Sony has upgraded the PlayStation 4, offering a new hardware update (CUH-1200) and an increase in internal storage (1TB), but it seems that prospective customers will have to choose between the two, as the 1TB version of the console is reportedly based on the older CUH-1100 series.
Why is that a bad thing? The CUH-1200 PlayStation 4 upgrade offers up 36% power saving while idle, and 25% when in use. As such, the console also runs cooler, and hence quieter, than the previous iteration. Minor tweaks include a more streamlined model, using a smaller motherboard, higher density memory, and a revised Blu-Ray drive. The improved console design effectively renders the CUH-1100 obsolete.
Presumably, Sony thinks it can sell off its remaining CUH-1100 models by repurposing them with a larger hard drive, hoping less-savvy customers won’t notice that they’re buying an inferior version of the console. Since it’s pretty easy to install a new hard drive in a PS4, gamers considering picking up the console would be advised to pick up the CUH-1200 version and swap out the drive themselves if they want more storage space. Sony is expected to sell out of CUH-1100 models by Autumn, so later 1TB versions of the console are expected to include the CUH-1200 architecture. If in doubt, always check the box before purchase.
Thank you TechRadar for providing us with this information.
Star Citizen is probably going to be an amazing game for a number of reasons. These include its incredibly detailed graphics and immersive gameplay, but one of the game’s most important assets will come in the form of a Persistent Universe, which will use a mix of emergent gameplay generated by players and new content developed by Could Imperium Games. The first step towards unveiling the Persistent Universe was taken not too long ago with the release of Star Citizen’s Social module, which is currently available for the game’s backers. The module allows players to enter each other’s Hangar, explore ArcCorp and load up Arena Commander.
The module ensures that backers are able to catch a glimpse of what it will feel like to explore some of Star Citizen’s different cities, and it will also be used to test out several technologies. Tony Zurovec from Could Imperium stated the following:
“The Social Module allows you to select from any of half a dozen character configurations and explore the first of many planetary landing zones – ArcCorp’s Area 18 – with up to 24 other players. You can communicate with other players via a chat system, and express yourself via a variety of different emotes. An augmented reality display system allows you to view additional information about various objects in the environment, including the names of other players. A number of retail shops can be inspected, although they’re not yet open for business.”
Have a look at the following video if you want to see the game’s Social Module in action.
Thank you DSOgaming for providing us with this information.
Metal Gear Solid V’s PC release is tantalizingly close and a number of physical copies have been dispatched early in anticipation of the game’s launch. Interestingly, the disc only contains the Steam installer and basic key information for activation purposes. As a result, the disc itself is pretty much worthless and accounts for a mere 8.78 MB of data. The majority of AAA PC retail games barring GTA V, EA and Ubisoft titles utilize the Steamworks DRM system. However, the game’s files are usually stored on a disc to make the installation process fairly quick. This is vital for some customers who live in areas with a poor internet connection. Additionally, AAA releases have started to exceed the 50GB barrier which becomes a frustratingly long download process.
Therefore, I cannot see the reason why a disc copy of Metal Gear Solid V exists. There are no benefits whatsoever unless you enjoy looking at the box-art for an unhealthy amount of time. Digital distribution is a revolutionary move which help contribute to lower PC game prices, added an enhanced level of convenience and ensured developers get paid for their work. In the console market, second-hand sales are rampant which can persuade developers on tight budgets to stick to digital distribution delivery.
While PC retail games are extremely niche, I would like to see collector’s editions and DRM-Free titles still being produced. However, I highly doubt PC games will keep using optical media for much longer, and illustrates how wasteful the retail copies are from a financial and environmental viewpoint.
The marketing strategy of major publishers has been quite distasteful due to pre-order bonuses, microtransactions and retailer exclusives. In recent years, these anti-consumer measures became more acceptable and helped to transgress the medium into a way of exploiting people’s passion for a particular franchise. Deus Ex is a highly-revered tense stealth series with an extremely loyal following. The original game and Human Revolution featured superb covert takedowns and an engrossing narrative. Unfortunately, the successor to Human Revolution has embarked on an appalling pre-order incentive scheme which is embarrassing and quite insulting to fans of the series.
During the official trailer, a computerized voice implores you to pre-order to access a Tier I bonus. Instead of receiving all of the Tier 1 bonuses, you are forced to choose between the Classic, Enforcer or Intruder Pack. There are also benefits in Tier II, III and IV which include in-game bonus missions, a digital comic, artbook, OST sampler and more. Unbelievably, each tier is only unlocked after a certain percentage of pre-orders is met. As a result, you could pre-order and simply end up with a Tier 1 bonus. Additionally, to access every item, you have to purchase the game 3 times. Even more egregious, Tier V grants access to the game 4 days before its official release. In the social media age, this will just make users post early streams and spoilers online. Also, punishing people for not engaging in pre-order nonsense is absolutely abhorrent.
The video’s reception so far is rightfully negative and currently features 770 dislikes. Honestly, I’m astounded by this trailer and how aggressive its marketing policy is. If you are sick of being treated in this manner, do not pre-order under any circumstances. Companies are overstepping the mark and as a consumer, the only way to make them understand is through a lack of sales.
We, as the human race, have accomplished quite a few impressive scientific things so far. We have been to the moon, we have vehicles driving around mars, and a probe that has left the solar system. We shouldn’t forget about the large hadron collider either, which discovered, or rather confirmed, the Higgs boson particle.
