News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en GoPro is Reportedly Developing its Own Line of Consumer Drones http://www.maximumpc.com/gopro_reportedly_developing_its_own_line_consumer_drones_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/gopro_logo.jpg" alt="GoPro logo" title="GoPro logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Consumer drones could cost around $500 - $1,000</h3> <p>The drone market is increasing both for consumers and large businesses. After all, <a title="Amazon delivery drones" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_prime_air_aims_deliver_your_package_flying_drones_2015" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Amazon</span></a> is looking to employ drones to deliver packages while smaller businesses develop consumer drones such as the <a title="Nixie drone" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nixie_drone_you_can_wear_wristband200" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Nixie</span></a>. But according to unnamed sources who spoke to <a title="TWSJ" href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/gopro-developing-line-of-consumer-drones-1417020883" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">The Wall Street Journal</span></a>, <strong>GoPro is developing its own line of consumer drones</strong>.</p> <p>Sources familiar with the company’s plans said that it will start to sell drones equipped with high-definition cameras late in 2015 and that GoPro is looking to retail the device between $500 and $1,000. If true, GoPro’s plan to enter into the drone market is an interesting and logical one. Several drone makers have been using the company’s GoPro’s camera for their own camera-mounted drones for a while now. However, drone makers such as Parrot have packaged their own cameras.&nbsp;</p> <p>Parrot is a company that has been at the forefront of the drone market since it started selling its product in 2010. During the third quarter of this year, it has sold $24.2 million in consumer drones which is up 38 percent from the same time period as last year. It is a fair indication of an increasing demand of drones which has caused the Federal Aviation Administration to amend its regulations in order to ban commercial use of drones over stadiums and large public events.&nbsp;</p> <p>So far, GoPro has yet to confirm or deny their plans to enter the drone market.&nbsp;</p> <p>If it turns out to be true, what do you think of GoPro developing and selling drones to consumers?&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/gopro_reportedly_developing_its_own_line_consumer_drones_2014#comments News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 01:51:42 +0000 Sean D Knight 29005 at http://www.maximumpc.com Ubisoft Offers Free DLC for Assassin’s Creed Unity Launch Woes http://www.maximumpc.com/ubisoft_offers_free_dlc_assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_unity_launch_woes_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/assassins_creed_unity_002.jpg" alt="ACU" title="ACU" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />Season Pass holders get a free game</h3> <p>Since it was released on November 11, Assassin’s Creed Unity has been plagued by a plethora or issues. The game has suffered from so many bug, glitches, and technical issues that the third patch will have around 300 bug fixes. To make amends for the launch,<strong> Ubisoft has apologized and announced that Assassin’s Creed Unity’s upcoming DLC will be free</strong>.</p> <p>“I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team,” said Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat in a <a title="Ubisoft blog post" href="http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-US/community/liveupdates/live_updates_details.aspx?c=tcm:152-186654-16&amp;ct=tcm:148-76770-32" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">blog post</span></a>. “These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential.”</p> <p>The Dead Kings DLC will be free for everyone that purchased the game when it is released. When it becomes available, it will be listed as an add-on for both Uplay and Steam where PC gamers will be able to download it. Meanwhile, those who purchased the Season Pass or Assassin’s Creed Unity Gold Edition, will be given the choice of one free game from a selection of the developer’s titles – The Crew, Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, <a title="Black Flag review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_iv_black_flag_review2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag</span></a>, Rayman Legends, or Just Dance 2015.&nbsp;</p> <p>No date has been provided for when the Dead Kings DLC will be released and available for download except that it is “coming soon.” Furthermore, Ubisoft has discontinued selling the Season Pass for Assassin’s Creed Unity.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ubisoft_offers_free_dlc_assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_unity_launch_woes_2014#comments ACU Assassins Creed Unity Dead Kings DLC free DLC ubisoft Ubisoft Montreal Gaming News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:35:59 +0000 Sean D Knight 29004 at http://www.maximumpc.com Associate Editor Position Open at Maximum PC http://www.maximumpc.com/associate_editor_position_open_maximum_pc2014 <!