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September 16, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 10:38AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

For thousands of years, humanity has been working to uncover the mysteries of Nature, and we are still at it. Recently special attention has been given to the skin of cephalopods, which can change in color as well as 'see' color. Researchers at Rice University have now recreated the color changing aspect of the skin to create a color display that matches the vividness of modern displays.

The pixels in the new display are comprised of several hundred aluminum nanorods, and the color of each pixel is determined by their length and spacing. Electron-beam deposition was used to create the precise arrangement of nanorods, which ensure that only one color is produced by the aluminum. Previous attempts to use aluminum nanoparticles like this resulted in more muted colors, as a wider range of frequencies were created and mixed together.

Among the potential uses of these arrays is replacing the dyes in LCD displays. Dyes can wear out over time from prolonged light exposure, but the physics involved with the nanorods will never fade. Also the light produced by the nanorods is naturally polarized, which means that one less polarizer would be needed in a display using them.

Source: Rice University

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:17AM PST by bp9801

We have a little bit of everything today, so regardless of what upgrade you are looking for, you should be covered. There is a review on the XFX Radeon R9 285 DD video card, which features a custom cooler and factory overclock to get you gaming longer. We also have a preview of NVIDIA's upcoming GTX 900 series of video cards, equipped with the company's new Maxwell core that should prove quite exciting. We have a look at the EVGA X99 Classified motherboard for those wanting to upgrade to the Intel Haswell-E line, while there is also a seven-way roundup of Intel Z97 motherboards if you don't quite need the high horsepower of the new chips. A 32GB kit of DDR4-2133 memory from Crucial gets put to the test, which could be perfect for one of the X99 motherboards. Fractal Design's Core 3300 case gets reviewed to see how this entry level model performs, and lastly there is a look at various protection accessories from Brando for the Nexus 7 tablet.

Video Cards
XFX Radeon R9 285 DD @ Benchmark Reviews
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900 Series Preview @ ThinkComputers

EVGA X99 Classified @ LanOC Reviews
Intel Z97 Chipset: 7-Way Motherboard Roundup @ TechSpot

Fractal Design Core 3300 @ PC Perspective

Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB Kit @ ThinkComputers

Brando Nexus 7 II Protective Accessories Presentation @ Madshrimps

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:04AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Everyday many of us walk and run without much thought, because our brains and bodies know what to do. Robots however are still learning these actions and researchers at MIT recently constructed and programmed a robot to run and even leap over objects in its path. The robot is designed to emulate the cheetah, but does not yet match its speed, having only sprinted at 10 MPH.

To achieve this speed, each leg of the robotic cheetah follows a bounding algorithm that determines the amount of force that is applied to the ground. To determine exactly how much force is applied, the researchers looked to sprinters who extend their stride by pushing against the ground hard enough, to extend their airtime. Such a force-based approach actually makes it easier for the robot to navigate rough terrain and does not require force sensors on the feet. Also by simply increasing the force applied to the ground, the robot can leap over obstacles in its path.

One thing about this robot that sets it apart from many other is that it is all electric, which counters the belief some have that only a loud gasoline engine can provide the necessary power. The next goal the researchers have is to actually get the robot galloping, which should be easy to do from its current, bounding gait.



Source: MIT

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:28AM PST by gebraset

Spotify, an on-demand music service which currently boasts 20 million songs and 10 million subscribers, is now available on Amazon Fire TV.  The music service can be accessed through an offering known as Spotify Connect, which allows users to control music through the Spotify application on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Spotify Connect provides users with the ability to seamlessly switch music from mobile devices to the television while continuing to make calls, use other smartphone applications, and lose Wi-Fi signal, all without interrupting the music playback experience that Spotify offers.

Spotify Connect requires a premium subscription to the music service that currently costs $9.99 per month.

Source: CNET and Spotify Blog

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:23AM PST by gebraset

Roku has revealed that it has sold 10 million of its own streaming devices since the company was founded. The announcement comes just six months after the company launched the Roku Streaming Stick, an HDMI dongle that competes directly with Google Chromecast. Despite the fierce competition within the streaming media device sector, Roku noted that Roku players are widely used, with the devices averaging 48 hours of streamed content per month. The company also cited a survey conducted by researcher NDP, which reveals that Roku accounted for 37 million hours of video streamed per week, which is much better than Apple TV's 15 million, Chromecast's 12 million, and Amazon Fire TV's 6 million hours.

