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October 14th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

firms. Taiwan has long been a major hotspot for the PC manufacturing industry, so it's only logical that Apple is looking into better manufacturing processes that will cost less from firms that are based in Taiwan.

Apple may partner with TSMC Rockstar Games Collection Coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 for future quad-core chips Source: 6 future-quad-core-chips/17434.html October 14th, 2012

Source: October 14th, 2012

Apple has been relying on various South Korean firms to supply it with panels for the iPads, but recent reports from various sources are suggesting that Apple will shift its panel productions to non-Korean firms. That’s yesterday’s news, so today’s tidbit regarding Apple suggests that Apple may shift to TSMC’s 20nm process for future chips instead of continuing to rely on Samsung.

Rockstar Games has recently announced their first multigame collection is coming next month, right in time for the holidays. The Rockstar Games Collection retails for $59.99 and consists of four of their most popular award-winning titles, spanning across many different genres and historical eras.

J.T Hsu of Citigroup reportedly informed China Economic News that Apple has been eyeing TSMC, and researching possible use of the firm’s 20nm process for future quad-core chips. Hsu also indicated that preliminary production may begin next month, with volume production expected to begin near the end of 2013. Apple took Samsung too court not too long ago, and as it turns out, the California court decided in Apple’s favor and awarded the Cupertino-based firm over $1 billion in damages incurred due to patent infringements by Samsung. The legal battles between Samsung and Apple are still going, and there seems to be no end to the feud between two of the world’s largest consumer tech firm. Apple and Samsung have resentments toward each other, but regardless of the bad blood, business is business. Apple probably just wants better parts for less—hence, the rumored shifts of manufacturing from Korean-based

This November gamers can get their hands on the official Rockstar Games Collection 1 and experience all four tripleA titles in one convenient bundle. Below are the games included in this exclusive bundle:

• Red Dead Redemption -Unvariably one of the best rated and critically acclaimed open-world RPG westerns in the history of gaming, this release has defined sandbox gaming with its original, RPG-infused gameplay mechanics and powerful story that arcs through the lawless frontier of the Wild West. • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City - The conclusion to one of the most popular and highestrated games of all time, Grand Theft Auto IV, features two complete games on a single disc: The Lost and Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony. • L.A. Noire - Return to the 1950's in this devilishly clever neo-noire detective story right out of a pulp 1

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fiction novel, featuring some of the most realistic facial animations and a unique, emotional story line that takes gamers through L.A.'s seedy, crime-infested underground. • Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition - A must-have for all Midnight Club and racing fans, this release features deep customization on real-world cars, non-stop open-world street racing, and intense multiplayer action. The Complete Edition also offers every vehicle and stage released since the game's launch.

The Rockstar Games Collection will be available in North America on Nov. 6, 2012 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For more informtion please visit Rockstar Games' official website.

Study points out flaws in research by linking chocolate consumption with Nobel prizes Source: October 14th, 2012

A study was recently published which shows that there is a direct correlation between the amount of chocolate a nation consumes, and the number of Nobel laureates from said nation. The point of the study, however, was to show how ridiculous and fallacious such studies can be. New York physician Franz Messerli has just published a study, which shows a direct correlation between the amount of chocolate a nation consumes and the number of Nobel prizes won by people from that nation. The study's real purpose however, is not to incite an increase in chocolate consumption, but rather, to demonstrate how ridiculous a study can be when not properly analyzed One can indeed make the jump to conclude that chocolate and Nobel prizes are related: The highest number of Nobel prizes, by nation, are Swiss, Swedish and Danish. These very same nations consume the most chocolate. The study's main concern is with validating studies by using p-values; a commonly used expression for determining the likelihood of a result based on a spread of other results. Pretty much any statistical data falls into a so called bell-curve, as seen below. The height of the curve, Y, represents the amount of statistical data found to have the result given at some point on horizontal axis X. Thus, the highest points on the curve, in the middle, represent results with a high likelihood of happening; the further away from the middle we get, the less likely.

A bell curve. X is a particular result, and Y is the number of samples with that result The p-value is the probability of obtaining a result at least as unlikely as the one analyzed; in other words, the probability of any sample data getting some specific x-value. The closer the number is to 1, the closer the probability is to 100% Messerli found that the correlation between chocolate and Nobel Prizes, though clearly "evidenced" by the numbers, is as low as 0.01%, with a p-value of 0.0001. He admits there may be some indirect correlation, such as that wealthier nations will both be able to fund more research and allow for more chocolate snacking, but that there is no evidence of an actual link between the two. Messerli points out that research studies often go through hundreds of data sets and that it is sometimes very easy to see a connection when two unrelated items happen to exhibit signs of similarity. His lesson is simple: data is not always black and white, and though numbers can make one thing seem true, under a different light, they may be quite false. Whether this is accidental or a deliberate manipulation, one shouldn't always believe what one reads; especially if it seems too fantastical to be true.

New PlayStation Store Coming Oct. 23 Source: October 14th, 2012

PlayStation 3 owners can expect to see a change coming this month to the PlayStation Store: Sony has announced in their official blog that its online marketplace is getting a make-over with a whole new sleek and efficient interface. Listening closely to the feedback they received, Sony has revamped their digital marketplace to coincide with the general opinions of its constituency to build an all-new steamlined shopping experience.


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"PlayStation Store now offers more than 20,000 pieces of game-related content including downloadable games, add-ons and themes and more than 100,000 videos and TV shows. With so much to choose from, the redesign offers easier navigation to locate the perfect game, video or application. Product pages will deliver in-depth information about games and videos, while providing an amazing high definition visual experience found only on PS3." -- Eric Lempel, VP of Sony Network Entertainment The upcoming update to the PS Store interface looks to be quite modernized and impressively detailed, and promises to be more accessible and user friendly than the current UI. The new PlayStation Store will be available on Oct. 23, 2012 for PS3 and Vita.

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phablet, which has sold over 500,000 units in domestic markets alone. The ‘phablet’, as these new devices are starting to be called, combine both the virtues of tablet PCs and smartphones. Similar to using a tablet, when you surf the web or read ebooks, you don’t have to zoom in to see what is on the screen. On the other hand, a 5-inch screen is small enough that it can be gripped in one hand and easily carried in a purse or pocket. Most of these phablets also allow users to use electronic pens as a more precise tool for writing and taking notes. Unlike in the past, when Dell’s 5-inch Streak smartphone received a chilling reception, the global smartphone market has now matured enough to the point that there is quite a large demand for smartphones with larger screens. The popular choices (as already mentioned) include the Galaxy Note, the Optimus Vu, and the unmentioned Pantech Vega R3.

(LG Optimus Vu)

5-inch smartphones, are they a fad or the real deal? Source: October 14th, 2012

New 5-inch smartphones are in the works, and details of the upcoming HTC tablet are slowly becoming public. HTC's upcoming phablet will boast an incredibly brilliant 1,920 x 1,080 screen, but the release date of the device is still unknown.

Woman buys iPad from Walmart; receives legal pad Source: October 14th, 2012

In a worldwide market dominated by smaller cellphones, slowly but surely 5-inch smartphones are becoming more popular as consumers are beginning to the realize benifits of 5-inch smartphones over traditional tablets and smaller smartphones. Recently there has been a tremendous increase in the availability of 5-inch smartphones. Leading the way is the Samsung Galaxy Note, which has been selling at a record setting pace, with 10 million units having been sold worldwide so far. The LG Optimus Vu is another popular

In a surprising turn of events, a Texas Walmart shopper purchased an iPad, but received only notepads in the box; despite this, Walmart took convincing to refund the item. In Houston, 15 year old Courtney Akers had received an iPad as a birthday present from her mother. When they opened the box however, they found only a package of 3

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note pads. Courtney's mother, Bobbi Linden, had visited a Walmart during the preceding days and purchased the item, which was of the approximate weight of an actual iPad, and was indeed labeled as such. "I thought they were joking" explained Akers, believing her parents were sending a tongue-in-cheek message for her to pursue a legal career.

Apple's iPad When they attempted to return the notepads to Walmart, the store manager looked at the object, and then stated the she had never seen anything like this before, and that Walmart simply couldn't do anything about it. As the story hit the media though, Walmart became much more helpful and did eventually take refund the money. So what happened? As it turns out, Courtney Akers was the victim of a scam involving the fraudulent return of said iPad. A customer had purchased the tablet, replaced it with notepads, and professionally resealed it again. Since the packaging seemed intact and of the right weight, nobody had bothered checking if the item was in fact still there, and the box had simply been restocked on the shelf. This is not the first case of iPad fraud: Last year in South Carolina, a woman in a McDonald's parking lot paid $180 for an iPad, which turned out to be made of wood.

Amazon sells Kindles and Ereaders at their cost Source: October 14th, 2012

Amazon will not be making any money off the new Kindle hardware, and according to Amazon's Jeff Bezos, the Ereaders and Kindle Fire tablets are being sold “at our cost.”

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The tactic is completely logical, because Amazon is an online retail that relies heavily on sales of tangible and digital goods. The hardware that Amazon launches are merely tools to promote the goods that are offered through or by Amazon. Kindles and Amazon E-readers all promote the sales of digital goods such as e-books, music, and videos.

(Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite) Rival tablets/E-readers makers such as Google and Barnes & Noble have their work cut out for them, since their business strategy in the tablet market seem to mirror that of Amazon’s. Apple on the other hand, has always been selling their devices for profit, and investing heavily in the iOS app market to maintain a loyal customer base. Bezos also noted that people who purchase Kindle tend to have an increase in their reading habits, regardless of the medium—digital or prints. “What we find is that when people buy a Kindle they read four times as much as they did before they bought the Kindle,” he said. ”They don’t stop buying paper books. Kindle owners read four times as much, but they continue to buy both types of books.” The recently launched Kindle Paperwhite reader in selected European markets will only help to maintain Amazon’s dominance in the distribution of digital goods.

Halo 4 leaked, single-player campaign ready for play Source: October 14th, 2012

The official launch date for Halo 4 isn’t until November 6, but apparently a hard copy of the game has already been leaked onto the internet. Unlike the days where seafaring 4

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pirates had to roam the endless seas in search of ships to loot, all modern day internet pirates have to do is type in some keywords for what they want to download.

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already sold millions within just the first month alone and that success may carry over to the mini once Apple decides launch the device. Apple has reportedly ordered 10 million units, which suggest there are high hopes for the next Apple-hyped gadget. Microsoft will be launching Windows 8 and the Surface RT tablet on October 26th, so Apple may have to share some of the spotlight if it is indeed popping the lid on the mini in the same week. The rumors will continue to swirl until Apple makes an official announcement, and for now, all we really know about the iPad mini is that it will have a 7.85-inch screen (unless, Apple does one on us and plants whoopee cushion on everyone).

(Physical copy of the leaked Halo 4 Discs)

Setback for Apple as Samsung phone cleared for sale

Halo 4, according to the image posted on reddit, will come with two discs. Disc 1 will contain the singleplayer campaign, and Disc 2 will contain what’s needed for the multi-player mode. The 8GB single-player disc has already been uploaded to various p2p sites, which (after it's downloaded) can be burned onto a dual-layer DVD. Of course, if anyone wishes to play the pirated game will need to have their Xbox 360 modified in some way shape or form.

Source: October 14th, 2012

The multi-player Disc is a whole different beast, because Halo 4 hasn’t been released. Microsoft claims that they are working with law enforcement in looking for the source of the leak in a statement to The Examiner.

A US appeals court has overturned a pre-trial sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone, injuring Apple in its battle against Google's increasingly popular mobile software.

“We have seen the reports of Halo 4 content being propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation.”

A US appeals court has overturned a pre-trial sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone, injuring Apple in its battle against Google's increasingly popular mobile software.

Naturally, a leak of this magnitude means massive spoilers, and if anyone wants to wait for the official release, don't search for Halo 4 news until then. Furthermore, anyone who is considering downloading and playing the pirated copy of Halo 4 runs the risk of having their console banned permanently from Xbox Live.

iPad mini to be unveiled on October 23? Source: October 14th, 2012

Apple, widely regarded as an aggressively litigious company, is waging war on several fronts against Google, whose Android software powers many of Samsung's devices. The ruling on Thursday from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is not expected to have an outsized impact on the smartphone market, as the Nexus is an aging product in Samsung's lineup. However, the court's reasoning could make it much harder for companies that sue over patents get competitors' products pulled from the market, said Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara Law school in Silicon Valley. Such sales injunctions have been a key for companies trying to increase their leverage in courtroom patent fights.

Previously it was thought that Apple was going to unveil the iPad mini on October 17, but now another date has popped up suggesting that the dumbed down iPad won’t be shown to the world until October 23. Rumors surrounding the iPad mini suggest that the device will be a 7.85-inch budget slate—in the sense that it’ll be less expensive than a normal sized iPad. The iPhone has

"The Federal Circuit has said, 'Wait a minute,'" Chien said. Apple declined to comment, while Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


October 14th, 2012

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Apple scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung in August when a US jury found Samsung had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple $US1.05 billion in damages. The Nexus phone was not included in that trial, but is part of a tandem case Apple filed against Samsung earlier this year.

While the sales ban has been overturned, Samsung will still take a hit from this. The reality is that in the time it takes to let the lawyers wrangle and argue over things, tech moves on, and in today's mobile climate a lot can happen in a few months. It helps though, that a number of the current popular Android handsets are also made by Samsung.

District Judge Lucy Koh issued a pretrial injunction against the Nexus in June, based on an Apple patent for unified search capability. The appeals court then stayed that injunction until it could formally rule.

Earlier this week, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called the intensifying struggle between Apple and his company a "defining fight" for the future of the mobile industry.

In its opinion on Thursday, the Federal Circuit reversed the injunction entirely, saying that Koh abused her discretion.

Source: Reuters

Scientists look for evidence of universe being simulation Source: October 14th, 2012

In a research project with a distinct vibe of sci-fi, a group of scientists are attempting to discover if we're all simply living in a simluation.

Apple failed to prove that consumers purchased the Samsung product because of the infringing technology, the appeals court ruled. "It may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature," the court wrote. "And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement [the only harm that should count] is not." The court considered a single patent - one which allows the smartphone to search multiple data storage locations at once. For example, the smartphone could search the device's memory as well as the internet with a single query.

There's a fairly well-known philosophical question which has been rising to prominence over the past few decades: With computers today being able to model more and more complex systems in intricate simulations, is it possible that the universe is no more than a simulation too? Today, we can simulate anything from flight models and the movement of planetary bodies, down to the lives of denizens of small towns in games like The Sims. Is it so unreasonable to think that a civilization such as ours, a few thousand years down the line, could create a simulated universe, so perfect it's indistinguishable from the real thing? Some scientists have decided that pondering isn't enough, and have set out to find proof of whether this is really the case. Their research project, if it finds results, could indicate we are all virtual beings. The project revolves around the concept of quantum chromodynamics, which deals with how the strong force binds together subatomic particles such as gluons and quarks. This interactions the most basic building blocks of our universe, and everything, from a dog to a star, can be broken down into those basic components, and the strong force interacting between them.

The appeals court has sent the case back to Koh for reconsideration. A separate pretrial sales ban Apple had managed to win against Samsung - targeting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - was dissolved earlier this month after Samsung won at trial on that patent.

Simulating these interactions is essentially equatable to simulating the universe itself, and our most powerful computers have actually managed to do just that; only on a very small scale. The simulation is actually quite simple, but there are so many interacting parts that it overwhelms computers when doing models on areas on a larger scale

Beyond the Nexus, Samsung also has a collection of new tablets and smartphones intended for launch before the end of the year.

than measurable in femtometers (10-15 meters). Again, this means that a powerful enough computer potentially could simulate a far bigger system, but a simulation is still a simulation, and that means it should have some unmistakable characteristics. 6

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resurfaces concerns voiced by Minecraft creator Marcus "Notch" Persson - what if Microsoft decides to completely scrap the desktop mode in some future version of Windows? Would that mean the end of M-rated games on the platform? A more optimistic outlook though, is that this restriction will likely be changed in the future. Microsoft is probably not unaware of the impact gamers have had for their operating system: The rise of PC gaming in the 1980's and 90's helped Windows achieve the dominance it has today. It would be foolish to impose restrictions that cause difficulties for such an important customer-base. Is this what you really look like in the mirror? Silas Beane at the University of Bonn believes a simulation will reveal itself in the physical phenomenon called GreisenZatepin-Kuzmin cut off (GZK): Whereas theoretical physics allow things to happen in any direction, and on any scale, without limit, a computer simulation is restricted to a 3D lattice; a coordinate system upon which the simulation is limited. Nothing in the simulation can be smaller than the size of this lattice, much like an image on a computer monitor cannot be smaller than one pixel in size.

Windows 8's Microsoft Store to not feature M-rated games like Diablo lll Source: October 14th, 2012

Microsoft has decided not to release M-rated games on their new digital store in Windows 8, meaning many gamers will have to resort to the regular desktop mode. In a follow-up to an article we did last week, there's more news about the new Microsoft Store for Windows 8. Microsoft has decided not to sell any games in the store with an ESRB rating of M (mature). This means a significant number of triple-A games will be unavailable through the store; games such as Diablo III, the new Hitman and Call of Duty series.

The rating logo you'll find on the back of many games These games will still be playable on Windows 8, but you will be forced to use the desktop mode in order to play them.This adds an element of disorder to Windows 8 the games available only in desktop mode won't even be accessible via Modern UI, so your programs will be spread out across the two interfaces haphazardly. In addition, it

Apple snatches chip veteran from Samsung Source: October 14th, 2012

Apple has just hired a chip making veteran from Samsung, which could have implications for not only Apple and Samsung, but also Intel. Apple has just hired a veteran in the chip making industry, Jim Mergard, whose 16 year career with AMD led him to the positions of vice president, as well as chief engineer. Mergard is responsible for the development of AMD's mobile APU "Brazos". 16 months ago, Mergard finally left AMD to work for Samsung as chief system architect, but now, he's left that company as well, in favor of a position at Apple. Naturally, this will impact Samsung, and perhaps more than one would think: Apple is currently dependent on Samsung for manufacturing their touch devices. Though the design is carried out by apple, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch all make use of the A5 and A6 processors which are manufactured by Samsung. Thus, as Apple's expertise grows, their reliance on Samsung diminishes. And that means a potentially massive future loss for Samsung. Jim Mergard Similarly, Intel manufactures the CPUs for Apple's Macintosh computers. Mergard's expertise may help develop chips for the Macs as well, thus reducing Apple's reliance on Intel as well. Patrick Moorhead, former executive for AMD, stated that Mergard could absolutely help make Apple more independent: "[He] would be very capable of pulling together internal and external resources to do a PC processor for Apple." The implications of switching to hardware unique to apple would mean returning to how Macs were built prior to 2006; that is, without the ability to natively run operating systems such as Windows alongside Mac OS X (though this would still be possible through emulators). Is this Apple's plan, and if so, will it work?


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Galaxy SIII Mini, how does it compare to the full-size?

endure long hours and low wage, so what else can a company like Foxconn ask for from its employees?

Source: October 14th, 2012

It's official, the Galaxy SIII mini isn’t a high-end Android device, and that shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone. Samsung recently unveiled the miniaturized version of its flagship device, the Galaxy SIII. The marketing tactic is evident, but as far as consumers are concern, if it’s a decent device and it's affordable then it’ll sell a few. So here’s the comparison everyone wants to see: Processor

RAM Storage


OS Camera Network Connectivity Battery

SIII Mini SIII Dual Core @ 1GHz Quad Core @ 1.4GHz Dual Core @ 1.5GHz 1GB 1GB 8/16GB and 32GB and microSD microSD up to up to 64GB 32GB 4’’ Super AMOLED 4.8’’ Super 800x480 AMOLED 1280x720 Android Jelly Bean Android Jelly Bean w/ update 5MP rear and VGA 8MP rear and front facing 1.9MP front facing 3G 4G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC 4.0, GPS, NFC 1500mAh 2100mAh

The differences in specs are apparent, as the SIII mini is a smaller and less powerful device. The main feature that’s missing in the Mini that may come under fire from consumers is the lack of 4G. Everything else about the Mini has the mid-range moniker written all over it.

Foxconn kicks a man with half a brain Source: October 14th, 2012

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Don’t kick a man when he’s down.” Foxconn workers are known to

(Zhang Tingzhen with family/friends) A 26-year old man named Zhang Tingzhen was hurt on the job while at Foxconn last October that led to the removal of half of his brain. Despite such a tragic incident, Foxconn is reportedly telling the man to leave the hospital even though doctors are against it. The surgery left Zhang with not much else besides his dignity. Zhang lost his memory in addition to the other life changing disabilities such as the inability to talk or walk. Foxconn has been bugging Zhang’s family via text messages to discharge him from the hospital, and if Zhang’s family doesn’t comply, Foxconn will terminate his medical benefits. According to Foxconn, their notices to Zhang’s family are perfectly legal, because for Zhang to continue to receive his medical benefits he has to make a 43 mile trip to get a disability assessment. The compromise seems simple enough, but Zhang’s doctor is not confident that he’ll be able to reach his destination without developing more problems, as Zhang is risking hemorrhage if he does follow through with the 43-mile journey. This is quite the sob story, but what’s even more twisted is that there’s a local law stating that injured workers can receive up to two years of hospital care before the disability assessment requirement kicks in. Zhang has been in the hospital for only about a year. Tragic accidents as well as suicides within the confines of Foxconn facilities have led many worker’s rights and labor organizations to criticize Foxconn for its inhumane treatment of employees. Just a few weeks ago, a Foxconn riot involving thousands of workers made global headlines. How many more tragic cases must Foxconn experience before any real reforms are put in place?

Less business for Koreanbased tablet panel makers? Source: October 14th, 2012

LG and Samsung Electronics currently holds about 60 percent of the market for productions of panels for tablets,


October 14th, 2012

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but that number may decrease soon as Apple may shift their display production away from South Korean-based firms.

in the world though, for whom this is a luxury they cannot afford.

A source familiar with the matter reported that Apple will likely starting using IGZO panels from Sharp for future iPads, and AUO in Taiwan for the upcoming 7.85-inch iPad mini. The move to obtain panels elsewhere in Asia may mean that Sharp and AUO is offering to make the panels for less. One can also speculate that the decaying relationship between Samsung and Apple may also has something to do with the move.

More than a third of the world's population is online while mobile phone uptake increased by more than 600 million in 2011 to around six billion, according to a UN agency. But the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) highlighted huge disparities in the cost of services, with the poorer parts of the world tending to pay the most. "On the back of the increase in broadband services worldwide, the number of people using the internet grew by 11 per cent over the past year ... i.e., 2.3 billion people," the ITU said in its 2012 report on information and communication technologies (ICT).

Regardless of the reason, Apple’s move out of Korea means less business for two of Korea’s largest tech firm. The iPad mini will be Apple’s budget slate, or at least that’s what many are thinking. Therefore, there’s a high chance that the smaller iPad will develop a large following if Apple’s marketing department continues to do what it does best. Analysts predict that global tablet users will reach 124 million by 2014, and Apple currently holds nearly 70 percent of the tablet market share. Taiwan is a hotspot for PC OEMs, but the PC market is shrinking, hence, Apple’s move may give Taiwan the much needed boost in its tech sector. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are also investing heavily in the tablet market, and Taiwan seems to be the popular destination for core tablet components.

A third of the world is online, but it's still unaffordable for some Source: October 14th, 2012

In terms of affordability, Macau, Norway and Singapore topped the list of 161 countries featured in the report. Madagascar came bottom, just behind Togo and Niger. In Africa, internet connectivity prices were almost seven times higher than in the Americas, and 20 times higher than Europe in 2011. Mobile phones with broadband showed the sharpest growth of all ICT sectors between 2010 and 2011, the agency said, with almost 1.1 billion subscriptions by the end of 2011.

A fast, reliable internet connection is something a lot of us just take for granted these days. It's amazing to think that I used to get by with a 56k dialup connection when I was younger (I miss that dial up sound!). There are still many in the world though, for whom this is a luxury they cannot afford.

Despite a surge in mobile phone broadband, "prices for ICT services remain very high in many low-income countries," said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

A fast, reliable internet connection is something a lot of us just take for granted these days. It's amazing to think that I used to get by with a 56k dialup connection when I was younger (I miss that dial up sound!). There are still many

Income from the telecommunication sector reached $US1.5 trillion ($1.46 trillion) in 2010, around 2.4 per cent of the world's gross domestic product, the report said.


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Source: AFP

GTA V to launch in March, 2013 [rumor] Source: October 14th, 2012

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Rockstar is building up a lot of hype for the next GTA, and the rumored release dates only adds to the anticipation. Game Informer has confirmed that GTA V will be a part of its December issue, so hopefully that's a sign that the game is nearing completion!

Quantum effects observed in cold chemistry Source: October 14th, 2012

The car-stealing and blatant-murdering-of innocentpedestrians video game will hit store shelves in March, 2013. Controversial as it may seem, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto is one of the more successful video game series, and for fans, the news mean that the wait for GTA V won't last much longer. Games Radar reports that they have seen two retailers listing the game for launch on two different dates. The first being March 1, and the second is May 31, 2013. For fans of the series, it’s a big sigh of relief now that they know when they’ll be able to get their next dose of free world killing spree fun.

At very low temperatures, close to absolute zero, chemical reactions may proceed at a much higher rate than classical chemistry says they should – because in this extreme chill, quantum effects enter the picture. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute have now confirmed this experimentally; their results would not only provide insight into processes in the intriguing quantum world in which particles act as waves, it might explain how chemical reactions occur in the vast frigid regions of interstellar space. At very low temperatures, close to absolute zero, chemical reactions may proceed at a much higher rate than classical chemistry says they should – because in this extreme chill, quantum effects enter the picture. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute have now confirmed this experimentally; their results would not only provide insight into processes in the intriguing quantum world in which particles act as waves, it might explain how chemical reactions occur in the vast frigid regions of interstellar space.

The next installment of GTA will take place in Los Santos, a city that mirrors the limelight of Los Angeles, California. In the story, the main character wants to pursue the “dream” of living the good life—a nice home by the beach, exotic supercars, a family, and money. As with every all prior releases of GTA, the main component is the money and how the main character obtains it. And if it’s some sort of illegal activity, GTA will probably have it as a part of the core gameplay. Spokesperson for Rockstar was quoted as saying that the next GTA will be “the largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created…[and a] radical reinvention of the Grand Theft Auto universe.”

Long-standing predictions are that quantum effects should allow the formation of a transient bond – one that will force colliding atoms and molecules to orbit each other, instead of separating after the collision. Such a state would be very important, as orbiting atoms and molecules could have multiple chances to interact chemically. In this theory, a reaction that would seem to have a very low probability of occurring would proceed very rapidly at certain energies. Dr. Ed Narevicius and his team in the Institute’s Chemical Physics Department managed, for the first time, to experimentally confirm this elusive process in a reaction they performed at chilling temperatures of just a fraction of a degree above the absolute zero – 0.01°K. Their results have just been published in the journal Science. “The problem,” says Narevicius, “is that in classical chemistry, we think of reactions in terms of colliding billiard balls held together by springs on the molecular level. In the classical picture, reaction barriers block those billiard balls from approaching one another, whereas in the quantum physics world, reaction barriers can be penetrated by particles, as these acquire wave-like qualities at ultra-low temperatures.“


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to particles trapped in orbits around one another. Such interference occurs at particular energies and is marked by a dramatic increase in reaction rates.

The experimental system: two supersonic valves followed by two skimmers. The blue beam passes though a curved magnetic quadrupole guide, and the merged beam (purple) enters a quadrupole mass spectrometer. B is a front view of the quadrupole guide.

Narevicius said, “Our experiment is the first proof that the reaction rate can change dramatically in the cold reaction regime. Beyond the surprising results, we have shown that such measurements can serve as an ultrasensitive probe for reaction dynamics. Our observations already prove that our understanding of even the simplest ionization reaction is far from complete; it requires a thorough rethinking and the construction of better theoretical models. We expect that our method will be used to solve many puzzles in reactions that are especially relevant to interstellar chemistry, which generally occurs at ultra-low temperatures.” Source: Weizmann Institute of Science

The quest to observe quantum effects in chemical reactions started over half a century ago with pioneering experiments by Dudley Herschbach and Yuan T. Lee, who later received a Nobel Prize for their work. They succeeded in observing chemical reactions at unprecedented resolution by colliding two low-temperature, supersonic beams. However, the collisions took place at relative speeds that were much too high to resolve many quantum effects: When two fast beams collide, the relative velocity sets the collision temperature at above 100°K, much too warm for quantum effects to play a significant role. Over the years, researchers had used various ingenious techniques, including changing the angle of the beams and slowing them down to a near-halt. These managed to bring the temperatures down to around 5°K – close, but still a miss for those seeking to observe chemical reactions in quantum conditions. The innovation that Narevicius and his team, including Alon B. Henson, Sasha Gersten, Yuval Shagam and Julia Narevicius, introduced was to merge the beams rather than collide them. One beam was produced in a straight line, and the second beam was bent using a magnetic device until it was parallel with the first. Even though the beams were racing at high-speed, the relative speed of the particles in relation to the others was zero. Thus a much lower collision temperature of only 0.01 K could be achieved. One beam contained helium atoms in an excited state, the other either argon atoms or hydrogen molecules. In the ensuing chemical reaction, the argon or hydrogen molecules became ionized – releasing electrons. To see if quantum phenomena were in play, the researchers looked at reaction rates – a measure of how fast a reaction proceeds – at different collision energies. At high collision energies, classical effects dominated and the reaction rates slowed down gradually as the temperature dropped. But below about 3°K, the reaction rate in the merged beams suddenly took on peaks and valleys. This is a sign that a quantum phenomenon known as scattering resonances due to tunneling was occurring in the reactions. At low energies, particles started behaving as waves: Those waves that were able to tunnel through the potential barrier interfered constructively with the reflected waves upon collision. This creates a standing wave that corresponds 11

October 16th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

65th anniversary of breaking of sound barrier Source: October 16th, 2012

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier 65 years ago, and last Sunday, he did it again, in celebration of the anniversary. Sixty-five years ago, Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier. At 24 years old, Yeager flew the experimental Bell X-1 jet plane to the record books. The X-1 was slightly shy of 31 feet long with a 28 foot wingspan, and hit 700 miles per hour, or mach 1.06, on October 14th 1947. The flight carried him to 43,000 feet and ushered in the era or supersonic aviation.

New test could determine consciousness in brain injured patients Source: October 16th, 2012

A research team in Beligum has been testing a new method of determining brain activity in patients, such as those in a coma, to help objectively determine if they're brain dead. It is a difficult thing to determine if a brain-injured person is conscious or not; where does one draw the line between alive and dead? This question is something doctors have to deal with every day, when deciding whether or not they are observing reflexes or actual, purposeful responses, to stimuli on vegetative patients. It's really an open question, and each doctor has to make that call subjectively. There have been several attempts at finding a generalized test to determine if a person truly is conscious, such as doing EEG scans of brain activity. But even here, the results aren't always black and white: Several years ago, an unconscious and vegetative patient was found to be able to answer yes or no questions as well as any alert and awake person.

Ret. Brigadier General Chuck Yeager Yeager's flight in the X-1 was one of the first steps of innovation in a field that would eventually lead to the pursuit of space flight and turn us into a space faring civilization. The flight has been covered in movies, books and documentaries, and now, the 89-year old former test pilot and air force brigadier general has celebrated the anniversary of the event. By flying in the backseat of an F-15 Eagle at Nellis Airforce base, Yeager once more broke the sound barrier, reaching mach 1.4. "Cockpits don't change; you just use the controls to make the airplane do what you want to do," he said with a smirk in an interview with the associated press.

Example of the kind of system used for monitoring brain activity Melanie Boly, postdoc at the Belgian National Fund for Research in Liege, has been hard at work to find a new method of testing patents that can empirically decide whether they are in fact conscious. A team of 32 volunteers were subjected to a short electrical pulse on their brains, after which the brain activity was monitored. In awake 1

October 16th, 2012

patients, the pulse caused a response of activity which spread across the brain. In healthy, but sleeping patients, the response was similar but shorter. As Boly performed the test on vegetative patients, the result was similar to that of the sleeping volunteers, and she found that the more conscious they were, the more complex the brain activity response. This "response complexity index" could thus help determine consciousness of patients in the future.

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Microsoft gearing up for Windows 8 launch by ordering 5 million Surface tablets Source: October 16th, 2012

New theory on the origin of ball lightning Source: October 16th, 2012

A recently published paper lays out a new mathematical theory for the formation of ball lightning, an incredible and mysterious weather phenomenon. Ball lightning is an elusive and mysterious phenomenon; a softball sized orb of electricity which has yet to be fully understood since it is so difficult to empirically study. It can appear anywhere from the sky, or even in your own home. However, scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Australia National University have recently published a paper which details a mathematical model that may help explain the origins of ball lightning.

It may rain tablets come Christmas, literally. Component suppliers in Asia have reported that Microsoft has put in an order for somewhere between 3 to 5 million Surface tablets. Such an order can only mean that Microsoft is serious about snagging away some of the market share from the big-boy of the tablet world—Apple. According to the Wall Street Journal, the amount of tablets Microsoft has ordered is similar the orders that were placed by Amazon and Google for their respective tablets. Apple, on the other hand, has reportedly ordered around 10 million iPad minis from its Asian suppliers. Apple has not confirmed the iPad mini—the rumored 7.85inch budget iOS tablet. However, there are quite a few rumors floating around which suggest that Apple will lift the lid on the iPad mini in about a weeks’ time. Adding the amount of tablets that Amazon, Apple, Microsoft have ordered together and you’ll have more than enough tablets to go around this holiday season.

Ball lightning encounter in the 19th century Previously, every thing from microwave radiation, antimatter and burning remnants of previous lightning strikes have been proposed as explanations, but the new paper instead turns towards ion streams. Ions, electrically charged atoms, which appear as remnants of lightning strikes, could gather on surfaces, such as a plane of glass, and accumulate over time. These ions might then excite the molecules in the air around it, leading to a discharge. The new theory is entirely mathematical, relying on generally accepted theories and formulas, which means it should be possible to test the theory, and perhaps even recreate the lightning.

