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Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2016 - 06:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
For the majority of users, the Windows 10 free upgrade period has just ended. That said, Microsoft is extending the offer for a specific group of people: those who use assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech software for those with visual impairments. They are being intentionally vague with which AT software allow users to qualify, which makes sense, because being pedantic to users with disabilities after offering it to everyone (sometimes like a hot potato) for a whole year wouldn't be the best PR.
They haven't yet announced an end date for this new offer. They also haven't really discussed why they are making this exemption, although they do promote the upcoming Anniversary Update several times, with its new accessibility features highlighted. This makes me think that, while of course Microsoft is going to namedrop the new build whenever possible, they might have found that users were hesitant to upgrade to 1507 and 1511 because of accessibility concerns. Since the general public upgrade offer ended just before the Anniversary Update, they might be allowing those users to jump aboard Windows 10 even though their disability prevented them from using 1511.
Either way, it's a nice extension to make.
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2016 - 05:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xiaomi, ultraportable, ultrabook, thin and light, Intel, core m3, core i5
According to the guys over at The Tech Report, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is jumping into the notebook game with two new Mi Notebook Air ultrabooks. The all aluminum notebooks are sleek looking and priced very competitively for their specifications. They are set to release on August 2nd in China.
The new Mi Notebook Air notebooks come in 13.3" and 12.5" versions. Both models use all aluminum bodies with edge to edge glass displays (1080p though unknown what type of panel), backlit keyboards, and dual AKG speakers. Users can choose from gold or silver colors for the body and keyboard (Xiaomi uses a logo-less design which is nice).
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air via Ars Technica.
Both models sport a single USB Type C port (which is also used for charging), two USB 3.0 Type A ports, one HDMI video output, and a headphone jack. The Xiaomi website shows an USB Type C adapter that adds extra ports as well. Internally, they have a M.2 slot for storage expansion but the notebooks do not appear to be user serviceable (though iFixit may rectify that...). Also shared is support for the company's Mi Sync software and Mi fitness band which can be used to unlock the computer when the user is in proximity.
The smaller 12.5" Mi Notebook Air is 0.51" thick and weighs just over 2.3 pounds. It is powered by an Intel Core M3 processor and Xiaomi claims that this model can hit 11.5 hours ouf battery life. Other specifications include 4 GB of RAM, a 128 GB SATA SSD, and 802.11ac wireless.
If you need a bit more computing power, the 13.3" notebook is slightly bulkier at 0.58" thick and 2.8 pounds with the tradeoff in size giving users a larger display, keyboard, and dedicated graphics card. Specifically, the 13.3" ultrabook features an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia Geforce 940MX GPU, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, a 256GB NVMe PCI-E SSD, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. This laptop is a bit heavier but I think the extra horsepower is worth it for those that need or want it.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about what many will see as an Apple MacBook Air clone is the pricing. The 12.5" laptop will MSRP for RMB 3499 while that 13.3" notebook will cost RMB 4999. That translates to approximately $525 and $750 USD respectively which is a great value for the specifications and size and seemingly will give Apple a run for its money in China. That's the bad news: Xiaomi does not appear to be bringing these slick looking notebooks to the US anytime soon which is unfortunate.
Chinese technology company LeEco (SZSE: 300104) will purchase US television manufacture Vizio (NASDAQ: VZIO (not trading)) in a deal worth $2 Billion USD set to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
LeEco plans to acquire Vizio's hardware and software divisions and run the US company as a wholly owned subsidiary while spinning off Vizio's Inscape television viewership data arm as a privately held company. With approximately 400 employees, yearly revenue in the billions ($3.1 billion in 2014), and at least 20% of the US television market, the acquisition would allow LeEco to enter the US market in a big way. Vizio is best known in the US for its televisions where it is a respected brand, but the company also produces ultrabooks, tablets, smartphones, and sound bars. It is a private US-based company with manufacturing in Mexico and China.
Founded in 2004, LeEco is involved in a number of technology related fields across China, India, and soon the US. The Vizio brand (and partnerships such as the one with Walmart to carry its TVs) alone will be instrumental in LeEco's plans to break into the US market which has been resistant to Chinese brands making inroads (Lenovo apparently being the exception, but even Lenovo was not able to get its smartphones into the US market in a big way). The company of 5000+ employees is involved in Internet TV, video production and distribution, e-commerce, smartphones, tablets, gadgets, home automation, and even (soon) driverless cars.The company had 2014 revenue of $1.6 billion.