--paging_filter--><div id="post-18395" class="post"> <p><strong><img src="/files/u99720/assoceditorcat.jpg" alt="Business cat" width="250" height="250" style="float: right;" />Maximum PC needs an Associate Editor!</strong></p> <p>Is it your dream to get paid to write about PC hardware? If you are an aspiring journalist who wants to write clean copy for Maximum PC, now’s your chance to get your foot in the door as an Associate Editor.</p> <p><strong>Ideal candidates should</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>Be well-versed in the PC hardware/software scene</li> <li>Have writing/reporting abilities</li> <li>Be willing to work out of our office in South San Francisco</li> </ul> <p><strong>Job Responsibilities</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>Write/contribute content (news, features, and reviews) for the magazine and website</li> <li>Build PCs/assist with running PC benchmarks</li> <li>Upload articles to the CMS/website</li> <li>Participate in Maximum PC’s No BS Podcast</li> <li>Cover events/tradeshows as needed</li> <li>Daily tasks as assigned</li> </ul> <p><strong>Candidates should have in-depth knowledge in the following areas</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>CPU</li> <li>GPU</li> <li>Motherboards</li> <li>Storage</li> <li>Software (Windows/Linux/Multimedia Production/Editing)</li> <li>Cases</li> <li>Cooling</li> <li>Overclocking</li> <li>Peripherals (headset, keyboards, mice)</li> </ul> <p><strong>About Future</strong>:</p> <p>Future plc is an international media group and leading digital publisher, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). It has operations in the UK, US and Australia creating 200 publications, apps, websites and events. It holds market-leading positions in Technology, Gaming, Entertainment, Creative and Sport &amp; Auto sectors. Future attracts 50 million monthly global unique users to its websites, which include techradar.com, gamesradar.com, bikeradar.com and musicradar.com. Future sells more than 24 million magazines every year, that’s 45 magazines sold every minute. Our most well-known brands in the US include Mac|Life, Maximum PC, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. We deliver over 100 digital editions, selling over two million products in the last 12 months through Apple’s Newsstand for iPad. Future exports or syndicates over 200 publications to over 90 countries, making us the UK’s number one exporter and licensor of magazine content. Future is currently Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year for both the Association of Online Publishers and the Professional Publishers Association.</p> <p><strong>What we offer</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>401K Match</li> <li>Costco Membership</li> <li>Corporate Matching Program</li> <li>Employer paid medical, dental and vision plans.</li> <li>A culture that encourages a passion for life both inside and outside of the office.</li> <li>Free shuttle service from BART and CalTrain to the office.</li> </ul> <p>To apply for this position, please click here:</p> <p><a href="https://theapplicantmanager.com/jobs?pos=FS172">https://theapplicantmanager.com/jobs?pos=FS172</a></p> </div> http://www.maximumpc.com/associate_editor_position_open_maximum_pc2014#comments associate editor dream job job opening maximum pc News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:11:22 +0000 Maximum PC Staff 29003 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer's B286HK 28-inch 4K Falls to $350 http://www.maximumpc.com/acers_b286hk_28-inch_4k_falls_350 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_b386hk.jpg" alt="Acer B286HK" title="Acer B286HK" width="228" height="196" style="float: right;" />A big price drop on a 4K monitor</h3> <p>It's not the version with Nvidia's G-Sync technology baked inside, but <strong>Acer's B286HK 28-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor is selling for just $349 on Newegg today</strong>. That's a pretty hot price for a 3840x2160 monitor that's capable of 4K video at 60 FPS over DsiplayPort 1.2. It's an especially good deal when you consider its original selling price of $699, though we've seen it on the street for as low as $450 (Provantage) prior to today's sale price.</p> <p>Could this be an indication of things to come? It appears that 4K panel pricing is on a rapid decline, and that's fine by us. At the same time, what we're really interested in are the next generation models that will hopefully increase the refresh rate and come with IPS panels at a reasonable price.</p> <p>Acer's model uses a TN panel -- a bit of a bummer, though at $349 for 28 inches of 4K real estate, it's hard to be too critical of the specs. Other features include a 2ms response time, 300 cd/m2 brightness, built in speakers, and a stand with tilt, swivel, height, and pivot support.</p> <p>The monitor is been <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009659" target="_blank">in and out of stock</a> throughout the day. At the time of this writing, it's showing as in-stock.