News en Intel Plans to Spend $6 Billion Upgrading Chip Plant in Israel <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_fab_28.jpg" alt="Intel Fab 28" title="Intel Fab 28" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />The deal calls for an Israeli grant of $300 million over five years</h3> <p><strong>Intel has hammered out a deal with Israel's finance and economy ministries to invest $6 billion towards upgrading its chip manufacturing plant in the region</strong>. That figure qualifies as the largest single investment by a foreign company in Israel, and in return, Intel will receive a government grant of $300 million over five years. The chip maker will also be eligible for a corporate tax rate of just 5 percent for the next 10 years.</p> <p>"Intel's investment is a strategic asset for Israel's industry," Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Reuters</em></a>. "This is the biggest investment by a foreign company ever in Israel and is further proof that Israel is at the forefront of technology and innovation."</p> <p>After upgrades, Intel's chip plant is expected to be the most advanced fab in the world. It will also result in 1,000 more workers being hired at the plant by 2023, in addition to the 2,500 currently employed there.</p> <p>Intel collected $3.8 billion in export revenue from the plant in 2013, and $4.6 billion the year prior.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Intel</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> Hardware intel Israel manufacturing News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:37:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28583 at Asus and Gigabyte May Lower Motherboard Prices to Reach Shipment Goals <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_g1_gaming_motherboard.jpg" alt="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" title="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Watch for lower priced motherboards in Q4</h3> <p>We've already mentioned that Asus and Gigabyte may engage each other in a price of war of sorts as each one attempts to ship more motherboards than the other. However, weaker than expected demand in China combined with soft retail channel orders ahead of the country's National Day holidays are likely to cause both companies to fall short of their shipment goals. As a result, <strong>Asus and Gigabyte might be even more aggressive with motherboard price cuts than previously anticipated</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, Asus and Gigabyte are both expected to ship around 5.6 million motherboards in the third quarter. That figure is below what each company was expecting, as the two firms hoped that Intel's new Haswell-E processor launch and 9 Series chipsets would spark a replacement trend among consumers.</p> <p>Even with Haswell-E on the table, motherboard sales are falling a bit short. In order for Asus and Gigabyte to reach their stated 20-22 million motherboard shipment goal by the end of the year, the companies will need a strong fourth quarter. Sources tell<em> Digitimes</em> that price competition among the two is expected to "grow even fiercer."</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> asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:09:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 28582 at No BS Podcast #232: GeForce GTX 980, Haswell-E, Minecraft, and Windows 9 <!--paging_filter--><h3>The old format returns to discuss a ton of news</h3> <p>After speaking with a bunch of hardware insiders over the past few weeks, the <a title="no bs podcast" href="" target="_blank">No BS podcast</a> is back to the original swing of things with <strong><a title="maximum pc no bs 232" href="" target="_blank">episode 232</a></strong>. This jam-packed podcast brings the Maximum PC crew together to talk about several important topics which include the recent reveal of <a title="gtx 980 review" href="" target="_blank">Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980</a>, <a title="haswell e" href="" target="_blank">Haswell-E</a>, Microsoft’s <a title="microsoft minecraft" href="" target="_blank">$2.5 billion Minecraft acquisition</a>, <a title="windows 9" href="" target="_blank">Windows 9</a>, and <a title="5k" href="" target="_blank">5K</a> monitors.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Download Maximum PC Podcast #232 MP3" href="" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/rss-audiomp3.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Podcast RSS Feed" href="" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_rss-2_0.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a href=""><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_itunes.gif" alt="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" width="80" height="15" /></a></p> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Subscribe to the magazine for only 99 cents an issue:</h4> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine" href="" target="_blank">In print</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Zinio" href="" target="_blank">On Zinio</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Google Play" href=";hl=en" target="_blank">On Google Play</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on iTunes" href="" target="_blank">On iTunes</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Amazon Kindle" href=";qid=1406326197">On the Amazon Kindle Store</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Your Nook" href="" target="_blank">On the Barnes &amp; Noble Nook Store</a></h5> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Stalk