Welcome Stranger to OCC!Login | Register

News Archives for April 2012

Google Reveals Several New Products

Posted: April 1, 2012 @ time: 11:25AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google has been hard at work on a series of new ideas. In addition to the 8-bit version of Google Maps revealed yesterday, several others were announced today. First up is Gmail Tap, which replaces the 26 characters of the alphabet with just two, the dot and the dash. This makes Gmail remarkably similar to Morse code, and any sailors out there should be right at home. Other features include the ability to write two e-mails at once and predictive text mode. Future additions to this technology include using the flash on your phone to communicate via light.

Next up is a partnership with NASCAR that will put the Google autonomous race car up against all of the human drivers on the circuit, a true battle of man vs. machine. Google has been working on its self-driving car project for years, and this seemed like a logical step to take. If the Google car can handle racing alongside dozens of other cars at speeds greater than 200 MPH, then surely it can get you from your home to grocery store without any issues.

Finally there is Google Really Advanced Search, for when Advanced Search just isn't enough. With more than ten different fields to refine your search, finding exactly what you want should be easier than ever.


Complete Story


Lemmus Scimitardontii: The Sabertooth Lemming

Posted: April 1, 2012 @ time: 02:47PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before the age of man, many a magnificent creature walked the earth, such as the mammoth, the mastodon and giant ground sloths. These examples of megafauna ruled the ground beneath their feet, but if they were not careful, they stepped on more the soil and stone.

The Lemmus scimitardontii, or saber tooth lemming, ran about during the last ice age and researchers have recently found a deposit of these creatures' remains. Roughly the size of a guinea pig with fangs twice the length of its head, these animals would be far more intimidating than modern lemmings. Although, such large fangs are not easy to wield, so what benefit would they have brought? The razor-sharp teeth could possibly have protected large groups of the lemmings, at the cost of one member. When a predator would try to eat the lemming, the teeth would have seriously damaged the digestive system, which would either directly cause death or cause an infection which would then lead to death, or a great distaste for lemming meat.

The remains were found at the base of a Norwegian fjord, as it appears the creatures had run off the edge to their death, thousands of years ago. Paleontologists from the High-Artic Institute Museum of Montreal estimate that the site is roughly three soccer fields in area.

This is certainly an interesting creature, especially when one remembers that lemmings are herbivores, so the fangs would do little to help them acquire food. Of course, this is not the first time Nature has thrown us something seemingly just to fool with us. How else do you explain the platypus?


Complete Story


More Details Surface on Blizzard's Upcoming Titan MMO

Posted: April 1, 2012 @ time: 06:16PM
Author: ClayMeow

For a few years now, talk of Blizzard working on a mystery MMO, tentatively named Titan, have surfaced. Little else has been divulged other than Blizzard saying it's a whole new IP. Well now it seems Blizzard's definition of "new IP" may differ from ours, or at least mine. Information has leaked that the new Titan MMO is actually an alternate universe combining all of the company's current IPs. Titan will merge the worlds of Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft in this alternate universe. Chris Metzen, Vice President of Creative Development, said that he's a huge fan of the Alien and Predator franchises and said Titan was inspired by the Aliens vs. Predator crossover. With three franchises instead of two, it was a difficult project to undertake, but he knew his creative team could come up with something fans of all the series would fall in love with.

Exact details have not been unveiled yet, but apparently Titan refers to the supreme god of the Xel'naga. For those familiar with the StarCraft universe, you probably remember the Xel'naga as the ancient, cosmic race that created the Protoss and Zerg, but was ultimately destroyed by the latter. Titan was apparently not only responsible for the creation of the Xel'naga, but also the Old Gods in Warcraft lore and Tathamet, the Prime Evil in Diablo lore.

Sounds like it should be a rather interesting world. I can't wait to see what the playable classes will be!


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 05:11AM
Author: Nemo

Gamers are always looking for an edge to improve their scores and that is where hardware like the Corsair Vengeance M60 and K60 gaming mouse/keyboard combination comes into play. Solid state drives are another area where you can improve your gaming rig's performance and we have reviews on the Samsung 830 Series 128GB and the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB in our roundup today. We also get another look at the Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM CPU cooler along with the new iPad and more.

Cooling
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM @ LanOC Reviews

Input Devices
Corsair K60/M60: Jumping into Pro Gaming @ Computer Ed

Notebooks/Tablets
The New iPad (2012) Review: Pixel Power @ PC Perspective

Prebuilts
Foxconn Nano PC nT-i1500 Barebone @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung 830 Series 128GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers
OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB @ Bjorn3D

Video
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reviewer's Guide @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
Belt Buckle Shoot Out: FX vs. Nukem @ Computer Ed


Complete Story


Raidmax Announces Raptor Case

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 05:12AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Raidmax has announced a new case, the Raptor, that is designed to accommodate both ATX and m-ATX motherboards. The case features a unique airfoil design modeled after the back of a sports car. The translucent fins allow for users to see the LED fans spinning and lighting up. The case will be available in both red and black, and blue and black color configurations. The modular HDD cage allows for the installation of five 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives, and the cage can be removed to accommodate video cards up to 430mm in length. Three 5.25" drives can also be installed, and all drives feature tool less installation. The case also has three rubber holes on the back panel to easily route water cooling tubing to the external part of the case. Four 120mm fans are included, and there is space for an additional fan at the front of the case. The front I/O panel has connections for one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, adjustable controls for both fan speed and LED brightness, and audio out and microphone in. It will be available in the USA and Canada in May at a MSRP of $99.99.


Complete Story


Say Goodbye to the Start Button in Windows 8

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 09:33AM
Author: edwardquilo

Despite numerous complaints with the Start button's absence in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it appears that Microsoft will still push through with excluding it in the final retail version. Sources indicate that the latest build's reliance on the new UI was comfortable when used with touch-based controls, but remains a cumbersome experience for a regular desktop-based user. Most of the gripes stemmed from an unintuitive interface that left desktop users guessing on how to navigate the new Metro UI.

Microsoft's Tami Reller, CFO and marketing head for Windows and its Windows Live Division also confirmed that the ubiquitous Start Button as officially non-existent on the upcoming OS. Desktop users will instead be provided with a tutorial aimed at familiarizing themselves with the new commands of the OS, so that they won't feel "lost when they first encounter the product."


Complete Story


TFE Transistors Closer to Replacing Modern Transistors

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 10:44AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a rapidly approaching wall in computer technology. According to Moore’s Law the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years, but according to physics, this cannot continue indefinitely. Transistors can be thought of as a wall that an electric signal will either jump over or be stopped by. This design has worked well for a long time now, but is not very efficient. Energy is leaking out and when you have millions or billions of transistors all near each other, it builds up as heat, which then impairs performance.

