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Halo composer fired from Bungie

Halo composer fired from Bungie

Martin O’Donnell was responsible for the score in several Bungie games and had been working with the company since before it was bought by Microsoft in 1999.


Halo and Destiny composer Martin O’Donnell has seemingly been fired from Bungie.

Having previously been the studio’s audio director, O’Donnell revealed over Twitter that the company’s board of directors had let him go last week for no reason.

’I’m saddened to say that Bungie’s board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014,’ said O’Donnell.

A statement on Bungie’s site contrasts slightly with O’Donnell’s comments and instead states ’today, as friends, we say goodbye,’ and goes on to wish him luck on future endeavours.

He had worked on the scores for several of Bungie’s projects, including older titles Myth 2 and Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved. He was also working on the score for the studio’s upcoming title Destiny, collaborating with former Beatle Paul McCartney. The score is planned as a full release of its own under the title Music of the Spheres.

As well as composing scores, O’Donnell was also responsible for a lot of the general sound work and for directing voice talent in several of Bungie’s games.

O’Donnell had been working with the company since before it was bought out by Microsoft in 1999, originally working on a contract basis out of his own company, TotalAudio.

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DayZ Standalone Early Access Review

DayZ Standalone Early Access Review

Price: £19.99
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Date Tested: 26/03/2014

DayZ Standalone Early Access Review DayZ Early Access Review

Note: Early Access Reviews are critical appraisals of games still in development which are charging money for player access to their alpha and beta stages. This review is intended to give you an idea of whether the game is currently worth investing in, but without offering a final verdict.

Take a cursory glance at DayZ and it appears little has changed in the four months since release. The major content Bohemia are planning for the mod; namely vehicles, craftable bases, and broader communication channels such as radios, are still a long way from being added. Investigate a little further, however, and you’ll discover that significant changes have been made, but they’re many and small rather than large and few.

For example, rain was added about a month ago, and now players can catch the water droplets in their canteens, making it ever so slightly easier to acquire this vital resource. In addition, players can aim their guns while sat down, enabling them to sit around a campfire with friends without completely compromising their safety, or keep watch over player prisoners in a more casual, more disturbing manner.

DayZ Standalone Early Access Review DayZ Early Access Review

There are lots of different little channels that feed into DayZ’s remarkable success since it debuted on Steam Early Access at the end of last year. But one of them is this detailed way in which players can interact with their environment and the other players they encounter in post-apocalypse Chernarus. It’s this granularity of experience which Bohemia have been chasing since the Standalone release.

To understand the importance of this, it’s necessary to grasp the basis of what DayZ is, and the developer’s intent behind it. For all its layers of complexity, your ultimate goal when playing DayZ is the most basic possible. Stay alive. Do not die. See that bucket? Avoid kicking it. This is done by seeing to your needs, avoiding the zombies scattered around the environment like organic litter, and performing the delicate and potentially deadly social dance with fellow survivors you’ll inevitably encounter during your travels.

Your objective may be simple, but achieving it is anything but. Resources are scarce, and you require lots of food and water just to keep your body functional. The first hour or so of a DayZ life are a half-terrifying, half-gleeful rush as you frantically scour the nearest village for supplies, interspersed with moments of bravely running away from the prowling zombies.

DayZ Standalone Early Access Review DayZ Early Access Review

If you’re very lucky you might find enough food and water to keep you healthy. More typically you’ll either bleed to death after being attacked by your first zombie, or find nothing but rotten food, eat that in desperation, become sick, and spend the next half hour hopelessly searching for the right medication before ultimately collapsing. This is of course an entirely hypothetical scenario and definitely not what happened to me in my first and second lives.

Learning how to cope in this extremely harsh environment is a big factor in what makes DayZ so compelling. So is learning how to navigate it. Modern games are obsessed with keeping the player oriented, ensuring they always know where they are and where they are going, and there’s something about the challenge of being lost in a wilderness that is paradoxically liberating. The moment you first find a map in an abandoned car or inside a petrol station is breathlessly exciting. Then comes the puzzle of figuring out where you are on it, googling the Russian alphabet so you can translate the town signs written in Cyrillic to match them with the map names scribed in English.

