The thought of having to bury one's child is certainly terrifying to parents and can only be worse when that child is only an infant. Some parents do have to live that nightmare because of a number of illnesses, such as tracheomalacia which will cause an infant to stop breathing. For one Ohio family though, the terror ended as researchers at the University of Michigan were able to create an implant to let their baby breath.
Tracheomalacia is a condition where the cartilage around the trachea is unable to support the air pipe, allowing it to collapse and cutoff breathing. Most children grow out of it in a few years, but for some severe cases, resuscitation can be required daily. The doctors had little hope and the parents were desperate, so the University of Michigan researchers were contacted, as they had in fact been working on a device to treat the condition. With emergency clearance from the FDA and scans of the baby's trachea and bronchus, the researchers printed an implant specially designed to wrap around the organs and keep them from collapsing. Just three weeks after the device was implanted, the baby was taken off his ventilator and has had no trouble breathing since.
In roughly two to three years, the baby's trachea will grow into a healthy state and no longer need the implant, which fortunately will actually have dissolved into the body at the same time. The researchers are understandably proud of their work as it went from something to might save a life, to saving one and the parents could not be more relieved.
Another week has come to a close, but there's still some reviews to check out. NVIDIA's newly released GeForce GTX 780 has another review, but this time it's a model from Zotac. It's just the first of what should be many OEM cards hitting reviewers, so be on the lookout for it and plenty more! There's a review on the AMD A4-5000 APU, which is the first ever quad-core x86-based SoC. We have two looks at the OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD, which pairs the 20nm process with the Indilinx controller. If you need a lot more storage than those SSDs, look no further than the review on a 4TB hard drive from Seagate. There's a look at a multitude of fans from Noctua, including some of the ones seen here at OCC. There's plenty more to check out too, so be sure to hit up all the reviews below.
Diamond Multimedia has announced an upgrade to its WR300N wireless range extender with the WR300NSI. The new device offers three capabilities in one compact package, acting as a wireless repeater and range extender, wireless access point, and wireless bridge device. The WR300NSI plugs directly into a wall outlet and can take an Internet connection from an Ethernet cable or an existing wireless signal. It is able to deliver Internet connections using either wireless or Ethernet access and can extend the wireless range of your network by up to 30 meters. The WR300NSI offers security for your connections using WEP, WPA, or WPA2 encryption with the latest AES and TKIP algorithms. An MSRP of $49.99 gives users a cheap and easy method to extend the reach of their home or office networks.
Some people say that the most valuable thing in the modern world is information, and if that is true than the ability to secure that information is also going to be very valuable. Numerous systems have been developed to protect digital information from being stolen and quantum encryption is one of the strongest systems available now, but does have some weaknesses, such as limited range. Researchers at MIT have developed a new quantum encryption method though that can address the range issue as well as limits on transmission size.
Quantum encryption takes advantage of certain properties and phenomena of quantum mechanics to make eavesdropping on a transmission impossible, without being exposed, because measuring a quantum signal changes it. The quantum mechanical properties and phenomena used though are quite fragile, which limits transmission range, but the researchers have found a way around that. Even though during transmission noise will disrupt a signal, the researchers determined that if a megabit of data were sent between two people communicating legitimately, only one bit would get flipped due to the noise. If there were an illegitimate listener though, an eavesdropper, half of the bits they receive would be flipped, making the signal useless to them.
This is certainly an important discovery for enabling fully quantum-encrypted communication, but does have one weakness, at the moment. In its current form, this method is only strong against passive eavesdroppers, who just listen in, but an active eavesdropper who affects the transmissions would be able to defeat it, at least until more research is done to strengthen this system against them.
The i Series is the latest line of power supplies from Cooler Master. These power supplies operate on a single +12V rail, allowing the system to power any number of power hungry components. This is achieved through the "inclusion of higher quality components and process improvements that allow for high efficiency of 85% or more." The additional inclusion of high durability capacitors and other over power protections ensure that the i Series will keep your system running strong for years to come.
NVIDIA has launched its new top of the food chain video card in the form of the GeForce GTX 780. This new card is based on the GK110 core seen in the GTX Titan, but a little stripped down to make it more affordable for the masses. It's priced at $649, which is still up there, but owning the latest and greatest rarely comes at a cheaper price point. To see how it compares to the Titan, the older GTX 680, and even AMD's offerings, check out all the reviews below.
