News en Gigabyte Aims Shrink Ray at Maxwell, Ends Up with a Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_gtx_970_mini_itx.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970" title="Gigabyte Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Tiny graphics card packs a Maxwell-sized bite</h3> <p>It's not the size of the graphics card that matters, but the potency of the GPU inside, right? We'll find out when we get our hands on <strong>Gigabyte's mini ITX variant of the GeForce GTX 970</strong> (GV-N970IXOC-4GD). Though it's tiny by comparison to a full size GeForce GTX 970 video card, Gigabyte's mini ITX version is actually overclocked to run at a base clockspeed of 1076MHz and a boost clockspeed of 1216MHz.</p> <p>Nvidia's reference design calls for a 1051MHz base clockspeed and 1178MHz boost clockspeed. Granted, Gigabyte's overclock isn't anything crazy, but considering the size of the card, even just running at stock clocks would have been noteworthy.</p> <p><a href=",27915.html" target="_blank">According to <em>TomsHardware</em></a>, the cooler is likely based on Gigabyte's WindForce 3X design, except that it only has one fan instead of three. There's an aluminum fin arry underneath, along with a Triangle Cool design to manipulate airflow more effectively.</p> <p>Apparently it works -- Gigabyte claims the card ran at 62C during a Metro Last Light benchmark, compared to a reference card running at 76C in the same test. That kind of cooling potential bodes well for a mini ITX system that's short on space with limited airflow.</p> <p>Gigabyte has priced the card at $330 and will start shipping it next month.</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 Gaming geforce gtx 970 gigabyte graphics card Hardware mini itx Video Card News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:27:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28768 at Cooler Master Updates Liquid Cooling Line with Nepton 120XL and 240M Coolers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nepton_240m.jpg" alt="Cooler Master 240M" title="Cooler Master 240M" width="300" height="195" style="float: right;" />Two new closed-loop water coolers</h3> <p><strong>Cooler Master's been hard at work updating its liquid cooling line</strong>, and what the company came up with is the <strong>Nepton 120XL and Nepton 240M</strong>. These are the newest additions to the Nepton family of closed-loop water coolers, and what they bring to the table are new fan designs. They use Silencio FP 120 fans to deliver high-pressure performance at lower noise levels than their predecessors.</p> <p>The radiator block sizes are also different. Whereas the Nepton 280L and 140XL use 280mm and 140mm radiators, respectively, the new <a href="" target="_blank">Nepton 240M</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">120XL</a> use 240mm and 120mm radiators, respectively.</p> <p>Other features include a microchannel waterblock along with thicker and more durable FEP tubing that Cooler Master claims has a lower coolant evaporation rate than before. Like the previous models, these are pre-filled at the factory and pressure tested so that you don't have to worry about maintenance.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability, though as a point of reference, the previous generation Nepton 280L streets for around $120 and the 140XL for $100.</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> cm Cooler Master Hardware liquid cooling nepton 140xl nepton 240m News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:57:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28767 at Nvidia GeForce 344.48 WHQL Driver Now Available to Download <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_gpu_2.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GPU" title="Nvidia GeForce GPU" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />New driver release brings Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) to Kepler and Fermi</h3> <p><strong>Nvidia today made available its "Game Ready" GeForce 344.48 WHQL driver</strong>, which among other things brings support for Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) to desktop graphics cards based on the company's Kepler and Fermi architectures. DSR is a featured that was rolled out with Nvidia's Maxwell launch, and what it does is render games at a higher, more detail resolution and then shrinks them down to the resolution of your monitor.</p> <p>The GPU maker's bold claim is that DSR can give you 4K (3840x2160) quality graphics on any screen, including your Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) panel.</p> <p>"Enthusiasts with compatible monitors and technical know-how refer to this process as Downsampling or Super Sampling. DSR drastically improves upon this process by applying a high-quality filter specifically designed for the task," <a href="" target="_blank">Nvidia explains</a>. "DSR also makes the process simpler with on/off integration built directly into GeForce Experience and it's compatible with all monitors, removes the need for technical know-how, and is integrated into GeForce Experience's Optimal Playable Settings."</p> <p>You can view a demonstration of this technology <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> -- drag the slider left and right to see how DSR affects the visual quality of the grass.</p> <p>Nvidia's latest driver also adds a bunch of application and 3D Vision profiles, along with 3D compatibility mode support for Dead Rising 3 and Strife.