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Pebble feels festive, donates 4,000 Pebble smartwatches

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 10:32 am

Pebble has just announced its new project, the Pebble Education Project, where it donated some 4,000 Pebble smartwatches to CS and engineering students at CMU, Stanford, MIT, Virginia Tech and other tech schools across the United States.

 

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The estimated cost to Pebble is around $600,000, but giving out its smartwatches to tech-based schools is only going to result in returned business for the smartwatch maker. Thousands of applications for the Pebble have been received, with the new SDK being unleashed, it should be good times ahead for the Pebble smartwatch.

LG G2 to receive Android 4.4 KitKat update early 2014 worldwide

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 8:33 am

It looks like LG G2 smartphone owners will receive a late Christmas present, with Android 4.4 KitKat being rolled out in South Korea later this month, and internationally in early 2014.

 

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It should've come sooner, considering the Nexus 5 - the smartphone that unleashed the deliciously named mobile OS from Google into the world - is built from the G2. American G2 owners might not see the KitKat update until Q2 2014, which is a disappointment. Europe should receive it next month, Canada will receive it in March.

Avatar sequels to be filmed in New Zealand, $500 million+ to be spent

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 7:37 am

The New Zealand government has inked a deal with James Cameron and major studios for not one, but three Avatar sequels to be filmed in the country. New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, announced the news, stating that there would be a budget of at least $NZ500 million ($461 million or so) spent locally during its production.

 

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Where Cameron and the movie studios benefit by shooting in NZ, is that if the three Avatar movies meet the requirements of the deal between the NZ government and the studios, they will qualify for a total tax rebate of 25%, which gets pumped into the Avatar movies. The requirements include:

 

  • Spending at least $NZ500 million in New Zealand, including most of the live action shooting and visual effects.
  • New Zealand hosting at least one official red carpet premiere, and a featurette on New Zealand being included in DVDs and Blu Rays.
  • An offer by Cameron to serve as a founding member of a new screen advisory board, which will provide advice and guidance to New Zealand screen and film makers looking to succeed internationally.
  • Marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry.

 

The new movies will reach us on Christmas 2017, 2018, and 2019.

ASUS PadFone X spotted in AnTuTu benchmark

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 6:51 am

It looks like ASUS could have a great year in 2014 with its PadFone line of devices, with a new PadFone turning up on AnTuTu's benchmark database, which was pulled down quite quick.

 

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The PadFone X, as it was teased, featured the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, Android 4.4 KitKat, and smashed into some benchmarks, smacking around a few of the established smartphone heavyweights. The screen resolution on the PadFone X should be 1920x1080, but we don't know what size just yet. 2GB of RAM is featured, and 16GB of on-board flash storage should make the cut.

 

We should see a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, backed up by a decent front-facer, but that 5-megapixel camera on the rear is most likely a placeholder for something better in the final consumer version. We should be expecting 8-megapixel cameras by default now. ASUS should unveil the PadFone X sometime in early 2014.

Spare $10,000? You could buy this 24-carat-gold-plated Xbox One

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 6:39 am

British company, Harrods, is selling a 24-carat-gold-plated Xbox One for a little under $10,000: at $9778.80, is it a bargain? At this price, it is 19x the cost of a single Xbox One, which is kinda ridiculous to those without millions in their accounts.

 

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It does look gorgeous, but I don't think the extra $9000+ really justifies this. For the rich and famous, or those obsessed with gold, it could be the perfect Christmas present, right? Better get to editing that list for Santa, folks!

Bungbungame Project S high-end smartphone, just $299

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 6:35 am

Our friends over at New Gadgets have been on the ground with Bungbungame, a company that took to crowdfunding through Indiegogo for its Project S smartphone.

 

 

I've never heard of the Project S smartphone until now, but wow does it pack a punch: 8-core processor, 3GB of RAM, WQHD resolution, a body made from glass and aluminum, but the best bit? Just $299. Yes, $299. We're looking at a 5.8-inch 2560x1440 screen, which is just super impressive, especially given its $299 price.

