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North Carolina State University researchers develop liquid metal 3D printer

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Jul 11, 2013 2:05 am

Anyone who knows me or follows my DIY/maker posts here on TweakTown knows that I am one of the biggest fans of 3-D printing that has ever lived. Since the original RepRap project began back in 2005, I have lived 3-D printing. This next tidbit of news is probably some of the most exciting I have ever reported here TweakTown.



Researchers at North Carolina State University have managed to produce an alloy of liquid metals--gallium and indium--that allows droplets to retain their shape when placed upon each other. This led to the development of a liquid metal 3-D printer. Normally liquid metal reacts the same way any other metal does when more is added, by this I mean it all congregates into a single mass.


The researchers discovered that when combining gallium and indium, the metals combined to make an alloy that forms a skin around the material. This allowed researchers to create structures by piling drops on top of each other using a very tiny syringe. Naturally, this process was automated and through the use of CNC robots, a liquid metal 3-D printer was born.

Continue reading 'North Carolina State University researchers develop liquid metal 3D printer' (full post)

LeakedTT: More iPhone plastic shells appear, 5 new colors shown

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 11, 2013 1:02 am

Twitter user Sonny Dickson has just posted an image of what appears to be five new colored backs for the upcoming low-cost iPhone. We've seen others in the past and these look very similar but with a more pastel color palette.




The colors shown appear to be fuchsia, blue, lime green, pastel yellow, and white. One thing worth noting is that the corners are a little more squared off than previous leaked images, which leads us to believe that these could be replacement skins or protective covers designed by a third party manufacturer.


With news earlier today concerning Foxconn ramping up its workforce in a push to bolster new iPhone production numbers and with yesterday's news of Apple cutting current iPhone production by 20 percent, we can bet that sometime in the coming weeks we will see more information on the so-called low-cost iPhone.

Ubisoft serves up Splinter Cell Blacklist gameplay trailer to fans on YouTube

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 11, 2013 12:07 am

Fans first got a glimpse at the upcoming addition to its popular Splinter Cell franchise yesterday when NVIDIA announced that it would be bundling Splinter Cell Blacklist with its GeForce GTX video cards. Seizing the opportunity to further whet gamers' appetites, Ubisoft has just released a glimpse of the game's single player action.



In the trailer, we can see that the developers have retained the stealthy combat that Splinter Cell is famous for. The game's protagonist, Sam Fisher, is equipped with the usual array of technological weaponry and still retains the grace needed to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies.

Continue reading 'Ubisoft serves up Splinter Cell Blacklist gameplay trailer to fans on YouTube' (full post)

Iran launches national email service for all Iranian citizens

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 11:02 pm

Iran has followed through with its plans to launch its own national email service which requires all citizens to sign up for it as a "safe" way to communicate with government officials. Each citizen was given an email address but before they can use it, account holders will have to provide their local post office with a full name, their national identification number, and their postal code.




Mohammad Hasan Nami, Iran's minister for information and communication technology, said: "For mutual interaction and communication between the government and the people, from now on every Iranian will receive a special email address along with their postcode." He added that "With the assignment of an email address to every Iranian, government interactions with the people will take place electronically."


Independent experts doubt the plan, however, and say that the plan will most likely not materialize across the country as the newly elected president Hassan Rouhani, who has taken a softer line on Internet and web censorship, is due to be sworn-in in August.

Sega files million dollar lawsuit against THQ over Company of Heroes 2 pre-orders

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 10:05 pm

Last year, we saw the end of an era come to pass as long time game publisher THQ closed up shop and bid the gaming world farewell forever. Unfortunately, there are some who feel that the now-defunct company still owes them a slice of the pie.




This morning, the once great gaming giant Sega has announced its intentions to sue the bankrupt publisher for almost $1 million over pre-orders of the game Company of Heroes 2. According to Sega, just over 20,750 pre-orders for the game were placed on Steam between September 2012 and January 2013. This equates to around $1.3 million in revenue from pre-order sales alone.


Website Eurogamer has pointed out that after Valve takes its one-third cut, Sega is left with a payout of $941,000 after THQ's filing. Sega claims they are owed this money because they purchased the developer of Company of Heroes 2, Relic Games, in late 2012 and is owed the revenue from those pre-orders taking place on Steam.

