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April 13, 2015
Comments (0) | Posted at 09:08AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

When Grand Theft Auto V releases for the PC later today it will come with several modifications and features not available on the consoles. Today, developer Rockstar has revealed that one of these special features will be the Rockstar Editor. This feature allows for the recording of GTA V and GTA Online gameplay and includes some powerful editing tools. You will be able to change the camera angle, apply filters, adjust speed and depth of field, and even adjust the audio. The editor can record gameplay manually or by using an Action Replay mode, that captures the last few moments.

For anyone interested in creating their own scenes, Director Mode is available. With this the user will be able to completely craft the scene, including the time, place, and weather condition, and have various actions and phrases triggered. Whatever the source of the footage, once completed it can be uploaded to YouTube and the Rockstar Social Club website. For more information, you can check out the Rockstar Editor Online Guide and watched the video below.

 

 

Source: Rockstar Newswire



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:02AM PST by bp9801

A new week is here, with new reviews to help get your day started off right. There is a look at the Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard, which is aimed at the extreme overclocking crowd, yet doesn't remain out of reach price-wise for those going for an Intel Haswell-E build. We also have the SilverStone Kublai KL05-W case, a mid-tower design that almost certainly won't break the bank. To keep things cool, perhaps the Phanteks PH-TC12LS CPU cooler is the solution. For storage needs, the Crucial MX200 1TB and BX100 500GB SSDs gets put to the test to see just what kind of speeds come with the large capacities. Wrapping things up is the Cherry MX-Board 3.0, a no-frills model that comes with flat profile keys and your choice of mechanical switches.

Motherboards
Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion @ PC Perspective

Cases
SilverStone Kublai KL05-W @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
Phanteks PH-TC12LS @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Crucial MX200 1TB & BX100 500GB SSDs @ TechSpot

Keyboards/Mice
Cherry MX-Board 3.0 @ LanOC Reviews



Comments (0) | Posted at 08:48AM PST by gebraset

PC Gamer has been kind enough to share some screenshots it recently took while running Far Cry 4 at 5K. The screenshots really show off what the game brings to the table in terms of graphical fidelity, and at such a high resolution, the details of the different environments throughout Far Cry 4 look stunning. Environments look great, of course, but really everything in each screenshot is packed with detail and is just a sight to behold.

The screenshots below are downsized, but for the full-size images, do head over to the sources.

Source: PC Gamer via WCCFtech



Comments (0) | Posted at 06:23AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

For any scientific endeavor, you must have accurate measurements because without them a slew of calculations can be thrown off or produce incorrect results. A research team, led by researchers at the University of Arizona, has discovered that certain cosmological measurements are inaccurate, and that our understanding of dark energy may be off.

For a long time it was believed that the size of the Universe was constant, and then it was determined to be expanding, but today we know the expansion is actually accelerating. The exact cause of this acceleration is not known, but has been given the name dark energy. It was discovered by measuring the light emitted by type Ia supernovas, which are explosions of white dwarf stars, throughout the history of the Universe, and comparing their brightness. It has long been believed that this type of supernova is constant and thus always produces the same light, thereby allowing them to act as cosmic candles. What the researchers discovered is that these supernovae are not as constant as believed, as one looks back in time. Instead the researchers found that two distinct populations exist, with those nearer to us being more red than those farther away, from when the Universe was younger.

This discovery was only made possible thanks to the ultraviolet capabilities of the NASA Swift satellite, as the differences in visible light are much more subtle. The researchers found this different both in their own datasets and in others. The exact implications this discovery may have on our understanding of dark energy and astronomy are not yet known and will require a great deal more data to determine.

Source: University of Arizona



Comments (0) | Posted at 05:37AM PST by gebraset

It was reported late last week that the next title in the Call of Duty series, known officially as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, will be set in a dark, twisted future and feature a new breed of the Black Ops soldier. Additional details surrounding the game have been made available from Shinobi602, an industry insider on Twitter. Shinobi602 states that Black Ops 3 will likely feature missions that occur in the past and will be released sometime in November of this year. He also confirmed that Treyarch will be focusing all of its efforts on delivering Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 to current generation consoles, with a separate studio working on bringing the title to previous generation platforms.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be fully revealed on April 26, 2015.

