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Acer's new Windows 10-powered Cloudbook priced at $169 is awesome

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 12:38 pm

Windows 10 is right around the corner with its July 29 release, but an interesting new tidbit is that Acer is preparing a seriously cheap Windows 10-powered notebook, the Cloudbook, at just $169.

 

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While Chromebooks might not have ignited the smaller notebook market, a Windows 10-powered offering might be a low-end enough market that has people interested. Acer is set to release two models; an 11-inch and 14-inch model with the 11-inch model starting from $169. There's no pricing on the 14-inch model, but we should expect the Cloudbooks to launch next month, just after Windows 10 flies out..

 

So where Microsoft can't compete against Chromebooks in the super-cheap market, it will compete against them at the interface level. Microsoft's operating system is much more known than Google's, and has a far bigger feature set. At just $169, Acer could quickly secure itself some serious Windows 10 market share, especially when it comes to the education and low-end markets.

Remastered versions of Prototype are much faster on PS3 than Xbox One

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 10:15 am

There's a big reason why the remastered versions of Prototype and Prototype 2 launching on the Xbox One and PS4 didn't get much marketing, because it seems like the remastered versions of the game are piles of crap, that run worse than their previous generation counterparts.

 

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Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has done some digging, discovering that the Xbox 360 version of Prototype and its 2012 sequel runs better than the new Xbox One version. The remastered versions of Prototype and Prototype 2 run at 1080p, but the in-game performance is quite subpar, especially in combat sequences, according to Eurogamer. The cutscenes even feature lowered performance, but the in-game performance reaches just 20-25 FPS, which a bunch of screen tearing, and in battles it gets even worse.

 

Eurogamer notes: "Worse still is the fact PS3 completely overshadows Xbox One in playability. Throughout our tests, Sony's last-gen machine runs with no tearing at all, and yet still manages to consistently best both Xbox machines in frame-rate, both old and new".

NVIDIA will bundle the new Metal Gear Solid game with GeForce cards

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 8:34 am

Something that first leaked onto Reddit and was later confirmed by Newegg, is that NVIDIA will soon be bundling Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with various GeForce video cards.

 

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MGS V will replace Batman: Arkham Knight as NVIDIA's new GeForce promotional deal, and rightfully so, since Arkham Knight won't be back on the PC until later this year. Newegg support confirmed the deal, saying: "Hi everyone! We had a little slip up and posted this deal ahead of schedule. It is not currently available, but stay tuned, it will be soon!"

 

We should see NVIDIA bundle Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with its GeForce GTX 970, GTX 980, GTX 980 Ti and Titan X video cards.

Apple and Samsung to reportedly shift over to e-SIM technology

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 6:20 am

It looks like we are going to be moving over to electronic SIMs (or e-SIMs), with both Samsung and Apple reportedly looking at adopting the new electronic SIM cards.

 

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The benefits of e-SIMs? They are not carrier-specific, so you could switch devices between a network easily. This means that any smartphone, tablet or network-enabled smart device will work with any carrier that supports e-SIMs. Apple has previously tried to push in the use of e-SIMs with its previous generation iPads, but only T-Mobile and AT&T supported it at the time.

 

The Financial Times reports that Samsung and Apple are both reportedly in talks with the GSMA, the mobile telecom industry association, where we'll see e-SIM cards in future smartphones and tablets. Chief Executive of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, told The Financial Times: "With the majority of operators on board, [t]he plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016".

Star Citizen's FPS module will be in 'three, four, maybe 5 weeks'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 4:26 am

We have now got a more precise release window for Star Marine, the first-person module of the ambitious Star Citizen. During an interview with Gamers Nexus, Star Citizen's mastermind Chris Roberts said that Star Marine would be out in "three, four, maybe 5 weeks" from now.

 

 

Roberts talked about the work required for the first-person module in deeper detail, which adds another dimension of personal combat and piloting space vessels, into a playable state. Roberts added: "We made a conscious decision very early to do it correctly. The proper third-person animations drive the first person. It makes things harder because you can't cheat in a lot of different ways".

 

It was the bigger quote about Star Marine has me excited, where Roberts explained: "The arms are [normally] right in front of the eyes. With Star Citizen, it's different than a normal FPS because it's essentially a whole world simulation. It's not just running around with a gun; it's interacting with stuff, flying ships, and interacting with people cooperatively. If someone is sitting next to you in the Constellation, you need to see what he's doing with the controls". He continued: "We don't separate between first and third person. It's all unified. The third-person animations drive the first-person; when you're looking around in first-person, you're looking through the eyes. [...] It makes things harder because you can't cheat in a lot of ways".

