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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 31 declined, 13 accepted (44 total, 29.55% accepted)

+ - Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store is Full of Scamware and It Doesn't Seem to Care

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Windows 8 brought a lot to the table, with one of its most major features being its app store. However, it's not a feature that Microsoft seems too intent on keeping clean. As it is today, the store is completely littered with misleading apps and outright scamware. The unfortunate thing is that to find any of it, all you have to do is simply open the store and peruse the main sections. Not so surprisingly, no Microsoft software seems to be affected by this, but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost, or will lead the user to download a third-party installer. It's only a matter of time before malware sneaks its way in, if it's not there already."

+ - Microsoft to Finally Pull the Plug on Windows RT

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "A lot of people have never been able to understand the logic behind Microsoft's Windows RT, with many urging the company to kill it off so that it can focus on more important products, like the mainline Windows. Well, this is probably not going to come as a huge surprise, especially in light of mass layoffs announced last week, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that his company will be working to combine all Windows versions into a unified release by next year."

+ - DreamWorks' Kid-targeted DreamTab Becomes First Intel-powered Tablet 1

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "While Intel's had a slight piece of the Android pie already thanks to its use in select smartphones in Europe, the upcoming kid-targeted DreamWorks DreamTab becomes the first tablet to make use of Intel's hardware. And, this is no cut-down SoC as a kids' tablet would imply. In use will be Intel's quad-core Z3740, able to peak at 1.86GHz. Of course, there's a lot more than just the hardware that makes this an interesting tablet. With DreamWorks behind it, the DreamTab could very-well become the hottest kid-target tablet ever."

+ - Steam User Spends Thousands to Craft Level 1,000 Snow Globe Badge

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "If there's one thing Valve knows how to do well, it's make money, but sometimes, its methods are a little unusual, or unexpected. Take for example, its trading cards, which allows users to purchase virtual cards off of others to craft badges which increase their Steam level. Valve first made good use of this mechanic during last summer's sale, but with the holiday one just past, it's proven that it doesn't care how many cards people buy — even if the total spent runs into the thousands.

What made the badges for this holiday sale quite a bit different than last summer's is that they could be crafted seemingly forever. One user who goes by the name of PalmDesert took that fact to heart, and crafted the same badge a staggering 1,000 times — something that Techgage estimates cost the user about $1,500. Further, the same user crafted a level 100 foil version of the badge, which would have cost over $2,000.

One thing's clear, as menial as a digital item might appear, if it's being sold, someone will buy it."

+ - Apple's Newest Mac Pro Costs Less than DIY PC Build - Thanks to AMD

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Word’s out that Apple’s latest Mac Pro costs less than an equal-configured do-it-yourself PC, but as Techgage has discovered, there's more than meets the eye in this particular case. While it might seem at first that Apple has loosened up on its famed "Apple Tax", the reason the company's latest Mac Pro costs less than the DIY equivalent owes its thanks to AMD. The reason? The $3,200 GPUs required for a DIY 1:1 build cost just ~$750 to those who purchase one of the latest Mac Pros."

+ - WD Releases Breakthrough Black2 Drive, Combining an SSD and HDD

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "WD has today announced its breakthrough Black2 drive, one that combines a 120GB SSD with a 1TB mechanical drive — all within a 2.5-inch frame. The benefits here are obvious: Users of regular-sized notebooks can now have the best of both worlds, while those looking to build smaller desktop PCs can shave some room by sticking to a one small single drive solution. As Techgage notes, however, Black2 does carry with it some severe limitations. For starters, it cannot be used as a caching drive. Further, it's exclusive for Windows, as a bit of software is required to unlock the mechanical portion of the drive. Given the fact that a 120GB SSD and 4TB 3.5-inch desktop HDD can be had for about the same $300 pricepoint, WD is clearly targeting Black2 entirely at Windows notebook users."

+ - Sony Confirms PlayStation 4 Blue Light Of Death, Offers Tips->

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Following-up to a story reported on Slashdot yesterday of a "Blue Light of Death" that's been plaguing some PlayStation 4 owners, we now not only have confirmation that the problem exists, but are also being given some troubleshooting tips.

In the event of the BLOD being caused by a hardware issue, Sony primarily recommends double-checking all connections to make sure that no problems exist there, while it's also suggested that taking the top off of the console to get a look at the hard drive is worth doing. As a last resort, users are given a way to boot into the console's Safe Mode in order to adjust a variety of settings there — including the all-important 'Restore factory defaults'."

