You can haz comics! Marvel offering over 700 free first issue comics in digital form

Charles Gantt | Software & Apps | Mar 11, 2013 10:28 AM CDT

Comic books have made a comeback in recent years thanks to blockbuster movie releases such as Iron Man, X-Men and The Avengers. Marvel, looking to capitalize even more on this revolution, has released over 700 first in series issues through its Android / iPhone app ComiXology as well as its online store of the same name.

The free digital editions will cover mainstream favorites such as Spiderman, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, and the Punisher as well as other popular and obscure titles. The freebies are tied in with Marvel's appearance at the South by Southwest festival and are aimed at generating new customers who may not yet be into comic books.

The free comic book deal only last until Tuesday at 11pm ET. As of the time of this writing, the ComiXology site (Source #2) is getting slammed with traffic and I have only been able to connect every three or so tries. I am sure the traffic will taper off as the day progresses. If you are unable to reach the site, keep trying.

Continue reading: You can haz comics! Marvel offering over 700 free first issue comics in digital form (full post)

LeakedTT: Real Samsung Galaxy S IV images surface

Charles Gantt | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 11, 2013 9:31 AM CDT

Images of what appear to be Samsung's Galaxy S IV have surfaced, and from what we can tell they look authentic. The images first appeared on 52samsung.com, a Chinese message board centered on Samsung products.

The phone in the images has a model number of GT-I9502 and looks similar in design to the Galaxy S III, but is larger and squarer in form. Information from the site confirms that the screen is a 5-inch 1080p display, and the device is running an eight-core 1.8GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor, which has been long rumored to be in the Galaxy S IV.

The phone appears to be similar in thickness to an Galaxy S III and has an aluminum bezel similar to an iPhone 5. It's running Android 4.2.1, which would make it the first handset to launch with the latest version of Android other than Google's own Nexus devices, which recently upgraded to 4.2.2. With the official launch just three days away, we will soon find out if these images are the real deal. Stay tuned to TweakTown for full coverage on the Galaxy S IV launch.

Continue reading: LeakedTT: Real Samsung Galaxy S IV images surface (full post)

Bitcoin's surge past $45 each, a 250 percent gain since January

Charles Gantt | Current Affairs | Mar 11, 2013 8:28 AM CDT

Most digital based currencies come and go, but it seems that Bitcoin may just stick around for a while. As of this morning, a single Bitcoin is worth about $48, which equates to a 250 percent rise in value since January.

250 percent growth in two months in any financial market is unprecedented, and is sure to make some people very wealthy if they can figure out how to convert those digital dollars into physical assets. In just one year the humble Bitcoin has risen 800 percent or a whopping 54,900 percent since its launch back in 2011.

No solid reason for the massive growth has been pinpointed at the moment, with speculators stating that it is due to high profile sites like Reddit who now accept donations in the digital currency. Others say that it is a matter of investors trying to capitalize on the fast paced growth Bitcoin has seen.

Continue reading: Bitcoin's surge past $45 each, a 250 percent gain since January (full post)

Asetek files suit over Cooler Master Seidon liquid coolers

Charles Gantt | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 11, 2013 7:56 AM CDT

Cooler Master is waking up this morning to a fresh lawsuit involving its Seidon closed loop liquid CPU coolers. Asetek, the company who licenses similar coolers to companies like NZXT, Corsair and PNY is claiming that Cooler Master is infringing on two of its patents.

US Patents 8245764 and 8240362 are the two in dispute here, both of which provide a very vague overview of a sealed "cooling system for a computer system". Both reference a maintenance free liquid cooling system that is connected to a pump and radiator and "different embodiments of the heat exchanging system as well as means for establishing and controlling a flow of cooling liquid".

These patents (2010 filing) are updated versions of the ones Asetek used against CoolIT in a similar suit which were filed in 2005 which means that they are valid for any product created since 2005. Neither company has released a statement about the suit and both have refused to comment on the matter.

Continue reading: Asetek files suit over Cooler Master Seidon liquid coolers (full post)

Leaked details on AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7790 "Bonaire" GPU appear

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Mar 11, 2013 5:09 AM CDT

There's a gap in AMD's GPUs that needs to be filled, which is the very lucrative $110-$170 price point. NVIDIA currently nails this with their GeForce GTX 650 Ti, but AMD are looking to correct their mistake with the HD 7790, or "Bonaire".

