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Epic Games Store to Launch Soon, Developers to Receive 88% of Revenue

With more and more companies creating their very own digital storefronts in the PC gaming space, it was only a matter of time until Epic Games threw their hat into the ring. With an announcement posted today, by Tim Sweeney the Epic Games store is now officially a reality. The new digital storefront will be made available for PC and Mac to start with, while other platforms will be added throughout 2019. In regards to games available on the platform, Epic will offer Fortnite alongside a set of hand-curated titles at launch. What those games might be is currently unknown.

Delivering a shot across the bow at Steam and their 30% revenue cut, Epic's game store will instead only take 12%, resulting in developers earning 88% of sales revenue. If they are using Unreal Engine the 5% engine royalty will be waived by Epic and instead is factored into their original 12% take. Putting that into perspective, an Unreal Engine based game released on Steam currently gives developers only 65% of the revenue with Steam earning 30% and Epic 5% due to engine royalties. Going from 65% to 88% is a significant increase in earnings, and it doesn't matter what game engine a developer uses, the revenue split will remain the same. This should leave developers quite happy since they are not limited by game engine choice and Epic benefits from a vastly increased selection of titles they can offer in their digital store.

Transcend Releases JetDrive 855/850 PCIe NVMe SSD Upgrade Kit for Mac Computers

Transcend Information Inc. (Transcend ), a leading manufacturer of storage and multimedia products, is proud to announce the release of the JetDrive 855/850 PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) upgrade kit for Mac computers. The JetDrive 850 features read and write speeds of up to 1,600MB/s and 1,300MB/s, and is made of the latest 3D NAND flash. The JetDrive 855 includes a sleek aluminum Thunderbolt enclosure for a simple upgrade experience. Both models are the perfect upgrade for a MacBook Pro , MacBook Air , Mac mini , or Mac Pro .

PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe interface allows transfer speeds of up to 1,600MB/s
Transcend's JetDrive 850 features the PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe interface, meaning four lanes are used to transmit and receive data simultaneously. The result is compelling performance of up to 1,600MB/s read and 1,300MB/s write. Crafted of 3D NAND flash memory, the JetDrive 850 is reliable, highly compatible, and brings a whole new level of performance to Mac computers.

Apple Deprecates OpenGL and OpenCL from MacOS

Apple, at WWDC 2018, announced that with the latest update to MacOS, its operating system for iMac desktops and MacBooks, the company is deprecating two of the industry's leading APIs, OpenGL and OpenCL, in a bid to boost adoption of its own Metal API. OpenGL and OpenCL applications will continue to function on MacOS 10.14, but the APIs themselves will be deprecated going forward. The removal of OpenGL from future MacOS releases breaks most AAA cross-platform games playable on the Mac, particularly distributed over Steam. The deprecation of OpenCL comes as a surprise to the scientific community, as several computational applications running on Mac Pros will be affected. Adobe Creativity Suite applications take advantage of both APIs. Apple is pushing for Metal's compute-shader features to replace the API.

OWC Launches Their Mercury Elite Pro Quad External Storage Solution

OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, is making drive juggling a thing of the past with the new OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad. The new external storage solution offers four drive bays to provide massive amounts of storage from a single USB-C connection, with the flexibility to be utilized in Mac, PC and mixed Mac/PC environments. Designed for users who require high capacity storage with fast transfer speeds, the Mercury Elite Pro Quad is ideal for use by post- production firms, photographers, creative agencies, higher education programs, and small businesses.

HyperX Releases Cloud Revolver Gunmetal

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the addition of HyperX Cloud Revolver Gunmetal gaming headset to its Cloud Revolver family. Featuring the same award-winning sound, comfort and durability inherent in Cloud Revolver, the new gunmetal edition offers the immersive audio profiles engineered in the Cloud Revolver family, creating a larger sound stage for FPS and open-environment gameplay, as well as concert hall-like audio experience when listening to music.

