Leaked Windows 9 screenshot shows us the new, new Start Menu

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jul 22, 2014 10:05 PM CDT

Microsoft hasn't hit the same popularity it did with Windows 7 with its latest two operating systems: Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but will it strike the iron again with Windows 9? We are now being treated to an early look thanks to some leaked screenshots of the next version of Windows' Start Menu.

The new build of Windows is still codenamed "Threshold" which is another major desktop revamp, with one of those bits being the much-talked about Start Menu. We can see that the new screenshots show off an impressive looking Start Menu that features some "Metro-style" apps that are pinned to the Start Menu itself, as well as the usual applications to the left.

The Verge is reporting that these images are genuine, and are from the current development versions of "Windows 9". The second screenshot shows that Microsoft is hoping to have Metro-style apps run in the desktop as either fullscreen or windowed. This is a large part of Microsoft's plans for the upcoming version of its OS, something that will make mouse and keyboard users have a better experience on the desktop.

Continue reading: Leaked Windows 9 screenshot shows us the new, new Start Menu (full post)

Apple posts hefty profits thanks to iPhone sales, growth in China

Tamlin Magee | Business, Financial & Legal | Jul 22, 2014 9:08 PM CDT

That infamous hawker of hype and high-price handsets, Apple Corporation, has just posted its quarterly profits - of 7.75 billion dollars, up a very respectable 12 percent compared to the same time last year.

It claimed the runaway success of its latest iPhone models is to thank for the strong growth, as well as a swelling of its business in China, where revenue was boosted 28 percent to reach 5.9 billion dollars. The company brought in over 10.3 billion in operational cash flow, it said. "Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can't wait to introduce."

For now it looks like the hype train is showing no signs of stopping, as the entire blogosphere speculates on what's next for the iconic iPhone. What's a little less on everyone's lips, though, is the iPad - sales of which happened to plummet for a second quarter in a row, down by a pretty substantial nine percent to 13.3 million.

Continue reading: Apple posts hefty profits thanks to iPhone sales, growth in China (full post)

Cyberwar building between warring factions in Iraq as tensions build

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Jul 22, 2014 4:20 PM CDT

The continued political unrest in Iraq has led to armed conflict, but has led to a rise in something a bit more surprising: a cyberwar that has used social media and coordinated malware and other cyberattacks against rival political factions.

The use of the "Njrat" malware, to compromise PCs and create a rudimentary botnet, has drawn interest among cybersecurity experts - and other similar tactics are being deployed. The criminals are interested in stealing data and using hijacked microphones and cameras to see what is happening in select regions.

"The key parties are local groups within Iraq using malware for targeted intelligence on each other," said Andrew Komarov, Intel Crawler chief of security, in a statement. "It is very hard to confirm who is the author, as some of the malware is used from public sources, but it is very visible that it is used within Iraq, and not outside against foreign countries, which may explain the beginning of internal local cyberwar."

Continue reading: Cyberwar building between warring factions in Iraq as tensions build (full post)

GameStop gift card exchange program launches, powered by Cardpool

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Jul 22, 2014 9:07 AM CDT

We've all been there at birthdays or during the holiday season, someone gives you a gift card to a place you don't like and you silently think that gift card will sit in your sock drawer forever. GameStop has announced a new gift card exchange program that is powered by Cardpool that will let you trade those unwanted gift cards for credit for stuff you do want- games and accessories.

The new gift card exchange program allows users to exchange physical plastic gift cards and e-cards to get a digital GameStop gift card that can be spent online or in GameStop retail stores. The trade process is very easy with three steps to swapping unwanted cards for GameStop cards.

The page for the trade in program lets you check gift card balance, fill out your information to get a trade quote, and then get the GameStop card via email. It's unclear if this is a dollar for dollar exchange program; presumably, Cardpool is going to take a cut of the money in the trade.

Continue reading: GameStop gift card exchange program launches, powered by Cardpool (full post)

NVIDIA's new Shield Tablet confirmed, Tegra K1-powered for $299

For something that we've been teasing for a little while now, NVIDIA has just taken the official wrap off of its Shield Tablet. We now have confirmed specs, with the new device being an 8-inch tablet featuring the slightly higher than Full HD resolution of 1920x1200.

The new Shield Tablet is powered by the company's more than impressive Tegra K1 processor, is compatible with the new Shield wireless controller, something that will let you get your game-streaming fun on. This will allow you to run your games remotely from your PC at home. With its mini-HDMI connection, you can throw up 1080p content to the Full HD TV near you.

Because it's an Android-based device, you get the best of both world's - the Android games, as well as PC games. This is something most other devices don't even begin to offer, especially at $299. NVIDIA is doubling down with the Shield Tablet, by turning the Shield brand into a product family. The new NVIDIA Shield Tablet is also the first global launch that the company has taken on. The new Shield Tablet starts off with the Wi-Fi-only 16GB version priced at $299. The 32GB model with LTE capabilities is priced at $100 more, at $399.

