New Lithium-Air Battery Could Improve the Range of Electric Vehicles

We’d all like to be able to charge our cars in a few hours and then go across the country on a single charge, but that’s not exactly possible right now, unfortunately. Still, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be possible in the future, as researchers and scientists are constantly working on perfecting battery designs. Recent reports suggest that a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge have created an incredible new Lithium-air battery design that could be used to improve the driving range of electric vehicles by up to 400 miles. Exciting, right?

It gets better too, as these batteries are apparently a fifth of the cost and weight of what is being installed in electric cars right now. They also pack ten times the energy density, all thanks to an ingenious design based on a highly porous carbon electrode made out of graphene. In order to make sure that the chemical reaction driving the cell remains stable, the researchers had to implement a series of additives. When compared to previous lithium-air batteries that were prone to failure after a number of recharges, these new ones have been recharged over 2000 times and they still work just fine. Professor Clare Grey from the University’s Department of Chemistry has stated the following:

“While there are still plenty of fundamental studies that remain to be done, to iron out some of the mechanistic details, the current results are extremely exciting. We are still very much at the development stage, but we’ve shown that there are solutions to some of the tough problems associated with this technology. What we really want is a [true] lithium-air battery – one that just takes in air, without having to remove CO2, nitrogen and water. And now we have a system that at least tolerates a lot of water.”

Scientists Create Glass That’s Almost as Strong as Steel

Glass, by its very nature, is known to be quite easy to break. Of course, this much can be changed by altering the thickness of it, as we’ve seen with everything from bullet-proof glass to bridges being made from it. Now, a team of scientists in Japan are saying they’ve created a new type of glass which is almost as strong as steel, and it could usher in a new generation of super-strong glass panels that lead to big innovations in windows for buildings and vehicles, screens for electronic devices and so much more.

“We are looking to commercialize the technique within five years,” University of Tokyo assistant professor Atsunobu Masuno told Asahi Shimbun.

The new tough glass is made using alumina, an oxide of aluminium. This technique has been tried before, but any contact between the materials and their container caused crystals to form and ruined the compound. The team used gas to push the components into the air, allowing them to mix without the need for a container, thus creating the new transparant glass that is made from 50% alumina. The new glass rivals steel and iron in terms of rigidity.
Little else is known for now but expect to hear a lot more about this innovative glass in the coming years.

First In-Game Screenshots of Retail Fallout 4 Leak Online

Fallout 4 is almost here and that means that leaks are starting to slip through the net. The first in-game screenshots from the PlayStation 4 retail (final) version of the game have been leaked online, showing us a bit of what we can expect from the latest Bethesda epic. I must admit, the images look a little lackluster, insert console version joke right here, but they really do look a little lacking in the texture department.

The game looks pretty much like what you would expect from a Fallout game, but the real merit will no doubt be in the story and the gameplay, as is often the way with Bethesda games.

I can’t wait to see how the visuals of the PC version compare, especially one the extremely talented modding community gets their paws on it and retextures and models a large part of the game, as we’ve seen with previous entries in the series.

Let’s just hope the game doesn’t launch in an unplayable buggy state, as so many other games do these days.

Are you looking forward to playing Fallout 4?

Ditch Batman – Enjoy This Epic GTA V Batmobile Mod Instead

Batman has been facing his toughest enemy to date this year, poor gaming performance! The devs may be working overtime to fix their mistakes, but if you’re wanting to enjoy a batman experience that is free from the issues of Arkham Knight, then you’ll want to fire up this awesome Grand Theft Auto V mod.

Tailtigolt has uploaded the following video to YouTube, showing off just how much chaos you can cause in GTA V with a missile equipped Bat Mobile.

The video is pretty cool, but if you want a better view, you’ll want to download the mod by esrohraw here, the textures from LUISDACOS and the nitro mod by xmod.

Now all we need is a decent Batman mod and you can bring a whole new world of crime fighting to the city.

What is your favourite Grand Theft Auto V mod so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sony Unveils November PlayStation Plus Line-Up

Sony’s PlayStation Plus service was originally devised as an optional extra which bundles a decent quantity of captivating games together in a monthly package. However, the PlayStation 4’s launch changed Sony’s attitude towards online play and forced users to become PlayStation Plus subscribers to access multiplayer gaming with friends. Arguably, this didn’t make a substantial difference due to the value proposition of the bundled games.

However, in the last 12 months, some customers have become quite disgruntled with titles on offer. Common complaints include an over-reliance on indie games, and poor networking infrastructure. As a result, Sony has work to do in terms of its PlayStation Plus library, and reducing network downtime. Today, Sony announced the November line-up for its premium service which includes:

This is certainly one of the stronger months providing you own a PlayStation 3. Sadly, if you only own a PlayStation 4, then the selection is fairly sparse. Despite this, The Walking Dead Season 2 is an absolute classic Telltale adventure and provides hours of enjoyment. I haven’t played Magicka 2, but the original managed to hold my interest for a few weeks.

On the PlayStation 3 side, Sony has included two of the most iconic titles ever made. Mass Effect 2 doesn’t require any introduction and Beyond Good and Evil is sublime. Unfortunately, I’ve not tried Dragon Fin Soup or inviZimals so can’t really comment on those.

Overall, it’s a pretty good line-up but I’m not convinced the service adds value if you only own Sony’s latest console.

What do you think about PlayStation Plus?

Harrison Ford Originally Wanted Han Solo to be Killed Off

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is tantalizingly close and only 49 days until it’s finally seen by record audiences across the world. As a huge fan of the original trilogy, I’m intrigued by the complete lack of information regarding the main story. This means, the plot is a complete mystery and has the potential to blow people away! While Luke Skywalker is the main protagonist, many feel more connected to Han Solo. One could argue, Harrison Ford’s career progressed much faster than Mark Hamill thanks to Star Wars.

In an interview on the Jimmy Kimmel show, Harrison Ford discussed his desire to make the writers kill off Han Solo:

“I asked him to ask the writers to kill me off, because I thought that it would be good that the character who appeared to have not so much of a complex interweaving with the theme of the Force and all that good stuff…”

“I thought it would be good that the character, if he sacrificed himself in some noble way.”

This is an interesting piece of information and makes me ponder about the series continuing without Han Solo. If he was killed off in Episode 4, or 5, it would have been such a major shock. In my opinion, I feel George Lucas and the writing staff made the correct decision. Perhaps, they wanted to focus on Han’s relationship with Leia instead.

Which is your favorite character from Star Wars?

