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Microsoft goes limp on Xbox Live avatars, bans gun Avatars - reason? It's "family friendly"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 6:36 am

As of January 1, 2012, and part of a new Xbox Live policy, Microsoft will ban the purchase of any and all gun-related Avatar accessories within Xbox Live. In what seems like a troll from Microsoft, it's actually a 'family-friendly' move by them.

 

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The news came from an Epic Games forum post, where community manager raczilla noted that the Lander and Hammerburst Avatar accessories related to the Gears of War series will no longer be available for purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace in the New Year.

 

Microsoft debuted Avatars in November of 2008, to copy Nintendo's Mii's on the Wii console, to visually represent a gamer using a cartoon-style character. What I don't understand is, how the hell do Microsoft think they can justify this when Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, with the list virtually never-ending, are all on sale and huge money makers for the company?

 

It's almost as ridiculous as watching someone get banned on a Battlefield 3 server 'for swearing' when the core game itself, in single-player swears all the time and so do the people within the multi-player itself. It's trolltastic.

Download of the Day: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 6:03 am

Our Download of the Day today is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60.

 

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even start.

 

Key Features:

 

• Light speed quick scanning.

• Ability to perform full scans for all drives.

• Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Protection Module. (requires registration)

• Database updates released daily.

• Quarantine to hold threats and restore them at your convenience.

• Ignore list for both the scanner and Protection Module.

• Settings to enhance your Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware performance.

• A small list of extra utilities to help remove malware manually.

• Multi-lingual support.

• Works together with other anti-malware utilities.

• Command line support for quick scanning.

• Context menu integration to scan files on demand.

 

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Continue reading 'Download of the Day: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60' (full post)

Windows Phone to soon have automatic backups

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 5:26 am

The next version of Windows Phone is set to have automatic backup, while not officially announced, it has been hinted at with a recent job posting on Microsoft's Careers website. While it is not unusual to have a very specific skill set requirement for a job, it can be hard to find the right person.

 

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Microsoft are definitely on the hunt for this person, and it looks like they'll have quite the important job to do. The listing is inviting candidates to join the Windows Phone Backup, Migrate, and Restore team. The goal of the project revolves around disaster recovery, to restore your phone to a good state should you lose it or buy a new Windows Phone-based device, drop it in water or the phone is wiped if the PIN is entered in too many times.

 

Microsoft are playing catchup when it comes to this type of feature, as other manufacturers either have it baked in, or have an app for it. Microsoft states they plan to bake in the feature with the next version of Windows Phone, but have not been specific on whether it would be Tango or Apollo.

Apple's App Store sees 5 million free app downloads per day in November

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 4:20 am

Thanks to the iPhone 4S launch, Apple saw a very nice record downloads amongst the top 200 free apps according to mobile app marketing firm, Fiksu. Apple saw free apps in the top 200 exceed the 5 million mark, with an average of 5.65 million downloads per day.

 

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That's a very tidy 15-percent increase over the same stats in October, where the App Store saw 4.91 million downloads per day among the top-ranked free apps. Before that, downloads were actually on a slow decline since June 2011. This is due to the launch of the iPhone 4S not arriving when people thought it would, and then when it did, you can clearly see the graph goes up, way up.

 

Fiksu says that the introduction and rapid adoption of iOS 5 also helped with the increase in downloads, which is due to a million and one updates to apps from developers designed to bring software up to spec for the new mobile OS. For November 2011, downloads were 83-percent higher than the same time in 2010, thanks to the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 launches.

Richard Huddy is now inside Intel Inside, or Inside Intel

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 3:25 am

There have been plenty of people who have worked for ATI, that have moved onto bigger and better things by packing up their brown box, throwing their personal items inside like a plant or a family portrait (ok, ok, that sounds like a Hollywood cliche, but it's how I imagine it as an Australian) and moving to a better job.

 

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Now former AMD employee, Richard Huddy, has moved onto Intel. His goal with the red team was to form stronger relations with the game developers themselves. Big news, eh? Huddy has pushed through plenty of things for not only the technological industry, but the gaming industry. He worked with one of my favorite games, Max Payne, and ended up with a starring role as the mad professor in the lab. From there, he has helped a tonne of huge games hit the market.