Source: WCCFtech 



April 12, 2015
Comments (0) | Posted at 02:47PM PST by CheeseMan42

The first details for the Knights Landing family of processors and co-processors from Intel were released at the end of last month and additional details have now been made available. Knights Landing will have 72 cores with the capacity for four threads each. Up to 36MB of shared L2 cache and 16GB of High Bandwidth Memory will be included on each processor, with support for six DDR4 channels and up to 384GB of RAM. The cores used will be 14nm Silvermont cores that Intel claims will have "up to 3 times the single threaded performance over the last generation of Xeon Phi co-processors and up to 300% gains in power efficiency."

Source: WCCF Tech



April 10, 2015
Comments (0) | Posted at 07:54PM PST by bp9801

NVIDIA's new TITAN X video card is the current top dog in terms of single card performance, as it packs a GM200 core, 12GB of VRAM, and impressive numbers, even at 4K resolutions. People have figured it is only a matter of time until that core trickles down to something else, like a GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Rumors have pointed to the GTX 980 Ti launching after summer, but now a new rumor puts that card right at the very end of summer: September. The plan is to apparently counter whatever AMD has in store with a GTX 980 Ti packing the full GM200 core on the TITAN X, just with 6GB of GDDR5. Core speeds could see a bump to 1126MHz, with Boost clocks at 1216MHz, while everything else would mirror the TITAN X. Pricing would be less than the TITAN X, but if it's something in the $600-700 range, there may not be much of a reason to jump to the TITAN X unless you need 12GB of VRAM.

All of this is still just a rumor, but it would make sense for NVIDIA to launch something new soon after AMD's R9 390X/390. As with this and other rumors, do take it with a grain of salt.

Source: Sweclockers via WCCFTech



Comments (1) | Posted at 06:42PM PST by bp9801
Grand Theft Auto V Arriving a Little Early on PC

PC gamers have been eagerly awaiting Grand Theft Auto V, especially when you consider it first arrived on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 back near the end of 2013. Luckily, the wait is nearly over, as Grand Theft Auto V is due to arrive this coming Tuesday. However, there's an interesting note to mention with that: Rockstar is releasing the game at midnight British Summer Time. So, what exactly does that mean for folks in the U.S.? A launch at 7PM Eastern Standard Time. When you're getting done with dinner, home from work, or home from school, depending on your Monday plans and where exactly you're at in the country, you can start playing GTA V a little earlier than expected. Just be sure to get that pre-load going early on Steam, as it's a ~60GB download.

Source: Twitter



Comments (7) | Posted at 04:33PM PST by CheeseMan42

Amazon is planning to introduce support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos to its Prime streaming service later this year, with Amazon Originals programming expected to be the first to see the increase in quality. Netflix is also planning to offer HDR support this year, and HDR will be in addition to the previously announced 4K resolution videos. Amazon will be starting with its own programming as HDR requires some help from content producers, it can't simply be scaled up. VP of digital video at Amazon Michael Paull described the move stating, "4K Ultra HD picture resolution was just the beginning — we’re excited that Prime members will soon be able to view movies and TV shows including Amazon Originals in HDR quality."

Source: Venture Beat



Comments (1) | Posted at 02:24PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Whether it is hot or cold, heat transfer is important to us and in most cases it is well understood. For situations are covered by convection, conduction, or radiation, but at the small scale of a nanometer or less, things get harder to explain. That has changed now, thanks to researchers at MIT who have found that quantum tunneling can explain how heat can jump the gap.

When discussing heat at small scales, phonons must be part of the conversation as they are the energy units for vibrational energy and heat. Exactly explaining how phonons move has been a challenge for a long time now, as some theories skip over what happens at the atomic scale and others have obvious flaws to them. To find the solution, the MIT researchers turned to the microscopic Maxwell's equations, which are a form of the better known Maxwell's equations that govern electricity and magnetism. When these were applied the researchers found that phonons could actually tunnel across gaps between objects separated by just one nanometer or less. Tunneling is a quantum mechanical phenomenon where a particle or wave will skip over, or tunnel through a barrier it normally should not be able to.

With this answer, we have a more complete understanding of how heat flows, as now that understanding finally reaches to the nanoscale. It of course has practical applications wherever heat transfers, especially at very small scales.

