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Google rolls out public alert and crisis map for Taiwan as a Typhoon barrels down on the island

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 7:03 pm

As typhoon season approaches, Google has expanded its Public Alerts system to include Taiwan and has launched a dedicated crisis map for the country in preparation for the rainy season. These new additions come just in time as weather agencies are currently monitoring a typhoon that can hit the island any day now.




In a blog post this morning, Google said that starting today, the Google Public Alerts page (Source #2) will feature severe weather alerts for typhoons and flood-related events in Taiwan. Additionally, these alerts will also appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Now. For example, if a typhoon alert is issued, the alert will be displayed once you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Now on Android or iOS will also display a card with information about any typhoon alert if the warning has been issued near your location.


Google has also launched a dedicated Google Crisis Map for Taiwan (Source #3) that provides details in the event of a crisis such as shelter locations, evacuation routes, and much more. Google has teamed up with Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, Water Resource Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau, Directorate General of Highways, and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction to get such a project up and running.

Continue reading 'Google rolls out public alert and crisis map for Taiwan as a Typhoon barrels down on the island' (full post)

Plants vs Zombies 2 for iOS "soft-launches" in Australia and New Zealand

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:02 pm

Pop Cap Games has announced this morning that it has soft-launched the long-awaited Plants vs Zombies 2 for iOS in both Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, it appears that the rollout stops there. Unlike traditional App Store launches, there will be no additional rollouts to other regions at midnight as the rest of the world will have to wait until later this summer to get their zombie killing on.




Electronic Arts, the parent company of PopCap, says that the reason for this delay is so that the company can test out all of the new systems and features that have been built into the game. Originally a global rollout was scheduled for July 18, but it appears that EA is not taking any chances and wants this launch to go better than some of the titles it has released earlier in the year.


In a statement EA had the following to say:


We've added a bunch of new features that allow us to take advantage of new technologies to make a better experience for our players, and those innovations require us to perform some large tests to make sure we are ready for our worldwide audience to play.

RumorTT: Foxconn said to be hiring new "skilled" workers in preperation for upcoming iPhone production

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 5:05 pm

This morning, China Business News is reporting that Foxconn has began recruiting on a large scale for new workers in preparations for the manufacturing ramp-up of both of Apple's new iPhones. They're reporting that recruiters in Zhengzhou in the Henan province of China have been seeking out skilled labor on a massive scale.




The Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou reportedly has capacity for an additional 90,000 workers which would bring it back up to its 300,000 workers we saw back during the 2012 holiday season. If last year's demand for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini are any indication of how this year's iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone sales will go, it makes sense that Foxconn bolster its labor force sooner than later.


In addition to the two new iPhones, the company is expected to also release updated versions of its iPad and iPad mini and some analysts even expect a newer model of Apple TV to be released just before the holiday season.

Digital Storm unveils 13.3-inch VELOCE gaming notebook, features a balance between power and portibility

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 4:01 pm

Earlier this morning, Digital Storm unveiled its new VELOCE gaming notebook, which is being touted as the ideal balance between power and portability. The 13.3-inch gaming notebook packs a serious punch while weighing in at only a mere 4.6 pounds. Digital Storm says that the 1.26-inch thick VELOCE is ready to go to battle anytime, anywhere.




"VELOCE is the gaming notebook the industry has been waiting for," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "The notebook strikes the optimal balance of power and portability without sacrificing gaming performance and is the first Haswell based slim gaming notebook to offer a stunning full 1080p HD display."


The VELOCE features an Intel Core i7 4800MQ Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 765M GPU, and a 13.3-inch full HD 1920x1080 display. Other key features include room for two storage drives (mSATA & 2.5") with RAID capability, a dedicated internal network port, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4, VGA video out ports and Bluetooth connectivity.

Continue reading 'Digital Storm unveils 13.3-inch VELOCE gaming notebook, features a balance between power and portibility' (full post)

Google resurrects calling from Gmail with Hangouts, makes calls to the US and Canada free

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 3:02 pm

This morning, Google announced that it will once again allow users to make phone calls from within Gmail through the use of Google Hangouts. The company says that it doesn't matter whether its users are on Gmail or on the web; all users will be able to call the US and Canada for free.




Google says that it heard the cries from many users who were disappointed that they could no longer make calls from within Gmail and this was the major factor in their decision to return the service. Calls can be made to anyone in the US and Canada for free from any country in the world where Hangouts are available. Calls can also be placed outside of North America through the use of Google Voice. A call to India will cost users $0.02 per minute while a call to Mexico will run users $0.15 per minute.


