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Rovio Entertainment, the people behind Angry Birds, acquire Futuremark Games Studio, the people behind 3DMark
Finnish-based Rovio Entertainment, the people behind the immensely popular Angry Birds games, have just acquired Futuremark Games Studio. You may remember Futuremark, as they're only the company behind the super-popular and great benchmarking tool, 3DMark, and more.
Within the acquisition, Futuremark Games Studio keeps some of their IP such as Shattered Horizon, Hungribles, and Unstoppable Gorg. Futuremark will now renew their focus on making great benchmarks and performance measurement software for gamers, home users, small businesses, and the IT industry. 2012 will see the release of a new 3DMark from the company, where for the first time ever, which will allow a direct comparison of gaming performance across operating systems and form factors, as well as a new version of PCMark for Windows 8.
You know what I want to see? A 3DMark featuring super-detailed versions of the Angry Bird universe, now that would be cool.
Our friends over at The Verge have stumbled upon a guide for the employees running the "Smoked by Windows Phone" contest. It shows that Microsoft knew where Windows Phone had weaknesses and steered employees to choose challenges that had a lower risk of them losing. Some quotes from the The Verge explain further.
Some of the weaknesses identified by Microsoft include the widgets that Sahas Katta used to win the contest that he was told he lost. Later, Microsoft made good on the offer. Microsoft offered several challenges to its employees so that they would be able to steer clear of the weaknesses identified and win nearly all the time.
It's here! Samsung have just announced through their Facebook page that the upgrade for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available for their flagship Galaxy S II smartphone. Samsung have announced it will be served up in European countries first.
The first to get it are Poland, Hungary, and Sweden, as well as Korea. It should roll out around the world over the coming days. Samsung have also said that the ICS-based upgrade should roll out to other Galaxy-branded phones soon, with the Note, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 all getting the delicious upgrade.
On top of this, Samsung will offer Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware upgrades to Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 7-inch, Galaxy S Plus, Galaxy S SCL (Super Clear LCD) and Galaxy W from the end of March. The new firmware upgrades for Galaxy S sport features such as Facebook Unlock, Snapshot, Photo Editor, and more.
I can't wait for Australia to get it, or for the ROM to hit the tubes!
[UPDATE] Telstra's Facebook page has been updated with:
All - Telstra lost connectivity with the international data network around 1:40pm this afternoon, which resulted in an overload on domestic sites, causing issues with internet access.
The vast majority of customers are back online, but our engineers continue to monitor the network.
Call volumes are high to our customer service channels because of this outage and we appreciate your patience.
We'll keep you updated as soon as we can.
BREAKING: Telstra are experiencing a massive outage to their services, which seems to be affecting not just normal ADSL customers, but Cable-based, Next-G, Satellite and more. The outage started about an hour ago and has been quickly spreading.
Telstra's own Facebook page has been updated with the following message:
A service outage has been identified which is resulting in intermittent internet access. This is being treated as a matter of high priority. Thanks for your patience.
You may remember the various antenna/reception-related issues that the iPhone 4 had at launch, and the whole "Antennagate" that surrounded it. Apple said it was the way users were holding it, then as more people were experiencing the issue, the more it became mainstream. Bumper cases were given out to sort out the obvious problem, and in the end, we now have a class-action lawsuit where iPhone 4 owners can get $15 back, or a free bumper case.
The settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit which targeted the antenna performance in the iPhone 4. U.S. residents who purchased an iPhone 4 will be entitled to $15 in cash, or a free bumper case from Apple. There were 18 different lawsuits that were all consolidated into a class-action lawsuit, and all share the same claim that Apple was:
Misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4--particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.
Salt, here take it. Let's get onto the goss! Leaked information has floated up from the depths of the Internet from Lenzfire, where they've published some specifications for the upcoming GeForce 600-series. I'll say it again, here's your salt.