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/acers_b286hk_28-inch_4k_falls_350#comments 4k Acer b286hk Build a PC display Hardware monitor Newegg uhd ultra hd News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:34:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 29001 at http://www.maximumpc.com Steam Exploration Sale Treats PC Gamers to Big Discounts http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_exploration_sale_treats_pc_gamers_big_discounts_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_exploration_sale.jpg" alt="Steam Exploration Sale" title="Steam Exploration Sale" width="228" height="161" style="float: right;" />Yet another chance to stock up on games</h3> <p>Some things in life you just have to suck up and accept. You know, like having to deal with in-laws during the holidays, Fido chewing up your high tech programmable universal remote, and one day leaving this world without having played every game in your Steam library. Life is a lot less stressful if you don't fight these types of things. So with that in mind, here's a heads up that <strong>Steam's Exploration sale is going on now</strong>.</p> <p>As with the various other Steam sales that frequently occur, this is your chance to stock up on games at big discounts, some as high as 90 percent off. Here's a sample:</p> <ul> <li>Age of Mythology Extended Edition: 75 percent off, $7.49</li> <li>Dead Island: 75 percent off, $4.99</li> <li>The Stanley Parable: 70 percent off, $4.49</li> <li>Watch Dogs: 50 percent off, $29.99</li> <li>Goat Simulator: 50 percent off, $4.99</li> <li>Left 4 Dead 2: 50 percent off, $9.99</li> </ul> <p>That's a small collection of the 5,636 titles on sale across Steam at this very moment. Plus there are daily specials, so there's really no excuse to have a Steam library filled only with games that you've played before.</p> <p>The <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/" target="_blank">Steam Exploration sale</a> ends December 2, 2015, at 10 AM PST.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_exploration_sale_treats_pc_gamers_big_discounts_2014#comments games sales Software Steam steam exploration News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:10:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29000 at http://www.maximumpc.com Rapid Tablet Growth is Now in Rear View Mirror, iPad Sees First Year of Decline http://www.maximumpc.com/rapid_tablet_growth_now_rear_view_mirror_ipad_sees_first_year_decline_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/android_ipad_0.jpg" alt="iPad and Android" title="iPad and Android" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />All good runs eventually slow to a walk</h3> <p>Market research firm <strong>International Data Corporation (IDC) believes the tablet market will see a "massive deceleration" in 2014</strong> with annual growth only hitting 7.2 percent, down significantly from 52.5 percent in 2013. It will also be the first full year of decline in Apple iPad shipments, which are on pace to drop 12.7 percent in 2014 as Android and Windows devices cut into its market share.</p> <p>IDC said it isn't surprised by the slowdown, considering that the lifecycle of tablets in general is increasingly becoming like that of PCs rather than smartphones.</p> <p>"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," <a href="http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25267314" target="_blank">said Ryan Reith</a>, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."</p> <p>What about 2-in-1 hybrid devices? IDC says hardware manufacturers continue to advance the category with thinner devices and lower prices, but that shipments are only expected to reach 8.7 million units in 2014, or just 4 percent of the tablet plus 2-in-1 market.</p> <p>It's not very likely tablets will ever see the kind of explosive growth they've experienced the past few years, though IDC says there are a few unknowns that could impact shipments. Among them are how the industry reacts to Windows 10, what Google ends up doing in the tablet space with Android and Chrome OS, and Apple's rumored product expansion (the company is said to be working on a larger size slate).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/rapid_tablet_growth_now_rear_view_mirror_ipad_sees_first_year_decline_2014#comments Hardware idc mobile slate tablet News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:50:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 28999 at http://www.maximumpc.com Amazon Drops Price of Fire Phone to $199 Sans Contract http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_drops_price_fire_phone_199_sans_contract_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/fire_phone_0.jpg" alt="Fire Phone" title="Fire Phone" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />Still a tough sell</h3> <p>Amazon is having itself a Fire sale of sorts -- Fire Phone, that is. <strong>You can now grab Amazon's Fire Phone with 32GB for just $199 off-contract</strong>, the lowest price yet for the company's first real foray into the smartphone business. It's also been a rather forgettable one, with Amazon earlier this month letting it be known that it was sitting on $83 million in unsold Fire Phone inventory.