In a talky-torial published at The Escapist, Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker hinted at yet another presumably free addition to TF2’s bullet-ridden house of hilarity. And fortunately for those who’ve moved onto grayer pastures, the article touts a “very different” mode currently just out of sniping range.
"A new Payload map is in the works, more community maps are on the way and the team will soon unveil a very different new game mode," read the article.
In addition, Walker confirmed that Valve has all manner of new class designs just waiting to get their shots at the small screen, but wouldn’t give a timeframe for their deployment.
“We've got several new class designs floating around, some of which we like a lot, but right now we're focusing on the broadening of our existing classes through the addition of the unlockables," he said.
Frankly, as long as Valve tosses up a few more “Meet the ____” movies, we’ll be dandy. How about you?
Remember Microsoft's rare out-of-band security update from last October, MS08-067? Microsoft warned us then that Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 SP4 were especially vulnerable to being attacked. Windows Update probably took care of patching your home computer. However, companies and individuals that were slow to patch their fleets of PCs with KB958644 could find their computers now infected by a nasty worm called Conficker, Downadup or Kido.
How big a deal is Conficker/Downadup? According to F-Secure, the number of infected machines went from 2.4 million to 8.9 million in just four days as of last Friday. Panda Security now estimates that as many as one in every 16 PCs may be infected. F-Secure wraps up its analysis by saying "The situation with Downadup is not getting better. It's getting worse." Panda compares the outbreak with the legendary Kournikova (2001) and Blaster (2003) outbreaks.
How does Conficker/Downandup spread, and what can you do about it? Join us after the jump to learn more.
Thanks to the rumor mill’s constant churning, there’s some new talk of Dell’s Adamo laptop not being released until the second half of this year, as opposed to the originally planned first half.
Reportedly, Dell’s ultra thin offering is only in sample production by Foxconn, and won’t be in volume production until the second half of this year. By that time, they should have already made about 400,000 systems.
Foxconn spokesperson Edmund Ding hasn’t denied the claims, but states that the company has “no knowledge” of the orders. There doesn’t appear to be any statement by Dell either.
It looks like the MacBook Air has the floor for just a bit longer than most had expected.
Intel has admittedly been mighty progressive when it comes to their energy conservation efforts. In the past few years, they’ve devoted a few million dollars from their annual budget to research the energy efficiency, and they’ve been making some pretty significant strides. Their latest look into renewable energy comes from the top of their datacenters in New Mexico, where they’ve put 10-kilowatt photovoltaic installations in an experiment aimed at finding out more about the possibilities of solar power.
This isn’t their first dive into the energy conservation pool, either. Just last year the California based chip-maker opened an installation in Oregon that produced 100 kilowatts of power. And Intel wasn’t even using this juice; instead they integrated it with Portland’s General Electric grid.
While there are some clear issues as to why solar might not work well with running servers (that have to be on 24 hours a day), it is commendable that Intel is looking to take a big step forward in this arena.
We wouldn't advise strapping a brick of Black Cat fireworks to a perfectly good computer mouse, but if you have an old rodent laying around just taking up space in your PC parts bin, you now have an excuse to put it to sleep in the most inhumane manner you can think of. That's because gaming peripheral maker Razer is asking users to submit a YouTube video of "how you trashed your old mouse to stand a chance to win the Razer Mamba," which is Razer's new hybrid gaming mouse.
Razer showed off the Mamba at this year's CES, which features a hybrid wired/wireless design in a shell that looks very similar to the company's DeathAdder. The new mouse is set to go on sale in February with an MSRP of $130. The deadline to enter the contest is January 30, with winners to be announced on February 17, 2009.
Razer hasn't said how many winners it will select or what the criteria will be, but this isn't the first time the gaming peripheral company has tasked users with destroying hardware for a chance at trading up. Razer ran a similar contest with its Tarantula keyboard, in which 5 winners were selected.
Don't plan on entering but still have a cool idea on how to destroy a mouse? Hit the jump and share!
Add Corsair to the list of manufacturers now offering SSDs. Like many others before them, the memory maker is focusing on the mainstream market with its SSD debut, but is skipping lower capacity 32GB and 64GB models, at least for the time being, and has jumped straight to 128GB.
Corsair's also skipping the JMicron 602 controller, which is probably a good move considering the associated complaints of stuttering and poor overall performance. Instead, Corsair's S128 will use a Samsung controller and specially-selected Samsung NAND chips. Just don't expect to be blown away by its performance - the MLC-based SSD comes rated at up to 90MB/s and 70MB/s read and write speeds respectively, although Corsair says that faster drivers are in the works.
No word yet on price and availability in the U.S.,
Nvidia’s ever growing arsenal of graphics cards has just broken into the low profile market with their Quadro NVS 420. The card features 512MB of memory, 11.2GB/sec per GPU of bandwidth, a CUDA Parallel Computing Processor, and can power up to four 30-inch displays at 2,560 x 1,600.
Admittedly the cards specs along with its size make it a pretty impressive little beast, at $499 it doesn’t seem too practical. But, should there be any small form-factor PC users out there looking to get their hands on this much power, it will be available next month.
We'd accuse Intel of trying to smoodge its way to the top, except that the No. 1 chip maker is already there and doesn't appear poised to relinquish its position. But Intel CTO Justin R. Rattner has reached out to the incoming Obama administration's newly created CTO with an open letter asking that technology in education, environment, heatlhcare, and internet broadband be prioritized.
If you attended CES this year, you may have been among the thousands who participated in a related survey, in which Intel asked respondents what they felt should be the top priorities for the first ever U.S. CTO. The survey results played a role Rattner's letter, in which he asks the new CTO to double NSF and DOE research budgets, enact a multi-year extension of the R&D tax credit, establish a national policy around green technology, give incentives for ISPs to deploy affordable broadband nationwide, create a new healthcare network system that would connect doctors, hospitals, labs, and patients by 2012, and more.
Read the full letter here (PDF), along with Rattner's blog entry on the subject here. Original survey can be found here (PDF).
Apple had a good year in notebook sales in 2008, but according to Forbes, Steve Jobs' health is just one of the troubles Apple will face in 2009. Like everyone else, the economy has taken its toll, sending Apple's share price down by more than 50 percent in the past six months from $171.81 to $82.33. But it's the emerging netbook market that could ultimately bite into Apple's revenue.
Despite Apple's success in the mobile PC market, average notebook prices are far below what you can expect to pay for a MacBook, and prices will only go lower as the economy continues to struggle. Acer's Aspire one, which sells for around $320, became the best selling netbook in 2008 putting Acer in fourth place in the PC market and ahead of Apple. And with Intel's next-gen Atom processor promising lower cost netbooks, Apple may find itself struggling to compete, whose lowest price notebook sells for $1,000.
Catch Forbes' full analysis here, then tell us what you think below.
Back in November, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue its fee-based Live OneCare subscription service by June 30, 2009 and replace it with free security software the company claims "will provide comprehensive protection from malware including virusus, spyware, rootkits, and trojans." Microsoft's plans could spell bad news for security vendors who sell comprehensive security suites, but at least three companies are already looking forward.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft's Morro will compete will full fledged third-party applications, but according to Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc, competition won't stand in the way of ensuring everyone's security apps work with Windows 7.
"Microsoft has been actively working with security partners to help them get their applications ready for Windows 7," LeBlanc said. "Three security developers have taken the build we released to developers in October and have developed solutions available today that work with Windows 7 Beta."
Hit the jump and tell us what effect you think Morro will have third party security software.