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News Archives for July 2014

Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 05:46AM
Author: bp9801

July has arrived at long last, which means we're already halfway through the year. We have a good amount of items for you to check out today, especially when it comes to solid state drives. There are several looks at the new Samsung 850 PRO SSD, which uses the company's new 32 layer 3D V-NAND technology to deliver twice the density and write speed of typical 20nm NAND flash. There is also a PCIe SSD in the form of the OCZ RevoDrive 350, so plenty of fast storage options are covered today. For something more audio related, there's a look at the Wicked Audio Heist earbuds that features an in-line connector so you can share your music with another person's headphones/earbuds. Finally there's a handy guide on some computer maintenance everyone should be doing to keep their system running nice and smooth throughout the year.

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SSD @ PC Perspective
Samsung 850 PRO @ TechSpot
Samsung 850 PRO @ Benchmark Reviews
OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB PCIe SSD @ PC Perspective 

Speakers/Headphones
Wicked Audio Heist Earbuds @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Summertime PC Maintenance @ LanOC Reviews


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Integrating Sensors into Optical Fiber

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 06:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Getting information can be of vital importance for many systems and situations, but sometimes the environment is too harsh to use traditional sensors. Specialized sensors have to be developed then, and some can be very complicated and inelegant. As published in the Optical Society's Optics Letters journal, a new sensor system has been developed that fits inside a single optical fiber, and sets an impressive record.

The researchers were inspired to develop simpler sensors after seeing what NASA has to do to measure liquid hydrogen in microgravity. They turned to fiber optics because they realized that the cables can deliver energy just as they can carry signals, so sensors integrated into the cables can be powered. This power enables a variety of active sensors and devices to be built into the cable, such as gas flow sensors and devices to convert optical energy into ultrasonic energy and microwaves. Hundreds of these could be put into a single fiber, and by the nature of fiber optics, they can be very resilient. Already the researchers have built a gas flow sensors that can operate at temperatures above 800 ºC, which is two hundred degrees above other sensors.

Potentially these sensing fiber optics could be used in nuclear reactors, deep geothermal drill cores, and in outer space. The researchers are now looking to see what else they can carry along optical cables, perhaps by changing its shape and size.

Source: The Optical Society


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Third-Person, Cel-Shaded Escape Dead Island Unraveling the Mystery Fall 2014

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 11:29AM
Author: ClayMeow

The Dead Island universe is expanding once again. The original Dead Island and its sequel Dead Island: Riptide are survival horror action-RPGs with an emphasis on melee combat and co-op. Then there's Dead Island: Epidemic, which is a zombified twist on the MOBA genre. At E3, Dead Island 2 was announced, which brings the series back to its roots with seamless co-op multiplayer and "first-person melee combat with dedicated RPG elements such as character development, looting and weapon crafting." But now comes the announcement of an entirely new game in the series, entitled Escape Dead Island, which is unlike any of the previous games.

Escape Dead Island is a "third-person single-player survival mystery spin-off that unravels the origins of the zombie outbreak and tells the story between multi-million-seller Dead Island and the recently announced successor Dead Island 2." It's a story-driven adventure that follows Cliff Calo, who arrives on the island of Narapela, part of the Banoi archipelago, seeking to document the unexplained events he heard about. Aside from the switch to third-person perspective, the other major difference you'll notice right away is the aesthetic change – Escape Dead Island uses a cel-shaded look, as you can see in the trailer and screenshots below.

Escape Dead Island is set to launch on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 this Fall for $39.99. The game is being developed by Fatshark, the studio behind (in order from oldest to most recent) Lead and Gold, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, Hamilton's Great Adventure, Krater, War of the Roses, and War of the Vikings – quite the broad range. Meanwhile, Dead Island 2 is being developed by Yager Development, the studio behind Spec Ops: The Line and the upcoming Dreadnought.

Source: Press Release


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Underworld Series Making its Triumphant Return with Underworld Ascension

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 12:49PM
Author: ClayMeow

Depending on your age, you may have never played Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, but if you follow video game history or development, odds are you're at least aware of its existence and impact on the industry. Released in 1992, it's considered the first first-person 3D role-playing game, and is cited as inspiration for The Elder Scrolls, System Shock, Deus Ex, and many more. Legends Richard Garriott and Warren Spector directed and produced the game, respectively, but the real vision of the game came from Paul Neurath, who later went on to lead the development of such classic franchises as Thief and System Shock.

Seemingly out of the business for the past decade, Paul Neurath is back as founder and CEO of brand new, Boston-based indie studio OtherSide Entertainment, with the goal of "bringing to core gamers reboots of classic game franchises." Underworld Ascension is the studio's first title and will mark a return to the Underworld franchise for the first time since 1993's Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds. With Underworld Ascension, OtherSide aims "to innovate and revitalize the fantasy genre in the same way that its predecessor did in 1992."

As of now, Underworld Ascension is only planned for PC, but no release window has been provided. In addition, it's unclear if this new entry in the series will have any ties to Ultima, as Electronic Arts holds the IP rights to that; which may be why the Ultima name is absent this time around.

Source: Press Release


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New Record for Smallest Force Measured

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 02:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Sometimes small things can mean very big things, but before those big things can happen, you have to detect the small things. Detecting the almost infinitesimal is hardly easy though, but researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have recently measured a force of roughly 42 yoctonewtons (yN). That would be 0.000000000000000000000042 (42*10-24) Newtons, and one ounce of force is 0.278 N (or 2.78*1023 times greater).

This ultrasensitive detector uses an optical trap to hold and cool a cloud of rubidium atoms. Two standing-wave light fields are what actually trap the atoms and isolate them from the external environment. By modulating one of the fields, the cloud's center of mass can be moved, and this movement can be picked up by another, probe beam of light. The key aspect of this detector is that it decouples the atoms from the environment, which allows the measurement to approach the Standard Quantum Limit, which is the smallest force that can be measured, according to the Uncertainty principles. The closest we have gotten to the SQL before was six to either orders of magnitude, but this got us to just four times above it.

The ability to measure such unbelievably small forces could impact Newtonian physics and General Relativity. We have to be able to measure forces, specifically gravity, at very small scales to answers some of the questions these fields present us with.

