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Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2015 - 05:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: carrizo, APU, amd. excavator
If you skipped reading Scott's look at the new AMD Carrizo processor you have done yourself a disfavour and should read through his look at AMD's recent history and the evolution of Bulldozer and Steamroller into Excavator. It will help you understand The Tech Report's look into the new architecture and the AMD provided benchmarks which you can check out here. A lot of the new architecture is a refinement of previous chips but the Tonga based GPU portion is completely new and looks to be an impressive improvement, especially on these 15W and 30W chips. It will be very interesting to see how they fare against the Iris Pro on Intel's new Broadwell chips in systems without a discrete GPU.
"The Carrizo processor is AMD's follow-on to Kaveri and a direct competitor to Intel's Broadwell CPUs. After a lengthy prelude, AMD is officially taking the wraps off of Carrizo today at the Computex trade show in Taipei. The firm expects laptops based on Carrizo to be available near the end of this month, and now that the chip is official, we know a number of juicy details about it that had previously been murky."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Typing 'http://:' Into a Skype Message Trashes the Installation Beyond Repair @ Slashdot
- Microsoft suffers worldwide Wi-Fi wardrobe malfunction @ The Register
- Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end? @ The Register
- Holy SSH-it! Microsoft promises secure logins for Windows PowerShell @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway #4 : Mi In-Ear Headphones
Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: touch, synaptics, smartbar, opinion, gaming, computex 2015, computex
Synaptics revealed more details on its SmartBar technology today at Computex. The human interface company most known for its trackpads is looking to expand its reach into keyboards. Specifically, SmartBar is technology that will add touch input functionality to the keyboard spacebar. Using the technology, OEMs can integrate capacitive touch sensors into the spacebar allowing for several unique and productivity boosting gestures.
The SmartBar spacebar can be broken up into five logical (touch sensitive areas) buttons each of which can be associated with user created macros using a bundled macro editing utility. Alternatively, users can enable touch gestures. Synaptics is touting the ability to use quick left and right swipe motion to edit text by moving the cursor back and forth word by word though a document as well as the ability to use a two thumb pinch gesture to zoom in and out on an image or document. The touch input would also be useful to gamers who want to future increase their actions per minute in RTS games or even something as simple as shifting gears or switching weapons in racing and first person games respectively.
Along the lines of gaming, it turns out that Thermaltake under it's Tt eSports line will be the first adopter of this SmartBar technology, and while Synaptics did not reveal any exact products I am looking forward to see what Thermaltake does with the technology in its future gaming keyboards. This could be a gimmick, or it could really take off and be a must have feature depending on how well it is implemented in both hardware and software. It does make sense though; the spacebar is the natural resting place for your thumbs, so it should not take too much effort to incorporate touch gestures (literally at your fingertips...) to improve your game or work efficiency. A simple but promising idea for sure.
From the press release:
“Desktop PCs still represent a sizeable portion of the PC market, especially in the commercial segment, but most desktop users have been left behind in terms of next-generation interfaces such as touch,” said Tom Mainelli, VP of Devices & Displays at International Data Corporation (IDC). “Companies are always looking for ways to help drive employee efficiency, and feature-rich, touch-enabled keyboards represent a straightforward, affordable way to help increase worker productivity.”
The SmartBar technology is available now to OEMs, but we might have to wait until CES to see actual products offering touch sensitive spacebars.
What do you think of the technology, and would you use it for gaming?
Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2015 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, acer, Lenovo
If you are running Win7 or a flavour of Win8 you have probably seen the pop-up nagging you to reserve your copy of Windows 10 before the official launch on July 29th. That deadline is a little misleading, if it has you concerned, you still have until July 29 2016 to use your free upgrade. What the reminder does do is give Microsoft a chance at a large initial adoption rate of the brand new OS which is rather necessary to restore confidence in them as an investment opportunity after the lukewarm Windows 8 adoption numbers. One question does still remain about the licensing which we are still awaiting an answer to. What does the future after that date hold for those who like to reinstall OSes on a regular basis; if you only possess a Windows 7 serial number and take advantage of the free upgrade before the deadline, will you get a way to install a fresh copy of Windows 10?