HyperX Cloud Revolver Gunmetal uses 50mm drivers that directs sound into the ear for precise audio positioning and a clean, crisp sound with enhanced bass. The headset is versatile with its detachable noise-canceling microphone that is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord. The headset is designed to deliver ultimate comfort during long hours of gameplay with HyperX signature memory foam and premium leatherette on the ear cups and head band.

AZIO Now Shipping Bluetooth version of the AZIO Retro Classic

AZIO, a well-known keyboard manufacturer, has started shipping a Bluetooth version of its well-received Retro Classic Keyboard. Originally released via a Indiegogo funding campaign as a way to increase the product's visibility, AZIO has now put a few more dollars into the keyboards' development, and included a Bluetooth model. Not so retro now, I'd say, as wires are part of a retro product's flair.

Google and Mozilla Push for AV1 Image Format Adoption, Beats JPEG and HEIC

Google and Mozilla, the companies behind the Chrome and Firefox cross-platform web-browsers; are pushing for the adoption of a new web image format to replace the ageing and inefficient JPEG, and the license-ridden HEIC. The two companies are leading a consortium of Internet businesses, called the Alliance for Open Media, to push for the proliferation and standardization of the new AV1 image file format. Early testing shows AV1 files to be 15 percent smaller than HEIC for comparable quality, which in turn promises half the file-size of JPEG for comparable quality. Apple uses HEIC as the default image file format for iOS and MacOS, while JPEG, PNG, and GIF continue to be the dominant web image formats, and have been prevalent for over two decades now.

"It seems downright silly that we're still relying on compression tech from 20 years ago," said Kelly Thompson, general manager at 500px, a photo sharing and sales site. "The equipment we're using to capture and display images is now exceeding JPEG's upper limits." JPEG is not just inefficient, but also has severe color palette limitations, and lack of support for transparency. Adoption of newer image file formats could significantly reduce Internet bandwidth usage benefiting both end-users running on slower/metered connections; and for infrastructure providers, such as ISPs.

Creative Unveils the Audiophile-Grade Aurvana Trio In-Ear Headphones

Creative Technology Ltd announced today the Aurvana Trio audiophile-grade in-ear headphones, the latest addition to its well-received Aurvana Series. The Aurvana Trio features a triple driver array that combines two precision balanced armature drivers with one dynamic bio-cellulose driver.
Aurvana Trio: Audiophile-Grade Hybrid Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones

The dual balanced armature module consists of a super tweeter that has been tuned to deliver detailed high-frequency playback, and a mid-range driver for natural vocals. The dynamic 10mm Bio-cellulose driver, on the other hand, is meticulously tuned to produce beautifully accurate and powerful bass. Bio-cellulose is an extremely fine natural fiber with high purity. Using cutting-edge biotechnology processes, this material is compressed to produce an ultra-thin diaphragm that is ideal for delivering sound velocity comparable to an aluminium or titanium diaphragm, while giving warm and delicate sound of paper ones.

Transcend Reveals Their Sleek JetDrive 825 Thunderbolt PCIe Portable SSD

Transcend Information Inc., a leading manufacturer of storage and multimedia products, is proud to announce the release of JetDrive 825 Thunderbolt PCIe portable solid-state drive (SSD) for Mac computers. The drive utilizes the powerful JetDrive 820 PCIe SSD as its storage media featuring 3D NAND flash and a PCIe Gen3 x2 interface. The JetDrive 825 offers lightning-fast transfer speeds and large capacities, making it the perfect storage upgrade for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Mac Pro.

Thunderbolt technology in a sleek case
Transcend's JetDrive 825 features a 10Gb/s Thunderbolt interface, capable of blazing-fast file transfers. The drive is housed in sleek, aluminum alloy enclosure which was designed to tastefully complement your Mac's simple, clean design. In addition, the inner SSD is removable for greater ease of use based on users' preferences.

