Archive for February 2013
If you and your family share a computer and you would like to prevent other users from filling the internal hard disk with downloads, you can easily do so with individual user accounts. With individual user accounts, every member is allocated an area to save his/her data. However, if you would like to provide a limited amount of space on the hard disk to every user account, Windows can manage memory allocations. To do this, start Windows Explorer, click with the right mouse button on the icon of the hard disk for which you would like to set up memory allocations. Then select the command 'Properties' in the context menu, activate the tab for 'Quota' in the following dialogue and select 'Show quota settings'. For this, you require administrator rights so must either be using the elevated account or provide the appropriate password when prompted. Put a tick in front of 'Enable quota management' to limit storage space for user accounts. Also activate the option 'Deny disk space to users exceeding quota limit'. You can now define a standard limit for new users. To specify user accounts, click 'Quota entries'. Windows will present all user accounts in a list with their settings for storage limits as well as the location currently in use. You can see absolute values as well as proportional usage of the restricted memory amount. If an account is missing in the list, create a new entry for it with 'Quota' | 'New quota entry'. For conformation, double click any user account. In the following dialogue, you can specify the maximum memory amount for the account as well as a warning threshold level. Exit the dialogue with 'OK' or by clicking the red cross icon on the title bar. Now if the amount of data a user has reaches the warning level of the limit of the memory quota, Windows will show a notification on the taskbar.
ALSO SEE: TOMB RAIDER REBOOT'S MULTIPLAYER MODE
Tomb Raider has never had a multiplayer mode, but Crystal Dynamics' reboot of the series is getting one that's been developed by the same studio that brought us Deus Ex: Human Revolution and is working on Thief 4-Eidos Montreal. One of the multiplayer models will be Team Deathmatch. You play either as a team of Lara's surviving allies or as a member of the hostile natives called Scavengers. The matches are in a best-of-three format and players alternate between the teams between rounds.
Beside human enemies, players will have to survive against environmental traps, like levers that shoot spikes out of walls, or destructible environments, such as bridges. The multiplayer mode will feature the bow as a weapon, much like the one Lara uses in the single-player. Another multiplayer game mode is called Rescue, where the survivors collect medical kits and deliver them to various places on the map while Scavengers try to kill as many of them possible. One of the maps in this game mode is called Wind Chasm and is described as tropical with traps, vantage points and junk. A third game mode is called Cry for Help, where the emphasis is on discovering and collecting items as opposed to straight out killing each other. Not much information about this game mode has been revealed yet.
ALSO SEE: DNA HDDs
Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute have developed a method of encoding digital data in strands of DNA, which would take up only a fraction of the physical space today's hard drives do and could last for thousands of years without a source of power. Data files synthesized onto pieces of DNA no larger than a specks of dust were able to be decoded perfectly after being sent from California to the institute in Cambridge, UK Taking advantage of DNA's physical structure, data was translated from binary to trinary. The researchers estimate that 2.2 Petabytes of data can be stored per gram of DNA; million times more dense than hard drives today.
ALSO SEE WINDOWS RT
The line between ARM-friendly Windows RT and X86-based Windows 8 just got a lot more blurry. One of RT's biggest limitations is its inability to run any desktop software coded for mainstream versions of Windows, and Microsoft's decision to restrict users to apps downloaded from the Windows Store which run only in the Modern UI. Apart from built-in tools such as Paint and Notepad, only a special version of MS Office can run on the desktop. Now, simple hack can allow anyone to run their own programs, although they still have to be ones that are specially compiled for Windows RT devices. Only a handful of open-source programs are available, and commercial vendors are unlikely to port their software without official sanction from Microsoft. Future updates will very likely prevent the hack from working in the future.
ALSO SEE STEAM BOX FOR LIVING ROOMS
Game developer Valve has been incredibly successful with its Steam platform for game sales and distribution. The company is now planning to diversify into hardware, with a console device based on Linux and designed to be connected directly to a TV. Details are scarce, but the company has said that the hardware and software will come together in a tightly controlled environment, and innovative interfaces and controllers are in the works. Valve has recently hired staff specifically for its console project and has launched Big Picture, a mode designed to be used on large screens at a distance. The device will inevitably compete with Sony and Microsoft's next-gen fame consoles, both rumoured to launch in late 2013. Value has recently expresses doubts about the future of PC gaming thanks to Windows 8.
ALSO SEE ANDROID 5.0
Google ends the year with Android reaching version 4.2 on a few devices. In 2013, version 5.0 will make its debut, although no details are known as of now. The problem of version fragmentation might finally be addressed. Up till now, only select partners have built the Nexus device that accompany each new Android release. If Google expands the Nexus programme, several devices could run stock Android 5 at its launch.
ALSO SEE SAMSUNG'S NEW STORE
Content providers for videos, music, games and apps need not necessarily be only Apple and Google. Amazon has tried its hand at an app store and now Samsung wants to follow. Samsung already has few offerings like the Music Hub and App Store, but all content is not available globally or pooled centrally in a portal. That is now being worked on.
ALSO SEE NO FREE VERSION OF APPS - GOOGLE
Google has angered its user base by discontinuing the free Google Apps offering, which until recently allowed Gmail, Sites, Calender, Docs, Adsense and several other services to be used with custom domain names for free. Apps users will now have to pay at least $5(approx. Rs 275) per user per month. Up to 50 user accounts could be created per domain until mid - 2011, when Google reduced it to 10. The free tier was extremely popular with small businesses and casual users who only want email on their own domains but do not require Google's more business-centric features and technical support. The cost might prove too high for many customers, but Google is preparing to compete more fiercely for market share amongst business and enterprise users of email and online office suites. Educational institutions can still use Google apps for free and non-profits can get a discount.
ALSO SEE PANASONIC HOME THEATRE PROJECTOR