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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2050

CoD: Black Ops II is set to get its last DLC, Apocalypse, in 4 days

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 10:32 pm

Activision is set to release the final DLC expansion pack for its hit game Call of Duty: Black Ops II just four days from today. Dubbed Apocalypse, the expansion will debut on the Xbox 360 first, with the rest of the systems seeing a release coming a few days later.




Apocalypse adds four new maps to the Black Ops II multiplayer mode, with two of them being completely new and two of them being recycled from Call of Duty World at War and another from the original Call of Duty Black Ops. With Activision poised to launch Call of Duty: Ghosts later this year on November 5, gamers will have some time to wear out the new Apocalypse DLC before moving on to the next title in the series.

New Crytek demo teases next-generation CryEngine

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 10:02 pm

Today, Crytek announced the newest version of its CryEngine and showed it off in a new demo video posted on YouTube. The developer says that the new engine will be scalable and compatible with all current and next-generation systems, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and PCs.



Carl Jones, Business Development Director at Crytek:


Since CryENGINE 3 was launched in 2009, we've dramatically changed the engine so many times, with so many major new features, it's not the same engine anymore. We have revolutionised many parts of the engine: we have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie quality character rendering and animation solutions, vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our Sandbox editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel accurate displacement mapping and now physical based rendering; all of this while maintaining our first principal: that making games should be real-time, all the time. CRYENGINE is a new engine from Crytek - and it always will be!

Continue reading 'New Crytek demo teases next-generation CryEngine' (full post)

New Sony ad shows upcoming flagship Honami as being waterproof

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 9:28 pm

In an effort to make all of us in the tech world drool, Sony posted two images today to its Twitter feed that tease its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Honami. These are the first official photos of the handset and they depict a rather beautiful machined aluminum power button standing quite proud of the device's surface.




The big news is not the power button, however, but the second image that depicts the Honami being submerged deep in a bath of water. This leads us to believe that, much like Samsung's Galaxy Active, the Honami will be waterproof. For those interested, the Honami will feature a five-inch full HD display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 21-megapixel camera. 2GB of RAM will be on hand to keep things running nice and smooth, while it microSD card slot and a 3000mAh battery round out the flagship phones features.

ScienceFriday: Two UK students develop a Raspberry Pi Weather Station

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 9:04 pm

Everyone knows that I am an avid maker of things, and when I see two young students taking ordinary hardware and building extraordinary devices, I feel a special warmness in my heart. Alyssa Dayan and Tom Hartley, a pair of secondary school students, have developed an amazing all-in-one weather station based on the Raspberry Pi.




Dubbed the AirPi, the device was designed as an entry for the PA Consulting Raspberry Pi competition held earlier this year. Contestants had to design something around the Raspberry Pi that "makes the world a better place." The two students say that the AirPi is an open source weather and pollution monitoring system that is capable of recording and streaming data, and it does it all of that for just $90 US.


After some successful research and development, the two students decided to sell the device as a kit on electronics hobbyist fundraising website Tindie. For a mere $90, you get a build-it-yourself kit that features sensors to measure humidity, UV, NO2, CO2, light, temperature, and air pressure. Keeping with the open source mantra, the students have released all of the source code, instructions, and bill of materials needed to build your own. They even released the PCB files and schematics online. Head over to Source #2 for the Tindie campaign to get your own, and to Source #3 for all of the open source files.

Continue reading 'ScienceFriday: Two UK students develop a Raspberry Pi Weather Station' (full post)

US Feds seize $2.1 million more from Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 7:59 pm

The hits just keep coming for Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Earlier this year, the US Department of Homeland Security had seized $2.9 million from Mt. Gox's Dwolla account, and now reports are coming in that say an additional $2.1 million was seized from the company's Wells Fargo accounts.




That brings the total of the seizures up to $5 million and explains why recent withdrawal attempts from Bitcoin traders failed to process. On June 19, the $2.1 million held in Wells Fargo accounts was seized, which was one day before Mt. Gox suspended all US withdrawals.


The legal issues arose when Mt. Gox opened a Wells Fargo business account for Mutum Sigillum LLC (Mt. Gox's American subsidiary) but declared it as a business not engaged in money services. This was a falsification and the US government does not like it when you falsify financial documents. Head over to Source #2 to read the full seizure warrants.

ScienceFriday: The Sun unleashes massive solar storm aimed at Earth

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 6:32 pm

It's that time again: it's Friday and that means more Science Friday news posts here at TweakTown! Today, a new report straight from NASA says the sun fired off an intense solar storm in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, that was aimed directly at the Earth early Wednesday morning.




The event took place around 1:24 AM EDT and sent billions of tons of charged particles steaming full speed ahead straight at Earth at a rate of 380 miles per second, or 1.3 million miles per hour. The storm is expected to reach the Earth on Saturday, however, do not let that scare you as our atmosphere will effectively block all of the harmful radiation that is headed our way. Those in the extreme north and south of both hemispheres can expect to see some awesome aurora over the next few days.



