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Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 21, 2014 - 03:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zotac, zbox
Zotac has announced the ZBOX Sphere OI520 in two forms. The Plus version comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB hard drive while the standard version leaves the choice (and installation) up to the user. At the very least, that means it is user-serviceable. Its real draw is its "orb form factor" with decent, albeit laptop, performing components.
The ZBOX OI520, from behind.
Its actual system specifications are:
- Intel Core i5 4200U
- Intel HD Graphics 4400 (GT2)
- HDMI and DisplayPort
- Wireless AC (802.11ac), Gigabit Ethernet, and Bluetooth 4.0
- 3x USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.0, SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC Card Reader
- Supports up to 16GB of RAM (2xDDR3L)
- Supports one 2.5-inch HDD/SSD
- Apparently, no OS pre-installed.
Pricing and availability are not yet announced. Obviously, that will be the biggest factor in someone looking for a barebones PC, like this one. Also, Intel graphics support on Linux is not the most pleasant, kind-of famously. Zotac claims full support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, of course, but you will probably need to factor that price in if that is the direction you want to go.
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2014 - 02:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wolfenstein, id tech 5, gaming
Wolfenstein: The New Order uses the much maligned id Tech 5 engine made infamous by RAGE, which leads many to ask if it will have the same issues. The negative similarities are certainly there, a 10GB Day 1 patch, serious issues with one vendor's cards and once you start playing the game the 'texture pop' that was evident in RAGE return to either annoy or be ignored depending on your preference and a 60fps cap. With that out of the way you can look at the specs you need to play this game, the most noticeable of which is that you have to have a 64-bit OS, 32-bit versions need not apply. The minimum hardware is also rather restrictive, you need a Core-i7 or equivalent top end AMD processor, lesser silicon need not apply, as well as a GeForce 460 or ATI Radeon HD 6850, and 50GB free space.
The good news is that there are graphical settings this time which you can tweak, overriding the engine's 60 fps fetish but never peaking above that ceiling. [H]ard|OCP tested a XFX Radeon R9 290X Double Dissipation and a GTX 780 Ti at 2560 x 1600 without an issue though when testing the 280X and GTX 770 at the same resolution they noticed that Ultra settings were removed from the options on the NVIDIA product while the 280X had no issues with Ultra at all. Read the full story for all the gritty details and the rather disappointing conclusion.
For real fun head to the Fragging Frogs servers for some gaming, find the schedule on our Gaming Forum and see if you have what it takes to knife O-Dog or Lenny! It might be a good idea to introduce yourself first though!
"Wolfenstein: The New Order is out on PC. It utilizes the id Tech 5 game engine and sports fast paced first-person shooter gameplay. We look at some video card performance, make some comparisons, and look at image quality as well. Can this game overcome the stigma associated with RAGE since its the same engine?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Multiplayer Elite to debut on May 30th @ The Register
- Best Games to Play While Sitting on the Loo with Nvidia Shield @ eTeknix
- Between The Devils And The Deep: Sunless Sea @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Snow Joke: Far Cry 4 Goes Mountain High In November @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Take It To The Bridge: Flagship Is A First-Person Space RTS @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Firaxis On How Civ: Beyond Earth Really Isn’t Alpha Centauri @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2014 - 12:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Bald Eagle, embedded, hsa
AMD has just introduced their powerful new embedded chip called Bald Eagle. Depending on the model of processor you purchase you get two or four Steamroller CPU cores, and up to eight GCN GPU cores based on the HD 9000 series. That gives the higher end chips enough juice to power up to four independent 3D, 4K, or HD displays which you can bump up to nine if you include an embedded Radeon E8860 discrete GPU in your system. The cores are all fully HSA compliant and will support ECC and non-ECC DDR3 at speeds of up to 2133MHz as well as support for PCIe Gen3 x16, PCIe Gen2 2x4 and USB and SATA as well. Check out more at The Inquirer.
