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News Archives for August 2011

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 04:53AM
Author: Nemo

The computer case, more so than most PC components, involves a personal style and taste component when making the purchasing decision. The Thermaltake Level 10 GT is one case that,like it or not, involves a high level of design to integrate both form and function and today's roundup contains a review from Computer Ed covering this chassis. We also have a look at the Rosewill Thor V2 ATX full-tower case. In the cooling arena, we have the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro, an updated version of the original Freezer 13 that substitutes a 120mm fan for the 92mm one used in the original as well as a 50mm fan used to cool the base of the cooler.

Cases
Thermaltake Level 10 GT: Opulence in a Computer Case @ Computer Ed
Rosewill Thor V2 ATX Full-Tower Gaming Computer Case @ Tweaknews

Cooling
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
Call of Juarez: The Cartel PlayStation 3 @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ECS A75F-A (AMD A75) Motherboard @ TweakTown

Notebooks
ASUS G74 Review: A Subtle Redesign @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
OWC Electra 240GB Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Blu-ray Importing: July 2011 Buying Guide @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Diablo 3 Unplayable Without Internet Connection

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 08:57AM
Author: edwardquilo

Fans of the classic Blizzard RPG are in for an annoying surprise: Diablo 3 will require players to have a constant Internet connection. If you can't connect to the Internet, then you can't play at all. Blizzard has been cited as saying that this restriction was implemented in light of the game's Battle.net and Auction House features. The developer has also stated that having players always logged in will reduce cheating incidents. Gamers can still play Diablo 3 by themselves, just as long as they're logged in to the Battle.net servers. 

When pressed if the threat of piracy was a contributing factor to the game's absence of an offline mode, Blizzard's senior producer Alex Mayberry admitted that it was one of the reasons. This could very well be a trend that PC gamers will have to get used to. "The world of gaming is not the same as it was when Diablo 2 came out,” said Mayberry. 


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Catching a Quantum Cheater

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 10:47AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

That important exam is in a few hours and not only has Bob not studied for it, he can’t remember any of the material from the course. Quickly he asks Alice, a more responsible student, to give him her notes to go through. Not wanting Bob to get a free pass on this exam, Alice only gives him notes on half the material, so every question relating to the other half he can only guess at. To make things even worse, the examiner has seen the cheat sheet and has made questions it does not cover, specifically to trap Bob in his ignorance. Obviously Bob will fail the test… right? Not if those notes contain quantum information, as opposed to classical. Add this to the list of weird quantum mechanical phenomena.

Physicists at the Center for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore have found quantum ignorance is far from intuitive. If Bob, with half of the information of the course, is asked questions only on one half or less of the course, he can still pass, even if the examiner saw the notes. If the questions cover more than half of the information, then Bob will not be able to answer those questions correctly. The researchers have already devised an experiment to test Bob on just over half the information and are working on other ways to explore this effect that may have profound impact on quantum cryptography and computing.


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Bane to be an AI Ally in Batman: Arkham City

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 11:30AM
Author: bp9801

In Batman: Arkham Asylum, one of the bosses you have to fight fairly early on was Bane. He's been a thorn in Batman's side ever since he was introduced in the comics, and also in the comics, was the first villain to deduce who Batman really was and then break him, rendering him unable to continue on as Batman. Bane is typically portrayed as a stupid, juiced up brawler, but in the comics, Bane is the equal to Batman in everything, including intelligence, but uses the Venom to ensure that no one will ever beat him in a fight. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, last year's game by Rocksteady, we got to experience a fight against Bane after he was injected with Venom and you had to use your wits to defeat him. Batman: Arkham City will see Bane return, but this time he will be an AI-controlled ally in a series of side missions that sees the unlikely duo track down a missing shipment of chemical contraband. Just like in the Arkham Asylum fight, Bane will use his ramming attack to defend himself, and if you're caught in it, you can be damaged as well. Bane won't be controllable like Catwoman will be in Arkham City, but at least he will be making another appearance and perhaps provide a little insight into how he survived the fight in Arkham Asylum.

Batman: Arkham City will launch on October 18th for the PC, PS3, and 360.


Complete Story


Opening the Memory Window of Plastic Electronics

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 12:27PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As overclockers we all know electronics do not like getting hot, and when they do, performance can be greatly impaired. But then, there do seem to be more rules with exceptions than those without. Published in the American Institute of Physics Applied Physics Letters journal is an article from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where researchers have found just such an exception. The team took some non-volatile memory made of plastic (or organic) electronics with silver nanoparticles, and raised the temperature to 90C. Just like most plastics, the device was sensitive to the heat and the silver nanoparticles in it clumped together, into large groups. Initially this had the effect of reducing the voltage range the memory would be able to store data at, but after reheating the material, this memory window increased. The team speculates this connection between heat and memory window may have potential in temperature-sensing applications.


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The Witcher 2 for the Xbox 360 Delayed to Next Year

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 12:29PM
Author: bp9801

Typically PC gamers have to deal with a game created for the consoles and then ported over to the PC. There are usually lower quality textures, a checkpoint system for saves, and even less graphic options to enable. However, with The Witcher 2, Xbox 360 gamers will be getting a PC port, as the game was originally released only for the PC. The game was supposed to be coming out later this year, but there have been some problems so The Witcher 2 for the Xbox 360 is getting delayed until next year. The main reason for the delay is so the team can have more time to polish up the game and ensure that the 360 gamers can have an easy time controlling Geralt. The other reason is due to the current legal battle over the game's distribution rights. Namco Bandai is suing CD Projekt RED, the developer of The Witcher 2, over removing the game's DRM for the European PC version. THQ is publishing the 360 version, which surprised Namco since it believed it held the rights for all versions of it. This suit only involves the European version of the game, but still, it seems to be impacting the release of the 360 version in all territories.


