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News Archives for March 2012

PlayStation 4 Not Using Cell Processor, According to Sources

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 03:22AM
Author: bp9801

File this strictly under rumor, but some sources are reporting Sony will not use the Cell processor in the PlayStation 4. Forbes reported last week that AMD would be making graphics processor for the PS4, and now it looks like AMD will make the CPU as well. The Cell processor was the brainchild of PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi, and he planned for it to make the PS3 the most powerful console ever. However, either due to game development problems or issues with the Cell processor itself, PlayStation 3 games typically look about the same as ones on the Xbox 360 even though it launched a year earlier. Now, if these rumors pan out, the PlayStation 4 will use an AMD CPU and GPU, potentially even one of the Llano products.

Sony could have a leg up on Microsoft, because if the PS4 uses an AMD Llano APU, game developers could begin work immediately using already available Llano products. Last year, id Software's John Carmack said AMD Fusion-like chips are "almost a foregone conclusion" to the future of computing, and it would make sense for game consoles to use something similar. Sony has not revealed anything concerning the PlayStation 4, not even confirming development, so all this talk could just be pure speculation. Microsoft, reportedly, is already showing developers and publishers the Next Xbox (code-name Durango), so maybe Sony wants to be ready with the PS4 just in case.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 06:42AM
Author: Nemo

We're back with another roundup and we get things started off with a couple Radeon HD 7000-series cards which includes the XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition and the MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB OC Edition. Patriot's Pyro SE 120GB solid state drive is also covered in the roundup today as are several other hardware items and you can jump to all the articles using the links below.

CPUs
Intel Sandy Bridge-E i7-3820 CPU @ Madshrimps

Gadgets
Wicked Lasers Spyder III Krypton 1 Watt Green Laser @ TweakTown

Notebooks
Alienware M14x Review: Giving Portable Gaming Another Go @ PC Perspective

Operating Systems
Configuring a Windows 8 Virtual Machine @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
Unboxing the Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition Video Card @ [H]ardOCP
MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB OC Edition Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Podcast #191 @ PC Perspective


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Sony Hires Playboy Models to Play PS Vita, So You'll 'Never Stop Playing'

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 07:41AM
Author: edwardquilo

Would you buy a PS Vita now that Playboy models are apparently having a blast playing it? That's probably what Sony's betting on, just in case its initial lineup of Vita games won't rope male gamers in. With the Vita facing stiff competition in the portable gaming market (especially against smartphones), you really can't blame Sony for wanting to step up its marketing efforts. So just how well do these ladies play? Gamer Next Door's Jo Garcia, at least seems confident enough to take on challengers, so if any of you drop by one of the Vita Hill Social Clubs, why not take her on and see whether this Playboy model really does have a 'competitive side.' 

 


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Customizing Nanowires

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 12:27PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Nanowires, as the name suggests, are wires just nanometers thick, and as with many things at that size, they are hard to fabricate. The current means of production uses metal particles as seeds for other particles to attach to. These other particles are from the gases around the metal seeds. To produce different size and composition nanowires, different seed particles are used.

Researchers at MIT have recently found a way to control the size and composition of seed particles by varying the gases involved. This enables the researchers to change the structure and material of nanowires while they are being grown. Using electron microscopy techniques, the researchers verified the shapes of the nanowires varied along their length.

This ability could prove very useful in developing advanced, specialized technologies. What frequencies of light a nanowire responds to depends on its shape and composition. By changing these properties during fabrication, a single wire could be made to react to a wider range of light than currently possible. Solar panels and LEDs could both be advanced greatly by this discovery. Best of all is the fact that these nanowires can be made with technology already in use in the semiconductor industry.


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BioShock Infinite Has a Release Date

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 12:43PM
Author: bp9801

Good news for fans of the BioShock series, as BioShock Infinite will launch on October 16th, 2012, in North America, and October 19th internationally. BioShock Infinite takes you to the floating city of Columbia, and is set some years before the first BioShock game. While Infinite is not a prequel to the rest of the BioShock series, you will be experiencing similar gameplay elements and societal concerns. In Infinite, you play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent, sent to find the captive Elizabeth. She plays an essential part to the story and will help you out as you traverse the giant city. Booker has a variety of weapons at his disposal, plus some powers similar to the plasmids from past games. For even more of a challenge, you can turn on the game's 1999 Mode to remove modern ammenities like respawns for that classic feel.

BioShock Infinite will release on the PC, PS3, and 360.


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Quadrotors to make James Bond Proud

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 12:44PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a fair amount of research still to do before robots can enter into everyday life, including research into swarming behaviors. Many species of birds, fish, and insects demonstrate swarm activities, such as schools of fish and the well-known V pattern of migrating birds. At the heart of these phenomena is the ability to monitor and adapt to the environment and other obstacles.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed off of their quadrotor robots being able to coordinate their movements at the TED2012 conference. The researchers simply setup their laboratory with monitoring equipment, to track the robots and relay position information to them, and musical instruments. The robots were then told where they need to be at certain times, and let them figure out flight paths that will not cause collisions. The result was a robotic performance of the James Bond theme song, as you can see in the video.

At least it wasn’t the theme to a Terminator movie.


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Assassin's Creed 3 Set During American Revolution

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 01:01PM
Author: bp9801

After some leaked information, Ubisoft has gone ahead and confirmed Assassin's Creed 3 is set during the American Revolution. More will be revealed on March 5th, but Ubisoft released the box art for AC3 depicting the protagonist about to strike a British Regular, potentially even an officer, with a Native American tomahawk. In the background is the American flag as it appeared during the Revolution and members of the Continental Army. All of this speaks to the American Revolution as the backdrop, and the protagonist could even have some Native American blood (some speculation already confirms that). He has the aforementioned tomahawk in his hand, and on his back is a bow and a quiver of arrows. A flintlock pistol is stashed in his belt, so you should have at least one firearm at your disposal.

More will be revealed by Ubisoft on Monday, hopefully including whether or not the PC version will arrive on October 30th with the console versions.