Another impressive project is the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, a project with the goal to create the first image of a black hole boundary, also known as the event horizon, and it is the point at which the force of gravity is so great that even light cannot escape.
The Event Horizon Telescope isn’t one large one placed at a strategic location, or in space like Hubble, but rather a collaboration between 34 observatories and universities around the world. By using telescopes in 10 geographic locations around the world that record data at a rate of 64 Gbps. The petabytes of data will then be processed at a central location that effectively creates the largest radio dish possible from the Earth’s surface and it can resolve objects 2000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.
As mentioned, such a project will create enormous amounts of data and that data has to be stored somehow. We are talking about petabytes of data here and that requires a special kind of storage. HGST announced that they will be responsible for that part, as the EHT project will be using their Helium filled HGST Ultrastar HelioSeal hard disk drives.
The hermetically sealed Ultrastar HDDs bring higher storage capacity along with lower power consumptions, which is a win-win in this situation. The helium-filled drives also work at a much higher altitude where normal air-filled drives would fail.
By bringing black holes into focus, the EHT will enable astronomers to study space-time in the most extreme environment in the universe.
Addonics unveiled their latest add-in card and this time it is an SATA host controller, more specifically an eSATA host controller. The AD4ES6GPX4 uses a single PCIe 4-lane slot and in return it provides you with 4 separate eSATA ports and a total throughput capability of up to 20 Gbps. That should be plenty of speed for a controller like this, considering that each SATA port in itself only perform up to 600 Mbps.
The Addonics eSATA host controller supports all SATA-based drives, from SSDs over optical drives to mechanical hard disks. You can also attach more than four drives when connected to port multipliers as those are fully supported by the controller chip. That means that you easily could attach four external hard disk towers to this single controller. With that in mind, there’s basically no limit to how much storage you can attach with this.
The controller supports software RAID based on your operating system, but it doesn’t come with its own hardware RAID function. The card is fully plug-and-play and will work with Windows, Mac, Linux, and most other operating systems with built-in AHCI driver. The card is a full-height PCI card which is the only downside, limiting you from the use in SFF systems with half-height slots. It is however due to the natural limitation and physical size of the four eSATA ports.
Let’s for a minute contemplate the appearance of Julian Assange, he looks as if he is attempting to apply for this year’s role of Santa at a shopping centre. He might be slowly losing his marbles considering a few of his comments concerning his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy during an interview with The Times Magazine.
Can I source this link? Noooo, why? Behind a paywall, oh where else can I find a summary, I know, the many sources on the internet of course. Anyway, Julian Assange fears he will be assassinated if he steps onto either a balcony or out the door of the embassy. This is technically possible, although he might need to move further away from the building than that for it to look less obvious. Now for the weird, the following comments are his views on being “droned”
I’m a white guy,” Mr Assange said. “Unless I convert to Islam it’s not that likely that I’ll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that.”
I am just going to let that sink in for a sec, he also describes receiving bomb and death threats and he has also not been able to have any fresh air or sunlight for 3 years. His situation could be resolved in the next 2 years by which point his hotel stay at the embassy will be nearer five years.
Julian Assange is controversial yet has, through Wikileaks, been able to expose many a scandal which has included Surveillance and also disgraceful military practices. His situation depends on your viewpoint, many spectators have formed a conclusion that he does indeed have a target on his head, but it’s difficult to quantify his situation, after all, where will he be in 5 years. Let’s hope he re-enters the world otherwise officials will start charging him per night for his room.
The principles which govern our universe is still open to debate within the science community, from quantum mechanics, which is a theory suggesting that of a formalism underlying the description of all physical systems to the holographic principle.
This principle suggests and “mathematically determines our Universe is just two-dimensional, however it appears three-dimensional due to the holographic effect whereby the Universe behaves like a giant hologram. Due to this giant hologram everything that we see around us is just a projection of a two-dimensional surface”. Still awake? Good, new research which has aimed to test the validity of this principle has been undertaken by Austrian researchers which have been able to show that this holographic principle has validity for a much more realistic outlook of our galaxy.
This latest theory which has been devised by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology describes a “holographic principle which works in a flat spacetime along with the theoretical regions with negative curvature”. This is fascinating but does need to be re read one or two times in order to understand the viewpoint.
It’s incredible that these theories are able to be investigated by the science community with the aim of understanding more about our universe. A compelling statement by Max Riegler of Vienna University explains that “This calculation affirms our assumption that the holographic principle can also be realized in flat spaces” it will be interesting to see further developments within these equations.
Thank you Techworm and tuwien university for providing us with this information.
A ticking timebomb is in the form of the correct way to dispose electronic waste, the globe is producing unit upon unit of the latest gadget which in turn pumps chemicals and materials into these devices. The turnaround from purchase to waste is even shorter than ever and protocols need to be implemented with the aim of recycling, which decreases the environmental impact on the plant as possible.
Unfortunately, A European Union Funded project in conjunction with Interpol, the United Nations University, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the WEEE Forum, the Cross Border Research Association, Zanasi and Partners and Compliance and Risks has found rather poor statistics.
They have found in Europe, “just 35% (3.3 million tonnes of 9.5 million tonnes) of used (but still functioning) and waste electronics and electrical equipment discarded by companies and consumers in 2012 wound up in official collection and recycling systems”. What happened to 6.2 million tonnes? It’s not like companies made it disappear, (reads more information) OK it is like companies made it disappear as the rest of the waste was “either exported, recycled under non-compliant conditions or simply thrown in waste bins”.
