OCC TECH NEWS
August 11, 2014
In an effort to gain more customers following the recent announcement of the Alienware 13, ORIGIN has just launched a new trade-in program aimed specifically at owners of Alienware laptops. The program provides owners with a trade-in offer that is honored for 14 days, following the submission of an online form that provides ORIGIN with information about any Alienware laptop. After a trade-in offer is accepted by an owner, the laptop must be shipped to ORIGIN where it will be inspected in order to confirm its condition and to verify its included accessories. As long as everything checks out, ORIGIN provides a fair market value for the Alienware laptop that can only be applied to any personal computer offered by ORIGIN.
It is worth noting that the trade-in value can only be applied to the purchase of ORIGIN systems, as the value cannot be redeemed for cash or giftcards. While the program is enticing to Alienware laptop owners, ORIGIN does reserve the right to deny any trade-in and does not accept desktops, computer components, or any non-Alienware branded laptops.
Although EA Sports has been delivering demos of every Madden title to gamers for the last ten years, the company today announced it is it effectively ending that trend. According to an Electronic Arts representative, no demo for Madden NFL 15 will be provided this year, and early access to the game will only be available through the company’s newly announced EA Access subscription service. No details were provided by the EA spokesperson as to why a demo for Madden NFL 15 will not be available to those looking to try the game before purchasing. It is also not known if this decision will affect other EA Sports titles that are being offered through EA Access, including NHL, FIFA and NBA Live.
Madden NFL 15 is currently set to be released on August 26, 2014, and will be available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
In April of 2013, AT&T announced that it would deliver 1Gbps Internet to Austin, Texas residents through its U-verse GigaPower service. While the service launched in December of 2013 as a network comprised of 100 percent fiber, it failed to deliver the 1Gbps speed that was initially advertised, instead providing subscribers with 300Mbps Internet service. Failing to deliver its advertised speeds, AT&T promised customers that sometime in 2014 1Gbps speeds would be successfully delivered. That day has finally come, as AT&T has revealed that it is now offering 1Gbps U-verse GigaPower service to residents that live in Austin. Moreover, those currently subscribed to AT&T’s U-verse GigaPower service that receive 300Mbps speeds will see their connection increase to 1Gbps at no additional charge.
For residential customers within GigaPower areas, 1Gbps Internet through AT&T U-verse starts at $70 a month and requires a one-year term.
Revealed during E3 2014 with a spectacular CGI Announcement Trailer, open world, action-RPG Dead Island 2 is set to be the centerpiece of publisher Deep Silver's Gamescom booth when the show kicks off in two days. Developed by YAGER, the Berlin-based studio best known for Spec Ops: The Line, Dead Island 2 takes place in sunny California, under full quarantine by the US military. "California's newfound bloody paradise is an action-packed playground featuring the acclaimed, seamless multiplayer for up to eight players who cooperate, compete or simply coexist in a truly social, new-gen multiplayer experience." The debut gameplay trailer below, entitled "Sunshine & Slaughter", is simply pre-Alpha footage, yet already looks quite good. Meanwhile, the five new screenshots show insanely detailed zombies.
Dead Island 2 is set to arrive Spring 2015 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Pre-ordering grants you the "Golden State" Weapon Pack, featuring three exclusive weapons: Grinder, Katana, and Homestrike. The game will be playable at Gamescom (Hall 9.1, B011/C010), August 13-17, with the demo taking place in Los Angeles, just below the iconic Hollywood sign.
Source: Press Release
It may not be easy to recognize always, but hair has many uses in Nature when it can be controlled. One example is small hairs called cilia in our nasal passages that remove particles as they sway. Researchers at MIT have recently replicated this behavior with a microhair array that could see some interesting and important applications in the future.
The material is made of a transparent sheet of silicone with very small nickel pillars on it. Being nickel, these pillars respond to magnetic fields by aligning with them. Similar work has been done before using polymers with magnetic particles, but using just nickel gets around issues with distribution. By controlling the tilt of the pillars, the researchers found they were able to influence the flow of fluids on them. This effect was strong enough that the researchers succeeded in getting water to go against gravity, when the material was against a wall. The researchers also discovered that the microhairs affected the light passing through the material, akin to how blinds deflect light coming through a window.
With the ability to control fluids and light levels, the researchers see this material having potential use with smart windows and car windshields. It may also find applications with labs-on-a-chip, as a means to control the flow of fluids in realtime.
