Samsung have just unveiled their Series 7 Gamer notebook, and whilst you might think "Samsung... Gaming notebook... really?", you might want to think twice! It is definitely specced very nicely, and it looks awesome, too.
Let's talk some specs, the Series 7 Gamer notebook sports a 17.3-inch next-generation Full HD LCD with Samsung's SuperBright technology which gives a 400-nit screen, which is up to 50-percent brighter than traditional PCs. An Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU fills out the CPU duties, it supports up to 16GB of RAM, up to a 1.5TB HDD, and comes with an NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 675M GPU for your gaming needs.
Filling out the specs, we have Dolby Home Theater v4 speakers, Windows 7 Home Premium, a 2.0-megapixel webcam, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and it weighs in at 13.34lb, as well as a battery life of around 3.7 hours. Price? Just $1899.99.
Not everyone is exactly ecstatic about Blizzard offering real money auctions in the upcoming Diablo III game. I, too, see some issues with it, but that is for another article. Claims that Blizzard is trying to cash in on the game's second hand digital market have run rampant since its announcement of the plan last summer.
Blizzard will charge a flat $1 fee (or a rough local equivalent) for unique equipment like armor, weapons, or accessories. For common "stackable" commodities, Blizzard will charge 15%. This 15% charge even applies for strictly in-game gold transactions. The hope behind that is that it will stem inflation in the in-game economy.
Players will also get hit with another 15% fee when they try to transfer their funds from their Battle.net account to a third party service such as PayPal. The only way to avoid this is to spend the money on other Blizzard items such as a WoW subscription. The move of Blizzard allowing real money trading and taking a part in it will help stem the grey market of other companies doing the exact same thing. It should improve customer service and reduce scams. More information is available at today's announcement.
After weeks of teasing us about the upcoming DLC for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda has finally released more details about the coming DLC. First off, the name of the DLC is going to be 'Dawnguard.' I've never actually played Skyrim, so I can't say if that is some sort of reference to something in the game.
The marketing teaser image shows the usual hero. However, he has an unusual yellow glow in his eyes which could signal that the hero could be gaining some sort of new powers in the DLC. As we reported previously, gamers have dug around in a patch and found references to things that most likely will be showing up in the DLC.
Bethesda says that Dawnguard will debut on Xbox360 sometime this summer. In case you hadn't heard, the first two DLCs for Skyrim will be timed exclusives for Xbox 360. PS3 and PC gamers will have to wait at least an additional 30 days beyond the release. Technically, summer starts at the end of May, but it's doubtful that it will be that early. Bethesda says they are waiting for E3 in early June to release more details. I'll be attending E3, so I'll make sure to get the low down!
Here's some news on the lighter side: At a press screening over here in the USA, it would appear that a projectionist is a bigger foe to the Avengers than, say, the evil god Loki. The new film "The Avengers" is already out overseas and garnering rave reviews is gearing up to hit US theaters this Friday.
As a press screening for the new movie, a projectionist accidentally hit the delete button. One would think that some sort of safeguards would be in place but, alas, it appears that this movie file is just like any other file. No word has been given on exactly why it couldn't be recovered or why there was no backup.
This screw up resulted in all of the press having to wait in excess of 2 hours while a new copy was downloaded. The fact that they just download another copy is actually somewhat ironic with all of the piracy claims being thrown around accusing other people of doing the same. I realize that they pay to show the movie, but it still is quite ironic.
AMD cares about the customer. Today's announcement of GameFly and AMD teaming up is just another example of all the things they do for you, the customer. This time AMD would like to get you gaming for cheap, at least for a little while. AMD announced that GameFly and AMD had an agreement to bring easier access to GameFly's online PC game rental and PC download services for a limited time.
Gamers who purchase select AMD A-Series APUs, AMD Athlon II CPUs, AMD Phenom™ II CPUs or AMD FX Series CPUs in areas where GameFly is accessible will receive a free 30-day GameFly membership and a 20% discount on a new PC game purchase when bought via the GameFly PC store. I don't have a listing of which CPUs qualify, so if I find one, I will add it here.
"AMD draws inspiration from gamers, game developers and the PC gaming industry," said John Taylor, director of Global Product and Technology Marketing at AMD. "Hand-in-hand with the AMD Gaming Evolved program, we continue to listen to gamers and fulfill our 'Gamers Come First!' pledge. AMD‟s close affiliation with GameFly shows our gratitude to gamers and to GameFly for recognizing how AMD represents best-in-class PC gaming experiences."
Most Android phones, it would seem, are not running the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. Google recently released some very detailed data about the Android landscape, which included percents of phone OSs that checked into Google Play over a 14 day period. Some of the numbers are surprising.
