After three months in beta testing, WinRAR 4.00 is fully-baked and ready for consumption. It is now available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The biggest improvement over the previous WinRAR versions is the decompression, which is now 30-percent faster depending on the file format used.
Additional features include a password manager for regular compression jobs, although passwords are not encrypted. When extracting multiple archives you are now able to set WinRAR to use the same password for all of them. Something worth knowing is that WinRAR 4.00 does not work on older Windows OS's such as 98, ME and NT. The Minimum requirement for WinRAR 4.00 is now Windows 2000.
EA's Frank Gibeau has said some good things about the future of PC gaming, as strongly as saying that he sees the PC platform as possibly being the biggest market for EA over the coming years.
He said to Gamasutra that 'The use base is gigantic, PC retail may be a big problem, but PC downloads are awesome.' With the recent success we've seen with Steam, this comes as no surprise - it's just good to hear from someone in the market who isn't whinging about piracy on PC. EA has also said that Battlefield: Heroes is doing very, very well with 368, 241 new users every month on the PC alone and now have over 7 million registered users since launch. The free-to-play title shows that it can do very well in the PC world.
Microsoft's latest press-release is out and with it comes the news of 10 million Kinect sensors being sold and over 10 million Kinect games sold since launch. With the news Microsoft is now able to proudly hold their chest high as they've broken a Guinness World Record: Kinect for Xbox 360 is the Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.
Guinness World Records officially named the Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest selling consumer electronics device after the smashing success that Microsoft has seen with the Kinect. Personally? I'm waiting for some games to really take advantage of it... but, kudos, Microsoft.
NVIDIA is set to launch their dual-GPU counter-punch-in-the-nuts GeForce GTX 590 on March 22nd. Coincidentally, this is the date of the Crysis 2 launch in which NVIDIA paid a pretty penny (to the tune of $2 million) for some flashy NVIDIA-only benefits. Although Crysis 2 is only launching with DirectX 9 - which is shocking considering the first game from four years ago launched with DirectX 9 and 10 modes.
The GeForce GTX 590 uses two GF110 GPUs (the same as the GTX 570/580 cards), we can expect the GTX 590 to include 3GB of RAM and out-of-the-box support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision Surround and Vision Surround technologies (which are usually only for SLI users). The card is not far away and I'm sure that they're ready to strike while the iron is hot and I have full confidence it's going to be a great card.
Samsung is loving the attention of their soon-to-be popular iPad competition, the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab teaser pic on Samsung's Facebook page is getting quite a lot of attention with the picture showing what seems like the rear of the 8.9-inch tablet.
As you can see from the picture, it is only as thick as the headphone jack's height, which means it should be pretty close to the Apple iPad 2's thickness of just 8.8mm. Game on Samsung, game on. But, please do send me one for testing - I will love you forever. March 22nd is the date of the "UNPACKED" event in Orlando in the US, so not long until we get a proper look at the tablet.
Before I was distracted by the AR.Drone cage's techno music at GDC last week, I spent some time at the 3dvia booth. I must have been in the French section of GDC, as 3dvia is part of Dassault Systèmes.
I was initially attracted to their augmented reality promotional game demo on the outside of their booth. There was a French Cereal Box resting, unattended beneath an external-camera-equipped flatscreen. Recognizing the giant AR marker on the back of the box, I lifted it to the camera to see what I was going to get. As I had expected, an interactive augmented reality game materialized on the screen in front of me. What appeared to be a cereal mascot seemed to be trapped on the right side of the box, standing on top of a spring. A marble rolled back and forth idly at the top left as my hand moved the box slightly. Tilting the box either way moved the marble, so I experimented. The object was to collect a series of wispy white light orbs positioned throughout the plinko style drop down "maze", and upon collecting them the spring jettisoned the mascot sprite outside the box where it did a little dance and offered to let me Rejouer.
Ok everyone: Calm. Down. I'm looking at you, Twitter.
Yes, the iOS 4.3 Hotspot Debacle is a complete slap in the face. Yes, the fact that AT&T only offers grandfathered unlimited data plans and the current available data plans are an absurd and brazen insult to developers, techies, and you know, people that use the internet. And Pandora.
All of that aside, evidently iOS 4.3 performs substantially better than iOS 4.1, and probably better than Android as well, according to the guys at Electronista.
I personally don't give a damn about which system people think is better for whatever reason- this is a clear indication that the Nitro engine for Safari got an overhaul and that maybe, just maybe, Apple actually cares.
iPad 2 users may be disappointed to learn that it probably won't perform "twice as fast" as the iPad, but it's still an improvement.
Logitech released its supercharged surround sound Speaker System Z906 today:
"We're delighted to offer consumers a successor to the highly acclaimed Logitech® Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System," said Mark Schneider, vice president and general manager of Logitech's audio business unit. "The Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z906 are the logical evolution of surround sound speakers, and we're confident they will become an indispensable part of the living room."
And for $399, it can be! Not that you won't get your money's worth- the new speakers are THX certified, delivering 500 Watts of earthquake-faking audio. Six speakers and subwoofer, easily stackable and adaptable to your current entertainment setup as you can connect up to six different systems.
If you want to be able to wake the neighbors with C-Span, this is the way to go. Preorder here.
I was very excited once my iPhone 4 was finally updated to iOS 4.3. The reason? I couldn't wait to try out the new "Personal Hotspot" feature that Apple mentioned during the iPad 2 announcement event last week.
So, I got my iPhone 4 updated to iOS 4.3 and quickly went through the operating system to spot new changes. It's an exciting time for a geek to try out a freshly updated operating system. Something was missing, though. I couldn't find any options for the new Personal Hotspot feature. You know, right? The feature that allows you to share your 3G connection with up to five other Wi-Fi devices. I was all set to use it to share 3G internet access to my forthcoming iPad 2.
As it turns out, Apple has dropped the ball massively here and the Twitterverse is up in arms with anger - and rightfully so.
If you want the Hotspot Feature with an AT&T iPhone, you need to have a tethering data plan. That would mean for someone with an unlimited data plan that they'd need to downgrade to 4GB per month and pay $10 USD extra per month, according to one user on Twitter. And if you are in the UK, not all telecos even support Personal Hotspot.
I am in Taiwan and do not even see the option for Personal Hotspot on Chunghwa Telecom. Lovely way to totally drop the ball and fail and totally screw over the consumer at the same time, Apple!
Just moments ago Apple released iOS 4.3 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
You guys know the drill, dock your iDevice and open iTunes and iUpdate your device. My download has started and it still has 20 minutes to go. I'd bet the Apple servers are getting slammed right now.
One of the top new features I am personally looking forward to trying is the Personal Hotspot which allows you to share your 3G connection over Wi-Fi with up to five devices. Kind of makes the iPad 2 with 3G less attractive in my opinion. What do you think?