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The NSA went as far as the World of Warcraft to spy on you

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 9:41 pm

New documents have surfaced from Edward Snowden that shows just how far the NSA is willing to go to spy on everyone. The US spy agency along with Brittans GCHQ had agents inside both the World of Warcraft and Secondlife to keep an eye on "targets" who may be using the MMOs to communicate.

 

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The documents state that the NSA thought that the "Unregulated" online gaming worlds would "almost certainly be used as a venue for terrorist laundering and will, with certainty, be used for terrorist propaganda and recruitment." The documents did not state if any arrest were made, or if any terror plots were unveiled as a result of the infiltration.

 

One takedown did result from the spying, but instead of a terrorist organization, a ring of credit card thieves were arrested and their website was shutdown. The spying grew to so many agents that the NSA had to create a "deconflict group" to make sure they were not spying on each other.

Samsung adds RAPID mode to its existing 840 Pro SSDs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 7:40 pm

During this mornings 840 EVO mSATA announcement the company also mentioned that owners of existing 840 Pro SSD's are getting an exciting new feature that was previously only available on the 840 EVO line of SSDs. Samsung says that it has applied the Samsung Magician 4.3 and the RAPID mode on its previous 840 PRO SSD line-up.

 

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"RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) mode is a performance level of approximately twice that of a typical SATA SSD and ten times of an average HDD. Samsung also applied Samsung Magician 4.3 and the RAPID mode on its previous 840 PRO SSD line-up," Samsung said in its official blog post about the new 840 EVO mSATA SSDs.

Continue reading 'Samsung adds RAPID mode to its existing 840 Pro SSDs' (full post)

Square updates it's hardware, new card reader is 45-percent thinner

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 6:23 pm

Today Square released an all new card reader that is 45-percent thinner, and is said to be much more reliable than the original. The new card reader has been designed with custom-built components this time around instead of employing the use of off-the-shelf parts used in the original.

 

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The redesign using custom parts results in a much more reliable, and compact unit, and allows Square to have more control over the hardware and quality control. The old card reader featured technology that was designed back in the 1980s, and was comprised of more than 30 parts and wires. With the new design, square has removed almost all of these components and replaced them with a single chip that handles most of the functionality.

 

Users can expect a more consistent 1-swipe experience, but Square does not expect the new card reader to significantly impact their business. Square says that anyone signing up for an account after today will receive the new reader, and the company will fully phase out the old reader by the first quarter of 2014.

Pandora for iOS gets updated with new alarm clock functionality

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 4:31 pm

Today Pandora added new functionality to its app for iOS in the form of a new alarm feature. The new Alarm Clock will let users wake up to their favorite Pandora station, and are no longer limited to their iPhones stock alarm sounds. When the alarm triggers, the Pandora app will begin playing from a user-selected station and album art will scroll in the background.

 

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Users can snooze the alarm to 5,10,15 or 20 minutes by simply tapping the screen. Additionally, the alarm can be quickly turned off by tapping the song title or artist name. This alarm works perfectly with Pandora's other recently added feature that turns off the music feed after a preset length of time, allowing the user to fall asleep to their favorite station.

Samsung unveils industry's first 1TB mSATA SSD

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 3:03 pm

Today Samsung announced the launch of the worlds first mSATA SSD featuring a capacity of 1TB. The all new 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD boast a performance of 98,000 random reads and 90,000 random write IOPS with a sequential read speed of 540MB/S and write speeds of 520MB/s.

 

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"With the new mSATA SSD line-up offering up to 1TB of memory and an optimized software tool, we expect that consumers can enjoy high storage volume and performance on ultra-slim notebooks besides desktop PCs," said Unsoo Kim, senior vice president, memory brand product marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to bring leading-edge SSD products and software solutions with improved quality and reliability, while working on offering higher consumer satisfaction and strengthening competitiveness of our branded memory business."

 

Samsung's new 840 EVO mSATA SSD line features the company's advanced 128Gb NAND flash memory that is based on 10nm fabrication processes. This extreme density allows Samsung to pack in 16 layers of 128Gb chips for a total capacity of 1TB. Samsung says that the new 1TB mSATA SSD is just 3.85mm thick and weighs only 8.5 grams.

