Homeland Security & Trend Micro Recommend Uninstalling QuickTime Now

When it comes to software that you may not have heard of, or even used, recently QuickTime appears on my mind. A popular video software the system seems to have faded away, from both ours and Apple’s minds. These actions have led for Trend Micro and the Department of Homeland Security to recommend that if you have QuickTime installed on your Windows PC, uninstall QuickTime for your own safety.

The warnings both from Trend Micro and the Department of Homeland Security come as Trend Micro discover two new critical vulnerabilities within the software that could be used by remote attackers to gain control of your system. While there aren’t any active attacks targeting this problem, both groups are recommending you uninstall the software from your windows system as Apple will no longer release security updates for QuickTime on windows.

The options seem pretty clear-cut, uninstall some software or risk being exposed to a threat that will never get fixed. While QuickTime on Mac’s is unaffected, Windows users should look to use some of the alternative options available for them if you want to watch media content on your PC.

For information on how to uninstall QuickTime, you can visit Apple’s support page here.

Google Pledges $20 Million To Support Disability Technologies

Technology is a great thing, it can be used to help people all over achieve and complete tasks that they previously considered difficult or even impossible. Science and technology have enabled those who couldn’t walk to walk again, those who would lose their eyesight to keep it and even those who might die to survive. In their latest support, Google.org has pledged $20 to support disability technologies.

Spread over 29 programs, each receiving $750,000, with six grant winners getting more than $1m each. The programs that the money will support can be contained within five categories, hearing, mobility, cognitive, vision and communication. The projects include My Human Kit, a provision to provide people low-cost 3D printed prosthetics and The Center for Discover which looks to turn everyday manual wheelchairs into powered chairs.

Perkins School for the Blind looks to enable the creation of GPS instructions to help those with visual impairments navigate around the world while the Dan Marino Foundation looks to provide a tool for people with autism to train for job interviews.

As part of their Impact Challenge, Google.org (Google’s philanthropic division) looks to help the millions of people who live with disabilities, and if technology can do anything to help people’s lives I’m all up for supporting it.

DJI Have Created A Social Network For Drone Users

Enjoy your food or a video game? There’s a social network for that, all designed around bringing you together with like-minded people who all enjoy what you enjoy. If you are a fan of drones, then why not try DJI+Discover, the social network for drone users.

Create a profile and ask all those questions you’ve wondered about new parts, how to build your personalised drone or the best drone on the market with like-minded people. If you just like the idea of drones you can also use the app to search for professional drone pilots or even drone photographers (that is people who take photos and videos with drones).

With options to filter a map of your surrounding area between all, social and professional, you can quickly filter out the people you want to connect with. As an added bonus why not check out its recommended flying spots and the user-submitted photos, seeing the area around you from a drone’s point of view.

With options and choices galore, why not check out the app if you are interested in, want to hire or just curious about drones and their users. With the ability to quickly organise and share materials, drone users should check out the app and share their photos for the world to see with aspiring and experienced drone users.

Yahoo Mail Went Down And All They Got Was A Single Tweet

In this day and age, keeping your customers up to date is as important as getting them on board in the first place. Reports started circulating yesterday that Yahoo users weren’t able to access their email accounts, and all they got for their troubles was a single tweet.

Originally reported in the thread titled “Yahoo Mail has been down for 14 hours, affecting thousands of users in Europe”, users went from saying that having their service shut down without any response being unacceptable to the barrage of comments from users asking if the service was ever truly running these days or how many people were actually affected by the problem (including a rather large barrage joking about the use of Yahoo mail for business reasons).

After checking out Yahoo Mail’s twitter page (the quickest way to update people these days on issues it would seem), the page was filled with nothing but advertisements spread out over days with no communications regarding the reported outage. That was until we checked out their support page, Yahoo Care. Amongst a slew of advertisements for their fantasy baseball teams was a single tweet saying that some users were experiencing issues.

With people replying saying that they haven’t been able to access their account for extended periods and with no support, a single tweet hardly seems to be cut it (pun intended).

In this day and age, taking days to fix a problem with little to no support for your users seems like a quick way to lose people to other webmail solutions like Gmail and Outlook. We will try to keep you updated (as well as we can with the little information that seems to be available at this moment).

Orbweb.me Now Also Supported on All Thecus Linux NAS’

It has been a little over half a year since Thecus introduced the support for Orbweb.me on their WSS-based NAS’. That was so successful that the support now has been extended to all of Thecus’ Linux-based NAS’ too. Whether you run the older Thecus OS 5.0 or the recently released Thecus OS 7.0, you can now have easy access to your NAS and everything that’s connected to it from anywhere.

