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News Archives for May 2011

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 02:43AM
Author: bp9801

Today for the roundup we have a little bit of everything. We have a look at the MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti HAWK on the video card front. For cases, we have the NZXT H2 to give you some quiet computing. To keep your processor running cool there is a look at the Xigmatek Loki SD963 heatsink. For the gamers out there a good mouse pad is an important feature so perhaps the ROCCAT Alumic Gaming Mousepad is an option to consider. Lastly we have a look at a couple of Tt esports headsets by Computer Ed to see which one performs the best.

Cases
NZXT H2 Silent Classic @ XSReviews

Video
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti HAWK @ TweakTown

Cooling
Xigmatek Loki SD693 Heatsink @ Frostytech

Speakers/Headphones
Tt esports Headsets @ Computer Ed

Miscellany
ROCCAT Alumic Gaming Mousepad @ Madshrimps
 


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RIM Announces BlackBerry 7 OS, Bold 9900/9930 Smartphones

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 02:39PM
Author: bp9801

Research In Motion had been talking about the newest version of its BlackBerry OS as BB OS 6.1, a simple update. However, that update kept on getting bigger and now, RIM is announcing it will be called BlackBerry 7 OS. The first phone launching running the new OS will be the just announced BlackBerry Bold Touch, the 9900/9930 smartphone. BB 7 brings with it a new user experience that is said to be easier and faster, plus there are voice-activated searches for content stored on your phone and the Web. The browser has been "significantly enhanced" with new features like a JIT (just-in-time) JavaScript compiler and HTML5 Video support, so checking out websites should be a much faster and smoother experience. There is also a feature called BlackBerry Balance which lets you organize personal and professional information into separate stacks of content. However, BB 7 will not be compatible with older devices, even those with BB 6, so to take advantage of all these new features you will need a new phone.

The first phone to support BB 7 will be the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, the Bold Touch. The phone packs a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and 768MB of RAM powering a 2.8" VGA touchscreen. There is a 5 megapixel camera on the rear that includes image stabilization, plus you will find 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. The phone features a full QWERTY keyboard and NFC circuitry. The Bold Touch measures in at 10.5mm which makes it RIM's thinnest phone yet. The 9900 features HSPA+ connectivity for 4G support on GSM networks, while the 9930 is the world phone and packs a dual-band CDMA and quad-band GSM radio. Both feature 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

The BlackBerry Bold Touch will be available this summer, though no mention of carriers and price was announced.


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Problems Continue for Sony, SOE Confirms Data Breach

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: bp9801

Well, you know what they say, when it rains, it pours, and it certainly is pouring for Sony right about now. Just a week removed from announcing that its PlayStation Network had been hacked comes the news that Sony Online Entertainment has been the victim of another breach. According to Nikkei.com, SOE was breached which resulted in the theft of 12,700 credit card numbers and possibly other information. 4,300 of those credit cards are said to be Japanese with no word on how many belong to Americans, but the data is said to be from the year 2007 which minimizes the number of still-active credit cards. It is entirely possible all that was taken was a backup copy of credit card information, one that was not up-to-date. Either way, the news is not good for SOE as it handles information for popular online games like DC Universe Online, Free Realms, EverQuest, and Station.com. SOE took its online services offline earlier today due to the breach, and we will have more information on it as it becomes available.

It seems the Wall Street Journal is reporting that 24.6 million accounts were compromised. Information including names, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, log in names, passwords, and birth dates were all taken. Any of this ringing a bell for anyone?


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Tethering Apps Get Negative Views

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 07:59PM
Author: gebraset

Though many applications are available to consumers for free tethering, it is now getting to the point that carriers are starting to ban them all together instead of just making users subscribe to a paid per month plan, making consumers pay for their over the phone traffic. Sprint right now is the first one to jump on the train, cutting reins to applications such as PdaNet, which allows users to tether off of their phone for free, getting around the traditional system which is an add on plan to current wireless offers. Other carriers are also looking at this, possibly ending the idea of free tethering as the world knows it. Sadly, this means more money per month on top of the already high prices, if the crack downs are fully successful regarding all of the tethering applications, but it will surely benefit the revenue of the top wireless carriers.


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Handicapped Gamers Get Cool New Ways to Play

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 08:21PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Dutch engineering student, Jeffrey Breugelmans, is looking out for some of the physically challenged with gaming at heart. Often we forget that there are people lacking mobility that you or I may possess, and because of that standard gaming controllers may not be compatible with them. What Breugelmans is seeking to create is a well synced duet of eye tracking sensors and a data-polling glove to act as one's mouse control. The eye tracker will attempt to aim the user's cursor wherever that user is currently focusing on in the screen. The data glove will replace the traditional keyboard that many of us take for granted during our hours of gaming. While Breugelmans is currently demonstrating his creations at the Northeastern Intelligent Human-Machine Systems Laboratory, he plans to have real field testing with disabled gamers Fall of 2012. Breugelmans is also considering designing a headset that will allow the user to control their PC by using only their thoughts.


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Malware Designers Take Advantage of Osama Bin Laden's Death

Posted: May 2, 2011 @ time: 08:25PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

As Osama bin Laden's death rockets pass the recent royal wedding as the most popular news headlines, malware creators capitalize on the opportunity to snag unsuspecting searches of related information. Many of them have been using a loophole related to the way Google categorizes high ranking or most popular search hits to set traps for the users. Two malicious groups, ***-antivirus.cz.cc/fast-scan/ and ***pe-antivirus.cz.cc/fast-scan/, have been attempting to upload virus ridden Rogueware which touts to be the 'Best Antivirus' this year. Others have been aiming to mislead users by informing them that they need a newer update of VLC's browser plugin, when the link is clicked however, it will download Hotbar which is riddled with adware. A third tactic of entrapment is one where the malware masterminds will post links on popular social networking sites luring their victims by posing as breaking news updates.


