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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2145

ROCCAT rolls out Siru, an ultra thin gaming mouse pad

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Gaming peripheral company ROCCAT released its Siru ultra-thin gaming mouse pad, measuring less than one millimeter thick. The ROCCAT Siru uses a non-slip backing so the mouse pad won't slide around and promises a reliable, immovable surface that gamers can depend on.

 

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The Siru mouse pad measures 13.25" x 9.84" x 0.01", so it's almost invisible when placed next to the keyboard. The thin profile allows the mouse to sit at the same level as the desktop, which should provide a fast surface able to give gamers accurate, fast movements.

 

Gamers tend to upgrade PC hardware, mice, keyboards and headphones - but the mouse pad is typically overlooked - though ROCCAT, Razer, Logitech, and other companies have a variety of different mouse pads to choose from.

Companies waiting to leave behind XP are only hurting themselves

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 3:32 pm

Companies that haven't started migrating from Microsoft Windows XP to a newer operating system are running the risk of missing the XP end of support deadline on April 8. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) support will no longer be offered as the 12-year-old operating system is not as secure as Windows 7 or Windows 8.

 

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"Businesses may not realize the complexity of migrating to a new OS," said Brad Mendonsa, Clare Computer Solutions CEO, said in a statement. "Because the migration involves detailed planning, creating a budget specific to a company's needs, testing, implementation and training, it's important for companies to begin now."

 

San Francisco Bay Area IT firm Clare Computer Solutions provides these four reasons to migrate: some industries face legal consequences if they don't upgrade; Windows XP will face significant malware and other security threats; no more XP-compatible hardware is being produced; and businesses will pay a steep financial price trying to keep using an unsupported OS in the workplace.

 

Realistically, businesses should have started to migrate from XP sometime last year - and there are significant business operation issues if they don't migrate.

BMW Motorrad and Dainese to develop inflatable, wearable airbags

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 11:28 am

If there's one thing about riding motorbikes versus driving a car, it's the safety factor. But, it looks like a new joint development between BMW Motorrad and Dainese might solve this.

 

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The two companies are collaborating on a very innovative motocycle safety clothing for BMW Motorrad. It takes the Dainese D-Air Protect System to start with, and from there, both companies will develop "motorcycle rider equipment with fully integrated inflatable protectors for BMW Motorrad," reports BMW Motorcycle Magazine.

 

The first product from their joint venture will be the DoubleR RaceAir one-piece leather suit with D-Air racing protectors. This suit is designed exclusively for use on racetracks. The suit will be shown off at the international EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November. From there, we'll see the companies develop the Dainese D-Air Street System, which is a retrofit solution for BMW Motorrad.

Continue reading 'BMW Motorrad and Dainese to develop inflatable, wearable airbags' (full post)

Gartner: More than 99% of apps don't make any money

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 10:46 am

Less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps will make money and be considered a hit by developers by the end of 2018, according to research firm Gartner. Almost 90 percent of paid apps are downloaded less than 500 times every day, earning less than $1,250 per day.

 

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"The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many," said Ken Dulaney, Gartner VP and analyst, in a statement. "However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just fun."

 

Mobile app use grew 115 percent year-over-year from 2012 to 2013, though 94.5 percent of all mobile apps downloaded by 2016 will be free apps, Gartner predicts.

 

Mobile users tend to listen to recommendation engines, friends, social networking, and advertising to find new apps available - a significantly faster, more reliable manner to find apps - as there are thousands of different programs available.

 

It's up to app designers to know when to release an app for free to build a fanbase, or to put it up for sale and try to turn a profit.

TSMC rumored to be building fingerprint sensors for the iPhone 6

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 10:14 am

TSMC will reportedly start producing fingerprint sensors for the upcoming iPhone 6 from NSA Apple. Apple's upcoming next-gen iPhone will see TSMC spin up its 65nm process at its 12-inch fab.

 

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The company will also bring backend water-level chip scale packaging in-house, versus subcontracting it. With TSMC using in-house packaging, we should see production yields improve, which is something that troubled the iPhone 5S when it first launched, with Apple facing trouble manufacturing the fingerprint scanners in its current flagship smartphone.

 

TSMC will also reportedly begin work on application processors for the iPhone giant on its 20nm process. We should expect processor production to quickly jump up in Q3, which is when we should expect the new iPhone to be unveiled.

Critics expect Pres. Obama to fix high-profile NSA snooping issues

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 9:44 am

The National Security Agency (NSA) is undergoing internal reform following former contractor Edward Snowden's public disclosure of numerous sneaky NSA actions. President Barack Obama plans to announce his changes to the NSA later this week, including enhanced security measures to make it harder for someone else to have access to such a large amount of information - and store or share it - with unauthorized recipients.

 

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Obama will also meet again with Silicon Valley tech leaders that have been bombarded with information requests from the NSA and other government agencies - a tactic that overburdens the companies and hurts trust among customers and potential investors.

