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Surprise! Razer Cortex and Other Software Have Been Spying On You For A Long Time

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect today a number of tech companies have been quick to abandon older versions of the software, discontinue services entirely or just simply block EU users from accessing their websites. Perhaps the company in the hottest water right now is Razer, maker of LCD infused Keyboard / Mice and really expensive light-up gaming notebooks. 

See, Razer’s terms of service when it comes to data collection currently allows them to collect, and I quote: 

Data Processing by Cortex. Cortex boosts and optimises your system and game performance by collecting and streamlining data relating to your system settings and system processes. When you launch Cortex, it will collect and use such data automatically. By installing and using Cortex, you consent to certain data collection and usage by Cortex for its recommendation engine to function. Cortex recommends game deals and makes price comparisons based on a variety of websites. To do so, Cortex will need to collect and process certain data from your computer, specifically your email address, IP address, game settings, installed games, game performance metrics, device type, user interaction patterns, operating system and browser type. To optimise the advertisements to be communicated to you and the performance of our services, such data will be used with Google’s Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Google Analytics respectively. For the purpose of highlighting discounts as they arise on other websites and displaying price comparisons, Cortex needs to access data relating to your game-ownership and game-wishlist(s), if any, on retail websites of your choice.” 

Twitter User Stephen Swires pointed out in a recent thread that the older version of the Razer Cortex Eula allowed them to collect a lot more including analyzing your keystroke patterns, logging which web pages you visited and “other information about your activities using our hardware”. Sounds very vague…. 

In order to be compliant with the GDPR Razer has dumped support for older versions of Synapse as well as the Mobile version of Razer Cortex. It is not known as of press time how the GDPR update that was rolled out on the recently released Razer Phone affects European users. 

If you’re reading this and currently use a Razer product, does knowing that for a time they were collecting your keystroke “patterns” and web pages that you visited give you pause? Would you buy a Razer product now? Let us know in the comments section! 


Scream “NERF THIS” At Your Opponents With This Official Overwatch Headset

Posted on November 4, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The stylistic headgear worn by Blizzard’s fictional pro Starcraft player, D.VA , can soon be yours with the announcement of a line of officially licensed peripherals based around everyone’s favorite gremlin.  

Razer will be releasing Razer Meka Headset, styled after the iconic headgear and color scheme that D.VA sports with her default outfit in Overwatch. Seriously look at the screen grab from the trailer below, I honestly screamed when I saw this headset – it’s perfect for protecting the payload! 

The Razer Abyssus Elite mouse sports the purple and pink aesthetic that D.VA is known for combined with the matte black used in a lot of Razer’s product line. Don’t let the cute bunny emblem at the bottom of the mouse fool you, it is packing enough punch to handle any number of actions per minute. According to the official site, the Abyssus supports up to 7200 DPI and Razer’s Chroma custom lighting technology.  

Last up is the Razer Goliathus mouse pad which sports a giant version of D.VA’s bunny emblem complete with racing stripes also styled after her default look. Accented by cute bubbles and pink Razer Logo this mouse pad completes the trio of brand new Overwatch accessories. 

In terms of price, the Goliathus is the cheapest of the three at $20.00 USD. The D.VA Abyssus Gaming Mouse has a retail price of $59.99 USD and both of these are available now. That sweet looking D.VA headset, however, is currently listed as “coming soon”, so we’ll bring you an update on that as soon as we have it. 






Razer Announces Two New Budget Chroma Keyboards

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Hardware manufacturer Razer has announced two brand new budget keyboards that support the company’s propriety Chroma RGB light-up technology at a lower price point than their premium Razer Blackwidow Chroma or Razer Ornata Chroma lines. 

First up is the Razer Cynosa Chroma keyboard which offers access to the individual key light-up technology, spill-resistant design, and Razer Synapsis compatibility that its pricier siblings offer. The Cynosa’s more feature rich sibling is the Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro keyboard which offers the same features in addition to the “underglow” technology which allows the user to customize a RGB glow that surrounds the keyboard with a programmable color that can match your individual keys. “Underglow” does not only make the border of your keyboard a single color, but Razer’s software allows you to customize the color, density and breathability of 24 different “zones”. 

The Razer Cynosa Chroma keyboard has an MSRP of $59.99 USD and the more feature rich Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro has an MSRP of $79.99 USD. It should be noted that Razer has been very clear in their marketing materials that the Cynosa line is budget friendly, don’t expect a full mechanical chroma keyboard experience on the level of the Blackwidow in a sub $99.99 USD price point.  

