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August 26, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 11:05AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Color blindness affects only about nine percent of people, but just about every digital camera is unable to discern color with just its detector. Color images are the result of filters external to the photodetector that separate incoming light to the red, green, and blue we are familiar with. Researchers at Rice University however, have developed a photodetector with color sensitivity, while studying cephalopods.

How are cephalopods like squids related? These species have very odd skin, which the Office of Naval Research wants to be studied. Cephalopods are color blind, but it is suspected that they can still detect color with their skin, and it was from this hypothesis that the Rice researchers developed the new photodetector. On top of the typical silicon photodetector, the researchers put a layer of aluminum that was etched into, using a process commonly used in CMOS process. The thickness of an oxide layer was also manipulated to create a plasmonic grate on the detector's surface. With such control, grating could be tuned to only allow certain frequencies of light through, and to focus that light onto the detector.

Unlike the filters traditionally used in digital cameras, this plasmonic grating can be built directly onto silicon photodetectors using standard CMOS techniques. Beyond the advantages of being part of the chip, this grating is also smaller and simpler and the filters, all while mimicking how organisms detect colors.

Source: Rice University

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

A new day has arrived, and with it comes plenty of items to occupy your day. There is a look at the Intel Haswell-E CPUs and X99 chipset, which will be the first consumer product to support DDR4 memory. If you just want to see whether or not delidding a Haswell CPU is worth it, we have an article examining the procedure. For those needing a new video card, the HIS R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC 4GB gets put to the test to show what the factory overclock and custom cooler are capable of. We also have the second part of a review on the CM HAF Stacker 935 case, which offers plenty of room for any number of cooling possibilities. Tt eSPORTS' Level 10 M Hybrid gaming mouse, with its wired/wireless design, gets reviewed, as does the CRYORIG R1 Universal CPU cooler.

Intel Haswell-E and X99 Chipset Preview @ ThinkComputers
Delidding your Intel Haswell CPU @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
CRYORIG R1 Universal CPU Cooler @ Madshrimps

Video Cards
HIS R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC 4GB @ Madshrimps

CM HAF Stacker 935 Mod-Tower: Part 2 @ PC Perspective

Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Hybrid Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Comments (0) | Posted at 09:16AM PST by ClayMeow
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Blasting Off November 11

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has announced that the highly anticipated LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be launching November 11 in North America, November 14 in the UK, and November 12 in the rest of Europe, for practically every current gaming platform: PC (Windows and Mac), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo 3DS. The iOS version was not listed in the press release, so it's unclear whether that is arriving at the same time.

In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Batman and the rest of the Justice League must stop the evil Braniac from adding Earth to his collection of miniature worlds and cities. With more than 150 unique characters, LEGO Batman 3 is sure to feature something for everyone. Even though it loosely follows the story of LEGO Batman 2, it should still be a great entry point for anyone whole foolishly has not experienced the pure fun and joy of a LEGO game.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:22AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

As my mother and father will both exclaim at times, computers and machines can be quite dumb. For now, that is just annoying, but if we ever start relying on robots to help in our homes, it could be a real problem. To head off potential problems, researchers at Cornell University have developed Robo Brain and set it the task of processing content on the Internet, in order to learn and teach other machines.

Though currently our computers and other devices are able to find us the answers to almost any of our questions, it is not in a form that the computers can understand. This is what Robo Brain addresses by associating text with images and videos, to recognize objects and learn human language and behavior. It stores this information with a Markov model, which consists of nodes representing objects, actions, or parts of an image, and edges connecting them. When another robot searches for knowledge, it starts with its own chain of nodes, and will look for a similar one Robo Brain built. As there may be differences between what Robo Brain and the robot built, probabilities have been assigned to the nodes of Robo Brain that represent allowed variance.

As Robo Brain may get some things wrong, or just need some help, you can visit its website to provide corrections and additional information: RoboBrain.me.

Source: Cornell University

August 25, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 05:59PM PST by ClayMeow
Fight Giant Titans With a Single Arrow in Titan Souls

Back in June, publisher Devlolver Digital unveiled its "Indie Games Roster of Awesomeness" during E3 2014. One game in that roster is Titan Souls, which has received its first official Gameplay Trailer today. Developed by Acid Nerve, Titan Souls is a top-down, open-world action game where you have but a single arrow at your disposal during your quest to defeat giant titans in order to recover the titular Titan Souls. As I described back in June, it's essentially a top-down Shadow of the Colossus with the difficulty and learning curve of Dark Souls.

Titan Souls is coming to PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita in Q1 2015, and will be playable in the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime later this week.

Source: Press Release

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

LG has announced a pair of OLED televisions that feature an ultra high definition 4K resolution. There will be a 77-inch model and a 65-inch model, with the 77-inch expected to have a price of $11,000 based on its Korean price. As with any new high-end technology, early adopters will be hit with a high price tag, but the high resolution and superior picture quality could be worth it for people with that kind of disposable income.

Source: Toms Guide

Comments (0) | Posted at 04:31PM PST by CheeseMan42
Lian Li Announces PC-Q19 Case

Lian Li has announced its latest case, the PC-Q19, an aluminum Mini-ITX offering. The brushed aluminum case is based off the slim form factor PC-Q12 and adds support for a VGA card with the help of a riser card and also adds additional room for storage. The case is just 6.2" tall and makes a great addition to a home theater. Up to three 2.5" drives can be used in addition to a single 3.5" drive. The case can be oriented vertically or horizontally and includes pop-off side panels for easy access. The PC-Q19 will be available by the end of the month at an MSRP of $149.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 03:49PM PST by ClayMeow
Amazon Acquires Twitch for Nearly $1 Billion, Snatching it From Google's Grasp

Nine...Hundred...Seventy...Million...Dollars. That's how much Amazon just agreed to pay to acquire videogame-streaming service Twitch. Back in May, several sources reported that Google's YouTube division would be acquiring Twitch for over $1 billion, with Venture Beat reporting in July that the deal was actually inked. So why did Twitch go for the seemingly lower bid? Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had the following to say:

We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.

According to Amazon, "the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014," which is an odd thing to say since we're already in the second half of 2014. I guess that means it's expected to close before the year ends. It'll be interesting to see how the deal affects the service, but most fans of Twitch seem pretty happy the service wasn't acquired by Google. With Google already owning the #1 platform for Internet video in YouTube, it's probably safer for us all that it didn't also acquire the fastest growing in Twitch.

Source: Amazon and Twitch

Comments (0) | Posted at 02:13PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Okay, this is probably something that will not surprise many people. A recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles has shown that the use of digital media can impair a child's social skills. More specifically, by spending time looking at a screen instead of interacting with someone face-to-face, the children are not learning how to read emotional cues.

For the study, the researchers used two groups of sixth graders. Both groups were given a test at the beginning of the study, to determine their ability to recognize emotions that was repeated at the end. In the interim, one group of 51 students went on a five day trip to a nature and science camp that does not allow the use of electronics. Before going to camp, the group made an average of 14.02 errors on the test and at the end of the study though that number dropped to 9.41. The 54 students who did not go to the camp at that time saw little or no change in the number of errors made. The students reported that they spend, on average, 4.5 hours each school day with digital media, in one form or another.

While the study does rather strongly indicate one negative with digital media, at least it also shows it can be addressed, to a point. Make sure the kids get some face-to-face time, away from devices and they should be in better shape.

Source: University of California, Los Angeles

Comments (0) | Posted at 09:15AM PST by ClayMeow
New Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries Twitch Q&A and Gameplay Video Now Available

Dark fairy tale platformer Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is roughly 87% of the way toward its $50K Kickstarter goal with ten days remaining, so it's looking like it should be successful! To try and garner that last surge needed to push past that goal, GRIN held a live Twitch Q&A yesterday, which the studio has now posted to YouTube for all to enjoy.

