GTA fans might have something to look forward to in November if a recent rumor turns out to be true. According to UK retailer Gameseek, the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series will be hitting the streets on November 7th 2014. This is not that far off and ties in with a few other items that have been floating around about the game.
There is a rumor that is claiming AMD will not have a new desktop processor until 2016 that has been making the rounds today. The claim is that AMD is shifting their current focus to mobile CPUs and APUs. Originally it was thought that Carrizo would be the next chip offering that that it would keep up with Intel by offering support for DDR4.
The long rumored acquisition of game-streaming service Twitch by Ad-Giant Google has finally been confirmed, in what is looking to be a $1Billion deal. The original rumor surfaced back in May of this year when an article appeared in Variety. There were rumors that Microsoft and even Facebook were also looking into a purchase.
Why do the really great game development companies seem to disappear? If you have been around for a while you might remember a game development company by the name of Looking Glass Studios. This company is responsible for titles like Thief: the Dark Project, Thief II: The Metal Age and System Shock 1 and 2. These games were amazing for their time (and still are today) with concepts that brought about a new thought process in what a first person game could be.
A couple of days ago we posted a story about a group of developers that complained to Valve about their lack of a Bug Bounty. In their complaint was an inference that having a form of reward would make people want to identify and report bugs and exploits in a timely manner. On the surface that would seem to make sense, but there is a flip side to this line of thinking. There will also be times when people will wait to report something to ensure they get the most money out of their efforts.
The TOR Project has been the go-to group when it comes to anonymity. This group and their TOR browser bundle are used by millions of people daily and not just to surf for illegal items or porn. In many cases the use of TOR allows dissidents in countries with oppressive governments to maintain connections to the outside world and also communicate. In areas like China TOR and their obfuscator project allow free access to the internet despite the great firewall of China.
One of the items we have always beat AMD up on is there poor memory performance in their CPUs and APUs. This little issue is what has separated AMD from Intel since the AM2 days. It has always been understood that latency has a massive impact on an internal memory controller. As you latency increases your efficiency decreases. You can offset some of this by enlarging your cache and also optimizing the CPU to use it more efficiently. This is one area that AMD has traditionally had issues with, even going back to the Athlon 64 we saw them reducing cache sizes to remove problems and bump performance.
Remember all of the jokes about EA putting out games before they were ready? I do and many of them were very funny. Apparently someone at EA might have read them too and while we can picture them having an amused chuckle at first they might have also been a little concerned. Around the time that E3 was happening EA made comments to the effect that they would no longer push games out the door before they were ready. We all looked on with a look of “yeah right” on our faces and waited for the next unfinished game to hit the streets.
In 2012 ago we heard about a new type of internet tracking that involved making every computer identify itself and then following that ID around. At the time we thought the idea was very interesting. What we did not know was that the technology was already being worked on and ready for testing. The new type of identification was put together after very strict laws were put in place about the use of tracking cookies. Data miners and advertising companies needed a new method to see what you were doing.
There is a lot of information flying around the internet about security this month. Much of this is due to the looming Black Hat and DEF CON conferences that kick off in August. While many of the articles hitting the net are malware centric we are hearing about a few more that punch more than a few holes in the security of some very popular devices. We have seen Blackberry poke at Samsung and their Knox secure phone layer and vice versa. The biggest one that we have seen is the 58 page document published by security expert Jonathan Zdiarski about the iPhone.
In what should not have been a surprise to anyone, NVIDIA launched their own tablet today. This new tablet is part of their mobile gaming initiative and is a smart move considering some of the setbacks NVIDIA has had when dealing with the mobile industry.
You knew it was going to happen, but I am honestly surprised that it has happened this soon after the special 301 report recommendations came out. Italy has decided to issue a nation-wide block of sites that are suspected of piracy. One of the sites thrown into the mix is Kim Dotcom’s new cloud hosting service Mega. The measure was ordered by Court of Rome Judge Constantino De Robbio and includes 24 sites in its scope.
Network and application security are big deals and big business these days. It seems that a day does not pass that you hear about a new breach, exploit, hack or something. This sad state has prompted a few companies to actually look outside their organizations for help and offer bug bounties to individual researchers that find holes in applications and hardware. These bounties can be quite the incentive to get people to tear into your application looking for exploits, but even more important than rewards is having a clear method to report problems and a team that actually responds to them when they are found.
