News en Acer Readying 27-inch WQHD Display with G-Sync Support <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Acer XB270HU" title="Acer XB270HU" width="228" height="236" style="float: right;" />XB270HU will deliver a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time</h3> <p>Acer is said to be readying a new addition to the <a href="" target="_blank">XBO range of gaming displays</a> it launched a while back. A G-Sync enabled monitor like the two existing models in the XBO family, the upcoming XB270HU appears, based on its specs, to be a potential rival to the<strong> <a href="" target="_blank">27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG278Q</a></strong> that made its commercial debut in July as the world’s first WQHD (2560x1440) monitor with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.</p> <p>According to UK-based site <a href="">TFT Central</a>, the 27-inch XB270HU will be a WQHD TN panel display (could even be the same AU Optronics panel as the PG278Q) with a 1ms G2G response time, 144Hz refresh rate, 1000:1 contrast, 350 nits brightness, 170/160 viewing angles and, of course, G-Sync support. As for connections, it will include one DisplayPort input and as many as four USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>At this time, we have nothing to report as far as its price is concerned. For that info you will have to wait a little bit longer as the XB270HU isn’t scheduled to come out until the first quarter of 2015.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> 144Hz Acer display g-sync Gaming monitor pg278q qhd wqhd XB270HU News Sun, 23 Nov 2014 21:54:41 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28976 at Google Testing Subscription Service that Blocks Ads from Participating Websites <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/google_logo_0.jpg" alt="Google Logo" title="Google Logo" width="200" height="124" style="float: right;" />Pay $1 to $3 a month to block ads</h3> <p>Would you pay to get rid of ads on a website? That is the question being asked as <strong>Google has announced its Google Contributor subscription service</strong>, which would block ads from a participating website for a fee. Suffice to say, this announcement comes as a surprise considering that Google’s lifeblood is advertising.</p> <p>"Today’s Internet is mostly funded by advertising," said Google. "But what if there were a way to directly support the people who create the sites you visit each day?"</p> <p>Google's&nbsp;<a title="Google Contributor website" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Contributor program</span></a>&nbsp;is not only a way for readers to directly support their favorite websites but also provides an alternative way for website owners to pay the bills. Participants choose how much their monthly contribution would be, the current range is $1-$3, and then they simply visit the participating sites. Part of the contribution will go to the participating website, or websites, you visit where you’ll see a “thank you” message and a pixilated panel where an ad would normally be.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are not many websites participating in the program, but the ones that are involved include Urban Dictionary, The Onion, Science Daily, WikiHow, Mashable, and Imgur. And for those who wish to participate in the program, they will need to be invited and put on a waiting list.</p> <p>While the idea is an intriguing one, is it a solution to an old and established business model that has, in some cases, become a nuisance to readers? What about those of you who make use of an ad blocker? Is the concept of Google Contributor one you would switch to as a way to support a website?</p> <p>Let us know what you think in the comments section 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> ad free websites Contributor Google Google Contributor subscription-based service News Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:13:08 +0000 Sean D Knight 28975 at Dell Starts Shipping Alienware Alpha PC Game Console <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/alienware_alpha.jpg" alt="Alienware Alpha" title="Alienware Alpha" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Steam Machine turned Alpha Console starts at $549</h3> <p>Dell originally intended for its Alienware Alpha console to be an official Steam Machine, though Valve threw a wrench in those plans when it delayed the platform in order tweak its Steam Controller to satisfaction. Instead of tossing aside all that R&amp;D into building a console-sized game box for the PC, <strong>Dell re-marketed the device as the Alienware Alpha, and it's now begun shipping out to customers</strong>.</p> <p>"We’ve been working hard this past year to break the mold and develop a system that finally brings hundreds of Steam games, including some really fun indie titles, to TVs," <a href="" target="_blank">said Frank Azor</a>, General Manager of Alienware. "The team and I are excited to finally deliver our vision for big screen gaming and give our fans a console that delivers true next-gen performance with the flexibility to choose how, what and where they want to play."