Major retailers, banks and start-ups are reportedly jumping on the Apple Pay mobile payment bandwagon, according to recent media reports. TD Bank, USAA, Commerce Bank, Barclaycard and SunTrust are financial institutions willing to test Apple Pay, while Staples, Albertsons and Winn-Dixie are retailers also interested.
"Retailers and payment companies see Apple Pay as the implementation that has the best chance at mass consumer adoption, which has eluded prior attempts," said Patrick Moorhead, president f Moor Insights & Strategies, in a statement to the New York Times. "They believe it will solve many of the problems they had before with electronic payments."
Apple keeps its numbers confidential, but it appears there is growing adoption among iPhone owners - Whole Foods says there have been more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the past three months. Meanwhile, Apple Pay has accounted for 50 percent of McDonald's mobile payment transactions last month.
For those who don't know, Russia is experiencing some problems with its currency, the Russian ruble. This has forced Valve to take preventative measures for its digital distribution service, Steam, so that people don't buy super cheap games in Russia and gift them to people.
Valve has now region locked titles from the country according to reports from Engadget and NeoGAF, which is a first for Valve. This stops gamers from exploiting the low Russian currency, acquiring countless games at super cheap prices, and then gifting them to people. Secondly, it stops people using a VPN, and simply buying the games for themselves.
Apple has also performed a similar move, closing down its Russian online store as it was not able to keep up with the constant shift in the price of the ruble.
According to "AMD_Chris" on various forums, AMD is working on an impressive new feature dubbed "Dynamic Frame Rate Control". DFRC would allow gamers to put a lock on the total frame rate their video card can render, which can result in a huge amount of power savings.
The feature would most likely see AMD variably adjusting the clock speeds of the cards in order to hit the desired frame rate, such as 60FPS. It might sound like V-Sync, but it's nothing like it as DFRC stops your GPU from cranking things up internally to render 100FPS, when you're only receiving as much as your monitor can put out, which is 60Hz, or 60FPS most of the time.
DFRC will underclock your GPU once you hit 60FPS (or whatever frame rate you choose), allowing the card to not pull as much power from the wall. AMD_Chris says that "the power savings were mind blowing" and we would agree, if your card is rendering 120FPS+ in a more basic game and you've got DFRC set to 60FPS, the power savings would be fairly large. We can't wait to test this new feature, that's for sure - what about you?
It looks like Nintendo has a product in its pipeline that could be really quite interesting, where the Japan Times is reporting Nintendo is interesting in purchasing "free form" LCDs from Sharp.
According to Japan Times' sources, Nintendo would use Sharp's shape-shifting LCDs in a new successor to the Nintendo 3DS, or a sleep mapping device, or something else entirely. Sharp's new display technology rearranges circuitry throughout the display, which allows for screens to form in shapes that completely break the usual square or rectangular shape we've all become accustomed to over the years.
Purch, a "leading content and commerce company" has announced it has acquired AnandTech for an undisclosed sum of money. Purch is the company that acquired Tom's Hardware all those years ago. AnandTech will reportedly remain "editorially independent" from the deal.
AnandTech's current editor-in-chief, Ryan Smith, said "AnandTech has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, but we were nearing what's possible as an independent company. The challenge has always been that there are very few players in the publishing space these days who value deep, high-quality content. We wanted a partner that understood our values, had a sound business model to ensure AnandTech's legacy would continue for years to come, and would allow us to grow and expand our readership without compromising the quality that made us who were are today. Purch provides all of these things. I am beyond excited about what we'll be able to do with their support."
Anand Shimpi, who now works for Apple and was the founder of AnandTech in 1997 when he was just 14 years old, said "AnandTech represents much of my life's work over the past 18 years. I am happy to see it end up with a partner committed to taking good care of the brand and its readers. I wouldn't have had it any other way."
Love it or hate it, the Call of Duty series still pulls massive numbers. According to a recently issued release, the latest game in this long-standing series has been named the top-selling console game of the year in America.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing announced that "to date, 2014 has been a series of number ones for Activision Publishing: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the #1 top-selling game of the year, Skylanders is the #1 kids video game franchise of the year, and Destiny is the #1 top-selling new video game franchise of the year", with Hirshberg further commenting that "we are excited about how fans have responded to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny and Skylanders Trap Team, and have even more great new content in store in 2015."
According to the latest rumors from various sources, Rockstar is working on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2. The sequel to the popular GTA: San Andreas will be dropping on the PS4 and Xbox One sometime in 2015.
Rockstar reportedly "confirmed" that it was working on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2 at the PlayStation Experience event recently. According to the rumors, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2 will take place in 1999, some seven years after the events in the original game. CJ will return as the protagonist, which will be voiced by Young Maylay once again.
Many have claimed the news is fake, which is why we're putting a very big 'rumor' stamp on this one. With the news of Online Heists coming to GTA V next year, and GTA V reaching the #pcmasterrace on January 27, 2015, the world of Grand Theft Auto seems to be truly opening up for 2015.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now open to the wide world of Android tablets, marking their next step in development. With PC, Mac and iOS tablet versions already on the market, you can now pick yourself up Hearthstone for your Android operated tablet through Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.
Unfortunately this update doesn't include Android OS smartphones or Apple's iPhone, but according to a newly issued press release - they are on the way.
In a very basic analogy, Hearthstone takes the traditional card-gaming franchise (think Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering) and turns it digital, incorporating various features for every skill level, upgrades, levels, online play and more. As the player you're offered a variety of different game modes including ranked matches, deck building, vs. A.I play and 1v1 friend duels.
The Sony hacking scandal continues, with most US theaters pulling the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy from screening when it launches next week. Now, US officials are reportedly set to blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, after identifying the rogue country as the point of origin.
The US government has said that North Korea was "centrally involved" even though the attack may have been launched from another origin. There's no exact word on what we should expect the US government to add here, but it's going to get very interesting. One thought: if North Korea is a backwards as the world thinks it is, this is a damn huge job for them to pull off on their own. Hacking one of the biggest companies in the world, leaving various three-letter authorities completely baffled on who did it for a while there.
All of this just makes me want to see the movie more, what about you?
NVIDIA has released a new beta driver in the form of the GeForce 347.09, with the company releasing it as a "Game Ready" driver for two big releases this week: Elite: Dangerous and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.
The former, Elite: Dangerous, is worth noting as it's the first time the company has released a new driver the concentrates on a crowdfunded game like this. Elite: Dangerous isn't some massive AAA title like Call of Duty or Battlefield, but to the fans, it is. It's great to see NVIDIA releasing a driver ready for Elite: Dangerous. MGS V: Ground Zeroes on the other hand, we have full support for it with NVIDIA explaining "ensures you'll have the best possible gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Elite: Dangerous."
NVIDIA has also provided an application profile for Project CARS, as well as some new 3D Vision and 3D Compatibility Modes for various games, including Alien: Isolation, Far Cry 4 and Elite: Dangerous. If you want to download the new NVIDIA GeForce 347.09 Beta drivers, grab them right here.