This news has me excited. Lenzfire's sources claim that NVIDIA's Kepler GTX680 should be up to 45-percent faster than AMD's fastest Radeon HD 7970 GPU. The interesting part here is that the GeForce GTX680 is said to have just 2GB of RAM, compared to the 7970's 3GB, and is still 45-percent faster. What helps here is the GTX680 reportedly has twice as many stream processors, and backed up by the entire Kepler range being PCI-E 3.0 compliant.
The GeForce GTX680 will reportedly launch with a $649 price, so for just $100 more, you're getting a Team Green card that is 45-percent faster. This could be some very dangerous news for AMD. On a different note, specs of a dual-GPU Kepler-based card are here too.
Keep in mind, that the specs, whilst impressive... could be dominated quite early into their life as AMD are already working on their revised GCN-based HD 8000-series of GPUs. This could be why AMD jumped the gun and released them ahead of NVIDIA.
BREAKING: Germany-based computer hardware retailer, Caseking, have just acquired British-based Overclockers. Overclockers UK have had a long-standing achievement of being one of the biggest sellers of computer hardware in the UK.
They've been in a band of just a few, with companies such as Ebuyer, Scan Computers International, Novatech, and Aria PC in selling PC hardware. Overclockers UK have been around since 1999, and have had their HQ in Newcastle-under-lyme.
The takeover involves 40 members of staff who currently work for Overclockers UK, but at the moment it is not known what the acquisition has in store for both Overclockers UK and its employees. The value of the deal is not exactly known either, but it is estimated to come in at 'less than 50 million'. The deal took place on February 1, 2012, and as you probably have guessed, both companies have been quiet about it.
US-based Space Systems/Loral has won a $620 million contract that involves two satellites which will provide high-speed broadband to areas in remote Australia. The announcement was made just moments ago in Canberra by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, as well as NBN Co chief Mike Quigley.
Loral Space and Communications, a California-based group, will launch two satellites which will provide the high-speed Internet by 2015 under the national broadband network (NBN). If you didn't already know, the NBN Co is the federal government-owned enterprise who is in charge of rolling out fibre optic cable broadband to 93-percent of Australia's 13 million homes, schools and businesses by 2021.
If the fibre optic network is not available to you, the fixed wireless technology and satellite technology will be used to 4-percent of premises, and 3-percent of the remaining premises, respectively. Stephen Conroy said in a statement:
This will ensure high speed broadband is delivered to Australia's remotest towns, such as Calvert in the Northern Territory and Bandya in Western Australia.
[update] Seems to be OK now, but at the time it was definitely down. I noticed it pretty quickly and no one else from Google searches had said anything about it. I figured I must have been one of the only ones to notice that quick. Seems all good now! Thanks to our readers for commenting and letting us know of their success/problems with Facebook! You guys and girls are awesome! :)
I just had a text message from my BFF, Tristan, who has informed me Facebook is down. I was typing up some news and thought "yeah, come on". I checked Facebook.com and sure as HELL, it's down.
It's not just you! http://facebook.com looks down from here.
The site loaded up just as I got 3/4 the way through typing up this piece, but is now ultra slow. I'd say it feels like its at 5-percent working capacity right now.
I'll update this post as we find information out.
Comment to let us know if you're experiencing issues, or if the site is not even loading at all for you.
RIM have been going through quite a lot of issues lately, thanks largely to Android and iOS. RIM Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have both just stepped down, after announcing that they would draw only $1 of yearly salaries to help the company's financial problems.
The move has been a start in management shuffles, where after a year of pressure from both investors and stockholders, both have stepped down from the Co-CEO positions. RIM insider and current COO Thorsten Heins will replace the Co-CEOs.
Lazaridis and Balsillie have both led RIM for decades now, as Lazaridis founded Research in Motion (RIM) back in 1984, shortly after taking on Balsillie. Balsillie stepped down from his role as Chairman back in 2007, but continued as Co-CEO with Lazaridis. Today, Lazaridis becomes vice chairman, and Balsillie continues to be a board member, but with no functional role in RIM.
RIM Director, Barbara Stymiest takes over as chairman, and Thorsten Heins, the current COO goes into numero uno position. Heins came into RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, where he was the CTO.