better reception than they would behind your chassis that’s possibly located under your desk. SilverStone’s WAB1B antenna base is also magnetic which allows you to place it on the side of things, such as your PC chassis if it is made of metal. This increases the placement options even further. To finalize the whole thing, SilverStone added gold-plated connectors at both ends to ensure the best possible signal transfer.

The included antennas might not be total to your liking when you buy a network card, for one reason or another. The most common reason to get aftermarket antennas is the higher performance that they offer over the mainstream and included antennas. Antennas with higher gain also come with an increased size as you can see on the photo below. The smallest antenna is the default antenna included with SilverStone’s ECWA1 PCIe card and the other two are the WAD17 and WA219 respectively.

The WAD17 is a dual-band antenna for use with both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz band while the WA219 only is a single-band antenna for use with the 2.4GHz band. Both have their usage scenarios, so which you pick comes down to what you need. The long WA219 has a performance of 9dBi while the WAD217 has a performance of 7dBi, both quite a bit better than default 5dBi antennas, or worse.

Developers Increased Steam Game Prices Before Autumn Sale!

The Steam Autumn Sale has finally begun and it can be extremely tempting to purchase a huge array of games across various genres. Bizarrely, the current sale doesn’t feature any flash or daily deals and critics have argued this could be a result of Steam’s Refund Policy. Arguably, Valve is concerned about people purchasing something at a specific price, using the Refund Policy and re-purchasing 24 hours later at a cheaper rate. As with any promotion, it’s important to be skeptical and realize the majority of sale events are a marketing exercise. You only need to look at Black Friday to see the tricks employed to make people overspend.

According to Steam Spy, a number of games have increased their base price just before the sale began. As a result, the discounted percentage is larger and makes the consumer feel they are getting a better deal. It also explains why 75% off doesn’t equate to £2-3 anymore.

While this is pretty dishonest, it’s been going on for some time and I cannot see it changing anytime soon. Developers are implementing every possible trick to maximize profits from each purchase. It’s a sorry situation, but you have to take into account the poor discoverability on Steam and huge quantity of games. This means it’s very difficult for smaller studios to remain in business.

On the other hand, honesty is always the best policy and developers should respect consumers more by avoiding these sort of marketing tricks. It once again shows how Steam is simply becoming a client to play games while a huge number of people purchase codes from third-party resellers.

be quiet! Silent Base 800 Windowed Edition Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


be quiet! have one of the best-kept reputations in the PC component market, having created some of the most reliable and best performing products we’ve ever seen. Their range of CPU coolers often dominate leaderboards for their ultra-quiet performance, but then again, with a name like “be quiet!” they wouldn’t be worth much if they were noisy. Their PSUs are rock solid, with a range of great features and you guessed it, super-quiet performance. So what about their chassis? We already reviewed the Base 800 a little while ago and absolutely loved the quality and design, as well as its focus on noise suppression, but it was lacking one little detail; a side panel window.

be quiet! aren’t about to cut any old hole into the side of their chassis, leaving their product with poor noise suppression and thankfully, they didn’t. The Base 800 Window Edition innovates to provide the same acoustic performance as its solid panel counterpart! So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the latest chassis from be quiet!

As you can see, the window panel is a good size, giving a fantastic view of the chassis interior; obviously not much to look at now, but we’ll have a system installed soon enough.

The top panel has a little ventilation at the back for any top mounted cooling.

A nice over-sized power button, keeping with the bold design of the rest of the chassis, as well as a nicely equipped front I/O panel on the right side.

The right side panel has a fan cover on it, which would normally match the solid panel on the left. It doesn’t really have a practical purpose, but it does help add a little flair to the chassis.

The bold front panel looks fantastic, with two towering air vents on the sides and that funky orange trim keeping the design fun and engaging.

As you might expect, the front panel is packed with sound dampening materials to help keep unwanted noises from escaping your system.

Two very high-quality Pure Wings 2 fans are pre-installed; you couldn’t ask for better fans!

All the fans have been mounted with rubber grommets on both sides to help reduced any vibrations.

Lots of ventilation around the back and another Pure Wings 2 fan, which is once again mounted on rubber grommets.

A slide out dust filter for the PSU with an easy access pull tab.

The base of the chassis is almost featureless, but you’ll notice four cut-outs, these are for mounting the rails/legs that are included in the box, which I’ll show you shortly.

Pro-ISIS Hackers Take Down French TV Station

TV5Monde, a French TV station that broadcasts around the world, was attacked by ISIS and taken down for around three hours before it could get its stations broadcasting again.

The reports indicate that the stations Facebook page and website were also taken down by the attackers, having network director Yves Bigot stating that the station’s operations were “severely damaged”. However, TV5Monde’s broadcasting, Facebook page and website are now back online.

A similar attack was also registered in the US and like the latter, the jihadist group used the site to issue threats against French soldiers and reveal the identity of their relatives.

France is said to provide air support for anti-ISIS ground forces that recently liberated the Iraqi city of Tikrit, and declared that ISIS must be “wiped out” after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The methods used to hack TV5Monde are not clear just yet, but it is confirmed that the attack was issued by the same “Islamic State Hacking Division” who took credit for US military base attacks.

The conclusion was drawn based on the fact that the hackers ‘introduced’ themselves as the “CyberCaliphate” on TV5Monde’s Facebook page.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Pirated Windows 7 Found In U.S. Army Base

The government shelled out $50 million USD to Apptricity due to the U.S. Army using Apptricity’s software on more servers and workstations than licensed. Now one soldier stationed in Qatar has stepped forward to reveal that the Army is allegedly using pirated copies of Windows 7 as well.

According to the report, this soldier claims that 18 computers in the education center at his base, Camp As Sayliyah, run unlicensed copies of Windows 7, and has done so for quite a while. Even more, these computers clearly state that the operating system is not a genuine copy of Windows 7.

Images provided to TorrentFreak show one Windows 7 computer displaying the “Windows 7 Professional product key you typed in is invalid for activation” error. Another image has the error message “You must activate today” and another shows “Windows 7, Build 7601, This copy of Windows is not genuine” at the bottom right of desktop.

The soldier told TorrentFreak that currently this is the only time he’s seen a military base running unlicensed Windows software on desktops and laptops. He claims he approached his superior about the piracy issue, but so far nothing has changed.

“I am not anti-government in any way, but I have been in the army a long time and I feel the army should be kept honest and accountable for what they do, especially when it is so public and a hot button issue in these times,” the soldier said.

As TorrentFreak points out, it’s quite possible that the Army has keys for these computers, but they’re misplaced. Maybe the IT administrator didn’t think using pirated copies would be a big deal for the Army overseas. The latter scenario wouldn’t be surprising given the way the Army handled Apptricity’s software, which lead to the lawsuit and $50M settlement.

Regardless, Microsoft may be a bit forgiving given it just signed a $617 million licensing deal to bring Windows 8 to the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TorrentFreak