Wednesday January 28th, 2015
| By Mike MahardyAt the live Windows 10 event held by Microsoft today, details of the upcoming DirectX 12 API were revealed.
DirectX 12 will supposedly give more control to developers, with more complexity and better frame rate performance, Microsoft's Phil Spencer said. DirectX 12 also cuts the power consumption of DirectX 11 in half, allowing more mobile devices to run "high-end" mobile games.
Additionally, Spencer announced that Unity has adopted DirectX 12. Games such as Fable Legends will be able to use the programming interface to allow cross-platform play between Windows 10 PC and Xbox One owners.
DirectX is Microsoft's collection of programming interfaces for gaming and video, and was first released in 1995 as the Windows Games software development kit. Adoption of DirectX was initially slow, but DirectX 2.0 eventually became a component of Windows 95.
IGN has a complete wrap up from today's Windows 10 reveal, including a look at a holographic version of Minecraft. http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core...d_dpad_red.png
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:18 PM
Thursday January 22nd, 2015
| Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs.
It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world.
In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone.
The offer, which is limited to the Windows 10's first year of release, may aid its adoption.
It marks a change in strategy from Microsoft's previous policy of charging for major updates, and could help avoid a repeat of the relatively slow uptake of Windows 8.
Source: BBC News
Posted By lexandro @ 12:35 AM
Tuesday January 13th, 2015
| Game Content Usage Rules
Last Updated: January 2015
We know that people like you – gamers, fans, individuals, and enthusiasts – love our games and sometimes want to use things like gameplay footage, screenshots, music, and other elements of our games ("Game Content") to make things like machinima, videos, and other cool things (your "Item(s)"). We'd like to make that easier to do for fans of our games. So long as you can respect these rules, you can use our Game Content to make your Items.
What are the Rules?
In order to make sure we can continue making games we love to make and you love to play, there are some Rules that apply to our license grant for your Items. It's tough to predict everything people will do, but there are some things that you can and can't do.
If you do any of these things, we may tell you or others that your Item violates these Rules, that you have to stop distributing your Item right away, or that you need a commercial license. So there.
- You can't reverse engineer our games to access the assets or otherwise do things that the games don't normally permit in order to create your Items.
- You can't use Game Content to create an Item that is pornographic, lewd, obscene, vulgar, discriminatory (on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), illegal, hate speech, promoting violence, drug use or any illegal activity, promoting crimes against humanity, genocide or torture, or is otherwise objectionable. Whether an Item is "objectionable" is up to us, but you can expect us to be concerned if a significant number of people in the game’s community or the public at large report the content as offensive. If you see an Item or content that you consider objectionable, we recommend that you first report it to the online service where it is hosted, as it may violate that service’s policy too. But you can also report it to us here and we’ll see what we can do.
- Except as described here, you can't sell or otherwise earn any compensation from your Item, including through advertisements in the Item. This means you can't charge money in exchange for your Item, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees to view the Item, or post it on a page you use to sell other items or services(even if they have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft). You also can't use Game Content in an app that you sell in an app store.
- You may make your Item available on Youtube or Twitch and participate in programs on those sites that allow you to earn revenue from ads displayed in connection with your Item.
- If the Item you create and distribute is a free app, then you must distribute it for free (you can't charge for it), and you also can’t earn any money from advertising in that app.
- You may use the Item to enter a contest or sweepstakes as long as the contest organizers agree to follow these rules.
- You may use the Item on a page where you ask for optional donation requests.
- Once you've made and distributed your Item, anyone else using it also has to follow these rules.
- If your Item is an app or website, it can’t include any malware, adware, spyware or lead to spam or phishing attempts.
- You cannot enter into any agreement with someone else to exclusively distribute your Item even if they don't pay you. We give you this license so that you can make cool Items and share them far and wide. Someone else holding your Item back from wide distribution means: (a) it's not going far and wide; and (b) it is very likely that person is trying to use the Game Content to promote their commercial venture. That's not what these Rules are about.
- Where someone is trying to use Game Content to promote their commercial venture (even just a commercial website), they need our permission to do this. That is not allowed today unless that person has a commercial license from us, and so far, we haven't given anyone permission to do this. We'll let you know if we do.
- If you want to use the soundtracks or audio effects from the original game, we often license those from or to third parties and don't always have the rights to pass them on to you. If we do, we'll let you know. For example, we might mention on the community website for a particular game whether you have these rights, so you'd do well to check. If we don't let you know, you need permission from a third party, especially for games with licensed music. But we'll confirm right here that the music from Halo 3 is available for your use in non-profit ventures thanks to an arrangement with O'Donnell/Salvatori, Inc., composers of this iconic theme.
