Chrome OS Now Supports Running Linux in a Window

If you wanted to show off that Chrome OS-powered device of yours, now you can; you can run Linux in window. How special!

Google evangelist François Beaufort posted on Google+ that with the help of the Crouton Chrome extension, Chrome OS users can run Linux in a window. Before you do any of this, you’ll need to get your Chromebook in Developer Mode, and then grab the Extension from the Chrome Store.

Source: GigaOM.

Samsung Launches Snapdragon 810 Powered Galaxy Note 4

Samsung has just launched a new Galaxy Note 4 variant, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor, with most of the other internal components remaining unchanged.

The previous Note 4 is powered by the Snapdragon 805 processor, but the new Snapdragon 810 is a 64-bit processor that leverage’s ARM’s Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 CPU cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. The CPU cores are joined by an Adreno 430 GPU. The Snapdragon 810 is also the first processor that Qualcomm has made on its still new 20nm process.

The new Snapdragon 810 provides support for Category 9 LTE through an updated integrated modem, with the latest version of LTE Advanced supporting 3x20MHz carrier aggregation, something that allow for a huge 450Mbps downstream bandwidth. This is a big jump on the 2x20MHz Category 6 LTE that the Snapdragon 805-powered Galaxy Note 4 featured, supporting up to 300Mbps.

The updated Galaxy Note 4 can be found in South Korea, but those Cat.9 LTE-A deployments are very limited right now, so don’t expect to see the new Galaxy Note 4 overseas just yet.

Source: TechSpot.

Xiaomi Becomes the World’s Most Valuable Technology Startup

Who is the world’s most valuable tech startup? That would be the Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi.

The company has just jumped over LG and Lenovo to becom the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, but it has just recently raised $1.1 billion from its latest funding round. This had the company valued at a huge $45 billion, impressive considering Xiaomi is only four years old. Some of the new investors included All-Stars Investment, DST, GIC, Hopu Fund, and Yunfeng Capital.

Xiaomi is often referred to as the “Apple of China” but becoming the world’s most valuable technology startup is only going to help that. This means that Xiaomi has leapfrogged Uber, which just raised $1.2 billion on a total valuation of $41 billion, and many other tech startups. Xiaomi co-founder and president, Bin Lin, said in a post on Facebook that the company will unveil its new flagship handset next month. He also added “We will strive to continue bringing innovation to everyone, with a goal of producing high-quality, high-performance devices with great user experience.”

Source: TechSpot.

Gmail Begins Appearing Back in China

We only reported yesterday that Gmail had disappeared in China, but it looks like Chinese Gmail users are getting access to their accounts once again, after a huge four-day outage.

Google’s own Transparency Report shows that there is a slight jump in traffic, but it is nowhere near what it was on, and before Christmas Day. The Chinese government has been blaming Google, while Google has been blaming the Chinese government – in a tit-for-tat fight over why Google’s infamous e-mail service went down in the country.

Source: TechSpot.

Samsung Adds Milk VR to the App Line Up for the Gear VR Headset

Samsung hasn’t got much on the Gear VR headset right now, which is why the company has just added its Milk VR service to the Oculus-powered VR head-mounted display.

Milk VR will be delivering a regular amount of 360-degree immersive content to Samsung’s wearable headset, content that will span many different genres – including music, sports, action and lifestyle. Samsung will continue to update the offerings in Milk VR, instead of having consumers download individual experiences separately.

All of the content within the Milk VR app can be downloaded, or it can be adaptively streamed, whichever you choose. Samsung’s goal with Milk VR is to have the perfect spot for your new and exciting content, providing yet another reason to purchase the Oculus VR-powered device for your Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Samsung has launched the Milk VR application as a “technical preview,” which is fine since the Gear VR is still considered a “innovator edition”. If anyone has a Gear VR, let us know what you think of the new Milk VR application!

Source: Android Central.

This Is What Halo 9 Will Look Like, Probably

The Halo 5: Guardians beta has been enjoyed by many people on the Xbox One, but as Microsoft gets closer to the release of the game, pre-order bonuses and more are being detailed. One thing we’re seeing, is the poster above, which does look pretty darn nice, if I must say so myself while I flick the cape on my #pcmasterrace costume.

Microsoft has now released a bunch of massive screenshots of Halo 5: Guardians, teased at 2560×1440, a resolution I’m sure even the next Xbox won’t be capable of at more than 30FPS. DualSHOCKERS reports that this is how “Halo 5: Remastered could look on Xbox Two” but I think it would be more like, this is Halo 8 on the Xbox Three or Xbox Four, judging from the 720p mess we have at the moment. No better than where the Xbox was 5-6 years ago.

We’ve got a bunch of screenshots for you to check out, all of which are below.

