Welcome back to HCW Tech Questions, where each week we try to answer your questions about PC Hardware, Video Games, Android, and more. Feel free to submit your questions in the comments, on our Facebook Page, or via email.
I just watched The Social Network on Blu-Ray last night. Speaking as someone who is a Facebook user, but not necessarily a fan of it, it was a great movie. Oscar worthy? I’d say so. At least for Best Director (since Chris Nolan oddly did not get a nomination), and Best Film Editing.
They are also nominated for Best Original Score, and what really stood out to me during the movie was just how well integrated the soundtrack was with the emotions going on in the film. It’s no surprise that Trent Reznor is an amazing musician, and when I found out that Nine Inch Nails would no longer be touring, I was disappointed. However that did not stop Reznor from producing great music. Along with this soundtrack, there is also his side project How To Destroy Angels, which is basically Nine Inch Nails with female vocals. Amazing stuff.
Now onto the questions!
I always see ads for those services that promise to improve World of Warcraft ping times. Are they legit? Are these just cleverly disguised keyloggers or what?
These are known as tunneling services, and believe me, they work! Basically, if the route between your PC and Blizzard’s servers is congested or inefficient, you can use these services to bypass that route and create a new one using SSH tunneling. The one I use is probably the most famous – WTFast – and it has improved my ping from 400-500 ms to about 250-270 ms. That is connecting from Hong Kong all the way to California, so I am quite pleased.
If your ping is already under 100 ms, it probably won’t make a difference in gameplay. But for me, it’s a lot easier to time everything if I’m not half a second behind everyone else – especially if you’re a Shadow Priest who needs to time their channeled spells and DoTs perfectly.
Just make sure you order this service from a reputable place – certainly there will be some out there that are just trying to get your password.
Hi I have a question about Android. I have a Nexus One, and I always see people talk about “rooting” their phone. Is this the same as jailbreaking? What can I do with a rooted phone that I can’t do without?
First, let’s get this out of the way. Most Android phones aren’t in “jail” to begin with. This means that they are able to install applications from sources other than the official market. Some carriers do lock their phones, but rooting is different from jailbreaking.
As far as rooting goes, the main draw of course is the ability to install a custom ROM. The rom that came with your phone may come with a bunch of unneeded addons and a poor user interface – Motorola and Sony users will be especially familiar with this. After rooting your phone, you will be able to install one of the many custom roms that are out there. For a while, I was using CyanogenMod on my HTC Desire.
Furthermore, there are other functions a rooted phone can do that non-rooted cannot. For instance, the ability to remove system files – another way to get rid of bloatware without installing a custom rom is to root your phone, and remove anything you don’t need. There are also some very robust backup apps that require root access, as well as the ability to take screenshots on your phone (yes, Android still does not have a screenshot function without root access unfortunately) and of course overclocking (and underclocking). If you do a search for “root” on the market, you will see what kind of neat things you can do.
Ryan Rogers asked:
I am trying to figure what the the following device is, if you could tell me anything thing about it that would be great. Like what is called, what it is used for, and so on.
Nothing too exciting, I’m afraid. That’s an Ulveco (now owned by Noratel) medical transformer – basically a power supply for electronics used in hospitals. You can read all about them in this brochure.