Software en Activision Recommends Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or Higher to Play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cod_advancedwarfare.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" title="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Is your system up to snuff?</h3> <p>Activision caught a few gamers off guard when it posted <a href="">minimum system requirements</a> on Steam for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Specifically, the 6GB of RAM and 55GB of hard drive space seemed like steep requirements just to meet the minimum. Ready for some good news? You won't need any additional storage space to meet <strong>Activision's recommended system requirements for CoD: Advanced Warfare</strong>. However, you will need a well equipped machine.</p> <p>As a refresher, here's a look at the minimum requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Windows 7 64-bit / Windows 8 64-bit / Windows 8.1 64-bit</li> <li>Intel Core i3 530 @ 2.93GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.6GHz</li> <li>6GB RAM</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1GB</li> <li>DirectX Version 11</li> <li>Broadband Internet connection</li> <li>55GB available space</li> <li>DirectX compatible sound card</li> </ul> <p>And here's a look at the <a href="" target="_blank">newly posted</a> recommended requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Windows 7 64-bit / Windows 8 64-bit / Windows 8.1 64-bit</li> <li>Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.3GHz</li> <li>8GB RAM</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 @ 4GB</li> <li>DirectX Version 11</li> <li>Broadband Internet connection</li> <li>55GB available space</li> <li>100 percent DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card</li> </ul> <p>While the storage space didn't change, there's a bump in RAM to 8GB, along with the recommendations for a faster CPU and GPU combination.</p> <p>This could be where newer games are trending. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Neogaf</em></a>, the Korean distributor of Ubisoft Korea listed minimum and recommended specs for Assassin's Creed: Unity, and they're pretty burly. More specifically, you'll need an Intel Core i5 2500K or AMD FX-8350, 6GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970, and 50GB of storage space to meet the minimum, and an Intel Core i7 3770 or AMD FX-8350, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 780 or Radeon R9 290X to meet the recommended requirements.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> activision call of duty: advanced warfare Gaming Hardware Software News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:01:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28774 at Nvidia GeForce 344.48 WHQL Driver Now Available to Download <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_gpu_2.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GPU" title="Nvidia GeForce GPU" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />New driver release brings Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) to Kepler and Fermi</h3> <p><strong>Nvidia today made available its "Game Ready" GeForce 344.48 WHQL driver</strong>, which among other things brings support for Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) to desktop graphics cards based on the company's Kepler and Fermi architectures. DSR is a featured that was rolled out with Nvidia's Maxwell launch, and what it does is render games at a higher, more detail resolution and then shrinks them down to the resolution of your monitor.</p> <p>The GPU maker's bold claim is that DSR can give you 4K (3840x2160) quality graphics on any screen, including your Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) panel.</p> <p>"Enthusiasts with compatible monitors and technical know-how refer to this process as Downsampling or Super Sampling. DSR drastically improves upon this process by applying a high-quality filter specifically designed for the task," <a href="" target="_blank">Nvidia explains</a>. "DSR also makes the process simpler with on/off integration built directly into GeForce Experience and it's compatible with all monitors, removes the need for technical know-how, and is integrated into GeForce Experience's Optimal Playable Settings."</p> <p>You can view a demonstration of this technology <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> -- drag the slider left and right to see how DSR affects the visual quality of the grass.</p> <p>Nvidia's latest driver also adds a bunch of application and 3D Vision profiles, along with 3D compatibility mode support for Dead Rising 3 and Strife.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Driver Download</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Release Notes (PDF)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> driver Gaming geforce 344.48 nvidia Software whql News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:10:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28765 at Best Free Hardware Monitoring Tools <!--paging_filter--><h3>Apps that regulate your rig’s internals</h3> <p>Making sure your rig’s temperatures, hardware, and clock speeds are running correctly is a good way to monitor your PC’s health. We always recommend stress-testing your shiny-new rig, or checking your hardware if you experience any stability issues that occur out of the blue. We’ve gathered up a list of the best free utilities you can use to make sure you have a healthy PC.