 

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The Project S is just a prototype right now, but with a finalized design, we should expect everything you see here for $299. For shooting abilities, we have a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing snapper. Expandable storage is also featured, which is a nice touch these days.

McLaren to use force field of sound waves, replaces windshield wipers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 5:39 am

McLaren's Chief Designer, Frank Stephenson, has teased that a new system will be placed in McLaren's new vehicles, which will replace the ageing windshield wipers with some next-gen wipers.

 

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The new wipers use ultrasound to send 30kHz waves across the vehicle's windshield, which would keep it clear from any debris, even those tiny insect remains that build up on your windshield, even after you've used the wipers over and over. The way it works is by creating a force field that stops rain, snow and insects from even touching the windshield itself.

 

If McLaren can get this technology working as it has said, I'm sure we'll see most other car makers using McLaren's patent and rolling the technology across vehicles all around the world starting ASAP.

Yet another Battlefield 4 patch, fixing and breaking things as usual

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 5:34 am

EA DICE has pushed out the December 16 patch for Battlefield 4 on the PC, which fixes a list of bugs, but has its own issues, too. The new update improves BF4's netcode, so that it will hopefully stop "kill trading".

 

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Kill trading is something where two players who fire at each other, and die in the same place. The patch fixes the amount of time where players with high pings should already be dead, but get the kill instead. The patch also fixes:

 

  • Fix for a crash that would cause the game to stall, resulting in a sound loop. This should eliminate most of the problems relating to this.
  • Fix for the SUAV (introduced in the China Rising expansion pack) not exploding when hitting enemy soldiers. While these indeed should be deadly, they were never designed for "roadkilling" opponents.
  • Fixed one of the issues related to the so-called "Netcode" (see below for details).
  • Fix for an issue where 4x the damage from a vehicle's minigun would be applied to the chest when a player had the Defense specialization equipped.
  • Fix for player tags not always showing when needed to, resulting in players shooting team members.
  • Fix for graphical flickering appearing on terrain.
  • Fixed the instance where players suddenly would transition into Spectator Mode while playing the Defuse game mode.
  • Fix for a Defuse bug where none of the teams would win a round by letting the timer run out.
  • Fix for players getting stuck in the revive screen after being killed.
  • Fix for players getting stuck in the kill camera after being revived.
  • Fix for the game mode specific ribbons being counted twice in the multiplayer progression.
  • Made NVIDIA 331.82 or later driver versions mandatory for all players.
  • Disabled DirectX 11.1 on NVIDIA cards that have outdated drivers.
  • Fixed driver version not being properly detected on NVIDIA Optimus systems.
  • Fixed a minor crash that could occur when bringing up the scoreboard.

 

But, there are new issues: users with NVIDIA GeForce SLI systems, like myself, get massive flickering issues - with the only option to stop this is by disabling SLI. DICE has said: "Both of these have our attention, and we're investigating them."

RumorTT: Google to design its own chips, would abandon Intel

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 4:36 am

At the moment, Google leans on Intel for its processors that make things happen in its servers across the world, but the latest rumors point to this possibly changing.

 

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It looks like Google could move from being just a software and services company, to a full hardware designer, too. Bloomberg is reporting that Google engineers are possibly working on their own custom server processor, which would feature ARM-based technology, the same technology found inside that Android smartphones and tablets.

 

Google currently designs its own server systems, but making its own processors would make it a near Google-run process. Moving in this direction would lessen its reliance on Intel, which currently chews up most of the server market. Time will tell.

Apple rolls out OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 update

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 3:24 am

Today Apple released an update to its current OS X Mavericks operating system. The update brings OS X up to version 10.9.1 and is rather small in comparison to previous OS X updates. The update only takes care of bugs and software issues and does not install any new features either.

 

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The biggest fix has been applied to the mail app, which fixes integration with Gmail, and stabilizes everything for a more reliable experience. A bug that prevented Voice Over from reading out sentences that featured an Emoji has been fixed as well. For the full list of fixes and to download the update yourself, head over to the source link below.

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