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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."

Razer Blade 14-inch On Pre-Order

Razer, the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, software and systems, announced that it is taking pre-orders for its new 14-inch Blade gaming laptop.

Powered by a 4th gen Intel Core i7 quad core processor with Hyper-Threading (Base 2.2 GHz/Turbo 3.2 GHz) and the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU, the Blade is the thinnest and lightest 14-inch gaming laptop in history. Measuring in at just 0.66-inches thin, the Razer Blade packs more power-per-cubic-inch than any other laptop in the world. The Razer Blade utilizes solid-state storage technology with boot speeds of up to four-times faster than a traditional 5400-RPM notebook hard drive. The Razer Blade has a rigid all-aluminum chassis, with a stunning 14-inch LED-backlit HD+ display and features a custom-designed track pad and backlit gaming grade keyboard.

ASUS Announces New PCs with Latest 4th Generation Intel Core processors

ASUS today announced four new desktop PCs with the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors for high-performance productivity and entertainment. The G10 and M51 are stylish, floor-standing PCs; while the ET2311 and ET2702 are slimline All-in-One PCs with 23-inch and 27-inch widescreen displays, respectively. All four models also feature powerful NVIDIA and AMD discrete 3D graphics, with ASUS SonicMaster audio technology for incredible sound quality.

The ASUS G10 and ASUS M51 are designed for fuss-fee operation with flexible support for mobile devices. Both models feature the ASUS Smart Cooling System with automatic fan speed control for optimum cooling and reduced noise, and ASUS Power Pack, a removable UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) that also acts as a portable battery pack for recharging smartphones and tablets. Both models also include the ASUS Universal Storage Module (USM) hot-swap drive bay with an industry-standard interface for optional cartridge-based hard drives.

Both the G10 and M51 are housed in floor-standing tower cases with all-new designs. The G10 has clean, chiseled lines with a brushed metal finish and indicator LEDs that reflect the state of attached external USB storage devices, while the M51 has a matte finish with a textured fascia that resists fingerprints. The M51 also features an ASUS Wireless Charger tray for wireless recharging of smartphones and tablets that support the Qi inductive power standard.

AMD Amplifies the Mobile Experience

AMD today launched three new additions to its 2013 A-Series and E-Series Mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) lineup -- delivering solutions ideally positioned to address today's evolving PC market with dramatically increased performance and power efficiency, as well as a portfolio of unique user experiences, and superior gaming and graphics:
  • The 2013 AMD Elite Mobility APU (formerly codenamed "Temash") -- the world's first 28nm, quad-core x86 system-on-a-chip (SoC) APU designed for touch small form-factor notebooks, tablets, and hybrids 13-inches and below;
  • The 2013 AMD Mainstream APU (formerly codenamed "Kabini") -- the first and only quad-core x86 SoC solution for entry-level and small-form factor touch notebooks;
  • New, low power versions of the 2013 AMD Elite Performance APU (formerly codenamed "Richland") -- offer the best graphics and compute in a performance APU for premium ultrathin notebooks.

NVIDIA GRID Unleashes Graphics for Virtualized Desktops

NVIDIA today announced that it is unleashing the full graphics potential of enterprise desktop virtualization with the availability of NVIDIA GRID vGPU integrated into Citrix XenDesktop 7. NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology addresses a challenge that has grown in recent years with the rise of employees using their own notebooks and portable devices for work. These workers have increasingly relied on desktop virtualization technologies for anytime access to computing resources, but until now this was generally used for the more standard enterprise applications. Performance and compatibility constraints had made it difficult for applications such as building information management (BIM), product-lifecycle management (PLM) and video-photo editing.

Two decades ago hardware-based graphics replaced software emulation. Desktop virtualization solutions stood alone as the only modern computing form without dedicated graphics hardware. As a result, an already busy virtualized CPU limited performance and software emulation hampered application compatibility. The situation began to improve a year ago with the introduction of the non-virtualized GPU in Citrix XenServer. But efficiency gains were limited because each user still required a dedicated GPU.