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SLICE Leading to Terabit-Per-Second Networks

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 01:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Everyday more content is added to the Internet and more people are trying to look at it. Already router interfaces have to reach as high as 100 Gbps, but in the future this just will not be enough. Researchers at NTT Network Innovation Laboratories in Japan will be demonstrating their SLICE network architecture, which is more efficient than current network designs and will hopefully lead to the 1 Tbps speeds needed in the future, at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC).

Modern optical network architectures are setup for worst-case scenarios, where every path gets a fixed bandwidth. In comparison, SLICE is elastic by design, so when one path needs more bandwidth, it will get it from those that do not. This is achieved by using multi-flow optical transponders and elastic optical networking technology, so fewer router interfaces are needed. The entire design is to be more optically efficient while increasing network capacity.


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Phanteks Launches PH-F120S Fan

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 04:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Phanteks has announced a new fan to go with its excellent heatsinks, the PH-F120S. It can be used as a case fan as well as being attached to a heatsink. The 120mm fan will provide 50.72 CFM of airflow while only producing 23.5dB of noise. These numbers are made possible due to the fan size, 1300RPM speed, and anti-vibration compensators. The PH-F120S series uses the Maelström design that is already found in the PH-F140TS fan series and has a MSRP of $14.99. Users will have a choice between white and black fan blades, both with a white frame.


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New Kingdoms of Amalur DLC Inbound, Adds New Land, Quests, and Personal Area

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 05:16PM
Author: bp9801

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launched at the start of February, and for the most part, has been pretty successful. The game boasts a pretty long campaign and a variety of side quests, but if you are hankering for more, then 38 Studios has you covered. The Legend of Dead Kel DLC has been announced for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and it will add a new continent, quests, weapons, armor, monsters, and a new personal area for your character. Gravehal Keep is your personal fort on the new land of Gallows End, and you will be able to add on to it in addition to hiring various underlings. The land of Gallows End is home to Dead Kel, an undead pirate terrorizing the lands. It is up to you to put a stop to him, and also to explore the land and build up your fort. The DLC's main quest should take several hours to complete, and when it ends it apparently leaves the possibility of more expansions wide open.

The Legend of Dead Kel DLC will launch on March 20th for $9.99. It will be available through Steam, Origin, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live.


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Graphene Optical Modulators for when you need it Fast and Small

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 07:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley will be demonstrating their work on graphene based optical modulators at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC). Optical modulators are what control the speed of data packets on an optical network, so the faster they are, the faster the data moves.

Graphene is easily becoming the most promising material for future electronics, and now its optoelectric properties may enhance optical networks in ways almost unimaginable. The researchers have found a single layer of graphene just 25 square microns in size is as efficient as semiconductor modulators orders of magnitude larger. With more work it may be possible to design a graphene-based optical modulator 10 times faster than modern optical modulators. That should be enough to "stream full-length, high-definition, 3-D movies onto their smartphones within mere seconds." Of course why anyone would have to watch 3D, HD video on a screen typically smaller than five inches is beyond me, but if we can make it happen, why not?


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ASRock Prepares Intel Z77 Chipset Motherboards

Posted: March 1, 2012 @ time: 09:00PM
Author: premiumgfx

ASRock is busy preparing its latest round of motherboards based on the Intel Z77 chipset. First up is the ATX form-factor Z77 Extreme6 motherboard, which is targeted at computer enthusiasts. The Z77 Extreme6 features two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots along with a PCIe 2.0 x1, two PCI and one mini PCIe slot, supporting both Quad SLI and Quad Crossfire set-ups. The board supports provides a total of four SATA 6Gbps ports via an ASMedia controller (one is combined with an eSATA connector) and four SATA 3Gbps ports. The Z77 Extreme 6 also includes 7.1 channel audio and DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI and VGA ports. Connectivity is covered by USB 3.0 (four ports on the rear panel), USB 2.0, Firewire (one port) and Gigabit Ethernet support. Four DDR3 DIMM slots provide plenty of space for memory while a clear CMOS button on the rear I/O panel aids overclocking enthusiasts. The board has an 8+4 PWM circuit complete with heatsinks and a heatpipe. The Z77 Extreme 6 is finished in a black and silver colour scheme with gold detailing.

The other boards are both aimed at PC gamers, being marketed under the Fatal1ty brand. The ATX Z77 Fatal1ty Professional is similar to the X77 Extreme6 but seems to have some minor changes, including an extra PCIe x1 slot replacing the mini-PCIe slot, more PWM phases, dual-ethernet ports and less display outputs (DisplayPort and HDMI only). The smaller micro-ATX apparently maintains the same display outputs as the Z77 Extreme6 and also features three PCIe 3.0 slots, one ethernet port and less PWM phases. Both Fatal1ty boards have the distinctive red and black colour design. More details regarding the boards should surface at CeBIT next week.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 05:54AM
Author: Nemo

Mobile users needing to drive multiple external displays are in luck with the Sapphire VID-2X display expander. Another mobile-oriented product in our Friday roundup is Logitech's different take on the mouse in the form of the Cube Grab-and-Go mouse. Is smaller necessarily better when it comes to portable mice - check out the review to find out. Another input device reviewed in today's roundup is the CM Storm Quickfire Rapid keyboard.

Input Devices
CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboard @ Benchmark

Reviews
Logitech Cube Grab-and-Go Mouse @ TweakTown

Mobile
olloclip for iPhone 4 @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY Dock MB981U3-1SA & MB981U3-1SA-1 Dock Stations @ Bjorn3D

Video
Sapphire VID-2X Display Expander @ Neoseeker


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Behold, the Nokia 808 PureView: the 41 Megapixel Camera Phone

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 10:28AM
Author: edwardquilo

While only a few camera phones dare to push past the 12 megapixel mark, Nokia has leaped ahead of everyone and crammed in a whopping 41 megapixel camera sensor into its upcoming Symbian smartphone, the 808 PureView. Yes, you read that right, a phone packing in more pixel counts than even Nikon's own 36MP D800. But the 808 PureView leverages on that insane image resolution by using a novel approach to its imaging technology. Nokia actually utilizes a 5MP camera by default, then uses the 41MP sensor to oversample the finished photograph. This translates to a sharper picture, more natural-looking colors, and lesser image noise. In fact, the general consensus among phone previews is that its the best camera phone to date, and if the PureView technology takes off, we might even see this mimicked by Nokia's competitors.

Unfortunately, Nokia made a baffling decision to arm the phone with its Symbian Belle OS, which isn't exactly keeping up with Android and iOS in terms of flexibility and range of available apps. The phone is also on the bulky side, with the sensor bulging at the rear, obviously a side effect to the impressive imaging hardware Nokia packed inside the frame. But while some smartphones essentially place in a camera only as an afterthought, the Nokia 808 PureView is first and foremost, a camera phone. 

 


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'You are Here' to be More Precise than Ever

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 11:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Have you ever met a person who can never tell where they are without checking a GPS device? Before they can know where they are, the satellites have to know, and NASA is working to improve this information greatly. Though a regular person will not need the sub-millimeter precision the project will allow more, many science experiments do need to know exact distances.

At the moment there are four primary methods to determining a position; GPS, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS). A brief description of each method is at the end of the post.

At the moment though, only two sites use all four methods to determine their positions; one at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the other in Johannesburg, South Africa. NASA hopes to create or upgrade multiple stations to use all four independent methods. Along with enhancements to the individual methods to increase precision, NASA has developed a vector tie system to further improve results. Though there are stations that can collect data using different methods, the data is not combined to come up with a single result with superior accuracy to the methods. To accomplish this, not only will the data be combined, but also lasers will be used to measure the distance between the ground components of each method.

Numerous agencies across the planet will take advantage of the information these proposed stations will produce, and many of these agencies will also be involved in the development and deployment.

Descriptions of the different positioning methods:

  • GPS works by measuring the time it takes a signal to reach a minimum of four satellites. The time measurement is then used to determine a distance from each satellite, so you need to know where they are for it to work.
  • VLBI measures the time it takes for a signal detected at one telescope to be detected at others. This allows the geometry between the observatories to be determined.
  • SLR exploits the fact that satellites rotate about Earth’s center of gravity and measures their altitude by bouncing signals off of them.
  • DORIS also measures the distance satellites are from Earth, but relies on the Doppler Effect instead of time-of-flight.


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Get Ready for the Reapers in the Mass Effect 3 Launch Trailer

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 12:16PM
Author: edwardquilo

This is it, boys and girls - BioWare's bringing on the hype machine in full blast with the official Mass Effect 3 launch trailer, an epic two-minute extravaganza which attempts to squeeze in every possible in-game footage of Mass Effect excitement it's built over the last couple of months. It's cleverly designed to put everyone in a frenzied Husk rush to go out and buy the game once it's finally released this March 6th, so will you be getting your own copy? There's still a few more days to go so you'd best find those ME2 game saves, and prepare to save Earth from the impending Reaper invasion. 

 


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Manipulating Heisenberg

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 12:31PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A relatively well known concept in quantum mechanics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The inequalities belonging to that name describe how it is impossible to exactly measure certain pairs of characteristics. For example, it is impossible to measure both the position and momentum of a quantum object. This does not stop researchers from trying anyway though.

Squeezing is a way to get around the uncertainty principle by changing of the uncertainty can be graphed. Instead of the area of possible measurements being a circle, it can be made into an ellipse, or even a line-like shape. As long as the area of possible measurements is the correct, the uncertainty principle is happy. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have squeezed some particles further than anyone else has before, and made a measurement never attempted on a system in a squeezed state.

The system of rubidium atoms were entangled with each other through collision, which causes a loss of independence and squeezing. The researchers then measured the nematicity or quadrupole, which is a measurement of the alignment of the atoms. This measurement is important for systems such as liquid crystals and MRI machines. Future quantum computers may benefit from this research as they may rely on storing information in the spin of atoms and their nematic tensor.


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New Gameplay Footage for Hawken Released

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 02:40PM
Author: bp9801

Hawken will not be released until the end of this year, but that is not stopping the development team at Adhesive Games from revealing information every so often. Today, the indie studio has a new trailer for Hawken showing off more of the gameplay, and it is definitely something you want to check out. Some different game modes are highlighted and there is even a boss battle of sorts included. The first-person view for Hawken should help FPS players feel right at home, even though you are controling an incredibly powerful mech. The view shakes and jumps when you fire weapons or move, which helps to impart the sense of power at your fingertips. Overall, the game is already looking impressive and we are not even close to the release date. If things keep turning out this way, it looks like MechWarrior Online will have a worthy competitor vying for your free time.

Hawken releases on December 12th for the PC.


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Graphyne for Advanced Transistors

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 02:40PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

No, 'graphyne' is not a typo; it is another form of carbon related to the well-covered graphene. The reason graphene is as well-covered as it is has to do with its extreme electrical and mechanical properties. It is flexible, hard, and transparent while being able to conduct electricity at extremely high speeds with little resistance. These properties are a result of the hexagonal crystal structure the carbon atoms have in the atom-thick material. In such a structure the atoms are bonded with something between a single and double bond, making it very strong. Graphyne on the other hand does not have as simple of a structure. In fact there are different kinds of graphyne with different structures, but the one of current interest is 6, 6, 12, graphyne.

The reason graphene conducts as well as it does is because the energy levels of the conduction electrons form what are called Dirac cones. This allows the electrons to move as though they were massless, like another well-known particle; the photon. With computer simulations, researchers have found that 6, 6, 12-graphyne should also have Dirac cones, enabling the high speeds, but the cones are distorted. If the simulation is correct, then there will be a preferred direction for electrons to travel in; 6, 6, 12-graphyne is a one-way electronic highway, as it were. This is a major find for future transistors and other electronic components.

