News en Valve is Adding Support for 11 Currencies on Steam <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/valve-logo.png" alt="Valve Logo" title="Valve Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Five new currencies added today, the rest to follow</h3> <p>Valve has quite a lot on its plate these days. There’s the Steam Machine which was <a title="MPC Steam Machine delay" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">delayed to early 2015</span></a> so Valve can work on fine-tuning both its Steam Controller and SteamOS. &nbsp;In the meantime, it is releasing updates for its various games and, presumably, is developing sequels to some of its franchises. Then there is a small thing called Steam that, until recently, supported only five currencies. But not anymore. <strong>V</strong><strong>alve has announced that it is adding 11 additional currencies to Steam</strong> over the following weeks.&nbsp;</p> <p>The developer revealed today that it has already added five additional currencies to Steam that includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Meanwhile, support for Canada, Mexico, Korea, Turkey, and Norway will be added in the coming weeks. Until now, Valve’s online store has only accepted U.S. dollars, British pounds, Russian rubles, Brazilian reais, and euros while the Japanese yen was added last month. New payment methods will also be added for these new regions.</p> <p>The support of additional currencies is certainly good news for gamers who live in these regions and will, hopefully, remove some of the hassles and hurdles for those who wish to purchase games from Steam with their local currency.</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> 11 new currencies currency Steam steam wallet Valve News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:22:21 +0000 Sean D Knight 28550 at AOC Wants to Save Your Eyes Using Anti-Blue Light Technology in Monitors <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/aoc_monitor_0.jpg" alt="AOC Monitor" title="AOC Monitor" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />A friendly technology for your eyeballs</h3> <p>Display maker <strong>AOC is rolling out a patent-pending technology called "Anti-Blue Light"</strong> that's supposed to protect your eyes against the damaging effects of blue light from LED-backlit monitors. Just like overexposure to Ultra-Violet (UV) light waves from the sun can impair your vision, so can shortwave blue light (380-450 nm) from LED-backlit devices, AOC says. The company's Anti-Blue Light technology reduces the intensity and strength of the harmful shortwave blue light by fine tuning the LED backlight.</p> <p>This method reduces blue light by over 90 percent. Compared to other solutions that use filters or software settings, AOC's ABL technology reduces shortwave blue light without dimming or distorting colors so that the monitor can maintain the true color and clarity of your images.</p> <p>Is this a real problem? According to AOC, there are studies showing that long-term exposure to blue light can lead to macular degeneration (AMD), a permanent loss of vision in the center of the eye due to damage of the retina. The company references Dr. Carl Kupfer, former Director of the U.S. National Eye Institute, who predicts that "the prevalence of AMD is expected to rise 6.3 million by the year 2030" and that it will become an epidemic.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/blue-light.jpg" alt="Blue light" title="Blue light" width="555" height="245" /></p> <p>"We believe that any technology that can help protect our users’ eyes, without forcing them to change their digital lifestyles will be highly welcome," said Steve Young, AOC Marketing Manager. "AOC’s Anti-Blue Light technology leads the industry in protecting consumers against the damaging effects of blue light and providing a safer and healthier workplace."</p> <p>AOC's solution tweaks the blue light emissions at the source by shifting the wavelength peak of the LED backlight from 450nm to 460nm, moving it out of the range that's considered harmful.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/blue-light2.jpg" alt="Blue Light" title="Blue Light" width="612" height="252" /></p> <p>The company plans to implement it's ABL technology into its AOC 76V Series.</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> anti-blue light aoc display Hardware monitor technology News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:17:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 28546 at Microsoft Unveils Universal Keyboard and Wired Xbox One Controller for Windows <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_one_controller_windows.jpg" alt="Xbox One Controller for Windows" title="Xbox One Controller for Windows" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />A keyboard that doesn't play favorites</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft beefed up its hardware portfolio today</strong>, and two of the more notable items consist of a universal mobile keyboard that works with Windows, iOS, and Android devices, and a wired Xbox One controller for Windows. For those of you looking for a new rodent, the company also released an <a href="" target="_blank">Arc Touch Bluetooth mouse</a> and a <a href="" target="_blank">Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Limited Edition</a>.</p> <p>Getting back to the good stuff, the universal keyboard sports an OS switch that lets you change from one operating system to another while maintaining a fully functional keyboard. That means you can pair the keyboard with up to three devices and take advantage of each one's unique keys, like the Windows Control key, the iOS Command key, and Android's Home button, all on a single plank.</p> <p>It also sports a built-in cover that doubles as a stand for your tablet or smartphone when opened up. When you flip it open, it turns the keyboard on automatically and initiates a Bluetooth connection. Closing the cover turns it back off. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Microsoft</a>, the rechargeable battery is good for up to six months of use on a single charge -- if it runs out of juice, it only takes 10 minutes to charge it enough to last a full day.