</p> <p>The company has gone on record admitting that it got initial pricing all wrong for the Fire Phone, which debuted at $649 for the unlocked version. You could get it cheaper on a subsidized basis, but at $199, there were (and still are) far better options out there.</p> <p>This time around, it's $199 outright and it still comes with a free year of Amazon Prime, which itself is a $99 value. That at least makes things interesting, though probably isn't reason enough to jump on the deal unless you live and breathe everything Amazon.</p> <p>For some, it's not an option anyway -- Fire Phone is GSM only, meaning Sprint and Verizon subscribers are out of luck. If that doesn't deter you, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Fire-Phone-32GB-Unlocked/dp/B00OC0USA6/ref=sr_tr_sr_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1416978432&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=fire+phone" target="_blank">head here</a> to place your order.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_drops_price_fire_phone_199_sans_contract_2014#comments amazon android fire os fire phone mobile smartphone News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:31:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 28998 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Is Giving 100 Free Albums To Windows 8 And Windows Phone Users Through Music Deals App http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_giving_100_free_albums_windows_8_and_windows_phone_users_through_music_deals_app <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/music_deals_albums.jpg" alt="Music Deals" title="Music Deals" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Rock out with your Windows Phone or Windows device out</h3> <p>It wouldn't be fair to call Microsoft a Scrooge, not when the company is rolling out a pair of sweet deals for the holiday season, one of which includes 100 free albums. The caveat? You have to be a Windows or Windows Phone user. If you are, you can <strong>claim your 100 free albums from Microsoft by installing the company's Music Deals companion app</strong>. These aren't crappy albums, either.</p> <p>Some are obviously better than others, depending on your music preferences, but you'll find plenty of big names like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Eminem, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, American Idiot, and lots more. And that's just one of the deals going on.</p> <p>Microsoft is also offering up 50 boxed sets at $2 a pop. Think artists and bands like the Eagles, KISS, John Lennon, and of course the list goes on. These sets typically sell for between $15 and $100.</p> <p>"Remember, albums you download as part of our Music Deals are all MP3s. You can download these albums, keep them, and play them on whatever device you have," Microsoft stated in a <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/11/25/massive-music-deals-promotion-just-in-time-for-the-holidays/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>You can grab the Music Deals app from the Windows Store <a href="http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/dce9fff9-2b8b-4610-815c-12d109934cbc" target="_blank">here</a> and from the Windows Phone Store <a href="http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=19c720ef-fe0a-41bc-b323-b5c1d2aa5e97" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_giving_100_free_albums_windows_8_and_windows_phone_users_through_music_deals_app#comments microsoft music music deals windows 8 windows phone xbox music News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:52:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28996 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Reveals Pricing Plans for Google Fiber in Austin http://www.maximumpc.com/google_reveals_pricing_plans_google_fiber_austin_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/google_fiber_austin.jpg" alt="Google Fiber" title="Google Fiber" width="200" height="134" style="float: right;" />Insanely fast internet for $70</h3> <p>Austin, Texas is one of the areas that Google is currently developing its fiber network. While the company is still constructing the network, <strong>Google has revealed its residential pricing plans for Google Fiber in Austin</strong>&nbsp;before residents will be able to sign up for the service next month.&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Google Fiber Pricing" href="https://plus.google.com/+GoogleFiber/posts/PVB2ViKy3M6" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">The deal</span></a>, which is almost the same as that of <a title="MPC Fiber pricing in KC" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/gigabit_google_fiber_plans_unveiled_include_traditional_tv_and_free_internet_option" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Kansas City</span></a>, will require residents to pay a $300 construction fee that will be waived if they sign a one-year commitment for <a title="Google Fiber is Wickedly Fast" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_fiber_tour_2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google Fiber</span></a>. After that, local users will have to pay $70 per month which will give them up to 1,000Mbps upload and download speeds along with 1TB of Google Cloud storage. Those who wish to have the “full Fiber experience” can shell out $130 per month which gives them same perks of the lower pricing plan but also includes over 150 channels and the ability to record up to 8 shows at the same time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Google is also offering a free option to Austin residents as well. All they have to do is pay the $300 construction fee in one payment, or pay $25 per month for 12 months, and they will have access to 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds for no additional fee.