Source: Berkeley Lab


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Samsung 850 Solid State Drive Now Available

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 03:59PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Samsung 850 Pro is the latest solid state drive from the company and it is the first to use the new 3D vertical NAND flash memory technology. The new technology "features a proprietary vertical cell structure that overcomes the density limit currently facing planar NAND architecture." The 850 Pro is capable of read and write speeds up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively, and also boasts 100,000 read IOPS and 90,000 IOPS. It will be available in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

Source: Maximum PC


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Google Acquires Streaming Service Songza

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 04:11PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Music streaming service Songza is the latest company to be purchased by Google, at a rumored price of $35 million. The company "is in the business of learning about what songs people want to listen to when they’re in particular situations such as a summer cookout or relaxing at home." The acquisition joins a growing number in that technology sector including the purchase of Beats Music by Apple. Google is reportedly planning to use the team to work on the Google Play Music All Access service.

Source: NY Post


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ASUSTOR Releases ADM 2.2

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 05:23PM
Author: gebraset

ASUSTOR has just released ASUTOR Data Manager 2.2, just over four months after it released version 2.1The latest version adds in various new features and optimizations, much of which were included thanks to user input and feedback, according to Product Manager at ASUSTOR, Steve Huang. ADM 2.2 contains several new core features, including Night Mode scheduling, hard disk hibernation indicators, multilingual username support, more advanced UPS functionality, and support for external CD, DVD, and Blu-ray drives. New applications are also available in ADM 2.2 and include Photo Gallery, MiniDLNA, Google Drive, HiDrive, and Mail Server. Another feature that is included with ADM 2.2 is a Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox add-on known as Download Helper, which provides one-click downloading of online streaming video.

ADM 2.2 is available for all ASUSTOR NAS devices and can be downloaded now.

Source: Press Release


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Vaio Brand Relaunched

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 05:27PM
Author: gebraset

Japan Industrial Partners, the investment firm that bought the Vaio brand from Sony earlier this year so that Sony could focus on its mobile offerings, has just relaunched the Vaio brand. Although Sony sold the brand, it still holds a small stake in the Vaio PC business, which allows it to sell the computers. Two new laptops, known as the Vaio Fit and Vaio Pro, are now available through Sony's online Japanese storefront. While the name brand lives on, Japan Industrial Partners is at this time only providing Vaio products to consumers within the Japanese market. The company is attempting to gain a foothold in the crowded laptop segment by pushing innovative features such as the latest Intel processors, solid state drives, and touch screens, but only time will tell how popular the Vaio brand becomes.

Source: PCWorld


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CD Projekt RED Annnounces Free Mobile MOBA The Witcher Battle Arena, Coming Q4 2014

Posted: July 1, 2014 @ time: 08:58PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in January, CD Projekt RED announced The Witcher Adventure Game, a tabletop game that will be getting a PC and mobile version. But apparently that's not the only mobile Witcher game in the works. Today, CD Projekt RED announced that it'll be entering the world of free mobile gaming with The Witcher Battle Arena, "a fast, fun and accessible MOBA game based in the Witcher universe." Battle Arena has been designed with mobile devices in mind, combining "great accessibility and a balanced learning curve with complex tactics and a limitless array of skill-based strategies gamers can deploy during each battle." Most importantly, CD Projekt RED is determined to put fun before profit – every piece of in-game content can be unlocked via gameplay, with microtransactions simply allowing players to unlock certain items faster. According to Creative Analyst Tadek Zielinski, "Battle Arena is all about skill and dedication, and we've spent hundreds of hours planning to make it a paragon of fairness in mobile gaming."

So how does the game play out? "In the Arena, six heroes battle it out to the death, trying to capture and hold three conquest points in short, intense and action-packed skirmishes." Battle Arena offers a 3v3 PvP mode, a co-op mode against "mischievous bots," and yes, even the ability to "play alone if your Internet decides to take the day off." As of now, there are eight heroes planned, each with their own unique skills and tactics: Eithne of Brokilon, Philippa Eilhart, The Golem, Iorveth, Letho of Gulet, The Operator, Saskia of Aedirn, and Zoltan Chivay. Be sure to check the official site for detailed information on each hero.

The Witcher Battle Arena is scheduled to launch sometimes in Q4 2014 on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows Tablets, "with free future updates planned to expand the game both in terms of number of characters, gameplay modes and more." While CD Projekt RED designed the game, development duties fall to fellow Polish studio Fuero Games.

Source: Press Release and Official Site


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 05:49AM
Author: bp9801

We have a few items for you to check out on this Wednesday, so hopefully they can help you get through the day. There is a look at the MSI Z97 XPower motherboard, which resembles the Z87 version, just with a slightly different layout and water cooling barbs on the CPU VRM heat sink. We also have a review on the SteelSeries Sensei wireless gaming mouse to see how the company's first wireless mouse stacks up to its wired brethren. Finally there's an article covering Steam In-Home Streaming and what it means for the future of gaming.

Motherboards
MSI Z97 XPower @ PC Perspective

Mice/Keyboards
SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Steam In-Home Streaming and Gaming Future @ Benchmark Reviews


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Net-Zero House Succeeds Goal

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Anyone who has had to pay a power bill or seen rates increase can understand one reason why energy efficiency is important. Sometimes it feels like anything that could reduce usage would be worth it, but could it be possible for a home to zero net energy usage over a year? That is a question researchers at NIST decided to test and the year is up, with great success.

The Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) is a four-occupant house and laboratory in Maryland with many technologies to reduce energy usage, or to even produce energy. There are solar panels on the roof, a geothermal system underground, a solar water-heating system, and the house was built with double the insulation level. Inside the home had all of the appliances you can find around your own house, with extra equipment to control and monitor them, in order to simulate the use of a four-person family. After a year, which included severe weather, the home not only met the net-zero energy goal but exceeded it with a 491 kilowatt hour surplus. In total it used 13,086 kWh, which was 3000 kWh more than expected with normal weather, but roughly 14,000 kWh less than a comparable Maryland home, built to state energy standards, would use.

