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Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2014 - 03:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: warhammer 40k, Imperial Guard, Adeptus Astartes, gaming, armageddon
Somehow Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon managed to sneak under the radar but it has just been released by the gang that brought you Panzer Corps; Slitherine, Strategic Simulations Inc and Matrix Games. You will take part in the Second War of Armageddon when Warboss Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka invaded the planet with a Space Hulk quite successfully thanks to that inept waste of skin, Overlord Herman von Strab. With over 30 scenarios in the main game, not including the training missions, this game will last strategy game fans for quite a while thanks to the replayability of this type of game, not even considering multiplayer nor mods. The multiplayer will allow you to play as the Legio Metalica, Salamanders, Blood Angels and Ultramarines or you can control the Orc forces. If you love Gargants, Titans and a good Waaaaaaaaugh! then you need to check this out over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
No word on if there will be Squats present.
"It’s a serious-looking turn-based strategy game by the folks behind Panzer Corps, recreating the Second War of Armageddon across a big campaign with hundreds of different units and variants. And it’s out now. Come watch some orks get squished in an hour of livestreamed action."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Far Cry 4 Review @ OCC
- Campaign For A Better Memory Of Crysis 1 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dragon Age Inquisition Review: Roaring Back To Life @ Techgage
- Assassin's Creed: Victory confirmed for autumn 2015 @ HEXUS
- Car-To-Ball: Rocket League @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Win a PlayStation 4 with HEXUS and Seagate
Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2014 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows xp, Windows 8.1, microsoft
Now that the average consumer has no choice but to buy a machine with Windows 8 or 8.1, the number of PCs running Win 8.1 has hit 10%. The increase beginning in November represents the official end of the availability of machines with Win7 preinstalled although you can see that this has not had much effect on the number of Win7 machines still running. The majority of users seem to be switching from WinXP which reached its extended EoL in April of this year. The other main point to take away from the data that The Register linked to is that those who bought Windows Vista are a stubborn crew, the number of desktops running Vista have dropped 2% but there are still a fair number of machines running the much maligned OS.
"Windows 8.1 broke the global 10 per cent market-share barrier a year after general release, and has now hit 10.95 per cent, according to latest data from StatCounter."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bluetooth 4.2 looks to the Internet of Things with direct IPv6 internet connection @ The Inquirer
- Intel appoints Robert Swinnen as new head of Asia Pacific branch @ DigiTimes
- Iranian CLEAVER hacks through airport security, Cisco boxen @ The Register
- US parking operator: YEP, hackers got your names, credit card numbers, secret codes... @ The Register
- Overclocking Competitions: About the Player not the Hardware @ Hardware Asylum
- Fixing An NES For Good @ Hack a Day
- COMPRO TN2200 Mini-Dome Cloud Network Camera Review @ NikKTech
- Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2014 - 07:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: steam, steam broadcasting, twitch
Before we begin, note that this only available for the Steam Client on Windows 7 and 8.x for now, but Valve intends to bring it to Linux and OSX (and Vista for some reason). You must also opt-in to receiving Beta releases of the Steam Client. Beyond the currently limited support in hosting a stream, watching a stream is only possible with one of three web browsers: Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and the one in Valve's Steam Client.
Obviously, the pre-launch browser support is quite disappointing. Clearly Valve limited support of their web app to their rendering engine of choice, WebKit and its fork, Blink, and that is a step up from doing it in Flash. It is probably most disappointing for Opera, who switched to WebKit (and later Blink) from their proprietary “Presto” engine. Of course, relying on a collaboration with Google for standards support can only help so much, and it apparently did not help enough.
As for the service itself, Valve is focusing on user choice with their offering. While public streams will be allowed, you are allowed other privacy options – public is not even the default. Your stream can also be set to: only allow invited friends, allow all friends, or allow friends to request viewing permissions. By default, it is set to the last (fourth) option.
Now on to the speculation...
Why would Valve being doing this? Of course, Amazon believes it is a billion dollar business, so it is not insane for Valve to throw their hat in the ring, and hats is something they have plenty of, but I believe it might be bigger than this. This announcement follows the beta release of In-Home Streaming, back in May. Especially with the privacy options, I could see this following Sony, and its PS4 Share Play feature. Share Play allows people on your friends list to override your controller, or an extra controller if you want to play local multiplayer over the internet. These are all products using the same building blocks.
Steam Broadcasting (Beta) is available now through the Beta Steam Client release channel.
