Area-51 ALX with 4GHz overclock
Maxis co-founder confirms Oddworld return
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee (which came before the most recent Oddworld title, Stranger's Wrath) was one of the titles used to show off the next-gen abilities of the first Xbox, and Braun talked up a "revolutionary new 3D animation system" to be utilised in the new game, too.
"The rendering tools are getting so good now for 3D animation that you can literally create a linear animation and create a video game using the exact same objects," said Braun. "The tools are finally getting to the level where we can come out with a show and we can come up with a game." No gameplay details or platforms were specified.
Don't hold your breath though; according to the Cord Weekly report, a "slow and measured production schedule" means that the arrival of the game is years away.
MGS4 Has 90-Minute Cutscenes
We know the Metal Gear Solid series is
famous for its long cut-scenes, but this tops everything! Metal Gear
Solid 4, the latest instalment in Hideo Kojima's seminal stealth
series, has cut-scenes (note the plural) that approach the 90 minutes mark.
For those troubled with time keeping, that's the length of a feature film.
The news comes from PSW magazine, who's been and finished MGS4, and then promptly whispered in our ears about the shocking 90-minute cut-scenes. The latest issue hits newsstands today, by the way.
We were expecting long story sequences (MGS2 approached the 45 minute mark in one) but an hour and a half of cinematics was unexpected.
The good news is that you can now skip or pause the scenes. Hands up though, how many of you are actually going to sit through the full 90 minutes?
"MGS4's story is massive. The videogame equivalent of all three Godfather movies on one disc," says the mag.
"As you'd expect, you'll spend a lot of time watching cut-scenes, so if you found previous games' story exposition laborious, then you'd better find yourself a nice cushion and plenty of teabags in readiness for MGS4's.
"They can be skipped, but you'll be missing out on some of the finally crafted examples of FMV footage anywhere in gaming," the article boldly proclaims.
3DMark Vantage Build 1.0.1 Hotfix download
Futuremark issued a pending hotfix for 3DMark Vantage today. Bringing it up to version 1.01
I have made a mirror from where you can download the binary. Later, likely tomorrow I'll have the full version of Vantage updated as well. Yet currently I'm in the USA and my internet access is pretty limited, but the 15 MB patch will be sufficient as well as it includes the entire update.
The hotfix updates the following:
- Off-line score viewing is now available in the Advanced Edition.
- Score save / submit saved options are now available in the Advanced Edition.
- Ad banners have been removed from all editions.
- Added a "SEND ERROR" button to error messages; clicking this will send detailed error information to Futuremark for better bug tracking and fixing. No personally identifiable information will be sent or stored.
The hotfix fixes the following:
- An issue preventing valid serial key entry in some cases has been fixed.
- An issue causing "boost::filesystem::create_directory" error message after registration has been fixed.
- Added a check and error message for hardware that is not DX10 capable.
- Improved detection of supported resolutions so that CPU test minimum requirement (1280x1024) is now taken into account correctly.
- Fixed an issue where pressing the ESC key during CPU test loading screen, the user would be taken to a score view with score -1.
- The entire 3DMark Vantage application is now elevated to Administrator rights, rather than only the SystemInfo component. This will ensure more robust SystemInfo and benchmark functionality, and fixes the "pop-behind" elevation dialog.
- Fixed an issue that sometimes caused "WM_QUIT" error messages.
- Post-processing scale is now displayed correctly in the UI for the Extreme Preset.
- Fixed an issue that could cause resolution switches at test runtime.
Download hotfix: click here
Is Bebo worth the money?
Where do the huge EU fines go?
In the aftermath of the EU versus Microsoft decision, you'd expect Microsoft's rivals to be looking at a huge payday. But while the EU found that Microsoft's actions did indeed harm its rivals, it has no intention of giving them any cash. When Microsoft pays the fine, the money goes straight into the European Union's central budget.
It's a similar story with actions taken by industry organisations on behalf of their members. According to the New York Post, while the recording Industry Association of America has netted hundreds of millions of dollars in cases against file sharers and file sharing networks, the money has yet to filter down to the artists. An unnamed industry source says record companies are telling artists there's not much money left after legal fees - and even if there is some left, artists might not be entitled to it.
New Spore trailer
EA released a new trailer of Spore, Spore is a simulation game created by Will Wright that allows players to control various life forms from the cellular to the galactic level. The game will be available in September.
ATI Catalyst 8.5 download available
If you own an ATi video card, head on over to the AMD / ATi website and download the new Catalyst 8.5 drivers for Windows Vista/XP and Linux. The drivers resolve some issues, and offer performance improvements, display mode enhancements, HDMI Audio for all TV timing modes, and WHQL certified support for Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 3. The Linux driver resolves some issues and adds new 3D settings to the Catalyst Control center.
Related games, AMD says it has resolved problems in Clive Barker's Jericho, Crysis, Gears of War, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Hellgate: London, Stranglehold, Tabula Rasa, Team Fortress 2, and Tomb Raider Anniversary.