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Adobe Releases Edge, Brings Flash-Style Design to HTML5

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 02:32PM
Author: bp9801

While HTML5 may be the future of the Internet and will replace Flash as the standard, designers who currently use Flash may run in to some trouble while switching over to HTML5. You see, HTML5 developers work directly with JavaScript, CSS, SVG, and other technologies, while Flash developers use a high-level environment with timelines, drawing tools, easy control of animation effects, and plenty more. To help those developers to have an easier time switching over to HTML5, Adobe has launched a program called Edge, which was released in beta form yesterday. Edge will be familiar to anyone who has used Flash or After Effects, since it has a user interface with timelines, drawing tools, and a panel showing the actual animation. Edge uses HTML5, just makes it easier to work with, and scripting is provided by a combination of jQuery and Adobe's own scripts. Animation and styling use both scripts and CSS, with produced pages encoding the animation using the JSON format. Edge embeds using the WebKit rendering engine, just like what Safari and Chrome run on, to actually display the animations.

The first beta of Edge is pretty basic as it supports not much beyond animations of HTML and SVG content. Adobe will expand the features of Edge over time and will release the full version sometime in 2012. Adobe doesn't feel as if Edge, and by extension, HTML5, will challenge Flash in the short term and sees the two as coexisting. Flash is better suited to games, streaming media, and data-driven visualizations, while HTML5 is better suited to interactive Web pages and advertising. The beta of Edge is concentrating on those two categories, and although Edge supports the latest version of all current desktop and mobile browsers, older versions of those browsers aren't supported at the present time. Adobe may add support for older browsers over time, but that will depend on what the developers using Edge want. Hopefully Adobe will be able to create more programs like Edge in case the transistion from Flash to HTML5 sees Flash die off completely, since the death of Flash will adversely affect Adobe.


Complete Story


Transparent Ghost Car Sold For $308,000

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 03:36PM
Author: edwardquilo

You'll be anything but invisible driving this transparent "Ghost Car." Recognized as the only car of its kind, this 72-year-old Pontiac Deluxe Six began life as a General Motors showcase car for the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. Outfitted with a see-through Plexiglas frame, the car initially cost $25,000 to build. After its stint at the New York World's Fair, the car toured a couple of dealerships, and was also displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.  A second car was also built, but it is unknown what became of it. 

At an auction last Saturday, the transparent car was sold for $308,000. Prior to the auction, a family had owned the car since the 1980s. The well-maintained classic beauty had less than 100 miles on it, as it was driven to and from dealerships for display purposes only. The car was born out of a partnership between General Motors and Rohm & Haas Company, of which the latter made the Plexiglas. The car's structural metal was copper-washed, and its hardware were all chrome-plated. The identity of the new owner wasn't revealed, but you'll know it's this car when you see it. 


Complete Story


LED WLAN Hits 800Mbps

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 03:51PM
Author: gebraset

German researchers have struck a new mark in the race for LED data transmission, using a multitude of white, blue, green, and red LEDs to surpass any speeds that laboratories have yet reached. Chinese researchers submitted this type of technology last year, using blue LEDs to transfer data by flickering them faster than the human eye can even perceive. Even earlier this year, a group of white LEDs was able to transfer data at 500Mbps, though the German researchers have obviously struck a new mark in this technology, enabling HD capable streaming at 800Mbps. This obviously will not replace Ethernet cable or a traditional WiFi router in a home type setting, but it does give the wireless technology a run for its money since places like hospitals usually have interference with radio signals. There is no news of this technology being widely implemented in settings such as health care facilities, however as it continues to pick up speed, it seems inevitable that it will be coming to a small niche of enterprises and corporations in the coming decade.


Complete Story


Thermaltake Announces Level 10 GT Snow Edition

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 05:01PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Thermaltake made quite a splash in the computer case market after partnering with BMW DesignworksUSA to create the Level 10 GT case. Thermaltake has now taken that case one step further, adding a great deal of white to the color scheme, creating the Level 10 GT Snow Edition. The contrasting black and white color scheme adds to an already visually unique case, featuring several compartments for all the components. The full tower case weighs in at 28 pounds, and features mount points for several 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm cooling fans. It also has room to support four 5.25" devices and up to six 3.5" devices. The front panel has connections for the latest USB 3.0 and eSATA devices, as well as the staple USB 2.0. It also houses controls for fan speed and color. The case is designed to be extremely easy to assemble and work with, with much of the case being tool less. All of this comes with a hefty price tag of $289.99. 


Complete Story


ViewSonic Launches 24 Inch 3D-Ready Monitor with Built-In Emitter

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 05:05PM
Author: bp9801

3D is definitely all the rage these days, with movies, TVs, and computer monitors taking advantage of the format. Today, ViewSonic has a new 3D-ready monitor set to launch, but this one features a built-in NVIDIA 3D Vision wireless emitter. The built-in emitter means you won't need to purchase anything other than a pair of 3D glasses to take advantage of the 3D effect on your computer. The monitor, dubbed the V3D245, is a 24" 3D monitor that displays at 1920x1080. It is an LED backlit model that has a 120Hz refresh rate, ideal for 3D games or movies on your computer. There is even an HDMI 1.4a port on the rear, which enables you to hook up a 3D-ready game console or Blu-ray player to enjoy even more 3D content. Audio is provided by integrated two watt SRS Premium Sound speakers, which should be enough for some users. The built-in wireless emitter lets you play over 550 3D games when paired with an NVIDIA GPU and 3D glasses, plus the requisite 3D Vision drivers.

The ViewSonic V3D245 monitor will include a pair of NVIDIA 3D Vision active shutter glasses when it launches later this month. Expect it to carry a $499 premium and a three year warranty.


Complete Story


Kingston Announces HyperX SSD

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 05:12PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced that it is jumping into the SATA 3 SSD market with the HyperX SSD. Falling under the same name as its flagship memory product, the HyperX SSD shouldn't disappoint. The HyperX is controlled by the latest controller from SandForce, and is available in 120GB and 240GB capacities. Both will be available as a standalone, or bundled with Acronis True Image, an external drive bay, a screwdriver, and a SATA cable. The standalone only comes with a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting plate. The SandForce controller allows for maximum sequential read and write speeds of 555MB/s and 510MB/s, respectively. The standalone drives are priced at $269.99 for 120GB and $519.99 for the 240GB. The bundles come in at $284.99 and $539.99.