DayZ Standalone Early Access Review DayZ Early Access Review

It helps that Chernarus is an incredible foundation for a game like this. Its sweeping vistas, highly realistic terrain, foreboding climate and dilapidated Baltic settlements all contribute to the sense that this is a world where nature has wrested control back from humanity, but also as a place where hope still lingers. Trekking through one of DayZ’s many forests, watching the sunlight shaft through the canopy, listening to your plodding footfall and the twittering birds in the trees is an oddly relaxing experience, providing relief between frantic zombie combat and tense encounters with other survivors.

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CM Storm QuickFire XT Review

CM Storm QuickFire XT Review

Manufacturer: CM Storm
UK price (as reviewed):
£64.82 (inc VAT)
UK price (as reviewed): $89.99 (ex Tax)

The last keyboard we saw from Cooler Master’s gaming-focussed offshoot, CM Storm, was the QuickFire TK Stealth. It was an unusual keyboard in that it used a non-standard layout and stealth keys, where the symbols are found on the front rather than the top of the keys. Despite a good few weeks of use, we struggled to get to grips with it, and found ourselves yearning for a regular key layout. It did spark a healthy debate on the subject in our forums, highlighting if anything just how subjective an experience keyboards provide, and that there will never be a perfect keyboard for everyone.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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With us today is another in CM Storm’s QuickFire range, the QuickFire XT, and unlike the TK Stealth it uses a standard layout, so UK users get a full 105 keys, and the keycaps are also the regular variety, with laser etched symbols on the top face. This lends it the benefit of being instantly familiar, though it’s not as small as tenkeyless or TK layout boards. That said, it is about as small as it could be, thanks to a very thin bezel – there’s no excess plastic above, below or to the sides of the keys, but if the 440mm width is still too much you’ll need to consider layouts that use less keys.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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Despite costing just £65, which is very good considering it uses 105 Cherry MX switches, build quality hasn’t been sacrificed. It’s not particularly exciting to look at, but the QuickFire XT is sturdy and feels very durable, and it tips the scales at over 1kg. The outer plastic shell is solid and thick, and the keyboard is reinforced by a steel plate too, so there’s little bend to it even when you apply excessive pressure. The keys are embedded within the chassis, so it won’t be as easy to clean as Corsair’s K70, for example, which uses raised keys.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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The braided USB cable with gold plasted connectors is detachable, but there are no cable channels beneath the board. A PS/2 adaptor is supplied, and in this mode the QuickFire XT supports full n-key rollover. No driver or software is required (nor available), but the board runs natively at a 1,000Hz polling rate. Through a combination of the FN key and the keys on the top row of the numpad, this polling rate can switched between four levels (1,000Hz being the maximum), again when using it PS/2 mode.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
Click to enlarge
As you might expect at £65, the QuickFire XT is thin on additional features; there’s no extra connectivity, macro keys or wrist rest. However, the F5-F12 keys each have secondary functions courtesy of the FN key. There are seven media functions, with the F9 key reserved for the locking out the Windows keys, and there’s also an LED indicator for when this is activated. Finally, CM Storm also provides a keyremoval tool along with four red WASD keys and two keys with the Cooler Master/CM Storm logos on, which can be used to replace the two Windows keys.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review *CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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When using the QuickFire XT, the four rubber pads on the base along with the keyboard’s hefty weight mean it stays firmly planted on your desk, even during frantic gaming sessions. Sadly, however, the two fold out legs on at the back of the keyboard have no grip, and when using them there is more of a risk of keyboard movement. This is something we’ve seen overlooked before, but even so it’s a shame given how easy it is to fix. Nevertheless, the keyboard slopes naturally upwards at a nice angle, and we found typing and gaming to be more comfortable with the legs down.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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Cherry MX blue switches aren’t our favourites – the click tends to irritate us and we still find it occasionally difficult to double tap with them, which is particularly noticeable in games. Typing does tend to be quick and smooth, however, thanks to the relatively light actuation force and tactile feedback. Thankfully, CM Storm offers the QuickFire TK with red, brown, black and even green switches, so there’s a good chance your preference is catered for. The rounded shape, smooth surface and slick action of the keys themselves also left us with little to complain about in that regard.