Released in June 2013, Parisian developer DONTNOD Entertainment's first title, Remember Me, was a hidden gem. Its structure was extremely rigid, not allowing for any exploration or player choice, but if you're looking for a linear, story-driven action-adventure game, it doesn't get much better. Fans, like myself, have been hoping that DONTNOD would follow up with an open-world sequel or prequel, but sadly, at least for now, that doesn't seem likely. Instead, publisher Square Enix announced today that DONTNOD is developing a "brand new, episodic, digitally delivered, narrative driven adventure game entitled Life is Strange."
Life is Strange "takes place in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, where senior student Max Caulfield returns after a 5 year absence. Reunited with her former friend Chloe, the pair will attempt to uncover the uncomfortable truth behind the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber." DONTNOD promises that "choice and consequence" will play a key role in how the story unfolds, and Creative Director Jean-Max Moris believes it will be "the type of experience that perfectly fits today's renewed taste for originality and diversity." Oh, and Max discovers she has the ability to rewind time, affecting the game's narrative and changing "the course of history itself."
Perhaps most surprising of all is that DONTNOD decided to forgo a realistic aesthetic for a unique hand-drawn art style. One of the reasons Remember Me was so...memorable...was because the game's setting, Neo-Paris, felt like a living, breathing world filled with incredible detail and striking visuals. It's the main reason why most people were disappointed there was no exploration; because DONTNOD made a world you wanted to explore. It's interesting that the studio chose a decidedly different aesthetic, though based on the screenshots and concept art, it certainly looks like one that fits with the episodic adventure genre.
Life is Strange will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The game is being shown at Gamescom this week, but only to journalists, not the public.
Source: Press Release
The shortest path between two points may be a straight line, but it is not always the easiest. For some systems, including electronics, the easiest path can be around the edges of a material, where impurities will have a reduced impact. Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute have succeeded in making light take such a topological path, and the approach could one day make it onto photonic chips.
Topological insulators are materials that have the special property of only conducting electrons over their surface and not through their bulk. This results in the electrons travelling with very little resistance because they can flow around impurities. By recreating this effect with photons, light signals can be made to travel with very little lose. What the JQI researchers have accomplished is a photonic array on a chip that does more than just that. Provided the light follows the outside path of the array, it loses very little energy, compared to passing through its interior, but it also will cross the array in a set amount of time. The latter is an important feature as delaying optical signals normally takes optical fiber loops kilometers in length, but this is achieved on a chip.
All of this has also been achieved with great consistency, thanks to the reduced influence of irregularities. That is especially necessary for creating integrated photonic devices as irregularities could lead to device-to-device variations, which would cut into performance.
A new week is upon us, and we have a couple of items today to help get it started. There is a look at the AMD A10-7800 APU, which is the newest member of the company's Kaveri line. It sits in between the A10-7850K and A10-7700K, and could be a good option for those wanting all the Kaveri features without breaking the bank. Our other item for today is a review on the ASUS Zenfone 5, an Intel-powered Android phone that has the makings of a solid low-cost alternative to other smartphones.
AMD A10-7800 APU @ Benchmark Reviews
ASUS Zenfone 5 @ TechSpot
August 10, 2014
Thanks to the new-gen consoles, remasters seem to be all the rage these days. After all, it's a lot cheaper to simply slap on a fresh coat of paint onto an existing product than it is to create a new one. Thankfully for Metro fans, 4A Games is taking a decidedly different approach. Metro Redux isn't a simple remaster, it's a complete overhaul. In a new video entitled "Uncovered", 4A Games shows all the changes and additions made to the Metro games. The PC versions of the Metro games already looked great, providing an immersive atmosphere rarely found in games; in Metro Redux, they look even better. While Metro 2033 obviously enjoys the most improvement, even Metro Last Light enjoys its fair share of improved visuals and effects. Meanwhile, both games now have two separate game modes to choose from (Survival and Spartan), along with Ranger Mode; catering to all sorts of fans and newcomers alike. And there's even new areas to explore!
Metro Redux is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on August 26 in North America and August 29 in Europe. A boxed retail compilation containing both games will sell for $49.99 / €39.99 / £34.99, while each game will be available individually as digital downloads for $24.99 / €19.99 / £15.99 apiece. Owners of the original games on Steam can get 50% off pre-purchases of the Redux versions.
