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ECS LIVA X Mini PC SFF Desktop PC Review

ECS LIVA X Mini PC SFF Desktop PC Review

Today we take a close look at ECS's latest small form factor PC offering, the LIVA X Mini PC, featuring a passively cooled Intel BayTrail SOC setup.

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G2A fires back in Ubisoft spat, offers game license key replacements

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Gaming | Posted: 3 hours, 47 mins ago

Ubisoft isn't going to win many customer appreciation awards with their recent move to ban game key licenses purchased through third-party key resellers. Sites such as G2A and Kinguin (among others) buy license keys in countries where prices are lower, then offer them for sale globally. Ubisoft isn't appreciative of the practice, so they took the step of wantonly deploying the Ubisoft Banhammer and revoking the keys. The problem with this approach is that it punishes the customer, instead of pursuing litigation or other methods against the resellers. In many cases, the user who purchased the key is unaware there is an issue with the practice.

 

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G2A has taken to Facebook to respond, and first denied involvement in any wrongdoing, and then offered refunds on all keys purchased with G2A Shield. It is important to note that only G2A Shield customers are protected, and that other situations will be decided individually.

 

"As some of you may already know, steps have been taken to remove games purchased indirectly from a publisher, via main marketplaces in the web. G2A.COM is not in any case responsible for any of these procedures. However, we are well aware of this process and will do everything possible to compensate for that. For users who have made transactions without G2A Shield, we will check if the corresponding merchant was responsible for the withdrawal of the code. If so, these users will get a compensation. Any user who used G2A Shield affected by the current process will get either a new code for the game or the money back. G2A.COM will make every possible exertion to prevent this kind of procedures in the future and exclude merchants responsible for such incidents from the marketplace."

Continue reading 'G2A fires back in Ubisoft spat, offers game license key replacements' (full post)

MSI announces BIOS updates to enable NVMe compatibility

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: 4 hours, 14 mins ago

We are lucky enough here at TweakTown to be on the cutting edge of storage devices, and right now the bleeding edge is currently NVMe (Covered in our Defining NVMe article). As part of our standard testing, and also for daily operating system usage, we have been using NVMe SSDs for some time. The only problem has been spotty boot support. We have went through a merry-go-round of various motherboards to find models that will actually support booting an NVMe device, as none are officially certified as NVMe compatible...until now.

 

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MSI has announced they are in fact the first consumer motherboard manufacturer to fully support NVMe. The compatible motherboards are confined to the 9 series chipset, but encompass the X99, Z97, and H97 models. Current users can head over to MSI to find a BIOS update for their motherboard that enables the functionality.

 

The new BIOS revisions support NVMe devices in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in 64-bit flavors. They also fully support booting from NVMe devices. Consumer-oriented NVMe devices are still in the pipeline and yet to be released. However, bleeding-edge enterprise devices can be used in a desktop environment if one has the cash to spare, so check out a review by our RAID expert Jon Coulter in standard desktop usage in his Intel DC P3700 800GB NVMe vs. Intel 730 Series SATA SSD RAID Report.

Continue reading 'MSI announces BIOS updates to enable NVMe compatibility' (full post)

Taylor Swift fights back at hackers who claim they have naked pictures

By: Chris Smith | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 4 hours, 34 mins ago

Hackers hijacked Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram accounts today, threatening to release naked pictures of the popular singer. Swift has bitten back, announcing on her Twitter that there are no 'nudes' to be had and the only way they could 'uncover' anything would be to use Photoshop.

 

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After stating that her Twitter had been compromised though Tumblr, she later announced that her Instagram had also fallen victim. People are questioning if the superstar has been using the same password for multiple social media accounts, as it's uncommon to see a small amount of accounts compromised like this - usually its a singular service taken or its everything in one go.

 

The hacker-made tweets have now been deleted from her account and everything has gone back to normal. Seemingly Swift has been able to shake it off quite well - laughing in the face of the hackers.

Continue reading 'Taylor Swift fights back at hackers who claim they have naked pictures' (full post)

ASUS looks toward one week smartphone battery charges

By: Chris Smith | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 4 hours, 39 mins ago

We've already been warned of one major issue with smartwatch usage - Not only do the manufacturers all seemingly list a nightly-charge routine, but it seems likely that these devices will barely last a full working day idling without requiring a charging cable to be used.

 

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Obviously this isn't optimal, with users often charging their smartphones daily alongside other portable devices including tablets. Apple have been reportedly aiming for a 19-hour window, alongside 2.5 to 4 hours when in constant use. This is a stark contrast to ASUS, who are apparently going to use a simplified chipset and mobile operating system to ensure extended use.

 

ASUS chairman Jonney Shih has proudly stated "the ZenWatch is defined by us as a companion of a smartphone, and we think it still has a lot of room for improvement," further commenting that "as a companion device, its central processing unit and operating system should be more simplified than the current version, so that I can use it for up to seven days on one charge, rather than for just two days."

Continue reading 'ASUS looks toward one week smartphone battery charges' (full post)

Sony mobile may cut 1000 more jobs

By: Chris Smith | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 5 hours, 43 mins ago

According to Nikkei business daily, Sony is planning to cut another 1,000 workers from their mobile division in order to bring it back to profitability.

