First detailed map of North Korea released by Google, still needs work

Charles Gantt | Internet & Websites | Jan 29, 2013 9:32 AM CST

Google, citing help from its community of citizen cartographers, has launched a highly detailed map of North Korea in its Google Maps service. The company pieced the map together using "very limited map data," and admits that it is far from perfect.

First detailed map of North Korea released by Google, still needs work | TweakTown.com

Most of the data was generated by users who added it using Google's Map Maker, a web app that lets users add to a map using their unique local knowledge. All of this user generated data had to have come from visitors to the country as its citizens are denied access to the internet. In a blog post, Jayanth Mysore, Senior Product Manager at Google Map Maker wrote:

"We know this map is not perfect - one of the exciting things about maps is that the world is a constantly changing place. We encourage people from around the world to continue helping us improve the quality of these maps for everyone with Google Map Maker,"

The map will be of little use to almost everyone inside of North Korea's borders as only very high ranking officials have access to the World Wide Web. During a recent trip to North Korea, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt urged its leaders to open the internet as well as cell phone technology to its citizens. No information was released on Pyongyang's reply.

Continue reading: First detailed map of North Korea released by Google, still needs work (full post)

Crytek accepting applications for upcoming Warface beta, a new free-to-play FPS

Charles Gantt | Gaming | Jan 29, 2013 8:49 AM CST

Warface, a new free-to-play FPS from Crytek, the makers of Crysis 3, is set to enter closed beta very soon and as a result, the company is now taking applications for gamers wanting to join the closed beta. Signing up is as simple as entering an email and your desired gamer tag.

Normally I do not get very excited over a free to play FPS game as they usually lack in quality, features and realism, but Warface just might be the exception. Warface was developed on the CryEngine, the same one used on Crysis 3, and was given a budget in the $10-$30 million range.

Crytek accepting applications for upcoming Warface beta, a new free-to-play FPS | TweakTown.com

Crytek will make its investment back by offering paid content and personally I am hoping that content is in the form of extra maps, camo and other non-critical gear. Being able to buy a more powerful weapon just takes the fun out of things. The game will offer combative and co-op modes. You can apply to join the closed beta by clicking the Source #2 link below. Who knows, maybe I will see you in-game!

Continue reading: Crytek accepting applications for upcoming Warface beta, a new free-to-play FPS (full post)

HGST introduces 1.2TB Ultrastar C10K1200 10,000 RPM Enterprise HDD

Paul Alcorn | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Jan 29, 2013 8:06 AM CST

HGST, formerly Hitachi and now a Western Digital company, announced today the new C10K1200 10K RPM enterprise HDD. This HDD sets itself apart from the crowd by becoming the highest capacity 10K HDD in a 2.5" form factor to spin at 10,000 RPM.

HGST introduces 1.2TB Ultrastar C10K1200 10,000 RPM Enterprise HDD 01

Featuring 1.2TB of capacity, this new HDD is designed for the increasing demands for more storage capacity in the datacenter. This capacity extension to the product line utilizes a SAS 6GB/s interface and 64MB of cache buffer for optimized read/write response time. The 10K rotational speed also provides the power for these drives inclusion in high performance computing environments.

The increase in capacity ushers in higher density servers, blades and network storage arrays. By packing more data in less space, users will save in floorspace, cooling and power. These factors are ongoing costs that can add up to cost much more than the device over the course of its lifetime, so any increase in density is always welcome.

Continue reading: HGST introduces 1.2TB Ultrastar C10K1200 10,000 RPM Enterprise HDD (full post)

DARPA working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for the military

DARPA have some interesting projects they're working on, with probably only a few percent of them known to the public but this latest one is just so amazing, you have to know about it.

DARPA have been working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for a while now, where they showed them off last September - where their main focus was for medical applications. We all know DARPA wouldn't just be playing around with this technology for the medical community, and this is where the technology ramps up to be put into the military.

The defense research group are thinking of how this technology can help out in the military, where they hope to develop "transient electronics" and systems that are "capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner" that work similar to how "commercial-off-the-shelf" systems work.

Continue reading: DARPA working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for the military (full post)

New beta of SwiftKey Flow is available, features 'flowing' in nearly all text fields, and more

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jan 28, 2013 10:31 PM CST

The previous beta of SwiftKey Flow hasn't allowed you to 'flow' in all text fields, but it looks like this has been fixed up in the latest betas to hit the SwiftKey website.

New beta of SwiftKey Flow is available, features 'flowing' in nearly all text fields, and more | TweakTown.com

The new beta looks much more refined and sports less features this time around, where it includes easier corrections, new languages, a new theme and more. The full changelog is quite hefty:

Changes in this version:

  • Predictions (and Flow) now on in most places (exceptions: email fields, passwords, anywhere where the app doesn't behave itself with SK, fields offering their own corrections on Android versions before 2.2)
  • Easier corrections - just tap on the word and SwiftKey will offer you 3 possibilities
  • New languages: Thai, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Albanian, Javan, Sundanese (plus those added in 3.1)
  • Features from SwiftKey 3.1: Berry theme, split layout in landscape on phones, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog
  • New layouts for Hindi and Russian
  • Ukrainian landscape layout fixed
  • Backspacing on to the final word of a multi word prediction (Flow through space) will now give better alternatives
  • Typing style now inferred rather than a setting
  • Long press delete accelerates after the first word

Continue reading: New beta of SwiftKey Flow is available, features 'flowing' in nearly all text fields, and more (full post)

Crytek opens new studio in Austin, Texas, fills it with former Darksiders developers

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 28, 2013 9:35 PM CST

THQ was broken apart last week, with bits and pieces being sold to other companies in various forms. Now we're hearing that Crysis developer, Crytek, have just opened up a new studio based in Austin, Texas, and have filled it with some of the core developers from Vigil Games.