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Amazon Tablet Coming Later This Year?

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 12:27AM
Author: premiumgfx

The Kindle e-reader was an international success for Amazon with millions of units sold worldwide. It seems Amazon is preparing a new product, this time a tablet, according to orders placed with Taiwanese firm Quanta Computer. The tablet is said to include an electrophoretic display (EPD), otherwise known as e-paper, coupled with a touch panel and Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology for a better viewing experience. Quanta Computer is currently the OEM manufacturer of tablets for RIM and Sony, with Amazon's order set to add US$3.5 billion to Quanta's 2011 revenue. This upcoming concept from Amazon combining an e-paper screen with the tablet experience is very intriguing. I'd expect to hear more details about the Amazon tablet soon, as Quanta Computer is expected to start shipping the tablet in the second half of this year.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 06:27AM
Author: Nemo

Our roundup today covers some of the higher-end video setups with two articles looking at 3-way SLI and CorossFireX configurations along with gaming on three monitors using the GeForce GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990 video cards. In cooling, there is another review of the Antec KUHLER H2O 920 liquid-cooling kit. There is plenty more in our roundup including a look at Corsair's Performance 3 SSD in a RAID setup, the MSI P67A-GD80 P67 motherboard, an Xbox 360 gaming headset from Plantronics and more.

Cooling
Antec KUHLER H2O 920 Liquid Cooling CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Motherboards
MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) Intel P67 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Notebooks
ASUS K53 Review: Mass Market Dual-Core Sandy Bridge @ PC Perspective

Prebuilts
Zotac ZBOX AD02-Plus-U @ Bjorn3D

Speakers/Headphones
Plantronics Gamecom X40 Xbox headset @ XSReviews

Storage
Corsair Performance 3 2x128GB SSD RAID @ TweakTown
SandForce SF-2141 Controller & Intel Z68 Chipset: Destined to be Together? @ TweakTown

Video
NVIDIA 3-Way SLI and AMD Tri-Fire Redux @ [H]ardOCP
HIS Radeon HD 6790 1GB IceQ X Turbo Video Card @ TweakTown
Triple Monitor Gaming: GeForce GTX 590 vs. Radeon HD 6990 @ TechSpot


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Hardware Roundup: AMD Phenom II X4 980BE Processor Edition

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 06:56AM
Author: Nemo

AMD has pushed out the latest addition to it Phenom II family of processors with the release of the Phenom II X4 980BE. The X4 980 gets a 100MHz bump in speed over its predecessor coming in at 3.7GHz, which also means it becomes the top quad-core processor in AMD's lineup. Even though it is a tad bit faster than its predecessor, the X4 980BE retains the $195MSRP of the X4 975BE. You'll notice the BE nomenclature, meaning this processor is an unlocked Black Edition, so come join OCC as we look at what this new processor can do in terms of performance and overclocking.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Processor @ OCC
AMD's Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition processor @ Tech Report
AMD Phenom-II X4-980 BE Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition @ Neoseeker
AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Review: Last of the Breed @ PC Perspective
AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition @ Bjorn3D


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Fake Mac OS X Antivirus Program Discovered

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 02:43PM
Author: Psywar

MAC Defender, a fake antivirus software was discovered by Intego (security firm) on Monday. The fake antivirus software shows the infected user that it has found viruses on the Mac, and in order to get rid of the viruses one would need to buy the Mac Defender software. If an inexperienced user bought this program it could possibly end up taking the user's credit card information and send it off to scammers. The creators of Mac Defender have also used SEO poisoning to pump up the ranking of the Mac Defender website in order to make the unsuspecting user think it is a legit website and program. If a user visits the malicious webpage a window will appear and tell the user they have been infected and an automatic download of Mac Defender will show up asking the user to unzip and install the file. You can help to prevent yourself from accidently executing a malicious file by making sure your web browser is not set to automatically open downloaded files.


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Apple Updates iMac Line - Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge for All

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 03:28PM
Author: bp9801

The last time Apple did a refresh of a product line, it was for the MacBook Pros. Now, it is time for the iMacs to get an update and while each may look the same on the outside, it is what's inside that counts. The 21.5" and 27" iMac each get upgrades in the form of an Intel Sandy Bridge processor, beefier graphics, and an Intel Thunderbolt connection. The 21.5" model keeps the 1920x1080 IPS display but adds a 2.5GHz or 2.7GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 500GB or 1TB hard drive and a AMD Radeon HD 6750M or 6770M GPU. The 27" model has the 2560x1440 IPS display and adds either a 2.7GHz or 3.1GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 1TB hard drive, and an AMD HD 6770M or 6970M GPU. You can, of course, configure your iMac with up to a 3.4GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, up to 2TB of hard drive space, a 256GB SSD, and more RAM. The 21.5" model has one Intel Thunderbolt connection on the rear while the 27" model comes with two. On the front you will find a FaceTime HD camera to call any FaceTime-equipped Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

The new Apple iMacs are available now. The 21.5" model starts at $1,199 while the 27" begins at $1,699.