Source: MIT



Comments (1) | Posted at 10:59AM PST by bp9801

A little over a month remains before we can all step back in the familiar boots of Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. CD Projekt RED's latest RPG looks to hit all the right notes, and if the first 15 minutes didn't grab your attention, perhaps the new gameplay trailer will do the trick. The Witcher 3 tasks Geralt with finding the Child of Prophecy, a "living weapon" capable of changing the very shape of the world. Geralt journeys into the Northern Realms in his search, with merchant cities, vast wilderness, immense mountains, and dangerous dungeons all waiting for him. There are hundreds of weapon and armor upgrades to find along the way, and plenty of monsters that need slaying.

The trailer below takes us across a small part of the Northern Realms and what Geralt will find, and man, does it look great. We see some horseback riding, sailing, a massive tail fin off in the distance, and some creepy holes in the ground to explore. Geralt's voice is as raspy and haunting as ever, and his wit and charm are still as sharp as his blades. The trailer does contain some language and violence, so do keep that in mind when watching.

NSFW

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt arrives on May 19 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. An Expansion Pass is available for $24.99 that includes two huge adventures adding an extra 30 hours to the fray. CDP recommends playing the game first before deciding on whether or not to get the expansions.

Source: YouTube



Comments (0) | Posted at 08:55AM PST by bp9801

The final day of the week is here at last, and it brings several items for you to check out. There is a look at the MSI GS30 Shadow, which is both a laptop and a Gaming Dock that gives a much needed graphical boost using whatever discrete graphics card you wish. We also have a review on the QNAP TVS-863+ AMD Turbo vNAS, a home storage solution packing some AMD hardware, including a 64-bit quad-core 2.4GHz SoC. A new case mod is highlighted that uses the Corsair 900D and a sweet blue and black theme. Lastly there's a podcast covering all the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Laptops/Tablets
MSI GS30 Shadow @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TVS-863+ AMD Turbo vNAS @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Out of Mana v2.0 @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #344 @ PC Perspective



Comments (0) | Posted at 06:30AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

If you heat a magnet up enough, it will lose its magnetism, but cooling a magnet should not remove that property. For some materials however, magnetism does disappear at temperatures near absolute zero, and these are called frustrate magnets. Due to this lack of magnetism, many believe that the Hall Effect, which relates to magnetism, would not exist at these temperatures, but some thought otherwise, and now researchers at Princeton University have confirmed it.

The Hall Effect is the deflection of a current of charge carriers, electrons, in a conductor by an external magnetic field. As a frustrated magnet contains neutral, non-charged particles at low temperatures, the Hall Effect seemingly would not work, but at these temperatures quantum mechanics reigns and expectations can mean very little. To test this, the researchers needed a frustrated magnet, to cool it to 0.5 K, and to be able to resolve temperature differences between opposite edges of the crystal. It was not easy to achieve, but the researchers succeeded and put a heat current through the crystal, which is analogous to an electrical current at these temperatures. When they then applied a magnetic field perpendicular to the current, they observed the current deflecting, just like the Hall Effect would suggest.

This research opens up some interesting possibilities, including potentially a new understanding of high-temperature superconductors. Some of these materials may rely on a particle called the spinon, the proposed carrier for heat currents in quantum systems, and this research may lead to a means of discovering it.

Source: Princeton University



Comments (1) | Posted at 04:14AM PST by gebraset
Thermaltake Launches Commander FT Touch Screen Fan Controller

Thermaltake, a leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has just launched the Commander FT touch screen fan controller, its latest product that facilitates superior cooling performance. The Commander FT features an extraordinarily large 5.5-inch touch panel that allows fan speeds to be adjusted on-the-fly, with owners able to select from auto, manual, performance, and silent operating modes. A total of five fans can be independently controlled with the Commander FT, with each channel delivering up to 10W of power. Thermal performance can also be monitored, and the Commander FT includes an embedded temperature alarm for ultimate peace of mind.

Source: Press Release



Comments (2) | Posted at 03:57AM PST by gebraset
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Details Emerge

New details surrounding the next Call of Duty title, which will be developed by Treyarch, the award-winning creator of the two most-played games in Call of Duty history, have been revealed. According to the source code from the official website for the game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will take players to a dark, twisted future that features a new breed of the Black Ops soldier as well as warfare controlled by cutting-edge military robotics. Three game modes are currently scheduled to be featured within the game, which include campaign, multiplayer, and of course zombies.

Additional Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 details are expected to be announced on April 26, 2015, when the game will officially be revealed to the public.

Source: WCCFtech


April 9, 2015
Comments (1) | Posted at 03:39PM PST by CheeseMan42

Several popular franchises have been turned into games set in the Lego universe and the latest game, Lego Dimensions, combines several of those properties and some new ones into a single entity. Currently confirmed to appear in the game are Batman, The Lord of the Rings, The Lego Movie, and Lego Ninjago, among others, with more expected to be announced before the game is released. The game will be available on September 27 across all major consoles. It will also be able to integrate with the Lego Toy Pad, creating an experience similar to Skylanders from Activision. The starter pack will cost $99.99 and will come with the Toy Pad and three Lego figures. Several expansion packs have already been announced for Back to the Future, Lego Ninjago, and DC Comics. VP of digital games at Lego Niels Jørgensen described the new game stating, "Lego Dimensions’ is unlike anything that we have ever done. It further extends the Lego play experience into the digital world with all of the characters, humor and action of Lego videogames now combined with the fun of Lego minifigure and model building."

Source: Variety



Comments (0) | Posted at 02:00PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

One of the many challenges when it comes to cancer is finding circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample. Traditional methods involve using special antibodies and centrifuges that run for ten minutes. Researchers at Penn State though have developed a much simpler technique that utilizes sound waves to separate cells at a rate better than 83%.

The new technique exploits the fact that sound waves are pressure waves, which means they can exert a force to move small objects, like cells and nanoparticles. The researchers worked with an acoustic-based microfluidic device, which allows blood to stream through continuously, and applied sound waves of the same frequency to both sides. This creates an area where the sound waves from the two sources cancel out, so an object pushed along by the waves will stop in that area, and continue flowing through the device, but separated from other, different particles. The researchers optimized the procedure to separate HELA and MCF7 cells, and achieved a separation rate better than 83%, and when they tested it with other cancer cells achieved the same better than 83% rate.

Obviously this could greatly help with the treatment of cancer by allowing for a simpler, faster, and cheaper process to identify cancer cells in the blood. Some more work is definitely needed though, such as finding how to mass produce these devices, so they can be disposable after having touched human blood.

Source: Penn State



Comments (0) | Posted at 08:44AM PST by bp9801

The week is drawing to a close, but not before there are some items for you to check out. We have a look at the Gigabyte X99-UD4 motherboard, which is an affordable option aimed at nearly anyone who wants to build a Haswell-E rig. The Noctua 9 Series CPU coolers get tested, with the new NH-D9L and NH-U9S potentially proving that smaller coolers can still get the job done. Finishing off today's items is the Netis AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Adapter, which can allow your PC to connect to a wireless AC network or be used as an access point.

Motherboards
Gigabyte X99-UD4 @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
Noctua 9 Series CPU Cooler @ PC Perspective

Networking
Netis AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Adapter @ LanOC Reviews



Comments (0) | Posted at 06:46AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

There are several antennas in various devices surrounding me at the moment, and while we have understood how many of them work for over a century, some of them have been a puzzle. Specifically those antennas made from insulators, instead of conductors have been a mystery since their discovery. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found the answer though, and the discovery has great potential both for practical devices and our understanding of physics.

Maxwell's equations explain how accelerating electrons generates electromagnetic radiation, which makes sense in conductors, but in dielectrics that restrict electrons from moving, another explanation is required. To do their work, the Cambridge researchers used thin films made of piezoelectric materials, which will physically deform or vibrate, when exposed to a voltage. At certain frequencies though, they become very efficient resonators and radiators of EM radiation. From this they were able to determine a link to symmetry breaking of the electric field. Accelerating electrons already breaks the symmetry of an electric field, but by applying asymmetric excitation to the thin films, the researchers were able to cause similar breaking, and thus generate EM radiation.

With this understanding, it may be possible to make ultra-small antennas, and potentially integrate them into computer chips. It also may provide a missing link between electromagnetism and quantum mechanics, which would lead to even more possibilities.