Precision is of great importance for many devices and generally it is easier to be precise when what you are measuring is not moving much. Achieving this can be rather difficult though when you are working with atoms. Technologies to cool atoms so they barely move do exist, and now researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, Imperial College London and the National Physical Laboratory have miniaturized it to the point of being portable.
Atoms, being as small as they are, are not exactly easy to cool, since you cannot just put some ice on them, and even if you could, you want them cooled to nearly absolute zero for the best measurements. The way this is accomplished is by shining lasers on the particles that will hold the atom in place, forcing it to cool down. Typically these setups are large, making them difficult to incorporate into some devices, but the researchers have managed to shrink the technology using special diffraction gratings. When a single laser beam strikes the gratings, which have been etched into a semiconductor, the beam splits into many, and each subsequent beam has the ability to trap and cool atoms.
This smaller, simpler design could impact numerous technologies, including atomic clocks, magnetometers and accelerometers. These technologies have applications including navigation, telecommunication, medical imaging and more.
We have several articles that should pique your interests today. First up are two different articles on the recently revealed Xbox One: one discusses everything you need to know about the console and the other looks at how Microsoft seems to be turning the Xbox from a game console into a home entertainment hub. We have a look at what the ASUS Transformer Prime is capable of even after a year of being available. There's also a look at not one but three different AMD parts: the Temash, Kabini, and Richland mobile platforms; the Jaguar and GCN compute architecture for Temash and Kabini; and finally a performance preview of a laptop outfitted with the A4-5000 Kabini.
Given their prevalence, there is a decent chance you do not think about the potential inkjet printers have for doing more than just printing out directions or homework. Indeed many researchers have been looking to them for high speed, repeatable production of devices by swapping out ink cartridges for other liquids. Now researchers at Northwestern University have replaced ink with a graphene solution, allowing them to print graphene-based electronic patterns.
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon with extraordinary electrical and physical properties, making it of great interest to numerous researchers. Producing large quantities of high quality graphene though can be difficult, and that impedes some development with it. The Northwestern researchers however found a way to produce graphene flakes at room temperature using ethanol and ethyl cellulose. These flakes were then combined with a solvent to create a printable ink that is 250 times more conductive than previous attempts at graphene ink.
While the high conductivity of graphene certainly makes this research interesting, its flexibility and strength adds to the printed circuits' potential as they can be used in future, flexible devices. Thanks to the scalability of inkjet printing, such devices could possibly be made quite cheaply, once they ready for production.
Qualcomm has been showing off a new display type called a Mirasol display, which is based on the company's micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS). This technology will have a significant impact on smartphones and tablets, since it will use only about one sixth of the power required by LCD or OLED displays. This will improve battery life by a substantial amount, as displays are one of the most power hungry parts in a smartphone or a tablet. According to Qualcomm, the display will provide a "convergent display experience with paper-like readability in almost any ambient condition," which means that as long as there is some light around you, you should get a good, clear image. However, the technology only works when there is light present because the pixels making up the display works by reflecting light at specific wavelengths. That problem can potentially be avoided by implementing a LED-based solution into the display that can be turned on and off, thus making the display readable at night.
Engadget was able to get a shot of a smartphone and a smartwatch, both using a Mirasol display. The smartphone is sporting a 5.1 inch panel with an impressive 2560x1440 resolution, giving it a pixel per inch count of 577.
The biggest problem with this new technology is that it is still being developed and it will need a few more years in research and development before it will appear in consumer electronics, so for now you will have to make due with regular LCD or OLED displays.
Magnets are the sums of their parts, specifically electrons, as the negatively charged particles have their own small magnetic fields that can align and combine to create the larger ones we are familiar with. The directionality of the magnetic fields comes from the angular momentum or spin of the electrons, which is not related to the spin of a top, and could be used for computing purposes. Researchers at the University of Delaware have recently observed a previously predicted magnetic field which could have some very interesting impacts on future computing technologies.