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Dead Island to be Distributed by Square Enix in America

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 03:55PM
Author: bp9801

Every so often a game comes along from a relatively small company that generates a lot of hype from one trailer. Dead Island is one such game and its developer, Deep Silver, isn't exactly the most well-known game developer in the US. To help get its game to the Americas, a bigger company needs to come and distribute it. That is where Square Enix comes in, who has agreed to distribute and market Dead Island in North and South America when it launches later this year. This is good news for Deep Silver since Square Enix has a large marketing team to garner interest in Dead Island, not to mention great distribution capabilities. Dead Island is a zombie game set on an island resort, and it is up to you to survive by whatever means necessary.

Dead Island launches on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 later this year.


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Alienware M18x Released

Posted: May 3, 2011 @ time: 07:32PM
Author: gebraset

With Dell providing the standard as far as prebuilt gaming machines goes, it comes to no surprise that more updates are being brought to the Alienware market, especially the mobile one. The company has just pushed out its latest and greatest creation, known as the M18x, which has been covered on in the past, but now provides the ultimate mobile gaming experience that money can buy as of right now. The mobile gaming computer starts at a price of $1,999, though it only includes a Core i7 processor at 2GHz, followed by other specs that place it inline with mediocre gaming desktop computers. The Alienware M18x can be decked out to the fullest however, topping $6,000, with included specifications such as a 32GB of RAM, two 256GB SSD hard drives, dual 2GB Radeon 6970M graphics cards, and a whopping Core i7 Extreme overclocked to 4GHz. All of this is obviously extreme for a laptop, though the Alienware M18x may just provide the highest numbers on the market for laptops concerning 3DMark scores.


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Razer Unveils Updated Goliathus Gaming Mouse Mats

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 12:07AM
Author: premiumgfx

Razer today unveiled its updated line of Goliathus gaming mouse maths. The new mouse mats feature anti-fray stitching around the edges, helping to prolong the mat's life. Razer President USA, Robert "RazerGuy" Krakoff went on to say that "the Razer Goliathus is our pride and joy when it comes to soft mats, designed with professional gaming-validated weaves for an exceptional mouse swiping experience. Now with anti-fray edges, you can go forth and frag even harder, worry-free." Standard features such as pixel-precise tracking and a rubberized base still remain across the series. As always, the Goliathus series consists of two editions, a Control Edition and a Speed Edition. The Control Edition offers a textured weave for more precise movements where as the Speed Edition's cloth weave supports fast mouse work. The Goliathus series is available now in four sizes: space-efficient (Omega), mid-sized (Standard), large-sized (Alpha) and desktop length (Extended), retailing between US$14.99 and US$34.99.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

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

We have a pair of cases in today's roundup for you to check out. Antec has an entry-level case in the One Hundred mid-tower aimed at the budget-conscious gamer that can be had for around $50US. If you're looking for a bit more room you can move up to the Xigmatek Elysium Super Tower chassis. The 750W segment of the power supply market seems to be a sweet spot in terms of capacity and we picked up reviews on units from Antec and NZXT. You can check out these reviews along with the rest of the articles by following the links below.

Cases
Antec One Hundred Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
Xigmatek Elysium Super Tower @ Tweaknews

Gaming
Pilotwings Resort Nintendo 3DS @ TweakTown

Motherboards
Asus' Sabertooth P67 motherboard @ Tech Report

Power Supplies
Antec High Current Gamer 750W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers
NZXT HALE90-750-M Power Supply @ Bjorn3D

Speakers/Headphones
Logitech Ultimate Ears 100 Noise Isolating Earphones @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot 32GB Supersonic USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Video
HIS Radeon 6870 IceQX @ XSReviews

Miscellany
$599 Gaming PC Built and Tested @ TweakTown


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Vudu Brings Television Content

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 06:17AM
Author: gebraset

With Vudu being a great on demand video selection service, offering full HD along with 5.1 HDX audio, it has decided that its time to add some television selection to its broad range of available titles. Though not the most robust selection as of yet, the new idea is panning out well, though value is something that is of question concerning the purchase of some titles. Most of the shows can be bought at a competitive price compared with Amazon and iTunes, but others are slightly overprices, especially when the physical copy in Blu-ray format from Amazon is cheaper. Also noted with these additions to the lineup is that some shows are played in HD, while some others are still feeling the standard definition love. Hopefully this gets changed in the near future, and as Vudu works its way onto more devices, the price for most shows, both purchase and rental, should see some kind of drop.


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Nintendo Announces Wii Price Drop and Nintendo Selects

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 10:39AM
Author: Psywar

Nintendo has officially announced on May 15th, it is going to drop the price of the Wii down to $149.99. With the new price, comes a new bundle of goodies for your enjoyment! Nintendo will be replacing the Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort bundle with Mario Kart and the Wii Wheel. Along with the steering wheel you will get the Wii Remote Plus and a Nunchuk controller. These peripherals will be white or black depending on the color console you purchase. Nintendo will also launch Nintendo Selects, a collection of very popular games from the past that will be playable on the Wii. Nintendo hopes this will be an easy and affordable way for video game fans to expand their Wii games collection. Some of the games that will be available for $20 are Mario Super Sluggers, Animal Crossing: City Folk, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Wii Sports. This will be the first time Wii Sports is available as a separate software purchase.


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Seagate Re-Introduces the 1TB HDD Platter

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: Psywar

A while back we posted an article about Seagate and Samsung joining forces. On May 3rd Seagate unveiled the world's first HDD that features a 1TB disk platter. Using Samsung's 1TB platter prototypes, Seagate is bringing the next generation of HDD technology to the market for consumer purchase. Seagate will be using this new technology in its GoFlex hard drives, but sadly the GoFlex drives will not be packed with four 1TB platters. The GoFlex drives will only have storage capacities up to 3TB and it is set for distribution mid-2011. The GoFlex drives will be shipped with an NTFS driver that is made for Mac OS X. This driver will allow the drive to be accessed by both Mac OS X and Windows without the need to reformat.


