Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, sale
The only thing better than a new SSD is one you picked up on sale and The SSD Review would like to help you with that. They have put together a list of SSD sales that have already kicked off, from the lovely price of $370 for a 960GB SanDisk Ultra II SSD which might not be the fastest on the market but is a great bargain to a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB at $360 for those who are willing to run the restoration tool to ensure they don't experience a slow down in performance. They also list M.2 drives for those wanting to use the new interface. They have their own Amazon affiliate code which I am sure they would appreciate you using but don't forget that PC Perspective does as well so please consider sharing the proceeds from your purchases ... or not, up to you.
"It's that time of the year again, when online retailers are dropping prices on products left and right. Over the past few days there have been some okay deals when it comes to SSDs in anticipation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, today there are some very good deals on drives from all the big boys in the industry, mainly Samsung, SanDisk Crucial, and Intel."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 166: Reader questions, Asus answers, and our mobile recs
- Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC @ Slashdot
- Lenovo reportedly to start producing wearable devices soon, says report @ DigiTimes
- NVIDIA GRID Review; Game Streaming Gets a Makeover @ Hardware Canucks
- BlackBerry will pay you $$$s to be its friend and dump that iPhone @ The Register
- UK boffins: We'll have an EMBIGGENED QUANTUM COMPUTER working in 5 YEARS @ The Register
Subject: Mobile | November 27, 2014 - 05:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 1080p, Chillblast, Prestige i5-4200SH, dell, Inspiron 17 7000, hp, Beats Special Edition, Lenovo, Yoga 2 13, toshiba, Satellite S70-B-10U
Sick of the standard laptop screen resolution of 1366x768, especially on a laptop with a 17" screen? The Register has collected five laptops which have a 1080p resolution, several of which feature touchscreen capabilities for use with Win 8.1 and range in screen size up to 17.3". There is a variety of quality, the lower cost HP notebook does not feature an IPS display and so is not as sharp as some other models but then again it is not as expensive as the other models either. There is not much in the way of benchmarks but it is not too hard to estimate performance based on the components which are inside these laptops as they are common among the current generation of laptops. This review focuses on the screen, much like your eyes do.
"For the more discerning eye, that’s just not enough, and while we’ll be looking at the more expensive HiDPI laptops soon, full HD laptops are certainly more affordable these days, especially if you’re prepared to trade having a high-performance CPU or a speedy solid-state drive for a crisper, higher resolution image instead."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Silverstone Noble Breeze NB05 Notebook Cooler @ eTeknix
- Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Tablet Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Nvidia Shield Tablet Android 5.0 Lollipop @ eTeknix
- What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight @ The Register
- Hudl 2 @ The Inquirer
- Moto 360 smartwatch @ The Inquirer
- SuperTooth HD VOICE In-Car Speakerphone Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 10:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, windows, mkv, microsoft, hevc, h.265, flac
Native support for audio and video codecs is helpful for a platform. Software will be able to call upon the operating system's built-in functions, rather than integrating a solution. Of course, some will continue to roll their own, and that's fine, but it is obviously helpful for the foundation to have its own solution (especially in cases where licenses and royalties are required).
Windows 10 is expected to increase its platform support to include FLAC, MKV, and HEVC (h.265), and more may be coming. The tweet from Gabriel Aul suggests that this will be available starting in the next preview build, which will land in early 2015. Hopefully these additions include both encoding and decoding support, possibly allowing audio and video editors to take advantage of these formats.
The next build of Windows 10 Technical Preview is expected for early next year. The full OS is said to launch late that year.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 10:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubisoft, black friday
Another quick Black Friday post, this one on Ubisoft's Uplay service. At least in Canada, if you purchase one title of a selected list, you will get a choice of one from a second list, for free. While the headliners are Ubisoft's first-party titles, there are a few from EA, Sega, Telltale, Deep Silver, Bethesda, WB Games, Capcom, Square Enix, and Kalypso to round out the “Buy” list (every free bundle game is from Ubisoft, though).
The list of “Buy” (full price) games are:
- Assassin's Creed: Unity (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
- Far Cry 4 (PC, 360, Xbox One, PS3 – Not PS4???)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC)
- Alien Isolation (PC)
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (360, PS3)
- Tales from the Borderlands (PC)
- Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PC)
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC)
- The Evil Within (PC)
- Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse (PC)
- Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)
- FIFA Soccer 15 (PC)
- The Sims 4 (PC)
- Football Manager 2015 (PC)
- Rocksmith (2014) (PC, 360, PS3 – Xbox One is listed by not available in the store???)
- Just Dance 2015 (360, Xbox One, PS3, Wii)
- Escape Dead Island (PC)
- Tropico 5 (PC)
- Shape Up (Xbox One)
- Metro: Redux Bundle (PC)
Purchasing one of the above allows you to get one of the following PC titles:
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
- South Park: The Stick of Truth
- Far Cry 3
- Assassin's Creed III: Deluxe Edition
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist
- Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry
- Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
- Anno 2070
- Might and Magic: Heroes VI (Complete)
- Rayman Legends
Of course, the first thing that pops into my mind is the AMD "Never Settle" promotion. It is interesting that game publishers are also considering a "build your own bundle" initiative, breaking from the "these two games are shrink-wrapped together" model that was previously dominant. Perhaps this will be something that Valve considers for one of their future promotions?
If you were considering paying full price for one of the first list of titles, than purchasing it through the Ubisoft store might get you an extra game for free. Personally, I've been considering Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag has been given a lot of good publicity. The sale started on the American Thanksgiving season and runs until December 15th, so you have a little time to think.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 04:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, corsair, H1500, gaming headset, 7.1 headset
Corsair's H1500 Dolby 7.1 headset has a pair of 50mm drivers with a response of 20Hz to 20kHz which uses software to emulate 7.1 and 5.1 Dolby surround as well as simple 2.0 audio. The headset comes with software but not a dedicated soundcard which is why they were able to keep the price to $70. Benchmark Reviews used the headset in Battlefield 4 and found it quite useful in preventing enemies from sneaking up from behind them with a knife though the stiff padding and narrow head band did tire them out after a while. Music and movies also sounded great after a little tweaking of the equalizer and the noise cancellation feature on the microphone was effective at reducing background noise while speaking into the mic. Overall if you want a good set of surround headphones are on a bit of a budget the H1500 are worth adding to your short list of possible purchases.
"Longevity is very important in any industry. It is extremely likely that, when the longevity moniker is affixed to an organization's label, consumers can buy with confidence. Corsair is one of those labels that can has been doing it well since 1994 and in this industry, 20 years is a VERY long time. Whether you are buying a power supply or a gaming mouse, you know that if it wears the Corsair logo, it is a quality device that will withstand the test of time and perform brilliantly."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair Gaming H1500 USB headset @ Kitguru
- Corsair H2100 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- Noontec Zoro II HD Mobile Headphones @ eTeknix
- Creative Sound Blaster ROAR SR20A Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- LUXA2 Groovy Duo Wireless Speaker @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech, Systems | November 27, 2014 - 08:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, IBM, power9, Volta
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been interested in a successor for their Titan Supercomputer. Sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the new computer will be based on NVIDIA's Volta (GPU) and IBM's POWER9 (CPU) architectures. Its official name will be “Summit”, and it will have a little sibling, “Sierra”. Sierra, also based on Volta and POWER9, will be installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Image Credit: NVIDIA
The main feature of these supercomputers is expected to be “NVLink”, which is said to allow unified memory between CPU and GPU. This means that, if you have a workload that alternates rapidly between serial and parallel tasks, that you can save the lag in transferring memory between each switch. One example of this would be a series of for-each loops on a large data set with a bit of logic, checks, and conditional branches between. Memory management is like a lag between each chunk of work, especially across two banks of memory attached by a slow bus.
Summit and Sierra are both built by IBM, while Titan, Oak Ridge's previous supercomputer, was developed by Cray. Not much is known about the specifics of Sierra, but Summit will be about 5x-10x faster (peak computational throughput) than its predecessor at less than a fifth of the nodes. Despite the fewer nodes, it will suck down more total power (~10MW, up from Titan's ~9MW).
These two supercomputers are worth $325 million USD (combined). They are expected to go online in 2017. According to Reuters, an additional $100 million USD will go toward research into "extreme" supercomputing.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 09:29 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: apple, safari, google, yahoo, bing, microsoft, mozilla
After Mozilla inked the deal with Yahoo, the eyes turned to Apple and its Safari browser. Currently, the default search engine is Google on both iOS and OSX, although Bing is the primary engine used for other functions, like Siri and Spotlight. Until early 2015, they are tied into a contract with Google for those two browsers, but who will get the new contract?
Apparently Yahoo and Microsoft have both approached the company for the position, and Apple is not ruling any of the three out. Probably the most interesting part is how Yahoo is genuinely taking the search business seriously. The deal with Mozilla is fairly long-term, and with Yahoo approaching Apple as well, it probably was not just charity on Mozilla's part because no-one else wanted to be Firefox's default. Yahoo would probably need some significant monetary backing for an Apple deal, which suggests the same for their deal with Mozilla.
If both Mozilla and Apple leave Google, it will take a significant chunk out of the search engine. Power users, like those who read this site, will likely be unaffected if they care, because of how low the barrier is to change the default search engine. On the other hand, even the most experienced user will often accept default settings until there is a reason to change. The winning party will need to have a good enough product to overcome that initial shock.
But the money will at least give them a chance when the decision comes into effect. That is, unless the barrier to changing default search engines is less than the barrier to changing default web browsers.
Google will always be default on Google Chrome.
Subject: General Tech | November 28, 2014 - 04:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: telltale, game of thrones
Oh they're coming. The dragons are on their way. They're gonna be amazing. They'll be here soon. Actually, Telltale's Game of Thrones will be here on December 2nd. The game will be the first of a six-episode season, spanning the TV show's timeline from the end of Season 3 up to some point just before the start of Season 5.
According to the ESRB, they will keep their robes on at all times.
Of course, the most interesting part about this release, to me, is its M rating – specifically, one that makes zero reference to sexuality or sexual content. While the ESRB allows modest sexual content, with Duke Nukem Forever being just about the most extreme, permitted example, you would probably get nowhere near what is allowed on HBO into retail distribution, any console, and probably not even Steam. This would limit the game to a PC release that is distributed on their company website, GoG, and maybe Amazon. The same issue was faced, in some regions, with South Park: The Stick of Truth, where a handful of scenes were censored out of certain versions of the game because they were too graphic (one of which being an alien abduction).
That tangent out of the way, Game of Thrones will launch on December 2nd.
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