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'Alliance' takes out DotA 2 championship, team wins $1.4 million

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 12, 2013 8:15 am

DotA 2 has been making some waves in the news lately, with the US government officially recognizing pro-gamers as professional athletes. Now we have a bunch of Swedish pro-gamers, team Alliance, taking out The International 2013 DotA 2 Championship.

 

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Alliance took home US$1.4 million by defeating Ukrainian pro-gaming team Natus Vincere in a huge five-game battle in the Grand Finals. Gamers and fans around the world stayed up late, or early depending on where they lived to watch the game, with The International being the largest DotA 2 event of its kind with prize money of $2.8 million up for grabs.

NSA collects over 29 petabytes of data per day

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 12, 2013 7:01 am

A document on the NSA.gov website has stated that the government spy agency "touches" 1.6% of the huge 1,826 petabytes of data that crosses the data cables that makes up the Internet each day.

 

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Of this data, the NSA flicks through 29PB of it, or 29 million gigabytes, which is quite the insane number. The NSA says that just 0.025% of that data is selected for review. The document states: "The net effect is that NSA analysts look at 0.00004 percent of the world's traffic in conducing their mission - that's less than one part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global communications environment, NSA's collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court."

 

Throughout the document, the NSA defends its legal basis, dismissing claims that it was conducting dragnet-style operations, except for the instances that fall under the umbrella of counter-terrorism and involve telephone metadata. You can read more on the document here, which is just filled with "it's okay, American citizens, we're not spying on you..."

RumorTT: Refreshed Nexus 10 will be manufactured by ASUS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 1:34 pm

A refreshed Google Nexus 10 is on its way, but just who will manufacture the 10-inch slate? The latest rumor is that ASUS will be building it, which is a hit for Samsung who made the original Nexus 10 slate.

 

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ASUS scored the contract for the refreshed Nexus 7, so if this report is true, ASUS are sitting in quite the position with Google going into the future. Considering the leap in specifications from the original Nexus 7 to the refreshed 2013 model, if the same is done to the Nexus 10, we could be in for quite the treat.

 

We should see the refreshed Nexus 10 with at least a 2560x1600-pixel display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and more. I'm expecting it to arrive with 16GB on-board flash storage by default, and some slick accessories, too. This will be the perfect tablet to buy for Battlefield 4's second screen mode, something I plan to do myself.

Battlefield 4 will 'never force' team play, but will 'encourage' it

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 12:30 pm

Thomas "Thompen" Andersson, Battlefield 4's Lead Multiplayer Designer, has explained how the developer is designing Battlefield 4 to "highly encourage" but "never force" team play in the first-person shooter.

 

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DICE's first incentive for players, involves gameplay mechanics, where he continues on the official Battlefield 4 blog: "We want to promote team play by creating great gameplay mechanics such as Field Upgrades, Commander Mode, and a new range of gadgets specifically designed to expand co-operation in the field. We have drastically expanded on the tools and benefits of efficient team play, and as a result we feel Battlefield 4's multiplayer experience is the deepest, most rewarding, and fun experience in the series."

 

Andersson said he believes EA DICE can "do a better job ... of letting players make more educated choices in their kit loadouts and combat roles" by showing what gadgets do and allowing gamers to compare weapons.

Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill goes up for pre-order, just $499

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 11:25 am

The Kickstarter-funded Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill is now available for pre-order, with the Virtuix Omni Natural Motion Interface coming in at a price of $499, and a shipping date of March 2014.

 

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For $499, you'll receive the Omni platform itself, a pair of shoes, a belt, and the tracking hardware and software. For $1109, you'll receive the Duel Package, which includes two devices, and three pairs of shoes. So if you'd like to step into true virtual reality, pick up the Duel Package, a pair of Oculus' Rift VR headsets, and game your entire life away.

 

Who needs next-gen consoles when you have this in your home?

First 'internationally recognized' athlete VISA given to pro gamer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 10:30 am

It wasn't long ago that the US government officially recognized professional League of Legends gamers as athletes, but now the first VISA has been awarded to a Canadian League of Legends gamer.

