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All the juicy Hitman beta details revealed for the 19th

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 9 hours ago

The semi-closed beta test for Hitman is going to begin at the end of the week and Square Enix has released a short trailer and an FAQ site to prepare us as we step into the role of Agent 47 once again.

 

 

Those on the PlayStation 4 of course get to enjoy the beta on starting on the 12th of February at 8:00am PST going through the 15th at 8:00am PST. Those on the PC will have to wait until the 19th at 2:00am PST and then you can play to your hearts content until the 22nd at 2:00am PST.

 

During the beta you'll only have access to the prologue mission, aptly named "The Prologue". This is a secret ICA training facility that Agent 47 first trained in. It's also the first time that you meet Diana, the familial handler that you eventually save in an earlier game set further along the timeline. You're give two completely free-form missions to play through to try out the mechanics of the game.

Continue reading 'All the juicy Hitman beta details revealed for the 19th' (full post)

Uninstalling Facebook on iPhone will save you 15% battery life

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Apps | Posted: 1 day, 10 hours ago

Last month it was reported uninstalling the Facebook app on Android dramatically improved performance; other reports have surfaced indicating 20% of battery life can be saved in doing so. The Guardian, curious to see the impact on iPhones, set to work with its iPhone 6S Plus and found battery life was impacted by 15%, even across multiple phones. As well, about 500MB of space was saved between the size of the app and its cache.

 

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Between these benefits and the option to use the well-designed Facebook mobile website (which can be linked to via your home screen), you can see there are few reasons to keep the Facebook app on your phone, and many great reasons not to.

 

Facebook has been alerted to the performance issues; a spokesperson says the matter is being investigated.

The Force has truly awoken, with a $2b haul worldwide

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 1 day, 10 hours ago

Coming to the end of its worldwide run, Disney have announced that the latest entry in the 'Star Wars' franchise 'The Force Awakens' has crossed the $2 billion worldwide gross mark - only the third film in history to do so.

 

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While the film didn't quite have the legs in the Chinese market to overtake the haul of James Cameron's 'Titanic', which grossed $2.18 billion in both the 1997 and 2012 releases, nor have the staying power to challenge record holder 'Avatar' with $2.7b, clearly $2 billion is nothing to be disappointed with, and displaces 'Jurassic World's take of $1.67 billion worldwide quite decisively. In a press release, Alan Horn, the Chairman of Walt Disney Studios said "This is a historic moment for 'Star Wars', for Lucasfilm, and for Disney, and all of us here are extremely gratified to be a part of this journey with fans around the world who have made 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' such an extraordinary success". Additionally, the film has also grossed just over $900 million in the domestic United States alone, the only film to have ever done so.

 

'The Force Awakens' is due to hit Blu-ray and DVD worldwide in April, where it will no doubt set more sales records.

AMD's enthusiast Polaris GPU teased, could be priced at $1700

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 day, 11 hours ago

While the Super Bowl 50 continues, we're seeing that AMD has been pushing its next-gen Polaris GPUs around - with a new Polaris-based flagship GPU, and the successor to the Fury X making an appearance.

 

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The new C99 "FOC" (Full Operational Capacity) has been spotted on Zauba, with the C99 part being priced at $1700. This is an insane jump from the price of the previous Polaris-based C98 and C91/C92 chips. The C98 should be the successor to the R9 390 series, which will arrive as the new Polaris-based R9 490/490X. The C99 on the other hand could be the huge enthusiast Polaris, the successor to the Fury X, or some crazy dual-GPU beast.

 

The C98 board turned up on Zauba last month, and it holds a per unit value that is more than AMD's current Hawaii-based chips. The C91/C92 chips started shipping in January of last year, but the FOC designation was only attached in August 2015. The C91/C92 should be the lower-end Polaris-bases GPUs, which would most likely be the cards we were greeted to in Sonoma in December, and officially unveiled early January.

Battlefield 4 netcode significantly improved on Xbox One and PS4

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 11 hours ago

DICE is improving the netcode in Battlefield 4 on consoles, and it's doing so by changing a simple setting that should improve the experience significantly.

 

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With the latest update on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, the tickrate of 32 player servers has been increased from 30hz up to 45hz. They're reporting that this should improve all network related delays by around 11ms per single action. Meaning that your shots should register just about perfectly now.

 

They were able to test different tickrates through the holiday update and decided upon the higher rate after the data they collected showed a positive increase in player enjoyment for most playersThe changes don't effect 64 player servers. DICE will have a small testing period in which they invite feedback about the changes, to ensure it's the best possible option for everyone.