</p> <p>The Alienware Alpha starts at $549 and includes an Intel Core i3 4130T dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU customized to "run at speeds found in no other device," and 500GB hard drive.</p> <p>If you need more power, there are other configurations available, with the top-end model costing $899. It includes an Intel Core i7 4765T quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 2TB hard drive.</p> <p>All models come with an Xbox 360 wireless controller with USB adapter and several pre-loaded games including Anomaly: Warzone Earth, Awesomenauts, Magicka, Metro: Last Light, Payday 2 and Strike Suit Zero.</p> <p>The obvious buzz kill here is the custom GTX 860M GPU. It's based on Nvidia's newer Maxwell archicture, but isn't upgradeable and somewhat out of date with Nvidia having released its 970M and 980M mobile GPUs last month. It's also only rocking 2GB of GDDR5 memory instead of 4GB as found on some other systems.</p> <p>As configured, the Alienware Alpha boots into Dell's Alpha UI, a console-based menu that's friendly for controllers. After the first boot, gamers can opt to have the system boot directly into Steam Big Picture or the regular Windows 8.1 desktop if they prefer.</p> <p>You can find out more on the Alienware Alpha <a href="" target="_blank">product page</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> alienware alpha dell games Hardware OEM pc console rigs News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:12:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28973 at Google's Serving 1TB of Drive Storage for New Chromebook Buyers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_chromebook_5.jpg" alt="Samsung Chromebook" title="Samsung Chromebook" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />Buy a Chromebook, get 1TB of cloud storage for two years</h3> <p>It's getting to be all-out warfare in the low-cost computing market. In response to the growing interest in cheap Chromebooks, Intel and Microsoft have been working together to push sub-$200 Windows laptops into the market place through its hardware partners. That's caused Chromebooks to come down in price as well, but it isn't stopping there. <strong>Google today announced that new Chromebook buyers can get 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years</strong> at no additional cost.</p> <p>"That’s enough space to keep more than 100,000 <a href="" target="_blank">awkward holiday sweater pics</a> safe and shareable in Drive. With that much free storage, you can use your Chromebook for work, play and pretty much everything else you’ll do this holiday season," Google stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>Google's free offering works out to a $240 value over the course of two years. To get the 1TB Drive storage, you have to purchase an eligible Chromebook and redeem the offer before January 1, 2015. You'll find eligible models at <a href="" target="_blank">retail stores, online outlets</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Google Play</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> 1tb chromebook cloud drive Google Hardware laptop notebook storage News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:36:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28972 at Mattel Issues Apology for Book Depicting Barbie as an Incompetent Computer Engineer <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/barbie_computer.jpg" alt="Barbie Computer" title="Barbie Computer" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />Internet backlash prompts Mattel to apologize for a book published in 2010</h3> <p>Toy company <strong>Mattel apologized on Facebook this week for a controversial book portraying Barbie's failed attempt at becoming a computer engineer</strong>. The book received intense criticism on the web after comedian Pamela Ribbon stumbled upon the title at a friend's house and wrote a scathing review of it on her blog. At issue is the depiction of the iconic doll as being incompetent and needing to rely on men to save the day after she screws things up.</p> <p>In the book, Barbie has aspirations of making a game that teaches kids how computers work. So far, so good -- time to break down gender stereotypes. However, Barbie quickly clarifies to her sister Skipper that she's "only creating the design ideas...I'll need Steven and Brian's help to turn it into a real game!"</p> <p>From there, things go downhill like Clark Griswold on a sled in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. She fails at trying to email her design to Steven and, with the help of Skipper, manages to reboot her laptop before determining it has a virus. Turns out the virus was on her heart-shaped USB drive that she wears as a necklace, and Skipper subsequently loses all of her homework assignments and music files, which weren't backed up. Instead of being overly upset by this, Skipper "playfully" hits Barbie with a pillow.