If you do have to buy a new license for Windows 10, the prices will remain as they were for Windows 8, Windows 10 Home will retail for $119, Windows 10 Pro for $199 with an upgrade from Home to Pro costing you $99. If you want control over when your updates are installed you might want to get some friends together to invest in a volume licensing agreement as patches are now pushed out and installed immediately. As we have mentioned Windows Media Centre will disappear as will any Windows 7 desktop gadgets you might have installed along the way but one mildly surprising omission that The Inquirer spotted was a change to DVD playback, which will also be an extra feature or else be handled by superior open source players. If for some reason you still use floppy drives, the new Windows will not natively support them but as with the previous version you should be able to locate drivers.
As for hardware, DigiTimes has heard word of very low priced Broadwell based laptops being released by Lenovo and Acer. Acer will be releasing a pair of models, an 11.6" at $169 and a 14" for $199. Lenovo's will be more expensive at $250 but will be a convertible Yoga machine which explains at least part of the premium pricing. It will be interesting to see how these will compete with existing products on the market, including Microsoft's own Surface.
"The Windows 10 notebooks are an 11.6-inch notebook (US$169) and a 14-inch clamshell-type notebook (US$199) from Acer and a 14-inch convertible Yoga notebook (US$249) from Lenovo. These devices will be manufactured by Inventec, and target mainly against Chromebooks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Compute Stick Performance Surprises Under Ubuntu Linux @ Phoronix
- Intel's Broadwell goes broad with new desktop, mobile, server variants @ The Tech Report
- Fedora 22: Don't be glum about the demise of Yum – this is a welcome update @ The Register
- Intel gobbles up chipmaker Altera in $16.7 BILLION splurge @ The Register
- Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT? @ The Register
- Blackberry Defeats Typo In Court, Typo To Discontinue Sales of Keyboard @ Slashdot
- NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2015 - 08:07 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: STRAFE, mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, corsair, computex 2015, computex, Cherry MX
Corsair has announced the STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard featuring Cherry MX switches, and the company is calling it the “most advanced mono-backlit mechanical gaming keyboard available”.
“The STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard’s brilliant red backlighting can be customized to a virtually unlimited number of lighting configurations and effects. Each key can be programmed with automated macros using CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software. Users can choose from six unique lighting effects or craft their own custom profiles and share them on www.corsairgaming.com.”
The STRAFE features:
- German-made Cherry MX red switches with gold contacts for fast, precise key presses
- Fully programmable brilliant red LED backlighting for unrivaled personalization
- USB pass-through port for easy connections
- Textured and contoured FPS/MOBA keycaps
- 100% anti-ghosting technology with 104-key rollover
- Enhanced, easy-access multimedia controls
The Corsair STRAFE has an MSRP of $109.99 and will be available in June.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 1, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: steam os, living room gaming, liquid cooling, gaming, DIY, corsair, computex 2015, computex, barebones, 4k
Today at Computex, Corsair unveiled a new barebones gaming PC aimed at the living room. The compact Bulldog PC is an upgradeable barebones DIY kit that offers gamers an interesting base from which to build a living room PC capable of 4K gaming. The chassis resembles an overbuilt console in that it is a short but wide design with many angular edges and aesthetic touches including stylized black case feet and red accents surrounding the vents. A hidden panel in the lower right corner reveals two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks. It looks ready to fight in the next season of Robot Wars should you add a flamethrower or hydraulic flipper (heh).
The Bulldog kit consists of the chassis, motherboard, small form factor power supply, and a customized Hydro H55F series closed loop liquid CPU cooler. From there, users need to bring their own processor, RAM, and storage devices. There is no operating system included with the kit, but it, being a full PC, supports Windows, Linux, and SteamOS et al.
As far as graphics cards, Corsair is offering several liquid cooled NVIDIA graphics cards (initially only from MSI with other AIB partner cards to follow) that are ready to be installed in the Bulldog PC. Currently, users can choose from the GTX TITAN X, GTX 980, and GTX 970.
Alternatively, Corsair is offering a $99 (MSRP) upgrade kit for existing graphics cards with its Hydro H55 cooler and HG110 bracket.
The Bulldog case supports Mini ITX form factor motherboards and it appears that Corsair is including the Asus Z97I-Plus which is a socket 1150 board supporting Haswell-based Core processors, DDR3 memory, M.2 (though you have to take the board out of the case to install the drive since the slot is on the underside of the board), a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, four SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, and the usual fare of I/O options including USB 3.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and optical and analog audio outputs (among others).
A mini ITX motherboard paired with the small from factor Corsair H55F CPU cooler (left) and the internal layout of the Bulldog case with all components installed (right).
