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Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2015 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zune, microsoft
Much to the dismay of a certain PCPer, Zune is passing off this mortal coil as yet another iTunes killer that turned out not to live up to the creators hopes. As of November 15th Zune services will be retired which means no new music or streaming for owners of the MP3 player. You will still be able to play music as long as it is not DRM protected, once the licensing servers go down the protected content will no longer be accessible in yet another glaring example of how DRM hurts those who pay for content far more effectively than it prevents theft. The Register does have some good news for those dozens of people effected, Zune Music Pass subscriptions will be converted to Groove Music Pass subscriptions.
"Come November, Microsoft is killing off Zune – the very thing that was supposed to kill off the Apple iPod and iTunes. As you may be able to tell, that execution never came about."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2015 - 12:00 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: xps 12, video, TSMC, Steam Controller, r9 nano, podcast, pascal, nvidia, msi, hdplex h5, gtx 980ti sea hawk, fury x, Fiji, dell, corsair, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #367 - 09/17/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD R9 Nano, a Corsair GTX 980Ti, NVIDIA Pascal Rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:29:03
Week in Review:
0:03:45 The AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review
0:41:15 This week’s podcast is brought to you by Casper. Use code PCPER at checkout for $50 towards your order!
News item of interest:
1:06:25 More About HDPLEX H5
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 17, 2015 - 09:14 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: nvidia, msi, liquid cooled, GTX980Ti SEA HAWK, GTX 980 Ti, graphics card, corsair
We reported last night on Corsair's new Hydro GFX, a liquid-cooled GTX 980 Ti powered by an MSI GPU, and MSI has their own new product based on this concept as well.
"The MSI GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK utilizes the popular Corsair H55 closed loop liquid-cooling solution. The micro-fin copper base takes care of an efficient heat transfer to the high-speed circulation pump. The low-profile aluminum radiator is easy to install and equipped with a super silent 120 mm fan with variable speeds based on the GPU temperature. However, to get the best performance, the memory and VRM need top-notch cooling as well. Therefore, the GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK is armed with a ball-bearing radial fan and a custom shroud design to ensure the best cooling performance for all components."
The MSI GTX 980 Ti Sea Hawk actually appears identical to the Corsair Hydro GFX, and a looking through the specs confirms the similarities:
With a 1190 MHz Base and 1291 MHz Boost clock the SEA HAWK has the same factory overclock speeds as the Corsair-branded unit, and MSI is also advertising the card's potential to go further:
"Even though the GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK boasts some serious clock speeds out-of-the-box, the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility allows users to go even further. Explore the limits with Triple Overvoltage, custom profiles and real-time hardware monitoring."
I imagine the availability of this MSI branded product will be greater than the Corsair branded equivalent, but in either case you get a GTX 980 Ti with the potential to run as fast and cool as a custom cooled solution, without any of the extra work. Pricing wasn't immediately available this morning but expect something close to the $739 MSRP we saw with Corsair.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2015 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Lian Li, full tower, enclosure, cases, aluminum case
Looking for a super deluxe way to hold just about any size rig? Lian Li has a sophisticated looking option with the new X510 full-tower enclosure.
An all-aluminum case (of course - it's Lian Li!) with a no-nonsense design aesthetic and very roomy interior, the X510 still keeps a fairly trim profile thanks to the omission of 5.25-inch drive bays.
Here are some of the key features from Lian Li:
- Isolated air chambers for efficient cooling
- Fits huge components – 330mm VGA Card, 180mm CPU cooler, 245mm PSU length
- Eight expansion slots
- Support for eight total drives
- Tempered glass window for showing off hardware
- Included fan speed controller
The glass side window and included fan controller are nice touches, and while the X510 carries a steep MSRP it doesn't seem out of place for an all-alumimum case like this (depending on performance). So what is pricing/availability? The X510 should be available later in September for $399.
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2015 - 02:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: bittorrent, bittorrent sync, file sharing, backup files, file sync
BitTorrent, Inc. recently released a new version of its Sync application, Sync 2.2.1. This latest build introduces a new paid pricing model that is much more favorable towards personal users (more akin to the original alpha and beta versions), implements several bugfixes, and contains performance improvements over previous builds.
