VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Apr 2013 Issue
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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Apr 2013 Issue

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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering PC Hardware & Mobile gadgets from Intel, AMD, Apple, Google, Samsung, NVIDIA, Sony, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, ASUS, Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad,......

A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering PC Hardware & Mobile gadgets from Intel, AMD, Apple, Google, Samsung, NVIDIA, Sony, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, ASUS, Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • 1. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Ibis Sleep Art app: Turns one's slumber into a work of art Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ibis-sleep-art-app-turns-one-s- slumber-into-a-work-of-art/19464.html April 1st, 2013 French hotel chain Ibis has launched a free iPhone app that will interpret your sleep pattern and turn it into a work of art. Prior to launching the sleeping art app, Ibis had a few physical beds in its hotels that were equipped with sensors and robots that drew artworks by interpreting the way the guests slept. That same concept was then transferred over to a digital canvas, and the best part is people don’t have to book a room to find out how their sleeps look like. The Sleep Art app works by monitoring a sleeper’s breathing pattern, noises, and movements using the phone’s built-in sensors. Just lay the phone next to you and once you’ve arisen from your slumber, a digital painting will be ready for your viewing pleasure. There’s probably very little science involved in the Sleep Art app, and you’ll have to just take it for what it is. How pretty or ugly your sleep art will turn out may vary. So if you’re wondering how beautiful your snoring looks, check out the app. Earn Xbox LIVE rewards with new "Play To Earn" from Microsoft Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/earn-xbox-live-rewards-with-new- play-to-earn-from-microsoft/19457.html March 31st, 2013 Microsoft is looking to entice new users into the Xbox LIVE world with a new rewards program that can earn you all kinds of goodies. It's called MyPunchcard, and it is a new rewards program Microsoft is introducing starting April 1, 2013, for all the Xbox LIVE Rewards Members out there. It is a way for you to earn reward points while doing what you love to do the most - playing games. For the month of April, the new program will be centered around arcade games tagged with the Play to Earn offers, and it involves blacking out all three Arcade Punchcards which will get successful players a spot in an upcoming VIP Exclusive. Also, by simply playing your favorite arcade games, and adding to your game collection, you will be able to earn rewards. There are three ways you can win rewards in April: • Play 20 hours of any combination of arcade games, receive a free avatar item • Purchase any four arcade games for 400 Microsoft Points or more from Xbox LIVE, receive a one month Xbox LIVE Gold membership • Spend 3200 Microsoft Points on arcade games, receive 800 Microsoft Points in return. Some of the games that are a part of the rewards program are: • Minecraft • Terraria • Trials Evolution • Counterstrike: GO • Castle Crashers • The Walking Dead • LIMBO Also, Microsoft will be launching some new games in April that will all be a part of the program, and they are: • BattleBlock Theater • Double Dragon II • Motocross Madness • Sacred Citadel • God Mode • Monaco Of course you will need to be an Xbox LIVE Rewards member in order to sign up.
  • 2. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 $121 million supercomputer becomes defunct in just five years Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-121-million-supercomputer- becomes-defunct-in-just-five-years/19462.html March 31st, 2013 Roadrunner, a $121 million supercomputer composed of IBM’s Cell and AMD’s Opteron technologies, has been decommissioned today, ending a five-year stand as one of the world's fastest supercomputers. Five years ago, when the Roadrunner was born, it was one of the few supercomputers to break the petaflop barrier, and it took up only 278 refrigerator-size racks to do so. During its glory days, Roadrunner helped researchers understand viruses, energy flow, and many other mysteries that once haunted the minds of scientists. “Roadrunner got everyone thinking in new ways about how to build and use a supercomputer,” said Gary Grider, an official at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Specialized processors are being included in new ways on new systems and being used in novel ways. Our demonstration of Roadrunner caused everyone to pay attention.” Just as most of the world may not ever know Roadrunner’s contribution to the advancement of technology and science, so, too, will it go out with little to no fanfare. Prior to its full dismantling, researchers will spend the next month or so experimenting with Roadrunner’s operating system, and techniques for compressing memory. Specialists are expecting supercomputers to easily break the exascale barrier within a decade or two, and by that time an array will cost only a fraction of what it does now. “And to think of where we’re going to be in the next 10 to 15 years, it’s just mindboggling,” said Kevin Roark, another official at the Los Alamos lab. USPTO denies Apple's application to trademark "iPad Mini" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/uspto-denies-apple-s-application-to- trademark-ipad-mini-/19461.html March 31st, 2013 According to the reviewer, “the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of the applicant’s goods.” Furthermore, the reviewer also added that the term Mini “describes something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class.” The Cupertino-based tech company is constantly filing for patents and trademarks for its products—released and unreleased. However, it is given that the term “Mini” is ubiquitous in consumer electronics, and therefore it’s completely understandable as to why Apple is having a hard time trademarking the terms iPad Mini. Apple has until July 24th to appeal to the USPTO’s decision, and chances are Apple will swing its bat aimlessly until it gets what it wants. AMD unveils "the world's fastest GPU" & discusses PS4 at GDC 2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-unveils-the-world-s-fastest- gpu--discusses-ps4-at-gdc-2013/19458.html March 31st, 2013 AMD certainly has made an impression at GDC 2013 with its new line of dedicated cloud gaming graphics cards--the Radeon Sky Series--along with the Radeon HD 7990, which they labeled as the "world's fastest graphics card". AMD also delved into the PlayStation 4's hardware and discussed how they "gave it the hardware that Nvidia couldn't".
  • 3. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 During their presentation at this year's Game Developer's Conference, AMD mystified the crowd by unveiling the first public showing of the "world's fastest graphics card": the Radeon HD 7990. The chipmaker also shed light on its new lineup of GPUs dedicated to cloud gaming--the Radeon Sky Series--and discussed how they gave Sony's next-gen PlayStation 4 console the "hardware that Nvidia couldn't". The dual-GPU unit that AMD showcased during the presentation was just a preview of the Radeon HD 7990 so details were a bit scarce, however AMD Product Manager Devon Nekechuck did have a few things to say about the new card: "This packs two of our 7990 series GPUs. This is only a preview series today, so I'm going to have to hold back some of the details for you guys, but this is not only the world's fastest graphics card, this thing is whisper quiet with these three fans over here. This thing delivers massive performance and this is really the gamer's dream card." Nekechuck also revealed that the Radeon HD 7990 is a member of the same family as other 7990's on the market, such as the Asus Ares II and the PowerColor Double 13. The GPU itself is believed to be based on two Tahiti GPUs and carry a total of 6GB (3GB per) of GDDR5 memory that's carried over a dual 384-bit memory interface. Additionally, the core speeds for the GPUs are believed to be in the range of 1 - 1.1 GHz. "This is the world's first preview of this card," AMD's Devon Nekechuck said. "This is the first public showing ever." Details concerning a release date of the new GPU are scarce, however AMD is anticipated to launch the card in Q2 2013 for a price range that approaches $1,000. EA has also made use of the Radeon HD 7990 during their recent GDC 2013 presentation, as the dual-GPU powered the official Battlefield 4 reveal. The footage worked in tandem with EA's new Frostbite 3 Engine, showcasing the card's impressive and dynamic capabilities with 17 minutes of gameplay. The Battlefield 4 reveal shows that AMD's dual-GPU is fully functional and operational, but its not yet ready to be introducted to the retail market. Mail delivering drones being tested in France Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mail-delivering-drones-being-tested- in-france/19460.html March 31st, 2013 A province in France is becoming the testing ground for a new drone-based postal delivery service. Welcome to the future. A French postal service is hoping to revolutionize the mail delivery service, and steal jobs from thousands of kids hoping to supplement their allowance: The postal service “La Poste Groupe” intends to use drones to deliver local newspapers.
  • 4. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 The province of Auvergne is being tested out for the new delivery program, which will employ the well known Parrot quadricopter for the service. The testing will begin in May and will utilize 20 drones controlled by Android and iOS devices, and hopes to successfully pull off the postal service’s 7am deliveries. There are a few hurdles to overcome however: The Parrot only has a range of 164 feet, with a battery time of 30 minutes. There’s no word as to how the La Poste Groupe plans to overcome this limitation, because there certainly wouldn’t be any point in using the drones if the mailman has to come along anyway (apart from giving the mailmen a fun way to start the day). UCLA researchers use big data to help treat patients with traumatic brain injuries Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ucla-researchers-use-big-data-to- help-treat-patients-with-traumatic-brain-injuries/19459.html March 31st, 2013 Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles are conducting studies to see if big data can help prevent complications to patients with traumatic brain injuries. The ongoing research utilizes an IBM-developed system and Excel Medical Electronics to predict increasing brain pressure before it occurs. By monitoring thousands of data points per patient in real time, the computer system is able to generate and interpret information that may help guide doctors to the right path of treatment or preventive care. Real time inputs such as pulse, heart activity, and respiration are all recorded and interpreted by the system. The field of neurology can often be convoluted as there are many diagnoses and interpretations of a given symptom. However, with the aid of computer modeling and big data, it might be possible for doctors and caregivers to narrow down specific treatment plans in a much more decisive manner. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.7 million people in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injury every year, and within that group about 52,000 die and 275,000 remain hospitalized. Thanks to advances in medicine, 1.365 million are treated and then released, but the brain injuries, unlike broken bones, can be volatile at times. Therefore, the use of real time big data analytics can help to mitigate a brain injury’s unpredictability. “The field of big data analytics is evolving to include new kinds of data from sources such as medical monitors, giving us insights into patients that weren’t previously possible,” said Martin Kohn, MD and chief medical scientist for IBM. “We believe that UCLA’s promising research may one day transform the way that doctors and nurses interact with patients inside the neuro-intensive care unit.” “Through its research, UCLA is changing the way that analytics may eventually be used inside hospitals, and how we think about using data to improve patient outcomes,” John Hoffman, President of Excel Medical Electronics, added. Jay Wilson: "Real Money Auction House hurt Diablo 3" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jay-wilson--real-money-auction- house-hurt-diablo-3-/19431.html March 31st, 2013 Jay Wilson, former Blizzard game director for Diablo III, has admitted that the game's Real-Money Auction House (RMAH) and Gold Auction House (GAH) have had a detrimental affect on Diablo III as a whole. During this year's Game Developer's Conference (GDC 2013) former Diablo III game director Jay Wilson sat down and revealed how the game's virtual auction houses had a negative affect on the game as a whole. "The auction houses (both the Gold and Real Money Auction Houses) hurt the game," Jay said during a talk at GDC 2013 in San Francisco. Wilson also divulged that before Blizzard had launched Diablo III the company had assumed how the Auction Houses would work. Wilson thought that the RMAH and GAH would reduce fraud and provide a helpful service that only a small percentage would make use of.
  • 5. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Just an example of some of the exorbitant bids and amounts of profit that are earned on Diablo III's RMAH every day. Diablo III's Real Money Auction House (RMAH) allows gamers to sell and purchase in-game weapons and equipment for actual money (up to $250 for a single item) via PayPal, something that has been met with severe criticism from the game's core constituency. Long-time Diablo fans felt cheated with the ultimate "pay- to-win" sentiments that the RMAH introduced, and both in- game auction houses nearly wiped out the game's trading system Once the game went live, however, Blizzard soon realized that they were mistaken on their assumptions, and that nearly every gamer made use of both Auction Houses--and that over 50% of them used them regularly. "I think we would turn it off if we could," Wilson said, "It's not as easy as that--Blizzard has no idea how many players approve of the Auction Houses or how many dislike it." Wilson also says that Blizzard doesn't want to scrap a feature that many players enjoy--yet he did say that Blizzard is working on implementing a solution that will help patch up the game's notoriously bad reputation...but didn't go into any real detail on the planned fixes. Jay Wilson stepped down as game director for Diablo III back in January after working on the game for seven years. "I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new," Wilson said in his official farewell on the Battle.net forums. Since its release, many gamers have lambasted Diablo III for its in-game mechanics, storyline, and of course the Auction Houses, which many felt gave those who are willing to pay an unfair advantage. Both the RMAH and GAH are still up and running, and Blizzard is still receiving portions of currency--both real and digital--from each transaction. It will be interesting to see what changes (if any) that Blizzard applies to Diablo III's Auction Houses, and if the upcoming PlayStation 3 port will also utilize the RMAH and GAH systems implemented by its PC counterpart. First appearance of PS4 rumored in June, may release in October Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-appearance-of-ps4-rumored-in- june-may-release-in-october/19456.html March 31st, 2013 Sony has yet to officially unveil the PlayStation 4's physical presence, even during the official See the Future event last month. Recent rumors speculate the PS4 will make its first appearance during this year's E3 event in June, and that we may see its release as early as October. Sony has been quite busy with their focus on the next- gen PlayStation console: they've taken the opportunity to reveal many elements regarding the PS4 during the console's official See The Future reveal event last month in New York, and again at this year's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco. Despite the plethora of information that Sony has delivered during their presentations, the PlayStation 4 has yet to be unveiled in any physical capacity. We've seen a variety of features including the console's impressive specs, the new DualShock 4 controller, and even mockups of the PS4's User Interface; yet the console's appearance still remains a mystery. Recent rumors have speculated that the PlayStation 4 will make its debut appearance during this year's E3 2013 show in June, where Sony will most likely attend and unleash the floodgates on everything still unknown about the console itself. Additionally, it's been well established that Sony plans to release their next-gen PlayStation 4 console during the "Holiday 2013" release window, yet the rumor mill has also speculated a PS4 release as early as October of this year.
  • 6. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Seeing an official bona-fide physical version of the PS4 at E3 2013 does indeed make sense, considering the Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the major premiere gaming events of the year. Furthermore Microsoft's absence at recent gaming events points to the likelihood of an Xbox 720 reveal during E3, which would behoove Sony to make an appearance to facilitate the PlayStation 4 so that Microsoft doesn't dominate the event. The rumors themselves must be taken as speculation and have yet to be officially confirmed. Sony hasn't said anything else on an exact release date for the PlayStation 4 other than the "Holiday 2013" window, nor have they confirmed that the PS4 will debut during E3. We have also reported on a recent statement from GameStop's president Tony Bartel regarding the PlayStation 4's popularity. According to Bartel, over 900,000 people have signed up for the PS4's "First to Know List", a list that reveals pertinent information on the availability of PS4 pre- orders and more. Bartel believes that when pre-orders for the PS4 become available, that the demand for the new console will "far out space" the supply at launch. Although it's unclear whether or not this supposition is true, one thing is for sure: gamers seem to be excited about the PS4. The validity of these claims will be put to the test when June rolls around and the giants of the industry come together to showcase the next generation of gaming. It will certainly be interesting to see the new developments that take place during the event, and how Sony and Microsoft duke it out with their respective consoles. FBI hid the use of 'Stingray' spying technology from federal judges Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-hid-the-use-of-stingray-spying- technology-from-federal-judges/19419.html March 31st, 2013 New evidence suggests that the Department of Justice has been using ‘Stingray’ technology without a warrant from a federal magistrate. Stingray technology is a type of spoofing that tricks a cellular phone into thinking it is a cell tower and then tracks and captures all data being transmitted from that cell phone. Recent evidence suggests that the FBI has been monitoring cell phone communications by means of the technology that tricks the phone into thinking it is just another cell tower. Stingray (AKA, WITT or Triggerfish [pdf file link]) can locate the position of a cell phone and even intercept live communications coming from that particular phone, however, it also sees other phones on that network as well, which adds additional controversy to its legality. The controversy surrounding the FBI’s use of the technology comes by way of a Daniel Rigmaiden who is on trial for wire fraud, conspiracy and identity theft in 2008. Rigmaiden’s defense sought discovery evidence that shows the federal agency tracked their client by the use of the Stingray device and that it was done so without a federal warrant or by any current law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a grievance in support of Rigmaiden’s defense, and they have requested that all the evidence gained on Rigmaiden, by use of the Stingray technology, be thrown out of court. The ACLU of Northern California is claiming that they have hard evidence suggesting that the Department of Justice has hid this ill-gotten evidence (by way of the Stingray technology) against Rigmaiden knowingly and willfully from the federal courts. Linda Lye who serves as a staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California recently wrote online about the ordeal, and she says the FBI has been using this type of technology illegally for sometime. “The federal government was routinely using stingray technology in the field, but failing to ‘make that explicit’ in its applications to the court to engage in electronic surveillance,” Lye writes in an ACLU blog posting. “When the magistrate judges in the Northern District of California finally found out what was happening, they expressed ‘collective concerns,’ according to the emails. Notably, this email chain is dated May 2011, some three years after the Stingray’s use in Rigmaiden’s case – meaning the government was not ‘forthright’ in its applications to federal magistrate judges for at least three years.” The ACLU and EFF maintains the defensive argument that the government never disclosed any intent on any warrant that they would be using such an intrusive device to gain
  • 7. April 1st, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 evidence. They also argue that such a device is ‘highly intrusive and indiscriminate’ use of technology that takes information in a broad manner from an entire network of communications in any given area. This latest case is another argument on how federal police agencies, such and the FBI, have routinely violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many feel that federal police agencies are now routinely misrepresenting and often neglect to inform federal judges how they intend on gathering intelligence on a subject. The ACLU and EFF are asking the courts to see the precedent with the Supreme Court’s opinion in US v. Jones, which states that police cannot use a GPS physically attached to a moving vehicle without a warrant to do so. While this case does not involve any physical device, it does show tracking without a warrant from a federal magistrate
  • 8. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. HTC One for China has removable back plate for microSD and dual-SIM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-one-for-china-has-removable- back-plate-for-microsd-and-dual-sim/19492.html April 3rd, 2013 The HTC One built for China will have a removable back plate for insertions of dual-SIM as well as a microSD card. A recent image uploaded onto Weibo has revealed that HTC is going to let Chinese consumers do more with their One handsets. For those that don’t already know, the International and U.S. One variant are full “zero- gap” unibody devices, meaning no microSD expansion or removable battery. For most, a handset with 32 or 64GB of internal storage is more than enough, but it’s always nice to have an option to swap in a memory card to gain access to files without having first hook up the device to a computer. Moreover, if HTC did indeed make the back plate removable for the Chinese HTC One variant, why not cut a hole on top of the battery spot so people can replace the battery, too? If the Weibo picture is of an authentic HTC product and not just another knockoff, then perhaps people around the world may have more incentives to hop onto eBay or other third party channels to grab the much more customizable HTC One variant from China. Search for dark matter finds excess positrons Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/search-for-dark-matter-finds-excess- positrons/19489.html April 3rd, 2013 An international team running the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) has announced the results of its search for dark matter during a CERN seminar. The team has discovered an excess of positrons in the flow of cosmic rays. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is been floating around 400km above earth, where over the past year and a half, it has recorded some 25 billion detections of cosmic rays, including 400,000 positrons with energies between 0.5 and 350 GeV. The positron is the antiparticle to the electron and the AMS has thus completed the largest ever recording of antiparticles in space. The concentration of positrons increases in the 10-250 GeV range, and leveling out in the 20-250 GeV region. This excess in positrons are consistent with the theory that positrons originate from the annihilation of dark matter in space, but the research is not yet conclusive enough to determine this as being the absolute origin of antiparticles. "Over the coming months, AMS will be able to tell us conclusively whether these positrons are a signal for dark matter, or whether they have some other origin." Says Samuel Ting, spokesperson for the AMS Possible distribution of matter and energy in the universe The theory linking positrons to dark matter is known as Supersymmetry. It states that when two dark matter particles collide, they destroy each other, but may produce a positron as a byproduct. The theory is consistent with the observed positron distribution detected by AMS, which was uniform. Unfortunately, at this time, the observations have
  • 9. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 not been able to rule out the opposing theory that positrons originate from pulsars on the galactic plane. "When you take a new precision instrument into a new regime, you tend to see many new results, and we hope this will be the first of many," added Ting during the CERN seminar, "AMS is the first experiment to measure to 1% accuracy in space. It is this level of precision that will allow us to tell whether our current positron observation has a Dark Matter or pulsar origin." The same theory also suggests a hitherto unproven cut-off exists for energies above the mass range of dark matter particles, but the AMS has as of yet not been able to prove this. Laser could zap away cocaine addiction Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/laser-could-zap-away-cocaine- addiction/19491.html April 3rd, 2013 Addiction to drugs, cocaine in particular, may one day be easily treated just like patching up a cut with a Band- Aid. A study currently being conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have found that laser stimulation of the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex in rats wiped away the compulsive urge to take cocaine. The laser treatment in the lab rats work through both mechanical as well as biological pathways. First, researchers inject into the neuron of the rats genetically engineered rhodopsins—light-sensitive protein. Then, using a technique called optogenetics, the researchers aim a laser at the rhodopsins to induce non-compulsive behaviors by turning on the rhodopsin. Essentially, the rhodopsin is the light bulb, and the laser is the switch mechanism. Turning on the rhodopsin by pointing a laser at it will wipe out compulsive behaviors and when the protein is turned off, it’s back to being in the dark for the poor rat. Currently, a similar prelimbic treatment for depression in human is being done through a process known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and researchers believe that there is a strong link between the rat’s laser addiction treatment and the current human-approved depression treatment. Antontello Bonci, MD and one of the scientists of the study at NIH, is planning to run a few clinical tests on humans using the laser-rhodopsin method. An in-depth coverage of this study is found here. Google to launch second- generation Nexus 7 tablet in July Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-to-launch-second-generation- nexus-7-tablet-in-july/19490.html April 3rd, 2013 Google will launch a second-generation version of the Nexus 7 tablet in July, according to sources cited by Reuters, paving the way for stronger competition in the already crowded tablet computer market. Google will launch a second-generation version of the Nexus 7 tablet in July, according to sources cited by Reuters, paving the way for stronger competition in the already crowded tablet computer market. The revamped tablet is expected to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, replacing the Nvidia Tegra 3 of the current model. The Qualcomm chip was apparently chosen for its more efficient use of power, according to the sources. The tablet should also feature a higher screen resolution and a thinner overall design. The sources, who refused to be identified, also revealed Google's sales targets for the Nexus 7: six to eight million in the second half of the year alone, almost double the estimated 4.6 million it sold for the last six months of 2012.
  • 10. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 While Google makes the majority of its income from advertising, more Google-designed tablets in the hands of consumers, especially consumers that might be tempted by rival products like Amazon's Kindle Fire, will ensure it maximises its advertising audience. However, with the Kindle Fire priced at $199, Google already faces a steep battle. This gives rise to the belief that the new model will match or significantly outdo this low price point, with a potential retail price of $149. Google will likely be losing money on the hardware at such a price, but, like Amazon, it will be playing the long game for the much more lucrative advertising dollar. The old Nexus 7 may also get a price cut or may simply be discontinued. Europe takes solar storm preparedness measures Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/europe-takes-solar-storm- preparedness-measures/19485.html April 3rd, 2013 Europe has launched its first space-weather coordination center to prepare for solar storms or other activity which could cause problems on Earth. Large solar storms are currently one of the biggest threats to our modern way of life. A large enough storm can knock out the internet, telephone lines, tv and transportation for a long time. The earth would be left without electricity and for a species that is largely dependent on it for business and economics, we would all be in dire straits. Some precautions can be taken to protect our most valuable electronics and digital information, but on a larger scale, an early warning system is important. The European Space Agency (ESA) space weather division head, Juha-Pekka Luntama, explained just how serious the consequences of a solar storm can be: "A pilot can always land a plane... because they have alternatives [to satellites] for navigation, but if they get the disturbance without warning, at the wrong time, that can be dangerous.” Even a minor glitch in the electronics onboard a GPS satellite can give a faulty readout on the pilot’s instruments and inform him that the ground is much further away than it really is. This could happen to a transformer near you if the Sun decides to be mean In 1859, a coronal mass ejection sent an electric surge through global telegraph lines, starting fires and electrocuting the operators. Modern equivalences would be broken satellites, blown transformers and a cascading blackout after the power grid becomes overloaded. Luntama explains that though such occurrences are exceedingly rare, they happen around the solar maximum, the period of greatest solar activity in the solar cycle and a period which we are currently in. This is why the ESA has launched its first solar weather coordination center (a similar center exists in the United States). By observing the solar activity, the center could receive a 17-48 hour head start between detecting the coming storm, and the effects first being felt on Earth. During this precious time, satellites could be shut down, air traffic grounded and power could be turned off to reduce the load on the power grid. Even astronauts onboard the ISS would need to take precautionary measures, and with the warning system, they’d have ample time to hide in protected parts of the station. The new weather center will draw on expertise from several universities, institutions and companies and coordinate their knowledge in a central point. Blizzard announces 2013 World Championship for StarCraft II Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-announces-2013-world- championship-for-starcraft-ii/19488.html April 3rd, 2013 Blizzard has announced the new World Championship Series 2013 for StarCraft II, establishing the first official global ranking system for the game's eSports fans. Blizzard has announced the new World Championship Series 2013 for StarCraft II, establishing the first official global ranking system for the game's eSports fans. The developer has teamed up with top eSports organisations, including Korea eSports Association, Ongamenet, GomTV, Major League Gaming, Turtle Entertainment, and Twitch, to manage three leagues for elite StarCraft II players: one for Korea, one for America, and one for Europe. The Championship will include three seasons per league, with another three global season finals, all of which will earn players points towards being crowned the StarCraft II World Champion after the final grand final match at BlizzCon in November.
  • 11. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 “The structure of the StarCraft II World Championship Series is the result of an ongoing collaborative effort between Blizzard and our partners,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard. “Our collective goal was to make StarCraft II eSports even more exciting and easier to follow for fans than ever before. On the heels of the successful launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, we're all very excited about the present and future of StarCraft II eSports.” The Korean league of the StarCraft II World Championship Series will launch on 4 April. The various eSports organisations will alternate operation of the seasons and will work in collaboration to broadcast all of the Korean tournaments via TV and the internet. Dates for the American and European leagues have yet to be decided. Disney unplugs LucasArts to "minimize risks" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/disney-unplugs-lucasarts-to- minimize-risks-/19486.html April 3rd, 2013 LucasArts is done, and by done we mean Disney has essentially unplugged the workstations and locked up the front door to the studio. The video games market is certainly not what it was a decade ago, and Disney feels like it is time to steer LucasArts away from the “risks” to “achieve a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games.” What this means for the Star Wars game franchise is up for debate, but what we do know is that Mickey and his pals have already given the pink slip to many developers in the Old Republic. “After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.” New HIV-treatment solutions may be on horizon Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-hiv-treatment-solutions-may- be-on-horizon/19483.html April 3rd, 2013 By studying the early immune response to the HIV virus, scientists may have found a new avenue through which to to defeat the virus. Barton F. Haynes, MD and John Mascola, MD are leading a research team that may have discovered a new way of looking for a vaccine toward the HIV virus. Their research involves the study of the body’s initial response towards the HIV virus and is the first time the co-evolution of virus and anti-body has been mapped in a person. Most vaccines work by inducing an antibody response which neutralizes the virus, but due to the rapidly evolving nature of the HIV virus, most antibodies become redundant before they can eradicate the infection. By tracking the evolution of both the virus and immune response, the researchers have filled gaps in knowledge that has kept a successful vaccine from being created.
  • 12. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 "For the first time, we have mapped not only the evolutionary pathway of the antibody, but also the evolutionary pathway of the virus, defining the sequence of events involved that induce the broadly neutralizing antibodies," says Haynes, who led the project as part of the Duke University Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology-Immunogen Discovery consortium. The evolutionary mapping was possible thanks to an African person whose HIV infection was detected early enough that the virus had not yet mutated. In addition, the person’s immune response produced broadly neutralizing anti-bodies, a trait which only occurs in about 20% of the population and attacks the virus in places which remain unaltered as it evolved. What the study revealed was that the broadly neutralizing antibodies were triggered by the outer layer of the viral surface glycoprotein. The study has allowed the research team to produce a roadmap to help the development of a final, universal cure. The cure would most likely involve immunogens containing glycoprotein to produce the broad-scoped immunoresponse. "The next step is to use that information to make sequential viral envelopes and test them as experimental vaccines," Haynes said. "This is a process of discovery and we've come a long way with regard to understanding what the problem has been." Jimmy Fallon to take over Jay Leno's throne in Spring 2014 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jimmy-fallon-to-take-over-jay-leno- s-throne-in-spring-2014/19484.html April 3rd, 2013 Jay Leno, NBC’s long time late night show star, will step down in the spring of 2014 to make way for Jimmy Fallon. “Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy,” Leno said following the announcement. “If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.” “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow,” Fallon said, adding his own comedic touch. The 62-years young Jay Leno has been hosting NBC’s late night shows since 1992. Recently, NBC’s restructuring efforts ended with Leno agreeing to a 50 percent pay cut, which is still a hefty sum considering his salary was still somewhere in the range of $15 million. Currently, Fallon’s 12:35 A.M. slot is still up for grab as NBC has yet to announce a replacement for Fallon at that time. Canon unveils world's smallest and lightest digital SLR camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-unveils-world-s-smallest-and- lightest-digital-slr-camera/19482.html April 3rd, 2013 Canon has announced the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR camera, making it ultra portable for easy storage and travel. Canon has announced the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR camera, making it ultra portable for easy storage and travel. The EOS 100D has a width of 116.8mm, a height of 90.7mm, and a depth of 69.4mm. It weighs in at just 370 grams. The camera features an APS-C-size 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, a high-speed DIGIC 5 image processor, a maximum IOS speed of 12800, which can be expanded to 25600, and a 9-point Auto Focus system.
  • 13. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Canon has also include a number of modes to maximise the quality of images for certain purposes. Live View mode and movie recording allow the Auto Focus system to automatically and rapidly sharpen and focus subjects within 80 percent of the image display area, which should result in fewer blurred pictures. Playback mode allows cropping of photos into four aspect ratio sizes, including the popular 4:3 ratio. The original photo will be kept after the crop. Six family-oriented scene modes, such as Kids, Foo, Candlelight, HDR Backlight Control, Night Portrait, and Handheld Night Scene, can help budding photographers tailor the camera settings to their needs. Blur Simulation gives users a look at what a blurred background will look like in real-time, to help focus the viewer's attention on certain content. Canon also announced the EOS 700D, a high-performance digital SLR camera with a touch-screen. It comes with most of the same features and modes, but the fold-out screen adds additional usability. The EOS 100D and Kit will be available at the end of April. The EOS 700D and Kit will be available mid-April. Prices have yet to be announced. Hands-on with PROLiNK's Hesperus and Xanthinus gaming mice Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hands-on-with-prolink-s-hesperus- and-xanthinus-gaming-mice/19449.html April 3rd, 2013 Yesterday at a media event held at Clarke Quay in the sweltering heat of Singapore, long-time IT equipment vendor PROLiNK unveiled its latest line of bat-themed gaming peripherals, as well as their collaboration with local gaming mousepad specialist Barracuda Technologies. We go hands-on with some of their latest offerings... Yesterday at a media event held at Clarke Quay in the sweltering heat of Singapore, long-time IT equipment vendor PROLiNK unveiled its latest line of bat-themed gaming peripherals, as well as their collaboration with local gaming mousepad specialist Barracuda Technologies. We go hands-on with some of their latest offerings... First up is PROLiNK's flagship gaming mice - Hesperus ("evening star"). Built for right-handed homo sapiens, the mouse is loaded with a slew of features usually found on high end offerings from the likes of Logitech, SteelSeries and Razer - including an adjustable weight cartridge system, braided cable with gold-plated USB connector and teflon mouse feet (an additional set is included in the package). All these ingredients help to ensure longevity and and consistency during extended gaming sessions when the stakes and emotions are running high. From the top of the Hesperus, we see a glossy plastic shell with rubber coatings at the sides, which I personally feel is a tad gaudy (one of our writers thinks it looks like "Darth Vader's helmet"). A typical 5-button system (left/ right/center and two at the sides) is deployed here, with no major complaints about its ergonomics for palm-grip
  • 14. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 gamers. The "4D" scroll-wheel also has additional button relays on its sides to allow for horizontal input. Two minature buttons on the in the middle controls the active DPI (four steps, defaults to 800/1600/2400/3200) and profile mode respectively. The bundled software utility can be used to redefine button/dpi assignments which will then be saved onto the persistent onboard memory of the mouse. This eliminates the need to install software/drivers when you are playing somewhere else (for instance, at a LAN venue). At the bottom of the rodent, we see the compartment for the six pellet weights under a spring loaded cover. The laser sensor is positioned right in the middle, which some mouse aficionados say can help avoid unwanted Z-axis issues. Inside the mouse, we observe the use of Japanese-made Omron switches for the primary left-right buttons and a TTC mechanical encoder scroll wheel, augmented by the best in class Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor (1000Hz polling, 8200dpi) for high precision across various hard/ cloth mouse surfaces and sensitivities.
  • 15. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 During a quick test of the Hesperus, we found no anamolies with its stated technical qualities and no pesky mouse prediction behaviour when attempting to draw straight lines. Real world in-game performance with CS:GO and BF3 was good as well, with this reviewer still topping the frag charts as usual. In a bid to differentiate itself from the competition, the company also shared details about its custom skinning services for buyers who wants a personalized mouse design. Overall, we found PROLiNK's first foray into the local gaming peripherals market to be promising. The Hesperus (SGD$109) has a rubberized counterpart in Xanthinus (SGD $89), which uses the same laser setup but forgoes the weights system. Also on show at the event was the Nivatis mousepad (developed in collaboration with Barracuda) and the TRON-inspired Volaris LED backlit keyboard.
  • 16. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 War Z down after hack-attack Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/war-z-down-after-hack- attack/19479.html April 3rd, 2013 The controversial, (or lousy according to many), game War Z was taken offline after a hackers attack that compromised players account data and passwords. As a result, the game and its forums are down until further notice. An official statement by OP Productions was published today on the game’s forums page. According to the report, the hackers gained access to players’ character data, e- mail addresses, forums IDs and passwords. In general, they totally hacked the game’s database. The only comforting thing was that a third-party company was responsible for the payment transactions, so OP vouches that no player’s payment detail was exposed. The company investigates the problem and every necessary measure has been taken to solve it. As the announcement says: “We are sorry to report that we have discovered that hackers gained access to our forum and game databases and the player data in those databases. We have launched a thorough investigation covering our entire system to determine the scope of the intrusion. This investigation is ongoing and is our top priority. As part of the remediation and security enhancement process we will be taking the game and forums down temporarily.” BioShock: Infinite Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bioshock-infinite-review/19477.html April 3rd, 2013 Irrational Games' third chapter in the critically acclaimed BioShock series is here; does it soar in the heavens or does it fall from grace? Jump in to find out! Developer: Irrational Games, Human Head Studios Publisher: 2K Games Platform: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PS3, PC
  • 17. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 Genre: Action Adventure, FPS MSRP: $59.99 With BioShock: Infinite, Irrational Games has brought a visual masterpiece that introduces gamers to a vibrant and sprawling world rife with impressive features and gameplay mechanics. With a story full of mystery and dynamic plot arcs, BioShock: Infinite takes players on a timeless journey through the heavens and the very fabric of time and reality. The last two chapters of Irrational's fan-favorite BioShock series took players to the Atlantean undersea city of Rapture, which made use of a variety of mythical and symbolic representations that culminated in a fantastically original environment to behold. Two of Columbia's soldiers stand watch, no-doubt looking for Vox Populi anarchists. Now gamers are taken to the sunlit sky-city of Columbia, further expounding upon many religious themes and cultural symbolism which have been staples of the series since its inception. BioShock: Infinite has been hailed across the world of gaming as one of the best games of 2013, and for good reason: the game itself encompasses a variety of rich aesthetic elements and a multi-faceted story that's infused with the series' distinct bizarre flair to bring an incredibly original experience to fans across the world. The game features a multitude of action-oriented gameplay that compliments the dazzling and signature visuals quite nicely, offering a balanced array of breathtaking vistas and explosive FPS gameplay. Whether you're swinging across Columbia's sky-rails with the new Sky Hook, picking off enemies in a glorious firefight that culminates in a hail of gunshots and bullets, or slinging bolts of electricity with the Shock Jockey Vigor, BioShock: Infinite's combat is infused with exhilarating action that has evolved from its predecessors. Booker De Witt, the game's protagonist, escorts Elizabeth to safety. Irrational's new iteration also brings a fully-fleshed cast of characters; from the game's flawed protagonist Booker De Witt to Columbia's tyrannical religious figurehead, Zachary Hale Comstock, each main character and NPC are quite realistic in their behaviors and personas. Their graphical representations and dynamic voices merge to bring a believable set of characters that players can identify with, adding to the allure of the game itself. All of these elements combine to bring an amazingly original experience to the world of gaming, offering hours upon hours of entertaining gameplay that immerses gamers in a fantastic world full of mystery and magic. From the game's impressive alternate reality that reflects authentic historical events to the original premise of "tears" in the fabric of reality, BioShock: Infinite blends the traditional elements you'd come to expect from a game in the series with a variety of new features that only add to the experience as a whole. Teenager tweets "YOLO" during a test and gets suspended from school Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teenager-tweets-yolo-during-a-test- and-gets-suspended-from-school/19481.html April 3rd, 2013 Texas recently implemented some different testing standards using the new STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic of Knowledge and Skills) test, but students like Kyron Birdine (the boy who was punished) won’t be graduating from his junior high school under the updated standards. Rather, he and his fellow classmates are still bind to the old standards which is found in the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test. Essentially, the teenager felt that he shouldn’t have to sit through a test that won’t have any impact on his graduation or college acceptance later on. So instead of bubbling in the correct answers and write meaningful essays on the STAAR test, he simply wrote the following message and then uploaded an image of his work onto Twitter:
  • 18. April 3rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 11 “Today there was an incident with a student tweeting a picture of an answer booklet for a STAAR field test. We have made an initial report of the incident to TEA and will continue to investigate further. The student has been punished in accordance with district disciplinary procedures.” Apple iOS 7 to boast significant UI changes Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ios-7-to-boast-significant-ui- changes/19480.html April 3rd, 2013 According to various reports, Apple is hard at work revamping iOS, and that these new visual tweaks will be very noticeable when compared to the current iOS 6. iOS 7 is reportedly going to make its appearance alongside the next-gen iPhone, but the bad news is development of the new iOS is running behind schedule—to the extent that engineers from the OS X department had to be pulled. (Jonathan "Jony" Ive is one of the leading figures behind Apple's product designs.) There has been a lot of Apple rumors floating around lately, and the talks are not limited to just iOS. Talks of products like the iWatch and a low-end iPhone are all on the table, but as always Apple have remained tight-lipped about what’s going on in the lab. Regardless of whatever Apple products are coming our way; expect significant UI changes in iOS 7 as some seem to think that there were no significant changes made from iOS 5 to iOS 6. Mini-robots trained to group and work together Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mini-robots-trained-to-group-and- work-together/19475.html April 2nd, 2013 A swarm of 40 mini-robots, programmed to group and work together like mechanic ants, can successfully perform tasks like carrying heavy objects or regrouping after being scattered. The tiny-bots can recognize each other, can co-operate to move an item, can regroup and organize themselves by priority order. The impressive thing about this project, though, is not what the robots can do; it is that they operate under the least possible amount of information and memory. Hence their small size. The medical and military potential applications of such a programmable group of robots are numerous, if not scary, especially if we are talking about nanobots – tiny robots in nanoscale sizes. As Dr Roderich Gross, head of the project, said: “The key is to work out what is the minimum amount of information needed by the robot to accomplish its task. That’s important because it means the robot may not need any memory, and possibly not even a processing unit, so this technology could work for nanoscale robots.” The little robots are currently ‘living’ in Sheffield Centre for Robotics, and they are about to be demonstrated at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham later this week.
  • 19. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Facebook unveils Home for Android: A deeply integrated ads experience? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-unveils-home-for-android- a-deeply-integrated-ads-experience-/19508.html April 4th, 2013 The new Facebook mobile feature is not a highly spun version of Android like MIUI. Rather, Home is a “family of apps” that allow Facebook to supplant itself and build its presence among other non-Facebook apps on Android devices. For instance, the Facebook Chatheads feature will overlay whatever app a user is currently using without having to exit the non-Facebook app first. “Chatheads gives you this immediate persona connection to the people you care about,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. In regards to the overall user experience of Home, Zuckerberg says that Facebook wants people experience the “system software rather than an app.” “All of the interactions are really smooth and natural,” Zuckerberg said. “With Home, you see your world through people, not apps.” Not all Android handsets will support Facebook Home at launch, and currently only a few Samsung and HTC devices support Home. Starting April 12, Facebook Home will be available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S IV, HTC One, One X (X+), and the HTC First will come pre-loaded with Home. Facebook has also confirmed that OEMs and carriers including Sony, ZTE, Lenovo, Alcatel, Huawei, Qualcomm, EE and Orange will ship handsets with Facebook Home pre-installed in the future. To monetize on Home, Facebook will integrate ads into the launcher. The amount ads and their intrusiveness haven't been determined yet, but users who want to try out Home won’t have to worry about ads at launch. “There are no ads in this yet, I’m sure that one day there will be,” Zuckerberg said when asked how the firm plans to monetize on the launcher. Once the ads are implemented, there is a high possibility that Home users will begin seeing ads along with their friend updates on their home screen. Anonymous declares cyber- war on North Korea Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/anonymous-declares-cyber-war-on- north-korea/19498.html April 4th, 2013 The hacktivist group Anonymous has recently taken a collective stand against the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ with a bold statement claiming to have in their possession 15 thousand passwords stolen from the North Korean government. They call their new plan, “Operation Free Korea”, and the hacktivists are demanding total democracy in the hard-line communist state. Anonymous has taken up many causes in their history ranging from disclosing corrupt politicians or going after rogue cult groups, such as the Westboro Baptist church. Now Anonymous has taken up one of their largest political
  • 20. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 goals to date with demanding democracy in the ultra- communist state of North Korea. Regarding hacktivist group's latest cyber-attack, they claim to be holding thousands of passwords said to be retrieved from North Korea’s highly secured intranets and mail servers and the North's official website, www.uriminzokkiri.com. “We got all over 15k membership records of Uriminzokkiri.com and many more,” Anonymous writes. “First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship ‘government.” While the recent attacks on North Korea may appear to be a unified effort with the United States and South Korea, Anonymous denies any association with either entity. “Don’t misunderstand us: As well we disagree with the USA government too – these guys are crooks, USA is a threat to world peace too, and direct democracy (or any kind of democracy) doesn’t exist there. The American government is a target and enemy of Anonymous as well!’’, Anonymous writes. "This is not about country vs. country – This is about we, the people, the 99% (of USA and of North Korea) vs. oppressing and violent regimes (like USA gov. and N.K. gov)! We, the people, are gathering together because we are stronger now and we won’t fight your wars anymore…” Anonymous has demanded that Kim Jong-un resign his seat and bring about democracy. A few other of their demands include the North ending their nuclear bomb endeavors and open up the Internet without censorship immediately so the people can see the real uncensored world. Before their message conclusion telling the North Koreans to rise up, Anonymous left a message for the leaders of North Korea. Anonymous writes, “- We are inside your local intranets (Kwangmyong and others)- We are inside your mailservers - We are inside your webservers. …Enjoy these few records as a proof of our access to your systems (random innocent citizens, collateral damage, because they were stupid enough to choose idiot passwords), we got all over 15k membership records of www.uriminzokkiri.com and many more.” Star Wars 1313 was going to be about Boba Fett Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-1313-was-going-to-be- about-boba-fett/19506.html April 4th, 2013 With the closure of LucasArts, Star Wars 1313 is likely never going to be released, but with Disney's announcement today comes the news that the game was going to focus on Boba Fett. LucasArts is dead, and it's dragging a few victims down with it. Star Wars 1313; the gritty, more adult Star Wars game that wowed the world at last year's E3 and was expected by many to be a breath of life for the franchise, is likely never going to see a release. Though it and a few other in-development titles may be auctioned off to other developers, several sources are agreeing that chances of that happening are slim. Is this our last glimpse of 1313? That’s unfortunate news for Star Wars fans, but perhaps more so because we just received a pretty big announcement about it: It was going to be about Boba Fett. Though his screen time in the original trilogy is fairly limited, the bounty hunter is a fan favorite character, and the game refocused on him after George Lucas surveyed development on the game and told the team he wanted Fett to be the focus of the story. Development of the game has been on hold since last fall, but the change in focus to feature Boba Fett happened way back in May after a series of scrapped and refocused iterations of the game had gone through the studio. Development of the game apparently, has been troubled from the start, as one source told Kotaku: "They ended up with movie tech that wouldn't fit in a game, and game tech that wouldn't fit in a movie. 1313 was always in danger of not being made." Photon brings 3D-scanning to a hobbyist level Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/photon-brings-3d-scanning-to-a- hobbyist-level/19505.html April 4th, 2013 The 3D printing revolution is spilling over into the field of 3D scanners. The Photon is a new scanner aimed at hobbyist 3D modelers who want to bring real objects into the virtual world. 3D printing is slowly but surely moving to the consumer level, and it seems to be pulling a few other industries with it. Photon is a 3D scanner featured on Indiegogo, which means to bring the power of scanning three dimensional objects down to a level that anyone can afford. The device scans over any object placed on its pad, tracing lasers across the surface and translating that surface into a “point cloud” in your computer. The point cloud uses dots spread out in 3D space as markers for the edges and features of the object, and then creates a model from the cloud that can be exported into a 3d program.
  • 21. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 The Photon, amazingly, has been custom built from the ground up; from the casing down to the circuitry level. The creators wanted to have complete control over the creation of the scanner, so leaving even the smallest detail to stock items was out of the question. Check out the Photon in the video below! Baidu developing eyewear to rival Google Glass Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/baidu-developing-eyewear-to-rival- google-glass/19504.html April 4th, 2013 Google's biggest search engine rival in China, Baidu, has confirmed that it is working on a prototype for digital eyewear similar to Google Glass. Google's biggest search engine rival in China, Baidu, has confirmed that it is working on a prototype for digital eyewear similar to Google Glass. The project, called Baidu Eye, is being tested internally, but it is not yet clear if it will be made available for the public. It is likely that the success of Google's product will be a deciding factor in whether or not Eye enters production. Kaiser Kuo, a spokesperson for Baidu, said that the eyewear could make use of Baidu's image search and facial recognition technology, where people can, for example, take pictures of celebrities and check against the Baidu database, all through a wearable visual device. Baidu said the eyewear would feature a headset with a small LCD screen, with the capability of issuing voice commands and making facial recognition searches, largely mirroring the capabilities of Google Glass. However, Baidu said the comparison to Glass was “premature” at this stage, because it is not necessarily a product that will be commercialised. Wearable computing is seen as the next big thing in the technology sector, and despite the somewhat gimmicky nature of many proposals so far, the major names are keen to get a slice of the action. Google's rival Apple is working on the iWatch, something that Samsung is also allegedly prototyping, and Baidu's entry into the market will likely be just one of many competitors to Glass. New cancer treatment proves successful with no side- effects Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-cancer-treatment-proves- successful-with-no-side-effects/19503.html April 4th, 2013 A new cancer treatment is currently undergoing testing. The treatment, a type of radiation therapy, is free from all the harmful side-effects associated with chemo- and radiation- treatments. A new form of cancer treatment is being developed by Professor M. Frederick Hawthorne at the University of Missouri. The treatment, which utilized radiation to cause remission of cancer cells, has successfully treated mice with cancer, without giving them the harmful side-effects of aggressive treatments like chemotherapy or traditional radiation therapy. Cancer - kill it with neutrons! The treatment works because of a defining trait of cancer cells; they grow faster, and thus require more nutrients, than regular cells. Hawthorne’s team injected a boron isotope into the mice, essentially feeding it to the cancer cells. Once infused with the isotope, Hawthorne bombarded the cells with neutrons, which shattered the boron atoms and tore apart the cancer cells, leaving the healthy ones untouched. The particular boron isotope used has the unique property of splitting into lithium and helium when capturing a neutron, thus facilitating the effect.
