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News Archives for April 2011

Chieftec Prepares Nitro 88+ Series Modular Power Supplies

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 12:07AM
Author: premiumgfx

Chieftec is preparing its newest line of power supplies, the Nitro 88 series. The Nitro 88 series power supplies are targeted at gamers, featuring a modular design for easy cable management. All models in the series are 80 PLUS Silver certified, meaning that they offer at least 85% efficiency at 100% and 20% load, and 88% efficiency at 50% load. Other features across the series include ATX 12V 2.3 support, active PFC and a MTBF of 100,000 hours. A 140mm PWM cooling fan is also included. The Nitro 88+ series of power supplies will consist of 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W models to cater for varying gaming systems. All models can be pre-ordered now and will retail between US$158 (€112.05) for the 650W variant and $US280 (€198.97) for the top-end 100W model.


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NVIDIA PhysX Technology to be Part of Funcom's Dreamworld Engine

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 03:53AM
Author: Nemo

We have seen many games come out that incorporate NVIDIA's PhysX technology that improve in-game physics - as long as you have a graphics card from NVIDIA. Now NVIDIA has announced that Funcom's Dreamworld 2.5 game engine is the first to include server-side NVIDIA PhysX technology. The Funcom DreamWorld engine is used for massively multi-player online games and this enhancement results in more than a doubling in the speed-of in-game physics processing when compared to PhysX processing on the users', or client-side, computers. Dreamworld 2.5 is the engine used in Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, with a third, the Secret World, currently in development.

"We are excited to be working closely with NVIDIA to integrate PhysX technology into our Dreamworld 2.5 engine," said Rui Casais, chief technology officer at Funcom. "Server-side collision using PhysX will allow us to add a new level of realism to our online worlds, and we look forward to implementing other enhancements as well, including NVIDIA APEX clothing and destruction, to make our games even more interactive and immersive."

Casais also said they are also launching a fully rewritten render engine for the company's Age of Conan MMO game that will increase performance on not only high-end systems, but also bring "several new visual features for lower end machines". You can find out more about Age of Conan and download a free trial here.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 04:04AM
Author: Nemo

Corsair is refreshing its TX line of power supplies and today we get an opportunity to check out the TX850V2 850W unit. We also have several video cards in the roundup including the Zotac GTX 570 2GB, the Sapphire FleX HD 6950 2Gb and the HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ X TurboX. You can check out these reviews, and more, using the links below.

Mobile
Griffin Elan Form Graphite iPhone 4 Case @ ThinkComputers

Storage
TweakTown's SSD Fill Testing Explained @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Corsair TX850V2 850 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown

Video
Zotac GTX 570 2GB @ XSReviews
Sapphire FleX HD 6950 2GB @ LanOC Reviews
HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ X TurboX Video Card @ TweakTown


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G.Skill Announces Phoenix EVO 25nm Flash SATA II SSD

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 04:32AM
Author: Nemo

G.Skill has announced the Phoenix EVO, its first set of solid state drives based on 25nm NAND flash chips. The Phoenix EVO incoporates the SandForce SF-1222 controller contains 115GB with rated read/write speeds of  280/270 MB/sec. The Phoenix EVO joins the existing Phoenix Pro series which will continue to be based on 34nm NAND flash ICs. G.Skill states that the Phoenix EVO will require a bit more over-provisioning space than the Phoenix Pro and provide slightly less performance. However, in real world terms the Phoenix EVO "is a great choice for cost effectiveness and delivers a positive impact on affordability for the customer" according to G.Skill. The Phoenix EVo is backed by a three-year warranty and should be available in early April with pricing to be announced later.


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NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 695

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 11:00AM
Author: bp9801

No matter that the GeForce GTX 590 just came out, nothing seems to be stopping NVIDIA. With the release of Kepler still a way's away, NVIDIA is prepping the next big thing for Fermi in the form of the GeForce GTX 695. What makes it a 695 you ask? Well, it is similar to the GTX 590 but the 695 combines three GTX 580 cores on a single PCB. That's right, this badboy is packing three GF110 GPU cores for a grand total of 1536 Cuda cores, plus 4.5GB of total memory. Overkill you say? What about the power requirements? Well, that's where it gets a bit hazy but we do know that NVIDIA has included four 8 pin PCIe power connections, which combined with the PCIe x16 slot gives you a grand total of 675 watts of power. NVIDIA isn't mentioning if there are any current power supplies capable of powering one of these cards, but perhaps we will see an NVIDIA-branded PSU when the GTX 695 comes out.

Price is yet to be determined on the GTX 695, but we do know that NVIDIA is going to push to get this card out before the end of summer.


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Toshiba Launches 3D Monocle

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: Nemo

Toshiba today announced the release of Spectacle, the world's first and only 3D monocle. Toshiba claims "With the Spectacle, you’ll experience one-eyed 3D so real, you’d think you were using both eyes!"


Lest you think you're being clever and decide to use two Spectacles, one for each eye, Toshiba has issued a disclaimer warning customers to "Refrain from using two Toshiba Spectacle 3D devices simultaneously in each eye. Doing so may cause each device to render the corresponding 3D image in 3D yet again, resulting in an uncomfortable and infinite loop." So, you've been warned! (You've also been served an April 1st treat courtesy of Toshiba! Hope you enjoyed it!)


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Diablo III Delayed Indefinitely?