us in a number of ways:</h4> <p>Become a fan&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Facebook page" href="" target="_blank">on Facebook</a></p> <p>Follow us&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">on Twitter</a></p> <p>Subscribe to us&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Youtube page" href="" target="_blank">on Youtube</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC RSS Feed" href="">to our RSS feed</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">to the podcast on iTunes</a></p> <p>email us at:&nbsp;<a href="">maximumpcpodcast AT gmail DOT com</a></p> <p>Leave us a voicemail at 877-404-1337 x1337</p> 232 geforce gtx 980 haswell e maximum pc microsft minecraft No BS Podcast windows 9 News No BS Podcast Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:31:37 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28560 at Biostar Tries Going High-End with Hi-Fi Z97Z7 Motherboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/biostar_hi-fi_z97z7.jpg" alt="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" title="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />How do you like the view up here, Biostar?</h3> <p>Quick, blurt our the first brand that comes to mind when you think about high-end motherboards. Did you say Biostar? Lies! We would have accepted several brand names, though Biostar isn't one that's typically associated with premium boards (to be fair, the company has released a few top dwellers). We don't know if that's going to change, and apparently neither does Biostar, which "launched the first development of what might become a possible series of high-end gaming boards." That's how <strong>Biostar describes its new Hi-Fi Z97Z7 motherboard</strong>. Might? Possible? C'mon Biostar, if you're going to play with the big boys, you need to bring a barrel of confidence with you!</p> <p>Biostar's hesitation aside, the company's newest board is based on Intel's Z97 chipset with support for Intel socket 1150 CPUs (hello Haswell, but not Haswell-E). It's a full size ATX mobo with four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3-2800 (OC) RAM, a single PCI-E x16 3.0 slot, a single PCI-E x16 2.0 slot, two PCI-E x1 2.0 slots, two standard PCI slots, four SATA 6Gbps connectors, a SATA Express connector, four USB 3.0 ports plus a header, two USB 2.0 ports plus a header, GbE LAN, HDMI and DVI connectors, and various other odds and ends.</p> <p>It's not the most feature-rich board on the planet, though it does have some higher end goodies, such as "super durable solid caps," a "super durable Ferrite choke," a "super durable box header," 8-phase power design, moisture proof PCB, ESD protection, Hi-Fi audio with a built-in amp and 110dB+ rating, "Super Rapid Debug 3" for providing POST code information, and more, all of which you can read about on the board's <a href="" target="_blank">product page</a>.</p> <p>And then there's the price -- Biostar says its Hi-Fi Z97H7 has an MSRP of $120, which seems reasonable to us. No word yet on when it will be available.</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> Biostar Build a PC Hardware hi-fi z97z7 motherboard z97 News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:44:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28580 at Corsair Gaming: A New Brand Designation for Gamer-Centric Peripherals <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/k95_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />Watch out Razer, here comes Corsair Gaming</h3> <p>Call it a marketing play if you will, but <strong>Corsair is determined to demonstrate its commitment to PC gamers by creating a new division called Corsair Gaming</strong>. It's under this new title that Corsair will release new and rebranded peripherals for gamers, starting with three RGB keyboards (K95 RGB, K70 RGB, and K65 RGB), two RGB mice (M65 RGB in black or white color options), and a pair of headsets (H1500 and H1500).</p> <p>"For 20 years, Corsair has equipped gamers with high performance, precision hardware to build their dream PCs. Corsair Gaming now introduces new ways for PC gamers to optimize how they play," said Andy Paul, Corsair President and CEO. "We’ve brought together our engineering expertise and our passion for gaming to build a line of products that delivers performance, customized for however you play."</p> <p>The RGB keyboards headline the new Corsair Gaming brand. All three use only German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical key switches available in red, blue, or brown (K65 RGB only comes with Cherry MX red key switches). They also sport aircraft-grade aluminum baseplates. So, what's the difference between the three? The K65 RGB features a standard keyboard layout and media keys; the K70 RGB sports a compact design with the number pad removed and media keys removed; and the flagship K95 RGB offers an additional arry of 18 dedicated macro keys and dedicated media keys.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/m65_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" width="620" height="271" /></p> <p>Corsair's M65 RGB mice come housed in a durable aluminum unibody chassis and feature an 8,200 DPI, Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks, and adjustable weight system, and eight "strategically" placed buttons, including a sniper button.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/corsair_gaming_headsets.