News en Maxthon Nitro Browser (Beta) Now Available to Download <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nitro.jpg" alt="Maxthon Nitro" title="Maxthon Nitro" width="228" height="209" style="float: right;" />Maxthon developers claim Nitro is the fastest PC browser in the world</h3> <p>Growing tired of the same collection of browsers? If you're looking to try something new and aren't already familiar with Maxthon's offerings, <strong>you can download the beta of Maxthon Nitro (MxNitro)</strong>, supposedly the fastest browser available for the PC, according to the developers. Compared to the previous version, it loads three times faster, and compared to whichever browser you're using now, the developers say it fetches and loads webpages "considerably quicker."</p> <p>Maxthon is targeting users who want a no-fuss, stripped down browser that's fast, minimalistic in design, and has a low memory and CPU footprint.</p> <p>"Our focus groups and longitudinal surveys detail a growing segment of users who want speed above all else. 80 percent of users say that speed is their number one decision-making criteria and that they are willing to forego extensive features and add-ons to get more of it," <a href="" target="_blank">said Jeff Chen</a>, CEO of Maxthon. "This product is dedicated solely to that important and growing consumer niche."</p> <p>MxNitro gets it speed in part by reducing its UI load, and also by adding new patent-pending pre-connection and pre-fetching technology. Sounds all well and dandy, but is it truly faster than other browsers? Subjectively speaking, in our limited hands-on testing, it certainly feels faster -- webpages appear to render quicker than on Chrome, Firefox, or IE.</p> <p>What about objectively? Stay tuned -- we plan to run Nitro through a few browser benchmarks to see how it compares to the competition. In the meantime, you can check it out for yourself <a href="" target="_blank">here</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> browser maxthon nitro Software News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:56:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 28540 at VESA Announces DisplayPort 1.3 Standard, Pushes Bandwidth to 32.4Gbps for 5K Displays <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/displayport.jpg" alt="DisplayPort" title="DisplayPort" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" />Bring on the 5K monitors!</h3> <p>Just when we were beginning to get used to the idea of 4K resolution TVs and monitors, Dell went and teased us with a <a href="" target="_blank">32-inch 5K panel</a> that it plans on releasing later this year for $2,499.99. With a resolution of 5120x2880, that's 70 percent more pixels than 4K, and to drive that many pixels you'd need to utilize two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. We don't expect 5K to be a mainstream thing anytime soon, but for those who plan on playing with that many pixels, you'll be happy to know that the <strong>Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the release of the DisplayPort 1.3 standard</strong>, which supports 5K monitors.</p> <p>DisplayPort 1.3 increases the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4Gbps by way of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1 Gbps each. That's a 50 percent bump from DisplayPort 1.2a, and once you account for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.92Gbps of uncompressed video data, VESA says.</p> <p>"While becoming a mainstream video standard, DisplayPort continues to be at the cutting edge of A/V transport," <a href="" target="_blank">said VESA Board of Directors Chair Alan Kobayashi</a>, Fellow &amp; Executive R&amp;D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. "These new enhancements to DisplayPort will facilitate both higher resolution displays, as well as easier integration of DisplayPort into multi-protocol data transports, which will satisfy consumer’s desire for simplicity and ease-of-use."</p> <p>The new standard will allow users to run 5K monitors using a single DisplayPort cable without the use of compression. It will also allow for higher resolutions when running multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature, such as running a pair of 4K monitors.</p> <p>DisplayPort also adds support for the 4:2:0 pixel structure, a video format used on consumer digital television interfaces, which enables support for future 8K x 4K displays, VESA 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> 5k display displayport 1.3 Hardware vesa News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:13:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 28539 at Google Reveals $105 Android One Handsets for Emerging Markets <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/android_one.jpg" alt="Android One" title="Android One" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" />A platform for the next five billion users</h3> <p>Google's ambitious goal of getting a smartphone into the hands of more than five billion people who don't currently own one starts today with the <strong>unveiling of the first Android One handsets in India</strong>. These low-cost smartphones are intended for emerging markets and will retail for around 6,399 ruppes (around $105 in U.S. currency). Several manufactures are on board, the first of which include Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn.</p> <p>All three have released Android One handsets with 4.5-inch displays powered by 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processors based on ARM's Cortex A7 design, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras, 2-megapixel front-facing cameras, microSD card slots, dual-SIM slots, replaceable batteries, and the latest versions of Android direct from Google.</p> <p>"There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone," Google explains in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive."</p> <p>This is where Google's Android One movement comes into play. Google is working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and pick out components that are both powerful and affordable. And with Google backing the initiative, Android One handsets will be some of the first to receive the Android L update later this year.</p> <p>In addition to the phone makers mentioned above, the Android One movement has attracted a number of supporters, including Acer, Alcatel, Onetouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and Qualcomm.</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> android one Google mobile smartphone News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:19:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28538 at It's Official: Microsoft Agrees to Acquire Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 Billion <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/minecraft_0.jpg" alt="Minecraft" title="Minecraft" width="228" height="215" style="float: right;" />Might we finally see Minecraft make its way to Windows Phone?</h3> <p>When it comes to billion dollar acquisitions, secrets are hard to hold onto. Hence the rumors heading into the weekend that Microsoft was close to announcing a deal for Mojang, the developer responsible for the wildly popular Minecraft title. So, it should come as no surprise that <strong>Microsoft today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion</strong>.</p> <p>The Mojang team will be integrated into Microsoft Studios where they will continue to work on Minecraft. Combined with Microsoft's investments in cloud and mobile technologies, the Redmond outfit says Minecraft players will ultimately benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the Minecraft community.</p> <p>"Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year," <a href="" target="_blank">said Satya Nadella</a>, CEO, Microsoft. "Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft."</p> <p>Microsoft's press release talks about Minecraft being one of the most popular games in history -- it has 100 million downloads on the PC alone, is the most popular online game on Xbox, and is the top paid app for iOS and Android. Noticeably absent, however, is any mention of porting Minecraft to Windows Phone, one of the few places it doesn't yet exist.</p> <p>"Microsoft plans to continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox, and PlayStation," Microsoft 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> acquisition microsoft minecraft Mojang News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:48:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28537 at Malware Uses Twitch Chat to Target Steam Users <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Steam" title="Steam" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Fake raffle invites being used to ensnare victims</h3> <p>Twitch, the popular videogame streaming site recently acquired by Amazon, is being used to propagate <strong>malware that specifically targets Steam users</strong>, security firm <a href="" target="_blank">F-Secure</a> revealed in a blog post Friday. Gullible Steam users are being lured into clicking a malicious link contained in bot-sent raffle invites on Twitch that promise them the opportunity to win such prizes as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items. On the other side of that link, there is usually a Java program asking for some basic personal info, a congratulatory message, a malicious Windows binary file, and an empty Steam wallet.</p> <p>The malware, dubbed “Eskimo” by F-Secure, is capable of a host of things: taking screenshots, adding new Steam friends, accepting pending friend requests and trading items. </p> <p>“This malware, which we call Eskimo, is able to wipe your Steam wallet, armory, and inventory dry. It even dumps your items for a discount in the Steam Community Market,” the company warned in its blog post. “Previous variants were selling items with a 12% discount, but a recent sample showed that they changed it to 35% discount. Perhaps to be able to sell the items faster.”</p> <p>“All this is done from the victim's machine, since Steam has security checks in place for logging in or trading from a new machine. It might be helpful for the users if Steam were to add another security check for those trading several items to a newly added friend and for selling items in the market with a low price based on a certain threshold. This will lessen the damages done by this kind of threat.”