User purchased processors are cooled by the included liquid cooler which is a customized Hydro series cooler that mounts over the processor and exhausts air blower style out of the back of the case. The system is powered by the pre-installed 600W Corsair FS600 power supply. The PSU is mounted in the front of the system and the graphics card radiator and fan are mounted horizontally beside it. Along the left side of the case are mounts for a single 2.5" drive and a single 3.5" drive.
GPU manufacturers will be selling card with liquid coolers pre-installed. Users can also upgrade existing air cooled graphics cards with an optional upgrade kit.
The liquid cooling aspect of the Bulldog is neat and, according to Corsair, is what is enabling them to cram so much hardware together into a relatively small case while enabling thermal headroom for overclocking and quieter operation versus air coolers.
I am curious how well the CPU cooler performs especially as far as noise levels go with the compacted and shrouded design. Also, while there is certainly plenty of ventilation along the sides of the case to draw in cool air, I'm interested in how well the GPU HSF will be able to exhaust the heat since there are no top grilles.
Corsair is marketing the Bulldog as the next step up from your typical Steam Machine and game console and the first 4K capable gaming PC designed for the living room. Further, it would be a nice stepping stone for console gamers to jump into PC gaming.
From the press release:
“Bulldog is designed to take the 4K gaming experience delivered by desktop gaming PCs, and bring it to the big 4K screens in the home,” said Andy Paul, CEO of Corsair Components. “We knew we needed to deliver a solution that was elegant, powerful, and compact. By leveraging our leading expertise in PC case design and liquid cooling, we met that goal with Bulldog. We can’t wait to unleash it on gamers this fall.”
The Bulldog DIY PC kit is slated for an early Q4 2015 launch with a MSRP of $399. After adding in a processor, memory, storage, and graphics, Corsair estimates a completed build to start around $940 with liquid cooled graphics ($600 without a dedicated GPU) and tops out at $2,250.
Keep in mind that the lowest tier liquid cooled GPU at launch will be the MSI GTX 970 (~$340). Users could get these prices down a bit with some smart shopping and component selection along with the optional $99 upgrade kit for other GPU options. It is also worth considering that the Bulldog is being positioned as a 4K gaming machine. If you were willing to start off with a 1080p setup, you could get buy with a cheaper graphics card and upgrade later along with your TV when 4K televisions are cheaper and more widespread.
At its core, $400 for the Bulldog kit (case, quality power supply, high end motherboard, and closed loop CPU cooler) is a decent value that just might entice some console gamers to explore the world of PC gaming (and to never leave following their first Steam sale heh)! It is a big commitment for sure at that price, but it looks like Corsair is using quality components and while there is surely the usual the small form factor part price premium (especially cases), it is far from obnoxious.
What do you think about the bulldog? Is it more bark than bite or is it a console killer?
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Storage | May 30, 2015 - 02:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, zbox, SFF, raid, mini server, media server
Zotac recently launched a new line of tiny ZBOX PCs under the new R Series that support two drive RAID 0 and RAID 1 setups. The series currently includes the ZBOX 1323 and ZBOX R1531. Both systems can be mounted vertically or horizontally and strongly resemble the company's existing ZBOX computers. The top and bottom panels are black with a silver bezel around the sides. A Zotac logo sits in the corner and a large blue circle sits in the center of the top.
The front panel hosts two audio jacks, an SDXC ard reader, COM port, IR reciever, and power button. Around back, the ZBOX boasts two antennas for the internal wireless module, two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs. A third USB 3.0 port sits along the top edge of this small form factor PC.
Internally, Zotac is using Intel processors, a small form factor motherboard with two SO-DIMM slots (up to 16 GB), a Mini PCI-E slot for the 802.11ac (plus Bluetooth 4.0) wireless card, and support for up to two 2.5" SATA drives. The motherboard supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD configurations for the SATA drives, and the R1531 SKU adds a mSATA slot for a third drive.
The ZBOX R1323 is equipped with a 11.5W dual core Intel (Haswell) Celeron 2961Y processor clocked at 1.1 GHz with 2MB cache and Intel HD Graphics clocked at up to 850 MHz. The ZBOX R1531 steps up to a 15W dual core (plus Hyperthreading) Broadwell-based Intel Core i3-5010U clocked at 2.1 GHz with HD 5500 graphics clocked at up to 900 MHz.
Both versions will be offered as barebones systems and the R1531 is additionally be sold in a PLUS model that comes with a 64GB mSATA SSD and 4GB of RAM pre-installed.