  • 22. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 "A wide variety of cancers can be attacked with our BNCT technique," Hawthorne said. "The technique worked excellently in mice. We are ready to move on to trials in larger animals, then people. However, before we can start treating humans, we will need to build suitable equipment and facilities.” Hawthorne was recently awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama Samsung announces Wi-Fi version of Galaxy Camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-wi-fi-version- of-galaxy-camera/19502.html April 4th, 2013 Samsung has announced a Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Camera, offering budding photographers a way to more easily share their photos and save backups. Samsung has announced a Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Camera, offering budding photographers a way to more easily share their photos and save backups. The point-and-shoot camera will receive the connectivity boost to entice consumers who don't want to have to use a cable to transfer or share pictures, especially given the luxury of easy sharing from smartphones that many are used to. “The Galaxy Camera Wi-Fi blends cutting-edge digital imaging technology with Samsung’s latest line of class- leading Android devices,” said Ron Gazzola, VP of Marketing for the Digital Imaging division of Samsung Electronics America. “Focusing on features that simplify the user experience, the Galaxy Camera Wi-Fi offers an intuitive approach to feature-rich photography, without the need to be constantly connected. The camera itself comes with a 21x optical zoom, 16 megapixel backside illuminated CMOS sensor, and 4.8-inch HD Super Clear Touch LCD. It is also powered by Android Jellybean 4.1, giving users access to apps from Google Play. Smart Mode, Photo Wizard, Smart Content Manager, and Paper Artist provide users with a slew of ways to enhance photographs. The Samsung Galaxy Camera (Wi-Fi) will be available later this month for $449.99. There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets our there Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/there-may-be-100-billion-earth-like- planets-our-there/19501.html April 4th, 2013 Scientists at the university of Auckland is proposing a new strategy for finding Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, and expects that there could be an estimated 100 billion such planets floating around. Reseachers from the university of Auckland have devised a new method of detecting Earth-like plantes, which involves utilizing gravitational microlensing; the physical phenomena that massive objects bend space time around them, producing a visual artifact as if a curved lens had been placedin front of the object. The research team utilized a combination of data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope as well as data on microlensing to complete the study. There could be a lot of Earths out there Microlensing has previously been used to detect large planets the size of Neptune and up, but the research team believed that it would be possible to detect even moderately small planets, such as ours, if a worldwide network of
  • 23. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 moderate robotic telescopes could be linked up to make the observations. As happens, such a system, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, is being deployed right now with telescopes in Chile, South Africa, Australia and the United States. "Kepler finds Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars, and it estimates that there are 17 billion such planets in the Milky Way,” explains lead author on the paper, Dr. Phil Yock, “"Our proposal is to measure the number of Earth-mass planets orbiting stars at distances typically twice the Sun-Earth distance. Our planets will therefore be cooler than the Earth. By interpolating between the Kepler and MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) results, we should get a good estimate of the number of Earth-like, habitable planets in the Galaxy.” Dr. Yock’s estimate is an astounding 100 billion planets. Exhaled breath is a molecular fingerprint Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exhaled-breath-is-a-molecular- fingerprint/19500.html April 4th, 2013 New research shows that our breaths are unique and could be compared to a fingerprint. Scientists may use this new discovery to diagnose medical conditions in the future. Blood and urine is often analyzed by doctors to determine whether your body is harboring an infection or metabolic disease, and even to detect cancer or organ failure. Now, new research at the ETH institute of technology and university hospital in Zürich has determined that your breath may also serve as a good diagnostic tool. The research determined that our breaths function as a “breathprint”; a unique collection of chemicals and molecules that depend on your metabolism. The breathprint was analyzed in 11 voluenteers over the course of 11 days by using a modified mass spectrometer, and was found to remain consistent over that time. The breathprint analyzers are going to have to be smelling bad breath for a living. Your job doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it? Because of the consistency in the breath’s composition, any change in the chemical markup of the breathprint would easily be detectable. Such changes do indeed occur in patients with various diseases; a well established fact within medicine (previously, dogs have even been able to detect cancer from the breath of patients). Diagnostically however, the breathprint hasn’t been widely used as an indicator of disease due to technical constraints: Previous analyzers have either been unable to detect a wide range of chemicals, or have simply been too slow for practical use. Speed, in particular, is where the new diagnostic method truly excels. Where a urine sample or blood sample may take a long time to analyze, the breath fingerprint can be read in mere seconds. Currently, the mass spectrometers used for the analysis are too large and expensive for use in everyday clinics. However, as Renato Zenobi, research leader on the project suggests: "Small, portable mass spectrometers already exist; if their performance can be improved, they will eventually find their way into clinics and doctor's offices." Science discovers massive scale of plant-life water usage Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/science-discovers-massive-scale-of- plant-life-water-usage/19499.html April 4th, 2013 A study from the University of New Mexico has discovered that plants use a massive amount of fresh water in their lifetimes; something which has severe implications for climate models. According to research by doctorate student Scott Jasechko at the University of New Mexico, fresh water as used by plants, accounts for the largest movement of fresh water on the planet. In total, the movement caused by plants is more than one and a half times of that which is caused by rivers, and the water released into the atmosphere by plants is more than five times greater than the water which naturally evaporates on land through heat. “The study is important because it suggests research should focus on water transport in plants when assessing the availability of fresh water in a future, warming climate in order to better predict how much water will be available for drinking water, manufacturing and food production," said Jasechko.
  • 24. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Ah, plants: nature's sprinklers. The research was conducted by observing isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in bodies of water. These isotopes store information on how they were formed, whether through evaporation, or the plants’ “breathing process” known as transpiration. The research indicated that collectively, plants on earth transpire about 10 Amazon rivers’ worth of flow per year. As carbon dioxide is processed and taken in as the plants transpire water out, Jasechko was able to use existing satellite data on CO2 levels to verify his claim. Indeed, the results of the research are in agreement with the carbon dioxide data. "This study acknowledges the importance of plant life in controlling the amount of precipitation that ends up in our rivers," continues Jasechko, pointing out how nearly every aspect of our lives, from food and shelter to manufacturing, on some level depends on fresh water. This means our changing climate actually requires that we keep as much watch over the health of earth’s flora, as we do on our emissions. Ion thrusters deliver effeciency in air propulsion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ion-thrusters-deliver-effeciency-in- air-propulsion/19494.html April 4th, 2013 Ion thrusters have been around since the 1960's, but until now they've been considered as low-efficiency devices. Now their potential may be realized, with efficiency far outweighing that of the jet engine. Electrohydrodynamic thrust, or Ionic wind, is a phenomenon first identified in the 1960’s. Since then, it has had limited applications beyond hobbyists, primarily being conceptualized as a low-energy, low-thrust spacecraft propulsion system. The problem ionic thrusters have had until now is that they require a massive amount of electricity to produce enough thrust to drive a vehicle. Researchers at MIT however, have discovered that this may not be the case. After running their own efficiency tests on ion thrusters, they’ve discovered that it may in fact be much more efficient than conventional jet engines. Their experiments found that ionic wind could produce thrusts of up to 110 Newtons per kW, as compared to the jet engines 2 Newtons per kW. This astounding revelation may change propulsion forever. Steven Barrett, an assistant professor in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, suggests that Electrohydrodynamic thrust could one day be used to power light aircraft, and due to it being completely silent and invisible in the infrared, they may be excellent candidates to power surveillance vehicles. Another step towards making my life more like Star Wars - good work, science! An ionic thruster is composed of three principal components: A thin copper electrode, called an emitter; a collector, essentially an aluminum tube; and an air gap between the two. When an electric voltage is applied, the air molecules in the thruster are stripped of their electrons. The charged ions then begin moving in an electric field – away from the electrode, and towards the collector tube. As they do this, they collide with other air molecules, creating a wind, or thrust. The research team was able to measure the thrust of the ionic wind by suspending the thruster from a scale and measuring the difference in weight as the device began lifting off the ground. The distance between electrode and collector was varied during the test in order to find optimal working conditions. The most efficient thrust was observed while the device was producing a low velocity wind. This is because higher velocity winds are turbulent and leave a lot of unused kinetic energy in its wake. Currently, there are still a few difficulties with deploying these thrusters to power aircraft. First and foremost, they require a lot of voltage to work; the necessary range lies in the hundreds, or even thousands of kilovolts. "The voltages could get enormous," Barrett says. "But I think that's a challenge that's probably solvable." Another problem is that the thrust is directly proportional to the size of the air gap
  • 25. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 in the device. This means that to power an aircraft, the thrusters would likely have to encompass the entire vehicle. Japanese create genuine 'Smell-O-Vision' Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-create-genuine-smell-o- vision-/19478.html April 4th, 2013 Watching those cooking shows might be a lot different if we could smell what’s cooking on the screen. Now Japanese scientists says they have created a genuine working ‘smell- o-vision’ TV that might let you do just that! For many years television viewers and personalities alike have joked about how they wished they had a TV where you could smell what was happening on the screen. Imagine watching a popular cooking program and you can actually smell the steak searing on the grill or the vegetables frying in the wok? Now those days are here to an extent thanks to some Japanese scientists from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. A live demo of the product was on display at last month’s IEEE Virtual Reality conference, which took place last month in Orlando, Florida. A description of the smelling screen read in part, “The smelling screen is a new olfactory display that can generate a localized odor distribution on a two-dimensional display screen. The generated odor distribution is as if an odor source had been placed on the screen, and leads the user to perceive the odor as emanating from a specific region of the screen.” As one might guess the smelling screen works with different fans placed in special regions around the screen. The aroma being produced doesn’t come from any of the fans but from at the bottom of the screen. As the aroma rises, the fans, which are only gently blowing, give the illusion that the smell magically appears from a specific area of the screen as you sit in front of it. The screen is only in its experimental stages but may in the future be used by doctors to study human senses in controlled laboratory experiments. However, any chances for the home consumer getting one is highly unlikely. There's gold in those iPhones, but are they mineable? [Infographic] Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/there-s-gold-in-those-iphones-but- are-they-mineable--infographic-/19496.html April 4th, 2013 With the next version of the iPhone just around the corner, many folks are wondering where they'll be able to find the money to pay for the newest and greatest. Well, it seems that your current iPhone may be just the buried treasure you need, if you don't mind getting your hands dirty mining it for its hidden wealth. You might not realize it, but the guts of your favorite iPhone is littered with all kinds of precious metals and lots of "rare earth" minerals. In fact, that electronic marvel holds any where from 6 to 300 times more precious metal that the same weight of ore from a mine. For example, each iPhone 5 contains $1.58 of gold, $0.12 of copper, $0.36 of silver, and $0.05 of platinum, but the riches don't stop there. It is also a container for "rare earth" minerals like Europium, Lanthanum, Yttrium, Neodymium, and Gadolinium; all of which are needed in order for all our modern gadgets to work. Before you rush out to get yourself some mining gear, you have to understand that currently there is no good, or environmentally safe way to get these minerals out of the phones. It is because of this difficulty that less than one percent of the rare earth minerals used in phones are ever recycled. Here's an infographic with a bunch more interesting facts about the metal wealth inside your phones courtesy of 911 Metallurgist. AMD says Nvidia is bitter about Sony's decision to go with AMD for PS4 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-says-nvidia-is-bitter-about- sony-s-decision-to-go-with-amd-for-ps4/19493.html April 3rd, 2013 AMD’s director of ISV relations Neal Robinson recently took a stab at Nvidia by saying that perhaps the rival chip maker is “a little bitter” about Sony’s decision to go with AMD instead of Nvidia.
  • 26. April 4th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 “If the PS4 ships in December as Sony indicated, it will only offer about half the performance of a GTX 680 GPU, which launched in March 2012, more than a year and a half ago,” Nvidia’s Tony Tamasi said last month in an interview with TechRadar. Robinson downplayed Tamasi’s statement by saying that AMD’s touch on the PS4 is not comparable to what Nvidia is offering for the PC. “Well, of course they’re going to do that,” Robinson said. “They’re a little bitter. For us, really by looking at the APU that we designed, you can’t pull out individual components off it and hold up and say, ‘Yea, this compares to X or Y.’ It’s more than just a CPU doing all these amazing calculations and a GPU doing calculations. We are now going to be able to move certain tasks between the two.” The debate will be ongoing of course as many feel that AMD is pushing old tech into a supposed next-gen console, but some are also arguing for the fact that optimization to the software and hardware can do wonders for the PS4 if done correctly.
  • 27. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Man arrested for double- texting while driving Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/man-arrested-for-double-texting- while-driving/19522.html April 5th, 2013 An Alabama man was arrested for texting with both hands while driving a car which he was steering with his knees. The Alabama Sheriff’s department has arrested a man, Dandre Moore, who was pulled over in a tunnel in Mobile because he was driving a car with his knees while texting with both hands. Did I mention there was also a three-year- old in the back seat, as well as two women? The 19-year- old Moore claimed to have been driving and texting in this manner since he was 15. Sheriff’s deputies additionally found an estimated $4,500 and prescription drugs in the car after they stopped the vehicle and found several Xanax and a prescription of Oxycodone. The Oxycodone prescription had been filled a week earlier with 720 pills, of which 386 remained. Oh, and Dartavious Moor, a passenger in the front seat, had an ounce of marijuana in his underwear as well. Moore, who certainly knows how to do a lot of things wrong at once, was charged with illegal possession of Xanax, and the possession of a controlled substance. Dartavious was arrested for marijuana possession. The women were also arrested. Originally, the car was stopped for weaving in and out of traffic, something which should hopefully be a lesson to Moore: You should always have your hands on the wheel. Girl has hiccups for ten weeks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/girl-has-hiccups-for-ten- weeks/19521.html April 5th, 2013 Emily Marsh is a 13 year old girl from Wallington, in Surrey. One day this January, while walking to math class, she inexplicably began hiccupping, and it hasn’t stopped for ten weeks. It continues throughout the entire day and even through the night, which interrupts her sleep. The ordeal has been so tiring for her that she now has to take afternoons off from school to rest up. Marsh has had a lot of tests done in order to diagnose and hopefully help tret her ailment, but so far, nothing has worked. She’s had X-rays, endoscopies and MRI scans, but so far, nothing has given doctors any insight into what might cause the hiccupping. To make things worse, medications which may help against hiccupps are deemed too strong for the young girl, leaving few options.
  • 28. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 With the medical world clueless, she’s attempted osteopathy and hypnosis too, before resorting to several old school remedies like eating vinegar and holding her breath. Needless to say, these methods haven't worked and it seems she may be in it for the long haul. So far though, she still has a long way to go before hitting the record set by Charles Osbourne, a man who had hiccups for 68 years, between 1922 and 1990, at which point they strangely stopped. In case you ever get hiccups, a radical cure which may help is to induce a gag reflex. In cases such as Marsh’s, this probably won’t work, but for a normal hiccup it can do the trick: Since hiccups are an involuntary spasm in the diaphragm, tensing the diaphragm by inducing a gag can release the spasm and relax it, ending the hiccup. Just make sure you don’t throw up! China's Baidu may compete with their own version of Google Glass Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/china-s-baidu-may-compete-with- their-own-version-of-google-glass/19497.html April 5th, 2013 Baidu Incorporated, which is the largest Internet search engine in China, is in the process of developing something very similar to Google Glass. Baidu says their version will focus on facial recognition and image search. Google may be in the works to produce their Google Glass, but now they have a direct competitor with another search engine from the east – China’s Baidu. Baidu Inc. is currently in the process of developing what they call the “Baidu Eye”, and they do have a prototype that is being tested. However, the company says they aren’t sure if they will actually be marketing the idea and may wait to see how Google does with their own version first. Kaiser Kuo, who serves as an official spokesman for Baidu, describes the device as something similar to the Google Glass. It will contain a small LCD screen in the eyewear that would allow for voice commands. Kuo said it would also be able to interpret facial recognition match, which is something Google glass has not promoted. The image search along with facial recognition allows for the user to check images against Baidu’s stockpile of images, much like Google's popular image search. The user could then verify a person or persons captured with their eyewear. It is obviously apparent that Baidu is trying to copy some of the ideas that Google has brought about in recent years, but they do not want to be compared to Google. Kuo said that comparisons to Google Glass were ‘premature’ since the company has not decided on a real production run. In an interview with Reuters News, Kuo said that the company has not decided if they will release the eyewear and emphasized that Baidu is working on all kinds of technology. "We haven't decided whether it is going to be released in any commercial form right now,” Kuo said “…[W]e experiment with every kind of technology that is related to search.” Atari founder Nolan Bushnell favors Xbox 720, says "Microsoft will win next-gen" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/atari-founder-nolan-bushnell-favors- xbox-720-says-microsoft-will-win-next-gen-/19514.html April 5th, 2013 Atari founder and gaming visionary Nolan Bushnell has recently spoken out on his belief that Microsoft will reign triumphantly in the next-gen war, praising the Xbox 720's "strong software tools" as the console's saving grace. In a recent segment featured on GameTrailers.com, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has named Microsoft his personal victor in the next-gen war and has openly praised the Xbox 720's "powerful software tools" which he believes will stand tall against Sony's PlayStation 4. To support his claim, Bushnell further remarks that Sony will be held back by "lame" and "difficult-to-understand software tools", regardless of the company's stance on making things easier for developers with the PS4. "I personally believe Microsoft is in a superior position, and the reason is Sony, whenever they change consoles, the software tools that they have
  • 29. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 are lame," Bushnell said during GameTrailers' Rollin' With Nolan segment. "A lot of times in the past they were in Japanese; not well documented and getting the software development community up to speed…they may have been able to do it in Japan, but the American software community just says 'Oh boy, what a pain.' A lot of people don't realize how strong the software community is at making the hardware platform sing and dance." Bushnell's stance on Sony's PlayStation 4 is interesting, considering the PS4 has been met with both acclaim and praise by many developers including Gearbox Software's CEO Randy Pitchford, id Software's John Carmack, and even Avalanche Studios' Linus Blomberg made a comment saying that the "PS4 will outpower most PC's for years to come". Additionally, Sony has promised a new wave of simplicity in terms of game development for the PS4, which may open up new doors in terms of efficiency and overall satisfaction for developers as a whole. Bushnell further contends that software drives hardware sales, and claims that Microsoft will surpass Sony in this regard and thusly become victorious in the next-gen battle. "Microsoft, because of their strong software tools, will end up with much better products sooner [and] easier, in my estimation," Bushnell continued.With that, I think will be an advantage. And also don't forget, Microsoft actually has so much money to defend this. Plus, they have a good infrastructure with the [Xbox Live Arcade], with their online world." The Atari founder also presented Sony's PlayStation Network as a shortcoming, stating that Sony "really needs to get their action together" and fix the "god awful" online service. On the topic of essential important features for next-gen consoles, Nolan Bushnell spoke highly of the Oculus Rift and counted virtual reality integration as "really important" for future consoles--as long as latency is held in check. Bushnell also said that next-gen consoles should feature 1TB hard drives, citing the current affordability of internal memory. Bushnell's stance on the ongoing next-gen battle is certainly a unique perspective, yet since Microsoft has yet to reveal the console in question we don't have anything solid to go by other than Microsoft's actions in the past. It's definitely interesting to see Bushnell's point of view on the matter considering he's been in the gaming industry for so long, and we'll most likely find out more about the Xbox 720 in the upcoming months. Microorganism found to thrive on rocket fuel components Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microorganism-found-to-thrive-on- rocket-fuel-components/19520.html April 5th, 2013 A study has found that deep sea microorganisms can thrive on the chemical compounds which exist in fireworks and rocket fuel, which are toxic to most animals Archaeons are single celled anaerobic microorganisms that live in the outflow of geothermal vents in the deep sea. These vents, which result from volcanic activity, are low in oxygen, highly pressurized and can be close to boiling, sometimes reaching 95 C. A dutch research team led by Martin Liebensteiner has recently shown that one of the most common achaeons, Archaeoglobus Fulgidus, is able to survive and grow by
  • 30. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 reducing chlorate and perchlorates, chemicals not usually found in their natural habitat. Perchlorate in particular, is a chemical found in among others fireworks and rocket fuel. This is the archaeon we're talking about A few species of bacteria have previously been discovered with the same ability as A. Fulgidus, but they reduce the chlorate in a different manner. The bacteria split the chemical into chlorite during metabolism (and then further into chloride and oxygen), but the archaeon lacks the necessary enzyme to do so. Instead, a series of reactions involving sulfur compounds breaks down the chemical. No oxygen is produced during this reaction, which is good for A. Fulgidus, since oxygen is poisonous to it. The importance of the finding is that Liebensteinier believes the first organisms to evolve on earth were similar to archaeons, and likely had the same reducing ability for chlorate and perchlorate. Their existence may have prevented buildups of those chemicals in the atmosphere long before life similar to what we see today came about ASUS GeForce GTX Titan gets a place in 3DMark Hall of Fame with four world records Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-geforce-gtx-titan-gets-a-place- in-3dmark-hall-of-fame-with-four-world-records/19517.html April 5th, 2013 ASUS proudly announced that the GeForce GTX Titan graphics card set four new 3DMark world records and got the title of the most powerful single-GPU card, currently available. In the 3DMark11 tests, ASUS GeForce GTX Titan got 36658 marks in the Entry preset, 37263 for Performance, 22076 in the Extreme and the world record of 21818 marks in Fire Strike, Futuremark’s hottest benchmark. ROG overclocker Andre Yang set up the records, using liquid nitrogen-cooled Titan cards in a four-way NVIDIA SLI configuration, with an ROG Rampage IV Extreme motherboard and an Intel CoreTM i7-3970X processor. The Fire Strike record was achieved by Yang and fellow overclocker Shamino, with two cards in NVIDIA SLI and the same Extreme motherboard and Core i7 processor. For those who want to see to believe, here is the pick (straight from Andre Yang’s submission details). ASUS GeForce GTX Titan has a dual-slot design with a full NVIDIA Kepler GPU (originally reserved for supercomputer applications), 2688 CUDA cores and 6GB GDDR5 memory, at 384-bit, clocked at 6000MHz. It’s the dream card for any serious pc gamer, DirectX 11.1 compatible and able to run smoothly any game in resolutions 2560x1600 and above. Titan simulation experiment shows life sustaining possibilities Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/titan-simulation-experiment-shows- life-sustaining-possibilities/19495.html April 5th, 2013
  • 31. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 One of NASA's missions is to explore our planets and discover if there is, or was, any life on them--with Mars being the latest exciting frontier. However, Mars isn't the only one as a recent simulation experiment done here on Earth has shown that there are more possibilities than the red planet. While there is a lot of talk among scientists about the possibility of finding life on Europa, one of the moons circling Jupiter, there are some who believe that Saturn's moon Titan could also be a candidate, especially after a recent experiment carried out at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In fact, the experiment shows that there is the possibility of a whole new region of the moon that was previously thought to be devoid of life sustaining elements. In the experiment, scientists simulated the atmosphere of Titan and found that complex chemistry could very well extend lower into the atmosphere than had previous been thought. It is believed that the building blocks of life could be found in these strands, which is in direct contrast with the previously held belief that the moon's atmospheric chemistry was inert and dull. Just as light drives biological chemistry here on Earth, the scientists believe that even though Titan receives much less light, there could be enough to drive the chemistry on Titan. A full press release of the findings can be found here. India police investigating Google map contest Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/india-police-investigating-google- map-contest/19519.html April 5th, 2013 Authorities in India are investigating search giant Google for alleged violation of competition rules after it asked users for information about their local areas for use on Google Maps. Authorities in India are investigating search giant Google for alleged violation of competition rules after it asked users for information about their local areas for use on Google Maps. Police in the country are probing Google's Mapathon contest, which it ran in February and March, but Google claims that it did not break any laws when asking for the data. The complaint against Google was made by Survey of India, the national survey and mapping agency, which said that the contest was not only illegal, but could threaten national security. Google has been expanding its Maps service over recent years, sending staff to remote parts of the world. The Mapathon contest was designed to create better maps of India, with Google offering prizes of tablets, smartphones and gift vouchers to the top 1,000 suppliers of map information. Google said it takes security and national regulations very seriously, but stated that the Mapathon adhered to applicable laws. Spokesperson Paroma Roy Chowdhury said the company is open to discussing the concerns with the authorities. Nuclear power saves lives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nuclear-power-saves- lives/19516.html April 5th, 2013 A new study concludes that nearly two million lives have been saved due to the emission free nature of the nuclear power plant. Nuclear power has always been criticized by those who don’t understand it. The first blow to its reputation came in 1986, when the Soviet-built 30 year obsolete Chernobyl power plant was mismanaged during a training exercise and the fourth reactor had a disastrous meltdown. Today, this still spooks people, despite the fact that modern nuclear plants are sealed; capable of surviving jet planes flying into them head on. During meltdown it would be practically impossible to contaminate the outside – the one exception being perhaps when the whole superstructure is damaged by a massive earthquake, like in Japan. Still, add a dash of “what do we do about the waste”, and you have a sizable population that would rather have nuclear power go away. “I was very disturbed by all the negative and in many cases unfounded hysteria regarding nuclear power after the Fukushima accident,” says Pushker A. Kharecha at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. What almost everyone fails to consider, surprisingly given how climate conscious the world is becoming, is that nuclear power is clean and emission free. Whereas fossil fuels release tons of greenhouse gasses and pollutants into the atmosphere, the only thing coming out of the cooling towers on a nuclear
  • 32. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 plant is water vapor. It is this fact that has become the focus of Kharecha’s new study. They're friendly, too Kharecha decided to investigate the number of preventable deaths attributed to the lessened pollution of nuclear plants, but was unable to find any data. What he and partner James E. Hansen did find was a 2007 study on the number of deaths attributed to fossil and nuclear power, per unit energy. Their research has concluded that nuclear power has saved an estimated 1.8 million lives from health related deaths due to pollution, mining, oil drilling etc. Kharecha and Hansen went on to extrapolate the data into a prediction about how many deaths would occur from those causes if nuclear power was replaced with fossil fuels entirely until 2050. Natural gas would cause an additional 400 000 deaths, while coal would produce another 7 million deaths, due to the heavier emissions. The study also compared the data for raw pollution, and found that if natural gas had taken the place of nuclear power, an extra 64 gigatons of carbon would be in the atmosphere from the years 1971-2009. The team also reached the conclusion that if natural gas replaced nuclear power until 2050, the power plants would release an additional 80 to 240 gigatons of carbon. “The nuclear power issue is so polarized that people who oppose nuclear power will immediately dispute the numbers,” says environmental economist Bas Van Ruijven, but also reveals that he agrees with the numbers and with the research team’s conclusion on the importance of nuclear power. Smart bracelet designed to help protect civil rights activists Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/smart-bracelet-designed-to-help- protect-civil-rights-activists/19518.html April 5th, 2013 Civil Rights Defenders has designed a smart bracelet that could help save the lives of civil rights activists and aid workers operating in dangerous areas. Civil Rights Defenders has designed a smart bracelet that could help save the lives of civil rights activists and aid workers operating in dangerous areas. The bracelet features cellular and GPS technology that will send warning messages to Facebook and Twitter to notify people that the activist is in danger, including their location, which could help prevent them being kidnapped or aid in their rescue. The messages can be sent manually by the worker, but the bracelet will automatically issue warnings to social media if it is forcefully removed. The data will also be sent to other aid workers in the area, and widespread knowledge of the existence of such devices could act as a deterrent to kidnapping and murder. “Most of us, given the chance, would like to help others in danger,” said Robert Hardh, executive director of Civil Rights Defenders. “These civil rights defenders are risking their lives for others to have the right to vote, or to practise religion or free speech.” Activists constantly face the threat of abduction or murder, either by oppressive government forces, military regimes, local militia, or criminal gangs. The murder of Natalia Estemirova, who was uncovering alleged abuse of civilians in Chechnya, in 2009 prompted development of this device. Bracelets are now being given out to activists and aid workers, with 55 expected to be distributed by the end of 2014. Civil Rights Defenders is looking for funding in order to create and supply more of these potentially life-saving
  • 33. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 devices, which could in turn help encourage more freedom throughout the world. Scientists read dreams with brain scan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-read-dreams-with-brain- scan/19455.html April 5th, 2013 For the first time, scientists have managed to read the content of someone's dreams by using brain scans. The research team believes the discovery will lead to a better understanding of dreams Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto have been using brain scans to analyze the neurological activities of volunteers during a sleep study. The research team is now able to predict, with reasonable accuracy, what a person was dreaming about, based on the brain activity observed in the scans. The study was performed on participants just as they began dreaming. They were woken almost immediately and asked about the first thing they saw in the dream. The team assigned the brain activity to the object the volunteers saw and grouped the brain scans in broad categorical databases: Everyone who saw a vehicle for example, whether a car or a bus, would be grouped into a common category. The process was repeated up to 200 times for each participant. Nobody looks this good when they're asleep. The collected data was then used as a basis for interpreting brain scans of other people. With an accuracy of around 60%, which is hardly strong, but still noteworthy, the team was able to predict what someone was dreaming. "We were able to reveal dream content from brain activity during sleep, which was consistent with the subjects' verbal reports,” explains Professor Kamitani, one of the researchers, “I had a strong belief that dream decoding should be possible at least for particular aspects of dreaming... I was not very surprised by the results, but excited." At this point, the study has only attempted to decode light dreaming, but hopes to refocus on the more vivid dreams we encounter during deep sleep. Apple iRing to replace smart TV controllers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-iring-to-replace-smart-tv- controllers/19513.html April 5th, 2013 As ridiculous as this may sound, an analyst is predicting that Apple will make an iRing—a remote control replacement for controlling and navigating Apple’s rumored smart TV. (A possible concept of Apple's iRing.) Suddenly, Apple is now an accessory mogul on top of its already established consumer tech business. According to an analyst from Topeka Capital Markets, the Cupertino, California-based innovator of the iPhone will introduce the iRing. How the analyst came up with the name is as muddy as mountain spring water. The iRing “will be placed on a user’s finger and act as a navigation pointer for ‘iTV’, enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote,” claimed the analyst. Reports from various investment firms and industry specialists are predicting that growth of the smartphone market will slow down drastically within the next couple years. Apple, as we all know, is a major player in the smartphone business with its iPhone. Spinoff products like the iPad and iPod have also been very successful in the market place for Apple. However, as the market for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones become saturated, Apple has shifted some of its attention and resources away
  • 34. April 5th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 from core products like the iPhone to develop rumored products like the iWatch. The iRing is certainly a twist for Apple, but anything with the lowercase “i” associated with it must be amazing, and will scream “take my money!” when it hits retail. What do you think? Will Apple open up an iAccessories store soon? 3D printer used to produce synthetic human-like tissue Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/3d-printer-used-to-produce- synthetic-human-like-tissue/19511.html April 4th, 2013 A new synthetic tissue-like material, which may one day be applicable in treating certain medical conditions, has been successfully printed using 3D printing technology. The material consists of thousands of “water droplets” that are encased in lipid films, and researchers producing the material have shown that the pseudo-skin can mimic some key functionality that is found in human cells. Many human cells act as transport vessels or mechanisms for delivering messages, nutrients, and other essentials throughout the body. The printed “droplet networks,” researchers claim, can become a building block to recreating that same biological transport mechanism. Since the network is composed completely of synthesized material, the hassle of having to deal with genetic engineering can also be negated to an extent. “We aren’t trying to make materials that faithfully resemble tissues but rather structures that can carry out functions of tissues,” said Hagan Bayley, professor and lead researcher of the study at Oxford University. Currently, researchers have been printing out droplets that are about 50 microns in diameter. Although they’re about five times the size of living cells, scientists believe that they can modify their printing equipment even further to produce even smaller droplets. “Conventional 3D printers aren’t up to the job of creating these droplet networks, so we custom built one in our Oxford lab to do it,” said Bayley. “At the moment we’ve created networks of up to 35,000 droplets but the size of network we can make is really only limited by time and money. For our experiments we used two different types of droplet, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use 50 or more different kinds.” (The droplet network folding itself into a ball.) Even more amazing is that these droplets have an autonomous-like nature to them, as they are able to fold and self-manipulate into certain shapes after they’ve been printed. This flexibility in post-production of the droplets is due to the osmolarity difference that comes from water being transferred between droplets in the network.
  • 35. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Check out this Walking Dead VFX breakdown Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/check-out-this-walking-dead-vfx- breakdown/19539.html April 6th, 2013 With the third season of The Walking Dead behind us, Stargate Studios have released a video showing the dismembering of special effects for the season. Note: The video mentioned in this article can’t be embedded for some reason, so I’m just going to link it instead. Enjoy it here AMC’s beloved zombie show The Walking Dead has just ended its third season, and thus it’s time to check out some behind the scenes footage of how the special effects were created for the show. You may be surprised to learn that most of the zombies (or walkers, as the protagonists call them) are simply wearing very elaborate makeup, and plenty of the skull crushing and zombie smashing is actually done with blood- and gore-filled puppets. Still, there are times when impressive on-set effects won’t do the trick, like when you need to bury a machete into someone’s skull. For those times, there are video effects, or VFX. Amazingly, this isn't actually done by computers Adding VFX to a video is often an elaborate and tedious job, and since the video isn’t narrated, I’ll give you a brief overview instead. Special effects are layered on top of video footage, much like transparent celluloid with drawings of Donald Duck were layered on top of background drawings to create Disney cartoons in the past. Each layer contains some new element that is added to the scene; this can vary from a filter that alters the color of the video, to smoke, bullet holes, fire and entire buildings or backdrops. Most layers containing objects to be inserted into the scene, are filmed beforehand on green-screen or with a dark background, so that they can be cookie-cut into the right size and placed in the shot. The video then needs to be tracked. In simple cases, this means focusing on a tracking object in the shot and observing how it moves, rotates and rescales across the screen as the camera moves. Simple two dimensional effect layers can then be added to the scene, and blend in by copying the same movements as the tracking object did. Adding this computer modeled building to the scene requires more than simply tracking an object to ensure it blends in. If more complex layers need to be added, such as 3D- modeled buildings that need to be seen from many angles, the process becomes more complex: While layering works the same way, the computer has to be told to rotate the computer model. For example, if a camera rises from ground level and up 30 feet, our 3D-modeled building has to rotate so that we initially see the walls, but then see the roof as we rise above it. A simple model of the scene is built in the video editor to map out where the camera is in relation to the scene, and then the camera, as opposed to the footage, is used for tracking. Similarly, adding features to a zombie, like a computer model of a missing jaw for the character, would involve modeling the actor (as opposed to the set), and using that model as a reference. The number of effects layered onto the video can become staggeringly large. In the effects breakdown, there’s a short sequence where an assault rifle is fired into the ground and the bullets knock dust into the air wherever they impact. In all likelihood, every one of those dust shots is added separately, colored to blend in, blurred if the camera moves and cropped to make sure they fit in nicely. The same goes
  • 36. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 for the shell casings, though it’s likely not every single casing is separately animated. Giant, face-sized tarantula found in Sri Lanka Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/giant-face-sized-tarantula-found-in- sri-lanka/19537.html April 6th, 2013 A new species of spider has been discovered in Sri Lanka, and it's poisonous, lightning fast, and as big as a dinner plate. Poecilotheria Rajaei is a newly discovered species of tarantula that has been found in Sri Lanka. It was first encountered by a villager back in 2009 when a dead specimen was found, but not until late last year has a live one been found. The tarantula, which is named after Michael Rajakumar Purajah, the police officer who escorted scientists through Sri Lanka’s post civil war torn northern region in search of the spider, is massive. It can have a leg span of up to 8 inches, meaning the spider is about the size of a human face. Its size doesn’t make it a lumbering slow creature like many other tarantulas though; with lightning fast movement and potent venom, it’s a spider to watch out for. The spider, which lives primarily in old trees (making it an aboreal spider) is rare, but if you encounter one, you’ll most likely spot it. Apart from its size, it draws attention with tiger stripes in bright colors such as yellow, pink and grey. Still, they are rare, and experts believe that one reason for the discovery happening now, is that deforestation of Sri Lanka is driving the spiders out of their natural habitats and into villages. The spider belongs to the same family as the world’s largest spider in South America, the Goliath “bird-eating” tarantula. Though DNA tests have yet to confirm that the Poecilotheria Rajaei is in fact a new species, taxonomical research seems to indicate it most certainly is. Boston Dynamics creates PETMAN, a robotic humanoid Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/boston-dynamics-creates-petman-a- robotic-humanoid/19532.html April 6th, 2013 Boston Dynamics have brought us yet another amazing robot. The robot, PETMAN, is a humanoid, capable of walking and articulating just as humans do. Boston Dynamics is at the vanguard of the field robotics, so it’s a fairly regular occurrence that they blow our minds a bit. Their most famous robot, the Big Dog, is a quadruped able to navigate difficult terrain and carry supplies; perfect for many military and civilian applications where heavy gear needs to be transported. Now, they’ve left the realm of man’s best friend to make an attempt at creating man himself. PETMAN, as they’ve called it, is a humanoid robot capable of moving, articulating and walking like a real human being, without any kind of support to keep it balanced and upright. Though previous BD robots have been capable of limited motion, this is perhaps the first time a fully sized humanoid robot has ever been created, and the way it moves is perhaps even more true to life than anything Honda’s Azimo can pull off. Despite its very impressive capabilities, the robot was designed not to walk among us, but only to test the durability of clothing. In other words, we’re not going to be living in an Isaac Asimov book any time soon. The robot will be testing the durability of chemical protection clothing to ensure it stands up to the wear of continued use, by walking around in it and subjecting it to a wide range of motions that will stress the fabric. In order to be as realistic as possible, the robot even has ways of controlling its temperature, and has the ability to sweat, thus exposing the chemical suits to moisture from the inside. Clive Palmer plans to build animatronic Jurassic Park Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/clive-palmer-plans-to-build- animatronic-jurassic-park/19531.html
  • 37. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 April 6th, 2013 An Australian billionaire is planning to create a theme park; an animatronic Jurassic Park with the largest number of robotic dinos on the planet. Clive Palmer is the most fun billionaire on the planet. Instead of putting his money in the stock market or locking it in a safe, he actually uses it for amazing projects; he’s like a ten year old who has just been told he can have anything he wished for. The Australian billionaire is already building a copy of the Titanic (dubbed Titanic II), which is due to set sail in 2016 for the maiden voyage its inspiration never completed. Now, he’s announced another project: a “real” Jurassic Park. Though he won’t be cloning any extinct animals, he will be buying 165 animatronic dinosaurs and littering them around his Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. So far, he has ordered 117 of them from central China, to back up his already purchased Tyrannosaurus Rex and Omeisaurus. The new order includes a 7 meter tall Memenchisaurus and a 1200kg Brachiosaurus. The animals won’t be able to walk, understandably, but they will sway their tails, blink and appear to breathe. In addition to the dinosaurs, Palmer is planning a mini-golf course, motor museum, tracked car ride and gallery. The park has received criticism from locals who believe it will cheapen the area, but hey, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? California bill forces companies to inform consumers what they know about them Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/california-bill-forces-companies-to- inform-consumers-what-they-know-about-them/19524.html April 6th, 2013 A new bill recently proposed in California may soon help customers with their privacy and demand that companies reveal what sensitive information they have on them. The bill was submitted in late February of this year by California Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal and is called the ‘Right to Know Act of 2013'. It only began to gather more attention after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) brought more attention to it via the Internet. This new bill also known as, 'AB1291' would require companies who keep data on a person, such as their shopping habits, where they surf on the Internet, and other such details on them be made available to that person upon written request. The bill is very similar to a current California law that requires companies that sell user information to other companies to also make that information available to the user. The current California privacy protection law was passed mostly for junk mail advertisers and such, but the new bill goes after any company that stores information on consumers and particularly with Internet-based companies. If the bill passes the law would require a company to cough up all of the cookie tracking data, personal information like dates of birth and household income and even user- generated images and text records. The EFF has given the bill a big promotion at their main website directing readers to learn more and encouraging California residents to support the legislation. The EFF says this bill will ensure that more people know how companies gather information on them and share that information. The Wikipad Gaming Tablet finally going in production Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-wikipad-gaming-tablet-finally- going-in-production/19530.html April 6th, 2013 A pick of the first complete unit, fresh out of the production line, was uploaded on Twitter this week. The company’s promise that the tablet will be on the retailers’ shelves in spring of 2013 seems to be coming true. Wikipad Inc.’s original announcement was made on February, but there were no news since. This Thursday, though, a photo uploaded on Twitter showed the very first newborn wikipad in the hands of the happy “parents”. The pick speaks for itself. According to the specs, the wikipad comes with a 1.4 GHz Tegra 3 quad-core SoC from Nvidia, 1 GB RAM, 16GB memory with micro SD slot for an extra 32GB storage, 7- inch IPS screen, front-facing 2 MP camera and dual-band Wireless-N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. With the dual-analog controller offered as an attachable accessory, the wikipad is meant to be a flexible tablet for both gaming and browsing. The 7-inch screen offers full 5-
  • 38. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 point multi-touch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean functionality and a default resolution of 1280x800, while the attachment of the controller makes the tablet a pure Android gaming device. Japanese company creates the absolute pc-gamer desk Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-company-creates-the- absolute-pc-gamer-desk/19529.html April 6th, 2013 Roccaforte is the dream desk for any serious gamer. It is specially designed to fit every gaming device you can imagine and make your gaming life easier. The Japanese manufacturing company Grapht, devised this clever desk to lure any gamer who respects his title (or intents to get overweight in zero time). With ample space to fit every peripheral within easy reach, it still has room to accommodate a small fridge and a microwave. Add a very comfy armchair and you are set. Optimized to fit your lifestyle, Roccaforte’s clever design allows you to organize all your computer peripherals at will. As you can arrange freely your keyboard, gaming mat, professional mouse, driving/flight controllers and others, Roccaforte is the ideal command center for driving, flight simulation or FPS gamers. Roccaforte is the perfect partner for designers, traders or gamers Transatomic Power offers a salt-cooled reactor that can run on nuclear waste Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/transatomic-power-offers-a-salt- cooled-reactor-that-can-run-on-nuclear-waste/19527.html April 6th, 2013 Transatomic Power, which is am offshoot of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has updated a type of nuclear power plant that uses a molten-salt cooled reactor core. The design would run at about half the cost of a standard reactor, it would be resistant to any kind of meltdown and best of all it can run on our nuclear waste. Transatomic Power says they can create a more cost effective nuclear reactor at about half the cost of a current reactor. The company, which is a creation out of MIT, has updated an older reactor design that uses a molten-salt type of cooling that was previously experimented with in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Oak Ridge, Tennessee model ran for approximately 6 years before it was shut down and pretty much forgotten about. What makes the molten-salt design special is that it produces far more energy but it is much smaller and safer to run. Better yet, the model design by Transatomic runs on waste without the need of extra refining or enrichment of uranium. One of the major reasons why nuclear reactors are so controversial is because of their potential for a meltdown such as with Chernobyl. Then there is the big question with what to do with spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste material or how to deal with natural disasters such as the Fukushima disaster that took place in March 2011. The salt-cooled reactor from Transatomic would run about 500-megawatts of power and can be constructed for approximately one-half the cost of larger reactors today. Interestingly enough, this model would be constructed off- site inside of a factory and later relocated, which also cuts down on costs. The design does not use water for cooling but molten salt, which boils at a much higher temperature than the fuel itself that it is mixed with. In the event that there is a problem the fuel and salt would immediately drop into a holding tank where the reaction would cease thereby thwarting any kind of meltdown or nuclear contamination to the environment. To put the Transatomic reactor into perspective, a modern nuclear reactor produces about 20 metric tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste per year. That waste in turn must be stored away safely under ground in special containers for an estimated 100 thousand years. Transatomic’s molten- salt reactor produces as little as four kilograms of waste that only needs a few hundred years to be stored away. Russ Wilcox who serves as Transatomic’s CEO says the company will need to come up with about 200 million dollars to produce the first running reactor. However, that cannot begin to be a reality until they can first get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Once approval goes through, he estimates it would take approximately eight years to see it up and running.
  • 39. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 The fascinating properties of the Prince Rupert's Drop Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-fascinating-properties-of-the- prince-rupert-s-drop/19528.html April 6th, 2013 The Prince Rupert's Drop is a piece of glass with unique properties which both serves as an excellent demonstration of physics, and shows the strength and fragility of glass. To the casual observer, the Prince Rupert’s Drop looks like an ordinary piece of swirling glass. First brought to the public eye by, you guessed it, a prince named Rupert, the swirling glass piece is a lot more than meets the eye. Rupert himself gave one to the Royal Society of London to discover its secrets. You see, once you start playing around with it, you’ll discover some remarkable properties that demonstrate just how intricate things we take for granted really can be. You see, the glass drop is simultaneously incredibly tough and immensely fragile. The fat blob-like part of it can be hammered or squeezed with pliers with considerable force without breaking. However, the thin tail, if even slightly stressed, will send a wave-front through the structure exploding it into a million pieces in a violent and beautiful display. Exploding Prince Rupert's Drop The reason for this strange behavior has to do with how the drop is created. It’s made by quenching, or rapidly cooling, glass that has just been taken out of the smelter. Quenching is a method of treating materials that almost always results in a change of the material properties due to the redistribution of the inner structure. In the case of glass, quenching it in ice water rapidly cools the outer layers of the glass, while the inside remains molten. Later, as the next layer of glass begins cooling, the outside is already a solid and completely rigid. Glass contracts when it is cooled, and because of this, the tension between the already solid layer and the currently cooling layer grows. This new layer freezes in a tense position with pretty large amounts of energy stored within. Then the same thing happens with the next layer, and the next layer, all the way into the center. The end result is a glass structure that is under massive compressive stress from the outside, and equal tensile (pulling) stress from the inside. This combination of pulling and pushing makes the glass incredibly sturdy; as strong as steel even. This means you can hammer away at it with tools and considerable force without damaging it. The tail of the Prince Rupert’s drop however, doesn’t go through the same intricate cooling process. Since it is much thinner, the cooling doesn’t pass through as many layers as the main body of the drop, and the more elongated shape of the tail makes it susceptible to damage from much smaller forces. The tail is in other words much easier to break. Through a polarizing filter, the quenched layers become visible It is the combination of these two different attributes that leads to the drop’s explosive properties. If tensile stress or compressive stress acted on the drops alone, they would destroy it; it is only through the balance of compression and tensing that the drop remains solid. The built up stress energy is stored inside the material structure of the glass, and if that structure is broken, the balance is upset. Thus, if a fragile part of the structure, such as the tail, is cut it will send
  • 40. April 6th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 a wave front of explosive nature down through the entire drop, breaking it into a million shimmering pieces. If you want to check it out in amazing slow motion, Smarter Every Day has a video showing the process at 130,000 frames per second, right here below: Are these leaked images the next iPhone 5S? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/are-these-leaked-images-the-next- iphone-5s-/19523.html April 6th, 2013 Any mention of the next apple iPhone always brings out fancy renderings and images that are claimed to be leaked prototypes of what we can expect. Today we got a few new images of a possible new look to the iconic iPhone but as always it is wise to take them with a grain of salt. The above image is of the patent drawing that Apple applied for in regards to a future version of their iPhone, which comes to us courtesy of Patently Apple, and sports a wrap- around display; and probably caused more than a few iPhone fans to drool just a little bit. Thanks to the team at GSM Arena, we have what are purported to be a couple of images of what the iPhone 5S is going to look like. If these are indeed images of what is coming our way, and this is a big if, then Apple will be making a major departure from the current hardware design of the iPhone. Should these images prove to be true then the next iPhone is going to be thin, tall, and wider than the current iPhone as well as having a curved edge-to-edge screen. The curvature of the display is also carried through to the phone's rear panel. When compared to the patent drawing you can see how this could very well be a possibility. One of the problems, however, is that the "S" edition of the iPhone is usually an interim release, and something like this design change would typically come with a major point release. A big thanks to GSM Arena for the images.
