Gamers know that developers often put little Easter eggs into the games that are a challenge to find. These Easter eggs are often things like odd levels that you can play, like the infamous cow level in Diablo II. Halo 3 had its share of Easter eggs hidden away and one of them only works on a single day each year.
That single day of operation is the reason why it remained undiscovered for seven years. This particular Easter egg is only accessible on December 25 via the loading screen by hitting both thumb sticks. The result is that the screen zooms out giving a wider view of the Halo ring and a birthday greeting for Lauren.
The greeting reads, "Happy Birthday Lauren!" It's hard to believe that no one mentioned this Easter egg for all those years. I guess it's cool to have your own greeting in a game that no one knows about.
The group of amateur volunteer operators that have been trying to get the ISEE-3 satellite back on its original mission after the satellite was sent to study comets decades ago have given a valiant effort. In the end, the satellite has now reportedly lost thruster capability. We mentioned a few days ago that the satellite had responded to commands and fired its thrusters.
However, a subsequent attempt to get the satellite to fire its thrusters again failed. On Wednesday, the team trying to regain control of the satellite announced that a failure in the propulsion system of the satellite has made it impossible for the thrusters to fire again.
The team says that with the failure of the propulsion system, they have turned the satellite back to science mode and will gather data for as long as possible. They believe that the satellite can gather data for a few months. ISEE-3 launched in 1978 to study space weather and was retired 17 years ago. Operators say that with one thruster firing performed there is a small chance the satellite will hit the moon.
Flexible electronics is a goal that many companies have been working towards for years. Not only will flexible electronics allow new form factors to be developed, they should also survive drops and bumps better since they can flex. LG has unveiled a new flexible display that measures 18-inches and uses OLED tech.
The display is flexible enough that it can be rolled up and placed inside a cardboard tube to take with you on the go. The 18-inch flexible screen has a resolution of 1200 x 810 and almost 1 million pixels. It can be rolled into a radius of 3cm without doing any damage to the screen.
One important factor about this rollable OLED TV that is still unknown is exactly how much it will cost. Considering the production challenges normal OLED panels have and the high costs, a rollable TV won't be cheap. LG is also aiming at building even larger flexible screens and wants to have a 60-inch flexible TV on the market by 2017.
Since SwiftKey decided to offer its unbelievably awesome keyboard for free on the Google Play store, the company has noticed a massive 54% increase in the amount of monthly users.
This is what happens when you drop a great product that people were willing to pay $3.99 for, to $0. Once SwiftKey had moved into the free territory, the company has seen both paid, and free themes downloaded over 12 million times. Customized keyboards seem to be popular, something that the company has discovered since it made SwiftKey free.
The FTC says that Amazon has made it too easy for kids to make in-app purchase using parents phones and accounts. According to the FTC, Amazon's in-app purchase system allowed children to make millions of dollars of in-app purchases that the parent didn't authorize. The FTC leveled this allegation against Amazon in a complaint filed Thursday in a US court.
The suit was filed against Amazon in the Western District of Washington and is seeking a court order to force Amazon to refund money to parents for all unauthorized purchases made by kids. The FTC is also seeking a ban on Amazon's ability to bill parents and other account holders for in-app charges without consent.
The FTC wants to highlight a central tenant in this case and that tenant is that companies should get parents permission before charging for in-app purchases. Director of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau Jessica Rich says that Amazon employees raised concerns about purchases by children years before Amazon changed any procedures. The FTC complaint also notes that the refund process is "unclear and rife with deterrents."
AMD has just released its new Catalyst 14.7 RC (beta) drivers, something that includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, and drops support for Windows 8 (WDDM 1.2) as the company expects you to have upgraded to Windows 8.1 (WDDM 1.3) for free if you want continued support.
Older version of Windows, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7 remain unaffected by this change. The latest Catalyst 14.7 RC drivers have all of the improvements that were baked into the Catalyst 14.6 RC release, but receive added CrossFire performance for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and improved CrossFire scaling at 4K for Assassin's Creed IV.
If you want to try them out (at your own risk since they're still a Release Candidate, and beta release) grab them right here.
It wasn't too long ago that The Oatmeal was asking for funds to erect the Nikola Tesla Museum, going as far as asking the founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, for some help.
Back in May, Musk replied over Twitter saying "I would be happy to help". He has now just helped, providing a huge $1 million for the project. Musk reportedly called up Matthew Inman (the man behind The Oatmeal) promising two things - first, a Tesla supercharger to be built outside of the museum, making the museum part of Tesla's massive, nationwide recharging network, and two - the $1 million for the development and construction of the museum.
The original crowdfunding campaign saw $1.3 million raised, which was enough to save Tesla's old laboratory from being torn to the ground. In order to make it into a museum, more money was required, with a rough estimate of $8 million required. This $1 million injection of cash is one great start for that though.
Satya Nadella, the fresh new CEO of Microsoft, wrote an open letter to Microsoft employees, reiterating the company's commitment to the Xbox brand, as well as teasing a change of direction when it comes to Microsoft's gaming platform, and mobile.
Nadella said: "The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. [...] Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft".
"While today many people define mobile by devices, Microsoft defines it by experiences," he continued. "We're really in the infant stages of the mobile-first world. In the next few years we will see many more new categories evolve and experiences emerge that span a variety of devices of all screen sizes. Microsoft will be on the forefront of this innovation with a particular focus on dual users and their needs across work and life".
It looks like NVIDIA isn't going to sit on its hands when it comes to the GTX TITAN, with the GPU maker reportedly working on a GM200-based GTX TITAN II. This new GPU will arrive as soon as early 2015.
According to German tech site 3DCenter.org, specifications of some new GPUs are also here with us, above. We can see the GM200 and GM204 GPUs will reportedly be built on the 28nm process. We heard a couple of days ago that NVIDIA would skip the 20nm process, moving onto the 16nm process, but nothing is in concrete right now.
The GM200 however, will feature over 4,000 CUDA cores, and should come with a much wider, and much anticipated 512-bit memory bus. If we expect it to be baked onto the 28nm process, this is going to be one gigantic, titan of a GPU. NVIDIA is going to have to leverage the energy efficiency of its Maxwell architecture in order to keep the thermals under control. We should expect the GM200-based GTX TITAN II to launch early next year.
The Selective Service System was partying like it was 1999 recently, with their system sending out military draft notices to 14,000 men in Pennsylvania born between 1893 and 1897.
The notices were telling these men to register for the nation's military draft, warning them that if they didn't, that it is "punishable by a fine and imprisonment". The AP reports: "The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. The records of males born between 1993 and 1997 were mixed with those of men born a century earlier, Selective Service spokesman Pat Schuback told The Associated Press on Thursday. The federal agency didn't know it because the state uses a two-digit code to indicate year of birth".
The youngest surviving draftee would be turning 117 this year, probably a bit too old to be drafted in the military, wouldn't you say?