</p> <p>Know of any other free monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments section below!</p> <p><strong><a title="CPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">CPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/cpuid_cpu_z.png" alt="CPU-Z" title="CPU-Z" /></p> <p>CPU-Z tells you what’s going on with your CPU by giving you readouts of your Core Speed, Multiplier, Bus Speed, and your different cache levels. It also tells you the make and model of your motherboard and video card, along with your RAM speed and capacity.&nbsp;</p> <p>We recommend using this tool if you have a preconfigured system from an OEM like Lenovo, HP, or Dell and need to find out your motherboard’s model number (if it isn’t printed on the board). The tool can also be used to monitor your CPU’s voltage, so it's overclocker friendly.</p> <p><strong><a title="GPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">GPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/gpu_z.png" alt="GPU-Z" title="GPU-Z" width="560" height="637" /></p> <p>GPU-Z gives you detailed readouts of your GPU’s clock speeds and memory size. You can use this tool to make sure that your video card is running at PCIe 3.0, as some boards run in 2.0 instead of 3.0 by default. You’ll look at the Bus Interface box to check out your video card's PCIe configuration.</p> <p><strong><a title="Furmark" href="" target="_blank">Furmark:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/furmark.png" alt="Furmark" title="Furmark" width="600" height="453" /></strong></p> <p>Got GPU problems? Furmark is a fantastic tool if you’re getting blue screens during games and want to find out if your video card is the culprit. The utility gives your GPU a workload to max-out your video card. You’ll also see a temperature read from it, so you can see if your card is running hot.</p> <p><strong><a title="FRAPS" href="" target="_blank">FRAPS:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/fraps.png" alt="FRAPS" title="FRAPS" width="600" height="370" /></strong></p> <p>Getting weird frame rate issues after freshly installing BF4 or Assassins Creed Black Flag? FRAPS will give you readouts of your real-time frame rate in-game, so you can see when and where you rig is starting to stutter. We like using this utility when a game is running poorly, so we can keep an eye on our frame rate during gameplay. We also use this tool to capture average frame rates of games that don’t come with benchmarking tools like BF4, Far Cry 3, and Crysis 3.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="Core Temp" href="" target="_blank">Core Temp:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/core_temp.png" alt="Core Temp" title="Core Temp" width="351" height="388" /></strong></p> <p>Unlike other utilities in this round-up of free apps, Core Temp tells you the individual temperatures of each of your CPU’s cores. We use this tool to make sure our processor isn’t running too hot. Core Temp also tells you the TDP, voltage, and power consumption of your&nbsp; CPU.</p> <p><strong><a title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" href="" target="_blank">AMD Catalyst Control Center:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/amd_overdrive.png" alt="AMD Catalyst Control Center" title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" width="600" height="573" /></strong></p> <p>AMD video card users can use AMD’s Catalyst Control center to monitor their video card’s performance. You’ll be able to change your GPU’s core and memory clock speeds by using AMD’s Overdrive utility, which is found in the performance tab of AMD’s Catalyst driver. You can also adjust your video card’s fan speed here.</p> <p><strong><a title="Prime 95" href="" target="_blank">Prime 95:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/prime_95_running.png" alt="Prime 95" title="Prime 95" width="600" height="378" /></strong></p> <p>Prime 95 puts your CPU through its paces by giving it a workload that will max-out your processor’s cores. We suggest using this utility if you’re having blue screen errors or freezing issues to make sure that your CPU isn’t the offender behind those infuriating messages.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="3DMark" href="" target="_blank">3DMark:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/3dmark_demo.png" alt="3DMark" title="3DMark" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>3DMark is great for benchmarking your system’s overall performance, and the free demo version also shows you where your rig stacks up with other systems that have similar hardware. The paid version lets you run the Extreme benchmarks, which run in 1080p instead of the demo’s 720p default.</p> <p><strong><a title="Rainmeter" href="" target="_blank">Rainmeter:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/rainmeter.png" alt="Rainmeter" title="Rainmeter" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>Rainmeter is a simple widget that displays your CPU and RAM usage and also tells you how full your hard drive and/or SSD are.