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Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Supports AMD Mantle

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, a turn-based strategy game based in the interstellar age, in which you travel to and colonize habitable planets by realpolitik, was announced last weekend, with support for AMD's Mantle API, besides DirectX 11. Mantle should make the game increasingly playable on AMD "Kaveri" APUs with eye-candy cranked up, and at reasonable mainstream resolutions such as 1080p. Mantle reduces the CPU's role in graphics processing, and should benefit APUs. Developer Firaxis announced the game for three PC platforms, Windows, OS X, and Linux (over Steam). Don't add it to your summer bucket-list just yet. It's slated for this fall.
A trailer video follows.

Four Microsoft Security Updates Coming Next Week

This month's Patch Tuesday (the last one for Windows XP and Office 2003) will see Microsoft roll out four fresh security updates, two rated Critical and two rated Important, targeting remote code execution vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. One of the updates is set to resolve a Word bug that was made public last week (on March 24th) and is known to have been exploited in 'limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010'.

The April patches will be made available next week on April 8th, at about 10:00 a.m. PDT. For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification published here.

Microsoft Showcases Latest Updates to Windows

Wednesday at Build 2014, Microsoft Corp.'s developer conference, the company announced several advances to Windows including Windows Phone 8.1, the availability of Windows 8.1 Update, a converged developer platform, and a $0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners developing smartphones and tablets with screens under nine inches.

Microsoft detailed new developer opportunities on the Windows platform with a common platform across devices, a single toolset, a common infrastructure across the Windows and Windows Phone stores, and a clear commitment to interoperability. The announcements highlight Microsoft's continued commitment to its partners and the developer community by maximizing opportunities across the broadest range of devices and services. Also as a part of the conference, Nokia announced three new Lumia smartphones for Windows Phone 8.1, including the flagship Lumia 930, the affordable Lumia 635 and the first dual-SIM Lumia 630.

Valve Runs a Direct3D to OpenGL Translation Layer

Digging through the source code tree of Dota 2, developers discovered Valve's latest creation, ToGL. Simply put, it's a Direct3D to OpenGL translation layer, which works to reduce duplication of effort in developing games for multiple platforms (such as Windows, Linux, and OS X). The software can translate Direct3D calls to their OpenGL analogues. So far, it can translate only certain kinds of calls within the Direct3D 9.0c API, which should fit Valve's needs adequately. It features a bytecode-level HLSL to GLSL shader language translator. It features only a limited shader model 3.0 support. ToGL is currently being provided by Valve as-is on GitHub, and is unsupported. Developers are free to incorporate it into their projects, and make modifications to it.

Source: GitHub

Microsoft Readies Five Patches for Next Week

This coming Tuesday Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. is planning to make available five fresh security updates - two with a 'Critical' rating and three tagged 'Important'. The incoming parches are set to address bugs found in Windows, Internet Explorer and Silverlight.

One of the Critical updates will fix an Internet Explorer issue that has already been acknowledged and was exploited in a 'limited number of attacks'. Additional information about Tuesday's releases can be found in the Security Bulletin Advance Notification published here.

AMD and BlueStacks to Bring New Dual-OS Android Solution to Retail

AMD today at Mobile World Congress announced the retail availability of a new BlueStacks dual-OS Android solution, optimized for AMD APUs, with expected consumer availability in the second half of 2014. The AMD and BlueStacks joint solution brings the complete Google Android OS experience to select Microsoft Windows-based AMD-based tablets, 2-in-1s, notebooks and desktops in select retail stores. The availability in retail stores of the virtualized Android solution, unveiled at CES earlier this year, will allow consumers to easily access both Windows and Android environments, side-by-side, on select AMD-based PCs. The BlueStacks solution will first be made available with several key retail partners across EMEA later this year, including Elkjop Group.

"The ability to span two OS ecosystems gives end-users access to both Windows and Android apps, but the key is providing for the seamless integration of entertainment and productivity across those ecosystems," said Steve Belt, corporate vice president, Product Management, at AMD. "Introducing our solution in retail puts AMD and BlueStacks in a unique position to offer in-store customers the option to include access to this great experience at the time of purchase of their new systems."

