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Sunday November 23, 2014

Everything Amazon Is Supposedly Working On

Amazon always has hot irons in the fire and is constantly looking for more innovative projects to occupy the time. Gizmodo has made a short list of what might be on the burners in the near future for the Amazon Team.

Amazon's Prime offerings have been getting better and better and better, but it looks like that's only part—if a big part—of the once-bookseller's plans to take over every part of your world.

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Microsoft Confirms That Windows 10 Kernel Will be 10.0

Microsoft confirmed the company is finally getting its stuff together, literally. The next version of Windows will be designated 10 and to go with that designation, the kernel version will also be 10. That doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but it will be the first time in a great while that version matched kernel.

This large jump in version number is likely related to the massive overhaul of the underlying components of the OS to make it the core for all of Microsoft's products.

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Saturday November 22, 2014

Duke It Out in Middle-Earth Via Google’s Chrome Experiment

If you haven’t tried out the experience of the Google’s Chrome Experiment in Middle Earth, now would be a good time to give it a look. The experiment has been ongoing, but new content has been added to correspond with the upcoming release of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. It’s entertaining and it’s free. cool

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Amazon Starts Shipping the Fire TV Stick

Amazon bills the Fire TV Stick as their fastest and most successful product launch ever and announced on Friday that the Fire Stick will begin shipping immediately. Preorders will come first, but you can place your order and wait in line for shipment on a first come, first served basis.

Fire TV Stick has been our most successful device launch ever. We built a ton of these, but customer demand still outpaced our supply.

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European Parliament to Call for Breakup of Google

A report from Financial Times says that the European Parliament is making preparations to draft a proposal to break up Google’s search engine from other Google services. The Parliament has no official standalone power of its own, but recommends actions to the European Commission.

The matter underscores worry over Google's expansive reach and the search giant's potential to abuse its influence to hurt competitors.

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Game of Thrones Game Receives Its Debut Trailer

Telltale Games has released a short teaser trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones rollout. The games will be episodic, following the show’s TV seasons and will star many of the original cast members. Game of Thrones will be available on all popular platforms sometime later this year.

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AMD Details Carrizo Mobile APU Chips Coming in 2015

AMD announced the upcoming release of its new mobile processors, Carrizo and Carrizo-L this week. The chips will ship in quad-core and dual-core versions, supporting DDR3 and DDR4 and will be available sometime in 2015.

Carrizo will be our APU that's targeting right at the heart of performance mobile and all-in-one for 2015.

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Hackers Just Exposed Thousands of Gamer Passwords

If you have an account on the PlayStation Network, 2K Game Studios or Windows live, there is a chance your account may have been hacked and leaked to Pastebin as proof of the hack. A hacker group going by the name of DerpTrolling has claimed responsibility for the breaches. It is recommended that if you have an account with any of these networks, that you change your password ASAP.

The DerpTrolling group insists it wants to force these major gaming companies — Sony, Microsoft, and 2K — into upgrading their servers to prevent this type of hacking.

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Dish Restores CNN, Cartoon Network in Contract Extension

For all of you Dish customers who suddenly lost channels from Turner Broadcasting last month, good news is on the way. Turner came to terms with Dish Network this week to restore all of the lost channels.

Today’s contract extensions don’t give Dish rights to Turner channels for its forthcoming Internet-delivered television package; Turner and Dish are still negotiating those terms, and expect an agreement will be part of the next long-term deal.

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Mythbusters vs. Gorilla Glass

Gorilla Glass is touted to be toughest around. To prove how tough or break-resistant the glass actually is, The Mythbusters have taken up the challenge to test the limits of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 in their own unique way. cool

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T-Mobile Unleashes $5 a Month Overseas Calling Plan

Simple Choice T-Mobile customers now have an even simpler choice in overseas calling. T-Mobile has introduced a $5 a month international unlimited calling plan for your entire account.

This offer starts today and goes through the end of the year, but once added to your account, everyone on your account with a Simple Choice plan can enjoy the benefits for as long as you keep Stateside International Talk on your account.

