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Saturday October 25, 2014

Microsoft Is Killing Xbox Music’s Free Music Streaming

Microsoft has served notice that it will be shutting down its free version of the Xbox Music streaming service as of December 1st. The music service will continue on as a paid subscription.

With Xbox Music Pass, you have access to millions of songs on your PC, tablet, Xbox, phone, and the web.

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First Trailer for Ridley Scott's 'Halo' Series Full of Sci-Fi Tropes

Halo: Nightfall, a five episode live action series produced by Ridley Scott (Aliens, Blade Runner) is set to be released on November 11th as part of the Master Chief Collection. Microsoft has released the full trailer this week as a promotion and to introduce you to a brand new character.

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Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook

If you are a fan of Stephen Hawking, you can now follow him on his new Facebook page. He will be sharing his insight into the universe with all to see on his page and it’s a sure bet his presence on Facebook will not hurt his upcoming biopic release one little bit. big grin

Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit. Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I’m eager to share this journey with you.

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PS4 Update 2.0 Available Next Week

Last week we told you about the upcoming PS4 update in detail, leaving out the answer to one important question: When will it be available? Sony has finally filled in the last detail for Masamune, the codename for firmware update, version 2.0.

Masamune will also bring with it the long-awaited Share Play feature. Share Play will create an online local co-op experience by allowing you to invite a friend to join your game, even when they don’t own a copy of it.

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AMD APU Price Cuts and Bundles for October

Price cuts galore: AMD is dealing! AMD has announced price cuts in many of their APU products, averaging $20-$30 off and will soon be reflected in the pricing at AMD retailers.

Besides the price drops, AMD is also announcing a gaming bundle through the end of October for their A10 APUs.

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Apple Computer Built by The Woz Sells for $905K

I always wondered that when Steve Wozniak was building those crude piecemeal Apple-1 computers in Steve Jobs family garage, did he ever think they would be worth more than the going price for them in 1976? Even if he did, it’s doubtful that he ever envisioned one of them going for the record price of $905K and ending up in the Henry Ford Museum.

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Roku Could File for IPO Soon, Raise as Much as $150 Million

Roku, the little box and dongle that has been a savior to the cord-cutters and a curse on cable companies, looks to be posturing to go the IPO route in the near future according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Roku is facing increased competition from Google and Amazon, and it will have to prove to investors that the company can still grow its traditional device business, and score in the TV space, even as it competes with Chromecast, Fire TV and Android TV.

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Surface Pro 2 Quietly Disappears from the Microsoft Store

Microsoft has turned its stores into magical places and the sales representatives into magicians this week, giving them all the ability to make the Surface Pro 2 disappear completely. eek!

After poking around a bit and using the sales chat function, the representative said that the Surface Pro 2 is no longer for sale on the site and that's about all there is to say.

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'Titanfall' to Add New Co-Op Game Mode

Respawn Entertainment announced the release of a new co-operative mode for Titanfall this week called Frontier Defense. Calling this the biggest update so far, it will allow four players to work together against A.I. opponents. Check out the video for a complete walkthrough. cool

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Court Shuts Down Aereo’s Live TV Feature

Broadcasters 1, Aereo Zip. In what could be Aereo’s final attempt at using the Supreme Court’s decision to its advantage, Aereo has been barred by a federal judge from rebroadcasting over-the-air live programming.

The court ordered that Aereo be forbidden from streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any Copyrighted Program over the Internet or by means of any device or process throughout the United States of America, while the Copyrighted Programming is still being broadcast.

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Paul Allen Pledges $100 Million in Fight Against Ebola

Bill Gates is not the only big time philanthropist in the Microsoft organization. Responding to the Ebola crisis in Africa, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has donated a whopping $100 Million dollars to treat and stop the disease from spreading.

Allen's pledge far surpasses the amount of money that has been raised by a United Nations fund to fight Ebola set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which last week totaled only $100,000.

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Friday October 24, 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 Corsair HX1000i 1000W power supply, followed by our XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition video card review. Finally, we wrapped up the week with a look at the SilverStone Fortress FT05.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: AZZA XT 1W Full-Tower @ BCC Hardware

Fractal Design Core 2500 @ ocaholic

Cooling: Cooler Master Nepton 280L @ Legit Reviews

ETC.: Takstar HD5500 Headphones @ techPowerUP!

Motherboards: Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5 @ eTeknix

Storage: Thecus N2310 NAS @ APH Networks

In Win D-Frame Mini

If you like the looks of the original D-Frame (our review here) but want a much smaller footprint, this review of the In Win D-Frame Mini should be right up your alley.

Of all the weird and wonderful cases we saw in 2013, In Win's D-Frame remains most memorable. The D-Frame Mini takes the original design and shrinks it down to accommodate the now popular Mini-ITX form factor. Despite the reduction in size the case can now support cooling radiators and models as large as 240mm, the graphics card length has been extended from 330mm to 340mm, and the chassis can rest on one of six sides rather than just two.

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Windows Update Drivers Bricking USB Serial Chips

What's the easiest way to tell if you have counterfeit chips in your computer? Use Windows Update. wink

Hardware hackers building interactive gadgets based on the Arduino microcontrollers are finding that a recent driver update that Microsoft deployed over Windows Update has bricked some of their hardware, leaving it inaccessible to most software both on Windows and Linux.

