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Gaming has changed the way we spend time with friends - here's how

Gaming has changed the way we spend time with friends - here's how

Gaming of all kinds has become mainstream. Chris takes a look into how playing games with friends has become the 'normal' way to hang out.

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100 years ago today - the first transcontinental phone call was made

By: Chris Smith | More News: Health, Lifestyle & Travel | Posted: 48 mins ago

Already almost a thing of the past, we often take for granted the option of landline telephones in this day and age - with mobiles taking over in massive fashion.

 

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On January the 25th, 1915, a call was made from New York to San Francisco - marking a massive advancement in technology and something to keep in the history books for years to come. This task was completed by Alexander Graham Bell, who made the call to his assistant, Thomas Watson.

 

This technology was made functional thanks to a single copper circuit, spanning 6,800 miles and allowing one phone call to be made at a time - this advancement was likened to that of man landing on the moon, as according to Anthea Hartig, the executive director of the California Historical Society.

Continue reading '100 years ago today - the first transcontinental phone call was made' (full post)

Packing light when you're out? Check out this card-sized charger

By: Chris Smith | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 hour, 36 mins ago

If you're a fan of slim wallets and packing light when going out clubbing, to dinner or to a casual bar with your mates, Justin Portable Power Products may have a solution for you.

 

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Although their name is a bit of a tongue-twister, their 2,000 mAh slim offering is elegant, simple and unique.

 

Quoted on their official website as a "Credit Card Sized Power Bank with Synthetic Leather Carry Case," this product features a handy blue LED battery indicator, a micro-USB in and out port and a leather carry case that can easily hold two or three cards that you may have. Not only do we have one of these for review, but we've been taking it out with us to test it to its limits.

Continue reading 'Packing light when you're out? Check out this card-sized charger' (full post)

North Carolina is the next possible Google Fiber target

By: Chris Smith | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: 2 hours, 40 mins ago

Raleigh and Durham will see Google events held within their borders next Wednesday and Thursday respectively, rumored to be an announcement of a Google Fiber service roll-out. Reports claim that construction may begin as of April, as released by the local TV station, WRAL.

 

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These two locations combine with Chapel Hill to make an area known as Research Triangle, all of which were on the preliminary list of 34 locations that Google released last February as possible new Fiber locations.

 

Currently available in Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas and Kansas City, Google Fiber provides consumers with a free 5Mbps service, with only a $300 setup fee needing to be paid. However if you're looking for something more substantial, they offer gigabit plans for $70 per month, or you can pay between $30-$30 more to have 100+ TV channels included in the bundle - both of these latter options requiring no setup fee.

YouTube pressuring artists to sign with YouTube Music Key service

By: Chris Smith | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: 3 hours, 44 mins ago

YouTube's Music Key service is trying to build its popularity and apparently they're going the wrong way about it. Zoë Keating has expressed her concerns on Tumblr, asking the simple question "What should I do about YouTube?"

 

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What's the problem, you ask? Summed up in the opening paragraph of this blog, Keating states "...the message was firm: I have to decide. I need to sign on to the new YouTube music services agreement or I will have my YouTube channel blocked." This statement points to a possibility that this is a move by the Google-owned company to force artists over to their new service in a pledge to increase popularity thanks to there being no other option.

Continue reading 'YouTube pressuring artists to sign with YouTube Music Key service' (full post)

Get in before Nintendo strikes - unlicensed Game Boy mug for $12.32

By: Chris Smith | More News: Health, Lifestyle & Travel | Posted: 4 hours, 39 mins ago

With five different preset prints available, TheMugEmporium are selling off unlicensed Pokemon mugs for only $15.31 CAD ($12.32) right now.

 

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All three of the original starting Pokemon are on offer, along with a Red or Blue title screen - with 'Gameboy Tint' or straight up white also being available.

 

You can even get your own specialized text written on the other side of the mug for an extra $2, allowing you to always remind Professor Oak what your name is, without stating it over and over again.

Continue reading 'Get in before Nintendo strikes - unlicensed Game Boy mug for $12.32' (full post)

Before the Xbox One, Microsoft knew what it was doing with DirectX 12

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: 5 hours, 45 mins ago

DirectX 12 is shaping up quite nicely so far, offering up to 50% more performance on CPU bound games, and hopefully some delicious new graphics in unannounced games. But, now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has come out and said: "we knew what DX12 was doing before we built Xbox One". On the PC, DirectX 12 will be exclusive to Windows 10.