Some might say, I already have access to it all from everywhere, that’s the point of a NAS. But the ease of which you have access to it, how easy it is to use, and the security behind it isn’t always the same. The Orbweb.me application brings a new remote access experience to Thecus Linux NAS from any web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox as well as mobile devices powered by iOS and Android.

Orbweb.me is a P2P (Peer To Peer) module that allows users to easily view, stream and manage files in their NAS anytime and anywhere. Best of all, you don’t need to know your IP address and it works well over shared connections too.

Orbweb4.0 offers several features including webcam monitoring with timeline view and snapshot. All these features further increase Thecus NAS functionality. The Orbweb.me application is also available to download for any windows PC in its basic version, but because of the partnership between Thecus and Orbweb, Thecus NAS include a subscription for the Orbweb.me Ultimate Version that otherwise require an annual $69.99 subscription fee.

Thecus NAS uses an arsenal of security protocols and features to maintain user´s data safety. To prevent data from coming under attack when data is being transferred, Orbweb.me uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all data traffic.

RollerCoaster Tycoon World Coming to Steam Early Access

For years strategy games have fallen into one of two categories, with some games requiring you to defeat your enemies and conquer planets or countries while the others saw you trying to run businesses and people’s lives, balancing the books against the choices you had. Of the latter category, one of the biggest series was the RollerCoaster series. Don’t worry if you’ve missed it, because RollerCoaster Tycoon World will be coming sooner than you think.

Chief Executive Officer at Atari, Fred Chesnais, is hopeful of the new games potential, saying that “after careful consideration, the decision to go through the Steam Early Access program was made”, the reason provided was that it would give fans access to the game to those “dedicated fans that have followed us throughout the development process”.

It doesn’t just stop there, if you were a fan of the games then the new features could see you picking this one up as soon as it releases. New features will include the ability to place your rides at any angles, doing away with the grid placed system that restricted so many parks in the past. If you ever felt like the games were missing content then RollerCoaster Tycoon World will be perfect for you as the new game will feature support for community content, meaning that people will be able to custom create and share rides, stalls and more.

Excited yet? If so then make sure to check back on Steam on March 30th to pick up the game!

Microsoft Will Now Support Windows 7 and 8.1 For New Processors

Technology changes, that is an inevitable fact. As we produce more and more powerful designs and techniques we create new pieces of hardware and sometimes this causes trouble for those who aren’t quite ready to move on. Microsoft announced previously that those wanting to use the latest in Intel’s processors, the Skylake series, they would need to use Windows 10. It would appear they’ve changed their tone and are now looking to offer support for Windows 7 and 8.1 for the new processors.

The technical reasons provided was that offering support for the older operating systems would be too much given that the new system would be optimised for windows 10. Some people considered this as a push though for businesses to stop using the older operating systems and instead use Windows 10 if they wanted to get new equipment.

Microsoft has now recanted on that and will offer support for the older operating systems, offering companies the chance to upgrade to windows 10 at their own pace if they use Skylake devices. To help this the security updates for the older operating systems will also be addressed to PC’s running Skylake systems till January 14th, 2020 for Windows 7 users and January 10th 2023 for Windows 8.1 users.

Are you happy to hear about this? Are you looking at Skylake processors but would prefer to keep an older OS for the time being? You can see Microsofts tech blog outlining all the changes here.

WhatsApp to End Support For Older Operating Systems

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging client which allows users to exchange text messages, images, video content, location details and audio files. As of February 2016, WhatsApp has a user base of up to one billion which makes it the most popular messaging application in the world! Back in February 2014, Facebook acquired the company for an estimated $19.3 billion and clearly sees the application growing at an impressive rate. Recently, Facebook made an announcement regarding its new focus on the latest mobile operating systems to provide a better user experience. The statement reads:

“When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today,”. 

“The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time. As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.

“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,”

“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.”

By the end of 2016, WhatsApp will no longer be supported on:

  • Blackberry, including Blackberry 10
  • Nokia S40
  • Nokia Symbian S60
  • Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
  • Windows Phone 7

This makes sense because Blackberry’s current smart phone position is very weak, and they are trying to encourage handset sales via the Android operating system. On another note, when WhatsApp was first introduced, around 70 percent of smartphones utilized operating systems by Blackberry and Nokia. In today’s market, iOS and Android account for 99.5 percent of sales. This demonstrates the dramatic shift, and struggles faced by anyone trying to gain a foothold in the smart phone sector.

