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RumorTT: Xbox 720 to feature in-game Skype integration job posting hints

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 28, 2012 9:29 pm

Often times job postings give us a view into the future plans of a company. The latest example of this is one of Microsoft's job postings which is pointing towards Skype integration into the upcoming Xbox 720. According to the posting, Microsoft is looking for a London-based Lead Program Manager to bring voice and video services to the Xbox 720.




The posting says: "Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox. Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin of Skype's living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox. This is a crucial initiative for Xbox, and it is time-critical given the hardware lead times involved."


It's not exactly clear what the Skype integration would entail, but it seems like Microsoft feels this is a pretty big deal for the upcoming Xbox 720. The rumored release date is sometime in 2013, so they have some time to get it right. It could allow others to see user's Kinect motions or to share a celebration after a rough Call of Duty match.


This looks to be the reason for Microsoft's acquisition of Skype. They spent a fortune on Skype, around $8.5 billion, and haven't really done much since. There has been a lackluster Windows Phone app, but aside from that, nothing. It would also be cool if they use Skype to stream the display output of the Xbox 720 to people who want to watch.

Powercolor Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 details surface, uses a triple slot cooler

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: May 28, 2012 8:32 pm

It would seem that PowerColor is the first GPU manufacturer to spill the beans on the upcoming 7970 X2. The new GPU will be based upon two 7970 Tahiti cores, which is the top chip made by AMD. This card is being designed to compete with the NVIDIA GTX 690, which is the current king of the video cards.




The new GPU will be cooled by PowerColor's new monster Vortex III. This new cooler was designed specifically for the new Devil 13 7970 X2 and is huge as you can see by the picture above. It features three fans blowing onto a massive heatsink and takes up 3 slots, as seen by the picture of the backplate.


The new GPU is adorned in red and black and looks beautiful. But it's not all about beauty as the card appears to have some monster stats to go along with the beauty. It will feature a total of 4096 stream processors across the two chips and have a total of 6GB of memory available. The cores will be clocked at 1GHz and require a ton of power. The card is outfitted with three 8-pin PCIe power connectors and has a TDP of 525 watts. The card should make an appearance at Computex early next month. More should be known then.

Continue reading 'Powercolor Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 details surface, uses a triple slot cooler' (full post)

RumorTT: Apple's MacBook suppliers are seeing labor shortages because of new MacBook

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 28, 2012 7:23 pm

A new report is saying that the manufacturers in the MacBook supply chain are facing a labor shortage due to the demand for the new MacBook. The report says that strong orders from Apple during a typically low demand season is the cause of the shortage. Some manufacturers are even resorting to outsourcing in order to meet the shipment schedule.




The report says that the manufacturers started delivering parts starting back April. They then experienced growth in May and are expecting to see even more growth in June. The launch of the new MacBook is expected to come in July, but that is unconfirmed. I would tend to expect an August or September launch as that is when they usually launch products.


Sources are expecting shipments to increase from 12.79 million to 16.24-19.2 million units. That equates to a 30-50% increase year-over-year. The new MacBook is rumored to take on a wedge shape that is similar to the current MacBook Air. Once again, this is an unconfirmed rumor. People love Apple rumors, so we will keep them coming as they surface.

Poll Results - Diablo III

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 28, 2012 7:14 pm

Our latest poll had almost 1,700 people who answered gave us their thoughts about Diablo III.




On the positive side 39% were for Diablo III with 19% saying it deserves Game of the year honors and 20% said they are buying it.


However, on the negative side, 40% said that they weren't interested ("meh") and 8% even responded that they don't know what Diablo III is. Finishing up, 12% said they'd rather be playing BF3 or another game. Overall, the results for D3 were not as bad as they could have been, but they were not that positive either.


For the actual numbers, go here. In our latest poll, we ask you about... what you want to see at Computex Taipei 2012 Let us know! Go here to vote!

Toshiba to stop selling Netbooks in US, focusing on Ultrabooks and tablets

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 28, 2012 6:29 pm

It's looking like we will soon need to change this category to "Laptops & Ultrabooks" as more and more manufacturers are dropping Netbooks from the US market. Toshiba has confirmed that they will soon be joining the ranks of Dell and Lenovo who have also pulled out of the US Netbook market. It looks like tablets and Ultrabooks have killed the Netbook star.




Part of the reason for the change is that Netbooks have very little profit margin. So not only were sales slipping, but Toshiba wasn't making very much on the few sales that remained. Instead, Toshiba has decided to focus more on their Portege Ultrabook line and Excite tablet line. Looking at the money reasoning, you can see why. An Ultrabook sells for $800 or more which allows quite a bit more profit margin.