Complete Story


Connecting Movement and Computers

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 05:42PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The piezoelectric effect is a phenomenon that will create an electric charge when a device is deformed. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created piezoelectrically modulated resistive memory (PRM) devices to link movements in the biological world to electrical signals. Regular transistors have a gate voltage that determines if the device is on or off, but their PRM will not need that external potential, as it can create its own internal voltage. The voltage can be produced by someone signing their name, the movement of a nanorobot, and even the human heart beating.

The switching that voltage incurs is one way, meaning the memory stored in the PRM has sign and magnitude. This allows the information to be read, processed, and stored just as any normal electronic memory available today. With the devices the team built for testing, they demonstrated writing, reading, and erasing information from them.

This advancement represents a step closer to self-powered complete systems. The remaining challenges are to miniaturize the technology to the point it can all be on a single chip.


Complete Story


Samsung Stops Selling Tablets in Australia

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 09:22PM
Author: F13Bubba

News broke this week that tech giant Samsung has halted sales of its Galaxy Tab tablet in Australia. This comes as part of an agreement between the company and rival Apple, which currently has a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in an Australian federal court. Due to the agreement, Samsung is stopping all advertising for the device, and will also stop selling the tablet until either the patent suit is resolved, or the company gets court approval. However, the ban is on the US version of the tablet, and Samsung has said it is preparing an Australian version of the device for sale. As part of the deal, Samsung must also provide Apple three sample devices the week before it starts distributing the revamped tab, pending Apple’s approval. Not one to discriminate, Apple’s legal team also has a number of lawsuits pending against a number of other tech companies, including numerous smartphone rivals.


Complete Story


Toshiba Unveils 1TB 2.5" HDD; Features 500GB Platters

Posted: August 1, 2011 @ time: 10:26PM
Author: premiumgfx

Toshiba today unveiled its first 1TB 2.5" hard drive, as part of its MQ01ABD series of 2.5" hard drives. The new series consists of five variants, all featuring a slim thickness of 9.5mm, coupled with a SATA 3Gb/s interface. Other features across the series include an 8MB memory buffer and maximum sound outputs of 24dB (1TB and 750GB models) and 19dB (500GB, 320GB and 250GB models). The MQ01ABD series of 2.5" hard drives will comprise of a 1TB model (featuring two 500GB platters), along with 750GB, 500GB, 320GB and 250GB versions. All drives run at 5400RPM and should be available soon, with mass production beginning later this month. Toshiba did not disclose the pricing of the new drives.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 05:06AM
Author: Nemo

Motherboards based on the X58 chipset are not dead yet as evidenced by the appearance of another new offering from ASUS in the form of the Rampage III Black Edition motherboard. Today's roundup includes another look at the Corsair Hydro H80 liquid cooling kit along with a review on the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus II VGA cooler. Also in the roundup are reviews on the ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP video card, a set of Mushkin Redline DDR3 memory and more.

Cooling
Corsair H80 High Perf. Liquid CPU Cooler @ [H]ardOCP
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus II VGA Cooler @ TweakTown

Memory
Mushkin Redline Enhanced 2133MHz DDR3 Memory @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Intel and Mobile Computing @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
ASUS Rampage III Black Edition @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
RunCore Pro V SATA II Plus 120GB Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Video
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP Video Card @ [H]ardOCP


Complete Story


Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay Features All Five Character Classes

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 09:27AM
Author: edwardquilo

The beta footage of PC gaming's premier click-fest RPG series is out. We've got all the five playable character classes featured in this preview: the brutish Barbarian, the undead-summoning Witch Doctor, the magic-wielding Wizard, the Demon Hunter, and the Monk. The video showcases some really cool animations, including what looks like a flame-based ranged attack from the Wizard. The levels all appear to be from Act 1 of the game, which has some decrepit dungeons as well as vast outdoor environments. The gameplay closely follows that of the previous Diablo games, in that you slay monsters and grab all the loot that you can carry to either sell or use. Powerful loot will be more valuable this time around, thanks to the Auction House feature which will let you exchange items for some real world money. Character customization has also been overhauled, as there are no attributes or skill points available. Instead, new skills will be unlocked as players level up, and your attributes increase automatically. 

While some might not be too pleased with the developer's recently announced always-online DRM for Diablo 3, the game itself is poised to be yet another potential blockbuster for Blizzard.

 


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50 Micron Tall Battery Made

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 10:13AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The human hair has a diameter of about 50 microns, which is also the height of the battery researchers at Rice University have made. After experimenting with larger structures, as proof of concept, the team was able to create a hybrid lithium-ion energy storage device. Part battery and part supercapacitor, the whole thing is built inside of a single nanowire just 150nm wide. Of course something so small cannot compete with the larger batteries we are used to working with, but the devices do show good capacity and can be made as long and as wide as temperature permits. Unfortunately, the current materials only withstand 20 charge-discharge cycles before degrading, but with optimization that could easily improve.


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Graphene Boosting Batteries

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 10:37AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Many times before we have shared with you news about how graphene, a one-atom thick structure of carbon, can replace silicon in electronics and bring with it greater efficiency and ability. Of course if the electronics can operate faster, the consumer will want every aspect of these future items to be faster, and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory has found a way to help with that. By sandwiching the metal tin between layers of graphene, then heating the composite to 300C (572F) in an atmosphere of hydrogen and argon, they can make high performance electrodes for batteries. This will allow for the creation of faster charging lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged repeatedly without degradation. What it found was the layers of tin, after the heating, become columns that change the distance between the graphene sheets and the volume of the tin structure. That change in volume is what directly causes the increased performance and is particular to this composite.

With all these new discoveries of how graphene works and what one can do with it, you almost have to wonder what the 'miracle-material' will be in fifty years to replace this one.


