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Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 25, 2012 8:29 pm

With the SOPA and PIPA protests becoming distant memories, the attacks on internet freedoms have been renewed by Congress in the form of CISPA. There have been no protests like there were against PIPA and SOPA and that has Reddit's Alexis Ohanian concerned. An entrepreneurial group now wants to create the internet equivalent of the Bat-Signal.




The idea is that SOPA-like mass protests could be started at the push of a button when internet freedoms were deemed in danger. Website owners can sign up on the group's website and add a piece of code to their website that can be activated when a political crisis like SOPA rears its ugly head. Owners can also receive the code by e-mail when the signal is turned on.


"People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something," says Ohanian. "Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actionsÂ…If we aggregate everyone that's doing it, the numbers start exploding."


The code can do more than just display a banner. Tiffiny Cheng, co-director of Internet-focused political advocacy group Fight for the Future, explains how it could implement a SOPA-style blackout: "We'll invent something at the time, and it will be some really unified and shocking action. We're creating the tools and the forms of protest that allow for viral organizing. That's how the SOPA protests were able to get started and grow to the level they did."

Continue reading 'Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'' (full post)

Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 25, 2012 7:33 pm

Ever see a game on Facebook that looks interesting but you don't want to play it because of all the hassle of installing and uninstalling if it's bad? Facebook is looking to change that with a new feature which will allow game developers to demo their wares in the news feed. Developers won't be given any information about the users.




If players like the game then they are able to click through onto the full version. This new feature is great, although I'm not sure that the news feed is a proper location for it. Personally, my news feed is already overflowing with the posts of my friend and the posts of quality content here on TweakTown, so I don't think I want more posts, especially ones that take up a lot of room.


Facebook has provided some examples of games already using the new feature. These games include: Idle Worship, Angry Birds, and Bubble Witch Saga. Developers of these games receive statistics about impressions of the story and how many people use the game contained within. Facebook has provided examples of how current games are using the new feature:


  • Angry Birds lets users challenge friends to beat your score on a level.
  • Bubble Witch Saga enables sharing coins with friends, they can earn a multiplier for a high score.
  • Idle Worship lets users share a mini-game which gives friends a glimpse of the full game.
  • Tetris Battle allows publishing a replay of a two-player battle.

Continue reading 'Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed' (full post)

KingSpec set to launch OCZ RevoDrive competitor at Computex with its PCI-E SSD?

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: May 25, 2012 7:13 pm

The Computex news train continues to roll as bits and pieces of exciting new hardware comes in.


KingSpec, a SandForce partner is getting a new PCIe product ready for the show. Coming from the new Multicore Series, this PCIe solution has four SandForce SF-2281 controllers and four mSATA slots that may be used to expand the capacity size and controller count.




The details are thin now, but we do know that the maximum capacity is 2TB and the PCIe configuration is 8 lanes. The high number of PCIe lanes will let this product really stretch its legs.


We've reviewed several OCZ RevoDrive products and they were limited by the PCIe 4 lane interface. In theory, the new KingSpec Multicore PCIe could double the performance of the RevoDrive 3!

Sony patents a method for in-game advertising that stops a game while an ad is shown

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 6:31 pm

Sony wants to show you ads while you're playing on the PlayStation. Or at least that's what a new patent indicates. A sharp-eyed person who goes by the handle onQ13 on NeoGAF spotted the patent on Thursday. The patent is titled "Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content" and appears to stop the game in order to show an advertisement.




In-game advertising isn't a new idea. Many games feature ads in the environment where one would expect them to be. Common locations for these in-game ads are on vending machines or billboards. Never before, however, has a game actually been stopped in order to show an ad. Nintendo does nag users about taking a break every now and again.


Now, advertising is fine when it is paying for things like broadcast TV, but if a user shells out $60 for a game like Call of Duty, I imagine that user is going to be a bit upset. Additionally, if this is used during multiplayer settings, every user would need to be shown the ad at the same time or the game will be broken beyond repair.


This patent does have uses for free games. Similar to how games are ad supported on iOS and Android, free games on PlayStation could become ad supported. But with the multiplayer issue, users could only be paired with other free users or users would have to be limited to only single player play. It is an interesting idea.

Unsealed legal agreements hint at 2013 launch for Xbox 720, 2014 launch for PS4

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 5:31 pm

Microsoft and Sony aren't saying much about the release dates for their next-gen consoles. Microsoft has let us know not to expect it at E3 this year, but that is about all they are saying. But thanks to the Activision lawsuit, some confidential agreements have been unsealed and given some possible launch time frames.




A little history behind this lawsuit: former Activision developers sued Activision saying they were owed royalties and bonus checks due to the massive success of the Call of Duty series. Activision countered the claims saying that the developers had breached the contract and thus not due any funds from Call of Duty.