A potential solution to this problem is to change that wall so that electrons cannot jump over it, but instead tunnel through it. Tunneling Field Effect Transistors (TFETs) use quantum tunneling to achieve the same effect as modern transistors, but should require far less power. As of yet though, TFETs are still less efficient than modern transistors, but work research from the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University are closing the gap. In fact, the researchers believe that TFETs will be ready when modern transistors have hit their limit.

Though quantum mechanical effects are fairly complicated, to produce TFETs will not be difficult for the computer industry. These devices can be made using current methods and tunneling is already used in some electronics, such as flash drives.


Complete Story


Lian Li Announces Two New Cases

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 10:44AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Lian Li has announced two new cases that will be part of the Q Series, the PC-Q12 and PC-Q18. Both cases are designed around the small form factor mini-ITX motherboards. The PC-Q12 can hold four 2.5" hard drives while having dimensions of just 3.46” x 14.37” x 8.19”. The small dimensions do limit other areas, and video cards and internal optical drives are a no go. However, an external slim optical drive can be clipped to the back of the case. A 300W 80-Plus PSU and 80mm fan are included. The case will be available in both black and silver and will have an MSRP of $159.99.

The PC-Q18 features four hot swappable 3.5" hard drive bays and a bottom cage capable of holding an additional two 3.5" or three 2.5" drives. The PC-Q18 is larger than the PC-Q12, at 7.83” x 11.42” x 14.37”, and is able to hold a bit more hardware as a result. A single 5.25" slot is available, and video cards up to 13.39" in length will also fit. A CPU cooler up to 6.3" will add to the cooling power of the two included 140mm fans. The PC-Q18 is also available in both black and silver and shares an MSRP of $159.99.


Complete Story


Bringing Plasmonics to Semiconductors

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 10:45AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Electronics have dominated technology for decades but this reign may soon end as the coming technologies of spintronics, plasmonics, and quantum computers are developed. Of course, some of these technologies can be integrated with electronics, to give us the best of both worlds. Published in the Optical Society of America’s Optical Materials Express journal is research that will greatly aid in bringing plasmonics to modern semiconductor technology.

Plasmonics use quasiparticles called plasmons in a similar way to how electronics use electrons. Plasmons are actually an electron and photon coupled together with new properties. For example, a photon cannot be any smaller than half of its wavelength, but when in a plasmon, it can be 100 times smaller. This allows an optical signal to travel along nanoscale paths, like electrons do, but requires far less energy to do so reliably.

To create a plasmon, researchers have to shine a laser onto a piece of metal, and normally they use gold or silver, with silver being the best choice. Unfortunately, neither of these materials interacts well with semiconductors, so plasmonics-electronic hybrid technologies are not a possibility using them. The research in the journal though discusses using titanium nitride, a ceramic material, for the creation of plasmons. This material is already used in electronics as a barrier, so it will play nice with semiconductors, unlike the metals.

Of course if the material is not very good at producing plasmons or transmitting them, then this would be useless. This is not the case though. The researchers find titanium nitride has as strong of plasmonics capabilities as gold, with silver still in the lead. However, only pure silver is superior, and pure silver films are easily degraded in the air, making them less potent.

This is a very important discovery for the future of plasmonics, as it may bring them to the world much sooner. Titanium nitride may also prove useful in the creation of metamaterials too, which also take advantage of plasmons. Pure silver would still be the choice for invisibility cloaks, but metamaterials can do more than just hide things.


Complete Story


PlayStation 4 Slated to Launch Before Next Xbox, According to Report

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 12:41PM
Author: bp9801

It was not all that long ago when Sony announced it would be the last to announce a next-gen console. Now, things may have changed as another anonymous source told VG247 the PlayStation 4 will launch before the Next Xbox. The tipster said the design goals of the PS4 were set "at least" two years and Sony is "confident" the system will ship before Microsoft's next console, with both scheduled for a holiday 2013 release. The tipster also said select partners (Ubisoft was mentioned specfically) have known about the PS4 and are working on software for the system. Parts of the PlayStation Vita hardware were redesigned in order to provide more interaction between it and the PS4. The source said the Vita's analog sticks and touchscreen can be used as a controller for the PS4, much like the Wii U and its tablet/controller.

More developers will be pulled into the PS4 circle by the end of this year, with some scheduled to meet this summer. The PlayStation 4 is expected to utilize AMD hardware instead of the Cell processor, which would mean the PS4 uses DirectX. If that is true, the development of PS4 games would essentially be the same as PC and Xbox games, which should make everyone happy. Sony and Microsoft are both expected to announce new consoles at E3 this year, even though earlier reports said otherwise. All of this is just rumor, so take from it what you will.


Complete Story


Smart 'Sand' For Copying Shapes

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 01:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Want to read about a magic trick? I present to you a box, and in it is what just appears to be sand. If I pick up a handful, it will run through my fingers. Now would someone please give me an object, any object will do. I will just bury this in the sand, and with a press of a button and a little patience, I will pull out not only your object (thank you very much) but an exact or scaled up duplicate, made of sand.

Even without calling it a magic trick, this may seem like one, but researchers at MIT are working to make it real. Presently we do not have the technology to fit a self-sculpting system into a grain of sand, but the researchers did make centimeter wide cubes that do the trick. Within each cube is a small microprocessor with 32 KB of program code and 2 KB of working memory, and four electropermanent magnets. (Unlike electromagnets, electropermanent magnets keep their magnetism, or lack thereof, after power is shut off.) Due to size limitations, the cubes can only duplicate two dimensional structures, but the researchers found the algorithm for 2D duplication works in three dimensions as well, by stacking layers.

After an object is placed in amongst the sand or cubes, the devices can start polling each other, to identify their neighbors. If a device cannot find a neighbor on each side, then it must be on the edge of the container or the object I buried. This information allows the devices to create a map of the shape, which is then transmitted far enough away so a duplicate can be made without intersecting the original shape. The electropermanent magnets are used to hold together the devices that make the duplicate, as well as transfer information between the devices.

Someday we may see smart sand out there, but for now more work has to be done to miniaturize the technology. Until then, I will have to find a different act for my magic show.

 


Complete Story


Next Xbox Requires Active Internet Connection, Packs Blu-Ray Drive

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 01:26PM
Author: bp9801

Reports from anonymous tipsters keep pouring in about the next consoles, and this is no different. Another anonymous source (maybe the same on the PS4 rumors) has told VG247 the Next Xbox will require an active Internet connection at all times and use a Blu-ray drive. The Blu-ray drive coincides with earlier reports, but also goes against another, but the always-on Internet echoes the PS4 rumor. The Internet requirement is billed as an anti-piracy measure, although I am sure it could also prevent used games. The Next Xbox will also have Kinect built directly into the console, with enough hardware to power it all. The source said the system will have a "four or six" core CPU and two AMD GPUs, but it will not be anything like a Crossfire system. The two GPUs are said to work independently of each other and can generate content at the same time, with performance of each similar to an AMD 7000 card. Earlier reports said the Next Xbox would use an AMD HD 6670, so once again a conflict arises.