The new ZBOX R Series PCs would make for a nice home server with a mSATA drive for the OS and two storage drives in a RAID 1 for redundancy. The Core i3 should be plenty of horsepower for streaming media, running backups, running applications, and even some light video transcoding. The included COM port will also make it suitable for industrial applications, but I think this is mostly going to appeal to home and small business users.
Zotac has not yet revealed pricing or availability though. Hopefully we are able to find out more about these mini PCs at Computex!
Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2015 - 07:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Cherry Trail, SFF, pentium, nuc, Intel, celeron, Braswell, Airmont
Reports around the web along with this Intel PDF point to the official launch of a new low power NUC coming next month. The NUC5CPYH and NUC5PPYH are powered by Braswell-based Intel Celeron and Pentium processors topping out at 6W TDPs.
These new NUC models have room for a motherboard, Braswell processor, a single laptop memory slot, a Mini PCI-E slot for the wireless module, and one 2.5" hard drive or SSD. There is no support for mSATA here which likely helped Intel cut costs (and as Olivier from FanlessTech points out mSATA support was dropped around the time of NUC 2.0). Further, unlike the lower power (4W versus 6W TDP) Braswell-based ASRock PC (which is also SFF but not a NUC), the two Intel NUCs are surely actively cooled by a fan.
On the outside of the compact PC, users have access to two USB 3.0 ports (one charging capable 5V/3A), a headphone/mic jack, infrared receiver, and SDXC memory card reader on the front. The rear panel hosts an additional two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, Gigabit LAN port, and optical audio output. The PC also has a Kensington lock port and is VESA moutable.
Internally, Intel has opted for two of the highest power Braswell processors, the Intel Celeron N3050 and Intel Pentium N3700. Both are 14nm chips with a 6W TDP with Airmont CPU cores and Intel HD Graphics. The N3050 is a dual core part clocked at up to 2.16 GHz (1.6 GHz base) with 2MB cache and HD Graphics clocked between 320 and 600 MHz. The Pentium N3700 model on the other hand features four CPU cores clocked at up to 2.4 GHz (1.6 GHz base) paired with HD Graphics clocked at 700 MHz (400 MHz base).
Both the NUC5CPYH and NUC5PPYH will reportedly be available on June 8th starting at $140 and $180 respectively. This is an interesting price point for NUCs though it's popularity is going to heavily depend on the Braswell CPU's performance especially with Bay Trail-powered versions still on the market for even less (though with less performance).
Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2015 - 03:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, x86 emulator, eltechs
Eltechs has been very successful at building emulators for the Raspberry Pi, until now focusing on the newer ARMv7 versions of the low cost systems. They have just finalized support for previous versions of the the Pi running ARMv6, reputedly at speeds almost matching the code running on native hardware. If you are developing on the Raspberry Pi or Pi 2 you should follow the links on the Slashdot article as there is currently a sale on the ExaGear Desktop software, $14.95 for the Pi 2 and $9.95 for the Pi.
"Russia-based Eltechs announced its ExaGear Desktop virtual machine last August, enabling Linux/ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs to run x86 software. That meant that users of the quad-core, Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, could use it as well, although the software was not yet optimized for it. Now Eltechs has extended ExaGear to support earlier ARMv6 versions of the Raspberry Pi."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Avago buys Raspberry Pi chipmaker Broadcom in landmark $37bn deal @ The Inquirer
- Google's Cardboard 2.0 virtual reality device is a triumph for humanity, said no one sane, ever @ The Register
- Micro Focus looks to COBOL future with Java, .NET and Linux integration @ The Inquirer
- .sucks-gate: How about listening to us the first two times, exasperated FTC tells ICANN @ The Register
- The Canon EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R & XC10 Technology Report @ Tech ARP
Subject: General Tech | May 28, 2015 - 12:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: touchscreen, sprout, scanner, Realsense 3D, idea builder, hp, dremel, 3d printer
HP's Sprout is a 23" 1080p touchscreen all-in-one PC powered by a Core-i7 4790S and a GT 745A, fairly run of the mill as far as that form factor goes, but it also includes the so called HP Illuminator. That device is part of the stand and sits above the top of the screen, it has a DLP projector paired with an Intel RealSense 3D camera as well as a more traditional 14.6MP camera. The DLP projector is used to project a virtual workspace onto a 20-point capacitive touch mat placed in in front of the Sprout, not only increasing the area you have to work in but offering some unique interface options.