</p> <p>"Skipper has just lost her homework, all her music files and her laptop, but all she’s moved to is STATUS: PILLOW FIGHT," <a href="" target="_blank">Ribbon writes on her blog</a>.</p> <p>There's quite a bit of reading between the lines and extrapolation that goes into the criticism, though the main issue people have with the book is Barbie's overall incompetence. Rather than promote Barbie as a woman capable of being a computer engineer, she screws things up -- badly -- and turns to a couple of males to save the day.</p> <p>"The Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer book was published in 2010. Since that time we have reworked our Barbie books. The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn’t reflect the Brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for," Mattel explained in a <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook post</a>. "We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologize that this book didn’t reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girl's imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character."</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/barbie_rewritten.jpg" alt="Barbie Rewritten" title="Barbie Rewritten" width="591" height="556" /></p> <p>That's all well and fine, but it didn't stop the Internet from doing what it does best. Trending on Twitter is #FeministHackerBarbie, in which you'll find hilariously rewritten entries like the one above. Some of the better ones have been <a href=";utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&amp;utm_medium=socialflow" target="_blank">collected by <em>Gizmodo</em></a>, if you're need of a good laugh.</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> barbie computer engineer programming toys News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:37:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28971 at Eizo's 31-Inch ColorEdge 4K Monitor Calibrates Itself <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/eizo_cg318-4k.jpg" alt="Eizo CG318-4K" title="Eizo CG318-4K" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Built-in sensor enables self-calibration</h3> <p>Following up on its <a href="" target="_blank">funky square-shaped monitor</a> announcement earlier this week, <strong>Eizo has introduced a self-calibrating DCI 4K (4096x2160) display</strong> for media and entertainment fields like cinema and broadcasting. The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a 31.1-inch monitor featuring a built-in sensor to enable self-calibration if you'd rather not muck around with settings. Should you need or want to manually fine tune the settings, it comes with ColorNavigator 6 calibration software.</p> <p>Eizo also offers ColorNavigator Network, a secure, cloud-based web hosting solution for administrators to perform quality control tasks on client ColorEdge monitors with ColorNavigator NX (a free color calibration download) installed.</p> <p>"Used together, ColorNavigator Network and ColorNavigator NX allow an administrator to take advantage of the self-calibration capabilities of the ColorEdge monitors by automating calibration and other QC tasks on ColorEdge monitors located in a single or multiple locations," <a href="" target="_blank">Eizo says</a>. "This potentially saves hundreds or thousands of hours annually in maintenance downtime while ensuring the color accuracy of all ColorEdge monitors."</p> <p>The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a 10-bit display with a 16-bit lookup tablet (LUT). It sports an IPS panel that reproduces 98 percent of the DCI-P3 and 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color spaces. Other ratings include 178-degree viewing angles, 350 cd/m2 brightness, 1,500:1 contrast ratio, and 9ms response time.</p> <p>It has a three-port USB 3.0 hub, ergonomic stand with height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, two HDMI ports, and two DisplayPort connectors.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">ColorEdge CG318-RK</a> will begin shipping in April of next year. No word yet on price.</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> 4k cg318-4k coloredge display eizo Hardware monitor panel News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:38:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28970 at GameStop Blames Third Quarter Sales Decline on Delayed Assassin's Creed Unity Launch <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gamestop_store.jpg" alt="GameStop Store" title="GameStop Store" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />GameStop sales slipped 0.7 percent in Q3</h3> <p>New and used games retailer GameStop reported its third quarter financial results this week, which fell below what analysts were expecting. <strong>GameStop's total global sales for Q3 came to $2.09 billion, a drop of 0.7 percent compared to the $2.11 billion in the same quarter a year ago</strong> and below the $2.2 billion analysts on average were predicting. As a result, GameStop's stock went into free-fall mode.