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Dec 30, 2011

DotA Guide: Syllabear - The Lone Druid Introduction

DotA is the most popular custom-made map for Warcraft 3. To offer players a better comprehension of this complicated and sometimes complex game, here is a hero guide.

One of the best pushers in the game, Syllabear can end a game even before it starts. You can recruit him from the Sentinel Agility Tavern.

"Syllabear was spared a time of great strife due to the deeds of his people. Sensing their settlements impending destruction they turned their child into a bear and sent him to the wild.

Syllabear grew up strong and savage, like the bears that inhabited the forest of his home. Using druidic powers, he can enter a state of almost rabid frenzy, and even call powerful bear companions to aid him. 

Awakened into his elven heritage by Furion the Prophet, Syllabear has regained his true elven form, and brings the bestial spirit of the bear to the battlefield". 

With a nature-themed set of skills, Syllabear also benefits from some great stats. Let's take a close look at these abilities:

Summon Spirit Bear (B) - Using the powers of nature, Syllabear is able to call upon a bear companion that, with each level, has increased hit points: 1400/1800/2300/2800 and some new interesting skills: Inventory/Return/ +20% Entangle/Demolish + 33% spell resistance. The "pet" will feature right from the start a powerful and very useful skill: Entangle, which traps opponents using spiked vines.

Rabid (R) - Make the hero and the companion move faster 5/10/15/20 and attack faster 10/20/30/40%. The spell last for 10 seconds (if not improved by Synergy).

Synergy (Y) - Increase the connection between the Spirit Bear and the Lone Druid making them both more powerful and upgrading their abilities. With each level, you'll gain: increased Rabid duration by 10/20/30/40, +10/+20/+30/+40 damage and movement speed. True Form is also improved by 100/200/300/400 hit points.

True Form (F) - Renouncing his ranged form, Syllabear becomes a huge melee bear with lots of advantages: 250/400/600 bonus health, 4/6/8 armor and a new ability: Battle Cry. This new skill will improve armor and damage for both the hero and the companion.

With a companion that acts like an additional hero, Lone Druid has to build items for two. I recommend Power Treads, Radiance, Hyperstone for the bear, while for the hero Power Treads, Assault Cuirass, Butterfly, Battle Fury and Stygian Desolator.

If you have other suggestions please let all the DotA fans know in a comment.

LG’s Windows Phone 7.5-Based Jil Sander only £149.99 Now

One of the first Windows Phone 7.5-based handsets to have been unveiled to the world during the ongoing year was the LG Jil Sander smartphone, aka LG-E906.

The handset was made available for purchase a few weeks ago, and is now put for sale in the UK at a discounted price tag.

Online retailer Expansys has it available for £149.99 ($232 / 179 Euros) at the moment, down from the £299.99 ($469 / 360 Euros) it featured before. 

For this kind of money, you will get a Windows Phone that packs a 3.8 inch TFT / LCD capacitive touchscreen, a 1GHz application processor, 16GB of internal memory, and a 5MP camera with auto focus and LED Flash on the back. 

Of course, all of the features that Windows Phone Mango sports will be included into the mix as well.

New Google Music App Included in CyanogenMod 9

One of the appealing features that the new CyanogenMod 9 release brings along is a custom Google Music application. 

The ROM itself comes with a variety of features, and the same applies to the said application, it seems. 

Some of the enhancements include the ability to skip track through simply shaking the phone, or to play/pause the very same way. These new controls should work regardless of whether the screen is on or off, or the application that users are running on the phone. 

At the same time, the custom version of Google's Music application should pack new notification area controls, along with the option to search the Android Market or set ringtones, among other features. 

The new app flavor will be included in the future releases of CM9, but the development team also plans on making it available in the Market for all Android users to take advantage of it.

Toshiba’s Upcoming Nvidia Tegra 3 Tablet Presumably Spotted

Acer and Lenovo aren’t the only two companies determined to prepare Tegra 3 powered tablets for 2012, as Toshiba also seems interested in Nvidia’s quad-core SoC.

This was unveiled just recently when a benchmark results was submitted to AnTuTu’s online database, listed under the name of “Tostab06,” which is in-line with the company’s previous tablet code names (the AT100 was the “Tostab03,″ while the AT200 is named “Tostab05”).

While the listing doesn’t specifically mention the Tegra 3 name, AndroidOS.in seems to believe that thie tablet sports Nvidia’s quad-core SoC as the 1.4GHz clock frequency and benchmarks result seem to closely match those of the Asus Transformer Prime.