  • 41. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Man takes flight with helium balloons Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/man-takes-flight-with-helium- balloons/19566.html April 8th, 2013 A South African man has flown in a harness carried by helium balloons between Robben Island and the South African mainland, a distance of 3.7 miles Matt Silver-Vallance is a 37-year-old South African man who has become the first person to make the 3.7 mile crossing between Robben Island and the South African mainland by way of helium balloons. The journey took an hour to complete. Silver-Vallance took on the perilous journey as a stunt to raise money for the Nelson Mandela children’s hospital. The brave ballooner donned a wetsuit, just in case he would fall into the shark-infested waters of the south Atlantic below, and then attached himself to a harness to which he tied 160 helium balloons. In order to not float up indefinitely, he also used bags of water to adjust his height (just like an airship does) and was carrying both a spear and an airgun, so he could deflate his balloons little by little for the landing. Silver-Vallance is not a daredevil by trade; he works as a marketing manager at a medical device company, and said he came up with the idea while watching a documentary about Astronauts. The program inspired him to think of other ways to defy gravity. There must be some daredevil in him though, because the stunt was completed without a test run, leaving the man with no clue as to whether he’d actually make it across. Xbox 360 used as murder weapon Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-360-used-as-murder- weapon/19565.html April 8th, 2013 Gaming consoles are involved in crimes form time to time, but this is the first time an Xbox360 has ever been used as a murder weapon. The strange homicide which took place in Florida has many odd things about it, least of which is the curious choice in murder weapon. Darrius Johnson was stopped by police in Broward County as he was walking down the street with minor injuries. He stated that he had been the victim of a failed burglary, but when questioned further, he revealed that he had actually been in a fight with his girlfriend. When asked where she was, he stated “She’s in heaven […] I think I killed her.” Darrius Johnson Police found the body of his 20-year-old girlfriend Monica Gooden beaten and stabbed. Her boyfriend went on to explain the strange circumstances surrounding her murder. Johnson claimed that he needed to “sacrifice” someone with a Taurus astrological sign, and that Gooden had control of his spirit. For the record, Gooden was not a Taurus. At the scene of the crime was a bloody and broken Xbox 360 as well as a set of three knives. As Gooden didn’t have any defensive wounds, the police are concluding that Johnson either managed to overpower his girlfriend completely, or alternatively beat her unconscious with the Xbox before stabbing her. According to a police report, Johnson had stated that his girlfriend “would not die” and that he was “fighting her like a dragon”. That is some crazy stuff… then again it could just be an elaborate plea of insanity. Johnson is currently being held in the Broward County jail, without parole. Mind can control body temperature Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mind-can-control-body- temperature/19563.html
  • 42. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 April 8th, 2013 In a scientific first, it has been proven that the mind is capable enough to control it's own body temperature consciously, through the practice of certain types of meditaion Maria Kozhevnikov has lead a team of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore to demonstrate that it is possible to consciously control the body’s core temperature. The feat can be achieved through g-tummo meditation, which may also boost immunity and help fight infectious diseases and immunodeficiency. Studies have been done on g-tummo earlier and indicated a rise in peripheral temperature, such as in fingers or legs, but this is the first time the core temperature has been affected. The meditative technique is very rare, but is practiced by monasteries in Tibet. It focuses on controlling your inner energy and is considered one of the most sacred practices in the region. Calm your mind and repeat after me: "I am totally hot." The research team conducted their study on nuns, who raised their body temperatures while being wrapped in wet cloth in -25C weather. By using electroencephalography (EEC), they were able to measure a rise in body temperature to 38.3C, an astounding feat considering that being wet in such cold weather would likely kill an average person. The amazing findings can be utilized by non-practitioners as well, and may lead to an increased capacity for the average person to survive in extreme environments. The key components of the technique are in two parts: First, so called Vase breathing is a heat inducing breathing technique which causes thermo genesis. Perhaps easier though, is the second part, which involves visualizing flames dancing along your spine. This is said to reduce your heat loss Facebook introduces fees for messages Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-introduces-fees-for- messages/19564.html April 8th, 2013 Facebook has begun testing a new system of charging fees for sending private messages to people who are not among a user's friends, adding a new revenue source while potentially opening the doors to contacting celebrities on the social network. Facebook has begun testing a new system of charging fees for sending private messages to people who are not among a user's friends, adding a new revenue source while potentially opening the doors to contacting celebrities on the social network. In December it introduced a $1 charge as part of a test to see if people were willing to pay to have messages delivered directly to a user's inbox, as if they were friends on Facebook. If they did not pay they could still send a message, but it would go to a special folder that generally receives substantially less attention. Now, however, users will have no choice, as the free option is being axed and users will have to pay between $1 and $15, or up to £10 in the UK, to send just one message to someone outside their network. The larger fees will likely be restricted to celebrities, as a way to discourage spam, but also as a guaranteed income for Facebook, given the likelihood that many will want to contact the big names directly. “We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance,” Facebook said in a statement. “Part of that test involves charging higher amounts for public figures, based on the number of followers they have.” The social network is labelling the move as a good way to prevent spam, but the company has been looking for ways to monetise the network for a long time now, including the addition of promoted posts and other forms of advertising. There will be few who see this as anything other than a revenue gathering exercise, and the test will lead many
  • 43. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 to question the “free (and always will be)” slogan on the Facebook homepage. New link discovered between heart disease and red meat Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-link-discovered-between-heart- disease-and-red-meat/19559.html April 8th, 2013 A Cleveland Clinic study published in the journal Nature Medicine this week reports the discovery of a new chemical which links heart disease with red meat. The chemical carnite, which is present in the meat, is metabolized by bacteria in our digestive tracts, turning it into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which is a metabolite that the researchers previously linked to heart disease in 2011. As if to make it worse, diets with a high content of carnite promotes the growth of the bacteria which produces TMAO. The study examined the carnite and TMAO levels among omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and examined medical data from over 2500 patients undergoing cardiac evaluation. In addition, they used lab mice to examine the effects of a carnite heavy diet. They found that the TMAO metabolite alters cholesterol on several levels, which is why it contributes to atherosclerosis. Mmmm... Worth it anyway The end result of high carnite intake, as revealed by the study, is that when converted into TMAO, there is an increased risk for severe heart related issues like heart attacks, strokes… even death. However, the carnite intake only has negative effects if the necessary gut microbes are in place to convert it to TMAO. As such, vegetarians and vegans eating large amounts of carnite did not experience the same rise in TMAO as omnivores did. Research team leader Stanley Hanzen, M.D. Ph. D, explains: "The bacteria living in our digestive tracts are dictated by our long-term dietary patterns. A diet high in carnitine actually shifts our gut microbe composition to those that like carnitine, making meat eaters even more susceptible to forming TMAO and its artery-clogging effects. Meanwhile, vegans and vegetarians have a significantly reduced capacity to synthesize TMAO from carnitine, which may explain the cardiovascular health benefits of these diets." Previous research has shown a link between heart issues and red meat consumption, but until now, the research has been unable to fully explain the link, since the fat and cholesterol content of red meat is not thought to be high enough to fully explain the effects. This new research may be the missing link. Though carnite is naturally found in beef, pork, mutton, lamb, venison and duck, it is also found in diet supplement pills and in many energy drinks. "Carnitine is not an essential nutrient; our body naturally produces all we need," saysHanzen, "We need to examine the safety of chronically consuming carnitine supplements as we've shown that, under some conditions, it can foster the growth of bacteria that produce TMAO and potentially clog arteries. HTC financial results fail to deliver Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-financial-results-fail-to- deliver/19561.html April 8th, 2013 HTC has posted its financial results for the first quarter of this year, disappointing investors and analysts, who expected substantially better figures. HTC has posted its financial results for the first quarter of this year, disappointing investors and analysts, who expected substantially better figures. Revenue was NT$42.8 billion, much less than the NT$50-60 billion the company forecast only two months ago. Unaudited operating income was $NT43 million. Net income before tax was NT$103 million. After tax that dropped to NT$85 million. When compared with the NT$1 billion it brought in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the NT $10.9 billion it brought in during the first quarter of last year, the results are very dismal.
  • 44. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 Unaudited earnings per share after tax were a meagre NT $0.10, based on 831,227 thousand weighted average number of shares. A large part of the poor performance was blamed on the delayed launch of the HTC One, which so far has only launched in three of the planned 80 markets, thanks to a shortage of camera modules. As the new flagship model hits the stores it should help restore some profit to the company, but it faces tough competition from Apple and Samsung, both of which have stronger brands. At the time of writing, HTC shares were down $5.50, or 2.23 percent, to $241. Microsoft ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in one year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-ending-support-for- windows-xp-and-office-2003-in-one-year/19560.html April 8th, 2013 Microsoft has announced that it will be ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in one year's time, bringing to a close two of the most popular products the company ever created. Microsoft has announced that it will be ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in one year's time, bringing to a close two of the most popular products the company ever created. Support will finish on 8 April, 2014, resulting in no new security updates for these pieces of software. Users will also no longer be able to seek technical support from Microsoft in relation to these older versions. Microsoft called on businesses to upgrade to a more modern operating system and productivity package, emphasising the enhanced security of doing so. The often time-consuming and costly effort required to upgrade a company's IT systems, and the fact that Windows Vista was so poorly received, prompted many firms to stick with the old tried and tested XP. “Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company,” said Erwin Visser, GM of Windows Commercial at Microsoft. “Windows 8 is the modern OS for modern businesses, building on Windows 7 fundamentals such as speed, reliability and enhanced security, while creating a modern platform designed for a new generation of hardware options.” One thing that might prompt upgrades after support has ended, apart from the sheer security risk of it all, is the risk of rising IT costs. IDC predicts that hiring professionals to sort out problems with XP after it is no longer supported could cost 25 percent more four years after the April 2014 deadline, and an additional 29 percent more a year after that. Windows XP launched in October, 2011, making it well over a decade old. Since then we have had three new versions of Windows. Just as many businesses are still using dated versions of Internet Explorer, any firm still using XP is losing out on features, but the security issues alone should be motivation to upgrade. Anonymous conducts cyber attack against Israel Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/anonymous-conducts-cyber-attack- against-israel/19557.html April 8th, 2013 The hacktivist group Anonymous has targeted the state of Israel in another cyber attack, claiming to have caused large amounts of damage, but may have caused little damage Hacktivist group Anonymous has performed a large scale cyber attack against the state of Israel. In their tweets, the group announced that a Dozen official Israeli websites, including those of the Prime Minister and Securities authority, had been hacked. In addition, anonymous claims to have hacked over 100,000 websites, 40,000 Facebook accounts and 30,000 bank accounts belonging to Israelis.
  • 45. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 The Guy Fawkes mask is one of Anonymous' symbols The attack is the second one in the last few months, the previous one taking place in November. Anonymous is targeting Israel as a protest against the nation’s policy towards Palestine. The group earlier demanded that Israel "disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace" on April 7, saying that the government had "crossed a line in the sand" by threatening to cut all internet and telecommunications into and out of Gaza. Anonymous claims to have caused roughly $3 billion in damage, but despite this claim, Israel reports that the attack had little effect on the nation as a whole. "So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage," said Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau. This closely mirror's Novemebr's attack, which has millions of hacking attempts bombard Israel, but without much effect. "Anonymous doesn't have the skills to damage the country's vital infrastructure," says Yisrael, "And if that was its intention, then it wouldn't have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart." This is very possible, but then again, what’s more powerful than media? (And no, that isn’t shameless self-promoting) Rise of the 'smart car': an electric vehicle that can power your home Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rise-of-the-smart-car--an-electric- vehicle-that-can-power-your-home/19549.html April 7th, 2013 Seamless smart phone integration and the ability to power your home are the key features the recently resurrected automaker Detroit-Electric is offering with its new production vehicle the SP:01. With smart phones dominating the mobile market, the rise of the ‘smart car’ was probably inevitable. Meet the SP:01, a purely electric vehicle (EV) that puts our trusty little gadget at the forefront of the driving experience. Typical dashboard features and controls have been done away with completely and assigned to the dedicated app, dubbed SAMI, only confirmed for Android devices so far. SAMI, or Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment, will give you access to the vehicle’s essential systems and some very innovative features. Stream music to the entertainment hardware, adjust the climate settings and interior lighting, navigate to your desired destination, and most importantly, get continuous feedback on your battery charge level, which will vary depending on your driving style, along with directions to the nearest charging spot when necessary. With the Emergency Energy Release option, which should also ensure that you never get stalled on the highway, SAMI will ease the problem of range anxiety that has played a significant role in discouraging widespread EV adoption. It still lacks the option to drive the car remotely, as with 007’s BMW in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’. Firmware upgrade perhaps? Most of the functionality is available remotely; you can monitor your battery’s state of charge, locate your car if you’ve lost it in the shopping mall parking lot, and get the interior all warm and cozy (or cool and comfortable) before even entering it. The car’s most revolutionary feature however, as the automaker claims, is the bi-directionality of the electrical energy it stores. In addition to optimizing the charging process to take advantage of low rates, in the case of a power outage, SAMI will also give you the option to power your home from the battery pack for up to two days, effectively making your car an energy hub as well as a means of transport. Detroit-Electric produced its first electric car in 1907, and was a market leader for a couple of decades; however by 1939, as petrol engines improved and became more affordable, the company lost momentum and shipped its final car. Under its new owner, the former CEO of Lotus Engineering Albert Lam, the company hopes to regain its former glory after a 74 year long hiatus with the SP:01, which along with the aforementioned features, is also poised to become the world’s fastest production electric vehicle when released in August.
  • 46. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Google Fiber has gone to Texas Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-fiber-has-gone-to- texas/19543.html April 7th, 2013 The old saying about everything being bigger in Texas may soon change to being faster as well. Google recently announced they would be extending their Fiber service into the Austin, Texas region. Google Fiber first made its debut in the Kansas City area in 2012 and astounded locals with its high-speed Internet, which is said to be about 100 times faster than normal broadband. Google is now saying they will be expanding out to Austin, Texas as part of their plan a city initially passed up by the search giant. Google will have an official event on the installation on April 9th and will be going over how Fiber be offered to residents. The city of Austin also announced the coming of Fiber and lawmakers were excited that the company chose the city to be part of their test phase. Austin was one of the first choices that Google looked at when they announced the creation of Fiber, but the city lost out to Kansas City, Missouri. Even still, over 150,000 residents of Austin were ready to sign on to Fiber if it was first being considered for the region. One reason Google may have passed up Austin was over what some claimed were as uncooperative Texas networking laws. Chip Rosenthal who was one of the leaders in attracting Fiber to the Austin, conducted an interview with Gigaom about one year ago on why Google may have passed up the town. Rosenthal said in part, “Austin caught their eye for all the right reasons, and we had support at the highest levels with the involvement of the mayor and the city manager, but given the Texas limitations on municipalities getting involved in network, there was only so far we could go. So I look at the Texas Legislature, because they really put us in a box with regard to Google, and every response the city gave had to be measured within that box.” Presently, the only available Internet options for Austin residents would be Time Warner Cable, a local cable communications company and AT&T U-Verse, however, none of them offer the high speeds that Fiber can provide. It was also noted that when Fiber hit Kansas City, MO, Time Warner Cable began offering higher speed Internet access at lower prices. So the idea of Fiber coming to Austin will be a win-win for everyone, which includes those who will not be getting Fiber or cannot afford it. At this time Google Fiber is the fastest Internet available in the U.S. Netflix also confirmed in their high-speed ISP index that Google Fiber far exceeds others in the market. New Skype trojan mines Bitcoin via your PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-skype-trojan-mines-bitcoin-via- your-pc/19542.html April 7th, 2013 A new kind of Trojan is going around that converts your computer into a Bitcoin miner. Currently the outbreak of the trojan is mainly located in Eastern Europe, Spain and in parts of Central America but is progressing rapidly. A new kind of Skype generated trojan is making the rounds and it is converting PCs into Bitcoin miners. Bitcoin mining is a way in which Bitcoin currency is stolen. According to the security firm Kaspersky Lab, this trojan infection “turns the infected machine to a slave of the bitcoin generator [and] the usage of CPU grows up significantly.” Kaspersky says the process “runs with the command ?bitcoin-miner.exe -a 60 - l no -o http://suppp.cantvenlinea.biz:1942/ -u XXXXXX0000001@gmail.com -p XXXXXXXX", where “x” designates sensitive data on any given computer The trojan is passed along via a Skype instant message that reads, “This is my favorite picture of you”, and then gives a link for the user to click on. Kaspersky says the trojan is growing by 2000 clicks per hour and has been identified as “Trojan.Win32.Jorik.IRCbot.xkt”. According to the security firm, the trojan reaches out to a C2 server located in Germany with the IP designation of Bitcoin has become quite popular going up in value tremendously over the past few weeks and has even caught the attention of major investors. Currently, one Bitcoin is valued at over 140 U.S. dollars. Japanese fish rides tsunami to America Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-fish-rides-tsunami-to- america/19551.html April 7th, 2013
  • 47. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 A small asian fish has managed to swim across the pacific ocean in a baitbox. The fish drifted by boat across the ocean after the 2011 tsunami A small Japanese fish is attracting the eyes of a lot of curious visitors to the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon. The fish, a striped beakfish, is probably the greatest explorer of its species, because it was recently found alive off the coast of America, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean from where it’s supposed to be. The fish was discovered in a baitbox onboard a Japanese boat which had drifted to the US West coast. It is believed that the small boat was carried away from Japan by the Tsunami of March 2011, and has since been drifting across the world’s largest ocean. When the boat was discovered off the coast of Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife boarded the vessel to examine the marine organisms left on it. They found the beakfish alive in a bait box where it is believed to have survived by dining on other organisms. Perhaps more amazing than the survival of the fish was that the baitbox had, most likely through pure coincidence, the exact ratio of different life forms needed to sustain a micro-eco system for over a year. Coral reefs aren't fazed by bleach Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/coral-reefs-aren-t-fazed-by- bleach/19550.html April 7th, 2013 A remote coral reef has managed to fully recover, despite being exposed to large amounts of bleach, proving that the colonies are sturdier than previously thought. Anyone who has gone scuba diving in tropical water knows that corals are incredibly fragile. Touch them, and you’ll likely crush the individual polyps against their razor sharp skeletons. This, in turn, sets off a chain reaction, where the neighboring polyps die and in the worst cases, the entire coral eventually succumbs. They are equally fragile to temperature change and just a few degrees off from their comfort zone will kill most of them. Light, also, is a requirement, and if you go too deep, the corals begin to dwindle. It is quite surprising then, that bleach doesn’t seem to keep them down. Scott reef is a remote coral reef some 250km from the Australian coast. It was long believed that individual reefs like Scott reef had a hard time recovering from catastrophes, because neighboring reefs aren’t around to help rebuild the structure. However, Scott has proven this to not be the case, as it has recovered fully from a bleaching catastrophe in just 12 years. Scott Reef - what a badass The catastrophe, which took place in 1998, killed 80% of the coral polyps on the reef, and it was thought that the reef would only be rebuilt through recolonization from other reefs far out in the ocean. "The initial projections for Scott Reef were not optimistic," says Dr James Gilmour from the Australian Institute of Marine Science. The reef was monitored for the next 15 years to study the recovery of the reef, and the researchers were surprised to discover that after only 12 years, the reef had regained the biomass and diversity it had before the disaster. Dr. Gilmour explains that one reason the reef recovered so well was not in spite of its remoteness, but because of it. Because very few factors, primarily human interaction, interfered with whatever polyps did settle on the dying reef, they had an excellent reproduction and survival rate. Dr. Gilour goes on to explain that, despite the excellent recovery, we can’t forget that it took a decade to get there. Corals are still fragile and it’s very easy to wipe them out. However, with the right knowledge, like what happened to Scott’s reef, there are things we can do to help them. "By preventing illegal fishing and enhancing water quality on coral reefs in all regions we will give these reefs a greater capacity to recover from major disturbances." Says Gilmour. Dead star found to be warping light of it's companion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dead-star-found-to-be-warping- light-of-it-s-companion/19548.html
  • 48. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 April 7th, 2013 The Kepler telescope has observed the effects of a dead star bending the light of it's companion star, through the immense gravitational forces it harbors. NASA’s Kepler space telescope has observed, through use of the UV-activity data supplied by Cornell University, that a dead star called KOI-256 is warping the light coming from its red dwarf companion star. The dead star, otherwise known as a white dwarf, is the burnt out remains of a star of similar size to that of our sun. White dwarves are composed of highly compressed matter and though they are about the size of the earth, they have the equivalent mass of our sun. Because of this, even though the red dwarf is much larger, it actually orbits the white dwarf. This immense gravity well caused by the white dwarf is what creates the warping effect: The dwarf’s gravitational pull literally bends the light that passes around it, so the light from the companion star looks bent as well, like looking at it through a rounded lens. Artist's conception of the warped light Jim Fuller, graduate student and co-author of the study, explains the fascinating properties of the star system: The red dwarf orbits the white dwarf at close range in just 1.4 days. Fuller says this is indicative of a previous “common- envelope” phase in the system, where the red dwarf orbited the other star within the outer layers of its atmosphere (this being before it died). Furthermore, the immense gravity of the white dwarf means the red dwarf will one day be caught in its gravity well and will be systematically stripped of mass until it forms a disc of hot matter "This system is especially exciting because it allows us to accurately characterize the peaceful state of these systems before the violent mass-transfer phase begins," says Fuller. Research indicates dramatic climate change in Sahara 5000 years ago Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/research-indicates-dramatic-climate- change-in-sahara-5000-years-ago/19547.html April 7th, 2013 New research indicates that the Sahara, the barren and desert covered region of northern Africa, was once lush and was filled with vegetation and lakes. You may be surprised to hear that cave paintings in the Sahara depict hippos drinking in waterholes and large herds of elephants and giraffes. A strange finding perhaps, in such a lifeless place, but new research indicates that the wide belt of barren desert in northern Africa has not always been so barren. Researchers from Columbia University and MIT have discovered that the climate in Sahara was quite lush between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago, a period known as the African Humid Period. On either side of that period, the region has been a desert, as we know it today. The most amazing fact about the change in northern Africa is how abruptly it occurred. The researchers believe the region reverted into a desert in just a generation or two. Dust plumes like this one give an indication of how arrid Sahara is This research comes as a result of a 2007 research expedition, during which researchers from Columbia and Woods Hole Oceanographic travelled to the region to collect 10-foot long, cylindrical sediment samples off the coast of Africa. David McGee, assistant professor at MIT’s Department of Earth, has been analyzing the samples, which contain some 30,000 years worth of dust and sediment. Windblown dust, which is present in the samples, gives a very good indication of the aridness of the Sahara at different
  • 49. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 times. Periods when a lot of dust accumulated indicates dry times, while lower accumulation indicates a lusher Sahara. To analyze how much dust was accumulating, McGee used a process called Thorium-230 normalization. Thorium-230 is a product of natural radioactive decay of uranium, and it sticks to dust from Sahara. The oceans have a fairly constant production rate for Thorium-230, so by measuring which parts of the sediment samples have more Thorium it’s possible to determine when more dust was being collected. In periods with a lot of dust, the Throium-230 levels are lower. Natalie Mahowald, a professor at Cornell University specializing in Earth and atmospheric sciences, says the research has produced better estimates of dust buildup than ever before "Dust is one of the most important aerosols for climate and biogeochemistry," says Mahowald, "This study suggests very large fluctuations due to climate over the last 10,000 years, which has enormous implications for human- derived climate change." NASA to capture asteroid Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nasa-to-capture-asteroid/19546.html April 7th, 2013 A US senator has revealed that NASA plans to capture an asteroid and place it in orbit for astronauts to explore in a later mission. Sen. Bill Nelson, who is chairman of the Senate science and space sub-committee, revealed Friday that NASA has a clever plan to speed up their manned mission to explore an asteroid, and it involves capturing one into Earth’s orbit. A robotic spaceship would be sent to the selected asteroid and then throw a bag around it. Solar sails would be deployed to stop it from spinning and then it would be brought back to earth, where it would be placed near the moon. "It really is a clever concept," said Nelson in a news conference, "Go find your ideal candidate for an asteroid. Go get it robotically and bring it back." Visiting a nearby asteroid is much less demanding for NASA than visiting one while it’s hurdling through space, so it makes a lot of sense to capture it. NASA’s Near Earth Object program expects the plan to reduce the mission’s prep time by four years, meaning the after capturing the asteroid in 2019, it would be visited by humans in 2021. The new Orion capsule would be used to send four astronauts to the asteroid President Barack Obama is apparently putting $100 million into planning the accelerated asteroid mission, according to the 2014 state budget that comes out next week. The money would largely be used in finding the right asteroid for the mission, a feat which is no easy task according to Near Earth Orbit program head Donald Yeomans: You’d need to find one that’s passing by earth at just the right time, and which is of just the right size. NASA has stated that the mission is important, as it will help them figure out how to nudge away dangerous asteroids, and will also serve as a training platform for conducting Mars missions in the future. Microsoft Studios Creative Director starts a ruckus via Twitter by defending Xbox 720's online-only requirement Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-studios-creative-director- starts-a-ruckus-via-twitter-by-defending-xbox-720-s-online-only- requirement/19541.html April 7th, 2013 Purportedly, Microsoft Studios Creative Director Adam Orth has started quite the commotion in the gaming world with his recent comments on Twitter, responding to fellow Tweeters with biting sarcastic remarks and has even defended the Xbox 720's always-online function.
  • 50. April 8th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 Adam Orth, a purported Microsoft Studios Creative Director, has recently stirred up gamers with his biting remarks via Twitter and has since become a focus of widespread dislike in the gaming world. The dissent for Orth's remarks seem to have followed shortly after the creative director defended the rumored online-only functionality for Microsoft's upcoming next-gen console the Xbox 720. Orth's comments were sparked by a recent article on Kotaku, which revealed that gamers may have to have an internet connection just to start up a game. The discussion regarding the viability of Microsoft's online-only requirement spread to NeoGAF, and then found its way onto Twitter where Orth got caught up in the mix. Below you can see some of Adam Orth's comments on the matter: Our recent coverage of the Xbox 720's leaked Software Development Kit also points to the inclusion of the online- only functionality for the new console, however it still remains officially unconfirmed. Additionally it's odd to see a Microsoft employee discuss the function considering it has yet to be confirmed, and this may add to the evidence of the Xbox 720 being online-only. Gamers around the world feel cheated with the online- only requirement and have voiced their opinions throughout social media networks like Twitter, and naturally Orth's recent remarks were targeted by frustrated gamers who are completely against the function. Orth also issued a variety of sarcastic and dry remarks via his Twitter account on the subject--something that Microsoft employees really shouldn't do--that seemed to only add fuel to the virtual fire. In a recent Tweet, Microsoft's Chief of Staff interactive Entertainment Business Aaron Greenberg apologized for Orth's remarks, adding that he's not sure who Adam Orth is, which is quite curious in itself. In any case, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft issues a public apology to all of the gamers who were offended by Orth's remarks, and what happens to Orth in regards to his position at the company. The online-only requirement for the Xbox 720 has been hotly debated throughout the internet, and gamers all across the globe are exasperated with the thought of having to be online all the time just to play games. If the function is indeed incorporated, Microsoft will no- doubt lose a considerable number of sales and alienate its constituency, regardless of the pros of the requirement itself. Microsoft will most likely make its case regarding the contested function at this year's E3 when the Xbox 720 will most likely be revealed.
  • 51. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Tech giant employees could have their free food taxed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tech-giant-employees-could-have- their-free-food-taxed/19570.html April 9th, 2013 There's a lot of advantages and perks when it comes to working for some of the big tech giants like Google. One being, the awesome free food that employees get to enjoy. However, that could change if the IRS have their way. Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and even a number of startups provide their employees with all kinds of perks in order to either entice new prospective employees to join the company, or keep existing ones happy. One of the most popular perks, and one that gets a lot of press, is the world class free food that is provided by the company; with the keyword being free. However, that may all change if a report from the Wall Street Journal is any indication. According to the report, all this free food has caught the eye of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and they are investigating whether or not employees should pay additional taxes on all that free food that is part of their compensation package. According to WSJ writer Mark Maremont, the rules around fringe benefits are on the complex side, but according to the rules, the IRS categorizes meals that are regularly provided by the company as a taxable perk. This has led many leading tax experts to wonder if the companies that are providing this type of perk aren't in fact skirting the tax laws. There are some accounting experts who apparently think that these free meals should be counted as taxable income, a part of the employee's compensation package; and considering that if the meals were to be charged at $8 to $10, it would mean a tax hit of almost $5,000 for some. New haptic technology keyboard can stimulate user's sense of touch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-haptic-technology-keyboard- can-stimulate-user-s-sense-of-touch/19580.html April 9th, 2013 A 1.5 mm thick, flexible keyboard made of transparent, shape-changing polymers, that can give the feeling of real buttons, is the new state-of-the-art technology we will soon see on our mobile devices and laptops. How many times have you tried to text something and the message came out not-exactly-as-you-meant-to? The conventional touch screens don’t “physically” respond when you press a button or key. This new haptic technology changes this picture. Each key is individually wired and vibrates when pressed, giving the feeling of an actual button. This way the user knows and feels his request have been accepted and processed. On top of that, the keyboard is paper thin, perfectly flexible and feather light. Imagine this technology on your touch-screen. Strategic Polymers Sciences, is the San Francisco based company that developed the haptic keyboard. SPS specializes in transparent coatings and superthin electro- mechanical polymers (EMPs) for use in touch screens, smartphones and tablets. These polymers can change their shape under an applied electric field, vibrate to confirm they have been pressed, or even create a sound. Unlike other electrically responsive polymers, EMPs respond in milliseconds, can alter their shape by 10 percent and are sensitive to small voltages. Due to their durability, flexibility and thinness, EMP polymers can be applied in a variety of devices, from steering wheels to wearable electronics. As Christopher Ramstein, CEO of Strategic Polymers said, “the company’s future products will take advantage of the polymers’ transparency and flexibility. One prototype is a cell phone with pads on the back that vibrate to indicate right and left turns or notable sights during navigation. The company is also working on a fully transparent keyboard with buttons that would physically pop up from the surface of a touch screen when activated, and then return to a smooth state.”
  • 52. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Microsoft apologizes for creative developer's Twitter comments Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-apologizes-for-creative- developer-s-twitter-comments/19577.html April 9th, 2013 Microsoft has released an official apology regarding the biting comments made by creative director Adam Orth, who sparked internet infamy in the gaming sector with his defense of the Xbox 720's hotly debated "always online" function. Microsoft creative director Adam Orth recently became a source of internet infamy by defending the Xbox 720's hotly contested "always online" rumor, and the dev even went so far as to argue his points and to mock anyone who disagreed with him. Orth displayed his personal opinion on the "always-online" rumor with a series of wry and sarcastic comments via Twitter, and proceeded to argue against anyone who disagreed. In his comments Orth was prone to mocking users and gamers for their arguments--something that is very unbecoming of any Microsoft employee. Microsoft has since released an official statement that apologizes for Adam Orth's comments: "We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter." (April 5, 2013) Regardless of the apology, the damage seems to have been done and gamers are definitely edgy and distrusting of Microsoft's approach with the new Xbox. The online only rumor still spreads like wildfire as Microsoft has not yet disconfirmed it--not even in their apology statement--making gamers think twice about the Xbox 720 as a whole. Many distraught and frustrated gamers have made their opinions quite clear on the Xbox 720's rumored "online only" function with overwhelming disdain, and many feel that the new requirement will change console gaming for the worse. With the recent online battles, Orth has inadvertently led more gamers to embrace Sony's next-gen contender, and has damaged the public opinion of the console and the integrity of Microsoft's employees in one fell swoop. Since the debacle, Adam Orth's Twitter feed has been set to private. Chiplets: the future of circuitry Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chiplets-the-future-of- circuitry/19587.html April 9th, 2013 Xerox have created tiny silicon shards called chiplets, which can be rearranged through a printing process to create circuitry. It may be the future of electronic assembly. Xerox is behind a potential revolution in electronics, a new technology created by their Palo Alto Research Center: It’s called Xerographic microassembly. The technology is based on the laser printer, which they pioneered in the 1970’s, and could one day be the most efficient way to assemble circuitry. Xerox’s technology makes use of thousands of chiplets, tiny pieces of circuitry on silicone, which become ink in their experimental printer. The ink, much like the toner cartridge of a laser printer, can transcribe the silicon chiplets onto a surface, effectively printing circuitry. To ensure that all the chiplets land in a way that align them properly to complete the circuit, electrodes are used to create a series of electrical fields that can realign the silicon. Chiplets! The chiplets can contain pretty much any type of circuitry, such as a microprocessor or memory components. This way of printing circuitry is dramatically different from todays techniques, which involves building large wafers with dies that contain circuitry. The wafers are then cut and plced
  • 53. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 on top of circuit boards where they interface with other components. The technology is still in its early stages, but Xerox believes it can redesign how we create electronic circuit boards. It will eliminate the process of making wafers and instead produce an all in one package for making completed electronics. Sharp's Cocorobo clean bot soon to become Siri- intelligent Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-s-cocorobo-clean-bot-soon-to- become-siri-intelligent/19579.html April 9th, 2013 Sharp plans to use of their Cocorobo unit as a quasi- intelligent interactive robot that would collect user information from the internet in the same method as how it is done by personal assistant software. Sharp Corporation may not have the most novel idea for their cleaning robot, but they may be onto something when they announced that they want to make their clean bots more conversational. With the collaboration of Tokyu Railways, they have recently revealed a proposal that would use their cleaning robot, Cocorobo, as a testbed for the concept of highly interactive automated (assistant) home robots. Cocorobo was the name for for Sharp's newest automated cleaning robot unit, which was first introduced in Japan last year. The main defining feature of this clean bot was its voice recognition system, which allowed users to issue commands by just speaking to the unit. Aside from commands, it can also respond to simple words, phrases and terms (it would dance if you order it to dance for example), making Cocorobo a bit livelier than their static, silent, and non-interactive counterparts. Sharp plans to retrofit and customize their Cocorobo units with special software so that not only could it respond to simple words, but would also now provide straight answers and even quasi-intelligent responses, making the units even more interactive and seemingly livelier. The network connectivity feature of Cocorobo would be boosted to include connectivity to a cloud database, and it would provide additional information such as weather info, updated news, train schedules, upcoming events, and reminders, among other things. The responses generated by these new Cocorobos would then presumably be quite similar to what personal assistant software like Siri does. There are at least 60 households that would participate in the trial phase of their new units. Each participating home would use the test version of a modified Cocorobo unit from a time period starting from April to December 2013. The custom Cocorobo units would be equipped to record various usage data, modifying its software gradually and automatically over time, to provide better answers and responses to inquiries and questions that might be favorable or needed by members of that specific household. Source: MyNavi (JP) Google rumoured to buy WhatsApp Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-rumoured-to-buy- whatsapp/19588.html April 9th, 2013 Google is rumoured to be in talks to acquire WhatsApp for $1 billion, which could greatly enhance the messaging service of future Android builds. Google is rumoured to be in talks to acquire WhatsApp for $1 billion, which could greatly enhance the messaging service of future Android builds. The owners of the popular messaging app, which handles a whopping 18 billion messages every day, have reputedly been discussing a buyout with Google for over a month and are playing hardball in order to get a higher asking price, according to sources cited by Digital Trends. Google is believed to be offering $1 billion, the same price Facebook paid for Instagram last year. There is speculation that Facebook is also interested in WhatsApp, which could potentially result in a bitter bidding war between the rival companies.
  • 54. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 WhatsApp charges a token yearly fee of $0.99 to fund its service, earning a reported $100 million a year. If Google took over it could offer the service for free, but implement advertising, its primary source of revenue. Google is also reportedly working on a unified communications service called Babel, which should combine Google's different messaging capabilities. Acquiring an established service like WhatsApp could help jump-start the company's efforts and help fill one of the remaining gaps in Google's mobile ecosystem. Image Credit: WhatsApp US Air Force designates cyber capabilities as "weapons" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-air-force-designates-cyber- capabilities-as-weapons-/19585.html April 9th, 2013 The US Air Force has designated six of its cyber capabilities as weapons, addressing a growing threat of cyber attacks against military and civilian targets. The US Air Force has designated six of its cyber capabilities as weapons, addressing a growing threat of cyber attacks against military and civilian targets. The classification highlights the newfound importance of the ability to attack and defend using digital means, and opens up the sector for more funding, including money that is normally only reserved for research and development of weaponry. Lieutenant General John Hyten, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, described cyber tools as “game- changing” and said the the new designations will give this area the attention and recognition that it deserves. The actual details or nature of the six cyber weapons was not revealed, likely because doing so would give enemy states a head start on preparing defences. It is possible they include specially-crafted malware to disable systems or allow surveillance. US intelligence officials have labelled cyber attacks as the greatest threat to the country, replacing the previous top threat of terrorism. Numerous reports have surfaced highlighting the vulnerability of key infrastructure, including energy grids, water plants, nuclear facilities, and oil rigs. The potency of cyber weapons was seen with the Stuxnet virus, which crippled Iran's nuclear reactors. While it is not known who carried out the attack, it is largely believed to have been orchestrated by Israel with the help of the US. The US Air Force is also planning to increase its cyber team, adding 1,200 people to its existing 6,000. 900 of these will be military personnel. This is likely to be only a small part of growing investment in cyber defences as the threat continues to mount. Image Credit: US Air Force Star in final stages of life still sports solar system Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-in-final-stages-of-life-still- sports-solar-system/19583.html April 9th, 2013 The Herschel space observatory has discovered an eerie dying solar system, complete with a debris disc and planets still orbiting an ever expanding and dying star.
  • 55. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 A team of scientists working for the European Space Agency, ESA, have discovered a solar system containing an expiring star of roughly 1.5 solar masses in its “subgiant” phase. The subgiant phase is the period at the end of a star’s life when it begins to expand due to the dwindling supply of fuel for its fusion reaction, but comes before it fully expands to become a red giant. This star, which is roughly 100 light years away and 2.5 billion years old, is notable because it is surrounded by a disc of gas and still hosts a planetary system. It has been expected previously that asteroids, planets and other bodies in a solar system can survive during the subgiant phase, but until now, they haven’t been observable, and thus, no research into their properties has been possible. Thanks to the Hershel space observatory’s far-infrared equipment however, astronomers have been able to detect a bright emission, indicating a dust disc, around the dying star, which is named Kappa Coronae Borealis. In addition, ground based observations have confirmed a Jupiter-sized gas giant orbiting at a distance equivalent to that of our asteroid belt, and it is suspected that a second planet also exists, though the size of it has yet to be confirmed. Here's the star in question, complete with the dust disc, as seen in bright white The most unique feature of the solar system is the gaseous disc, which has survived through the entire lifespan of the star, something which is very much different from how the conditions of our own solar system have evolved. Sol had a dust disc too, but during a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment Era, most of the gasses were cleared away. As of yet there are multiple explanations floating about as to why this disc has survived. Nevertheless, this is the first time a solar system in its subgiant phase has been discovered to have planets and it provides a unique opportunity to study not just the disc, but what happens to the system in general as time goes on. After all, one day, our own system will face a similar fate. Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and others launch EU complaint against Google Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-nokia-oracle-and-others- launch-eu-complaint-against-google-android/19584.html April 9th, 2013 Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and a consortium of other companies have filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging that Google is conducting itself in an anti-competitive manner when it comes to its mobile operating system Android. Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and a consortium of other companies have filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging that Google is conducting itself in an anti-competitive manner when it comes to its mobile operating system Android. 17 companies have joined together as part of FairSearch, including old rivals to Google like Oracle, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, who previously launched complaints and legal challenges against the search giant over its dominance in other sectors. The latest issue is with Google's growing mobile platform Android, which is dominating the mobile sector, thanks largely to its open source nature and support form top mobile firms like Samsung. According to Strategy Analytics, Android ruled 70 percent of the market in 2012, while eMarketer reports that Google overshadows a whopping 96 percent of the mobile search advertising market. FairSearch claims that Google is monopolising the market by offering Android for free, but requiring a number of Google- owned apps and products to be used for a full experience, such as Maps, YouTube, or Google Play. The consortium said that this “disadvantages other providers” and described Google's distribution of Android as “predatory.” However, it could be argued that rival mobile platforms equally have access to features like Maps and YouTube, and Google Play is Android's own app market, so obviously would not be present on rival operating systems, anymore than Apple's App Store or Microsoft's Windows Phone Store would.
  • 56. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 “Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data,” said Thomas Vinje, Brussels-based counsel to the FairSearch coalition. “We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google’s Android operating system.” Will Microsoft be obsolete by 2017? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/will-microsoft-be-obsolete- by-2017-/19582.html April 9th, 2013 By 2017 it's predicted that Microsoft will compete with iOS for the second most popular operating system. As Android grows at an explosive pace, will Microsoft become obsolete? There was once a time when it would be impossible to imagine a world without Microsoft. The brand itself was synonymous with computing and high-tech as a whole. But as consumer preference shifts towards tablet-centric computing, will the company that popularized the personal computer have a future? A report released by Gartner, an I.T consultancy, last week says that the computing of 2017 will be nothing like the computing of 2013. The company forecasts that by 2017 the number of tablets, smartphones, and “ultramobile” devices sold will almost 10 times the number of desktop and notebook computers sold – almost 2.7 billion units. "While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, in a release. "As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis." Microsoft’s challenge for an increasingly PC-free world is how to stay relevant. With Windows 8 the company attempted to make its operating system ecosystem hardware agnostic, but consumers didn’t bite. The Microsoft Surface was well-received but was a non-seller compared to the market’s leading tablets; Windows 8 phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 were praised by reviewers but never caught on in the market. Samsung was able to launch unorthodox and unique phones last year, like the Galaxy Note II, but Microsoft’s mobile OS – the not entirely unorthodox newcomer – can’t make headway. So what’s left for Microsoft to do? Keep pushing Windows on ARM devices. ARM is the processor of the future, the x86 pretender of the second decade of the 21st century. While Microsoft’s first attempt at putting its operating system on this chipset – with Windows Phone and Windows RT – might have failed it needs to try, try again so it doesn’t become obsolete as Gartner suggests. Intel Xeon 2013 update - A bit later, but a bit better too Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-xeon-2013-update--a-bit-later- but-a-bit-better-too/19581.html April 9th, 2013 Too bad that Intel is having no significant competition on the server/workstation front, so no need to rush either - the Ivy Bridge based Xeon E5 and E7 processors are finally rolling out towards the end this year, but with more cores than originally expected. Meanwhile, the Xeon Phi MIC/co- processor/accelerator gets segmented into more SKUs and a new stepping that clocks things up to 1.238 GHz (from 1.1GHz) with roughly the same TDP and form factor. Xeon EN/EP E5-xxxx v2 series Wondered why Intel is not exactly rushing with the new Xeon (or, for that matter, any Socket 2011 CPU) product announcements? Well, in the absence of any competition at present, the push to accelerate all the expensive product releases loses steam. Nevertheless, in a few months, you'll finally see the first of the new Xeon offerings based on the Ivy Bridge core, well over a year after the mainstream desktop and mobile ones. The difference? Along with the usual slight IPC increases, the initial Xeon E5-2600v2 series parts will be 12-core monsters (+25% from Sandy) with 30 MB cache and quad- channel DDR3-1866 server memory paths per socket, and likely up to 3 GHz clocks, with a bit extra turbo frequency oomph for the higher TDP workstation parts. The 22nm FinFet '3D transistor' process should help a bit with the power consumption, and hopefully there shouldn't be major leakages there. Otherwise, it is the standard Socket LGA2011 platform, so a microcode bios update should allow upgraders to stay with the same motherboards. Much later in the year, you should see the E5-4600v2 series, basically the same as above except enabled for 4-
  • 57. April 9th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 socket operation, where those dual QPI links make a square interconnection layout between the CPU. At the same time, the E7-4800v2 and 8800v2 - 15 core IVB-EX enterprise Xeon processors, should arrive as well, finally replacing the Westmere-EX workhorses from the past two years. These, however, will run at substantially slower clocks, likely no more than 2.4 GHz. Their memory, however, will be upgraded to DDR3-1600, and the chipset will be the same Patsburg one you see on the current Romley dual Xeon platform, with RAID TRIM finally enabled in OPROM. Sorry to kill the dreams of overclockers - just like Sandy Bridge-EP, no unlocked multiplier SKU. Xeon Phi - now with three SKUs and a new C0 stepping Noticed the ongoing HPC & BigData war between Intel and Nvidia on the Tesla GPU vs Xeon Phi accelerator deployments worldwide? You've read here first even about their upcoming 2013 world's largest Xeon Phi deployment - the next generation of Tianhe machines - in Guangzhou, which will have close to 100,000 of these beasts together with the same number of Xeon E5-2600 v2 IVB-EP Xeons. Now, to address Nvidia's DP FP performance, Intel seemingly has two new SKUs of Xeon Phi - as the yield improves, so do the obtainable frequencies, isn't it? We found out about the last month's brand new C0 stepping of Xeon Phi, and the associated two new SKUs, operating at 1.238 GHz with the same 61 cores and 31 MB cache as the previous top part, the 1.1 GHz bin. the 7120X and 7120P (no cooling and passive cooling respectively), should provide in excess of 1.2 TFLOPs DP peak performance, yet keeping the same 8 GB memory capacity and 512-bit memory path advantage over the Nvidia and AMD accelerator offerings on the market currently. The GDDR5-5500 memory speed stays the same as the 1.1 GHz part, though, as well as the rated TDP of 300W. Since this is a 22 nm part, Intel likely could still squeeze a bit more juice out of it during this year, likely through these same 'step by step stepping' approach. Now, will the Chinese ask for this part now? Almost the whole world's production of Xeon Phi is going there at the moment... (ED: would you rather the Wall Street guys get it?) OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-vector-256gb-ssd- review/19562.html April 9th, 2013 Today we are having a look at the Vector, an SSD powered by the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, the first controller fully developed in-house after OCZ acquired Indilinx in 2011. Can OCZ regain some of their lost ground with their latest SSD? We will find out in this review. OCZ is one of the biggest players in the SSD market. Having acquired a whole company which specialized on the research and development of SSD-specific controllers, Indilinx, OCZ declared just how serious they are about grabbing a very large piece of the SSD market pie. However, even though OCZ acquired Indilinx back in 2011, it definitely took them quite a long time to fully develop their own controller from scratch. Today we are going to review a product powered by the Barefoot 3, the very first controller fully developed by Indilinx after it became part of OCZ. OCZ claims that the Vector is more than just about speed; it supposedly also is a very reliable product as well, free of the reliability issues of some of their previous models. Ladies and gentlemen, the Vector 256GB SSD.
  • 58. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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 joins fight against human trafficking Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-joins-fight-against-human- trafficking/19607.html April 10th, 2013 Google is enhancing the fight against human trafficking with the establishment of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network and $3 million of new funding for Polaris Project, Liberty Asia, and La Strada International, bringing Google's total contribution to anti-trafficking to $14.5 million. Google is enhancing the fight against human trafficking with the establishment of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network and $3 million of new funding for Polaris Project, Liberty Asia, and La Strada International, bringing Google's total contribution to anti-trafficking to $14.5 million. A staggering 21 million people are trafficked and enslaved around the world, earning criminals $32 billion of illicit profit every year. Many traffickers are using technology to facilitate the crime, but technology can also be employed to combat them. Google has involved itself in numerous projects to stop criminal enterprise and better the lives of people. In 2012 it held a Google Ideas summit, where the idea for the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network came about. The Network allows victims of trafficking, who might be subjected to physical or sexual abuse, or forced labour, to seek help. The various hotlines that make up the network can offer support, advice, and resources, and can also be used to pinpoint a victim's location and help get police involved to free the individual from what amounts to modern slavery. While hotlines have existed for some time now, they were never coordinated, and so when traffickers move people around, from country to country, it can be difficult to organise an appropriate response. Now data collected in one location can be shared with other anti-trafficking groups to ensure as many victims are freed as possible. Foxconn revenue down as iPhone demand weakens Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/foxconn-revenue-down-as-iphone- demand-weakens/19606.html April 10th, 2013 Foxconn, otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has posted its financial results for the first quarter of the year, showing a decline in sales thanks to weaker than expected demand for Apple's iPhone. Foxconn, otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has posted its financial results for the first quarter of the year, showing a decline in sales thanks to weaker than expected demand for Apple's iPhone. The company, which assembles products for Apple and other top technology firms, brought in T$808.97 billion, a 19 percent decline on the figure earned at the same period the year previous, and a similar decline from the T$988.34 it made in the fourth quarter of 2012. While Foxconn has contracts with other companies like Google, Microsoft, Nokia, HP, Dell and Sony, it earns an estimated 60 to 70 percent of its revenue from Apple, and is thus subject to any fluctuations in demand for Apple products. Demand for the iPhone and other Apple devices has weakened recently, with the Cupertino, California-based company missing revenue forecasts made by analysts for the fourth quarter of 2012, which is traditionally the most lucrative few months of the year.
  • 59. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Foxconn's exposure to Apple has helped it post huge profits in years past, but that same exposure could become a major weakness if Apple continues to lose market share to rivals like Samsung. Despite the weak performance, Foxconn shares were up $0.10, or 0.12 percent, to $80.60 at the time of writing. Meet Haswell's graphics thump card (Crystalwell GT3 eDRAM) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/meet-haswell-s-graphics-thump- card-crystalwell-gt3-edram-/19604.html April 10th, 2013 Several months ago, we exclusively revealed the existance of the on-die eDRAM coming with Haswell to boost its graphics prowness. So where will the Haswell chips with GT3e be ending up? Soldered on BGA-only variants that will reside in "Performance" 55W quad-core notebooks (as an alternative to sub-20W discrete options from AMD and Nvidia that is usually paired with a 35/45W CPU) and the desktop AiOs. The other animals in the farm will get the less exciting GT2 (16/20 EUs) or GT3 (40 EUs). Stay tuned for the on-site IDF performance expose. Intel's Horse Canyon NUC (Core i5 & USB 3.0) sighted Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-horse-canyon-nuc-core-i5-- usb-3.0-sighted/19603.html April 10th, 2013 While not officially launched yet, Horse Canyon DC53427HYE (based on the Rend Lake motherboard) attempts to address two shortcomings on the current NUC (Next Unit of Computing) models - • Much more potent IVB Core i5 3427U (allowing up to 2.8GHz boost rather than being stuck at 1.8GHz on the i3 models, and vPro support for businesses too) • USB 3.0 port at the front (that was already supported by the QS77 PCH) for high speed transfers. The three display outputs (dual DP 1.1 and single HDMI 1.4) should also allow for more multi-monitor usage models, including 4K/Quad HD if the drivers work. Lets hope the marketing boffins at Intel remember that buyers don't want to pay more for this than the functionally similar Apple Mac Mini, especially when they are virtually polar opposites in looks...
