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Tuesday July 22, 2014

[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: SilverStone Raven RV05 @ Hexus

ETC.: Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z @ XtremeHardware

Motherboards: MSI Z97M Gaming @ ocaholic

PSU: BitFenix Fury 550G Alchemy-Sleeved @ BmR

Storage: Intel SSD 2500 Pro 240GB @ HotHardware

Battlefield Hardline Delayed Until 2015

The Battlefield Official Blog announced today that Battlefield Hardline has been pushed back to 2015.

Obviously, this is big news, so I’d like to address why we’re making this change. Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves. Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We’ve been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you. This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better.

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Scumbag Move of the Day

So you win a contest that gives you early access to a game, what's the first thing you do? If you are a total scumbag, you crack the game and release it to pirate sites. frown

"As you can imagine I am really pissed off," wrote Gameloft community manager Florian Weber on the Modern Combat 4 Hub Facebook group. "To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them?

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Kids Kill Over 100k People In Video Games By 18

And the award for statistic mostly likely to be "pulled straight from my ass" goes to this guy.

"The perceived anonymity of digital existence makes it much easier to sort of distance yourself for your own morality," said O’Mara on July 16, 2014 on CNN Tonight. "It’s just what happens because it’s so much easier to be somebody you want to be but know you shouldn't be when you’re online. Literally, by the time a child is 18 years of age, they‘ve killed over 100,000 people in video games and other online things."

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GIGABYTE OC Contest Winner Breaks World Record

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the winners of the GIGABYTE CATZILLA OC Contest hosted on HWBOT.org. With $1,000 and two GIGABYTE Z97 series motherboards up for grabs, the GIGABYTE CATZILLA OC Contest invited the overclocking community to push their hardware to the limit by running the custom made CATZILLA benchmark skin on their GIGABYTE 9 Series motherboard.

On top of winning $500 and a very limited edition GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2 motherboard, overclocker DANCOP can also add to his winnings a gold cup for the World Record on CATZILLA - 720P benchmark with a 43121 mark using a GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC FORCE. This great performance adds to the long list of performance achievements accomplished on GIGABYTE Z97 motherboards, making it clear that GIGABYTE is a true leader in overclocking.

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World's Largest Fart Machine

I like this guy. He's always coming up with cool stuff like this.

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Apple Denies Having Included A Backdoor In iOS

So many Apple "backdoor" jokes, so little time. big grin

An extensive research paper from a security specialist revealed earlier this week that governments and other third-parties with malicious intentions would be able to use certain tools in iOS to extract information from iPhones and other iOS devices, without the user’s consent or knowledge. Apple has already issued a response on the matter, denying the existence of backdoors in its products, and further emphasizing the security and privacy features of iOS.

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Silverstone Raven 5 ATX Case

TechSpot has published a review of the Silverstone Raven 5 ATX case today for those of you interested. You can see our evaluation here.

Silverstone's Raven RV01 caught our attention back in 2008 with a unique chassis layout that turned the motherboard upward so its I/O panel was on top of the enclosure instead of behind. Called the "stack effect," the design was highly original and more importantly, extremely effective for cooling.

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What Do Game Developers Make In Salary?

Other than that pesky "laid off after every new game ships" thing, it looks like you can make a pretty damn good living being a game developer.

Overall, game developers within the U.S. managed to make $83,060 on average over the course of 2013, and while that's a high number, it's actually a lower one than 2012, down 2 percent. The business and management salaries seem to rule overall, averaging $101,572, while audio professionals ($95,682) and programmers ($93,521) follow closely behind. As to who makes the least amount of money, quality assurance professionals sit at the bottom with $54,833. Still not too shabby, tho.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Areal Kickstarter Suspended @ Blue's News

First 100 Cars Of Forza Horizon 2 @ Shacknews

League of Legends New Trailer @ Polygon

New Mighty No. 9 Footage @ Joystiq

SilverStone Raven RV05 Rotated Computer Case

If you like your computer cases with a twist (90 to be exact), make sure you read our evaluation of the SilverStone Raven RV05 rotated computer case.

