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Google Maps adds traffic conditions for 7 new countries, and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: GPS & Location | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 8:21 am

Google Maps with traffic conditions is a great idea, especially if you're trying to get from A to B during rush-hour. But, the feature hasn't been made available across the world. Today, the team at Google Maps have made it available in 7 more counties: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Romania and South Africa.

 

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The Maps team have also improved the traffic conditions feature, as well as added more roads in 19 counties and regions: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the UK. The Maps team has said:

 

For our new users, you can check traffic conditions by visiting maps.google.com and clicking on the traffic layer in the widget on the upper right-hand side of the map. This useful traffic information is also available on Google Maps for Mobile devices and Google Maps Navigation.

 

If the roads you are traveling do not yet show traffic information, don't despair. You can help your fellow drivers and improve traffic data by using Google Navigation or Google Maps for Mobile while traveling.

 

We hope the traffic feature in Google Maps will help more users around the globe to save time and patience by planning their trips accordingly.

Max Payne 3 sells just 440,000 copies in its debut month, needs painkillers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 7:31 am

After a reported eight-year development, Max Payne 3 has not done so well. According to last month's NPD numbers, actual sales figures of Rockstar's slow-mo, kill-lotsa-dudes game, Max Payne 3, has only sold 440,000 copies.

 

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Considering that new IP from Rockstar from last year, LA Noire, pushed over 900,000 copies, one would think an already-established IP like Max Payne would do better. But it has fallen short of industry expectations with Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter calling the game "a flop".

 

Pachter cites the eight-year development, and claiming "Rockstar put off releasing GTA" to work on Max Payne 3. Have you picked up the game yet? I've only played through around 20 minutes of it and have enjoyed it so far, but it's hard to play the game with a broken wrist and cast! 4 more weeks until I can thrash through it!

Doom 3 BFG Edition to be released on October 16

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 6:25 am

Bethesda Softworks have announced that the Doom 3 enhanced re-release of Doom 3 is coming out just before Halloween, on October 16. Doom 3 "BFG Edition" hits PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and will retail for $40 on the consoles, and $30 for the PC.

 

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Doom 3 BFG Edition includes Resurrection of Evil and "The Lost Mission", all in glorious 3D, 5.1 surround sound, achievements, improved rendering and lighting as well as a new checkpoint save system. The improvements don't end there, also included is an armor-mounted flashlight "allowing players to illuminate dark corners and blast enemies at the same time".

 

Doom 3 BFG Edition also comes with the original Doom and Doom 3, making the BFG Edition the "definitive collection" for the series.

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, coming to a PS Vita near you

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 5:30 am

It looks as though the Call of Duty franchise is hopping over to Sony's PlayStation Vita, with Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. Mobile gaming has just received an injection of first-person shooter gaming thanks to Declassified.

 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified is an original fiction tale in the COD: Black Ops universe featuring an all-new campaign of Special Ops missions. Declassified is optimized for gamers on-the-go, and "delivers the most intense handheld Call of Duty experience to date, including both Special Ops Story mode and Multiplayer combat tailored to the PS Vita".

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified is due out during the holidays, exclusively to the PS Vita.

LG launch 'Quick Voice' on their phones in Korea, competition for S Voice and Siri

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 4:35 am

LG have released 'Quick Voice' for their Android phones in Korea, as competition against Apple's voice assistant, Siri, and Samsung's S Voice. Quick Voice will arrive in various Optimus family handsets such as the Vu and LTE II.

 

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Quick Voice brings natural voice recognition to commonly used functions such as searching, setting up appointments or looking at videos on YouTube. For Korean users, you can even take a look at dates on the lunar calendar, it's that clued-up.

 

There's no word yet whether Quick Voice will jump the pond and arrive in any other country, but I don't see why LG would do such a thing as stop a new feature from jumping to other countries, and phones.

RumorTT: Samsung to release GALAXY Note II in October, could sport bigger screen, Jelly Bean

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 20, 2012 3:19 am

Rumors coming from Korea are that Samsung will release a successor to the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone, you know, the tablet that wants to be a phone, and the phone that wants to be a tablet. We should expect Samsung to release it as the GALAXY Note II.

 

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Some interesting news is that it would have the guts of the GALAXY S III, so we should expect Samsung's quad-core Exynos 4 Quad processor to be working its magic in the Note II. On top of this, it might sway from the 5.3-inch screen size of the already-big GALAXY Note, and increase its size, I'm guessing 5.5- to 5.6-inch. The Note II is also said to feature an unbreakable plane (UBP) display, which is a precursor to the flexible display.

