News en System-wide “Ok Google” Voice Search Comes to Chromebooks <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="New Ok Google Voice Search " title="New Ok Google Voice Search " width="228" height="191" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Available in the Dev channel</h3> <p>Google’s <strong>hotword-activated voice search</strong> has been available on Chrome OS for a while now, but in its current form the feature is somewhat limited on Chromebooks. As of now, you can only search in this way from the App Launcher or when you open a new tab. Well, that is unless you like to live on the bleeding edge of technology and have switched your Chromebook to the Dev channel.</p> <p>The latest Chrome OS Dev channel update contains a new “Ok Google” search experience, Google’s <a href=";oid=100132233764003563318" target="_blank">François Beaufort announced on Google+ Friday</a>. As long as you are running the Dev channel version of Chrome OS and have enabled the chrome://flags/#enable-hotword-hardware flag, you can now search using the “Ok Google” hotword from any screen. (Note: The device must be on and unlocked.)</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> chrome os chromebooks dev channel ok google Software voice search News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 01:26:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29127 at Assassin’s Creed Unity Free Game Offer Has a Caveat <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Ubisoft ACU Free Game Offer Page" title="Ubisoft ACU Free Game Offer Page" width="228" height="175" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Ubisoft is offering a free game to Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass holders</h3> <p><a href="">Announced late last month</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank">free Ubisoft game offer</a> for those who own the Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass or Gold Edition is now live. In case your memory needs some jogging, let us remind you that this is not an act of festive largesse on Ubisoft’s part but a form of recompense for the bug-riddled mess that is Assassin’s Creed Unity. But wait! Turns out there’s more to the free game offer than meets the eye.</p> <p>If you look inside the offer’s terms and conditions, as the folks over at <a href="" target="_blank">Game Informer</a> did, you will find that those availing of the offer are effectively waiving their right to sue Ubisoft over any issues with the latest title in the popular franchise: “You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally release, waive, and forever discharge and covenant not to sue Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., and each of its past, present and future divisions, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors and assigns, together with all of their respective past, present and future employees, officers, shareholders, directors and agents, and those who give recommendations, directions, or instructions or engage in risk evaluation or loss control activities regarding the campaign (all for the purposes herein referred to as “released parties”) from any and all liability to you, your assigns, heirs, and next of kin for any and all claims, demands, charges, lawsuits, debts, defenses, actions or causes of action, obligations, damages, loss of service, compensation, pain and suffering, attorneys’ fees, and cost and expenses of suit, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, arising out of or related to the purchase, acquisition, rental, possession and/or usage, and/or the intent to purchase, acquire, rent, possess and/or use, the assassin’s creed unity video game and/or the assassin’s creed unity season pass on any and all platforms, and/or related to the campaign, whether caused by the negligence of the released parties or otherwise.”</p> <p>Before you freak out, bear in mind that such waivers are not new and we have <a href="" target="_blank">seen many a litigation-wary company turn to them</a> in a bid to limit, if not completely block, any future legal claims. Moreover, as pointed out by <a href="" target="_blank">Polygon</a>, a free Ubisoft game is probably worth as much as what individual “class members” would receive in a successful class action lawsuit over the game, anyway.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> assassin's creed unity free game Gaming pc ps4 ubisoft video games xbox one News Sun, 21 Dec 2014 22:17:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29126 at My Thoughts About Maximum PC and Our Community <!--paging_filter--><h3 style="text-align: left;">Weekend Thoughts About the Future</h3> <div style="text-align: left;"> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It's now December 20th, and I've spent a few short weeks at Future working with the&nbsp;<em>Maximum PC</em>&nbsp;team and interacting with the community. I'd thought it would be valuable to our readers if I share some of my thoughts.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">So many of you have reached out to me to share ideas and voice concerns. I think when people voice their opinions and concerns, it means they do really care about what they're talking about. I feel that it's our responsibility in return, to be equally transparent and give insight into what goes on behind the scenes and what goes on in my own head.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u191083/keys.jpg" alt="Keys" width="620" height="345" /><br /><em>I took a close-up shot of my keyboard for this article. Care to guess what it is?