According to the developers, the pricing model changes in Sync 2.2+ are the result of user feedback on their forums, user surveys, and suggestions made via email and other channels. Sync will maintain the free and Pro tiers, but personal users will be getting more value. The biggest change for free users is the removal of the 10 folder limit – free licenses can create and access as many folders as they need. Sync Pro can be purchased for personal or business use. Personal use Pro licenses will no longer have access to Priority Support however it is a one time charge and there is no longer an annual subscription required. Business licenses for Sync Pro will continue to be based on an annual subscription and will retain access to Priority Support.
Only minor UI changes in the new build. Sync All has been renamed to Selective Sync and there are more buttons along the top bar, but otherwise it appears very similar to what you'd expect.
Of course, existing users can choose to keep their existing subscription(s) or switch to the new pricing model. More information on how to do that can be found in this FAQ. A detailed list of bugfixes and changes can be found here. Free users will notice that you can now see all of your connected devices. Users will also be able to see a list of locked files on a per-user basis now as well.
Sync Pro is now available for personal use for $39.99 and for business use at $39.99 per year per seat (up to 50 users). BitTorrent is offering a 25% discount until September 22, 2015 using the promo code 2.2launch.
I have been using Sync since the alpha builds, and it has been dutifully backing up all of my photos from my smartphone as well as periodically being used to sync files between my desktop and laptop. The free version has gotten a fair number of feature improvements along the way. So far, I have not felt the need to pay for the Pro version, but the removal of the yearly subscription requirement makes me much more inclined to check it out. The removal of the 10 folder limit for free users is huge though, as that artificial restriction likely turned off many users from trying out Sync. I am happy to see BitTorrent responding to user feedback.
See more BitTorrent Sync coverage at PC Perspective.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 16, 2015 - 09:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: nvidia, msi, liquid cooler, GTX 980 Ti, geforce, corsair, AIO
A GPU with attached closed-loop liquid cooler is a little more mainstream these days with AMD's Fury X a high-profile example, and now a partnership between Corsair and MSI is bringing a very powerful NVIDIA option to the market.
The new product is called the Hydro GFX, with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti supplying the GPU horsepower. Of course the advantage of a closed-loop cooler would be higher (sustained) clocks and lower temps/noise, which in turns means much better performance. Corsair explains:
"Hydro GFX consists of a MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti card with an integrated aluminum bracket cooled by a Corsair Hydro Series H55 liquid cooler.
Liquid cooling keeps the card’s hottest, most critical components - the GPU, memory, and power circuitry - 30% cooler than standard cards while running at higher clock speeds with no throttling, boosting the GPU clock 20% and graphics performance up to 15%.
The Hydro Series H55 micro-fin copper cooling block and 120mm radiator expels the heat from the PC reducing overall system temperature and noise. The result is faster, smoother frame rates at resolutions of 4K and beyond at whisper quiet levels."
The factory overclock this 980 Ti is pretty substantial out of the box with a 1190 MHz Base (stock 1000 MHz) and 1291 MHz Boost clock (stock 1075 MHz). Memory is not overclocked (running at the default 7096 MHz), so there should still be some headroom for overclocking thanks to the air cooling for the RAM/VRM.
A look at the box - and the Corsair branding
Specs from Corsair:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU with Maxwell 2.0 microarchitecture
- 1190/1291 MHz base/boost clock
- Clocked 20% faster than standard GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards for up to a 15% performance boost.
- Integrated liquid cooling technology keeps GPU, video RAM, and voltage regulator 30% cooler than standard cards
- Corsair Hydro Series H55 liquid cooler with micro-fin copper block, 120mm radiator/fan
- Memory: 6GB GDDR5, 7096 MHz, 384-bit interface
- Outputs: 3x DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, and Dual Link DVI
- Power: 250 watts (600 watt PSU required)
- Requirements: PCI Express 3.0 16x dual-width slot, 8+6-pin power connector, 600 watt PSU
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 4.376 inches
- Warranty: 3 years
- MSRP: $739.99
As far as pricing/availability goes Corsair says the new card will debut in October in the U.S. with an MSRP of $739.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 16, 2015 - 06:29 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, kryographics, GPU Water Block, copper, aqua computer
AMD officially launched its R9 Nano graphics card last week, and aftermarket coolers are already starting to ship. German-based Aqua Computer is the first company to offer a custom cooler for AMD’s pint-sized powerhouse. The Kryographics R9 Nano is a full cover water block that takes the already tiny card to a single slot design.