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Driver Download</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Release Notes (PDF)</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> driver Gaming geforce 344.48 nvidia Software whql News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:10:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28765 at G.Skill's Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD Sports Quad Controllers in RAID 0 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gskill_phoenix_blade.jpg" alt="G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD" title="G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />This SSD can give your data whiplash</h3> <p>Today's high performance SATA 6Gbps solid state drives top out at around 590MB/s for read and write transfers. If you need something faster, you can slap a pair in a RAID 0 configuration, or switch over to PCI-Express. G.Skill chose both with its new Phoenix Blaze Series. Kicking off <strong>G.Skill's Phoenix Blade line is a 480GB PCIe SSD</strong> equipped with four LSI SF-2281 SSD controllers in a RAID 0 setup.</p> <p>It's designed with a PCIe Gen 2.0 x8 interface and is capable of up to 2,000MB/s maximum read and write speeds. Sustained read and write transfers are rated at 1,900MB/s and 1,050MB/s, respectively, along with up to 90,000 4KB random read and up to 245,000 4K random write IOPS.</p> <p>"By introducing extreme read and write performance, the potential of today’s multi-core processors can be unleashed, resulting in higher productivity and performance, whether you are in extreme gaming or professional design," G.Skill says.</p> <p>Unfortunately G.Skill didn't announce a price for its latest SSD, though we spotted a <a href=";vpn=FM-PCx8G2R4-480G&amp;manufacture=G.Skill" target="_blank">product page</a> on NCIXUS that's asking $800 for it. PCIe SSDs typically cost more than SATA-based drives, the latter of which have fallen below $0.50 per gigabyte, though we'll wait until the <a href="" target="_blank">Phoenix Blade</a> stabs through to more vendors before commenting 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> g.skill Hardware Phoenix Blade solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:23:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 28764 at Satechi Announces Ultra Affordable Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satechi_edge.jpg" alt="Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse" title="Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />A gaming rodent without the premium price tag</h3> <p>Want to increase the value of your product? Call it a "gaming" device and it's suddenly worth much more than your original asking price. Or so it seems when shopping for peripherals like keyboards, headsets, and mice. However, not all so-called gaming products carry top-shelf price tags<strong> -- Satechi just announced the immediate availability of its Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse</strong> for $20 MSRP.</p> <p>The Edge sports a "Gaming Mode" that allows users to press the "Turbo Button" to double-click with just one keystroke, in case that's of use in the games you play. There's also a "Video Control Mode" that might come in handy when not playing games. What it does is change the functions into play/pause, fast forward/backtrack, and the clear screen buttons with a single click, while the scroll wheel adjusts the volume.</p> <p>There are 7 buttons in all. Other features include an optical sensor with an on-the-fly adjustable DPI (800, 1600, 2400, or 4000), up to 500Hz polling rate, 20G of acceleration, a grooved grip, four LED colors depending on the DPI selected (red, green, purple, or blue), and up to 36 hours of battery life (via two AA batteries).</p> <p>The Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse can be found and purchased today on <a href="" target="_blank">Satechi's website</a> and through <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</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> edge Gaming Hardware mouse Peripherals satechi News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28763 at Real-Life Hoverboard Seeks Funding on Kickstarter <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/hendo_hoverboard.jpg" alt="Hendo Hoverboard" title="Hendo Hoverboard" width="200" height="134" style="float: right;" />The hoverboard is finally becoming a reality</h3> <p>Ever since seeing Marty McFly use a hoverboard to escape Biff and his goons in Back to the Future Part II, many people have been wondering when this device would ever become a reality. There is even a countdown for the date when Marty arrived in “the future” to remind everyone when the movie predicted hoverboards would be a thing. Well, now it appears that the hoverboard can become a reality thanks to a <strong>Kickstarter project for the Hendo Hoverboard</strong>.</p> <p>Developed by Hendo Hover, the company is seeking $250,000 in funding that will go towards mass production, finishing touches, and the building of specialized “hoverparks” where people will be able to ride them. Yet while the hoverboard uses magnets, it doesn’t rely on placing one magnet over another to create a stable static equilibrium (which is impossible to do). Instead, Hendo relies on Lenz’s law.