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News Archives for September 2014

Corsair Works With ASUS To Create New Memory Kit

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 04:40AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced a new memory kit, the Dominator Platinum DDR4, developed in collaboration with ASUS. The memory will be available at speeds of 3300MHz, 3200MHz, and 3000MHz and is being touted as the "world’s fastest production memory kits." The fruits of the collaboration can be seen when pairing the memory with ASUS motherboards that use the X99 chipset, specifically the X99 Deluxe and Rampage V Extreme, as Corsair tuned the "memory timings to take advantage of the optimized DRAM layout and UEFI firmware." Corsair Chief Operating Officer Thi La said, "Our rigorous validation with ASUS has enabled us to make Dominator Platinum 3300MHz the fastest desktop DDR4 memory available at launch."

Source: Press Release


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Looking Past Hashtags

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 07:01AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

To know what is trending, Twitter scans its library of tweets and counts up the number of times certain hashtags are used. While this definitely succeeds in identifying what is being talked about the most, it does not tell us what is actually being said. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia decided to change that by developing a system that actually analyzes the words being used, to extract meaning.

To start off, the researchers used tweets associated with the Super Bowl and World Series and provided their system with a small library of words they expected to be present. The system then looked for those words as well as their placement within the tweets. The result is an analysis of what is happening at a micro or local level, beneath the clutter of hashtags.

The researchers see this system potentially being used to help provide information to people about what is happening in any given situation, such as after a disaster. It could even be used to predict future events.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia


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The Resident Evil Re-remaster Gets Its First Official Trailer

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 08:21AM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in the beginning of August, Capcom revealed plans to revisit the original Resident Evil once again, remastering the 2002 remaster of the 1996 classic. With PAX Prime upon us, Capcom has released the first official trailer, along with a few new "current gen" screens.

The Resident Evil re-remaster is planned for Early 2015 release for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

Source: Press Release


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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Revealed in Live-action Teaser Trailer

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 08:43AM
Author: ClayMeow

The Resident Evil re-remaster isn't the only Resident Evil game coming Early 2015. Capcom has revealed that Resident Evil Revelations 2 will also be arriving around that time, but the publisher did so in a rather unconventional way: with a live-action trailer. Not exactly the best way to announce a game, but I guess it's better than simply having a ten-second teaser with just a logo.

Since I never played the first Revelations, I'll leave it to our sister site Neoseeker to break it down a bit:

So we actually don't know much about this sequel to Resident Evil Revelations, but the teaser video might have a few hints for eagle-eyed gamers. The most obvious one can be seen about 29 seconds in, at which point we see an individual wearing a TerraSave t-shirt. For those unaware of the significance, TerraSave is a fictional human rights group in the Resident Evil universe, and its most prominent member is Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield's sister.

One viewer also pointed to a figure in the background, appearing at around the same mark. A woman is seen leaning against the wall, her hair reminiscent of Rachel Foley's. Of course, that might be reading a little too much into it, but you can never be too sure with teasers these days. Developers can be amazing trolls too, after all.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 is planned for Early 2015 release for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. There has been no mention of Nintendo platforms, despite the first Revelations game originating on the 3DS.

Source: Press Release and Neoseeker


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 10:24AM
Author: bp9801

The dawn of a new month is upon us, and with it comes plenty of items for you to check out. We have some looks at the Intel X99 motherboards for the new Haswell-E CPUs, including the ASUS X99 Deluxe and the MSI X99S Gaming 9. There is also a review on the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.0 128GB flash drive, which could function as a portable SSD. The Tt eSPORTS Verto gaming headset gets put to the test to see how well it can help you out in your games. We also have some other items, including a look at 20 of the worst PC setups, how to disable DirectWrite in Google Chrome, five free image editing solutions to consider, and a new podcast.

Motherboards
ASUS X99 Deluxe @ LanOC Reviews
ASUS X99 Deluxe @ Bjorn3D
MSI X99S Gaming 9 @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.0 128GB Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
Tt eSPORTS Verto Gaming Headset @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
How to Disable DirectWrite in Google Chrome @ NGOHQ.com
5 Free Image Editing Solutions Worth a Look @ TechSpot
20 of the Worst PC Setups - August 2014 @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #315 @ PC Perspective


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Hardware Roundup: Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 10:34AM
Author: bp9801

Intel has refreshed its Extreme Edition CPUs with the new Haswell-E parts, which includes the Core i7 5960X Extreme. It is a powerhouse of a CPU, as it packs in eight cores and 16 threads to deliver some amazing numbers. It also means a new socket and chipset, as the new CPUs require Intel X99 motherboards and socket 2011-v3. Intel really went all out with the 5960X, and we have a selection of reviews for you to check out to see just what this processor is capable of.

Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition @ OCC
Intel i7-5960X Haswell-E @ LanOC Reviews
Intel Core i7-5960X @ ThinkComputers
Haswell-E: The Intel Core i7-5960X 8-core Processor @ PC Perspective
Core i7 5960X Haswell-E @ Bjorn3D
Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme @ Benchmark Reviews
Intel Octacore i7-5960X Haswell-E @ Madshrimps


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Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries Kickstarter Successfully Funded; Adds a Bonus to All Tiers and Four Physical Add-ons

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 11:09AM
Author: ClayMeow

With roughly four days left, dark fairy tale platformer Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries reached its $50,000 Kickstarter goal at some point yesterday. As a thank you to every backer, developer GRIN has added an additional reward to every tier: a digital copy (PDF) of a Woolfe tabletop/fantasy RPG. While the details are still being ironed out, the PDF will include "a Game Master Guide, Character sheets, and templates for creating dungeons and maps."