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="EVGA Precision X" href="" target="_blank">EVGA Precision X:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/evga_precision_x.png" alt="EVGA Precision X" title="EVGA Precision X" width="600" height="471" /></strong></p> <p>Precision X is made by EVGA exclusively for Nvidia video cards. The tool allows you to check out your GPU clock speed and temperatures, and adjust your fan speeds, too. You can also overclock your GPU with the sliders, seen above. This tool displays your GPU's load, which we find quite handy.</p> apps benchmark components cpu id free furmark gpu z Hardware Hardware monitoring tools overclock pc monitor heat Software News Features Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:41:16 +0000 Chris Zele 27117 at Google Gets Moody with Play Music App <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_play_music.jpg" alt="Google Play Music" title="Google Play Music" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />What music are you in the mood for?</h3> <p>What started off as a somewhat barebones streaming music app is developing into a fleshed out package with new features being rolled out every so often. We're talking about Google Play Music, which is Google's version of Spotify. In a continued effort to make the app more spiffy, <strong>Google for the first time is making use of its Songza technology acquired this summer to offer users music based on mood</strong>.</p> <p>"If you’re a Google Play Music subscriber, next time you open the app you’ll be prompted to play music for a time of day, mood or activity," Google announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "Choose an activity to get options for several music stations to make whatever you’re doing even better—whether it’s a station for a morning workout, songs to relieve stress during traffic, or the right mix for cooking with friends. Each station has been handcrafted—song by song—by our team of music experts (dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists) to give you the exact right song for the moment."</p> <p>Like other stations and songs, provided you're an All Access subscriber you can download these new stations for offline listening, view the song queue, remove or re-order tunes, or start a new station based on any of the songs.</p> <p>You'll find these new mood stations on the redesigned Listen Now page, which now features cards for all of your recently played music, new releases of potential interest, and radio stations based on what you like to listen to, Google says.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> apps Google google play music Software songza streaming News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:42:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28760 at Steam Posts Minimum System Requirements for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/codadvancedwarfare.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" title="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare needs 6GB of RAM</h3> <p>If you've been wondering what it takes to run <strong>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you'll be happy to know that Steam has now posted minimum system requirements</strong>. All in all, you'll need a fairly respectable system to run the game -- among the requirements are 6GB of RAM and 55GB of free hard drive space, and that's just to get your foot in the door. What else do you need?</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Steam's listing</a>, you'll need an Intel Core i3 530 processor clocked at 2.93GHz or an AMD Phenom II X4 810 clocked at 2.8GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 450 or ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, DirectX 11, broadband Internet connection, and Windows (Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit, or Windows 8.1 64-bit).</p> <p>As for recommended system requirements, Activision is still mum on that front.</p> <p>CoD: Advanced Warfare releases to the public on November 4. Unlike previous CoD games, Advanced Warfare won't make use of a traditional heads-up display and will instead use holographic projections from whichever weapon you have equipped.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> call of duty: advanced warfar cod games Software Steam News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:58:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28754 at Are Chrome and Android About to Merge? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Chrome-Android Merger" title="Chrome-Android Merger" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Recent management change suggests so</h3> <p>Talk of Android and Chrome OS merging into a single platform is nothing new. It has been around since the day Google first lifted the curtain on the cloud-based operating system, with even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admitting as far back as 2009 that the two appeared likely to “converge over time”. Now, per the <a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a>, such a <strong>merger is looking more and more likely in light of a recent management change inside the software behemoth.