The Kryographics R9 Nano cooler is a machined copper block that covers the entire PCB and is paired to the VRMs using thermal pads and the GPU (and HBM) using thermal compound. The single slot cooler comes in two options including a see-through translucent ruby colored acrylic glass variant and a version with a brushed stainless steel top cover. In all cases, the block itself is all copper with microchannels over the GPU portion.
The cooler uses standard G1/4 threading on the ports and is compatible with CrossFire multi-GPU watercooled setups by removing the terminating screws and adding ports on the oppposite side of the card..
According to Aqua Computer, the Kryographics cooler was able to keep the R9 Nano GPU under 35 degrees C throughout their testing using Furmark. It will be interesting to see if the new cooler would allow the chips to maintain higher clockspeeds, especially with the power target maxed out in CCC. The need to fit a radiator, pump, and tubing in the case does while still needing to use a Nano (in lieu of a Fury X) makes this a niche within a niche product, but I’m sure some enthusiast will find a use for it!
The Kryographics R9 Nano is available for purchase now (though there is currently a shipping delay of 10 days). The base version without the see-through window has an MSRP of 89.90 EUR while the Kryographics Acrylic Glass Edition has a slight premium at 99.90 EUR. (At the time of writing, that pricing works out to about $102 and $113 USD respectively.)
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2015 - 02:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fallout 4
You can still enjoy the lead up to the release of Fallout 4 without pre-ordering the game. Bethesda is slowly releasing videos which cover the SPECIAL system, Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck that define your character in the game. So far we have seen Strength and today the Perception video was released. We have a ways to go yet before the release, you could always look at adding mods to Fallout 3 or New Vegas to entertain yourself while you wait.
"Pretty fun, these ‘toons, aren’t they? For folks who can’t watch now or would rather have words, Perception once again governs shooty things. Higher Perception means your accuracy will be higher when using the bodypart-targeting VATS aiming mode, same as before."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Humble Total War Bundle lets you wage war to help charity @ HEXUS
- Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Until Dawn, Hearthstone expansion and more @ The Register
- What Does Kickstarter Mean in 2015? @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- RPS Feature Foot-To-Face Blood Bowl 2 Is Beautiful, Brutal And Improved @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Need for Speed PC delayed until Spring 2016 @ HEXUS
- Command & Conquer Red Alert™ 2 and Yuri’s Revenge, On the House @ Origin
- Ship-Shape: Battlefleet Gothic – Armada In-Game Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2015 - 12:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hack, smartphone, Android, security
You can see in the video that The Register linked to that this particular vulnerability is neither quick nor elegant but it is most certainly effective. By entering an extremely long string of digits into the password field, accomplished with multiple copies and pastes, while the camera app is active you can cause the lock screen application to crash on all but the newest version of Android 5. Unfortunately the effect of that crash is to drop you onto the phones home screen, thus allowing complete access to the phone. If you are running a version of Android 5 you should consider switching to a PIN or pattern unlock, at least for the time being.
"If you've got an Android 5 smartphone with anything but the very latest version of Lollipop on it, it's best to use a PIN or pattern to secure your lock-screen – because there's a trivial bypass for its password protection."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD appoints Belenkiy as new EMEA channel boss @ The Register
- Microsoft doles out advice on how we should have prevented Windows 10 'updategate' @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft quietly adds Windows 10 Start menu to Windows RT @ The Inquirer
- Your Best Bets for Video Playback in Linux @ Linux.com
- How To Convert Media Files in Linux @ Linux.com
- 'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...' @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 16, 2015 - 09:16 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: TSMC, Samsung, pascal, nvidia, hbm, graphics card, gpu
According to a report by BusinessKorea TSMC has been selected to produce the upcoming Pascal GPU after initially competing with Samsung for the contract.
Though some had considered the possibility of both Samsung and TSMC sharing production (albeit on two different process nodes, as Samsung is on 14 nm FinFET), in the end the duties fall on TSMC's 16 nm FinFET alone if this report is accurate. The move is not too surprising considering the longstanding position TSMC has maintained as a fab for GPU makers and Samsung's lack of experience in this area.
