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Muzik Announces the First Socially-Aware Headphones

Today is the day the headphone becomes "smart" with the launch of Muzik, an innovative company inspired to transform the way music is experienced. Muzik, founded by disruptive innovator, Jason Hardi, is pioneering a new space called Social Smartware, coined to describe the seamless connection of consumer electronic devices, content and social media platforms to make music instantly discoverable and shareable in an effortless way. Muzik is launching a full line of smart audio products synced to their mobile Muzik ecosystem that will activate a new wave of innovation in the headphone space.

Muzik's game-changing lineup includes their marquee product: the smart, on-ear wireless headphone that combines high-fidelity audio in a simple, elegant sleek design with groundbreaking capacitive touch controls. They are the first headphones in the world that allow users to natively share what they are listening to on Facebook and Twitter or instantly send a song anywhere in the world.

Genius Announces Ultra Wide Angle WideCam 320

Genius announces an ultra wide angle webcam for conference calls - WideCam 320. With its 100° view angle the entire boardroom can be captured in a single frame.

The ultra wide 100° angle view ensures that everyone around the conference table can be seen without any crowding together. The high-quality manual focus lens ensures well-defined video of the entire room. Everyone can be heard clearly around the room as well. The WideCam 320 has a built-in sensitive microphone that picks up the speaker's voice clearly while filtering out any background noise.

Presenting NextPowerUp

Presenting NextPowerUp, our sister tech-publication in the works, designed with a bigger canvas. TechPowerUp established itself as one of the top PC hardware publications thanks to our pursuit for quality reviews and relentless news delivery. We decided it was time to put these core ideals to use, in addressing the much larger consumer electronics and gadgets markets, without disturbing TechPowerUp's focus on PC enthusiast content, one of its hallmarks.

NextPowerUp is designed to keep you up to speed on the latest in over 20 markets (and growing), each with its own content channel, and editors hand-picked for them. These include Audio (personal, home, professional, concert), Business, Cinema (filming, production, exhibition), Desktops (pre-built desktop PCs), Displays (signage, projectors), Gadgets, Gaming (games, game development, gaming industry, consoles), Internet (the business of WWW), Networking (social networking), Notebooks (notebooks, Ultrabooks, netbooks), Phones (of all shapes and sizes), Photo & Video (cameras of all shapes and sizes), Politics (industry soap-opera), Robots (outside assembly lines), Science (popular science, space exploration), Software, Storage, Tablets, Televisions (TVs and technologies built around them), Transportation (wheels that don't run on fossil fuels), and Wireless (Cellular carriers, commercial WiFi).

Belkin Announces Availability of WeMo

Belkin today launched WeMo, a line of modular, Wi-Fi-based products that turn an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a remote control for household devices. Consisting of two initial products, the WeMo Switch and the WeMo Motion, WeMo works with the free WeMo app to create a scalable, customizable home control system designed to provide added safety, convenience, and peace of mind.

“WeMo uses familiar technology to create a plug-and-play solution for controlling gadgets and appliances remotely,” said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management for Belkin. “Designed to address simple automation needs without the hassle or expense of whole home automation, WeMo is an easy and fun way to put your home at your fingertips.”

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.

Ubisoft DRM Server Downtime Causes A Lockout

If you are trying to play Might and Magic: Heroes VI, The Settlers 7 and Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2 or are trying to activate Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Anno 2070 and or Driver: San Francisco don't bother. Ubisoft has announced a server migration this week that will block all access from players validating their legitimate purchases via Ubisofts DRM "always on" model. The original plan was to allow some of these games to remain playable. However it didn't seem to work. Some DRM schemes are more intrusive then others but the Ubisoft "always on" DRM has come under heavy fire this week from players turned critics via Twitter. One is quoted as saying, “Dear @Ubisoft I am totally unimpressed with your server upgrade strategy."