Futuremark Intros 3DMark v1.1.0 Update

Futuremark rolled out a major update to its 3DMark benchmark suite. Update v1.1.0 introduces Ice Storm extreme preset for the Windows version of the software (it was exclusive to the Android version), and optimizes the software for four-GPU and three-GPU setups. This could improve the scores for setups with GeForce GTX 690 Quad-SLI or Radeon HD 7990 CrossFireX. Months of work was put into getting this part right, according to the developer. Ice Storm extreme preset adds yet another way to test entry-level graphics solutions, using a DirectX 9.0c feature-level scene.

DOWNLOAD: 3DMark v1.1.0

Advantech Launches ATX Intel Xeon E5 Industrial Serverboard

Advantech, a global embedded platform manufacturer, today unveiled the new ASMB-822I server-grade motherboard powered by Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family technology. This new technology comprises 64-bit multi-core processors, PCI Express Gen3 high speed communications, and DDR3 memory with total capacity up to 96GB. ASMB-822I is perfect designed for high performance demands such as NVR, DVR and also target to video wall, video conferencing, surveillance and other mission-critical applications.

"Advantech is committed to providing a full spectrum of embedded systems with advanced and intelligent built-in technology, from fanless and ruggedized to high-performance solutions," said Linda Tsai,Director of Advantech Embedded Systems Group. The ASMB-822I is an ATX server board equipped with LGA 2011 Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series and Intel C602J series chipset. It supports six DDR3 registered DIMM slots for a 96 GB total capacity and dual GbE LANs using Intel controllers.

Buffalo Ships High Capacity DriveStation DDR USB Hard Drive

Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, today announced that its DriveStation DDR, a high performance external USB 3.0 hard drive with 1 GB DDR3 RAM cache for accelerated transfer speeds, is available for purchase today at select retail partners. Ideal for a variety of users including tech enthusiasts, digital photographers and videographers and media buffs, DriveStation DDR offers extremely fast file transfers, comparable to SSD, with the high capacity and value of a traditional external HDD device.

The DriveStation DDR utilizes Buffalo's MegaCache Accelerator, a 1 GB DDR3 RAM cache system, to greatly accelerate file transfer rates, notably outperforming other USB 3.0 hard drives. Compared to a standard USB 3.0 hard drive, the 1 GB DRAM cache of the MegaCache system efficiently caches data as it's transferred to automatically boost performance for transfer speeds up to 408 MB/s, 2.3x faster than USB 3.0 hard drives and more than 10x faster than USB 2.0.

DisplayLink to Demonstrate WiGig and USB Docking Expansion

DisplayLink, the leading provider of USB Graphics technology, today announced plans to show the latest solutions for Wireless and USB Docking at Interop 2013. Targeting Ultrabook and Tablet expansion and connectivity for business users, DisplayLink will feature wireless WiGig Docking, Enterprise Class USB Docking, and the latest Mac drivers, with demonstrations to be held at the Interop Expo.

Introducing the latest solutions, John Cummins, VP Sales and Marketing for DisplayLink said, "IT Managers are struggling with BYOD. At Interop 2013, DisplayLink will showcase our customer's products, including monitor-docks for tablets with touch screen and integrated Webcams, WiGig Docks for wireless graphics and peripheral expansion, and Enterprise-Class USB Docks with multiple display connections for both Windows and Mac. These products solve problems and enhance productivity."

Microsoft Reports Third-Quarter Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $20.49 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.61 billion, $6.06 billion, and $0.72 per share.

These financial results reflect the net recognition of revenue related to the Windows Upgrade Offer, Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-Sales, and the Entertainment and Devices Division Video Game Deferral, partially offset by the European Commission fine. 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.

PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines.

Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.

Unigine Returns with Two New GPU Benchmark Apps

A little later this week, Unigine Corp. will be announcing two new GPU benchmark apps, the Valley 1.0, and Heaven 4.0. The two apps are cross-platform, in that they support both Windows and Linux (x86/x64). On Windows, the two can max out feature-sets of the latest DirectX 11.x APIs, while on Linux, the two take advantage of the latest OpenGL 4.x. Valley uses an entirely new test scene that's a beautiful springtime depiction of a valley. Distant snow-capped peaks, a treeline, and dense foliage, the scene's got it all, coupled with lighting, and depth of field effects. Definitely something we'd like our GPUs to trip on.