*CM Storm QuickFire XT Review CM Storm QuickFire XT Review
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There’s no backlight on the QuickFire TK, but the bright white etching does make the symbols stand out well and it’s not going to fade over time. Therefore, unless you’ll frequently be using it in almost total darkness it’s unlikely to be too much of a hindrance (it never was for us), though we know this very much comes down to personal preference.

Conclusion

With no extra features of software there’s little else left to say about the QuickFire TK. It’s well built, handles nicely and is as small as it realistically could be with 105 keys. The option to choose between five switch types is excellent too, and the standard key sizes mean they can all be easily replaced and customised. The design and feature set are hardly jaw dropping, but equally the QuickFire TK does little wrong – the main criticism we have is the lack of grip on the legs, for example. If you need USB 3 ports, audio jacks, backlighting or macro keys, you’ll want to look elsewhere, but equally you’d already know that by now. If, on the other hand, you’re after a basic and robust mechanical keyboard, the QuickFire TK could be perfect.

!–

Score

Overall 79%

Approved Award

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AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB Review

Manufacturer: AMD
UK price (as reviewed):
Approx. £1,050 – £1,100 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $1,499 (ex Tax)

At launch, the R9 290X attracted criticism for running too hot and loud, although recent custom cooled cards have shown that it was as much to do with a poorly designed, cheap and inadequate stock cooler as much as it was to do with an inherently inefficient GPU. Even so, the idea of putting two of these toasty chips onto a single card would have seemed ludicrous to most. Recent rumours and teasers, however, began to indicate that AMD was planning exactly that. Today, we can reveal what AMD has been up to: meet the Radeon R9 295X2, appropriately codenamed Vesuvius.

*AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review **NDA 08/04 1PM** AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review *AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review **NDA 08/04 1PM** AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review
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As you can see, it’s the first reference card to be water-cooled. It uses a sealed loop cooler from Asetek, with a similar design to that seen on the Asus Ares II. Like that card, it also comes in a padded flight case. Everything about it, from packaging to construction, is premium, which is no surprise – it’s launching at $1500, with our sources indicating that its price will approach the £1,100 mark this side of the Atlantic. It’s due to have retailer availability in the week of April 21st. Without doubt, at this price, it’s reserved for a lucky few, but as enthusiasts, we still jump at the chance to look at something as gloriously over the top as this.

We’ll start with the core hardware. Effectively, the R9 295X2 comprises two fully functional Hawaii GPUs with 44 Compute Units a piece and each with a full offering of 4GB GDDR5 (for the full lowdown on Hawaii see here). Of course, this means it will be marketed as having 5,632 cores and 8GB VRAM, but the correct way to think of it is 2 x 2,816 cores and 2 x 4GB VRAM, as the two GPUs are still functionally separate. Either way, it’s obvious that there is a serious amount of firepower here. These specs also makes this card the fastest single consumer graphics card in the world, though Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan Z is set to challenge that. As you’d expect, both TrueAudio and Mantle are fully supported.

Unusually for a dual GPU card, clock speeds aren’t any less than the single card variants – in fact, they’ve actually been given a marginal bump. The maximum GPU clock speed is 1,018MHz compared to 1,000MHz before, while the memory runs at the same 5GHz effective. AMD claims that this, along with improved cooling (which allows the GPUs to run at maximum frequency more often) and hard work from its driver team, means it will actually be faster than two stock speed R9 290X cards running in CrossFire. AMD also claims that the best scaling will be at 4K resolutions, and freely admits that this card is overkill for 1080p and even 1440p.

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Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Brendan Eich has officially resigned from his post as chief executive officer of Mozilla, relinquishing his board seat over a firestorm surrounding his donation to an anti-equality campaign.


Controversial chief executive of the Mozilla Corporation Brendan Eich has stepped down, both as CEO and as a member of the Mozilla board, following public outcry over a political donation in opposition to gay marriage.

Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla, was upgrade from chief technical officer to chief executive officer late last month in a private vote by the board, which immediately led to calls for a boycott against the non-profit company. Those calling for his dismissal pointed to a personal donation of $1,000 Eich made to lobbying efforts in favour of Proposition 8, a US law which would have made gay marriage illegal. Those who support equality, not to mention people in gay marriages, were naturally opposed to the proposition.

While Eich’s tenure as CTO appeared to slip under the radar, his appointment to the post of CEO did not. Many, including numerous Mozilla employees and project contributors, questioned how a man who has made a public donation in efforts to curtail others’ rights could possibly lead an organisation that prides itself on inclusiveness. A statement by Eich failed to address the donation at all, merely pledging to continue to support – and to improve – inclusiveness at the company.

Now, with the public still baying for blood, Eich is out. ‘Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO,‘ executive chair Mitchell Baker announced late yesterday. ‘He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

‘Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,’ admitted Baker. ‘We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

I’ve resigned as CEO and I’m leaving Mozilla to take a rest, take some trips with my family, look at problems from other angles, and see if the “network problem” has a solution that doesn’t require scaling up to hundreds of millions of users and winning their trust while somehow covering costs,‘ Eich announced in a personal blog post. ‘That’s a rare, hard thing, which I’m proud to have done with Firefox at Mozilla. I encourage all Mozillians to keep going. Firefox OS is even more daunting, and more important. Thanks indeed to all who have supported me, and to all my colleagues over the years, at Mozilla, in standards bodies, and at conferences around the world. I will be less visible online, but still around.

No successor to the role of CEO has yet been named.

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Eich pledges to support Mozilla’s inclusiveness

Eich pledges to support Mozilla's inclusiveness

Newly-appointed CEO Brendan Eich has claimed he will fully support Mozilla’s policies on inclusion, despite his personal support for a bill proposing to ban gay marriage.


Newly-appointed chief executive of the Mozilla Foundation Brendan Eich has responded to criticisms of a donation he made in support of the banning of gay marriage, promising to uphold Mozilla’s inclusiveness.

The appointment of co-founder Eich to the role of CEO caused a stir when his support for Proposition 8, a law which would ban gay marriage, was made public thanks to a $1,000 donation to lobbying efforts. Mobile developer Rarebit, founded by a married gay couple, was the first out of the gate with a statement that they would cease plans to port their products to Mozilla’s Firefox OS and remove already-ported software from the platform as long as Eich remained in charge.

Although Mozilla issued a blanket statement supporting diversity, it made no direct comment on Eich and his personal beliefs. Late last night, however, Eich broke his silence and spoke on the matter – even though the issue of the donation itself was not a topic up for discussion.

I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] individuals at Mozilla,‘ Eich wrote on his personal blog. ‘I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results.

Eich’s commitments include the promise of full equality in employment, Mozilla-run events and within the Mozilla community, continued work with LGBT communities, no changes to the community participation guidelines or the inclusive health benefits offered by the organisation, and a personal claim that Eich himself will ‘work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult.

‘I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything,’ Eich admitted. ‘I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain. I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion. You will see exemplary behaviour from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products.

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AMD unveils FirePro W9100 16GB GPU

AMD unveils FirePro W9100 16GB GPU

AMD’s FirePro W9100 offers a massive 16GB of GDDR5 memory, connected to a Hawaii GCN GPU offering up to five teraflops of single-precision compute power.


AMD has announced its latest workstation-oriented graphics board, the FirePro W9100, which packs an impressive 16GB of GDDR5 memory – nearly three times that of its predecessor the FirePro W9000.

The AMD FirePro W9100 is based around a 28nm implementation of the Graphics Core Next 1.1 ‘Hawaii’ architecture, an upgrade from the GCN 1.0 ‘Tahiti’ of its predecessor. Although full specifications aren’t due to be announced until early next month, the company has confirmed an increase from 2,048 stream processors to 2,816 and from 128 texture units to 176. The result: five teraflops of single-precision compute performance, or 2.67 teraflops of double-precision.