</p> <p>“Lenz’s law explains how eddy currents are created when magnets are moved relative to a conductive material,” the company explains. “These eddy currents in turn create an opposing magnetic field in the conductor. &nbsp;Our core technology, which we call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA™), focuses this field more efficiently.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//" width="600" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The result of this technology is that the Hendo Hoverboard is capable of hovering about an inch off of the ground. But there are some caveats. For example, it requires a specialized surface that will work with its hover engines. Without a surface that is a non-ferromagnetic conductor, the hoverboard will just be a large and expensive paperweight. And there is the other problem for Kickstarter backers who want to own the device. It will cost $10,000 for a working product and, even then, there are only 10 Hendo Hoverboards up for grabs (which are all gone).&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">However, the company says this is just the beginning for, not only the hoverboard, but various uses of its MFA technology.&nbsp;</p> <p>“The Hendo Hoverboard is a first-step product, a precursor to the broader implementation of the world-changing technology of MFA,” Hendo explains. “It enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change the way we view transportation. Additional applications for MFA technology are virtually limitless - from business, to industry, to healthcare, and beyond.”</p> <p>As of the posting of this article, the Kickstarter project has 735 and received $188,257 in funds with 54 days to go. And feel free to check out the <a title="Hendo Hoverboard Kickstarter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Kickstarter Page</span></a> for more information about the Hendo Hoverboard and the reward tiers that are available.&nbsp;</p> <p>Will you buy a hoverboard when it has an affordable price tag for general consumers?</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> Hendo Hover Hendo Hoverboard Hoverboards News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:04:11 +0000 Sean D Knight 28762 at Game Pulled from Steam after Developer Tweets Gabe Newell Death Threat <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/paranautical_activity_002.jpg" alt="Paranautical Activity" title="Paranautical Activity" width="200" height="202" style="float: right;" />Developer Mike Maulbeck announces resignation shortly after</h3> <p>It is not often that Valve will <a title="MPC Steam" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">pull a game</span></a> from its digital distribution platform Steam. However, <strong>Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam</strong> after Code Avarice co-owner Mike Maulbeck posted an angry tweet saying that he was going to kill Valve co-founder Gabe Newell.</p> <p>Maulbeck had posted a series of spiteful tweets at Valve following a posting error on Valve’s part that labeled Paranautical Activity as Early Access when it was, in fact, a finished product. Upon noticing the error Maulbeck, believing that this would “greatly cripple sales and confuse customers,” took to Twitter and called Valve “<a title="Maulbeck Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">incompetent</span></a>,” referred to Steam as an “<a title="Maulbeck Tweet" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">awful fucking monopoly</span></a>,” and then said in a <a title="Maulbeck deleted tweet" href=";oe=54490285&amp;__gda__=1414086506_8225c2dd94edc08aae79c5390bce3be6" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">deleted tweet</span></a>, “I am going to kill gabe newell[sic]. He is going to die.”</p> <p>In response, Valve removed the fast-paced, roguelike FPS shooter from Steam and contacted the developer to inform Maulbeck that it would be closing down his Steam admin account and severing ties with the developer.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn't mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off," Maulbeck said in an email he wrote to <a title="Polygon" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Polygon</span></a>, "But let's be real. If they took the game off the store, they're fuckin sure about their decision. There's probably nothing to be done."</p> <p>Since then, Mike Maulbeck went on to announce that he has <a title="Maulbeck's departure" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">left Code Avarice</span></a> in a post on the developer’s website that states, “I’m really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I’m sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so).”</p> <p>Maulbeck went on to say that he has sold his half to Code Avarice co-owner Travis Pfenning and given up all rights on CA and its IPs.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/paranautical_activity.jpg" alt="Paranautical Activity Screenshot" title="Paranautical Activity Screenshot" width="600" height="337" /></p> <p>However, this isn’t the first time that Maulbeck has directed harsh words and criticism towards Valve and its Steam platform. Back in June 2013, both he and Pfenning criticized Valve when Paranautical Activity was rejected for publication. The reason for its rejection was that Code Avarice had signed a deal with Adult Swim after creating a Greenlight page first; a practice that Valve prohibited. In response to the rejection, both developers went on to say that Steam had a “monopoly on the market,” that “the indie community is being ignored” by Valve, and then went on to criticize other games that had been published on Steam.