  • 60. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Gigabyte's ITX motherboard for Haswell - Z87N-WIFI Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-s-itx-motherboard-for- haswell--z87n-wifi/19602.html April 10th, 2013 Our 2nd IDF Beijing sighting of the day - pretty much the same last year's Z77N-WIFI (dual Gigabit LAN, mPCIe wireless with Bluetooth/WiFi/WiDi) from Gigabyte, except with a different socket (LGA 1150) and PCH (Z87). Lets just hope it has OC voltage controls this time... Our 2nd IDF Beijing sighting of the day - pretty much the same last year's Z77N-WIFI (dual Gigabit LAN, mPCIe wireless with Bluetooth/WiFi/WiDi) from Gigabyte, except with a different socket (LGA 1150) and PCH (Z87). Lets just hope it has OC voltage controls this time... Also spotted at the Gigabyte booth was the mainstream targeted Z87X-D3H, which is usually the best selling value for money SKU that most buyers will look at/actually need. Intel's top Z87 motherboard for Haswell LGA1150 smiles for the camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-top-z87-motherboard-for- haswell-lga1150-smiles-for-the-camera/19601.html April 10th, 2013
  • 61. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 Possibly one of the final and finest creations of the soon to be defunct Desktop Motherboard group at Intel, Kinsley (otherwise known as DZ87KL-75K) is the top enthusiast oriented SKU of the upcoming Haswell Z87 Lynx Point line- up. Traditionally, Intel's own Desktop Boards (built by Foxconn) for their processors did not register on the radar screens of DIY enthusiasts, no thanks to the aggressive marketing/ engineering efforts by 1st tier motherboard vendors like Asus and Gigabyte, and the lack of channel availability in some regions. The overclocking community also complained that the VRM electrical design and BIOS options labelling on the boards were not as robust as the usual lot, prone to the dreaded "blue flames and burning transistors smell" when pushed beyond normal operating limits. Of course, there were notable skull-themed exceptions, namely the iconic Bad Axe (975X) that started it all, and for the uber rich - the dual socket Skulltrail D5400XS (unlocked Xeons and FB-DIMMs). Over the past few releases (X79/Z77), we found the boards (usually provided for media review) to be much improved in componentry choices, board layout and UEFI design. In fact, Intel's own creations usually get the latest RAID OPROM fixes and microcode updates first through regular BIOS updates, which is quite often neglected by the big boys. Cerebral pacemaker cures depression Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cerebral-pacemaker-cures- depression/19598.html April 10th, 2013 By implanting part of the brain with pacemaker electrodes, scientists have been able to rapidly and dramatically improve the condition of patients suffering from major depression. Researchers from of the Bonn University Hospital have implanted pacemakers into the medial forebrain bundles of patients with major depression. They’ve discovered that this form of deep brain stimulation drastically and rapidly reduces the depression in six of seven patients. Similar methods have been employed previously, but with limited results. Professor Volker Arnd Coenen, a neurosurgeon at the University Hosptial connected the implanted electrodes to a cerebral pacemaker and applied a weak current. This, in turn, stimulated the nerve cells in the brain. Over a period of several days, six of the seven volunteers who partook in the study found themselves improving immensely, with symptoms such as anxiety, despondence and joylessness improving considerably. ”Such sensational success both in terms of the strength of the effects, as well as the speed of the response has so far not been achieved with any other method," says Prof. Thomas E. Schläpfer from Bonn University Hosptial’s department of psychiatry and psychotherapy. The brain: Your very own, biological troll. The medial forebrain bundle, the area stimulated in the study, is a cluster of nerves associated with the brain’s reward system and “euphoria circuit”. It runs from the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex. One part of the bundle is a perfect place to apply the electrodes, because the nerve fibers all pass through a very narrow space. Previous attempts at deep brain stimulation were focused on other parts of the brain, and though partially successful as well, held poorer results. Previous efforts have managed to help 50% of patients after weeks of treatment. The new method however, works on 85% of patients so far, and works in a matter of days. "Obviously, we have now come closer
  • 62. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 to a critical structure within the brain that is responsible for major depression," sayd Prof. Schläpfer. Equally promising news is that the patients were observed for a period of 18 months after treatment, and there has been no signs of remission into depression. California law now bans smartphone GPS usage while driving Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/california-law-now-bans- smartphone-gps-usage-while-driving/19575.html April 10th, 2013 A recent court ruling in California has made it illegal to use maps on smartphones while driving. The law does exclude smartphone map usage in such cases as voice-guided or hands-free type navigation. A recent California ruling has made it illegal to check your smartphone maps while driving and it all goes back to a citation given to a man back in January of this year. Steven Spriggs was given a ticket and cited for violating California code 23123, which reads that no person “shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving." Spriggs argued to the court that he was not talking on his smartphone and that he was not using it for any kind of communication, which includes e-mail. Spriggs did say that he was using his smartphone as a GPS to navigate. The police officer that ticketed Spriggs said that he had the mobile device in his hand while he was driving and that suited his professional decision that Spriggs was in violation of the California statue. Spriggs was not trying to argue that he was not holding the phone, but instead he stressed that the California law does not prohibit anyone from using their smartphone (or other mobile device) as a means of navigation in the form of a GPS. Spriggs was not able to convince the appeals court and lost his case. The California law has now been reinterpreted to say that you cannot use a smartphone or any mobile device whatsoever in a motor vehicle if you are driving. However, as the code is currently written, it does say that a wireless device may be used as a GPS but only if it is hands-free or some other type of voice command. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, U.S. states vary on how a smartphone or mobile device can be used while operating a motor vehicle. Most states ban texting while driving and some states, such as California, ban phone use all together. Then there are a few states that compromise and ban phone use by novice drivers such as young people under the age of 21. Many critics of GPS or hands-free devices in cars say that even those kinds of uses can and will cause a distraction. The National Safety Council is one such group that claims there is no evidence that a hands-free or voice activated GPS can reduce distractions while driving. Intel shows off new 20 Gbps Thunderbolt spec with next year's Falcon Ridge controller Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-shows-off-new-20-gbps- thunderbolt-spec-with-next-year-s-falcon-ridge-controller/19568.html April 9th, 2013 Yesterday, Intel showed off the next generation of Apple's popular Thunderbolt protocol. Capable of transfer speeds of 20 Gbps, the new spec doubles the speeds of old Thunderbolt via channel aggregation, eclipsing rival technologies on the market. Today, Intel announced the next generation of Apple's popular protocol 'Thunderbolt', which will be made possible by Intel's upcoming controller codenamed 'Falcon Ridge'. Falcon Ridge, the successor of 'Redwood Ridge' - another upcoming Thunderbolt controller - will be produced in 2014. The new Thunderbolt will be double the speed of the old Thunderbolt which, in turn, is a much faster protocol than other popular choices such as USB, FireWire, and eSata. Clocking in at 20 Gbps (or 2.5 GBps), the new Thunderbolt is so fast that even state of the art hardware can't fully support it. USB, which is the favored protocol of off-the-shelf hardware, only goes up to 5.0 Gbps in its fastest 3.0 standard. Many devices still run using USB 2.0, which only tops out at 480 Mbps (or about 0.468 Gbps)!
  • 63. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 At NAB 2013, where Intel showed off a silicon prototype of the Falcon Ridge technology, two modern Solid State Drives (SSDs) were daisy chained together, and achieved transfer speeds of 1.2 Gbps to a desktop computer. Given that SSDs are the fastest hard drives on the consumer market, the new Thunderbolt won't need to be rivaled for quite a while. With such extraordinary transfer speeds, Falcon Ridge will be able to transfer 4K video, which is the next in the name of high definition content. While such content is uncommon at the moment, it is always necessary for technology to prepare for the future – though, Intel may or may not be overdoing it. Getting to Mars in 30 days is possible with a fusion drive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/getting-to-mars-in-30-days-is- possible-with-a-fusion-drive/19591.html April 9th, 2013 The biggest problem facing man's exploration of space, and traveling to even our closest planets like Mars, is the amount of time it takes. So any form of propulsion that makes those times shorter is very important, and interesting to NASA. Space is daunting and the time it takes to travel anywhere makes it highly questionable when it comes to manned missions to places like Mars. Currently, it can take anywhere from 150 to 300 days for any unmanned mission to complete the trip from Earth to Mars, depending on orbital alignment at the time of launch. However, some promising new research at the University of Washington has researchers theorizing that we could make the trip to Mars and back in 30 days, which would, needless to say, shave a lot of time off of a round trip to the planet thereby making it more feasible for manned missions. The university is working on a fusion-powered spacecraft that uses a system they describe as a "unique manipulation of nuclear fusion". Researchers are pretty tight-lipped when it comes to any specific details about their propulsion system, but they have said that it involves "a type of plasma that is encased in its own magnetic field", which apparently can be compressed in order to create nuclear fusion. So far, their research has proved to be so promising that NASA has offered a second round of funding so that they can continue to work on the propulsion system. iPad 5 to launch Fall 2013 [Rumor] Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ipad-5-to-launch-fall-2013- rumor-/19592.html April 9th, 2013 Apple is rumored to begin production of its iPad 5 in July or August, leading some to believe that the next-gen Apple tablet may drop as early as the end of 2013. Per the same source of the rumor, the fifth-gen iPad will have a slimmer bezel—much like the iPad Mini’s design. We don’t know if the iPad 5’s internals will be drastically different from that of the current gen iPad, but most people are positive that Apple out a tablet that is thinner and lighter. (The iPad 5 may as well be an iPad Mini, but with Retina and a larger display.) Also along the line of iPad rumors, people are also speculating that Apple will refresh its iPad Mini line to Retina displays in the second-gen Mini. Recent price cuts of its iPad line is a clear indication that Apple is getting ready to clear out the old to make way for the new. Google cuts 60,000 apps from Play Store Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-cuts-60-000-apps-from-play- store/19590.html April 9th, 2013 Google is removing tens of thousands of apps from its Play Store a continued effort to battle spam and remove non- compliant software. Google has been deleting massive amounts of apps from its Play Store, hitting a record high in February with 60,000 apps deleted during that month alone. Some apps have been deleted by individual publishers as well, but overwhelmingly, Google seems to be spring cleaning. The majority of affected apps were those in the mp3 or ringtone category, many of which are made by some dubious developers. It is possible that the clean-out is in preparation of a rumored update to the store.
  • 64. April 10th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 The focus of the removals has been spam applications and other programs which in some way break the Terms of Service for the Play Store. Unlike Apple which only allows internally approved apps in their store, Google doesn’t vet their content beforehand. Needless to say, this does lead to some spam, but historically, Google has combated this by simply reacting to the apps as they’ve trickled in. A large scale sweep is something different. The difference between Google and Apple’s approach is that Apple requires a team of reviewers to constantly examine new submissions. Meanwhile, Google can automate the process, using algorithms from an ever increasing library of apps, to determine via computer which programs are most likely spam. Regardless though, both companies boast a massive number of apps, with Apple’s App store listing around 800,000 apps and Google’s Play Store officially sitting on 700,000.
  • 65. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Pirate Bay moves to Greenland-based domain name after rumors of seizure Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pirate-bay-moves-to-greenland- based-domain-name-after-rumors-of-seizure/19596.html April 11th, 2013 The Pirate Bay just recently changed their domain to .GL after hearing rumors that Swedish police may seize the .se domain name. The Pirate Bay is the currently the world’s largest file-sharing site. The Pirate Bay, which is the leading file-sharing site going on the Internet today, switched domains overnight from their Sweden address to a Greenland .gl domain. Rumors suggest that the move comes after lawmakers in Sweden were looking at seizing their domain name and that the Greenland address may bypass any blockades put on the site. The Pirate Bay has been the focus of much controversy stemming from the legality of file sharing. Also the music and movie industry in the U.S. has been working hard at preventing any kind of file sharing on the Internet by any means possible. Last year’s seizure of Kim Dotcom’s megaupload.com is just one of many examples how U.S. authorities have been working with the MPAA and RIAA in regards to stamping out any form of file sharing or file exchange sites that may be posing as file storage sites. Users are automatically directed to the new Greenland domain when they try to access the older Sweden-based site. Also, for those who cannot access the site due to blockades in their own country, many users bypass the block by means of a virtual private network (VPN), which gives them the appearance they are from another country. According to the torrent blog website, TorrentFreak, The Pirate Bay has also been operating with a new set of IP addresses, which may be a sign some blockades might already be active on the file-sharing site. Over the past few months the copyright holders working by means of the Digital Millennium Copyright’s Act (DMCA) have had hundreds of thousand of links removed leading to The Pirate Bay. Oppo to reclaim title of 'world's thinnest smartphone' with 4.5-inch R809T handset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/oppo-to-reclaim-title-of-world-s- thinnest-smartphone-with-4.5-inch-r809t-handset/19637.html April 11th, 2013 Oppo isn’t big outside of China, but that hasn’t stopped the handset maker from designing sleek smartphones that deserve some attention. A leaked image of Oppo’s next smartphone is hinting that the company is aiming to reclaim the title of “world’s thinnest smartphone”. The source of the leak reported that the Oppo “R809T” measures just 6.13mm thick, that’s over 1mm less than Apple’s so called world's thinnest smartphone—the iPhone 5. Disappointing as this may sounds, the Oppo R809T will come with Mediatek’s MT6589 quad-core. While the Taiwan-based chip maker’s offering is respectable in terms of bang for your bucks, equipping a handset with a MT6589 automatically downgrades the class of the device. The R809T could be a top tier handset if it was bred to have lean muscle along with its baby smooth skin. Whatever gripes we may have about the processor, however, won’t take away from some of the other core components as the Oppo R809T will come with a 4.5-inch 720p display, and 1GB of RAM. True to the mid-range specs mantra, the thin Oppo handset will be priced at about $405 without a contract. Again, Oppo is very limited in its markets reach and chances are the R809T won’t make it to many markets outside of the Asian regions.
  • 66. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The Oppo R809T is rumored to launch at the end of April, 2013. Samsung: The Galaxy Note isn't big enough, we need to Mega-size it! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-the-galaxy-note-isn-t-big- enough-we-need-to-mega-size-it-/19628.html April 11th, 2013 With a 6.3-inch screen, it is seriously the biggest smartphone around, and a genuine representative of the “phablet” family. As it seems, Samsung won’t hesitate to test any screen-size. The increased popularity of wide screen phones, led Samsung to present this ‘extravagant’ model. Alongside the big screen, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes with a HD display, a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, a 3200mAh battery, 16GB of internal storage, 1.5GB of RAM, Android 4.2 and an 8- megapixel camera. The company guarantees it will still fit in a pocket (it weights less than 200 grams, but still…). Galaxy Mega 6.3 The phone approaches the size of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, but Samsung insists it is ideal for watching videos or running two apps side by side. As experts say, there is a demand for larger smartphones, but at what size will a phone be considered a tablet? To be on the safe side, the company also launches the smaller and handier Galaxy Mega 5.8 (presumably with lower specs also). Both models come with software like Air View, Multi Windows, Pop-up Play etc., on board, but the key difference between the two is the beefier Galaxy 6.3 will support LTE while its smaller counterpart wont. Galaxy Mega 5.8 Both models are going on sale in May, starting with European and Russian markets, but there has been no information on their pricing yet. Some analysts believe they will have a good response, since many people are looking for "2 in1" devices, instead of buying a smartphone and a tablet. Last year, Samsung was the most popular smartphone maker in the market, taking a 30.3% of the pie, with Apple following with only a 19.1%. Bitcoin price crashes in one day Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bitcoin-price-crashes-in-one- day/19609.html April 11th, 2013 The price of a single Bitcoin was at $266 Wednesday morning, but throughout the day it dropped 50% and is now fluctuating wildly. What has caused this abrupt drop in price? Bitcoin - the virtual currency that has exploded in value over the past few months - went through a major correction Wednesday. Peaking at $266, it abruptly dropped in value down to a low of $105, according to the largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox. Later in the day the price was slowing rising again. What caused this 50% drop? Skeptics and supporters of Bitcoin will point to many different factors, but there are two they could likely agree on:
  • 67. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 1. Substantial speculation. With all the recent media attention, and the steady rise in value, many new investors (both small and large) have joined the Bitcoin market recently, speculating that the virtual currency would continue to rise. As soon as the price began to drop, many of these newcomers panicked and sold as quickly as they could. 2. Mt. Gox lag. The largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox., has become notorious recently for their service having substantial lag. It isn't clear if the site was the target of a specific DDoS attack, or if they simply had so many orders that they couldn't keep up with them. Either way, as the selling frenzy continued throughout the day, the lag got worse - reaching as high as 40 minutes at times. While skeptics will point to this drop as evidence that Bitcoin isn't really a viable currency, this correction only puts Bitcoin back to the same prices as - a week ago! At the beginning of the year, Bitcoin was at $14, so the current change in value does little to undermine the case for this virtual currency. Indeed, many Bitcoin users at the popular subreddit /r/ Bitcoin are unfazed by the drop in price. A comment from user anotherblog is typical of many: This is just the market venting some pressure after these huge gains. To be honest I'm glad it's happening now. If it recovers, it will demonstrate resilience in the market and give confidence to future buyers and current holders that they don't need to panic sell, reduce the chances of a crash in the future. Whether you are a user or a spectator of Bitcoin, one thing is certain - it has already been a wild ride. Batman Arkham Origins officially announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/batman-arkham-origins-officially- announced/19616.html April 11th, 2013 Warner Bros. Interactive has recently announced Batman: Arkham Origins, a prequel in the definitive Batman: Arkham series that's slated for a multi-platform release on October 25, 2013. Warner Bros. Interactive has recently announced a new release in the Batman: Arkham series is coming soon to the gaming world, and that the game itself will be a prequel to the events of the current releases. The game's official title is Batman: Arkham Origins and it is slated for a multi-platform release onto consoles and PC on October 25 of this year. Below you can find an excerpt from the game's official press release: "Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. T aking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains and assassins, the game showcases a young, raw, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, witness identities being formed and key relationships being forged." Additionally, Warner Bros. has also announced Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, a companion game for handheld systems that will tie into the console version, and is planned to feature additional content into Batman's past. Reid Schneider, Vice President of WB Games Montréal had this to say about the upcoming game: “WB Games Montréal is honored to have the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Origins, a new chapter in this amazing franchise” Reid began, “We are huge fans of the franchise and are committed to creating an experience that offers players more of what they love, as well as the chance to play as a younger Batman within a fresh storyline and expanded world.”
  • 68. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 The game's announcement is no surprise to some, as a month ago we covered the evidence that pointed to a new Batman: Arkham game being in development, including the quotes from Warner Bros. Q4 Transcript as well as the changes on the series' Facebook page. It will be interesting nonetheless to see what in-game changes Warner Bros. makes to Batman: Arkham Origins' gameplay, and what new features are implemented. Fans of the caped crusader will no doubt be looking forward to the release, and the series itself has garnered considerable critical acclaim from the gaming world with many near- perfect and perfect scores from professional gaming websites. It will also be interesting to see what source material that Warner Bros. has selected for Origins, and which of the expansive story arcs from the DC comics are utilized. There's a plethora of material to choose from, as the Dark Knight has a multitude of adventures to cite and use--along with a massive array of iconic villains and notorious baddies. Batman: Arkham Origins is currently slated to release on Oct. 25, 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website. Head of AOL Networks resigns Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/head-of-aol-networks- resigns/19633.html April 11th, 2013 Ned Brody, the Head of AOL Networks has resigned, leaving CEO Tim Armstrong in charge while a new permanent replacment is found. It has been confirmed that Ned Brody, the head of AOL’s advertising division AOL Networks, is resigning. This comes following a report that Yahoo is nabbing him as head of sales for North America, a position which has been left vacant for a year. Following his departure, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong will be taking over Brody’s duties until a replacement has been found. At the same time, Peter Land is leaving Pepsico to become AOL’s new SVP of corporate communications. Ned Brody Brody’s departure comes just two months after AOL announced two other big changes to its management: Artie Minson, COO of AOL is leaving (and taking the position with him; AOL will no longer have a COO). In addition, Susan Lyne will be joingin the company as the new CEO of AOL’s brand group. Ned Brody has not been confirmed to be taking the new position at Yahoo, but chances are he will. America is Yahoo’s biggest market and the position he has been offered is an important one. At the time of his leaving, AOL Networks remains the smallest part of AOL, but it is also the fastest growing. In the fourth quarter of last year, AOL Networks brought in $183.4 million a whopping rise of 37%. Sales of PC's plummet - Windows 8 is a dud Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sales-of-pc-s-plummet--windows-8- is-a-dud/19621.html April 11th, 2013 The PC market just got another reminder that its life force is getting much weaker. Some analysts are saying that the PC market may not recover and those mobile devices, which include tablets, will be the new mainstay of computing. Two new reports were recently released that demonstrate the massive decline in sales for the humble PC desktop. The results come sales reports from the end of 2012 through the first three months of 2013. Not only have PC desktop sales plummeted, but the latest Windows 8 operating system seems to have spurred even less sales in PCs. For all intents and purposes, the latest Windows 8 OS appears to be a total failure. Colin Gillis who serves as financial analyst for BGC says that the PC desktops days are numbered and that the latest news is ‘horrific’. He went on to stress that mobile computers, which include smartphones and tablets, are the newest way in which people use the Internet. "It's all about mobile computing now. We have definitely reached the tipping point," Gillis Said. According to data accumulated for International Data Corporation, first –quarter shipments for personal computers in the form of desktops fell by as much as 14% from this time last year. Other research firms show similar data, with the research group Gartner Inc., showing an 11% drop. Hewlett-Packard, which is currently the largest maker of desktop personal computers, has seen a 24% drop in PC deliveries for this first quarter compared to what they shipped this time last year. Microsoft gambled that a brand new Windows operating system might somehow spur sales of PCs but instead it seems to have done the exact opposite. Windows 8 is a brand new type of Windows operating system built around touch
  • 69. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 screen-centric personal computers. It was also developed for Microsoft's latest Surface, which is a laptop and tablet hybrid. However, the Surface hasn’t won over a lot of fans due to a variety of reason--mainly, that the OS diverged heavily away from what desktop users are used to. Next Xbox to interact with your standard cable box Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/next-xbox-to-interact-with-your- standard-cable-box/19618.html April 11th, 2013 Microsoft is betting big on the next Xbox. The new console is being reported to have the ability to take over your TV much like Google TV. Reports on the next Xbox are revealing that it will operate by grabbing your standard cable box signals and pass them through the console via an HDML. The Xbox would then overlay additional features to your TV channels. This next-generation Xbox is supposedly going to be in direct competition with Google TV but it will offer more features from Microsoft's dealings with reaching out to other content providers. Microsoft's new Kinect sensor will have the ability to detect people in the room and even watch for eye movement and allow it to pause play, much like many new smartphones will have. Just 3 days ago on April 8, Microsoft announced at their official blog site that were selling their Mediaroom to Ericsson. This sale is apparently a way for the software giant to focus more on the evolution of the Xbox and its new concept with cloud-based TV. “With the sale of Mediaroom, Microsoft is dedicating all TV resources to Xbox in a continued mission to make it the premium entertainment service that delivers all the games and entertainment consumers want – whether on a console, phone, PC or tablet,” Microsoft writes on their blog. “…with 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world with 46 million Xbox LIVE members, it is a mission that gets us out of bed in the morning.” According to The Verge website more details on the new Xbox will be revealed on May 21st when Microsoft will be conducting its unveiling. Originally they had the event planned for the end of April but pushed it back to May, however, there was not any word on why it was postponed. Apple acquires $10 million worth of patents Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-acquires-10-million-worth-of- patents/19631.html April 11th, 2013 Apple has gone into a deal with patent holding company Access to license out several patents, including some that Steve Jobs once said were worthless. Apple has struck a deal with patent hold firm Access according to a document published on Access’ website. The deal involves licensing patents to Apple, including several patents originally filed by Palm, Bell Communications Research and Geoworks. This comes as a little curious considering some comments previously made by Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs had told a former CEO at Palm that the company’s patents were “not that great”, and that Apple had chosen not to acquire the patents for sole use on the iPhone, because they had little or no value. Of course, one can’t say that the patents are all that valuable now anyway, since Apple acquired the licenses from Access for $10 million. That amount is a lot to you and me, but to a company like Apple, which is valued at $140 billion, it isn’t very much at all. Google establishes the Glass Collective Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-establishes-the-glass- collective/19632.html April 11th, 2013 Google has set up the Glass Collective, an investment syndicate that will provide seed funding to entrepreneurs who want to employ Glass in what could become the next big thing after smartphones and tablets. Google has set up the Glass Collective, an investment syndicate that will provide seed funding to entrepreneurs who want to employ Glass in what could become the next big thing after smartphones and tablets. The Glass Collective is made up of Google Ventures and investment firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins
  • 70. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Caufield & Byers (KPCB). The trio will provide funding for those who have come up with innovative ideas for how to use Glass, which could result in dozens of new features. The move is a major vote of confidence for Google Glass, which has already attracted a lot of attention from consumers, with many signing up to test the device, despite its $1,500 cost. “When you first see somebody wearing Glass, you might think “What can that thing do?” Well, quite honestly, we’re wondering the same thing,” said Bill Maris of Google Ventures. “When entrepreneurs and engineers encounter a new computing platform, amazing things happen. Think how much the cell phone has changed, just from 2007 to 2013. We’re really interested in where Glass goes from here.” Marc Andreessen of Andreesen Horowtiz described Glass as “transformational,” while John Doeer of KCPB said that “killer apps” are coming for Glass. Their financial contribution could play a monumental part in the success of the platform. Research shows social media addicts suffer withdrawal symptoms Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/research-shows-social-media- addicts-suffer-withdrawal-symptoms/19630.html April 11th, 2013 Researchers have found that social media addicts suffer from withdrawal systems if they are forced to go “cold turkey” with no Facebook or Twitter for just a single month. Researchers have found that social media addicts suffer from withdrawal systems if they are forced to go “cold turkey” with no Facebook or Twitter for just a single month. The University of Winchester in the UK conducted the research, asking ten self-confessed Facebook addicts and another ten Twitter addicts to go four weeks without posting or tweeting. Many addicts reported feeling isolated from the world, since they largely organised their social life through these mediums. Facebook users were found to suffer more issues than Twitter users, given the former's more social nature. However, there were also positive effects, such as allowing people to catch up with chores or spend more time with immediate family. “Some people would argue this addiction to social media is eating away at people’s lives, but what most of these so- called addicts are doing online is profoundly social," said Dr. David Giles, who led the study. “The average internet user today is not the bedroom hermit of the 1990s but a savvy individual with a smartphone who openly manages his or her entire social life and personal relationships online.” The researchers also got ten inactive social media users and ten people who had never used Facebook or Twitter at all to start posting and tweeting. The findings showed that many users enjoyed the process and some reported seeing their friends more than ever because of it. Exploit in uPlay launcher removes DRM from Ubisoft games Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exploit-in-uplay-launcher-removes- drm-from-ubisoft-games/19629.html April 11th, 2013 Ubisoft's uPlay game launcher apparently has an exploit which has allowed hackers to fool the system into thinking you own games that you actually don't. Ubisoft is an expert at poorly designed DRM. In the past, their DRM has included software which allows access to your computer by hackers, technical issues (which only plague paying customers), and a glaring amount of inefficiency.
  • 71. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 Now, their uPlay game launcher has had its turn in the spotlight and the problem it has given Ubisoft is almost comically disastrous. uPlay’s PC client has allowed hackers to develop a simple tool which fools the client into thinking the user owns copies of games they have never purchased. This in itself would be terrible, but the tool even affects games from other publishers, such as Square Enix and EA. As an example, Far Cry 3’s new DLC, “Blood Dragon” isn’t released yet, but it’s sitting on Ubisoft’s servers, so the hackers downloaded it and posted a one and a half hour long gameplay video as proof. Oh look, it's Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon! ...wait, that hasn't been released yet, has it? Ubisoft doesn’t seem to be able to get this stuff right, and it seems to be getting worse with every attempt. They might have to start worrying about lawsuits. Perhaps then, it is time to give up on the horrible shamble known as uPlay and ask if they can go play over at Steam’s house instead. Intel rethinks the server rack Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-rethinks-the-server- rack/19627.html April 11th, 2013 Intel has just unveiled their redesign of the server rack, regrouping the components in order to increase their operationl efficiency Intel has just revealed their idea for a complete redesign of the server rack. Diane Bryant, senior vice president and head of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at Intel, described the new design at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing: It involves separating the components of a server and storing them with similar components. Current day servers racks are essentially large cabinets filled with several individual servers; specialized computers dedicated to handling networking tasks. If one rack isn’t enough, several racks are placed side by side in a room; the server room. Intel’s new idea is that instead of simply stacking a number of interconnected servers together as complete units, the internal components (such as memory and processors) should be grouped together instead. The benefits are many; in the case of the CPU, the server rack would effectively be able to cool all the CPUs together, and their computing power could easily be combined to handle operating speeds of 100 gigabits per second or more. This could be done a lot more efficiently, according to Intel Furthermore, with several individual components working in tandem, it would be very easy to swap one component out, upgrading it, without interfering with the server’s operation. Hot-swapping components is already something server racks can do, with backup systems taking over for the component being replaced while the administrators of the server are working on it. However, with the new Intel design, the process would be more expansive, and much simpler. Bryant explained that Intel wants to release a reference design for this type of rack, hoping that the big server manufacturers would be able to build on the concept. A few servers in China are already working on some aspects of this system: Intel has partnered with Alibaba, Baidu and Chinese Internet Company Tencent, as well as China Telecom on something called Project Scorpio. Scorpio is an effort to centralize all the cooling and fans on a server rack and demonstrate savings in operating costs. Burner app gives you disposable phone number, now on Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/burner-app-gives-you-disposable- phone-number-now-on-android/19625.html April 11th, 2013 Burner is an app for your smartphone which lets you create a fake number which automatically forwards its calls to your phone. Imagine you’ve just met someone and you think they’re kind of cool, but you’re not sure you’re ready to give them your actual number. In a situation like that, a temporary number
  • 72. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 would be really useful. Burner is an app that allows you to make one; it lets you create a number for an area code of your choosing, and then forwards that number to your real one. Burner was released as an iOS only app back in August, and after nine months of success, it’s launching on Android. Gone are the days of giving out fake numbers that lead to the local sandwich shop Using it is simple: The app comes with a “create burner” button, which when pressed brings you to a dialogue screen where you can pick an available number for an area code. One more button and the new number is set up and will forward its calls to you. It works with both calls and texts, just like any other number and when you’re done, it can be removed easily. While the app is free and comes with a free burner number, continued use will require you to buy credits. $2 will get you a number that lasts for a week, with 20 voice minutes and 60 texts included. So far the app is only available for North American numbers, understandably. Burner isn’t the first application to offer this kind of service for Android. Hushed is another app which was launched in January and actually received a comment by Burner’s CEO for being too similar. Another thing to note, for all you budding criminals out there: The app may give you a fake number, but it obviously doesn’t make you anonymous, and you can’t use it to hide from the boys in blue. Blackstone looks for partners to privatize Dell Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackstone-looks-for-partners-to- privatize-dell/19624.html April 11th, 2013 The Blackstone Group LP is looking for tech partners to do a bid for Dell and privatize the computer maker. The Blackstone Group, LP is looking to purchase Dell, Inc. and are currently looking for partners in the tech industry in order to place a bid on the computer maker and hopefully privatize it. No potential partners in the bid have been been disclosed yet, but in all likelihood, they would receive deciding power, both in Dell's future strategies and in their financials. Blackstone has discussed a number of different scenarios for the bid, including an equity stake, debt financing or a combination of the two. The Blackstone group is an American alternative asset management group with a private equity business that over the past decade has become one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts. They have been investments in Hilton, United Biscuits, Vivint and Travelport among others, and since it's IPO in 2007, it has become one of the few private equity firms on the stock market. Crucial's SSD is now less than $0.60 per GB Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/crucial-s-ssd-is-now-less-than-0.60- per-gb/19623.html April 11th, 2013 Crucial's M500 Solid State Drive has been released for a relative bargain, leading the way towards SSD drives one day becoming cheap enough to take over from the traditional HDD. Crucial revealed their new SSD, the M500, back in the Consumer Electronics Show in January as a successor to their M4 drives. The M500 conttains 20nm multilevel cells with NAND flash technology and has now been priced and is available for purchase. The 960GB version is selling for $570 ,which comes out to around $0.60 per GB. This may be a lot of money to shell out for a drive, but for a large capacity SSD, it's a bargain. Many other drives on the market with a similar capacity can go for upwards of $1000.
  • 73. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 As with most things, the price per GB increases with smaller drives. The Tech Report has done the math and has anounced that the 120, 240 and 480 GB models will cost $129, $202 and $363 respectively; that works out to $1.08 per gigabyte for the smallest model and $0.76 per gigabyte for the 480 GB model. The M500 is fast, delivering 80,000 IOPS and being able to read at 500MB/second and write at 400MB/second. Inside the SSD is Marvell 88SS9177 controller that uses custom firmware and hardware encryption. The SSD also uses evice sleep technology, which uses 150mW while in use and just 5mW while asleep, aiding in heat redution and cutting energy consumption. Crucial claims that the M500 uses 93% less power when in a sleep state, than its predecessor, the M4. Rosewill Tachyon 550W & Silentnight 500W Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rosewill-tachyon-550w-- silentnight-500w-review/19330.html April 11th, 2013 Today we have a review of the Tachyon 550W and the Silentnight 500W power supplies, two middle range, 80Plus Platinum certified products from Rosewill, the company which evolved from the in-house brand of an e-tailer to a stand-alone manufacturer. Both units share the same OEM and a similar output but each aims at a different target group. Read on to find out more about their features and performance. Rosewill is one of the fastest growing suppliers of PC-related products in the North America at the time of this review. The company started off as an in-house brand of Newegg, the very large and well-known electronic store, but quickly grew into a stand-alone manufacturer, exporting their products in several other countries. Today the company designs, manufactures and exports myriads of products, including hardware for advanced users and enthusiasts. In this review we will be looking at two of their middle capacity but high performance power supply units, the Silentnight 500W and the Tachyon 550W. Although both power supplies are based on the same design, each is aiming towards a different market group. Read on to find out more about their similarities and differences, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Rosewill Tachyon 550W Features and specifications • 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified • Continuous 550W@50°C • Single strong 12V rail – idea for Gaming system • SLI & CrossFire Ready – 2 x 6+2pin Connector • Modular cable design • 1x Silent 140mm Fan with Auto Fan Speed Control for better silence • Active-PFC with auto AC-input voltage adjustment(100-240V) • Black Coating Housing • Mesh sleeving on all cables for easier cable routing and better ventilation • Over Current/Voltage/Power Protection, Under Voltage Protection, and Short Circuit Protection provide maximum safety to your critical system components • Safety & EMI Approval: cTUVus, FCC, CE, ROHS Model Tachyon-550 Series Tachyon Type ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92 Maximum Power Continuous 550W@50°C Fans 1 x Silent 140mm PFC Active Main Connector 20+4Pin +12V Rails Single PCI-E Connectors 2x 6+2-pin Modular Cabling Support Yes SLI Support Yes Power Good Signal 100-500ms Hold-up Time > 16ms Efficiency > 87%, Up to 92% Over Voltage Protection Yes Overload Protection Yes
  • 74. April 11th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 Input Voltage 100 - 240 V Input Frequency Range 47 - 63 Hz Input Current 10A Output +3.3V@20A +5V@20A +12V@45.5A -12V@0.5A +5VSB@2.5A MTBF 100k hours at 25°C, max. load, nominal input Approvals cTUVus, FCC, CE, ROHS Dimension 5.9 x 3.39 x 6.7 inch 150 x 86 x 170 mm W x H x D Weight 2.5 kg 5.52 lbs Warranty 5-year One-to-One Replacement Rosewill Silentnight 500W Features and specifications Brand Rosewill Model SilentNight-500 Type ATX12V / EPS12V Maximum Power 500W Fans Fanless Power Supply Main Connector 20+4Pin +12V Rails Single PCI-Express Connector 4 x 6+2-Pin SATA Power Connector 6 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular Energy-Efficient 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Dimensions 170 x 150 x 86mm Parts 5 years limited Labor 5 years limited
  • 75. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Ubisoft brings retro sci-fi action to XBLA & PSN with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ubisoft-brings-retro-sci-fi-action-to- xbla--psn-with-far-cry-3-blood-dragon/19645.html April 12th, 2013 Ubisoft's retro sci-fi FPS spin-off Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has finally been given an official release date and will drop on May 1, 2013 on XBLA, PSN and PC. Ubisoft has recently pulled back the curtain on the anticipated retro throwback spin-off Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which was officially announced as a downloadable release for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Blood Dragon takes players on a journey to the year 2007, which happens to be filled with 80's-style neon lighting, cyborgs, and dinosaurs that shoot lasers out of their eyes. The first-person shooter utilizes classic retro elements that pay homage to many different genres all at once, and even features a cyborg protagonist that's shares the likeness of Terminator's Michael Biehn. "You are Sergeant Rex Colt: Mark IV Cyber Commando. The year is 2007 and Earth has been ravaged by a nuclear war which erupted in the 90s. The east vs. west conflict has raged for generations, and humanity continues to struggle to progress after a disastrous decade. New paths for peace must be found, and the US cyborg army may have found a solution: a powerful bioweapon on a distant island. Your mission is to gather information and figure out what the hell is going on." Blood Dragon takes gamers on a zany and wild adventure through the VHS futuristic sci-fi era, making use of intense FPS action and hilarious nods to classic pop-culture references of the 80's. Ubisoft has also announced that Blood Dragon has been offered as part of AMD's Never Settle: Reloaded promotion, where gamers can score their own free copy of the game when they purchase select AMD Radeon graphics cards and redeem their promo code. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will be released on May 1, 2013 as a downloadable title via the Xbox LIVE Arcade Marketplace, PlayStation Network, and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website.
  • 76. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Devoted fan creates Fallout- themed Monopoly game Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/devoted-fan-creates-fallout-themed- monopoly-game/19653.html April 12th, 2013 There are literally hundreds of variants of Monopoly on the market today, but one devoted fan has created their very own Fallout-themed version of the classic board game that's complete with bottle cap currency, recognizable miniatures, and iconic landmarks from the series as properties. Just about everyone has played Monopoly sometime or another in their life: the iconic board game created by Parker Brothers back in 1935 has been enjoyed for decades by millions of people around the world. With time, more themed version of Monopoly sprouted up, and soon it caught fire until there was a Monopoly version of just about everything. The attention to detail in this fan-made game is impeccable, and would be a great treat for any fan of the franchise. One devoted fan has taken the time to meld his love of gaming with the board game and create his very own Fallout- themed version of Monopoly. The creator, a Reddit user with the handle XsimonbelmontX, reveals that the project took over eight months all in all and that Fallout Monopoly was created as a present for his wife's birthday. The array of properties along with the distinct bottle-cap currency and rolling die can be seen above. His wife, who is a huge fan of the series of games, also worked with her husband to change up the rules of the game and introduce Fallout staples like perks and levels into the mix. The whole game represents the signature Fallout flair, with incredible detail in every bottle cap, property card, and the board itself--and nothing says "I love you" better than a good old-fashioned hand-crafted present. Some of the miniatures include a Nuka-Cola vending machine, Abraxo cleaner, a Pip-Boy, and even a Vault Tec lunchbox. The idea of creating limited edition Monopoly sets based on gaming franchises is quite a good idea, and maybe we'll see more of these in the near future. Until now, XsimonbelmontX and his wife will have the world's first Fallout Monopoly set to play with their friends. One can only guess what changes they've made to the rules and how the perks and level-ups add into the mix...but one thing's for sure, it looks like a blast. Rumor: Devs only have access to 7GB of PS4's 8GB of RAM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumor-devs-only-have-access- to-7gb-of-ps4-s-8gb-of-ram/19656.html April 12th, 2013 According to a recent rumor, game developers will only have access to 7 GB's of the PlayStation 4's 8GB of RAM, with the remaining gig being utilized by the console's operating system. A new rumor has been circulated through the gaming sphere that centers on the PlayStation 4's RAM, and more specifically the limited amount of the console's RAM that developers have access to. According to the rumor, developers will only have access to 7 of the PS4's 8 GB of RAM, with the rest being occupied by the console's expansive operating system as well as remaining space for background tasks. The rumor itself is based on information gleaned by an unnamed PS4 developer during a recent interview, yet due to the non-official nature of the reports, the subject must be chalked up to rumor.
