Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2015 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: STT-MRAM, Avalanche, pram, RRAM, non-volatile RAM, NRAM
STT-MRAM, Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory, actually uses the spin of an electron to record a 1 or 0 making it quite scalable, though Avalanche's current proof of concept is built on a 55nm process. Avalanche is hoping that their use of the common Serial Peripheral Interface bus and standard CMOS 300mm process will make this type of RAM easier to adopt than some of the other types of non-volatile RAM being developed such as RRAM, NRAM and Toshiba's STT-MRAM. STT-MRAM can be incredibly fast, scale down well below 10nm and will not need multiple layers, which will reduce the heat produced even in extremely high densities. Check out more on how they have designed their version of STT-MRAM over at The Register.
"Startup Avalanche is sampling an STT-RAM chip offering DRAM/SRAM speed, persistent storage, unlimited endurance and scalability beyond 10nm."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 7 tops 60 percent market share with Windows 10 just weeks away @ The Inquirer
- North America Runs Out of IPv4 Addresses @ Slashdot
- PowerShell for Office 365 powers on @ The Register
- Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way @ The Register
- Netgear ReadyNAS 202 @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2015 - 12:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fibre optics
Two records were recently made with fibre optic connections, one for speed and one for length. Researchers at Huawei and Proximus, who operate out of Belgium, recently transmitted data over a 1,040km fiber link at 1.4Tbps using Proximus' optical backbone. Even more impressive for the network geeks out there was the spectral efficiency of the transmission, at 5.7 bits per second per Hertz, a new record for these researchers to be proud of.
Not to be out done, and putting Ryan's Ethernet run to shame, is a link that spanned 12,000 km (7,456 miles) without a repeater. Certainly not at the speeds in the aforementioned link but a huge step in extending the reach of fibre based networks without the problems associated with simply increasing the strength of the signal.
"Proximus and Huawei have successfully trialled a super-channel optical signal, flinging out information at up to one terabit per second (Tbps)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft says Oculus Rift distorts world, grinds corrective lenses @ The Register
- iOS 8.4 and Apple Music available to download on iPhones and iPads now @ The Inquirer
- How to Backup Files in Linux With Rsync on the Command Line @ Linux.com
- Microsoft quietly adds cheaper Core i7 model to Surface Pro 3 line-up @ The Inquirer
- Cisco To Acquire OpenDNS @ Slashdot
- The Tech ARP + Western Digital My Passport Wireless Contest
Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2015 - 03:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, matias, tactile pro 4
The Matias Tactile Pro is made by a mysterious entity called The Keyboard Company but is branded as Matias. It uses their own type of switches which they mention are ALPS inspired and MadShrimps found them to be almost as loud as a typewriter but without the ringing noise present in their previous switches. This is a working keyboard as opposed to a gaming keyboard, worth looking at if you spend a lot of time typing or if you have a close office neighbour you want to drive insane.
"The Keyboard Company has just started to bring in the Matias Tactile Pro and has lots of stock for potential enthusiast buyers. The newer v4 version is featuring re-engineered Matias Click switches compared to v3 and are meant to eliminate the ringing sound of the previous Fukka."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TteSports Poseidon Z Forged Aluminium Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- COUGAR 500k Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Tesoro Excalibur Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- Tesoro Lobera Spectrum Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Ozone Strike Battle keyboard @ Kitguru
- Razer Firefly RGB Backlit Hard Gaming Mousepad @ Custom PC Review
- EVGA Torq X5 @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Storage | July 6, 2015 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, 850 PRO, 850 EVO, 2TB
Samsung is extending their 850 EVO and Pro lineups to include 2TB versions of the popular SSDs thanks to the use of 3D-VNAND; three bit memory on the EVO and two bit on the Pro. They are rated at the same speeds as their 500GB and above counterparts and The SSD Review had a chance to test that. Interestingly they did indeed find performance differences between the 1TB and 2TB model of the same design, which you can check out in the full review. Their results were not quite the same as Al's review which was just posted, you should compare the two reviews as well as the systems used for theories on why that is. You can expect to pay ~$1000 for the 850 Pro 2TB and ~$800 for the 850 EVO 2TB.
