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TweakTown News Posts - Page 8

The next Halo game launches on Nov 11, requires 20GB day-one patch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 4 days, 5 hours ago

Microsoft is positioning itself to launch the new Halo: Master Chief Collection on November 11 for its Xbox One console, and even though the game arrives on a Blu-ray jam-packed with 45GB of content, you'll still need a massive 20GB day-one download to get it working.

 

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What comes in that wave of 20GB? Microsoft says "features and multiplayer content" for the game. The company explains: "From the start, our philosophy has been to give Halo fans the best possible experience and not compromise the quality or features of the collection. The result is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will take up almost all of the usable space of a single Blu-ray (45 GB), and we will also issue a content update at launch that is estimated to be 20 GB".

 

Microsoft continued: "You'll be able to start playing Campaign and more as the content is installing, with some features and multiplayer content being added via the update. Yes, the update is large, but we weren't about to cut corners to save disc space. This ensures that you are getting every bit of Halo goodness we can fit in. Our work is not done, however, as we continue to tune, tweak and optimize the online experience to ensure a smooth multiplayer launch. This will continue right up until launch day".

Continue reading 'The next Halo game launches on Nov 11, requires 20GB day-one patch' (full post)

TSMC delays the mass production of 16nm FinFET chips by up to 6 months

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 4 days, 6 hours ago

TSMC was meant to be ramping up its 16nm FinFET production any time before the end of the month, but the manufacturing company has provided an update for this, saying it is happy with the yield, but is pushing back mass production of 16nm to early 2015.

 

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The company said this would happen in early 2015, but finished by saying it could even fall into Q3 2015. Once TSMC has reached mass production of its 16nm FinFET process, it will provide added performance and power savings when compared to current technologies. TSMC has said that it is happy with the first yields of 16nm FinFET, but will not start mass producing it until around the second half of next year. The company said: "On the yield learning side, the progress [of 16nm] is much better than our original plan".

 

TSMC continued "This is because the 16nm uses similar [BEOL] process to 20SOC, except for the transistor. Because of the excellent progress in yield learning and readiness in manufacturing maturity and also to meet customers' demand, we plan to pull in 16-nanometer volume production through the end of Q2 next year or early Q3 year 2015". The full reason behind the delay isn't known right now, but the demand of 20nm is growing quick with the launch of the new iPhone, with Apple tapping TSMC for the production of its A8 and A8X chips.

Continue reading 'TSMC delays the mass production of 16nm FinFET chips by up to 6 months' (full post)

Project Cars delayed to March 17, 2015, Steam OS version in late 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 4 days, 14 hours ago

Countless people were counting the days before Project Cars was released, which was meant to be before the end of the year, but the developer has delayed the game to March 17, 2015 in the US. Europeans will receive the game three days later on March 20, 2015.

 

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The delay applies to the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game, pushing it from its original release date of November 18, 2014. Slighty Mad Studios, the developer behind the game, and its publisher Bandai Namco said the reason behind the day was to shift it away from the crowded fall 2014 release window, providing them with more time to pump into development. Slightly Mad Studios' boss, Ian Bell, explained "Whilst a tough decision to make, the change in release date allows the game the greatest chance of success and visibility, and the opportunity to polish the game even further to the high standards that both ourselves and our community demand and expect".

 

Considering we have some big titles like Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and many more coming out in the next couple of months, along with games that have already been released like Alien: Isolation, Destiny, and more, this decision could be very beneficial to the game. That doesn't stop me from being disappointed to hear about yet another game being delayed, which feels like it's happened quite often in the last 1-2 years.

South Korea planning new 10Gbps Internet: 1GB in less than 1 second

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: 4 days, 14 hours ago

South Korea is set to get the world jealous with an impressive new 10Gbps fiber Internet service, with SK Broadband to introduce the new super-fast Internet connection at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union to be held at Busan's BEXCO Center, in partnership with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Information Society Agency on October 20.

