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Opera Software aims for 350 million mobile users by end of 2017

Opera Software has launched a new version of the Opera Mini mobile browser for Google Android tablets and smartphones. The new version includes a more simplified menu, improved speed dial, private-browsing mode, scalable interface, and other key improvements for Opera Mini 8.

 

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Opera currently has an active Android user base of 130 million, and the company wants to increase that total number up to 275 million users by 2017, according to Opera CEO Lars Boilesen.

 

"It's complicated, we have customers in 200 countries and more and more of them are using smartphones and fewer are on feature phones," said Petter Lade, investor relations chief at Opera, in a statement to Reuters. "Our target is to have 275 million smartphones and 75 million on feature phones, this will be our total target for mobile users for 2017."

Continue reading 'Opera Software aims for 350 million mobile users by end of 2017' (full post)

NVIDIA release GeForce Game Ready 350.12 WHQL drivers for GTA V

Today is a big day for PC gamers across the world, with Grand Theft Auto V finally launching for the PC. NVIDIA is on the ball as usual with the GeForce Game Ready 350.12 WHQL drivers for GTA V.

 

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These new drivers include an SLI profile for not only Grand Theft Auto V, but Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, and Victor Vran - an updated profile for Project Cars is also included. NVIDIA has also provided some 3D Vision profiles, with Grand Theft Auto V's profile rated as 'Excellent'.

 

You can grab the new GeForce Game Ready 350.12 WHQL drivers from NVIDIA's website. Remember, you'll need 65GB of HDD space to install GTA V!

Microsoft's Music and Video apps for Windows 10 drop Xbox branding

Microsoft is shifting the focus of its new Music and Video apps for the latest Technical Preview of Windows 10 away from Xbox, dropping the Xbox branding on them altogether.

 

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With the Xbox branding seemingly behind them, the new Music and Video apps aren't much different to their Windows 8.1-based counterparts. We do have a few UI changes, and a modified menu system that collapses by default when you enter a windowed view. The Verge has played with the new apps, noticing that the new Music app doesn't have playback controls when hovering over the app in the taskbar.

 

The Video app isn't much better, with purchased content taking a couple of seconds to begin while adding or removing folders from a video library causing the app to crash. What we need to take away from this is, Microsoft has removed the Xbox branding from their two large media consumption apps for their upcoming Windows 10 operating system. This is big news, and something I think the company needed to do to not confuse consumers between Xbox and Windows.

Computer coding class takes off at infamous San Quentin prison

A unique program taking place at San Quentin State Prison in California is teaching inmates how to write code. The idea is that inmates can graduate the program and they will be able to leave prison with an in-demand skill able to give them opportunities to stay off the street.

 

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The groundbreaking prison effort started with less than 20 participants, including an inmate who has been locked up since 1996. Inmates pay 35 cents per hour to enroll in the intensive six-month, eight-hour per day programming school. Inmates, treated like employees at a company, learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other programming languages as part of the Code.7370 class.

 

Ideally, programs like this - along with other job skills programs - can drop the state's notorious 61 percent recidivism rate.

Continue reading 'Computer coding class takes off at infamous San Quentin prison' (full post)

Report: Trent Reznor will be point man to relaunch Beats Music

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor will be tasked with leading the Beats Music evolution, with Apple hoping the service could one day compete with Spotify. The Silicon Valley company dished out $3 billion for the company known for trendy headphones and earbuds - and a lot of people wondered what would happen to Beats Music.

 

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Apple reportedly failed in its efforts to get music labels to lower licensing costs, as Apple wanted to sell a subscription to Beats Music for just $8 per month - $2 less than Spotify's $10 per month service. However, Apple - which once held great influence in the music industry - must adapt to changing times, with more users turning to streaming services over paid music downloads.

 

"They're used to being a shaper rather than a responder," said Toni Sacconaghi, financial analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, in a statement to the New York Times. "This is one of the few times where Apple is playing catch-up and not necessarily coming from a position of strength."

Netflix launches in Australia tomorrow, with good pricing and content

Netflix finally, finally launches in Australia tomorrow and after a pricing leak yesterday, we have an official breakdown on pricing. A single-stream standard definition plan will cost Australians $8.99 AUD per month. The two-stream HD plan will cost AUD $11.99, while the four-stream 4K "family" plan will cost AUD $14.99.