With the RealSense camera you can easily scan 3D objects and save them as .obj files which makes the partnership with Dremel make more sense, scan a real life object and then start printing it from their 3D printer, the Idea Creator. The touch mat will also work with the Adonit Jot Pro stylus included with the system for those who prefer to use one when creating and can also help with creating in so called blended reality. MAKE has a video of the device that will have you making 3D objects like you were a Dimac master named Barry. For our overseas readers, if you happen to have an HP store somewhere near you then you can pop in and try the Sprout to see if it is as impressive as it sounds.
"It’s a powerful concept, and today at MakerCon, HP’s Sprout division (a MakerCon and Maker Faire sponsor) announced a partnership with Dremel to help move toward a full-cycle approach. Dremel’s 3D printer, the thousand-dollar Idea Builder, was featured in Make:‘s 3D printing issue last year, and performed well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Computer Chips Made of Wood Promise Greener Electronics @ Slashdot
- TSMC to beat Samsung in 10nm race @ DigiTimes
- Silicon rumour-mill says Avago's next acquisition target is Broadcom @ The Register
- Microsoft tosses Office, Skype portball to 20 Android makers @ The Register
- iPhone 7 release date, rumours, price and specs @ The Inquirer
- From Gates to FPGA’s – Part 1: Basic Logic @ Hack a Day
- Netgear Powerline 1200 @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 28, 2015 - 02:04 AM | Ken Addison
Shortly after the keynote at Lenovo Tech World today,we got hands on with the Dual-Screen Smartwatch concept, the Magic View.
The Magic View is an Android Wear device, which integrates a unique “virtual interactive display" via a small prism on the watch band. Users must bring the device up to their face and look through the prism to see a secondary display for tasks such as video viewing.
Looking inside the Magic View reminded us a lot of Google Glass. As you put your eye up to the prism on the watch band, you could see what looked like a display off in the distance. It was difficult to determine the relative size, but Lenovo claims this display is 20x bigger than the display on the smartwatch itself. Resolution was also undetermined, but it seemed to be low and about on par with the original Google Glass units.
The device itself was a bit warm and the additional display unit added some bulk, but these weren't immediate deal breakers. The design was still ergonomic and seemed like something that you wouldn't have an issue wearing all-day long.
This is definitely an early concept, but the fact that Lenovo are showing off demo units here means that they are serious about the ideas presented in the Magic View. If additional development can solve some of the heat issues, it seems like this would be a feature that doesn't detract from the core use of the device and can provide a potentially value new interaction method.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 10:55 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: wearable, tech world, smartwatch, smartphone, smart cast, magic view, lenovo tech world, Lenovo, concept
Today at the Lenovo Tech World keynote presentation, Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius took the opportunity to show some of the far reaching concepts for smartphones and smartwatches.
The Magic View smartwatch is a stylish, round smartwatch reminiscent of the Moto 360 that seems from the concept renderings to be based around Android Wear. However, the uniqueness comes from what Lenovo is claiming makes it the only smartwatch with two screens.
Optical reflection is used inside of a portion of the strap in order to project a second “virtual interactive display” more than 20 times larger than the integrated display. This is made possible through Lenovo-designed silicon aimed at miniaturizing the components for this type of projection while maintaining the same performance.
Lenovo claims this secondary screen will be useful for things like maps, as well as photo and video viewing, but it be remains to be seen if users would favor a virtual display like this over simply using their existing smartphone display. Privacy is also a big part of what Lenovo is pitching with the Magic View. Since users must place the lens portion next to their eye, other people in the same area cannot look over their shoulders and view potientially sensitive information.
The Lenovo Smart Cast concept plays on a similar idea as the Magic View. Through the use of a build in laser projector, as well as specialized sensors, Lenovo aims at allowing users to project a large virtual touch screen onto tabletop surfaces.
With the use of infrared sensors, users can touch the surface underneath the projection and interact just as if it were a physical display. Lenovo points towards this being useful for such applications as virtual keyboards in productivity apps, or even for media control of projected movies and light gaming such as Fruit Ninja.
The projected display is also independent of the smartphone display, allowing things such as two separate views for video chatting applications.
It remains to be seen if these concepts will ever actually make it into production devices, and if those devices will ever hit North America, but it's always interesting to see what R&D divisions of large companies like Lenovo are up to.
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2015 - 10:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: miracast, media streaming, Lenovo Cast, Lenovo, DLNA
Lenovo has announced their first media-streaming device, and the pocket-sized streamer works with both DLNA and Miracast enabled mobile devices.
