Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Original Facebook Version

Asus G74SX-91013Z 17.3 inch Notebook Review

Asus have a reputation for creating great gaming laptops, and today i want revisiting a machine that has been available for a while now … the Republic Of Gamers G74SX complete with 8GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia 560M graphics and Intel Core i7-2360QM processor. With a 17.3 inch screen running at full HD resolution of 1080p, 1.5TB storage, BluRay drive and THX TruStudio surround sound, is this still a good buy in 2012 ?

Asus are facing some stiff competition in this sector in 2012, with a raft of Alienware machines targeting the hard core gamer. Surprisingly, the G74SX machine is actually priced very competitively in today’s market, with Amazon stocking it for £1,589.94. This is obviously still a lot of cash to spend on a laptop, but it is worth bearing in mind that some of the Alienware high end gaming machines cost well in excess of £3,000.
Upon looking at the specification list, the only concern I have is the lack of Solid State Drive. It is certainly nice having 1.5TB of storage when on the move, but I would much rather have a 128GB SSD drive for Windows Boot, and a 750GB set for storage.
I have gotten so used to a primary Solid State Drive that it always surprises me just how slow a machine can feel without one handling the OS duties. Today we will find out just how this machine copes with a variety of games running at the native resolution of the panel, as well as some synthetic and real world tests. Is this worth the money?
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD 16:9 Full HD 3D (1920×1080 120Hz) LED Backlight
  • CPU: Intel® Core i7-2630QM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
  • Storage: 1.5TB
  • Memory: 8192MB
  • OS: 64bit Windows 7 Ultimate

Samsung Galaxy S II vs Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc "Face Off"

New Facebook Integration Shows What Your Friends Are Learning

The Pinterest-like website for learning that the founders of Grockit launched Thursday now has a Facebook integration that shows your friends what you’re learning.
Learnist, the newly launched product, allows anyone to compile content pieces onto a board (they call it a “learning”) that may look familiar.
Unlike Pinterest, however, creators suggest a path in which to consume each content component. Users can check off each component as they go or “re-add” it to one of their own learnings.
The idea is to avoid the misinformation, hacked-together how-to articles and other useless content one must weed through in a typical Google search and instead provide a clear learning path that will eventually include some form of assessment.
Topics range from the frivolous — like how to find the best pizza in Brooklyn — to common core standards taught in classrooms.
Regardless of which of them you look at, you can now assure your Facebook friends you’re getting smarter.

Facebook News Feed: Now With Gaming!

If you thought the announcement of a brand new Facebook App Center was big news, hold on to your hats. Or hair. Or heads.
Starting now, Facebook is enabling developers to share demos of their game content right in the News Feed, giving players the opportunity to play it the same way they would a Youtube video; that is, without leaving the screen. Dubbed “feed gaming,” it will give you bite-sized tastes of games without having to jump to the app itself.
For players, the benefit is anonymity. Instead of having to sneak on a game of Angry Birds or Idle Worship at work and broadcast the info to your friends (and boss), you’re able to indulge without the commitment. On another level, those with privacy concerns will be able to sample a developer’s offerings without having to allow each one access to their user data — provided, of course, the dev. makes a demo available.


We’re not talking hours of play here. From Facebook’s end, the program seems very much to be a courtship of creators rather than gamers, in hopes that development for the platform — which has been waning of late — will feel more appealing. Accordingly, there seems to be a lot of flexibility the demo, which is being sold as a way to onboard players with viral tactics. Encourage active players to post a particular level to their friends’ walls as a “demo” to challenge them to beat the score. Once they play a round or succeed? Ask them to play the full game. Better yet, reward virtual passers-by with the promise of premium or in-game currency for their time-killing, but make collection conditional on booting up the full version.

Like freemium games on the App Store, it’s Facebook’s way of dialing down the commitment level, allowing players to try before they buy-in with their personal info and commit a portion of their news feed to those bothersome updates. And yet for anyone who’s been playing Facebook games for a long while, this may feel similar to the moment when theaters started airing commercials for products before commercials for movies. As many of the platform’s games are already selling themselves on the “try before you buy” ethic, this is…what? Try before you try before you buy?
All cynicism aside, however, I can see this working. I rarely respond to invites from other players (and would love to see if this campaign relates to a mass downturn there), but will gladly watch and watch rewatch a funny video in my Facebook tab. If I could pop some bubbles or toss some mudlings around with the same ease? I may just find myself playing the full game. Would you?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Facebook May Launch Smartphone by Next Year [REPORT]

Facebook may be gearing up to launch its first-ever smartphone by next year, a new report suggests.
According to The New York Times, engineers have been sought by recruiters to work on building hardware for a Facebook smartphone. This would be the social network’s third attempt to develop a smartphone, the report said, citing sources close to the matter.
The news comes as search engine giant Google completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion earlier this week. This move could help Facebook counter that with its own foray into the smartphone hardware business.

Rumors about a possible Facebook phone have been circulating for the past few years. Although Facebook was reportedly first working on a smartphone in 2010, sources said the initiative stopped due to development complications. Meanwhile, AllThingsD has reported Facebook and manufacturer HTC were working together to develop a mobile device under the code name “Buffy.”
It’s believed that “Buffy” may still be in development. Hiring engineers to work specifically on building Facebook phones would position the company to explore other smartphone projects, as well.
Do you think a move into the smartphone business would be smart for Facebook or would it overextend itself? Would you buy a Facebook phone?

Google and Samsung Unveil New Chromebooks

new-chromebooks-600          Samsung just unveiled two new Chrome OS devices, computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system. One, like its predecessors, is a laptop design — a.k.a. “Chromebook” — while the other is a “Chromebox,” which is meant to be paired with a monitor.
Google says the new Series 5 Chromebook run up to three times faster than the first generation of Chromebooks that Google released last year. The new devices support hardware-accelerated graphics, and the Series 5 has a “built-from-scratch” touchpad that’s said to have a much faster response time.
Chromebooks are meant to be simple, yet nimble machines focused on everyday productivity tasks like web browsing and email, with a price to match. In keeping with that philosophy, both the new laptop and Chromebox are powered by Intel’s entry-level Celeron processors, with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage. Google says it boots up in seven seconds and resumes “instantly.”
The Chrome OS emphasizes constant connectivity, but Google is making the Chromebooks more usable when a connection is unavailable. Google Drive is integrated with the Chromebooks’ file system, and Google says it’s going to roll out offline support for the service over the next few weeks. It also says many of the apps in the Chrome Web Store are offline-capable as well.

There’s also a revamped media player and photo editor. And Chrome Remote Desktop (in beta) lets you use your Chromebook to securely connect to your Mac or PC, simulating the desktop experience in Chrome OS.
The new Series 5 Chromebook comes in WiFi+3G and WiFi-only versions (as a non-mobile device, the Chromebox is WiFi-only). The new Chromebook’s screen is 12.1 inches, and the Chromebox can connect to up to two 30-inch external displays. Two USB ports are on the Chromebook, while the Chromebox boasts six.
The WiFi-only Series 5 Chromebook costs $450, while the WiFi+3G version is $550. The Chromebox is $330.
What do you think of Samsung’s new Chrome OS devices? Yay or Nay? Sound off in the comments.