Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Repairing 2013 Apple Mac Pro won't be too difficult

It has been found that the late 2013 Apple Mac Pro is actually quite easy to repair.

Apple makes some of the most popular products, its notebooks, tablets and smartphones are recognized around the world. The company is also known for making these devices extremely hard to repair, a task that an average joe who knows his way around a screwdriver probably won’t be able to do. Its an entirely different case with the new Mac Pro, as the folks at iFixit demonstrate, in fact they give it an 8 out of 10 on the repairability scale, with 10 being the easiest to repair.

They believe that the design of this computer resembles an aluminium soda can more than it does a trash can, as many have pointed out on the internet. Removing the outer casing is actually very easy, just one slide of the lock switch and its free, exposing the first layer of components. The RAM modules can be easily accessed so users will be able to upgrade them to 64GB, which is the highest you can go, quite easily. Its almost as easy to take out the SDD, requires just a turn of the screwdriver, exposing the flash controller and flash storage underneath. Going beyond the graphics card, which is secured by four screws and a clamp, one can find that the I/O port, logic board and the dual graphics cards are all connected to one single “daughter board” shaped like a disc. The power supply is wedged between the logic board and the I/O board and is said to be a little hard to remove. Digging through these components will take users to the CPU, which is already known to be removable.

iFixit performed its teardown on a $3,000 stock configuration Mac Pro, and while it says that the computer is easy to disassemble, it mentions that there are some proprietary new connectors and fairly tight cable routing that might confuse people going into the depths of their Mac Pro, which is why they should invest in a repair manual before taking the Mac Pro apart.

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China Mobile iPhone pre-order figure reportedly stands at 100,000

It appears that only a fraction of China Mobile’s massive subscriber base has signed up for the new iPhones at this point in time.

Back in December Apple finally announced that it had reached a deal with China Mobile which would bring its new iPhones to over 750 million subscribers of the world’s largest mobile carrier. This is certainly a big deal for the company, because not only will it be able to increase its market share in China, it could potentially add billions in yearly revenue. The carrier won’t launch iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C for its customers until January 17 but it has already started taking pre-orders.

Analysts at Wedge Partners believe that the China Mobile iPhone pre-order figure is around 100,000 for the first two days of availability. While the number is impressive, its not more than what the carrier’s rivals were able to pull in. China Unicom and China Telecom, who already sell the new iPhones, took over 120,000 and 150,000 pre-orders of the new iPhones respectively. Furthermore, 100,000 customers are only a small fraction of the over 750 million strong subscriber base of China Mobile. Analyst expect that Apple will be able to sell as many as 20 million iPhones on China Mobile alone in 2014.

Though it should be kept in mind that the new iPhones aren’t exactly that “new” now, China Mobile’s rivals launched both of them a couple of months back. It is also said that China Mobile isn’t offering any savings to set its iPhones apart from its rivals, in fact its rates are said to be slightly than that of China Unicom.

Source: AllThingsD

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The top 3 anime of 2013 according to Sankei.jp

2013 is over and the Japanese news website, Sankei.jp.msn.com has recently revealed their picks for the three best anime from the past year.

All three anime are quite deserving of their spots and have not disappointed the fans at all, in fact, tow of these anime have actually exceeded most people’s expectations.

This anime experienced sell outs for both its DVD/ Blu-Rays as well as its original light novels by Wataru Watari for its lovable cast and great story line.The anime has an amazing story centered on the “bitter-bitter-sweet” trio of Hachiman Hikigaya, Yukino Yukinoshita and Yui Yuigahama which fans have all grown to love… along with “trap” character Saika who has been called by many as “the next Hideyoshi” as a reference to the now-legendary trap character from Baka & Test.Read more on Hachiman, Yui, Yukino and the rest of the Oregairu gang through this link:*http://sgcafe.com/tag/oregairu/

Free! provides a great story, exciting sports action, lovable characters, a cute little sister character and a whole lot of ABS. This anime features a whole lot of female-oriented fan service as well as some yaoi intonations but that does not stop this anime from giving out a great story and beautiful animation thanks to Kyoto Animation or KyoAni.The anime has also made a lot of females into anime fans and quite surprisingly has a lot of male fans as well who watch it for the story (or the cute little sister character).Read more on this abtastic anime through this link:*http://sgcafe.com/tag/free!/

Surprise surprise, #1 is Attack on Titan. The series dominated this year and has been featured in many fan-made videos, memes, cosplays and video games. Looks like humanity’s struggle against the titans have proven quite a hit not only in Japan but also the rest of the world.Along with Oregairu, this anime exceeded expectations and has become 2013′s undisputed most popular anime. The series is a great blend of fast-paced action and human drama which has gained many fans all across the world.Read more on humanity’s struggle against the titans through this link:*http://sgcafe.com/tag/attack-on-titan/Which anime are your picks for the top series of 2013?