Source: University of Cambridge



Comments (1) | Posted at 05:05AM PST by gebraset

Version 2.0a of the HDMI specification has been released by HDMI Forum, Inc., a non-profit, mutual benefit corporation. The latest standard, which is available to current HDMI 2.0 Adopters via the HDMI Adopter Extranet, offers the ability to transmit HDR formats and includes references to CEA-861.3, the latest published update of HDR Static Metadata Extensions. HDR formats provide greater detail for both the bright and dark parts of an image, thereby improving overall picture quality. Arnold Brown, the Chairman of the HDMI Forum Board of Directors, stated "By adding HDR, the HDMI Specification continues its history of supporting the latest formats and technologies planned for Hollywood content."

Source: TechPowerUp



Comments (6) | Posted at 04:29AM PST by gebraset
XFX Radeon R9 390 Pictures Leaked

Pictures of the upcoming XFX Radeon R9 390 have been spotted on Chinese forums, weeks before the card is expected to be made available to the public. While details surrounding specifications, pricing, or availability were not included with the leaked pictures, the card does reveal some interesting design information. The XFX Radeon R9 390 offers a custom designed PCB that is quite massive in size, which means that AMD may have reference boards ready to ship at this moment in time. The card is powered by a combination of 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors and also features a double dissipation cooler from XFX, which offers cooling through dual 100mm fans.

Source: WCCFtech



April 8, 2015
Comments (0) | Posted at 03:50PM PST by CheeseMan42

Previous reports have indicated that the upcoming AMD Fiji XT GPU core will use first generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). It is now being reported that the Fiji XT can be modified to also support HBM2, though it remains unclear how much effort this would require. Both memory technologies use a 1024-bit interface with two prefetch operations per IO. HBM1 provides 128GB of bandwidth per second while HBM2 can offer up to 256GB per chip. Cards that use HBM1 will be able to support 8GB of memory per card while HBM2 doubles capacity to 16GB.

Source: Fudzilla



Comments (0) | Posted at 03:33PM PST by CheeseMan42

According to "chatter," Twitter has hired Goldman Sachs to advise it as it attempts to "fend off a takeover offer" from a pair of interested companies. One of the companies is reported to be Google, which along with Facebook attempted to acquire Twitter in the past. The news sent Twitter stock up 3.5% to $52.62 earlier in the day, giving it a market capitalization of roughly $33 million.

Source: Barron's and LA Times



Comments (0) | Posted at 01:59PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Chances are we will never stop demanding faster devices, even if physics prevents some technologies from giving us those increases. Naturally then, other technologies need to be developed, which is why some, like plasmonics, are being worked on. Plasmons can provide the best of both electrons and photons, and now researchers at NIST have created a device that could help bring plasmonics to future computers.

Plasmons exist as a coupling of light and electrons, allowing the information of the light to be carried on metal wires far smaller than a photon could fit in. What the researchers developed is a plasmonic phase modulator, which acts like a speed bump for plasmons, though it is inverted. It consists of eleven strands of gold spanning 23 micrometers, positioned 270 nanometers above a gold surface below them, with the plasmons traveling through the gap between them. When a voltage is applied, the gold strands will bend down, toward the gold surface, constricting the plasmons and slowing them down. This also shortens their wavelength, potentially allowing another half plasmonic wave to enter at maximum voltage, which could be used to selectively cancel out the plasmon wave.

This ability to cancel out the waves means that the device can act as an optical switch, which would be of great use in plasmonic devices. Currently the prototype is pretty large, compared to modern electronics, but according to their calculations, it could be scaled down by a factor of 100 without increasing optical loss.

Source: NIST



Comments (0) | Posted at 10:41AM PST by bp9801
Adam Jensen Returns in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Last year Eidos said the Deus Ex universe would be expanding, and over the weekend a teaser site went up for a new Square Enix project that showed something was on the way from a Western studio. Then a leak appeared and soon the official reveal: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. This sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution once again comes from Eidos Montreal, and is set two years after the events of DX:HR. Adam Jensen is back and this time is teamed with Interpol's new Task Force 29, a branch aimed at cutting off augmention-based terrorism at its knees. This government-backed group means Jensen has access to a whole suite of new augmentions and weapons, which includes his arm blades that can now be fired like a crossbow, a non-lethal PEPS gun in his arm to knockout enemies, a Titan Shield to turn him into a walking tank, and plenty more.

