Goat Simulator’s MMO Expansion Announced

Freaky, fun, fantastic and f’in crazy are usually the words I use to describe Coffee Stain Studio’s Goat Simulator to my friends when asked. Just when you thought that longevity of the game wasn’t quite there, today they’ve announced that later this month we’ll be seeing a free expansion named Goat MMO Simulator.

This expansion is said to dwell around “the faction warfare between goats and sheep” seeing you, the main hero, take the form of one of the following classes:

  • Warrior
  • Rogue
  • Magician
  • Hunter
  • Microwave

Said to include ‘dozens’ of quests and a level cap of 101 starting on November 20, it’s a ‘free DLC’ for those who already own the game on PC. In addition to this, we’ve told that Goat MMO Simulator will be available on Mac and Linux including full controller support.

Coming November 20, I’m going to forget that World of Warcraft is a thing – Please excuse me while I channel my inner microwave and start my real life preparations.. Time to call in sick to work!

Goat Simulator was released on STEAM earlier this year to a massive reception due to its crazy physics and outlandish humor, akin to somewhat of a “420 MLG Montage“, Goat Simulator is here to stay. If PC isn’t quite your thing, Goat Simulator has been released on iOS and Android with an Xbox One port on the way – although we haven’t heard if the MMO version is coming to these platforms (yet).

 

Image courtesy of GAMENGUIDE

‘Serial’ Becomes a World-Class Podcast

The popular podcast was born ‘Serial‘ as a user report of a lengthy criminal investigation. In 1999, a school girl was murdered with her ex-boyfriend being sent to jail for the crime. Dedicated to the cause, Serial is still analyzing this case on a week-by-week basis and has become of one of the most downloaded podcasts available online.

Based around the accused, Adnan Syed, Serial explains of his life sentence which is currently being serves in Maryland correctional facility for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Haw Min Lee. After a lengthy search for her body, it was established that her murder was conducted on the 13th of January, 1999. The Serial podcast was kicked off by Sarah Koeing, a journalist who was asked by a family friend to look at the case at hand – later becoming her obsession and turning into a weekly podcast for her to share her thoughts, discoveries and theories.

15 years since her tragic death, we’re now eight episodes into the series -which became the fastest podcast to hit 5 million downloads and streams on iTunes in history. Serial is now ranked one of the top offerings among iTunes’ 285,000 podcasts and 9.2 million episodes currently available for the consumer.

Podcasts are an ‘old technology’ that seemingly still has it place in our society – much alike radio. Whether you’re sitting on the train or driving to work, there’s no easy way you can sit down and watch a TV – so why not load up an interesting cast? we’ve heard that Serial will provide you with much better entertainment that your general murder-mystery fictional series, providing the listener with a connection to the people, places and things that occur within.

Image courtesy of Gizmodo

Synology Releases DiskStation Manager 5.1 OS

Synology has just released their DiskStation Manager (DSM) version 5.1, the latest version of Synology’s NAS operating system. After about 6 weeks of public beta testing and user feedback, Synology was ready to roll out the update without the beta tag.

I’ve tested the DSM 5.1beta myself and it is awesome. Synology have added a lot of new features and improvements, enough that many other companies would have gone up a whole number on the version to 6.0 instead of just a fraction and going from 5.0 to 5.1.

Synology have added a lot of improved security features such as the Security Advisor that analyzes your settings and will let you know if you got any weak points. Another added feature is the AppArmor that checks for malicious programs and blocks them from accessing unauthorized resources as well as the introduction of digital signatures on packages, to check against tampering.

Having a private cloud-service is great, but sometimes you’ll want to sync with public offerings as well. Synology now supports OneDrive, Box, hubiC, Azure, SFT and hicloud. Additionally, the new explore feature in Glacier Backup allows you to browse and retrieve single files from Amazing Glacier.

While speaking of online functions, DSM 5.1 also has a built-in Proxy Server to increase security and speed up your local internet browsing by  caching and filtering as well as authentication options. The File Station also allows for remote FTP and WebDAV connections and the new CardDav server allows you to synchronize all your contacts across compatible devices.

Another noteworthy new feature is the Note Station and DS Note. A web-based note system stored on your own NAS that allows you to have a synchronized location for all your notes and access them from all devices either via the web or one Synology’s apps. Video Station, Photo Station and Audio Station also got upgrades and updates on the functionality and their mobile apps.

