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EA screws up, leaks first look at Crysis 3 through Origin download service

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 11:47 pm

I love it when companies screw up and release information on upcoming releases. Notably, the GTX 680 was posted for sale several times before the official launch. This time it is EA that screwed up. They posted Crysis 3 artwork on EA's digital download service Origin which gives us a first look at the yet unannounced game.

 

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The image was only published briefly before being redacted, but someone saw, and saved, the image and it has since started circulating the internet. The details on the game are pretty unclear since nothing has been announced, but the image gives us a small insight into what could be in the next game.

 

Mainly, the image shows a crossbow being used by someone in the iconic nanosuit. This is the first time a crossbow or something similar has been used in any of the Crysis games. It appears to be set in a city, against many people's cries to return to the jungle. I would like to see it return to the jungle as well.

 

The game is expected to retail for $49.99 and be available for PC, Xbox, and PS. A release date is not set, but an announcement of the game is expected to come later this month. I loved the first Crysis and subsequent Crysis: Warhead but I haven't gotten a chance to play Crysis 2. I look forward to Crysis 3.

Nicholas Merrill's Non-profit ISP start up promises fully encrypted, private Internet

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 10:36 pm

Sticking it to the man or sticking up for the consumer? I'll let you be the judge. Nicholas Merrill is creating a new non-profit ISP which he describes as a "non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption." His goal is to create a system that is so encrypted that not even the ISP itself can snoop on its customers.

 

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The system, theoretically, could make it impossible for the ISP to respond to copyright infringement requests or authority requests. You may ask how is this legal. Well, according to Merrill, it depends on a provision in a 1994 federal law called CALEA. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act makes sure that ISPs are not held responsible for decrypting data if they don't have the information to do so.

 

If Mr. Merrill creates the service properly, not even the ISP would know what's going on in the system. This would allow them to operate directly under the protection of the CALEA law. Merrill dealt with the government and FBI in a legal battle for 6 years over his NYC ISP. That caused him to come up with this plan to protect himself and his users. He is attempting to raise $2 million in the next couple of weeks before the service launches.

Amazon is adding CDs to its trade-in program, will exchange for gift cards

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Announced today, Amazon is now accepting used audio CDs through its trade-in program. In exchange for your used and unwanted CDs you will receive Amazon Gift Cards. Amazon's current program allows old electronic gadgets, textbooks, DVDs, and games to be turned in for gift cards. The program covers shipping costs.

 

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The CDs are expected to be added to the program today, but it's not yet available on the Amazon website. Because of this, I am unable to say just how much money you will get for your CDs, but I can't expect it will be much. I would hope it's at least enough to get digital copies of half the tracks from the CD you sent in. More as it becomes available.

RumorTT: Xbox 720 to feature a 16-core CPU and HD7000 class graphics

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 8:29 pm

This is one of the more ridiculous rumors that I've heard regarding the upcoming Xbox 720/Next, so let's start off with some traditions and superstitions. First, the tradition: get out some salt and throw it over your shoulder. Second, the superstition: knock on some wood, because if this rumor is true, the next Xbox could be one beast of a gaming device.

 

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The latest issue of Xbox World reports that the devkits for the upcoming Xbox were sent out after some secret meetings were held in London. The devkits don't look like the final product, but the hardware included is supposed to be representative of the final consumer product.

 

XBW's sources suggest that the devkit is powered by a state of the art 16-core IBM Power PC CPU with a GPU that is in the range of the AMD HD 7000 series of GPUs. The 16-core CPU is the interesting piece, and the most curious part of the upcoming Xbox. Most games only take advantage of a max of 4 cores. Additionally, 16-core CPUs are still in the future for desktop gaming rigs.

 

XBW explains: "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power." Both Sony and Microsoft have denied showing the next-gen console at E3. Game makers, however, are looking towards an LA debut for their next-gen software.

FCC and wireless carriers prepare to blacklist stolen phones

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 7:33 pm

This is something that I've been dreaming about ever since I first got a cell phone. The FCC and all four major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to create a central database of stolen phones. This will allow all of the carriers to deny service to any reported stolen phones. No longer will there be a temptation to steal phones.

 

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Additionally, carriers will start to encourage users to use lock screen passwords. The new database has come around due to the staggering statistics regarding phone theft in the United States. "We made sure that they saw the statistics, that they understood how important this was to the police chiefs," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "And to their credit they said, 'You know what? You're right. This is a priority, we're going to get it done.'"

 

The debate began a few months ago due to the increase of violent crimes involving cell phone theft. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this will reduce cell phone theft, at least to some degree, because the phones will be rendered useless. However, they could be stolen and resold to an unsuspecting customer. This, I believe, will result in some residual cell phone theft.