We tend to agree, but we can’t tell anything for sure until more info becomes available, most probably during CES 2012. 

DotA Guide: Rikimaru - The Stealth Assassin Introduction

DotA is one of the most popular custom-made maps for Warcraft III. To offer players a better understanding of this complex and sometimes complicated game, here is a hero guide.

The Stealth Assassin was a common sight in early versions of DotA, but is now increasingly more unpicked nowadays. You can find him at the Sentinel Agility Tavern.

Let's have a closer look at this hero's past: "Born as the heir to the satyr dominion, Rikimaru was trained by the mightiest warriors of his race. However, the power of the Burning Legion managed to corrupt many of his kind, leaving them as mindless beasts in the forest. 

Vowing revenge against the Scourge, he sharpened his skills for battle. Using his small size to his advantage, he can render himself invisible, enabling him to stab his enemies in the back. And by using thick smoke as cover he becomes nearly untouchable."

An interesting set of skills awaits you if you pick this hero:

Smoke Screen (C) - As the name suggest, Rikimaru throws a smoke bomb that silences all the enemies in a 250/275/300/325 AoE and makes the miss factor grow to 40/50/60/70%. The bomb has a fixed time limit of 6 seconds.

Blink Strike (Stealth Assassin) (B) - This is a useful spell that can be used to harass heroes or to finish them off. When activated, it teleports the hero to an enemy target and does extra physical damage: 30/60/90/120. This skill can also be useful to escape pursuers, while it does no damage to allied units.

Backstab (K) - Being a small, invisible hero, Rikimaru's specialty is to harass and terrorize opponents. With this skill, he's able to do bonus damage to targets, if located behind them: 0.25x/0.5x/0.75x/1x of Stealth Assassin's Agility.

Permanent Invisibility (E) - Stealth Assassin is the only hero that features a permanent invisibility (starting from level 6). The ultimatum reduces the fading time after attacking: 3/2.25/1.5 seconds. When silenced, Rikimaru's invisibility disappears.

There are several items that can render this hero completely useless and thus ruin your game: Gem of True Sight, Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards. If you spot any of these items on your lane, I suggest you switch with a teammate immediately. 

Being a very adaptable hero, you can use any of the orbs effects available: life steal, Stygian Desolator, Diffusal Blade, or Sange and Yasha. Power Treads are a must and if you can farm fast enough, an early Radiance can really improve your chances to win!

If you have other suggestions please let all the DotA fans know in a comment.

Android and iOS Gain Market Share in the US

Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS platform gained more market share in the United States subscriber segment during the past three months, a new report from comScore MobiLens service shows.

The report is based on data collected during the three months ending November 2011. The company surveyed a number of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers in the time frame. 

Their findings show that Android has gain a bit more market share in the US since August 2011, now accounting for 46.9 percent of smartphone subscribers in the country. 

At the same time, the report showed that Samsung managed to maintain its leading position on the market, with 25.6 percent market share.

In the three-month period, a number of 234 million Americans age 13 and older had mobile devices in their hands. 

91.4 million people owned a smartphone, 8 percent more than during the previous three-months period. 

“Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 46.9 percent market share, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period,” comScore explains.

“Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 1.4 percentage point to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent).”

When it comes to device manufacturers, Samsung was at the top of the market with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, while LG ranked second with 20.5 percent share. 

Motorola came in on the third position with 13.7 percent share, Apple landed on the fourth with 11.2 percent share, while RIM remained in the fifth with 6.5 percent share.

Apparently, Samsung and Apple were the only vendors to gain more market share when compared to the previous three-month period, while the other three top-five companies lost percentage points. 

You can have a look at the tables below to learn some more details on the market share changes that occurred during the past three months in the US mobile phone subscribers segment.

Fastboot Files for ATRIX 2 and DROID Bionic Leak

In case of emergency, reverting the handset to its stock configuration can always prove a great option. 

Owners of Motorola ATRIX 2 or DROID Bionic handsets can now do so, courtesy of leaked fastboot files that have just made an appearance into the wild. 

In case something wrong happens with their phones, they can now restore the original files on them, courtesy of the guys over at XDA-Developers. 

