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News Archives for October 2014

Improving Mathematical Models with Uncertainty

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 05:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In science classes the concept of 'ideal conditions' can often be invoked, because under ideal conditions, complex systems can be made simpler. Outside of classes complex systems are still simplified by removing complicating terms, but such a sacrifice can also make a mathematical model inaccurate. Researchers at Brown University are working to repair these inaccuracies by adding uncertainty to the models for some very complex systems.

Predicting the weather is not easy, evidenced by the number of times a forecast is wrong, and part of the process for doing that is modelling how pressure waves interact, which we do have equations for. While those generalized equations do successfully model the interactions, they fail to consider other variables that also impact the waves, such as the geography beneath them, for the sake of simplicity. The Brown researchers are trying to correct that by adding a random term to the model as a random forcing. This will result in the model producing a range of values, instead of a single answer, and will make it more realistic.

This work is part of a mathematical field called uncertainty quantifications, which tries to recover some degrees of freedom removed by simplification, as a random forcing. The reason this is only being done now is that computing power has only recently reached the level needed for this work.

Source: Brown University


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

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

It is the middle of the week and also the start of October, and there are just a couple of items to keep you occupied today. There is a review on the Corsair Carbide 240 Air computer case, which is a dual chamber cube-style case that won't take up a lot of room. It still houses plenty of features within its unique design, so be sure to check out the article in full. Our other item for today examines the history of computers, and specifically the IBM Model 5150 and the amount of clones it helped spawn.

Cases
Corsair Carbide 240 Air @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
History of PCs, Part 3: IBM Model 5150 and the attack of the clones @ TechSpot


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Comcast Cloud DVR Launches in Additional Cities

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 09:35AM
Author: gebraset

Comcast has revealed that it has launched its cloud DVR service, which provides users with the ability to stream television recordings to PCs, Macs, Android devices, and iOS devices, in San Francisco and Houston. The two cities join Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C, which have had access to Comcast cloud DVR since earlier this year. The service takes its aim at competing companies, delivering content to devices located within and outside of the home where DVR service is active. While the cloud DVR service is currently tied to a traditional X1 DVR box, recordings are duplicated in the cloud for viewing. DVR boxes that simply stream content and come without a hard drive should be released in the near future, providing additional functionality to cloud DVR by Comcast.

X1 users who currently have an X1 box will need to request cloud DVR functionality. Comcast expects all X1 users to receive cloud DVR by the end of the year.

Source: Gigaom


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Superior Architecture for Organic Solar Cells Mimics Grass

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 11:05AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Mistakes happen to everyone, so what is important is to learn from the mistake and move on. A student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst learned this lesson perhaps better than most as a mistake led to quite a discovery. Researchers at the university have been looking for a way to produce the optimal polymer architecture for organic solar cells, and by a student accidentally using the wrong substrate, they have found it.

Organic solar cells are a promising technology that could potentially out compete modern, inorganic solar cells with comparable or better efficiency, but at a lower cost and greater flexibility. They do have problems though, such as discontinuous pathways that cause energy loss. This can be overcome with the right architecture though and a student produced it while trying to grow polymer crystals, on the wrong substrate. By accident the student had used graphene as the substrate, and the mistake was not realized for over a week, when the sample was put under a scanning electron microscope. At that time not only was the mistake found but so were vertically stacked crystals, resembling blades of grass.

This vertically stacked structure addresses the problem of discontinuous pathways because of how electrons prefer to travel in certain directions through the crystals. This discovery may not just impact solar cells, but could find applications in batteries and vertical transistors as well.

Source: University of Massachusetts at Amherst


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Thermaltake Announces TR2 Bronze Series Power Supplies

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 03:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The TR2 Bronze Series is the latest power supply offering from manufacturer Thermaltake. All three power supplies in the series have received the 80 PLUS Bronze certification and use a single 12V rail to provide stable and reliable performance. A single 120mm fan keeps everything running cool while maintaining near silent operation. The Bronze Series will be available in capacities of 450W, 500W, and 600W.

Source: Press Release


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Corsair Releases Flash Voyager Vega USB Drive

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 04:13PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has released three new USB 3.0 flash drives under the Flash Voyager Vega product line. The drives are "ultra compact," measuring 5mm in thickness and 24mm in length with a key ring to make it even more portable. The drive is housed in a chrome plated scratch resistant case and will be available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The drives have USB 3.0 connectivity with USB 2.0 backwards compatibility. The 16GB has an MSRP of $16.99, the 32GB model will cost $24.99, and the 64GB has a price tag of $44.99.

Source: Press Release


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To Survive in Alien: Isolation, Know Your Enemies and Watch Your Step

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 06:29PM
Author: ClayMeow

The eighth and ninth videos in the Alien: Isolation #HowWillYouSurvive series of videos are now live. These two videos follow the trend of the previous one, showing us that the synthetics are just as deadly as the Xenomorph, so you should never feel safe.

Alien: Isolation is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on October 7. You can check the PC system requirements at the official site. A Season Pass will also be available, featuring five Survivor Mode add-on packs.