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: ClayMeow

Not many developers can boast three hugely successful franchises, but with Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, Blizzard can do just that. Unfortunately, the popularity of the first two series may be why the highly anticipated third entry in the latter is being delayed. Diablo III was announced way back when the fate of World of Warcraft's future and Starcraft II's success was uncertain. But with the exceptional sales of WoW's expansion, Cataclysm, and Starcraft II's explosion in the e-sports scene, it seems like Blizzard may put Diablo III in its back pocket for the time being.

Blizzard execs refused to comment, but an anonymous source stated that Diablo III will come, just not this year and maybe not even next year. When asked whether it was because of the other two franchises, the source refused to comment further.

The timing of such a move is questionable, as the Action-RPG genre — of which the Diablo series is a part of, if not responsible for — seems more popular than ever after the surprising success of Torchlight. In fact, Torchlight 2, Spore-spinoff Darkspore, Dungeon Siege III, and the spiritual successor to Titan Quest, Grim Dawn, are all on the horizon, with Darkspore ready to launch this month.

So is it that Blizzard doesn't want to cannibalize its other franchises or is it more that they're worried that there will be too much competition in the Action-RPG genre this year? In any case, Diablo fans will have a wait quite a bit longer — but at least there are other games coming out to fill that loot-gathering addiction for now.


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Blizzard Purchases Trion - RIFT in Jeopardy!

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 09:52PM
Author: ClayMeow

In a move that's sure to spark the ire of anti-trust fanatics everywhere, it seems like Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment's parent company, has purchased Trion Worlds for an undisclosed amount. According to PC Gamer, sources inside both companies have not only confirmed this, but alluded to the reason for the purchase — to prevent any serious competition to Blizzard's mega-MMO, World of Warcraft (WoW).

Although subscription numbers are still very high for WoW, Blizzard saw an alarming number of subscribers cancel their subscriptions over the past couple of months, presumably because of Trion's recent MMO launch, RIFT: Planes of Telara. In fact, during RIFT's beta test, there were so many threads that flooded the official WoW forums about how much better RIFT was and that people were jumping ship, that Blizzard actually shut down said threads and banning the naysayers.

Trion just launched the first major content update for RIFT, the River of Souls, just a month after launch, and promised similar updates every few months. Sadly, that promise now seems in jeopardy, as one source told PC Gamer that Activision Blizzard will not release any updates for RIFT, hoping that the lack of support will drive people away and back to WoW.


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Microsoft Unveils Xbox 1080

Posted: April 1, 2011 @ time: 10:32PM
Author: bp9801

There is no denying the popularity of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and just how many people have embraced it. Yes, it has its share of hardware failures but people keep coming back to it. However, the 360 is getting up there in age and people have long speculated on the eventual replacement, an Xbox 720. Well, today Microsoft is taking the lid off of things and no, it won't be called an Xbox 720 but rather the Xbox 1080. Why 1080 you ask? Well, that is because every single game coming out for the system will be displayed in 1080p. Microsoft is making the move to streamline things and by calling the system the Xbox 1080, you know what you are going to be getting. The console will also support some manner of liquid cooling, possibly a self-contained unit, to ensure that temperature and fan noise are not as distracting as the current Xbox. There is an HDMI 1.4 port so it seems 3D support is being included, plus 802.11b/g/n WiFi is built in so there should be no issues getting the console connected wirelessly.

Aside from that, not much else is known about the Xbox 1080 but I am sure more will be revealed once E3 rolls around this summer.


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Dell Inspiron Receives AMD Fusion

Posted: April 2, 2011 @ time: 05:56PM
Author: gebraset

As the new AMD Fusion is coming to the market, consumers seem to be jumping all over the HP revision of the hardware, though another competitor is stepping in, namely Dell. Availability will be coming soon to the states, but their new Inspiron M102z comes in at various price points including $599, $699, and $749. The middle of the road model comes in at a price point of $699 and features a AMD E-350 processor at 1.6GHz, 4GB of RAM, Radeon HD 6310 graphics, and a 11.6-inch screen that boasts a 1366 x 768 resolution. The low end model takes away some processor speed, bringing it to 1GHz and also cuts the RAM in half along with a slower graphics chip. The high end model features everything that the $699 version does, though it also adds on a TV tuner, which should enhance the multimedia and AMD Fusion experience even more.


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MSI Announces its AM3 Boards to Support AM3+ CPUs

Posted: April 3, 2011 @ time: 10:48AM
Author: Nemo

MSI has announced its AMD AM3 line of motherboards will be compatible with AMD's AM3+ multi-core processors with a BIOS upgrade. With a few simple steps, users can get the powerful performance of AMD AM3+ multi-core processors without the expense of purchasing a new motherboard. Current owners of MSI AM3 boards can find the BIOS download by visiting the respective product pages from MSI's web site. MSI also stated all future shipments of its AM3 boards will come with the updated BIOS already installed. MSI boards with support for AMD AM3+ multi-core processors with the corresponding  BIOS versions:

Motherboard Model Chipset BIOS Version
890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX A7640AMS.190
890FXA-GD65 AMD 890FX A7640AMS.I20
890GXM-G65 AMD 890GX A7642AMS.1A0


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Windows 8 Welcomes The Ribbon

Posted: April 3, 2011 @ time: 07:34PM
Author: gebraset

Though a highly controversial feature regarding the Microsoft Office Suite, the ribbon user interface has made its way into homes and business throughout the last couple of years. In the new build regarding Windows 8, it looks as if Microsoft is trying to make the ribbon user interface mainstream, and a part of the consumers everyday life, whether they are inside of an Office application or not. Luckily for now, there is a setting that allows users to revert the ribbon style look back to the old toolbar style, though obviously its early in the game of the new operating system, and there is no telling if the feature will stick in. It is also not known if the ribbon user interface will end up as prominent as it currently is in the final build, but either way, Microsoft is pushing it into their latest Operating System, and making it well known.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 04:42AM
Author: Nemo

We have several storage-related reviews ranging from the Thecus N4200 PRO four-bay NAS device to the Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB hard drive to a roundup of USB 3.0 64GB flash drives. There are a couple of cases in the roundup today with the Antec One Hundred and Lian Li Lancool PC-K57. In video cards, we get a chance to read about the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Flex Edition and HIS HD 6870 IceQ X Turbo X. There's more, of course, so be sure to hit the links below for all the reviews.