The report didn't make the release date for Pascal any more clear, naming it "next year" for the new HBM-powered GPU, which will also reportedly feature 16 GB of HBM 2 memory for the flagship version of the card. This would potentially be the first GPU released at 16 nm (unless AMD has something in the works before Pascal's release), as all current AMD and NVIDIA GPUs are manufactured at 28 nm.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 15, 2015 - 02:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: HDPLEX, h5, fanless
FanlessTech has another look at the HDPLEX H5. Their last preview did not have pictures of the case itself, so I needed to use a photo of the previous model when I wrote up our coverage of it. This time, seven whole months later, we have more details. It will weigh eight kilograms, its supported CPU cooling performance has been bumped up five watts to 95W TDP, and it will mini-ITX, microATX, and even full ATX motherboards.
Image Credit: FanlessTech
The chassis has 16 heat pipes connected from the case, which acts as a heatsink, to the internal components -- eight pipes to the CPU and eight to the discrete GPU (if installed). This makes it an effective home theater PC case, accepting CPUs up to the Intel Core i7-6700K (which is 95W). The same number of heat pipes go to the GPU, but that TDP is not listed. If it is similar to the CPU's 95W limit, that doesn't go too far in GPU land. Don't expect to passively cool a 980 Ti or anything. Still a discrete GPU of any magnitude is a nice addition to a fanless PC.
Image Credit: FanlessTech
One minor point before we close out, HDPLEX will apparently support custom aluminum power buttons and face plates. It's a small novelty but it could be nice if the system is in a visible location.
The HDPLEX H5 doesn't have a release date yet, but its price will apparently be under $300.
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2015 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, AiZO, EXO1-K, gaming mouse
Not everyone can, or even wants, to spend $100 on a mouse which prices out a lot of the high end gaming mice on the market. At $30 the AiZO EXO1-K might be a perfect solution for those customers, offering a mix of features with a low price. Fans of glowing mice will like the LEDs, many gamers will be satisfied with the DPI range of 1250 - 3500 and six programmable buttons will be just enough for your average user. Overclockers Club found the mouse a bit heavy and the movement was stiff initially but not hard to become accustomed to. Only right handed people need apply at the moment, hopefully a leftie model will arrive eventually.
"This mouse, above all, you get what you pay for. It's not a $100 mouse that does everything but order pizza for you. It is not a cheap garbage mouse that only works half the time, either. What you get is a reliable, aesthetically pleasing, and simple gaming mouse. That being mentioned, this gives the mouse every bit of credit that some of the more expensive mice deserve as well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mionix Castor Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Mionix Castor Optical Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Mionix Castor Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Scuf Gaming 4PS Professional PlayStation 4 Controller @ eTeknix
- Poseidon Z Plus @ Modders-Inc
- Tesoro Lobera Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
- Cherry Strait Black Corded Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Tt eSports Poseidon Z Forged Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | September 15, 2015 - 01:07 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: VR, virtual reality, Tilt Brush, PAX Prime 2015, paint, nvidia, art
A group of six artists from the gaming industry were brought together at this month's PAX Prime event in Seattle in a joint vebture between NVIDIA, Valve, Google and HTC. The idea? To use virtual reality to create art. The result was very interesting, to say the least.
Wearing HTC’s VR headset the artists had 30 minutes each to create their work using Tilt Brush. What is Tilt Brush, exactly?
"Tilt Brush uses the HTC Vive’s unique hand controllers and positional tracking to allow artists to paint in three dimensions. The software includes a remarkable digital palette, letting users draw GPU-powered real-time effects like fire, smoke and light."
The artists included Chandana Ekanayake from Uber Entertainment, Lee Petty from Double Fine Productions, Michael Shilliday from Whiterend Creative, Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade, Sarah Northway from Northway Games and Tristan Reidford from Valve.
NVIDIA is hosting a contest to pick the winner on their Facebook page; so what's in it for you? "The artist with the most votes will win ultimate bragging rights, and voters will be entered to win a new GeForce GTX 980 Ti!" Not bad.
This is certainly a novel application of VR, but serves to illustrate (pun intended) that the tech really does provide endless possibilities - far beyond 3D art or gameplay immersion.
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2015 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, Intel, hack
Intel is bucking the trend of FUD and overreaction when someone reveals a major flaw in a product that is on the market and are instead rewarding those who find ways to hack their automobiles. As we have seen recently, remotely exploiting onboard software and causing a car to crash is no longer something only possible in the movies and it seems that Intel is far more interested in working towards secure solutions as opposed to the auto manufacturers reliance on lawsuits and security through obscurity. Intel's Automotive Security Review Board is looking for bright minded individuals who will help bring PC style security to cars and is offering a free car (or cash equivalent) to the member who provides the best contribution. Check out the links at The Register if you are interested.
