One of the major benefits of upgrading to Windows 8.1 when it becomes available is the inclusion of Internet Explorer 11. The touch-friendly browser represents a pretty significant update to IE's code base, with support being offered for WebGL and Google's SPDY protocol, as well as improved HTML5 support. While the new browser is shipping with Windows 8.1, Microsoft is planning to port it over to Windows 7.
Serving as yet another sign that mobile platforms are here to stay, Futuremark announced that it plans to port its PCMark benchmark over to Android, iOS, and Windows RT. Like its Windows counterpart, the mobile version will feature benchmark tests based on real-world use scenarios, though they'll be geared toward activities that smartphone and tablet owners perform on a daily basis. It will also examine battery life.
The next generation of game consoles from Sony (PlayStation 4) and Microsoft (Xbox One) isn't just about the hardware, it's equal parts software and whether or not the gaming industry as a whole is ready to transition to a digital distribution model. For the most part, the transition is mostly complete on the PC side thanks to services like Steam, and had Microsoft stuck to its guns, the Xbox One would have leaned much more heavily on digital downloads than physical media. As for Sony, it wasn't even a consideration, because gamers simply don't want to buy games online, the company says.
Nvidia today lifted the wraps off its GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, a mid-range part that fared well in our benchmarking and surprised us with a $250 MSRP, and coinciding with the hardware release is a new set of drivers in beta trim. Available to download now, the GeForce 320.49 beta driver delivers improved stability and performance, and is especially recommended "for players of GRID 2 and other recent releases," Nvidia says.
Hewlett-Packard seems to have a bit of a minor crush on Google as of late. The first evidence came when HP offered up its Pavilion Chromebook to the public, a 14-inch notebook running Google's Chrome OS. For what it's worth, HP is still the only OEM outside of Acer and Samsung to offer a Chromebook model, the other two of which were on the bandwagon since day 1. Perhaps looking to further test the waters outside of Windows, HP this week announced another Google-driven product, the HP Slate 21 All-In-One (AIO).
Bummed that your headset doesn't support 7.1 surround sound? Cut your cans a break, perhaps there's unlocked potential within those drivers just waiting for somebody to tap into. With the help of Razer, you can do just that by adding a new dimension of sound. Specifically, Razer has developed a new audio engine that it claims will add 7.1 virtual surround sound support to any stereo headset, even earphones.
Let's face it, nobody actually likes paying for security software, and if you're adamant against it, there are certainly plenty of freebie options at your disposal. The benefits of a paid suite, however, are that they typically offers more robust features and you only have to worry about managing a single program versus several. There is a third option. If you want the best of both worlds and aren't afraid to trust your security to pre-release programs, beta releases are your calling card, and Symantec has some new options to choose from.
Microsoft joins the ranks of those offering up bug bounties to individuals who root out security holes in its products, though the program isn't limited to finished products. The Redmond outfit is also willing to reward bug hunters for discovering vulnerabilities in specific pre-release software, including Internet Explorer 11 Preview, in which it will pay up to $11,000 for critical bugs that affect the browser on the latest version of Windows (Windows 8.1 Preview). And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Um, yeah. John McAfee, British-American programmer and founder of McAfee (now owned by Intel), is an eccentric individual, to say the least. He also remains a person of interest in a murder investigation in Belize where he used to live. That's before he fled to Guatemala, played the crazy card and faked a heart attack to avoid being deported, and was ultimately shuttled back to the United States. If you thought his bizarre escapades were over, however, think again.
Go ahead and leave the E.T. cartridges in the landfill.
A landfill in New Mexico may be a goldmine of Atari nostalgia, filled with old game cartridges, prototypes of systems that never saw the light of day, and other hardware from 30 years ago. As the story goes, Atari was sitting on millions of games and other goods that it couldn't sell, so one day the company decided to load them all onto a fleet of trucks and bury them in the desert.