Crysis Warhead, despite releasing less than a year after Crysis, has received a few more oodles of critical acclaim than its predecessor. And, as a nice bonus, it also run admirably on rigs that aren't chock-full of wallet-devouring tech and don't display disturbing signs of sentience. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Crytek has decided to jab a toothpick through the multiplayer half of its latest opus and pass out some free samples.
Starting October 6th, a few quick clicks at www.mycrysis.com will provide you with an activation code for the weekend's festivities. Once signed-up, you'll have full access to Crysis Wars from 11:00 AM PDT on October 10th to 11:59 PM PDT on October 12th. To be clear, this isn't just a demo. It's the entire, 21-map multiplayer portion of the game.
“We have been extremely pleased with the reception we have received from gamers and press for Crysis Warhead,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “Crysis Wars is definitely a big reason for this success and something we are dedicated to, not only as a part of future Crysis titles, but in terms of releasing new modes and continued support for our growing community.”
Great idea on Crytek's part. So, those of you who pirate games for "demo purposes," will temporary full access to a game put an end to your swashbuckling ways?
Asus has to be feeling on top of the world, assuming sources at the company aren't blowing hot air. As DigiTimes reports it, those sources are claiming that Asus feasts on the lion's share of P45-based motherboard sales, with the company accounting for a whopping 80 percent of worldwide shipments.
Third quarter motherboard shipments are estimated at 6.12 million units, representing a growth rate of 20 percent and surpassing the company's original estimation of 15 percent. The numbers bode well for what's to come, as demand for Intel's X58 chipset based boards is also expected to run high.
Hate the blissful feeling that accompanies plucking a brand new game from the patch on launch day? Think digital distribution is just too convenient? Well then, you'll be one of the backward-thinking few who actually appreciate Ubisoft's Far Cry 2 pre-order deal. Simply stroll over to your nearest participating game store, place a few dollars in the cash register, and unlock "hours" worth of crucial gameplay! Have a looksie at what's on the other side of the hoops you'll soon be jumping through:
The Georgian: The Georgian informant has gone into hiding at the Fuel Depot in UFLL territory, find him and discover what your predecessor learned from him about the Jackal’s location.
The Bolivian: The Bolivian informant is on the run, trying to escape the country by stealing a plane from a small airfield in APR territory. Try to get to him before your predecessor does.
Special Delivery: Your employers have more information for you about your predecessor – learn the location of his new dead drop and raid it to find information about his secret meetings.
Le Francais: A French smuggler and arms dealer who may have been providing arms to the Jackal has been tipped off, and your predecessor is trying to stop him from crossing the border. Find out what Frenchman’s price is.
For those of you who don't pre-order, or who plan to (legally) download the title, we don't really know what to tell you. So far, the "bonus" seems to be limited to retail channels, but we'll contact Ubisoft for more info.
In the meantime, however, don't worry too much. We already pre-ordered the game months ago.
With a design so simple it falls under the “I-can’t-believe-no-one-else-thought-of-this-before” category, Sangho Jin of Yanko Design’s hanging hard drive concept is looking to clear up desk clutter, one tiny footprint at a time.
The hanging hard drive, which would mount to your laptop’s screen, provides a nice way to add additional storage to your machine without using valuable desk space. Granted, this simple shift in external HDD placement wouldn’t change any lives, there are definitely plenty of laptop users out there worried about aesthetics (looking at you, Mac users), and to them this will be a welcome change.
“Portable hard drives are not really THAT portable if you have to tote around another peripheral but maybe you should have bought a laptop with a bigger hard drive! OOO Zing! No I didn’t! Yes, yes I did just go there,” writes Yanko Design’s Long Tran on the concept’s page, “Kidding aside, the Hang it On hard drive encloser lets you hang you 2.5” companion off the back of your lappie’s LCD screen. Sure, now your MacBook Air looks like it has a tumor growing off it’s svelt lines but at least you’ll get more than a measily 80GB.”
SSD’s are hot, but how do you mount your new 2.5-inch solid state drive in a 3.5-inch bay without it looking ghettolicious?
The answer: Use a VelociRaptor’s extruded aluminum shell with Intel’s wicked fast SSD. The result is one a combination even better than peanut butter and chocolate if we may so say our selves.
Does it make sense to do this with a live VelociRaptor? Probably not, but we just happened to have a dead unit and rather than toss it in the garbage, we shucked out the dead drive by removing the four Torqx screws and mounted the Intel X25-M in its place. You can actually do this with a live VelociRaptor but you’ll immediately void the warranty on the drive. Does an SSD need all that aluminum to keep it cool? The answer is no, but it sure looks cool, right?
Western Digital's making a plea to those who are concerned about the environment yet still need oodles of hard drive space. The company's new 1TB Caviar Green drive delivers on both fronts. WD stuffs three 333GB platters in its new drive along with a beefy 32MB of cache, the most currently available on any consumer desktop drive. The company says the platter density and large cache help reduce the power draw by up to 20 percent while increasing performance by 10 percent.