Kojima Calls MGSV Ending “A Blank Space” That “Won’t be Filled”

While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has garnered near-universal acclaim for its gameplay, ardent Metal Gear fans – myself included – were disappointed by a polarising conclusion and the lack of both a coherent story arc and the connective tissue that was expected to tie the modern Metal Gear Solid series to the Metal Gear games of the MSX.

Since the release of MGSV, rumours have pointed the finger at publisher Konami, blaming the company for forcing the game out before it was completed, supposedly evidenced by the excised Chapter 3 material. But, in the Japanese novelisation of the game, creator Hideo Kojima has not only taken responsibility for the “blank space” left by the game’s ending, but has revealed that it was intentional; a metaphor for the end of the series, and the absence of its hero.

In a translation courtesy of redditor _notanything_, Kojima wrote in the Phantom Pain novelisation:

“Metal Gear was born as a game in 1987. From there 28 years, within me the circle of the Metal Gear story has been closed with the latest release “MGSV”. A respected author, Dennis Lehane with the popular series “Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro” declared that at the peak of his popularity “No matter what kind of series it is, there is a time that it must end”, and he himself closed the curtain. No matter how popular a series is, someday the end will come. However, that is by no means a parting. Even if you can’t touch it, you can feel the influence of that story. A story is a thing without shape. Assuming physically nothing is there, nothing to be lost. As long as stories and legends are desired, they will continue forever. The brilliance will never vanish. It’s in everyone’s heart. It is not always true that saying “goodbye to a hero” ignites a phantom pain. By saying “goodbye to a hero”, you can for eternity leave behind lost joy as a blank space.”

“In MGSV, we hand the story (the legend) over to the player. That’s how the player becomes the Big Boss in the MSX2 Metal Gear. You play the game as you will, raise up your Mother Base. That’s the way I want the player to create his own story, thinking of things like “war” and “peace” as Big Boss. Up until now, the Metal Gear Saga was told by creating video games, but I want each player to think and come up with their own story (legend) on their own.”

“There is a blank space, but it will not be filled. In that blank space there is always a hero. Because there is a blank space, you can advance ahead. It is this blank space exactly that is “V”.”

Even the position of the novelisation, written by author Hitori Nojima, as canon is a void, with a typically cryptic Kojima adding:

“Language remains even if existence vanishes…”

Phantom Pain, indeed.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

QNAP Announces Fanless HS-251+ 2-Bay NAS

QNAP is ready with another NAS in their stylish and fanless series called the Silent NAS HS-251+. It features a quad-core Intel Celeron Processor with 2GHz and comes with 2GB DDR3L memory. The fanless and stylish design makes it perfect as a living room NAS which is further aided by the direct output via HDMI to a TV or A/V receiver.

Next to being able to play media directly via the HDMI port, the HS-251+ also features DLNA, Apple TV, and Chromecast support. You can connect Bluetooth and USB devices to the NAS and also control it via the included infrared remote control. You can surf the web directly from the NAS as well as play YouTube videos and a lot more.

The HS-251+ is also scaleable with QNAP’s expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P to provide a total raw capacity up to 80TB. Attaching one of these expansion enclosures will also add some extra noise to this otherwise silent NAS. Up to eight extra hard disk drives will create a lot of heat and the expansion units need to have a fan built in to keep everything running as it should. It is still a great feature to be able to scale the NAS up once you run out of space.

The fanless HS-251+ is the best choice for those looking for a silent NAS and a Home Theatre PC/NAS combo. You can mount both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives in the NAS and connect it via two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The new HS-251+ Silent NAS is now available.

Torrent Favourites YIFY and YTS Are Permanently Shut Down

YIFY, one of the most popular torrent uploaders in the world, and its respective website YTS have been permanently shut down, according to TorrentFreak. YTS has been down for over a week, sparking concerns that it may not return, and trusted sources close to the matter have informed TorrentFreak that, indeed, YIFY and YTS are no more.

“Today we can report that this reign has come to an end. YIFY and YTS have shutdown permanently, as predicted earlier this week,” writes TorrentFreak. It adds, “TF has received additional explanatory details from trusted sources, but we have been asked not to reveal all of the information just yet. However, our sources confirm without doubt that the shutdown is permanent.”

YTS.to would regularly hit one million unique visitors a day, showcasing the latest in 1080p and 720p Blu-Ray rips. In an interview with TorrentFreak two years ago, YIFY put its popularity down to its consistency, low file size, and attention to detail, adding, “I believe this is important because people like stability and assurance with what they are downloading. By adding consistency to a reasonable file-size, we have filled a spot in the community, which seemingly has a lot of demand.”

YIFY was a primary source of movies for “Netflix for pirates” app Popcorn Time, which has been experiencing problems of its own.

Image courtesy of CurrentlyDown.

Uber Shuts Down in Three Important German Cities

Remember when Uber got banned by a German court because it was using unlicensed taxi drivers? Well, even though the company eventually made things right with Germany and was allowed to operate within some of its most important cities, recent reports point out that things are not looking good at all for this transportation network company. To be more specific, Uber has shut down its operations in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Hamburg, which means that only Berlin and Munich still benefit from its services. But why would Uber shut down in these major German cities? Well, it looks like it has something to do with finding drivers, especially since these drivers need to have valid taxi licenses.

“For many prospective Uber drivers, the process of registering an independent rental car enterprise has proved as too costly and time consuming.”

However, Uber’s representatives have stated that they plan to “intensify the dialogue” with Germany’s authorities in order to be able to return to these cities in the future. Things are uncertain for Uber in Germany right now, especially since such a large company was supposed to expand its presence in the country and not diminish it in order to ensure its long-term success.

US Army Tests New Drone Swarm

The latest drone test exercise run by the US Army was different to most, in that instead of showcasing a brand new multi-million-dollar aircraft, it instead used a swarm of standard off-the-shelf consumer drones.

The objects of these exercises were twofold. Firstly, deploying the drones as a swarm to simulate a threat and later testing the possibility of utilizing the same cheap swarms in military operations. This would allow the US Army to adapt to the potential threats of consumer drones when used against their forces and develop countermeasures against these tactics.

The exercises included a combat simulation with a swarm of drones supporting the opposing forces, who used them to spot enemy defensive positions, allowing their forces to gain a tactical advantage against them. Another test was flooding the airspace with drones, disrupting radar with dozens of small airborne objects.