  • 77. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Based on the specs that Sony released back in February, the PS4 features an impressive 8GB's of GDDR5 RAM that offers a substantial bandwidth advantage with speeds at176 GB/s. Additionally, Sony's next-gen console utilizes an 8 core CPU and GPU with 18 compute units that is reportedly capable of dishing out 1.84 Teraflops, which are both part of the APU combination created by AMD. Sony has made a large effort to collaborate with many high-profile developers (such as Crytek, Epic Games and id Software) and asked the dev teams what they wanted out of the PS4 and used the feedback to provide the console's developer-friendly infrastructure. Sony isn't the only one that features consoles with large operating systems: Nintendo did the same with the Wii U, which utilizes half of its 2GB of RAM for its operating system. The introduction of new features comes at the cost of more allocated memory, and we'll most likely see similar trends with Microsoft's Xbox 720. The Japan-based console maker is expected to attend this year's E3 event in June, and it will be interesting to see if they speak out on this rumor--and the list of countless others-- during their appearance at the show. For now we'll just have to chalk this one up to speculation until more information comes to light. Study shows using Bing or Yandex increases chances of picking up malware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/study-shows-using-bing-or-yandex- increases-chances-of-picking-up-malware/19650.html April 12th, 2013 AV-Test, which is an independent Internet security group, says that the search engine Bing and Russia’s Yandex are far more likely to send a person to a malicious website than most other search engines available. Of all the search engines based in the U.S., it seems that Microsoft’s Bing is five times more likely to get your computer infected from a link given to a malicious website. The data comes from AV-Test, which is an independent IT- security group based out of Germany - the data results from the study was recently published on-line (PDF file link). AV-Test said that while many search engines were still good at keeping visitors away from maliciously coded websites, many still turned up the bad sites in their top results. The group studied approximately 40 million public websites found through seven of the top search engines. Of those search engines, about one-half were split between Google and Bing, 13 million were provided by the Russian-based Yandex and the rest were from Baidu, Blekko, Faroo and Teoma. Of the 40 million websites that were searched, the study shows that Google was by far the safest to trust, followed by Bing. However, Bing did return about five times more sites infected with malware. Even so, it is important to point out that while Bing may have given five times more sites infected with malware, the number of infections were still very low over all. Of the 40 million sites visited, AV-Test said they found only about 5 thousand sites to be infected with malware. The Russian-based Yandex returned 10 times as many sites infected with 3,300 malicious website links. Bing retuned 1,285 out of the 10 million sites reviewed and Google had the lowest of all with 272 hits for maliciously coded websites. The report reads in part, When fed into calculations, this result only leads to a small overall percentage of infected websites. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Google alone deals with a phenomenal total of 2 to 3 billion search requests worldwide every day. If this total is factored into the calculations, the total number of websites containing malware found by the search engine is enough to make your head spin! Those that are making the infected websites do so, very cleverly, by creating a legitimate looking blog site or by first making numerous small websites. Once the site is set up they add the most frequently searched terms embedded in the site from top news stories using backlinks. Users feel safe seeing current news stories, and they never suspect that the site might infect their computer with malware. NASA and US Air Force looking for next-generation space processor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nasa-and-us-air-force-looking-for- next-generation-space-processor/19660.html
  • 78. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 April 12th, 2013 NASA and the US Air Force Research Laboratory have joined forces in the search for a next-generation processor to power the spacecraft computing needs of the future. NASA and the US Air Force Research Laboratory have joined forces in the search for a next-generation processor to power the spacecraft computing needs of the future. The duo established the Air Force Next Generation Space Processor Analysis Program, which is calling for between two and four companies to perform a year-long evaluation of advanced space-based applications that would use spaceflight processors in the decade of 2020-2030. “Computer processors and applications aboard spacecraft will need to transform dramatically to take advantage of computational leaps in technology and new mission needs,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. “NASA's Space Technology Program is teaming with the Air Force to develop the next generation spaceflight processor requirements and propose solutions to meet future high performance space computing needs in the upcoming decades.” The launch of the first shuttle in 1981. Since then technology has come a long way, and NASA wants to push it further. The hope is that future processors used in spacecraft will be so powerful that they can perform autonomous pinpoint landing with hazard detection and avoidance during entry, descent, and landing during moon or Mars missions. This is in addition to real-time segmented mirror control on space telescopes, onboard real-time analysis of hyperspectral images, autonomous onboard situational analysis and real- time mission planning, and real-time mode-based fault protection for spacecraft. NASA and the US Air Force will award a $2 million contract between the companies selected for the year-long research. Further funding of around $20 million will be made available for an up to four-year contract to develop a spaceflight microprocessor capable of meeting the space agency's needs for future missions. Image Credit: NASA Man says he can 'hijack' an airplane's controls using an Android app Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/man-says-he-can-hijack-an-airplane- s-controls-using-an-android-app/19647.html April 12th, 2013 A German pilot and Internet consultant claims to have the ability to ‘hijack’ a commercial plane with a smartphone application that he designed. Hugh Teso, who works as an Internet security consultant, says he has learned to exploit vulnerabilities in airplanes data system controls using an Android app that he designed, flight management software he purchased on eBay, and a radio transmitter. He calls the program “PlaneSploit” and claimed to have successfully used it in intercepting an airplane’s flight management control systems, albeit safely on a flight simulator. He did stress that it can only work when the plane is in autopilot mode. Speaking before the ‘Hack in the Box’ conference that was held in The Netherlands, Teso said he developed the app for the Android operating system and for the sole purpose of seeing if he could exploit the controls on a plane. During the conference he said that the app allows him to take over everything on a plane from its navigational system controls to its environmental controls such as heating and air. The app is designed to look like a smaller version of an animated airplane cockpit with all the similar buttons and controls. He says that it has the ability to do anything a pilot could do manually, even to the point of crashing the plane. The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) negates Teso’s claim that he can ‘hijack’ an airplane’s controls. The FAA went as far to say it was literally impossible for his program to do what he is boasting. They also said that it could not stop any given pilot from disengaging autopilot and, "Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain 'full control of an aircraft' as the technology consultant has claimed." Pantech to unveil "the Galaxy S IV killer" Vega smartphone on April 18 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pantech-to-unveil-the-galaxy-s-iv- killer-vega-smartphone-on-april-18/19644.html
  • 79. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 April 12th, 2013 Pantech announced recently, that it will be holding a press conference on April 18th to unveil its latest Vega phone. Touted as the "Galaxy S IV Killer", this new phone is rumored to have a bezel-less 5-inch full HD display with a Snapdragon 600 CPU. Pantech may also be taking a cue from HTC's move to aluminum unibody phones and using a metal encasing instead of its traditional plastic encasing. The exact price point of the new phone is unknown, but the move to a metal encasing may mean that consumers will be paying slightly more for the sleek look. Production difficulties may bump back release of iPhones/iPad mini Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/production-difficulties-may-bump- back-release-of-iphonesipad-mini/19643.html April 12th, 2013 According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities, Apple is having some production challenges which will slow down device shipments in the third quarter, as relevant to previous market expectations. Rather than an iPhone release in June or July, Kuo now believes that later time frames will influence the release of iDevices this year, ranging from August to November. In January, KUO predicted that Apple would have a rather busy third quarter, releasing its iPhone devices as early as June/July. In a recent report, however, Kuo indicates production difficulties with the next batch of Apple products, making device shipments in the third quarter slower than previously expected by Kuo and other analysts. Rather than an iPhone release in June or July, Kuo now believes that later time frames will influence the release of iDevices this year, ranging from August to November. This is much less specific than Kuo’s previous projections, but it is clear in any case that the release will probably come later than originally anticipated. According to the report, Earlier we estimated that shipments of the new iPhone would begin in July (FDD version) and September (TDD version), while iPad mini 2 would hit the market in August. Currently, market consensus for shipments of iPhone 5S, low-cost iPhone and iPad mini 2 is July, July, and August, respectively. But in light of publicly available information and our knowledge of technological trends, we now think all three products will begin shipments later than our previous expectation and market consensus. Kuo specifically mentioned the following issues being faced in production: • The new fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S will require color coating to prevent interference with the sensor. • The newer low cost iPhone is rumored to be produced with a plastic shell, rather than a metal case. In addition, to keep costs lower, Apple will want to make the shell as thin as possible. This will necessitate prolonged production, for coatings and surface treatments. • The iPad mini is going to be shipped with a retina display. Since the previous iPad mini did include a Retina display, adding one will pose some challenges of integration. Kuo has proven to be a fairly reliable source of tech projections, so his ideas should not be treated like a report from DigiTimes. The predictions should prove interesting to investors, since the growth of iPhone shipments in the third quarter is predicted by Kuo to be only 1% year over year, rather than the previously anticipated 30-40% growth. The predictions should also prove interesting to fans of the devices, since it seems further evidence of anticipated features in upcoming iDevices, such as biometrics in the 5S, a translucent shell in the budget iPhone, and a retina display in the iPad mini. Google now lets you appoint an executor for your account Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-now-lets-you-appoint-an- executor-for-your-account/19640.html
  • 80. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 April 12th, 2013 With the proliferation of social media and our increasing use of things like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ the question about what happens to all that information after we pass on from this world is one that we really need to deal with just as we do with out real world possessions. This is a question that has come up many times over the years since the rise of social media: What happens to all those social media accounts and the information on them after we die? After all, much of our lives are now documented to the Nth degree on everything from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook to Gmail, but how often do you consider what is going to happen to all of it after you have passed from this world? It is also a subject that the social media services themselves have obviously been considering, and Google has announced that they are going to help you with that planning with their new Inactive Account Manager. The settings are found on your account settings page, and will provide users with various options of what should be done with their account should it be inactive for an extended period of time. Unlike most settings pages, this one is pretty simple, you select a timeout period - three, six, nine, or twelve months of inactivity - at which point Google can be directed on what to do with your Gmail contents, Blogger posts, Google + account, Contacts, and YouTube accounts. This is done by Google sending out a text message and email to a secondary address that you supply, and if you don't respond it will assume that you have passed away. Now if you want to save all that data you can have the service notify up to 10 people you want to have access to the data of your inactive account. Google will ask for verification details for those listed - such as an email address or phone number. Then when you are ready, you can let those people know that you have entrusted them with your electronic possessions on Google after you pass away. EA cuts jobs at Montreal mobile studio Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-cuts-jobs-at-montreal-mobile- studio/19659.html April 12th, 2013 Electronic Arts (EA) has axed a number of jobs at its EA Mobile Montreal and EA Mobile Brazil offices, suggesting diminishing confidence in the mobile gaming market. Electronic Arts (EA) has axed a number of jobs at its EA Mobile Montreal and EA Mobile Brazil offices, suggesting diminishing confidence in the mobile gaming market. The total number of employees laid off is not known, but Joystiq reports that 60 to 70 permanent staff have lost their jobs in Montreal, while UOL Jogos reports that the entire Brazillian mobile division of EA is being closed, resulting in a further 30 to 40 job losses. 100 contracted quality assurance testers at the Montreal office will also be looking for new work, and it is not yet known if the cuts will affect other departments of EA, including the firm's larger non-mobile division in Montreal, which also houses one of BioWare's teams. The company has remained tight-lipped about how the layoffs will affect its games. “EA is sharpening its focus to provide games for new platforms and mobile. In some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more efficient organization,” EA said in a statement. “These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles. Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world.” EA has been struggling to turn itself around in the face of poor financial performance, most recently including a $45 million loss in its fiscal third quarter. The company's CEO, John Riccitiello, stepped down last month, taking the blame for the bad figures, which suggested EA would underperform again in the months of January to March. These recent job
  • 81. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 losses are likely a response to the plummeting figures, and possibly only the start of other cuts at the company. BlackBerry denies high return rate on Z10 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-denies-high-return-rate- on-z10/19657.html April 12th, 2013 The newly released BlackBerry Z10 is reportedly seeing higher returns than sales in the US, something which BlackBerry denies as "absolutely false". BlackBerry’s shares have taken a bit of a tumble after some analysts recently reported that their new Z10 smartphone has had poor sales and large return rates. One analyst even claimed the returns were more numerous than the sales, while another stated that sales had dropped significantly. The BlackBerry Z10 next to the Apple iPhone BlackBerry denies these claims, calling them “absolutely false”. According to the mobile phone manufacturer, the return rate for the Z10 are in line with, or even better than projected estimates, and is staying consistent with the return rates for other smartphones. Here is BlackBerry’s full response to the claims: BlackBerry wishes to respond to media coverage today regarding speculation that there have been abnormally high levels of returns of BlackBerry Z10 devices. This is absolutely false. Our data shows that return rates for BlackBerry Z10 devices both in the U.S. and on a global basis are in line with or better than our expectations and are consistent with return rates for other premium smartphones in the market today. BlackBerry has a lot riding on the success of the Z10; it is the company’s first in a new generation of devices. The design of the Z10 is reminiscent of other contemporary smartphones, relying on a touch screen instead of the traditional keyboard BlackBerry is usually associated with. The success of the phone is of vital importance to BlackBerry’s planned comeback. BlackBerry reports that they sold one million Z10s to its partners during the last quarter, though this number does not include US sales, which began late last month. Spot the meme in this awesome poster Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spot-the-meme-in-this-awesome- poster/19654.html April 12th, 2013 A poster over at collegehumor.com has collected some of the most prolific internet memes over the past few years. Can you name them all? H. Caldwell Tanner is an artist who frequently does comics and other visuals for collegehumor.com. He is perhaps most known for his collection of then vs. now comics comparing the sometimes unexpected similarities between events when we see them as children and as adults (such as birthday parties). Now, he has created an amazing collage of internet history, putting together over 9000 one hundred memes in his unique art style. It’s quite impressive how well he manages to replicate the memes, to the point that they’re unmistakably recognizable. Can you name them all? I don’t know if it would be a badge of honor or shame if you can, but do give it a shot anyway. If you head on over to CollegeHumor’s website, they have a super sized version of the poster that also contains the answer key, in case you’re not a meme-expert. They’ll even let you download it as a desktop wallpaper. Credit card sized backup battery charges your cell phone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/credit-card-sized-backup-battery- charges-your-cell-phone/19652.html
  • 82. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 April 12th, 2013 The Powerocks Tarot battery is about the size of a credit card and is a real savior for those days when you forget to charge your phone. Sometimes, you forget to charge your cell phone. Sometimes, you just use more of its battery power than expected. Whatever the reason, we've all experienced times when the battery indicator goes red and had to deal with managing what little power remained through the day. It's a bother, but it isn't enough of a bother to justify carrying around a large backup battery. Powerocks agrees with this sentiment, which is why they've launched the Tarot, a 1500mAh battery with an excellent balance between size and power. The battery is just 0.28 inches thick, which according to Powerocks makes it the thinnest battery on the market. Admittedly, while credit card sized in length and height, the thickness makes it a bit wider than your average MasterCard. Still, it isn't so thick it wouldn't fit into a wallet if you really wanted it to. The battery comes with a USB connector which is used both to recharge the Tarot, and to charge other devices with it. It has enough juice to fully recharge a smart phone, which is more than enough for every day life (and perhaps a life saver for that two day business trip where you forgot to pack your charger). The Tarot sells for $35, which is a pretty decent deal Verizon introduces new pre- paid plan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/verizon-introduces-new-pre-paid- plan/19651.html April 12th, 2013 For those who aren't too fond of smartphones, Verizon has introduced a new basic pre-paid plan which gives you a pretty decent deal for $35 Remember these things? There's still a plan out there for those who do. Are you one of those people who aren't tech-savvy? Perhaps you're Jason Bourne, and you don't really have time to watch YouTube and play Angry Birds between your cat-and- mouse calls to the CIA? Well, if that is the case, chances are you don't really need a fully-shared data integrated plan from you mobile phone carrier. Over the past few years, those plans have, however, become more and more common, phasing out the older, more bare bones call plans. There is good reason for this of course, as the number of people who use ”traditional” mobile phones has dwindled. Verizon hasn't entirely given up on those who ”just want to make phone calls”, because they've introduced a new $35 prepaid plan that can go along with the company's $50 all- you-can-have offering. The new Basic Plan will offer you 500 minutes of talk time (no mobile-to-mobile minutes though, sadly) and unlimited mobile data and text messaging. If you're in the business of saving cash, or if you're a hipster who likes it vintage, this might just be for you. Dom Del Torto's laptop is in Iran (updated) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dom-del-torto-s-laptop-is-in-iran- updated-/19649.html April 12th, 2013 A British animator has created a tumblr for his stolen laptop, which has found its way to Iran and is now sending him secret photos of its new life. Dom Del Torto is an animator from the UK and he was pretty disappointed when, in February, someone broke into his London apartment and stole his MacBook Pro and iPad. Alas, the iPad is still nowhere to be found, but his laptop has reached out to its owner. Del Torto installed ”Hidden App” on his computer, a clever program that lets the user both see who has the laptop and where it is. As it turns out, Del Torto's MacBook Pro is in Iran, some 3000 miles away from home. There's little he can do to recover it, since Iran is out of the police's jurisdiction, but at
  • 83. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 least he can have some fun with it. He has created a tumblr called ”Dom's laptop is in Iran” to document the adventure of his little lost buddy. The MacBook is in Tehran Chances are, the girls in these photos aren't actually the culprits who stole the laptop; they might have bought it second hand or been given it as a gift. Regardless, these women do seem to be the new owners, and the laptop could have done a lot worse. Hopefully it'll be happy with them. Chances are, if I had the laptop, there'd be some embarrassing photos of me by now The tumblr has been closed to the public and now features password protection, but for the moment, it's available via Google's cache. As for Hidden App; there is also a multi platform equivalent called Prey. It might be worth checking out. The laptop is also showing what the user is doing; this time, looking through old photos UPDATE: The story has a somewhat happy ending. The new owners of the laptop contacted Dom Del Torto, quite upset about finding out that their laptop was stolen, Del Torto issued the following statement: The innocent new owners of my laptop have been in touch and are mortified about the story and are keen to return the laptop. Given the huge error of judgement on my part in sharing the story and failing to respect their privacy I have asked them to keep it by means of an apology. Creative Market: Photoshop's answer to the app store Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-market-photoshop-s- answer-to-the-app-store/19648.html April 12th, 2013 In an attempt to streamline the custom fonts, textures, patterns and more that users have created and strewn across the web, Photoshop has received the equivalent of an app store: The Creative Market Anybody who is familiar with Photoshop can attest that while several different websites exist for finding resources such as patterns, brushes, fonts or textures, the process of finding what you need is generally a rather disorganized one. Creative Market hopes to change that. Their Photoshop extension and API allows you to quickly find the resources you need without having to interrupt your workflow to search via Google. Apart from a tool for finding resources, users can also easily move their resources to other computers, check for license restrictions on their items and as would be expected, they'll have access to weekly updates of new things.
  • 84. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 Darius Monsef, internet philanthropist and Jason Segal look alike Creative Market has taken a long time to realize. The company was founded by Darius Monsef nearly eight years ago and was at the time a community for swapping color palettes and talking about the design process. He did consider turning the project into a proper business, but with little financial margin for color samples, he didn't see it as a viable business. Eventually MetLife and Harper Collins approached Monsef, hoping to purchase patterns they had found on the site, and at this point he realized he could automate the process and create something akin to what Creative Market is today. There is a lot of competition in the resource exchange industry, with iStockphoto and Dafont being good examples of alternatives to Monsef's service. However, Creative Market is the only 3rd party tool that allows finding resources from within Photoshop itself, and that is a pretty big perk. According to Monsef, Photoshop has roughly 40 million users who spend about $150 per year on design elements. That amounts to a $6 billion market; a market which has hardly been touched. Xbox 720 'rises' with Ryse Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-rises-with- ryse/19638.html April 11th, 2013 “Rumors” want Microsoft’s new Xbox console launching alongside the long awaited Crytek’s Kinect game Ryse. According to the same rumors, Ryse is aspired to be Microsoft’s flagship title for the year. Originally, Rise was announced under the name ‘Codename Kingdoms’ for Xbox 360, back in the 2011 E3. The game was renamed but never released, although Microsoft refuted rumors about its cancellation. As it turns out, the game was rewritten and retouched to meet the standards of the next- generation console. The Roman Empire theme remained unchanged, though. Ryse will be the mega launch title for Xbox 720, but not the only one. A “super life-like” Forza title (rumors reveal nothing more about it), a zombie game (you can’t have a new console without one) and a family game (with Pixar-style graphics and virtual characters made from Kinect’s scans of the player’s body), will be also released to leverage Xbox 720 launch. More revelations are about to follow at Microsoft’s special Xbox event in May and the E3 in June. Microsoft's changing stance on a smaller Surface Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-changing-stance-on-a- smaller-surface/19634.html April 11th, 2013 Whether or not the Microsoft Surface will be a success is still open to debate, but there is a growing feeling that the Redmond company is going to bring a smaller version of the Surface to market at some point this year. When Microsoft launched the Surface almost a year ago, they said that they were not interested in doing a smaller 7- inch version, which was backed up by the limitations that they placed on OEMs that wanted to use Windows 8 on their own tablets. The company said, at the time, that they didn't believe that the smaller screens would allow users to both consume and create content. However, the growth of the mini-tablet market--thanks to both Android and Apple-- may have forced Microsoft to re-evaluate that position. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, according to reliable sources, Microsoft is developing a new lineup of its Surface tablets, and this time they are going to be including a 7-inch version. In contrast to the company's previous stance against the smaller screen size, the WSJ is suggesting that the popularity of the 7-inch Nexus and the iPad Mini has caused Microsoft to reconsider their position. Also along the line of display sizes, Microsoft is expected to add 1080p support to its Windows Phone 8 platform in the near future to take full advantage of the increasing availability of larger and crisper displays. To date Microsoft's foray into the tablet market hasn't proven to be a roaring success as the company's marketshare hasn't budged very far, but this is something that they are obviously hoping to change by allowing Windows 8 to be usable on a smaller tablet form factor. Samsung announces mass- production of 128GB NAND using its 10nm process Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-mass- production-of-128gb-nand-using-its-10nm-process/19642.html April 11th, 2013 Just five months ago, Samsung began its production and distribution of the 64GB chips, and the entrance of its 128GB variant will surely help to further the gap between itself and competitors.
  • 85. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 11 “We will continue to release next-generation chips at the right moments to actively react to consumer demands,” according to Samsung. As more and more consumers shift to solid-state drives and use them as their primary drives, demand for NAND flash chips will surely increase. iSuppli reports that the 128GB chips will account for 30 percent of the 40.5 billion NAND flash shipped in 2013. Samsung also intends to up the ante by increasing its production volume of SSDs with densities over 500GB to aid the adoption rate of SSDs as primary drives. The involvement of Samsung in the NAND flash sector will, hopefully, drive down the prices of SSDs even further—a downward trend which many frugal PC users are hoping to see accelerate quicker. Terraria Console's Adaptation Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/terraria-console-s-adaptation- review/19553.html April 11th, 2013 Re-Logic's side-scrolling indie hit has made its way onto the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE, but do the console versions stand up to their PC counterparts? Find out inside! Developer: Engine Software BV Publisher: 505 Games Srl Genre: Side-Scroller, Block-Builder Release Date: 3/27/2013 Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade (Reviewed), PSN MSRP: 1200 MSP ($14.99) Re-Logic's fan-favorite indie classic has recently made its way onto the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as a downloadable release, bringing all of the enjoyable game mechanics and elements conveniently to your living room. In Terraria gamers can build their own worlds and craft thousands of usable items and battle enemies in an engaging experience that's all its own. Terraria's gameplay blends a variety of genres including old- school 2-D side-scrolling action, Minecraft's distinct mining sensibilities, and classic bit-style graphics to offer an original title that incorporates all of the hallmarks of an enjoyable indie. The console version is a great fit for players who want to bring the traditional block-building survival RPG experience to their living room, affording online interactivity with friends via Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. In Terraria, you can build your own home and fill it with a variety of treasures and collect a huge array of resources to make use of throughout the game. The game itself opens up a world of possibilities and affords for an uncanny sense of freedom that's a signature element of block-building indies, allowing gamers to choose what they want to do at any time. Whether you'd like to dig a thousand feet below the earth and mine for precious ores, or build a giant skyscraper that's all your own out of a variety of different resources, the choice is yours. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Terraria is its feel of openness and customizability. Gamers are introduced to a dynamic world they can change and fashion as they see fit: gamers can mold the world--chop down the trees for wood, mine rocks for stone, fashion crafting tables and a thousand other in-game items to help you on your journey--in any way they choose.
  • 86. April 12th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 12 Terraria also features an impressively expansive world that not only has an array of different biomes such as deserts and jungles, it also has a massive variety of in-game unlockables and features, ranging from an arsenal of weapons, armors, and even NPC's. The sheer volume of items within the game is impressive enough, yet this indie keeps on giving with additional features such as huge in-game bosses as well as the secrets and hidden items scattered throughout the worlds. Delve the shadowy innards of the earth for precious ores while battling creatures skittering around in the depths. Terraria also encapsulates the joys of exploration, as every created world is randomly unique in its own way, holding a plethora of secrets and hidden items waiting to be discovered. The essence of the game is captured within these signature elements, and are complimented by the other mechanics--such as RPG elements (real-time combat, equipping and collecting armor/weapons) and 2-D platforming sensibilities--to bring an immensely enjoyable experience to the world of console gaming. The sprawling 2-D world is also replete with life, from growing vines and towering trees to enemies like Slimes and other animals foraging through the wilderness. NPC's can also be seen throughout the world, offering helpful hints and tips regarding crafting and combat. With an impressively original blend of many genres associated with the golden age of gaming--2-D platformer/ side-scroller, RPG mechanics, old-school bit-style graphics-- and an intuitive gameplay mechanics, Terraria is packed with hours upon hours of good-natured fun that is a great fit for any fan of indie games.
  • 87. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. ibenX GAME-PAD: Allwinner A31 quad-core driven Android gaming tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ibenx-game-pad-allwinner-a31- quad-core-driven-android-gaming-tablet/19677.html April 14th, 2013 A company called ibenX is getting into the Android gamepad (Android tablet + built-in gamepad) business. This particular segment of Android is still fresh, and any good product may become “the next big thing” if luck permits. The ibenX GAME-PAD has a 7-inch 1280x800 IPS display that’s driven by an Allwinner A31 ARM Cortex A7 quad- core along with the PowerVR SGX 544 graphics. To put things into perspective, the 7-inch Archos Gamepad sports a resolution of 1024x600 while being driven by a Rockchip RK3066 Cortex A9 dual-core, and a Mali 400. Performance-wise, the Allwinner A31 and the Rockchip R3066 chips are relatively on par with each other, but on a per core basis the A9 surpasses the A7 by a margin. For multi-threaded applications, however, expect the A31 to perform admirably compared to the dual-core setup in the RK3066. The selling point for the ibenX GAME-PAD is, therefore, the slightly better 1280x800 resolution That said, even if the resolution is a bit better, there’s no telling what the build quality is like. So build quality and CPU aside, the ibenX GAME-PAD also comes with 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera (0.3MP front), and Android Jelly Bean 4.1 to boot. Pricing and availability of the ibenX GAME-PAD hasn’t been announced yet. Facebook Home fails to make the Android experience better Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-home-fails-to-make-the- android-experience-better/19674.html April 14th, 2013 Who knows how much Facebook spent on furnishing its new Home for Android, but apparently the house warming guests weren't too impressed by the décor and dinky second-hand living room set.
  • 88. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 According to Google Play statistics, 44 percent of users who have used the Home launcher gave it just one star, 14 percent gave it 2 stars, 12 percent with 3 stars, 10 percent gave 4 stars, and 19 percent raved about the app and gave it 5 stars. For a product to be anywhere near acceptable in the mobile world, especially in terms of an app, the average reviewer scores should be “above average”. However, Facebook Home has failed thus far (albeit, the Android launcher was only added recently to Google Play) to convince mobile consumers that it’s a necessity rather than a novelty. If it wasn’t bad enough that Home got such a low rating, most of the reviewers that gave one stars stated that the app took too much control of the phone. Android users have always touted about their platform’s ability to be highly customizable, but Home seems to have taken away that core experience. Facebook Home is still young and the pool of reviewers is still limited, but perhaps these negative data and feedback will entice Facebook engineers to come up with something refreshingly cool instead of something that’s utterly useless. Fan videos: iOS 7 the multitasking way Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fan-videos-ios-7-the-multitasking- way/19673.html April 14th, 2013 Multitasking on smartphones are tough to do considering the display sizes, but perhaps Apple will finally catch wind of the subject and make multitasking an emphasis in iOS 7. The smartphone game is quickly changing, and firms like Apple and Google are quickly evolving their respective mobile OS to grab and retain the interests of consumers. Although Google has been very active in baking and molding sweets left and right to add onto Android, Apple has taken the slow but steady approach. Changes from iOS 5 to 6 were minimal, and if one simply stared at the home screen without doing some digging around they would not know much of a difference. iOS 7, however, is promising to change all that through some significant UI changes. Of course Apple won’t confirm any speculations until the product is ready for launch, but that hasn’t stopped fans from recreating the rumors and turning them into images and video demos. Below is a video of one such creation: Here's an older video, but still with the same fan-driven concepts: Analyst says to expect cheaper, more colorful iPhone in July Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/analyst-says-to-expect-cheaper- more-colorful-iphone-in-july/19671.html April 14th, 2013 Nothing gets an Apple fan's drool started faster than rumors, any rumor, but any news about a possible cheaper version of the iPhone is guaranteed to get the faithful excited especially if it includes "color". One of the more persistent rumors regarding the next iteration of the iPhone is that Apple will be releasing two versions: the standard iPhone and also an iPhone "Mini". The most recent repeating of the rumor comes from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White who is suggesting that the two versions of the "iPhone 5S" will be announced in June and ready for shipment in July. In regards to the 'Mini' version, White said that that the phone actually won't be smaller in size that the regular iPhone, but rather it will be priced at $350 to $400. The budget-conscious pricing puts the new iPhone at just under the regular iPhone 5's price of $700 to $900. In addition, he says that the 'Mini' version will come with a curved back casing that will be constructed from colored plastic. White says his report is based on new information from sources in the Chinese consumer electronics industry, and he goes on to suggest that the iPhone 5S will be almost identical to the iPhone 5, but that it will have a slightly larger camera as well as fingerprint identification technology. To finish off the report, White says that he can't confirm any larger screen iPhones, but that such a thing is "inevitable" - especially if the company wants to remain competitive in China and the rest of Asia. Internet security experts worry of super botnet attack via WordPress servers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/internet-security-experts-worry-of- super-botnet-attack-via-wordpress-servers/19672.html
  • 89. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 April 14th, 2013 Internet security analysts are saying that a massive number of computers have been commandeered in an effort to take over WordPress servers. Some are warning that the attack may be the beginning of a massive ‘botnet’ attack. If you are a user of WordPress, you might want to check that password. Internet security analysts are saying that a massive botnet attack is targeting the popular blogging site. Currently it is not known who is behind the attack, but there are literally tens of thousand of computers being used in the attack. “The attacker is brute force attacking the WordPress administrative portals, using the username ‘admin’ and trying thousands of passwords. It appears a botnet is being used to launch the attack and more than tens of thousands of unique IP addresses have been recorded attempting to hack WordPress installs,” Matthew Prince writes in a blog posting for CloudFlare. Prince stressed that if hackers can take over WordPress servers, they can do far more damage than a common DDoS attack since WordPress operates on servers with larger network connections. The best way in preventing your WordPress account from being stolen is by using a stronger password. There are also plugins available that would limit the number of login attempts on your account. Another security measure would be to get rid of the standard ‘admin’ username and change it to something less ordinary. Nintendo announces the end of Wii channels and services Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-announces-the-end-of-wii- channels-and-services/19668.html April 14th, 2013 Bad news for Wii users, as Nintendo decided to shut down various channels and services. The countdown begins on the 28th of June. Among the discontinued services will be: Nintendo Channel, Forecast Channel (although it is one of the most popular and regularly updated channels), Everybody Votes Channel and Mii Contest Channel. Also, note that you will not be able to exchange messages through the Wii Message Board any more. According to the company’s announcement: “We at Nintendo sincerely thank you for your continued patronage of our company's products. We apologise to those of you currently using these services, and ask for your understanding. The above services will no longer be available even if they are started up from the Wii Menu.” A webpage large enough to fit 7 billion people Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-webpage-large-enough-to-fit-7- billion-people/19667.html April 14th, 2013 Presumably, it is the largest page in the web, 1 mile high and 800 feet wide (or 1.6km x 250m), and rightly so, since it has to fit in every single one of the 7 billion inhabitants of this planet. 7billionworld is an iconographic representation of the globe’s entire population, with tiny little people colored according to their continent and individually numbered. Each line has 40,000 people colored according to the Olympic rings color convention: yellow colored ones are in Asia, black in Africa, red in America, blue in Europe and green in Oceania (which proves to be surprisingly under- populated). Although the idea is simple and obvious, it is interesting to see how small we are in the whole picture. That's me! The other interesting thing is that this huge webpage takes a jiffy to load despite its size. The code behind the 7 billion little earthlings is simple and small (only 13KB thanks to the
  • 90. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 CSS background properties), so don’t hesitate to take a look and locate your little self in there. Just how big this page is... Every step counts: Pavegen redefines the term powerwalk Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/every-step-counts-pavegen- redefines-the-term-powerwalk/19666.html April 13th, 2013 Pavegen’s technology enabled last weekend’s Paris Marathon to become the first race to generate energy, by converting runner’s footsteps into electricity. Unlike solar cells that work with sunlight, or wind turbines that require a gust of air to generate electricity, Pavegen’s renewable energy source is a bit more regular, and predictable: footsteps. Invented by the CEO of the London- based company, Laurence Kemball-Cook, Pavegen’s tiles make use of piezoelectric materials to convert kinetic energy into electricity. When a force is applied to such a material, such as through a runner’s footstep, it develops an electric charge; hook it up to a battery and this electricity can be stored, or utilized directly to power up nearby lighting or advertisement boards. The tiles are almost completely comprised of recycled materials, with the rubber surface made from old truck tires. Being waterproof and incredibly durable, they are also suited to both indoor and outdoor environments. Every step generates 8 watts of power, with 5% of that used for an LED lamp at the centre of the tile to encourage interaction. Place a scoreboard at the end of a length of tiles and you can making things competitive! The Paris Marathon was an excellent showcase for the technology, with 25 meters of the course fitted with the tiles. The race sponsor, Schneider Electric, predicted that 7 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy would be generated over the course of the race; just to put that figure into perspective, the average household consumption in the UK is around 10 kWh of electricity. If the target was met, Schneider promised to donate 10,000 Euros to charity; however the final figure has yet to be announced. As is the case with most renewable energy technologies, the potential of Pavegen’s tiles can hence only be realized in large volumes, and if located in optimal locations. Think areas of high urban foot-fall, such as shopping malls, train and subway stations, or perhaps even children’s playgrounds. Another issue is expense; although their exact cost has not been revealed, Pavegen aims to get the cost down to 50 British Pounds per tile. Hopefully that will mean more widespread application of this exciting new technology. Does AMD have a 5GHz chip in the works? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/does-amd-have-a-5ghz-chip-in-the- works-/19665.html April 13th, 2013 Rumour has it that AMD has a 5GHz chip in the works based on its 'Piledriver-Vishera' architecture. Will this edge be enough to help turn the company around? AMD has had it tough for the last two years, the chipmaker fought a long and hard battle against Intel on the desktop/ server side while taking on the proliferation of ARM-based devices on the mobile side, ceding market share to both.
  • 91. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Of course AMD’s great decline has been through a series of its own failures: the company lacks an effective mobile strategy, it trails behind Nvidia on GPU-(marketing), and its saving grace FX-series of processors have been effectively left in the ash heap of CPU history. All the while, slumping earnings and shareholder pressure means the company has to lay off its best talent – trimming its VP suite and ranks of talented engineers. If a rumour first published by HEXUS holds true, there might be a ray of hope for a company that has been continually hammered by bad press. HEXUS claims that AMD is working on a 5GHz chip based on the 'Vishera' architecture, which powers the FX-8350. HEXUS doesn’t have many more details, except that the chip has a working codename of ‘Centurion’, it will likely be released in small quantities at $795 per unit, and a release date is up in the air. AMD will not comment, which is to be expected. While a 5GHz chip would give AMD an edge in the gaming and prosumer market, the $795 price tag is certain to deter most potential customers. If this chip is a hit, and posts impressive benchmarks, the price should come down as yields improve. If this chip is not a hit, it will disappear – into the ash heap of history with its FX-brethren – as quickly as it appeared and be written off in next quarter’s SEC report as another thing the company did wrong. iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Mega: It's not a battle of cell phones anymore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iphone-5-vs.-samsung-mega-it-s- not-a-battle-of-cell-phones-anymore/19664.html April 13th, 2013 Samsung is set to release two more Android smartphones later next month that will boast display sizes that make even the Galaxy Note look small. Dubbed as the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3, these two behemoths are closing in on tablet territory, and for most people they will require both hands to handle. Long gone are the days that a mobile phone is actually mobile enough that only one hand is required, and if we compare the size of the iPhone 5 to the Galaxy Mega 6.3 the difference is ridiculous. While the Mega 5.8 is only slightly larger than the current Note, the Mega 6.3 is something else. Assuming Samsung’s pseudo multitasking software on Android works well enough, people shouldn’t have much problem doing multiple things at once on the 6.3-inch screen. The issues with the new Megas are not their display sizes, but rather the overstepping of what’s considered a phone. Traditionally, handset makers have tried to produce smaller and smaller devices, but as touch display became more popular, the cell phone, as they were called in the past, became things like the Note and now the Megas. Samsung has done very well with its Note line of smartphone, so there’s no reason to think that the Megas won’t catch on. What’s the benefit, though, of having an AIO in your hands, as compared to having a smaller handset in one hand and a 10+ inch tablet in the other? Apple iPhone sales dropping fast in South Korea Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-iphone-sales-dropping-fast-in- south-korea/19658.html April 13th, 2013 Over the past year, Apple's iPhone has been struggling in South Korea with sales down to nearly 1/3 what they were the previous year. Although Apple is still the number one foreign smart phone manufacturer operating in Korea compared to Motorola, Sony, HTC, Nokia, and Blackberry, which each having <1% market share, Apple is feeling the pressure from domestic manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Pantech. Since 2010, Samsung's market share has risen to a commanding 65% while the two other Korean manufacters, Pantech and LG, have each grown to 15%. During this same period, Apple's market share has dropped from 23.2% down to 3.2%.
  • 92. April 14th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Although Apple does have reasonable sales with the iPad, iPod, and Macbook, these sales are still at a much smaller scale compared to smart phone sales. Xbox 720 requires a "mini" add-on to play older games [Rumor] Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-requires-a-mini-add-on- to-play-older-games-rumor-/19662.html April 13th, 2013 The latest rumor about Microsoft's Xbox 720 has it that the next console will require a separate add-on for backward compatibility, and the most bitter part is that it may also cost gamers a few more gold coins. We all have known for some time that the next generation Xbox is coming, with a rumored reveal date in May. As with all things Internet, however, this hasn't stopped the increasing number of rumors from running rampant. Along those lines, we have a new rumor out today that, contrary to current hand-wringing, the next Xbox will not require an always-on Internet connection in order to play games locally. Maybe more importantly, though, Microsoft won't be blocking the playing of used games on the new console. While those two things might be good news if they prove to be true, the last part of the rumor is sure to get everyone in an uproar. It hasn't been 'officially' confirmed, but it is believed that the next Xbox will be sporting an AMD chip architecture based around the x86 processor, which means that creating and porting games to the new platform will be a lot easier. Where the problem arises, however, is what about your old Xbox 360 games? Well, according to the rumor of course, you will need to fork over $150 for the Xbox Mini and that will connect to the next- gen Xbox to allow you to play older games. Additionally, this Xbox mini will operate under a single interface when connected to the new Xbox 'Durango' so you won't have to worry about having to switch between devices in order to play your older games. Of course we recommend that you keep your salt shaker handy when it comes to rumors likes these, and wait until May and find out for sure what Microsoft has planned.
  • 93. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Europe forces Google to make changes to search results Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/europe-forces-google-to-make- changes-to-search-results/19685.html April 15th, 2013 Google is now legally bound to make changes to search results after the European Commission concluded that the search giant dominated search results in Europe. Under the agreement Google will have to label search results of their own, such as Google News, and in some cases offer links for rival search engine results. According to recent reports, Google will be making changes to how search results are displayed for European Internet users. The search giant supposedly will not be making changes to algorithms, but they will be forced to label any result that is the company’s own property, such as Google News. This recent two-year inquisition by the European Commission into how Google conducts search results comes after U.S. regulators had an antitrust investigation of their own. The U.S. inquiry did not impose any recommendations, nor did they find Google guilty of any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Google did make subtle changes to how their advertising was displayed in search results. Other search engine companies will look at Europe's proposed plan and make any arguments, if any, before the changes are to take place. If Google abides by the agreement, they would be legally bound to the changes for up to five years with no fines. However, if Google were found guilty of antitrust violations in the future they would be fined up to 10% of all global sales. Samsung Galaxy Mega: It's all about what people want Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-mega-it-s-all-about- what-people-want/19683.html April 15th, 2013 Samsung has just introduced a gargantuan smartphone being called the Galaxy Mega. This model comes in a 5.8 or 6.3” display and is a direct response to consumers demanding larger and sharper looking displays, but is this just a passing fad? This latest phablet from Samsung is in direct response to consumers demanding higher resolution displays, and it appears to be a growing trend in smartphone design. Consumers have come a long way since buying up Apple's original iPhone with its 3.5” display. Now smartphones have become so large that they picked up the name ‘phablet’ due to their likeness to a mini tablet. In fact, the next step up from Samsung is a mini-tablet, the Galaxy Tab, which comes with a 7” display. This consumer change stems from the fact that so many people are using their smartphones for everything on the Internet nowadays. In fact mobile devices have put a real hurt on the PC market, and some manufactures have ceased making desktops for that very reason alone. Samsung Mega The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) presented some very interesting changes with consumer habits not too long ago. The report titled, “The IAB Mobile Phone Video Diaries”, shows that nearly two-thirds of smartphone video was being watched in people’s own homes. Also, 90% of those who watched video on their mobile devices shared those videos with others, which in turn has spurred a market for larger displays. Oddly enough, almost 40% of those videos watched on a mobile device happened in a room with a TV or desktop PC nearby. “Digital video marketing has skyrocketed over the past year, and is primed to deliver even greater returns on a variety of screens – particularly on mobile phones,” said Anna Bager who serves as General Manger of Mobile Marketing for IAB. “With the Digital Content NewFronts set for the spring, we’ll certainly see the depth and breadth of original video content that marketers can leverage to reach digital audiences.” A recent Business Insider report also shows that in 2012 approximately 41 million people watched video daily on their smartphones, which was a 22% jump from the previous year.
  • 94. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Another reason for the demand in larger displays is the fact that so many carriers in the U.S. now offer 4G LTE wireless Internet. By offering relatively inexpensive data plans, smartphones and tablets have become the main means by which people are surfing the Internet and watching videos on-line. The real question is will this trend continue or is it just a passing fad as some have suggested. Microsoft continues slow search growth while Google slips Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-continues-slow-search- growth-while-google-slips/19681.html April 15th, 2013 Google has dominated the online search business for years, but recent stats from comScore has revealed that the search giant's share is slipping while its competitors are gaining. Every month, new search stats are released by comScore and are eagerly pored over by analysts and tech pundits around the world looking to see who has slipped and who has gained. For the average person, this kind of information might not seem all that important, but in a world where even a small percentage point can be equal to millions of dollars for the companies behind the search and investors alike. In the numbers for March, one of the surprises was that Google slipped by 0.4 percentage points, which saw it drop to 67.1% of the United States' search market. However, in that same loss/gain column Microsoft grew by 0.2 percentage points to 16.9% of the United States' search market, which is up also 0.4 percent from the beginning of the year. While Bing might get a lot of flack from the tech world, it has in fact seen its market share climb significantly in recent years. In addition, Microsoft provides the underlying technology of Yahoo's search engine, which, interestingly enough, grew by 0.2 percent to a point of 11.8 percent of the United Statess search market. Unfortunately, and according to statements from Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer, the partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft hasn't paid off like both of the companies had hope. It also should come as no surprise that in February Yahoo announced that they were entering an agreement with Google to place use AdSense and AdMob systems on Yahoo sites. Apple supplier Japan Display turning to smaller companies as iPhone demand weakens Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-supplier-japan-display- turning-to-smaller-companies-as-iphone-demand-weakens/19691.html April 15th, 2013 One of Apple's two Japenese display providers, Japan Display, has announced that it will be looking to smaller clients to make up for falling demand for the iPhone. One of Apple's two Japenese display providers, Japan Display, has announced that it will be looking to smaller clients to make up for falling demand for the iPhone. The company, which began in April 2012 as a merger of the display divisions of Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba, said that it is looking to increase sales for the year ahead by up to 60 percent, thanks to targeting smaller companies. Shuichi Otsuka, CEO of Japan Display, announced the plans to increase revenue from 500 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 2013 to 800 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 2014. The company experienced a rocky fiscal third quarter, from October to December 2012, a time when orders are traditionally high as shoppers flock to stores in the run up to Christmas. Otsuka revealed that Japan Display received a “drastic cut” in orders for this period, however, resulting in the company believing it would end up posting a loss. It managed to work around the problem through a series of cost-cutting measures and improved productivity. Now it seems Japan Display is unwilling to put itself in the same “eggs all in one basket” situation again. It said it will continue to “aggressively chase the big clients,” but it
  • 95. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 is also talking to smaller clients which it said “hold great possibilities.” It did not reveal the names of any of the companies it is in talks with. The relatively new company is expected to go public on the stock market within the next year or two. EA axes The Sims Social and SimCity Social on Facebook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-axes-the-sims-social-and-simcity- social-on-facebook/19689.html April 15th, 2013 Electronic Arts (EA) has announced that it is ending some of its Facebook games, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society. Electronic Arts (EA) has announced that it is ending some of its Facebook games, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society. The game publisher said that millions of people initially signed in to play these games, but the figures have dropped considerably since then. It pointed to an overall turndown in interest in social games, which has resulted in other shutdowns. Despite the popularity of the Sims and SimCity names, both social variants and Pet Society will be turned off on 14 June, 2013. This gives players two months to get in some last game time and say farewell to their beloved people, cities, or pets. EA said it is not giving up on Facebook games, however, and pointed to the popularity of titles from its PopCap studio, which include Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire Blitz and Plants vs. Zombies Adventures. These are much more casual games, which might explain their survival. EA is offering fans of the soon-to-be-closed games the opportunity to switch to a PopCap game instead. It will be giving special offers to encourage transitions. The game closures are part of a larger series of cutbacks at EA after consistent losses, which prompted former CEO John Riccitiello to resign. Last week we reported the layoffs of a number of employees at two of EA's mobile gaming divisions. We will likely be hearing about more cuts in the coming weeks and months. New DLC for BioShock: Infinite features at least 10 new achievements Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-dlc-for-bioshock-infinite- features-at-least-10-new-achievements/19686.html April 15th, 2013 A list of achievement placeholders for the first of three upcoming DLC's for BioShock: Infinite has been spotted on Steam, revealing that the first content pack will contain at least ten new achievements. Like many AAA games of this generation, BioShock: Infinite is set to receive a range of DLC add-ons to expand the game's story and add a variety of new achievements to build up that precious pool of gamerscore. Upon the game's release, Irrational Games revealed that three DLC's will be introduced for BioShock: Infinite, each of which will feature content like new characters, stories, weapons, and abilities to the game itself, further enhancing the experience as a whole. BioShock: Infinite's first DLC pack has yet to be officially announced, yet a list of achievement placeholders has recently been spotted on Steam, revealing that the add-on will feature at least ten new achievements to unlock. The
  • 96. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 achievements don't have any descriptions or names yet, and the list is titled "DLCA Achievement 1-10" which suggests that they are all for the same title. No actual information regarding the add-on has been unveiled thus far--such as pricing or details concerning the new additions--but we'll most likely hear something in the next few weeks or so. A season pass for BioShock: Infinite is currently available for all platforms of the game, offering a one-off purchase that guarantees access to all DLC's when they're subsequently released. The season pass retails for $19.99 and offers a discounted price for the game's upcoming three add-ons. It will definitely be interesting to see which direction that Irrational goes with the upcoming DLC, and what new plot elements they introduce in the add-on. The game's ending doesn't necessarily offer much room for expanding upon, but Irrational's flair for creatively blending dynamic story arcs with original concepts ensures that they're probably preparing something special...something that gamers most likely won't want to miss. We're also eager to see what new weaponry is added to the game via the DLC's--maybe a fancy new Skyhook, or some fiendishly lethal firearm that compliments a brand new vigor to decimate even the heartiest of foes. Maybe the new weapons and powers will help with the game's punishingly hard 1999 mode as well. If you're new to the series or on the fence about BioShock: Infinite, be sure to check out our official review on game to see what we thought of Irrational's latest chapter in the critically acclaimed franchise. BioShock: Infinite and its season pass are now available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website. First GPS Navstar satellite to go on display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-gps-navstar-satellite-to-go-on- display/19687.html April 15th, 2013 The first GPS Navstar satellite is to go on display in the Time and Navigation exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. this month. The first GPS Navstar satellite is to go on display in the Time and Navigation exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. this month. The satellite, dubbed NTS-2, was the first satellite designed and built by NRL with funding from the GPS Joint Program. It was launched on 23 June, 1977 on an Atlas E/F rocket, and it became the first of four satellites coupled together to demonstrate the power of instantaneous navigation positioning. NTS-2 was the first demonstration satellite as part of a constellation of sallites operated by the Navstar GPS Joint Program Office in Los Angeles, California. The technology, developed by Roger L. Easton, laid the foundations for modern GPS, which many of us take for granted. GPS was originally designed for military use, like many modern technologies, but it has become a pivotal means of civilian navigation, all the way from commercial aviation to popular smartphones. There are currently 32 GPS satellites orbiting the Earth. The NTS-2 satellite did more than herald a new means of navigation, however. It was time measurements from this satellite that demonstrated Einstein's theory of relativity, which ultimately resulted in the need for a relativistic offset correction for all GPS satellites, a discovery that is still in use today. Asus GTX 670 DirectCu Mini 2GB Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-670-directcu-mini-2gb- review/19544.html April 15th, 2013 Asus's latest creation is the Geforce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, featuring a new dual-slot hybrid cooler that fits everything within 6.75" (~17cm), which makes it the ideal high performance graphics solution for space constrained Mini-ITX enclosures.
  • 97. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Asus's latest creation is the Geforce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, featuring a new dual-slot hybrid cooler that fits everything within 6.75" (~17cm), which makes it the ideal high performance graphics solution for space constrained Mini-ITX enclosures. For those who are unaware, the reference design launched almost a year ago also used a short length PCB, although it came with a much larger heatsink (10") to accomodate its stock 170w TDP. Even today, vendors including Asus have also been shipping factory overclocked cards with beefed-up VRMs and custom cooling systems. Strangely though, since Nvidia's own RMA/yields-driven "Green Light" program and driver-level locks prevents AIB/AICs from selling (significantly) overclocked models with core voltage adjustment controls, there really isn't the need for fancy big-assed cooling anyway Other than the new cooling system, Asus made some improvements to the power delivery over the stock design, opting to deploy a single 8-pin PCIe power connector (rather than dual 6-pins) and soldering extra SAP capacitors at the back of the GPU to maximize core frequency headroom. Both SLI connectors are still present, thus allowing for up to four- way multi-GPU operation. The usual display headers are also present - full-sized HDMI 1.4 and DP 1.2 and dual DVI (dual link) connectors. Like recent cards from the company, the package bundle is disappointingly bare (only the mandatory documentation/ driver CD and a dual 6-pin to 8-pin Y-cable is included). We will check with the local PR representative on whether the card qualifies for Nvidia's recent World of Tanks/Metro:Last Light gaming promos. Perception of taste influenced by other senses Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/perception-of-taste-influenced-by- other-senses/19676.html
  • 98. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 April 15th, 2013 New research shows that how we perceive or expect food to taste largely influences how we actually experience the flavor when we eat it. You've no doubt had a burger that ”looked” tasty, and it's very likely you could tell from looking at your aunt's cabbage surprise that it was going to be pretty bland. Why is this; how come we're able to see how food is going to taste? As it turns out, scientists have discovered that this phenomenon isn't simply a result of remembering what tasty food is supposed to look like. Our vision, and indeed our other senses too, actually effect the flavor. Dr. Terry E. Acree revealed the discovery at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society."There have been important new insights into how people perceive food flavors," explains Acree, "Years ago, taste was a table with two legs: Taste and odor. Now we are beginning to understand that flavor depends on parts of the brain that involve taste, odor, touch and vision. The sum total of these signals, plus our emotions and past experiences, result in perception of flavors, and determine whether we like or dislike specific foods." Mmmm, looks good Surprisingly, our vision has a powerful enough impact on flavor that it can actually overwrite the taste of something. As an experiment Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine, was colored red; tasters reported experiencing the flavors usually characteristic of red wine. Similarly, smell can override taste as well; smell a strawberry or caramel before drinking water and the water will taste sweet. Acree explains that looks aren't everything: Stews or chillies don't exactly look good from an objective point of view. Appearance-wise, they remind mostly of feces or vomit, but our past experiences and expectations of flavor make them appear savory. Equally, the desire for new experiences or novelty may override taste, smell and vision to entice us towards a new flavor. Understanding the effects of interactions between smell, vision and taste is important, says Acree. In a world full of finicky and unhealthy eating, finding ways to make healthy food seem more appealing is something that could benefit many people. Rockchip introduces energy efficient 28nm RK3168 Cortex A9 dual-core Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockchip-introduces-energy- efficient-28nm-rk3168-cortex-a9-dual-core/19680.html April 14th, 2013 The Chinese chip maker, Rockchip, has a strong presence in the Asian markets, and the RK3066 has proven itself worthy in and outside of China as well. Although we would like to see Rockchip burn a bit more cash and invest in ARM’s A15, it’s still nice to see that the company is doing what it can with the A9 to make it better. In a video demo, Rockchip demonstrated that the 28nm RK3168 consumes just around 1W of power while playing a 1080p video on a tablet, which is purportedly a significant boost in efficiency over the 40nm RK3066. Consistent advancement like these will help Rockchip develop more loyal followings outside of its targeted markets. For bargain hunters, maybe one day eBay will be flooded with fantastic off-brands instead of useless paperweights. Off-brand Bean Android tablet sports Samsung's Exynos 5250 Cortex A15 dual-core Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/off-brand-bean-android-tablet- sports-samsung-s-exynos-5250-cortex-a15-dual-core/19679.html April 14th, 2013 Not many tablets on the market today sport Samsung's Exynos 5250 chip, much less a lesser known off-brand product. Despite the exclusivity of the chip thus far, tablet makers like Bean are getting their hands on the chip and will launch some powerful devices but at a bargain price later this year.
  • 99. April 15th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 Many major consumer tech brands tend to the other way when it comes to Samsung’s Exynos chips. The same can’t be said for lesser known and off-brand gadget makers, however. One of which is Bean, and one of their latest products is a 9.7-inch 2048x1536 Android tablet that will sport the Exynos 5250 ARM Cortex A15 dual-core chip. The Bean tablet (specific name unconfirmed) also comes with 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear camera (2MP front), and Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4. Considering how close the Bean tablet and the Google Nexus 10 are in terms of specs, we’re thinking that the Bean tablet is and will be an off-brand Chinese product meant for emerging markets and bargain hunters. The main concern, however, is that the Bean tablet comes with ICS OTB instead of Jelly Bean (a bit ironic). Spokesperson for Bean claims that ICS is the most stable, and that perhaps Jelly Bean will be offered later on. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but Bean says the tablet will be ready to ship in June.