Cases
Antec One Hundred: Great Taste and Less Filling @ Computer Ed
Lian Li Lancool PC-K57 Computer Case  @ Tweaknews

Cooling
Thermalright TR-360 Xbox 360 GPU Cooler Replacement @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Yakuza 4 PlayStation 3 @ TweakTown

Motherboards
MSI 890FXA-GD65 AMD 890FX Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies
OCZ ZX 850 Series 850 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N4200 PRO Review - The 4-Bay, Battery Backup NAS with Many Features @ TweakTown
Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB @ Bjorn3D
USB 3.0 64GB Flash Drive Round-up @ TechSpot

Video
HIS HD 6870 IceQ X Turbo X Video Card @ Overclocker Cafe
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 FleX @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Preaching to the converted - The scourge of piracy warnings @ TweakTown


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Sony Acknowledges Outages

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 11:34AM
Author: gebraset

The infamous group Anonymous is taking responsibility for the recent outage of the PlayStation Network and the Sony website that occurred mainly over in Europe today, though the company has a different side of the story. The downed services spread over to North America after evolving from Europe, and since then many users have had trouble trying to connect to either the main website or the network through their PlayStation 3. Sony is claiming that the outage is actually due to sporadic maintenance however, and is not making a legal remark against the claims that Anonymous is actually responsible. No matter what the actual issue is, a fix is hopefully coming soon since the PlayStation king already is aware of the issue and the regions it is currently affecting.


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Ubisoft Announces Anno 2070

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 12:37PM
Author: bp9801

Ubisoft's Anno RTS franchise has always dealt with a historical setting, typically when the European nations were sending out explorers. The most recent game, Anno 1404: Dawn of Discovery, allowed players to build an empire and trade with various nations, including the Orient. Well today Ubisoft has announced the newest game in the Anno franchise, but this one deviates from the historical setting. The new game will be called Anno 2070 and is set in our not too distant future, which Ubisoft claims allows the developers more of a freedom with design. The past games were bound to the technology available in the past, but with the game being set 60 years in the future, there is much more freedom available in how to do things and design the world. Ubisoft does say that the game will "feel both familiar and fresh to fans of the series," and with the futuristic setting, I hope that comes true and possibly brings in some new fans.

Anno 2070 will be out this winter for PC.


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US Court of Appeals Dismisses Verizon and MetroPCS Lawsuit Against FCC Net Neutrality

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 03:08PM
Author: bp9801

A while back, the FCC passed net neutrality rules which was met with equal parts joy and anger. Verizon publicly decried them as being too broad shortly after the rules were made known, and then a bit later filed a federal lawsuit against those rules. MetroPCS shared the same sentiments and thus joined in on the lawsuit, but now the US Court of Appeals has dismissed that lawsuit. The reason behind it is that the lawsuit is "incurably" premature because the net neutrality rules have yet to published in the Federal Register. That means that until those rules have been published, no lawsuits can be brought forth and thus the Court of Appeals threw the case out. That doesn't discourage Verizon since it will just bide its time until it can actually bring up a lawsuit, and I am sure MetroPCS will join in yet again.


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BitFenix Announces Case Modding Contest

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 05:11PM
Author: CheeseMan42

BitFenix has announced a new contest for all the case modders out there, with the top prize being a Colossus Window chassis. In order to enter, there are three steps to follow:

1. Go to the BitFenix Facebook Page and click "Like"
2. Find the Modding Contest tab and fill in the contest form
3. Go to the BitFenix Case Modding Contest page and submit photos of your best case mod

If you aren't particularly skilled at modding, be sure to check out the entries on the contest page and vote for your favorite entry.


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Google Places Bid For Nortel Patent Library

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 05:24PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google has initiated a bid of $900 million for the patent library of Nortel. The library hasn't been sold outright, and other companies can still bid on it. This situation appears as a win for both sides. Google gains access to roughly 6,000 patents encompassing a broad range of technology. Nortel gets a lot of money as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings. Google has announced that this move is in order to "create a disincentive for others to sue." Microsoft thought it was worth noting that it will retain access to all of Nortel's patents free of charge due to a previous agreement.


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Texas Instruments to Acquire National Semiconductor

Posted: April 4, 2011 @ time: 06:58PM
Author: bp9801

There seems to be acquisitions of all types these days in the current economy, and today is no different. Texas Instruments has just announced it intends to acquire National Semiconductor for $25 a share, a value much higher than the $14 and change reported by the New York Stock Exchange earlier in the day. National seems to be quite happy with the deal, with its CEO Dan Macleod saying how the two companies complement each other well. TI will add National's strong analog business to its own fairly strong analog business, though TI should benefit from National's greater power management capabilities. TI is going to do everything possible to ensure that National's customers experience "a seamless, hassle-free merger," and no products will need to be requalified through TI since the National fabrication plants will remain open. I've dealt with both TI and National for op-amps and various other parts, so hopefully the merger keeps the quality of parts just as high as before.