</em></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I've been compiling a list of ideas based on the&nbsp;<a href=""><span class="s2">feedback that you've been providing</span></a>, and the way I've broken things down are for short term and long term goals. Things like interacting more with the community, producing more podcasts, publishing more in-depth guides and features, are all things that we can do immediately. Then there are things like creating a next generation publishing platform, and integrating new valuable features that help you digest our content and engage with other readers and our own team that take a little bit more time to think through carefully.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The long term future for&nbsp;<em>Maximum PC</em>&nbsp;is to get the website to be very comprehensive. The magazine, needs to support the site in a useful way. For example, for those who subscribe to the magazine, it would be nice to read things that aren't replicated on the site. There needs to be a symbiotic relationship between the two.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Then there’s the method in which we cover technology. Plainly speaking, all tech coverage has bias in some form or another. But to be honest, I think sometimes this is a good thing, especially for&nbsp;<em>Maximum PC</em>—the name in itself is leaning towards a particular side of the tech spectrum. I think readers value what our editors and writers think on a personal level. If you wanted dry content, Wikipedia might be a better read.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">All of&nbsp;<em>Maximum PC</em>’s writers and editors have different lifestyles different point of views and “Maximum” can mean many different things: maximum value for the money, maximum performance, etc. Your maximum may not be my maximum. I’m certain that if you’ve been reading the publication for a long time, you have gravitated towards a particular writer or editor for their style, and thoughts. Maybe you’ve developed a connection with them because of their lifestyle or something else, and therefore value their opinion. If I wrote articles about tech for fitness, and you don’t really give 2-cents about tech for fitness, then you’d have no interest in what I have to say.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Of course, we still back-up what we say with data when it matters. Benchmarks, endurance tests, and other evaluations are necessary to sustain a level of trust as well as meaning. Without data, everything would just be a personal opinion. This doesn’t mean we should go out and start being totally well-rounded though.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If we stayed completely neutral to all aspects of technology, I feel the publication would lose its personal touch, and consequently lose its personality. And it’s this personality that has allowed us to make such a strong connection with you and you to us.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">And if we lost that, then we might as well rename ourselves to&nbsp;<em>Yawn PC</em>.</span></p> <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> </div> editor-in-chief maximum pc tuan nguyen News Sat, 20 Dec 2014 21:40:09 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29125 at IBM Wants to Tap Your PC and Android Devices to Cure Ebola <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ebola_research.jpg" alt="Ebola Research" title="Ebola Research" width="228" height="165" style="float: right;" />Free app puts your Android device to work crunching data when it would otherwise be idle</h3> <p>Scientists are hard at work looking for a definitive cure to Ebola, and you can help. More precisely, if you're willing to donate idle time power from your PC and/or Android device, you can help the cause. How? <strong>The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered up with IBM and its World Community Grid to form a volunteer computing project called "Outsmart Ebola Together," </strong>and all you need to do is install a free app.</p> <p>Once installed, your PC and/or Android phone or tablet will crunch data at times then they would otherwise be idle. Small computational assignments are sent out to participating devices, which the software then completes and returns to scientists. It's essentially another distributed computing project, like Folding@Home, and so far almost 3 million PCs and mobile devices used by more than 680,000 people and 460 institutions from 80 countries have contributed virtual supercomputing power this this and other WCG projects over the past 10 years.</p> <p>"Our molecular images of the Ebola virus are like enemy reconnaissance," <a href="" target="_blank">said Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire</a> of TSRI, one of the largest private biomedical research institutes in the United States. "These images show us where the virus is vulnerable and the targets we need to hit. In the Outsmart Ebola Together project, we will be able to harness World Community Grid’s virtual supercomputing power to find the drugs we need to aim at these targets."</p> <p>It took just one week on the grid for the Ebola project to complete what it would have taken a single PC with a single processor around 35 year to complete, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Time</em> reports</a>. Speed is critical in this case as Ebola continues to spread and mutate.</p> <p>The caveat? One would presume lower battery life since idle time is now being put to work, however the software only does its thing when your device is pugged in and connected to Wi-Fi (to avoid data charges). Unfortunately there's no iOS version of the free app yet, though IBM is working on it.