Spin currents are going to be a critical part of spintronic computers as they will carry information similarly to electrical currents in modern computers. When spin currents travel through some materials though, there can be interesting effects, and the researchers discovered one of these recently. As a pure spin current flowed into a material consisting of a double layer of a heavy metal and a ferromagnetic material, the current diffuses into the ferromagnet and creates a magnetic field within it, capable of switching its magnetization. On its own, that may not seem very interesting, but this new field has the unique property of being confined to the ferromagnet; it does not extend outside of the material.
One of the issues with some spintronic and magnetic technologies is shielding, so one bit or cell does not rewrite another. As this new magnetic field stays within the material though, shielding would not be required, and that would allow for very high circuit densities.
Metro: Last Light recently released, and if you're wondering how it'll perform on your PC, it would be best for you to check out the article below. If you're in need of a new case, the IN WIN G7 might be the one for you at a budget friendly price. Jumping into Wireless N doesn't have to be an expensive proposition, as Rosewill's T600N Wireless Router can be had for under $60. Check out the review below to see if it could be the new piece in your home network. We have a look at the Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming mouse, which is a modified version of Razer's Naga Epic decked out in a Star Wars design. There's a review on Lenovo's new Y500 gaming laptop that packs a mighty punch and yet won't set you back near as much as other similar gaming laptops. To keep it cool under an intense frag session, there's a look at the Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus Cooling Pad, which can fit up to 17" laptops. For the media buff there's a review on the Leawo Total Media Converter Ultimate that can transcode Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Microsoft announced the new Xbox One console earlier today, and while that may have been relatively light on games, there's one good thing to look forward to with it. NVIDIA has announced its supporting its PhysX and APEX SDKs for the Xbox One, ensuring the same level of technology is shared between PCs and consoles. NVIDIA PhysX is "the world’s most pervasive physics solution" to bring real-world effects into the virtual world, be it for bodies, fluids, fabric, and more. NVIDIA APEX is similar to PhysX, but steps it up for some of the most physics-enabled (and destructive) environments you can possibly have in a game. The quanity and visual quality of destructive objects can be expanded, turn smoke and other particle-based fluids into gameplay components, and even make life-life clothing that properly interacts with characters for that ultimate immersion factor.
NVIDIA is quite excited about both PhysX and APEX being in the Xbox One, and you can check out what the two technologies are all about here for PhysX and here for APEX.
Fractal Design has recently announced a variant on a rather unique case that may seem small, but can pack a lot of hardware. The Node 304 White features an attractive exterior and a modular interior that's capable of accomodating six hard drives. If you don't need that much storage space, just pop out some of the brackets and you can install graphics cards up to 12" in length. Tower CPU coolers up to 165mm in height can be installed too, plus single-fan water cooling systems can also fit inside. If you're wondering about fans, well, Fractal Design has three Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans (two 92mm in the front, one 140mm in the rear) in the Node 304, with filtered air intakes ensuring no dust can get inside. Motherboard compatiblity includes mini-ITX and DTX, ATX power supplies up to 160mm in length can fit, while the front panel consists of two USB 3.0 ports, audio in/out, and power and reset buttons.
The Fractal Design Node 304 White will be available soon for $89.99. The Node 304 Black is already available for the same price.
Water is a fairly common material in the Universe thanks to how much hydrogen and oxygen want to bond to form the molecule. When the elements do bond, energy is released and could be tapped to power man-made devices, but first we need the hydrogen and oxygen to bond. A common idea is to create systems that use solar energy to split water molecules, and researchers at Berkeley Lab have recently developed a new device for doing so.
This new device is actually a combination of nanowires made of silicon and titanium oxide. These materials are both semiconductors that react with light, but different parts of the spectrum. Silicon operates in the visible and infrared ranges, while titanium oxide reacts to ultraviolet light. When exposed to sunlight, the two materials also do different things as the silicon adds electrons to protons to produce hydrogen, and the titanium oxide pulls the oxygen out of water molecules. To improve performance, the titanium oxide nanowires are arranged like a forest on the larger silicon nanowire. This configuration increases the surface area to interact with water and helps capture sunlight.
Currently the device only achieves 0.12% solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency, which is not horrible, but does need to be increased for commercial use. Fortunately the researchers already know one way to optimize the system by matching the energy outputs of the silicon and titanium oxide.
