To make up for a few days of PlayStation Network disruption because of the Lizard Squad distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, Sony has announced it a "holiday thank you" to gamers.
"Happy New Year! Since access to PlayStation Network was impacted during the holidays, we wanted to show our appreciation for your patience by offering all PlayStation Plus members that had an active membership or free trial on December 25th a membership extension of five days."
The extension will be automatically applied, and additional details will be published on the official PlayStation Blog. Also, all PlayStation Network gamers can receive a 10 percent discount code for a one-time purchase from the PlayStation Store. The discount is applicable towards new releases, indie games, game add-ons and season passes, along with select movies and TV episodes.
Sony Pictures announced it is spreading release of "The Interview" to In Demand, a premium pay-per-view network that includes customers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, PlayStation Network, and other major carriers. Even with increased interest among Internet users to illegally pirate the movie, "The Interview" still appears to be racking up strong online rentals and purchases - which is why additional partners wanted to jump onboard.
Considering it wasn't long ago when Sony Pictures announced it would pull the movie from theaters - and online release also seemed in jeopardy - it's good to see the film hit additional markets. "We have always sought the widest possible distribution for "The Interview," and want to thank our new partners for helping us make that happen," said Michael Lynton, Sony Entertainment CEO, in a press statement.
Sony Pictures still hasn't outlined international release schedule for the film, but an announcement is expected to take place sometime in the near future.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed by two Florida residents, accusing Apple of deceiving its customers regarding storage space required for the iOS 8 operating system. The company didn't inform customers that 23 percent of storage space on iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets would be used by iOS 8 alone, which many users have found to be frustrating.
"We feel that there are a considerable number of Apple purchasers that have been duped, and we'll be following the claims briskly," said William Anderson, attorney at Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca, when discussing the lawsuit.
The iPhone 5s has 18.1 percent storage capacity unavailable to users after installation, 18.8 percent for the iPhone 6, and 20.6 percent unavailable for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Microsoft plans to phase out sales of the original Kinect for Windows sensor starting in 2015, after shipping the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and 2.0 software development kit (SDK) in late 2014.
Kinect users spend $199 to invest in a hands-free motion sensor system that allows them to interact with games, productivity tools and apps, using gestures or voice. However, the Kinect SDK 2.0 allows developers to create Windows Store Kinect-enabled apps, and use the Kinect Adapter for Windows to use the Xbox One sensor and still develop Windows apps.
"The original Kinect for Windows sensor was a milestone achievement in the world of natural human computing," Microsoft wrote in the blog. "It allowed developers to create solutions that broke through the old barriers of mouse and keyboard interactions, opening up entirely new commercial experiences in multiple industries, including retail, education, healthcare, education, and manufacturing."
Apple may be their own best competitor, and sales of the iPad have declined 12.7% with further drops in sight. The iPad, and tablets in general, are suffering from market saturation and competition from smartphones with larger screens. Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are only adding to the problem with their larger screens and faster processors, and many speculate the rate of iPad decline is increasing.
The new iPhone models are comparable to iPad performance, and also feature a longer battery life. Tablets have long been preferred for their large screens and batteries, and faster processors. New cell phone models are much like a smaller tablet, but with cellphone connectivity. Many users also utilize iPads for e-reading, but that trend is also migrating to cellular phones. The iPad is also suffering from technological stagnation. While cell phones are increasingly more powerful and can provide more services, the iPad remains relatively the same. There are very few reasons for users to upgrade to a slightly lighter or powerful iPad when the device in their hand the most, the ever-present cell phone, can accomplish any task the iPad can. iPads also suffer from limited storage capacity, and the addition of a USB port to allow users to swap in more storage might be a wise move to provide an incentive to use the iPad over a cell phone.
RAM drives and RAM caching have long been a secret of the gaming and overclocking elite to attain the fastest load times and smoothest gameplay possible. The advent of the SSD has reduced usage of RAM caching due to the SSDs similar performance, and overall simplicity. RAM drives and RAM caching have several hindrances, they require a lot of DRAM because they cache the entire OS, along with everything else, into the DRAM. RAM is also susceptible to power loss. For those with overclocked gaming rigs an errant BSOD can cause massive data loss and require complete reinstallation of the OS. This is not a tradeoff many are willing to make.
Enter Dimmdrive. This new program, which will be available for $34 on Steam today, takes a different approach that removes many of the disadvantages of typical RAM caching. Dimmdrive allows users to specify exactly which data is cached into the DRAM, so users can load just a single game into the RAM. This reduces the amount of RAM required, and also helps minimize exposure to data loss from any type of BSOD or power loss. It is much simpler to reinstall a game than an entire operating system. Once the game is loaded into RAM users can expect speeds up to 13 GB/s for any cached data.
We've covered this Australian giant online retailer in the recent past, showing off their $329 windows 8.1-Based Laptop and explaining how Kogan's self-branded technology components are quite often listed well-below or placed around the lowest priced offerings on the market at any given time.
With an apparent 668 views today alone, Kogan's new 256GB SSD is no different. Boasting a maximum sequential read rate of 460 Mb/s and a maximum sequential write rate of 320 Mb/s, this new offering is said to utilize Intel's NAND flash technology.
Comparing the retail listing with other similar devices in the local Australian market, you can see that the Kogan SSD is very well priced. When looking at other 256GB SSD's, it's noted that you can pick yourself up a Crucial MX100 256GB SSD for $139 AU - which offers sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 300MB/s. If you're looking for higher specifications and higher pricing, you can expect to fork out $219 AU for one of Samsung's 850 Pro Series 256GB SSDs - offering sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 520MB/s.
The wearables market should only accelerate in 2015, and is presenting unique opportunities for niche products that help consumers. The idea of so-called "hearables" will be heavily marketed as companies develop new products that otherwise would have been overlooked.
The hearable market is expected to be valued at $5 billion by 2018 - close to the same figure of the 2014 wearables market overall - according to Wifore Consulting.
"There's some interesting information you can capture through the ear," said Craig Stires, associate vice president for bit data, analytics and software for IDC Asia Pacific, in a statement to CNBC. "We've been looking at things like wrist wearables, but the ear can capture things like oxygen levels, electrocardiograms, and body temperature."
Often described as still the best game in the series, the modding community of SA:MP has reached out to TweakTown - explaining that their San Andreas community is extremely alive and well, showing us screenshots of thousands of players pitting their might against each other in modded servers.
Ranging from role-playing modifications to extremely fun RPG-only battle zones, the team at SA:MP have already started work on their GTA V mod list. As according to James Beatie, V:Multiplayer's Lead Developer and Community Leader, "this modification can be created before the game is released, as a large portion of the programming needed can be done at any time. We feel the head start will open many doors to add as many features as possible."
South Korean Internet users interested in downloading copies of "The Interview" should be worried, as people are having their devices infected while trying to download the movie. Specifically, a Google Android mobile app, available for smartphones and tablets, has been circulating promising access to a pirated copy of the movie - but is instead stealing banking details, according to researchers from McAfee Labs, Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt, and Technische Universitate Darmstadt.
"It contains an Android Trojan detected by McAfee products as Android/Badaccents," according to cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley. "Android/Badaccents claims to download a copy of 'The Interview' but instead installs a two-stage banking Trojan onto victims' devices."
The malware targets Korean banks and Citi Bank, with stolen credentials then sent to a Chinese server. The app was reportedly hosted using the Amazon Web Service (AWS), but Amazon has denied the claim. Researchers say the malicious app has been downloaded more than 20,000 times.