Acer Presents Aspire PREDATOR Gaming PC Series
Acer presents its new Aspire PREDATOR line of desktop computers to PC gaming enthusiasts. Fans will appreciate the deep metallic copper colored housing: the front of the body can be raised, accompanied by an original optical bay mechanism to reveal a rewritable DVD and Blu-ray Disk reader. The USB and audio ports on top are complemented with a front-mounted multi-card reader. Blue rays of light emanate from the power button and front hard-drive door.
Predator PCs allow easy access to hard disks via a special door on the front of the lower part of the chassis: the standard Acer Easy-swap Hard Drive solution makes the 4 Serial ATA 3 Gb/s high capacity hard disks removable even when the PC is turned on and in use. RAID 0, 1, 5, 1+0 modes with NVIDIA MediaShield Storage technology guarantee the utmost data security in the event of disk failure. Also, 10,000 rpm Raptor hard drives are available as an option.
Machines feature Dual LAN ports, and the teaming mode permits two connections to work at the same time for network redundancy.
The Aspire PREDATOR incorporates the Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor with 1333MHz FSB that can be tuned, along with RAM and graphic cards, using nTune utility. In addition, the NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI MCP, 3-way SLI capable motherboard offers 2 x G9600GT, 2 x G9800GTX or even 2 x G9800GX2 (4 x GPU) graphic cards depending on the configuration.
The PREDATOR features a liquid cooling system claimed to be made to last for continuous operation without fear of pump failure or coolant evaporation.
The new Aspire PREDATOR desktops come with multimedia gaming keyboards with illuminated keys, gaming mice, and support Dolby Home Theater audio enhancement as well as EAX 4.0.
Logitech Announces V450 Nano Cordless Laser Mouse
Logitech today announced the V450 Nano cordless laser mouse for notebooks. It comes with Logitech's exclusive compact Plug-and-Forget Nano-receiver.
The V450 Nano mouse features an advanced laser sensor that delivers smoother tracking and better precision, offers 12 months of battery life, and Logitech's 2.4 GHz wireless technology.
The V450 Nano mouse (MSRP $49.99 U.S.) is expected to be available in the U.S. late in May and in Europe in July.
AMD Looks to Qimonda For GDDR5 Memory
Although NVIDIA may be grabbing headlines lately with leaked details of its next generation GeForce graphics cards, AMD isn't exactly standing still with its Radeon offerings. ATI is preparing its Radeon HD 4800 series GPUs which will replace the existing HD 3800 lineup.
While the HD 4800 Series is rumored to feature GPGPU physics and HDMI 7.1 surround sound pass-through, today we were made privy of one concrete aspect of the new cards: the onboard memory. Qimonda contacted DailyTech earlier this morning with the news that they will supply AMD with GDDR5 memory chips for the reinvigorated Radeon family.
"The days of monolithic mega-chips are gone. Being first to market with GDDR in our next-generation architecture, AMD is able to deliver incredible performance using more cost-effective GPUs," remarked Rick Bergman, AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager, Graphics Product Group. "AMD believes that GDDR5 is the optimal way to drive performance gains while being mindful of power consumption. We
Net downloads to get age ratings
Age ratings for downloaded video content and video games are to be introduced in the UK.
Overseen by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the scheme will see certificates appear on websites, via set-top boxes and portable players. Disney, Warners and Fox have signed up to the scheme with other "key industry figures... poised to join the scheme".
The BBFC said independent research showed 74% of parents were concerned about the lack of ratings on downloads. More than 1,000 videos will have online certificates by the end of May. The voluntary scheme will also require online services and video on demand schemes to have "age verification or gate-keeping systems in place for parents to monitor and control underage viewing".
Peter Johnson, head of policy at the BBFC, said the body would police the age verification systems "It's up to individual systems to work out how to introduce these technologies," he said. "But we will police it through test purchases."
Mr Johnson said the scheme, called BBFC.online, was not an attempt to censor the internet, nor to regulate online video gaming David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said the organisation continued to work with the game industry's self-regulatory body Pegi to find solutions to classifying the burgeoning range of online gaming. "We don't need to set up in rivalry with Pegi online. We can work cooperatively," he said. The scheme could also be rolled out to include online services such as Microsoft's Xbox Live, Sony's PlayStation Network and Nintendo's WiiWare, all of which offer video and games for download.
While the BBFC system has not been designed with TV catch-up services, like the BBC's iPlayer, in mind, said Mr Johnson, organisations like the BBC and ITV were welcome to join.
Without providing specifics, Mr Johnson said the BBFC expected all the "leading content providers and aggregators to sign up to the scheme in the coming weeks and months". "We are talking to everybody who is likely to be a significant player in this industry," he said. Mr Cooke said he hoped the voluntary scheme would obviate the need for any legislation to cover downloadable video content in the UK. The BBFC reported that parents it had consulted had expressed surprise that online video content did not legally have to be classified in the UK. "I'm hoping there won't be any need for legislation to underpin this scheme," he said.
UK may store all phone calls and emails
The UK government is considering a massive database to store every
person's emails, phone calls, text messages and internet use. The plan
was suggested as a tool to help security forces tackling crime and
At the moment, records of phone calls and text messages are kept for up to 12 months by telecoms companies, in compliance with a European Union anti-terrorism directive.
But a new proposal by the UK Home Office would see internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies handing over records containing billions of emails as well as Internet usage and voice-over-Internet calls, media reports said on Tuesday.
Police and security services would only be granted access to the information after seeking permission from the courts. The UK was this year labelled an "endemic surveillance society" by a study of privacy protections worldwide.
The Home Office said the database could help catch up with rapid changes in communication methods during the past 15 years.
"The changes to the way we communicate, due particularly to the internet revolution, will increasingly undermine our current capabilities to obtain communications data and use it to protect the public," it said in a statement.
"To ensure that our public authorities and law enforcement agencies can continue to use this valuable tool, the government is planning to bring forward the Communications Data Bill." The draft bill is expected to be released later in the year, but the plan has yet to be discussed by ministers.
Phone calls would not be recorded in full, but the phone numbers involved and the duration of each call would be logged.
In 2006, the US National Security Agency was found to be secretly keeping billions of such records. Experts say such records can reveal detailed information about callers' lives, but that such analysis is unproven as a way to reliably track and catch criminals.
Critics of the new plan have raised concerns about privacy. Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Information Commissioner at the UK government's regulatory office for data storage, use and privacy said: "We are not aware of any justification for the state to hold every UK citizen's phone and internet records. We have warned before that we are sleepwalking into a surveillance society."
Opponents also pointed to the UK government's recent track record on large databases. A health service database that is the world's biggest civil IT project has incurred large budget overruns and delays, while a recent security breach saw the whole nation's child benefit records lost in the post.
Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 mainboard review
Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 mainboard review
Gigabyte recently released an Intel X48 based mainboard that needed a review. Pretty high-end gear for sure as Intels X48 chipset brings support for the all new 1600 Mhz FSB processors, two 16x PCI-E 2.0 slots, which you can use for ATI CrossFire, two ATI graphics cards and heaps of niche features.
The GA-X48-DQ6 mainboard includes a Quad BIOS, no less than 8 SATA devices can be connected, you'll have eight USB 2.0 connectors on the rear, as stated earlier on, two PCI-Express gen 2.0 ports. Also when you first glimpse at the mainboard you'll notice some subtleties, the first is that Gigabyte is trying to tackle heat in an original manner, and they are doing a nice job with that.
URL to the article:
Corsair Dominator Hits 2462MHz, Memory World Record
Corsair announced today that Corsair Labs has set the world record for the highest achieved DDR3 frequency.
Verified and validated by CPU-Z, Corsair Labs achieved an astounding speed of 2462MHz at CL=9 with a single-rank 1GB module. This new world record eclipses all previous CPU-Z validated memory benchmarks. This record was set using Corsair's DOMINATOR DDR3 memory module paired with an Asus P5E3 Premium motherboard based on the Intel X48 chipset. This is now the highest achieved DDR3 frequency of all time. Validated results and setup details can be found at valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc.php?id=361829.
The DOMINATOR family of memory represents company's enthusiasts series. DOMINATOR is designed with the highest performing IC over-clocking capability and Corsair's patented DHX cooling. DHX technology is an innovative quad-layer heat sink design that improves thermal dissipation. With DHX Technology, heat is removed via two paths
Logitech Pure-Fi Mobile Speaker System
Logitech today announced the Logitech Pure-Fi Mobile speaker system. If you have a mobile phone that uses Bluetooth wireless technology with the Advanced Audio Distribution (A2DP) profile, you can stream stereo audio through the compact Pure-Fi Mobile speaker system
Wii fit calls young girl fat
Who could possibly have envisaged Nintendo
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky E3 2007 Demo Leaks onto web
Some nasty news for Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. Since a few hours a leaked (stolen) version of a presentation made for the E3 2007 of Clear Sky can be found in different relevant forums and online exchange services.
As known from the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost (later Shadow of Chernobyl) there is again a playable version of one single level in which is only shown the same things that GSC Game World presented already on the E3 last year. Who wants to see the gameplay of Clear Sky, some storyelements or new things in connection with DirectX10 will be disappointed. Those things are not included.
Appearantly the Pre-Alpha plays extremely well, with high frame rates and excellent quality on a wide range of, even the most basic, systems. If the hype wasn't enough, this leak may prove an excellent PR weapon for the game's creators since it seems to be carrying out the job of a good demo.
Let's hope the finished product will be just as good. I'll prefer the finalized product if you don't mind.