China's own operating system could be ready by October
After banning Microsoft's Windows 8 software for use on government PCs, China is now reportedly planning to cook up its own operating system. The home brewed OS could see a launch as early as October, and it would have the full backing of the Chinese government. China's motivation in building an OS of its own is to alleviate concerns that imported software from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Apple could have spying mechanisms built into the code base.
The netbook revolution was, at the time of it inception, an all-Linux affair, with there being plenty of talk of Linux finally emerging as a serious alternative to Windows in the eyes of mainstream PC users. However, all such talk quickly disappeared when the first Windows-running devices invaded the segment and made it their own in no time at all. Tablets may have derailed the netbook bandwagon, but Linux has managed to claw its way back into contention in the laptop segment with Google Chromebooks. Now, if the search engine giant has its way, its Linux-based cloud OS could end up replicating that same success in the desktop category as well.
With Windows 9 (Threshold) rumored for an introduction next month along with a Release Preview for consumers and developers alike, it's safe to say that the Windows 8 era is winding down, though some would argue it never truly began (market share figures would back that argument). So, what do you do if you're an OEM looking to pick up sales for the back to school season? Well, if you're HP, you promote Windows 7 and offer shoppers an enticing discount.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released a report titled "Essential Facts About the Computer and Video game Industry" that's filled with sales, demographic, and usage data. According to the report, 59 percent of Americans play video games with an average of two gamers in each game playing U.S. household. Some 51 percent of U.S. households own a dedicated game console, and of those that do, most own two. As for the gender breakdown, 52 percent of gamers are male and 48 percent are female. However, things get interesting when you examine the breakdown by age.
The concept of a bug bounty program is nothing new, and even Facebook will line your pockets with cash if you discover a qualifying security vulnerability in the social network or select acquisitions it's made. Until now, however Oculus Rift was exempt. Facebook has now extended its bug bounty program to Oculus Rift, which joins other Facebook acquisitions such as Instagram, Parse, Onavo, and Moves.
Physical media in the PC gaming sector is nearly dead
Think for a moment about the last 10 PC games you purchased. If the statistics presented by analyst DFC Intelligence are correct, than at least nine of those games were digitally downloaded as opposed to physical copies. Long gone are the days when you'd walk into Software Etc. and emerge with a bag full of game boxes containing floppy disks, and later CDs. According to DFI Intelligence, 92 percent of all PC game sales around the world in 2013 were digital.
Two stories, tons of creativity, yummy ice cream, no grog
That’s fair advice for the half of you who will start out Broken Age in a miserable funk instead of a monster-filled fairy tale. At least, that’s how we felt when we initially began our trip through Tim Schafer’s imaginative title—the first half of a two-part, point-and-click adventure from the industry veteran whose previous credits stand well on their own within the genre: Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, et cetera.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
Turn your PC into a music computer with the best free audio editor
Audacity’s been around for a long time—since mid-2000—and for good reason. It’s a relatively lightweight, open-source, and completely free audio editor that can handle pretty much every task you throw at it. Need to edit together a podcast? No problem. Looking to do some simple noise reduction? Audacity’s got you covered.
News broke last week at Gamescom that Activision is bringing back the Sierra brand, which it will use as a launching ground for different indie developed titles. One of the first will be a reimagined version of King's Quest developed by The Odd Gentlemen, a small game studio known for The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. There aren't a lot of details to share just yet, but one thing we do know is that the reimagined King's Quest won't be a point-and-click game.
Just when you thought that BSODs were a thing of the past
After installing Microsoft's August 2014 Patch Tuesday updates, you may have noticed some wonky behavior in Windows. If you're especially unluckly, you may have even been experiencing those dreaded Blue Screen of Death errors that have largely been eradicated in recent years. It turns out there's some potentially buggy code that could cause BSODs after installing the updates, which prompted Microsoft to pull the patch offline while it investigates the issue.