The video shows the same three sections from the Gamescom alpha demo, but provides a lot of details about the game. Woolfe will consist of five main sections, each with at least one major boss fight, and each one taking about an hour to complete for a "good" gamer. That being said, there will be collectibles in the game for those that want to delve deeper into not only the story of Riding Hood, but also some other fairy tales. There's also a plan to have a "New Game Plus" mode with super-powered Toy Soldiers and a timer for those that want to compete for speedruns.

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is planned for a Q1 2015 release on PC with Closed Beta to begin next month. If you'd like to support the project, the minimum Kickstarter pledge is $15, which grants you the full game upon release along with the Toy Soldier Editor; Steam key or DRM-free via GOG.com. Closed Beta access starts at $50 and up, while Alpha access starts at $100 and up. It was also confirmed that the Toy Soldier Editor is exclusive to Kickstarter backers, so certainly get in while you can if you want a "place" in the game! The Kickstarter campaign ends Thursday, September 4, 2014, at 5:55PM EDT.

Source: Kickstarter Update

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:53AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Some say that information is the most valuable commodity in the world currently, so naturally it has to be protected. This can be challenging though, especially with complex software systems that handle information of multiple safety levels. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have recently created a new tool that checks for possible security leaks, and help keep data safe.

The tool is called JOANA and works by checking the data channels a piece of software will run data through. It will identify channels that are publicly visible and those that are secured, and find where they may cross. As you can guess, secure data is most likely to be exposed at these crosses of secret and public information. There the data can get out by explicit leaks, by implicit leaks that expose patterns in the encryption, and by probabilistic leaks that could allow data to be reconstructed. Even though that last type of leak is particularly hard to identify, JOANA is able to catch it and even has a low false alarm for it.

As it stands now, JOANA is the only software analysis tool for finding all three kinds of security gaps without having a high false alarm rate. Low false alarm rates are very important, as we do not want resources to be wasted hunting a nonexistent issue or for real issues to be erroneously dismissed.

Source: EurekAlert!

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:18AM PST by ClayMeow
2K and Firaxis Holding the First Ever 'Firaxicon' on September 27

If you're a Civlization and/or Sid Meier fan, you're going to want to pay attention. Firaxis Games, the studio behind the Civlization series, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Pirates!, Railroads, and more, has announced its first ever games convention, Firaxicon. Taking place in Hunt Valley, Maryland, the event includes: a meet and greet with members of the Firaxis Games team; "An Evening with Sid Meier" featuring an exclusive presentation by Sid; the first ever XCOM: EU Invitational Tournament with a chance to win The Golden Muton; a tour of the Firaxis Games office; hours of "panels, presentations and more"; playing boardgames against/with Firaxis Games' designers; unique Firaxicon swag; access to Firaxis Games merchandise; dinner and drinks Saturday night at the Firaxis Feast; and the fortune of playing Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth almost a month before release!

Tickets to Firaxicon cost a mere $40, but must be purchased in advance at the link below; no tickets will be available at the door. Aside from the tour of the Firaxis Games office, the rest of the event takes place at the Embassy Suites Baltimore - North/Hunt Valley, in Cockeysville, Maryland, just north of Baltimore. Firaxicon officially kicks off Saturday, September 27 at 10AM, and runs 24 hours straight until shutting down on Sunday morning at 10AM. If you're not keen on pulling an all-nighter, official events end Saturday night; only "unofficial" gaming sessions continue beyond that point until the 10AM "hard stop."

Source: Official Event Site

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:52AM PST by bp9801

The final week of August is upon us, and with it comes a couple of items for your viewing pleasure. We have a review on the Elite Screens ezCinema Plus 100", which is a 100" screen ideal for those with a projector. If you need a big viewing area to watch the newest movie or play the latest game, this could be the answer. There is also a look at the Motorola Moto E smartphone that is aimed squarely at the entry-level crowd with its $130 price. It runs stock Android and features a 4.3" screen, but it hopefully performs admirably enough to be a first smartphone for many.