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Nintendo's New Console: Possible Hardware?

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: Psywar

A week ago we reported a confirmation that Nintendo was shipping a new console in 2012, and today we are here to tell you about some possible specifications Nintendo's new console may have. The source of this information is assumed to be from within the developer community, and keep in mind that the console is a year away so the specs could be changed. Rumor has it the new console will not have a traditional hard drive but will include 8GB of on-board Flash-based memory. While this is a much larger storage capacity then we see on the Wii, it is dwarfed by the amount of space we see on the premium versions of the 360 and PS3. We also are hearing rumors of the new console's disc format holding 25GB of data. This is three times larger than the current Wii and 360 gaming discs. While nothing has been said yet about the actual processing power and hardware we assume it will easily compete with the 360 and PS3 and it should support high definition graphics.

Along with some possible leaked internal hardware specs we also have some possible peripheral information to share with you. It has been said the new controllers will support the standard buttons and pads we have all come to know and love, but will have an added bonus of a built-in touchscreen. With the touchscreen comes the rumor that the controller will act as a portable gaming device when it is in range of the console that is streaming it's media. This all sounds pretty cool to me, and I look forward to hearing what Nintendo officially announces at E3 in June.


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News Not Good for NVIDIA in Latest GPU Market Numbers

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 01:39PM
Author: bp9801

The latest numbers in the world of GPUs are in, and it does not look good for NVIDIA. According to JPR, NVIDIA's shipping numbers are down 28% from last year due to increased competition from Intel and AMD. Intel has had five straight quarters of having a GPU and CPU in the same package and that is starting to eat away at NVIDIA's market share. AMD is also getting in on the GPU/CPU front with its Fusion products, something that speaks to both AMD and Intel growing. AMD posted a 15.4% growth in GPU shipments while Intel had a 9.4% growth, something NVIDIA did not have. From quarter-to-quarter, NVIDIA is down 1.7% while AMD is up 13.3%, and Intel at 14.2%. It seems as if NVIDIA's bus licensing dispute with Intel is starting to be more of a hindrance than anything else. Currently, the problem lies only in the integrated graphics processor market for NVIDIA, but don't expect that to last for long as it will make its way to the discrete solution. Intel and AMD both have big plans for its on-die GPUs with performance expected to cut into the mid-range segments before long, so it looks like NVIDIA may have a few rough quarters ahead until Project Denver can come through.


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Intel to Mass Produce 3D Transistors for All Future Chips

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 02:41PM
Author: bp9801

3D is seemingly everywhere, from video games to movies and even photographs. Intel is getting on the 3D bandwagon, but not in a typical way you'd expect. The company has just announced it will mass produce 3D transistors for all future chips, starting with the 22nm Ivy Bridge ones. This 3D transistor, Intel calls it "Tri-Gate," will consume 50% less power, conduct more electricity, and provide 37% more speed than 2D counterparts thanks to its vertical fins of silicon substrate that stick up through other layers. Those vertical fins could make for cheaper chips down the road, but currently Intel expects a two to three percent increase in cost. The 3D transistors will also allow for smaller chips, beginning with the 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs that will begin production in the second half of this year. Intel will follow that up with 14nm chips in 2013 and 10nm chips in 2015. Intel also plans to incorporate the 3D transistors in everything it makes, including mobile products.


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Sony Responds to Congress about PSN Hack

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 02:51PM
Author: bp9801

Sony had to answer to the US Congress about the recent PlayStation Network hack. Sony's Kaz Hirai forwarded a message to US Congress members that sheds some light on what all was taken. The Congress members were concerned about what data was taken and rightly so. In Hirai's message, which you can read here, he says all 77 million PSN and Qriocity accounts had information stolen, but Sony is not sure if credit card information was taken. Sony is still also unsure exactly what all was taken but warned everyone to expect things such as names, address, emails, and login credentials to have been stolen. Sony also had 12.3 million credit card numbers stored, 5.6 million of them belonging to US customers, but currently it believes those should all be safe. Sony did say investigators found a file on one of its servers labeled "Anonymous" with the words "We are Legion" inside. Seems we may finally know who did it.


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Corsair Adds to Builder Series of Power Supplies

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 05:45PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced some additions to its Builder Series of PSU with the CX V2 line. The CX V2 improves on the current CX line, featuring both 80+ and European Commission Energy-Related Product certifications. This promises excellent efficiency and low standby power consumption. Additionally, the warranty has been extended to three years. These particular units are geared towards the low and midrange user. There will be offerings with 600, 500, and 430 Watts, and should be available sometime this month.


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ASUS Unveils New Lamborghini Laptop

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 06:03PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ASUS has long had a partnership with Lamborghini to produce high quality laptops bearing the Lamborghini mark. The newest addition, the VX7, hopes to continue that legacy. The design of the VX7 is based on the LP-640 Roadster, featuring the same piano paint in black or orange, sharp angles, and aluminum trim. Keeping with the Lamborghini theme, the VX7 features more power than almost all laptops. The quad core i7-2630QM is paired with 16GB of RAM, a GeForce 460M, and two 750GB 7200RPM hard drives. There are also a large line of accessories to go with the laptop that will cost you $2,069. Full specs can be found by following the link.