(Surface Tablet's keyboard also acts as a screen cover) Microsoft hasn’t announced the prices of its upcoming Surface RT tablet, but some sources have indicated that the software-giant may sell the device for as low as $200. Many are speculating that Apple will sell the iPad mini for as low as $250, with a few thinking that the device will go for around $300. Apple currently controls nearly 70 percent of the tablet market, and the entrance of the iPad mini may only help to strengthen that strangle hold. Windows 8 and the Surface tablet is Microsoft’s answer to the iPad, but only time will 2

October 16th, 2012

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tell whether or not Microsoft can succeed in captivating consumers with its new products.

impressive new feature to Halo 4's multiplayer with the Infinity system.

Update: Microsoft has finally uncovered the pricings of its Surface RT tablets. The 32GB model will cost $499, and the 64GB model will cost $699. As for the keyboard accessories, the Touch Cover will cost $119.99, whereas the Type Cover will cost $129.99.

In 343's newly releasedHalo 4: Infinity Multiplayer video players get a behind the scenes look at how the system was created, executed, and finely tuned to deliver a whole new multiplayer experience that's unlike any other in the Halo franchise. Essentially, Infinity is the UNSC flagship of the Spartan IV program, and acts as a headquarters for all players to customize their own Spartan warriors as well as build an engaging story arc that spans across multiple areas of the game.

Samsung announces prices of upcoming Windows 8 PCs Source: October 16th, 2012

First off are the Samsung Smart PCs. The Pro 700T will run for a cool $1,200, whereas the lower tier 500T will cost you $750 with a keyboard, and $650 without. The 500T’s price difference with and without a keyboard is rather intriguing —begging us to ask the question: “Is the bundled keyboard really that expensive?” Next up are the Mobile PCs, or laptops, or Ultrabooks—or whatever you want to call them. The Series 9 Premium Ultrabook will come in two models, a 13-inch and a 15-inch. The smaller 13-inch will cost $1,300, and the 15-inch will be $1,500. The 15-inch Series 7 Notebook is slightly over a grand, and will cost you $1,100 apiece. Samsung’s Series 5 Ultra Touch will vary in prices depending on configurations. The Core i3 model will cost $810, but for $50 more people can upgrade a Core i5. The Series 3 is Samsung’s attempt at wooing bargain hunters, with notebooks starting at $450. The prices of the Series 3 will increase, however, if the system’s base configurations are changed. The Series 7 All-in-One desktop PCs will also vary in prices depending on configurations. The model with the 27-inch display will cost $1,700, and consumers will have to drop $1,100 for the smaller 23.6-inch model. The most affordable out of the desktop models announced is the Series 5 Allin-One, which is slightly less than one grand—coming in at $800.

343 Studios Goes Behind The Scenes to Explain Halo 4's Infinity Multiplayer Source: October 16th, 2012

343 goes behind the scenes to show gamers how the idea of Halo 4's dynamic Infinity multiplayer mode blurs the lines between competitive and co-operative play.

This essentially breathes new life into the multiplayer gameplay and gives the mode a more substantial feel, making it an actual extension and part of the universe rather than just a separate game on the side. Check out the vid on Halo Waypoint via Xbox LIVE or the official Halo website for more information. Experience Halo 4's revolutionary Infinity multiplayer mode firsthand when the game relea on Nov. 6, 2012

Jared Polis: FTC should not overrgulate the online tech industry Source: October 16th, 2012

For many startups and small businesses, Google is one of the main driving forces in deciding whether or not these smaller-timers succeed. At least that’s what Congressman Jared Polis is saying. The FTC is currently investigating Google’s business practices, and if it turns out there’s something fishy then there may be a huge antitrust case against the search giant. Polis, a self-proclaimed “high-tech entrepreneur”, cautions the FTC to not overregulate the tech industry, especially when it comes to a company that’s dynamic like Google. We all know Google’s presence in the tech industry via its search engine, but search is not the only thing that Google is developing and deploying. Take for instance, Google Maps is very popular among people who are looking for driving directions, geo-locations, and even a visual tour of the site that is of interest. In Polis’ letter to the FTC’s Chairman Jon Leibowitz, he claims that Google has helped small businesses grow through the search engine’s advertising tools. Polis also credits Google for its indirect involvement in helping people to obtain jobs, because more jobs become available when businesses grow.

Halo 4 has streamlined the franchise, adding in a plethora of new features and content that expand both the universe and game mechanics of the series. For gamers who have always wanted more out of their multiplayer experience than simple competitive matches, 343 Studios has introduced an 3

October 16th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone October 16th, 2012

While the original Padfone convertible hybrid concept didn't exactly light up the smartphone world when it officially debuted at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, ASUS quietly went back to the drawing board and came with up with a much improved offering that has the credentials to challenge the established big boys out there.

(Congressman Jared Polis among his constituents) “Google’s advertising tools…help grow our business and reach new customers around the world, generating hundreds of new jobs,” Polis says in his letter. “I’ve seen firsthand Google’s economic impact on my state: in 2011, Google helped generate $1.4 billion of economic activity for Colorado businesses, website publishers and nonprofits.”

While the original Padfone convertible hybrid concept didn't exactly light up the smartphone world when it officially debuted at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, ASUS quietly went back to the drawing board and came with up with a much improved offering that has the credentials to challenge the established big boys out there.

According to Polis, his constituents have never complained about the lack of choices when it comes to online services. So instead of regulations via the FTC or other government agencies, Polis believes that consumers can protect themselves—especially when it comes to tech companies that have a lot of online presences. “I have never heard on of my constituents say that they don’t feel like they have enough choices online, or that they feel locked in to using any of these services. Competition among these services is leading to lots of great services for consumers—and consumers aren’t asking congress or the FTC to protect them. Quite to the contrary consumers demand the rapid pace of progress and change that has become the norm on the internet.” Furthermore, Polis doesn’t want the FTC “overregulate Internet content,” because consumers drive the economy and they should get to decide what stays and what goes. Polis pointed out the rather inefective PIPA/SOPA proposals from a year earlier to make his case against government intervention in online businesses.

The new phone itself has very impressive hardware specifications that positions it at the top echelons of the Android ecosystem, with a top of the line quad core Qualcomm S4 Pro APQ8064 (first spotted in the LG Optimus G) running at 1.5GHz augmented by a whopping 2GB of RAM to provide a snappy multitasking experience.

“Today’s giant can be tomorrow’s failure without any government intervention; market forces drive obsolescence at a break neck pace which should only further abrogated the need for government intervention,” he says. Adding to his argument, Polis pointed out that firms such as AOL, MySpace, and Yahoo were all considered “dominant” in the past, but look at where they’re at now. The online tech industry is constantly evolving, and consumers decide what’s hot and what’s not. “Consumers can switch to a new service with just one click,” Polis concluded.

ASUS Padfone 2 and Padstation Preview Source:

The display also got an upgrade to a top of the line 720p 4.7 inch LG Super IPS+ panel (previously 4.3 inch) with maximum brightness of 700nits, which means you can use the phone even under broad daylight. Current units come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream sandwich but ASUS is working on a Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update which is slated to be out next month.


October 16th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Right: Elegantly designed Volume Up/Down and Power Button

Bottom: Micro USB port with MHL support that also serves the docking connector to the Padfone Station

Top: Centered 3.5mm jack for earphones and regular microSIM slot

Its non-removable battery has a capacity rating of 2140mAH and its rear facing camera is a 13 megapixel Sony f/2.4 sensor. Unfortunately just like the iPhone and Google Nexus phones, there is no micro SD slot for storage expansion.

Left: The Z-height of the Padfone 2 tapers to one end, just like most comtemporary designer products.

Phone Specifications Networks

WCDMA 900/2100MHz EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz LTE 800/1800/2600MHz 5

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Published by: VR-Zone

HSPA+ (DL: 21Mbit/s, 42Mbit/s (optional) / UL: 5.76Mbit/s)

Operating system Processor

Storage / memory Color Connectivity

LTE (DL: 100Mbit/s / UL: 50Mbit/s) Android 4.0 ICS (upgradeable to Jelly Bean) Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (8064 + 9215m) quad-core Cortex A15 class (1.5GHz) with Adreno 320 graphics 16GB / 32GB / 64GB eMMC Flash / 2GB LPDDR2 RAM Black / White 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 & NFC (mobile payment function is optional and by request only) 3.5mm audio jack, Micro SIM

GPS Display

ASUS 13-pin dock connector (supports Micro-USB 2.0 & Mobile High-Definition Link for HDMI connection) A-GPS & GLONASS 4.7“ (1280 x 720) / 312ppi Super IPS+ (550 nits)

Main camera

Front camera Other

Battery Talk time Standby time Browser

Messaging Video

Scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass with HCLR Film (anti-fingerprint coating) 13MP BSI Sensor Sony Camera, f/2.4 Aperture, five-element lens, auto focus with LED flash 1.2MP G-sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyro sensor, e-compass 2140mAh Li-Polymer (nonremovable) Up to 16 hours with 3G Up to 352 hours with 3G HTTP / Google browser / YouTube browser / Facebook / Google+ SMS / MMS / email / IM Video Playback: MPEG4/ H.264/H.263/WMV @ HD 1080p

Audio Dimension Weight

MP3 / WMA / 3GP / AAC / AAC+ 137.9 x 69 x 9mm 135g

Amazon's search technologist William Stasior to run Apple's Siri Source: October 16th, 2012

After snatching up former AMD big time engineer Jim Mergard from Samsung, Apple has reeled in another wellknown tech exec to help run its Siri department. The move to hire Amazon’s search technologist, William Stasior, means that Apple is probably looking into developing its own search system. Correlation is not causation, or so that saying goes, but there’s no denying that some of Apple’s recent move to obtain top employees and execs from other companies mean that Apple wants a chunk of the pie—a pie with Apple and berries. Stasior has been running Amazon’s search and search advertisement, and his move over to Apple means that Apple wants to wedge itself into the search-pie that’s still incubating in the oven. Siri, which Stasior will now lead, is Apple’s voice activated personal assistant program. Hence, Stasior plus Siri equals something that has to do with voice activated search. There’s a high chance that that’s what Apple wants Stasior to do, but there’s also a high chance that it may not be the case. Apple’s core business is in consumer electronics/gadgets, but recently there have been a wave of new products which suggest Apple wants to extend its reaches, beyond hardware. The recent launch of the iOS6 Maps app reveals that Apple wants to compete in the GIS arena, with its main competitor being Google.

Video Recording: MPEG4/ H.263 @ HD 1080p / 60fps @ 720p H.264 Video Decode @ 720p / Video Encode @1080p H.264 / Ogg / Theora / MPEG4 / WMV / 3GP Picture


(A Siri voice activated search engine?) Major companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple have signaled their intents on expanding beyond their core business models. Google has a stake in just about every tech sectors, while Microsoft has been trying to claim a spot in the 6

October 16th, 2012

hardware industry. Apple, out of all the tech companies in the world, doesn’t want to be left behind; hence, the moves to obtain employees from companies that are in different segments of the tech market.

Published by: VR-Zone

Gamers brand along with a few illustrations of its features all over the packaging.

If all these major tech firms intermingle in terms of core strategies, how will we be able to differentiate them down the line? The fog has rolled in, let's see what emerges once the fog lifts.

ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 Platinum 3GB Review Source: October 16th, 2012

Included in the box set is a small Diablo 3 themed Steelseries QCK cloth mousepad, a CrossfireX bridge long enough for three slots (not shown here) and some other overclocking related accessories which we will go through later in this review. We have proven previously that, clock for clock at least, AMD's Tahiti from the Southern Islands family remains the fastest and most forward looking GPU over the competition's Kepler GK104. Ten months on from the initial launch, the Republic of Gamers division at ASUS have come up with a custom triple slot, supercharged version of the Radeon HD 7970, also giving owners a few avenues to squeeze out every bit of potential to satisfy their need for speed. Ever since the less than flattering relevations about Nvidia's Green Light programme for board makers were exposed to the public, buying a more expensive, custom GTX 680 seems a bit daft given that no (easy) voltage adjustments are possible, thus restricting the clock frequency potential. Thankfully AMD has not imposed such restrictions on their OEM vendors and we've seen companies like MSI and Sapphire coming out with innovative cooling solutions, software utilities and beefed up voltage regulation to allow users to find the upper limits of the TSMC 28nm Tahiti XT core. Next to a regular reference HD 7970 GHz edition card, the newcomer looks like an aircraft carrier parked next to a fishing trawler thanks to its hulking cooler and extended PCB size.

No surprises here with the oversized box design either, with ASUS deploying the usual red motifs of the Republic of

Armed with four full-sized DisplayPort and two DVI-D connectors, the Matrix 7970 Platinum is capable of up hooking up to six display Eyefinity from a single card without the need for a (still unreleased) DisplayPort 1.2 MT hub.

There are also dual CrossfireX connectors here, which is a puzzling design decision as the triple slot cooling solution inherently means only one of them will ever be used (explaination: typical motherboards and cases only have seven or eight slots, thus limiting multi-GPU action to only dual cards) without the use of a slot extender or riser. 7

October 16th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

the next 18 hours, hundreds of users downloaded games with a big discount, or in some cases, for free. In total, 44 games, including Mass Effect 1 and FIFA Soccer 12, were available for free by using the code.

Utilizing the "Tahiti 2" GHz Edition ASIC that we've cover previously, the card is factory programmed to run at 1100MHz on the core (as opposed to 925MHz on the initial HD 7970, 1050MHz on the GHz Edition) and an aggressive 1650MHz on the memory (only 1375MHz and 1500MHz respectively on the standard cards). These kind of frequencies would require extra binning to pick the creme of the crop, which is a always a good thing for the buyer. We also note with interest the relatively low ASIC quality rating, which implies high electrical leakage (scales better when cold, subzero cold)

EA's button logo The code was only meant for use within the US and Canada, though a fake US address in the billing section, though breaching the terms of service for EA's store, allowed users worldwide to make use of the code. It is unknown how much money EA lost as a result of the discount code, but one can assume it was enough to cause a bit of frustration. After the coupon code was disabled, the Reddit post which had originally spread it, instead began showcasing the spoils of what it's users had acquired. It is a shame though, that the people who originally took the survey in order to get the code legitimately, will no longer be able to use it.

Apple opens its sixth store in mainland China Source: October 16th, 2012

EA's discount code led to free games Source: October 16th, 2012

On October 15, Apple's official website announced that the company will open its sixth major retail outlet in mainland China. It will be located on the bottom floor of APM (formerly the the Sun Dong An mall) of Beijing's Wangfujing area, less than a mile from the city center. The new store is part of the expansion plans for Wangfujing Street, and is expected to become the largest Apple outlet in Asia. The store will sell a full range of Apple products and third-party accessories and will have a genius bar for customer service.

A poorly designed discount code by Electronic Arts led to free games and massive discounts for their online store, over the weekend Electronic Arts recently had a campaign where answering a survey about their company led to a discount code for $20 worth of content from their online store. Over the weekend though, this promotional campaign backfired, as the code was released in a post on Reddit.

Apple already has two stores in Beijing, one in Sanlitun and one in Xidan. There are also three in Shanghai; one in Pudong, one in Hong Kong Plaza, and one on East Nanjing Road.

Unfortunately for EA, the code wasn't unique; it could be used multiple times, and by multiple users. As a result, over 8

October 16th, 2012

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The opening date of Beijing's new Apple outlet coincides with the iPhone 5's release date in maindland China-October, 20.

China reports rise in online attacks

Oldest brain fossil discovered

Source: October 16th, 2012

Source: October 16th, 2012

The fossilized remains of a an ancient arthropod reveals the oldest brain ever preserved and shows it had an advanced brain, too.

According to the China National Computer Network Emergency Response Center (CNCNERC), between January and June this year, nearly 7.8 billion computers and 27,900 IP addresses were hacked from the United States. The CNCNERC are claiming that Anonymous is behind the majority of the attacks. Anonymous is adding to the claim by announcing that it plans to bring down the websites of five major corporations.

On the fossilized remains of an arthropod, Fuxianhuia Protensa, there's a little red stain on the head; the oldest known fossilized remains of a brain. The creature, which was found in southwest China, breaks the record for providing the oldest brain remnants ever found, at 520-million years old.

The US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has recently announced that Huawei and ZTE (China-based firms) equipment may be used to perform espionage against the American people and advised US companies not to use equipment from either company. In addition, the Committee accused Huawei and ZTE of bribery and violation of immigration laws.

The fossilized creature, with the red stain that used to be it's brain The remains reveal some new and important findings; the creature had a three-part brain with a complex nervous system; evidence that such thing evolved into animal life much sooner than previously assumed. Modern day arthropods, such as insects, spiders and crabs, still have this same brain structure.

While the Permanent Select Committee voices national security concerns, CNCNERC claims a rise in network attacks from other countries: 24% of attacks were from the United States, 17.2% from Japan, and 11.4% from South Korea. Zhou Yonglin, Director of the Emergency Response Center, said that the rise in number of attacks is quite severe, and that foreign hackers use IP addresses to spy on Chinese computers and infect them with Trojans.

“It was very fascinating and very exciting,” says Nicholas Strausfeld, from the University of Arizona; coauthor of the study which disclosed the discoveries. “It suggests that the organization we see in the modern brains is very ancient.” Previously, scientists had believed that early arthropods had a similar brain structure to brachiopods, such as fairy shrimp. Those creatures share a common ancestor to the arthropods, and have a two part brain with an extra nerve cluster near the stomach. Scientists concluded that sometime after the arthropods and brachiopods separated evolutionarily, the nerve cluster on arthropods climbed up to the brain and became a third section. As a result of the new findings, chances are the reverse happened - the somewhat simplistic lifestyle of brachiopods led to their brains deevolving.


October 17th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Corsair Neutron 240GB SSD Review

Apple iPad Mini expected next week Source: October 17th, 2012

Source: October 17th, 2012

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Mini at an event in California, hitting back at rivals like Amazon who have been providing smaller tablet computers. Corsair is perhaps the most active manufacturer when it comes to SSDs, actively jumping at any opportunity to expand their products range and offer more options to potential customers. The company today offers tens of SSDs through eight product series, using the controllers of no less than 3 manufacturers and various types of NAND flash. Today we are having a look at the new Neutron series, which introduces a new controller from Link_A_Media (LAMD). Can the newcomer compete with the well-established products from manufacturers like Micron and Sandforce? We will find out in this review. Corsair is perhaps the most active manufacturer when it comes to SSDs, actively jumping at any opportunity to expand their products range and offer more options to potential customers. The company today offers tens of SSDs through eight product series, using the controllers of no less than 3 manufacturers and various types of NAND flash. Today we are having a look at the new Neutron series, which introduces a new controller from Link_A_Media (LAMD). Can the newcomer compete with the well-established products from manufacturers like Micron and Sandforce? We will find out in this review.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Mini at an event in California, hitting back at rivals like Amazon who have been providing smaller tablet computers. The Cupertino-based firm sent an invitation out to an event on 23 October at the California Theatre in San Jose, providing a clue to what will be revealed by stating, “We've got a little more to show you.” What that “little” is has been speculated for months now, with many expecting a device with a display between seven and eight inches, a major departure from Apple's standard 9.7-inch iPad.

With Amazon offering its 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet for $199, analysts expect the iPad Mini to sell for between $199 and $299, offering a more affordable Apple product for consumers. This will be vital if Apple hopes to maintain its position in the market, as companies like Amazon continue to steal market share thanks to the lower price tag. Other elements of the device, such as storage space and processor speed, will likely be weaker than the current iPad 1

October 17th, 2012

model and even its predecessor, in order to compensate for the hit to the company's profit per unit, but if it manages to hit a similar price range to the Kindle Fire then Apple will likely win out on brand identity alone.

Intel profits down 14 percent Source: October 17th, 2012

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Intel expects similar revenue in the fourth quarter, predicting $13.6 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Potential sales of PCs and tablets with Windows 8 could help it recover, as more people move to mobile computing devices, powered by chips designed and built by Apple or Samsung, among others in a growing market.

Nissan to sell "steer-by-wire" cars in 2013 Source: October 17th, 2012

Intel has released its revenue report for the third quarter of the year, revealing a drop in profit of 14 percent, blaming a changing computer industry for the fall. Intel has released its revenue report for the third quarter of the year, revealing a drop in profit of 14 percent, blaming a changing computer industry for the fall.

Nissan is to sell “steer-by-wire” cars next year, letting drivers control vehicles through the use of electronic signals, a technology used in aeroplanes, compared to older mechanical links.

The chip giant brought in $13.5 billion in revenue, compared to $14.2 billion last year, with operating income at $3.8 billion, a decline on the €4.8 billion of last year, and net income of €3 billion, less than the €3.5 billion it earned in 2011. As a result, basic earnings per share were down from $0.67 to $0.59.

Nissan is to sell “steer-by-wire” cars next year, letting drivers control vehicles through the use of electronic signals, a technology used in aeroplanes, compared to older mechanical links.

Revenue for the company's PC Client Group was $8.6 billion, flat compared to the previous quarter, but a drop of eight percent compared to last year. Its Data Centre Group brought in $2.7 billion, down 5 percent on the last quarter, but up six percent on 2011. Other Intel revenue was $1.2 billion, up six percent on the second quarter, but down 14 percent on last year.

“Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment,” said Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel. “The world of computing is in the midst of a period of breakthrough innovation and creativity. As we look to the fourth quarter, we're pleased with the continued progress in Ultrabooks and phones and excited about the range of Intel-based tablets coming to market.”

The Japanese car giant revealed plans to mass produce cars with the technology, a first in the industry, offering a number of advantages over the previous system, including faster transmission of driver commands to the wheels, better insulation from disturbances caused by feedback, and improved fuel efficiency. The technology could face an uphill struggle, however, in terms of addressing motorist safety fears. Although the technology is used in the air, similar systems on the road have not had good publicity, such as a Mercedes-Benz “brake-by-wire” feature in 2004, which sometimes failed to transmit signals to the brakes, resulting in a recall of two million cars.

Nissan hopes to address these issues in the short term with a backup clutch system that resorts to a more old-fashioned technique, but it suggested that it would like to drop this safety feature in the future. If it did, it would be able to move 2

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the steering wheel to anywhere in the car, or replace it with a joystick. It even suggested a steering wheel in the back seat, which does not exactly sound like a very good place for it, but the theoretical freedom is impressive.

Artist's rendering of Alpha Centauri Bb

The technology could eventually be rolled out to another new approach to driving: driverless cars. Nissan already unveiled its own self-driving car at CEATEC 2012, which could respond to a smartphone, and Google has been busy getting US state approval for its driverless cars. The two technologies together could revolutionise the industry and give drivers a totally different road experience.

"It’s an extraordinary discovery, and it has pushed our technique to the limit," said Dumusque in a statement.

Planet found circling Alpha Centauri B Source: October 17th, 2012

A new planet has been found orbiting our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. It is a discovery that pushed the used technology to the limit and though likely not supporting life, it gives hope that other planets may be nearby. The Alpha Centauri system is a binary star system, and at an approximate 4.5 light years away, it is also the closest star system to earth. The two stars orbit each other with an orbit of approximately 80 earth years. It was recently discovered that a hitherto unknown planet is orbiting one of the system's stars, Alpha Centauri B, thus making it the closest exoplanet known to mankind. The planet was found by a research team under Xavier Dumusque of Geneva Observatory and University of Porto in Portugal, who made the discovery by utilizing an instrument called the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, (HARPS). The techniques used looked at tiny wobbles in Alpha Centauri B: Gravitational interaction between the star and the planet pulls both the planet towards the star, and the other way around. By observing the star's position, one can determine if there's a planet in the system by how much the star is moving, wobbling, as the planet circles it.

In this case, the star was wobbling at a speed of 1.8 kph, making it very difficult to detect. It took more than 4 years and 450 HARPS observations to confirm the existence of the planet.

The study is being published today in the journal Nature, despite the fact that some scientists are still debating the existence of the planet. Researchers cite the extremely weak signal as a potential for error. Dumusque's team however, state that the probability of having a false reading according to their tests, is 0.1% The planet, known as Alpha Centauri Bb, is a super earth, a rocky planet with approximately 113% the mass of the earth. Whenever one hears of an exoplanet, hopes of finding alien life, or perhaps the prospect of colonizing it, come to mind. However, chances are slim for either of those, as it is outside the star's habitable zone, much too close to the sun and likely filled with molten rock and lava. Alpha Centauri Bb is in fact, very close to it's star at just 6 million kilometers. Earth, to compare, is roughly 150 million kilometers from the sun. Due to Bb's close proximity to it´s sun, it also orbits very quickly; a year on Bb is just 3.2 days long Luckily, the heat doesn't mean that the discovery is negligible; the existence of one exoplanet often means the existence of more in a system; it is common for solar systems with low mass planets (such as Bb) to have somewhere between two and seven planets. Perhaps farther out in the system, in the habitable zone where liquid water can be present, there is hope for another planet.

HTC unveils One S Special Edition Source: October 17th, 2012

HTC has unveiled the One S Special Edition, and aside from the mid-range specs, what is it about this device that makes it so special? The original One S is HTC’s mid-range Android device which boasts the powerful dual-core Snapdragon S4 clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, and a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 960x540. Now, onto what makes the One S Special Edition so special. The One S Special Edition will come with 64GB of internal storage, and…well, that’s about it. Aside from the increased storage, everything about the One S Special Edition will be the same as the original One S. It’s hard to dignify the “Special Edition” with just an increase in storage, but who are we to say what makes a device unique and better than something else. As for pricings, the One S Special Edition will go for approximately $615. 3

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(A device that's prone to getting scratches during the assembly line trip) (HTC One X+ will be available via AT&T this fall) The One S is currently available on various mobile carriers in the US, but its beefier counterpart—the One X—is currently only available from AT&T. HTC’s One X in the US does not boast a quad-core, but rather it also has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 like the One S model. The swap for the quadcore was necessary to achieve 4G LTE capability here in the States. AT&T has announced, however, that it will deliver a quadcore 4G LTE capable HTC One X device sometime this fall —dubbed the One X+. The One X+ will retain the beastly quad-core Tegra 3 chip clocked at 1.7GHz. While we’re on the topic of specs, is the One S Special Edition a justifiable ($615) investment considering its specs?

Foxconn explains why there's an iPhone 5 shortage Source: October 17th, 2012

According to Foxconn, it is quite difficult to make an iPhone 5, or rather it is difficult to please consumers. Millions of people are lining up to purchase an iPhone 5, but not all have walked away with a shiny new Apple smartphone. Despite popular demand, Apple (and by extension, Foxconn) has not been able to deliver enough goods to keep iPhone-fanatics happy.

A Foxconn executive has attributed the iPhone 5 shortage to its complicated design and manufacturing process. According to him, the iPhone5’s “light and thin [design] is very complicated.” “The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” he claims. “It takes time to learn how to make this new device.” The coating material which the new iPhone uses is very susceptible to scratches, and during the manufacturing process it is very difficult to keep the fresh product from obtaining pre-retail blemishes. “It’s always hard to satisfy both aesthetic needs and practical needs,” he added. There’s no denying that Foxconn is running on all cylinders in an effort to keep up with demand for Apple products. However, the manufacturing giant has also been heavily criticized recently for its employee management system. A riot not too long ago broke out at one of the Foxconn manufacturing facility in China, and although it is still unclear what the main cause of the riot was, reports have indicated that tension between workers and management arose because Apple had demanded higher product quality control—something the workers felt like they could not meet.

7-inch Cube U9GT4 Android Jelly Bean tablet for $130 Source: October 17th, 2012

Bargain hunters who are looking for a well-priced tablet that has an up-to-date Android OS should take a look at the Cube U9GT4. This 7-inch Android Jelly Bean-powered slate boasts relatively good specs for the price of just a little over one US Benjamin.


October 17th, 2012

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Competitively priced at $130, the Cube U9GT4 is a dual-core tablet that can get the job done without breaking the bank. Underneath the hood lies the 1.6GHz Cortex-A9 processor with a Mali-400 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via a microSD card), and the screen resolution isn’t too bad either—coming in at 1024x600.

An image of the solar flare. Earth would fit more than ten times along the length of the flare.

The U9GT4 isn’t exactly an elite among the 7-inchers, but it’s certainly not a bottom feeder either. For about $200, people can buy the Google Nexus 7, but despite its beefy quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the Nexus 7 doesn’t have an expansion port for additional storage. The 8GB Nexus 7 will run out of memory quick if users pile on the video and music files. Hence, that’s a big downside when it comes to owning a Nexus 7. Despite being a good 7-inch Android tablet, the U9GT4 does lack a few features that may not make it as attractive to consumers. One of the features that the U9GT4 does lack is the GPS functionality, which the Nexus 7 does have.

Solar flares are a massive energy release of the sun, sometimes up to a sixth of the sun's total energy output, or 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT, which can be seen as a sudden brightening in the sun and is often followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME), essentially a burst of solar material being flung out into the solar system. These CMEs usually reach earth about one or two days later, and it is the earth's interaction with these ionized particles which, together with regular solar winds, are the cause of auroras. If a solar flare is powerful enough though, they may cause damage, disturbing power grids and radio systems. A particularly disastrous solar flare may even permanently disable many electronic components, such as transformers, leading to widespread power outages. Solar flares affect the entire solar system though; one hazard that would be encountered during a manned missions to Mars for example, would be the radiation emitted from solar winds, which the astronauts would somehow have to shield against during the entire flight.

Mobile gamepad the size of a keychain Source: October 17th, 2012

Massive solar flare erupts from sun Source: October 17th, 2012

A gigantic solar flare, 100,000 miles across, has erupted from the sun, showcasing how truly great the scale of things can be in the universe. In comparison, the Earth only has a diameter of roughly 7926 miles.

Gaming on a touchscreen device can be cumbersome at times, because the response time may not always be up to par as with a physical control pad. Even if there are third party gamepads available on the market for your tablets or smartphones, those devices can sometime be too much of a hassle to lug around. This is where the iMpulse comes in. It’s a tiny control pad (the size of a key chain) that is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and even PCs. Black Powder Media is currently looking for backers on Kickstarter, and so far they have exceeded their pledge goal, which only goes to show that this nifty little device might be worth the investment.


October 17th, 2012

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The maker claims that the iMpulse is “the SMALLEST wireless controller for mobile devices.” It’s tiny, and that’s no joke, and this is the specs of the iMpulse:

(The spiffy new Xbox LIVE UI)

Not only does the iMpulse act as a gamepad, but users can also use it as a media controller. The D-pad acts as the volume control, and the action buttons can be used to mute, play, reverse, and fast forward a video. Imagine running your Game Boy emulator on your smartphone and having this little bad boy as a controller, sick! Check out the Black Powder Media Kickstarter page for more details.

Xbox LIVE Dashboard Update Incoming

One of the most useful additions to the update is the new Pin feature, which allows gamers to "pin" items to a list of shortcuts to their homepage: everything from regularly used apps to games can be stored here to quickly launch from a handy list without having to scour menus. This is a huge timesaver and optimizes convenience and efficiency all in one easy-to-use way. Possibly the most exciting feature added to Xbox LIVE is integrated web browsing with Internet Explorer, allowing gamers to use their console to surf the web for the first time. Whether or not the browsing experience will fully mirror that of PC web browsing is still uncomfirmed, but hopefully the browser will be able to run Flash and other software to deliver the same quality of browsing available on a computer. Overall the new Xbox LIVE Dashboard update optimizes many elements to the marketplace and generally frees up the pages, making for a more enjoyable browsing experience.

Source: October 17th, 2012

Xbox 360 owners can expect a new Xbox LIVE dashboard update when they fire up their console, as there will be a few new features and a new sleek design. Microsoft's latest overhaul to the Xbox LIVE dashboard is quite impressive and adds in many new features including web browsing with Internet Explorer, more security measures, a new sleek design, and even a spolight for the often overlooked Xbox Indie Games. The new interface is a standard Windows 8 UI design with a stylized grid that adds more slots on each pane, allowing gamers to efficiently and easily browse through content without having to search for it manually. While the current Xbox LIVE interface has a similiar setup, the update adds more slots to maximize screen coverage, making it less confined and restricted.


October 18th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

The Pirate Bay moves to cloud to avoid shutdown Source: October 18th, 2012

The Pirate Bay said this is the latest move in “getting rid of our earthly form,” or, in other words, the kind of stuff that can easily be tracked and stopped. It previously got rid of trackers and torrents, now employing safer magnet links, and this move to the cloud means that the file-sharing pirates will likely be around for some time to come.

Skydiver record could affect spacesuit design Source: October 18th, 2012

Notorious file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has moved to the cloud in order to prevent it from being shut down. Notorious file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has moved to the cloud in order to prevent it from being shut down. The website cited a kind of spiritual truth for its decision in a blog post, comparing the cloud to Brahman of the Hindus and suggesting that failure to adapt will lead to being “forever forgotten beneath the veils of maya,” a Sanskrit term for illusion. The esoteric aside, the reality is that the cloud-based solution makes it easier and cheaper for The Pirate Bay to run, and, more importantly for its operators, makes it much more difficult to block or close down, since it will no longer rely on physical servers in a single location.

The successful jump of skydiver Felix Baumgartner on Sunday could change how spacesuits for astronauts are designed. Dustin Gohmert, head of the crew survival engineering office at NASA, said that the record-breaking achievement could help NASA improve its own spacesuits to ensure better survivability of not only astronauts, but also space tourists and high-altitude pilots and passengers. He said that spacesuits have changed little since Joe Kittinger's jump in 1960, which held the record until this week when Baumgartner plummeted at 834 miles per hour, significantly faster than the speed of sound. Traditional spacesuits are meant for sitting down in, while Baumgartner's one was designed specifically for the highaltitude fall. A huge amount of data was collected from the jump, including medical information like the skydiver's heart rate and bloodpressure. This is being analysed by a team led by Dr. Jonathan Clark, a former flight surgeon for NASA, whose wife lost her life in the Columbia space shuttle accident.

“All attempts to attack The Pirate Bay from now on is an attack on everything and nothing,” the website said. “The site that you're at will still be here, for as long as we want it to. Only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us.” 1

October 18th, 2012

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The company is not entirely off the hook, however, as the review found vulnerabilities in its networking gear that could be exploited by hackers, and there is always the possibility that these security holes were deliberately put there as a kind of back door for espionage.

