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Opera 35 adds tab muting, overhauls download manager

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: 2 days, 13 hours ago

Opera 35 for desktops and laptops is out, and with it comes a couple new juicy features as well as some small but appreciable tweaks.

 

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First, the now standard tab muting feature has been added. This is very handy for when a tab plays sounds unexpectedly, or when you want to silence a tab to listen to something else or just to have quiet. Simply click the volume icon and the sound is immediately off.

 

Next is the overhauled download manager. The new interface looks very slick with functionality to match. The categories menu on the left will prove very useful for when you've been downloading a lot on a given day or if you're the lazy type and don't clear your download history much or at all. Additionally, there's now a warning in place when exiting the browser while downloading something.

Continue reading 'Opera 35 adds tab muting, overhauls download manager' (full post)

Cities Skylines: Snowfall expansion lets you freeze your denizens

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 14 hours ago

Cities: Skylines' new update will let you freeze our your citizens and snow them in, causing mass chaos. And that expansion, Snowfall, is now set to arrive on February 18th.

 

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The new expansion is a winter themed affair that adds in snow themed maps and all of the accessories and equipment that a new city would need to maintain itself during the frozen months of winter. That means you'll be budgeting and sending out the plows and snow trucks to maintain order and happiness.

 

Just think about what happened in the Eastern US recently with that blasted snow storm, can you do better? Now's your chance! The expansion will arrive for only $13. This is already one of the best city building games around, and this will just add more options and variety to an already endless game.

Stanford's new lithium ion battery won't ever overheat

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 15 hours ago

Today's chemically-charged lithium ion batteries can be quite disastrous when they overheat, and even lead to explosions. While hardware-makers have pushed to make mobile batteries more powerful, we don't always hear about making them safer--but it looks like a new prototype from Stanford could do just that.

 

 

Stanford University has created a new lithium ion battery that won't overheat, potentially opening up the doors for everlasting Stanford's new battery has a safety function not unlike thermal trips in CPU hardware that automatically shuts itself off when it gets too hot. "People have tried different strategies to solve the problem of accidental fires in lithium-ion batteries," said Stanford professor of chemical engineering Zhenan Bao. "We've designed the first battery that can be shut down and revived over repeated heating and cooling cycles without compromising performance."

 

The science behind the new tech depends on a combination of thermally-responsive polymer, which acts as a conduit for the electricity, and graphene-coated nanoscale nickel particles to carry the charge. The polyethylene film expands when heated up, separating the nickel particles from the electrodes and thus cutting off the flow of electricity. Once the temperature drops back to a stable point, the film will shrink and enable a steady flow of electric current--and the process can be repeated many, many times without losing efficiency.

Continue reading 'Stanford's new lithium ion battery won't ever overheat' (full post)

Dust 514 shutting it's servers down, working on new PC FPS project

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 15 hours ago

Dust 514 isn't an old game by MMO standards. It's been able to survive the waves of popularity and the release of new consoles, being popular among the hardcore EVE Online fans. But now the project is shutting down, because the development team is hard at work on a PC FPS instead.

 

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The team from CCP that was working on Dust 514 has now switched gears to start on a new project using Unreal Engine 4 for the PC that's set in the same EVE universe of New Eden. So while it's being shutdown, it's really being rebooted to something far better. The PC is a natural platform for an MMO type FPS, for the better controls if anything.

 

CCP Games will have some more information about their new adventure in PC gaming come April at the EVE Fanfest. It seems that with the imminent release of EVE: Valkyrie and their experience making a visceral PC experience with UE4, they're consolidating development to one platform and with one engine. Dust 514 was build using Unreal Engine 3, however.

Continue reading 'Dust 514 shutting it's servers down, working on new PC FPS project' (full post)

The Division has dynamic resolution scaling on Xbox One

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 16 hours ago

Like Halo 5 and Wolfestein: The New Order, Ubisoft's latest open-world shooter The Division uses dynamic resolution scaling on the Xbox One in order to keep gameplay running smoothly.

 

 

According to an in-depth performance analysis from Digital Foundry, The Division's resolution isn't locked on the Xbox One, and instead shifts and scales down to maintain a solid frame rate. During The Division's beta test, many Xbox One users noticed less-defined visuals during heavy action sequences compared to PS4.

 

To maintain a solid 30 frames-per-second, The Division will downscale resolution on-the-fly during graphics-heavy areas and sequences. The drop isn't readily apparent and is noted to trick the eye, but close observation will reveal blurry signs, motion blur, and lowered sharpness and definition. "Wherever you see heavy volumetric effects and lots of geometry on-screen, there's a strong possibility that The Division's frame buffer is switching to a lower pixel count on Xbox One," Digital Foundry said in their analysis.