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" title="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" width="620" height="377" /></p> <p>As for the headsets, the H2100 is a wireless solution and the H1500 comes with a cord. Otherwise, both purport to offer Dolby 7.1 surround sound and have 50mm neodymium drivers, micro-fiber wrapped memory foam earpads, and unidirectional noise-cancelling microphones.</p> <p>Pricing breaks down as follows (MSRP shown):</p> <ul> <li>K95 RGB: $190</li> <li>K70 RGB: $170</li> <li>K65 RGB: $150 (available only at Best Buy in the U.S.; other retailers worldwide)</li> <li>M65 RGB (white or black): $70</li> <li>H2100: 100</li> <li>H1500: $80</li> </ul> <p>You can find out more at <a href="" target="_blank">Corsair Gaming's website</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> corsair gaming h1500 h2100 Hardware headset k65 rgb k70 rgb k95 rgb keyboard m65 rgb mouse Peripherals News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:12:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28579 at ARChron Hack Brings Android Apps to Chrome for Linux, OS X and Windows <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="ARChron" title="ARChron" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Theoretically, almost any app can be ported</h3> <p>When Google first announced Chrome OS in 2009, among the few people who were polite enough to not dismiss it outright, and predict for it either a stillbirth or an early demise, were those who saw a merger with Android as its ultimate fate. Of course, let alone a full-blown merger, we have yet to see substantial interplay between the two platforms. The best we have seen, all these years down the line, is the <strong>ability to run a grand total of four Android apps on Chrome OS</strong> — and that too is a very recent development. Even now, Google is only working with “a select group of Android developers” and is unlikely to bring more than a handful of mobile apps to Chrome OS in the near future. Well, that’s what hacks are for, right?</p> <p>A developer named Vlad Filippov (a.k.a Vladikoff) has not not only figured out a <a href=";utm_source=pulsenews" target="_blank">way to run virtually any Android app on Chrome OS</a>, he has also found a way to do so using the Chrome browser on major desktop OSes like OS X, Linux and Windows. To this end, he has released a custom version of <a href="" target="_blank">App Runtime for Chrome (ARC)</a>, the Native Client-based Chrome OS extension that enables Android apps to run on Chrome — the APK needs to be converted into a Chrome extension. Unlike ARC, which is only compatible with Chrome OS,&nbsp; the hacked version called <a href="">ARChon</a> can be used to run Android apps inside the Chrome browser. As for converting APKs into Chrome extensions, the Toronto-based developer has released a tool called “<a href="" target="_blank">chromeos-apk</a>”.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> app runtime for chrome apps archron chrome chrome os hack linux nacl native client OS OS X Software Windows News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:54:08 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28578 at New ‘Crescent Bay’ Rift Prototype Impresses with Better Display, 360-degree Tracking <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Crescent Bay Oculus Rift Prototype" title="Crescent Bay Oculus Rift Prototype" width="228" height="129" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Oculus making steady progress on road to consumer Rift</h3> <p>At its two-day Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles this week, Facebook-owned Oculus VR introduced a new, improved version of its Rift virtual reality head mounted display (HMD).<strong> Called Crescent Bay, this latest prototype packs a number of improvements over the DK2 model.&nbsp;</strong> These improvements, the company says, are enough to ensure a level of immersion “that’s impossible to achieve with DK2.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Crescent Bay</a> is said to have a higher-resolution display than the DK2, which began shipping in July with a full HD OLED display (960 x 1080 pixels per eye). Although the company has chosen to keep Crescent Bay’s specs under wraps, most reports point to a 1440p screen or better. According to <a href="" target="_blank">The Verge</a>, a higher resolution is not the only notable improvement where the display is concerned but there are a number of other improvements that make it better overall than the DK2.</p> <p>Besides the improved display, the Crescent Bay also packs 360° head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, improved weight and ergonomics, and integrated audio.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> crescent bay Gaming headset hmd oculus rift virtual reality vr News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:14:07 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28577 at Acer’s XB280HK 4K G-Sync Display Arriving Next Month for $800 (Updated) <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" title="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>First 4K UHD display with G-Sync</h3> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly claimed that the Acer XB280HK was already up for sale in North America when, in fact, it's the full HD <a href="" target="_blank">XB270H</a> ($599) and not the 4K XB280HK that has gone on sale. The error is regretted.</em></p> <p>The <a href="">28-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) computer monitor Acer announced back in May</a> will be available in the United States and Canada sometime next month, the company announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> Friday. The <strong>Acer XB280HK is the first 4K monitor to come with an Nvidia G-Sync module.