The Next Xbox would ship in the 2013 holiday season, potentially after Sony launches the PlayStation 4.


Complete Story


Capri: The Game to Ease Rush Hour and Award Players

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 01:37PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Getting stuck in rush hour is never fun. Waiting for a chance to inch forward is not only hard on you but it is hard on the environment as fuel is still being used. Researchers in Bangalore and Singapore have studied the possibility of using a game to remove commuters from rush hour, and Stanford University is now running just such a game.

Congestion And Parking Relief Incentives, or Capri, is Stanford’s attempt to get people to come in during off-peak hours by giving them the opportunity to get a reward. The way our minds work with rewards is not always logical. If the program just gave a person ten cents every time they came in when before or after rush hour, no one would change their routine, but if you are entered to win a larger prize, suddenly there is interest. This raffle effect has been extensively studied in the past and is at the heart of Capri. Using a special ID tag on a car’s windshield, scanners can record every time a participant enters the campus during off-peak hours, and this equates to an entry in a raffle. The exact reward for the raffle is something the researchers are going to play around with, as they look for the optimal amount.

Capri is not just targeting rush hour though, as parking in less used areas is a way to enter. The idea is to shift traffic away from the most frequented parking areas, so people will spend less time driving around looking for an opening, or waiting for someone to leave.

Not everyone at Stanford can enter the Capri program though, as people who live on campus or are already required to come in on off-peak hours, would have an unfair advantage. That still leaves some 12,000 drivers eligible though, which could make quite a dent in the regions CO2 emissions, not to mention people’s wallets. Less gasoline used means less gasoline bought.


Complete Story


Bethesda Announcement on the Way - First Skyrim DLC?

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 04:33PM
Author: bp9801

Today is rumor central around here, and this time we may have something for a game. Bethesda Game Studios may be gearing up to release some The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC later this month, and something for RAGE as well. Posting on Twitter, Bethesda's Pete Hines said for Skyrim and RAGE fans to "stay tuned" for some "cool news and surprises." For Skyrim, that would point towards a DLC pack, maybe something with the registered Redguard or Dawnguard name. The DLC, if it does come out in April, would be exclusive to the Xbox 360 for the first 30 days, so odds are PC and PS3 gamers will not see the content until the middle of May at the earliest. As for RAGE, well, John Carmack and id Software did say mod tools and a 64-bit version are still on the way, so perhaps we will get one or both of those.


Complete Story


Orcs Must Die! 2 Due this Summer

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 06:46PM
Author: bp9801

One of the smash hits last year was Orcs Must Die! This action-strategy game pitted you against wave upon wave of orcs intent on escape. At your disposal were some weapons, spells, and a variety of traps. It was your job to kill the orcs and rack up points, but was sadly just a one player affair. However, all of that will soon change when Orcs Must Die! 2 launches this summer. Robot Entertainment is adding in co-op play, a new campaign, more enemies, more defenses, a redesigned upgrade system, and allowing you to buy new items based on how you play. Orcs Must Die! 2 only allows for two players, but that should be more than enough to slay the orcs. The sequel picks up right after the first game and the War Mage is joined by a new, if questionable, ally in the Sorceress, an ex-War Mage responsible for the destruction of the Order.

Owners of the first game will unlock special content in the sequel, and PAX East attendees will be able to check it out this weekend. Orcs Must Die! 2 will launch exclusively on the PC.


Complete Story


Editorial: Used Games - Here to Stay or Gone for Good?

Posted: April 2, 2012 @ time: 06:56PM
Author: bp9801

If you have been keeping up with rumors on the next PlayStation and Xbox, you have probably seen that neither will support used games. These rumors are not entirely baseless as plenty of used console games now require an extra fee just to play online, but is there sense in completely getting rid of used games?

If you believe the rumors, both Sony and Microsoft have a technology that can determine whether or not a game disc is new or used. How Sony and Microsoft will do this, if true, is still up in the air, but at least with the Sony console used games could still be played albeit at a severely reduced functionality. Gaining full access to the game requires you to purchase it at full price, which would make buying used no longer an option. Companies have been against used games for some time due to the loss of revenue, but could the inability to play used games be a reality? Should it be?

Used games have become a part of the gaming segment, and with the advent of CD keys for computer games, it is limited to console and handheld games. New game sales go (mostly) to the publisher, but used game sales go directly to the store selling it. The fact that publishers see no money from used game sales is one reason online passes have come around, since even $10 or $15 is more than zero dollars. You may think you are getting a deal with a used game priced at $50 versus $60, but when you have to pay an additional $10 just to play online, are you really saving any money? While online passes are typically associated with EA and Activision, Sony also has something similar on certain titles. Blocking used games on its console would make sense at that point.

If Sony and Microsoft do have a way to limit or outright block used games, this would ensure everyone buys new discs or even digitally. Currently, buying digitally is more for convenience than anything else since prices are the same as a brick and mortar store. Digital storefronts do have sales from time to time, but Sony and Microsoft fall behind Valve's Steam in terms of frequency (and even price). Still, if the consoles want to outright remove brick and mortar stores and used game sales, dropping the prices all around on digital items is the best bet. We have already seen Sony do this with the digital copies of PlayStation Vita games, and if the PS4 and Next Xbox follow suit, would certainly make buying digital more attractive.

The inability to play used games would not only hurt stores like GameStop, but also rental service Gamefly. Gamefly is essentially the same as Netflix, but for games instead of movies and TV shows. You have a small monthly fee with Gamefly and receive games in the mail to play as much as you want. This is a far cheaper option than simply buying a new or even used game, but if the next consoles block used games, Gamefly would be dealt a serious blow. Luckily it has branched into the PC game market, so it could survive on that, but its selection of PC games is small compared to Steam. I do not know what kind of impact Gamefly has on game sales compared to GameStop or even Amazon.com, but its whole business is built on delivering games to customers for a low fee.

I have been using Gamefly for years now and buy used games when I can. A good amount of my purchases are new games, but if a used copy has a disc with minor (or no) scratches, then why not save yourself some money? I also trade some games in, but not as many as other people do. I feel if I play a game enough to grow tired of it, why not trade it in and let someone else experience it? To get back on the subject of Gamefly, I like what it has done to expand into the PC market, but I use it almost exclusively for console and handheld games. There are some titles I check out, play for a while, and if I do not like it, I send it right back to get the next game on my list. There was one game I received with decent reviews, but I did not like my experience with it. I sent it back to Gamefly and did not have to lose out on dropping $40 on it if I purchased at retail. Gamefly saved me money in that instance and I am sure other gamers have similar tales.