Continue reading 'The Division has dynamic resolution scaling on Xbox One' (full post)

Hitman's PlayStation 4 exclusive content detailed, sort of exciting

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 16 hours ago

The PlayStation 4 will be getting some exclusive content for Hitman when it launches on March 11th. That means missions and contracts that won't be available anywhere else. Everyone, not just those who pre-order, will get to enjoy the fun.

 

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If you plan on buying this titular title for the PlayStation 4, then you'll have access to a six-part side mission that they've named "The Sarajevo Six". In this mission, Agent 47 is tasked with hunting down six key members of a private military group that's called CICADA. These missions will be added to the game in increments, as the various maps that'll be needed are added into the game.

 

The first mission in that series will be made available when the game launches, right on March 11th, and that first mission is called "The Director. Scott Sarno, the director of European Operations for CICADA is your target, and it's doubtful that the mission will at all be easy.

Windows 10 accounts for over 30% of Steam gamers

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 17 hours ago

With Microsoft pushing Windows 10 so hard onto consumers, it's no surprise that more and more users have jumped to the new OS. While most PC gamers prefer Windows 7 as their OS of choice, Windows 10 adoption is catching up fast and will likely outpace its predecessor on Steam.

 

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According to Valve's latest hardware and software survey, 32.77% of Steam gamers are running Windows 10 64-bit (up by 1.26%) as of January 2016. Windows 7 64-bit is still ahead with ~34% user installations, but not by much. We'll probably see Windows 10 dominate as the preferred OS on Steam by mid-year, especially since the free update expires on July 29.

 

Microsoft has also set Windows 10 as a "recommended update", meaning it'll download automatically if you have the auto update setting turned on. According to recent surveys, Windows 10 is installed in 1 of every 10 PCs--a number that will grow exponentially throughout the year.

Continue reading 'Windows 10 accounts for over 30% of Steam gamers' (full post)

Final Fantasy XV could come to PC, references hidden in sites code

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 17 hours ago

There's a distinct possibility that Final Fantasy XV is going to be coming to the PC, at least if the HTML of the game site is to be believed.

 

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An astute observer from NeoGAF, KupoNut, decided to check out the underlying HTML of the official Final Fantasy XV site. You know, just for fun. And while he was doing that he noticed some distinct references to each platform that it's going to be released on.

 

And in that code there are lines that specifically reference Windows 10 and Steam. Does that mean that we're going to be seeing this on PC as well? There's been no actual information as to whether or not it'll make that debut, but it's always a possibility, especially with Square Enix having recently released quite a few Final Fantasy titles on Steam recently.

Continue reading 'Final Fantasy XV could come to PC, references hidden in sites code' (full post)

Android Marshmallow has finally been adopted by over 1% of devices

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

It's been a hard road for the adoption of the latest version of Android, but 4 months later we're now looking at 1.2% of reported Android devices running Android 6.0, Marshmallow.

 

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The update process used to be far more complicated and lengthy as carrier testing sometimes prohibited devices from receiving the newest updates and then sometimes even becoming abandoned. There are still issues with manufacturers' ability to quickly roll-out updates, and with KitKat (4.4) being the most prevalent version installed, it doesn't seem like the roll-out process is becoming any more streamlined.

 

The meager 1.2% is likely attributed to the numbers of Nexus 6P and 5X phones sold, and not because of older devices being updated. This points to their new phones not really selling very well, or even to a market dilution with so many Android phones available.

Continue reading 'Android Marshmallow has finally been adopted by over 1% of devices' (full post)

ARK: Survival Evolved could come to PlayStation 4 early access

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 19 hours ago

What if the PlayStation 4 had an early access program? That's exactly what Studio Wildcard wants so it can bring the mega-popular dino-sim ARK: Survival Evolved to all platforms.

 

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"We're pretty excited about PS4. We wish Sony had an early access program, and a lot of people have been asking us for it," ARK co-founder and creative director Jesse Rapczak told Gamespot.

 

Sony actually does have its own unofficial early access system for the PS4, but Rapczak says it calls for games to be pretty much finished beforehand. Sony also makes sure that the games are guaranteed to be completed, whereas Steam and Xbox EA games may never be released. "We just kind of got to say, 'Well you know, it's not really up to us. It's the way Sony runs things, the game pretty much has to be finished'," Rapczak said. "There are a few exceptions that we're not quite sure why they made an exception for one game or the other, but Ark is in the state where at present time unless it's finished, it's not coming out on PS4 until they have some other program that allows us to do that. That being said we are really excited about it."

Continue reading 'ARK: Survival Evolved could come to PlayStation 4 early access' (full post)

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