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Aereo Loses Battle, Cord-Cutters May Win War

The death knell has finally sounded for the little re-broadcaster company Aereo. It was always a David and Goliath story from the beginning, but in this case, Goliath won out. The trend setting company may have lost the decision to operate, but may have in the process opened up more streaming content for cord-cutters as a side benefit. Aereo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.

Aereo tried to come up with other legal arguments. None of them proved sufficient. In the end, Aereo decided that it wasn't worth pursuing the case any further.

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Sony Drops Steve Jobs Movie

The on-again/off-again Steve Jobs movie is now officially off-again. With a shakeup of cast members and an uncertain future, Sony has withdrawn its financial support, leaving the picture high and dry. There’s still an outside chance of it making it to the big screen with other companies, namely Universal and other film studios, who are looking into picking up the project from Sony.

Despite the surprise development, Sorkin’s script still has a chance of coming to life at some stage – Universal is apparently showing a strong interest in the project.

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WalMart Tightens Its Price-Matching Policy

Fool me once and all that Gomer-esque wisdom hasn’t fallen on deaf ears over at the hallowed corporate halls of WalMart. Not a corporation to fall for the same exploit twice and in light of the scam WalMart fell victim to this week, the company has revised and tightened its price-matching policy.

This kind of activity is unfair to the millions of customers who count on us every day for honest value. With this in mind, we’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from Walmart.com and 30 major online retailers.

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Chrome 40 Beta Arrives with Revamped Bookmarks Manager, No SSL 3.0

Right on the heels of the release of the stable version of Chrome 39, Google has already pushed out Chrome Beta 40. Few details are available now, but the rollout will be staggered to beta testers over the next few weeks.

As for the SSL protocol, Google already disabled the fallback to version 3.0 in Chrome 39. In Chrome 40, the company is removing SSL 3.0 completely.

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Microsoft Patches Surface Pro 3

If you are one of the many who purchased a Surface Pro 3 and have experienced problems connecting to wireless networks, Microsoft has just the patch you are looking for. The update is now available.

Users have complained about problems with accessing wireless networks, and the update released on Wednesday should help fix any problems they’ve encountered.

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One of the Best Xbox One Exclusives of the Year is Free Today

For today only, Xbox Live Gold Subscribers will be able to download Sunset Overdrive for free. You only have today to grab this little goodie, so chop chop on the download. big grin

Microsoft is also giving away a bunch of digital goodies to everyone who bought an Xbox One before November 11th.

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New Report Claims 81 Percent of Tor Users Can Be Identified

In a newly released report, 81% of Tor users are still vulnerable to being identified by IP address through a process called Traffic Confirmation, that measures and matches up large amounts of data traffic originating from Tor nodes.

The Tor Project has responded to the claims via a blog post in which it explains that the network has never been designed to combat a technique such as traffic confirmation.

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Friday November 21, 2014

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the In Win D-Frame Mini, followed by our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 SLI 4K and NV Surround Review. Finally, we wrapped things up with our Far Cry 4 Video Card Performance and IQ Preview.

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MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Review

The crew at Neoseeker spent some quality time with the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G video card and, from what I gathered from the review, it seems they really liked the card.

After playing with the MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G over the last week, I can't help but feel fully satisfied as a PC hardware enthusiast. First of all, the card looks stunning with a gamer oriented design and great build quality. The attention to detail shown by MSI in this Gaming TF5 series graphics card is quite impressive and translates into a piece of hardware that will complement any high-end gaming system build.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: BitFenix Prodigy M Color @ XtremeHardware

ETC.: Cougar 700K Gaming Keyboard @ ocaholic

thinksound On1 Headphones @ APH Networks

Motherboards: Biostar A68N-5000 @ LanOC

PSU: XFX XTS Series 1000W @ techPowerUP!

Video: AOC 4K UHD 28" LCD @ NikKTech

FCC: Fear Of Lawsuits Is Holding Up Net Neutrality

How come I don't believe a word that comes out of this guy's mouth?