Source: Press Release


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Dragon Age: Inquisition's Crafting and Customization Highlighted in New Video

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 07:25PM
Author: ClayMeow

After a mighty impressive Dragon Age: Inquisition Character Creation video, followed by some lovely Character Posters, what does BioWare have in store for us now? A new Gameplay Features video focused on "Crafting & Customization". From potions to armor to weapons, Inquisition offers quite a lot to mess around with.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The Standard Edition costs $59.99 for all platforms, while a Deluxe Edition is available for $69.99 and includes the following bonus content: Flames of the Inquisition Armor, Flames of the Inquisition Armored Mount, Skyhold Throne, Red Hart Halla, Bog Unicorn, and the digital soundtrack. Pre-ordering either version grants you some nice fiery weapons from the Flames of the Inquisition Arsenal.

Source: BioWare


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Discover How to Colonize a New Alien World in Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Posted: October 1, 2014 @ time: 08:19PM
Author: ClayMeow

Colonizing an alien world is no easy task – or so I would assume – so it's probably a good thing that Firaxis Games has provided a new Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth gameplay trailer to help us out. The video, entitled "Discovery", is broken up into seven chapters: A New Beginning, Planetfall, Exploration, Affinities, Tech Web, Advancement, and Victory. If you have annotations turned on, you can skip to whichever chapter tickles your fancy if you don't want to watch the whole nine-minute video.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is launching exclusively for Windows PC on October 24, with pre-orders netting the Exoplanets Map Pack.

Source: Press Release


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Smart Bandage Indicates Tissue Oxygenation

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 06:22AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Doctors, like many professionals, need information to best perform, but getting the vital information can be difficult. One example is tissue oxygenation, which is indicative and healing but typically is hard to record in noninvasive and accurate ways. As reported in The Optical Society's Biomedical Optics Express journal, researchers have created a smart bandage that will actually glow to indicate tissue oxygenation.

The bandage as actually a viscous fluid one would apply to a wound, and in a minute it will dry into a thin film. A transparent barrier layer is then placed on top to protect the bandage and reduce the amount of oxygen from the environment that reaches it. Within that bandage are phosphors, like those used in glow-in-the-dark inks. This particular phosphor reacts to oxygen by glowing for longer and brighter, when less is present. A camera-based readout device is then used to actually read the oxygenation information, by providing the light to get the phosphors glowing, and the camera to measure the brightness or color of the light. Regular digital cameras, like those on smartphones, could fill this role, which would help bring this technology to the field.

The researchers developed this technology to aid wounded soldiers, as tissue oxygenation information can help doctors deal with severe wounds and burns, even improving the success of surgeries. Next the researchers are looking to expand the bandage's sensing capability, and possibly add an on-demand drug delivery system.

Source: The Optical Society


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Dropbox for Android Updated

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 08:54AM
Author: gebraset

Dropbox has released an important update to its Android application, allowing users of the service to transfer Dropbox files to an external SD card. With the feature being one of the most requested by users, it is obviously why Dropbox decided to implement it into its Android application. All types of files can be transferred to an SD card for offline use, such as meeting agendas, trip photos, and shopping lists. Users can utilize the newest feature by tapping the “Quick Action” button to the right of any file, selecting “More,” then “Export,” and finally tapping “Save to Device” and picking the external SD card. The latest update to the Dropbox Android application also includes faster search support and improved Android L support.

Source: Dropbox Blog


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Advanced Pill that may Replace Injections

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 09:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Some people hate needles tremendously, which can make delivering some medications very difficult. Ideally a patient could just be given the medication as a pill to swallow, but not all drugs can survive the digestion system and enter the bloodstream. Researchers at MIT however have developed a new pill design that circumvents the issues by injecting the medication through the GI tract.

Chemicals like insulin, vaccines, recombinant DNA, and RNA are part of a class of drugs called 'biologics' which are so large they are nonabsorbable, but even before they would be, the acids and enzymes in a patients GI tract would degrade them. To get around this the researchers have created a pill roughly two centimeters by one centimeter in size, covered with small needles. That may not sound much better than a traditional needle, but the GI tract has no pain receptors and the whole thing is too small to be a danger. By just filling the pill with the appropriate drug, it could be administered to a patient without any pain.

So far the researchers have tested the pill with insulin in pigs. It took about a week to pass through the pigs and the body received it well. Those pigs that were given the pill were also affected more by the insulin than those that received it by injection, suggesting this method may be a more efficient delivery system.

 

 

Source: MIT


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Google Play Newsstand Updated with a New User Interface

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 09:31AM
Author: gebraset

Google has updated its Play Newsstand application for Android, which according to the search engine giant provides a wealth of news sources in one reading experience, including everything from online newspapers, websites, blogs, and print magazines. The latest update for the news application from Google brings in a fresh, new user interface that is based on Google’s material design. This design incorporates more contextual headers, smoother transitions, and larger images to improve how content is presented to users. Deeper topic cards have also been added thanks to the latest update, and a redesigned magazine reading experience that allows for toggling through a list of articles is also available.

Google Play Newsstand is currently available in 40 countries across the world, and users of the application will receive latest update over the next week.