"Bald Eagle also enables heterogeneous system architecture (HSA), which first appeared in AMD chippery in its desktop Kaveri APUs this January, and which allows the CPU and GPU to share the same system memory, vastly simpifying the programming challenge of getting GPUs to shoulder the parallel-processing chores that they excel at far better then CPUs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows Phone Live: Microsoft's plans for enterprise on mobile @ The Register
- NVIDIA On Ubuntu 14.04 Has Some New Advantages Over Windows 8.1 @ Phoronix
- Antec EU Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2014 - 10:36 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, Surface Pro 3
Microsoft is continuing it's so far ill advised attempt at selling hardware with the release of the Surface Pro 3. The Pro version continues to run Win8.1 and so should not encounter the compatibility issues that the Surface RT presented but at an MSRP of $800 it is nowhere near as inexpensive either. The 800g tablet is powered by a Haswell Core i7 processor and the 12" 2160x1440 display sports a 3:2 aspect ratio which Microsoft points out offers 6% more viewable content. It is also fairly tough as it was dropped from about waist height in the demo without suffering any damage. The other nice feature is the optional docking station which allows you to plug in peripherals and use the Surface as a display, or use the docking port to output to a 4K display. Check out more about the Surface Pro 3 and it's "full-friction" multi-position hinge at The Tech Report.
"Microsoft has just spilled the beans on its Surface Pro 3 tablet, and the details are really quite interesting. The company has taken a fresh approach to the Surface Pro this time around, with a stated goal of "removing the conflict" between the tablet and laptop form factors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- China says an emphatic 'no' to Windows 8 as it looks to Linux instead @ The Inquirer
- Intel primes market for silicon photonics to lift data centre interconnect speeds @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft outs Surface Pro 3 with 12in HD screen, Core i7 and Windows 8.1 @ The Inquirer
- IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers @ The Register
- AMD said to acquire SATA Express IP from ASMedia for next-generation platform @ DigiTimes
- 4 Excellent Alternative Graphical Linux File Managers @ Linux.com
- Hey, who wants a 40TB all-flash Pure box? I dunno, you got $160k? @ The Register
- Intel to achieve 80% of 2014 tablet AP shipment goal @ DigiTimes
- Free Software Foundation slams Mozilla's decision to adopt Adobe DRM @ The Inquirer
- Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house @ The Inquirer
- Compro TN4230 Outdoor PoE IP Camera @ eTeknix
- Arc Attack Shows Off Tesla Backpack which is Certainly Not a Weapon @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2014 - 01:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: direcTV, att, AT&T
That silly AT&T is now acquiring companies other than the ones they shed off during the 1974 antitrust lawsuit. This time, it intends to acquire DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5 billion USD, in stock. All said and done, the total transaction is valued at $67.1 billion. Currently, DirecTV sits at a market cap of 42.77 billion USD and the stock is trading in the range of 84 to 85 dollars per share. In this deal, shareholders will receive $95 per share, about 30% in cash and 70% in AT&T stock.
Owning the globe... trademark.
The deal also claims to have several benefits for consumers. AT&T pledges to add 15 million customer locations, mostly rural, with fiber and wireless local loop (microwave). They also pledge to follow FCC's Open Internet Order from 2010, for at least three years after closing.
Three years of Net Neutrality, fun.
Seriously, none of that has anything to do with DirecTV and it should be enforced, anyway. It is nice that Net Neutrality has become a buzz word, mostly in terms of people becoming aware to it, but an action would be significantly more helpful. Remember that we, at PC Perspective, host our own video streaming service for our podcasts and live events. We rely on our traffic reaching our audience.
But, of course, none of that has anything to do with DirecTV either. It is possible that they could give concessions to help the acquisition go through and, honestly, I am not too against this purchase, if viewed in isolation. Let's just hope that, like their split-up compromise, they don't immediately start undoing it when they think no-one's watching.
Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2014 - 11:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: twitch.tv, youtube
Well... crap. It looks like the YouTube arm of Google is in talks to purchase Twitch. Variety, while not my first choice of source for these issues, claims that the deal is basically done, excluding regulatory involvement, and valued at $1 billion USD in cash. These details are apparently disputed, however, by sources which claim that a deal is in progress but is no-where near the stage that Variety reports.
For us, this will probably suck. It seems like Twitch is much easier to deal with than YouTube when it comes to copyright issues, at least from my observation point. Beyond that, it is doubtful that Google will leave the service as an independent entity. It would not surprise me if Google transitions existing Twitch streaming contracts to YouTube Live and slowly dissolves what is left.
Speaking of what is left, no source seems to be clear on whether this deal is for all of Twitch Interactive, including Justin.tv. The company was rebranded just recently, mid-February of this year, to "Twitch Interactive". Previously, it was known as "Justin.tv", after its older sibling website.
What does our audience think? Can any good come from this?
Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 18, 2014 - 12:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: oculus vr, Oculus, facebook, google glass
Who would have thought that John Carmack would have opened the flood gates of talent to Facebook. Apparently, not only was he the first in a long list of people to join Oculus, a large chunk of his coworkers at id Software followed him over (if a Glassdoor review is to be trusted) in Februrary. Their latest grab is Adrian Wong, former senior hardware engineer for Google's Glass Explorer program.
Didn't see that one coming...
Clearly, something is happening at Oculus VR. This acquisition by Facebook is giving them a warchest to grab as much top talent as possible. Ironically, without Oculus, I doubt that most of these hires, if any, would happen. Without knowing the internal structure of Facebook and Oculus, it is hard to predict how much benefit the parent company can gather, but the acquisition could be paying for itself in raw talent.
The Oculus Rift DK2, announced at GDC, is currently a $350.00 pre-order and expected to ship in August.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 17, 2014 - 11:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: cooler master, V1200 platinum, PSU, modular psu
The Cooler Master V1200 Platinum power supply (PSU) is, as the name suggest, capable of delivering 1200 watts of power to your gaming PC, with a platinum 80 PLUS efficiency rating. At half load, which is probably its best-case scenario, this unit is 93% efficient. Cooler Master also says that it is backed by a 7-year "extended" warranty, although they do not clarify what is "extended" about it. If they just mean "really long" and it comes standard, without weird restrictions, then that is obviously a long guarantee.
The PSU is also fully modular and single rail. You can set it up such that the only cables coming off of it are ones that are in use, an obvious bonus for cable management. Also, being single-rail, the +12V can support loads of up to 100A. Users do not need to plan ahead and balance components across separate cables because they all draw from the same pool. Users with Haswell-based machines will also be able to use all C0-to-C7 power states, although it has been out long enough that it should not be an issue for anyone, anymore.
Pricing and availability is currently unknown and varies by region.
Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2014 - 11:29 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, offline, shutting down
Because of how popular it once was, the GameSpy shutdown will affect numerous titles, many of which have been up and running for over a decade. Several games have fallen back on GamesRanger or Steam to perpetuate support, while others are going to sleep for a very long time. EA claims that, despite trying to come up with a solution, several of their titles will go offline on June 30th.
At least this spy would never stab me in... the back... nevermind.
In the following list, I will omit entries which are not for the PC, Mac, or Linux.
- (PC/Mac) Battlefield 1942, and expansions.
- (PC) Battlefield 2, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Battlefield 2142, and expansions.
- (PC) Battlefield Vietnam
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer: Generals, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3
- I assume Red Alert 3: Uprising was not listed because it was not online... apparently?
- (PC) Crysis
- (PC) Crysis 2
- (PC) Crysis Wars
- (PC) EA Sports 06
- (PC) F1 2002
- (PC) Global Operations
- (PC) James Bond: Nightfire
- (PC) Master of Orion III
- (PC/Mac) Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and expansions.
