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Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2013 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: organic, flexible silicon
Researchers in Saudi Arabia have invented a new way of creating flexible and semi-transparent MOSFETs using silicon which is much less convoluted and expensive than the current methods. This is of great benefit as the organic materials being used in current flexible electronics are significantly slower than their inorganic counterparts, though cheaper and easier to produce. If this breakthrough is able to scale up to commercial levels high resolution flexible displays with quick response times might not be as far away as previously thought. Nanotechweb has the details of the research for you to look at.
"A new, low-cost, state-of-the-art CMOS compatible process to make flexible and semi-transparent silicon-based circuits has been unveiled by researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The technique is an important step forward to making high-performance flexible and transparent computers, says the team."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Spot DRAM prices soar over 30% in less than 2 weeks @ DigiTimes
- Nvidia appoints Colette Kress as CFO @ DigiTimes
- Intel Iris Pro Linux Performance Doubles With Driver Upgrades @ Phoronix
- Insiders Say B&N Will Launch New Nook,Tablet In October @ Slashdot
- How the VDSL Connection Works @ Hardware Secrets
- KVM kings unveil 'cloud operating system' @ The Register
- Double trouble for Whatsapp users as service is targeted by fresh malware @ The Inquirer
- One man’s microwave oven is another man’s hobby electronics store @ Hack a Day
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | September 16, 2013 - 09:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Steam Box, LinuxCon, Gabe Newell
Valve Software, as demonstrated a couple of days ago, still believe in Linux as the future of gaming platforms. Gabe Newell discussed this situation at LinuxCon, this morning, which was streamed live over the internet (and I transcribed after the teaser break at the bottom of the article). Someone decided to rip the stream, not the best quality but good enough, and put it on Youtube. I found it and embed it below. Enjoy!
Gabe Newell highlights, from the seventh minute straight through to the end, why proprietary platforms look successful and how they (sooner-or-later) fail by their own design. Simply put, you can control what is on it. Software you do not like, or even their updates, can be stuck in certification or even excluded from the platform entirely. You can limit malicious software, at least to some extent, or even competing products.
Ultimately, however, you limit yourself by not feeding in to the competition of the crowd.
If you wanted to get your cartridge made you bought it, you know, FOB in Tokyo. If you had a competitive product, miraculously, your ROMs didn't show up until, you know, 3 months after the platform holder's product had entered market and stuff like that. And that was really where the dominant models for what was happening in gaming ((came from)).
But, not too surprisingly, open systems were advancing faster than the proprietary systems had. There used to be these completely de novo graphics solutions for gaming consoles and they've all been replaced by PC-derived hardware. The openness of the PC as a hardware standard meant that the rate of innovation was way faster. So even though, you would think, that the console guys would have a huge incentive to invest in it, they were unable to be competitive.
Microsoft attempts to exert control over their platform with modern Windows which is met by a year-over-year regression in PC sales; at the same time, PC gaming is the industry hotbed of innovation and it is booming as a result. In a time of declining sales in PC hardware, Steam saw a 76% growth (unclear but it sounds like revenue) from last year.
Valve really believes the industry will shift toward a model with little divide between creator and consumer. The community has been "an order of magnitude" more productive than the actual staff of Team Fortress 2.
Does Valve want to compete with that?
This will only happen with open platforms. Even the consoles, with systems sold under parts and labor costs to exert control, have learned to embrace the indie developer. The next gen consoles market indie developers, prior to launch, seemingly more than the industry behemoths and that includes their own titles. They open their platforms a little bit but it might still not be enough to hold off the slow and steady advance of PC gaming be it through Windows, Linux, or even web standards.
Speaking of which, Linux and web standards are oft criticized because they are fragmented. Gabe Newell, intentionally or unintentionally, claimed proprietary platforms are more fragmented. Open platforms have multiple bodies push and pull the blob but it all tends to flow in the same direction. Proprietary platforms have lean bodies with control over where they can go, just many of them. You have a dominant and a few competing platforms for each sector: phones and tablets, consoles, desktops, and so forth.
