Atlus has published a new trailer for ACE Team's Abyss Odyssey, explaining some of the unique features of the side-scrolling fighting game. Entitled "Features Trailer", it's broken into three parts: Story and Setting, Configuring your Player Attacks, and Community Oriented Objective.
The game is set in Santiago, Chile around the year 1900 where a powerful Warlock's nightmares are becoming real, causing monsters to appear on the surface. The trailer goes on to explain that each of the three main characters not only have their own skill sets, but each one is fully customizable so that you and your friend can be playing the same character, yet take on completely different roles. In addition, you're free to map each attack to whatever controls you like. And don't forget, you can also possess nearly every enemy in the game, as seen in the previous two "Know Your Enemy" videos, Judith and Bauta.
While the game would have already been unique if ACE Team stopped there, perhaps the most unique aspect is the Community Oriented Objective. While it had been previously stated that the game is procedural, it goes even beyond that – the game is affected by what the community collectively accomplishes. The Warlock has multiple forms and the more players that defeat him, the closer they'll get to unlocking his next forms. Doing so will also cause new enemies and items to appear in the game. It'll be interesting so see how the community embraces this or if some people will be turned off by having their game affected by others.
Abyss Odyssey will launch Summer 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
The upcoming Power8 CPUs and motherboards from IBM will make a departure from past designs as the Power8 will have an open design. The terms of the OpenPower program sound similar to that of ARM processors, with third parties able to license the Power8 technology to create their own designs. The OpenPower program features several big names in technology including Google and Tyan, with the latter announcing a reference design motherboard for server systems. The Power8 design is based on a 12 core processor with eight threads per core, allowing up to 96 processes to run simultaneously. The 22nm chips will be available in June and will run at frequencies of 2.5-5GHz.
With the advent of the Internet and social networking, it is possible for one person to be connected to hundreds of people, or more. Just as in real life though, there may come a time for those connections to end, and but on the Internet, 'unfriending' someone is just a click away. For years now, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver have been studying the process of unfriending, and its impacts.
The researchers have already published two papers on the topic, with the first focusing on who is most likely to be unfriended. At the top of the list was 'high-school friends,' followed by 'other,' 'friend of a friend,' 'work friends,' and 'common interest friends.' The researchers suggest that the reason high-school friends are so often unfriended is because in high school, people may be young enough that their political and/or religious beliefs; two topics that can lead to offensive disagreements. Also work friends were typically unfriended over something that happened in real life, and not necessarily online. The second papers considered the impacts of unfriending someone. The most common response was that it surprised them, with 'it bothered me,' 'I was amused,' and 'I felt sad' after it. The researchers also identified factors that predict the unfriended person's response, including if they were once a close friend, if they monitor their friend's list, if difficulties were discussed beforehand, and if they talked with others about being unfriended afterward.
While this may seem like a silly piece of research, it can have real world consequences and unfriending is an intentional act, compared to leaving someone on a friends list. Both studies used survey responses from 1077 people over Twitter.
Amazon has announced that it has struck an important deal with HBO, bringing an assortment of content to customers of the Amazon Prime service. Some shows that will be featured on Amazon Prime include Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, and True Blood, just to name a few. The catch to this deal, however, is that Amazon will be delayed in delivering HBO content to Prime members by three full years. This means that current seasons of shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep, will be unavailable to Amazon Prime users for three years from their respective premiere dates. Viewers who wish to watch the latest content will still need to subscribe to cable television and HBO. HBO did reveal that it will still continue its normal broadcasting of content through its HBO GO streaming service, despite the deal that has occurred between it and Amazon.
By using the Google Maps Street View feature, users are able to see people, vehicles, structures, landscapes, and many other items all around the world at an eye level view. Google has now introduced a new feature to Street View which allows users to see certain historical imagery spanning various years. Vinay Shet, the product manager for Street View, notes that the feature is like a digital time capsule of the world since it gives historic imagery dating back to 2007. Additionally, the feature provides the ability for users to explore various regions of the world in different seasons.
