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EVGA Celebrates its 13th Anniversary with $70k+ Sweepstakes

EVGA is celebrating its 13th Anniversary and the way we like to do that is by thanking our community and giving away tons of prizes for participating in tons of games. We have so many prizes to giveaway that the list is too long to include here… but they all add up to more than an incredible $70k!

Our 13th Anniversary Grand Prize that will see three lucky winners sent undercover to Florida, USA, for an unforgettable 007 Mission Experience. Each of our Secret Service agents will be swept away in limos, scooped up in helicopters, sent tumbling in stunt planes and thrust through the waves in offshore raceboats.

EA to go 100% Digital, Calls NPD 'Irrelevant'

EA has made a major push into PC digital distribution with Origin, and it seems to be paying off. Analysts have predicted that we're heading toward an all-digital age, and EA intends to speed up the process by actively moving toward that goal itself. "We'll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we'll go in that direction," EA Games president Frank Gibeau said. "Ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future - much like your question about streaming and cloud - we're going to be a 100% digital company, period. It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable." He also noted the problem that many in the industry have pointed out: our only measure of tracking sales numbers is through NPD, which tracks retail sales but has lagged behind on reporting digital numbers. Part of that is probably that the large digital marketplace Steam is reluctant to share its sales data, but it still creates a definite issue of incomplete data. "I think one of the problems with this industry right now is that people tend to look at it like they're looking at an elephant through a straw," he told GI.biz. "They only see a little parts of it and they're not looking at the total picture, right? Between Facebook, social, mobile, free to play on PC, Asia, consoles... it's a vibrant, growing, huge market. An occasional bad report from NPD, which measures a sliver of what's actually happening in gaming gives people an erroneous impression."

Seagate Reinvents Backup for Your Digital Life

Seagate Technology plc., today introduced Backup Plus storage devices – its reinvented consumer storage product family that delivers the easiest setup, one-click backup and the ability to save and share your content on Facebook and Flickr.

Seagate Backup Plus hard drives are newly designed external storage that work interchangeably with both Windows and Apple computers and deliver new features to protect, share and save nearly every aspect of one’s digital life. These products come loaded with the new hassle-free Seagate Dashboard software for one-click local backup making it easier than ever to eliminate excuses or apprehensions about backing up one’s most valuable digital content. Seagate Backup Plus products are the world’s first external hard drives to provide backup for content on social networks, such as Facebook and Flickr. Storing a local duplicate copy of photos from social networks is now as easy as backing up files on your computer. Seagate Backup Plus will provide the peace of mind that every aspect of one’s digital life is safe from loss.

Microsoft, Facebook Announce Patent Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Facebook announced today a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Facebook has agreed to purchase this portion for $550 million in cash.

In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign approximately 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL's remaining patent portfolio, which contains approximately 300 additional patents that were not for sale. As a result of today's agreement, Facebook will obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own.

Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Receives One of World's Highest Technology Honors

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Linux Creator and Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds is a Millennium Technology Prize laureate. This prize, determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world's largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology.

The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for innovations improving the quality of human life and encouraging sustainable development. Universities, research institutions, scientific and engineering academies, and high-tech companies from around the globe make nominations. The International Selection Committee, nominated by TAF Board, reviews the nominations and determines the year's laureates. The Board makes the final decision on who will be the recipients of the prize, which is together established by Finnish industry and state.

NVIDIA Teases Upcoming Product

NVIDIA teased what could be an upcoming product on its Facebook page. The teaser picture shows a black surface with NVIDIA "eye" logo etched onto it, and a caption that reads "It's Coming". Speculation is rife, on what that could be. Our own guess is that that's a graphics card pictured with the top of its cooler facing upwards, and rear panel bracket facing forwards (one could see what look like the exhaust vents). Could this be the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690, or something entirely different? We know for one that this most definitely has something to do with the GeForce brand (and not other brands such as Tegra, Tesla, Quadro, etc.,) since it was posted on the NVIDIA GeForce Facebook page.


Source: NVIDIA GeForce Facebook Page

SteelSeries Design by Gamers Campaign Continues

Today, SteelSeries, the leading global manufacturer of competitive gaming peripherals announced that this weekend during the Major League Gaming (MLG) Winter Championship in Columbus, Ohio, attendees and professional players will have an opportunity to provide feedback about the mouse, mousepad and keyboard designs for the upcoming SteelSeries and MLG co-branded products.

“We introduced the SteelSeries Design by Gamers campaign in 2011 by asking our large Facebook community which mouse design they preferred; and as a direct result of this feedback, we released the black and orange SteelSeries Kana Mouse. We are taking that concept to the next level together with Major League Gaming,” said SteelSeries CMO, Kim Rom. “MLG Winter Championship attendees will be asked what features, functionality and designs they prefer. What better way to understand exactly what the MLG gamers, audience and fans want out of their peripherals than by asking them first hand?”

