Pre-order Perks for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3; New Revelations in Stores!

The gaming season is beginning as the big names of Fall 2012 come out with their own set of perks to boost up their sales. The latest to join the league is Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 3…

The games have come a long way from the earlier times when we used to buy simple discs for playing out sequenced formats one after the other. Just like a sale in the Holiday season, every game comes along with a bagful of ‘perks’ and ‘pre-order benefits’ for the gamer. As Fall 2012 approaches, gaming majors have raised their bar for promoting their own brands of the season. Starting off the proceedings, Activision’s Call of Duty series is offering a series of goodies at an additional price of 10 pounds including a Quadrotor drone prop for Xbox 360 players and an entry into the Black Ops 2 Perks Program sweepstake as well. A pre-order before August 5 will make them eligible to win a chance to visit Gamescom. Playstation 3 players can get a Quadrotor theme for themselves as well.

Pre-order benefits also include a Nuketown 2025 map on a 10 pound deposit. There are more to follow and you don’t have to worry if you have already made the pre-order and did not get any of these perks. You just have to shell out an extra 5 pounds to get the required deal. And if you think that your kitty is not yet full, then pick up the Assassin’s Creed III pre-order package through Newegg. You will get a straight 20 per cent discount on the retail price of the game. You can get the game for a cool 47.99 dollars as compared to 59.99 dollars offered by the manufacturer. Do remember to enter “EMCYTZT1964” as the promo code to get the discount. The game would have a release date of October 30, 2012 and besides the usual perk, Ubisoft is also planning to also promote a ‘post launch episodic content’ which is expected to the top of the line DLC, which is expected to ‘set the bar’ in the gaming industry.

Ubisoft, which is gaining a lot of publicity owing to its latest enterprise ‘Watch Dogs’ is now expected to give tough competition to its contemporaries with Assassin’s Creed III. The ‘Season Pass’ is another feature that is going to be part of this edition, which has lead to speculations that the game would be augmented through a series of DLC releases. This is expected to commence soon. The game has progressed nicely and its latest edition is expected to make the battleground tougher for established enterprises such as Red Dead Redemption as well. Ubisoft seems to picking up well on the ‘trail’ of other gaming majors and catching up on favorites such as Rockstar Games. But as the season begins, more pre-order goodies are being announced every day and as long as the ‘perks’ keep on increasing, I am not complaining! After all, these just keep the gaming clime more ‘perkier’!… Read the rest

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Top 5 Ultrabooks: the Best and Slimmest Notebooks in the Market

Thinking of picking up a new laptop anytime soon? Have you already checked out the latest ads all over the place for those super-sleek, super-light utlrabooks yet? Are you in two minds about investing some extra moolah in this purchase and picking up an ultrabook instead of a regular laptop? We’ll help you decide if it is the right choice for you, and even offer you advice on some of the best ultrabooks available in the market that you can choose from.

Well, for starters, they are a whole lot sleeker and lighter than the regular laptops. But they don’t just look good from the outside, they are meant to be extremely functional. With long lasting battery life, and higher processor powers as well as tons of storage space, ultrabooks are designed for heavy usage. Add to the fact that ultrabooks have a metallic body that makes them a lot tougher than ordinary notebooks. Intel has conceptualized the ultrabook to be the perfect computing companion for those who are constantly on the move, and prefer using their devices constantly on the batteries.

Here’s a list of the most popular ultrabooks out in the market currently:

Dell XPS 13: Now here’s one that definitely wins in the looks segment. An extremely gorgeous chassis made of carbon fiber; it is also one of the slimmest ultrabooks available today, its slimmest region being only 6mm thick! The Dell XPS 13 is powered by an i5 processor and has 4GB RAM, as well as a 128GM SSD drive. Go for the Dell XPS 13 if you are looking to splurge on your purchase, and are a fan of understated style.

Lenovo IdeaPad U300S: Lenovo’s ultrabooks are extremely stylish and are available in numerous color options. While the company claims up to 8 hours of battery backup on a single charge, we think you could easily use this one for at least 6 hours without worrying about running out of charge. Sporting a 13.3-inch screen, you can choose from Intel’s 3rd generation i5 or i7 processor to power this IdeaPad. Featuring an Intel HD 3000 graphics card and 4GB RAM, you can get 128GB or even 256GB SSD drives in this ultrabook for storage. Extremely light and compact, the IdeaPad is only 0.59 inches thick and weighs a mere 1.33kg.

