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Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2015 - 08:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: reverse-consolitis, PC, Nintendo, emulator, dolphin
Update: Fixed the title of "Pikmin". Accidentally wrote "Pikman".
Considering the recent Nintendo license requirements, I expect that their demonstrative YouTube videos will have a difficult time staying online. Regardless, if you are in a jurisdiction where this is legal, it is now possible to play some Gamecube-era games at 60 FPS (as well as 1080p) with an emulator PC.
The blog post at the Dolphin Emulator's website goes into the “hack” in detail. The main problem is that these games are tied to specific framerates, which will cause problems with sound processing and other, time-sensitive bits of code. I have actually been told that one of the most difficult aspects of bringing a console game to the PC (or restoring an old PC game) is touching the timing code. It will break things all over. For Super Mario Sunshine, this also involves patching the game such that certain parts are still ticked at 30 FPS, despite the render occurring at twice that rate.
Also interesting is that some games, like Super Smash Bros. Melee, did not require a game-side patch. Why? Because they apparently include a slow-motion setting by default, which was enabled and then promptly sped up to real time, resulting in a higher frame rate at normal speed. The PC is nothing if not interesting.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 12, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raspberry pi 2, Raspberry Pi
It did not take long to find a problem with the Raspberry Pi 2. As it turns out, the Pi 2 contains a power regulator chip that is susceptible to bright sources of light. The light will force electrons to move when a metal is struck by enough photons with the correct, per-photon energy, which is its frequency/color, and that will be perceived as a voltage (because it actually does cause a voltage).
In the Raspberry Pi 2, this manifests as a voltage drop and the device immediately powers down. This was first discovered by Peter Onion on the Raspberry Pi forums while he was taking photographs of his Raspberry Pi 2. He noticed that each time he snapped a photo, the Pi would shut down. Liz Upton of the Raspberry Pi Foundation promptly confirmed the issue and wrote a long blog post explaining what actually happens. She borrows Peter's joke from the forum thread, that the Pi 2 is camera shy, and explains that “everyday light sources” will not cause this to happen. She then explains the photoelectric effect, the role of the above pictured U16 chip, and the issue itself.
I definitely appreciate Liz Upton and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, founded on the premise of education, taking the time to explain their bugs from an educational standpoint. That said, it is easy to lose sight of your goal when you have a product to defend, and I am glad that it did not get in the way.
A final note: this will not damage the Pi 2, just cause it to crash and power down. The only real problem is that shutting down your device mid-task will crash your task. If that is a write to the SD card, that will likely corrupt that write.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 11, 2015 - 11:55 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: strix, maxwell, gtx 750ti, gtx 750 ti, gm107, factory overclocked, DirectCU II
ASUS is launching a new version of its factory overclocked GTX 750 Ti STRIX with double the memory of the existing STRIX-GTX750TI-OC-2GD5. The new card will feature 4GB of GDDR5, but is otherwise identical.
The new graphics card pairs the NVIDIA GM107 GPU and 4GB of memory with ASUS’ dual fan "0dB" DirectCU II cooler. The card can output video over DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort.
Thanks to the aftermarket cooler, ASUS has factory overclocked the GTX 750 Ti GPU (640 CUDA cores) to a respectable 1124 MHz base and 1202 MHz GPU Boost clockspeeds. (For reference, stock clockspeeds are 1020 MHz base and 1085 MHz boost.) However, while the amount of memory has doubled the clockspeeds have remained the same at a stock clock of 5.4 Gbps (effective).
ASUS has not annouced pricing or availability for the new card but expect it to come soon at a slight premium (~$15) over the $160 2GB STRIX 750Ti.
The additional memory (and it's usefulness vs price premium) is a bit of a headscratcher considering this is a budget card aimed at delivering decent 1080p gaming. The extra memory may help in cranking up the game graphics settings just a bit more. In the end, the extra memory is nice to have, but if you find a good deal on a 2GB card today, don’t get too caught up on waiting for a 4GB model.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | February 11, 2015 - 09:59 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: usb 3.1, usb, msi, asmedia
USB 3.0, for storage, is fast. If you are using an external, spindle-based hard drive, it will perform basically as fast as an internal sibling would. Apart from my two SSDs, I do not even have an internal drive anymore. You can safely install games to external hard drives now.