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Intel X99 Motherboard Goes Up in Smoke

As a computer enthusiast, I can honestly say there is nothing worse than this smell. Nothing good has ever immediately followed the smell of burnt electronics. frown

This morning I woke up bright and early to benchmark some DDR4 memory kits and found myself waking up not to Folgers in your cup, but the smell of burnt electrical after loading the XMP profiles on a memory kit and restarting the system. Let me tell you what happened, the best I can.

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Will Destiny Survive CoD And Halo?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and the next installment in the CoD franchise are going to kick Destiny in its MMO-wannabe nuts....hard.

The Master Chief collection brings with it time-tested PVP with far more customization options, Call of Duty brings with it a fresh take on a game with a well-established fan base, and Far Cry 4 brings with it strong, varied single player. All of them will almost definitely have campaigns that make Destiny’s samey slog look foolish.

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Google Senior VP Falls 26 Miles, Lives To Tell The Tale

It looks like a new world record has been set for falling from really high places.

A well-known computer scientist parachuted from a balloon near the top of the stratosphere on Friday, falling faster than the speed of sound and breaking the world altitude record set just two years ago. The jump was made by Alan Eustace, 57, a senior vice president at Google. At dawn he was lifted by a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium, from an abandoned runway at the airport here.

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Quantum Break Demo Walkthrough

Those of you looking forward Quantum Break should check out this sixteen minute gameplay video posted today by the folks at Remedy Entertainment.

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Video Game Developers: What To Do When You Are Laid Off

GameDevTalk has a handy check list of things you should know and things you should do if you've been laid off from your job in the game industry.

I’ve been working as an animator since 1998, and I’ve been laid off from studios of all sizes. I’ve even done some layoffs of my own. I’m still standing and still making games. There’s life after layoff. What do you do if you’re on receiving end of a layoff? Don’t freak out! It’s a very common thing in the videogame industry, much too common.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

League of Legends Tops MMO Revenue List @ Joystiq

Outlast 2 Plans Revealed @ Blue's News

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Opening Cinematic @ Shacknews

Xbox One Quantum Break Footage @ VG24/7

SilverStone Fortress FT05

We have just posted our evaluation of the SilverStone Fortress FT05. If you are in the market for a new enclosure, you definitely do not want to miss this review.

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The SilverStone Fortress FT05 is a different take on it successful Raven RV05. SilverStone has gotten rid of the 5.25" drive bays and once again rotated the motherboard 90 degrees so that the IO panel points toward the sky. These two things done in tandem allow SilverStone to produce a much better engineered ATX case.

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Why Is This Kickstarter Tanking?

I don't know, maybe people are just a little burned out on Kickstarter right now?

The Black Glove sounds like a game we’d love to play: A surreal first-person adventure from some of the people who made BioShock. But its Kickstarter campaign isn’t working out. Even though it’s had a great deal of publicity, it’s only raised about 20 percent of its $550,000 fundraising goal.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Cooltek Coolcube Maxi @ ocaholic

Cooling: Deepcool Maelstrom 240 @ Neoseeker

ETC.: Corsair Gaming M65 RGB @ HT4U

Motherboards: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ @ BmR

MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux @ Phoronix

PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 750W @ eTeknix

Cooler Master Nepton 280L

You guys should head on over to Legit Reviews this afternoon and give this review of the Cooler Master Nepton 280L the once over.

Closed-loop (All-in-One) CPU water coolers seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but they’re far from identical to each other. Each cooler will serve its purpose, whether you’re cooling an HTPC or your monster gaming rig. AIO coolers become the ultimate cooling solution to those who want to toy with their system, or just cool it more efficiently than what air can, but don’t really want to mess around with building a custom water cooling loop.

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Sexually Attractive Male Heroes In Games

I guess this is a new twist on the tired, worn out, beat to death topic of sexually attractive game characters.

He is unlikely to be treated as a sexual object with no agency or mind of his own, as many sexy woman game characters are. Wei Shen, like other attractive male protagonists, can be a good looking guy who kicks ass, gets the job done, and never appears to be weak.

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Personal Info Of 850k Oregon Jobseekers Potentially Compromised

Because being unemployed isn't hard enough, the Oregon Employment Department thinks you need to be a victim of identity theft too. frown

The Oregon Employment Department received an anonymous tip about the existence of the vulnerability and, according to Ken Westin, they reacted by taking down the system on Monday in order to patch it.

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Proof That U.S. Broadband Speeds Are SUPERFANTASTIC!

The cable industry is trying hard to convince everyone that broadband speeds in the U.S. are just peachy and getting better every day. roll eyes (sarcastic)

Once again, the latest survey of the current state of broadband around the globe [PDF] shows that, while improving, the U.S. still lags behind other developed countries, like South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Latvia, and Romania in average broadband speeds and access to decent Internet. But leave it to the cable industry to try to convince America that everything is A-OK, and to try to do so without mentioning that this message is being brought to you by the cable industry.

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Amazon Losses Widen As It Braces For Rocky Holiday Quarter

Not only did Amazon post a larger than expected 3Q loss, the company says its fourth quarter earnings won't be much better.

The company on Thursday posted a third-quarter loss of $437 million, or 95 cents a share, and revenue of $20.58 billion, falling short of analysts' average forecast of a loss of 74 cents a share with $20.84 billion in revenue. More importantly, the company said it expects sales between $27.3 billion and $30.3 billion for the critical fourth quarter, which also misses Wall Street's forecast of $30.89 billion.

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