He noted each has a web browser and, because the web is an open standard, is the most unified experience across devices of multiple sectors. Open fragmentation is small compared to the gaps between proprietary silos across sectors. ((As a side note: Windows RT is also designed to be one platform for all platforms but, as we have been saying for a while, you would prefer an open alternative to all RT all the time... and, according to the second and third paragraphs of this editorial, it will probably suffer from all of the same problems inherent to proprietary platforms anyway.))
Everybody just sort of automatically assumes that the internet is going to work regardless of wherever they are. There may be pluses or minuses of their specific environment but nobody says, "Oh I'm in an airplane now, I'm going to use a completely different method of accessing data across a network". We think that should be more broadly true as well. That you don't think of touch input or game controllers or living rooms as being things which require a completely different way for users to interact or acquire assets or developers to program or deliver to those targets.
Obviously if that is the direction you are going in, Linux is the most obvious basis for that and none of the proprietary, closed platforms are going to be able to provide that form of grand unification between mobile, living room, and desktop.
Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified in mobile.
Well, we will certainly be looking forward to next week.
Personally, for almost two years I found it weird how Google, Valve, and Apple (if the longstanding rumors were true) were each pushing for wearable computing, Steam Box/Apple TV/Google TV, and content distribution at the same time. I would not be surprised, in the slightest, for Valve to add media functionality to Steam and Big Picture and secure a spot in the iTunes and Play Store market.
As for how wearables fit in? I could never quite figure that out but it always felt suspicious.
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2013 - 03:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zeus PSU, Silverstone, modular psu, 1350W
Way back in the early stages of this year Lee reviewed a PSU that not many would need but those who want multiple cards would appreciate, the SilverStone Zeus 1350W PSU. The 12V lines, which is what GPUs care about are split into 6 with each able to provide 30A for a peak of 105A, 1260W delivered to your cards. Unfortunately for SilverStone [H]ard|OCP have been working on this review since February and this final review is actually of the third unit that was sent to them as the initial PSUs had major problems.
UPDATE: Tony from SilverStone reached out to explain the exact cause of the issue.
"... it turned out that the circuit breaker he had wouldn’t play nice with ZM1350’s higher in-rush current. Since power supplies are essentially analog devices, there are variances in production so the third unit apparently worked as ZM1350 was borderline tripping his breaker."
With the cause known you can decide on your own if your buildings curcuitry can support this PSU.
"SilverStone's Zeus series is back from a four year hiatus with a new 1350 watt PSU offering to enthusiasts. This Zeus is rated with Silver efficiency at 50°C, and comes to the alter with a host of features including modular cables to keep your build looking tidy. You can even tune the rails by hand if you wish. Time to see if heads roll."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master V-series 850W Power Supply Review @HiTech Legion
- Be Quiet Pure Power L8 CM 730W Semi-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Antec High Current Gamer 850W Semi Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Corsair CX500M (V2) Semi Modular Power @ eTeknix
- Cougar PowerX 550W PSU @ Kitguru
- XFX Pro 650W Core Edition Non Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Rosewill Tachyon 750 W @ techPowerUp
- be quiet! PowerZone 650W PSU @ Kitguru
- Antec High Current Gamer 620W Semi Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- EVGA 500B 500W Power Supply Review @ Legit Reviews
- Antec EarthWatts Platinum 450W Non-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Enermax Triathlor 450W Non-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2013 - 01:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb, cellphone, security
The USB condom is an adapter which disables the two data ports present on your USB connector to prevent a malicious charger from installing interesting things on your smartphone, if you decide to stick it into a strange charger. Many will immediately point out that this device is much larger than a simple power adapter which makes it easier to leave behind as well as being large enough to hide nasties of its own, so you wouldn't want to borrow someones condom. If you read through the comments on Slashdot you can pick up some interesting problems that this device could cause, from devices which refuse to charge without their data connections active to devices which actively communicate the amount of power they will accept for a charge. It is unlikely your device would have an expected amperage less than the USB spec and go up in flames but it is worth knowing that the possibility exists.