A statement from NASA confirmed that no one need to fear as this sort of event happens all the time. "These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground," NASA officials explained in a statement. Head over to Source #2 to see an animated GIF of Wednesdays CME taking place.

LeakedTT: Apple's iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S continue to leak in photos

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 5:04 pm

It appears that Apple's dam that has been plagued with iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S leaks finally burst this week. It all started with a rumor that Apple was planning a gold iPhone 5S, which was confirmed yesterday in high-quality photos. Then we had a few new case colors for the iPhone 5C pop up, which was quickly followed up yesterday by a torture test video that was posted on YouTube.




Today, we're seeing yet another leak that is showing off more of the gold iPhone 5S as well as the iPhone 5C in white, yellow, and green pastel colors. Additionally, a shot of a screen for one of the devices has surfaced as well. Each shot shows the control buttons placed beside their respective case and as one might guess, they are color-coordinated. Today's leak also confirms the more champagne-light-colored anodizing that has been done on the gold colored iPhone 5S. With this many leaks appearing from different sources, and being imaged in different locations, these leaks are most likely the real deal. What do you think about the new iPhone 5S in champagne? Let us know in the comments.

Continue reading 'LeakedTT: Apple's iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S continue to leak in photos' (full post)

Microsoft's Ballmer announces retirement, will leave within 12 months

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 3:11 pm

Moving forward. That's the title of an internal memo that went out to Microsoft employees this morning. While internal memos are nothing special at Microsoft, today's memo was probably the most important one of the decade. Today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his plans to retire within the next 12 months.




In the memo, he says that there's never a perfect time for this type of transition but right now he feels it is the right time. He goes on to refer to his recent restructuring initiative and says that the time is now right for the company to face the new opportunities and challenges ahead. He mentions that in his time at Microsoft, they have grown from a $7.5 million company to a corporation worth more than $78 billion. He said that when he first started, they employed just over 30 people and now they write paychecks to almost 100,000 individuals.


Ballmer concluded that by saying this is a very emotional event for him and that he knows Microsoft has its best days ahead and that he takes pride in being one of the largest owners of the company. I speak for all of us here at TweakTown when I wish Mr. Ballmer nothing but the best in whatever endeavors the future holds for him. It's kind of sad to see him go, but we look forward to seeing what new leadership may bring to the Redmond, Washington-based computing giant known as Microsoft.

Continue reading 'Microsoft's Ballmer announces retirement, will leave within 12 months' (full post)

EVE: Valkyrie announced with full Oculus Rift support

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 11:31 am

Oculus VR is doing quite well right now, all without having any consumer hardware on the market, and no sign of such a thing until at least the second half of 2014. This hasn't stopped game developers from jumping on board the truly next-generation of gaming.




CCP, the developer behind the huge title 'EVE Online' has just announced a multiplayer space combat spin-off dubbed EVE: Valkyrie. EVE: Valkyrie has been molded around a tech demo that CCP called EVR that saw EVE: Online ooze into the virtual reality goodness that is Oculus Rift. At the moment, details are skimp, and it's unknown if EVE: Valkyrie will work without Oculus Rift.


The developer decided to make EVE: Valkyrie thanks to the huge fan reaction to EVR, with CCP chief executive Hilmar Veigar Pétursson saying: "From the moment this year's Fanfest attendees first got their hands on EVE-VR, the question has been, "When can I have this? What started as a passion project by a small, incredibly talented group of CCP developers became one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, before we even announced it."


EVE: Valkyrie will reach PCs in 2014 and is under development at CCP's Newcastle-based studio.

Pandora prepares for iTunes Radio launch by removing 40-hour limit

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 23, 2013 10:30 am

Apple is poised to press the all-systems-go button for iTunes Radio, but Pandora is striking its hammer now, with company CFO Mike Herring announcing during Pandora's earnings call yesterday that the company will remove its 40-hour listening limit on mobile devices.




Last we heard they had started a 40-hour listening limit per month because of an increase in royalty rates, but now mobile users can enjoy the same unlimited music streaming goodness that desktop users can enjoy, without the $36 per year charge. Just what accounting magic did Pandora perform to provide mobile listeners with unlimited music, for free? Herring explains:


Our investment in advertising infrastructure and implementing smart levers such as reducing song skipping and limiting mobile listening have helped us drive monetization and manage content costs, as reflected by the increase in RPM and a decrease in content costs as a percentage of revenue


As our results have shown, the continued strong growth in our advertising revenue allowed us to cover the increased royalty costs with dollars left over to invest back into the business. With these tools in hand, and insight into how they work, we are resetting our levers in September. Notably, Pandora plans to eliminate the blanket 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening effective September 1st.