Moving on, Unigine's second benchmark suite for the season is Heaven 4.0, while builds on the current Heaven 3.0 benchmark. It adds SSDO (scene-space dimensional occlusion), improved lens flare, a rendered starscape at night time, GPU temperature and clock monitoring, improved multi-GPU detection, and various bug fixes. The two should be released some time around Thursday (14/02).

Source: Phoronix

Futuremark Unleashes New 3DMark Benchmark Suite for Windows

Futuremark released the newest installment to its 3DMark franchise. It's the first 3DMark to lack a version name, making it a "reboot" of sorts. For starters, the new 3DMark is a collection of three independent benchmark suites, each with its own demos, game tests, physics tests, and combined tests, and scoring.

Among the three suits are "Ice Storm," designed for tablets, mobile devices, and entry-level desktops, which needs nothing more than a DirectX 9.0c GPU to get going; "Cloud Gate," for notebook and home desktops, which needs a DirectX 10 feature-level GPU; and "Fire Strike," an over-the-top suite designed for today's gaming desktops, which can make even the fastest graphics cards sweat (for example, our GTX 680 in the screenshots below). The physics tests of each of these can benefit from having multiple cores and advanced instruction sets. TechPowerUp is a premier launch partner, hosting downloads on behalf of Futuremark. Grab yours below.

DOWNLOAD: 3DMark (2013)

3DMark for Windows Arrives on February 4th

Futuremark's next big installment of the 3DMark franchise is set for a February 4th release, according to the developer. The Windows PC version of the suite, which includes the Fire Strike DirectX 11 and Cloud Gate DirectX 10 game tests, in addition to various feature-tests, will be released on the 4th. The company did not give out release dates for its Android, iOS, and Windows RT versions. In the run up to its release, Futuremark kept enthusiasts interested by timely release of teaser images and videos of its two game tests, starting with Fire Strike in early December, and Cloud Gate, a couple of weeks later. The new 3DMark faced several delays, given that the first reveal of Fire Strike dates back to June 2012. Yet Futuremark is hopeful the new 3DMark will reach out to many more users thanks to its relaxed system requirements.

Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $21.5 Billion in Second Quarter

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $21.46 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.77 billion, $6.38 billion, and $0.76 per share.

These financial results reflect the net deferral of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer, Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-sales, and the Entertainment and Devices Division Video Game Deferral, partially offset by the recognition of previously deferred revenue for Windows 8 Pre-sales. 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.

DTS Play-Fi Wireless Audio Streaming Solution to be Incorporated Within ASUS PCs

DTS, Inc. (Nasdaq: DTSI), a leader in high-definition audio solutions, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with ASUSTEK COMPUTER, INC (TSE: 2347), a top global producer of computers and consumer technology, to license its DTS Play-Fi technology for integration within ASUS' line-up of Windows-based products. Already a leader in the development and manufacturing of Windows-based computing solutions, ASUS will now offer integrated whole-home Wi-Fi audio streaming as part of its product portfolio. With DTS Play-Fi technology, ASUS products will enable consumers to stream lossless, high-quality audio from almost any audio source on a PC to their DTS Play-Fi-enabled home audio systems over a standard Wi-Fi network. It also gives users full control of the home speaker network—allowing users to set up, link, and stream audio to one speaker system or multiple speaker systems throughout the home at once.

"Our goal with DTS Play-Fi is to partner with global brands to make whole-home wireless audio streaming a standard feature that consumers everywhere can enjoy, especially now with the proliferation of online and cloud-based music choices available on PCs and tablets," said Brian Towne, executive vice president and chief operating officer, DTS. "ASUS' market position and technology leadership are well established, and we could not be more pleased to have them as a licensee in the Windows PC arena, to extend the music listening experience from its powerful PC platforms into the home with DTS Play-Fi technology."

Acer Extends AcerCloud to Top Three Operating Systems

Acer today announced cross-platform support for AcerCloud, the company's file sharing and media management solution, free to Acer customers. Consumers can now share, retrieve and enjoy their multimedia and data files using a variety of computing devices, regardless of which operating system they are running -- Windows, Android or iOS.

AcerCloud uses the free space on a PC's hard drive as cloud storage space. Users simply designate one of their PCs as their "Cloud PC," enabling them to use the available hard drive space on their own PC, giving them security and full control over their storage needs.1 And unlike other cloud solutions, consumers won't receive constant reminders about exceeding capacity with solicitations to pay for more storage.

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