At the time of NASA's last shuttle flight last year the possibility of astronauts escaping a disaster situation required that they be no higher than six miles above the Earth and travelling at speeds no greater than 230 miles per hour. Baumgartner's successful fall from 24 miles above Earth at 834 miles per hour shows that it is possible for a more daring escape. Baumgartner's descent could have went very badly, however, and it almost did when he initially launched into an out-ofcontrol spin for around 40 seconds, with two and a half times the force of gravity hitting his body, which could have caused him to black out and suffer a stroke. He managed to correct his position into a downward V-shape, and this could be the deciding technique for surviving similar jumps.

White House review finds no evidence of Huawei spying Source: October 18th, 2012

A White House sanctioned review of the potential security risks posed by Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei has found no evidence of spying. A White House sanctioned review of the potential security risks posed by Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei has found no evidence of spying.

Despite the potential clearing of Huawei's name, the US government is still on edge about it. It revealed that it banned the company from working on an emergency network last year, due to “national security concerns.� The revelations follow calls from members of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee to ostracise Huawei and ZTE from all US business deals, with a supposedly secret document accompanying their report highlighting cases of spying. The security fears are not limited to the US either, as Canada has banned Huawei from a government network deal, following a similar move by Australia. Both Huawei and ZTE deny the allegations of spying and have vowed that their equipment is safe. The findings of this White House-backed report largely agree, but that is unlikely to quell suspicions of collusion with the Chinese government and does not cover information that might have been more recently revealed.

UK court orders Apple to publicly say sorry to Samsung Source: October 18th, 2012

Sources close to the 18-month long primarily classified inquiry told Reuters its findings, which may appease growing fears in the US and other countries that Huawei is supplying information to the Chinese government. 2

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A ruling by a UK court is forcing Apple to apologize publicly to Samsung for accusing the South Korean-tech firm of copying the iPad’s design with the Galaxy Tab tablet. Samsung and Apple are engaged in more than one legal battle with each other worldwide, but it’s rare for the judges presiding over the court case to force Apple to issue a public apology. The apology that Apple must issue has to be published in various media outlets in the UK, because the judges want to eliminate consumer misconceptions that Samsung copied Apple’s design scheme. The decision to make Apple say sorry to Samsung was actually from a few months ago, but it was not until recently that the judges upheld the decision to force Apple to issue an apology statement via UK’s media outlets. Furthering the apology demand, the court wants Apple to provide a link to the judges’ decision on its UK website. The next requirement, which is oddly even more specific, for the apology is that the statement must be printed in 14 point (or larger) using the Arial font. Samsung had to scoff up a little over $1 billion recently because a California court found that it had infringed upon Apple’s patents. However, a court-ordered public apology may be just as devastating for the world’s most valuable company.

Best Buy to launch its own Android tablet with the Insignia Flex Source: October 18th, 2012

(Best Buy will have to compete with devices such as the Nexus 7 which features a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU) Google’s Nexus 7 currently sets the standard for what is considered a “budget” Android tablet. The lowest priced Nexus 7 model features a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 8GB of internal storage. Best Buy’s Insignia Flex will feature a 1GHz dual-core processor, Android Ice Cream Sandwich to boot, and an expected battery life of 10 hours. Apple is rumored to launch its own budget tablet soon—the iPad mini, and this means that Best Buy will have to deal with a lot more competition. The Cupertino-based tech giant currently controls the majority of the tablet market share, and the launch of an “affordable” iPad means that it may also strengthen its hold on the growing tablet market. Various sources are reporting that the Insignia Flex may hit the shelves of local Best Buys as early as November 11.

Nokia Lumia 920 exclusive to AT&T for first 6 months Source: October 18th, 2012

Best Buy wants to get in on the tablet madness that’s sweeping the globe, and it will deploy its own in-house device dubbed the “Insignia Flex” to make a marking on the hotly contested tablet market. The Insignia Flex will be a 9.7-inch Android-powered tablet that will go for between $239 and $259. As for the specifics regarding the Insignia Flex, Best Buy has not spilt the beans on the tablet’s specification. One can only speculate that if Best Buy wants to legitimately contend with the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google, that it will have to deliver a device that’s not half-baked. The rumored price of the Insignia Flex is right around what many would consider a bargain or a budget device. Among the budget Android tablet makers, the key players are Amazon’s Kindle, Google’s Nexus 7, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Nokia’s latest flagship smartphone will be the Nokia Lumia 920, which features Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone OS. Although Nokia has stirred up quite a bit of hype for the Lumia 920, the device will only be available via AT&T for the first six months. The Nokia Lumia 920 is possibly considered the top dog among the Windows Phone flagships which will launch sometime this fall or early next year. However, the Lumia 920’s exclusiveness to AT&T may prevent it from getting the exposures Nokia desperately wants. Six months is not that long. But for a company like Nokia, the longer it takes for their Windows Phone 8 devices to catch on, the more money the Finnish firm will hemorrhage. Sales of the Lumia 820 were rather dreary, but Nokia is hoping that the Lumia 920 along with the fresh WP8 3

October 18th, 2012

platform will give the company a much needed boost. The Lumia 920 is a well spec’d device boasting a Snapdragon S4 dual-core clocked at 1.5GHz with an Adreno 225 GPU. It also features a 1280x768 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ display, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, and a 2000mAh battery. Nokia also claims that the Lumia 920’s touchscreen will be so sensitive that it’s operable even when users are wearing gloves. Unfortunately for many current Lumia 8XX users, Nokia is not planning on providing an OS update for current WP7 devices.

Got your invitation? Google announce Android event later this month. Source: October 18th, 2012

Not to be outdone by Apple, who announced an event yesterday, Google has today sent invitations to the media for an event relating to its mobile operating system Android. Not to be outdone by Apple, who announced an event yesterday, Google has today sent invitations to the media for an event relating to its mobile operating system Android. The event will be held next Monday, October 29 (US time), in New York. This may stir some controversy, as it is the same date that Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 8 across the United States in San Francisco, having sent invitations two weeks ago. Google's invitation does not explicitly state what will be revealed, but uses the tagline "The playground is open". This hints that the event may have something to do with Google Play - formerly the Android Market - which is the tech giant's one-stop shop for apps, movies, books and magazines.

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If you haven't been lucky enough to score an invite, Google will be live streaming the event on YouTube.

China Telecom goes after rural users Source: October 18th, 2012

The countryside and villages may be the final frontier for all Chinese mobile service providers but China Telecom seems to be gaining fast in the fight for this high potential market. The challenges in reaching end users in China's vast countryside are obvious. Average spending power is lower. The disjointed transportation links mean mobile phones pass through the hands of multiple sellers, adding to the price. Finally, locally produced imitations of popular models are the norm rather than the exception. Still the fact that China Telecom sold six million phones to users in China's rural villages last month proves it's worth the trouble. The real hands-on work of driving sales falls to local agents. China Business News spoke with one agent, whom they called Hu Ling for the interview. Based on her nine years’ experience she said that the market in rural villages definitely has potential. “A lot of people there already have smart phones. They tend to just go for the big phones with four inch screens. They don't pay much attention to brands” she said. Still it's not easy for Hu Ling. Some months she only sells 20 phones at a profit of 100 to 200 RMB ($16 to $32), and 50 RMB ($8) of that may go to another local retailer, further eating into her profit. So what has China Telecom done for small time agents like Hu Ling? First of all they're doing the obvious and selling their phones for 10% to 20% less than the competition. That makes the agent's job easier. But China Telecom has taken care of an even more frustrating problem for small scale sellers. They have set up a website to simplify the wholesale buying process and cut associated costs. The website, called BaiKeWang, allows small scale sellers to buy just a few phones at a time but pay shipping rates that are competitive with large scale retailers. They can also take advantage of any special offers China Telecom might be offering. Hu Ling said it has allowed her to save about 10% and added that “this platform is like a provincial level buyers alliance.”

The playground is open, to those fortunate enough to be invited. Analysts have also speculated that the event could see the unveiling of the next version of Google's Nexus smartphone.

The success of China Telecom's approach is reflected in the continuing rise in the number of rural users. But the competition isn't standing still either. China Mobile is still by far the market leader. And China Unicom is going after rural users with a different strategy. They provide service and support from vans where people can't get to their stores. Who said state owned industries couldn't be innovative?


October 18th, 2012

Korea to increase free Wi-Fi access for its populace Source: October 18th, 2012

Locations that offer free Wi-Fi will be extended to 2000 by the end of this year in South Korea. This follow moves by other Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan to offer free WiFi to their populaces. Three of South Korea’s major mobile operators, KT, SK Telecom, and LG UPlus have said that they will invest in the 1000 locations that will offer free Wi-Fi. The plan was revealed on the 17th, with many of the locations to receive the free Wi-Fi hotspot being libraries, government offices and bus terminals.

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Newmen debuts Iron Man look-alike mouse in Hong Kong Source: October 18th, 2012

Sci-Fi fans attending the 2012 Hong Kong Electronics Fair can't overlook the mouse that looks like the mask of Iron Man, Marvel's popular modern-day iron-clad superhero. Chinese company Newmen unveiled their new Iron Man-like mouse at the 2012 Hong Kong Electronics Fair, held from October 13 to 16. The mouse mimics Iron Man's mask and comes in black, silver, and white. The eyes light up blue when the mouse moves or when a button is clicked.

Users can learn where there is free Wi-Fi at the Korea Information Agency website ( by clicking the link: 'Public WiFi Free'. A simple user authentication will be used to gain access to the free hotspots.

None of the designs, however, imitate the character's trademark red and gold mask, probably because of copyright issues. All the mice are wired because the eyes draw quite a bit of power, therefore, no wireless mice are available.

(Patrons using the free Wi-Fi offered at a local Starbucks | Image: cissp) Beginning next year, the Korean Communications Commision (KCC) plans to support local governments and cellphone carriers by sharing the cost of building free Wi-Fi hotspots in places such as traditional markets, health centers, and welfare facilities to better serve the underprivileged populace. Recently, other countries in Asia have begun to offer more free Wi-Fi hotspots. Japan has already begun offering free Wi-Fi at the expense of various companies. Connect Free, one of the free Wi-Fi services, allows stores to easily offer free internet to their patrons. 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Starbucks have also started offering free internet within the confines of their businesses. Taiwan is one of the trend's leader, as the Taipei city government started introducing free public Wi-Fi throughout Taipei last year.

Nvidia's Top End Kepler Unveiled: Tesla K20 Comes with Disappointing Specs, Performance Source: October 18th, 2012

Nvidia is preparing to unveil its highest end Kepler at the SC'12, but a lot of details were hidden from the public‌ until now. Thanks to CADnetworks' premature specifications, we learned everything that was missing. German publication was the first to catch up with the specifications of CADnetworks' new visual workstation, ProViz W60 and the G13, G26 and G40 servers. The specifications only confirm what we were suspecting - Nvidia 5

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was coy about disclosing the amount of memory that was to be placed on the K20 boards because it will actually end up less than its predecessor, Tesla C2075. We suspected this might happen as both Samsung and Hynix refused to manufacture the 4Gbit GDDR5 chip, citing lack of interest. According to our sources, the reason was a bit different, and quite unflattering for both Samsung and Hynix - both companies requested money from Nvidia in order to get the high-density GDDR5 to market, but they refused to give out exclusivity deal to the company. At least, that's how one side of the story goes.

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as the company hopes it to be - Larrabee Reborn (Xeon Phi) and FirePro S9000 are too close for comfort, and with Intel's pricing schemes, no wonder Nvidia is worrying about its neighbor on the east side of the 101 freeway.

Security flaw found in Steam Source: October 18th, 2012

Faced with the availability of only 1 and 2 Gbit GDDR5 chips, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the K20 could only ship with no more than six physical gigabytes, e.g. five workable gigabytes once ECC is enabled (by default). A security flaw has been found in Steam's browser commands which could allow hackers to gain access to your computer through a back door. Hackers could have a new means of accessing your computer through a browser command which utilizes Valve's software distribution system Steam. When your browser accesses a URL that begins with the command "steam://", it will prompt your copy of steam to launch and perform some operation. Usually, such an operation would be to launch a game, or install or uninstall software.

Thus, the K20 board is featuring a 7.1 billion transistor manufactured in 28nm process at TSMC, once more becoming the world's largest silicon (once again, a title Nvidia held since 2006 and the G80 chip). The chip in question has 13 SMX clusters enabled, which carry 192 cores each - for a grand total of 2,496 CUDA cores. The number trounces the GK104 (available in GeForce GTX 660Ti/670/680/690, Quadro K5000 and Tesla K10) by a significant margin, as the GK104 carries "just" 1536 cores. The chip physically carries 16 SMX cores, with two being disabled for yield purposes. If TSMC improves on its 28nm process, we might see a K25 or K30 with full 2880 CUDA cores, but don't expect too much. The number of cores is not the only change, though - Nvidia was working hard on optimizing the Double Precision performance, failing short of self-imposed target of 1.5 TFLOPS DP. As it stands right now, the K20 will barely outperform the Xeon Phi (ex-Larrabee, now Knights Corner / Knights Ferry) and AMD's own FirePro S9000 (which is hidden on AMD's website so well that you can't find it unless you use a search engine). The GPU will only work at 705MHz, meaning that you can expect double-precision performance to the tune of 1.17 TFLOPS, barely double than C2075/M2075/M2090. Singleprecision performance is quite solid at 3.52 TFLOPS, but still lags behind AMD's Tahiti GL GPU (4TFLOPS Single, 1TFLOPS Double).

The Steam logo Unfortunately, it seems this allows hackers a backdoor to install or run compromising software on your computer, including using exploits in games with the source- and unreal-engines. Some browsers, such as Chrome or Internet explorer will not access such a URL without first prompting you; however Safari, and Steam's own browser will run these URLs without question. Firefox lies somewhere in the middle. It will ask you to confirm, but will not alert you that there may be a risk involved (unsurprisingly perhaps, as the command is meant to be associated with steam). No attacks in the real world have been reported so far, and the issue will probably be addressed shortly, but until then, remain vigilant of any links you click and try to avoid strange URLs. A full report on the security hole can be found here: ReVuln_Steam_Browser_Protocol_Insecurity.pdf

The price is set at already announced $3199, or 2950 Euro. All in all, when it comes to 2013 Accelerator / GPGPU battle, we can now say that Tesla K20 is nowhere near as impressive 6

October 19th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Google and Samsung unveil new Chromebook Source: October 19th, 2012

Google and Samsung have unveiled the latest Chromebook, a netbook powered by Google's Chrome operating system designed to get users immediately online. Google and Samsung have unveiled the latest Chromebook, a netbook powered by Google's Chrome operating system designed to get users immediately online.

With so much on the cloud, however, and so many people living their lives effectively online, the Chromebook is a definite option. It comes with 100GB of free Google Drive space (albeit only for two years, then you have to pay). Other typical Google products like Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Search and Google+ are also available, and Google is touting it as extra secure, with no need to worry about anti-virus software. The new Chromebook is available to pre-order for $249 from Amazon, Best Buy, PC World, Currys, and the Google Play store. It releases next week.

Kickstarter horror game cancelled after developer loss Source: October 19th, 2012

Since the device is essentially a bare bones internetconnected machine it weighs just 2.5 pounds and is just 0.8 inches thick. It has a battery life of six hours of typical use and features an 11.6-inch high-definition display. As expected for the Chrome OS, it boots up in under 10 seconds and resumes instantly. Windows 8 should start up faster than previous versions, but it likely will have trouble beating Chrome purely because it can do more and therefore has more to load.

A horror game funded by Kickstarter has been cancelled after all of its developers quit, sending a negative signal to supporters of crowdsourcing projects. A horror game funded by Kickstarter has been cancelled after all of its developers quit, sending a negative signal to supporters of crowdsourcing projects. Mob Rules Games spent $42,500 on early development of Haunts: The Manse Macabre, where players would be able to play as the inhabitants of a haunted house or the investigators seeking to uncover its mysteries. The company sought an additional $25,000 funding from fans via Kickstarter in June of this year. $28,739 was raised from 1,214 backers, which should have covered the projected costs and left gamers with a new title to enjoy. Rick Dakan, head of Mob Rules Games, told fans that “there are no longer any programmers working on the game.� The lead programmer was hired for a year to work on the game, but then returned to Google, while the second lead programmer also departed.


October 19th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

“As of last week, after about a year, I’m no longer associated with Apple,” he tweeted. “As for why? Because I forgot to reply to an email.” It appears that Apple had emailed him informing him that he was to continue with the company as a remote intern, but that when he failed to respond in a timely manner it withdrew the offer, leaving Comex free to pursue other opportunities.

Apparently the game is finished, but only an alpha build, which needs extensive testing from QA and adjustment from developers, and there is no one available to do this work. There is the possibility it could be rescued, but it either means more funding or volunteer work from a few developers. There are talks with another game studio to take over the title and Dakan offered to refund anyone who wants their money back from his own pocket. Kickstarter backers usually are offered incentives to support a project, such as early access to a title, a free copy on release, a mention in the credits, and any number of other goodies. What supporters will need to factor in is that this is only on condition that the game actually gets released.

Apple sacks iPhone hacker for not responding to email Source: October 19th, 2012

According to Forbes the departure involved more than just an ignored email, but the exact nature of what was involved was not revealed. Allegra claims it “wasn't a bad ending.” Some are hoping this will give Allegra freedom to return to his hacking days, with many seeking a jailbreak for iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's mobile software. He is not so sure, however, citing possible legal difficulties due to his previous employment with Apple, which likely included a clause prohibiting him from hacking Apple software outside of the workplace. For now he plans to return to college.

Halo 4 'Scanned' launch trailer released Apple has sacked a hacker it previously hired due to his ability to jailbreak the iPhone, allegedly because he forgot to respond to an email. Apple has sacked a hacker it previously hired due to his ability to jailbreak the iPhone, allegedly because he forgot to respond to an email.

Source: October 19th, 2012

Halo Waypoint has released the official Halo 4 live action launch trailer "Scanned", featuring a rare glimpse of Master Chief's past and history in impressive HD quality.

Nicholas Allegra, known as Comex in the hacker world, set up the website JailbreakMe and earned fame and notoriety after he discovered how to jailbreak older versions of iOS. Apple wisely decided to get him on its side, but it looks like that partnership has now come to an end.


October 19th, 2012

"Master Chief's mind is violated by a powerful new enemy, who in searching for Chief's weaknesses, finds the source of his strength." In Halo 4's official launch trailer, our iconic hero's mind is probed or scanned by a malevolent entity who's trying to find a weakness in the seemingly invincible warrior. In this probing, gamers get a rare glimpse into Master Chief's past life, before he was the iconic Spartan hero and just a carefree, sand castle-building, kid named John. Fast forwarding through the years, we see John and his comrades after the grueling experiments of the Spartan II as well as the ceremonial donning of the Mjolnir Mark II Powered Armor after his training. The live action trailer does an excellent job in adequately displaying a moving and revealing characterization of Master Chief, building anticipation and apprecation from fans--especially those who don't know much about Sierra 117's history. The cinematic trailer is in pristine HD quality and delivers quite an impressive look at Master Chief's persona as well as what drives him to keep on fighting. Halo 4 will be available on Nov. 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360 console. For more information on further updates be sure to check Halo Waypoint's website.

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GTA V in action. Looks awesome. Rockstar has stated that pretty much any suggestions you can come up with are welcome: "Whether it's suggestions for competitive in-game Crew features in Multiplayer, new ways to manage and recruit, ideas for enhancing Social Club Crew pages and leaderboards, things you did and didn't like about Crews in Max Payne 3, or any thoughts at all related to Crews really that you'd like to share – we're all ears. We'd especially love to hear from current Crew members and leaders so that we can continue making our unique approach to persistent team based Multiplayer as fun as it can be in GTAV." If you want to contribute, Rockstar has an email address which they'll use to accept any suggestions. So go ahead and reach out at

New filehosting service "Mega" has ways of avoiding another raid Source: October 19th, 2012

Rockstar wants your help for GTA V multiplayer Source: October 19th, 2012

Rockstar games, developers of the Grand Theft Auto series, wants suggestions for the multiplayer Crews system in upcoming GTA V. Anyone can contribute and they want all your suggestions.

Kim Dotcom, creator of Megaupload, is back with his new file hosting service, Mega. Unlike Megaupload, Mega will be safe from raids due to it's "ironclad safe harbors" "Mega" is the name of the replacement for Megaupload, the file hosting service which was shut down by the US government not too long ago. The founder of both services, Kim Dotcom, explains that what he refers to as "Ironclad safe harbors" will protect Mega from the same fate that befell it's predecessor.

GTA V is going to utilize the new Crews system which debuted with Max Payne 3. Crews are groups of Rockstar Social Club members who form persistent teams and compete together online. Rockstar doesn't believe, however, that the Crews system is a finished product; there's always room for improvement, and they want input from the players.


October 19th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Coffee - the hottest liquid known to man The research will be presented at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists annual meeting. Afterward, the researchers hope to continue their work and deliver a more powerful version of the strip which could work for two to three days and relieve more severe burns. Kim Dotcom, founder of Mega Every file which is uploaded to Mega will be encrypted; be it a video file, software or text. Only the uploader will be given this key, and it is up to this person to decide who gets the key and who can view the content. It all boils down to accountability: Since the encryption key is not actually stored with Mega, it is impossible for Mega to find out what kind of data is stored on their servers. In turn, this means Mega can't be held responsible for it's users' actions. In essence, governments should not be able to come after Mega, because the centralized service has no idea what's being stored on their servers. Dotcom believes that the only way this would be illegal is if encryption itself was illegal. A few weeks back, we reported on Dotcom's announcement via twitter that the new Megaupload would be unstoppable, and it seems like this may indeed be the case.

Hot food has burned your mouth for the last time! Source: October 19th, 2012

Researchers from the University of Texas Austin have developed an oral strip that will relieve the burning sensation from hot food and drinks. The days of burning yourself on a slice of pizza or scolding hot coffee are over. New research at the University of Texas, Austin, has led to the development of a new oral strip. The strip immediately numbs the pain where it has been applied, allowing you to enjoy your hot food and drink without pain. The strip is designed to deliver localized anesthetic Benzocaine, a drug usually used as a topical pain reliever in dental products, as well as therapeutic polymers. The strips stick to your mouth and is completely non-toxic, dissolving in your saliva after it is applied.

Of course, just because you don't feel the pain doesn't mean the hot food isn't doing damage to your mouth, so perhaps we shouldn't all begin drinking boiling water just yet.

Congress to conduct a second investigation on Huawei and ZTE Source: October 19th, 2012

After more evidence against Huawei and ZTE have arose, the US House of Representatives Committee of Intelligence is planning on conducting another investigation to see if these Chinese firms are indeed trying to spy on the US with their consumer tech products. The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has received more complaints about Huawei and ZTE, and the committee will respond by conducting another investigation on the two Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers. In the second wave of complaints, people continued expressed concerns over the security of Huawei and ZTE products, and warned that the two companies may be using their exported equipment to spy on American businesses. If the next investigation uncovers more serious and specific evidence of espionage, Huawei and ZTE may be completely expelled from the US market. In the first half of 2012, Huawei sales revenue reached 102.7 billion yuan, 67.8% from overseas markets. ZTE has reported a revenue of 42.6 billion yuan so far this year, with 21.8 billion yuan from overseas, and has been ranked the world's fifth largest supplier of telecommunications equipment. ZTE has been promoting the next generation of wireless communications technology in Europe. Some Chinese IT industry experts have complained that the US Congress is biased. Seventy-three Congress members have investments in Cisco, Huawei and ZTE's American competitor. 4

October 19th, 2012

Adding to Huawei and ZTE's troubles, the Intelligence committee was dissatisified with its investigation into the companies' financing and management. When asked, Huawei representatives would not elaborate on the relationship between the company and several Chinese state-owned banks. The representatives also would not give clear and accurate information about the company's structure and decision-making process.

Game studio CEO, David Rushton, jailed for unpaid wages Source: October 19th, 2012

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in "you will be paid next Friday" became a running joke at the studio. Sensory Sweep studios began as a handheld developing studio, but during it's later years, it graduated to home console games as well. They made several titles for Capcom, Disney interactive and EA, among others, and their releases include Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. Sensory sweep peaked at 211 employees, but since 2009, ever since the legal dispute began, the studio has been defunct.

NHN Japan releases new version of LINE Source: October 19th, 2012

In the newest version they have simplified the registration process. You can set which friends' activity appears on your timeline, receive notification of new chat messages, and they have made some changes to the group chats, too. CEO of game developer Sensory Sweep Studio, has just begun a jail sentance for not paying his employees, and will be spending the next year behind bars. The founder, president and CEO of Sensory Sweep Studio, a game development studio based in Utah, is now serving a prison sentence of one year for not paying his employees. The Utah Attorney General ordered the sentence for what is estimated at $1.2 million in unpaid wages. Rushton has a history of financial fraud; he was sentenced to six months in prison back in 2010, along with a $516,816 restitution fine for tax fraud and racketeering.

In previous versions any member of a group chat session could invite or delete another member, but who did the inviting or deleting was never displayed. Now in the newest version you can see clearly who invites who and who's kicking who out. The explanation of what the service includes, along with the privacy settings, has been significantly simplified. You can actually finish reading everything above “agree� in a reasonable amount of time, and change your preferences for allowing the app to add new friends with a simple tick box. Which friends you get displayed on your timeline is similarly easy to set. In your settings you can select display or do not display. It's not permanent and it's easy to change. Also when you're in a screen other than chats, with the new version you'll be updated of any new messages, including from users who aren't your friends. On top of all this, the new version for Android has also received a makeover. The display has been redesigned so it's easier to use and more secure. All said and done, it still has all the fun stickers you loved before.

Origin of Saturn's moons explained Source: October 19th, 2012

David M. Rushton More than 100 of the studio's employees are still owed for their labor and one employee, Adam Hunter, told the associated press that Rushton still owed him $12,000. A wage claim manager at the Utah Labor Commission added that they encountered "very few cases where he made payroll." According to Hunter the phrase "Next Friday", as

A new study is suggesting that Saturn's myriad of medium sized moons might have been created when it's largest moon, Titan, was formed during violent collisions in the ringed planet's orbit. Saturn has more than 60 known moons, though most of these are rather small and are most likely captured asteroids and the like. Of the ones large enough to have colloquial 5

October 19th, 2012

names though, a new theory has arisen as to how these moons were formed. The new theory, put forth in a study by Erik Asphaug of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Andreas Reufer, from the University of Bern, Switzerland, suggests that at one point, Saturn had a number of larger moons, similar to Jupiter's Galilean moons. When these rocks later collided in orbit, they merged to form Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and at the same time, they discarded material during the collisions which later formed the smaller moons. The discarded material was most likely composed of chunks of icy rock and dust. The dust was eventually attracted to the larger bits of material, and given enough time, would clump together to form the smaller moons, which are a few hundred miles across.

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AMD to let go 15 percent of workforce after disappointing third quarter Source: October 19th, 2012

AMD has decided to let go about 15 percent of its workforce following a bad outing in the third quarter. The chip maker announced in a recent press release that it had incurred a loss of $157 million last quarter. In a statement to investors and the press, president and CEO of AMD, Rory Read, attributed part of AMD’s struggle to the contracting PC market. Rory also noted that AMD is currently undergoing a restructuring process to ensure that it can adapt to the change in the PC ecosystem.

This might be the view from Saturn's moon Titan, looking out over a lake of liquid methane This theory is interesting because it models the Saturn planetary system's formation after the formation of our solar system: Our eight planets were formed in much the same way - initially, gas is attracted by gravity to form planetary bodies; and later in their development, the larger bodies collide and merge, while casting off excess material which forms smaller bodies. "These satellite collisions are a regime that is not very well understood, so the modeling opens up new possibilities in general for planet formation," Reufer said. It is generally agreed that Earth was formed in much the same way; that there were originally two smaller bodies, much closer to each other in size, and that they collided, leaving one planet with more mass and one moon with less. Their theory is strengthened by the fact that many of Saturn's smaller moons, such as Enceladus and Dione, seem to share the same composition as Titan's mantle, and it would explain why Titan has a high eccentricity - a collision could certainly account for that. The study is being presented today at an annual meeting for the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Reno, Nevada and will soon be published in the journal Icarus.

(Rory Read, president and CEO of AMD) “The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting bot the ecosystem and AMD,” Rory said. “It is clear that the trends we knew would reshape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated. As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower cost business model. Our restructuring efforts are designed to simplify our product development cycles, reduce our breakeven point and enable us to fund differentiated product roadmaps and strategic breakaway opportunities.” AMD is not the only big name chip maker that has seen poor numbers last quarter. Intel, the big daddy of them all, reported earlier that its profit dropped 14 percent from last year’s standard. Not surprisingly, the Santa Clarabased semiconductor giant also blamed the change in the PC ecosystem for the decline in profit. Intel and AMD are trying to make it in the mobile market with their upcoming mobile enhanced chips. Both chip makers will launch their own “Z” chips aimed at competing with other ARM-based processor makers. AMD will launch its ultra-low power Z-60 APU, and Intel will launch a 6

October 19th, 2012

revised Atom chip of its own—the Z2760. The key difference between the two is that Intel’s Z2760 is aimed at providing productivity for businesses, whereas, AMD’s Z-60 is meant for the average consumers. Both AMD and Intel have criticized ARM-based Windows tablet as not being able to run legacy Windows programs. Microsoft, a long time benefactor for Intel and AMD, will launch the ARM-based Surface tablet on October 26. Demand were so high for the device that the 32GB model ($499, set for delivery on the day of launch) sold out within the first day.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Game Review

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spend the last of their money on research, facilities, training or equipment. As revenue depends on how well you do each month, skipping a few battles is not an option; panic levels will increase and countries will permanently leave the XCOM project, ceasing their funding. A country abandoning the project marks the worst possible long-term outcome, as not only you will lose the monetary income from the single country but you can also never unlock the continent bonus by launching a satellite above all of the countries of a single continent. Despite that the new XCOM remains a game with a highly multiangular gameplay, it actually is significantly less complex than its 20 year old predecessor, which is unfortunately it is not a good thing for the adept tacticians who enjoyed the first version of the game.

Source: October 19th, 2012

Some of the most anticipated PC games of this year were sequels or remakes of popular older games; most of them however have blatantly failed to live up to the expectations of the gaming community due to their ambiguous storylines/ endings and or their very little actual content, or even due to their numerous bugs and cropped gameplay. Today we are having a look at the remake of a game from the nineties regarded as one of the best turn-based tactics games in history; XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Some of the most anticipated PC games of this year were sequels or remakes of popular older games; most of them however have blatantly failed to live up to the expectations of the gaming community due to their ambiguous storylines/ endings and or their very little actual content, or even due to their numerous bugs and cropped gameplay. Today we are having a look at the remake of a game from the nineties regarded as one of the best turn-based tactics games in history; XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Base "Ant View"

Sacre bleu! Google threatens to exclude links to French media Source: October 19th, 2012

Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from its search results if France implements a proposed law forcing search engines to pay for content, according to a letter obtained by French news agency AFP. Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from its search results if France implements a proposed law forcing search engines to pay for content, according to a letter obtained by French news agency AFP.

Older gamers would remember that XCOM is far more than just a turn-based tactical combat strategy game. The greatest feature of the XCOM game and what made the original so famous is the complex, multiangular gameplay. After all, the commander (that's you) has to fully organize the XCOM project; from finances to research and from the soldier's training to equipment ordering or fabrication. The game is often leaving the users unable to decide which would be the best course of action, often having to choose whether to

The letter sent by Google to several ministerial offices this month said it "cannot accept" such a move and the company "as a consequence would be required to no longer reference French sites." It said such a law, which would require Google to make payments to media sites for displaying links to their content, would "threaten (Google's) very existence". It also noted that Google "redirects four billion 'clicks' per month towards the Internet pages" of French media. Leading French newspaper publishers last month called on the government to adopt a law to force Internet search engines such as Google to pay for content. They said a law 7

October 19th, 2012

should impose a settlement in the long-running dispute with Google, which receives high volumes of advertising revenue from user searches for news contained on media websites.

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New nano-assembly techniques on the way thanks to Florida chemistry researchers Source: October 19th, 2012

The study represents a major breakthrough in the field, showing how thermodynamic forces can be used to manipulate growth of nanoparticles into superparticles with unprecedented precision. Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti told a parliamentary commission this week that she was in favour of the idea, calling it "a tool that it seems important to me to develop". Google France said earlier that it believed such a law "would be harmful to the Internet, Internet users and news websites that benefit from substantial traffic" sent to them by Google's search engine. Newspapers around the world have seen their bottom lines come under pressure as their print advertising revenues slide and online readers resist paying for access when so much content is free on the Internet. French lawmakers last year rejected plans for a tax on online advertising revenues, fearing the project would hurt small local companies more than global Internet giants like Google, Facebook or Twitter. Google France representatives are to meet Friday with officials from the finance ministry to discuss the project and this week's statement from European data protection agencies saying Google's new privacy policy does not comply with EU laws.

A team of researchers from the University of Florida department of chemistry has developed a new technique for growing new materials from nanorods. Materials with enhanced properties engineered from nanostructures have the potential to revolutionize the marketplace in everything from data processing to human medicine. However, attempts to assemble nanoscale objects into sophisticated structures have been largely unsuccessful. The UF study represents a major breakthrough in the field, showing how thermodynamic forces can be used to manipulate growth of nanoparticles into superparticles with unprecedented precision. The study is published in the Oct. 19 edition of the journal Science. "The reason we want to put nanoparticles together like this is to create new materials with collective properties," said Charles Cao, associate professor of chemistry at UF and corresponding author of the study. "Like putting oxygen atoms and hydrogen atoms together in a two-to-one ratio – the synergy gives you water, something with properties completely different from the ingredients themselves."