Source: CNET

September 15, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 11:59PM PST by bp9801
Phanteks Unveils the Enthoo EVOLV Case

Phanteks, one of the leaders in CPU cooling and now computer cases, has a new case on the horizon: the EVOLV. This mATX/mITX case features an all aluminum exterior that looks rather stunning and clean, with a large side window so you can show off the gear inside. Phanteks has equipped the EVOLV with quick release panels so you can have easy access to fans, dust filters, and the interior. The front features a power LED that has a customizable color setting to match whatever mood or theme you are going for with the case. Inside the EVOLV is room for two 2.5" drives and one 3.5" drive, plus there is a removable HDD cage in the bottom compartment that can support two more 3.5" or be removed if your power supply exceeds 180mm. For even more storage needs, Phanteks packed in a Drop-N-Lock SSD bracket for two extra 2.5" drives. There really is no shortage of storage potential with the EVOLV. An optical drive can be installed in the rear if you wish.

Cooling on the EVOLV is provided by one 200mm front fan and one rear 140mm fan, although there is room for either two 120mm or two 140mm in the top, the same in the front, and the rear fan can be swapped out with a 120mm model. If your cooling needs are more liquid, there is support for a 240x120mm water cooling radiator in the top or front and a 120x120mm in the rear, with the top also being capable of supporting a 240x140mm rad (only 140x140mm in the front and rear). Video cards up to 318mm can be installed inside, with CPU coolers up to 192mm fitting with ease. If cable management is a sticking point for you, you should be happy to know Phanteks has equipped the EVOLV with its Hoop-N-Loop cable ties to keep everything secure. USB 3.0 and audio in/out make up the front I/O ports, which you'll find down on the lower right side of the case, while the power and reset are on the top right.

The Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV is available in black or white, although no price or release date was announced at this time.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:52PM PST by ClayMeow
See How You Can Adapt Windows 9's Start Menu to Your Liking

Last month, multiple sources reported that Microsoft plans on unveiling Windows 9 (codename "Threshold") at a preview event on September 30, with a "technology preview" releasing around the same time. While Windows 9 will reportedly blend the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 together, along with a few new features, the best news for many people is the return of a true Start menu. If you don't want to wait until the end of the month to see what Microsoft has in store, German site WinFuture has posted a video demonstrating how the Start menu will work in Windows 9. The nearly-three-minute video shows that the Start menu is now a mix of a traditional application list with Live Tiles; the latter of which can adapt on-the-fly as you drag them about.

If you don't like the Live Tiles, don't fret! WinFuture posted a second video that shows you can fully remove the Live Tiles and just have the traditional list:

Source: WinFuture via The Verge

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:52PM PST by CheeseMan42

Apple announced its latest version of the iPhone last week, and the device was made available for pre-order late last week. The pre-order has turned out to be the largest ever for an iPhone with four million phones ordered, eclipsing both the two million orders for the iPhone 5 and the initial supply of the devices available. Apple will begin shipping the phones on Friday but some users will have to wait until October to receive them. A number of phones will be available to purchase in store on Friday, but the number will surely be limited.

Source: Seattle Times

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:43PM PST by CheeseMan42

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced that the DisplayPort connection standard has been updated to version 1.3. This new version offers support for both higher resolutions and refresh rates. Version 1.3 "should theoretically be able to drive 4K displays at 120 Hz," with a maximum bandwidth of 32.4 Gb/s. In addition to running a single 4K monitor at 120 Hz, it will also support the ability to "daisy-chain two 4K 60 Hz DisplayPort 1.3-enabled monitors," or to "run a 5K monitor over a single DisplayPort cable." Users that are itching to take advantage of the increased bandwidth will have to wait until sometime next year with no upcoming devices confirmed to use the new standard.

Source: Toms Hardware

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:08PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

In the 1960s we learned about the sound of silence and now we are learning what the sound of an atom is. An artificial atom more specifically, which releases its vibrational energy is released as a kind of quantum particle. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have recently built a device to couple acoustic waves with the artificial atom, an achievement that could lead to some very interesting effects.

