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Microsoft's Xbox celebrates its 10-year anniversary today

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 16, 2011 3:37 AM CST

Wow. It was 10 years ago today that Microsoft unleashed the Xbox onto the gaming world. 100,000 units were shipped to retailers in the first week after its launch, and 1.5 million were sold before the end of 2001. This made the Xbox the best-selling video game console launch on record, and quite the achievement [unlocked?] for Microsoft. The picture below shows Edward Glucksman, where Bill Gates hands over the very first Xbox video game system to him.

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10 years later, Microsoft have quite the collection of additions to the Xbox brand such as the current Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and Kinect for 360. Xbox LIVE boasts 35 million members worldwide who spend 2.1 billion hours per month on the service. Kinect for 360 set a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer electronic device, selling 8 million in just 60 days.

I still personally remember the original Xbox, Halo looked stunning. Absolutely stunning. Project Gotham Racing saw me pouring unlimited amounts of hours into it. Since then, Microsoft seem to have concentrated more on their Xbox products than PC, which is disappointing for PC owners, but great for console gamers. Let's hope we don't have to wait 3 - 4 more years for another Xbox, launch one next year, Microsoft. We all need the push for games.

Continue reading: Microsoft's Xbox celebrates its 10-year anniversary today (full post)

Skyrim sells more than 3.4 million copies in 48 hours

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 16, 2011 3:37 AM CST

We've had some truly amazing games over the last few months, and Skyrim is definitely one of the creme of the crop. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has sold over 3.4 million copies at retail in its first 2 days on sale. Keep in mind that this is without the inclusion of digital sales (Steam, etc).

Skyrim sells more than 3.4 million copies in 48 hours | TweakTown.com

This is an increase of over 600-percent on top of what Oblivion sold, with an opening of just 490,000 copies. Skyrim is set to outsell Oblivion in mere weeks. 59-percent of units sold were on the Xbox 360 (over 2 million copies) and 27-percent were on the PS3. The PC? Just 14-percent, again, without digital sales included.

Continue reading: Skyrim sells more than 3.4 million copies in 48 hours (full post)

NVIDIA to deploy World's first ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid supercomputer

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Nov 15, 2011 6:18 AM CST

NVIDIA have just announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM VCPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. BSC is in the planning stages and hopes to roll out the new ARM-based supercomputer, with a near-term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems.

NVIDIA to deploy World's first ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid supercomputer | TweakTown.com

BSC's ultimate research goal is to establish exascale-level performance while using 15 to 30 times less power than current supercomputer architectures. This so-called EU Mont-Blanc Project will explore next-generation HPC architectures and develop a portfolio of exascale applications that run efficiently on these kinds of energy-efficient, embedded mobile technologies.

As ARM gains more support around the world with ARM-based initiatives, NVIDIA have also announced plans to develop a new hardware and software development kit. NVIDIA's new kit, with hardware developed by SECO, will sport a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM CPU accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA GPU.

Continue reading: NVIDIA to deploy World's first ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid supercomputer (full post)

Spotted: BlackBerry "London", sports BBX OS and super-slick new look

It seems every few months there's some news about RIM, BlackBerry are dying, BlackBerry are returning... well, now we have the first-ever photo of the next set of BlackBerry devices, which will sport RIM's new BBX operating system.

Spotted: BlackBerry

The phone in the above picture is the BlackBerry "London", and should have a June 2012 release. The phone sports a TI OMAP dual-core 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera and is reportedly "thinner than the iPhone 4" and roughly the same size as Samsung's Galaxy S II.

Continue reading: Spotted: BlackBerry "London", sports BBX OS and super-slick new look (full post)

Microsoft will be tweaking Windows Update, and its handling of restarts in Windows 8

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Nov 15, 2011 3:16 AM CST

One thing that really irks me with Windows (and even OS X) is updating and the requirement of restarting. I've never understood how operating systems have come this far with everything happening behind the scenes, yet it requires user intervention to do simple things like "when would you like to restart, I've just done updates, come on!".

Microsoft will be tweaking Windows Update, and its handling of restarts in Windows 8 | TweakTown.com

Microsoft are working on this for Windows 8, which will see Windows Update consolidate all the restarts in a month, synchronizing with the monthly security release. This means that your PC will only restart when security updates are installed and actually require a restart. Security updates are released in a single batch on the second Tuesday of every month, where this will keep the system secure, in a timely manner, reduces restarts and makes restarts more predictable.

Continue reading: Microsoft will be tweaking Windows Update, and its handling of restarts in Windows 8 (full post)

Are DICE preparing Battlefield 3 for the e-Sports community?