63.7% of the phones that checked into (used) Google Play over the 14 day period were based on the outdated, yet still functional Gingerbread (Android 2.3). Only 2.9% were running the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich. The adoption rate of the latest upgrade has been slow, to say the least. But why? After all, 850,000 devices were activated per day in February.
Each time a new version of Android was released (historically), the adoption rate slowed. It took 2.1 a month to reach 25% of Android devices. It took 2.2 three times as long (three months) to reach the same point. It took a whopping 6 months for Gingerbread (2.3) to reach the same point. Part of this is due to the Android market being bigger. More people have to upgrade the software than just have new people buy phones.
I was sitting around a bonfire at my brothers house last week when my mate Daniel turns to me, laughing, and tells me to check out this new app on his iPhone called 'Viddy'. He said it was the Instagram of video. After showing me Snoop Dogg driving his car and just looking at the road, and various other videos - I could see it had the potential of being an acquisition target by Facebook, or similar.
Now Facebook founder himself, Mark Zuckerberg, has joined the ranks of thousands by signing up for the video sharing mobile app, Viddy. Zuckerberg posted up his first video under the nickname 'Zuck', which featured his dog, Beast, playing around in his house. Zuck's first video received more than 1,200 likes from other users, but this number should expand exponentially should Zuck share it on his Facebook page which sports 13 million subscribers.
A photo of his dog received more than 250,000 likes, with Viddy benefitting big time from such huge exposure. Viddy has also just hit 15 million users, but the celebrities joining the Viddy game are growing by the day. Viddy has just recently had a new injection of funding from rockstar investors such as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Skull Candy's Jeff Kearl, Jay-Z, and more.
Thought the 6Gb/s limit was fast enough? Well, nope. Most SSDs can hit 500MB/sec without a problem, so a jump was needed. Enter Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) which is now a Western Digital company, where they've proudly announced the storage industry's first technology demonstration of a 12 gigabit per second (12Gb/s) SAS SSD.
Yes, 12Gb/s is what I said. SAS SSDs and hard disk drives have a strong bond with SCSI, and continue to be the building blocks of choice for enterprise and cloud-based storage. 12Gb/s SAS takes this one step further by being a broadly supported industry standard that is capable of delivering twice the throughput compared to today's 6Gb/s SAS solutions, all whilst maintaining established, known enterprise protocols and attributes.
One of the features, and limitations, of today's SAS drives is a second interface port that provides additional bandwidth to the drive. With 12Gb/s on each of these ports, a drive could send and receive data at 12Gb/s which would give a total available interface bandwidth of an insane 4.8GB/s per drive. With this speed, you can just imagine what enterprise and cloud datacenters could do, reducing latency, and more.
Acer has just announced their latest monitor on the block, the Acer B243PWL. This monitor features the premium IPS technology for great colors and wide viewing angles, up to 178-degrees both horizontally and vertically which makes it perfect for swivelling, pivoting and multi-monitor setups.
The B243PWL is also EPEAT Gold registered, meaning it has reached the highest caliber of EPEAT certification possible, where it has met all of EPEAT's environmental measures plus at least 75-percent of EPEAT's optional criteria. The B243PWL is LED-backlit which reduces energy consumption by 68-percent than standard CCFL-backlit displays.
Spec-wise, we're looking at a resolution of 1920x1200 and a 60Hz refresh rate. It sports DisplayPort, where it can deliver all of your digital imaging and audio through one small cable. The screen also features both a VGA and DVI connection in case you haven't got DisplayPort on your system yet. Filling out the specs, we're looking at 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a brightness of 300 nits.
Microsoft have just splashed out $300 million on an investment in Barnes & Noble's Nook digital-book business and college-text unit. This investment will see the Redmond-based company take a 17.6-percent stake in a new subsidiary temporarily known as Newco, with Barnes & Noble getting the remaining 82.4-percent while all pending litigation related to Android will be put to rest.
This new deal gives Barnes & Noble more power to fight off shareholders who have agitated for a sale of the Nook e-book business, or the entire company, in addition to relieving concerts that it doesn't have the capital to compete in the e-book business with heavy weight Amazon.com.
At the moment, Barnes & Nobile relies on a customized version of Google's Android OS for products such as the Nook Color and offers Nook reader apps for Android, iOS, OS X and Windows. The deal doesn't state whether this would change, but one of the first things to change would most likely be a Metro-style Nook e-reader app for Windows 8 available to users across the world. At the moment there's also no suggestion on whether we'll end up seeing a future Nook app on Windows Phone.