 

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Once the price is out of the way, the biggest question is: what content will Netflix blast out to Australians? Well, Netflix has confirmed that both seasons of Orange is the New Black, as well as all three seasons of House of Cards will be included. Foxtel, Australia's leading cable/satellite TV service, was previously thought to have had first-play rights of Orange is the New Black season three, but Netflix has confirmed with Gizmodo that the new season has a global release date of June 12.

 

A brand new interface will be splashing across TVs and monitors across Australia tomorrow when Netflix unleashes Down Under.

NVIDIA releases new GeForce drivers ready for Battlefield Hardline

Now that Battlefield Hardline is out, NVIDIA has released its latest GeForce Game Ready 347.88 WHQL drivers that are ready for Battlefield Hardline.

 

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The new drivers include "Game Ready optimizations for Battlefield Hardline, new SLI profiles, and support for TITAN X, the world's fastest GPU, our latest Game Ready drivers are a recommended update for all GeForce GTX users". Not only that, but NVIDIA has included an SLI profile for the following games: Life Is Strange, Medieval Engineers, Trine 3, and Zombie Army Trilogy.

 

You can grab those drivers right here.

Stardock CEO on DirectX 12: 4-5x performance improvement over DX11

We've heard some great quotes from the CEO of Stardock, Brad Wardell before, but in his latest interview with Niche Gamer, he had some surprising things to say about DirectX 12.

 

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During his interview, he had his attention most from the Game Developers Conference, where Wardell replied with "For me, it's the tech, what is going to be the tech story that comes out of here? What I hope most users get, I've had a lot of meetings with Microsoft, AMD, and a little bit of NVIDIA and Intel - they really need to hit home the fact that DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, allow all of the cores of your CPU to talk to the video card simultaneously".

 

"But everyone's really iffy about that, because that means acknowledging that for the past several years, only one of your cores was talking to the GPU, and no one wants to go 'You know by the way, you know that multi-core GPU? It was useless for your games.' Alright? No one wants to be that guy," he continued. Wardell also added: "People wonder, saying 'Gosh, doesn't it seem like PC games have stalled? I wonder why that is?' Well, the speed of a single core on a computer has not changed in years. It's been at 3GHz, or 2-something GHz for years, I mean that's not the only thing that affects the speed, but you get the idea. Now, with DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, it's how many cores you've got. We've got lots of those. Suddenly, you go by 4x, 5x, the performance".

 

It's interesting, as he seems to think that we're going to receive an injection of performance from the CPU side of things, where I think we'll see a huge boost when graphics engines change over to DX12 and we're running those DX12-capable games, in native DX12 on Windows 10. That's when we're going to see a huge lid taken off of PC gaming and its performance. Right now, the performance is being held back because if they made games on PC and ported them down to consoles, the PC version of the game would look nothing like the console version - that's how much better it would look.

 

That's not even going into the performance side of things. If games were made on PCs and not made on consoles and ported over to PCs, and were to utilize all of the horsepower we have in a mid-range GPU let alone a GeForce GTX 980 or Titan X, or dare we say it - SLI or Crossfire setup - it would destroy the consoles. The PC version would look like a proper 'current-gen' title while the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the same game would look like the Xbox or PS2 version.

 

All hail the #pcmasterrace.

Microsoft reveals Windows 10 hardware requirements for the desktop

Microsoft today confirmed some of the hardware requirements to run the desktop version of Windows 10, after it is released this summer. The following slide doesn't outline everything required to run the OS, but discusses memory, storage, graphics, screen size and firmware requirements.

 

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The current Windows 10 technical preview requires the following: 1 GHz CPU or faster; 1 GB RAM (for 32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (for 64-bit), 16GB storage capacity, Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver or better; and a Microsoft account along with Internet access.

Microsoft fighting Windows piracy by upgrading pirates to Windows 10

To help fight piracy in China, Microsoft plans to upgrade users to Windows 10, even if they are currently running a pirated copy of the operating system.

 

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The announcement was made during the WinHEC technology conference in China, where Terry Myerson, OS unit boss at Microsoft, said the company wants to "re-engage" with users.

 

Software piracy in China has been a major issue for Microsoft and others - with very few effective methods to convince users to purchase legal software. The free upgrade to Windows 10, however, is a major push by Microsoft to make sure its latest OS is installed on millions of PCs and electronics.

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