Apple releases stunningly detailed renderings of new spaceship campus

Charles Gantt | Current Affairs | Nov 11, 2013 11:11 AM CST

Back in 2011 when Steve Jobs first released renderings of its future headquarters in Cupertino, California, the entire tech world was taken back at the sheer beauty of what the new campus might look like. Fast forward two years and the structure has gained approval of the Cupertino City Council, who has just released new highly detailed renderings of what the structure will look like.

Affectionately known as the "Spaceship," the new campus is the definition of modern design, and contemporary minimalism. The new renderings show a very open workspace that is designed to promote co-working, and environmentally friendly construction. Images depict cheery trees blossoming, and plant covered walls in the parking structure. Courtyards are packed with employees chatting, eating, and collaborating, while the main reception desk looks like the control center for the spaceship.

I may not be much of an Apple fan, but as someone who appreciates fine architectural and minimalistic design, this new campus is truly a thing of beauty. If the end result is anything like these new renderings, I can not wait to visit for a tour. More of the high-detail renderings can be found at the source link below. What do you think about Apple's "Spaceship" campus? Is it an example of modern design, or just a big waste of money? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Continue reading: Apple releases stunningly detailed renderings of new spaceship campus (full post)

Apple says iPad Air didn't explode in Vodafone AU scandal

Last week, we reported that an iPad Air had 'exploded' inside of a Vodafone store in Australia. Well, according to Mashable's sources, this isn't the case, and it was actually an older iPad, not the new iPad Air.

A Vodafone Australia spokesperson told Mashable: "It was an earlier generation iPad with Retina display model - not one of the more recently launched devices. Apple is investigating the cause." Another Vodafone Australia rep told a similar story, explaining that the incident is a first: "Can confirm it was not an Air; all I know it was a Retina model, so a 3 or 4. Apple has taken the device for investigation, so we won't know any more until they do."

Continue reading: Apple says iPad Air didn't explode in Vodafone AU scandal (full post)

Yet another 720p title on the Xbox One: Dead Rising 3

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 11, 2013 3:29 AM CST

I have to give props to KitGuru, who have called this huge resolution debacle surrounding the Xbox One "resolution-gate" and I'm going to use it from now on, too. We have yet another game that has joined the "we can only pump 720p out on next-gen consoles" club, Dead Rising 3.

The Xbox One exclusive title will not run at 1080p, and just 720p, but the more disappointing part of this, is that it's 720p, at just 30FPS. Executive Producer at Capcom Vancouver said during an interview with Eurogamer that 1080p wasn't their main target, he continued: "It was not really something we actually set as a mantra. When we first started there was no platform, it was PC and we were just targeting next-gen. It's more important that the end image looks awesome - look at how much stuff is on screen, that's always been a Dead Rising sort of brand. That still looks really good, and that's been our goal. I hope it shows - just look at how much insane stuff is going on screen."

This starts to beg the question, where did the resources go into, if Dead Rising 3 can't run at 1080p, or even 720p at 60FPS? Well, it looks like improved AI, and more on-screen actions in terms of the number of on-screen zombies, and objects.

Continue reading: Yet another 720p title on the Xbox One: Dead Rising 3 (full post)

Xbox One needs 15 minutes to install COD: Ghosts before you can play

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 10, 2013 11:38 PM CST

André Weingarten is one lucky guy, who received an Xbox One weeks early, and is known online as the "Moonlight Swami" who unleashed a bunch of content from the Xbox One onto the Internet, but got into trouble with Major Nelson after playing six hours of Xbox One games.

We reported this yesterday, but one of the more interesting facts I found while reading about it, is that Call of Duty: Ghosts takes around 30 minutes to install. This isn't too bad, considering its a 39GB installation, but you can't play the game for 15 minutes (or around half way through the installation). I find this quite the point, as you can't just plug-and-play - by inserting the Blu-ray disc and playing right away.

This is one of the major points in the whole console vs. PC battle, that PC's require an installation of games. But, pre-loading games through Steam is much easier, and with an SSD system and a backup of your games on another SSD or a HDD, you can transfer your games at 100MB/sec+ without a problem. 15 minutes to begin playing the game seems like a long time, or is that just me? I'd expect 'next-gen' consoles to have gotten you into the game quicker - or are my expectations too high? What do you think?

Continue reading: Xbox One needs 15 minutes to install COD: Ghosts before you can play (full post)

Russia to open the Commercial Space Station hotel, in space, by 2016

I haven't traveled too much in my life, but if there's one place I'd love to visit it would be space, and it looks like it's becoming more of a reality each day, especially thanks to Russia.

Orbital Technologies, a Russian company, has announced plans to build a hotel... in space. The hotel would be for commercial use, and is officially known as the Commercial Space Station, which will be capable of housing 7 guests throughout 4 cabins. The Commercial Space Station will float about the Earth at 350km, with guests enjoying the zero-gravity feel.

There'll be no flowing water, so if you want to shower, you'll have to use wet wipes. What about going to the bathroom? Well, that will be carried through flowing air, with both water and air being filtered and recycled in the satellite itself, and then reused by the occupants of the hotel. There is a strict no-alcohol law on the space hotel, too.

Continue reading: Russia to open the Commercial Space Station hotel, in space, by 2016 (full post)

Tesla Model S owner had his car catch fire, says he'd buy another

Anthony Garreffa | Electric Vehicles & Cars | Nov 10, 2013 3:31 AM CST

We reported during the week that a third Model S electric car had burst into flames, with the Tennessee owner only sustaining relatively minor damage to the Model S, but it ended with his car bursting into flames.

