Child protection laws prevent Cortana from interacting with kids under 13 years old
Here's something interesting -- if you're planning to purchase a Windows Phone device for your child who's not yet 13-years-old, be aware that the Cortana voice assistant software will give him or her the silent treatment. The revelation came in a Microsoft forum post in which a father asked why Cortana was telling his daughter she needs to be older to use that feature.
If you’ll allow this prospective pirate to get personal for a moment, we really didn’t want to like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Having spent far, far too long killing this and that in the ol’ Animus throughout the five previous major titles in the six-year franchise, we’re starting to get the feeling that Assassin’s Creed is borrowing a page from the Call of Duty franchise—it refuses to just up and die.
Note: This article was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Say goodbye to flickering in Titanfall when running CrossFire
AMD this week made available to download its Catalyst 14.4 driver in Release Candidate (RC) form. The release follows the launch of AMD's dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card, which the Catalyst 14.4 RC drivers support. It also boasts full support for OpenGL 4.4, Mantle beta driver improvements, CrossFire fixes and enhancements, and a spattering of bug fixes, including the resolution of game flickering in Titanfall when CrossFire is enabled.
Score free games with the purchase of select AMD graphics cards from qualifying vendors
In an effort to help tip the scales in its favor, AMD's been enticing gamers in need of a new graphics card with free game offers if they purchase a select Radeon GPU. AMD's Never Settle bundle has proved popular and continues to evolve with better offers and more robust terms. With that in mind, AMD just expanded its Never Settle Forever program to include more titles, more graphics card options, and a delayed redemption option.
Move over Precise Pangolin and Windows XP, Trusty Tahr is here
The Ubuntu team recently announced the release of what is only the fifth long-term support (LTS) version of the popular Linux distro. In keeping with the current Ubuntu release cycle, this latest LTS release, dubbed Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”, comes two years after the last one.
Nvidia's hotfix addresses issues users have been having with certain 4K panels
There are some growing pains associated with 4K displays, at least for PCs. Quirky issues tend to pop up due to the way the technology works. To run a 4K panel at 60Hz, you need to use a DisplayPort cable, which supports the refresh rate using Multi-Stream Transport (MST). However, this essentially treats a 4K panel as two displays, which introduces weird side effects. A new hotfix from Nvidia is intended to address these issues.
After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow.
Sales encourage gamers to stockpile more games than they have time to play
It seems like there's always a major Steam sale taking place. There isn't, but certainly Steam sales aren't exactly rare. These sales introduce big discounts to popular titles, both current and ones that are slightly older, and we often find ourselves stockpiling titles with plans to play them at a future date. Apparently that's a common practice, as a new report suggests that nearly 37 percent of registered Steam titles have never been loaded.
Declining hardware sales and expensive layoffs hurt IBM's bottom line
It was another rough quarter for IBM, which reported a drop in revenue. That marks eight quarters in a row of revenue declines. For the first quarter of 2014, IBM's total revenues reached $22.5 billion, down 4 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On the plus side, IBM is still making a profit -- $2.4 billion in Q1 2014, though even that figure is marred by the fact that it's down 21 percent year-over-year.
Watch Dogs creative director confirms specs for running title at Ultra settings
The minimum system requirements to run Watch Dogs on a Windows PC makes the game pretty accessible to anyone with a relatively modern PC (we're talking Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 era hardware). However, the recommended system requirements are quite a bit more demanding, and if you want to run Watch Dogs with Ultra settings, you'll need a GeForce GTX 780 graphics card.