Samsung to reimburse owners of faulty TVs

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Feb 24, 2012 3:29 AM CST

Owners of Samsung TVs filed a class-action lawsuit, which has finally reached settlement. Within the settlement, Samsung have promised to pay for the bills of owners repairs, reimburse for already-paid-for repairs, or hand out up to $300 to customers who no longer own their once-faulty TV, once they prove ownership.

The fault only affects the model numbers in the above picture, where it's possible that up to 7 million TVs were affected. The problem is related to an errant capacitor in the power circuit that stops the TV turning on, makes it slow to turn on, produces a "clicking sound" or makes it cycle on and off.

A Samsung spokesperson has said:

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MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 14 is here

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Feb 23, 2012 9:43 PM CST

Popular GPU overclocking tool, MSI Afterburner, has hit version 2.2.0 Beta 14 and is now available for download. It includes a fair amount of updated features, listed below.

The main updated features of MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 14

* Fixed sub-zero temperatures reading on certain custom design MSI graphics cards with LM96163 and NCT7718W dedicated thermal sensors.

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Blizzard tells gamers to thinking about how awesome Diablo III will be, compares it to crappy M. Night Shyamalan movies

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Feb 23, 2012 8:24 PM CST

[UPDATE] I've received an e-mail from a reader who has pointed me to a post by Blizzard Community Manager "Daxxarri", where he has a pretty big message that goes against the post below. He says that the game is in good shape, and that he thinks we will love Diablo III when it is released. He also adds that they want you/us/everyone to have high expectations of not only Diablo III, but all Blizzard-produced games. He also adds that if Diablo III wasn't a worthy instalment in the Diablo III series, they wouldn't bother releasing it, adding that that's the way they've always done it.

Take a look at the post here, which should calm not only my nerves, but your nerves, too. Thanks for the heads up, Andrew!

I've felt this for quite some time now, it started at about the time Blizzard were rumored to be working on Diablo III for consoles, but now they're actually coming out and saying that people should actually lower their expectations for Diablo III. Say. What!!! Direct quote from "Bachiok", Community Manager on Diablo III's forums:

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Box goes all-in with Android, offers 50GB of free storage

Cloud-based storage company, Box, has just updated their Android app and have baked in a bunch of new features. In order to celebrate this new start, Box are giving away 50GB of free storage to any Android-based user who logs into their service in the next 30 days.

Box's new Android update introduces an overhauled user interface, new features, and includes compatibility for Google's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Box worked with Google to help redesign the UI with ICS in mind, and even users of previous Android-based OS's will benefit from. New features include the ability to comment on files, add teammates to individual folders, and batch uploads for uploading multiple files at once.

Box are also adding new support for languages, with French, Italian, German, and Spanish being added to the Android app. On top of the free 50GB of storage, Box are also giving away 20 Samsung Android-based tablets to a single company who can compellingly explain how it plans to use Box to improve its daily routines. Two runners-up in the contests will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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Samsung shows off 32nm quad-core ARM chip

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Feb 23, 2012 6:25 PM CST

Samsung have teased their latest 32nm quad-core Exynos chip at the ISSCC event, which has been the first example shown of a quad-core Exynos design. The new chip still sports an ARM Cortex-A9, but is now built upon a 32nm process, which provides not only more speed, but better battery life when compared to 2011-era chips.

A new graphics core is featured with four pixel effects processors, and is expected to be around 26-percent faster, even though it uses 34- to 50-percent less power. Just like NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chip, it sports the ability to shut cores off independently to save power, and thus battery life, when a task isn't needed. Samsung's new Exynos chip can support up to dual-channel memory, with either low-power DDR2 or DDR2, to keep the chip working at full speed.

Graphics-wise, it's fast enough to render a whopping 57 million polygons per second. Samsung hasn't made made the new quad-core Exynos chip public yet, but the Mobile World Congress is next week where we're sure they'll want to show it off.

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ASRock partner with Fatal1ty for new X79 Professional motherboard

Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards | Feb 23, 2012 5:51 PM CST

ASRock have just unveiled a new X79-based motherboard, where they've partnered up with pro-gamer Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, who worked closely with ASRock engineers to develop a well-featured motherboard based on Intel's X79 chipset. Enter, ASRock/Fatal1ty X79 Professional. Fatal1ty is quoted:

This Fatal1ty motherboard was designed to bring your gaming performance to the highest level. The Fatal1ty X79 Professional comes with a Fatal1ty Mouse Port that delivers the precise control needed to elevate your game. In addition to gaming functions, the board packs 4 PCIe 3.0 slots, supporting up to 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX. This combination will make you deadly and feared in the battlefield.