Now, to put that into perspective, Nvidia’s latest GeForce GTX Titan Z board offers eight teraflops of single-precision performance, but requires two GPUs in which to do it – and each GPU has access to only 6GB of the shared 12GB GDDR5 memory. The FirePro W9100, on the other hand, has only a single GPU which has the entire 16GB to itself – and, the company has confirmed, the boards will support stacking of up to four cards via CrossFire for systems that require higher performance.

The board, AMD explained during its press conference, is designed for those working on ultra-high resolution projects. As well as the increasingly popular UHD and 4K resolutions, the company has claimed to be seeing demand from markets looking to work with resolutions as high as 8K – which needs a significantly larger framebuffer than the company’s previous FirePro W9000 6GB could offer.

Official pricing for the FirePro W9100 has yet to be confirmed, but those interested in getting their hands on one – or four – can expect to dig deep: as professional products the FirePros demand a hefty pricetag, the FirePro W9000 launched in August 2012 at $4,000 and the W9100 should easily smash that figure when it formally launches on the 7th of April.

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Mozilla’s new CEO causes a stir

Mozilla's new CEO causes a stir

Mozilla’s Brendan Eich has been appointed chief executive, but his support for anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 has led to at least one developer boycotting the non-profit organisation.


The not-for-profit Mozilla Foundation, the group behind the development of open-source applications including the Firefox browser and its new HTML5-powered Firefox OS offshoot, has a new chief executive officer – and his appointment has ruffled a few feathers.

The Foundation announced late last night that chief technology officer Brendan Eich, a co-founder of the Mozilla Foundation, is to immediately take on the role of chief executive. The news comes amid a number of executive-level shake-ups, including the appointment of Li Gong as chief operating officer with a newly expanded reporting group. Jay Sullivan, the Foundation’s acting CEO up to this point, is to leave the Foundation altogether ‘to pursue new opportunities.’

I would first like to thank Jay Sullivan for his contributions to Mozilla and to the Web. He has been a passionate force at Mozilla whose leadership, especially during the last year, has been important to our success, in particular with Firefox OS,‘ Eich claimed upon taking on the mantle of CEO. ‘I am honoured to have the role of leading Mozilla, as we look forward to our audacious goals across all of our products and the project as a whole.

Although Eich has the support of the board, for some the appointment doesn’t sit well thanks to Eich’s political beliefs. Eich is reported to have donated $1,000 in support of the US Proposition 8, a proposed law which would have banned gay marriage outright. Although a droplet in the overall finances of the battle – the LA Times, in documenting Eich’s donation, shows $39 million having been donated overall in support of the ban compared to $44.1 million donated against – it’s enough for those who would have been severely affected by the ban to question his suitability for the leading role at a supposedly inclusive and meritocratic open source institution.

Rarebit, a start-up company founded by a married gay couple who had protested against Proposition 8, has become the first to announce a formal boycott of Mozilla under Eich’s rule. ‘Effective today, we’re removing Color Puzzle from the Firefox Marketplace and stopping work on all of our Firefox-related applications, notably the about-to-launch Firefox version of the popular Dictionary! app for iPhone and Android,‘ chief executive Hampton Catlin explained. ‘We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla, which we believe is extremely unlikely after all he’s survived and the continued support he has received from Mozilla.

Neither Eich nor Mozilla have commented on Rarebit’s boycott, nor on Eich’s personal donation to the pro-Proposition 8 cause.

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Corsair Raptor K40 Review

Corsair Raptor K40

Manufacturer: Corsair
UK Price: £52.99
US Price: $49.99

Although mechanical keyboards have dropped in price significantly in recent years, you still have to pay quite a premium for one with backlighting and other ‘gaming’ features. That’s where the likes of the Corsair Raptor K40 come in. This keyboard eschews mechanical keys in favour of multi-colour backlighting, extra programmable keys and multimedia keys, all while keeping the price just a speck over £50.

Corsair Raptor K40 Review
The Corsair Raptor K40 may look just like its more expensive siblings, the Corsair Vengeance K90, K70 and K65, with its black base, non-sunken keys and silver trim, but it’s different in one crucial way: it doesn’t feature any aluminium in its construction. The Vengeance line incorporate, to various degrees, hefty slices of brushed aluminium to give a nice premium feel. In contrast the K40 is all plastic, with its silver section being painted on.