NVIDIA first announced the i500 LTE modem as part of the Tegra 4i at Mobile World Congress in February. The company has shown off an updated demo at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas this week, featuring a new software update. The latest update allows the modem to reach speeds of 150Mbps, an increase from the MWC demo of 100Mbps. The combination of software-defined radio technology and Deep Execution Processors allowed NVIDIA to increase the performance without the need of new hardware, showing the potential for further upgrades as the software development proceeds.
Enermax has announced five new models of case fans, all of which feature the new patented Adjustable Peak Speed technology. This new technology allows users to select an RPM range for the fan to operate in, and it will then be kept within that range using pulse width modulation or an integrated thermal sensor. The Twister Advance line is receiving the Cluster, Everest, and Magma. The 120mm fans range in speed from 500 to 1800 RPM and use Twister Bearings and batwing fan blades. The T.B. Vegas and T.B. Vegas Quad feature one and four colors of LEDs, respectively. Each of these fans will allow for a number of different configurations to customize the appearance of your fans. The Quad features a total of 48 LEDs and the single model has 18.
The rumors on Microsoft's next Xbox have been around just as long as those on the PlayStation 4, but then Sony went ahead and revealed its new system to the world this past February. Now it's Microsoft's turn to show off its next console, which we've known the date for a while but that's pretty much all. Until now, that is, as Microsoft has formally unveiled the Xbox One. It isn't the Xbox Infinity, Loop, or even 720, but Xbox One. It's designed to be the center of your living room, with games, movies, music, and more all being controlled by the console. It does require an Internet connection, but you can still play games and watch movies/TV if it drops out. There's a new Kinect sensor, a controller that pretty much resembles the current X360 one, and, oh yeah, a look at the Xbox One itself.
Microsoft's Xbox One is similar in size to the 360, except it's much more angular without a curve in sight. Since it's meant to be the center of your living room, it can turn on your TV just by telling the console: "Xbox on." There's no need to change inputs manually either if you want to watch TV, just another voice command changes it over for you. The Xbox One features near instant switching if you want to get back to gaming, or browse the Web, or watch a movie; Microsoft is touting less than a second delay for the switching. It features a snap mode similar to the PC one, where you can have the browser on one side while you're watching TV on the other. It's multitasking on a console, which is great to see in this day and age.
The Kinect sensor comes bundled with every Xbox One, so it's no longer another accessory. It's been improved with a 1080p camera and can process 2GB of data a second to read the room. Skeleton and 3D tracking are more precise, plus it can even read your heartbeat (useful for exercise/dance games). Since the Kinect is included with every console, it means your living room is now the perfect spot to make and receive Skype calls. Oh, and it's the only way to do group calls, too. Microsoft has worked in a TV guide into the Xbox One, with the Kinect (or a smartphone) controlling that side of it.
Alright, so enough about what the console can do in the living room, let's see what's powering the Xbox One to see how it stacks up. For starters, it has an eight-core CPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM that is shared between the CPU and GPU, 32MB cache of SRAM for the GPU, a 500GB non-replaceable HDD, a Blu-ray drive, 802.11n WiFi with WiFi Direct, HDMI in/out, and USB 3.0. The CPU is of the 64-bit variety, although exact specifications are lacking at this time. The Blu-ray drive looks to be of the slot loading type, so no more disc tray that needs to take up more space. The built-in hard drive can't be replaced, but Microsoft is allowing external USB 3.0 drives to store everything the internal one can, like games.
The Xbox One is, well, rather large in size, as is the new controller. Like I said before, it resembles the current X360 one, but with some refinements. The Xbox jewel in the middle is moved up top, vibration sensors are built right into the triggers, the D-pad has been reworked to hopefully remove frustrations, and the battery compartment is flush with the body.
Xbox One uses a rather unique method for the OS, as it runs not one but three simulatenously. There's the main system OS that's a paired down version of Windows for apps and non-game software downloaded from the store, an "Xbox OS" to handle games, and finally a third OS that's really more of a virtualization helper to make sure the main and Xbox OSes can talk to each other. The Xbox OS is a fixed component throughout the Xbox One's lifespan, so developers know that won't change regardless of what kind of updates Microsoft rolls out to the main OS. These OSes enable the multitasking of the console, especially with the HDMI passthrough for a cable/satellite box. However, even though Xbox One runs a modified version of Windows, developers won't be able to drag and drop PC apps onto the console. Microsoft says it's possible, but it requires some coding and UI tuning to make it work.