Enterprises can look forward to the NFS Full File Clone and NFS Reserve Space to dramatically boost virtual machine storage performance. SSD reading cache is supported all the way down to one disk that increases the cost efficiency of your storage device.

Synology DiskStation Manager 5.1 is available for download now and of course it’s a free upgrade for anyone. The new DSM version is compatible with DiskStation and RackStation x11 or newer. If you’d like to test it before you apply it to your own NAS, you can head over to the official page and try out the live demo, or just download it right away.

Thanks to Synology for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Synology

NVIDIA GeForce 344.48 WHQL Game Ready Driver Now Available

The new Nvidia GeForce 344.48 WHQL Game Ready Driver is finally here and it brings with it a wave of performance improvements.

The most import feature of this driver for most users is that it has been updated for the launch of a few games, including Civilization: Beyond Earth, Elite: Dangerous, and Lord of the Fallen. This will mean that new and old graphics cards should be better optimised to run these games on launch day.

A cool new feature is that the driver will now enable Dynamic Super resolution (DSR), which is effectively “down sampling” a feature that some of you may already have been using via other methods. DSP already made is debut on Nvidia Maxwell based GTX 900 cards, but it’ll now also work on the GTX 500, 600 and 700 series of graphics cards.

Obviously there’s also a range of bug fixes and minor performance tweaks, but for now they DSR and new game support are very welcome additions of 344.48 WHQL.

Thank you Nvidia for providing us with this information.

European PSN Glitch Giving Users Minecraft for Free

The past 24 hours have been good for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita owners after it was discovered that a glitch on the PlayStation store has been allowing people to unlock the full version of Minecraft for free!

The glitch is fairly simple to activate, just load the PlayStation store from a web browser and select the free demo for Minecraft. You then also add the full version of Minecraft to your cart, thus having both the demo and the full version in your cart. However, this triggers a “free” sale to go through as it can’t identify the full copy over the demo and you end up with the full copy without having to exchange any cash.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Sony could ban accounts, charge people for the game or have it removed for doing this, so do so at your own risk.

What’s funny about this is that Microsoft recently purchased the game for a staggering $2.5 billion; imagine their faces when they find out that Sony are practically giving it away for free!

Thank you TheGamesCabin for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Insider and Windows 10 Technical Preview Launched

It has been about 24 hours since we officially got introduced to Windows 10, the newest operating system instalment from Microsoft. A few lucky members of the press and other invited guest got the first experience when they could play with the demo systems after the conference. The rest of us had to wait until today to make our own impressions of the new system. Even though it wasn’t a long time we had to wait, it still felt that way.

I believe this to be a great OS and I like the new route Microsoft has taken on their development and feedback. Microsoft is no longer a sure winner when people pick their operating system, as more and more user-friendly alternatives pop up. With steam OS on the distant horizon, the gamers aren’t the secure customer group they used to be. Windows 8 didn’t get the warm welcome Microsoft had hoped for, and as they said during the press conference, “We know you’re a vocal bunch.” This time around, they want to use this their advantage.

The Microsoft Insider site is live and everyone can sign up to be part of it. If you already got a Microsoft account there isn’t much to do besides log in. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to create one. Then you agree to some terms and conditions after which you can download Windows 10 Technical Preview in either 32- or 64-bit versions. The download sizes are 3.8 and 2.93 GB, so that isn’t to bad. There are three languages available: English, American English, Simplified Chinese and Portuguese. I’m sure more will follow soon. You can sign up and download it right here.

System Requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Important Notes:

  • Some PC processors and hardware configurations aren’t supported by Technical Preview.
  • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an Internet connection, a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768, and a Microsoft account.
  • After you install the preview, you won’t be able to play DVDs using Windows Media Player.
  • If you have Windows 8 Pro with Media Center and you install the preview, Windows Media Center will be removed.
  • The preview won’t work on Windows RT 8.1 and Windows N editions.
  • The preview is not available for Windows Phone.
  • A small number of older, 64-bit CPUs might be blocked from installing the preview.
  • If you’re running Windows 7 without SP1, you can only upgrade to the preview by downloading an ISO file. If you install Windows 7 SP1, you can upgrade to the preview by using Windows Update or by downloading an ISO file.

There are a lot more disclaimers and warnings that this is an unfinished system. Expect bugs, crashes and more; but you can be among the first in the world to test the new functions.