Of course, computer simulations can be wrong, so researchers will have to synthesize the material to check if this is true. However the kind of simulations performed are known for their reliability. Graphyne has not gotten much attention in the past, but that may be changing in a hurry.


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Ratchet & Clank HD Collection on the Way?

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 03:34PM
Author: bp9801

None of this information has been confirmed by Sony so far, and with plenty of companies not commenting on rumor, the odds are against that. Game Informer spotted an Amazon France listing for Ratchet & Clank HD Collection launching on May 16th, but that listing is now removed. The removal of the listing is not surprising, considering similar things have happened in the past for other games. There was no mention of the games included in the HD pack, but there were four PlayStation 2 Ratchet & Clank games launched, plus two PSP titles ported to the PS2. Other HD remakes typically have three games included, even if there are more than three in the series, but it would be nice to see Sony include the four original PS2 titles in Ratchet & Clank HD Collection. Whatever the case may be, the Ratchet & Clank games are some of my favorites and I hope an HD remake is on the way.


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The Moon is More Active Than Expected

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 03:57PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The Moon is, well, the Moon. It is the closest object to us in space and the only stellar object humans have traveled to and returned from that is not Earth. Despite this though, we are still learning about it.

For a while researchers have seen evidence that the Moon is shrinking in features called lobate scarps. These features can be found across its surface and suggest the Moon contracted by as much as 300 feet in the (geologically) recent past. What no researcher expected though was to find long valleys called graben, which are the result of the Moon’s surface stretching. The graben form when the crust is pulled apart and surface material falls into the trough.

Exactly what is causing stretch marks, researchers do not yet know, but NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be looking for it. With only half the Moon’s surface imaged in high resolution though, there could be many more surprises to come.


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First Screenshots of MechWarrior Tactics Released

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 07:30PM
Author: bp9801

By now you may be excited at the prospect of so many mech games coming out this year, and here is a little more to add to that fire. There will be two entries in the MechWarrior franchise this year, MechWarrior Online and MechWarrior Tactics, and this post concerns the latter. Some new screenshots of MechWarrior Tactics have been released, and they show off why the game has Tactics in the title. MechWarrior Tactics is a turn-based game set on a hexagonal battlefield. You position your troops how you see fit, get the game going, and then battle others from across the world. You can even fight multiple battles at the same time, with you or other players taking a turn whenever you have the time. Now you will not have to sit down and play an entire game at once, but get a game going before work or school, play a little on your lunch break, and then finish once you get back home.

MechWarrior Tactics will be available later this year for the PC. It will be a free-to-play game, just like all the other mech games due out this year. Be sure to head to the MechWarrior Tactics website to register your commander name if you have not done so already.


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Reputation System in Mass Effect 3 Explained

Posted: March 2, 2012 @ time: 08:03PM
Author: bp9801

If you played the Mass Effect 3 demo and tried out the single player portion, you may have noticed something different in the squad menu. Aside from the expanded amount of increases for every skill compared to Mass Effect 2, you may have seen a Reputation meter next to Shepard. Past games had the Paragon/Renegade status, but the way it was implemented in ME2 did not sit well with some fans. BioWare went back to the drawing board, and has now explained what exactly the Reputation system is in Mass Effect 3. The Reputation system combines the Charm and Intimidate options into one score, which is based on adding your Paragon and Renegade scores together. Dialog options are measured using the entire bar rather than just Paragon or Renegade, which should make it so you do not have to be pure Paragon or Renegade to get a certain outcome. This should all help to give gamers more leeway in how they want to play, and we have just a few more days to go before getting to experience it in full.

Mass Effect 3 arrives on March 6th for the PC, PS3, and 360.


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Valve Rumored to be Developing Steam Box Console

Posted: March 3, 2012 @ time: 10:21AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Valve is reportedly working on a set-top console for its Steam service to compete with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This would be a very interesting situation, and could help to make the world of PC gaming more accessible. Valve is working on the creation of a hardware spec and hopes to partner with companies that have experience in making the devices. The Steam Box concept would be available to a number of manufacturers that could then load the software that Valve is working on. A demo of the hardware spec was apparently held during CES to potential partners featuring an i7, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. In addition to Steam, the Steam Box would also be able to load games from similar services, including Origin from EA. The Steam Box is a very interesting concept that I will be following closely. According to the rumors, we may only have to wait until GDC or E3 for an official announcement from Valve.


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Mari0 Marries Super Mario Bros. with Portal

Posted: March 4, 2012 @ time: 07:26PM
Author: ClayMeow

"What if Nintendo teamed up with Valve and recreated the famous Mario game with Portal gun mechanics?" That is the question the two-man studio Stabyourself.net decided to ask and answer. They completely recreated the original Super Mario Bros. from scratch, gave Mario a portal gun, and added puzzle game mechanics from Portal. That would have been cool on its own, but they didn't stop there — they added four-player co-op, a level editor, downloadable mappacks, and game modifiers, like super size. Oh, and keeping in true Valve fashion, they added 33 different hats. Have a look at the sweet teaser trailer:
 

Mari0 is available for Windows, Linux, and OSX. The source code is also available.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 06:32AM
Author: Nemo

We're back to kick off another week of reviews from our affiliates and we're getting things started off with a pair of solid state drives from Patriot with reviews on the Patriot Pyro SE 120GB and the Patriot Pyro 120GB drives. Xilence is a relative newcomer to the case market and we are treated to a review of the Black Hornet mid-tower enclosure. We also have a review of the MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr III 3GB graphics card and more.

Cases
Xilence Black Hornet Case @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (VT4) PlayStation Vita @ TweakTown

Operating Systems
Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview In A VirtualBox Virtual Machine @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot Pyro SE 120GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers
Patriot Memory Pyro 120GB 2.5” SATA III SSD Drive @ Madshrimps

Video
MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr III 3GB Overclocked Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Top 10 Must Have 3D Blu-ray Discs - Part 1 @ TweakTown
GDC 12: The bigger big picture, Steam Box to be announced? @ PC Perspective


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Hardware Roundup: AMD Radeon HD 7870 & 7850 Edition

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 07:25AM
Author: Nemo

AMD is filling out its HD 7000-series lineup with the the release of two new cards - the HD 7870 and HD 7850. Intended to fill in the gaps in the lineup for mainstream performance cards, the 7800-series of cards released today fall in the $249 (HD 7850) and $349 (HD 7870) price range. Both cards have GPUs manufactured on the 28nm process and feature AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) technology. The HD 7870 features a 1,000MHz core clock, 1,280 Stream processors and 2GB of GDDR5 frame buffer memory. The HD 7850 has 1,024 stream processors, an 860 MHz core clock and 2GB GDDR5 memory. You can check out all the reviews to see how these cards compare to the more power, and pricier, 7900-series cards as well how they stack up to the competition.

AMD Radeon HD 7870 & 7850 Launch @ Neoseeker
AMD Radeon HD 7870 & Radeon HD 7850 @ TechSpot
AMD Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 Video Card @ [H]ardOCP
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB and HD 7850 2GB Pitcairn @ PC Perspective
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB Reference Video Card @ TweakTown
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB Reference Video Card @ TweakTown


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Anonymous Identities Stolen

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 08:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Apparently there is no honor among thieves and hackers. Some of you may remember that after the site Megaupload was taken down, the hacker group Anonymous decided to attack other websites, such as the US. Department of Justice, in retaliation. To hit the sites even harder, instructions and software for joining in the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were posted online. Well, it turns whichever Anonymous member posted the information was interested in hurting more than the DoJ.

Zeus is a piece of malware meant to enslave its host computer and steal data, and was contained in the Slowloris DDoS software. According to Symantec, the computers in the voluntary Anonymous botnet were compromised, and information, such as banking details, was sent to someone.

I am not sure if "ironic" is descriptive enough.


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Ubisoft Unveils Assassin's Creed III Announcement Trailer

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 01:45PM
Author: bp9801

After some teasing, Ubisoft has unveiled the official Assassin's Creed III announcement trailer, giving us a good look at the game. AC3 is set in the American Colonies in 1775 (even though the trailer begins in 1777), right before the War for Independence begins. You are a Native American warrior by the name of Ratohnhaké:ton, or Connor if you prefer, fighting to "protect his land and people." Connor also has some English blood in him, which will be interesting to see what the mixed background can offer. The war between the Templars and Assassins continues in Assassin's Creed III, even with the looming fight for America's independence. In the trailer below, you see Connor attacking a band of British Regulars in a snow covered area. He is using a tomahawk to fight with, but also uses one of the muskets of the British. Near the end we can George Washington rallying the troops for battle, so hopefully you will be able to engage in some of those.

Assassin's Creed III will arrive on October 30th for the PC, PS3, and 360. Pre-ordering now will net you a collectible Steelbook case designed by Alex Ross, although other pre-order offers may appear later. You can check out the artwork of the Steelbook below, and, interestingly enough, the tomahawk's head is based on the Assassin's Creed logo.


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Fusilli the Solution to Radio Frequency Congestion?

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 01:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Believe it or not but researchers may have found a way to decrease the congestion of radio-frequency bands by looking to pasta; fusilli specifically. Often in school, electromagnetic waves are depicted as two perpendicular sine waves travelling in a straight line, but they can be more complicated than that. Instead of the waves just going straight ahead, they can spiral, making a shape similar to fusilli pasta, and it is this shape the researchers have exploited.

As reported by the Institute of Physics, researchers were able to broadcast two distinct signals, using the same frequency, some 442 meters across Venice, Italy. By giving the signals the spiral shape, the transmissions did not interfere with each other, allowing them both to be detected as separate channels.

The researchers suggest it should be possible to economically populate a frequency band with as many as 11 channels, just by using this technique. Five of the channels would have a clockwise rotation, another five with a counterclockwise rotation, and one more without any rotation. Incorporating multiplexing technology, like that already used for digital TV, would enable 55 channels to a single frequency band.


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AMD Giving Up GlobalFoundries Stake

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 05:06PM
Author: bp9801

AMD has decided to cut the cord and is giving up its final stake in GlobalFoundries. AMD spun off GlobalFoundries in 2009 and has gradualy reduced its share over time, but now it is giving up that final 8.8%. This makes GlobalFoundries wholly owned by the United Arab Emirates government. AMD also restructured the contract it held with GlobalFoundries, and now is free to use TSMC's 28nm process for its chips. Previously all 28nm work was done at GlobalFoundries, but now AMD is no longer bound to that agreement. It still plans to use GlobalFoundries in some form and will not completely abandon it, however. This should be good news for AMD because of the problems GlobalFoundries was having with the 28nm process, but there is a cost to that newfound manufacturing freedom. AMD has agreed to pay GlobalFoundries $425 million over the next two years, with the deal costing a total of $703 million when all is said and done.


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Outerra Engine Renders Entire Planet

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 05:36PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At the heart of any video game is its engine, and there is quite a selection right now: Unreal, Source, Frostbyte, and CryEngine to name a few. There is another you can add to list and it has a rather unique capability.

Outerra is the engine being developed for the game Anteworld, which will be a civilization building game when it is completed. The idea is that we had long since left Earth has returned to find all traces of civilization gone. Now humanity has to be rebuilt. Not exactly the most original story idea, but it does have a twist to it you may not have seen before; the entire planet Earth. The player can be thousands of kilometers above New York City or underwater off the cost of Japan and anywhere in between. (Instead of an open world it will be a closed manifold, for those of you who know topology terminology.)

You can download the tech demo of this engine right now, and its requirements aren’t as bad as you may think (if you can play Skyrim, you can run the demo). As you explore the planet, the images and terrain will be downloaded when needed, totaling about 12 GB. The data are actual data for the planet, and where something is missing, the engine can fill it in using fractal patterns. For example, the original dataset for elevation has a resolution of only 90 meters, so the engine fills in the centimeters between with the fractal pattern.