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Dell Alienware M14x Laptop Pictured

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 02:50AM
Author: premiumgfx

Dell's latest Alienware creation, the M14x laptop has been pictured, thanks to Chinese site zol.com.cn. The sleek M14x is targeted at the gamers, bearing the Alienware brand name. Packed inside the M14x obtained by zol.com.cn are a Core i7-2820QM quad-core CPU, NVIDIA's GeForce GT 555M including a whopping 3GB of DRR5 memory, backed by 4GB of RAM. Storage is sorted by a 7200RPM hard drive up to 750GB or a SSD up to 256GB. A 14" screen with a resolution of 1366x768 or 1920x1080 and a back-lit keyboard complete the machine. Other features include Klipsch speakers, a slot optical drive and all the mainstays: Gigabit ethernet, WiFi, HDMI, VGA and mini DisplayPort connectivity. An 8-cell battery will power this behemoth. It is worth noting that the M14x will be customisable, and most of the specs listed here can be changed. I'd expect Dell to reveal more official information on the M14x in the coming weeks.

Thanks to zol.com.cn for the pictures of the M14x. (Link in Chinese)


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Green House Unveils PicoDrive F3 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 03:07AM
Author: premiumgfx

Tokyo-based manufacturer Green House today unveiled three flash drives, all featuring USB 3.0 support. The new flash drives, dubbed the F3, are part of the Green House PicoDrive series. All drives offer data transfer rates of up to 120MB/s (read) and 80MB/s (write). The flash drives measure 73.2x19.75x9mm (WxDxH) and weigh in at 13.5g. The PicoDrive F3 drives feature a capped design and will be available in three variants retailing for US$71 (16GB), US$140 (32GB) and US$235 (64GB).


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 04:10AM
Author: Nemo

Synology is a well-known manufacturer of storage solutions for the home/small office and small business markets. The company has upgraded its product lineup and today we have reviews on several of those units. For the home and small office we have the Synology Disk Station DS-211J dual-bay NAS and the Synology Disk Station DS411J NAS, a four-bay model. We also have a review of the Synology DS211+ two-bay NAS designed for the small and medium sized business segment. If you read the OCC PowerColor HD 6790 Review, you probably figured out AMD has introduced a new member to the Radeon HD 6000-series lineup with the HD 6790 and we have several reviews for you in today's roundup. We also picked up a pair of articles on the Thermaltake Level 10 GT full-tower case along with more reviews which you can find using the links below.

Cases
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower Case @ PC Perspective
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Case @ TechSpot

CPUs
AMD Ships Llano and Upcoming AM3+ Support @ PC Perspective

Gaming
Dragon Age 2 Performance Follow-Up @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
Thermaltake MAX 5G 3.5-inch USB 3.0 External HDD Enclosure @ TweakTown
Synology Disk Station DS411J NAS @ XSReviews
Synology DS211+ Network Attached Storage Device @ ThinkComputers
OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drive Tests @ Benchmark Reviews
Synology DS-211J Diskstation Two-Bay NAS @ Tweaknews
Mach Xtreme Technology MX-GX 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Video
ASUS GeForce GTX 590 Overclocking Follow-Up @ [H]ardOCP
AMD Radeon HD 6790 1GB Review - Barts hits $150 @ PC Perspective
Sapphire Radeon HD 6790 1GB Video Card @ TweakTown
AMD's Radeon HD 6790 graphics card @ Tech Report
AMD Radeon HD 6790 @ Neoseeker


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Seagate Releases GoFlex Slim Hard Drives

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 11:30AM
Author: gebraset

Shown at CES, the new portable Seagate drives impressed many consumers with just how slim the drive was, with offering decent speed along with large capacities. The new drive start with a price tag of just $99, but the reviewing drive was sized at 320GB with transfer speeds up to 40MB per second using a USB 3.0 port. Sadly due to the size of the drive, there is a special SuperSpeed USB 3.0 cable that must be used from Seagate with the GoFlex Slim, but with a total height of 0.354 inches, it is not the big of an issue in all reality, unless the cord is misplaced of lost of course. The drive comes in at weighing just 0.356 pounds and also features a spin rate of 7200 RPM, with shipping starting as soon as today for the United States.


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Dragon Age II Sells Over One Million Copies Worldwide

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 02:30PM
Author: bp9801

BioWare's latest game, in case you haven't heard, is Dragon Age II. DA2 came out about a month ago but has already reached the one million copies sold worldwide mark. That is one million copies sold, not shipped, throughout the world. Dragon Age: Origins, the original game, didn't sell that many that fast so BioWare is quite proud of the accomplishment. To that end, BioWare is thanking its fans by offering Mass Effect 2 for free on the PC. If you haven't checked your email today, you should find a message from BioWare with the instructions on how to redeem your free copy of Mass Effect 2. Even with the success of DA2, there are quite a bit of upset fans on the BioWare forums letting the developer know of everything going wrong with the game. From poor performance in DX11 mode on the Very High setting to random crashes and bugs, Dragon Age 2 is not without its problems. Hopefully the upcoming patch BioWare teased will help alleviate all, or most, of the problems.


