We love this time of the year, not just because of the holidays, but also for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). From January 6-9, 2011, companies will gather in Las Vegas to show off new and upcoming products, some of which will be in the concept stage and may never become an actual shipping product.
Windows 8 isn't one of those concept products, but according to a report in The New York Times, Steve Ballmer may show off Redmond's next generation operating system at CES, at least that's what they're hearing from a "person with knowledge of Microsoft's plans."
According to NYT's various sources, Ballmer and Co. also plan to unveil a slew of tablets built by Samsung, Dell, and several other manufacturing partners. One of the more promising slates is a Samsung device that will include a slide-out keyboard and most likely run Windows 7.
Given that Intel's Atom processor is nearly ubiquitous with netbooks, it's fair to say the world's largest chip maker has a vested interest in seeing the netbook sector survive the emerging tablet era. To make sure that happens, Intel put its AppUp store in the hands of CompUSA, TigerDirect, and Best Buy Canada.
The AppUpSM center has nearly 2,000 free and paid apps to play around with running the gamut from social networking to gaming, productivity, travel, and the like. And just as Microsoft did with games for Windows Phone 7, all apps in the AppUpSM center include a try-before-you-buy feature.
Roku recently rolled out new firmware -- version 2.9 b1509 -- for all models of its popular Roku player. The updated software introduces a handful of changes, including:
1080p support for XR units
Hulu app optimizations for quicker trick play navigation and start of playback
Improved Hulu playback performance on networks with higher latency
The update also addresses a handful of bugs and quirks. For example, Roku says installing the software fixes "a subtle audio playback issue in UFC streaming," and it also squashes a bug that could result in a crash if an app tried to load an image greater than 1280x720.
In a world full of fast cars, dangerous characters, and other fast cars, someone's bound to get left behind. In the case of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, that “someone” is unfortunately you, Mr. John Q PC Gaming Aficionado. (Perhaps they were intimidated by your excessively lengthy name?)
“Hey all, unfortunately we will not be releasing Need for Speed Hot Pursuit PDLC for the PC. While we are certainly committed to providing the best possible game experience and ongoing support for our PC community, (as you have already noted) we have a limited amount of resources that makes it so that we are unable to deliver new content to all platforms,” a poster from developer Criterion wrote on the game's official forums.
Fortunately, he also gave some vague (but nonetheless appreciated) assurance, adding that “on the positive side we do have more updates and content on the way for PC players--look for news very soon.”
Azeroth may be in shambles, but we're happy to report that the real-world natural order has been preserved. Which is to say that a new World of Warcraft expansion came out, and people bought it. How many people? All the people.
Within its first 24 hours on shelves, Cataclysm ravaged 3.3 million PCs, soundly trouncing former record-holder -- and previous link in the aforementioned Natural Order -- Wrath of The Lich King's 2.8 million. According to Blizzard, that makes Cataclysm the “fastest-selling PC game of all time.”
So then, that's all for this year, folks. See you next WoW expansion or – God forbid – when another game series shatters the record and, with it, the very fabric of reality.
Over the next two weeks, Google plans to roll out a new Android Market client to all devices running Android 1.6 or higher, which covers just about everyone. The update brings about a lot of groovy changes, such as a new carousel on the home and category screens, as well as one change that some will view as positively uncool.
"Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes," Google announced in a blog post. "This change will largely be transparent to buyers, but will help developers manage their businesses more effectively."
Android users have always had a full 24 hours to return an app for a full refund, so shortening the window to just 15 minutes is sure to tick some users off. At the same time, the grass isn't any greener on the Apple side, where iPhone/iPod touch users have to take a leap of faith that the app they're purchasing won't suck.
What do you think about this change? Will it affect your purchasing habits, or is this no big deal?
If you thought FarmVille was popular, get this. It's taken just 8 days for Zynga's new CityVille game to attract 6 million daily active users, making it the fast growing game the company has ever released, TechCrunch reports.
As a point of comparison, it took FarmVille 46 days to hit 6 million daily active users and FrontierVille 32 days. After 24 hours had passed, CityVille was inhabited with 300,000 players, and 3 million after a week went by.
Unlike FarmVille and FrontierVille, however, CityVille is the first game Zynga ever released on an international level. CityVille debuted in five languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian, and benefited from a bigger marketing campaign than either of the two other titles.
The last few Patch Tuesday’s have been a bit heavier than usual, but December is poised to break the record again with 17 Bulletins being issued addressing 40 separate vulnerabilities. Before you panic however you should know that only two of the vulnerabilities are rated as “critical”, with all but one of the remaining flaws falling into the “important” category. A critical flaw is anything that allows for remote code execution so even one is bad enough, but at least we won’t have to wait too much longer for a fix.
The vulnerabilities are addressing every version of Windows from XP all the way to 7 (including server), as well as all supported versions of Office. A full list of the bulletins can be found on Microsoft TechNet, along with details of a webcast scheduled for Wednesday to address any questions.
Long story short this isn’t a patch Tuesday you would want to skip.
To call Final Fantasy XIV's launch "disastrous" might be a bit of an understatement. Hell, we may have even gone with “cataclysmic” if another obscure MMO didn't already have the market cornered on that one. The bottom line? FFXIV was near-universally panned by critics and players alike, with everything from maps to tutorials to its entire questing system ranging from half-baked to a slip of paper with the words “IOU” written on it.
At the very least, however, Square Enix recognizes that its flagship MMO probably shouldn't have set sail as soon as it did, so the publisher's decided to take away its subscription fee entirely until the game's in working order.
“To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company's top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on Final Fantasy XIV,” reads a post on FFXIV's official site.
“We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining Final Fantasy XIV's new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.”
Some tips to get you started, Square: keep the brief storyline cut-scenes that pop up once every ten levels or so and get rid of everything else. There, now you already have a whole 30 minutes of worthwhile content! Aren't we helpful?
We don't usually post game trailers here at Maximum PC, but every once in a while something comes along and knocks our proverbial socks straight into the sun. The complete Deus Ex: Human Revolution CG trailer fits that description quite nicely. Also, those were our favorite socks. We're pretty much devastated right now.
For the uninitiated, the game stars security guard Adam Jensen and his amazing Swiss army knife robo-arms. Oh, and also the most tear-jerkingly gorgeous dystopian cityscape we've ever seen. Invisible War may have been something of a rude awakening for Deus Ex fans dreaming of a perfect sequel, but we'd be lying if we said our hopes weren't sky-high for Human Revolution. Enough from us, though. Marvel at the trailer below.