The data-protective amongst our readers should be aware that the preview collect a lot data about the usage and system and sends this on to Microsoft. You should read the Privacy statement carefully before you download and install Windows 10 Preview, if that’s something that worries you. I doesn’t need to though, but some like to keep their secrets.

Another note I’d like to add is that Automatic Updates are enabled and you can’t turn them off on the preview version. This is of course to bring everyone the newest fixes and improvements as they’re ready. And Microsoft doesn’t just want your feedback in form of anonymous data. They also want to hear your suggestions, ideas and discoveries. The Windows 10 preview has a Feedback app installed and there’s also the option of going directly to the forums.

Thank you Microsoft for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Microsoft

S.W.A.P – A Completely Free FPS That Uses Body-Swapping Instead of Guns

First person shooters have become stuck in the world of weapons, and that makes sense as it helps to be able to pummel or shoot your enemies in order to kill them in a combat arena. So what happens when you take all the guns away, then how do you take each other down?

S.W.A.P has no weapons at all, in fact you can’t even directly destroy your enemies at all! The game simply has robots with jetpacks and the ability to take over other players bodies. You can leap into another players body and in the moments of control you have you can place them in harms way. This means you’ve to leave your enemies hovering over a trap, in the way of a moving object, or some other hazard in the hopes that they’ll meet their maker after regaining control.

It’s a very strange mechanic, but a very unique one too and it really does change the pace of your typical death match game into something far more manic and fun. The best thing about this game isn’t just its crazy mechanics, but the fact that the game is completely free, not free-to-play, just free! The developers have even said they’ve got no plans to monetize the game and they would rather people simply go and enjoy it. It’s a little rough around the edges, but at this price it’s hard to complain.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/q1mVtETlweE[/youtube]

Download the game here.

Thank you PCGamesn for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PCGamesn.

Most Illegally Download Games In Each U.S. State Revealed

Ever wondered what games the people of New York like to download the most? Or perhaps you lose sleep over not know if the residents of Texas are more likely to download Skyrim than they are The Sim 3. OK it isn’t likely that these things have bothered you, not unless you work at one of the governments anti-piracy organisations.

The team over at Movoto decided to do some research on BitTorrent to find out what games are being downloaded the most on a per-state basis and the results are actually quite surprising. Obviously this years biggest releases dominate the chart quite a bit, with Watch Dogs taking up a lot of spots, as well as a few classics such as Garry’s Mod making its way into the list despite its age.

Not content with just “which state downloaded the most of X” the team at Movoto also took into consideration the varying populations of each state, calculating the rate of pirates per 10,000 people in each state. Although even the worst looking states such as Nevada and Washington only have a game piracy rate of less than 1 person per 10,000, whilst TV show piracy is more in the region of 4.3 per 10k.

 Thank you Venturebeat for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Venturebeat.

How to Share Video Clips on Any Device Anywhere?

Video conference calls are invaluable in the business place. Providing a means for quality video communication and the seamless sharing of relevant information and media, Blue Jeans video sharing is the perfect choice for business owners interested in creating an ideal communication environment. Brainstorming, figuring, and drawing up ideas has never been easier; the innovative video share technology available today allows businesses to share at any time and from any location for the ultimate communication experience– and without the hassle and frustration resulting from other lesser quality communication systems.

Why Is Video Sharing Important?

In today’s fast paced and technologically immersed society, a great deal of vital business information is relayed with various forms of media. These forms of media include charts, images, tables, infographics, social media clips, and (of course) video clips. It is time to face the reality of modern day business; thick manuals loaded with tiny print are no longer useful to present day employees and business managers.

Statistics indicate that the human attention span is becoming lesser and lesser due to the constant immersion of society in technology and fast-paced, “easy” communication methods. The average attention span of an adult last year was just 8 seconds– shorter than the average attention span the typical goldfish found in bowls on office desks everywhere. 17% percent of internet users view a page for four seconds or less before losing interest and moving on. With an attention span shorter than that of a very small fish, human beings are in need of a communication method that gets the point across quickly and effectively while maintaining interest. Blue Jeans video sharing allows for exactly that by providing real time video share no matter the circumstance.

Unique Real Time Share Opportunity

As mentioned before, a large emphasis must be placed on maintaining employees’ attention during a presentation of valid information. Video clips are one of the best ways to do this; however, an even better option is available to those who partake in Blue Jeans video sharing. Nothing says “relevant” like a real time video clip sent during a video conference call; luckily for businesses, “relevant” is the key to hooking employees and business colleagues alike when conducting business meetings.