However, even with Jensen doing field missions for Task Force 29 against the Illuminati, he isn't entirely sold on them being the only option. He feeds information to a loosely affiliated group of hackers, activists, and international spies called The Juggernaut Collective that is trying to expose the Illuminati's machinations, and it's this group that Jensen belives has vital information to his mission. Like in typical Deus Ex fashion, both Task Force 29 and The Juggernaut Collective give Jensen missions that conflict in their goals, with neither group being 100% trustworthy. Jensen acts as a double agent and must decide on who to side with, and ultimately which one to trust and believe more than the other. There are, of course, people to talk to in order to get an even better picture of what's going on, and these stories may influence your choices, not just in missions, but overall.

The exact ending Eidos Montreal is using in Mankind Divided isn't narrowed down, since the developer isn't disclosing which one it feels is canon. It's stringing together aspects from all of Human Revolution's endings in order to create the cultural landscape of DX:MD. It is worth pointing out that in official lore, Panachea was destroyed and crashed into the Arctic Ocean, with augmented people being blamed for "terrorist" attack. The augmented people, transhumans, were quickly treated as second-class citizens, and it is this world that we find in Mankind Divided.

The rather poor boss fights of DX:HR are gone for good, as boss fights in Mankind Divided allow for players to approach them however they wish. Side quests, while optional, are meaningful and may impact the story later on. Early on, if Jensen decides to deal with a criminal organization, for example, the mob boss may call in a favor later on that could take Jensen away from his main mission. Likewise, if someone Jensen helps early in the game mentions there's a risk to it, later on that NPC could explain just what the consequences of your actions were for them.

In terms of gameplay, you should be happy to know Eidos Montreal reworked Mankind Divided to better integrate combat with stealth. Combat was not a strong element of DX:HR, but over the last several years the developer has changed it to become just as rewarding and polished as stealth. Everything that happens is unscripted, and the improved AI should help to make sure encounters do not play out the same. Enemies will coordinate attacks, their flanking positions, and require players to adapt on the fly to whatever the AI throws at them. Weapon customization has been improved as well, with  silencers, firing types, scopes, and more able to be switched out as the situation requires.

Deux Ex: Mankind Divided looks brilliant already, which is apparently thanks to the new Dawn Engine and DirectX 12. It also makes use of AMD's TressFX for the hair, as Eidos Montreal is teaming up with AMD to get the game looking its best.

More details on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be coming later on, but right now things are shaping up to be an excellent follow-up to the events of Human Revolution. If you're a Game Informer subscriber, you can read the cover story in the upcoming May issue, which is already out for digital subscribers. The magazine can also be bought on Kindle, Nook, and Zinio starting today. An exact release date is not known at this time, but Mankind Divided is slated to arrive for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Game Informer, WCCFTech, and Game Informer May Issue (Digital Copy)



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

The story of Geralt of Rivia will not end in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt after all, as CD Projekt has announced two new expansions for the upcoming RPG. Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine will both expand on Geralt's tale and offer plenty for gamers to experience, yet CDP is quick to point out that gamers do not need to purchase either expansion until they are confident in the game itself. Hearts of Stone is a 10-hour adventure that takes Geralt into No Man's Land and Oxenfurt as he tries to complete a contract from the Man of Glass. Unfortunately there is a bit of mystery and even deceit to it all, with Geralt needing to use his cunning and strength to unravel the story and survive.

Blood and Wine is even bigger, at 20 hours, and introduces the all-new region of Toussaint. This region is untouched by war and appears to be all about "carefree indulgences" and "knightly rituals," yet those all hide an ancient and bloody secret. What exactly Geralt finds there isn't even being hinted at right now, but it should hopefully prove exciting.

CD Projekt is offering an expansion pass to pick up both Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine for $24.99 on GOG. Hearts of Stone is expected to arrive this October, while Blood and Wine isn't due until early next year. None of this will take away from the already planned 16 pieces of free DLC, but rather offer a paid option for those wanting even more of The Witcher 3. CDP said it only wanted to do paid content if it could do it right, namely offer a real value for the amount provided. Considering both expansions can take longer than even some full games, it looks to be following that philosophy.

Source: Press Release



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:50AM PST by bp9801

Epic's Unreal Engine 4 offers a wealth of advancements, not to mention some stunning visuals, for any games that use it, but right now there aren't a lot to go on. However, one of the upcoming UE4 games is The Lost Pisces from Sirenum, and recently some new screenshots and details of the game have appeared. The Lost Pisces, or rather just PISCES, is "an experiment in connecting a gamer with an artificial intelligence," according to an interview with designer and artist Dan Rutkowski, just in a way that's different from past instances. PISCES draws its inspirations from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," where the mermaid is taken away and replaced with a machine that is simply terrified of disappearing. Rutkowski says this machine, the woman seen in the screenshots, is in search for a soul, much like in the original version of "The Little Mermaid," and wants to find that her life will go on after death.

