This morning Apple announced that it will be participating in the madness that we like to call Black Friday. The announcement came unofficially via a page spotted by 9To5Mac on the company's Australian website, which has also gone live on the New Zealand Apple website.
Unfortunately, the pages do not offer any insight into what products may be discounted, or what accessories may be on sale. The image does say that Apple will offer free shipping for online purchases, and does allude to in-store deals. The add also specifically mentions the iPhone and features an image of an iPad Air, so it is a safe bet that at least the iPhone 5C and iPad Air will be discounted. Then again, this is Apple, so there could be no discounts at all.
If you like to live on the bleeding edge of hardware and software, and you're running a new AMD Radeon R9 video card, these new Catalyst drivers are built for you.
AMD has released its new Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.4 drivers, which fix some of the black screen or display loss issues experienced on the new Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 GPUs. Also, there are some CrossFire scaling performance increases for the multiplayer side of Call of Duty: Ghosts, too. Here's a full list of what to expect on the new Beta 9.4 drivers:
- Includes all Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 Driver
- May resolve intermittent black screens or display loss observed on some AMD Radeon™ R9 290X and AMD Radeon R9 290 video cards
- Improves AMD CrossFire™ scaling in the multi-player portion of Call of Duty: Ghosts
- AMD Enduro Technology Profile updates:
- "XCOM:" Enemy Unknown
- Need for Speed Rivals
You can read more, and grab these new drivers, here.
We aren't quite at the DDR4 stages yet, but as we do start slotting in DDR4 onto our consumer boards, we could begin to see over the horizon, and spot a new memory standard: MRAM.
This is because the US-Japan alliance is looking for a replacement of the old DRAM technology, with over 20 companies in Japan and US joining forces to develop mass-production techniques for a next-generation chip technology. This new tech is called magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM. Those involved include Tokyo Electron, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Renesas Electronics, Hitachi, and US memory giant Micron Technology.
MRAM will see data stored in magnetic storage elements instead of electric charges, or current flows. MRAM will also reportedly have just one-third the power consumption of DRAM, with 10 times the capacity, and wait for it - 10 times the writing speed. This will make the technology perfect for the next, next-generation of smartphones and tablets, too.
The 8-core processor smartphone market is relatively small right now, but TCL is set to become a player in that market. The Chinese company has revealed its Idol X+ smartphone, which will be a collaboration between TCL and Chinese online retailer JD.com.
The Idol X+ will feature an 8-core processor which will be produced by MediaTek, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 5-inch 1080p display. As for software, the Idol X+ will be powered by Android 4.2.1, and should hopefully arrive with an update once its released. As for the price, we should expect it to be priced at $350, which is not too bad at all.
Samsung seems to be struggling in Japan against its biggest rival, Apple. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung's share in the Japanese smartphone space dropped again last quarter, which makes four quarters in a row of decline.
In the last quarter, Samsung sold just one million u nits, while Apple sold close to four times that. Rewinding back twelve months, Samsung was pushing around 1.9 million units a quarter, but each quarter it has dropped significantly. The South Korean electronics giant is now placed fourth in the Japanese market, with Sony coming in second. Apple is currently holding the number one spot in the market.
We thought it had happened last week, but now Apple has confirmed it has acquired PrimeSense. The company works on motion control devices, so this should be an interesting next few years for the iPhone maker.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with AllThingsD, where it said that it does buy smaller companies "from time to time". The company reportedly handed over around $360 million for the deal, which should cement Apple's future in the motion control space. I did think that Apple would use the tech for its Mac range of devices, which I think we'll begin to see teased in the first half of 2014.
Star Citizen is simply unstoppable right now - with its original $500,000 goal on Kickstarter now ballooning out to an amazing $30 million+. At the time of writing, it had received $30,374,530 of funding from 311,504 Star Citizens.
The next stretch goal is $31 million, and at this rate, it should hit that goal within the next day or two. People are excited about this game, as the premise does sound truly amazing, but when will this funding explosion stop? At the rate it's going, it will hit $40 million by the end of year. I've backed it, and I'm enjoying my hangar right now, and boy does it look glorious at 7860x1440.
I'm going to be the first to say it: but if things don't stop with this funding, it will be the first non-AAA (as in, developed/funded by a huge company like EA, Activision, Microsoft or Sony) to reach $100 million - you heard it here at TweakTown first, folks!
According to Corrinne Yu's LinkedIn page, the Halo 4 Principal Engine Programmer has left Microsoft's Halo team, and joined the developer of The Last of Us and Uncharted, Naughty Dog.
What makes this more interesting, is that she is really leaving Microsoft, for its key rival in the console space, Sony. Yu worked as the Principal Engine Programmer with 343 Industries for five years, and before that she worked at Gearbox Software as its Director of Technology. Yu has some experience under her belt, including Halo 4, Borderlands and I don't want to mention it, but I have to: Aliens: Colonial Marines.
We're over in chilly Beijing, China at the moment checking out the 2013 Beat It Grand Finals being hosted by MSI. Between CS:GO games, we went down and hit the floor to see what was going on in the few booths that have been set up by the sponsors of the event.
Two items that really got our attention are the new mITX weapons that MSI are showing off that are due to hit in the first week of December. One is the upcoming Z87I Gaming AC motherboard. As the name suggests it's based on the Z87 chipset.
Alongside that we've also got GTX 760 Gaming ITX, a smaller GTX 760 designed to be installed in a MITX case that you can see above. We've got samples of both products already so keep an eye out for a review in early December. We always love those mITX products and we can't wait to see how they perform.
Rumor has it that LG is working on its on system on a chip (SoC0 that is known as Odin. There are reportedly going to be two versions of this new SoC, one will be a quad-core part, while the other will be an eight-core part.
Both SoCs will be based on ARM's Cortex A9 and A15 cores, with LG using ARM's architecture, and tweaking it to create a customized version for its devices. This isn't any different to what Qualcomm does with the Krait line of chips, or Samsung and its Exynos range. The difference will come with LG using TMSC's facilities to manufacture the SoC, as it doesn't have its own in-house fab unit like Samsung does.
This is all coming from Korean news site, DigitalTimes, who reports that the quad-core Odin chip would be baked into LG's smart TVs in 2014 and beyond. The eight-core version will most likely be baked into the next-gen G2 smartphone and future LG-made slates. I'm guessing it might even be used in an upcoming Nexus device, as LG is the company building the Nexus smartphones right now.