</p> <p>For more information, <a href="" target="_blank">go 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> android distributed computing ebola Hardware ibm scripps research institute world community grid News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:55:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 29124 at Western Digital Expects Storage Market to Grow by Billions of Dollars <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_5.jpg" alt="HDD" title="HDD" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Cloud computing and IoT are pushing demand for more storage</h3> <p>Don't feel too bad for storage players as the prices of hard drives and solid state drives continue to come down -- there's still money to be made. Lots of it. By <strong>Western Digital's estimation, the global storage market will reach $38 billion by the end of this year</strong>, up from $36 billion a year ago. And that's not all -- WD sees the growth continuing into next year and beyond, with 2015 seeing $42 billion in storage sales.</p> <p>Home computers and PC storage applications account for nearly half of all storage sales, though WD sees enterprise customers becoming bigger buyers in the not-too-distant future, <a href=""><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a>. This is due to a rise in popularity among cloud-based services and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) trend.</p> <p>As it stands, the overall demand for storage reached 4.4 zettabytes in 2013, or 4.4 billion terabytes. A drop in the bucket compared to where things are headed over the next several years -- by 2020, that figure is expected to balloon to 44 zettabytes.</p> <p>WD expects enterprise demand to outpace that of PCs next by either next year or 2016. To ensure it capitalizes on however the market shakes out, WD is planning a series of product lines in varying categories, including new opportunities in cloud compouting, IoT, NAS, and personal cloud applications.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Dominik Bartsch)</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> Hard Drive Hardware HDD solid state drive ssd storage wd Western Digital News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 29123 at U.S. Plans to Officially Pin Blame for Sony Hack on North Korea <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sony_pictures.jpg" alt="Sony Pictures" title="Sony Pictures" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Evidence points to North Korea as the culprit behind a cyber attack on U.S. soil</h3> <p>After investigating a major cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that resulted in the theft and subsequent leak of various data, it appears there's enough evidence to suggest that North Korea is the culprit, as was previously suspected. However, <strong>U.S. authorities have been debating whether or not to publicly accuse North Korea of the attack</strong>, fearing that doing so would play into the country's hands of seeking a confrontation. According to reports, the decision's been made.</p> <p>Another reason why authorities were hesitant to confront Kim Jong-un and his regime is because it could negatively affect ongoing diplomacy efforts to negotiate the return of Japanese citizens kidnapped several yars ago. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama is expected to address the hacking incident and call out North Korea during an end-of-year news conference scheduled for 1:30 PM EST today, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em> reports</a>.</p> <p>The cyberattack on Sony ranks as the biggest ever on U.S. soil. Attackers made off with a treasure trove of data, including social security numbers of actors and actresses, movie scripts, internal emails, and more. However, the attack turned particularly ugly when hackers made threats against cinemas and movie goers planning to attend "The Interview," a far-fetched comedy in which the CIA enlists a couple of dimwits to assassinate Kim Jong-un.</p> <p>Sony took the threat seriously, ultimately cancelling the movie's Christmas Day debut. It's unclear if the movie will release to theaters at a later date or if Sony has alternate plans for the film.</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> hacking north korea Security sony the interview News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:59:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29122 at Google Delays Fiber Expansion, Keeps the Details Vague <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_fiber_roadmap.jpg" alt="Google Fiber Roadmap" title="Google Fiber Roadmap" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />Several U.S. cities eagerly await Google to announce its fiber expansion plans</h3> <p>Just a few locations have benefited from Google's fiber roll out, which allows for up to 1Gbps Internet service (both uploads and downloads) along with the bundling of TV service at relatively affordable price points. More cities are on the expansion roadmap, though <strong>Google has decided to postpone plans to launch its fiber service in new territories before the end of the year</strong>, the company announced.</p> <p>"We've been working closely with cities ... to figure out how we could bring them Google Fiber, and we're grateful for their vision, commitment, and plain old hard work," Google said in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>SlashGear</em></a>. "While we were hoping to have an update for cities before the holidays, we have a bit more work to wrap up; we'll be back in touch sometime early next year."</p> <p>Google didn't offer up any specific reasoning for the delay into 2015, though it may have to do with wanting to put in more research into existing infrastructures before jumping in with shovels and machinery. In speaking with the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Triangle Business Journal</em></a>, Google Fiber director of business development, Jill Szuchmacher, likened the gung-ho approach to "getting married without having ever dated."