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Minecraft's Notch joins in on the anti-Windows 8 campaign

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 2, 2012 3:09 am

So it looks like its not just Valve's Gabe Newell, or Blizzard who are against Microsoft's Windows 8, which just hit RTM, by the way. Minecraft developer Notch is cautious of the shift to the Windows Store, and third-party outlets.




Notch sees any further lockdown of Windows 8 as potentially "very very bad" for indie game developers, and overall competition in the gaming business. It was all during an interview on Reddit, where the Minecraft dev predicted a bright future for indie game developers, as long as there are "open and free" platforms to support their work. Notch says:


If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general. If we can keep open platforms around, there's going to be a lot of very interesting games in ten years, mixed in with the huge AAA games that we all love.

Continue reading 'Minecraft's Notch joins in on the anti-Windows 8 campaign' (full post)

Google Wallet now has its head in the cloud, now accepts all credit and debt cards

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Aug 2, 2012 2:27 am

Google Wallet, since its launch, has been held back by numerous limitations, the biggest was its lack of support for most major credit and debit cards. But, the Mountain View-based company, Google, have just opened up Google Wallet's heart to the cloud.



Google Wallet now supports any credit or debit card, and allows you to take them from one Google-based device, to the next. Early versions of Wallet used the phones secure storage to protect your card details, but now these details sit in the cloud allowing you to sync your preferred payment method across more than one device, as well as keeping track of both your in-store, and online purchase's through Google's web Wallet.




Worried about security? Google have your back, as they allow you to disable individual devices. So if you were to lose your Nexus for example, and you were scared someone might use the device to buy something, you can just jump online and disable that single device. Once you've acquired a new device, your details can slide over onto the new device, all with a few taps of your finger.

Cloud-printing gets another notch on its belt, you can now print documents direct from Google Drive at FedEx Office stores

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Aug 2, 2012 1:03 am

Not that I print much anymore, apart from travel documentation and the like, but it's very cool to see FedEx Office locations supporting cloud-printing. Google Drive, as well as Box, Dropbox and Google Docs are able to be used to print from the cloud at FedEx.




Google mentioned the new feature on the Drive team's Google+ page, where they directed readers to the FedEx website for more information. FedEx lists the new service in their Print & Go service, but no tutorial seems to be in place, yet. Google Drive offers 5GB of free storage, and while Drive is looked at being more focused on corporate customers, rather than individuals, a service like this is a great step toward a cloud-based future.


Google Drive has slowly been getting new features, as it should, but this feature might just set it apart from the rest. Considering Android is an absolutely mammoth mobile OS, the more Google bake cloud-based features into brick-and-mortar stores, as well as their smart devices, the better.

Amazon unveils Instant Video app for iPad owners

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 11:37 pm

Netflix isn't the only game in mobile town anymore as Amazon has just released its new Instant Video iPad app. The app is available free to iPad users and offers both Amazon Prime and non-Prime users the ability to purchase or rent videos from Amazon's online database of over 120,000 selections.




The rented or purchased content can then be streamed when online or downloaded for later offline viewing. Amazon Prime members can stream thousands of of movies and TV shows for no extra cost above and beyond their yearly $79 fee. Non-members are required to purchase or rent each individual piece of content they want to watch.


The system is very similar in design and function to Netflix's offering. The layout looks very similar and it features a Watchlist, which is very similar to Netflix's queue. The one downside to the app is that purchases and rentals cannot be made directly from the app. Instead, users have to open Safari and head to Amazon's Instant Video Store. Once purchased, they are available for viewing from the app.

Lenovo's Windows 8 ThinkPad Tablet 2 specs leaked

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 10:35 pm

Lenovo's upcoming Windows 8 tablet has been teased by the company several times and a mysterious source has leaked the specs of the device on the internet. The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet successor will be running Windows 8 and come with a pen stylus and an optional physical keyboard dock that is similar to Microsoft's Surface's one.




The heart of the machine will be a dual-core Intel Clover Trail processor that has access to 2GB of RAM. The screen is said to be a 10.1-inch WXGA touchscreen--WXGA is 1366x768. The device will sport 64GB of storage. Looking at the spec list, it's pretty clearly set to be an iPad competitor, but if that's not enough convincing, one of the leaked slides shows a comparison of the device with the iPad.


Looking at the chart entitled "Best in Class", the iPad clearly wins out in several categories such as screen resolution and voice control. However, Lenovo's tablet features stereo speakers, which trumps the iPad's mono system, and dual microphones, which offer digital noise reduction. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 measures 262.6 x 164 x 9.8mm and weighs 650g.