Razer Cynosa Chroma Keyboard Features: 

  • Individually customizable backlit keys 
  • Spill-resistant durable design 
  • 10 key rollover with anti-ghosting 
  •  Chroma backlighting and underglow with 16.8 million customizable color options 
  • Razer Synapse enabled 
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording 
  • Gaming mode option 
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling 
  • MSRP: $59.99 USD 

Razer Cynosa Chroma Keyboard Pro Features: 

  • Individually customizable backlit keys 
  • Spill-resistant durable design 
  • 10 key rollover with anti-ghosting 
  • Chroma backlighting with 16.8 million customizable color options 
  • Razer Chroma™ Underglow with 24 customization zones 
  • Razer Synapse enabled 
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording 
  • Gaming mode option 
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling 

Promotional Shot of the Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro Keyboard:

Retail Packaging For The Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro Keyboard:

Side By Side Shot of the Razer Cynosa Keyboard & The Razer Cynosa Pro Keyboard:

This post does contain media (images) and bullet points provided verbatim by Razer USA’s PR. The top paragraph copy is original work and reflects the facts presented / opinion of the author of this post. 


Razer Announces Successor To The Popular Black Widow Chroma Keyboard

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Peripheral manufacturer Razer has announced the successor to their very success BlackWidow Chroma keyboard with the introduction of the aptly named BlackWidow Chroma V2, which will replace the original at retail. This improved keyboard brings with it some smaller improvements that may entice existing owners to upgrade as well as one larger one – a brand new line of switches underneath the keys!

In addition to the orange and green switches which were part of the original BlackWidow Chroma razer has added the brand new yellow switch option which are targeted specifically at MOBA and First Person Shooter players with their reduced travel design and much more silent key-press with compared with the other two types of available switches.  For extra comfort the BlackWidow Chroma V2 also includes a magnetic wrist cushion which looks a lot more comfortable than the plastic wrist rest that shipped with the original version.

The BlackWidow line of keyboards was originally introduced more than half a decade ago in 2010. The original Black widow Chroma was released to retail in March of 2015 and was met with several positive reviews.  Chroma technology – also featured in several Razer products like the Razerblade Stealth Laptop – allows users to light up individual keys with custom programmed patterns and when playing supported games like Overwatch and Black Ops III key functions like special abilities and reloading weapons.

BlackWidow Chroma V2 will retail for the same MSRP as the original $229.99 CDN or you could pick up the original version for a bit of savings at $199.99 CDN.


Razer Publishing Gurgamouth Via OUYA Publishing Label

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Razer – the well known hardware manufacturer – has announced that they will be expanding the number of platforms that indie flying fighting game Gurgamoth will be available on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, Android Phones, Razer Forge TV, NVIDIA Shield and Amazon Fire TV set top boxes.

Gurgamoth is a multiplayer “flying fighting” title where multiple friends have just one objective – sacrifice your fellow players using hazards within the environment itself. Success at Gurgamoth requires quick reflexes, a sense of timing and the ability to not start cackling as you send a saw blade flying towards your friends. According to the publisher this title mixes the chaos found within party games with a sense of strategy.

Developed by Galvanic Games for the Playfab 2015 Seattle Game Jam this game has gone on to win several awards including an official selection at the Indie Min booth at PAX East 2016, 2nd place at iFest Seattle 2016  and Gurgamoth was also an official selection at the Power of Play 2016.

The Android release is available now for as little as $4.99, the PC/MAC port has already launched.



The Definitive Guide To Mastering OSVR – Open Source Virtual Reality

Posted on July 16, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Virtual Reality has been available to consumers on PC after years in development. While the system requirements can be a little daunting, new mainstream video cards like the Radeon RX480 and upcoming Geforce 1060 are helping to ease the pain on both owner’s wallets and their system’s power supplies. When it comes to the choice of headsets potential VR early adaptors have quite a few options – there are the rather expense HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift, probably the two biggest names in Head Mounted Displays, but other alternatives also exist. You can get a comparable experience out of mid-tier headsets like the Razer HDK and other Open Source VR-compliant devices that will be just as immersive without handing over an entire month’s rent.

Master Chie...... nah, it can't be.

The HDK Versus The Competition

From a technical standpoint Razer’s current Hacker Development Kit (HDK) V1.4 won’t go blow for blow with the hardware on offer from the big names in the VR space but what it does provide is a stable and enjoyable VR experience complete with 3-Dimensional positional tracking at almost half of the price of other VR solutions. It should be noted that the HDK, as it’s name implies, is aimed primarily at developers & hardware hackers who are comfortable getting a little dirty with the small parts that make the device work.