Elite Screens ezCinema Plus 100" @ LanOC Reviews

Motorola Moto E @ TechSpot

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

As technology improves, it is understandable that it has a growing presence in completing tedious tasks. According to a variety of science fiction stories though, many of us have been taught that it is not necessarily a good thing to let robots have too great a role in the work. Researchers at MIT decided to put that to the test, and initially hypothesized that a sweet-spot of shared human and robot control would exist.

The study used groups consisting of two humans and one robot that could have one of three configurations. One has the human workers allocating all of the work, another has the robot allocate all of the work, and the last one has one human allocate their own tasks, while the robot sets tasks for the other. As expected, the configuration which had the robot allocating all of the tasks was the most efficient, but it also had the most satisfied human workers. This surprised the researchers as the workers reported feeling that the robot "better understood them" and "improved the efficiency of the team."

Though a physical robot was involved in the study, this result does not suggest that they should be involved in every task. What it does show is that giving control of scheduling, delegating, and coordinating tasks to algorithms instead of people may be a better idea than anticipated.



Source: MIT

August 24, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 09:40PM PST by ClayMeow

If you tried to play some games this Sunday, you may have encountered some service issues. A hacker group posting under the Twitter handle "Lizard Squad" has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks against several online gaming services, including PSN, Battle.net, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) titles, League of Legends, Path of Exile, and most recently Xbox Live. If that wasn't bad enough, Lizard Squad took it even further, calling in a bomb threat for an American Airlines flight that SOE president John Smedley had been on, causing it divert to Phoenix. Unsurprisingly, that action got the attention of the FBI as a matter of national security.

While Lizard Squad is most definitely behind the bomb threat, a Twitter user by the name of FamedGod is claiming that he's responsible for the DDoS attack on PSN; that "LizardSquad couldn't hurt a fly." As of now, it does not seem any personal information has been compromised at any of these sites or services.

Source: Shacknews and PC Gamer and PS Blog and Huffington Post

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:09AM PST by ClayMeow

Turn-based strategy game Age of Wonders III has been available for roughly five months now, and having received mostly favorable reviews, it's now time for developer Triumph Studios to expand upon it. The Dutch studio has revealed the first major expansion pack, Golden Realms, will be arriving as DLC on September 18; and it's certainly more akin to the expansion packs us older gamers grew up on, adding a slew of new content and features.

While Golden Realms doesn't add a new class, it does add a new race: The Halfling Race. Alongside the Halflings is additional content in the form of: a three-scenario Golden Realms campaign; new exotic map locations, such as the Naga Dwelling and Lost City; over twenty new units, including Dread Monkeys, Mermaids, and Glutton; 50 new magical artifacts to be used by your heroes, including the Crystal Skull and Witch Doctor's Headdress; a new Wild Magic specialization, which allows you to cause mutations, warp equipment, or simply cause pandemonium; a new Partisan Specialization to help you engage in guerrilla warfare, allowing you to create concealed hide-outs and develop ambushing skills; and two hand-crafed, standalone scenarios that can be played solo or in multiplayer.

Along with the aforementioned new content, Golden Realms also adds four major new features: Mystical City Upgrades, which allow you to unlock new unique city upgrades by discovering arcane treasure sites; Empire Quests, which allows you to indirectly compete with other players to become the first to unlock unique rewards for your realm; Seals of Power, which is "a new King of the Hill style victory condition where players must capture and hold the dangerous Seals of Power structures in order to achieve victory;" and Defensive City Upgrades, wherein each race now has a new unique city defense to build, such as the Draconian's Firestorm Pillar and the Human's Bell Tower.

Age of Wonders III: Golden Realms will arrive via digital distribution channels on September 18, and all the aforementioned new content and features will be integrated into the updated Random Map Generator. Pricing has not been determined yet, but those that don't feel like dropping some coin will still get some benefits in the form of a new patch releasing that same time. The free patch will add "updated AI, balance, a new Spell Disjunction System, Steam Workshop and Cloud Saves for Steam Users." Along with the Gameplay Trailer above, ten new screenshots have been released, which can be viewed below.