Responsible manufacturing and consumers who buy these electronics need to bear in mind disposal when throwing away items. The raw materials are toxic, think chlorofluorocarbons in fridges or Benzene and n-hexane which are chemicals thought to cause cancer and nerve damage, not such a problem? These chemicals have been used in the production of Apple products up until 2014.
Of course, as this report illustrates, an unknown but damaging factor is the criminal gangs who thrive off the illegal waste supply chain in some countries. Disposal of electronic waste is essential considering the amount which is being manufactured with the ratio increasing year on year, hopefully, more can be achieved in this area to decrease humans carbon footprint on the earth.
Big Brother is everywhere, from CCTV cameras on poles to the most cutting edge of democracy crushing surveillance which has been brought to you by the NSA, CIA, GCHQ and CITV, now a new American football stadium which is under construction is monitoring its workers by implementing Drones.
The sports arena is question goes by the name of Sacramento Kings in California, the workers are being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress. So how does it work? “Once per day, several drones automatically patrol the Sacramento work site with the aim of collecting video footage. That footage is then converted into a three-dimensional picture of the site showing when each element should be finished. The software can show managers how the project is progressing, and can automatically highlight parts that may be falling behind schedule”.
In theory, this is an idea which monitors construction with the aim of planning for any future errors or for example how the weather is affecting the build. The problem lies with the notion of how this data will be used, if for example a particular worker or team falls slightly behind schedule, will those individuals be fired? The concerning information also states that
“The University of Illinois team is currently testing a system that will allow drones to attach cameras to locations across a building site, so that activity can be monitored continually. A manager can then see how different tasks are being performed overall, and how much time each individual is spending on a job”.
To me this is attempting to speed human beings up to the same level which machines can operate, collecting data for architectural and building purposes is standard to ensure safety, asking drones to fly over the top of workers and record their movements? Not so much, data needs to be overseen with proper protocols in place to ensure information is not built up with the aim of placing jobs at risk. Psychologically, if those workers feel that they are being watched 24/7, it will place them in a heightened state which might affect concentration and health.
Below is a GIF/JIF of the current phases which have been modelled for the stadium, as you can see, it’s pretty impressive, let’s hope employment rights are as futuristic as the design.
Thank you MIT for providing us with this information
AMD and NVIDIA have engaged in a fairly bitter dispute after the Ashes of the Singularity DirectX 12 benchmarks indicated a sharp increase in performance which worked in AMD’s favour. One could argue this is due to similarity between DirectX 12 and Mantle but it seems Async Compute Cores are at the heart of this discrepancy. NVIDIA were quick to dismiss the figures and suggested any early benchmarks will not reflect typical DirectX 12 performance gains. Only time will tell if this is true but one of Oxide’s leading developers commented on the furore and tried to give an explanation:
“Wow, there are lots of posts here, so I’ll only respond to the last one. The interest in this subject is higher then we thought. The primary evolution of the benchmark is for our own internal testing, so it’s pretty important that it be representative of the gameplay. To keep things clean, I’m not going to make very many comments on the concept of bias and fairness, as it can completely go down a rat hole.
Certainly I could see how one might see that we are working closer with one hardware vendor then the other, but the numbers don’t really bare that out. Since we’ve started, I think we’ve had about 3 site visits from NVidia, 3 from AMD, and 2 from Intel ( and 0 from Microsoft, but they never come visit anyone ;(). Nvidia was actually a far more active collaborator over the summer then AMD was, If you judged from email traffic and code-checkins, you’d draw the conclusion we were working closer with Nvidia rather than AMD wink.gif As you’ve pointed out, there does exist a marketing agreement between Stardock (our publisher) for Ashes with AMD. But this is typical of almost every major PC game I’ve ever worked on (Civ 5 had a marketing agreement with NVidia, for example). Without getting into the specifics, I believe the primary goal of AMD is to promote D3D12 titles as they have also lined up a few other D3D12 games.
If you use this metric, however, given Nvidia’s promotions with Unreal (and integration with Gameworks) you’d have to say that every Unreal game is biased, not to mention virtually every game that’s commonly used as a benchmark since most of them have a promotion agreement with someone. Certainly, one might argue that Unreal being an engine with many titles should give it particular weight, and I wouldn’t disagree. However, Ashes is not the only game being developed with Nitrous. It is also being used in several additional titles right now, the only announced one being the Star Control reboot. (Which I am super excited about! But that’s a completely other topic wink.gif).
Personally, I think one could just as easily make the claim that we were biased toward Nvidia as the only ‘vendor’ specific code is for Nvidia where we had to shutdownasync compute. By vendor specific, I mean a case where we look at the Vendor ID and make changes to our rendering path. Curiously, their driver reported this feature was functional but attempting to use it was an unmitigated disaster in terms of performance and conformance so we shut it down on their hardware. As far as I know, Maxwell doesn’t really have Async Compute so I don’t know why their driver was trying to expose that. The only other thing that is different between them is that Nvidia does fall into Tier 2 class binding hardware instead of Tier 3 like AMD which requires a little bit more CPU overhead in D3D12, but I don’t think it ended up being very significant. This isn’t a vendor specific path, as it’s responding to capabilities the driver reports.