</p> <p>Shares of GameStop are down more than 14 percent today with several hours still to go in the trading day. With today's plunge, GameStop's stock is down by around 25 percent since the beginning of the year when it was valued just shy of $50 per share.</p> <p>GameStop pointed the finger at the delayed release of Assassin's Creed Unity as the reason why topline and comparable store sales were negatively impacted.</p> <p>"Overall, most of our major product categories performed very well, but our third quarter results were impacted by Assassin’s Creed Unity moving out of October," <a href="" target="_blank">stated Paul Raines</a>, chief executive officer. "As we look at the holiday quarter, we are focused on relentlessly applying our competitive advantages: convenience, strong CRM, knowledgeable associates and value through our unique forms of currency, which include buy-sell-trade and the new PowerUp Rewards credit card, to deliver a successful quarter."</p> <p>In a post-earnings call with analysts and media, GameStop president Tony Bartel added that he'd like to see Microsoft and Sony issue price cuts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, respectively.</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> assassin's creed unity financial results games GameStop Software News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:12:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28969 at Corsair Introduces Quiet Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition Case <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/corsair_carbide_series_330r.jpg" alt="Corsair Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition" title="Corsair Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition" width="228" height="215" style="float: right;" />A case for librarians and other noise conscious builders</h3> <p>There's something to be said for building a quiet computer. It takes a bit of research to build a truly silent (or near silent) system, and of course it starts with your choice of case -- an open air chassis is probably not the best option. There are several quiet cases available, and beginning today, you can add <strong>Corsair's new Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition</strong> to the list of quiet computing enclosures.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Corsair says</a> the 330R makes it easy to build an "extremely quiet" PC, part of which is due to the noise damping material found on the top panel, side panels, and front door. It also boasts a 3-speed fan controller and a Direct Airflow Path layout that provides an unobstructed path between the included 140mm fan and the CPU and GPU.</p> <p>The other included fan is a 120mm exhaust unit, though there's room for two more 120mm or 140mm fans up top and another 120mm or 140mm fan up front. If you prefer liquid cooling, the 330R can accommodate a 240mm or 280mm radiator up top and is specifically compatible with Corsair's H55, H60, H75, H80i, and H100i liquid coolers.</p> <p>Other amenities include four hard drive trays supporting both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch installs, tool-free 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drive installation, built-in cable routing coutouts, and a USB 3.0 port on the front panel.</p> <p>Corsair's <a href="" target="_blank">Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition</a> PC case is available now for $100 MSRP.</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> 330r titanium edition Build a PC carbide series case chassis corsair enclosure Hardware News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:19:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 28967 at Intel Stock Rises on Positive Outlook for 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_doll.jpg" alt="Intel Doll" title="Intel Doll" width="228" height="237" style="float: right;" />Investors liked what they heard from Intel today</h3> <p>Intel today announced that its board of directors approved an increase in its cash dividend to 96 cents per share on an annual basis, representative of a 6 percent increase, starting with the dividend that will be declared in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, <strong>Intel predicted full year revenue growth for 2015 to be in the mid-single digits</strong>, trumping what most analysts were expecting.</p> <p>The <a href=";ReleasesType=Corporate%20News" target="_blank">news</a> came as part of Intel's annual investor meeting today at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Between announcing a bump in its dividend and a better-than-expected outlook for next year, Intel's stock price subsequently went up around 4.6 percent, with more hours still left in the trading day.</p> <p>Intel also addressed its sub-par performance in mobile.</p> <p>"I'm not g oing to tell you I'm proud of losing the kind of money we're losing but I'm also going to tell you I'm not embarrassed by it like I was a year ago about where we were," Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said during the meeting. "This is the price you pay for sitting on the sidelines for a number of years and then fighting your way back into the market."