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Cooler Master Notepal Infinite EVO Notebook Cooler Released

Posted: May 4, 2011 @ time: 07:14PM
Author: Nemo

Cooler Master today announced a new notebook cooler that joins the CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force, its gaming-oriented sibling. The design of the Notepal Infinite EVO incorporates a sand-blast finished aluminum surface and a curved shape which makes it look more like a mobile work of art than a product designed to keep your laptop cool. The functional part of the cooler makes use of twin 80mm fans to pull air in through the rear air intakes and route the cool air to the hot zones underneath your laptop. The variable-speed fans can be controlled using the speed controller dial to suit your needs. The NotePal Infinite Evo is sized to handle laptops up to 17" and also acts as a USB 2.0 hub complete with cable management features to keep cable clutter under control. Cooler Master said the NotePal Infinite Evo would be available "soon" with a MSRP of $49.99US.


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HP Releases 14" Pavilion dm4x Sandy Bridge Laptop

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 02:41AM
Author: premiumgfx

HP today released its latest Sandy Bridge-based (Huron River) laptop, the Pavilion dm4x. The new 14" laptop is powered by either a Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, up to 8GB of memory and a Radeon HD 6470M GPU with 1GB of GDDR3 memory. Storage is provided by one HDD (5400 or 7200RPM) up to 750GB. Connectivity is covered by 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Gigabit ethernet, a HD webcam, a media card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, one VGA port and one HDMI port. The dm4x is finished in brushed metal and features a "chiclet keyboard" along with a 14" 1366x768 LED display. Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium or Professional) is the OS of choice, while juice is provided by a 6-cell battery. The HP pavilion dm4x is available now, starting at US$730.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 04:31AM
Author: Nemo

In yesterday's roundup, we spoke talked about how 750W seems to be the sweet spot these days for power supplies and today we have review of another unit in that segment, the Enermax NAXN 750W. We also have another Xigmatek case with a look at the Pantheon mid-tower chassis. You can read all of the reviews by accessing the links posted below.

Cases
Xigmatek Pantheon Mid Tower Chassis @ TweakTown

CPUs
The Best Budget & Mainstream Processors @ TechSpot

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 8GB Kit @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Enermax NAXN 750W Power Supply Unit @ [H]ardOCP

Speakers/Headphones
Plantronics Gamecom X95 Xbox @ XSReviews
Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 @ Neoseeker

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Technology Vertex 3 120GB Retail Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Video
Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition 1GB Video Card @ ThinkComputers


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Gmail Contact Storage Rises

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 07:10AM
Author: gebraset

Though Google previously offered 10,000 contacts for storage on their servers with their Gmail service, it seemed as though users were running out of space and constantly asking for more storage concerning their business partners, family, and friends. The company has finally listened and raised the cap to 25,000, adding a whopping 15,000 contacts to the total storage amount. Along with the upgrade of total number of contacts was the individual contact storage file size limit, which was before at a messily 32KB. As of right now, the team over at Google has implemented a contact size four times that, and has put the limit at a decently sized 128KB. Business users mainly will rejoice over this, as many Gmail users just do not have more than 500 contacts in their address book, let alone 25,000, but an upgrade to any free service is almost always welcome.


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Sony Ericsson Launches Two New Xperia Mini Smartphones

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 01:35PM
Author: bp9801

Sony Ericsson has fully embraced the Xperia name for its smartphones as it has announced two new ones carrying that name. The Xperia Mini and Mini Pro are the two newest smartphones from SE, and both carry on the formfactor of the X10 Mini and Mini Pro. Each phone will be running Android 2.3 behind a 3" multi-touch, scratch-resistant screen. The screen features Sony's Bravia Engine with Reality Display, ensuring any movies or pictures you view on the Mini and Mini Pro will look the absolute best. Both phones have a 1GHz processor and HD video recording, with SE even touting the phones as being the smallest capable of 720p video recording. The difference between the two is that the Mini Pro has a slideout QWERTY keyboard to give you an easier time with text input as well as a front-facing camera for video calls. Both phones have a larger battery than its predecessor which SE claims gives it 30% bettery battery life.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini and Mini Pro will be available starting this August, though no price was mentioned.


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Apple Planning OTA Updates for iOS Devices

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 04:11PM
Author: bp9801

Currently, if you own an iOS device and want to update it, you need to plug it in to a computer with iTunes. The reason for this is because iOS updates are typically distributed as a whole firmware image to ensure security. All of that may change, however, if the latest rumors are true. Apple is apparently thinking of enabling over-the-air updates for iOS devices once iOS 5 launches. For Macs, the Mac App Store could become the "preferred" way to update Mac OS X Lion, even by making the Mac App Store the first place to get the new OS. For iOS devices though, this would be a first and would mean Apple could more easily distribute incremental updates to its devices. This could be down over WiFi, or if you have an iPhone, even 3G. Apple seems to be in talks with Verizon to enable OTA updates for the iPhone 4, but it is not clear if Verizon is the only one Apple has been in talks with for the matter.


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PowerColor Announces LCS HD6990

Posted: May 5, 2011 @ time: 07:54PM
Author: bp9801

The top-end card from AMD is the HD 6990, a dual-GPU beast that can power through anything you throw at it. Now, thanks to the folks at PowerColor, it is getting even better with the addition of a full-cover waterblock. The PowerColor LCS HD6990 features a full-cover waterblock from EKwaterblocks to bring high-performance liquid cooling to the AMD HD 6990. The waterblock cools the card up to 30% better under full load than the air cooler. It features high-flow 3/8" and 1/2" fittings to better maximize the flow with captured o-rings to prevent leakage. You can use either fitting to better work with your setup. The LCD HD6990 features a dual BIOS switch to alternate between the stock and the overclocked setting, and when you flip it, you will get a core clock of 880MHz and a memory clock of 1250MHz. You will find four mini-DisplayPorts and one DVI port to connect any monitor you wish to the card.