Microsoft Readies Five New Patches for Next Week

For this month's Patch Tuesday Microsoft is set to deliver five fresh security update - two with a 'Critical' rating and three tagged 'Important'. According to the Redmond-based company, the incoming updates address vulnerabilities found in Windows operating systems, in Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, and in the .NET Framework.

The patches are set to become available this Tuesday, February 11, at about 10:00 a.m. PST. For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification published here.

Microsoft to Roll Out Four Security Updates Next Week

The first Patch Tuesday of 2014 is less than a week away and it will see Microsoft deliver four updates, all rated 'Important', that tackle vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office, and Dynamics AX.

One of the updates is set to resolve a previously-acknowledged elevation of privilege vulnerability that affects Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and has already seen limited, targeted attacks. The patches will become available this coming Tuesday, January 14, at about 10:00 AM PST.

For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification found here.

AMD and BlueStacks Collaboration Brings Full Android OS Experience to Windows PC

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced a new milestone in their collaboration with BlueStacks, a joint solution that brings the complete Google Android OS experience to Microsoft Windows-based tablets, 2-in-1s, notebooks and desktops. Optimizations for the fourth generation AMD APU in BlueStacks provide a complete, Android user interface and extensive support for Android apps for entertainment and productivity.

"Windows and Android are both mature operating systems, each satisfying the needs of millions of users," said Steve Belt, corporate vice president, Product Management, at AMD. "Users whose devices and preferences span the two ecosystems no longer have to face device-specific restrictions on the benefits of one ecosystem or the other because AMD and BlueStacks have created a seamless user experience between the operating systems. Now users have access to all the apps -- games, communications and content consumption -- they love on their Android mobile devices right at their fingertips, while getting important productivity tasks or high-end PC gaming accomplished on their Windows PC."

New ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Lightest 14 inch Ultrabook in the World

PC computing leader Lenovo today, at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, announced additions to its product portfolio with the third generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the world's lightest 14 inch ultrabook and the ThinkPad 8, a premium 8 inch tablet offering a full PC experience on the move. Lenovo also introduces the new ThinkPad OneLink Dock Pro, an enhanced docking solution through a single cable connector.

"Lenovo continues to push the boundaries of design and technology as we aspire to create the best products in the market. Our obsession in the pursuit of perfection is evident with these smarter devices designed to enhance the way people interact at home and at work," said Peter Hortensius, SVP and president, Think Business Group, Lenovo. "The ThinkPad X1 Carbon delivers a stunning user experience with the best professional display and new interactive methods and represents another step in our PC plus journey."

Eye-Fi's Mobi Magic Now Available on the Desktop

Eye-Fi, the global leader in wireless memory cards, is announcing a beta Windows desktop receiver for the Mobi card. The Eye-Fi Mobi card will now instantly transfer directly to the desktop, extending the simple camera-to-mobile photo and video transfer users love. With pricing yet to be announced, Eye-Fi's new desktop receiver for Windows will be free to all customers during beta and gives Mobi users more choice in where their high-quality photos can be transferred, stored and shared. Mobi users will now have the option to transfer to mobile for on-the-go sharing or to the desktop for greater archiving and editing ability -- all without the hassle of wires or any delay in showing off their best photos whenever and however they want.

"Our customers love the ability to snap great pictures on a camera and instantly share from a phone or tablet, and now we're taking that experience one step further," said Matt DiMaria, CEO of Eye-Fi. "Now we're adding a simple, instant way to transfer to the desktop and make it easy for customers to get their photos on their computers to edit and archive."