Source: Press Release and Official Site

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:37AM PST by gebraset

Canalys, an analyst group that combines global coverage and local insight gained from offices in America, Europe, and Asia, has revealed that shipments of wearable devices are quickly increasing. The group estimates that 6 million smartwatches and fitness trackers were shipped by technology companies in the first half of 2014. Compared to the 300 million smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year that number is quite small. However, compared to previous shipments of like devices, the estimate concerning smartwatches and fitness trackers for the first half of this year is a 700 percent improvement over last year.

Samsung currently is the worldwide leader in the smart wearable band market, in regards to the first half of 2014, but competitors such Motorola may change that statistic with the release of the Moto 360.

Source: Canalys and IDC

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:15AM PST by gebraset
Radeon R9 285 Announced by AMD

AMD has recently announced the Radeon R9 285 graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, which is set to succeed the Radeon R9 280. The latest graphics card from AMD comes with a Tonga Pro GPU, which supports new features such as AMD TrueAudio and FreeSync technology, and matches the 1792 stream processors offered by its predecessor. The Radeon R9 285 does feature a lower maximum GPU boost clock rate than the Radeon R9 280, at 918 MHz for the former compared to 933 MHz for the latter. However, the Radeon R9 285 does feature faster memory, with the new card boasting a 1375 MHz actual/5.5 GHz effective memory speed compared to the 1250 MHz/5.0 GHz effective memory speed offered by the Radeon R9 280. The main improvement that the AMD Radeon R9 285 offers is a lower TDP, as it carries a maximum 190 Watt TDP compared to the 250 Watt TDP of the Radeon R9 280.

The AMD Radeon R9 285 will be available starting September 2, 2014, and carries an MSRP of $249. The card will also be available with the Never Settle Space Edition bundle, which adds Alien Isolation and Star Citizen to the list of games that come bundled with certain Radeon graphics cards.

August 23, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 12:42PM PST by gebraset
G.SKILL Unveils Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory Kits

G.SKILL, the leading high performance memory designer and manufacturer, has officially revealed its Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 memory kits which come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The latest memory kits from G.SKILL offer speeds ranging from 2133MHz to 3200MHz, with kits above 2400MHz featuring support for Intel XMP 2.0, allowing for automatic and trouble-free tuning. According to G.SKILL, the Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 memory kits provide the best-in-class performance, compatibility, and stability with a wide range of X99 motherboards. Voltage is also impressive with the Ripjaws 4 series memory kits, as kits under 2800MHz feature an impressive voltage rating of 1.2v while kits running at 3000MHz and 3200MHz feature a voltage rating of 1.35v. In order to keep these memory kits cool, G.SKILL has outfitted them with an all-new designed heatspreader that is available in black, blue, and red. Compatibility with most CPU heatsinks is maintained, despite the new design, as the Ripjaws 4 still have a module height of 40mm.

Source: Press Release

August 22, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 02:46PM PST by ClayMeow
Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead Characters Join the Fray in Super Time Force Ultra

Capybara Games has revealed that three characters from some well known Valve games will be joining the roster in Super Time Force Ultra when it arrives on Steam in three days.

Light’em up! Pyro from Team Fortress 2 dials the heat to 11, then rewinds and dials it to 12. Destroy evil robots with the flare gun, or roast them good with the patented Pyro flame thrower.

She’s got two pistols and an endless supply of propane tanks. Zoey from Left 4 Dead has taken a break from slaying zombies to hop through time with the Super Time Force! Blast baddies with twin handguns, or lob an explosive propane tank their way for maximum ‘splodiness.

When he’s not jumping from planes without a chute, wrastling gators, or beating up hippies, Team Fortress 2′s Saxton Hale tags along as the Super Time Force’s resident brawler/business man. Saxton uses his massive muscles, bare knuckles and self-confidence to smash Blounbot’s into a metal pulp. Then he rewinds and does it again.

Super Time Force Ultra will be available on Steam August 25 for $14.99. The link below has some animated gifs for each character, or if you're quick, you can head on over to Capy's Twitch channel, where the game is being live-streamed as of the time of this writing.