There's no release date or price mentioned, with Microsoft planning to reveal a lot more at E3 next month. Forza Motorsport 5 is a launch title, but information on it is very lacking. EA was on stage to show off its new EA Sports Ignite engine that's going to be powering the likes of Madden, FIFA, NBA Live, and UFC, with those four games due "in the next 12 months." Activision showed off the new Call of Duty: Ghosts, which includes timed DLC exclusive for the Xbox One. CoD:G features a new game engine and an impressive-looking world, complete with 3D textures for better immersion. As for any other games, it seems we're left waiting until E3.
If you're wondering how the Xbox One's PC architecture will handle current Xbox 360 games, well, it won't. The Xbox 360 is based on PowerPC and that means games built for it, including Xbox Live Arcade games, won't be able to make the transition to the Xbox One. No backwards compatibility may be an issue for some people, but Microsoft isn't concerned about that as it still plans to support the 360 with new games and apps. Your Xbox Live Gamertag and Gamerscore are going to transfer over to the new system, however, so at least there is that.
We have a little bit of everything a new computer needs up for review today, even how to build a thin mini-ITX PC for those desiring a small and silent rig. We have a look at the PowerColor Radeon HD 7790 TurboDuo video card, complete with a factory overclock and a dual fan cooler. Moving to a bigger component, we have the MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming motherboard that could be the perfect fit for that HD 7790. There's also a look at a 16GB set of RipjawsX RAM from G.Skill, which pairs two 8GB sticks together. We have a review on the SilverStone DS322 Dual Bay USB 3.0 enclosure for those needing a lot of external storage. If you need a new keyboard, then have a look at the Truly Ergonomic mechanical keyboard, which uses Cherry MX Browns in a unique shape.
Samsung is getting set to show off some new display technology during the Society for Information Display's Display Week 2013, which runs from May 21 to 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It'll have a large assortment of sizes and technologies there, including a 1920x1080 AMOLED display with a broad color gamut of 94% Adobe RGB for mobile phones, and an 85-inch Ultra HD LCD TV panel. On the computer side, Samsung will have a 10.1", 2560x1600 LCD panel for laptops, and a 13.3" screen for laptops with a 3200x1800 resolution. No, that isn't a mistake; this panel really does pack a 3200x1800 resolution in only a 13.3" format. It translates to 276 pixels per inch, but that isn't what Samsung is most proud of with this screen. It's designed to increase power savings by 30% compared to past models, thanks to a lower number of drive circuits and a more efficient LED backlight unit.
There's no telling when this 3200x1800 resolution screen will land, but it's certainly amazing to see such a high resolution in a screen so small. Now, if only panel manufacturers can produce 16:10 panels again with that kind of efficiency and pixel density.
It was already known that the next game in the Batman: Arkham story line is being developed by Warner Bros. Montreal, a departure from the creators of the previous two games, Rocksteady Games. A new hands on demo revealed some more details about the gameplay for the latest iteration in this series, and it follows the "If it isn't broken, don't fix it," policy. The combat similar to the formula from Rocksteady will be joined by the all new Detective Mode that sees the Dark Knight use his high tech gadgets to recreate unseen events. The game itself takes place prior to the previous two games in the series, and follows Batman as he dodges villains out to kill him on Christmas Eve.
For millennia humanity has been fascinated with gold, first making jewelry from it and more recently advanced pieces of technology. These applications combined with its scarcity makes gold one of the more sought after elements in the world, so any economical means of collecting it is used. Now researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a new means to isolate gold dissolved in a solution using a cornstarch derivative.
While many people may imagine gold mining as something achievable with a pickaxe, it actually involves a great deal of chemistry as many gold sources are crude, and have it bonded with other, undesired elements. Currents methods of isolating the gold from these other elements require cyanide, which results in hazard waste products. The Northwestern researchers however stumbled upon a new way to grab the gold out of solutions while trying to create cubic nanostructures for storing small molecules and gases. Instead of cubes, needles formed and once these were examined, the researchers found the gold atoms within them were isolated, along with other metals.
After some experimentation, the researchers found it was alpha-cyclodextrin, a starch fragment that was most capable at isolating the gold atoms. In fact it is more efficient at isolating gold than the current cyanide based methods, so we may soon see industries adopting it to harvest gold from natural sources, and potentially scrap alloys.