Link to Original Source

+ - NVIDIA Announces Surrund 4K, Breaks Through 10K Pixels Wide->

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "At a press event held in Montreal, Canada, NVIDIA announced the latest update to its Surround multi-display technology. While it will require a ridiculous amount of graphics horsepower, the company has touted compatibility with 4K displays, resulting in a resolution of 11520×2160, effctively 1080p x 12. Prepare to open that wallet wide."
Link to Original Source

+ - Getting Out from Under the Microsoft Surface

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Microsoft has been making a lot of weird moves lately, but the strangest of all has been its release (and now re-release) of the Surface tablet. With Steve Ballmer now out of lives, Techgage takes a look at his strange vision of Microsoft’s future, how it has affected the company, and why it was doomed from the start."

+ - EU Committee Votes to Make All Smartphone Vendors Utilize a Standard Charger

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "The EU has been known to make a lot of odd decisions when it comes to tech, but one committee's latest vote is one that most people will likely agree with: Standardized smartphone chargers. If passed, this decision would cut down on never having the right charger handy, but as far as the EU is concerned, this is all about a reduction of waste. The initial vote went down on Thursday, and given its market saturation, it seems likely that micro USB would be the target standard. Now, it's a matter of waiting on the EU Parliament to make its vote."

+ - GTA V Proves a Lot of Parents Still Ignore or Don't Care About ESRB Ratings

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Grand Theft Auto V has proven itself to be GOTY material, and has even managed to break a sales record already. But aside from that, the game has also become one of the most "adult" oriented games ever released, with torture, drug use and sex prevalent not long after beginning the game. Many would believe that such things would deter most parents from picking the game up for their young children — but not so. In an anonymous editorial at Kotaku written by a video game store employee, it's being said that out of the ~1,000 copies sold in the first week, at least 10% of them went to parents accompanied by a child. Clearly, this could be interpreted as a problem. Techgage adds that this is one of the biggest problems facing gaming today. In one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and in the next, they're saying "thanks" at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids. While ESRB ratings and other warnings about violent games for kids have good reason to exist, there are still many who ignore them, aren't aware to them, or simply don't care about their warnings."

+ - Valve Announces Family Sharing on Steam, Can Include Friends->

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Valve has today announced its next attempt at a console-killer with “Family Sharing”, a feature that will allow you to share your Steam library with family, and close friends. This almost seems too good to be true, and while there are caveats, this is going to be huge, and Valve knows it. As Techgage notes, with it you can share nearly your entire Steam library with family or friends, allowing them to earn their own achievements, and have their own saved games. Given the mammoth collection of games available on Steam, the fact that this feature is becoming a reality is almost as interesting as the feature itself."
Link to Original Source

+ - Have MMOs Become Too Easy?

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "A couple of weeks ago, former World of Warcraft developer Mark Kern asked the question most old-school MMO gamers have been thinking for a while: have MMOs become too easy? He makes a couple of great points, ultimately stating that progression is far too quick, and reaching the max level is the "only sense of accomplishment" nowadays. As Mark is no longer with Blizzard, he isn't afraid to speak up about his concerns, and even goes on to state that with WoW, Blizzard "killed a genre". Techgage expands heavily on Mark's comments and gives specific examples of how MMOs have become easier than ever, and asks whether or not the MMO of old is bound to make a return."

+ - A Look at Addonics' Portable Encryption System: CipherUSB->

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Few would deny that data encryption is important, and it's especially true in the enterprise. However, like many other security measures in business, it's easy to overlook truly effective solutions due to their complexity and lacking ease-of-use (read: those that require training). Addonics' CipherUSB aims to rid this problem by allowing users to carry around a simple USB flash drive that stores the appropriate keys. Plugged in, encrypted files on the machine become accessible. Perhaps the most intriguing part: it can be used to encrypt external storage as well, which plugs directly into the device. If you want to get really fancy, you can even team two CipherUSBs together, requiring both to be used to unlock files. However, as cool as the CipherUSB is, it does carry with it a couple of caveats, which Techgage covers in its review."
Link to Original Source

+ - And the Winner of Next-Gen is: PlayStation 4 (Unless Microsoft Fixes Things)->

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "With both Microsoft and Sony having laid everything out on the table at E3, there’s no better time than the present to peruse it all and see which one comes out ahead. If you've loaded up a Web browser lately, you likely already know the answer. Techgage takes a look at the highlights of the next-gen consoles, and the numerous downfalls that could easily be fixed."
Link to Original Source

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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