I am a fan of consoles and handhelds because those are how I got into gaming. I started with the Nintendos and then moved to Sony and Microsoft. I regularly play games on my PS3 and PC equally, but if the Next Xbox and PlayStation 4 restrict or outright bar used games, I do not think I will pick one up. My Gamefly subscription will then drop to the lowest possible fee just so I can continue using it for the PC games. This crackdown or war on used games is bad for business. Online passes are bad for business. The mere thought of shutting out a revenue stream or even gamers should not be on the agenda of Sony, Microsoft, EA, Activision, and any other company talking or implementing features to restrict used game sales.

Feel free to voice your opinion in our newsletter discussion thread.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 05:13AM
Author: Nemo

If you experience eye fatigue due to long hours in front of the computer due to work or marathon gaming sessions, or maybe both, Steelseries offers the Desmo White Optiks computer glasses, produced in partnership with Gunnar Eyewear, that are designed to reduce eye fatigue. Antec is known for producing quiet cases and the P280 is a super mid-tower case is part of the company's Performance One series of refined, but quiet, cases. We also get an opportunity to examine the Arctic Freezer i30 CPU cooler with 320W of cooling power designed for Intel LGA 1156/1155/2011 systems.

Cases
Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Cooling
Arctic Freezer i30 CPU Cooler @ Bjorn3D

Gadgets
Steelseries Desmo White Optiks @ XSReviews

Mobile
HTC One X @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Stopping Electrons with a Superlattice

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 08:00AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Researchers are quite intent on making graphene into a viable material for electronics. The atom-thick sheet of carbon has unbelievable electronic conductivity, but this is actually not a good thing for electronics. Semiconductors are used in computers because they allow the flow of electrons to change, based on their energy. Graphene just lets electrons zip by at super speed. In fact, the electrons travel so fast that relativistic quantum mechanical effects occur.

In classic mechanics, a wall is a wall and you cannot just pass through it. In quantum mechanics there is a chance for a particle to tunnel though the wall, as though it were not there. With graphene though, electrons travel so fast that they will tunnel through the barrier every time they encounter it. This phenomenon is a problem for using graphene in computers.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that using a sheet of boron nitride it is possible to block and even stop electrons on graphene. Both materials have the same hexagonal crystal structure or lattice, though the boron nitride is an insulator. What the Arizona researchers found is that by having the two materials at an angle to each other, a superlattice can be made, which introduces holes electrons cannot tunnel through. Previous research has shown how sheets of boron nitride can affect the flow of electrons on graphene, but this is a first.

There is a catch though, but it may be overcome before too long. There is no means to control the orientation the graphene and boron nitride sheets have to each other. When the researchers were making their samples, they had to use an electron microscope to see which had the proper orientation. Once a means is found to control the orientation, we could see a boom in graphene-based technology.


Complete Story


Japanese Develop a Tongue-Based Kinect Shooting Game

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 09:11AM
Author: edwardquilo

A couple of ingenious Japanese researchers are hard at work on a Kinect technology demo that focuses on tongue controls. The project is intended to help people with reduced oral motor functions by thoroughly utilizing the muscles involving the tongue. The interface works after Kinect detects the facial features such as the eyes and nose to determine the mouth area, which then allows the system to accurately sense tongue motion. Demo interaction included a shooting game that fires bullets whenever the tongue was stuck out, by means of moving the tongue in a coordinated fashion to wipe out targets. While users might look a bit comical when interacting with the system, this unconventional method does sound promising, especially for disabled gamers. 

 

 

 


Complete Story


Leisure Suit Larry to Make a Comeback Using Kickstarter

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 10:54AM
Author: edwardquilo

Do you have fond memories of the Leisure Suit Larry series? These raunchy adventure games focused on cult hero Larry Laffer's exploits to charm attractive women, which were (unsurprisingly) popular among male gamers during its heyday. Replay Games wants to reignite that spark with its modern retelling of 1987's Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, but needs our help to make that a reality. This is where Kickstarter comes in, and if you're a contributor to funding the project's $500,000 target, you get exclusive collectibles such as Leisure Suit Larry branded condoms, postage stamps, banners, and even an in-game appearance for those willing to spend $5,000. 

Replay Games roped in the original team who designed Leisure Suit Larry 1, which includes Al Lowe, Josh Mandel, Sabine Duvall, and Leslie Balfour. They also plan on making the rest of the Leisure Suit Larry games, but that's all dependent on the success of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded, so for anyone who's rooted for Larry in the last two decades or so, get ready to open up those wallets. The game already has a pledge of $109,689 with 28 more days to go, so it's probably a safe bet that the game will be made. As Replay Games cheekily adds: you can "make Leisure Suit Larry come again."

 


Complete Story


Drawing Graphene for Mass Production

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 11:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As with many materials, figuring out how to produce graphene is proving to be a challenge. The atom-thick sheet of carbon has been proving very difficult to mass produce for some time, but researchers are continually making advances. Published in the American Institute of Physics Applied Physics Letters journal is an article on producing graphene in specific shapes with a method that should be applicable to mass production.

Previous research has found that silicon carbide could be heated to roughly 1300 ºC to vaporize the silicon and leave graphene behind. What the new research has done is found a way to selectively vaporize the silicon, so the graphene could be produced in specific patterns. This was accomplished by implanting addition silicon atoms or gold atoms into the silicon carbide. These imperfections cause the silicon to vaporize at a lower temperature, but only where the imperfections are located. The pure silicon carbide is unaffected at the lower temperature.

More work will have to be done to refine the process, but this is still a major improvement over the old system involving silicon carbide. This required etching away at the graphene to create specific patterns, but the process could damage the graphene by introducing impurities. These impurities could cripple the conductivity of graphene, which is what makes it so interesting to researchers to begin with.


Complete Story


Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Lands on June 12 for the PC

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 01:48PM
Author: bp9801

It looks like PC gamers will not have to wait very long to get their hands on the newest Ghost Recon, as it will launch just a short time after the console versions. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier arrives for the PC on June 12th (May 22nd for the consoles), and the best part is it will not require a constant Internet connection. A one-time online registration is required the first time you start the game, but all of the single player portion can be played offline. Ubisoft also revealed some PC-specific features for Future Soldier, including DirectX 11 support, higher quality visuals, multi-monitor support, and remappable keyboard controls. All of this should be welcome for Ghost Recon fans, especially since at one point we were not supposed to even receive the game. Thankfully all of that has changed, and with any luck this Ghost Recon will live up to the older titles.