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Sony May Delay NGP Until Next Year After Japan Disasters

Posted: April 5, 2011 @ time: 03:55PM
Author: bp9801

The successor to the Sony PSP, the NGP, may see a delay until next year after the recent earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan. Sony is merely thinking of delaying the launch of the NGP, but with all the troubles the tech giant has had at its manufacturing plants, it seems all but likely. That should be good news for developers to get more products out when the handheld does launch, but that also means the Nintendo handhelds will gain even more ground in the market. Sony Computer Entertainment of America President Jack Tretton said that one of the three main regions (Asia, Europe, and the US) may still receive the NGP by year's end, but didn't say which one. Sony was hoping to have the handheld out in time for the 2011 holiday season, but production at seven different plants in Japan have been suspended or slowed down in the wake of the disasters.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 04:45AM
Author: Nemo

Yesterday saw the release of AMD's HD 6790 mid-range graphics card and we picked up another review on the card. There's also a brief article listing some of the best budget and mainstream video cards. If you're looking for a small form factor case for a HTPC or LAN rig, you should check out the pair of reviews on Thermaltake's Armor A30 case in today's roundup. We also have a pair of reviews on CPU coolers from Prolimatech and Xigmatek plus memory and external hard drives being reviewed, all of which you can find by following the links below.

Cases
Thermaltake Armor A30 SFF Chassis @ TweakTown
Thermaltake Armor A30 mATX Case @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Prolimatech Genesis @ XSReviews
Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 CPU Cooler @ Tweaknews

Memory
Kingston 12GB HyperX T1 Black Edition Memory @ Bjorn3D

Storage
Western Digital My Book 3.0 1TB USB 3.0 External HDD @ TweakTown

Video
AMD HD6790 @ Bjorn3D
Top Budget to Mainstream Graphics Cards @ TechSpot


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Dropped Call Research Shuns AT&T

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 11:34AM
Author: gebraset

Even though there has been a recent study released that shows Verizon Wireless dropping many emergency calls throughout the past year, there is now a new study showing AT&T to be the worst among all of the major carriers. The study conducted by ChangeWave was spread out over just 4,068 users across the United States and asked one simple question of dropped calls, which spanned over a total of ninety days from the start of 2011. The results are somewhat surprising with recent news, showing Verizon Wireless at a dropped call rate of 1.4 percent, with T-Mobile at 2.3 percent, Sprint and Nextel at 2.7 percent, and AT&T scoring the worst with a total of 4.6 percent. Obviously the number of participants in the study was relatively small, but the study just may be uncovering the tip of the iceberg in terms of nationwide coverage and reliability within the four major wireless carriers.


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ZOTAC Announces GeForce GTX 580 AMP2! Edition Graphics Card

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 02:28PM
Author: bp9801

The GeForce GTX 580 is a popular video card with many variations being released on it, many with custom coolers. ZOTAC is one such company with a custom card, and its new GeForce GTX 580 AMP2! Edition graphics card is sure to please many people. The AMP2! Edition features a custom cooler and 3GB of memory, so games shouldn't run into any memory issues with this card. The card has an engine clock of 815MHz, a shader clock of 1630MHz, and a memory clock of 4100MHz which are all well above the standard clocks. The main thing setting the card apart, aside from the overclock, is the 3GB of memory which ensures games will render perfectly up to a resolution of 2560x1600. The AMP2! Edition also has a custom cooler with dual 92mm fans to keep the temperatures down low during an intense gaming session. The card has two dual-link DVI connections and a mini-HDMI output, plus you can run up to three of them in SLI for added fun.

The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 580 AMP2! Edition graphics card should be available soon though no specific launch date or price was mentioned. Users who purchase it will receive a free copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.


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Cooler Master Launches HAF 932 Advanced Case

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 03:16PM
Author: bp9801

There are a good many people who have embraced the HAF 932 case by Cooler Master. The rugged look and great cooling performance have won many hearts, and now Cooler Master is getting set to launch an update for the case. The original HAF 932 debuted back in 2008, and now, the HAF 932 Advanced case is about to launch. The original included many features, like native liquid cooling support for a dual or triple 120mm radiator, a coolant filling port up top, liquid cooling gromets in the rear, push-button locks for the 5.25" bays, and a slew of others. All of those and more return in the HAF 932 Advanced, but there are some notable new features this time around. First up is an all-black interior, USB 3.0 via a standardized internal header (an industry first), and a graphics card cooling duct that supports an optional 120mm fan. That USB 3.0 internal header solves the problem of having to route USB cables out to the rear of the case to plug into the rear ports on a motherboard. Cooler Master is the first case to support an internal connection for the front USB 3.0 ports, something I'm sure many people will love. There is also a 2.5" SSD tray on the inside of the case for more future proofing.

The Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced case should be available in North and South America later this month, though no price was mentioned.


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Crucial Informs Customers of Email Security Breach

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 03:42PM
Author: bp9801

Security breaches are no laughing matter in the world of computers and Crucial is hoping to rest the minds of its customers concerning one. In an email sent out by Crucial, it informed customers of a security breach at Epsilon, the company Crucial uses to send out emails. In the email, Crucial stated how Epsilon informed Crucial of an unauthorized entry which obtained only names and/or email addresses. Epsilon is sure that no other information was obtained, and Crucial reminds its customers that it will never ask for sensitive information like credit card or social security numbers in any email sent out. If you do get an email from Crucial asking about that information, you know it isn't actually from Crucial and is from a scammer. Epsilon has reported the matter to the proper authorities, and Crucial wants to inform its customers of the matter and to remind them to always be safe regarding Internet use.