Asus Zenbook UX31: This is a company that is known for its extremely robust machines to begin with. So when it comes to ultrabooks, Asus does complete justice to Intel’s concept in the form of the Zenbook UX31. Taking inspiration from the Macbook Air, it is just 3mm thick at its thinnest point and goes up to a mere 17mm at its thickest region, and weighs only 1.1kg! The aluminum casing makes the Zenbook quite sturdy and even succeeds in giving a decent 5.5 hours of battery life, thanks to its onboard ultra-low voltage i5 processor. What’s more, the Zenbook also happens to one of the most affordable ultrabooks in the market.

HP Envy 14 Spectre: Now HP’s take on ultrabooks may not be quite as sleek as what the others are offering, but in terms of performance, the Envy 14 Spectre does quite an outstanding job, leaving us all fairly impressed. Featuring Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for its screen and even on its lid, this ultrabook is built to survive excess wear and tear, but at the same time looks elegant and quite distinct from its competition. Powered by an i5 processor and 4GB RAM, and weighing almost 4 pounds, we can forgive HP for making this a little chunkier than its competition for something quite this good looking and functional.

Samsung Series 9: While Samsung may have failed to make a mark initially when it stepped into the laptop market, its range of ultrabooks sure does look promising. The Series 9 features an aluminum shell and a bright high resolution screen, and comes in two models – choose from a screen size of 13 inches or 15 inches. These ultrabooks have an i5 processor, Intel HD 3000 graphics card, and 128GB SSD drive for storage. The 13-inch model is powered by 4GB RAM, while the 15-inch version has 8GB RAM. Both these models provide a decent 4 hours of battery life.… Read the rest

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Successful Release by Apple: Mountain Lion Downloaded 3 Million Times

Saturday marked an eventful day for Apple Inc. as the company marked around 3 million downloads of OS X Mountain Lion that is the latest desktop operating system. Built on a rock-solid UNIX foundation, OS X is the fastest update of desktop OS and has full advantages of the technologies. It is engineered to deliver the most intuitive and integrated computer experience to users.

OS X Mountain Lion was released last Wednesday on the Mac App Store with a download price of $19.99.

Apple looks to add innovative functions to its software as part of a broader push so that all of its products work flawlessly together to encourage customers to buy several devices.

The features of OS X Mountain Lion from the iPhone and iPad include a notification system that shows text messages sent to the devices on the Mac computer. Analysts believe that this feature makes customers addictive to Apple products that refrain them from buying anything other than the Apple.

OS X Mountain Lion can be upgraded from http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-mountain-lion/id537386512?ls=1&mt=12Read the rest

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London Olympics 2012: Digitized the Technology

An array of technology has transformed the way spectators view 2012 London Olympics Games. Technology has changed the way we consume, share, and see the world around us. Although, majority of spectators watching this year’s Olympics Games will put on their television sets, there are many people who will follow the games on their mobiles and tablets. With the influx of social network, this year’s games are aimed to reach wide audience as all digital savvy Olympians connect to their devices and gadgets to reach their fans, making the game more accessible to people all over.

Let’s go back in the history of the Olympic Games before the Internet to see how the communication evolved from birds to tweets.

Dating back to centuries, it all began with pigeons.

From 776 B.C. games until 384 A.D., Roman Emperor Theodosius I had put a ban on the Olympics so that he could impose Christianity as a state religion. During that time, pigeons were the main source used to spread news.

There was then, centuries of Olympic radio silence. It was by 1896, when the pigeons finally were replaced by telegraphs as the messengers of information. This decision was taken by the newly formed International Olympic Committee.

It was for the first time in history that the radio did Olympics broadcast in 1924. The year 1936 saw a live telecast for viewers in Berlin and Potsdam, Germany. By 1960, the Games were being broadcast on television worldwide; and then 36 years later, in 1996, Atlanta hosted the first ‘Internet Olympics’.