Artificial atoms are actually circuits made of a superconducting material, but they behave like atoms with the ability to be charged with energy, and emit it as a particle. Normal atoms emit this energy as light, but the researchers designed the artificial atom to actually emit and absorb acoustic energy. This energy would be comprised of quantum particles representing the weakest detectable sound. The frequency used was 4.8 GHz, which is close to microwave frequencies for light, but in music would be roughly D28, or 20 octaves above the highest note on a grand piano.

The value of coupling an artificial atom to sound is that sound is easier to control; with how much slower it is than light. This slow speed also translates to a very small wavelength that can actually be smaller than the atom, unlike light waves which are larger. That smaller relative size makes the properties of the atom easier to control, which could prove useful in future quantum technologies.

Source: Chalmers University of Technology

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:48PM PST by ClayMeow

Ajay Ghale may be the protagonist and Pagan Min may be the main antagonist, but let's be honest here – the real stars of Far Cry 4 are the elephants. With no natural predators and the strength to carry one hundred men, these seven-ton behemoths are true war machines. Learn all about these majestic creatures in a new trailer entitled "The Mighty Elephants of Kyrat":

Far Cry 4 is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 18.

Source: UbiBlog

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:25PM PST by ClayMeow
Several Planetary Annihilation Kickstarter Backers Are Actually Turning a Profit

While Uber Entertainment's Planetary Annihilation may not have received all the glowing praise Divinity: Original Sin has enjoyed, it's still another example of a Kickstarter and Steam Early Access success story. Maybe not so much the latter, but certainly the former. But it's not simply a success story because it raised $2.2 million and has now been fully released, it has also been quite the lucrative venture for several backers.

Everyone who backed at the $1,000 Kickstarter tier or greater got the opportunity to have Uber's designers create a unique custom commander just for them. With 91 people backing at that tier and another 11 from the higher tiers, there were quite a lot of commander units the team had to create. Uber created three basic designs, had the backers fill out a survey, and then allowed those backers to send in any sketches or source material they wanted the artist to use for inspiration. When Uber realized that it "had piles of interesting, custom characters that would be added to the game," the team wondered if they could sell them to other fans.

Since it wasn't part of the original deal, Uber asked each backer for their permission and had them sign a contract. With Uber agreeing to share a portion of the proceeds, almost everyone said yes. Some units sold for $5-10 for a limited time, some for $10-15, and some really nice-looking units for as much as $25. None of them offered any bonuses to the purchaser; they were simply cosmetic. While the percentage split was undisclosed, some backers have already recouped their $1,000 pledges, now actually turning a profit. That's quite the haul for something that was never planned as an investment in the beginning.

Planetary Annihilation is currently available on Steam with support for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Source: Polygon

Comments (0) | Posted at 09:14AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Friction is an inescapable phenomenon of the Universe, for better or worse, and ways to control it are always important. Adding fluorine to some carbon-based materials, like Teflon, is the key to making some non-stick materials, so it made sense to expect graphene to also become non-stick, by adding fluorine atoms. As researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered though, the result of that added fluorine atoms was actually increased friction, not decreased.

The reason for investigating how to make graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon, non-stick is to use it as a coating to protect surfaces from normal wear and tear. As graphene is so thin and exceptionally strong, its use as a coating makes sense, and making it non-stick would make it even better. The Pennsylvania researchers were not the only group to create fluorinated graphene, and both groups reported the increase in friction, but the other group attributed it to an increase in stiffness. The Pennsylvania researchers were not satisfied with this explanation though, and started examining and modelling the energy levels of the material. On the macroscale, energy levels do not impact friction, but at the scale graphene exists, energy levels can be just as powerful as physical levels.

What they determined was that the fluorine atoms were introducing peaks to the material's electronic energy levels, making it very rough compared to pure graphene. All is not lost though, as a coating of high-friction graphene could have a use, and this research improves our understanding of graphene's surface properties.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:06AM PST by ClayMeow
Microsoft Purchasing Mojang and the Minecraft IP for $2.5 Billion

After a week of rumors, it's now official: Microsoft is purchasing the Minecraft IP and its development studio Mojang. The price? "A smooth 2.5 BILLION dollars." In one fell swoop this morning, Microsoft's Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, Mojang, and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson released statements on the matter. Minecraft's first foray into the console space was on Xbox 360, and it quickly skyrocketed to the top of the online gaming charts on Xbox Live; now with over two billion hours played in the last two years. As such, according to Spencer, Microsoft has "long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft" and believes the IP adds diversity to its game portfolio across multiple platforms. And yes, those "multiple platforms" include the company's competition.