It is interesting to see all of the buy outs of US tech companies by overseas companies. To be clear, I don't necessarily think that these deals are a bad thing or being done with malicious intentions, but they do piques my curiosity. In this case it could be a good partnership that would allow both companies to benefit with LeEco getting a strong US brand and the recognition and market trust that entails and Vizio getting a much larger staffed company with experience in Chinese markets where it could help Vizio push its smart TV platform and ultrabooks and phone aspects further. Here's hoping that a LeEco owned Vizio grows and maintains its quality and price points.
What do you think about LeEco buying out Vizio? What will the future hold for the US TV maker?
Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2016 - 08:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, epic games, unreal engine, unreal engine 4, ue4, uwp
The head of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, doesn't like UWP too much, at least as it exists today (and for noble reasons). He will not support the new software (app) platform unless Microsoft makes some clear changes that guarantee perpetual openness. There really isn't anything, technically or legally, to prevent Microsoft (or an entity with authority over Microsoft, like governments, activists groups who petition government, and so forth) from undoing their changes going forward. If Microsoft drops support for Win32, apart from applications that are converted using Project Centennial or something, their catalog would be tiny.
SteamOS would kick its butt levels of tiny, let alone OSX, Android, and countless others.
As a result, Microsoft keeps it around, despite its unruliness. Functionality that is required by legitimate software make it difficult to prevent malware, and, even without an infection, it can make the system just get junked up over time.
UWP, on the other hand, is slimmer, contained, and authenticated with keys. This is theoretically easier to maintain, but at the expense of user control and freedom; freedom to develop and install software anonymously and without oversight. The first iteration was with Windows RT, which was basically iOS, right down to the “you cannot ship a web browser unless it is a reskin of Internet Explorer ((replace that for Safari in iOS' case))” and “content above ESRB M and PEGI 16 are banned from the OS” levels of control.
Since then, content guidelines have increased, sideloading has been added, and so forth. That said, unlike the technical hurdles of Win32, there's nothing to prevent Microsoft from, in the future, saying “Okay, we have enough software for lock in. Sideloading is being removed in Windows 10 version 2810” or something. I doubt that the current administration wants to do this, especially executives like Phil Spencer, but their unwillingness to make it impossible to be done in the future is frustrating. This could be a few clauses in the EULA that make it easy for users to sue Microsoft if a feature is changed, and/or some chunks of code that breaks compatibility if certain openness features are removed.
Some people complain that he wasn't this concerned about iOS, but he already said that it was a bad decision in hindsight. Apple waved a shiny device around, and it took a few years for developers to think “Wait a minute, what did I just sign away?” iOS is, indeed, just as bad as UWP could turn into, if not worse.
Remember folks, once you build a tool for censorship, they will come. They may also have very different beliefs about what should be allowed or disallowed than you do. This is scary stuff, albeit based on good intentions.
That rant aside, Microsoft's Advanced Technology Group (ATG) has produced a fork of Unreal Engine 4, which builds UWP content. It is based upon Unreal Engine 4.12, and they have apparently merged changes up to version 4.12.5. This makes sense, of course, because that version is required to use Visual Studio 2015 Update 3.
If you want to make a game in Unreal Engine 4 for the UWP platform, then you might be able to use Microsoft's version. That said, it is provided without warranty, and there might be some bugs that cropped up, which Epic Games will probably not help with. I somehow doubt that Microsoft will have a dedicated team that merges all fixes going forward, and I don't think this will change Tim's mind (although concrete limitations that guarantee openness might...). Use at your own risk, I guess, especially if you don't care about potentially missing out on whatever is added for 4.13 and on (unless you add it yourself).
The fork is available on Microsoft's ATG GitHub, with lots of uppercase typing.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | July 26, 2016 - 03:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: workshop, video, streaming, quakecon, prizes, live, giveaways
It is that time of year again: another installment of the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop! We will be presenting on the main stage at Quakecon 2016 being held in Dallas, TX August 4-7.
Main Stage - Quakecon 2016
Saturday, August 6th, 10:00am CT
Our thanks go out to the organizers of Quakecon for allowing us and our partners to put together a show that we are proud of every year. We love giving back to the community of enthusiasts and gamers that drive us to do what we do! Get ready for 2 hours of prizes, games and raffles and the chances are pretty good that you'll take something out with you - really, they are pretty good!
