Earlier today Nintendo announced a brand new adventure, well, really two new adventures, but only one has solid information. Nintendo is partnering with Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA to create smartphone games using various Nintendo IP. These games won't be straight ports of already available games, but rather smartphone-specific games using well-known characters. What exactly the games will be like aren't known, but hopefully details on the first titles will be coming soon (E3, perhaps). If it means the likes of Mario, Link, Metroid, and maybe Pokemon appear on a smartphone, I think many people will be quite pleased.
Nintendo and DeNA are also going to develop a cross-platform service to work across smartphones, tablets, PC, and Nintendo's systems. DeNA does have its own Mobage gaming service, so that knowledge should help pay off with this new cross-platform service. The new service is expected to arrive sometime this fall, and I imagine more details will be available around E3.
The other detail from today's announcement is Nintendo president Satoru Iwata saying a new console is under development. Iwata only mentioned it as Nintendo NX, but it is a dedicated game system that is a "brand-new concept." Any other details on the Nintendo NX will have to wait until next year, sadly, but that won't stop the rumors, I'm sure.
Ed Lee, the Vice President of Content Acquisition at Roku, has announced that ABC News is officially available for Roku users in the United States. According to Lee, the ABC News channel displays a live news feed that runs around the clock after being accessed from the "News" section of the Roku Channel Store, and offers a wealth of on demand video content as well, to include historical video footage from ABC News’ archives. The ABC News channel also broadcasts local news reports from several major markets, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
ABC News is available on current generation Roku players and Roku TV models, which include those introduced after June, 2011.
Geckos are already known for exploiting one physical phenomenon, van der Waals force, for climbing up seemingly any surface, but it turns out this is not the only trick the animals use. Researchers at James Cook University and elsewhere have discovered that gecko bodies are superhydrophobic, which keeps them cleaning, even in dusty deserts.
Under an electron microscope, the researchers were able to find that geckos have tiny hair-like spines all over their skin. These spines create a very bumpy surface on the micro and nano scale, which causes water droplets on it to just roll off, instead of sticking. If multiple droplets combine, they will actually launch themselves off the skin, as the merger releases energy. Any dust and dirt particles on the skin will be dragged away by the water droplets at the same time, so even those geckos that live in dusty deserts will keep clean, as dew does the trick.
Hydrophobic surfaces are already known for their self-cleaning properties and some plant and insect species have been discovered to take advantage of the phenomenon. This is the first time that it has ever been observed in a vertebrate though.
Movie fans should be in for a treat this summer when Jurassic World arrives, but video game fans have something to look forward to, as well: LEGO Jurassic World. The latest LEGO game from Traveller's Tales features not only the new movie, but the three previous Jurassic Park movies, too. The islands of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna will be at our disposal, as will more than 100 different characters. Yes, we will even get to play as the various dinosaurs in LEGO Jurassic World, helping us fulfill some of our childhood dreams. To help get you excited for the game, WB Games has unveiled the first gameplay trailer that gives us all our first look at the LEGO-fied experience.
LEGO Jurassic World arrives this June for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Wii U, 3DS, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) kicks off today, with the keynote speech expected between 9 and 11am PDT today. In it, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will have a great many things to discuss, with perhaps the biggest being the upcoming GeForce GTX TITAN X. He already gave a sneak peek at it during GDC 2015, but said full information will have to wait until GTC 2015. Well, luckily that day is finally here, and we have the keynote speech's livestream for you to watch and drool over. We already know the TITAN X has a Maxwell GPU and 12GB of VRAM, but what else will it include? There's only one way to find out, so tune in below and enjoy!
A new day is here, with new items for you to check out and view. There is a look at the Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini-ITX case that offers a hinged front to allow for easier access to the inside. We also have the Corsair Neutron XT 240GB SSD for those needing some fast storage. If you need a lot of storage, perhaps the ASUSTOR AS5104T 4-Bay NAS is the one for you. Capping off the items for today is the Ozone Neon laser mouse, which has a 6400DPI laser sensor and eight programmable buttons.
Many people love the idea of self-cleaning objects, as it removes or at least reduces the work we have to do and in some cases and prolong the life of the object. To achieve this, the surface of the object is made superhydrophobic, so water just beads on it, but the superhydrophobic materials we make tend to be very fragile. Researchers at University College London, Imperial College London, and Dalian University have succeeded in making a superhydrophobic paint that can coat various materials and survives damage.