&nbsp;</p> <p>While Paranautical Activity is no longer available on Steam, its <a title="Paranautical Activity Greenlight Page" href=";searchtext=paranautical" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Project Greenlight page</span></a> is still active.&nbsp;</p> <p>What do you think of this situation and was Valve justified in pulling the game from Steam? Sound off in the comments 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> Code Avarice Gabe Newell Mike Maulbeck Paranautical Activity Steam Valve Gaming News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:05:46 +0000 Sean D Knight 28761 at Best Free Hardware Monitoring Tools <!--paging_filter--><h3>Apps that regulate your rig’s internals</h3> <p>Making sure your rig’s temperatures, hardware, and clock speeds are running correctly is a good way to monitor your PC’s health. We always recommend stress-testing your shiny-new rig, or checking your hardware if you experience any stability issues that occur out of the blue. We’ve gathered up a list of the best free utilities you can use to make sure you have a healthy PC.</p> <p>Know of any other free monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments section below!</p> <p><strong><a title="CPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">CPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/cpuid_cpu_z.png" alt="CPU-Z" title="CPU-Z" /></p> <p>CPU-Z tells you what’s going on with your CPU by giving you readouts of your Core Speed, Multiplier, Bus Speed, and your different cache levels. It also tells you the make and model of your motherboard and video card, along with your RAM speed and capacity.&nbsp;</p> <p>We recommend using this tool if you have a preconfigured system from an OEM like Lenovo, HP, or Dell and need to find out your motherboard’s model number (if it isn’t printed on the board). The tool can also be used to monitor your CPU’s voltage, so it's overclocker friendly.</p> <p><strong><a title="GPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">GPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/gpu_z.png" alt="GPU-Z" title="GPU-Z" width="560" height="637" /></p> <p>GPU-Z gives you detailed readouts of your GPU’s clock speeds and memory size. You can use this tool to make sure that your video card is running at PCIe 3.0, as some boards run in 2.0 instead of 3.0 by default. You’ll look at the Bus Interface box to check out your video card's PCIe configuration.</p> <p><strong><a title="Furmark" href="" target="_blank">Furmark:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/furmark.png" alt="Furmark" title="Furmark" width="600" height="453" /></strong></p> <p>Got GPU problems? Furmark is a fantastic tool if you’re getting blue screens during games and want to find out if your video card is the culprit. The utility gives your GPU a workload to max-out your video card. You’ll also see a temperature read from it, so you can see if your card is running hot.</p> <p><strong><a title="FRAPS" href="" target="_blank">FRAPS:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/fraps.png" alt="FRAPS" title="FRAPS" width="600" height="370" /></strong></p> <p>Getting weird frame rate issues after freshly installing BF4 or Assassins Creed Black Flag? FRAPS will give you readouts of your real-time frame rate in-game, so you can see when and where you rig is starting to stutter. We like using this utility when a game is running poorly, so we can keep an eye on our frame rate during gameplay. We also use this tool to capture average frame rates of games that don’t come with benchmarking tools like BF4, Far Cry 3, and Crysis 3.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="Core Temp" href="" target="_blank">Core Temp:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/core_temp.png" alt="Core Temp" title="Core Temp" width="351" height="388" /></strong></p> <p>Unlike other utilities in this round-up of free apps, Core Temp tells you the individual temperatures of each of your CPU’s cores. We use this tool to make sure our processor isn’t running too hot. Core Temp also tells you the TDP, voltage, and power consumption of your&nbsp; CPU.</p> <p><strong><a title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" href="" target="_blank">AMD Catalyst Control Center:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/amd_overdrive.png" alt="AMD Catalyst Control Center" title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" width="600" height="573" /></strong></p> <p>AMD video card users can use AMD’s Catalyst Control center to monitor their video card’s performance. You’ll be able to change your GPU’s core and memory clock speeds by using AMD’s Overdrive utility, which is found in the performance tab of AMD’s Catalyst driver. You can also adjust your video card’s fan speed here.</p> <p><strong><a title="Prime 95" href="" target="_blank">Prime 95:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/prime_95_running.png" alt="Prime 95" title="Prime 95" width="600" height="378" /></strong></p> <p>Prime 95 puts your CPU through its paces by giving it a workload that will max-out your processor’s cores. We suggest using this utility if you’re having blue screen errors or freezing issues to make sure that your CPU isn’t the offender behind those infuriating messages.