Advantages of Video Share

There are many benefits to utilizing real time video share during video conference calls. Most of them are common sense, but many people may be surprised by the many advantages available:

  • Save money. Traveling is one of the most expensive aspects of business; in fact, most employers dread the calendar days marked “business trip,” simply because the hassle and financial stress involved can lead to a great deal of drama in the office place. Thankfully, important information and media can be relayed via video conferencing– a travel-free option. Avoid financial stress by using video conference calls instead of filling up gas tanks or buying plane tickets. The potential savings involved may surprise those who make the switch.
  • Find a balance. Video sharing allows individuals to spend time with family and friends. In other words, it allows individuals to leave the desk every now and again. When an employer is able to communicate with his or her employees over long distances, geography becomes less of an issue and communication becomes far more efficient. Plus, employers and employees alike are provided with a way to balance their personal time and work time to create healthier lifestyles and better attitudes all around.
  • Be personal. Sending a video clip during a “face to face” conference call is far more personal than sending a video clip via email. In order to make the biggest impact, most business people utilize video calls and real time video clips– they get the job done with less hassle and a significantly smaller margin of miscommunication.
  • Stay present. Everyone is familiar with the saying, “while the cat is away, the mice will play.” Unfortunately, this saying can apply to employees who are left unattended for long periods of time. The ability to meet with employees via video conference calls allows management to remain involved and aware, even while away on vacation or business trips. Video clips add yet another dimension to this aspect, providing a way for employers to relay key information to employees in an efficient, thoughtful fashion.

Those involved with business may find that video conference calls are the best way to relay real time video clips within their business system, especially if maintaining employee attention is an area of concern. Individuals who have never experienced the advantages of video sharing may be pleasantly surprised by the efficiency boost that takes place upon making the switch. Try video sharing today to learn more about how industry leading, innovative video technology allows for the top-of-the-line relay of relevant information among business staff and colleagues.

Get Wing Commander 3 for Free on Origin

EA gets a lot of stick from gamers these days, and it’s understandable given that the company comes across as a soulless machine for squeezing money out of consumers. However this much is true of most companies and gamers seem quick to forget that companies like EA owe us nothing, sucks but it’s true. Of course every now and then, after having our wallets beaten, our games ruined and our online experiences poorly coded, EA and their not so loved Origin service like to give something back and today I think the freebie is a pretty cool one, Wing Commander 3.

That classic semi-point and click adventure / space simulator is a throw back to when the PC used to offer some very unique and creative experiences. The game features a pretty awesome cast, full voice acting and is a massive dose of retro fun.

Don’t forget that Wing commander is the series created by Chris Roberts, the guy who is working on the games spiritual successor, Star Citizen, something that is going very well since the new game raised just short of $50 million in crowd funding.

So what are you waiting for, jump back in time and see what all the fuss was about! Just head on over to the Origin client or web store and you’ll see the “on the house” banner.

 

Flappy Birds is Back! … But Only on Amazon’s Appstore for Android

Flappy Birds’ creator has promised to bring the popular ‘tappy’ mobile game back a few months ago, along with an additional feature. He said that the new version will have a multiplayer option, which would double the fun since it involves competing with your friends.

The time is come and Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Birds, has released the new version through his .Gear studio on Amazon’s Appstore for Android. There is no confirmation up until now of it being available for either Apple’s AppStore or Google’s Play Store just yet. The game is said to be compatible with Amazon’s Fire TV platform as well and includes new obstacles such as ghosts.

“Flappy Birds now are on Amazon Fire TV with incredible new features: Person vs Person mode, more obstacles, more fun and still very hard,” the game’s description reads. “Enjoy playing the game at home (not breaking your TV) with your family and friends.”

The Flappy Birds Family title is said to have support for the Amazon’s Fire TV remote and its dedicated video game controller, prompting players to “push” a button instead of the previous “tap” the screen. Nguyen is said to have pulled the original Flappy Birds off the AppStore and Google Play Store back in February due to its addictive nature, even though it was earning the developer “tens of thousands of dollars” daily through advertising.

