Did you know that, on average, gamers find themselves embroiled in 43% more shouting-matches than non-gamers?
Neither did I, because it's a statistic I just made up. However, enshrouded by the many licks of flame that are now consuming my pants, there's a spark of truth. When we throw down across the 'net, the Lord Almighty actually plugs his ears -- not even He can damn people that hard.
Really, if I were to base my opinion of the gaming community on my harrowing online excursions, I probably would've slipped a full suit of armor under my Green Linen T-Shirt at QuakeCon.
But I don't, and I didn't.
Because, by and large, even the more obnoxious gamers are typically rational, socially acceptable creatures. However, given a headset and a broadband hook-up, everything changes. Outside, you're a walking, talking, glaring, physically imposing person; but on the Internet, you're a whisper bumbling through the static -- at best, a throaty voice who knows its way around a shotgun. In short, you're nothing. Your lack of presence, then, is a bright red target for someone's insecurities. If they're feeling small, they can make you even smaller with minimal effort.
Now let's turn this thing around. When you hop online, do anonymity's rays transform you into, well, a jerk? Or are you immune to Mr. Hyde's advances?
Well, today's Roundup should at least add some flavor to your jerkery. Inside, you'll find stories about GameStop sealing its own fate, NCSoft deciding that size does matter, and Hideo Kojima rallying against in-game advertising.
Several security vulnerabilities were reported in Google’s Chrome web browser after its beta version was launched earlier this month with much ado. Google has quickly responded with a security update that fixes four vulnerabilities. The update addresses two buffer overflow vulnerabilities, both rated critical by Google, and two other minor bugs. However, the carpet-bombing threat, first brought to light by security researcher Aviv Raff, still looms.
Nvidia and Opera have teamed up to provide a rich web browsing experience on mobile platforms. Nvidia will now provide “an optimized Opera 9.5 browser in its suite of pre-integrated, in-house and third-party software for the NVIDIA Tegra family of computer-on-chip Windows Mobile and Windows CE solutions.”
The web browsing experience currently available on most smartphones leaves a lot to be desired. But browsing on mobile devices is destined for a considerable leap in the near future as success of mobile devices is beginning to rest heavily on the browsing experience they offer.
In what's sure to elicit Tim Allen-like grunts, Philips has unveiled its Pronto TSU9800 touchscreen remote control. The new models retains all the same features as the previous model (TS9600), but upgrades to a bigger full-size 6.4-inch VGA display. Also new to the TSU9800:
Two more buttons + optical rotary wheel
Pronto Link support (allows a homeowner to control home theaters, lights, temperatures, security, and multi-room audio systems via a single remote)
Advanced two-way functionality by receiving feedback from RS-232 or IP-controlled devices in real-time
Philips is offering an optional accessory allowing users to mount the remote to any wall or table top, and will also make available two extenders for integrating into with home controls.
It can be argued that AMD didn't start to build an enthusiast following until the Barton days. Back then, the company's efficient processors not only held their own in performance, but destroyed Intel when it came to the bang/buck factor, both in regards to processor pricing and the overall platform (you could pick up a high end AMD motherboard for under $200). Ever since Intel finally responded with its Core 2 architecture, AMD has had a tougher time competing on the performance front, forcing AMD to slash prices, and that's what happening again. In addition to price cuts, AMD is also expanding its tri-core line.
The newly announced Phenom X3 8450e comes clocked at 2.1GHz and the Phenom X2 8250e putters at 1.9GHz. Both processors sport 512KB of L2 cache and 2MB of L3 cache, and both also come rated with a 65W TDP, compared to 95W for AMD's standard Phenom tri-core line. No pricing information has yet been announced for either model.
On the higher end, AMD's Phenom X3 8750 Black Edition will bring an unlocked multiplier to the table and cruise along at 2.4GHz. It will come with the same amount of L2 and L3 cache as the 8450e and 8250e processors, but rated at the aforementioned 95W TDP. Pricing has been set to $134 for bulk orders.
So what about the price cuts? AMD will drop it's X3 8450 (without the 'e' designation) down to $104 and X3 8650 down to $119, both in bulk.
Is there no end to the laser's usefulness? From being mounted to frickin' sharks to popping a house full of corn in the 80s, the answer appears to be no. Fast-forward to today and lasers are now going to be found in television sets.
First announced earlier this year at CES, Mitsubishi's LaserVue series is being billed by the company as the world's first laser-power TV. It's also one of the more expensive sets for its size. Set to initially make its debut this month as a 65" HDTV, the LaserVue will carry an MSRP of $7,000, or roughly comparable to that of higher end LCD TVs of the same size. If you can wait a little longer and have an extra $3,000 to drop, a 73" model will be available in the fourth quarter priced at $10,000.
According to Mitsubishi, LaserVue TVs are capable of about twice the color range of non-laser powered LCD TVs, while providing a brightness of 500 nits, 3D viewing capability, and will consume less than 200W of power.
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.