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="3DMark" href="" target="_blank">3DMark:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/3dmark_demo.png" alt="3DMark" title="3DMark" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>3DMark is great for benchmarking your system’s overall performance, and the free demo version also shows you where your rig stacks up with other systems that have similar hardware. The paid version lets you run the Extreme benchmarks, which run in 1080p instead of the demo’s 720p default.</p> <p><strong><a title="Rainmeter" href="" target="_blank">Rainmeter:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/rainmeter.png" alt="Rainmeter" title="Rainmeter" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>Rainmeter is a simple widget that displays your CPU and RAM usage and also tells you how full your hard drive and/or SSD are.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="EVGA Precision X" href="" target="_blank">EVGA Precision X:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/evga_precision_x.png" alt="EVGA Precision X" title="EVGA Precision X" width="600" height="471" /></strong></p> <p>Precision X is made by EVGA exclusively for Nvidia video cards. The tool allows you to check out your GPU clock speed and temperatures, and adjust your fan speeds, too. You can also overclock your GPU with the sliders, seen above. This tool displays your GPU's load, which we find quite handy.</p> apps benchmark components cpu id free furmark gpu z Hardware Hardware monitoring tools overclock pc monitor heat Software News Features Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:41:16 +0000 Chris Zele 27117 at Google Gets Moody with Play Music App <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_play_music.jpg" alt="Google Play Music" title="Google Play Music" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />What music are you in the mood for?</h3> <p>What started off as a somewhat barebones streaming music app is developing into a fleshed out package with new features being rolled out every so often. We're talking about Google Play Music, which is Google's version of Spotify. In a continued effort to make the app more spiffy, <strong>Google for the first time is making use of its Songza technology acquired this summer to offer users music based on mood</strong>.</p> <p>"If you’re a Google Play Music subscriber, next time you open the app you’ll be prompted to play music for a time of day, mood or activity," Google announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "Choose an activity to get options for several music stations to make whatever you’re doing even better—whether it’s a station for a morning workout, songs to relieve stress during traffic, or the right mix for cooking with friends. Each station has been handcrafted—song by song—by our team of music experts (dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists) to give you the exact right song for the moment."</p> <p>Like other stations and songs, provided you're an All Access subscriber you can download these new stations for offline listening, view the song queue, remove or re-order tunes, or start a new station based on any of the songs.</p> <p>You'll find these new mood stations on the redesigned Listen Now page, which now features cards for all of your recently played music, new releases of potential interest, and radio stations based on what you like to listen to, Google 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> apps Google google play music Software songza streaming News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:42:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28760 at Microsoft Awards CEO Satya Nadella $84 Million Pay Package <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_fist_pump.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella Fist Pump" title="Satya Nadella Fist Pump" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" />Not a bad looking paycheck</h3> <p>We'd all like to be paid eleven times the amount we earned last year, though for most of us, such a jump wouldn't put us in the tens of millions of dollars range. But for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, well, let's just say it's been a good year for him. How good? <strong>Microsoft revealed in a regulatory filing that its CEO was given a compensation package worth in excess of $84 million</strong> for 2014.</p> <p>Most of that money -- $59.2 million -- comes in the form of restricted stock, which is dependent on Microsoft's stock outperforming 60 percent of Standard &amp; Poor's 500 Index in 2019, 2020, and 2021, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> reports</a>. And if Microsoft outperforms 80 percent of the Index, the shares award could jump to $88.8 million. The bottom line is, Nadella could earn more than $350 million in stock awards alone by 2021.</p> <p>As for Microsoft's fiscal 2014 period that ended June 30, Nadella raked in about $919,000 in salary plus a $3.6 million cash bonus, to go along with a $13.2 million stock award. In other words, he isn't likely to worry about the electricity being turned off in his home due to a late payment.