Source: Press Release
August 9, 2014
EA Access, a subscription-based model that offers EA games and special perks to gamers, has seen its fair share of news coverage since it was announced late last month. Although PlayStation owners will not be able to subscribe to EA Access due to Sony’s outlook on the service, Xbox One owners will be glad to hear that titles made available on the service are set to be permanent. EA chief operating officer Peter Moore revealed that "The Vault will get its share of triple-A titles," and that "We haven't made any announcements to that extent about exactly when, where and how, but the Vault will be substantial." Moore even confirmed that titles added to The Vault will stay there permanently, and that Electronics Arts has committed to not removing video games from EA Access.
WB Games and Techland have released a brand new gameplay trailer for the first-person, open-world survival horror game Dying Light in preparation for Gamescom next week. The trailer shows off the huge open world, the parkour traversal elements, character customization, brutal melee, and four-player co-op. It certainly seems like Techland has learned a lot since developing Dead Island.
Dying Light is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in February 2015. The game will be shown at Gamescom, but it's unclear whether it will be playable.
Source: Press Release
Microsoft has revealed within its latest statistical report that its Windows Phone Store now contains more than 300,000 applications that are available to download. While it was not revealed just how many applications have been developed by Microsoft and other large entities versus independent developers, the latest number signifies that Windows Phone is growing quickly as a platform. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, "In the past year alone the Windows and Windows Phone app catalog has grown 94 percent, while the number of active developers has grown by 50 percent." Just in the last six months alone, statistics have shown that 100,000 apps were uploaded to the Windows Phone Store.
Source: Microsoft by the Numbers and TWN
Adesso, a leading computer input specialist supplier headquartered in Walnut, California, has just launched its SlimTouch 4210 Wireless Compact Touchpad Keyboard. The latest input device from Adesso incorporates a slim and stylish design and is well suited for home, business, and industrial environments. The SlimTouch 4210 utilizes 2.4 GHz radio frequency wireless technology for connectivity and features a built-in touchpad with Glidepoint technology, built-in multimedia and Internet hotkeys, and low-profile scissor-switch keys. The Adesso SlimTouch 4210 is also able to be mounted to any rackmount drawer, as it is built in accordance with EIA-RS-310C specifications.
The SlimTouch 4210 is available immediately for purchase from major retailers and e-retailers, carrying an MSRP of $79.99
Source: Press Release
August 8, 2014
Announced back in March, Focus Home Interactive is finally ready to lift the veil of Eugen Systems' upcoming RTS, Act of Aggression. Best known for Act of War, R.U.S.E., and the Wargame series of RTSs, Eugen "vows to bring about a return to the 90s Golden Era of real time strategy games, delivering all of the core mechanics sorely missed by many RTS fans: base building, resource management, unit production and dynamic, immersive battles will meet high fidelity production values and intelligent modernization."
Act of Aggression will take place during the 2020s "in a darkly realistic future where three major factions fight for their interests." There's the shadowy organization known as "The Cartel" with "high-tech technology, stolen prototypes, and stealthy operatives." There's the UNO-funded, classified military organization called the Chimere, specializing in fast strikes and attempting to maintain global peace and order. And finally there's the US Army stuck in the middle, "worn out by two decades of being kept on a war footing with too few replacements, but still fielding a great deal of battle-hardened veterans." The game will feature two separate single player campaigns and "vast, skill-based multiplayer modes where technological upgrades, resource storage and base defenses will play an integral role in the battle." The game will include infantry, mechanized vehicles, tanks, artillery, helicopters, planes, super weapons, and even "ultimate weapons far beyond technologies of today." In addition, your units earn experience by destroying enemy forces, so if you can keep them alive, you can unlock new skills and abilities, even allowing you to specialize them in a particular role, such as anti-air or anti-tank.
Act of Aggression will be coming to PC, but no release date has been stated. Eugen will be at Gamescom to show off some in-game assets and a technology demo of the studio's new engine, which is presumably IRISZOOM V5. Based on the Havoc Engine, IRISZOOM was first used for R.U.S.E., and updated versions have been used in each subsequent Eugen game. The first five screenshots below are from March and thus don't necessarily represent the visual fidelity of the project to date; the subsequent five are the new screenshots, and you can already see the added polish Eugen was able to accomplish.
Source: Press Release and Official Site
Graphene has been labeled a wonder material for its amazing electrical and mechanical properties, which is why many are working to ensure its presence in future technologies. While those researchers are intentionally looking for applications, others can find them by accident. Monash University researchers have recently discovered that graphene oxide sheets can be made to change shape, which is a property that could have medical uses.