Users who wish to make use of the new Street View time capsule can only do so through the desktop version of Google Maps.
Initially launched as a pilot program earlier this year, Bing for Schools provided five of the largest United States public school districts with advertisement free searching. As the pilot program has evolved and captured more attention than ever, with it now being available to 4.5 million children located across hundreds of United States school districts, Microsoft has rolled out its final version of Bing for Schools, known as Bing in the Classroom. The new version of the Microsoft search engine keeps its advertisement free searching and also adds in privacy controls that allow adult content to be blocked. As students or teachers search with Bing in the Classroom they will receive results that include only online resources, instead of advertisements, businesses, and company websites that are featured across other search engines.
While Microsoft has unleashed Bing in the Classroom to the masses, it is not available in all schools. Parents can see which schools have the new version of the search engine by going onto the Bing in the Classroom website.
If you're in the market for a new case, have we got some fo you to check out today. There's a review on the Thermaltake Core V71 to offer another take at what this rather attractive offering has to provide for your computer. We also have a look at the BitFenix Prodigy M for those preferring to build a smaller system that can still hold plenty of gear. On the opposite side of the size spectrum is the Fractal Arc XL, which can house pretty much any number of hardware and water cooling components you can think to include. We also have a couple of other items, like the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive, which may look like a regular flash drive, but can also stream content to up to three devices. Lastly there's a look at some of the major pieces of hardware that left a positive mark on the computer industry.
So every day (often multiple times), I head on over to the Steam store page and check the "Coming Soon" section – yes, I'm obsessed. Imagine my surprise to find BloodRayne Betrayal in the list, a day after the BRCS Teaser wound up simply being a Japanese port of said game. BloodRayne Betrayal is a 2D spin-off of the BloodRayne hack-and-slash series, which was released in 2011 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. I've never played the game, but from what I've heard, it's extremely challenging.
BloodRayne Betrayal's appearance on Steam marks the first time it will be available on PC. And fortunately it's not just a mere port, with publisher Mignight City and developer Abstraction taking the time to add Steam Cloud, Steam Achievements, Steam Leaderboards, and Steam Trading Cards. That being said, it's not yet known what kind of graphics options will be available and the screenshots on Steam (attached below) are quite the low resolution.
BloodRayne Betrayal launches on Steam on April 30. Pricing has not been disclosed.
Back in February, we got our first look at some gameplay for CI Games' upcoming action-RPG Lords of the Fallen, and I mentioned how it had "a very Dark Souls look and feel to it." The new "Challenge Trailer" published yesterday shows that we can certainly expect a similar challenging experience where death is not only the norm, but how you learn and improve. The trailer shows the player battling a different Lord than the previous trailer, called The Champion...and failing over and over. But as it states toward the end, "Every Victory is Born From Defeat." After numerous deaths with numerous tactics, the player finally emerges victorious.
Lords of the Fallen is coming later this year to Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Lasers are a pretty cool piece of technology, in large part because of their variety of applications. They can help annotate a presentation, measure distances, read codes, to give a few examples, but one day they may also affect the weather. One barrier to using lasers to trigger rain and lightning has been that intense lasers will dissipate quickly in air, but researchers at the University of Central Florida have made a discovery that may help with that.
It may seem odd that rain and lightning could be controlled with lasers, but this is actually something that has been known about for years. Lasers of the proper power and frequency can excite electrons, creating a plasma, and both water condensation for rain and lightning are linked to static charged particles. If a laser is used to excite more charged particles, rain and/or lightning can be produced. The catch is that such intense laser beams will actually dissipate over short distances forming filaments. This is caused by the beam naturally wanting to collapse, but the excited air molecules wanting to spread it out. What the Florida researchers discovered is that if another, low-intensity beam is wrapped around the primary one, it will keep the primary beam from dispersing, increasing its range.