Steam Winter Sale 2017 Deals

It's that happy time of the year again when gamers break their piggy banks and sharpen their credit cards to purchase PC games for dirt-cheap prices on Steam. Just like every year, the Winter Sale is filled with thousands of discounts on new and classic games for Windows, Mac and Linux. The sale runs through until Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 10pm Pacific time. Why not spoil yourself this Christmas with a few games? Or send a gift to that special someone and make their day. Here are some of our recommendations.

Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 Lands in Europe for £259.99 / €289.99

Fujitsu subsidiary PFU (EMEA) Limited is launching its Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 (HHKB Pro2) in Europe. Designed with programmers in mind, it can be a great asset for anybody in search of an excellent typing experience. The innovative and minimalistic high-quality keyboard uses a reduced layout with far fewer keys and offers an extremely satisfying and rapid typing experience.

Compact and minimalistic
The HHKB Pro2 is not just another gadget for computer enthusiasts, but is the result of systematic research and a co-operation with Professor Eiiti Wada, a renowned Japanese computer scientist. The 60 key compact build means that hands can stay on the home row which is good for speed, efficiency, and comfort. Due to a number of easy to learn function-layers the reduced layout is actually more ergonomic than traditional keyboards, winning it many fans over the last 20 years.

Cherry Strait 3.0 Keyboard, Where Elegance Meets Reliability

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents the Strait 3.0 for Mac. This wired keyboard is characterized by an elegant design and a durable build quality, making the Strait 3.0 for Mac a perfect and reliable keyboard for daily use.

Elegant design and durable build quality
The CHERRY Strait 3.0 for Mac charms with its elegant design and is a real eye-catcher on the desk thanks to its clean, ultra-flat design with a metal look. In combination with the durable build quality, this has resulted in a robust keyboard which is particularly suitable for permanent use.

Magewell Ships the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT

Magewell - an award-winning developer of innovative video interface devices - is now shipping the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT, the latest member of the company's popular Pro Capture family of PCI Express capture hardware. The new model extends the powerful feature set of the previously-released Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus with HDMI signal loop-through connectivity to simplify wiring and workflows.

Like the earlier model, the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT captures video up to 4096x2160 at 60 frames per second over an HDMI 2.0 input interface, enabling high-quality Ultra HD acquisition for markets and applications including broadcast, medical imaging, gaming, streaming, surveillance, and virtual reality (VR) production. The new loop-through connection reduces workflow costs and complexity by enabling source signals to be sent simultaneously to additional displays or equipment without the need for an external HDMI splitter.

Transcend Introduces StoreJet 200 Portable Hard Drive Aimed at Mac Users

Transcend Information Inc., a leading manufacturer of storage and multimedia products, is proud to announce the release of the StoreJet 200 for Mac portable hard drive. This large capacity, elegantly designed, and lightweight drive is an instantly classic accessory for Mac devices. Featuring the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface, a USB Type-C connector, and pre-formatted with the HFS+ file system, the StoreJet 200 is ready to go right out of the package.

Lightweight and capacious
Transcend's StoreJet 200 for Mac is only 9.95 mm thick and weighs in at just 133g, making it the perfect storage companion for work or travel. In addition to its portability and sleek design, the StoreJet 200 for Mac has a storage capacity of 2TB, allowing users to enjoy their digital life wherever they may roam.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Lands on MacOS December 12

Feral Interactive today announced that action RPG Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is coming to macOS on December 12th, augmented with Metal 2, Apple's latest graphics API. Developed by Eidos Montréal and published by Square Enix on consoles and Windows PC, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the latest instalment in the renowned cyberpunk Deus Ex series. Set in 2029, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided casts players as Adam Jensen, a mechanically-augmented covert agent in a world where discrimination against augmented humans has created a climate of fear. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, but forced to operate in a society that distrusts his kind, Jensen must choose which approach to take as he struggles to unravel a global conspiracy.