Ubisoft has yet to give a specified time when the servers will be re-launched and players can regain access to their games.Source: PC Gamer

AMD CMO Nigel Dessau Leaving in January, Axed?

AMD's chief marketing officer (CMO) Nigel Dessau, will be leaving the company. AMD's new CEO Rory P. Read has been making some aggressive changes to the company in a bid to turn it into a lean, well-oiled, profit-making business that it should be. Recently, he laid off a big chunk of AMD's staff, most reported to be from the marketing department. This only goes on to reinforce the theory that Nigel Dessau was axed, and not that he will quit. Nigel Dessau joined the company in 2008. He has served as CMO at StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and IBM, previously. Dessau said in his Twitter page that he will leave AMD in January, but will see the company through at CES, when new GPU products will be unveiled.

Twitter makeover goes live for mobile users, claims to boost ease of use

Character-constrained carrier bird Twitter has today begun to showcase to the world its brand new look, one that aims to streamline sharing, connecting, following and discovery. Now available through mobile.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone, and Twitter for Android, the redesigned micro-blogging platform offers an interface that revolves around five main tabs - Home, Connect, Discover, Me and Tweet.

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.

MW3 Cheaters: 1600 Banned And Counting

In news, that will be sweet music to the ears of honest gamers, InfinityWard has been busily banning cheaters who exploit loopholes and coding errors in the game to get one over others. The figure is currently around the 1600 mark and rising, as InfinityWard's community man Robert Bowling posted on Twitter: Any attempt to cheat, hack, or glitch in #MW3 will not be tolerated. 1600+ bans issued. Updates in works. Please cont. to report offenders. He then added: We are doing mass bans on PC as well while we work on updates. He has promised that a hot fix is in the works for multiple glitches that have been reported.

Now, while cheating is wrong, it can also be an incredibly fun, but guilty pleasure. So, is it really all the cheater's fault, when opportunities like this are laid at there feet? It's like giving someone a cake and telling them not to eat it. Perhaps the program code should have been more bug free in the first place, too?Source: CVG

Minecraft: 2.5 Year Beta Finally Goes Gold

Yes, after 2.5 years in the making and over 4 million sales, Minecraft has finally gone gold. This is the game with the charmingly blocky graphics where the player builds their cartoon world out of blocks and must hide from monsters at night. It will be officially released at the inaugural MineCon event in Las Vegas this Friday. Developer Markus "Notch" Persson head of studio Mojang announced it had gone gold on Twitter:
So, yes. Minecraft has gone gold.
Sources: CVG, www.minecraft.net, http://minecon.mojang.com

Loyal PC Call of Duty Gamers: No CoD Elite For You?

Just over a week ago, we brought you frustrating news that the brand new Call of Duty Elite social network was going to be delayed for the PC, once again leaving the PC gaming crowd feeling like second class citizens compared to their console counterparts. Now, in a bitter blow, it appears that the Elite service may shut out loyal PC gamers altogether. Plus, as is typical of big companies, the message was delivered in the most terse and disrespectful way possible, via a short Twitter tweet:
@thejuggz We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC.
So, that's it then, PC gamers may never get it and there's no explanation why. One can only surmise that it's due to the alleged "security issues" previously alluded to. Therefore, hopefuls will just have to wait on tenterhooks for an undefined period of time. So, the biggest sales launch in history isn't enough to convince the company to support the PC platform? It looks like detractors of the Call of Duty franchise have a very legitimate axe to grind this time, doesn't it? Probably the best way to view this unfortunate news is that the benefits weren't worth it anyway.

BF3 Cheaters Enjoy A Bantastic Time!

Just like any good design implementing security by obscurity, hackers and cheaters will find a way to exploit the system in no time flat. In this instance, DICE said via Twitter that cheaters have "found a glitch that allows them to use the Engineer repair tool or the EOD Bot to garner tens of thousands of points in a match." A beautiful and satisfying cheat if ever there was one, really letting you get on the wrong side of your fellow player! However, there's this small problem, since developer DICE has now cottoned on to underhand tactics and is banning these sporting gamers en-masse. Isn't retribution wonderful?