  • 100. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. AT&T and U.S. Cellular now taking Galaxy S IV pre-orders Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/at-t-and-u.s.-cellular-now-taking- galaxy-s-iv-pre-orders/19714.html April 16th, 2013 Many people are saving up a nice sum to either replace or upgrade their current phone to the Samsung Galaxy S IV, but only a select few carriers have the device available for pre- order. AT&T and U.S. Cellular both currently have the Galaxy S IV up for pre-order. The 16GB model is going for $199.99 with a two year contract for both carriers, but U.S. Cellular is offering a free S View Flip Cover that is valued at $59.99. Pre-orders from AT&T will ship out April 30, and for U.S. Cellular customers the ETA varies depending on location and contractual status. (They come in all sizes, but not necessarily shapes.) Other major U.S. carriers such as Verizon, Sprint and T- Mobile will likely follow suit, though, no dates have been announced. Some leaked Staples documents, however, is suggesting that T-Mobile will start selling the Galaxy S IV on May 1st , and Verizon on the 30th . Samsung is set to launch a few other major smartphone products in May, with the main ones being the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3. If screen size is what you’re going for, then perhaps wait out for the Mega and the Note III (or pick up the Note II). Scientists turn cellulose into starch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-turn-cellulose-into- starch/19711.html April 16th, 2013 A team of researchers have successfully managed to transform cellulose into starch, opening up a potential world of new food sources While many in the industrialized world doesn’t have to face it on a daily basis, a third of our species is starving, and with our population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, a solution is in dire need. Y.H. Percival Zhang and his team of researchers at Virginia Tech may have stumbled onto one of the greatest tools to help solve this problem. His team has managed to transform cellulose into starch, a necessary component in our diet that makes up around 20-40% of our food intake. Cellulose is the most common carbohydrate on the planet and exists in cell walls of plants. Cellulose is all around us, but because of how humans have evolved, we can’t digest it. This is why we can’t eat grass or leaves or trees like the planet’s many herbivores do. However, if we could transform the cellulose into starch, every non-poisonous plant around us magically becomes a source of food, removing the need to grow crops in large areas with pesticides. Mmmm, delicious.
  • 101. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Zhang’s team is able to turn the cellulose into amylase, a linear restraint starch that doesn’t break down while being digested and provides a good source of fiber. It has been known to decrease the risks of obesity and diabetes as well. Beyond the amazing applications as food, Zhang sees many other applications for the new technology: "Besides serving as a food source, the starch can be used in the manufacture of edible, clear films for biodegradable food packaging. It can even serve as a high-density hydrogen storage carrier that could solve problems related to hydrogen storage and distribution." Zhang explains that cellulose and starch have the same formula, the only difference between them is the molecular linkages, and he was able to transform the cellulose using a process called "simultaneous enzymatic biotransformation and microbial fermentation". The chemical process then turns about 30% of the matter into starch, while the rest is hydrolyzed and can be used in ethanol production. Zhang believes the process can be easily scaled up for commercial production. Lenovo launches IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-launches-ideacentre-horizon- table-pc/19713.html April 16th, 2013 Lenovo has launched the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC in the US, allowing up to four people to use the 27-inch display for multimedia and games. Lenovo has launched the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC in the US, allowing up to four people to use the 27-inch display for multimedia and games. The huge touchscreen is part of a new category of devices that Lenovo is calling “table PCs,” distinct from the considerably smaller and more portable tablet computers that are currently dominating the industry. The Horizon is designed as a family device, bringing multiple people together to enjoy digital content simultaneously, whether it is viewing photos, watching movies, or playing games. Lenovo has included a number of peripherals, such as joysticks, strikers, and e-dice, the latter of which can be used in board games, such as EA's Monopoly. The device can also double as an all-in-one desktop computer, powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce graphics card, and Dolby Home Theatree v4 audio. Lenovo Eye Distancing System automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen when users get too close, and Windows 8 is included with 10-finger touch support. “Horizon stole the show at CES because it introduced people to a new way of thinking about computing - one that makes the experience shared, collaborative and personal,” said Jay Parker, president of Lenovo North America, referencing the 14 awards the device won at CES 2013. “We’re thrilled to be bringing the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC to customers around the world this spring and seeing the unique ways consumers incorporate it into their homes, work and play.” The IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC has a starting price of $1,699. It is available immediately through Lenovo's website and will be in stores in late June. The company is also working on 39-inch Table PC, which better lives up to the name. Say goodbye to Skyrim; Bethesda is moving on Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/say-goodbye-to-skyrim-bethesda-is- moving-on/19709.html April 16th, 2013 Bethesda has announced that Skyrim's time is coming to a close; they will be pulling resources from the team in order to work on their next major title. The Bethesda Blog is the bearer of bad news, as an official post has declared that the studio is going to be turning their attention away from Skyrim to focus on their next project. Parts of the current Skyrim team will be pulled to make the developer’s “biggest and best work yet”. Bethesda says that no more DLC will be released for the game, but that minor updates will be implemented as needed. It isn’t the end of the road just yet, but we can see it from here.
  • 102. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Dovakhiin, fah hin kogaan mu draal! In the post, Bethesda thanks their fans for their feedback ever since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim first entered into the design phase in 2006. In many ways it has lifted the Elder Scrolls series into a pop cultural phenomenon that few media franchises ever see. Skyrim has sold 10 million copies so far, and during January of 2012 was the most played game on steam. Below is an excerpt from the blog post: For the last year and a half we’ve been working on new content for Skyrim; from the game updates, Creation Kit, Steam Workshop, Kinect support, to DLCs. Parts of our team have also been in pre- production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet. Even though we’re moving on, we’ll still have minor updates to Skyrim as needed. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into Skyrim and will never truly say goodbye to it. Japanese court rules Google search autocomplete is libellous Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-court-rules-google-search- autocomplete-is-libellous/19710.html April 16th, 2013 A Japanese court has ruled that the autocomplete feature of Google's search engine is libellous and that the search giant must remove terms linking a man with alleged criminal activity. A Japanese court has ruled that the autocomplete feature of Google's search engine is libellous and that the search giant must remove terms linking a man with alleged criminal activity. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, brought the case to the Tokyo District Court after discovering that entering his name in the search engine resulted in suggested searches associating him with crimes he did not commit. The court ruled in favour of the man in the defamation case, asking Google to pay 300,000 yen (roughly $3,000) in compensation. It also ordered the company to de-link the search terms that libel the man. However, the court has little power to compel Google to abide by the ruling, because it is a US company and thus outside Japan's legal jurisdiction. In 2012 the court granted a temporary injunction against Google in the same case, but the search giant ignored it. Google said it is now reviewing the ruling, but its previous non-compliance suggests it may simply keep the autocomplete feature intact. In other defamation litigation relating to this feature Google said that the terms suggested were there because of user searches, not planted by Google, and that this is a basic element of the search algorithm it uses. However, that will be little comfort to those whose reputation is being damaged. Samsung being probed for fake reviews in Taiwan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-being-probed-for-fake- reviews-in-taiwan/19707.html April 16th, 2013 Officials in Taiwan are looking into accusations that Samsung arranged for negative reviews to be published about rival company HTC. Samsung is under scrutiny for allegedly having hired students to post negative reviews about its rival company, the Taiwan-based HTC. Fair-trade officials are currently investigating the matter, but if Samsung is found guilty of what is being labeled as “false advertising”, the company could face fines of up to 25 million Taiwanese dollars (USD 840,000).
  • 103. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 According to a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission, the investigation began after receiving a series of complaints. A website had published documents which showed how Samsung had been recruiting students for the purpose of writing praising reviews for Samsung’s phones while criticizing HTC anonymously on the web. Samsung, which is based in South Korea, said that the false advertising was against the fundamental principles of the company. "The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles," said a spokesperson. The Taiwan subsidiary of Samsung stated that it had not been informed about the investigation, but have announced that they have "ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments". Furthermore they have stated that they plan to train employees in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Analyst says BlackBerry Z10 returns not abnormally high Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/analyst-says-blackberry-z10-returns- not-abnormally-high/19708.html April 16th, 2013 An analyst at Jefferies has revealed that there are no abnormally high return rates for the BlackBerry Z10, contradicting a report by Detwiler Fenton. An analyst at Jefferies has revealed that there are no abnormally high return rates for the BlackBerry Z10, contradicting a report by Detwiler Fenton. Peter Misek, analyst at Jefferies, said that there was no indication of high return rates in the US, while “anecdotal” checks in Asia showed high demand. The analysis contrasts starkly with the claim by Detwiler Fenton that “in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before.” BlackBerry labelled the report, which does not cite its sources or research methodology, as “false and misleading.” The Canadian smartphone firm is escalate the situation by going to regulators with a formal complaint. BlackBerry, formerly called Research In Motion, is hoping to make a major turnaround this years with a slew of devices running the BlackBerry 10 platform. The first of these, the Z10, has already released, while the Q10, complete with the classic BlackBerry keypad, releases later this month in some regions. Misek predicts that the company will launch a further two or three smartphones later this year. At the time of writing, BlackBerry shares were up $0.31, or 2.26 percent, to $14.02. Its value was less than half this point last year, showing renewed confidence in the firm. Nanosponge can soak up toxins Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nanosponge-can-soak-up- toxins/19706.html April 16th, 2013 A newly developed “nanosponge” has the ability to soak up toxins released by bacterial infections and venom from the bloodstream Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a “nanosponge”, a polymer structure wrapped in the membrane from a red blood cell. The sponge is capable of soaking up toxins release by both venoms and bacterial infections such as MRSA and E. coli. The sponge has been studied in mice so far and proven capable of neutralizing pore-forming toxins which destroy cells by poking holes in their cell membranes. Traditional anti-toxins need to be specifically engineered to combat individual toxins, but the
  • 104. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 nanosponge is unique in being applicable for a broad range of different toxins. The nanosponge has proven to be extremely effective at combating the toxins: Laboratory mice were exposed to a lethal dose of alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA and those who had been previously inoculated with nanosponges exhibited an 89% survival rate. Even the mice who were injected with nanosponges after the fact had good result, with 44% surviving. "This is a new way to remove toxins from the bloodstream," said Liangfang Zhang, nanoengineering professor at the UC San Diego, who hopes to develop the new technology into approved therapies. The nanosponge The nanosponge has a diameter of about 85 nanometers, about one hundredth the size of a red blood cell. The mention of red blood cells is significant, because the function of the sponge is highly dependent on them: The nanosponge is wrapped in bits of cell membrane from red blood cells, something which has two functions: First, it keeps the immune system from ridding itself of the sponges. In addition, because many toxins specifically target red blood cells, the nano sponge acts as a decoy, attracting toxins to it instead of your body. Normally, these toxins would poke holes in the cell membranes of red blood cells, thereby letting ions into the cell and killing it. Instead, the nanosponge simply absorbs them. After 40 hours or so, the sponges are naturally processed by the liver with no ill effects, even after absorbing the toxins. During the study, releasing toxins and nanosponges at a ratio of 70:1 completely neutralized the toxins with no discernible damage to the lab mice. The researchers are now saying they want to pursue clinical trials. Anonymous attacks North Korea Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/anonymous-attacks-north- korea/19705.html April 16th, 2013 Anonymous has attacked several North Korean websites in a continued effort to disrupt their online presence in protest of continued nuclear arms testing. The hacktivist group Anonymous attacked five North Korean propaganda sites yesterday, on the 101st birthday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-Sung; a day which is celebrated in North Korea as the day of the sun. The attacks focused on Uriminzokkiri, North Korea’s main news and propaganda site. Anonymous made off with the personal information of 15,000 registered members on the website, which it released to the public. South Korea is technically still at war with the north, and local law enforcement have thus decided to probe the list of names in hopes of finding out if any South Korean members have broken domestic laws. If that is the case, they could be charged with aiding the enemy. Kim Jong Un faces off against Anonymous Other sites involved in the attack are English news site Minjok Tongshin, Paekdu-Hanna.com, jajusasang.com and an image and video hosting site called Ryungyong Clip. Furthermore, a South Korean member of Anonymous has stated that the collapse of the entire North Korean network system is near, though he didn’t clarify or elaborate on this. This attack isn’t the first time Anonymous has gone after North Korea. Earlier in the month, they claim to have crashed several North Korean websites in protest of the nation’s continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Despite warnings by the global community, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February 12th . The test involved the detonation of an explosive ordinance underground, which registered as a 4.9 on the Richter scale. So far, it is undetermined if the blast actually was nuclear in nature, or simply conventional explosives meant to mimic a nuke. Airplane flaps on trucks may cut costs, save lives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/airplane-flaps-on-trucks-may-cut- costs-save-lives/19704.html
  • 105. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 April 16th, 2013 A radical idea to round the nose of trucks and add airplane- like flaps to the back, maybe cut fuel costs, reduce emissions and even save lives. European transport commissioner Siim Kallas wants to change the 1996 specifications for trucks, arguing that the current shape of most heavy goods vehicles is too square: "A brick is the least aerodynamic shape you can imagine, that's why we need to improve the shape of our lorries on the roads." Kallas argues that more aerodynamic trucks which include a rounded front and airplane like flaps on the back, would cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by as much as 10%. At the same time, a redesign would improve the drivers’ field of view, ensuring that cyclists and pedestrians are safe and in view. This futuristic truck by Luigi Colani isn't the actual proposed design, but we may be heading in this direction Kallas explains that the typical long-haul truck in Europe travels as much as 100,000km every year, and if more aerodynamic bodies were designed for them, it would lead to fuel savings of up to €5000. Around one in six freight trucks in Europe are long distance haulers, and with a total of 6.5 million trucks, accounting for 70% of inland freight, that amounts to a lot of savings. The proposal needs to pass through the European Parliament, where it must be voted on by the 27 member states before becoming law. If successful, the new trucks would be seen on the roads as early as 2018-2020. The proposal comes after the January reform of rules constituting emissions from busses and trucks, which aims to cut the emission standards set in 2008. The new rules would see nitrogen oxide emissions cut by 80% and particulates by 66% Sony takes us on a drone tour of Hashima Island Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-takes-us-on-a-drone-tour-of- hashima-island/19702.html April 16th, 2013 Sony's new Action Cam is a rugged competitor for the GoPro series of cameras. Sony just mounted one to a hexacopter and showed off it's capabilities off the coast of Japan. Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island, lies a few miles off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. It was bought by Mitsubishi in 1890 and was soon developed into a coalmining facility that ran until 1974. At one point, the island had the highest population density on earth, and at its peak, more than 5000 people lived on its 16 acres of land. Today, the island stands empty, but it receives tourists since a few years back, and recently a hexacopter RC drone has paid a visit, courtesy of Sony. To document the drone’s visit, Sony has rigged it up with their new action cam, dubbed appropriately, the Action Cam. It’s Sony’s attempt at a GoPro killer and films at 1080p with up to 4x slow motion video. It has a 170-degree fisheye lens, perfect for aerial shots, and weighs in at just 3.2 ounces (battery included). The camera’s trump card comes in the form of Sony’s Steady Shot and Shake Cancellation technologies, which will surely come in handy when filming bumpy events like mountain bike rides. The base model of the camera sells for $199, but if you want built in Wi-Fi, you’ll have to cough up $270. It isn’t clear which drone was used for the flight, but Sony did mention that they used a carbon fiber self stabilizing rig for the video, as well as Sony's Play Memories to manage the footage. As for the camera itself, you can check the video it filmed below; the footage is quite good. Porn sites promises they're virus free Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/porn-sites-promises-they-re-virus- free/19700.html April 16th, 2013 After research demonstrated that an alarmingly high number of ads on porn sites had malware, the porn business is now saying they've gotten cleaned up. Researcher Conrad Longmore recently published a report on the malicious ads which have frequently been found on porn sites, such as xHamster and Pornhub. The report
  • 106. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 was based on data obtained from Google’s Safe Browsing system, and found that of the ads featured on xHamster, 42% contained malware, while over 50% of the ads on Pornhub were malicious. You can be fairly certain other advertised porn sites will have similar figures. Yikes. The kids don't get it, but WE know what's going on here. The reason for the alarmingly high rates of malware on these sites is that many adult advertising networks simply don’t check their ads: The adverts are pushed to their servers, and without much more than a glance, the networks okay them. This of course gives a perfect window for slipping in some unwanted malware. After Longmore’s report came out, a spokesperson from both sites has released a statement saying that the issue has been resolved; advertising from infectious sources has been blocked. xHamster reports that it is now virtually impossible to sneak malware onto the site due to some new checking system that has been put in place. There are 15.5 billion (!) ads on the site every month, and of those, only a fraction have been linked to malware, claims the site’s owner, noting also that those ads are removed immediately. Of course, with 15.5 billion ads to sort through, it may be difficult to actually uphold that statement. Scientists engineer functional kidneys for rat Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-engineer-functional- kidneys-for-rat/19684.html April 16th, 2013 After successfully bioengineering hearts and livers, scientists have now managed to engineer kidneys, growing them from donor cells. The kidneys appear to be functioning as they should. Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital have managed to bioengineer kidneys which function to produce urine, both in laboratory experiments and when implanted in rats. The method used to produce the kidneys involves growing them from living cells which had been scraped off of donor organs, something previously used to experimentally produce both livers and hearts. "If this technology can be scaled to human-sized grafts, patients suffering from renal failure who are currently waiting for donor kidneys or who are not transplant candidates could theoretically receive new organs derived from their own cells." Says Dr. Harold Ott, the lead author on the study which is being published in Nature Medicine. Currently, end stage kidney disease still requires an actual organ donation. Currently, there are 18,000 such kidneys available for transplant in the US with almost 100,000 Americans in need of one. If you are lucky enough to receive a kidney, you’ll still need immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ rejection, though such drugs cannot guarantee the organ will be accepted. In addition, immunosuppressive drugs can be damaging for your health. Employing the new method thus has the potential of saving thousands of lives, and could effectively grow you a brand new kidney from your own cells. A brand new man-made kidney The approach was discovered by Dr. Ott while he was a research fellow at the University of Minnesota and involves stripping living cells from a donor organ with a detergent solution. The cells are then implanted into a “collagen scaffold”, which in this case was the lining of the vascular system and kidney cells in rats. To ensure the right cells went to the right place, the new vascular cells were delivered through the renal artery while the kidney cells were injected through the ureter; the “outflow pipe” of the kidney. Adjusting the pressure of the injected cells ensured they dispersed evenly throughout the kidney. After culturing in a bioreactor for 12 days, the new kidney was tested. Blood was circulated through the kidney and shown to exhibit filtering of the blood and production of urine. After being transplanted into rats which had previously had a kidney removed, the new organs began functioning, filtering blood without any clot formation or bleeding, as soon as the blood flow was restored. The kidney had limited function however; something Dr. Ott and his team believe have to do with the cells used for the transplant: "Further refinement of the cell types used for seeding and additional maturation in culture may allow us to achieve a more functional organ."
  • 107. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 Why can't Tegra find its mojo? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/why-can-t-tegra-find-its- mojo-/19573.html April 16th, 2013 Nvidia has been aggressively hyping its Tegra system on a chip (SoC) since Tegra 3 came out in 2012. But despite the hype, manufacturers are cautious about putting the chip in their devices. Why can't Tegra find its mojo? Once upon a time, Nvidia’s Tegra ARM system on a chip was poised to propel the company into the stratosphere. Back in August of 2012 Nvidia posted a rock-solid quarter, beating analyst expectations. During an earnings call, Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang said Tegra 3 was pushing the company’s profits skyward. Nvidia’s third Tegra chip was in the recently released Nexus 7, a tablet that was selling with a frenzy only seen before in Apple’s iWorld. In January, Nvidia pre-empted Qualcomm’s scheduled keynote with its own event the night before to announce its next-generation Tegra. Audiences were wowed, as the chip itself was packed full of GPU cores, and Qualcomm was no doubt annoyed – everyone was murmuring Tegra instead of being focused on Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon. Then Nvidia’s own reality distortion field started to wear off. Less than a month after CES, Digitimes’ sources in the Taipei OEM scene said that Tegra 4 wasn’t building interest. Digitimes went on to claim that only only Toshiba – not exactly known as a significant player in the mobile market – had expressed interest in building Tegra 4 devices. Then, last week, Reuters reported that ASUS was considering dropping the Tegra 3 from the refreshed Nexus 7 – one of the few successful tablets the chip was featured in – in favour of a Qualcomm SoC to be unveiled at the upcoming Google I/O event in March. While the Tegra 3 had powered the smash-hit Nexus 7, and the well-received but moderate selling Microsoft Surface, it didn’t get soldered into much more than that. In the smartphone world, the lack of integrated baseband made manufacturers hesitant about committing it to their handsets. It was placed in the much loved HTC One X (but only the international model), and the LG Optimus 4X, but neither of the phones made a critical impact in the market in 2012. So why can’t Tegra find its mojo? Tegra 3 was met with hesitation from smartphone makers because of the lack of integrated cellular baseband. Phone manufactures who wanted to place it in their devices had to pair Tegra with a separate baseband, which meant sourcing parts from multiple vendors. In the tablet world, Tegra seemed to draw more power than Nvidia claimed it would and initial benchmark scores seemed to disappoint. In terms of Tegra 4, vendors may be hesitant to place it in their devices because of the SoC’s lack of modern API support. The SoC’s GPU is based on the NV4X architecture (GeForce 6/7 Series, fixed function shaders) which means it won’t support the likes of DirectX 11.0, OpenCL, and OpenGL ES 3.0. Granted, the other announced Tegra 4i (mind you, not A15 but 28nm quad-core A9) does have an LTE baseband but the lack of API support is a definite handicap. Given that the market is already fragmented into Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung Exynos, and Apple A-series camps is there really room for a late comer who’s already had a few tries at the game? Maybe, but it will take a heroic effort. Bigger vs. better: Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy S4 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bigger-vs.-better-samsung-galaxy- mega-6.3-and-galaxy-s4/19697.html April 16th, 2013 Last week, Samsung introduced a superbly monolithic phablet to the market: The Galaxy Mega 6.3. This is the biggest smartphone ever, period. Is there a market for such a device? Apparently so. Are you in that market? Let’s find out by comparing the Mega 6.3 to the Samsung Galaxy S4. Last week, Samsung introduced a superbly monolithic phablet to the market: The Galaxy Mega 6.3. This is the biggest smartphone ever, period. While the Galaxy Note devices were tablet-ish phones, the Mega 6.3 is a phone-ish tablet. Is there a market for such a device? Apparently so. Are you in that market? Let’s find out by comparing the Mega 6.3 to the most popular Galaxy device ever, the Samsung Galaxy S4. Where Android phones are concerned, many believe that the S4 is the best – the mothership and shining capital of Android devices. The shining bundle of specs that all Android phones aspire to.
  • 108. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 To start with, the S4 isn’t a small device, featuring a 5- inch Full HD screen boasting 1080p resolution, and an extraordinarily dense 441 PPI (S4 owners don’t envy the iPhone 5’s 326 PPI Retina displays). The Mega, on the other hand, certainly has a larger screen than the S4 - 6.3-inch, which is 1.3 inches larger – but has a good deal lower quality 720P 233-ppi display. Speaking of bigness, the Mega is a clear winner. The Galaxy S4 measures 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm, whilst the Mega dwarfs it in all but its thinness at 167.6 x 88 x 8mm. It is a good thing that Samsung managed to keep the Mega thin – few would buy a hulking, metal soapbox. The Mega has a fairly average 8 MP rear facing camera, while the S4 sports a somewhat better 13 MP camera - both phones include a number of helpful features to compliment the cameras. Both include high quality front facing cameras. The final question to be answered about the two phones is capacity. In this case, the Galaxy S4 is really “bigger” in every way. The Mega includes a not-too-shabby 1.7GHz Cortex- A15 Exynos 5250 dual-core, while the S4 has the option of a 1.6 GHz Exynos 5 Octa Cortex-A15 processor (1.8GHz for Koreans). Neither are bad CPUs, but the one in the S4 clearly provides more punches. Additionally, while the Mega 6.3 has1.5 GB of RAM, the S4 boosts that to 2 GB. Finally, the Galaxy S4 goes up to 64 GB capacity, while the Mega 6.3 has two options: 8, and 16 gigabytes. The question of which device to go with, we're one pitting one against the other, really boils down to bigger vs. better. The Galaxy S4 wins every department in terms of real capacity and usefulness, while the Mega 6.3 is just bigger in every way. It will be easy to pick out a Galaxy Mega 6.3 in the local Walmart as (like the Galaxy Note devices) they are the sort of gadgets which immediately catch people's eyes. However, it is hard for some to conceive why somebody would need or want such a device, unless they have some vendetta against their unripped pockets. Do people really buy phones because they are bigger? Maybe not physically - but it does seem like people settle with inferior spec'ed devices simply for their popularity: for their "bigness". As shown above, the S4 has some of the best smartphone hardware on the market. It's powerful, comes with an amazing display, camera, and memory. Yet, some tend to like bigger things. Bigger or better. What's your preference? Samsung Galaxy Note III may sport unibody and aluminum construction Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-note-iii-may-sport- unibody-and-aluminum-construction/19696.html April 15th, 2013 Sources are reporting that Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy Note will boast a higher build quality that may step away from the traditional plastic design in favor of the much more “premium” feels using aluminum. Most high-end mobile devices, especially smartphones, coming out of Samsung’s factories are constructed using mainly plastic materials. Despite the raw power that’s provided by components under the plastic shells, many still seem to think that Samsung products lack the premium feel that is found in competing gadgets like the iPhone. This may all change with the company’s upcoming Galaxy Note III device, as the highly popular phablet line may shift completely to an aluminum construction and possibly a unibody enclosure. (The Note II is popular, but does it feel "cheap" in people's hand?) There are no indications to show that Samsung’s use of plastic in various mobile devices is a turn off for consumers. As a matter of fact, Samsung has been outselling all major competitors when it comes to smartphones. The Galaxy S
  • 109. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 III, in particular, has been the company’s focal point as it has sold around 40 million units globally. Still, there seems to be a focus on “build quality” and trend setters like Apple have heavily focused on delivering products that are unibody and aluminum in construction. We’ve already gotten a glimpse at Samsung’s Galaxy S IV flagship, which still sports the plastic shell. Moving forward, however, Samsung will likely adopt the premium trend for some, if not most, of its mobile products. Heineken targets tech consumers with LED and sensors-driven bottles Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/heineken-targets-tech-consumers- with-led-and-sensors-driven-bottles/19695.html April 15th, 2013 Heineken is seeking to heighten the experience enjoying a cold one to the next level with bottles that have built in LEDs which will light up when people say “cheers” or clink the bottle. The technology behind the new Heineken bottles is relatively simple. Each bottle has a housing at the bottom that holds the flashy lights, sensors, a microprocessors necessary to ignite the bottle as people kanpai their night away. “The housing under the bottle gives room to a custom designed circuit board based around the open source Arduino hard- and software platform. It features 8 bright LEDs, an efficient 8-bit microprocessor, an accelerometer to detect various motion types and a wireless network transceiver to communicate with the outside world. The 3D printed housing (designed and developed by C10) is built up of two parts, allowing to re-use the unit on multiple bottles of beer.” Household consumption of such a beer bottle is highly unlikely, but if things go well, clubs and bars may adopt the flashy beverage container in the near future. Heineken claims that their LED bottles will be the first “smart” beer bottle to interact with other Ignite bottles. The Ignite bottles, as Heineken puts it, will “enrich social experiences [and].... make high tech feel fun, organic and seamless.” “The brand understands that the best ‘user experiences’ tap into existing consumer behaviors and push technology into the background,” according to Heineken’s tumblr page. OUYA console receives poor 3DMark score Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ouya-console-receives-poor-3dmark- score/19694.html April 15th, 2013 The OUYA Android gaming console will shake up the console market as predicted by some, but the magnitude of the coming quake is not yet determined. However, a recent 3DMark benchmark of the Tegra 3 SoC console may provide people with some insights as to how much damage the OUYA console may do once it goes public. According to data generated by Futuremark, using their 3DMark tool, the OUYA console isn't a standout if compared to smartphones and tablets. With an average score of 4077 and an average extreme score of 2381, the OUYA ranks 73rd on a list of 257 Android-based devices. A single bench score doesn’t necessarily mean that the OUYA console is a failure before it even got the chance to see the light of day. It does, however, mean that enthusiasts and critics are quick to point out the negatives instead of raving about the product. The OUYA console is set to hit retail shelves on June 4th , but some early backers and developers have already gotten their hands on the console. Microsoft joins Apple, Samsung and Sony in smartwatch race [Rumor] Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-joins-apple-samsung-and- sony-in-smartwatch-race-rumor-/19693.html
  • 110. April 16th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 11 April 15th, 2013 Microsoft is rumored to also have a “watch-style device” in the works. This latest bits only adds to the already growing speculation that “smartwatch” is the next big thing in consumer tech. According to WSJ, Microsoft has contacted its supplier in Asia to obtain some components that may fit in with what the Redmond-based company has in mind for their version of a smartwatch. The rumor is still fresh off the tongue of the sources, so it’s very unlikely that there is an actual concept or prototype of a Microsoft smartwatch. Nevertheless, the addition of Microsoft into the smartwatch race should make things a lot more interesting as major firms like Apple and Samsung have both either confirmed or also rumored to be in the process of developing a computerized wrist wear. While Apple is notorious for not spilling any bits about what’s going on in the lab, Samsung isn’t so stingy about their product development. “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee, an exec for Samsung’s mobile division. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.” With all the news about smartwatches circulating, it’s easy to forget that another tech juggernaut has also thrown in its bid for a piece of the next-gen pie. Sony released its own smartwatch several months back, and although the Japanese’s smart wrist wear didn’t catch fire like it would’ve wanted it to, it only goes to show that a very heated battle for market share has already begun. It is also worth noting that some startups have already gained some traction in the smartwatch business, with Pebble being one of the most highly publicized. The crowdfunded Pebble watch costs $150, and is essentially an add-on to smartphones instead of a standalone computer. Hence, it is speculated that Apple and company are attempting to cram as much smartphone features into a watch as they can, and, therefore, shifting consumer interests from smartphones to “smartwatches.” Samsung owns more patents in US than in Korea Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-owns-more-patents-in-us- than-in-korea/19692.html April 15th, 2013 Since 2009, Samsung has completely shifted its patent management to the U.S., with the majority of the patents now being filed for and obtained on U.S. soil. (A proposed design for Samsung's new campus in the Silicon Valley.) “The onset of overseas patent disputes somewhat pushed Samsung into raising the share of its overseas patents in the total patent pool,” said a Samsung official. Samsung has obtained between 3,611 to 5,081 US patents since 2009, as compared to the 1,485 to 2,013 patents obtained in Korea.
  • 111. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. New app keeps Icelanders from sleeping with relatives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-app-keeps-icelanders-from- sleeping-with-relatives/19727.html April 17th, 2013 Iceland has a fairly small population, meaning there's a somewhat real risk of accidentally sleeping with someone you're related to. A new app hopes to prevent this. Iceland has a population of just 320,000 people, less than a decent sized city. Even though we are all related if you go far enough back, you clearly don’t have to reach quite as far to find relatives if you’re from Iceland. How does this affect dating though; what are the chances of Icelanders accidentally hooking up with members of their extended family? Arnar Freyr Aðalsteinsson, Hákon Þrastar Björnsson and Alexeander Annas Helgason; the designers of the app Apparently, the chances are great enough to warrant the creation of an app that lets you check. The app is linked to Íslendingabók, an online ”book of Icelanders” which keeps a database of the 720,000 people who have ever been born in Iceland. The database is freely available to anyone who is registered in it, and with the app, people can now quickly look up their partners to find out if they’re cousins. The app makes use of bump technology, which allows users to quickly exchange information via Bluetooth; as the designers’ slogan reads: “Bump the app before you bump in bed”. If you think that this doesn’t happen too often; that perhaps it isn’t the most common occurrence to realize your date is in the background of your brother’s wedding photos, well then you’d be wrong. One user of the app made a comment that confirms its dire necessity in the Icelandic dating world: “If I would have had this app last year, I probably wouldn’t have gone home with my cousin”. The word “probably” is still a little worrying, of course. Foxconn signs deal with Microsoft Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/foxconn-signs-deal-with- microsoft/19725.html April 17th, 2013 Foxconn has entered into a patent agreement with Microsoft ensuring that devices powered by Google's Android and Chrome operating systems will pay royalties to Microsoft Hon Hai, Foxconn’s parent company, has entered into a patent deal with Microsoft as a response to an ongoing intellectual property dispute between the two parties. Hon Hai has agreed to the deal, which pays royalties to Microsoft for the disputed patents, in an attempt to keep its clients out of the way from potential lawsuits. The dispute originates in Microsoft’s claims that devices which use Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems are making use of innovations which belong to Microsoft. The software giant originally filed legal action against the Asian firm two years ago, potentially leading to an import ban on Hon Hai’s products. Google meanwhile says these claims are based on “bogus patents”. However, Motorola’s handset division has already lost several legal disputes involving the patents, so it is not unexpected that Hon Hai would move towards a potential deal.
  • 112. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Foxconn assembles 40% of all devices in the computer, communications and consumer electronics industry This is the 19th patent deal Microsoft has managed to secure in the past three years from companies which use Google’s mobile and laptop OS. HTC, Samsung, LG, Sharp and Acer have all agreed to pay Microsoft royalties. The specific terms for the deal with Hon Hai have not been disclosed yet, but what is certain is that Microsoft cannot have patent deals with both designers and manufacturers of the same product. Thus, in the cases where there is overlap between Microsoft’s patent deals, some compromise will have to be decided upon. Hon Hai is the biggest manufacturing service provider for computes, communication and consumer electronics in the world. Forbes estimates that 40% of product assembly in that sector comes directly from Hon Hai. With more than 54,000 patents of its own, it is no stranger to patent rights; Samuel Fu, the company’s intellectual property director, made the following statement: "We recognize and respect the importance of international efforts that seek to protect intellectual property. The licensing agreement with Microsoft represents those efforts and our continued support of international trade agreements that facilitate implementation of effective patent protection." Sony launches new Bravia LED TV and sound speaker line-up Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-launches-new-bravia-led-tv- and-sound-speaker-line-up/19726.html April 17th, 2013 Sony has launched a brand new line-up for full high- definition Bravia LED TVs, with enhanced image and sound quality, and several new speaker systems for a more cinema- like sound experience. Sony has launched a brand new line-up for full high- definition Bravia LED TVs, with enhanced image and sound quality, and several new speaker systems for a more cinema- like sound experience. The W-series and R-series models, unveiled at CES 2013 earlier this year, include a number of technologies for more vibrant, clear displays and deeper bass sounds. Triluminos technology employs QD Vision's Color IQ1 optical component with Sony's existing display technology for what it claims is a higher gamut of colours on screen. The W-series models include the X-Reality Pro picture engine for improved picture quality. Sound quality is also being enhanced, thanks to Sony's Signal-to-Sound Architecture. The KDL-W954A featuring an ultra-slim two-way bass reflex speaker and stand-alone tweeter, designed to minimise sound loss and distortion. The KDL-W904A employs an integrated 1.2m speaker duct. The KDL-W804A, KDL-W704A, and KDL-W674A come with a compact bass reflex speaker. Sony has also included NFC technology as part of a one- touch mirroring function, which can let users wirelessly transmit videos, images or applications from their Miracast- supported smartphones to the TVs with just a single tap of the screen. The TVs also come with Sony 3D Simulview, which lets users view two different fullscreen images simultaneously, thanks to included glasses (on certain models). This is particularly ideal for multiplayer games, which traditionally require a split screen, significantly reducing the size of the display for each player.
  • 113. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 Sony also launched several new 4K and 3D Blu-ray sound systems, BDV-N9100, BDV-N7100W, and the BDV-E3100, which pack several new technologies, including Magnetic Fluid Speakers, using an advanced ferrofluid material developed by NASA, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Sony Digital Music Enhancer, a slew of Karaoke features, and a new Football Mode to give fans a more immersive experience of the game. The new TVs and sound systems are available immediately in Singapore at Sony Stores and will be available at other outlets from May. Century lets you read books through illuminated glass Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/century-lets-you-read-books- through-illuminated-glass/19722.html April 17th, 2013 Books today may look quaint in the face of tablets like the Kindle, but they are certainly not obsolete, at least not yet. However, we do admit that classic book reading can still be a bit troublesome due to the need for another light source. Nowadays, you'll probably need something a lot more convenient than a simple night lamp, something like this new tech item from Century. The Light Wedge 2.0 is a peculiar looking tool that is used to provide lighting for various reading materials. Unlike most conventional lighting tools that are clipped at the top of the reading material, this one is directly placed on top of the page, or "wedged" through the book, and is clipped at the side. It illuminates the page by diffusing light onto its transparent plate, making the page seem like it's something that is displayed on an electronic screen. Inside the clip is a white LED that provides the illumination, while the plate is made of optics-enhanced acrylic lens. The light provided by the combination of these two components is clear and adequately focused. It does not "spill" out, allowing the tool to be efficiently used on any dark setting without causing trouble to other people around you. The dimensions of the Light Wedge 2.0 are 165 x 225 x 11 mm, making it suitable for most kinds of paper sizes. It weighs 220 grams, which can be a bit substantial, though you can still hold up the reading material without straining your arms, hands or wrists too much. The unit is charged via USB, and it can be used for about 15 hours when it is fully charged. The item is currently available in Japan for about 4,000 yen (41 USD). Source: MyNavi (JP) Intel reports $2 billion profit for 2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-reports-2-billion-profit- for-2013/19724.html April 17th, 2013 While industry analysts say the PC sector is collapsing, Intel has reported a steady $2 billion profit for Q1 2013.
  • 114. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 While many say the sky is falling for the PC sector, the company at the heart of the industry reported Tuesday that it is still making a healthy profit. Intel reported Tuesday afternoon that it had reported first quarter revenue of $12.6 billion, operating income of $2.5 billion, and net income of $2 billion. The company said revenue from its PC Client Group totaled $8 billion for the quarter, down 6 % year-over year. Its Data Center Group revenue was up to 7.5% $2.6 billion. “Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, in a statement. "We shipped our next generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors this quarter. We are working with our customers to introduce innovative new products across multiple operating systems." Intel’s posting of healthy profit margins comes not a week after International Data Corporation (IDC) and Gartner reported that the PC market was suffering its worst contraction in history. The company is predicting that next quarter’s profits will be on target with previous projections. Considering Intel does not presently have a sustainable mobile strategy, these numbers, while not impressive, are sure to be pleasing to its shareholders. This quarter marks Paul Otellini’s last as CEO, as Intel’s big boss announced his retirement in late 2012. The company’s board of directors has yet to find a replacement for Otellini. Spain to enforce stricter anti-piracy laws after being placed on 'watch list' Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spain-to-enforce-stricter-anti-piracy- laws-after-being-placed-on-watch-list-/19698.html April 16th, 2013 Spain’s Education and Culture Minister, Jose Wert, says Spain would soon be proposing a new set of laws to help thwart on-line piracy. Spain was recently put on a ‘watch list’ for rampant on-line piracy and is considered one of the worst offenders in Western Europe. In February of this year the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) issued a report placing Spain as a region to watch for rampant piracy on-line and in some physical trade. They are recommending that Spain be placed back on the U.S. Trade Representative’s ‘watch list’ as a region not enforcing laws to stop copyright violators. In an effort to prevent any sort of trade sanctions by the U.S. Trade Representative, Spain will be enforcing a new set of anti-piracy laws. In a recent press statement the Spanish Education and Culture Minister, Jose Wert, said that his government will be passing new reform that would place stricter guidelines on enforcing local and international copyright laws. In an interview with Reuters news agency Wert said, "I believe this reform should satisfy those who are worried about Spain's insufficient level of protection for intellectual property." Currently, the laws in Spain make it hard for copyright holders to protect their work from piracy. These new set of laws being drafted will make it easier for the Spanish government to go after any website that links or directs a person in some way to engage in the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. The laws would also make it easier to shut down sites that take on-line payments for pirated copyrighted material as well. A Spanish lobby group known as the Coalition of Content Creators and Industries is pressing lawmakers to make the bill even more stringent and comparable to any physical copyright law. If the suggestions by the lobbyists were passed, the government would have the power to entirely shut down or block websites that harbor illegal downloading. Google Glass: One day battery life, 12GB of space, bone conduction sound, and a carry pouch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-glass-one-day- battery-life-12gb-of-space-bone-conduction-sound-and-a-carry- pouch/19719.html April 16th, 2013 Not everyone is convinced that Google’s Glass will be a trend setter. So while its viability is in question, from a gizmo and gadget lover’s point of view the Glass is a cool toy that will get the adrenaline pumping—even if just for the first few hours. The Google eyewear’s software will be called Glassware, and images displayed in front of the wearer will come from a square-ish component that sits right above the eye. Google claims that the projection component is an “equivalent of a 25-inch HD screen from 8 feet away.” The Glass can also take 5MP photos and record 720p videos. It also comes with 16GB of internal storage, although only 12GB will be useable. For sound, the Glass will feature bone conduction technology, which is extremely cool considering how limited the speakers and headphones industry is.
  • 115. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 (Don't I look like a million bucks? Oh wait, I'm worth way more than that!) According to Google, under normal use, the Glass can run for a whole day, but if users decide to have prolonged Hangouts and video recording the battery will probably run dry within a few hours. Google will include a micro USB cable and charger—as it should—for people to recharge their Glasses should they begin to die. Also, a nifty pouch will be included to provide some protection for the Glass. What the Glass can do in terms of augmented reality is exciting, but on the fashion-end of things it doesn’t seem too trendy at the moment. This should be a given, but Google is warning people to keep their Glasses away from liquid as any excessive immersion may be corrosive to the electronic components. Element Five ifive X2 8.9: Quad-core RK3188 & 1920x1200 IPS display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/element-five-ifive-x2-8.9-quad-core- rk3188--1920x1200-ips-display/19717.html April 16th, 2013 Bargain hunters looking for a tablet that sports a respectable processor and display resolution can’t possibly look away from the ifive X2 8.9. The tablet was recently shown off at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, and although it doesn’t boast the marketing power of a Samsung tablet, the Five Elements ifive X2 will be an attractive choice for eBay surfers. General specs of the ifive X2 8.9 includes a 8.9-inch 1920x1200 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, microSD slot, Wi- Fi and Bluetooth, 5MP rear shooter (2MP front), and a 7200mAh battery. When we say respectable, we really mean it. The ifive X2 sports Rockchip’s RK3188 Cortex A9 quad-core, which is in the same league as Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and Samsung’s Exynos 4412. The benefit of the RK3188 is that it’s manufactured on a 28nm process as compared to 32nm for the Exynos 4412 and Tegra 3’s 40nm. Furthermore, the RK3188 also has a higher base clock—at 1.6GHz, respectively. The Tegra 3 and Exynos 4412 are relatively dated in tech- speak, but in terms of their popularity and hype amongst consumers, the respective chips still play a large role in powering many of the smartphones and tablets still on the market today. That said, the RK3188 isn’t “next-gen” like A15-based chips, but it’s still a huge improvement over previous-gen products. Which then leads us to “bang for your bucks”, and tablets featuring the RK3188 are definitely good choices for power users on a tight budget.
  • 116. April 17th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 There are a few more off-brand tablets which feature the RK3188, but if you happen to see the ifive X2 on eBay, just keep in mind that it’s a worthy device. Pricing and availability have not been announced, and the Android OS version OTB is also currently unknown. Samsung's flexible OLED technology gets pushed back due to manufacturing issues Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-flexible-oled-technology- gets-pushed-back-due-to-manufacturing-issues/19716.html April 16th, 2013 Samsung adopted Vitex System’s encapsulation technology at the end of 2011, but Vitex System’s method isn’t providing Samsung with a short enough manufacturing time. Therefore, Samsung will, instead, investigate other possibilities before pushing for mass production of its flexible OLED. “As we have accumulated expertise in this field, progress is being made in substrates as well as encapsulation technology. We have developed a new technology that can shorten the encapsulation process to less than two minutes by using the Vitex System-developed encapsulation technology,” according to Samsung Display. Windows 8.1 to bring back Start button and boot to desktop option Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8.1-to-bring-back-start- button-and-boot-to-desktop-option/19715.html April 16th, 2013 Windows 8.1 (or Windows “Blue”) may bring back the Start button and perhaps even allow desktop users to skip straight to the desktop instead of having to go through the Metro menu first. (Ahh... The good ol' days.) Many early adopters, especially those without a touch display have griped about Windows 8’s modern UI. Although the interface works well in a touch environment, desktop functionalities without a touch interface is confusing. In short, Microsoft’s brute force tactic isn’t well received, and many Windows users want their Start button back. Microsoft claims that the Windows 8 UI is “easy to learn”, especially on a touchscreen. The problem, however, is that not everyone has adopted touch technology as many still rely on a keyboard and mouse to carry out commands on a computer. While it’s true that media consumption is shifting towards mobile devices with touch displays, businesses, along with many other segments of PC usage (gaming for instance), still rely heavily on the traditional approach to using a computer. Nothing is official of course, as the source of the rumor has specifically noted that “until it ships, anything can change.” So cross your fingers if you want the next Windows update to bring back some of the things that “worked.”
  • 117. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Your home could soon become a biofuel station Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/your-home-could-soon-become-a- biofuel-station/19744.html April 19th, 2013 With rising energy costs, rapid population growth, and the heightening consequences of climate change, it is extremely encouraging to see the constant stream of innovations being developed by researchers to tackle these very issues. Whether it is a photovoltaic paint that captures solar energy from any surface, or the Pavegen tiles reported on previously, renewability and self sufficiency are spearheading huge technological breakthroughs. Enter the BIQ, or Bio Intelligent Quotient, House. This is not your ordinary house; even down to the arrangement of the various rooms, which can be altered by the owner whenever and however they choose. In a world first, all your energy requirements can be provided by micro-algae, which are contained within panel-shaped tanks on the façade of the building; consequently, your home can be disconnected from the grid. Also expect to turn heads with your new home’s sci-fi vibe. So how does it work? The algae are cultivated by continuously supplying them with carbon dioxide and nutrients via a water pump. The most important ingredient however is sunlight; without it, photosynthesis, the process by which algae can grow and multiply, will not occur. The glass tanks are hence assembled on the sides of the building that receive the most amount of the day’s sunlight. An additional benefit of this ‘bio-façade’ is that with more sunlight, as the algae concentration increases, more shade is provided; a neat alternative to standard blinds. When ready for harvesting, the algae are extracted as a pulp for fermentation to produce biogas; this fuel is then consumed in an on-site generator, powering and heating your house. A proportion of the solar energy captured by the façade is also stored in underground heat exchangers; think of it as your very own personal geothermal energy source. If this sounds incredibly complicated, there’s no need to worry; the building’s technical room does all the hard work for you, managing all the energy transfers and ensuring your home remains livable at all times. The project was led by Arup, and designed by the Austrian firm Splitterwerks Architects, as part of Austria and Germany’s Strategic Scientific Consult (SSC). If successful, the BIQ House could very well herald a new direction in building design. Deep Silver takes players on a wild ride in the new Ride to Hell: Retribution trailer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/deep-silver-takes-players-on-a-wild- ride-in-the-new-ride-to-hell-retribution-trailer/19747.html April 19th, 2013 The new trailer for Deep Silver's upcoming biker-themed release Ride to Hell: Retribution chronicles the game's plot with actual in-game footage, exposing the title's gritty style and distinct 1960's feel along the way. Deep Silver's newly released trailer for Ride to Hell: Retribution sets the gritty tone for the upcoming biker- themed game with an emphasis on revenge and overall badassery. The trailer chronicles the game's storyline and also reinforces the title's overall tough-and-rumble flair, showcasing a few of the in-game features and mechanics.