Continue reading: NVIDIA's new Shield Tablet confirmed, Tegra K1-powered for $299 (full post)

Facebook now lets you 'Save' content to view later

Anthony Garreffa | Internet & Websites | Jul 22, 2014 4:02 AM CDT

In this fast-paced world, we simply can't keep up with everything that is going on, and that's without considering Facebook. But for people who breath the social network in everyday (guilty!), then the social network has something in store for you with its new Save function.

The new Save feature will allow you to use a bookmark-like system that lets you save content such as movies, places, TV, music or links so that you can view them at a later date. This is perfect in the example scenario of sitting on the bus or train, or even a doctors office, going through content, you can 'save' it, and view it later when you're not about to jump off the bus, or go into your appointment.

Facebook has said that the saved items will only be seen by you, unless you choose to share them with friends. The saved items can be viewed at anytime, anywhere, by simply tapping the "More" tab on your mobile, or clicking the left side of Facebook when you're using it in a web browser. If you haven't viewed your saved items after a short period of time, Facebook will remind you that you have saved these items by displaying them in your News Feed. This new function should roll out to everyone on iOS, Android and the web over the coming days.

Continue reading: Facebook now lets you 'Save' content to view later (full post)

TheWorse mod for Watch Dogs on PC reaches version 1.0

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Jul 22, 2014 3:24 AM CDT

One of the biggest issues Ubisoft had this year was gimping the PC version of Watch Dogs, something that a modder fixed in his spare time. Federico Rojas (or TheWorse) released a mod called 'TheWorse' that reverted the graphics on the PC version to what Ubisoft showed off at E3 2012, something that looked far better than the game did when it was officially released 2014.

Rojas explains in the release of TheWorse Mod version 1.0: "This is the last release of my modification. I did my best to improve graphics and performance as much as I could without degrading the quality". This release is split in two, the first includes the high resolution texture pack from another modded by the name of MaLDo, and the other does not include this high-res pack.

You can download version 1.0 of TheWorse mod for Watch Dogs right here.

Continue reading: TheWorse mod for Watch Dogs on PC reaches version 1.0 (full post)

NVIDIA rumored to launch GeForce GTX 800 series before Christmas

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Jul 22, 2014 2:28 AM CDT

According to the latest rumors, NVIDIA could unveil its next-gen GeForce GTX 800 series sometime in the next couple of months. SweClockers is the site behind the tease, stating that NVIDIA will unveil its new GTX 870 and GTX 880 GPUs in October or November.

We already know that the upcoming GTX 800 series will be a powerhouse series of video cards, with the two GPUs being positioned for the high-end market. The GTX 870 and GTX 880 will replace the current GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti video cards, with the new GM204-based hardware. The last time we heard about the GTX 880, we heard that it sported 8GB of RAM and a 375W TDP.

The GeForce GTX 800 series should arrive on the 28nm process, and not the 20nm process like some thought it would. The biggest tease is that NVIDIA is rumored to launch its GeForce GTX 990 early next year, something that would truly break some speed records as it will be based on the 16nm process, skipping the 20nm process entirely.

Continue reading: NVIDIA rumored to launch GeForce GTX 800 series before Christmas (full post)

Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR is now official

When Facebook announced it was acquiring Oculus VR back in March, it had the entire world up in arms - myself included. Time has passed, and those worries have all but died down, with the news that the acquisition is now final, with an update issued by both of the companies.

Facebook and Oculus VR said in a joint statement: "We're looking forward to an exciting future together, building the next computing platform and reimagining the way people communicate". Back in March, Facebook said it was going to acquire Oculus VR for $2 billion, in a deal that would include $400 million in cash, and 23.1 million shares in Facebook valued at $1.6 billion.

At the time, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook said: "Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate". In April, the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal. Right now, people are waiting for their Development Kit 2 (DK2) units to arrive, sporting a 1080p low-persistence screen, and much more.

Continue reading: Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR is now official (full post)

Apple reportedly orders 70-80 million next-gen iPhones

According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered a huge number of next generation iPhones. The Journal's sources have said that the company has ordered a huge 70 to 80 million units, with this order being split between the two screen sizes.

Remember that we should have both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 arriving, with the 4.7-inch being teased the most so far. If we put these figures up against the order that Apple placed for the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple ordered between 50-60 million. The iPhone 5S was met with big demand, which saw Apple experiencing shortages for consumers.

Things have changed in the past year for Apple, with the company signing a rather large deal with China Mobile, which has over 790 million subscribers on its network. We should expect Apple to bake in considerable changes into the iPhone 6, in both the software and hardware departments.

Continue reading: Apple reportedly orders 70-80 million next-gen iPhones (full post)