Complete Story


Graphite Supercapacitors Created

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 11:02AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Taking a (small) step away from graphene, an apparent favorite for news from me, this item describes Rice University creating supercapacitors from graphite, also known as pencil lead and another form of carbon. The major breakthrough for the team involved actually was not making the supercapacitors, but discovering the characteristic of graphite oxide (GO) that made it all possible. Even though GO has been under study for the past five to ten years, no one had discovered its ability to act as an electrolyte and as an electric insulator when hydrated. Once they realized this property they burned a pattern into the GO, making reduced GO (RGO) wherever they aimed the laser. Reduced graphite oxide is an electrical conductor, thereby providing a conductor and insulator on the same piece of material. Without adding anything, the team made a supercapacitor that is capable of thousands of charge-discharge cycles and is comparable to current thin-film micro-supercapacitors. This could have impacts in both lithium ion batteries and fuel cells.

Carbon: quite an element.


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Sony Purchases Developer Behind inFamous

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 11:55AM
Author: bp9801

Every so often a game studio will come around that develops a series of hits for one platform. Sometimes that studio will then take its talents to another platform, but other times the studio gets bought by the platform it first developed for to stay on that platform. That is the case today as Sony has announced it has purchased Sucker Punch Productions, developers of hits like the inFamous and Sly Cooper franchises. This move ensures that all future Sucker Punch games stay on Sony's platform, while the leadership of Sucker Punch will stay intact. According to Sony, both the inFamous and Sly Cooper franchises have sold over seven million copies worldwide, which is a pretty impressive feature when you consider neither one is that old. Both Sony and Sucker Punch state that both have enjoyed a great working relationship over the past decade, and now Sucker Punch will officially be a part of the Sony Computer Entertainment group. I can see only good things in the future for Sucker Punch, as both the inFamous and Sly Cooper franchises are some of my favorite PlayStation games. Now, those two franchises and more will stay with the PlayStation.


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EA Sports Announces Season Ticket Premium Subscription

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 12:41PM
Author: bp9801

I'm sure everyone knows at least one person who is a die-hard video game sports fan, be it football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or soccer. There is at least one video game that covers each of those sports, and for many gamers, the new sports title is a must-buy. EA Sports is behind some of the more popular sports titles, like Madden, and is now going to be offering a new premium subscription to people who purchase the EA Sports games. Starting with Madden NFL 12, you can purchase the "Season Ticket" for $25 to receive early access to the game and a 20% discount on DLC. The early access is a three day preview of the title, and covers Madden NFL 12, NHL 12, and FIFA 12 for this year, and then NCAA Football 13 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 for next year. When the game comes out on a Tuesday, you are allowed to play a downloaded version starting on the Saturday before the game's release, and then keep playing it up until the day of launch. On that day, the Tuesday, you will then have to head out to a store and pick up a retail copy of the game, since EA is not going to be offering a full copy digitally.

The Season Ticket will cover PS3 and 360 gamers in North America, and just 360 gamers in Europe. The downloaded copy you can play early is the full version, and any save files you have created during that time will transfer over to the retail copy of the game. The 20% DLC discount will help subscribers save a little cash when they want to purchase some in-game currency or content packs for the game, but won't be able to be used on the $10 Online Pass if you happen to pick up a used copy of the game. However, the Season Ticket is a one year subscription, so if you get it with Madden NFL 12, you'll need to get it again when Madden NFL 13 launches the following year. Once you get the Season Ticket, the free weekend covers all five titles, so if you only play Madden or FIFA, you will get the chance to try out NHL 12 or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.

It will be interesting to see just how popular EA Sports' Season Ticket is, since it seems to cater to the hardcore sports video game crowd who look forward to a game's release each year. The casual sports video game may not have a huge interest in it, but if you get a copy of Madden every year, this may be for you.


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US Army Offers Cash For Clothing

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 01:23PM
Author: gebraset

Soldiers face some of the worst conditions out of anyone, especially when heat and cold mix in areas that have a desert-like terrain. The United States Army, despite the debt problems as of right now, is offering any research team a total of one million dollars in order to make clothes that are reactive to both the elements of heat and cold. The Army wants Soldiers to be fitted with these clothing textiles so that they may perform better, especially concerning all of the extra gear that has to be worn in war-type situations and areas. Currently, metallic fabrics have been made that curl up with cold, trapping in the body heat incredibly well, and with the heat, the fabric lengthens itself to allow for more wind to pass through and body heat to dissipate. However, these fabrics made with metallic material obviously weigh a decent amount, and also are not meant for direct skin contact, which is why the United States Army is trying its best to get this technology in a skin friendly package that can be dispersed to Soldiers, presumably infantry, scouts, and other ground type MOSs.


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Japanese Scientists Develop a Robot That Thinks Like a Human

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 01:27PM
Author: edwardquilo

Japanese scientists have started development of a robot capable of remembering its past experiences, and react to its current situation with educated guesses. Just like human beings. This robot is equipped using an autonomous learning mechanism called Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network(SOINN). Designed by the Hasegawa Lab from Tokyo, the technology allows the robot to assess its surroundings, formulate possible outcomes, and apply which is best for the situation.

To demonstrate, a stationary robot in the video is assigned to pour water into a cup. This seemingly easy task could be a challenge because the robot wasn't actually programmed to perform such an action. By using SOINN, the robot figures out in the correct order on how to properly pour water into the cup, just by analyzing the items on the table. The robot then stores this successful memory for future use. A Hasegawa Lab scientist also notes that current industrial robots have limited capacity as these are only able to perform specific tasks. On the other hand, a robot equipped with SOINN, when faced with an unfamiliar assignment, will use outside sources like the Internet or other robots for information. 

Although the technology is still in the intial stages of development, perhaps at some unknown future date robots might eventually take over most of our jobs. Just look at Foxconn


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Borderlands 2 Coming in 2012?