Superhydrophobic materials are self-cleaning because they repel water so strongly, that any water that hits them just beads and rolls off, taking dirt away with it. If the material is damaged or exposed to oil however, this effect can be lost. To preserve it, the researchers created a paint of coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles and combined it with various adhesives, depending on the material to be coated. The adhesive prevented the coating from being removed by normal wear and tear.
The researchers have tested their paint on various materials, including steel, glass, cotton, and even paper, and all of them became self-cleaning. Because they used readily available materials, their method can be scaled up for industrial purposes.
Toshiba has just announced that its Canvio Desk 3.5-inch external USB 3.0 hard drive and Toshiba Desk 3.5-inch internal Serial ATA 3.0 hard drive will soon be available in a new 6TB capacity. Both drive offerings from Toshiba allow consumers to quickly and easily upgrade their computers by adding additional storage space for games, movies, music, photos, and more. Maciek Brzeski, the Vice President of Branded Storage Products, Toshiba Digital Products Division, stated that "The time is right to upgrade our offerings not only to meet, but to exceed consumers' expectations by expanding the offerings of our internal and external 3.5-inch hard drives."
The 6TB versions of the Canvio Desk 3.5-inch external USB 3.0 hard drive and the Toshiba Desk 3.5-inch internal Serial ATA 3.0 hard drive will feature an MSRP of $369, include a three-year standard limited warranty, and be available to purchase from select retailers and the Toshiba website in May, 2015.
LUXA2, a division of Thermaltake and a leader in providing power, audio, and holder solutions, has stated that 2015 is truly the year of wireless charging, and that it wants consumers to experience it. Thermaltake’s LUXA2 mobile division has recently released a slew of wireless charging banks as well as charging pads, allowing owners of devices that feature the renowned Qi wireless standard to charge their devices without plugging them in. LUXA2 currently offers the TX-P2 10,000mAh Wireless Charging Power Bank, the TX-P1 5000mAh Wireless Charging Power Bank, the TX-100 Ultra Slim Wireless Charging Pad, and the TX200 Dual Wireless Charging Station, which all feature the ability to wirelessly charge a Qi compatible device.
The wealth of LUXA2 devices that allow consumers to experience wireless charging this year are available at select Fry’s Electronics stores throughout the United States, as well as Amazon.com.
Benchmarks have been leaked that compare the performance of the rumored AMD Radeon 390X and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti. The leaks were reported by Chinese site Chiphell and build on previous rumors that AMD would officially announced the card at Computex. The benchmarks were given as a percentage comparison against the Radeon R9 290X. In a 19 game benchmark suite at 4K resolutions the 390X narrowly outperformed the Titan X, while the other NVIDIA cards were beat handily. The Radeon maintained its advantage at lower resolutions as well as in the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme benchmark. The NVIDIA cards consumed less power than the 390X, but the Radeon still managed to improve on the power consumption of the 290X.
GIGABYTE has added to the X99 Champion Series, featuring four motherboards including the previously discussed X99 Gaming 5P. Joining the Gaming 5P are the X99-UD4P, X99-UD3P, "and the already famous X99-SOC Champion." VP of the GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit Henry Kao described the Champion stating, "Since its launch in January, the GIGABYTE X99-SOC Champion motherboard has become the undisputed performance leader for X99 motherboards with over 30 top overclocking scores under its belt including 10 World Records." Users can install DIMM modules up to 3200MHz or RDIMM modules that provide greater memory density with support for up to 16GB per stick. Reliability was addressed by using an all digital power design featuring IR Digital PWN and IR PowIRstage ICs, Long Lifespan Durable Black Solid Caps, and 6x Gold Plating. Realtek HD Audio was included with a built-in audio amplifier for improved sound.
Screenshots obtained from the latest leaked build of Windows 10 show off that the next Microsoft operating system will feature peer-to-peer support when it comes to Windows Update. While Windows Update itself has been used for some time now to deliver operating system and application updates, the ability to download the updates from sources other than Microsoft’s own servers is completely new. As long as the feature remains included in the final version of Windows 10, users of the operating system will have the choice to download application and operating system updates from Microsoft and PCs on a local network, or from a combination of local PCs, internet PCs, and Microsoft’s own servers.