  • 118. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Ride to Hell: Retribution follows Jake Conway, a tough- as-nails biker, who's intent on delivering his own brand of ruthless justice to a merciless motorcycle gang known as The Devil's Hand. Jake plans on using any means necessary to exact his revenge--whether by fist, shotgun, or on the wheels of his custom hog, Jake is determined to bring The Devil's Hand down. "Ride to Hell: Retribution is a no holds barred brawler set in the tumultuous age of the 1960’s. A lone rider, Jake Conway, is locked in a battle to the death against a ruthless gang of bikers called The Devil’s Hand. Jake will employ any means necessary to enact his vengeance: weaponizing his environment, using hand-to-hand combat on foot, and battling it out in high-speed shootouts on Jake's custom hog." The promotional imagery and concept art paint Ride to Hell: Retribution as a mix between Easy Ride and Sons of Anarchy, making use of many oft-used characterizations of rough bikers and their frontier-like lifestyle: wars against rival motorcycle gangs, steely resilience, and all the other themes associated with bikers. The trailer depicts that distinct style while also giving players a glimpse at actual gameplay footage of Ride to Hell: Redemption, and also fleshes out the main character Jake Conway. The game itself looks to be peppered with a unique style and its fair share of action, and it will be interesting to see what sorts of mechanics that Deep Silver utilizes with the upcoming game--maybe some light RPG-style skills, or even customizable weapons and choppers. Ride to Hell: Retribution is slated for a release in June 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website. PC specs revealed for Metro: Last Light Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pc-specs-revealed-for-metro-last- light/19745.html April 19th, 2013 The full PC specs for Deep Silver's anticipated sequel in the Metro franchise have recently come to light, allowing gamers to pre-determine if their computer will run the game. Deep Silver has recently unveiled the full PC requirements for Metro: Last Light, the upcoming sequel to Metro 2033-- the post-apocalyptic shooter based on the sci-fi novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky--that has been anticipated for some time now. The spec sheet gives players a heads-up to the official requirements of the game, allowing them to prepare their gaming rigs and to see beforehand if the game will run on their PC. Below you can find the full PC requirements for Metro: Last Light: Minimum Windows: XP (32-Bit), Vista, 7 or 8 CPU: 2.2 GHz Dual Core e.g. Intel Core 2 Duo RAM: 2GB Direct X: 9.0c Graphics Card: DirectX 9, Shader Model 3 compliant e.g. NVIDIA GTS 250 (or AMD equivalent e.g. HD Radeon 4000 series) or higher For 3D Vision Support:
  • 119. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 · NVIDIA GTX 275 or higher · 120Hz Monitor · NVIDIA 3D Vision kit for Windows Vista, 7 or 8 Recommended Windows: Vista, 7 or 8 CPU: 2.6 GHz Quad Core e.g. Intel Core i5 RAM: 4GB Direct X: 11 Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 580/660 Ti (or AMD equivalent e.g. 7870) or higher For 3D Vision Support: · NVIDIA GTX 580/660Ti or higher · 120Hz Monitor · NVIDIA 3D Vision kit for Windows Vista, 7 or 8 Optimum Windows: Vista, 7 or 8 CPU: 3.4 GHz Multi-Core e.g. Intel Core i7 RAM: 8GB Direct X: 11 Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 690 / NVIDIA Titan For 3D Vision Support: · NVIDIA GTX 690 · 120Hz Monitor · NVIDIA 3D Vision kit for Windows Vista, 7 or 8 Gamers can also use NVIDIA's handy GPU Analyzer to determine if their computer is fit to run Metro: Last Light. Metro: Last Light takes players back to the post-apocalyptic ruins of Moscow, where humanity has been forced to live in underground tunnels to survive. Life is bleak, and the world is riddled with dangers including the very environment that's teeming with mutants born from the toxic atmosphere as well as enemy factions that vie for control of essential resources. As Artyom, a heroic ranger who has brought salvation to the last vestige of humanity, players must delve deep into the wasteland to combat merciless foes and stop their search for a destructive doomsday device that could very well wipe out the city's inhabitants. In Metro: Last Light, Artyom must once again deliver his people into salvation and become the last light for all of humanity. The game's plot was also penned by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the creator and author of the original novels, and features many crossovers from the books. Additionally his latest book in the series, Metro 2035, will be available this year, and MGM has recently purchased the rights for a feature-length film based in the Metro franchise. Metro: Last Light is slated for release on May 14, 2013 in North America and May 17, 2013 across Europe for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. For more information including screenshots, trailers and story info please visit the game's official website. Bethesda announces new survival-horror game The Evil Within Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bethesda-announces-new-survival- horror-game-the-evil-within/19748.html April 19th, 2013 Bethesda Softworks has recently announced a brand new survival-horror IP called The Evil Within with Tango Gameworks' Shinji Mikami--the renowned creator of the Resident Evil series--at the head of development.
  • 120. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 Bethesda Softworks, the creators of the immensely popular Elder Scrolls franchise, has recently revealed The Evil Within, a brand new IP set in the survival-horror genre that's currently in the works. The Evil Within is being developed by Tango Gameworks with the legendary Shinji Mikami--the creator of the Resident Evil franchise and proclaimed "father" of the survival-horror genre--directing Bethesda's Japanese studio in the overall development of the upcoming release. Mikami has been in the industry for two decades now, and has been behind many critically acclaimed and award- winning titles in the genre itself, including the original Resident Evil game that solidified the genre in the gaming world. “We’re incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within,” Mikami disclosed in the game's official press release. “My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action.” The game is slated for a release in 2014 for both next-gen and current gen consoles, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Additional information on the game will drop on Monday, April 22nd via Bethesda's official blog, and we'll keep you updated with coverage when more details are available. Until then, be sure to check out the game's official trailer below to experience the mind-bending terror of The Evil Within. Leaked image confirms existence of budget iPhone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leaked-image-confirms-existence-of- budget-iphone/19742.html April 19th, 2013 Apple is feeling the pressure now that the market is becoming more saturated with iPhones. Demand for the high-end iPhone 5 has dropped, and the company’s stock value seems to reflect just that. To remedy the bleeding, Apple will launch iPhones targeting frugal consumers as well as emerging markets. Although the budget iPhone is not yet confirmed, a supposed leak of the phone’s shell may be all that is needed to confirm the rumor. First leaked onto a blog called Tactus, the image of a plastic iPhone shell reveals that a low cost Apple smartphone may very well be Apple’s solution to competing with other budget handset makers. The current iPhone 5's have price tags ranging from $650 to $1000, but the purported budget iPhone will go for a meager $300. Specifics regarding the low-end iPhone include a 3.5- inch Retina display, an A5 processor, a 5MP rear camera, and various color options. The launch date for the device is expected to happen at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. Apple stocks have slowly fell below its one time high of over $700, prompting many investors to become anxious as the company’s share dipped below $400 for the first time in months. Archos announces new line of budget-friendly Android smartphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/archos-announces-new-line-of- budget-friendly-android-smartphones/19741.html April 18th, 2013 The Archos brand is often associated with bargain tablets in recent years, but the France-based firm also has aspirations to make smartphones.
  • 121. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 Archos has announced that it will launch three Android handsets targeting all consumer levels. The devices include the 35 Carbon, 50 Platinum, and 53 Platinum. All of the handsets will have dual SIM slots, 4GB of internal storage, be available as unlocked devices that support 7.2Mbps HSPA 3G, and run on Google’s mobile Android operating system. (35 Carbon) The 35 Carbon is an entry-level handset sporting a 3.5-inch display, a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon S1, 512MB of RAM, and Android Ice Cream Sandwich to boot. Second in line is the 50 Platinum, a 5-incher that boasts a much beefier quad- core Snapdragon S4, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera (2MP front), and Android Jelly Bean. Similarly, the 5.3-inch 53 Platinum has the exact same specs as the 50 Platinum, with the exception that users will have an extra 0.3-inch of space to play with. (50 Platinum) Staying true to its roots and business strategy, the new Archos handset will run for $100, $220 and $250, respectively, in ascending screen size order. The launch date for the devices is set for late May, and Europe will be the phones’ first destination. (53 Platinum) Microsoft 7-inch Surface tablet to launch this year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-7-inch-surface-tablet-to- launch-this-year/19740.html April 18th, 2013 There is no clear time frame as to when a smaller Surface will launch but the 7-incher’s debut seems imminent, and Q4 2013 seems reasonable according to sources and analysts. It is speculated that Microsoft is also trying to target the budget segment, which was a strategy that Apple also deployed with its iPad Mini—although one can argue the later as the iPad Mini is still a notch above its competitor in term of price. Microsoft recently changed its rules for OEMs to allow 1024x768 Windows 8 touch screen devices, and Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini, also recently announced that $300-400 Windows tablets will arrive this fall. While Android tablets continue to drop in price, it is clear that Microsoft wants to target the premium audience—largely held by Apple’s iPad line—with its Surface. Also in circulation are rumors that Microsoft will make some changes to Windows 8 to accommodate traditional desktop users. One of the main changes is the return of the Start button which is sorely missed by many Windows users who have not adopted touch displays. Microsoft is set to make some official announcements regarding Windows 8.1 (Windows Blue) in June at its annual conference for developers.
  • 122. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 FBI releases surveillance video of Boston Marathon bombings Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-releases-surveillance-video-of- boston-marathon-bombings/19739.html April 18th, 2013 The FBI reports that no arrests have been made, contrary to what some news outlet are reporting. According to the official press release, the FBI is still in its early stages of investigating the incident that took several lives and injured many others. Some outlets have reported that a man wearing a cap and backpack was seen dumping explosives into a trash container near the site of the explosion. Although the video released did not show such action by a man wearing similar attires, it seems like the FBI is trying to narrow down all suspects. Officials of the Boston Marathon have publicly stated that they intend to continue the event and festivities next year. Anonymous gets funding to start a news website Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/anonymous-gets-funding-to-start-a- news-website/19738.html April 18th, 2013 Anonymous wants to set up a dedicated website for publishing news surrounding the group's effort, and supporters of the hacktivists have been more than willing to toss them some change. Initially, the target set by “Jackal Anon” was only 2,000 USD on Indiegogo, but at the final sum at the end of the run ended up being 54,668 USD. The site will be called Your Anon News. According to the Anon News Team, they want to create a “new environment where content is not determined solely by external sources…, [and] engineer a new website which will allow us to collect breaking reports and blog postings from the best independent reporters online.” Anonymous is not centralized as its members are scattered all over the world. The hacktivists are connected by their title, but not necessarily by roles or purposes. The group as a whole, however, has made headlines by targeting computer systems of large corporations to national governments. Recently, Anonymous’ declaration of cyber war on North Korea has prompted many supporters as well as onlookers set themselves on high-alert mode in anticipation of what the hacktivists will do to decimate the Hermit Kingdom’s network. Some herald Anonymous as a sort of cyber justice league, whereas others deem them as radicals and criminals. Whatever views people may have of Anonymous, however, doesn’t seem to stop them from making headlines and turning heads. Is Siri keeping your secrets? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/is-siri-keeping-your- secrets-/19737.html April 18th, 2013 Siri, Apple's voice controlled assistant, remembers what you tell her. Apple won't say how long she remembers however, and the American Civil Liberties Union is concerned. Whenever you use Apple’s digital assistant Siri, she remembers what you tell her. This isn’t too different from how Google, Yahoo and Microsoft personalize your searches by remembering what you’ve searched for before. Over the past few years though, the EU has been advocating the user’s privacy and has asked those companies to clear up exactly what kind of search data they’re keeping. Apple’s service however, isn’t willing to be quite as transparent. Apple has said that it removes recent data when you turn Siri off, but that older data is retained. From Apple’s privacy statement: “If you turn off Siri, Apple will delete your User Data, as well as your recent voice input data. Older voice input data that has been disassociated from you may be retained for a period of time to generally improve Siri and other Apple products and services.” Can you trust her? “It’s not clear what ‘disassociated’ means. It’s not clear what ‘period of time’ means. It’s not clear what using it to ‘generally improve Siri and other Apple products and services’ means,” says Nicole Ozer, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the ACLU, this matters particularly because the app is marketed as an assistant. You can dictate messages to Siri and generally speaking, it deals with things much more personal than your average google search. Because of how Siri is designed, it’s also less clear that something is being recorded. Though Ozer admits it’s easier to find the privacy policy for Siri than before (it’s in the iPhone’s settings menu), it has long been difficult to track down and hasn’t even been featured on Apple’s website. That still doesn’t help the ambiguous wording though, something which is enough of a concern that IBM’s CIO Jeanette Horan banned it from
  • 123. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 IBM’s networks for fear that what people said to Siri might be stored somewhere. For comparison, Google has explained that their voice search feature anonymizes requests and keeps them for up to 24 months in order to improve speech recognition. However, no personal information is stored and it’s impossible to tell who spoke any particular query. Google will brick your Glass if you lend it out or sell it Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-will-brick-your-glass-if-you- lend-it-out-or-sell-it/19736.html April 18th, 2013 Google Glass is finally on it's trial run, but if you thought being an early adopter was a way to get rich quick, think again. Google is prohibiting you lending or selling the device without their permission. Google has placed rules in its Terms of Service agreement prohibiting you from selling Google Glass, or even lending it out to a friend, without Google’s express permission. Google began shipping its new wearable gadget to early adopters this week, along with a slew of developer documentation, specs and rules for what developers can and cannot do with the expensive new device, one such rule being the previously stated ban from resale or lending. Developers who break these rules face having their $1500 glasses disabled: Here's one of the first videos filmed with Google Glass “You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google's authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.” Google Glass is shipping with a 5 megapixel camera, a bone transducer for audio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 12 GB of usable memory for all manner of various apps. On the topic of apps, Google has made rules prohibiting the device from being used for advertising, or to include any advertising in apps they develop for it. In addition, developers will not be allowed to charge money for the downloading of any apps they develop. Amazon considering new anonymous payment system Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amazon-considering-new- anonymous-payment-system/19734.html April 18th, 2013 A new patent application indicates that Amazon is interested in launching a new mobile payment system that keeps your personal information safe hidden from the retailer Amazon has just sent in a patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office, titled “Anonymous mobile payments”. The patent describes a system which would allow mobile users to make purchases without having to divulge personal information to the retailer, such as name, phone number or email address. Amazon wants you to keep your personal information secure Amazon isn't the first company to attempt mobile payment systems, but they are attempting to do things a little differently. In order to shield the user's personal information, Amazon's new payment system would make use of a temporary code to conduct the sale. The code is a unique identifier for the transaction and acts as a middleman between customer and seller, so no information has to be exchanged between them. Theoretically, the code could expire after a certain time, or be used multiple times between the same seller and buyer. Here's how Amazon puts it: Anonymous mobile payments enable a user to make and/or receive payments without disclosing personal or private information to another party. In some aspects, a provider of a payment may request an anonymous payment for a specified value from a host. In response, the host may transmit to the provider a code that is available for redemption. The provider may then relay the code to a recipient, who may redeem the code from the host. In other aspects, a recipient may request a temporary identifier (special code) from a host. The recipient may relay the temporary identifier to a provider, who may in turn transmit a payment, via the host, using the temporary identifier. The recipient may then claim the payment from the host. In additional aspects, the codes of the anonymous payments may include expiration times and/or restrictions on a number of uses of the code. If the system comes to fruition, it could very possibly rival other payment options on the market today, much thanks to Amazon's giant customer base
  • 124. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 Malwarebytes update destroys thousands of computers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/malwarebytes-update-destroys- thousands-of-computers/19733.html April 18th, 2013 A faulty security update to Malwarebytes' software has cause it to mistake legitimate files for malware code, leading to thousands of ruined computers Malwarebytes makes security software meant to detect and clean your computer of unwanted malware. Unfortunately, a recent security update confused the software into thinking that legitimate system files were actually unwanted code. This lead to thousands of computers being wiped of files necessary to keep them running. The security update specifically confused the software into thinking that Windows .dll and .exe files were malicious. When the software stopped these files from running, it effectively disables the computer. All in all, thousands of systems across the globe were affected. "Exterminate! Deleting folder system32!" Malwarebytes' Marcin Kleczynski issued a statement about the incident: "It saddens me to report that at around 3PM PST yesterday, Malwarebytes released a definitions update that disabled thousands of computers worldwide. Within eight minutes, the update was pulled from our servers. Immediately thereafter, users flocked to our support help desk and forums to ask us for a fix." Kleczynski has stated that new policies will be put in place to prevent something like this from happening again: "We are commissioning several new resources to stop this from happening again. We are building more redundancy to check our researchers' work and improving our peer review." Despite quickly acting to remove the update, the damage was done. Many IT managers have reported massive disruptions to their computer systems. A UK organization stated that 80% of their company's servers had been knocked out. Rik Ferguson at Trend Micro Systems stated that this isn't an isolated incident; faulty security updates like this do tend to happen, and they happen industry-wide. The need to combat new and fast moving security threats means updates aren't always scrutinized as well as they should be. Christian gamer demands refund for BioShock: Infinite from Valve Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/christian-gamer-demands-refund- for-bioshock-infinite-from-valve/19728.html April 18th, 2013 BioShock: Infinite has its fair share of religious themes and overtones, and one Christian has gone so far as to ask Valve for a full refund of the game since he believed it challenged certain aspects of his faith, including the fundamentals of baptism. One devout Christian gamer, Breen Malmberg, has recently found issue with BioShock: Infinite's religious themes; specifically the game's particular usage of baptism. The Christian gamer was offended at one of the initial sequences of the game, where Booker De Witt, the game's protagonist, must be baptised in order to enter Columbia. Malmberg's disdain became evident when he wrote a letter to Valve asking for a full refund of his purchase via Steam, where he equated the game's baptism scene as "extremely blasphemous". Below you can see Malmberg's letter in full: I wish to return/exchange this game (Bioshock Infinite) for steam credit or refund on the grounds that I cannot play it. I cannot play it because at the very beginning of the game there is a section of the game that is so offensive to my religious beliefs that I cannot proceed with it any further. I did not know this section of the game was there and had no way of knowing it was there before-hand as it was not shown in any trailers, previews, screenshots or other marketing material. The player is forced to make a choice which amounts to extreme blasphemy in my religion (Christianity) in order to proceed any further - and am therefore
  • 125. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 forced (in good conscience) to quit playing and not able to experience approx. 99% of the content in the game. There is no option to turn this particular content off or to bypass or skip it in any way. In Modern Warfare 2, they at least allowed you to skip a particularly offensive level (http:// www.destructoid.com/modern-warfare...). This is the same sort of thing for me, but there is no way to skip it in this case. Please issue a full refund or store credit in the amount of the price of the game (Bioshock Infinite) as I had no idea that I would not be able to play this game before I bought it. If you need further convincing, I will use the analogy that if you were a muslem, it would be like forcing the player into an in-game action of "press x to spit on the face of allah" in order to proceed any further with the game and with no choice or way around doing so. I apologize for the potentially misleading choice of category for this request, but you do not have a category I can choose that accurately fits my needs. According to Malmberg, Valve refunded his purchase. While there are many games that make use of religious themes as story and plot mechanisms, Malmberg believed that BioShock: Infinite's use was entirely different: " "The difference here," Malmberg said during an interview with Kotaku, "is that you are forced to make a decision that violates those beliefs in order to continue with the game - which is not something I have run into very often." Interestingly enough it wasn't any of the other religious symbols and elements that Malmberg took offence to, but rather to something that seems to relate to his own personal interpretation of the scene--and its implications--and chose to take offence to something that Irrational might not have intended. Additionally, the game is filled to the brim with a variety of unsavory acts--take the wanton violence and grisly gore-- that break the tenants of many religions, however Malmberg seemed to have been fine with those aspects and focused instead on the baptism scene. BioShock: Infinite's story arc is influenced by religious implications and symbolism, and upon arriving in Columbia's "Welcome Center", players are met with a somber church-like atmosphere that venerates The Prophet, Father Comstock, to almost a deity-like status. Soft hymns, candlelight, elaborately carved marble statues with banners of scripture and stained glass can be seen prominently throughout the area, along with water in which the newcomers are baptised. It would also be interesting to see if Irrational or 2K Games will comment or speak out about this notion and to clarify their original intent...yet due to the potentially controversial and sensitive nature, it wouldn't be surprising if they kept silent on the matter and let gamers create their own interpretations of the events. In any case, Malmberg received a refund and never progressed in the game past that point, as he revealed in his letter to Valve. New source possibly confirms Xbox 720 features including backwards compatibility and no always- on requirement Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-source-possibly-confirms- xbox-720-features-including-backwards-compatibility-and-no-always-on- requirement/19729.html April 18th, 2013 A user on NeoGAF has found a new source that may very well be the final release specifications for Durango, Microsoft's
  • 126. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 10 next-gen Xbox console. The source seems to put many of the dreaded rumors to rest, dispatching worrisome rumors like always-on, limited backwards compatibility, and more. A NeoGAF user by the name of Cheesemeister has reportedly found what appears to be the final specifications for Microsoft's next-gen console, the Xbox 720. The source--a supposed anonymous Microsoft employee who specializes in software--reveals an array of features that will put a smile on the face of any gamer--especially long-time Xbox aficionados--and puts to rest many of the daunting rumors like limited backwards compatibility, always-online requirements, and the lapse of indie game support. In a condensed document, the source touches upon a list of the Durango's purported features, and event mentions a May reveal for the console--which has been known for a while now. Below you can find a selection from the document itself: • You are not required to be connected to the internet in order to play Durango games and MS were NEVER considering doing such a thing. Now please, just read that last sentence over and over again until it sinks in. Done? Good. • Ok, moving on. Have you read the VGLeaks article about the Durango specs? Yes? Good because everything you read in that article was 100% correct. Except, for one tiny little detail that MS kept guarded from most devs until very recently. That detail being that every Durango ships with an Xbox 360 SOC. • There was a reason why MS hired so many former IBM and AMD employees. I'll admit I'm not an electrical engineer (I'm in software) so I won't pretend to know the ins and outs of how the 360 SOC integrates into the Durango motherboard. All I know, and all I need to know about this new change is that I (or a game dev) can use the 360 SOC in parallel with the original Durango hardware. What does this mean in basic terms? Well, apart from Durango having 100% BC with the 360 , it also increases Durango's processing power a fair amount. • Kinect 2.0: Again the specs from VGLeaks are correct, there's been no change and there won't be. However, the fact is, is that software can do ANYTHING, and with the quite substantial increase in the hardware over Kinect 1.0, any humanly noticeable lag should be gone. • Controller: The controller is pretty much the same. The D-Pad has been improved, but the change will only be noticeable when actually using it, i.e. it looks exactly the same, I haven't actually touched it, this is just what I’ve been told. AA batteries will make a return, but the new wireless tech MS has created for the controller, improves battery life by 16%. Again, this is just what the doc says. • Xbox Mini/Xbox TV: Yes, this is happening, although as far as I know, it’s a whole different team over at MS that are handling this. As has been reported its main purpose is to compete with Apple TV, so expect this thing to be small and around $100. • It contains the 360 SOC (similar to the one in the Durango); however no disc drive is included (to decrease size). But of course you can still play any XBLA/Games on Demand game. That’s all I really know about the xTV so I’ll leave it at that. Thurrott seems to know more than anyone else about this, so go ask him. The source also divulges that Durango will be running essentially the full version of Windows 8 without the "desktop side of things", and will also be running the new WinRT framework which means, the source says, the Durango will be the most "indie friendly of all the big 3 next gen". Gamers around the world are no doubt hoping that many of these features are genuine, however like any claims made by a potential source, we must take them with a grain of salt and chock it up to rumor, regardless of how enticing the list is. It's nice to finally get a list of positive features for Microsoft's next-gen console for a change, as most of the rumors are filled with daunting and worrisome topics like the requirement of an extra peripheral just to play old Xbox 360 games, or the dreaded always-online function. It's also interesting that the supposed Microsoft employee refutes some of the claims that were made in the Durango's leaked SDK--like the always-on requirement--but then goes on to say that many of the specs were genuine. In any case, we'll hear more about the Xbox 720/Durango when it's supposedly unveiled in May, where many of the countless rumors and speculation will be put to rest.
  • 127. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 11 DOCKr, the 6-in-1 iPad accessory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dockr-the-6-in-1-ipad- accessory/19732.html April 18th, 2013 The DOCKr is a new iPad accessory designed make Apple's tablet function more like a traditional laptop, and is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter InNuevo's Dockr has won a Bronze International Design Award for it's iPad case. The case, which comes in two versions, features a polycarbonate shell for both landscape and portrait viewing, as well as 140 degrees of rotation, and complete protection for your tablet while on the go. Further more, both of the DOCKr models accommodate the Apple Wireless Keyboard and the inNuevo Wireless Keyboard, with the latter being available in colors to match the DOCKr itself. The DOCKr 1 is the more bare-bones version of the case, with the DOCKr 2 having some extra features. Among these is a battery which will extend your iPad's battery life between 4 and 8 hours depending on usage. The case also features wireless speakers and USB ports to charge electronic devices. As inNuevo puts it: “The DOCKr 2 is a six-in-one, flexible accessory for the Apple iPad, combining ergonomics, electronics and utility into a unique and fun product. It was developed with a user-centric approach to enhance and extend the users’ experience with their tablets. “ DOCKr launched on Kickstarter April 2 and has just under a month left to reach its $15,000 goal. They already have $10,000 pledged. If you want to get in on the action, a $50 pledge will get you the DOCKr 1 while a $105 pledge or more will get you a DOCKr 2. Keyword targeting allows advertisers to chase you on Twitter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/keyword-targeting-allows- advertisers-to-chase-you-on-twitter/19731.html April 18th, 2013 Much like search ads in your Google results, Twitter has introduced a new feature which will allow advertisers to target you based on keywords found in your tweets. Some estimates predict Twitter's advertising revenue for this year as being upwards of $1 billion, and part of the reason for that is their continued effort at increasing ad revenue. The latest step in this effort is keyword targeting, which allows brands and other businesses to serve ads to the user based on specific words found in their tweets. The new tracking system is rolling out across all services which use Twitter Ads, including mobile and desktop versions of Twitter. Twitter has been quick to point out that this will mean more targeted advertising; not an increase in advertising. According to a blog post made by Twitter today, the new feature is useful for advertisers as it lets them reach the user at the right moment and in the right context. As twitter explains it: ” Twitter is making a lot of money on ads ”Let’s say a user tweets about enjoying the latest album from their favorite band, and it so happens that band is due to play a concert at a local venue. That venue could now run a geotargeted campaign using keywords for that band with a Tweet containing a link to buy the tickets. That way, the user who tweeted about the new album may soon see that Promoted Tweet in their timeline letting them know tickets are for sale in their area.” Early trial users including Everything Everywhere, Microsoft Japan and Walgreens all reposter a significantly higher engagement with promotional ads that were distributed using keyword targeting. Samsung's 2nd quarter operating profits expected to reach nearly $9 billion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-2nd-quarter-operating- profits-expected-to-reach-nearly-9-billion/19721.html
  • 128. April 19th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 12 April 18th, 2013 Samsung is projected to have raked in a whopping 8.98 billion dollars (U.S.) in operating profits for the second quarter. Samsung attributes the numbers to strong demand for their Galaxy line of smartphones. Recent data conducted by financial information provider FnGuide says that Samsung should expect to bring in $8.98 billion (U.S.) in operating profits for the second quarter. The data also suggests that operating profits in the April- June period would be expected to see a 62.2% increase on- year to around $9.2 billion (U.S.). Second quarter sales should see a 23.4% jump on-year to nearly $52.7 billion (U.S.). Samsung had estimated its January-March operating profits to have risen approximately 53% to $7.7 billion (U.S.). It is also projected that the company sold about 68 million smartphones, up from 63 million in the December quarter, according analysts. Actual 1st quarter profits number will be released on April 26, 2013. When Samsung releases their Galaxy S IV later this month sales may show even bigger gains. Some analysts are predicting the company could sell as many as 22 million Galaxy S4 smartphones in the April-June time period.
  • 129. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Nokia to unveil QWERTY phone on Wednesday Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-unveil-qwerty-phone-on- wednesday/19765.html April 22nd, 2013 Nokia is planning to unveil its newest smartphone this Wednesday, and it should come with a QWERTY keyboard, ideal for text and email addicts who prefer a more tactile typing experience. Nokia is planning to unveil its newest smartphone this Wednesday, and it should come with a QWERTY keyboard, ideal for text and email addicts who prefer a more tactile typing experience. The Finnish company will reveal the new device at 7am GMT on Wednesday morning. It said it will announce “something new,” and it will also have a Q&A session with Neil Broadley from the Mobile Phones team, in addition to an unspecified special guest. A teaser image shows the typical bright colours of Nokia's Lumia range, so we can likely expect more Windows Phone 8 and a variety of shades to match anyone's outfit. Some fans are calling for a QWERTY model with Symbian or Asha instead, however. Other details remain under wraps at this time, but this is likely one of several Nokia devices launching this year as it attempts to regain its mobile crown. It faces tough competition, however, including from QWERTY king BlackBerry, which has just released the keyboard-touting Q10. Battlefield 4 won't feature motion control Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/battlefield-4-won-t-feature-motion- control/19764.html April 22nd, 2013 DICE, the developer behind popular first-person shooter franchise Battlefield, has confirmed that the next game in the series will not feature any motion control gameplay, disappointing some fans while allaying the fears of many others. DICE, the developer behind popular first-person shooter franchise Battlefield, has confirmed that the next game in the series will not feature any motion control gameplay, disappointing some fans while allaying the fears of many others. “We are not interested in things that don’t make the game better,” Patrick Bach, executive producer of Battlefield 4, told Edge. “There are a lot of gimmicks – people throwing money at us – ‘can you implement support for this quirky control thing?’ No, it doesn’t make the game better.” Bach said DICE is “extremely open to innovation,” but he heavily criticised gimmicks, which he said do not add value to the player. He dismissed touchscreens as a gimmick before the iPhone came out. He did not outright condemn motion control and perceptual gaming, but only welcomed it if it actually adds to the gameplay.
  • 130. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The comments suggest that the studio was approached with the idea of implementing support for Kinect or PlayStation Move, or perhaps even for Nintendo's Wii U. Clearly DICE is unwilling to budge from the tried-and-tested formula that has made the franchise successful so far. Battlefield 4 was unveiled last month, with a release date in Autumn 2013. It will launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. It will also be made available on next-generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 (or whatever Microsoft ends up calling it.) Source: IGN Dead Island: Riptide Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dead-island-riptide- review/19699.html April 22nd, 2013 Techland's new sequel in the zombie-slaying Dead Island franchise is upon us, but does the game compare to its predecessor or is it a disaster? Find out inside! Developer: Techland Publisher: Deep Silver Release Date: April 23, 2013 Platform: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PS3 & PC Genre: Action Role-Playing, Survival Horror MSRP: $49.99 Dead Island: Riptide is the sequel to the first release in the series--Dead Island--and continues its predecessor's flair for gritty zombie-filled action that's infused with RPG sentiments and a B-movie style that's all its own. The sequel incorporates all of the distinct elements from the first Dead Island, featuring a huge array of customizable weapons, a dynamic skill tree, and of course co-op play with friends over Xbox LIVE and PSN. Throughout the game, players explore the ruined island of Palanai, a tropical island that's been overrun by the plague and has turned nearly every denizen into bloodthirsty undead. Riptide's story is engaging enough, with a surprisingly large variety of side missions and team- based quests that take gamers all across the reaches of Palanai, culminating in an overall experience that lasts for many hours. Riptide is filled to the brim with zombie-slaying action with plenty of new nightmare-inducing undead, and contains all of the classic horror that can be found in a grindhouse flick. With a massive arsenal of customizable weapons like electric police batons, assault rifles, and spiked bats wrapped with barbed wire, players must fight their way through hordes of abominations to find redemption from the nightmarish and grisly catastrophe. Deep Silver's newest release isn't just about slicing and smashing up zombies and gallons of blood: it also features a surprisingly dynamic series of RPG-like skill trees that aid gamers in their journey through the hellish ruins of Palanai. Riptide keeps the emphasis on survival horror by collecting valuable supplies like food and miscellaneous items for modding weapons, going a long way for that genuine survival feel that's associated with scavenging.
  • 131. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 The new release also blends in the heart-wrenching drama that's been reflected in both of the games' trailers, and throughout the game players have the opportunity to help people along the way. Players act as a dim ray of hope in a world overshadowed by chaos and death, especially when saving NPC's from their demise at the hands of marauding ghouls. With an array of new features including an extended arsenal of weapons, a brand new character, skill trees straight out of a RPG, and the distinct grisly horror-inducing mechanics, Dead Island: Riptide is a must-have for all fans of the series and anyone who enjoys authentic survival-horror action. Dead Island: Riptide is survival-horror done right, with plenty of action, drama, and other elements that fuse together to bring an experience that frightens, dazzles and brings a smile to your face--regardless of the blood-soaked rivers and dismembered limbs. Samsung Galaxy Note III rumoured to have first plastic OLED display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-note-iii-rumoured- to-have-first-plastic-oled-display/19763.html April 22nd, 2013 Samsung's next flagship “phablet” model, the Galaxy Note III, is expected to feature the first unbreakable plastic OLED display. According to the OLED Association, Samsung is planning to make a fully plastic smartphone, which should increase the survivability of the device considerably, which in turn could be a major attraction to butterfingers, particularly given the large size of Samsung's displays. The UBP OLED is also thinner and lighter than LCD displays or standard glass substrate OLED displays. The UBP version is just 0.5mm thick, compared to an LCD thickness of 3.2mm. It is also just half the weight of standard OLED and one third the weight of LCD. The Samsung Galaxy Note II The report also speculates that the Galaxy Note III will feature a display of at least 5.9-inches, but potentially even larger. The Note II already features a huge 5.5-inch display, so it remains to be seen how far Samsung will push things before the devices become unwieldy. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy Note II at the IFA 2013 show in September, with a launch date in the fourth quarter. Undoubtedly it will pack a faster processor and more memory, and likely some upgrades to the software as well, but the main selling point for many will be not needing to worry about the durability of the display. Raja Koduri rejoins AMD from Apple Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/raja-koduri-rejoins-amd-from- apple/19761.html April 22nd, 2013 Raja Koduri has rejoined AMD from Apple to push forward AMD's graphics initiatives. What does this mean for the future of AMD? The man who orchestrated some of the biggest wins for AMD during the 2000s has re-joined the company after leaving Apple. AMD announced late last Friday that Raja Koduri is rejoining the company to lead its visual computing engineering team. Koduri came to AMD with the takeover of ATI. During his time at ATI he was credited with a number of wins including developing the company’s CrossFire technology and getting the Xenos GPU into the Xbox 360. However, in 2009 he was poached by Apple to be Chief Technology Officer of the company’s quickly-
  • 132. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 expanding graphics division, later moving to the role of Chief Technology Officer for Graphics at Apple. It isn’t known what Koduri’s grand plan for AMD will be, but given his experience at Apple it will likely involve mobile graphics. While AMD has made some moves into heterogeneous computing, it has largely missed out on the growing mobile device market. This could be changing, as Rory Read said last year that competition with Intel in the PC market was a “pointless endeavour” and moving exclusively to the mobile and gaming market could be something on the horizon for the company. With Koduri’s expertise from Apple, AMD has a fighting chance to turn itself into a mobile player. On a similar note, Koduri is the third technical executive to leave Apple for AMD. It could be that these departures to greener pastures are because AMD is offering a handsome salary, or it could be that Apple is becoming something of a sinking ship and is hemorrhaging talent. Antares rocket launches into orbit! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antares-rocket-launches-into- orbit-/19757.html April 22nd, 2013 Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket has successfully been launched into orbit. This makes Orbital Sciences the second company to start resupplying the ISS, after SpaceX. Orbital Sciences has acquired a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract for resupplying the ISS. It is the second private company to receive such a contract, after SpaceX. To fulfill this contract, the company needs a rocket, and the one they'll be using is the Antares. Over the past week, Orbital Sciences has made several attempts at getting the Anteres rocket into orbit. The launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was scrubbed several times, meaning the launch didn't happen until Sunday evening. When it finally did launch however, the rocket entered into orbit 254 km above earth without a hitch. The rocket is a medium-class two stage rocket, nearly 13 stories tall and designed to carry payloads of up to 6,500kg. On the test flight, the rocket was carrying a mock Cygnus supply ship, weighing in at 3800kg. The Antares launch The rocket's first stage, which is liquid fueled, lifted the rocket from the launchpad, propelling it to a velocity of 11 600km/h by the time the first stage separated. Then, at a velocity of 15 000 km/h and roughly 188 km above the Earth, the second stage ignited, sending the Antares to its final orbit, which it reached some 10 minutes after launch. When in orbit, the rocket deployed it's payload, along with three nanosatellites by PhoneSat. The Phonesat satellites are some of the cheapest and easiest to build and contain smartphone technologies, including a Google Nexus One. The next Antares launch will be a proper supply mission, and will carry a Cygnus supply vessel to the ISS. The launch is planned for June or July of this year. World's first smartphone for the blind developed in India Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/world-s-first-smartphone-for-the- blind-developed-in-india/19746.html April 21st, 2013 An Indian-based startup has created the world's first smartphone for the blind by inventing a screen that transforms into Braille characters as messages are received. Sumit Dagar recently made the announcement about the Braille phone and how he and his team created this true smartphone for the blind. Help in its design came from the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship and the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad campus. "We have created the world's first Braille smartphone," Dagar said. "This product is based on an innovative 'touch screen' which is capable of elevating and depressing the contents it receives to transform them into 'touchable' patterns.” Dagar also said that, while this phone is revolutionary just by itself, the response during its testing phase was immense. Through studying how it worked with the blind, Dagar noted, “It comes out as a companion more than a phone to
  • 133. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 the user. We plan to do more advanced versions of the phone in the future.” The phone's design process started approximately three years ago when Dagar was studying design at India’s prestigious National Institute of Design. He reached out to a few companies, quit his day job and began to focus on creating a phone for the blind. He, along with a team of six engineers and designers, worked tirelessly and created a new venture called, “Kriyate Design Solutions”. Interestingly, it was because of Rolex and their Young Laureates Program that gave Kriyate the funding he needed to complete the project. The phone uses Shape Memory Alloy technology, which (like its namesake) are metals that remember their original shapes. Not needing a visual screen, they were able to design a phone that used floating pins in the shape of brailed characters that rise or fall as they are being messaged. $15 million iPhone 5 puts all other models to shame Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-15-million-iphone-5-puts-all-other- models-to-shame/19753.html April 21st, 2013 There are expensive smartphones, and then there is Stuart Hughes' $15 million iPhone 5. If you have the cash, it'll be shipped to you fast. Demand for Apple iPhones have slipped in recent months, and the reason is Apple’s competitors have or will launch compelling alternatives that are perhaps ‘bigger’ and better than what Apple is offering. The Samsung Galaxy S IV and HTC One handsets are both bigger, and arguably better, than the iPhone 5, but can they topple a $15 million iPhone that’s decked out with diamond and gold? The Stuart Hughes luxury brand out of England has ‘redesigned’ the iPhone 5 to fit the image of all the rich and famous. Instead of the conventional aluminum housing found in all ‘low-end’ iPhone 5’s, the Stuart Hughes iPhone instead has a solid gold housing. Six hundred white diamonds give new meaning to the term ‘bling’, and 53 of these diamonds alone are dedicated to making the Apple logo on the backside shine like it never did before. Not many individuals in the world have $15 million lying around the house and under the couch cushions, but if they did, what are the chances that the money will be spent on this horrendously pricy smartphone? Capcom overhauls focus on gaming to counteract profit loss Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/capcom-overhauls-focus-on-gaming- to-counteract-profit-loss/19752.html
  • 134. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 April 20th, 2013 Capcom is experiencing financial difficulties with profits being cut by half of their predicted outcomes, and the company has cited excessive outsourcing and underutilization of digital markets as the cause. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Capcom's presence in the video games industry, and in those three decades the company has delivered countless memorable titles across nearly every platform. Despite its thirtieth anniversary, 2013 is actually proving to be an unfavorable year for Capcom in the way of financial earnings, and the company has recently made a few critical decisions to try to rectify the losses. According to a presentation on Capcom's Investor Relation's page, the company's annual profits for 2013 are projected to be half of the initial predicted forecast, forcing Capcom to reduce the yearly profit projections of recent flagship AAA releases like Devil May Cry (DmC) and Resident Evil 6. Capcom has apparently identified the potential causes of the profit loss, blaming the losses on the recent restructuring efforts that the company took to keep up with "drastic changes in the industry's market environment". The company also cited the "delayed response to the shift to digital media in the home videogames business" as a key contributor to their current situation, and has avowed to address this in the future. In response to the lowered projections and losses, Capcom is adjusting its approach in critical ways that include the shift from Western developers to internal R&D. Capcom cites the "decline in quality of titles outsourced to overseas developers" as a direct correlation to their lowered profits, prompting them to focus more on internalizing games development. Another key example of Capcom's justification for the shift in development is the poor sales of the recent Devil May Cry (DmC) reboot. The game was developed by UK studio Ninja Theory, and despite the fact that it was generally well-liked by reviewers, DmC failed to meet the company's projected profit earnings. As a result, Capcom has been forced to lower their projections for DmC--lowered to 1.25 million from the initial expectation of 2+ million sales. Capcom has also stated that it is re-evaluating games that are currently still in development, and that they may cancel certain titles that don't fit their current business structure: "work in progress in game software" has been "strictly re- evaluated for business restructuring". This news is quite worrying to gamers who are anticipating the recently announced Duck Tales HD remake of the beloved NES classic, since Capcom has chosen the American studio WayForward to develop the game. In light of the company's recent strategic overhaul, the game may change hands in the way of development or be canceled altogether. In any case, it's somewhat alarming to see Capcom make these kinds of decisions in order to adapt to their profit losses, however only time will tell if this is a good or bad move for the company as a whole. In the way of gaming, Capcom may in fact provide higher quality titles with internal developers, or we may get games that are heavily saturated in DLC that nobody wants to shell out the extra cash for. Scientists create powerful battery that can recharge almost instantly Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-create-powerful-battery- that-can-recharge-almost-instantly/19751.html April 20th, 2013 A team of scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have reportedly created a new battery technology that is 2000 times more powerful and can recharge 1000 times faster than traditional rechargeable batteries. When we think about the bottlenecks in computers, we tend to think more about the components that are processing the information, but what about the power source? For mobile gadgets, one can say that the power source is a bottleneck since it takes time to recharge, and time is something not all of us have.
  • 135. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 (High performance, all day, every day.) When a laptop battery begins to run dry, certain things are put into place to conserve whatever juice the battery still has. These conservation efforts by the system, however, may prevent the computer from operating at full speed. Researchers have, for a while, poured countless hours into developing an energy storage medium that recharges quickly without compromising the power aspect, and this is where scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign come in. “The thinking parts of computers have gotten small,” said William P. King, one of the scientists on the team. “And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all that. Now the power source is as high- performance as the rest of it.” According to their published findings, the team has successfully created microbatteries that are capable of near instant recharge. The crew’s research suggests high adaptability in mobile consumer gadgets, but according to the team the battery technology is scalable. Meaning, it is possible to use the technology to jumpstart even a car battery. Moreover, the team’s power cells are 2000 times more powerful than traditional rechargeable batteries. Better yet, the new battery can also recharge 1000 times faster. The numbers certainly make the new battery look very impressive and promising on paper, but we will have to see for ourselves if and when a consumer product is ready. iPhone 6 with a wraparound display will revitalize Apple's smartphone business Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iphone-6-with-a-wraparound- display-will-revitalize-apple-s-smartphone-business/19750.html April 19th, 2013 Commercialization of flexible displays will happen eventually, and Apple will want to mine the ores and promote the jewelries before competitors find better and cheaper alternatives. It doesn't seem like 2013 will be the year, but we're hoping mainstream flexible displays will reinvigorate the smartphone industry in 2014. Smartphone users are dying for something refreshing now that the marketplace is flooded with finely crafted handsets of all shapes and sizes. Samsung and HTC recently launched some very compelling products that are on par with each other in terms of specs and performance, but the problem is that they’re all essentially the same when the fancy design elements are stripped away. While analysts are expecting smartwatches to be the next wave of trendy consumer tech, don’t forget that smartphones can, too, evolve to maintain relevancy (think of the television). The evolution process of smartphone, like the introduction of a legitimate smartwatch, will involve the use of flexible displays. Samsung is perhaps the most publicized company when it comes to flexible display tech, but many other firms are also working on their own design. Apple’s recent patent filing regarding an iPhone that utilizes a wraparound display is a strong indication that handset makers are scrambling to develop handsets that are truly “bezel-less.” We will let your imagination conjure up the next wave of smartphone designs using flexible displays. If for some reason you can’t visualize such a thing, here’s a fan concept video of what the iPhone 6 should look like: Lenovo to launch IdeaTab S6000 in U.S., 10-inch display and MediaTek's quad-core CPU Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-to-launch-ideatab-s6000-in- u.s.-10-inch-display-and-mediatek-s-quad-core-cpu/19749.html April 19th, 2013 Lenovo is expected to release a budget 10-inch Android tablet stateside in the coming months. The IdeaTab S6000 made its way to the FCC recently, and if things go smoothly the tablet should hit retail very soon. The reason why the IdeaTab S6000 is a budget slate is the fact that it sports a 1.2GHz MediaTek MTK8389 quad-core processor. Gadgets sporting MediaTek’s offering have proven to be popular—especially within China and surrounding regions, and in terms of performance MediaTek is consistently trying to get the most out of ARM’s A7 and A9.
  • 136. April 22nd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 Aside from the decent processor, the 10-inch IdeaTab S6000 also comes with a 1280x800 display, a rated battery life of about 8 hours, and an optional HSPA+ radio. There will always be a market for budget-conscious tech consumers, and it seems like Coby and Archos will have to dig even deeper now that a major brand like Lenovo is also trying to take a stab at dirt cheap tablets. Pricing for the IdeaTab S6000 hasn’t been announced, but we’re expecting the tablet to go for under 400 USD and perhaps even the low 300 USD range.