- You can't infringe anyone's IP rights in your Item.
- You can't use any of Microsoft's trademarked logos or names except in the ways described in the pages linked from www.microsoft.com/trademarks.
- In addition, your Items may not use the name of the Microsoft Game in their title. For example, we don't object to "Red vs. Blue". We don't object to "Operation Chastity". But we do object to "Halo [insert the title of your Item here]". We want to make sure consumers don't get confused.
- Along those same lines, please don't use actual logos from the Microsoft Game as part of your Item's logos.
This means that if you add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with "lost chapters" or back story or anything like that, distribution of your story or idea may appear in a future game without any compensation to you. (Sorry, but our lawyers tell us we need to do this in order to avoid frivolous lawsuits getting in the way of making more great games.) It also means we can put your Item on a Microsoft site or property if we want to.
All seems pretty reasonable, actually. I bolded the first bit as cracking stuff and seeing what's inside is part of what people do - I think it's dumb of them to say folks can't do that.
However, the last bit, "Whatever you make in the "universe" we own and don't have to pay you" is not surprising, but pretty ****.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:34 AM
Tuesday January 6th, 2015
The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) recently joined the list of just two American colleges that recognize League of Legends as a varsity sport, the first being Robert Morris University in Chicago.
A private liberal arts university from Kentucky, UPIKE will also start offering eSports scholarships to qualifying League of Legends players and prospective students this fall, reports WYMT. There are 20 scholarships available.
Just like other athletic scholarships, students eligible for the eSports scholarship will need to maintain a specific GPA, and participate in practice sessions.
"It will be a regime a lot like athletics," said UPIKE's New Media director, Bruce Parsons. "What makes a good League of Legends player and eSports player also makes a good student."
UPIKE graduate Eric VanHoose plans to coach the school's League of Legends team, who will be competing in the Collegiate StarLeague starting this fall.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 10:13 PM
Sunday January 4th, 2015
| G Electronics (LG) today announced plans to introduce the world's first 21:9 "UltraWide" gaming monitor compatible with AMD FreeSync technology for fluid motion during fast gameplay.
The new monitor headlines LG's expanded lineup being unveiled next week at the 2015 International CES and further solidifies the company's leadership in the growing 21:9 segment, which caters to the digital imaging, business professional and gaming markets. Based on IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker, LG is the world sales leader in this monitor segment over the last seven fiscal quarters (as of the third quarter of 2014) with a market share of 77.3 percent of the world's 21:9 monitors.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:02 PM
| AOC is releasing two monitors, the 21.5" E2276VWM6 and a 23.6" E2476VWM6 both offer flicker free backlights and Anti-Blue Light filter modes. AOC’s new models are based on a special LED technology, which shifts the wavelength peak from harmful 450 nm to a safer 460 nm, which claims to reduce harmful blue light by over 90 %, whilst offering accurate colour reproduction.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:44 PM
Saturday December 20th, 2014
| Over the past several years AnandTech has grown to be much more than just a PC hardware review site. In fact, we consider ourselves to be just as much about the new mobile world as we do about the old PC world. We leveraged our understanding of component and system architecture in bringing a deeper, more analytical look to mobile silicon and devices. As we continued to invest in our mobile coverage and expertise, we found that readers, mobile component and device makers responded quite well to our approach.
AnandTech’s focus grew, but we quickly ran into a bottleneck when it came time to monetize that mobile content. Our mobile content did a great job of helping to grow the site (as well as bring new eyeballs to our traditional PC coverage as well). While we had no issues competing with larger corporate owned sites on the content front, when it came to advertising we were at a disadvantage. Our advantage in quality allowed us to make progress, but ultimately it became a numbers game. The larger corporate owned sites could show up with a network of traffic, substantially larger than what AnandTech could deliver, and land more lucrative advertising deals than we were able to. They could then in turn fund a larger editorial operation and the cycle continues.
AnandTech has been profitable since its inception; it’s been on a great growth curve these past couple of years and we’ve always been able to do more with less, but lately there’s been an increased investment in high quality content. It wasn’t that long ago where the only type of content seeing real investment was shallow, poorly researched and ultimately very cable-TV-news-like. More recently however we’ve seen a shift. Higher quality content is being valued and some big names (both on the publishing and VC fronts) have been investing in them. Honestly we haven’t seen a world like this in probably over a decade.