High speed cameras were first used over one hundred years ago to determine if the hooves of a galloping horse are ever off the ground at the same time. Ever since then, high speed photography has been used to observe a variety of events, and now researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new technique to capture the behavior of electrons in superconductors.
Superconductors are materials capable of transmitting electrical currents without resistance, and have been, understandably, of great interest since their discovery. Unfortunately the low temperatures required have limited their use, but by better understanding how the phenomenon occurs, researchers hope to devise room temperatures superconductors. To that end, the UBC researchers combined technologies and techniques to capture the behavior of electrons over just 10 femtoseconds (0.00000000000001 seconds).
The results support the hypothesis that the interactions between one electron and the spin and magnetic pull of the others around it actually delay and mediate electrons interacting with each other.
A new week is here with plenty of items to check out, so let's dive right in. There is a review of the EVGA GTX 960 SuperSC with its custom cooler and factory overclock to get you gaming for longer, and without breaking the bank. We also have the SilverStone Kublai Series KL05 case, which is a big case that should be able to hold however much hardware you can pack inside. If you need some power, we have the VisionTek 800W 80 Plus Bronze model and the SilverStone Silver Strider 750W to run your system with ease. For those in need of storage, perhaps the Kingston SM2280S3 120GB M.2 SATA SSD will be the one for you. We have a look at the SteelSeries Apex M800 mechanical keyboard, which features RGB lighting and custom-made switches. Wrapping up today's items is the Kingston Mobile Lite G4 Media Reader, which can read SD and microSD cards over USB 3.0.
The world would be a very different place if we had not developed batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries as they have enabled us to create the powerful yet portable devices we rely on every day. As we continue to demand better performance from our devices, we will have to find some way to improve the batteries that power them. As reported by the American Chemical Society in its journal ACS Nano, researchers may have found a solution from silk.
Many modern energy storage technologies rely on graphite electrodes for storing energy, but it has its limits. To push past those limits, the researchers looked to other carbon sources and found a material derived from silk to replace graphite. The carbon-based nanosheets the researchers created have five times the lithium storage capacity as graphite, which means batteries using them could store substantially more power. Of course storing more power means little of the batteries lack stability, but when tested the material survived 10,000 charge/discharge cycles with only a 9% loss.
The process the researchers used to create their prototype batteries and supercapacitors are single-step and can be easily scaled up.
ASUS has officially announced the G501 series gaming laptop, which offers gamers a premium gaming experience in a highly portable package. The G501 is the latest Republic of Gamers product from ASUS and is powered by a 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with up to 4GB of GDDR5 video memory. The ASUS G501 features Hyper Cool technology, which consists of separate cooper heatsinks and fans that run independently of each other, to keep both aforementioned components cool during normal and peak operation. With a height of just 20.6mm, the G501 is one of the world’s thinnest gaming laptops available, and its lightweight aluminum construction allows it to weigh just 2.06kg, for non-touchscreen models. The ROG G501 features a 15.6-inch 4K/UHD display, ASUS SonicMaster audio, and can be configured with a PCI Express x4 slot and Intel Thunderbolt technology.
A wealth of Grand Theft Auto V screenshots have just been released that compare the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game to the PC version, which happens to be running at 4K. The screenshots show just how different the game looks on all three platforms, with the PS4 looking substantially better than the PS3, and PC looking quite good in comparison to the PS4. All of the available screenshots cover a variety of different areas in Grand Theft Auto V, which is still on track to be released on April 14, 2015.
X2 may not be a familiar name to the US market yet, but it has a new case that should help to broaden its reach. The new CUBE MAX case is a small and compact offering that has loads of interior potential. The black exterior features a brushed aluminum texture to add a little style, but it can fit a micro-ATX or mini-ITX motherboard on the all-black inside. Combine that with a full-sized ATX power supply and you can run whatever build you have planned. Two 3.5" or 2.5" drives can be installed inside, too, so there shouldn't be any issue with storage. The CUBE MAX has three expansion slots on the rear to accommodate your video cards and any other add-in cards you may desire. The front of the case has two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio in/out.
The X2 CUBE MAX case will be available at the end of the month for $69.95 / €64.95.
Among the many impressive characteristics of graphene is its great thermal conductance, which some would like to see used to assist in the cooling of electronics. Before that can happen though, we must learn why the 2D material conducts heat so well. Researchers at EPFL have apparently achieved just that with a new model that may apply to other 2D materials.