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 02:36PM
Author: bp9801

Back in 2009, Gearbox Software released a game called Borderlands. The game presented you with more weapons than you could possibly keep at one time, a unique co-op experience, and simply some of the most fun you could have solo or with three friends. It seems inevitable that a sequel would be coming, especially since members of both Gearbox and Take-Two, the publisher of the game, said that a sequel is definitely possible. Now, a new report is pegging 2012 as the year we get our hands on Borderlands 2. A source close to the matter told Eurogamer that Borderlands 2 is currently in development and will release sometime in 2012 for the PC, PS3, and 360. Gearbox president Randy Pitchford followed up with Eurogamer and told the site that while Borderlands is "beloved," no official word on a sequel has been announced. Borderlands has sold over four million copies worldwide, so it seems a sequel must happen at some point, just it isn't confirmed, yet. Eurogamer's source said that an official announcement will be coming "soon," so perhaps we won't have long to wait at all. Maybe the upcoming Gamescom in Cologne, Germany will make for an ideal time to reveal Borderlands 2.


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OCZ Launches Z-Drive R4 SSD

Posted: August 2, 2011 @ time: 04:09PM
Author: CheeseMan42

OCZ has announced that it is upgrading its Z-Drive series of PCI Express SSD with the Z-Drive Revision 4, or R4 for short. A number of features seem to indicate that the R4 is geared towards enterprise solutions. The R4 features OCZ's Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0, allowing for data centers to use a PCIe SSD as tier one storage solutions. VCA 2.0 provides a virtualization layer to interface with the OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller to provide processing and DMA cores, along with multiple physical interfaces. OCZ's Complex Command Queuing Structure provides queue balancing algorithms to help shift the burden to the card rather the CPU. As a result of all this, the Z-Drive R4 reaches throughput of 2800 MB/s and 500,000 input-output operations per second. According to OCZ CEO Ryan Petersen, “The Z-Drive R4 provides the best of both worlds for storage architects by merging the industry-leading feature-sets of both the pure hardware and pure software based approaches to data management, while maintaining user-configurable flexibility not found in other devices.”


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 05:51AM
Author: Nemo

We've seen some pretty impressive cases come through the roundup lately and some of these products also boasted a fairly hefty price tag. These days, purchasing a budget case doesn't mean you have to forgo all the features as we see in Neoseeker's 3-Way Budget Case Roundup. The Kingston HyperX 240GB solid state drive based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller is also in our roundup today, as is the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB TOXIC video card, a Compro network video camera and more, so be sure to check out all the reviews using the links posted below.

Cases
3-Way Budget Case Roundup @ Neoseeker

Cooling
Lamptron Fan Controller FC8 @ Madshrimps

Digital Photography/Video
Compro IP70 Network Camera @ Bjorn3D

Manufacturers
GlobalFoundries ITDC Laboratory Tour @ [H]ardOCP

Mobile
Aprolink Shell Luminous iPhone 4 Case @ ThinkComputers
Acer Iconia Tab A500 @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550 550 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston HyperX 240GB SandForce SF-2281 Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB TOXIC Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
How-To Build a Quiet Ultimate Gaming PC @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


Shocking Hard Disk Discovery

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 10:43AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

We want our electronics smaller, faster, and to use less power than ever before, but sometimes we cannot get what we want. At least until someone(s) figures out how to do it, like a team of researchers from Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Their discovery is a means to more efficiently write to magnetic hard disks, without a magnetic field. By sandwiching a thin layer of cobalt between platinum and aluminum oxide they were able to demonstrate, at room temperature, a slightly relativistic effect to rewrite a magnetic bit using only an electric current. The sandwich has an electric field because it is asymmetrical and when the current passes through it, the electrons see it as a magnetic field instead (this is due to the relativistic effect). The result is a bit of data that can be rewritten just by applying a current parallel to the plane of the bit. The experimental bit was 200x200nm, much larger than the tens of nanometers size used in common HDDs, but both further miniaturization and faster rewriting is “easily within reach.”

This development may impact more than just long-term storage devices by enabling magnetic RAM, or MRAM. The primary benefit to MRAM over typical RAM is it is non-volatile, so it does not require constant rewriting and computers could start up instantaneously, as everything needed to run the OS would already be loaded.


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Borderlands 2 is Official

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 11:54AM
Author: bp9801

Well, that didn't take long at all. Barely a day after a rumor appeared about Borderlands 2 launching in 2012, we get confirmation of the game. Gearbox Software has announced that Borderlands 2 is official and will launch sometime in 2012 or even early 2013. The game is being developed for the PC, PS3, and 360, same as the last one, but this time features an all-new cast of characters as you explore never-before-seen areas of Pandora. The game will feature all new skills, environments, weapons, enemies, and equipment, which should all come together to form "an ambitiously crafted story." Players will get to unveil new secrets and mysteries of the Borderlands universe while visting the new areas of the planet Pandora. It seems plenty more about Borderlands 2 will be featured in the new issue of Game Informer, but Gearbox did say that it will be coming out between April 2012 and the spring of 2013. At least we know that Borderlands 2 is real and will be shown at Gamescom 2011. So who all is excited to see more about it?


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Pictures Worth 1000 Passwords

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 12:20PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign comes something you would more expect to hear from a Black Hat security conference. The researchers propose a botnet system, they call Stegobot, which could steal your information and, in a possibly drawn out process, return it to the botmaster with no security system the wiser. Unlike typical botnets that will directly report to the master, an infected computer will encode you private information into your pictures, waiting for an upload to Facebook. Once there, if an infected friend sees any of the photos, the data will be downloaded and put into their photos, ready for upload. It may take several steps, but thanks to how connected Facebook allows one to be, eventually the stolen information will be uploaded in a photo of a friend of the botmaster, allowing them access to your information. This is neither efficient nor convenient for a hacker, but encoding the information into the photos, a process called steganography, and using this transmission system would be very difficult to detect.


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PlayStation Vita can be Used as a PS3 Controller

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 01:06PM
Author: bp9801

Sure, Nintendo has the Wii U which features a touchscreen controller capable of displaying the game you're playing on the console, but it isn't the only thing able to do that. Speaking at the Develop Conference last month, Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers said that the PlayStation Vita can serve as a PlayStation 3 controller, effectively giving you a new way to control the games. Rogers said Sony would allow cross-talk functions between the Vita and PS3 "most of the time," which means you could load up a game on the PS3 yet use the Vita's unique functions to control it. The Vita has a gyroscope, a touchscreen up front, and a touch panel on the rear, all of which could give you some unique ways to control a PS3 game. Rogers demonstrated the ability with PS3 versions of Wipeout and Hustle Kings, saying that the network will sync the game states between the two systems. Hopefully the majority of the PS3 and PSVita games let you do this, since when the GameBoy Advance and GameCube allowed it, hardly any developer took advantage of it.

