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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game franchise to return in upcoming release

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 10:13 pm

I am willing to bet that many of TweakTown's readers remember grinding out hours of thrashing in many of the titles in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater gaming franchise. I was one of those teens who spent hours on end playing Pro Skater 2 and racking up millions of points in maps enhanced by every cheat code the game offered. Fans of the series will be happy to hear that the Tony Hawk franchise is returning at some point in 2014 or 2015.

 

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During an episode of hits show, Demolition Radio, on SiriusXM Radio, Tony Hawk himself let the news slip about the upcoming title on accident, and since then, a spokes person for Activision has came forward and confirmed that the game does exist and that new information regarding it will be officially released soon. This is good news for long-time fans which saw the franchise die out after a horrible HD remake of the original game failed miserably after its control system proved to be more buggy than an AAA title from EA on launch day.

Sprint launches Wi-Fi calling, turns the select devices into IP phones

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 9:09 pm

At some point in the next few weeks, Sprint will be issuing an update to the Samsung Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 Mini smartphones that will turn on a built-in feature that allows the phones to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi. This will effectively allow users to turn their smartphones into IP phones when connected to any Wi-Fi network, eliminating the need for an IP phone in your office or home.

 

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Sprint says that the service will be free of charge for all Sprint customers, and that the IP calling will work with existing phone numbers so there is no need for a second account. When connected to a Wi-Fi network customer's calls will be routed over the internet instead of over the company's cellular network. This is expected to increase call quality and should lighten network loads considerably.

 

Sprint says that it will start the roll out with the Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 first before beginning the roll out to most Android-based smartphones on the company's network. No names have been given on which phones might receive the service next, but we suspect that most of the top-tier phones such as the Galaxy S4 and HTC One are on the shortlist. The concept of Wi-Fi calling is not new though as T-Mobile has been offering it since 2006. Industry analyst say that Sprint is prepping this service to help augment it's upcoming roll out of its upcoming HD Voice over LTE service which will see the current 2G Voice service discontinued.

US Post Office approves Steve Jobs commemorative stamp for 2015

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 7:45 pm

Many regard Steve Jobs as one of the biggest visionary of our generation, and given his turn-around of Apple, and the success of the iPhone, iPod and iPad lines they may be true. Today the Washington Post outed the stamp commemorative postage stamp that will honor Jobs.. Additional honorees will be Elvis Presley and James Brown, both who have had stamps in the past.

 

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In what should be a Today I Learned post on Reddit, the stamps are approved by a "Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee which is comprised of of a maximum of 15 members whose backgrounds reflect a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise. All share an interest in the stamp program and the needs of the mailing public. An excerpt about the committee duties has been posted below.

 

The primary goal of the committee is to select a good balance of subjects appealing to a broad audience for recommendation to the Postmaster General. These subjects will be contemporary, timely, relevant, interesting and educational. In addition to the Postal Service's extensive line of mail-use stamps, approximately 25 new subjects for commemorative stamps are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, including stamp collectors.

Amazon's Android-based set-top box to arrive as early as March

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:40 pm

A new report from Recode says that Amazon's set-top box venture is not dead and that we could see the device released as early as next month. The device is set to compete directly with Apple TV and the Roku and will be Android-based. The device will most likely run Amazon's custom app market place and will feature Amazon prime streaming functionality along side a few other non-competitor streaming applications.

 

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Some earlier reports suggest that the box will also feature Ouya-like gaming but nothing from the Recode report suggest as much, and with the issues plaguing Android-gaming devices I am willing to bet Amazon is steering clear of anything other than simple gaming. With Amazon's set-top box releasing soon, questions about why a Amazon Prime app for Google Chrome may have been answered as no one would buy a >$50 set top box when they can buy the $35 Chromecast.

Microsoft inviting some Xbox Live users to beta Xbox One updates

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:25 pm

Microsoft is always working on updates for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 game consoles. Sometimes those updates are for bugs that have surfaced, like the black screen bug the last Xbox One update added for some. Other times the updates for the consoles add new features.

 

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Microsoft has announce that it has been inviting specific Xbox Live gamers to beta the next update for the Xbox One game console. The Xbox team is working on an update for the Xbox One for March. The users that are chosen by Microsoft will get some of the features of that update early.

 

They will use the new features and provide Microsoft with feedback on the update via a private forum. Microsoft isn't offering any information on how it is choosing the people that will participate in the program. It does say that the users will be able to opt out of participating. That implies that the people don't have to ask to be part of the program.