And today, almost 16 years later, the world is now following the Olympics at the 24/7 Olympics Athletes Hub, with various applications for smartphones. These applications help viewers track everything from the progress of the Olympic torch to the location of toilets in the host city. It also shows the London Eye full with a rainbow of colors that correspond to Twitter’s sentiment about the Games.

It is believed that by 2016, when the next Summer Olympics are held in Rio, the digital reach of the Games will have evolved even further and there will be more mobile devices on the planet than humans. In this age, we now have a different kind of bird, who has taken over pigeons as messengers of information. Even with all this advancement in technology and media, there is still one question that interests all viewers- who won?… Read the rest

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It’s Time to Move Ahead of Google, Bottlenose Launches New Search Engine

Social media search experience doesn’t get any better than this. Bottlenose, which was a game changer for social media, has today launched its discovery engine in public beta. The discovery engine is one of its kinds, which lets you keep tab of the news, pictures and links that are in vogue. With Bottlenoses’ discovery engine, searching the web becomes an enthralling experience as you come across the freshest and most vital information at click of a button. In the words of Nova Spivack, CEO, who says that Bottlenose effectively does for social networks what Google did for the Web.

When you enter your query in the discovery engine search bar,  Bottlenose pulls out information related to your term from social websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and you get to see your search in a tabular format synopsis called ‘Now’ which gives you immediate access to the current trends.

“We’re trying to be the ‘Now’ company,” Spivack told Jennifer Van Grove of Venture Beat. “We’re trying to build the highest resolution picture of what’s happening right now.”

Bottlenose’s works on a technology that measure the crowd to sense the drift across major social networks. What it gives you is a precise piece of information of what is happening and what is current in the world.
Bottlenose also gives you a handful of apps such as Now, Paper, Pictures, Scanner and Sonar, which lets you choose from the trending content. These neat apps engage you in the first instance and give you a better understanding of content.

“The messages flowing through social networks reflect what’s happening in the world. Bottlenose measures the crowd to provide a live view of what’s important,” said Nova Spivack, co-founder and CEO of Bottlenose. “We’re mapping the global mind in real-time. It’s a new way to tap into collective consciousness that literally lets you see what the world is thinking.”

You can also create your Bottleneck account in case you want to save your searches for later viewing. This way you have your personal start page, which gives you fresh dose of whatever is happening around you whenever you log in.

“We had to develop entirely new technologies to make Bottlenose’s real-time discovery engine even possible. Bottlenose is entirely built in Javascript and HTML5 and leverages a patent-pending crowd computing architecture to achieve massive scale at amazing low costs,” said Dominiek ter Heide, CTO and co-founder, Bottlenose. “Bottlenose builds an interest graph for every person, topic and link mentioned in social media. It also uses proprietary analytics, natural language processing and trend detection algorithms to map the global brain at any point in time.”

Learn more about Bottlenose here: http://bottlenose.com/Read the rest

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Google Fiber Launches with a Bang in Kansas City

It was just a few days ago when Google publicly released the registration of 1 gigabit fiber network. The company plans to launch Google Fiber on both the Kansas and Missouri sides of Kansas City. What’s good news for Google is that there are already more than 20 percent of the qualified neighborhoods on the Missouri side who have arrived at Google’s thresholds within two days of its opening. This network is new and super-fast.

However, things are a bit slow in Kansas City, Kansas, where the median household income is notably lower than on the other side of the city. Here, there are only three neighborhoods that have met Google’s goals. There are still hundreds of people who still have to sign up to bring fiber to their houses.

Last week, Google officially launched Google Fiber and set it up as an unusual system as the company still had to decide where to roll it out first. Google separated the metropolitan area into ‘fiberhoods’ with around 250 to 1,500 households. It wants all likely subscribers pre-register for Fiber service for a fee of $10.