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, like graphite and diamond, but is effectively two dimensional, as it is just an atom thick. This causes it to have a number of curious properties that do not exist in 3D materials, and is part of the reason it is so different from most other materials. For example, in a 3D material, the phonons that carry heat through it will constantly hit each other and either merge or split, which limits thermal conductivity. What the EPFL researchers found is that phonons travel as waves in graphene, using a phenomenon called second sound. In 3D materials this phenomenon only occurs at temperatures near absolute zero, but graphene exhibits it at room temperature.
While this research will definitely impact current and future work with graphene, it is not limited to the one material. Potentially many other 2D materials exhibit the same phonon behavior, which may prove invaluable for designing future electronics.
The end of the week is here and we have a couple of items for you to check out to help welcome in the weekend. There is a new case mod based on the In Win D-Frame Mini, but it has been painted and altered in such a way as to make it stand out even more than the case does on its own. It is designed to be a LAN Box, but this stylish case is going to be turning more heads than just its gaming performance. We also have a podcast covering all the latest news and reviews from the past week.
SilentiumPC, a brand established in Warsaw, Poland that offers computer enthusiasts with high-quality silent PC cases, power supplies, and cooling solutions, has announced the Spartan PRO-B HE924 CPU cooler. This latest product from SilentiumPC is geared towards enthusiasts who crave silent computer operation as well as the ability to cool overclocked processors. The Spartan PRO-B HE924 features four heatpipes that make direct contact with the CPU, a 92mm fan that features PWM function and a hydraumatic bearing, and accessories to install an additional 100mm fan. The Spartan PRO-B HE924 is compatible with LGA 775/1150/1155/1156/1366 as well as AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+, and SilentiumPC even boasts that the CPU cooler is capable of fitting into all mid-tower cases.
The highly anticipated GeForce GTX TITAN X has been in the news quite a bit lately, especially with its involvement in powering VR demos from Valve, Oculus, and Epic Games at the Game Developers Conference just last week. Now, it looks like some early performance numbers for the incredibly powerful NVIDIA graphics card have been released. According to the graphs, which portray performance numbers from 3DMark11, an overclocked GeForce GTX TITAN X scores close to a Radeon R9 295X2 in multiple tests. While at stock speeds, which include a 1002MHz core clock and a 7GHz effective memory clock, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X easily beats out graphics cards like the GIGABYTE GTX 980 G1 GAMING, the SAPPHIRE Vapor-X R9 290X 8GB, and the GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK, as expected.
While the GeForce GTX TITAN X looks impressive, especially if it happens to retail at $999 like most consumers are hoping for, it is important to remember that the numbers presented in the graphs are the first performance figures of the soon-to-be-released card.
Some people may envision the satellites orbiting above our heads as large, million dollar machines, but more and more small, cheap satellites are being put up. Even though they can be the size of a softball, a lot can be packed into them, but one crucial has been all but missing. These satellites lack the thrusters that are necessary to maintain their orbits, but researchers at MIT have formed a spin-off company, Accion, with a new solution.
This new solution is an electrospray thruster, and its current MAX-1 system consists of eight chips, one square centimeter by two millimeters thick, and a plastic fuel tank. In this case the fuel is a nontoxid, nonvolatile liquid-salt propellant. The chips are placed above the tank, each chip has a porous substrate with about 500 pointed tips on it, and above the tips is an extractor grid. The propellant is drawn to the tips by capillary forces, and when a high voltage is applied to the tips and grid, the propellant is ionized and shoots out from the holes, producing thrust in the opposite direction. The thrust is only enough to move a piece of paper on Earth, but in orbit, it is enough for a small satellite to maneuver with.
Thanks to its relatively simple design, the MAX-1 has a higher thrust-to-mass ratio than other low-power, ion engines, making it a more attractive option. Low-cost chemical-propulsion systems could be made, but as the fuel is not allowed to be carried up on the same rockets as the satellites usually are, they are not really an option.
Google first started its project hosting service Google Code in 2006 to give the "open source community another option to choose from." Other options such as GitHub have become available since then, and with these options a number of projects migrated from Google Code. As of today new project creation on Google Code has been disabled. Current projects can still check their files in and out until August 24 when the site will become read-only. On January 25, 2016 the service will shutdown for good, with users able to download tarballs of their projects until the end of 2016. Google is offering tools to assist users in the migration to services such as GitHub, SourceForge, and Bitbucket.
