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[H]ard News

Sunday January 25, 2015

Ten of the Meanest Video Games Ever

It’s always fun to find these stories because of the discussions they provoke. Every time a list of the best, worst, easiest or hardest games is published, gamers always have more to add to the discussion. Check out Geek's list and see if you agree with their assessment of what’s mean or not. cool

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130K Pages of Declassified Air Force UFO Research Now Available Online

Tin Foil Hat Brigade, it’s time to don those hats once more in the quest for the truth about 12,600 UFO sightings collected by the US Air Force. You now have easy access to the entire archive on the Internet, roughly 130K pages that were declassified back in 1969. If you want the truth, it’s out there, you’ll just have to dig through a lot of material.

Now, the entire archive of UFO studies is available online, for free. The documents themselves were declassified shortly after Project Bluebook ended, but until now they have been available exclusively on physical micro-film which is to say, they have not been available.

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The Pendulum Will Swing from Consoles to PC Games in 2015

Light and dark, Yin and Yang, consoles and PCs; they all share the pendulum’s swing from one back to another and this year looks to be the year of the PC’s return to prominence in the gaming world. What turns the tide? This year it will be the introduction of Windows 10 and its renewed dedication to gaming, improved hardware resources and of course, more and better games to play.

We can expect to see a lot of outstanding PC games this year, including multiplatform releases such as Dying Light, Evolve, and Fable Heroes. And some lucky fans will be able to play those games at superfast frame rates on gaming monitors that can display images quickly in 4K resolution or better.

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Call of Duty: World at War 2 Reveal Coming in May

Leaked posters tell the tale: Treyarch and Activision will be unveiling Call of Duty: World at War 2 on May 4th according to the promo poster. The poster also revealed that the first platform to be supported will be Xbox. The timing is right for the unveiling, following a pattern of May unveilings.

While Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare took gamers into the future with some next-gen weapons, exosuits and more, World at War II will bring things back to reality, and history.

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Apple Reported to Begin Shipping Apple Watch in March

According to reports from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, the Apple Watch will make its debut in March, along with Apple’s 12’ MacBook Air. The Apple Watch is predicted to sell just under three Million units in Q12015 even though information and stats on the watch have yet to go public.

Kuo notes that Apple may reveal more details about the Apple Watch before its official launch, revealing specifics on battery life and the start of pre-orders.

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US Recommends Emergency Braking Tech on All New Cars

The Federal government’s auto regulator is recommending auto makers to consider installing crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support as standard equipment on all new cars produced. The recommendations are the first step in getting needed technology in as a mandatory regulation.

Crash imminent braking, as the name implies, uses on-board sensors to detect when a crash is about to happen and then deploy the brakes if the driver has not already done so.

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Leatherman Tread Is a Utility Wearable That Fits a Toolbox on Your Wrist

Looking for a different type of wearable, something that will actually do something useful and look good while it does it? Look no further than the Leatherman Tread. It comes as a bracelet or the fancier model as a watch. Either version will give you 25 workable tools right on your wrist.

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White House Launches Techie Recruitment Effort

The White House is looking for enlistees into the Service; The US Digital Service that is. There is a serious recruitment drive under way to get the best of the best in the IT/Tech industries to spend two years in the service of the country. There will be fighting, but it will be against inefficient systems and bureaucracy that is jamming up the government tech systems.

"It’s truly a national effort," said Jennifer Anastasoff, a San Francisco-based recruiter for the team. She says they’ve been recruiting in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and other cities. "Any startup would kill to have the kind of people we already have."

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Walmart's Chromecast Knockoff: Vudu-Only

For some bizarre reasoning, known only to the upper echelon of WalMart hierarchy, Walmart has introduced the new Vudu Spark, a dongle that will only work with Vudu and Vudu only. If you are a Vudu user and really love the service, the price is a real deal at $25. If you like streaming services other than Vudu, you are seriously out of luck. Walmart is acting like they own Vudu or something.....oh, wait...they do. big grin

In the meantime, if you see some poor soul contemplating one at your local Walmart, feel free to sidle up and quietly whisper Chromecast in their ear.