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Deus Ex 3 On The Way

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 05:57PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Whether you are a console gamer or PC gamer you will be happy to know there is a fresh new installment of a great series coming out soon. It is the third chapter of a wonderful franchise that started on the PC, and no, it is not Battlefield 3. Does Deus Ex ring a bell? Ever since late 2003, where console gamers got their first taste of the Deus Ex world, there has not been too much going on with this series. A preview popped up recently regarding much of the game's progress and features. It is refreshing to know that a lot of the elements that made the original game famous have been included in this prequel. Since this game was test driven on an Xbox, our collective fingers are crossed for the well being of the PC derivative. This is certainly going to make 2011 an even more exciting year for gaming as well has introduce Deus Ex newcomers into a great series.


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10,000 Core Supercomputer Created in Amazon Cloud

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 06:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cycle Computing specializes in helping clients get access to heavy computing power in a short amount of time. It has used the Amazon Cloud several times in the past to gain access to several thousand cores. CEO Jason Stowe had gotten the idea to take that number up to a nice round 10,000. There was just one problem, there was no one that needed that kind of power just yet. When Jacob Corn of biotech firm Genentech came calling, Cycle got to work. The end result was the combination of 1,250 eight core systems, 8.75TB of RAM, and 2PB of hard drive space. Using this cluster, the calculations dealing with protein binding were completed in eight hours. The $8,500 price tag was far less than it would have cost Genentech to build its own cluster. The time frame was also much less than the current resources of Genentech could provide. Cycle is already looking forward to bigger systems, and Genentech is open to using Amazon in the future.


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Commodore 64 Making a Comeback

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 07:05PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Commodore 64 was released more than 30 years ago, and now it is time to be reborn. The new system will look similar to the original, but will feature updated components. There will be five different iterations, ranging in price from $250 to $895. Some options available include an NVIDIA ION2 GPU, Blu-ray drive, and dual core Intel Atom processors. This could be a very popular throwback for some of our older members, and an interesting new experience for the younger generation. Preorders are now available on the Commodore site, but no ship date was mentioned.


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False Alarm, Delay On NGP Averted

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 07:07PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Recently we were led to believe that due to the catastrophic blow Japan had recently received, its plans for the NGP's initial release were brought down to a far smaller opening market. To our delight, it seems that SCEJ is still pushing forward with the NGP release dates on time. It is great to know that Japan is still going strong and keeping promises it made despite its forced predictament. Sony seems to really want to keep the momentum and hype of the NGP intact to secure a strong foothold in the handheld gaming market. With Nintendo unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami double team, Sony is smart to keep on schedule and not get behind on the new portable's release.


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EVO Tablet On Sprint Gets Android 3.0

Posted: April 6, 2011 @ time: 07:18PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

What is the last thing you feel like finding out once you have unwrapped your lovely new EVO 4G tablet from Sprint? You boot it up it up for the first time and notice it does not really 'flow' as well as you thought. You may even go so far as to call the UI, 'clunky'. It was initially rumored that the HTC Tablet would ship out with Android 2.3: 'Gingerbread', which apparently does not have the best relationship with newer tablets. Luckily, HTC and Sprint have not left future EVO 4G tablet users up a creek with buyer's remorse. Sprint has made the announcement that the tablet will ship with a more tablet-friendly flavor of Android, more specifically that of Android 3.0: 'Honeycomb'. With the tablet market growing quickly every day, it was the right decision for Sprint to not hamper the device's impressive hardware with poor software compatibility.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 04:55AM
Author: Nemo

Corsair has upgraded its TX line of power supplies and is tacking a V2 moniker on the end to let us know which are the new models. Today's roundup includes reviews on the Corsair TX750 V2 and TX850 V2 units as well as the LEPA G Series 700W power supply from Enermax. In the video card arena we have an opportunity to examine the GIGABYTE HD 6970 OC 2GB card that comes equipped with the WindForce 3X VGA cooler. On the other end of the spectrum is the HD 6450 entry-level graphics card.

Motherboards
GIGABYTE G1.Assassin (Intel X58 Express) Gaming Motherboard @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Corsair Enthusiast TX750 V2 and TX850 V2 PSU @ PC Perspective
Corsair TX750V2 750 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown
LEPA G Series 700W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Video
GIGABYTE HD 6970 OC 2GB @ OCAU
AMD's Radeon HD 6450 graphics card @ Tech Report

Miscellany
Speedlink Hardware Competition - Get Social, Get Prizes @  XSReviews
Tweaknews Month 2 (April) 10 Year Anniversary Contest @ TweakNews


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Gigabyte Fully Supporting AMD's AM3+ Socket Shift

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: Psywar

Gigabyte is the first manufacture to ship motherboards that have support for AMD's 'Bulldozer' AM3+ CPU Socket. Gigabyte has shipped 16 different motherboard models that not only support the new AM3+ socket but will also support the existing CPU socket AM3. Gigabyte has also color-coded its CPU Sockets to make distinguishing the boards from one another much easier. Cream colored sockets are for AM3 CPU's only and black colored sockets will work with both AM3+ and AM3 CPU's. Gigabyte is able to do this because AMD ensured backwards compatibility with the old sockets. AMD and Gigabyte have made upgrading your desktop PC much more friendly on your wallet allowing you to just upgrade the CPU and not the motherboard.