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Mobile Keyboard</a> will be available in October for $79.95 at the <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Store</a> and other places.</p> <p>As for the Xbox One controller, it's now available for the PC. Like the version for the Xbox One, it sports over 40 improvements compared to the Xbox 360 controller. It also comes with a cable so you can enjoy a wired connection and not worry about battery life; it also works wirelessly, but only on the Xbox One, not PC.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows</a> will be available in November for $59.95.</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> controller Hardware keyboard microsoft Windows xbox one News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:45:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28545 at Far Cry 4 Trailer Shows Awesome Power of Elephants <!--paging_filter--><h3><strong><img src="/files/u69/far_cry_4_elephant.jpg" alt="Far Cry 4 Elephtant" title="Far Cry 4 Elephant" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" /></strong>"Fun Fact: Elephants crave the taste of human blood!"</h3> <p>The <strong>newest trailer for Ubisoft's forthcoming Far Cry 4 game plays out like a horrific documentary on elephants</strong>, one in which you learn the purported "fun fact" that elephants crave the taste of your blood. That probably isn't true in the real world (we certainly hope it isn't!), but in Kyrat, the fictional Himalayan region that serves as the setting in Far Cry 4, you better believe it's true.</p> <p>It's also true (in Far Cry 4) that elephants never forget when it comes to vengeance, or so we're told by the voice-over in the trailer. Don't concern yourself whether that translates into the real world as well, the lesson here is that these 7-ton animals are awesomely powerful and it looks like we're going to have a lot of fun using them against the enemies. Of course, that assumes the elephants are on your side -- if not, you better get out of the way.</p> <p>Far Cry 4 is scheduled to launch on November 18, 2014, for the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.</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> elephants far cry 4 game Software News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:06:21 +0000 Paul Lilly 28544 at Microsoft Schedules Windows 9 Event for September 30 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_9_screenie.jpg" alt="Windows 9 Screenie" title="Windows 9 Screenie" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Microsoft is finally ready to talk about its next version of Windows</h3> <p>Up to this point, we've mostly had to rely on <a href="">leaked photos</a> and <a href="">videos</a> of Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, to understand what Microsoft has in store for us beyond Windows 8. Well, the wait for official information is almost over. <strong>Microsoft has begun sending out invitations to members of the press for a "Windows event"</strong> it plans to hold on September 30, 2014, in San Francisco.</p> <p>"Join us to hear about what's next for Windows and the enterprise," the invitation reads.</p> <p>This falls in line with previous rumors that had Microsoft pegged to talk about Windows 9 at the end of September. It's also been rumored that Microsoft will release to the public a Windows 9 Technical Preview either at the end of September or in early October. It's not known if Microsoft is planning to do that at its upcoming press event, though we'll soon find out.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>The Verge</em></a>, Joe Belfiore (Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft) and Terry Myerson (Executive Vice President of Operating Systems at Microsoft) will lead the discussion around the future of Windows. The event will be geared towards enterprise and Windows power users.</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> enterprise microsoft operating system OS Software windows 9 News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:01:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 28542 at Micron Unveils High Speed, Low Power M600 SATA SSD, Comes in Different Form Factors <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/micron_m600.jpg" alt="Micron M600 SSD" title="Micron M600 SSD" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />Comes in more than a dozen capacities and form factors</h3> <p><strong>Micron, the memory chip maker based in Boise, Idaho, announced its M600 SATA solid state drive</strong>. According to Micron, the M600 represents a next-generation design that sets a new bar for low-power, high-performance storage for PCs. There are 13 different variations to choose from ranging in capacity from 128GB to 1TB and in 2.5-inch/7mm, mSATA, and M.2 single-sided form factors.</p> <p>The M600 sips less than 2mW in sleep mode and averages 150mW during active use, compared to a typical laptop hard disk drive, which chugs 130mW in sleep mode and 1,400Mw to 2,000mW when active.</p> <p>On the performance side, the M600 boasts random reads up to 100,000 IOPS and sequential reads of up to 560MB/s for all capacities.&nbsp; Random write performance is rated at 88,000 IOPS while sequential writes top out at 510MB/s, which is again for all capacities.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Micron</a>, the M600 benefits from using its unique dynamic write acceleration technology to deliver consistently high write performance regardless of SSD capacity. This technology switches NAND cells to behave more like higher-grade flash (from MLC to SLC) on-the-fly, which in turn creates a cache that is sized according to what the drive needs rather than sacrificing user capacity for a permanent cache. Micron says this method reduces power and improves write performance by as much as 2.8 times compared to non-cached systems, while leading to greater longevity to boot.</p> <p>The M600 SSD is currently in production and is sold directly to OEMs. You can look for the M600 to show up in a variety of products, including Ultrabooks, tablets, video capture systems, and performance-oriented PCs.</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 Hardware m600 micron solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:27:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28541 at 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