Tech News

  • Titanfall has no Single Player Campaign?

    As far as games go I'm rather excited for the new Titanfall.  It not only brings a new element to the multiplayer experience but is from a "new" game company that hasn't been corrupted by making loads of money making crap games.  (oh wait)

    I signed up for the Titanfall beta and even gave away a couple extra keys and was generally impressed with the game and planned on buying the title.  That is until I discovered they wanted $60 USD for an online only multiplayer game without a single player campaign.

    Some have bothered to ask "why?" and here is their response.

    Respawn's Vince Zampella has explained why the upcoming Titanfall won't have a traditional single-player campaign.

    Speaking to GamesIndustry, the former Infinity Ward co-founder explained that the decision was partly made due to Respawn being "a small startup studio" consisting of just "60-some developers."

    "We make these single-player missions that take up all the focus of the studio, that take a huge team six months to make, and players run through it in 8 minutes," he said. "And how many people finish the single-player game? It's a small percentage. It's like, everyone plays through the first level, but 5 percent of people finish the game.

    Doh!, it would seem that game developers have finally figured out that nobody plays a tacked on and poorly developed single player campaign so why bother doing something half-assed when you can simply not do it at all.

    I can't speak for everyone but I personally judge a game on its single player story and use that as a deciding factor if I want to engage the mulitplayer aspect. or flame the game entirely.  As it turns out I won't get that chance, nor am I going drop $60 USD on a multiplayer title.

  • Mionix Avior 7000 and Naos 7000 Review – Same, But Different @ Techgage

    Who knew you could start a mouse review quoting how car companies copy each other.  From what I gathered the Avior 7000 and Naos 7000 are clones of each other or a clones of some other mouse.  Based on visual styling my money is on Razor since a "same company" clone wouldn't warrant an intro calling out how an Audi R8 is like a Lamborghini Gallardo wearing a German suit.  (albeit it was rather funny)

    Read the article to see if I'm correct.

    Mionix sent us two of its latest mice, the Avior 7000 and the near-identically equipped Naos 7000. They share basically the same design and internal components; the biggest difference is in form factor. As you might imagine, we’re taking a close look at both to try to see how good they stack up to each other, and the competition.

    I have to admit, I do like the lights and the software seems good.

  • Mozilla Gives Up on Metro Firefox

    This has been a really big story across the web and can be taken one of two ways. 
    1) Users of Windows 8 hate beta software and/or dislike Firefox,
    2) Users of Firefox hate Windows 8 and find the desktop environment more productive.

    Either way Mozilla has decided to stop production of the Modern UI version of Firefox so their money can be better spent on something the Internet public may actually use.

    Mozilla, maker of the Firefox Web browser, announced on Friday that it was pulling the plug on its development of Firefox for Metro—a version of the popular browser built specifically for Windows 8’s touch-screen user interface. The reason? Nobody was using the beta version of the software, which Mozilla had been working on since 2012.

    Instead, developers and public users are sticking with the classic Windows desktop version of Firefox.

    The article goes on to cite that millions of people have been testing pre-release versions of the Firefox browser but less than 1,000 daily users are doing so in the Metro environment.  Those are some startling numbers.  

    If you check out the WSJ article be sure to read the part about "other" browsers for Modern UI.


  • Killing Windows XP Wastes Billions @ PC Magazine

    In the PC world there is an issue with supply and demand.  Right now the supply is too high and demand is low.  You might ask, "Why is demand so low?" and when you do you would get a different answer from each person you ask.

    I suspect that an early success of Windows XP is partially to blame followed by extremely robust processor options from Intel/AMD.  That combo created a PC platform that doesn't break down, rarely wears out and is powerful enough to run anything the modern world needs.

    Of course there are replacement options, you can buy a new computer and get a shiny new operating system or be forced to upgrade because a game you want to play requires new technology but, that is at the end user level and only a small factor of the entire picture.

    Microsoft is too dumb to realize that it can effortlessly monetize Windows XP using the beloved software subscription/rental scheme the company keeps discussing, but apparently has nothing but trouble trying to implement.

    I am going to describe a multi-billion dollar idea that Microsoft must consider.

    There are still approximately 500 million XP users—an estimated 29 percent of the computers in the world. Many do not want to upgrade to anything new. They are happy campers.

    This article on PC Magazine is quite good and takes the approach that Microsoft shouldn't abandon Windows XP but rather embrace the user base and offer a paid subscription to keep OS updates in place.  I happen to agree but there are a number of factors against this.

    1) Most of the people still using Windows XP, either don't have a valid license or refused to update the OS.
    2) Microsoft makes its money selling "new" products and part of that is offering "free" updates after the fact.  Yes you can pay to call support but OS updates remain free
    3) Microsoft knew that people wouldn't upgrade which is why back in the NT4 days they said that no new functionality would be released in a service pack.  That forces an upgrade cycle and ensures sales for everyone.

    The real crux is, people like being productive and being forced to learn something new and having to pay a lot of money for the opportunity is not being productive.  I really doubt MS cutting off support for Windows XP will stop the world but may cause some issues 3 years from now.  

  • Overclocking Week-End at LANETS with der8auer

    Live overclocking demonstrations happen almost every day and some of them are even in front of people or, in this case over a 1000!  Feb 28th - March 2nd was the annual LAN ETS lanparty held in sunny Montreal Canada.  The event is claimed to be the largest lanparty in Canada. 

    It would have been nice to see it in person. 