From our perspective, one of the surprising things about the results is just how good Nvidia’s DX11 perf is. But that’s a very recent development, with huge CPU perf improvements over the last month. Still, DX12 CPU overhead is still far far better on Nvidia, and we haven’t even tuned it as much as DX11. The other surprise is that of the min frame times having the 290X beat out the 980 Ti (as reported on Ars Techinica). Unlike DX11, minimum frame times are mostly an application controlled feature so I was expecting it to be close to identical. This would appear to be GPU side variance, rather then software variance. We’ll have to dig into this one.
I suspect that one thing that is helping AMD on GPU performance is D3D12 exposes Async Compute, which D3D11 did not. Ashes uses a modest amount of it, which gave us a noticeable perf improvement. It was mostly opportunistic where we just took a few compute tasks we were already doing and made them asynchronous, Ashes really isn’t a poster-child for advanced GCN features.”
“Our use of Async Compute, however, pales with comparisons to some of the things which the console guys are starting to do. Most of those haven’t made their way to the PC yet, but I’ve heard of developers getting 30% GPU performance by using Async Compute. Too early to tell, of course, but it could end being pretty disruptive in a year or so as these GCN built and optimized engines start coming to the PC. I don’t think Unreal titles will show this very much though, so likely we’ll have to wait to see. Has anyone profiled Ark yet?
In the end, I think everyone has to give AMD alot of credit for not objecting to our collaborative effort with Nvidia even though the game had a marketing deal with them. They never once complained about it, and it certainly would have been within their right to do so. (Complain, anyway, we would have still done it, wink.gif)
P.S. There is no war of words between us and Nvidia. Nvidia made some incorrect statements, and at this point they will not dispute our position if you ask their PR. That is, they are not disputing anything in our blog. I believe the initial confusion was because Nvidia PR was putting pressure on us to disable certain settings in the benchmark, when we refused, I think they took it a little too personally.
AFAIK, Maxwell doesn’t support Async Compute, at least not natively. We disabled it at the request of Nvidia, as it was much slower to try to use it then to not.
Weather or not Async Compute is better or not is subjective, but it definitely does buy some performance on AMD’s hardware. Whether it is the right architectural decision for Maxwell, or is even relevant to it’s scheduler is hard to say.”
Theoretically, AMD cards should reap greater rewards from DirectX 12 as upcoming games begin to take full advantage of Async Compute Cores, a feature which is supposedly missing from NVIDIA’s line-up. As a result, it’s sensible to believe that AMD’s core architecture features the potential for greater gains. However, DirectX 12 is still an unknown entity and the Async Compute Cores could only be a small factor in the widespread performance numbers. Additionally, the spokesperson for Oxide admitted that Unreal Engine 4 doesn’t properly utilize Async Compute Cores so the difference will be negligible.
NVIDIA’s DirectX 11 implementation is very impressive through optimized drivers meaning their hardware had a long standing history of outperforming AMD on a software and hardware level. Now, AMD is more familiar with DirectX 12, it’s possible the gap could be reduced as NVIDIA gets to grips with the new API. Whatever the case, the true impact of Async Compute Cores is unknown and it’s up to future games to see if this will be a real-world advantage or something restricted to synthetic benchmarks.
Razer has announced the Wildcat controller which is an alternative to Microsoft’s modular-designed Elite gamepad. Retailing at $150, the Wildcat is touted as a “pro-gamer-validated, tournament-grade” device featuring ultra-responsive buttons and a comfortable shape to reduce hand fatigue during long gaming sessions. The layout is remarkably similar to the Xbox Elite controller and includes a huge array of customizable buttons which allows you to alter the gamepad to your own taste.
2 shoulder Hyperesponse Multi-Function Bumpers
2 removable Hyperesponse Multi-Function Triggers
4 Hyperesponse ABXY action buttons
4 button Quick Control Panel
Optional trigger stops for rapid-fire
Zero slow-turn analog joysticks
3.5 mm audio port for stereo audio output and microphone input
Optional rubber palm grips
Quick-release cable feature
Detachable 3 m / 10 ft lightweight braided fiber cable with Micro-USB connector
Approximate size : 106 mm / 4.17” (Length) x 156 mm / 6.14” (Width) x 66 mm / 2.60” (Height)
Approximate weight (without cable) : 260 g / 0.57 lbs
From the rear angle, we can see the ergonomic placement of various buttons, USB charging port and optional rubber grip covers.A closer look unveils two easily accessible triggers predominately used for racing games. Thankfully, these can be removed if they interfere with your natural hand posture.
The package also includes removable textured thumbsticks and offers the choice between a convex or concave setup. I have to admit though that the included screwdriver looks very cheap, and something you would expect from a $1 mobile phone repair kit. Another benefit of Razer’s design means you can opt for a lavish green finish or traditional looking Xbox One colour scheme. Personally, I think the default styling has a fairly tacky feel and doesn’t contain the elegance of Microsoft’s Elite controller.
It’s fascinating to see a competitor to the extremely expensive Microsoft Elite controller so soon, and with an identical price point, it’s difficult to say which offers the best value for money. Obviously, Razer has a certain appeal amongst PC Gamers as a brand and this could make the Wildcat sell rather well. However, on initial impressions alone, I would opt for the official Microsoft version instead.
AMD quietly rolled out its AMD Radeon R9 370X graphics card this week, but only in China. While a global release was expected to follow, it now seems that the Pitcairn-powered card could be a Chinese exclusive.
