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Statues of Assange, Snowden and Manning unveiled in Berlin

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: 2 days, 20 hours ago

Depending on which part of the political spectrum you hail from, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are either dangerous leakers, or freedom fighting whistleblowers, but either way, the trip have been commemorated in a art project which has been unveiled in Germany, according to a report published by RT News.

 

 

The work of Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, the installation 'Anything to Say?' encourages members of the public to join the trio on the empty chair situated next to them, telling media that "the fourth chair is open to anyone here in Berlin who wants to get up and say anything they want. This chair is, I guess, a place of free speech".

 

Meanwhile, last month in the US, a bust of Edward Snowden was placed in New York's Fort Greene park, but removed within hours by parks department officials.

Continue reading 'Statues of Assange, Snowden and Manning unveiled in Berlin' (full post)

Bitcoin fighting to gain widespread support, while challenges remain

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 2 days, 21 hours ago

The bitcoin cryptocurrency remains an extremely volatile currency, with values sliding from $1,100 down to $200, as the demise of several bitcoin exchanges generate huge headlines. By midday Sunday, a single bitcoin was valued at $240, still showing a significant amount of volatility.

 

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There are a growing number of bitcoin-related startups focused on helping foster a strong bitcoin community - with Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners investing $50 million to help look at possible bitcoin investments.

 

Financial institutions, initially showing hesitancy to embrace bitcoins, are quietly trying to learn about the bitcoin ecosystem. Some European banks have opened up their checkbooks to support bitcoins, providing much-needed financial support to startups.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin fighting to gain widespread support, while challenges remain' (full post)

Square Enix put 'around three weeks' into their amazing DX12 demo

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 21 hours ago

We have been hearing about DirectX 12 all week thanks to Microsoft's Build Developer Conference, with Square Enix showing off one of the most visually impressive tech demos ever. We've heard that the adoption rate of DX12 has been the highest in a decade, and that with Multiadapter mode in DX12, discrete and integrated GPUs can work together for added performance.

 

 

Microsoft and Square Enix showed off the Luminous demo running on a Digital Storm PC powered by four NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X video cards, and to prove that it was pre-rendered footage, the presenter paused the demo and moved the camera around in the Luminous engine, in real time. The video above is an amazing tease of what's to come from Square Enix, their Luminous engine, and DirectX 12.

 

Square Enix teased their DX12 powered "Luminous" engine, with the developer adding that it wasn't hard to get Luminous working in Microsoft's next-gen API. Ivan from Square Enix was asked if the developer faced any issues getting DX12 to work under Luminous, to which he replied: "I think it took around three weeks to get the basic rendering working, and comparing this to my previous experience with implementing a new graphics API layer, I would say it was quite straight forward. However I have to mention that this wasn't a direct port and it wasn't using many of the unique of D3D12. Going forward I think we're going to adjust some of our systems in the engine to better match D3D12".

Continue reading 'Square Enix put 'around three weeks' into their amazing DX12 demo' (full post)

Enter our Studio Ghibli Blu-ray giveaway, thanks to Madman Films

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 2 days, 21 hours ago

To celebrate this week's release of the beautiful Japanese animation 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' from the renowned Studio Ghibli on Blu-ray HD, we have copies of the Blu-ray to give away to ten lucky readers.

 

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl grows into an exquisite young lady, raised by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. From the countryside to the grand capital city, she enthralls all who encounter her. Based on the classic Japanese folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, 'The Tale of The Princess Kayuga' is the culmination of decades of contemplation by director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata.

 

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To go into the running to take a Blu-ray home, simply correctly answer the following question:

 

Name the classic Japanese folktale that 'The Tale of The Princess Kayuga' is based on

 

To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown dot com before the competition closes on May 8th.

 

'The Tale of Pricess Kaguya' is available on Blu-ray HD from Australian retailers from May 6th, and on DVD now.

Microsoft says adoption rate of DirectX 12 is the fastest since DX9

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 22 hours ago

DirectX 12 is shaping up to be a real shift in PC gaming, with Microsoft talking more about its next-gen API at the Build Developer Conference last week.

 

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The Redmond-based OS giant has said that adoption rate of DX12 is the fastest since DX9, with more and more developers jumping onto DX12 early. Microsoft's Principal DirectX Development Lead, Max McMulle, has said: "this [DX12] has been the fastest adoption of the Direct3D API we've seen since Direct3D 9. It's been the fastest adopted API in more than a decade".

 

We also reported yesterday on DirectX 12's Multiadapter technology, which joins integrated and discrete GPUs for increased performance. McMulle discussed that, where he explained: "This feature exposes direct control of two linked GPUs as well. So you might have known as Crossfire or SLI from AMD and NVIDIA, respectively, but you'll get direct control of both GPUs in DX12 if you so choose".

