Looking for another reason to go back to school? Think of the discounts! We're seeing a growing trend in special student pricing for a variety of products and services, such as Razer's 20 percent promotion on 2013 model Blade laptops and Amazon's Prime service. Even Spotify is sharing the love with students -- if you're in school, you can subcribe to the company's ad-free premium service for $4.99 per month, which is half off the regular price.
Over the years, the Maxthon browser (formerly known as MyIE2 way back in the day) has spread its reach beyond Windows and into different platforms, including the Mac and three mobile OSes: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Wondering where the love for Linux is at? You don't need to wonder anymore, because you can now download 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Maxthon for Linux.
Take your hands off your mouse and keyboard (or tablet and smartphone) and give a hearty golf clap for Respawn Entertainment. Why are we congratulating the development studio behind Titanfall? Respawn deserves kudos for the way it's decided to handle cheaters in the PC version of the popular game -- by banishing them from the rule-abiding public and sticking them in servers with other cheaters.
Security outfit Avast Software has spent the past two years developing GrimeFighter, a deep cleaning utility for PCs that's now available. According to Avast, what sets GrimeFigther apart from other PC cleaning software is that it follows through with its promise to increase PC performance when it's finished scrubbing your system. It's also unique in that it doesn't ask users what components should be analyzed.
Here we are more than a year after the release of Windows 8 and it still remains a hot topic. The points of consternation among its critics are that Microsoft overhauled the user interface with a focus on touch computing, and then added insult to injury by removing the Start button and Start menu (the Start button has since returned, but without the handy menu). Nevertheless, it's a faster and more secure operating system than Windows 7. What's a user to do? Well, if you're buying a rig from boutique builder Puget Systems, you can have the company give Windows 8 a makeover so that it essentially feels like Windows 7.
Support for XP might be ending, but the world is not
Security outfit F-Secure has published its Threat Report for the second half of 2013, which provides a detailed look at the threat landscape as well as trends in malware. It also contains some advice for Windows XP users who aren't planning to upgrade to a newer OS once support ends on April 8, 2014. Whether the decision to stick with XP is based on contractual obligations or other reasons, F-Secure says "all is not lost" for businesses and users who ride it out.
Shares of Symantec tumble after security outfit shows its CEO the door
Security firm Symantec announced that it has terminated Steve Bennett as the company's president and chief executive officer, as well as his resignation from Symantec's board of directors. A special committee has begun the search for a permanent replacement, during which time board member Michael Brown will serve as interim CEO. The decision to let Bennett go didn't sit well with investors, who were caught off guard by his surprise dismissal yesterday.
Yes, Microsoft is within its rights to peek in your Hotmail
A side story that got lost in yesterday's revelation that authorities arrested a former Microsoft employee for allegedly leaking Windows 8 trade secrets to a French blogger is how Microsoft was able to track down its suspect. Simply put, the blogger was using a Hotmail account, so Microsoft granted itself access to his inbox. Based on the emails it read, Microsoft had a culprit, but was this a breach of privacy?
DirectX 12 provides developers with lower level access to hardware
Microsoft unveiled details about its DirectX 12 API at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) today. According to Microsoft, its team of engineers redesigned the API with a focus on speed and efficiency. DX12 will enable richer scenes, more objects, and fully utilize modern GPU hardware. On top of it all, DX12 works across different types of Microsoft devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and the Xbox One.
In a game of one-upmanship, Crytek undercuts Epic Games on subscription pricing model
Crytek today announced the launch of its "Engine-as-a-Service" (EaaS) program, which is a fancy pants way of saying developers can license its CryEngine technology on a subscription basis. The cost is $9.90 per month, which trumps the $19 per month subscription plan Epic Games rolled out for its Unreal Engine 4. Further upping the ante, developers who subscribe to the EaaS program don't have to make any royalty payments on commercial products they build using CryEngine, whereas Epic Games requires a 5 percent kickback.