Brand new iMacs available November 30

Apple has announced that the latest iMac will be available on Friday, November 30. The new model features a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, faster processors and an a new storage option called Fusion Drivee. The 21.5-inch iMac will be available through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and Resellers. The 27-inch iMac will be available for order through the Apple Online Store and will begin shipping in December.

Redesigned from the inside out, the new iMac packs high performance technology into an aluminum and glass enclosure that measures just 5 mm thin at its edge and features a reengineered display that reduces reflection by 75 percent. The new iMac includes 8 GB of 1600 MHz memory, a 1 TB hard drive, third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7, and the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics processors that deliver up to 60 percent faster performance. Fusion Drive is an innovative new storage option that gives customers the performance of flash and the capacity of a hard drive by combining 128 GB of flash with a standard hard drive to create a single storage volume that intelligently manages files to optimize read and write performance.

Specs and prices:

  • 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US);
  • 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US);
  • 27-inch iMac is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US);
  • 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US).

To find out more about the new iMac, please visit the official website.

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What starts with War, ends with Death

The long awaited apocalyptic game of the year 2012 Darksiders II was finally released, bringing into scene as the main character, the second horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, who wants to spare his brother from oblivion, War, and restore humanity.

The game continues the story of the first Darksiders, in a post-apocalyptic scenario of this world, and like in the previous chapter the hero is caught in the middle of the fight between heaven and hell, being forced to fight both sides, angels and demons.

While the original Darksiders was an action/adventure game, Darksiders II comes with some sort of role-playing elements, making the gameplay a bit different. In addition, your enemies drop coins, armors, and weapons. You can take the equipment, sell it to a merchant, or sacrifice it to level up rare possessed weapons, which you can customize at certain thresholds.

Some might say that Darksiders II is a combination of ideas and concepts borrowed from many other popular games like The Legend of Zelda, God of War, Prince of Persia, Legacy of Kain series, etc. But the think is that the game is still enjoyable to play, even if you find a mixture of common action elements in it.

Each level requires you to resolve a puzzle and to make you figure out how to get from one point to the next. You’ll have to scale walls, throw naturally occurring bombs you stumble upon, pull some levers, etc. You also get a phantom grapple hook that allows you to swing and you can extend your wall runs and jumps. Later, Death splits in three, petrifying your main form and using two doppelgangers to stand on switches and move platforms. Ultimately, you fire portals to travel across great ravines and even through time itself–and these are hardly the extent of the tools you use to make progress through Darksiders II’s clever self-contained puzzles.

Comparing with the original Darksiders, this one’s puzzles are more expertly created and you’ll have to really think harder and harder to unlock them (if you don’t see the youtube walkthroughs). But as much as you advance into the game you’ll find the controls more handy and you’ll learn how to resolve even the most complicated puzzles.

The combat movements and animations are looking quite similar to what the original Darksiders had to offer, but never mind, they are still looking gorgeous.

As a conclusion, I really hope that there will be one game for each Horseman of the Apocalypse as it’s now for War and Death!

 

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Discretion, Being the Better Part of Valor…

Here’s some of the BEST advice when it comes to making system upgrades; and something that everyone should consider before taking the upgrade plunge

Apple released Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 yesterday.  Like many, I pulled down the OS update yesterday, but I haven’t pulled the trigger just yet. Some have scratched their heads when I relay that bit of news, others look me in the eye and see wisdom.  Let’s take a quick look at that and digest it a bit.

Mountain Lion is NOT the same kind of upgrade to 10.7 Lion that Snow Leopard was to Apple’s 10.5 Leopard.  OS X 10.8 is a HUGE upgrade, and there are a few considerations that you need to take into account before you perform the upgrade, because, “once you buy the prize, it’s yours to keep.”  In other words, with OS X 10.7 Lion now removed from the App store and Apple Store shelves, if you make a mistake, recovery will likely be a long, painful and difficult road at best.

Discretion being the better part of valor, I’d wait a bit before upgrading to Mountain Lion.  I’ve run the Developer Previews on my Mac and you need to know that there are a number of apps out there that do NOT play and work well under it just yet.