Users do not need to make calls through Gmail alone as Google+ and Chrome extensions also support the feature. The company tells us that with Hangout calls up to 10 people can converse through the video chat while up to five people can participate in voice only. This gives the ability for 15 people to be on the same call it one time.

Continue reading 'Google resurrects calling from Gmail with Hangouts, makes calls to the US and Canada free' (full post)

SAPPHIRE bolsters offerings with two new graphics cards from their HD 7700 series

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:07 pm

This morning, SAPPHIRE Technology has introduced two new models to its popular HD 7700 series line of discrete graphics cards. Built around AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, this series delivers an affordable yet powerful alternative to more expensive graphics processing units.




SAPPHIRE's HD 7700 series is an extensive family of graphics cards that target the enthusiast on a budget as well as mainstream users looking for a bump in graphics performance. They are based on AMD's latest generation of GPU's that are built on the 28 nm process. Up first is the new HD 7730 which is available in both 1 GB and 2 GB flavors. The GPU shares many of the features of the higher performance models in the HD 7000 series but features fewer Stream Processors.


Bot versions of the HD 7730 have 384 Stream Processors and both feature a core clock speed of 800 MHz. The 1 GB model features a memory clock speed of 4500 MHz while the 2 GB model has its memory clocked in at 1800 MHz. As with all HD 7700 series cards, both of the new models are DirectX 11.1 compliant and feature the usual DVI, HDMI and VGA connections.

Square Enix announces special "Art Book" collectors edition for those who pre-order Final Fantasy X and X2 Remaster

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:37 am

Earlier today, Luke Icenhower of Square Enix announced that those who preorder the upcoming FINAL FANTASY X|X-2 HD Remaster for the PlayStation 3 will receive a free upgrade to the limited-edition "Art Book" package.




This upgrade will land customers several pieces of original concept art from the early development phases of Final Fantasy X and X-2. Additionally, the book will contain closing commentary from several of the original members of the development team and a special message from producer Yoshinori Kitase. Everything will come in a beautiful 24-page art book package and will be bundled with the $39.99 FINAL FANTASY X|X-2 HD Game Bundle.

GIGABYTE unveils new FORCE K7 Stealth gaming keyboard

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 4:58 am

This morning, GIGABYTE announced the arrival of a new addition to its gaming keyboard lineup. The FORCE K7 Stealth Gaming Keyboard is touted as having the embodiment of a Stealth fighter with its scissor-key structure and slim solid body. The keyboard features an extremely short actuation distance for accurate and stable key presses in addition to a switchable three-color backlighting system.




The new gaming keyboard also features anti-ghosting capabilities that surround the WASD cluster that guarantees that the general gaming combination keys are registered and executed without conflict. Just like other models in the line, the keyboard features a twin wheel design that offers prompt control of keyboard backlighting and volume levels during intense gaming sessions.

Continue reading 'GIGABYTE unveils new FORCE K7 Stealth gaming keyboard' (full post)

LeakedTT: LG Optimus G2 gets detailed in massive photo leak

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 4:31 am

More details have surfaced on LG's upcoming flagship smartphone, the Optimus G2. Engadget has just posted several leaked photos of a new LG device that is said to be the company's new flagship smartphone. The phone takes some design cues from LG's Nexus 4 with rounded corners and an almost edge-to-edge screen.




The phone features no hardware buttons and looks significantly more sloped without the Nexus 4's hard edges. According to Engadget, the G2 is significantly larger than the Nexus 4 due to it featuring a 5.2-inch 1080p screen. LG has revealed in the past that the next generation Optimus G phone will feature a QUALCOMM Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz.


The phone will feature 2 GB of RAM and will sport a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Most notable is that LG has chosen to place the volume rocker buttons on the back of the phone below the rear camera. The reasoning behind LG's decision to do this is unknown and quite frankly, I think it is a horrible idea. Rumors are circulating that we could see the G2 launched on August 7 at a press event LG has been sending out invitations for. All images are courtesy

Continue reading 'LeakedTT: LG Optimus G2 gets detailed in massive photo leak' (full post)

GIGABYTE announces new GeForce GTX 760 4GB WindForce OC edition GPU

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 3:33 am

This morning, GIGABYTE announced its premium GeForce GTX 760 4GB WindForce OC edition graphics card. Sporting the model number GV-N760OC-4GD, the card features 4GB of memory, a factory overclocked core speed of 1085MHz, GPU Boost of 1150MHz, and memory timing of 6GHz.




The card features GIGABYTE's new WindForce cooling solution which is capable of dissipating up to 450W of thermal energy. The GTX 760 WindForce OC is based on the same PCB as the company's GTX 770 WindForce OC which requires power input from one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIe power connector. The card is expected to be priced at around $300 and will be available in all major electronics retailers.

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