Source: DualSHOCKERS.

The FBI Confirms it is Investigating Lizard Squad After Hacking PSN, Xbox Live

Well, Lizard Squad is in some deep… well… you know what I was going to say. The FBI has confirmed that it is now investigating the hacking group, after they took both Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live services down over the holidays. An FBI spokesperson told GamesBeat “The FBI is investigating the matter. Given the pending nature of the case, we cannot comment further.”

Most would consider the FBI investigating them quite, well, serious, right? Not Lizard Squad, who took to Twitter with this tweet:

Source: VentureBeat.

MGS: Ground Zeroes Mod For The PC Lets You Play As Hideo Kojima

Some of you might have already played Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes when it launched on the PC recently, but some gamers have modded the game, allowing you to play as the Game Director himself, Hideo Kojima.

You can swap the models in the game, so you can effectively play as anyone in the game, which is an extremely cool thing to do. #pcmasterrace.

Source: Kotaku.

LG Preparing 21:9 Ultra Wide Monitors With AMD FreeSync Technology

It looks like LG could be onto a big winner heading into the New Year, with the company rumoured to be working on a duo of new ultra-wide monitors with 21:9 aspect ratios. Better yet, they will both support AMD’s answer to NVIDIA’s G-SYNC technology, FreeSync.

We should expect a 29-inch and 34-inch model, with both panels being based on the quality IPS technology while the 29-inch monitor has a resolution of 2560×1080, but the 34-inch should be the key to gamers with a resolution of 3440×1440. Both panels should feature 10-bit per channel colour, but it will be the FreeSync technology that has people talking.

Source: WCCFTech.

Xiaomi Working On Apple MacBook Air Clone, Priced At Under $500

It looks like Apple could have competition against its MacBook Air, with Xiaomi working on a new device that could fool pretty much anyone into thinking it was indeed an Apple MacBook Air – just look at that photo above.

This is Xiaomi’s upcoming 15-inch notebook that features an orange key in the top right hand corner, a changed touch pad and other than that, it looks pretty identical to an Apple MacBook Air. Inside, we have Intel’s Core i7-4500U processor from its Haswell range of chips, 16GB of RAM and it will feature a variation of Linux that was developed by Xiaomi specifically for this device.

Xiaomi will brand it as an Mi device, and price it at a very, very affordable $500 or so. We don’t know when this is coming, but when it does you can be sure we’ll be all over it.

Source: TechSpot.

The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta Starts Today On Xbox One

Microsoft has announced that it has launched the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta today, which was meant to launch a few days ago. Thanks to it launching late, the company will now let it run through to January 18, 2015.

The company has teased some of the bonus goods that come with the pre-order of any of the Halo 5 editions starting today, with the $60 standard version including an exclusive poster. The $100 version of Halo 5 arrives as a Limited Edition, including the poster and “exclusive items” in a steel book case as well as some bonus digital content for the game.

Source: Joystiq.

You Can Rob A Store in GTA V With Nothing But A… SNOWBALL

Grand Theft Auto V has some insane new content, with the latest update providing snowballs to play with. This has pushed gamers to using snowballs to rob a store in the game, which looks hilarious on Kotaku’s Highlight Reel for the year that is now finishing. Check out the video below.

Source: Kotaku.

Temporary $50 Price Cut on the Xbox One Ends on January 3, 2015

Microsoft has been enjoying a great spike in sales of the Xbox One over the holidays, which is mostly associated with the temporary $50 price cut for the 2014 holiday season. This price cut ends on January 3, 2015 so if you were looking at getting an Xbox One and were humming and harring over it, go get one now.

The Xbox One has been enjoying the $50 price cut for nearly two months now, which started on November 2. Right now, there are various retailers offering some great bundles on the Xbox One, so if you were wanting to get one, now would be the best time. Take a look at these specials:

  • Amazon: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free $50 gift card
  • Best Buy: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free $50 gift card
  • GameStop: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free $50 gift card
  • Target: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free $50 gift card
  • Toys R Us: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free Xbox One controller.
  • Newegg: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and a $20 Newegg gift card
  • Meijer: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free Xbox One game of your choice

Source: Polygon.

Man Buys PS4 From Walmart, Gets Two Bags of Rocks Instead

A man walked into the Stapleton, Colorado based Walmart store, purchasing a PlayStation 4 console, but when he opened the box, there were two bags of rocks waiting for him. No PS4, no controller, no fun… just two big bags of small rocks.

Igor Baksht purchased the PS4 for his 13-year-old niece as a present, but when the Walmart employee returned from the locked case where the PlayStation 4 console was located, the employee told Baksht that the Grand Theft Auto V bundle had been opened, and returned to the store. Instead of opening it up right there and then, Baksht trusted the store and walked out of Walmart without opening it. But when he did, he said “Just to make sure everything was inside, that all the contents were inside, all the games were inside,” said Baksht. “When I opened it, I said, ‘Oh my God.’”

