Activision's uber popular Call of Duty: Black Ops game has the dubious distinction of being the most pirated PC game in all of 2010, TorrentFreak reports.
You can add that tidbit to the list or records already nothced in the title's belt, including most sales in a 24 hour period (5.6 million). According to TorrentFreak, Black Ops has been illegally downloaded over 4.2 million times so far, surpassing the number of digitally stolen copies of Modern Warfare in 2009.
On the Xbox 360, Dante's Inferno 'won' the award for most pirated copies with 1.28 million downloads (Black Ops came in fifth), while Super Mario Galaxy 2 edged ahead of Wii Party on the Nintendo Wii.
The eXtreme Power Supply Calculator is our online go-to source for better than quick-and-dirty estimates of how much power our proposed builds are going to pull, and the latest update adds a handful of new hardware.
Now included is support for AMD's new Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 videocards, as well as Nvidia's GeForce GTX 570 and GT 430 GPUs. On the CPU side, the PSU calculator now recognizes a bunch of new AMD Phenom II X6 processors, including the 1065T and 1100T, as well as a handful of other AMD chips.
The Lite version is still free to use, while the Pro version runs $1.99 and provides a few more details, such as +12V, +5V, and +3.3V rail breakdowns, recommended UPS ratings, and expanded multi-videocard support.
If you don't fancy yourself a gambling man and have been putting off picking up a Windows 7 Family Pack, you better get on the ball.
"This product is available for a limited time and will be available to purchase until December 31, or while supplies last," Amazon notes in its Windows 7 Family Pack product page.
Amazon sells the Family Pack for $125, which is $25 less than Microsoft first priced the bundle back in early October. At the time, Microsoft said it would be a limited run, but never specified how long these 3-packs would be available. Once December 31 rolls around, the Family Pack will have been on the market for around 13 weeks. By comparison, Microsoft yanked the 3-pack from store shelves after just six weeks back in 2009.
The Windows 7 Family Pack includes three Upgrade licenses that are meant to be installed on computers running Windows XP or Vista.
After failing to keep up with the original Firefox 4 release schedule due to “regressions and sources of instability,” Mozilla had to revise its initial estimates and push back the launch of the stable version to 2011. The open source outfit on Wednesday shipped Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 8. The actual release of the latest beta comes nearly a month later than originally anticipated.
According to the release notes, the latest build boasts a vastly improved Firefox Sync setup experience across desktop and mobile devices; speed, compatibility and functionality enhancements to WebGL; and a much more polished Add-Ons Manager, which now updates extensions automatically. Furthermore, Mozilla has fixed more than 1,400 bugs.
Did you have trouble logging into Skype yesterday? If so, you're far from alone, because so did around 20 million other users, all victims to a temporary outage in which "some of you may be having problems signing in," Skype acknowledged in a Twitter post.
Later on, Skype issued a follow-up tweet that read, "Our engineers and site operations team are working non-stop to get things back to normal."
In a blog post on Wednesday, Skype blamed the screw-up on a problem affecting "a large number of supernodes," though didn't get into specifics.
"Unfortunately, today, many of [the supernodes] were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype," the company wrote in a blog post. "As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for you.
"What are we doing to help? Our engineers are creating new 'mega-supernodes' as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal."
Anyone still having trouble signing into Skype? Hit the jump and let us know.
Well here's an interesting development. According to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft plans to announce a version of Windows that will run on ARM processors for the first time ever.
Assuming Bloomberg's sources know what they're talking about, Microsoft will make the stunning announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. The sources say the specialized version of Windows would be customized for battery-powered devices, like tablet PCs and other handhelds.
This would be great news for ARM, whose stock rose 6.6 percent after word got out, but what about Intel? The upcoming software will also work with Intel and AMD processors, both of which would like to tap into the emerging tablet market. Intel has already made a push with its Atom processor line, but this would clearly benefit ARM more than any other chip maker.
Everyone knows the Call of Duty franchise is a cash cow, but even Activision Blizzard has to be a little surprised at just how successful the latest incarnation has been. Black Ops has netted $1 billion since its release on November 9, the game developer announced.
"In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and 'Avatar' have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise. Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage records."
Chalk it up to just another record for Black Ops, which sold more than $650 million worldwide in its first five days of sales, "outpacing theatrical box office, book, and videogame sales records for five-day worldwide sell through in dollars," Activision Blizzard said.
Since its launch, gamers have logged over 600 million hours playing Black Ops.
ViewSonic's Tegra 2-based G-Tablet didn't roar out of the gates the way the company hoped it would, and instead fell flat on its face. Citing a "manufacturing defect" that adversely affected performance and caused an unusual number of returns, Staples went so far as to pull stock from its store shelves.
According to ViewSonic, the issue isn't a manufacturing defect, per se, but a "user experience [problem] that caused all the returns." Whatever you want to call it, ViewSonic says a fix is on the way.
"We always listen to customers; while they love the hardware, they raised several issues about the user interface," Jeff Volpe, VP and GM for ViewSonic Americas. "As a result, our software partner is releasing an upgrade that will address customer concerns. Along with great performance improvements, customers will have the flexibility to use both a standard Android interface as well as a user-customizable interface which has been significantly enhanced since the product launch."
If you already own a G-Tablet, ViewSonic says you'll receive the update no later than Friday of this week via Wi-Fi. All you'll have to do is accept the request to install the upgrade.
Remember that whole kerfuffle between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella? Yeah, well, it never ended. Also, it's done being a “kerfuffle.” When this much money and bad blood is on the table, we're legally required to call it by a name that packs a much larger punch. Yep, this one's been upgraded to a good old-fashioned gorilla manly man biceps cagefight squabble.
Not only has Activision finally put a price on its lawsuit, it's also taken aim at another alleged conspirator: fellow corporate King Kong Electronic Arts.
"Electronic Arts conspired with two former senior Activision executives, West and Zampella (the 'executives') to derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company," read Activision's motion to amend its countersuit.
The rabbit hole, however, runs even deeper if Activision's to be believed. Apparently, West and Zampella attended a private meeting in EA CEO John Ricitiello's house in order to devise a plan to wriggle out of their legally binding contracts – which still had two years left on them before expiration.
The publisher is also accusing its former Call of Duty dream team of purposefully stepping on fellow COD dev Treyarch's toes and continuing to “possess Activision confidential information long after they left which makes it likely that West and/or Zampella have misused and/or will continue to misuse valuable Activision intellectual property and trade secrets, including computer code, now that they have left Activision."
And finally, the big, ugly, slobber-knocking kicker: In addition to demanding $400 million, Activision wants the court to “prevent Electronic Arts and the former executives from benefiting from their illegal conduct." In other words, the publisher's spawn-camping Respawn Studios.
Joystiq has kindly posted the entire court document if you'd like to practically taste random flecks of dirt from all the mudslinging. Needless to say, it's a doozy.
If you kicked yourself for missing it the first time around, act fast and go grab the Swype Beta software for Android, which is once again open for a limited time, Swype announced in a forum post.
This is actually a new version of Swype, so even if you're already participating in the beta program, you may want to snag the latest release. Now in version 22.214.171.12470, this latest release adds a new Double-Tap-to-Edit mode, in which a user can tap a word twice to bring up the word choice window, as well as other feature enhancements and bug fixes.
Swype doesn't open its beta very often, so if you're even remotely interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, start clicking: