We knew Microsoft wouldn’t forget about us gamers. Yesterday, they debuted a new mouse-tracking technology in the Explorer mouse, which is targeted toward “productivity” users. We were a little skeptical of Bluetrack’s application for gaming, since the Explorer only has a 1000Dpi sensor. Well, Microsoft has assuaged all fears with the announcement of the Sidewinder X8, a BlueTrack mouse which has a sweet 4000 dpi sensor. This high-end gaming mouse is a step up from the original Sidewinder (which will remain in production), and retains features we like from the series: a Dpi adjustor with LCD indicator, vertical thumb buttons, and customizable weights (features which were omitted from the lower-end X5 model). We got some hands-on time with the X8, and was able to put it side-by-side with its non-BlueTrack siblings.
Hit the jump to check out the entire Sidewinder family.
If your ISP goes down during a bad thunderstorm or other unexpected outage, you might find yourself reflecting on just how dependent you've become on this thing they call the interweb. But while most of us only have to suffer through temporary downtime on rare occasions, what about the "other 3 billion" people who lack internet access altogether?
Google hopes to change that, and with the help of Liberty Global and HSBC, the three internet saviors are backing a start-up called O3b Networks (can you guess what O3b stands for?). Initial production of 16 low-cost satellites is already underway and will eventually provide the infrastructure for locales without high-speed networking cable, including emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.
"The O3b Networks system wil completely change the economics of telecommunications infrastructure in the world's fastest-growing markets for communications services," O3b said in a statement.
Look for the service to become active in 2010, with the door being left open for even more satellites down the line.
If rumors prove correct, AMD plans to keep busy this month. The company is said to be adding to its ATI HD 4000 lineup with a pair of mid-range HD 4600 series videocards, and an entry level 4500 series GPU.
According to reports, the HD 4650 will be based on ATI's RV730 core with 512MB GDDR2 memory. On the slightly higher end, the HD 4670 will come in two flavors, one sporting 512MB of GDDR3 and one with 1GB of GDDR3. Pricing for the new cards are expected to be between $70 to $90.
On the lower end, the HD 4550 will make a debut in late September with a price tag between $45 to $55. A 256MB version will cost $15 less, and in mid-October, the HD 4350 with 256MB of GDDR2 memory will complete AMD's flurry of new low and mid-range videocards.
Had a chance to play Spore yet? If not, you're missing out on one of the most addicting games to be released in recent months, although you're far from being alone. For as much fun as it is to play Spore (and make no mistake, it's a crazy addicting game), what has long been an anticipated release is now being made an example of for any publisher considering using a similar DRM scheme.
Somewhere along the line, EA's brass decided it made good business sense to not only require online activation, but to limit its customers to only three activations. Exceed the number of activations and you'll need to get EA on the phone to request more. The idea, of course, is to stop or limit people from pirating the game, but not only has that already failed, but the three-activation limitation has the PC gaming community tossing pitchforks and torches in EA's direction.
Specifically, gamers have zoned in on Amazon as the meeting ground for their anti-DRM rally. In just over two days, Spore has been given an overall 1-star rating by nearly 2,000 angry gamers. They can do this, at least for the time being, because Amazon makes it possible to leave user reviews without actually having to buy the game, and that's exactly what has happened. Publishers, are you paying attention?
Are gamers who haven't purchased Spore justified in slamming the game in the form of a 'customer review,' or has EA brought this on themselves with its draconian DRM scheme? Hit the jump to post your thoughts.
The print media is under constant pressure from its more dynamic electronic counterpart. As if the idiot box and online news outlets weren't enough, it has now got blogs and podcasts to contend with. It will have to evolve quickly, so as to to keep its rivals at bay. Some companies see an opportunity in that imminent need for reinvention.
Plastic Logic happens to be on of those companies. It has developed an electronic newspaper reader that uses a plastic display. The company will be showcasing the device at an emerging devices show in San Diego. It hasn't still named its electronic newspaper reader, which has a screen size twice that of Amazon's Kindle. Pocket Logic’s reader didn’t have to pay a hefty price for the increased screen size: it weighs only two ounces more than Amazon’s reader and is thrice as slim.
It replicates the look of a newspaper, but is also meant to display business documents. The company will make key announcements regarding its reader, including its price and details of content providers, during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Dell’s ongoing financial travails and tribulation have driven it to a very drastic step of disposing off factories. It plans to sell most of its factories within the next year and a half in order to curb costs. The possibility of Dell selling or closing all of its plants also can not be ruled out, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Asian contract manufacturers are the most likely buyers of Dell’s factories.
The eventual buyers of its plants might also be entrusted with the task of manufacturing Dell products. However, the second largest PC manufacturer in the world might find it difficult to attract Asian buyers towards its U.S factories that have high operational costs due to the steep cost of labor.
Dell is undergoing metamorphic changes (read strategical): it has mobilized its financial resources towards building a stronger retail presence. Furthermore, it is betting big on cloud computing.
Games like Crysis prove to be an acid test for game hardware because of their insatiable hunger for computer resources. Although these hi-fi games are a visual treat, they are at times blamed for hastening the demise of PC gaming by making it an expensive hobby.
The Warhead PC will feature an Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 @2.66GHz, Nvidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB graphics card, G31 mATX, 2GB memory and 250GB hard drive. The price of the machine has been revealed to be a very reasonable $699. All said, the aesthetics are bland and might not appeal to eclectic gamers.
Interested parties can sign-up for updates, and subsequently, pounce on the rig when it appears along with the game on September 16th, 2008.
If you play vidoegames, there's something wrong with you.
No, no, not in the "And your face is dumb and those pants do, indeed, have people mistaking you for a land-walrus" sense; I mean that you're genuinely dissatisfied with some aspect of your life. At the very basest level, you're bored. Life, at the clock tick during which you choose to plop down with a controller, just isn't giving you the pulse-pounding rush you desire. That's a problem, and gaming is your escape.
Thus, we walk right into the term "escapism." The moment you hit the power button and leave a game world's towering doors swinging wide in your wake, your mid-level job, your annoying roommate, and your walrus-pants are all left pounding their fists on the other side.
But that's where our paths diverge.
For instance, my mind wanders when its juices aren't crashing toward one coherent goal. To properly leave my world behind, I need another established world to focus on. I need a game that'll pour so many thoughts into my mind that all of my real world baggage gets crowded out.
However, you might be different. You might enjoy sitting back, relaxing, and turning off all but your basest inhibitory functions. You might be a Nintendo fan. After all, who really wants to think after a tough day in the office?
So, when you're bitter, sore and nursing a severe case of the Mondays, which games help you escape? Do you kick back with something simple and fluffy, or do you absorb yourself in more complex fare?
Well, either way, today's Roundup is nearly guaranteed to slump your tensely hunched shoulders. Unless you're emotionally invested in the well-being of Ensemble Studios, Fallout 3's global censorship, or your inability to ever play Portal 2 as a result of the world's untimely end, this Roundup is like slipping into a steamy bath.
In the end, it might be easier keeping a problematic IT administrator on board than to let him go. Top level execs take note - according to a new survey, which pinged 300 IT administrators still with a job, a staggering 88 percent admitted they would steal company secrets if they were laid off.
The information IT professionals not-yet-scorned said they'd take include the CEO's passwords, the customer database, R&D plans, financial reports, M&A plans, and the company's list of privileged passwords. And when it comes to that last one, administrators don't even need to be laid off in order to start poking around. More than a third of those surveyed claimed to have used privileged passwords to snoop on the network, look up salaries, and peek at other personnel details assumed to be private.
"Our advice is secure the most privileged data, and routinely change and manage them, so that if an employee's contract is terminated, whether sacked or made redundant, they can't maliciously play havoc inside the network or vindictively steal data for competitive or financial gain," said Udi Mokady, chief executive of security firm Cyber-Ark.
You gotta give some credit to the Zune, who despite weaker-than-expected sales and the inevitable release of new, updated players from Apple’s popular iPod lineup (as well as an iTunes upgrade), attempts its hand at persuadable marketing with new emphasis on the media player’s wireless capabilities.
According to Microsoft, the Zune promises to take music discovery “to the next level” by offering users the ability to wirelessly download and stream millions of song from wireless hot spots around the country. Zune’s software and firmware updates will allow users to purchase music directly from the built-in FM radio as well as wirelessly access the Zune store on the go. And if wireless isn’t available, the media player will queue the download until the user is back in a connected area.
Microsoft is attempting to take advantage of the fact that its player has wireless capabilities and the user can purchase the song as soon as he or she discovers it from the radio, in a store, from a commercial, etc. Zune customers will also have the option to pay for music per song or by purchasing a Zune Pass.