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Guild Wars 2 launch sees login issues, sound familiar?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 11:31 pm

After five years of development, you would have thought that the developers of Guild Wars 2 would have been able to prevent launch day login issues and that they would have learned from other botched launches--Diablo III comes to mind--but apparently they didn't. Since it is an MMO, we'll cut it some slack.




However, since they allowed some to have access to the game over the weekend, that should have offloaded some of the load. Apparently they overestimated how many people would pre-load or end up buying the game on launch day as users have been experiencing login delays and problems all day today.


Guild Wars 2 is set 250 years after the original and players are tasked with reuniting the members of Destiny's Edge. These members are the only people capable of killing the five elder dragons that have been awakened and are now wrecking havoc around Tyria. Have you managed to log into Guild Wars 2? Like it? Hate it? Let us know!

AMD picks up John Gustafson as Chief Graphics Product Architect

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 10:34 pm

AMD has hired a new Chief Graphics Product Architect for the Graphics Business Unit. This means that the visionary behind Gustafson's Law will be working on the AMD Radeon and AMD FirePro line of products. With fresh blood comes fresh ideas, so here's to hoping he can come up with something that really pushes graphics technology forward.




"Our industry-leading graphics technology predicates that we consistently deliver the most differentiated and superior graphics processor unit (GPU) architectures and products -- without compromise," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics. "With the growing importance of parallel compute in defining the computing experience, John brings the full package of industry experience and knowledge needed to help us expand and execute our AMD Radeon and AMD FirePro graphics technology programs, and will help forge an aggressive long-term roadmap that allows AMD to continue to lead and win with our gaming and virtualization technologies."


John Gustafson's resume is impressive and he will surely be an asset to the company. He joins AMD from Intel, where he "headed the company's eXtreme Technologies Lab, conducting cutting-edge research on energy-efficient computing and memory, as well as optical, energy and storage technologies."

Continue reading 'AMD picks up John Gustafson as Chief Graphics Product Architect' (full post)

Microsoft releases SkyDrive app for Android

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 9:29 pm

Microsoft had announced their plans to release an official SkyDrive app for Android a few weeks ago, and they have kept their word and released an app today so that users can have access to their files across all of the various devices you may own and use. The app is designed for Android 4.0, but only requires Android 2.3 or higher.




The main features of the new app:


  • Access your SkyDrive-documents, photos, and other files, plus the files other people have shared with you.
  • View recently used documents.
  • Choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your phone.
  • Share your files and photos-send a link in email or in another app.
  • Open your SkyDrive files from other Android apps.
  • Easily manage your files-delete or create new folders.


In other words, it does basically everything you would expect the app to do; it allows file uploads and downloads and the ability to manage those files, go figure. Microsoft did their best to keep "the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences" while integrating some of the conventional Android interactions.


Mike Torres, Group Program Manager of SkyDrive Apps, asks that you give the app a run and that the team can't wait to hear what you have to think. The app is available in the Google Play store.

Firefox adds silent updates in latest release, Firefox 15

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 8:34 pm

The days of Firefox "talking" to you while updating are over. With the release of Firefox 15 today, Mozilla has done away with that form of updates, opting for the silent updates, or background updates, utilized by Chrome and other software. No longer will you have to wait while it updates to the latest version! What a relief.




All joking aside, this really is a nice feature to have in software. One of the most frustrating things I have encountered in computing is when I really need to look up something quickly and the browser is updating to the latest version. Since the updater is an integral part of the software, Mozilla took its time testing this before releasing it.


"This was one of the scariest projects that I've ever worked on, since messing something up in the updater component could have catastrophic consequences in case it prevents users from being able to update to newer Firefox revisions," said Ehsan Akhgari, a programmer who worked on the project.


The feature has been present in the nightly Firefox build for a while now, and using that, they caught a few bugs which were fixed in time for the release of Firefox 15. The latest version of Firefox is available from the Mozilla website. If you already have it installed, this should be the last update you have to endure.

FAA forms group to investigate use of PEDs on aircraft

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 7:30 pm

The FCC has issued a statement today saying they are forming a group to study the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) on aircraft. The current policy is quite cumbersome and requires lots of time and effort to get a device authorized for use during flight. The FCC recognizes this is an issue of consumer interest and this is the reason they have formed the group.




"With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight."


The group will examine the methods used for certification along with a variety of other issues and then present the findings to the FCC. Unfortunately, they will not be investigating the use of cell phones for voice communications. A reason for this was not provided and it seems like a massive miss on the group's priority list.


"We're looking for information to help air carriers and operators decide if they can allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today's aircraft," said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We also want solid safety data to make sure tomorrow's aircraft designs are protected from interference."