While running routine tests, the researchers discovered that the graphene oxide sheets they were working with would spontaneously take on a spherical shape. Normally such a change requires atomizers and mechanical equipment, but all the researchers were using was an external magnetic field on the sheets, which were under special pH conditions.
This is a tremendous discovery as it opens up the possibility of using graphene-based structures for drug delivery systems. By just applying a magnetic field to a patient, the graphene would change shape and deliver medicines wherever needed. The researchers are now investigating how graphene behaves in the presence of toxin, which could make it useful for disease detection.
The Alienware 13 is the latest, and thinnest, gaming laptop from the system builder. The new laptop is just one inch thick and weighs only 4.5 pounds, a significant improvement from the Alienware 14. The system will be powered by an Intel processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M GPU. Up to 16GB of DDR3 can be installed alongside two solid state drives, or a single mechanical drive. Monitor resolutions of 1366x768, 1920x1080, and 2560x1440 will be supported on the 13" screen. As far as battery life goes, Alienware is "targeting 7-8 hours while streaming with wi-fi and an SSD drive." The Alienware 13 will be available in November and although a price was not available, a company rep stated, "to give you some idea, our 14-inch sells for $1099."
Source: GameSpot and PCWorld
Yahoo CISO Alex Stamos announced at the Black Hat USA 2014 security conference that the company is working on end-to-end encryption for its e-mail client, and it should be available by 2015. The project will use the Google PGP Plugin and will enable encrypted e-mails to be exchanged through the two popular services. The talk, Building Safe Systems at Scale - Lessons from Six Months at Yahoo, was very well received by conference attendees and signifies a shift towards increased security and privacy for users in the "post-Snowden era" of computing.
Publisher Square Enix and developer United Front Games have officially announced Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, a remastered update to 2012's critically acclaimed third-person, open-world action game Sleeping Dogs. United Front Games said it listened to fans, tuning gameplay, adding to the ambience of Hong Kong, increasing audio fidelity, and pushing the visuals further than the studio could on the previous generation of consoles. In addition to the remastering, all "24 pieces of downloadable content have been integrated into the gaming experience including the story-extending episode Year of the Snake and the horror-themed add-on Nightmare In North Point."
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is set arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 10. It's nice to see the PC included since Square Enix never brought Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition to PC. A sequel, Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars, is currently in development at United Front Games, but no details have emerged other than its name.
Source: Press Release
Crytek is ready to put its troubles behind it and show the world why there's no need to worry about the company's future. Free-to-play MOBA Arena of Fate and the recently announced PC version of Ryse: Son of Rome will both be playable at Crytek's booth during Gamescom next week. Sadly, there was no mention of HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age.
If you're not familiar with Arena of Fate, it's essentially a MOBA for those that don't have the time to devote to the two most popular MOBAs today, Dota 2 and LoL. While the current map is your typical three-lane map and battles are your typical 5v5, Arena of Fate matches are limited to just twenty minutes. There are three win conditions: the first team to reach ten points, the first team to destroy the other team's core, or the team with the most points at the end of twenty minutes. You earn one point toward your team for every seven hero kills, every tower destroyed, or every Titan NPC destroyed. For someone like me, who stopped playing Dota 2 simply because good matches last about an hour, Arena of Fate's twenty-minute matches sound quite appealing.
Crytek's public Gamescom booth will be located in Hall 7.1, B031, and it sounds like Ryse will be playable at 4K resolution! Crytek will also have a presence in the Gamescom Business Center at Hall 4.1, A033, where it will show off CRYENGINE.
Source: Press Release and Official Site
If you are making a video game and want to be able to promote top notch voice acting, hire Troy Baker. Among his numerous credits are memorable roles in BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, Metal Gear Solid V, and Infamous: Second Son, including upcoming roles in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Far Cry 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, and of course, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. In Shadow of Mordor, Troy Baker is the voice of protagonist Talion. Acting alongside him as the wraith is another video game voice acting veteran Alastair Duncan (Mass Effect, Uncharted 3). Today, Warner Bros. released a new "Shadow of Mordor Behind the Scenes" video featuring Baker and Duncan. I'm going to warn you now: if you've been avoiding learning the identity of the wraith, do not watch this video...