In addition, GRIN had always said it avoided including physical goods in Woolfe's tiers because it would dilute the actual funds earned during the campaign and not actually be indicative of how much money could be put toward the game's development budget. Now that the campaign is successful, the studio has announced four physical add-ons any backer can tack on to their existing pledge: a Poster Pack at $32, which includes four beautiful posters (one even signed by the Woolfe team) measuring 707x500 mm or 27.83x19.69 inches; a Hardcover Artbook at $39, "containing at least 80 pages of concept art, high-quality 3D character and environment renders, level design sketches, story extracts, character back-stories, and selected fan art"; a Boxed version at $39, which includes a DRM-free PC DVD containing the game and a separate CD for the soundtrack; and a Deluxe Boxed version at $120, which includes the same DVD and CD, but in a rather unique and visually striking 3D-printed box. Be sure to check out the images below to see what each add-on looks like. All pricing includes shipping.

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is planned for a Q1 2015 release on PC with Closed Beta to begin next month. If you'd like to support the project, the minimum Kickstarter pledge is $15, which grants you the full game upon release along with the Kickstarter-exclusive Toy Soldier Editor; Steam key or DRM-free via GOG.com. Closed Beta access starts at $50 and up, while Alpha access starts at $100 and up. The Kickstarter campaign ends Thursday, September 4, 2014, at 5:55PM EDT, and is approaching 2,000 backers!

Source: Kickstarter Update


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HighPoint Adds to RocketStor 6300 Lineup

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 11:48AM
Author: CheeseMan42

HighPoint has announced the addition of some new products to the RocketStor 6300 line of Thunderbolt 2 storage solutions. The RocketStor 6328AS is an 8-bay RAID solution that gives users a choice between RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and JBOD configurations. An easy to use web interface simplifies configuration and also allows for e-mail notifications and remote access. The 6328AS has an MSRP of $1,299. The 6324LS and 6328LS provide JBOD storage through the Thunderbolt 2 interface with capacity for four and eight drives, respectively. These solutions were designed to "host mid-scale backup applications, digital libraries and archives for digital assets." The 6328LS has an MSRP of $999 and the 6324LS costs $649.

Source: Press Release


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Kingston Shows Off New HyperX Memory at PAX Prime

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 12:18PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston used the PAX Prime expo this past weekend in Seattle, Washington as an opportunity to demo the next-generation HyperX Predator DDR4 memory kit. This new memory was designed with the Intel X99 chipset in mind and will be available as 16GB sets with 4GB sticks that operate at 1.2V at frequencies ranging from 2133MHz to 3000MHz. HyperX business manager Lawrence Yang said, "With the industry launch of DDR4 memory, the HyperX team is excited to have our Predator DDR4 memory ready for the next generation of PC enthusiasts who continually want the absolute best performance possible from their system."

Source: Press Release


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Gearbox Announces Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 06:03PM
Author: ClayMeow

Considering Borderlands 2 had a Season Pass, along with a plethora of additional DLC, it should come as no surprise that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is getting a Season Pass as well. 2K and Gearbox made the official announcement yesterday, revealing that The Pre-Sequel will indeed be getting a Season Pass that will bundle together four planned add-on content packs at a discounted rate. The Season Pass will sell for $29.99 compared to the $9.99 individual price for each piece. While details are sparse, Gearbox promises "new characters, challenges, missions, and experiences." With Borderlands 2, the two additional characters were never a part of the Season Pass, so their addition this time around is of particular note and should please fans of the franchise.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launches October 14 in North America and October 17 elsewhere. Pre-ordering grants access to the Shock Drop Slaughter Pit, taking place in an old Dahl facility and hosted by TR4-NU. It will be available for purchase at a later date for those that do not pre-order. If you're looking to upgrade your PC, the game is currently being bundled with select NVIDIA GPUs.

Source: Official Site


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Team17's Flockers Leaving Steam Early Access September 19; Also Coming to PS4 & XBO

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 06:51PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back on May 6, Team17's twisted and brutal Lemmings-inspired Flockers arrived on Steam Early Access with just 25 levels. Now, after roughly four months, Flockers is set to leave Early Access with over 60 levels. Check out the Official Release Trailer, along with a bunch of new screenshots below:

Flockers will launch September 19 worldwide for PC and in Europe for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. North American PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers will ahve to wait for September 23. The PC version includes a level editor with Steam Workshop support.

Source: Press Release


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G.SKILL Breaks DDR4 4GHz Barrier with 4004MHz on Ripjaws 4

Posted: September 1, 2014 @ time: 07:55PM
Author: ClayMeow

G.SKILL unveiled its Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 memory kits just over one week ago, but the leading high performance memory manufacturer has already broken the DDR4 memory speed record. Using LN2, G.SKILL was able to push its Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 to a whopping 4004MHz, using the ASUS ROG X99 Rampage V Extreme Motherboard and Intel Core i7-5930K CPU. The score has been validated by CPU-Z and can be seen in the screenshot below.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 05:21AM
Author: bp9801

The second day of September brings us some more reviews, including some new products from AMD. We have a review on the refreshed FX CPU lineup, including the FX-9590, the FX-8370, and the FX-8370E. All feature various improvements in hopes of further competing with Intel, the least of which being a price cut for the FX-9000 series parts. There are also a couple of looks at the AMD Radeon R9 285 video card, which is the first Tonga GPU from the company. It has support for DirectX 12, XDMA CrossFire, and better 4K video support, so it could be the new video card to go for, if the performance is right. Wrapping things up for today is the Corsair Graphite 380T case, a rather sweet looking mITX case that could be the perfect home for a portable gaming rig.

