Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2015 - 04:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless router, idiots, dd-wrt
In the next installment of poorly planned out moves by a US government agency attempting to solve a problem that does not exist, we shall see an attempt to make illegal the modification of the firmware on any device which contains an radio. This is likely to prevent you from using open source software to modify your wireless router into a death ray which will allow you to take over the planet.
Specifically, it will make illegal the modification of any device which can broadcast on U-NII bands which happen to include the 5GHz bandwidth that WiFi broadcasts on. While most firmware changes, such as dd-wrt only change the processor the routers are SoC's which means that the radio is technically a part of the same device as what you modify when applying custom firmware. Hack a Day has links to the FCC proposal, you might want to consider emailing your congress critters about it.
"Because of the economics of cheap routers, nearly every router is designed around a System on Chip – a CPU and radio in a single package. Banning the modification of one inevitably bans the modification of the other, and eliminates the possibility of installing proven Open Source firmware on any device."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Win10 Insider build 10532: Avoid if you run Chrome 64-bit @ The Register
- Nvidia GRID 2.0 doubles performance of its virtual GPU @ The Inquirer
- Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide @ The Register
- Unearthed E.T. Atari Game Cartridges Score $108K At Auction @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
Less than a week and a half after publishing 10525, Microsoft has pushed Windows 10 Build 10532 to members of the Windows Insider program that are set to receive “Fast” releases. This version adjusts the context menus for consistency. In the provided screenshot, all I can really notice that is different is the icons for Display Settings and Personalize are now axonometric, rather than face-on. The Feedback app has also been updated to allow sharing.
While Slow Ring users are still on the general public build, 10240, it might not be too long. Gabe Aul mentioned on Twitter that they were evaluating 10525 for Slow Ring. With 10532 being released though, that has almost definitely been put off. The next update is particularly important, as it will be the last chance for Windows Insiders to disable Insider Builds before all of them will be pushed off of 10240. It's about time to decide whether you want to use the stable version that's supported by all manufacturers, or continue with pre-release versions.
To receive 10532, join the Insider program from Windows Update's Advanced options and set it to receive Fast builds. To leave the Insider program, go to the same Advanced options menu and press the button to stop receive Insider builds.
Subject: Storage | September 1, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Seagate, hdd, Enterprise NAS, Enterprise Capacity 3.5, 8TB
Just when we were starting to get comfortable with the though of 6TB hard drives, Seagate goes and announces their lineup of 8TB HDDs:
Now before you get too excited about throwing one of these into your desktop, realize that these models are meant for enterprise and larger NAS environments:
As you can see from the above chart, Seagate will be moving to 8TB maximum capacities on their 'Enterprise NAS' and 'Enterprise Capacity 3.5' models, which are meant for larger storage deployments.
Home and small business users opting to go with Seagate for their storage will remain limited to 4TB per drive for the time being.
For those curious about Kinetic, this is Seagate's push to connect arrays of drives via standard Ethernet, which would allow specialized storage applications to speak directly to the raw storage via standard network gear. Kinetic HDDs are currently limited to 4TB, with 8TB planned this coming January.
Seagate's full press blast appears after the break.
Subject: Storage | September 1, 2015 - 03:00 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, OS3, My Cloud Mirror
A little over a year ago, we took a look at the Western Digital My Cloud Mirror. This was a simple network connected storage device that came with a suite of software and mobile apps to give remote access to the data stored at home.
Today Western Digital announced a refresh to the My Cloud Mirror. Available for pre-order today and in stores at the end of this month, the new Mirror is essentially just a speed boosted version of the original version (which was no slouch really). Something the added speed may help with is the functionality being added to WD's My Cloud OS software:
The new 'OS3' version adds some requested features, such as using the My Cloud as a hub for syncing across multiple systems (similar to Dropbox, but with your own storage being used instead of their servers).
Another requested feature was the ability to backup and/or offload pictures and videos from mobile devices. This can be done only when connected to WiFi or over cellular data if the user has the GB/month to spare on their data plan.
