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July 8, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 03:00PM PST by gebraset

Thermaltake, an industry leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has just introduced its latest air-cooling solution known as the Frio Silent Series. This series, comprised of the Frio Silent 12, Frio Silent 14, and Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual, features solid copper heat pipes that come in direct contact with CPUs, aluminum fins optimized for rapid heat dissipation, and a low noise cable that can reduce noise levels by up to 38 percent. The Frio Silent 12 features a 120mm PWM fan that can operate up to 1400RPM while the Frio Silent 14 features a 140mm PWM fan that can operate up to 1200RPM. The Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual comes with two 140mm fans that can operate up to 1200RPM, allowing for even more efficient heat dissipation.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:59PM PST by gebraset

Many smartphone users rely on the built-in factory reset option available through devices running the Android mobile operating system. AVAST has discovered that this widely popular choice for wiping a smartphone is quite ineffective at erasing critical data, which poses a security risk for users. According to AVAST, employees of the security company purchased 20 smartphones from eBay and used fairly generic off-the-shelf digital forensics software to restore data. The restored data from these 20 smartphones includes more than 40,000 photos, 750 emails and text messages, 250 contacts, and the identities of four previous owners of some of the devices. AVAST was even able to restore a fully completed loan application on one of the smartphones that it purchased for this research study.

Jude McColgan, the AVAST Mobile Division President, noted that most users think that they are doing a clean wipe and a factory install with the Android factory reset option, but are actually only wiping their smartphones at the application layer.

Source: CNET

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:50PM PST by CheeseMan42
Kingston Announces Two New Memory Cards

Kingston has announced a pair of new flash memory products with the DataTraveler microDuo 3.0 and Class 10 UHS-I 90R/45W microSDHC/SDXC card. The microDuo was designed with the needs of Android users in mind, allowing for an increase in storage capacity up to 64GB. It offers a USB 3.0 and microUSB dual interface to ensure compatibility with a wide range of devices including those that support USB On-The-Go. The new Class 10 device will be available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB with read and write speeds up to 90MB/s and 45MB/s, respectively.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:33PM PST by ClayMeow
Gearbox Announces Battleborn, an FPS-MOBA Hybrid for PC, PS4, and XBO

Gearbox Software may be readying Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for release this October, but today the developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive Software announced a brand new IP in the works, entitled Battleborn. "If Borderlands 2 is a shooter-looter, Battleborn is a hero-shooter," said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. "As a genre-fused, hobby-grade, co-operative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe, Battleborn is the most ambitious video game that Gearbox has ever created."

Battleborn will feature numerous heroes, called battleborn, teaming up to stop the evil Varelsi from destroying the last star in a dying universe. The game will feature a five-player cooperative campaign, as well as several ten-player competitive multiplayer matches. According to Game Informer, which has the first look at the game with its August Cover Reveal, the competitive multiplayer mode they got to play, called Incursion, played like a first-person MOBA. "Rival battleborn hunt one another in lush jungles and arid deserts while robotic NPC minions wage an ongoing tug-of-war. Players start on a level playing field at the beginning of each match, progressing along a streamlined skill path up to level 20 filled with customizable abilities that unlock a variety of different play styles."

What seems to have Game Informer staff most excited is how different each battleborn plays, which definitely fits with the MOBA feel. A lumbering space marine plays a lot different than a nimble archer, which plays a lot different than a steampunk, rifle-wielding assassin, which plays a lot different than a Zelda-inspired, sword-wielding princess. Battleborn seems to not only be melding FPS and MOBA gameplay, but also mixing shooter and MMORPG archetypes to create what is shaping up to be some truly unique PvP action. Gearbox used some pure magic to merge FPS and Action-RPG loot mechanics into the wonderful Borderlands franchise. Can the Texas developer work its magic again to merge FPS and MOBA? It certainly sounds promising and the reveal trailer, while CGI, certainly looks pretty badass.

