AMD lowers its third quarter revenue forecast

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Sep 30, 2011 12:00 AM CDT

AMD, the second largest PC chip manufacturer, has lowered their third quarter revenue projections citing issues with the 32nm chip production at its German Foundry. AMD now expects its revenue to increase by 4 - 6% on top of their second quarter earnings, down from the 10% that they originally forecasted earlier in the year. In response to this news, AMD shares fell by 7.8% to $5.88 during extended trading yesterday.

AMD lowers its third quarter revenue forecast | TweakTown.com

AMD have not only been having issues with their 32nm chips, but they have also commented that its 45nm chip supply was also experiencing issues as the two processes share some common toold in manufacturing. The Dresden-based manufacturing firm, GlobalFoundries, which AMD have an 11% stake in, is uses for their manufacturing operations. Poor yields of chips due to production problems seem to be AMD's biggest issue right now.

Continue reading: AMD lowers its third quarter revenue forecast (full post)

New Xbox dashboard to debut November 15, says leaked PayPal e-mail

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Sep 29, 2011 10:46 PM CDT

A leaked e-mail from PayPal employees of all places reveals that Microsoft is planning to launch the new Xbox dashboard come November 15. November 15 marks the 10-year anniversary since the original Xbox launched back in 2001. The memo asks PayPal employees to test the new dashboard ahead of the Nov 15 launch. I bet you're wondering why PayPal employees are being selected for testing. Remember Microsoft added PayPal payment options in Xbox Live back in May, allowing users to buy Gold memberships, games and Microsoft Points using PayPal.

New Xbox dashboard to debut November 15, says leaked PayPal e-mail | TweakTown.com

Previous dashboard updates went live in November in previous years (2008 and 2010), which would make this rumor quite the possibility. Also coinciding with the 10-year anniversary really makes this diamond in the rough another strong possibility. The planned update is set to allow users to browser content faster and use the Kinect motion-sensing device to navigate and interfact with the dashboard. The growing library of content is pushing the update which indicates that Microsoft is committed to the user experience on the Xbox 360.

New features are set to include game invites that don't expire as well as Bing integration. Visually, the new layout mimics the look of the Windows Phone 7 UI, the same interface that Windows 8 will sport. Microsoft has also confirmed Xbox Live integration in Windows 8, but has been scarce with more details.

Continue reading: New Xbox dashboard to debut November 15, says leaked PayPal e-mail (full post)

Battlefield 3 beta opens to all, if you haven't played it, I highly suggest you do

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Sep 29, 2011 10:00 PM CDT

For those who pre-ordered Battlefield 3, you (like me) have enjoyed the beta for a couple of days now. But, if you have yet to have pre-ordered and would like to try-before-you-buy, well now is your chance. Battlefield 3's multiplayer beta is now open to all, on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There is no registration requirement, you just download the beta from Xbox Live, PSN or if you're on the PC, EA's Origin service.

The beta features the map, Operation Metro, and features the game type, Rush where one team must attack two M-Com stations while a defending team tries to prevent them. The map features 4 full unlocked areas that allow up to 32 players to duke it out at once. It clocks it at around 3.9GB for the PC version. The beta lasts for just a week and a half, ending on October 10. You'll have to sit in a pool of your own tears afterwards, right up until the games full release on October 25 in the US and October 28 in Europe.

Before you download it, you might want to download some new graphics drivers too. AMD users, click here. NVIDIA users, you'll need this link.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 beta opens to all, if you haven't played it, I highly suggest you do (full post)

Amazon intros $199 tablet, Kindle Fire, debuts on November 15

Amazon has finally unveiled their Android-based tablet, which is now known as the Kindle Fire. The 7-inch, 1024x600 device will feature a heavily customized interface tailored around Amazon's services and starting at a surprisingly low price of just $200. In order to get to the sub $200 price point, Amazon have had to cull a few features from the Kindle Fire such as 3G access, a microphone and front/back cameras. Kindle Fire does however include Wi-Fi and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which is normally $79 per year.

What that means is, you'll get a taste of Amazon's collection of streaming video content and free or discounted shipping for your purchases at Amazon.com. Not only that, but you'll also gain access to the Android Appstore, Kindle books, magazines, and more - all stored for free through the Amazon Cloud Storage and synced between devices invisibly in the background. Whispersync now works with video content, so you can pick up where you left off in a movie or TV show even after switching devices.

Continue reading: Amazon intros $199 tablet, Kindle Fire, debuts on November 15 (full post)

Activision exploits Modern Warfare 3 by featuring Pepsi sponsorship, eat Dorito's and drink Mountain Dew to receive Double XP

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Sep 28, 2011 11:30 PM CDT

I don't understand the point of this, and it crosses some very questionable lines for Activision, but to steal Battlefield 3's thunder; it requires thinking outside the square. Activision have teamed up with Pepsi and have announced a promotion called "Rank Up XP". What Rank Up XP offers is, whatever Pepsi products you buy, Mountain Dew and Doritos, players can redeem codes found in the packaging for Double XP time in Modern Warfare 3. A 20 oz gets you 15 minutes whilst a 12 pack gets you 45, and so on.

Activision exploits Modern Warfare 3 by featuring Pepsi sponsorship, eat Dorito's and drink Mountain Dew to receive Double XP 8

No, I'm not kidding around. The problem with this is, the XP in Call of Duty is a form of currency. Currency in the game buys you weapons, perks, attackments, killstreaks and so on. For a game that is already over-priced, a re-hash of the older titles, no new graphics engine or technologies built in, charging for the "Elite" service, on top of your monthly Xbox Live membership (PSN is free), this is just a step in the direction of overboard.