Another interesting feature is My Cloud Albums. This feature lets you invite your friends/family to share *their* photos / videos from an event. You send them a link and they can then upload their content directly to your My Cloud via their mobile browser or via the My Cloud app (if they have it installed). This sounds like a great idea for collecting photos taken at group events like birthday parties or weddings.
My Cloud OS3 is slated for a 21 September release. We will take a look another look at its features once released.
Western Digital's full press blast appears after the break.
Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2015 - 04:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: unreal engine 4, unreal engine, ue4.9, ue4, epic games, dx12
For an engine that was released in late-March, 2014, Epic has been updating it frequently. Unreal Engine 4.9 is, as the number suggests, the tenth release (including 4.0) in just 17 months, which is less than two months per release on average. Each release is fairly sizable, too. This one has about 232 pages of release notes, plus a page and a half of credits, and includes changes for basically every system that I can think of.
The two most interesting features, for me, are Area Shadows and Full Scene Particle Collision.
Area Shadows simulates lights that are physically big and relatively close. At the edges of a shadow, the object that casts the shadow are blocking part of the light. Wherever that shadow falls will be partially lit by the fraction of the light that can see it. As that shadow position gets further back from the shadow caster, it gets larger.
On paper, you can calculate this by drawing rays from either edge of each shadow-casting light to either edge of each shadow-casting object, continued to the objects that receive the shadows. If both sides of the light can see the receiver? No shadows. If both sides of the light cannot see the receiver? That light is blocked, which is a shadow. If some percent of a uniform light can see the receiver, then it will be shadowed by 100% minus that percentage. This is costly to do, unless neither the light nor any of the affected objects move. In that case, you can just store the result, which is how “static lighting” works.
Another interesting feature is Full Scene Particle Collision with Distance Fields. While GPU-computed particles, which is required for extremely high particle counts, collide already, distance fields allow them to collide with objects off screen. Since the user will likely be able to move the camera, this will allow for longer simulations as the user cannot cause it to glitch out by, well, playing the game. It requires SM 5.0 though, which limits it to higher end GPUs.
This is also the first release to support DirectX 12. That said, when I used a preview build, I noticed a net-negative performance with my 9000 draw call (which is a lot) map on my GeForce GTX 670. Epic calls it “experimental” for a reason, and I expect that a lot of work must be done to deliver tasks from an existing engine to the new, queue-based system. I will try it again just in case something changed from the preview builds. I mean, I know something did -- it had a different command line parameter before.
Unreal Engine 4.9 is now available. It is free to use until your revenue falls under royalty clauses.
Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2015 - 02:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lenovo, Thinkpad E Series, Realsense 3D, windows 10
The new 14" and 15.6" Lenovo ThinkPad E Series were revealed recently and The Inquirer got a sneak peek at it. They offer a choice of Intel and AMD models, somewhat good news for the much beleaguered processor company, along with up to 16GB of RAM and an SSD. The most interesting upgrade is the Intel RealSense 3D camera on some models, which you may remember Ryan testing on the Dell Venue 8, which should make conference calls more interesting as well as letting you measure your room. They also announced updated M and B and E line of laptops as well as the S series desktops, read more about it at The Inquirer.
"The E Series laptops come with a host of features "ideal for business users", Lenovo said, including fingerprint scanning security and up to nine hours of battery life."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Muted HAMR blow from Seagate: 4TB whizzbang drive coming 2016 @ The Register
- Hands on with Windows Server 2016 Containers @ The Register
- Better crypto, white-box switch support in Linux 4.2 @ The Register
- Tricks For Using Desktop-Integrated Calendars @ Linux.com
- Windows 10 is the world's fourth biggest OS after a month @ The Inquirer
- Worldwide server shipments grew 8% in 2Q15, while revenue increased 7.2%, says Gartner @ DigiTimes
- Amkov AMK5000S Sports Action Camera @ Kitguru
- EnGenius ENS1750 Outdoor Access Point @ Benchmark Reviews
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