 

 

Danny "Shiphtur" Le, received his VISA so that he could fly down to southern California to train for October's world championship, which is being held in Los Angeles. The VISA he holds is a P-1A, which is the VISA for "internationally recognized athletes," according to a spokesman for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 

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The spokesman stated that each candidate would be individually evaluated for a VISA. But, Le is a Canadian, and Canadian's can stay in the US for up to six months without a VISA, so why did the pro League of Legends gamer apply for a VISA? As a business gamer, Le will play in competitions and if he wins prize money, he keeps it - but he cannot earn a salary while in the US. With Le based in California for now, he is earning a salary, which he would like to keep, hence the VISA application.

Amazon sets fire to Kindle Fire HD prices, next-gen is close

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 9:30 am

We should be preparing ourselves for Amazon to unveil its next-generation Kindle Fire HD tablets, but for now you should bask in the glory of Amazon's price cuts to the current Kindle Fire HD models.

 

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The refreshed Kindle Fire HD slates will feature an all-new exterior design, as well as completely refreshed internals, too. The retail giant has just slashed the current-generation Kindle Fire HD to just $159, but in reality Amazon should've just called this a 'fire sale' and enjoyed the pun.

Apple continue to lose foothold in Chinese mobile market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 8:36 am

Apple isn't having a good time in China, with Canalys' latest report showing that the iPhone's market share has dropped to just 5% in the second quarter of 2013. This is down from 9% in the same quarter of last year.

 

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Canalys' China Research Director, Nicole Peng, told Bloomberg that Apple is getting hit by low-cost Android-powered smartphones that are being pushed by vendors such as Lenovo, ZTE and Xiaomi, which have all been pushing super-cheap smartphones with decent internal specifications. Peng said: "Apple is only focused on the high-end segment, and China's smartphone market growth right now is coming from the mid- to low-end. Apple doesn't have any products in the mid- to low-end and that's where Xiaomi has been building their brand awareness."

 

The world's largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, has close to 750 million subscribers, but Apple will not play ball with them. The Cupertino-based smartphone giant will not accept lower subsidies from the carrier, which is now hurting them, bad. Is this why Apple is reportedly working on the cheaper iPhone 5C?

Civilization Online powered by CryEngine 3, South Korean exclusive

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 7:34 am

XLGames and 2K are currently working on Civilization Online, an MMO title which is being powered by Crytek's very capable CryEngine 3. The new Civilization Online will shift away from the usual turn-based strategy game, into a single character within one of four societies.

 

 

Civilization Online is still centered around the ideas and characteristics that made Civilization the franchise that it is today, but Civilization Online just takes it from a new perspective. From the start of the game, player's will slot into one of four societies, where their task will be to conquer the world as it progresses through the ages.

 

Civilization Online is a massively, real-time, open world title that will see huge environments for gamer's to explore. There'll also be crafting PvP, resource gathering and other elements built-in. Traditional combat will be a part of Civilization Online, as will the ability to conduct research, build structures and even access an auction house to get rid of the items you have crafted.

Continue reading 'Civilization Online powered by CryEngine 3, South Korean exclusive' (full post)

Acer to leave the cold arms of Microsoft for Google's warm embrace

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 11, 2013 6:29 am

Microsoft is losing partners left, right and center, with major partner, Acer, looking to shift its business away from the Redmond-based OS giant. The Wall Street Journal reports that Acer is trying to grow its "non-Windows business as soon as possible" by jumping to Android for mobile devices.

 

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Acer's goal is to generate 30% of its re venue from Android-based devices and Chromebooks by as early as the end of 2014, up from the current 10% revenue stream they will see from Android-based Acer goods this year. It would seem like, from the outside at least, Acer is trying to grow itself toward a Samsung-like company.

 

Acer President, Jim Wang, told The Wall Street Journal: "For the PC industry, I haven't seen light at the end of the tunnel. First, we have to sustain our market share and protect our bottom line...and by doing tablets and smartphones right, we can be prepared for the day after tomorrow."

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