</p> <p>Twitch says it has already blocked the malicious link in question and requested its users to be cautious when dealing with links of unknown origin.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> F-Secure Gaming malware Security Steam steam wallet twitch News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:46:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28534 at Report: Microsoft Could Announce $2.5 Billion Acquisition of Minecraft Studio Monday <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Minecraft" title="Minecraft" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Talks reportedly initiated by Minecraft creator Markus Persson</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft’s rumored acquisition of Sweden-based Minecraft developer Mojang could be worth as much as $2.5 billion</strong>, according to a <a href="" target="_blank">Reuters</a> report published Friday. This is considerably higher than the $2 billion figure reported by the <a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a>, which was the first news outlet to claim that such a deal was in the works when it published a report, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter,” on Tuesday.</p> <p>The two outlets may differ on the total value of the rumored deal but both seem to be in agreement when it comes to its imminence. According to Reuters’ source, an official announcement of the $2.5 billion deal will come from Microsoft on Monday, September 15, 2014.&nbsp; Meanwhile, people are busy speculating about the possible reasons behind the reportedly imminent deal, which is rumored to have been <a href="" target="_blank">initiated by Mojang owner Markus Persson.</a></p> <p>Interestingly, despite being available on every major gaming platform under the sun — from the PC to mobile OSes like Android and iOS — the hugely popular game is not yet available on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Could this rumored deal be nothing but an expensive way of bringing Minecraft to Windows Phone? Frankly, we don’t know. What we do know for sure is that Minecraft is a wonderful game and, if you haven’t already, you should give it a try. Here’s our <a href="" target="_blank">Minecraft Beginner's Guide</a> to get you started.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> acquisition Gaming Markus Persson microsoft minecraft Mojang rumor windows phone News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:05:22 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28533 at Shuttle XH Series: 3-Liter Barebones With Enough Room for Core i7, Up to Three Drives <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Shuttle XH81V" title="Shuttle XH81V" width="228" height="112" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>New barebone PCs measure just&nbsp; 240 x 200 x 72 mm</h3> <p>Taiwan-headquartered Shuttle is at it again, doing what it does best. The company, which specializes in small form factor (SFF) computers and barebones, has announced <a href="" target="_blank">two new diminutive barebones</a>. <strong>The new XH81 and XH81V are, per the company, “compact 3L media players” that are ideal for kiosks, vending machines, digital signage and POS applications.</strong></p> <p>In terms of <a href="" target="_blank">specs</a>, both models are nearly identical. Looks-wise, the only real difference is the fact that the XH81V has its front ports hidden behind a removable panel, whereas on the XH81 they are all fully exposed.</p> <p>Both models support Haswell processors — right from Celeron to Core i7 — and up to 16GB of RAM (2 DDR3 SODIMM slots). Other specs include two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, two Mini-PCIe slots, and up to five COM ports (only two on XH81V). Further, both come with a 90W external power supply and heatpipe cooling with two 60mm fans.</p> <p>“Both systems support 4K and are designed to operate in a range of ambient temperatures, from 0-50 ⁰C. The XH series is based on an Intel H81 express chipset and designed for current Intel processors with an LGA 1150 socket and up to a TDP of 65W,” Shuttle said in a press release Thursday.<iframe src="//" width="620" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>“The XH series is highly customizable for either workplace or home environments as users can configure the systems with up to three storage drives. There are installation options for three 2.5" HDD/SSD drives or alternatively two 2.5" HDD/SSD drives plus an optical slimline drive. A 3.5" drive can also be installed using a PHD4 accessory which is sold separately.