EA announces Battlefield 4 release window, still a distance off

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 9:35 pm

It's going to be awhile before there is an official announcement regarding an actual release date for the upcoming Battlefield 4 game. However, during EA's last earnings call, they revealed that Battlefield 4 would see a release sometime during EA's 2014 fiscal year, which runs from April 2013 through March 2014.




With a bit of deduction, we can trim down that range which spans a year. We already know that the Battlefield 4 beta will be kicking off in the fall of 2013. This means that Battlefield shouldn't be released before September 21, 2013. Looking at past experiences, we can use the fact that Battlefield 3's public beta kicked off September 29, 2011 to extrapolate that Battlefield 4's beta will likely start around the same time in 2013.


The beta for Battlefield 3 ended on October 10, 2011 and the game released shortly after on October 25. There's no promise of this being the schedule for Battlefield 4, but it will likely be similar. The one thing that EA needs to do is take their time and produce a better game. There are far to many rushed FPS games on the market.

Samsung updating GT-P7510 Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Android 4.0, Tab 7.7, Plus 7, and 8.9 to follow

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 8:35 pm

Samsung is staying true to its promise of bringing Android 4.0 goodness to the original line of Galaxy Tabs. The first device to be treated to the update is the GT-P7510 10.1-inch units that were released in the UK and other locations. Samsung hasn't provided a timeline for Wi-Fi and 3G variants of its smaller tablets.




The Galaxy Tab 7.7, Plus 7, and 8.9 models are expected to receive an update to Android 4.0 as well. The update will likely be delivered via Samsung's KIES app or via an OTA update. It's certainly a great thing for owners of the original series to be receiving this update and Samsung is really showing its support for its customers with this move.

Jim Keller rejoins AMD as Corporate Vice President and Chief Architect for CPU Cores, lured away from Apple

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 7:33 pm

AMD has been losing talent left and right over the past year. December saw the loss of VP of strategy Patrick Moorhead and Product Director Carrell Killebrew, among others. Just last week week, AMD lost the person responsible for getting AMD GPUs into every single one of the current consoles to NVIDIA.




AMD hasn't been very competitive on the CPU front, and the GPU front seems to be falling behind NVIDIA. Bulldozer had lackluster performance and Piledriver improvements don't seem to be enough to put AMD back into direct competition with Intel. Enter Jim Keller.


Jim Keller worked at AMD between 1998 and 1999 where he led development of the K8 architecture, arguably AMD's biggest lead over Intel, and co-authored the x86-64 specification. Even though he was only there for a short time, he certainly left his mark on the company. His resume is even more impressive with the work he has been doing lately.


Keller joined Broadcom in 2000 where he was the chief architect on a line of MIPS-based network processors. He moved on to PA semiconductor in 2004 where he continued working on networking systems. PA Semiconductor was acquired by Apple in April 2008 and he followed. He worked on Apple's A4 and A5 processors, which have powered the last few generations of mobile Apple products.

Continue reading 'Jim Keller rejoins AMD as Corporate Vice President and Chief Architect for CPU Cores, lured away from Apple' (full post)

RumorTT: Intel to launch Ivy Bridge-E Q3 2013

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 6:30 pm

Intel is working on another high-end desktop (HEDT) chip codenamed Ivy Bridge-E. In many ways it is similar to Sandy Bridge-E in that they are increasing the core, cache, and memory channel count to produce the chip. According to a leaked Intel roadmap, this chip is sent to be released Q3 2013, sometime after Haswell makes its debut.




The roadmap above is the latest leaked version and I have some suspicions that it could be a fake. Look at the word Haswell. Do you see what I see? I find it highly unlikely that an Intel roadmap would have red, squiggly incorrect spelling marking underneath an actual roadmap. This makes me lean towards a fake.


That said, Ivy Bridge-E is said to run on existing X79 chipset motherboards and the LGA2011 socket. It is possible that Intel will produce a new chipset to go with Ivy Bridge-E, but they previously kept the X58 chipset over two generations of HEDT chips (45 nm Core i7 "Bloomfield" and 32 nm Core i7 "Westmere").

Windows 8 reaches RTM milestone

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 1, 2012 5:11 pm

Windows 8 is getting closer and closer to be released and today sees another major milestone for the latest operating system. Today, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 testing and production has been completed and that the new operating system has been released to manufacturing. This means that OEMs now have access to the OS and can start building PCs with it.




Of course those PCs built won't go on sale quite yet. They will hit the market with the general release of Windows 8, which comes on October 26. Upgrades will be offered for $39.99, or if you have recently purchased a Windows 7 PC, the upgrade will only cost you $14.99. Various audiences will get access to Windows 8 RTM before the rest of us:

Continue reading 'Windows 8 reaches RTM milestone' (full post)

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