Battleborn is thankfully new-gen only, coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is planned to release during Take-Two's fiscal year 2016, which ends March 31, 2016. The press release claims it's already available for pre-order, which implies this is not free-to-play like typical MOBAs, but I cannot seem to actually find it up for pre-order anywhere as of the time of this writing, so I cannot provide you with pricing information.

Source: Press Release and Gearbox Software and Game Informer

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

Graphene is a wonder material for many reasons, including its fantastic electrical properties and great strength. It is also special for being a high quality crystal, which can have implications for quantum mechanics. Researchers at Columbia University have recently discovered a means to tune a quantum mechanical phenomenon in bilayer graphene, which could enable it to be used in quantum computers.

The fractional quantum Hall effect involves many electrons being made to act like a single system when confined to a thin sheet and exposed to a large magnetic field. As graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon, it is a perfect fit for studying the effect, and it has been. This new research looks to bilayer graphene, which has some differing behaviors from single-layer graphene, such as developing a bandgap when exposed to a strong magnetic field, disrupting the electrodes ability to tune the charge density. It took some time, but the Columbia researchers eventually found a new design for the graphene system that allowed them to isolate the electrodes from the needed magnetic fields.

Now with the ability to control the charge density on the separate graphene sheets, the researchers can create the fractional quantum Hall effect in bilayer graphene, which could allow for non-abelian states to be created. These states could be used for quantum computation, but not before the researchers better understand what is happening to the electrons, as the system is so complex they are not entirely sure what is occurring.

Source: EurekAlert!

Comments (0) | Posted at 11:59AM PST by ClayMeow
GameStop Wants to Ruin the Video Game Industry

According to recent reports, GameStop would like to work directly with game developers to create content that would only be available through GameStop. It's bad enough that we've already had exclusive retailer-specific pre-order bonuses in the way of skins, but GameStop is proposing taking it to the next level – exclusive gameplay content. We technically already had a taste of this with the Creature Slaughterdome DLC for Borderlands 2, but that was simply a timed exclusive and was eventually made available for purchase. GameStop's new proposal seems to be for complete exclusivity, not just timed.

With the popularity of digital distribution on the rise, it's not surprising that GameStop would want to attempt something to entice people to buy from its stores. But it's also due to the rise of digital distribution that GameStop doesn't have the stranglehold on publishers like it used to. If the company proposed this idea five years ago, it would have likely come to fruition, but now GameStop can't exactly be the bully. Even for those that prefer physical copies, there's now strong competition from Walmart and Amazon. And that's not to mention the anger I'm sure international gamers will feel toward such a move.

GameStop claims that it "wants to find ways to give customers more value when they preorder games," but let's be honest here – that's complete bullshit. This is about greed and nothing more. I find it hard to believe that any gamer, even a loyal GameStop customer, would be in favor of this type of move. Most gamers already feel that retailer-specific pre-order bonuses are a bane on the industry, and this will just make things even worse. I don't know how much GameStop will be willing to pay to have this done, but I sure hope no publisher is stupid enough to go along with this. For once it would be nice if the publishers thought of the customers instead of lining its pockets.

Source: GamesBeat

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:59AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Since its discovery, researchers have been working to find a way to make use of graphene in our electronics. This has been difficult though, as graphene is an electrical conductor and not a semiconductor, like silicon. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee however have found that graphene nano-ribbons can become semiconductors, just by making them the right width.

Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon and often worked with as a sheet, but other geometries can have special properties. As it turns out, nano-ribbons of graphene, which are typically conductors like larger sheets, can become semiconductors if they are three nanometers wide, or less. At such a small width, the electrons on one edge are able to interact with the atoms on the other, resulting in the sought-after semiconductor behavior.

Cutting the nano-ribbons that narrow is not easy though, especially as the edges have to possess the proper alignment. The researchers accomplished this with iron nanoparticles that catalyze a reaction between carbon and hydrogen atoms. Now the researchers are investigating other ways to change the properties of the nano-ribbons, by adding other atoms, such as oxygen to the edges, potentially making them act as a metal.

Source: EurekAlert!

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:46AM PST by bp9801

We have a good number of items to get to today, so there should be no shortage of things for you to read. There is a look at the HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC video card, with a factory overclock and a custom cooler to get you into the best possible looking game right away. There is another take on the Phanteks Enthoo Pro case, a more affordable entry that doesn't skimp on the features. If you need plenty of storage for your home network, then perhaps the Thecus N7510 7 Bay NAS is the product for you. For the watercooling crowd, we have a review on the XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 Watercooling Kit, which includes everything you need to get started. Lastly there's a look at the HTC Desire 816 smartphone, which is a mid-range phone packing some high-end features.

Video Cards
HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC @ Benchmark Reviews

Phanteks Enthoo Pro @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 Watercooling Kit @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N7510 7 Bay NAS @ LanOC Reviews

HTC Desire 816 @ TechSpot

July 7, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 05:52PM PST by gebraset
Tt eSPORTS Releases METALCAPS Keyboard Accessory

Tt eSPORTS, a Thermaltake brand that is the leading expert in professional e-Sports gaming peripherals, has released its METALCAPS keyboard accessory. This accessory is designed for mechanical keyboards and provides excellent durability and a solid feel with its Zinc alloy construction. The Tt eSPORTS METALCAPS offers owners a quick way to customize and modify their mechanical keyboards with a variety of options, including four separate configurations: the W, A, S, D, and Escape keys, the Q, W, E, R, and Escape keys, the up, down, left, right, and Escape keys, as well as 38 key combinations.

The Tt eSPORTS METALCAPS keyboard accessory features an MSRP of $19.99 for any of the five keycap combination offerings, while the 38 keycaps offering features an MSRP of $69.99. Consumers in the United States, Taiwan, and Germany can find the latest Tt eSPORTS accessory at local stores.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:30PM PST by gebraset

DEEPCOOL has just launched a new fan that is geared towards high performance while also being silent. The GF120/140, as its name suggests, is available in 120mm and 140mm sizes, and feature a dust-free and detachable fan blade design. The GF120/140 also features an FDB hydrodynamic bearing, a lifespan of 100,000 hours, and a balance dynamic rotation design with an application of TPE rubber coating for vibration control and reduction. The GF120/140 from DEEPCOOL is available in three colors to include red, yellow, and gray, with all three colors featuring a black housing that surrounds the fan blades.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:51PM PST by CheeseMan42

The company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has announced Oculus Connect, a two day game development conference, the first in what could be a long line of events. The conference will take place September 19-20 at the Loews Hotel in Los Angeles, California with the intention of bringing together "engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible." A number of workshops will be held to give attendees the first look at upcoming developments from the company and several keynotes will be given by company officers including CTO John Carmack. Signups will be available starting July 10 with confirmations distributed the following week.

Source: Oculus VR

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:41PM PST by CheeseMan42

The upcoming LIVA from ECS will be the smallest Windows-based mini PC on the market when it becomes available. The LIVA is extremely small, measuring just 118x70x56mm and weighing 190g, but packed with enough features to take on a variety of computing applications. It is powered by a dual core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M SoC that operates at up to 2GHz, 2GB of DDR3L memory, and a 32GB embedded multimedia card. The LIVA draws the same amount of power as a typical light bulb and the 5V micro USB power adapter can even be run off a mobile power bank.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:21PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

An important and useful property for many optical systems is linearity. Essentially it is why light passing through glass is the same when it exits as when it enters the material. Nonlinear materials however can change light waves, and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have recently developed a nonlinear meta-mirror that doubles the frequency of the light it reflects.

Nonlinear materials are rare in Nature and are generally not too efficient, requiring high intensities and great distances for the light to propagate through. Metamaterials however are completely unnatural as their optical and electrical properties have been tuned to something that would normally be impossible. Using metamaterials though, the researchers were able to build a device just 400 nanometers thick that would bump the wavelength of light from 8 micrometers up to 4 micrometers; doubling the frequency. Unlike natural nonlinear materials, this device is able to convert light with intensities near that of laser pointers.