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> barebones Hardware haswell Shuttle xh series xh81 xh81v News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:41:26 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28532 at Leaked Videos Show Key Windows 9 Features <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Windows 9" title="Windows 9" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>See Windows 9’s Notification Center, Start Menu and multiple desktops in action</h3> <p>Microsoft may not have officially lifted the curtain on <a href="" target="_blank">Windows 9 (a.k.a “Threshold”)</a> but if sites like <a href="" target="_blank">WinFuture</a> continue to have their way, the Redmond-based company will have very little new to show us when it finally does get down to unveiling its next desktop operating system. (We don’t have an issue with these leaks, though.) The German site, which recently posted a bunch of allegedly <a href="" target="_blank">leaked screenshots of the rumored-to-be-upcoming Windows 9 Technical Preview</a>, has now taken to posting <strong>videos that showcase some of the upcoming OS’s features.</strong></p> <p>Four such videos have been released thus far by the German outfit. It is clear from the two videos dedicated to the returning Start Menu that in its latest avatar this iconic UI element will give the user a lot of say over its overall look and feel. You can not only pick and choose which Live Tiles you want your Start Menu to have, but it is also possible to have no Live Tiles at all and have a Smart Menu that is not too different from the one found in Windows 7.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="250" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="250" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>As for the remaining videos, one shows the all-new <a href="">Notification Center</a> in action while the other sheds light on the upcoming operating system’s multiple desktop functionality. </p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="250" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="250" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> leak multiple desktops notification center OS rumor Software Start Menu virtual desktops windows 9 technical preview News Sun, 14 Sep 2014 23:56:20 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28531 at Bad PC Ports Need to Go Away: Dead Rising 3 Edition <!--paging_filter--><h3>Column: Now I know why they call it the Apocalypse Edition</h3> <p>PC games are buggy, and console games just work right out of the box – that’s at least the stigma that console gamers place on the PC. The truth is that PC gaming is <a title="pc gaming" href="" target="_blank">miles ahead of the consoles</a>, but I do have to admit that that there are grains of truth to the stigma.</p> <p>When Dead Rising 3 launched on the PC on September 5th, I encouraged my console-playing friend to play the game cooperatively with me on Steam. So we both got on Skype and fired it up. Immediately upon booting it up, however, I noticed the astonishingly long load times. To be fair, I did install it on my hard drive as opposed to my SSD, but these boot times were abnormally long and my friend noticed the same on his machine. The long boot times would be the least of my problems with the game, however. When I actually got into the game, something was definitely not right, and I'm not talking about the game's impending zombie apocalypse. It felt like I was playing more of a slideshow than a game. The framerate performance was terrible, which I thought was odd considering I was playing on my high-end i7 rig coupled with a GeForce GTX Titan. Sure I was trying to run the game maxed out, but considering I was using a $1,000 GPU on what essentially is a console port, max settings should have been a cakewalk.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/dead_rising_3_pc_port.jpg" width="460" height="215" /></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>More like "Dead Rising 3: Bad Port Edition"</strong></p> <p>And my friend’s more humble PC equipped with a modest 560 Ti GPU? Well, it started sweating bullets on medium. “This is why I’m not into PC gaming,” my friend exclaimed. The comment stung a little and we both decided to tone down our graphics settings. I noticed a bump in performance when I ran the game at medium settings, but it still ran like crap. Upon doing some research, I found out that Capcom had capped the game to run at 30FPS. D’oh! Contrary to what console gamers might say, 30FPS is not enough, and friends don't let friends play at 30FPS.</p> <p>To be fair to Capcom, apparently the company did warn PC gamers that the game would be locked to 30FPS prior to Dead Rising 3’s launch, but still, a warning does not excuse a crime. That’s like someone telling you, “Sorry, but I’m going to punch you” right before punching you. In other words, it doesn’t really help. The straight truth of the matter is that Dead Rising 3 on the PC is a lazy port, and trust us when we say we know a thing or two about a bad port as we’ve done a roundup of <a title="bad pc port" href="" target="_blank">the worst offenders</a>. At this point, we’d have to say Dead Rising 3 is a dead ringer to be on that list (see what I did there?).