The PowerColor LCS HD6990 should be available soon though no price was mentioned.


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Cooler Master Prepares Silencio 550 Mid-Tower Chassis

Posted: May 6, 2011 @ time: 02:03AM
Author: premiumgfx

Cooler Master is preparing its latest chassis, the Silencio 550. The new mid-tower chassis is targeted at sound-conscious consumers, featuring pre-installed sound proofing material on the side panels. Cooling is provided by two 120mm fans running at 800RPM while connectivity is covered by a top I/O panel including both one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, audio ports and a SD card reader. The chassis includes three 5.25" drive bays, one 2.5" drive tray and seven 3.5" drive bays along with one hot swap HDD dock. The Silencio 550 is painted black on the inside and has a mirror-finished front panel. The new chassis measures in at 210x415x505mm and should available next week for around US$108 (€74.50).


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: May 6, 2011 @ time: 03:40AM
Author: Nemo

Small form factor cases are growing in popularity mainly because more and more people are opting to build home theater rigs and need something unobtrusive for their living rooms. SilverStone is a well-known name in cases and today our roundup includes a review of its SST-FT03B micro ATX chassis. We also picked up several motherboard reviews covering three different Intel chipsets. First up is a preview of a pair of motherboards from ASRock based on the Intel Z68 chipset - the Z68 Pro3 and the Z68 Extreme4. The G1.Assassin is Gigabyte's X58 chipset board geared toward the gaming market with its on-board Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 network processor. Finally, there is the ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF board based on the P67 chipset. Check out these reviews and more by using the links posted below.

Cases
SilverStone SST-FT03B Micro ATX Chassis @ TweakTown

Memory
G.Skill RipjawX F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL Memory Kit @ Bjorn3D

Mobile
HTC Thunderbolt Review: 4G LTE Storms The Airwaves @ PC Perspective

Motherboards
ASRock Z68 Pro3 and Extreme4 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Preview @ TweakTown
GIGABYTE G1.Assassin Motherboard @ OCAU
ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Video
GIGABYTE GTX 580 Super Overclock @ OCAU
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 and HD 5830 1GB Xtreme Video Cards @ TweakTown

Miscellany
PCPer Podcast #153 @ PC Perspective


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Rage for the PC Lets You Mod the Game Right Away

Posted: May 6, 2011 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: bp9801

The next title from the folks at id Software, the guys who brought you Doom and Quake, is the post-apocalyptic shooter known as Rage. Rage has been shown off for ages it seems, but the game has a release date of September 13, 2011, so it is coming up fast. When the game launches and you get it for the PC, you can mod the game right away. Rage will include id Studio, the very same tools used by the designers to create the game. This is great news for the PC modding community who are eager to get their hands on id Tech 5, so picking up Rage will let you explore every facet of that new engine. I was already looking forward to the game, and now knowing great mods will be easy to come by makes the anticipation all the better.

Rage ships for the PC, Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360 on September 13th, 2011.


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Google Adds Interior Photos to Maps and Street View

Posted: May 6, 2011 @ time: 07:23PM
Author: bp9801

Google Maps and Street View have become quite the popular little services, with many people using either one as the de facto source to find a place in your city. The problem, however, is that while Street View lets you see what the place is like on the outside, the interior is sorely missing. That is, until now as Google has announced Google Business Photos, a free service offered to business owners to let Google take a picture of the inside of the shop/restaurant. Google Business Photos will be tied in to Google Maps and Street View, with the feature going live in about a week. The feature is part of Google Places which already lets you know what a business is like, but now you will be able to see what it is like on the inside. Google plans to start with a group of cities, but any business owner in any city can request for Google to come in and take some photos. The reason behind this move is so Google can grow Maps, Street View, and Places faster than the competition and to keep your browser squarely aimed at Google.


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New Mercedes Smartphone App on the Way

Posted: May 6, 2011 @ time: 10:38PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Are you revered by your co-workers for your ability to Bluetooth pair your phone to your car and wirelessly stream some music? You may be able to take things to the next level with the new MBrace app from Mercedes, currently for iPhones and BlackBerrys. With MBrace you will actually be able to use your cell phone as your car's key fob. The program may also locate various destinations via the phone's Internet and will transmit any selected destination to the car's navigation system wirelessly. The app will also allow you to quickly be connected with a wide variety of emergency or customer services. You can feel like James Bond and remotely start or locate your car from the app with its internal GPS. The downside to this system is that it will be not free, following its six month trial, though it will still remain upgradable to newer versions.



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Intel Develops Improved SSD Innovation

Posted: May 7, 2011 @ time: 12:15AM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Later this year, Intel is looking to release a couple new models of SSDs to go along with its highly anticipated Z68 chipset. A nifty little feature of these SSDs allows them to be used as a performance-enhancing cache for other mechanical HDDs installed in the machine. The Z68 chipset will be the first to support "Intel Rapid Storage Technology SSD caching", producing an end-user experience similar to that of Seagate's Momentus XT hybrid hard drive. Intel SSDs with capacities between 18.6GB and 64GB will be able to cache frequently accessed data on the drive and drastically reduce loading times. Intel and Micron's new facility will manufacture the new SSDs, though they are to still be made with the current 34nm process. The new drives shall improve performance across the board in comparison to the previous generation. Amongst them will be a 400GB SLC drive and an enterprise-class drive based on MLC technology.


