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Microsoft releases the DirectX 11.1 specification

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: May 2, 2012 5:15 am

Microsoft have unleashed upon the world, the DirectX 11.1 specifications. There's a massive list of things that are being included, so don your thinking cap and get directly into it! We shouldn't expect too much to change until consoles are updated with next-gen GPUs, which should hopefully happen next year.


Until then, it's a nice list and we should expect some small changes to the way games are made, look and react. Nonetheless, the specifications are neat, and as a tech junkie, this is just another fix for me, and hopefully you. Check out the latest DirectX 11.1 specifications below:




Shader Tracing and Compiler Enhancements

Direct3D 11.1 lets you use shader tracing to ensure that your code is performing as intended and if it isn't you can discover and remedy the problem. The SDK for Windows 8 Consumer Preview contains HLSL compiler enhancements. Shader tracing and the HLSL compiler are implemented in D3dcompiler_nn.dll.

Continue reading 'Microsoft releases the DirectX 11.1 specification ' (full post)

Spotted: Ahead of it's May 10 unveiling, MSI's GEFORCE GTX 670 poses for the camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: May 2, 2012 4:56 am

NVIDIA are on a roll, nothing can stop them right now it seems and now we have the first pictures of MSI's GEFORCE GTX 670. The GTX 670 will be NVIDIA's third SKU based on the GK104 GPU, and is set to compete directly with Team Red's Radeon HD 7950 GPU.




The card looks to be pure reference design, and only sports two 6-pin PCI-e connectors. I know you want to get into the specifications of the card itself, so lets do that, shall we? The GTX 670 sports 1344 CUDA cores, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface with 2GB of RAM and clock speeds on the Core of 900MHz, 1250MHz or 5GHz effective on the memory.




Non-reference cards that come through in the next few months should sport much shorter PCBs thanks to slim VRM requirements, and just 8 memory chips. DIsplay outputs include two dual-link DVIs, one DisplayPort and one HDMI. The box does state "OC Edition", which means it should come out of the box with overclocked speeds. Also, I'm interested to see what this new technology "DispalyPort" can do, you'll know what I mean when you see it.

Razer get angry, release Razer Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: May 2, 2012 4:27 am

Razer, on their conquest of gaming peripheral world domination have released another gaming mouse in the form of the Razer Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition. This new mouse from Razer is perfectly suited to hack n' slash, MOBA and action RPG games, such as Diablo III which drops in two weeks time.




It sports the same 6 mechanical side buttons as its predecessor, the Razer Naga Hex. But the new Red Edition just looks, evil, hot, and delicious. The new mouse is suited for the clicky-clicky-type games such as League of Legends, Diablo III, WoW, and more.


It's available right now through, in the US, and will arrive everywhere else sometime in Q2. It's priced at $79.99 and has the following features:


  • 6 MOBA/action-RPG optimized mechanical thumb buttons
  • 11 total programmable buttons
  • Special switches in buttons for up to 250 clicks per minute
  • 10 million click life cycle
  • Ergonomic curved design
  • Razer Synapse 2.0
  • 5600 dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Laser Sensor

Samsung intros Series 7 Gamer, an Ivy Bridge-powered gaming laptop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 2, 2012 3:24 am

Samsung have just unveiled their Series 7 Gamer notebook, and whilst you might think "Samsung... Gaming notebook... really?", you might want to think twice! It is definitely specced very nicely, and it looks awesome, too.




Let's talk some specs, the Series 7 Gamer notebook sports a 17.3-inch next-generation Full HD LCD with Samsung's SuperBright technology which gives a 400-nit screen, which is up to 50-percent brighter than traditional PCs. An Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU fills out the CPU duties, it supports up to 16GB of RAM, up to a 1.5TB HDD, and comes with an NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 675M GPU for your gaming needs.


Filling out the specs, we have Dolby Home Theater v4 speakers, Windows 7 Home Premium, a 2.0-megapixel webcam, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and it weighs in at 13.34lb, as well as a battery life of around 3.7 hours. Price? Just $1899.99.



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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 2, 2012 2:21 am

The day has come. The Treyarch-produced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer is here, and I'm kind of speechless. Before I get into what I think of the trailer, check it out below for yourself, then we'll talk about it:



There you have it, the trailer to a game that most likely has a budget of over $100 million, yet looks like it could've been produced 6 years ago or more. Jaggies everywhere, low-res textures, facial animation from the NES ages. That's what it feels like, anyway. If Crysis and Battlefield, and countless other better looking games had not come before it, then I wouldn't care. But the bar has been raised, significantly.




COD: Black Ops 2 gets below this bar, throws up on the floor and has a fit in its own mess. It tries to get back up, slips over and repeats this pattern every 12 months or so, around November.