When tested the researchers were able to extend a laser pulse from just 10 inches long to 7 feet, but in theory this technique could extend it to over 50 meters. Along with potentially triggering rain and lightning, this research could be applied to guide microwave signals over very long plasma channels.
Last week, Arc System Works launched a teaser site for a new BloodRayne game with the acronym BRCS. Well the timer has run out, the game has been revealed, and...it's likely not what you were hoping for. BRCS stands for BloodRayne: Crimson Slayer, but it's not a new game. Instead, it's simply a Japanese port of 2011's BloodRayne: Betrayal, which never saw a Japanese release.
Sorry to have gotten your hopes up. I guess I should have been suspicious that the teaser site only appeared on Arc System Works' Japanese portal, not the US one.
Earlier today, BioWare announced that the highly anticipated Dragon Age: Inquisition will be releasing October 7, unveiling the box art and official gameplay trailer. While unavailable at the time, Electronic Arts has since published eleven brand new screenshots, which you can see below. They are all great screenshots, but I particularly love the dragon in the first one!
Some day we may see quantum computers capable of running parallel algorithms unlike anything a modern computer can perform. Before that though, we may see the deployment of quantum networks, analogous to the Internet but with vastly superior security, thanks to quantum mechanics. Researchers at Harvard University have recently designed a switch that could be used in such networks, and can be toggled on and off with single photons.
In quantum mechanics, particles can be put into special states that are very sensitive to any kind of interference, and will even change when measured. This property can be exploited to secure communications, as the act of eavesdropping would interfere with the particles and alert the communicating parties. Building quantum networks though is also quite difficult because of this sensitivity, and so they are limited to just tens of kilometers. This new switch however could enable quantum cryptography over thousands of kilometers. The switch is essentially a miniaturized version of macroscopic switches built in labs, consisting of a single atom between two mirrors. Using lasers and microwaves, the atom is put into a quantum mechanical state, which can allow light to pass through it. Striking the atom with another photon can destroy that state though, and prevent light from passing through it, creating the switching effect.
While labs will build three or four of the large versions to create a simple network, the Harvard design could allow for ten thousand of these switches to be built into chips, like integrated circuits. The researchers doubt this switch will be used to build quantum computers, but believe we could see it in prototype quantum networks in just a decade.
The C1 CPU cooler from CRYORIG has passed rigorous testing procedures and is now in production. The C1 will be used in ITX systems and is just 7.4cm tall. Six copper heatpipes run from the nickel plated base plate with a 140mm PWM fan providing the air circulation that produces only 28 to 30 dBA. CRYORIG Chief Manufacturing Engineer Alex Wang said, "ITX systems now are housing high performance, high TDP CPU’s and GPU’s. Cooling these crucial components is an even greater challenge in these tight spaces. What I think we achieved with the C1 is a solution that has outstanding performance for it’s size, and provides a great user experience thanks to its hassle free easy installation and robust accessories. Everything you need is in the box." The C1 will be available in Europe and North America in June and in May in Asia.
NZXT has announced the latest addition to its Phantom line of cases, the Phantom P240. The P240 builds on the signature asymmetrical shape with a full side window. The case can accommodate two 120mm fans in the front, one 120mm in the back, and two 120mm or 140mm fans on the top, with two 120mm NZXT FN V2 fans included. A full sized graphics card can be installed by removing the hard drive cage. The P240 will be available in Phantom White at an MSRP of $69.99.
The next entry in Codemaster's highly popular racing series GRID has been officially unveiled today. Entitled GRID Autosport, it'll be releasing in the US on June 24 and Europe on June 27, for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 – sorry, no new-gen. According to Codemasters, "GRID Autosport's features and tone have been shaped through consultation with the GRID community, professional racing drivers and the experts from AUTOSPORT magazine."