 

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This is somewhat interesting, as it shows that Microsoft wasn't just throwing DX12 out there to keep up with the market. It built the Xbox One after it had an idea of where it wanted to go with DirectX 12, something I'm sure even had Windows 10 connected to it, too. As for the Xbox One and DX12, Microsoft's updated API won't offer much additional performance for its Xbox One console.

 

Spencer was asked if DX12 would have a big impact on the Xbox One, where he said: "On the DX12 question, I was asked early on by people if DX12 is gonna dramatically change the graphics capabilities of Xbox One and I said it wouldn't. I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade, but the CPU, GPU and memory that are on Xbox One don't change when you go to DX12. DX12 makes it easier to do some of the things that Xbox One's good at, which will be nice and you'll see improvement in games that use DX12, but people ask me if it's gonna be dramatic and I think I answered no at the time and I'll say the same thing".

As online sales ramp up, check out this great postage box redesign

By: Chris Smith | More News: Health, Lifestyle & Travel | Posted: 6 hours, 46 mins ago

ChenChen Hu has designed a fancy new shipping box designed to cut the messy tape piles and box-cutter injuries, replacing them with a fancy fold-over design box that contains a dented corner, housing a tab to open up the world of surprises located within.

 

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The Corner Pack has been designed as a solution to annoying packages that are wrapped in seemingly-endless amounts of sticky tape - or those eBay orders that come with a simple 2-inch long strip of tape that couldn't hold down an ant. The only small drawback to this development is the slight loss of space thanks to the 'dented' edge, however this design aspect has a purpose.

 

Thanks to it storing the opening flap out of the way, the box is unlikely to open when stacked with other objects or brushed past by the postman or courier. Meaning that your contents are safely stored inside without any need for sticky tape whatsoever.

Continue reading 'As online sales ramp up, check out this great postage box redesign' (full post)

In case you missed it, 'The Interview' now available on Netflix

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: 6 hours, 55 mins ago

If you wanted to watch a legal copy of "The Interview" but didn't want to pay to rent or purchase it, you can now watch it on Netflix. The data breach suffered by Sony Pictures, courtesy of the Guardians of the Peace, means the recently-released film has been made available to Netflix less than one month following its box office debut.

 

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Sony Pictures wanted to just break even on the film - and that goal has been accomplished - so now it's time to open it up to as many viewers as possible.

NVIDIA rumored to release GeForce GTX 960s with 4GB VRAM in March

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 7 hours, 48 mins ago

NVIDIA only took the wraps off its its GM206-powered GeForce GTX 960 video cards last week, but now we're already being teased with the hint of 4GB models to be coming soon, as in just a few weeks away in March.

 

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Computerbase is behind the rumor, posting a shot of Inno3D's latest offerings under their iChill range. As you can see, it says "4GB available in March - watch this space!", so unless Inno3D had this go out accidentally, or its a new form of guerrilla marketing, we know to expect GeForce GTX 960 cards to start shipping with 4GB of VRAM in March.

 

But even when, or if it happens, it will put the GTX 960 in a weird position. Unless AIBs can price them at under $250 (the GTX 960 with 2GB of VRAM sells for $199-$209) then it will be too close to the price of the GTX 970, which also has 4GB of RAM. I guess we'll see, with GTC 2015 kicking off in March, it could be the month for NVIDIA announcements, along with the rumored GeForce GTX Titan X.

Twitter feeds may be used to predict heart disease

By: Chris Smith | More News: Social Networking | Posted: 8 hours, 40 mins ago

Nope, this isn't satire. According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania study, doctors may look towards a Twitter feed in order to gauge your risk of heart disease - rather than monitoring the normal signs like smoking, diet and obesity.

 

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The researchers compared 148 million geo-located tweets from 1347 American counties throughout a period of June 2009 - March 2010. They were looking into the 'emotional language' displayed by the people behind the posts - testing the theory that anger or contentment levels correlate directly to overall health levels.

 

This study focused on the emotional language of all Tweets monitored, measuring this value and then comparing it with the county-level, age-adjusted mortality rates for AHD. The results pointed out that not only is Twitter good at gauging a county's susceptibility to heart disease, it's also better than any conventional method - even providing as far as a 42 percent improvement.

Continue reading 'Twitter feeds may be used to predict heart disease' (full post)

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