Source: Official Android Blog


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 10:06AM
Author: bp9801

The second day of October has arrived, and with it plenty of items for you to check out. We have a review on the AZZA 'Z' CSAZ-103 Mini-ITX case, which may look small, but is fully capable of holding big parts, like a long video card and full size power supply. If keeping your processor cool is what you're looking for, then you should check out the reviews on both the Cooler Master Hyper D92 and LEPA LV12 CPU coolers. Switching over to the portable world, there is a review on the updated version of the Motorola Moto G smartphone, as well as the iconBIT Toucan 4K Android Mini-PC. Lastly, if you want a chance to fight cancer and win an NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Black, hit up the contest link to see exactly what you must do ([email protected]) to win.

Cases
AZZA 'Z' CSAZ-103 Mini-ITX @ Benchmark Reviews

CPU Cooling
Cooler Master Hyper D92 @ Frostytech
LEPA LV12 @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
iconBIT Toucan 4K Android Mini-PC @ Madshrimps

Mobile
Motorola Moto G (2014) @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Fight cancer and win a GTX Titan Black @ Bjorn3D


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Magnetic Majority Logic Gate Created

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 02:31PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For years silicon chips and transistors have been used to build computers, but this may change in the future as modern technologies reach their limits. Exactly what the future may bring is hard to predict though, as there are many contenders and some are quite different from what we have today. Now one of these contenders has gotten quite a boost from researchers at the Technische Universität München and the University of Notre Dame, as they have successfully created a majority logic gate from a 3D stack of nanomagnets.

Single magnets have their own magnetic field, but when multiple are brought together, their individual fields will couple into one. The majority logic gate works by holding three nanomagnets in a fixed position, with a fourth free to move nearby. That free nanomagnet will flip its orientation depending on the orientation of the majority of the fixed nanomagnets, hence the name. Potentially a majority logic gate could be used as a programmable switch in a digital circuit, especially if combined with domain wall gates, which the researchers have been working on for years, as they enable the routing, buffering, and synchronization of signals in magnetic circuits.

There are many promising aspects to this technology, including low energy consumption, resistance to radiation, and being non-volatile. It also lends itself well to vertical stacking to improve scalability and packing density, and by using coupled fields transistors the contacts and wiring of transistors are not required.

Source: Technische Universität München


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NVIDIA GAME24 Event Proves Successful

Posted: October 2, 2014 @ time: 03:50PM
Author: CheeseMan42

NVIDIA recently held the GAME24 event, a 24 hour global celebration of PC gaming. The entire event was broadcast live with more than 1.3 million viewers from over 120 countries watching the events that included tech talks, a 24 hour modding competition, and a Dota 2 tournament. NVIDIA also used the event to unveil its next graphics architecture, known as Maxwell, along with the GeForce GTX 980 and 970.

Source: NVIDIA


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:51AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us at last, which means there are some items to help close out the week. We have an early look at the EVGA Hydro Copper GTX 980 water block and, if this preview is anything to go by, the new Maxwell GPU is going to be kept quite cool. There's also a review on the SteelSeries Sibera RAW Prism, an entry-level gaming headset for those on a tight budget. If you're looking for some help in your games, then perhaps the Cougar 700M gaming mouse can help you get those few more kills to move up the leaderboard. Wrapping up things for the week is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews.

GPU Cooling
EVGA Hydro Copper GTX 980M Water Block Early Performance Testing @ PC Perspective

Mice/Keyboards
Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
SteelSeries Sibera RAW Prism @ LanOC Reviews

Miscellany
Podcast #320 @ PC Perspective


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Watching Lithium Ions Enter Electrodes

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:57AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It is almost amusing how much we rely on lithium ion batteries, despite knowing quite little about their operation. Given the extreme nature of the inside of a battery though, perhaps that is not altogether surprising. Still some researchers do find ways to looking inside, such as those at Michigan Technological University who have uncovered what happens when ions enter the anode.

As part of how batteries operate, lithium ions will move from one side to the other, entering and exiting the electrodes as is appropriate. That movement is not exactly simple or easy though, which is something the Michigan researchers want to change. With transmission electron microscopy, the researchers were able to observe atomic shuffling, as they call it, when lithium enters an anode. The structure of the electrode has to change to receive the lithium ion, expanding and contracting to form a sandwich structure.

Obviously this explains how the ions move through the electrodes, but it also explains why anodes made of a layered material fail. The stress and phase transitions involved are too great for the material to survive over repeated charge/discharge cycles.

Source: Michigan Technological University


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Google Reportedly Working on Large Displays

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 11:51AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The secretive hardware group at Google, known as Google X, is reportedly working on large scale displays. The screens are being designed with modularity in mind, using a number of "smaller screens that plug together like Legos to create a seamless image." The concept of using several monitors to create a larger display isn't an entirely new one, but the lack of noticeable borders between monitors could set the Google design apart from competitors. This type of configuration is often used in applications such as "stadium jumbotrons, digital billboards, and video walls," and it remains to be seen who or what the target of the Google X project would be.

Source: Ars Technica


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Gold Nanoparticles Used to Improve Cardiac Patches

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 01:55PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Heart attacks are pretty serious and something very hard to recover from, in part because heart cells do not multiply and there are few cardiac muscle stem cells to repair the damage. Cardiac patches have been created to replace damaged cells, but because of how they are made, these patches can cause their own health problems. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have recently developed a new hybrid patch that could address those problems.