Players will will tailor Jensen's augmentations to suit their individual play style as they forge their own routes through meticulously designed missions, constantly choosing between a variety of tactical options: hacking, stealth, social skills, and brute force. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided features superbly realised environments with wildly imaginative science-fiction elements. The game's main hub, a vast and breathtakingly detailed re-imagining of Prague, infuses the city's historic architecture with futuristic art, technology and interior design.

DiRT Rally is Coming to MacOS on November 16

Feral Interactive announced today that DiRT Rally, the acclaimed rally simulation game, will be released for macOS via Steam on November 16th. The Mac App Store version will be arriving shortly afterwards. Developed and published by Codemasters for Windows and consoles, DiRT Rally has been praised for its realistic handling and pure focus on rally driving. DiRT Rally will support Metal 2, Apple's latest graphics API.

DiRT Rally is the most authentic rally game ever made, with a highly sophisticated handling model that perfectly captures the exhilaration of driving cars at the edge of control while tearing along treacherous, undulating tracks at breakneck speed. Its high-risk, high-reward gameplay challenges players to learn and master three different disciplines: the point-to-point races of Rally, the tight circuits of Rallycross, and the legendary slopes of Hillclimb.

Intel Adds New Core CPUs to Its Desktop, Laptop Lineups

Intel has recently updated documentation on their available list of processors based on the 7th generation of the Core Family. These new Kaby Lake-based CPUs will further flesh-out Intel's offerings in both the desktop, laptop, and professional segments with new entries in the Core i3, Kaby Lake-U, and Xeon E3 lines of processors.

The new Core i3 processors make use of the S-0 stepping, instead of the B-0 stepping of previously-released processors. The additions are comprised of the i3-7340 (4.2 GHz, 4 MB cache, 51 W TDP); i3-7320T (3.6 GHz, 4MB cache, 35 W TDP); i3-7120 (4 GHz, 3 MB cache, 51 W TDP); and the i3-7120T (3.5 GHz, 3 MB cache, 35 W TDP.) On the laptop side of the equation, Intel is introducing four new processors: the Core i3-7007U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.1 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i3-7110U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.6 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i5-7210U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.5 GHz base, 3.3 GHz Turbo, 3 MB cache); and the Core i7-7510U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.7 GHz base, 3.7 GHz Turbo, 4 MB cache.) Lastly, Intel is adding the new E3-1285 v6 Xeon to its lineup. This one brings increased clock speeds (4.1 GHz base, 4.5 GHz Turbo) with Intel's HD P630 integrated graphics, increasing the TDP by 19 W ( to 91 W) compared to the already existing Xeon E3-1275 v6 - for a 300 MHz clock speed increase. This Xeon should be the new highest-end processor for the iMac, which should place its pricing above the $612 mark previously held by the Xeon E3-1280 v6.

ADATA Updates External Hard Drive Range with HD710 Pro and New HD650

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the HD710 Pro durable external hard drive alongside an addition to the best-selling HD650 range. The HD710 Pro improves on its HD710 predecessor by exceeding IP68 dust and waterproofing plus military-grade shock resistance. It enhances the safeguarding of stored data against accidents, damage, and the rigors of active lifestyles, and is available in four colors. The HD710 Pro offers up to 4TB capacity. The refreshed HD650 arrives in a stylish light blue over black color scheme, also providing 4TB capacity - a new milestone for unpowered USB external hard drives. Together, these two new USB 3.1 models bolster the ADATA external hard drive portfolio, giving consumers more choice.

Apple iMac Receives Major Update

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to three times more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage options and brighter Retina displays, and added a Retina 4K display and discrete graphics to the $1,299 (US) 21.5-inch iMac. With its incredibly thin and seamless enclosure, fast processors and storage and stunning Retina display, iMac sets the gold standard for desktops. iMac delivers powerful performance for 3D graphics, video editing and gaming, and with macOS High Sierra coming this fall, iMac becomes a great platform for virtual reality content creation. Apple also today updated MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster processors, added faster SSDs to MacBook and introduced a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro.