The Trinidad XT-powered card (AMD’s new version of Pitcairn), a rebrand of the R7 270X, silently hit Chinese shelves on Friday, in the form of the Sapphire Vapor-X AiB of the Radeon R9 370X. Boasting 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, with 2 to 4GB of GDDR5 and a 256bit bus, the Sapphire card has a core clock of 1180MHz, 5.60MHz memory clock, and a 179GBps memory bandwidth. The card supports DirectX 12, Direct3D 12 (plus feature level 11_1 support), and WDDM 2.0.
AMD’s Head of global technical marketing, Robert Hallock, has revealed on Twitter that the Radeon R9 370X will not see a release outside of China. His tweet was in response to a question regarding the card’s release beyond China. Hallock replied:
@aschilling It's a regional product designed for and released only in China.
However, Hallock answered a question specifically regarding the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon R9 370X, referring to that card alone as “designed for and released only in China”. Could that mean that the proprietary AMD Radeon R9 370X could hit markets beyond China at some point?
Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information.
Hollywood is in the midst of an aggressive assault against “Netflix for pirates” movie streaming app Popcorn Time and its users, but the owners of Popcorn Time insists that its VOD service isn’t the problem, Hollywood’s lack of legal rival is. In a statement to TorrentFreak, the Popcorn Time team argues that the US film industry is suffering a problem of its own making, born out of a combination of greed and ignorance of the digital market.
“People are ready to pay a fee, but a lot of them currently refuse to pay for a petty catalog with country-specific restrictions,” says the Popcorn Time team. “The price can also be a hurdle for some people: $20 a month is not the same in Uganda and the United States. But obviously, the most problematic issue is the complete lack of legal availability in some places.”
Popcorn Time takes aim specifically at Hollywood’s counter-intuitive regional deals, protected by geo-blocks, as a way in which potential consumers are being turned off. “Why would people in France wait two years to see a movie that’s already being broadcasted in the US, when they both are paying almost the same amount of money?” the team asks. “The Internet has brought people closer, and they start to notice that some things aren’t acceptable. And then they turn to alternatives, even if it means diving into illegality.”
“Maybe it is time to consider the will of the people and offer them a legal, complete and useful service, no matter where they were born, instead of trying to punish people for… well, for wanting the see the content artists and industries are offering,” Popcorn Time adds, in one final swipe. “Currently, piracy is fulfilling the demand of the people because the industry fails at the transition into the modern age. We think it’s as simple as that.”
Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.
It may look a bit unusual at a glance, but this new wireless compact TV speaker by Sony could actually be useful in a very noisy room, as it is able to bring a TV’s sound output a lot closer to your ears. Dubbed SRS-LSR100, the device includes a pair of 2-watt speakers and also doubles up as a remote control, even though it looks nothing like one. Its top panel includes a rather large volume dial and a number pad that can easily be used by the elderly, which is probably the gadget’s aimed demographic. What’s interesting about the speaker, though, is that it features an automatic volume mode based on a microphone placed by the speaker.
The microphone keeps tabs on ambient sound and uses Sony-developed algorithms to adjust sound levels and sound quality automatically. The device is touted as the first wireless TV speaker to boast such a function. There’s also a “voice zoom” function that enhances the sound level of voices, which can come in handy when watching sports events. On a three-hour charge, the speaker can remain on for up to 16 hours. The sound link between the TV and the speaker is ensured by a cradle that plugs into the TV and sends sound to the speaker through 2.4 GHz radio waves. The remote control is based on infrared and can be used from 30 meters away.
The SRS-LSR100 will only become available in Japan for now, and it will retail for about $166. Sony might decide to release it abroad eventually, but I’m not exactly sure that there is a market for it. Would you buy one of these unusual TV speakers?
Thank you PcWorld for providing us with this information.
Turtle Beach have been on a winning streak this last few years, delivering very competitive headsets at virtually every price point. We’ve reviewed quite a few of their products this last year and I must admit that they’ve all been really impressive in terms of features, performance and quality, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what their latest PC gaming headset has to offer to an already pretty feature packed range of products. Check out our previous reviews of the 420X, 800X, XO Seven, 500X, Z60, Elite 800 and Recon 320 to scratch the surface of what Turtle Beach have been doing just this year!
Turtle Beach are doing great work in the PC peripherals market this year, not only with headsets, but they also launched their fantastic desktop devices, such as the Impact 700 and 500 mechanical keyboards and the GRIP 500 and 300 gaming mice. But enough of touting their previous products, as the one we’re really interested in today is their new Stealth 450, a wireless PC and Mobile compatible gaming headset, which offers features such as DTS Headphone X, SuperHuman Hearing, Variable Mic Monitoring and more!
The packaging is really nicely designed, although that much is true of almost all Turtle Beach products. All the major specifications are listed on the box, as well as a stylised image of the headset.
Around the back, we’ve got a more technical breakdown of the features, such as the surround sound modelling, wireless dongle and the detachable microphone.
In the box, you’ll find all the usual documents, setup guides, warranty information and a nice Turtle Beach sticker.
There’s two cables included in the box, one for connecting the headset to mobile via 3.5mm 4-pole, meaning you’ll be able to use the headset for phone calls. The other cable is the USB to MicroUSB charging cable.
The microphone was also tucked into the box and features a gold 3.5mm connector and a small bit of branding on the head.