Verizon implementing $30 upgrade fee starting April 22

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 6:22 pm

Following in the footsteps of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon has announced that starting April 22 they will charge you a $30 fee to have the privilege to sign a new two-year contract and upgrade your phone with a new, subsidized, one. It's just another way that cell carriers are trying to recoup their margins that have been undermined by subsidies for the iPhone and similar.

 

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Verizon tries to claim the fee is for some other uses, but in my opinion, it's strictly for profit margins: "This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever."

 

There is a way to mitigate the cost of upgrade. Verizon notes that if you make use of its "green trade-in program" that the fee can be mitigated or completely offset. The program is available here. If you are due for an upgrade and are on Verizon, I highly suggest that you do your upgrade before April 22.

OnLive Desktop, that popular app that gives you a VDI has changed over to Windows Server 2008

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 5:25 pm

OnLive Desktop, that popular app that gives you a hosted Windows 7 environment and full Office 2010 support, will no longer be giving you a Windows 7 environment. Instead, you will now be receiving a Windows Server 2008 environment. The App that was first shown to the world back at CES 2012 in Las Vegas immediately sparked a debate about licensing terms.

 

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Microsoft had remained silent about whether or not the app was breaking their license terms. In March, however, the software giant spoke out saying that they didn't believe that the app was operating inside licensing terms. They said that they were in talks with OnLive to reach an acceptable license agreement.

 

"We're pleased to have been told that the OnLive Desktop application is now accessing our software by hosting it on Windows Server, an important step in delivering any Microsoft-licensed desktop-like service to the public. Based on this information, we will work with OnLive to take a closer look at its service and ensure it is operating according to its license like thousands of other partners and utilizing our standing pricing and licensing terms," Microsoft said in a statement to The Register.

 

A co-founder of tuCloud, a VDI consultancy says, "We think they may have skinned Windows 7 to make it look like Server 2008R2. We're seeing traces of Windows 7 in there, but can't prove it. [...] If they have downgraded to R2, then at least they are playing on the same playing field as the rest of us."

Continue reading 'OnLive Desktop, that popular app that gives you a VDI has changed over to Windows Server 2008' (full post)

More sync features included in latest Chrome beta

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 4:32 pm

Good old Google Chrome. It's the browser I'm using to write this right now. Unfortunately, I have to open tabs manually across all of my computers and that's quite annoying. However, I no longer have to as in the latest Google Chrome beta, it includes a new feature which syncs your tabs across all of your Chrome installs.

 

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The feature doesn't actually keep the same tabs open across computers. Instead it adds an "Other Devices" menu on the new tab page in which you can select a tab from another computer or even Android device. And it doesn't just come with the single tab--it brings the full history of the tab so that you can go backwards.

 

There's no word when this will be available in the regular Chrome release, but you can check it out in the developer channel here.

You could soon be searching Google at "search.Google"

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 3:11 pm

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLD). Right now there are approximately 22 gTLDs including com and org. After the application period closes April 12, it is expected that hundreds if not thousands of new gTLDs will be created.

 

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These new gTLDs will be anything from ".Google" or ".YouTube" to ".Pepsi" or ".Delta". Google is expected to pick up all of their trademarks and then some as stated by a company spokesman: "We plan to apply for Google's trademarked TLDs, as well as a handful of new ones. We want to help make this a smooth experience for web users -- one that promotes innovation and competition on the internet."

 

The new gTLDs could allow YouTube to brand YouTube channels with something like "mychannel.YouTube" as the URL. The new gTLDs have some interesting new uses, but come at a cost. gTLDs have the application fee and operating costs. The initial application fee of $185,000 is quite a bit for most to overcome. A full list of applications will be posted April 30.

Capcom announces development on Lost Planet 3

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 2:02 pm

After Capcom's recent "Captivate" event, in which it spilled out the details on current and upcoming projects, Capcom has announced that it is well into development of the third installment of Lost Planet 3. Lost Planet 3 is Capcom's third-person shooter line of games and is pretty good, or so I hear. I've never actually played them.

 

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Lost Planet 3 is set to be a prequel to the previous two games. Capcom provides us with a brief story line: "Lost Planet 3 introduces Jim, a rig pilot who leaves Earth to take on a hazardous but lucrative contract on E.D.N. III. Working for Neo-Venus Construction (NEVEC) who are preparing the planet for colonization, Jim joins his fellow pioneers at the Coronis base and begins surveying the uncharted terrain and obtaining samples of the planet's energy supply - Thermal Energy."

Continue reading 'Capcom announces development on Lost Planet 3' (full post)

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