</p> <p>On the brightside, yes, there is an easy .ini fix to remove the 30FPS cap, but even Capcom advises against this because the company suggest that users 1)might need really beefy hardware and 2) it could potentially cause “<a title="dead rising issues" href="" target="_blank">issues</a>.” Furthermore, I’m personally a little afraid that the tweak might conflict with a future update down the road. In addition, this fan-made patch reinforces the negative stereotype that PC gamers need to manually tweak their games just to play them properly. The least Capcom could have done here is to include an in-game menu option to remove the 30FPS limit with perhaps a warning that it might cause some instability on lower-end systems. After all, if we’re smart enough to choose PC gaming, we’re smart enough to toggle a menu switch. In addition, some of us do in fact have super beefy hardware and would like the option to use it on an occasion such as this. *cough*</p> <p>Terrible performance issues aside, Dead Rising’s framerate is hardly the most pressing issue with the game at the moment. When my friend and I were slugging our way through the co-op campaign, the game crashed on me multiple times and booted my friend out of the online instance as well. I was hoping to play the game all night with my buddy, to show him the joys of Steam and PC gaming, but after four game crashes in an hour, even I had to admit defeat.</p> <p>Over the next few days, I found out that my situation was not an isolated incident and that <a title="game crashes" href="" target="_blank">TONS of users are reporting game crashes</a>. To Capcom’s credit, the company has acknowledged the crashes and are attempting to do something about it, but only time will tell if this specific matter gets resolved.&nbsp;</p> <p>I haven’t given up on Dead Rising 3 and was able to enjoy the game, well, at least from the little that I was able to play of it, but I’d much prefer to return to the zombie apocalypse when the bugs are ironed out. Because really, who likes fighting bugs and zombies at the same time?</p> <p>However, the bigger thing I want to say to Capcom and other game developers is this: PLEASE STOP THE LAZY PC PORTS! These buggy, unoptimized ports do nothing to bolster the sales of your games. But more importantly,&nbsp;your rush job gives PC gaming an undue bad rep.</p> 30 bad port console crash crashes crashing dead rising 3 framerate locked pc Steam Gaming News Features Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:39:09 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28530 at NFL Announcers Slip on $400 Million Surface Deal, Calls Microsoft's Tablets iPads <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_3.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="122" style="float: right;" />Can the NFL get anything right these days?</h3> <p>Not only did the NFL mishandle a major situation with Ray Rice's domestic abuse incident, but even comparatively minor tasks are turning into fumbles. Before the season began, Microsoft inked a $400 million deal with the NFL to make its Surface the official tablet of the league for the next five years. Under normal circumstances, that would be a sound (and even savvy) advertising deal on Microsoft's part, except for one little thing -- <strong>NFL announcers couldn't help but to refer to the Surface tablets as iPads</strong>.</p> <p>Something like that should draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but if you're Apple, you'll take the free exposure. As for Microsoft, it had to endure at least two television announcers making the same mistake during the first week of the season, including one that occurred during Monday Night Football.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Business Inside</em>r</a>, ESPN's Trent Dilfer cracked a joke saying he wondered how long it took Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Tom Moore to "learn how to use the iPad to scroll through pictures."</p> <p>The other known incident happened when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was seen by Fox commentator John Lynch using the Surface on the sideline. Lynch joked that Brees was "not watching movies on his iPad."</p> <p>Funny stuff, though Microsoft would undoubtedly prefer if NFL announcers would spend less time cracking jokes and more time learning the difference between a Surface and an iPad.</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 iPad microsoft mobile NFL slate Surface tablet News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:02:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 28529 at U.S. Department of Justice Fines HP $108 Million for Foreign Bribery Scandal <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp.jpg" alt="Hewlett-Packard" title="Hewlett-Packard" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />HP and its subsidiaries face a hefty fine for felony violations of corruption</h3> <p>After pleading guilty to felony violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), <strong>Hewlett-Packard and its subsidiaries have been ordered to pay a total of $108 million in criminal and regulatory penalties</strong>, the U.S. Department of Justice announced this week. Specifically, HP was caught bribing Russian government officials to secure a large and lucrative technology contract.