The tech demo is free to download, but if you make a donation now (just $15) you get a spot in the beta testing and a copy of the final game when it is complete. The final game will cost $30, according to the site.


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Darksiders II Receiving Limited and Collector's Editions

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 07:42PM
Author: bp9801

Often times a pre-order bonus is exclusive to certain retailers, but sometimes there is something for everyone. While Darksiders II has those retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses, THQ has announced a free upgrade to the Limited Edition for everyone who pre-orders. The Limited Edition includes a free copy of the Argul's Tomb DLC when it launches, although it will not be day one DLC. THQ also revealed the Collector's Edition for Darksiders II, which includes the same DLC as the Limited Edition, plus some other goodies. The CE includes a life-size replica of Death's mask, digital soundtrack, hardcover art book, and the Shadow of Death in-game weapon and armor set. The CE is priced at $100 right now, and is available in limited quantities.

Darksiders II launches on June 26th for the PC, PS3, and 360.


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Your Next Controller May Tug at Your Thumbs

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 07:43PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Eyefinity, 3D video, surround sound, and the rumble pack, to name a few technologies, all exist to make a game environment seem more real to a player. Now when you hear a shot to your side you can turn your head to a second monitor to see the shooter in 3D, and if a bullet hits, your hands will shake from the impact. Having been shot you may duck and crawl along the ground to cover. Now researchers at the University of Utah are working on a haptic technology to make even that more realistic.

Inside the thumb-sticks of a prototype controller the researchers have built, are tractors with rubber tips, similar to the well-known IBM TrackPoint. These tractors can be moved around, just like the thumb-sticks, but instead of the player moving them, the controller moves them. While your avatar crawls along the ground for cover, the tractors move in asynchronous half-circles to simulate the actual experience. If you run into a wall then, the tractors will jerk back from the impact, and when a grenade goes off near you, they will move even more violently from the explosion.

Though the prototype controller is similar in appearance to a modern console controller, we cannot expect this technology to be in the market before the next wave of consoles are released. Work still has to be done to ensure this technology plays well with other feedback systems, such as vibrations and the video.


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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Launches this Summer, No Cross-Platform Play

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 08:15PM
Author: bp9801

This article contains some good news as well as some bad news. The good news is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a release window for this summer, letting gamers escape the heat with the new CS. The bad news is cross-platform play has been axed, which means now we will never find out the winning control scheme. Valve did put a positive spin on the drop of cross-platform play, saying the elimination will help the PC platform receive frequent updates after launch. Separate platforms mean any PC updates can be applied when Valve is ready, and not when Sony and Microsoft are ready. Valve says the game can be stronger on all three platforms now without any compromises, although I am sure some PC gamers will be sad to no longer have the chance to put console gamers in their place.


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Nanoscale Crop Circles Explained

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 09:06PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Crop circles are curious shapes found out in fields, which seem to have been made by some alien force, when really it was just someone pulling a prank. On the nanoscale though, there is no one to pull pranks, so scientists have been somewhat confused as to why circles were forming with squares in the center during some experiments. Finally researchers at Berkeley Lab have found the answer, and it may influence the world (of nanoscale materials and nanotechnology).

The original discovery of the circles was during an experiment in which gold was heated on a silicon substrate and allowed to cool. It was during the cooling that the circles and squares appeared and it has taken three years for their formation to be explained. Part of the explanation is the formation of a eutectic, a special kind of alloy which has a much lower melting temperature than its constituent metals, gold and silicon in this case.

The researchers started with a substrate of pure silicon that had developed a layer of silicon dioxide on its surface. This layer prevented the layers of gold placed on top from touching the silicon. When the entire sample was heated to 600ºC though, defects in the silicon dioxide opened up, allowing the gold and silicon to touch, and creating the eutectic alloy. As the melting temperature of the alloy is only 363ºC, it existed as a liquid.

The liquid metal expands in a circle, between the silicon dioxide and gold. Eventually it expands too much and pops, causing the molten metal to fly to the edges of the circle, leaving behind clean silicon dioxide and the curious square. A closer look reveals the square is actually the base of an inverted pyramid of silicon and gold. When the circle pops, not all of the alloy escapes to the edges; some is left at the center where the defect in the silicon dioxide was. The alloy cools there, and as it does, the gold and silicon separate. The reason for the pyramid shape is because of the crystal lattice of the pure silicon substrate.

With the mystery solved, the researchers hope their findings will enable new means of creating and working with nanoscale materials.


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Patriot Memory Launches New Wildfire SE and Pro SSDs Powered by Next-Gen SandForce Processor

Posted: March 5, 2012 @ time: 10:40PM
Author: bp9801

Solid-state drives can be a huge boost to any system, and today Patriot Memory is launching two new products. The Wildfire SE and Wildfire Pro SSDs use the new SandForce SF-2281 processor to help deliver blinding speeds for all your needs. Both the Wildfire SE and Pro become the new performance flagships in Patriot's lineup, offering speeds of up to 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write. Suffice to say both these drives utilize the SATA III connection to give you those speeds. Both SSDs also come packed with TRIM support, while DuraClass and DuraWrite technologies help extend the life and provide protection from excessive writing. The Wildfire Pro is available in 100 and 200GB capacities, while the Wildfire SE comes in 120, 240, and 480GB sizes. The Pro comes with a five year warranty and the SE with three years. Patriot did not reveal a price or launch date at this time.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 06:14AM
Author: Nemo

Yesterday's release by AMD of the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 video cards brings on follow up reviews like today's look at the HD 7870 in CrossFire mode. We also have a pair of CPU coolers from Zalman and Arctic Cooling for you to examine. Moving on to CPUs, we have a review covering the Intel Core i7-3820 Extreme Edition quad-core Sandy Bridge-E processor. We also have an ASUS Z77 motherboard article and more, so be sure to hit the links below for all the latest from our affiliates.