Continue reading 'Richard Huddy is now inside Intel Inside, or Inside Intel' (full post)

Facebook for iPad to get Timeline in January

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 2:37 am

After Facebook for iPhone, Android and mobile web were updated with Facebook's latest feature, Timeline, it is now time for the iPad to enjoy its time in the sun. According to 9to5Mac, Facebook is looking at launching Timeline for iPad in mid to late January.

 

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But, why the delay versus the other devices getting Timeline? Well, last-minute bugs have been said to be the culprit as to why it didn't hit the iPad. Right now you can still access the new Timeline interface on Facebook.com on the iPad, but it is nowhere near the same as it is on the iPhone or Android-based phones.

 

It has been reported that the iPad version of Timeline is very smooth, and intuitive and a 'fusion of the web and iPhone/iPod touch versions'. A source told 9to5Mac:

 

The app was already delayed once because of bugs. So, it would not be surprising for the update to be delayed once again.

RumorTT: Next-gen iPhone to be a complete redesign, will launch in fall 2012

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 1:21 am

Just before we hit the end of the year, an Apple rumor hits for the next-gen iPhone. BGR has a 'close source' who has revealed that the next iPhone will launch in the fall of next year, roughly the same time that the iPhone 4S launched.

 

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They've also learnt that Apple are planning on using a rubber or plastic material, similar to what is used on their bumper cases, that is set to be built into the new iPhone case. This new material will most likely be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone, and will do two things.

 

First, it will join the glass of the iPhone face with the aluminum back plate, secondly, it will also act as a redesigned antenna system that surrounds the device, allowing Apple to build the rear case out of aluminum without having to use a plastic insert above the antennas as they do with their iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Next-gen iPhone to be a complete redesign, will launch in fall 2012' (full post)

Wednesday Morning Roundup

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Dec 28, 2011 2:07 pm

The latest happenings from around the web - December 28th, 2011

 

Systems

 

- Acer Aspire Z5771-UR31P 23-inch Touchscreen PC @ Techreviewsource

- HP Omni 120-1024 @ Techreviewsource

 

Motherboard

 

- ASRock Z68 Pro3 Gen3 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboard @ OCInside.de

- Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P Z68 Motherboard @ Aphnetworks

- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ Ocaholic

- First Looks: MSI Big Bang-XPower II (X79) Motherboard @ VR-Zone

 

Video/Monitor

 

- AMD Radeon HD 7970 @ Techspot

Continue reading 'Wednesday Morning Roundup' (full post)

JXD releases S7100, 7-inch Android-powered gaming tablet, rocks Mario Kart 64, and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 28, 2011 11:37 am

JXD have just released something you might want for next Christmas, the JXD S7100. The S7100 is a 7-inch, Android-powered gaming tablet that is aimed at the old-school arcade gamers. The device features some impressive specifications, too.

 

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The S7100 sports a D-pad, face buttons, an 800x480 capacitive touchscreen, an ARM Cortex A9 CPU, Mali 400 GPU, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 2.0-megapixel rear-facing camera, and HDMI out. The unit is capable of playing touchscreen games and classic ROMs such as Metal Slug, Mario Kart 64, Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies, and Fruit Ninja HD.

 

The device also sports the actual PlayStation button icons on its own buttons, and the marketing website for the S7100 sports icons from Apple, Google, Microsoft and others. Well, you'd think this puppy might be expensive, right? Wrong. It's just $140.

China releases GPS alternative, Beidou, global coverage by 2020

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: GPS & Location | Posted: Dec 28, 2011 10:50 am

China have been hard at work developing its own world-wide positioning system, where it hops to distance itself from foreign dependence and providing an alternative to the popular GPS. China have just announced that this month's satellite marks the first time their positioning network has started offering navigational data.

 

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China have named their GPS-alternative "Beidou", which is a Chinese word which represents the constellation to English-speakers Westerners as the "Big Dipper" or the "Plough". Beidou currently sports 10 satellites but covers "only" most of continental Asia. Right now, the network is obviously less accurate than GPS, but they plan to close that gap with additional satellites.

 

There are plans from China to extend Beidou's orbital network to a total of 35 satellites by 2020. This will give Beidou the power of global coverage with GPS-like precision. Six of those satellites will be launched next year alone.

Continue reading 'China releases GPS alternative, Beidou, global coverage by 2020' (full post)

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