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Bluetooth headsets are serious business as LG marks 10 million sold

By: Chris Smith | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jul 6, 2015 1:33 am

As reported in a recently issued press release from LG, NPD Group has announced LG's continued reign over the US Bluetooth headset market since May 2012 - owning a massive 40% market share. Said to be mostly thanks to the TONE headset, LG further bragged that many spin-off copies are currently being made of the TONE globally.

 

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With the 10 millionth TONE headset sold since October 2010, this product has been designed by LG in collaboration with Harman/Kardon and JBL in order to provide a claimed "highest level of sound quality."

 

It seems that LG didn't expect this headset to travel so well at first, with LG Electronics' vice president for Innovate Personal Devices, Seo Young-jae, commenting "Initially we were quite surprised by the enthusiasm of the feedback we received from people who said that TONE was the most comfortable wireless headset they've ever used." He then went on to congratulate LG's R&D department, stating "We stuck to what worked well and improved upon TONE over the years and we're absolutely delighted by the positive reception we've gotten."

Peripheral brands make a move into clothing, Tt eSPORTS and ASTRO

By: Chris Smith | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jul 6, 2015 12:52 am

Now listed as discontinued, Tt eSPORTS pushed heavily into the clothing scene in the recent past with its Chao series of clothing options - brandishing interesting Tt dragon designs and covering a series of options ranging from shirts to jackets and more.

 

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In a recent newsletter sent by Astro, they too are looking to entice gamers into clothing purchases with its 50% off sale on particular items. Excluding promotional items, this sale covers shirts, zip hoodies, crew sweatshirts and more - marking a possible new age in peripheral business.

 

With so many different peripheral brands now on the market, there is only so much you can do in order to make your headset, keyboard or mouse stand out from the crowd - maybe cool clothing designs is a way to help win over some new customers? You decide.

F1 2015's latest trailer teases the great visuals for the new racer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 6, 2015 12:43 am

F1 2015 is closer to release than ever before, with Codemasters and Bandai Namco releasing a new trailer showing off the features of the game, all while teasing the graphics engine powering the new racer.

 

 

Codemasters Game Director, Paul Jeal explains: "F1 2015 marks an exciting new chapter for Codemasters and FORMULA ONE; it's a shift in direction for the game series, on new formats and our brand new game engine, with the game set to be released earlier in the season, launching this June. The handling is a vast improvement from our previous games. In particular our new tyre model is a superb step forward towards realism, letting you explore where the limit is and allowing you to instantly feel much more connected with the car. You can now experience the changes in grip caused by temperature changes, wear, car set-up, debris and weather conditions".

 

He continued: "Our improved vehicle dynamics much more accurately convey the difference in performance and the feel between mechanical and aerodynamic grip. The new Force Feedback system adds to the feeling of connection with the car and track surface. The more natural and realistic nature of the game physics also serves to ensure that the racing experience is more accessible, enjoyable and rewarding for players of all skill levels".

Continue reading 'F1 2015's latest trailer teases the great visuals for the new racer' (full post)

Toshiba testing its 'scorpion' robot inside Fukushima nuclear reactor

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 5:30 pm

Toshiba is deploying its "scorpion" robot inside of the TEPCO Fukushima No. 1 plant's second reactor next month. The mission is focused on trying to analyze the pressure vessel's melted-down fuel supply, and a robot is needed because of such high levels of radiation inside the reactor. The Japanese electronics company worked with the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID) to design the unique scorpion-inspired robot.

 

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A "snake" robot entered a reactor in April, and couldn't find any debris from melted fuel - the robot stalled and researchers had to go back to the drawing board. The 21-inch Toshiba device will enter a fuel rod passageway, and has a physical design that provides increased dexterity and range of motion. It has the ability to raise its tail in a similar fashion as a scorpion, which has LED lights and an equipped camera.

 

Researchers will likely have to spent decades trying to safely decommission the No. 1 plant, after it was devastated by a major earthquake and following tsunami in 2011.

Americans have streamed 135B songs and music videos in 2015 so far

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 3:00 pm

It looks like Internet users in the United States absolutely love streaming content, with more than 135 billion songs and music videos steamed so far in 2015, according to Nielsen. It's a 50 percent increase year-over-year, with more users enjoying Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, and other services on PCs, mobile devices, and in the living room.

 

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Not surprisingly, digital song sales dropped another 10.4 percent, racking up 531.6 million sales - with CDs and digital albums dropping 4 percent down to only 116 million. Music labels are desperate to find ways to collect revenue from streaming music, especially with more people making the transition from downloads to streaming content.