It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen said. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before. I couldn’t sleep,” he added.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Polygon

Sony Turn Down EA Subscription Plan

Xbox One games look set to have the option of a Netflix style subscription from EA, paying $5 per month to gain access to a small set of EA titles such as Battlefield and Fifa. However, while Microsoft welcomed the idea, Sony have turfed EA out on their butts, saying that they don’t think it represents good value for their customers, burn!

“Asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”

It is strange that Sony would take this stance, especially given that the subscription is completely option, although it is likely that there was an underlying business deal that involved either Sony or EA giving on or the other cash and assets to secure a deal and that terms could not be met by either party.

Personally I don’t like EA’s idea, it’s too limited in choice to be anything like a Netflix for games, much like the way Origin is too restricted to even compete with services like Steam.

This could be a worrying trend for publishers, but for now it looks like Sony are trying to put and end to it before it gets out of hand. Although come to think of it, Sony aren’t exactly winning praise for their game streaming prices.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

This Is What Skyrim Looks Like With Just One Mod [video]

This Skyrim Mod has actually been out for a couple of months now, but there are literally tens of thousands of mods out there, and since I missed this one the first time around, it is likely that many of you have too.

This is just a single mod for Skyrim, albeit one that changes damn near every aspect of the game into something completely and utterly bonkers, especially when compared with the somewhat desolate snow covered peaks that the game is known for.

Super Skyrim Bros changes weapons, costumes, sound effects, enemies and a vast amount of the games world to become the different worlds you would expect to find in the Mario game series.

Just look at some of the latest additions to the mod in the last update to get an idea of how much is changed, as well as the level of madness you can expect to enjoy while tearing around this overhaul.

  • Coins pick up on touch
  • Dusty Dunes world
  • Goomba King stage boss
  • Waluigi stage boss
  • Ninji enemy
  • Pokey enemy
  • Spiny enemy
  • One handed hammers
  • Mega Mallet
  • Staff of Koopa Shell
  • Conjure goomba Spell Tomb
  • Stamina Mushrooms
  • Magicka Mushrooms
  • Poison Mushrooms
  • Invincibility stars
  • Warp Zones
  • New areas
  • New Prizes at the Coin exchange Prize Wheel
  • Added maze hint in Pipe Dungeon world
  • Plumbers Gloves
  • New Sounds
  • New lighting in some interiors

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/H301UTpuzX8[/youtube]

Well, what are you waiting for go download this thing! It’s available on Skyrim Nexus right here. Got any other crazy Skyrim mods you know about, leave us a comment below with your favourites.

Expendables 3 Leaks Online; Hundred of Thousands Have Downloaded Already

The Expendables 3 has leaked ahead of its August 15 debut, with a copy of near-DVD quality finding its way onto piracy websites, torrents and other download sources. Within the first 12 hours of the movie making its way online, news had spread fast and over 100,000 copies of the film had been downloaded.

“LETS GO DOWNLOAD THE MOVIE!” I hear you cry, but I wouldn’t be so fast, as Nu Image wasted no time in tracking down and suing those who downloaded the original movie. Although I’m sure most of you are at least wary of the legal risks of movie downloading anyway.

Movies leak all the time, but this one stands out from the crowd by a large margin. Not only is this pegged to be the ultimate summer blockbuster, featuring almost every famous action movie star and a few other tough celebrities in the one film (Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Ronda Rousey and more), but it’s the fact that it leaked so early and in such high quality. Normally you’ll find a movie leaks with shaky cam footage from some murky cinema.

What is unclear at this time is how this happened. I certainly wouldn’t like to be the guy who has to explain to Lionsgate, and I wouldn’t like to be the source of the leak, because it’s pretty likely that they’ll be traced.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.

Destiny Now Available to Everyone in Open Beta on Consoles

Bungie has officially made Destiny available to everyone by opening up the Open Beta stage for the title. It is said that everyone on an Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 can download the title on the PS Store or Xbox Live marketplace.

A quick note is that PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 pliers need an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership account to be able to download Destiny. PlayStation 3 owners are said to get it for free due to the fact that PS+ is not a requirement for multiplayer on the latter mentioned console.

The announcement is said to have been made on Destiny’s Blog, having Bungie stating that it already received a lot of good feedback from early access gamers. The Open Beta stage however is said to act as a stress test for the servers to make sure they are good to go for the title’s launch.

“Our work is not done. There is more we can learn. To make this happen, we need more Guardians to play. This is, above all else, a test.” the statement tells us. “we’re opening the Destiny Beta to anyone who wants to create a character and walk in their boots. Help us deliver the game you deserve. Before we shut this party down, we’ll welcome everyone who wants a preview of this brave new world.”