Traditionally the patches are made by growing cardiac tissue on a collagen scaffold from pig hearts. One of the problems with this approach is the potential for antigens that will trigger an immune response, causing the patient's body to attack the patch. To get around this the researchers instead harvest fatty tissue from the patient's stomach, as the body will not attack its own cells. This left an issue with connectivity, as the cells in the patch must respond to the electrical signals of the heart, and engineered patches do not immediately form the necessary connections. The solution the researchers tried was to deposit gold nanoparticles onto the cardiac tissue, providing the needed conductivity.

So far the nonimmunogenic hybrid patch has shown itself to transfer electrical signals faster and more efficiently than scaffolds without the gold nanoparticles, when tested in animals. The next step for the technology is to test it in larger animals, and eventually perform clinical trials.

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University


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Evil Necromancer Quan Chi Revealed for Mortal Kombat X

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 04:01PM
Author: ClayMeow

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has continued the trend of announcing one new Mortal Kombat X character each month since the game's official announcement. After initially unveiling Scorpion, Sub-Zero, D'Vorah, Ferra and Torr, Cassie Cage, and Kotal Kahn, there was Raiden in July, Kano in August, Goro in September, and now October's reveal: Quan Chi. The reveal is accompanied by a gameplay trailer, showing off his three variations, his inter-dimensional X-Ray move, and a glimpse at his Fatality.

In order of their appearance in the video, Quan Chi's three variations are: Sorcerer, specializing in spell circles; Warlock, specializing in dark portals; and Summoner, featuring a demonic minion.

Mortal Kombat X will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on April 14, 2015.

Source: Press Release


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Forge Your Nemesis in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Compete in the Test of Power Challenge Mode

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 04:42PM
Author: ClayMeow

Even though Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launched on Tuesday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has decided to release a brand new trailer for the game. Entitled "Forge Your Nemesis", the video provides an interesting look at the innovative Nemesis System.

In addition, beginning today and going until Sunday, October 5 at 1PM EST, "players can build their legend by taking down an exclusive Legion of Sauron's forces this weekend through the Test of Power Challenge Mode." And of course there will be a Challenge Leaderboard to see where you rank among your fellow gamers.

Source: Press Release


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New Achievement in Interactive Code for Error Correction

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When using computers and mobile devices, most people probably do not realize just how much is involved with making sure the data they send and receive is accurate. Behind every transmission, especially wireless ones, error-correcting code (ECC) is employed to prevent errors, but current algorithms are not exactly ideal. Researchers at and from MIT will soon be presenting work on a new interactive coding scheme that could solve the problems.

Classical ECC has worked well for years and has the useful property that it works better as the size of a transmission increases. The algorithms are not well suited for shorter transmissions though, such as those used with distributed computing. For these transmissions a new system is needed and for twenty years researchers have been working on interactive code schemes that should do the trick. Like ECC, interactive code is evaluated on how much noise it can tolerate, the maximum transmission rate, and how long the encoding and decoding processes take. The MIT researchers' work is the first that is optimal in all three criteria.

Traditionally ECC works by adding extra bits to the transmission that describe the message, to reveal errors in the message, and then by going back and forth between the message and extra bits, the correct message can be discovered. This new system cuts that process short by building lists of what the message might be, and then exchanging them. As a device will always know what its message said, it is possible for the two devices to determine what the optimal decoding approach is. This way the scheme can tolerate a quarter of the data being altered and its processing time is linearly related to the length of the message. Now work still needs to be done to further optimize the scheme, but this is still a great step towards a new error correction system.

Source: MIT


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VideoLAN Releases VLC for Windows 8.1

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:28PM
Author: gebraset

VLC media player, an open source application that plays all multimedia file formats from files, streams, and discs, has officially been released for Windows 8.1. The application has been available for quite some time for Windows 8, but the new version brings an enhanced design that makes using the program much easier through the Metro user interface. VLC media player users who use the Windows 8.1 version of the application will now notice a navigation menu on the left, which contains a search bar, a home tab, a videos tab, and a music tab. The new interface is quite simple and focuses purely on function, as navigation options are limited overall.

VLC for Windows 8.1 is available immediately for downloaded from the Windows Store.

Source: WinBeta


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Falling Skies: The Game Blends TNT's Hit Sci-fi Drama with XCOM

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:43PM
Author: ClayMeow

If you're a fan of TNT's hit sci-fi, post-apocalyptic television series Falling Skies and of XCOM's tactical gameplay, you're in luck: turn-based, tactical strategy RPG Falling Skies: The Game has launched for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. The game takes place between the events of the show's third and fourth seasons, starting with the 2nd Mass stumbling upon the wreckage of an ambushed convoy and meeting a survivor "who claims he can create a destructive weaspon that will aid in the human resistance against the Espheni invaders."

