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October 8, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 03:55PM PST by CheeseMan42

Google has implemented a number of features, "specifically focused on improving identity, manageability, virtualization, performance and pricing," for the Chromebook that it believes will help to make the devices more appealing for business use cases. Single sign-on has been implemented with support for all major identity and credentials providers as well as multiple sign-in to allow for easy switching between personal and work accounts. Improved certificate management adds support for 802.1X EAP-TLS wireless and improved control for IT admins. Google has worked with Citrix and VMWare to help improve virtualization options and Citrix has already released a Citrix Receiver version optimized for Chromebooks. All of this and more will be available to customers at a cost of $50 per device per year.

Source: Google

Comments (0) | Posted at 03:44PM PST by CheeseMan42

Google has enlisted the help of 10 year old camel Raffia and a guide to create a Street View representation of the Liwa Desert. The 100 kilometer desert is located to the south west of the city of Abu Dhabi and marks the first location to be mapped with the assistance of an animal. A spokeswoman for Google described the motivation behind the decision stating that the company "used a camel for authenticity, using the desert’s ancient mode of transport."

Source: Forbes

Comments (0) | Posted at 03:05PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Chances are, most people are familiar with medical ultrasounds that use sound waves to peer into a patient, without doing any harm to the body. Ultrasounds are also used to image metal structures, in an effort to find cracks that could cause critical failures. The technology has been limited to just large problems for some time though, but researchers at the University of Bristol have finally developed a nonlinear technique that is much more sensitive.

Acoustic nonlinearity is an old idea, but no imaging method has been developed before now. It works by looking at the differences between acoustic fields generated from parallel elements in an ultrasonic array, as they are fired sequentially. The results are sound waves that are more sensitive to changes in the material, including microstructure changes, before they develop into macroscopic problems.

By catching cracks before they begin, it will be easier to predict the life of a structure, which could lead to thinner and lighter structures, including future aircraft. As the technique works with modern inspection equipment, it could be quickly adopted and put to use for its many applications.

Source: University of Bristol

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:01AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Some days, things just do not seem to go right and put you in a bad mood. When this happens, what do you do? According to researchers at the Ohio State University, many of us will look at social media profiles of those in worse situations than us.

The social networks many people use online are very special in that people are able to manage their use of them, whereas offline you do not always have a choice of who you encounter. Normally people look for positive news, but the researchers decided to investigate if this changes when the user is in a bad mood. To put their subjects in a bad mood, the researchers gave 168 college students a test on facial emotion recognition and randomly reported their performance as terrible or excellent. Now primed with a positive or negative mood, the participants were asked to review a new social networking site. On the site were eight profiles that had very similar, mundane postings, with the only real differences being with the profile rankings of career success and attractiveness. Those rankings were either very low or very high.

Everybody still focused on the profile of the more successful and attractive people, but those participants in a bad mood spent significantly more time looking at the other profiles. The researchers believe this shows that when we are in a bad mood, we will try to manage it by seeking out people in worse situations for a self-esteem boost, as we compare ourselves to them.

Source: Ohio State University

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:53AM PST by bp9801

The middle of the week has arrived, and with it comes some items for your viewing pleasure. We have a look at a couple of Intel X99 motherboards, with both the EVGA X99 Classified and MSI X99S XPOWER AC being put to the test. Both motherboards are at the upper end of the spectrum, and both should allow for some big overclocking potential. There are also some storage options to look at today, as the OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB PCIe SSD gets reviewed. For those desiring more storage, the QNAP TS-451 Turbo NAS Server may be the solution, as it offers four bays and a low cost to appeal to most people. Wrapping things up for today is another look at the history of the computer, covering the rise of Intel.

EVGA X99 Classified @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB PCI-E Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers
QNAP TS-451 Turbo NAS Server @ Benchmark Reviews

History of the Personal Computer, Part 4 @ TechSpot

October 7, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 08:23PM PST by ClayMeow

After a few looks at multiplayer, Ubisoft has published a new Assassin's Creed Unity Story Trailer, providing a deeper look at the game's backstory. And let's face it – most Assassin's Creed fans likely care more about the single-player story than multiplayer. So without further ado, watch the video to learn more about Unity, Arno, Elise, and the French Revolution:

Assassin's Creed Unity will release on November 11 in North America and November 13 in EMEA territories for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Season Pass is also available with eight hours of additional content, including Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a unique 2.5D reimagining of the franchise.