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is releasing on September 30 in North America and October 3 in Europe for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Press Release
Many across the world are looking forward to quantum computers, which will have the ability to run problems too complex for traditional, electronic computers. Actually building a quantum computer is a very difficult task though, and so many designs have been proposed that rely on different systems. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology, National Institute of Informatics, and NTT Basic Research Labs have recently developed a new design that is based on diamonds and has some very valuable advantages over other designs.
At the center of quantum computers are qubits, which are analogous to electronic bits but instead of being zero or one, qubits can be both zero and one thanks to superposition. Qubits can take many forms though, including ions inside of traps, superconductors, and defects in diamond. More specifically, the diamond defects are nitrogen atoms, and these defects are kept in between two mirrors, forming an optical resonator. An optical fiber is then used to deliver a photon coupled to the system, to read and write quantum information to the nitrogen atom. The researchers have come to the conclusion that this system and the architecture they have designed is best suited for quantum computers because it lends itself well to miniaturization, mass production, and integration onto chips.
One of the algorithms that may one day be run by quantum computers is Shor-2048, which is for finding the prime factorization of 2048 bit numbers. To run it though would require a quantum computer, with error correction, to have 4.5 billion quantum systems in it. The ability to miniaturize qubits would be invaluable for one day running that algorithm, which is exactly where the diamond-based architecture may succeed.
Source: Vienna University of Technology
The end of the first full week of August is here, and we have some items to keep you occupied until the weekend starts. There is a look at both the AMD A10-7800 and A6-7400K APUs, which are the latest additions to the company's Kaveri line. We also have the MSI Z97 MPower motherboard to see how this overclocking-friendly motherboard can help you obtain new speeds on your Intel Haswell CPU. Next we have a couple of guides, with one looking at various PCs at different budgets, and the other shows how to start a successful phone company. Rounding things out today is a new podcast looking back at the latest news and reviews of the past week.
AMD A10-7800 and A6-7400K @ PC Perspective
MSI Z97 MPower @ ThinkComputers
TechSpot PC Buying Guide @ TechSpot
Starting a phone company? Here's a blueprint for success @ TechSpot
Podcast #312 @ PC Perspective
When you were young, did you have an idea of what your adult life would be like? Is that what you actually achieved? For one stellar object, it changed quite a bit between its youth and adult lives, as researchers at the Carnegie Institution have discovered something that looks like a planet, but may have been like a star at first.
WISE J0304-2705 is an object classed as a Y dwarf, which is the coolest stellar temperature class, with a temperature between 100 ºC and 150 ºC. As that puts the object between Earth and Venus, that may not seem very odd, but after analyzing its spectrum, the researchers discovered that its age makes it one of the oldest objects in the galaxy. This would suggest then that when it was younger, in its first 20 million years of life, it likely was around 2800 ºC, which is as warm as red dwarf stars. At 100 million years old, it should have been around 1500 ºC, which is cool enough for silicate clouds to form, and at one billion years old, methane and water vapor would have dominated this 1000 ºC object. Now it is barely warm enough to even boil water.
Source: Carnegie Institution
August 7, 2014
AMD is putting all it can into its Radeon line, as a new entry will join the video card and memory lines: solid state drives. These SSDs will carry the Radeon R7 branding, and come in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities on the SATA 6Gbps interface. Performance numbers are only known via leaks so far, yet it looks like read and write speeds on the 120GB drive are around 550MB/s and 470MB/s, respectively. The write speeds increase a little at higher capacities, up to 530MB/s, while read speeds remain the same. Max random read IOPS range from 85,000 to 100,000, while max random write IOPS are at 90,000 for all three drives. Each drive is evidently based on the OCZ Indilinx Barefoot 3 processor and runs Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND flash chips.
It looks like AMD is trying to do all it can to enter the SSD market properly, and if the price is right, things could be looking up for the company. A formal introduction of the Radeon R7 SSDs is supposedly planned for August 13, so keep it tuned here for the full scoop.
Source: TechPowerUp via WCCFTech
VIZIO has issued a recall for its E-Series 39-inch and 42-inch televisions, citing issues with the stand assembly failing and causing the television to tip over unexpectedly. At this time, 51 reports have been filed with VIZIO in which televisions have tipped over, though no injuries were reported with these incidences. Affected models include the VIZIO E390-B0, E390i-B0, and E420i-B0, and television units can be further identified with individual serial numbers. All affected units were sold at various retail stores and internet retailers from December 2013 through June 2014 and were manufactured in China and Mexico. Consumers who own a recalled E-Series television from VIZIO are being advised to immediately detach the stand, place the television in a location that is deemed safe, and contact VIZIO for a replacement stand assembly.