Activision exploits Modern Warfare 3 by featuring Pepsi sponsorship, eat Dorito's and drink Mountain Dew to receive Double XP 9

Activision are willing to exploit fans even [more] through this promotion. Considering that Activision sold $360,000,000 worth of copies in 24 hours of the last COD title... do they really need to cash in with this type of exploitation? What do you think?

Continue reading: Activision exploits Modern Warfare 3 by featuring Pepsi sponsorship, eat Dorito's and drink Mountain Dew to receive Double XP (full post)

L.A. Noire will hit PCs in November

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Sep 28, 2011 10:00 PM CDT

L.A. Noire has enjoyed much success on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but now PC gamers will be able to get their hands dirty in the 1940s-based crime drama adventure game. L.A. Noire is headed to PCs in November with US gamers being able to grab it on November 8 and it's released in Europe on November 11, for $49.99. No word on the Mac edition yet, but Mac-based users will be able to access the game via OnLive.

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It's received a name change also, now dubbed L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition, the package includes all of the downloadable content previously released on consoles. It also includes support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision and will be controllable with either a mouse and keyboard, or a gamepad. System requirement wise, it's not too bad:

· Operating System: Windows 7 / Windows Vista Service Pack 1 / Windows XP Service Pack 3 / OnLive for PC or Mac

· Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.2GHz to Quad Core 3.2GHz / AMD Dual Core 2.4Ghz to Quad Core 3.2Ghz

· RAM: 2GB to 8GB

· Hard drive space: 16GB

· Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 512MB to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1536MB / Radeon HD 3000 512MB to Radeon HD 6850 1024MB

· Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9 Compatible

Continue reading: L.A. Noire will hit PCs in November (full post)

Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games talks of the future of gaming tech

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Sep 28, 2011 8:04 PM CDT

Tim Sweeney; you might know this man as the founder of Epic Games and as the father of games such as Unreal, Gears of War and the mind behind the Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine 3 for example, powers a slew of todays AAA titles such as Gears of War, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mass Effect. IGN interviewed Tim and asked him some interesting questions, one that perked my interested regarded the next-gen Unreal Engine 4, which Tim says is due sometime around 2014:

Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games talks of the future of gaming tech | TweakTown.com

I spend about 60 percent of my time every day doing research work that's aimed at our next generation engine and the next generation of consoles. This is technology that won't see the light of day until probably around 2014, but focusing on that horizon enables me to do some really cool things that just aren't practical today, but soon will be. Some of our most productive work in the industry was on the first Unreal engine back in 1996, when I wrote a software vendor with a bunch of new features that hadn't been seen before. I feel like that's what I'm doing now on Unreal Engine 4 in exploring areas of the technology nobody else is really yet contemplating because they're still a few years away from practicality. But I see a huge amount of potential there and so it's very, very fun work.

Continue reading: Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games talks of the future of gaming tech (full post)

Coolermaster intros CM Storm Trooper, the force is with this one

Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Sep 28, 2011 2:00 AM CDT

Coolermaster have today launched what they say is a "truly magnificent feat of engineering into an arean that represents the future of warfare; the Trooper full-tower chassis". It includes an ultra-strong carrying handle which allows gamers and enthusiasts alike to transport the case with ease. It also includes full dust filter coverage, a fan controller, an external SSD drive hot-swap dock and two uniquely designed modular hard drive cages.

The CM Storm Trooper exterior features a damage-resistant rubberized coating that is said to protect the case from transport. The front panel connections and controls provide the user with the ability to make on-the-fly changes to fan speed and case LEDs, whilst USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and audio connections are also provided. To finish the exterior off, they've included a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD X-dock that makes mounting drives as easy as loading in a Blu-ray or DVD.

Coolermaster intros CM Storm Trooper, the force is with this one 17

Continue reading: Coolermaster intros CM Storm Trooper, the force is with this one (full post)

Apple confirms October 4 'Let's Talk iPhone' event

Apple has sent out invitations to the media to attend the iPhone 5 introduction on October 4. All it says is "Let's Talk iPhone", it shows app icons that reflect the date, the 10AM Pacific start time, its location at Apple's 1 Infinite Loop headquarters, and the phone focus. It's presumed, although not official, that the permanent CEO Tim Cook will lead the event. The iPhone 5's design could still go two ways, a total redesign with a larger screen and a thinner body, or the conservative route with an "iPhone 4S"-type model.

Apple confirms October 4 'Let's Talk iPhone' event | TweakTown.com

But, we should still see a dual-core A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and quite possibly, 64GB of storage and a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip. We should also see finished version of iOS 5 at the show, with Android-like notification bar and improved lock screen, true independence from a computer and cloud syncing through iCloud and iTunes Match. On top of this, Twitter integration, reminders and an improved camera app.

Continue reading: Apple confirms October 4 'Let's Talk iPhone' event (full post)

Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" begins its rollout

Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango has began rolling out to phones across the world. This is just the start and the ramp up of delivery will increase gradually, with Microsoft hoping to make the update to most customers within 4 weeks. Today Microsoft roll Windows Phone 7.5 out to more than 98 percent of existing Windows Phone customers. This is a simultaneous, coordinated, global update that cuts across carriers, phone models and countries.

Windows Phone 7.5

Mango won't make it to everyone right away and Microsoft are doing this to contain quality issues. Microsoft aren't just delivering a new operating system, but also new software supplied by individual handset makers. This "firmware" is necessary so your phone and apps work with all Mango features. So the update is not just a one-size-fits-all, but a tweaked update to each and every phone.

Continue reading: Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" begins its rollout (full post)

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