Continue reading 'FAA forms group to investigate use of PEDs on aircraft' (full post)

NVIDIA roadmap: Maxwell only in 2014, no 780 before March 2013 likely

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:30 pm

NVIDIA has had to push back its launch schedule due to troubles with the manufacturing processes. Originally, Kepler was supposed to launch in 2011, however, it is still being launched to this day and we've almost hit 2013. No new architecture will be produced until Maxwell in 2014.




Maxwell is an interesting animal. It will be a 20nm chip, which isn't a big deal. However, it is being designed so that it can be manufactured at GlobalFoundries, IBM, Samsung and TSMC. This should allow NVIDIA to ensure a large enough supply, or make a change if one of the fabs is having process issues.


The GTX 700 series should be a similar launch schedule to what has so far occurred with the GTX 600 series. This means we won't see anything until March 2013 or later. But the good news is that the new chip should between 25-30% higher performance and power efficiency. The Kepler refresh will have to compete with AMD's Sea Islands, so the real battle will take place in 2014 with Maxwell taking on Sea Islands.

Twitter removes source app name from tweets

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 5:28 pm

I'm sure you've heard about the changes coming to Twitter in the near future. If you haven't, a little catch up: Twitter is planning to restrict external apps to only 100k users max, or 200% of what ever they are currently at if they are already over 100k users. The move is aimed at keeping people using Twitter on their official programs.




It's a small change, really, but Twitter is no longer showing what third-party app the Tweet came from. "This is part of our ongoing work to simplify Tweets and emphasize the content being shared," a Twitter spokesperson told CNET. However, it's more likely they want to prevent offering free advertising to these other apps.


If you were looking for a new tweet app, you'll no longer be able to use tweets as a measure of how good an app is. And in the near future, there may be no more apps other than the official one. We'll keep you posted if any of this changes.

Kim Dotcom offers developers early API access to his new Megaupload rendition

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 4:34 pm

As nearly everyone knows, MegaUpload was shut down earlier this year and Kim Dotcom's house was raided. We've since found out that those search warrants were invalid and his extradition hearing has been pushed back all the way to March 2013. However, that hasn't kept the US government from keep MegaUpload offline.




Have no fear as Dotcom is working on an alternative to that service, and it would appear to be nearing completion as he is offering early API access to developers. "The new Mega will offer one-click-encryption of ALL your data transfers, on the fly, easy to use, free of charge, TOTAL PRIVACY!" - Dotcom's Twitter


He has accused the government of picking on the wrong guy, so he will likely make sure that this new service will keep him from getting picked on. I have a feeling that that is the reason for the encryption. Either that, or so when he is raided, the police have nothing to work with.


In other news, his new music service, MegaBox, is due out later this year.

Samsung Galaxy S III now available in brown, red, black, grey

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 3:30 pm

As we reported previously, it appeared that Samsung was preparing a Samsung S III in black. We found this out thanks to leaked pictures, and now we know that we had just scratched the surface. Samsung has said the color availability will vary by carrier and region, though they haven't said which colors are going where.




The Samsung PR machine had a bit of fun writing this press release, I'm sure. Take a look:


Elegant, intelligent and stylish, the Samsung GALAXY S III is designed for humans and inspired by nature. This design ethos is brought to life through the new colour variants, which are all derived from man's relationship with natural materials and perfectly compliment the handset's organic experience.


Amber Brown*: Inspired by the mysterious and unique gem, which was believed to sustain the secrets of the earth inside it. The deep, rich colour of Amber Brown redefines the classic colour and emphasizes the beauty of the advanced organic design of the GALAXY S III.


Garnet Red*: Rare and special, the gemstone Almandite Garnet was worn as an amulet by the ancient Egyptians who believed the stone contained protective powers. Garnet Red holds the delicateness and elegance of Almandite Garnet, in line with the GALAXY S III's soft curves and smooth lines.


Continue reading 'Samsung Galaxy S III now available in brown, red, black, grey' (full post)

Samsung unveils driving-friendly Drive Link app

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 28, 2012 10:26 am

Samsung have just unveiled the Drive Link app for their devices, with the premise behind the app that it is to provide a safe user interface and portal to the commonly used applications on your phone, whilst driving. Drive Link will make navigation, hands-free calling and music playback easier than ever.




Drive Link's navigation feature will make use of your phone's GPS and mapping features, where you'll be able to speak destinations into the app, or drag them out of messages. Hands-free calling and text-to-speech message reading are available in more than one language, too. If music is what you're interested in, the Music portal gives you access to all of the media that is stored on your smartphone.


Samsung also notes that a Drive Link-powered device can provide services directly, even featuring the ability to connect to your car's current infotainment system with the MirrorLink protocol. Drive Link debuts on the international version of Samsung's Galaxy S III, and will arrive on other Android 4.0-powered devices in the near future.

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