Continue reading 'Microsoft inviting some Xbox Live users to beta Xbox One updates' (full post)

DELL joins A4WP to adopt wireless charging standard

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:15 pm

Dell joins the Alliance for Wireless Power, short for A4WP, making this as the first biggest PC maker in the world to join an initiative to adopt a wireless charging standard.

 

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Other members of A4WP are Intel, Samsung, LG, SanDisk and other names, but Dell is the first PC maker to join the group. A4WP's primary goal is standardize Rezence, a wireless power transfer method that uses near-field magnetic tech which has the ability to charge multiple device at the same time.

Continue reading 'DELL joins A4WP to adopt wireless charging standard' (full post)

South Korea increasing its own offensive cyber weapons effort

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:07 pm

In an attempt to attack North Korean nuclear facilities, the South Korean government wants to develop cyberwar weapons to target critical infrastructure. Similar to the Stuxnet software aimed towards Iran, South Korean wants to use software to disrupt its neighbors to the north, even with military analysts hesitant to condone significant attacks.

 

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Earlier in the month, U.S. and South Korean officials held continued meetings regarding cybersecurity efforts to protect both nations from prying eyes in China, North Korea, and other locations. There is continued concern regarding North Korea's nuclear ambitions, and excluding an actual military strike, cyberattacks are believed to be the next option as diplomatic efforts have struggled.

 

The South Korean government also plans to increase funding for home-grown startups, with software and cyber development expected to be a major effort. The United States and western allies would be able to share information with South Korea, offering a unique perspective into functional cyber weapons.

 

However, there will be mounting concern that a physical cyberattack could harm infrastructure that wasn't initially targeted.

Peak antifreeze to sponsor iRacing NASCAR series for next 3-years

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:43 pm

Peak Antifreeze and iRacing have announced something that will excite virtual racers out there. Peak will be sponsoring iRacing's top online racing championship series for the next three years. The events sponsored by peak will kick off on February 25.

 

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The NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing.com will pit the top sim racers in the world against each other for over $20,000 in cash and prices. Participants will race in precise digital models of Generation-6 stock cars with a 17-race schedule.

 

The racing will take place on iRacing.com's laser scanned NASCAR racing tracks. This is the only sanctioned online world championship by NASCAR. The racing series will kick off at the virtual Daytona International Speedway at 9pm Tuesday, February 25th.

Continue reading 'Peak antifreeze to sponsor iRacing NASCAR series for next 3-years' (full post)

G.SKILL SO-DIMM memory overclocked to 2600MHz on ASROCK M8 barebone

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: RAM | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:16 pm

Now that mini-PCs from companies such as ASROCK, ASUS and Zotac are catching up, SO-DIMM overclocking is something that would be interesting to see. G.SKILL did that using ASROCK M8 Barebone system.

 

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G.SKILL managed to do just that, as they were able to overclock its ripjaws SO-DIMM 1.35V C11 2133 MHz to 2400 MHz 12-14-14-25 @ 1.35v.

Continue reading 'G.SKILL SO-DIMM memory overclocked to 2600MHz on ASROCK M8 barebone' (full post)

Microsoft Office Web Apps officially rebranded as Office Online

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:14 pm

Microsoft's Office Web Apps was meant to take on Google's Drive / Docs services, unfortunately it seems like the masses never took hold of Office Web Apps the way we all adopted to using Google Drive. Microsoft seems to think that the issue lies within the service's branding, and this week made a major move to rebrand Office Web Apps to something that makes a little more sense.

 

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The service is now called Office Online, something many feel that it should have always been named. Microsoft says that the new name more closely reflects what the actual product is, and is free to use for OneDrive users. The rebrand also includes a new URL, Office.com, which should go a long way in introducing new users to the service. Office Online is made up of Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint,Excel and more, and even includes Google Drive-like co-editing features. Microsoft has also refreshed the service with a wealth of new templates, and given the UI a handy drop-down toolbar to make life easier.

 

You might remember that Microsoft also rebranded its SkyDrive cloud storage service to the new name of OneDrive earlier this week. The renaming stemmed from a lost trademark battle with British Sky Broadcasting last year. OneDrive and Office Online sync up together just like Google Drive and Google Docs do, and users are given 7GB of storage space for free upon signing up. Additional space can be purchased, and 500MB of free storage is given with each user referral.

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