Our primary partners at the event are those that threw in for our ability to host the workshop at Quakecon and for the hundreds of shirts we have ready to toss out! Our thanks to NVIDIA, Logitech and ASUS!!
If you can't make it to the workshop - don't worry! You can still watch the workshop live on our live page as we stream it over one of several online services. Just remember this URL: http://pcper.com/live and you will find your way!
PC Perspective LIVE Podcast and Meetup
We are planning on hosting any fans that want to watch us record our weekly PC Perspective Podcast (http://pcper.com/podcast) on Wednesday or Thursday evening in our meeting room at the Hilton Anatole. I don't yet know exactly WHEN or WHERE the location will be, but I will update this page accordingly on Wednesday August 3rd when we get the data. You might also consider following me on Twitter for updates on that status as well.
After the recording, we'll hop over the hotel bar for a couple drinks and hang out. We have room for at leaast 50-60 people to join us in the room but we'll still be recording if just ONE of you shows up. :)
Prize List (will continue to grow!)
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 25, 2016 - 09:48 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: siggraph 2016, Siggraph, capsaicin, amd, 3D rendering
At their Capsaicin Siggraph event tonight AMD has announced that what was previously announced as the FireRender rendering engine is being officially launched as AMD Radeon ProRender, and this is becoming open-source as part of AMD's GPUOpen initiative.
From AMD's press release:
AMD today announced its powerful physically-based rendering engine is becoming open source, giving developers access to the source code.
As part of GPUOpen, Radeon ProRender (formerly previewed as AMD FireRender) enables creators to bring ideas to life through high-performance applications and workflows enhanced by photorealistic rendering.
GPUOpen is an AMD initiative designed to assist developers in creating ground-breaking games, professional graphics applications and GPU computing applications with much greater performance and lifelike experiences, at no cost and using open development tools and software.
Unlike other renderers, Radeon ProRender can simultaneously use and balance the compute capabilities of multiple GPUs and CPUs – on the same system, at the same time – and deliver state-of-the-art GPU acceleration to produce rapid, accurate results.
Radeon ProRender plugins are available today for many popular 3D content creation applications, including Autodesk® 3ds Max®, SOLIDWORKS by Dassault Systèmes and Rhino®, with Autodesk® Maya® coming soon. Radeon ProRender works across Windows®, OS X and Linux®, and supports AMD GPUs, CPUs and APUs as well as those of other vendors.
Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2016 - 04:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, mental ray, maya, 3D rendering
NVIDIA purchased Mental Images, the German software developer that makes the mental ray renderer, all the way back in 2007. It has been bundled with every copy of Maya for a very long time now. In fact, my license of Maya 8, which I purchased back in like, 2006, came with mental ray in both plug-in format, and stand-alone.
Interestingly, even though nearly a decade has passed since NVIDIA's acquisition, Autodesk has been the middle-person that end-users dealt with. This will end soon, as NVIDIA announced, at SIGGRAPH, that they will “be serving end users directly” with their mental ray for Maya plug-in. The new plug-in will show results directly in the viewport, starting at low quality and increasing until the view changes. They are obviously not the first company to do this, with Cycles in Blender being a good example, but I would expect that it is a welcome feature for users.
Benchmark results are by NVIDIA
At the same time, they are also announcing GI-Next. This will speed up global illumination in mental ray, and it will also reduce the number of options required to tune the results to just a single quality slider, making it easier for artists to pick up. One of their benchmarks shows a 26-fold increase in performance, although most of that can be attributed to GPU acceleration from a pair of GM200 Quadro cards. CPU-only tests of the same scene show a 4x increase, though, which is still pretty good.
The new version of mental ray for Maya is expected to ship in September, although it has been in an open beta (for existing Maya users) since February. They do say that “pricing and policies will be announced closer to availability” though, so we'll need to see, then, how different the licensing structure will be. Currently, Maya ships with a few licenses of mental ray out of the box, and has for quite some time.
Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2016 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, kernel 4.7, security, rx 480, LoadPin
For now we are awaiting the benchmarks but with the release of this new kernel, Linux users will be able to run the new RX 480 from AMD. The new kernel also contains a new security feature called LoadPin which ensures that kernel-loaded files come from within the same file system in an attempt to maintain security without requiring each file to be individually signed. There were also some improvements made to network drivers along with several other changes which The Inquirer covers in their own unique manner.