In the past year, cryptography based "ransomware" has become more widespread with variants such as CryptoLocker and CryptoWall encrypting files and photos on infected computers. If the users refuse to submit to the hackers demands and pay up, their files are deleted. New malware known as TeslaCrypt follows the same protocol, with the added "feature" of specifically targeting the files of 40 PC games. Games targeted include a number of current and older games including StarCraft 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. The malware is delivered by a Flash exploit after navigating to an infected website. The hackers behind the malware are demanding $500 in Bitcoins to release the encrypted files.
I suspect that most of you already know that the electronics we use daily are made of stacked semiconductor crystals. What you may not realize is the importance of these layers being aligned, and how difficult that can be to achieve. Misalignment between the layers introduces defects that degrade efficiency, but researchers at Kansas State University have found a new way to grow the layers that is better at minimizing these defects.
The researchers first happened upon this new method years ago, when they found a particularly smooth substrate sample. In collaboration with researchers at the State University of New York and the University of Bristol, it was confirmed that the layers present on the substrate had fewer defects than normal. Now the researchers have applied this method of growing crystals of other materials and are working to confirm that it is applicable to more than just some specific materials.
Late last year NVIDIA introduced the GeForce GTX 980M and 970M mobile GPUs, which brought high-end Maxwell performance to any laptop equipped with one. Today NVIDIA is bringing more Maxwell GPU goodness to laptops with the addition of the GeForce GTX 960M and 950M. These new chips are designed with thin laptops and Ultrabooks in mind, so regardless of how light of a laptop you're looking at, there's a good chance it will feature a GTX 960M or 950M. Whichever GPU your laptop has will get your games looking their best, and will be ready for upcoming titles with DirectX 12 support. The 960M and 950M GPUs also support the improved NVIDIA BatteryBoost to provide a better gaming experience when you're unplugged; ShadowPlay to record your gaming adventures or slick highlights, and Optimus to dynamically switch between giving you the best gaming performance and the best battery life.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M and 950M mobile GPUs will be available today from the likes of Acer, Alienware, ASUS, Clevo, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Razer, and many others.
The end of the week is fast approaching, but before it does we have some items you should check out. There is a look at the Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Omega card, which features a massive cooler and an onboard USB connector to dial in the overclocking settings. We also have a review of the ASUS X99-A motherboard, with a competitive price for those wanting to save a little cash when upgrading to the Haswell-E line. A couple different cases get tested, with both being on the smaller side. The BitFenix Aegis Core is a microATX case that has some unique features, including some stunning colors and the ability to have a 2.8" 240x320 icon display on the front. The other small case is the Raidmax Atomic ITX-107WB, which is a mini-ITX case for those wanting as small a build as possible. For your storage needs, we have a review of the Mushkin ECO2 240GB SSD, which uses a SandForce SF-2241 controller and Micron MLC NAND.
Glass is a very unusual material that can be found all around us, as windows and in our various displays. What makes it and other glass-like materials so odd is that it does not exactly cool to become a solid, but instead a frozen liquid state. This can allow it to lose durability over time as it relaxes, but researchers at UCLA and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie have found a way to prevent that.
When glass cools, its molecules take on a chaotic structure, as opposed to a regular, crystal structure, but it is this structure that gives it, its strength. As it is exposed to various temperatures and pressures though, that structure can relax and the strength is lost, making it unusable. What the UCLA researchers have found is that by making the glass under certain conditions, it can be made to retain its properties throughout its life. This retention of properties is called thermal reversibility and has to do with optimizing the angles the molecular bonds have with each other.
While more durable screens, windows, and optical cables are definitely valuable, this research will likely impact other materials, including cement. The structure within cement is similar enough to glass that it also suffers from relaxation over time, so by similarly optimizing how it is produced, better concrete can be made.
PlayStation Mobile, a software framework that enables PlayStation content to be played on a variety of mobile devices, is officially being shut down by Sony on July 15, 2015. While the service did offer a unique gaming experience on smartphones and tablets during the early days of Android development, it has failed to appeal to mobile device users as the Google Android gaming experience has continued to be developed and improved. Device support has also been an issue with PlayStation Mobile, as it is only supported on select devices, with most being manufactured by Sony.
Users of PlayStation Mobile can still download any purchased games through September 10 and continue to play them, as long as their certified device is authenticated with Sony.