With a PlayStation 3 version launching last year, a PlayStation 4 version launching alongside the Xbox One version earlier this month, and a PlayStation Vita version on its way, PlayStation gamers may be a bit worried by this news. Thankfully, both Microsoft and Mojang have confirmed that Minecraft will remain available across platforms and "there's no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop." Of course, actions will speak louder than words, so let's see how Minecraft's PlayStation Vita launch goes.

Microsoft has also confirmed that MINECON will continue next year and be even bigger than before, both in person and online. Just don't expect Notch to make an appearance. As rumored, Notch will be leaving Mojang when the deal is finalized – something he's actually wanted to do for months now. In fact, his June 17 tweet about wanting someone to buy his shares of Mojang may have spurred Microsoft's interest. Notch "doesn't want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance;" he just wants to work on small games because its fun, not because he has to. Fellow Mojang co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér will be leaving the company as well.

According to Microsoft's press release, the acquisition is expected to close late this year, barring any regulatory hurdles, and despite the exorbitant price tag, "Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis."

Source: Press Release & Xbox Wire & Mojang & Notch

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:32AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Graphene has a long list of special properties, including great conductivity, flexibility, and mechanical strength. Also on the list is the curios ability to block gases and liquids, except for water. Researchers at the University of Manchester, however, have discovered a way to make graphene oxide completely impermeable, which would have numerous implications.

The reason stacks of graphene sheets let water through has to do with how the water molecules interact with the sheets, causing capillaries to form that the molecules can slip through, and sometimes bring other molecules with them. This has obvious uses for water purification, but it could also be used to protect surfaces from corrosion, weather elements, and more, if only water could also be blocked. The Manchester researchers found that simple chemical processes could actually be used to close those capillaries in graphene oxide films, making them stronger and impermeable.

Demonstrating what is possible with this the researchers covered copper plates with their graphene paint, and showed that they could store strongly corrosive acids. Potentially it could also find use in electronics, shipbuilding, the nuclear industry, and even for improving the shelf life of medicines.

Source: University of Manchester

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:47AM PST by bp9801

We have reached the middle of September and the start of a new week, which means there are some items for you to check out. There is another review on the Sapphire ITX Compact R9 285 video card, with its greatly reduced length to have an easier time fitting in cases that aren't so big. We also have a look at the Adesso Xtreme H3 Bluetooth headphones, which feature an over-the-ear design, 50mm drivers, and controls built directly onto the left earcup for easy access. Our final item of the day is a recap of LanOC v15.0.

Video Cards
Sapphire ITX Compact R9 285 @ LanOC Reviews

Adesso Xtreme H3 Bluetooth Headphones @ ThinkComputers

LanOC V15.0 Recap @ LanOC Reviews

September 14, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 06:02PM PST by ClayMeow
Divinity: Original Sin Has Surpassed Half a Million Copies Sold; 90% via Steam

With all the negative stories revolving around Kickstarter (eg. Yogscast's Yogventures) and Steam Early Access (eg. The Stomping Land), strategy-RPG Divinity: Original Sin has been a shining example of the power of both, along with a shining example of the strength of PC gaming. Not only has the game received critical acclaim and is the frontrunner for PC Game of the Year, but it has also sold pretty damn well to boot. According to Swen Vincke, founder of developer Larian Studios, more than 500,000 copies of Divinity: Original Sin have been sold, with over 90% coming through Steam.

While that number may pale in comparison to big-budget AAA titles, that's quite the feat for a PC-only, niche indie game. Best of all, Vincke stated that the sales have resulted in profitability for the studio: "'Break even' has been reached, our debts have been paid and we are now in the profitable zones. While not all of the money is for us as we had private investors on board, the game did sufficiently well for us to envision funding our next endeavors with it, meaning we're pretty happy about its performance."