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E-Ink's New Evolution to Cloth Form

Posted: May 7, 2011 @ time: 11:31AM
Author: IVIYTH0S

What sets e-readers and modern tablets apart? The most obvious difference is in the design of their displays. A typical tablet will output video similar to a computer monitor while e-readers use a special screen featuring a technology called E-ink. The way E-ink works is by having any main content brought to the foreground via controlled magnetism while hiding the rest in the background. The benefits of such a screen is it allows the reader to experience black and white reading with a pleasant matte finish closely resembling their favorite paperback. E-ink has evolved to allow the displaying of images and is even capable of full color. The newest innovation of the technology is in the form of a thin Tyvex film, which can be folded or rolled up repeatedly and still produce an unaffected electronic display. Tyvex was chosen due to its proven durability and flexibility in the application of shipping envelopes over the years. E-ink enabled envelopes could be the future of reusable packing material since their address can be changed with a quick reprogramming, all while remaining pristine as if it was on its first delivery. The big hurdle to overcome with E-ink cloth is one of cost effectiveness, given E-ink devices have traditionally cost a pretty penny.


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U.S. Cellular Announces 4G Plans

Posted: May 7, 2011 @ time: 08:39PM
Author: gebraset

After many press releases over the past year from the major cell phone carriers, U.S. Cellular is now planning to push itself into the 4G team and join the rest. The company has announced its plans to implement a 4G network around the fourth quarter of this year, which will cover roughly twenty five percent of all its users. The implementation of the net network does not stop after this addition though, as U.S. Cellular will be continuing its deployment of its brand new 4G network to its customers all the way into 2012. There is not much word on the network however concerning speeds, or how they will compare to other carriers that currently have reigns over the 4G market.


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Android Market Continues Success

Posted: May 8, 2011 @ time: 08:09PM
Author: gebraset

With phone operating systems taking off in every direction concerning not only everyday customers but also business users, its no wonder why the numbers keep on bouncing around. Android is continuing its success with a total market gain in the last three months of six percent according to the latest Comscore report. Apple is also seeing a tad improvement, though not nearly as much with a total of half a percent increase in usage. What is astonishing however is the latest hit in the Blackberry market, with RIM showing signs of a four and a half percent decrease in United States usage. Windows Phone and Palm also took hits, though minimal, coming in at just under one percent. Obviously everyday users love the Android system due to its software and frequent updates, along with media possibilities, but it still remains a question if RIM can pull the market back in the upcoming months with its business savvy phones, along with their new tablet.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: May 9, 2011 @ time: 04:52AM
Author: Nemo

We begin a new week of reviews from around the web with a look at Thermaltake's Armor A30 microATX gaming case. If you're looking for something a bit larger but don't want to spend a bunch of money, there's the Cooler Master Elite 371 mid-tower case. We're beginning to pick up initial previews of Intel Z68 boards like the MSI Z68A-GD80. We also get an opportunity to check out the Zotac Mini ITX M880G board. In power supplies, we have the Lazer Platinum Series 550W unit from Kingwin and a 1200-watt power supply from Antec. There's plenty more in our Monday roundup, so kick back and check out all the reviews using the links below.

Cases
Thermaltake Armor A30: Can you armor a sports car? @ Computer Ed
Cooler Master Elite 371 Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Input Devices
Razer Onza (Tournament Edition) @ Bjorn3D

Memory
G.Skill Sniper Series PC3-12800 8GB Kit @ TweakTown

Motherboards
Zotac Mini ITX M880G @ XSReviews
MSI Z68A-GD80 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Preview @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Kingwin Lazer Platinum Series 550W Power Supply @ PC Perspective
Antec HCP-1200 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair's Gaming Audio Series SP2500 2.1 speakers @ Tech Report

Video
Zotac's GeForce GTX 580 AMP²! graphics card @ Tech Report

Miscellany
Tron: Legacy 3D (2010) Blu-ray Movie @ TweakTown


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NVIDIA Plans Acquisition of Icera

Posted: May 9, 2011 @ time: 07:45AM
Author: gebraset

A United Kingdom company named Icera, which many consumers have not heard of, makes processors that work with both 3G and 4G data, and also have been focusing on LTE as of late. These processors work in devices such as USB modems along with wireless cell phones and other gadgets. With NVIDIA being part of the mobile market and somewhat shying away from the desktop realm, the company now has plans to acquire Icera and jump into the mobile revolution more than it already has. The chips are said to be smaller and even more efficient than current offerings from both Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson, though as usual, time will only tell what NVIDIA does with the new products that it will have under its reign.


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HP Debuts One New Laptop, Two Refreshed Models

Posted: May 9, 2011 @ time: 01:01PM
Author: bp9801

New computer components usually means new laptops or at the least, refreshed versions of past models. HP is doing just that as it has one new latop and two refreshed models debuting today. The new laptop is the HP Pavilion dv4 (not to be confused with the dm4x) which is a 14" model and packs an HD LED screen. It features HP CoolSense technology to deliver a laptop that runs cooler than the rest while delivering exceptional performance. Not much was revealed about its internal specifications, but with its $600 asking price I expect it to be of mid-range parts.

One of the refreshed models is the ENVY 14, which gets Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs and USB 3.0 ports. It has an improved trackpad which should make it more responsive than the last model and also features HP CoolSense technology. Lastly there is the HP Mini 210, which has the same internals as the past version but features an edge-to-edge 10.1" display, a six-cell battery as opposed to a four-cell, and a seamless touchpad. HP has also equipped it with Beats Audio and colored cases.

The HP Pavilion dv4 will be available on May 16th for $600, the ENVY 14 on June 15th for $1,000 and higher, and the Mini 210 on June 15th as well but for only $300.