With this experiment done, and the point of a net-zero home proven, the NZERTF will continue to be used to test technologies and measures to reduce energy use and improve efficiency, with an aim at reducing costs. The researchers estimate the technologies used and efficiency-enhancing construction would add about $162,700 onto the cost of a comparable home built to Maryland's building code, when totaled together.

 

 

Source: NIST


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Murdered: Soul Suspect Developer Airtight Games Shuts Down

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 08:26AM
Author: ClayMeow

Supernatural detective thriller Murdered: Soul Suspect launched last month, but while it had looked like a promising and unique game, it was sadly met with rather mediocre reception. Unfortunately for developer Airtight Games, that mediocre reception was probably met with sub-par sales, and it now seems like the studio couldn't withstand those poor numbers. After laying off 14 employees back in April in what was called "necessary restructuring [as] part of the normal ebb and flow of game production," it now seems like the indie studio has closed its doors for good.

While its website remains online and company executives have not released an official statement, Geekwire is reporting that there's a sign outside Airtight's Redmond office saying the company is closing its doors, "and its office equipment was being sold off at heavy discounts." This seems a bit at odds with what an Airtight executive told IGN after the April layoffs, claiming that "existing projects are on schedule and Airtight Games is actively seeking partners for exciting upcoming projects." It's possible the studio couldn't find partners quick enough to keep the bills paid, or it's also possible that with the downsizing of the company, the smaller team will simply be moving to a smaller office. If the company has indeed shut down, that would certainly be a shame, especially considering its 2012 Portal-inspired, puzzle-platformer Quantum Conundrum was quite well-received (and I certainly recommend any Portal fan to pick it up).

Airtight Games was certainly willing to take risks and try new ideas, but sadly that risk may have caught up to it. Hopefully we'll learn more soon.

Source: GeekWire


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Super Time Force Ultra Coming to Steam This Summer

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 02:33PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in April, Capybara Games announced that its Roguelike exploration game BELOW will be coming to Steam alongside the Xbox One. Today, Capy announced that its side-scrolling, time-traveling shooter Super Time Force, which released for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in May, will be heading to Steam as well. But it's not just a mere port! Entitled Super Time Force Ultra, or lovingly abbreviated as STFU, Capy is "adding some very cool (but presently very secret) stuff to [its] crazy time-traveling game!"

In addition to STFU coming to Steam, the 53-track Super Time Force Soundtrack by 6955 is now available for purchase. I wouldn't be surprised if it's sold on Steam as well, maybe even as a pre-purchase bonus. You can listen to the soundtrack at the official site linked below.

Super Time Force Ultra will be coming to Steam sometime this Summer. Pricing and an exact date have not been disclosed and the Steam Store Page has not yet been published.

Source: Official Site via Facebook


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Tripwire Announces End of the Line Summer Event

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 03:29PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Tripwire Interactive has announced the annual summer event for the multiplayer zombie shooter Killing Floor, and this year it is entitled End of the Line. The name for the update is likely a reference to the upcoming Killing Floor 2 sequel, and it looks like the game will go out with a bang. The event is available starting today and brings with it some free and paid content. Two new wave mode maps are included in addition to a single objective and wave mode based map. A new character can also be unlocked by completing the new map on objective mode. A neon themed character and weapons pack are available as paid DLC. In celebration of the new event, Killing Floor is currently 50% off on Steam.

Source: Tripwire Interactive


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Corsair Partners with compLexity Gaming

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 03:39PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced a partnership with eSports organization compLexity Gaming to "work together to promote the world of eSports to the masses." Corsair will use the partnership to help develop new products geared towards gamers, similar to work done by Thermaltake and others, and compLexity has gained a new sponsor for its peripheral needs. Senior Director of Consumer Marketing at Corsair Mark Bony said, "compLexity Gaming are both leaders and veterans in the eSports field. We look forward to working with them to elevate the state of the art in PC gaming hardware and broadening the awareness of eSports." COO of compLexity Gaming Jason Bass added, "Corsair is a brand that I have always personally respected. I am very excited to have the opportunity to partner with them as well as to utilize their incredible mice and keyboards."

Source: Press Release


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Sony Recalls Vaio Flip Laptops

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 04:40PM
Author: gebraset

Sony has recalled roughly 680 Vaio Flip laptops due to fire and burn hazards associated with the included battery. The recall comes just a few months after Sony urged customers to stop using Vaio Fit 11A computers for the same reason. At this point in time Sony is aware of four incidents total, which all occurred in Asia, where overheating batteries have not only smoked, but also caught on fire and melted. While no injuries have been reported from the incidents, consumers are being urged to immediately stop using and charging their Vaio Flip laptops. Consumers can check to see if their Vaio Flip has been recalled by verifying if their laptop is indeed model number SVF11N13CXS.

Sony is providing consumers with instructions on how to arrange for a free inspection, and is also providing free repairs for Vaio Flip laptops that can be fixed. For laptops deemed unrepairable, Sony will provide a full refund of the purchase price to the consumer.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


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BitFenix Releases Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 04:45PM
Author: gebraset

In order to support its growing customer base, BitFenix has just released its latest product known as the Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory. This accessory is made out of high quality steel and features an array of ventilation holes used to enhance the cooling performance of BitFenix Phenom cases by increasing heat dissipation and airflow. After installation of the BitFenix Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory, which takes just seconds according to the company, the ventilation holes themselves are placed directly over the area where graphics cards are installed.

The BitFenix Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory is available in black and white and can be purchased immediately. The accessory supports Phenom Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases. 

Source: Press Release


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Researchers Suggest Incorporating Sustainability into Video Games

Posted: July 2, 2014 @ time: 05:23PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A truth of all topics, great and small, is the difficulty to spread awareness and information on the subject. Indeed there are many topics that are many decades old that are still woefully misunderstood by many, so finding ways to familiarize people with them is crucial. Researchers at Oregon State University have recently suggested that the topic of sustainability could be brought into video games to increase awareness amongst gamers, by presenting us with related puzzles to solve.