</p> <p>Intel's mobile division posted a $1 billion operating loss in the third quarter and generated revenue of just $1 million. However, <a href="" target="_blank">Intel recently announced</a> plans to merge its PC and mobile sectors into a new Client Computing Group that will be overseen by Kirk Skaugen, a senior vice president currently in charge of Intel's PC Client Group.</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> intel mobile revenue stock News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:48:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28966 at Wicked Lasers to Stop Shipping Lasers Above 5mW to U.S. in January <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/wicked_lasers.jpg" alt="Wicked Lasers" title="Wicked Lasers" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Save 40 percent on handheld lasers that will soon be unavailable to purchase</h3> <p>Wicked Lasers builds some of the most awesome (and dangerous) handheld lasers around, like the Krypton that earned a rare 10 verdict and coveted <em>Maximum PC</em> Kick Ass award when we <a href="">reviewed it back in 2011</a>. The company has been the topic of <a href="" target="_blank">many articles</a> on our website throughout the years, though sadly, the good times are coming to an end. <strong>Wicked Lasers is under new ownership and will no longer ship handheld lasers greater than 5mW to U.S. customers effective January 1, 2015</strong>.</p> <p>The same shipping restrictions will extend to other countries shortly after, the new owners say. Other than that little bit of information, there's not much to go on -- it's not clear who the new owners are or what their future plans are for Wicked Lasers. It's also not clear why they're discontinuing shipments of high-powered lasers, though it could boil down to liability issues.</p> <p>That's the bad news. The good news? Wicked Lasers is offering 40 percent off all of its laser products, save for the FlashTorch and Core. Just use coupon code <strong>FINAL40</strong> for the savings.</p> <p>If you're new to Wicked Lasers, bear in mind that these aren't toys. Depending on the laser, it takes but a split second for serious injury, such as blindness - check out this commenter's <a href="" target="_blank">cautionary advice</a>. If shopping one of these, do yourself (and others) a solid and pick up some safety goggles.</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> 5mw Lasers technology wicked lasers News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:22:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28965 at Mozilla Picks Yahoo Over Google as Default Search in Firefox for Next Five Years <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/yahoo_firefox.jpg" alt="Yahoo and Firefox" title="Yahoo and Firefox" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Google will become an alternative choice in Firefox, as will DuckDuckGo</h3> <p>There are few things you can count on in life -- death, taxes, and blowhard analysts incorrectly proclaiming the death of the PC. A year ago, we would have added another entry, one that says Google will be the default search in Firefox until the end of time. No one would question it because the two have been so close for so long, but anything can happen when a contract comes up for renewal. And what happened this time is <strong>Mozilla chose Yahoo to replace Google as its default search provider for the next five years</strong>.</p> <p>It's not entirely clear why Mozilla made the decision to end its long-time relationship with Google, though there are some hints if you read between the lines.</p> <p>"In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web. In the end, each of the partnership options available to us had strong, improved economic terms reflecting the significant value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem. But one strategy stood out from the rest," Mozilla stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>The very next section in Mozilla's blog talks about "Promoting Choice and Innovation." Going forward, Firefox will do away with having a single <em>global</em> default search provider -- Yahoo will be the default option for searches in the U.S., though not necessarily in other parts of the world. For example, Yandex Search will be the default in Russia and Baidiu will remain the default in China.</p> <p>For Mozilla to be motivated to switch, it's likely Google was either unwilling to budge on being the global default, or offered Mozilla significantly less money to go that route. Either way, Yahoo is giddy as can be over supplanting Google in Firefox, which it hopes will increase its search market share.</p> <p>The reason this matters is two-fold: For one, there are tons of advertising dollars at stake, which makes it highly advantageous to whichever search engine is the default option. And secondly, most of Mozilla's revenue has historically come from these search deals.