</p> <p>According to the Principal Deputy Assistant General Miller, HP's Russian subsidiary spent millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure the government contract. He called it a "sham transaction" and said that it was equally perturbing that it involved Russia's top prosecutor's office.</p> <p>"For more than a decade HP Russia business executives participated in an elaborate scheme that involved paying bribes to government officials in exchange for large contracts," <a href="" target="_blank">said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McCabe</a>. "There is no place for bribery in any business model or corporate culture. Along with the Department of Justice, the IRS and international law enforcement partners, the FBI is committed to investigating corrupt backroom deals that threaten our global commerce."</p> <p>According to the DoJ, HP Russia created excess profit margins to finance the slush fund through an elaborate buy-back deal scheme. That involved HP subsidiaries selling computer hardware and other technology products under contract to a Russian channel partner and then buying the same products back from an intermediary at around a $10 million markup with an additional $5.4 million in purported services. HP Russia then sold the same products to the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation at the increased price.</p> <p>The three HP entities involved will pay over $76 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture, plus more than $31.4 million in disgorgement, prejudgement interest, and civil penalties, bringing the grand total to over $108 million.</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> department of justice doj hewlett-packard hp News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:45:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 28528 at Leaked Press Photo of GeForce GTX 970 Suggests Nvidia is Skipping 800 Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/zotac_geforce_gtx_970.jpg" alt="Zotac GeForce GTX 970" title="Zotac GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Thank you Zotac for the confirmation!</h3> <p>Supposed benchmarks of Nvidia's forthcoming GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M GPUs were <a href="" target="_blank">leaked to the web</a> earlier this week, and presuming they were real, it would seem that Nvidia is planning to skip right over the 800 Series and jump right into the 900s. Lest there be any lingering doubt, what looks to be <strong>an official press image of Zotac's GeForce GTX 970 graphics card is making its way through cyberspace</strong>.</p> <p>We spotted the image over at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Fudzilla</em></a>, which led us over to <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a>. The site says the image was leaked by a Philippine store called PCHUB that was content to consider it a "sneak peek," though we're sure Zotac (and Nvidia) aren't super thrilled about it.</p> <p>In any event, the GeForce GTX 970 is rumored to feature 1,664 CUDA cores, 138 TMUs, and 32 ROPs with a 1051MHz GPU base clockspeed and 1178MHz GPU boost clockspeed. The Zotac card will have 4GB of GDDR5 memory, presumably clocked at 7012MHz on a 256-bit bus.</p> <p>We can also see that Zotac is deviating from the reference cooler in favor of its own custom solution. Since all we have is a photo to go on, there's no word yet of a price or release date, though it's rumored the 900 Series will launch on September 19.</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> Build a PC geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware nvidia Video Card zotac News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:13:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28527 at Grand Theft Auto V Headed to PC January 27, 2015 with Prettier Graphics and New Weapons <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gta_v_pc.jpg" alt="Grand Theft Auto V" title="Grand Theft Auto V" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Yes, this release date is real</h3> <p>With all due respect to the PC gamers who, after waiting so long for Grand Theft Auto V to be ported to Windows with nary a peep from Rockstar Games, have understandably lost interest, this is a big day. At long last, <strong>Rockstar has finally picked a release date for GTA V on PC -- January 27, 2015</strong> -- and I couldn't be more excited. Why? Partially because I've played the game with delight on the Xbox 360 and was totally drawn in, and also because I'm anxious to see the improved graphics and new features.</p> <p>What about the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? Rockstar's obvious preference for consoles has GTA V arriving on the PS4 and Xbox One on November 18, 2014, more than two months ahead of the PC launch. Whatever, let's not act surprised that the PC is last line -- a familiar place with Rockstar.</p> <p>As to the game, all three platforms will see a "range of major visual and technical upgrades" that will make Los Santos and Blaine County prettier and more immersive than they've ever been. You can expect increased draw distances, a higher resolution, and a handful of new additions such as new weapons, vehicles, and activities, more wildlife, denser traffic, a new foliage system, enhanced damage and weather effects, and more.