    The Extreme Overclocking Show was in collaboration with CORSAIR and Intel and we had a lot of fun on the CORSAIR booth as well as on the main stage during the complete Week end.

    was spending the week-end and the week following the event here in the cold Montreal while Trouffman was managing another platform and the live with the help of Redmax.

    While we had a lot of hardware, we were aiming at having the most fun and interesting score with the hardware we both had and were provided for the event. Even tho, Roman’s Golden 4670K CPU, and his zombified GTX570 made a good destruction of the ranking on that card. Securing a bunch of GTX 570 WR on Hwbot.

    The plan was for me to be at LAN ETS but due to scheduling conflicts I wasn't able to make it.  Instead was the voice of their channel and overall I think the format of their livestream will be a template for future events.

    If this is any indication of the success we had, on average, 400+ viewers watching the entire overclocking show with a peak viewer count of over 2000.  There might be hope for live overclocking yet!

  • Standby for Titanfall

    */ end transmission

  • ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC review @ Guru3D

    I don't think there is enough gold on video cards these days and just to make sure Asus has added even more. Sadly it isn't "real' gold but more of a dirty mustard colored paint/sticker combo but, at least the card matches the board.

    Join us, as we review the ASUS GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC edition. The customized product is equipped with the ASUS popular DirectCU cooler armed with two fans. It remains to be quiet and keeps temperatures at roughly 70 Degrees C. ASUS clocked this product for you towards 954 MHz on the GPU core, that means it can boost towards 1020 MHz on all of the unlocked 2880 Shader processors available.

    The ASUS GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC Edition is a really nice card but is based on the reference design PCB and is using a new style cooler that is also making an appearance on the Matrix cards due out later this year.

  • Behold Arscoin the Custom Coin of ArsTechnica

    This seems like a pretty good idea, though what is their actual return on investment?? 

    The existing Bitcoin community has an inherent distrust of many altcoins. Bitcoin forums are replete with discussions of “pump and dump” scams, where the originators of a new altcoin might “pre-mine” coins, release their currency to the general public, and market their hot new cryptocurrency hard in order to drive the price up. Then the creators simply sell off their coins at a profit and walk away. It’s one of the oldest financial tricks in the book.

    Pump and Dump, sounds like a good Saturday night.  Seriously though, most "get rich quick" people see these alternative coins as a way to get on top of the pyramid this time.  They can mine for some easy coins and sell them off when the value goes up. 

    Its basically farming penny stocks in the digital world using your high-end gaming PC instead of playing Borderlands or Titanfall.

    The sad thing is, Bitcoin is the only semi-legit cryptocurrency so most of these people mine the alternative coins only to trade the value for existing Bitcoin.  Then assuming the Bitcoin exchanges stay afloat you can sell them for real money so you can buy real stuff.

  • Asus ROG Matrix R9290X and Matrix GTX780Ti

    You all knew this was going to happen and I wonder why it didn't happen sooner. 

    It would appear that ASUS has been pulling an EVGA and teased the release of their new ROG Matrix video cards until finally revealing an entire set of photos.

    Both of ASUS' cards make use of a custom PCB and come equipped with a dual-slot cooler featuring two fans (one of which is a CoolTech fan), and a black nickel-plated heatsink boasting five direct contact copper heatpipes. The upcoming MATRIX models also have dual 8-pin power connectors, a 14-phase DIGI+ VRM, a backplate, dual-DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and OC-oriented additions like the LN2 Mode Switch.

    ASUS has always been keen on incuding the LN2 Mode switch which does something with the low level hardware.  Chances are on the video card it is just an alternative BIOS.  The cards look great and they extended the PCB to accomidate the 14-phase VRM but didn't bother making the card square.  As a result you have a strange looking backplate and even stranger looking PCB with an entire section with nothing on it.

    Despite the coolness of this card there is very little chance that I will get one for review but, that won't keep me from trying. happy smile

  • Use Your Borderlands 2 Golden Keys!?!

    For those of you who have played Borderlands 2 there is a chance you have seen the Mysterious Golden Chest in Sanctuary.  As you are progressing thru the game it becomes difficult to get "good" high level loot making your game progress take longer.  The Golden Chest is a way around that and by spending a Golden Key you are rewarded with a guaranteed purple drop that is level matched to the character who spent the key.

    If you follow Gearbox Software on Facebook or @DuvalMagic (Randy Pitchford) on Twitter you will get a chance at getting more Golden Keys.  For instance they posted keys for 5 Golden Keys today on twitter with a follow up message.

    Randy Pitchford @DuvalMagic
    WinPC/Mac: KB5TJ-CJB3Z-H6KKT-BB33B-KH33B

    Randy Pitchford @DuvalMagic
    SHiFT codes for five Golden Keys for Borderlands 2 on the way. Use them, don't horde them. Good luck, and happy hunting!

    The ongoing rumor in the community is that every time a Golden Key is spent a snapshot of your player and game data is sent back to Gearbox so they can determine how often you play, what level your character is and what loot you have.  I suspect they can also gauge how popular the game is which might have also been a driving force behind all the DLC they released.

    As listeners of the Hardware Asylum Podcast will know, Darren and I have played a bunch of Borderlands 2, and still play on occasion.  Sadly there comes a time when the loot you have is actually better than what the Golden Chest can provide so you tend to horde the keys figuring that you might use them when you need extra cash or when a playing partner needs a better gun or something.

    Right now I have a total of 186 Golden Keys and stopped spending them when I realized that the purple gear in the chest was rather crappy compared to what I have collected.  I'll continue to collect keys for as long as Randy keeps posting them however, unless they start allowing legendaries and pearls to crop up in the chest the chance that I'll spend them is pretty slim.