ARM wants an arm wrestle with Intel, AMD, goes 64bit and is going to compete in the high-end desktop market

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Nov 1, 2011 9:46 AM CDT

ARM Ltd is getting serious against Intel and AMD, and are now going to compete with the chip giants in the high-end and server computing market, where competition is tight. ARM has announced their new ARMv8 architecture, the first one to include a 64-bit instruction set. ARM CTO, Mike Mullar says:

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ARMv8 will enable the development of ARM architecture compatible devices that can be designed to maximize the benefits across both 32-bit and 64-bit application areas. This will bring the advantages of energy-efficient 64-bit computing to new applications such as high-end servers and computing, as well as offering backwards compatibility and migration for existing software through a consistent architecture.

ARMv8 will have both 32- and 64-bit modes, like todays x86/x64 CPUs, and this should help transition ARM into the 64-bit world for existing applications. ARM have dubbed the 32-bit mode "AArch32" and the 64-bit mode "AArch64".

Continue reading: ARM wants an arm wrestle with Intel, AMD, goes 64bit and is going to compete in the high-end desktop market (full post)

Google TV 2.0 announced, revamped UI, has access to the Android Market

Anthony Garreffa | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Nov 1, 2011 9:19 AM CDT

Google TV arrived last year to some lukewarm reviews, citing its complicated interface and lack of actual usefulness. Google has spun out with another push in the form of Google TV 2.0, which includes a totally revamped UI as well as access to Google's Android Market. The update will get rolled out to Sony devices starting today and will hit Logitech Revue set-top boxes soon after.

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There's no new hardware announced, but we should see some from Samsung, Vizio and other partners next year. Google, for now, are focusing their efforts making its software more user-friendly and building a solid base that will continue to be improved upon with one or two major OS updates per year and through apps from third-party developers.

Continue reading: Google TV 2.0 announced, revamped UI, has access to the Android Market (full post)

Google+ intros powerful photo editing suite, makes it free

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Oct 30, 2011 8:52 PM CDT

Google+ has added Instagram-like controls to its photo section. The section has always had basic editing, because Google+ shares its photo albums with Picasa, so any edits made there would bounce back. But now they're stepped it up a few notches and built it directly in. The new controls only work in the desktop version, and can be accessed by clicking the edit button when you're in the fullscreen light-box view and selecting "Creative Kit".

Google+ intros powerful photo editing suite, makes it free | TweakTown.com

From there, you're launched into an editor which is powered by PicNik (my niece Alisha will love that). From here, you can crop and tweak photos, but also included is an Instagram-like filter where you can perform some powerful edits. Included is a "Sunless Tan" tool, which can do exactly what it says... you use a brush to apply the tan and somehow it works out where the edges are and turns anyone into a reality TV star ready for the Jersey Shore, b*tch.

Right now there is a seasonal toolkit: Halloween. This allows you to add blood spatter, gravestones, "Dracula Dermis", and other fun stuff to your pictures. The Creative Kit is Flash-powered, so if you were thinking you might hit it up by signing into the non-mobile version of Google+ from an iPad, you're completely out of luck.

Continue reading: Google+ intros powerful photo editing suite, makes it free (full post)

Valve will make creating Portal 2 test chambers much easier, wants the community to live long and prosper

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 30, 2011 8:08 PM CDT

Valve have been been quite good with DLC and user-created content, and Portal 2 from what it seems, is set to get a serious injection of not only awesome, but ease. Valve released Portal 2's authoring tools earlier this year and it has unleashed various custom puzzles for Portal 2 from the community. So far more than 700 puzzles have been created.

Valve will make creating Portal 2 test chambers much easier, wants the community to live long and prosper 71

It's not a massive success, as many spiring modders have complained that the toolkit is too complicated to use. Many gamers have also complained that it's too difficult to find and play the community-generated test chambers. Valve have not been sitting on their hands during this, as they've vowed to resolve both lingering issues.

Valve will make creating Portal 2 test chambers much easier, wants the community to live long and prosper 72

As you can see from the above two screenshots, Valve look to be offering the masses with a puzzle creator that offers "simplified" but "powerful" controls. Valve have not talked about any specifics on the new authoring tools, but the two screenshots above seem to indicate it would be quite simple indeed. I feel a Sims vibe when I look at them, and that is a simple enough game, but powerful at the same time.

Continue reading: Valve will make creating Portal 2 test chambers much easier, wants the community to live long and prosper (full post)

Battlefield 3 ships 10 million copies, hooah!

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 30, 2011 7:03 PM CDT

If you haven't played Battlefield 3 yet, I don't know why you haven't - it is an amazing achievement of a game. For me, it has been one of (if not the) best multiplayer experiences of my life. DICE have followed through (technical issues aside). EA have announced that they have shipped 10 million copies to retailers worldwide, with many retailers requesting more stock.

Battlefield 3 ships 10 million copies, hooah! | TweakTown.com

Three million copies of Battlefield 3 had been sold as pre-orders before the game was released, which was confirmed by EA's COO, Peter Moore in an investor call a few days ago. Even though Battlefield 3 has been very successful, they [EA and DICE] still want to keep its single player campaign in the future Battlefield titles.