The Open Beta is said to now be live and accessible straight away. The download size is said to be 5.5 GB, which is not a lot given the complexity of the game itself.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Big Discounts on Apps and Games With Google Play Summer Sale

The Steam Summer Sale has long gone and while I’m sure plenty of you grabbed a few bargains to keep you busy for at least another year, there is no harm in grabbing a few extra deals to keep your busy on your phone when you’re out and about.

The Google Play Summer Sale is now here and it’s offering up some reasonable discounts on freemium in-app purchases, and some great discounts on premium games. With Two Final Fantasy games, Worms 3 and Little Big Adventure being great choices for those who want some great games for less. There are a few premium apps too, although for me personally, I don’t see anything interesting there, but perhaps you will.

Freemium games: in-app purchase sales

Premium games

Premium apps

It’s unknown how long the deals are available for, so if you want them at this price you best be quick. Hopefully the deals will last a while or at least have no items added over the next few days.

Thank you Android Authority for providing us with this information.

Google to Stop Labelling Apps “Free” If They Have in-App Purchases.

Google have made the very welcome decision to remove the “free” tag from apps which off in-app purchases. By the end of September, all apps on the Play Store in Europe will be affected by the change and it’s likely that a global roll out of this feature will soon follow.

This is a great change for the mobile community, who are often duped into downloading a game or app on the promise of free features, only to then be asked to hand over a little extra to unlock all the features, more levels, content packages and more. Some “free” titles, especially free-to-play games such as Real Racing 3 use this model and while some may think of it as a cost-effective solution to paying £40 for a retail game, like you would on a console, it would actually cost you hundreds of pounds to unlock all the content that particular game has to offer. It is this kind of free that I want to see removed, because this is a paid game with some free content, something we used to refer to as a demo.

These changes are in response to an agreement with the European Commission (EC), as part of their plans to help better protect families with children who have been known to rack up huge bills via in-app purchases. Now both Google and Apple have been asked by the European Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC Network) to assure the following:

  • Games advertised as “free” should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved;
  • Games should not directly encourage children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them;
  • Consumers should be adequately informed about the payment arrangements for purchases and should not be debited through default settings without consumers’ explicit consent;
  • Traders should provide an email address so that consumers can contact them in case of queries or complaints.

Many app developers have been exploiting that free tag for a while now and personally I’ll be glad to see the market place updated to reflect which apps really are available to download completely free of charge. Unfortunately Google are the only ones addressing the matter at this time, Apple are yet to take action.

“Regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorization, Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes.” said the EC in regards to Apple.

It is interesting to see Apple behind Google on this one, especially after being hit with a minimum of $32.5 million in settlements for billing in-app purchases to children without their parents’ consent.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WonderHowTo.

PC Gamers Boo Xbox Live Off Stage At Quake Con

Microsoft got their asses handed to them last night, trying to test the patience of the often brand loyal PC gaming market and they did it right on the home turf of the enthusiast PC gamer, Quake Con.

At this years QuakeCon, Bethesda’s PR front-man Pete Hines took to the stage during the opening presentation to talk up some of the promotions and deals the company has happening around the weekend long event. This included cross-buy and some cool deals. However, it soon went down hill when Hines mentioned Xbox Live, leaving the crowd to boo the audacity to utter such words. Let’s not forget the pile of crap that was Games for Windows Live; This is a PC gaming crowd, they remember and they’re often the first to mock anything console related.

Personally, I do use Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam and other platforms, I’ve no time for fanboyism and all this Master Race nonsense. Yet I can understand why many dislike Microsoft distribution platforms for gaming, especially since the company has often shown a complete lack of knowledge for what the gaming community really want on several occasions. If you’re going to go to a PC gaming centric event to discuss PC games, stay on topic.

Thank you OneAngryGamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of OneAngryGamer.

Need to Hide Your Viewing History? NetFlix Are Testing Privacy a Mode

It looks like a privacy mode will soon be heading to NetFlix, much like the privacy mode on our browsers which is perfect for hiding the things you don’t want in your search history. I’m not naming names, but you all know the kind of things I mean.

Of course illicit content isn’t exactly a focus for NetFlix, but for those who want to cover up their watching habbits it can be a handy tool. If you don’t want your wife finding out you’ve spent all night watching a fashion documentary, or some god awful film that you don’t want to admit loving.