The creation of such an efficient and small nonlinear optical system could have many impacts on future optical systems, such as miniaturizing some laser systems. These systems may not be ones in our electronics though, but instead those used in advanced sensors for finding chemicals and explosives, as well as biomedical research and more.

Source: University of Texas at Austin

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:31AM PST by ClayMeow
Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor Releasing July 15 for $199

While the Kinect that shipped with the Xbox 360 was compatible with PCs, the one that ships with the Xbox One is not, thanks in part to a proprietary connection. After the Xbox One controller finally received official Windows drivers last month, now Microsoft is readying Kinect for Windows v2 for public release. But don't get too excited just yet.

The Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor is priced at a whopping $199 on the Microsoft Store. This seems a bit at odds with the new Kinect-free Xbox One selling for $100 less than the one bundled with Kinect. The explanation (other than greed?) may be because this isn't really intended for public consumption just yet, but rather developers. Just look at the product description:

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor gives developers more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice- and gesture-based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store. The v2 sensor is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 2.0. Learn more at the Kinect for Windows Dev Center.

Note: The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor does not ship with any software. It is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 (licensed separately) and will operate only with applications developed for Kinect for Windows v2. Developers can use the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 to build applications with C++, C#, VB.Net, Cx, or JavaScript.

So it's highly likely the price is inflated so mostly developers purchase one and not general consumers, similar to what the Oculus Rift has been doing with its dev kits. It's a little weird that Microsoft doesn't outright state that though. Nevertheless, considering there are no applications to presently take advantage of it, there's really no reason for anyone other than developers to buy one.

Source: Microsoft Store via PC Gamer

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:17AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Keeping electronics cool is paramount whenever you are trying to get the best performance out of them, and when the electronics most fit in a small space. There are many methods of cooling, including liquid cooling systems. Reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is research to find if nanofluids could be used to improve liquid cooling systems.

Nanofluids are liquids, like water, that contain metallic nanoparticles. Research has been done before to see if they could have a use for cooling electronics, but this new research is the first to consider what kinds of nanofluids may be best, and why. Starting with a microchannel heat sink to replicate operating electronics, the researchers used three different nanofluids to cool it, and measured certain properties. Specifically the researchers looked at how well the nanofluids transferred heat, how much energy they lost, the added friction, and their pumping power.

As it turned out, all three nanofluids performed better than water, with a nanofluid consisting of copper oxide and water doing the best overall. Of course more work will have to be done to identify what could be the best nanofluid for wide use, but this research starts us on the path to finding it.

Source: American Chemical Society

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:45AM PST by bp9801

It is the start of another week, which means new items for you to look over. We have a review on the Cougar MX300 case to see how well this fairly inexpensive model can hold all of your components. The BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE motherboard has plenty of interesting featurs to help set it apart from the crowd, and it gets put to the test to show what it is capable of. We also have a few other items for your viewing pleasure, like the possibility that Intel is interested in AMD's Mantle API, a guide to taking fireworks photos, and a new podcast.

BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE @ Madshrimps

Cougar MX300 @ ThinkComputers

Intel Shows Interest in Mantle? @ PC Perspective
How to Take Amazing Fireworks Photos @ TechSpot
Podcast #307 @ PC Perspective

July 4, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 08:19PM PST by ClayMeow
Gearbox Publishes

Developer Gearbox Software apparently showed a tutorial video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel to attendees at E3 2014 prior to letting them loose with the game. Now we get to enjoy this rather unconventional tutorial, entitled "Handsome Jack's Tips for Surviving on the Moon." It's worth a watch for any Borderlands fan.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launches October 14 in North America and October 17 worldwide for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, priced at $59.99.

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:07PM PST by gebraset

With Apple iWatch release rumors running rampant recently, especially with the introduction of Android Wear and the coverage that various Android watches have received, it comes as no surprise that Apple has hired a well-respected watch company sales director onto its team. Patrick Pruniaux, the former TAG Heuer Vice President of Global Sales & Retail, has been brought onto the Apple team, with the news confirmed by TAG Heuer itself. Supposedly, Pruniaux is set to work with the team that is developing the highly anticipated Apple iWatch device that will compete with other watch-like wearable devices that are currently available for consumers to purchase.