But with USB 3.1, the spec doubled to 10 Gbps, which matches the first generation Thunderbolt connector. A couple of weeks ago, Tom's Hardware put it to the test with an ASMedia USB3.1 to SATA 6 Gbps developer board. Sure enough, when you are raiding a pair of Intel 730 SSDs, you can achieve over 700 MB/s read/write in CrystalDiskMark.
About the most interesting part of Tom's Hardware testing is their CPU usage benchmark. While USB 3.0 on Intel's controller choked a CPU thread, USB 3.1 on ASMedia's controller did not even reach half of a thread's maximum (the CPU in question is a Core i7-5930K Haswell-E at 3.5 GHz).
So until we get flash drives that are constrained by USB 3.0's fairly high ceiling, we might be able to have reduced CPU usage.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | February 11, 2015 - 09:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: cherry, AES, aes-128, wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, logitech
When we report on Cherry Corp, it is usually about their mechanical switches that are the basis (until just recently) of most mechanical keyboards. They also make full keyboards, including non-mechanical varieties, although they are usually designed for enterprise customers. This one is likely intended for that audience.
Simply put, The Cherry JD-0400EU is a wireless keyboard and mouse combo that encrypts all traffic with 128-bit AES encryption. If you are wondering why no-one else thought to do this? They did. Even Logitech has a whole line-up of 128-bit AES-encrypted mouse and keyboard combos. This is not even a feature that is only filled by niche companies.
Still, making sure people know that your wireless peripheral is encrypted will probably let you access a whole new audience of government, enterprise, and health care customers. The keyboard itself is based on scissor-switches, which are those non-removable keys that you find on many laptops. They are not high-performance, but they can be quite thin and low-profile. The switch mechanism under the scissor struts is membrane-based.
Pricing and availability are not yet listed.
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Systems | February 11, 2015 - 09:07 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, edison, meetup
This is just a quick note for a small subset of our audience. If any of our developer-minded readers are in the Phoenix, Arizona region on February 19th, Intel will be hosting a meetup at UAT (the University of Advancing Technology). The processor vendor will perform a technical presentation about the Edison Internet-of-Things (IoT) developer kit. Shortly after the presentation, the group will move to Aunt Chilada's for a social event.
The presentation will take place in the theatre (there is only one as far as I can tell) at 6:30pm. Admission is free and there will be 10 Intel Edison kits to be raffled. Food and beverages will be provided by Intel (at Aunt Chilada's restaurant).
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | February 11, 2015 - 08:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google io 2015, google io, google
Or is that Left Shark Eggs? Yup, pay attention near the end of the post for an Easter Egg.
Every year, Google hosts their I/O developer conference, which often involves the launching of new hardware and services. This year, it will take place on May 28th and May 29th. Registration to register will open on March 17th at noon ET and it will end on the 19th. If you do not get in, many keynotes and sessions will be broadcast over the internet... because it's Google.
Note how I said “Registration to register”? That was not a typo. You are putting your name into a randomizer that will select candidates to actually register and purchase their tickets. Last year, tickets sold out in less than an hour. Apparently Google believes that it is better for the tickets to go to the luckiest individuals, rather than the best F5ers.
I hope this made your day as bright as mine. Basically, I HOPE I RUINED YOUR DAY TOO!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | February 11, 2015 - 03:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Tegra X1, nvidia, mwc 15, MWC, gdc 2015, GDC, DirectX 12
On March 3rd, NVIDIA will host an event called “Made to Game”. Invitations have gone out to numerous outlets, including Android Police, who published a censored screenshot of it. This suggests that it will have something to do with the Tegra X1, especially since the date is the day after Mobile World Congress starts. Despite all of this, I think it is for something else entirely.
Image Credit: Android Police
Allow me to highlight two points. First, Tech Report claims that the event is taking place in San Francisco, which is about as far away from Barcelona, Spain as you can get. It is close to GDC however, which takes also starts on March 2nd. If this was going to align with Mobile World Congress, you ideally would not want attendees to take 14-hour flight for a day trip.
Second, the invitation specifically says: “More than 5 years in the making, what I want to share with you will redefine the future of gaming.” Compare that to the DirectX 12 announcement blog post on March 20th of last year (2014): “Our work with Microsoft on DirectX 12 began more than four years ago with discussions about reducing resource overhead. For the past year, NVIDIA has been working closely with the DirectX team to deliver a working design and implementation of DX12 at GDC ((2014)).”