By bringing sustainability concepts to video games, the researchers hope to have an approach that is neither pedantic nor educational, but still satisfying and informative through fun and challenge. Specifically four areas the researchers would like to see in more games are: a shift away from growth as a goal, as it would eventually be unsustainable; scavenging instead of combat to collect resources; more complex social interactions to foster social collaborations; and more complex resource strategies with long-term consequences, and interdependencies between resources.

Already there are some games with some of these elements, such as EVE Online, with its economy, and DayZ with its scavenging and player interactions. The researchers would like to see more games and mechanics that encourage thought on sustainability.

Source: Oregon State University


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 05:54AM
Author: bp9801

If you are in the market for a new video card, you're in luck as today we have a look at two different AMD Radeon R9 280s. The first one comes from MSI, which features a custom cooler and factory overclock to help get your games looking good right away. The other card is from HIS, and it features the company's high-end IceQ X2 cooler along with overclocks to the core and memory. Both should work out quite well, so hit up the reviews to see for sure. We also have a review on the Evercool Venti CPU cooler; a rather slim product that shouldn't take up much space from tall RAM heat sinks. Finally there's a comparison of the Exynos and Snapdragon-powered Samsung Galaxy S5s to see which one is more powerful.

Video Cards
MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB Gaming @ PC Perspective
HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB @ Benchmark Reviews

CPU Cooling
Evercool Venti @ LanOC Reviews

Mobile
Battle of the Galaxy S5s: Exynos vs Snapdragon @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Shooting Off Nanotubes to Unzip Them

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 06:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Depending on its form, carbon can be a very useful material with special properties, but producing the proper form can be difficult and messy. Typically the methods used are chemical in nature, which can leave residues that have to be cleaned off and may be tricky to work with. Researchers at Rice University however have found a means to create graphene nanoribbons mechanically, and this could have some large impacts on future technologies.

To make graphene nanoribbons, one starts with carbon nanotubes, which are essentially the ribbons wrapped into a cylinder. By unzipping them you have the desired nanoribbons, and traditional methods applied chemistry to trigger the unzipping, which then requires cleaning the ribbons. The Rice researchers discovered that nanotubes could also be unzipped by firing them at 15,000 miles per hour at a target in a vacuum chamber. If the nanotubes strike the target along their length, the impact will crush the tube walls and cause them to unzip. Nanotubes that strike end first or at a steep angle though just crumbled. The researchers were firing the nanotubes at that speed to find possible applications for space missions, as such hypervelocity impacts are used to test projectiles on shields, spacecraft, and satellites.

By providing an easy and clean means to produce high-quality graphene nanoribbons, this research could help make them more accessible for future technologies. Thanks to their superb electrical properties, graphene nanoribbons could one day be used to create advanced electronic materials.

Source: Rice University


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Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Blasting Off October 24

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 10:39AM
Author: ClayMeow

Officially announced in April, Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth will be releasing globally on October 24, 2014 for $49.99. Beyond Earth brings the Civilization franchise to space with elements from Alpha Centauri. While the game is a turn-based strategy game played on a hexagonal grid with a lot of gameplay mechanics that will be instantly recognizable to any Civilization fan, Beyond Earth features a lot of drastic differences: custom civilizations based on pre-game decisions, an asymmetric start, a "technology web", and native life that affect gameplay even into the end game.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming exclusively to Windows, though previous entries have Mac and Linux support, so it's likely that'll come in the future. Pre-ordering the game provides the Exoplanets Map Pack at launch, which includes "six custom maps inspired by real exoplanets:"

  • Kepler 186f: This lush forest planet is one of the oldest known Earth-like planets;
  • Rigil Khantoris Bb: Orbiting the closest star to our solar system, the historical records of this arid continental planet's settlement are well-preserved;
  • Tau Ceti d: This planet of seas and archipelagos features a booming biodiversity and a wealth of resources;
  • Mu Arae f: Tidally locked in orbit around a weak star, the southern hemisphere of this planet is a blistering desert where the sun never sets, while the northern hemisphere is perpetually in frozen darkness;
  • 82 Eridani e: An alien world of scarce water and wracked by tectonic forces;
  • Eta Vulpeculae b: A mysterious new discovery with unknown terrain.

Source: Press Release


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DEEPCOOL Announces New Liquid Coolers

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 12:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

DEEPCOOL has announced a trio of new all-in-one liquid coolers as part of the Maelstrom series. All of the models use a copper cooling block full of micro channels to help dissipate the heat and are compatible with all models of Intel and AMD processors. The base model is the Maelstrom 120k and uses a 20mm thick 120mm fan to help make it ideal for small cases. The Maelstrom 120 uses a rubber covered PWM fan to help reduce noise and vibration. The Maelstrom 240 uses two of the rubber covered fans. The 120k will have an MSRP of $69.99, the 120 will cost $75.99, and the 240 will cost $105.99.

Source: Press Release


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Getting Closer to Solving Combustion Mystery

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 02:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When most people look at a flame, they likely do not think about the many chemical processes involved. For those that do consider the mechanics of combustion though, there has been a mystery for some time about how soot and compounds are formed. Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of Hawaii though have finally found the first step in the process, which could lead to many interesting and useful discoveries.

Under ideal conditions, combustion should just create carbon dioxide and water vapor. Reality is hardly ideal though, and so we see fumes and particulates, such as soot, created as well. The mechanisms that convert gas-phase molecules into these solid particles have been theorized for some time, but now the researchers have experimental evidence for what happens. One family of theories called HACA (hydrogen abstraction-acetylene addition) involves benzene molecules, which are a ring of six carbon atoms with six hydrogen atoms connected, that lose a hydrogen atom and have a tail of acetylene take its spot. Another acetylene molecule eventually attaches to the first, making the tail long enough to curl around and attach to the original benzene ring. This double-ring molecule, called naphthalene, is what eventually develops into soot and other macro molecules.

To identify the mechanism, the researchers created a combustion environment and let the process start before sending the molecules into a mass spectrometer that identified the naphthalene and benzene with acetylene tail. This supports the version of HACA that has the benzene forming a single tail, instead of multiple.