The PlayStation Vita is set to launch later this year, though a solid release date still is not confirmed.


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Finding a “Needle in a Haystack” with DNA

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 01:27PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

About three weeks ago I wrote an item about carbon nanotubes being used in the power grid, and one week prior to that I wrote about DNA being used to assemble nanotechnology. Now I’m writing of how DNA may be used not to build, but to find those nanotubes 50,000 times smaller than a human hair.

Carbon nanotubes are like chicken wire that has been stacked or wrapped in a specific way. The different ways of wrapping are known as chiralities. The carbon nanotubes scientists are looking at for use in the power grid have a chirality that gives them a shape similar to that of an armchair. When making them, they can be difficult to separate out from the other manufactured nanotubes. Now researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology have evolved DNA that will find the nanotubes for them. Previous work has shown DNA could isolate nanotubes meant for semiconductors, and by simple mutations it has been modified for this new search. What the DNA does is wrap itself around the nanotubes to bond its nucleotide bases together, just as double-stranded DNA does. The armchair chirality is the only one that can fit inside the DNA when it is wrapped up, thereby isolating the desired shape like a key fitting a keyhole.

With the DNA holding the nanotubes, traditional means of separating contents of a solution, such as chromatography, may be used to retrieve them.


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99-Year-Old Japanese Woman is a Hardcore Gamer

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 02:41PM
Author: edwardquilo

Say a hearty konichiwa to Umeji Narisawa, a lively 99-year-old Japanese great-grandmother who can still thread a needle, dotes on her grandchildren, and plays Nintendo for several hours a day. Gaming is her daily routine, and she credits it for keeping her fingers strong and her mind sharp. Narisawa's love affair with the classic Nintendo Famicom(NES) started 26 years ago, after seeing how much fun her grandchildren were having with the original Bomberman. The surprisingly nimble grandmother has already beaten it for far too many times to count, and when she puts on her A-game, she even finishes Bomberman twice in just one sitting. Up to now she still plays, and even practices the time-honored tradition of blowing air to the cartridge, just before firing it up on her NES. 


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Corsair Announces White Vengeance DDR3

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 03:09PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced the release of a special edition of its Vengeance series of memory, the Arctic White Vengeance Low Profile. This memory comes in 8GB kits, with two 4GB sticks. The memory operates at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24 timings and a voltage of 1.35V. The low profile aspect comes in the form of reduced height heat spreaders that are just 1.03” tall, making them perfect for systems with large CPU coolers. The special edition memory is available for immediate purchase from your favorite Corsair reseller, with no word on suggested retail price. For a look at the memory in action, Corsair came up with a near silent build using plenty of other Corsair components.


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StarCraft II: Starter Edition is the New Demo

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 03:13PM
Author: bp9801

This bit of news may shock you, but there are still people out there who have never played StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Blizzard knows this and released a demo for the game, but there was a time restriction on it. All of that is changing, though, as Blizzard has announced the StarCraft II: Starter Edition, which is the new demo of the game that foregoes a time limit. The Starter Edition includes the first four campaign levels plus some multiplayer action, though you'll be limited to using just the Terrans. The fourth campaign mission gives you a choice between going on Tychus' or Dr. Hansen's mission, but you won't be able to continue farther along after that. You can replay the campaign missions as much as you want, plus try out the first two Challenges. There are four custom maps for multiplayer and those are: Xel'Naga Caverns, Shattered Temple, Discord IV, and High Orbit. If you're one of the few who haven't experienced StarCraft II in some form, the Starter Edition is the best bet to get you involved in one of the best RTS games to come out recently.


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FiOS Receives Best Rating in FCC Study

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 03:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The FCC has conducted a study and collected data on Internet speeds received by subscribers compared to the speeds advertised by the ISP. The results are for the most part good, or for the most part bad depending on who you ask. S. Derek Turner, research director at Free Press, said "No matter how industry tries to put a positive spin on these results, the report shows conclusively that many Americans are simply not getting what they pay for." On the other side of the discussion, Georgia Tech professor Nick Feamster said "We found that the performance of US ISPs more consistently matches their advertised promises than the ISPs in other countries—they do a pretty good job." Most of the ISPs were able to deliver speeds that were 90-100% of those advertised, even during peak nighttime hours. However, several dipped into the 80-90% range during peak hours, and Cablevision even dropped to around 50%. The data used in the study was collected by a company called SamKnows that sent 9,000 special routers to Internet users across the country. These results seem in line with my real world observations, as I have never noticed a difference in speeds with FiOS, no matter what time of day.


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Chrome Hits Version 13

Posted: August 3, 2011 @ time: 06:36PM
Author: gebraset

In the browser wars, it seems like the number game just cannot stop, with Mozilla announcing new versions on a more frequent basis than previously, Microsoft pushing Internet Explorer more than ever, and Google touting a new number every other month. Google has continued this trend with Chrome now hitting version 13, offering a few new features as well as the usual speed and security enhancements that users come to expect. One of the new features available to users is called Instant Pages, which will prefetch pages based on common likes. This works based on a specific users general preferences that the browser notices through use, and will automatically start loading pages in the background that it thinks the user will click next, if confident enough. Also included in this version for Windows and Linux is print preview for both Operating Systems, which Google has had much requests about.


