Video games are a big part of most of our lives, but most forget its origins. Generations of gamers will grow up thinking that consoles started it all, with the likes of Xbox and PlayStation, but the seeds were planted before some of these gamers' parents were even born. Now, in Frisco, Texas, we can expect a new videogame history museum to be opened, known as The National Videogame Museum.
The National Videogame Museum will be opened in Frisco, Texas, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The board of the Frisco Community Development Corporation voted last week, unanimously approving the terms to open up the museum. The board has teamed up with travel and tourism authorities to raise $100,000 for startup costs, with the Museum founders agreeing to match dollar-for-dollar.
By April 2015, the Museum will start a capital campaign in order to raise money to expand out the facility. We should expect The National Videogame History Museum to approach major industry sources, such as the aforementioned console makers, and large publishers in order to get donations to get the construction started. The collection that the Museum holds is already large, with the Classic Gaming Expo starting in 1999 which gets filled up easily, and it's only 7000 square feet.
ASRock's main overclocking man, Nick Shih, has used the company's X99 OC Formula motherboard with Intel's new Haswell-E based Core i7-5960X processor to hit dizzying new heights. Shih has overclocked the mammoth new processor to an insane 6.6GHz.
Shih hit 6594MHz specifically, disabling all but one core on the 16-threaded processor. An insane amount of voltage was pushed through the processor, with Shih pushing a huge 1.818V through the CPU. Shih took to his Facebook post to show off his adventures, with 6.6GHz being a huge achievement, now we just need to see 6GHz+ with all cores enabled!
NVIDIA is finally entering the market with multiple G-SYNC monitors, with 1080p, 1440p and 4K-powered G-SYNC monitors, but AMD is nowhere to be seen with its Project FreeSync technology. The company has just announced it is collaborating with MStar, Novatek and Realtek to build the scalar units that are required by the FreeSync-powered monitors.
Where NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology requires propietary licensed hadware in your monitor, as well as a GeForce GPU, AMD's FreeSync technology has no communications overhead, as it "does not need to poll or wait on the display in order to determine when it's safe to send the next frame to the monitor". AMD will be building FreeSync support into specific Radeon GPUs, with the new FreeSync-powered monitors hitting the market early 2015.
According to AMD's CVP of Graphics Business Unit, Matt Skynner, the FreeSync monitors will arrive with "lower prices and wider adoption" than its competitors' gaming monitor technology. Vice President of Realtek, Yee-Wei Huang, has said that customers in the channel are "really excited about AMD's FreeSync technology" and reiterates that "adopting the DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync industry standard by VESA is the best approach" in order to provide gamers with smooth, stutter-free gaming experiences. We should expect the first wave of FreeSync-powered monitors to be offered in three resolutions, with multiple display sizes, featuring 1920x1080, 2560x1440 and of course, 3840x2160 or 4K.
AMD has announced a new multi-year agreement with Synopsys IP that will see the chipmaker receiving a slew of Synopsys DesignWare intellectual property on its advanced 16/14nm technologies, as well as its upcoming 10nm FinFET technology. AMD will be handing over specific IP and engineering resources to the company. Considering NVIDIA just catapulted it's more-than-impressive GeForce GTX 900 series, there's never been a better time for AMD to partner up with someone who can handle the move to smaller processes.
The agreement sees AMD securing interface, memory compiler, logic library and analog IP from Synopsys, where it will use these technologies to create future generations of its chips on the 14nm and 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, eventually moving onto the 10nm process down the track. Synopsys will reportedly hire around 150 of AMD's IP & R&D engineers and receive access to AMD's leading interface and foundation IP. AMD will be saving money with this deal, but provides some holes in its resources, while Synopsys is only gaining from this deal.
If you've never heard of Synopsys, they are a leading power in silicon-proven IP for advance process technologies, with the company helping chip designers on a broad range of high-end IP for integration into system-on-chips, or SoCs, as well as delivering expert technical support. This power allows companies like AMD to come to them, in order to save money on pumping into their own R&D. But, AMD still packs a punch when it comes to the complex IP used in advanced microprocessors and GPUs. AMD will gain silicon-proven IP for its chips over the coming years, while handing over interface and foundation IP, as well as engineers to Synopsys, something the company explains will give it the ability to "focus its valuable engineering resources on its ongoing product differentiation and IP reuse strategy".
Hot on the heels of announcing its new Crescent Bay prototype, Oculus has made its Rift DK1 peripheral code and engineering schematics open source, available to all. This release allows programmers to get as deep as they want into Oculus' code, giving people the ability to make a clone of the Rift.