Before rolling out a Fiber in an area, Google wants all neighborhoods to arrive at a definite threshold of households, which was between 5 to 25 percent. Neighborhoods that don’t reach their pre-registration goals by September 9 will be last in line. Those who reach their goals will be given priorities as per the total number of pre-registrations in each area.… Read the rest

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Mobile Traffic Jammed the Network at Olympic Broadcast

Controversy around the broadcast of 2012 Olympics Games in London does not seem to have come to a close yet. The International Olympic Committee had to request all attendees to avoid sending too many messages and texts. They have put a limit to the output of status updates only to ‘urgent’. Mobile updates by spectators at the Olympics clogged a mobile network that was being used by official TV data suppliers to transmit live telecast.

Twitter and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have both worked hand-in-hand for the endorsement of the microblog service to connect with athletes, competitors and London 2012. The IOC says that the increase in number of users accessing mobile social media at some Olympic venues has interfered with mobile networks on which the games themselves depend.

There are many television broadcasters who state that the coverage of Olympic cycling road races lacked official timing data supplied by the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS). There was one BBC commentator who actually relied on his own stopwatch.

However, the name of the underperforming network was not revealed.

The request to send only urgent tweets sounds ironic in the IOC’s own social media commitment. The way Twitter has undone coverage is even more agreeably ironic for all onlookers who compared the fortunes of each medium. Unlike the TV data issue, spectators do not yet seem to have experienced mobile signal issues during the games.

Some of the UK’s five main mobile carriers such as Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone, and Three had lined together with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to plan out 3G signal requirements around London well in advance. But now they had to ask users to prioritize use of their mobile so that the burden could be lessened.

It might have been embarrassing for the industry to watch the internal strife. The networks during broadcast were broken and so these concerns regarding volume in network could have been avoided.… Read the rest

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Apple vs. Samsung Patent War: Just Before the Trial Commences

The War of the Titans

Monday, July 30 Date of trial of the titans in US
$2.53 billion Apple’s total claim in damages
16 claims Levied on Samsung for “slavish” copying of iPhone and iPad designs
10 patents Belonging to Samsung that, the company says, Apple has infringed upon
Banned Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Germany and Australia

The two tech giants are going to lock horns in a US jury trial today, after over two years of continuous accusations over copying each other’s patented designs and technologies. As the federal court in San Jose, California gears up to host this mega-trial, all of Silicon Valley along with technology enthusiasts the world over await the outcome with bated breath because the trial will have implications across the globe. At TechThirsty.com, we have been following up on all current updates related to, what can be easily called one of the hottest tech wars. As the companies set up for war, let’s see what is at stake:

Samsung’s recent success with its smartphone and tablet caused Apple to sue the company with claims that the former ‘slavishly copied’ the latter’s popular iPhone and iPad designs. While Apple is seeking at least $2.53 billion in damages, if it wins, this amount could go significantly higher, at the judge’s discretion. On the other hand, Samsung claims that Apple would not have been able to succeed if it were not for Samsung’s technology, for which it has not even received any credit. Let’s take a look at what’s at stake for these two firms, and what this trial means for the technology industry as a whole.

If Samsung loses the case, it could affect almost 20% of its entire profits. If Apple wins the case, it could ask for a permanent ban on some of Samsung’s hottest selling products, including the flagship Galaxy S3 and Galaxy tablets. Samsung is already reeling under the effect of a ban on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and its latest Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the US market.

However, if the trial sways in Samsung’s favor, Apple could not only stand to dish out a lot of money to cover financial damages, it could also end up losing to the competition. Tech enthusiasts have already established that Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is a better phone than the iPhone 4S, a fact that Apple might also have to admit if it loses the case.

As things heat up in the courtroom, other tech majors like Microsoft, IBM, Nokia, and Research in Motion have already filed court papers to protect their own patent licensing agreements from being disclosed due to this trial between Apple and Samsung.

During the course of the trial, onlookers can expect to see a host of design documents and financial data being brought out as each side tries to bring the other one down. The trial is expected to go on for at least 4 weeks and both companies will have to convince a 10-member jury of each other’s wrongdoing. This is one of the most significant patent cases to come to trial in current times and will have significant implications that could affect not only the two main parties, but also have cascading effects on other companies including Google and other Asian phone makers like Huawei.