  • 137. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. New fluid simulation algorithm makes water actually look real Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-fluid-simulation-algorithm- makes-water-actually-look-real/19780.html April 23rd, 2013 Developing realistic fluid dynamics for use in computer graphics can be challenging, but something called Position Based Fluids (PBF) may present new opportunities for game developers to create amazingly real scenes where water is the focal point. The new fluid simulation algorithm simulates liquids using Position Based Dynamics (PBD), which is the same framework that is used to generate the eye candy found in cloth and deformables simulation. According to PhysXInfo, PBD’s iterative solver is better at maintaining incompressibility than traditional SPH (Smoothed-particle Hydrodynamics). Furthermore, PBD “has an artificial pressure term which improves particle distribution and creates nice surface tension-like effects.” It also allows user to inject energy back to the fluid via “vorticity confinement.” Nokia Lumia 928 with metal body hits Verizon in May Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-lumia-928-with-metal-body- hits-verizon-in-may/19779.html April 23rd, 2013 Nokia’s follow up to the Lumia 920 is rumored to launch in May. The Lumia 928 as its being called will sport a metal encasing instead of polycarbonate, among some other changes. The Finnish handset maker knows what it feels like to be at the top, but like many others it began its descent and is now struggling to maintain profitability. When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8, many knew that Nokia was one of Redmond’s main partners, and the Nokia-Microsoft union gave birth to the Lumia 920. Although the phone did receive good reviews, many iOS and Android users weren’t inclined to just drop their handsets to hop aboard the Nokia- backed Windows Phone 8 platform. The rumored Lumia 928, however, may be a sign that Nokia is ready to steal away some users from its competitors because of a deal between itself and Verizon. With the nation’s largest carrier by its side, Nokia has a chance to impress an even bigger crowd with the Lumia 928’s 4.5-inch display and the futuristic (but also limited) wireless charging capability. There probably won’t be any major changes from the Lumia 920 to 928, but the selling point isn’t the raw power of the hardware—it’s the publicity that Verizon offers. Who knows, maybe Windows Phone 8 has had enough time to collect a decent following, and perhaps the recommendations are rolling in. Meet the Gigs.2.Go 'Tear and share' USB flash drive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/meet-the-gigs.2.go-tear-and-share- usb-flash-drive/19743.html April 23rd, 2013 A new concept of a ‘tear and share’ flash drive has been developed that works just like a tear off note advertisement often found on cork message boards. The paper encased USB flash drive fit anywhere you can put a credit card and are made to tear off and giveaway. A new shareable USB flash drive invention being called Gigs.2.Go may make sharing information easy and inexpensive in very near future. Designed by a Kurt Rampton and the marketing company, BOLTgroup, the Gigs.2.Go
  • 138. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 USB flash drive set includes four very small USB flash drives encased in a paperboard material. Each individual drive is held on the paperboard by the perforations. When you wish to pass along any kind of data, you just snap off the drive, record and give it away - 'tear and share'. If the concept takes off it could become a new way in which to share files while on the go and using something other than E-mail or some kind of wireless file sharing. It is also particularly far more secure than sharing files openly or across a public Internet hotspot. The cardboard-like material with which the drives are encased in is made of 100% recycled paper pulp. In fact, it is the same kind of material that those molded cup holders from fast food restaurants are made of. GIGS.2.GO USB flash drive concept is designed to be the size of a standard credit card so it can fit in a wallet or pocket easily. So far BOLTgroup has not disclosed how much the sharable drives will cost or when they will be available. While this new concept is unique in regards to flash drives, it's still a common variety USB flash storage device, except they're essentially disposable and more environmentally friendly. The cheap paperboard casing also makes it convenient to write on the drive itself. Japanese police asking ISPs to block those that use Tor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-police-asking-isps-to- block-those-that-use-tor/19758.html April 23rd, 2013 The Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) is asking that ISPs block Japanese Internet users that are using Tor. Tor allows users to surf the Internet anonymously and it prevents others from conducting surveillance on one's movements, or simply what is known as as ‘traffic analysis’. Traffic analysis is used by law enforcement agencies to see what you are doing on line, such as places you have visited and with whom you are talking to. The use of Tor blocks this ability and allows your IP to be masked. Now the Japanese NPA, which is their version of the FBI, is asking Japanese ISPs to block the use of Tor in some extreme cases since it hinders their ability to monitor cyber crime effectively. Currently, there is no official enforcement on the block, but some reports suggest the NPA may begin enforcing such a block on the network. Tor’s open network is used by many Internet surfers to prevent what they feel is a threat on their personal freedom and privacy, business activities or financial transactions. Nevertheless, it is also being used for criminal activity for that same reason. Japanese police have admittedly stated that they struggle with trying to monitor on-line traffic because of Tor or virtual private networks. Japanese law enforcement say these kinds of networks play havoc with effectively catching cyber criminals and on-line child predators attempting to hide their real location. Tor or “TOR” was originally an acronym for “The Onion Routing project”. It was implemented as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for encrypting or simply protecting communications with government and U.S. military personnel. The Tor Project now runs Tor, and has been a nonprofit group since 2006 and their financial backing comes from a very eclectic group of contributors that includes the U.S. National Science Foundation. The Tor Project volunteers say that the network is needed in this day and age because it helps protect the common Internet surfer. Tor can also be used to protect one's private interests online and can prevent price discrimination from e-commerce sites that sometimes change costs based on a users country of origin. Facebook Home is inundated with negative feedback and a single star rating Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-home-is-inundated-with- negative-feedback-and-a-single-star-rating/19770.html
  • 139. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 April 23rd, 2013 The Google Play store's stats show that the new Home from Facebook has recently passed up one-half million downloads. While this might seem like a lot of downloads, it is only a drop in the bucket compared to the 1 billion users on Facebook, and many of those users are giving Home a single star out of five. The people at Facebook have put lot of effort and advertising for the new Home. Sadly, it has not received a lot of positive feedback from users. One big problem for Home is that it currently only operates on a few Android smartphones. Users are also saying that it hides a lot of needed phone functions, disabled their widgets or it drained their battery life. Needless to say, Facebook user's hearts are not at Home. It is factual that Google Play is showing over 500,000 downloads over the past couple of days for Home. However, it is important to remember that Facebook has over 1 billion active users. Furthermore, when you factor in Android’s estimated ½ billion account holders; these numbers from Google play represent a mere 0.001% of a potential Home user market. If you pay a visit to the Google Play Store you will see that Home only has a user rating of 2.2 out of 5 at this time. This number is based on the April 22 rating, which at that time counted approximately 12 thousand reviews – over half of which gave the app a single star rating. When looking at the 500,000 downloads for Home, some sources such as Android Central point out that all of those download numbers for the new Facebook app does not necessarily translate to active installs or even used in the first place. Facebook Home debuted on April 12th of this year in the Google Play store and comes preinstalled on the HTC First smartphone. For now it is important to note that Home is only supported on four Android mobile devices, which are the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and HTC One X+, but those numbers will surely go up in the near future. Bank of America introduces new ATMs with live teller support Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bank-of-america-introduces-new- atms-with-live-teller-support/19766.html April 23rd, 2013 ATMs have been with us for many years with little change in technology. Now Bank of America is about to roll out a new model called 'Teller Assist' that will allow customers to video chat with a live bank teller, cash checks and even get exact change if need be. Imagine if you could go up to an ATM, press a button, and speak to a live teller that could help you with your transaction? Those days are now a reality, and Bank of America will be the first to introduce this futuristic style of ATM. Boston, Massachusetts BofA customers will be the first area for the Teller Assist ATMs, but they will still have the choice to use the older style ATMs. Also, the Teller Assist ATMs will be available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the weekends. Shelly Waite who serves as the ATM channel executive at Bank of America made it clear that some kind of ATM hybrid was desperately needed to satisfy customer’s demand and need of assistance at times. “Many Bank of America customers appreciate the self- service option of the ATM, but may require more personal help or have a question for a teller,” Waite said. “The ATM with Teller Assist is the best of both worlds and is the latest way Bank of America is meeting customers’ needs in a way that works best for them.” Electronic banking has become the mainstay of most transactions that take place from day to day in the U.S. BofA says that about 30 million of their 53 million customers regularly bank online. However, studies and surveys have found that customers still want to actively communicate and complete transactions with a live person. The tellers for the machines will be based out of call centers located in Newark, Delaware and Jacksonville, Florida. In the very near future BofA says they will have more multilingual speakers providing both English and Spanish, and the machines will be able to accept checks and even process loan and credit card payments. In Massachusetts alone BofA has 256 branches and 1,113 ATMs scattered throughout the state. In total, the banking giant has 5,500 retail banks and just over 16,000 ATMs scattered throughout the U.S. Nokia wins court injunction against HTC One microphone component Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-wins-court-injunction-against- htc-one-microphone-component/19778.html April 23rd, 2013
  • 140. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 Nokia has won a court injunction against HTC over the use of a microphone component in its HTC One flagship smartphone that the Finnish mobile giant claims infringes its patented technology. Nokia has won a court injunction against HTC over the use of a microphone component in its HTC One flagship smartphone that the Finnish mobile giant claims infringes its patented technology. The Amsterdam District Court made the ruling, affirming Nokia's claim to exclusivity of the technology, and preventing ST Micro, the manufacturer of the components, from selling them to HTC until at least March 2014. “HTC has no license or authorization from Nokia to use these microphones or the Nokia technologies from which they have been developed,” Nokia said in a statement. It took apart a HTC One to confirm that its technology, called high amplitude audio capture, was being used without consent. The news is a major blow for Taiwan's HTC, which has been attempting to regain market share in the bitterly contested mobile sector. The HTC One is largely seen as its best bet yet, but it now faces supply issues that could hamper sales. HTC said it is exploring alternative solutions, which likely include sourcing other microphone manufacturers who can supply technology not under any of Nokia's patents. The bad news for HTC is not necessarily over yet, as Nokia has another 40 patent infringement cases against HTC awaiting verdicts. Firefox OS phones sold out Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/firefox-os-phones-sold- out/19777.html April 23rd, 2013 Two phones running Firefox OS, the Keon and Peak, appeared for sale today at the Spanish online retailer Geeksphone. However, the website is already listing the phones as out of stock. A spokesperson said that indeed, the phones are out of stock due to high demand, but they are expecting to be restocked soon and sales will open up again in the coming hours. Many developers hoping to snag the new phones for app development will probably be sighing in relief of that news. The Keon sold out quickest of the two phones. At $119 it’s more budget oriented than the $195 Peak and features a 3.5 inch 480p screen. The peak has a 4.3 inch screen with 960p resolution. The phones are both developer phones, not meant for consumers however; they’re designed for those who want a working Firefox OS to test their apps on. The consumer version of the Firefox phone is expected to be manufactured by ZTE, Alcatel, Huawai and LG and will be released next year. Rumor has it that Sony is also interested in Firefox OS for a new phone. Google Glass could allow gesture control Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-glass-could-allow-gesture- control/19775.html April 23rd, 2013 Code snippets in Google Glass reveals that gesture control may play a part in how you control the new wearable tech. Code uncovered in the Google Glass companion app, MyGlass, hints at some very interesting features for the new wearable tech. One snippet of the code reads “EYE_GESTURES_WINK_TAKE_PHOTO” while another reads “BROWSER_TWO_FINGER_ZOOM”. This suggests the Glass is able to use gesture controls, not just involving your hands, but even your eyes. Another code snippet, “HEAD_GESTURES_HEAD_WAKE_ENABLED” suggests a way to enable or disable the device by moving your head in a certain way.
  • 141. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 *snapshot* The MyGlass app is available in the Google Play store and allows you to configure and manage Google Glass, and can deliver both SMS messaging and GPS to devices with Android 4.0.3 or higher. Google revealed just over a week ago that its new Glass Explorer Edition would begin shipping to developers and early adopters who managed to cough up $1,500 for the gadget. At the same time, they revealed technical features for the Glass, including an HD display, 720p video and 12 GB of memory. Google hopes to launch the product to the public by the end of the year, and apparently, for less than $1,500. Netgear launches latest NAS range Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/netgear-launches-latest-nas- range/19776.html April 23rd, 2013 Netgear has launched its latest network-attached storage (NAS) products, featuring a new operating system, revamped hardware design, and improved data security. Netgear has launched its latest network-attached storage (NAS) products, featuring a new operating system, revamped hardware design, and improved data security. The storage systems run on ReadyNAS OS 6, with a number of enterprise features like unlimited snapshots and cloud-managed replication to limit the risk of data loss, ReadyCloud for easy set-up, file discovery, and management, along with a number of other backup and security features. The new range comes in four varieties, three of them desktop models and the fourth a 1U rackmount model. They are all diskless or come with drives pre-installed, from two to six bays. The 100 Series is designed for home use, the 300 Series is aimed at small businesses, the 500 Series is made for small-to-medium businesses, and the as yet unpriced ReadyNAS 2120 is designed for small data centres. “With the new NAS, home and SMB users can confidently centralize and back up all their data,” said Tan Wee Fong, ASEAN Sales Manager for Netgear. “Mobility is the buzz word today. NAS provides road warriors with access to data as well as the ability to backup data on the go.” The new NAS products are available immediately at select Challenger stores in Singapore. Costs range from $399 for the ReadyNAS 102 to $2,699 for the ReadyNAS 516. Asus Fonepad (7-inch Phablet, Intel Atom Z2420) lands in stores this weekend Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-fonepad-7-inch-phablet-intel- atom-z2420-lands-in-stores-this-weekend/19774.html April 23rd, 2013 Making its debut during Mobile World Congress 2013 alongside the Padfone Infinity, the Asus Fonepad (7" tablet with 3G and Voice Calling capabilities) will start selling in Singapore this weekend at all three major telcos. Making its debut during Mobile World Congress 2013 alongside the Padfone Infinity, the Asus Fonepad (7" tablet with 3G and Voice Calling capabilities) will start selling in Singapore this weekend at all three major telcos (Singtel, M1 and StarHub). Powered by a single core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Lexington Z2420 (essentially a downclocked Medfield for budget markets), the Fonepad features an almost identical chassis design and the 1280x800 IPS panel of Asus's uber successful Nexus 7 tablet, with the added advantage of having a built- in HSPDA+ radio and the rather useful ability to make and receive voice calls. It also has a microSD expansion slot (on top of 8GB of internal storage) and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
  • 142. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 Battery life is rated at up to 9 hours of media playback and 751 hours of 3G standby from its 16Wh Li-polymer pack. Neverhood spiritual sequel in the works Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/neverhood-spiritual-sequel-in-the- works/19771.html April 23rd, 2013 A spiritual successor to the cult classic point and click adventure game The Neverhood is in the works, and the original team is developing it. The first game I ever bought with my own money was purchased in 1996 with 16 weeks of saved up allowance. The game, which was featured as a demo on the Game Sampler for Windows 95 disc, was called "The Neverhood" and remains one of the most unique point and click adventure games ever to be released. The entire game was made with claymation: The environments were sculpted in clay, the characters were animated in clay; even the cursor was made of clay. Unfortunately, though the game received critical acclaim and a cult following, it was released during the decline of the genre and thus never sold particularly well. However, with adventure games making a comeback with games like The Walking Dead, perhaps it’s time for a sequel? The pipe door-lock, one of the game's first puzzles Doug TenNapel certainly thinks so. He's the creative mind behind The Neverhood, though you may know him better as the creator of Earthworm Jim. He recently revealed on The Neverhood’s facebook page that he’s managed to get the entire original development team back together, including old buddies from the Earthworm Jim team and composer Terry Taylor. With them, TenNapel is planning to make a full length claymation point and click game. The new game won’t be a direct sequel, but rather a spiritual successor, since he doesn’t own the rights to the characters; those were given to DreamWorks Interactive as a “price of admission” to create the game. Today, the rights belong to EA, and the giant game publisher doesn’t seem interested in the original franchise. TenNapel says he tried to work out a deal with EA, but they probably didn’t realize the size of the game’s following and declined. "If it was up to me, I'd make 800 Neverhood sequels the same way that I would make 800 new Earthworm Jim games," TenNapel wrote. "It's not my decision, and it's not my place. It's MUCH easier (and frankly, funner) to create something new!" TenNapel has reached out to the fans for ideas on what features or ideas to include in the new game. Man builds ride-able six legged 'Mantis' robot for fun Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/man-builds-ride-able-six-legged- mantis-robot-for-fun/19767.html April 23rd, 2013 ‘Mantis’ is a six-legged, ride-able robot that looks like a huge metallic spider and weights as much as a hippo. Its inventor spent 4 years of his life and hundreds of thousands of pounds for its construction, and as he says, he did it just for fun. Matt Denton, the proud inventor, is an animatronics specialist from Hampshire, UK, and the owner of MicroMagic, a company that produces animatronics and robotics for films and television programs. His company specializes mostly on small-scale animatronics and although it has built hexapod robots before, none was big enough to be ridable by a human. Mantis weights 1,900 kg, has a height of 2.8 meters and a 5 meters diameter. Its six legs are powered by a Perkins 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine and a 20-litre fuel tank. Talking of fuel, the gargantuan robot consumes 20 litres of diesel to travel just a 5 km distance, at the humble speed of 1.5km/ h. As Denton admits, “It’s not about miles to the gallon, it’s about gallons to the mile.[…]Legs are very inefficient – the wheel was invented for a reason”. Yet, Mantis still looks cool. Its six legs work smoothly thanks to a HexEngine software that keeps all 18 hydraulic actuators in synchronization; it can tilt and angle its huge body and it
  • 143. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 can perform a full spin under the demands of its pilot. The pilot controls everything from the cockpit with joysticks. A marine research organization and a mining company have already shown interest on the project, but according to Denton, its invention is better suited for science fairs: “It wasn’t built to be efficient and fast. It was built to look cool and insect-like and fun. […] It’s an entertainment vehicle, but I hope it will inspire people.” NASA's video of the sun showcases destructive and mesmerizing beauty Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nasa-s-video-of-the-sun-showcases- destructive-and-mesmerizing-beauty/19769.html April 23rd, 2013 NASA has released a video which showcases the incredible beauty of our sun during a span of 3 years. The video itself doesn’t last three years, and will only require 3 minutes of your time. Over the past 3 years, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been taking pictures of the sun, and the images are then stitched together to make the three minute video which you will see below. Two images are selected each day, and each image is displayed for two frames with the video having a 29.97 frame rate. Despite the violent eruptions and constant spewing of solar flares, the sun’s activities possess a very powerful beauty that makes it hard for us to turn away. Here are some notable events within the video: 00:30;24 Partial eclipse by the moon 00:31;16 Roll maneuver 01:11;02 August 9, 2011 X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle 01:28;07 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011 01:42;29 Roll Maneuver 01:51;07 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012 02:28;13 Partial eclipse by the moon Fuji Xerox develops human brain analysis-based OCR system Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fuji-xerox-develops-human-brain- analysis-based-ocr-system/19762.html April 22nd, 2013 Fuji Xerox has developed new optical character recognition software that uses algorithms and logic patterns that are quite similar to how the human brain processes the images that it sees. Reading Japanese is hard, but if you've yet to see actual handwritten Japanese, then you're still oblivious to the language's true nightmarish form. Fortunately, Fuji Xerox holds the potential to make OCR systems a lot better at analyzing characters and letters of such complex languages with their newest developed software. Fuji Xerox has recently developed new software that uses algorithms and analysis patterns not much different from how your eyes and brain analyzes and recognizes shapes and patterns. The actual scanning and analysis process is not much different to a standard OCR system fundamentally, but it has one crucial added element: adaptation and variable pattern registry. The new software is capable of adapting and learning actively from a multitude of handwritten versions of the same character, just like how our brain registers and records patterns and shapes for future reference. The process is simply explained by the report in two steps. First, the system extracts all curves, bumps, and bended lines visible on the character, building a composite "map" based on the information extracted. Then, like a standard OCR system, it tries to scan certain recognizable patterns and shapes, until it finally analyzes the entire character. These two steps continuously combine and intertwine in the software's "embed operation" (registry of new patterns) and "sub-sampling" (cross-referencing of multiple similar patters) sections, until a correct analysis is achieved. The system is claimed to be capable of recognizing almost more than 30,000 characters from different languages, though it is potentially more useful (and practical) for languages that have writing systems of considerable complexity. With its claimed recognition accuracy, it can be
  • 144. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 well considered as the very first software or system that is capable of performing at such level of precision. New wave of malwares infecting millions of Android users Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-wave-of-malwares-infecting- millions-of-android-users/19756.html April 22nd, 2013 Lookout, the mobile security company in San Francisco, announced a few days ago that they had found a serious case of malware infecting multiple Android apps. They estimate, based on Google Play statistics, that between 2-9 million infected apps were downloaded. Don't panic just yet - while the malware appears to have been installed across 32 applications, the majority were Russian. If you haven't been downloading Russian apps, you are probably safe, but take a look at the list below (from Lookout) to make sure you don't have any of these apps installed. The malware was designed to run a program called AlphaSMS, which fraudulently forces the user to send expensive text messages to the developer. It also pulls phone number and unique ID number from the phone and transmits them to the phisher. It could be used for much more however, as many of these malware are programmed to check into a server every 4 hours to search for new instructions. While it isn't clear exactly how this code got into the applications, the developers appeared to have taken a clever approach by creating a legitimate advertising program, then including the malware inside the program in future updates. Some of the applications were created by the malicious developers themselves, but many appear to be created by legitimate developers who were tricked into including the bad code. Because Android's platform allows for more open development, malware has been a much greater problem than with the Apple's iOS. Hopefully, with experienced groups such as Lookout keeping watch, they can be kept to a minimum. Syrian Electronic Army hacks into numerous CBS' Twitter accounts Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/syrian-electronic-army-hacks-into- numerous-cbs-twitter-accounts/19755.html April 22nd, 2013 Recently, the Twitter accounts for the CBS programs “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours” was taken over by the Syrian Electronic Army hacktivist group. Soon after the hijacks, Twitter quickly shut down the accounts, and now CBS is trying to find out how the group got into the twitter accounts in the first place. A spokesperson for CBS news confirmed on Saturday that the accounts for two of their popular news networks had been compromised but did not initially release any speculations what was behind the ordeal. However, the "Syrian Electronic Army" (SEA) quickly took responsibility for the attacks, and there seems to be a continuing effort to disrupt major media outlets by the hacktivist group. Currently, both CBS accounts have been suspended by Twitter and are totally inaccessible to the public. CBS says they are working with Twitter to try and pinpoint the origin of the hack and figure out how they got past their regularly updated passwords. While the instigator of the hack was not immediately announced by CBS, responsibility was claimed by SEA which has repeatedly targeted numerous high profile media outlets with Twitter accounts. Groups such SEA discovered very quickly that they can get far more publicity by posting their views on hacked accounts rather than a simple website hijack. One Denver affiliate with CBS had its Twitter account compromised with a post that read "new evidence of CIA arming Al Qaeda terrorists in #Syria”. Soon after another tweet read that terrorists were being given weapons of mass destruction direct from NATO troops. So far this year supporters for or against the Syrian uprising and other purported terrorist organizations have been using social media as the main means in which to spread their message. Just a few days ago, SEA successfully took over National Public Radio’s, “The Two-Way” news site, NPR.org and a few of NPR's Twitter accounts. A press release from NPR confirmed the break-ins by SEA that read in part, "Late Monday evening, several stories on the NPR website were defaced with headlines and text that said 'Syrian Electronic Army Was Here.' Some of these stories were distributed to and appeared on NPR Member Station websites.” Contrary to a lot of other anti-government hacker groups, SEA claims to be supportive of Syria’s current yet controversial President, Bahar Assad. The group has also taken responsibility for hacking the Twitter accounts for the Reuters news agency and the British Broadcasting Company.
  • 145. April 23rd, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9
  • 146. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Samsung launches 2013 Smart TV line-up Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-launches-2013-smart-tv- line-up/19795.html April 24th, 2013 Samsung has launched its 2013 Smart TV line-up in Singapore, introducing larger screen sizes, better picture quality, and a slew of additional features. Samsung has launched its 2013 Smart TV line-up in Singapore, introducing larger screen sizes, better picture quality, and a slew of additional features. The new LED TV range includes the 50-inch F6800, 55- inch F7500, 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch F8000, and the F8500, which did not specify a size. A Smart TV is nothing without its UI, so Samsung has redesigned the Smart Hub, which will offer three newly designed panels, with thumbnail previews, for Apps, Photos, Videos & Music, and Social. Additional features include Smart Interaction, which offers motion control technology that can recognise two-handed gestures, allowing users to abandon their remotes. Face Recognition is also new, logging in users by simply recognising their facial features. Samsung Smart TV F6800 Singapore customers will also get access to additional content, with mio TV PLAY by SingTel for box office movies as early as three months after cinematic release, Toggle for entertainment, news and information, and StarHub TV Anywhere for Video-on-Demand and Live TV channel streaming. Samsung is continuing its trend with the Evolution Kit, allowing the 2012 Smart TV models of model ES7500 and above to upgrade to a 2013 model. The Kit includes hardware and software updates, including bumping a dual- core processor up to quad-core. The Korean electronics giant also unveiled a new range of AV devices, including Blu-ray Home Entertainment Systems, Blu-ray players, AirTrack Soundbar, and a Portable Wireless Speaker. The TVs range in price from $419 for a 28-inch model to a mind-boggling $13,999 for an equally impressive 75-inch TV. They launch between now and June. Samsung Smart TV F8000 Infinity Cell will let you charge your iPhone by shaking it Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/infinity-cell-will-let-you-charge- your-iphone-by-shaking-it/19783.html
  • 147. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 April 24th, 2013 An ambitious team has launched a kickstarter project for so- called “Infinity Cell”, a kinetic charger which fits around an iPhone, and generates electricity using vibrations. An ambitious team has launched a kickstarter project for so- called “Infinity Cell”, a kinetic charger which fits around an iPhone, and generates electricity using vibrations. At the moment, Infinity Cell is a working prototype – a crude, 3D printed box that fits around an iPhone like a bulky case. Kinetic charging is a simple idea, but apparently not very practical for everyday activities – in its current state, the peripheral is only able to generate a 20% charge in thirty minutes. A full charge takes three hours. One of the objectives of Infinity Cell is to reduce energy consumption, and therefore pollution. An iOS app is planned for release, and will award users different badges depending on how much energy they have saved. The obvious benefits of Infinity Cell extend far beyond its intended purposes – it is easy to see how useful the device would be for runners, cyclists, etc., who generate plenty of kinetic energy, often using iOS devices at the same time. Additionally, Infinity Cell could make for an excellent emergency peripheral. While it might be impractical to use the charger for video streaming or a game of Temple Run, the amount of electricity it generates is ample for an emergency call. Infinity Cell calls to mind ‘FastCharge’, an iOS prank app used to give the illusion that an iOS device can be charged with three shakes. While it isn’t nearly that fast, Infinity Cell does, at least, work. The creators of Infinity Cell are currently trying to raise $155,000 on Kickstarter by June 6th. Donators of $125 will get their own limited edition Infinity Cell, for iPhone 4 or 4S users only. Sony's next generation DEV-50V binoculars is here Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-s-next-generation-dev-50v- binoculars-is-here/19794.html April 24th, 2013 The second-generation DEV-50V binoculars are smaller, lighter, have better zoom, OLED display and can even record videos in 3D. What else can one ask from a pair of binoculars, except maybe, a lower price? With DEV-50V, Sony stays true to its plan to bring binoculars into the digital age. The DEV-5 series introduced digital technology into the typically analog product, bringing image sensors, autofocus, electronic viewfinders and 3D video recording to the table. The new model is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, weights less than 800 grams and, according to Sony, it’s dust- and rain-proof. Among its highlights are the HD and 3D movie recording, the autofocus and the optical image stabilization. Its zoom lenses ranges from 0.8X to 12X and its digital zoom capacity reaches to 25X. The greatest improvement, though, is in the electronic viewfinder field, since the older 852x480 LCD is replaced by a OLED display with 1024x768 resolution. Additionally, its twin Exmor R image sensors have a 5.4-megapixel resolution, an improvement over the previous model’s 4.2- megapixel. Like its predecessor, DEV-50V comes with GPS on board for geotagged videos and photos. The only drawback is the price tag, as the DEV-50V binoculars cost no less than a whopping $2000. This toy for voyuers goes on sale in June. Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-z77x-up7- review/19760.html
  • 148. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 3 April 24th, 2013 Before the upcoming arrival of the new Haswell Shark Bay motherboards and socket refresh, we look at Gigabyte's top of the line Z77X-UP7, which is one of the few premium Z77 boards that supports 4-way GPU operation for the well heeled Ivy Bridge enthusiast. Gigabyte's Z77X-UP7 is the company's top enthusiast-grade drawer for the Ivy Bridge platform and competes head on with the other overclocking superstars like ASUS's Maximus V Extreme and EVGA's Z77 FTW. Decked out in orange accents that originally debuted in the limited edition X58-OC eons ago, it builds on the excellent Z77X- UP5 TH that we've reviewed late last year by adding more VRM phases of the excellent IR3550 PowerIRstage variety (Ultra Durable 5), OC Touch (onboard buttons to adjust BCLK and multipler on the fly) and PEX8747 multiplexer for up to four cards PCIe v3 x16 multi-GPU support. At the I/O Panel, we see the usual array of ports, with the notable inclusion of dual Gigabit LAN (Intel on the left and Atheros on the right) and a single PS/2 connector for the overclocker wanting to disable the USB 3.0 ports for less CPU interrupts during benchmark sessions. Thunderbolt is not available here though. An Atheros 802.11 2x2 AGBN adapter is also included in the package for wireless connectivity. The storage subsystem consists of 10 SATA ports (four 6Gb/ s from a pair of Marvell 88SE9172 controllers), and optional mSATA SSD for caching. Gigabyte's engineers have cleverly designed their PCIe lanes electrical configuration such that the user can bypass the use of the PEX8747 multiplier (i.e directly addressed by the CPU) in the case of a single discrete GPU usage model, thus eliminating extra latencies incurred that could affect performance. The first, second and fifth slot are electrically x16, while the third and last slot is limited to x8.
  • 149. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 4 Google buys Wavii for $30 million Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-buys-wavii-for-30- million/19792.html April 24th, 2013 Apple and Google have both been competing to purchase Wavii, a startup which developed it's own aggregation technology and natural summarization algorithms. The technology can be used to summarize information given in pieces of text and pick out the important points to quickly inform the user. Apple wanted the technology to develop Siri further, but the 25 person team, including it's founder Adrian Aouan, will now be moving to Seattle to join Google's Knowledge graph division. The purchase comes only a short time after Yahoo purchased a similar aggregation technology called Summly. Wavii could potentiall find is way into several different Google services, and even into Glass. Among the likeliest implementation is that Wavii will be weaved into Google Now, a new service which according to Google “gets you just the right information at just the right time.“ Another possible use for Wavii is in Google Knowledge, where it could help further contextualize the information shown in Google's search sidebar. Darksiders, Red Faction and the remaining THQ IP- leftovers raise nearly $7 million at auction Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/darksiders-red-faction-and-the- remaining-thq-ip-leftovers-raise-nearly-7-million-at-auction/19773.html April 24th, 2013 Gaming companies like Nordic Games, Gearbox Software and 505 Games, have submitted bids up to $6.55 million for the six available lots of THQ intellectual properties, according to the United States Bankruptcy Court. Less than expected, but more than estimated, the offers will be finalized in court by the end of May. Many rumors and reports have been circulating about potential bidders and desired titles, including Crytek’s interest on Darksiders, TeamPixel’s Kickstarter drive for Homeworld IP, Double Fine’s desire to reclaim Costume Quest and Stacking and various other properties. Nothing is set on stone yet, though, and the final act will be played in court.
  • 150. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 5 According to court documents, the auctioned IPs were arranged into six separate lots and seventeen bids were made. The first four lots included the rights to popular AAA titles, like Darksiders, Red Faction, the MX series and the older Homeworld. Smaller titles, like de Blob, Destroy all Humans! and Full Spectrum Warrior series were placed on the fifth lot, while the sixth lot contained thirty-six licenses in an economy pack, that reportedly annoyed many developers wishing to purchase individual titles. Apple's profits continue to fall Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-profits-continue-to- fall/19791.html April 24th, 2013 Apple's profits fell by a whopping 18% last quarter, with their gross profit margin falling by 10 percentage points. Wall Street analysts expected the numbers to be even worse, but even so, they've fallen well below Apple's predictions. One reason for the decline in profits is due to the tech company's older products: Older iPhones and the cheaper iPad mini are less profitable for Apple, but they're seeing good sales with consumers. Without a game-changing new product, many customers don't see a reason to buy the latest devices when the older ones are fairly similar, and come with a lower price tag. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Apple's stock has fallen by nearly 24% so far this year, something CEO Tim Cook described as “very frustrating to all of us” during a post-earnings conference call made with market analysts. A lower stock price will not make investors happy, and Apple is planning to counteract this by using some of it's $144.7 billion cash reserve to increase the shareholders' dividend from the current 3% to 3.05% per share. In addition, Apple's stock buyback plan has seen a cash infusion as well, from $10 billion to $60 billion. This is the largest buyback of stock in corporate history ,according to Apple, and the company will issue debt in order to complete it. As such, credit rating agency S&P has lowered Apple's rating from AAA to AA+. Apple managed to sell 37.4 million iPhones last quarter, which is an increase from the 35.1 million sold in the same quarter of last year. However, Apple has doubled its sales for the past four years, and that certainly isn't the case now. iPad sales came in at 19.5 million, compared to last year's 11.8 and their computer sales have remained flat. During the conference call, Cook remarked on the PC market, saying it "still has a lot of life in it. And we're going to continue to innovate in it." Nintendo is having another tough year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-is-having-another-tough- year/19790.html April 24th, 2013 Nintendo's sales are down, and while the handheld 3DS is continuing to sell well, the WiiU is seeing a substantial decrease in units shipped. While the 3DS continues to sell well, the same cannot be said for Nintendo's home console, the WiiU. Nintendo's profits for the WiiU are at half of the company's predictions, and this is despite Nintendo reducing its profit estimates. Since the launch of the WiiU, 3.45 million units have been sold, but the sales have slowed substantially, with only 390,000 units sold since December. Nintendo's grim-looking finances The company's net sales are down as well, by 1.9% over last year (though they're still at a massive 635 billion yen). Despite these troubling figures, Nintendo has managed to turn a profit. Its overall income last year was a 40 billion yen loss, and it has managed to turn that into a 7 billion yen profit. Over the coming year, Nintendo hopes to increase this number to 10 billion with new hardware sales, pushing the 3DS to more foreign markets and by “proactively releasing key Nintendo titles”. However, with the looming approach of the Playstation 4 and Microsoft's next-gen console, one must wonder if that strategy will be enough to accomplish Nintendo's goals.
  • 151. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 6 E. Coli bacteria produces diesel Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/e.-coli-bacteria-produces- diesel/19789.html April 24th, 2013 A special strain of the E. Coli bacteria has been manipulated by scientists to produce diesel on demand. E. Coli naturally turns sugars into fat in order to build cell membranes, and it is this property that the scientists have made use of. Synthetic fuel oil molecules can be produced in the same way, and the end product is virtually identical to the diesel we get from the ground. Theoretically, this could solve our fossil fuel problems without the need for the extensive modifications to our infrastructure that would be needed if we switched to conventional biofuels. John Love, lead researcher on the project Exeter University's Prof. John Love explains that this was a goal in the research: "Producing a commercial biofuel that can be used without needing to modify vehicles has been the goal of this project from the outset. Replacing conventional diesel with a carbon neutral biofuel in commercial volumes would be a tremendous step towards meeting our target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” Unfortunately, bacteria work on a small scale, and commercializing this method of diesel production is a massive hurdle to get past. Still, it's a step in the right direction: Rob Lee, who works at Shell Projects and Technology ,had the following to say: “We are proud of the work being done by Exeter in using advanced biotechnologies to create the specific hydrocarbon molecules that we know will continue to be in high demand in the future. While the technology still faces several hurdles to commercialization, by exploring this new method of creating biofuel, along with other intelligent technologies, we hope they could help us to meet the challenges of limiting the rise in carbon dioxide emissions while responding to the growing global requirement for transport fuel." Microsoft strikes patent deal with ZTE Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-strikes-patent-deal-with- zte/19788.html April 24th, 2013 A week after striking a similar deal with Foxconn, Microsoft has entered into a patent agreement with ZTE covering all Android and Chrome devices manufactured by the Chinese firm. A week ago, Microsoft entered into a patent deal with Hon Hai, Foxconn's parent company. Now, it's entering into a similar agreement with ZTE. Though the specific details of the deal have not been disclosed, it is similar in nature to the Hon Hai deal, reveals a Microsoft spokesperson. In other words, the deal most likely involves ZTE paying Microsoft a flat fee for each Chrome and Android device the Chinese manufacturer produces. The new deal with Microsoft grants ZTE access to Microsoft's patents, including those for operating systems, browsing and data synchronization. The Windows-powered ZTE Tania ZTE is one of the top five manufacturers of Android smartphones in the world and in the last quarter of 2012, it shipped 9.5 million units according to IDC. ZTE manufactures 40% of the world's phones, meaning a lot of new revenue for Microsoft. In fact, the software giant estimates they will be making more revenue from their patent royalties, than they will from selling their own devices. The two companies apparently took two years to work out the deal. “Experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights,” says Microsoft's general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. Apart from ZTE and Foxconn, Microsoft has also struck patent deals with Quanta and Pegatron, and in the future, they may be hoping that both Huawei and Google will follow. However, it is unlikely an agreement will be reached with Google any time soon, as the company has previously referred to Microsoft's cross licensing agreements as ”extortion”. Android MK802 Mini-PC/TV available for $30 at Amazon Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-mk802-mini-pctv-available- for-30-at-amazon/19785.html April 24th, 2013 Amazon is having a $30 sale on the normally $59 MK802 Android Mini-PC, which features 1 GB of RAM, a full Android operating system, and HDMI output.
  • 152. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 7 The MK802 is a feature packed USB stick-sized Mini-PC that has a USB port, HDMI port, 1 GB of RAM, and Android 4.2.2, Jellybean. For a stick so small, it can do an awful lot. It’s perfect for streaming content to a monitor or television set, and is compatible with WiFi b/g/n. The Mini-PC boasts an Allwinner 1GHz A8 processor, and Full HD 1080P video output. With full featured Android, it can stream and display content from Android apps such as YouTube, Netflix, etc. To control the device, peripherals can be added via the USB port, so it might be to purchase a small Bluetooth adapter for pairing wireless Bluetooth devices. The MK802 ships from Amazon with a power adapter, and as the Amazon page eloquently explains, “Full extension let you be like a tiger with wings added.” Samsung will unveil a rugged, dust and water-proof, Galaxy S IV in a few weeks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-will-unveil-a-rugged-dust- and-water-proof-galaxy-s-iv-in-a-few-weeks/19787.html April 23rd, 2013 Samsung makes handsets that come in all shapes, colors and sizes, but what about a heavy-duty and rugged gadget for clumsy people and professionals? As a matter of fact, Samsung is said to be working on a tough, dust and water- proof Galaxy S4, which it will be unveil soon! The tradeoffs to producing a rugged electronic device have always been a decrease in appeal and, often times, less room for customization. Samsung could change all that, though, with its iteration of a rugged GS4, and we might be able to see it officially in the coming weeks. (This Otterbox design is rugged, but it's not water-proof.) We’ve already discussed the specs of the normal GS4, and for the most part we can assume that the armor-clad GS4 variant will have the same internal organs. Young Soo Kim, Samsung’s Gulf president, said in a press conference today that the South Korean tech giant is indeed working on a ruggedized GS4. Nothing else besides the water-proof and dust-proof nature of the upcoming GS4 was disclosed. In the meantime, however, many carriers globally have already begun taking pre-orders of the GS4, and consumers can expect to have their handsets to arrive at the end of April or early May. Tim Cook: 'New amazing hardware' coming in 2014. Could it be the Apple iWatch? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tim-cook--new-amazing-hardware- coming-in-2014.-could-it-be-the-apple-iwatch-/19786.html April 23rd, 2013 Could the fabled iWatch be heading our way in 2014? It’s a possibility, and it seems like Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, isn’t ruling out that possibility. “We’ve got a lot more surprises in the works,” Cook said during Apple’s Q2 investor call. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce in the fall and into 2014.” The Cupertino-based Apple has seen its stock value slipped in recent months, but Cook is hoping that his tease of what’s to come will keep investors onboard and maintain consumer interests in the fruity brand. “I assure you that we’re working very closely with manufacturing partners to achieve a very exciting roadmap,” Cook added. Whatever Apple has in mind for its roadmap, it will certainly need more than an iPhone 5S or another iPad with Retina to stay at the top. Various rumors have been floating around about an iWatch, and this product will certainly shake up the consumer tech game. Although details regarding the iWatch are minimal at best, one can expect the Apple branded wristwatch to boast a touch screen as well as many functionalities that are present in the iPhone.
  • 153. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 8 Another exciting product is the iPhone 6, which may be one of the first devices to sport a wraparound display. Commercialization of flexible displays are still a little off, but display makers such as Samsung and Sharp are putting a lot of resources and effort into pushing for mass production of the next-gen displays. Apple has got a lot to lose in the coming months, and Cook’s mention of “some amazing new hardware” will be met with much anticipation. Let’s see if Apple can continue to live up to the hype. Explore the arsenal of Metro: Last Light in the new Ranger's Survival Guide Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/explore-the-arsenal-of-metro-last- light-in-the-new-ranger-s-survival-guide/19784.html April 23rd, 2013 The third and final video in Metro: Last Light's Ranger's Survival Guide chronicles the expansive array of weaponry and inventory features in Deep Silver's upcoming sequel, giving gamers a preview of what's to come when the game is released in May. Surviving the harsh, post-apocalyptic wasteland that is the world of the Metro universe is no easy feat, not even for a Ranger. Not only must you wear protective gear like gas masks to filter the toxic air, but you have to defend yourself against the volatile mutants and enemy factions that roam its surface. And that means guns. A lot of guns. Getting those guns isn't as easy as finding them; but luckily for you the world's economy is built upon firearms and ammo--precious commodities that rival food, water and shelter for survival. Guns, gas masks and ammo: it's another bright and sunny day in Metro: Last Light. The third and final video in Deep Silver's Ranger Survival Guide focuses on the mechanics of attaining and using firearms from merchants as well as maintaining them with crafty repairs, both of which are imperative for survival in the ruined world. Whether you're in the pitch-black tunnels of the underground where light is your best friend, or on the blasted surface where the very air is toxic, weapons are essential tools that must often be employed against many a foe. "Exploring the unique equipment and brutal, hand- made weaponry every Ranger needs to survive the perils of the Metro, this chapter also teaches you how to use light as an ally (or even as a potential weapon) as well as detailing Metro's infamous bullet-driven economy and gun trading and customization mechanic." Metro: Last Light, the anticipated sequel to Metro 2033, has been in development for some time now and continues the story set forth by the previous release. Players reprise their role as Artyom, the tough-as-nails Ranger who's luck seems to never run out as he battles mutants and an enemy faction who threatens to lay waste to the last bastion of humanity. Metro: Last Light is slated for release on May 14, 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. For more information please visit the game's official website. Strange new viral marketing program for GTA V surfaces Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/strange-new-viral-marketing- program-for-gta-v-surfaces/19782.html April 23rd, 2013 A new viral marketing scheme known as the "Epsilon Program" has been spotted on Twitter, and has been linked to Rockstar Games' highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V. A strange new viral marketing scheme has been spotted on Twitter and has been linked to Rockstar's anticipated Grand Theft Auto V; just not the way you'd think. The Twitter account @EpsilonToday has recently started tweeting rather bizarre and hilarious factoids that fits perfectly with Rockstar Games' signature parody-infused style, and one of the actually links back to Rockstar's official website:
  • 154. April 24th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 9 The account also makes heavy usage of what appears to be a baffling acronym known as "KIFFLOM", and the aforementioned tweet links back to a very hypnotic video on Rockstar's site that discusses the twelve tenants of Epsilonism and Kifflom. Oddly enough, this whole thing reminds me of one of the many hilarious radio stations featured in the Grand Theft Auto games, and perhaps Epsilonism is a direct parody of Scientology with such mystic wisdom as the tenants found below: The video cleverly disguises many of the environments and weather effects that are believed to be featured in Grand Theft Auto V, so it's worth a good look-through, and it is quite entertaining in itself. Be sure to check the video by clicking here. Rockstar's Newswire post for the video contains the following description: "The Goals and the Pledge of Epsilon will continue to be revealed in due time. The Epsilon Program does not exist in just one time or place. We invite you to visit one of our enlightenment centers. Directions will be provided in one week's time." This is a rather odd move from Rockstar, but it certainly fits the bill with GTA's distinct parody-infused style, as Rockstar is known for poking fun at everything--and I do mean everything--in pop culture; from movies and music to fast-food and everything in between. Grand Theft Auto V is slated to release on Sept. 17, 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For more information please visit the game's official website. Inhon's Blade 13 Carbon, world's thinnest and lightest laptop, launches in June Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/inhon-s-blade-13-carbon-world-s- thinnest-and-lightest-laptop-launches-in-june/19781.html April 23rd, 2013 The Blade 13 Carbon uses carbon fiber for the laptop cover and bottom plate, but the palm rest is composed of magnesium alloy. Measuring in at 10.7mm thick and weighing just 1.9lbs, the Blade 13 Carbon is 7mm thinner and over a pound lighter than Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air. It is given that the Blade 13 Carbon is light considering the material used to construct it, but what about the specs that really matter? For starter, the laptop has an option of either a third-gen Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3337U or i7-3537U, with 4GB of RAM, a 128GB or 256GB SSD, and a 13.3-inch 1080p display to back up the Intel chip. Connectivity-wise, there is an SD card reader, 3 USB ports (2x USB 3.0), a mini DisplayPort, Wi-Fi, and NFC. The 13 Blade Carbon will retail for approximately 1,350 USD in June. For those that don’t want to own the thinnest and lightest laptop, Inhon is also offering a slightly beefier (and less sleek) Blade 13, which is composed of mainly fiberglass. The Blade 13 is also limited in that it’s only available with a 1600x900 display, a core i5-3337U, and a 128GB SSD. As for the price of the Blade 13, it’ll run for about 1,000 USD in May. Both of course come with Windows 8 pre-installed as the operating system. The Blade 13 Carbon and the Blade 13 will only be available in Taiwan at launch as no announcement has been made about their availability abroad.
  • 155. April 25th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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 hit with fine for selling unauthorized work in iBookstore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-hit-with-fine-for-selling- unauthorized-work-in-ibookstore/19817.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 JiaYu G5 Android smartphone: Another iPhone 5 knockoff but with some classy twists Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jiayu-g5-android-smartphone- another-iphone-5-knockoff-but-with-some-classy-twists/19816.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone expected to launch in September Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iphone-5s-and-low-cost-iphone- expected-to-launch-in-september/19814.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 HTC One in China to have microSD card slot, despite previous HTC claim Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-one-in-china-to-have-microsd- card-slot-despite-previous-htc-claim/19812.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Scientists design KALQ keyboard map for faster thumb typing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-design-kalq-keyboard- map-for-faster-thumb-typing/19811.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 New GTA V trailers coming April 30th Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-gta-v-trailers-coming- april-30th/19810.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Harnessing the power of 2,000 suns using technology developed for supercomputers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/harnessing-the-power-of-2-000- suns-using-technology-developed-for-supercomputers/19809.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Sony's Mark Cerny explains why the PS4 switched to x86 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-s-mark-cerny-explains-why- the-ps4-switched-to-x86/19808.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Release date and box art leaked for Call of Duty: Ghosts Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/release-date-and-box-art-leaked-for- call-of-duty-ghosts/19806.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document.
  • 156. April 25th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The requested URL returned error: 403 Nintendo won't be hosting an E3 press conference Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-won-t-be-hosting-an-e3- press-conference/19805.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Joyride will entertain you on the road Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/joyride-will-entertain-you-on-the- road/19804.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Verizon Communications to make bid for Verizon Wireless Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/verizon-communications-to-make- bid-for-verizon-wireless/19803.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Provo, Utah to become third Google Fiber city Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/provo-utah-to-become-third-google- fiber-city/19802.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Nvidia GeForce 320.00 beta drivers released, squeezes out more fps from latest game titles Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-320.00-beta-drivers- released-squeezes-out-more-fps-from-latest-game-titles/19793.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 First reviews of the Galaxy S4 are in: Great screen, good performance but cheap design Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-reviews-of-the-galaxy-s4-are-in- great-screen-good-performance-but-cheap-design/19800.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 The best Windows laptop is apparently a Mac Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-best-windows-laptop-is- apparently-a-mac/19799.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Japanese inventor develops a Google Glass competitor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/japanese-inventor-develops-a- google-glass-competitor/19801.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Apple's next big thing won't be in mobile gadgets, but in smartcars? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-next-big-thing-won-t-be-in- mobile-gadgets-but-in-smartcars-/19798.html April 24th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Microsoft to announce Xbox 720 on May 21 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-announce-xbox-720- on-may-21/19797.html April 24th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403
  • 157. April 26th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Foxconn to expand to Indonesia to make up for Apple shortfall Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/foxconn-to-expand-to-indonesia-to- make-up-for-apple-shortfall/19840.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Sony to sell yet another water and dust resistant smartphone - Xperia ZR Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-to-sell-yet-another-water-and- dust-resistant-smartphone--xperia-zr/19837.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown' launches for Mac with the new 'Slingshot' add-on Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-xcom-enemy-unknown-launches- for-mac-with-the-new-slingshot-add-on/19838.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Intel's 4th Generation Core Processors (Haswell) launch date officially revealed - Computex ... Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-4th-generation-core- processors-haswell-launch-date-officially-revealed--computex- taipei-2013/19839.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Chinese Superphone Jiayu G6 debuts updated Mediatek MT6589T chip clocked at 1.5 GHz Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-superphone-jiayu-g6- debuts-updated-mediatek-mt6589t-chip-clocked-at-1.5-ghz/19835.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 SoC goes into mass production next month Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-s-snapdragon-800-soc- goes-into-mass-production-next-month/19834.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Google bans non-Play Store app updates Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-bans-non-play-store-app- updates/19830.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 PS4 developers speak out about the new controller Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ps4-developers-speak-out-about-the- new-controller/19829.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Banished, a more intimate SimCity Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/banished-a-more-intimate- simcity/19828.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403
  • 158. April 26th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 Intel notebooks may soon hit $200 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-notebooks-may-soon- hit-200/19827.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Courts side with Microsoft on Xbox patent dispute. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/courts-side-with-microsoft-on-xbox- patent-dispute./19826.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Classic Note brings back old school Apple look. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/classic-note-brings-back-old-school- apple-look./19825.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Electronic Arts laying off hundreds of employees. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/electronic-arts-laying-off-hundreds- of-employees./19824.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 New York Times releases Google Glass app Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-york-times-releases-google- glass-app/19823.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 LG on track to become the world's 3rd largest smart phone manufacturer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-on-track-to-become-the-world- s-3rd-largest-smart-phone-manufacturer/19822.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Next-gen Google Glass to look indistinguishable from your average sunglasses? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/next-gen-google-glass-to-look- indistinguishable-from-your-average-sunglasses-/19820.html April 26th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 MacBook featuring Intel's Haswell chip go into production in May Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/macbook-featuring-intel-s-haswell- chip-go-into-production-in-may/19818.html April 25th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403
  • 159. April 28th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 1 VR-Zone.com | 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. Oppo Find 5 gets official CyanogenMod 10.1 support Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/oppo-find-5-gets-official- cyanogenmod-10.1-support/19854.html April 28th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 ASUS Transformer Pad 300 finally gets Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean update Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-transformer-pad-300-finally- gets-android-4.2.1-jelly-bean-update/19853.html April 28th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Spend just $30 to "Root any Android" device Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spend-just-30-to-root-any-android- device/19852.html April 28th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Samsung 840 Pro SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-840-pro-ssd- review/19855.html April 28th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 If Google is working on a Nexus smartwatch, will it look something like this? [Video] Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/if-google-is-working-on-a-nexus- smartwatch-will-it-look-something-like-this--video-/19851.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Is your power supply ready for Haswell? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/is-your-power-supply-ready-for- haswell-/19848.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Viber bug bypasses smartphone lock screens Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viber-bug-bypasses-smartphone- lock-screens/19849.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Google X Phone to launch in August with "always-on" voice recognition? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-x-phone-to-launch-in-august- with-always-on-voice-recognition-/19845.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Samsung Galaxy S4 gets a root exploit Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s4-gets-a-root- exploit/19847.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403 Sony to use TRILUMINOS display in upcoming Xperia 2013 flagship Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-to-use-triluminos-display-in- upcoming-xperia-2013-flagship/19819.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document.
  • 160. April 28th, 2013 Published by: VR-Zone 2 The requested URL returned error: 403 Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy S IV heads to China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dual-sim-samsung-galaxy-s-iv- heads-to-china/19843.html April 27th, 2013 Sorry, an error occured trying to retrieve this document. The requested URL returned error: 403