The Radeon HD 7790 looks to skip the "Pitcairn" and "Cape Verde" silicons, moving directly to an entirely new ASIC codenamed "Bonaire". The first SKU to be built on this silicon will be the Radeon HD 7790, which should feature 896 stream processors, and will perform at around 10% slowly than the HD 7850. This should definitely take some of the lime light away from the GTX 650 Ti, and if AMD work on the price, they could move a lot of that lime light away.

We should see the HD 7790 launched sometime next month.

Continue reading: Leaked details on AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7790 "Bonaire" GPU appear (full post)

EA on the defensive, offering a free PC game to anyone who purchased SimCity

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mar 9, 2013 6:20 AM CST

EA are in a world of hurt right now, so bad that they're now offering a free game to anyone who has purchased SimCity. They're doing this as an apology, with Maxis' boss, Lucy Bradshaw took to a blog post saying that anyone with a copy of the currently out of action sim game that was activated before March 18, will receive a free game from EA's catalog.

The full blog post is below:

Here's a quick update on the problems we were experiencing with SimCity - and a little something extra for people who bought the game.

Continue reading: EA on the defensive, offering a free PC game to anyone who purchased SimCity (full post)

SimCity debacle forces possible government intervention through petition

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 9, 2013 4:25 AM CST

As a huge fan of SimCity, who pumped countless hours into as a kid, I haven't purchased it yet personally and I'm sure you know it's for good reason - the huge amounts of issues. We've posted many times about it, not just once, or twice, but even three, four, and now five times. There is now a petition against DRM, with a strong title of 'Institute an industry-wide return policy for video games that rely on remote servers and DRM to function properly.'

The petition states, in full:

Video and computer games are growing increasingly reliant on remote servers and the implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to function properly.

Continue reading: SimCity debacle forces possible government intervention through petition (full post)

Dishonored's level designer loves the PS4's RAM, calls 8GB a 'joy'

Trace Hagan | Gaming | Mar 8, 2013 7:03 PM CST

A famous quote in the tech world is "nobody will ever need more than 640kB of RAM." Obviously we've blasted through that amount of RAM with cell phones and even embedded devices having much more than that. Yet, for some reason, the PlayStation 3 came with just 512MB of RAM, forcing level designers to cut corners.

Dishonored's lead level designer Christophe Carrier:

As a level designer we are struggling against memory every day. We cut things, we remove things, we strip things, we split the levels, we remove NPCs from levels because there's not enough memory.

Continue reading: Dishonored's level designer loves the PS4's RAM, calls 8GB a 'joy' (full post)

AT&T perfectly happy to unlock your smartphone provided you're out of contract

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 8, 2013 4:02 PM CST

The White House and FCC aren't the only groups that are advocating for the legal unlocking of smartphones. AT&T has authored a post on their blog explaining that they are perfectly happy to unlock your device as long as the customer is paying his or her bills and they have fulfilled their service agreement commitment.

While we think the Librarian's careful decision was reasonable, the fact is that it has very little impact on AT&T customers. As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment. If the conditions are met we will unlock up to five devices per account per year. We will not unlock devices that have been reported lost or stolen.

If you're an AT&T customer who meets the requirements above and have tried unlocking your device to no avail, let us know! We'd love to hear your story in the comments. If you'd like to read AT&T's full blog post detailing their unlocking policy, you can head over to AT&T's website.

Continue reading: AT&T perfectly happy to unlock your smartphone provided you're out of contract (full post)

Facebook's Poke barely affected Snapchat according to usage data

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | Mar 8, 2013 3:02 PM CST

It looks like Facebook hasn't been able to dominate the destructible communication market. New active usage data suggests that Facebook's Poke app hasn't had much, if any, impact on the usage of Snapchat, the app that came onto the scene around a year ago.

According to active user data from Onavo, Snapchat's market share grew after the launch of Poke. In February, the data shows that roughly 12 percent of iPhone users in the United States opened Snapchat. This is compared to Poke, which the data shows was only opened by about 0.25 percent of users in February.

It just goes to show that Facebook can't be the best at everything. Sometimes it's better for a company to focus on just one or two main products. For Facebook, this is social networking.

Continue reading: Facebook's Poke barely affected Snapchat according to usage data (full post)