- (PC) NASCAR Sim Racing
- (PC) NASCAR Thunder 2003
- (PC) NASCAR Thunder 2004
- (PC) Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
- (PC/Mac/Linux) Neverwinter Nights, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Neverwinter Nights 2
- (PC) Star Wars: Battlefront
- (PC) Star Wars: Battlefront 2
It is possible that titles which support directly joining an IP address might, in fact, continue to work. That said, it might not work for every title. At least it is something to try if you and a group of friends wish to get an organized match going.
The part that confuses me, however, is that GameSpy is going offline at the end of the month. Why then does EA, after being unable to find a workable solution, have an extra month of service? You would think that a solution to provide an extra month would work ad-infinitum, unless they have paid for GameSpy's servers to stay open a little longer for their titles. Then again, who am I to complain about an extra month?
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 17, 2014 - 01:07 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Lawsuit, google, apple
If we all could just get along and get back to work...
On Friday, May 16th, Apple and Google (including the remains of its Motorola Mobility division) released a joint statement marking the end of all patent litigation between the two companies. The two companies have been in legal warfare for three-and-a-half years, now. The two companies will also "work together in some areas of patent reform". It is unclear what that actually means.
This decision does not seem to affect Apple's ongoing litigation with Samsung. Those two companies are still in a famous and fierce skirmish over mankind's greatest UX innovations, like slide-to-unlock and the little bounce that happens when you scroll to the end of a list too fast. Those are, honestly, the issues that we are facing. I have a suggestion for an area to reform...
... but that has been beaten to death for years, now. It, at least, shows a willingness to cooperate going forward. It also shows a slight bit more promise for products like Ubuntu on phones, Firefox OS, and even smaller initiatives. You can say what you like about the current litigation, but closing the road for independent developers with great and innovative ideas is terrible and bad for society. Unique smartphones could be made, each with slide-to-unlock, just like unique OSes can use icons and web browsers can use tabs.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 16, 2014 - 11:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Pioneer, bluray
By layering eight layers of 32GB Blu-ray media, Pioneer has achieved 256GB worth of storage on a single-sided optical disc. If you are more interested in storage than labels, the company acknowledges the obvious extension to double-sided media with 512GB of capacity. They also leave the door open for 1TB and larger discs by extending their signaling method to more than twelve layers.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
It suffices to say that this is a lot of storage. If cost can be kept low enough, optical media could once again be viable for archival and backup. Once a drive is purchased, and USB 3.0 makes it trivial to purchase a single drive for multiple computers, a single disc could bit-for-bit copy a full SSD and other, more modern amounts of data. Basically, it is much less work backing up in 256GB chunks than 4.7GB or 25GB ones.
If cost can be kept low enough is a serious point, though. BD-Rs retail for about $50/1.3TB (according to a few Newegg searches) and DVD-Rs are around the same ($25/500GB). This is not too far from hard drive territory (~100$/2 TB). Of course, hard drives are also faster, rewritable, and do not need to be inserted into a drive for reading and writing... because they are one. People are transitioning away from optical media to hard drives. Cost would need to be phenomenal to reverse that momentum.
4K and UHD video content was not discussed but, let's face it, your mind went there, too.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 16, 2014 - 06:06 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, all-in-one, AIO, gtx 880m
The MSI AG270 is an All-in-One (AIO) PC built in a 27-inch, 1920x1080, multi-touch display. The series is split into two models, the AG270 2PC and the higher-end AG270 2PE. Both are billed as gaming devices and, with a GeForce GTX 870M (2PC) or a GeForce GTX 880M (2PE), they fit the bill. The 880M, for instance, is basically a desktop GeForce 680 with 8GB of frame buffer (!!) and a slight underclock.
Two processor options are available, the i7-4860HQ and the i7-4700HQ. MSI does not state whether one (or both) models has a choice, or if the higher-end processor (4860HQ) is always in the higher-end PC (AG270 2PE) and the lower-end processor (4700HQ) is always in the lower-end PC (AG270 2PC). Users will get 2TB of storage and "up to" 3 mSATA SSDs. Yamaha will provide the two 5W speakers. BigFoot (owned by Qualcomm) provides the Ethernet and Wireless N through their Killer DoubleShot network adapter. It also has a DVD and BluRay reader/writer built-in.
