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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2312

WD uses magical shrinking ray, starts shipping 7mm HDD for Ultrabooks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Apr 12, 2012 3:30 am

WD have just unveiled a new, 7mm tall 2.5-inch HDD that will slide straight into your already-thin Ultrabook, and other skinny devices. WDs new super-slim drives are capable of taking a shock of 400Gs, which is impressive as itself, but we're also impressed by the new single-platter WD Scorpio Blue drives being made available in both 500GB and 320GB capacities.




The drives still slot into the standard 9.5mm slots, making them perfect for virtually all small machines. Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager for WD client storage products says:


Consumers want thin and light personal computers, but the limited storage capacity of SSD-based notebooks forces them to pick and choose what files to bring from their library. With the release of the new WD Scorpio Blue 7 mm mobile hard drives, WD is able to offer capacity, reliability and data-protection features combined with excellent power management all in a slim form factor perfect for thin and light notebooks.


The new 7mm 2.5-inch drives also set an industry record for the lowest power consumption. WD puts this down to "Advanced power management features and algorithms optimize the way the drive seeks data, which significantly improves power consumption".

Continue reading 'WD uses magical shrinking ray, starts shipping 7mm HDD for Ultrabooks' (full post)

Hands-on gameplay impressions of Hawken from PAX East 2012

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 12, 2012 2:31 am

The crew over at Pixel Enemy had some serious hands-on time with Adhesive Games' free-to-play mech game, Hawken. They spent just over 20 minutes with the game, and uploaded a video onto YouTube so we can all check it out.



There are some seriously cool sequences in this game, and it just makes it want it more and more. The video does have an audio issue, where there are a few minutes that the gameplay footage audio overpowers the commentary, but it passes.


What do you think? Will you play this? It is free-to-play after all.

Continue reading 'Hands-on gameplay impressions of Hawken from PAX East 2012' (full post)

Flashback Removal Tool hits the web, find out of your Mac is infected

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 12, 2012 2:09 am

If you haven't already heard, Mac-based users have been hit by quite the virus scandal over the last few days in the form of "Flashback". In case you're wondering if you're infected, F-Secure are now offering an AppleScript that you can download, and run.




The tiny bit of software checks your Mac for Flashback, and if it finds it, removes it. Apple reportedly has a tool on its way too, but that's not here yet and F-Secure's is. If you want to check your system and feel a bit more secure, you can grab it here.


I just ran it on my MacBook Pro, and I'm clean. I didn't think I'd be infected, I was pretty confident, but I'm the kind of person who would rather be safe than sorry. Run it even if you don't think you're infected, and pass this news onto any of your Mac-based friends and family. Your enemies, well, I'll leave that devious decision to you.

Continue reading 'Flashback Removal Tool hits the web, find out of your Mac is infected' (full post)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 gets priced, 10.1-inch model will be $400

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 12, 2012 1:23 am

Samsung have just priced their new Galaxy Tab and Player series, where we now know the pricing of the 7- and 10.1-inch tablets. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will be $250, with its bigger brother, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will be priced at $400.




On top of this, Samsung have also unveiled the price of their Galaxy Player 3.6 which will cost you $150, or the 4.2 version for $200 exactly. Both of the Galaxy Tab 2 tablets will sport the latest Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, we well as an integrated IR blaster for universal remote capabilities, and more.


The two new Galaxy Player devices come in the aforementioned 3.6- and 4.2-inch variants, and should give Samsung yet another arm into the market with new customers wanting their latest wares. I wouldn't mind getting a few of these Galaxy devices for more video reviews, what do you think?

EA screws up, leaks first look at Crysis 3 through Origin download service

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 11:47 pm

I love it when companies screw up and release information on upcoming releases. Notably, the GTX 680 was posted for sale several times before the official launch. This time it is EA that screwed up. They posted Crysis 3 artwork on EA's digital download service Origin which gives us a first look at the yet unannounced game.




The image was only published briefly before being redacted, but someone saw, and saved, the image and it has since started circulating the internet. The details on the game are pretty unclear since nothing has been announced, but the image gives us a small insight into what could be in the next game.


Mainly, the image shows a crossbow being used by someone in the iconic nanosuit. This is the first time a crossbow or something similar has been used in any of the Crysis games. It appears to be set in a city, against many people's cries to return to the jungle. I would like to see it return to the jungle as well.