How this matters is that by better understanding the real-world mechanisms of combustion, it may be possible to develop fuels that burn more closely to ideal, making them more efficient and cleaner. Also these mechanisms have implications for how gases emitted by stars can become the carbon-based matter we find in space.

Source: Berkeley Lab


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Ubisoft Unveils the Far Cry 4 Kryat Edition

Posted: July 3, 2014 @ time: 07:52PM
Author: ClayMeow

Ubisoft's Far Cry 4 was certainly one of the stars of E3 2014, winning numerous accolades. Ubisoft released an Accolades Trailer along with unveiling the Kryat Edition, which is jam-packed with physical goodies. The centerpiece of the Kryat Edition is a 7.9" statue of antagonist Pagan Min sitting atop an elephant's trunk in his trademark bright purple suit. In addition to the statue, you also get a Travel Journal, Propaganda Poster, and Map of Kryat all tucked neatly in a Collector's Box, along with the previously announced Hurk's Redemption and Impaler DLC.

Far Cry 4 is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 18. The Kryat Edition is available for all five platforms and will set you back $129.99, compared to $59.99 for just the game.

Source: UbiBlog


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Building Superconducting Circuits Within Silicon

Posted: July 4, 2014 @ time: 05:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Silicon is the material for many modern technologies and has a large industry around it, which is why many are trying to develop future technologies that utilize silicon. Many would like to see silicon used to create quantum systems, but this is not easy to achieve in part because quantum systems are very susceptible to environmental noise. Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute though, have developed a theoretical way to build superconducting wires and quantum circuits within silicon crystals, with the ability to carry qubits.

About a decade ago, it was discovered that by doping silicon correctly, it could be made to superconductor at temperatures just above absolute zero. Since then the ability to dope silicon has improved to the point that we could potentially build superconducting 'wires' on silicon with atomic precision. The researchers propose using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope to remove hydrogen atoms from the surface of silicon, allowing the doping gas phosphine to be added. Once the silicon has been successfully doped to form wires, Josephson tunnel junctions, and weak links, which are the building blocks of superconducting circuits, crystalline silicon can be used to cover it all, protecting it from the environment. The result is superconducting circuitry, guarded from environmental noise, capable of carrying spin-based quantum bits.

While the possible applications of superconducting circuitry are decidedly interesting on their own, this research could also be used to create other superconducting-semiconductor devices with exotic properties. It could even be used learn more about superconductivity itself.

Source: Joint Quantum Institute


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The Witcher Adventure Game Closed Beta is Underway

Posted: July 4, 2014 @ time: 10:38AM
Author: ClayMeow

The Witcher Adventure Game was announced as a tabletop game back in January, but when The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt release date was announced last month, a digital version of The Witcher Adventure Game was unveiled, with The Witcher 3 GOG.com pre-orders granting two multiplayer closed beta passes. Yesterday, CD Projekt started distributing those closed beta access keys, so if you pre-ordered The Witcher 3 on GOG.com, be sure to check your email.

The purpose of the beta test is actually two-fold: it's obviously meant to test the game and get feedback from players, but it's also meant to test "some parts of the GOG Galaxy online infrastructure powering the multiplayer portion of the digitized board game." The GOG Galaxy "DRM-Free Online Gaming Platform" will officially launch later this year, and this is the first opportunity for players to get their hands on it and for CD Projekt to iron out the kinks before public release. While the Closed Beta requires GOG Galaxy, it should be noted that when the full game goes live, there will be single-player modes, including "hot seat" and "human vs AI", which will be playable offline, outside of the GOG Galaxy client.

If you'd like the chance to join The Witcher Adventure Game Closed Beta without pre-ordering The Witcher 3 on GOG.com, you can sign up here.

Source: GOG.com


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BMW Uses 3D Printing for Custom Thumb Guards

Posted: July 4, 2014 @ time: 07:04PM
Author: gebraset

In the past, BMW successfully used 3D printing during the 2012 London Olympics to create custom wheelchair seats for the Great Britain Paralympic team. Now, the German automaker is using the same technology to provide workers located in a Munich factory with thumb guards that assist them with a specific task that they perform time and time again. The thumb guards, which are customized to fit to each worker's thumb, help workers to successfully put rubber plugs into place that are used during the vehicle manufacturing process. Classified as an orthotic device, the thumb guard itself was created by BMW with the help of the Department of Ergonomics at the Technical University of Munichcan.

Source: CNET


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Patrick Pruniaux Hired by Apple

Posted: July 4, 2014 @ time: 07:07PM
Author: gebraset

With Apple iWatch release rumors running rampant recently, especially with the introduction of Android Wear and the coverage that various Android watches have received, it comes as no surprise that Apple has hired a well-respected watch company sales director onto its team. Patrick Pruniaux, the former TAG Heuer Vice President of Global Sales & Retail, has been brought onto the Apple team, with the news confirmed by TAG Heuer itself. Supposedly, Pruniaux is set to work with the team that is developing the highly anticipated Apple iWatch device that will compete with other watch-like wearable devices that are currently available for consumers to purchase.

Source: Mac Rumors


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Gearbox Publishes "Handsome Jack's Tips for Surviving on the Moon"

Posted: July 4, 2014 @ time: 08:19PM
Author: ClayMeow

Developer Gearbox Software apparently showed a tutorial video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel to attendees at E3 2014 prior to letting them loose with the game. Now we get to enjoy this rather unconventional tutorial, entitled "Handsome Jack's Tips for Surviving on the Moon." It's worth a watch for any Borderlands fan.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launches October 14 in North America and October 17 worldwide for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, priced at $59.99.
 


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 05:45AM
Author: bp9801

It is the start of another week, which means new items for you to look over. We have a review on the Cougar MX300 case to see how well this fairly inexpensive model can hold all of your components. The BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE motherboard has plenty of interesting featurs to help set it apart from the crowd, and it gets put to the test to show what it is capable of. We also have a few other items for your viewing pleasure, like the possibility that Intel is interested in AMD's Mantle API, a guide to taking fireworks photos, and a new podcast.