Source: Official Site

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

Take a material to an extreme, and you can expect to see some weird things happen. One example is superconductivity, and another is superfluidity, in which a liquid will flow with zero viscosity. Helium, when cooled enough, can become a superfluid, and researchers at Berkeley Lab and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have recently answered a question about how nanodroplets of helium behave.

Superfluidity is the result of the atoms in the liquid coupling together to act as though they are a single particle. This removal of viscosity can lead to some interest behaviors, such as the liquid climbing up walls. For superfluid helium, we have known for decades that rotating it will cause quantum vortices to form, regularly spaced throughout the liquid. Whether this behavior also occurs in an isolated nanoscale droplet has been an open question for some time now, and if they are present, that would mean the entire droplet acts like a single quantum object, instead of a mixture of particles.

To create the nanodroplets, helium is passed through a nozzle that has been cooled to below 10 K, and shot into a vacuum chamber at almost 200 m/s. To image the droplets before they had a chance to vanish, the researchers had to use SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source to create very short pulses of high energy X-rays. Xenon atoms were also added to the helium, to make the vortices visible, and indeed they were. In fact the vortices behaved like those in larger samples of superfluid helium, though the nanodroplets were also clocked spinning 100,000 times faster than any previous rotating superfluid helium sample. Despite that high speed though, the droplets did not deform, like normal liquid drops would. Potentially, studying these drops could lead to a better understanding of superfluidity, thanks to how isolated the property is.

Source: Berkeley Lab

Comments (0) | Posted at 01:07PM PST by gebraset

Google has confirmed that it has acquired Gecko, a startup located in Los Gatos, California, that helps design products for clients including Dell, Hewlett Packard, Herman Miller, and even Fitbit. Gecko, which specializes in the art of product design, will join Google's X lab, which takes on the challenge of developing and maintaining innovative technology such as Google Glass and driverless automobiles. Jacques Gagne, Gecko’s president and owner, stated that "We are very excited and honored to join Google(x) and work on a variety of cutting edge projects."

No terms surrounding the acquisition were disclosed by either Gecko or Google.

Source: Bloomberg and Gecko

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:44AM PST by ClayMeow

Ubisoft has released a new Assassin's Creed Unity video entitled "Under the Hood with Arno's Actor", featuring Dan Jeanotte, the voice actor behind protagonist Arno Dorian. While not quite as exhilarating as the 11-minute uncut gameplay video published last week, it's still worth the watch for anyone looking forward to the game, as Dan provides some insight about Arno's background and what it was like to voice and mo-cap the assassin.

Assassin's Creed Unity will release on October 28, 2014, for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Ubisoft

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:39AM PST by gebraset

Glassdoor, the world's most transparent career community that allows people find jobs and companies to recruit top talent, has just released its latest ranking for company culture and values. The list, titled as "Top 25 Companies for Culture and Values," places Twitter at the top of its rankings, ahead of other companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Twitter employees helped take the company to the top of Glassdoor's list by complimenting overall teamwork, rooftop meetings, friendliness between employees, and open dialog with executives. According to Glassdoor, company culture is actually one of the top five items that potential employees look at when seeking a new job, making Twitter’s latest ranking all the more important.

Source: CNET

Comments (0) | Posted at 10:16AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

With how much energy comes to Earth as Sunlight, it is not surprising that we are working on ways to capture and harness it for our own uses. While some means for doing this do exist, we are still searching for better methods, such replicating Nature's photosynthesis, which is a rather efficient process. Researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum have recently succeeded in creating a semi-artificial leaf that could help bring about cheap and flexible solar cells in the future.

Semi-artificial leafs that use photosystem 1 (PS1) for absorbing light, instead of a semiconductor, have been worked on before, but PS1 has a special complicating factor. It possesses both hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains, which makes it difficult to keep immobile on electrodes. To solve the problem, the researchers created a hydrogel matric, which can have its own hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties shifted by adjusting pH levels.

The resulting semi-artificial leaf outperformed other semi-artificial bio-photoelectrodes, but also bested Nature with an electron transfer rate ten times greater. Though modern, semiconductor photovoltaics are still superior, that may change in the future, and for now the bio-photovoltaics may find use in micro-scale medical devices.

