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Wednesday April 23, 2014

Facebook Gets U.S. Antitrust Approval To Buy Oculus

Well, it looks like it's a done deal. Facebook just got the okay from the U.S. Department of Justice and FTC to buy Oculus.

Social network giant Facebook Inc has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Oculus VR Inc, a two-year-old maker of virtual reality goggles, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

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Free Red Orchestra 2 Today Only

The fine folks over at Tripwire Interactive send word that Red Orchestra 2 is free on Steam for 24 hours only. Grab it if you want it, try it if you haven't.

Today, Tripwire Interactive is pleased to announce a special fan promotion in which users can download Red Orchestra 2, PC Gamer's 2011 First-Person Shooter Game of the Year (Multiplayer) on Steam free of charge for a 24 hour period! And, so long as you install it during that 24 hour period, it is free to keep. Permanently!

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Gaming [H]eadlines

CoD: Ghosts Adds 'Chaos Mode' For Extinction @ Shacknews

Kick Ass 2 Next Month @ Blue's News

Metal Gear Solid Trailer Recut @ Kotaku

Xbox One Hits Japan September 4th @ Joystiq

HBO Signs Up For Amazon Prime, Fire TV

I guess this is a good deal for Amazon Prime members and FireTV owners but it would have been even better had it included Game of Thrones though. frown

However, the deal excludes some of the network's most popular series, like "Game of Thrones." Amazon said it wouldn't disclose anything beyond what was in its release, which lists shows that are included. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, so it's unclear how much Amazon is coughing up for such a valuable privilege.

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Use Street View To Go Back In Time

Okay, you have to admit, this is pretty cool.

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Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Case

Modders-Inc just put the finishing touches on their review of the Cooler Master Elite 110 mini-ITX case. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

The Coolermaster Elite 110 is a small chassis with a big heart. It has the ability to be many things, but are they the things that you are wanting from the diminutive Mini-ITX sized case?

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Mini-ITX @ Hardware Asylum

Cooling: Cooler Master Blizzard T2 @ Hardware Secrets

Motherboards: ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer @ OCInside.de

Power Supply: SilentiumPC Supremo M1 700W @ techPowerUP!

Storage: SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive @ ThinkComputers

Destiny Website Showing Off Classes

The Destiny website has been updated with info on the three classes (Titan, Hunter and Warlock) you can play in the game. The video below shows each class in action.

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Fractal Arc XL

LanOC has published a review of the Fractal Arc XL full-tower case this morning that is definitely worth checking out.

As it turns out, people want a good product at a reasonable price, who knew right? Well today, I have the chance to take a look at a case from their Arc series of cases that are designed for increased cooling while still giving you the "fractal" styling that we know and love. Specifically today, I will check out their Arc XL, their largest model. I’m excited to see what sets the Arc XL apart from the competition and from Fractals other product lines.

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Research Shows Impact Of Facebook Unfriending

I don't know about you but, after reading about that kid getting all stabby over a Facebook comment, I'd be afraid to unfriend someone now. eek!

The most common reason for unfriending someone from high school is that the person posted polarizing comments often about religion or politics," said Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program at the CU Denver Business School. "The other big reason for unfriending was frequent, uninteresting posts.

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Facebook Attempted Murder Charge of the Day

Did you say something bad about someone on Facebook? That's a stabbin'.

"He indicated to his father that the 14-year-old tried to approach him at school to confront him regarding the Facebook post," said Twis Lizasuain of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "He ignored him the majority of the day, when he was walking home, that's when the 14-year-old confronted him."

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Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Case

The Thermaltake Core V71 full-tower case is on the test bench at Benchmark Reviews today. If you need a new chassis, you'll probably want to give this review the once over.

With their new Core V71 Full Tower chassis, Thermaltake is offering an E-ATX capable enclosure that is both versatile and adaptable. Focusing on performance with either air or liquid cooling, the Core V71 offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and customization.