GRID Autosport features over 100 routes across 22 locations with a huge catalog of cars from a variety of different classes, "including Touring Cars, Hypercars, Endurance GT Cars, Prototypes, Single-Seaters, Super Modified vehicles, Drift cars, and many, many more." Multiplayer is seeing a major expansion by Codemasters' online community portal RaceNet, which will deliver weekly challenges and support the creation of RaceNet Racing Clubs "for online, clan-style team competition." There will be Party modes, Demolition Derby, and competitive split-screen modes to go alongside the single-player career mode.
The video above features actual PC game footage, and PC gamers will be excited to learn that "GRID Autosport will also be Codemasters [sic] most scaleable game yet on PC," offering 4K textures and 4K output – or a stable 60 FPS experience at 1080p for those that haven't dropped the coin on 4K setups just yet.
Netflix has announced within its latest earnings report that the service will soon see price increases, which are expected to be a dollar or two. The price hike will initially affect new customers who join the service, as current customers will be grandfathered into the pricing structure that exists now for a generous time period. Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, attributed rising content costs as the main reason why Netflix will soon be more expensive for customers. Quite a bit of original content has been brought to the streaming service, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, along with new shows that are scheduled to be available in the future such as Marco Polo, Narcos, and Sense8.
Along with the pricing increase announcement, Netflix also revealed that it will be making its way to cable provided DVRs located in the United States in the near future. The venture into this market will first occur with providers that use TiVo DVRs however, with Netflix attempting to expand into the market even further afterwards.
Although Sanyo just announced the DP65E34 yesterday, the company’s new 65-inch LCD television is now on sale. The DP65E34 features LED backlighting, a 120Hz refresh rate, three HDMI ports, and a USB photo viewer. The recently released television is a part of Sanyo’s new product line that includes televisions in sizes from 24 to 65-inches, which all feature MHL compatibility with Roku Ready branding. This means that the televisions within the new Sanyo product line are compatible with the older Roku MHL only streaming stick, though that may not matter to potential buyers as cheaper and newer alternatives are available such as Google Chromecast and the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick.
The new Sanyo DP65E34 is currently available for purchase at Walmart and Sam’s Club for $998.
Namco Bandai, the publisher behind free-to-play fighters Tekken Revolution and Soulcalibur: Lost Swords, is at it again, this time bringing a brand new free-to-play fighting game exclusively to PC. Entitled Rise of Incarnates, the game "features ground-breaking 2 vs. 2 gameplay, a multitude of characters and roles, and battlegrounds throughout shattered yet accurately rendered real-world cityscapes." The player controls the titular "Incarnates", who are "humans that command untold mythical powers," each with their own unique skills and powers.
Unlike most fighters, Rise of Incarnates appears to be a lot more open, featuring large 3D arenas that support both close-quarters combat and long-range assaults. It may speak to the power of PCs that the game isn't confined to a small circular arena or 2D plane prevalent in the fighter genre, and is likely why it's a PC exclusive.
So far, Namco Bandai has unveiled four characters and their Incarnates. Dr. Gasper Watteau is a scientist who specialized in the field of Incarnate research, commanding an Incarnate called the Grim Reaper, along with an undead army. Terrence Blake is a young man who can summon Ares to augment his attacks. Mireia Valentin is a young arms dealer with an Incarnate that transforms her into Lilith, providing deadly attack and lightning speed. Jedrek Tyler was left severely wounded during a gang fight, but can now call upon his Incarnate, Mephistopheles, raging completely out of control and becoming highly destructive.
Namco Bandai seems to be pulling out all the stops for this game, not only creating a full backstory, but even publishing a comic, which you can see below. The studio also published a bunch of screenshots on the official Facebook page, and in one of them you can see a "121" in the top left corner, which is presumably an FPS reading accidentally left in and a good sign that the FPS won't be capped.
You can currently sign up for the Alpha test on the official site by simply supplying an email address. There is no word on when the Alpha will begin, nor do we know the free-to-play structure of the game just yet, but it certainly looks and sounds promising.