MSI does not discuss pricing and availability, directly, and instead point to their retail partners.
Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2014 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: X2 Saturn, gaming headset, audio, 5.1 headset
The X2 Saturn headset has multiple drivers in each earcup to try for real 5.1 surround sound as opposed to virtualizing it as many gaming headsets do. The front, rear and sub speakers each have different frequency responses which Legit Reviews were kind enough to list in their review. The omni-directional microphone can be muted via the inline controls and you can actually set the volume of each speaker separately. Overall the headset was judged to fall in the middle of the pack with good features and some design choices which could perhaps be improved. As well, if you love LEDs then the red lights on this headset might just interest you enough to pick up a pair.
"X2 has sent us a true 5.1 USB gaming headset to try out and it’s not relying on virtual surround sound to get the job done. Each earcup on the Saturn headset has multiple drivers which outputs different surround channels for better positional audio compared to two channel stereo headphones and headsets. Read on to see how it performs!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Coolermaster, Speedlink & TteSports Budget Headset Head-to-Head @ eTeknix
- Mionix Nash 20 Headset @ Kitguru
- Silverstone SST-EB03 Desktop Headphone Amp & SST-EB01-E DAC @ eTeknix
- Rokit Boost Swage 2 Wireless Stereo Headphones @ NikKTech
- Microlab T1 wireless headset @ Kitguru
- Func HS-260 Gaming Headset Review @ Legit Reviews
- Ozone Onda Pro X-Surround Pro Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Genius GX SW-G5.1 3500 5.1 Surround Sound Review @ Modders-Inc
- Asus Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card / Headphone Amplifier @ Kitguru
- ASUS Xonar U7 USB Sound Card Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | May 15, 2014 - 02:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, xaiomi, mipad, tegra k1
Tegra K1 is NVIDIA's new mobile processor and this first to implement the Kepler graphics architecture. In other words, it has all of the same graphics functionality as a desktop GPU with 364 GigaFLOPs of performance (a little faster than a GeForce 9600 GT). This is quite fast for a mobile product. For instance, that amount of graphics performance could max out Unreal Tournament 3 to 2560x1600 and run Crysis at 720p. Being Kepler, it supports OpenGL 4.4, OpenGL ES 3.1, DirectX 11 and 12, and GPU compute languages.
Xiaomi is launching their MiPad in Beijing, today, with an 8-inch 2048x1536 screen and the Tegra K1. They will be available in June (for China) starting at $240 USD for the 16GB version and going up to $270 for the 64GB version. Each version has 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear-facing camera, and a 5MP front camera.
Now, we wait and see if any Tegra K1 devices come to North America and Europe - especially at that price point.
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2014 - 11:36 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, Intel, z97, gigabyte, Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK, black edition, Samsung, u28d590d, asus, ROG, g-sync, freesync, titan z, 295x2
PC Perspective Podcast #300!!! - 05/15/2014
Join us this week for our 300th podcast as we discuss the Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming Black Edition, a $599 Samsung 4K Monitor and much more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Morry Tietelman
What happened 100 Episodes ago…
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2014 - 10:15 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: motherboard, chipset
As Josh will reminisce while deep in his cups, those heady days when motherboard reviewers anxiously awaited the release of a new chipset are now are in the past. The CPU has absorbed the Northbridge where all the action was, leaving the Southbridge which is still a very interesting piece of technology but one that has become very similar between boards. Manufacturers now focus on what DigiTimes is referring to as brand power and channel relationships; recognizable branding, package deals and bundled products like Thunderbolt, DACs and wireless chargers. Reviewers look to the UEFI features which do differ from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as within the different family lines and software tools for overclocking when looking at the board instead of looking for the significant performance differences that once existed. There are certainly benefits to this as well, not many people remember reserving IRQ5 to PCI slot 3 nor many of the other unique eccentricities we all used to have to remember to be able to build systems in the past. After all, the only real constant is change.