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Brown University Offers Office 365 To Students At No Additional Cost

Brown University has selected Microsoft Office 365 for its students, and is using the Microsoft Student Advantage benefit to extend the service to its student body at no additional cost using their existing Brown credentials. Available since Jan. 1, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus gives Brown’s approximate 8,600 students the tools they need to complete coursework from any device while in school and compete in the job market after graduation.

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Intel x86 Devices Get Adobe AIR Support on Android

Adobe today announced native packaging support of AIR applications for Intel® Architecture based Android devices. According to Adobe, they are responding to increasing developer demand for support of Intel® Atom™ processor-based devices. There are more than 50,000 unique AIR mobile applications published to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and Intel is excited about the opportunity this provides developers worldwide to publish new and existing content for the 40 million Intel-based tablets expected to ship this year. Adobe will be enabling developers with the ability to package their applications in both shared and captive modes. A beta version of the run-time featuring this capability will soon be available in the AIR SDK on Adobe Labs. The final version will be out with Adobe’s next major release of AIR, which will be published on the Google Play Store.

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Tuesday April 22, 2014

Amazon Revenue Down After Imposing Sales Tax

It looks like Amazon's bottom line is taking a hit after the company started collecting sales tax in some states.

Amazon's sales are taking a hit in states that have recently started making the company pay taxes. New research out of Ohio State University found that Amazon shoppers reduced their spending by 10% in states where the company has had to start charging sales tax.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Cooler Master Cosmos SE @ pcGameware

Motherboards: ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer @ Hardware Secrets

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 @ ocaholic

Storage: Micron M500DC Enterprise SSD @ HotHardware

Micron M500DC Enterprise SSD @ SSD Review

Video: ASUS GTX 750 Ti OC 2GB @ eTeknix

OS X Beta Testing Now Open To The Public

Apple is letting the lowly, unwashed masses beta test OS X? Someone better call hell and check the temperature. eek!

Apple has released public beta tests of individual Mac apps in recent years, but OS X itself has largely been off-limits unless you've registered as a developer. That changes now that Apple has launched the OS X Beta Seed Program. Starting with OS X 10.9.3, you can try pre-release operating system updates by signing in with a garden variety Apple ID; oddly enough, you still have to sign a developer-style agreement promising to keep some details a secret.

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Bitfenix Prodigy M Micro-ATX Case

The staff at Bjorn3D seem mighty impressed with the Bitfenix Prodigy M micro-ATX case they just reviewed. Here's a quote from the review to get you started:

When we tested the Bitfenix Prodigy back in October 2012 we were very impressed. It turned out to be a great case for a mini-ITX motherboard. With the Prodigy M Bitfenix has taken the same shell and changed the internals so we now get to fit a M-ATX-motherboard in the same case.

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Professor Suspended For Posting Pic Of Daughter Wearing Game Of Thrones Shirt

Apparently posting a picture of your daughter online wearing a Game of Thrones t-shirt will get you suspended without pay if you are a professor at Bergen Community College in New Jersey.

The professor said he asked why the photo had set off such a reaction, and that the security official said that "fire" could be a kind of proxy for "AK-47s." Despite Schmidt’s explanation, he was notified via email later in the week that he was being placed on leave without pay, effectively immediately, and that he would have to be cleared by a psychiatrist before he returned to campus.

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WhatsApp Grows To Half A Billion Users

By a show of hands, how many of you have used WhatsApp? With that many users, it sure seems like everyone you know should be using it.

Messaging app WhatsApp now reaches 500 million people each month and is growing fastest in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, the company said Tuesday. Collectively, the application's users are sharing 700 million photos and 100 million videos on a daily basis.

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NZXT Introduces The Phantom 240 Mid Tower Chassis

The classic Phantom styling you’ve come to love at its lowest price point yet. Since the first Phantom was launched in 2010, NZXT has continued to bring aggressive designs and innovative feature sets to all of its chassis. Over the years, the original Phantom and Phantom 410 quickly became NZXT’s signature cases. Now, NZXT is happy to introduce its latest addition to the family, the Phantom 240.

