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MIT students to send three satellites to Mars in three years

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 3:05 pm

Students from MIT and other universities are preparing to make a time capsule mission that will go much further than putting something in the ground on Earth to be dug up years later. These students will be sending three satellites to mars that will be packed with stuff having to do with life on Earth.

 

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The contents taken to the red planet by the satellites will include video, messages, voice recordings, and pictures. Students will encapsulate the content in CubeSats and the project will have the assistance of NASA and Explore Mars. Currently, the launch date for the project is set for 2017.

 

Executive director of Explore Mars Chris Carberry wants this project to spark curiosity of the public. He said: "Every member of this team wants to send humans to Mars one day, and this is one way to inspire the public. A group of students having the motivation to put together a viable mission like this and raise the funds themselves, that in itself is inspiring."

George Lucas chooses Chicago for movie memorabilia and art museum

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 2:02 pm

George Lucas is the mastermind behind the Star Wars franchise along with Indiana Jones. Lucas sold off his movie empire to Disney not long ago, and happily for fans, that sell off means lots more movies are in the works. Lucas has been looking for a place to build a museum for movie memorabilia and art for a while now.

 

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He was considering San Francisco and LA, but has chosen a different location. After "aggressive lobbying" from Chicago, Lucas has decided to build the museum there. Once completed, the museum will show off items collected during his 40-year career as a moviemaker and a large art collection he has put together.

 

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will open in 2018 and will be located next to Soldier Field. Lucas will give at least $700 million to finance the construction of the museum. San Francisco fell out of the running when no location on the waterfront was available.

Twitter tests new retweet with comment feature

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 12:04 pm

Twitter users have had the ability to quote another tweet for a while that gives you the option to add some of your own comment to a tweet. When you only have 140 characters to work with, having to quote a tweet in your tweet leaves little room for your thoughts. Twitter is now testing a new feature called retweet with comment.

 

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The new feature allows the user to retweet the original tweet and add their own comments without using any of their 140 characters for the quote. Random twitter users are now seeing the retweet with comment feature right now after the feature was tested with some twitter workers internally.

 

While this new feature sounds like a really good idea, there is no guarantee that it will be permanently implemented into the twitter app and website.

Google offers gift card to angry Chromebook Pixel owners

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 11:00 am

One of the big selling points for the Google Chromebook Pixel notebook was the fact that the machine had free data from Verizon Wireless. The free data pool was small from the get go with only 100MB of free data each month for two years.

 

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I'm sure that Verizon had hoped some of the Chromebook users would see the need for more data and buy upgrades. Verizon made many owners of that Pixel notebook very angry when it cut the free data off early. Verizon began to turn off the free data only a year into the two-year agreement. Some users began threatening Google with a lawsuit over the cut off.

 

Google has now stepped in and is looking to sooth some of the ruffled feathers of users with a gift card with $150 of free money to spend. The money can be used to pay for additional data to cover the second year of ownership or other items. Verizon sells 3GB of data that can be used over 90 days for $20 meaning that $150 will more than pay for an extra year.

Foxconn chairman asks for patience as sales slow for company

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 10:19 am

The fortunes of Foxconn, the maker of most of the Apple gadgets on the market, are directly tied to the fortunes of the companies it manufactures goods for. That means as sales slow for the companies it builds products for, its sales slow as well. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is urging shareholders to be patient and allow the company time to invest in new businesses as sales slow.

 

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The new businesses that Gou and Foxconn are hoping to invest in include car electronics and cloud computing among others. Gou said during an annual meeting, "Please be patient, don't be in a hurry. I'm also the biggest shareholder, so if it's bad for Hon Hai it's also bad for me."

 

Foxconn also plans to increase its investments in robotics and add additional skilled jobs as the company seeks to meet its 10% growth projections. Gou has met with other companies seeking expansion and those companies include Tesla and SoftBank Corp among others.

AMD to soon unveil the Radeon R9 295X, the full Hawaii XTX GPU

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 10:05 am

It looks like AMD is preparing itself a new GPU, the Hawaii XTX. Right now we have the Hawaii PRO, which is the Radeon R9 290, and the Hawaii XT, which arrives to us in the form of the high-end Radeon R9 290X.

 

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The new Hawaii XTX will arrive in retail form as the Radeon R9 295X, and will feature the full 48 Compute Units - compared to the 40 on the R9 290 and 44 on the R9 290X. Better yet, there will be 3072 cores, this is an increase from the 2816 cores found on the already fast R9 290X. When it comes to TMUs, this will be increased from the 176 on the 290X to 192 on the 295X. The ROP count will stay at 64.