Those who would like to learn more on the fastboot files for the Motorola ATRIX 2 should head over to this forum thread. Specific details on the files leaked for the Motorola DROID Bionic are available in this thread

The fastboot files can be used for flashing unsigned partition images via USB. Recovery images can also flashed this way, which spells heaven when a handset is bricked.

Stuxnet, Duqu and Others Created with ‘Tilded’ Platform by the Same Team

After the extensive analysis of a large number of Stuxnet and Duqu drivers, Kaspersky Lab experts concluded that the two Trojans, along with other pieces of malware, were created by the same team, using a platform called Tilded, created around 2007-2008.

They believe that Tilded (named so because its authors tend to use file names which start with the symbol tilde followed by a letter d (~d)) was utilized to create the two now infamous Trojans, which may have been the results of simultaneous projects. 

The details indicate that other spyware modules and programs are based on the same platform.

Now, researchers present a precise timeline to show the connection between Duqu and Stuxnet, but also to show the evolution of their drivers from one year to the other. Their studies show that a driver called jmidebs.sys is the connecting link between mrxcls.sys and the drivers later used in Duqu.

“The drivers from the still unknown malicious programs cannot be attributed to activity of the Stuxnet and Duqu Trojans. The methods of dissemination of Stuxnet would have brought about a large number of infections with these drivers; and they can’t be attributed either to the more targeted Duqu Trojan due to the compilation date,” Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said

“We consider that these drivers were used either in an earlier version of Duqu, or for infection with completely different malicious programs, which moreover have the same platform and, it is likely, a single creator-team”.

In mid-2010, Tilded went through some changes which may have resulted from the need to better avoid detection by antivirus software, but also because its code could be improved. 

Security experts are currently seeing other modifications brought to the platform which can only mean that other malicious elements, more or less similar to Duqu and Stuxnet, will soon see daylight.

CyanogenMod 7 Official Build for Samsung Epic 4G Now Available for Download

One of the oldest Android-based smartphone launched by Samsung, the Epic 4G is now officially supported by the CyanogenMod team.

In this regard the community of developers have just released the first official build for the Samsung Epic 4G, CyanogenMod 7.

Those who are worrying that this build features Samsung’s TouchWiz UI will be happy to know that the CyanogenMod team confirmed that it will never include the user interface in any of its builds.

To install the official CyanogenMod 7 ROM for the Samsung Epic 4G for the first time follow the usual procedure: unlock/root device and install Clockwork Recovery, do a Nandroid backup, wipe, and then install the ROM. Epic 4G owners can optionally install the Google Addon as well.

However, those who upgrade from a nightly build or come from an earlier CyanogenMod 7 build must follow these instructions: do a Nandroid backup, and then install the ROM. Don’t worry about any of the Google application installed on the smartphone, as they will be backed up automatically.

There’s a relatively long list of changes added on this first official CyanogenMod 7 build for the Samsung Epic 4G. Some these fixes are detailed below, but for the full change log head over to CyanogenMod’s official forum thread:

  • Fixed init.d;
  • Fixed cache errors;
  • Fixed issues with logwrapper;
  • Backup/Restore fixed;
  • Compiled kernel from source; 
  • Fixed torch overlay;
  • Fixed MMS overlay;
  • Fixed incoming call routing;
  • Fixed brightness control;
  • Wi-Fi appears to be stable (you may need to wipe old settings.

There are some known issues as well, which will probably be fixed in future releases:

  • Wi-Fi Hotspot is broken. Third-party apps are known to work.
  • Charging notification LED does not light until full charge is reached;
  • WiMAX.

The first official CyanogenMod 7 ROM for Samsung Epic 4G can be downloaded from CyanogenMod’s forum here.

Sharkoon USB 3.0 Internal Adapter Is Small But Useful

Sharkoon is continuing its string of USB product releases with a new adapter for desktops.

What it is now releasing is quite different from the A, B and C 3.5-inch front panels from last week. One thing easily noticeable is that the newcomer is much more tiny.

Basically, this is an internal adapter that converts one, standard, 2-port USB 3.0 front-panel header into a pair of type-A USB 3.0 ports.

This is useful for people whose cases have USB 3.0 on the front but a cable that lacks an actual header.

Also, some people could decide to permanently leave a flash drive or portable HDD/SSD on the inside of their case, just in case they want to hold PageFile and ReadyBoost on it without worrying about the drive getting yanked out by accident.

The price of the item is 5.99 Euro ($7.74).

Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE Now with Special Edition 10 CORSE COMO Case

The popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is now more appealing than ever with the recently announced special case designed by a concept store.