Falling Skies: The Game features squad-based tactical combat with a non-linear campaign, characters from the show, map randomization, dynamic AI, and squad member customization. Yep, it's pretty much XCOM: Enemy Unknown with a Falling Skies coat of paint, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Source: Press Release and Steam


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Google+ Receives an Updated User Interface

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 05:51PM
Author: gebraset

Google recently released a new version of Google Play Newsstand that featured an updated user interface, and it looks like the technology giant is now doing the same with its social networking application, Google+. The latest update to Google+ for Android brings the much welcomed material design to the masses, which in the social networking application translates into a flatter design, polished menus, a simpler layout for photos, and a revised post button. Additional features contained within the update include the ability to cast a slideshow of links, photos, and videos shared to a user’s stream directly to a television, editing capabilities of Auto Awesome Movies on select devices, various bug fixes, and performance improvements.

The latest version of Google+ can be downloaded from the Google Play Store immediately.

Source: Droid Life


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Apple Interested in Reducing the Cost of Beats Music

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 06:04PM
Author: gebraset

Beats Music, which was recently taken over by Apple, may be cheaper in the future than rival music subscription services like Rhapsody and Spotify. According to individuals who have knowledge of company plans, Apple is currently coordinating with major music labels to establish new rights and features for Beats Music. These agreements would pave the way for labels to receive more money for streaming tracks than they currently do, which would in turn allow Apple to reduce the cost of Beats Music. While Beats Music currently costs customers $10 a month, the discussions that Apple is having with labels could allow the service to drop below this price, thereby undercutting other music subscription services.

Source: CNET and Re/code


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New Styx: Master of Shadows Gameplay Trailer Demonstrates More Assassination Methods

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 06:16PM
Author: ClayMeow

Infiltration RPG Styx: Master of Shadows launches is just a few days, and there has already been several gameplay trailers for our viewing pleasure. Back in the beginning of September, Focus Home Interactive released one such trailer called "Assassin's Green", which illustrated various assassination methods titular protagonist Styx can employ in the game. Now Focus Home has followed up with "Assassin's Green 2", showing new methods like poisoning guards or blinding them with a clone.

Styx: Master of Shadows will arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 7 with a very reasonable price tag of $29.99/€29.99/£24.99. Pre-purchasing the game on Steam provides a 20% discount, and the offer is actually good until October 13, meaning you could actually wait for reviews if you're on the fence! Kudos to Focus Home for offering a week one discount instead of just a pure pre-order discount!

Source: Press Release


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If You're Out of Ammo in Far Cry 4, Just Throw Some Bait

Posted: October 3, 2014 @ time: 08:14PM
Author: ClayMeow

Far Cry 4's Kyrat is a dangerous place, so to help you out, arms dealer and former warlord Longinus is there to sell you all sorts of weaponry. Or you can just throw some bait and have the wildlife do your fighting for you.

Far Cry 4 is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 18.

Source: Press Release


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You Can "Be The Zombie" in Dying Light... If You Pre-order

Posted: October 4, 2014 @ time: 08:39AM
Author: ClayMeow

If you want to invade another player's game as a deadly zombie in Techland's first-person, open-world survival horror game Dying Light, you're going to have to pre-order (or presumably purchase it as DLC post-release). Pre-ordering the game gives you free access to the Be The Zombie DLC, which allows you to play as the Night Hunter and invade other games. The Night Hunter features a unique set of moves and abilities, which can be upgraded using experience points. While you need to own the DLC to play as the Night Hunter, all players regardless of DLC ownership can be invaded when playing online.

Dying Light will launch January 27 in the Americas, January 28 in Australia and New Zealand, and January 30 in Europe and Asia; priced at $49.99 for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and $59.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Source: Press Release


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The Sixth Might & Magic Heroes VII Faction is Now Up For Vote: Dungeon vs. Inferno

Posted: October 4, 2014 @ time: 11:32AM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in August, Ubisoft announced Might & Magic Heroes VII and revealed The Shadow Council, allowing anyone with a free Uplay account to join and affect the game's development via votes, developer chats, and more. With the Haven, Academy, Stronghold, and Necropolis factions set in stone, the remaining two launch factions would be determined via Shadow Council voting. The first vote was between the elven Sylvan and the dwarven Fortress, and with and decisive victory, Sylvan won the fifth faction spot last month.

Beginning this past Thursday, the sixth and final faction is now up for vote, allowing fans to choose between the Dark Elves of the Dungeon faction or the Demons of the Inferno faction. The Dark Elves come from the underground nation of Ygg-Chall and are a mysterious bunch whose motives are unknown. The Demons, on the other hand, know only one motive: chaos. Forged by Urgash and having escaped the mystical prison of Sheogh, these demons "would burn the world to a cinder just to watch it burn." You can read all about the Dungeon and Inferno factions at the first link below and cast your vote for which you'd like to see as the sixth faction. As of the time of this writing, Dungeon is winning by a fairly significant margin, proving once again that fantasy fans love anything elven.

In addition to the faction vote, Shadow Council members can vote on which Ivan figurine should be included in the Heroes VII Collector Edition. Ivan, Duke of Griffin, is the main character of the game and wields a sword known as the Griffin's Resolve. Fans can choose between two distinct poses: the Strategist or the Warrior. The final design will be made into a highly detailed figurine measuring 9.8 inches in height. The Strategist is currently dominating the vote.

Might & Magic Heroes VII is coming exclusively to PC sometime in 2015.