&nbsp;</p> <p>Aside from Austin residents gaining access to Google Fiber, Google also intends to connect public institutions such as hospitals, schools, and community centers to its network at no cost.</p> <p>What do you think of Google’s price plans?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_reveals_pricing_plans_google_fiber_austin_2014#comments austin fast internet Fiber free internet Google google fiber News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:37:21 +0000 Sean D Knight 28995 at http://www.maximumpc.com Black Friday Sale Starts Now for EA's Origin Service http://www.maximumpc.com/black_friday_sale_starts_now_eas_origin_service_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/origin_sale.jpg" alt="Origin Sale" title="Origin Sale" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Save up to 75 percent</h3> <p>Do not adjust your calendar, it's not Black Friday yet. Nevertheless, some retailers and e-tailers have already begun offering <strong>Black Friday sales, including Electronic Arts through its Origin service</strong>. Starting now, you can save up to 75 percent off select titles on Origin, which include both new and classic titles. Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition is now $20, marked down from $40, or you can get the Premium Edition for $48, marked down from $60.</p> <p>Some of the titles are super cheap, like Mass Effect ($3.74, down from $15), Mass Effect 2 ($5, down from $20), and Popcap Hero Bundle consisting of Plants vs Zombies, Bejeweled 3, and Peggle ($5, down from $10). And some are downright old school gems, like all three Populous games ($2.50 each, down from $5) and Magic Carpet ($2.50, down from $5).</p> <p>Not all the titles are games. For example, The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 ($0.74, down fro $3) and The Final Hours of Titanfall ($1, down from $2) are behind the scenes looks that detail what went into building each game -- possible gift ideas for the gamer who has everything.</p> <p>Assuming Origin isn't a deal killer, <a href="https://www.origin.com/en-us/store/deals/sale/blackfriday-sale" target="_blank">give the sale a look</a>, and happy gaming.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/black_friday_sale_starts_now_eas_origin_service_2014#comments black friday EA Electronic Arts games origin News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:25:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28992 at http://www.maximumpc.com IDC: Competition Affecting PC Sales Shifts From Tablets to Smartphones and Phablets http://www.maximumpc.com/idc_competition_affecting_pc_sales_shifts_tablets_smartphones_and_phablets_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/smartphone_0.jpg" alt="Smartphone" title="Smartphone" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Windows XP replacement activity helped ease PC shipment declines in 2014</h3> <p>It wasn't that long ago when analysts had the PC market pegged for extinction in favor of tablets. Somehow they envisioned us all getting real work done on iPads and Android slate -- not even in a parallel universe where everything is topsy-turvy could such a scenario exists. Fast forward to today and things look quite a bit different. <strong>According to IDC, pressure from tablets seems to be waning, while smartphones and phablets are beginning to compete with PCs for disposable income</strong>.</p> <p>"In the best case for PCs, we'd see a significant wave of replacements as users who spent on phones and tablets in recent years decide they really need to update their PC. Features like touch or convertibility, as well as Windows 10 could make systems more versatile and appealing, along with lower prices," <a href="http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25267114" target="_blank">said Loren Loverde</a>, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. "However, we've seen steady progress on prices and new designs over the past year, and replacements are stabilizing PC shipments but not boosting total volume. Going forward, as younger generations become more mobile and web oriented, and emerging regions in particular prioritize converged devices (or economy in number of devices to purchase), the PC market will continue to face tough competition and be more focused on replacements, with limited potential for growth."</p> <p>IDC now expects PC shipments to slip 2.7 percent in 2014, an improvement over the previous forecast of a 3.7 percent decline. That's mainly due to a better-than-expected third quarter in which entry-level models running Windows 8 with Bing won favor among consumers. Chromebooks also helped boost the low-end commercial segment, IDC says.