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EA pulls Simpsons game from iTunes, says its due to overwhelming popularity

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 9:31 am

EA have removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store for a, well, weird reason. First up, an anonymous gamer posted on EA's help forum, asking about the game, and had a very interesting response from an EA representative:

 

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To ensure current players have the best possible experience, we've temporarily removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store to limit the game's server capacity to its current players and address connectivity and lag time issues.

 

So, EA removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out, because it was too popular? I was never the popular kid in school (contrary to popular belief from my flowing locks and eagle-sharp eyes, I look like a young Alec Baldwin), so I don't understand how this happens. EA predicts that players who have already downloaded the game will experience a smoother experience, with EA saying "actually, your experience should only improve as we work on a solution".

 

What I don't understand is, we're talking about EA here. Surely they have enough server bandwidth, or enough money to throw up some servers - especially as they saw the downloads ticking over from the App Store... obviously not, or there was an underlying issue with the game itself, and this is an easier way to fix it - rip it offline, fix it, throw it back and blame server overload issues?

Square's Register app turns any iPad into a full-blown point of sale terminal

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 8:28 am

My day job has me sitting in IT retail, doing the usual customer thing we all know and love (er?) and this news really blew me away in it's joint simplicity, but functionality and sheer awesomeness. Square has added more functionality to their mobile payment platform, found in the form of its new Register app for the iPad.

 

 

The refreshed app brings a much sleeker interface, with greater Card Case integration as well as analytics to break down sales by transaction type, and chronology to track your business' performance. On top of this, you can set up custom permissions to limit employee access, create customer loyalty programs and the new Register app also sports an improved inventory system feature.

 

The app still relies on Square's card reader for swiping cards, where it charges 2.75-percent per transaction using Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. 2.75-percent is a small price to pay for something that really is an evolutionary jump for the cash register. Touch, swipe, gesture, bring it on.

Continue reading 'Square's Register app turns any iPad into a full-blown point of sale terminal' (full post)

App Inventor gets launched into public beta

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 7:23 am

Google have handed over the cook book to their App Inventor to MIT, and have promptly dumped out a public beta. This means that you, your mom, friends, whoever really, can log into the MIT App Inventor, as long as you have a valid Google ID.

 

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Most people have already heard of this, when it was known as the Google App Inventor, but this is still new, news, really. Hop to it, and start inventing some apps that I can use as our Mobile App of the Day.

 

Google first launched App Inventor in mid-2010, which was then rinsed, discontinued and then open-sourced only last year. This now allows anyone to jump right into Android application development, with a simple web-based interface.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter gets its debut trailer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 6:28 am

EA have just released the first trailer to the Frostbite 2.0-powered first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The trailer does look quite good, and features the glorious explosions and slow-mo one would expect from a first-person shooter franchise.

 

 

The trailer states that all pre-orders will be upgraded to the limited edition version, at not extra cost. At least there's no day-one DLC. Personally, I think EA should back away from the "here guys, you get limited edition upgrades for free", its almost like EA are telling you it's all good, you're getting something for free. I don't want anything for free, and I'm personally willing to pay $100 for a game that breaks boundaries, and isn't a formulaic first-person shooter.

 

The trailer does look cool, as I said, but with (what it seems) no in-game footage, it's always hard to tell. Will this look as good, or better, than its Frostbite 2.0-powered cousin, Battlefield 3? Only time will tell. It should look better than the next Call of Duty, that's for sure. The trailer also gives us a release date: October 23, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Continue reading 'Medal of Honor: Warfighter gets its debut trailer' (full post)

Microsoft reveals Office 15, sports touch-friendly features, simpler UI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 5:28 am

Microsoft, in its venture to reclaim the love of its users, has started seeding its Office 15 technical preview to select, lucky partners, earlier than normal this year to get it ready for the public. The Verge has managed to spy some shots of Office 15, and its new features.

 

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Office sports a large influence of MS's Metro, where it has a cleaner interface and touch mode, which makes working with your documents and presentations on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, that much easier. Word has also received some love, now including double-click to zoom, smoother scrolling, video embeds, and the ability to share documents online through a browser.

 

Excel has also received some upgrades, now including some formatting controls, as well as chart animations. PowerPoint wasn't left out, and is now easier to drop Excel charts into presentations without messing with formatting. Outlook now sports weather forecasts built-in, in-line replies, and greater multiple e-mail account support. One Note wasn't left out of the upgrades, and now has improved tables support.

 

It looks like Microsoft isn't just trying here, they've listened, and are forging a path for their Metro-based future. I'm getting excited here, folks. Microsoft could really pull it off.

EA talks SimCity, PC-exclusive, and new trailer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 4:59 am

GDC 2012: EA have just announced that SimCity will be named, well, SimCity. No numbers, no space, just SimCity. It's being made by Maxis, and is a PC-exclusive. Yes, you read those words right: PC-exclusive. EA/Maxis have thrown a trailer into the lions pit, aka, the Internet, and boy is it exciting me.