<br /></strong></p> <p>Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering at Google’s Android division, has now also been entrusted with the task of overseeing the Chrome engineering team. Google previously had Linus Upson in this role. </p> <p>This move shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. We have now finally begun to see some synergy between the two platforms, with Google last month bringing the first batch of Android apps — Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine — to the cloud OS. These apps run on Chrome using using the App Runtime for Chrome (beta), a project the company announced at Google I/O in June. The company is now “working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps so you’ll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook.” To us, it looks more like the “Androidifcation” of Chrome than a merger. What do you think?</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Chrome Story</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on<a href="" target="_blank"> Google+</a></p> android app runtime for chrome chrome os Hiroshi Lockheimer linus upson Software News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:42:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28746 at HP to Stick a Fork in webOS, Preps Complete Shutdown of Services on January 15, 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/webos_glasses.jpg" alt="webOS beer glasses" title="webOS beer glasses" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Somebody start playing Taps</h3> <p>Palm had a potential winner in webOS, the mobile operating system that truly could have been awesome. Unfortunately, a series of missteps led to webOS falling out of relevance as Android and iOS raced to the front of the pack, so now all we can do is look back at what might have been. Oh, and make no mistake, webOS is pretty much history at this point -- so much so that <strong>HP announced plans to shut down its App Catalog and cloud services support for remaining webOS devices effective January 15, 2015</strong>. For the three or four of you who this affects, mark your calendars.</p> <p>"We appreciate your loyalty to the webOS platform," <a href="" target="_blank">HP said</a> in a succinct statement accompanying the announcement. There's also an <a href="" target="_blank">FAQ</a> that sheds more light on HP's decision to call it a night.</p> <p>HP explains that it's part of an ordelry end of life program, noting that it announced the end of webOS devices (phones and tablets) over three years ago. The company kept its services running as a courtesy to its customers, but now that the "user count has dwindled," HP says it's no longer viable to keep doing so.</p> <p>For those of you who still own a webOS device, it will continue to work beyond January 15, 2015, though you won't be able to download new apps or updates, backup or restore from the cloud, setup new devices, or recover lost passwords. If you purchased an app but have yet to download it, now is a good time to snag it -- the HP App Catalog will be unavailable after the shutdown.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Lisa Brewster)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> hewlett-packard hp mobile operating system Palm Software webos News Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:55:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 28732 at Microsoft Windows Boss Elaborates on Decision to Skip Windows 9 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10.jpg" alt="Windows 10" title="Windows 10" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />Toe the company line</h3> <p>Somewhere out there is a hidden warehouse filled with missing software. In it you'll find such titles as Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies, Ultima X: Odyssey, and Windows 9. The location will remain a mystery until the end of time, though the decision to fill it with certain pieces of software is more readily known. <strong>With regards to Windows 9, Microsoft's Tony Prophet shared some additional details about the decision to skip it</strong> and go straight to Windows 10.</p> <p>Quoting Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Prophet took to the stage at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco and said simply, "It came and it went." That's really the only explanation anyone needs, though Prophet offered up some additional insight into the matter.</p> <p>"Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Window 8.1," Prophet said, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Times of India</em></a>. "Windows 10 is going to be a material step. We're trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox."</p> <p>Microsoft doesn't want anyone associating Windows 10 with Windows 8/8.1. One of the keys to getting it right this time around is allowing users to try out the OS much earlier in the development process than before. The stated goal of the Windows 10 Technical Preview is to collect feedback.</p> <p>"The reason we're doing that is so we can listen to our customers," Prophet says, adding that Microsoft is especially interested in what enterprise customers have to say.