While Vincke is grateful for the Kickstarter support, he doesn't foresee going that route for the studio's next project. He feels that "the crowdfunding pool is limited and it should be fished in by those who really need it." Now that the studio is turning a profit, it won't require outside funds; at least not to start. His feelings may change, but he certainly like the community feedback during the development process, so Steam Early Access seems likely, regardless.

For every bad seed on Kickstarter or Steam Early Access, there are quite a few good ones, so like it or not, they're here to stay. Divinity: Original Sin is certainly a success story, and a perfect example of why these new platforms should be embraced and not dismissed.

Source: Swen Vincke via GamesIndustry.biz

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:39AM PST by ClayMeow
The Sylvan Become the Fifth Faction in Might & Magic Heroes VII

When Ubisoft announced Might & Magic Heroes VII last month, it unveiled four of the six unique factions planned for launch, leaving the remaining two to be determined by the community via The Shadow Council. Any player with a Uplay account was able to log into the official website over the past month and vote on the fifth faction, choosing between the elven Sylvan and the dwarven Fortress. It likely comes as little surprise that the Sylvan won the vote, maintaining its lead from the start.

To celebrate the victory, developer Limbic Entertainment released concept art for the Sylvan Treant, but that's not all. Control is now back in the hands of the community to determine the composition of the Sylvan Army. The game designers have presented three different line-ups to choose between, with one more defense-oriented, one more offense-oriented, and one in-between. No one line-up is stronger than the other, and whatever is chosen will be balanced with the other factions in the game; it's just a matter of what type of play style you'd like to see.

The Strength of the Forest is the defense-oriented composition, "based upon the magic protection offered by the Unicorns and a powerful synergy between the Dryads and the Treants to withstand enemy attacks." Earth's Perfect Balance is the middle-of-the-road composition, highlighted by hard-to-kill and self-resurrecting Phoenixes. Sylvanna's Fury is the offense-oriented composition, with "Hunters, Blade Dancers and Stags [...] on the frontline dealing quick and impressive damage to enemy troops, while Druids and Pixies offer them their support, defending them and harassing enemies."

Sylvan composition voting ends on September 26 at CDT 5PM / BST 11PM / CEST 12AM. Like before, you are able to change your vote as many times as you want until the voting window ends. No word on when the sixth faction will be up for vote, but odds are that won't be until after this vote is over.

Might & Magic Heroes VII is coming exclusively to PC sometime in 2015.

Source: Official Site

September 12, 2014
Comments (3) | Posted at 07:27PM PST by ClayMeow

Earlier in the week, Creative Assembly released the first video in a #HowWillYouSurvive series of videos for Alien: Isolation, entitled "No Escape". The second video has now been posted. As the title "Don't Shoot" implies, shooting in Alien: Isolation may not always be your best option; in fact, it may just get you killed. After all, that Xenomorph has some pretty good hearing.

Alien: Isolation is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on October 7. You can check the PC system requirements at the official site.

Source: Creative Assembly

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:02PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

For years now, researchers have been working on quantum computers that, thanks to quantum mechanics, will be able to run algorithms no classical computer could complete, in a reasonable amount of time. So far though, no quantum computer has been built that actually surpasses its modern electronic counterparts. Thanks to researchers at the University of Bristol, University of Queensland, and Imperial College London though, that defeat of classic computers may be sooner than ever before.

The key to this defeat of classical computers is to successfully run a quantum algorithm they cannot. Recently MIT researchers developed an algorithm known as Boson Sampling, which uses single photons to sample an exponentially large probability distribution. A classical computer would find the same task to be extremely difficult. The catch for quantum computing is that producing the needed number of single photons is also difficult.

What the team of researchers recently discovered is that two-photon sources could be chained together to generate more of the single photons, using standard probabilistic methods. With that done, the researchers just needed to prove that this new photon source can solve the Boson Sampling algorithm, and with that, the last experimental hurdle for demonstrating the power of quantum computers should be overcome.

Source: University of Bristol

Comments (0) | Posted at 01:00PM PST by ClayMeow

The action-RPG wizard'em-up Magicka series never took itself too seriously, which I guess is all I can really say to explain the new trailer and contest for the sequel, Magicka 2. Titled "Karaoke Singalong Trailer", I think you can venture a guess that it's a song, about Magicka, with the words on the screen so you can sing along. But don't just dismiss it as silly satire, even though it is. It's also an opportunity to win a copy of the game on release! All you have to do is download the karaoke template and song, make a fool of yourself your own video, upload it, and tweet about it with the hashtag #Magicka2. So what are you waiting for?

Magicka 2 is coming to PC (via Steam) and PlayStation 4 sometime next year.

Source: Paradox Interactive via Neoseeker

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:37PM PST by gebraset

Advertisements are plentiful on virtually all social networking platforms, Facebook included. The social network giant is looking to make them more relevant however, catering to the individuals interests of its users. Facebook has revealed that it is updating its News Feed, which now prompts users to disclose why they chose to hide an advertisement. Max Eulenstein, the product manager at Facebook, noted that the company has realized that the reason someone chooses to hide an advertisement is just as important as the action of hiding the advertisement. According to Facebook, the answers of those who typically do not hide advertisements will be weighted more heavily than those who tend to frequently hide advertisements within the News Feed.

Source: CNET

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:29PM PST by gebraset

Polar, an online poll company that has previously done polls for media companies such as HBO, TechCrunch, and USA Today, has officially been acquired by Google. The service will soon be integrated into Google Plus, allowing Google to focus on the opinions of its users in a new and exciting way. Due to the acquisition, Polar founder, Luke Wroblewski, as well as the team of engineers and designers that make up Polar, will join Google shortly. Wroblewski is known for developing websites and applications that focus primarily on mobile design, making him a valuable addition to the Google Plus team.

Terms of the acquisition were not released by either Google or Polar.

Comments (0) | Posted at 09:36AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

When multiple fields in science collide, crazy things can happen. Researchers at MIT and the University of Manchester have recently discovered a unique behavior of electrons in a superlattice of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, which connects materials science, particle physics, relativity, and topology. What was actually observed though has, "no known analog in particle physics."

When electrons are exposed to an electric field, they will try to move and take the path of least resistance, which is in the direction of the field. This is true of traditional conductors and of graphene, which has the unique property of conducting electrons as though they were massless particles. When a layer of graphene is atop of layer of boron nitride however, the researchers observed the electrons actually moving in a perpendicular direction to the field. Normally a magnetic field would be required to alter the direction of an electrical current like this.

To make this phenomenon even weirder, the researchers also discovered that two electrical currents could flow perpendicular to the field, creating a "neutral, chargeless current," as the charges cancel each other out. This could possibly be exploited to improve the efficiency of computers as such a chargeless current would not lose much energy to heat. However, the researchers do point out that other parts of the system may offset those efficiency gains, so more work is required to determine how useful this would be. Even without that answer though, this is still a discovery that will impact our understanding of how the Universe works.

Source: MIT

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:42AM PST by ClayMeow
Grand Theft Auto V Finally Arriving on PC January 27, 2015

PC gamers have been clamoring for 2013's Grand Theft Auto V ever since it was first announced; after all, the series originated on PC. It's been a long time coming, but the PC version is finally ready to drop on January 27, 2015, over a year after it released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will be releasing a couple months earlier, on November 18, 2014. Existing players on the PS3 and 360 will be able to transfer their current Grand Theft Auto Online characters and progression to any of the three new versions.

Grand Theft Auto V for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One will feature major visual and technical upgrades, including increased draw distances, higher resolution, denser traffic, a new foliage system, enhanced damage and weather effects, additional wildlife, and more. There will also be new activities, new weapons, and new vehicles, along with over 100 additional new songs and new DJ mixes from returning DJs across the game's 17 radio stations. Returning players from the PS3 and 360 versions will also receive rare versions of classic vehicles to collect, such as the Dukes, the Dodo Seaplane, and a faster, more maneuverable Blimp. As long as you completed GTA V's Prologue on those systems and signed up for a Rockstar Games Social Club account, you'll gain the extra content on whichever new version you choose.

Pre-ordering  the game nets you $1,000,000 in in-game cash to spend across GTA V and GTA Online. There is no word yet on what kind of enhancements we can expect in the PC version on top of what's also coming to PS4 and XBO, but there's plenty of time for that to be divulged.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:20AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Since graphene was first discovered, there has been a rush to find other two-dimensional materials, and discover their properties. The hope is to find one with properties that can be put to use in future technologies. Researchers at Rice University have recently discovered that 2D phosphorus may be an ideal semiconductor for advanced computers.