Another reason to focus on tablets is the upcoming Windows 8 which is designed with tablets in mind. Additionally, users like the higher performance capabilities of an Ultrabook as more and more users need to do more with their computers. It's pretty hard to play any sort of game or type any long message on a Netbook. If you still want one, HP, Acer, and ASUS are still offering them in the US. They will range from $200-$500.

First generation iPad prototype up for auction, features dual dock ports

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 28, 2012 5:32 pm

If you are a collector of Apple gear, this is one piece of rare hardware you don't want to miss. An original first generation iPad prototype has been put up for auction on eBay. The device is running internal test software and features dual docking ports. The second port was to allow charge while in a horizontal orientation.




The device is said to be fully functional, save the touchscreen not working. The auction already has 1 bid at $4,800 and the seller has offered the option to Buy It Now for $10,000. Curiously enough, it looks as though Apple almost went with this design as early teardown images show the second ribbon cable.


The dock cable was most likely scrapped for aesthetics as it does look pretty bad. But nevertheless, this prototype up for auction does appear to be the real deal based upon that fact and the Switchboard software fact. Considering the touchscreen doesn't work and the fact Apple tends to get upset when people have prototype hardware, I don't know if I would risk $4,800+ on the device.

RumorTT: AMD FX 8150 appears to have hit 8805.6MHz in new overclock

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: May 28, 2012 4:34 pm

The AMD FX series of processors is known for overclocking pretty well. It currently holds the world record for fastest clock speed ever achieved and looks to be breaking that once again. A new CPU-z validation screen shot has shown up online. It details the feat even though HWBot rejected the the posting.




The rejection was most likely due to the fact that the overclocker didn't provide much in the way of detail about the cooling system used. When I say much, I mean any. What we do know is that the chip was clocked at a massive 8805.6MHz and was achieved by overclocker Ksin. Speed like that comes only when an overclocker uses extreme cooling such as liquid nitrogen or liquid helium.


To achieve the feat, Ksin used a base clock of 303.29 MHz and a multiplier of 29.0. To reach these clock speeds, an incredible 1.86 volts were pumped through the core. As such, it is recommended that you don't try this at home as that will kill your chip very quickly. Other components of the system include an ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard and 4 GB (2x 2 GB) of ADATA memory. The memory was clocked at 1417 MHz.


It appears that the posting has now been removed at the time of writing. I imagine this is due to the lack of cooling information.


UPDATE: The reason that the score was pulled from HWBot is because the Pi score indicated that the frequency could be bugged. This doesn't mean that it is, but that the possibility exists.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: AMD FX 8150 appears to have hit 8805.6MHz in new overclock' (full post)

Facebook study shows culture has effect on profile picture choice

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Social Networking | Posted: May 28, 2012 3:27 pm

It's always a difficult task to choose the next profile picture that you're going to use. You put a lot of thought into the process and probably look at several photos for a while before deciding. You may even ask a friend or two what they think. It turns out that there is also some cultural influence into the decision as well.




Your profile picture has different qualities depending on your culture. According to a new study, Americans tend to focus on the face and usually have a close-up shot where the face takes up most of the frame. This is contrary to Taiwanese users who tend to have some background visible and a much smaller portion of the frame taken up by the face.


The study was done twice after the first one found the correlation. The second time around they increased the sample size and locations in which they were drawing participants from and the findings still held true. The study also showed that Americans preferred a more intense facial expression such as a huge smile while Taiwanese tended to have a less intense expression.


The researchers explain:


Overall, the two studies clearly showed that East Asian Facebook users are more likely to deemphasize their faces compared to Americans. Specifically, East Asians living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan exhibited a predilection for context inclusiveness in their profile photographs, whereas Americans tended to prioritize their focal face at the expense of the background.

Continue reading 'Facebook study shows culture has effect on profile picture choice' (full post)

Huawei to release custom Android UI called "Emotion UI" in July

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 28, 2012 2:03 pm

Details surrounding Huawei's new Emotion UI aren't plentiful or clear, but we do know somethings. Samsung, HTC, and now ZTE all have custom user interfaces for their Android phones so it seems as though Huawei doesn't want to be left behind. As such, Huawei is now working on a UI called Emotion UI, likely for ICS.




Considering the other manufacturers' UIs works on Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes sense that that is what Huawei will be targeting. The new UI will be unveiled June 9 and will become available sometime in July. Updates will be pushed to currently shipping Huawei Android phones so that they will get the new user interface.


Functionality of the new UI is not clear. Huawei is using words such as "emotional," "simple," and "smart" when describing it, but that doesn't exactly tell us that much. This UI also may not make it out of China, although it could as Huawei is trying to become a global manufacturer. The only downside to this custom UI is that updates will now take longer when new Android versions come out.

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