Read our previous articles on the background, and some more color on Samsung’s claims and Apple’s claims.… Read the rest

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Official Website for London Olympics 2012 Fails Performance Tests

London2012.com, the official website for London Olympics has failed in online tests conducted to check if it will be able to satisfy the needs of users during the games. This has come as a big disappointment and other websites, londonolympics2012.com, visitlondon.com/london2012, timeout.com/London/Olympics-2012, tfl.gov.uk and lastminute.com are all expected to have high traffic when the event is on.

A series of tests were conducted by Compuware to check the compatibility of the websites. The websites were tested on the basis of user experience, browser, content, network, server and 11 other performance related areas wherein the websites failed miserably especially when compared to the performance of Alexa 100, a global web index.

London2012.com was identified as a weak performer in some of the key areas, which included loading a web page, content delivery as per user requirement and many others. What’s worse is that all this will simply put pressure on the server. Michael Allen, Director of IT service management at Compuware on this matter said, “As the traffic increases we expect that some of the architectural issues that we have identified will proliferate to what is a performance problem. The number of requests, for example, is probably okay if you only have a few hundred users accessing it concurrently.”

“However, if you have thousands it’s going to put the servers under increased pressure. People will be denied content because a server can only have so many open connections” he added.

Compuware is of the view that those working on the website should resolve this issue and they can do so by putting group images such as logos in one request.

Another major issue that was seen at the website was the waiting time. The browser actually took almost 1.9 seconds to open a page, which is much more compared to 0.04 seconds of lastminute.com. The total load wait time was 12.2 seconds for london2012.com, compared to 2.3 seconds for londonolympics2012.com.

Furthermore, the time spent on executing user’s commands in JavaScript was 3.7 seconds for london2012.com compared to 0.4 seconds for londonolympic2012.com.

On the matter, Compuware’s Allen said, “I think a lot of these things they won’t be able to change rapidly, it’s probably too late now. Many websites look at performance and design from the outset, you would think that if you were building the Olympics website you know it’s going to have a relatively short lifespan, but in that time it’s going to be under huge amounts of pressure and have high visibility.”

He further went on to say that, “it would be very difficult to make significant changes now that we are a few days away from the Games.”

He also suggested some measures that would help keep the pressure away. “I think you could look to make some rapid changes. One of the problems with london2012.com was the size of the site – the homepage was 4.3MB, which compares with the Alexa median of 0.4MB and tfl.gov.uk’s website of 0.6MB,” said Allen.

“That’s pretty heavy for a homepage. You could compress a lot of the images, which you could do pretty quickly. That would take a lot of the burden off the network. Or they could look to rapidly provision extra datacentre capacity, but that’s an expensive option.”… Read the rest

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Samsung’s New Claim: Apple Phones Deeply Influenced by Former Sony-Style

The patent row between electronic consumer giants Apple and Samsung has brought to fore many revelations. For instance, before entering the Smartphone battle with Apple, Samsung was warned by Google in regards to the similarities of S3 with iphone4S but it conveniently ignored it. Another shocking disclosure which has raised brows is iphone’s resemblance to earlier Sony –Style designs.  The battle of the smartphones is getting bitter and it is hard to say who will emerge as the winner.Mobilemag.com reported the court discoveries and findings which clearly show the evolution that took place before Apple’s iOS devices came into existence.

iPad Prototype Featuring A Kickstand

The first thing which has come up amidst the legal battle is an ipad prototype which belongs to the era when nobody even heard of the word ‘Tablet’. As reported by Mobilemag.com this tablet is actually labeled as an “iPod” product on the back, and features a kickstand that is sort of similar to the Microsoft Surface. However, the kickstand is not appealing and is not something expected from the present-day Apple product.

 

iPhone 4 Prototype- N90

 Another one which has come to light is N90 which is supposed to be iphone4 prototype. N90 bores quite a few similarities to the iphon4 though the difference lies in screen size and corner shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extrudo Shape and Sony-Style Chappy iPhone 4 Models

Samsung has rubbished Apple‘s allegations by claiming that iPhone designs were themselves profoundly influenced by former Sony -Style. Further reported by Mobilemag.com the Sony -Style layout is clearly labeled by Sony and yet looks similar to the black style prototype seen here. The memo included below between Richard Howarth and Jonathan Ive even talk about the two different designs, clearly calling the black prototype a Sony-Style Chappy.

 

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