Source: Mac Rumors

Comments (1) | Posted at 07:04PM PST by gebraset

In the past, BMW successfully used 3D printing during the 2012 London Olympics to create custom wheelchair seats for the Great Britain Paralympic team. Now, the German automaker is using the same technology to provide workers located in a Munich factory with thumb guards that assist them with a specific task that they perform time and time again. The thumb guards, which are customized to fit to each worker's thumb, help workers to successfully put rubber plugs into place that are used during the vehicle manufacturing process. Classified as an orthotic device, the thumb guard itself was created by BMW with the help of the Department of Ergonomics at the Technical University of Munichcan.

Source: CNET

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:38AM PST by ClayMeow
The Witcher Adventure Game Closed Beta is Underway

The Witcher Adventure Game was announced as a tabletop game back in January, but when The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt release date was announced last month, a digital version of The Witcher Adventure Game was unveiled, with The Witcher 3 GOG.com pre-orders granting two multiplayer closed beta passes. Yesterday, CD Projekt started distributing those closed beta access keys, so if you pre-ordered The Witcher 3 on GOG.com, be sure to check your email.

The purpose of the beta test is actually two-fold: it's obviously meant to test the game and get feedback from players, but it's also meant to test "some parts of the GOG Galaxy online infrastructure powering the multiplayer portion of the digitized board game." The GOG Galaxy "DRM-Free Online Gaming Platform" will officially launch later this year, and this is the first opportunity for players to get their hands on it and for CD Projekt to iron out the kinks before public release. While the Closed Beta requires GOG Galaxy, it should be noted that when the full game goes live, there will be single-player modes, including "hot seat" and "human vs AI", which will be playable offline, outside of the GOG Galaxy client.

If you'd like the chance to join The Witcher Adventure Game Closed Beta without pre-ordering The Witcher 3 on GOG.com, you can sign up here.

Source: GOG.com

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:58AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Silicon is the material for many modern technologies and has a large industry around it, which is why many are trying to develop future technologies that utilize silicon. Many would like to see silicon used to create quantum systems, but this is not easy to achieve in part because quantum systems are very susceptible to environmental noise. Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute though, have developed a theoretical way to build superconducting wires and quantum circuits within silicon crystals, with the ability to carry qubits.

About a decade ago, it was discovered that by doping silicon correctly, it could be made to superconductor at temperatures just above absolute zero. Since then the ability to dope silicon has improved to the point that we could potentially build superconducting 'wires' on silicon with atomic precision. The researchers propose using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope to remove hydrogen atoms from the surface of silicon, allowing the doping gas phosphine to be added. Once the silicon has been successfully doped to form wires, Josephson tunnel junctions, and weak links, which are the building blocks of superconducting circuits, crystalline silicon can be used to cover it all, protecting it from the environment. The result is superconducting circuitry, guarded from environmental noise, capable of carrying spin-based quantum bits.

While the possible applications of superconducting circuitry are decidedly interesting on their own, this research could also be used to create other superconducting-semiconductor devices with exotic properties. It could even be used learn more about superconductivity itself.

Source: Joint Quantum Institute

July 3, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 07:52PM PST by ClayMeow
Ubisoft Unveils the Far Cry 4 Kryat Edition

Ubisoft's Far Cry 4 was certainly one of the stars of E3 2014, winning numerous accolades. Ubisoft released an Accolades Trailer along with unveiling the Kryat Edition, which is jam-packed with physical goodies. The centerpiece of the Kryat Edition is a 7.9" statue of antagonist Pagan Min sitting atop an elephant's trunk in his trademark bright purple suit. In addition to the statue, you also get a Travel Journal, Propaganda Poster, and Map of Kryat all tucked neatly in a Collector's Box, along with the previously announced Hurk's Redemption and Impaler DLC.

Far Cry 4 is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 18. The Kryat Edition is available for all five platforms and will set you back $129.99, compared to $59.99 for just the game.