There’s a small opening on the other side and a tough housing and some filtering to prevent unwanted noise from being picked up.
The boom is flexible and positional, so it should be super easy to find a comfortable speaking position.
The dongle is simple enough, a small USB device that is plug and play ready.
Now onto the good stuff. The headset is typical of Turtle Beach design, with a mixture of matte finish, lightly textured plastics and a little bit of coloured trim. As with most Turtle Beach headsets, even their wireless ones, the headset in surprisingly lightweight, yet feels both flexible and strong at the same time; pretty much how you would want your headset to be!
There’s some branding on top of the durable headband. The headband has a bit of flex to it too, which should help with the overall fit of the headset.
The ear cups are mounted on sturdy adjustable joints, with each ear cup being capable of turning -10 and +90 degrees to allow a comfortable fit over your ears, as well as make them comfortable to wear around your neck between games. All the controls you’ll need are located on the bottom edge of the right ear cup, where you’ll find independent game/chat volume controls, preset control, as well as the charging microUSB and mobile 3.5mm jacks.
There’s a thick and durable padding to each ear cup, with a little Turtle Beach detailing on the rear cloth cover. The padding is a little hard at first, but it will wear in after a few days usage.
Even more padding on the headband, which adds a lot of comfort and does well to distribute the weight of the headset; it also gives the headset good grip, preventing it from sliding around.
The headband extensions have a sturdy set of notches on it and can be pushed/pulled to adjust the length. It had a good range, making it suitable for a wide range of users, including younger gamers.
Each ear cup come mounted on a secondary pivot that allows quite a lot of inward tilt, meaning you should have no issue getting a good clean fit over your ears.
The detachable microphone plugs into the bottom of the left driver and locks firmly in place. If you don’t need it, or you just want the headset as a set of headphones for single player gaming, it’s certainly nice that you can remove this completely.
The Huawei Honor 7 is an astonishingly powerful mid-range handset and legitimate alternative to the highly-acclaimed One Plus 2. This particular device features a 1920×1080 5.2-inch IPS screen with a pixel density of 424 ppi, Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, 3GB RAM, 16GB ROM and HiSilicon Kirin 935 GPU. Unlike the One Plus 2, the Honor 7 contains NFC functionality, a microSD slot allowing up to 128GB of storage and a 20MP 5152×3888 rear camera.
Additionally, the camera’s phase detection autofocus and dual-tone flash works to improve image clarity in low-light conditions. The front camera is relatively impressive for the price-point and adopts an 8MP sensor. This is more than enough to capture high-quality selfie shots or sudden action photographs. In terms of video capabilities, the handset can record up to 1080p at 30fps using HDR. According to the press release, the Non-removable Li-Po 3100 mAh battery provides up to 48 hours of battery life. However, I highly doubt normal usage involving social media communication, video watching and other tasks makes the battery last more than 12 hours.
Perhaps the most glaring concern surrounding the Honor 7 is its software package. By default, the OS is a heavily modified version of Android 5.0 and not 5.1. Furthermore, Hauwei’s previous devices like the Honor 6 haven’t been updated and still running Android 4.4.2.
On a more positive note, the mobile has a fingerprint reader on the back where you usually rest your index finger. This means you can unlock the device extremely quickly as the sensor detects your fingerprint in under a second. Also, the build quality on the Honor 7 feels surprisingly premium for such an affordable mobile and uses a metallic body.
At £249.99, the Honor 7 is very good value-for-money but in a similar price range to the One Plus 2. Although, getting hold of a One Plus 2 is an impressive feat due to a long waiting list. To tempt users into purchasing the Honor 7, there is a promotional discount available between the 27th-31st which brings down the price to £209.99. When using the checkout, enter the code, “H7BRAVE40UK” to apply the discount. While the device has some flaws, there are very few alternatives which offer the specification, 24-month warranty and build quality near £200.
In the coming days, we are hoping to receive a sample to conduct a detailed review.
Artist, Elise Siegwald has created a magnificent steampunk-inspired Nintendo Game Boy which can only be describe as a visual masterpiece. Throughout the Game Boy’s history, I’ve encountered a number of intriguing modifications but nothing comes close to technical wizardry, and unbelievable styling of this creation. As you can see, Elise incorporated rusty copper cogs and fittings to make the custom model look like an antique.
The screen is covered by a striking magnifying glass which resembles a copper mask for deep-sea divers or perhaps an ancient compass. Furthermore, the supporting, worn rope adds a sense of age and history.
The handheld’s rusty, brown colour is sublime and utilizes a rough and ready look. As a result, it almost makes the Game Boy appear like a 50-year-old object cast into the ocean and discovered by archaeologists.
Even the headphone jack has been replaced by naval-type components which help accentuate the steampunk feel.
Here is the project’s very humble beginning showing a Purple Game Boy Colour in fairly awful condition. It’s difficult to imagine how something so dilapidated became a fine piece of unique artwork.
I particularly enjoy this picture which emphasizes the huge amount of parts required and time invested to create the final piece. Its design is beautiful, extremely striking and a marvel of human creativity. Honestly, I have to commend Elise for creating something which defies belief and illustrates how old pieces of technology can be refurbished in new and exciting ways. From my own personal viewpoint, this is the best console modification I’ve ever seen and would love to own one!
Mortal Kombat X fans are probably already aware of the fact that this successful fighting game was scheduled to be ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles at some point. However, those of you who own previous generation consoles are going to have to pass on Mortal Kombat X after all, as Warner Bros. has recently cancelled these versions of the game.