Subject: Storage | December 2, 2014 - 05:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, ssd, sata, ocz, ARC, m10, Indilinx Barefoot
It has been a while since we last talked about the OCZ ARC family but seeing as how you can currently pick up the 256GB model for $100 it seems a good time to revisit the drive. Bjorn3D recently reviewed this drive and it's Indilinx Barefoot M10 controller and Toshiba A19 nm flash. Before delving into the speeds this drive is capable of it is worth reminding possible purchasers of the three year ShieldPlus warranty, if you encounter issues with the drive OCZ will ship you out a brand new advanced replacement along with a prepaid return label to the customer which you then use to send your failed drive back. As far as the performance of this drive, it is a close match to the Crucial MX 100, not the best drive out there but certainly good all around at this price point. In fact with the MX 100 costing only $10 more its slightly better performance might make it more attractive but Crucial's warranty is not as user friendly as OCZs. Check out the full review to see which company you feel deserves your money.
"As expected, with OCZ now owned by Toshiba, OCZ would be using the in-house brew Toshiba NAND for their SSDs as oppose to Intel/Micron. OCZ has transitioned their mainstream Vertex SSDs to the Toshiba NAND already. And the latest budget line of SSD, the ARC 100, continues the trend of using all in-house made components of pairing the Indilinx controller with the Toshiba NAND."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Mushkin Scorpion 480GB PCIe x2 SSD Review @ NikKTech
- G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe x8 SSD @ Kitguru
- Samsung M9T 2TB (2.5-inch) & Seagate SSHD 2TB @ Silent PC Review
- Synology DS215j NAS @ Kitguru
- QNAP TS-653 Pro SMB NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Silicon Power Armor Series A30 USB 3.0 2TB Portable HDD Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: Motherboards | December 2, 2014 - 01:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: X99S GAMING 7, msi, LGA2011-3, Intel X99, Haswell-E, Dragon Gaming Series
Morry has covered the previous generation of Gaming 7 as well as $465 X99 Gaming 9 but we haven't yet seen the slightly lower priced X99 Gaming 7 which can be had for just under $300 right now. The reduction in price does not seem to have hurt the feature set with full speed M.2 support, four PCI-E x16 slots of which three can be used for multiple GPU setups as the other lanes are tied up with SATA Express and M.2 and other storage connections. As you may remember from Morry's reviews the UEFI is rather impressive looking and effective as well, a single push of the onboard OC Genie button will get you a mild overclock, Hardware Canucks had better luck with a manual overclock for those who have the patience. Check out their full review of a well designed and decently priced X99 board right here.
"MSI's X99S Gaming 7 is something of a rarity; MSI has included a full stable of gamer-centric features and yet it is quite affordable when compared to other X99 motherboards."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X99 Extreme6 @ eTeknix
- GIGABYTE GA-X99-Gaming G1 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte X99 Gaming G1 WiFi @ eTeknix
- ASUS RAMPAGE V Extreme review @ Bjorn3d
- Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2014 - 12:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, StoreServ, File Persona
HP is showing off some spiffy kit in Barcelona which will be priced just a wee bit beyond the budget of a consumer but is still fun to look at. How would you feel about 3.6 petabytes of hybrid flash and disk storage on a 16Gbit/s fibre channel with reported performance of up to 900,000 IOPS all for the low price of $1.70/GB? In the table below the new kit bears a 'c' in their name and for those who no longer wish to think about spinning rust it is the 7200, 7400 and 7450 that are all flash storage. Also new is File Persona which allows users that have a StoreServ File Controller to access data at the file level as well as the block level access that was supported previously. The latter two pages of The Register's article feature HP's Stephen Bacon, Senior Manager for File and Object Storage Product Management and Marketing answering questions about the new products and software. Ah, it is nice to dream of unlimited budgets.
"Attendees at HP’s Discover event in Barcelona this week are getting a bumper crop of StoreServ hardware and software announcements, expanding the HW range and adding object access and better data protection."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intro to Enterprise Cloud Storage: How to Set Up a Cloudant Database @ Linux.com
- Intel and Stephen Hawking unveil 'life-changing' communications system @ The Inquirer
- IBM bags multi-billion dollar outsourcing deal with ABN AMRO @ The Register
- Nature Makes All Articles Free To View @ Slashdot
- Yet Another Awesome Working Prototype of a PipBoy 3000 @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 2, 2014 - 03:11 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, GCN, dice, frostbite
Inverse trigonometric functions are difficult to compute. Their use is often avoided like the plague. If, however, the value is absolutely necessary, it will probably be solved by approximations or, if possible, replacing them with easier functions by clever use of trig identities.