CPUs
AMD 2014 FX Refresh - FX-9590, FX-8370, and FX-8370E @ PC Perspective

Video Cards
AMD Radeon R9 285 @ PC Perspective
AMD Radeon R9 285 @ TechSpot

Cases
Corsair Graphite 380T @ Madshrimps


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New Measurement Technique That May Improve Batteries

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 06:24AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Despite how common batteries are, they are not simple systems and their complexity makes it difficult to find all the avenues to improve them. For example, we do not fully understand how the electrodes behave while in use, in part because we have limited abilities to measure how heat can affect deformations due to stress. Researchers at Purdue University have recently developed a new experiment that can do just that.

The new measurement technique is based on Raman spectroscopy, which traditionally uses a laser to catch the vibrations of a crystal lattice, to determine the chemical composition of a material. What the researchers have done is added the ability to make nanomechanical measurements and to test it, they used microscale silicon cantilevers. The cantilevers had a stress applied to them and were heated from 25 ºC to 100 ºC. The results showed that the heat increased the deformation of the surface and near-surface structure, because the heat weakened the bonds between the atoms.

During normal use, batteries will heat up and the electrodes within will also swell and contract, which is why understanding how heat impacts the effects of stress. Something else that makes this technique particularly valuable for studying batteries is that Raman spectroscopy uses lasers, and thus does not need any sensors within the harsh insides of a battery.

Source: Purdue University


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Samsung Plans to Grow Smart Home Platform

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 06:32AM
Author: gebraset

Smart Home, a technology offered by Samsung that connects all types of home electronics onto a single network for simplified access and control, is expected to have improved compatibility in the near future. Samsung plans to open the service up to third-party developers, allowing appliances and electronics to be controlled from Galaxy smartphones and company smartwatches. Although Samsung did not reveal specific third-party products or services that are expected to be compatible with Smart Home, it did tease capabilities such as monitoring the amount of electricity used by appliances, monitoring security cameras from a smartphone, and turning on lights by using geolocation. The expansion of Smart Home will be facilitated by a software development kit for the service that is expected to be released later this year.

More information about Smart Home will likely be revealed at the Samsung's Developer Conference, which begins on November 11, 2014.

Source: CNET


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AMD Launches Three New FX Processors

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 07:12AM
Author: gebraset

AMD has just introduced three new eight-core processors into its FX lineup, the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX 8320E. While performance is certainly a marketing component of these new processors, as they are geared directly towards content creation and gaming, their price points are what make them attractive for potential buyers. The 4GHz FX-8370 and the 3.3GHz FX-8370E are priced at $199.99, while the 3.2GHz FX 8320E is priced at $146.99. AMD is hoping that the value of its three new FX-series processors wins over consumers who are looking at low-level and mid-level offerings by Intel. Unfortunately, the three new FX processors are still built upon the Piledriver microarchitecture that AMD launched in 2012 and are also manufactured with a 32nm process.

Source: PCWorld


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Titanfall's "Game Update Six" Goes Live Today; Brings Titan-less Pilot Skirmish Mode

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 07:29AM
Author: ClayMeow

Is Titanfall still Titanfall without Titans? That question is going to be answered today when Game Update Six rolls out. While this sixth major update brings a bunch of changes and additions, the major addition is the new featured game mode called Pilot Skirmish. Pilot Skirmish increases the player count to 8v8, but removes AI and Titans. When I reviewed Titanfall back at launch, one of the things I loved about the game was how it handled mobility; I even made the bold statement that other developers could learn from its mobility. I guess we'll now see if that mobility is enough to help the game stand out without the presence of Titans.

You can check out the link below for details on the additional changes, such as Marked For Death being made a permanent game mode, three new colorblind options, gambling, and a new way of handling joining a match more than half way done. Titanfall Game Update Six launches later today for PC and Xbox One.

Source: Facebook and Official Site


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Shiro Games Announces Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 07:54AM
Author: ClayMeow

If you've been a longtime visitor of OCC, you may remember that I used to write a weekly Steam Greenlight Spotlight feature back in 2012-2013. I bring this up because my Week 18 entry back in January 2013 was an action-adventure RPG called Evoland, which subsequently launched on Steam in April 2013. Evoland told the story of the action adventure genre, changing and evolving as you played, from a monochrome 2D world to a colorful full 3D. Today, developer Shiro Games announced a sequel: Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder.

Evoland 2 is the spiritual successor to the original Evoland with its graphics style changing as you travel through time and its gameplay evolving as you move along the storyline. It is also a much bigger game and a classic RPG at heart, with a complex scenario based on time travel, dozens of characters with their own backgrounds and ambitions and vastly different gameplay styles that are linked to the story and the players actions.

While Evoland switched up gameplay mechanics over the course of the game, it mostly stuck to the action-adventure and RPG genres. One of the cool things with Evoland 2 is that it'll explore a variety of genres, with "turn based tactical combat, platformer, and shoot'em up" shown in the last screenshot below. According to the developer, "Most of them can be found in all time periods with their art style updated to fit each period."

Evoland was a great game, but if there was one common criticism, it was that it was an extremely short game. Evoland 2 sounds like it'll be upping the ante, so hopefully that means a longer, more engaging experience. As of now, Evoland 2 is planned for a Q2 2015 release for Windows and Mac.

Source: Press Release and Official Site


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New Photon Cannon Developed for Future Photonics

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 09:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Currently most technology relies on electrons for carrying information, but many foresee a future where photons do that job instead. Transitioning from electronics to photonics is not going to be easy though in part because electrons and photons are such different quantum particles. Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute however have developed a new photon cannon that overcomes one challenge, by producing single photons that travel in one direction.

The reason it is so difficult to produce single photons compared to electrons has to do with the types of particles they are. Electrons are fermions, which cannot group up, while photons are bosons that are very comfortable existing in the same place at the same time. By using a quantum dot, a synthesized semiconductor crystal though, the researchers are able to produce single photons by exciting the dot with a laser. While that addresses the single-photon issue, the photons are only useful if they go in the right direction. To accomplish that, the researchers built the dot in a photonic crystal on a chip, and that crystal forces the photons to go one way.