</p> <p>"If there's infrastructure built, there is no reason to dig up a street," she added.</p> <p>AT&amp;T has also put the brakes on its gigabit expansion, at as it pertains to cities beyond those where a commitment already exists. However, AT&amp;T's delay is due to uncertainties with net neutrality rules, as the company wants to see what the future landscape will be like before it decides to further invest in fiber.</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> 1Gbps delay Fiber gigabit Google Internet News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:27:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29121 at Asetek Wins Intellectual Property Lawsuit Against CMI <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/asetek_logo.jpg" alt="Asetek Logo" title="Asetek Logo" width="200" height="188" style="float: right;" />Over $400,000 awarded to Asetek</h3> <p>Back in January 2013, <a title="Asetek website" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Asetek</span></a> filed a suit against CMI USA Inc, formerly known as Cooler Master, for patent infringement on two of the patents held by the company. Asetek requested that CMI must cease and desist the production and sale of its Seidon <a title="MPC Seidon 120M Review" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">120M</span></a>, 120XL, and 240M liquid cooling systems because the pumps were too similar to its own design. On Wednesday, a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that <strong>CMI had infringed on Asetek’s patents</strong>.</p> <p>Asetek was awarded $404,841, a royalty of 14.5 percent, which was based on CMI’s infringing sales since 2012. The jury decided that CMI was infringing on US Patent No 8,240,362 and, after the trial began, CMI stipulated to infringement of Asetek’s US Patent No. 8,245,764. In addition, Asetek is seeking an injunction against CMI with a trial judge expected to set a hearing soon.</p> <p>“Although it is frustrating to have spent significant time and resources in a courtroom, it is rewarding to be vindicated in this way," said Asetek Founder and CEO André Sloth Eriksen. “We appreciate the value of competition, but it must be done on equal terms. We will not accept anyone blatantly copying the patented solutions that we have worked so hard to bring into the market.”</p> <p>Asetek is also continuing patent infringement cases against CoolIT Systems and AVC over the same two patents that CMI infringed. &nbsp;</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> Asetek CMI CMI USA Cooler Master lawsuit liquid cooling liquid cooling system pump News Water Cooling Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:11:43 +0000 Sean D Knight 29119 at Mojang Announces Minecraft: Story Mode from Telltale Games <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_mojang.jpg" alt="Minecraft" title="Minecraft" width="200" height="153" style="float: right;" />A Minecraft game with a story?</h3> <p>The acquisition of <a title="Minecraft Beginner's Guide" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Minecraft</span></a> developer Mojang by Microsoft for <a title="Microsoft buys Minecraft" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">$2.5 billion</span></a> took everyone by surprise and caused some debate as to whether or not the purchase was <a title="MPC Minecraft purchase debate" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">worth it for Microsoft</span></a>. However, the surprise doesn’t stop there as a new game has been announced. <span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Mojang has revealed that Telltale Games is developing Minecraft: Story Mode</strong></span> in collaboration with the Swedish developer and members of the Minecraft community.</p> <p>Minecraft: Story Mode is going to be a narrative-driven game that will be an episodic series similar to Telltale Games’ other titles such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. As to how the community will help with the game, <a title="Mojang website" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Mojang</span></a> didn’t expand on their role except that they will help it be as “Minecrafty as possible.”</p> <p>"Set in the world of Minecraft, the series will feature an original story, driven by player choice," stated Telltale Games on its <a title="Telltale Games website" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">website</span></a>. "It will not be an add-on for Minecraft, but rather a separate stand-alone product that will premiere in 2015 on consoles, computers and mobile devices."</p> <p>Mojang confirmed that Minecraft: Story Mode will not be an official story and didn’t provide any further details about the world of Minecraft.&nbsp;</p> <p>What do you think about an episodic Minecraft game being developed by Telltale Games? Let us know in the comments section!</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> episodic game minecraft Minecraft Story Mode Mojang Telltale Games Gaming News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:01:38 +0000 Sean D Knight 29118 at Steam Holiday Sale Kicks Off, Runs Until January 2, 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_sale_0.jpg" alt="Steam Holiday Sale" title="Steam Holiday Sale" width="228" height="191" style="float: right;" />More discounts than you can shake a Paypal card at</h3> <p>By my conservative calculations, I'll be approximately 419 years old by the time I play through and finish every untouched game sitting in my Steam library. Maybe you're in the same boat, and <strong>perhaps like me, you'll head over to Steam today anyway to take advantage of yet more discounts as part of 2014 Steam Holiday Sale</strong> that runs from now until January 2, 2015 (10 AM PST).