Before his departure, Anand spent almost a year meeting with all of the big names in the publishing space, both traditional and new media players. The goal was to find AnandTech a home with a partner that had a sustainable business model (similar to AnandTech’s), but could add the investment and existing reach to allow the site to better realize its potential. That search led to a number of interesting potential partners; it was a refreshing experience to say the least knowing that there are groups in the world who really value good content. Ultimately that search brought AnandTech to Purch.
Purch met the requirements: they have a sustainable business model, are profitable and have the sort of reach AnandTech needs to really hit the next level. More fundamentally however, Purch’s values are in line with AnandTech’s. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Purch acquired one of AnandTech’s biggest competitors in the late 1990s: Tom’s Hardware. Purch had already demonstrated a value for the sort of deep, long form content AnandTech was known for. In meeting with the Purch business and editorial teams, there was a clear interest in further developing AnandTech’s strengths as well as feeding back AnandTech’s learnings into the rest of the Purch family.
AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware remain editorially independent, and though no longer competitors, the goal is to learn from one another. To further invest in the areas that make us different, and together with the rest of the Purch family help to bring a higher standard of quality to the web.
The AnandTech team is staying in place and will continue to focus on existing coverage areas. We’re not changing our editorial policies or analytical approach and have no intentions of doing so. The one thing that will change is our ability to continue to grow the site. This if anything starts from the top; with a publisher to more directly handle the business of AnandTech, this frees me up to spend more time on content creation and helping the rest of our editors put together better articles. And in a hands-on business like journalism that benefit cannot be overstated.
AnandTech was an incredibly powerful force as an independent publisher, but it now joins a family whose combined traffic is eight times larger than what AnandTech was on its own. Our goal is to continue to invest in what we feel is the right approach to building high quality content; now we have an even greater ability to do just that.
The end of AnandTech?
Posted By chartiet @ 9:51 AM
Tuesday December 9th, 2014
| An open letter explains the game's ambition means there are still bugs that need to be fixed and some features are not yet working correctly. As a result, the game has been pushed back by 12 weeks.
I'm cool with it. Take your time. I feel like they are one of the only AAA developers to actually care about 1) their games and 2) their customers.
Posted By Urbanfox @ 10:33 AM
Monday December 8th, 2014
| Asustek Computer's good brand recognition in the high-end PC segment and price cut strategy, has reportedly helped the company to surpass Micro-Star International (MSI) in gaming notebook shipments in Taiwan and is trailing closely behind MSI in China, Europe, North America and Southeast Asia, according to sources from channel retailers.The sources pointed out that Asustek has a 60% share in Taiwan's gaming notebook market, and in 2015, the company will continue to expand related investments to snatch more share from its competitors in markets worldwide.
Asustek initially insisted on only launching high-end models, but has later turned to focus on developing models with high price/performance ratios, after seeing MSI's gaming notebooks continue to outsell its own.
Asustek's G56-series gaming notebooks launched recently and priced at NT$30,000-35,000 (US$965-1,126) are currently in fierce competition with MSI's gaming models.
Currently, Asustek is mainly pushing 6-7 gaming notebooks in the market and recently launched its latest G751-series with high specifications and multiple functions. The G751-series has two models, priced at NT$94,800 and NT$50,900.
MSI is cautiously defending its market share and has launched 24 gaming notebook models in the past year under its top-end performance GT-series, thin-and-light GS-series, high-price/performance ratio GE/GX-series and entry-level GP-series.
As for the gaming desktop market, not many vendors have developed products for the market due to weak demand, but Asustek recently launched the ROG GR8 ultra-mini gaming desktop, priced at NT$30,000-40,000, looking to attract consumers with small form factor demand.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:09 AM
| TSMC is ready to move to volume production of their 16nm FinFET process, Nvidia is joining them based on a recent report. This is interesting news for several reasons, included the one that is called 20nm. Is this fab process now skipped ?
TSMC confirmed NVIDIA will be using this process. TSMC's 16nm FinFET process has passed full reliability qualification, and nearly 60 customer designs are currently scheduled to tape out by the end of 2015, the company announced previously.
TSMC expects to move the node to volume production around July 2015. As Digitimes reports, the list of clients that will use 16nm are Avago Technologies, Freescale, LG Electronics, MediaTek, Nvidia, Renesas Electronics and Xilin, these are the early adopters of TSMC's 16nm FinFET process, the foundry disclosed.