</p> <p>Though overall PC sales are still declining, shipments still total in the hundreds of millions. Last year saw 315.1 million PC shipments, with this year on pace to see another 306.7 million shipments. Looking a little further down the road, IDC expects to see 291.9 million shipments in 2018.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaysagency/11235762823" target="_blank">Flickr (Highways Agency)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/idc_competition_affecting_pc_sales_shifts_tablets_smartphones_and_phablets_2014#comments computers Hardware idc pcs phablets smartphones tablets News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:33:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28991 at http://www.maximumpc.com Hackers Infilitrate Sony Pictures PCs, Threatens to Release "Secrets" http://www.maximumpc.com/hackers_infilitrate_sony_pictures_pcs_threatens_release_secrets_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hackedbygop.jpg" alt="Hacked By #GOP" title="Hacked By #GOP" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Hacker group claims to be in possession of Sony's "secrets"</h3> <p>What secrets might Sony Pictures be hiding? We don't know the answer to that, but apparently a hacker group does, or at least is claiming that to be the case. <strong>Sony Pictures suffered a security breach by a hacker group called #GOP</strong>, which forced employees to shut down their systems and stay off the movie studio's network. The hackers say they're in possession of internal data, including the company's "secrets."</p> <p>The hacker group is threatening to release the stolen data to the public if its demands aren't met, though it's not clear outside Sony what exactly #GOP is demanding.</p> <p>"We've already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met," read a message that appeared on affected computer screens.</p> <p>Sony isn't saying much on the matter. In a <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-pictures-targeted-by-widespread-751989" target="_blank">statement to </a><em><a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-pictures-targeted-by-widespread-751989" target="_blank">The Hollywood Reporter</a>,</em> Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson Jean Guerin said the company is experiencing a "system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve."</p> <p>It's been a rough week for Sony. News of the attack comes just a day after another hacker group (DerpTrolling) claimed it hacked into Sony's PlayStation Network and published the email addresses and passwords of gamers. Sony denied the claim, saying no breach occurred.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hackers_infilitrate_sony_pictures_pcs_threatens_release_secrets_2014#comments hackers Security sony Sony Pictures News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 19:08:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 28989 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia Rolls Out Two Shield Bundles for Black Friday http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_rolls_out_two_shield_bundles_black_friday_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/shield_devices.jpg" alt="Nvidia Shield Devices" title="Nvidia Shield Devices" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />Choose your weapon: Shield portable or Shield tablet</h3> <p>If you happen to be in the market for a <strong>Shield (in either handheld portable or tablet form)</strong>, or are otherwise looking for gift ideas this holiday season, hold your horses for just a few more days and you'll score a better deal. Like many, <strong>Nvidia is participating in the Black Friday festivities, and it's doing it with a couple of bundle options for the aforementioned mobile gaming devices</strong>, both of which will come a few extra incentives.</p> <p>On Friday, you can buy the 32GB Shield tablet with LTE capabilities for $399 and receive a free Shield controller, Green Box bundle, and Nvidia GRID on-demand gaming service. Included in the Green Box bundle is Half Life 2, Portal, and Half Life 2: Episode One, which is the first time the latter has been available on mobile. While that's the same price as the 32GB Shield tablet with LTE normally sells for, the extras bump up the total value to $488.</p> <p>As for the handheld Shield device, it too will sell for its regular price of $199, but will come with a carrying case and glossy black armor, and of course Nvidia's GRID on-demand gaming service. All combined, that's a $258 value.</p> <p>That's not a bad score with the <a href="http://shield.nvidia.com/grid-game-streaming/" target="_blank">GRID service</a>, which is free for Shield owners until June 30, 2015. GRID's on-demand game library is worth over $400 and includes nearly two dozen titles, including Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands (1+2), Lego Batman 2, The Witcher 2: Assassin's of Kings, and more.