The start of another week brings a wealth of reviews and articles for your viewing pleasure, so let's dive right in. We have a look at an HD 7790 1GB video card from HIS, complete with a custom cooler and factory overclock. There's a look at the ASUS Maximus V Formula motherboard for current Intel processors, and then two previews of what ASUS and Gigabyte are bringing to the party for the next generation processors and Z87 chipset. We also have reviews on a new Fractal Design case, a Mad Catz headset, and a Kingston 64GB microSDXC card. There's plenty of other stuff to check out, so hit up those links below for the full spread!
Nimble Quest is a free-to-play, top-down action game that resembles the classic game Snake, but with a twist – you control a "conga line of heroes." The object of the game is rather simple – kill a set number of enemies in a level to advance to the next. The heroes in your "snake" will automatically attack when an enemy is within range. The only control you have is maneuvering your snake up, down, left, and right. And like Snake, if you hit a wall or an enemy, you die. However, you can also die if the hero leading your snake runs out of health. Yes, the enemies attack too. Your other heroes have health too, but if they run out, they simply leave your snake allowing you to continue on without them.
Three heroes are initially available with an additional thirteen unlockable by beating levels. In order, heroes include Knight, Forest Hunter, Fire Mage, Pirate Sharpshooter, Skeletal Warrior, Gnome Inventor (hurls bombs), Champion, Lightning Mage, Ninja, Demon, Warden Spirit, Dark Wizard, Orc Warlord, Assassin, Ice Mage Princess, and Elemental Monk. While you start each game with just one hero, heroes randomly drop when you kill an enemy. When you beat one of the first thirteen levels for the first time, unlocking a hero, the hero automatically gets added to your snake at the start of the next level. As such, I actually found my first couple runs to be far better than my later attempts, as I had an easier time gaining extra fire power. As in Snake, when you get longer you do have a tougher time maneuvering – and if you crash into yourself, it's game over – but due to the attacking mechanic, growing and maintaining a long snake is essential, as you'll want to dispatch enemies as quickly as possible.
Nimble Quest also features some light RPG aspects. Aside from possibly dropping a hero, killed enemies also drop gems or one of seven items. Items include a chest that spills gems all over the level, a healing potion, an increased attack speed buff, a magnet to draw gems to you, a bomb that destroys any enemies within the blast radius, a shield, an item that temporarily freezes all enemies on the screen, and tokens. Gems can be used to upgrade the items, such as increasing the duration of the magnet or increasing the blast radius of the bomb, or to upgrade your heroes. Heroes can be upgraded three times each, improving such stats as attack rate, armor, damage, and range, depending on the hero. The first upgrade is fairly affordable, but the third upgrade is crazy expensive. Everything in the game can be earned and upgraded by playing, but micro-transactions certainly speed up the process if you're lazy, frustrated, or just want to support the developer.
While gems are spent on permanent upgrades, tokens are spent on one-offs. At the start of each level, you can add a hero, skip a level, increase the health of all heroes by 25%, increase run speed by 25%, start with a shield, or increase the attack speed of all heroes by 25%. Each of those things cost one token and are only active for that playthrough. You can also spend one token when you die to retry the stage you were just on. You probably won't be surprised to learn that tokens are quite rare. You can buy them for 1000 gems, though it appears there may be a limit of five through that method (I do not have enough gems to test that out). Of course if you're willing to spend real money, you can always purchase tokens and gems, but again, it's not necessary to play and advance in the game.
If you're wondering how I've already played Nimble Quest, it's because the game is already available for free in the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, and Google Play. I have been playing the game on my iPad. There appears to be this elitist attitude by many Steam Greenlight voters wherein they believe mobile games have no place on Steam. I think that is absolutely ridiculous – if a game is fun, why does it matter what platform it originated? And Nimble Quest is indeed fun. If you don't believe me, go download it on your iOS or Android device (or if you don't own one of those devices, ask a friend who does). Nimble Quest is free-to-play, so what to you have to lose? And on that note, let's end this elitism and welcome Nimble Quest onto Steam with open arms!