</strong></p> <p>The XB280HK is a TN (twisted nematic) display with a 60Hz refresh rate. Of course, support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology means that this refresh rate can be adjusted automatically to match that of the GPU (<a href="" target="_blank">see eligible models</a>), thereby obviating any screen tearing and keeping both stutter and input lag in check.</p> <p>“The incredibly sharp and smooth images provided by NVIDIA G-SYNC technology are sure to thrill the most avid gamers. Combined with Acer’s highly flexibly ergonomic stand, non-glare ComfyView panel and low dimming technology, users are assured long hours of both comfortable and visually stunning game play,” Ronald Lau, Acer America business manager, said in the press release.</p> <p>The US$799 ($849.99 CAD) XB280HK delivers 170/170 viewing angles (horizontal and vertical), 1.07 billion colors, 1000:1 native contrast ratio, 300 nits brightness, and 72 percent NTSC color saturation. Further, it is equipped with DisplayPort and as many as four USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> Acer display Gaming Hardware monitor nvidia g-sync tn XB280HK News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:51:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28576 at Syber’s Upcoming Vapor Extreme Gaming Console Packs Nvidia’s GTX 980 GPU <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Syber Vapor Extreme" title="Syber Vapor Extreme" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Runs Windows 8.1 but boots straight into Steam’s Big Picture Mode</h3> <p>Syber, a division of California-based boutique system builder CyberPowerPC, has announced an <strong>Nvidia GeForce GTX 980-packing gaming PC that boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode</strong>. The Syber Vapor Extreme, as the machine is called, is not an altogether new product, but the latest addition to an <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming line of Windows 8.1-based gaming consoles the company unveiled at E3 2014 back in June. </a></p> <p>If it isn’t already apparent from its “Extreme” moniker, this particular product is going to be the most powerful member of Syber’s upcoming Vapor family of Windows-based gaming consoles — devices that would have almost certainly hit the market as Steam Machines had that platform not been <a href="" target="_blank">delayed by Valve</a>. Since we’ve already covered the other two SKUs in the Vapor line, we are going to limit ourselves to the Vapor Extreme here. </p> <p>Inside the 36-lb Vapor Extreme you will find a 4.0GHz Intel Core i7-4790K processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GTX 980 with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM, 1TB SATA III hard drive, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 port, HDMI port, DVI-D port, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac/g/n. It will come with a 450W power supply, Logitech F710 wireless gamepad and a wireless keyboard with touchpad.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">$1,500 Vapor Extreme</a> is listed as “coming soon” on Syber’s website. However, the two other SKUs in this line of SteamOS-ready machines, the <a href="" target="_blank">$700 Vapor I</a> and the <a href=";qid=1411342785&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=syber+vapor" target="_blank">$600 Vapor A</a>,&nbsp; are both available for pre-order now and should begin shipping in October.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> cyberpowerpc Gaming geforce gtx 980 Steam Big Picture Mode steam machine steamos syber vapor extreme Valve vapor a vapor i windows 8.1 News Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:44:52 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28575 at Asus Rolls Out Overclocked and Custom Cooled Strix GTX 980 and GTX 970 Cards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_strix_gtx_980.jpg" alt="Asus Strix GTX 980" title="Asus Strix GTX 980" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />Cooler and quieter than reference</h3> <p>Are you of the opinion that speed limits are more like suggestions than enforced rules? Do you believe reference designs are for suckers? If you answered yes to one or both questions, you might be interested in the new <strong>Strix GTX 980 and Strix GTX 970 graphics cards from Asus</strong>. Both of these <a href="">Maxwell-powered</a> parts sport factory overclocks and custom cooling solutions that are supposedly 30 percent quieter than Nvidia's reference cooler.</p> <p>As Asus is prone to do, it outfitted its new cards with its Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) technology and Super Alloy Power components -- fancy terms for higher end components intended to increase durability and cooling. Both cards also feature a DisplayPort interface to support gaming at up to 4K Ultra HD.</p> <p>The Strix GTX 980 is overclocked to 1279MHz, up from 1126MHz, and the Strix GTX 970 is goosed to 1253MHz, up from 1050MHz. Both sport 4GB of GDDR5 memory that runs at boosted speeds of up to 7010MHz, which is essentially reference.</p> <p>With regards to cooling, the cards use Asus' DirectCU II cooling technology that consists of 10mm heat pipes capable of transporting 40 percent more heat away from the GPU. The design also offers 220 percent more heat dissipation. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Asus</a>, the cards run 30 percent cooler and 3x quieter than reference.