The resulting photon cannon the researchers built has a 98.4% success rate of producing single photons and having them go where they want to. Now the researchers are working to patent this work and develop high-efficiency prototypes that could see use for encryption and quantum computing.

Source: University of Copenhagen


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Free-to-play "Sandpark" MMORPG ArcheAge Officially Launching September 16

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 12:11PM
Author: ClayMeow

Trion Worlds' free-to-play "sandpark" MMORPG ArcheAge entered alpha testing back in April, with several closed beta tests starting in July. If you haven't had the fortune of getting into the testing, don't worry, as the game will soon be available for everyone to enjoy. During PAX Prime this past weekend, Trion Worlds and developer XLGAMES announced that ArcheAge will officially launch on Tuesday, September 16. But you won't even have to wait that long! There will be an Open Beta from September 4 at 10AM PDT to September 8 at 10AM PDT. That being said, after the Open Beta ends, all the servers will be wiped clean, so I don't personally understand the point.

While ArcheAge is free-to-play, anyone who buys one of the three Founders packs (Silver at $49.99, Gold at $99.99, and Archeum at $149.99), will get a four-day Head Start. The Head Start begins September 12 at 10AM PDT and culminates with the game's official launch on the 16th. While alpha and beta progress will be wiped, all progress from the Head Start will obviously carry over to launch.

Source: Official Site


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Is Activision Considering an Acquisition of Take-Two?

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 01:23PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in 2008, Electronic Arts attempted to purchase Take-Two Interactive, even trying a hostile takeover when its initial bid was rejected. That obviously failed and Take-Two has remained on its own ever since as a publicly traded company. Now, over six years later, one analyst is fueling rumors that Activision Blizzard is trying to acquire Take-Two. Mike Hickey, an equity researcher for the Benchmark Company, claims that the two companies were engaged in an "emerging romance," and that acquiring Take-Two would be a "no-brainer" for Activision.

With Destiny costing Activision $500 million to create, Hickey sees that venture as "difficult to annualize," which is something Activision typically likes to do. By acquiring Take-Two, Hickey's theory is that Activision could essentially annualize its future performance by the sheer number of high-profile franchises it would take over, such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, Borderlands, NBA 2K, BioShock, and more. In addition, Hickey feels there are "shared cinematic ambitions" that would play a key role in such a merger. Take-Two is supposedly shopping around a GTA film adaptation, while Activision recruited Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey for its upcoming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. While not mentioned by Hickey, we also know that a World of Warcraft movie has long been teased by Blizzard.

All that being said, not every analyst holds Hickey's beliefs. Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at major analyst IHS, told GamesIndustry.biz that the acquisition is unlikely. "Activision's MO is relatively anti-risk and it has a calculated long-term growth strategy based on establishing and developing billion dollar franchises that unlock large amounts of value for the company," Harding-Rolls explained. "Activision is well placed to deliver that once again following the Skylanders success with Destiny and I don't believe acquiring Take Two and its stable of IP fits with this strategy." That being said, he does think Activision is looking for "further growth opportunities" and certainly thinks a movie opportunity would make sense, especially since "a number of its franchises are longer in the tooth or more competitively challenged than before."

Whether the rumor is true or not, shareholders seem pleased with the news, as the stock prices for both companies rose on Friday and are once again seeing a slight increase today (there was no trading Monday due to the holiday).

Source: GamesIndustry.biz


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Building Patterns Inside Materials for Improved Properties

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 02:11PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

They say you cannot judge a book by its cover, and that is just as true with materials as it is with literature. A material's surface definitely has an important influence on how it interacts with other materials, but materials can interact with more than external materials. Researchers at MIT are investigating how patterning the interfaces within materials can be used to shape their properties.

Traditionally materials have been considered as having an external surface and an interior bulk, but treating the bulk as containing its own surfaces, or interfaces, is a novel idea. To do this the researchers had to adapt equations for determining surface properties to describe how a surface can vary at different locations. Such work is difficult to do experimentally, but computer simulations are capable of it.

By controlling the within a material, the researchers envision the possibility of building altering a material's strength as well as building in useful features. One example would be properties to control the flow of heat and sound through a material, which would impact thermoelectrics, and another would be putting channels inside of shielding meant for nuclear fusion reactors, so that helium atoms could escape, rather than damage the shielding.

Source: MIT


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Gigabyte Announces X99 Motherboards

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 03:44PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Gigabyte has announced its first motherboards to feature the Intel X99 chipset. The boards will be available under three different categories including "G1™ gaming, SOC overclocking and signature GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™." Gigabyte VP of motherboards Henry Kao introduced the boards stating, "In addition to being the first motherboards to support the latest Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme Edition CPUs and recently released DDR4 memory, GIGABYTE X99 motherboards offer an extensive range of unique GIGABYTE features that truly unlock the full potential of the platform." Some of the features that will be offered by these boards include all digital power design, long lifespan solid capacitors, Realtek onboard audio with included amplifier, and Killer Networking support. Also included will be a bevy of storage options including M.2, SATA Express, and Thunderbolt.

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA to Host GAME24 Global PC Gaming Celebration

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 03:56PM
Author: CheeseMan42

On September 18 starting at 6PM PST NVIDIA will begin a 24-hour event to "celebrate this thing we all love called PC gaming." The event will be broadcast live online and local events will be held worldwide in locations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and Stockholm. More details will become available as the event gets closer and gamers will be able to "interact with the livestream, win amazing prizes and share their own gaming experiences."