The documents unsealed show a high-profile deal between Activision and Bungie, the developers behind Halo. The deal calls for four games to be developed and released starting in fall of 2013. Dudley, of the Seattle Times, has interpreted this information in an interesting way. The theory is somewhat likely. Here is what he said:


Microsoft hasn't said when the next version of the Xbox will go on sale, but the Bungie contract suggests that it could happen in the 2013 holiday season, with "Destiny" as a key launch title. That would be similar to the way Halo was a cornerstone of the first Xbox launch in November 2001.


Additionally, the documents further say that it will be released for the PlayStation 3 successor in the fall of 2014. Of course, the names could change between now and the release.

Continue reading 'Unsealed legal agreements hint at 2013 launch for Xbox 720, 2014 launch for PS4' (full post)

Apple brings 'free app of the week' to App Store

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: May 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Amazon has had a feature like this for sometime and it looks as though Apple is finally following suit. It's no surprise that iOS users like to save money just as much as Android users who get this feature from the Amazon app store. The only announcement regarding this is a tweet by Apple, so this could be a one time thing, but I doubt it is.




The tweet by Apple says "Cut the Rope: Experiments is our #FreeAppoftheWeek. Go to the App Store for your free download." so I'm going to guess it will be a continuous thing going forward. To go along with this, the description of the app says "***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***".


The app itself is actually a pretty fun game. I've played it before on a Windows 7 tablet that was running Windows 8. The object of the game is to cut various strings and manipulate objects to get the piece of candy over to the monster. While I'm not sure I would pay for the app, I'd definitely take it if it was free as it is now.

Berkeley chief of police sends 10 officers to track down son's stolen iPhone

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 25, 2012 3:11 pm

This is one of those moments where you just want to know what a person was thinking. But until someone develops a mind-reading machine, we won't know for sure. As an epitome of United States corruption, ignorance, and waste, the Berkeley, California chief of police sent out ten of his officers to track down his son's stolen iPhone.




Guess what! They didn't manage to find the device even though it had tracking software installed on it. The officers sent to find the device weren't just regular officers, although some were. Michael Meehan, the chief, also sent officers from the drug task force to aid in the search. All of this was over a replaceable iPhone that couldn't cost more than $500.


The hunt most likely cost taxpayers a few thousand dollars. It could have potentially cost even more as only some of the officers received overtime pay for their participation in the search. This truly is an epitome of selfishness. Meehan used his position to do his personal bidding while wasting my taxpayer dollars. As a California resident, I'm not exactly happy with this story. Did Meehan cross a line or was this an acceptable use of money? You be the judge and let us know in the comments.

Microsoft to sell 80-inch Windows 8 tablets for offices

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: May 25, 2012 2:01 pm

If you're Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, there isn't much you can't afford. It appears like Microsoft has created a device that is meant for CEOs only, at least for now: "Steve Ballmer has an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet in his office. He's got rid of his phone, he's got rid of his note paper. It's touch-enabled and it's hung on his wall."




The description above was given by Microsoft VP Frank Shaw to Wired. This isn't just a Microsoft play-thing like Microsoft Surface is as they actually plan to offer this to the public. While it's probably not going to end up in many households at launch, Microsoft believes that in 2 years it very well could. As far as calling it a tablet, well, I have to disagree. 80 inches is not a tablet.


"It's not a consumer thing now, but we know historically that that's how all things start," he said. "The idea that there should be a screen that's not a computer, we'll laugh at that in two years." The device is powered by Windows 8 and does appear to be slightly stunt-ish, but I can see the benefits of having a device like that in my office. "It's his whiteboard, his email machine," Shaw said, "and it's a device we're going to sell."

Deal of the Day: 15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R laptop, Core i5, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $554.99 with FREE Shipping!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

Our Deal of the Day is 15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R laptop, Core i5, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $554.99 with FREE Shipping!




For their Memorial Day sale, $554.99 after $379 instant discount and $25 stackable coupon buys this originally $958.99 Dell Inspiron 15R laptop with 15.6" LED-backlit 1366 x 768 TrueLife LCD, 2nd Gen 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5-2450M processor (with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.1Ghz), 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB hard drive, 8x DVD+/-RW DL, Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 with Bluetooth 3.0, Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), 1MP HD webcam, 6-cell LiOh battery, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, 15-month antivirus, and a 1 year warranty. Ends 5/29/12 at 4AM Pacific.


Use coupon code: 4J4XPNDZ1PKR2B for $25 off a $849+ Inspiron laptop purchase, expiring 5/31/12.




Check our TweakTown Daily Deals page for more tech bargains!

Electronic Entertainment Expo: What would you like to see covered the most?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: May 25, 2012 11:24 am

With under two weeks to the start of E3 in Los Angeles, it's time to see just what you, the reader, want covered the most. A little bit of background on the Electronic Entertainment Expo straight from the horse's mouth: "E3 is the world's premier trade show for computer and video games and related products."




What upcoming products have you heard about that you would like to know more about? Are you interested in games themselves or the hardware that runs the games? Want videos of the games running? Have specific questions for different game studios or manufacturers? E-mail me your requests or post them in the comments.


You have to hurry as the show starts June 5!

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