Lian Li Enters the Peripheral Market With a Giveaway


It isn’t often that we as the press get taken by surprise, but today is such a day as Lian Li revealed their entry into the peripheral market with their first ever mouse and keyboard. Usually, we already expected a launch, got hints, teasers, and heads-up notifications, but Lian Li chose to take us all with a surprise this time. To top it all off, Lian Li launched a giveaway for this at the same time.

Very little is known about the new Lian Li peripherals yet and there aren’t any official product pages online yet, but we do have eyes to spot some things based on the limited information. The new line of Mice and Keyboards is called the TerminAL series and comes in a total of 6 colour options: Black, Silver, Gold, Blue, Green, and Red.

The keyboard is a brushed aluminium keyboard with a flat design, but that’s about the information that we get now. There is no mention of switch types, whether it’s mechanical or membrane, and whether it has some extra and unique features.

The TerminAL mouse features two thumb buttons beside the normal left and right mouse button and a scroll wheel. Anything else is up to anyone’s guess right now.

 

We shouldn’t forget about the promotion either, the one where you can be the first one to own one of these new sets in the colour of your choice. The giveaway can be found via Facebook or Lian Li’s blog site. All you have to do to participate is to cast a vote on which colour option you like best.

“We will be giving away three of each color for a total of eighteen combos. Cast your vote anytime from today, March 1st to Friday, March 25th for a chance to win your preferred color! Winners for each color – one per color, six total winners – will be announced every seven days until the end of the event.”

Microsoft Offer Tools to Help You Upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft is both parts eager and keen in its attempts to upgrade everyone from the older systems to the latest, Windows 10. From offering free upgrades for windows 7 and 8 users, to automatically downloading the materials needed to install Windows 10 without warning the user, it’s clear that staying on the older systems may not be a choice for many.

In the new year, they intend to make that step a little easier for users. Currently, Windows 10 as an “Optional Update” for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users. This means that if you wanted to, you could install it. In a blog on their site, Microsoft recently announced that early next year this will be changed and Windows 10 will become a “Recommended Update”, meaning the update process will automatically start. They have clarified that when this happens you will be given the prompt asking if you wish to continue or not, with the option to revert back within 31 days if you are not happy with windows 10.

Alongside this, the tool used to create DVD ISO’s and USB installers is being updated to create a single image that will cover everything, such as the 32 and 64-bit versions of both Home and Pro copies of Window 10. All within one installation media, this means that you can install on any PC, regardless of the wanted version without having to create separate installation media.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10? Did you revert back? Give us your story in the comments below.

Not Everyone Will Get Windows 10 on the 29th of July

If you were eagerly waiting to get your hands on Windows 10 on the 29th of July, you might be a bit disappointed. Microsoft just ruled out some updates on the upcoming Windows distribution timings, so bear with us on this.

The company said that Windows Insider program members will be the first to get Windows 10 when it launches, with other users who have reserved their copies being notified by email. Once you get notified, you will be able to get on downloading the Windows build. However, the company will be rolling it out in waves, which will increase in size gradually. This means there won’t be a lot of users who reserved Windows 10 getting it when the clock hits zero.

For regular home users, Microsoft will release the notification once it gets enough information from your system and considers it “ready” for Windows 10. Users who do not have a PC fitting Microsoft’s requirement will be notified by the Microsoft team and be given details as well as contact information on what they should do to get the build.

Business users have something else to deal with. Windows 10 Pro businesses will be able to download the build alongside Windows Insider users on the 29th of July, but larger companies have to wait. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education will be available through the company’s Volume Licensing Service Center starting on the 1st of August.

In addition to the above, all Windows 8.1 versions sold from retail stores will be given out with additional information on how to upgrade to Windows 10. More information about what Microsoft has planned for the Windows 10 rollout can be found over at their blog here.

PlayStation Offers 75 Games for Less Than $1

PlayStation has opened a flash sale last night in an attempt to make a quick sell of 75 of its products for less than $1 until Monday. Included in the 75 games are Shoot Many Robots, Gravity Rush, a Tales of Monkey Island bundle, and full seasons of a few of Telltale Games’ series.

Don’t expect to see any recent releases or significant game titles selling for this price, though PlayStation users can find at least Payday: The Heist for $0.90, which was previously selling for $14.99. Also, Two Sam & Max collections can be bought this weekend for $0.80, down from $19.99, and Star Wars: Battlefront II for PSP is also set at a price of $0.90.

Telltale has included the Back to the Future: The Game and Jurassic Park: The Game, as well as Puzzle Agent titles and there are also some other neat games which you can grab from the store. For anyone interested in taking a look, the full list of games can be seen here.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Femsplain Blog Targeted with DDoS Attack on Women’s Day

According to Amber Gordon, the founder of Femsplain, the blog has been taken down Sunday by a DDoS attack for a period of 3 hours, when the services came back online. The attack cannot be deemed as random, with the site been attacked on international Women’s Day.

Gordon has shared a tweet with a screenshot clearly showing the outstanding traffic increase during the time of the attack. She has also noted that these type of attacks are not rare, however, the attacks haven’t been so severe until now.

It is also said that Twitter accounts taking responsibility for the attack used the hashtag #inteernationalwomensday, clearly emphasising that the attack was not chosen at random.

Femsplain is said to have been created late last year to create a place for women to discuss topics from online harassment to Gamergate. It has a group of female contributors who publish stories to the site, as well as share reader submissions.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

AMD Mantle Comes to an End

AMD’s Mantle set a lot of things in motion in the gaming industry and now it looks like it is coming to an end, at least in its current form. AMD will continue to back the companies who invested in it and created games for the API, but its usefulness in the current form has come to an end.

DirectX 12 is taking over the job that Mantle does right now and AMD will instead continue down that road as well as help to develop the next generation of OpenGL, called GLnext.

This news comes from an AMD blog post by Raja Koduri that also promises the release of a 450-page programming guide and API reference for Mantle later this month. Finally, we’ll be able to get a closer look at how Mantle works and how it made a difference.

  1. AMD will continue to support our trusted partners that have committed to Mantle in future projects, like Battlefield Hardline, with all the resources at our disposal.
  2. Mantle’s definition of “open” must widen. It already has, in fact. This vital effort has replaced our intention to release a public Mantle SDK, and you will learn the facts on Thursday, March 5 at GDC 2015.
  3. Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs.
    The Mantle SDK also remains available to partners who register in this co-development and evaluation program. However, if you are a developer interested in Mantle “1.0” functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX 12 or GLnext.

We’ve already heard what DirectX 12 is capable off, so it’s no surprise that AMD is backing this road. This is going to be an interesting year, there is no doubt about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1lHeLN1UGs

Thanks to AMD for providing us with this information

Following Joystiq, AOL Also Shutting Down Apple Blog TUAW

AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog or TUAW, as part of its ever-growing cost cutting measures. TUAW was founded in 2004 and was part of Weblogs – a company purchased by AOL in 2005. This news comes hot on the heels of the news that AOL’s gaming blog, Joystiq, would also be shut down.

According to The Verge, TUAW will be shuttered on February 2nd. The closure is unsurprising, as AOL is actively trying to shrink the amount of online properties it manages – CEO Tim Armstrong said in November that his plan was to “simplify everything that can be simplified.”

Instead of selling the site, TUAW is simply being shut down and its employees made redundant, with the possibility of it being brought back in the future.

Source: The Verge

WordPress Now Powers Over 22% of the Most Popular Websites in US, 14.7% Globally

 

WordPress blogs now fuel over 22% of new websites in the US and 14.7 of the top million sites in the world, according to W3, becoming the fastest growing CMS of 2013.

WordPress.com blogs passed the 50 million mark in July this year. The blogs have accrued 2.5 billion page views, hit by 287 million different people. Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress, addressed WordCamp San Francisco last week, in a speech entitled “State of the Word”. He told the audience that WordPress has 15,000 plugins and has been downloaded 200 million times, with WordPress 3.2 hitting 500,000 downloads in just two days.

Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft Blog Post Accidentally Leaks “Windows 9 is Coming Soon”

Who better to give us more information on Windows 9 than Microsoft themselves! Looks like the technology giant will be having words with their Chinese division after the team leaked a logo (now believed to be a mockup, not the final) with the phrase “Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?” but quickly removed the post after it was posted on their weibo blog.

As is always the case with these things, people saw it before it was taken down and while I believe that “leaks” tend to happen on purpose quite a lot these days, as a genuine marketing technique, the location of this post makes me think it wasn’t meant to reach the public at this time.

The posting certainly implied that the OS is coming soon and with Microsoft set to hold a press event on September 30th, as well as a Technology Preview of the OS being distributed to developers later this month / early October, we shouldn’t have long before we find out just how far away Windows 9 really is.

All we know of the OS so far is that it will introduce the new mini Star Menu, the Charms Bar has been removed, it will feature UI changes to how the desktop handles Windows 8-style apps and that at some point it will integrate Cortana.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Verge.

Sova Wireless Modular Gaming Keyboard From ROCCAT in Development

As a brand, ROCCAT are very well-known for their innovative designs and also the high level of German engineering that goes into each and every product that they have in their catalogue. Earlier in the year we even saw first hand during a tour of their design studios just how much effort goes into the creation of a new product, from the very moment that a pen is put to paper, through the first mock-ups and then on to the testing and final quality control before mass production. It’s safe to say that we were more than impressed with the effort that they put into staying one step ahead of the consumer, predicting what their needs may be and additionally by responding to their feedback by the means of new and improved products.

Suffice to say, their latest creation, the Sova Wireless Gaming Keyboard, has already proved to be a massive hit – and it is not even out of its development stages yet. During E3 which finished only a few weeks ago, ROCCAT revealed the Sova as a development concept, asking for feedback and response from the fans themselves to see what they thought of the idea and what they feel should be included.

Following on from the reveal, ROCCAT are taking the Sova down a different path of development that none of their previous products have had, by taking the users through the development phase with them via the means of an online blog (which can be found here) and a dedicated website which will give all the information that you may want on the product and how it is moving along (which can be found here)

In a statement regarding the development of the Sova, ROCCAT CEO René Korte says

“We are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response we have received for the Sova. We realize that now is not the time to sit back and wait, but to give fans what they want as quickly as possible. We’re ready to go full speed into our refinement process, and want our fans to see the hard work that goes into moving a ROCCAT product from its development phase, into what you see at retail. The Sova is coming, it is going to be an amazing piece of gaming hardware, and you’ll get to follow every step on that journey in our newly launched Sova Development Blog.”

“We are a company that has always lived by integrated product development, where our entire internal team has input on the creation of our peripherals,” adds René. “We are taking things a step further by inviting our fans to participate in this process. The Blog will have surveys and comment sections, allowing them to help guide the process by which we bring the final Sova to the masses.”

“We believe our fans will develop an even deeper appreciation for what goes into making a ROCCAT product when they follow along with these excellent vlogs, and interact with the ROCCAT Team. We plan on making them exciting, engaging, informational, and fun. Very few companies in our business open up to the public quite like this, and we hope to set a precedent in that regard now, and for years to come.”

Naturally we will be keeping an eye ourselves on the progress of this radically different approach to wireless peripherals for gaming users and we will be sure to get our hands on one of the boards ourselves as soon as we can to see first hand what the Sova is like to own and use.

Source and Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

 

Microsoft Employees Refer To Windows 8 As “The New Vista”

Windows 8 has its ups and downs, having opinions divided for both PC and smartphone or tablet users. Some PC users have got used to the new Metro interface, while others did not. There are also the users who are not used to the touch-screen features of Windows 8, while others find it hard to operate without them. That’s why most users associate Windows 8 with the buggy Windows Vista.

However, users are not the only ones associating the new Microsoft operating system with Windows Vista. It turns out that some Microsoft employees have been doing the same thing. The news comes directly from Paul Thurrott, the well-known Windows blogger, which adds credibility to this rumor.

The difference is that Vista was widely panned due to usability issues, while Windows 8 is getting its reputation based on “sales and market acceptance”, according to Thurrott. There were high hopes for Windows 8 to bring back some interest in PCs, or at the very least to steer consumers towards PC/tablet hybrids, but so far the public has been reluctant to choose Windows over Android or iOS offerings.

But this is not all bad news, because apparently even Microsoft has seen the Windows 8 flaws, and will be working on fixing the issues with the operating system. The question still remains on when will the issues be fixed. Since the other big update “Windows 8.2” will be arriving in April, we might see some tweaks and fixes with it. But the best bet will still be what Microsoft has in plan for the other windows operating system, Windows 9, which will be announced in April as well.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Blogging Platform “Medium” Gets Out Of Closed Sign-Up

Medium, a blogging platform founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, has been a closed sign-up based app up until now. Today, the platform sent out an email with the news that anyone can now sign in and start writing. There are a few requirements set out to sign up and use Medium however. You must be writing from Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers, and you must have a Twitter account to post. There’s a verification link sent via email that you click on and then you’re in. Posting apparently is still not available from mobile devices.

So what’s the story behind Medium? TechChurch had Williams tell them about his vision of the app:

“I think more people would be in a better place if more people shared their ideas,” says Williams. Seen this way, Medium is just the next logical step in Williams’ three-product cycle to inject better ideas into the world. Blogger helped open the doors for pajama bloggers to compete with the media moguls. A few years later, Twitter gave the power of broadcast distribution to everyone who had 140 characters to share.

Now, to complete the circuit, Medium wants to make viral information more substantive — the hope in the Pandora’s box of communication. “It’s also an optimistic stance to say that we can build a system where good things can shine and get attention. And there’s an audience for ideas and stories that appeal to more than just the most base desires of human beings.”

Medium has managed to gain some relative popularity among a sea of other blogging alternatives, but not always for the best reasons. While there has been some interesting content, there have also been missteps like a false claim of government email snooping and Peter Shih’s ‘10 things I hate about San Francisco’ post. Topics like these have given Medium a rep for being an incubator for lack of self-awareness and inaccuracy. Still, Williams addressed those issues fairly plainly in his interview. Anyone interested in testing the Medium app can sign up here.

Thank you TechChurch for providing us with this information.
Images courtesy of TechChurch.

Microsoft Releases Details Of Windows 8.1 Update

It was meant to herald the future of operating systems, embracing desktop, touch and mobile simultaneously. But the truth is Windows 8 has been very poorly received with criticisms abounding about how user-UNfriendly it is, how it has been designed predominantly for touchscreen and that no one can find that darned ‘Start button’.

In fact, the operating system has been the subject of such disdain that there were calls for it to be replaced straight away with Windows 7.1. That was never going to happen; too many units from too many hardware manufacturers were already in the channel, the advertising and marketing juggernaut had already left and there were fears from inside the Microsoft camp that such a move would have irreparably damaged the company (don’t forget, RIM was the biggest business handset manufacturer until the Blackberry messenger service fell over in 2011).

Nevertheless, extremely poor sales of the standalone operating system (i.e. not pre-installed on hardware) has provided insight into public reaction; Windows 7 is still available and is still selling. There are also reports that people who buy Windows 8 hardware are opting to ‘downgrade’ to Windows 7, calling Windows 8 ‘unusable’.

But today, a new article appeared on the Windows blog detailing the changes that have been made in the Windows 8.1 release. No mention is made of any user backlash but some new/ improved features do address notable concerns – customisation, personalisation, improved searching (including aggregated global search results using the Bing search engine), improved apps and App Store, plus better mouse and keyboard functionality are all addressed in the statement.

Many people will see this as bowing to popular demand, others will see it as a complete U-turn and Microsoft admitting they have made some horrendous errors of judgement but, in truth, if you want a ubiquitous operating systems where your experience will be similar regardless of the device you’re using, then hasn’t Microsoft been brave in attempting to push touch, desktop and mobile closer together? The 8.1 update is, to all intents and purposes, a sign that it may be one of the biggest and most successful brands, but it is not so arrogant as to ignore criticisms and feedback from the public and businesses alike.

More information is promised in the coming weeks ahead of the 8.1 release.

Oh, and the ‘Start button’? Well…

Source

AMD Branches Into Haircare Products?

Something that has just surfaced into many email inbox’s around the world has suddenly caused quite a stir and for a very good reason as it simply makes no sense whatsoever.

The marketing bods at AMD must have really been racking their brains lately to think this one up as it is completely bonkers. The email that is circulating talks about re-energizing your hair, so that it matches your game skill, though it is not relevant in any shape or form.

The mail clearly states:

You’re at the top of your game. Why isn’t your hair? TressFX is specially formulated with dynamic compounds like PPLL to re-energize your tired locks with vitality and luster.

For now, we’re as much in the dark as you guys are, and can only wait until Tuesday 26th February when all is revealed but for now, you can check out another silly advertising picture, much like the one above, on the AMD blog.

Though I’m sure we all remember Verdetrol; the performance enhancing benchmark pills, and I get a feeling that the same team who did that stunt, are also behind this.

In all honestly, I sure hope someone gets fired for this, but who knows, it’s only early and this could go viral over the weekend. Somehow though, I don’t think that will happen, but if it does, who knows? Maybe I’ll eat my hair.