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software tony prophet windows 10 windows 9 News Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:41:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28710 at Microsoft's Windows Insider Program for Windows 10 Hits 1 Million Registrants <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10_laptop.jpg" alt="Windows 10 Technical Preview" title="Windows 10 Technical Preview" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />Over a third of Windows 10 users are running the OS on a virtual machine</h3> <p>Microsoft caught the tech community off guard when it skipped over Windows 9 and <a href="">jumped directly to Windows 10</a> -- so for much for those rumors of Windows 9 being a <a href="">free upgrade</a> for Windows 8 users! Alternative theories aside (such as lazy coding), the move to Windows 10 is a marketing ploy, and if the goal is make users curious, it's working. <strong>Over the weekend, Microsoft's Windows Insider Program hit 1 million registrants</strong>.</p> <p>Signing up for the Windows Insider Program is a prerequisite to downloading the <a href="">Windows 10 Technical Preview</a>, and while Microsoft didn't provide specific download figures, the company stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> that those 1 million registrants "equates to a lot of people" using the new OS.</p> <p>Microsoft's goal with the Technical Preview is to get feedback from users (or if you're wearing your conspiracy theory cap, it's to <a href="">spy on users</a> and collect personal data). In the less than two weeks since Windows 10 has been available to the public, Microsoft has collected over 200,000 pieces of feedback submitted via the Windows Feedback app.</p> <p>According to Microsoft, "only 36 percent" of Windows 10 Technical Preview installations are on a virtual machine (VM); the rest are on actual PCs. While Microsoft says it's "cool" to use a VM if you want, the amount of users running the OS on an actual PC makes the company confident that the majority of feedback is based on "medium-term" use rather than just a few minutes of experimentation.</p> <p>Other fun stats -- around 68 percent of Windows 10 users are launching more than seven apps per day. A quarter of Windows 10 users have been launching more than 26 apps per day, while 5 percent average 68 app launches on any given day.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software technical preview windows 10 News Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:02:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 28708 at Ryse: Son of Rome Lands on PC Supporting 4K, Gets Panned for Repetitive Gameplay <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ryse_0.jpg" alt="Ryse: Son of Rome" title="Ryse: Son of Rome" width="228" height="126" style="float: right;" />Xbox One launch title makes its way to PC</h3> <p>Ryse: Son of Rome is a third-person action-adventure game developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios as a launch title for the Xbox One back in November of last year. However, Crytek <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> a little over a month ago that it would ship to PC on October 10, and in case you missed it, <strong>Ryse: Son of Rome is now available on Steam for $40</strong>, along with a pair of hotfixes to address freezing cutscene issues.</p> <p>The port to PC comes with 4K Ultra HD resolution support, along with supersampling and other eye candy, ultimately allowing for superior visuals than you'll get with an Xbox One connected to a Full HD 1080p television. However, the same criticisms apply -- gameplay is repetitive.</p> <p>While we have yet to post our own review of Ryse, our sister site/magazine <em>PC Gamer</em> scored Ryse a <a href="" target="_blank">57 out of 100</a>. Short and to the point, <em>PC Gamer</em> concluded that "Ryse: Son of Rome's combat and incredible graphics are entertaining, but it's too narrow and repetitive, even for a short ride." Bummer.</p> <p>In any event, you can watch the 4K launch trailer below, and if interested, <a href="" target="_blank">pick Ryse up on Steam</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 4k Crytek games ryse: son of rome Software Steam ultra hd News Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:38:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 28706 at Oops! Dropbox Bug in Selective Sync Inadvertently Deletes Files <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dropbox_kite.jpg" alt="Dropbox Kite" title="Dropbox Kite" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Bad things happen in the cloud, too</h3> <p>The reason we're constantly preaching the merits of maintaining multiple backups -- especially when it comes to mission critical files -- is because your data is never safe, no matter where you put it. That includes the cloud. As a sobering reminder of this, <strong>Dropbox has been sending out letters to some of its users alerting them to a Selective Sync bug that inadvertently deleted their data</strong>.</p> <p>"We're reaching out to let you know about a Selective Sync issue that affected a small number of Dropbox users. Unfortunately, some your files were deleted when the Dropbox desktop application was shut down or restarted while you were applying Selective Sync settings," <a href=";oid=110636213896388737855" target="_blank">the email reads</a>.</p> <p>In some cases, Dropbox was able to recover some of the deleted files, though that wasn't always the case. Casual users aren't likely to be affected by this, though for people who upload large amounts of data, Selective Sync is a handy feature that lets you choose which Dropbox folders get synched on the desktop.