Individually, a single consumer drone is no match for any one of the combat drones used by the US Army in it’s current operations, being far more vulnerable to both gunfire and jamming. However, with costs of up to 100-times less than this specialist hardware, it becomes far more feasible to deploy large numbers, as well as allowing them to be more disposable. Shooting down one small drone is easy. Shooting down one hundred is far less achievable. And with the potential for these consumer drones to be customized relatively cheaply with longer range equipment, night-vision and similar sensors and even weaponry, consumer drones seem to be gaining a place in modern warfare.

Can you imagine the toys you see on shelves everywhere now, being deployed in war, and will this change the face of the low-cost drone market? Only time will tell.

UK Police to be Granted Powers to View Your Internet History

UK Police will be granted the power to view the internet history of every person in the country under new plans proposed by Tory Home Secretary Theresa May. On Wednesday, May will announce the Conservative Government’s new surveillance bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday (4th November), and the new police powers will be granted under the bill, according to The Telegraph.

The bill would require internet service providers to retain the browsing history of every customer for 12 months, and to give police and intelligence agencies access to that data, which would include search engine terms and websites visited.

“I’ve said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers and the oversight arrangements that govern them without also considering the threats that we face as a country,” May told MPs. “Those threats remain considerable and they are evolving. They include not just terrorism from overseas and home-grown in the UK, but also industrial, military and state espionage.”

“They include not just organised criminality, but also the proliferation of once physical crimes online, such as child sexual exploitation. And the technological challenges that that brings,” she added. “In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job.”

A YouGov poll on behalf of Big Brother Watch from 2012 shows that 71% of people do not trust that the Government will keep their data secure.

Twitch Will Install Arch Linux Later Today

Despite being a video streaming service, Twitch has gained fame through a series of “Twitch Plays” events. While those have all revolved around games like Metal Gear and Pokémona more ambitious project will start in about 12 hours. Using the same chat-based collaboration, Twitch will attempt to install Arch Linux on a virtual machine. Anyone who connects to the stream will be able to command and control the installation process.

While installing a Linux installation is pretty straightforward these days, we can expect a lot of trolls in the first while. After all, that’s what happened with Pokémon and Dark Souls when they first started out. With the large range of options available to trolls, expect the start to be really bloody. It would not be surprising to see commands to wipe the disk or put the VM into a perpetual reboot cycle to occur.

There a few milestones set so far for the installation which are to

  • Boot Arch Linux from the hard disk
  • Write a python ‘Hello World!’ script
  • Configure a fully working X server
  • Pull up the Twitch screen in the virtual machine

If the install goes relatively well, it will be interesting to control via Twitch the machine that itself is logged into Twitch and ends up controlling itself. That is, of course if the VM doesn’t get recruited into a botnet or becomes a spambot.

XFX Brings Back Blower Style R9 390X

When AMD first launched their R9 290 and 290X GPUs back in 2013, many had mixed feelings for the blower style cooler. While the cooler was one of the best efforts yet from AMD, it was not enough for the hot Hawaii chips, leading to high temperature, throttling and noisy operation. In the end, many opted for custom coolers which were not blowers and did a better job at cooling. Two years later, it looks like XFX is planning on releasing the 390/X series cards equipped with what appears to be the original 290X cooler.

Using the Grenada core, the R9 390X is fundamentally the same as the 290X, with maybe better binning and process improvements to differentiate them. XFX is also using the older cooler and not the revamped one AMD launched with the R9 390X in a while ago. The new 390X blower cooler take’s its design cues from the Fury X and Nano. Given XFX’s choice of using the 2013 cooler and not the 2015 model, either XFX has a lot of stock left or there is little difference between the 2015 and 2013 models. You can check out the 2015 model below.

There is undoubtedly a market for blower style GPUs as they tend to exhaust more of the GPU heat out of the case. This is especially important for SFF and builds with poor case cooling. If the cooler is still lacking though, there won’t be many users who will pick it up. The biggest advantage is that with a reference board, watercooling blocks will be easier to source. It will be interesting to see how well the blower card does, both performance and sales wise.

WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Drive RAID Review

Introduction


We have already had the pleasure to see how WD’s 6TB Purple surveillance hard disk performed in our previous review, but WD was kind enough to provide us with two of these drives and thereby allowing us to test them in a RAID environment too. A surveillance setup will rarely consist of just one hard drive, making this review one to take a closer look at before investing in your future surveillance storage.

With two drives at our disposal, we can run them as in RAID 1 and RAID 0 setups, depending on whether we want speed and storage or redundancy. There isn’t one setup that is better than another, it comes down to what you need in your setup. Most people will probably get more drives and opt for a RAID 5, RAID 6, or RAID 10 setup, but those are out of our reach when working with just two drives.

Whether you want to protect your personal assets and loved ones or monitor the business you worked hard to build, you’ll want surveillance-class storage to rely on. Not only are these drives built for 24/7 usage in environments with up to 8 disks, they also come with enhanced firmware built just for this kind of operation. When it comes to surveillance, every frame counts, and every frame has to be perfect. This is especially noticeable when many cameras are using the drives simultaneously. WD’s Purple series has no trouble here and it is designed to work in setups with up to 32 HD cameras.

The WD Purple 6TB surveillance drive features 64MB cache and uses the well-known WD IntelliPower system for the spindle speed. It is rated for a sustained transfer speed of up to 175MB/s and comes with a power draw of 5.3W in operation, 4.9W when idle, and 0.4W in standby or sleep mode. The noise level is rated to 45 dBA idle and 26 dBA seeking, so they’re barely audible. With a weight of 750 grams, the WD Purple 6TB isn’t the lightest drive, but that’s no surprise considering the capacity.

Western Digital also designed the Purple series to work in high-temperature environments. The temperature rating of the drive, on the base casting, ranges from zero to 65 degrees Celcius when operating and -40 to 70 when non-operating. The Purple series has a mean time before failure of 1 million hours and can withstand 300,000 load/unload cycles. On top of that you also get a two-year limited warranty.

One of the things that make the WD Purple series so great is the exclusive AllFrame technology that works with ATA streaming to reduce error pixelation and video interruptions that easily occur when desktop drives are incorrectly used in security systems. Missed frames and lost footage is a serious problem when an event occurs and surveillance footage needs to be retrieved. WD Purple with AllFrame provides the confidence you should expect when it’s time to play back and review critical surveillance footage.

