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Ex-Rockstar employee spills beans on GTA V

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 5:30 am

Before we get into this news, I'd like to ask you to take a pinch of any salt you have near you. Thank you. Now, we have a poster over on the GameSpot forums, that has reportedly posted a bunch of unreleased information on Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto V. The details came from someone called "Gloggle", who was fired from Rockstar due to "misconduct". His quote, and info (along with spoilers for both GTA IV and V):

 

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Hello!

 

I am a friend of someone who recently got sacked from RockStar North for general misconduct. Because one contract to RockStar covered everything, including secrecy, and his contractual obligaton was now removed, he was legally allowed to spill the beans on Rockstar's upcoming GTA V. And he is making damn sure everyone knows about it.

 

Here is the info you really want:

 

1. The protagonist will be one character, and one character alone. His name is (as some rumours said) Albert De Silva. He's a half hispanic man who was once part of a crime family in Vice City. He decided to settle down and have kids in Los Santos. He has one son called Kevin De Silva who is your stereotypical CoD player. He's lazy, useless and shouts racial abuse online and is really into FPS games. Kevin does admire his Dad though.

Continue reading 'Ex-Rockstar employee spills beans on GTA V' (full post)

XBMC 11.0 'Eden' is here

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 3:29 am

Popular HTPC software suite, XMBC, has hit version 11.0 and is now available for download. The new version sports, according to XMBC's website:

 

Addon Rollbacks, vast improvements in Confluence (the default skin), massive speed increases via features like Dirty-region rendering and the new JPEG decoder, a simpler, better library, movie set scraping, additional protocol handling, better networking support, better handling of unencrypted BluRay content and structures, adjustable display refresh rate in OSX (to match the already available feature in Windows and Linux), AirPlay support, an upgraded weather service with geoip lookup, and much, much more.

 

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Just a little bit of an upgrade, wouldn't you say? On top of that, the team have also increased the hardware support of XBMC, too. Eden now marks the first in-sync stable release for the Apple TV2, iPad, and other iOS-based devices. The team have also said to have improved the method they use for input, including "heavily upgrading JSON-RPC support" which makes remote control support much simpler in Windows, reportedly.

 

XMBC 11.0 Eden is available now for Windows, Linux, OSX and iOS. Download it here.

Google launches Street View in Thailand

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: GPS & Location | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 2:28 am

Google started a local presence within Thailand back in September, but have only just launched their Street View service over the weekend, with street level images now available in and around several Thai cities.

 

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Google only days ago unleashed their virtual tour of the Amazon, but now Google users can check out the street level views of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the island of Phuket. Google's service is set to bust out of those boundaries, though, where it will include six more Thai cities, as well as Thailand's World Heritage cities.

 

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also inviting people to nominate places or landmarks to appear in Google Street View. Thai tourist authorities are hoping to increase tourism with the new service, where they want to try and emulate the increased tourism that Pompeii, Italy experienced after rolling out Google Street View.

T-Mobile slices 1,900 jobs, also closes seven call centers across the U.S.

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 1:34 am

T-Mobile have just announced that they will be cutting 1,900 jobs as well as closing seven of their call centers throughout the US as part of a plan that is said to reduce overhead as well as stockpile cash in order to invest in a restructuring plan after AT&T failed on their planned acquisition.

 

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The call centers that will be closed down are: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. For all of the call centers mentioned, they actually house 3,300 employees, but T-Mobile will be hiring 1,400 more workers at the remaining 17 centers.

 

Some employees are being offered transfers, and those who are being let go are said to be receiving severance pay and two months of healthcare. The cut of 1,700 employees may sound drastic, but it's just a slither of T-Mobile's total workforce, the 1,700 lost jobs represents 5-percent of the total workforce.

Instagram accepting Android registrations, hipsters, prepare those cameras

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 12:27 am

Over the weekend, Instagram opened up a sign-up page for the much-anticipated Android app. At the moment, it's not known what the sign-up page actually does, whether it gives you an early entry into the app, as users are encouraged to supply an e-mail address to be the "first in line".

 

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Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has hinted previously that the Android-based version of the popular camera app would be just weeks away, and has also teased that it might be more feature-rich than its iOS competition.

 

Instagram saw a surge in users when the iPhone 4S was released, and now sits at a very respectable 27 million users. As soon as Instagram for Android drops, you can be sure that we'll let you know.