"Yep, a USB condom. That term is mostly a dose of marketing brilliance, which is to say that grabs your attention while also serving as an apt description of the product. A little company called int3.cc has developed a product—a USB condom—that blocks the data pins in your USB device while leaving the power pins free. Thus, any time you need to plug a device such as a smartphones into a USB port to charge it—let's say at a public charging kiosk or a coworker's computer--you don't have to worry about compromising any data or contracting some nasty malware. It's one of those simple solutions that seems so obvious once someone came up with it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Will Intel's Quark Run Linux? @ Linux.com
- Microsoft reissues September patches after user complaints @ The Register
- The easy or hard way to build a PWM dimmer @ Hack a Day
- Memory muddle muddies Intel's Exascale ambitions @ The Register
- Ray Milton Dolby OBE - 1933-2013 @ The Inquirer
- ASUS PCE-AC66 Wi-Fi AC1750 PCIe Wireless Adapter @ Benchmark Reviews
- MyKronoz ZeBracelet Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2013 - 06:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z87, Thunderbolt 2, sonnet, Intel, idf 2013, idf, gigabyte, asus, asrock, aja, 4k
Intel recently launched its next generation Thunderbolt 2 interface, and several devices using the new connection were shown off at the Intel Developer Forum. The major takeaway from Thunderbolt 2 is the increased bandwidth and benefits to video production houses working with large uncompressed media. Specifically, Thunderbolt 2 is a PCI-Express based external interface that sends both video output and data down a single cable. Upgrades over the original 10Gbps Thunderbolt standard include an updated to the DisplayPort 1.2 video standard and double the bandwidth to 20Gbps. Thanks to the increased bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 enables simultaneous video output and video file transfer of 4K media. Video editors can watch and transfer 4K video to an DisplayPort-equipped monitor and external RAID array respectively.
Intel is kicking off the Thunderbolt 2 standard with the launch of its DSL5520 and DSL5320 Thunderbolt 2 controllers, which are already in the hands of device manufactures. In fact, there were quite a few bits of hardware being shown off at this years IDF that already support the new Thunderbolt 2 standard. Intel is expecting even more devices in 2014.
Professional video editing and workstation hardware with Thunderbolt 2
While consumer PC hardware will be supporting Thunderbolt 2, the new interface is most beneficial to professional users and IDF was the launch pad for several high end pieces of production gear. Sonnet launched the Echo Express III external PCI-E card chassis that allows users to hook up PCI-E cards to systems via Thunderbolt 2 (for example: video capture card or fast solid state storage). Also, AJA showed off a video/audio capture box called the IO 4K that supports daisy chaining other Thunderbolt 2 devices and acts as a video capture card capable of taking in 4K and UltraHD video sources as well as high end audio inputs. Finally, PROMISE Technology showed off its Pegasus2 RAID 5 enclosure and SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 bridge device.
External boxes are not the only professional products with Thunderbolt 2 at IDF, however. The technology is also being integrated into workstations, including the Apple Mac Pro with six Thunderbolt 2 ports and HP’s new lineup of desktop workstations.
Z87 Motherboards With Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 will also be used in consumer gear as well, including Z87 motherboards. Asus, AsRock, and Gigabyte all had motherboards on display that each featured two Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new interface will be available on the multiple boards from the manufacturers. German tech site ComputerBase.de posted several photos of Thunderbolt 2-equipped motherboards and gave a glimpse at the upcoming hardware.
The Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad, an AsRock Z87 motherboard, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD5 TH spotted at IDF by ComputerBase.de.
Of note are the ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad, AsRock Extreme 11/ac, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH. All boards off LGA 1150 CPU sockets, four DDR3 DIMM slots, a slew of SATA 6Gbps ports, multiple PCI-E 3.0 x16 and x1 slots, and rich rear IO including two Thunderbolt 2 ports (naturally).
The AsRock Z87 Extreme 11/ac via ComputerBase.de.
The following chart breaks down the specifications. Unfortunately pricing and availability have not been announced for these boards, but expect to pay a premium for the high end gaming hardware and new Thunderbolt 2 controller. (The Asrock Extreme 11/ac in particular takes the word “high end” to the, well, extreme.)
|ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad||AsRock Extreme 11/ac||Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH|
|PCI-E 3.0 x16||3||4||5|
|PCI-E 3.0 x1||4||3||2|
|Audio||6 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical|
|Video out||1 x HDMI||1 x HDMI, 1 x DP||1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI|
|USB 3.0||6 (+4 USB 2.0)||6 (+2 USB 2.0)||6|
It is promising to see so many devices this early into Thunderbolt 2's launch, and the various high end motherboard using both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3 gives consumers the best of both worlds and access to all manner of external peripherals. The bandwidth increase is certainly welcome, and I am interested to see what sorts of new devices it enables. For now, I think Thunderbolt 2 is going to be mainly a professional (or at least "pro-sumer") technology. With that siad, 4K capture and video output is already being worked on, and I am curious to see what other applications and technologies will really be able to push the new 20Gbps interface and what trickles down to the consumer space!