New OCZ Gaming Site Supports Streamers and Gamers

OCZ is no stranger in the world of gaming and computers with their strong portfolio of solid state drives and it is this group that is partially responsible for OCZ’s success, simply by buying their products. OCZ wants to give back to those and have launched a new mini-site dedicated to gamers and streamers.

The new mini-site is simply called OCZ Gaming and the slogan “what moves me”. The answer to that is without a doubt gaming for a lot of our readers, which makes it worth to check this site out. Especially if you are a Twitch streamer that doesn’t have an SSD sponsor yet.

OCZ has started a streamer sponsor program and best of all, it is real easy to sign up and apply for it. There is but one rule really, you can’t have an SSD sponsor from another company. That’s fair, right? There are four different sponsor tiers that will give different awards starting from a single OCZ Vector 180 SSD and to a lot more. There are some details on what has to be fulfilled for each of the tiers, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are a Twitch game-streamer. All you need to do to apply is to fill out a little form on the OCZ Gamers mini-site.

On the OCZ Gaming site, you’ll also find videos with system builds and wallpapers for your desktop to show off your OCZ pride. There are contests and giveaways too as well SSD guides so you pick the right drive for your setup.

A big part of PC gaming is located around the Steam platform, there is no getting around that. To meet the gamers where they are, OCZ also launched a Steam Group. The group already has over 1200 members, so it is off to a very good start.

Microsoft Will Only Support New Processors on Windows 10

Microsoft has recently stated that security updates for Windows 8 will stop this month, and we all know that leaves people with only two fully supported operating systems for windows. Currently, the choice is now between Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, both options that some people may not like. The decision between the two may not be up to you if you want to upgrade your PC though as Microsoft revealed in their blog yesterday.

In the blog article, they start by listing the OEM partners that celebrated success at CES recently, then going on to explain that compared to windows 7 when combined with windows 10 Skylake processors, the 6th generation of Intel core processors, enable “up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life”.

To clarify, the support that will be coming to Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10. While they will be supported till July 17, 2017, Skylake devices will not be supported after this date on windows 8.1 or 7.

As new generations of processors are introduced, Microsoft state “they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support”. To clarify, if you want to use te upcoming processors such as Intel’s “Kaby lake”, QualComm’s “8996” and AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” processors you will need to be on windows 10 to receive support.

Do you feel like choices like this means you are forced to upgrade to windows 10 if you want an up to date PC? Which operating system do you like using and why? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below

Big Dog Considered ‘Too Noisy’ For US Military

The Big Dog by Boston Dynamics has become a regular sight when the military and robotics come into discussions. The company acquired by Google two years ago has been working on a quadruped robot which is designed to help support troops in the field by carrying large pieces of equipment, that was until the US Military stated that it was too loud for practical use.

The Big Dog, officially titled the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), is designed to carry weights of up to 180kg over rough terrain. While other options such as Spot, a small electric motor powered robot, were considered. Their carry weight of 18kg and lack of autonomous functions meant that it was shelved after successful military trails.

While being able to cross snow, shallow water, rubble and climb muddy trails, the top speed of 4mph meant that the big dog, while useful for carrying large amounts of equipment over long distances, the second you got close to a target the loud noise and slow movement speed made you all but sitting ducks.

While there are designs for other direct purpose robots, with one called the Cheetah clocking in at 29mph and another called RiSE titled for its ability to climb vertical surfaces, it is with no doubt that Boston Dynamics will be revealing more robots soon.

iYogi Accused of Using Scam Tactics

Indian firm iYogi are well-known for their technical support, but recent claims could see their reputation quickly becoming something they wish to hide. A lawsuit could see iYogi paying out thousands if not millions in compensation for what is being described as scam and scare tactics.

Microsoft estimates that nearly 3.3 million Americans lose around $1.5 billion each year due to tech support scams. With these figures it’s no surprise that Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer has applauded Washington state’s hard approach on the claims.

While iYogi, who operate over 5,000 employees in call centres based in India, deny the claims the Attorneys General Office has made several large allegations against iYogi. iYogi are said to claim association with Microsoft, Apple and HP, offering support for those companies while also gaining remote access to users systems before asking them to download diagnostic software and flagging up false reports about files, finally offering users the chance to buy everything from yearly support plans and anti-virus software. The claims even state that the company offer to update PC’s to Windows 10 for $80, a service that Microsoft is currently offering for free to Windows 7 and 8 users.