 

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These layoffs are said to affect the European and Chinese branches, with the cuts expected to be made public knowledge soon as part of an announced restructuring plan. Rumors state that this information will be brought to light on February the 4th, during their quarterly result report.

 

After acquiring Sony Ericsson fully in 2012, Sony has been on the warpath to increase their smartphone operations with limited success. Q3 2013 results for Sony reported sales of $2.8 billion, showing a small 1 percent rise. This was coupled with reports that then mentioned Sony was thrown $27.56 billion into the red thanks to a "large write-off in the perceived value of the company's brand" as explained by PC World.

Continue reading 'Sony mobile may cut 1000 more jobs' (full post)

Android app claims you will fall asleep with 10 minutes of use

By: Chris Smith | More News: Apps | Posted: 6 hours, 33 mins ago

With over 50,000 current downloads, this free medical app for the Android platform is called Sleeping pills. Stated by their staff to send you to sleep in 10 minutes without the aide of tablets or special training, it's based on yoga breathing methods.

 

 

Released in January, this app is free and has just seen an iOS release - both versions are available in 25 different languages.

 

It's not some kind of wizardry, their press release claims that the app works by sending a beam of light to your ceiling. This light becomes brighter and darker, pulsating slowly. You must then match your breathing with the light pulsations, allowing for the production of cortisol to cease and for you to fall asleep.

 

Take a look for yourself, the Android and iOS versions are free and available now.

Continue reading 'Android app claims you will fall asleep with 10 minutes of use' (full post)

Lithium-ion batteries look to kevlar for fire safety

By: Chris Smith | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 7 hours, 35 mins ago

Researchers have now apparently solved the small issue of lithium-ion batteries having the possibility of catching fire or exploding. This has been achieved by using a material derived from Kevlar to insulate specific parts of the device that are responsible for storage and discharge of energy.

 

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Leaks within these walls can cause short circuits followed by fire or explosions, however Kevlar is a tough customer. With the ability to stop some bullets from penetrating human skin, the researchers have used it to bar leaks in batteries with great success. These batteries will be first used in robots and military services, seeing them later come over to laptops, tablets, smartphones, electric cars and various other household goods as according to Dan VanderLey, the CIO and co-founder of Elegus Technologies - a startup that's attempting to commercialize this finding.

 

Wondering how lithium-ion batteries actually work? PC World stated in their recent article that "lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes and an electrolyte fluid that allows the lithium ions to flow between them. They're separated currently by a film of polyethylene or polypropylene, but it's porous and if material passes through it a short circuit can result."

Continue reading 'Lithium-ion batteries look to kevlar for fire safety' (full post)

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms the Watch will ship in April

By: Chris Smith | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 8 hours, 41 mins ago

Alongside Apple announcing they've just posted the largest quarterly profit in mankind's history, CEO Tim Cook has also confirmed that their long-awaited smartwatch will ship in April.

 

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Analyst Ming Chi Kuo from KGI Securities claimed recently that the watch would go on sale in March, with Cook now crushing that ideal.

 

Although no more product information has been currently released, you should expect it to start hitting the headlines in the coming month, especially seeing as we're now only two months away from the shipment date.

More Counter Strike tournaments join the banned-wagon, FACEIT and CEVO

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: 9 hours, 33 mins ago

Yesterday we told you about how ESEA and the all-mighty Valve had spoken up, banning numerous American and Canadian professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players from their future events due to match fixing and a betting scandal.

 

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In recent news, two other large-scale CS:GO entities have followed suit - seeing FACEIT and CEVO both taking action against these players.

 

FACEIT have removed the ex-iBUYPOWER team from their 2015 league, further stating that Joshua "steel" Nissan and Derek "dboorN" Boorn from Torqued will be barred from competing in their league closed qualifier. Not only the players were affected, with Casey Foster (pictured above), a member in this scandal and a head admin of FACEIT North America, being dismissed from his position.

 

CEVO is where the actual match fixing event took place. Their CEO & President, Charlie Plitt, has joined the anti-betting fight by stating "I am truly disappointed in these gentlemen who have been long time members of the CEVO community. It saddens me to think that they were willing to throw their individual reputations and competitive gaming careers away all out of greed." He went on to explain that "I want to further reiterate to the CEVO community that CEVO vehemently opposes these actions and will suspend anyone who engages in like actions. We will remain vigilant in upholding and refining our rules in an effort to provide the fairest gameplay possible."

Continue reading 'More Counter Strike tournaments join the banned-wagon, FACEIT and CEVO' (full post)

The Witcher 3 on PCs blows away PS4 and Xbox One versions

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 10 hours, 33 mins ago

While CD Projekt Red may have delayed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to May 19, we're finding out more information on the game thanks to various members of the press playing with the latest build of the open-world title.

 

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The developer has revealed that the most recent build of The Witcher 3 is running at 1080p on the PS4 while the Xbox One version is knocked down to 900p on the Xbox One, which is the least impressive version of the game against the PS4 and PC. The Witcher 3 on the PS4 is running at 1080p at 30FPS with higher fidelity graphics than the Xbox One version, even though it's been knocked down to 900p.

 

What's more interesting is that gaming industry insider 'shinobi602' reporting that the PCs that CD Projekt Red had setup with The Witcher 3 were "specced to consoles" or whatever that means.

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