Are you excited about Thunderbolt 2? Let us know what you think of the IDF-launched products and the interface technology in general in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2013 - 06:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gskill, G.Skill, ddr4
G.Skill showed off DDR4 memory modules at the Intel Developer Forum last week, and it appears that the technology is well on its way to being ready for Intel's next generation Haswell-E enthusiast platform. The modules that G.Skill showed off werre DDR4 DIMMs clocked at 2,133 MHz and come in 4GB capacities. The modules are manufactured by SK.Hynix and branded and tested by G.Skill. The company did not indicate what voltages they are using, but it is likely at or close to 1.2V given the conservative clockspeed.
VR-Zone spotted DDR4 DIMMs from G.Skill at IDF.
The modules on the IDF show floor where static engineering samples, which means that they were not functional units. G.Skill indicated to X-bit labs that “the next generation of DDR memory is still under development, and G.Skill is working to push the new technology to its limits in the future.”
As the DDR4 standard and Haswell-E HEDT CPU/motherboard platform is still being worked on, G.Skill still has about a year to improve its modules and offer additional overclocked SKUs (which the company is known for). It is nice to see progress being made on the new memory technology that is said to be a bit faster and require less voltage.
Read more about the progress of DDR4 at PC Perspective.
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 08:55 PM | Scott Michaud
There is an elephant in the room: Eldritch has a similar art style to Minecraft. The aesthetic, terrain and structures made up of large voxels, provides a simple set of rules for randomly generated worlds and it does that very well. Filling up a volume is easy when everything is kept to discrete grids and most geometry, being box-symmetric, takes very little effort to model. The resulting environments can be just as interesting to explore.
A creepy trailer?
Eldritch, on the other hand, is not based upon terraforming the landscape. This game is a first person action title heavily influenced by the works of H. P. Lovecraft... and its tropes. Rock Paper Shotgun previewed an early build and gave (at least me) mixed signals about whether the game was creepy or zany; the trailer does nothing to clarify this position. Whatever RPS thought the atmosphere was, they proclaim it was "nailed".
Eldritch is available to pre-order through the Humble Store, exchanging $15 for beta access, and is set for release on October 21st.
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 08:11 PM | Scott Michaud
Valve continues to port their back catalogue to Linux even as its market share on Steam declines. It might be easy to declare gaming on Linux dead, or something like that, but the platform has not yet been pushed for gaming. It is entirely possible, albeit increasingly unlikely (and that is bad), that Microsoft will continue to support an open PC gaming experience. If it continues to sink then Valve might see more appreciation for their work.
Linux gamers of today, however, can access a beta build of Half Life: Source. If this seems oddly familiar then you are probably thinking of Half Life which, itself, was ported to Mac and Linux last January. The Half Life: Source beta announcement came on September 12th.
Not only has Valve kept their 15-year-old game up to date with current hardware and alternative operating systems, they are actively keeping multiple versions of that 15-year-old game up to date with current hardware and alternative operating systems. This is the classic PC gaming mentality also seen in Blizzard and, until a few years ago, Epic Games.
This beta release is not just limited to Linux and Mac, however. Valve encourages users, of all platforms, to test the product and reports bugs to their GitHub.
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 02:54 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, hd 5000, haswell, 4k
Intel has announced a new Haswell-powered NUC called the D54250WYK. The new barebones kit includes an Intel D54250WYB NUC motherboard with soldered processor in a small form factor case that measures 4.6″ x 4.4″ x 1.4″. The new NUC is faster, has new IO options, and reportedly fixes the overheating issues of previous NUC systems. The Haswell-powered NUC has a bit of competition with the recently launched Gigabyte BRIX system which also got an upgrade to Intel's latest consumer architecture.