Seeking $2000 in civil penalties per violation of Consumer Protection act and a further $100,000 per violation of the Computer Spyware Act, the bill could quickly shoot up for iYogi.

While it is hard to go off so little information, the claims sound very similar to something I have suffered through many times. A phone call saying that your computer is sending error messages to Microsoft (or Apple) and saying they can walk you through the support process. If this sounds familiar, please read our advice below.

  1. Companies can not track down your personal details from your system, any company attempting to call you claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple is almost certainly not who they claim to me.
  2. Never download software someone tells you to unless you are certain that the person in question only means good for you and only if you know the person, not someone from an email or on the other side of the phone.
  3.  If you do suspect your system is compromised, either by a virus or someone asking you for access, seek help from someone with technical experience such as at a local PC store.
  4. If you feel like a laugh and want to confirm that the person on the other end of the phone is lying to you. When they state they are from Microsoft, tell them that you only own Apple products in that house. If they quickly say that’s what they are there to help fix, you know they are being deceitful.

Do you have any tips for dealing with fake support calls? Tell us your stories in the comments and let’s see if we can’t help someone avoid the pain of paying for “support”.

QNAP’s HD Station Just Got Better With JRiver Media Center Support

QNAP continues to improve the experience for their customers and the newest incentive is an upgrade to the HybdridDesk Station 3.0 app that now comes with integrated support for the renowned JRiver Media Center and thereby provides even more options and choices for the users when it comes to their media experience.

The HybridDesk Station, for those who don’t already know it, is a combination of technologies that allows you to use your NAS unit as a PC by simply attaching a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor to it. Among others, it uses multimedia transcoding, Virtual Machine (VM) integration, cloud integration, NAS connection technologies, and more.

JRiver Media Center is perfect to manage a large library of media files and even multiple media servers within the same network. The media center features cover art and metadata art to make the management easier and users can use the powerful media player for flawless direct-streaming of every multimedia format as well as multi-zone multimedia streaming.

JRiver Media Center doesn’t just stream video, you can also use it to record directly with yourself. It also covers music and files besides the motion picture features. It has functions such as equalizer, tempo, pitch, and sample rate available to satisfy audiophiles’ tastes too.

The HD Station 3.0 is supported by QNAP’s TS-x51, TS-x51+, HS-251/251+, TS-x53 Pro, TVS-x63, TVS-x71, TVS-871T, TS/TVS-x80, TS-x70 and TS-x79 series with QTS 4.2.0 or above firmware.

Neptune Triple 32″ OCUK Monitor Stand Review

Introduction


I’ve never personally been a fan of the desktop monitor stands, they’re large, heavy and expensive. Although the main reason I’ve never liked them is because I’ve never had enough monitors to buy one; until now. Since upgrading our test bench to triple 4K 28″ monitors, I’ve had to resort to putting the monitors in portrait just to fit on my desk; despite it being custom-made and a lot larger than most other that you can buy on the market.

There are many options on the market, but something caught my eye back at iSeries in April that OverclockersUK had made available. It was an OCuK designed monitor stand that could support up to THREE 32″ monitors. The stand looked simply stunning and was finished off with red highlights to incorporate the colour scheme from the OCUK logo. This was announced around a year ago and seemingly went under the radar, it seems monitor stands just aren’t that important to review, yet make a triple monitor set-up so much easier and pain-free.

The Neptune stand is an absolute beast with one of the largest base plates I’ve seen and it weighs just under 15Kg excluding monitors. There’s not much more to say, so let’s just get cracking and see what this thing can do.

Just Cause 3 Patch 1.02 Coming This Week

Just Cause 3 is a spectacular open-world action game which builds on the successful legacy of its predecessor. While some parts of the game can become repetitive, it’s easy to overlook given the vibrant environment and incredible explosions. The developer, Avalanche Studios is renowned for producing highly polished PC games such as Mad Max which scale superbly across a wide range of configurations. However, Just Cause 3’s launch was plagued by a day one patch, lack of SLI support and high system requirements. That’s not to say it’s unoptimized, as many people can play the game rather well.

