FBI shuts down MegaUpload.com, charges its founder, others with piracy
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down one of the world's most popular file-sharing websites today, MegaUpload.com. They also announced the arrest of four people behind a "global crackdown against the suspected online pirates", reported The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted seven people and two companies in total, in the indictment, Megaupload and a company associated with it are accused of making $175 million while simultaneously causing approximately half a billion dollars in copyright infringement. The seven people indicted are: the site's founder, Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz), who holds residency in New Zealand and Hong Kong. Employees Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, 29, Julius Bencko, Finn Batato, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann, and Andrus Nomm.
New Zealand authorities arrested the above-mentioned four people, Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and van der Kolk, with the others not yet arrested. The indictment states that the accused are part of a, and get this, I'll quote it for effect:
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Exclusive look at ECS Z77H2-AX Black Extreme Ivy Bridge motherboard
Earlier today Shane Baxtor and I ventured out to the ECS headquarters here in Taipei where we were given exclusive access to look at the Taiwanese motherboard company's range of upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge motherboards that are due to come out onto the market sometime in late March or April as far as we can tell.
In the video above we spent most of our time focusing on ECS' most high-end Ivy Bridge motherboard, the Z77HS-AX Black Extreme. This is a full size ATX motherboard with plenty of the bells and whistles ticked including onboard Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi as well as native USB 3.0 provided by the Intel Ivy Bridge chipset. It also gets some other nice goodies such as onboard power and reset buttons as well as a heatpipe cooling design which looks like it should do an adequate job of keeping things under control in the temperature department.
Some of the big features of this board is the inclusion of not two, but three PCI-E x16 3.0 slots which allows for SLI and CrossFireX support. The first slot is 16 lanes while the other two other eight lanes - ECS was able to achieve the extra lanes by adding in an additional chip which is said to cost $30 alone. As far as memory goes, you get support for DDR3 dual channel and in early testing so far, ECS engineers told us that they have been able to reach over 2600MHz DDR so far.
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Facebook intro Apps for Timeline
Facebook have introduced apps for Timeline, in the form of Foodspotting, Foodily, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Rotten Tomatoes, Pose, Kobo, Gogobot, TripAdvisor, and more. This allows you to enhance your timeline with apps that help tell your story, in the way you want it to look.
Once an app is added, you can update your timeline with activities as they happen. For example, if you like design, shopping or fashion, you can add the Pinterest or Pose apps, to make your favorite items part of your timeline. There are other apps that make your timeline, pop, such as food-centric apps and travel-centric apps.
Facebook promise that there'll soon be apps for all interests, which will launch over time. After you've added an app, you can remove posts directly from timeline, as well as edit your settings from your personal Activity Log. It seems Facebook is slowly becoming an internal Internet. Just like Step Brothers, there's SO MANY ACTIVITIES!
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Google releases Orkut for iPhone, but do you really care?
I have to admit, I scour the entire interwebs for news, virtually each and every day and up until now, I did not even know about Orkut. Orkut is a Google-owned social network, that gets overshadowed by its own rival, Google+ and other players such as Facebook. Orkut is still massively popular in India and Brazil, where more than 80-percent of its 66 million active users come from, as of October 2011.
Google have just released a native Orkut client for the iPhone, which is available for free from the App Store and includes the usual feature set like updating your status, and checking your scraps and messages to browsing your friends' profiles and uploading photos.
A description of Orkut for iOS:
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SOPA protests on-going today, what are your thoughts?
Bit of a mix-up for the news today. The SOPA protests are on today, and have been for quite a few hours now, with Wikipedia, Google, Reddit and other sites all either showing a protest, or completely going dark for 24 hours.
The protest is of course in regards to SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act which Congress were debating. On top of this, there is PIPA, the Protect IP Act. Today marks a big day for not only the Internet, but you, me, and everyone in between. If SOPA is to get in, it is more or less the end of the Internet as we know it. It would still exist, but it would be heavily modified. Think of it like, if the Internet servers were in two places, North Korea and China, with a huge firewall, and if the dummies in Congress were the managers, and the MPAA gave out some requirements.
Yes, that's a little over-exaggeration, but it's pretty close. This news is just a "we here at TweakTown oppose SOPA/PIPA and any other stupid bill Congress want to push upon the people", and a bit of a tip in case anyone has missed previous news posts in regards to SOPA and PIPA on our site.
