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TweakTown News Posts - Page 25

Sniper Elite 3 updated, now includes support for AMD's Mantle API

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 7:41 am

Rebellion has just updated Sniper Elite 3, with the game now joining the ranks of AMD's Mantle compatible games. The Head of Programming at Rebellion, Kevin Floyer-Lea explained that switching to a different API, is important not only for the gaming industry, but gamers, too.


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Sniper Elite 3 runs on the Asura engine, with Rebellion having to find a way to bake Mantle support in with the assets the developer had made for the DirectX version of the game. With Asura being a cross-platform title, it was easier than some engines, but a big task nonetheless. The Mantle-powered version of Sniper Elite 3 lowers the CPU overhead, thanks to more efficient calls within the Mantle API. You can see in the image below, that the Mantle version of the game uses less CPU power, but also provides increased FPS.


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We can see that using the Intel Core i7 3770K processor at stock speeds (3.5GHz), the DirectX 11 version of the game uses 23% of the 8 available threads, and provides 88FPS. The Mantle version of the game on the other hand, uses 21% CPU - 2% less than DX11 - and provides 100FPS, just over 10% added performance. Not bad, considering its free performance for Radeon users.

Ass test passed: Galaxy Note 4 won't crush under your butt

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 6:49 am

For those people who keep their phablets in their back pocket, the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung has passed an ass test. Samsung has shown the world the video below, titled 'Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Endures the Gluteus Maximus'.



Samsung's official blog tells us that the company pushed the Galaxy Note 4 through some serious tests during, and after development, as well as the production of the Note 4, all to ensure the company meets its strict quality control standards. One of these tests involved the use of a simulated, denim-class ass, which bent the phone to make sure it would survive the bend, unlike the iPhone 6 Plus and #BendGate.

Continue reading 'Ass test passed: Galaxy Note 4 won't crush under your butt' (full post)

Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion approved by the EU

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 5:12 am

It feels like so long ago that Facebook announced it was acquiring WhatsApp in a deal worth $19 billion in cash and stock, but the deal has just been approved by the European Union.


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One of the bigger concerns about the acquisition in Europe was that the deal would hurt the communication in the telecom market, but the EU has said that the acquisition will not impact the competition. European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: "We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps".

Vertu offers up its mid-tier Aster smartphone, priced at $6,900

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 3:32 am

For those out there with much more money to splash on a new smartphone, Vertu has just unveiled its new Aster smartphone, a mid-tier, titanium-built, Android-powered smartphone with a whopping $6,900 price tag.


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What do you get for close to $7,000? A 4.7-inch 1080p display, 5.1-inch 117-carat sapphire screen, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2.1-megapixel front facer, with the rear-facing snapper certified by Hasselblad, the company who had its technology in the cameras in the 1969 Moon landing.


64GB of internal flash storage, a 2,275mAh battery, front stereo speakers, NFC, Qi wireless charging, and LTE also make the cut. Vertu's CEO said: "Vertu is not here to follow general mass market mobile trends; our technology is leading edge but it doesn't have to be bleeding edge. The same goes for the physical design of Vertu products. The nature of our customers and of our products mean that we have to develop what is right for them, not follow generic broader industry design themes that may be more fleeting than those of the luxury market". The CEO added: "Many of our customers desire and appreciate compact size Vertu products that comfortably fit the inside the pocket of a well-tailored suit or in an expensive clutch bag".

Continue reading 'Vertu offers up its mid-tier Aster smartphone, priced at $6,900' (full post)

Apple to unveil new iPads and iMacs at its October 16 event

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 2:19 am

According to Recode, Apple is hosting a new media event on October 16, where it will unveil new iPads and iMacs. Recode's source state that the Cupertino-based iGiant will unveil its latest slates and revamped iMacs at the event.


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If the latest rumors are true, we should see Retina-powered desktops unveiled, which will be nice considering its 2014 and all. The previously rumored unveiling date was October 21, so it looks like Apple is bringing it forward a few days, and as usual, we will be covering everything unveiled from the event here at TweakTown.

Shadow of Mordor graphics compared against Xbox One, PS4 and PC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 5, 2014 1:26 am

Middle-earth - Shadow of Mordor is the latest game that is pushing PCs to their limits, with an Ultra HD graphics setting that requires a 3.7GB download, and up to 6GB of VRAM.



