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TweakTown News Posts - Page 83

Soundwall speaker looks like art and supports AirPlay

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 2:54 pm

Many people out there spend a lot of time trying to make their tech in the home hide when not in use. There are all sorts of systems out there for hiding TVs behind mirrors and artwork for instance. Typically, if you want to hide speakers you can embed them inside a wall or ceiling or just hide them behind furniture.


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A company called Soundwall has a speaker system that hides in plain sight as a piece of art on the wall. The Soundwall speaker system uses a distributed mode speaker that hides a Raspberry Pi controller inside and supports Apple AirPlay and UPnP.


The artwork the speaker features is customizable and applied to a special foam core material that promises high quality sound. Soundwall uses Wi-Fi connectivity to content to streaming music sources. Multiple Soundwall speakers can be used in one location.

Continue reading 'Soundwall speaker looks like art and supports AirPlay' (full post)

Google acquires parts of Green Throttle Gaming, and its founders

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 12:28 pm

Pando Daily is reporting that Google has acquired parts of Green Throttle Gaming, a small company who developers Bluetooth controllers and Android-based virtual gaming consoles.


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Google scooped up Green Throttle Gaming's two founders, as well as the parts and labor division of the company. A Google spokesperson has confirmed the deal, but didn't extend its terms to the public. The deal sees Green Throttle's business rights stay with co-founder Charles, while the company's staff and co-founders move over to Google.


The other co-founders of Green Throttle are Karl Townsend, who is the company's Lead Engineer on the original and second generation Palm Pilot, and President and Chief Operating Officer Matt Crowley, who used to work for Nokia and Palm. The company has worked on an Android-based virtual console, which allows gamers to connect their smartphones and tablets up to their TVs through an HDMI connection to play mobile games with Green Throttle controllers.

Continue reading 'Google acquires parts of Green Throttle Gaming, and its founders' (full post)

Apple approved for its San Francisco-based flagship Apple Store

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 11:34 am

The San Francisco Planning Commission along with the city's Board of Supervisors have approved Apple's plans for an upcoming Union Store Apple Store. Now that the city has approved its plans, the company can being construction on the new store, which will be located just three blocks away from its existing store in San Francisco.


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"We are thrilled that the city of San Francisco has given its final approval to begin work on our new store and public plaza, which will make a wonderful addition to Union Square and create hundreds of local jobs," said Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette when talking to Re/code. She continued: "Our Stockton Street store has been incredibly popular, welcoming over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to making a new home on Union Square."


We should expect the new flagship Apple Store to feature 44-foot tall sliding glass panels at its entry, with an Apple rep calling the new location "more iconic" than its well-known Fifth Avenue store in New York City.

Flappy Bird creator says he's "considering" bringing the game back

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 10:34 am

Flappy Bird has been gone for a month now, but the creator behind the game, Dong Nguyen, has finally come out and talked about his super famous game in a feature interview with Rolling Stone.


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In the interview itself, Nguyen says that he is "considering" bringing Flappy Bird back, even after all the attention - good and bad - he has received. The Flappy Bird creator says that he the game even saw him hit with threats. Even with the threats, he is exploring his options, warning players to take breaks from the game as it has addictive qualities - a big part of why he took the game down.


Nyugen also talked about the inspiration for Flappy Bird, and how the culture of his home city of Hanoi influenced the game's simple mechanics. He says that the citizens dashing through the city, eyes focused on their smartphones, which is where the simply 'tap' control method made its way into Flappy Bird.

Titanfall's 48GB install on PC is filled with 35GB of audio

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 10:17 am

When we reported about the mammoth installation of Titanfall on the PC, we wondered what could be so big that it warranted a 48GB installation. Well, that 48GB install is filled with a massive 35GB of uncompressed audio.


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The installation of Titanfall on the Xbox One weighs in at just 17GB, so jumping up to 48GB on the PC is quite ridiculous. Respawn decided to give PC gamers uncompressed audio, to account for less powerful hardware configurations. This is due to the large amount of dual-core machines, which just meet the minimum requirements on PC for Titanfall.