AllFrame Features:

  • Reduces video frame loss with surveillance-class storage.
  • Specifically tuned for surveillance security systems.
  • Caching algorithms are tuned for write-intensive, low bit rate, high stream count applications that are typical of surveillance applications.
  • Priority change for write allocations and preemptive caching policies.
  • TLER & ATA streaming support.
  • Supports up to eight drives.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Delayed to May 2016

Mirror’s Edge revolves around intense parkour gameplay which provides a tense, enthralling experience. Instead of relying on weaponry, you have to evade enemies and quickly scale buildings. The game rightfully received critical acclaim for being completely unique and it holds up remarkably well. After an agonizing wait, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was finally announced. Although there were some concerns about the parkour element being diluted to allow for more combat.

Today, an official statement has been released by Senior Producer, Sara Jansson about the game’s release date which reads:

“Years ago, we set out an ambitious vision for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Achieving that vision and delivering the best possible experience is equally inspiring and challenging. And it takes time. We set out to create a vast city to explore, full of stunning vistas, majestic skyscrapers, and mysterious tunnels. We’re building the most immersive action-adventure game with fluid movement and combat in first person. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be an all-new playground with a deeper and more engaging story – and we want to accomplish all these goals to the highest quality possible.

So we’ve made the decision to bring Mirror’s Edge to the world starting May 24, 2016. We will use these few extra months to make sure that when you step into the massive City of Glass and experience the rise of Faith, it’s as entertaining, impressive, and memorable as it can be.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst has received an incredible response from fans around the world over the past months. You’ve been eager to see the return of Faith and the unique style and gameplay that only Mirror’s Edge can create. Witnessing your positive reactions has been amazing motivation for me and the rest of our passionate team at DICE.

Thank you again for your patience and support. Keep the Faith.”

While the news is a little bit disappointing, i’d prefer the final product to be optimized, visually stunning and a wonderful single-player experience. If this means waiting until May 2016, then I’m sure the delay will be a worthwhile sacrifice.

LG Records $68 Million Loss in Mobile Division

LG’s G3 and G4 handsets have received widespread positive reviews and characterized by a remarkable image sensor. Additionally, the G4’s superb price, beautiful display and optional leather back make it a fantastic choice around the £350 mark. Sadly, LG’s superb handset range hasn’t resulted in a profitable venture and reported a huge loss of $68 million.

This is dreadful when you consider sales have increased by 12% in North America, although worldwide figures dropped 21% year-over-year. LG‘s report demonstrates the difficulties many manufacturers face in the smartphone market. While the hardware is excellent, LG’s software can be slightly buggy but things have impressed in the last few months. Additionally, the LG Flex 2 hasn’t made a major impact and ended up being a very niche device.

Perhaps, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC deterred some people from purchasing as the chip’s overheating issues are well documented. Also, the European version only contains 2GB of RAM, which lingers behind many other handsets in 2015. The most likely reason is the emergence of ultra-cheap but feature-rich smartphones from Chinese companies like Hauwei.

As a result, it’s such a competitive sector and difficult to attain large sales. LG’s financial position is becoming similar to HTC which is a shame.

Do you currently own an LG handset?

G.SKILL Announces Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM

G.Skill announces the newest addition to their DDR4 RipJaws lineup with the DDR4 SO-DIMM Ripjaw series. The new modules come with great speeds of up to 2800MHz and in kit sizes up to 64GB. As all RipJaw memory modules, the new SO-DIMM series is also built with specially screened components, hand-picked from G.SKILL’s rigorous and highly selective binning process and tested to guaranteed maximum performance and reliability.

SO-DIMM modules are generally used in portable and small form factor system where power consumption is an issue, and DDR4 is a great thing for these systems. With the lower power consumption over DDR3 modules where they only consume 1.2V make them optimal for this scenario. The modules also feature auto-overclocking where the modules will be automatically overclocked when the memory modules are installed on qualified systems.

There are four different speeds in the new G.Skill RipJaws series and each speed is available in five different capacity kit sizes. With the increase in the kit speeds from 2133 to 2800MHz, the timings also change slightly as we can see in the chart below. Whether you choose 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB capacity in these new modules, they should be a solid choice for your SO-DIMM capable system.

G.Skill didn’t announce any pricing or availability at this time, but we’ll keep you updated on that in the near future when the information becomes available.

Addonics Announces Complete Family of Industrial or Enterprise Grade SSDs

Addonics announced a new family of SSDs that support the CFast, mSATA and M2 form factors in both Industrial or Enterprise class grades. The difference between the two types is the type of NAND used. The Industrial class modules are built with SLC NAND where the Enterprise class modules are made with MLC NAND.

These new storage modules are all rated for operation in industrial temperatures ranging from minus 45 to plus 80 degrees Celcius. They are also some of the most reliable SSDs on the market, a thing that easily can be spotted in the TBW and MTBF ratings. For example, a 64GB SLC mSATA modules comes with a TBW rating of 3448 TB and the same module with MLC NAND has a TBW of 635TB for the 256GB model. All come with an MTBF of over 3 million hours.

Which type you pick is down to the operations they need to perform. MLC is more energy-efficient, has more capacity, and it is faster, but the SLC has more durability and a longer lifetime expectancy. Addonics new Industrial and Enterprise SSDs range from 4GB to 256GB capacity and Addonics also offers a full line of converters, readers, and duplicators for the most common SSD form factors.

Suggested retail prices of the Addonics Industrial grade mSATA Flash SSD is $325 for 32GB. The Enterprise class mSATA SSD starts at $54 for 32G. You can also check out the full details on the official new landing page for Addonics Flash media and SSDs: http://addonics.com/category/fm-ssd.php

Windows 10 Upgrades Will Start Installing Automatically Next Year

When Microsoft released Windows 10 early this year, the new operating system was meant to unify the Windows/Microsoft ecosystem. In an effort to achieve homogeneity among its desktop user base, Microsoft is taking extreme measures to push Windows 10 onto Windows 7/8.1 users. Starting next year, the Windows 10 update will be made “recommended” and set to automatically install. For the next few months, an intermediary step of making Windows 10 an “optional” update for all users will take place.

By making the update recommended, it means that any users who are set to have automatic updates will have Windows 10 automatically start installing. Microsoft is saying that before the OS fully changes over, there will be a user prompt though it looks like the update will download automatically. In these times, having automatic updates is critical for maintaining security and keeping up to date so it’s a hard choice between remaining secure or using the OS of your choice.

In the interim, Windows 10 will be set as an optional update for all users. Previously, only those that reserved a Windows 10 update would have Windows 10 show up as an optional update. Given previous debacles with optional updates, it remains to be seen if Microsoft is up to the task. The major reason for this shift is that the #1 service issues with Windows right now is about where to get the Windows 10 update.