</p> <p>Yahoo and Mozilla didn't disclose how much the deal is worth, though it's clear Yahoo is the more flexible choice. In addition to supplanting Google, Yahoo will support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox. Additionally, remember DuckDuckGo, which was featured in our recent <a href="" target="_blank">search engine scuffle</a>? It's growing up fast and is being added as a built-in alternate search option.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Yahoo</a>, it's working with Mozilla to build a clean, modern, and immersive search experience that will launch first to Firefox's U.S. users in December, and then to all Yahoo users in early 2015.</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 duckduckgo firefox Google Mozilla online search News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:46:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28964 at Acer Announces Availability of 32-Inch B326HK 4K Ultra HD IPS Display for $1,000 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_b326hk.jpg" alt="Acer B326HK" title="Acer B326HK" width="228" height="196" style="float: right;" />A 4K Ultra HD monitor with an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel</h3> <p><strong>Acer today introduced its newest 4K Ultra HD monitor to the U.S. market, the B326HK</strong>. It's a 32-inch monitor with an LED backlight and In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel instead of a lower quality TN screen. According to Acer, the B326HK is suitable for a wide range of buyers, from home consumers to commercial customers interested in gaming, watching movies, web design, and more.</p> <p>"Our newest 4K display available in an ergonomic 32-inch model was built for those who want to view games, movies, videos and other graphic intensive content on a big screen," <a href="" target="_blank">said Ronald Lau</a>, Acer America senior business manager - peripherals. "The UHD resolution delivers incredibly vibrant images with very sharp detail and an adjustable stand makes viewing as comfortable as possible. IT professionals will appreciate the wide array of connectivity options, earth-friendly design and the inclusion of a VESA wall-mount to maximize space."</p> <p>Acer says the B326HK sports 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space and offers 6-axis color adjustment. It also has "ComfyView" non-glare protection that consists of a polarizer material to reduce lighting reflection.</p> <p>We're not big on rated specs when it comes to monitors because they're easily fudged and there's no real standards to measure against, but for what it's worth, the B326HK features a 6ms response time, 350 nit brightness, and 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio.</p> <p>Connectivity options include a DisplayPort, HDMI (MHL), and DVI, along with a built-in USB 3.0 hub. You'll also find integrated speakers.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">B326HK</a> is available now for $1,000 MSRP.</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> 3840x2160 4k Acer b326hk display Hardware monitor panel ultra hd News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:31:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 28963 at Zalman Issues Official Statement on Bankruptcy Rumors <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/zalman_moneual.jpg" alt="Zalman and Moneual" title="Zalman and Moneual" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Caught in the middle of its parent company's shenanigans</h3> <p>We reached out to Zalman a couple of weeks ago after reading multiple reports that it was <a href="">headed for bankruptcy</a> as a result of alleged bank fraud by its parent company Moneual. Zalman responded, though later asked us to pull our follow-up article until it had a chance to draft an official statement. That statement came today, and as previously reported, <strong>Zalman contends the bankruptcy rumors are "completely false,"</strong> though it's true that its parent company was involved in a $3 billion fraud conspiracy.</p> <p>Zalman tells <em>Maximum PC</em> that it's in the process of restructuring its operations under the oversight and jurisdiction of the court in South Korea, and emphasized that this isn't a mechanism for liquidation (i.e. bankruptcy).</p> <p>"Zalman was not involved in any fraudulent activity of parent company Moneual, anything to the contrary are baseless allegations with no factual evidence. While everyone at Zalman is deeply saddened and disappointed with the actions of Moneual, we emphasize the fact that Zalman itself was never a part of anything illegal, in actuality Zalman was one of the hardest hit victims by this recent scandal," the company said.</p> <p>The company did admit to experiencing financial hardship due to the Moneual's scandal, though insists that not only is bankruptcy off the table, but that nothing will change for owners of existing Zalman products -- they are still covered by any applicable warranties.