Cooler Master Announces March Madness 2012

Cooler Master, an industry leading chassis, thermal solution, peripheral, and accessory manufacturer today announced the beginning of the ultimate March Madness sales event.

Just as March Madness brings about exciting new match-ups between the finest players in college basketball, Cooler Master’s HAF Time Showdown unveils never before seen deals that will border on madness all throughout the month of March. Get some of the best parts for a computer build by following our deals.

Facebook Files $5 Billion IPO, Values it at Nearly $100 Billion

Facebook Inc., has finally filed to go public with its IPO, with plans to raise US $5 billion, according to a figure used to calculate the registration fee. The company seeks to trade under the ticker symbol "FB", although it did not list an exchange. It is speculated by those close to the company that Facebook is aiming at a far greater offering that will value to the company close to $100 billion. Facebook also provided some interesting stats about its operations in its filing. The EDGAR filing documents can be accessed here.

Source: Engadget

World IPv6 Launch Solidifies Global Support for New Internet Protocol

Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012.

Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the successful one-day World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet’s continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development.

Big Dollars Not Enough? SOPA Support Continues To Wither Away

The draconian internet censorship bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) being lobbied for by wealthy big media corporations (mostly fronted by the RIAA/MPAA, News Corporation and the like) and currently being debated in Congress is still losing support wherever one turns. A week ago, we reported that GoDaddy initially supported it, but soon changed its mind as it immediately began to haemorrhage customers. Now, it turns out that many video games companies are also coming out against it and with no pressure against them required.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the game industry's trade association and stands firmly behind the much-despised bill, which means that the gaming industry as a whole is deemed to support SOPA. However, while some members openly support it, others just won't say so publically and some of its members actively do not support it, having made official statements to this effect. Here are just three of them:

Majority of Facebook Attacks Feed Fraudulent Affiliate Marketing Sites: Commtouch

Commtouch (NASDAQ: CTCH) today published an in-depth analysis of 2011 Facebook attacks within its Internet Threats Trend Report, a year-end synopsis of Internet threats. The report and infographic present a comprehensive analysis of scores of malicious Facebook activities during the past year, as identified by Commtouch Labs. Affiliate marketing sites are the final destination in three-fourths of all Facebook deceptions, according to the report. Visitors to these sites are induced to fill out surveys that generate affiliate payments for the scammers, victimizing legitimate businesses that pay affiliate fees.

Users are induced to click on the scams through social engineering tactics such as free merchandise offers, celebrity news, new (fake) Facebook applications, or simply a trusted friend sending a message stating: “You have to see this!” After users first click on the scams, malware or malicious scripts are to blame for the further spread of slightly over half the analyzed scams, with those falling into three main categories: likejacking, rogue applications, and malware or “self-XSS,” each of which is described in the report.

Cornered Indian Ruling Party Proposes Internet and Social Media Censorship à-la China

India's United Progressive Alliance government is mulling censorship of the internet à-la China, to filter out any content that speaks against members of the ruling party. India's multi-partisan democracy is increasingly making use of the web as a medium of political discourse and exchange, something that only works to make voters more informed. Union minister of IT and Telecommunications Kapil Sibal kicked off a storm this week when he announced that he is in talks with representatives of search engines and social networking websites, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Microsoft to work out a censorship model that filters content that "unfairly maligns" the government. Apart from anti-government content, the government is concerned about hateful or "blasphemous" content, which could disturb communal harmony. "Some of the content which is being carried is blasphemous. This can hurt religious sentiments and it has to be removed," Sibal said.

Google, fresh out of a censorship and GMail espionage tussle with China, stated that it will not remove any content from its search results that are legal, merely on grounds of being "controversial". "We work really hard to both follow the law and also give people as much access to information as we can. So we follow the law when it comes to illegal content. And even where content is legal but breaks our own terms and conditions we take that down too, once we've been notified about it," said Google in a statement. "When content is legal but controversial we don't remove it because people's differing views should be respected, so long as they are legal."

Battlefield 3: Massive PC Only Update Released

It looks like developer DICE has been doing a lot of listening to its customers, as the large number of complaints over in-game glitches has produced an almighty patch, fixing just about everything, including the kitchen sink, while making lots of little tweaks to improve gameplay and the user interface. On top of that, the patch is PC only for now as the console versions are taking "a bit longer due to [the] console certification process".

Bugfixes include such goodies as a "Black Screen" fix for an issue occurring on some PC Configurations; spawn protection improvements; increasing the damage from the 44 Magnum slightly; sharing your profile and stats with new Battlelog functionality; profile integration with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and lots more. The full list appears below.