The new NUC D54250WYK barebones kit.
The Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK uses a new 4.33" x 4.33" motherboard with a pre-soldered Intel Haswell Core i5-4250U processor. The system further supports two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots (up to 16GB of 1600MHz memory), a single SATA port, two mini PCI-E slots (one for mSATA SSDs and one half-height for Wi-Fi NICs), and a USB 2.0 header supporting to USB 2.0 ports. The Core i5-4250U CPU is a 22nm chip with a 15W TDP. It is a dual core part clocked at 1.3GHz base and 2.6GHz Turbo with HyperThreading, 3MB of cache, and HD 5000 processor graphics (200Mhz base and 1GHz Turbo).
The new NUC motherboard and Haswell processor.
While Intel has removed Thunderbolt support, external IO is still decent, with the following ports:
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x Infrared receiver
2 x Video outputs:
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Mini HDMI 1.4
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 x USB 3.0
Notably, the Intel NUC Kit with i5-4250U CPU requires active cooling, but aftermarket cases offering passive cooling are likely in the works. Of course, users will be able to purchase the barebones D54250WYK kit or just the D54250WYB NUC motherboard and CPU that can be paired with a third party or custom built case. Like Gigabyte, Intel has not released specific pricing or availability, but expect the new Haswell-powered NUC to be coming soon as the system appears to be ready to go. Hopefully full reviews will be hitting the Internet soon!
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: reverse engineering, IR sensor, hack, DIY, arduino
You can buy the USB Infrared Toy v2 from Dangerous Prototypes and get right to turning cheaply made IR devices off and on but you would miss out on a chance to build one yourself. If you follow the links from Slashdot you will get a quick tutorial on how to determine the oscillation frequency of a broadcaster by looking at the components of the circuit and how to use an Arduino UNO to create your own. If you are already familiar with this type of project consider teaching someone who needs their fear of electronic devices reduced through understanding how these magic boxes work.
"Cheap home alarms, door opening systems and wireless mains switches can be bypassed with low-cost and home-made devices that can replicate their infrared signals. Fixed-code radio frequency systems could be attacked using a $20 'toy', or using basic DIY componentry."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 4K-friendly Thunderbolt 2 WILL ship this year, Chipzilla pledges @ The Register
- Intel shows off wine-powered processor and biometric boffinry @ The Register
- Apple iPhone 5C price, release date and where to buy @ The Inquirer
- LanOC V13 Recap @ LanOC Reviews
- ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees @ The Register
- Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol. 1 Released in HTML Format @ Slashdot
- Have you tried turning it off and on again - oh, you did: IT Crowd RETURNS @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 05:47 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows phone 8, snapdragon 800, qualcomm, pureview, nokia, lumia 1520
There have been rumors floating around the Internet concerning a new Nokia Lumia-series smartphone running the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 GDR3 operating system. Called the Nokia Lumia 1520, the 6-inch smartphone will reportedly be announced at an event in New York on September 26.
The Lumia 1520 features a similar aesthetic to the existing Lumia phones, including beveled edges and a polycarbonate body. The 6-inch smartphone is dominated by a large 1080p display on the front and a PureView camera on the rear capable of taking simultaneous 5MP (supersampled) and 16MP photos.
Twitter user @evleaks suggests that the smartphone is coming on September 26th.
Internally, the Lumia 1520 is powered by a 28nm HPm Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with four Krait 400 CPU cores clocked at up to 2.3 GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, and 4G LTE modem. Other specifications include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for adding additional storage space.
The rumored Lumia 1520 compared to a Sony Xperia handset. Via The Verge.
On the software side of things, Nokia is using Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 GDR3 operating system and adding their own Bittersweet shimmer firmware on top. The new firmware adds improved multitasking, custom ringtones, a driving mode that silences calls and text messages when connected to a car via Bluetooth, and an additional column of live tiles on the Start screen among other features.
The device is rumored to be announced on September 26, 2013 where the specifications and pricing should be officially revealed. Hopefully the phone is as powerful as the rumors suggest!