As you might expect, the response was related to the fact that the game would not be able to deliver a satisfactory experience if ported, which kind of makes sense if I’m honest. The level of detail that I’ve seen in Mortal Kombat X was impressive, and this is just a personal opinion but I doubt that older systems would have been able to deliver a similar level of graphical fidelity at decent framerates. In any case, it’s not clear what exactly went wrong at this point, but it is perfectly obvious that developers are having a hard time making games for multiple platforms, especially when two of these platforms are considerably weaker in the performance department when compared to the others.
Were you planning to play Mortal Kombat X on last-gen consoles?
Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.
The research and developments behind various space projects are astronomical in size and financial costs; the planning which is needed to achieve various missions is meticulous in its nature. The obsession with finding life on other plants is very much-needed with the aim of understanding if the human race will be able to exist once the Earth becomes uninhabitable.
Now, NASA has begun a new isolation project which aims to better analyse the effects of being in close proximity with one another. The six people who will be involved in this experiment are an astrobiologist, a physicist, a pilot, an architect, a journalist and a soil scientist. Sounds like the Big Bang theory, wonder if Sheldon will be there? Anyway, this might sound glamorous but there is one caveat, all six people will be concealed in a 36 by 20 foot dome which is located near a barren volcano in Hawaii, they will then need to stay there, together for a year.
Below is an image of the space capsule in question, it looks better than in sounds, sort of, the design certainly makes use of the space available.
There is one crumb of comfort however, NASA has tried this before and everyone seemed to be able to live together without any fights, murders or cannibalism attempts. This is certainly an opportunity to advance research in a way which will benefit science, I am not sure I would want to live with 5 other people in a small space for 1 year.
Thank youbbc for providing us with this information.
Well you learn something new everyday, a French individual has won a payout for being allergic to gadgets, and yes you read right, not gas but gadgets.
Marine Richard, 39, explained to a court that she is allergic to electromagnetic radiation with is emitted from gadgets. As a result, the ruling states that she may claim €800 (£580) per month for three years. After the ruling, Marine stated that it “is a “breakthrough” for people affected by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)
This condition has some validity as WHO, what, yes WHO which stands for the World Health Organization, recognises it as a genuine condition, although as yet the causes are still unclear. As a result, Ms Richard has resorted to living in the mountains of south-west France – in a barn that has no electricity.
The symptoms sound quite severe considering a sufferer is likely to encounter headaches, fatigue, nausea and palpitations. I do feel this is a genuine condition but wonder how you would counteract it, after all, it is pretty impossible to escape these gadgets which include phones, Televisions and even Microwaves which emit electromagnetic waves. I do feel further research is needed to better conclude the health implications of certain devices.
It is a difficult one, if you’re a sufferer and it is recognised then it is not very pleasant, but, is it right to receive £580 pounds a month and call it a disability? Only time will tell.
Thank you bbc for providing us with this information
Guild Wars 2’s base package is now available for free after the studio announced a revised pricing structure. However, to monetize the game’s player base, there will be a significant number of restrictions imposed on free accounts. These include limiting the character slots from 5 to 2, disabling Map chat and even prohibiting access to the forums. MMOs require micro-payments or a subscription to remain successful, but I’m quite wary that the hefty restrictions could deter new players from joining up and upgrading to premium accounts. This huge table below illustrates the differences between the main three account types:
Core Guild Wars 2 Account
Heart of Thorns Account
5 or more*
Heart of Thorns Maps & Content
Central Tyria (Core) Maps & Content
Starter maps only until character reaches level 10
Lion’s Arch unlocked for each character at level 35
Can only send to mutual friends
Can’t send gold or items
Yes (accounts created after August 28, 2015 require SMS or app authentication to send gold and items)
Yes (accounts created after August 28, 2015 require SMS or app authentication to send gold and items)
Guild Bank Access
Yes (accounts created after August 28, 2015 require SMS or app authentication to withdraw)
Yes (accounts created after August 28, 2015 require SMS or app authentication to withdraw)
Except for mutual friends, can only whisper in the same map, one new person every 30 seconds
Unlocked for each character at level 30
Looking For Group
Unlocked for each character at level 30
Team Chat always available
Chat in PvP Lobby unlocked when the account reaches PvP rank 20
Emotes, Map and Say chat unavailable during matches
Unlocked account-wide when one character reaches level 60
Daily Login Bonus
Items unusable by free accounts (such as glider skin) are unavailable
Gems to gold exchange available, gold to gems exchange unavailable.
Can buy and sell items from a selected list.
Forum Posting Access
According to the developer, this new strategy is designed to create a clear and transparent model showing how varying accounts differ and allowing players to see beforehand if the premium accounts are worth the extra. It seems the majority of MMOs end up going free-to-play barring World of Warcraft, and it will be interesting to see how the community reacts. Guild Wars 2 is an outstanding MMO and its latest free model reduces the barrier to entry.
Thank you MMOs.com for providing us with this information.
The human brain, fascinating, exciting and full of possibilities, the notion to create, form an opinion and challenge the environment which we live in, is truly exceptional. We now might be able to find answers as to how powerful the human brain is after a project which is designed to compare a supercomputer with that of a brain.
An Artificial Intelligence project which has been devised by two PhD students from the University of California Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University, will be the first of its kind to compare the human brain with the world’s best supercomputer. The AI Impacts project aims to determine how fast the human brain sends signals in its internal network compared to that of a supercomputer.