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Toyota Sales Reach Milestones

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 11:40AM
Author: gebraset

Hybrids, electric vehicles, along with ethanol cars are changing the world as humans know it as more companies take on the new technology and enable it to be cheaper for the general public. Now, one of the major car manufacturers in the world is announcing it has hit a few milestones of its own and large ones at that. Just the other day Toyota announced that it has reached a total of one million sales concerning it's lineup of Prius cars, not in its country of origin, but in the United States alone. It has also reached other milestones somewhat recently including a total sale of the Prius vehicle worldwide reaching two million back in the month of October, as well as the total number of Toyota Hybrid sales climbing all the way to three million just a month ago. The company is making a large footprint on not only the American economy regarding fuel efficiency and the need to stop dependence on nonrenewable resources, but also around the entire world.


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Congress Wants to Censor Piracy Sites on Google Searches

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 12:51PM
Author: jjjrmy

There has been a debate in Congress of the possible creation of a law that would allow the government to block any website accused of piracy. Members of Congress were shocked that so many piracy sites came up in Google searches. Google's Auto Complete feature only adds to the mess. When typing in a simple search about movies, you may be shown suggested phrases that lead to piracy sites. The auto-complete results are also a reflection of how many people are searching for illegal material. Because of their findings, Congress would like Google to tweak their search algorithm to eliminate piracy sites in favor of authorized services. Google is concerned that a new law would dictate search results.

Recently Google successfully got rid of ch**d p***o****hy search results and many congressmen believe Google can also easily get rid of piracy search results. They are stunned that with all of Google's programming wizards, that someone couldn't create an algorithm to eliminate piracy searches. It seems that the people in the House of Intellectual Property are over simplifying how Google works. Although it is an automated system, many still believe the auto-complete suggestions are true suggestions from Google.

Nothing has been decided as of yet, but a change to Google's auto-complete feature is for sure.


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20 Years of GNU/Linux

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 04:15PM
Author: jjjrmy

Two decades ago a college student named Linus Torvalds started working on free operating system as just a hobby. Linus developed Linux combined with GNU as an open source alternative to Unix. Little did he know, he developed a famous operating system kernel that has taken on many flavors. Since then, a battle between Linux and Microsoft has raged on.

The battle is over and Linux has defeated Microsoft. Why, you ask? Linux has gone farther than Microsoft in almost every market. The main markets being server-side computer and mobile devices. GNU/Linux today powers almost all Internet traffic. Linux can also be found in many new electronics, such as televisions, camcorders, e-readers, smartphones, and tablets. Linux has become dominant in almost every category of computing, ranging from small devices to large supercomputers.

Although Windows is still being used by 90% of all traditional computers, Linux users have not given up on the desktop market yet. Today, the desktop operating system is becoming less important as more and more things are being done in the browser. Not to mention that now smartphones and tablets draw people away from their desktops, and guess what is running those, Linux. Possibly, in the future, all you'll need is a small OS to run the browser and GNU/Linux will be a perfect choice.

It has been twenty years and we have seen how far GNU/Linux has come, let us see what the next twenty years holds.


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Halo Movie Buzz To Begin This Summer

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 04:22PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

It has been long rumored that a movie based on the Halo universe was to be made, but now those rumors have been solidified. Starting off this summer, there is to be a short teaser trailer that is to build up momentum for the real deal. The movie is to be named Halo: Operation Chastity, and although the full film has not yet been started, they are slated to begin working on it following the trailer's release. Many of the props have been made and they are looking to be very detailed. Halo fans should be excited to see their favorite series being done justice and have much to look forward to later this year.


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Pandora Mobile App Found to Send Birth Date, Gender, and Location Information to Ad Servers

Posted: April 7, 2011 @ time: 08:54PM
Author: bp9801

Recently, several app makers were being investigated by federal prosecutors over privacy concerns with mobile apps. The biggest one being investigated is bound to be Pandora, and while no information from the federal investigation has come out, a private security firm decided to take matters into its own hands. Veracode decided to launch its own investigation of Pandora and found that on the Android app, more information is being sent out that Pandora doesn't tell you. Information such as birth date, gender, and location are all being sent to ad servers which can find out a lot about with that basic information. The security firm did say that Pandora "appears" to send out that extra information, something Pandora is remaining mum about, and I suppose we won't know for sure until information comes forth from the federal investigation. At any rate, this should open some eyes and maybe put Pandora into more hot water if the extra information being sent does turn out to be true. Veracode only tested the Android app simply because it hasn't been able to fully test the iOS version.


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Gigabyte Unveils ECO600 Wireless Mouse

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 03:43AM
Author: premiumgfx

Gigabyte today unveiled yet another wireless mouse, dubbed the ECO600. This new peripheral features a laser sensor offering either 800, 1200, or 1600 DPI via a switch. Two AA batteries power the mouse allowing up to 12 months of use, according to Gigabyte. Connectivity is covered by a nano USB receiver which operates over the 2.4GHz band. The receiver can also snap into the mouse when not in use for easy safekeeping. Other features include a rubber coating for improved grip and two customizable buttons. The Gigabyte ECO600 wireless mouse measures 124.5x77.6x41.8mm (LxWxH) and weighs in at 106g, excluding batteries. Gigabyte did not disclose details regarding the pricing of the ECO600.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 03:51AM
Author: Nemo

AMD's Fusion boards have been out for a while, but we're just now beginning to see them appear on reviewers' plates. Today we get a chance to look at the Gigabyte E350N-USB3, a mini-ITX form factor motherboard with an embedded AMD E-350 dual-core processor and an AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics core. Another AMD motherboard in our roundup today is the MSI 890FXA-GD65, a mid-range board being offered for around $150. We continue on the AMD path with a trio of Radeon HD video cards starting with a pair of HD 6870 offerings -  the ASUS HD 6870 DirectCU 1GB and the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X. Finishing things off is the MSI Radeon HD 6970 2GB Lightning card.