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:14PM PST by ClayMeow

Back in July, Toki Tori developer Two Tribes unveiled RIVE, "the metal wrecking, robot hacking shooter." While the studio has been demoing the game at various trade shows, it's been rather silent publicly until now. Earlier today, Two Tribes released the first official gameplay trailer for its 2D shooter:

RIVE is scheduled to arrive Q1 2015 for PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux) via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:39PM PST by CheeseMan42

Google Voice has finally received the long awaited support for Multimedia Message Service, MMS. The upgrade was officially revealed by senior software engineer Alex Wiesen who said that Google has worked with "nearly 100 different North American carriers to enable this feature — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus, and many more,"  to bring the service to their networks. Unfortunately for a large number of users, including myself, Verizon still refuses to support the service. Users were previously given a link to the message that was sent if supported by their carrier, or weren't notified of the message at all.

Source: Ars Technica

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:08PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Something many people are likely not aware of is the amount of fraud and cherry-picking in the sciences, including life sciences. This comes in part from a great pressure to publish, being overwhelmed by data, and from the people creating the hypothesis also being the ones to test it. To combat these issues, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University suggest using massive online labs that use video games to essentially crowd source the work.

Online labs have been used before as some of the researchers involved with this work recently reported the success of their own lab, EteRNA. Some 150,000 participants all registered to help develop and test hypotheses, and process the results of the experiments. With so many people involved, many sets of eyes are on every detail, so any mistake will likely be caught, and biases will be removed as those testing a hypothesis are not necessarily those who developed it. This also makes otherwise overwhelming amounts of data manageable as many thousands of people will look at the data, instead of the handful in a lab. It also keeps the entire process open and transparent.

The researchers making this suggestion do note two challenges that have to be overcome for this approach to work. One is the cost to create a massive online lab, which is still within the budge of the usual life science grant, but more importantly the view that video games do not align with serious or rigorous research.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:01PM PST by CheeseMan42

Mushkin has announced the latest addition to its popular Chronos SSD line, the Chronos G2. The drives boast maximum transfer speeds of 555MB/s and up to 90,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second. The drives will be available in capacities ranging from 60GB to 480GB, providing for a wide range of applications. Director of Global Marketing Nicolas Villalobos described the new drive saying, "A reincarnation of the legendary Chronos, the Chronos G2 Series was born to stand out from the crowd. Its competition-surpassing value give Mushkin’s Value SSD an oversized attitude."

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 12:12PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Privacy is a great concern for a great many people, and it is can also be tricky to achieve with how much technology today relies on sharing data. Such sharing opens up the possibility of data being illegitimately accessed without the consent or even the knowledge of the user. Researchers at the University College London, Stanford Engineering, Google, Chalmers, and Mozilla Research however, have recently created a new privacy system that might just be able to keep our data private, without breaking web applications.

The new system is call Confinement with Origin Web Labels (COWL) and works by confining data to only the party it was originally shared with. So, with COWL if a web app requests information from a website, it will receive that information, but will be prevented from sending it anywhere else. This way the site sharing the data maintains control, even after its transmission. This is in contrast to Same Origin Policy, which prevents programs from reading data from other websites and thus prevents mashup applications, or Cross-Origin Resource Sharing, which can easily be made to expose information.

Prototypes of COWL have already been tested for Chrome and Firefox and showed no perceptible impact on page-loading. For those interested in using COWL, it will be made freely available on the 15th of this month at http://cowl.ws/.

Source: University College London

Comments (4) | Posted at 10:41AM PST by ClayMeow
Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Has Officially Launched

While free-to-play Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies entered open beta on September 23, today marks its official release. "To celebrate the launch and welcome players, Nexon Europe is planning five different in-game events in which a wide array of items and weapons can be won. In the coming weeks, these events will be updated and expanded according to player feedback, to form whole new elements of online free-to-play gameplay, allowing Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies to continue evolving."

