Dead Space 3 will have drop-in, drop-out co-op

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | May 9, 2012 8:34 PM CDT

I don't have the spare time these days to really sit down and finish games, but one series I've thoroughly loved is the Dead Space series. The third outing is currently being worked on and IGN is reporting that Dead Space 3 will feature drop-in, drop-out co-op!

In Dead Space 3 you play as Isaac Clarke, just like the previous two games, and if players choose, you can fight alongside a man with a scar on his face, an engineering RIG of his own, and glowing red eyes glaring at you from his helmet. Oh yeah. During the single-player campaign this character acts as Isaac's guide.

Do you think it sounds like a simple tack-on? Nope. The cooperative mode mirrors the single-player campaign, but Isaac's story changes to accommodate it. In one sequence within Dead Space 3, Isaac and this new character stumble, wounded, bloody, and missing chunks of armor, out of burnt wreckage together. If you were playing by yourself, this scene happens the same, but without the other character there.

Continue reading: Dead Space 3 will have drop-in, drop-out co-op (full post)

ICANN extends Net domain application deadline

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | May 9, 2012 5:31 PM CDT

It has been a while since there has been news surrounding the upcoming top-level domains that ICANN was accepting applications for. Once again ICANN has had to push back the deadline for applications due to technical issues. The system had to be shut down lost month after receiving "a report of unusual behavior."

ICANN was originally going to reopen the application process yesterday and require applications to be submitted by the middle of next week. After which, ICANN has to go through the applications and decide who gets what names and which names will have to go up for auction. Before the bug that shut the system down, ICANN has reportedly accepted 2,091 applications and collected about $350 million in fees.

The system was originally shut down "following a technical glitch that may have allowed some users to see some file names and user names of other users." This latest delay is due to ICANN's continuing need "to review the extensive database of system logs and system traffic." ICANN continues by saying:

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HP announces new 'Sleekbooks' to undercut Intel Ultrabook pricing

Trace Hagan | Laptops | May 9, 2012 2:33 PM CDT

Everyone has heard of the Intel Ultrabook by now. Intel has spent large sums of money on advertising Ultrabooks as well as helping manufacturers develop Ultrabooks. Unfortunately, as of right now, Ultrabook pricing has been high and out of the range of many consumers, including yours truly. By not using the name 'Ultrabook,' HP doesn't have to fully abide by Intel's rules.

This new line is said to feature both AMD or Intel processors along with a choice of 14- or 15.6-inch screens. Prices are said to start around $599 as opposed to the $749 starting price of other Ultrabooks. The aggressive pricing should help bring in more consumers, and it certainly has my interests piqued.

The machines are maintained at 19.8mm thickness, or less, and weigh under 1.8kg. Battery life is said to last for between seven and nine hours. The release of AMD Trinity, which should occur soon, will further boost the platform. The lack of Ultrabook qualification does have a few detriments, but overall this new machine should gain a lot of support from consumers.

Continue reading: HP announces new 'Sleekbooks' to undercut Intel Ultrabook pricing (full post)

Google Maps for Android receives update, gets indoor directions and Google Offers

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | May 9, 2012 1:32 PM CDT

Google has released version 6.7 of Google Maps for Android. Sorry iOS users, but you guys are left out of the features that come with this update. Google Maps for Android now features indoor walking directions and Google Offers integration with participating venues. The announcement states that these features are only available in the United States, but it appears that the walking directions extend to Japan at the least.

Google Offers hasn't exactly spread like wildfire and is currently on the decline. However, this new integration within Google Maps should give the service a boost as it will allow users to purchase or use nearby offers straight from Google Maps. A perfect example is if you are taking a roadtrip and are looking for a place to eat.

Google's blog post:

Continue reading: Google Maps for Android receives update, gets indoor directions and Google Offers (full post)

Twitter downplays hacker breach of 55,000 account which were posted online

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | May 9, 2012 12:33 PM CDT

Apparently Twitter's security was breached which resulted in the compromise of 55,000 accounts. The credentials to these accounts were subsequently posted online. Twitter has now said that they are launching an investigation into the matter of how these accounts were compromised. Luckily, it seems as though most of these accounts were banned spammer accounts.

Twitter posted on their official communications account, TwitterComms, that "We're looking into the situation and have pushed out password resets to potentially affected accounts." They also confirm that many of the accounts were spammer accounts or duplicates. "The list of alleged accounts & passwords consists of more than 20,000 duplicates. Also suspended spam accounts & incorrect login credentials."

Still, compiling a list of accounts that big most likely wasn't done through brute force, as that would take some time. Of course hackers affiliated with Anonymous are attempting to take credit. When don't they? It would be an odd move considering how much the group uses the micro-blogging service. The accounts were released in 5 Pastebin posts and Twitter has said that many of the usernames and passwords weren't linked together, meaning incorrect combinations.

Continue reading: Twitter downplays hacker breach of 55,000 account which were posted online (full post)

Sick of before-movie warnings? Two more anti-piracy propaganda warnings to be shown

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | May 9, 2012 11:34 AM CDT

I will work off the assumption that all of my readers are on the up and up and don't pirate music and videos. Yes, I have high standards for my readers, but it's for the best. Since none of us pirate music or movies, it always annoys me to see the anti-piracy fear campaign before the start of a movie. Apparently it wasn't enough, though, because two new propaganda slides are being added.

The one above is the traditional fear-based warning. It offers the standard "you could be fined or go to jail if you download this movie illegally" routine. Of course, a $250,000 fine and 5 years in jail is a bit excessive and scary, but at the same time, I don't pirate, so I don't want to see the warning! This one has been brought to you courtesy of the FBI and the HSI.

It reads "The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by federal law enforcement agencies and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000."

Continue reading: Sick of before-movie warnings? Two more anti-piracy propaganda warnings to be shown (full post)

BioShock Infinite is postponed until next year, look for it in February

Trace Hagan | Gaming | May 9, 2012 10:29 AM CDT

If you were waiting for the upcoming BioShock Ininite, I have some bad news: it won't be available this year. A blog post on the official Irrational Games website confirms that the ship date has been pushed back from this year in order to give them more time for tweaks. The new ship date is set at February 26, 2013.

So, why the delay? After all, it's original release date was set over two months ago. This might sound like its spun, and I'm sure it is, but I can't fault the company if they are indeed taking the time to polish and tweak the game like they say they are. After all, a better polished game is more fun to play, right?

Since then, we've come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we've decided to move the game's release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible.

Continue reading: BioShock Infinite is postponed until next year, look for it in February (full post)

Kingston Wi-Drive now accessible via web and Android app

Trace Hagan | Storage | May 9, 2012 9:02 AM CDT

Many people are upset that Kingston has been focusing strictly on iOS devices with its Wi-Drive device. True, it's not exactly needed for most Android devices as they usually have built in MicroSD card slots, but that's besides the point to these people. Well, no longer do they have to be upset, for Kingston has released a new firmware for the Wi-Drive.

This new firmware expands access to the drive in a pretty big way. Now instead of only being able to access the content from an iOS device, you can access it from any device that has a web browser. Through the web browser, you can stream photos, music, or videos until it has made up for the device starting as iOS only.

If you're an Android user like me, you're in for an even better treat. Kingston has made available a native Android app to access the drive with. The apps are free, but you'll still have to shell out at least $50 to join the club. Future Wi-Drive devices should have the updated firmware loaded from the factory.

Continue reading: Kingston Wi-Drive now accessible via web and Android app (full post)

Verizon announce HomeFusion, LTE service for your home

Anthony Garreffa | Networking | May 9, 2012 6:10 AM CDT

Verizon's 4G LTE service is available in 230 markets across the United States, and today the company has launched something quite different: HomeFusion Broadband. HomeFusion Broadband is available nationwide, or the two-thirds that are already covered.

The service will pump out transfer rates somewhere between 5 and 12Mbps for downloads, with uploads sitting between 2 and 5Mbps. The average DSL speed or basic cable Internet connection is around that speed, but HomeFusion is going to be much more expensive.

Why does it still sound good? Well, Verizon is mainly aiming for rural areas that are covered by its LTE network, but not by a cable broadband provider. The installation of a cylindrical antenna is required, and will cost you $200 from the get-go. Plans then begin at $60 per month for 10GB of data, $90 for 20GB and if you want 30GB, you'll be spending $120 per month. For every GB you go over your plan, Verizon will slap you with a $10 fee.

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Samsung begins handing out prototype Tizen devices to developers

If you haven't heard of 'Tizen', here's a quick introduction: Tizen is a joint-effort operating system being developed by Intel and Samsung. Tizen is an open-source Linux-based OS with a heavy focus on HTML5 and other web standards. Tizen also borrows from MeeGo, a failed OS that was a mash-up of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo. MeeGo was officially discontinued in September 2011 in favor of Tizen.

Some lucky few people at the Tizen developers's conference in San Francisco were given prototype Samsung devices loaded with version 1.0 of the new OS. The guys and gals over at The Handheld Blog were there in person and have a video showing off the device.

The Samsung unit sports a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen, a Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel rear-snapper, 2-megapixel front-facer, microUSB, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC and a standard video/audi decoder. Quite the feature-packed device, I'd say. As you can see in the above video, the OS borrows quite a lot from Samsung's TouchWiz UI including its pull-down notification system and support for tethering directly out of the box.

Continue reading: Samsung begins handing out prototype Tizen devices to developers (full post)