The monthly Steam Hardware Survey is fascinating and provides a wealth of data regarding popular system configurations. Valve’s latest figures show the increased adoption of Windows 10 64 bit to 26.63 percent. This marks a fairly notable change of 2.24 percent from the last survey. Looking at the data in more detail, we can see the majority of the new adoptions are from Windows 7 users. Although, there is a very slight change from Windows Vista, 8, and 8.1.
Linux figures remain virtually unchanged despite Valve’s attempt to push SteamOS. Perhaps, Windows 10 is an enticing prospect for PC gamers due to the possibilities of DirectX 12. Previously, this low-level API was only used on theoretical benchmarks, but games like Ashes of the Singularity and the upcoming Deus Ex title will use DirectX 12. Only time will tell, how much this impacts on performance though.
On another note, the majority of PC gamers are technologically minded and aware of Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade programme. While there are some concerns regarding privacy, it seems this isn’t enough to deter people from using Microsoft’s latest operating system. It’s amazing to see how quickly Windows 10 has been adopted compared to Windows Vista, 8 and 8.1. Although, I do think many users love Windows 7 and it will take a lot of convincing to make them switch.
Heroes of Might and Magic 7 is still in its alpha phase, but it already looks pretty sweet and is set for a 2015 release time.
The official blog has started off the month by releasing some new screenshots of the environment and areas in works. As a long time fan of the series, I like what I see.
Official disclaimer to the screenshots:
Please take note that in those screenshots: – We didn’t used default camera angle & high to allow a better overview of environments – Armies were set randomly and this is an example of big battlegrounds but we have of course a lot of smaller ones (and mediums, and tiny and giant etc.) – Creatures/Heroes/Items scales are not final at all – There are glitches and work in progress assets – Visual quality is not final too
For those who might not know, Heroes of Might and Magic is a traditional turn-based strategy game who’s fantasy element and fundamental game basics have fascinated gamers for several decades.
Full HD versions of the screenshots can be found on the official blog post in case the above should be a tad to small for you.
Thanks to Ubisoft for providing us with this information
A small but important note about Windows 10 that many missed, is that while it will be free to consumers, it certainly won’t be free for businesses.
Last week Microsoft announced to much fanfare that Windows 10 will be free for anyone running Windows 7 and up, but at the time didn’t really make it clear whether there would be any exceptions to that. Well now, Microsoft’s General Manager of security, Jim Alkove clarified the situation for businesses, by making it clear that Windows 10 will certainly not be free to enterprise customers.
“Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not included in the terms of free Windows 10 Upgrade offer we announced last week, given active Software Assurance customers will continue to have rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer – while also benefitting from the full flexibility to deploy Windows 10 using their existing management infrastructure.”
That “full flexibility” thing is important to, because consumer users of Windows 10 will effectively be forced to keep their machine up-to-date if they choose to get it for free, something enterprise customers would most certainly be against, as the process of rolling out updates can cause issues on complex corporate networks if not done carefully.
The world as we know it isn’t the safest place to be all the time and surveillance becomes a tool to combat this. With NAS and NVR devices this becomes easy accessible for everyone, but we also want a great user interface that is quick, intuitive and generally easy to use. For this, Synology has just released the beta version of their Surveillance Station 7 with a completely overhauled and rebuilt interface as well as a load of new features.
“With Surveillance Station 7.0, we aimed to create the most flexible, yet easy to use version of Surveillance Station ever,” said Alex Wang, CEO of Synology Inc. “Users can enjoy a familiar desktop experience with the redesigned interface, while also taking advantage of more camera features and built-in support for physical access controllers. These features significantly boost versatility and installation options.”
The new user interface will make multi-tasking and organization a lot easier with a familiar and desktop-like atmosphere that comes with the new Alerts panel for live view analytics that lets users easily review, playback. or save suspicious events. The new event linking allows you to set up easy automation and action rules for either scheduled times or when specified events occur.
With integration for specialized camera features such as object tracking, digital output, and two-way audio, the Surveillance Station allows you to deploy a flexible system perfectly tailored to your individual environment. It also includes software-powered de-warping for wall and ceiling mounted fisheye cameras.
A full list of what’s new can be seen below and more information, download and sign up for the Beta program can be found at the official page. As thanks for the feedback, Synology will hand out a Camera License Pack (including 4 licenses) to three different users who provide the most valuable assistance and feedback during the Beta Program.
Improved user interface
– Contemporary features promote ease-of-use and multi-tasking.
– Enhanced the interaction between applications to simplify tasks (e.g., drag and drop recordings between applications).
– Implemented global search for better application navigation.
– Certain applications can be opened in a new window for easier viewing.
Featured application: Action Rule
– Customize events and actions to automate surveillance tasks and notifications.
– Added external device support for more flexibility in surveillance deployments.
Added support for Axis Door Controller A1001
– Use both controller access data and video feeds to make access control more reliable.
– Manage and operate the access control system as well as watch Live View video feeds from one central interface.
– Refined video analytics for improved performance.
– Added an alerts panel to Live View for real-time alerts playback and download.
– Smart Search is now an independent application.