But it's the performance that will have power users feeling the wrong kind of green. The new Caviar checks in with a poky 5400RPM spindle speed, trading off raw performance for noise management and power savings. Price becomes another trade off with WD setting the MSRP to $219, a good chunk higher than what many other 1TB drives are commanding on Newegg. Whether or not the new Green Caviar falls more in line with the competition on the street remains to be seen.
If there's one thing Nintendo's DS taught us, it's that there's some nifty uses for dual-screen electronics. The potential lies far beyond just gaming, and Microsoft Research's Ken Kinckley sees this perhaps more than anyone. Hinckley unveiled a prototype project he's been working on called Codex, which is essentially two OQO Model 02's fused together. The end result is a multi-tablet configuration designed to be more than a glorified eBook reader.
"The Codex has two screens, it's designed to be used that way, and you won't find any half-apologetic demos that try to mash them back together into one big screen," Hinckley writes in his blog. "Instead, it's all about the intelligent partitioning of tasks and interface elements across the screens."
As is essential for any would-be tablet, be it a single or dual screen version, Hinckley's concoction switches between portrait and landscape mode depending on the device's orientation. The screens can also be arched backwards in what he calls a battleship posture, or pop one of the screens right out of its binding.
Underneath the hood, the OQO Model 02 runs either Vista or XP with a 1.6GHz CPU, comes with WiFi and bluetooth, and uses either a 120GB hard drive or 64GB SSD. In other words, there's plenty of potential here for a kick-ass gadget.
Whether or not this ever makes it out of prototype form remains to be seen, and as such no information on pricing or availability has been made. Though as Hinckley points out, "the crass answer is you can have one now if you are willing to spend some dollars, build yourself a custom binder, and write a little bit of code."
A new survey conducted by Zeugma Systems reveals that more than 8 out of 10 U.S. broadband customers disapprove of having their bandwidth capped with fees for going over a predetermined limit. Judging by the comments in previous news stories we've run on the subject, it's the same sentiment shared by many Maximum PC readers. But unlike the latter, 83 percent of those polled also were clueless about what a gigabyte is or much bandwidth they're currently consuming. Despite the lack of information, just over half of the respondents claimed they would switch service providers if their ISPs implemented a broadband cap.
"These results are both an opportunity and a warning for BSPs," said Kevin Walsh, Zeugma Systems vice president of marketing. "The opportunity is that consumers are signaling a willingness to pay more for dedicated bandwidth over and above basic high speed internet for such services as premium internet video, VOIP, gaming, and corporate VPN access. The warning is a clear distaste for bandwidth caps. At a minimum, providers moving forward with bandwidth capping schemes may want to consider a more intelligent and flexible application of caps.”
Today marks the beginning of Comcast's 250GB cap, which has drawn ire from those who fear it might not be enough, particularly as HD streaming moves to the forefront of digital distribution. But if this latest poll is any indication, the cap size may not even matter to the majority of subscribers, it's the fact that there's a cap in place to begin with. That perception may prove to be an even bigger challenge than trying to convince subscribers that 250GB is a lot of bandwidth.
In the world of CPUs, die shrinks are usually precursors to a better all around chip, whether that means it runs cooler, overclocks higher, or races faster. Intel, AMD, and IBM are constantly at work trying to hit that next milestone, but what about consumer gadgets?
Shrunken dies are particularly important for portable electronics and handheld gadgets, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip makers, says its on the ball. The company announced plans to start using 28nm technology in its fabrication plants by 2010.
"Product differentiation, faster time-to-market and investment optimization are the three most important values TSMC delivers to our customers," said Jason Chen, TSMC's VP. "In support of these values, we are developing this comprehensive 28nm technology family so that it offers choices, depending on the customer applications and performance requirements."
According to TSMC, its upcoming 28nm chips will run 50 percent faster while consuming anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less power than current generation 40nm parts. The main target for these new chips will be the cellular industry, but both Nvidia and Texas Instruments also have a close relationship with TSMC. If TSMC's claims hold true, that could be good news for Nvidia and the future of its graphics cards.
According to a new report from Net Applications, both Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox browsers saw a drop in market share last month. That shouldn't come as a big surprise considering that Google's Chrome browser made its debut in the same time period, but what's interesting to note is that the combined drop exceeds the gains posted by Chrome.
At some point, Microsoft has to be getting concerned. IE still dominates the browser landscape by a wide margin, but that won't always be the case if it keeps giving up market share. IE slid .63 points to 71.52 percent in September, which adds up to a 3.95-point drop on the year, or down 5.2 percent. Firefox's slide was a little less slippery at .22 points settling in at 19.46 percent, and has gained ground on the year with a 2.48-point climb, or up 14.6 percent.
It also wouldn't take a leap of faith to assume most Chrome users were previously surfing with IE and Firefox, and if true, that would mean more IE users made the jump than those using Firefox. You can draw your own conclusion on that one.