With the many unanswered questions that Microsoft has not dealt with for Windows 10, there are likely going to be many users who are going to be unhappy with the way Windows 10 is being pushed. While Windows 10 has been working on over 110 million devices so far, those who have not chosen to upgrade probably have issues with incompatible hardware and software or plain just don’t want to use it. By being so forceful with Windows 10, Microsoft risks creating a public backlash though then again, where can users go?

Clarkson Takes a Cheeky Shot at BBC in New Fire TV Stick Ad

It’s no secret that things between the BBC and Clarkson are a little up in the air, especially after his fairly regular outbursts, things he’s said on TV that weren’t exactly PC, getting into the now historical ‘fracas’ with a co-worker and, of course, him being fired over the matter and jumping ship to Amazon. To make good on their new deal, Amazon is wasting little time putting Clarkson, and no doubt his two buddies, to good use.

As you can see in the video below, Clarkson is touting the new Amazon Fire TV Stick, in pretty much the style we’ve come to expect from him. Of course, with the new show on the way in 2016, Amazon don’t want fans of Clarkson and his crew to miss out. Watching on your PC or mobile device is one thing, but the Fire Stick is great for watching streamed content on the big screen; unless you already have one of the few smart TVs that has actually got a decent app/CPU combo to be usable.

With Amazon spending £160m for 36 episodes, there’s no doubt that they’ll want a lot of people to tune in to recoup some of their investment.

Are you looking forward to the new Clarkson show? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Best Budget-Friendly Everyday Wearable Technology

We all love our technology. From the mobile phone which you have in your pocket to the computer you have hidden away in your house ready to reward you with some much-needed “Netflix and chill” time after a busy day. Have you noticed all those people who seem to sit there staring at their phone screens, almost as if they are trying to will a text message or phone call? Or maybe they’re just worried about it being another two inches from their hands, they might end up missing an important call. That same fear has led to a new generation of technology, wearable technology. The name kinda says it all, technology that you can wear and use. Featured below are a few pieces of technology you could start wearing now and some which won’t break the bank when you start getting interested.


Smart Watches

Smartwatches are designed to be connected to your phone, with Companies like Apple hoping theirs will take over a whopping 40% of the market, you can see why some people might be interested in them. So why not go out and grab an Apple Watch? With the ability to monitor your heart rate, how many steps you take and even be used for Apple pay means that you don’t really need to your phone out of your pocket for anything other than actually texting and making a call. Sadly though the Apple watch is only compatible with iPhones and comes in at a whopping £289, so why not look at something a little cheaper? Sony’s universal smart watch is available for Android devices and features some impressive figures. With 2-4 days battery at “normal usage”, and with a selection of apps from the play store and a price tag of £60.75, it may be an alternative if you like using your android phone without it being out in front of you.


Smart Ring

Wearable technology is designed to make your life easier while meaning you don’t carry a computer on your hand. So why not make something smart that most people wear without a second thought?

The NFC ring is designed as yet another companion to your smart phone. By communicating with NFC (near field communication) technology, you can unlock your phone just by swiping your ring over the top, meaning no more trying to remember your password. What about your wireless password or a link to your favourite website? The NFC can store that information and transmit it just as easily, meaning sharing your details could be as easy as waving your hand over someone’s phone.

With the ability to interact and transmit data to anything with NFC capabilities, the ring has almost unlimited potential. Do you have any wearable technology we didn’t mention? What kind of technology are you looking for? Share your ideas below in the comments.

Fitness Trackers


With all this technology, why not use it for something regarding your health? Smart watches can track your heartbeat and steps, though they cost a little bit more. Fitness trackers are simple little bands that blend seemingly with your everyday wear. I personally have one and the little band tells me everything from my steps and the approximate calories burnt for those steps, it can also track my sleeping patterns, detecting when you move a lot in your sleep and often more. Pivotal Living offer a subscription based band, for $12 per year they will give you access to everything you need to track your life. Fail to pay though and the app locks up making it a beautiful piece of plastic on your wrist, not much else.

Google to Launch Project Loon Internet Balloons Next Year

Google’s ambitious Project Loon, a network of stratospheric balloons to bring wireless internet to remote parts of the world, could be operational by next year. Google told the BBC it hopes to trial the system – a cheaper, more practical alternative to installing fibre cables, and which offers 4G-equivalent speeds – in 2016.

“In the early days, the balloons would last five or seven or 10 days. Now we have had balloons that have lasted as long as 187 days,” Mike Cassidy, Vice President of Project Loon, said. “We’ve also improved the launch process. It used to take 14 people an hour or two to launch a balloon, now with an automated crane we can launch a balloon every 15 minutes with two or three people.”

Three of Indonesia’s mobile networks have already signed up to become carriers on the Project Loon network.

“[We need] about 300 balloons or so to make a continuous string around the world,” Cassidy explained. “As one moves along with the wind out of range, another one comes to take its place.”

“We hope next year to build our first continuous ring around the world, and to have some sort of continuous coverage for certain regions,” he said, adding, “And if all goes well after, then after that we will start rolling out our first beta commercial customers.”

Google is also considering an alternative solution to bringing internet to isolated locations, codenamed Titan, which involves using solar-panelled flying drones.

Synology Announces the Official Release of Surveillance Station 7.1

Following a successful beta phase, Synology announced the official release of Surveillance Station 7.1. The new version delivers a more thoughtful and efficient design, features Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), multicast support, and refined alerts and notifications for an even better management experience.

“In this version, we focus on optimising the mechanics and performance of Surveillance Station as well as developing the compatibility of ONVIF protocol, in order to provide the best and easy-to-use surveillance solution to our customers,” said Chad Chiang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. “We express our thanks to the users who spent time testing the beta version and working with Synology to ensure a better and more secure surveillance solution.”

With support for Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), the video streaming performance is increased and provides a more fluent experience when watching feeds and it can also be used to easily integrate video streams into third-party systems. Multicast support now also means that video feeds can be streamed to multiple clients via a single transmission, thereby reducing the load on your Synology NVR or NAS, but tit does require your router to support IGMP.

The Advanced Live View Alerts and Notifications provide a more refined management for large-scale deployments. If you got hundreds of cameras to monitor, you can’t do it one-by-one. Live View Analytics alerts are displayed for cameras that are not included in the Live View layout and events can be directly highlighted on an E-map, allowing users to quickly see the camera and location of suspicious events.

Synology also made several under-the-hood modification that will allow for even better usage of the Surveillance Station. ONVIF Profile G is now supported and it brings more options to cameras that have rotation and focus features. The database structure has also been refined and a dedicated multipart link between host and recording servers was added.