Avalanche Studios’ representative, FistofZeno announced on Reddit that the 1.02 patch will be arriving some time this week and listed a comprehensive changelog which reads:

“In the 1.02 patch (132.1MB), you can expect:

*Significantly improved loading times

*Optimizations to online stats

*General stability fixes

*Fixed an issue related to challenges, wherein vehicles sometimes disappeared when starting a challenge

*Fixed issues related to screen resizing and closing the game window before the game has fully started up [PC Only]

To those of you still having issues, rest assured we are working hard to alleviate these, and are listening very closely to everything that’s being said.

While the patch will improve performance on the whole, we’ve listened to some of the other concerns raised about the game and put together a little list of points which might alleviate these issues:

UNSKIPPABLE CUTSCENES You can skip cutscenes, in fact – all you need to do is hold B on your gamepad, or hit ‘Skip’ from the pause menu.

NO SPRINT BUTTON This isn’t an oversight; it’s very much intended. Our designer’s intent was to encourage you to use Rico’s unique grapple to move around Medici far quicker than his legs would allow, as well as giving you the ability to traverse vertically.

NO CROUCH Rico doesn’t hide. Getting him up in the air is our version of the cover mechanic. Rico is far more deadly in the skies, than pinned behind a container on the ground.

FINDING THE LAST CHAOS OBJECT While there’s no mini-map to help you liberate bases and towns, you can always bring up your map to help find Chaos objects. When you’re down to the last few objects in any given settlement, an approximate location for these will be displayed on the map.”

Unfortunately, there’s no information regarding any support for multi-GPU configurations which is a crying shame. Although, I didn’t expect this as the engine doesn’t officially support SLI and could require some serious time investment to alter.

Microsoft Embrace Linux With Azure Certification

Microsoft is a company best known for a range of options, both hardware and software, in the modern world. From their Surface tablets to Microsoft Office, a widely known thing about Microsoft is that you pay for what you get. While they offer some free tools, Office and even Microsoft Windows, cost a small amount if you want to use them. This makes it all the more surprising when they announced that you can now get a certification for managing an operating system on Azure, their cloud based system. The operating system in question will cost you nothing, it’s Linux.

The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Linux on Azure Certification will be used to show that you as a professional can run and manage Linux based servers on Microsoft’s cloud system (Azure). While this is a surprise, only a few years ago Azure didn’t support anything like Linux, however, it is not a giant surprise given the recent push by companies and governments to embrace open source software.

In order to get the new certification, you need to have passed not only the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator but also the Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure solutions exam.

While it’s nice for Microsoft to continue supporting open source software, and even with competing operating systems, I see it being a rare case where people (and companies) will be paying out hundreds for certification of free software.

Microsoft to End OEM Windows 7 Pro Sales Oct 31st 2016

With the successful launch of Windows 10 behind them, Microsoft is closing up their Windows 7 and 8.1 business. According to Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle factsheet, we’re getting confirmation that Windows 7 Professional will no longer be available to OEMs come October 31st 2016. With that, the era of Windows 7 will finally end as Microsoft will no longer make Windows 7 available in any form to OEMs and OEMs can’t sell Windows 7 devices.

While the Professional SKU of Windows 7 will continue for the next year, the other variants were already cut off from OEMs a year ago. The retail versions of the OS also ended sales two years ago back in 2013. Windows 7 gained popularity as it came after the bungled Vista release and the lacklustre Windows 8 failed to supplant it in a significant way. The extension for the Professional version of Windows 7 largely came about due to the less than positive reception Windows 8 faced. As a business oriented SKU, letting OEMs continue to offer it as an upgrade path was more palpable than having them stay on XP.

Windows 8.1 will also become depreciated on that same date. This means in a years time, the only Microsoft Windows computers on shelves should be Windows 10 based. Security updates will continue till 2020 and 2023 for 7 and 8.1 respectively. Interestingly, despite Windows 10 being the “last Windows”, support for the new OS ends in 2025. Whether or not that will change remains to be seen.

Thecus Adds Seagate 8TB Enterprise HDDs to Official Compatibility List

Thecus announced the addition of Seagate’s impressive 8TB Enterprise 3.5-inch hard disk drives to its official compatibility list. By incorporating Seagate’s 8TB HDD, Thecus NAS users will be able to maximize storage capacity while experiencing enhanced performance and reliability.

Hard drives aren’t just hard drives and there is a lot of difference in them and it’s quite important to pick one that is suited for your task, especially when your dealing with mission critical data. The Seagate 8TB Enterprise HDDs boast the industry’s best response times and are on their own over 100% faster than their own previous generation. These drives are naturally designed to support 24/7 performance and can stand up to a workload of 550TB per year. Other advanced technologies including PowerBalance, PowerChoice, and Raid Rebuilt enables users to customize their big data requirements and optimize TCO.