Complete Story


Futuremark Releases Powermark for Battery Testing

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 02:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Futuremark, the maker of the 3D Mark and PC Mark computer benchmarks and the Peacekeeper browser benchmark have released the Powermark battery life benchmark. A standard feature listed for any laptop is battery life, so it is also a standard test for laptop reviews. What Powermark does is try to simplify the battery testing process while also keeping it comparable to what an average user would put their laptop through. If you feel the Balanced, Productivity, or Entertainment options are not accurate for real-life usage, Powermark also allows one to put together a custom benchmark cycle. Browsing, gaming, video, and word processing workloads can all be manually set to whatever weight someone wants them to have during the testing cycle.

This software is not meant for the average user though, with its professional license costing $200 for ten activations. (You have to request a quote for the Enterprise license with unlimited activations.) Not exactly a viable way to confirm your laptop is getting the life it should according to the box, but it could be what is behind the numbers you see for reviews of Windows 7 portable devices.


Complete Story


Robin and Harley Quinn DLC on the Way for Batman: Arkham City?

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 03:36PM
Author: bp9801

It looks like Batman: Arkham City may soon get some new DLC, if an updated PlayStation 3 Trophies list is any indicator. The website PS3Trophies.org uncovered a list of ten new Trophies for Batman: Arkham City that focus on Harley Quinn and even Robin. The Harley Quinn Trophies seem to be a part of a story, potentially like Catwoman's DLC, but also has some for performing certain tasks, like shield bashing. There is a Robin trophy that unlocks after the Boy Wonder uses five quickfire gadgets, which could point to him being a playable character in the Harley DLC. Where exactly Harley Quinn's DLC fits into the Batman: Arkham City story is unknown, as is an official confirmation from Rocksteady, but at least it looks like more content will be on the way.


Complete Story


Looking Inside Magnetic Storage

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 03:48PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Though solid state memory, like flash memory, is becoming more and more common in computer today, most everyone has worked on a computer with a classic magnetic hard disk drive. Inside of these are platters where each bit is written to a magnetic region, so the smaller the region, the more data can be stored. Companies have been looking for ways to shrink those regions, including making the platters multi-layered. Now researchers at NIST, the University of Maryland Nanocenter, and Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have developed a method to find defects within these three dimensional magnetic structures.

This new technique looks to spin waves in a thin film. Spin waves are oscillating changes in the magnetic field of particles, like ripples in a pond. To achieve a ripple effect that spreads throughout a material requires the microwaves that are causing the spin waves to be at the resonant frequency. The researchers however used a different frequency, so spin waves would only be generate underneath their probe. By keeping the spin waves in the one area, the researchers are able to measure any defects which disrupt the waves.

By allowing researchers to better study defects in a magnetic material, researchers can figure out ways to either remove the defects, or work with them for more advanced storage methods.


Complete Story


Phanteks Launches PH-TC14CS Cooler

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 05:33PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Phanteks has announced a new CPU cooler, the PH-TC14CS C type cooler. The cooler is compatible with all of the latest sockets from both Intel and AMD, going back to socket 775 and AM3, respectively. It features a copper base and heatpipes, and nickel plated aluminum fins that feature patented Physical Anti-Oxidant Thermal Shield, P.A.T.S, technology. Included is a 140mm PH-F140 fan with a PWM adapter, and there is room for an additional 140mm fan. The PH-TC14CS comes in at a weight of 750g with one fan or 900g with two fans.


Complete Story


Cooler Master Releases QuickFire Pro Keyboard

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 05:56PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced the next keyboard in its line of mechanical keyboards, the QuickFire Pro. The laser-marked keycaps and non-glossy matte finish should allow for long lasting keys that look great. Extra keycaps are also included with a key puller to be able to easily swap out any keys you like. N Key Rollover will be enabled when connected to either USB or PS/2 ports, and a 1ms response time will ensure that you never miss a beat while gaming. The QuickFire Pro will be available with a wide variety of Cherry MX switches including red, black, brown, and blue. Red LED lighting rounds out this keyboard that will retail for $99.99.


Complete Story


Amazon Instant Video Now on the PlayStation 3

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 06:33PM
Author: bp9801

The PlayStation 3 just got a lovely boost to its multimedia capabilities, thanks to Amazon. PlayStation 3 owners can download the Amazon Instant Video app to their system and enjoy all the Amazon Instant Video they want. The service has over 120,000 movies and TV shows available to buy or rent, with 25,000 of them in high definition. Amazon Prime customers are taken care of as well, with access to 17,000 Prime Instant Videos as part of your membership. The PS3 joins a list of other Amazon Instant Video devices, and you will be able to start watching on one and pick up on the other without issue. The PS3 app includes the Recently Watched and Next Episode features, plus it can show recommendations based on your viewing habits. The app is available to download right now, and to entice customers, Sony and Amazon are offering over 100 TV pliot episodes to watch for free.


Complete Story


New Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Trailer Arrives

Posted: April 3, 2012 @ time: 08:08PM
Author: bp9801

Fans of the popular 4X series Sins of a Solar Empire will get a new entry later this year, if all goes to plan, that will expand the universe in grand fashion. We have seen screenshots and a teaser trailer of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, and now we have the full trailer of the game. This trailer appears to be all pre-rendered footage, but you get a great sense of the story in Rebellion. We get to see some space warfare and even some of the impressive Titan "super capital ships" squaring off against each other. The Titans are simply massive and pack major firepower, but can be brought down if you play your cards right. I think I will let the trailer do the rest of the talking, and even if you have not played the past games, you would do well to watch this.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 05:15AM
Author: Nemo

Welcome back to another hardware roundup as we bring you a pair of reviews covering video cards from both the red and green camps today. First up is the Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 Overclocked Edition brought to us by our colleagues over at Neoseeker. On the other side of the fence is another factory overclocked card, the ZOTAC GTX 680s Extreme Overclock, and the review looks at a three-way SLI setup. A rig with that kind of video processing power might well be able to make use of the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 1000W power supply reviewed here today. We also have the NZXT Switch 810 full-tower chassis we first saw at CES this year along with a side-by-side comparison of two ASRock X79 Extreme4 motherboards.

Cases
Unboxing the NZXT Switch 810 Full Tower Case @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
ASRock X79 Extreme4 Motherboard Review Take Two @ [H]ardOCP

Power Supplies
SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 1000W Power Supply @ PC Perspective

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 Overclocked Edition @ Neoseeker
ZOTAC GTX 680s Extreme Overclock in SLI! @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


Processing and Storage With Nanomagnets

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 06:17AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Just as so many people are looking at solid state drives as the preferred storage method of the future, researchers at the Imperial College London have to find something to make magnetic hard drives interesting again. The classic hard drive stores data in magnetic domains along platters. The direction of the magnetic field from the domain is what determines if a bit is zero or one. The researchers found a new pattern for the domains which may allow the domains to shrink, and enable data processing on the drive itself.