Surveillance Station 7.1 is available now in the Package Center and comes with two camera licenses at no extra cost. It is supported by the following Synology models:

  • 16-series: RS18016xs+, RS2416(RP)+, DS416, DS216play, DS216se
  • 15-series: RC18015xs+, RS815(RP)+, RS815, DS3615xs, DS2415+, DS2015xs, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, DS115j
  • 14-series: RS3614xs+, RS3614(RP)xs, RS2414(RP)+, RS814(RP)+, RS814, DS414, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214+, RS214, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, DS114
  • 13-series: RS10613xs+, RS3413xs+, DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, DS413, DS413j, DS213+, DS213, DS213j, DS213air
  • 12-series: DS3612xs, RS3412(RP)xs, RS2212(RP)+, DS1812+, DS1512+, RS812+, RS812, DS712+, DS412+, RS212, DS212+, DS212, DS212j, DS112+, DS112, DS112j
  • 11-series: DS3611xs, RS3411(RP)xs, DS2411+, RS2211(RP)+, DS1511+, RS411, DS411+II, DS411+, DS411, DS411j, DS411slim, DS211+, DS211, DS211j, DS111
  • 10-series: DS1010+, RS810(RP)+, DS410, DS410j, DS710+, DS210+, DS210j, DS110+, DS110j

Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Receive Giant Patches

Developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K games, Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel are some of the most enjoyable first-person-shooter RPG’s ever created. Even though both of these games came out quite some time ago (2012 for Borderlands 2 and 2014 for The Pre-Sequel), the games are still receiving plenty of attention from both players and developers. A little birdie told us that the two titles have received two massive patches, which include various balances, tweaks and fixes that are meant to ensure very smooth and glitch-free gaming experiences. Some of the most important changes include the re-implementation of SHiFT connectivity for Steam users on OS X El Capitan, as well as permanent hot-fixes for a generous number of quests.

It definitely looks like the developers have been hard at work to perfect both of these titles, and that’s always commendable as other companies just prefer to leave things as they are and focus on creating new games instead. I finished both of these Borderlands games and I enjoyed my time spent with each one, but those of you who never got a chance to try them out should definitely go ahead and play them now. Below you will find a full list of patch notes for Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Borderlands 2 v1.8.4

General

  • Fixed connection issues with SHIFT in 10.11.
  • Various balance refinements and tweaks, with special attention given to Maya to make her more in-line with the other characters.
  • The Fastball grenade has been added to Boll’s loot pool.
  • DLC offers from Steam have been added to the in-game DLC menu.
  • Players will no longer encounter a progression blocker in the mission “A Match Made on Pandora” at the objective “Talk to Moxxi” in the Wedding Day Massacre DLC.
  • The mission “Cleaning Up the Berg” will now adjust to the current OP level instead of always being level 72.
  • The wedding party should now always appear at the appropriate time during the mission “A Match Made in Pandora”.
  • Missions that can be failed and re-attempted will now show the correct level when the player re-accepts the mission.
  • Chests that are dug up by varkids in the Wam Bam Island mission “Fun, Sun, and Guns” will now appear for all co-op players when unopened.
  • Gun-based splash damage will now scale correctly.
  • The Aquamarine sniper rifle has been updated with the proper stats. It was previously incorrectly categorized as an SMG. Players with this weapon in their inventory at the time of the update will have an SMG in its place. Future drops of the Aquamarine sniper will be correct.
  • Player locations will now display correctly after being revived.
  • French, Italian, German, and Spanish language versions of the game will now properly display Critical Hit FX.
  • Jack’s protective probe will now take damage from Maya’s Phaselock ability.
  • Kill Skills will now properly receive bonuses modified by external sources (i.e. class mods) upon activation.
  • Weapon abilities will no longer be retained when using the inventory to swap weapons during the weapon-swap animation.
  • The color red will now appear appropriately for players using the “Protanopia” color-blind mode.
  • Players now have the option to choose a “Camera-Based” driving control setting.
  • Badass stats will no longer display multiples of the same choice when selecting a Badass Rank stat bonus.
  • Tweaks to improve performance while navigating menu screens.
  • The game will no longer become indefinitely paused if the status menu is opened when the HUD is not displayed.
  • Updated the presentation of the SHiFT EULA (End User License Agreement).
  • Fixed an exploit to duplicate SHiFT rewards while playing in split-screen.
  • Players at OP level 4 or above should now find it easier to find a game via matchmaking.
  • Players will no longer see placeholder graphics when joining into a 3 or 4 player game on certain maps.
  • Bloody Harvest Halloween candy item card text will now display correctly when colorblind mode is active.
  • When a user switches weapons just before using a travel station, their holstered weapon will no longer appear to have a plain white texture if viewed from third-person
  • Players can now sort their inventory by value and vending machine inventory by price.
  • A rare issue where an object could appear to have a bright, neon-colored texture will no longer occur.
  • “Use” prompts will now appear and disappear more quickly, resulting in a more responsive gameplay experience.
  • Unowned DLC will no longer appear in the Fast Travel menu as a valid destination.
  • Various stability improvements.
  • Memory adjustments have been made to prevent audio dropout in some cases.
  • When playing with the language set to Spanish, the text for the “trade” option has been corrected.
  • Minor text fixes.
  • Green quality corrosive and explosive nova shields can now spawn in-game.
  • McNally will now be the appropriate level in the mission “The Bane”.
  • Drop rates for the Cobra have been increased in Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage.
  • Players will no longer be permanently slowed by the sorcerer’s “slow” skill.
  • NPCs will no longer become invisible for clients during play sessions with many map transitions.
  • Community Day 2013 head and skin customizations will no longer disappear from the player’s inventory if they save and quit before using them.
  • Torgue weapons will now glow correctly
  • Some skin customizations that previously did not drop from any source can now drop in-game.
  • All items will now have impact audio when dropped from inventory or in the world.
  • Game difficulty scaling will now reliably return to the appropriate value after fighting Raid Bosses.
  • Purple rarity rocket launchers will now use the appropriate material.
  • Subtitles in the side missions “My Dead Brother” and “Lost Souls” updated for accuracy
  • Brood the Invincible’s nameplate will now appear correctly.