Juris Shibayama has posted a blog talking about this experience, where he reported that he drove over a "trailer hitch" and could not avoid it, where it went below his car. He felt a definitive "thud" as the hitch smacked the bottom of his car, where he said it "felt as though it even lifted the car up in the air." After a few in-car warnings that his "car needs service. Car may not restart," he pulled over - all the while he was able to maintain full control of his Model S electric car.

He was not injured in the event, and even said that "Had I not been in a Tesla, that object could have punched through the floor and caused me serious harm. From the time of impact of the object until the time the car caught fire was about five minutes. During this time, the car warned me that it was damaged and instructed me to pull over. I never felt as though I was in any imminent danger. While driving after I hit the object until I pulled over, the car performed perfectly, and it was a totally controlled situation. There was never a point at which I was anywhere even close to any flames."

Continue reading: Tesla Model S owner had his car catch fire, says he'd buy another (full post)

PS4-exclusive features for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 10, 2013 2:35 AM CST

While the PS4 version of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls will reportedly render everything at 1080p at the fluid 60 frames per second, it should also feature touchpad support and shorter load times. Polygon is reporting that one of the bigger features to the PS4 version will be something called "Avenger Kills."

In the "Ultimate Evil" edition of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls for the PS4, "Avenger Kills" will see a player die after being killed by a monster, that monster could level up and jump through a special portal. Once through the portal, the monster will target a player on your friends list. Once your friend comes online, that monster will appear during a special event, where the skies will darken and the player will receive a warning, such as "Matthew's Bane" - a special title - is hunting them. If this monster is successful in killing the player, it will level up once more, becoming the "Bane" of that character, and receiving a new target to kill.

There are other gameplay additions, which are built around a shared experience for the player, even if they're not all playing the game at the same time, like Avenger Kills, above. Senior Level Designer, Matthew Berger, has said: "I'm going to be running around, killing monsters and a Legendary will drop," he said, "and then - cue awesome sound, column of light - a box, a gift will pop off that Legendary. It's going to say 'Gift for Michael.' I'm going to pick it up and send it to you."

Continue reading: PS4-exclusive features for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls (full post)

No 3D Blu-ray playback for the Xbox One at launch

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 9, 2013 11:38 PM CST

It looks like the Xbox One will not be supporting 3D Blu-ray movies at launch, even after the kerfuffle Microsoft went through to get Blu-ray support onto its next-gen console. The news is coming directly from Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, who has vaguely confirmed both 3D and 4K output for the Xbox One.

But, during his most recent interview with CNET, Major Nelson said that the Xbox One will not be capable of playing back 3D Blu-ray movies. He did note that 3D Blu-ray playback hasn't been ruled out, and that it could arrive in a future update to the Xbox One. I have no idea why Microsoft would do this, it feels like both next-gen consoles are pretty gimped from launch, you would think they'd both have features spilling out of them, but it seems like the physical hardware launches are now like games these days - in beta form for months after release.

Continue reading: No 3D Blu-ray playback for the Xbox One at launch (full post)

AMD releases driver update that fixes fan speed issues on Hawaii GPUs

Charles Gantt | Video Cards & GPUs | Nov 9, 2013 3:37 AM CST

Ever since AMD released its new Hawaii-based R9 290X and R9 290 graphics cards, users and reviewers have been reporting slower than advertised performance. This is mainly due to the way the new cards handle performance scaling. Normally a GPU will boost the clock speed to a guarantee a minimum level of performance, but the new R9 cards actually scale back the clock based on CPU temperature.

The fluctuating performance numbers is partially caused by variability in fan speeds when the card starts heating up. The reference speed is 2650 RPM for the R9 290 and 2200 RPM for the 290X in quiet mode. These speed's are enough to provide adequate cooling for the CPUs, but R9 290 and R9 290X cards from AMD's partners are varying in how fast their fans spin. Since all R9 290 and R9 290x cards on the market are reference design, this is a bit odd, but AMD has taken care of the issue in a new driver update.

A recent update to AMD's Catalyst Control Center has apparently fixed the fan speed issue and performance numbers are said to be back up to promised levels. The latest AMD CCC update can be downloaded right here at TweakTown by heading over to the downloads section. We want to know if your Radeon R9 290 or 290X have experienced slower than advertised performance, and if the driver update fixed this issue for you. Leave a comment below to let us know.

Continue reading: AMD releases driver update that fixes fan speed issues on Hawaii GPUs (full post)

Twitter shares down 4-percent on day 2, OCZ back up to $0.85

Charles Gantt | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 8, 2013 8:13 PM CST

After a first day of trading that can only be called a smashing success, Twitters stock price has saw a slight dip in trading on Friday. Yesterday the stock opened at $45.10 per share with an initial transaction for more than 11 million shares, but the market has been less kind to Twitter today with the stock hovering around $42 per share all day.

While a five percent drop in price on the second day of trading may seem like a big deal, this was actually expected by many market analyst, and is not an uncommon event for newly listed companies. The real tell tell signs will come next Thursday and if the stock has managed to stay in the $40-45 or higher range.

While we are on the subject of the financial markets, you might remember that earlier this week, OCZ, saw its stock take a nosedive towards the bottom. With the release of a new SSD that has been met with good reviews, it appears that some investors have renewed confidence in the SSD manufacturer. Today the stock is up around $0.85 per share which represents a rebound of over 90-percent since Tuesday.

Continue reading: Twitter shares down 4-percent on day 2, OCZ back up to $0.85 (full post)