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Slash Gear</em></a>, the problem in this case is traceable to an older and unmaintained version of the desktop client when Selective Sync is enabled. What that ultimately means is that not a ton of Dropbox users were affected by this, though that's little consolation to the ones who saw their files disappear into the cloud, never to return.</p> <p>Not without remorse, Dropbox apologized for the situation and is giving affected users one free year of Dropbox Pro service.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cloud dropbox online selective sync Software storage News Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:57:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 28705 at AMD Rumored to Refresh Never Settle Game Bundle <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/never_settle.jpg" alt="Never Settle" title="Never Settle" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />More free titles from AMD might be on the way</h3> <p>With the recent launch of Nvidia's Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and 980 graphics cards, the pressure is on AMD to respond, especially since we haven't heard much about its Tonga XT architecture as of late. One alternative to releasing a new graphics card that's proved popular is giving away free games, and <strong>rumor has it AMD is getting ready to announce a new Never Settle bundle</strong>.</p> <p>That's according to news and rumor site <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Fudzilla</em></a>, which says it learned that AMD is planning the new game bundle for a launch later this month. There hasn't been a lot of chatter about the specific titles that will be included, though one that's cropped up around the rumor mill is Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth.</p> <p>AMD has supposedly told its hardware partners to be on standby for the announcement. If true, the refreshed Never Settle bundle would come not long after the <a href="">recent price cuts</a> that retailers doled out to the Radeon R9 290 and 290X graphics cards, which can now be had for as little as $276 (street) and $360 (also street), respectively (or lower with mail-in-rebate).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd Build a PC games Gaming graphics cards Hardware never settle Software News Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:24:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 28704 at Microsoft Explains Key Logging Activities in Windows 10 Technical Preview <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/keylogger.jpg" alt="Keylogger" title="Keylogger" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />'You agreed to it, sucka!'</h3> <p>Microsoft has a chance to atone for Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 10, the operating system that Windows 8 probably should have been, though things are getting off to somewhat of a rocky start. <strong>Complaints are starting to roll in that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is overstepping its bounds with the amount of information it collects</strong>, and some have even categorized the OS as a keylogger of sorts.</p> <p>Turns out it's true -- the Windows 10 Technical Preview does record keystrokes in certain situations, and it also mines quite a bit of personal data. However, Microsoft contends that these methods are all laid out in the Terms of Use -- the fine print filled with legalese that we all make sure to read, right? -- and by downloading and installing the software, you agreed to the data collection.</p> <p>"With Windows 10, we're kicking off the largest ever open collaborative development effort that will change the way we build and deliver Windows. Users who join the Windows Insider Program and opt-in to the Windows 10 Technical Preview are choosing to provide data and feedback that will help shape the best Windows experience for our customers," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft told <em>The Inquirer</em></a>.</p> <p>"As always, we remain committed to helping protect our customers’ personal information and ensuring safeguards are in place for the collection and storing of that data. As we get closer to a final product, we will continue to share information through our terms of service and privacy statement about how customer data is collected and used, as well as what choices and controls are available," Microsoft continued.</p> <p>Straight to the point, Microsoft is saying that this is pre-release software, and in order to shape and mold it into a prime time OS, it needs to collect your data, data which you agreed to fork over. And in the future, Microsoft will be more upfront about its data collection methods, scout's honor.</p> <p>So, what exactly are you agreeing to? As laid out in a <a href="" target="_blank">Privacy Statements page</a>:</p> <p>"When you acquire, install and use the Program, Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks," Microsoft states.