Razer HDK V1.4 Oculus Rift CV1 HTC VIVE
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 (960×540 per eye) 2160 x 1200(1080×1200 per eye) 2160 x 1200 (1080×1200 per eye)
Screen Refresh Rate 60HZ 90HZ 90HZ
Positional Tracking Yes Yes Yes
Room Tracking No No Yes – via Lighthouse modules
Open Source Drivers Yes No – Closedcommercialdrivers No – Closedcommercialdrivers
Steam VR Support Yes * With additional software download Yes – out of the box support forSteamVR Yes – out of the box support forSteamVR
MSRP $299 USD $599 USD $799 USD


Setting Up Your HDK Step 1: Getting The Core Drivers

Using the OSVR HDK isn’t as easy as simply plugging the headset into your computer and expecting it to work. You are going to need one of two packages in order to make use of your OSVR – either the “OSVR Core” package which includes the server software needed to connect the headset to your PC or the “OSVR Runtime Package” which includes the aforementioned OSVR server but also drivers, an IR tracking program designed to test the infra-red camera and “Direct 3D demo” which is an interactive simple demonstration program designed to make sure the headset is working correctly.

Snag either the full runtime package or core builds right here.


Setting Up Your HDK Step 2: Steam VR Integration

SteamVR integration, that is playing games on the OSVR headset using Valve’s open API approach to VR isn’t as easy as downloading the SteamVR package, but it is pretty painless if you can follow some simple steps.

  • Make sure your Steam install is up-to-date and that you are logged in.
  • Go to Library and then select “Tools” and search for SteamVR.
  • Install the standard version of SteamVR package – which is a 1100 MB download.
  • Download the OSVR SteamVR plugin from the project’s official GitHub page.
  • Within the directory structure of the OSVR SteamVR plugin zip file find the SteamVR-OSVR/lib/openvr folder
  • Extract the OSVR folder to %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Steam\steamapps\common\SteamVR\drivers\osvr\bin \win32″ if you are using the default Steam file structure.
  • Hook-up your VR headset, Run the OSVR server and get ready to enjoy some great VR content.


Optional Step 3: Headtracking and SBS (Side-By-Side) For Non-VR Games

If you are looking to experience some of your favorite titles in Virtual Reality but they don’t natively support OSVR/SteamVR you have a few choices to make your game of choice playable on your headset. Essentially there are two components that go into this: ensuring your content is displayed on the headset correctly and adding in optional head tracking to the game so that your view moves with your headset in first person games, for example.

For Viewing Content:

  • Steam packs in a free “Steam Theatre” mode that you can activate with any non-SteamVR game by left clicking on the game in your library and selecting “Play In SteamVR”. The SteamVR theatre essentially makes it appear as if your content is being displayed on a large screen in front of you.
  • Use a paid program like Tridef Ignition to split the image into two distinct halves. As of the writing of this guide Tridef does not support “direct mode” rendering – that is sending the image directly to your headset, you’ll have to display content in “extended mode”. Tridef also does not support lens distortion so your image may be cut off when viewed through the OSVR without some sort of barrel distortion add-on like SweetFX running on top of Tridef.
  • Use a free program on the Steam Store like Big Screen Beta to display the content of your monitor (or Monitors if in Extended) in a virtual environment. Like Steam Theatre mode this won’t support all titles and may have some lag.

For Headtracking

I highly recommend FreePIE for your head tracking needs, it is an open source fork of GlovePIE and allows your computer to take one form of input and translate it into another. The most common use of this software is to translate the head tracking movement from the OSVR headset and map it to the mouse for use in games like Fallout 4, Skyrim and other first person titles.

Below is the headtracking script that I personally use for non VR titles – more scripts, including one that uses a Wiimote for headtracking, check out this forum thread:

global yawModifier
global pitchModifier
##global rollModifierdef update():
global yaw
yaw = yawModifier*filters.deadband(filters.delta(math.degrees(filters.continuousRotation(OSVR.yaw))),deadband)* YSpeed
global pitch
pitch = pitchModifier*filters.deadband(filters.delta(math.degrees(filters.continuousRotation(OSVR.pitch))),deadband)* XSpeed
##global roll
##roll = rollModifier*filters.continuousRotation(OSVR.roll)if starting:
system.threadExecutionInterval = 0.00
enabled = True
off = 0
multiply = 15
deadband = 0.01
YSpeed = 1
XSpeed = 1
yawModifier = -1.0
pitchModifier = -1.0
##rollModifier = 1.0
yaw = 0
pitch = 0
roll = 0update()if (enabled and off == 0):
mouse.deltaY = pitch*multiply
mouse.deltaX = yaw*multiply
elif (off == 1):
mouse.deltaX = 0
mouse.deltaY = 0
else :
mouse.deltaX = yaw*multiply
mouse.deltaY = 0diagnostics.watch(yaw)

