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Google's new doodle celebrates 123rd anniversary of Yosemite

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 2:58 pm

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a major fan of all things outdoors. From kayaking to camping, I stay pretty active in nature, and this week's Google doodle really makes me smile. Google decided to commemorate Yosemite National Park, one of our nation's national treasures, on its 123rd anniversary.

 

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Unfortunately, if you are planning a visit to the park, you will find it closed upon arrival because as of last night the park was shut down along with a fair portion of the US Government. While I would imagine that the park rangers are sticking around to prevent looting and damage, all of the national parks ran by the federal government have been closed until Congress sorts a budget out.

Star Citizen's creator, Chris Roberts, will speak at GDC Next 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 10:37 am

One of the most anticipated games of next year is coming from Chris Roberts, the man behind Wing Commander. Star Citizen has raised over $20 million through Kickstarter and its own crowdfunding, with the creator set to talk at GDC Next 2013.

 

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Roberts will discuss the community-building lessons learned while crowdfunding for Star Citizen. GDC Next is a developer conference that focuses on the future of gaming, which is definitely looking bright. GDC Next 2013 will happen in LA, California from November 5-6.

Battlefield 4 makes better use of 8 threaded CPUs, uses more GPU too

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 10:16 am

Our Tweakipedia test bed is getting a workout tonight, benching (and playing of course) Battlefield 4. As you can see from the screenshot below, our Core i7 4770K is being used at 61%, and ranges up to around 70-75% at times, depending on what is going on.

 

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As for our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 SLI setup, it is pretty much maxing it out with around 90% average utilization per GPU at 2560x1440 on our ASUS PB278Q monitor. We're going to do some more testing on Battlefield 4, where we'll test out some results at 7860x1440, which should really stress this system out.

 

We should have a look at the Battlefield 4 performance in an article in the next day or so, so stay tuned, folks! Oh BTW, it's pretty awesome so far! It does feel more "consoley" in the game itself, but the menus and field of view, etc are all improved. You can crank it right up to 120 degrees, which is quite the surprise from DICE.

PS4's Killzone: Shadow Fall will be a 50GB download

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 9:37 am

Sony UK's Fergal Gara when talking to Eurogamer had something interesting to say: that Killzone: Shadow Fall is going to be close to 50GB when it becomes available. Yes, 50 gigabytes.

 

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Gara was talking about the "play while you download!" feature when he said: "The Play as you Download functionality, for example, means you don't need the whole file before you go. This is a little bit counterbalanced by the fact the files themselves are getting bloody big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an uber file - I think it's cracking on for 50GB. It looks it, too, when you see it."

 

The PS4 has a built-in 500GB HDD, so you won't run out of room too quickly, but if all games are 30-50GB, then that is going to fill up rather fast. For people like myself, stuck in backwards Australia with our Internet access that is quite slow, it's going to hurt, a lot.

RumorTT: NVIDIA to fight off AMD's next-gen GPUs with price cuts

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 8:32 am

DigiTimes is reporting from "sources from graphics card players" that NVIDIA is preparing to drop its prices on its range of GeForce GPUs in late November to compete with the onslaught AMD is preparing with its next-gen R7 and R9 series of GPUs.

 

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There's another rumor that would peg NVIDIA to releasing one or two new GPUs in the $149-$249 segment, which is the hottest market, especially for the holiday season. Better yet, next-gen consoles will be released and people will want to upgrade their PCs to play these new, next-gen games at higher resolutions or graphic details.

 

Numerous GPUs from AMD's upcoming lineup are simple re-badges of current HD 7000 series GPUs, which will give NVIDIA the chance to come in and kick some doors down with its new pricing. We could also expect a new high-end dual-GPU card which will be based on two GK110 cores, which could arrive as the GeForce GTX 790.

Sharp's Aquos Phone Xx pushes the boundary on boundaries

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 7:29 am

It looks like Sharp could be back on the radar with its Aquos Phone Xx, which pushes the screen right to the boundary of the phone. The Aquos Phone Xx pushes 80.5% of its 5.2-inch front to screen real estate, which leaves very little bezel.