This means that NetFlix will not keep a track of what you watched, but it also want use the information to provide recommendations for you in the future. This is also good for letting family use NetFlix as it means their preferences for a certain show won’t ruin your recommendations.

The feature is only being tested on a few small regions at the moment, but if successful (we suspect it will be), the feature should be rolled out to all users in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Statistics Reveal that The Pirate Bay Traffic has Doubled Despite ISP Blocks… Problem?

Some ISP providers have been told by the government to block the popular torrent website, The Pirate Bay, due to its infringing content. Media groups all around the world have been battling piracy constantly and state that the blocks so far are effective and enough to diminish piracy.

However, a new statistic has revealed that The Pirate Bay’s traffic has doubled since the ISP blocks have been issued. It is said that the United States still remains the most popular traffic source and almost 9% of all users access the website through a proxy or VPN.

TorrentFreak has stated that The Pirate Bay confirmed its traffic increase since 2011, when the ISP blocks in question have been issued, having it doubled in just 3 years. The statistic below shows the number of unique visitors since 2011.

As a result, the censorship appears to have no significant effect on The Pirate Bay at all. It does however show minimal signs of restriction, having users who do not know how to use a proxy or VPN blocked out of using the website altogether, but it is safe to say that most people simply bypass the restrictions and continue to use the torrent website as usual.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TorrentFreak

Dropbox Gets Speed Boost Thanks to Streaming Sync

A new edition of the Dropbox desktop client was introduced on Friday, bringing with it an upgrade version of its file-sync technology that allows the streaming of larger files, so that video and audio can be sent and of course retrieved much faster than before.

Streaming technology is hardly new, but being able to open your video or audio file whilst the rest of it downloads is a big bonus for Dropbox as it means you could theoretically use it like Netflix to stream your movies to other devices whilst downloading them. This is great for connecting multimedia applications and certainly has advantages for those eager to watch the movie or listen to the album your sending them.

With many more file storage companies now on the market, new features are being added constantly by Dropbox and their rivals to stay competitive, the obvious winner here are consumers who keep getting more value for their money.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gigaom.

Destiny PlayStation 4 Install Size Revealed,

Game installs just keep getting bigger and bigger, which is a natural progression of course and large installs are hardly something us PC gamers are unfamiliar with. Now with the impending release of Bungies Destiny, gamers have been eager to find out just how much install space they’ll need to keep available for the upcoming online MMO shooter.

According to a listing on the Sony Entertainment Network, the game will hog 40GB in terms of download size, but there is always a chance that it could unpack to a larger install once the download has finished. This is of course not counting any space required for post release patches, updates, DLC and other content, which will no doubt follow thick and fast after the game has launched.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out on PS3 and Xbox 360 in terms of install size, although I imagine heavily compressed textures and sound files will aid in reducing the file size on the older hardware.

Thank you Gameranx for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gameranx.

GeForce 340.43 Beta Driver Now Available

Yesterday saw Nvidia roll out the latest version of their graphics driver, and while it is still just a beta release, it brings with it some updated support for EA’s Battlefield: Hardline (Beat) and GRID: Autosport from Codemasters.

The GeForce 340/43 beta obviously comes with a few more tweaks and fixes that should make it into the next official driver release, including a bunch of new SLI profiles.

Game Ready – This 340.43 Game Ready Beta driver ensures you’ll have the best possible gaming experience for GRID: Autosport and the Battlefield: Hardline Beta.

SLI Technology

  • 3DMark Skydiver subtest – added profile
  • Battlefield: Hardline – added profile
  • Elder Scrolls: Online – added profile
  • LuDaShi Benchmark – added profile
  • Wildstar x32 version – added profile
  • Dark Souls II – updated profile

Gaming Technology

  • Supports GeForce ShadowPlay technology
  • Supports GeForce ShadowPlay Twitch Streaming

SHIELD

  • Supports NVIDIA GameStream technology

3D Vision

  • Supports new “3D Compatibility Mode” for 3D Vision that enables us to improve the 3D experience for many key DirectX 10 and 11 games.
  • 3D Compatiblity Mode Profiles

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea (DLC) – rated as “Excellent”
Banished – rated as “Good”
Krater – rated as “Good”

The latest drivers can be downloaded directly from the Nvidia website.