The Witcher 3 game designer says the game is 'f***ing enormous'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 23 hours ago

We know that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is going to be one seriously large game, with over 200 hours of gameplay and a 'Dark' permanent death mode, but the Senior Game Director behind the game has some interesting things to add about its length.

 

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Damien Monnier, the Senior Game Director on The Witcher 3 fielded some questions on the game's official forums, where he was asked how large the game was. Monnier tried to explain the reason behind hearing so many varying levels of how large the game is, and why it's hard to pinpoint the exact size, and that's because it's hard to actually calculate.

 

Monnier explained: "The reason you have heard different things is because it's hard to calculate, you have a lot of landmass but oceans too, and small islands scattered around. You know, that's one of the reasons during interviews now I just say 'massive' because I have no clue. Whenever I try to calculate it I come up with 'Fu*king enormous'".

Rare to show off a game at E3 2015, could it be the new Battletoads?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 3 days, 1 hour ago

We heard about a new Battletoads game being in development a while ago now, but since then, nothing. Now the rumors are popping back up, with Rare teasing that they will be showing something off at E3 2015 in June.

 

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Rare's Creative Director Simon Woodroffe took to Twitter to confirm that the developer will be unveiling their new title at E3 2015, saying "E3 will tell the world what Gregg Mayles new project is about". He added that the new game is not a Kinect title, which is nice to hear.

 

Which game could we see Rare unveil? It could be a new Battletoads or Banjo Kazooie, which could spur some serious sales and enthusiasm for the Xbox One platform at E3 2015. Especially something like Battletoads, which has become a cult classic since it launched. The amount of hours I pumped into that game with my brother... I would almost buy an Xbox One just for that game if Rare do unveil it. What do you want to see more? Banjo Kazooie, Battletoads, or something completely new?

ASUS VivoWatch costs just $149, and has a 10-day battery life

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 3 days, 2 hours ago

Apple might have just launched its Watch, but the wearable market has been here for quite sometime, and now ASUS wants to make its splash into the wearable game with the VivoWatch.

 

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Where ASUS is going to stray from Apple is pricing, with Apple Watch starting at a huge $549, ASUS could really get some consumers on its side with its $149 price tag. At $149, ASUS has used Android Wear on the VivoWatch, but the long battery life is going to be another draw card, where it should be at around 10 days, which is damn impressive. Apple Watch on the other hand, provides users with around 19 hours of battery life.

 

The VivoWatch sports a 1.28-inch black and white touchscreen which uses an LCD panel from Sharp, but the display is somewhat unique. When you start tapping or swiping at the VivoWatch display, only part of the image moves, which extends battery life considerably. ASUS has also used a different chip inside of the VivoWatch, instead of a full blown system-on-a-chip (SoC).

 

We still have a built-in heart rate sensor, IP67 water resistance, and full health tracking within the VivoWatch, even at its $149 pricing. ASUS has event provided a "happiness index range" which monitors your happiness through various functions on the VivoWatch. The VivoWatch with its IP67 water resistance can be "submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes" which allows you to keep it on 24/7, compared to something like the Apple Watch, which needs to be removed when you're in the shower or water.

Analysts unsure of GoPro's long-term success, as competition rises

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 3 days, 4 hours ago

GoPro is facing increased competition and has been described as a "one-trick pony" by one analyst, despite the company reporting higher sales and profit - leading to the company's stock shares increasing 12.6 percent to close the day last Wednesday. However, the company will face increased pressure from a growing number of companies interested in making similar products.

 

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"You have rising competition that I think over the next few years is going to be a much more level playing field," said Jason Rotman, managing partner of Lido Isle Advisors, in a statement made on CNBC.

 

Even so, GoPro could find success in its international expansion plans: "I think they've just scratched the surface for international penetration," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Continue reading 'Analysts unsure of GoPro's long-term success, as competition rises' (full post)

Avengers: Age of Ultron has second-best movie opening in US

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 3 days, 5 hours ago

The summer movie season is off to a good start, with Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron racking up $187.7 million in its opening weekend at the North American box office, only trailing behind The Avengers ($207.4 million).

 

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Thursday night screenings alone generated $27.6 million, with an additional $84.5 million in box office revenue on Friday. Including massive international support, the latest Avengers film has generated $527.7 million worldwide - and should continue to generate strong sales.

 

"Between the boxing match, NHL and NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby... looks like folks were distracted," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney, in a statement published by the LA Times. "But the second-biggest opening in history of movie business is something to be proud of and also just the beginning of what we expect to be a spectacular run."

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