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YouTube to Add 3,000 Movies to Rent

Posted: May 9, 2011 @ time: 02:38PM
Author: bp9801

YouTube is undeniably one of the most popular options to view videos on the Internet, and you can even watch movies on the site. Now, the renting business is going to grow as YouTube has just announced 3,000 new movies are available to rent in the US. That effectively doubles the previous amount available, and studios like NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. form the new partners. The price will be $2.99 for older titles and $3.99 for new releases, and you can watch them either on your PC or Google TV. Many of the movie pages feature YouTube Movie Extras which are behind-the-scenes videos, cast interviews, parodies, and more that you can view along with your rental. You will have 30 days to begin watching the movie once you rent it, but once you start you will be limited to a 24 hour window to finish it. Many of the movies are in SD which seems to be left to the partners, but since YouTube can support resolutions up to 4K, perhaps it won't be long before we get more HD movies available to rent. Feel free to see which movies are available at this link, with more options being added throughout the day.


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Apple Might be Dropping Intel, Switching to ARM

Posted: May 9, 2011 @ time: 05:30PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest rumor surrounding Apple involves its use of Intel processors in its laptops. Apple is rumored to be planning a move to the ARM architecture once the 64-bit cores come to the Cortex A15, code named Eagle. The move will happen with laptops at first, and may even move to the desktop around the same time. The move is still a few years down the road, but Semi Accurate feels it is an absolute lock to happen. With the history that their sources have, it doesn't seem too far fetched.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: May 10, 2011 @ time: 03:28AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup includes a pair of Razer products with the Onza Tournament Edition XBox 360 controller and the Ironclad gaming surface getting coverage. We also get a chance to examine the In Win BUC mid-tower chassis. There is a nice mix of other reviews covering headphones, video cards, motherboards and more, so be sure to check out all the articles using the links posted below.

Cases
IN WIN BUC Mid Tower Chassis @ TweakTown

Input Devices
Razer Onza Tournament Edition @ XSReviews

Motherboards
Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra Motherboard @ TweakTown

Mousepads
Razer Ironclad @ LanOC Reviews

Notebooks
HP Mini 210 Review: Fusion is Fast, but Atoms Last @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
ARCTIC Headsets and Headphones @ [H]ardOCP

Video
MSI R6970 Lightning Video Card @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
Interview with Gabriel Torres of HardwareSecrets @ Benchmark Reviews
Epson EX7200 LCD Projector @ Tweaknews


Complete Story


OCZ Announces Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs

Posted: May 10, 2011 @ time: 01:09PM
Author: bp9801

OCZ is one of the leading manufacturers of solid state drives, so it comes as no surprise that the company has two new products to announce today. The Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs are the new additions and both make use of the Sata 6Gbps interface for lightning fast performance. The new drives aim to offer the best performance at an affordable price to let anyone get it on the benefits of using an SSD. Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs make use of a SandForce SF-2200 processor to deliver speeds that blow away past models. The Agility 3 has read speeds of 525MB/s, write speeds of 500MB/s, and up to 60,000 4K random write IOPS, while the Solid 3 SSDs have read speeds of 500MB/s, write speeds of 450MB/s, and up to 20,000 4K random write IOPS.

Both the OCZ Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs are available in capacities of 60, 120, and 240GB. Each feature TRIM support and a three year warranty. There was no mention of price or availability, but expect that information to be coming shortly.


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Android Market Gets Movie Rentals, Available on Phones, Tablets, and PCs

Posted: May 10, 2011 @ time: 02:47PM
Author: bp9801

Google is holding its annual I/O Conference today and there is sure to be plenty of news coming from it. One such item concerns the Android Market and its new service, movie rentals. That's right, the Android Market now has movie rentals and you can watch them on your phone, tablet, or computer. There are thousands of movies available to rent right now through the Market, and you just need a phone or tablet running Android 2.2 or higher to view them. Tablets will get the support bundled with the Android 3.1 update, while phones and others will get it over the next few weeks. The service works much like the recently announced rental business for YouTube and it even shares the amount of time available to watch on your computer. You get 30 days from the initial rental and just 24 hours from when you start watching it, but that should be more than enough for most people. It seems viewing it on the PC seems to be the best option right now since not every Android device has support for it, but you will be able to watch a rented movie on any of your devices before long.


Complete Story


Hitman: Absolution is Official

Posted: May 10, 2011 @ time: 03:45PM
Author: bp9801

For some people, the Hitman games are some of the finest stealth-action games ever made. The only problem is we haven't had a new game in the series for many years, but all that will change as Agent 47 is back. IO Interactive has just announced Hitman: Absolution, which sees Agent 47 return in an all new adventure. According to the developer, the new game sees Agent 47 go on his most dangerous contract to date that sees him travelling a dark and twisted world to get to the bottom of a conspiracy. Hitman: Absolution takes Agent 47 on a personal journey, a first for the series, which promises a familiar yet different adventure for fans of the games. Players can expect a cinematic story, a unique art direction, and an original game design that blends classic Hitman mechanics with brand-new ones.

Hitman: Absolution will launch for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. More details will be revealed next month at E3.


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Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

Posted: May 10, 2011 @ time: 05:29PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Microsoft confirmed its plans to buy Skype earlier today for a price of $8.5 billion. Skype offers free and cheap voice and video calls between computers, and it does a great job at it. Many believe that this acquisition was made in order to draw the estimated 170 million Skype users to Microsoft products, and to integrate Skype functionality into the products. The price seems a bit high to me, considering that Skype reported a loss of $7 million last year. A maximum of 5% of users are reported to be paying customers, and I'm sure Microsoft would love to change that. I can only hope that this doesn't change the service for the worse, as Skype has proven extremely useful to me since leaving college.


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