Baksht added that when the employee returned from the locked case with the PS4 bundle, Baksht said the staff member commented on how heavy the box was. He was unable to return the PS4, or bag of rocks, until the next day as the store he purchased it from was closed for the night. Baksht thought he would travel to a 24-hour Walmart, and attempted to return it. They wouldn’t allow it, so he waited until the morning to return his bag of rocks to the Walmart where he purchased it.

He went to the store, requesting a refund but was told that there was nothing they could do. He called the store multiple times, Walmart’s corporate offices, and then finally on Christmas Eve, the Store Manager called Baksht telling him to come in and get his money back.

When you expect a potato box inside of the PS4 packaging, two bags of rocks is close, isn’t it?

Source: Kotaku.

Microsoft Has Now Sold Over 10 Million Xbox One Consoles

Microsoft has hit the Xbox One jackpot, with the Redmond-based software giant selling over 10 million Xbox One consoles since it launched late last year.

The holiday season has treated Microsoft and the Xbox One quite well, with the temporary $50 price cut in the US help nudge the sales of the Xbox One over the 10 million mark. Microsoft reached the milestone on the week ending December 13, 2014 where a huge 546,189 units were sold. Congratulations, Microsoft!

Source: VGChartz.

The Witness is a Truly Unique Game for the PS4

During the PlayStation Experience event last month, Sony was showing off some truly incredible games, with one of those being the not-so-much talked about ‘The Witness.’

The Witness is a PS4 exclusive puzzle game, which is designed to be a very non-linear game where people don’t get bored, but it’s also super accessible, and incredibly hard at the same time. The video below will do a good job at showing you what the game will be like, which I have to admit, is one of the most unique, totally different games I’ve ever seen, ever.

Source: Kotaku.

PlayStation Network Was Down For Close to 72 Hours… It’s OK Now, Though

Sony has issued an update over its is-it-up-or-down PlayStation Network gaming service, which is now “back online” according to the PlayStation blog. The blog states “PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days.”

It’s funny though, because Sony states that “The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible.”

Well Sony… my PC has been fine, sheesh even uPlay is fine… and that’s an Ubisoft product. The Steam Holiday Sales have been thrashing gamers wallets across the world, as well as Valve’s servers without a single hiccup. So when you say “the video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic” you mean your services were hacked and played with, as well as Microsoft’s. Don’t put us in your potato basket, please.

Source: PlayStation Blog.

The Nexus 6 is Now Back in Stock, in All Colour and Storage Options

Motorola has been making as many Nexus 6 smartphones as it can, but it has not been able to keep up with rampant consumer demand. The Nexus 6 has been quite hard to find in most places across the globe, but now it is back in stock in all shapes, colours and sizes in the US right now.

The 32GB and 64GB versions of the Nexus 6 are available in Cloud White and Midnight Blue for $649.99, while the 64GB version sells for $699.99, just $50 more. The stock should sell out quite quickly, as people have been waiting for them for quite a while now, and people are cashed up over the holidays, so prepare to be disappointed.

Source: VR-Zone.

HTC Aims for Budget Smartphone Market Heading Into 2015

Struggling Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC is reportedly aiming for the budget smartphone market next year, after failing to offer decent budget offerings in 2014. The company has lost out to Motorola and Xiaomi in that respect, with the Moto G and Redmi 1S, respectively.

The company will reportedly be aiming at the budget smartphone market in 2015, with multiple budget handsets on offer, according to President of HTC North Asia Jack Tong. HTC is set to focus on the budget smartphone market starting early next year, as well as pushing devices online. We will see how HTC goes in 2015, to see if this helps the company pull out of its current lull.

Source: VR-Zone.

Steam Holiday Sales Include Shadow of Mordor, Many More

The Steam Holiday Sales include some great bargains today, where you can pick up Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for £17.99, which has dropped from its original price of £29.99, representing a saving of 40%!

Thief is another big game on special today, with a whopping 75% off its original £19.99 price, dropping it down to the cheap-as-chips price of just £4.99. Anno 2070 is also 75% off, with its price also dropping from £19.99 to £4.99.

Source: Steam.

Facebook Messenger, Snapchat & YouTube are the Top iOS Apps of 2014

Apple has released multiple lists of the best performing apps on the App Store for 2014, with the list of the 10 most popular free iPhone apps below:

1. Facebook Messenger
2. Snapchat
3. YouTube
4. Facebook
5. Instagram
6. Pandora Radio
7. Google Maps
8. Flipagram
9. Spotify Music
10. 2048

Moving onto the best paid iPhone apps of 2014, things change around considerably.