Source: UbiBlog

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:04PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

When most people look at a flame, they likely do not think about the many chemical processes involved. For those that do consider the mechanics of combustion though, there has been a mystery for some time about how soot and compounds are formed. Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of Hawaii though have finally found the first step in the process, which could lead to many interesting and useful discoveries.

Under ideal conditions, combustion should just create carbon dioxide and water vapor. Reality is hardly ideal though, and so we see fumes and particulates, such as soot, created as well. The mechanisms that convert gas-phase molecules into these solid particles have been theorized for some time, but now the researchers have experimental evidence for what happens. One family of theories called HACA (hydrogen abstraction-acetylene addition) involves benzene molecules, which are a ring of six carbon atoms with six hydrogen atoms connected, that lose a hydrogen atom and have a tail of acetylene take its spot. Another acetylene molecule eventually attaches to the first, making the tail long enough to curl around and attach to the original benzene ring. This double-ring molecule, called naphthalene, is what eventually develops into soot and other macro molecules.

To identify the mechanism, the researchers created a combustion environment and let the process start before sending the molecules into a mass spectrometer that identified the naphthalene and benzene with acetylene tail. This supports the version of HACA that has the benzene forming a single tail, instead of multiple.

How this matters is that by better understanding the real-world mechanisms of combustion, it may be possible to develop fuels that burn more closely to ideal, making them more efficient and cleaner. Also these mechanisms have implications for how gases emitted by stars can become the carbon-based matter we find in space.

Source: Berkeley Lab

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:51PM PST by CheeseMan42

DEEPCOOL has announced a trio of new all-in-one liquid coolers as part of the Maelstrom series. All of the models use a copper cooling block full of micro channels to help dissipate the heat and are compatible with all models of Intel and AMD processors. The base model is the Maelstrom 120k and uses a 20mm thick 120mm fan to help make it ideal for small cases. The Maelstrom 120 uses a rubber covered PWM fan to help reduce noise and vibration. The Maelstrom 240 uses two of the rubber covered fans. The 120k will have an MSRP of $69.99, the 120 will cost $75.99, and the 240 will cost $105.99.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:39AM PST by ClayMeow
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Blasting Off October 24

Officially announced in April, Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth will be releasing globally on October 24, 2014 for $49.99. Beyond Earth brings the Civilization franchise to space with elements from Alpha Centauri. While the game is a turn-based strategy game played on a hexagonal grid with a lot of gameplay mechanics that will be instantly recognizable to any Civilization fan, Beyond Earth features a lot of drastic differences: custom civilizations based on pre-game decisions, an asymmetric start, a "technology web", and native life that affect gameplay even into the end game.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming exclusively to Windows, though previous entries have Mac and Linux support, so it's likely that'll come in the future. Pre-ordering the game provides the Exoplanets Map Pack at launch, which includes "six custom maps inspired by real exoplanets:"

  • Kepler 186f: This lush forest planet is one of the oldest known Earth-like planets;
  • Rigil Khantoris Bb: Orbiting the closest star to our solar system, the historical records of this arid continental planet's settlement are well-preserved;
  • Tau Ceti d: This planet of seas and archipelagos features a booming biodiversity and a wealth of resources;
  • Mu Arae f: Tidally locked in orbit around a weak star, the southern hemisphere of this planet is a blistering desert where the sun never sets, while the northern hemisphere is perpetually in frozen darkness;
  • 82 Eridani e: An alien world of scarce water and wracked by tectonic forces;
  • Eta Vulpeculae b: A mysterious new discovery with unknown terrain.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:54AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Depending on its form, carbon can be a very useful material with special properties, but producing the proper form can be difficult and messy. Typically the methods used are chemical in nature, which can leave residues that have to be cleaned off and may be tricky to work with. Researchers at Rice University however have found a means to create graphene nanoribbons mechanically, and this could have some large impacts on future technologies.