Lenovo describes the process of connecting the new Cast device, which should be familiar to those already using devices such as the Google Chromecast:
Lenovo Cast works in three simple steps: plug, link and play. First, plug Lenovo Cast into any large screen device’s HDMI port. Then link Lenovo Cast to the device’s signal. Then play and enjoy media from a DLNA or Miracast-enabled tablet or smartphone.
The pocket-sized Lenovo Cast resembles a hockey puck
The Lenovo Cast boasts dual-frequency Wi-Fi and ransfers content up to 20 meters. Pricing is in line with other streaming options as well, as it will be available in August for $49.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 10:00 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: windows 10, reachit, microsoft, Lenovo, cortana
Yesterday during briefings at Lenovo’s North Campus just outside of Beijing, the Contextual Computing group took the opportunity to discuss their unique integration of a technology called REACHit with Cortana on Windows 10.
REACHit is an indexing program that Lenovo has developed which is aimed at helping users find their documents among many different services and contexts. Once you authenticate REACHit with your accounts such as Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, or your local computers, Lenovo makes an index of the files which you keep there to help you more easily locate what you are looking for.
The most unique feature of REACHit comes in how you issue a search query. Lenovo has developed multiple contexts which they think will be useful in locating files, such as File Type, File Actions, Location, Calendar Events, and time frames. They are indexing the files you give them access to for these specific prompts, and hoping to present them in a more useful fashion.
One of the examples we were walked through involved the prompt, “Where is the presentation I was working on at Starbucks last week?”. In this case, Lenovo is looking at the file types (PPT), whether or not a file was Saved/Opened, the geolocation which this occurred at, and the time frame at which these operations took place.
We didn’t see a live demo of these searches working, and haven’t had hands-on time with the software yet so it’s hard to say if Lenovo has succeeded at their goal, but the technology seems like an interesting solution to a common problem.
There are also security concerns about giving Lenovo access to all of your files, and letting them build an index your metadata. We have been told there is encryption being handled on Lenovo’s server side, but they couldn’t get into any further details about this.
REACHit at this point is purely integrated with Microsoft’s Cortana in Windows 10, and there is no other option for running a search or external API access. Lenovo expects REACHit to be available at the Windows 10 launch for Lenovo machines only, and is currently opening sign-ups for the private beta at Cortanareachit.com
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 08:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: overwatch, E3 2015, E3, blizzard
Various companies have begun teasing what we might see at this year's E3 expo. Blizzard has not historically had a big presence at the event, though. With the size and scope of Blizzcon, the company usually saves it announcements for then. In fact, I cannot think of a single, non-trivial thing that Blizzard did at E3 since the expo downsized after E3 2006.
This year, on the other hand, Blizzard will be present at AMD and PC Gamer's E3 show. The recent Overwatch previews could be leading up to this event, which takes place three weeks from yesterday. The recent video that I embed above, Tracer, is pretty interesting too. It shows how useful a light assault player could be if they don't obey the space-time continuum. The last two-thirds of the video show off an impressive kill streak.
Again, expect more E3 coverage leading up to the Expo on June 16th.
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2015 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, GTAV, VLAN party
[H]ard|OCP is concluding their series on GTA V graphical settings with a look at various anti-aliasing technologies and shadowing options. Their testing shows that TXAA has a much greater effect on textures than FXAA but that change is not necessarily a good thing for your textures. MSAA is not only less than effective in the game but also comes with a performance hit that makes it a rather unattractive option except in certain situations. They also cover AMD CHS and NVIDIA PCSS soft shadow technologies and the visual effects that high resolution shadows provide. If you are still tweaking your GTA V settings then head over to check the review out.
Make sure to head over to the Gaming forum if you haven't already as this Saturday May 30, starting at 10:00 AM ET it is the Fragging Frogs Virtual LAN party #10. You need to confirm your attendance in this thread if you want a shot at some of the many prizes being given out by AMD, Fractal Designs and maybe even other secret prizes. The thread also covers how to log into the TeamSpeak server as well as the gamut of games likely to be played; make sure you install any patches or mods before we kick off to maximize your gaming time.