1. Heads Up!
2. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
3. Afterlight
4. Plague Inc.
5. Sleep Cycle alarm clock
6. Facetune
7. Cut the Rope 2
8. Bloons TD 5
9. A Dark Room
10. 7 Minute Workout Challenge

Source: MacRumors.

Amazon Prime Secures 10 Million New Customers Over the Holidays

With an annual price of $99, Amazon Prime is still doing quite well, with the US retail giant announcing that over 10 million new customers used the premium subscription-based program over the holidays. Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping was probably one of the key driving points here, but we also have other recent additions like Prime Music, Prime Pantry, and Prime Photos doing some of the legwork.

Amazon has said that same-day delivery has seen a gigantic spike this year, with customers ordering “10 times as many items” with same-day delivery compared to last year. Moving into 2015, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said “We are working hard to make Prime even better and expanding the recently launched Prime Now to additional cities in 2015.”

The company has seen mobile devices used much more, with 60% of orders coming from a smartphone or tablet during the holidays, with mobile purchases peaking on Cyber Monday. Amazon customers ordered 18 toys per second using mobile devices on Cyber Monday, so we can see that Amazon use on mobiles is growing, rapidly.

Source: The Verge.

This is the First Samsung Galaxy S6 Prototype… in Fluorescent Yellow

The first prototype of the purported Galaxy S6 has been spotted, snapped by an iPhone 5C by the looks of the reflection in the shot above. The first thing you’ll notice, is the super in-your-face fluorescent yellow colour, which we hope isn’t standard.

Judging from the leaked shots and specs, we should expect a 5.5-inch display, Android 4.4 KitKat on board and Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. The first thing that should jump out at you is the mention of Android 4.4 and not Android 5.0, but this could be an early production model that doesn’t have Lollipop just yet, or completely fake.

The 5.5-inch display has a resolution of 1920×1080, while the rear-facing camera is a huge 20MP. We should expect costs of the new Galaxy S6 to be around $700-$800 as usual.

Source: Chiphell.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Protective Shell Features 10,000mAh Battery

While the Galaxy Note 4 may already have an impressive battery life, there’s always the need for more… and sometimes, much more. This is where the new Zerolemon branded protective shell for Samsung’s impressive Note 4 comes in handy, with a massive 10,000mAh battery inside.

The protective shell adds quite a bit of heft and thickness to the Note 4, but considering how much more batteyr life you’re going to get out of it, for most people this is going to be worth it. Those who travel a lot, or might be driving for multiple days and don’t want to charge their Note 4 along the way – this could be the perfect late Christmas present for yourself.

The Zerolemon battery protective shell features NFC technology, and costs just $59.99 with an 180-day warranty.

Source: Chiphell.

Amazon Expected to Release New Fire Phone in 2016

Even thought the first Fire Phone was pretty much a failure, Amazon is continuing on with its smartphone plans, with rumours that the company is setting up plans to launch the next generation Fire Phone.

One of the best parts of Amazon’s handset was the 3D display, but even that didn’t have enough ‘wow’ to pull in consumers from the likes of Samsung and Apple. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is still very enthusiastic about the future of Fire Phone, where during a recent interview Bezos said that the company is continuing to work on new Fire Phone models.

We should expect to hear much more about the second generation Fire Phone as we slide into 2015.

Source: Chiphell.

Our First Look At Shadowrun Returns is Here

Harebrained Studios has provided the first look at its “new setting” for Shadowrun Returns, which teases that the upcoming game will take place in Hong Kong. The developer wrote in an update to the Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Returns “Here’s a piece of look & feel concept art for our new setting. We’ll show how it translates into Shadowrun’s isometric gameplay view when our Kickstarter launches in January!”

We reported earlier this month that Shadowrun Returns was hitting Kickstarter, with the developer offering up a survey to Kickstarter backers to see which location they’d like to see explored in the game. Berlin was voted number one, which was used in Shadowrun: Dragonfall, but Hong Kong came in second and is now looking like the setting for Shadowrun Returns.

Source: Polygon.

The Lizard Squad Takes Down Xbox Live in the UK

It looks like The Lizard Squad would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas, as the hacking group has taken down Xbox Live in the UK, and in many other parts of the world.

The group said they wanted to keep their promise of giving out “presents” to gamers, in the form of taking down Xbox Live. Xbox Live has reportedly been down for many throughout the world, with the official Xbox Live status page stating that it’s hard for people to sign into Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, but not the Xbox One.

Sony’s PSN has reportedly also been hit by The Lizard Squad… so the “giving” continues, I guess. #pcmasterrace unaffecte.d

Source: Attack of the Fanboy.