</p> <p>Microsoft goes on to give examples of the data it collects, which includes your name, email address, preferences and interests, browsing, search and file history, phone call and SMS data, device configuration and sensor data, and application usage. However, it's this entry that has people comparing the Technical Preview to a keylogger:</p> <p>"When you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file and how long it takes and use it for purposes such as improving performance; or enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving auto-complete and spell check features," Microsoft explains.</p> <p>If you're okay with all that, as well as your data being shared, then carry on. Otherwise, the only real solution is to not use the Technical Preview and wait for a later version, such as the final release or a Release Candidate.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Robbert van der Steeg)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> keylogger microsoft operating system OS Privacy Software technical preview windows 10 News Tue, 07 Oct 2014 15:12:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 28674 at Yes, DirectX 12 is Shipping with Windows 10 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/forza.jpg" alt="Forza" title="Forza" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Microsoft confirms that DirectX 12 will be included in the final release of Windows 10</h3> <p>In case you were wondering, <strong>Microsoft fully intends to bake DirectX 12 support into the final version of Windows 10</strong> when it releases next year, the company confirmed in a DX developer <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. Oh, and also in case you were wondering, Microsoft thinks "it's going to be awesome," which is much better than the company saying, "Meh, it's simply okay. Actually, it kind of sucks, but we're including it anyway."</p> <p>Game developers who want to get a head start playing with the API can register for the DirectX <a href="!107&amp;authkey=!AFgbVA2sYbeoepQ" target="_blank">Early Access</a> Program. Those who are accepted will receive updated runtimes, API headers, drivers, documentation, and samples, all of which Microsoft says will work with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.</p> <p>But wait, there's more! Microsoft has teamed up with Epic to create a DX12 branch on the Unreal Engine 4 GitHub repository. It supports UE 4.4, which is the latest publicly released version of the Unreal 4 Engine. Those who also <a href="" target="_blank">subscribe to Unreal Engine 4</a> can join Microsoft's open development project.</p> <p>Like AMD's Mantle technology, the DX12 API offers developers deeper access into hardware to improve performance. It also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft says</a> will "dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> api directx 12 dx12 microsoft operating system OS Software windows 10 News Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:20:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28658 at Windows 8 Market Share Headed Back Towards Single Digits <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_1.jpg" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="222" style="float: right;" />Windows 10 will go up against Windows 7, not Windows 8/8.1</h3> <p>Now that Microsoft has <a href="">unveiled Windows 10</a> and is even <a href="" target="_blank">serving up a Technical Preview</a> for curious folks to check out, Windows 8 is already feeling like old news. Some felt that way even before Microsoft's announcement, which might explain why <strong>Windows 8 lost market share in the desktop OS market in the month of September</strong>. At this rate, it won't be long before Windows 8's share drops back into single digits.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Net Applications</em></a>, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 fell to a combined 12.26 percent of the desktop OS market by the end of September, down more than a percentage point from 13.37 percent at the end of August, which is the highest it's ever been.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how things shake out from there. On one hand, it's possible that Windows 8/8.1 peaked in August and will never see a higher share of the market now that Windows 10 is on the horizon. However, it's also possible that Windows 8/8.1 will see a small surge as companies continue to migrate away from Windows XP, though the numbers don't yet support that notion.</p> <p>Since having support pulled back in April (except for firms who pay for extended support), Windows XP has dropped less than 3 percentage points, going from 26.29 percent at the end of April to 23.87 percent at the end of September, a decline of 2.42 percent. During that same time, Windows 8/8.1 has gone from 12.24 percent to 12.26 percent, or virtually nowhere.</p> <p>Windows 7 is the one that's benefiting from XP's demise -- it's share of the market has gone from 49.27 percent at the end of April to 52.71 percent at the end of September, a bump of 3.44 percent. Barring an extreme turn of events, Windows 10 will find itself competing with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8/81.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> net applications operating system OS Software Windows windows 8 windows 8.1 News Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:13:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28654 at