Google rolled out the new privacy policy in March, allowing it to track users across various services to develop targeted advertising, despite sharp criticism from US and European consumer advocacy groups. The EU agencies told Google it had a few months to fix the policy or face legal action. Source: AFP


October 19th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

study. "There are all sorts of issues to be overcome when assembling building blocks from nanoscale particles. I don't think anyone has been able to get them to self-assemble into superparticles like this before." "They have achieved a tour-de-force in precision and control," he said. Source: University of Florida

An artistic impression of a superparticle formed from selfassembling nanorods. Credit: Dustin S. LaMontagne In the UF study, a synergism of fluorescent nanorods, sometimes used as biomarkers in biomedical research, resulted in a superparticle with an emission polarization ratio that could make it a good candidate for use in creating a new generation of polarized LEDs, used in display devices like 3-D television. "The technology for making the single nanorods is well established," said Tie Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at UF and lead author of the study. "But what we've lacked is a way to assemble them in a controlled fashion to get useful structures and materials." The team bathed the individual rods in a series of liquid compounds that reacted with certain hydrophobic regions on the nanoparticles and pushed them into place, forming a larger, more complex particle. Two different treatments yielded two different products. "One treatment gave us something completely unexpected —these superparticles with a really sophisticated structure unlike anything we've seen before," Wang said. The other yielded a less complex structure that Wang, and his colleagues were able to grow it into a small square of polarized film about one quarter the size of a postage stamp. The researchers said that the film could be used to increase efficiency in polarized LED television and computer screens by up to 50 percent, using currently available manufacturing techniques. "I've worked in nanoparticle assembly for a decade," said Dmitri Talapin, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago who was not involved with the 9

October 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Google developing Star Trek computer interface to rival Siri Source: October 22nd, 2012

Google is developing a new computer interface inspired by technology seen in Star Trek, which could offer a more sophisticated alternative to Apple's Siri software. Google is developing a new computer interface inspired by technology seen in Star Trek, which could offer a more sophisticated alternative to Apple's Siri software. The jack of all trades company is working on what it called “ubiquitous computing,” similar to the gadgets seen in Star Trek, which respond to user commands and questions. On the surface it might sound a lot like the personal assistant software Siri, but the key difference is that Google wants to push things beyond smartphones, so that users can simply ask a question at home and the answer will display on their Google Glasses screen, TV display, or even on a screen built into their refrigerator. “Why should someone stop their conversation because they're missing a tiny piece of information that you need to take that conversation further?” said Amit Singhal, VP and Senior Engineer of Search at Google. “You have to pull out your phone. You have to unlock the phone. You have to type. Already you have lost valuable seconds and the conversation has become unnatural and awkward.”

He predicts that within three to five years we will have “a Star Trek assistant” and that Google has built “baby steps” towards this reality. The company has been working hard on its Glasses project for many months, which will effectively be a smartphone built into a pair of glasses that can display content, make calls via voice commands, and present a more engaging computer experience without taking the user out of the everyday world. Building on this so that users are communicating with computers throughout their home or office will be a major step in computing and might bring science-fiction that bit closer to fact. The problem for such gadgets, and for Siri and its software rivals, is that computers often have a hard time understanding human commands, especially when they are phrased in a colloquial way or with an accent. Until this is addressed widespread adoption of such technology will always be a challenge.

Apple drops Java from Macs over security fears Source: October 22nd, 2012

Apple is to automatically remove old versions of the Java software from browsers on Mac computers over growing security fears. 1

October 22nd, 2012

Apple is to automatically remove old versions of the Java software from browsers on Mac computers over growing security fears. The latest update for the Apple operating system will axe Java software that previously came bundled with Mac OS X. Users will then have to manually redownload the software from Oracle if they want to continue to access websites or content written in the Java programming language.

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A new art exhibition has opened in London's City Hall, and for the next week, it will be showcasing all of the greatest artwork the gaming world has to offer, as well as never before seen art from the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Dishonored, Guild Wars 2 and Tomb Raider. Admission will be free.

The move follows a promise made two years ago that Apple would at some stage in the future no longer include Java in its installations. There was no word on that commitment until now and Apple has not provided any explanation for why it made the cut.

The exhibition at the city hall The exhibition has been organized by Ukie, the association for UK interactive entertainment, as part of this year's London game festival. The reason for the exhibition is to celebrate the British game industry's recent success. A number of British developers, including Batman developer Rocksteady, has raised the British game industry's value to an estimated ÂŁ3 billion last year.

The timing is obvious, however, as Java has come under heavy fire from security experts in recent weeks and months over a number of vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. In August several security holes were found, which were patched by Oracle a few days later, but since then there have been reports of other vulnerabilities, including two new ones discovered last Friday. Since Java will not be outright banned on Macs, users can still download it themselves and possibly suffer from security issues as a result, but at least then Apple can claim no responsibility for those problems, since the software is no longer officially supported. Dr. Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie

Video game art exhibition opens in London Source: October 22nd, 2012

Some of the art has been created exclusively for the event, and several pieces, including posters from Fable 3 and paintings from Arkham City are signed by the developers and will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition on Friday the 26th. All proceeds from the auction will be given to the charity SpecialEffect, which aims to enrich the lives of disabled children with video games. If you can't make it to London, feel free to bid on some of the art online, at

London's City hall has opened a free art exhibition which for the next week will display the best art the world of gaming has to offer, from several big gaming brands based in the UK.


October 22nd, 2012

Google's future as search engine uncertain, analyst says Source: October 22nd, 2012

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Google Play Store apps putting users at risk Source: October 22nd, 2012

After a surprisingly weak annual report, some analysts are beginning to wonder what Google's future as a search engine is, and whether it will soon join the leagues of AltaVista and Yahoo.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Leibniz and the Philipps University of Marburg has found that nearly 8% of the 13,500 Android apps tested failed to protect personal information such as bank account and social media logins.

Last week, Google presented a surprisingly weak quarterly report, making one analyst scratch his head and perhaps consider if Google's dominance over search engines is about to fade.

Researchers found that these unsecured apps did not have the sufficient scrambling mechanism to block attackers from obtaining or diverting data that passes back and forth between the phone and server.

Eric Jackson, founder of investment company Ironfire Captial, expressed his concerns that Google, and indeed Facebook as well, may soon face the same fate as Yahoo and Alta Vista: "In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared," he said in an interview on CNBC, "Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10% of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”

According to the BBC, the researcher conducted the study on some of Google Play’s most popular apps, some of which have already achieved millions of downloads.

(Risk getting your bank account information stolen every time you check your balance.)

Eric Jackson Jackson is reasoning that people's media habits are changing. We are spending more and more time on our mobile phones and less time in front of our computers, googling things at a desk. This has resulted in a lower price per click for online ads, which in turn, means lower profits for Google. Facebook has already seen the impact of this; it's stock market value has halved since it's introduction, and the same thing may now be happening to Google. Google, however, is so much more today, than a search engine provider. Assuming that Google is simply going to disappear because people's media usage is changing, seems like a rash assumption at best. In fact, companies such as Google and Facebook are facing an unprecedented opportunity for expanding into the mobile market, and that's exactly what they seem to be doing.

For the study, the researchers used a fake Wi-Fi hotspot and specially designed tools to “spy” on the data that the app sent and received via the hotspot. During the various phases of their study, researchers found that many apps failed to secure details regarding bank accounts, email services, social media, and corporate data. They also found that various Android apps can disable security programs and/or fool the system into thinking that a secure app is infected. Other more sophisticated tools can even inject specific code into the system, leading it to carry out possibly unwanted commands. What’s even scarier is that the researchers found that an attacker can potentially re-direct a request to transfer funds via the security holes in the apps. In a follow up survey, researchers found that many people could not recognize that their phone data were at risk of being hijacked. “About half of the participants (out of 754 people) could not judge the security state of a browser session correctly,” said the researchers.


October 22nd, 2012

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Ben Heck's Xbox 360 portable mod Source: October 22nd, 2012

About a month ago, we reported on a hobbyist turning his Xbox 360 into a portable gaming rig, and not surprisingly there’s another Xbox 360 mod that will leave you wishing you had a 3D printer.

Recently, on The Ben Heck Show, the tech whiz Ben Heck took apart an Xbox 360 and turned it into a portable machine complete with built-in sound and monitor. Heck used a TI audio amplifier that offered integrated stereo for the console's sound output, and a volume control board that also fulfilled other duties such as eject and boot up. For the monitor, Heck used a thin/low power rating 16-inch LED backlit display. For the custom case, he used the MakerBot Replicator and a material called Sintra to print out parts to cover up the naked Xbox motherboard and DVD drive. A few other tools, such as a laser cutter and soldering equipment were used to complete the mod, and the result is quite a sight. Heck’s full break down and customization of the Xbox can be seen below.

T-Mobile’s “value plan” seems like the much more attractive initial price point, but right under the pretty bargain number there’s a small print saying that you’ll be billed an extra $20 per month for 20 months. With the classic plan, potential T-Mobile customers will be looking at dropping $419 on the spot, but there’s a $50 mail in rebate available if one does choose to go with the classic plan.

Wal-Mart, on the other hand, will supposedly offer the Galaxy Note II for $299, but it’s unknown what the contract requirements will be like through Wal-Mart. The original Galaxy Note has received a good following, and the Note II will probably follow suit as the mashing of smartphone and tablets is growing in popularity.

Huawei Summit available in North America Source: October 22nd, 2012

T-Mobile Galaxy Note II to be priced at $299 Source: October 22nd, 2012

Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy Note will hit the US soon, and T-Mobile seems like it wants in on the phablet game. A leaked image from the carrier’s website has revealed that the Galaxy Note II will go for $299 on a “value plan”, and $419 on the “classic plan”.

The Huawei Summit is now available for the first time in North America, and can be found at T-Mobile stores. It is an Android phone with a 3.5 inch screen boasting a 480 x 320 resolution, with a 3.2 megapixel camera. It comes with GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, a Swype keyboard, and a touch-screen text input system. Selling for 50 USD, the Huawei Summit is an affordable smartphone with all the essentials. Huawei has been in hot water since the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released a report 4

October 22nd, 2012

suggesting that it, and fellow Chinese company ZTE, had been using exported network equipment to spy on foreign businesses. ZTE recently announced that it would turn its focus from wireless systems to consumer electronics as part of the company's recovery. Could Huawei redeem itself by selling the Summit abroad? Nevertheless, the next few months will be crucial in determining Huawei's future in the international market.

New BioShock Infinite "Beasts of America" trailer released

Published by: VR-Zone

inventions for use by first responders to nuclear accidents. The suit was unveiled at Japan Robot Week 2012. Cyberdyne (yes, really. I look forward to your Skynet jokes) have modified the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL - more jokes from the SciFi fans, anyone?) to protect the wearer from radiation. This was achieved through lining the suit with tungsten shielding that can halve radiation exposure, according to University of Tsukuba professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, who developed HAL.

Source: October 22nd, 2012

The community-voted BioShock Infinite "Beasts of America" trailer gives players a satisfying and action-packed glimpse of Columbia's dangerous streets and havoc-filled skies. The new BioShock InfiniteBeasts of America trailer is explosive and packed with gameplay footage that was voted in by the official Irrational Games Facebook community. The trailer takes us across Columbia's many areas that keep the same distinct BioShock old-fashioned style and visual flair, many of which have stunning, high quality detail.

The suit was already impressive, with the ability to respond to the user's movements by detecting electical impulses in the skin, boosting strength. It also monitored the wearer's heartrate and temperature, and has an exhaust fan to prevent heatstroke.

The heart of the trailer, though, is the combat action: players get to see many of the in-game abilities as well as the extremely satisfying Sky-Hook to ride the rails of Columbia, flying at high speeds thousands of feet above the ground and taking out enemies at the same time. Viewers also get to see the wide array of enemies in the game, from gigantic robotic henchmen that make Big Daddies look small to coffinbacked baddies that are strangely akin to Pyramidhead from Silent Hill.

The exoskeleton is being improved to help workers who have to wear heavy radiation protection clothing. Japan is still struggling with radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was severely damaged last year during one of the country's most powerful earthquakes. Four of the six reactors at the plant were damaged or destroyed during the event, and the government ruled that the remaining two be turned off also. So while the plant has been shut down, the cleanup continues, and the threat of radiation in ongoing.

BioShock Infinite is slated for release on Feb. 26, 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website.

HAL suit modified to deal with nuclear disaster Source: October 22nd, 2012

Inspired to action by last year's Fukushima disaster, Japanese company Cyberdyne has modified one of its inventions for use by first responders to nuclear accidents. The suit was unveiled at Japan Robot Week 2012. Inspired to action by last year's Fukushima disaster, Japanese company Cyberdyne has modified one of its

Before the radiation modifications, the suit was marketed as a power suit for physiotherapy patients and elderly people, 5

October 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

boosting strength throught the aforementioned skin sensors ability to detect the patient's movement.

iPad mini, the 8GB Nexus 7 is more of a “bargain” than the 16GB iPad mini. Amazon’s 16GB Kindle Fire HD ($199) is being sold for no profit according to its CEO, Jeff Bezos.

HAL's legs carry most of the weight, as well as any tools the user needs.

Apple’s business model is selling hardware for a profit, and investing in its software to maintain customer loyalty. Amazon and Google, on the other hand, are making tablets and selling them for almost no profit at all, and instead profitting from selling digital goods (i.e. apps, games, music, videos) through their respective marketplaces.

So it's a great idea, but has it come too late? Some will say yes, questioning its value even if it actually does get deployed to Fukushima. However, in a country prone to natural disasters with fifty six reactors either operational or under construction, it probably doesn't hurt to be prepared. Source: Japan Daily Times

Price of iPad mini starts at $329 Source: October 22nd, 2012

The initial investment might be the biggest drawback when it comes to selecting an Apple tablet, but despite the premium price tags on most Apple products, the Cupertino-based company is still dominating the tablet market by a mile.

DangDang releases One Piece multiplayer game Source: October 22nd, 2012

The "One Piece" multiplayer game, based on the anime, has become wildly popular in China. It's popular, but can Luffy and his gang conquer China the same ways they did the oceans of One Piece? When Microsoft announced the pricings of its Surface RT tablets, some were content, but there were also a few that was disappointed that the Surface tablets weren’t a bit cheaper. If you skimped out on the Surface, and are willing to explore iOS, then perhaps the rumored price of the iPad mini may catch your eyes.

Although the rumored prices of the iPad mini may not be as much as “bargain” as some would think, but it’s definitely a bit cheaper than Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT slates. 9to5mac reported that the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini will cost around $329, the 32GB model will cost $429, and the 64GB will run for a cool $529. Looking at the iPad mini’s pricings, we can see that the 32GB model ($429) is only slightly less expensive than the 32GB Surface RT tablet ($499). Previously, some analysts thought that the base model iPad mini could go for as low as $250-$299, but as the new reports are rolling in, that won’t be the case. Many are speculating that Apple wants to dominate the tablet market completely, and that the iPad mini is meant to compete with budget tablets like Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s Nexus 7. Google’s 8GB Nexus 7 is currently being sold for $200, and although it offers only half the internal storage of the 16GB

On October 17, Dangdang, the Chinese e-commerce company, released "One Piece" the multiplayer game based on the classic Japanese anime of the same name. Already, the game has 60 servers and nearly 100 thousand players. It is a horizontal dueling-style MMORPG where gamers play as pirates from the anime. Dangdang has also started sweepstakes and contests for players, with more than 10 million yuan worth of prizes, which include e-books, iPads, and online gold and experience. There are an estimated 800 thousand online games available in China right now, generating a substantial revenue for developers and advertisers. Companies can post games to their sites to generate traffic and revenue as well as increase brand awareness and customer retention. In 2011, the Chinese online gaming industry was worth 5.55 billion yuan with a growth rate of 10% per business quarter. Out of the hundreds of thousands of online games in China, "One Piece" has become wildly successful because of the anime's popularity, classic japanese game animation, and the diversity of activities within the game. The game is available at


October 22nd, 2012

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Apple - Foxconn supply chain showing strain Source: October 22nd, 2012

The strikes at Foxconn factories we saw in the first week of October are winding down. However, squeezed between workers' demands for higher wages and pressure from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Foxconn is still in a tight spot. The continued survival of the alliance, forged during Steve Jobs' time as CEO, is in doubt. The strikes at Foxconn factories we saw in the first week of October are winding down. However, squeezed between workers' demands for higher wages and pressure from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Foxconn is still in a tight spot. The continued survival of the alliance, forged during Steve Jobs time as CEO, is in doubt. Foxconn enacted wage increases in July in response to a Fair Labor Association audit which followed a string of worker suicides and a fatal explosion the year before. Foxconn also promised, by 2013, to bring worker overtime into line with the legal limit of 36 hours per month on top of 40 hour work weeks. In order to do that it will need to recruit tens of thousands more workers. Last month, Appleinsider reported that Apple was likely sharing the costs of increased wages at Foxconn factories. More recently, however, Tencent Tech quotes Taiwanese media sources as saying that Foxconn has requested a price increase on original equipment manufacturers for Apple and that Apple has not yet responded. The background for this is that while further increases in Chinese labor costs will shrink Apple's margin, as of 2010, labor costs in China made up only 1.8% of the cost of producing the iPhone and 2% of the cost of producing the iPad. Much of the investigative reporting on the labor disputes at Foxconn factories has been conducted by China Labor Watch, a New York based NGO with a goal of improving working conditions for Chinese workers. Li Qiang, the founder of CLW, now reports that average hours for Foxconn workers have not gone down. Rather, the hours have actually increased from 170 to 300 hours per month since April. This increase occurred alongside the build-up to the launch of the iPhone 5.

(Young Chinese people seeking employment opportunities at Foxconn) Another often overlooked contributor to the recent strikes and workers protests is a demographic shift and a shift in values among young Chinese. The current generations of young people in China have grown up with more opportunities and higher expectations. Fewer of them are satisfied shuffling back and forth between home and the factory every day, even for four hundred dollars a month. One of the interns Tencent Tech interviewed at a Foxconn factory said “there is no future working in a place like this.” An industry source told Tencent Tech that Foxconn is preparing to have one million production robots in place within three years.

BioWare: "We don't want Shepard 2.0 in Mass Effect 4" Source: October 22nd, 2012

BioWare producer Fabrice Condominas reveals that Commander Shepard won't be in Mass Effect 4, and explains why the studio wants a new face to represent the continuing franchise. In a recent interview published yesterday on VG247, BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas discusses that the studio feels that Commander Shepard has run his course through the series, and that it's time for a new character to take charge as an intergalactic hero in Mass Effect 4. “There is one thing we are absolutely sure of – there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over.” In response to a question of what features that gamers can expect from the new chapter of the Mass Effect franchise, Condominas replied: "So first, we don’t want to make ‘Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, ‘oh there’s no more Shepard but you’re a soldier in the universe’. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest.”


October 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

“This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in. All we’re doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things.”

This may be a let down for all fans of Team Shepard, but it's refreshing to see that BioWare is open to change and realizes that re-hashing popular elements can get old and stale. It's nice to see that the studio is willing to go outside of its comfort zone to bring a new protagonist to the spotlight and continue on with the franchise while keeping the same distinct blend of sci-fi and action. In the meantime gamers have plenty to keep them busy with the newly released Retaliation multiplayer DLC and the Omega singeplayer DLC coming Nov. 27, 2012. If that's not enough to keep you occupied then be sure to check out the new Operation Bloodlust weekend challenge that's in currently in effect!

Beijing Apple store has successful opening day Source: October 22nd, 2012

Beijing's newest Apple store officially opened for business at 9am October 20, 2012. Wangfujing street, part of a popular pedestrian shopping district, was crowded with people, many of whom had started camping out the day before. Employees gave away commemorative Apple T-shirts, but having underestimated the number of people present, ran out within thirty minutes. The new store is Apple's largest retail outlet in Asia, with 300 employees and three floors, with the top floor having a 360 degree genius bar instead of the traditional counter so as to comfortably handle a larger number of customers. Apple will open five more stores in mainland China, part of a plan to reach all corners of the country's market. The next store will open in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

ZTE plans a turnaround, spies on consumers instead? Source: October 22nd, 2012

Following accusations of espionage by the US government, ZTE announced that it will turn its focus to selling consumer mobile phones instead of enterprise networking products. On October 18, at a conference in Milan, ZTE Vice President He Shiyou, announced that ZTE would shift its focus to mobile phones. This announcement comes after a couple of difficult weeks for the company. Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee accused ZTE and Huawei of potential espionage and warned companies not to use their products. With the threat of being booted out of the US and other western markets, ZTE management has cut executives' pay, consolidated departments, and dropped unnecessary products. He Shiyou said, "This is difficult for all of us, but the key to success is being able to better meet challenges, make the right adjustments, and find new opportunities for development."


October 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

support for medical bills and if the person dies of cancer therapy 1 billion won (slightly more than 900,000 dollars) in compensation. In other news two secondary witnesses are being knocked out of the litigation the family of the victim and the Labor Welfare Corporation has brought against Samsung. If the dialogue goes forward this long and contentious litigation could start to come to an end.

Having been suspected of espionage through business wireless networks, ZTE will turn to consumer products, especially mobile phones. Today, mobile phone sales account for 35% of ZTE's revenue, but He Shiyou aims to increase sales to 50% of total revenue over the next three years.

Samsung to talk to family of factory worker who died of cancer Source: October 22nd, 2012

Britain to recruit next wave of code breakers from Xbox generation Source: October 22nd, 2012

At the country home where Britain's top computer scientists cracked the "unbreakable" Nazi Enigma code — a key factor in victory in World War II — a hunt is underway to find new cyber spies from the Xbox generation. At the country home where Britain's top computer scientists cracked the "unbreakable" Nazi Enigma code — a key factor in victory in World War II — a hunt is underway to find new cyber spies from the Xbox generation.

Samsung Electronics say they would like to have a dialogue with the family of factory worker who died of leukemia. The factory worker worked in a Samsung semiconductor factory. Samsung Electronics say they would like to have a dialogue with the family of factory worker who died of leukemia. The factory worker worked in a Samsung semiconductor factory. There has been litigation for several years between the Samsung semiconductor factory and the families of several workers who died of cancer after working there. According to a Samsung representative this request for dialogue would include what kind of compensation and how the compensation would be offered the victims families. Last year a court agreed that Samsung was responsible for two of the victims deaths but cleared Samsung of three other deaths.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the government was looking for up to 100 apprentices for Britain's intelligence agencies to emulate the men and women who worked at Bletchley Park, the former code-breaking centre just north of London and once the most secret place in Britain. It will be the young innovators of this generation who will help keep our country safe in years to come. "Today we are not at war, but I see evidence every day of deliberate, organised attacks against intellectual property and government networks in the United Kingdom from cyber criminals or foreign actors," Hague said.

The attorney for the victim and his family said that he could not confirm reports that the semiconductor factory had asked for a dialogue to take place. Samsung has recognized the problems related to industrial accidents. Starting August last year Samsung workers who worked in the semiconductor and LCD factory and got cancer within three years of retiring would get ten years of

The World War II Enigma decoding machine at Bletchley Park. Photo: AFP 9

October 22nd, 2012

"It will be the young innovators of this generation who will help keep our country safe in years to come against threats which are every bit as serious as some of those confronted in the Second World War." In 2012, Jonathan Evans, Director-General of the MI5 domestic spy agency, warned of "industrial-scale" cyber espionage and theft against Britain and cited the case of an unnamed London-listed company which lost £800 million as the result of a state cyber attack from abroad.

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The grant announced on Thursday will allow Bletchley to unlock another £5 million in Heritage Lottery Funding to protect the facilities and allow more of what it did to be exhibited to the public. "Without the code-breaking geniuses of Bletchley Park our country would have been at a devastating disadvantage during the war," Hague said. "And without the men and women of GCHQ and our other intelligence agencies we could not protect Britain today."

The apprenticeship scheme aims to recruit talented potential code-breakers and computer scientists from school pupils and university students mainly to the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the state eavesdropping service.

Source: Reuters

The Foreign Office said they wanted to tap into the Xbox generation who had grown up in a world of social media and interactive computer gaming.


noPhoto, the anti camera tickets hardware October 22nd, 2012

Hague also announced a £480,000 donation to help secure the future of Bletchley, whose existence only became public knowledge in the 1970s when its role in the war was revealed. A traffic camera may never be able to catch you running a red light again. How is this possible? Simple, you fight flash with flash. This simple contraption, which wraps around your car’s license plate, acts like a reflector so that the traffic camera won’t be able to nail you as you’re moving across the intersection. To be a little more specific, the contraption has a built in optical trigger that will set off a few xenon flashes to overexpose the picture taken by the traffic camera.

A replica of the Turing Bombe. Photo: AFP The cryptographers who worked at the site are credited with helping to shorten World War II by up to two years and save countless lives by deciphering about 3000 German military messages a day.

The creator of this device, Jonathan Dandrow, calls it noPhoto—a straightfoward name indeed. Dandrow claims, however, that the device is not meant for people to neglect the law and drive carelessly. Rather, he insists that noPhoto is meant to help ordinary citizens fight money-hungry authorities. President of the National Motorist Association, Gary Biller, concurs with the notion that various municipals install traffic cameras with the sole purpose of money-making in mind, even though the counter argument is that the cameras are meant to increase traffic safety.

It was here that a team working under mathematician Alan Turing cracked the Enigma code, which the Germans regarded as unbreakable, while scientists also designed and developed Colossus, a truck-sized machine which was one of the world's first programmable electronic computers.

"Red-light cameras are a money-making enterprise for the cities that deploy them," says Biller. "Proponents claim that cameras improve intersection safety by deterring red-light running and by ticketing rolling-right-turn-on-red drivers. Yet numerous studies, including an investigative report by the Washington Post, have shown accident rates increasing by double-digit percentages after the introduction of cameras."

But after the war prime minister Winston Churchill ordered that the Colossus computers and 200 Bombe machines, used to crack the Enigma code, be destroyed to keep them secret from the Soviet Union, and the unheated, Spartan huts where the code-breakers worked fell into a state of disrepair.

Regardless of the intents behind the traffic cameras, Dandrow thinks he is on to something with noPhoto and is currently seeking backers via Indiegogo. His hope is that he’ll be able to raise $80,000 to have noPhoto certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories. The price tag will be around


October 22nd, 2012

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$350 apiece, and as of right now, the contraption is still in the prototype stage.


October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Apple announces iPad Mini, iPad 4, and revamped Macs Source: October 23rd, 2012

Apple has unveiled the iPad Mini, a new fourth-generation iPad, and updates to its Macbook and iMac ranges. The smaller device, designed to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire and other more compact rival tablets, is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the previous iPad model, featuring a smaller 7.9-inch display, compared to the traditional 9.7-inch display of its larger cousin. It is powered by a dual-core A5 processor, comes with a frontfacing high-definition FaceTime camera, a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the back, and runs iOS 6. “iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Philip Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless?all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”

There was a surprise for those at the Apple event, however, when Apple unveiled the iPad 4, only six months after the iPad 3, or “new iPad,” went on sale. This upgrade features the same size screen as the previous models, but packs a faster A6X chip, a high-definition camera for FaceTime, and iOS 6. It also touts a battery life of 10 hours, the same as the previous model. Prices will start at $499 for a 16GB model, $599 for a 32GB model, and $699 for a 64GB model. The 4G version will cost $629, $729, or $829 respectively.

Prices for the Wi-Fi iPad Mini will start at $329 for a 16GB model, $429 for a 32GB version, and $529 for 64GB. For those who want 4G, they will need to fork out $459, $559, or $659 respectively.

Both the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad will be available for pre-order this Friday, 26 October, and will ship on 2 November in the US, most of Europe, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Apple also unveiled a new iMac with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, a choice of Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, and a standard 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive, which can be 1

October 23rd, 2012

upgraded to 32GB of RAM and 3TB of storage. Screen sizes available include 21.5-inches or 27-inches. It also features four USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt ports. Prices start at $1,299 for the 21.5-inch model and $1,999 for the 27inch model, and they will be available in November and December respectively.

Published by: VR-Zone October 23rd, 2012

The UK's primary's internet service providers (ISPs) have been asked by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to block access to three additional websites accused of pirating copyrighted material. The UK's primary's internet service providers (ISPs) have been asked by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to block access to three additional websites accused of pirating copyrighted material. BPI wants Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents banned by the ISPs, which would not affect the websites themselves, but would prevent many UK users from accessing and downloading from them.

As if an iPad Mini was not enough, Apple updated the Mac Mini with a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, a standard 4GB of RAM, upgradeable to 16GB, integrated graphics that is 65 percent faster than previous models, four USB ports and one Thunderbolt port, and a 1TB hard drive. Prices start at $599 for an i5 model and $999 for an i7 model. It is available immediately.

The ISPs, which include BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk, said they would comply with the request, but only if they receive a court order similar to that put in place in April for The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular filesharing websites.

Finally, Apple introduced a new version of its 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display. This version is 20 percent thinner and nearly a pound lighter than current models, a 2.5GHz or 2.9GHz i5 or i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of RAM and 758GB of flash storage, two USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt ports. It is available today and prices start at $1,699. “Like The Pirate Bay, these websites are profiting illegally from distributing music that isn't theirs, without permission and without paying a penny to the musicians, writers and producers who created it,” a BPI spokesperson told the BBC. “It is plain wrong. The existence of these sites damages the growth of Britain's burgeoning digital music sector.” The fact that The Pirate Bay was blocked means there is now a precedence in law for these websites to be banned, which makes it highly likely that a court order will be in place in a relatively short period of time. The BPI will then undoubtedly go after other websites believed to be sharing copyrighted content.

UK ISPs asked to block more piracy websites Source:


October 23rd, 2012

Microsoft claims Skype for Windows 8 can run in background with no power drain

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also be rolled out to smartphones in future, which suffer from insanely low battery lives. If Microsoft is able to make power efficiency a key feature of Windows Phone 8, it could give itself a much-needed boost in market share.

Source: October 23rd, 2012

Microsoft claims that the latest version of its Skype videoconferencing software, designed for Windows 8, will use essentially no battery power when running in the background. Microsoft claims that the latest version of its Skype videoconferencing software, designed for Windows 8, will use essentially no battery power when running in the background. The ambitious claim is based on a complete re-engineering of the software's code, making it run much more efficiently than its current resource-hogging version, giving it a potential boost over rivals. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011 and has mostly left it untouched in that time. This will be the first major change to the software in both design and functionality, and if it works as intended it could make the acquisition appear more positive in the eyes of many Skype users.

Omron develops real-time facial expression estimation technology Source: October 23rd, 2012

Omron has developed a technology that can estimate seven different facial expressions in real time, paving the way for advancements in robotics, gaming, and image search. Omron has developed a technology that can estimate seven different facial expressions in real time, paving the way for advancements in robotics, gaming, and image search. The Facial Expression Estimation technology, part of Omron's OKAO Vision collection, combines Omron's 3D model-fitting technology and statistical classification method, determining the mood of a person in a picture through the relative position of all parts of the face.

The power saving works by Skype ending its use of the CPU within just one minute of the user switching to another application, which is just long enough to keep it active for quick multi-tasking, while also ensuring it is not draining the battery. This is done by utilising Windows Push Notification Services and Connected Standby, where notifications can still be detected without the same kind of energy draw as when fully loaded up.

The process uses a very small amount of system memory and provides results in real-time, and it can work for videos as well as still images. The seven facial expressions it can recognise are happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, sadness, and neutral, capturing the primary emotions of humans.

This upgrade will be important for laptop and tablet users who will have Windows 8 installed, but the technology will 3

October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The UN has announced in a report that it hopes to increase the use of surveillence against internet users, claiming that it will help investigate, as well as prosecute, terrorists. The United Nations recently released a 148 page report which details the organization's hopes of using internet surveillance in order to investigate terrorism. The report details how terrorists are using social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, in order to "spread propaganda". Yury Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, explains that terror cells can at a low cost, and with high anonymity, spread their beliefs to the world. The report, which was released at a Vienna conference, further states that a major issue with prosecuting terrorists online, is that there is no internationally agreed upon standard for data retention from ISPs in various countries. The US Department of Justice has similarly been lobbying for congress to enact legislature which forces ISPs to retain data on their customers for future police investigations, and was faced with stark opposition.

The technology has a wide number of potential uses. A robot could be programmed to react in different ways to the facial expression it recognises from an interacting user. For example, it could be programmed to pat the user on the back and say “Everything will be okay� if it sees a sad facial expression. It could be used for image search, letting users find pictures of people experiencing different emotions without needing the file name or tags to spell out what is contained in the photo. Photo decoration, which automatically adds decorative features to a picture based on the detected facial expression, is another possible application. One area where this technology is likely to be taken up bigtime, however, is gaming. With Nintendo revolutionising the gaming industry with its Wii motion control console, the ability to detect the user's facial expressions and adjust gameplay on the basis of that could make for more engaging experiences. We have already seen some of this in action with the addition of facial recognition to long-running MMO EverQuest II, and similar technology will likely be a feature of future gaming consoles.

UN hopes employ antiterrorism surveillence of internet Source: October 23rd, 2012

The UN building in New York The current report however, has stated that it may be necessary to go even further in terms of data retention, than the proposed US legislature. The report hopes to store conversations from instant messaging or VoIP services such as Skype as well. It also hopes to require registration for use of free wi-fi spots, such as in cafĂŠs and airports; and wants to make more use of mobile location data in criminal investigations. Finally, the report draws concern to "terrorist"-developed video games. I feel a need to add my own two cents to this matter: This proposal is yet another attempt of a governing body to invade the liberties of the individual and I personally find it horrendous, especially as many of the things the proposal is hoping to police should be protected as free speech. It doesn't matter who you're trying to silence; if you do it to one group of people, you've done it to everyone. Benjamin Franklin once said: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.", and I wholeheartedly agree with this; that liberty will never be returned. This is why SOPA and PIPA have met with so much opposition, and so should this.


October 23rd, 2012

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EVE online player loses $6000

The new Iron Man 3 HD trailer is live

Source: October 23rd, 2012

Source: October 23rd, 2012

In a tragic turn of events, a player in EVE online has just lost over $6000 after his ship, carrying valuable in game assets, was shot down.

The cinematic trailer has just been released by Marvel Studios for Iron Man 3, the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel's superhero blockbusters.