So yeah, while it might involve the Tegra X1 processor for Windows 10 on mobile devices, which is the only reason I can think of that they would want Android Police there apart from "We're inviting everyone everywhere", I expect that this event is for DirectX 12. I assume that Microsoft would host their own event that involves many partners, but I could see NVIDIA having a desire to save a bit for something of their own. What would that be? No idea.
Subject: Mobile | February 11, 2015 - 02:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, Note 4, Exynos 5433, snapdragon 805, phablet
At 5.7" and 176g the Samsung Note 4 is a large device and it has a resolution to match it at 2560x1440. That resolution does slow it down somewhat, in graphics tests it does fall behind the iPhone 6 Plus except in Basemark X and 3DMark's Ice Storm test but it does show up the competition when it comes to graphical quality with only NVIDIA's Shield beating it on the GFXBench Quality tests. In the CPU tests it scored moderately well on single threaded applications but wipes the floor with the competition when it comes to multi-threaded performance which you should keep in mind when choosing your purchases. To see more benchmarks and details The Tech Report's full review can be found right here.
"Most of the world gets a variant of Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 based on Qualcomm's familiar Snapdragon 805 system-on-a-chip (SoC). In Samsung's home country of Korea, though, the firm ships a different variant of the Note 4 based on Samsung LSI's Exynos 5433 SoC. With eight 64-bit CPU cores and a 64-bit Mali-T760 GPU, the Eyxnos 5433 could make this version the fastest and most capable Note 4--and it gives us some quality time with the Cortex-A53 and A57 CPU cores that will likely dominate the Android market in 2015."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- 9-Way Linux Laptop Performance Comparison From Intel Nehalem To Broadwell @ Phoronix
- The 2015 Alienware 15 & Alienware 17 Launch Even @ Tech ARP
- LUXA2 P1-PRO 7000mAh Outdoor Power Bank Review @ NikKTech
- Luxa2 PL3 10,400 mAh Leather Power Bank Review @HiTech Legion
- Luxa2 EnerG Slim 10,000mAh Power Bank Review @ OCC
- Noreve iPad Air 2 Protective Cases Review @ Madshrimps
- Sony Smartwatch 3 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2015 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, ea, battlefield hardline
Battlefield Hardline is in public beta for those who have tired of Battlefield 4 and are looking for a new online Frostbite 3 shooter to play and [H]ard|OCP has run benchmarks to show you what kind of performance you can expect. They gathered together three cards from the two companies, a GTX 980, 970 and 960 as well as an R9 290X DD, 290 and 285 with a mix of default and factory overclocked frequencies. As of yet there is no Mantle support in the beta so both vendors are using DX11 in the tests, with the top four cards at 2560x1440 and the remaining two at 1080p, all set to 4X MSAA and Ultra settings except for the Dustbowl map. The GTX 980 takes top spot but the most interesting results are the 290X and 970; the difference is so minuscule that they essentially perform at the same level and the same can be said of the pricing. Also worthy of note is that in only one test did the cards use more than 3GB of RAM and never hit 3.5GB.
"We hopped on the open public beta of Battlefield Hardline this past week and tested performance in all three maps with six video cards to find out how this game performs. We will talk about each map in the beta, and our experiences in terms of performance and gameplay experience so that you will know what to expect in the full game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- A Beautiful Relic: 37 Mins of Homeworld Remastered @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Atari reboots Asteroids as a sandbox survival PC game @ HEXUS
- Early Access Impressions: Darkest Dungeon @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Sunless Sea @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Premature Evaluation: Besiege @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Sid Knows Best: Poppa Meier Builds Starships @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2015 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, open source
"SWELLING THE RANKS of fruity-themed computers, the Raspberry Pi 2 is an upgraded version of the popular single-board computer, sporting a new processor and double the memory of previous models."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- VLC Acquiring Lots of New Features @ Slashdot
- Which Light Weight, Open Source Web Server is Right for You? @ Linux.com
- Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs @ The Register
- AKRACING Premium Gaming Chair (AK-7002-CS) Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech, Processors | February 11, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, amazon
So allegedly Amazon UK sold some AMD A8-7600 APUs, but they actually shipped Athlon 64 X2 5200+ CPUs. Despite what you would think, it was actually “dispatched and sold” by Amazon UK itself, rather than a dishonest seller who has some explaining to do. For those affected, Amazon is apparently handling customer service well, as expected, and promptly replacing the parts. It does not seem to affect other regions, and the problem started just a short time ago.
