One step closer to the Windows 8/8.1 you always wanted
There's a scene at the end of Stepbrothers where Brennan exclaims, "You guys finally came to your senses and got us something cool!" He was referring to pirate hats, crossbows, illicit magazines, and other swag uncovered in his and Dale's treehouse, but if Microsoft keeps tweaking Windows 8 the way it has been, desktop users far and wide will be shouting the same thing at Redmond. While nothing is set in stone, it's being reported that internal builds of Windows 8.1 Update 1 enable the boot-to-desktop option by default.
Patent deal with IBM puts to rest previous litigation
Twitter, the popular microblogging service that's now a publicly traded company, no longer has to defend itself against patent infringement claims brought on by IBM. Rather than battle one another in court, Twitter went and purchased 900 patents and signed a cross licensing agreement with IBM. Financial terms of the agreement, which was inked last month and announced today, were not disclosed.
There's nothing wrong with owning a Nook, though if you've outgrown the custom OS and want to transform it into a standard Android tablet, you have options, one of them being a Nook-to-Android (N2A) card. Even better, the N2A team just updated its software to Android 4.4 KitKat, which is the latest version of Google's open source mobile operating system currently available.
Let's have a show of hands -- how many of you accessed Intel's AppUp center in the last week? Last month? Ever? We see a few of you out there, but not many, which is likely why Intel has decided to board up shop and move on to something else. The Santa Clara chip maker announced in a blog post that it's shutting down the AppUp center on March 11, 2014 so that it can focus on other things.
DICE to give away grenades and other virtual swag throughout the month of February
Nothing says you're sorry better than handing out free gifts -- you know, things like unlocked pistols and grenades, plus double XP opportunities and other virtual items. It's with that in mind that developer Dice is kicking off a Battlefield 4 Player Appreciation Month starting Saturday, February 1, 2014. Throughout the month, DICE will roll out "fun community missions" and give away free stuff.
Includes several new and improved 3D Vision profiles
Itching to try out some new graphics drivers? You're in luck, provided you own Nvidia hardware and don't mind tempting fate by installing beta code. That's because Nvidia has made available its new GeForce 334.67 beta drivers, which introduce a variety of new SLI and 3D Vision profiles. Nvidia also baked in the obligatory performance and system stability tweaks that typically accompany each new driver release.
Real or fake, these are some snazzy looking screenshots
The gaming community is abuzz with what are claimed to be leaked screenshots contained in a confidential PowerPoint presentation from Valve showing portions of Left 4 Dead 2 redrawn with the next generation Source 2.0 engine. While we'll temper our excitement until if or when Valve makes an official announcement, giving some credence to the leaked photos is that they were posted by Neogaf user "CBOAT" (crazy buttocks on a train), who despite the silly nickname has a history of leaking confidential information to the masses.
Rovio responds to reports of NSA taking advantage of leaky apps
Several news agencies on Monday reported that the National Security Agency and its U.K. counterpart (Britain's Government Communications Headquarters) have been working together to collect data from dozens of so-called "leaky" smartphone apps, including Rovio's popular Angry Birds game. Top secret documents claim these apps transmit all kinds of user information over the web, which spy agencies scoop up and store. Having been called out specifically by several reports, Rovio issued a statement denying it collaborates with any spying organization.
Microsoft Studios just acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future titles, along with entertainment experiences and merchandise. Straight and to the point, all future releases will continue to be published by Microsoft Studios, which published previous Gears of Wars titles, ensuring the franchise remains exclusive to the Xbox.
Several months ago, AMD Product Manager Deveon Nekechuck boldly claimed that the Radeon R9 290X would be able to "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card when running Battlefield 4 with Mantle, AMD's new graphics API. It's worth noting that the R9 290 sports a smaller 438 square mm die compared to the Titan's 550 square mm GK110. Unfortunately for us and everyone else wanting to put that claim to the test, the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4 might be delayed once again.