Motherboards
BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE @ Madshrimps

Cases
Cougar MX300 @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Intel Shows Interest in Mantle? @ PC Perspective
How to Take Amazing Fireworks Photos @ TechSpot
Podcast #307 @ PC Perspective


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Exploring Nanofluids for Liquid Cooling

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 06:17AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Keeping electronics cool is paramount whenever you are trying to get the best performance out of them, and when the electronics most fit in a small space. There are many methods of cooling, including liquid cooling systems. Reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is research to find if nanofluids could be used to improve liquid cooling systems.

Nanofluids are liquids, like water, that contain metallic nanoparticles. Research has been done before to see if they could have a use for cooling electronics, but this new research is the first to consider what kinds of nanofluids may be best, and why. Starting with a microchannel heat sink to replicate operating electronics, the researchers used three different nanofluids to cool it, and measured certain properties. Specifically the researchers looked at how well the nanofluids transferred heat, how much energy they lost, the added friction, and their pumping power.

As it turned out, all three nanofluids performed better than water, with a nanofluid consisting of copper oxide and water doing the best overall. Of course more work will have to be done to identify what could be the best nanofluid for wide use, but this research starts us on the path to finding it.

Source: American Chemical Society


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Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor Releasing July 15 for $199

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 10:31AM
Author: ClayMeow

While the Kinect that shipped with the Xbox 360 was compatible with PCs, the one that ships with the Xbox One is not, thanks in part to a proprietary connection. After the Xbox One controller finally received official Windows drivers last month, now Microsoft is readying Kinect for Windows v2 for public release. But don't get too excited just yet.

The Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor is priced at a whopping $199 on the Microsoft Store. This seems a bit at odds with the new Kinect-free Xbox One selling for $100 less than the one bundled with Kinect. The explanation (other than greed?) may be because this isn't really intended for public consumption just yet, but rather developers. Just look at the product description:

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor gives developers more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice- and gesture-based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store. The v2 sensor is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 2.0. Learn more at the Kinect for Windows Dev Center.

Note: The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor does not ship with any software. It is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 (licensed separately) and will operate only with applications developed for Kinect for Windows v2. Developers can use the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 to build applications with C++, C#, VB.Net, Cx, or JavaScript.

So it's highly likely the price is inflated so mostly developers purchase one and not general consumers, similar to what the Oculus Rift has been doing with its dev kits. It's a little weird that Microsoft doesn't outright state that though. Nevertheless, considering there are no applications to presently take advantage of it, there's really no reason for anyone other than developers to buy one.

Source: Microsoft Store via PC Gamer


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Nonlinear Meta-Mirror Created

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 02:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

An important and useful property for many optical systems is linearity. Essentially it is why light passing through glass is the same when it exits as when it enters the material. Nonlinear materials however can change light waves, and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have recently developed a nonlinear meta-mirror that doubles the frequency of the light it reflects.

Nonlinear materials are rare in Nature and are generally not too efficient, requiring high intensities and great distances for the light to propagate through. Metamaterials however are completely unnatural as their optical and electrical properties have been tuned to something that would normally be impossible. Using metamaterials though, the researchers were able to build a device just 400 nanometers thick that would bump the wavelength of light from 8 micrometers up to 4 micrometers; doubling the frequency. Unlike natural nonlinear materials, this device is able to convert light with intensities near that of laser pointers.

The creation of such an efficient and small nonlinear optical system could have many impacts on future optical systems, such as miniaturizing some laser systems. These systems may not be ones in our electronics though, but instead those used in advanced sensors for finding chemicals and explosives, as well as biomedical research and more.

Source: University of Texas at Austin


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ECS Announces LIVA Mini PC

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 04:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The upcoming LIVA from ECS will be the smallest Windows-based mini PC on the market when it becomes available. The LIVA is extremely small, measuring just 118x70x56mm and weighing 190g, but packed with enough features to take on a variety of computing applications. It is powered by a dual core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M SoC that operates at up to 2GHz, 2GB of DDR3L memory, and a 32GB embedded multimedia card. The LIVA draws the same amount of power as a typical light bulb and the 5V micro USB power adapter can even be run off a mobile power bank.

Source: Press Release


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Oculus VR to Host Developer Event

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 04:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has announced Oculus Connect, a two day game development conference, the first in what could be a long line of events. The conference will take place September 19-20 at the Loews Hotel in Los Angeles, California with the intention of bringing together "engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible." A number of workshops will be held to give attendees the first look at upcoming developments from the company and several keynotes will be given by company officers including CTO John Carmack. Signups will be available starting July 10 with confirmations distributed the following week.

Source: Oculus VR


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High Performance and Silent Fan Launched by DEEPCOOL

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 05:30PM
Author: gebraset

DEEPCOOL has just launched a new fan that is geared towards high performance while also being silent. The GF120/140, as its name suggests, is available in 120mm and 140mm sizes, and feature a dust-free and detachable fan blade design. The GF120/140 also features an FDB hydrodynamic bearing, a lifespan of 100,000 hours, and a balance dynamic rotation design with an application of TPE rubber coating for vibration control and reduction. The GF120/140 from DEEPCOOL is available in three colors to include red, yellow, and gray, with all three colors featuring a black housing that surrounds the fan blades.

Source: Press Release


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Tt eSPORTS Releases METALCAPS Keyboard Accessory

Posted: July 7, 2014 @ time: 05:52PM
Author: gebraset

Tt eSPORTS, a Thermaltake brand that is the leading expert in professional e-Sports gaming peripherals, has released its METALCAPS keyboard accessory. This accessory is designed for mechanical keyboards and provides excellent durability and a solid feel with its Zinc alloy construction. The Tt eSPORTS METALCAPS offers owners a quick way to customize and modify their mechanical keyboards with a variety of options, including four separate configurations: the W, A, S, D, and Escape keys, the Q, W, E, R, and Escape keys, the up, down, left, right, and Escape keys, as well as 38 key combinations.