You can install and play Counter-Strike Nexon Zombies for free via Steam, across North America, Europe, Oceania, and the CIS region.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:03AM PST by ClayMeow
Styx: Master of Shadows Has Launched

The time has finally come for infiltration RPG Styx: Master of Shadows, the prequel to 2012's Of Orcs and Men. While it may not have the same hype around it as last week's launch, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, nor yesterday's launch, Alien: Isolation, at half the price ($23.99 via Steam after a week one 20% discount), it's certainly more accommodating on the wallet. Of course, no release would be complete without an official Launch Trailer:

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:01AM PST by gebraset

AIDA64, a popular PC diagnostic utility that provides detailed information about the hardware and software of individual or networked computers, has just been updated to version 4.70. The latest version brings numerous improvements, such as support for new LCD and VFD devices, support for Razer SwitchBlade UI LCD, support for LGA2011-v3 motherboards, and support for a variety of SSDs. Support for CUDA 6.5 and OpenGL 4.5, as well as support for Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview and Windows Server 2015 Technical Preview come with AIDA64 4.70 too. Version 4.70 also provides GPU details for the AMD Radeon R9 285 and the NVIDIA GeForce 900 series.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 09:51AM PST by gebraset

NVIDIA has just launched the GeForce GTX 980M and 970M graphics processing units, bringing its latest Maxwell architecture improvements to a plethora of gaming laptops. The latest laptop graphics cards bring lower power consumption, a downsampling feature that enables 4K content to be displayed on any monitor, and Multi-Frame Sample Anti-Aliasing which promises to boost performance by as much as 30 percent with no visual impact. All of these features, combined with amazing performance improvements contained within the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX mobile GPUs, provide gamers with an excellent visual experience.

Laptops with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M and 970M are available immediately for purchase. Examples of laptops that come equipped with the new NVIDIA GPUs include the MSI GT72 and GS60, the ASUS G751, the Gigabyte Aorus X7, and the Clevo P150.

Source: Engadget

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

In recent years we have seen an explosion of unmanned vehicles and vehicles capable of directing themselves, such as small drones and self-driving cars. Such vehicles are not limited to the land and air though, as the Office of Naval Research has been developing Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) that could be used to protect manned ships. Now ONR researchers have successfully completed tests on a system giving these USVs swarm capability.

Swarming has long been a focus of robotics and artificial intelligence research, as it allows groups of individual actors to act as one, more powerful force. By bringing it to USVs, the vehicles are able to quickly respond to threats and work together, such as plotting out routes to interdict other vessels. The technology for automating the boats, called CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing), can fit into transportable kits and can be installed into most boats. It was also recently demonstrated in the James River in Virginia by as many as 13 boats acting to escort a Navy ship, and swarm a threatening ship.

The future of these boats and system is to deploy them to protect larger, manned ships, and to send them into dangerous situations, instead of Sailors or Marines. The boats would have offensive capabilities for deterring or destroying adversaries, but weapons fire could only be initiated by a supervising Sailor.



Source: Office of Naval Research

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

A new day has arrived, and with it comes a few items for your viewing pleasure. There is a review on the ASUS GTX 750 Ti Strix OC Edition, which features a custom cooler, factory overclock, and the same power requirements as the reference card, so anyone should be able to load it into their system with ease. We also have the Giada D2308U Mini-PC that features an Intel Core i7 4500U, 8GB of DDR3, and a GeForce GTX 750; not bad for something that can fit in the palm of your hand. Finishing up today's items is a wish list for Windows 10 and what features the site would like to see added.

Video Cards
ASUS GTX 750 Ti Strix OC Edition @ LanOC Reviews

Giada D2308U Mini-PC @ Madshrimps

What TechSpot writers want in Windows 10 @ TechSpot

October 6, 2014
Comments (4) | Posted at 09:15PM PST by ClayMeow
Disney Interactive Has Added 21 Games to Steam with a 10% Launch Sale Discount

Disney Interactive has decided to embrace the #1 gaming platform in the world, adding 21 games to Steam earlier today. The games include: Disney Alice in Wonderland, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell's Adventure, Disney G-Force, Disney Planes, Disney Princess: My Fairytail Adventure, Disney Tangled, Disney The Princess and the Frog, Disney TRON: Evolution, Disney Universe, Disney's Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree Animated Storybook, Disney-Pixar Brave: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Cars 2: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales, Disney-Pixar Toy Story 3: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Toy Story Mania!, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pure, Split/Second, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

During the first week (until October 12), all games have a 10% discount as part of the Disney Launch Sale. There are also five packs available that allow you to enjoy further discounts: Disney Extreme Racing Pack, Disney Toy Story, Planes, and Cars Pack, Disney Other-Worldly Adventure Pack, Disney Princess and Fairy Pack, and Disney Mega Pack.