Like graphene, 2D phosphorus has a hexagonal lattice, but instead of being a flat sheet, alternating atoms jut out above the plane. This results in a greater variation to any defects in the material, which results in a deeper bandgap and decreased performance for many other materials. In this case though, because it is all phosphorus, the defects actually do not negatively impact the material's electrical properties. This makes it a superior semiconductor to the 3D silicon currently used in electronics, as grain boundaries and point defects do not affect its properties.

Obviously one potential application of 2D phosphorus is future computer chip, but it could see use in many of places. One example would be for solar cells as its bandgap should respond well to the spectrum of sunlight.

Source: Rice University

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:47AM PST by bp9801

The end of another week is upon us, with some items to keep you occupied until the weekend begins in earnest. We have a review on the ASUS X99-DELUXE motherboard, which offers plenty of features and overclocking potential for Intel's new Haswell-E processors. If your next upgrade is due to a demand for more power, then perhaps the EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 Platinum power supply is the one for you. It offers modular cables, a single +12v rail, and 80 Plus Platinum certification to keep anything you can throw at it running for a long time. Lastly there is a new podcast wrapping up the latest news and reviews from the past week.

ASUS X99-DELUXE @ Benchmark Reviews

Power Supplies
EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 Platinum @ PC Perspective

Podcast #317 @ PC Perspective

September 11, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 03:18PM PST by CheeseMan42
Noctua Adds Fans to A-Series

Noctua has announced three new case fans as part of the A-Series, the NF-A9, NF-A8, and NF-A4x10 5V. The NF-A9 and NF-A8 are improvements on the previous NF-B9 and NF-B8 while the NF-A4x10 5V is a 5V version of the NF-A4x10. The first two fans use the latest cooling methods from Noctua including "Stepped Inlet Design, Inner Surface Microstructures and Flow Acceleration Channels." Noctua CEO Mag. Roland Mossig described the motivation behind the new NF-A4x10 saying, "Feedback on our NF-A4x10 40mm fan has been excellent, yet both end users and industry clients have asked for a 5V version. Many devices such as network or storage solutions use 5 volt 40mm fans, so with the new NF-A4x10 5V, we now have a solution for these types of applications." The fans will be available shortly at prices of $15.90 for the NF-A4x10, $17.90 for the NF-A8, and $20.90 for the NF-A9.

Source: Noctua

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:34PM PST by ClayMeow
Dying Light Arriving Earlier Than Anticipated; Now Launching January 27, 2015

Techland has announced that its first-person, open-world survival horror game Dying Light will be arriving January 2015 instead of the previously planned February 2015 release window. Specifically, Dying Light will launch January 27 in the Americas, January 28 in Australia and New Zealand, and January 30 in Europe and Asia. The game is priced at $49.99 for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and $59.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In the meantime, Techland released a Dev Diary explaining the game's revolutionary "Natural Movement" system:

While Dying Light is not yet available for pre-order on Steam, the game is available for pre-order on the official site and comes with free DLC called Be the Zombie. "In this competitive asymmetric multiplayer mode, you invade other players’ games as the Night Hunter – an ultimate zombie with a unique set of deadly skills. By playing as the Night Hunter, you turn into a fast, agile and dangerous predator, whose objective is to hunt down human survivors."

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:02PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

More and more people want optics used to carry data across the nation and to their homes. This makes sense as photons can travel much faster and more efficiently than electrons, but they are still not as fast at carrying information as they could be. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego though have created a new photon switch that operates more than ten times faster than anything previously reported.

To achieve that amazing switching speed of 500 GHz, the researchers had to identify the ideal fiber for carrying the photons, develop a new means of measuring the fiber core, and determine the fewest number of photons needed to trigger the switch. The ideal material turned out to be silica fibers, as it has very little optical loss and kilometer-scale interaction lengths, but that is only half the work. The other half required analyzing the fiber core to profile its fluctuations over a great distance and with sub-nanometer precision. The method they developed is so precise that if a fly were land on the fiber miles away, the distortion to the fiber core would be measurable.

The precision of the fiber is matched by the efficiency of the 500 GHz switching. The researchers found that 2.5 picosecond pulses containing just three photons would be enough to control the light pulses, at that switching speed.

Source: University of California, San Diego

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