"Despite it being two weeks since RC7, the final patch wasn't all that big and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There's a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- We threw a Minecraft party to test Samsung's Gear VR headset @ The Tech Report
- Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it? @ The Register
- Tesoro Interview @ techPowerUp
- Moore's Law to be revoked in five years' time @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2016 - 03:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, hifiman, Edition X, planar
As opposed to the more common dynamic driver, the Edition X uses lighter and more responsive planar drivers. These tend to provide much better sound but also come with a very hefty price tag, in this particular case an $1800 one. That puts these headphones soundly into the audiophile and professional market as opposed to being intended for gamers. In testing TechPowerUp found these to be not quite as clear as the HE-1000 model but they were more comfortable. If you are looking for high end headphones or just like window shopping you can read the full review here.
"HiFiMAN's newest high-end headphone, the Edition X, bears a striking resemblance to their flagship HE-1000. It uses the same driver design without the fancy nano materials found in the $1200 more expensive HE-1000, but is, at $1799, still the second most expensive headphone in HiFiMAN's line-up."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Headset @ eTeknix
- Astell & Kern AK Junior Review featuring Sennheiser HD650 @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2016 - 12:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, profits
It is reasonable to expect more in depth analysis from Josh about AMD's earnings this quarter but the news is too good not to briefly mention immediately. AMD brought in $1.027 billion in revenue this quarter, a cool $68.7 million higher than expected, mostly thanks to console sales as these numbers do not include the new Polaris cards which are just being released. This is very good news for everyone, having $69 million in profit will give AMD a bit of breathing room until Polaris can start selling and Zen arrives next year. It also gives investors a boost of confidence in this beleaguered company, something that has not happened for quite a while. Drop by The Register for more numbers and a link to the slides from the AMD financial meeting from yesterday.
"AMD's share price is up more than seven per cent in after-hours trading to $5.60 at time of writing. That's agonizingly close to the magic six-buck mark for the troubled semiconductor giant that this time last year was struggling to look viable."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales @ The Register
- MSI becomes the largest gaming notebook vendor worldwide, says paper @ DigiTimes
- All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs @ The Register
- Stagefright-like flaw opens up iPhones and Macs to iMessage hack @ The Inquirer
- Nvidia is mildly excited about its 11 teraflop Titan X GPU and is very calm @ The Inquirer
- Sony Is the Only Remaining Obstacle To PS4-Xbox Cross-Play @ Slashdot
- Spotify Is Now Selling Your Information To Advertisers @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2016 - 09:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, origin, pc gaming
EA's “On the House” promotion is basically a 100%-off sale, with the intent of periodically bringing you back to their store. Whatever you acquire is free forever, but you only have a handful of days to claim it. Even if you're not interested in downloading it at the moment, it's good to poke in, press download, and just not actually download it until later. Maybe you'll buy something, too, while you're there. Either way.
This time is Battlefield 4: Naval Strike. If you have Battlefield 4, but do not have the Premium subscription, then this is your chance to grab a portion of its exclusive content for free. As the name suggests, it includes four, navy-focused maps, a hovercraft, and a new game mode. If you've played 2142, you might remember the Titan mode, where you would capture missile launchers throughout the map to weaken a flying carrier, and eventually destroy it. Similar idea, but with an aircraft carrier.
Also, the Westwood-developed action RPG, Nox, is “On the House” as well.
Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2016 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rx 460, polaris 11, oculus rift, amd
TechARP spotting something unexpected at the Radeon RX 480 launch in Malaysia, a Radeon RX 460. One suspects that the picture below does not represent its final form but it does give you an idea of the dimensions and the outputs which seem to include DVI, DP and HDMI. TechARP were given some of the specs of this AMD Polaris 11 GPU based card, 14 Compute Units, 2 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory bus.
The biggest takeaway is what AMD was doing with it, this was powering an Oculus Rift VR demo so it is safe to say this card meets at least the minimum specs for the headset. Drop by for more pictures and a video.
"We just stumbled upon an actual Radeon RX 460 graphics card. AMD was using it to power a virtual reality demo on an Oculus VR headset. That was our first encounter with the Radeon RX 460, so we had to take off the perspex cover to take a closer look!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10 @ The Register
- Microsoft tweaks TCP stack in Windows Server and Windows 10 @ The Register
- Making Graphene More Practical @ Hack a Day
- Verizon Begins Charging a Fee Just to Use an Older Router @ Slashdot
- Gorilla Glass 5 promises to survive selfie-height drops - most of the time @ The Inquirer
- Digitimes Research: SoftBank chairman overoptimistic about benefits from acquiring ARM
- Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2016 - 12:31 PM | Sebastian Peak
NVIDIA is announcing a "new technique" for VR using eye-tracking technology from SMI, and with this NVIDIA's researchers are working to "match the physiology of the human eye to heighten visual fidelity in VR".