"With major updates to iMac, and a refresh of our MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, the Mac is stronger than ever," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colors. We're also increasing CPU and SSD speed on MacBook, adding faster processors and making faster graphics standard on our 15-inch MacBook Pro and introducing a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro."

QNAP Unveils the Industry-leading Thunderbolt 3 NAS: TVS-1582TU

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TVS-1582TU - a pioneering 19-inch rack-mountable Thunderbolt 3 NAS that is suited for moving vehicles and outdoor media editing environments. The TVS-1582TU includes four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two 10GbE ports, and can utilize its Thunderbolt 3 ports to have USB-C 3.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) connections for high-speed data transfer and backups. The collection of high-speed connections provides an ideal 4K solution for SNG/OB van live productions in the fast-paced media industries.

"TV and film production and outdoor broadcasting require on-location recording and editing, and need their videos to be backed up immediately to prevent file loss," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The TVS-1582TU is designed for this environment, and its 19-inch rack form factor makes it especially usable for SNG/OB van live media production that requires frequent relocation."

OWC Announces the miniStack High Performance External Storage

OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, today introduced the OWC miniStack, a powerful external hard drive with USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity designed to stack perfectly with Mac mini. The new OWC miniStack offers exceptional performance, with transfer speeds up to 208 MB/s, capacities up to 6 TB, and an ultra-quiet MagLev cooling fan-all in a low-profile aluminum enclosure with a glossy black top designed to complement the look and feel of Mac computers. For virtually any Mac user, but especially those with a Mac mini desktop, home media library, or server, the OWC miniStack is an ideal solution to expand their computer's storage for documents, movies, photos, music, and to perform Time Machine backups.

"The OWC miniStack is an exciting new addition to our external storage lineup. Its footprint is identical to 2010 and later Mac mini, so it's a perfect external drive and Time Machine backup for our customers who use a Mac mini as a home computer, or with their home entertainment system," said Jen Soulé, President of OWC. "We designed the miniStack to be our most convenient, stackable external storage solution-and we think our customers who use a Mac at home are going to love its compact and stylish design."

Apple Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 38 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter's revenue.

The growth was fueled by record fourth quarter sales of iPhone, the expanded availability of Apple Watch, and all-time records for Mac sales and revenue from services. "Fiscal 2015 was Apple's most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it's a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are heading into the holidays with our strongest product lineup yet, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch with an expanded lineup of cases and bands, the new iPad Pro and the all-new Apple TV which begins shipping this week."

LG Electronics Makes Laptop Debut In U.S. With Windows 10 'Gram' Series

LG Electronics USA announced a U.S. market first: the launch of LG's line of premium lightweight laptops - LG gram series. LG gram laptops are available now at Microsoft stores across the country as well as online at Microsoft Store and Amazon. Named the LG gram as a nod to the devices' extremely light weight, the line is perfect for the everyday user looking for a high-performance laptop that is portability and durable with a sleek, modern design.

In fact, the LG gram 14 is among the lightest laptops in the 14-inch category, weighing only 2.16 pounds - less than the MacBook Air. In addition, the body is made of carbon-lithium and carbon-magnesium, the same materials found in spacecraft and race cars, giving the LG gram 14 an exceptionally strong rugged framework that stands up to everyday life while remaining lightweight. Finally, at just a half-inch thin, the LG gram 14 can be packed up and taken anywhere easily.

Apple Readies New iMac Desktops for Q3-2015

Apple is readying a new generation of iMac desktops, which it plans to launch in Q3-2015, likely at its September press event. The new Macs are expected to come with faster processors (likely Intel "Skylake,") faster DDR4 memory, and an increase in display resolutions across the board, including a 21.5-inch model with 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution, besides its 27-inch 5K (5120 x 2880 pixels) model. The display panels in these macs will feature a new LED phosphor material called KSF (K2SiF6:Mn), which improves color saturation. The displays will offer 30-bit (10 bpc) color depth, with the ability to produce 1.07 billion colors.
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