Cobalt bar magnets just one micon long (millionth of a meter) and 100 nanometers wide were arranged in a honeycomb pattern. A unit in this array is where three of these magnets meet, and because the end of a magnet is only positive or negative, at least one magnet is repelled by another in the unit. This arrangement is called a frustrated magnetic system, and there are six configurations a unit can have with the same amount of frustration. With more units the complexity of the system increases exponentially.

Previous research has shown it is possible to flip a single bar in a unit with an external magnetic field. What the researchers at ICL found is that a current passing through the pattern is affected by it. If you change the configuration of one unit to another, the resistance to the current also changes. This allowed the researchers to not only write data to the magnetic network, but to process a signal with it.

The catch is this was only accomplished at 50 K or -223 ºC. Data can still be written to and read from the network at room temperature, but the signal processing might not work. However, the researchers are confident we will see this technology in 10-15 years.


Complete Story


Google's Augmented Reality Glasses Goes On Public Testing

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 10:59AM
Author: edwardquilo

Staying constantly online has never been easier with powerful smartphones and tablets, but Google's prototype heads-up display glasses goes even further with its own take on augmented reality. Dubbed Project Glass, the spectacles can stream real-time data such as location or social media connectivity to the lens, record video and take pictures - all designed for an almost hands-free experience. So in theory, you don't have to take out your phone to snap pictures or get the latest weather report, a simple voice command could do the trick. Google employees are currently field-testing the product to gauge how Project Glass performs in the real world, and they've also begun to reach to out to the masses to garner feedback on what people think about it. Watch the preview below to see how Project Glass works - so far it's a pretty seamless, unobtrusive online experience right in front of your eyes. Of course, we'll have to wait for the actual product to hit retail stores before we pass on judgement. 

 


Complete Story


PlayStation 4 Specifications Detailed?

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 11:52AM
Author: bp9801

We have to see if this rumor turns out true, but if it does, the PlayStation 4 would be packing a punch. The PS4 (codenamed Orbis) had a lot of information leak out last week, but the hardware specifications were a little dry aside from mentioning an AMD CPU and GPU. Today, sources have told IGN the PlayStation 4 will be running an AMD A8-3850 APU and HD 7670 GPU, both of which would give the PS4 plenty of power. This would give the PS4 the power to use the integrated graphics on the APU or the discrete graphics from the 7670, which would help boost the graphics capabilities. The HD 7670 is simply a rebranded version of the HD 6670, which was reported to be used in the Next Xbox, so at least the two consoles would have similar power. The HD 7670 would have a 1GHz core clock and 1GB of VRAM, plus it's HDMI 1.4a output would help power the PS4's rumored 4K resolution potential.

The A8-3850 is clocked at 2.9GHz across four cores, plus it packs an HD 6550D integrated graphics chip. The HD 6550D and the HD 7670 could work together in Crossfire to help deliver improved performance, since the HD 7670 is only capable of running Metro 2033 at 30 frames per second at 1080p. Combining the two graphics chips would allow for better looking games, but like all the consoles it would stand to reason the games would be optimized to run without issue on the PS4. Remember, all of this is just rumor for now, so everything could change if and when Sony announces the PlayStation 4.


Complete Story


Full-Size Titanium Ship Hull Section to be Made

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 12:02PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Advances in naval construction save lives and even win wars. When the first iron-clad ships were used, cannon fire was reported to bounce off the armor, and when welding was introduced to full-metal hulls, the time it took to build a ship greatly decreased. Now the Office of Naval Research is looking to push the boundaries of naval technology again, by creating a full-size titanium ship hull section.

Steel is the current choice for ships, thanks to its strength, abundance, and relative ease to work. Titanium though is stronger, lighter, and corrosion resistant, but many of its alloys are more expensive, and it is very difficult to work with. Fortunately a new welding technique, friction stir welding, has been developed for use specifically with the temperamental metal. Instead of using a flame or electricity to heat and meld metal plates together, friction stir melding uses a spinning pin to heat the metal plates to a malleable plastic state. The spinning of the pin then kneads the metal pieces together.

Titanium deck panels have already been made using friction stir welding, for the experimental Transformable Craft being worked on. To reduce the cost of the panel, the University of New Orleans School of Naval Architecture and Textron Marine and Land Systems researchers used cheaper marine grade titanium alloys. The alloy is likely still more expensive than its steel counterpart, but future research may find still cheaper yet strong alloys. However, a titanium ship will be lighter than a steel ship, allowing for greater payloads to be carried.

Correction: I mistakenly read the source as saying an entire ship hull was to be made. Instead, it is just a section of a full-size ship hull that is to be produced. A 20 foot long titanium deck panel has already been produced.


Complete Story


EA Chosen as Worst Company in America on The Consumerist

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: bp9801

While I am sure most people are not too surprised by this piece of news, I think some others will be. The Consumerist recently held a tournament of sorts where people can vote for the worst company in America. Plenty of companies were on the list, along with some unexpected ones, but the results are in: EA is the worst company in America. EA beat out Bank of America after more than 250,000 voters voiced their opinion throughout the tournament, with EA gaining 64% of the final vote. In order to reach the final, EA got past Best Buy, Sony, AT&T, and Comcast, while Bank of America beat Citi Bank, Ticket Master, Walmart, and Chase. Whether or not you agree with EA being the worst company in America, EA itself is less than pleased. EA's senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg says he is sure "bank presidents, oil, tobacco, and weapons companies are all relieved" to have been excluded from The Consumerist's list, but says EA will continue to make award-winning games. Reseburg also said EA is trying to get more involved with consumers, and also pointed out The Escapist's "Best Developer" competition that EA won.


Complete Story


Improved Qubit Control with Phonons

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 05:15PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For quantum computers to leave the laboratory, researchers will have to overcome many challenges, including some concerning how to move information through a system. Qubits are the basic unit of information in a quantum computer, and can be made of ions, photons, or electrons. As reported by Springer, researchers at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and the Center for Computational Science and Engineering at the National University of Singapore have found a new way to transport electron qubits.

Key to the discovery was the use of phonons. Phonons are the quanta of vibrations, similar to how photons are the quanta of light. The researchers first confined electrons in what is called a Double Quantum Dot (DQD) and used a nanomechanical resonator to create phonons. These phonons then coupled with the electrons. When the researchers caused the electrons and phonons to decouple, they found it was possible to induce the electrons to tunnel from one quantum dot to the other, in the DQD. This only happened when an integer number of phonons could be created by the extra energy of the two quantum dots in the DQD. However, when the coupling was particularly strong, the researchers found the electrons were more strongly confined within the DQD. This means phonons can be used to control electron transport.

While quantum computers are still a ways off, this research will help in the design and creation of electron-based quantum computers.


