HTC made a decent swing back into the market this year with the One M8, but it looks like its successor is being teased weeks before CES 2015, the One M9.
What will the One M9 offer? Well, we should expect Qualcomm’s latests system-on-chip, the Snapdragon 805, at 2.7GHz to start things off. The display that HTC should be opting for, looks like a 5.5″ 2560×1440 (or QHD) panel, 3GB of RAM in total, a 16MP rear camera, and there’s rumours that HTC will be using Bose for the audio side of things, which should have the One M9 being one of the best-sounding devices on the market.
11 Bit Studios upcoming game, This War of Mine, has secured its development funds in just 2 days. The studio released an infographic detailing all of the news, revealing that just 11% of players have beaten the game, while 96% of the over 2700 user reviews recommends This War of Mine. 56% of This War of Mine’s players were male, while 44% of them were female. Check out the infographic below.
Photos of what appears to be a prototype Microsoft Lumia phone have appeared on a Chinese auction site.
The unconfirmed prototype has a very large camera in the back, somewhat akin to the Lumia 1020 with its crazy 41-megapixel camera. The device purportedly has 2GB of RAM and a 1080p 5-inch display. The phone is only referred to as the “Nokia RM-1052” on the casing, along with a plastic strip interrupting its aluminium rear.
The Verge points out that the device could be one of the remnants of the cancelled ‘Nokia McLaren’. This device was to feature Microsoft’s Kinect technology, with ‘3D Gestures’, so you could interface with the phone without touching it. So far there’s no confirmation of whether it really is a Microsoft Lumia prototype, but it certainly looks like one.
Sony Pictures has had a pretty bad week. First a massive hack, then rumours that North Korea could be involved, now the news that four high quality copies of Sony Pictures’ latest movies, most of them unreleased, have been leaked on the web.
Copies of ‘Annie’, ‘Mr Turner’, ‘Fury’, and ‘Still Alice’ have been found on Torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay. ‘Fury’ is already the second most downloaded movie on that very site.
The movies are said to be watermarked and are of DVD quality, suggesting that they could have only come from an internal source. The Verge points out that they are very probably ripped from the copies delivered to “awards judges” and from copies used for other promotional reasons.
Sony still hasn’t officially commented on the hack itself, other than that they’ve received a “system interruption” that they’re “working diligently to resolve”. There’s not much more information from them regarding this leak either, releasing the statement:
“The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it.”
Google has started offering users access to an easy export service that allows them to download all the data from their Google Accounts.
In a blog post, Google has outlined the new service, detailing that you’ll be able to download “a single archive file for multiple products with a copy of your Gmail, Calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive, and other Google data”.
You can literally get a copy of everything, including your calendars and soon, Gmail. The ability to download Gmail data is coming over the next month.
Facebook offers a similar service, allowing users to extract all of their data in one handy file for personal archiving.
Speed, speed, speed. Everybody wants speed and that includes QNAP’s users. The company listened to their customers feedback and created the TS-451S Turbo NAS, a 4-bay NAS that is optimized for high-capacity 2.5-inch SSD drives. The new NAS is built around the Celeron 2.41GHz processor and has 4GB DDR memory.
To avoid confusion in product labels, QNAP are renaming the current SS-x53 Pro series into SS-x53S Pro to assist users in quickly recognizing different options in the same product category. Compared to the 3.5″-drive-designed TS-453 Pro, the TS-453S Pro provides a more affordable price, takes up half the physical space, and when exclusively using SSDs delivers 4,000+ IOPS (random read/write) at the equivalent total cost of a non-SSD NAS.
“Users can enjoy numerous benefits when using SSDs in a Turbo NAS, including a smaller physical size to host at least 4 SSDs, higher-density storage capacity, RAID 5 configuration for data protection, quieter system operations, a home theater multimedia experience with the HD Station, and the exclusive QvPC Technology that allows the Turbo NAS to be used as a PC,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “The TS-x53S Pro series can also work silently and reliably with 2.5″ hard drives as well”.