"Intel is getting serious – dead serious, apparently – about car hacking. And nothing says serious like a prize giveaway. If you join Chipzilla's new Automotive Security Review Board and make all the right noises, you can win a free new ride."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Molecular solders help make high-performance FETs @ Nanotechweb
- 8K monitors from Sharp to roll out in October, say report @ DigiTimes
- Implanted Cisco routers are coming after you and your insecurities @ The Inquirer
- Netgear ProSAFE Click 16-Port Ethernet Switch @ techPowerUp
- Epson 4630 Home Printer Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 14, 2015 - 05:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, Zero Delay Power Monitoring System, ZDPMS, PSU
On its face the Enermax ZDPMS software seems a brilliant idea, giving you detailed real time information on your PSU and what it is currently doing. You can watch each rail separately with values for both current and voltage being displayed, the overall draw on your PSU and its current efficiency rating as well as setting Over Current Protection values. There are some flies in the ointment, not the least of which is that as of this moment the software supports the Enermax Digifanless 550W PSU ...and that is the end of the current list of supported models. The current version of the software also let [H]ard|OCP set OCP and OVP values at which the PSU should trip an alarm and reduce or shut off power, which was not exactly what happened when [H] tried an admittedly nasty trick on the PSU. The review is not all negative and there are some hints of what this software could aspire to as it matures, you should read the whole review right here.
"One area that has been somewhat overlooked when it comes to PC desktop system power supplies is monitoring software. There have been some attempts in the past, but those have been somewhat anemic. Enermax is looking to change that with its new Zero Delay Power Monitoring System."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cyonic AU-650x 650W Compact Power Supply @ [H]ard|OCP
- FSP Aurum 92+ 650W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Cyonic AU-650x Full Modular PSU @ Kitguru
- SilverStone SX600-G SFX Series @ eTeknix
- be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 550W @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | September 14, 2015 - 04:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ECS, LIVA X2, SFF, Braswell, Intel
The new LIVA X2 ships with a Braswell N3050, either 2GB or 4GB of DDR3 and either 32GB or 64GB eMMC local storage. That new chip brings much better support for peripherals, such as M.2 cards of up to 1TB in size, three USB 3.0 port, HDMI and D-Sub as well as a combo audio port and even internal microphones. For connectivity, you can choose a mix of LAN cable, WiFi a/c and Bluetooth 4.0. You can see the inside of the device as well as performance results over at Mad Shrimps.
"The Braswell-equipped LIVA X2 is a much needed improvement over the original LIVA which brings more USB ports to the table, the ability to install a M.2 SSD up to 1TB for increased storage capacity while keeping a small footprint and very low power consumption (8.8W IDLE, 19.71W Full Load). Despite the new generation SoC, we have seen that its arithmetic performance is very close to the original LIVA, while the 3D one has been increased."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Review @ OCC
- Nvidia's Shield Android TV @ The Tech Report
- DinoPC Raptor Watercooled System @ Kitguru
- itGuru Complete Guide to Workstations – Part 4
- TechPowerUp $800 Build Guide
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2015 - 02:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: smartphones, Android
In the model used by Purdue University they found that 45.9% of your battery's charge is drained by apps which access resources while your screen is turned off and that 28.9% of that is because of bad programming in apps which refuse to let the CPU go back to sleep. Being able to prevent the launch of the apps, or to ensure that they do properly release resources when finished could therefore extend your battery life. They have modified Android framework to do so in this proof of concept available at GitHub, it is not an app yet so you will need to be familiar with the Android OS to test it out now. Check out the their paper at The Register, modify your phone or simply wait for the app to be released.
"Too many Android apps are battery hogs when the screen is off, so researchers at Purdue University have released to a tool to shut them up."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 187: Opening the Zbox and a bunch of new Apples
- OpenWrt gets update in face of FCC's anti-flashing push @ The Register
- TSMC secures A10 chip orders from Apple, says report @ DigiTimes
- Intel launches Automotive Security Review Board to tackle hacks on connected cars @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft faces growing calls for transparency over Windows 10 updates @ The Inquirer
- Seagate layoffs SHOCKER: 1,000 heads to be laid under the axe @ The Register
- 3D printer blueprints for TSA luggage-unlocking master keys leak online @ The Register
- Netis WF2190 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter @ eTeknix
- Hats off to Nintendo’s platform supremo Super Mario Bros at 30 @ The Register
Subject: Systems | September 14, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xps 12, thunderbolt 3, Surface Pro, dell
So Microsoft got a form factor right when they designed the Surface and Surface Pro tablets. The concept is basically a tablet with a kickstand that can be attached magnetically to a keyboard at the bottom. We are seeing a few OEMs do their own versions, although some question whether it is imitation or a license from Microsoft.
Image Credit: Giga
One such device is the Dell XPS 12, and it has some fairly interesting components according to a leak from Giga. This tablet has a 4K screen with 400 nits of brightness, which is useful for outdoor viewing. It is supposedly compatible with the Dell Active Stylus. This pen apparently has good reviews, but it takes AAAA batteries (not a typo). They might be difficult to find when you need them once every two to three months. The keyboard is backlit, but I'm not sure if it can be used as a cover.
The most interesting addition is Thunderbolt 3, though. The standard uses the USB Type-C connector and supports 40 Gbps along with several other features. We don't know what processor it will use, but Skylake seems likely even though it's not required for Thunderbolt 3. It would seem silly to have new technology paired with older processors though, unless they had a surplus of something.
The Dell XPS 12 is rumored to launch in October, but nothing official and no pricing yet.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | September 13, 2015 - 08:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, Steam Controller, steam
As far as I can tell, this video is not from a larger organization. I sent OMGChad a tweet to verify that he was at PAX as an independent YouTube personality, but I didn't get a response. I couldn't recognize the intro bumper, and it didn't seem to be in use on any of his other videos, or any other PAX video that I could find, but it seemed like a significant amount of work for a one-off. If someone in the comments knows anything, be sure to leave a note.
Update, Sept 14th, 2015: OMGChad has just responded to my tweet. He was there "for myself and @MindcrackLP". Again, it's a minor point, but it's something that I should get correct if possible.
As for the story, OMGChad talks with Robin Walker, the man who takes responsibility for all the hats in TF2, about the Steam Controller in Alienware's booth at PAX Prime 2015. After several delays, the input device is scheduled to launch on November 10th (which will be a busy day apparently). It has changed significantly over time, with early prototypes even playing around with a touch screen. The two touch pads, while markers on them have changed from concentric rings to a cross on the left and nothing on the right, were relatively close to their original concept.
Robin Walker goes over the main design decisions and what rationale led to them. For instance, the reason for the grips on the back is because they found that people were taking their thumbs off of the view stick for just a couple of actions, such as reload or “use”. He also discusses the dual-stage triggers, which have a button at the end for secondary actions (like a nitro boost at the end of your throttle). It is somewhat expected that a representative for a company selling a controller would highlight what makes their product unique, but it's nice to have that extra behind-the-scenes insight.
The Steam Controller will launch on November 10th for $49.99 USD ($59.99 CDN). There was an option to pre-order to get it early, but the early batch is over so -- let's be honest -- you don't need me to tell you what you already did.
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2015 - 04:14 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: starcraft 2, pc gaming, legacy of the void, blizzard
It has been more than five years since Wings of Liberty was released, which itself was a long-awaited continuation of the StarCraft story. The first game and its expansion had their narrative cut into six episodes, three each, that were released all at once. The three episodes of StarCraft II, on the other hand, were decoupled into the original game and two follow-ups. The third and final one, which focuses on the Protoss, will arrive on November 10th, 2015.
Representatives from Blizzard have said, multiple times, that Legacy of the Void will wrap up the story arc for the main characters. The story may continue, but we should get a solid conclusion. The release date announcement came with a cinematic trailer, above, showing the Protoss holding off against the Zerg. There doesn't seem to be much story in it at first glance, but Blizzard is quite subtle about meanings. Some questions, like who exactly they are fighting and why, might be addressed in the story.
So that's what it looks like to them...
This announcement aligned with the finals of WCS Season 3, which is the last season before Blizzcon. Apart from the two sister tournaments in South Korea, GSL and SSL, there is just one Blizzard-counted tournament remaining, which is DreamHack Open in Stockholm, Sweden. WCS Season 3 was won by Lilbow, a Protoss player from France, which propels him from 18th place to
at most 8th Update Sept 13th @ 8:40pm ET (Part of the points were already accounted for apparently): 13th, minus a few positions once everyone's points are accounted for. Since the top 16 make it to the year's global finals at Blizzcon, this is enough buffer room to guarantee a spot at the tournament.