The next version of Doom will be picking up some new talent to work on it in the form of Crytek Lead R&D Graphics Engineer, Tiago Sousa. In a tweet made over the weekend Sousa says that he will be moving to id Software to work on the new Doom’s game engine idTech 6.
In case you think it's all fun and games at Quakecon... it is. But it's not all about the games. The American Red Cross is on site this year for a blood drive of all things.
If there is one constant in gaming it is the sequel. All a game has to do is sell a little bit and developers will find a way to make a part two. Now, if the game is a big hit, like say Dishonored, then the chances of a sequel are pretty much 100%. This is why the leaks about the next installment of Dishonored did not surprise us.
The P0wn2Own competition is getting s sibling. Now we are not talking about the competition sponsored by Google or even Microsoft. We are talking about a knockdown drag out competition to hammer the (lack of) security in residential and SOHO routers. The competition will be called SOHOpelessly Broken and will kick off at DEF CON 22 this year. Interestingly enough it is sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).
Microsoft has announced that they will be closing the doors on their Xbox Entertainment Studio. This move is part of the recent job cuts that new CEO Satya Nadella announced. Nadella is slimming things down as part of a mobile first, cloud first initiative, but also with the intention of re-focusing Microsoft on things that area important to the product in question. If you remember gamers were not that happy with the “more than a gaming console” spin that Microsoft put on the Xbox One.
It seems that Microsoft is not getting the love from former Halo developer Bungie. Bungie is working on a new game that is aimed at next generation consoles, but instead of partnering up with their old buddies Microsoft they decided to focus on Sony instead. Bungie even went so far as to start a beta program for PS3 owners early (today 7-17-2014).
We have talked about how the MPAA, RIAA and others use fantasy math to come up with the figures about how much Piracy hurts them. Usually they use these fantasy number when asking lawmakers for harsher punishments and also to show how malignant file sharers are. These numbers allege that every single download is a lost sale which leads to more revenue lost in concessions and many other non-related areas.
This morning some news flitted across my desk that made me thing of an old TV commercial. In this ad an older man in a suit ask the question: “How do we measure success?” His response is: “One client at a time.” All of this is done in black and white for an even better impression. Now that I have gone off on a tangent I should probably explain what I am talking about. The news in question was a bit of information stating that Xbox One sales had nearly doubled. The reason, Microsoft removed the Kinect from the bundle and cut the price.
They say that competition is good for the soul, and they are right. In just about any area you can think of having a little competition makes you better at what you do. In the computer world this is especially noticeable when it comes to motherboards, even more so now that companies like Intel and AMD control the chipsets and their features. The push now comes down to performance tuning (at a very fine level) overclocking an additional features to entice the consumer into picking up a new motherboard. We have had a couple of Z97 based boards in the lab recently, but all have been from the same company. Now we have one in from Gigabyte in the form of the Z97MX Gaming 5. Let’s take a look and see if competition has driven Gigabyte to a higher standard.
As a kid I can remember one of my brothers bringing home a new game. This game was not like anything I had seen at the time, it consisted of three books (there was a fourth, but that came later) and some funny looking dice. Its name was Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and it ended up occupying a large portion of my youth as we played out adventures in our heads. Dungeons and Dragons has gone through many incarnations and seen more than one competitor since that time in the mid-70s, but it has always stuck around. Even if the rule changes annoyed more traditional players it has always been there (I still have Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes...)
Well, with all of the news about Apple’s next round of products we thought we would chime in with our take on this. Warning Apple fans the following article is not based on analyst WAGs (wild ass guesses), but on information that is available publicly and, well through other means. Right now far too many analyst firms are looking to bolster their portfolios by talking up products from Apple that do not even have firm or realistic specifications attached to them. We are talking about Apple’s rumored iWatch, 12.9-inch iPad and large screen iPhone. All three of these are rumored to hit the market in September as Apple tried to catch up to the rest of the world and offer the same style of product that is already out there.
After hearing from Microsoft that the world would not see the true start menu back until the Redmond team decides to push Windows 9 out the door we are hearing a new rumor that a future update for Windows 8.x will have it. This is surprising as it appeared that CEO Satya Nadella was almost trying to distance himself from Windows 8.x and many of the items that were Ballmer centric pushes.