Complete Story


Blizzard Announces Battle.net World Championship

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 06:21PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Blizzard has announced the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series, a series of more than 30 events put on by Blizzard and tournament organizers. The end result will be to "identify a true global champion," giving some unknown players a chance to prove themselves against the best StarCraft 2 players from across the world. The tournament is broken up into five regions, North America, Asia, Europe, South America, and Oceania. There will be three levels in each region, from national qualifiers to continental championships. Partners will be given seeds to distribute as they see fit, whether it is through existing or new tournaments. Be on the lookout for further information on how you can get into national qualifiers and what the prize pool will be.


Complete Story


From Karats to Qubits

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 06:43PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Superposition is a quantum mechanical phenomenon that allows for one particle to exist in many positions or states at the same time. This is something researchers are working to take advantage of for use in quantum computers. The qubits in a quantum computer are in a superposition, which allows one particle to exist as both 0 and 1, as opposed to electronic bits that are 0 or 1. A material many researchers have been looking at for use in quantum computers is diamond, thanks to how the spin states of imperfections are held. This led some researchers to an interesting experiment.

Researchers at the University of Southern California, Iowa State University, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have created a functional quantum computer within a diamond. It is not very powerful, with only two qubits, but has proven itself to be a quantum computer, and has one interesting property. Instead of using electrons as the qubits, which is fairly common when dealing with diamond, the researchers used nitrogen nuclei, from the diamond’s imperfections. While a nucleus will be a slower qubit than an electron, it is far more stable and offers protection from decoherence. This is the first solid-state computing system to have such protection.

To verify the diamond is indeed a functional quantum computer, the researchers tested it with Grover’s algorithm. In classical mechanics, if you are told to find something in a list of four elements, on average you will find it after the second element you look at. What Grover’s algorithm does is allow quantum computers to find the correct entry in the four item list on the first try, every time. When the diamond was tested, it found the correct entry the first time 95% of the entire. Not quite perfect, but close enough to confirm the quantum computer is functional.


Complete Story


Another Kingdoms of Amalur DLC Announced, Arrives this Month

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 07:24PM
Author: bp9801

Just last month we saw The Legend of Dead Kel launch for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and now it looks like another DLC is on the way. Big Huge Games and 38 Studios have announced the Teeth of Naros DLC for Reckoning, which adds the floating city of Idylla to the world. This DLC contains more than 20 side quests, five new dungeons, a "mysterious" new race, three new Twists of Fate, nine new armor sets, six new shields, and 18 new weapons. When you journey to the new lands of the Teeth of Naros, named for an ancient troll god, you "will encounter the Kollossae, a devout race of giants, and uncover the mysteries of their faith." It should make for an interesting experience, but you will not have to wait long as Teeth of Naros arrives on April 17th for $10.


Complete Story


Notch Announces New Game Called 0x10c

Posted: April 4, 2012 @ time: 08:17PM
Author: bp9801

What you are reading in the title is actually correct, as Markus "Notch" Persson has announced his new game called 0x10c. Notch announced the name via Twitter, but said how to pronounce it is a "riddle." This is that space trading game he mentioned a while back where he wanted to combine Elite with Firefly. On the official site for 0x10c, you can read the following description: "Each ship has a generator capable of producing a fixed wattage, and everything you connect to it drains wattage. A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak." That all sounds well and good, as it will make the game more in line with an actual spaceship, well, if spaceships like Serenity from Firefly existed. The website also has a list of things that could be included in 0x10c, but the game is still very early in development so do not get too attached. At any rate, here they are:

  • Hard science fiction.
  • Lots of engineering.
  • Fully working computer system.
  • Space battles against the AI or other players.
  • Abandoned ships full of loot.
  • Duct tape!
  • Seamlessly landing on planets.
  • Advanced economy system.
  • Random encounters.
  • Mining, trading, and looting.
  • Single and multi player connected via the multiverse.

The game will be released early on, like Minecraft, and the multiplayer side will have a monthly fee. Single player will not, but the connection to the Multiverse will emulate all computers and physics even when you are not logged in.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 06:42AM
Author: Nemo

We'll start off with a review covering the Asus X79 Sabertooth motherboard for those interested in building a rig based on the LGA 2011 socket platform. In video cards, we have the HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ Turbo 2GB with the aftermarket cooling solution. In addition, there is an overclocking review on the NVIDIA Kepler GeForce GTX 680. We also have reviews on the Razer Chimers gaming headset, the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive and the Seasonic SS-350TGM power supply.

Motherboards
Asus X79 Sabertooth Motherboard @ Bjorn3D

Power Supplies
Seasonic SS-350TGM Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Speakers/Headphones
Razer Chimaera Gaming Headset @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD Initial Review - Vertex Returns to its Indilinx Roots @ PC Perspective

Video
HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ Turbo 2GB @ Benchmark Reviews
NVIDIA Kepler GeForce GTX 680 Overclocking @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
TechSpot PC Buying Guide - Just Updated! @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Looking at Liquids to Explain Superconductivity

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 07:29AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Institut Néel in France, Aalto University in Finland, SUNY University at Buffalo in the US, and Johannes Kepler University in Austria have discovered a new kind of density wave in fermion liquids. Fermions are part of a group of particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons, and they all obey the Pauli Exclusion Principle. The principle states that no two fermions can exist in the same energy state, which makes the interplay between particles in a fermion liquid very difficult to model.

The researchers shot neutrons at an atom-thick layer of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium. This two dimensional setup allowed the researchers to observe a wave not seen before in three dimensional systems, or not seen for long. Zero-sound oscillations like this are often damped out in three dimensional systems, but they may be of great importance to high-temperature superconductivity.

Some researchers believe it is high frequency density oscillations that cause high-temperature superconductivity. To test this, the team plans on repeating the experiment with an electron liquid, instead of a helium-3 liquid. Even if it turns out there is no connection between the waves and superconductivity, this discovery could greatly improve our understanding of other quantum fluids and many-body physics, which controls the makeup of metals.


Complete Story


OCZ Vertex 4 Series Solid State Drive Introduced

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 08:22AM
Author: Nemo

OCZ has introduced the Vertex 4 SATA III solid state drive based on the company's Indilinx Everest 2 controller. OCZ's fourth generation SSD claims it has the highest input/output operations per second (IOPS) performance for SATA-based drives with sequential bandwidth up to 535 MB/s and maximum random performance of up to 120,000 IOPS. With incompressible data, the Vertex 4 manages to deliver 95,000 4K random read IOPS and 85,000 random write IOPS. OCZ states that the Vertex 4 can double typical transactional performance over its previous generation Vertex 3 drives.

The new Indilinx Everest 2 controller platform used in the Vertex 4 features a dual-core architecture and 400MHz clock speeds. The controller eliminates the need for internal data compression which improves drive reliability. The controller also includes an advanced error correction code engine, dynamic wear leveling and and Indilinx’s next generation Ndurance 2.0 NAND flash management technology which helps extend NAND flash life well beyond the manufacturer rated program and erase cycle specifications.