Continue reading 'Star Citizen's FPS module will be in 'three, four, maybe 5 weeks'' (full post)

Oculus acquires Pebbles Interfaces, a hand-tracking company for $60m

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 2:36 am

We're still over six months from the retail launch of the Oculus Rift, with the Facebook-owned company announcing it has acquired Pebbles Interfaces for $60 million.

 

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Pebbles Interfaces is an Israel-based company that specialized in depth-sensing technology and computer vision for the purpose of hand tracking. The company has spent the best part of five years working on technology that uses custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms that detect and track hand movement. The company will now join forces with Oculus to work on VR, tracking and human-computer interactions.

AMD's next-gen 'Arctic Islands' GPU will be on 16nm process with HBM2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 1:41 am

Before we exclusively revealed AMD was opting with the Radeon R9 Fury X name for its next-gen, HBM-based video card, we reported on the purported Radeon R9 490X that would arrive in 2016. We knew it would be based on the 16nm process, and use HBM2, but it looks like we were wrong with the name.

 

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During AMD's recent earnings call, President and CEO Lisa Su talked about the company playing around with a couple of its first FinFET designs. Su said that FinFET is going to be very important for the company as we move into the new year. But, she also reiterated that a good design and architecture is just as, if not more important than the manufacturing process - something we definitely agree on.

 

AMD will be releasing its 'Arctic Islands' architecture next year, its next-generation GPU architecture based on the 16nm manufacturing process, and using the next-gen HBM2. HBM2 will deliver 8GB of HBM2 on a video card, with memory bandwidth of 1024GB/sec - up from the 512GB/sec found on the Radeon R9 Fury X. But what we need to know is: what will AMD call this card? Surely it can't be the Fury X 2, as I'm sure the dual-GPU card coming out later this year will take up the Fury X2 (no space) name. Could AMD release it as the Fury XX? Because I can't wait to see the third iteration: Fury XXX.

 

On the CPU side of things, we should see FinFET-based Zen CPUs next year, something that will combat the Kaby Lake architecture from Intel that is arriving 2016. AMD's new Zen CPUs will be based on the even-smaller 14nm process, which makes for some incredibly exciting times over at AMD.

AMD launching its super-small, HBM-powered Radeon R9 Nano next month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 19, 2015 12:20 am

AMD will be launching one of its most exciting video cards ever next month, with the High Bandwidth Memory-powered Radeon R9 Nano to launch mid-August, according to company CEO Lisa Su.

 

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Su announced the release window during AMD's Q2 2015 earnings call, where she said: "Fury just launched, actually this week, and we will be launching Nano in the August timeframe". We don't know exactly what to expect, but we do know it's going to be a super-small video card with a TDP of just 175W.

 

Inside the Radeon R9 Nano, we know that HBM will be used, and that it will have 2x the performance-per-watt compared to the R9 290X, as well as 2x the performance density of the 290X. This will see AMD be the Mini-ITX champion, so if you've got a super-small PC that you need to buy a video card for, the R9 Nano should be the one.

Swatch has already manufactured 20,000 smartwatch units

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 18, 2015 4:25 pm

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said his company will release the Swatch NFC smartwatch this summer, and there are already 20,000 units ready for launch. The connected watch isn't designed to be a smartphone on your wrist, but will be able to support wireless payments and other mobile functions.

 

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"We will launch it in the US, China and Switzerland," Hayek said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "We have 20,000 already in stock and we are very optimistic about the watch."

 

Hayek didn't disclose what impact the Apple Watch has had on the company, but Swatch's effort to join the smartwatch market should be a telling sign. I think it's a good move by Swatch - as the Apple Watch and other smartwatches won't take the high-end market - but will pressure the lower-end Swatch target market.

Continue reading 'Swatch has already manufactured 20,000 smartwatch units' (full post)

Tesla's 'Ludicrous Speed Upgrade' for Model S costs $10,000 more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 18, 2015 12:35 pm

Tesla has just added a new upgrade to its flagship electric vehicle, the P85D Model S, if you've got another $10,000 to spend, that is. Tesla has dubbed the upgrade 'Ludicrous Speed Upgrade', improving the 0-60 time by 10%.

 

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The Ludicrous Speed Upgrade to the P85D Model S can run a quarter mile in just 10.9 seconds, with the electric vehicle maker promising that the upgrade can offer a run to 155 miles per hour, 20% faster than the standard P85D. Tesla Motors founder and real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, has said that the upcoming Model X would have the Ludicrous Speed as an option, but the lighter P85D would be a little faster, still.

 

The $10,000 upgrade for the P85D requires the upgraded 90kWh battery, which costs $3,000. But Musk has teased that the acceleration with the new Ludicrous Speed Upgrade is "faster than falling" - which is true, as you're receiving a huge 1.1G of force. Insanity.

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