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Ubisoft's Watch Dogs said to be releasing in mid-November

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 10:33 pm

According to a Joystiq report, Ubisoft's much-anticipated game Watch Dogs will be releasing in mid-November. The report says that North America will be getting the game on November 19 and the United Kingdom will be getting it on November 22.




Watch Dogs will be released on all current gaming systems, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, as well as PC, the PlayStation 4, and next-generation consoles, such as the Xbox 720.


The UK version will reportedly be available in four different editions: Dedsec, Vigilante, Uplay, and Special Edition. Dedsec will come with a 23cm figurine, while the Vigilante will come with Aiden Pearce's cap and mask. Uplay, available through Ubisoft's digital distributioin network will reportedly come with a steelbook and the Special Edition will reportedly come with an extra single player mission. North American bundles are not currently known.

Virgin Galactic successfully completes first test flight of its commercial space plane

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 10:01 pm

Our readers seem to have quite an interest in space, and who wouldn't? As part of the commercialization of space and space travel, Virgin Galactic has successfully completed the first test flight of its space plane, which will eventually be used to take ordinary citizens into space.




Don't start packing your bags quite yet, though, as Virgin Galactic didn't even make it into space on this first test flight. The plane behaved as expected and flew for around 10 minutes before returning to the ground. It was shuttled to an altitude of 47,000 feet before being released to fly on its own.


After being released, the plane flew up to 55,000 feet and broke the sound barrier. Virgin Galactic expect to test the plane in space by the end of the year and plan to have real flights for everyone available starting in 2015.


Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson:

The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date. For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today's supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship's powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year's end. We saw history in the making today and I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved.

Apple lays foundation for first-ever debt sale as part of stock buyback program

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 9:32 pm

Apple has laid the foundation for its first-ever debt sale. The company that has over $140 billion in cash and not a single penny of debt has decided to sell bonds in order to raise capital for its $60 billion share buyback program. It needs to raise capital because only about $45 billion of its cash is in the United States.




Interestingly, Apple was not rated a Triple A rating, even with all of the cash it has on hand. It is expected that Apple could cheaply raise funds, possibly cheaper than Microsoft, due to the current interest rate and notoriety of Apple. Investors are expected to jump at the chance to buy up some of Apple's debt.


S&P rated Apple as AA+ for debt and Moody's rated it Aa1. Moody's analyst Gerald Granovsky:


Apple's Aa1 rating is not higher due to Moody's view that there are inherent long-run risks for any company with high exposure to shifting consumer preferences.


Bankers expect Apple to issue 10-year bonds at roughly 45bp-50bp over Treasuries. Microsoft, on the other hand, recently sold 10-year bonds at 70 basis points over Treasuries.

Twitter accounts continue to be hacked, this time Guardian has some accounts compromised

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 9:02 pm

Twitter continues to be in the news and not for good things. Twitter accounts continue to be compromised left and right, though not because of a bug in Twitter's system. Often times these accounts are compromised because the owner used a weak password, fell victim of a phishing scam, or simply told someone else.




But that doesn't mean Twitter is off the hook. The micro-blogging site needs to hurry up and release its two-factor authentication in order to help prevent against these visible hackings. The latest accounts to be compromised are ones of the Guardian, a daily publication in the UK:


"We are aware that a number of Guardian Twitter accounts have been compromised and we are working actively to resolve this," a Guardian spokesperson said.


The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for these hacks, much like they claimed responsibility for the recent hackings of NPR, CBS, and Associated Press handles. It's not clear how exactly the Guardian handles were compromised, though it's likely they used a similar e-mail phishing tactic.

Microsoft demos technology designed to help game immersion

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 8:33 pm

As we near the Xbox 720 unveiling on May 21, Microsoft has come out to display some new reality-bending technology that aims to help with game immersion. The technology uses projectors to display aspects of the current game onto the walls surrounding your TV. The technology is known as IllumiRoom and will likely be present on the Xbox 720.



The technology, seen in the above video, is pretty awesome. I can see where people will end up building rooms specifically designed to make excellent use of IllumiRoom technology. Take a look at the video and let us know what you think of this technology. I, for one, am extremely excited to see this implemented in future games.