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A product designed with several years of feedback in mind, the Phantom 240 brings a refreshing new style and full-view window to the table while keeping its signature asymmetrical shape. Included with the chassis are two of NZXT’s recently redesigned standard case fans, the 120mm FN V2, bringing additional cooling and lower noise levels.

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32GB USB Flash Drive Round-Up

The crew at Legit Reviews have rounded up a handful of 32GB USB flash drive and put them to the test.

There was a time just recently when there were no USB On-The-Go (OTG) flash drives on the market, but now there are hundreds of different models from dozens of brands. OTG USB flash drives are often referred to as dual-drives due to the fact they feature Micro-USB and Type A USB 2.0 connectors. Why have a a device like this? It gives you the means to have an external storage option for smartphones and tablets that lack a microSD card slot and it also allows for easy sharing and storing content in Android devices and even to a PC.

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Microsoft Speeding Up Windows Release Cycle

Speeding up the Windows release cycle is great and all but even then things are taking too long to be fixed.

Just a year ago, Microsoft officials were crowing about Windows' much improved delivery cadence. Instead of rolling out a new version of Windows once every 2.5 to three years, the team was now on something closer to an annual rollout schedule. But the nine-month-young unified Operating System Group (OSG)at Microsoft is now gunning to go even faster.

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Researchers Developed A Laser That Can Make It Rain

This would be pretty damn impressive if they can actually get it to create rainstorms on demand. Is there anything lasers can't do?

Researchers have developed a new technique to cause rain and lighting by firing a laser at clouds. The technique uses a 'double laser' to stimulate particles within a cloud. The technique could one day be used to create rainstorms and even lighting on command, the researchers hope.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

All 2,057 WoW Achievements Unlocked @ Kotaku

Dark Souls 2 PC Trailer @ Joystiq

GRID Autosport Coming To PC June 24 @ Shacknews

Next Dragon Age Begins in October @ Blue's News

ASUS A88X-PRO AMD Socket FM2+ Motherboard

In the market for an AMD Socket FM2+ motherboard? Make sure you read our evaluation of the ASUS A88X-PRO before you go shopping. Trust us, this could be just the board you are looking for.

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It’s important to take a step back once in awhile and remember that not everyone can afford huge multi-GPU rigs and eight core CPUs. If you are in the market for a shiny new APU, you won’t want to miss our coverage of the ASUS A88X-Pro. This new FM2+ socket motherboard may not be the answer for you, but it could surely be a solution.

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Futuristic Firefighter Helmet

This futuristic firefighter helmet concept not only looks bad ass, it seems like a solid design as well.

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Beijing Purging The Internet Of Porn

Purging the internet of porn? Ummm, good luck with that! roll eyes (sarcastic)

The Chinese government has shut down thousands of websites and social media sites in a bid to purge the internet of online pornography, it was revealed today. The nation’s state media services announced the progress of its ‘Cleaning the Web 2014’ campaign today, which has resulted in the closure of 110 websites and more than 3,300 accounts containing ‘obscene’ material since January.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: In Win 901 Mini-ITX @ PureOC

Cooling: Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler @ HT4U

ETC.: AMD Athlon 5350 APU @ Guru3D

GAMDIAS HEPHAESTUS 7.1 Headphones @ HTL

Gigabyte BRIX Pro Mini-PC @ MadShrimps

Storage: Crucial M550 512GB SSD @ CPCR

Video: Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC @ Legit Reviews

Apple Wants To Block Users From Texting And Driving

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Apple a patent on a system called "Driver handheld computing device lock-out."

There are two main embodiments to Apple's invention. The first concentrates on a lock-out mechanism that requires no input from a vehicle and instead uses on-board sensors to determine when a user is driving. In the second embodiment, the car is able to transmit blocking signals to an iPhone, effectively stopping a user from receiving and sending texts, or using other smartphone functions while in the driver's seat.

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