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TweakTown News Posts - Page 39

Elgato reveals new Stream Deck streaming hub

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 7:17 pm

Elgato has just revealed its new "Project Evolve" device, which has been announced as the unique Stream Deck.

 

 

Elgato's latest Stream Deck is pretty much everything I predicted it would be. The device features 15 customizable buttons that can do a number of different things, including switching programs, inputs, and triggering visual and aural memes to pop up on your content. The Stream Deck is hailed as a revolutionary device that brings "tactile control to content creators" by essentially acting as a dedicated control board for scene switching, streaming, and much more.

 

"We revolutionized gameplay sharing with Game Capture HD and now we're taking live content creation to the next level with Stream Deck," said Julian Fest, General Manager Elgato Gaming. "It provides streamers with a level of control that used to be exclusive to mainstream entertainment broadcasters."

Continue reading 'Elgato reveals new Stream Deck streaming hub' (full post)

Battle.net client is now called 'Blizzard'

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 12:46 pm

Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net client is simply called "Blizzard," signalling the end of a long-running era.

 

battle-net-now-called-blizzard_15

 

Twenty years ago Blizzard launched Battle.net as an online service for the original Diablo on PC. Now Blizzard is apparently making its move to retire the name for good, scrubbing all mention of the iconic brand from its host client. Back in September 2016 the company announced Battle.net would change to "Blizzard tech," and completely betray two decades of familiarity in the process.

 

Since I haven't fired up Battle.net in quite some time, I have before and after proof of the name change that I've included below. You can clearly see that Battle.net has been changed to the regular Blizzard logo in the upper left hand side of the client.

Continue reading 'Battle.net client is now called 'Blizzard'' (full post)

Mass Effect: Andromeda faces prove it needed more time

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 11:07 am

Mass Effect: Andromeda has a real problem with its facial animations. Yes, you can still play the game and get somewhat used to it, but they absolutely break the immersion for people like me, leading to gamers pretty much not getting invested or caring about NPCs. And, of course, the faces have led the game to become a laughing stock on the internet. So what went wrong? An ex-Mass Effect animator might have some answers.

 

naughty-dog-dev-explains-mass-effect-andromedas-faces_1

 

Before Jonathan Cooper signed up to work at Naughty Dog, he helped BioWare animate Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Cooper is also known for helping bring a number of triple-A games to life, including the impressive Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, so it's fair to say he knows exactly what he's talking about.

 

Cooper recently gave some key insight on what might've gone wrong with Mass Effect: Andromeda's bizarre faces, highlighting just how complicated it is to animated a RPG with extensive dialog sequences. In fact, it's a mammoth undertaking with a million moving parts (quite literally). Cooper guesses that Mass Effect: Andromeda essentially lowered its facial animation quality to meet the game's deadline, and hints it should've been delayed to extend the dev cycle. "Andromeda seems to have lowered the quality of its base algorithm, resulting in the "my face is tired" meme featuring nothing but lip-sync. This, presumably, was because they planned to hit every line by hand. But a 5-year dev cycle shows they underestimated their task."

Continue reading 'Mass Effect: Andromeda faces prove it needed more time' (full post)

Netflix has 25 new original TV/movies ready for April

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 9:08 am

Netflix is ramping up for a big month, with 25 new original TV shows next month alone - including the first two installments of the huge return of Dave Chappelle, a deal that will see Chappelle earning $60 million.

 

netflix-25-new-original-tv-shows-ready-april_04

 

As for the new shows, this is what to expect, and their debut dates - the asterix means they're feature-length films:

 

  1. Chewing Gum, season 2 (April 4th)
  2. Louis C.K. 2017 (April 4th)
  3. El Faro De Las Orcas (April 7th)*
  4. Dawn of the Croods, season 3 (April 7th)
  5. The Get Down: Part 2 (April 7th)
  6. Win It All (April 7th)
  7. Chelsea, season 2 (April 14th)
  8. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (April 14th)
  9. Sandy Wexler (April 14th)*
  10. Slam (April 15th)*
  11. Lucas Brothers: On Drugs (April 18th)
  12. Bill Nye Saves the World, season 1 (April 21st)
  13. Girlboss, season 1 (April 21st)
  14. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, season 1 (April 21st)
  15. The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show, season 4 (April 21st)
  16. Sand Castle (April 21st)*
  17. Tales by Light, season 2 (April 21st)
  18. Tramps (April 21st)*
  19. The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared (April 25th)*
  20. Vir Das: Abroad Understanding (April 25th)
  21. Las Chicas del Cable, season 1 (April 27th)
  22. Casting JonBenet (April 28th)
  23. Dear White People, season 1 (April 28th)
  24. Rodney King (April 28th)*
  25. Small Crimes (April 28th)*

Facebook Messenger now features mentions and reactions

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 7:38 am

Facebook has made quite a few tweaks to Messenger, with reactions and @-mentions added - you can now react to individual messages, or even tag a specific friend in a group chat.

 

facebook-messenger-now-features-mentions-reactions_03

 

When you're using Messenger, reacting to a message is as easy as pressing and holding a message to see Facebook's love/laugh/cry emojis to show up. A small counter will add up the reactions, showing you who exactly is spamming that emoji button - it even has its own notification on your lock screen, a nice touch by Facebook.

 

Moving onto the mentions feature, where you just need to use the @ symbol, and then Messenger will show a drop down menu of all of the people in the chat - you can then tag their name, and they'll receive an individual notification.

