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Good guy Razer is giving their Surround Virtual 7.1 software away for free, asks you to donate to charity if you like it
Razer has just announced a new software package targeted at gamers that will allow them to turn their boring old normal headphones into a 7.1 channel surround beast. Razer Surround, according to the company, goes above and beyond existing multi-channel simulation packages by giving users a calibration system that tunes the effect for individual listeners.
The software is designed as an add-on for the Razer Synapse 2.0 software package and the company has plans to offer it for sale in 2014 for $19.99, but the company is offering a pretty sweet deal to early adopters. Anyone wishing to purchase Razer Surround before January 1, 2014 will receive an unprecedented 100-percent discount.
Razer simply asked that if you find the software useful that you donate some cash to the Child's Play charity (source #2). The software is compatible with Windows Vista and higher and provides preconfigured calibrations for all razor audio products. Custom configurations can be built to calibrate for third-party headsets and users will need to register for Razer Synapse 2.0, so an online connection is needed.
After one million streams on Pandora, the music streaming service only paid the artist $16 - the US government is to blame
After streaming out one million times over Pandora, artist David Lowery received just $16.89. The songwriter and musician's song "Low" was streamed 1,159,000 times on Pandora in a three-month period, where he received that piddly amount of money.
Spotify streamed his song 116,620 times and paid him $12.05 for this amount and lastly, Sirius XM streamed the song 179 times paying him $181.94 - more than $1 per stream, a much better amount. Who is to blame here from this piddly amount paid from Pandora? The US government, and more specifically, the US Congress.
US Congress are the ones who set the rates at which royalties are paid to artists. Lowery himself explains:
For you civilians webcasting rates are "compulsory" rates. They are set by the government (crazy, right?). Further since they are compulsory royalties, artists can not "opt out" of a service like Pandora even if they think Pandora doesn't pay them enough. The majority of songwriters have their rates set by the government, too, in the form of the ASCAP and BMI rate courts-a single judge gets to decide the fate of songwriters (technically not a "compulsory" but may as well be).
TechPowerUp's GPU-Z is something every enthusiast and power user should have installed, and if you don't - it's about time you get it. The graphics hardware information, diagnostic and monitoring utility has been updated to version 0.7.2.
The new version includes support for new GPU's, such as the upcoming GeForce GTX 760, as well as the new mobile GPU solution, the Radeon HD 8970M. There's also improved support for Intel's HD 4xxx series of embedded graphics found in the Haswell processors, and more user interface feature additions. A full change-log is below:
- Added support for NVIDIA GTX 760, Tesla K10, GT740M (GK208)
- Added support for AMD HD 8490, HD 8970M, HD 7400D
- Improved support for Intel Haswell graphics
- Added die size, transistors, release date for Haswell
- Added AMD graphics card logo
- Added translations: Greek, Portuguese (Brazil)
- Updated translation: French
- Fixed rare crash during DirectCompute detection
When Adobe announced that it would be moving its entire suite of creative software into a cloud based subscription model, analyst and industry insiders everywhere thought that this would finally solve the piracy issues that have
plagued benefited Adobe for years. As it turns out, that was not the case.
Not even a full 24 hours after it was released, Adobe's Photoshop Creative Cloud has been pirated. Photography website Fstoppers is reporting that pirated copies of the just released software are already popping up on BitTorrent sites.
The files reportedly do not require authentication through Adobe's servers as the pirated software takes advantage of the software's offline mode.
Java is notoriously full of security holes, with several being exploited earlier this year and sending Oracle scrambling to patch them up. Oracle's latest Java patch brings with it fixes for some 40 security holes. Because of all of the security patches, Oracle recommends that you apply the patch as soon as possible.
34 of those major security fixes are in the client distribution of Java 7. Of those 34, eleven were given the highest security risk score from Oracle's Common Vulnerability Scoring System. This patch is important to apply as all but three of the exploits are exploitable over the network without any authentication.
Eric Maurice, Oracle's Director of Software Assurance:
Oracle recommends that this Critical Patch Update be applied as soon as possible because it includes fixes for a number of severe vulnerabilities. Note that the vulnerabilities fixed in this Critical Patch Update affect various components and, as a result, may not affect the security posture of all Java users in the same way.
Apple has released an update for Java 6 on Mac OS X. This update brings with it important security updates, reliability improvements and compatibility improvements. This Java 6 update is available from Apple, while the newer Java 7 is available directly from the developers at Oracle.
Apple details the improvements to Java 6:
Java for OS X 2013-004 delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_51.
On systems that have not already installed Java for OS X 2012-006, this update disables the Java SE 6 applet plug-in. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled "Missing plug-in" to download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.
Please quit any web browsers and Java applications before installing this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5717 for more details about this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 for information about the security content of this update.
Early this morning Microsoft announced the release of it's revamped Office 365 for Business. Microsoft says that the updated service now has new features and offerings tailored to the needs and budgets of small, medium-size and large organizations.
In addition to updated Microsoft Lync Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online services, business users can now get the rich Office applications they are familiar with, on up to five devices, delivered as an always up-to-date cloud service. Office 365 features enhanced enterprise social capabilities with SharePoint and Yammer today, and Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, instant messaging (IM), and voice by June.
"With Office 365, everyone from large enterprises to small businesses to individual consumers can now benefit from the power of Office and the connectivity of the cloud," said Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene. "This release unlocks new scenarios and delivers capabilities that far surpass anything available in browser-only solutions."
I'm a huge advocate of Google Now and use it on the daily, but the great Google Now style voice search has just reached the latest Chrome stable build for the desktop - version 27.0.1453.93 to be exact.
It's not perfect yet, but it is working as a basic voice search and response service right now. If you want to try it out, make sure that your Chrome build is the latest updated version, if not - click the Help button. From there, give it a few seconds to check your version, and let it restart. When you're back in Chrome, check out http://www.Google.com and then click the microphone you'll see in the search box.
Chrome will ask you for some permission to listen to your voice, and from there you can blast Google for answers.
Spotify have started publishing a top 50 list of the most streamed and most shares music through their streaming service. The top 50 lists are being made available as widgets for website owners, who can embed them on their websites.
Best of all, music lovers can listen to the top 50 tracks for free, without having to sign in or even register for Spotify. Why are Spotify doing this? Well, it would be a great way to get users to notice the service, take a look around, enjoy it and then sign up for their premium subscription. Right now, the music streaming service features over 24 million active users, but only 6 million of those are paid subscribers.
The top 50 charts should update automatically every Monday at around noon EST, with charts from previous weeks continuing to be made available for review, but it's not clear if users will be able to stream from them.
Futuremark announced the next version of the PCMark benchmarking software this morning. The new PCMark 8 has long been anticipated in the custom PC world, and Futuremark did not let us down. The new benchmark includes several long awaited features such as battery life and native application testing.
This marks the first time Futuremark has combined battery life testing with performance testing in PCMark. The new test can measure power consumption during benchmarks and estimate battery life, or testers can use the Battery Life Loop Mode to loop a test until the battery is almost dead, for more accurate results.
PCMark is known for its tests that are based on common use scenarios such as web browsing, photo editing, video chat and gaming. PCMark 8 steps this game up considerably by now featuring new testing based on productivity and creativity apps from Adobe and Microsoft.
PCMark 8 is now entering its final stages of development and is expected to release some time at the end of Q2 2013. The benchmarking software will be available in several flavors including a bare bones basic free version, as well as a fully featured Pro version intended for the serious testers who want access all of the data.