 

"Obviously, the streaming piece is really great news, when you're talking about darn near 100 percent growth... with no new players," said Dave Bakula, SVP of Nielsen Entertainment, in a statement to Re/code. Of course, the figures compiled by Nielsen Entertainment don't include the recent launch of Apple Music - which may have a significant impact on streaming music.

Difficulties trying to sell Xbox One, PlayStation 4 in China

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 10:30 am

The Chinese government's decision to allow foreign game consoles to be sold to consumers initially gave Microsoft and Sony hope - but both companies face a number of challenges while promoting the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

 

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By the end of the year, both new generation consoles are expected to sell just 550,000 units combined, according to the Niko Partners market research firm. There could be a major sales boost when AAA games such as Call of Duty launch in the country, but game catalogs for both consoles are rather disappointing.

 

"Despite China being a predominantly PC online gaming culture, Chinese who are now 26-35 years old grew up in the days of Nintendo Super Famicom consoles and are accustomed to playing games with a controller via TV," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder of Niko Partners, in a statement published by Bidness Etc.

Continue reading 'Difficulties trying to sell Xbox One, PlayStation 4 in China' (full post)

Apple's new iPhone rumored to feature 4K-capable, 12-megapixel camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 4:28 am

It looks like Apple will finally be making the iPhone 4K-capable, with the upcoming purported iPhone 6S to feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera that will finally bring Apple into the 4K era.

 

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The news is coming from a Foxconn employee who posted on Weibo, showing what looks like internal documentation that shows off the camera module that will be used in the upcoming 'S' model of the iPhone. If the rumor is true, it's quite the landmark moment, as Apple has been stuck on the 1080p-capable 8-megapixel camera for quite a while now.

 

We can be sure that if the new iPhone is 4K-capable, Apple is going to push the marketing quite hard when it gets announced in September.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 'confirmed', launching in 2GB and 4GB versions

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 2:39 am

According to VideoCardz.com, NVIDIA will be launching its new GM205-260 based card as the GeForce GTX 950, and not the GeForce GTX 950 Ti like we reported last week.

 

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This new card will most likely be a "cut down version of [the] full GM206-300 processor" according to the site. The new GeForce GTX 950 will reportedly be available in both 2GB and 4GB versions, with the GDDR5 being spread out on a 128-bit memory bus. The only difference between the GTX 960 and the upcoming GTX 950 will be the CUDA count, and its clock speeds.

 

We should expect NVIDIA to announce the new cards in the coming weeks.

Mozilla begins testing its new VR-based Firefox browser 'MozVR'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Jul 5, 2015 1:06 am

Mozilla has begun external testing of its new Firefox browser 'MozVR' which is compatible with VR headsets, which will see the future of web browsing being in the same world as sitting on your couch playing VR games or watching movies with your VR headset on.

 

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During an interview with USA Today, Mozilla CEO Tom Beard said: "If 'web video' gets turned into 'web VR,' it could be a game-changer". With two years of development on MozVR in secret, Mozilla has had its engineering director Vlad Vukicevic, who led the development of WebGL, working on MozVR.

 

Josh Carpenter, a user-experience designer who has been working closely with Vukicevic said: "VR is too big to be left just to (gamers)".

AMD's Frame Rate Target Control tested with considerable power savings

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 4, 2015 11:09 pm

One of the key features of the new Radeon 300 and R9 Fury series of cards was something that AMD introduced as 'Frame Rate Target Control', which effectively limits how many frames per second that your card renders, which in turn has some serious power savings and limits the total heat output of your card - great, huh?

 

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Jason Evangelho, a contributor for PCWorld has played around with it with some great results. He reports that there's a limited of between 55FPS and 95FPS for most DX10- and DX11-based games. The benefits of FRTC is reduced power consumption, heat output, and fan noise. In games where your new Radeon R9 390X or Radeon R9 Fury X might not be doing much work - in something like League of Legends - the power savings could be immense.

 

Instead of pushing 200FPS+, you can limit your AMD GPU to your monitor's refresh of 60Hz (for example) and have your card doing one-third the work. But what are the benefits like? Let's start with GPU temperatures:

 

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As you can see here, PCWorld has tested Heaven Valley with FRTC limited to 55FPS, with the R9 390X hitting 60C. But when it is unleashed without a frame rate cap, it reaches 71C. That is quite the difference, 18% actually.

 

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When it comes to noise output, when the card is limited to 55FPS, the R9 390X makes 59dB of noise, compared to 66dB when it's not limited.

 

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The biggest benefit of all comes from the total system power draw, where if the card is limited to 55FPS, the Radeon R9 390X from SAPPHIRE consumes just 285W maximum. Unleashed, it consumes up to 424W which is a huge difference of 48%. Now that, is something worth writing home about.

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