Mr. Freeze was without a doubt the best boss battle in Batman: Arkham City and arguably the best boss battle in the whole series. Now he's back via the Cold, Cold Heart DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins, which releases today (hopefully soon!). The final piece of the Season Pass, Cold, Cold Heart is Origins' much-anticipated "Story DLC," adding new enemies, new weapons, new tactics, a surprise guest villain, and obviously an epic showdown between Batman and Freeze. Of course, no release would be complete without an official Launch Trailer:
While the video shows off Batman's new Extreme Environment (XE) suit, Thermocharged Batarangs, and Thermal Gloves, along with Mr. Freeze and his Cryo-thugs, Warner Bros. also published some sweet screenshots to provide us a closer look, which you can soak in below. You can read my review of Batman: Arkham Origins if you're curious whether you should pick up the game, though it was obviously reviewed sans DLC.
Last month, BioWare published a "Discover the Dragon Age" video that highlighted some of the locations players can visit in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Today, we get the first true taste of the game with the official Gameplay Trailer, entitled "The Inquisitor". The Inquisitor is the protagonist of this third iteration of the Dragon Age series and the lone survivor of a cataclysmic blast. As it's unknown why or how you survived, this leads to some mistrust, but also leads many to believe you're the only one who can stop the demons invading Thedas through The Breach.
Along with the new gameplay trailer, BioWare has also officially announced Inquisition's release date as October 7, 2014. In addition, the studio unveiled the badass box art for the game yesterday, which you can see in greater detail below. Inquisition will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
With the proper precautions, average computer users can protect themselves from most malware, but even the most vigilant user can still be attacked. Just as defenses have improved, so too have the attacks with some going as deep as targeting the system kernel. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have recently been awarded a grant from the US Air Force to develop a new defense framework to protect against those attacks.
Kernels are one of the most fundamental and important parts of a computer, as they manage the input/output requests software makes of the hardware. It is somewhat obvious then why malicious code would try to attack it. The plan the researchers have is to create a holistic defense framework that will be able to analyze binary code and identify benign code sequences and behaviors. Specifically it will be hunting for invariants, as there are enough to indicate if a system has been compromised, based on if they have been violated. This will occur at the hypervisor later, which is deeper than most modern defense systems.
The Young Investigator Research Program, which is the grant's source, will provide up to $360,000 over three years. When the research is completed, because of the fundamental approach the researchers are using, the computer defense system should be able to run regardless of operating system.
April keeps on moving towards its end, and we have a few items to help pass the time. There is a review on the Mionix Avior 7000 gaming mouse, which has a 7000 DPI optical sensor to help you control your games with utmost precision. We also have a look at the Thermaltake Bigwater 760 Pro water cooling system for those who want all their water cooling gear in one handy kit. Our final item for the day is a review on Gigabyte's BRIX Pro Mini-PC running an Intel i7-4770R CPU, so anyone short on space doesn't have to compromise performance.
Back in March, TERA publisher En Masse Entertainment announced that it was bringing free-to-play, third-person shooter Zombies Monsters Robots (ZMR) to PC this summer. The publisher has now announced that ZMR will be entering closed beta in May and has also released a Closed Beta Announce Trailer showing all new gameplay footage:
Being able to securely connect two surfaces is fairly important in many situations, and in many other situations it is equally important to be able to disconnect the surfaces. Instead of using nails, screws, or chemical adhesives, scientists have been working to mimic the feet of geckos, which can naturally adhere to a wide variety of surfaces. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have already developed such an adhesive device, but by returning to the gecko for inspiration, have recently made it better.
For a long time biologists did not know how it was that geckos could grip as many surfaces as they can, including very smooth surfaces such as glass. Eventually it was confirmed that microscopic hairs on gecko toes exploit van der Waals forces to hold it to a surface. This force is a relatively weak bond between two adjacent molecules, but because of the number of hairs, it is enough to bear the weight of a gecko. Already the researchers mimicked these hairs with their Geckskin reusable adhesive device, but to improvement they are mimicking the gecko's skin-tendon-bone system.