 

 

Maxis' goal is to create a vision o the game that includes more choice, while simultaneously making the game the most playful and most responsive one in the series. The game will be in 3D, and will offer online components, but the emphasis of this full announcement is on how much the spirit of the original games are to them, which is great.

 

Maxis stressed that everything you see in the game, is there for a reason, with greater emphasis on detail, and a greater impact from your sim-building decisions. You'll be able to interact with the cities of your friends, and for example, if your city pollutes, you could lower the air quality in your neighboring cities. SimCity also sports roads like I like my women: curvy. A city is not built on a grid, and now we have curvy roads, finally.

Continue reading 'EA talks SimCity, PC-exclusive, and new trailer' (full post)

Amazon Appstore 2.2 hits, brings notifications and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 4:28 am

Amazon have just pushed out a new update for browsing and purchasing software from its mobile shop: Amazon Appstore. Amazon Appstore 2.2 brings several improvements, such as notifications, and app compatibility verification.

 

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The beefed up notifications settings now allow for enabling and disabling of notices when the downloading and completion of an app has been completed, advisories when new updates for an application become available, and changes to the status bar. The new compatibility feature allows users to make sure an app will actually work on a given device, before you spend the time, effort and bandwidth download it.

 

This is the first release since November 2011, when Amazon distributed an update in anticipation of the first shipments of their Kindle Fire. The new update also further improves payment option messages, if that helps in your Appstore goodness.

RumorTT: iPad 3 will be called the iPad HD

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 3:34 am

VentureBeat has heard the rumbles from reliable sources, and are reporting that the next iPad to hit, won't be called the iPad 3, and will actually be dubbed 'iPad HD'. iPad HD would make sense, as the new iPad sports a high-resolution Retina Display with a 2048x1536-pixel display.

 

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Right now, the current iPads feature 1024x768-pixel screens, so the iPad HD will blow them out of the water. Apple aren't the first ones to hit a homerun in terms of screen resolution for a tablet, but are the first ones to go over 1080p. ASUS' Transformer Prime features a 1080p display, but of course, in the usual Apple tradition, we should expect the high-res display to be a world first somehow. Hopefully we see iTunes HD debut at the same time, or else it will [mostly] be for nothing.

 

The iPad HD name would also make more sense, considering it will most likely ship with a suped up version of Apple's dual-core A5 processor, dubbed A5X. No quad-core A6 for you, iPad fans! Whilst ASUS and other companies are releasing quad-core tablets, Apple will behind the eight ball this time with a slower dual-core. Yes, most apps and games don't use it, but bragging rights are bragging rights at the end of the day. Other companies will be able to use this against Apple when pushing their products.

 

More information is also leaking that Apple are buying up 7.1-inch screens, which means we could see some competition against the Kindle Fire from Amazon.

Samsung announces the pocket-sized Galaxy Pocket

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 2:24 am

Samsung's Galaxy range extends from the largest 5.3-inch Galaxy Note smartphone, to the other side of the spectrum: Galaxy Pocket. The newly-announced Galaxy Pocket sports just a 2.8-inch screen, with a 240x320-pixel resolution, and a reduced feature set, of course.

 

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Galaxy Pocket runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with TouchWiz splashed on top. We should expect spec-wise, an 832MHz processor, 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, 3GB of internal storage (expandable), Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, a-GPS and a digital compass.

 

Samsung's Galaxy Pocket should hit the UK 'later this year' and 'at an affordable price', according to Samsung's press release. At the moment, there's no information on whether we'll see a release in North America or not.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 specifications are here

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 7, 2012 1:08 am

VR-Zone have a very tasty nugget of information regarding NVIDIA's 28-nm based Kepler GPUs, the first of which is the GeForce GTX 680. We're looking at the GTX 680 sporting 1536 SP, and 256-bit memory. It was rumored to not feature shader hotclocks, but it does.

 

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The core should be clocked in at 705 MHz, with shaders sitting at 1411 MHz, this continues to 2x shader hotclock from Fermi. GK104 also significantly improves upon the GF110/GF114's memory controller, where it pushes boundaries right up against the fence to 6 GHz. What this will provide is a memory bandwidth of 192GB/sec, identical to the GTX 580, even though it has a narrower memory bus.

 

The GeForce GTX 680 will sport 4 display outputs: stacked dual DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. One disappointing feature is it only features two SLI connectors, enabling only 3-way SLI. Considering the GTX 580 could handle 4-way SLI, this is quite strange. The GTX 680 is said to be 10-inches long, 0.5-inches shorter than its predecessor. This makes it longer than the GTX 560 Ti or HD 7870, but shorter than the HD 7950 and GTX 570.

 

NVIDIA will reveal details of the GTX 680 on my birthday of all days, March 12th. We should then expect a hard launch (rumored) for March 23rd.

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