Others have noticed this, but it is interesting to see that AMD was not (yet) included in that list, but since there are supposed to be 60 customers we think that'll not be an issue. Anyway, after 16nm there will be 10 nm. Due to size and complexity with Biilions of transistors these days we expect 16nm FinFET GPUs to arrive by Q3 2015. Keep in mind that current high-end GPUs are still based 28nm, so the step forward will be tremendous.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:07 AM
| In our previous post about 16nm TCSM we've been wondering as to why AMD was not on the 16nm fab list, whereas other players like Nvidia have been named. The answer just came to us though, AMD will manufacture their GPU at Global Foundries. Global Foundries has made great progress claims Devinder Kumar from AMD at an investor meeting.
AMD sold Global Foundries in 2008 to raise cash in difficult times, Kumar stated that they will still fab 'some' products at 20nm and from there on-wards it will move to Finfet-chips. Gobalfoundries is working together with Samsung on 14nm already, Samsung will launch with SoCs based on that fab node next year already.
Finfets have a bigger surface area which helps switching faster for the transistors. Finfet chips are more power efficient, smaller and cheaper to manufacture.
It's unclear of AMD will remain partner of TSMC.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:05 AM
| Microsoft said at the Windows 10 launch event that the company would be releasing the updated operating system in the summer of 2015. Thanks to a note by Kevin Turner at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference, we have a slightly more specific timeline.
Turner said in the note that the company will be releasing Windows 10 in "late summer and early fall." The language is a bit peculiar and we have posted the comment below. The thing I want to tell you about on Windows 10 is in the Windows 10 timeframe, which we plan to talk about the end-user consumer experiences in the early spring, we'll have a developer preview and be able to talk to that in depth in the early summer timeframe. And then by next late summer and early fall we'll be able to bring out this particular OS. That's the current plan of record.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:03 AM
Thursday November 13th, 2014
| For those like me who communicate through high-bandwidth media, the FCC’s proposal would be particularly silencing. Better to delay the video I was working on and make this one, rather than do nothing and possibly see all future vihart videos delayed.
A very different sort of video for me. An enjoyable challenge.
Source: Vi Hart
By far the best explanation and analogy of what Net Neutrality is and why we need it.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:45 AM
Sunday November 9th, 2014
| Earlier this week, in something of an unexpected move, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and Futuremark announced that UL had acquired the benchmarking company, signaling their expansion into the software development industry and benchmarking services. This might seem a bit of an odd fit at first, as UL is a large corporation that's more than a century old and they have a history of providing "safety science" – they certify, validate, test, inspect, audit, and advise consumers and businesses in matters of safety. Reading further into the announcement however clarifies things:
"Embedded software is now an important part of product design. With an increased focus on mobility, we see more and more products being connected, making the Internet of Things a reality. Consequently, software quality is a significant driver of product safety and performance; and we believe that benchmarking is an important way to help our customers to improve the performance of their products. This acquisition provides [UL] with an opportunity to build a new business line in testing a wide variety of technological devices so they offer the performance, safety and privacy that consumers expect."
In other words, Futuremark's expertise in building benchmarking and testing software, including perhaps most notably the recent release of 3DMark and PCMark for Android, will help UL in testing and certifying a variety of modern devices. The announcement goes on to note that UL plans for additional investments into Futuremark's product development, increasing the range and types of benchmarks that are offered.
For their part, Futuremark obviously gets much deeper corporate funding, and UL is a global company with many resources and contacts. Futuremark's current staff of 39 employees will all remain, including the CEO Jukka Mäkinen. UL by comparison already has over 10,000 employees located around the world. Details of the amount of the acquisition are not known, but UL notes that both Futuremark and UL have a history of neutrality and independence that they intend to continue, and at present UL will continue to support Futuremark's distribution of benchmarking software for PCs and mobile devices.
Source: Futuremark (via TechReport)
Posted By chartiet @ 9:25 AM
Thursday November 6th, 2014
| Over the past few years, Korean cooling company Zalman has slid away from the spotlight. Once a main player in the silent PC cooling business, the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.
A report in The Korea Times cites troubles with Zalman's parent company, Moneual, as the reason behind why the company has folded. According to their sources, Moneual had failed to repay export bonds totalling 500 billion won (US$460m), causing them to file for court receivership despite reporting significant revenue and operating profits in the previous financial year.
Moneual, a robotic vacuum cleaner manufacturer, is also suspected of "overstating its export performance in order to receive large loans from financial institutions." On top of that, Zalman themselves are accused of violating corporate accounting rules, which would have contributed to their demise.
Some of Zalman's most popular products included their line of circular copper CPU and GPU coolers, which in the mid-2000s were easily recognizable as being from the company. Zalman also focused on making truly-silent passive cooling solutions, including a passive liquid cooler and a popular line of heatsink-laden silent PC cases.
Source: Tech Spot
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 1:59 PM