 

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Considering all of the advancements that broadband technology is experiencing in Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, citizens of both of these countries are product that they are far out and ahead of the United States. Natsuki Kumagai said: "In the 1960s the world watched NASA send men to the moon and many of us grew up amazed at the constant advancements of the Americans. Now the Americans watch us". Pyon Seo-Ju added: "In my travels to the United States, it is very plain they have lost their way in advancing broadband technology".

 

Seo-Ju continued: "Internet access is terribly slow and expensive because American politicians have sacrificed Americas's technology leadership to protect conglomerates and allow them to flourish. Although unfortunate for America, this has given Korea a chance to promote our own industry and enhance the success of companies like Samsung that are well-known in the United States today".

 

The new 10Gbps service will be 100 times faster than Korea's current average broadband speed, which is already blistering fast at 100Mbps. This means you can download a 1GB file in 0.8 seconds on the 10Gbps connection, less than one second, compared to the 80 seconds with the 100Mbps service.

Anonabox, the $45 privacy router misleads people, Kickstarter steps in

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: 4 days, 15 hours ago

Just days ago, August Germar showed off his Anonabox privacy router on Kickstarter, quickly flying past his pledge goal of $7500. Germar was promising a router that would give users near ultimate privacy, routing your Internet access through the Tor network. Germar raised $585,549 before Kickstarter suspended his Kickstarter, citing Germar "broke Kickstarter rules".

 

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The Anonabox ball of thread began to unravel when some of its backers began to ask questions about Anonabox's custom hardware, as well as the promised security of its software. It snowballed to the point of many asking for the project to be cancelled, and asked others to report the misleading information to Kickstarter staff. Kickstarter emailed the project investors, telling backers that "a review of the project uncovered evidence that it broke Kickstarter's rules". These rules include the company to prohibit "offering purchased items and claiming to have made them yourself, presenting someone else's work as your own" and "misrepresenting or failing to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator".

 

It all started on Tuesday night, with users seeing issues with the router's hardware, with its designer claiming was custom-designed. The backers found that all of the parts could be acquired from Chinese suppliers on sites such as Alibaba. Germar even confirmed with WIRED that the Anonabox prototype he had was built from "off-the-shelf case and a nearly stock board tweaked to add more flash memory storage, both sourced from the Chinese manufacturer Gainstrong", according to Wired.

Continue reading 'Anonabox, the $45 privacy router misleads people, Kickstarter steps in' (full post)

Online HBO service could cost whopping $18 per month, analysts predict

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: 4 days, 19 hours ago

HBO recently announced it plans to launch a standalone online streaming service in early 2015, but pricing details were not disclosed. CBS announced its online streaming offering will cost just $5.99 per month, but the HBO channel could end up costing upwards of $18 per month, according to analysts from Barclays.

 

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Content providers creating their own online channels are turning the screws on cable and satellite TV service providers, and partners could pressure HBO to not cannibalize their subscriber base. HBO will have to try to appeal to consumers while not undercutting their partners - and if Barclays is accurate with an $18 per month service - it seems unlikely that most consumers will go for it.

 

There could be potential battle lines drawn between premium channels and their broadcast partners, but industry analysts believe they will have to wait and see how HBO GO proceeds in the future.

AMD isn't price cutting its GPUs, its partners are running promotions

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 4 days, 21 hours ago

Back when we reported that AMD was dropping the price of its Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X GPUs in reaction to NVIDIA's new Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 GPUs, we thought it was AMD which was dropping the prices of its high-end Radeons, but it's actually their partners who are doing the price reductions.

 

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In the meantime, AMD has a new CEO in Lisa Su, with the company laying off some 710 employees after a tough quarter, some big changes and news for the company. During AMD's recent earnings call, the fresh CEO said that NVIDIA has released some very competitive products with their second generation Maxwell GPUs, and that the company needed to adjust to "some competitive dynamics", or repositioning other products. Su said: "We have certainly adjusted to some of the competitive dynamics, and we have made some positioning changes as well as some new marketing activities that you will see from us in the fourth quarter".