Source: EurekAlert!

Comments (0) | Posted at 08:36AM PST by gebraset
CyberPowerPC Unleashes the RAVEN X6 Gaming Notebook

CyberPowerPC, a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, gaming laptops, and performance workstations, has just released the RAVEN X6. This latest gaming notebook from CyberPowerPC is both stylish and powerful, as it crams in plenty of up-to-date technology. Hardware wise, the RAVEN X6 includes a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel display, an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4GB graphics card, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive. Other features also present on the RAVEN X6 are an HD webcam, dual digital microphones, and a backlit keyboard. Ports for connecting additional peripherals and devices are plentiful as well, with two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a 4-in-1 media card reader all present.

The RAVEN X6 is available immediately for purchase from the CyberPowerPC website for $1199, with customization options available.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 07:42AM PST by gebraset
ID-COOLING Launches T60-SFX Mini Gaming Case

ID-COOLING, which specializes in CPU coolers, VGA coolers, built-in cooling products for cases, computer case fans, server cooling products, and more, has officially released the T60-SFX mini gaming case. The new case by ID-COOLING features a compact design made from aluminum, allowing it to be moved around and placed quite easily. Despite its size, the T60-SFX is able to accommodate an SFX power supply, a mini-ITX motherboard, a tower CPU cooler with a height no greater than 124mm, and a dual-slot VGA card no longer than 260mm. The case can also fit one 3.5-inch hard drive as well as two 2.5-inch hard drives or solid state drives.

The T60-SFX by ID-COOLING carries an MSRP of $79.99.

Source: Press Release

Comments (0) | Posted at 05:59AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

The droughts that have been hitting the western US in recent years are having more of an effect than probably most people would expect. Beyond the water restrictions and some dying plant life, geological data suggests the droughts have caused the entire west coast to wise a little, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

Across the country there are networks of highly precise GPS stations, and those along the west coast have seen an apparent uplift in recent years. More specifically the uplift has coincided with the droughts the states in the area have been suffering. Analysis of the data indicates that some of California's mountains have risen 15 mm (over half an inch) with an average of 4 mm across the west.

Crunching the numbers reveals that approximately 240 gigatons of water, or 62 trillion gallons, would have to be missing to explain the vertical shift. This opens up a new use for GPS networks as a potential means to measure water stocks across the world.

Source: University of California, San Diego

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

We have reached the end of the week, but before it does, there are some items for you to check out. There is a review on the ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 digital headset, which has plenty of enhancements over the previous version, like a speaker pass-thru, Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect your phone, a retooled in-line remote, and plenty more. We also have a look at the ECS LIVA Mini PC kit, which has everything you need to build an incredibly small Windows computer. To end things today is a new podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the week.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Hands On with the ECS LIVA Mini  PC Kit @ ThinkComputers

Podcast #314 @ PC Perspective

August 21, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 04:39PM PST by ClayMeow

Publisher Paradox Interactive is best known for its strategy games and today it has announced a new addition to its roster, Ancient Space. Ancient Space is a single-player, story-driven, real-time strategy game from developer CreativeForge Games, which "puts the player in command of a fleet conducting a scientific mission on the edge of the known universe, charting what lies beyond in 'The Black Zone'." CreativeForge promises a compelling story where your decisions will matter and impact the story. The game will feature thirteen ship types, multiple officers too choose from each with their own special abilities, and of course upgrades for both humans and ships.

Paradox has also announced that Ancient Space will feature quite the cast, including fan-favorite actors from science fiction television series and films: John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise, True Blood); Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica); Ron Glass (Firefly); Richard Gunn (Dark Angel); Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers, Star Trek: Nemesis); and Dwight Schultz (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager). If the names don't ring a bell, I attached their photos below, in order, along with some screenshots.

Ancient Space is planned to arrive exclusively for PC (Windows and Mac) via Steam this Fall.

Source: Press Release and Official Site

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