The Tt eSPORTS METALCAPS keyboard accessory features an MSRP of $19.99 for any of the five keycap combination offerings, while the 38 keycaps offering features an MSRP of $69.99. Consumers in the United States, Taiwan, and Germany can find the latest Tt eSPORTS accessory at local stores.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 05:46AM
Author: bp9801

We have a good number of items to get to today, so there should be no shortage of things for you to read. There is a look at the HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC video card, with a factory overclock and a custom cooler to get you into the best possible looking game right away. There is another take on the Phanteks Enthoo Pro case, a more affordable entry that doesn't skimp on the features. If you need plenty of storage for your home network, then perhaps the Thecus N7510 7 Bay NAS is the product for you. For the watercooling crowd, we have a review on the XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 Watercooling Kit, which includes everything you need to get started. Lastly there's a look at the HTC Desire 816 smartphone, which is a mid-range phone packing some high-end features.

Video Cards
HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC @ Benchmark Reviews

Cases
Phanteks Enthoo Pro @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 Watercooling Kit @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N7510 7 Bay NAS @ LanOC Reviews

Mobile
HTC Desire 816 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Making Graphene Ribbons Semiconducting

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 06:59AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Since its discovery, researchers have been working to find a way to make use of graphene in our electronics. This has been difficult though, as graphene is an electrical conductor and not a semiconductor, like silicon. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee however have found that graphene nano-ribbons can become semiconductors, just by making them the right width.

Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon and often worked with as a sheet, but other geometries can have special properties. As it turns out, nano-ribbons of graphene, which are typically conductors like larger sheets, can become semiconductors if they are three nanometers wide, or less. At such a small width, the electrons on one edge are able to interact with the atoms on the other, resulting in the sought-after semiconductor behavior.

Cutting the nano-ribbons that narrow is not easy though, especially as the edges have to possess the proper alignment. The researchers accomplished this with iron nanoparticles that catalyze a reaction between carbon and hydrogen atoms. Now the researchers are investigating other ways to change the properties of the nano-ribbons, by adding other atoms, such as oxygen to the edges, potentially making them act as a metal.

Source: EurekAlert!


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GameStop Wants to Ruin the Video Game Industry

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 11:59AM
Author: ClayMeow

According to recent reports, GameStop would like to work directly with game developers to create content that would only be available through GameStop. It's bad enough that we've already had exclusive retailer-specific pre-order bonuses in the way of skins, but GameStop is proposing taking it to the next level – exclusive gameplay content. We technically already had a taste of this with the Creature Slaughterdome DLC for Borderlands 2, but that was simply a timed exclusive and was eventually made available for purchase. GameStop's new proposal seems to be for complete exclusivity, not just timed.

With the popularity of digital distribution on the rise, it's not surprising that GameStop would want to attempt something to entice people to buy from its stores. But it's also due to the rise of digital distribution that GameStop doesn't have the stranglehold on publishers like it used to. If the company proposed this idea five years ago, it would have likely come to fruition, but now GameStop can't exactly be the bully. Even for those that prefer physical copies, there's now strong competition from Walmart and Amazon. And that's not to mention the anger I'm sure international gamers will feel toward such a move.

GameStop claims that it "wants to find ways to give customers more value when they preorder games," but let's be honest here – that's complete bullshit. This is about greed and nothing more. I find it hard to believe that any gamer, even a loyal GameStop customer, would be in favor of this type of move. Most gamers already feel that retailer-specific pre-order bonuses are a bane on the industry, and this will just make things even worse. I don't know how much GameStop will be willing to pay to have this done, but I sure hope no publisher is stupid enough to go along with this. For once it would be nice if the publishers thought of the customers instead of lining its pockets.

Source: GamesBeat


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Quantum Effect Successfully Tuned in Bilayer Graphene

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 02:02PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Graphene is a wonder material for many reasons, including its fantastic electrical properties and great strength. It is also special for being a high quality crystal, which can have implications for quantum mechanics. Researchers at Columbia University have recently discovered a means to tune a quantum mechanical phenomenon in bilayer graphene, which could enable it to be used in quantum computers.

The fractional quantum Hall effect involves many electrons being made to act like a single system when confined to a thin sheet and exposed to a large magnetic field. As graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon, it is a perfect fit for studying the effect, and it has been. This new research looks to bilayer graphene, which has some differing behaviors from single-layer graphene, such as developing a bandgap when exposed to a strong magnetic field, disrupting the electrodes ability to tune the charge density. It took some time, but the Columbia researchers eventually found a new design for the graphene system that allowed them to isolate the electrodes from the needed magnetic fields.

Now with the ability to control the charge density on the separate graphene sheets, the researchers can create the fractional quantum Hall effect in bilayer graphene, which could allow for non-abelian states to be created. These states could be used for quantum computation, but not before the researchers better understand what is happening to the electrons, as the system is so complex they are not entirely sure what is occurring.

Source: EurekAlert!


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Gearbox Announces Battleborn, an FPS-MOBA Hybrid for PC, PS4, and XBO

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 02:33PM
Author: ClayMeow

Gearbox Software may be readying Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for release this October, but today the developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive Software announced a brand new IP in the works, entitled Battleborn. "If Borderlands 2 is a shooter-looter, Battleborn is a hero-shooter," said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. "As a genre-fused, hobby-grade, co-operative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe, Battleborn is the most ambitious video game that Gearbox has ever created."

Battleborn will feature numerous heroes, called battleborn, teaming up to stop the evil Varelsi from destroying the last star in a dying universe. The game will feature a five-player cooperative campaign, as well as several ten-player competitive multiplayer matches. According to Game Informer, which has the first look at the game with its August Cover Reveal, the competitive multiplayer mode they got to play, called Incursion, played like a first-person MOBA. "Rival battleborn hunt one another in lush jungles and arid deserts while robotic NPC minions wage an ongoing tug-of-war. Players start on a level playing field at the beginning of each match, progressing along a streamlined skill path up to level 20 filled with customizable abilities that unlock a variety of different play styles."

What seems to have Game Informer staff most excited is how different each battleborn plays, which definitely fits with the MOBA feel. A lumbering space marine plays a lot different than a nimble archer, which plays a lot different than a steampunk, rifle-wielding assassin, which plays a lot different than a Zelda-inspired, sword-wielding princess. Battleborn seems to not only be melding FPS and MOBA gameplay, but also mixing shooter and MMORPG archetypes to create what is shaping up to be some truly unique PvP action. Gearbox used some pure magic to merge FPS and Action-RPG loot mechanics into the wonderful Borderlands franchise. Can the Texas developer work its magic again to merge FPS and MOBA? It certainly sounds promising and the reveal trailer, while CGI, certainly looks pretty badass.