Source: Steam

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:38PM PST by ClayMeow

One of the most highly anticipated survival horror games of the year officially went live on Steam earlier today. Yes, the PC version of Alien: Isolation has launched a day early, possibly influenced by the generally high critical acclaim the game has already received, with the PC version unsurprisingly receiving the highest praise. Console gamers will have to wait until tomorrow though, which was the original release date. But in the meantime, everyone can enjoy the official Launch Trailer:

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:42PM PST by ClayMeow
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Infiltrating Steam December 18

Back in August, during its Gamescom livestream, Konami revealed that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain would be coming to Steam. Today, Konami announced that the PC version of Ground Zeroes will be arriving via Steam on December 18. Best of all, the PC version features an increase in the number of simultaneous light sources, an increase in the number of models that can be displayed on-screen, increased shadow resolution, and 4K support.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes acts as a prologue to the much more extensive Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is still awaiting a release date.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:09PM PST by ClayMeow
Ubisoft's MMO-CarPG The Crew Pushed Back to December 2

Originally scheduled to arrive November 11, Ubisoft has announced that its upcoming MMO-CarPG The Crew will now be arriving December 2 instead. Planned for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360, the delay is apparently because of community feedback. After two closed betas on PC and one technical beta on the new-gen consoles, the development teams at Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections are "scrutinizing all of the player feedback [to] ensure that The Crew delivers the seamless open-world experience that meets everyone's high expectations."

According to a UbiBlog post today, substantial updates have already been made to the game, including an option to fully remove the HUD, a "massive re-creation of the United States," fine-tuning the collisions, new visual effects, difficulty and AI adjustments, and improved voice chat.

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:39PM PST by ClayMeow

We have already seen a narrated co-op Heist mission and an official "Co-Op Gameplay Trailer" for Assassin's Creed Unity, but when four-player co-op is one of the major selling points of this new-gen iteration, of course Ubisoft isn't going to stop there. The publisher has now posted a new video and blog entry entitled "Inside the Brotherhood", which delve a bit further into the co-op activities and assassin customization.

Assassin's Creed Unity will release on November 11 in North America and November 13 in EMEA territories for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Season Pass is also available with eight hours of additional content, including Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a unique 2.5D reimagining of the franchise.

Source: UbiBlog

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

A recent update to the Battle.net launcher from Blizzard further hints at the possibility of Warcraft 3 finding its way onto the service. The first hints at a possible re-release were given at Blizzcon last year during a World of Warcraft panel. During the panel it was revealed that Blizzard had a team of several people that were "working on a side project," and that "We're fans of Warcraft 1, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and we'd love to replay those games for sure." The latest hint is a bit more subtle and comes with the addition of backgrounds and icons for Warcraft 3 to the launcher. Blizzcon will be taking place this year on November 7 and as someone who never got the chance to play the game when it first came out, this is something I will be sure to watch closely.

Source: PC Gamer

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:11PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Graphene seems to be a gift that just keeps on giving as researchers continue to find new ways to use it. Now those at MIT have found a very simple way to turn graphene paper into a stretchable electrode.

The wonder material is an atom-thick sheet of carbon that has many amazing properties due to this 2D structure, but in this case, multiple layers of graphene are combined to form a paper. This paper has been looked at before for use as electrodes in a supercapacitor, thanks to its high surface area to mass ratio, but not quite like this. The MIT researchers attached the paper to a polymer they had stretched out in two directions. They then released the polymer in one direction, and then the other. The first release caused the graphene paper to form parallel pleats, while the second crumpled it into chaotic folds. If the paper is stretched out again, the folds just smooth themselves out.

The researchers created a prototype supercapacitor with this material by placing an insulating hydrogel between two sheets, and as the hydrogel is also stretchable, the supercapacitor itself can survive being flexed and pulled. The crumpled graphene paper could also be used as electrodes in flexible batteries or in stretchable sensors.

Source: MIT

Comments (0) | Posted at 11:55AM PST by gebraset

Bing has just announced that it has added the ability to view song lyrics directly within search results. When a user searches for lyrics to their favorite song, Bing will now show full lyrics on the mainline search results page, eliminating the need to sift through website links and third-party sites. According to Bing, the search engine will also provide users with artist, album, and other song related information alongside the main search results in a summarized, snapshot form.

Bing currently supports over half a million songs, but revealed that it will support more songs in the coming weeks.

Comments (0) | Posted at 11:05AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

When quantum mechanics was first being developed and scientists were first discovering the math that rules it, many interesting predictions were made. Some of these predictions have since proven true, but one has been particularly stubborn. The Majorana fermion is a particle that exists as its own antiparticle and finally, researchers at Princeton University and the University of Texas-Austin have proven its existence.