James Lee, Vice President of ASRock Sales and Marketing chimes in with:

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PlayStation Vita gets Facebook app, now on the US PlayStation Store

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Feb 23, 2012 4:34 AM CST

Sony's official US launch for the PlayStation Vita sported LiveTweeting, Wi-Fi-only Netflix access, and Flickr's photo-based networking but missed out on Facebook and Foursquare apps. Well, today that is changed, my friends.

Sony have announced that Facebook is now available for the PS Vita in the form of a 12MB free download from the PlayStation Store. If you've got a PS Vita, first off, how do you find it? Secondly, you should be grabbing the Facebook app and posting your thoughts as a comment on our Facebook page, that would be, in the words of Beavis and Butthead, "cool".

I walked past my local JB Hi-Fi store yesterday (electronics retailer for you non-Australians) and was a bit too busy with my 11-month-old 'dada-ing' and pointing to everything to stop in and see the Australian launch stuff for it. I'm tempted, and I have a few friends who have said good things about it. But, it still needs a kick-arse killer-app in my opinion, for me to justify purchasing something I would only use every now and again.

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RumorTT: Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro's could adopt MacBook Air's form factor

Anthony Garreffa | Laptops | Feb 23, 2012 2:24 AM CST

I love my 2011 Edition 17-inch MacBook Pro, I use it to do all of my TweakTown work and its just a workhorse, it doesn't generally skip a beat. I love it for it's IPS-based 17-inch 1920x1200-pixel panel, which is absolutely gorgeous. But, this news scares me.

Apple are rumored to take a leaf from the MacBook Air's design, and push this into their professional notebook line: the MacBook Pro. Apple have been waiting for Intel's shrunken-down Ivy Bridge processors before launching a new MacBook this year, and now AppleInsider are claiming that the shift will see Apple move their MBP line to be along the lines of the Air's design aesthetic, which will cover 11- to 17-inch models later this year.

This will include new, ultra-thin unibody enclosures that jettison yesteryear technologies like optical disk drives and traditional hard drives in favor of models with lightweight chassis that employ flash-memory based solid-state drives, instant-on capabilities, extended battery life, and rely on digital distribution for software and media.

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VIA demonstrates world's first quad-core Mini-ITX motherboard, EPIA-M900

Cameron Wilmot | Motherboards | Feb 23, 2012 2:01 AM CST

Earlier this week we took a trip to the VIA Technologies office not far from our very own actually here in Taipei and got an introduction to a few new products including the brand new VIA EPIA-M900.

The EPIA-M900 is a Mini-ITX motherboard designed for the embedded market and what's special about this board is that it is the world's first to offer a quad-core processor on a Mini-ITX platform. This processor we speak about is the new VIA QuadCore E-Series at 1.2GHz and it also includes Adaptive Overclocking to increase the processor clock speed a little when under heavy load. What's great about this platform besides its small size and fit me anywhere type design, is that it has a TDP (thermal design power) rating of just 27.5 watts.

The processor is teamed up with the VIA VX900H Media System Processor (chipset) and when combined is able to playback 720p and 1080p video as well as offer up to 8GB of DDR3 memory support along with some other goodies you'd expect such as gigabit LAN, HDMI, VGA, four USB 2.0 ports and audio output. The board also includes a single PCIe x16 slot (with effective speed up to PCIe x8) which would allow you to add in a video card if you require additional video outputs for your digital signage needs or whatever else it may be.

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Valve's Gabe Newell talks DRM, is also open to developing gaming hardware

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Feb 23, 2012 1:29 AM CST

The Penny Arcade Report has a pretty juicy review with gaming development god himself, Gabe Newell. In the interview, we don't find out the most importan news to man-kind: the release date of Half-Life 3, but we do find out that Gabe says Valve don'e want to get into the cycle of constantly developing sequels.

Even though that's all they do: Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Counter Strike: Source/Global Offensive, Half-Life 2 (and the Episodes), and more. Gabe also talks about DRM, and says that rather than telling game developers what they can and can't do with their anti-piracy techniques, Newell prefers to show them actual data.

Recently I was in a meeting and there's a company that had a third party DRM solution and we showed them look, this is what happens, at this point in your life cycle your DRM got hacked, right? Now let's look at the data, did your sales change at all? No, your sales didn't change one bit. Right? So here's before and after, here's where you have DRM that annoys your customers and causing huge numbers of support calls and in theory you would think that you would see a huge drop off in sales after that got hacked, and instead there was absolutely no difference in sales before or after. You know, and then we tell them you actually probably lost a whole bunch of sales as near as we can tell, here's how much money you lost by bundling that with your product.

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