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Microsoft will unleash the beta of Halo 5: Guardians on December 29

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 6:29 am

During Microsoft's Gamescom 2014 press briefing, 343 Industries announced that it will be unleashing the beta of Halo 5: Guardians on December 29. The beta will run for three weeks, ending on January 18, 2015.

 

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The beta will see gamers battling it out in four-on-four matches, with all players starting with identical loadouts. The beta will include seven maps, three modes, 11 weapons, as well as a few armor sets that you can customize. Halo 5: Guardians beta players will be able to unlock content in the beta, that will roll over to the full game when it is released.

 

Halo 5: Guardians will be running at 60FPS, but no details on which resolution it will be rendered at. Halo 5: Guardians' Executive Producer, Josh Holmes, said: "Having a beta this early this early in development is crucial because it gives us as developers the opportunity to react to the feedback we get from fans and take it into account as we complete the multiplayer experience for Halo 5: Guardians". How do you get access to the beta? Halo: The Master Chief Collection will include it, which will be arriving on November 11 for the Xbox One.

NASA's New Horizons captures unique footage of Pluto and Charon

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 6:23 am

Launched by NASA in 2006 and tasked to study Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft captured unique footage of Charon revolving around Pluto, filmed from 265 million miles. Pluto has five moons, but Charon, at 750-miles across and is just 11,200 miles from Pluto.

 

 

A total of 12 photos were captured and researchers are using images to help accurately identify where Pluto is and the path it takes around the sun. Only one-third of the dwarf planet's orbit around the sun has been accurately recorded, space researchers have noted.

 

The New Horizons is expected to arrive at Pluto around 2015, and is finalizing its pre-Pluto annual systems instrument calibration before arriving. The spacecraft will be placed into "hibernation" mode from late August until early December, which is when it will be used for two years to conduct flyby missions while relaying information back to researchers.

Continue reading 'NASA's New Horizons captures unique footage of Pluto and Charon' (full post)

The next Xbox One update will provide MKV support, and much more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 5:31 am

Microsoft seems to be having a big time at Gamescom, with some big titles being talked about for the Xbox One, including Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment, the studio which made Alan Wake and Max Payne, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is an Xbox One exclusive.

 

 

The company has announced that they are adding many more options to the Xbox One in a future update, which will turn the Xbox One into a much more feature laden media player. Microsoft will be adding the ability to play media files from a USB drive from the Xbox One, as well as teasing that it will be providing support for the very popular MKV format, as well as DLNA network support. Major Nelson has promised that the Xbox One will receive support for new file types, including MPEG2 TS, animated GIF and of course, MKV. There should be a preview version of the app that will include USB support, but DLNA and MKV abilities will be baked into a later update.

 

Microsoft will also be making the Xbox One a better device for controlling your TV, with a new update to soon let you boot directly to your TV from standby mode, something that will make things easier for non-gamers who want to watch TV and not play games at that particular time. SmartGlass TV streaming is also coming, something that will allow you to be in another room and watch your shows over your home network with your SmartGlass-powered tablet or smartphone, on either Windows Phone, iOS or Android.

Continue reading 'The next Xbox One update will provide MKV support, and much more' (full post)

Security firm Trend Micro finds threats plague consumers, companies

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 4:13 am

The first two quarters of 2014 again revealed cyberthreats, data breaches and high-risk cyber vulnerabilities that companies struggle to keep up with, according to a new report from security firm Trend Micro.

 

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Consumers face issues such as data theft of customer names, passwords, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates. Cybercriminals are finding ways to steal this type of information directly from consumers, or compromising companies.

 

"Organizations must treat information security as a primary component of a long-term business strategy rather than handling security issues as a tertiary, minor setbacks," said Raimund Genes, Trend Micro CTO, in a press statement. "Similar to having a business strategy to improve efficiency, a well-thought-out security strategy should also improve current protection practices that achieve long-term benefits. The incidents observed during this quarter further establish the need for a more comprehensive approach to security."

Continue reading 'Security firm Trend Micro finds threats plague consumers, companies' (full post)

Group wants to help automakers keep connected vehicles safer

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 3:19 am

The "I am the Calvary" security group hopes to bridge the gap between automakers and security researchers, in an effort to keep connected vehicles more secure. The group wants to see the following: design security, development and testing phase, collaboration with researchers, and helping automakers provide assurance of connected security updates.

 

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"We don't need to wait for bad things [to happen] before starting to take safety into our design [considerations]," said Joshua Corman, Sonatype CTO and I am the Calvary co-founder, in a statement. "It takes a very long time to develop technologies and get them in the market. What we start today may not manifest for several years."

 

As newer vehicles rely on connected features, such as GPS, radio, and other Internet-based solutions, there is growing concern cybercriminals will be able to exploit these new features.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox One exclusive, arrives in 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 2:33 am

When the first rumbles started about the next Tomb Raider game, we heard it would reach both the previous generation and current generation consoles, as well as the PC. Well, at Gamescom which is cranking along in Cologne, Germany, Microsoft has announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an exclusive to the Xbox One.