</p> <p>Steam sales seem to come and go all the time, though the annual Holiday Sale is typically the biggest one of them all, at least in terms of the number of discounted games. Here's a sampling of what's out there:</p> <ul> <li>Dark Souls II - $14.79 (63 percent off)</li> <li>Metal Gear Solid V - Ground Zeroes - $13.39 (33 percent off)</li> <li>Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth - $29.99 (40 percent off)</li> <li>Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition - $14.98 (75 percent off)</li> <li>Sniper Elite 3 - $24.99 (50 percent off)</li> <li>Euro Truck Simulator 2 - $3.74 (85 percent off)</li> <li>State of Decay - $4.99 (75 percent off)</li> <li>Space Engineers - $9.99 (50 percent off)</li> <li>Rocksmith 2014 - $20.39 (75 percent off)</li> </ul> <p>For those who care, you can earn exclusive Holiday Sale Trading Cards during the promotion -- collect all 10 to earn the Holiday Sale 2014 Badge, backgrounds, and emoticons.</p> <p>More than 100 games and apps will get marked down from now until January 2, with rotating sales every 24 hours. Not that it matters what I write in this spot, because you're probably already on Steam stocking up on more games. For the few who haven't made your way over yet, I can only assume you're waiting for a link -- <a href="" target="_blank">here you go</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> games holiday sale Software Steam Valve News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:26:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29117 at Microsoft Flips Kill Switch on EU Browser Ballot <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_sign_7.jpg" alt="Microsoft Sign" title="Microsoft Sign" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Has it been five years already?</h3> <p>Technology news can make you feel old. To wit, it may not seem like <strong>five years has passed since Microsoft agreed to a five-year deal in which Windows users in Europe would be offered a choice of browser upon first boot</strong>, but that commitment is not behind the Redmond outfit. Having lived up to its end of the deal, Microsoft has yanked the so-called browser ballot, which may not have done much anyway.</p> <p>The browser ballot came about following an investigation by the EU's Competition Commission into Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. Microsoft agreed to show users in Europe a browser screen with download links to other browsers for a period of five years, though the company still faced a fine -- a technical oversight in Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 inadvertently removed the ballot screen in 2013, resulting in a $732 million penalty for Microsoft.</p> <p>While it's been costly for Microsoft, there's not much evidence that the ballot screen did much good for other browsers. As pointed out by <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ComputerWorld</em></a>, Opera lost 27 percent of its global usage share between December 2009 and November 2014, based on stats by StatCounter. Firefox fell even harder, dropping 42 percent of its share. There's a bit of irony there, as Opera Software and Mozilla were most critical of what they perceived as Microsoft's unfair advantage in the browser wars.</p> <p>What does the EU think? In an email to <em>ComputerWorld</em>, the EU called the browser ballot a "successful remedy," noting that it saw 795 million views resulting in 165 million browser installs.</p> <p>Image Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Robert Scoble)</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 ballot eu european commission european union microsoft Software Windows News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:55:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 29116 at Potential Steam Controller Design Leaks to Web <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_controller_2.jpg" alt="Steam Controller" title="Steam Controller" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Welcome back, D-pad</h3> <p>Had things gone to plan, official Steam Machines would have already begun flooding the market by now, though those plans got put on hold when Valve decided to <a href="" target="_blank">delay the initiative</a> so that it could have extra time to tweak its Steam Controller. Valve dropped the bombshell just shy of seven months ago, and while there's <strong>still no completed Steam Controller in sight, there is a new design that's been leaked to the web</strong>.</p> <p>A staff member at <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a> who goes by the nick "Omnomnick" posted the updated design, noting that the most recent appearance of the delayed devices was plucked from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. It looks fairly similar to the previous version except what appears to be a D-pad has returned to the left-hand side.</p> <p>"The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion," Omnomnick said.</p> <p>Unfortunately we still won't see the controller at CES next month. That's because Valve won't be there, a tidbit the company confirmed to our sister site <a href="" target="_blank"><em>TechRadar</em></a>. Valve is instead planning a big Steam Machine presence at GDC 2015, which takes place March 2-6.