Source: NVIDIA


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ECS USA Launches the "Design Your Own LIVA" Competition

Posted: September 2, 2014 @ time: 07:53PM
Author: bp9801

Another contest is going down, as ECS USA is launching a "Design Your Own LIVA" competition running from now until the end of September. Participants have to take the ECS LIVA system and design their own artwork that will fit on it. The LIVA is a Mini PC with 118x70x55mm dimensions, so it's incredibly small and compact, yet surprisingly powerful thanks to its Intel Bay Trail-M CPU. It is a small area you'll be working with, but it just means an endless amount of possibilities for what you can put on it. All entries have to show a front and back side view, a left and right side view, a 45 degree view, and a 3D view, along with whichever view gives the best look at your artwork.

Once your entries are submitted to ECS by September 30, the top ten with the most "likes" on Facebook move onto the next round, where you turn your artwork into reality. The top ten are given a white LIVA case to put their artwork on, and must take photos of that to send off to ECS by October 31. At that point ECS judges will look everything over, and select a winner no later than November 7. Grand prize winner receives $1,000, second place gets $500, and third place $300, with the remaining seven getting some nice parting gifts.

If you want to get your creative juices flowing and have a chance to win that $1,000, head on over to the ECS USA Facebook page to get started. This contest is only open for residents in the US and Canada, so please take that into consideration. Remember to get your entries in by September 30, and good luck to all participants!

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 05:20AM
Author: bp9801

We have come to the middle of the week, with a nice selection of items to keep you occupied. There is another review on the AMD FX-8370E processor, which is the company's newest refresh of the FX lineup, and one that looks to deliver a pretty nice package. We also have a look at the Scythe Mugen MAX CPU cooler, a rather large model that just may be able to help keep those new AMD and Intel processors from burning a hole in the motherboard. Nokia's Lumia 930 gets put to the test to see how it stacks up to the competition, and considering it's basically the international version of the Lumia Icon, it should do quite well. Lastly one of our affiliates is raising money for a local children's hospital, so please do what you can to support them.

CPUs
AMD FX-8370E @ Benchmark Reviews

CPU Cooling
Scythe Mugen MAX @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Nokia Lumia 930 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
LanOC to raise money for Parkview Children's Hospital @ LanOC Reviews


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Halting Molecules for Quantum Computers

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 06:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In general, things are easier to manage when they are not moving but getting things to stop is not always that easy. This is as true of quantum mechanical particles as it is cars and children on a sugar-high, but you cannot grab onto a molecule and hold it still. Researchers at Northwestern University though, have found a way to start the tumbling of molecules, which could have implications for future quantum computers.

Over the decades, researchers have gotten pretty good at controlling atoms, but larger, more complex molecules are a different matter. Typically when you trap molecules, they will continue to rotate as though they were still freely moving, and some methods to stop them require cryostats to bring the temperature down to nearly absolute zero. The Northwestern researchers have instead developed a broadband laser that can stop a molecule in a fraction of a second. The key was in selecting the correct frequencies to cool the aluminum monohydride molecule down to just 4 K and its ground state, from room temperature. Shining a laser on molecules may not seem like a way to reduce the molecules' energy, but because of how the light frequencies interact with molecules, it is possible.

This new and elegant solution for bringing molecules to their ground state will likely see some use in quantum computing, but it does have other applications. Ultracold quantum-controlled chemistry could use the ability to control molecular rotors like this, and ground-state molecules could be used for testing if fundamental constants are constant throughout time.

Source: EurekAlert!


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Ancient Space Gameplay Revealed in New Developer-narrated Video; Arrives September 23 on Steam

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: ClayMeow

Last month, publisher Paradox Interactive unveiled a new single-player, story-driven real-time strategy game called Ancient Space. Today, Paradox published a new video narrated by several members of developer CreativeForge Games, which shows off the gameplay for the first time. Ancient Space is a space RTS with full 3D movement on all three axes and smooth zooming. The video also shows off the ship upgrade/equip screen, which allows players to customize their ships based on their needs. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, but don't take my word for it, watch for yourself:

Ancient Space is launching September 23 for PC (Windows and Mac) via Steam for a mere $19.99. It's currently available for pre-order on the Paradox store for a 10% discount, bringing it down to $17.99.

Source: Press Release


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Mushkin Launches Unbuffered DDR4 "Essentials" Modules

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 08:10AM
Author: ClayMeow

Mushkin, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance computer innovations and solutions, has just launched a new lineup of unbuffered DDR4 "Essentials" modules. All Mushkin DDR4 Essentials modules and kits ship with a speed of 2133MHz (PC4-17000) at a latency of 15-15-15-35, while only requiring 1.2 volts (a 20% improvement over DDR3). They are available from 4GB to 32GB in the following configurations: 4GB, 8GB, 2x4GB, 4x4GB, 2x8GB, and 4x8GB.

Mushkin's DDR4 Essentials modules will be available in limited quantities mid-September, with full production volumes available in Q4. For more information, visit the DDR4 Products Page.

Source: Presss Release


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Lian Li Announces PC-V1000L Chassis

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 09:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Lian Li has announced its new PC-V1000L Special Edition full tower chassis. The new case is made of brushed aluminum and supports motherboards up to E-ATX and 9 removable HDD bays, with room for two 2.5" or one 3.5" drive behind the motherboard, if you still need more storage. Naturally it also sports four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections on the front I/O panel. The ventilated front has room for three 120 mm fanes, which are mounted to a removable bracket for easy access. The bottom of the case has another removable bracket for another two 120 mm fans or a 240 mm radiator. Similarly the top panel can also hold that hardware, two 140 mm, or a 240 mm radiator. The back panel has room for a 120 mm exhaust fan and two grommeted holes. For easy transport, the chassis has a set of wheels on the bottom, and a locking mechanism for the back two.