Unless you're Sebastian, these processors will not even fit in the motherboard socket. PC World has an interesting side-by-side comparison of the two pin configurations. They do not look alike at all. You should not have a hard time identifying the problem if you are careful enough to look before you insert, which is obviously something that you shouldn't have to do. Also, AMD refers customers to their authenticity support page for a few extra ways to be sure that the box that you got came from AMD.
What would be the most interesting part of this story is finding out what happened. Unfortunately, we probably will never know, unless it turns into a famous legal battle of some sort.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 11, 2015 - 08:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: HDPLEX, h5, fanless
FanlessTech published a preview of the updated H5 case from HDPLEX, which accepts CPUs that are up to 90W TDP. That is a lot of potential performance for a silent device, especially since it includes an optional fanless heatsink for dual-slot graphics cards. That said, because the company creates home theater PCs (HTPCs), they have a reasonable amount of room to work with, unlike a NUC (or similar) form factor. It keeps the components cool by attaching them to the case itself with heat pipes, using its mass and surface area as a reservoir and radiator to keep the heat away. The CPU and GPU each have access to eight pipes, sixteen total.
Beyond the home theater application, I can see this being useful for many professionals, especially sound engineers, who want a lot of performance but no noise. And even though it is not tiny, it is not even a foot and a half at its largest dimension, so it should not be too difficult to find room for it in a cabinet or something. Also, just to put the 90W TDP into perspective, Devil's Canyon is listed at an 88W TDP. You could probably fit one of those in here, although non-trivial overclocking is likely out of the question.
So yeah, fanless Devil's Canyon with options for a fanless discrete GPU. I think I made my point.
This photo is from the previous model. The upcoming chassis is not yet pictured.
The final design is not yet published, which is why we included the picture of its previous incarnation, but HDPLEX claims that production is currently in the tooling phase. Despite not yet being available, it is listed to sell for $275 USD. If the previous design is any indication, it is quite stylish too. It could pass for a retail BluRay player if people don't stop and wonder why there isn't a brand logo on the front.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | February 11, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shieldtuesday, shield, nvidia, gridtuesday, grid, graphics drivers, geforce, drivers
Update: Whoops! The title originally said "374.52", when it should be "347.52". My mistake. Thanks "Suddenly" in the comments!
Two things from NVIDIA this week, a new driver and a new game for the NVIDIA GRID. The new driver aligns with the release of Evolve, which came out on Tuesday from the original creators of Left4Dead. The graphics vendor also claims that it will help Assassin's Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, and War Thunder. Several SLi profiles were also added for Alone in the Dark: Illumination, Black Desert, Dying Light, H1Z1, Heroes of the Storm, Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell, Total War: Attila, and Triad Wars.
On the same day, NVIDIA released Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons on GRID, bringing the number of available games up to 37. This game came out in August 2013 and received a lot of critical praise. Its control style is unique, using dual-thumbstick gamepads to simultaneously control both characters. More importantly, despite being short, the game is said to have an excellent story, even achieving Game of the Year (2013) for TotalBiscuit based on its narrative, which is not something that he praises often.
I'd comment on the game, but I've yet to get the time to play it. Apparently it is only a couple hours long, so maybe I can fit it in somewhere.
Also, they apparently are now calling this “#SHIELDTuesday” rather than “#GRIDTuesday”. I assume this rebranding is because people may not know that GRID exists, but they would certainly know if they purchased an Android-based gaming device for a couple hundred dollars or more. We could read into this and make some assumptions about GRID adoption rates versus SHIELD purchases, or even purchases of the hardware itself versus their projections, but it would be pure speculation.
Both announcements were made available on Tuesday, for their respective products.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 10, 2015 - 03:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mATX, thermaltake, Core X2
mATX is becoming more popular as it becomes possible to fit high end components into a smaller case than was previously possible. This has also lead companies to start producing a wide variety of these cases for users to choose from. [H]ard|OCP recently reviewed one of these cases designed by Thermaltake, the Core X2. The case is 18.3"H x 12.6"W x 21.3"L (465x320x541mm) and all of the intakes have removable filters as well as numerous other features including the ability to be stacked in multiples for better cooling. The side panels can be swapped as can the location of the housing for the USB 3.0, microphone, power and reset buttons giving you a lot of flexibility on how you set up your system. Check out the full review to see what else Thermaltake's chassis can do.