</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> games Hardware Peripherals steam controller Valve News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29114 at Microsoft Marks Down HP Pavilion x2 Hybrid PC to $199 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_pavilion_x2.jpg" alt="HP Pavilion x2" title="HP Pavilion x2" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Another solid gift idea</h3> <p>You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an <strong>HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199</strong> from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.</p> <p>The Pavilion x2 sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with an LED backlight, 1280x800 resolution, and 10-finger multi-touch support. It's powered by an Intel Atom Z3736F processor (1.33GHz to 2.16GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L-RS 1333MHz RAM. Other features include 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, headphone/microphone combo, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit).</p> <p>Those aren't the kind of specs that will knock your socks off, though respectable for the money. It also comes with a detachable keyboard and a year of Office 356 Personal, the latter of which is a $70 value.</p> <p>Interested? <a href="" target="_blank">Go here</a> to pick one up. And if not, here's a heads up that tomorrow's deal -- the last of the promotion -- is going to be half off a <a href="" target="_blank">12-month Xbox Music Pass</a> ($49.90 instead of $99.90).</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> 12 days of deals 2-in-1 Hardware hp pavilion x2 laptop microsoft notebook tablet News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29113 at Forget the Picture Frame, Use Lian Li's O Series Chassis to Hang a PC on Your Wall <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lian_li_pc-o7s.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-O7S" title="Lian Li PC-O7S" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />An open air wall-mountable chassis</h3> <p>Have you ever thought about hanging your PC components on a wall? Admittedly I have a time or three, though I've never attempted it because, quite frankly, it'd be a lot of work to secure each and every component on a bare wall, and then make it all look nice to boot. It looks like <strong>Lian Li read my mind -- the company's new O Series open-air cases are wall-mountable</strong> (and also a work in progress).</p> <p>There are four different models: the mini-ITX <a href="" target="_blank">PC-O5</a>, mini-ITX <a href="" target="_blank">PC-O5S</a>, micro-ATX <a href="" target="_blank">PC-O6S</a>, and the ATX <a href="" target="_blank">PC-O7S</a>. All of them are in the prototype stage, as Lian Li looks for user feedback from the DIY community as it fleshes out and tweaks a final design.</p> <p>Though they're built for different form factors, each case is similar in overall design. They all feature an oversized tempered glass window so that visitors can spy the entire build. And to keep it slim, graphics cards are installed parallel to the motherboard through a PCI riser card and extension.</p> <p>Cases with an "S" suffix denote water cooling compatibility, with the PC-O5S supporting radiators up to 240mm; the PC-O6S and PC-O7S support radiators up to 360mm.</p> <p>Wall mounting any of the O Series cases is optional (you'll probably want a wireless mouse and keyboard if going that route), as they can also be placed on a desk in the vertical position using an included aluminum stand with rubber grip, or horizontally on four attachable feet with rubber padding.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No word on when Lian Li might bring these case to market or what the MSRPs will be.</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 case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li o series News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:08:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29112 at Gabe Newell Vetoes Valve's Decision to Remove Hatred from Steam Greenlight <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hatred_banner.jpg" alt="Hatred Banner" title="Hatred Banner" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Controversial game returns to Steam Greenlight</h3> <p>In case you haven't heard, Hatred is an isometric shooter that even the developers -- Destructive Creations -- claim is "disturbing." It's about an antagonist with a "hatred for humanity" who wanders the outskirts of New York seeking out innocent victims. Or simply put, "Yes, it's a game about killing people" for no other reason than the main character's "deep-rooted hatred" of, well, everything and everyone. Or of himself. Whatever -- <strong>the subject matter prompted Valve's Doug Lombardi to yank the title from Steam Greenlight yesterday, only to have his decision vetoed today by Gabe Newell</strong>.</p> <p>"Based on what we've seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam," Lombardi explained to Destructive Creations as the reason why it was pulled. His decision sparked a debate and a bit of controversy in and of itself, especially since at the time it had over 13,000 "yes" votes, moving it to the number seven spot on the Greenlight list.</p> <p>A day later, Newell reversed the decision after he did a bit of investigating.</p> <p>"Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers," Newell said.</p> <p>All the publicity from the controversy has no doubt helped Hatred ascend to the number one spot after being brought back to the Greenlight. That doesn't necessarily mean it will make it to Steam, though it's hard to picture any other scenario at this point.</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> doug lombardi Gabe Newell games hatred steam greenlight stream Valve News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:38:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 29109 at