VIZIO can be contacted about this recall toll-free at (855) 472-7450, and more information surrounding the recall can be found on the company website by clicking on "Safety Notice."
While some emails do contain links for recipients to unsubscribe from future communications, they are sometimes littered throughout text and can be difficult to find. Google has decided to remedy any frustration and confusion involved with finding text that provides the option to unsubscribe by added a simple link by the senders email address. Gmail users will now notice this new link, which can be found within Promotions, Social, and Forums messages, which allows for one-click access to unsubscribe from future communications. Google notes that by adding this link, mail is not only less likely to be flagged as spam but the task of unsubscribing is easier than ever.
A recent update to Dota 2 introduced an updated version of the Hammer map editor from Valve, but it could be the first steps toward something more. While mapmakers are hard at work on custom maps and game modes, other users have begun to dig deeper and have found a number of interesting pieces of information. A number of dll files have been added with the number two in them in addition to the ability to specify saving a map as a Source 1.0 Map File or Valve Map File. Reddit user RoyAwesome has been compiling a list of more signs pointing to Source Engine 2, including potential references to Left 4 Dead 3 and Counter-Strike 2. A new Source Engine would be big news in the PC gaming community and is something that I will be watching closely.
Source: PC Gamer
To see some of the constructions you can make with origami, it is almost unbelievable that they started off as simple sheets of paper. This ability to assemble complex structures from simple materials has been of interest to many, in part because of the re-configurability of the structures. Now researchers at MIT have succeeded in creating a prototype origami robot that will actually assemble itself upon batteries being attached.
The robot is comprised mostly of parts produced with a laser cuter, similar to the bakable robots MIT demonstrated a couple months ago. Instead of using the heat of a hot plate though, this robot's joints fold when heated by electrical leads. This is an important distinction as the built-in microprocessor can order the folding in a sequence, instead of having joint fold together, providing greater control over the structure. Once assembled though, the motor or motors (different designs have been tested) were able to power the legs and get the robot moving.
It is interesting to envision the possibilities for this technology as the robots are effectively printable, making them very inexpensive. What is more, we know that hollow-shell structures can be very strong, as they give insects their ability to carry objects many times their own weight.
If you thought the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and its subsequent Definitive Edition version looked good – and yes, it looked quite good – just wait until the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider comes out. Earlier today, actress Camilla Luddington, who voiced Lara Croft in the reboot and will be reprising her role in the sequel, tweeted out a photo "to show you just how awesomely detailed/realistic the next game will be." The photo shows a headshot of Camilla with "florescent paint that is sprayed all over my face to give 7000 points of ref!!!" For comparison, Camilla said that normal mocap dots marked on a face are only 90 point of reference; so yes, if you do the math, this new method is more than 77 times greater. Only visible under black light, Camilla said it takes just under an hour to apply all that paint.
Tomb Raider was my personal 2013 Game of the Year. While the gameplay was solid, what really made it shine was the emotional, well-scripted story. Capturing that emotion on Lara's face even more should make Rise of the Tomb Raider even better, as long as they don't skimp on the textures. Thank god Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics are putting last-gen behind them! In the meantime, since Rise of the Tomb Raider was unveiled during Microsoft's E3 2014 Press Conference, I never posted the Announcement Trailer...enjoy!
Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to arrive Holiday 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: Twitter via IGN and Official Site
Light emitting diodes have been growing in popularity in recent years, thanks to their relatively high efficiency. Compared to more traditional light sources though, they can be quite expensive though, so many are searching for ways to bring down costs. Researchers at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have recently discovered a form of perovskite that is inexpensive, but is still a very clean semiconductor.
Perovskite is a class of materials with a special structure made of cuboid and diamond shapes, which also have superconducting and ferroelectric properties. In this research, it was organometal halide perovskites, consisting of lead, carbon-based ions, and halides, that were used. These materials easily dissolve in common solvents and form crystals when dried, which makes them very cheap and easy to produce, especially compared to the materials traditional used to make LEDs. The key discovery to this research though was that the crystals that formed had very clean semiconductor properties, and would not need to be run through purification processes to be useable for LEDs.
Another aspect of perovskite that makes LEDs based on them interesting is that they can be easily tuned to emit different colors, potentially enabling them to be used in future displays. The researchers estimate it may be five years before we may see perovskite-based LEDs being commercially available though.
Source: University of Cambridge