OCZ will off the Vertex 4 in capacities ranging from 128GB to 512GB. OCZ has not released pricing or availability information yet.


Complete Story


BioWare to Appease Grumbling Fans in the Free Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 09:17AM
Author: edwardquilo

Legions of disgruntled Mass Effect 3 fans will hopefully be satiated this summer with BioWare's answer to the game's controversial ending- the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut. The new content will provide an expanded closure with additional content such as cinematics and epilogue cutscenes. BioWare's Ray Muzyka believes that the upcoming DLC "strikes a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe."

Unfortunately, the DLC will not have a new ending for players to dive into, as ME3: Extended Cut instead aims to provide a greater depth to the events that transpired at the end of Shepard's epic story. No details yet if any form of gameplay are to be included in the DLC, but executive producer Casey Hudson promises that this initiative is part of their efforts to "provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player." Shepard's galactic journey might just finally come to a satisfying end for some(if not all of us), so it's intriguing to speculate what kind of footage BioWare has in store for Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut


Complete Story


Experience Cryptic's Neverwinter MMO with New Screenshots and a Teaser Trailer

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 11:03AM
Author: edwardquilo

Cryptic's Neverwinter MMO has evolved from a co-op RPG romp into a full-blown MMORPG, but little else has been seen of the D&D title apart from a few introductory trailers. That's all going to change on PAX East, as Cryptic will show off the game to the public with a playable version. Lucky spectators might even have a chance to score some Neverwinter beta keys, so drop by the Perfect World Entertainment Booth #736, if you're headed to PAX East this weekend. For the rest of us, there's an abundance of enticing new screenshots and a teaser trailer available below showcasing Neverwinter's gorgeous world.

 


Complete Story


MicroThrust to Set Nanosatellites Free

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 11:28AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Since the first transmission was bounced off of a satellite, scientists and engineers have known they would become unbelievably important tools. They can also be very expensive though, with some reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Researchers have been developing nanosatellites, which can cost less than one million dollars, but there has been the issue of mobility. These satellites, which range from 1 Kg to 100 Kg, do not always have a thruster system on them, so once they are in orbit, they stay there. Now researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have developed a micro motor to set these satellites free.

MicroThrust is not a traditional rocket motor, which burns fuel, but an ion engine that expels it. Ion engines use electric fields to accelerate particles to very high speed, as opposed to rockets which use combustion to move gases at a relatively low speed. This allows the engine to be much more efficient, which is needed for a nanosatellite so weight can be kept down. The prototype MicroThrust motor is actually just a 10 cm cube and weighs only 200 grams (0.44 lbs), including the 0.1 liters of fuel.

Acceleration is a problem for ion engines though, because the momentum of the ions is quite low, due to their very low mass. To go from stopped to 100 kph (about 62 mph) takes 77 hours. That may not break any records on Earth, but in space that is enough to get a nanosatellite into Moon orbit in six months. Really though, once an object can break free from Earth’s gravity, it can go anywhere it likes, including Mars, and asteroids.

 


Complete Story


The Original Fallout Available for Free at Good Old Games

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 11:57AM
Author: edwardquilo

In the next 48 hours, the timeless RPG Fallout will be available for free, courtesy of our generous friends from Good Old Games. GOG has repackaged the tactical post-apocalyptic game with some worthy extras such as the game soundtrack, Vault Boy avatars, and a 205-page Fallout Bible, among others. As with all GOG games, the updated version of Interplay's 15-year-old title will work on modern computers without much of a hassle. So download the 506 MB file now from GOG.com and venture outside of Vault 13 - it's time for some old school turn-based RPG fun, classic Fallout style.


Complete Story


Exciting Patterns Found in Excitons

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 12:26PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Have you ever wondered what happens when an electron is excited out of its orbit in a semiconductor? The answer is nothing too complex; a positively charged hole is left behind. What is complex though, is what can happen between these two things.

Excitons are the quasiparticles made of an electron and the hole it produced. Like real quantum particles, excitons can have angular momentum, or spin, but they do not behave like other particles. When chilled to near absolute zero, excitons group together into droplets that resemble a pearl necklace. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego successfully cooled these ‘pearls’ to one tenth the previous record, which allowed them to then measure the spin of the excitons. What they found was rather unexpected as the excitons did not spin together within the droplets, but in a pattern that surround the droplet. The researchers have named these patterns spin textures and found the texture of a droplet is influenced by the spin polarization and phase singularities of the excitons.

These findings could influence potential optoelectronics, as excitons influence the optical properties of semiconductors, and could even lead to excitonic devices.

 


Complete Story


Sony's Kaz Hirai to Unveil New Strategy on April 12th

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 01:49PM
Author: bp9801

The news for Sony is not all that great, as it is expected to have a $2.7 billion loss this fiscal year. New CEO Kazuo Hirai will be holding a briefing on April 12th to discuss Sony's new strategy to rebound. An expected loss of nearly three billion dollars probably is not what Kaz Hirai wanted to be greeted with when he took over as CEO, but it is what it is. What exactly the new strategy will consist of is unknown at this time, but Sony needs to do something after its fourth consecutive annual loss. Kaz Hirai is one of the most-known faces of Sony, and now that he is the CEO, everything will be riding on him. Hopefully he can use this investor briefing to assert his new position and restore faith that Sony will come out of the red.


Complete Story


A Light Leading to Tunneling

Posted: April 5, 2012 @ time: 02:00PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you run into a wall, there is a pretty good chance you will not get through it. To break through a barrier you need to energy to overcome it, and sometimes it can take a lot of energy. In quantum mechanics though, if you want to get through a barrier, you do not always need to break through. Instead you can tunnel though, with considerably less energy than is needed to break the wall. Controlling when a particle tunnels is not always easy, but researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a way to do just that.

The researchers trapped some electrons behind barriers they cannot pass through and then shot some light at them. The light was trapped between two mirrors, so it kept passing through the electrons. When the electrons coupled with the photons, a previously unseen particle was created that the researchers are calling dipolaritons. These particles resemble a bar magnet with a stretched out shape and how they interact with each other.

It is the dipolaritons that are then capable of tunneling through the barrier. In effect, the photon teaches the electron how to spontaneously move from one side of the barrier to the other. This could open up new possibilities in many devices, as tunneling is a useful phenomenon. Also the researcher may lead to a better understanding of condensates, which have the ability to travel through semiconductors without resistance, like electrons in a superconductor.


Complete Story


© 2001-2014 Overclockers Club ® Privacy Policy

Also part of our network: TalkAndroid, Android Forum, iPhone Informer, Neoseeker, and Used Audio Classifieds

Elapsed: 0.0261011124