Futuremark Posts 3DMark v1.2.250 Update

Futuremark rolled out a major update to its 3DMark (2013) graphics benchmark suite. Version 1.2.250 introduces "Ice Storm Unlimited" to the Windows version, letting you test Ice Storm at its maximum setting, and compare scores with iOS and Android devices. The suite also overhauled its hardware detection, and uses a detection engine developed by TechPowerUp. Hardware monitoring graphs will show clock speeds and temperatures of GPUs and CPUs again.
DOWNLOAD: Futuremark 3DMark v1.2.250

Themis Announces Intel Core i7 NanoPAK Small Form Factor Computer

Themis Computer today announced the Intel Core i7 NanoPAK small form factor computer, the newest member of the Themis Tactical Systems product family. The small, light footprint and powerful performance of the Intel Core i7 NanoPAK make it an ideal solution for rugged commercial and military field applications. The NanoPAK i7 computer integrates an Intel 3rd generation Core i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor with FLASH storage in a small, light footprint that optimizes size, weight, power, and cooling. NanoPAK i7 computers are complete, stand alone systems designed for unmanned vehicles, ground vehicles, man-wearable, shipboard, and other extreme environments, where space, weight, power, and cost (SWAP-C) are critical.

Microsoft Releasing 11 Patches Next Week

The last Patch Tuesday of 2013 is closing in fast and, as revealed today, it will see Microsoft deliver no less than eleven updates - five rated 'Critical' and six rated 'Important'. The upcoming patches target vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, SharePoint Server, Exchange, Lync, and Developer Tools. One of the critical updates addresses the Microsoft Graphics Component bug acknowledged last month.

The December 2013 MS patches will be rolled out on December 10, at about 10:00 a.m. PST. For a bit more info check out the Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification available here.

Microsoft Releasing Eight Patches Next Week

November's Patch Tuesday is coming up and it will see Microsoft deliver eight fresh software updates - three rated 'Critical' and five rated 'Important'. These patches will address vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. The updates are set to be released this Tuesday, November 12, at about 10:00 a.m. PST.

For a bit more info on the patches check out the Advance Notification found here.

AMD Delivers Battlefield 4 Fix With New Catalyst 13.11 Beta Build

As promised yesterday, AMD has issued a new Catalyst 13.11 driver build to fix the crashing bug reported by Battlefield 4 players with Windows 8 machines. This release is the Beta8 and it contains all the goodies of previous builds. The driver is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and features support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Download: Catalyst 13.11 Beta8 for Windows

ROCCAT Power-Grid App Enters Open Beta

ROCCAT's highly acclaimed Power-Grid app is now available to the public for free download as the software reaches its open beta phase. The game-changing software consists of a smartphone app, which runs on iOS and Android devices, and accompanying host software, which runs on Windows. This technology is used to turn the smartphone into a sophisticated, fully customizable remote control for the PC, extending the environment of the gamer onto their smartphone.

Power-Grid features countless preset Grids and Controls that offer functionality ranging from adjusting Windows settings to executing in-game macro sequences in popular games such as StarCraft II and League of Legends. The software also provides gamers with the ability to create their own extensively configurable Grids and Controls, allowing them to cater to their own specific needs and desires.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Is Now Available

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the global availability of Windows 8.1, a feature-rich update to its popular Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives - at work, at home or on the go. Beginning Oct. 17, consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages can download the free update via the online Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Oct. 18 at retail locations around the world.

Windows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalized computing while showcasing Microsoft's continued commitment to rapid and responsive development. It marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses - from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices. Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.

Microsoft to Deliver 14 Patches Next Week

With this month's Patch Tuesday approaching fast, Microsoft has provided an advanced notification to let the world know what to expect. According to that notification, the Redmond-based company will roll out 14 updates - four rated 'Critical' and ten rated 'Important' - to tackle vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.

The 14 patches are set for release this Tuesday, September 10. For a bit more info check out the security bulletin found here.

Synology Announces DiskStation Manager 4.3

Hot on the heels of its successful public beta, Synology advances DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.3 to an official release. Building on its award-winning OS, DSM 4.3 brings dynamic new ways for users to share and display their digital assets; as well as expand on its feature-rich back-end for business. The private cloud has gotten even better. Cloud Station is now 30% faster with delta-updates. Linux users are now supported with an official desktop client. DS Cloud has been enhanced with selective sync; allowing users to select which file types, even down to which documents get synced. "For accessing and sharing digital assets, your private cloud just got a lot better," said Thadd Weil, Public Relations Manager at Synology America Corp.