Continue reading 'Microsoft demos technology designed to help game immersion' (full post)

Blizzard announces Diablo III is now available for pre-order for the PS3

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 8:03 pm

Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft and Starcraft, has announced that Diablo III is now available for pre-order for the PlayStation 3 console. I'm sure most of our readers will remember that Diablo III originally launched last May for the PC and suffered some major launch issues.




Blizzard has not specified a specific release date, instead saying that "further release details, including region-specific availability, will be announced at a later date." Gamers who put down the $59.99 required to pre-order the game will be rewarded with an exclusive in-game item: the Infernal Helm.


Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment:

We've poured blood, sweat, and hellfire into creating an epic Diablo III experience for PlayStation gamers. In addition to including all the improvements from the PC version over the past year, we've made several updates to Diablo III for play on the PS3. We got a ton of positive feedback from players who tried the game at PAX East, and we can't wait to get it into everyone's hands later this year.


For more information, you can see Blizzard's full announcement here.

Check out Lightpack, an awesome new project on Kickstarter

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 7:31 pm

One of the TweakTown staff was browsing the latest Kickstarter projects and came across Lightpack, an awesome open-source project that projects colored light onto the wall behind your monitor or TV. The color is matched to what is currently being displayed on your screen, so it visually expands your screen size and aids with eye-strain commonly associated with viewing screens in the dark.




Since the device is open-source, many cool features can be added by the developers at large. Plugins can be developed that make the lights change color to notify of an incoming Skype call, unread e-mail, or even that a spell has been recharged in World of Warcraft. Overall, the system is really quite awesome.


For the makers out there, Lightpack has released the designs for the PCB, bill of materials, and other needed files and designs so you can build your own at home. For the less electrically-inclined, Lightpack is offering up pre-built units if you support the Kickstarter campaign. It's almost completely funded, needing just under $10,000 more by May 31.


Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

Corsair explains market position, is not being bought out by Francisco Partners

By: TweakTown Staff | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 7:12 pm

Corsair has just communicated information to us that states that Corsair is not being bought out by Francisco Partners (as previously reported), a private equity (PE) company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, which specializes in tech companies.




Corsair, however, has confirmed that it is in active talks with Francisco Partners for an injection of funds to the tune of $75 million to settle in a few weeks. Corsair explains that it won't change the management of the company or its direction that targets the gaming and enthusiast market, one which Corsair says is "growing and shows no signs of stopping".


It's little secret now that Corsair had plans to go public last year, but it was around the time that Facebook launched and saw less than stellar results. This caused Corsair to re-think its plans and come up with something new. The result, it seems, is working with Francisco Partners.

Continue reading 'Corsair explains market position, is not being bought out by Francisco Partners' (full post)

OS X 10.9 to include tabbed browsing in Finder and iOS style multitasking

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Apple will announce OS X 10.9 this June at WWDC and this morning we are learning of a few new features that the OS will see. The updated operating system is said to include two very sought after features. Tabbed browsing in Finder as well as tagging. The update will also bring forth iOS style multitasking and a new version of Safari.




The new version of File Explorer will allow users to switch between multiple folders via tabs which removes the hassle of multiple Finder windows. Users will also be able to tag documents and files from within Finder, making searching for items much easier.


The update, which is codenamed "Cabernet", will also see a Safari refresh that is said to improve speed and efficiency, but I suspect Google Chrome will still be the better choice in browsers. Finally the update is said to bring forth a very iOS-esque style of multitasking where background apps will be paused when not in the active window.

Samsung reimagines Gangnam Style into some form of Bollywood awkwardness, WTF?

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5:33 pm

It's Monday and after reducing your productivity already with Notch's new game, I would like to further prevent you from getting any work done by introducing you to this train wreck new Gangnam Style video produced Samsung to promote its Galaxy S4 in India.



If your jaw is now filthy from hitting the floor, I apologize, but this gem was just too good tragic not to share. Call me crazy, but I do not see "Samsung Style" hitting one billion views anytime soon, but stranger things have happened. I am sure we all remember the Klingon Style parody, and my personal favorite, NASA Johnson Style.




With this new Samsung Style video, we are left wondering who at Samsung thinks the recent live performance musical themed launches is a good idea. If I had to choose the best smartphone / product launch so far this year, I would have to choose the BlackBerry 10 launch. It was informative, and the product demonstrations were short and to the point. You have to admit though, these odd ball launch events are pure journalistic gold.

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