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Alienware intro X51, small form factor gaming PC
Alienware have started 2012 by letting lose their X51 desktop. The X51 is a slim gaming PC that is designed to orient itself vertically, or horizontally on the desktop. Even the Alienware logo properly rotates depending on the positioning, nice touch!
The Alienware X51 sports a Core 13 or Core i5, a slot-loading optical drive and an option for Blu-ray. The X51 can be configured to take 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. GPU wise, it sports a full-size NVIDIA GeForce GT 545, upgradeable to the GTX 555, an external power supply in both 240W and 330W versions.
Connectivity on the Alienware X51 includes HDMI 1.4, on-board Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, and digital 7.1 surround sound. Additionally, the computer's accent colors can be modified with the Alienware Command Center software. Customers can place orders right now, starting at just $699.
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Intel launches warranty to replace your blown, overclocked CPUs
Overclocking kills chips, we all know it does. It's never happened to me, because I'm l337, y0. But, it can happen and if it does, under Intel's new protection plan, you'll actually be covered. Intel already have a standard three-year warranty on its processors, but are now launching a new initiative aimed at protecting those who feel the need, the need for speed.
Intel call it the Performance Tuning Protection Plan, which gives you a free replacement CPU if you burn or blow yours up. It has started at four resellers today: CyberPower, Scan Computers, Altech Computers as well as Canada Computers and Electronics. The service is offered exclusively for K, X, and LGA2011-socketed boxed processors, with prices varying dependant on the chip.
For the i5-2500K, i7-2600K, i7-2700K, i7-3920K, and i7-3960X, it will cost you $20, $25, $25, $35, and $35, respectively. Not bad considering those chips are worth either hundreds, or over $1000 (in some countries). There are conditions, though. Intel only cover the chip for one replacement, and the failure must happen within its standard three-year warranty. You cannot rebuy the plan for the replacement chip, and you cannot buy several plans for a new processor.
Continue reading: Intel launches warranty to replace your blown, overclocked CPUs (full post)
Xbox Next/Xbox 720 chips are said to be in production
Excitement, building... first off, I've just sprinkled down some salt on this news, remember, rumor, rumor, rumor. Nothing is fact in this world until we see, hear, feel or experience it for ourselves, until then it's pure faith. In the technology industry, there are so many insiders, "upstream sources" (still need to get me a few of those), and "leaks".
Today, we have some news from SemiAccurate, that talks of the next-generation Xbox chip, "Oban" that has reportedly just taped out. Charlie goes into some serious detail, and for as much flak he gets, he is right a fair bit of the time, and I enjoy his style, so on with the news. It has been reported that the new Xbox Next/720 "Oban" chip is in initial production with sources at a foundary confirming that the Oban wafters starting running in the final days of last year.
Sources at Redmond, when questioned, responded with "Who the f*&$ told you that? I am going to f#*&ing rip someone's head off". You don't say that if it's rumors, that aren't true, so SemiAccurate could be onto something here. More sources as Microsoft said that the initial order for Oban chips was for 10K wafers. Oban is supposedly being built by IBM primarily, which means an x86-based chip is out of the question.
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RumorTT: Thief 4 built on the Unreal Engine 3, has online play
It seems as though Eidos Montreal's kinda-secret-but-kinda-not Thief 4 will sport online capabilities, and be built upon the foundation that is the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine. This is according to the resume's of some of the developers, which were uncovered on LinkedIn, and were posted on NeoGAF.
One resume belonged to Colas Fievet, an online programmer for Thief 4. His duties between August 2009 and December 2010 included "networking, gameplay, debugging", plus "online and offline tools on Thief 4". The previous Thief games never included online play, so Thief 4 with online play would be a first of its kind for the series.
Other CVs referenced Thief 4 running on Unreal Engine 3, which is a surprise considering Eidos Montreal used the Tomb Raider engine for their popular Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Other information included mentions of "shops, escape gates, public zones", and that the game will include a "hub".
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Mass Effect 3 won't be available on Steam, snuggles up to Origin, though
EA really want Origin to work, Battlefield 3 was good enough to swing millions of players into the arms of EA's latest digital distribution service, and now their latest RPG, Mass Effect 3 joins the ranks. BioWare have confirmed Mass Effect 3 will not be made available on Steam, and that on the PC, it will require an Origin install for all versions.
BioWare's community manager, Chris Priestly, said on the company's official forums:
Origin is required for the PC versions of Mass Effect 3, both physical and digital. During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time. Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content.We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.
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