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 15, 2011 1:24 AM CST

In the developmental stages, DICE had intentions of making Battlefield 3 a contendor in the e-Sports community. What happened? Origin and Battlelog happened, that's what. Battlelog is good, it allows you to support clans through "Platoons", which organizes squads, but its far from perfect.

Are DICE preparing Battlefield 3 for the e-Sports community? | TweakTown.com

There could be a future where Battlelog allows you to schedule events, formally and publicly challenge other platoons to a match or tournament, which would show up on the Battlefeed. If DICE introduced the Battlerecorder, that would be another huge tick in the e-Sports book of awesomeness. Spectator mode would also be a huge addition, allowing people to sit in on a live match being played.

Continue reading: Are DICE preparing Battlefield 3 for the e-Sports community? (full post)

"Google X", secret underground labs full of unicorn tears and rainbow skittle rides

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 15, 2011 12:21 AM CST

Now, if I had to fly somewhere in the world to do a story, it would be Google X. Most large enterprises like Google have something similar, Apple has reportedly had their room where Steve Jobs would tinker with unreleased, or fantasy products, but Google X... wow.

Only a handful of people even know where this secret facility is located, and even less is known about the lab itself, or the people involved. Google will no doubt be working on some super secret and mind-blowing creations and concepts behind its closed, air-locked, arm-guarded doors. The New York Times reports that when Google employees were asked about the project, very few knew anything at all about it.

Continue reading: "Google X", secret underground labs full of unicorn tears and rainbow skittle rides (full post)

NVIDIA Maximus hybrid processing technology, combines the power of Quadro and Tesla

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Nov 14, 2011 10:12 PM CST

NVIDIA have just launched a new hybrid processing technology that should interest professionals that want to use NVIDIA's graphics and compute products in the same machine. NVIDIA first showed the technology off at SIGGRAPH 2011 in August, and now enter, Maximus.

NVIDIA Maximus hybrid processing technology, combines the power of Quadro and Tesla | TweakTown.com

Maximus technology works pretty close to how their consumer graphics switching software, Optimus, works. Instead of allocating resources between two graphics processors (generally an integrated and discrete solution), Maximus offers the hybridization of NVIDIA's Quadro GPU and Tesla GPGPU products.

Continue reading: NVIDIA Maximus hybrid processing technology, combines the power of Quadro and Tesla (full post)

Intel and MasterCard join forces, want to enhance security and consumer payment experience for online shopping

Anthony Garreffa | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Nov 14, 2011 8:16 PM CST

Intel and MasterCard have just shaken hands on a new deal for a multi-year strategic collaboration to further enhance the security and consumer payment experience for online shopping. The new collaboration is set to combine MasterCard's expertise in payment processing and commerce with Intel's strengths in silicon innovation and chip-based security.

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The deal will provide more options for a safer and simpler checkout process for online merchants and consumers using Ultrabook devices and future generations of Intel-based PCs. Intel and MasterCard are working together to optimize a variety of emerging payments technologies which include MasterCard's PayPass and Intel Identity Protection Technology (IPT). IPT can enable consumers to use strong two-factor authentication and hardware-based display protection.

Continue reading: Intel and MasterCard join forces, want to enhance security and consumer payment experience for online shopping (full post)

Corsair announce full line of quad-channel DDR3 kits

Anthony Garreffa | RAM | Nov 14, 2011 7:11 PM CST

The past 24 hours have been quite good for PC enthusiasts and end users alike, Intel's launch of their LGA2011 socket and accompanying X79 chipset launched quite spectacularly. Now we have a slew of companies releasing their X79-powered gear, with it starting today with Corsair.

Corsair have announced a full line of quad-channel DRAM kits for the LGA2011 socket motherboards, with both Dominator and Vengeance. Dominator is rigorously tested for extreme-performance PCs, with every kit tightly screened as well as including Corsair's DHX+ heatsink patented technology. All Dominator quad-channel kits support Intel's latest XMP 1.3 profiles for easy performance tuning. They are available in 4 sets, 2 of 32GB and 2 in 16GB. The first 32GB kit is at 1866MHz, the second at 1600MHz. The 16GB ramps it up a bit with one kit at 2133MHz and the other at 1866MHz.

Corsair announce full line of quad-channel DDR3 kits | TweakTown.com

Next up Corsair have the Vengeance kits, which are great looking and great for overclocking, all at a great price. Vengeance is designed with overclockers in mind and is built specifically for performance potential. Sporting aluminum heat spreaders that dissipate heat, it also provides an aggressive look that looks awesome in gaming rigs. XMP 1.3 support is here too, and the Vengeance kits come in a much wider range of sizes and speeds.

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Continue reading: Corsair announce full line of quad-channel DDR3 kits (full post)

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