Game of Thrones Finale, 2 Petabytes Torrented in 12 Hours

Don’t worry, there are no spoilers for the show in this article.

The final episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 aired yesterday, climaxing on yet another incredible season for the massively popular show. Unfortunately for many, watching the show on HBO or Sky isn’t an option as they don’t have a subscription, but even for many of those who do, there is the fact that the US gets the show a day earlier than Europe. Let’s not also forget the people who forgot it was on, or forgot to set it to record. Long story short, there are a lot of reasons people will have been downloading Game of Thrones this week.

With 7.1 million viewers said to have watched the finale, the series also broke its torrenting record (again), with around 1.5 million downloads in the first 12 hours of the show airing, that equates to approximately 2 petabytes of data!

Not content with one record, the show also set the record for the largest number of people sharing the same file, known as a “swarm”, with a record of 254,114 sharers for the episode.

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

Did You Pirate Watch_Dogs? You May Be Mining Bitcoins For Someone!

Piracy isn’t exactly the best way to get what you want, especially since there are often extra risks involved with downloading things illegally. First is the obvious legal implications and the second is that many of the sites are often less than safe themselves, leaving you at risk of downloading viruses and other unwanted software. One uploader obviously knows this and has taken the opportunity to turn some extra profit from the piracy scene.

Posts have started appearing on TPB that a pirate copy of the Watch_Dogs is being circulated, that does actually contain the game, but also comes loaded with a few extra files, the most important of which being the sneakily named winlogin.exe, very similar to winlogon.exe, a genuine Windows service.

Turns out this sneaky file is a crypto currency mining app, which is using peoples hardware to mine a currency, most likely BitCoin or LiteCoin for the person who created the upload, effectively letting him steal from the people who are stealing the latest Ubisoft title.

It’s a little ironic really, and it’s not like the people involved have a legal fight here, but it’s certainly a great example of why piracy can be a gamble.

Thank you Reddit for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Reddit.

More Games Added to Steam This Year That In The Whole Of 2013

I remember sitting with my friends many years ago and discussing the future of Steam. We mocked Valve and their stupid idea of digital downloads, “not being able to keep a disc! are they mad!” and this way when having a big stack of PC games, especially the cooler older ones that came in those larger cardboard boxes, was a pretty common thing. I love my stack of old games, alas I don’t own any hard copies of games from the last few years, I was right though, Valve was mad, but their game has paid off.

2014 is proving to be the biggest year in Steam history, there are now more games released on Steam for 2014 that there were in the whole of 2013! With many months still to go this year, that number is sure to increase by a significant number. A lot of this can likely be attributed to services such as Greenlight and Early Access, as well as the rise in popularity for Indie titles, many of which have seen great success on Steams digital distribution platform.

With SteamOS, SteamBox and who knows what else cooking at Valve’s headquarters, 2014 really is the year that Steam pushes to incredible new highs. Digital downloads are a proven success, but I must admit I still do miss seeing a stack of cool game boxes next to me desk.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TweakTown.

Incredible Unreal Engine 4 Engine Tech Demos Now Available For Download

Remember the truly incredible Unreal Engine 4 technology demo which launched last year? Well know you can download it, as well as several other impressive graphics technology demos to try out for yourself. Not only are the demos technically impressive, but they also offer us gamers a first hand look at how the engine can bring improvements to our games, most important of which are the massive advancement in global lighting.

The Elemental tech demo isn’t the exact same one we say in the trailers, it looks like it has been cobbled together by a few developers just to let us have a quick tinker and sneaky peak at the new engine. There is no installer, but you can extract the files for the demo and modify the launch settings via a very easy to understand .ini file. Remember to install the VC++ 2013 runtime that is included in the downloads too, if you haven’t already. From that point on you just run the required batch file in the folder and enjoy the stunning graphics.

Remember that Unreal Engine 4 scales really well, so it should run on some slightly older hardware, but you’re really only going to see the full benefits of these demos on newer hardware (eg; GTX 6xx / AMD 7xxx and up) as that will be capable of the effects being generated.

Download for Elemental Tech Demo

Download for Five More Tech Demos

Remember there will be a few rough edges here, these aren’t final gaming products and I’ve seen people crying out about texture quality on some parts. This isn’t a sales pitch, the software is there to demonstrate the processing that is going on in the scenes, so those of you with a tiny understanding of the workings of game engines will enjoy it more.

Thank you Techpowerup for providing us with this information.