DisplayLink Chip Powers Japan’s First USB 3.0 Graphics Adapter from I-O DATA

DisplayLink, the leading provider of technology for virtual and USB-connected computing, and I-O DATA DEVICE (www.iodata.com) today announced the availability of the I-O DATA USB-RGB3/D USB 3.0 to DVI display adapter. Incorporating the DisplayLink DL-3100 chip for connectivity and virtual graphics, it is the first USB 3.0 enabled display adapter to ship in Japan.

"And this is as true in Japan as any other technology-embracing market."

Featuring the robust DisplayLink 3.0 video compression and support for resolutions up to 2048 x 1152, including 1080p, even the newest notebooks, netbooks and PCs can enjoy the benefits of multi-screen computing. And with the throughput of SuperSpeed USB 3.0, those monitors will display high-performance, full-screen HD video, 3D games, rich 2D graphics and multi-channel audio.

Hot Property: Stolen Razer Blade Prototype Laptops

Razer, maker of high performance gaming gear, has reported that two of their prototype gaming laptops were stolen on the weekend of 4th November from their Bay Area R&D lab. Looking at the basic specs of the laptop, one can see why they were so attractive to thieves: Intel Core i7 2640M Processor (2.80 GHz), 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Memory, 17.3" LED Backlit Display (1920 x 1080 pixels) & NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M with NVIDIA Optimus Technology and 2 GB Dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory and of course the styling. The outfit is understandably miffed about this and have announced the theft on their Facebook page:

Walled Garden Outfit Valve Accuses Apple Of Operating A Walled Garden

You've got to laugh at the hypocrisy of big companies sometimes. It's a well known fact that Apple operates a very closed and controlling walled garden eco system with all of their products, courtesy of the late Steve Jobs. Examples include the iPhone, which can only purchase apps from the official Apple apps store and the iPod, which can also only sync with iTunes, both due to deliberate vendor lock-in using a combination of hardware and software DRM (Digital Restrictions Management). Apple claims that this is to ensure a seamless, consistent and high quality user experience. Savvy users know this to be only half the story, instead it's there to shut out competition and lock you in to Apple for everything in order to charge high prices for allegedly "premium" product. The only way to avoid this, is to jailbreak the devices (break the DRM) which conveniently (for Apple) voids the warranty on these expensive gadgets. Thankfully, this process is no longer underground, due to a recent court ruling that said jailbreaking was legal, much to Apple's displeasure.

However, the equally closed Valve, with their Steam gaming platform and it's account-based DRM has accused Apple of being a closed system! They are also "concerned" about it. This happened in an interview between Bellevue-based Valve's Gabe Newell and leading games investor Ed Fries at the WTIA TechNW conference. This has been reported in The Seattle Times in Brier Dudley's blog.

Got A Virus? It's Your Fault Says Microsoft

Yes, that's right the maker of notoriously vulnerable software is now blaming you, the user, should you get a virus, trojan or other malware infection on your Windows computer. However, it does look like they have some justification for saying this. For those with long attention spans, Microsoft have just released their 168 page Microsoft Security Intelligence Report 6MB PDF, with the stated aim of providing:
An in-depth perspective on software vulnerabilities and exploits, malicious code threats, and potentially unwanted software in the first half of 2011
The first thing to note about the report is that it is limited to its Malicious Software Removal Tool and Microsoft's other anti-malware products. Zero-day attacks that it can't detect are not included in the findings. So, surely it can't all be the user's fault then? It also means that the security angles from third party security vendors such as Kaspersky, Norton and McAfee aren't represented here.

Western Digital Announces WD TV Live Streaming Media Player With Spotify Capability

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV media player family, today introduced the next generation of its WD TV Live streaming media player, an easy to use Wi-Fi enabled media player that is the first in its category to deliver the Spotify music service.

WD TV Live features WD's newest intuitive user interface that delivers the latest hit movies, TV shows, music and online services from companies like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Blockbuster directly to your TV. The new streaming media player connects to the Internet wirelessly or through an Ethernet connection, with the high performance 802.11n wireless connectivity supporting Full-HD 1080p video resolution.

New Roxio Game Capture Products from Rovi Let You Share Your A-Game

Rovi Corporation today unveiled Roxio Game Capture and Roxio PC Game Capture, two affordably priced products that offer a straightforward way for gamers to quickly and easily capture and share PC and console game play videos.

In-product tutorials help everyone get set up quickly and immediately begin to capture and showcase their latest campaigns, adventures, ball skills, and race sequences. Gamers may use the products to post their high scores, tips & tricks, game reviews, or even a feature-length movie, or Machinima, based on game play footage. See the products in action here.