While there isn’t a product page for the new TS-451S NAS yet, we do get some information from the photos provided. It appears that it has dual Gigabit Ethernet, dual HDMI or HDMI and DisplayPort, two USB 3 ports and 3.5mm audio jacks. It has easy accessible memory slots so you just have to open the cover to upgrade. No need to take out the PCB as so often needed in the past.
The TS-451S is being distributed to worldwide sales channels immediately and should be available for end users within a month.
Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information
It looks like ASUS is getting ready to launch their mini-ITX take on the Nvidia GTX 970 card, which would make them the first. TechPowerUp is reporting that ASUS are putting the final touches on the GeForce GTX970 DirectCU Mini (GTX970-DCM-C-4GD5) graphics card.
The factory overclocked card will come with a 1088 MHz core frequency and a Boost speed up to 1228 MHz while the memory is untouched at 7 GHz. The power-economic GTX 970 card only requires a single 8-pin PCIe connector and comes with two dual-link DVI, one HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.
The new card looks identical to the previous DirectCU mini cards and comes with a nice looking matte-black back-plate. Sadly no word on pricing or availability yet, but considering the other GTX 970 offerings it won’t be expensive.
Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Barclays has announced that from 8th December, a select number of its customers will be able to talk directly to banking staff at any time of day.
The service will allow customers to speak face-to-face with a Barclays staff member, possibly one they’ve spoken to before, about their account and other banking matters. Barclays is posting the service as a way to bring the in-store experience completely online.
“While many of our customers are increasingly using digital channels to complete routine transactions, for the important moments, you just can’t beat face-to-face conversations, yet traditional branch opening hours don’t always give customers that choice.” – Steven Cooper, Barclays CEO of Personal Banking.
Primer account customers will be able to take advantage of the new service first, while all customers will eventually receive access throughout next year.
Let’s hope they don’t get the same abuse Amazon’s Mayday service has encountered.
Adata has announce the arrival of the HV100 External Hard Drive with a sandblasted smudge-free finish available in three colours and three capacities. The HV100 comes with a G-Shock sensor protection and has both the OStoGO and HDDtoGO features that extend the functionality of the drive.
The HV100 will be available in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB sizes and connects through the USB 3.0 interface. The built-in multi-coloured LED will show the connections status, mode, and activity as well as warn you when a severe shock should hit the drive.
The HDDtoGO software enables you to enjoy true mobility and leave no trace behind when working remotely from your office while the OStoGO software allows you install your Windows OS via your external drive. Both handy features to have with a portable drive.
There is no word on pricing or availability yet.
Thanks to AData for providing us with this information
Apple has begun lighting up its logo in red at stores across the world, in anticipation of World AIDS Day tomorrow (Monday). The first store to get the red treatment is in Sydney, Australia, with more to follow in key locations across Europe, Asia and the United States.
Apple has gone (RED) crazy this week, filling its App Store with apps that contribute all or part of their earnings to the charitable fund, while Apple will donate a part of the earnings from literally every single product sold on the Apple Online Store or in their retail stores to AIDS charities on Monday.
“(RED) and the global health community have reached a critical turning point in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Together, they’re getting closer to delivering the first generation in over 30 years to be born free from the disease. The purchases you make during our holiday shopping events and through Apps for (RED) can create a lasting impact on the future of millions.”
Apple is the largest contributor to Product (RED), the charitable brand created by Bono and Bobby Sriver in 2006. So far the company has donated over $75 million, more so than anyone else.
For regular pizza orders, this might be just the trick to have you ordering Pizza Hut the next time you get the munchies.
The pizza chain is testing out a new eye-tracking technology from Tobii dubbed the “Subconscious Menu”, which has images of 20 typical pizza toppings. The popular toppings are obviously all there, with the system recognising which topping you’ve looked at the longest, all in 2.5 seconds. From here, it will identify which combination, out of a possible 4,896 options, that you’d like to have on your pizza.