Read more about your favorite*anime*here on SGCafe!

Also join in on the community’s discussions at*http://forums.sgcafe.com

Via Sankei MSN

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The Humble Store extends its Winter Sale to Jan. 3

The Humble Store extends its celebrated Winter Sale for a limited time, allowing gamers more time to nab PC favorites like Gone Home, Papers Please, Rogue Legacy and more.

The Humble Store’s Winter Sale was a rousing success, but like all sales, it had to come to an end. Instead of shutting down the winter savings, though, the humble folks behind the digital marketplace decided to extend the Winter Sale until January 3rd,*giving gamers across the globe the chance to pick up some of 2013′s best games at a discounted price.

The extended sale marks savings up to -75% off and will contain all of the best-selling titles featured in the original sale, including such gaming favorites as the Communistic indie Papers Please ($4.99), the inventive and visually unique Don’t Starve ($4.99), the intensely gory and satisfying Shadow Warrior remake ($9.99) and the humorous, super-addictive Rogue Legacy ($4.99).

Monaco is also on the list for a super-saver price of $2.99, and you can experience what it’s like to be a game developer with Game Dev Tycoon for just $4.99 as well.

This is the perfect time to nab your favorites for a great low price and help charity in the process; so far the Winter Sale has raised*$331,477 in proceeds for charity. So be sure to hop on over to the Humble Store to take advantage of this extension while it lasts!

Via Destructoid

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'Warframe' gets PEGI rating for Xbox One

PEGI, the European video game ratings board, has apparently rated an Xbox One version of the popular techno-ninja MMOFPS Warframe–hinting at a possible release on the next-gen console.

Warframe is an interesting MMOFPS that has since bridged the free-to-play gap between PC and consoles. Digital Extremes high-tech ninja shooter was first released on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console, and recent evidence may indicate a release onto Microsoft’s Xbox One.

A listing for the game has recently been spotted on PEGI’s online website, which–oddly enough–presents a release date of 12/31/2013 (today).

The game itself will no-doubt be a welcomed title to the Xbox One’s free-to-play scheme, allowing gamers to join their friends for some intense futuristic shoot-em-up action. Warfarme makes use of many different mechanics, blending action with randomized loot and surprisingly dynamic RPG elements, as gamers apply upgrades and mods to make their “warframe” even more deadly.

The visual style of the game is quite alluring as well, but like any free-to-play game, Warframe is riddled with micro-transactions. While it’s not essential that you purchase the in-game currency (known as Platinum), having a supply of shiny Platinum does give you direct access to new frames, weapons, and a host of other upgrades.

Warframe takes players across the entire Solar System, with a variety of missions that emphasize teamwork. Up to four players play together in eradicating the enemy, making it a pure co-operative type of game (which is a nice change of pace among today’s competitive-based shooters).

The storyline is quite engaging as well, painting a galaxy riven with multiple factions all vying for their own causes. The Tenno–the do-good clan of warframes–stands as a means of justice, and converges with enemy factions to thwart their plans for domination and the like. Every new update adds in more stories and missions, carrying forth the game’s legacy to new paths.

As far as any solid evidence from the developers of the game, Digital Extremes have yet to make any official announcements on the matter. It’ll nonetheless be interesting to see if Warframe crosses over to the Xbox One sometime in the future.

As of now, though, the game remains one of the more solid free-to-play games available on the PS4 lineup, and is decently populated with gamers and frequently updated. Also there’s the added benefit of not needing a PlayStation Plus membership in order to play.

Warframe is now available as a free-to-play game on Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PC. For more information be sure to visit the game’s official website.

Via Hardcore Gamer , Joystiq , Gamekyo*& PEGI

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Shapify.me uses Kinect to turn you into a 3D printed figure

Using Microsoft’s advanced Kinect sensor, the Shapify service allows gamers to purchase realistic 3D printed figurines of themselves and their friends.

If you’re anything like Raj and Howard on The Big Bang Theory, you’ve always wanted to have a figure of yourself. Fortunately there’s an option that avoids having to pick up an expensive 3D printer; the Shapify.me service from Artec Group has you covered.

How does it work?

The service is heavily reliant upon Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, making use of the device’s pinpoint pose-capturing to accurately render any given image, especially of people. The service currently supports Xbox 360 and Windows versions of Kinect.

To get the ball rolling, users scan a picture of themselves in any given pose, and use the free Shapify app software to put the finishing touches on their digital doppleganger. It’s also worth mentioning you’ll need to keep whatever pose you want captured for around a minute or so, as the Kinect captures you from multiple angles.