Details on Samsung's coming Exynos 5 SoC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Mar 25, 2012 9:49 am

What do we have here? An official document on Samsung's upcoming Exynos 5 dual-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC). From the document, we can see it will sport 12.8GB/sec of bandwidth that runs through two 32-bit 800MHz memory ports, capable of providing support for both LPDDR3 and standard DDR3.

 

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The chip will also support USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0, which is a great step forward for Samsung and future devices that will feature this Exynos chip. It will also feature support for HSIC and C2C interfaces, which will give the chip the capability of LTE. High resolution image sensors are also getting baked in, which should provide support for handling 8-megapixel at 30fps, very nice.

 

The nitty-gritty is that the new Exynos chip sports an ARM Mali-T604 GPU and a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 which should be clocked between 1.7 and 2.0GHz, where we should expect performance to reach 14,000 DMIPS, which is 0.2DMIPS/MHz per core faster than Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 CPU, and 1.0 DMIPS/MHz per core faster than NVIDIA's Tegra 3.

Online streaming will overtake DVD sales in US this year

By: Trace Hagan | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:29 pm

With internet speeds constantly increasing, more and more people are able to stream music and videos online reducing the need for CDs and DVDs. Add in the lower cost of streaming options versus the alternative of going out to a theater or purchasing DVDs and you can see why, for the first time ever, the amount of online movies streamed legally will outpace the number of DVDs sold.

 

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IHS Screen Digest is predicting that 3.6 billion movies will be streamed in 2012 with only 2.6 billion DVD and blu-ray purchases occuring. This is the first time that online streaming has out-paced DVD purchases. But, I must now call into the question the study, just for our readers. When you purchase a DVD, you get to keep a copy of the movie in question. However, some of the main providers of online streaming are more akin to Blockbuster where you are renting a video and don't get to keep a copy.

FaceBook data study shows patterns in relationship patterns

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 9:29 pm

The FaceBook Data Team has published an interesting new study based upon U.S. Facebook data from 2010 and 2011. The data concerns the changes in relationship status and the trends associated with them. Some of the trends and results of the study are obvious, such as February 14th being the highest gain in new relationships, but there are less obvious results, such as the trends for the most common break up day. The best part? This data is separated into 3 distinct age groups.

 

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Today, being Friday (in the US at least), is the most common day for breakups for people older than 25, so be on the watch for a breakup. But if you're single, don't fret, because Monday is the statistically highest day for new relationships. For people under 25, Thursday is the highest day for breakups, probably because they want to be able to go out Friday night and party.

Continue reading 'FaceBook data study shows patterns in relationship patterns' (full post)

RumorTT: Intel releasing new 300 and 700 Series SSDs in May

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 8:28 pm

Following on the heels on its SSD 520 release, Intel is rumored to be getting ready to unveil a couple more drives in May. Rumor has it that the company will introduce a new 300 Series model (codenamed Maple Crest) for the mainstream consumer market and a 720 Series (codenamed Ramsdale) for enterprise applications.

 

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The rumor lacks some detail, such as what storage size it will be available in, what controller it will use, or what interface it will use. Its predecessor uses SATA 3Gbps and is available in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB sizes, so I would imagine that would be a safe guess that it will at least meet these, if not exceed.

 

Beyond the rumored May relase, Intel is set to transition to 20nm NAND flash in Q3 and will most likely release a brand new 500 Series solid-state drive codenamed King Crest. Q4 should bring updates to the 700 Series with larger sizes and higher performance. It'll be interesting how the other SSD manufacturers counter these releases.

RumorTT: Xbox 720, Playstation 4 won't block used

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 7:28 pm

GameStop fully believes that the Xbox 720/NEXT and Playstation 4 will not implement a system to block used games. This belief could be based on hope simply because GameStop relies on the used game market for around half of its profits. GameStop controls somewhere around 60-70% of first-week sales. This means that the game manufacturers need GameStop to stay around in order to market their goods.

 

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"We think it's unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn't been proven to work. Remember that used video games have a residual value. Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used games model," said Raines. "So consider taking used games out of that, you'd have to find new ways to sell the games, and our partners at the console companies have great relationships with us."

 

However, when used games are sold, publishers don't see a dime. Hence they have started using online passes in the past two years to try to make some money off of the used game sales. So, while you may have to pay for a new online pass for a used game, the game itself is not going anywhere for the time being.

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