They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, though if you post a copyrighted image without the owner's consent, it can actually be worth more than that. Much more. One of the most difficult parts about running a frequently updated website or blog is finding amusing images that are legal to use (hello, Creative Commons!). However, it's about to get a lot easier thanks to Getty Images, the world's largest photos service. In a surprise move, Getty Images is freeing up around 35 million photos from its collection spanning over a hundred years so that websites and bloggers can post them without getting smacked in the face by a lawsuit.
It's been nearly three and a half years since Microsoft last released a major version of its DirectX API, followed by a few point releases between then and now. However, if you feared DirectX was essentially done, you can sigh a breath of relief knowing that's not the case. As a new DirectX 12 (DX12) Twitter account exclaims, "Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated...." Not only that, but DX12 is only two weeks away.
The first AM1-socket based SoC motherboards from Asus
AMD said there were several planned motherboard releases based on its recently announced AM1 platform, and true to form, they're starting to trickle out. Some of the first are from Asus, which just announced the AM1M-A and AM1I-A, a pair of small form factor (SFF) motherboards built to take advantage of AMD's AM1-socketed System-on-Chip (SoC) Athlon and Sempron series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).
Down but not out, OnLive returns to the cloud gaming scene
Remember OnLive, the cloud-based streaming game service from several years ago? After imploding and then laying low for quite some time, OnLive is back under new leadership and with a couple of new services in tow -- a new streaming subscription program called CloudLift and a new service it's calling OnLive Go. Why should you expect a different outcome this time around?
Computer shipments dropped 9.8 percent in 2014, IDC says
The PC market has been in a slump for several quarters now, and in all of 2013, worldwide computer shipments dropped 9.8 percent, according to newly released data by International Data Corporation (IDC). On the plus side, the decline was slightly better than IDC's 10.1 percent projection, and fourth quarter results were better than expected, though overall it still ranks as the "most severe contraction on record," IDC says.
AV-Comparatives releases its antivirus survey for 2014
Not only do the vast majority of PC users run some type of antivirus software, but most of them pay for security, according to a new survey by AV-Comparatives, an independent testing lab. There's not a wide gap between those who pay for security software and those who opt for freebie programs -- 51 percent to 47 percent, respectively -- but it is interesting when you consider that Internet security suites have a stigma of being bloated and slow.
A new ad by Microsoft suggests Macs are bad for planning weddings
Microsoft has come under fire for a new advertisement promoting Windows systems over those inferior Macs that lack touchscreens. Short and to the point, the ad says Macs suck for planning weddings because you can't tap the display. Well, you can tap the display, but nothing will happen, and somehow that will hinder a woman's ability to plan out her wedding. Oh yes, did we mention? Microsoft's ad for a touch-friendly all-in-one PC running Windows 8 is targeted at women, and the way it goes about it, some are crying foul.
Store closures are part of RadioShack's turnaround plan
If you're the nostalgic type, you may want to visit your neighborhood RadioShack store and savor the moment, it may be the last. That's because RadioShack is planning to close down 1,100 retail locations in the U.S. that are "underperforming," which will leave the electronics chain with 4,000 remaining stores stateside (including over 900 dealer franchise locations). Though that's a lot of store closures, RadioShack is confident it can turn things around.
If it weren't for pesky budgets and a little thing called fiscal responsibility, most businesses would opt for super fast and capacious solid state drives, but in the interest of balance sheets, hard drives are still vogue. There's also room for continued improvement and innovation in the HDD space, which Toshiba tackled with its new enterprise-grade AL13SXB and AL13SXQ HDDs.
A Chromebook line for Ron Burgandy types who own many leather bound books
The rumor mill was buzzing this week with word of a new Chromebook line from Samsung, and though some of the details were a bit off -- there's no Intel processor inside -- Samsung did release a couple of Chromebook 2 models today, including an 11.6-inch SKU and a 13.3-inch build. Both laptops sport a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor, though they run at different clockspeeds.