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 04:15 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: solidrun, SFF, Freescale, cubox-i, arm
SolidRun Ltd. Has come up with its own ARM-powered mini computer called the CuBox-i. The new PC measures 2” x 2” x 2” and has some respectable IO for its size. The CuBox-i comes in multiple flavors from $45 to $120. The cheapest version competes in many ways with the Raspberry Pi while the top-end device is more in line with Android development boards that tend to run in the hundreds of dollars.
There are actually four SKUs in the CuBox-i series:
The CuBox-i PCs are powered by single, dual, or quad core variant of a Freescale i.MX6 SoC at up to 1.2 GHz. The SoC uses ARMv7 instructions and dedicated NEON media encode/decode hardware. The GPU included in the SoC supports OpenGL ES 2.0 on all models, and the GPU in the two higher-end models further supports OpenCL 1.1 embedded. Memory is 512MB on the $45 CuBox-i1, 1GB on both CuBox-2 systems, and 2GB of DDR3 on the CuBox i4Pro. The mini PCs support 1080p video playback, and are compatible with Android 4.2.2, XBMC, and various Linux distributions.
IO on the CuBox-i PCs includes two powered USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, Ethernet (Gigabit on the higher end models, limited to less than 470 Mbps internally), one eSATA 3Gbps port, an optical S/PDIF output, microSD slot, microUSB (RS-232 adapter on higher end models), and an infrared reciever. The two higher-priced models also include an infrared transmitter. The high end systems also support Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, and a hardware RTC (Real Time Clock) with backup battery.
The table above shows the breakdown of IO and internal hardware in the various SKUs. While the systems start at $45, it is the higher priced models that add some interesting features. It is always nice to see competition in the mini PC space. The CuBox-i series will be available in limited quantities later this year. Pre-order pricing breaks down as follows:
- CuBox-i1 for $45
- CuBox-i2 for $70
- CuBox-2Ultra for $95
- CuBox-4Pro for $120
Compared to the previously-announced CuBox Pro, the CuBox-i series is slightly cheaper, uses a faster SoC, and is available in multiple SKUs. For example, the top-end CuBox-i4Pro is a bit cheaper at $120 versus $160 for the CuBox Pro's original price. Naturally, the lower end CuBox-i's are even cheaper but also have less memory and IO.
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2013 - 03:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: blackberry, flash, blackberry q10, blackberry z10, playbook, security
Oh RIM, is this what happens when you change your name, celebrity spokesperson and infrastructure? First you gave up on what we thought was an incredibly secure way to communicate and moved to the same ActiveSync environment of Android and iOS and then we find out that we were fooling ourselves and even the old BES encryption was broken. Then we find out that our data plans might or might not work if we roam outside of our home carriers network, regardless of what travel plan we might have requested. A patch Tuesday cycle could be the last straw for many; announcing two ancient Adobe vulnerabilities on the new BB10 OS which will need to be patched might assure some that you still have a passing acquaintance with security but for most it is just one too many flaws. The Inquirer links to the BB security threads in this article.
"The Z10, Q10 and PlayBook all need patching for Adobe Flash vulnerabilities. If a user were led to a page containing crafted Flash content, an attacker could execute arbitrary code on an affected device. BSRT-2013-007 notes that an alternative attack would be to trick users into downloading an Adobe AIR application."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Linux 3.12 Codenamed "Suicidal Squirrel" @ Slashdot
- TSMC 12-inch fabs running at 75-80% of capacity, say sources @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft delivers baker's dozen of patches on Tuesday @ The Register
- How the ADSL Connection Works @ Hardware Secrets
- Flash floggers whip out flash cards, SSDs, unleash frantic flood of updates @ The Register
- Michael Dell wins $25bn buyout to take Dell private @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2013 - 03:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, quark, podcast, IVB-EP, ifa, idf 2013, idf, hawell-y, E5-2600, ddr4, Bay Trail
PC Perspective Podcast #268 - 09/12/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Intel Bay Trail Tablets, Intel's Quark SoC, and news from IFA and IDF
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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:20:06
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:49:00 Quick IFA roundup
1:04:10 A Steamy family
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2013 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For $760 you can get your hands on an impressive gaming laptop from Dell, the Inspiron 15R Special Edition. This 15.6" 1080p laptop is powered by an Intel i7-3632QM @ 2.2GHz, 8GB DDR3-1600, a 32GB SSD cache drive partnered with a 1TB HDD and a 2GB Radeon 7730M. With Waves MaxxAudio 4 and Skullcandy speakers. With HDMI out and 4 USB 3.0 ports this machine will also function as a desktop replacement in case you need to make some sort of justification for spending your money on a gaming laptop.
- Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" 1080p Core i7 Laptop w/ Backlit Keyboard, 2GB Radeon HD 7730M for $759.99 with free shipping(normally $1,188.99 - use coupon code: 4SHN4M3SF2LPW?).
- LG 55LS4600 55" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $999.00 with free shipping (normally $1,649.99).
- Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 High-Power 2.1 Speaker System for $$219.99 with free shipping (normally $259.99).
- Corsair Raptor K50 Gaming Keyboard for $79.99 with free shipping (normally $99.99).
- Seagate Backup Plus 2TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $98.99 only (normally $159.99 - use coupon code: T2LLG$98G7$F19).
- Canon EOS M Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ EF-M18-55mm IS STM Lens for $309.99 only (normally $599.99).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | September 11, 2013 - 08:31 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, valve, steam
I know there will be some comparison between the recent Steam Family Sharing announcement and what Microsoft proposed, to a flock of airborne tomatoes I might add, for the Xbox One. Steam integrates some level of copy discouragement by accounts which identify a catalog of content with an individual. This account, user name and password, tends to be more precious to the licensee than a physical disk or a nondescript blob of bits.
The point is not to prevent unauthorized copying, however; the point is to increase sales.
Account information is used, not just for authentication, but to add value to the service. If you log in to your account from a friend's computer, you have access to your content and it can be installed to their machine. This is slightly more convenient, given a fast internet connection, than carrying a DRM-free game on physical storage (unless, of course, paid licenses are revoked or something). Soon, authorized friends will also be able to borrow your library when you are not using it if their devices are authorized by your account.
Microsoft has a similar authentication system through Xbox Live. The Xbox One also proposed a sharing feature with the caveat that all devices would need a small, few kilobyte, internet connection once every 24 hours.
The general public went mental.
The debate (debacle?) between online sharing and online restrictions saw fans of the idea point to the PC platform and how Steam has similar restrictions. Sure, Steam has an offline mode, but it is otherwise just as restrictive; Valve gets away with it, Microsoft should too!
It is true, Microsoft has a more difficult time with public relations than Valve does with Steam. However, like EA and their troubles with Origin, they have shown themselves to be less reliable than Valve over time. When a purchase is made on Steam, it has been kept available to the best of their abilities. Microsoft, on the other hand, bricked the multiplayer and online features of each and every original Xbox title. Microsoft did a terrible job explaining how the policy benefits customers, and that is declared reason for the backlash, but had they acquired trust from their customers over the years then this might have just blown over. Even still, I find Steam Family Sharing to be a completely different situation from what we just experienced in the console space.
So then, apart from banked good faith, what is the actual difference?
Steam is not the only place to get PC games!
Games could be purchased at retail or competing online services such as GoG.com. Customers who disagree with the Xbox One license have nowhere else to go. In the event that a game is available only with restrictive DRM, which many are, the publisher and/or developer holds responsibility. There is little stopping a game from being released, like The Witcher 3, DRM-free at launch and trusting the user to be ethical with their bits.
Unfortunately for Xbox Division, controlling the point of sale is how they expect to recover the subsidized hardware. Their certification and retail policies cannot be circumvented because that is their business model: lose some money acquiring customers who then have no choice but to give you money in return.
This is not the case on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is easy to confuse Steam with "PC Gaming", however, due to how common it is. They were early, they were compelling, but most of all they were consistent. Their trust was earned and, moreover, is not even required to enjoy the PC platform.
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2013 - 02:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gamiong, xcom, enemy within
For those familiar with X:Com, the idea of letting an alien live long enough for you to run up and punch it seems suicidal as you will be shot or mind controlled long before you reach your target. However once you watch the giant mechanoid which is basically a human brain implanted in a small mech punch a Sectoid over the edge of a bridge you start to see where this game is going. The psychic backlash power was wonderful to watch and the less extreme gene mods which allow you to leap tall buildings a single bound are also impressive, though perhaps redundant for those who managed to research their powered armour fully. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN will be following this game closely.
"More importantly, both mechs and gene-modded soldiers are extremely useful in the right situations. Mechs are natural tanks given that a) they have tremendous armor and b) are literally walking tanks. Gene mods, meanwhile, offer all sorts of handy abilities via new progression trees, including but not limited to defense against mind control and leaps that have the grotesque, terrifying dark future side effect of making trampolines not as fun anymore."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- VIDIA Free-to-Play 2 Review @ OCC
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist @ Benchmark Reviews
- EA-DICE publish Battlefield 4 PC minimum/recommended specs @ HEXUS
- Wizard! Wizardry VI, VII, and 8 Are Now For Sale On Steam @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- BioWare On Dragon Age’s Combat, Exploration, Choices @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- S4: Hands-on review of Dualshock 4 controller, camera and games @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2013 - 01:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you can't quite afford Dell's 30" display then you can always choose the more reasonably priced Dell P2714H 27" 1080p IPS display. 8ms gray to gray will prevent most ghosting and the variety of inputs; VGA, DisplayPort and DVI will help with multiple monitor setups and three USB ports only help make this LCD even more attractive.
- Dell P2714H 27" 1080p IPS Anti-glare LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $314.99 with free shipping(normally $399.99 - use coupon code: HNQ2$W?T6M93MW).
- Alienware X51 Core i3 + GeForce GTX 645 mini PC for $599.00 with free shipping (normally $649.99).
- Toshiba Satellite C50-ABT2N11 15.6" Laptop w/4GB RAM (customizable) for $299.99 (normally $499.99 - use coupon code: C50910B).
- MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card + Free Batman Arkham Origins for $279.99 with free shipping (normally $354.99).
- Linksys WUSB6300 Wireless-AC Dual-Band USB Adapter for $2.99 only (normally $69.99 - use coupon code: HSPH10).
- Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB 7mm SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $79.99 only (normally $109.99).
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2013 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ivy Bridge-EP, xeon, xeon E5-2600 v2, idf 2013
A second coming of the Xeon E5-2600 family uses the Ivy Bridge-EP architecture and will sport up to 12 cores, using 22nm Trigate technology. The three CPUs which will be arriving are each aimed at a separate market segment with different core counts and TDP. The lower power chips will sport either 4 or 6 cores and have a TDP between 40-80W with the same 15MB L3 cache as SB-EP. The second has a 25MB L3 cache, 6, 8 or 10 cores and TDPs ranging from 70-130W and uses the same interconnects as previously existed. The last is the beast with 12 cores, TDPs of 115-130W and three rings linking the cores and cache segments with a split memory controller. Check The Register for more info on the high powered end of IDF.
"Companies with workloads that like to ride on lots of threads and cores are going to be able to get a lot more bang for a two-socket box thanks to the launch of the "Ivy Bridge-EP" Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors by Intel."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel reveals 14nm PC, declares Moore's Law 'alive and well' @ The Register
- Fujitsu femto boost promises to double LTE speeds @ The Register
Subject: General Tech, Systems | September 11, 2013 - 03:43 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: w540, Thinkpad, quadro, optimus, mobile workstation, Lenovo, haswell
Lenovo announced several business-oriented ThinkPad notebooks today, including a new 15" mobile workstation called the ThinkPad W540. This new ISV-certified workstation employs Lenovo's claimed "user inspired design," high resolution screen, Intel Haswell processor, and longer battery life.
The ThinkPad W540 measures 27mm and weighs 5.45 pounds. It features a 15.5" IPS display with a resolution of 2880 x 1620 and Precision back-lit keyboard with number pad. The screen can be automatically calibrated using the integrated X-Rite color calibrator, according to the press release. IO ports include Thunderbolt, VGA, and USB among others.
Lenovo has packed the W540 with a quad core Intel i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, an NVIDIA Quadro GPU (with Optimus support), and up to 2TB of hard drive storage in optional RAID configurations. The notebook comes with a Wi-Fi radio and can also be configured with a 4G LTE cellular radio.
Lenovo has not yet announced pricing, but the mobile workstation will be available in November.
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