Designed by Kris Ruhs, the 10 CORSE COMO Galaxy Tab Case features a floral and polka dot pattern and can be folded and turn it into a tablet stand.

Although there’s no word on the price tag of this accessory, the concept store that sells the special case confirmed that it will be launched sometime in January, 2012.

According to them, the 10 CORSE COMO Galaxy Tab Case was created to celebrate the launch of the 8.9-inch slate in South Korea. 

It is also worth mentioning that the special case is the result of the collaboration between 10 CORSE COMO concept store and the Korean handset manufacturer.

CyanogenMod Now Supports LG Optimus 3D, Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro

The CyanogenMod groups has just announced that it now supports the LG Optimus 3D, Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro officially.  This is great news for LG Android-based phones users who have yet to receive their software updates as promised by the Korean handset maker.

With the risk of being too harsh, I'd say that LG is the only important company that did not manage to deploy the Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade to all its high-end smartphones.

In fact, half of these are still running Android 2.2 Froyo, though they have been scheduled for a Gingerbread upgrade for a very long time.

Unfortunately, LG kept delaying the release of the upgrade until the end of the year, for at least three of its Optimus series devices, the Optimus 2X, Optimus 3D and Optimus Black.

Although the company promised these smartphone will receive their Gingerbread upgrade by year’s end, it appears that LG was able to push the long-awaited software update only in some regions.

Most LG smartphone users are still complaining on the fact that they were promised Gingerbread this month, but the upgrade is nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully, the folks at CyanogenMod decided to lend a helping hand to those who are desperately looking for a way to root their LG devices and flash the latest custom ROMs.

In this regard, the CyanogenMod team announced that Optimus Hub and Optimus Pro already received RomManager support beginning yesterday.

Those who one of these smartphone can now install it following the usual procedure: root the device, install RomManager, install recovery, and then install ROM.

In addition, the Optimus 3D build seems to be only available for the P920 model and need the new radio, but the CyanogenMod team promised that it will make the P925 builds available within the next few days.

In the same news, LG Optimus Black owners will be happy to know that CyanogenMod announced the return of the nightlies, which are available for download here.

Sirius XM Lynx Portable Satellite Radio Runs Android Underneath

Sirius XM has just announced the introduction of a new satellite and Internet device dubbed the Lynx Portable Radio which is based on the Android operating system and is touted as the company’s most advanced radio built to date. 

Going for Google’s mobile OS has enabled Sirius XM to include a series of new advanced features into its creation, like the "Tune Start" option that lets you start over at the beginning of a song if you tuned to a station right in the middle of your favorite track.

Pause, rewind and replay controls are also available, while the "Show finder" feature displays a guide that shows the content which will be set over the air the following week.

Furthermore, subscribers can build a library of up to 200 hours of programming from their Favorite satellite radio channels which are automatically recorded to allow for playback anywhere. 

Another good news is that the Android OS run by the Lynx Portable Radio can also be updated by Sirius XM to install new features and to provide users with even more content.

As far as connectivity is concerned, Sirius’s latest creation comes with both a standard 3.5mm jack output and Bluetooth, so it can be linked to most stereo speakers, headphones, and vehicle stereo systems out there.

“Lynx gives subscribers the expanded SiriusXM 2.0 content lineup and advanced features, enabling time shifting and storage of content, offering listeners more control over the programming they subscribe to," said Jim Meyer, President, Operations and Sales, SiriusXM. 

"Lynx will offer even more options to manage our exclusive and expertly curated content through future software updates," concluded the company’s rep.

The SiriusXM Lynx is available right now from the company’s online store for $249.99 (roughly 193 EUR), but it should also reach retail stores in early 2012.

Gigabyte Motherboard Sets CPU Overclocking Record with F7 BIOS

After the news about fried motherboards, people around the world probably didn't expect a Gigabyte X79 model to set a new overclocking record. 

Ironically, this is precisely what happened, as this submission on HWbot proves. 

The exact motherboard is X79-UD3, while the central processing unit was an Intel Core i7-3930K chip. 

Faulty firmware was found to have been responsible for the failure of some Gigabyte X79 mainboards (GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2). 

The company quickly released a new BIOS for the boards that had not yet failed in such a manner but were in similar danger. 

Thus, while unfortunate customers have to replace their burnt platforms, the rest of the populace can download BIOS version F7, which can be found on links below this article. 