Cooling
Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 Plus Heatsink @ Frostytech
Zalman CNPS12X CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Intel Core i7-3820 Extreme Edition CPU @ Benchmark Reviews

Input Devices
Logitech G105: Made For Call of Duty Gaming Keyboard @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ASUS Shows Off Z77 Motherboards @ [H]ardOCP

Operating Systems
Windows 8 Tricks, Tips and Shortcuts @ TechSpot

Software
Nero Kwik Media: Old standard with a new direction @ Computer Ed

Video
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire @ TweakTown


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Giving Robots Body Language

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 09:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When you talk to someone in person, you are telling them more than just words because every motion of your eyes and hands, your posture, and your expression carry with them information. Our body language is something deeply entrenched in our language skills, but robots and animated characters do not have them. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, supported by NSF, have been working on algorithms and models to give these virtual persons non-verbal communication abilities.

In one of their tests, the researcher had a robot ask participants to place specific items sitting on a table into one of two boxes. When the robot moved its gaze to the item it was speaking about, the participant was able to find and sort it faster than when the robot just stared at the participant. In a second test an animated character was telling a story set in China, and when the character actually would turn to look at a map of China, the participants learned the story better.

The entire goal of this work is to improve the interface and interaction between humans and robots. Robots with such capabilities could prove very useful in the classroom and in the hospital; wherever information is being conveyed from one person to another.


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Roccat Announces Power-Grid - PC Game Controls on Your Smartphone

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 01:23PM
Author: bp9801

Remember that marketing campaign Roccat started a couple of weeks ago, asking "isn't PC gaming dead?" Well, today we find out what exactly the company meant by that, and it is called Power-Grid. The Power-Grid is a mobile app for your smartphone that puts PC game controls directly on the phone's screen. Power-Grid is a free download for your iOS or Android device, and it has four control grids for you to use. The first three grids are pre-defined, while the fourth is completely customizable. The first grid is called the "Incoming Center," and it routes all Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Teamspeak conversation to your phone's screen. The second grid is the "Stats Control" that lets you quickly and easily see CPU, RAM, and video card usage, and even network traffic. The third grid is the "Sound Controls" grid that lets you adjust volume and other music settings from the phone, including media player controls for those who like to listen to other music while gaming. Roccat is also launching the Power-Grid Launcher, which is a free PC app that lets you control and customize the phone app. You can set up custom macros, control icons, and even a "pizza timer" to give you more options on your phone.

If you are wondering how you can connect your phone to your PC to ensure all these grids can work, Roccat has that covered, too. First up is the Project Phobo, the "Phone Board."This is a gaming keyboard with a built-in phone dock in the place of the numpad, and once you connect your smartphone, nearly everything can be controlled via the keyboard. You can write text messages with the keyboard and even answer incoming calls with a connected headset. Project Phobo will also charge your phone while it is connected, ensuring the Power-Grid stays active at all times. Roccat is also going to launch the Apuri 2.0 - a smartphone dock that lets you keep the phone charging for when you need to step away from the computer.

iPhone users will get to try out Power-Grid first once CeBIT 2012 ends, while Android users will get to try it out once Gamescom 2012 starts.


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Bringing 3D Animations to the Masses

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 03:27PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Have you ever watched computer generated animations and wished you could make something that cool? Giant fighting robots, high speed aerial dogfights, and bringing something extraordinary to life are just some of the things one can make with 3D animation tools, if they are experienced enough to use them. Collecting such experience takes a long time and a lot of effort, thereby restricting access to those who have a passion for the technology, instead of just an interest. Until now that is. Researchers from Max-Planck-Gesellschaft will be demonstrating two tools to bring quality 3D animation to every computer user at CeBit.

The first part of making a 3D animation is the creation of the 3D model. This is a very daunting task for someone only familiar with 2D drawings (and possibly just stick figures at that). The researchers have created a program to help with this though. By using a large database of pre-existing models, the software allows a person to blend between different objects. Each object was processed to determine the basic parts to it, and these get switched out as the user slides between the blends. The goal of the blending though is always to make something plausible, even when crossing a ship and an airplane.

After a model has been made though, it has to be given a skeleton with joints. This is the framework that determines how an object can be manipulated. The researchers have a tool for that too. It looks at the connecting parts of the model and comes up with a highly detailed skeleton for it. This skeleton is then simplified by clustering together joints, until just the basic form is left. The joints of the generated skeleton can then be mapped to the joints of the skeleton associated with the animation the user wants. Want a robot to perform some ballet? Find the animation and the model and the software will put the two together. (To see this and more, visit the source for AVI videos of the tools in action.)

By automating so much of the animation process, the researchers have brought 3D animation within reach of most computer literate people. These tools are for more than just amateurs though as professionals could potentially use, at least, the skeleton generator to accelerate their own animation efforts.


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Google Play - The New Android Market

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 03:46PM
Author: bp9801

Android phones have been around for some time now, and even with the advent of tablets, the place to download apps has been the Android Market. The Market has expanded from just offering apps to games, books, music, and even movies. Some redesigns to the layout of the Android Market have been necessary to accomodate all the new offerings, but it has become a little convoluted. Today, Google has announced Google Play, the new platform to access all the content you want on your Android Device. Google Play looks to be a shift towards the cloud, with all of your content being accessible on the web and your Android device. The Books, Music, and Movies apps are now known as Play Books, Play Music, and Play Movies, while the Android Market is getting renamed the Play Store. Users of Android 2.2 and higher will receive the update in the next few days, and to celebrate the occasion, Google is offering "Seven Days of Play" that discounts a wide variety of apps, music, movies, and books for the next week.


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Upgrading Virtual Tutors

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 03:56PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Having been a math tutor for three years, I know just how important a good tutor is for some students to succeed in a class. A good tutor does not just work on problems; they work with the student and respect the fact that every student is different. Software that tutors though is not capable of this because it has only been programmed with one way to work out a problem, and could not know when to switch to another technique a student may better understand. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame, University of Memphis, and MIT have created some software to do just that though.

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are programs with the ability to communicate more naturally and adapt its techniques to the student. AutoTutor, one of two programs the researchers created, will actually use teaching and motivational strategies human tutors use while actively trying to learn what the student’s knowledge is and keeping them engaged. Affective AutoTutor does everything AutoTutor does in addition to monitoring the student’s emotional states. This is accomplished by examining body language, conversational cues, and expressions. The software then responds in ways appropriate to keep down frustration and boredom with its own speech intonation, word choice, and the facial expressions of the animated tutor.

One-on-one human tutoring has been shown to improve student performance, and AutoTutor, which has already been tested by over one thousands students, and has shown an increase of roughly one letter grade with students. This does not quite reach as high as the best human tutors, but is better than novice and bad tutors.


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Assassin's Creed 3 May Have Co-Op

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 05:16PM
Author: bp9801

The cat is out of the bag concerning Assassin's Creed III's setting and main character, but there is a lot more still unknown about the game. One potential inclusion for AC3 is co-op play, which was spotted earlier on the Xbox Marketplace but has since been taken down. The co-op mode could be anything, from an aspect of single player to a separate mode like Mass Effect 3's co-op. Microsoft was not the only company to slip up, as GameStop's product description contains a hint about co-op being included. While it does not say it directly, the ability to team up "with your comrades at your side" is a pretty strong indicator for co-op. Whatever the case may be, we will just have to wait to find out.

Assassin's Creed III is due out on October 30th for the PC, PS3, and 360.


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Making Games for Older Adults

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 05:33PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Shortly after the Nintendo Wii launched, and ever since, pictures and videos of senior citizens enjoying a game of Wii Bowling or Tennis were common. After all, most people only imagine gamers to be young adults full of energy, making it unusual to see someone’s grandparents or even great-grandparents beating the high score, so the images make for good news items. Achieving such popularity through different age groups is not easy though, due to symptoms of old age, but researchers in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society are publishing a study for game developers about engaging older adults.

Many other studies have shown there are benefits to older adults playing video games. These benefits come directly from the mental and social activity regular game-play involves. However, not all games are well designed for older adults who may not be able to read or remember onscreen text or icons, or identify certain objects. The researchers studied persons over 65 years old (with an average age of 82) playing the game Boom Blox to detail these issues and others.

Another issue to be overcome though is the stereotype that video games are violent, isolating, and require fast-twitch reactions. Older adults want the challenge games present though, along with the reward for success. If game developers can take these suggestions to heart (at least for some of their games) they could get at a new group of gamers not often looked at.


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Memory Frequency Record Set Using G.Skill RAM

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 06:15PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The highest DDR3 memory frequency record has been broken using G.SKILL RipjawsZ memory. A single 4GB stick was used to achieve the record breaking score of 3736MHz, besting the previous mark by over 100MHz. The overclock was achieved by Swiss overclocker Christian Ney with the additional aid of liquid nitrogen cooling. When asked about the record, Christian responded by saying, “It was a lot of fun while tweaking G.SKILL memory. You can feel the unlimited potential and always want to go higher and higher.” Full details about the system can be found on the official HWBOT score page.


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ECS Announces New All-In-One PCs

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 06:27PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS has announced a pair of all-in-one PCs, the G24 series. The two models are named Odin and Aura. Based on a Mini-ITX motherboard using the Intel H61 Express chipset, the new PCs pack a lot of functionality into a convenient package. Both feature a 23.6' touch screen with Full HD 1080p resolution that has an HDMI connection. The systems were designed with the Microsoft Windows operating system in mind. Further system specifications weren't available at this time.


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Patriot Announces USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 06:36PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Patriot has announced a new USB 3.0 flash drive, the Supersonic Boost XT. The rubberized housing will protect the internals that are capable of transfer speeds up to 90MB/s, much better than any of my USB 2.0 flash drives. The drive measures just 6 cm long and 2 cm wide, making it perfect to take with you, even on a key chain. The five year warranty will allow for replacement in the event that something bad should happen to the drive. The plug and play functionality will be compatible with several versions of Windows, Mac OS9 and later, and Linux with a minimum kernel version of 2.4. Product Manager Meng Jay Choo described the drive as ”Merging the ruggedness of our Xporter line with the speed of our Supersonic line, then shrinking the form factor.” The drive will be available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB.


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Corsair Announces Second Vengeance Cup

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 06:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced the second Vengeance Cup, an online gaming tournament with a $10,000 cash prize. The first tournament was played on Call of Duty 4, while the second will be played in League of Legends. Corsair is working with Esports Heaven to put on the tournament, and updates and live streams will be provided through a network of partner sites throughout the tournament. Registrations close today, and a maximum of 256 teams will be able to sign up, with the tournament starting on March 12. The $10,000 prize will be split among the top three teams. First place will take home $6,000, second will get $3,000, and third will get the remaining $1,000. The first Vengeance Cup was done in part to promote the release of the Vengeance series of gaming peripherals, but the success of the competition prompted Corsair to run another.


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ZOTAC Announces Three ZBOX PCs at CeBIT

Posted: March 6, 2012 @ time: 07:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ZOTAC has announced a trio of new mini-PCs at the CeBIT trade show in Germany, the ZBOX ID82, ZBOX nano ID61, and ZBOX Blu-ray AD05. The ZBOX ID82 is powered by an Intel Core i3 2330M processor and Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU. The combination of a dual core CPU and the Intel graphics will dominate the easiest of tasks, while also providing the ability for GPU accelerated tasks. The ZBOX nano ID61 is a palm-sized PC that features an Intel Celeron 867 with support for high capacity SDXC memory cards and optical S/PDIF outputs. The ZBOX Blu-ray AD05 has an AMD E-450 APU and Radeon HD 6320 GPU, providing the ability to handle all of your high definition video needs. The inclusion of a media remote and USB IR receiver makes this a great candidate for an HTPC. All of the systems are designed as customizable barebones with the need for DDR3 SO-DIMM memory and a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive to get up and running. ZOTAC will offer Plus models that come with 2GB of DDR3 and a 320GB hard drive.


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