The Last News Digest of the Autumn

Welcome to our most up-to-date column, News Digest. Enjoy this week: Batman on PC; Ubisoft’s budget supposedly moaning something like ‘I Am *not* Alive’; AMD’s DDR3 (so many acronyms at once!); Android malware, if any; indelicate Google; smoking smartphones, and more (not meaning less interesting).

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Rocksteady has released a PC version of the famous adventure video game Batman: Arkham City. The project has already been released in the USA and some European countries. It took the company more than a month to adapt the console edition to the regular PC, but finally PC users received an opportunity to join the game's fan club. There are some pleasant issues for PSP and Xbox owners as well: their versions will soon be supplied with a new add-on costing only $7 and called The Robin Bundle. It will add an 'upgraded' Robin into the game. This new Batman's friend will feature new skills, gadgets and outfits. Maybe this will make the released not so long ago, but already somewhat cloying game a bit more interesting, let's see.

PC users should now be disappointed: although they've now got the new Batman, they were left without the action I Am Alive by Ubisoft. The company thought the release would turn out too costly and will never pay off. Such a decision was made due to the ever-rising piracy on the PC market, and the management stressed they are not going to waste time on adapting the shooter for the PC, as it just won't turn out a good value for money.

In the early August of 2011 the world's leading chipmaker, AMD, has annouced the wish to enter an absolutely new market. That was the market of DDR3 memory modules for desktops. Recently they have presented the detailed information on what these modules are going to be like. The product range will be divided into three sectors according to the target groups: Entertainment Edition (1333 MHz), Performance Edition (1333/1600 MHz) and Radeon Edition (1866 MHz), each of them represented by modules of two, four or eight gigabytes.

In the meantime, various antivirus producers have started a serious marketing campaign aiming at the users of Android OS. The experts claim, however, that the mobile OS is by no means prone to any viruses, firstly, due to its structure based on the so-called sandboxes, isolated program environments. Moreover, the developers made it completely impossible for an external application to get access to the closed system resources. So, Google denies that Android can face the same problems that exist, for example, when it comes to Windows or Mac, and calls the majority of antivirus software producers 'dishonest charlatans'.

Most Google Chrome users have recently come to notice some changes on their favourite browser's start page. The previously plain white Instant Access block now features some new objects. Among them you will find a small yellow bar with a few words on it that read: go and buy a Chromebook. Well, the idea itself might be worth consideration, but personally I, for example, as well as a significant number of other users, start feeling... yeah, cheated, if you wish. 'I've chosen Chrome for its simplicity and the absence of elements I don't need', many would say (and I'd fully support them). The only thing I have to add here is that Google has become almost indecent in its passion for monetization. Although Google has never concealed the fact that the browser intended to become to second most profitable branch of the IT corporation, many users still find such a step almost insulting.

Apple has always been regarded as a rampart of stability and safety on the mobile market. Well, the next issue coming from Australia kind of justifies this statement. Everybody knows it is forbidden to use electronic devices onboard a plane during the take-off and landing. Nothing is, however, said about self-igniting. So, one of Apple’s iPhones (either 4 or 4S, not specified yet) turned out to be so safety-conscious that just started smoking when the owner tried to turn it on while landing. I bet, this scared the passengers and the crew a bit, but at least prevented the whole plane's crash. Cute, isn’t it?

Route 66 has released new GPS navigation software Route 66 Maps + Navigation, mostly for mobile operating systems (namely, Android). While thinking of the new program, the developers decided to show off a little and be creative. That’s how the universally Android-supported app got the add-ons in the manner of augmented reality. For example, the suggested driving route in a specific situation is said to depend on the data received from the device’s external camera and change according to the ambient conditions. What’s even more pleasant, this application distributed via Android market is absolutely free of charge (well, if we don’t count the maps you’ll need to obtain for the program to function).

Now, news for those who don’t know where to invest their excessive piles of bank notes. It seems that Facebook is working out a plan of one the most awaited initial public offering in the history of the Internet corporations. The event is said to take place as early as next spring. The press is rumoring about $10 billion worth of stocks, but Mr. Zuckerberg has not made any public announcements regarding the size and date of the IPO.

That's all more or less interesting for the week. Thank you for staying with us, and be updated!

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Gustav Olafsson


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