The scholars compared the power of our brains with that of IBM’s Sequola supercomputer which is in the top 3 of the most powerful supercomputers. “Sequola has a TEPS (Traversed Edges per Second) benchmark of 2.3 x 1013 TEPS”. The estimates suggest the “AI Impacts are that the human brain should be at least as powerful as Sequoia in the lower limits and for the upper estimates, therefore the human brain could surpass the IBM Sequoia speed by 30 times at 6.4 x 1014 TEPS”.
Which is both a lot to take in but also equally and potentially incredible, evolution has formed an instrument which is quite amazing, and it begs the question, what else will we find as research and tech advances with the aim of exploring us. It is also interesting to note if the wiring of for example a genius brain, think Stephen Hawking, is different to that of an average mind or the best sportsman evolved differently with more advanced genes, or if are we all capable. If we spent enough time learning a skill to be able to adapt to anything? Its compelling none the less.
Thank you aiimpacts for providing us with this information.
Success is a concept which many of us can relate to, building a company from scratch before selling it for a price tag of $2.5 billion, now that is unique. Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, founder of Minecraft creator Mojang has shared his thoughts on Twitter regarding how his life has evolved after selling up to Microsoft.
So, he must be enjoying his life right? Not as much as you might think as it turns out, one Tweet which is below outlines his predicament.
The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.
This sounds to be a person who did not have a plan once he left Mojang but rather self-defeated, long-term successful entrepreneurs always envisage the next venture, what will be next? How do I make it happen? To say that there is no reason to “keep trying” is an individual missing a huge opportunity, he has a big check book in order to constructively invest in many an avenue.
The appearance of wealth and fame isolates individuals to a point, there have been many a report of a celebrity spiralling out of control, but, the human being works at its best when it has routine, something to work towards and to plan your day around. Relaxing on a beach with “famous people” is fun at first, but it does not occupy a mind. Therefore, the more you party, the more you dip into self-loathing and concentrate on your regrets and problems.
This following paragraph may sound as if I am simplifying his next tweet too much, to paraphrase his statement, he mentions that he “met a great girl, but she went with someone else” Well, if that is the case then I guess it was not the right relationship and something did not click. If someone likes you then it should be for you, not someone’s money, not their lifestyle, not how many cars they have, but you. If two people want to know each other purely on financial means, then that is not what true love is, but a polluted bought notion of it.
Oscar Wilde coined a famous phrase, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Markus ‘Notch’ Persson is caught in this paradox; a huge wealth is not all you need but direction, motivation and also who you have around you.
It looks like plenty of people will get the chance to enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens on IMAX screens, as this particular movie is set to take over all of IMAX’s large-format screens in North America and most of the ones abroad. This is certainly not the first time that IMAX has reserved all of its screens for a single film for a month, but it is definitely not a regular occurrence. The last time this has happened was four years ago for the three Hobbit films, but given Star Wars’ incredible popularity, it makes sense for IMAX to reserve its screens for such an iconic film.
This is not exactly good news for rival distributors, who can only sit and watch as Star Wars makes its way on all IMAX screens during the holidays. Movies that are set to come out in November such as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” and “Spectre” will receive plenty of IMAX time until December 18, while films such as “In the Heart of the Sea”, which is scheduled to come out on December 11, will only enjoy one week in IMAX.
Will you go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens during the holidays?
Gogo is a provider of in-flight broadband Internet services and other connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft, and it was founded in 1991 by Jimmy Ray. The company is currently offering in-flight Wi-Fi at speeds of 9.8Mbps for a considerable number of aircraft, but it plans to increase this speed to 70Mbps in the near future. The good news is that the company has recently received its approval from the FAA for this particular project, which means that we will soon be able to enjoy in-flight wireless internet at a completely new speed level.
The FAA has approved Gogo’s final Supplemental Type Certificate. This certificate was the final piece required in order to implement the upgrade, which means that 500 aircraft will now receive brand new antennas by early 2016. These antennas will be installed by 2Ku, and they’ll be compatible with new spot beam satellites that will further increase in-flight Wi-Fi speeds from 70Mbps to 100Mbps. These speeds might not be very impressive for the regular internet user, but they are definitely preferable over the alternative of no in-flight internet whatsoever. The way I see it, things are moving in the right direction, and it won’t be long now before we’ll be able to enjoy proper internet speeds while flying.
Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.
Reports suggest that, by the end of 2015, YouTube will be putting premium videos behind a paywall. Speculation regarding YouTube subscription services has been buzzing around since March, with talk that the video streaming site was aiming to position itself as a rival to Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, and Hulu.
Since its inception 10 year ago, YouTube has been a free service supported by advertising revenue, but the decade-old site is about to become unrecognisable, if the rumours are true. It seems YouTube want to move away from being an all-encompassing video-on-demand service, instead mutating into something akin to the online equivalent of a cable or satellite provider, offering channel packages for a monthly subscription fee.
The subscription service is said to be launching in conjunction with Music Key, YouTube’s music subscription service. Music Key has been in beta since November, and is set for its full roll-out by the end of this year. The proposed VOD subscription appears to be the video version of Music Key.
Reaction to the news has been mixed, with music industry insiders – already sceptical over Music Key – saying “this feels very much [like] too little too late.”
YouTube has declined to comment on the news.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.