Source: Official Site [1] and [2]


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Heroes and Armies Showcased in New Toy Soldiers: War Chest Gameplay Videos

Posted: October 5, 2014 @ time: 05:18PM
Author: ClayMeow

Tower defense, action strategy hybrid Toy Soldiers: War Chest was announced back in August, with promises of grandeur. While we were told there will be four armies at launch, only two were actually revealed: Kaiser's WWI-era German forces and Starbright's Star Power army. Sadly, those two armies are still the only ones we know about, but Ubisoft has posted two gameplay videos narrated by Producer Josh Mast, which delve a littler deeper into the game. The first video, entitled "Hero Focus", discusses hero customization. The second video, entitled "Army Focus", discusses the various units and turrets at your disposal.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest is scheduled to arrive early 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 05:50AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with plenty of items for you to look over to get it started. There is a review on the Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 285 WindForce OC video card, which offers a factory overclock and custom cooler to help keep things from getting too hot during an intense gaming session. There is also a look at the SilverStone Fortress FT05, a rather small case that features a unique design. We also have the Y50 Touch from Lenovo, which is a gaming laptop that may be a solid choice for those on a budget. ROCCAT's TALK FX feature gets looked at to see what it brings to the table when you are using multiple ROCCAT device. Finally the ICYCube MB561U3S-4S 4 Bay External HDD Enclosure from ICY DOCK is reviewed to see if it can be the basis for your new NAS.

Video Cards
Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 285 WindForce OC @ Madshrimps

Cases
SilverStone Fortress FT05 @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY DOCK ICYCube MB561U3S-4S 4 Bay External HDD Enclosure @ ThinkComputers

Laptops/Tablets
Lenovo Y50 Touch Gaming Notebook @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
ROCCAT TALK FX Overview @ Benchmark Reviews


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Potentially Bringing Quantum Optics to Computer Chips

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 05:52AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While the possibility of quantum computers can grab headlines, there are more quantum technologies than that, and some can even be used today. Quantum encryption leverages quantum mechanics to transmit information securely using photons, but creating these photons is a little tricky. Doing so requires the generation of entangled photon pairs, which normally have the polarization of the original light source, but now researchers have developed a device to create cross-polarized pairs, as reported by The Optical Society's.

Normally cross-polarized photon pairs would be created using a classical mechanics process, which is a problem for quantum technologies, as quantum phenomena would be destroyed. Specifically, the entanglement between the photons would be undone. This new device gets around that by using a micro-ring resonator that exploits energy conservation. This suppresses the classical effects involved and actually amplifies the quantum processes.

Thanks to the small size of the device, under one square millimeter in area, we could see the generation of cross-polarized, entangled photon pairs be integrated into modern computer chips. The device can already be fabricated with processes compatible with those that make computer chips.

Source: The Optical Society


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iPhone 6 Prototype Receives Unbelievable Bids on eBay Auction

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 06:29AM
Author: gebraset

The iPhone 6, which set a pre-order sales record for Apple after the technology company unveiled it early last month, has been sought after by millions of consumers across the world since its announcement. A Verizon customer located in Beverly Hills, California, seems to be the luckiest of all who ordered the iPhone 6, as they have received a prototype of the smartphone. Apparently the 64GB iPhone 6 prototype does not feature a model number or any FCC marks, features a red Lightning port, and is stuck in developer mode. With such a rare find, the Verizon customer placed the iPhone 6 prototype onto eBay four days ago with a starting bid of $999. Amazingly, the prototype version of the iPhone 6 currently has a bid amount of $86,100, and with the auction set to last another three days, that amount is sure to climb even higher.

Source: eBay and TweakTown


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Samsung Plans to Construct a New Chip Plant in South Korea

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 06:52AM
Author: gebraset

Samsung has announced that plans to construct a new chip plant in South Korea. The fabrication plant will be located in Pyeongtaek, which is 47 miles south of Seoul, and will cost the electronics giant roughly $14.7 billion. Although construction on the new plant is set to begin sometime next year, the facility, which will make either logic or memory chips, will not open until 2017. Samsung noted that 150,000 jobs will be created thanks to the newly announced chip manufacturing plant, which happens to be about a third of the population of Pyeongtaek.

Source: Reuters


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Majorana Fermion Finally Discovered

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 11:05AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When quantum mechanics was first being developed and scientists were first discovering the math that rules it, many interesting predictions were made. Some of these predictions have since proven true, but one has been particularly stubborn. The Majorana fermion is a particle that exists as its own antiparticle and finally, researchers at Princeton University and the University of Texas-Austin have proven its existence.

As the name suggests, antimatter is the opposite of normal matter, and when they collide, they will annihilate each other. The Majorana fermion is an exception to that rule, and was first described in 1937. This particle actually possesses properties of both normal and antimatter, making it neutral and keeping its interaction with its environment weak. In 2001 it was outlined how a Majorana fermion could be used as a qubit in quantum computers, which would benefit greatly from the weak interactions, and a new way to find it using a superconducting wire and a strong magnetic field.

The Princeton researchers constructed their superconducting wire out of iron atoms, aligned on a crystal of pure lead, and cooled it to just one degree above absolute zero. With a scanning-tunneling microscope, the researchers were able to image electrical signals at the tips of the wire, suggesting the presence of Majorana fermions, but only by imaging the rest of the wire, and showing the signals were only at the ends, the researchers were able to directly demonstrate they had created the elusive particle. Ironically the researchers also discovered that producing these particles is easier than they expected, provided the magnetism and superconductivity are present. Based on this, and their already simple setup, the researchers predict many more materials could be used to produce these particles, which could prove invaluable in the creation of quantum computers.

Source: Princeton University


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Bing Adds Song Lyrics to Search Results

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 11:55AM
Author: gebraset

Bing has just announced that it has added the ability to view song lyrics directly within search results. When a user searches for lyrics to their favorite song, Bing will now show full lyrics on the mainline search results page, eliminating the need to sift through website links and third-party sites. According to Bing, the search engine will also provide users with artist, album, and other song related information alongside the main search results in a summarized, snapshot form.

Bing currently supports over half a million songs, but revealed that it will support more songs in the coming weeks.


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Crumpling Graphene to Create Electrodes

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 02:11PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Graphene seems to be a gift that just keeps on giving as researchers continue to find new ways to use it. Now those at MIT have found a very simple way to turn graphene paper into a stretchable electrode.

The wonder material is an atom-thick sheet of carbon that has many amazing properties due to this 2D structure, but in this case, multiple layers of graphene are combined to form a paper. This paper has been looked at before for use as electrodes in a supercapacitor, thanks to its high surface area to mass ratio, but not quite like this. The MIT researchers attached the paper to a polymer they had stretched out in two directions. They then released the polymer in one direction, and then the other. The first release caused the graphene paper to form parallel pleats, while the second crumpled it into chaotic folds. If the paper is stretched out again, the folds just smooth themselves out.

The researchers created a prototype supercapacitor with this material by placing an insulating hydrogel between two sheets, and as the hydrogel is also stretchable, the supercapacitor itself can survive being flexed and pulled. The crumpled graphene paper could also be used as electrodes in flexible batteries or in stretchable sensors.

Source: MIT


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Warcraft 3 Could Be Coming to Battle.net Launcher

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 04:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A recent update to the Battle.net launcher from Blizzard further hints at the possibility of Warcraft 3 finding its way onto the service. The first hints at a possible re-release were given at Blizzcon last year during a World of Warcraft panel. During the panel it was revealed that Blizzard had a team of several people that were "working on a side project," and that "We're fans of Warcraft 1, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and we'd love to replay those games for sure." The latest hint is a bit more subtle and comes with the addition of backgrounds and icons for Warcraft 3 to the launcher. Blizzcon will be taking place this year on November 7 and as someone who never got the chance to play the game when it first came out, this is something I will be sure to watch closely.

Source: PC Gamer


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Delve "Inside the Brotherhood" in Assassin's Creed Unity

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 05:39PM
Author: ClayMeow

We have already seen a narrated co-op Heist mission and an official "Co-Op Gameplay Trailer" for Assassin's Creed Unity, but when four-player co-op is one of the major selling points of this new-gen iteration, of course Ubisoft isn't going to stop there. The publisher has now posted a new video and blog entry entitled "Inside the Brotherhood", which delve a bit further into the co-op activities and assassin customization.

Assassin's Creed Unity will release on November 11 in North America and November 13 in EMEA territories for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Season Pass is also available with eight hours of additional content, including Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a unique 2.5D reimagining of the franchise.

Source: UbiBlog


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Ubisoft's MMO-CarPG The Crew Pushed Back to December 2

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 06:09PM
Author: ClayMeow

Originally scheduled to arrive November 11, Ubisoft has announced that its upcoming MMO-CarPG The Crew will now be arriving December 2 instead. Planned for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360, the delay is apparently because of community feedback. After two closed betas on PC and one technical beta on the new-gen consoles, the development teams at Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections are "scrutinizing all of the player feedback [to] ensure that The Crew delivers the seamless open-world experience that meets everyone's high expectations."

According to a UbiBlog post today, substantial updates have already been made to the game, including an option to fully remove the HUD, a "massive re-creation of the United States," fine-tuning the collisions, new visual effects, difficulty and AI adjustments, and improved voice chat.

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog


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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Infiltrating Steam December 18

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 06:42PM
Author: ClayMeow

Back in August, during its Gamescom livestream, Konami revealed that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain would be coming to Steam. Today, Konami announced that the PC version of Ground Zeroes will be arriving via Steam on December 18. Best of all, the PC version features an increase in the number of simultaneous light sources, an increase in the number of models that can be displayed on-screen, increased shadow resolution, and 4K support.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes acts as a prologue to the much more extensive Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is still awaiting a release date.