Permanent Hot-Fixes

  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add Community Day heads and skins as world drops.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue in which the Tiny Tina’s damsels can become invisible.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix “Release the Beast” sometimes not activating.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue with critical hits not registering properly sometimes when using the “Interspersed Outburst” Mechromancer skill.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an inaccurate skill description for the Mechromancer’s “Buck Up” skill so that it properly displays the recharge as 100%.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Wilhelm so that he takes damage from the Ahab rocket launcher.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixto adjust camera zoom when Krieg is in the gunner seat of the runner.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to fix incorrect attribute presentations for relics.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue in which skrakks can deform when running PhysX.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue so that Deathmark can be applied more than once in a multiplayer game.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue in which Zero’s deception ability will not activate properly when triggering the skill while firing and reloading a Tediore SMG.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix a missing VO in ‘A Match Made on Pandora’.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix an issue with some weapons having low DoTs applied.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to modify Vermivorous so that he always drops something from his unique pool.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to increase the bulk collect radius.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to increase the drop rate of legendary items across the game.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel v1.0.7

General

  • Fixed connection issues with SHIFT in 10.11.
  • Players can now right-click items in the inventory to sell non-favorited items.
  • Client players can now join a host’s game via Steam invitation while set to “invite only”.
  • Claptrap will no longer drop his buzzaxe when pressing the “drop weapon” key.
  • The Mission “Rose Tinting” is now able to be completed after saving and quitting during dialog while killing minions.
  • The Boss Nova assault rifle will now correctly appear as blue rarity, rather than green and its stats will receive a slight boost.
  • Players will no longer become permanently slowed when exiting a vehicle while under the slowing effect of a Cryovine.
  • A notification to inform players that they must agree to the Terms of Service and PP to access SHiFT will now appear prior to displaying them in the main menu.
  • DLC customizations should no longer be unlocked when certain base game customizations are unlocked.
  • The boss “EOS” will now have its nameplate display correctly for clients in a multiplayer game.
  • Objective waypoints for the side mission “EG0-TP” will now appear correctly when playing the mission in True Vault Hunter Mode and above.
  • The waypoint in the mission “Follow Your Heart” will now appear correctly when Janey Springs has moved back to Concordia.
  • The mission “Sub-Level 13” will now display the correct level transition waypoint.
  • The weapon aim toggle will now work correctly when using Nisha’s “One for Each of Ya” skill.
  • Clients will no longer see placeholder graphics when joining into a 3 or 4 player game.
  • A New-U station in “Veins of Helios” now has an appropriately sized ‘use’ distance.
  • The explosive element of Claptrap’s elemental subroutine is now capable of setting off a nova when triggered.
  • Player inspect menu should now provide accurate data.
  • Rocket launchers will no longer spawn with critical hit bonuses. Players with rocket launchers with a critical hit bonus will find that a random bonus has replaced the critical hit bonus.
  • Players will no longer fail the Holodome Onslaught missions and become stuck when getting too close to the New-U station.
  • The formerly non-functional New-U station in the map “Motherlessboard” in the Claptastic Voyage DLC will now function.
  • Aurelia’s “Excellent Shot, Madam” skill DoT will now do the correct amount of damage.
  • X-STLK-23 can now drop Eridian Vanquisher class mods for the Doppelganger and Baroness.
  • Frostfire weapon effects will now become inactive when switching to a different weapon.
  • Claptrap can now only digistruct one copy of himself when using the skill “Second Wind (by Tediore)”.
  • The platform and travel station to Deck 13 ½ from the final boss area will no longer be hidden when the mission “System Shutdown” is ready to be Turned In.
  • Moxxi’s toy chest can now only be opened once.
  • Aurelia’s “Excellent Shot, Madam” skill will no longer be triggered when the player is inside a vehicle.
  • Inventory cards with long titles will now display the second line of the title in all languages.
  • Oz Kits will now show comparison arrows on their item cards if the element types do not match.
  • The Fragnum 88’s critical hit bonus will now be applied correctly.
  • Clients playing as Nisha will no longer keep a copy of a dropped pistol in their left hand when using the “One for Each of Ya” skill.
  • Players can now receive loyalty rewards for DLC characters.
  • Athena players will no longer receive a message and experience when using the “Clear!” skill on a co-op partner who has already bled out in “Fight for Your Life” mode.
  • Waypoints will no longer be displayed on a disabled level transition in Tycho’s Ribs.
  • Purple rarity rocket launchers will now use the appropriate material.
  • The waypoint for the objective “Find last colleague” in the mission “Science and Violence” will now display correctly after saving and quitting during the mission.
  • Nisha’s left-hand weapon will no longer fire when aiming down the sight.
  • Both guns should now always be present when dual wielding as Nisha.
  • There will no longer be waypoints on a travel station from Concordia to Crisis Scar before it is accessible.
  • The waypoint for the mission “Find Pickle” will now display correctly.
  • The Bosun will now have higher shield regeneration, particularly in True Vault Hunter Mode.
  • Players now have an option to turn off the Oxygen V/O Warning Messages through the pause menu during gameplay. Client players on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 may have to restart the game after changing the option for the change to take effect.
  • Moonstones will no longer be refunded to the player after buying a Moxxtail from Moxxi’s Bar in Concordia and then looting another moonstone drop.
  • The V/O for starting the mission “Quarantine: Infestation” will now more reliably play when accepting the mission.
  • V/O will now play correctly regardless of the order in which the books are picked up in the mission “Voice Over”.
  • The “damage resist” effect will now display correctly when playing in non-English languages.
  • The “Data Scrubber” grenade mod will now use a more appropriate material.
  • The “Meganade” grenade mod will now use a more appropriate material.
  • The “Shield of Ages” will now use a more appropriate material.
  • The “Rerouter” shield will now use a more appropriate material.
  • Juggernaut Oz Kits will now use a more appropriate material.
  • Disrepair and Self-Loathing will no longer get into an infinite teleporting loop.
  • Aurelia now has a callout for when her oxygen is low.
  • The turrets in the mission “Rose Tinting” will now spawn at the appropriate time.
  • Credits now include composition sections.
  • The Fast Travel station at the entrance of Outlands Spur now activates when the player enters the map.
  • Aurelia’s “Save the Queen” skill now has appropriate status effect damage.
  • Various stability improvements.

