When NVIDIA unveiled its Maxwell architecture in September, we were thoroughly impressed. Even the high-end GPUs were able to sip power, while providing an immense amount of power. Well, the time has come for the mid-range GPUs to come out and surprise with the rumors of a GeForce GTX 960 announcement continuing, something we should hear about next month.
The new Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 960 is reportedly set for an announcement on January 22, 2015 - a new GPU that would feature a single 6-pin PCIe connector. This means the GeForce GTX 960 would only consume a total of 150W, down from the 165W required on the high-end GeForce GTX 980. We should see third-party cards from the likes of ZOTAC, ASUS, GIGABYTE and others that will ramp things up with custom coolers and increased power requirements, but the reference GTX 960 will sip between 100-120W with a total TDP of 150W.
Where things will get interesting is how competitive NVIDIA prices the GTX 960 in the market, where we should expect a price in the US of between $200-$250, which should begin to push AMD up against the wall. AMD has plenty of cards in the mid-range GPU market, with the Radeon R9 285, R9 280, and then the slightly more expensive R9 280X and R9 290s, but NVIDIA could really start taking away some of those Radeon sales with this new GeForce GTX 960. Especially if it could release it at $199, it could be the card to buy for the first half of 2015.
Valve may have kicked off its annual Steam Holiday Sale, but Green Man Gaming is becoming a bigger gaming sale force to be reckoned with, with their new Green Grogre holiday sale.
The digital games retailer has a slew of games on sale, which include Alien: Isolation for $25 and The Evil Within for $20.39. Total War: Rome 2 Emperor Edition is on sale for just $14.98, too. You can also jump on the massive Half-Life Complete Edition, or Tomb Raider Franchise compilations, both of which have a huge 75% off.
Green Man Gaming is running their Green Grogre holiday sale from now through to January 2, with various games to go on sale on a rotation.
No. 1 social networking site Facebook must do something to appeal more towards teenagers, as the site again dropped in popularity among users 13 to 17 years old, according to a survey conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates. Facebook usage among teenagers dropped from 95 percent in 2012 down to 94 percent in 2013, and further declined in 2014 to 88 percent.
Although 88 percent is still quite impressive, there is growing concern that Facebook no longer is the "in" thing for teenage users. Ironically, Facebook-owned Instagram is cannibalizing its market share, as other social networking websites continue to pressure Facebook. However, Facebook still seems to be in an ideal position to remain the most popular choice among teenagers, even though some have argued that the website has lost its touch.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg noted that the "vast majority of US teens are on Facebook, and the majority of US teens use Facebook almost every day." - and Forrester Research numbers found Facebook is still the top social networking website among those aged between 12 and 17.
Shots fired: During the launch of YU Digital's new smartphone, the CEO and founder of Cyanogen Kirt McMaster attended, where he had some striking things to say about Samsung during a Q&A session after the announcement of the smartpone from YU Digital's new Yureka smartphone.
McMaster said that its competitors can't match them, and then said "Samsung couldn't build a good OS if they tried." He continued, adding that Cyanogen is all about "super optimizing Android and taking it to a new level. since they started. We believe that... there's an opportunity to be the first or second dominant version of Android on the planet."
He didn't only go after Samsung, he had some not-so-nice things to say about Mozilla's Firefox and Samsung and Intel's collaborative OS, Tizen, are "irrelevant" they have "zero user bases" and "it's meaningless." Don't hold back, McMaster, don't hold back at all, okay? You can watch him cut into Mozilla and Samsung at the 1:16:45 mark on the YouTube video above.
Markus "Notch" Persson may have dropped $70 million on the most expensive house in Beverly Hills, outbidding the likes of JayZ and Beyonce, but someone has spent much more time and effort recreating the amazing mansion in... you guessed it... Minecraft.
Dan Bovey has spent considerable time rebuilding the massive mega-mansion, with a close to shot-for-shot comparison between the recreated one in Minecraft, and the real $70 million mansion. Impressive stuff!
Microsoft and Sony are clashing with their Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game consoles, while Nintendo quietly develops ideas for a new generation game console, according to Shigeru Miyamoto. It's not uncommon for companies to quickly begin development of a new game console while actively promoting its current offering - but plans typically remain quiet, with company executives not discussing anything with the media.
"For the time being, our focus is on the Wii U hardware, but Nintendo as a whole has groups working on ideas for new hardware systems," Miyamoto said in an interview with the AP. "While we're busy working on software for the Wii U, we have production lines that are working on ideas for what the next system might be."
It's possible the next Mario game could be saved until the next Nintendo console platform is made available - but the gaming world will have to wait for confirmation.
The United States pointed towards North Korea being behind the massive Sony Pictures data breach, and many have argued for some type of retaliation against the country. However, trying to determine how to seek revenge on the North Korean government, in regards to cyberattacks, remains difficult. Trying a cyberattack in response would be risky, as the US has significantly more to lose if the North Koreans, along with its allies, decide to escalate the issue further.
"Nothing more," said Christopher Budd, online security communications professional, in a post published by GeekWire. "Yes, you read that right: nothing more. I believe that the U.S. should do nothing more in response to this situation than they already have: naming North Kore clearly as being behind this."
It seems more likely the US government will impose further sanctions on North Korea - and perhaps find ways to hurt the country's economy even further. Another idea is to find a way to distribute "The Interview" inside of North Korea, along with distributing "Team America" into the country - but that seems rather far-fetched.
Cyber espionage is a growing underworld business, with small nation states and foreign terror groups continuing to launch cyberattacks against enemies, according to a report released by McAfee Labs. Everything from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to malware being delivered via social engineering techniques are being added to cyber arsenals, used by increasingly sophisticated groups.
Established nations with cyber warfare programs will look for stealthier methods to gather intelligence and cripple political and military rivals - and developing cyber espionage programs remain dedicated to stealing finances and causing disruptions.
"Of particular note, McAfee Labs now sees sophisticated Eastern European cybercriminals shifting from quick, direct attacks on financial-institution customer credentials (leading to financial theft) to a more sophisticated advanced persistent threat (APT) approach in which they collect intelligence that they can either sell or use at a later date," according to the McAfee report.
BlackBerry's revenue dropped 34 percent during its fiscal third quarter, posting a net loss of $148 million, ending Q3 with $3.1 billion in cash. It may seem like a major financial loss, but the Canadian smartphone maker lost $4.4 billion during Q3 last year, and was a slightly smaller loss than reported during Q2.
The company expects it to take a "couple of quarters" before sales begin to increase, as BlackBerry still struggles to compete against the Apple iPhone - and smartphones from Samsung and other manufacturers using Google Android.
Here is what Chen said during the financial call: "Things are happening. I'm encouraged that they are happening, but I wouldn't say that all things are well. I mean we still need a lot of work and a lot of attention and working well together and that's what I'm spending most of my time on."
Bitcoin supporter Charlie Shrem, 25, was given a two-year prison sentence for his role in sending $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road. He pled guilty earlier in the year for aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business. Shrem was a former vice chairman for the Bitcoin Foundation, and must also forfeit $950,000 for his role in the operation.
Shrem was described as someone who "excitedly" participated in the "very innovativeness" of drug trafficking, according to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. The bitcoin supporter faced up to five years in prison, while the court wanted a 57-month term - as Shrem's BitInstant company knowingly processed bitcoins that were used to sell and purchase drugs via Silk Road.
Shrem offered the following statement via Twitter: "I've been sentenced to 2 years, to self surrender in 90 days. Considering I was facing 30 years, justice has been served. #Bitcoin."