During the GPU14 event in Hawaii a few weeks back, AMD touted its new Mantle API as being the great unifier between consoles and PCs and would allow more pc games to see "console like performance and optimization." This really struck a nerve with many PC gamers as they feel that the consoles should catch up to the faster PC gaming market rather than the PC being dumbed down to console levels.
Many of us in the industry assumed that this meant that Sony and Microsoft would be using the Mantle API to power its consoles which run AMD APU processors. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. In a recent blogpost, Microsoft said that its upcoming Xbox One console will not run AMD's Mantle API, but would feature the company's own Direct 3D 11.2 API. Additionally, AMD has also pointed out that Mantle will actually be exclusive to the PC.
This morning ASUSTOR announced the launch of a new online accessory store for its products. The new store was implemented after ASUSTOR realized that many of its customers had little to no local access to its products and accessories. Going the extra mile, the company has decided to offer free shipping on all orders, something it feels will make its customers very happy.
The store also allows customers to compare products via a new comparison table function, and users can also quickly find accessories by searching using keywords. I navigated the website for a few minutes this morning and am quite impressed to be honest. As a former web developer, the site seems very responsive, snappy, and well laid out.
VMworlds 2013 - LSI announced today that its Nytro XD Application Acceleration Solution now features integrated support for VMware Software. The combined solution utilizes a PCIe flash card with intelligent, host-based caching software that has been designed specifically for virtualized environments.
"With a relatively small investment in PCIe flash storage, the Nytro XD solution delivers an incredibly cost-effective method for improving application performance and VM density for existing storage infrastructures," said Robin Wagner, senior director of marketing, Datacenter Solutions Group, LSI. "For key applications such as databases and virtual desktops, the ability to intelligently cache hot data in low-latency PCIe flash storage accelerates access to data and helps enable faster boot times and greater business productivity."
A new report from The Washington Post is suggesting that the NSA has been harvesting hundreds of thousands of email addresses from contact list, online address books, and even instant messaging services. The report is based off of top-secret documents that were provided by senior intelligence officials as well as PRISM whistle blower Edward Snowden.
The report goes on to say that the NSA's Special Source Operations division acquired over 440,000 email address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, and 33,697 from Gmail. Those numbers were derived from an internal NSA powerpoint presentation and are said to represent just a single days worth of email collecting activity.
The Washington Post speculates that the NSA now has a sizeable database of most of the email addresses that exist on the internet today. What the agency plans on doing with these address books is anyones guess. Personally I feel that this is not that big of a deal as many of us openly post our email address online for all to see anyway. On the other hand, I feel that by collecting, storing, and building a database, the NSA is violating some form of my privacy rights.
Today Jeri Ellsworth released a new video on her YouTube channel that gave us a look into what has been going on in her world since she was let go from Valve. Jeri says she has been working on a project that was started about two years ago when she was recruited by Valve to develop an all new way to play video games using augmented reality and virtual reality.
To summarize a long story, Jeri stumbled across a neat effect using special image projection glasses and a sheet of retro reflective material. When combined, the two pieces of technology created a beautiful holographic gaming experience that does not cause headaches from eye strain. Jeri said that she had a hard time selling the new discovery to Valve as they did not see how this could fit into the types of games they were developing.
Jeri teamed up with a developer at Valve named Rick Johnson who began developing games for the system in his spare time after hours at Valve. Jeri continued working on the headset and managed to shrink it down drastically and at the same time, she developed a "magic wand" that was used to control characters on the gaming surface. The gaming system became popular and Jeri says that Valve employees would stop by her office at the end of the day and spend hours playing games on the system.
Earlier today two photos surfaced on the internet of two of Sony's upcoming A series mirrorless cameras. The A7 and A7R are set to be the flagship middle ground cameras between Sony's NEX line and its Alpha line of DSLRs. The A7 and A7R both feature full frame sensors and boast a mirrorless design.
If recent rumors are true, the A7 will feature 24-megapixel sensor while the A7R will boast a whopping 36-megapixel sensor and the camera's internal anti-aliasing filter will be removed to aid in producing the sharpest image possible. Rumors suggest that both cameras will feature a UI similar to that used on the company's RX camera line and will include a "live view" of sorts. The cameras are "water-sealed" along with their line of lenses.
Everyone knows that a Wi-Fi network connection is going to be slower than a modern day wired connection. Up until today that statement was considered to be true, but a new report is suggesting that Wi-Fi could be, on the order of magnitudes, faster than even a fiber connection.
A joint research team from Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, have just release data from their recent experiments that show that Wi-Fi can be much faster than anyone had ever thought. Using very high-frequencies in the 237GHz range, the team was able to achieve a sustained transfer rate of 100Gbit/s.
That is 100 times faster than Google's Fiber Internet service. So fast that you could transfer an entire Blu-ray ISO in just 2 seconds. Unfortunately you should not expect to see this technology arrive in your home anytime soon as high frequencies such as the ones used in this experiment, do not pass through walls very good. They must rely on a line of sight between devices to even function at all.
Microsoft has just posted a video that gives us insight to how the friend system will work in the new Xbox One ecosystem. Microsoft says that users will be able to add over 1000 friends now and that all of your Xbox 360 friends will be automatically imported. The coolest new feature is however, the ability to simply "follow" other players.
Following a player is quite simple and requires a player to set up sharing in their settings. If players follow each other then they can mutually see each others status updates, games that are being played, and even see notifications of when that user begins watching TV. A Twitter-like feed is available to help you keep up with what all your friends are doing in real-time. There is a lot more to the new system and the video above will clue you in on it all.
2013 has not been kind to the SSD manufacturer OCZ, and it appears that is just what some companies were holding out for. Sources have told TweakTown that electronics giant Toshiba is taking a serious look at buying the floundering companies consumer storage division.
This could land Toshiba some very valuable technology that it would not have to license which could be very lucrative for the company. As for OCZ, this could be its saving grace, as the company continue to spiral downward towards a hard rock bottom. As soon as I saw this rumor come in, I messaged our Senior Storage Editor, Chris Ramseyer for his thoughts. "If the report is accurate this is a win-win for everybody. Toshiba will gain a controller to go with its flash and OCZ will escape from the low margin consumer market it created," Ramseyer Said. "OCZ CEO Ralph Schmitt recently stated that OCZ had issues in 2013 securing flash in large volumes. Toshiba 19nm NAND flash has been proven superior to IMFT 20nm flash yet most of OCZ's recent products shipped with IMFT 20nm flash due to Toshiba 19nm shortages."
Honestly, I have to agree with him, and I have not seen anything exciting come out of OCZ on the consumer side of things in many months now, and I feel that Toshiba could take the IP from OCZ and create a new product that would greatly improve its Laptop, Tablet, and PC business. If the deal also comes with a NAND flash deal for OCZ it would work out well for the company.
During a recent interview, DICE's Director, Lars Gustavsson alluded to the company officially supporting Linux with a port of the new Frostbite Engine 3. He said that all it will take is for a single killer game (such as Battlefield 4) to be ported to the free OS and the platform would become as popular for gaming as Windows.
Gustavsson says that DICE wants to create the "Halo" of Linux, referencing the Bungie title that made the Xbox a success overnight. He said that the company will port Frostbite 3 over to Linux and that means that we could see games like Battlefield 4, and other big name titles coming to Linux machines everywhere. A big factor in this will be Valve's SteamOS which has support from AMD and NVIDIA and is needed to get the high-end graphics support needed on Linux.