</p> <p>Both cards should be available today. At the time of this writing, Newegg shows the Strix 970 as out of stock and priced at $340 (plus $6.31 shipping); there's no listing yet for the Strix 980.</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> asus Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware strix gtx 970 strix gtx 980 Video Card News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:58:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28572 at Turtle Beach Launches Ear Force Z60, Claims First PC Gaming Headset with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/turtle_beach_ear_force_z60.jpg" alt="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" title="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Now available in stores</h3> <p>Turtle Beach hasn't forgotten about PC gamers. In fact, <strong>Turtle Beach just announced the availability of its Ear Force Z60 PC gaming headset</strong> that was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year in Las Vegas. According to Turtle Beach, the Ear Force Z60 is the first and only PC gaming headset to utilize the new DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound.</p> <p>DTS Headphone:X is supposed to make games, movies, and music sound better over headphones by enabling discrete control over speaker position and angles. Turtle Beach said it created audio presets using DTS Headphone:X for more realistic sound. How so?</p> <p>"Most surround sound mixes put the center channel about eight feet in front of the listener perceptually, which is the default for TV and film because the dialogue is coming from the screen," <a href=";t=20850" target="_blank">Turtle Beach explains</a>. "With a first person shooter and many other game genres, much of the center channel audio comes from the player's character for example the sound of the player’s feet walking in the snow, their inbound radio, and the sound of spent cartridges being ejected from their gun. Using DTS Headphone:X, the audio engineers at Turtle Beach created gaming presets that pull the center channel in towards the players' midsection to make the placement of those sounds more realistic."</p> <p>The Ear Force Z60 boasts large 60mm speakers. It also features an inline control unit to adjust chat and game audio individually, surround sound modes, and microphone mute.</p> <p>You can purchase the Ear Force Z60 now for <a href="" target="_blank">$120 MSRP</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> audio ear force z60 Gaming Hardware headphone:x 7.1 Peripherals Sound turtle beach News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:16:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28571 at NFL TV Announcers Still Referring to Microsoft Surface Tablets as iPads <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_2_3.jpg" alt="Surface 2" title="Surface 2" width="228" height="148" style="float: right;" />Microsoft has some coaching to do</h3> <p>Microsoft's arch rival Apple is receiving some free publicity for its iPad line during NFL games. That's because TV announcers can't seem to tell fathom that not all tablets are iPads. Take the Surface, for example. After paying the NFL $400 million for Surface to be the official tablet of the league, <strong>Microsoft is understandably ticked that its slate keeps being referred to as an iPad on national television</strong>.</p> <p>It happened on more than one occasion through the <a href="" target="_blank">end of last week</a>, and then again this past Sunday when the San Diego Chargers played against the defending champions Seattle Seahawks. In that instance, it was a local TV announcer who was confused when told the teams were using Surface tablets.</p> <p>"What? I thought it was an iPad," the announcer said, according to a <a href="" target="_blank">report in the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>.</p> <p>In addition to paying the NFL a reported $400 million to feature its Surface as the official tablet of the league, it also provided the NFL with hundreds of Surface 2 systems. Each team received 13 Surface tablets to use on the sideline and 12 to use in the coaches' booth. They're not connected to the Internet and teams are only allowed to view photos, not videos. The NFL then collects them after each game to prevent tampering.</p> <p>"Despite the majority of our friends in the booth correctly identifying the Surface on NFL sidelines, we're working with the league to coach up a select few," a Microsoft spokesman said.</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 NFL Surface tablet News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:57:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28570 at Qualcomm's Awesome Vuforia SDK Brings Augmented Reality to Eyewear <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/vuforia_eyewear.jpg" alt="Vuforia Eyewear" title="Vuforia Eyewear" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Some exciting things are happening in the world of virtual reality<a href=""></a>, and we're not just talking about the Oculus Rift. Multiple companies are jumping on board with the VR movement, including chip maker <strong>Qualcomm, which unveiled its Vuforia mobile vision platform</strong> that developers can use to build augmented reality (AR) applications for a new generation of digital hardware.</p> <p>The Vuforia Software Development Kit (SDK) for Digital Eyewear offers a "major advance in user experience," Qualcomm says. Using the SDK, developers can program apps with interactive 3D content that's visually aligned with the underlying world. This has all kinds of potential uses -- everything from gaming to shopping and education, etc.