If you want to see how the experts approach this problem, then Sébastien Lagarde, a senior developer of the Frostbite engine at DICE, goes into detail with a blog post. By detail, I mean you will see some GPU assembly being stepped through by the end of it. What makes this particularly interesting is the diagrams at the end, showing what each method outputs as represented by the shading of a sphere.
If you are feeling brave, take a look.
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2014 - 02:45 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, gaming, Tim Schafer, broken age
Tim Schafer and the rest of Double Fine set up a Kickstarter in early 2012 to fund a classic, LucasArts-style adventure game. After being funded over eight-fold more than they intended, they allowed the production to balloon and fit their new budget. This resulted in Act 1 being released in 2014, over a year later than their original deadline, with the second half (Act 2) coming later – expected in late 2014. Within the last couple of days, they announced that the release date has slipped into “early next year” (2015).
This is one of the problems that a Kickstarter can face. There is definitely an instinct to supercharge an over-funded product, which could lead to delays, hiccups, and other problems. On the other hand, the extra money, and the public knowledge regarding how much extra, can raise the expectations of your audience – they might feel cheated if you fail to over-deliver. Beyond this, I have been told that it is very common for budgets to inflate over the course of regular development, something that you cannot really account for in advanced crowd-funding. Again, this may be wrong – it was what I expected but, of course, hoaxes prey on that.
Since the Kickstarter launched, Ron Gilbert left the company. I pout.
Broken Age: Act 2 will be released in early 2015 and conclude the Broken Age story as a free upgrade for everyone who paid for Act 1. This is nice but, while I could see an argument for Act 1 customers needing to purchase Act 2 in the era of Telltale episodic content, it only makes sense for at least Kickstarter backers to get the whole game. I mean, it was announced as a single title; it would be a supremely bad move to promise a full game and deliver a half of one (torn at an awkward point in the narrative no-less) only to ransom the second half a year later.
Thankfully, it will be free, not just for them, but for everyone who owns Act 1.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 1, 2014 - 05:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, nzxt, h440
The NZXT H440 Razer Edition matches the layout and design of the regular H440 but now you can show off additional brand loyalty if you are into that sort of display. There is glowing Razer logo embedded in the front panel with clear plastic over top to protect it and give it a raised look. The interior is now much darker, which can make your LED lighting stand out more and does improve the looks of the cases interior. When all is said and done there is nothing about the case that has been improved over the base model; as Benchmark Reviews rightfully points out, you are paying $30 for looks if you chose this case and there will be those that do.
"Razer, creator of all things peripheral, has finally released their hotly anticipated entry into the chassis market. This is the NZXT H440 – Designed by Razer. With a completely new appearance featuring a matte black exterior and interior, four black NZXT fans, a large tinted window, and plenty of LED lighting, this chassis will be sure to make every Razer fan’s wish list, especially given that it retains the original H440 quality and simplicity."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- NZXT Source 340 Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- NZXT S340 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Quiet ATX Gamer, Fractal R5 Version @ Silent PC Review
- Reeven Ouranos RC-1401 Review @ OCC
- Enermax LIQMAX 120S @ techPowerUp
- Alpenföhn Brocken ECO @ eTeknix
- Reeven Okeanos RC-1402 Review @ OCC
- Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 1, 2014 - 02:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, nvidia, GTX 980, GAMING 4G, factory overclocked, Twin Frozr V
MSI has updated their Twin Frozr V with Torx fans which are effective at moving a lot of air very quietly and 'S' shaped heatpipes which bear the name SuperSU. Connectivity is provided by dual-link DVI-I, HDMI and three DisplayPort plugs which ought to provide enough flexibility for anyone. It is clocked at 1216 - 1331MHz out of the box with GDDR5 running at 7GHz effective which [H]ard|OCP managed to increase to 1406 - 1533MHz and 7.16GHz on the memory which is rather impressive for a Maxwell chip with NVIDIA's power limits and shows just how much you can squeeze out of their new chip without needing to up the amount of juice you are providing it. The overclocked card upped the full system wattage to 378W which was much lower than the R9 290 they tested against and the GPU temperature went as high as 70C when pushed to the limit which again is lower than the 290 however NVIDIA's selling price is certainly higher than AMD's. Check out their full review here.