There will be three versions of the case, one that is silver, one black, and one black with a window. The MSRP will be $345 and $389, depending on the version and will be available soon at Newegg.

Source: Lian Li


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Whack Your Friends in the Face With Oversized Weapons in Swordy

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 10:34AM
Author: ClayMeow

Frogshark, a three-person independent game studio based in New Zealand, has revealed its debut game Swordy, and it's quite the visual spectacle. According to the studio, "Swordy is a tribal couch-multiplayer physics based brawler." As seen in the PAX AUS Announcement Trailer below, up to four players slam, bash, slice, punch, throw, block, and stab their way to victory with various oversized weaponry. Of course, with a name like Swordy, there are swords, but the trailer also shows giant hammers and maces. Frogshark states that the game features "expressive local-multiplayer fun, fluid and weighty physics based combat, realistic exploding flaming weapons, and beautiful low poly art." Oh, and when you kill someone, they explode in a shower of colorful pixely goodness.

Swordy will be shown off at PAX Australia, taking place October 31 thru November 2 in Melbourne, VC. Frogshark has not announced what platforms the game will be coming to, nor a release date, but the game is being made in Unity, so a PC version is highly likely. Be sure to check out the screenshots below! This looks like the type of game you lose friends over!

Source: Official Site via PC Gamer


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NZXT Introduces S340 Chassis

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 01:14PM
Author: gebraset

NZXT, a leading manufacturer of computer cases and accessories, has officially introduced the Source 340, or S340. While the case is perfect for value oriented consumers, it manages to boast plenty of premium offerings, such as an all steel construction with extra thick side panels, filtered intakes, and a power supply shroud. Plenty of cable management options are available as well, as the case features twenty cable management points, and the unique interior layout of the NZXT S340 ensures that its compact size provides nothing short of absolute efficiency. Connectivity wise, the S340 comes with two USB 3.0 ports as well as HD audio.

The NZXT S340 is available in glossy black and glossy white and can be purchased immediately from the NZXT Armory Store for $69.99.

Source: Press Release


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Facebook's Auto-play Video Feature Killing Phone Bills

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 01:15PM
Author: ClayMeow

If you're a smartphone user who doesn't have an unlimited data plan, but who loves to check Facebook constantly, you may want to keep reading. By default, videos in your Newsfeed play automatically when they get into view. This isn't much of a problem when browsing on a PC, but when browsing on your phone, such an action can quickly wrack up the data usage if you're on 3G/4G instead of Wi-Fi. Many mobile phone users have reported data overage charges and are blaming this Facebook feature, especially because of the influx of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos over the past couple months.

Thankfully, auto-play can be set to only activate when on Wi-Fi or even disabled completely. For iOS devices, go to Settings > Facebook > Settings, and then select either "Auto-play only on Wi-Fi" or "Off". For Android devices, go to your Facebook account Settings > App Settings, and then under General Settings select between those same two options.

According to MoneySavingExpert.com, users who feel they've been hit with unfair overage charges should contact their mobile provider explaining the situation and asking for a refund. "If this doesn't work, you can take your complaint to the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) or to the Ombudsman Services – which one depends on who your provider is signed up to."

Source: MoneySavingExpert


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HyperX Announces Savage Memory

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 01:42PM
Author: gebraset

HyperX, the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology, has recently announced HyperX Savage memory which replaces HyperX Genesis memory. This latest memory by HyperX features a low-profile design as well as a unique, red aluminum die-cast heat spreader with a diamond cut finish. While HyperX Savage memory is aesthetically appealing, it also boasts unparalleled performance. HyperX Savage is available in high-speed frequencies including 1600MHz, 1866MHz, 2133MHz and 2400MHz, and features timings of CL9 and CL11. 

HyperX Savage memory is available immediately for purchase in 4GB and 8GB single modules, as well as 8GB to 32GB dual-channel or quad-channel kits, and comes with a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

Source: Press Release


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Android App to Test Notifications' Impact on Stress

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 02:10PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Everybody is stressed at some point and for some reason, and how we manage that stress can be very important for our health. To help reduce stress, researchers at the University of Southampton have created an Android app to see if managing notifications can help manage stress.

The app is named Healthy Mind and will periodically provide the user with a notification about stress management, and, if opened, will provide more information. Exactly when the notification will appear is based on time of day, physical activity, and location, which is data the app monitors. The app is currently available on the Google Play store in the My Life Guide Toolbox and those who install it will be asked to join the five month study. For those that agree, they will be placed into one of three groups. One group will receive up to three notifications a day, based on the collected data, while the other two groups will receive one a day from 5 PM to 8 PM, or two a week, again from 5 PM to 8 PM.

Part of the thinking behind this app and study is that most people who are stressed do not seek professional help, but have their smartphones with them constantly. By leveraging the technology at our fingertips, the researchers hope to help people with stress.

Source: University of Southampton


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Firefox 32 Adds Public Key Pinning

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 02:17PM
Author: gebraset

In an effort to prevent attacks that involve invalid SSL/TSL certificates, Firefox 32 has incorporated Public Key Pinning. According to Sid Stamm, the senior manager of security and privacy engineering at Mozilla, key pinning allows website operators to specify which Certificate Authorities are able to issue valid certificates. Within Firefox 32, a normal lock icon will be displayed if a certificate is able to be matched with a pinned certificate. If the certificate cannot be verified, Firefox will reject the connection with a pinning error. This provides an additional layer of security for Firefox users by preventing connections to illegitimate website, in which a hacker could intercept critical data.

The first stage of pinning roll-out includes protection for Mozilla sites and Twitter, while later Firefox versions will include protection for Google sites, Tor, Dropbox, and others.

