RumorTT: Xbox 720/Next to be six times as powerful as current-gen consoles
It seems rumors of the next-gen Microsoft console is getting the most talk lately, with more news of the Xbox 720/Next console from "sources close to the project" that told IGN.
There were initial reports that the next-gen console from Microsoft would sport the new GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture that is found in the newly-released AMD Radeon HD 7900-Series, but it seems that the console might tap some of the 6000-Series of GPUs.
IGN's sources claim it will use a Radeon HD 6670-like GPU, which offers support for DirectX 11, multi-display output, 3D and 1080p HD output. In "real terms", this would allow the next-gen Xbox's graphics processing power to be nearly six times as powerful as the Xbox 360, and just "20-percent greater performance than Nintendo's forthcoming console, the Wii U."
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Battlefield 3's Community Manager says there is "new stuff" coming for Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3's Community Manager, Daniel Matros has said that there is "new stuff" coming for Battlefield 3. What would he mean by "new stuff", well, he has said that new content was being created, but the actual announcement won't be for a few weeks yet.
New stuff happening as in 'new stuff happening in the studio today that will be announced later on. We´re a few weeks away from it but yes, it will be something people have been looking forward to.
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AMD-powered tablet shows off Android 4.0
In a strange turn of events, AMD have shown off the MSI WindPad 110W tablet, where it was running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) at CES just recently. The WindPad 110W sports a Z-01 APU (two x86 cores at 1.0GHz, Radeon HD 6250 graphics).
2GB of RAM is also featured. Things didn't go too smoothly with the MSI WindPad 110W and Android 4.0, where occasional freezes were experienced, but considering its a work in progress, things should get better over time. For people that want to try this out on their MSI WindPad 110W, you can download the Android 4.0 for Brazos ISO, here.
If you do, let us know how you go with your MSI/AMD and Android 4.0 ventures, it will be most interesting. Remember that downloading an experimental update is just that, experimental. We cannot be blamed for any damage to your device, no matter how fun it seems to do.
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Samsung updates firmware of SSD 830 Series, fixed BSOD issues
Samsung have today released two new firmware updates for their SSD 830 Series of solid-state drives. The first update, named CXM02B1Q, was released two weeks ago, but due to CES, no one really noticed it.
The release notes state that the update fixes a BSOD or hang issue when waking the computer up from hibernation mode. The 830 Series has been said to be one of the most reliable SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, with the issue not affecting all users, it still affects some. Samsung also claim that the update fixes partition issues with some enclosures and laptops.
The second update, named CXM03B1Q, was released last Thursday and it's identical to the earlier update, but sports improved compatibility and stability of the update tool. If you want to grab the latest firmware for the Samsung 830, download it here. As always, do so at your own risk and perform data backups beforehand.
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Skyrim 1.4 beta patch, lots and lots of improvements
Been obsessively playing Skyrim since launch like most people? Want to keep on that bleeding-edge, well, Bethesda have been kind enough to release the latest 1.4 beta patch for Skyrim and have made it available through Steam.
Bethesda have warned people of the update, with "apply the update at your own risk." In order to apply the update, you'll need to check your Steam settings then opt-in to the Skyrim beta listed there. Bethesda recommend backing up your save games just in case you lose them, and the resulting after effects of which would be complete rage black-out.
Details on how to apply the update are here. And below I've listed a full list of fixes and goodies, there's a lot:
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The average Silicon Valley Tech salary has passed $100k
The average annual salary of a Silicon Valley technology worker has surpassed the $100,000 mark this year. Tech-jobs website operator Dice Holdings Inc. has said that salaries for software and other engineering professionals in California's Silicon Valley rose 5.2-percent to an average of $104,195 last year.
This beat the average 2-percent increase to $81,327 in tech-workers' salaries nationwide. It was also the first time since Dice began the salary survey in 2001 that the numbers broke the $100,000 mark, said Tom Silver, a Dice senior vice president. It comes at a time where companies such as Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc., and Twitter Inc., that have reignited the web boom.
Some companies have gone public, too, with LinkedIn Corp. and Zynga hitting IPOs and Facebook is eyeing an IPO soon, too. Their success has made a domino effect on new start-ups, which has then ignited a hiring war for software engineers and others.
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Windows 8 will include simplified wireless connectivity configuration
Windows 8 is set to make it easier than ever for users to manage their Wi-Fi and mobile connections, with group program manager on Microsoft's devices and networking team, Billy Anders, publishing a post on Microsoft's Building Windows 8 blog, that outlines steps taken to improve the wireless connectivity experience.
Mobile broadband is being integrated alongside standard Wi-Fi in Windows 8. In Windows 7, it was included, but there were several steps required to be taken before the mobile device could connect, such as installing third-party drivers and software. Microsoft are removing that annoying step, by working with mobile broadband hardware partners to develop a universal driver that will work with all mobile devices and eliminate the need for additional drivers or software.
Windows 8 will include a new networks settings menu that allows you to turn off individual radios (Bluetooth, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi) or disable them all at once with the new airplane mode. This native radio management is said to eliminate conflicts and confusion that is often introduced when third-party manufacturers add their own connection software.
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Biggest solar flare since 2005 is happening right now
We're not even finished with the first month of 2012 and we are already experiencing some seriously powerful stuff happening to us because of one of the most important things we, humans, require to live: our Sun, our Star. The Sun, at around 0359 UT on January 23, from sunspot 1402 erupted and produced a long-duration M9-class solar flare.
The explosion's M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being classed an X-flare, the most powerful there can be. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare's most extreme ultraviolet flare, below:
The resulting coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at 0617 UT on January 22 and according to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field and briefly exposed satellites in geosynchronous orbit to solar wind plasma. The effects of this will last roughly 24 hours, where Earth's magnetic field reverberates from the impact. This causes bright auroras to be seen around the arctic circle. Bjørn Jørgensen observed this display from Tromsø, Norway:
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TRIM Enabler 2.0 for OS X Lion is now available
Originally, this was going to be my "Download of the Day", but I figure that this would only be applicable to a small percentage of users compared to what has now become Download of the Day. Think of this as "Download of the Day 1.5". TRIM Enabler 2.0 for OS X Lion is now available.
What makes this release special? Well, usually TRIM is reserved on Lion for Apple SSDs. Non-Apple SSDs don't get the TRIM goodness within OS X Lion. Older TRIM enablers required Terminal usage, and knowledge on how to use it. Oskar "Cindori" Groth developed an app called TRIM Enabler. The app has hit version 2.0 and is now compatible with OS X Lion. Version 1.x worked in Lion, but included an old kext from Snow Leopard that caused worse performance for some users.
TRIM Enabler 2.0 patches said kext file for you and repairs permissions, something that would normally require the user to do manually through a Terminal-based method. TRIM Enabler also supports S.M.A.R.T. monitoring on some SSDs, allowing the user to see lifetime reads, and the amount of retired blocks, for example.
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Thecus Upgrades Its 32-bit Firmware to V5.02.02
Network Attached Storage heroes, Thecus have released the new V5.02.02 firmware which adds new features, protocol updates, and of course, the usual tweaking. The new update is available for all V5-compatible models.
Quick access models gets a nice upgrade, where there is now the possibility to add an extra button on the login screen where you can choose the desired module and login with the proper user account. Third-party developers can now set their own icon if they wish.
A handy feature included in V5.02.02 firmware is the ability to back up all local users, groups and permissions. You can save them on a RAID volume and restore when required. There's also the ability to export them to another NAS if required. General upgrades and tweaks are below:
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