"Competition in the motherboard industry is expected to gradually turn to focus on each player's brand power and channel relationships as newly developed technologies are becoming similar, according to sources from channel retailers in China."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HGST and Seagate go head-to-head with Ethernet disk drives @ The Register
- Microsoft says Tor can't foil NSA surveillance or cyber crooks @ The Inquirer
- D-Day for net neutrality as FCC vote looms @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft bug hunters kicked 0day own goal @ The Register
- How to Provision AWS EC2 Instances with Salt Cloud @ Linux.com
- Introducing The Arduino Zero @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 14, 2014 - 11:59 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Sound Blaster E3, Sound Blaster E1, Creative
Okay, so these products (SoundBlaster E1 and SoundBlaster E3) are confusing because they have several roles. Both are billed as "headphone amplifiers" with battery power. These types of products are somewhat rare and niche on the whole. Probably the main reason for using the amplifier portion is if you had high impedance headphones. Creative claims to support 600 Ohm headphones with both of these models.
And this is where Creative started tossing other features in.
Both the E1 and E3 can be used as an external sound adapter for PCs and Macs. While features, such as EAX, have gone by the wayside due to modern audio APIs, there is still room for sound devices to differentiate in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and so forth, especially when compared to some on-board solutions. Speaking of SNR, the E1 advertises 106dB while the E3, 110dB. Also, sometimes you just want another sound card and USB is convenient. Both include ASIO drivers which is especially useful, although not too uncommon, for professional recording software.
The E3 then goes off on a tangent. Its USB hookup can attach not just to PCs and Mac, but also Android and iOS mobile devices. While it also has Bluetooth for iOS 5+ and Android 3.1+, it can be used as a wired, external sound card over USB on Android 4.2+ (using USB Streaming over Android Open Accessory Protocol 2.0) and iOS 7+ (using a Lightning USB adapter). This allows users to bypass the built-in amplifiers of their smartphones and tablets without Bluetooth compression. I would be interested to see reviews of this unit compared with the 3.5mm jack quality of typical mobile devices.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 14, 2014 - 06:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ultraviolet, mozilla, DRM, Adobe Access, Adobe
Needless to say, DRM is a controversial topic and I am clearly against it. I do not blame Mozilla. The non-profit organization responsible for Firefox knew that they could not oppose Chrome, IE, and Safari while being a consumer software provider. I do not even blame Apple, Google, and Microsoft for their decisions, either. This problem is much bigger and it comes down to a total misunderstanding of basic mathematics (albeit at a ridiculously abstract and applied level).
Simply put, piracy figures are meaningless. They are a measure of how many people use content without paying (assuming they are even accurate). You know what is more useful? Sales figures. Piracy figures are measurements, dependent variables, and so is revenue. Measurements cannot influence other measurements. Specifically, measurements cannot influence anything because they are, themselves, the result of influences. That is what "a measure" is.
Implementing DRM is not a measurement, however. It is a controllable action whose influence can be recorded. If you implement DRM and your sales go down, it hurt you. You may notice piracy figures decline. However, you should be too busy to care because you should be spending your time trying to undo the damage you did to your sales! Why are you looking at piracy figures when you're bleeding money?
I have yet to see a DRM implementation that correlated with an increase in sales. I have, however, seen some which correlate to a massive decrease.
The thing is, Netflix might know that and I am pretty sure that some of the web browser companies know that. They do not necessarily want to implement DRM. What they want is content and, surprise, the people who are in charge of the content are definitely not enlightened to that logic. I am not even sure if they realize that the reason why content is pirated before their release dates is because they are not leaked by end users.