Continue reading 'Battlefield 4 netcode significantly improved on Xbox One and PS4' (full post)

Google giving out 2GB free Drive space for Safer Internet Day

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: 1 day, 12 hours ago

Safer Internet Day is upon us. Well, almost -- it's actually tomorrow, but Google is getting ahead of the game and encouraging its users to review their security settings as of today. In return, they'll reward you with 2GB free storage on Google Drive. Even better, it stacks with any previously rewarded extra storage, meaning you can have as much as 19GB total free storage as of today.

 

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Reviewing your settings is simple: click here, then review your phone number, security question, connected devices, and account permissions, changing them or alterting Google to suspicious activity as necessary. Once done -- bam, free storage.

Dark Souls III has a beautifully dramatic opening cinematic

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 13 hours ago

The opening cinematic for Dark Souls III is quite stunning, and you can view it right below. The cinematic style is on par with some very good movies even.

 

 

The three-minute intro very succinctly introduces us to the storyline that we'll be following in the very dark and despondent land of Lothric. It's actually quite well constructed and the narrative seems to fulfill the expectations we have for the series. In the trailer you'll see Yhorm the Giant, Farron's Undead Legions, Aldrich Saint of the Deep and even the reclusive Lord of the Profaned Capitol.

 

Merely watching the trailer brings back memories of the challenges from the first two. Dark Souls III will arrive on April 12th on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC through Steam.

Continue reading 'Dark Souls III has a beautifully dramatic opening cinematic' (full post)

Google might be planning on launching new VR headset later this year

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 1 day, 14 hours ago

Google could be on the verge of launching another VR headset sometime later this year. The Financial Times is reporting that Google's Cardboard venture was so incredibly successful that they may be looking to compete in the more expensive tiers of VR, going toe to toe with the likes of Gear VR.

 

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The new device will have integrated sensors that improve the accuracy and speed of position tracking. Much like Gear VR it'll have actual lenses integrated to improve the viewing experience. Crucially, this device, according to the Financial Times, should be compatible with a wider variety of devices, and not limited to Samsung's Galaxy series.

 

Google recognizes the importance of virtual reality and the potential it holds. Just last month Clay Bavor, the new head of Google Cardboard told Time magazine just that, saying in an interview that "VR is too important and too powerful a medium to be accessible to only a few."

Continue reading 'Google might be planning on launching new VR headset later this year' (full post)

MSI launches GT72S G Tobii gaming laptop with eye-tracking, GTX 980M

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Laptops | Posted: 1 day, 15 hours ago

MSI has just launched its sleek, eye-tracking portable powerhouse GT72S G Tobii laptop, ushering in a new age of innovation to the world of performance mobile gaming.

 

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Not content with just packing in insane high-performance gaming hardware into a portable laptop, MSI went a step further by including Tobii eye-tracking for a new dimension of interactivity. The laptop's Tobii eye-tracking technology has a wealth of practical applications for gaming, letting users switch targets, select objects, and even pause the game with the blink of an eye. The onboard tracking tech is currently supported by games like Arma III, Assassin's Creed; Syndicate, Elite Dangerous, and more.

 

"The GT72S G Tobii adds another dimension to gaming and provides a level of interaction and immersion never experienced before," says Andy Tung, MSI company president. "Our eyes will no longer be passive players, they will now direct, command and transport us into the future of PC gaming."

Continue reading 'MSI launches GT72S G Tobii gaming laptop with eye-tracking, GTX 980M' (full post)

MIT chip promises to bring neural-networks to your mobile phone

By: Jeff Williams | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: 1 day, 15 hours ago

Deep neural-networks require a tremendous amount of power to actually be as effective as the human brain. Sure your Tesla Model S might ave a small DNN powered by NVIDIA inside, but it isn't nearly complex enough to to provide a full true-to-life aritifical intelligence experience. New breakthroughs from MIT might be able to provide full-on human-brain inspired AI experience on your phone.

 

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Researchers at MIT presented a new chip mobile chip that's designed specifically for neural networks and it happens to be 10 times more efficient than any mobile GPU currently in production. They're calling it the "Eyeriss" and the researchers are hoping that it can potentially change small-device computing. Just imagine having Siri or Cortana being that much more useful because they've got the processing power local to them.

 

And beyond that this innovation could help to further develop the idea of the Internet of Things, where powerful AI programs can communicate with other devices and coordinate tasks to get things done nearly invisible to the user. The possiblities are endless with the way that individual small-machines needn't be connected to the Internet itself for the compute power itself, but instead merely for communication.

Continue reading 'MIT chip promises to bring neural-networks to your mobile phone' (full post)

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