"If you look back over the past several years, there have always been three constants that needed to be addressed in order for SSDs to become a viable consumer solution to storage; value, reliability and capacity. One of our first SSD reviews was on an MTron 32GB SSD with a whopping price tag of more than $1500…and they sold!"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vector 180 (480GB) @ Bjorn3d
- Kingston HyperX Savage SSD 240GB Review @ Neoseeker
- VisionTek 240GB Go Drive Review, Tough On The Go @ Bjorn3d
- Crucial BX100 256GB @ Bjorn3d
- Samsung SM951 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD @ Custom PC Review
- QNAP TVS-871U-RP-i3-4G NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- WD My Cloud EX4100 4-Bay Expert Series 16TB NAS @ eTeknix
- Toshiba AL13SXB60EN 600GB SAS 12Gb/s HDD Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Networking | July 5, 2015 - 07:17 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ipv6, ipv4, arin
While the IP system allows for about 4.3 billion addresses, not all of those are available to actual devices. There are some that are designed for private network use, so a router can assign them without worrying that it is blocking traffic to some external resource. Another big drain was wasted addresses, where organizations would purchase a big chunk of the public address space and use a tiny fraction of it. Beyond that, we just have a lot of devices, from cell phones, to home networks, to the servers they contact. Microsoft is trying to reach a billion devices with Windows 10, and the vast majority of them are expected to be online.
I'm mentioning it now because the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) announced that they will be unable to fulfill some requests for IPv4 blocks. All they have left at the moment are /23 and /24 chunks, which are bundles of 512 and 256 public addresses. As of the time of publishing, 46 chunks of 512 and 431 chunks of 256 are available, which is 133,888 total public numbers.
Of course, it's not as simple as saying “let's move to IPv6 then”. There will be some pain when the switch happens. For instance, Unreal Engine 4 has only been IPv6-compliant for a year, with the launch of Unreal Engine 4.2 in June 2014. This poses a significant problem for older games that rely upon IPv4 addresses for multiplayer, and that doesn't even consider other online software.
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2015 - 06:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
A couple of days ago, Paul Thurrott wrote an editorial about Microsoft's Windows 10 reservation system. His point was that, while Microsoft claimed users of Windows 7 or 8.1 could upgrade on July 29th, they might not get it until later. Upgrades will start rolling out on the 29th of July, but the actual queue is expected to take several days. According to Microsoft's blog post, which shows blatant disrespect for the Oxford Comma, “Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users.”
Paul linked this backtrack to an episode of Seinfeld, one where Jerry reserves a rental car; his reservation was held, but a car was not. He stated that the availability date was clearly stated as July 29th, and not everyone will get it then. I can see his point, and I agree with it. Microsoft really should provide what they claim on the date that they claim it.
On the other hand, it is possible that Microsoft saw the whole reservation system as reserving your spot in line. That is, it might be that upgrade requests will be processed in reservation order, at least mostly, when devices are available. I imagine a “take a number” system where slots will be assigned for anyone below a threshold that increases as upgrades are fulfilled. Again, this is hypothetical, but I cannot really see any other reason for a reservation system in the first place, apart from pure marketing.
Either way, some may need to wait until after July 29th to experience Windows 10, and Microsoft botched their announcement.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2015 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, rtm, build 10176
Windows Insider members are currently on 10162, the third release in four days. This new release offers you a chance to download an ISO to test a completely fresh install although you can install it as an in place update as well. The new version also allows you to buy WiFi from the Microsoft Store as well, you may start to see WiFi networks in the USA and perhaps North America wide which you will be able to connect to after buying time and perhaps data from the Microsoft Store.
We've also heard rumours via Slashdot that build 10176 will be the RTM version which may be sent out as soon as Thursday. This implies that there will not be many changes to the new OS between now and the release date, as providing differing versions to the manufacturers and current customers would not be a good business decision. As well, if purchasers of new hardware will form a very negative opinion if they have to go through a long series of updates simply to be able to use their new machine. Ready or not, Windows 10 is just about ready to go.
"Mark Wilson reports that the first RTM candidate for Windows 10 has been spotted: build 10176. Leaks and sources have suggested the company intends to finalize the operating system later this week, perhaps as early as July 9th. This would give Microsoft almost three weeks to distribute it to retailers and devicemakers before the July 29th launch date."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Storage upstart: Our flashy gear is WAY faster than slow old DRAM @ The Register
- Firefox 39 arrives with sharing integration and four major bug bashes @ The Inquirer
- Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners won't get Android 5.0 Lollipop update @ The Inquirer
- Laser Engraving in Color? @ Hack a Day
- Did a SUPER RARE Sony-Nintendo PlayStation prototype just pop up online? Possibly, maybe @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
This is like a five-year-old figuring out how to unlock a fireworks case full of paper crackers.
