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XMBC releases 13.0 'Gotham' Beta 1

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 5, 2014 12:55 am

XMBC recently made an announcement about its BETA 1 edition of the new media center software: V13.0 codenamed "Gotham". The team says that they have worked hard on this project and made improvements since the release of the older 12.0 release.

 

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The new XMBC interface comes with a lot of features based on the user's feedback and requests. Some of those features are Android Hardware Decoding, Rasberry Pi and Android speed improvements, Stereoscopic 3D Rendering better touchscreen support, better audio engines and other setting improvements. The team assured that this version of XMBC should run on Android 4.0 and higher for ARM and x86 architectures. Users required this software to run smoothly on Rasberry Pi and Android, of which the team was able to work on it and make improvements. More specifically: opening and browsing libraries, loading images and initial starting of videos. For 3D lovers, XMBC now supports SBS, TAB, anaglyph and interlaced.

Continue reading 'XMBC releases 13.0 'Gotham' Beta 1' (full post)

Sapphire unleashes new R9 280 Dual-X and R9 280X Vapor-X GPUs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 5, 2014 12:54 am

Today Sapphire unveiled two new GPUs that fill the gap between its R9 270 and R9 290 models of discrete GPUS. The new R9 280 is based on AMD's GCN architecture and features the company's Dual-X cooler. The Dual-X cooling solution featured twin aerofoil fans and graduated heat pipes to ensure cooling of the GPU is efficient and quiet as possible.

 

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The R9 280 also features 3GB of GDDR5 clocked to 1250MHz and a GCN core that features 1792 stream processors. The core is clocked to 850MHz and can reach a clock speed of 940MHz when boost is enabled. Support for DirectX 2 and AMD's mantle is also on board with the card being able to push 4K video to displays using HDMI 1.4a or DisplayPort v1.2. Sapphire also released a new version of its successful R9 280x that features the company's exclusive Vapor-X cooling Solution. The new R9 280x features an enhanced GCN core, with 2048 stream processors, and a 1GHz core clock.

Popcorn Time allows you to stream torrents to your PC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 5, 2014 12:52 am

Some people are impatient, and don't want to wait for their torrent to download before they want to click the play button, so Popcorn Time has released a piece of software (that is still currently in beta) that should have you smiling.

 

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Popcorn Time is an app that works on Windows, Mac and Linux that lets you search the web for torrents, and watch them right away. The software will choose the best version of the content you want, and then begin streaming. Of course, torrents are illegal in most countries, so this news is for those who live in countries where this might not be illegal. You've been warned!

Ancient virus found in Siberia has been brought back to life

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 11:42 pm

Giant single celled organisms that thawed out from arctic ice and took over mankind use to be a thing only heard of in low-budget, b-grade movies from the 60's and 70's, but the reality is that large viruses frozen in permafrost is a very real reality. Recently, scientist thawed out a block of 30,000-year old permafrost and allowed any viruses that survived to infect the cells of amoebas.

 

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The amoebas used in the study were also a strain found in 30,000 year old permafrost that were reanimated by researchers. When combined with the viruses, the amoeba cells burst, or what is called cellular lysis. When inspected, the burst cells contained a virus that was one of the largest ever discovered and is very similar to a previously discovered ancient virus named Pandoravirus. Due to the similarities and its jug like shape, the new virus was named Pithovirus after a type of amphora used by Pandora.

 

The Pithovirus contains a genome of just 600,000 DNA bases which is small in terms of modern-day viruses. Extra space inside the virus is consumed by proteins that are needed for the virus to begin replication. Additionally the Pithovirus is only able to encode 467 proteins which is much less than any other giant virus ever discovered.

Batman: Arkham Knight announced as next game in Batman franchise

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 10:48 pm

With Batman: Arkham Origins nearing its next DLC launch date, Warner Bros. has just announced the next title in the franchise. Batman: Arkham Knight will be the fourth installment in the blockbuster series that chronicles the efforts of the efforts of Bruce Wayne to cleanse the streets of Gotham City from the criminal scum that plague its streets.