"In our final look at Grand Theft Auto V we will look at image quality comparisons in this game. We will focus on the main graphics options that affect performance the most and we will get to the bottom of which soft shadow option is best to use. We will also find out if FXAA and TXAA affect texture quality."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ready Steady Splat: Carmageddon Leaves Early Access @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Large Amount of Star Citizen Art Assets Leaked @ Slashdot
- Normal Witcher 3 performance is possible on AMD GPUs @ HEXUS
- K Games teases sinister AAA sci-fi game called Advent @ HEXUS
- Wotcha: More Witcher 3 DLC Released For Free @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Double Fine Recover Iron Brigade, Ditch GFWL @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2015 - 12:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Purley, Intel, Skylake, Cannonlake, Grantley, Romley, knights landing
The Register has obtained a slide describing the next families of Xeon processor to be released by Intel, the Purley platform which includes Skylake. There are some interesting new developments, including on die interface for either 10Gb/sec Ethernet or 100Gb/sec Omni-Path fabrics which interested the participants at the HPC conference the slides were shown at. They also mentioned a brand new memory architecture which is described as offering four times the capacity and 500 times the speed than current NAND, all at a lower price per chip which is likely to be somewhat of an exaggeration on their part. There were also new Phi chips, including the long awaited Knights Landing and workstation chips for use outside the server room.
"A presentation given at a conference on high-performance computing (HPC) in Poland earlier this month appears to have yielded new insight into Intel's Xeon server chip roadmap.
A set of slides spotted by our sister site The Platform indicates that Chipzilla is moving toward a new server platform called "Purley" that will debut in 2017 or later."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung to create industry giant via mega merger with itself @ The Register
- Red Hat Fedora 22 leaves beta to become a Vagrant @ The Inquirer
- There's a Moose loose aboot this hoose: Linux worm hijacks Twitter feeds for spam slinging @ The Register
- A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2015 - 02:40 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, pcper live, logitechg, logitech, live, giveaway, contest
UPDATE: Did you miss our live stream yesterday? Sorry to hear that! But the good news is that you can still watch the showcase and hear the questions (and answers) on the LogitechG product line. Enjoy!
If you haven't looked up what LogitechG has done lately, you are missing out on some of the most interesting and innovative gaming accessories in the market. My reconnection with the Logitech brand started in July of last year when they sent over the G402 Hyperion Fury gaming mouse, a device with a pair of sensors capable of tracking speeds as high as 28.4 mph - seriously!
Since then the team has been releasing new products and updated software that shows a dedication and drive to the enthusiast and gaming markets. The company's Intelligent Illumination system, that allows game developers to change the colors and brightness of the G910 Orion Spark based on what is happening in the game. Is your health critical? Then maybe you want the keyboard lights to pulse bright red? Or maybe when you jump into a flying vehicle you would like to illuminate the appropriate control keys? All of this is possible.
Besides the cool technology they have to show off, the truth is that Chris, the LogitechG peripheral guru that will be joining me, knows almost everything about keyboards and mice and headsets (oh my!). If you have a question about a specific LogitechG product, or about mice and keyboard technologies in general, this is the guy to ask and the outlet to do it.
LogitechG Showcase, Q&A and Giveaway!!
12pm PT / 3pm ET - May 27th
Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!
And of course, what would a live stream like this be without some giveaways? Logitech is going to supply hardware to give out during the live stream so you are going to want to be in attendance for sure! But to help build up some excitement, we are going to be giving away combinations of the G402 Hyperion Fury mouse and G440 mousing pad every weekday between now and the live stream! To sign up for the daily giveaways, use the form below. And for a chance to win a whole lot more gaming hardware, make sure you tune in on May 27th at 3pm ET / 12pm PT!!
If you have questions for Chris from Logitech, about mice, keyboards, switches, RGB illumination, tracking technologies - anything - let us know in the comments!
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2015 - 12:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TSMC, Samsung, 10 nm FinFET
The race to 10nm FinFET production is still tight with TSMC expected to tape out their first parts towards the end of the year and Samsung today revealing a similar time line according to The Inquirer. Samsung has also confirmed they will be starting construction on a new plant in South Korea in 2017, which is a good move for the company considering their loss of the chip contract for the new iPhone to TSMC. With Samsung going almost full out on their 14nm FinFET lines for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge Apple had concerns that Samsung would not be able to keep up with demand and unfortunately GLOBALFOUNDRIES could not take advantage either as their yields are, to put it politely, lacking.