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The SilverStone Raven series of cases long ago broke the mold when it comes to "normal" computer chassis. Its design execution has always been good and the Ravens' airflow characteristics are excellent. Today SilverStone pushes the new Raven RV05 out there a little bit further in terms of design and function.

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Real Life Holodeck With An Oculus Rift

The work these guys are doing with the Oculus Rift and large scale real-time tracking is rather impressive. Holodeck anyone?

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Cases: In Win S-Frame @ Cowcotland

ETC.: Intel Core i7 4790K @ Bjorn3D

Kingston HyperX Cloud @ XtremeHardware

Motherboards: ASRock Fatal1ty H97 @ Tweak.dk

Gigabyte Z97X-SOC FORCE @ MadShrimps

Storage: Plextor M6S PX-256M6S 256GB SSD @ NikKTech

Apple Scores Patent For 'Wrist-Worn Electronic Device'

Dear U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you do not have to rubber stamp everything Apple submits. Oh yeah, Dick Tracy would also like to have a word with you guys about this patent. roll eyes (sarcastic)

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ASUS Launches RT-AC87 Dual-Band Wireless-AC2400 Gigabit Router

Following its preview at CES 2014, ASUS is excited to launch the ASUS RT-AC87, the world’s first Wave 2 802.11ac consumer router and the fastest 5 GHz with speeds up to 1.73Gbps. Powered by Quantenna’s award-winning QSR1000 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) chipset, the ASUS RT-AC87 offers unparalleled speed and range for a superior wireless experience.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Review Round-Up

Reviews are coming in from around the internet and, as always, we've done our best to round up as many reviews as we can and post links to them here for your convenience. We'll add more reviews throughout the day as we find them.

PC Perspective

Hardware Canucks

Techgage

Hexus

Halo Composer Wins Legal Battle Against Bungie

While it is too bad that this had to be settled by the courts, at least it is over now and everything worked out for the best.

Despite initially denying that O'Donnell was due remuneration, Bungie is now required to pay over $38,385 in unpaid work and vacation time, in addition to double damages amounting to $38,385. Counting attorney's fees and interest, the total payable amount reaches $95,019.13.

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The Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

There is a new tracking tool out there that researchers claim is virtually impossible to block. The creator claims to have been "looking for a cookie alternative." Riiiight.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

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What Happened To Episodic Games?

The folks at Shacknews want to know what happened to episodic games.

Since episodes were so front-loaded, it meant the first episode had to cover both the upfront rendering costs and help fund the development of future episodes. If the first episode failed to bring in enough to cover both of those aspects, the game could fizzle altogether. Sin Episodes notably suffered this fate, leaving customers who were invested in the early episodes out in the cold.

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Apple Is Ordering 80M iPhone 6 Handsets For Launch

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is ordering up eighty million handsets for the iPhone 6 launch. I guess they are expecting to sell a few phones. wink

It seems Apple has particularly high hopes for this year's iPhone line-up. According to the Wall Street Journal, it's ordering its largest ever order for new iPhones off the production line, numbering somewhere between 70 to 80 million units. How that figure will be divided between the rumoured 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models remains to be seen, but it's still a significantly larger order than the 50 to 60 million iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets ordered last year.

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NetNames Reimagines The Data Center With AMD’s SM15000 Server

AMD today announced the completion by NetNames of a massively efficient, hyperscale data center based on AMD’s SeaMicro SM15000 server. NetNames is the largest and most trusted leader in Europe for online brand protection and digital asset management. AMD worked with the NetNames team to build out a new data center that simplifies operations, reduces power and removes layers of networking.

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Intel To Deliver Keynote Address At IFA Berlin 2014

Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of personal computing at Intel Corporation, will reveal new products and Intel’s plans to usher in a new era of computing devices with its latest technology during a keynote address at the 2014 IFA in Berlin. The global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances presents the latest innovations and attracts more than 200,000 visitors from more than 100 countries. Skaugen will deliver his keynote address on Day One of the tradeshow on Friday, September 5 at 5:00 p.m. CET. The presentation will be webcast live in our Intel newsroom. Intel will also showcase its latest products and technologies at IFA, hall 16. Press are encouraged to register online to attend the Intel keynote at 2014 IFA in Berlin.