– Video snapshots are now saved to the NAS for access anywhere, anytime.
– Added two snapshot-editing features: privacy mask and blur.
– Recording servers can now be managed at the application level.
– Servers in recording server mode can now run CMS to manage applications locally.
– Add-ons for all paired recording servers can now be manually updated from the host server.
Enhanced camera support
– Added two-way audio support for Axis cameras to play audio from the camera microphone or from pre-recorded audio patterns.
– Added digital output support for Axis and Vivotek cameras to execute external device actions.
– Added by-channel support for digital inputs.
– Added auto-pan and auto object tracking support for PTZ cameras made by certain camera brands.
– Added speed control support for certain PTZ cameras, enabling users to operate cameras at their preferred speed.
– Implemented fisheye dewarping via Surveillance Station for wall-mounted and floor-mounted fisheye cameras.
– Greatly improved the performance of fisheye dewarping via Surveillance Station.
– Added audio and tampering detection support for certain cameras.
– Brand-new design allows for better application management of the following add-ons: Device Pack, CMS, Joystick, VisualStation, and Axis Door Controller.
– Add-ons can now be hidden.
– Added notification support for external devices, enabling communication between Surveillance Station and external device
Thanks to Synology for providing us with this information
Microsoft has withdrawn an update to Windows 7 that caused some major issues for those who installed it. Update KB3004394 completely broke the mechanism which allows the installation of software with digital signatures – even Windows updates.
Essentially, those who installed this update ended up with a computer completely unable to install a great number of software applications. Ars Technica says that the update intended to change the way the OS updates its collection of root certificates, for which Windows uses to authenticate TLS and SSL connections. The update intended to increase the frequency in which the OS checks for those updates.
Well that didn’t go quite according to plan. A great number of users reported problems following the update, which led to Microsoft pulling it. The company has since issued a further update to solve the problems this one delivered.
Only those using Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 were affected and the update is still available for Windows 8, 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and 2012 R2 users who were unaffected.
Thanks to Gamersky, we have just become aware of a Japanese-only release of the “DekaVita 7″, which is a 7″ screen alternative to the current 5” PS Vita offering. But wait, there’s more! Alongside the increased screen size, this device supports 5 hours on continuous play and has the capability to let you source HDMI out to your television or monitor. The DekaVita can also be connected to your PS3 via a USB controller, allowing you to use it as an external screen and/or controller.
Unfortunately some of the information has been lost in translation for this product, so it’s not exactly clear if this is a properly endorsed Sony product, or more-so something of an aftermarket accessory – either way it looks like something worth purchasing for Vita fan-boys or people looking for a cheaper console alternative.
Coming in at 19,800 yen ($170 US) excluding tax and set for launch in Spring 2015, the Deka Vita 7 will contain the following specifications:
Screen size: 7-Inch
Display Size: 142.2 mm (H) x 85.9 mm (V)
Display Res: 1024 x 600
Pixel Pitch: 0.15 mm
FOV: 175 degrees up and down
RRP: 23,000 yen ($197 US) excluding tax
Unfortunately, there has been no information as to release date or cost in the western world, but we will endeavor to report on it if it comes to light here at eTeknix.
If you’re fluent in Mandarin or Japanese, we also encourage you to send a message in to us on Facebook if there is any way you can help us with some possible article translation on this product. For now we will leave you with some more manufacturer images of this product.
When you think of Gigabyte, you likely think of their graphics cards or motherboards, but they’ve also been creating some very impressive, award winning peripherals over the years; a trend they look to continue with their new Force H gaming headsets.
The Force H headsets have been designed with the high-end consumer in mind, as Gigabyte aim to offer premium quality for music lovers and audio-savvy gamers alike. The H series offers up five new headsets, each packed with a unique design, high quality components, and a promise of high-end performance.
Each Force H headset has been designed with a different audio technology, making each one uniquely suitable to different consumer requirements. The H7 and H5 are the flagship models in the range, offering true 5.1 and virtual 7.1 respectively. The H3 and H3X feature a pair of powerful 50mm neodymium drivers with inclined chambers that are said to offer ” crisp in-game details with explosive bass and incredible positional audio to hardcore gamers”. Finally we have the H1, which comes with wireless Bluetooth technology, making it ideal for wireless desktop usage as well as mobile gaming.
All of the headsets are really nicely designed and feature a retractable uni-directional microphone. The H7 and H5 feature in-line controllers and the H1 has on-board controls. The H3X will be the first to hit the market this October, the H7 and H5 will follow shortly afterwards and the H1 will ship in October. No details on price just yet, but we expect Gigabyte to reveal this information shortly.
Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this information.
Windows 8 hasn’t had it easy since it launched and is far from as bad an OS as Vista. It can actually have many benefits, but in the end it’s a matter of choice and liking which operating system you pick.
Now, for the first time, Windows 8 has surpassed Windows XP in users. This might partly be due to Microsoft halting the support, but also with the improvements made in the 8.1 update. In August Windows 8 accounted for 7.35% and Windows 8.1 for 8.2% of the market, making a total of 15.55% for Windows 8. Windows XP has dropped down to a new low point of 14.31% market share according to the latest figures and it most likely won’t be long before it goes below the 10% mark.