As the name suggests, antimatter is the opposite of normal matter, and when they collide, they will annihilate each other. The Majorana fermion is an exception to that rule, and was first described in 1937. This particle actually possesses properties of both normal and antimatter, making it neutral and keeping its interaction with its environment weak. In 2001 it was outlined how a Majorana fermion could be used as a qubit in quantum computers, which would benefit greatly from the weak interactions, and a new way to find it using a superconducting wire and a strong magnetic field.

The Princeton researchers constructed their superconducting wire out of iron atoms, aligned on a crystal of pure lead, and cooled it to just one degree above absolute zero. With a scanning-tunneling microscope, the researchers were able to image electrical signals at the tips of the wire, suggesting the presence of Majorana fermions, but only by imaging the rest of the wire, and showing the signals were only at the ends, the researchers were able to directly demonstrate they had created the elusive particle. Ironically the researchers also discovered that producing these particles is easier than they expected, provided the magnetism and superconductivity are present. Based on this, and their already simple setup, the researchers predict many more materials could be used to produce these particles, which could prove invaluable in the creation of quantum computers.

Source: Princeton University

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:52AM PST by gebraset

Samsung has announced that plans to construct a new chip plant in South Korea. The fabrication plant will be located in Pyeongtaek, which is 47 miles south of Seoul, and will cost the electronics giant roughly $14.7 billion. Although construction on the new plant is set to begin sometime next year, the facility, which will make either logic or memory chips, will not open until 2017. Samsung noted that 150,000 jobs will be created thanks to the newly announced chip manufacturing plant, which happens to be about a third of the population of Pyeongtaek.

Source: Reuters

Comments (0) | Posted at 06:29AM PST by gebraset

The iPhone 6, which set a pre-order sales record for Apple after the technology company unveiled it early last month, has been sought after by millions of consumers across the world since its announcement. A Verizon customer located in Beverly Hills, California, seems to be the luckiest of all who ordered the iPhone 6, as they have received a prototype of the smartphone. Apparently the 64GB iPhone 6 prototype does not feature a model number or any FCC marks, features a red Lightning port, and is stuck in developer mode. With such a rare find, the Verizon customer placed the iPhone 6 prototype onto eBay four days ago with a starting bid of $999. Amazingly, the prototype version of the iPhone 6 currently has a bid amount of $86,100, and with the auction set to last another three days, that amount is sure to climb even higher.

Source: eBay and TweakTown

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:52AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

While the possibility of quantum computers can grab headlines, there are more quantum technologies than that, and some can even be used today. Quantum encryption leverages quantum mechanics to transmit information securely using photons, but creating these photons is a little tricky. Doing so requires the generation of entangled photon pairs, which normally have the polarization of the original light source, but now researchers have developed a device to create cross-polarized pairs, as reported by The Optical Society's.

Normally cross-polarized photon pairs would be created using a classical mechanics process, which is a problem for quantum technologies, as quantum phenomena would be destroyed. Specifically, the entanglement between the photons would be undone. This new device gets around that by using a micro-ring resonator that exploits energy conservation. This suppresses the classical effects involved and actually amplifies the quantum processes.

Thanks to the small size of the device, under one square millimeter in area, we could see the generation of cross-polarized, entangled photon pairs be integrated into modern computer chips. The device can already be fabricated with processes compatible with those that make computer chips.

Source: The Optical Society

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:50AM PST by bp9801

A new week is upon us, with plenty of items for you to look over to get it started. There is a review on the Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 285 WindForce OC video card, which offers a factory overclock and custom cooler to help keep things from getting too hot during an intense gaming session. There is also a look at the SilverStone Fortress FT05, a rather small case that features a unique design. We also have the Y50 Touch from Lenovo, which is a gaming laptop that may be a solid choice for those on a budget. ROCCAT's TALK FX feature gets looked at to see what it brings to the table when you are using multiple ROCCAT device. Finally the ICYCube MB561U3S-4S 4 Bay External HDD Enclosure from ICY DOCK is reviewed to see if it can be the basis for your new NAS.

Video Cards
Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 285 WindForce OC @ Madshrimps

SilverStone Fortress FT05 @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY DOCK ICYCube MB561U3S-4S 4 Bay External HDD Enclosure @ ThinkComputers

Lenovo Y50 Touch Gaming Notebook @ PC Perspective

ROCCAT TALK FX Overview @ Benchmark Reviews

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