“Providing compatibility to new, cutting-edge technologies is essential to Thecus and allows users to utilize the best the industry has to offer with their Thecus NAS,” said Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp. “Pairing the 8TB Seagate Enterprise 3.5 Hard Drives with Thecus NAS empower organizations using big data with a reliable, high-capacity storage solution.”

The drives are available as both SAS 12Gbps, SAS 6Gbps, and SATA 6Gbps versions, allowing you to make the right choice depending on what Thecus NAS you might be running. You can check out the full compatibility list for your Thecus model on the official website.

Gigabyte Confirm Support for Windows 10

With the launch of yet another Windows OS, motherboard manufacturers the world over are testing the archives of motherboards to ensure compatibility with it. Gigabyte is the latest motherboard manufacturer to certify that a large range of latest generation motherboards are Windows 10 ready.

Gigabyte built their motherboards on great components, meaning that some users may still be using older technology; this is why Gigabyte has gone the extra mile to ensure compatibility all the way back to H61 chipset.

The most popular versions, such as Intel X99, Z97 and Z87 are widely covered, along with AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets. However, some users who are using AMD 800 chipset or Intel’s Z77 may not be covered fully. For a full list of support motherboards, please visit this website set-up by Gigabyte.

Windows 10 brings back the start menu that so many old school users missed with the introduction of Windows 8/ 8.1 and left many stranded back on Windows 7 because of this. Along with that reintroduction, Windows 10 also brings forward DirectX12 support, which is a huge reason why many users will be upgrading.

One note that Gigabyte did add is some minor issues which are easily overcome:

“Note: Some advanced Windows 10 features require optimized specifications such as a touch screen monitor, a UEFI BIOS, and an SSD that may not be available in every legacy and entry-level system.”

Are you apprehensive about installing this new OS because of compatibility? Post a new thread in our forums and we can do our best to help.

Windows 10 Long Term Plan Revealed – Supporting the Operating System For 10 Years

Windows 10 has been the forefront of the big news for Microsoft since its official announcement earlier in the year. After some confusion (okay, a lot of confusion) over who would have immediate access free, what it would entail and especially regarding those running less than legitimate copies of windows 7 any news about the new system has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The latest news about the soon to be released operating system is mostly about how long-term the operating system plans to be. With recent news that windows 10 will force you to download updates automatically (therefore making sure you have the most up to date software) you are now entitled to the free updates for a total of 10 years. That’s right, a full ten years full of customer support regardless of how you’ve acquired your copy of Windows 10. This means that windows 7 and 8 users will be getting a total of 10 years service when the new operating system on July 29th when it’s released.

This means that no matter what, you can expect at least 10 years of security fixes and patches, a feature which XP has stopped receiving and is costing some companies millions to keep the operating system running.

With so many people using outdated and insecure operating systems a lot will be tempted to try out the new system, and 10 years of support will help people believe in promises that this system will not just be replaced within the next few years.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Redmond Magazine.

Here’s Why We Won’t See DirectX 12 in Action This Year

Thinking of upgrading your graphics card for the new Windows 10 and DirectX 12? Well, I think you should wait a bit longer. While everyone is hyped to see what devs can do with the latest DirectX version, we are forgetting the most important thing, which is the platform.

What this means is that DirectX 12 is locked to Windows 10 exclusively, which limits the platform and titles released for it. I mean sure, I am a PC gamer myself, but don’t expect everyone to switch to a PC or Xbox One just because there’s a new version of DirectX rolling out. Statistics also proved that most gamers are happy with their PlayStation 4 right now, so devs don’t really have a reason to switch their development and focus on DirectX 12, at least not until next year.

Also, another thing to take into account is that most people haven’t even upgraded to DirectX 12 compatible hardware, meaning that it will take some time until we see a lot of consumers ready for DirectX 12 games. But let’s see why it will take time to switch from the current version of DirectX to the new one, because I know most of you are wondering why it will take this long and maybe even argue that DirectX 11 was adopted faster.

When taking a look at DirectX 11, the main reason it was adopted so fast by consumers as well as developers is the next-gen platforms and native development tools. DirectX 11 got released in the same year as the Xbox One and PS4, while we also had Epic and other developers release Unreal Engine 4 with native DirectX 11 support. This meant that the tools and hardware have been out there for everyone, from big to small, to use and explore the new tech.