 

These new features should be rolling out to Messenger users now, and over the next few days.

Futuremark deploys Vulkan API test in 3DMark

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 5:42 am

The big stress for new GPU architectures and the latest and greatest graphics cards, like NVIDIA's fresh GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and AMD's upcoming Radeon RX Vega - are the new APIs in Vulkan and DirectX 12. Futuremark has just announced that there is a new API Overhead test that replaces Mantle with Vulkan - with the API Overhead feature test running DX11, DX12, and Vulkan.

 

 

Futuremark explains in its press release: "The 3DMark API Overhead feature test measures API performance by making a steadily increasing number of draw calls. The result of the test is the number of draw calls per second achieved by each API before the frame rate drops below 30 FPS. The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors. For more details, please read the 3DMark Technical Guide".

 

The new API Overheard test is available for 3DMark Advanced and Professional Edition, with the standalone versions of 3DMark requiring a manual update. The Steam versions will update automatically, just like my test beds all have - but the new API Overhead test is not available for the 3DMark Basic Edition, or the Steam demo.

Continue reading 'Futuremark deploys Vulkan API test in 3DMark' (full post)

Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed sequels teased

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 4:27 am

EA will be teasing sequels to Star Wars Battlefront and Need for Speed during E3 2017 this year, during its own EA Play event between June 10-12.

 

star-wars-battlefront-need-speed-sequels-teased_11

 

EA DICE will be showing off Star Wars Battlefront 2, while EA Ghost's new Need for Speed game will be displayed. EA announced on its own website: "So let's get to it. From June 10 - 12, players joining us in Hollywood will get hands-on with the next Star Wars Battlefront and Need for Speed experiences. You'll also get your first chance to play many of our upcoming EA SPORTS titles: Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18 and NBA LIVE 18. This isn't all, by the way...and we'll have more to share in the coming months".

 

They continued: "Beyond the hands-on experience in Hollywood, we have an extensive content program for our players joining us online. Throughout the three-day event, we will be providing you with detailed gameplay deep dives, competitive events and exclusive interviews with the development teams. So whether you're experiencing EA PLAY in-person or watching online, be sure to join us starting June 10".

Corsair One: a new line of tiny, but powerful gaming PCs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 3:25 am

Corsair has just officially launched its Corsair One gaming PC range, with four different variants: Corsair One, Corsair One Pro, Corsair One Pro (webstore only), and the Corsair One Ti (webstore exclusive).

 

 

Corsair is pushing its new gaming PC line up as super quiet, with teh company leveraging its awesome Hydro series of cooling products on the CPU and GPU - keeping them as cool, and quiet as possible. It looks absolutely awesome, with the graphics card sitting vertically, with the chassis itself smaller than most traditional PCs.

 

Now, let's talk some specs. First up, we have the Corsair One Pro - the new mid-range PC in the new Corsair One range.

 

  • Intel i7-7700K CPU
  • NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU
  • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 DRAM
  • 480GB SSD, 2TB HDD
  • Z270 Motherboard
  • $2,199.99

 

Next up, we have the flagship Corsair One Ti:

 

  • Intel i7-7700K CPU
  • NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti GPU
  • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4
  • 960GB SSD
  • Z270 Motherboard
  • $2,599.99

Continue reading 'Corsair One: a new line of tiny, but powerful gaming PCs' (full post)

WikiLeaks: Apple Mac, iPhone firmware hacked by CIA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 2:48 am

So, it looks like most of Apple's products are bugged by the CIA - if the latest claims from WikiLeaks are to be believed. The new "Dark Matter" release from "Vault 7" has documentation for "several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware".

 

wikileaks-apple-mac-iphone-firmware-hacked-cia_02

 

WikiLeaks has exposed the interestingly named "Sonic Screwdriver" project, something that CIA calls a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting". This hack provides its attacker, so in this case the CIA, to deploy its attack software from a USB flash drive - and scarily "even when a firmware password is enabled".

 

The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is reportedly stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter, says WIkiLeaks.

 

WikiLeaks' report continues, with "DarkSeaSkies" also detailed as "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants".

 

The full report is available on WikiLeaks' website, with the final paragraph stating: "While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise".

AMD Ryzen 5 processors hit some retailers, 3 weeks early

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 1:28 am

AMD has already shaken up the enthusiast market with their 8C/16T flagship Ryzen 7 1800X processor, and now the Ryzen 5 family - which will aim directly at Intel's current-gen Core i3 and more importantly - Core i5 market.

 

amd-ryzen-processors-hit-retailers-weeks-early_09

 

Ryzen 5 processors will be cheaper, and offer more CPU threads for the money than any Core i3 or Core i5 processor - with the flagship Ryzen 5 1600X arriving as a 6C/12T processor at 4GHz for just $249. Intel has its Core i5-7600K with 4C/8T at $239 right now on Amazon, meaning AMD offers 4 additional CPU threads with Ryzen 5 1600X at just $10 more - or, the cheaper Ryzen 5 1600 with 6C/12T and its lower price of $219.

 

amd-ryzen-processors-hit-retailers-weeks-early_08

 

AMD will be launching its Ryzen 5 family of processors on April 11, but some retailers are selling the CPUs early - with resellers in Europe already selling Ryzen 5 chips. Someone posted on Reddit, saying that someone purchased a Ryzen 5 1600 processor in Brazil.

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