Google experiences outages earlier this morning, internet panics

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 9:04 pm

Some Google users were shocked to find the service not available this morning, which caused a small bout of mass hysteria on social networking sites such as Facebook. The outages began around 9:30 AM ET and reports began to surface on Facebook and Twitter shortly thereafter.




An hour later, around 10:30 AM ET, all of Google services had appeared to be restored and back to their full functionality. Among the services affected were Google+, Google Drive, YouTube, and Gmail. The outages appear to have only affected those living in the southeast region of the United States, however, this reporter experienced no interruptions at all.

Continue reading 'Google experiences outages earlier this morning, internet panics' (full post)

Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V may be coming to PC after all

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 8:04 pm

Pretty much every PC gamer on the planet was disappointed when they learned that Rockstar Games had no intentions of publishing its upcoming Grand Theft Auto V title on PC. The series began on the PC and has a following unlike any other game, not to mention an entire community based around modding the game on PC.




This morning it appears that there may be a little hope for those eagerly anticipating a GTA V PC launch. In a since-removed job advertisement, Rockstar appears to be seeking a graphics programmer to work at the company's Leeds studio "to help bring our latest titles to the PC platform." The advertisement was first spotted by fansite RockstarWatch.


The advertisement explained that the graphics programmer would be working with Rockstar Studios world-wide to port existing titles to the PC. With all of the company's previous titles being available on the PC, this can only mean that Grand Theft Auto as well as Red Dead Redemption will be coming to the PC in the future.

Google rolls out public alert and crisis map for Taiwan as a Typhoon barrels down on the island

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 7:03 pm

As typhoon season approaches, Google has expanded its Public Alerts system to include Taiwan and has launched a dedicated crisis map for the country in preparation for the rainy season. These new additions come just in time as weather agencies are currently monitoring a typhoon that can hit the island any day now.




In a blog post this morning, Google said that starting today, the Google Public Alerts page (Source #2) will feature severe weather alerts for typhoons and flood-related events in Taiwan. Additionally, these alerts will also appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Now. For example, if a typhoon alert is issued, the alert will be displayed once you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Now on Android or iOS will also display a card with information about any typhoon alert if the warning has been issued near your location.


Google has also launched a dedicated Google Crisis Map for Taiwan (Source #3) that provides details in the event of a crisis such as shelter locations, evacuation routes, and much more. Google has teamed up with Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, Water Resource Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau, Directorate General of Highways, and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction to get such a project up and running.

Continue reading 'Google rolls out public alert and crisis map for Taiwan as a Typhoon barrels down on the island' (full post)

Plants vs Zombies 2 for iOS "soft-launches" in Australia and New Zealand

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:02 pm

Pop Cap Games has announced this morning that it has soft-launched the long-awaited Plants vs Zombies 2 for iOS in both Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, it appears that the rollout stops there. Unlike traditional App Store launches, there will be no additional rollouts to other regions at midnight as the rest of the world will have to wait until later this summer to get their zombie killing on.




Electronic Arts, the parent company of PopCap, says that the reason for this delay is so that the company can test out all of the new systems and features that have been built into the game. Originally a global rollout was scheduled for July 18, but it appears that EA is not taking any chances and wants this launch to go better than some of the titles it has released earlier in the year.


In a statement EA had the following to say:


We've added a bunch of new features that allow us to take advantage of new technologies to make a better experience for our players, and those innovations require us to perform some large tests to make sure we are ready for our worldwide audience to play.

RumorTT: Foxconn said to be hiring new "skilled" workers in preperation for upcoming iPhone production

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 10, 2013 5:05 pm

This morning, China Business News is reporting that Foxconn has began recruiting on a large scale for new workers in preparations for the manufacturing ramp-up of both of Apple's new iPhones. They're reporting that recruiters in Zhengzhou in the Henan province of China have been seeking out skilled labor on a massive scale.




The Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou reportedly has capacity for an additional 90,000 workers which would bring it back up to its 300,000 workers we saw back during the 2012 holiday season. If last year's demand for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini are any indication of how this year's iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone sales will go, it makes sense that Foxconn bolster its labor force sooner than later.


In addition to the two new iPhones, the company is expected to also release updated versions of its iPad and iPad mini and some analysts even expect a newer model of Apple TV to be released just before the holiday season.

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