"While you may or may not be in the market for a mATX sized computer case, the Thermaltake Core X2 mATX Cube Chassis has some interesting features for those looking to do custom water cooling and wanting to have some easy ways to show it off. All that aside, just how good of an mATX case is it?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Lian Li DK-02X @ techPowerUp
- Sentey Optimus Plus @ Benchmark Reviews
- Xigmatek Aquila Micro-ATX @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Pandora @ Kitguru
- Aerocool Strike-X Cube Micro-ATX @ eTeknix
- ID-Cooling T60-SFX @ techPowerUp
- Silverstone Kublai KL05 @ Legion Hardware
- Corsair Hydro H110i GT CPU Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- Corsair H110i GT Cooler @ HardwareHeaven
- Corsair H110i GT @ Kitguru
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 360 @ techPowerUp
- Noctua NH-D9L Low Profile Tower Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
- Noctua NH-D9L CPU Cooler Review: The Mini NH-D15 @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | February 10, 2015 - 02:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, rumour
We may see Windows 10 RTM as early as June of this year on new machines and likely as an upgrade option to those running Windows 7 or 8, with the trademarking of Windows 365 lending credence to this rumour. The Register had a chance to try and parse the most mysterious part of this new OS, the Windows-as-a-service model and what that will mean for users. Microsoft has explained that when a user buys a device with Windows 10 they will "continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge." Unfortunately it is not clear what is meant by the 'supported lifetime' nor what happens when that time expires; it is likely that a subscription will need to be renewed or that you will have to get a new device. It is also unclear how this model will work for serial upgraders, in the past you could simply re-license your installation of Windows a finite time before needing to contact Microsoft to ask them to activate your license again.
What we do know for sure for the Enterprise version is that will be several Long Term Servicing contracts, which provide security and critical updates for a 5 year mainstream contract followed by a 5 year extended support contract. There will also be a Current Branch for Business which will receive updates via Windows Update or WSUS after patches have been distributed to consumers and fully tested. To be able to use Windows 10 a company must maintain a subscription for Software Assurance as opposed to being limited to the nebulous "supported lifetime" of their machines.
"Windows chief Terry Myerson proclaimed the advent of Windows-as-a-service at an event last month. But what does that mean? A more recent post from Enterprise and Security Directory Jim Alkove offers some clues."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 8K display standard renders all your new technology obsolete @ The Inquirer
- Faster Raspberry Pi 2 Says Yes to Ubuntu and Windows, But Where's Android? @ Linux.com
- Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust @ The Register
- Quantum-dot TVs seed a bright future @ Nanotechweb
- Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out @ The Register
- This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway @ TechARP
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 10, 2015 - 12:05 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: liquid cooler, H80i GT, H100i GTX, cpu cooler, corsair, All-in-One cooler, AIO
In the automotive world "GT" stands for Gran Turismo (or Grand Tourer), though it often connotes that a model will have more power and speed. Thus, in the parlance of PC components it makes sense that this would represent the fast version of a part - or in this case, a cooler version.
The Corsair H100i GTX
We haven’t reviewing one of the new "GT" all-in-one liquid cooler revisions from Corsair just yet (stay tuned, we will soon!) but we reported on the new H110i GT cooler during CES 2015, which is a large 280mm design. The two new coolers being announced will be the smaller 240mm and 120mm entries in the Hydro series of AIO coolers, and they presumably replace the venerable “i” versions of the well-known H100 and H80 liquid coolers in the lineup.
The Corsair H80i GT
Extending the same new colorful (and customizable) design options from the previously mentioned H110i cooler, the new H100i GTX and H80i GT share these features:
- Improved coldplate and pump design
- Dual SP120L PWM static pressure fans
- Modular, tool-free mounting bracket for faster installation
- Built-in Corsair Link support for configuring fan and pump speeds
- Use Corsair Link to customize the RGB LED lighting and monitor multiple system temps
- Support for Intel LGA 115x, 1366, 2011 and AMD AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2 coolers
- 5-year limited warranty
The new H100i GTX water block design
There are a couple of important distinctions separating these new models (other than the obvious size difference). With the H80i GT this is the radiator thickness, which is a whopping 49mm thick, making its potential for heavy-duty cooling in smaller spaces a very interesting prospect. The H100i GTX on the other hand offers user-replaceable pump and radiator caps.