</p> <p>"The promise of digital eyewear is to create a heads-up display for our daily lives. While the realization of this promise remains in the future, Vuforia is taking a big step in the right direction by enabling a first generation of applications for consumer and enterprise use," <a href="" target="_blank">said Jay Wright</a>, vice president of product management for Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc. "Developers will now have the tools required to build experiences that will drive the adoption of the digital eyewear category. We look forward to seeing what developers make possible."</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Two new features of the Vuforia SDK include Smart Terrain and HD Camera View. Short and to the point, these technologies allow users to build their own gaming environment using everyday objects. Smart Terrain then creates a 3D map of the environment you created in real-time, which in turn gives apps the ability to interact with those objects. In the video above, you can see various McDonald's objects -- cola cup, fry box, burger box -- placed on a table. A soccer app then maps the objects and allows you to make trick shots off of those items.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>As it pertains to wearable headsets, a lot of neat things are possible with the Vuforia SDK, and not just for gaming. For example, you could be staring at an object like a water pump through a digital headset and see how to tear it down, step-by-step. Or an engine or any other object.</p> <p>The Vuforia SDK for Digital Eyewear will be available this fall in beta form for a select group of developers.</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> augmented reality qualcomm SDK virtual reality vr vuforia News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:00:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28569 at Toshiba Cutting Back on its Consumer PC Division <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/toshiba.jpg" alt="Toshiba" title="Toshiba" width="200" height="133" style="float: right;" />Company focusing on businesses more than consumers</h3> <p>It appears that the future of traditional PCs doesn’t look too bright, at least where <a title="Toshiba press release" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Toshiba</span></a> is concerned. Toshiba announced that it is shifting away from consumer PCs and focusing more on business PCs as part of a restructuring effort.&nbsp;</p> <p>The electronics company feels that a focus on the more profitable business-to-business(B2B) field is better for it than the unpredictable business-to-consumer(B2C) market which saw declines in <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a title="MPC article" href="" target="_blank">2013</a>&nbsp;</span>for the entire industry and early 2014. In response to the decline, it is downsizing by reducing its global workforce by 900 employees, about 20 percent of its non-manufacturing workforce, within the fiscal year as part of the restructuring efforts.&nbsp;</p> <p>Toshiba revealed that it would also withdraw its B2C resources from certain markets, but didn't say where, while focusing on developed countries that would also help to promote its B2B business simultaneously. However, the PC division isn’t the only part of Toshiba that has gone through a restructuring process. It has already restructured its TV business back in 2013 when it reported a $1 billion loss for two straight years.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> consumer PCs restructuring toshiba Toshiba restructuring News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:13:30 +0000 Sean D Knight 28566 at Final Fantasy 13 Trilogy Coming to PC, First Game Arrives Next Month <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/final_fantasy_13.jpg" alt="FF13" title="FF13" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>The latest Final Fantasy titles coming to PC</h3> <p><a title="Square Enix announcement" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Square Enix</span></a> has slowly been bringing the Final Fantasy franchise to the PC platform. After re-releasing Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, the developer has been bringing some of the other older games in the franchise over. &nbsp;However,<strong> Square Enix has announced that the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy is coming to the PC platform</strong>.</p> <p>The first title in the popular JRPG series, released back in 2010 for consoles, is available for pre-order on <a title="Steam FF13 page" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Steam</span></a> and Square Enix’s online store. Those wishing to pre-order Final Fantasy 13 through Steam will get a 10 percent discount for a price of $14.39 (regular price is $15.99). FF13 Steam trading cards will also be available to those who purchase it on Steam.&nbsp;</p> <p>Final Fantasy 13 will launch on October 9. However, Square Enix did not provide a specific release date, or price, for Final Fantasy 13-2 or Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, the latest installment of the franchise which was released back in February, except that they will be available “later next spring.”</p> <p>Have you played any of the Final Fantasy games on PC and are you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy XIII? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> FF13 PC Final Fantasy 13 Final Fantasy 13 PC Final Fantasy XIII Square Enix Steam Gaming News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:17:25 +0000 Sean D Knight 28565 at