ASRock Designs LGA1156 Motherboard Based on Intel P67 Chipset

ASRock is known to mix and match sockets and chipsets to come up with some interesting hybrids that give users access to latest features offered by the chipset. A recent example of this is a socket 939 motherboard based on the AMD 785G chipset (read here), which gives users of socket-939 Athlons access to a fast IGP and PCI-Express 2.0. The company's latest such innovation is the P67 Transformer. This is a socket LGA1156 motherboard, it supports existing Core i5/Core i7 "Lynnfield", and Core i3/Core i5 "Clarkdale" processors, but is based on the Intel P67 Express chipset. The board gives users access to some advanced features of the P67 chipset, but won't support LGA1155 processors.

So what's in it for you? Well, the P67 PCH embeds a PCI-Express 2.0 hub compared to P55/H55, which pack an older PCI-Express 1.1 hub. The older hub is known to heavily bottleneck devices such as USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers that use only a single PCI-E lane (since PCI-E 1.1 has 250 MB/s per direction bandwidth, compared to 500 MB/s on the PCI-E 2.0). So significant is this bottleneck, that some motherboard designers even used bridge chips that convert the P55's PCI-E 1.1 x4 port to two PCI-E 2.0 x1, for USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers. The PCI-E x16 slots however, are wired to the processor and are Gen 2. ASRock's board hence gives you two USB 3.0 and two SATA 6 Gb/s with an alleviated bus bottleneck.

Dell Redefines Home Entertainment with New Inspiron Family

Delivering on its promise to offer the best in next-generation entertainment, Dell has added to its award-winning Inspiron family a new Inspiron all-in-one desktop and a new Inspiron Zino HD offering the best home-theater capabilities in its class. At the center of the new lineup is the Inspiron One, with features that set it apart from other all-in-one PCs including: a full HD 23-inch LED-backlit LCD; an optional quad-core processor that zips through web surfing, movie watching, family photo album creation, video chats and more. It has a host of audio/visual inputs that instantly transform the PC into a TV, perfect for student dorm rooms and family settings. And it also offers a new Dell-designed intuitive user interface called Stage, which delivers one-touch access to favorite content, like music, photos and videos, and applications.

HP Advances the Touch Experience for Consumers and Businesses

Introducing a more personal, intuitive and entertaining computing experience for consumers, HP today unveiled the sleekly appealing HP TouchSmart310 PC, which features the most advanced version of the company’s exclusive TouchSmart software to date. The company also announced the HP TouchSmart Apps Center for one-touch access to free and subscription-based applications, as well as the HP Omni100, which offers the performance users demand from a tower and monitor in an all-in- one design.

HP also is helping businesses make touch an integral part of the customer experience through relationships with American Airlines, ESPN and the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers. "Each generation of TouchSmart is a reflection of what HP has learned from its customers, complemented by the latest technologies," said James Mouton, senior vice president, Desktop Organization, Personal Systems Group, HP. "The TouchSmart PC's unique interface lets users do more than just basic computing – it acts as the anchor of one's digital lifestyle, encouraging creativity, organization and a truly immersive experience."

iBUYPOWER Redesigns Liquid Cooled Paladin XLC Line with NZXT Phantom Chassis

iBUYPOWER, a leading innovator in gaming PCs, is excited to announce the new super-cooled Paladin XLC, featuring an all-new exclusive Red Phantom chassis. The newest edition to XLC (Extreme Liquid Cooling) line features an Intel Core i7 Processor cooled by Asetek’s maintenance free 240 mm large radiator liquid cooling system. This combination allows the Paladin XLC to run cool and stable even when it's overclocked to its limits.

"Our XLC line systems are designed to be pushed to their edge and demand advanced cooling solutions like the Asetek dual radiator and sophisticated cases like the Phantom, with its extensive cooling options," said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBUYPOWER. "We put each XLC system through extensive stability testing prior to shipping to ensure the highest performance possible."

Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 14 and Thinkpad Edge 15 Ship This Week

Lenovo today announced it is sharpening its focus on small to medium businesses (SMB) from top to bottom, beginning with the introduction of new products like the ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 inch laptops. Designed for style and sophistication, select models offer an elegant backlit keyboard. The ThinkPad Edge laptops are already powering innovative SMBs like the Cupcake Stop in New York City. Lenovo also announced today the debut of new attention-grabbing worldwide ads showcasing the imagination, engineering and proven ability of Think-branded PC products.

"We're creating a full SMB program, starting with products like the ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 inch laptops," said Jerry Paradise, director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. "We have seen strong demand already for the ThinkPad Edge 13 inch, and we'll continue to expand the ThinkPad Edge lineup going forward, extending the same leadership in innovation, quality and reliability in SMB that we're known for with large enterprise customers."
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