Source: Mozilla Security Blog


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Play as T-Bone When Watch Dogs Bad Blood DLC Arrives on September 23

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 03:04PM
Author: ClayMeow

When Ubisoft unveiled the Watch Dogs Season Pass, the highlight was undoubtedly the inclusion of a new single-player campaign that put players in control of eccentric hacker T-Bone. Today, Ubisoft unveiled that said DLC, entitled Watch Dogs Bad Blood, will be released to Season Pass holders on September 23 and available for purchase for all other players on September 30. Bad Blood takes place shortly after the events of the main campaign, and "explores T-Bone's story through 10 new missions set in new locations throughout Chicago." As T-Bone, you'll have access to exclusive weapons, perks, and outfits, including the remote-controlled car "Eugene", which can be upgraded with offensive and defensive perks. Oh, and you'll be able to play as T-Bone in the online modes "Hacking" and "Tailing", as well as the ctOS Companion app.

In addition to the new story campaign, Bad Blood introduces "Street Sweep" contracts, "a dynamic new system of side missions that offers players endless hours of challenges." All Street Sweep contracts can be tackled solo or in two-player co-op, a first for the game.

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog


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CES Founder Dead at 92

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 04:09PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It was recently revealed that the founder of the Consumer Electronics Show, Jack Wayman, died over the weekend at the age of 92 from natural causes. The first CES was organized by Wayman in 1967 when he was part of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and featured 100 exhibitors and 17,000 attendees. The event has since grown to 3,600 exhibitors and 160,000 attendees. Wayman was also involved in the Sony-Betamax case which "paved the way for the introduction of breakthrough technologies," was elected to the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, and received the Electronics Industries Association Distinguished Service Medal. CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said, "Jack’s contributions to our association and our industry are numerous and momentous. We stand on his shoulders. From leading the creation of the association that eventually became CEA to founding the International CES to leading the fight for critical legislative and public policy victories that helped drive industry growth, Jack truly was one of the fathers of the contemporary CE industry."

Source: Press Release


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Google Ventures Into Quantum Computing

Posted: September 3, 2014 @ time: 04:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google has announced a partnership with the University of California Santa Barbara with the goal of building "new quantum information processors." Google's Quantum Artificial Intelligence team will be working with UCSB researchers led by physicist John Martinis, who recently won the London Prize for work in the field. The Google team is currently "studying the application of quantum optimization to difficult problems in Artificial Intelligence." Google director of engineering Hartmut Neven described the partnership saying, "With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture." Google hopes to develop an advanced artificial intelligence system that will be capable of solving advanced problems and analyzing complex patterns.

Source: PC Magazine


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 05:49AM
Author: bp9801

We have just a couple of items for you to look over on this Thursday, but both should be rather interesting. First up is a look at the ASUS X99-DELUXE motherboard, which is an ethusiast motherboard for those looking to run Intel's new Haswell-E chips. If things like 5-way optimization, Crystal Sound audio, 802.11ac wireless, and plenty more are what you desire, then perhaps this board will do the trick. Our other item for the day is a review on the Western Digital My Passport Wireless, a WiFi enabled portable hard drive that packs 2x2 N MIMO antennas for up to four simultaneous HD streams, plus an SD card offload, USB 3.0 fast charge, and a host of other features.

Motherboards
ASUS X99-DELUXE @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital My Passport Wireless @ PC Perspective


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Tunable Spin-Charge Converter Created from Common Semiconductor

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 06:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Modern electronics are based on the charge of electrons, but in the future devices that operate on another property, called spin, could become the new standard. Spin is not as easy to work with though, as special materials and conditions can be required to do so. Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz and others from around the world however have discovered how to create a spin-charge converter with gallium arsenide (GaAs) that operates at room temperature.

Part of what makes working with spin difficult is that magnetic fields are often required, as opposed to electric fields. A spin-charge converter is able to convert charge currents to spin currents and back, which would allow electric fields to be used. The catch is that previously only platinum, a rare heavy metal, had been identified as a viable material for creating a converter. By discovering that GaAs can also be used, spintronics are significantly closer to reality.

As it turns out, the advantages of GaAs are not limited to being cheaper and already widely used. The researchers found that it is possible to tune the efficiency of the converter and move the spin currents between different lanes, by varying the strength of the applied electric field.

Source: Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz


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New Styx: Master of Shadows Gameplay Video Illustrates Various Assassination Methods

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: ClayMeow

It's been over a month since Focus Home Interactive published a video for the infiltration RPG Styx: Master of Shadows, but that changes today with a video entitled "Assassin's Green". Today's video is the first of a series of gameplay trailers Focus Home will be releasing over the coming weeks until the October release of the game. As the name implies, this new video shows various methods titular protagonist Styx can employ to assassinate his foes.

Styx: Master of Shadows will arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this October, but no specific date has been announced.

Source: Press Release


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Tropico 5 Getting Mac & Linux Support on September 19

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 08:09AM
Author: ClayMeow

If you're a Mac or Linux gamer and a fan of the Tropico series and/or city-building strategy simulations, you'll be pleased to know that Tropico 5 will be arriving on said platforms September 19 via Steam and the Mac App Store. If you already own the game on Steam, then you'll gain access to these versions for free. Best of all, Tropico 5 features cross-platform multiplayer via SteamPlay for up to four players, along with Big Picture Mode and controller support.

Tropico 5 was publisher Kalypso's most pre-ordered game in the history of the company.

Source: Press Release


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New Wasteland 2 Combat Trailer Shows That Tactics is the Key to Survival

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 09:03AM
Author: ClayMeow

With Wasteland 2 set to leave Early Access and officially launch on September 19, inXile Entertainment has released an official Combat Trailer that shows what it takes to succeed in battle and survive the harsh wasteland. Perhaps the most important part is composing the right squad, so inXile takes roughly the first two minutes to show us the character creation system, as the narrator creates a Heavy Weapons Guy. After that it's all about the turn-based combat tactics, from outfitting your squad to adapt to the situation at hand, using the terrain to your advantage, taking cover, and even recruiting denizens to temporarily join your squad and aid you in battle.