Regardless, there are two vulnerabilities, both of which have already been updated. Both of them take advantage of the whitelist functionality to ignore malicious code. By default, NoScript trusts a handful of domains, because blocking every script ever would break too much of the internet.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | July 7, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: earnings, amd
The projections for AMD's second fiscal quarter had revenue somewhere between flat and down 6%. The actual estimate, as of July 6th, is actually below the entire range. They expect that revenue is down 8% from the previous quarter, rather than the aforementioned 0 to 6%. This is attributed to weaker APU sales in OEM devices, but they also claim that channel sales are in line with projections.
This is disappointing news for fans of AMD, of course. The next two quarters will be more telling though. Q3 will count two of the launch months for Windows 10, which will likely include a bunch of new and interesting devices and aligns well with back to school season. We then get one more chance at a pleasant surprise in the fourth quarter and its holiday season, too. My intuition is that it won't be too much better than however Q3 ends up.
One extra note: AMD has also announced a “one-time charge” of $33 million USD related to a change in product roadmap. Rather than releasing designs at 20nm, they have scrapped those plans and will architect them for “the leading-edge FinFET node”. This might be a small expense compared to how much smaller the process technology will become. Intel is at 14nm and will likely be there for some time. Now AMD doesn't need to wait around at 20nm in the same duration.
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: square enix, pc gaming, mac os x, final fantasy xiv, final fantasy
When Final Fantasy 14 launched on the PC, it was plagued with bugs and gameplay problems. It led to Square basically remaking the game and relaunching it as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The relaunch was highly successful, as Square learned from their inexperience with the PC. They recently decided to expand to the Mac alongside the release of their new expansion pack, Heavensward, for the PC. The published system requirements for the Mac version were later retracted by Square... and you can see where this is going.
They have since temporarily pulled game sales and offered full refunds. The game will go back on sale when they update “information on the product, system requirements, and screen resolution”.
The Mac will get the MMO, but Noctis time. Ignis wasn't in the cards.
I guess you could say they'll get on it Prompto? Yes I know I'm punning the wrong title...
In the forum post, Square lists a few reasons for the error. First, a handful of customers were accidentally provided a pre-release build ahead of the official launch, due to a “miscommunication with retailers”. As mentioned though, the official release had performance issues and Square blames that on OpenGL and how it tied into their project. They claim that Final Fantasy 14 developed for Mac OSX's implementation of OpenGL would perform 30% worse than Microsoft's DirectX counterpart. They quickly clarify that OpenGL is not 30% slower than DirectX, but that factor applies to OpenGL on Mac, DirectX on Windows, and specifically for Final Fantasy 14.
An interesting note is that Square claims to have outlined several system requirement candidates, and was waiting on QA and final engineering to “select the correct one”. Yikes. Talking about software coming in hot, they did not even know their target hardware until into the shipping process, if you take their word at face value.
Square intends to ship a functional Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to OSX at some point.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2015 - 11:59 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Radeon Fury, radeon, HBM1, amd
As reported by VideoCardz.com the upcoming Radeon Fury card specs have been leaked (and confirmed, according to the report), and the air-cooled card is said to have 8 fewer compute units enabled and a slightly slower core clock.
The report pictures a pair of Sapphire cards, both using the Tri-X triple-fan air cooler. The first is a reference-clocked version which will be 1000 MHz (50 Hz slower than the Fury X), and an overclocked version at 1040 MHz. And what of the rest of the specs? VideoCardz has created this table:
The total number of compute units is 56 (8 fewer than the Fury X), which at 64 stream cores per unit results in 3584 for the non-X GPU. TMU count drops to 224, and HBM1 memory speed is unchanged at 1000 MHz effective. VideoCardz is listing the ROP count at an unchanged 64, but this (along with the rest of the report, of course) has not been officially announced.
The board will apparently be identical to the reference Fury X
Retail price on this card had been announced by AMD as $549, and with the modest reduction in specs (and hopefully some overclocking headroom) this could be an attractive option to compete with the GTX 980, though it will probably need to beat the 980's performance or at least match its $500 price to be relevant in the current market. With these specs it looks like it will only be slightly behind the Fury X so pricing shouldn't be much of an issue for AMD just yet.
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