"SAMSUNG HAS REVEALED that it will soon begin production of its 10nm FinFET node, and that the chip will be in full production by the end of 2016."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks @ The Register
- Exploit Kit Delivers Pharming Attacks Against SOHO Routers @ Slashdot
- Mozilla finds a way to tunnel Firefox into iOS @ The Register
- UK government has ended Windows XP support payments @ The Inquirer
- Hisense launches new 4K ULED TVs @ DigiTimes
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway : Mi In-Ear Headphones
Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 26, 2015 - 01:18 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, fanless, Cherry Trail, Braswell, asrock
Earlier this month, ASRock showed off a tiny fanless computer it is calling the Beebox. Powered by an Intel Braswell SoC, the new small form factor Beebox offers up a decent selection of I/O ports and general desktop performance while sipping power. The Beebox is approximately the size of Intel's NUC measuring 118.5mm x 110mm x 46mm x (4.67" x 4.33" x 1.81" -- WxDxH) and will come in three color options: black, gold, and white.
This compact PC has a fairly extensive set of ports on tap. The front panel includes a headphone jack, infrared port, one standard USB 3.0 port, and a USB 3.0 Type-C port which supports 5V/3A charging. The rear panel hosts the power jack, two HDMI outputs, one DisplayPort output, two USB 3.0 ports, a Realtek-powered Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Kensington lock slot. Not bad for a small form factor PC.
ASRock will be offering the Beebox in three configuration options including a barebones kit, a version with 32 GB internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, and Windows 10, and a Beebox SKU with 128 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM (and no OS pre-installed). Each of the SKUs are powered by the same Intel Celeron N3000 Braswell SoC. From there, users can add a single 2.5" SATA drive and a Mini PCI-E card (although this slot is occupied by the included 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless module). The system uses two DDR3L SO-DIMMs and supports a maximum of 8 GB DDR3L at 1600 MHz.
The aspect that made the Beebox stand out to me was the inclusion of the Braswell-based Celeron N3000 processor. This 4W 14nm part features two Airmont CPU cores clocked at 1.04 GHz base and 2.08 GHz turbo paired with 2MB L2 cache and a Gen 8 Intel GPU clocked at up to 600 MHz. This is a desktop variant of the Cherry Trail chips being used in tablets, but it is the lowest TDP Braswell chip currently at a mere 4 watts. ASRock likely went with this chip to ensure they could passively cool it and still keep temperatures in check. As FanlessTech notes, the chassis ASRock is using leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to heat dissipation compared to other fanless cases on the market.
We will have to wait for reviews to see how well the Beebox and its Braswell processor perform, but so long as ASRock is able to keep thermals in check, the little PC should offer acceptable performance for general desktop tasks (browsing the internet, checking email, watching streaming videos, etc). Cherry Trail (and keep in mind Braswell is a higher power chip based on the same architectures) is promising noticeable improvements to graphics and at least slight improvements to CPU performance. According to ASRock, the Beebox is going to be priced aggressively at "very low" price points which should make it a good compromise between older Bay Trail-D systems and newer (and more expensive) Broadwell and Haswell systems.
The Beebox is slated for late June availability, with exact pricing to be announced at that time.
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2015 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: steering wheel, logitech, leak, input, Driving Force G29
A leak of Logitech's new wheel for gamers has shown up, designed to be compatible with the PS4 but also of interest to PC gamers who have picked up one or more of the recently released driving games. It looks to be based on the Driving Force GT and in the leaked pictures is a box for a shifter which could be good news for those who already own Logitech pedals and shifters as the are likely compatible with the new wheel. If your steering wheel is getting a bit beat up hold off on picking up a new one as the G29 could be out very soon.
Speaking of Logitech, don't forget to tune in on May 27th at 3pm ET / 12pm PT for a chance to learn about their new products and win a whole bunch of hardware, and use the form on this post for a chance to win a LogitechG G402 Mouse + G440 Mouse Pad every day until the live stream!
"The pictures first surfaced on Maxconsole.com, along with a copy of a certificate of approval, written in what appears to be Russian. There’s nothing to determine a launch date for the G29, but sometime during 2015 would be a reasonable expectation – people, including myself, have been vexing for a decent yet affordable setup for the Playstation 4 for some time now."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sentey Lumenata Pro SP @ Bjorn3d
- EVGA Torq X5 Optical gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Zalman ZM-GM4 Knossos Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Ozone Argon Advanced Pro Laser Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- CM Storm Mizar Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
- i-rocks Golem Series K50E gaming keyboard @ Kitguru
- Tesoro Lobera Spectrum @ Modders-Inc
- i-Rocks Golem Series K50E Scissor-Switch Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix/A>
- Turtle Beach Impact 500 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Turtle Beach Impact 700 Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix