Alton Towers Grinds to a Halt Again!

Things are going from bad to worse for the UK based theme park. Just a few weeks ago we heard the catastrophic news of the collision between two cars on The Smiler and now it seems Air has run into some problems and the monorail system also; leaving around 100 passengers stranded.

This all started in early June, when two carriages of the world famous ride, The Smiler, collided at 50mph following routine maintenance on the ride. This resulted in one carriage being sent out, followed shortly by another. The first ‘test’ carriage had then stalled, awaiting the inevitable doom for the passengers behind. The crash seriously injured 4 passengers, one of which required leg amputations to save her life.

After that date, multiple rides were shut down for ‘safety reasons’, all of which opened back up after thorough checks were made. To yesterday’s turn of events, another of the park’s main attractions, Air, suddenly stops working mid run, fully laden with passengers. Not only was Air affected, but one of the main monorail systems also stopped working, leaving around 80 passengers to bake in the record-breaking temperatures.

The faults are still under investigation, but one can only assume that the extreme heat played a part. Are you expecting to go to the theme park in the near future? Will you be requesting a refund? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to The Independent for providing us with this information.

Fallout 4 Development is Near Completion

With the recent announcement of fallout 4 at E3 this year one of the most exciting thing about the announcement was the release date November 10th, it’s not often we get a game announcement at E3 that will release that same year most occasions have games coming out at least a year later or more.

the sole reason Bethesda were more than happy to announce the game is because the development process of fallout 4 is basically done with development, the studio is just finishing and ironing out the last few details of the game ready for the November release. Hines told game radar ”We felt like we could, if we didn’t feel like that was enough time to generate the excitement that we expected and interest that we wanted, then we would have announced it earlier. So part of it is because we felt like it was big enough title that we could get away it.”Hines also said it was more “fun” to announce the release date alongside the first trailer, instead of mailing out a press release with a link to a trailer.

Bethesda continues to impress us with the E3 announcement and now we get confirmation that the game is now near completion I look forward to exploring the wasteland once again in November.

are you excited for fallout 4’s release in November?

Thank you pcgames for providing us with this informaiton.

Another Victim of a Tough Market: SpecialTech is No More

Following our recent coverage of FrozenCPU (stories here), it seems that another much loved retailer has bitten the dust. This time around is it SpecialTech, the place where most bought their first water-cooling related things from. I remember buying my first part, a bargain basement Radeon HD 6950 block, and loved every minute of building it!

Good guys SpecialTech are upholding refunds for present customers or even sending out stock if they have it in. It’s a shame that a specialist has gone, it’s now pushing everyone into the arms of a select few sellers in the UK and Europe. Could this be the start of the recession finally catching up with a pretty niche market?

We’ll update you as this story develops.

Frozen CPU May Well Be Shutting Down After All

Over the past few days, we’ve covered recent events at Frozen CPU, with news that they would be shutting down and then news that they won’t be shutting down. A new development in this story reveals that they may well be done for afterall!

This press release from the Webster Police Department explains what exactly went on behind the scenes –

Our first article on this story suggested that Mr Friga, the man behind Frozen CPU, had been suffering with addiction. Now this makes it clear exactly what happened and why Frozen CPU may well be no more. We’ll keep you posted as this story develops.

Update: FrozenCPU to Remain Open!

An update following our earlier coverage of this story, which can be found here, it turns out FrozenCPU is not shutting up shop after all. Following a sympathy/reminiscing thread over on HardForum.com, Mark Friga, the owner of FrozenCPU had contacted the admin team of the forum to express his concern for this subject and nipped it as soon as he could.

Taken directly from the forum post:

EDIT: We just heard back from Mark Friga, the owner of FrozenCPU.com, a long time enthusiast community supplier, and he explained to me that FrozenCPU is in fact not going out of business as rumored earlier today. He said that FrozenCPU is currently running a skeleton crew and to please bare with his company while the it is ramping back up to 100% employee capacity.

More questions are being raised now as to why they have cut down on hours recently and exactly how long before they reach “100% employee capacity” with no information as of yet published to the homepage. As soon as we know, we will update.

RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy

After a long downfall, US electronics retailer RadioShack has filled for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The news will be unwelcome amongst generations of American techies, as RadioShack has long provided the background of the interest of many tech lovers, from the radio hams in its early days to the PC revolution of the 70s and 80s.

Perhaps that was part of their downfall – they fell behind others due to the rise of smartphones, tablets and the onset of online giants like Amazon. While many went to a computer to buy a new computer, RadioShack’s stores were left with fewer and fewer customers.

Over the last few years the company has made attempts to relaunch itself as a modern retailer, focusing on its smartphone sales. In 2009 it introduced ‘The Shack’ as a new name set to target that very market. And just last year, as part of an all-encompassing rebrand, they put together this Super Bowl ad, one that effectively spelled out the company’s own demise.

Source: Gizmodo

Club Nintendo Rewards Scheme to be Discontinued

Nintendo has announced that it will be closing its Club Nintendo rewards programme this September. The company said that it will close the scheme in stages, and that a new rewards programme will take its place.

Nintendo said in a statement that it will discontinue redemption codes included with physical copies of Nintendo games from April 1st and users will no longer be able to redeem points for digital download copies from April 20th. Users will still be able to redeem rewards until September 30th, following which all existing and unused points will expire. A new scheme will later be introduced.

Club Nintendo has been around in one form or another since May 2002, and started out as two separate schemes under the names of VIP 24:7 and Club Member. In 2007 both schemes were combined to form Club Nintendo, which has been offering free rewards in exchange for points ever since.

The scheme has proved popular amongst Nintendo fans, offering exclusive game soundtracks, toys, free games and other memorabilia.

Source: Nintendo

 

Google Kills Glass Explorer Programme

Google has pulled the plug on the Glass Explorer programme, but insists the product isn’t dead. Google is ending support for the device “in its current form”.

Glass will no longer be managed under the extravagant “blue sky” Google X group, but instead will have its own division within Google. That division will be managed by Glass’ current head Ivy Ross who will, perhaps most interestingly, report directly to Tony Fadell – the so-called “father of the iPod” who formerly worked at Apple and left to found home automation company Nest – which was of course acquired by Google.

Many expected something like this to come along – signs that Google was changing its focus or even losing interest in Glass had been emanating from the company for a while. The project has been rather stagnant from the outside, with little in the way of any changes to the device since the launch of the Glass Explorer programme. Many also expected it to receive a wide consumer release – something that now still seems far away.

The Explorer Programme close and subsequently Google will stop selling Glass from next week.

Source: BBC News

Russian Apple Online Store Reopens

Bloomberg says that Apple has reopened its online store in Russia after those insane fluctuation in the country’s currency. The store now lists products at prices 35% higher.

“An iPhone 6 with 16 gigabytes of memory now costs 53,990 rubles ($956), Apple said today on its Russia website. The previous official price was 39,990 rubles,”

A certain number of economic sanctions have been placed on Russia in the past year following its decision to annex Crimea. This has of course led to a number of issues with the Russian economy, such as the recent and “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s currency. As a result, Apple effectively closed its online store in the country on December 16th.

The company took the decision following what it described in a statement to Bloomberg as “extremely sharp” fluctuations in the currency.

Source: Bloomberg

Russian Apple Online Store Closed Over Ruble Fluctuations

A certain number of economic sanctions have been placed on Russia in the past year following its decision to annex Crimea. This has of course led to a number of issues with the Russian economy, such as the recent and “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s currency. As a result, Apple has effectively closed its online store in the country. The company took the decision yesterday following what it described in a statement to Bloomberg as “extremely sharp” fluctuations in the currency.

“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, said today in an e-mailed statement. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

Just before the site was shuttered, Russians could buy and iPhone 6 for 39990 rubles, equivalent to $558. This shows just how extreme the fluctuations have been, with the same device available for $876 in the United States. At time of writing, Apple has not yet re-opened its store, with no indication of when products will again be available for sale.

Source: MacRumors

Justin.tv Has Come to an End

It has long been expected, and now it has happened. Justin.tv has closed the doors and shut down, thanking their user-base for 7 years of live video memories. While the service has been shut down and the content isn’t available any more, any user who wish to transfer their profile to Twitch can request a transfer, but must do so before September 5th.

Justin.tv as a company isn’t gone, they changed the name to Twitch Interactive earlier this year. Twitch originally spawned as just a category on Justin.tv, but quickly overshadowed the entire rest of the site combined with the number of viewers and streamers. In 2011 Twitch launched as an independent service and has since been a leading actor in live gaming-streams.

Paying customers of Justin.tv should already have received an email about refunds of left-over memberships. Since Twitch only offers gaming related streams, everyone else is recommended to switch to YouTube, Ustream or Livestream.

There are also rumours going around that YouTube (Google) is looking to purchase Twitch for as much as a billion dollars. As of late July those talks are said to be nearing their end. Neither of the companies have made any official statement about the possible merger.

Thank you Justin.tv for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Justin.tv

Microsoft to “Fool Around” With Windows Phone’s User Suggestion Resolutions

WCCF Tech recently posted an article indicating that new features will be added to the new Windows Phone 8 update that is due to arrive in the near future. The source was based on an administrator confirming and closing the suggestions with the following message: ““This feature is now available in Windows Phone 8”.

The suggestions in question were based on key features that Windows Mobile 8 OS currently lacks, such as the File Manager, the ability to store apps and attachments on external storage along with improved microSD support, and a simple flick gesture to close the applications inside the Task Manager. Shortly after, the same administrator re-opened the same suggestions in with the following message attached: “This request was mistakenly marked as completed”.

We can draw two conclusions from this interesting shift of resolution marking. The first is that the features that are to be added to the new Windows Phone update were mistakenly leaked by the confirmation previously made, which would be one of the best productivity improvements that the Windows Phone OS has seen so far, bringing a lot of flexibility in file managing, file storage and quick access and app manipulation inside the OS. The second insight might be, unfortunately, that Microsoft has to look into its suggestion workflow management on the website and correct the “bugs” in there as well, since this could indicate a clear sign of miscommunication between departments.

Either way, we hope that the above mentioned features will eventually be implemented and Windows Phone users could finally enjoy a more fluid and productive way in using their Windows Phone devices. Hopefully sooner than later.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Windows Phone