 

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Warner Bros. says that this will be the highest-detailed, and fully realized version of Gotham the series has seen, and the Batmobile will be derivable this time around as well. The game will arrive in late 2014 on the PS4 as well as the Xbox One, and PC. No word was given on an exact launch date and pricing was not mentioned either. Box art for the game has popped up on Reddit though.

Continue reading 'Batman: Arkham Knight announced as next game in Batman franchise' (full post)

Social media platforms used to monitor HIV risk, other medical issues

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 10:20 pm

The use of social media with real-time capability could one day be used to track drug and medical issues, hopefully able to prevent medical outbreaks. Using Twitter analytics and linking the collected information with drug use and geographic data, for example, could allow big data to provide another good tool for medical researchers.

 

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"Ultimately, these methods suggest that we can use 'big data' from social media for remote monitoring and surveillance of HIV risk behaviors and potential outbreaks," said Sean Young, David Geffen School of Medicine assistant professor, in a statement.

 

There is growing interest among university researchers and the private sector teaming up to monitor medical risk behavior - and to try and predict where a medical outbreak might occur next - though it's still a complicated matter. Of 550 million tweets collected from May 26 to Dec. 9, 2012, researchers found 8,538 tweets related to sexually risky behavior - and more than 1,300 implying stimulant drug use.

Continue reading 'Social media platforms used to monitor HIV risk, other medical issues' (full post)

Augmented reality continues to grow in popularity, go mainstream

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 9:28 pm

Augmented reality isn't a new technology, but its growing emergence has given developers and retailers an innovative manner to approach customers.

 

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Startup companies such as Blippar, Daqri, Layar, Sayduck, and Waygo are developing niche augmented reality apps and services - and bigger companies are dumping more research funds into seeing how to integrate AR into customer offerings.

 

Moving forward, the regular augmented reality market is expected to grow 30 percent year-over-year during the next four years - and the mobile augmented reality will top $1 billion annually by 2015 - as consumers, developers, and companies willing to try using augmented reality.

Continue reading 'Augmented reality continues to grow in popularity, go mainstream' (full post)

Chinese hackers use organized underground network to launch attacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 8:47 pm

In an effort to compromise smartphones and tablets, Chinese hackers are using well-written malware and malicious code to target U.S. and western targets. The demand for mobile Web access has created a lucrative market for cybercriminals trying to exploit often vulnerable devices which can be hijacked and used for illegal activities.

 

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It's possible to buy mobile malware kits on the black market for as little as $15, with organized cybercriminal forums located in the United States, China, Brazil, and Russia.

 

"The barriers to launching cybercriminal operations are less in number than ever," a Trend Micro security report recently stated. "Toolkits are becoming more available and cheaper; some are even offered free of charge."

Continue reading 'Chinese hackers use organized underground network to launch attacks' (full post)

Healthcare IT evolving, but security loopholes still cause problems

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 8:24 pm

Properly securing healthcare IT has proven to be a difficult task, though ever critical while malware plagues networks across the world.

 

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Due to the potential for healthcare and insurance fraud, compromised medical records can be worth up to $50 per record - a major value increase from the $2 to $28+ per record without additional personal information.

 

Healthcare providers are integrating technologies throughout hospitals, which can create security vulnerabilities as devices like tablets, for example, are now being used. In addition, many healthcare providers now provide online services, including scheduling appointments, asking for prescription refills, and communicating with doctors - but also provides another security issue for healthcare IT experts.

Continue reading 'Healthcare IT evolving, but security loopholes still cause problems' (full post)

Nintendo 3DS XL Yoshi edition lands March 14

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 4, 2014 7:44 pm

One of my favorite Nintendo game characters has always been Yoshi. He was my go to character in Mario Kart. If you like Yoshi, Nintendo has some cool news. A new Yoshi 3DS XL portable console is coming this month.

 

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The special edition console will launch on March 14. That is the same day the video game Yoshi's New Island will launch. The console has a lime green cover with Yoshi and an egg on front. The back of the console is decorated with a number of Yoshi eggs.

 

The console doesn't come with that Yoshi video game. The console will sell for $199.99 with the game selling for $39.99. The game sees Yoshi trying to get Baby Mario reunited with his kidnapped brother Luigi. I'm surprised that the console doesn't include the game in a bundle.

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