But, it will sell, big time. Of course, this is only my opinion, but the gaming industry is better than this. Much better than this. Looks like some dumb fun for a while, though. I won't be touching it.

Nokia to get rid of their Vertu division

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 2, 2012 1:29 am

Nokia currently owns the luxury-focused brand 'Vertu', but with their recent financial troubles are looking to get rid of the brand. Permira, a private equity group who also owns big fashion brands such as New Look, Hugo Boss and Valentino are expected to acquire Vertu, in a deal worth approximately $265 million.




Goldman Sachs have been advising Nokia on how to get out of their current financial problems, where last week Nokia announced a Q1 operating loss of just under $2 billion, which was then followed by credit rating downgrades by both Fitch and Standard & Poor. Nokia are pinning hopes on future with Microsoft and Windows Phone, as well as lowering costs by relocating factories to the Far East.


Vertu is a UK-based company that was set up in 1998 to create prestige phones fit for the super rich who are after top end designer brands. Vertu phones are hand fabricated using precious metals, gems and other artisan materials. Phones can be upward of a quarter million dollars, which is a little out of reach of say an iPhone, or similar.

Facebook intros a 'life-saving' feature to users' Timelines

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 1, 2012 11:29 pm

Often Facebook receives complaints and heat over privacy concerns and constant changes the layout. However, today's minor tweak won't garner complaints over a layout change and, likely, won't receive complaints over privacy concerns. No, today's tweak is likely to gain acclaim, at least among the medical world.




So, what is today's tweak? Facebook has now added an option to show that you are an organ donor on your Timeline. It also provides an option to share this decision with your friends in order to increase awareness. Hopefully as people select and share this, more people will join in and make the decision to become an organ donor.


After all, 18 Americans die each day waiting for an organ transplant that never comes. "By simply telling people that you're an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role," Zuckerberg explained. The feature is currently only available in the United States. I, for one, will be making the change to my profile.

Blizzard to take up to 15 percent of Diablo III real-money auction house sales

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 1, 2012 10:34 pm

Not everyone is exactly ecstatic about Blizzard offering real money auctions in the upcoming Diablo III game. I, too, see some issues with it, but that is for another article. Claims that Blizzard is trying to cash in on the game's second hand digital market have run rampant since its announcement of the plan last summer.




Blizzard will charge a flat $1 fee (or a rough local equivalent) for unique equipment like armor, weapons, or accessories. For common "stackable" commodities, Blizzard will charge 15%. This 15% charge even applies for strictly in-game gold transactions. The hope behind that is that it will stem inflation in the in-game economy.


Players will also get hit with another 15% fee when they try to transfer their funds from their account to a third party service such as PayPal. The only way to avoid this is to spend the money on other Blizzard items such as a WoW subscription. The move of Blizzard allowing real money trading and taking a part in it will help stem the grey market of other companies doing the exact same thing. It should improve customer service and reduce scams.

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Skyrim DLC Dawnguard Coming This Summer

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 1, 2012 9:32 pm

After weeks of teasing us about the upcoming DLC for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda has finally released more details about the coming DLC. First off, the name of the DLC is going to be 'Dawnguard.' I've never actually played Skyrim, so I can't say if that is some sort of reference to something in the game.




The marketing teaser image shows the usual hero. However, he has an unusual yellow glow in his eyes which could signal that the hero could be gaining some sort of new powers in the DLC. As we reported previously, gamers have dug around in a patch and found references to things that most likely will be showing up in the DLC.


Bethesda says that Dawnguard will debut on Xbox360 sometime this summer. In case you hadn't heard, the first two DLCs for Skyrim will be timed exclusives for Xbox 360. PS3 and PC gamers will have to wait at least an additional 30 days beyond the release. Technically, summer starts at the end of May, but it's doubtful that it will be that early. Bethesda says they are waiting for E3 in early June to release more details. I'll be attending E3, so I'll make sure to get the low down!

Gmail now automatically converts foreign language email to user's own language

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 1, 2012 8:34 pm

Google is constantly trying to improve its products for the end users' sake. Often times Google first puts new features into the Labs section of Google. These Labs are basically beta versions of features they plan to add to existing projects or as brand new projects. Every now and again the more popular labs get promoted to full versions.




Today just happens to be one of those days for one lucky Lab project. There was a Lab that has been around since 2009 that uses Google Translate to translate e-mails in a foreign language to that of the user. It works in a similar manner to the way Google Chrome recognizes foreign language websites and offers to convert them.


A few other more minor tweaks have also been promoted from Labs. These features include a tweak to change the title on the tab of a Gmail page. The tweak places the number of unread e-mails first. Another Lab improves the Mute button's ability to stop you from being harassed by company-wide reply all e-mails. The tweaks are said to be live, so check them out yourselves!

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