The finished product is a miniature figurine–not a full-scale action figure–but a small realistic rendition of you (or a loved one) to add to your collection. Oddly enough, Shapify doesn’t list the Xbox One’s Kinect 2.0 sensor as a supported product–but it’ll be interesting to see how this takes off in the future, especially on a broader scale.

Be sure to visit Shapify.me to check out the methods behind fabricating a mini-you, especially if you’ve always wanted to have a teeny version of yourself in a favorite Halloween get-up.

This is a unique and memorable way to immortalize someone (or even an occasion, say in your self-made Comic-Con cosplay outfit?) without having to take a snapshot–but the somewhat hefty price-tag might ensure you only have two or three of these miniatures laying about.

Via Gamespot

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Juppongatana members from the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie previewed

Warner Brothers Japan’s official Rurouni Kenshin live action movie website posted a new image previewing main villain Makoto Shishio‘s deadly band of swordsmen, the Juppongatana.

The image shows Shishio in the middle of the Juppongatana members which include*Soujirou Seta, Chou the Sword Hunter, the manipulative*Houji Sadojima, the mad monk Anji and many more.

Ryunosuke Kamiki will be playing Soujirou Seta,*Ryousuke Miura will be playing*Chou the Sword Hunter,*Kenichi Takitou will play*Houji Sadojima,*Tomomi Maruyama is Anji Yuukyuuzan,*Matsu Murata plays Usui Uonuma,*Hiroko Yashiki plays Kamatari Honjou,*Yuuya Hara plays Henya Kariwa,*Takao Yamada plays Iwanbou,*Kentarou Shimazu as Saizuchi and*Kouta Yamaguchi plays Fuji.

The website also revealed the release dates for the two sequel movies which will be shown later this year.*Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen (Rurouni Kenshin: The Great Kyoto Fire) will premiere on August 1, 2014 while*Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen (Rurouni Kenshin: The End of a Legend) will hit Japanese theaters on September 13, 2014.

Read more news about the live-action Rurouni Kenshin movies at*http://sgcafe.com/tag/rurouni-kenshin-live-action/

Read more anime news here on SGCafe at* http://sgcafe.com/category/anime/

And join in on the community’s*discussions at* http://forums.sgcafe.com

Via Warner Brothers Japan

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Used couch harbored large snake for two months without owner knowing

A Michigan woman finds her second-hand couch to be harboring a snake two months after she initially moved the furniture in.

Holly Wright recently found out that her used couch, which she picked up off the curb two months earlier, was actually housing a snake.* The snake remained dormant under the couch for months before it finally decided to crawl out.* Wright told the local WZZM-TV station that she had no idea the snake was snuggling up in between the cushion and bottom area of the couch.

“I picked this couch up off the street and it’s been in my bedroom for a couple months, and today we found a python inside the couch,” said Wright after she probed the reptile with a plastic coat hanger.

Wright reported that the snake died before it made it out of the couch, leading to the couch owner to believe the snake remained in the couch for so long because it was stuck—a truly unfortunate circumstance.

“It’s pretty big.* We don’t know what kind of snake it is for sure.” Wright added.* “Funny, my room almost feels a little empty now.* It’s been really sad actually to realize all this time I was in proximity to that animal (that) was probably suffering.”

Source: ABC news

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Sony's first Japanese PS4 commercial revealed

Moving on with just one final step after East Asia, Sony now reveals their first advertisement for the much awaited Japanese release of the PS4 console.

When Sony first revealed release dates for the PS4, it was quite strange that it did not include any release dates for Japan. One would probably question why they did not decide to release it first in the country where they are sure it would succeed.

But maybe that’s exactly the reason why they decided to temporarily forego with the PS4′s Japanese release and move towards its international release first. Seizing the larger world gaming market may have given them a more strategic advantage. So what’s the better way to promote it to Japan as it arrives then?*Well, how about showing how successful the console is now after its international release? The first Japanese PS4 commercial may be very brief, but it tries to capture the emotion and excitement when the PS4 was launched worldwide.

Watch and enjoy.

Source: Doope (JP), Sony (JP)

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Hackers mod Wii U GamePad to stream games from PC

At this year’s 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30c3), a small team of hackers showcased a reverse-engineered Wii U GamePad that can play streamed video games from a localized PC.

The Chaos Communication Congress is an annual event in the international hacking scene hosted by the Chaos Computer Club wherein teams and hackers across the globe come to meet. The conventions hold numerous workshops and on-stage affairs wherein talented tecchies share their knowledge and showcase their creations.

At this year’s 30c3 event, one small group of hackers revealed their newest accomplishment: a reverse-engineered Wii U GamePad that could play games streamed by a PC, avoiding the primary console altogether.