"The MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G video card has a factory overclock and the new Twin Frozr V cooling system. We'll push it to its highest custom overclock and pit it against the ASUS ROG R9 290X MATRIX Platinum overclocker, and determine the gaming bang for your buck. May the best card win."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA Multi-Frame Sampled AA @ [H]ard|OCP
- OcUK GeForce GTX 970 'NVIDIA 970 Cooler Edition' @ Kitguru
- EVGA GTX 980 Classified Video Card Review @ Hardware Asylum
- EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW ACX 2.0 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2014 - 12:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, google glass
Google Glass seems to have gone the way of Wave and Plus, most people have heard of it but no one seems to actively use it. Apart from some news stories about socially inept use of the device in public areas the buzz around Google Glass has died down and for most it is Oculus who have more compelling eye wear. Some time in the coming year there will be a second release of the Google Glass which dumps the Texas Instruments chip for an unspecified ultra low power Intel chip, or at least that is the rumour from The Register and other sites. This launch sounds to be aimed more at enterprise customers, hard to imaging how having your PowerPoint presentation beamed into your customers eyeballs will help your sales but that is the gist of the marketing. This product still seems to be more appropriate for those who work with their hands and could benefit from hands free overlays of schematics or details but who knows, maybe your next job interview will be with someone reading your Facebook page in real time as they conduct your interview.
"GOOGLE REPORTEDLY plans to release a new Intel-powered version of Google Glass in 2015, as interest in its first-generation wearable dies down."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Citrix clambers aboard GPU-powered app-delivery bandwagon @ The Register
- World's best threat detection pwned by HOBBIT @ The Register
- Top Cyber Monday SSD Deals 2014 @ The SSD Review
- VicoVation Marcus 1 1080p Full HD Car Camcorder GPS Pack Review @ NikKTech
- Tech ARP 2014 Mega Giveaway Contest
- KitGuru quarter of a million 'reviewer' giveaway @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 29, 2014 - 09:57 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: pcie, PCI Express, nvidia, mini-itx, GTX 970, graphics card, geforce, directcu mini, DirectCU, asus
ASUS has announced a tiny new addition to their GTX 970 family, and it will be their most powerful mini-ITX friendly card yet with a full GeForce GTX 970 GPU.
Image credit: ASUS
The ASUS 970 DirectCU Mini card will feature a modest factory overclock on the GTX 970 core running at 1088 MHz (stock 1050 MHz) with a 1228 MHz Boost Clock (stock 1178 MHz). Memory is not overclocked and remains at the stock 7 GHz speed.
The GTX 970 DirectCU Mini features a full backplate. Image credit: ASUS
The ASUS GTX 970 DirectCU Mini uses a single 8-pin PCIe power connector in place of the standard dual 6-pin configuration, which shouldn’t be a problem considering the 150W spec of the larger connector (and 145W NVIDIA spec of the 970).
Part of this complete mITX gaming breakfast. Image credit: ASUS
The tiny card offers a full array of display outputs including a pair of dual-link DVI connectors, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2. No word yet on pricing or availability, but the product page is up on the ASUS site.
Subject: General Tech | November 28, 2014 - 04:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, Cougar, 700K, Cherry MX
With a plastic body and brushed aluminium top the Cougar 700K weighs in at over a kilo and should handle the most ham fisted of users. You can choose your favourite flavour of Cherry MX switches, Red, Blue, Black or Brown and swap keys as you see fit and toggle between NKRO and standard USB 6KRO. The LED functionality is quite impressive, an onboard CORTEX-M0 and the included software allow you to customize your light show, swap key functionality and program macros which you can save into multiple profiles. Modders-Inc found the keyboard to be well designed, the software even more so but be aware that there is a drawback to liking this keyboard, it retails for $150.