 

Mass surveillance reportedly doesn't work, and only infringes on Internet and privacy rights, according to a growing number of groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In a blog post, the group shared studies indicating the wide-scale NSA phone metadata program simply doesn't work when trying to collect information to prevent terrorism. The ACLU also believes Snowden should be granted immunity so he can return to the United States without fear of facing prosecution related to theft of government property and espionage.

Radionomy is now the proud owner of Winamp

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 8:29 am

Online radio aggregator, Radionomy, has acquired both Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL. A source close to TechCrunch has said that Radionomy paid somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.

 

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The deal included a 12% stake in Radionomy for AOL, too. AOL purchased Nullsoft, the creator of Winamp and Shoutcast, for $80 million back in 1999. So to sell them for close to 10% of that must hurt. Acquiring Winamp and Shoutcast is a boon for Radionomy, as it will make them one of the bigger competitors in the online radio business.

Valve quietly updates Steam, allows Big Picture Mode to work with VR

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 6:33 am

Valve pushed an updated version of Steam into the warm hands of gamers across the world yesterday, but most don't realize that this is actually quite a milestone for the world of virtual reality, or VR.

 

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The latest version of Steam allows you to use a VR headset, such as the Oculus Rift, with Steam's Big Picture interface. Big Picture was originally made for the living room, but with a VR headset on, the interface has a curved screen which hovers in front of your viewpoint, where you can see all of it between games.

 

This is an interesting development, considering Steam Dev Days starts today. Steam Dev Days will see Valve embrace the world of VR, with rumors of the company unveiling its own VR headset. I don't think we'll see that, but more of a close embrace of all companies working on VR, such as Oculus VR. We should also see Oculus VR's Palmer Luckey on-hand at the event, but unfortunately, no press are invited to the event.

Continue reading 'Valve quietly updates Steam, allows Big Picture Mode to work with VR' (full post)

It took EA over six month to get offline mode into SimCity

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 5:31 am

We reported yesterday that EA finally announced an offline mode for its SimCity reboot - something I think is too little, too late - but the update is at least here now. But, it took EA quite some time to get it here.

 

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The developer has explained how much work it did to provide offline mode in SimCity, where Lead Engineer, Simon Fox, explains: "The original creative vision for SimCity was to make a game where every action had an effect on other cities in your region. As such, we engineered the game to meet this vision, setting up the player's PC (client) to communicate all of its information to the servers. That means that our entire architecture was written to support this, from the way that the simulation works to the way that you communicate across a region of cities. So yes, while someone was able to remove the 'time check' shortly after launch, they were unable to perform key actions like communicating with other cities that they had created locally, or with the rest of their region(s), or even saving the current state of their cities."

 

Fox says it took over six months of coding to get here, which is a massive effort for the developer. Fox continues: "My team did, however, see a path forward towards Offline, one that would maintain the integrity of the simulation. Lucy once said that Offline wouldn't be possible 'without a significant amount of engineering work,' and she's right. By the time we're finished we will have spent over 6 ½ months working to write and rewrite core parts of the game to get this to work. Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly."

Battlefield 4 on PC updated, increased stability and tweaks included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2014 4:25 am

A small update was pushed out by DICE for Battlefield 4 on the PC yesterday, which includes a bunch of stability, balancing and player spawning fixes. Stealth jets have also been tweaked, with a 25% increase in the amount of damage their cannons can do. A full list of fixes is below:

 

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  • Various fixes for improving general stability
  • Fixed a memory leak issue occurring after level shutdowns, which could result in a out-of-memory crash in longer play sessions
  • Additional fix for the "sound loop" deadlock when running High/Ultra graphics settings
  • Added a warning for using Legacy AMD drivers that were out of date
  • Fixed a player feedback timing issue where blood was appearing before other damage indicators, and before damage was actually done
  • Fixed a bug where players' rank icons on the scoreboard would not be updated
  • Fix for Asian users unable to start Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 on Windows 8.1
  • Normalized repair rates across all vehicles. Vehicles with lower health points, like aircraft and transport vehicles, now repair more slowly than before
  • Fixed problem with killer health in kill card not being correctly updated (showing 100% health even though the soldier was hurt)
  • Fix for friendly marker not always showing when needed to, resulting in players shooting team members
  • Fixed a bug where a M1 Abrams Coaxial HMG ammo box was occasionally blocking the driver's camera
  • Increased damage by 25% for the Stealth Jet 20mm cannons.
  • Stealth Jets now have more similar handling attributes to each other. F35 & J-20 are slightly more agile, Su-50 is less agile.
  • Attack Jets now have more similar handling attributes to each other, and all 3 are now slightly less agile than earlier
  • Fixed camera glitch when switching weapons while moving in crouch
  • Fixed an occasional bug where players could experience intermittent engine sound dropouts when driving wheeled IFVs
  • Fix for player spawning under the map when deploying on Lancang Dam
  • Fixed flickering in map and minimap on Rogue Transmission and Operation Locker

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