</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> bankruptcy fraud moneual Zalman News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:08:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 28962 at Eizo's Square Shaped FlexScan EV2730Q Monitor Features a 1920x1920 Resolution <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/flexscan_ev2730q.jpg" alt="Eizo FlexScan EV2730Q" title="Eizo FlexScan EV2730Q" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />You're such a square!</h3> <p>Most users shopping for a new monitor will choose between a widescreen or an ultra-widescreen panel, but have you ever thought about going square? Probably not, though Eizo hopes you will after seeing its latest display. <strong>Eizo's FlexScan EV2730Q is a 26.5-inch square monitor with a 1920x1920 resolution</strong> (1:1 aspect ratio) that's "wide all around." With regards to screen real estate, it has 78 percent more pixels than a standard widescreen 1920x1080 monitor.</p> <p>What's the point? Eizo says the added vertical space is convenient for displaying large amounts of information in long windows, resulting in less scrolling and a more efficient view of data -- basically combining the best of both worlds in terms of portrait and landscape mode.</p> <p>"This makes the monitor ideal for displaying information such as CAD or program development data with a more complete overall view on screen," <a href="" target="_blank">Eizo says.</a></p> <p>The monitor uses a non-glare IPS panel with generous viewing angles (178 degrees horizontal and vertical). Eizo claims a 5ms gray-to-gray response time, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and 300 cd/m2 brightness. Other features consist of a 2-port USB 2.0 hub, built-in 1W speakers, 3.5mm stereo and headphone jacks, DisplayPort and DVI-D connectivity, and a flexible stand with height adjustment, tilt, and swivel.</p> <p>Eizo says the <a href="" target="_blank">FlexScan EV2730Q</a> will be available in the first quarter of next year -- no word yet on price.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/flexscan_ev2730q_sidebyside.jpg" alt="Eizo FlexScan EV2730Q and Full HD Monitor" title="Eizo FlexScan EV2730Q and Full HD Monitor" width="620" height="360" /></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> 1920x1920 display eizo flexscan ev2730q Hardware monitor News Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:02:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28961 at Maniac Mansion Creators Reunite to Create a True Spiritual Successor, Thimbleweed Park <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/thimbleweed_park_floppy.jpg" alt="Thimbleweed Park Floppy" title="Thimbleweed Park Floppy" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />A new 1980s style point &amp; click adventure game</h3> <p>Many things retro end up coming back in style years after the fact, though what about old school adventure gaming? You know, the point &amp; click variety that was so popular in the 1980s and early 1990s with games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and several others I recall playing on a Commodore 64, and then later on an IBM compatible 286 PC. Well, after years of waiting, I'm happy to report that <strong>Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick have teamed up once more to create a point &amp; click adventure game called Thimbleweed Park</strong>.</p> <p>Currently a Kickstarter project seeking $375,000 in funding, Thimbleweed Park is described as the "true successor to Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island," a couple of franchises that occupied hours of my time many moons ago. It's also a brand new game, one that's being developed as a classic adventure title, a trait that might be lost on the modern gamer.</p> <p>However, I'd venture to guess that there are enough folks like myself who miss the simplicity of titles that Lucasfilm Games (and later, LucasArts) and Sierra were known for 'back in the day' before first person shooters stole the limelight, that it's likely to be fully funded. Already with 28 days to go, nearly 4,800 backers have pledged more than $172,000 to the project.</p> <p>"Thimbleweed Park is a game for true lovers of adventure games. This is a Kickstarter for fans who loved Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and everything else that made that era great. It strips away all the cruft built up over the years and is distilled down to what we loved about the genre," Gilbert and Winnick said.</p> <p>Specifically, it's about two washed up detectives tasked with investigating a dead body laying first first in a river just outside of town. You'll be able to switch between five playable characters at any time throughout "hours and hours of gameplay" en route to multiple endings.</p> <p>If you miss old school adventure gaming like I do, or simply want to see more of the project, head over to its <a href="" target="_blank">Kickstarter page</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="465" 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> adventure games kickstarter maniac mansion Software thimbleweed park News Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:24:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28960 at