Sirenum wants players to feel emotinally connected with the protagonist, especially since she learns from the players actions and becomes unique to each player. The team wants to create believable AI in PISCES, one that starts off as a blank slate, but learns and adapts from the player. The AI takes what we do and changes based on that, and if you happen to use a Kinect while playing, the faces you make while playing will reflect on the character. Playing with a Kinect isn't required, but perhaps recommended to get an even better connection with the AI.

PISCES takes place in a technological Atlantis, but the end of it when the water levels are rising and people are heading higher up into the mountains. There's a lot of snow and a lot of water, but no tropical paradise or anything of the sort. The action in the game takes place across three territories and there are loading areas between each one, but Rutkowski says PISCES is not linear. It is instead an open-world title in the sense of players are able to go wherever they like, climb rocks, dive with sharks, and explore any number of paths. If the AI were to follow a linear path, it would kind of take away from the whole point of the game, so it is good that Sirenum is doing just that.

There is combat in PISCES, but it is not the main focus of the game. Nevertheless combat cannot just be approached without a care, as it takes careful planning to survive the encounters. Some of the enemies are simply massive, and require a certain level of strategy to come out on top. Think more Shadow of the Colossus in that regard, where you need to plan the attack in some way in order to survive.

Originally the game was built in Unity, but made the switch to Unreal Engine 4 when it launched last year. Some elements may still be a little rough around the edges, but the developer is hard at work at making PISCES live up to some of the gorgeous games built with Unreal Engine in the past. The graphics need to match the story, and from the ones below, it is certainly well on its way to delivering a visually compelling ride.

Sirenum is planning to launch a Kickstarter for The Lost Pisces before long to help get the necessary funding to make everything a reality. It will also appear on Steam Greenlight to reach even more people. The game is currently planned for the PC and potentially more depending on how the Kickstarter goes. You can read more from the interview at the source below.

Source: OnlySP



Comments (1) | Posted at 08:51AM PST by bp9801

The middle of the week is here and we have some items for you to check out. There is a look at the NZXT Source S340 mid-tower case, which offers premium features and styling without breaking the bank. We also have the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD that offers plenty of storage in a fairly small package. If you need an audio boost, perhaps the Creative Sound Blaster E3 USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier is the one for you. Finishing off today's items is the LG G Flex 2 smartphone, which features a 5.5" 1080p screen and that same curved style as the original.

Cases
NZXT Source S340 @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD @ Benchmark Reviews

Gadgets
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Comments (0) | Posted at 06:31AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Batteries are an essential technology for modern life, which is why so many are working on ways to improve them. Potential improvements include ways to reduce cost and accelerate their charging, amongst many other goals. Researchers at the University of Houston appear to have succeeded with those two when they discovered how to create an N-doped polymer.

For quite some time now, researchers have been interested in electrically conductive polymers. What the Houston researchers found is that naphthalene-bithiophene can be doped with lithium ions, making it very conductive, and will remain stable and reversible for thousands of charge/discharge cycles. This is a pretty big deal as polymers are much cheaper and easier to produce than the materials needed in conventional, in-organic batteries. The polymer has previously been used in solar cells and even as transistors, but this is the first time anyone has made a battery from it.

Currently, modern in-organic batteries can still store more energy, but the organic battery has them beat in charging rate as it reached 80% in just 6 seconds, and was fully charged after another 18. The researchers are going to continue to work on the polymer and try to learn more about it.

Source: University of Houston



Comments (0) | Posted at 04:57AM PST by gebraset

Netflix has officially updated its terms and conditions, in which it outlines that accounts can be restricted or terminated if a customer of the service is found to be utilizing a VPN. The stand against VPN use comes as more and more restrictions are placed on content for customers residing in different parts of the world. Netflix is attempting to punish users who circumvent these content restrictions by using a VPN, but may find itself in hot water with users who choose to use a VPN for privacy concerns or to remove speed restrictions imposed by ISPs.

Source: Forbes







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