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Bhupinder Nayyar)</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> microsoft satya nadella News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:13:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28759 at Amped Wireless Launches High Power AC Adapter to Double Wi-Fi Range <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amped_wireless_ua230a.jpg" alt="Amped Wireless UA230A" title="Amped Wireless UA230A" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Extend your Wi-Fi range</h3> <p>The further you get from your wireless router and the more obstacles that are in the way, the weaker the signal. That's especially true if you're connecting on the 5GHz band (it doesn't penetrate objects as well as the 2.4GHz band). What do you do when there's a dead spot in your home or surrounding area? There are several possible solutions, one of them being a more powerful Wi-Fi adapter. On the topic, <strong>Amped Wireless says its new UA230A high power Wi-Fi USB adapter can offer up to the two times the distance</strong> of your current adapter.</p> <p>The UA230A sports high power amplifiers and a high gain 3dBi antenna to help blast through walls for superior Wi-Fi performance. It's also based on next-generation 802.11ac wireless technology, though limited to 433Mbps on the 5GHz band and 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band (it's advertised as AC600, which is a combination of those two speeds).</p> <p>In our experience, where things like this come in handy the most is when traveling and staying at a hotel (bear in mind we haven't tested this particular adapter). While things in general are getting better, it's not uncommon to experience a crummy Wi-Fi signal in your room.</p> <p>Amped Wireless is <a href="" target="_blank">accepting pre-orders</a> for its UA230A adaptber for $50. It will ship out on October 31, 2014.</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> 802.11ac adapter amped wireless ua230a wi-fi News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:27:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 28758 at Amazon's Kindle Voyage Exits Pre-Order Status, Sets Sail for Homes Today Starting at $199 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kindle_voyage.jpg" alt="Kindle Voyage" title="Kindle Voyage" width="228" height="223" style="float: right;" />Amazon's latest e-reader sports a next-generation paperwhite display</h3> <p>Though we haven't evaluated Amazon's recently announced Kindle Voyage for ourselves just yet, a peek around the web shows that it's getting generally favorable reviews, some of which are calling it the best e-reader yet. That's high praise at this stage of the game. If you want to check it out for yourself, here's a heads up that the <strong>Kindle Voyage is now in stock and shipping to homes</strong> starting at $199 (Wi-Fi with Special Offers).</p> <p>"Kindle Voyage is designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in a story," <a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1979814" target="_blank">said Dave Limp</a>, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices. "This is the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built. Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re working to build more as fast as we can. We can’t wait to get Kindle Voyage into the hands of readers starting today."</p> <p>The Kindle Voyage sports a high-resolution 300 ppi display that's supposed to read more like a printed page than ever before. It also comes with 4GB of internal storage to hold thousands of books, 802.11n Wi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity, free cloud storage for all Amazon content, pressure-based page turn sensors with haptic feedback, a built-in light that shines on the page, light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness, and a flush front bezel.</p> <p>It's a bit pricey, which is the consistent knock against the device, though the built-in light and high-resolution display might make the cost easier to swallow. Speaking of which, here's a price breakdown:</p> <ul> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/ Special Offers: $199</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/o Special Offers: $219</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/ Special Offers: $269</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/o Special Offers: $289</li> </ul> <p>If you're interested in one, head over to the <a href="" target="_blank">Kindle Voyage's product page</a> on Amazon.</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> amazon e-reader ebook reader Hardware kindle voyage mobile News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:54:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28757 at Steam Posts Minimum System Requirements for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/codadvancedwarfare.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" title="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare needs 6GB of RAM</h3> <p>If you've been wondering what it takes to run <strong>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you'll be happy to know that Steam has now posted minimum system requirements</strong>. All in all, you'll need a fairly respectable system to run the game -- among the requirements are 6GB of RAM and 55GB of free hard drive space, and that's just to get your foot in the door. What else do you need?</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Steam's listing</a>, you'll need an Intel Core i3 530 processor clocked at 2.93GHz or an AMD Phenom II X4 810 clocked at 2.8GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 450 or ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, DirectX 11, broadband Internet connection, and Windows (Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit, or Windows 8.1 64-bit).