In contrast, DirectX 12 currently looks like the old DirectX 10. We see a new thing added, but there’s hardly enough support for it both for development as well as hardware to run it. This is why DirectX 10 failed to deliver such a hype in the gaming industry and why developers focused more on DirectX 9 back in the day. However, we won’t see the same fate bestowed on DirectX 12 as we saw for DirectX 10, but we will see the same slow movement towards the new tech.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Users Rage Over Payday 2 Support-Stop on Last-Gen Consoles

When Overkill announced that Payday 2: Crimewave Edition was coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 back in February as well as continued support for the game until 2017, a lot of people got excited for the chance to play the heist game on the current generation consoles.

In the announcement was something most people read past in the excitement for the new versions and all the new content promised – both paid and free – and that was the announcement that the company would cease the update development for the last generation consoles, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Q: Will you continue to support PAYDAY 2 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3?
A: In connection with this, we have decided to retire the PAYDAY 2 update development on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so.

As said, many people didn’t notice that part and they’re now taking their rage out on twitter and similar social media platforms. But really, no one is to blame here, it just reached a natural stopping point where that 10-year old hardware can’t handle things anymore.

The developers are equally sad that they can’t continue the work, but there just isn’t anything they can do about it.

“We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so,” the statement reads. “For those of you who play Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and have been looking forward to new updates, you’ll be pissed when you hear this. We hate this too, because there’s nothing we can do about it.”

505 Games offered a discount on the new PS4 and Xbox One version for pre-orders up until launch, but there weren’t any loyalty bonuses for the old generation console users nor could that take their savegames with them to the new console. As such there weren’t many players that took advantage of it.

This is just one of many instances we’ll see where this will become an issue for those who refuse to upgrade their hardware for one reason or another and we can expect more and more developers to drop support for the older generations in the future.

Thank You VG247 for providing us with this information

Thecus NAS Enhances Multimedia Features with KODI

XMBC entertainment center was originally built for the hacker-friendly Xbox and last year they broke away from that naming. It has long been the go-to media player for HTPC builders and to show the change in direction the app was taking the developers decided it needed a new name. Now it is called KODI but it is essentially just the next version of XMBC.

It is still a great update and Thecus NAS is now onboard with that app as well. It wasn’t like the Thecus NAS servers were lacking multimedia functionality in any way, even sporting VLC as we saw in our Thecus N5810 Pro review a little while ago.

The Thecus NAS servers with HDMI output now support KODI and you can install it directly from the app central. Connect the NAS to your TV or monitor with an HDMI cable and enjoy all those stored moment directly. I’ve recently made the switch to an NAS with direct output and it is amazing. I love it every day and have since repurposed my HTPC into another job.

Kodi is supported by the following Thecus NAS models:

  • N16000PRO, N12000PRO, N8900
  • N6850, N8850, N10850
  • N7710, N7710-G, N8810, N8810-G
  • N5810PRO

To install KODI, you’ll need Firmware 2.05.08. You can also read up on KODI and Thecus on their own if you’d like to know more.

Facebook Now Supports GIFs

Brace Yourself! A flood of GIFs on Facebook are coming! Finally, Facebook is rolling out support for GIFs. Other Social Networking sites like Google Plus has supported this for a while. Facebook has not laid out full support at this time; the support is conditional and requires you to have the GIF hosted on a different server, like Imgur or Tumblr and then drop the link of the file in your status. Uploading the GIF to Facebook will convert it into a static file and the result will no longer be the one that is desired at least at the time of writing.

Here is the static image showing the GIF play button on Facebook.

The animated GIF can be played / activated by clicking the “GIF” button encircled by a dotted line in the center of the image. You can check out some animated GIFs in action in this Facebook group. It looks like the functionality is still being rolled out, so if it might not work for you just yet.

To spice this development up, an incredible awesome trick to share YouTube video in GIF format appeared yesterday on Reddit. To pull this off, just add “gif” before www.youtube.com/[id] which makes it www.gifyoutube.com/[id].

This is a desirable change which should have come long ago, but better late than never, it is finally here. Let us know your opinions on this change.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Warned for Using Windows XP

Wow, this is rather scary news. The Japan Times have reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co. or more commonly known – Tepco has come under fire from an auditor for trying to save money on their infrastructure by delaying their Windows XP upgrade despite windows XP costing 5 times more to run. The company has been using windows XP to run computers that suffered the triple meltdown 4 years ago in 2011.