Otherwise it’s a smart-looking well put together keyboard. The black and silver combination looks great and there’s a nice consistency to the matt finishes used – fingerprints on shiny surfaces won’t be a problem here. There’s a bit of flex if you pick it up and twist it but set flat on a table or lap it provides a secure typing surface.

Corsair Raptor K40 Review
The K40’s cable is 2m long, which is plenty, but isn’t braided and there are no routing options, with it projecting straight out the middle of the back. Meanwhile underneath there are the standard pair of extendable feet for raising the keyboard’s angle of attack. No wrist rest – squishy or otherwise – is included.

In terms of features you’ve got pretty much everything here. There are six dedicated macro/gaming keys, full adjustable backlighting that can be set to one of 16.8million colours and of course there are multimedia controls too.

Corsair Raptor K40 Review
The macro keys are ranged down the left edge, where they’re reasonably convenient. We sometimes find that we place our hands incorrectly when extra keys are added here – after all, by habit the pinky always goes on the bottom left most key – and so it is with this keyboard but with practice you learn to avoid this.

The backlighting is very good quality. Corsair has managed to ensure there is absolutely no backlight bleed from this keyboard, which makes for a very neat effect. In contrast the backlighting from, in particular, most mechanical-switch keyboards tends to flood out from underneath the keys, illuminating the base of the keyboard. This somewhat dents the visual appeal of them. This is something that particularly effected the stealthy credentials of the CM Storm Quick Fire TK Stealth for instance.

Corsair Raptor K40 Review
You can of course adjust the backlighting too. There’s a button on the top right edge of the keyboard for adjust intensity, with it cycling through four different levels, including off. For changing the colour you’ll have to download, install and open up the driver.

The 16.8 million colours can be adjusted via RGB sliders, picking from a selection of eight predefined colours or using the full colour chart. There’s also the option to have the ‘true colour’ or the nearest equivalent with maximum brightness. The lighting can also be set to pulse on and off or cycle through the colours, with a further option to have these come on only when the keyboard is idling. It’s an impressively comprehensive selection of options, though the one obvious missing feature is individual or zonal lighting – here it’s all or nothing.

Corsair Raptor K40 Review

We do have one further complaint about the backlighting, which is that it isn’t all that bright, particularly when viewed from a slight angle (i.e. the angle you type at). It’s sufficient for most scenarios but is noticeably dimmer than, for instance, the Logitech G710+. Not that we can think of a circumstance where this would be much of a problem but the point stands.

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Flame-breathing RC dragon flies for only $60,000

If drones are the future, then this is the past that’s coming to a future near you.


(Credit:
Hammacher Schlemmer)

Lately, with the number of us who are obsessed with “Game of Thrones” and Dragon Age: Inquisition, I can comfortably say that dragons are once again “on fire” without having to worry that I’ll be fired for making such a geektastic pun. I think it’s safe to say that even Madonna would approve.

So it makes sense, then, that this would a good moment in history for Hammacher Schlemmer to begin a selling an actual flying, propane-flame-breathing, remote-controlled dragon for a mere $60,000 per beast.

The good news, of course, is that once you put out all that coin on your own dragon, he can help you steal and hoard gold from those less worthy. So, really, think of your dragon as an investment in a reserve currency that has stood the test of time going to back the days of, well, of dragons.

This particular RC dragon model is the design of Richard Hamel, who has been making the rounds with his creation and winning awards at RC shows in recent years.

The consumer (read: elite consumer) model offered through Hammacher Schlemmer claims to be capable of flying at up to 70 mph. It’s propane-fueled breath only works when it’s on the ground, so you can use it to scare the neighbor kids out of your driveway, but not burn down their parents’ house. That’s probably a good thing, as the literature teaches us that actual flying and fire-breathing dragons are generally a bad thing for society.

According to its specs, the flying dragon has a 9-foot wingspan and weighs 40 pounds. That’s big enough to strike a little fear in the hearts of peasants, but small enough to be manageable.

See more with Hamel and his creation in this video, and let us know in the comments if you plan to start saving up your gold doubloons for one.

(Via Gizmodo)

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