Unfortunately, this BIOS cripples overclocking by throttling the CPU clock speed when extreme workloads are detected, or so people feared. 

Overclocker HiCookie, who also happens to be part of Gigabyte's PR team, took it upon himself to prove that the new BIOS doesn't hinder overclocking at all. 

Thus, he put a dual-core Core i7-3930K on an X79-UD3 and pushed the processor all the way to 5,543.2 MHz. 

The overclocker also made sure no one could say this was just a fluke by running the Super Pi M, Super Pi 32M and PiFast benchmarks. 

The base clock of the chip was set at 99 MHz, the multiplier at 57.0x and the voltage at 1.584V. 

To assist with the experiment, HiCookie equipped the motherboard with 8GB Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3 RAM (random access memory) and an AX1200W PSU (power supply unit) from Corsair. 

Needless to say, much liquid nitrogen was poured over the CPU during the experiment (a home-made cooling array was required). 

At this point, it is safe to say that the F7 BIOS does not, in fact, eliminate the overclocking potential of Gigabyte motherboards.

F7 BIOS download links:
Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 (rev. 1.0) BiosF7

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 (rev. 1.0) Bios F7
Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 (rev. 1.0) Bios F7

Third Redsn0w (0.9.10b3) Update Fixes MobileSubstrate Apps

In order to fix issues with MobileSubstrate-based apps acting up under a jailbreak, the iPhone Dev Team has rolled out yet another version of Redsn0w for Mac and Windows.

Labeled 0.9.10b3, the new build “fixes a problem where re-running redsn0w over an existing jailbreak would cause MobileSubstrate-based apps to stop running until MS was installed again,” according to a new entry over at the Dev Team’s blog.

“Now you can re-run the redsn0w jailbreak step without worrying about that (but still remember to de-select the “Install Cydia” option if it’s already installed),” the Team said.

They also have a tip for you guys if auto-detection fails and redsn0w tells you it couldn’t find any identifying data: “you can always pre-select the appropriate 5.0.1 IPSW using ‘Extras->Select IPSW’,” says the Team.

Intel Clover Trail-W Tablets Set for Late 2012, Succeed Medfield

Even though the Medfield itself hasn't actually launched, the web is already looking into what will come afterwards.

Medfield is the codename that Intel has chosen for the processors which, it hopes, will finally allow it to actually compete on the smartphone and tablet sectors.

The first such devices will make their appearance in the first half of 2012.

It's afterwards that Clover Trail-W Atom CPUs will show up, according to Digitimes, though it is unclear precisely when.

Clover Trail-W devices will run Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and will be directly opposed to the WOA (Windows-on-ARM) devices.

Naturally, there is, at this time, no information on what those chips will be able to do, although it is assumed that the power consumption will be low enough for battery life to rival that of ARM competitors.

AMD Radeon HD 7770 Video Card Is Stronger than People Thought

The Radeon HD 7770 graphics card from Advanced Micro Devices is supposed to be a mainstream board but recent findings suggest it is stronger than people might think.

That is not to say that Advanced Micro Devices has changed its naming scheme and made the 7770 part of the high-end spectrum.

Rather, the board's capabilities are probably higher than what consumers would have given it credit for.

The new photo that surfaced on Chiphell shows the back of the PCB (previous leaks only showed the top side).

It was already known that the product has four memory chips on the upper side, but this shows that there are four extra chips on the underside.

In other words, the adapter possesses 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, clocked at 1.125 GHz, instead of just 1 GB.

Meanwhile, the memory interface is of 128 bits and the GPU clock speed hovers at 1 GHz (the first GPU to break the 1 GHz barrier without factory or home overclocking).

Other specifications include 896 stream processors (SPs), support for DirectX 11.1 and compliance with the PCI Express 3.0 specification.

Finally, the thermal design power is rated at between 90W and 100W (a single 6-pin PCI Express connector supplies the energy).

Going back to the benchmarking results, beta drivers enabled scores of P3421 (Performance Preset) and X1077 (Extreme Preset) in 3D Mark 11.

That is quite far ahead of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti and even AMD's own Radeon HD 6790. The HD 6850 barely succeeded in maintaining something resembling a lead.

If one were to factor in the performance optimizations of perfected drivers, the HD 7770 gains an even greater appeal.

Sales aren't underway, though, and they won't begin until February, 2012. When they do kick off, the price will be of $150 (116 Euro).

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