Via Twitter, DICE reported, "This week we've banned hundreds of offending accounts and have stats-wiped accounts for exploiting (such as boosting)..." and they also ask for honest gamer's help in nailing the culprits, "To report players cheating or boosting send us a direct message to this Twitter with a screen shot of the Battle Log Report." There is also a problem with the Sony PS3 version of the game, which will be addressed with a patch, soon. This suggests that the bug is in the core program code, rather than a platform-specific implementation. Finally, one should always strive to behave honestly and ethically in life and it looks like in this instance it really pays off. Here's wishing all honest players an enjoyable time playing BF3, free from cheaters.

Source: computerandvideogames.com

Mozilla Firefox 8 Released

You know what, we won't even go through the drill of expressing surprise that a new major version of Firefox is released on a nearly-monthly basis. Mozilla released Firefox 8.0, about 7 months after it released Firefox 4.0. And they look similar, except that the new one looks more polished. Granted, drastic UI changes can hit users' learning curve and preferences. The new UI sports essentially the same layout as its predecessors since version 4.0, but the elements look designed better, fused into the theme. It's the under-the-hood changes that are counting. Mozilla would never pack so many background changes to the monthly updates of Firefox 3.

DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox 8.0

With this release, Mozilla Firefox has the following changes over the previous generation:

NVIDIA's First DirectX 11 Accelerators are GeForce GTX 480 and 470

A tweet on NVIDIA's Twitter account reveals that the company's first DirectX 11 compliant consumer graphics products will be named GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470, against popular opinion that they could make for the GeForce GTX 300 series. The most likely reason for this could be that the company has released mobile graphics products under the GeForce GT 3xx series which are based on its GT21x series GPUs which are DirectX 10.1 compliant. It would be hence easier to make out that DirectX 11 products start in the 400 series.

The two are based on NVIDIA's GF100 GPU which physically has 512 CUDA cores (shader units), a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, and DirectX 11 compliance. While the GTX 480 is likely the full-featured part, it remains to be seen how NVIDIA carves out the GTX 470 SKU. An enquiry by AnandTech confirmed the authenticity of the Twitter account.Source: AnandTech

FurMark Returns with Version 1.7.0

Nearly four months after its previous version, the chaps at oZone3D have released Furmark 1.7.0. This release packs a host of nifty new features, and a number of bug fixes. For starters, FurMark is able to work along with GPU-Z to provide real-time readings on the graphics card's temperatures, voltages and VDDC current (for cards that support it). An experimental feature allows you to Twit your score onto your Twitter account. While the stability test or benchmark is running, the main GUI stays minimized, so you needn't have to start another instance to run several tests.

With multiple GPUs doing the rendering, each GPU is given its own temperature graph. You can start or stop the rendering by hitting the space key without having to close the window. A number of new resolutions have been added, and the application is now also available in Castilian, Bulgarian, Polish, Slovak, and Spanish, thanks to translations. Issues relating to temperature updates in the graph, and the application's multithreading management are resolved. Give your graphics cards a sunbath.

DOWNLOAD: FurMark 1.7.0Source: Geeks3D

TechPowerUp on Twitter

TechPowerUp can be now followed on Twitter, the popular micro-blogging and social-networking portal. It is where TechPowerUp staff will post snappy 'tweets' (updates) on site content, including news, reviews, and other popular developments in the forums, and, it's where our team attending major events give live updates on what's happening. As we speak, our Editor-in-Chief W1zzard, along with Senior Editor Darksaber, are attending Computex 2009. The duo is attending a press-conference by NVIDIA on its upcoming technologies. Followers get to read informal scoops live from Computex, and also reply to them.

TechPowerUp can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TechPowerUp
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