</p> <p>As for recommended system requirements, Activision is still mum on that front.</p> <p>CoD: Advanced Warfare releases to the public on November 4. Unlike previous CoD games, Advanced Warfare won't make use of a traditional heads-up display and will instead use holographic projections from whichever weapon you have equipped.</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> call of duty: advanced warfar cod games Software Steam News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:58:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28754 at Globalfoundries is Buying IBM's Chip Business for Negative $1.5 Billion <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_0.jpg" alt="IBM" title="IBM" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />Say what now?</h3> <p>Think you could sell ice to an Eskimo? Hey, that would be an impressive demonstration of your ability to make a sale, though it pales in comparison to Globalfoundries deal with IBM. As odd as it may sound on the surface, <strong>IBM today announced that it's offloading its semiconductor business to Globalfoundries</strong>, along with $1.5 billion in cash to be paid over the next three years.</p> <p>You read that right -- IBM is essentially paying Globalfoundries to take control of its chip business. On top of that, IBM will go through with its previously announced $3 billion investment over five years for semiconductor technology research, of which Globalfoundries will have primary access to.</p> <p>It's an unusual move, and on the surface, one would be excused for thinking IBM had gone and lost it marbles. However, IBM can justify the transaction because of two reasons.</p> <p>"While IBM has world-class technology and intellectual property, the company has lacked scale," IBM stated in a regulatory filing. "As a subscale business, IBM's microelectronic business has been generating losses."</p> <p>The semiconductor business had become a burden on IBM. By getting rid of it, IBM plans to further focus on fundamental semiconductor research and the development of future cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and secure transactions-optimized systems.</p> <p>As part of the deal, Globalfoundries gains all kinds of intellectual property, including thousands of patents.</p> <p>"This acquisition solidifies Globalfoundries' leadership position in semiconductor technology development and manufacturing," <a href="" target="_blank">said Dr. Sanjay Jha</a>, CEO, Globalfoundries. "We can now offer our customers a broader range of differentiated leading-edge 3D transistor and RF technologies, and we will also improve our design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-revenue for our customers. This acquisition further strengthens advanced manufacturing in the United States, and builds on established relationships in New York and Vermont."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">IBM posted</a> a profit of $3.5 billion for its fiscal third quarter of 2014, down 17 percent from $4.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Straight and to the point, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said "We are disappointed in our performance," noting a marked slowdown in client buying behavior during the month of September.</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 globalfoundries ibm semiconductor News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:20:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 28753 at Google's Third Quarter Profit Misses Target as Advertising Growth Slows <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_2.jpg" alt="Google" title="Google" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Sultan of search reported $16.52 billion in Q3 revenues</h3> <p><strong>Google enjoyed another overall strong quarter for the period ended September 30, 2014</strong>, with consolidated revenues reaching $16.52 billion, a healthy jump of 20 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. However, some other numbers were down year-over-year. On a GAAP basis, Google reported $3.72 billion in operating income, or 23 percent of revenues, versus $3.76 billion, or 27 percent of revenues a year ago. Non-GAAP operating income came to $5.36 billion, or 32 percent of revenues, compared to $4.62 billion, or 34 percent of revenues in the third quarter of 2013.</p> <p>The search giant's <a href="" target="_blank">profit was down</a> on a GAAP basis ($2.81 billion versus $2.97 billion a year ago) and up on a non-GAAP basis ($4.37 billion versus $3.28 billion a year ago). Either way, Google came up short of what analysts were expecting.</p> <p>Though revenue was up for the third quarter, the cost per click (average price Google receives each time a user clicks on an ad) dipped 2 percent compared to the previous quarter, and was flat compared to last year. Cost per click for Google sites dropped 1 percent sequentially and 4 percent year-over-year. The primary problem is that users are spending more time with mobile phones and less time on the desktop.</p> <p>Google's also invested money in its workforce -- the search company now home to 55,030 full-time employees, up from 52,069 full-time workers a year ago.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">mename comunicacions</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> financial report Google revenue News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:41:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 28752 at