Bitcoin price stumbles down nearly 30% over the weekend

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 5:11 am

Just 10 days ago we reported that Bitcoins reached over $1000 in value each, which at the time was a meteoroic 4000% increase, year-over-year. Now? The digital currency has dropped to around $800 each, from their peak at $1200 just days ago.

 

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Few thought that Bitcoins would reach parity with gold, some thought there was no end in sight, but you can't dispute the fact that the digital currency has stumbled, with no exact science or past on how it will react. Will it go down to $100 each? Will we see another country completely embrace it and see it skyrocket past $2000?

 

With China's central bank refusing to consider Bitcoins as legal tender, the drop in price quickly happened. But, the Chinese government didn't put an all-out ban on the digital currency, with all citizens still able to use Bitcoins legally. The central bank's refusal to use them is what hurts the most, as it could spread quickly throughout the world.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin price stumbles down nearly 30% over the weekend' (full post)

Thief reboot will look better on the PC, winks at next-gen consoles

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 3:31 am

The upcoming Thief Reboot from Eidos Montreal will be a little special on the PC, even with the next-gen consoles having a air guitar competition over in the corner.

 

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Eidos Montreal's Art Technical Director, Jean-Normand Bucci, said: "The new consoles are very strong, very powerful. They allow for much more than what a console gamer is used to. The gap between PC and next gen has massively reduced for sure. The new consoles and high-end PC offer better frame rate, higher resolution, and many new features along with DX11 support", when talking with DSOGaming.

 

When Bucci talked about the PC version of Thief, he said: "The PC version will support all the graphical features of the next-gen consoles with numerous improvements, including even better anti-aliasing, higher resolution shadows, and support for multi-monitor. Thief on PC will also be amongst the first batch of games that support AMD's new Mantle API for high performance graphics."

 

Bucci also teased that Thief for the PC will also include field of view (FOV) and mouse sensitivity options - something that I personally don't think should be highlighted, but default in this day and age - where he stated: "We don't apply acceleration or smoothing to our mouse-based camera controls--we want you to have direct control of Garrett's POV."

Continue reading 'Thief reboot will look better on the PC, winks at next-gen consoles' (full post)

EA donates $1.65 million to charity from its Origin Humble Bundle

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 2:32 am

Say what you want about EA, but any company that donates a large sum of money deserves praise. This even includes the recent issues with Battlefield 4, and SimCity, just to name a few, with the latter title seeing a CEO replacement.

 

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The publisher's COO, Peter Moore, tweeted the picture above this week, where he presented a $1.65 million donation to the American Cancer Society. Shortly after the Origin Humble Bundle went on sale, Moore said that EA could "do better". It would be nice to see EA do this on a regular occasion from its giant-selling games, it could speed up the customer satisfaction it has lost in the recent years.

Star Citizen's team will continue to grow as the game expands

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 9, 2013 1:26 am

Just like the crowdfunding continues to grow Star Citizen into an unleashed space combat sim beast, the team behind it will also grow as time goes on. The brainchild of Cloud Imperium, and Star Citizen, has said that his team is continuing to expand as the project's needs skyrocket.

 

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Roberts said: "We're expanding wide as well as deep, so we don't just bring on people to handle new components like the boarding actions. We also add to existing teams so that they can do more as well." Roberts also said that Star Citizen is still lifting off in 2015, with an alpha version of the game to be released late next year.

The Division's gorgeous 'Snowdrop Engine' detailed in new video

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 8, 2013 11:46 am

If there's a game that will make me buy a next-gen console, it will be The Division. The Division's graphics engine, the "Snowdrop Engine" has been detailed in a new video during the VGX show last night.

 

 

It looks absolutely incredible, with some truly jaw dropping detail in virtually all areas. There's the truly next-gen procedural damage, which chips away properly at cars, lights, buildings, and everything else. Dynamic weather and lighting effects, a day/night system which looks gorgeous and so much more. The trailer is above, and it needs your attention, now.

Continue reading 'The Division's gorgeous 'Snowdrop Engine' detailed in new video' (full post)

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