Sharp Launches The LL-S201A Multi-touch Full-HD Monitor

Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, today announced the 20-inch-class (19.5" diagonal) full HD multi-touch monitor, LL-S201A, showcased at InfoComm 2013, has begun shipping. The LL-S201A, part of the Professional Touch Display product family, packs the power of the award-winning Sharp AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System into a sleek, lightweight design. Ideal for use in business, medical and education environments as a complement to the AQUOS BOARD display, the LL-S201A is an indispensable part of everyday communication, no matter who is using it.

The 20-inch-class touchscreen LCD panel delivers 1,920 x 1,080-pixel full-High Definition resolution with performance-enhancing UV2A technology to help prevent light leakage for truly bright whites and extremely deep blacks. The 10-point multi-touch screen and Palm Cancellation Function prioritizes the touch of the pen over the touch of your hand so you can write smoothly with the pen, while your hand rests on the screen. When connected to a device running Windows 8, the monitor serves as an intuitive interface. The display also offers a variety of usage styles to match the way you work.

Microsoft Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.07 billion, $4.97 billion, and $0.59 per share. These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments. In addition, these financial results reflect the recognition of $782 million of previously deferred revenue related to the Office Upgrade Offer. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

The following table reconciles these financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to non-GAAP financial results. We have provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance.

Chromium-Based Opera 15 Has Arrived

With the travel season just around the corner, the Scandinavian browser-maker Opera Software today released the final version of its all-new Opera for Windows and Mac, debuting with a fresh look and completely new features.

If you were to visit every website in the web for just one second each, you would need over 20 years of non-stop browsing to see them all. It's pretty much the same amount of time you would need to spend a week in every city with more than half a million habitants worldwide. You may never get to visit all of these cool places, but, with the new Opera browser, surfing through an ocean of inspiring web content is now easier than ever.

Mad Catz Announces TRITTON Pro+ True 5.1 Surround Sound Headset

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. announced today the TRITTON Pro+ True 5.1 Surround Sound Headset for Windows PC and Mac expected to ship Summer 2013. Based upon the Company's critically acclaimed TRITTON Pro+ console headset, the Windows PC and Mac version features four separate drivers in each ear cup for true 5.1 surround sound. The TRITTON Pro+ for Windows PC and Mac features an in-line remote and Selectable Voice Monitoring (SVM), allowing users to choose if they hear their own voice in the headset.

"The TRITTON Pro+ headset resonates with passionate gamers thanks to its advanced feature set and multiple speakers which deliver highly accurate sound separation, ideal for online gaming," said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. "We believe the TRITTON Pro+ for Windows PC and Mac will enable us to further strengthen our leadership position within the high-end PC audio category."

Intel Readies 'Bay Trail' for Holiday 2013 Tablets and 2-in-1 Devices

At an industry event in Taipei today, Hermann Eul, general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, unveiled new details about the company's forthcoming Intel Atom processor-based SoC for tablets ("Bay Trail-T") due in market for holiday this year. Based on the new Silvermont microarchitecture, the next generation 22nm Intel technology for tablets and ultra-mobile devices will enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours of battery life2 and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*.

Eul also spoke to recent momentum and announcements around the smartphone business and demonstrated the Intel XMM 7160 multimode 4G LTE solution, now in final interoperability testing (IOT) with Tier 1 service providers across North America, Europe and Asia. "The mobile category is undergoing a tremendous amount of innovation and constant change," said Eul. "As we look at growing it, we continue to invest in and accelerate our efforts across all aspects of mobility with a focus on smartphones, tablets and wireless communications. Intel's unique assets will enable more compelling and differentiated products and experiences, while at the same time helping to shape and lead markets in the future."
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