Image credit: NVIDIA
NVIDIA provides this description and video demo of the new tech:
"The demo - which we’re bringing to the annual SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference in Anaheim, Calif., July 24-28 - is simple. Strap on a head-mounted display with integrated eye tracking. Look around the virtual scene of a school classroom with blackboard and chairs. Looks good, right?
Now gaze at the teacher’s chair, turn off the eye tracking and look around again. Only the area around the chair is rendered in detail. In your periphery the demo was rendering a less detailed version of the image — and you couldn’t tell."
NVIDIA further explains the technology:
"Human vision can be thought of as having two components: foveal and peripheral vision. The small region of your retina called the fovea is densely packed with cones — a type of photoreceptor cell — providing sharp and detailed vision. Peripheral vision covers a much wider field of view but lacks acuity.
This acuity difference has inspired foveated rendering systems, which track the user’s gaze and seek to increase graphics performance by rendering with lower image quality in the periphery. However, foveated rendering taken too far will lead to visible artifacts, such as flicker, blur or a sense of “tunnel vision.”
Our researchers used SMI’s prototype eye-tracking HMD to perform a careful perceptual study of what people actually see in their peripheral vision in VR. Our researchers then used those insights to design a new rendering algorithm that enables much greater foveation, or reduction in rendering effort, without any discernible drop in visual quality."
There's a lot more information about this new VR technology in NVIDIA's blog post (source), and the company also has a project page up for this "Perceptually-Based Foveated Virtual Reality" technique.
Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2016 - 12:21 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Wraith, Volta, video, time spy, softbank, riotoro, retroarch, podcast, nvidia, new, kaby lake, Intel, gtx 1060, geforce, asynchronous compute, async compute, arm, apollo lake, amd, 3dmark, 10nm, 1070m, 1060m
PC Perspective Podcast #409 - 07/21/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 1060 review, controversy surrounding the async compute of 3DMark Time Spy and more!!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Casper!
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2016 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fallout resurrection, kick ass, fallout 1.5
The crew over at Resurrection Team have been working for a decade on a new Fallout game based on the Fallout 2 engine. Originally released in Czech, they have recently released the English translation, for free for anyone to use as long as you have Fallout 2. That should not be overly hard, GoG gave it away for free not too long ago and currently sell it for $10, Steam about the same. The mod sounds fairly big, the original version had 2,471,214 text characters, 80 maps and 736 scripts.
If you haven't already started downloading it, check out what Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN thought about it and see if that convinces you.
"We’ve worked on Resurrection for more than 10 years. We worked for two-and-a-half years on the English translation after that. All of us have worked on Resurrection in our free time."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Secret Ending To Inside: How To Find All The Orbs @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Cyborg Pals: Satellite Reign Launches Co-op Mode @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- EA publishes Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC trailer @ HEXUS
- Humble 2K Bundle 2: $15 tier buys Battleborn and Borderlands:TPS @ HEXUS
- Surface To Air Laser Fights: No Man’s Sky @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Life Is Strange Episode 1 Going Free Tomorrow @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2016 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: iot, security, amazon, Intel
The Register brings up the issue of IoT security once again today, this time looking at the logistics of patching and updating a fleet of IoT devices. Amazon is focusing on dumb devices with a smart core, the physical device having the sensors required and a connection to the net to send all data to be processed in large database which would be much easier to maintain but does offer other security issues. Intel on the other hand unsurprisingly prefers end devices with some smarts, such as their Curie and Edison modules, with a smarter gateway device sitting between those end devices and the same sort of large server based computing as Amazon.
Intel's implementation may be more effective in certain enviroments than Amazons, El Reg uses the example of an oil rig, but would be more expensive to purchase and maintain. Take a look at the article for a deeper look, or just imagine the horrors of pushing out a critical patch to 1000's of devices in an unknown state when you go live.
"Internet of Things (IoT) hype focuses on the riches that will rain from the sky once humanity connects the planet, but mostly ignores what it will take to build and operate fleets of things.