This natural system allows the feet of geckos to conform to a surface, making maximum use of the hairs. By adding soft elastomers and ultra-stiff fabrics, the researchers have recreated the foot's ability to conform, while maintaining the stiffness required to stay pressed against the surface. When tested, one of the new Geckskin versions actually surpassed a gecko's ability to adhere to a surface.
Kingston is adding a pair of drives to its SSDNow line of drives with the mSATA form factor. Drives will now be available with capacities of 240GB and 480GB with read and write speeds up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. Previously this line was limited to a maximum capacity of 120GB. The drives are controlled by the LSI SandForce 2241 controller and support Intel Smart Response Technology, TRIM, and S.M.A.R.T. drive monitoring. The mSATA drives have a standard PCB only design with no case and are targeted at small form factor systems including notebooks, tablets, and Ultrabooks.
G.SKILL has announced its latest memory kit, the F3-2133C11Q-32GRSL, available as four 8GB sticks. The 32GB DDR3L SO-DIMM memory set operates at 2133MHz with timings of 11-11-11-31. Marketing Director at MSI Sam Chern proclaimed his excitement about the set, saying "This time, G.SKILL’s F3-2133C11Q-32GRSL DDR3L memory kit clearly raises the bar for high performance gaming laptops and proves to be unbelievably stable on the MSI GT70 2OC gaming laptop, one of the best performance gaming laptops from MSI."
Although ASUS and Google have been good friends in regards to their partnership involving the first two generations of the Nexus 7, Google may be looking elsewhere for its new tablet. According to sources within the supply chain, Google is considering a partnership with HTC for its new Nexus 8 tablet that is rumored to be released during the third quarter of this year. The change in partners for Google is due to the technology giant considering a new design for the Nexus 8, along with ASUS not being as aggressive with the next generation Nexus tablet due to partnership restrictions put in place by Google.
According to the sources, Google approached HTC prior to its cooperation with ASUS in order to push the Nexus 7, but was denied partnership due to HTC attempting at the time to build its smartphone business.
Samsung services, to include the Samsung website and Smart Hub service, were unavailable to users on Sunday due to a fire that broke out at a Samsung facility in South Korea. According to a Samsung SDS blog, the fire was the result of a power supply failure in which one person was injured in the blaze attributed to debris. The fire occurred at a subsidiary of Samsung Group, which provides consulting, outsourcing, and software services. Samsung SDS is transferring data services that were affected to other facilities and in the meantime is working with authorities to investigate the incident.
Samsung Electronics noted that the company did indeed detect and experience a brief service disruption that lasted roughly four and a half hours.
Sometimes when you put two things together you can get something greater than the sum of its parts, because of how the two pieces interact. In materials science the interface of two materials can actually have completely different properties from those of the component materials. Curiously though these properties can be significantly different than theory predicts, but researchers at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron have finally found out why that may be.
For this research, the researchers examined strontium titanate and lanthanum aluminate, which are insulators on their own, but the interface between them is conductive. This comes from the materials affecting each other when in close proximity, actually causing some rearrangement. The problem is that it is only a tenth as conductive as it should be, according to Maxwell's theory. By using the DORIS III synchrotron radiation source, the DESY researchers used ultraviolet light to find why this is. It turns out the problem has been that only a tenth of the expected electrons actually came to the interface to form a conductive layer. How many come depends on the number of unit cells within the crystal lattice of the lanthanum aluminate, which means that by altering the structure of the material, the conductance can also be controlled.
Though the research was only done with a specific pairing of materials, it could be applied to any interface between different materials. Eventually that could give us a way to produce and control special properties for use in solar panels, hard drives, superconductors, and more.