Tobii Technology, a Swedish company, designed the system in 6 months with the help of Pizza Hut. Tobii says that the Subconscious Menu might show up at Pizza Hut restaurants one day, but with the preliminary testing they’ve done, they’re already striking a 98% success rate. Pizza Hut’s head of marketing adds that the idea came from wanting to do something different to their traditional menu, and by the sounds of it, I think they’re onto a winner.
SilverStone may be well-known for their high-end chassis, power supplies and cooling solutions, but in recent years they’ve also been creating some premium grade audio products. Earlier this year we reviewed their SST-EB03 Desktop Headphone Amp & SST-EB01-E DAC (Digital Audio Converter); both of which were targeted at the enthusiast audio market. They’re incredible products and I’ve personally been using them for all my desktop related audio tasks ever since. Now they’re looking to complete the set with a simple accessory, the EBA01 Hi-Fi Audio Headphone Stand.
The EBA01 comes constructed from high quality aluminium, matching the aesthetics of their SST audio range. It has been designed as the perfect way to store two headsets; keeping them within easy reach at your desktop or listening area of choice. I’m sure many of you simply leave your headset on your desk, or even chuck it in a drawer when you’re not using it. Many people wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing, especially for those who paid a lot of money for a high-end headset or a set of audiophile grade headphones.
The EBA01 comes in a nicely designed slim box with a nice image of the stand on the front of the box.
Around the back you’ll find another picture of the stand with a set of headphones on it; pretty self-explanatory really.
The box is surprisingly heavy and when you open it you’ll find three large pieces of aluminium set in thick padding to keep them safe, as well as a simple user manual.
In the box you will find three pieces of aluminium that form the stand, as well as the screws required to assemble them.
Where is the world’s largest solar plant? California. Topaz is a massive 550 megawatt plant, with the Topaz solar project completing its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase. This has now created history, as it’s not only the first 500-megawatt+ solar farm to crank up in the US, but it is the largest solar plant in the world.
There are some 9 million solar panels installed at Topaz, spanning over 9.5 square miles. The project itself cost a huge $2.5 billion, with construction starting 2 years ago now. MidAmerican Solar is the owner, a Pheonix, Arizona-based subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables. The 9 million+ solar panels will create enough electricity to power 160,000 average Californian houses.
The Topaz project was done for the reason of functioning as a productive grassland habitat for native plants an animals, all while being used for passive farming of the sun’s energy. Water used during the construction of the solar farm was primarily for dust control, and during operation, the panels themselves don’t require cleaning or washing, with vegetation being maintained in order to help with dust control.
Eric Wesoff from Greentech Media said “As of today the project has installed 9 million solar panels across 9.5 square miles in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Carrizo Plain. Construction began in 2012 and was expected to be complete in early 2015—so call this an on-time delivery. It’s an impressive feat that should power 160,000 homes on Pacific Gas and Electric’s grid.”
Black Friday is when the big sales normally kick off, but things are moving a day forward to Thanksgiving more and more as the years go by.
Many are reporting that the shopping frenzy is actually a lot tamer than it looks, with many retailers offering massive online sales which is leading to more and more staying at home and enjoying the savings, without having to venture out into the depths of retail stores. IBM has used their real-time benchmark analysis dashboard, discovering that sales were up 14% over Thanksgiving 2014, versus last year. The average order amount was down though, to $125.25, down from $132.
Not only that, but online sales at the the United States’ biggest department stores were up 29.8%, which is huge. IBM’s data also shows how people shopped, with a 10% spike in mobile device traffic, now up to 1/3 of all sales being done over smartphones and tablets.
Remember that Sony Watch we reported on a few days ago? The one that’s made with ‘e-paper’? Well it has since been revealed. It turns out that it was in the public eye all along, as part of a crowdfunding campaign for a sort of secret part of Sony.