 

One of the best bits of the GALAXY Note II is that it would arrive with Jelly Bean out of the box, yes! Rumored release date is October, and it should fall right around the time of Apple's iPhone 5 launch. Things are heating up once again in the smart device world and we hope to have a Note II on release for a review!

HP taking orders for Trinity-powered Sleekbook

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 11:37 pm

A device that is not quite an Ultrabook is now on sale. Yes, we're talking about HP's Sleekbook line which is basically an Ultrabook sans the Intel processor. The latest Sleekbook offering from HP comes touting a new AMD Trinity APU and HP is now taking orders for the device on their website.

 

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Surprisingly, HP is not offering any sort of configuration options for the new Envy Sleekbook 6. It comes sporting a dual-core AMD A6-4455M APU, integrated Radeon HD 7500G graphics, 4GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 500GB 5,400-RPM mechanical hard drive. All of that fits inside a machine that is less than 5 pounds and 0.78" thick.

 

Connections available include dual USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The system can purportedly run for up to nine hours on its 60 watt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery. If you want a bit more power of customization options, however, you should spend the extra $100 and go to the Intel-based model which can be configured with a discrete GPU and 32GB SSD.

NVIDIA issues response to Torvalds' harsh words

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 10:32 pm

NVIDIA has issued a statement regarding Linus Torvalds harsh words. A little recap: Linus Torvalds said during a conference that NVIDIA is the worst company ever and then said "NVIDIA: F*** you!" He said this because he was a little upset with the Linux support and willingness to work with the open source community.

 

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NVIDIA's PR machine has been at work crafting a statement to respond to his comments and finally issued a statement last night. The short version is that they are committed to Linux support using their own proprietary driver that is common among platforms. This allows for same-day Linux support of GPUs.

 

They also highlight their work with Tegra in the Linux community. Below is the NVIDIA response:

 

Supporting Linux is important to NVIDIA, and we understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as we are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience.

 

Recently, there have been some questions raised about our lack of support for our Optimus notebook technology. When we launched our Optimus notebook technology, it was with support for Windows 7 only. The open source community rallied to work around this with support from the Bumblebee Open Source Project http://bumblebee-project.org/. And as a result, we've recently made Installer and readme changes in our R295 drivers that were designed to make interaction with Bumblebee easier.

 

...

Continue reading 'NVIDIA issues response to Torvalds' harsh words' (full post)

Facebook adds subscriptions for app developers, moves away from Credits are main currency

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 9:35 pm

Facebook is adding subscription billing which should allow app developers to make even more money from their most loyal users. Starting next month, app developers will be able to create special plans or content that is available with a monthly fee. The lowest monthly fee that can be offered by a developer is a mere $1.

 

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Kixeye is a perfect example of how developers can take advantage of the new system. Kixeye is planning on having a $9.95 per month subscription plan that will give subscribers access to exclusive in-game items. They are focusing on a smaller subset of players that are more inclined to pay which should yield an interesting revenue stream.

 

In other news, Facebook is backing away from Facebook Credits as the main currency. Just a few years ago, Facebook was pushing Credits so that Facebook and online shopping would become linked in people's minds. This, unfortunately, prevented developers from using their in-game currency for purchases.

 

"Most games on Facebook have implemented their own virtual currencies, reducing the need for a platform-wide virtual currency," the company said in a blog post. Facebook has said that they will convert any user's remaining credits into the currency of whatever game the user would like.

Google now offering support to developers during office hours with "Developers Live"

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 8:31 pm

Google seems pretty committed to strengthening its developer ecosystem around Android. So much so that they are now offering live support during office hours with a new program called "Developers Live." The new program allows developers to talk directly to Googlers who are the ones creating the APIs the developer is currently working with.

 

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Louis Gray from the Developer Relations team:

 

We think connecting you with Google's experts and your fellow developers can inspire incredible app creation. So today, we're introducing Google Developers Live, a destination for developers around the world that will feature live, interactive broadcasts ranging from developer-focused game shows to Office Hours where you can connect with the engineers who created and work on your favorite Google product.

 

Google Developers Live allows us to bring you the excitement of Google I/O year-round, beginning today with the release of starter-level sessions on everything from Android to YouTube, to help prepare you for the more advanced content that will be presented next week. And, if you have any questions after watching these tutorials, we've set up Office Hours with each of our presenters on Google Developers Live so you can ask them directly.

Continue reading 'Google now offering support to developers during office hours with "Developers Live"' (full post)

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