Mushkin recently received an Innovation Award from The SSD Review for its line of Chronos GO Deluxe solid state drives. The 1.8" drives received the award "due to its combination of its wide range of capacity offerings, form factor, and Mushkin's drive to push the limits of performance." Founder of The SSD Review Les Tokar highlighted the drive, stating that "The Mushkin Chronos GO Deluxe 1.8 SSD may be a relatively modest SSD to the world but it doesn't lack in performance. With both read and write transfer speeds above 500MB/s and write IOPS above 82,000, the LSI SandForce Driven characteristics are front and center."
Bit Fenix is looking to spice up the Prodigy series of cases, adding blue and green versions of the popular case. The mini-ITX case features the same windowed panel option as well as FyberFlex Composite material and SoftTouch Surface Treatment. Users will find the inside of the case to be rather spacious, allowing for up to five hard drives, GPUs up to 320mm in length, and even 240mm liquid cooling radiators.
The specifications for the upcoming NVIDIA GTX 770 graphics card have been revealed. Unlike the GTX 780, which is based on the new GK110 architecture, the GTX 770 is based on the GK104 architecture like the previous generation. It is going be a rebranded GTX 680 with higher clocks. It has 1,536 CUDA cores and a core clock of 1,046 MHz, which goes up to 1,085 MHz with NVIDIA's GPU Boost 2.0. It will be available in two variants, one with 2 GB and one with 4 GB of memory, both with a memory clock of 7,000 MHz, which is paired with a 256-bit memory interface.
The card will need a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power connector, and it has a TDP of 230 W. The cooler is apparently going to be the same as the one used on the GTX Titan, which should keep the card rather cool and quiet. Two DL-DVI, an HDMI, and a DisplayPort output has been fitted on the board, so it should work with most modern monitors.
Performance has been estimated to be anywhere from 10 to 20 percent faster than AMD's HD 7970 GHz Edition; though in some games, like Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, and Max Payne 3, the GTX 770 will be on par or a little faster.
A price has not been revealed yet, but it is expected to be around the same as the HD 7970 GHz Edition.
The other day NVIDIA announced Project SHIELD has been renamed to just SHIELD, and would arrive next month for $349. Pre-orders were going to go live on May 20, with anyone subscribed to the SHIELD newsletter getting a headstart. However, it appears NVIDIA had a change in plan and opened up pre-orders to everyone starting today. Interested gamers can get the Tegra 4-powered Android handheld online at the SHIELD website or at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers. A carrying case and custom lids can also be pre-ordered at the SHIELD website, with the case running $39.99 and lids (carbon fiber or glossy black) at $19.99.
NVIDIA's website lists the SHIELD will ship by the end of June, but again no solid date is mentioned. Each SHIELD includes a copy of Expendable: Rearmed and Sonic 4 Episode II THD to get your gaming started right away.
Lasers are a special kind of device and when they were first created, they opened a new world to scientists of many fields. Since that day they have evolved as techniques improved and new technologies replaced old. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have created a completely new kind of laser that technically is not a laser because of how different it is.
Originally 'laser' was not a word but an acronym standing for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This new device however operates quite differently as it uses polaritons to generate the photons, instead of other photons. This technique was first proposed in 1996 and works by electrically exciting electrons to higher energy states, creating an exciton; an electron-hole pair. By carefully tuning the microcavity these excitons are in and subjecting them to a magnetic field, it is possible to couple them to a photon, making them into polaritons. What that translates to is that when the electron and hole recombine, they will release a photon of a specific frequency. This fails to meet the definition of a laser because one photon does not cause other photons to be released.
While it may not technically be a laser, it could eventually be used to replace them as it can operate using 1000 times less energy. Before we can see them being used in modern electronics and networks though, they will have to be redesigned to function at room temperature, as they currently require cryogenic temperatures.
Another week has come to a close, and what better way to celebrate than with some reviews. Today we have a look at two different storage solutions, with one of them being a multipurpose device. The ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage Reader and Power Bank combines a USB drive, wireless access point, card reader, and even a rechargeable power pack for tablets and mobile phones. Quite the multitasker, so check out the review to see how well it performs each one. Patriot's Supersonic Magnum flash drive only has one task, but its 256GB of storage and USB 3.0 connection means it can accomplish it very fast, to the tune of a 250MB/s read speed and 160MB/s write speed. Read both reviews below, as well as listening to the latest PC Perspective podcast.