Respawn's Lead Engineer, Richard Baker, said that "a two-core machine would dedicate a huge chunk of one core to just decompressing audio," so the studio decided to go for uncompressed audio, in order to squeeze more performance out of the slower machines. This comes at the cost of 35GB, which is quite the chunk of hard drive space.

162,000 legitimate WordPress websites used to launch DDoS attacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 9:20 am

Legitimate WordPress sites can be compromised and turned into a weapon to use as part of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, according to security researchers. A HTTP-based distributed flood attack from more than 162,000 attacks recently brought down a larger site, with the victim WordPress site forced offline due to a tremendous amount of traffic.


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Compromised websites likely didn't realize they were hijacked and used as part of the attack, though administrators can search for XML-RPC "POST" requests in website logs.


"Any WordPress site with XML-RPC enabled (which is on by default) can be used in DDoS attacks against other sites," said Daniel Cid, Sucuri CTO, wrote in a blog post. "Note that XML-RPC is used for pingbacks, trackbacks, remote access via mobile devices and many other features you're likely very fond of."

Continue reading '162,000 legitimate WordPress websites used to launch DDoS attacks' (full post)

Former Lead Engineer for Valve's VR project leaves for Oculus VR

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 8:35 am

Valve's now former Lead Engineer on its VR project has left the company, for the bright lights of Oculus VR. Atman Binstock will now serve as Oculus VR's new Chief Architect.


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Binstock helped the Half-Life developer on its VR Room demo, which was shown at the company's Steam Dev Days. Binstock also has a history with other industry heavyweights in Intel and DICE. Oculus VR posted on its website that Binstock had helped Valve overcome simulator sickness and push through for a true sense of "presence" in a virtual reality setting.


Considering the two companies have been working together on VR, Oculus VR's Rift technology and the future of the company must have been more enticing for Binstock. Oculus VR has been grabbing some of the biggest names in the industry of late, with its latest big name in the industry joining last year, John Carmack of Doom and Quake fame.

Valve releases open source to ToGL, a Direct3D to OpenGL translator

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 7:33 am

Valve has just released the source to ToGL, which is its translation layer to support a subset of the Direct3D 9 API on OpenGL systems. ToGL works with Valve's own Source engine, so this could be an interesting thing going into 2014.


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ToGL doesn't support the full Direct3D 9c API, but instead an undefined "limited subset" that is focused on specific requirements of Source. ToGL can also support shader programs from Direct3D's HLSL bytecode to OpenGL's GLSL. As it stands, Valve's ToGL isn't useful to most, with its reference files not included in the package.


What ToGL will be useful for, is when developers want to migrate Direct3D engines to run on the open-source OpenGL API. This could be interesting as we move into the year, with SteamOS being based on Linux, so an open-source API like OpenGL and a translator could shift quite a few games under Direct3D over to OpenGL.

Gran Turismo 6 now features multi-monitor support

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 7:31 am

An update has been pushed out for Polyphony Digital's mega hit PlayStation 3-exclusive, Gran Turismo 6, which adds an incredible new feature: multi-monitor support.


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Some new features have also been baked into GT6's latest patch, including a car search feature to find vehicles using specific options, and open lobby changes including Time Trial, Drift Trial and Free Run. We also have the usual improvements and adjustments, such as brake balance and traction control. The multi-monitor capabilities baked into GT6's update 1.05 can be accessed through the game's display options.

Xbox Live outage lasts five hours as Titanfall launches

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 12, 2014 6:26 am

Titanfall launched yesterday, a game that Microsoft was heavily invested in, but it looks like the company unfortunately experienced some issues during its launch with Xbox Live experiencing some serious downtime.


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Microsoft's gaming network had gamers unable to sign into their consoles to play Respawn Entertainment's first game, a game that was quite the make-or-break it title for the company's next-gen console. Titanfall is a multiplayer-only game, which is another headache in itself, as all play with the game requires Xbox Live. The tutorial can't even be played without an Internet connection.


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The official Xbox Support Twitter account has tweeted: "Thanks for your patience, Xbox Live is good to go! Try these specific steps to get back in the game now." So it looks like it's all good now, but it's not a first good step for Microsoft and Titanfall.

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