 

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The Xx is just 70 x 132 x 9.9mm, so we're in phablet territory here. The Sharp Aquos Phone Xx is a 4G LTE-capable smartphone, which features a 1080p display, 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a 2,600mAh battery, a 16.3-megapixel rear-facing camera with f/1.9 lens, and features a water-resistant frame.

 

Sharp will launch the Aquos Phone Xx in Japan soon, with no word on whether it is going to take a swim across the pond and arrive in any other countries.

Another day, another Nexus 5 leak, the clearest look yet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 6:36 am

Today brings us the closest look at the Nexus 5 yet thanks to yet another leak on Google's soon-to-be flagship smartphone. We should expect some nice specs on the Nexus 5, too.

 

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A 4.96-inch screen is expected and 1920x1080 resolution, as well as 4G LTE support finally, and a 2,300mAh battery. A 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC will be the heart and soul of the Nexus 5, but it will be joined by 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 2-megapixel front shooter and 4G LTE support, which is something that the Nexus 5 simply needs, as this was one area that the Nexus 4 lacked.

VorpX lets countless games be used on Oculus Rift, costs just $40

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 5:40 am

Oculus Rift is incredibly awesome, but it is quite limited when it comes to fully supported games. VorpX has stepped in, unleashing its software which is still in beta, which opens up the world of virtual reality to countless new games.

 

 

 

VorpX works with huge games like BioShock Infinite and Mirror's Edge, but best of all, it works with Battlefield 3. None of these games are built to work with the Rift headset, so there are some workarounds that the team of VorpX has used. This includes clicking in and holding down your middle mouse wheel which will let you "edge peak."

 

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Edge peak allows you to look freely at the edges of your field of view, instead of moving within the game world by moving your head, and the Rift. The list of compatible games with Rift thanks to VorpX is huge, and I'm quite excited to test out a bunch of them this week.

Continue reading 'VorpX lets countless games be used on Oculus Rift, costs just $40' (full post)

Ex-Microsoft privacy adviser doesn't trust MS after NSA PRISM leaks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 4:37 am

Caspar Bowden worked for Microsoft between 2002 and 2011 as its Chief Privacy Adviser, but now says he doesn't trust Microsoft's security after he read the stories about the NSA PRISM system after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden stepped up with the leaks.

 

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Bowden was in control of the privacy policy for 40 countries that Microsoft operated in, but strangely he didn't have anything to do with the United States side of Microsoft's privacy. Bowden says he was simply unaware of the PRISM data-sharing network when he was with the software giant. He said "I don't trust Microsoft now," where he added that he now uses open source software that allows him to peer into the underlying code.

 

The former privacy adviser to Microsoft said that the NSA PRISM system was undermining democracy by sharing citizens' private information with the UK's GCHQ and intelligence agencies in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He added: "The public now has to think about the fact that anybody in public life, or person in a position of influence in government, business or bureaucracy, now is thinking about what the NSA knows about them. So how can we trust that the decisions that they make are objective and that they aren't changing the decisions that they make to protect their career? That strikes at any system of representative government."

GTA Online launches tomorrow, prepare for packed servers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 1, 2013 3:38 am

The next 24 hours is the best time to be a gamer in the existence of the human race, with both the Battlefield 4 Beta and GTA Online launching in the same 24 hour period.

 

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GTA Online launches at 7am Eastern, and is free for anyone who already owns Grand Theft Auto V. Rockstar has provided some guidelines for GTA Online, so that players are ready for some fun. The developer isn't exactly sure when GTA Online will launch, but it should be early tomorrow morning:

 

Access to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with your copy of Grand Theft Auto V. On October 1st there will be a small downloadable Title Update released on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE. Upon installation of that Title Update, direct access to begin GTA Online will be unlocked in your GTAV game menu. You will be able to jump right into GTA Online via the 4th (bottom) slot in your GTAV character wheel. We've received many questions asking for a specific confirmation of what exact time GTA Online will be available but of course this is contingent on both Title Updates becoming available on each console's network. As a general timeframe, we do expect the Title Update to become available on PSN and Xbox LIVE starting around 7AM ET tomorrow morning, and your best bet is to stay tuned throughout the day here at the Rockstar Newswire and by following us on Twitter and Facebook where we will be keeping everyone updated.

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