If you’ve got a critical legacy app that you’re concerned about, you need to check Roaring Apps for a Mountain Lion compatibility rating.  The site rates the compatibility of a number of different apps and app versions and let s you know which ones will run, and how well they will run, on both Lion and Mountain Lion.

The biggest point here is that 3rd party app developers have only had the final Gold Master code for just over two weeks.  This means that while they may have been developing, tweaking and fixing things under Mountain Lion Developer Preview releases, they’ve had less than 21 days to test, tweak, fix and resubmit bug app updates to Apple for all of their Mountain Lion compatible apps.


I’ve been a software quality and testing professional for more than 20 years. On an operating system update as large as Mountain Lion, this clearly isn’t enough time to work out all the kinks.

So, here’s my recommendation to most everyone wondering if they should take the plunge now, or if they should wait – I’d wait.

If you’re a regular consumer, I’d wait about a week or two, giving app developers additional time to submit updates to their apps not only to the Mac App Store, but their own web stores and other download sites, like Soft32.

If you’re a small business user, I’d give it a couple of months at least. Not only do you want 3rd party app updates to come through, you want Apple to have time to issue an update to the OS and make sure that there aren’t any other hidden pot holes or bumps in the road.

If you simply MUST be an early adopter and install Mountain Lion on a machine you’re going to be using pretty much every day, then you need to make certain that you provide feedback to both Apple as well as the vendors of the apps you are using so they know about the problems and challenges you’re bumping into.  It’s likely the only way the problems are going to get resolved quickly…

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Yahoo! Mail Beta

Yahoo! Mail Beta is alive and kicking, and it invites us to a completely different email experience. New looks, new features, all differently structured than before to increase the user experience.

A new tabbed interface allows you to create a new email, browse folders, quickly find an email. There are twelve themes to choose from in case you wish to customize your email account.

The attachments’ maximum files’ size is still 25 Mb, however, you can download the app that will help you attach large files.

An important improvement is the increased speed as well as the integration with Facebook. Better spam protection is another improvement. Mobile versions are available for internet-enabled devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Android.

yahoo mail beta

 

yahoo mail beta - message

 

yahoo mail beta - contacts

 

yahoo mail beta - compose message

yahoo mail beta - compose email

Yahoo! Mail Beta works best with these browsers:
Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3 and newer, Safari 4 and newer, and Chrome 5.

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Microsoft seeks testers for new Xbox 360 disc format

Xbox logo

Microsoft Xbox logo

Microsoft is looking for “multiple thousands” of Xbox 360 Live members to test a new Xbox 360 disc format; in exchange, Microsoft will send you a free copy of the best-selling Halo: Reach and other branded freebies.
“We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format,” Major Nelson, the gamertag for Microsoft Xbox Live’s programming director Larry Hryb, announced on his blog.
“We’re looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good,” he wrote.
To qualify, you must live in the continental United States and own an Xbox 360 console. Register at the Microsoft Connect site with your Windows Live ID connected to your Xbox Live Gamertag, Hryb wrote, then sit back and wait for Microsoft to notify you.
Microsoft Xbox 360 hosts public previews every year, most recently in December. But as 1Up.com notes, the tests usually just involve new apps on the Xbox 360 dashboard. This one includes physical items sent to participants.

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Microsoft begins work on the next-generation Xbox

Xbox logo

Xbox logo

Microsoft have yet to have confirmed the news, but have advertised three job positions on LinkedIn with each position looking for people to work on designing new console architectures. The roles currently being advertised include Graphics Hardware Architect, Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group and Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer. Quite the mouthful.

The next-gen consoles will have to at least be capable of resolutions that next-gen Television sets will bring. 1080p has been here for quite a while and I see that changing in the next ten years, hopefully Microsoft are thinking of this and not boxing themselves into a corner like the 360 has been put into. A console with outputs capable of 1920×1080 yet 90-percent of games render at below 1280×720 (usually 1200×600 or so).

via

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