EVE online is a game infamous for having a real-world economic effect on it's players. The space based MMO lets players enter into a number of professions including mining and piracy, and over the years, large corporations have arisen which deal in funds that have a real world equivalent. There has been plenty of crime and dubious activity in EVE's servers, including robberies and corporate take downs. As it happens, there is in fact, quite a bit of cash floating around to make that sort of thing very profitable. Now though, it seems it is more bad luck and poor decision making that has led to a monumental financial loss for one player. The player, who will remain anonymous, was transporting upwards of $6422 worth of virtual assets in a ship. The assets were mainly in the form of blueprints, which allow for the manufacture of a certain number of an in-game asset, and are thus very valuable. The craft that was transporting these goods was a small, weak ship, and the player reasoned that, if it encountered hostile players, it would be able to outrun them.

Marvel's iconic playboy billionaire Tony Stark is back for more high-tech action-packed mayhem in Iron Man 3's new official trailer. No more teasers--the newly released trailer is two minutes of Marvel awesomeness, setting a rather grim tone for upcoming sequel. In it, viewers see a new solemn side of Tony Stark as he realizes that carnage always follows in his wake, and wants to protect the one thing he holds dear: Pepper Potts. Stark sheds his cocky and arrogant attitude for a more serious persona, and in the trailer we see that he's plagued by nightmares and seems to be psychologically damaged by the events of the earlier films, especially when he comes to the realization of being a literal magnet to chaos. The trailer also introduces a new breed of archvillain to the series in the form of Mandarin, a nefarious evildoer straight out of Marvel's comics. Ben Kingsley delivers a stunning performance as the ruthless malefactor, even for the small snippet that we see of him. From his brief monologue and the accompanying footage, Mandarin establishes himself as a calm and quite sadistic character who will go to any lengths to destroy Tony Stark. His motives aren't exactly revealed in the trailer, but perhaps he's motivated by revenge like Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2, or maybe he just likes to make the world burn. Some men are like that, you know.

It was a ship similar to this one that was carrying the blueprints As it turns out, the ship couldn't, and when it entered hostile space, it was destroyed, along with the blueprints. CCP, creators of EVE Online, confirmed the kill and the legitimacy, sealing the nail in the coffin for that money.

One thing's for certain, though: Tony Stark will have to defy the odds to defeat the insidous Mandarin, but he may have to be willing to sacrifice everything, including Pepper or his own life, to save the day this time... Iron Man 3 explodes onto the big screen on May 3, 2013.

Dragon Age III: Inquisition concept art released! Source:


October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

October 23rd, 2012

BioWare, creators of the Dragon Age franchise, has released concept art for Dragon Age III: Inquisition, giving gamers a first look at the new game world. Bioware has just released three concept art images for their upcoming game, Dragon Age III: Inquisition. The concept art, featured below, depicts a castle on a snowy high mountain (players may be able to control castles in the game), a temple overgrown with vegetation, and a large open field. The game was announced last month and will feature a human protagonist, a more expansive world and improved visuals. During the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment expo this weekend, Bioware revealed that "one level in Dragon Age III [will be] as big as all of Dragon Age II's levels." The new game will be utilizing DICE's Frostbite 2 engine for it's graphics

Apple's iBookstore to go live in 18 more countries Source: October 23rd, 2012

More customization is also expected, as well as player choices which more effect the game world than previously. Dragon Age III is expected to release in late 2013

Here’s how we know for sure that Apple will be showing off the new iPad mini at today’s hype event. Right before the mini is set to unveil, Apple’s iBookstore has extended its service to 18 more countries. AppleInsider was notified by an Australia-based iBooks label that their backend system listed 18 new countries as “pending”. These countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Most of the countries on the pending list is in South America —some with growing economies, and some stagnant. Nonetheless, expansion of iBooks into South America means that Apple sees potential, and a “budget” slate (rumored going price of $329 for 16GB iPad mini) fits the living standards of the region.

Despite the news, the publisher also noted that books won’t be immediately available to the new areas. “iTunes Connect is showing their status as pending for contract reasons, although I’m quite certain that they’ll trigger to available during [today’s] keynote. This is quite a big jump for iBooks,” said the source.


October 23rd, 2012

Also per the same source, the addition of the 18 countries brings the tally up to 50 countries that now support iBookstore sales. Amazon currently leads the pack with its digital distribution system, and the reasonably priced Kindle devices only help to drive that dominance in the e-book market even further.

Toys R Us launches Tabeo 'kid-friendly' Android tablet Source: October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

have a feature like Apple’s Airplay,” an anonymous source told Sina Tech Xiaomi is known more for being able to churn out affordable smartphones for the masses, so perhaps it won’t surprise anyone if the same company will be able to deliver an affordable set-top box. There are quite a few Androidpowered set-top boxes right now on the market, and the Vizio Co-Star is among the more popular boxes. Vizio’s Android-powered set-top box is currently going for $99, but can Xiaomi make a quality box that is cheaper? Apple is also currently selling the Apple TV set-top box for $99, but some people just don’t have that taste for the iOS flavor.

For a kid’s toy, the Tabeo has sufficient specifications to run just about any kiddie games/apps you can throw at it. It boasts a 1GHz Cortex A8, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), and is driven by Android 4.0 ICS. The 800x480 TFT 7-inch screen is a nice touch, considering my first Game Boy was a 2-bit device that had a 2.6-inch screen.

Some of the apps/games that come preloaded on the Tabeo include Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja (no blood), Temple Run, Angry Birds, Collapse, and a few educational apps such as Kids Numbers and Math. Extra features include a micro-HDMI out, and a front facing camera. The standard Wi-Fi connectivity is present, and Toys R Us claims that the Tabeo can keep Barney on the screen for 7 hours. The going price for the Tabeo is $149.99, and accessories for the device range from $5.99 to $39.99. Toys R Us says that the “Tabeo can be used by the whole family, no matter their age.” Even so, the device doesn’t look like it’s slobber proof, hence, kids/babies that have a tendency to put things in their mouths should be kept away from the Tabeo.

Xiaomi working on an Android set-top box?

(This box [via eBay] features Android 4.0, 1.2GHz Cortex A8, and 1GB of RAM. It costs $63.99, but the brand is unknown) When it’s all said and done, however, Xiaomi’s main market is still China. eBay has plenty of cheap Android set-top boxes for around $60-70, but these are literally “unknown” branded hardware. It would be nice to see a cheap Xiaomi set-top box floating around, even if Xiaomi doesn’t intend for its product to extend beyond the Great Wall.

Nokia to launch affordable Lumia 510 smartphone Source: October 23rd, 2012

Source: October 23rd, 2012

Nokia answers the public cry for a more affordable smartphone with the Lumia 510, an entry-level smartphone that packs a punch while taking it easy on your wallet. Is Xiaomi, a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, going to launch a set-top box of its own? Word out of China is that Xiaomi already has a prototype. “Xiaomi is an internet company, and TV set-top-boxes will be using the internet [streaming] as a main selling point. As far as integration with the Xiaomi phone is concerned, it will 7

October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

not to face the battle of Xbox 2 versus PlayStation 3. As the results stand, Microsoft did manage to narrowly beat Sony in the battle of consoles, with 68.9 million consoles sold versus Sony's 67.2 million. Unfortunately for both players, Nintendo walked away with honors, as the company sold 96.7 million Wii consoles, and made a profit on every console they made (versus Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which lose money on hardware and gain profit on number of games sold).

The mobile phone industry has been under considerable pressure to make smartphones more affordable and accessible to the public; with the Lumia 510, Nokia answers the call with an impressive entry-level device that does pretty much everything you want it to. Priced at just $199 the Nokia Lumia 510 won't put you in debt or break your bank account. It features a 4'' 480x800 TFT display, a single core Snapdragon processor, 256 MB of RAM, a 5.0 megapixel camera, 4GB internal memory with 7GB of additonal Skydrive cloud storage. "With the Nokia Lumia 510 we continue to meet our commitment to bring Windows Phone to new, lower price points," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. The Nokia Lumia 510 is an entry-level smartphone, meaning that it will have certain restrictions, one of them being no option for external storage. Still, Nokia's affordable option runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system and is a great fit for anyone who's currently on a budget. Nokia has also provided its own exclusive apps and services to the Lumia 510 including Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps. The Nokia Lumia 510 will be available in five vibrant colors-red, yellow, cyan, white and black--and has an estimated retail price of about $199 (excluding taxes and fees). Nokia has planned to start selling the Lumia 510 in November 2012 starting with India and China followed by South America and Asia-Pacific nations.

There's No Xbox 720, NextGen Microsoft Xbox to be Named "Xbox Next"? Source: October 23rd, 2012

For the new battle of the consoles, we could end up without a single number in their names. Nintendo already made up their mind with Wii U; PlayStation could end up being named something like PlayStation Ultra or PlayStation World, while Microsoft is still deciding on the name. Our sources close to heart of the matter told us while the final name of the console is still undecided, there are some names which were discarded a while ago. The final marketing call will be decided during the first quarter of 2013, with the introduction in the second quarter of 2013, probably at E3. Microsoft plans to have a large venue near to the exhibition grounds, such as the Nokia Arena and have a celebrity-laden launch, with the global marketing campaign to get tickets for the launch event covering all countries where Xbox will be sold. This naturally, will exclude many countries around the globe, an error which Sony used to its advantage with its region-free approach to PlayStation Network. If our sources are correct, the candidates for the next Xbox name are "Xbox 8" (to align with Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8), simply "Xbox" and "Xbox Next". There was also a rumor that the console might be named identically to one of already existing services, such as Xbox Live or Xbox Kinect, but both of those names should be discarded. Xbox Four was dropped due to similar pronunciation of the number "four" and "death" in Mandarin Chinese. Xbox 8 could also be the bringer of good luck, as that number has particularly positive connotation. What we know is that Durango development platform is finally running on AMD hardware, as the company taped out GPU which will be in use for the Xbox Next console. The initial Durango XDK (Xbox Development Kit) featured an 8-core Sandy Bridge processor (SNB-E, LGA2011 on a custom motherboard with embedded memory), 8GB of DDR3 memory and Nvidia Fermi-class graphics (GTX 570). The new kit allegedly comes with 8-core FX processor, and Southern Islands graphics, with the final console allegedly featuring Sea Islands, AMD's second generation 28nm GPU hardware. 2013 should turn to be a very interesting year in terms of consoles - watch this space for continuous coverage. But for now, you can done and dust the Xbox 720. As police officer in South Park says, "Move along people, nothing to see here."

For quite some time, numerous media outlets and gamers themselves were calling the next-gen Xbox console - Xbox 720. Naturally, it made sense as it would be double the 360, but in reality, that designation never stood any chance. The name Xbox 720 (Google search for "Xbox 720" brings 7.2 million results) became really popular among mainstream gaming media which was caught off guard when Microsoft deliberately chose the name Xbox 360 - in order 8

October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Best Buy reveals prices for HTC 8X and AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 Source: October 23rd, 2012

Taiwan Mobile to release Amazing A2

Best Buy recently revealed pre-order prices for the HTC 8X ($99) and Nokia Lumia 920 ($149) Windows Phone 8 on it's website Sunday morning.

Source: October 23rd, 2012

Taiwan Mobile has announced the upcoming launch of the Amazing A2 smartphone, an upgraded version of the Amazing A1 released in May. Update: Chinese VR-Zone has a review of the Amazing A2 over at their site. Taiwan Mobile has announced its plans to launch the Amazing A2 phone, a upgraded version of the Amazing A1. The Amazing A2 will come with a 1 GHz Qualcomm S2 MSM8255 dual-core processor, a 4-inch 800x400 screen, 4 GB of internal memory (expandable up to 32GB via microSD), a 5 megapixel camera, a 1600 mAh battery, and will be powered by Google's Android 4.0.

The Amazing A2 will sell for NT$4990, but qualified customers will be able to trade in their Amazing A1 phones for a discount. The Amazing A1 has averaged 60,000 sales per month since its release in May. The Amazing A2 is expected to sell 100,000 a month for the first 6 to 8 months on the market. Taiwan Mobile has sold 1.6 million phones so far this year.

Best Buy is now taking pre-orders for the new HTC 8X and, later on, the Nokia Lumia 920 phones that run on Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's newest smartphone operating system. The HTC 8X is offered for $99 with a 2-year activation, and the Nokia Lumia 920 is $149 with the same plan and activation agreement, which takes a considerable chunk out of both of the phone's whopping $599 retail costs. Neither HTC or Nokia have yet to reveal prices for their upcoming Windows 8 phones, but Best Buy seems to inadverdantly announced the price range for both phones, taking pre-orders for both Windows Phone 8 phones at the above costs. Shortly thereafter, the Nokia Lumia 920's information and pre-order page was taken off of Best Buy's site.

The HTC 8X features 8GB internal memory with a 4.3'' HD touchscreen, and lightning-fast 4GLTE for optimum speed and coverage.


October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The Lumia 920 features a 1280x768 4.5-inch screen, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of memory. For more information on pre-orders be sure to visit the Best Buy web page.

AMD FX-8350 vs Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.8GHz - CPU Performance Compared Source: October 23rd, 2012

Do the Piledriver FX core improvements help win back some enthusiast mind share or is it another power guzzling disappointment again?


October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

AMD FX-8350 vs Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.8GHz - MultiGPU Gaming Performance Source: October 23rd, 2012

Nobody buys a CPU with unlocked multipliers to run it at stock frequencies, which you will see inside the many reviews around the web today. So what happens when you pit the flagship architectures together near the edge of conventional air and water cooling, Vishera FX ($199) vs Ivy Bridge ($329), at 4.8GHz? Which one will the discerning gamer choose? Test Setup: CPU/Motherboard:

Memory: GPU/Drivers:

Operating System:

AMD FX-8350 on ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z Intel Core i7-3770K on ASUS Maximus V Formula G.Skill TridentX 2 x 8GB @ 2400MHz 10-12-12-31 2T 2 x AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Catalyst 12.9 Beta + 12.9 CAP 1 Windows 7 SP1 with latest patches as of 20/10

Battlefield 3 11

October 23rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Sleeping Dogs F1 2012

Crysis 2 (DX11)

Counter-Strike : Global Offensive

Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E hits Japan on October 25 Source: October 23rd, 2012

Sniper Elite V2 Japan has finally set the release date for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E, a 7.7-inch tablet that is specifically built for ultra high-speed LTE networks. 12

October 23rd, 2012

Docomo has recently revealed the official release date of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E in Japan. It is scheduled to be available to consumers at all of service shops on October 25 2012. This is part of Docomo's plan to eventually proliferate the use and access of ultra high-speed LTE networks across the country.

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The third quarter 2012 results call however, did not include all the things that AMD has worked behind the stage. According to our confidential sources, the company is on the shopping spree for new executives and engineers, as well as companies to acquire. We have some indications what companies are being targeted, but this time around we won't disclose whom AMD is buying. With the new strategy, the company wants to eradicate its internal bureaucracy which our sources compared to specific European countries. The company had some issues in attracting top talent from competing companies such as Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Apple, while at the same time it bled brain power to these, and much more companies such as Synaptics. The new strategy mentioned on the call also called for consolidation of numerous sites (Sunnyvale, Austin, Markham, Boston, Houston, Denver etc.), but given that previous consolidation efforts only spent more money, we'll see how that will pan out.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E is considered an upgrade over the original version. The 7.7 Plus SC-01E uses the APQ8060 (1.5 Ghz dual-core) processor, and is supported by 1GB of RAM. It also comes with 32GB of internal storage, although an external microSD/mircoSDHC/TransFlash can be used to extend the device's data capacity. For its screen, it uses a Super Active Matrix OLED Plus display, with a WXGA resolution that is set at 1280x800 pixels. The dimensions of the unit are 197(length) X 133(width) X 7.9(thickness) millimeters, and weighs around 0.34 kilograms. Its battery has a charge capacity of about 5100mAh, and comes with Android 4.0 (ICS) OS out of the box. Samsung claims that the overall multitasking capability is generally improved in the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E. With its LTE connectivity, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E is capable of accessing any high speed network that is available to NTT Docomo. These data services include: The ultra highspeed Xi (Max. 75 Mbps), followed by the FOMA High-Speed connectivity service (Max. 14Mbps). In addition, the tablet also supports the international roaming connectivity service World Wing. Depending on availability, users of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E may also connect to Mobacas to watch programs from the smartphone-optimized NOTTV service. The price of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus SC-01E was revealed at the time of the announcement.

AMD to Announce Its Future Strategy on October 29, 2012 Source: October 23rd, 2012

The picture above clearly shows in which direction AMD is heading. The company is dead set on integrating both x86-64 and ARM Cortex cores, with the Cortex-M5 part already announced (x86-64 will be used for general computation, Cortex-M5 will be utilized for encryption) but that's just the start. With the next generation hardware, AMD has plans to integrate baseband in the CPU die and beat Intel to the pulp, which had that plan set for 2014 and 2015 Bay Trail platform with Valleyview SoC designs (2014 Valleyview is a successor to 2013 Silvermont, both use the next-gen 22nm LP process at Intel). Bear in mind that during the conference call, AMD all but confirmed that the company secured design wins for all three consoles - Nintendo Wii U was already known, but Microsoft Xbox Next and PlayStation Next were obvious unknowns. In any case, we have received an invite for a press conference with three very interesting executives; AMD CEO Rory Read, Senior VP and General Manager for Global Business Units Lisa Su and "a special guest." With AMD keeping the identity of this special guest a secret, we might see a surprising turn of events. Officially, the press conference will take place next week in San Francisco, with the subject being the new ambidextrous strategy. A quick search on the AMD website leads to a press release dated February 2nd, 2012 - where AMD mentioned way the company will head in the future.

During the disappointing quarterly results call (joining in all other tech companies which had a miserable quarter, including Intel etc), AMD's CEO Rory Read announced the restructuring of the company, which includes letting go 15% of its workforce. 13

October 24th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Quarter of 18-25 year olds are Facebook friends with boss Source: October 24th, 2012

One quarter of people between the ages of 18 to 25 are friends with their employers on Facebook, potentially exposing career damaging content, according to a study by internet security firm AVG. One quarter of people between the ages of 18 to 25 are friends with their employers on Facebook, potentially exposing career damaging content, according to a study by internet security firm AVG. AVG surveyed 4,400 people in the given age bracket in 11 different countries on their social network habits as part of Digital Baggage, the sixth instalment of its Digital Diaries study. While one in four add their boss on Facebook, the majority of those who do have social media links with their colleagues are not careful about what they are posting, which might harm their job prospects.

60 percent do not restrict content from co-workers, which is possible on Facebook, albeit less intuitive than the Circles feature of Google+. The US was top of the list with 59 percent for not restricting profiles, followed by Italy at 58 percent and Spain at 54 percent. Japanese workers are more cautious, with only 27 percent leaving their profiles open to co-workers. Worse yet, 13 percent post “abusive content� insulting their boss or company after a bad day at work, which could be seen by a colleague and used against them, or in some cases might even by seen by the boss him or herself. Of those asked, Italian young workers are most likely at 18 percent to vent about their job online, while only 10 percent do so in France and New Zealand. Many workers also have inappropriate content online, such as images they may not want their employers to see. The Spanish topped the list by far with 80 percent, while the UK and US were much better, with only 25 percent and 21 percent posting potentially damaging photos.


October 24th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Alongside the new OS, people are also expecting a few more Nexus devices which may hit retail just in time for the holiday season.

For those who do not believe online presence matters in the workplace, they might want to think again. The study found that 15 percent of Italian young people had been asked about things they posted online in an interview, while that figure is 13 percent for the US, nine percent for Australia, and six percent for the UK. This is a number that is likely to grow as more companies view the internet as an important medium for their identity, which could be damaged by the poor online identities of their employees. “AVG’s latest research clearly shows young people today have a comfort with using online social networks that is leading to blurring between their professional and private lives,” said Tony Anscombe, Senior Security Evangelist at AVG. “It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it’s important to understand that not only could it damage a person’s existing career, it could also negatively impact on future opportunities too. Our research findings indicate that today’s 18-25 year old ‘digital natives’ need to be more aware of their online brand as something employers and recruiters are increasingly investigating.” Image Credit: AVG

New Nexus gadgets and Android 4.2 to be unveiled on October 29

(Google 'Nexus 4'. | Image: @evleaks) LG will be the brand that will grace the next Google Nexus smartphone. The device, many seem to think, will be based off of LG’s flagship smartphone—the Optimus G. Meaning, the Nexus 4 will boast a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear camera, and a 1280x768 4.7-inch display. The Nexus 7 lineup will also receive some love, with sources suggesting that the popular 7-inch tablet will receive a memory upgrade (up from the max of 16GB) and HSPA+ connectivity. Also, Google is going to move into the 10-inch tablet market with something called a Nexus 10. This time around, however, it will be Samsung and Google tying the knot with each other. The Nexus 10 will supposedly boast a screen resolution that’s higher than the third-gen iPad. Android 4.2 will be Google’s answer to iOS6; some of the new features include a new panoramic camera capability, Play Store content will be accessible from a widget, and multiuser support for tablets.

PlayStation 3 master key leaked online Source: October 24th, 2012

Source: October 24th, 2012

Hackers have published online the "master key" to Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console, paving the way for a potentially monumental increase in pirated games.

The rumored Android Jelly Bean 4.2 will purportedly be unveiled next week at Google’s press event in New York.

Hackers have published online the "master key" to Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console, paving the way for a potentially monumental increase in pirated games.


October 24th, 2012

A hacker group called The Three Musketeers released the LVO decryption keys into the wild after a class action lawsuit against Sony over the security breach of the PlayStation Network was dismissed by a judge. “You can be sure that if it wouldn't have been for this leak, this key would never have seen the light of day, only the fear of our work being used to make money out of it has forced said us to release this now,� the group said in a statement. The comment follows allegations that Chinese hackers who got their hands on the codes intended to charge fees for them.

Published by: VR-Zone

Square Enix game developer of titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolutions and the Final Fantasy series, has signed a new long term contract for the use of Unreal Engine 4. Square Enix, Japanese video game developer of, among others, the Final Fantasy series, has just signed a new long term contract with Epic for use of the Unreal Engine 4, supplementing it's current Unreal Engine 3 license. This makes Square Enix the first developer to officially sign with Unreal Engine 4.

Image from the tech demo of the Unreal Engine 4 Epic stated that the contract will involve multiple games and that Epic Games Japan will be equipping Square Enix with the best development tools they have available. Taka Kawasaki, territory manager of Epic Games Japan continued to speak of the strong bond between the two companies and that Epic would continue to service Square Enix for many years to come.

The problem for Sony is that it cannot simply change these keys, as they are used to direct updates to the millions of PlayStation 3 consoles around the world. Any updates Sony makes, especially to improve its security and address the threat of piracy, can now be decrypted by hackers, putting the company in an extremely difficult position. Indeed, any attempts to rectify the problem may hit genuine consumers more than pirates and hackers, and thus Sony might decide it is wiser to simply leave things alone. That said, Sony has previously dealt with attempts to jailbreak the PlayStation 3 with updates to the console's firmware, and there might be similar options for the company following this latest hack.

Square Enix signs Unreal Engine 4 deal

Unreal Engine 3, however, is still being used for development. Currently, Epic is creating Gears of War: Judgment, and mobile games for handheld devices are beginning to make use of the engine as well. If you're curious about the new engine, a tech demo video walkthrough was released earlier last year; check it out here

Microsoft charged for browser selection breach Source: October 24th, 2012

The EU has charged Microsoft with a breach in an agreement made with the European Commission three years ago. Microsoft had promised to allow users a choice of browser when installing their Windows 7, but this is a promise made three years ago, and still not fulfilled. The charge concerns any Windows 7 copies sold after February of 2011. Microsoft is claiming this is a technical error; that the browser choice screen did indeed exist, but simply didn't display. They ensure that the issue will be fixed.

Source: October 24th, 2012


October 24th, 2012

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they did not pick up on this technical error before the EU did, and now initial steps have been taken which may lead to a nasty fine for the software corporation. The EU's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has stated that Microsoft should expect sanctions, should it be decided that Microsoft is indeed infringing on the agreement. The battle between Microsoft and the EU has already cost the company an estimated â‚Ź1.7 billion, and this fine could spell even more trouble for Microsoft as it could allegedly be as high as 10% of the company's earnings; a truly gargantuan amount.

Barnes & Noble checkouts hacked; credit card info stolen

Published by: VR-Zone

Careful with that MasterCard, ma'am Customers can still make purchases today by letting the teller swipe their card in the card reader attached to the cash registers but is advising it's customers to change their pin numbers and keep a close eye on their credit card statements until further notice. Purchases made online at, nook and from various nook apps, remain secure. The company stated that they were "working with banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised, so banks and issuers can employ enhanced fraud security measures on potentially impacted accounts.

New Boeing missile disables computers Source: October 24th, 2012

Source: October 24th, 2012

Boeing has created a new missile that is able to disable computer systems as it passes overhead. The CHAMP missile, as it's called, may mark a shift in non-lethal warfare. Hackers have manipulated the keypads at the checkout in 63 Barnes & Noble book stores. The result is stolen credit cards, and FBI investigation and dismantling of thousands of point-of-sale terminals. In Barnes & Noble bookstores across the United States, hackers have tampered with the keypads at the checkout desk and managed to steal credit card information from customers. Customers who shopped at the bookstore chain as recently as last month in New York, Miami, San Diego and Chicago. Though as many as 63 keypads had been tampered with, only one is known to have been compromised so far.

Boeing has been working on a new missile system, and what they've come up with is called the CHAMP Missile, or "Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project". The missile is a new development in nonlethal warfare, which disables electronic devices, including PCs, by the use of powerful radio waves. The missile was successfully tested last week at the US Airforce Research Laboratory.

Barnes and Noble discovered the issue on September 14th, but they've been keeping things quiet after contacting the FBI, who have been attempting to track the hackers down. Meanwhile, the bookstores have removed over 7000 point of sale terminals and none of the 63 keypads, which have been removed from the their stores, have not been replaced.

Artist's rendering of the CHAMP missile 4

October 24th, 2012

The missile test took place in the Western Utah Desert on October 16th. The missile was flown past a two story building, and as it passed, onboard microwave emitters disabled every piece of electronics in the structure. The missiles even disabled the cameras which were recording the event. Keith Coleman, project leader for CHAMP was very pleased with the results: "This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare. In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy's electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive." he explained, also stating that they had made science fiction into fact. When or if we will see the missile in the field though, is a different matter; but as a non-lethal tactic, it's pretty promising indeed.

A room full of computers has been disabled by the CHAMP

Microsoft rolling out 'SmartGlass', cross-device entertainment application Source: October 24th, 2012

Microsoft will be rolling out 'SmartGlass' this week, a multiplatform application to unify Xbox entertainment among various devices. The service will also help to perpetuate Xbox services to those who do not possess an Xbox console. Microsoft will be rolling out 'SmartGlass' this week, a multiplatform application to unify Xbox entertainment among various devices. SmartGlass is yet another example of the nebulous computing experience that has been made possible by the internet and so-called "post PC" electronics. When users have smartphones, tablets, computers and game consoles, it's easy to get disorganized - especially when it comes to entertainment. It isn't fun or simple to manually transfer six gigabytes of music or video from a laptop to a phone to a tablet, or any other way around. But many efforts exist to help weed out this dilemma, and now Microsoft is taking a shot at it with SmartGlass. Announced in June and to be launched this week, the service will unify Xbox online services among various devices with an application that will be available on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Google and iOS devices. Movies, TV shows, music, and games will be able to synchronize and stream through the service.

Published by: VR-Zone

television. The Xbox will automatically pick up where the user left off, and the tablet will serve as a remote and secondary screen, which can be used to start at different points in the film, or to view information about actors currently on screen. With Internet Explorer for Xbox, users will also be able to send a browsing session from their Windows phone to the console, and then to a tablet as well. Thus, a unified cross-device, cross-platform browsing experience becomes possible with SmartGlass - albeit, the infamy of Internet Explorer might cause some reluctance to adopt this feature. In these ways, and many others, it seems that SmartGlass will be a neat way to organize and share entertainment among computing devices. But, it is clearly a Windows based service, and therefore a smart way to perpetuate Xbox services to users that do not have an Xbox console. Thanks to the launch of the SmartGlass, Microsoft "will rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 67 million consoles to literally hundreds of millions of devices worldwide," wrote Microsoft's chief marketing officer for its Interactive Entertainment Division, Yusuf Mehdi, in an official blog post. "Also this week, we will take our biggest step ever to increase our global reach, extending Xbox entertainment experiences to 222 countries from 35."

Zagg and iFrogz introduce accessories for iPad Mini Source: October 24th, 2012

With Apple's unveiling of the iPad Mini yesterday, consumers will be looking for accessories to enhance their miniature tablet experience. ZAGG and iFrogz are some of the first to showcase their ranges, which include keyboards, cases and protective films. With Apple's unveiling of the iPad Mini yesterday, consumers will be looking for accessories to enhance their miniature tablet experience. ZAGG and iFrogz are some of the first to showcase their ranges, which include keyboards, cases and protective films. First up are the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 and ZAGGkeys Mini 9, durable folios with built-in keyboards to turn the iPad Mini into something like a laptop computer. The former is designed specifically for the size of the new 7.9-inch tablet, which means a smaller keyboard, while the latter features a keyboard with larger spacing. Both come with built-in stands to hold the tablet at a proper viewing angle, and ZAGG is also releasing a stylus that will work with the Mini 9. Both cost $89.99.

A user who begins to watch a movie on his tablet will, for example, be able to send the movie to his Xbox connected 5

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The InvisibleSHIELD is a protective film for the iPad Mini display, made from a material used by the US military to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades. It is easy to apply and features strong durability, backed up by a lifetime guarantee should it become damaged over time. The original version costs $24.99, a high-definition version with greater clarity costs $29.99, and a smudge-proof version also costs $29.99. Full coverage of the entire device ranges from $34.99 to $39.99. iFrogz is offering two new cases for the iPad Mini. The Breeze is a one-piece case with a unique ventilation look and a textured feel, with colours available in black/blue, black/ silver, and black/pink. It costs $29.99.

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ZAGG is also providing a portable battery, and iFrogz has a number of audio accessories available, as well as additional screen protection options. All accessories will be available from 2 November, the launch day for the iPad Mini.

The 25 most popular passwords of 2012 Source: October 24th, 2012

The 2012 list of the 25 most popular passwords has been published. If yours is on the list, you may want to consider changing it. Perhaps the greatest risk to a computer's security is the laziness of the user. That at least seems to be the case after reviewing a list of 2012´s most popular passwords. Despite websites urging users to pick unique and often lengthy passwords, and despite it being well known that a complex password is paramount to protecting an account, it seems that people are just horribly predictable and lazy anyway.

The Merge employs a TPU frame and PU cover, allowing the case to be folded over so that the tablet can be viewed from different angles. It costs $49.99.

SplashData, a company dedicated to mobile productivity and security solutions, has compiled the list, which is composed of the 25 most popular passwords from this year. The passwords, which were ranked by number of occurrences, were grabbed from thousands of stolen passwords which had been published online. This, naturally, shows that the more popular and predictable passwords are ultimately unsafe.


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23. ninja 24. mustang 25. password1

Fujitsu Reveals New Feminine "Floral Kiss" Ultrabook Line Source: October 24th, 2012

"password" is not a good password, surprise surprise... A similar list was published last year, and unfortunately, not much has changed. "password" still ranks as the most popular password, and apart from a few additions, such as "jesus" and "password1" (for those services which require numbers in their passwords), it all looks pretty much the same. The list is replicated below. If you happen to spot yours in there, go ahead and pick something a little more original. 1. password 2, 123456 3. 12345678 4. abc123 5. qwerty 6. monkey

Fujitsu has recently announced the development of the new FMV LIFEBOOK CH55/J, also known as the "Floral Kiss" ultrabook line. It is an ultrabook that was conceptualized for female tech consumers. Starting this fall 2012, Japanese electronics consumers will now be able to feel the feminine side of ultrabooks with Fujitsu's new line of "Floral Kiss" FMV LIFEBOOK CH55/ J ultrabooks. Apparently visually designed with the delicate lady in mind, it is said to have external and internal design features that makes it more suited for the female user. It would come in three different colors: Elegant White, Luxury Brown and Feminine Pink.

7. letmein 8. dragon 9. 111111 10. baseball 11. iloveyou 12. trustno1 13. 1234567 14. sunshine 15. master 16. 123123 17. welcome 18. shadow 19. ashley 20. football 21. jesus 22. michael

While the main feature of the ultrabook seems to be its special color schemes, the "feminine" side of the unit actually refers to the entirety of the ultrabook's external components. For example, the power button is designed to look like a pearl, while the caps lock status LED indicator is made to look like a diamond piece. The letters in the keyboard are even etched in deep gold color, contrasted against a pure white background. All in all it is visually enhanced to exude the look and feel of a quasi-fashion item, not too different from an elegant purse or a lovely handbag. As for its base specs, the FMV Lifebook CH55/J is not really that different from the previously rolled out LIFEBOOK U772 and UH572. For its CPU, it is equipped with a Core i5-3317U processor (3MB Smart Cache, 1.7 Ghz dualcore, turbo to 2.6 Ghz), while the RAM is set at 4GB. The storage medium is a combination of an SSD and a standard 500GB 5400RPM HDD. The OS is a 64bit Windows 8 (standard), which is installed with an additional Office Home and Business 2010 productivity 7

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suite. The unit's dimensions and weight are also more or less the same with the FMV LIFEBOOK UH75/J, at 322(length)x228.5(width)x17.5(thickness) and 1.45 kg. Additionally, there's another version of the FMV Lifebook CH55/J ultrabook that will be released as a collaborative item with Agete, a well-known Japanese jewelry company. The limited edition model will sport a different "Precious Violet" color scheme, and will have a few of Agete's personal touch ups that would still let out the feminine elegance in the ultrabook.

Nvidia's Green Light Program Overclocking Limitations Origins and Implications Source: October 24th, 2012

Recently, a new controversy appeared in the high emotional world of performance graphics cards. EVGA has just announced that they will no longer support EVBot overvoltage tool for their highest end cards. We dug up and found the reason why - to meet the Green Light program. We investigate the origins of the program and some of its implications. Back in June 2007, Nvidia launched its GPGPU adventure very modestly, in a briefing with maybe 10 journalists and 2-3 analysts in a building across the now-iconic headquarters in Santa Clara. It was a hot summer day, but one of questions that I had on my mind was how the company is going to cope with the supply demands for its GeForce and Quadro cards, if Tesla really picks up.