"The big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out," the Chairman told reporters today. "We need to make sure that we have sustainable rules, and that starts with making sure that we have addressed the multiplicity of issues that comes along and are likely to be raised." In other words, the FCC's plans for an open internet need to be strong enough weather the legal ire of ISPs opposed Net Neutrality.

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Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is offering up a new malware detection tool that will help you find out if the government is spying on you.

That's why we've joined together to support Detekt, a new malware detection tool developed by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri. Detekt is an easy-to-use, open source tool that allows users to check their Windows PCs for signs of infection by surveillance malware that we know is being used by government to spy on activists and journalists.

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Assassin's Creed Unity Crash Workaround Identified

The official Assassin's Creed blog has posted a workaround for the continue button crash in Assassin's Creed Unity. A better way to avoid all the problems with this game is to not buy it until it's fixed. big grin

This issue affects all platforms. The team is working hard on a fix for those players that have been affected by this. However, for players who haven’t experienced this issue, we highly recommend you take the following steps to prevent a crash:

  • Do not add any IN-GAME RECENT PLAYER as a GAME CONTACT

  • If you already have GAME CONTACTS, perform the following to remove them: My Brotherhood > My Contacts > Game Contacts (using RB/R1) > Focus on a Contact (LS) > More Actions (Y/Triangle) > Remove from contacts.

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In Win D Frame Mini Review

There is a review of the In Win D Frame Mini mini-ATX case posted today at PC Perspective. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

The In Win D Frame mini is a product that defies convention. It is like the concept car before a final production model is introduced. While there are unique, useful concepts to the enclosure's design, the presentation challenges the end user to accept a radical departure. This shouldn't surprise anyone who has looked at In Win in the past, as the company puts style first (check out our previous review of the In Win 901).

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CMA Finds Streaming Better For Sales Than Radio

I don't find this too surprising, streaming really is where it is at nowadays.

In a recent study, the CMA found that listeners over the age of 18 were prone to purchase tunes after hearing them for the first time on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and others rather than being introduced via AM/FM radio.

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Market Slams GameStop After Missing Q3 Expectations

It's kinda weird that GameStop is blaming the fact that it missed its earning expectations on Assassin's Creed: Unity being delayed.

GameStop generated $2.09 billion in revenue during its Q3. That is down 0.7 percent from $2.11 billion during the same period last year. It also is well under Wall Street’s estimate of $2.2 billion. The company also reported earnings per share of 50 cents, which missed analysts’ predictions of 61 cents. The company points to a tough comparison due to a major annual franchise moving into November, but it also claims that most of its internal numbers are looking up.

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BitTorrent Survey Finds Users Are Avid, Eclectic Content Buyers

This survey, conducted by BitTorrent, finds that its users are "avid and eclectic content buyers." Coincidentally, the survey also revealed that most BitTorrent users are handsome, successful, wealthy and popular with the ladies too. wink

A new study carried out by BitTorrent Inc. has found that the company's users aren't the freeloaders they're often made out to be. The study found that BitTorrent users are 170% more likely to have paid for digital music in the past six months and are 8x more likely to have a music streaming account when compared to the average Internet user.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Assassin's Creed Unity Crash Workaround @ Blue's News

Destiny's The Dark Below Opening Cinematic @ Shacknews

Game of Thrones Iron From Ice Teaser @ VG24/7

Vivendi - Activision Lawsuit Settled For $275M @ Joystiq

Far Cry 4 Video Card Performance and IQ Preview

Our in-house graphics card gurus have published a Far Cry 4 Video Card Performance and IQ Preview for your viewing pleasure. Make sure you give it the once over if you haven't done so already.

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Far Cry 4 is here, and we take an early look at how current video cards stack up in performance, and which quality settings are graphically demanding. We will also look at some image quality comparisons and talk about the state of this game at launch. Will it measure up to Far Cry 3 in terms of graphic fidelity?

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