## change z or x to any key board key you want.
toggle = keyboard.getPressed(Key.Z)
toggleoff = keyboard.getPressed(Key.X)
## you can bind this key to a mouse button by changing this to
## toggle = mouse.middleButton
## or you can just bind z to a mouse key useing your mouse key software
## please change this script to how ever you like.
if toggle:
enabled = not enabled
off = 0

if toggleoff:
off = not off

HTC Vive

The Future For VR Hardware?

To say that Virtual Reality is in its infancy would be an understatement – none of the headsets listed in this article, even the OSVR have been on the market for six months. VR is an evolving experience that manufacturers and developers are still exploring – some headsets offer resolutions beyond Full HD, while others limited room sensing which enables players to walk around a physical environment. A VR experience in 2016 may feel nothing like the VR experiences of 2018 or even sooner, before making the leap into VR potential owners should be well aware that regardless of your choice in hardware there is a chance within the next 24 months that new expensive headset could be outclassed by the competition or even replaced with a newer model. Oculus has gone on record stating that it could be a while before we see the second generation headsets from them however.

Razer has already announced the OSVR HDK 2 – a fully upgraded headset that features a higher resolution screen among other enhancements. The display resolution of OSVR2 is exactly the same as the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive – 2160 x 1200 – providing an impressive 441 PPI and optimized for 90hz. The HDK2’s impressive display does come at a financial cost – it is priced at $399 USD – $100 more than the 1.4 and as of the writing of this article is currently on back-order.

Useful Community Resources

The OSVR community is alive and well and if you’re new to the community you might wonder where you can get some help with your headset or just catch up on the latest developments within the Open Source Virtual Reality movement. Below are a few of the key sites that I feel every OSVR HDK owner should check out, regardless if they are a developer or not. Thanks for reading my guide to the OSVR Headset, please look forward to more videos and instructional guides surrounding VR in the coming weeks.


Razer announces gaming capture card targeted at streamers

Posted on March 31, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Razer has been announcing a ton of new products this year, with a series of gaming laptop, and a whole boat load of peripherals. So it came as not much of a surprise to me when I hear that they had accounced the Razer Ripsaw a new box aimed at making streaming and capturing from a console as simple as possible. In a 44 second video posted to Razers channel user got a chance to see how simple it really is to plug in the Ripsaw and get right back to gaming.

[youtube id=dKMPBXWm_SA]

The Ripsaw is designed with gamers in mind, and can capture up to 1080p and 60fps meaning that you can capture all of those frames your console is putting out for some sweet 60fps YouTube action. The Ripsaw has both DMI and component input though it does need an adapter to use the component one, it also has USB 3.0 port to go to your pc. Razers advertising claims that by using USB 3.0 you can transfer uncompressed 1080p 60 Hz game footage to your PC with virtually no latency. If this is true its a pretty impressive feat, and I would be interested to get my hands on one for testing.

You can check out the new Ripsaw for 180$ on the Razer store

Will you be picking up  Razer’s newest toy? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter



MechWarrior Online Community Day and Centurion Mech Announced

Posted on July 19, 2012 by Daniel Shannon

Mechwarrior Online Developers Piranha Games have been very busy this week. First, they released a video showcasing the upcoming free-to-play game’s latest Mech, the Centurion. This medium sized Mech is sort of like the T-34 of Mechs, boasting a good mix of speed, armor, and firepower. You can watch the video with some pretty gameplay footage below.

[youtube id=”3m24i6iTeyc” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Additionally, Piranha games, Nvidia, and Infinite Game Publishing (the publisher of Mechwarrior online),  are hosting a MechWarrior Online Community Day in Santa Clara, California at 5 p.m. on July 27th. The event, an invitation only affair, will let the chosen few join the developers for drunken debauchery, beer, pizza, and some Mechwarrior Online lanning. There will be a tournament, prizes, and chances to play around with unrevealed Mechs as well as the newfangled Razer Blade laptop. Read on to see how you can score an invite to this event.

Read More


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