Source: Press Release


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Alien: Isolation Has Launched on Steam; Console Gamers Have to Wait Until Tomorrow

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 07:38PM
Author: ClayMeow

One of the most highly anticipated survival horror games of the year officially went live on Steam earlier today. Yes, the PC version of Alien: Isolation has launched a day early, possibly influenced by the generally high critical acclaim the game has already received, with the PC version unsurprisingly receiving the highest praise. Console gamers will have to wait until tomorrow though, which was the original release date. But in the meantime, everyone can enjoy the official Launch Trailer:

Source: Press Release


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Disney Interactive Has Added 21 Games to Steam with a 10% Launch Sale Discount

Posted: October 6, 2014 @ time: 09:15PM
Author: ClayMeow

Disney Interactive has decided to embrace the #1 gaming platform in the world, adding 21 games to Steam earlier today. The games include: Disney Alice in Wonderland, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell's Adventure, Disney G-Force, Disney Planes, Disney Princess: My Fairytail Adventure, Disney Tangled, Disney The Princess and the Frog, Disney TRON: Evolution, Disney Universe, Disney's Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree Animated Storybook, Disney-Pixar Brave: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Cars 2: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales, Disney-Pixar Toy Story 3: The Video Game, Disney-Pixar Toy Story Mania!, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pure, Split/Second, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

During the first week (until October 12), all games have a 10% discount as part of the Disney Launch Sale. There are also five packs available that allow you to enjoy further discounts: Disney Extreme Racing Pack, Disney Toy Story, Planes, and Cars Pack, Disney Other-Worldly Adventure Pack, Disney Princess and Fairy Pack, and Disney Mega Pack.

Source: Steam
 


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: October 7, 2014 @ time: 05:47AM
Author: bp9801

A new day has arrived, and with it comes a few items for your viewing pleasure. There is a review on the ASUS GTX 750 Ti Strix OC Edition, which features a custom cooler, factory overclock, and the same power requirements as the reference card, so anyone should be able to load it into their system with ease. We also have the Giada D2308U Mini-PC that features an Intel Core i7 4500U, 8GB of DDR3, and a GeForce GTX 750; not bad for something that can fit in the palm of your hand. Finishing up today's items is a wish list for Windows 10 and what features the site would like to see added.

Video Cards
ASUS GTX 750 Ti Strix OC Edition @ LanOC Reviews

Prebuilts
Giada D2308U Mini-PC @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
What TechSpot writers want in Windows 10 @ TechSpot


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US Navy Successfully Demonstrates Swarming of Unmanned Surface Vehicles

Posted: October 7, 2014 @ time: 06:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In recent years we have seen an explosion of unmanned vehicles and vehicles capable of directing themselves, such as small drones and self-driving cars. Such vehicles are not limited to the land and air though, as the Office of Naval Research has been developing Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) that could be used to protect manned ships. Now ONR researchers have successfully completed tests on a system giving these USVs swarm capability.

Swarming has long been a focus of robotics and artificial intelligence research, as it allows groups of individual actors to act as one, more powerful force. By bringing it to USVs, the vehicles are able to quickly respond to threats and work together, such as plotting out routes to interdict other vessels. The technology for automating the boats, called CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing), can fit into transportable kits and can be installed into most boats. It was also recently demonstrated in the James River in Virginia by as many as 13 boats acting to escort a Navy ship, and swarm a threatening ship.

The future of these boats and system is to deploy them to protect larger, manned ships, and to send them into dangerous situations, instead of Sailors or Marines. The boats would have offensive capabilities for deterring or destroying adversaries, but weapons fire could only be initiated by a supervising Sailor.

 

 

Source: Office of Naval Research


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NVIDIA Launches the GeForce GTX 980M and 970M GPUs

Posted: October 7, 2014 @ time: 09:51AM
Author: gebraset

NVIDIA has just launched the GeForce GTX 980M and 970M graphics processing units, bringing its latest Maxwell architecture improvements to a plethora of gaming laptops. The latest laptop graphics cards bring lower power consumption, a downsampling feature that enables 4K content to be displayed on any monitor, and Multi-Frame Sample Anti-Aliasing which promises to boost performance by as much as 30 percent with no visual impact. All of these features, combined with amazing performance improvements contained within the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX mobile GPUs, provide gamers with an excellent visual experience.

Laptops with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M and 970M are available immediately for purchase. Examples of laptops that come equipped with the new NVIDIA GPUs include the MSI GT72 and GS60, the ASUS G751, the Gigabyte Aorus X7, and the Clevo P150.

Source: Engadget


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FinalWire Releases AIDA64 4.70

Posted: October 7, 2014 @ time: 10:01AM
Author: gebraset

AIDA64, a popular PC diagnostic utility that provides detailed information about the hardware and software of individual or networked computers, has just been updated to version 4.70. The latest version brings numerous improvements, such as support for new LCD and VFD devices, support for Razer SwitchBlade UI LCD, support for LGA2011-v3 motherboards, and support for a variety of SSDs. Support for CUDA 6.5 and OpenGL 4.5, as well as support for Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview and Windows Server 2015 Technical Preview come with AIDA64 4.70 too. Version 4.70 also provides GPU details for the AMD Radeon R9 285 and the NVIDIA GeForce 900 series.

Source: Press Release


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Styx: Master of Shadows Has Launched

Posted: October 7, 2014 @ time: 10:03AM
Author: ClayMeow

The time has finally come for infiltration RPG Styx: Master of Shadows, the prequel to 2012's Of Orcs and Men. While it may not have the same hype around it as last week's launch, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, nor yesterday's launch, Alien: Isolation, at half the price ($23.99 via Steam after a week one 20% discount), it's certainly more accommodating on the wallet. Of course, no release would be complete without an official Launch Trailer:

Source: Press Release


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