EA's Frank Gibeau says:

The single play experience is important. It's a great way to get fans into the experience, have them train up and get ready for multiplayer. A lot of fans just enjoy having that single player experience. So I think you have to have both.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 ships 10 million copies, hooah! (full post)

Got an Intel SSD? Grab the new Toolbox 3.0 software now!

Steve Dougherty | Storage | Oct 28, 2011 11:39 AM CDT

Intel has just released version 3.0 of its "SSD Toolbox" which sports an entirely new UI and rolls in a ton of new features.

The management and diagnostics of your Intel based SSD with this tool is now about as complete as could be with SMART status, Summary Drive Health and Estimated Life Remaining bars, used/unused capacity pie charts, diagnostics, system information summary and contextual help that integrates one-click same-page help pointers.

Got an Intel SSD? Grab the new Toolbox 3.0 software now! | TweakTown.com

With SSDS typically having a limited rewrite cycle count (the amount of times data can be rewritten onto its NAND cells before it's game over and the SSD becomes a doorstep), while the cycle count equates to many, many years of use even for the all day every day user, it's still nice to have peace of mind about the rewrite cycle status.

Continue reading: Got an Intel SSD? Grab the new Toolbox 3.0 software now! (full post)

Logitech intro Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 themed gaming keyboard and mouse

Anthony Garreffa | Peripherals | Oct 28, 2011 6:15 AM CDT

Logitech have just unveiled a new gaming keyboard and mouse in the form of the Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 and Logitech Laser Mouse G9X, specially made for the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 is the official keyboard of COD: Modern Warfare 3 and sports military-style, night-vision green LED backlighting. It also features six programmable G-keys, each with three mode states.

Logitech intro Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 themed gaming keyboard and mouse 68

The Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 also features up to 18 possible macro combinations per game, where they can allow you to perform single keystrokes or intricate multi-key combinations complete with mouse events, user-defined delays and repeating. New macros can even be recorded on the fly with the help of the Logitech Gaming Software (when installed).

Continue reading: Logitech intro Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 themed gaming keyboard and mouse (full post)

Chinese search engine, Baidu, sees revenue up 85% to $655 million, profit up 80% to $295 million

Anthony Garreffa | Internet & Websites | Oct 28, 2011 5:12 AM CDT

Chinese search engine Baidu posted their earnings today, and they've got some very impressive results. Total revenue in Q3 rocks along at $654.7 million, an 85.1-percent increase from the same period last year, net income was up 80-percent to $295 million. Diluted earnings for Q3 were $0.84; non-GAAP earnings were for the $0.86. Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu says:

Chinese search engine, Baidu, sees revenue up 85% to $655 million, profit up 80% to $295 million | TweakTown.com

Baidu recorded stellar results in the third quarter driven by rapid growth in customer spending and user traffic. In particular, spending by large customers significantly outperformed our expectations as we continued to build strong relationships with high quality companies. China's search industry is still in its early stages, and as the clear industry leader we see enormous room for continuing growth as users and online marketing customers become increasingly sophisticated.

Continue reading: Chinese search engine, Baidu, sees revenue up 85% to $655 million, profit up 80% to $295 million (full post)

Corsair Force Series SSD goes through some life testing

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Oct 28, 2011 4:22 AM CDT

For those of you who love your SSDs like me, you'll enjoy an interesting blog piece from Corsair. It's done by long time Corsair forum member Rafael Jaimes III, or by his forum name "Synbios". He sent Corsair some documentation of SSD life testing utilizing Corsair's Force F40-A SSDs.

Corsair Force Series SSD goes through some life testing | TweakTown.com

The submission is quite long, so I won't go into it too much (and to avoid spoilers from the results), but it goes into a very lengthy discussion about the lifespan and the general users questions on how long it will be. Because SSDs are a very new technology when compared to the now ageing mechanical platter-based tech, the number of failures of SSDs are currently quite low. But because they haven't been around as long as their competition, its hard to get a handle on what type of return rate they have.

Continue reading: Corsair Force Series SSD goes through some life testing (full post)

EA cements deal to bring third-party publishers' games to Origin

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 28, 2011 3:09 AM CDT

Electronic Arts have just announced that their digital distribution platform, Origin, will now be offering third-party PC games starting in November. The first wave of publishers to sign a deal with Origin include Warner Bros., THQ and Capcom. This will bring hit titles such as Batman: Arkham City and Saints Row: The Third to Origin, with more games hitting Origin in the coming months.

EA cements deal to bring third-party publishers' games to Origin | TweakTown.com

Origin already has over 100 EA games in its library and adding additional publishers only cements their service into competition against Valve and their digital distribution platform, Steam. David DeMartini (shaken, not stirred, thanks), senior vice president of Origin at EA says:

Since launch, we've had overwhelming support from both publishers and developers across the gaming industry, recognizing Origin as an opportunity to deliver more of their great content straight to consumers across the globe. We're excited to welcome Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, THQ and Capcom as the first publishers to offer their games via Origin.

Continue reading: EA cements deal to bring third-party publishers' games to Origin (full post)

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