"A product's function is not solely reliant on the designer but also shaped by the intended audience. Problem arises when there is a disconnect between intention, marketing and reception; the result being a product that is supposed to perform well at the intended task but comes up short due to false assumptions on what the intended audience needs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tesoro Tizona Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard & Numberpad @ eTeknix
- Logitech G910 ‘Orion Spark’ Mechanical Keyboard @ Kitguru
- CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Topre Switch Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. M Wireless Mobile & PC Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Func MS-2 Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- FUNC MS-2 Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 28, 2014 - 12:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows, freeware
Over at The Register is a round up of a variety of freeware applications that many have found useful. Ad Aware, a program that not many have talked about since the competition picked up has made a reappearance and has stepped up their game somewhat although you will still find Malwarebytes product on this list. Classic Shell has been very popular since Windows went metrosexual as it restores much of the familiar interface that users are accustomed to and is likely to remain popular with the release of Windows 10. Duplicati is a great way to locally back up your files from the Cloud while Eraser can do the opposite for those wanting to make sure that deleted file stays deleted. They also include Notepad++ for those who actually do work on their machines, Process Explorer for those who work on the machines themselves and several others worth checking out if you are unfamiliar with the free software available for PC users.
"No matter if you're reinstalling Windows for the 47th time this fortnight or attempting to rid a new machine of bloatware in favour of something that's actually useful, the question remains: what alternative apps exist that don’t involve coughing up for obscene licensing fees?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | November 28, 2014 - 04:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: telltale, game of thrones
Oh they're coming. The dragons are on their way. They're gonna be amazing. They'll be here soon. Actually, Telltale's Game of Thrones will be here on December 2nd. The game will be the first of a six-episode season, spanning the TV show's timeline from the end of Season 3 up to some point just before the start of Season 5.
According to the ESRB, they will keep their robes on at all times.
Of course, the most interesting part about this release, to me, is its M rating – specifically, one that makes zero reference to sexuality or sexual content. While the ESRB allows modest sexual content, with Duke Nukem Forever being just about the most extreme, permitted example, you would probably get nowhere near what is allowed on HBO into retail distribution, any console, and probably not even Steam. This would limit the game to a PC release that is distributed on their company website, GoG, and maybe Amazon. The same issue was faced, in some regions, with South Park: The Stick of Truth, where a handful of scenes were censored out of certain versions of the game because they were too graphic (one of which being an alien abduction).
That tangent out of the way, Game of Thrones will launch on December 2nd.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 10:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, windows, mkv, microsoft, hevc, h.265, flac
Native support for audio and video codecs is helpful for a platform. Software will be able to call upon the operating system's built-in functions, rather than integrating a solution. Of course, some will continue to roll their own, and that's fine, but it is obviously helpful for the foundation to have its own solution (especially in cases where licenses and royalties are required).
Windows 10 is expected to increase its platform support to include FLAC, MKV, and HEVC (h.265), and more may be coming. The tweet from Gabriel Aul suggests that this will be available starting in the next preview build, which will land in early 2015. Hopefully these additions include both encoding and decoding support, possibly allowing audio and video editors to take advantage of these formats.
The next build of Windows 10 Technical Preview is expected for early next year. The full OS is said to launch late that year.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 10:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubisoft, black friday
Another quick Black Friday post, this one on Ubisoft's Uplay service. At least in Canada, if you purchase one title of a selected list, you will get a choice of one from a second list, for free. While the headliners are Ubisoft's first-party titles, there are a few from EA, Sega, Telltale, Deep Silver, Bethesda, WB Games, Capcom, Square Enix, and Kalypso to round out the “Buy” list (every free bundle game is from Ubisoft, though).
The list of “Buy” (full price) games are:
- Assassin's Creed: Unity (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
- Far Cry 4 (PC, 360, Xbox One, PS3 – Not PS4???)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC)
- Alien Isolation (PC)
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (360, PS3)
- Tales from the Borderlands (PC)
- Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PC)
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC)
- The Evil Within (PC)
- Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse (PC)
- Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)
- FIFA Soccer 15 (PC)
- The Sims 4 (PC)
- Football Manager 2015 (PC)
- Rocksmith (2014) (PC, 360, PS3 – Xbox One is listed by not available in the store???)
- Just Dance 2015 (360, Xbox One, PS3, Wii)
- Escape Dead Island (PC)
- Tropico 5 (PC)
- Shape Up (Xbox One)
- Metro: Redux Bundle (PC)
Purchasing one of the above allows you to get one of the following PC titles:
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
- South Park: The Stick of Truth
- Far Cry 3
- Assassin's Creed III: Deluxe Edition
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist
- Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry
- Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
- Anno 2070
- Might and Magic: Heroes VI (Complete)
- Rayman Legends
Of course, the first thing that pops into my mind is the AMD "Never Settle" promotion. It is interesting that game publishers are also considering a "build your own bundle" initiative, breaking from the "these two games are shrink-wrapped together" model that was previously dominant. Perhaps this will be something that Valve considers for one of their future promotions?