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Sapphire Unveils Radeon HD 6950 TOXIC Edition Video Card

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 03:36AM
Author: premiumgfx

Sapphire today unveiled its latest video card, the Radeon HD 6950 TOXIC Edition. As with all TOXIC edition cards, the new card features a factory overclock and a custom heat sink. The TOXIC 6950 includes a "Cayman" 40nm GPU running at 880MHz, compared to the stock speed of 800MHz. This is coupled with a 2GB GDDR5 memory buffer clocked at 5200MHz, a 200MHz increase over the 5000MHz stock speed. The "Cayman" GPU is also equipped with 1408 stream processors and 88 texture processing units for an immersive visual experience. Cooling is provided by a vapor chamber, one fan and a perforated backplate for enhanced airflow. Standard features include CrossFireX support for multi-GPU configurations, along with a selection of outputs including dual-DVI, two mini DisplayPort connectors and one HDMI port. Other features of the TOXIC 6950 include dual-BIOS support, 8 + 6 pin power connectors, and digital VRMs. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 TOXIC Edition video card will be available in an optional Dirt 3 bundle. Sapphire did not disclose details regarding the pricing or availability of the TOXIC 6950.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 05:16AM
Author: Nemo

Patriot pulled the wraps off its Pyro 120GB solid state drive yesterday, and we picked up another pair of reviews on the SandForce SF-2281-based drive in our roundup today. Not everyone can upgrade their motherboard in order to take advantage of new technologies like USB 3.0; fortunately there are alternatives such as the SilverStone EC03 USB 3.0 PCIe add-on card. If you're looking for a decent budget-priced home for your rig, you should check out the Bitfenix Shinobi mid-tower case. Today's roundup also has reviews covering a Zalman VGA cooler, the ASUS Rampage III Black Edition motherboard, a wireless N router from TP-LINK and more.

Cases
BitFenix Shinobi Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Cooling
Zalman VF3000F Dual Turbine VGA Cooler @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ASUS Rampage III Black Edition Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP

Networking
TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Wireless N Gigabit Router @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD @ Neoseeker
Patriot Pyro 120GB SandForce SF-2281 Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Video
MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition Review: What a GTX 580 Should Be @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
SilverStone EC03 USB 3.0 PCIe Card @ XSReviews
Technology way out in the wild @ Tech Report


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Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection Launches Zombies to the Moon

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 05:36AM
Author: edwardquilo

The Call of Duty franchise boldly goes where no COD soldier has ever gone before: to the cold, harsh surface of the moon. But they're not alone. In Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection, players must destroy waves of gravity-defying zombies that have taken up residence in an abandoned moon base. You'll have futuristic weapons at your disposal, including the Quantum Entanglement Device, and the Wave Gun, capable of frying your undead space opponents to a burnt crisp. Along with the zombie menace, you'll also have to deal with the moon's unpredictable gravity. This final chapter to the Zombies saga also comes with the four reworked zombie levels from Call of Duty: World at WarRezurrection will be available first on Xbox 360 on August 23, 2011, with the PC version at a later date.


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Social Media to the Rescue

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 07:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Information is among the most important things anyone can have, if not the most important. At desperate times information can easily save lives, and the lack of it can be very costly. For that reason, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have studied how to use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and more, to spread vital information in times of crisis. Of course, their efforts were not to determine if these systems could be useful, as they have proven themselves during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic and last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to name two examples. The team considered what more could be done with our current connectedness. Their suggestions include systems to monitor emergency room wait times, ‘buddy systems’ for monitoring at risk individuals, and location-linked check-ins for off duty emergency personnel who are on location.

Another advantage to employing social media during such events is a real-time record of what happened exists, allowing one to determine a community’s responsiveness and vulnerabilities.


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Simplifying Quantum Circuitry

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 07:55AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Would you believe the circuitry for a quantum computer could be complex? I know; it surprises me too. Within normal electronic circuits are logic gates that will perform an elementary operation on a signal, such as “+1.” These gates are triggered by a control bit, but because quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, it is complicated to execute the operation. Electronic bits exist as 1’s or 0’s and nothing more. Qubits exist as 1’s and 0’s with the major difference being the conjunction as qubits may indeed exist as both 1 and 0 at the same time. To execute the operation requires decomposing the system, a very complex process that also requires a large volume of circuitry. Researchers at the University of Bristol's Center for Quantum Photonics have determined a way around the need for decomposition which will allow for simpler and smaller circuitry in quantum computers. They hope to test their technique on quantum algorithms such as Shor’s factoring algorithm.


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Do We Live in a Bubble?

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 08:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Not just an item of science fiction and comedy TV shows, the theory of our universe existing as a part of a multiverse does exist and real physicists do believe it. The idea is simple enough; take our minimum-four dimensional universe (some theories put the count at 7 or more) and place it in a bubble with dimensionality of at least one higher. Of course our bubble is not alone in its multiverse environment, and every other bubble contains its own universe. These universes may be very different from ours though, and not in the simple goatee-wearing way, but the strength of forces and masses of particles being different way, hence why physicists are interested. Imagining a universe with weaker gravity than our own, not only would we have all lost a few pounds but, potentially, there would be fewer stars, as more mass is required to start their nuclear fusion cores. If the masses of particles were different, let’s say greater, than stars could possibly be bigger and burn brighter than those we see at night, as more energy may be released by fusion.

Researchers from University College of London have proposed a way to observe if these other universe-containing bubbles exist by viewing the cosmic microwave background radiation. Their theory is that when our bubble collides with others, a mark will be left on the universal pattern. To test this they have devised an algorithm to examine the information and discern patterns from noise, a difficult task.


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A $15 Billion Box of Girl Scout Cookies. Yum!

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 12:11PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

You read that title right; a single box of Girl Scout cookies can be made to be worth $15,290,697,674. It is not the box that is worth that much, or the cookies, but the carbon within the cookies that can be so valuable. James Tour of Rice University one day made a comment at a meeting that his team could grow graphene from any carbon source, even Girl Scout cookies. Someone in the room asked him to do so, so his graduate students did just that, with members of Girl Scouts of America Troop 25080 there to watch. Not only did they get to see freshly made graphene, and test that it conducts electricity, they also saw, first hand, that the form something is in, more than what the something is, can make it very valuable.