As previously stated, Wasteland 2 officially launches on September 19. While the Early Access version simply took place in Arizona, the full game will also include a second act in California.

Source: Press Release


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New Sensor Developed That is Powered by Temperature Changes

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 09:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are some places where power is not available, but where we need to place an energy-using device. In some cases the device can use solar power or even harvest energy from radio waves, but neither is possible in some locations, like inside structures. Researchers at the University of Washington however, have developed a new device that could operate in these places, by converting temperature changes to electricity.

The idea the researchers are using was developed centuries ago to power a clock and exploits pressure changes due to pressure. When gases are heated, they will expand and exert a force that can be converted into electricity. In version of the technology, the temperature sensitive gas is contained in a metal bellows, which expands and contracts with temperature changes around it. Small cantilevers capture this motion to generate enough electricity to power sensors and a wireless transmitter. Just a 0.25 ºC change is enough to send a signal five meters to a receiver.

The researchers see this device being used to monitor buildings for water leaks and weaknesses inside of walls. Changes in temperature from the building's air conditioning or from the course of the day, would be sufficient to power the sensor.

 

 

Source: University of Washington


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GOG.com Starting Regular Twitch Shows

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 10:19AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

GOG.com, a marketplace of DRM-free games and now movies, is about to start streaming regular shows on Twitch.tv. The goal of the shows will be to connect with GOG games by entertaining them, spotlighting games, and occasionally provide some early looks. Each show will have a guest host and the first one is BaerTaffy who will be playing the newly released Hatoful Boyfriend. The stream starts at 8:00 PM GMT (4:00 PM EST), September 4 (today), and there will be new streams every Thursday, at that time.

Source: GOG.com


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Nest Protect Receives Software Improvements

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 11:54AM
Author: gebraset

Nest Labs has just released Protect 2.0 for its Nest Protect smoke alarm. Although Nest has not fixed the gesture issues that have plagued Nest Protect, causing it to be recalled and removed from store shelves last April, the updated software does provide additional features that improve the device. One of the main features that Protect 2.0 brings to the table is called Smoke Check, which utilizes a built-In humidity sensor that is able to distinguish between smoke and steam. According to Nest, Smoke Check is supposed to eliminate nearly half of all false alarms that are caused by steam. Protect 2.0 allows Nest Protect owners to tweak the brightness of the Pathlight motion-activated LED nightlight. The updated software also enables the device to work on hidden wireless networks. Additionally, the Nest Android and iOS application now shows CO levels, alarm history, and can even help families build an emergency escape route through What To Do 2.0.

Source: CNET


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Monster Announces SoundStage Wireless Music System

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 12:35PM
Author: gebraset

Monster, which is primarily known for creating the original Beats headphones, has just announced SoundStage, a wireless music system that combines innovative technology with sleek design. Monster SoundStage incorporates the AllPlay media-streaming platform from Qualcomm, enabling the speaker to be used with a SoundStage application that allows users to access media across their network. Besides Wi-Fi connectivity, Monster SoundStage features Bluetooth, digital optical, a USB charging port, and a 3.5mm stereo input.

Monster SoundStage, which uses software algorithms to make music sound like it is coming from a larger speaker than it actually is, is expected to be released on October 25, 2014. SoundStage will be available in three different models, which include the S1, S2, and S3, retailing for $200, $300, and $400, respectively.

Source: CNET


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G.SKILL Releasing Fastest DDR4 Memory in the Market Tomorrow, Running at 3333MHz Stock

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 12:40PM
Author: ClayMeow

Last week, G.SKILL broke the DDR4 speed record, running a set of Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 modules at 4004MHz using LN2. It's unclear the stock speeds of the module used, but today the company unveiled the world's fastest stock DDR kit with speeds of 3333MHz. The new 3333MHz Ripjaws 4 series DDR modules come in a 16GB (4x4GB) kit with a latency of 16-16-16-36, and will be available beginning September 5. You can pre-order the modules on Newegg for $699.99. 3300MHz and 3200MHz 16GB (4x4GB) Ripjaws 4 series kits will also release that same day, priced at $579.99 and $469.99, respectively.

Source: Press Release


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Ryse: Son of Rome Arriving on Steam October 10; System Requirements Revealed

Posted: September 4, 2014 @ time: 02:24PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in the beginning of August, Crytek revealed that former Xbox One exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome would finally be coming to PC this Fall with all DLC included and 4K support. Today, the Steam store page appeared for Ryse, and with it came the reveal of the release date, price, and system requirements. Ryse will be launching on October 10 via Steam and is priced at $39.99. Pre-purchasing the game nets you the 25-track soundtrack for free (no word on whether it'll be available for purchase after launch).

Ryse requires 64-bit Windows (Vista or later) and 26GB of hard drive space, with minimum specs listed as: Intel Dual-Core 2.8GHz/AMD Dual-Core 3.2GHz or better; 4GB RAM; and DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB video RAM. Recommended specs are: Quad-Core or Six-Core CPU; 8GB RAM; and DirectX 11 graphics card with 2GB video RAM. For thoes that want to run 4K, Crytek unveiled the recommended 4K specs in the Steam forum as the following: Quad-Core or Eight-Core CPU (SSE1-3, 8+ logical processors); 8GB RAM; DirectX 11 graphics card with 4GB video RAM; and of course, a 4K monitor running 3840x2160 resolution.

Ryse: Son of Rome also includes full Steamworks integration, including Steam Achievements, Steam Leaderboards, Steam Cloud, and Steam Trading Cards.

Source: Steam [1] and [2]


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