If you were considering paying full price for one of the first list of titles, than purchasing it through the Ubisoft store might get you an extra game for free. Personally, I've been considering Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag has been given a lot of good publicity. The sale started on the American Thanksgiving season and runs until December 15th, so you have a little time to think.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2014 - 09:29 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: apple, safari, google, yahoo, bing, microsoft, mozilla
After Mozilla inked the deal with Yahoo, the eyes turned to Apple and its Safari browser. Currently, the default search engine is Google on both iOS and OSX, although Bing is the primary engine used for other functions, like Siri and Spotlight. Until early 2015, they are tied into a contract with Google for those two browsers, but who will get the new contract?
Apparently Yahoo and Microsoft have both approached the company for the position, and Apple is not ruling any of the three out. Probably the most interesting part is how Yahoo is genuinely taking the search business seriously. The deal with Mozilla is fairly long-term, and with Yahoo approaching Apple as well, it probably was not just charity on Mozilla's part because no-one else wanted to be Firefox's default. Yahoo would probably need some significant monetary backing for an Apple deal, which suggests the same for their deal with Mozilla.
If both Mozilla and Apple leave Google, it will take a significant chunk out of the search engine. Power users, like those who read this site, will likely be unaffected if they care, because of how low the barrier is to change the default search engine. On the other hand, even the most experienced user will often accept default settings until there is a reason to change. The winning party will need to have a good enough product to overcome that initial shock.
But the money will at least give them a chance when the decision comes into effect. That is, unless the barrier to changing default search engines is less than the barrier to changing default web browsers.
Google will always be default on Google Chrome.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | November 27, 2014 - 08:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, IBM, power9, Volta
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been interested in a successor for their Titan Supercomputer. Sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the new computer will be based on NVIDIA's Volta (GPU) and IBM's POWER9 (CPU) architectures. Its official name will be “Summit”, and it will have a little sibling, “Sierra”. Sierra, also based on Volta and POWER9, will be installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Image Credit: NVIDIA
The main feature of these supercomputers is expected to be “NVLink”, which is said to allow unified memory between CPU and GPU. This means that, if you have a workload that alternates rapidly between serial and parallel tasks, that you can save the lag in transferring memory between each switch. One example of this would be a series of for-each loops on a large data set with a bit of logic, checks, and conditional branches between. Memory management is like a lag between each chunk of work, especially across two banks of memory attached by a slow bus.
Summit and Sierra are both built by IBM, while Titan, Oak Ridge's previous supercomputer, was developed by Cray. Not much is known about the specifics of Sierra, but Summit will be about 5x-10x faster (peak computational throughput) than its predecessor at less than a fifth of the nodes. Despite the fewer nodes, it will suck down more total power (~10MW, up from Titan's ~9MW).
These two supercomputers are worth $325 million USD (combined). They are expected to go online in 2017. According to Reuters, an additional $100 million USD will go toward research into "extreme" supercomputing.
Subject: Mobile | November 27, 2014 - 05:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 1080p, Chillblast, Prestige i5-4200SH, dell, Inspiron 17 7000, hp, Beats Special Edition, Lenovo, Yoga 2 13, toshiba, Satellite S70-B-10U
Sick of the standard laptop screen resolution of 1366x768, especially on a laptop with a 17" screen? The Register has collected five laptops which have a 1080p resolution, several of which feature touchscreen capabilities for use with Win 8.1 and range in screen size up to 17.3". There is a variety of quality, the lower cost HP notebook does not feature an IPS display and so is not as sharp as some other models but then again it is not as expensive as the other models either. There is not much in the way of benchmarks but it is not too hard to estimate performance based on the components which are inside these laptops as they are common among the current generation of laptops. This review focuses on the screen, much like your eyes do.
"For the more discerning eye, that’s just not enough, and while we’ll be looking at the more expensive HiDPI laptops soon, full HD laptops are certainly more affordable these days, especially if you’re prepared to trade having a high-performance CPU or a speedy solid-state drive for a crisper, higher resolution image instead."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Silverstone Noble Breeze NB05 Notebook Cooler @ eTeknix
- Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Tablet Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Nvidia Shield Tablet Android 5.0 Lollipop @ eTeknix
- What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight @ The Register
- Hudl 2 @ The Inquirer
- Moto 360 smartwatch @ The Inquirer
- SuperTooth HD VOICE In-Car Speakerphone Review @ NikKTech