Nirav Patel from Oculus, talked about this open source release, where he said: "we don't want everyone to have to take the same risks we took. We just want to share the things we learned so you don't have to do that". Remember that this is the DK1, and not the still-new DK2 unit. The schematic's components aren't ready for 3D printing just yet, but it's a great step of transparency for the Facebook-owned VR company.
Oculus Connect is currently underway in Los Angeles, with Oculus VR announcing the latest prototype of the Rift, known as Crescent Bay. Crescent Bay features numerous improvements and new tricks even over the just-released, and still-shipping Rift DK2 unit, such as 360-degree head tracking.
Not only do we have 360-degree head tracking (which is done by having sensors on the back of your head, something completely new), but we have a higher resolution screen (no exact numbers, but most reports and hands-on use point to it being better than Samsung's Gear VR which uses the QHD or 2560x1440 panel from the Galaxy Note 4), lower latency, and a built-in headset.
Crescent Bay has been working out, dropping a little weight, with Oculus providing improved ergonomics so it feels better when wearing it, and with the integrated audio, 3D audio can now be something big thanks to Oculus' collaboration with licensed technology from the University of Maryland, and RealSP. Oculus' Brendan Iribe explains: "We're working on audio as aggressively as we're working on the vision side". For the various reports on the latest VR headset from Oculus, most have said that it is much closer to what is expected from CV1 (the first consumer, or retail Rift).
There's no word on whether Oculus will release a DK3 to the public, but with Crescent Bay offering up so many new things (360-degree head tracking and 3D positional audio are big new features on their own) so we shouldn't be surprised with another Developer Kit.
Just days before it was supposed to launch in China, Microsoft will delay releasing the Xbox One game console for Chinese consumers until later this year. The launch was originally expected for Tuesday, September 23 local time. Microsoft will host an Xbox One launch event at the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai sometime before the end of 2014.
Regardless of how it sells, this is a major milestone for Microsoft - the Xbox One will be the first game console to launch in China in the past 15 years - as the Chinese government continues to embrace western technologies. Companies are excited about the possibility of reaching millions of the consumers embracing consoles and other technologies for the first time.
Microsoft hopes a big launch in China will help give the company a much-needed sales boost, as the company continues to struggle against the Sony PlayStation 4. Not surprisingly, the Xbox One flopped heavily after launching in Japan, with domestic companies Sony and Nintendo setting the pace.
Apple users are frustrated with difficulty in upgrading to iOS 8, as download times are painfully long. To make matters worse, some networks are being slammed by so much traffic, it's almost like they are under distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
Networking company Procera Networks found one CIS mobile network that saw its network traffic jump an incredible 4000 percent than normal - an astronomical traffic amount for non-video applications.
Everything from Apple's iPhone models to its smartwatch were criticized - but anytime there is a new iOS release, Apple fans quickly flock to download the latest operating system. However, after just a few days, adoption for iOS 8 has been slower than that of iOS 6 or iOS 7, according to analysts. The iOS 8 upgrade requires 5.8GB of storage space, forcing some users to delete photos, videos, and other data to free up space to upgrade.
The recent Home Depot breach has proven to be larger than retailer Target's breach late last year, with as many as 56 million credit card uses at risk. Former employees accuse the company of leaving data vulnerable, a charge that executives have denied, but there were alarm bells reportedly dating back to 2008. An estimate of the stolen data, which is becoming available online, could lead to $3 billion in illegal purchases over time.
This is a huge bungle by Home Depot," noted Jeff Macke, Yahoo Finance analyst. "It's more than an inconvenience... it's a huge, ridiculous hassle. We need an upgrade of the whole cycle."
Indeed, security experts are calling on banks to embed credit cards with microchips rather than rely on magnetic strips. Home Depot uses EMV chip-based technology for Visa and MasterCard in Europe and Canada, and plans to introduce it into the United States later in 2014.
Microsoft has announced today that it is cutting 14% of its total workforce, or 2100 jobs. From those 2100 employees who are now out of jobs, 747 of them are from the Washington state, with the remaining jobs lost from Microsoft's other locations across the world.
It was only a few months ago that the Redmond-based giant cut a total of 18,000 jobs, with 12,500 of those jobs being cut from the recently-acquired handset and services division from Nokia. At the time, CEO Nadella said that he wanted to get Microsoft in better shape, with the reductions required in order to properly integrate Nokia's services and devices teams into the company. The cuts were to both professional, and factory workers.
We should see Microsoft feeling pre-tax chargers of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next year, with $750 million to $800 million for severance and related benefit costs, and then $350 to $800 million for asset-related charges.