The Australian retail market has always been a funny thing, something available online for say $19.99 (like the t-shirt I'm wearing) is $49.99 here in stores, if not more. It's ridiculous and it seems that even a powerhouse retailer like JB Hi-Fi is feeling that pinch.
Today they very quietly launched an online-only direct sales model, at first just selling DSLR cameras and accessories. These prices won't be offered in-store, with only the online store the only way to take advantage of the super-cheap pricing. The store is dubbed "direct import" and offers DSLR camera, lenses, flashes and grips. Funnily enough, it's undercutting its own bricks and mortar JB Hi-Fi stores in the process.
Up until now, I've been living out Max Payne 3 in my head. The last game, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was released nearly 10 years ago, in 2003. As a console-created-then-ported-to-PC game, I'm not expecting that much. But, this new video is definitely getting me excited.
The only problem is that they've tweaked the aiming system, Max Payne 3 has been made to 'create an accurate, responsive and realistic third-person shooter as possible', Max Payne 3 targeting and shooting mechanics have been finely tuned. They've combined the precision of a first-person shooter, with a connection to the character that is normally given to the third-person shooter. The video goes into great detail of what Rockstar have achieved, and Max Payne 3 is coming along very nicely.
As the man talking in the video says that, you can see Max aiming between two enemies, in a straight line, left to right. It just feels simple, console-y and not frantic like the original Max Payne games were. But sweet baby jesus does it look good! Graphics, animation, body movement, it's all good! I don't want to spoil too much, but check it out!
The WarpDrive has been a really good product for LSI and datacenter owners. The product has been so successful the successor has already been announced and production is ramping up quickly for a Q4 or early Q1 launch. That information has been public for the last month or so, released at IDF.
LSI is already working on an even newer product, one that they don't really want to talk too much about. So without an official name I'm going to designate this one WarpCache.
The LSI MegaRAID controllers have two distinct add-ons. We've covered them both in the past, FastPath, an IOPS accelerator and CacheCade, an HDD cache system fed by solid state drives. By placing an SSD or an array of SSDs in front of the HDDs to hold hot data the data can be read at the pace of SSDs. This also reduces wear on the traditional platter based drives.
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LSI's first WarpDrive product featured 300GB of extreme SLC flash attached to several SandForce SF-1500 controllers. This product is designed for data center use and allows 42U racks of servers with traditional HDDs to be shrunk down to half rack sizes. The saving in power reduction alone is quite significant but once you factor in the reduction in overall footprint things really get interesting.
Announced just a few weeks ago at IDF, the second generation WarpDrive is just about ready to hit the market. WarpDrive 2 can now be scaled up to 1.6TB, a massive increase from the 300GB first edition. We're told that production is now ramping up and to expect some big announcements soon.
We shot this video a little while ago now, but today BitFenix is releasing its new range of Spectre Pro and Spectre Pro LED cooling fans.
You may well be familiar with the Spectre series of cooling fans from BitFenix, but today they up the stakes with the "Pro" series which improve over the old series with better performance and looks in mind.
There is a whole bunch of fans including 12cm, 14cm, 20cm and 23cm and they come in a range of colors including black (non-LED), white, blue and red. Watch the video above as David from BitFenix explains the new fans in detail.
Acer! Where have you been all my life! Notebook Italia have found listed on Acer's support site, the Acer A700 and A701. The main features of these are NVIDIA's Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip as well as a beautiful 1920x1200 display resolution.
The benefits of the high-resolution are endless, 2x scaling is an important feature of this. With graphic elements and icons requiring a blow-up, it helps that the resolution is high enough to support the image quality, as the image can just be doubled with no filtering required. Let's hope that Acer and Google have worked together to iron out the issues of the 2x scaling, though.
Most high-res Android-based phones feature borders to the icons to make them feel like the right size, because scaling would make them look blurry. The new Acer tablet screen size is not specified, but we're expecting 10-inch or thereabouts.
Paul Amsellem, head of Nokia France, has let slip in an interview with a French newspaper that Nokia would have a Windows 8-based tablet by June 2012. Nokia PR's official line is "we have not announced any specific plans as it relates to tablets," but we know that Nokia are most likely tapping that sweet butt of Windows 8.
Earlier this year, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was talking to Bloomberg where he said Windows 8 will "change the dynamics" of the tablet market, and that there was a "new tablet opportunity coming." Was he talking about other companies having an opportunity with Windows 8-based tablets, while Nokia sit with their twiddling thumbs? I don't think so.
Nokia's close partnership with Microsoft and their comments of a "new opportunity" should be enough to start the rumor mill. In my opinion, it's a bit obvious that Nokia will release a Windows 8-based tablet, but I guess we'll have to just wait and see.
Below, is an eight-minute clip of Syndicate of continuous co-op footage. The footage looks good, but there's not much to show of the coordination between the four players. Action looks a little "samey", and it looks like Syndicate blends Call of Duty, Brink, Deus Ex (by its style) and Battlefield all into one.
The environments do look cool, the effects do, too. The game is set to drop in February 2012 and it looks as thought we'll be teased in the form of videos and the such between now and then. We should be able to find out more as each video hits, but for now this is the only thing available this week.
Newegg are currently running a special on OCZ SSD drives, all you need is the coupon code "BLKNOVSSD". The specials are pretty good and include both the Vertex 3 and Agility 3 drives from OCZ. The specials include all three drive sizes, 60, 120 and 240GB.
Vertex 3 in 60, 120 and 240GB have original prices of $109, $190 and $475, respectively. With the 15-percent off and mail-in rebate, this brings the pricing down to $73, $142 and $374 for the 60, 120, and 240GB drives, respectively. For the Agility 3 drives, we see the same discount apply, 60, 120, 240GB drives with original prices of $107, $171 and $360, respectively, taken down to $71, $125, and $276, respectively, after the 15-percent off and mail-in rebate.
These are some seriously nice prices for the SSD drives from OCZ and would make quite the Christmas present if Mrs TweakTown reader is watching. Get one and stuff it into your partners' stocking for some Christmas morning SSD surprise!
We've seen some pretty amazing advances in mobile technology over the past decade, and even more so in the past two to three years. Battery life is one thing that has not kept up with the fast pace of the industry and this is set to [hopefully] change.
A team of engineers at Northwestern University claim to have discovered a breakthrough that could revolutionize the industry. The researchers have developed an electrode for lithium-ion batteries that could increase the capacity and recharge rate by 10 times. If this can be done, we could see smartphones lasting for an entire week before requiring a recharge. Oh, what's that? You need to recharge it to last another week? That'll only take a few minutes versus a few hours.