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Saturday January 24, 2015

Behold 'Guardians of the Galaxy' in 8-Bit Glory

If you are part of the ever-growing retro movement, the brothers Dutton (David and Henry) from CiniFix made a tribute clip of Guardians of the Galaxy in glorious 8 bit goodness that will make you want more retro gaming and less CGI/special effects in your life. Pure nostalgia gaming at its best. cool

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Microsoft's HoloLens Uses Unreleased Intel Atom Chip

The surprise announcement at the Microsoft event this week proved several things; Microsoft still has some tricks up its sleeve, at least one R&D department can keep a secret and the announced HoloLens will be powered by a Cherry Trail Atom chip which has yet to be released by Intel.

Cherry Trail is a successor to Intel's current set of tablet and low-end PC chips code-named Bay Trail. Cherry Trail is smaller, has more features and is faster than Bay Trail, and is able to fit within the curved contours of the HoloLens.

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Kim Dotcom Launches His Secure 'Skype Killer' MegaChat

As we all know by now, Kim Dotcom likes to keep himself in the news and since the attack on Sony several weeks ago, the rotund netster has been uncharacteristically quiet. Dotcom resurfaced this week to announce the launch of MegaChat, the newest addition to his Internet portfolio.

MegaChat is only in public beta at the moment though, and its security prowess is bound to be tested over the coming months. In terms of usability though, it’s doing fine. Users simply log in via Mega.nz, create a free profile, add contacts, and then click to start a video call.

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This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How

If you think that the batteries in use today can’t be beat with anything created over 175 years ago, think again. The Oxford Electric Bell has been in continuous use for at least 175 years and no one has a clue as to how the battery is still functional after all of this time.

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Internet Attack Could Shut Down US Gas Stations

The Internet of Things: The next big happening in our lives is forming around us almost without notice. Along with the opportunities it will present, it will also bring the possibility of being manipulated by those who would do us harm. One such security weakness is the automated tank gauges in almost 5300 gas stations across the country that are vulnerable to remote attacks.

The vulnerability of the gauges used to monitor gasoline tanks is the latest security issue plaguing consumer and industrial devices that are increasingly being connected to the Internet. Often called the Internet of Things, connecting such technology to the wider Internet poses security risks because many of the devices were created without much thought to security.

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Microsoft Announces Office 2016, Coming 3Q15

With all of the hoopla surrounding Microsoft’s announcements on Thursday mainly concerning Windows 10 and its surprise introduction of HoloLens, the announcement of the latest in the long line of Microsoft flagship cash cow software was lost in the hustle and bustle. Windows Office 16 will be released sometime in the second half of 2015, just in time to match up with Windows 10.

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FCC and Congress Jockey for Position in Net Neutrality Fight

What is shaping up to be a monumental battle over the power to regulate the Internet, the FCC and Congress are squaring off, ready to take the legal fight to the distance.

The FCC’s ruling could come any time now, even as the Thune/Upton bill is making the rounds on Capitol Hill. If the ruling proposes classifying even part of the Internet under Title II, it will be met immediately with a legal challenge.

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The MPAA Isn't About Helping Hollywood Any Longer

Interesting article over at Techdirt concerning the real reason MPAA is still doing business in the name of protecting Hollywood from Internet pirates. The MPAA is a self-serving organization whose sole purpose is self-preservation and if it helps out Hollywood in the process, it's purely incidental.

"Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution".

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Microsoft Unveils Project Spartan, the Browser After Internet Explorer

Microsoft stole the spotlight this week with its Windows 10 gathering and the multitude of new rollouts that Microsoft is developing. Spartan, the new browser made for Windows 10, is beginning to unfold right in front of us showing off the new and innovative changes in store with the totally new browser concept.

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Bud’s Giant Pac-Man Is Just as Cool as It Looks in the Ad

We told you about Budweiser building a life-sized Pac-Man game for its contribution to the awsome Super Bowl commercials, well take a gander at the finished product. cool

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4chan Founder 'Moot' Bids Farewell: 'This is Goodbye'

To have had so much impact on the Internet, Christopher Poole still looks like a kid that is way too young to be retiring. Better known as Moot, Poole is the founder of the website 4chan and is retiring after an 11 and a half year run as the head of the controversial site. He bid farewell to his fans and followers on a live YouTube broadcast to 40K viewers.