 

The question now sits with pricing - will AMD be competitive, because these specs will allow the company to compete directly with the GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK Edition, as well as the GTX 780 Ti. Because of the increased specs, we should expect the Radeon R9 295X to arrive with custom cooling from AMD's various partners in SAPPHIRE, MSI, and more.

Micron to introduce Hybrid Memory Cube in 2015, 15x faster than DDR3

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: RAM | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 9:31 am

Micron is planning for the near-future by preparing a 'Hybrid Memory Cube' that will provide 15 times more bandwidth compared to traditional DDR3 memory sticks that you get today. Even with the newer DDR4 implementation, like the one in Japan retail shelves, the HMC is still going to provide fives times more bandwidth.

 

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Along with the bandwidth boost, the new memory type will also draw 70 percent lesser energy. Micron plans to achieve this by stacking memory as stacked chips using a connection type called 'Through Silicon Via'. That said, the memory will be required to be soldered on the motherboard near the CPU.

 

HMC will also have other features that are not present in DIMM-type DDR implementations. These include debug, more error correction features and also have logic layers.

Continue reading 'Micron to introduce Hybrid Memory Cube in 2015, 15x faster than DDR3' (full post)

BlackRock VR teases Horizon V, the 'world's first true 4K VR headset'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 9:13 am

With the Oculus Rift taking most of the VR glory right now, even before we have a consumer edition in our hands, it's hard to get noticed in the world if you're a VR headset. Well, that's not the case for BlackRock VR, which just announced the Horizon V - the "world's first true 4K virtual reality headset".

 

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The 4K Horizon V uses dual 7-inch 4K low-persistance OLED panels, which will take up 96% of your eye's FOV, which according to BlackRock will take "over the brain's neuro-optical system". The dual 4K displays will be pumping out over 8 million pixels of content to your eyes, with a massive 629PPI for crystal clear VR.

 

Better yet, the Horizon V will feature dual 4K front-mounted pass-thru cameras. These two cameras are activated by pressing the one-click "X-vision" button that is found on the top of the VR HMD, allowing you to see the world in front of you in 4K 3D. The Horizon V has a 17-point motion-tracking system, a proprietary system called V-motion. This will work well with the low-persistance screen, as there will be no ghosting, motion blur or motion sickness according to BlackRock.

Continue reading 'BlackRock VR teases Horizon V, the 'world's first true 4K VR headset'' (full post)

Machine Games 'would really love to do a sequel' to Wolfenstein

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 5:42 am

Wolfenstein: The New Order was a smash hit for Machine Games, and while the company hasn't announced a sequel to the first-person shooter, it is already plotting the sequel to the game.

 

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Machines Games' Creative Director, Jens Matthies talked with Giant Bomb earlier in the week, where he said: "We would love to do a sequel. We have a very, very clear idea of what we accomplished with this game, and what we want to accomplish with a sequel". Matthies explained that the studio will focus on the pre-production side of things if it ends up working on a Wolfenstein sequel.

 

He continued: "[B]ecause these projects are so long in terms of development -- this was three-and-a-half years for [The New Order] -- and given how long it takes to make a game these days, this kind of game, and whenever you design in terms of preproduction, what becomes the plan for all of those years, has to be a flawlessly polished diamond," he explained. "If it isn't, you end up paying for that further down the line. You have to react to it, change, and do stuff".

Continue reading 'Machine Games 'would really love to do a sequel' to Wolfenstein' (full post)

Oculus VR scoops up the team that helped make the Xbox 360 controller

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 25, 2014 4:39 am

Carbon Design Group, the company that helped make the Xbox 360 controller (and its transforming d-pad) and the Kinect for Microsoft, has been acquired by Oculus VR. Better yet, Oculus VR has said that it has been working with Carbon "for nearly a year on multiple unannounced projects".

 

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Oculus VR said on its website: "We're thrilled to announce that we've agreed to acquire the Carbon Design team, one of the premier industrial design and product engineering teams in the country, with over 50 awards to their name. As part of the deal, the team will officially become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus, operating from the Carbon studio in the Seattle area. They'll also be working closely with the Oculus R&D team based out of Redmond".

 

Carbon Design Group has been in business for over 20 years, and in that time has been a product design and development consultancy firm that has developed consumer, industrial and medical products for companies all across the world. Carbon hasn't just been working on video game consumer electronics, it has helped design computer mice, air purifiers, medical imaging equipment and much more.

Continue reading 'Oculus VR scoops up the team that helped make the Xbox 360 controller' (full post)

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