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Nvidia repeated the event with the GT200-based Teslas, and the question of allocation remained. The current process is the 28 nanometer node, and we've heard AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Apple all discussing yield issues with the said node, responsible for the supply constraint of GPUs, SoC's, APUs and baseband chips. In short - everything 28nm is in the short supply. With Fermi (GTX 400 and 500 Series), we heard that Nvidia implemented stricter die allocation program, with the sole goal of achieving as high revenue per die as possible. With Kepler GPU architecture and the 28nm allocation being the way it is, it was quite obvious that in terms of revenue per die, Tesla will take the first place, Quadro should come second and GeForce last. This is the same policy as with other semiconductor companies, since Intel will sell every Xeoncertified die they can lay their hands on. When Kepler launched, we heard partners mentioning the Green Light program, and alleged consequences that Nvidia's own partners could go through. We spoke with Nvidia representatives, and members of no less than four companies which manufacture Nvidia-based graphics cards. We'll address both sides and leave you to come up with your own conclusions. In our discussion with Nvidia, which was very quick to react to our inquiry, it was stated that the Green Light program in no way affects the allocation of the GPUs and boards for its ecosystem. The statements should be taken as such and we see no reason why their statement should not be a correct one. After all, both sides are trying to get as much money as they can. However, in our discussions with the AIC (Add-in Card) vendors, we were told that not adhering to the Green Light program indeed can affect the chip allocation, and that at least two board partners "felt the pinch" of not adhering to the Green Light. Now, there are two sides of every story, so is this one. The AIC Side of things First of all, Nvidia indeed, does have its "darlings", preferred board partners that get premium paws on the allocation. You can easily guess who these partners are, but we've known for years that working with Nvidia is tougher than for instance, working with AMD or even Intel. In fact, there are Nvidia executives that don't have a clue about a project, walk in, do the damage and ultimately allow for companies like AMD, Intel or Freescale to sweep the deals. However, that is the same with most companies. Out of four AICs we spoke with, two said they experienced allocation issues with the GTX 600 Series and that they believe they're being punished for offering GTX 500 and 600 boards with unsanctioned voltage modifications, either through BIOS, software utilities or hardware mods. Some AICs even went public with the issues they experienced, such as the recent MSI and TweakTown vs. Nvidia escapade.

After all, the G80 die the company used was the largest die ever manufactured by TSMC, using the 65nm process. The rollout was slow, but Tesla lineup started to receive design wins and is on the way of becoming a sizeable business. However, semiconductor manufacturing did not go as well as the company hoped for. TSMC had a nice run with 90, 80, 65 and 55nm process nodes, but the company ran into numerous issues with the 40nm process, followed up by canceling the 32nm process. In May 2008,

Our sources told us that they are not the only ones which experienced allocation issues, as: "NV is constantly thinking about Quados and Teslas. They no longer want to sell or support high-end GeForces with modifications. In the past, we could do whatever we want with the GPU and they would honor the RMA for as long as you return the board with the original heatsink. Thus all of our modified boards with 3rd party air or liquid cooling 8

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had their original heatsinks stored in boxes and in case of RMA we would just unmod the GeForce card, put the heatsink back on and ship it back." This policy was known for years, and we visited several storage facilities which had hundreds of boxes storing tens of thousands of original reference heatsinks. With the Fermi refresh, partners were told that the company would only accept RMA on custom PCBs, not allowing for overvoltage of boards on their regular PCBs. Furthermore, one source said the following: "When we started manufacturing AMD boards, Nvidia told us that they will cut our allocation and they did. But they were too dependent on us and came back humbled offering us level playing field. However, good part of our GF110 chips was directed to EVGA, especially in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Fourth quarter really hurt us. Nvidia doesn’t think AMD is their competitor anymore and with Teslas they're no longer dependent on us." All of this, combined with the fact that special boards like EVGA Classified, ASUS DC2-4GD5, MSI Lightning all had to have their voltage mods removed only goes to show that there is a limited number of dies available, and that Nvidia probably does not want to share more than they have to. Nvidia's side Unfortunately for AIC and gaming/hardware enthusiast ecosystem, selling a GTX 680 even for $800 per board (which usually retails for $499) - Nvidia knows they need each and every Fermi and Kepler die for their Tesla x20xx and K10 boards, as they're going as hotcakes in the professional segment. We recently learned of Amazon acquiring over 10,000 Tesla K10 boards at a price of just $1500-1800 each, with a mandatory $500/board annual subscription for overnight replacement. Thus, GK104 dies are in very hot demand and with the 28nm yields being the way they are (read: poor) - Nvidia will not do anything to support enthusiasts and damage the premium sales. After all, it is the success of Tesla and Quadro lineups that enabled prices of GeForce boards to be very affordable. GeForce cards of today feature up to seven billion transistors on a single board (GTX 690) for less money than you'd need to spend on an Intel Core i7-3960X, for example - which offers significantly less compute performance. For price parity comparison, pairing the $999 i7-3960X with a $100 graphics card will result in significantly weaker experience than if you would pair a $999 GTX 690 board with a $100 CPU. This is the answer we got from Nvidia, which is published at glance: "Not sure why you think Green Light is a bad thing for consumers and/or AICs. It’s not. It’s actually an awesome program designed to ensure a set level of quality criteria are met for all GTX products in the field. Green Light was created to help ensure that all of the GTX boards in the market all have great acoustics, temperatures, and mechanicals. This helps to ensure our GTX customers get the highest quality product that runs quiet, cool, and fits in their PC. GTX is a measureable brand, and Green Light is a promise to ensure that the brand remains as strong as possible by making sure the products brought to market meet our highest quality requirements.

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Reducing RMAs has never been a focus of Green Light. We support overvoltaging up to a limit on our products, but have a maximum reliability spec that is intended to protect the life of the product. We don’t want to see customers disappointed when their card dies in a year or two because the voltage was raised too high. Regarding overvoltaging above our max spec, we offer AICs two choices: · Ensure the GPU stays within our operating specs and have a full warranty from NVIDIA. · Allow the GPU to be manually operated outside specs in which case NVIDIA provides no warranty. We prefer AICs ensure the GPU stays within spec and encourage this through warranty support, but it’s ultimately up to the AIC what they want to do. Their choice does not affect allocation. And this has no bearing on the end user warranty provided by the AIC. It is simply a warranty between NVIDIA and the AIC. With Green Light, we don’t really go out of the way to look for ways that AICs enable manual OV. As I stated, this isn’t the core purpose of the program. Yes, you’ve seen some cases of boards getting out into the market with OV features only to have them disabled later. This is due to the fact that AICs decided later that they would prefer to have a warranty. This is simply a choice the AICs each need to make for themselves. How, or when they make this decision, is entirely up to them. With regards to your MSI comment below, we gave MSI the same choice I referenced above -- change their SW to disable OV above our reliability limit or not obtain a warranty. They simply chose to change their software in lieu of the warranty. Their choice. It is not ours to make, and we don’t influence them one way or the other. Remember, we introduced a whole new set of API functionality for AICs to integrate, that they have never seen or worked with before. We wanted to ensure that everyone could have a great app, and EVGA was simply one of the first folks trying to line up their software introduction to our accelerated launch window. In short, Green Light is an especially important program for a major, new product introduction like Kepler, where our AICs don’t have a lot of experience building and working with our new technologies, but also extends the flexibility to AICs who provide a design that can operate outside of the reliability limits of the board. And, if you look at the products in the market today, there is obviously evidence of differentiation. You only need to look at the large assortment of high quality Kepler boards available today, including standard and overclocked editions." If we take a look today, it is noticeable that the choices are not as vast as they used to be. Still, Nvidia is the manufacturer that makes the silicon, and their reference designs now make for majority of GeForce-based offerings. This is something they implemented long time ago, with hiring Flextronics to do the manufacturing for all GeForce 8800 GTX (we come full circle to the G80) and later GeForce 8800 Ultra boards, with some manufacturers offering custom 9800 GTX, GTX 275/280/285 and GTX 480/580 boards. But with everyone being pressured for margins, the fact of the matter is that Nvidia has to protect themselves and offer 9

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more "ala carte pricing" model, more akin to U.S. airlines (pay for this, pay for that). The time of romance ended and the room for growth is now located elsewhere.

food and beverage companies and laboratories, primarily because it is classified as non-pharmaceutical and cannot be used to diagnose or treat any disease.

Naturally, if TSMC "gets their s*** together" and delivers on the 28nm node in 2013 and more importantly, delivers solid Gate-Last 20nm process at the tail end of 2013, Nvidia should have easier time to become more flexible towards its partners. Until then, Green Light it is. Now, where's AMD with parts that will blow Kepler and Kepler Refresh out of the water?

The technology in the new saliva sensor is based on existing optical topography technology. By shining weak near-infrared light on the scalp, it is possible to measure and graph changes in blood volume. If you have ever had a sensor put on the end of your finger to measure how much oxygen was in your blood then you have experienced this kind of optical topography. Hitachi explained that they were looking for a new application for this technology when they developed the WOT-S20.

Millet Phone sells big on first day Source: October 24th, 2012

The Xiaomi (Tsiao-mee) Millet Phone 1S Standard Edition, a smartphone available for the first time on October 23, allegedly sold 300,000 units in four minutes and 15 seconds in mainland China. The 1S Youth version, which has less processing power, sold 50,000 units in the same amount of time. Xiaomi has announced that it will drop the 1S Standard Edition's price from 1499 yuan to 1299 yuan to maintain momentum in sales. Analysts have said that this price drop will let the Millet Phone slaughter the market.

Until now anyone wanting to know how much saliva a person was producing would have had to measure drool in a beaker, or have the subject fill his mouth with cotton, or directly insert tubes into the subject's salivary glands. Ouch! This new device consists of a headset with sensors on either side of the face, a control box for changing settings, and a handheld controller which displays readings in real time. It works by releasing pulses of near infrared light targeted at your parotid glands. Those are the largest of your salivary glands, wrapped around your jaw bone behind your teeth. The device then records how the light diffuses through the soft tissue. It measures levels of oxygenated, deoxygenated, and total hemoglobin. Because of the way it works you could even use it while the subject was having a drink.

The day before the release, Securities Times Online reported Xiaomi only had 450,000 units of the 1S Standard Edition. Whether or not this is true, some bloggers criticized Xiaomi of preparing fewer phones so as to limit the number of orders. Others have criticized the Millet Phones for their low processing power, which may be the cause of frequent crashes and lower quality images, but Xiaomi says that the low processing power helps Xiaomi to maintain viability in the competitive smartphone market. The company chose the name "Xiaomi," which roughly translates to "millet" and literally translates to "little rice," because rice is one of the most basic forms of sustenance. The Millet Phone is meant to have all the qualities of a smartphone that gets a person through daily life, without any superfluous functions. Xiaomi has already announced that it is planning a Millet Phone 2S and will announce specifics on October 26.

Hitachi Launches a New Device to Measure Saliva Secretions Source: October 24th, 2012

The newest device from Hitachi the – Wearable Optical Topography Series WOT-S20 – measures saliva secretions using near infrared imaging. Hitachi will begin accepting orders on November 1. The product will be marketed toward

The control box and the controller are wirelessly connected. Readings can also be taken directly from the control box attached to the headset. The whole system is expandable. One controller can be used with up to four headsets. That image of one researcher simultaneously monitoring how much four people are salivating, should be proof enough for anyone that there are always new things to be invented.

Murder over used Xbox in North Carolina Source: October 24th, 2012

In North Carolina, two men have been found guilty of murder, after shooting a man when arguing over a used Xbox. As if gaming didn't have enough of a bad rep in the eyes of mainstream media, two North Carolina men have now been 10

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Published by: VR-Zone

charged with murder resulting from an argument over a used Xbox 360.

Back in Christmas of 2009, Justen Jarel King and Christopher Andrew Alexander headed to the home of Jason Lee Smith and roommate Emanuel Gantlin in Fayetteville, NC. Gantlin had previously purchased an Xbox from Alexander, who now wanted the console back. To aid him in this, he brought King with him to retrieve it. After entering Smith's home, Alexander found the Xbox and began disconnecting it from the television. King, meanwhile, drew a pistol. Gantlin testified that as King cocked the pistol, it fired, striking Smith in the chest. Smith did not survive the shot, and now, King and Alexander have pleaded guilty to second degree murder. King has subsequently been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, while Alexander faces 10 years.

New program allows you to deblur images at touch of a button! Source: October 24th, 2012

A new application has been created which lets you deblur photos at the touch of a button, and it makes CSI just a little less unrealistic. Vladimir Yuzhikov, a software engineer working in image and signal processing, has created a windows application, "SmartDeblur", which allows the user to, at the touch of a button, sharpen up foggy and unfocused images. Yuzhikov explains that the app sharpens up blurring which occurs from both movement and poor focus. This kind of blurring (ie, non-artificial blurring) has been impossible to fix with conventional software until now, and Yuzhikov explains that the mathematics behind it are 70 years in the making. Trying to fix blurring is thus not a particularly new thing, but actually succeeding is.

The images are not perfect, as you can see above and it seems like motion blur is more difficult to fix than simply poor focus. There are artifacts all over the images, but that being said, the improvement they exhibit is very impressive indeed. If you want a copy of the program, and again, note that it is for Windows only, you can download it here

New Xbox LIVE update goes live Source: October 24th, 2012

Gamers can now experience a new and improved Xbox LIVE experience including SmartGlass tablet and phone integration, new Apps like Internet Explorer web browsing, and a sleek new look.

In our recent Xbox LIVE Update article we took a look at the new features that Microsoft added to the Xbox 360's online service, ranging from helpful and convenient additions as well as a stylish new UI. Now gamers can experience the new Xbox LIVE for themselves after firing up their console and downloading the new update. After using the update and exploring the additions firsthand, I personally have a few gripes about the update, such as Internet Explorer's limited web video playback. The Internet Explorer Troubleshooting page on has this to say about the app's web browsing limitations: "Like many mobile devices, Internet Explorer on Xbox does not support browser plug-ins. If a webpage use a plug-in such as Flash, Java, or 11

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Silverlight, the webpage may appear blank or notify you that a plug-in is required. If you experience this issue, follow these steps to configure Internet Explorer to request the mobile version of pages you visit."

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close and still has many of the same features. With Smartglass device interactivity, the new Pin ability, and a cohesive, easy-to-use interface, the new UI is a welcome change of scenery to the Xbox 360's online experience.

New vaccination method may have applications for herpes, HIV, cancer. Source: October 24th, 2012

While Microsoft didn't make claims that the Xbox LIVE IE App would be able to play any video on the web, it is kind of a let down that it doesn't support all of the necessary video plugins. This can sometimes be remedied by changing the settings to "request mobile version of webpages", however, allowing some content to be played back. IE browsing seems to be made for viewing most websites in terms of pictures and written content, however YouTube, Dailymotion, and other basic video sites are easily played back. And let's face it, it's awesome to be able to surf the web via your television set. Besides the minor Internet Explorer issues which may very well be absolved with later patches, the new Xbox LIVE interface is convenient and very easy on the eyes. Players can now find what they're looking for with the UI's basic tile setup, and with the new Pin feature, gamers can "pin" their favorite apps, games, and even web pages to their homepage.

Microsoft also provides an innovative new feature that allows players to use their SmartGlass tablets or phones to navigate, control, and view certain parts of the Xbox LIVE interface as a second screen, such as the Internet Explorer web browser. Kinect voice control is also supported via IE, providing a unique hands-free browsing experience. In terms of security, parents can restrict access to certain websites with the Safety feature to guard their children from unwanted content. Overall the new Xbox LIVE update is impressive and shows Microsoft's ingenuity and attention to detail. While the Internet Explorer browser doesn't deliver the full dynamic web browsing experience that a computer does, it comes

A Yale study attempting to find methods of vaccinating against genital herpes, has possibly come across a new technique which could be employed to fight against a number of viruses, including HIV and herpes, as well as solid tumors. A new Yale study may have implications on how a variety of medical conditions may be treated or protected against. The researchers have developed a technique, "prime and pull", which could help with vaccinating against herpes. The technique involves so called T-cells, an integral part of the immune response system. T-cells are antibodies which are deployed when a pathogen enters the body, and they adapt and learn from their experience. T-cells remember how to defeat a certain kind of pathogen, making them very effective if the pathogen ever enters the body again. This is essentially what vaccines do; they create these specialized T-cells by introducing a small amount of (often dead) pathogen, and forcing the immune system into reacting and creating preemptive antibodies.

A T-cell killing a cancer cell However, there are certain areas of the body which T-cells do not inhabit, such as in the central nervous system and certain parts of the genitals. The prime and pull technique hopes to change this. At first, it "primes" the T-cells by adapting them to fighting certain viruses, such as herpes, and then "pulls" them into places where they wouldn't normally be. Chemokines are a type of chemical which initiates movement in immune cells, and the study found a way to topically apply them to the unprotected areas. 12

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Thus, the prime and pull technique manages to mount a first line defense against viruses which would otherwise enter the body unopposed. In mice, trials have proven successful. Though certainly far from human applications at this point, the research is optimistic. One day, the technique could even be used to combat HIV or tumors.


October 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Scientists discover one of the smallest supermassive black holes Source: October 25th, 2012

Scientists have discovered one of the smallest supermassive black holes in the universe, nestled inside a spiral galaxy that would typically be deemed to be unable to support such an interstellar phenomenon. Scientists have discovered one of the smallest supermassive black holes in the universe, nestled inside a spiral galaxy that would typically be deemed to be unable to support such an interstellar phenomenon. The miniature supermassive black hole (yes, we know that is somewhat of a contradiction) has a mass that is 200,000 times smaller than the sun, making it one of the smallest identified by scientists. To put it into perspective, supermassive black holes usually have a mass that is millions or billions of times larger than the sun. The black hole was found in in the NGC 4178 galaxy, spotted initially in images taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and subsequently compared with data from Chandra and NASA to confirm the discovery.

The galaxy in question is 55 million light years from Earth and does not contain a concentration of stars in its centre, as many galaxies containing black holes usually do, given the black hole sucks in nearby matter. Scientists have identified four other galaxies that might have similar sized supermassive black holes, but they all appear to have a star concentration in the centre, which was previously believed to be a requirement for supermassive black holes to exist. The findings were published in the October issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

Hacker group Anonymous appeals to UK police to "join us" in emails Source: October 25th, 2012

The hacker group called Anonymous has contacted members of the British police force by email to ask them to “join us,” one of its most unusual moves to date. The hacker group called Anonymous has contacted members of the British police force by email to ask them to “join us,” one of its most unusual moves to date.


October 25th, 2012

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They hacked into the UKPoliceOnline forum and stole the email addresses of police officers, whom they then emailed a manifesto to which reads in part like a recruitment message.

Nokia is to sell some of its manufacturing plant in Salo, Finland, as part of its continuing efforts to raise money for a renewed attempt to take on the smartphone market.

“We know that most of you are working-class people, like the majority of us, and that you too have mortgages, student loans, or your children do, and other debts as well. Don't defend the traitors against us, your fellow citizens,” the message said, according to the Associated Press. “We offer you our hands in friendship. Join us.”

The Finnish mobile company, which once ruled the phone arena, is to sell the property to Orion, a company that makes pharmaceutical drugs. The sale will include production facilities and warehouses, and Orion will turn it into a packing and logistics centre, which will employ 100 people. The move follows a decision made by Nokia in June to close down the Salo factory and axe 850 jobs, so it is not surprising that it now wants to get rid of the lingering facility.

It is not exactly clear why Anonymous made this move, which could incite the police to crack down more on its members and supporters, but it could be related to previous arrests of hackers alleged to be involved with the group. The appeal might be designed to elicit sympathy from police officers to avoid future arrests, but it is unlikely to work on the vast majority of those in the force. The message was described as “sober and thoughtful” by Geoff Hyams, managing director of the NSI Group, which operates the police forum in question. He likened it to a recruitment message, though it is not clear if Anonymous really believes it can convert current police officers to vigilante-style hackers. London Metropolitan Police said it was investigating how Anonymous got the email addresses.

Nokia to sell Finnish manufacturing plant Source: October 25th, 2012

Nokia is to sell some of its manufacturing plant in Salo, Finland, as part of its continuing efforts to raise money for a renewed attempt to take on the smartphone market.

Nokia has been struggling to compete with rivals like Apple and Samsung, despite a deal with Microsoft for Windows Phone, and this has led to plummeting profits, making it even harder for the company to mount a new offensive. The sale of this property is likely only the first of many as it offloads unnecessary assets in a bid to become more competitive. The financial details of the transaction were not revealed.

Nintendo loses more than $350M in first half of 2012 fiscal year Source: October 25th, 2012

Nintendo has just announced it's earnings from the first half of 2012, and they've reported losses of $351 million, or ¥28 billion, significantly worse than they originally predicted.


October 25th, 2012

For the first half of the 2012 fiscal year, Nintendo was expecting losses of around $250 million, or 짜20 billion. However, as their report shows, the actual losses are significantly higher; around $350 million, or 짜28 billion. Much of this came in the first quarter, when they reported being down $220 million. They attribute this partially to disappointing 3DS sales and stagnation of Wii sales; even though this is still an improvement over the losses the company reported for the same quarter in 2011.

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the unit. The small table or desk at the center can be turned, providing the adjustment for the laptop's orientation. While it is advertised by default to allow the use of laptops while lying down, the positioning freedom that it has also allows it to be used for situations where there is no available flat ground or desk to place the laptop on. When fully folded, the face-up bed desk stays as a single thin block, making it easy to store and carry around. The dimensions of the item when it is folded are set at 585 x 40 x 300 mm, and weighs 1.6 kg. It can support a maximum weight of 12 kg when the desk is upright, and 6 kg when it is upside down. There were actually earlier versions of the bed desk designed and released by Thanko before. Unlike the back-connecting desk joints of the face-up version though, these were designed with its desk-linking joints connected at the desk's front part, and were instead made to keep the laptop in an upright position. Thanko has announced to release the face-up bed desk as a limited edition item. It will be available on their Thanko Rare Item Shop for 5,980 yen (around 76 USD).

One source of the lost $350 million is the strengthening of the yen. As the yen grows stronger, other currencies become comparatively weaker, and profits from exported products decreases. That being said, the year is not over yet, and the second half will see the launch of Nintendo's new and highly anticipated console, the Wii U. Some people have already gotten in line for it, so it will no doubt have an impact on Nintendo's finances, and perhaps help earn back some of those losses.

Thanko's Face-up Bed Desk allows full laptop use even while lying down Source: October 25th, 2012

Thanko has unveiled their new face-up bed desk, a convenient support tool that allows you to keep using the laptop efficiently even while lying down. People who uses their laptops while in bed might be delighted with this new little invention by Japanese tech accessory company Thanko. Called the face-up bed desk ("napping" desk), it is basically a foldable and adjustable desk made of aluminum that can hold your laptops at any angular position. It is designed to be capable of adjusting any standard notebook computer at any desired position, no matter where you are. The main body of the face-up bed desk is made up of adjustable jointed arms, which allows height positioning for

China hits 200 million 3G users after only 3 years Source: October 25th, 2012

It's been only three years since China began offering 3G, and despite a shaky start, the number of users has skyrocketed to over 200 million. Now, the schedule has been pushed up for introducing 4G. In 2009, China introduced 3G network trials, which were met with some initial problems. The launch used a myriad of different wireless technologies which resulted in mixed reviews. However, the advent of microblogging sites like Weibo and the popularity of particular devices, has led these issues being ironed out. As a result, 3G use has begun to skyrocket. Chinese online media company Sina Corp has put the explosive change into perspective: It took China two years to reach 100 million users, and now it has managed to double that number in half the time. China's Minister of information and IT has expressed that he hopes to speed up the nations development of 4G, and that the first network may be ready for use within a year. Originally, this was not scheduled to happen until 2014 at the earliest, but it's not strange that 3G's success would light the fire under LTE technologies.

Mini Android UG007 PC with Jelly Bean 4.1 Source:


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Mini PCs powered by Google Android haven’t caught on just yet, but still the movement to mass produce power efficient devices using Google’s mobile OS is gathering momentum. If you’re willing to explore Android as more than just a tablet/smartphone enhanced platform, then perhaps the UG007 may be able to get your started. The UG007 looks like a USB stick, but it’s actually an “HDMI” stick that hooks up directly to your HDMI capable monitor/TV. Once the UG007 is attached to your display, you can run the on board Android Jelly Bean 4.1 as if it was a tablet—minus the touchscreen, that is.

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Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee announced suspicions that Huawei and fellow Chinese company, ZTE, had been using their exported equipment to spy on American businesses. Since then, both companies have been turning their focus from wireless systems to consumer electronics, mainly mobile phones.

Shanghai Nutshell CEO resigns Source: October 25th, 2012

Guo Chaohui, CEO of Shanghai Nutshell, announced on October 25 that he is resigning. "I am resigning because my wife is sick, and I want to go home," he said. "I want to help her back to health and be with my loved ones." He officially submitted his resignation on October 19. Shanghai Nutshell is an e-reader company and a subsidary of Shanda Entertainment. Under Guo Chaohui's management, Nut Shell released the Bambook, a high quality touch screen ebook catered specifically to the Chinese market. "Apple and Amazon have successful business models," Guo said. "If you truly love the software, do the hardware, too. The purpose is not to control the customer's entire experience, but to improve the experience overall. In the internet age, people grow up questioning and condemning. Through questioning, you can improve the business model. Through condemning, you can improve the customer experience." A 1.2Hz dual-core Rockchip RK3066 with the Mali 400 hums underneath the tiny shell, and that’s a lot of horses for something that costs just around $80. The UG007 also features 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD), 1 USB 2.0 port, and of course the HDMI output. Connectivity-wise, the UG007 has built in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, as well as support for external 3G. If there are any downsides to this particular device, it’s the fact that it’s powered by a Rockchip. Devices featuring the Rockchip CPU tend to stay limited to the OEM’s OS, hence, no fooling around much with the system later on.

Huawei to release mystery phone Source: October 25th, 2012

Huawei will officially launch a new phone at a conference in Beijing on October 29, but the details are still a mystery. The company has held online and offline activities to promote the mysterious phone and has invited hundreds of users to the conference to see it unveiled. The phone's configuration and price have been kept a secret, but according to leaked information, the phone will come equipped with a Hass quad-core chip and a 4.5-inch highdefinition screen custom designed by Tencent.

Guo's resignation comes at a time of high turnover for Shanda. The CEO of Shanda Entertainment, Tan Qunzhao, left recently. Within the past year, other business segments have experienced low retention at the executive level.

HP EliteBook Folio 9470m to launch alongside Windows 8 Source: October 25th, 2012

HP will be launching an ultrabook alongside Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 his Friday, but HP’s ElitePad 900 won’t hit the market until January. The EliteBook Folio 9470m is a 14-inch 1366x768 matte display laptop with a removable battery (something many other notable ultrabooks lack). Within its thin profile lies an Ivy Bridge processor, 3 USB 3.0 ports, VGA & DisplayPort, and will come with a 52Whr battery with an optional 60Whr battery also available. HP claims that the laptop can stay lit for 20 hours on a single charge of the battery, but this number is still not official.


October 25th, 2012

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HP’s ElitePad 900 tablet is perhaps the more intriguing device, but again, it won’t go on sale until January. Like many other Clover Trail-based (Atom Z2760) Windows 8 tablets, the ElitePad 900 will be targeted at businesses. Under the 11.6-inch 1280x800 touchscreen is 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage. Although the Z2760-based tablets are geared more toward businesses, Windows 8 tablets will also come with Intel's Core i series. Microsoft recently made the Surface RT tablet available for pre-orders, but the Core Surface Pro won’t be available until early next year.


October 26th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

DMCA exemptions updated; iPad jailbreaking and phone unlocking illegal Source: October 26th, 2012

including the Apple iPad, will be affected by the new exemptions. These new alterations follow a complaint to the Copyright Office by the Business Software Alliance (BSA). This July, the BSA argued to the Copyright Office that jailbreaking leads to piracy. “Jailbreaking enables the installation and execution of pirated -- i.e., unlicensed -- apps on a mobile device," the BSA wrote. "So there is a direct link between piracy and the circumvention of TPMs [technological protection measures], -- jailbreaking is the precondition for making pirated apps valuable." Digital rights advocacy group EEF (The Electronic Frontier Foundation) argued against this reasoning in its own letter to the Copyright Office.

New DMCA exmeptions are going to make iPad and tablet jailbreaking/rooting illegal, starting next Sunday. Further updates will make it illegal to unlock phones and SIM cards purchased after January 26 of 2013. Users of iOS products such as the iPhone and iPad have long enjoyed the privilege of legally 'Jailbreaking' the devices. The jailbreaking process grants users root access to the device in question, enabling them to run applications unapproved by Apple, and to use various customizations such as themes and UI modifications. In July of 2010, a Digital Millennium Copyright Act exception was approved, officially legalizing the procedure. Such exemptions are granted by the U.S. Librarian of Congress when it believes that users are ultimately harmed when forbidden to engage in non-infringing activities. In 2010, it clearly believed that this was the case, to the chagrin of Apple.

"There are many legitimate, non-infringing reasons why a user might choose to jailbreak or root a device. These reasons range from installing non-infringing applications that happen to be unapproved by the device's vendor, to customizing a device's appearance, to transforming a phone into a flashlight." But in an odd and confusing twist, the new exemptions which prevent users from rooting tablets do not prevent them from rooting phones. So, jailbreaking the iPhone will not be illegal. The reason that tablets are receiving the prohibition, and phones are not, arises from ambiguity over the term 'tablet'. Tablets apparently constitute a broad and poorly defined class of devices with, according to the Copyright Office, "significant distinctions among them in terms of the way they operate, their intended purposes, and the nature of the applications they can accommodate." Of additional relevance is the effects of new exemptions on 'unlocking'. Phone owners will not legally be able to alter their phones or SIM cards purchased after January 26, 2013 in order to make them compatible with other networks. Anybody in the U.S using nonofficial apps on their jailbroken iPads will have to be willing to kiss them good bye on Sunday of next week, when the new exemptions take effect.

Apple posts 27 percent Q4 revenue growth, disappoints analysts iPad, displaying "Cydia", jailbroken app/tweak repository (image by The iPad Guide)


But this year, under advisement from the U.S Copyright Office, renewed exemptions to the DMCA will prevent users from jailbreaking or rooting tablet devices. All tablets, 1

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Apple has posted its financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, with revenue up by 27 percent, sales of iPhones up 58 percent, and sales of iPads up 26 percent; and yet despite these positive figures some are disappointed that stronger growth did not occur. Apple has posted its financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, with revenue up by 27 percent, sales of iPhones up 58 percent, and sales of iPads up 26 percent; and yet despite these positive figures some are disappointed that stronger growth did not occur. The company posted revenue of $36 billion for the quarter ending 29 September, up from the $28.3 billion in revenue it made the same time last year. Net profit was also up from $6.6 billion to $8.2 billion, leaving diluted share values at $8.67, compared to $7.05 in 2011. The Cupertino, California-based firm sold 26.9 million iPhones in its fiscal fourth quarter, 14 million iPads, 4.9 million Macs, and 5.3 million iPods, with only the latter representing a decline, a drop by 19 percent as more people turn to smartphones to replace their mp3 players.

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the $55 billion expected by analysts, especially with the release of new products like the iPad Mini and fourthgeneration iPad. The lower figures likely relate to tough competition for the holiday season from rivals including Google, Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft.

Microsoft reverses European games ban for Windows 8 Source: October 26th, 2012

Microsoft has reversed a ban on mature games in Europe that prevented them from displaying or being accessed from the Windows 8 Store. Microsoft has reversed a ban on mature games in Europe that prevented them from displaying or being accessed from the Windows 8 Store. The inadvertent ban came about from a ratings mismatch between the US and Europe, where games like Call of Duty, Mass Effect and Skyrim were given the “mature” rating, or ages 17 and over, by the American ESRB system, but were given a PEGI 18 rating, or ages 18 and over, in Europe. The distinction meant that the games were classified as adult content by the Windows 8 Store, which prohibits the sale of adult-only software, effectively banning their sale and resulting in significant outcry from gamers and developers.

“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.” Despite the seemingly impressive figures, Reuters reports that many analysts are disappointed that there were no surprise jumps in growth, with particular dissatisfaction with sales of the iPad. Apple's strong iPhone sales are dwarfed by the 56.3 million smartphones sold by Samsung in the same quarter. There is also disappointment at the outlook for the present quarter, with Apple predicting revenue of $52 billion, below

Microsoft acted quickly, relaxing the restrictions to restore the games to the Windows 8 Store, but some developers, like Minecraft creator Markus Persson, continue to criticise Microsoft's testing and certification system, which he believes turns the PC into a closed platform, making it incredibly difficult for the gaming industry. Gamers can, of course, download and install their titles through conventional means on Windows 8 machines, but the lost marketing and distribution opportunities are a major setback. A much bigger problem, however, is that Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 designed for tablet computers, will only allow users to download software from 2

October 26th, 2012

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the Windows 8 Store, which makes Microsoft certification vital on that medium.

finding they can use their smartphones to scan their codes and determine their security clearance.

US air security threatened by unencrypted boarding pass barcodes

This means a passenger can know in advance if they will bypass security, allowing them to potentially hide things in their shoes, coats or belts, or leave items in their bags that would normally have to be put through separately, such as laptops and toiletries. In effect, it is an open invitation to terrorists.

Source: October 26th, 2012

Passenger aircraft in the US face a significant security threat, with revelations that boarding pass barcodes are not encrypted, potentially allowing for dangerous items to brought on board. Passenger aircraft in the US face a significant security threat, with revelations that boarding pass barcodes are not encrypted, potentially allowing for dangerous items to brought on board. The current system used in the US allows for randomly selected individuals to skip the pre-boarding security process. The randomness of this has until now acted as a good deterrent from attempting to bring unauthorised baggage, but a number of people have figured out a way to determine if you have been selected or not based on the barcodes provided. Aviation blogger John Butler found that he was able to use a website to decode the barcode on his boarding pass, not only revealing the passenger name record, seat assignment, flight number, and other personal details, but whether or not they will be admitted to the plane without a vigorous security check.

Of course, to be eligible for skipping the security stage the customer needs to be part of the PreCheck programme, which can only be joined in two ways: with a payment of $100 that is used to perform a background check, or be a randomly selected frequent flier, who gets the service for free. Regardless of how long it might take to get into the system in the first place, there is no excuse for this lax security. Image Credit: MTCV

Nintendo to sell Wii U at a loss Source: October 26th, 2012

Nintendo will be selling the Wii U at a loss according to Satoru Iwata, the company’s president said in his Q2 financial briefing.

(Nintendo counts down to the official Wii U launch date on its site.) The shift in business strategy means that Nintendo is following the trend in which a company invests in the hardware and sell them at a loss, but profits later on from add-on sales or by other means. “We had to book a loss on the hardware, which is currently in production and will be sold below cost,” says Iwata.

In fact, the barcodes are so badly secured that a user can simply count the bolded bars at the end, with one signifying no check and three signifying a check. Many people are also

The ‘take a loss’ and ‘profit later’ strategy has been deployed by both Microsoft and Sony in the past, so it comes as no surprise that Nintendo is falling in line with the trend. Analysts from IHS iSuppli estimated that Sony lost $300 on every original 2007 20GB PS3 model. Sony did not confirm that it had incurred the hefty loss at the beginning, but


October 26th, 2012

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confirmed later on that the PS3 did not become profitable until 2010.

States to have an opportunity to see and purchase LG's new Ultra HD TV.

The BBC reported that Microsoft also deployed a similar strategy with the Xbox 360, and that the gaming console market was not the only segment that shifted its strategy. Amazon’s chief, Jeff Bezos, also confirmed that its line of Kindle tablets were being sold at their production costs. The e-commerce giant profited from the sales of digital goods such as MP3s, videos, and e-books which were available through Amazon’s online marketplace.

The LG 84-inch class (84-inch diagonal) LED TV, with a native Ultra High Def screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 to match its impressive size*, has an MSRP of $19,999.99. Model 84LM9600 quadruples the level of detail from full 1080p HD resolution to a massive 8 million pixels. Even before so-called "4K" content is available, LG's powerful up-conversion engine, the proprietary "LG Resolution Upscaler Plus," delivers higher detail from current HD/SD external sources.

Technologies have also progressed to the point where casual gamers can entertain themselves with powerful smartphones and tablets. Hence, maintaining gaming console attractiveness among casual consumers mean that Nintendo has to adapt to the change in the gaming ecosystem. “Nintendo’s move is an acknowledgement of a wider reality that smartphones, tablets, connected televisions and other non-dedicated devices now offer excellent game playing experiences,” says Ed Barton, director of digital media at Strategy Analytics. Nintendo posted its first ever annual loss in April, and predicted that it would net only approximately $75 million in profit during the business year.

LG 84LM9600 4K 84-inch LCD TV launches in the US Source: October 26th, 2012

The 84-inch behemoth boasts a 3840x2160 resolution, builtin 2.2 stereo speaker system, 3D support, and the ‘SmartTV’ capability which allows you to stream internet content from popular sources such as Netflix. Sony also has a similar product, the XBR-84X900, but it will cost big screen junkies $5k more. Ultra HD TVs will take a while to set in, but when it does, let’s all hope that it won’t take a year’s salary to own one. For now, however, these 4K monoliths are available for public consumptions. Go ahead, pre-order yours today. Press Release: LG Electronics Launches First 'Ultra-HighDefinition' 4K TVs In U.S LG's 84-inch Class Display Boasts Four Times the Resolution of Full HD, Ushers in New Era in Picture Quality for Large-Screen TVs LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -Ushering in a new era in home entertainment, the first "Ultra High Definition" flat-panel TV – with four times the resolution of today's HDTVs – went on sale today to consumers in the United States. LG Electronics USA chose Southern California, the epicenter of entertainment and innovation, as the consumer launchpad for this groundbreaking technology. Teaming up with high-end retailer Video & Audio Center, LG hosted hundreds of consumers eager to be among the first in the United

On hand at Video & Audio Center's Lawndale/ Torrance, Calif. store today to discuss the importance of Ultra HD's development and its expected market adoption were industry luminaries, including Jeff Joseph of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA); Randall Dark, an award winning director and 4K content pioneer; and industry insider and technologist Tom Campbell. * Joseph, CEA's senior vice president of communications and strategic relationships and passionate advocate for 4K technology, said, "Innovation drives our industry, and Ultra High Definition is the latest innovation that will transform home entertainment. This milestone is a pivotal moment in TV history because Ultra HD 4K technology will make it possible for consumers to purchase huge TVs with crystal clear picture quality." * Dark, CEO of Randall Dark Productions, and one of the world's first directors/ cinematographers to advance high-definition programming, said, "Content is always a major factor when new hardware technologies are introduced on the market. The LG Ultra HD TV's upscaling capability is crucial so consumers can enjoy the benefits of higher resolution now, while the rest of the industry, myself included, work on ways to advance this new format with native 4K content." * Campbell, widely quoted technologist and futurist who serves on the CEA Ultra HD Working Group, said, "I liken the dawn of Ultra HD technology to the switch from standard-definition analog TV to digital high-definition TV in the late 1990s. It's going to be big, and not just because it's key for big screens. I can already see consumers calling for more models, more sizes and more content." "Picture quality has always been LG's foremost priority, one that's especially important now as manufacturers scale TVs to meet the trend line pointing toward larger and larger class sizes," said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, LG Electronics USA, and head of LG's U.S. home entertainment business. "We were instrumental in developing the HD standard and, similarly, our goal now is to pioneer Ultra High Def technology to create the crisp and immersive viewing experience consumers are currently missing with large-screen TVs."


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Joseph Akhtarzad, vice president and co-owner of Video & Audio Center's three LA-area stores, said, "Ultra High Definition is a very significant development, a high-end product catering to a highend consumer who demands the ultimate home entertainment experience. We are proud to be the first retailer in the nation to sell this cutting-edge LG technology to consumers." In addition to its excellent picture quality, LG's 84LM9600 boasts a growing Smart TV ecosystem, which is composed of over 1,000 apps and gives users access to a growing range of premium content services**. Users can easily browse and navigate through the Smart TV ecosystem using LG's Magic Remote, which allows users to make commands using the control modes of Voice Recognition, Wheel, Magic Gesture and Point. It also features LG's CINEMA 3D technology and an imbedded 2D to 3D conversion engine expanding 3D content availability. For more information on LG's Ultra HD TV please visit, lg-84LM9600-led-tv.

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"otaku" center of Japan, promotion for almost anything takes on a slightly different, cuter level. On October 12, 2012, Microsoft Japan announced that reservations can now be taken for Windows 8 orders. At least two weeks before the official worldwide release, tech shops around Japan have already begun accepting pre-orders and reservations of the announced Windows 8 product packages. While there are no significant changes in standard distribution packages, Microsoft Japan has actually prepared a little nifty bonus for those who are into the "Akiba-kei" (Akihabara-style) culture. Extra Windows 8 DSP (fresh install) packages that feature two new "moe" mascots, Madobe Ai and Madobe Yuu, will be presented as an exclusive OS theme. The package will include various custom media and installation files, as well as other extra stuff, for those who are interested to have more than just an OS to their new PC's.

*No "ultra high definition" or "4K" video content is currently available. No broadcast or other standard currently exists for "4K" or "ultra high definition" television, and the 84LM9600 may or may not be compatible with such standards if and when developed. **Internet connection and certain subscriptions required and sold separately. Content and services vary by product and are subject to change without notice. For a small percentage of the population, the viewing of stereoscopic 3D video may cause discomfort such as dizziness or nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue using the 3D functionality and contact your health care provider. Designs, features and specifications subject to change without notice. LG LED TVs are LCD TVs with LED backlighting.

Madobe Yuu and Ai put a cute twist on Japanese Windows 8 Source: October 26th, 2012

Using these "moe" mascots to generate higher amount of interest to a specific group of potential customers isn't new in Japan. In fact, Microsoft Japan has already done it at least 3 years ago with Madobe Nanami, the "moe" mascot for Windows 7. Special bonus packages for the Japanese version of Windows 7 also included exclusive media and installation files that would let the user have Madobe Nanami become a resident of their computer unit. These special Windows 8 DSP packages will include a Microsoft Wedge Touch mouse, and will be available at around 18,000 to 20,000 yen (around 230 to 255 USD).

Apple says 'sorry' to Samsung Source: October 26th, 2012

Mascot characters Madobe Yuu and Madobe Ai spices up special Japanese versions of Windows 8 with their cute, "moe" charm. Promotion for new tech software in Japan isn't really that different from how it is done here. You present the software's capabilities, show its potentials, and market to the people how they could use it efficiently. However you may want to know that once you hit Tokyo's Akihabara district, the

About a week ago, a UK court demanded that Apple issued a public ‘apology’ to Samsung for accusing the South Korean tech firm of copying the iPad’s design. Apple has complied, but the ‘apology’ seems rather mild. 5

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The UK Apple site simply pointed out that the “judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products.” Thereafter, the ‘apology’ quoted the judge’s ruling, and concluded with a separate ruling in Germany in which the judge ruled that “Samsung engaged in unfair competition.”

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Microsoft can limit browser choices on Windows RT Source: October 26th, 2012

CTRL + F the entire page and no ‘sorry’ or ‘apology’ were to be found.

Microsoft can limit browser choices on its Windows RT OS, so what does Mozilla and Google have to say about it?

On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html. In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products: "The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design." "The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool." That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe. However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad.

Recently, the EU Competition Union declared that Microsoft had breached its promise to offer more web browser choices on its Windows 7 desktop operating system, and therefore a hefty fine might be heading Microsoft’s way. However, Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that can run on ARM-based chips, won’t be under the same type of restrictions. Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser, has been outspoken about Microsoft limiting competing developers by restricting the use of the Windows RT APIs. Google seems to agree, as the search giant “share[s] the concerns Mozilla has raised.” “We could build a beautiful Firefox that looked really nice on Metro [the then-current code name for the Windows RT user interface, or UI], but Firefox would be so crippled in terms of power and speed that it’s probably not worth it to even bother,” says director of Firefox, Asa Dotzler. Firefox currently enjoys about 29 percent of the market share in Europe, but browser restrictions in Windows RT may lower that number significantly. Microsoft recently launched its own Surface RT tablet, and needless to say, they sold like discounted TVs on Black Fridays. For now, Microsoft doesn’t have to alter its Windows 8 RT platform to accommodate Google or Mozilla, and according to EU’s head of antitrust, Joaquin Almunia: “We have looked at Windows RT, and on the basis of our investigation so far, there are no grounds to pursue further investigation on this particular issue. But we will closely monitor all the elements of the Windows software and how Microsoft complies to [its] commitments.”

(Want a Surface RT tablet? | Image: WSJ) The official launch of Windows 8 will happen in only a few hours’ time, and Microsoft has gone all out to take over Time Square for the launch event.


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Windows 8 is tricky, according to sample of "typical users" Source: October 26th, 2012

With Windows 8 less than a week away from launch, a group of 14 "typical users" took part in a UK test and reported that the new UI was less than simple to use.

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New Halo 4 gameplay launch trailer released Source: October 26th, 2012

The new Halo 4 launch trailer features exclusive gameplay footage of one of this year's most anticipated video game releases, continuing Master Chief's journey into the mysterious Forerunner world of Requiem.

The UK design firm Foolproof has recently conducted a test of Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8, and there are a few issues. 14 people, called "typical users" by Foolproof, were tasked with navigating around Windows 8's new Modern UI for some time and report back on their experience. The testers were all previous windows users, which one might think would aid in understanding the new version of the OS. However, the drastically different, tile oriented design of Windows 8's user interface is quite new, and ditches the traditional windows environment everyone's familiar with. It seems that this causes somewhat of a learning curve, and the testers report back it's a bit steep.

Windows 8's new interface Among the issues they reported back, the users had trouble staring internet explorer, and that they weren't able to discern what text fields were editable when typing emails. In addition, they often felt as if they'd lost access to programs if minimized, as there is no taskbar to organize your open programs. The users did however, admit that the new design was sleek and attractive. Windows is scheduled for release tomorrow, so you can see for yourself what you think of the operating system. Personally, I find that the "typical windows user" isn't the most computer savvy out there, so this may all be a bit exaggerated.

Halo 4's new gameplay launch trailer showcases the upcoming game's impressive sci-fi elements and amazing graphics, chronicling Master Chief's journey as he explores the mysterious Forerunner world of Requiem. Accompanied by Cortana, an super-advanced AI, Master Chief unlocks a few secrets of the universe and awakens an unearthly foe and unwittingly starts an intergalactic war. The trailer itself is brief and clocks in at only one minute an eleven seconds, however it gives an adequate description and plot summary of Halo 4 while not spoiling any of the story's revelations. It is refreshing to see a trailer released that is entirely comprised of in-game footage, especially when it shows off new glimpses at footage that some gamers aren't familiar with. 343 Industries has created a monumental shift in the Halo franchise with this release, and begins a new saga that further explores the Halo universe.

Windows 8 debuted - mostly old news Source: October 26th, 2012

Today, Windows 8 was debuted at a fairly bombastic event in New York City. New Windows 8 hardware was showcased at the event, but not much was revealed or announced that hasn't already been known for a while. 7

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A lot of excitement has been building up in anticipation of Windows 8, which was officially debuted today at an event in New York City. Microsoft took the opportunity at the event to showcase Windows 8, and hardware offerings by its partners. To the disappointment of many, the company did not reveal many new details about the operating system, or new additions to its somewhat meager application store. But despite the lack of new details at today's event, it can be safely taken for granted that Windows 8 is going to change everything. That is not to say that it will revolutionize technology, but that its operating system is so thoroughly embedded into the computing world at large, that millions of people can be expected to adopt the operating system in a very little amount of time.

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer (image from PCWorld)

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Star Citizen reaches Kickstarter goal Source: October 26th, 2012

After launching a Kickstarter campaign to aid the independent funding of Star Citizen, Chris Roberts and his development team have already reached the amount they were seeking, after less than a week. After Chris Roberts, creator of Wing Commander, announced two weeks ago that he was developing a new Space Sim, they've been raking in money. Originally, they wanted to crowdfund the game without using Kickstarter, and that's going well so far, with $1,434,652 of their $2,000,000 goal reached so far (as of October 25, 2012). However, the funding site crashed after a day (the issue has been fixed), which forced Roberts to create a Kickstarter as a backup way to fund the game.

As such, it is no surprise that there was no lack of Windows 8 compatible hardware showcased at the event, from desktops, laptops, tablets, to tablet-laptop hybrids. “Our partners have come up with incredible new designs,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Are these new designs PCs? Yes. Are these new designs tablets also? Yes.” Microsoft’s RT tablet was included in the product lineup, and will go on sale Thursday at 10 p.m. ET. Noting the somewhat barren application store, Ballmer reminded attendees that the online Windows Store contains the highest stock of applications of any app store on its launch day. Of course, he is correct - the iOS store, for example, had 500 apps at its launch, and the Android store had 2,000. Meanwhile, the Windows Store had nearly 8,000 apps available as of Tuesday. Nevertheless, the lack of big name developers in the store could still make it a dud with consumers. Notably, official apps for Twitter and YouTube are not currently present, and a lot of popular games are also missing from the store.

Lookin' good so far It's been only 5 days since the Kickstarter campaign began and it has already exceeded it's goal, today reaching close to $600,000 - $100,000 higher than it's original half million goal. If you combine this cash with that raised on the game's own site, Roberts has surpassed the $2 million he needs to make the game... and there's still a lot of time left on the campaigns.

For consumers, Windows 8 is going to be a sometimes difficult but necessary adjustment to make. Windows 8 doesn't seek to alter the way consumers use their computers, but every other device they use as well. The simplistic and mobile style interface blurs the distinction between mobile and desktop operating systems, and a goal for further interconnectedness betwixt Windows devices is evidenced by Windows' SmartGlass, which will roll out this week.

Players should be happy to hear this, as any money that goes into the project from this point on will lead to more features, more polish and ultimately a better game. Plus, as usual with these campaigns; if you want to help with the funding, there are some nice perks in it for you. I've already done my part, and I'm looking forward to getting a nice sleek starship upon launch.

If there was any lackluster at today’s event, it should be kept in mind that the real release of Windows 8 will be when it is installed on practically every PC available to consumers. Then, if they ever wanted to ignore it, they will have no choice.

AMD to Enter Mobile in a Money Earning Way: Launching a FirePro APU Tablet Source:


October 26th, 2012

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October 26th, 2012

October 26th, 2012

There's a lot of flak that both AMD and Intel are receiving on the mobile side of things. The investors want to see them go into the mobile market and earn $5-10 per chip instead of $30-X,XXX, but that’s just how the world works.

Phanteks is a company which entered the CPU cooling market suddenly a few months ago and managed to surprise everyone with their PH-TC14PE super tower cooler, which competed and even outperformed the most popular products from well-known manufacturers at the time of its release. There have been many who hinted that the excellent performance of the PH-TC14PE might have been a stroke of luck, as the cooler managed to beat most of its counterparts by a few decimals of a degree. Today we will be seeing if the company can repeat a miracle as we will be looking at another product from Phanteks, the PH-TC14CS, a C type cooler designed to offer high performance without the need of a very wide case.

When it comes to AMD, the company has an image problem with the investors which are of the traditional kind, and go where the market focus currently is, instead of focusing on highly profitable niches. After AMD caught wind with taking some share from Nvidia's Quadro line of products, the company introduced FirePro APU - essentially a rebadged Trinity (Fusion A10) with professional graphics capabilities and certification. Back on IDF Fall 2012 in San Francisco, we met with Steven Belt from AMD who showed us a prototype tablet from Fujitsu. Recently, Fujitsu became the first tablet maker to announce a product based on AMD Z-60 APU (codename: "Hondo"), but that was just the start. The second tablet win (again with Fujitsu) is a more important one, since it will mark the arrival of professional graphics in the mobile space. This is a market niche for all the professionals who simply did not have a tablet capable of handling graphics in a way they want. The promise of cloud computing may fill the newspapers, online media and spreadsheets, but the fact of the matter is that remote workplace with graphics is simply a miserable experience. We've received dozens of emails from our readers that are saying that Cloud services simply don't work when you need to work on complex graphics. Enter FirePro. AMD's first professional grade tablet will feature very similar and catchy design as the consumer version, but also carries a lot of graphics horsepower for users that need that FirePro experience like on desktop and mobile. Naturally, a 4.7 Watt part cannot perform as good as the parts with 2-5x higher envelope, but it will offer much better workflow than working with 3D models on an iPad or a similar tablet. Should the FirePro tablet win the hearts and minds, we believe it will only be the matter of time before we see other players joining the frame, Intel probably with Xeon tablets, and Nvidia with Quadro tablets. Bear in mind that neither Nvidia nor Qualcomm cannot run full version of Windows 8, being stuck on Windows RT. AMD's advantage is that FirePro-based tablet can run Windows 8 Pro wth all the regular (desktop) versions of productivity suites. With AMD being the first out the door, the company just may gain traction by exploiting market niches where earnings and profits are high, and revenue and negative pressure (read: competition) being low.

Phanteks PH-TC14CS CPU Cooler Review Source:

Phanteks is a company which entered the CPU cooling market suddenly a few months ago and managed to surprise everyone with their super tower cooler, which competed and even outperformed the most popular products from well-known manufacturers at the time of its release. There have been many who hinted that the excellent performance of the PH-TC14PE might have been a stroke of luck, as the cooler managed to beat most of its counterparts by a few decimals of a degree. Today we will be seeing if the company can repeat a miracle as we will be looking at another product from Phanteks, the PH-TC14CS, a C type cooler designed to offer high performance without the need of a very wide case. Brand PHANTEKS Model PH-TC14CS Type Heatsinks and Fans Compatibilities Intel Socket: LGA 2011/1155/1156/1366/775 AMD: FM1/AM3+/AM3/ AM2+/AM2 (stock backplate required) Color White Materials ?Copper (Base and heatpipes), Nickel Plated ?Aluminium (Cooling fins and Top Cover) with P.A.T.S and C.P.S.C. Fan Model PH-F140 Premium Fan with PWM Adapter. Fan Size 140 x 140 x 25mm Fan Compatibility 140 x 140 x 25mm (2pcs), 120 x 120 x 25mm (2pcs) Bearing Type UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing Blade Geometry Nine White Colored Blades with MVB(Maelström Vortex Booster) Design Speed (RPM) 1300 ± 10% Max Air Flow 88.6 CFM Max Air Pressure 1.37mm H2O Acoustical Noise Speed with PWM Adapter

19.6 dB (A) 700 – 1200 RPM ± 10%


October 26th, 2012

Max Air Flow with PWM Adapter Max Air Pressure with PWM Adapter Acoustical Noise with PWM Adapter Input Power Current (Ampere) Rate Voltage MTBF Heatsink Dimension without Fans Heatsink Dimensions with Single Fans Heatsink Dimensions with Dual Fans Heatsink Weight without Fans Heatsink Weight with Fans Package Dimensions

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45.1 – 78.1 CFM 0.45 – 1.21mm H2O 13.4 – 19 dB (A) 2.8 W 0.24 A 12V >150,000 h 143.8 x 140 x 112mm (LxWxH) 160 x 151 x 112mm (LxWxH) 160 x 151 x 140.5mm (LxWxH) 600g 750/900g (Single/Dual) 167 x 214 x 190mm (LxWxH)


October 29th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

French Euromillions website hacked and defaced Source: October 29th, 2012

The French Euromillions website has been hacked and defaced with a passage from the Koran criticising gambling. A hacker group called Moroccanghosts took over the website, posting a message on the front page in Arabic and French that linked gambling with the “works of the devil.� The website,, was hacked on Sunday morning, but the Koran verse was removed by Sunday evening. The website has since been restored to its normal condition.

October 29th, 2012

Google has launched an interactive map that tracks the projected path of Hurricane Sandy, which is ravaging the east coast of the United States. Google has launched an interactive map that tracks the projected path of Hurricane Sandy, which is ravaging the east coast of the United States. As many turn to social media for updates about the hurricane, Google has provided an online map that shows where Sandy is expected to hit, with a cone covering an area that takes into consideration two-thirds of historical official forecast errors over a five-year sample, allowing for a fairly reliable look at which parts of the US will be affected. The map shows the Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 92 miles per hour, hitting the coast of New Jersey and moving inland tonight. It is expected to weaken to a tropical storm tomorrow as it heads past Maryland and into Pennsylvania, weakening further as it heads into New York, yet still capable of devastating winds of around 40 miles per hour.

The website of Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the company that runs Euromillions in France, was also inaccessible, likely the victim of the same hackers. It does not appear that any data, which includes customer credit card details, was compromised in the attack, nor was any money stolen from the lottery. FDJ said no other games run by it were affected.

Google launches interactive map to track Hurricane Sandy Source:

Google has highlighted the locations of evacuation centres and emergency shelters set up by the Red Cross, making its map an important resource in the hours and days to come, with some 50 million people at risk, thousands of whom


October 29th, 2012

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have been forced to abandon their homes in mandatory evacuations. The hurricane threatens many lives, with fierce winds and disastrous flooding, and it has led to the cancellation of a number of high-profile events, including some of the US presidential election campaigning. Google also cancelled the launch event of its Nexus 4 smartphone and the latest version of Android, stating that it will let consumers know more as soon as possible.

IDC study finds consumers increasingly using mobile as default internet gateway Source: October 29th, 2012

Western Europe and Japan are slower to adopt the change, with IDC predicting it will take an additional two years for these regions to reach the same milestone.

Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as their primary means of accessing the internet, according to the latest Worldwide New Media Market Model report by the International Data Corporation (IDC). Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as their primary means of accessing the internet, according to the latest Worldwide New Media Market Model report by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The findings show a sharp shift away from PCs as the default for accessing the internet, with the number of those logging on from their PCs in the US expected to shrink from 240 million this year to 225 million in 2016. Meanwhile, those using mobile devices to get online will grow from 174 million this year to 265 million in 2016. This will mean that in 2015 there will be more people logging on from mobile devices than old-fashioned PCs, a first in history.

“In the consumer world, mobile Internet usage is already beginning to displace PC usage, and the United States is leading this trend,” said Karsten Weide, program vice president, Media & Entertainment at IDC. “There has been much talk about how the future of the Internet will be mobile first and PC second. In the United States, that future is now.” Weide said that a large reason for the change is because “the PC was never truly a consumer product,” with many using one “because there was no better alternative.” The rise of user-friendly mobile devices, however, has changed the computer landscape forever.

Intel SSD 335 240GB Performance Preview Source: October 29th, 2012

The Intel SSD 335 is an incremental refresh of the existing entry SSD 330 series featuring a Sandforce SF-2281 controller and bleeding edge 20nm IMFT MLC chips to deliver a potent mix of price, quality and performance. We run through a few quick benchmarks before a formal review later on. Intel is one of the bigger players in the solid state drive markets with top to bottom offerings for the consumer and enterprise datacentres. Although not the front runners in price or performance, Intel SSDs have a reputation of being fairly reliable thanks to its stingent firmware validation processes and yield leadership in the fabs.


October 29th, 2012

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drive is a serious competitor at its US$184 price tag ($0.76/ GB).

Bundled accessories is nothing out of the ordinary, although we would have preferred if the 3.5inch bracket lined up to to the connectors in hot swap bays. The downloadable Intel SSD Toolbox (latest version has RAID TRIM support on 7-series chipsets) offers a facility to check drive diagnostics, apply registry tweaks and update firmware when necessary.

Measuring 9.5mm thick, the 2.5-inch SSD 335 will fit in most laptop drive bays, although you can probably remove the PCB from the metal case to make it work in something thinner. Intel has not announced capacities other than the 240GB but according to the roadmaps we can expect to see 180GB and 80GB variants in Q1 2013.

iPhone 5: Why in the world are you not coming to Korea? Source: October 29th, 2012

A fairly commonplace Sandforce SF-2281 SATA 6Gb/s powers the SSD 335, which Intel has included their usual special sauce in the firmware to enable better garbage collection and long QD performance. With sequential speeds of 500MB/s / 450MB/s and 4K random reads and writes rated up to 42,000 IOPS and 52,000 IOPS respectively, the

The release of the iPhone 5 in South Korea is slower than was originally expected. It was supposed to be released on the 2nd of November, but that was postponed and customers who would like to buy an iPhone 5 still do not know exactly when it will be released. Some sources are thinking that domestic carriers will start carrying the iPhone 5 on November 26. However, as it has not been confirmed yet, that date is also in question. Korea has not been included in the first or second waves of countries the iPhone 5 was released to. There is word that the Korea might not be even included in the third wave. Initially, the iPhone 5 was released in 9 countries in 3

October 29th, 2012

September; Japan, United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Canada and Singapore. A week later, it was released in 22 more countries; Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. The date when the third wave will be released is still unknown. There are several different reasons why the introduction of the iPhone 5 has been delayed. Domestic carriers SK Telecom and KT both give different reasons. SK Telecom reported that the government certification of the iPhone 5 was delayed. KT claims that the certification of the iPhone has gone according to schedule but there has been a shortage of parts. Samsung has a large share of the domestic market and its smartphones have been selling very well domestically. The market iPhone market in Korea is also rather small compared to the world market. Many Koreans who already have iPhone 4s are probably still stuck with a two year contract, thus, only a small number will upgrade to the newest model.

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the toughest part of the project, since it will never be used as an actual product - but it still needs to be clear of any copyright issues which might appear. The name for the three successors of Auburn Isle (codename for Larrabee silicon) are as follows: • Knights Ferry (1st silicon) • Knights Corner (pre-production silicon, used in TACC and other installations) • Knights Landing (shipping silicon, available 2013) The codenames come from Folsom lake in Northern California, where Intel has quite sizeable research facility. In fact, if you just happen to find yourself in Folsom, you can take a Ferry, and after a Corner there will be Landing. Knights Ferry and Knights Landing are also locations in California, while Corner was added as a bridge between the two.

How Intel Xeon Phi Got its Codenames Source: October 29th, 2012

One of questions often asked by our readers is how projects get their codenames. In our discussions with Intel representatives during the event held at Texas Advanced Computing Center, we learned how "Larrabee-reborn" got its name. First off, MIC (Many Integrated Core) project represents unification of several projects inside Intel's R&D group. The teams that worked on the project came from numerous different projects with TeraScale (remember the Polaris die with 80 "Atom" look-a-like cores glued together?), Larrabee and Cloud Computer. The slide below shows you a path to the introduction of Xeon Phi.

That in a nutshell, is a story of how strengths of a failed project (Larrabee / Auburn Isle) got combined with different internal well-thought projects and became an actual product line - Xeon Phi. Time will tell just how well the Knights Landing will… land. A lot more details should become available during the upcoming SC 12 supercomputing conference which will be held from November 10-16 in Salt Lake City, UT.

NVIDIA's 18K+ Tesla K20 GPUs claims 'world's fastest open-science supercomputer' Source: October 29th, 2012

NVIDA has just announced the completion of ‘the world’s fastest open-science supercomputer’ at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee this month. Just like any other project, choosing a codename for three parts which complete the circle of Xeon Phi development wasn't easy. In our conversations with the Intel executives and engineers, we learned that giving codenames is probably

Dubbed as the ‘Titan,’ this supercomputer will allow researchers to compute and explore physical and biological phenomena at a peak performance of more than 20 petaflops (20 billion floating-point operations per second), with 90 percent of this brain power coming from 18,688 K20 GPUs. 4

October 29th, 2012

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The Tesla K20-powered supercomputer, NVIDIA claims, is 10 times faster and 5 times more energy efficient than the previous x86-based AMD Opteron 2.3 petaflops Jaguar system.

YouTube’s audience, who are able to view the entire test process and their intriguing results online.

“The new Tesla GPU accelerators offer the performance and energy efficiency that enable Titan to scale to unprecedented performance levels without consuming the energy equivalent of a small city,” said Jeff Nichols, associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

uploaded on July 10th has already hit a record of 360,000 hits. The tests in question included placing the devices for over 2 hours in a refrigerator and baking them in an oven for over an hour at over 200 degrees.

The “iPhone 5 Torture Test” uploaded 3 days ago has achieved 63,000 hits so far, and the “Galaxy S3 Torture Test”

Surprisingly, both devices successfully survived both extremes of hot and cold. The iPhone 5 displayed a ‘temperature warning’ message which advised the user to ‘wait until the device has cooled down before using’; however after cooling down, the device continued to work perfectly. Not only this, but both devices even managed to survive a swim in the depths of a fish tank in the Water Test – a test devised to confirm whether or not the phones would be usable if ever accidentally dropped in a toilet. This test was performed by momentarily immersing the devices in a fish tank then drying them out again in a vinyl bag laced with dehumidifying agent for 1-3 days, after which the devices worked perfectly. A split in the road came for the two competitors during the Washing Machine Test and the Scratch test, as the Unibody design of the iPhone proved to be its Achilles heel.

NVIDIA hopes that Titan will usher in a new era of supercomputing in which the 1,000 petaflops mark will become a reality within the next few years.

In another set of videos, the team tested both devices by placing them one at a time into a drum washing machine and giving them a spin before removing them. The iPhone 4S failed this test and would not turn on afterwards, however the Galaxy S3 was saved by taking out the battery, wiping it down, and then placing it in a dehumidifying vinyl bag for a day – after which the device was fully usable again. The team noted that the Unibody design of the iPhone made it difficult to dry out after the test and ultimately led to its demise.

“You simply can’t get these levels of performance, powerand cost-efficiency with conventional CPU architectures. Accelerated computing is the best and most realistic approach to enable exascale performance levels within the next decade,” said Steve Scott, chief technology officer of NVIDIA’s GPU Accelerated Computing.

Finally the Scratch Test took place by dropping the devices onto the floor from hand height, shoulder height, and eye height. After enduring these freefalls, the Galaxy S showed no significant damage in the front glass or back plastic cover. Scraping the front glass with a sharp key did not lead to any remaining scratches either.

Oak Ridge’s new system now boasts more than 18,000 K20 GPUs, 710 terabytes of memory, and a conversion of the system’s 200 cabinets to a Cray XK7 supercomputer.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Apple iPhone 5 : Torture Test Source: October 29th, 2012

What would happen if you left an Apple iPhone 5 in the refrigerator or baked it in the oven? Would a Samsung Galaxy S3 break if you gave it a spin in the washing machine or dropped it in your fish tank?

The iPhone 5 on the other hand, did not take so kindly to this test, and suffered significant scratching on both the sides and back of the device. After dropping the device, either the sides became scratched or the glass partially fractured. When dropping onto concrete, significant scratching was found to occur on the back of the device. As the device itself was still usable after the affair, the team bestowed a very generous passing grade on the phone, but did advise users unwilling to use a protective case to reconsider purchasing the iPhone 5.

New Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim premium edition announced Source:

Curiosity has gotten the better of some folk who have put their devices on the line to test just how strong modern smartphones really are. A series of “Torture Tests” undergone by the American IT site CNET and uploaded to YouTube on the 29th are becoming quite popular with 5

October 29th, 2012 October 29th, 2012

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Electronic purchases and OEM pre-installations are also an effective way for Microsoft to control piracy in the area. Microsoft China announced earlier that Chinese users can upgrade their systems from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8 for 248 Yuan (around $40 USD), but have yet to officially announce other details regarding Windows 8’s retail price.

Bethesda's massive RPG Skyrim has been an incredible success, heralding a new age in the franchise and earning a plethora of accolades from nearly every gaming venue on the planet--not to mention winning a Golden Joystick for Best RPG of 2012. In light of the game's popularity and critical acclaim throughout the sphere of both gaming and pop culture, Skyrim is getting a definitive re-release in the form of a "Premium Edition".

Grand Theft Auto V rumored to release in spring 2013 Source: October 29th, 2012

The Premium Edition includes a copy of the game, a t-shirt, a nice authentic map of Skyrim, The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel, a 600-page e-book strategy guide, six unique postcards featuring concept art for the game, a disc with bonus materials, and five songs from the game. Inclusion of Skyrim's two currently available DLC packs Hearthfire and Dawnguard hasn't been confirmed, but it would definitely be a nice addition to the bundle. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Premium Edition retails at around $77 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and will available on Dec. 7, 2012.

Microsoft to abandon boxed Windows 8 in China Source: October 29th, 2012

A leaked promotional poster for Rockstar Games' upcoming Grand Theft Auto V presumably reveals the game's release window as Spring 2013, however this information hasn't been confirmed and remains speculation. Found by Polish gaming site, the display (see above) is supposedly intended for use in retail promotion of the game and features new artwork for GTA V alongside the familiar Pest Control image that was released earlier in the week. The video game magazine Game Informer plans feature GTA V on their December cover issue that will perhaps confirm or deny this launch window, but until more details are released, gamers can chock this one up to rumor.

Microsoft has changed their sales strategy for distribution of Windows 8 in China, discarding the traditional boxed product in favor of online sales and pre-installation on OEM devices. In the past, Microsoft offered the option of purchasing a boxed copy of Windows to users who wish to upgrade or install the system on a new computer. However starting with Windows 8 it will only be possible to obtain Windows via purchase of a serial code online or an OEM device with Windows preinstalled. Senior Vice President Xu Le Meng of Cernet, one Microsoft’s partners in the education market, revealed that Microsoft would definitely not be providing boxed versions of Windows 8 for the Chinese market, but would still provide them in the United States. Industry insiders have pointed out that 98% of the genuine copies of Windows sold in China were preinstalled versions, showing just how small the market for boxed copies really is.

Grand Theft Auto V is currently in development by Rockstar North. For more information including artwork and the official trailer, please visit Rockstar Games' official website.

Third business quarter shakes up smartphone market Source: October 29th, 2012

IDC, a market research firm, has released a report on the worldwide smart phone market for the 2012 third business quarter, showing that the market has become increasingly polarized, dominated by a few major companies while others have a limited chance for success. Approximately 179.7 million smartphones were sold during the third business quarter, with Samsung and Apple as the top two companies, selling 56.3 million and 26.9 million phones, respectively. 6

October 29th, 2012

Nokia, a longtime established mobile phone company, has dropped out of the top five sellers this year, but it is not out of the market yet. In October, Nokia dominated the European market with the Lumia 920, surpassing the iPhone 5 in some markets. RIM has taken Nokia's place in the top five smart phone companies, but may not be there for long unless it releases the Blackberry 10 soon. With Motorola's sales rising and the iPhone 5 a hot item, RIM may fall behind Nokia again. China-based company, ZTE has risen in the ranks, but has relatively low profit margins. ZTE's mobile phones sell in large numbers because of their affordability. Recently, ZTE announced it was shifting its focus from wireless equipment to mobile phones, hoping to overcome recent accusations of espionage, and will exert more effort to rise in the mobile phone market.

Social security numbers stolen from South Carolina database Source: October 29th, 2012

The state department of revenue in South Carolina has just been subjected to a major security breach, and as a result, millions of social security numbers have been lifted. If you're reading this from South Carolina, thre is a chance that somebody has snagged your social security number. It has just been released that a massive security, breached on October 10, allowed an overseas computer criminal to break into the South Carolina department of revenue's database and steal upwards of 3.6 million social security numbers. For comparison, the state's population is about 4.7 million.

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South Carolina department of revenue director James Etter, who learned of the breach on October 10 The governor has promised that the state is taking whatever steps it can to prevent something like this from happening again. Two days after the breach, the state hired Mandiant, an outside consultant, in order to help investigate the issue. Mandiant found that the break in had occurred in mid September and on October 20th, the security gap which allowed the criminal access to the database, was finally closed. In addition to the social security numbers, 387,000 credit card numbers were taken, too; though supposedly only 16,000 were unencrypted. Citizens who have filed taxes in South Carolina since 1998, even those who have subsequently moved out of state, are urged to call (866) 578-5422 to enroll in a consumer protection service and visit The state is offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection.

Microsoft Surface is packing stores with customers Source: October 29th, 2012

Almost akin to an Apple release, Microsoft's new Surface tablet is filling the stores with customers and packing them in lines outside. Reports are coming in from all over of packed stores and lines forming outside them, following the Friday release of Microsoft's new tablet, Surface. Though it has garnered a few mixed reviews across the web, this doesn't seem to have affected the consumers' curiosity all that much. At the new makeshift store Microsoft has opened at Times Square, NY, 600 people were waiting to play with the new tablet when the store opened. The tablet is already on three weeks back order from Microsoft's online store.


October 29th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone October 29th, 2012

The new Microsoft Store at Times Square (Credit: Shara Tibken) The tablets on sale right now are running Windows 8 RT, a slimmed down version of Windows 8 capable of running only the Modern UI and programs compatible with it. For a tablet, this is still quite impressive; despite lacking the desktop mode, this is still a full fledged operating system like you'd find on your pc with most of your favorite applications. A version of the tablet with Windows 8 Pro running on an Intel processor is due early next year. The Surface has some other interesting features, such as a flexible 3mm soft keyboard (can be upgraded to a regular tactile keyboard as well). It may not be perfect, but it should be a welcome improvement from the touch keyboards we're used to.

OCZ is a renowned manufacturer of high performance memory-related products, including solid state drives. Ever since the company acquired Indilinx, a designer of SSD platforms and controllers, they converted most of their available products to Indilinx-based designs. This includes the newest Vertex 4, the flagship series which OCZ currently retails for performance enthusiasts. Although the initial release had some firmware problems, OCZ resolved those in their latest firmware upgrade (1.5). Today we will examine the performance of a Vertex 4 512GB drive flashed to the ver1.5 firmware and see how it compares to competition. OCZ is a renowned manufacturer of high performance memory-related products, including solid state drives. Ever since the company acquired Indilinx, a designer of SSD platforms and controllers, they converted most of their available products to Indilinx-based designs. This includes the newest Vertex 4, the flagship series which OCZ currently retails for performance enthusiasts. Although the initial release had some firmware problems, OCZ resolved those in their latest firmware upgrade (1.5). Today we will examine the performance of a Vertex 4 512GB drive flashed to the ver1.5 firmware and see how it compares to competition.

According to Microsoft's website, prices range between $499.00 and $699.00, making it competitively priced with the iPad.

Nexus 7 can now run Ubuntu natively Source: October 29th, 2012

Manufacturer features and specifications Industry's highest IOPs performance up to 120,000 Google’s Nexus 7 is an affordable device—not to mention powerful—so what else can you ask for? How about running Ubuntu natively on your $200 investment? Android ICS is a nice tablet OS, but it may not offer the productivity of a desktop. Thanks to the folks at Ubuntu, now you’ll be able to install the free desktop OS in just around 20 minutes! This is not a port, but a fully supported system from Ubuntu.

OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD Review Source:

Incredible performance in workstation and heavy-duty environments with multiple data threads No compression-related Better performance with performance limitations "real world" data streams of varying "compressibility" as well as fully incompressible data such as videos and multimedia files, encrypted data, archive files such as .ZIP files and software. Indilinx InfusedTM Everest Leading edge dual-ARM 2 platform controller architecture enables faster performance like nothing else you've experienced.


October 29th, 2012

Fast boot times and ultralow latency

Industry-leading 5 year warranty Ndurance 2.0 Technology

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Boot up in as little as 9 seconds, and industry-low latencies of .04 reads and .02 writes enable superior multitasking and flawless performance Backed by OCZ's renowned service for ultimate peace of mind. Advanced suite of NAND Flash management to increase durability and reliability to expand the NAND's lifespan

• Up to 550 MB/s Sequential Reads • Up to 85,000 Random Write IOPS • Up to 120,000 Maximum IOPS • Available in 64GB to 512GB Capacities • Access Latency as low as 0.02ms • Strong performance at lower queue depths


October 30th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Rockstar confirms GTA V Spring 2013 launch Source: October 30th, 2012

It's official! Rockstar Games confirms that speculation of Grand Theft Auto V's Spring 2013 release date is actually true, and that you can start pre-ordering the game sooner than you think.

for a release in Spring 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Rockstar may have confirmed the info based on the leaked advertisements that recently went viral that supposed the Spring 2013 release date. Rockstar goes on to say that gamers can start pre-ordering GTA V on Nov. 5, 2012 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3-just mere weeks away. They further reveal that a massive news explosion for the game--new screenshots, trailers, ingame footage, etc--will be made available next month in November. "Developed by series creator Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto V takes place in a re-imagined, present-day Southern California in the largest and most thriving game-world we have ever created set in the sprawling city of Los Santos and for miles beyond – from the tops of the mountains to the depths of the ocean.

Major bug deletes player characters in Borderlands 2 for Xbox 360 Source: October 30th, 2012

A bug is spreading through online play of Borderlands 2 on the Xbox 360, permanently killing off player characters and frustrating gamers who have invested a lot of time and energy into the game. A bug is spreading through online play of Borderlands 2 on the Xbox 360, permanently killing off player characters and frustrating gamers who have invested a lot of time and energy into the game. Players who modify their console can gain access to the socalled “badass mode,” which gives players access to special weapons and armour and lets them become more powerful than characters created in the standard game. The catch is perma-death, which means players cannot afford to make one mistake or they have to start over from scratch. That is all well and good, but the problem is that if a player with an unmodded console joins a multiplayer game with someone running in badass mode, they automatically get put into badass mode too, leading to the perma-death function spreading like a virus to players across the world. Rockstar Games has officially confirmed the speculation in a recent Newswire post that revealed that GTA V is slated 1

October 30th, 2012

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ZTE has become the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, according to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), pushing HTC further down the list. ZTE has become the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, according to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), pushing HTC further down the list. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker put the Chinese telecommunications equipment and mobile device firm in fourth place in the third quarter, behind Samsung, Apple and RIM. Many players are passing it on without even knowing, while others are deliberately and maliciously attempting to sabotage the experience of other players by inviting them to multiplayer games where there is an “infected” character, dooming the new player to a deleted character as soon as a mistake is made.

ZTE shipped 7.5 million smartphones in the third quarter of this year, helping it to take the place of HTC and almost pushing it past RIM, with just a 0.1 percent gap between them.

Developer Gearbox said it is working on a fix, but added that it would take time to deploy to consoles. It cautioned players to avoid public games, only playing with people they trust, and recommended use of the Save and Quit option to allow reloading of a character. There is no word yet on already deleted characters. Chances are that they are gone for good, which might not be an issue for players who barely started the game, but there are reports of deletion of powerful characters that received a lot of time investment. If Gearbox does not do something to compensate those players it may lose a lot of fans.

The success for the company is attributed to ZTE's expansion to markets outside of China, with 35 percent of the company's shipments coming from international markets, including North America, the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy and Russia.

ZTE becomes world's fourth largest smartphone maker Source: October 30th, 2012

“The performance of our flagship Grand series smartphones has been a major driver of ZTE’s continued growth in the sector,” said Mr. He Shiyou, EVP and Head of the Terminal Division at ZTE. “These include both 3G and LTE devices such as the quad-core Grand Era, the dual core Grand X, and the Intel powered Grand X In. We also launched the world’s slimmest Quad-core Smartphone, Grand Era U985, in Q3.” ZTE is also the second fastest growing smartphone manufacturer, behind Apple, with a 400 percent increase in shipments between 2010 and 2011, when it shipped 15 million units. With 7.5 million sold in the third quarter of 2012 alone, that figure is likely to be significantly higher this year, and we might even see it become the third largest smartphone maker soon.


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EA launches Need For Speed Most Wanted Source: October 30th, 2012

Electronic Arts has launched Criterion’s Need For Speed Most Wanted in stores and as a digital download from, paving the way for a racing experience that puts social competition at the heart of things. Electronic Arts has launched Criterion’s Need For Speed Most Wanted in stores and as a digital download from, paving the way for a racing experience that puts social competition at the heart of things. The game uses Autolog 2, which tracks everything players do in game and compares it to their friends, granting Speed Points for various achievements, including having the best race times or further jumps through billboards. The system then provides recommendations personalised to the user, designed to fuel competition and rivalry in-game. The game effectively takes what made so many games on Facebook popular, the ability to compete against your friends and boast about it later, and litters them throughout the racing arenas. For example, the billboard challenge will actually display the face of the person who is currently number one on it, tempting players to try to beat them and get their own face pasted on billboards throughout town. Therefore winning does not just mean a higher place in the rankings list – in fact, the menus and lobbies are removed – rather an actual noticeable impact on the game world for all friends playing the title.

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of variety that enables freedom and choice for the player to play the game the way they choose. Take down friends in a race to the finish, explore the city to find new cars, flash past speed cameras, jump through billboards or take on an Autolog Recommendation. Not only do players have complete freedom, they’re rewarded for everything they do. With friends so naturally embedded into the heart of the experience, Need for Speed Most Wanted is the most socially-connected game of this generation.” The game is available immediately in North America and will launch in Europe on 1 November. It is available on Xbox 360 with Kinect support, PlayStation 3, PC, PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android, utilising CloudCompete to let players continue their experience on the move.

Huawei Quad-Core Honor vs. Huawei Dual-Core D1 Source: October 30th, 2012

Huawei’s first quad-core HiSilicon chip in the Ascend D1 Quadcore XL brought users many surprises, and the HiSilicon K3V2 which powers the XL has become an emblem for the rising level of smartphone technology in China. Not one to keep fans waiting, Huawei is back with a bang with its Honor quad-core model, which carries the same quadcore processor and a modest price tag of under 2000 Yuan (around $320 USD). With the exception of the upgraded processor, this phone does not differ greatly from Huawei’s Ascend D1 model. Do you want an ultra-slim phone or a beefier high powered model? Well, let’s first compare the two phones in detail: Huawei Rongyao Screen Size 4.5in Screen Material IPS Screen Resolution 1280x720 Network GSM/WCDMA OS Android 4.0 Cores Quad-Core CPU Model HiSilicon K3V2

“With our years of experience creating critically acclaimed blockbuster hits, Need for Speed Most Wanted is Criterion’s vision to shake up the series and breathe new life into the genre,” said Matt Webster, Executive Producer at Criterion Games. “We’re throwing years of convention out the window and creating an open world game with an open structure that lets players drive whatever car they want, how they want, without consequences. We’ve built an experience full

CPU Frequency RAM ROM Battery Phone Size Phone Weight Camera Pixels

Huawei Ascend D1 4.5in IPS 1280x720 GSM/WCDMA Android 4.0 Dual-Core Texas Instr. OMAP4460 1.4GHz 1.5GHz 2GB 1GB 8GB 8GB 2230mAh 1800mAh 134x67.5x10.5mm 129.9x64.9x8.9mm 145g 132g 1.3MP+8MP 1.3MP+8MP


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Although they may look different, on the inside the two models are quite similar. While it would seem that the Honor’s 2GB of RAM would take a clear victory, the slimmer body of the Ascend has its fair share of loyal followers. So then, the processor difference is key in determining the victor here. If you’re slim, do you win? Let’s take a closer look at the exterior of the two phones. The Ascend D1’s narrower body doesn’t really affect the grippability of the phone during use, and the rounded edges of both models give them a similar look overall.

Huawei Ascend D1 compared to Huawei Honor

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Both models have a similar head, with built in speaker and camera, and also a similar virtual key layout. However, from the pictures we can see that the Ascend D1 is just a little thinner than the Honor. In theory 1.6mm isn’t that great a difference, but when holding the phone you can really feel the difference in thickness. The Honor’s buttons have an advantage over the Ascend D1, and this can be attributed to Huawei’s improvements in the humanized design of their products. For example, the power button is placed on the head of the Ascend D1, but on the Honor it is placed on the right side of the phone, making it easy to push regardless of the screen size.

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) vs. Huawei Honor (Right) Data Port

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) vs. Huawei Honor (Right) Power Button & Port on Head

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) and Honor (Right)

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) vs. Huawei Honor (Right) Buttons on Right Side

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) Thin Body Design

The camera on both phones has a similar 8MP lens with dual flash bulbs. However, do they both take pictures with the same quality? Keep reading for the answer! 4

October 30th, 2012

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is none other than Tsukumo, and it will be available to all Tsukumo PC speciality shops starting October 30, 2012.

8MP Lens & Dual Flash Bulbs The primary specifications of the TERA online-optimized GGear gaming desktop unit would still depend of course on the BTO (build to order) customizations set by the buyer. However for the baseline specs, users will be given the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 (quad-core 8MB cache 3.4 Ghz, overclock to 3.9 Ghz) for the CPU, 8GB DDR3 for the RAM capacity, and 1 TB HDD for the primary storage. The basic GPU for the unit will be a GeForce GTX 660. It will also be installed with a standard multi-DVD drive.

Huawei Ascend D1 (Left) Rounded Bottom Design The Honor adopts a dual left-right mesh speaker, and both phones possess noise cancelling dual microphones.

New TERA Online-optimized G-Gear Desktop PC's on sale now Source: October 30th, 2012

These new G-Gear models will be installed with the latest Windows 8 OS. However the user can opt for a Windows 7 installation if he or she wishes to. In addition, along with the unit of course is a TERA client DVD, as well as a serial code that would let your TERA online account receive 5 special items inside the game. Source: ITMedia (JP)

Project White Co. Ltd. has added a few new models for their line-up of G-Gear gaming desktop PC models that are optimized for TERA Online gaming. New MMORPG gamers in Japan who wish to maximize their TERA online gaming experience can consider themselves quite lucky today. That's because Project White, a company that specializes in the distribution of PC-related tech products and packages, has just started its sale of new G-Gear gaming desktop PC models that are specifically optimize for speed and performance when it is used to play TERA online. The main branch assigned for its distribution

What Microsoft really needs are developers, developers, developers Source: October 30th, 2012


October 30th, 2012

Microsoft’s annual developer conference ‘Build’ 2012 will open its doors on the 31st in Redmond, Washington. This conference will give developers a chance to find out more about developing on the myriad of new platforms which Microsoft have recently unleashed on the world – Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft is keeping tight-lipped on the exact content of their technological sessions which will take place throughout the conference, but many are anticipating the new morsels of technical information to be had regarding Microsoft’s’ new ecosystem, and perhaps more importantly, how Microsoft plan on developing this ecosystem in the future. Windows Kinect Windows 8 supports a unified interface made up of both touch and gestures. Kinect, in contrast, allows for fully gesture-based control via the use of its sensors, and allows for depth checking and voice recognition via its camera and microphone attachments. A number of users complain that touch use is an unnatural addition to the PC environment, but with Kinect it may be possible to reclaim an intuitive interface via gesture based navigation of the operating system. Developers interested in this route may be able to glean some new methodologies from the conference on how to use Kinect effectively in PC applications. Smartglass Support Smartglass is a multi-directional streaming application which allows for interaction with an Xbox360 via a Windows 8 based tablet or PC. As it stands, Smartglass seems more like a toy than a real app, as functions which truly support it are few and far between – at present, the only thing you can do with it is watch Xbox-streamed video content on a tablet. The fate of Smartglass falls on what exactly it can be used for in the future; be it playing Xbox games through a tablet, or using a tablet to interface with a PC. Indications of the future development of Smartglass are anticipated for this years Build event. Cross Platform Development Microsoft is trying hard to provide a multi-platform OS platform, but have a notorious history for failure in this area. However with the recent boom in mobile devices, Microsoft can no longer rely on their desktop versions of Windows and Office alone to keep them afloat. Microsoft has had one instance of multi-platform success in the past. That is with their game development environment which supported multi-platform development of video games on both Xbox360 and PC. Applications which work seamlessly across all kinds of PC, smartphone, and tablet device will be the key to Microsoft’s success in a world where the line separating these types of devices has become blurred. Conclusion: If you build apps, they will come. As Windows 8 has already been released, some of the excitement has been lost from this years Build conference; however, this release makes the conference that much more important. Windows 8 is one of the most talked about issues amongst developers right now. The reason that Microsoft has had numerous successes in the past can be traced to the must-have applications built by their vast wealth of supporting developers. If

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these developers decide to jump ship to another platform, Microsoft may just find themselves clinging to the ledge of a steep cliff, overlooking a precipice ruled by the likes of Apple and Android. Microsoft must appeal to developers and get them on board the Windows 8/RT/Windows Phone 8 train by all means necessary, and Build 2012 will be the place to do that. This may be the beginning of a new era, or the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

Amazon China President Wang Hanhua Resigns Source: October 30th, 2012

In the midst rumors of being sidelined by the company, Amazon China’s president Wang Hanhua has submitted his resignation to Amazon HQ. Wang’s resignation is not at all sudden. The first quarter of this year saw Amazon send multiple high executives to its China office to directly manage business divisions such as retail. Wang himself was given control of the books and music division and the open platform division which allows third-parties to sell on Amazon China. Despite rumors of marginalization, Wang reported to the media that the American executive in charge of retail actually reported directly to him, in the same manner as media and third-party division leaders do – directly contradicting such hearsay which doubted his importance in the company. Wang did not let on how he felt during his 7 year stay at the company, nor did he indicate who would be taking over from his position. Amazon China’s future president has not been confirmed to this date. It would seem that questions regarding localization and adaptation to the Chinese market will remain a touchy subject for Wang Hanhua and his successor for the time being. Amazon’s history in China began in 2004 when the U.S. company acquired Chinese shopping website Following the layoff of’s president and vice president, Wang was given the role of president in 2005. In 2007 changed its name to Joyo Amazon, and in 2011 it finally changed its name to Amazon China. Wang Hanhua repeatedly stated that Amazon China is no longer China’s Amazon, but instead is now Amazon’s presence in China. Ferocious industry competition in the region was met with a lukewarm response by Amazon, who has shown diminishing returns. Q1 2012 results show Amazon trailing in the B2C market with a mere 2.33% share, giving Amazon a 5th place backseat behind the likes of Tianmao, Jingdong, Suning, and Tencent.


October 30th, 2012

Wang Hanhua was seen to adopt a more long term strategy for growth, but this didn’t necessarily impress his American bosses. Perhaps Wang’s efforts contradicted the overall synergy of Amazon’s forceful nature in the global market. Industry analysts stated that Amazon China is a part of a much larger global system, which will not be influenced by the departure of Wang Hanhua. But perhaps Amazon should give thought to what kind of original strategies will work in the region, instead of trying to duplicate their success in the U.S. with a photocopied approach.

Intel "MIC" futures - will this derail Nvidia's HPC business? Source: October 30th, 2012

Intel's Xeon Phi, even before the official announcement in the next few weeks, already has an impressive site in Texas. Should Nvidia be worried about the newcomer? Intel showed us the first major Intel Xeon Phi deployment site at TACC in Austin, Texas - just a stone's throw from IBM Power engineers' den, by the way. The 6,400 node supercomputer will in its fully deployed first phase have that same number of 1.08 DP TFLOPs Xeon Phi 'special edition' KNC cards running as one per dual Xeon E5 node for a formidable almost 7 PFLOPs of added horsepower on top of 2 PFLOPs by the node CPUs themselves. The combined 9 PFLOPs may sound impressive in the regional matters here, but it's still minute compared to over 100 PFLOPs to be seen by an even larger Xeon Phi monster, the Guangzhou Supercomputer Centre to be online well before this date next year. So, despite the dismal failure of Larrabee project as a graphics engine, its core, repackaged as a HPC accelerator, seems to have fairly good initial reception in the supercomputing community. Yet, it isn't really faster than the AMD FirePro W9000 or the upcoming Nvidia Tesla K20. What's the reason for the good acceptance? First, the programming approach with mostly simple recompile from an existing X86-oriented code, compared to still messy CUDA or OpenCL, does help. A day vs a month in code moving time can mean a lot to a researcher hard pressed to deliver results. Second, cutting off the now unwanted graphics related parts from the old Larrabee to create pure HPC accelerator hardware has freed some space on the dies to have other features, like for instance wider 512-bit GDDR5 (compared to 384 bits on the AMD and NV GPGPUs right now) and enable more memory, say 8 GB compared to 6 GB for the competitors. When you must keep things in local memory for maximum performance, every gigabyte counts, and here there are two extra.

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Third, well, Intel would be able to offer these in a package together with the base Xeon CPUs, something very important when budgeting for large machines. Like it or not, Nvidia can't match that. Last but not least, the slight disappointment in the Tesla K20 specs, coming from the GK110 supposedly having to block off a gigabyte of its RAM for ECC (??) according to the grapevine, and overall reduction in the expected DP FP performance from 1.5 to less than 1.2 TFLOPs, coupled with the CUDA issues, resulted in more of the users looking at the alternatives. Will Xeon Phi cripple the Nvidia's most profitable GPGPU line, the Tesla HPC cards, the same way it brought down AMD CPU market share? Not so fast, I think - Nvidia is far more aggressive than AMD in protecting its turf, including using various means of protection, which by itself deserve a separate story (or an action movie, maybe). Marshalling the media and channnels in its favour was one of its known strengths, until of course it also started making more enemies than it could chew in those same circles. On the other hand, Intel has far more heavy weaponry on its side, including full control of the semiconductor process, something that fabless Nvidia and now AMD cannot enjoy, as well as possibility of far tighter future interconnection of the Xeon and Xeon Phi, whether it's using the QPI bus for shared memory and cache coherency, or having them as both being bootable CPUs in mixed-mode clusters. Intel has seen how Nvidia made some serious money selling Tesla cards these past few years, and now they want that same market, with not much except Nvidia standing in their way. Intel told us they're committed to keep substantial DP FLOPs advantage over their own CPUs for the Xeon Phi, which will not be easy as 2014 Haswell-EP Xeon E5 v3 will reach three quarters of teraflop per socket already, and its successor, Broadwell-EP, will likely touch teraflop DP FP per socket (or 2 TFLOPs in typical dual socket workstation) without having to rely on clumsy heterogeneous accelerators. This means a 2015 Xeon Phi should have at least 3 TFLOPs DP FP per card to justify being used at all. Now, this push might leave the Nvidia Teslas by wayside if they don't follow the advance. Will the Maxwell and Newton bring some good news for Nvidia? They better do, as multi instruction set handling still falls second to pure performance when considering HPC choices.

Apple executives leave company Source: October 30th, 2012

iOS VP Scott Forstall and retail VP John Browett will be leaving Apple. Forestall's management team will be 7

October 30th, 2012

assuming his responsibilities, while the retail team will be reporting to Tim Cook directly, until further notice. Apple announced the news via press release only a short time after Google and Microsoft both made big product announcements.

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The ASUS ROG Crossfire V Formula-Z is an updated version of the original award winning Crosshair V Formula that came out more than a year ago. Notably, the ROG team has opted to only release a single model for the AMD enthusiast platform (as opposed to the usual three on Intel Extreme, Formula, Gene). The no-show of mATX/ITX SFF offerings could be attributed to the lack of real estate needed to integrate a 990FX Northbridge and SB950 Southbridge chipset (Intel only has one PCH) and the large array of VRMs to feed the infamous power consumption of the Bulldozer/Piledriver based CPUs. Both motherboards will work optimally with the latest Vishera FX processors after BIOS updates but the newer offering has a few tricks and tweaks to make life easier for those chasing the benchmark records.

Forstall has been working for Apple since 1997, when Steve Jobs hired him for NeXT. Eventually, he became a manager for the development of Mac OS X and later, of Apple's iOS, with around 1000 people working under him. “He’s clearly a highly visible senior leader on the Apple team, having driven the success of iOS,” explains analyst Charles Golvin. There have been a few signs that Forstall was about to leave. In may, he sold 95% of his company stock, and though he is ever present at Apple's press conferences, he was nowhere to be found on the last one. The loss of Browett is perhaps less surprising, as he recently laid off parts of Apple's retail staff to manage cut-backs; something which was largely regarded as a mistake. The lay offs were, in fact, reversed very quickly.

A very long time ago when I was new to VR-Zone I learnt a painful lesson not to disturb top overclockers when they are in the zone, because they will react like a provoked honey badger especially when things are not going well. Included in the accessories box is an informative sign for the user to hang on the door knob and an assortment of other cables and connectors to help everything get connected.

ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z (990FX) Review ft. Vishera FX-8350 on Phase Change Source: October 30th, 2012

AMD's Vishera FX is certainly not a front-runner when it comes to raw performance and power efficiency, but many enthusiasts feel that it is a more interesting animal than Ivy Bridge to handle when it comes to extreme overclocking. To advantage of the numerous fine grained controls and knobs for the CPU and memory, you'll need a motherboard, such as the ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z we are reviewing here, that won't literally set itself on fire or come unstuck when pushed hard at subzero temperatures.

Over at the rear I/O Panel area, we find a re-arranged layout and an additional eSATA port. Overclockers will appreciate the inclusion of PS/2 port and handy CMOS reset button.


October 30th, 2012

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Over at the other end of the motherboard, ASUS integrated an extra ASMedia SATA controller to bring the total number of onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports to eight, which should cater for the storage aficionados.

The onboard Realtek audio solution also received an upgrade (ASUS calls the package SupremeFX III), with choice capacitors, noise isolation and improved EMI shielding to improve the sonic fidelity.

In addition to the Windows 8 centric UEFI fast boot switch and DirectKey (one touch access to BIOS screen), there is also the cheeky inclusion of an Intel Thunderbolt header, which can be hooked up to the optional ThunderboltEX expansion card.

Fast growing Chinese 3G market paves way for 4G Source: October 30th, 2012

During the third quarter meeting of the Communication Development division of Chinese Ministry of Information, Secretary Zhang Feng announced the planned allotment of spectrum for a future expanded Chinese 4G network. According to Xinhua News, there were 100 TD-LTE stations operating in Hangzhou in April, with the region planning to build 2000 more by the end of the year—this makes up China's first 4G network. However, the type of frequency division to be used as well as the spectrum to be allotted in the case of a frequency divided network remained sticking points. A recent announcement has cleared up this uncertainty. The secretary made clear that a LTE-FDD network with a 1800-1860MHz uplink and 2040-2100MHz downlink would augment the existing network in Hangzhou.


October 30th, 2012

China currently has the second highest number of 3G users in the world at 66.9 million. Along with the release of the iPhone 5, the migration of Chinese users to 4G networks sounds the death knell of 3G technology in the not-so-distant future. This comes less than two months after Everything Everywhere started offering 4G service to limited areas in the UK. Sprint LTE service is currently available in 32 US cities and Sprint plans to expand that number to 100 by March of next year. It's not possible at this time to predict exactly how soon Chinese mobile users will enjoy the same kind of widespread coverage but we are likely at or approaching the tipping point in the shift from 3G to 4G as the dominant mobile network. We can expect to hear more news about it as device manufacturers prepare for the shift.

Tencent QQ's makes $33 million in less than two days Source: October 30th, 2012

Just two months ago Zeng Ming, chief strategy officer of Alibaba Group told Reuters he expected Alibaba Group, which includes Chinese online retail giant Taobao, to pass Amazon and Ebay in total sales volume this year. Now, a three day nation-wide sales campaign by rival has generated over 210 million yuan ($33 million) in just two days. Officially opened in March of this year,, along with QQ Marketplace and Paipai, is part of Tencent QQ's attempt to capitalize on its 711.7 million active IM user accounts and compete with Alibaba Group in the online retail market. The competition looks fierce, with Alibaba's Tmall – a platform for small sellers – reporting 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in transactions last year, and QQ's current sales volume already exceeding by a wide margin the 82 million yuan ($13.1 million) a similar sales campaign generated earlier this year.

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comparing Tmall to Amazon is not exactly comparing apples to apples. Amazon only derives 40% of sales from third party sellers while Tmall makes up a larger part of Alibaba Group sales volume. An International Data Corporation study valued total Chinese e-commerce at 780 billion yuan ($124.9 billion) in 2011 while Harvard Business School valued US e-commerce at $197 billion. Still with one more day to go the success of QQ's online sales campaign could indicate that in addition to buying the most cars and cognac, Chinese customers will soon spend more online than customers in any other country in the world.

Is "Made in Japan" a phrase of the past? Source: October 30th, 2012

Japan has seen a decrease in manufacturing in recent years, and now some experts wonder about the Japanese economy's future. Sony reported notable losses for the first business quarter of 2012, and according to Goldman Sachs, the whole Japanese manufacturing industry has experienced negative growth over the same time period. Yao Haitian, a Japanese economic researcher from the Chinese Academy of Arts and Sciences, said, "It would be premature to say that Japanese manufacturing has come to an end. Japanese MC (Materials and Components) are quite upscale, and the profit margin is high. Other countries either don't produce the same materials, or can't produce materials of the same quality." Still, Japanese industries are falling behind other East Asian countries'. Japanese companies have been laying off workers and restructuring to counter losses. Some economists use electronics fair participation to measure countries' economic strengths. At the Hong Kong Elecontronics Fair earlier this year, most of the booths were from mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Economist Joseph Chu Chi has said that Japan used to be very competitive when it came to end-product consumer devices, but those products are more expensive than their counterparts from China and South Korea. "Japanese companies with terminal applications, such as cell phones, will continue to decline. Terminal digital, application, and intelligence software are not Japanese strengths," says Chu. If Japanese companies were to become industry leaders again, they must become more innovative in their model designs and cut production costs.

Steve Jobs' yacht is born Source:

This stands in contrast to Amazon which reported $12.89 billion in net sales for the second quarter of this year. But 10

October 30th, 2012

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October 30th, 2012

The boat doesn’t go by the ‘iYacht’, but rather a much classier and elegant name—Venus. The 260—foot ship is made of lightweight aluminum, with ten-foot-high windows across the hull, and of course decked out with Apple gadgets left and right.

The boat was spotted for the first time floating in the Dutch city of Aalsmeer, but it is currently unknown when Jobs’ yacht will make its maiden voyage. As for the cost, that’s unknown, too. Jobs’ family thanked the crew that worked on the yacht by giving them a thank you note, and each a custom iPod shuffle. Walter Isaacson (the man that wrote Jobs’ biography prior to his death) quoted the picky Jobs as saying: “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat. But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die. Jobs remained engage in his yacht’s design process until his death in October 2011 due to pancreatic cancer. The Dutch custom yacht builders Feadership continued on with the project, and French designer Philippe Starck furnished the boat’s interior.


VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Oct 2012 Issue  
VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Oct 2012 Issue  

A monthly roundup of Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel,...