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Monday July 21, 2014

Facebook Officially Owns Oculus Now

It looks like it's all over but the crying. Facebook officially owns Oculus and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Though the $2 billion acquisition was announced way back in March, these kinds of negotiations typically take months to resolve thanks to various regulations. Now they have. Facebook and Oculus released a joint statement today that simply states: "We're looking forward to an exciting future together, building the next computing platform and reimagining the way people communicate."

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Fractal Design Core 3500 Computer Case

The crew at Benchmark Reviews has the Fractal Design Core 3500 mid-tower ATX case on the review bench today.

Whether it’s in the automotive, clothing, or furniture industry, European companies have always brought innovative ideas that make big part of the most elegant and simple designs. One clear example is Fractal Design, a Scandinavian company that has showed Benchmark Reviews what stylish and efficient designs look like. This year Fractal Design is updating many of their product lines, including their Core series, to which we reacted in a very excited manner as we could never get tired of their simple minimalist approach.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cooling: Enermax Liqtech 120X AiO @ ThinkComputers

ETC.: Ozone Onda Pro Headset @ FunkyKit

PSU: Rosewill Capstone Modular 1000W @ techPowerUP!

Storage: OCZ RevoDrive 350 @ Vortez

Samsung 845DC Pro 800GB SSD @ ocaholic

Video: HIS R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB @ MadShrimps

Did EVGA Steal The Rivatuner RTSS Design?

What's that you say? It's been a while since we've had any controversy in the industry? Here's some for you. Problem solved.

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So was this modern age stealing ? Well, you can't copyright a GUI / user-interface so sure, EVGA is allowed to do this as long as they didn't 'borrow' code from the RTSS engine (I am trying to choose my words carefully here). But dear dudes and dudettes from EVGA, if you launch a totally new in-house designed overclock utility and you want something new. Why then copy-paste the Rivatuner and RTSS design this much ?

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Comcast Admits Rep Was Doing "What We Trained Him To Do"

I guess all those Comcast employees coming forward has forced the company to admit they do in fact train employees to do exactly what this guy was doing.

The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him and thousands of other Retention agents to do. He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect. This situation has caused us to reexamine how we do some things to make sure that each and every one of us from leadership to the front line understands the balance between selling and listening. And that a great sales organization always listens to the customer, first and foremost.

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Netflix Q2 Profit Surges As It Surpasses 50M Subscribers

Netflix has surpassed the fifty million subscribers mark. I guess that price hike didn't scare anyone away from the service.

Netflix's profit surged again in the second quarter, more than doubling thanks to yet another quarter with more people than expected signing up for the online subscription video service. But costs of Netflix's move into more countries and television programming held back progress just shy of Wall Street's hopes.

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Mental Illness As The Villian In Games Needs To Stop

Having run out of all other things to bitch about in video games, this article takes aim at the over use of "mental illness" as the villain in video games. C'mon, it's not all bad. Isaac Clarke was batsh*t crazy and look what he did for the Dead Space franchise. big grin

Developers perpetuate the societal disparity that breeds harmful stigma when they resort to generic, undefined, almost pseudo-mystical "insanity." It’s a brush-off and a hand-wave, painting mental illness as a magical black box we can neither see into nor ever hope to understand, rather than as a condition that real human people with brains and feelings and mortgages live with on a daily basis. There are few things that more clearly draw an "us and them" line in the sand.

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Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

There is a review of the Noctua NH-U14S CPU cooler at BCCHardware today. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

CPU's no longer require big aftermarket coolers and most people are satisfied with stock cooling, but that hasn't changed the way Noctua looks at cooling and they haven't cut corners as a result. They just keep consistently pumping out coolers that are quiet, high quality, and can offer up performance that can compete with anyone.

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