“Tepco — effectively nationalized through a government bailout after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 — was hoping to save ¥3.6 billion ($30 million) by continuing to run about 48,000 computers on Windows XP until 2018,”. The Japan Times wrote. “In a report last month, the Board of Audit warned the company not to be so stingy.”

It is now well over a year since Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP support, yet millions of computers are still running the 14 year old operating system. When the support ceased,  computers running Windows XP no longer receive new updates to their operating system and users can no longer download security essentials for the device too.

Microsoft made the push to leave Windows XP for major security reasons and urged end users to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. However at this rate they may as well wait until Windows 10 is released, although they may need to temporarily use Windows 7 or 8.1 if they need to upgrade immediately.

Thank you to BGR for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of StaticWorld

HGST Delivers Broad VMware Virtual SAN Support

If you ever wondered what one would use those multi-socket motherboards with an almost endless amount of CPU cores and support for TBs of RAM for, then the short answer is virtualization systems. Those systems also need fast storage and is fully supported and that will run without a hitch, and HGST just announced that a broad portfolio of their products has been certified for VMware Virtual SAN. The certified drives include the 12Gb/s SAS solid state drives (SSDs), PCIe Flash accelerators, and the unique helium-filled HDDs. Together, these certified devices provide interoperable storage tiers for VMware Virtual SAN.

“HGST supporting VMware Virtual SAN with a broad portfolio of certified devices will give enterprises and cloud data centers an extensive choice to optimally implement their software-defined storage initiatives,” said Gaetan Castelein, senior director, Storage and Availability, VMware. “Storing and managing data are two of the most important functions in the data center. We’re pleased to further extend our relationship with HGST, a company that understands the storage pain points of the enterprise. We’ll continue to work closely with HGST to offer customers powerful and flexible solutions to keep pace with enterprise IT demands.”

“As one of the first storage solutions providers to offer certified devices for use with VMware Virtual SAN environments, we remain committed to expanding our portfolio to the VMware ecosystem,” said Ulrich Hansen, vice president of SSD product marketing, HGST. “Today, we’re offering the industry a broad certified storage portfolio that allows customers of all sizes to leverage the advanced technology and performance tiers of VMware Virtual SAN to drive real-time insights from the increasing volume, velocity, variety and longevity of data across all infrastructure environments.”

HGST isn’t just the leader in enterprise SAS SSDs and Helium HDDs, they’re also one of the first storage providers to offer certified devices to use with VMware Virtual SAN environments. VMware VSAN customers can now incorporate these leading technologies to meet their demands for more efficient storage environments and create a better balance between capacity, performance, physical space and energy usage. With this amount of drives to choose from, customers can pick just the right setup for their infrastructure.

The VMware Compatibility Guide includes the Ultrastar He6 SAS 512n, the Ultrastar C10K1800 SAS 512n and Ultrastar C15K600 SAS 512n high performance HDDs, the entire HGST FlashMAX PCIe SSD family, the HGST s1122 PCIe Accelerator, HGST S842 and S846 SAS SSDs, and HGST’s family of 12Gb/s SAS Ultrastar SSD800MH.B and Ultrastar SSD1600MM SSDs.

ASUSTOR Adds the Last Missing Streaming Option to Their NAS’

ASUSTOR has been busy updating their NAS software all around, but with a special focus on the media part. Playing movies and tv shows is becoming a bigger part of users life every day and the solutions to do so become easier as well. ASUSTOR already had a pretty good coverage on the area with AirPlay support, KODI and XMBC media players, as well as UPnP and DLNA streaming. But one had been missing so far and that was the official Chromecast support.

That is not an issue anymore as the new AiVideos mobile app now supports Chromecast multimedia streaming playback, bringing the big screen entertainment experience to the last few ASUSTOR users who couldn’t already enjoy it. After linking with Chromecast, AiVideos turns into a remote control allowing users to pause, fast-forward, adjust the volume and even configure subtitles at the touch of a finger.

“Although consumers are relying on their mobile device more than ever before, many are still not satisfied with watching videos on a small screen,” said Steve Huang, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “We are very excited to be adding Chromecast support to ASUSTOR NAS, allowing videos on our devices to be streamed and played on bigger screens and bringing our users a more satisfying digital entertainment experience.”

The new version of AiVideos is first available for Android and can be downloaded or updated from Google Play. Users should also use the newest version of LooksGood (1.0.0.r1220) in conjunction with the newest version of AiVideos in order to enjoy Chromecast support.