While on stage, the group discussed how they managed to achieve this feat through an extremely technical lecture filled with highlights on integral subjects like firmware and code streams. The announcement was intriguing, but the magic didn’t happen until the theoretical applications became real; when the crowd got to see the streaming in action.

When the team started up an emulated GameCube version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, the room burst out in fanfare. Here was one of the most celebrated Zelda games being streamed from a nearby laptop to the GamePad itself, without the need of the bulky console.

The footage below contains the full on-stage presentation, and the gameplay demo starts around the 47 minute mark.

The gameplay session was a bit buggy here and there, and the demo itself was accompanied by a few crashes, but all-in-all was a solid display of the hacked GamePad. The key here is that it worked, and while the tech is in its early stages, there is a staggering amount of potential for it to carry over to future projects.

While Nintendo may not be happy about this application, it was merely a demonstration of their breakthrough, and the team affirms that the released*source code is aimed at developers. Furthermore the group of tech-savvy hackers have future plans to make the tools available on Windows and OSX, and they’re even working on fashioning an Android version which will allow gamers to substitute their Wii U GamePad for an Android tablet.

We won’t see this replace other handheld game-streaming devices like the Nvidia Shield, but this is an interesting breakthrough that has a multitude of possibilities within the hacking/modding realm.

It would be interesting to see more on the specific logistics of the streaming capabilities; whether or not the video is dependent upon the host computer’s specs or those of the Wii U GamePad–but the accomplishment of turning the tablet-like controller into its own stand-alone gaming peripheral is an impressive feat to say the least.

Via Engadget

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Netflix tests $6.99 subscription fee to compete with Amazon Prime

Netflix tries out a lower tier subscription price to better compete with Amazon in 2014.

There are more than one video-on-demand services out there, but so far it seems like Netflix is the pack leader.* Even so, big internet names like Amazon are threatening to slow down the growth of the popular video streaming service.

To keep up with its competitor, Netflix is testing out a new $6.99 per month service that is meant to keep the Netflix brand in the consciousness of consumers throughout 2014.

“The new plan likely has at least two goals: 1. Attract the more value conscious consumer.* 2. To more effectively compete with Amazon Prime,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

Amazon currently offers its Prime service for $79 a year, which includes access to Prime Instant Video streaming.* Divide that fee by 12 the subscription price per month comes to $6.67 a month, which is slightly cheaper than Netflix’s new $6.99 (one viewer at a time) service.* The Amazon Prime service also comes with free 2-day shipping for goods purchased through Amazon.

Netflix is continuing to search for growth avenues, and garnering more subscribers via a cheaper subscription fee may lead to just that.* Bhatia, however, noted that the new model may also cannibalize the old service as subscribers can easily cancel their current subscription and re-subscribe to the lower-priced deal.

Source: USAToday

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Noctua NH-U14S 140mm Heatsink CPU Cooler Review

Noctua NH-U14S 140mm Heatsink CPU Cooler Review

It’s entirely possible the next product needs no introduction – the Noctua NH-U14S is the newest version in Noctua’s NH-U series of CPU coolers that were first introduced in 2005. For years, Noctua has been synonymous with premium performance cooling and the new NH-U14S model looks to continue the tradition. Designed to be the premier option for the NH-U series the 140mm NH-U14S and its 52mm wide heatsink promise quiet performance while still clearing RAM modules, even on sockets like LGA2011. Combined with the NF-A15 140mm fan and an entire host of cutting-edge trademark technologies from Noctua, will this cooler be worthy of the Noctua name? Benchmark Reviews has a chance to see where the NH-U14S ranks among the competition.

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Sword Art Online II anime 'activated' for 2014

Sword Art Online II — a continuation of the 2012 mega-hit TV anime series Sword Art Online (SAO) — has been “activated” for 2014, Aniplex announced today at the tail end of the SAO: Extra Edition broadcast in Japan.

(Outside of Japan,*Sword Art Online: Extra Edition is also viewable with subtitles in Asia and most parts of the world on Daisuki.net, and in several Western territories on Crunchyroll.)

A short 30-second preview clip for Sword Art Online II was shown at the tail end of the broadcast.

SAO2 CM by AnimeSlovenija

In it, Kirito is seen wielding a sniper rifle — a clear reference to the fictional game Gun Gale Online, which is the Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Game (VRMMOG) featured in the next story arc for Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online light novels.

The Sword Art Online anime series’s official website has also been updated with a “Phantom Bullet” key visual art.

Read more anime news here on SGCafe at* http://sgcafe.com/category/anime/

And join in on the community’s discussions at* http://forums.sgcafe.com

Via Crunchyroll*and Otakomu

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