 

During an interview between AMD's Chief Gaming Scientist Richard Huddy and KitGuru, Huddy had the following to say about the Radeon price cuts: "We have not issued any price cuts, nor price protection and we have not announced any for the future. We are conducting some promotions with our AIB partners that enables them to reach such competitive pricing on the Radeon R9 290 and 290X". How long will the cheaper Radeons last? According to Huddy: "The best news is that we have very healthy stock levels for both the Radeon R9 290 and 290X in the channel and the time to buy is now, with channel promotions bringing such great deals. We've got phenomenal products in the market and there's plenty of it around".

Continue reading 'AMD isn't price cutting its GPUs, its partners are running promotions' (full post)

Code Red: AMD to lay off 710 employees after a harsh quarter

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 4 days, 22 hours ago

Weeks after NVIDIA's launch of its second-gen Maxwell GPUs, its competitor AMD has experienced "challenging market conditions" for its last quarter, just as its new CEO, Lisa Su gets used to her new position of power.

 

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For AMD's third quarter, the company saw revenues of $1.43 billion, with an operating income of $63 million, and net income of $17 million. When things get split into individual units, we see things getting messy. AMD's Computer and Graphics division, the side of AMD that takes care of its successful Radeon business, and is considered as the "bread and butter" of Team Red, posted revenues of $781 million. This is a 16% year-on-year drop, with the division posting an operating loss of $17 million, compared to its $6 million loss in the same quarter of 2013.

 

AMD's Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom Division, posted higher revenues of $648 million, which is up 21% from the same quarter of 2013. This division posting earnings of $108 million, up from the $92 million of Q3 2013. The problem is, AMD says that there are harsher times to come, warning that it expects revenues to drop another 10% to 16% in its next quarter, sequentially. The company also had to slash jobs as part of its restructuring plan, culling some 710 employees from its global workforce, a number that makes up 7% of its total staff.

 

The freshly minted CEO, Lisa Su, said: "While decisions that impact the size of our global team are never entered into lightly, this is the right step to ensure we prioritize our resources and engineering investments in our highest-priority opportunities that can drive improved profitability and long-term growth".

Apple pulls Bose headphones, audio products from its online store

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: 5 days ago

Apple has decided to pull Bose headphones and audio products from its online store, with the QuietComfort headphones series and SoundLink Mini and SoundLink III speakers being removed. It seems likely Apple will begin pulling Bose from retail stores - if they haven't quietly disappeared from shelves already - after the Beats headphones acquisition.

 

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The decision was first rumored earlier this month, so it's not a surprise to see Apple reportedly following through with the decision.

 

Despite the snub from Apple, Bose still has a large marketing and sales presence anyway, including professional sports partnerships. However, the Beats brand still has gained some free publicity along the way, especially with NFL players wearing Beats headphones even though it is against NFL policy.

Boeing developing new anti-drone laser cannon for US Army

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 2 hours ago

The Boeing High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) successfully shot UAV drones and 60mm mortars from the sky, with tests done in less than ideal weather conditions. Using a 10-kilowatt laser, HEL MD was able to shoot down or disable 150 targets in foggy and windy weather, and a more powerful laser will be used in the future.

 

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Researchers hope to push the laser cannon power up to 50 or 60 kilowatts, which will be used to defend against UAV attacks, mortars, rockets and enemy artillery. Boeing and the U.S. military don't expect to roll out official HEL MD units for a few more years, if testing continues to go well.

 

"With capabilities like HEL MD, Boeing is demonstrating that directed energy technologies can augment existing kinetic strike weapons and offer a significant reduction in cost per engagement," said Dave DeYoung, Boeing Directed Energy Systems director. "With only the cost of diesel fuel, the laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower."

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