</p> <p>Nvidia's <a href="http://shield.nvidia.com/promotions/" target="_blank">Black Friday promotion</a> runs on November 28 from 12:01 AM PST to 11:59 PM PST, or while supplies last. And for more Black Friday deals, be sure to bookmark and check often our regularly updated <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/black_friday_ads_2014_round">Black Friday Deals 2014 Round Up</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_rolls_out_two_shield_bundles_black_friday_2014#comments black friday games Hardware mobile nvidia shield shield tablet News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:25:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28988 at http://www.maximumpc.com Turtle Beach Announces 'Heroes of the Storm' Themed PC Headset http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_announces_heroes_store_themed_pc_headset_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/turtle_bech_heroes_headset.jpg" alt="Turtle Beach Heroes Headset" title="Turtle Beach Heroes Headset" width="228" height="249" style="float: right;" />Now available in stores and online</h3> <p>In anticipation of Blizzard's upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game, audio peripheral company <strong>Turtle Beach announced today the availability of its Heroes of the Storm PC gaming headset</strong>. The headset features swappable speaker plates depicting iconic Blizzard characters from the past 20 years, including those found in its Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises.</p> <p>At present there are just three speaker plates -- Arthas, Diablo, and Kerrigan -- though more will be added over time. Underneath the plates are 50nm neodymium drivers that supposedly deliver "crisp highs and booming lows."</p> <p>Turtle Beach says the breathable around-the-ear cushions are optimized for noise isolation and comfort. There's also a high-sensitive microphone on a removable boom and an inline remote with volume control and a microphone mute button.</p> <p>Heroes of the Storm is a team brawler combining characters from Blizzard's most popular franchises. It features 5 versus 5 matches on Battle.net with three game modes. Heroes rotate each week, though you can unlock permanent access to a hero through money earned in game or bought via microtransaction.</p> <p>Turtle Beach's headset is <a href="http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/pc-headsets/heroes-of-the-storm-official-headset/560" target="_blank">available now</a> for $80 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_announces_heroes_store_themed_pc_headset_2014#comments audio Gaming Hardware headset heroes of the storm turtle beach News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:04:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28987 at http://www.maximumpc.com Kickstarter Suspends Gaming Project that Draws Human Blood for Donation http://www.maximumpc.com/kickstarter_suspends_gaming_project_draws_human_blood_donation_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blood_sport.jpg" alt="Blood Sport" title="Blood Sport" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />If you're harmed in game, you lose real blood</h3> <p>Crowdfunding site Kickstarter has put the kibosh on <strong>Blood Sport, an immersive gaming experience in which in-game damage results in the player losing real blood</strong>. On the surface, that sounds like a horrendously bad idea -- imagine if a hacker infected your system with malware to disengage any safety measures that make sure you don't lose so much blood you become unconscious. However, this isn't a technology meant for homes.</p> <p>The creators came up with the idea as a fun way of promoting blood donations. What they've done is take a pre-existing blood collection machine and integrate into gaming -- the bigger goal is to develop a refined multi-player experience across the country for blood donation events.</p> <p>"We are not a charity and we are not a game manufacturer. We are simply creating the gaming hardware that will allow us to get gamers thinking about more important issues while still doing what they love. From there, we’ll partner with the appropriate organizations in both the gaming and medical communities to bring it all to life," <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1246820613/blood-sport-the-ultimate-in-immersive-gaming#" target="_blank">the creators explain</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ojnDWxf5DvU" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>How it works is rather simple. Using just a pair of wires, they connect your gamepad controller to the blood collection machine via an Arduino board. When it rumbles, the blood collection machine draws blood from your arm into a bag. The Arduino board both keeps the signal going to the blood collection system and also keeps track of how much blood you've spilled so that you end up like a Walker -- the amount it's allowed to draw is based on your age, weight, and any pre-existing medical conditions.</p> <p>The project was initially timed to release on March 17th with the Battlefield Hardline launch, provided it reached its goal of $250,000 CAD. That doesn't seem likely now that Kickstarter has pulled the plug.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/kickstarter_suspends_gaming_project_draws_human_blood_donation_2014#comments blood sport games kickstarter News Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:26:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 28985 at http://www.maximumpc.com