The game is expected to retail for $49.99 and be available for PC, Xbox, and PS. A release date is not set, but an announcement of the game is expected to come later this month. I loved the first Crysis and subsequent Crysis: Warhead but I haven't gotten a chance to play Crysis 2. I look forward to Crysis 3.

Nicholas Merrill's Non-profit ISP start up promises fully encrypted, private Internet

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 10:36 pm

Sticking it to the man or sticking up for the consumer? I'll let you be the judge. Nicholas Merrill is creating a new non-profit ISP which he describes as a "non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption." His goal is to create a system that is so encrypted that not even the ISP itself can snoop on its customers.




The system, theoretically, could make it impossible for the ISP to respond to copyright infringement requests or authority requests. You may ask how is this legal. Well, according to Merrill, it depends on a provision in a 1994 federal law called CALEA. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act makes sure that ISPs are not held responsible for decrypting data if they don't have the information to do so.


If Mr. Merrill creates the service properly, not even the ISP would know what's going on in the system. This would allow them to operate directly under the protection of the CALEA law. Merrill dealt with the government and FBI in a legal battle for 6 years over his NYC ISP. That caused him to come up with this plan to protect himself and his users. He is attempting to raise $2 million in the next couple of weeks before the service launches.

Amazon is adding CDs to its trade-in program, will exchange for gift cards

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Announced today, Amazon is now accepting used audio CDs through its trade-in program. In exchange for your used and unwanted CDs you will receive Amazon Gift Cards. Amazon's current program allows old electronic gadgets, textbooks, DVDs, and games to be turned in for gift cards. The program covers shipping costs.




The CDs are expected to be added to the program today, but it's not yet available on the Amazon website. Because of this, I am unable to say just how much money you will get for your CDs, but I can't expect it will be much. I would hope it's at least enough to get digital copies of half the tracks from the CD you sent in. More as it becomes available.

RumorTT: Xbox 720 to feature a 16-core CPU and HD7000 class graphics

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 8:29 pm

This is one of the more ridiculous rumors that I've heard regarding the upcoming Xbox 720/Next, so let's start off with some traditions and superstitions. First, the tradition: get out some salt and throw it over your shoulder. Second, the superstition: knock on some wood, because if this rumor is true, the next Xbox could be one beast of a gaming device.




The latest issue of Xbox World reports that the devkits for the upcoming Xbox were sent out after some secret meetings were held in London. The devkits don't look like the final product, but the hardware included is supposed to be representative of the final consumer product.


XBW's sources suggest that the devkit is powered by a state of the art 16-core IBM Power PC CPU with a GPU that is in the range of the AMD HD 7000 series of GPUs. The 16-core CPU is the interesting piece, and the most curious part of the upcoming Xbox. Most games only take advantage of a max of 4 cores. Additionally, 16-core CPUs are still in the future for desktop gaming rigs.


XBW explains: "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power." Both Sony and Microsoft have denied showing the next-gen console at E3. Game makers, however, are looking towards an LA debut for their next-gen software.

FCC and wireless carriers prepare to blacklist stolen phones

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 7:33 pm

This is something that I've been dreaming about ever since I first got a cell phone. The FCC and all four major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to create a central database of stolen phones. This will allow all of the carriers to deny service to any reported stolen phones. No longer will there be a temptation to steal phones.




Additionally, carriers will start to encourage users to use lock screen passwords. The new database has come around due to the staggering statistics regarding phone theft in the United States. "We made sure that they saw the statistics, that they understood how important this was to the police chiefs," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "And to their credit they said, 'You know what? You're right. This is a priority, we're going to get it done.'"


The debate began a few months ago due to the increase of violent crimes involving cell phone theft. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this will reduce cell phone theft, at least to some degree, because the phones will be rendered useless. However, they could be stolen and resold to an unsuspecting customer. This, I believe, will result in some residual cell phone theft.

Verizon implementing $30 upgrade fee starting April 22

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 6:22 pm

Following in the footsteps of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon has announced that starting April 22 they will charge you a $30 fee to have the privilege to sign a new two-year contract and upgrade your phone with a new, subsidized, one. It's just another way that cell carriers are trying to recoup their margins that have been undermined by subsidies for the iPhone and similar.




Verizon tries to claim the fee is for some other uses, but in my opinion, it's strictly for profit margins: "This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever."


There is a way to mitigate the cost of upgrade. Verizon notes that if you make use of its "green trade-in program" that the fee can be mitigated or completely offset. The program is available here. If you are due for an upgrade and are on Verizon, I highly suggest that you do your upgrade before April 22.

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