And the operational side of things could be hell."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Skype Finalizes Its Move To the Cloud; To Kill Older Clients -- Remains Tight Lipped About Privacy @ Slashdot
- Apple kills eavesdrop bug in FaceTime @ The Register
- BlackBerry CEO: Android 'lags behind' BB10 in terms of security @ The Inquirer
- Android Nougat security features could leave modders with something to chew on @ The Register
- Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales @ The Register
- Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Hub, SR2 Reader, CFR1 Reader, DD256 Portable SSD @ Custom PC Review
Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2016 - 11:36 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: rivet, logitech g, logitech, killer networks, giveaway, contest, alienware
The temperature is heating up across the US and we're starting to lose our minds around here. As a result, we have convinced our friends at Killer Networks, Alienware and Logitech G to give some incredible hardware packages to our readers and fans!
How does an Alienware 15 Gaming Laptop with an MSRP of $1199 sound to you? Pretty nice, right? And if you aren't the lucky winner of that, how about one of five packages worth $390 each from Logitech that include a G633 headset, G810 keyboard and G502 mouse?
Winning is easy - you can enter through one or methods, each of which is worth its own entry. We are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, so enter away! Entries close at midnight ET on July 31st when we'll draw the winners at random.
A HUGE thank you goes out to our friends at River/Killer, Alienware and Logitech for supplier the goods for this contest! Good luck!
Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 2d, molybdenum sulphide, moores law, graphene
Over at Nanotechweb is an article on some rather impressive research being done to create what are, for all intents and purposes, almost two dimensional. The process used by the researchers created transistors made up of two three-atom thick MoS2 layers, both slightly overlapped with graphene, sandwiched between two one-atom think graphene layers. The trick is in the use of graphene, itself unsuitable for use as a transistor but perfect for interconnects thanks to its conductance. Read on to learn more about these researchers and the process they are working on, including a link to their publication in Nature.
"Researchers in the US have succeeded in chemically assembling the electronic junctions between a 2D semiconductor (molybdenum sulphide) and graphene, and have made an atomic transistor with good properties. They have also assembled the heterostructures into 2D logic circuits, such as an NMOS inverter with a voltage gain as high as 70."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer @ The Register
- Boffins unveil 500TB/in2 disk. Yeah, it's made of chlorine. -196˚C, why? @ The Register
- Seagate unveils 10TB monsters for PC users with out-of-control Steam libraries @ The Inquirer
- How to scam $750,000 out of Microsoft Office: Two-factor auth calls to premium-rate numbers @ The Register
- Netflix Stock Price Tanks As Customers Quit Over Higher Prices @ Slashdot
- Sonic 3D Printer Auto Bed Leveling Makes a Swoosh @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2016 - 02:38 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: web browser, Opera, China
Opera is the smallest of the major browser vendors, estimated at about one-fifth the desktop market share of Mozilla's Firefox. That said, it had some fairly high-profile device wins, such as the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS, and they're strong on other mobile devices, too. They had their own rendering technology until 2013, when they switched to Webkit and, when Google forked away from Apple and KDE into the Blink project, followed Google.
Recently, a group of Chinese companies have announced that they will be purchasing a large chunk of the browser vendor for $600 million USD. Interestingly, this was after offering $1.2 billion just a few months earlier. This time, the Chinese group will receive less of the company, and thus will pay less for it. The original company, which will have 18 months to find a new name, will maintain ownership of three parts:
- Opera Mediaworks
- Opera Apps & Games (including Bemobi)
- Opera TV
According to Engadget, the original, $1.2 billion dollar deal was canceled when some government organization disapproved of the deal. Looking at the three components that were omit, I cannot see why a regulation body would raise an issue, whether it be for national security or monopoly reasons. They seem pretty innocuous and small, but I guess the EU might take issue with consumer data privacy?
Either way, these three elements will remain, but everything else will go.
Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2016 - 01:25 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: speedrun, esa, charity
Somehow, despite the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) being five years old, I just found out about it this year. Turns out that ESA 2016 is coming up this weekend. If you were a fan of Games Done Quick, this will also be a ~week-long, around the clock speed running event for charity. This one seems to run for The Save the Children Fund, although that could be an out-of-date announcement for the previous event.
The event starts with Tomb Raider II at 12pm EDT on Saturday, July 23rd, and goes until the end of a Super Mario 64 120-star relay race that starts at 2:31pm on Friday, July 29th. The event will continue offline until the 1st of August. Like Games Done Quick, which apparently inspired this event, the schedule has a wide variety of titles across several platforms. It should be interesting, regardless of when you get time to watch it.