 

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Rise of the Tomb Raider will reach the Xbox One in Holiday 2015 to Microsoft's console, but that exclusivity might not last too long - hopefully. Crystal Dynamic, the studio behind the game, has come out explaining why the game is an exclusive to the Xbox One:

 

Dear Tomb Raider Community,

 

As you may have seen, we've just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox. We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I'd like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we're creating at the studio.

 

Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today's announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

 

This doesn't mean that we're walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

 

We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we'll answer to the best of our ability. Meanwhile we're going all out to try and make something truly special - the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.

 

Thanks,

 

Darrell Gallagher

Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios

Quantum Break is like Alan Wake, but with the ability to control time

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 1:31 am

For the first time since E3 2013, Remedy Entertainment has shown off gameplay footage of its upcoming Xbox One exclusive, Quantum Break. If you haven't heard about Quantum Break, it's Remedy's time manipulation game, a game that comes off of its success with Alan Wake.

 

 

Sam Lake, Remedy Entertaiment's Creative Director, and the constipated face of Max Payne, walked up on the stage of Microsoft's Gamescom press conference to show off Quantum Break. Quantum Break sees Jack Joyce as the main character, who has some unique abilities. Joyce can control time for a limited period, where he can freeze enemies in ice-like time crystals, and then dive from cover to cover.

 

Quantum Break's world is in peril, as the end of time is happening, with the stutters in the game representing the world itself. These stutters are the outcome of time itself breaking, with bodies, debris, and fire frozen in its tracks. One of these stutters sees Joyce climbing onto a highway, where he sees a frozen semi truck, with its front hanging off of the egde of the highway. Joyce can walk through these stutters, as if they are Matrix-like museums, with people, objects and everything in between frozen in time.

Continue reading 'Quantum Break is like Alan Wake, but with the ability to control time' (full post)

Sony says more than 10 million PlayStation 4 game consoles sold

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Aug 13, 2014 12:21 am

Since its launch in November 2013, the Sony PlayStation 4 game console has topped 10 million units sold globally, the company recently said. Just four months ago, the company said there were 7 million units sold, and Sony was struggling to keep up with strong demand.

 

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"The responses we have received for the PS4 system's unique gameplay experiences powered by the network, along with its vast game portfolio has been phenomenal, and I am absolutely delighted that PS4 was able to reach this commemorative milestone in less than nine months, said Andrew House, SCE CEO, in a statement. "We're so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation gamers worldwide, and we look forward to bringing even more exciting content and services in the months ahead."

 

During the same April timeframe, Microsoft sold five million game units - and this should set up a rather entertaining showdown during the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season.

Chinese smartphone makers mixing enhanced features, low cost

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 12, 2014 11:27 pm

The global smartphone market might be dominated by the U.S.-based Apple and Korea-based Samsung, but a growing number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers are making their name heard. No. 1 global PC manufacturer Lenovo is reportedly the leader of Chinese market, but is facing intense pressure from increasingly popular companies.

 

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In their respective domestic market, Lenovo and Xiaomi are battling it out - with Lenovo holding a slight 12.5 percent lead over 12.4 percent held by Xiaomi - but both companies have other rivals closing in. It will take some time before Xiaomi and Huawei become better recognized names in the United States, but will continue to garner fans in China - and in select emerging markets.

 

Samsung and Nokia both were dominant in the Chinese market, but with the country's more than 700 million active smartphone users looking for cheaper options, Chinese-made devices are rising in popularity. Expect to see Apple and Samsung push heavily in China, but if pricing isn't right, then sales and marketing efforts will struggle.

FMS 2014 - Chris looks at the Plextor M6 Pro and PlexTurbo in action

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 12, 2014 10:26 pm

Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Since Computex 2014 last June the SSD market has been buzzing about Plextor's upcoming M6 Pro SSD. The drive is Plextor's long awaited SATA III flagship product, replacing the M5 Pro Xtreme, a product that launched in January 2013.

 

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Plextor has always billed the brand as a premium product with deep ties to Japan, where the company was founded. Some of that foundation made it's way into the M6 Pro. The drive design uses champagne tinted aluminum. This particular color is a big hit in Japan and has been for more than a decade. The color is so popular in fact that several home audio receiver and component makers use the finish for products sold only in Japan. Being Japanese only products, they demand big money in the US from collectors and those of us that like rare pieces.

 

 

 

The Plextor M6 Pro also carries another rare feature. Plextor developed a special cache software that duplicates the SSDs hot data in the systems DRAM. The data is kept on both the SSD and system DRAM so users don't have to worry about data loss. The software can also cache data writes but the data is quickly flushed to the SSD. At FMS 2014 we shot a quick video of PlexTurbo in action.

Continue reading 'FMS 2014 - Chris looks at the Plextor M6 Pro and PlexTurbo in action' (full post)

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