The H80i GT's 49mm thick radiator
The MSRP for the H100i GTX will be $119.99, with the H80i GT priced at $99.99. These will be available from the usual retail locations beginning this month.
Microsoft Filed for "Windows 365" Trademark in Late January. Jeremy Prepares to File for Windows 340 through 364?
Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 10, 2015 - 12:55 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 365, windows 10, windows, office 365, microsoft
While it is trivial for a large corporation to file for a trademark, there are fairly strict guidelines with how they are used (or, more accurately, not-used). Because trademarks can be forever, the law outlines numerous procedures that can classify them as abandoned, which lets Coca Cola be a known, legitimate source of Coca Cola for as long as Coca Cola makes Coca Cola, while preventing businesses from being created that do nothing but license names.
Patents! I'm looking at you!
So the news is that Microsoft filed for the trademark, “Windows 365”. Knowing their trademark on Office 365, people are assuming that this will lead to a subscription version of Windows. The trademark filing is then compared to the statements made by Terry Myerson about Windows as a Service and the free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x for a year. You can see where this is headed.
But I have another idea. Perhaps this is intended to lead into their not-yet-disclosed enterprise licensing arrangement for Windows 10 (and related services)? Despite its consumer sound, Office 365 seems to have a fairly large adoption rate with business and education customers. As an example, which is not statistically relevant but is still interesting, the local public school board where I live has licensed a non-commercial, 5-PC license for every staff and student in their organization. This concept has a lot of potential for those customers.
If, of course, they give us a per-device and system builder license option, too.
Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2015 - 11:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: folder sync, file syncing, bittorrent sync, bittorrent, backup
The team at BitTorrent Labs has released a new Sync beta build that incorporates all of the planned Sync Pro features and allows users to update from the stable Sync 1.4 build while importing all of their folders. The latest build, version 2.0.51, is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs as well as Android (Sync 2.0.34) and Kindle Fire mobile devices. Users can grab the download from this Sync forum thread.
Sync 2.0.51 was deployed to test the upgrade and folder import path from 1.4. Unfortunately, the new build is not compatible with any previous Sync 2.0 (alpha) builds so users that are already testing will have to start from scratch whereas if you are just now jumping in as a tester you can keep your folders set up as is.
The latest Sync beta turns on all of the Sync Pro features (image from Sync blog).
I was able to successfully update to the new build on my main PC and Android smartphone. Unfortunately, I can not go into many details regarding my experience as testers have been asked to not talk publicly about the builds until further along in development. You are welcome to try it out for yourself though.
Sync 1.4 (left) users can upgrade to the new Sync 2.0.51 beta (right) and import their folders.
The public forum thread does mention that the new build includes a trial of Sync Pro features including a private identity that allows you to easily link all of your devices together and a selective syncronization feature that uses placeholder files and allows you to choose which files you want to download for offline access on a per device basis (a feature that caused controversy for Microsoft over OneDrive removing placeholder files in Windows 10). A new permissions engine is also in effect and you are able to change permissions after the fact now without generating a new link.
In all, Sync is still in development and they have some neat features in the works that will make it more competitive with other file syncing services.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 7, 2015 - 06:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, R9, r9 300, r9 390x, radeon
According to WCCFTech, AMD commented on Facebook that they are “putting the finishing touches on the 300 series to make sure they live up to expectation”. I tried look through AMD's “Posts to Page” for February 3rd and I did not see it listed, so a grain of salt is necessary (either with WCCF or with my lack of Facebook skills).
Image Credit: WCCFTech
The current rumors claim that Fiji XT will have 4096 graphics cores that are fed by a high-bandwidth, stacked memory architecture, which is supposedly rated at 640 GB/s (versus 224 GB/s of the GeForce GTX 980). When you're dealing with data sets at the scale that GPUs are, bandwidth is a precious resource. That said, they also have cache and other methods to reduce this dependency, but let's just say that, if you offer a graphics vendor a free, order-of-magnitude speed-up in memory bandwidth -- you will have friend, and possibly one for life. Need a couch moved? No problem!
The R9 Series is expected to be launched next quarter, which could be as early as about a month.