</p> <p>Those who <a href="" target="_blank">pre-order</a> will receive $1,000,000 of in-game currency, half of which you can spend in GTA V and the other half allocated to GTA Online. If you've already been playing GTA Online, you'll be able to transfer your character and progression to PC (or PS4 or Xbox One).</p> <p>There's no arguing it's been a long wait, and with still four months to go, Rockstar is undoubtedly alienating some PC gamers. To tide you over -- assuming you're still interested -- check out the new trailer below (taken from a PS4) and a bunch of <a href="" target="_blank">new screenshots</a> on Rockstar's website.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></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> games Grand Theft Auto V gta v rockstar games Software News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:54:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 28526 at Consumer Version of Oculus Rift Could be Available by Summer 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/dk2_front_small2.jpg" alt="Oculus Rift DK2" title="Oculus Rift DK2" width="200" height="133" style="float: right;" />Oculus Rift will have a limited rollout</h3> <p>Oculus VR has been keeping silent as to when it will release an Oculus Rift model for the consumer. There is certainly a demand for the product which has reached the point where the developer halted distribution of the Oculus Rift DK2 to China due to people re-selling the device for a higher price. However, instead of being gouged in order to own one,&nbsp;<strong>customers might be able to purchase the Oculus Rift consumer model in 2015</strong>, according to unnamed sources that spoke to <a title="Oculus Techradar" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">TechRadar</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The website claims that multiple sources have said that Oculus VR is planning to release a finalized version of the Oculus Rift “by summer next year.” But instead of a regular launch, the developer will release the headset in a limited rollout with one source saying that April 2015 is the release target, though the date could be pushed back to summer.&nbsp;</p> <p>While speculation continues as to when consumers will be able to acquire their own Oculus Rift, Oculus VR co-founder Nate Mitchell recently revealed that the potential price for the device will fall between $200 and $400. Another detail about the consumer model came from Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who said that the consumer model will receive a “significant increase” over the DK2’s 1080p display and have a refresh rate that will be around <a title="Eurogamer" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">90Hz or higher</span></a>.&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> Oculus consumer model oculus rift oculus rift dk2 Oculus Summer 2015 oculus vr News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:01:17 +0000 Sean D Knight 28524 at Screenshots of Windows 9 Technical Preview Leak Online <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_9_start_menu.jpg" alt="Windows 9 Start Menu" title="Windows 9 Start Menu" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />These are the screenshots we've been waiting to see</h3> <p>Yes folks, it looks like the Start Menu is indeed making a long overdue comeback in Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold). <strong>A German-language website posted a bunch of screenshots of the Windows 9 Technical Preview</strong> that's due out either later this month or in early October, according to <a href="" target="_blank">previous rumors</a>. One of those screenshots shows the Start Menu as it will appear on the Desktop.</p> <p>The Start Menu looks similar to the one in Windows 7, but updated with Tiles on the right-hand side. It gives access to all your apps and settings, along with a search field at the bottom and a power button at the top.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a>, the screenies posted by <a href=",83577.html" target="_blank"><em>WinFuture</em></a> are genuine and reflective of a "very early" build that was sent to close Microsoft partners. With that in mind, the final product is likely to look a little bit different, though you do get a pretty good idea of what to expect from Windows 9.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/windows_9_screenie.jpg" alt="Windows 9 Screenshot" title="Windows 9 Screenshot" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p>Other tidbits shown off in the screenshots include a new search icon next to the Start button, a button that appears to be for the virtual desktops feature, Windows 8-style apps hovering on the Desktop, and the rumored <a href="" target="_blank">notifications center</a>.</p> <p>Image Credits: <em></em></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> operating system OS screenshots Software threshold windows 9 News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:54:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28523 at