But, how does Shadow of Mordor compare against the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game? Well, the comparion version is above, with Mordor on Ultra, but without the Ultra HD textures enabled. This means the PC version can look even better than what is displayed above. Have you picked up Shadow of Mordor? If so, what do you think of it so far?

Continue reading 'Shadow of Mordor graphics compared against Xbox One, PS4 and PC' (full post)

Robert Downey Jr. will return in 'Iron Man 4' - on one condition

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Oct 4, 2014 11:00 pm

Earlier this month, Robert Downey Jr. sought to hose down speculation he would don the Iron Man armour for any more stand alone features. Well just a few weeks later, it seems he might be reconsidering his stance - although it does come with one very big stipulation.


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In what can only be considered negotiation through the press, in an interview with Deadline Hollywood to promote his new film 'The Judge', Downey Jr. seems keen to give Marvel and studio owner Disney a message: Get Mel Gibson and you've got me.


Following a discussion on the Hollywood rehabilitation of Mel Gibson after his regrettable comments a number of years ago, Deadline asked Downey Jr. point blank "How about the idea you'll do that movie if Mel directs it?" to which he answered "correct" before following up with "That movie would be bananas."


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We'd tend to agree. Gibson has previously helmed 'Braveheart' and 'The Passion of The Christ' and was last behind the camera in 2006's 'Apocalypto'.

Mercedes-Benz also testing its autonomous technology in United States

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Oct 3, 2014 4:39 pm

German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz is expanding its autonomous driving program from the Autobahn to the United States. Mercedes recently announced plans to test self-driving technology at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is perfect timing for Mercedes, able to use the old military base before it is turned over to the city for redevelopment.


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Mercedes will conduct simulation tests with autonomous vehicles using the base's 20 miles of paved roads, including technology that allows vehicles to communicate with one another and traffic lights.


"There's very limited connected infrastructure right now, and that's what we're trying to bring and expand throughout the country," said Jack Hall, Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) program manager, in an interview with local media. "The goal is to not have cars idling at stoplights, to reduce congestion and (achieve) the vision of zero automobile fatalities."

India teams up with the United States for the exploration of Mars

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 3, 2014 12:28 pm

With Mars being orbited by India's satellite Mangalyaan, it has spurred scientists back here on Earth for their next mission, with NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signing a new agreement to work together on the future exploration of Mars.


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The two space agencies also agreed to collaborate on observations and scientific analysis from their respective satellites that are orbiting Mars. With India now the first Asian nation to research to reach Mars, and the only country in the world that succeeded on its first attempt. NASA has its own Maven satellite that entered Mars' orbit two days before Mangalyaan arrived, with Maven the first spacecraft to explore the upper atmosphere of Mars, and Mangalyaan studying the surface of the planet, in search for evidence of methane, and more.


NASA spent north of $740 million on its latest journey to Mars, with India spending just a tenth of that, at a cost of $74 million. Analysts have said that this puts India directly into the big league when it comes to space, nudging out China and Japan in space exploration in one small step for the country. So far, Chinese and Japanese missions to orbit Mars have failed. In six more years, the two space agencies hope to launch NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR. NISAR will observe the Earth, measuring changes in our land surface. NASA said in a statement: "Nisar will improve our understanding of key impacts of climate change and advance our knowledge of natural hazards".

Continue reading 'India teams up with the United States for the exploration of Mars' (full post)

Google tried to acquire Cyanogen, refused, now seeks $1bn valuation

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 3, 2014 11:57 am

Just weeks out from Google's unveiling of the 5.9-inch Nexus 6 smartphone, the NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9 tablet and Android L, the company has reportedly met with the executives of Cyanogen Inc. to talk about an acquisition, which Cyanogen denied.


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Cyanogen is now talking of a Series C round of funding, with some large tech companies and investors in deep talks with the company, which seeks a valuation of close to $1 billion. How can a company who makes a modified version of Android be worth that much money? Simple: Cyanogen is reportedly in talks with taking its CyanogenMod OS to India through a manufacturer called Micromax. Micromax, along with Samsung, own the majority of the smartphone market in India, which could be just what Cyanogen needs to get its OS into the hands of tens of millions of consumers.


With Google being denied the chance to acquire Cyanogen, it could mean a different direction for Android, considering many experts prefer CyanogenMod even over stock Android, which is what Google places on its Nexus devices. With the Android Silver program in trouble, and a failed acquisition of a company that heavily modifies, and sometimes for the better your mobile OS, where will Google go now if it had its hopes on this acquisition going through?

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