But whatever. Technical companies, who want that content available on their products, are stuck finding a way to appease those content companies in a way that damages their users and shrinks their potential market the least. For Mozilla, this means keeping as much open as possible.
Since they do not have existing relationships with Hollywood, Adobe Access will be the actual method of displaying the video. They are clear to note that this only applies to video. They believe their existing relationships in text, images, and games will prevent the disease from spreading. This is basically a plug-in architecture with a sandbox that is open source and as strict as possible.
This sandbox is intended to prevent a security vulnerability from having access to the host system, give a method of controlling the DRM's performance if it hitches, and not allow the DRM to query the machine for authentication. The last part is something they wanted to highlight, because it shows their effort to protect the privacy of their users. They also imply a method for users to opt-out but did not go into specifics.
As an aside, Adobe will support their Access DRM software on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mozilla is pushing hard for Android and Firefox OS, too. According to Adobe, Access DRM is certified for use with Ultraviolet content.
I accept Mozilla's decision to join everyone else but I am sad that it came to this. I can think of only two reasons for including DRM: for legal (felony) "protection" under the DMCA or to make content companies feel better while they slowly sink their own ships chasing after numbers which have nothing to do with profits or revenue.
Ultimately, though, they made a compromise. That is always how we stumble and fall down slippery slopes. I am disappointed but I cannot suggest a better option.
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2014 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, carmageddon reincarnation, Alpha
If you have fond memories of the first two Carmageddon games and are still a little bitter about TDR 2000 then you probably don't live in Australia. For those sick and twisted individuals who did love picking pedestrian guts out of their hair and who didn't back the Kickstarter, for $30 you can pick up Carmageddon: Reincarnation on Steam; at least the early access version. What better way to spend an evening that by torturing peds, other racers and yourself as the game is more than a little buggy at this point, with missing content and a new city map that will crush your GPU. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN takes a peek under the bloody hood here and if you do pick up the game remember to post any serious (and repeatable) issues at http://carmageddon.com/bugger.
For a more stable gaming experience just head to the Gaming Forum and see when the Fragging Frogs will be playing next.
"Anyway, in the meantime, work continues. Carmageddon: Reincarnation yesterday launched its second big Early Access update, bringing a new level, three new cars, more performance options, and other doodads."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Deals up to 90% on 100 great titles in limited numbers--Spring Insomnia Sale kicks off! @ Good Old Games
- Humble Bundle kicks off 14 days of daily game bundles @ HEXUS
- EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games @ Slashdot
- Portal on the NVIDIA SHIELD for $9.99 @ Legit Reviews
- Gameplay trailer for Titanfall Expedition DLC published @ HEXUS
- Details of Battlefield 4: Dragon's Teeth DLC leak out @ HEXUS
- IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY CHESS @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Impressions: Stalker: Lost Alpha @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2014 - 11:57 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kinect, Oculus
Gizmodo might be going a bit far in calling this a Holodeck but what Oliver Kreylos has done with three Kinects and an Oculus Rift is rather impressive. As with most cool new projects involving the Oculus you cannot capture what is going on with a picture but that doesn't help with the jealousy you will be feeling after watching some of the videos. The Kinects capture his motion and the Oculus displays his body inside the zombie game he is using; there will be some space limitations if you are not good at walking in place but it certainly seems less expensive to set up than previous devices we have seen.
"With no shortage of ingenuity, 3D video expert Oliver Kreylos managed to transplant his entire body into a virtual reality environment using three Microsoft Kinects and an Oculus Rift. It's a little fuzzy, but it's easy to recognize what he's really done. He's created a Holodeck—or something close to it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
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- Intel wireless charging bowl video demo @ The Inquirer
- Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements @ The Register
- Red Hat burps out cloudy OpenStack beta distribution @ The Register
- BlackBerry opens devices to third-party management – including its new, sub-$200 Z3 @ The Register
- More light bulbs? Yep, more light bulbs @ The Tech Report
- Your Old CD Collection Is Dying @ Slashdot
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