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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2120

NASA JPL lets you walk the surface of Mars with Oculus Rift and Omni

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 7:25 am

Oculus Rift, apart from being awesome, is being used everywhere, but one of the best uses for it so far has to be NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's super immersive space exploration, which lets you walk the surface of Mars.



The NASA JPL team were pumped for Rift when they first used it at PAX last year, signing up for a developer kit right away. Engadget interviewed Human Interfaces Engineer, Victor Luo, who said they added terrain imagery that was snapped from satellites so that they could actually "walk" on the red planet using an Xbox controller "with up to 25 centimeters per pixel."




Luo thought it would be great to actually physically 'walk' on Mars, so they contacted Virtuix Omni to get one of their treadmills. The Virtuix team were near the JPL labs when E3 2013 was cranking along, and hand delivered an Omni to the excited people at NASA's JPL laboratories. The team hooked the unit up and were able to "wander around" the surface of Mars. Incredible.

The NSA is tipping the DEA off, while the DEA covers it up

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 7:17 am

I've said it once, and I'll say it again, there is no privacy anymore. If you're connected to an electronic device, or live in a country with electricity and technology, then you're monitored in one way or another. But just how bad can it get?




Well, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have been receiving tips from the National Security Agency (NSA). DEA officials in a highly secret office dubbed the Special Operations Division (SOD) are assigned to handle tips from the NSA. These tips are added to a DEA database that includes "intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records."


The SOD's work is completely classified, so that DEA cases that started from NSA tips can't be tracked back to the NSA as its source. But what exactly does the DEA do? Well, they create a story of how they came to the case, in something they call "parallel construction," reports Reuters. Reuters explains this: "Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants."

Continue reading 'The NSA is tipping the DEA off, while the DEA covers it up' (full post)

Apple wants you to trade your old USB power adapters in

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 5:25 am

Apple has just opened up a new trade-in program for your old USB power adapters after the death of a flight attendant who was electrocuted by answering an iPhone 5 that was on charge.




Apple have stated that "recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues." This has led the Cupertino-based company to institute the USB Power Adapter Takeback Program, which lets consumers pick up a first-party iPad, iPhone or iPad plug for just $10, down from the usual $19.


In order to receive this discount, you just have to trade-in your old power adapter. The deal is limited to just one adapter for each device you own, so put down that box of old USB power adapters.

Kickstarter to open its doors to Canada on September 9

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 5:01 am

Kickstarter has been a huge asset for some big products over the last year or so, with Oculus' Rift, Chris Roberts' Star Citizen, and of course, the Android-powered OUYA console.




But, it has been closed off from the borders of Canada, until September 9, that is. Kickstarter will open their doors, arms, and wallets to Canadian developers on September 9, with Kickstarter holding events on August 8 and 9 in Toronto, as well as more in Montreal on August 12 and 13.

HTC tells us to expect 'big things ahead'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 4:26 am

HTC already have us excited for their HTC One Max smartphone, but now the Taiwanese company have taken to Vine and Instagram to tease something new and exciting is coming.




There's a six-second trailer that pushes slogans such as "Here's To Change" and "Happy Telephone Company"... take that as you will. The video's description is more of a tease, stating "big things ahead" which is accompanied by the hashtag #HTChange. Could we expect the first advertisement featuring Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr, himself? Or is the "big" thing ahead simply their new HTC One Max smartphone?


I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see what Downey Jr can bring to the mix.

Xbox One Game DVR feature records footage at 720p, 30 FPS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 3:28 am

While the Xbox One might be capable of supporting resolutions as high as 4K, nearly all titles will be pumped out at 1080p. Some titles, such as Battlefield 4, will run at 720p, but crank the frame rate up to 60 FPS.




News is now hitting that the Xbox One's Game DVR feature, which records in-game footage for your viewing pleasure, is limited to just 720p at 30 FPS. This has been confirmed by Microsoft's Marc Whitten during an interview with IGN. He says: "Game DVR captures beautiful clips at 720p 30 [frames per second]."


Whitten adds: "Your clips are stored in the cloud. You'll be able to see these clips in the Xbox One Guide, in your own game DVR collection and when you are looking at gamercards on the system." So now I have a question, is the Game DVR feature limited to 720p at 30 FPS because the footage is stored in the cloud? Would uploading 1080p at 60 FPS footage be too much? Not even the GPU spec bump will help this.

New Resistive RAM crams 1TB of data into a space smaller than a stamp

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 3:04 am

California-based start-up, Crossbar Inc., have just dived onto the storage radar with a totally new way of storage technology which they're calling "Resistive RAM" or RRAM.




Resistive RAM is a huge leap for storage, capable of storing 1TB of data on a 200 sq. mm chip, something that is smaller than a postage stamp. RRAM technology uses a three-layer structure, is also stackable and scalable, which means multiple terabytes of storage can be crammed into one 3D chip package with chips stacked on top of each other.


The start-up claims that these chips will feature 20x faster write performance, 20x lower power consumption and 10x more endurance when compared to "today's best-in-class NAND flash memory." I'm sure that our in-house storage editors Chris and Paul are rubbing their hands with glee right now.

iPhone 5C and iPad 5 get caught in two new videos

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 2:26 am

It's getting to that time of the year where we hear more and more about Apple's product releases, with two new videos to show you. The first, below, is of the fifth-generation iPad.



As you can see, the video shows the front and back shells to the iPad 5, assembled together for the first time. The Apple logo looks to have gone through a little change, instead of the silver logo we're accustomed to, it's a transparent or translucent logo. We should expect Apple to launch the fifth-generation iPad as soon as next month.



As for the budget iPhone 5C, we have that video, above. The iPhone 5C video shows the rear shell and front bezel parts from the budget iPhone, which we should expect to arrive to our hands as the iPhone 5C.

Continue reading 'iPhone 5C and iPad 5 get caught in two new videos' (full post)

Microsoft updates Bing app for Windows Phone 8, improves UI

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 2:03 am

Today, Microsoft announced an update to its Bing for Windows Phone 8 app that brings forth several months of refining user experience on mobile. Once updated, users will notice that search filters have been reduced to just three which include web, images, and video, which will help greatly with providing more relevant content on the first screen.




The app will also show more usable results on the main screen with immediate results for searches such as flight schedules, movies, and word definitions. Infinite scrolling has been added to photo searches as well as auto-sized thumbnails. Not everyone will get the update immediately as Microsoft plans to roll it out nationwide over the next few weeks. No information was released on when the worldwide rollout will take place.

Zynga kills OMGPOP, ignores employees' request to buy back company

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 1:29 am

Today, Zynga announced that it would be shutting down game developer OMGPOP despite the fact that it paid $200 million for it back in March 2012. TechCrunch is reporting that many within OMGPOP's leadership banded together and tried to buy back the company, but Zynga refused to sell.




The employees were hoping to purchase the company's website, games, and intellectual property and were open to acquiring everything that Zynga wish to sell even if it excluded the company's most valuable asset Draw Something. Zynga cited that selling the site would take too much work and that it was just easier to shut the entire operation down.


Back in June, Zynga laid off OMGPOP's entire staff and today the company announced that would go dark at the end of next month on September 30. Zynga will keep alive several of the company's games, but for the most part, games like Cupcake Quarter, Jim Rush, Pool World Champ, and Snoops will all disappear forever.

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