To make graphene nanoribbons, one starts with carbon nanotubes, which are essentially the ribbons wrapped into a cylinder. By unzipping them you have the desired nanoribbons, and traditional methods applied chemistry to trigger the unzipping, which then requires cleaning the ribbons. The Rice researchers discovered that nanotubes could also be unzipped by firing them at 15,000 miles per hour at a target in a vacuum chamber. If the nanotubes strike the target along their length, the impact will crush the tube walls and cause them to unzip. Nanotubes that strike end first or at a steep angle though just crumbled. The researchers were firing the nanotubes at that speed to find possible applications for space missions, as such hypervelocity impacts are used to test projectiles on shields, spacecraft, and satellites.

By providing an easy and clean means to produce high-quality graphene nanoribbons, this research could help make them more accessible for future technologies. Thanks to their superb electrical properties, graphene nanoribbons could one day be used to create advanced electronic materials.

Source: Rice University

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:54AM PST by bp9801

If you are in the market for a new video card, you're in luck as today we have a look at two different AMD Radeon R9 280s. The first one comes from MSI, which features a custom cooler and factory overclock to help get your games looking good right away. The other card is from HIS, and it features the company's high-end IceQ X2 cooler along with overclocks to the core and memory. Both should work out quite well, so hit up the reviews to see for sure. We also have a review on the Evercool Venti CPU cooler; a rather slim product that shouldn't take up much space from tall RAM heat sinks. Finally there's a comparison of the Exynos and Snapdragon-powered Samsung Galaxy S5s to see which one is more powerful.

Video Cards
MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB Gaming @ PC Perspective
HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB @ Benchmark Reviews

CPU Cooling
Evercool Venti @ LanOC Reviews

Battle of the Galaxy S5s: Exynos vs Snapdragon @ TechSpot

July 2, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 05:23PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

A truth of all topics, great and small, is the difficulty to spread awareness and information on the subject. Indeed there are many topics that are many decades old that are still woefully misunderstood by many, so finding ways to familiarize people with them is crucial. Researchers at Oregon State University have recently suggested that the topic of sustainability could be brought into video games to increase awareness amongst gamers, by presenting us with related puzzles to solve.

By bringing sustainability concepts to video games, the researchers hope to have an approach that is neither pedantic nor educational, but still satisfying and informative through fun and challenge. Specifically four areas the researchers would like to see in more games are: a shift away from growth as a goal, as it would eventually be unsustainable; scavenging instead of combat to collect resources; more complex social interactions to foster social collaborations; and more complex resource strategies with long-term consequences, and interdependencies between resources.

Already there are some games with some of these elements, such as EVE Online, with its economy, and DayZ with its scavenging and player interactions. The researchers would like to see more games and mechanics that encourage thought on sustainability.

Source: Oregon State University

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:45PM PST by gebraset

In order to support its growing customer base, BitFenix has just released its latest product known as the Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory. This accessory is made out of high quality steel and features an array of ventilation holes used to enhance the cooling performance of BitFenix Phenom cases by increasing heat dissipation and airflow. After installation of the BitFenix Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory, which takes just seconds according to the company, the ventilation holes themselves are placed directly over the area where graphics cards are installed.

The BitFenix Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory is available in black and white and can be purchased immediately. The accessory supports Phenom Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases. 

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:40PM PST by gebraset

Sony has recalled roughly 680 Vaio Flip laptops due to fire and burn hazards associated with the included battery. The recall comes just a few months after Sony urged customers to stop using Vaio Fit 11A computers for the same reason. At this point in time Sony is aware of four incidents total, which all occurred in Asia, where overheating batteries have not only smoked, but also caught on fire and melted. While no injuries have been reported from the incidents, consumers are being urged to immediately stop using and charging their Vaio Flip laptops. Consumers can check to see if their Vaio Flip has been recalled by verifying if their laptop is indeed model number SVF11N13CXS.

Sony is providing consumers with instructions on how to arrange for a free inspection, and is also providing free repairs for Vaio Flip laptops that can be fixed. For laptops deemed unrepairable, Sony will provide a full refund of the purchase price to the consumer.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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