Crytek opens new studio in Austin, Texas, fills it with former Darksiders developers | TweakTown.com

Vigil Games are the guys and girls behind Darksiders, but with THQ sinking, they were left without anything to do, until Crytek come to their rescue. Ex-Vigil co-founder, David Adams, has now become the CEO of the newly-formed Crytek USA Corp., where he has said:

I'm thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry. The studio's launch represents Crytek's commitment to delivering diverse and high quality content to players everywhere.

Continue reading: Crytek opens new studio in Austin, Texas, fills it with former Darksiders developers (full post)

LeakedTT: AMD's upcoming Richland APU specifications

Trace Hagan | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jan 28, 2013 8:03 PM CST

Specifications for AMD's upcoming Richland APU processors have leaked online. The Richland series of APUs will follow the current Trinity desktop APUs that are currently available and will continue to use the 32nm lithography process currently employed. The new chips will offer about 8 percent better performance than Trinity.

LeakedTT: AMD's upcoming Richland APU specifications | TweakTown.com

The full specifications are listed out in the chart above. The chips offer a 300MHz boost in base clock speed across the entire range. Turbo speeds are also increased and the boost ranges from 200-400MHz. AMD managed to boost these clock speeds, all while remaining in the same 65W and 100W TDPs present on Trinity.

The unlocked K-series processors are the only ones to feature the 100W TDP. Integrated graphics remain based upon the 6000-series GPU, even though they feature numbers in the 8000 range. Reports say that the Richland APUs are already in the hands of system builders, so we could be seeing a release of these parts soon.

Continue reading: LeakedTT: AMD's upcoming Richland APU specifications (full post)

Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 28, 2013 6:04 PM CST

Following in the footsteps of Google, Twitter has released its second transparency report. The report details that Twitter complied with 69 percent of US data requests, which is less than the 88 percent of requests that Google responded to. It seems that Twitter puts a bit more effort in blocking data requests.

Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests | TweakTown.com

The report also detailed that the US government led the pack in sheer quantity of data requests. For last year, Twitter said it received a total of 1,858 requests for information from governments, 6,646 reports of copyright violations, and 48 demands from governments demanding material to be removed.

We've been thinking about ways in which we can more effectively share this information, with an aim to make it more meaningful and accessible to the community at largeWe believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression -- and real privacy implications.

815 cases came from the United States government, with 69 percent of those being fulfilled to some capacity. 60 percent of the US requests were from subpoenas, 11 percent were court orders, and 19 percent were search warrants.

Continue reading: Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests (full post)

Complain to Facebook's CPO Erin Egan through 'Ask Erin' app

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Jan 28, 2013 5:31 PM CST

As part of Facebook's governance change--you know, the one that took away your right to vote--Facebook instituted a policy that would allow easier access to their chief privacy officer, Erin Egan. The way Facebook is allowing access is through a new app aptly named "Ask Erin."

Complain to Facebook's CPO Erin Egan through 'Ask Erin' app | TweakTown.com

The app is basically a comment form on the site's "Facebook and Privacy" page that allows users to directly ask questions of Erin Egan. While she won't answer every question, certain ones that have value for the public or are especially important will be features in a series of posts present within the app.

Continue reading: Complain to Facebook's CPO Erin Egan through 'Ask Erin' app (full post)

NVIDIA beta driver 313.95 said to boost Crysis 3 performance by up to 65%

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | Jan 28, 2013 3:01 PM CST

Are you an NVIDIA GPU user? Planning on checking out the Crysis 3 multiplayer beta that starts tomorrow? If so, you should really consider picking up the new 313.95 beta driver that NVIDIA has released as they are touting Crysis 3 improvements of up to 65 percent, which should really help you get your game on.

NVIDIA beta driver 313.95 said to boost Crysis 3 performance by up to 65% | TweakTown.com

Crysis 3 is said to be another machine crusher, so any boost in performance is definitely appreciated--and needed. The 65 percent boost is specifically for the GTX 690, which I don't think most of you are using. However, some performance increase can be seen all the way down to the GTX 560.

The driver also includes SLI profiles for Crysis 3, DmC: Devil May Cry and Warframe. If you use multiple GPUs in your system, this is also an important driver update. GTX 670 owners can expect the following performance increases:

  • Up to 28 percent in Assassin's Creed III
  • Up to 11 percent in Civilization V
  • Up to 8 percent in Far Cry 3
  • Up to 6 percent in Just Cause 2
  • Up to 5 percent in Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Up to 5 percent in Dirt 3
  • Up to 5 percent in Batman: Arkham City
  • Up to 5 percent in Far Cry 2
  • Up to 4 percent in Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Up to 3 percent in Shogun: Total War
  • Up to 3 percent in Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Continue reading: NVIDIA beta driver 313.95 said to boost Crysis 3 performance by up to 65% (full post)

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