Permanent Hot-Fixes

  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix a progression blocker that occurred when saving and quitting before uploading the H-Source during the mission “System Shutdown” in Deck 13 ½.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix kickoff dialog not playing for “Eradicate!”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent Belly from being killed when Red dies.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault Symbol not displaying correctly for clients in Concordia.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault Symbols not displaying correctly for clients in Crisis Scar.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add footstep audio to Janey in Serenity’s Waste.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to change collision on some scav components to prevent erratic ragdolling.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to set emitters to replicate on DAHL teleport spawn styles.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent the grinder from becoming non-functional if it is used immediately after closing it.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent the trash compactor from having its kill target changed.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to adjust the location of the socket used by “Compound Interest” on Shuggurath enemies.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent DAHL combat training missions from being marked as plot missions.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent Roland from emoting while running during “Home Sweet Home”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to ensure that mission critical Kraggons spawn during “Lost Legion Invasion”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix particle effect optimization.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to fix mission dependency on Lunar Lunching Station fast travel station.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to fix Cult of the Vault symbols not displaying correctly for clients.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent portrait from displaying for Customs Trap when non-ECHO dialog plays.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to ensure “Space Slam”’ rocket launcher reward is always available.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to apply performance optimization for a particle used by the Storm Front grenade.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix ECHO log Merciless Killing Machine Part 4 dialog not playing as an ECHO.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix clients not seeing the shipping container after failing “To The Moon”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Hyperventilator Ozkits showing incorrect comparison arrows.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to fix Vladof sniper rifles reload sound not being attenuated.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix the UI rotation of the Lawbringer’s Chronicler of Elpis class mod.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix skill Bottled Courage so that it works correctly with class mods that modify consumption rate.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent Epicenter skill from throwing around boss Kraggons.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent Athena skills from ceasing to function after entering and then exiting a vehicle.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent client Jacks from being refunded more than 100% of cooldown duration when recalling Expendable Assets.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent bridge from disappearing in Cluster 00773 P4ND0R4.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to change the undiscovered description of “Picking up the Pieces” to reference the correct map.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix the Vault symbol in Jack’s Office being the wrong size for clients.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to improve performance in Cluster 99002 0V3RL00K.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent Aurelia’s action skill from causing a blocker during “Eye for an Eye”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixto prevent clients from seeing a black screen if they finish the Marigold credits before the host.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbols not displaying correctly for clients in Outlands Canyon.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbols not displaying correctly for clients in Outlands Spur.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbols not displaying correctly for clients in Research and Development.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbol not displaying correctly for clients in Vorago Solitude.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbol not displaying correctly for clients in Tycho’s Ribs.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent Sponxes from respawning mid-session.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent a progression blocker during “They Psychology of a Claptrap”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbol not displaying correctly for clients in The Cortex.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbol not displaying correctly for clients in Subconscious.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Cult of the Vault symbol not displaying correctly for clients in the Nexus.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent wall from not opening near the transition into the Cortex.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to increase legendary drop rates.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to ensure that two glitch chests spawn upon the defeat of Shadowtrap in the Cortex.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent scavs behind a glassed-in area from respawning in Titan Robot Facility.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to move teleporter exit points to prevent players from becoming stuck in Lunar Launching Station.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to increase bulk collect radius.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent “A Backhand to Remember” movement speed bonus from being applied twice.
  • Permanent Hot-Fixes to prevent “End of the Line” from becoming blocked on the “Follow Claptrap’s Consciousness” objective.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent “You Can Stop the Music” from becoming blocked on the “Pick up musical remains” objective.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add grinder support for the Hard Reboot and Party Popper.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix dialog from not playing on client during “To Arms!”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Aurelia’s oxygen dome remaining on while in a vehicle in atmosphere.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to fix Aurelia’s action skill deactivating too early.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent clients from hearing DLC intro audio after it has already played.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to prevent players from over-donating during “To Arms”.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add grinder support for the Bullpup.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add grinder support for the Smasher.
  • Permanent Hot-Fix to add grinder support for Gwen’s Other Head.

Deutsche Telekom First to Introduce Fast Lanes Under New EU “Net Neutrality” Laws

Mere days after the European Parliament voted in broken net neutrality laws that allow for traffic shaping and internet fast lanes, the first EU telecoms company has announced plans to introduce a two-tier internet, allowing priority access to paying customers. In a statement on the company’s website (in German), CEO Timotheus Höttges said Deutsche Telekom will introduce charges for startups to access specialised internet services.

“There needs to be the option of giving priority to data associated with sensitive services if the network is congested,” says Höttges (translation courtesy of Euroactiv). “Developing innovative internet services with high standards of quality will continue to be possible.”

“Start-ups need special services more than anyone in order to have a chance of keeping up with large internet providers,” Höttges argues. “If they want to bring services to market which require guaranteed good transmission quality, it is precisely these companies that need special services. By our reckoning, they would pay a couple of percent for this in the form of revenue-sharing,”

In response to Deutsche Telekom’s plans, Vodafone Germany told German newspaper Der Spiegel, “Vodafone is not currently pursuing such plans [for internet fast lanes], but in our view, Deutsche Telekom’s position is correct,” adding that, “an equal internet does not even exist today.”

Image courtesy of Acoustic Branding.

9/11 Oculus Rift Game ‘8:46’ is Horrifying and Distasteful

September 11th, 2001 is a date in history which will always be remembered as the moment when global terrorism came to the doorsteps of ordinary US citizens. The morally repugnant attack shocked the world and demonstrated how unsafe modern society can be. Whatever you’re political affiliation or beliefs about American foreign policy, you cannot forget the innocent people who died on that fateful day. As a student of history, it’s important to look at atrocities and not shy away from the events of the past. This is so we can educate others to avoid future mistakes.

However, this has to be conducted in a respectful manner which puts academic interests first. Unbelievably, a game has been created for virtual reality devices entitled 8:46 which puts you in the footsteps of someone trapped in one of the Twin Towers. According to the project’s creative director, the game is designed:

 “As a tribute to the victims of our generation-shaping experience.”

Realistically, 8:46 won’t be a commercial endeavor so the developer isn’t making any money from 9/11. Although, this doesn’t sit right with me as you hear the screams ringing throughout the buildings. Currently, you can download the game for free but it requires a VR device such as the DK2.

Krafft was interviewed by Tech Insider and said:

“In the team, we are all in our twenties,”

“And 9/11, on a global scale, changed as much our social interactions as our geopolitical context.”

“We worked with a lot of references, from an interview with a survivor to plans of the floors or journalistic works … to be precise about the events and the human dynamics in the towers,” 

Clearly, this is a controversial release and one which divided opinion among some people. In my view, it is quite disrespectful to those who died in 9/11 and almost trivializes what transpired. Although, other opinions are just as valid, and it could be argued that the game finds a way to discuss 9/11 among modern audiences. Whatever the case, it’s certainly an eye-opening project.

Are you offended by this game or do you think it’s an interesting historical tool? To reiterate, we welcome a lively discussion but please refrain from political arguments as this is a technology site first and foremost.