Mobile
iHome iP3 Studio Series Audio System for iPhone/iPod @ Madshrimps

Motherboards
MSI 890FXA-GD65 Motherboard Review: The Hardcore Minimalist @ PC Perspective
Gigabyte E350N-USB3 @ Neoseeker

Prebuilts
Sapphire Edge Mini PC @ XSReviews

Video
ASUS HD 6870 DirectCU 1GB Video Card @ ThinkComputers
MSI Radeon HD 6970 2GB Lightning Overclocked Video Card @ TweakTown
HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
TR's Spring 2011 system guide @ Tech Repor


Complete Story


Packard Bell Prepares Liberty Tab

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 04:03AM
Author: premiumgfx

Tablet sales are booming and each manufacturer is jostling to get a slice of this lucrative market. Packard Bell is no different, preparing its first tablet named the Liberty Tab. The 10.1" Liberty Tab features a generous 1280x800 touch screen, backed by Nvidia's Tegra 2 SoC (System on a Chip), featuring two cores running at 1GHz. A rear 5MP camera, a front 2MP webcam, GPS capability, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G support complete the device. Other features include stereo speakers along with the expected; a microSD card slot, USB support and a HDMI output. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is the operating system of choice. Hardware aside, the Liberty Tab has a partial metal trim and a glossy back. The Liberty Tab is set to release in June although its pricing is not yet known.


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Acer Iconia Tab A500 Priced and Dated, $450 on April 24th

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 10:24AM
Author: bp9801

Acer has been itching to get into the tablet world for some time now, and it will finally have a product ready to compete. The Acer Iconia Tab A500 has been priced and dated, and even though the first version out will be just WiFi only, it looks to remain pretty competitive. The Iconia Tab A500 will launch at $450 on April 24th, with Best Buy being the exclusive place to get the device. The A500 is running Android 3.0 and boasts similar specs to the Motorola Xoom, albeit at a cheaper price. You'll find a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 250 SOC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 10.1" screen running at 1280x800, a 5 megapixel camera on the rear with a 2 megapixel camera up front, HDMI output, and a pair of 3260mAh batteries that Acer claims delivers up to eight hours of life while playing HD video.

16GB of storage is what Acer has planned for right now, however a 32GB version is expected before long. You can also expand the storage by utilizing the microSD card slot. The A500 weighs 1.62 pounds and is only 0.52" thin, plus it features an aluminum design which should provide a good bit of strength. Two full games are being included on the tablet when you get it, Need for Speed: Shift and Let's Golf, so you'll be able to see just how well it handles games. There are also a few applications pre-installed for ebooks and digital magazines so it seems Acer is trying to cater to a little bit of everyone with the A500.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 launches on April 24th for $450 exclusively at Best Buy. Later this summer mobile carriers are expected to carry it, presumably with 3G or 4G capabilities built-in.


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Minecraft to Exit Beta on November 11

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 12:05PM
Author: bp9801

Minecraft has become quite a popular little game, garnering support from all over and generating a fair bit of revenue. The game has been in beta form for what seems like forever, but its creator has finally decided when the game will shed that state. Minecraft will exit out of beta form on November 11th, but the full version won't be too terribly different from the beta. Markus Persson, the creator, said that the team keeps planning to add features both before and after it leaves beta form so the updates should keep on coming. Persson also announced that Minecraft has generated $32 million in revenue since release with first copies going for $14 and then $21. He states that the full release is more of a milestone for the team since it is a goal they have all been working towards since Minecraft first came out. Persson states that version 1.5 is expected next week which brings with it weather effects and several other features.


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Google Defends Claims Against Android Platform's Open Nature

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 02:00PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Everyone knows that Android is touted for its very loose grip from Google. It just so happens that recently there has been some users who have been second guessing Google's role in keeping the platform the most open of all the mobile operating systems. Google never wants Android to be compared with a more locked down mobile OS like those made by Apple. The VP of engineering at Google promises that all source code is published to public as soon as it is ready, and they do not plan to ever change this policy.

The only standards the company has set out for new devices planning on running Android is that they meet some simple requirements. Google does not make these checks to discourage device makers but simply is looking to provide the best end-user experience with improved compatibility. It has been promised since Android's inception that any UI customizations would be 100% supported by Google.


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Hybrid LED / E-Ink Display

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 02:48PM
Author: jjjrmy

After many complaints about reading eBooks on the iPad, Apple has patented a hybrid display that consists of an LCD screen and an E-Ink screen. This display allows for switching between the different display types. Using the LCD screen for games or apps and the E-Ink screen for anything reading related. In addition to easy reading, the E-Ink display can save battery life since it does not use a backlight.

The hybrid display would consist of multiple layers. On top would be the touch interface, in the middle the E-Ink display, and underneath the LCD display. This new idea can open up new possibilities in display viewing.


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Zebra Scanner Created

Posted: April 8, 2011 @ time: 03:45PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Ever thought it would be neat to scan those horse-like creatures with striped coats like a UPC? Thanks to modern-day science, this has now been made possible.

The system works by first capturing a rectangular shot of the zebra's side and then acquiring its stripe count. The stripes are then deemed as full black or full white then the data is more easily compressed. The next step is to categorize the bands into their respective lengths of colored blocks into what is called a 'StripeString'. Once all the StripeStrings come together, they become a 'StripeCode'. The StripeCode is what future pictures or scans can be compared to in order to identifiy that individual zebra.


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