Shooting people in the head for a living comes with quite a suite of occupational hazards (people trying to murder you quickly comes to mind), but luckily, Valve takes great care of its employees. This time around, as part of its Sniper update blowout, Valve hasn’t quite given the Sniper eyes in the back of his head, but don’t think the developer doesn’t have their favorite sociopath’s back. With his brand new tribal shield that’s apparently older than “recorded time,” the Sniper won’t ever have to worry about pesky backstabbing Spies again.
Well, until the priceless heirloom takes one – and only one – for the team and explodes into itty-bitty pieces, that is. Fortunately, Valve’s expert squad of fun-gineers has a backup plan.
“All the tribal craftsmanship in the world, it turns out, cannot stop a modern butter knife. So we taped a car battery to it. Sure, the added weight of the redesigned Razorback’ll slow you down a little. But any poor sap dumb enough to backstab you while you’re sporting one is getting a surprise to the tune of 10,000 volts. Plus, if they want to stab you again, they’ll have to wait until their knife cools down. Which is lucky for you, since the Razorback collapses into a million finely crafted pieces after a single stab,” reads the Team Fortress 2 blog.
Also coming in the Sniper update is a new mode called Payload Race. The mode, described as “Gladiatorial Cart Combat,” sees both sides attempting to push a cart into enemy territory, while also keeping each other’s carts off their respective lawns. And, on top of that, if you end up too dead to continue pushing your cart, it hurdles back downhill. Them’s the breaks, you might say – until you realize that the cart doesn’t have any. Then you’ll just say some other, less publically acceptable words.
When's the last time you surfed on over to your Pligg and updated what you were doing for the entire Internet to see? What about Elgg? Have you changed your favorite movies to reflect that big blockbuster hit you saw this weekend? You probably don't have to, because all of your friends using the Tweetero client on their iPhones could just log on and see exactly what you were up to. Or not. Because you aren't on Twitter -- you're on Identi.ca, the open-source equivalent of the popular messaging program.
Unlike the open-source software world, where even the smallest gems of programs can find a meaningful existence, the open-source social networking world depends on people. Masses of people. You can't just launch a new social networking platform and expect it to flourish if it doesn't have a decently sized audience. And you're never going to pull away the users that are already comfortable on their existing Web 2.0 platforms if you just imitate the best practices of the current litany of sites. But that's what's happening in the open-source social networking world right now. There's a healthy mix of innovation and duplication, giving some segments of the online world new and interesting applications... and others with their 25th version of Twitter.
Which areas of social networking are dead zones for open-source development? Click the jump to find out!
RAM, like water, is a commodity. And just as there’s a clear difference between putrid L.A. County tap water and water choppered in from the peaks of Mt. Everest, the quality of RAM can vary wildly. But quality is not the sole factor to consider when you’re trying to achieve optimum memory performance from your system.
These days, a user is faced with a plethora of options spanning different technologies, speeds, and capacities. We’re here to help you make heads and tails of all that so you’re prepared when you configure your next rig. Armed with a slew of RAM-based benchmarks, we set out to answer three of the hottest questions in memory today: Is DDR3 for AMD’s new AM3 Phenom II CPUs worth the expense? Should you pay for high-speed RAM or stick with the standard stuff? Finally, just how much memory is enough? We test three common amounts of RAM for Intel’s Core i7 to identify the sweet spot.
In what lawmakers contend was nothing more than a modern day brothel, Craigslist has decided to pull its "erotic services" ads out from the site.
"As of Wednesday, for all U.S. Craigslist sites, postings to the erotic-services category will no longer be accepted," Craigslist said in a statement. "In seven days, the category will be removed. Also effective today for all U.S. sites, a new category entitled 'adult services' will be opened for postings by legal adult service providers."
But before you think this amounts to nothing more than a name change, the classified site went on to say that all postings to the new 'adult services' section will be manually reviewed before going live. The new style posts will run $10, and then reduced to $5 for reposting once approved.
Craiglist's decision to alter its adult section came after the company's attorneys met with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as well as attorneys general of Connecticut and Missouri.
Forget about all-in-one PCs, how about an all-in-one keyboard? That's exactly what Asus was showing off during CES earlier this year, and it looks like the 2-pound Eee Keyboard PC will start shipping before July, says Engadget Chinese.
FInal specs might still change between now and when it releases, but as it stands, the Eee Keyboard will come with an Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), a 32GB SSD, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, stereo speakers, and a diminutive 5-inch 800x480 touchscreen display/trackpad combo.
Toshiba to Asus: 'Suck it!' Toshiba didn't actually say that, but it has beat Asus to market with the world's first laptop to stuff a 512GB SSD into the spec sheet.
"The new, Toshiba-developed 512GB SSD employs a 2-bit-per-cell multi-level NAND flash memory to realize, the world's largest capacity SSD, with four times the density of SSD integrated into currently available products," Toshiba wrote in a press release. "Furthermore, a new controller that realizes high-speed parallel processing with the multi-level NAND flash memory boosts data access speeds by approximately 230 percent for read (max. 230MB per sec) and 450percent for write (max.180MB per sec), compared with SSD integrated into current PCs."
In addition to the sizable SSD, Toshiba's Dynabook SS-RX2 sports a 12.1-inch WXGA (1280x800) screen, a Core 2 Duo processor, integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics, 3GB of DDR2-667 memory, a DVD burner, Bluetooth, and up to 12 hours of use on a single battery charge.
Right now it's only available in Japan for what amounts to $4,500 USD. Ouch.
Netbook makers hoping to offer Nvidia's ION platform will have to open their wallets a little wider than what they might be accustomed to. Straight from the horse's mouth, Intel charges more for the Atom processor as a standalone product than it does when combined with its own chipset.
"We have historically offered better pricing to people who buy more product," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during a conference call to discuss Intel's $1.45 billion fine from the European Commission.
In January, Nvidia was asked how much the ION would add to the cost of a netbook.
"It's hard to guesstimate, but our GPUs have a price range from $30 to $40," responded Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO. "It replaces two other chips, the Northbridge and Southbridge, and will certainly be less than that."
Or more, depending on the price premium Intel puts on ordering a bare Atom chip. Given the record setting fine Intel just received for alleged anti-competitive practices and the existing bad blood between Intel and Nvidia, this could get very interesting.
SSDs are all the rage for performance-oriented builders these days, but they aren’t without problems. Even the largest solid state drive is too small to hold all the stuff we need to store on the C: drive—games, photos, music, videos, etc.—and the inexpensive models max out at around 64GB of capacity. And there’s the performance problem, to boot. All but the most expensive SSDs suffer from very slow write speeds, which can have a significant impact on your real-world performance.
So what’s the solution? We’re going to show you how to set up your Windows install like a Linux setup—with the OS and primary apps on the SSD, and your user profile and space-hogging games on a traditional hard disk. This gives us the best of both worlds—the folders we write to most frequently are on a traditional disk, while our boot and app load times can benefit greatly from the fast read speed and low random-access time of an SSD. Best of all, you can use even a tiny 64GB SSD without having to constantly manage disk space—picking and choosing which apps and media will be stored on the small drive.
Earlier in the week Corsair announced the latest addition to their Storage Solutions line with a monster 256GB SSD.
The drive, which will go by the name P256, will be one of the first to use Samsung’s new multi-level cell flash chips, and Controller IC technologies. Along with this, it’ll have a 128MB cache, and Native Command Queuing support. The drive also sports a read and write speeds of up to 200MB/sec.
“The Corsair Storage Solutions P256 delivers the best computing experience of any single storage drive available today,” stated John Beekley, Corsair’s VP of Applications Engineering. “Using the P256 results in immediate and dramatic improvements in system startup and shutdown, game level loading, application startup, and many other everyday tasks. Additionally, the P256 is more durable and reliable than hard disk drives, and has been shown in the Corsair Labs to provide up to 25% longer battery life in portable computers.”
If you’re looking to pick up one of these drives today, it won’t be cheap, but you can do it for $699 over at Newegg.
Google has long been hailed as the champion of online advertising, but they’ve decided to step into the arena of television marketing in an attempt to spread the word about their open source browser, Chrome.
While Google’s use of advertisements on their popular search engine’s website and other online venues has been a strong way of getting more people on board with their browser, they’ve only recently broken a one and a half percent market share. Though, with their television advertisements it’s clear that they’re looking to broaden their horizon, and maybe catch the eyes of some people that wouldn’t otherwise see the adverts.
This too, will hopefully help people adopt the browser before it comes preinstalled on OEM hardware.