It’s also noteworthy that MacOS X takes up a good spot in the lists by now ending up on a 4th place when counting Win 8 and 8.1 as one. It will be interesting to see if Windows 9 can shake up the statistics once released and and again prove the Microsoft’s every second operating system is good’ rule.
Thank you cnbeta for providing us with this information.
Over the last few weeks we have been hearing some interesting information come to light regarding Intel’s 5th Generation chipset and its Haswell Refresh processors and with a launch date of 11th May only a matter of weeks away now, we are starting to see snippets of information come through with regards to the motherboards that are going to power the 5th Generation processors.
MSI have been throwing out some teasers of what is to come in their latest motherboard lineup and whilst some boards were on display at this year’s CeBIT in Germany, they were only prototype items. This means that whilst they give us an insight into what is on offer when the boards finally go on sale, what is seen is only to be taken with a pinch of salt and things are likely to change between then and the final release.
So what do we know about the new line of motherboards and what features will we see across the product stack? Like previous generation boards we will see the latest release of many features including Military Class IV components, V-Check Points 2, OC Engine, Audio Boost 2 and new to this line of boards we will also see an M.2 interface for the latest SSDs as standard and a Delid Die Guard for the XPower AC as seen last week.
To break up what each board will bring to the market, have a look at the next couple of pages where I’ll touch on what each board has to offer as we go up through the stack. At the moment there is no work on pricing for any of these boards, although we will be certain to keep you all updated as information comes to light.
Amazon has officially begun accepting pre-orders for their next-generation Kindle Fire tablets in Canada and the UK. The tablets saw a limited launch last month, but now is primed to take on and capture more markets, starting with these two (for now).
The new Kindle Fire HD starter is a 7″ screen sized tablet having a resolution of 1280×800 pixels (the 8.9″ model comes with a 1920×1080 pixels resolution to its display), a Dual-Core 1.5 GHz CPU, Dual Stereo with Dolby Audio enhancement and comes with a storage of either 8 or 16 GB (or between 16 or 32 GB for the 8.9″ model). What the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ has compared to the 7″ model is a front-facing HD camera and a dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi.
The HDX models have basically the same specs as the HD 8.9″ model, but with a Quad-Core 2.2 GHz CPU, and added an option for 64 GB storage. However, the HDX 8.9″ is the only Kindle Fire to have a 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, great for capturing those important moments in your life.
While the Kindle Fire HD has been priced at £119 (UK) and $149 (Canada), the HDX version of the same 7-inch Kindle is priced at £199 (UK) and $254 (Canada). Meanwhile, you can pre-order the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX for £229 (UK) and $284 (Canada).
Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
The iPhone 5s and iOS7 has not been out for long but users are already getting a bit disgruntled with its stability when using certain apps. Over on the Apple Forums, a number of people are reporting that their phones are showing a blue screen followed by the Apple logo indicating that the phone has crashed and is rebooting.
One user commented on the forums saying “If I open a document in Numbers, then press the power button, the phone seems to power itself off almost instantly instead of just going to sleep” This is not the only app to be affected however, with more and more user reporting the same problems, it appears that Numbers, Pages, Keynotes, Facetime, Safari, Camera plus more are affected.
Another 5s user followed the complaints on the Apple forums saying: “I am having the same problem myself when using the pages app to open my saved resume and then trying to email it to someone. If I do that then go to open the notes app that I have a typed message I want to copy and paste in the same email, as soon as I paste it in the email the screen goes blue and restarts.”
One user has even posted a video on YouTube of the blue screen situation as they work in the Numbers app as seen below.
iOS7 and its update that was released only days after the official launch has not really done Apple a many favours with their users love of Apple products. With issues related to poor battery live, iMessages not sending, security glitches and now this, it’s no wonder that people are slowly starting to look at alternative smartphone options.
Have you got a 5s with these problems or have you been experiencing any other difficulties since upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.
Thecus over the year have racked up a number of firsts in the network storage sector including the introduction of the worlds first five bay NAS, first NAS with 10GBase-T support, the first NAS with media display output via HDMI and more. Its safe to say that when it comes to thinking up fresh ideas for what the customer wants, they are a step ahead all the time.
Fresh out of the Thecus development room we have yet another world first, a 7-bay tower NAS that dubbed to be Thecus’ most affordable, high value, intelligent offering going. One question comes to mind is that if this is an affordable unit and sits in a fiercely competitive are where six and eight bay units compete constantly, how have Thecus jazzed this unit up to make it more desirable? First things first though, we will point out that whilst this is bay-for-bay a competitively priced unit, this is not to say that the specification has taken a hit at all – in fact we find all the major features that we would find on any other Thecus NAS including dual-LAN, 2GB of RAM, LCD display on the front, HDMI output, USB 3.0 and the intuitive user interface on the rear.
We know Thecus have got all the ingredients for a quality system, so can it stand up to our high expectations that we inherently have from their products?
Bundled in with the NAS we find a standard Thecus array of CD’s, warranty card, installation guide, drive tray screws and cables for getting the NAS up and running.