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PlayStation Vita to Miss Holiday Season in US and Europe

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 12:41PM
Author: bp9801

I'm sure almost everyone is looking forward to the Playstation Vita in some capacity, be it for themselves or their children. Maybe you had heard the rumors that the Vita would launch this year, perhaps as early as the end of October. Well, those were just that, rumors, as Sony's Kazuo Hirai announced today that the PSVita would miss the holiday season in the US and Europe, with the launch of the handheld in those two territories being set for 2012. Hirai didn't give a specific date for the Japanese launch, but did seem to suggest it would launch in time for the holidays over there. So, that makes one area likely to have the PSVita by the end of the year, while gamers in the US and Europe will have to wait until sometime in 2012. My guess is that we'll have the Vita around March or April, but don't hold your breath on that. The PSVita, when it does launch, will carry with it a $250 price for the WiFi-only model, while the 3G+WiFi model will start at $299. It is a shame that gamers around the world won't have it in time for the holiday season, but at least we now know more about when it will launch.


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Dishonored is the Best Game You've Never Heard Of

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 01:05PM
Author: edwardquilo

With all the buzz surrounding triple-A titles such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Diablo 3, and BioShock Infinite, you'd be forgiven if you haven't yet heard of Arkane Studios' stealth/action RPG, Dishonored. This is Bethesda's newest IP, developed by Arkane Studios, creators of the Ultima Underworld homage Arx Fatalis. Based on a first-person perspective, the game lets you take on the role of an assassin with supernatural abilities, set against a realistic steampunk-inspired city. This city is caught up in the midst of a rat plague, with half of its population succumbing to the affliction. Things get even more complicated when your character gets framed for the murder of the city's empress. 

Co-creative director Raphael Colantonio describes the game as a sandbox simulation for assassins, in that the game empowers you to play the way you want to. "The player can arrive at a situation and make a choice. You have a mission, but then there are ways around it if you don't want to be evil," said Colantonio. The game's universe is almost reminiscent of Half Life 2 from a bygone era, but that's no coincidence, since Viktor Antonov, Half Life 2's stunning City 17 designer, is onboard the Dishonored development team. Antonov cites Lovecraft and 1930s pulp fiction as some of the inspiration for the game's surreal environments. Originally conceived as a world similar to England in 1666, it eventually evolved to become a parallel version of a believable future city. The game's potential is further strengthened with Deus Ex lead designer Harvey Smith, who is overseeing the project together with Colantonio. 

There's no proper game trailer yet, but you can view the developer's discussions as to the range of possibilities that you can do with your assassin character. Dishonored is slated for a 2012 release on consoles and the PC. 


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Rage Uprising Trailer Released During QuakeCon 2011

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 01:25PM
Author: bp9801

QuakeCon 2011 is kicking things off today, and that means we can expect plenty of information on id Software's upcoming title, Rage. In Rage, there is a massive asteroid on a collision course for Earth. You are one of the people set up in an Ark, a survival shelter, in the hopes of rebuilding society after the asteroid wipes it out. Something goes wrong after the asteroid hits though, and you wake up in the Ark surrounded by the remains of the people you were in stasis with. You set out from it and that is where your journey begins in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Rage is a first-person shooter but it has some RPG elements to it. There are dune buggies you can drive and equp with weapons, bandits and mutants to kill, and a mystery involving a government group called the Authority that you have to unravel. At QuakeCon today, a new trailer for Rage hit the airwaves and boy, if you weren't looking forward to it before, you definitely will now. The trailer gives you just enough information to set up the game and all I can say is, I am going to have a hard time finishing up the school year knowing Rage is sitting on my computer.

Rage launches on October 4th for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.


Complete Story


Nintendo Responds To 3DS Price Drop

Posted: August 4, 2011 @ time: 07:34PM
Author: gebraset

Even with Nintendo trying to make up the sudden price drop to early adopters by giving them twenty free console games, customers have been back lashing out against the news since the announcement. The CEO of Nintendo has heard many of these complaints and has now put out a public response for these comments and questions, stating that they are just for their emotions. Satoru Iwata goes on to talk about how customers have the right to feel betrayed and punished for early adoption due to the price drop, but also states how the early adopters are important to the company overall despite this. The Nintendo CEO spoke that the price drop was due to retailers being concerned that the company has not put out a worthy successor to the ever popular DS system that first came out years ago. Obviously this response does not fix too much between the company and customers, but Iwata is hoping that his formal apology makes up for the customer anger somewhat.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: August 5, 2011 @ time: 05:23AM
Author: Nemo

We close out another week with another series of reviews from our affiliates. We'll start things off with the ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe motherboard which comes equipped with an embedded AMD E-350 dual-core processor and Radeon HD 6310 GPU. This is a mini-ITX board, and since it is based on the 18W TDP Bobcat chip, its also able to use a totally passive heatsink for cooling. With names like Antec and Kingwin, we could easily be talking computer cases or other components, but today we have a pair of power supplies to examine. First up is the Antec High Current Gamer HCG-750 750W unit followed by the Kingwin Lazer Gold LZG-1000 1000W power supply. Finally, we get an opportunity to look at a Radeon HD 6670 video card from MSI.

Motherboards
ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe @ Neoseeker

Power Supplies
Antec High Current Gamer HCG-750 PSU @ PC Perspevtive
Kingwin Lazer Gold LZG-1000 1000 Watt Power Supply @ TweakTown

Video
MSI Radeon HD 6670 1GB Overclocked Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
ThinkComputers & NZXT Back to School Giveaway! @ ThinkComputers
Win a Steelseries 5H v2 MOH and Siberia V2 iDevice @ XSReviews


Complete Story


Robot for the Elderly

Posted: August 5, 2011 @ time: 05:51AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Many of us (hopefully all of us) will grow old and possibly require assistance getting up and around. When that involves getting from the floor up to a wheelchair, even a professional caregiver can have difficulties. Fortunately RIKEN in Japan has a plan for their nation; robots. Previously they have developed the Robot for Interactive Body Assistance, or RIBA, but it was not strong enough to lift someone. Now they have RIBA-II that can pick up an 80 Kg (176 lb.) patient while a caregiver guides it. This is accomplished not only by greater strength and improved joints but also by using Smart Rubber Sensors. These are the first capacitance-type tactile sensors to be made entirely out of rubber and allow the robot to immediately determine the weight of an individual from touch alone.


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