The FES Watch, as it’s known, has been designed by a company called Fashion Entertainments, now known as a subdivision of Sony. That company is part of Sony’s efforts to come up with crazy and innovative products, separate from their main product lines.
The watch itself, which will be available to supporters on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake after May next year, is completely covered in this ‘e-paper’ technology, that allows it to display simple differences in band styles, watch faces and more. It’s also said to last 60 days on a tiny button battery and reacts to the gestures of your wrist.
It’s not yet known when or if Sony will sell it widely, but it’s certainly an interesting concept.
Want to view earth from space but haven’t got the time to train as an astronaut? Well now you can, via a webcam on the web.
The ISS High Definition Earth Viewing Experiment allows you to get a view from a window on-board the International Space Station as it circumnavigates the earth.
The project, which has been viewed by 32 million people since April, aims to give people a 24 hour view of the ISS on its daily orbit around earth. It is also a NASA experiment, which has been designed to test the effect of space on video cameras, with the objective of finding the best way to record video in zero gravity.
“Sony and outside security consultants are actively exploring the theory that the hack may have been carried out by third parties operating out of China on North Korea’s behalf”.
You might be wondering why North Korea would want to attack Sony Pictures in this way. Well you may remember the country’s threat of a “resolute and merciless response” if the movie featuring Seth Rogen, ‘The Interview’, which features an assassination attempt upon the North Korean leader, is released to the public. Sony plans to release the movie in the US on Christmas Day.
It seem like a pretty credible cause – ‘Guardians of Peace’, as the hackers call themselves, seems like it could have easily come out of a North Korean propaganda video.
A couple of days ago, we reported on a new type of disposable battery for smartphones. A number of our readers pointed out that while being convenient, the batteries would probably end up being something very expensive that you inevitably throw away.
Well, now someone has what could possibly be a better solution – use your own 9-volt batteries to give your phone the energy boost it needs.
Meet the Plan V – a small, foldable device, that allows you to grab any 9-volt battery to give you up to an extra 4 hours of talk time on your smartphone. The product is part of a Kickstarter campaign aiming for $30,000 in funding.
The first version available uses MicroUSB, while an iOS compatible model will be available later. Backers can put forward $10 to reiceve theirs in February if the Kickstarter is successful.
If you’re still waiting for the PC release of the RockStar crime-em-up epic Grand Theft Auto V, then you’ll know that feeling of missing out on all the fun. Some skilled gamers have already explored the depths of what this game has to offer and put together some epic montages of their adventures for you to enjoy!
Of course, just wait till the PC modding scene get their hands on the game, then we’ll be back to show the console editions of this game how it’s really done!
Thank you JunkExplorer for providing us with this information.
An AMA on Reddit has revealed some new information about the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight game. Please note that there are massive spoilers for Arkham City ahead!
The story is reported to pick up right after the death of the Joker, focusing on what would happen around Gotham with him removed.
The new Batsuit is heavily redesigned and mimics much of the design of the Batmobile. Rocksteady claims the new suit will impact gameplay, enhance Batman’s abilities and will have some kind of interaction between Batman and the Batmobile. Yes you read that right, the Batmobile is in this game!
“When we added the Batmobile to the game, we wanted to make sure it’s a fun, meaningful addition to every part of the game. Batman wouldn’t use it if he didn’t need it. So there will be points in the main story where you will need to use the Batmobile to progress, and if you’re anything like me, there will be points where you can’t use the Batmobile and wish it was there!” – Rocksteady
If revised combat, the Batmobile, a new suit, a bigger environment and a whole lot more aren’t going to get you excited about this game. The developers have promised a new trailer coming this Monday, so stay tuned for more!
Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.
