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Doctor, treat thyself .. or at least the hospital please

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2016 - 05:36 PM |
Tagged: hospital, security, winxp, Malware

For the past few years we have heard about some rather horrific security vulnerabilities in hospitals and sadly this has not changed at all.  Indeed many hospitals are still on older, unsupported OSes such as WinXP that most security software no longer protects against the malware which was used.  In one case a hospital using centralised intrusion detection software, updated endpoint protection, and new model firewall was still compromised using very old malware. In most of the cases described by The Register it was personal data and medical records which were compromised but that doesn't mean the medical appliances and physical security systems are not also vulnerable to attack.

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"Attackers have popped three prominent US hospitals, using deliberately ancient malware so old that it slips under the radar of modern security controls to compromise Windows XP boxes and gain network beacheads."

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Source: The Register

Cherry's MX RGB Speed swiches in the wild, the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2016 - 08:30 PM |
Tagged: input, RapidFire, K70 RGB, corsair, Cherry MX Speed, cherry

We heard about the new Rapidfire switches from Cherry back in April and today we get a glimpse at how they perform.  The Tech Report tested out this rather expensive keyboard and noticed an immediate difference from the Cherry switches they used previously.  In fact the reviewer even had issues with accidental keypresses while typing when they first started using the Rapidfire; after some usage that was no longer and issue.  That sensitivity translated into gaming well, they rather enjoyed the responsiveness in Overwatch and Battleborn.  The board is $170 on Amazon though if you can live without the RGB lighting you can pick up the red model for a mere $130.

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"Corsair's K70 RGB Rapidfire is the first keyboard on the market with Cherry's MX Speed switches, a new type of clicker that offers shorter travel and a higher actuation point than the wildly popular MX Red. We got these switches under our fingers to see whether they make a real difference in the heat of battle."

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A new card, a new driver - Crimson Edition 16.6.2 is here

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2016 - 06:54 PM |
Tagged: radeon, amd, Crimson Edition 16.6.2

The labelling might be a bit confusing but this new driver is for all AMD cards from the Radeon HD 7700 series and higher, including the brand new RX 480.  It adds the Radeon WattMan overclocking tool, a Crossfire Toggle for easily switching between multiple GPU and single GPU mode as well as numerous other new features which arrive with the card.  The Release Notes do not detail too many game fixes, this release is more about adding new features to the software suite.

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You can grab them right here.

Source: AMD

Cooler Master MasterBox 5, Canada Model because that makes it cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 28, 2016 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, MasterBox 5

The Cooler Master MasterBox 5 is not a small case, at 450x220x440mm it will fit up to eATX motherboards, radiators of up to 280mm on the front, or 360mm with an adapter.  The lower price point means that there is a lack of grommets, however the empty spaces in the backplate allow you a lot of flexibility for cable management and watercooling paths.  The size will also allow you to install any GPU or CPU cooler on the market, not to mention making installation of your system easier.  You can see Modders Inc's full review here.

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"Cooler Master's current chassis line prioritize function and its design aim is to provide users with the flexibility to make any system they want inside. As part of Cooler Master's massive streamlining process beginning from last year, the simplified look is a distillation of what a Cooler Master case is at its core."

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Source: Modders Inc

Do you want faster WiFi? This is how you get faster WiFi!

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2016 - 08:53 PM |
Tagged: 802.11ac Wave 2

Router firmware upgrades should be arriving soon to upgrade you to 802.11ac Wave 2.  You may get support for MU-MIMO after upgrading and the new version could well double your bandwidth.  It should also have less interference as it will make more use of the 5GHz channel and it will also include a new 160MHz channel.  Keep an eye on your router manufacturers website and pop by The Inquirer for more information on the new standard.

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"YOUR WIFI could be about to get a whole bunch faster as a new improved version of the current 802.11ac standard is coming to a router near you."

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Source: The Inquirer

Summer Games Done Quick 2016 Starts This Sunday!

Subject: General Tech | July 1, 2016 - 10:56 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming

Awesome Games Done Quick is an organization that runs week-long, non-stop speedrun marathons for charity. This one benefits Doctors Without Borders, like the last three summer events. The last five Games Done Quick have raised a little under six million dollars, so this is a serious charity event.

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The event starts this Sunday at 12:30pm EDT with a half-hour pre-show followed by an Any % run of Super Mario Sunshine for about an hour and a third, and that is followed by Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for about an hour and a half. Lots of PC games are included on their schedule too, including classics like Final Doom, Hexen, System Shock, and Serious Sam. It is scheduled to go, around the clock, until Saturday at just before midnight, plus or minus a few hours.

Mozilla Publishes Servo Nightly (for Mac and Linux)

Subject: General Tech | July 1, 2016 - 11:12 PM |
Tagged: web browser, gecko, servo, Rust, mozilla, Samsung

No love for Windows at the moment, but Mozilla is showing previews of their new browser rendering engine, Servo. This one is developed in Rust, which is a highly parallel yet very memory safe language, which are two great features for a web browser, especially on mobile and multi-core desktops. You are currently able to pick it up on Mac and Linux, although it is not ready to be your primary browser yet. Windows and Android builds “should be available soon”.

Basically, Mozilla has been spending the last few years re-thinking how to design a web browser. Most Web standards are based on assumptions that the browser is going through a main loop, and that these items will occur in sequence. Back in 2013, most of the research was to see far a browser could travel into parallelization before compatibility just stops following. Samsung, who is obviously interested in smartphone technology, partnered with them, because it's easier to add more cores onto a mobile SoC than it is to make existing ones faster.

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At the time, they weren't sure whether this research would be used to improve Gecko, the current rendering engine that has been around since Netscape 6, or create a suitable replacement for it. As far as I know, that decision has still not been made, but they also haven't bailed on it yet.

Perhaps we'll see a new wave of Web technology coming soon? Maybe even break up the Webkit monopoly that seems to be forming, led by iOS and Android devices?

Source: Mozilla

I see there's still an insect loose in my station ... Terri Brosius returns as SHODAN

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2016 - 06:40 PM |
Tagged: gaming, system shock, Kickstarter

The System Shock reboot kicks off today in the usual place for such things and a pre-alpha demo has appeared on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.  Chris Avellone will be a part of the project, along with several members of the Fallout New Vegas team and as mentioned, Terri Brosius will be reprising her role as SHODAN.  The $900K goal is halfway finished already but it will take $1.7M before the real game can be realized with ammo types, RPG elements and other fun things such as dismemberment.  You can take a peek at the gameplay over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN before you grab the free demo, if you so desire.

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"A modern take on System Shock, a faithful reboot; it’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it. Many improvements, overhauls and changes are being implemented to capture the spirit of what the original game was trying to convey, and bring it to contemporary gamers."

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Source: Kickstarter