Battleborn is thankfully new-gen only, coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is planned to release during Take-Two's fiscal year 2016, which ends March 31, 2016. The press release claims it's already available for pre-order, which implies this is not free-to-play like typical MOBAs, but I cannot seem to actually find it up for pre-order anywhere as of the time of this writing, so I cannot provide you with pricing information.

Source: Press Release and Gearbox Software and Game Informer


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Kingston Announces Two New Memory Cards

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 02:50PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced a pair of new flash memory products with the DataTraveler microDuo 3.0 and Class 10 UHS-I 90R/45W microSDHC/SDXC card. The microDuo was designed with the needs of Android users in mind, allowing for an increase in storage capacity up to 64GB. It offers a USB 3.0 and microUSB dual interface to ensure compatibility with a wide range of devices including those that support USB On-The-Go. The new Class 10 device will be available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB with read and write speeds up to 90MB/s and 45MB/s, respectively.

Source: Press Release


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AVAST Discovers Security Problem with Android Factory Reset

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 02:59PM
Author: gebraset

Many smartphone users rely on the built-in factory reset option available through devices running the Android mobile operating system. AVAST has discovered that this widely popular choice for wiping a smartphone is quite ineffective at erasing critical data, which poses a security risk for users. According to AVAST, employees of the security company purchased 20 smartphones from eBay and used fairly generic off-the-shelf digital forensics software to restore data. The restored data from these 20 smartphones includes more than 40,000 photos, 750 emails and text messages, 250 contacts, and the identities of four previous owners of some of the devices. AVAST was even able to restore a fully completed loan application on one of the smartphones that it purchased for this research study.

Jude McColgan, the AVAST Mobile Division President, noted that most users think that they are doing a clean wipe and a factory install with the Android factory reset option, but are actually only wiping their smartphones at the application layer.

Source: CNET


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Frio Silent Series Introduced by Thermaltake

Posted: July 8, 2014 @ time: 03:00PM
Author: gebraset

Thermaltake, an industry leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has just introduced its latest air-cooling solution known as the Frio Silent Series. This series, comprised of the Frio Silent 12, Frio Silent 14, and Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual, features solid copper heat pipes that come in direct contact with CPUs, aluminum fins optimized for rapid heat dissipation, and a low noise cable that can reduce noise levels by up to 38 percent. The Frio Silent 12 features a 120mm PWM fan that can operate up to 1400RPM while the Frio Silent 14 features a 140mm PWM fan that can operate up to 1200RPM. The Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual comes with two 140mm fans that can operate up to 1200RPM, allowing for even more efficient heat dissipation.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 9, 2014 @ time: 05:42AM
Author: bp9801

We have arrived at the middle of the week, and there are a couple of items for you to check out today. There is a look at the KingFast Encrypted USB flash drive, which features data encryption to help keep whatever files you have stored secure. It can be a valuable item to have, especially if you need secure files, so click the link to see how it all performs. Our other item for the day is a review on the Rapoo 8900P Advanced Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Combo, which is a pretty nice looking set for those who need a solid wireless mouse and keyboard.

Storage/Hard Drives
KingFast Encrypted USB Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Mice/Keyboards
Rapoo 8900P Advanced Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Combo @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Turning to Anticrystals to Better Understand Materials

Posted: July 9, 2014 @ time: 06:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For many experiments and studies, scientists will consider ideal conditions to keep things simple. As reality is not ideal, sometimes adaptations will be made to the research to approach reality, and make the results more informative. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania however are suggesting that for many materials, instead of starting with a perfect crystal and adding defects, it would be better to start with an anticrystal, and add order.

Crystals are materials with well-ordered internal structures, whereas anticrystals are the opposite and are completely disordered. Realistic materials would be on the spectrum between these two extremes, and everything has many properties determined by their internal structures. According to the Pennsylvania researchers, many materials would be better described from the starting point of anticrystals with added order, than perfect crystals with added disorder. The researchers liken it to a deck of cards shuffled once being closer to a totally shuffled deck, than a totally ordered one.

As many properties of materials are determined by their structures, this research could have many great impacts, including leading to better plastics, glasses, and metal alloys. For example, shrinking the crystalline patterns of steel makes the alloy stronger, and this makes the anticrystal a better starting point for describing it.

Source: University of Pennsylvania


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Bethesda Softworks and American Red Cross Hosting QuakeCon 'The Good Within Blood Drive'

Posted: July 9, 2014 @ time: 11:28AM
Author: gebraset

QuakeCon is the largest LAN party and gaming festival in North America in which attendees can bring their own computer. Individuals who attend QuakeCon 2014 will have an opportunity to take part in something even more special than gaming. Thanks to Bethesda Softworks, QuakeCon 2014 attendees will have the chance to donate blood to the American Red Cross in order to support the community. Known as "The Good Within Blood Drive," the event is inspired by the latest title from Bethesda Softworks and Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within. As such, participants who donate blood at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19, will receive an official The Evil Within chill pack for their generosity.

Source: Bethesda Blog


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New Gameplay Trailer Provides an In-depth Look at Abyss Odyssey

Posted: July 9, 2014 @ time: 11:44AM
Author: ClayMeow

ACE Team's upcoming side-scrolling, Rogue-like, fighting game Abyss Odyssey will be releasing on Steam next week (July 15), so in preparation for that, the developer decided to release a brand new, seven-minute gameplay trailer. The video not only shows a lot of playable character Katrien (and some co-op with Ghost Monk), but also features a lot of developer commentary text pop-ups that explain various aspects of the game as they're introduced in the trailer. The voice acting of the NPCs seems a bit sub-par, but the gameplay looks outstanding, and in the end, that's what matters most.

Abyss Odyssey is launching July 15 on Steam, and pre-purchasing the game grants you the game's soundtrack and a 33% discount, bringing the price down to a mere $9.99. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release dates have not been announced.

Source: Press Release


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