During Intel’s X99 launch in early September one motherboard vendor was noticeably absent from the scene – ASRock. While we’re not sure as to the exact reason for ASRock’s delayed entry, they are now out in full force with an extensive top-to-bottom X99 product stack. Their range of products for Intel’s High-End Desktop (HEDT) platform span the usual three product segmentations: the OC, Fatal1ty and Extreme series. Whichever ASRock motherboard series consumers choose they will be greeted with a very high-end system due to the nature of Intel ‘s X99 chipset and Haswell-E processors. However, each series has been tailored for a specific type of user. The OC series, themed black and yellow, targets the performance junkie and enthusiastic overclocker with beefed up power phases and handy overclocking tools and buttons. The Fatal1ty series, themed black and red, targets gamers with improved quality audio hardware and Killer networking. The Extreme series, themed black and blue, is umbrella group within which today’s motherboard rests. The Extreme series doesn’t target any particular type of user: it is ASRock’s solid all-round motherboard. Consumers struggling to grapple with what that means in practice should equate the ASRock Extreme series to ASUS’s Channel series, Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable series and MSI’s Classic series. On the test bench today is ASRock’s X99 Extreme6 which sits above the X99 Extreme3, X99 Extreme4 and X99M Extreme4 but below the X99 Extreme6/ac, X99 WS and X99 Extreme11.
At first glance the X99 Extreme6 offers a very broad feature set that doesn’t stand out for anything specific, which is what you’d expect for the all-round Extreme series. ASRock provide no additional SATA III 6Gbps ports above the ten already integrated into the Intel X99 chipset, they’ve also decided to side-step the inclusion of a SATA Express port, instead opting for an enhanced “Ultra” M.2 port with 32 Gbps capabilities: 320% more than the default 10 Gbps M.2 port. Two areas where the X99 Extreme6 shines are in power componentry and networking. The ASRock Extreme6 features 12K rated capacitors, a 12 phase design and 60 amp rated power chokes, which are of a solid alloy design. On the networking side dual Gigabit LAN is provided by Intel and Qualcomm controllers with optional AC WiFi made available with the X99 Extreme6/ac for those users who desire it. Users who choose the non-AC model will be left with an unpopulated mini PCIe slot that is capable of supporting a wide variety of wireless networking combo cards.
Packaging and Accessories
The ASRock X99 Extreme6 is certified for up to 3-Way SLI so inside the box you will find 2 and 3-way SLI bridges. Other accessories include four SATA 6Gbps cables, two screws (one for securing mPCIe cards and the other for securing M.2 devices), a variety of documentation, a driver & utility DVD, ASRock case sticker and a SATA power adapter for using ASRock’s HDD Saver technology.
A Closer Look
The blue and black colour scheme ASRock use on their Exreme series is a refreshing break from the red and black repetition that is becoming so common. Once upon a time blue was the in-fashion colour scheme used by ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI, for those of you who can remember as far back as Z77. Now, MSI and ASRock are the only vendors equipping Blue.
Moving down to the bottom of the motherboard we find, from left to right, front panel audio, a TPM header, a Thunderbolt header, a COM port, a clear CMOS jumper, a BIOS switch, dual USB 2.0 headers, two system fan headers, a power button, a reset button and the front panel connectors.
Along the right side of the motherboard we find a USB 2.o port, 24 pin power connector, a pair of USB 3.0 headers and a fan header.
Down by the PCH heatsink there’s a block of 10 SATA III 6Gbps ports and a debug LED.
The CPU socket area reveals an impressive 12 phase VRM for enhanced overclocking potential.
The PCIe configuration supports three-way on 40 lane CPUs and two-way on the 28 lane i7 5820K. An “Ultra” M.2 port and mini PCIe slot are provided for extra connectivity options. Helpfully there’s also supplementary molex power and double slot spacing for multi-GPU configs.
ASRock implement the shielded Realtek ALC1150 audio codec onto an isolated PCB with advanced audio capacitors, this forms their Purity Sound 2 package.
At the top of the motherboard we see a nickel plated heatpipe adjoining the two CPU VRM heatsinks. An 8 pin EPS tucks in behind the primary VRM heatsink along with a pair of CPU fan headers, one 3 pin and another 4.
The rear I/O offers a nice balance of connectivity: dual LAN, six USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, two USB 2.0 ports, a keyboard/mouse combo, six audio ports (5 analogue, 1 optical) and a clear CMOS button.
On the under-side we find easily serviceable screws which ensure that the heatsinks can easily be removed for water cooling.
Razer has announced that it will make its Nabu smartband available on December 2.
The peripherals maker has said that the award-winning wearable will be sold in the US at first, as well as its RazerStore. The Razer Nabu will be made available in two sizes; small-medium and medium-large, as well as 4 different colours; green, white, orange and black. Razer will be shipping the black version only, with the 3 other colours launching in the near future.
OPPO has unveiled its new R5 smartphone, which is an is-it-even-there 4.85mm thin.
The R5 smartphone is available at OPPO’s official store, with the R5 being a decently specced smartphone. We have the 4.85mm thick body, which packs in a 5.2-inch AMOLED display with a 1920×1080 resolution, an 8-core processor from Qualcomm, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, and 5MP front camera, all with a 2,000mAh battery inside. Oh, and no protruding camera – hey there, Apple, what’s going on.
We should expect the OPPO R5 to be made available elsewhere in the world in the near future, hopefully, it looks like a slick new handset.
If you’ve been waiting to buy the ASUS GeForce GTX 980 STRIX GPU, now might be your time. EK Water Blocks has just announced the new Full-Cover waterblock that is designed for the new ASUS STRIX series NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, the EK-FC980 GTX STRIX.
The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) engineering team worked hand-in-hand with EK Water Blocks to co-develop the Full-Cover water block, which cools the GPU, RAM and VRM. The new EK-FC980 GTX STRIX water block features “EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic perfromance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps,” according to VideoCardz.
How do you keep buildings cool? Right now, there’s not much you can do apart from crank the air conditioning and close the blinds – but thanks to some researchers from Stanford University, we could see a new solution cool things down considerably.
The researchers are currently working on a new solution that could keep the inside of buildings much cooler, with a new super-thin coating that reflects up to 97% of sunlight, while at the same time radiating head from inside of the building. It’s win-win. A technique that has researchers calling it photonic radiative cooling. The material they have created is made from 8 layers and is just 1.8 micros thick (this is thinner than the thinnest sheet of aluminum foil). It is made from 7 layers of silicon dioxide and hafnium oxide, on top of a thin layer of silver.
It’s not perfect yet, as there’s the problem of getting it to transfer heat from the inside of the building, to its exterior coating. Once it is there, the material can expel it, but getting the heat tunnelled to the new material is the big hurdle right now. The second issue, is scaling. The researchers’ previous prototype is the size of a regular pizza, so it’s nowhere near as big as it needs to be to be used in a real-world scenario, especially being painted up and down an entire skyscraper. At least we know it’s coming, as this is something that could change the face, literally, of buildings in the future.
Wireless charging is the way to go when it comes to charging your mobile phone or tablet, but Starbucks is big enough to make it go mainstream, no?
The coffee shop chain is reportedly set to roll out wireless charging stations in its shops in the San Francisco Bay Area, and if it’s successful, across the US. The company will be rolling out wireless charging in its shops using Powermat Technologies hardware, with Powermat Technologies’ CEO Daniel Schreiber teasing that the charging speed at Starbucks locations could actually rival cabled charging speeds.
He added that there are only a few devices on the market that are compatible with Powermat’s technology, out of the box at least, with Starbucks providing Power Rings for charging. You can buy them for $10, or loan them, with Duracell-Powermat providing them online. Starbucks’ vice-president of in-store digital services said “You’ve got to have a complete system. No one has taken the plunge, [but] we want to start giving manufacturers a reason to put it in their phones.”