Poole founded the site 11 and a half years ago, when he was 15. It quickly grew into one of the internet’s most influential and chaotic communities, spawning memes and jokes that spread far and wide.

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Amazon Prime For $72 Tomorrow Only

I just got an e-mail from Amazon saying that Amazon Prime will be $72 tomorrow only. That's a pretty big savings for a year of Prime which gives you free two-day shipping, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Prime Video and access to the Kindle Lending Library.

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Google Fiber’s Next Destination?

From the indications Google is sending out to cities under consideration, it appears that Google Fiber is coming to North Carolina. Interested parties in Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham have all received notifications to attend events on the 28th and 29th of January. If all three municipalities are chosen, it will be the first time Google has launched in multiple markets at the same time according to the article from DSL Reports.

A number of groups and Charlotte city officials are being invited to a Google reception that’s being held on Wednesday, January 28th" and that "invites are being sent out for a simultaneous event to be held in Raleigh on the same day, and one in Durham on January 29th."

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So Long, Windows RT. We Barely Knew You

If you are one of the ones that thought Windows RT never received a fair shake, add one more slap in the face to Microsoft’s red-headed stepchild, Windows RT. When the announcement was made of what applications would be receiving Windows 10 lovin’, Windows RT had to settle for a nod and a pat on the head.

I can understand Microsoft’s decision here: It’s focusing on devices that have a larger following and not on a platform that once cost it a $900 million inventory..

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Expedia Buys Travelocity for $280 Million

The online travel industry just became a little less crowded at the top Friday with Expedia’s purchase of rival Travelocity for a reported $280 Million.

"Evolving this relationship strengthens the Expedia Inc. family’s ability to continue to innovate and deliver the very best travel experiences to the widest set of travelers, all over the world."

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Microsoft's Build Conference Sold Out in One Hour

If you were in the mood to attend Microsoft’s Build Conference in San Francisco this year, better set your sights on next year’s conference. The tickets for this year’s event were gone in in just about an hour, Microsoft said. There is a waiting list, but don’t get your hopes up for a cancellation, the tickets are a hot item this year with the introduction of Windows 10.

The quick sellout has become commonplace for these developer conferences, so much so that Apple and Google have had to set up ticket lotteries so as to avoid their websites being crushed and to make it fair for people in awkward timezones.

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German Scientists Invent Working Teleporter, of Sorts

In a tribute to Star Trek’s USS Enterprise’s Chief Engineer, Commander Scott, Scientists at the Hasso Institute in Potsdam, Germany have developed an actual working model of a transporter they affectionally call "Scotty" . The only problem with the process is it totally destroys whatever it scans and reassembles. It might take a few more tweaks before it's safe for Human transportation. eek!

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Friday January 23, 2015

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the ASUS ROG GTX 980 MATRIX Platinum, followed by our Corsair Hydro Series H100i and Corsair CX750 750W PSU reviews. Finally, we wrapped things up with a look at the MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING OC video card.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: In Win 901 @ pcGameware

ETC.: Gigabyte Force H1 @ pcGameware

Razer BlackWidow Chroma @ NikKTech

Podcasts: PC Perspective Podcast #333 @ PCPer

TR Podcast 168: CES Wrap 2015 @ Tech Report

Video: GeForce GTX 960 Round-Up @ HotHardware

GeForce GTX 960 @ Hardware.Info

Palit GTX 960 Super JetStream @ Hexus

Google Fixes 62 Security Bugs With Release of Chrome 40

Honestly, with all the security shenanigans between Google and other tech giants this week, I half expected Microsoft or Apple to come out with the 60+ fixes issued today for Chrome 40. Now that would have been funny. wink

Google announced on Wednesday the release of Chrome 40 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The latest update for the popular Web browser (40.0.2214.91) includes a total of 62 security fixes. According to the search giant, external researchers reported 26 vulnerabilities, 17 of which are high severity issues.

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