Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2015 - 01:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dd-wrt, openwrt, linux, linksys, WRT1900AC
Regular listeners to the PCPer Podcast should be aware of the DD-WRT project to root and take control over your router as we have mentioned it multiples of times, along with a related project called OpenWrt. If you have not looked into the process of how to flash up a router with one or the other of these new OSes/firmware packages then this article at Linux.com is something you should take a look at. They walk you through the steps of taking over a Linksys WRT1900AC router, from straight out of the box to final configuration. They also give you a look at the advantages running a router on OpenWrt gives you and ideas for taking it further. Check it out right here.
"The Linksys WRT1900AC is a top-end modern router that gets even sweeter when you unleash Linux on it and install OpenWrt. OpenWrt includes the opkg package management system giving you easy access to a great deal of additional open source software to use on your router."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Doom is BOOM! BOOM! BACK! @ The Register
- Trojanized, Info-Stealing PuTTY Version Lurking Online @ Slashdot
- Google Google GOOGLE! Cloud cloud CLOUD! These prices are INNNSAAAANE! @ The Register
- Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED @ The Register
- Open source power-up on the way for arcade game emulator MAME @ The Register
- TP-Link Archer C9 @ HardwareHeaven
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway : Mi In-Ear Headphones
- Win great prizes with be quiet! and KitGuru!
High Bandwidth Memory
UPDATE: I have embedded an excerpt from our PC Perspective Podcast that discusses the HBM technology that you might want to check out in addition to the story below.
The chances are good that if you have been reading PC Perspective or almost any other website that focuses on GPU technologies for the past year, you have read the acronym HBM. You might have even seen its full name: high bandwidth memory. HBM is a new technology that aims to turn the ability for a processor (GPU, CPU, APU, etc.) to access memory upside down, almost literally. AMD has already publicly stated that its next generation flagship Radeon GPU will use HBM as part of its design, but it wasn’t until today that we could talk about what HBM actually offers to a high performance processor like Fiji. At its core HBM drastically changes how the memory interface works, how much power is required for it and what metrics we will use to compare competing memory architectures. AMD and its partners started working on HBM with the industry more than 7 years ago, and with the first retail product nearly ready to ship, it’s time to learn about HBM.
We got some time with AMD’s Joe Macri, Corporate Vice President and Product CTO, to talk about AMD’s move to HBM and how it will shift the direction of AMD products going forward.
The first step in understanding HBM is to understand why it’s needed in the first place. Current GPUs, including the AMD Radeon R9 290X and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, utilize a memory technology known as GDDR5. This architecture has scaled well over the past several GPU generations but we are starting to enter the world of diminishing returns. Balancing memory performance and power consumption is always a tough battle; just ask ARM about it. On the desktop component side we have much larger power envelopes to work inside but the power curve that GDDR5 is on will soon hit a wall, if you plot it far enough into the future. The result will be either drastically higher power consuming graphics cards or stalling performance improvements of the graphics market – something we have not really seen in its history.
While it’s clearly possible that current and maybe even next generation GPU designs could still have depended on GDDR5 as the memory interface, the move to a different solution is needed for the future; AMD is just making the jump earlier than the rest of the industry.
Introduction and First Impressions
The ASUS ROG Gladius mouse features sleek styling and customizable lighting effects, but the biggest aspect is the underlying technology. With socketed Omron switches designed to be easily swapped and an adjustable 6400dpi optical sensor this gaming mouse offers a lot on paper. So how does it feel? Let's find out.
There are a few aspects to the way a mouse feels, including the shape, surface material, and overall weight. Beyond the physical properties there is the speed and accuracy of the sensor (which also affects hand movement) and of course the mouse buttons and scroll wheel. Really, there's a lot going on with a modern gaming mouse - a far cry from the "X-Y position indicator" that the inventors had nicknamed "mouse" in the 1960s.
One of the hallmarks of the ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup is the sheer amount of additional features the products tend to have. I use an ROG motherboard in my personal system, and even my micro-ATX board is stuffed with additional functionality (and the box is loaded with accessories). So it came as no surprise to me when I opened the Gladius mouse and began to look it over. Sure, the box contents aren't as numerous as one of the Maximus motherboards, but there's still quite a bit more than I've encountered with a mouse before.
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2015 - 11:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, pc gaming
The PC gaming utility, Raptr, is normally used to optimize in-game settings, chat and socialize, and record game footage. It also keeps track of game-hours and aggregates them into a list once per month, which makes it one of the few sources for this type of data on the PC. We were late on it last month, which means that another was posted just a week later.
April marks the release of Grand Theft Auto V for the PC. It went live on the 14th and, despite only counting for half of the month, ended up at 4th place. Next month's survey will tell us whether the post-release drop-off was countered by counting Grand Theft Auto for a full month, which is double what they have now. It was just 0.17% of global play time behind CS:GO. Despite an error on the graph, it knocked DOTA 2 down to fifth, and Diablo III down to sixth. In fact, just about everything below Grand Theft Auto V dropped at least one rank.
Only three games actually gained places this month: ArcheAge, Warframe, and Spider Solitaire. Yes, that game is now the 19th most played, as tracked by Raptr. You could sort-of say that Hearthstone gained a rank by not losing one, but you would be wrong. Why would you say that?
League of Legends dropped less than a percent of total play time, settling in at about 21%. This is just about on target for the game, which proves that not even Rockstar can keep people from having a Riot.
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2015 - 02:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, ozone, Rage ST, gaming headset
With a pricetag of $40 many may be a bit leery of purchasing the Ozone Rage ST Headset as it is significantly lower in price than most gaming headsets which implies lower quality too. It does use the 40mm drivers common in most headsets with a response range of 20-20kHz but the microphone is omnidirectional as opposed to unidirectional which means you will send background noise. Modders-Inc tried it out and were pleasantly surprised; while it has none of the extra features that $100+ headsets do, the overall quality was worth the price of admission. If you are in need of a headset but are strapped for cash, these are a good choice for you.
"Despite the stereotype, gamers are social creatures too. Competitive games after all requires another person to play with, but as expressive as some gestures may be such as virtual teabagging, it is not nearly as effective in conveying what you really feel when you shout out expletives through a headset. It feels very natural in fact that one almost feels …"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AKG K553 Pro Studio Headphones Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Razer Seiren Review at HardwareHeaven
- Tesoro Kuven Pro @ HardwareHeaven
- Creative Sound Blaster ZxR @ HardwareHeaven
- Sound Blaster X7 @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2015 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumours, msi, Lenovo
When you think of Lenovo laptops you tend to think of suits and office suites, not Cheetos and Red Bull but DigiTimes has heard tell that this could possibly change. With Acer, Asustek's ROG and Dell's Alienware lineups all seeing decent profits from the niche market of high end gaming laptops the rumour is that Lenovo would like in on some of that filthy lucre. DigiTimes' source posits that MSI's gaming laptop subdivision would be the obvious target for Lenovo. It is possible that this is all hot air but Lenovo is a huge company and could easily afford to buy a division of a competitor, if they were willing to sell.
"Micro-Star International (MSI) has been successful in selling gaming notebooks and Lenovo is interested in acquiring MSI's gaming notebook business unit, according to sources from supply chain makers. However, MSI has denied the reports."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Elementary OS Freya: Is This The Next Big Linux Distro? @ Linux.com
- The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess? @ The Register
- Candy Crush Saga preloaded on Windows 10 is the key to enterprise sales @ The Inquirer
- Hackaday Prize Entry: A $100 CT Scanner @ Hack a Day
- You cannot be cirrus: 51 percent of Americans think storms bork cloud computing @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2015 - 02:46 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, supermicro, X99, Intel, amd, corsair, H100i GTX, H80i GT, fractal, define s, akracing, nvidia, shield, grid, epson, xeon e7 v3
PC Perspective Podcast #349 - 05/14/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Death of Media Center, i7 NUC, Fractal Define S and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:19:23
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wolfram alpha, stephen wolfram, image identify
You may have had the pleasure of using the Google Goggles image identification app, not so much for its successes as for its often hilarious misses. There is now a new image identification app from Wolfram Alpha which you can try out. The Register immediately tried a random picture of Stephen Wolfram who is apparently a podium in disguise but Image Identify seems very fond of capyberas. Head on over to amuse yourself and of course only use your pictures for proper training as we wouldn't want to reclassify the podium as Daddy, now would we?
"search your heart ..."
"WOLFRAM ALPHA has released a new site designed to help you identify any image that you throw at it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- World's Rudest Robot Set To Simulate the Fury of Call Center Customers @ Slashdot
- Strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10 @ The Register
- Google Updates: Android tweaks, Chrome extension block and free Hangouts @ The Inquirer
- Heartbleed, eat your heart out: VENOM vuln poisons countless VMs @ The Register
- BONKERS apocalyptic WAR WAGONS circle Vulture South @ The Register
- The Launch Of The ASUS ZenFone 2 @ Tech ARP
Or: How to fall asleep at work.
I will be the first to admit that just a couple of weeks ago I had zero need for a gaming chair. But when 4GamerGear.com offered to send us one of the AKracing AK-6014 ergonomic executive units, I agreed. I went out of town for a week and returned to find the chair assembled and already in use by Ken, our go to video editor and engineer. Of course I had to steal it from him to take part in the "review" process and the results were great! As I sit here now in my Ikea office chair, writing up this post, while Ken sits just feet away tapping away on some edits, I can't help but want to use my authority to take it back.
The price is steep, but the added comfort you get from a chair like the AKracing model we tested is substantial. Every part of the design, based on a racing seat for a car, is built to keep you in place. But instead of preventing lateral movements caused from taking corners, this is more to keep your butt in place and your back straight to encourage good posture. The arm rests are height adjustable (as is the seat itself of course) and the back reclines for different desk and resting positions. You can lay it PAST flat for naps if you're into that kind of thing.
You can find these chairs for sale on Amazon in different color combinations with a current price of $349. It's expensive, I can't deny that. But it looks and feels way cooler than what you are sitting in right now. And aren't you worth it?
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2015 - 05:06 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, firefox, DRM
Mozilla has just released Firefox 38. With it comes the controversial Adobe Primetime DRM implementation through the W3C's Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). Or, maybe not. If you upgrade the browser through one of the default channels, the Adobe Primetime Content Decryption Module will appear in the Plugins tab of your Add-ons manager on Windows Vista or later (but it might take a few minutes after the upgrade).
Alternatively, you can use Mozilla's EME-free installer for Firefox and avoid it altogether.
I have mentioned my concerns about DRM in the past. EME does not particularly bother me, because it is just a plugin architecture, but the fundamental concept does. Simply put, copy protection does very little good and a whole lot of bad. If your movie is leaked before it is legally available in consumer's hands, as it regularly does, then what do you expect to accomplish after the fact? It takes one instance to be copied infinitely, and that often comes from the film company's own supply chain, not their customers. Moreover, it is found to reduce sales and hurt customer experience (above and beyond the valid ideological concerns).
Beyond the DRM inclusion, several new features were added. One of the more interesting ones is BroadcastChannel API. This standard allows a web application to share data between “contexts” that have the same “user agent and origin”. In other words, it must be on the same browser and using the same app (even secondary instances of it). This will allow sites to do multi-monitor split screen, which is useful for games and utilities.
WebRTC has also been upgraded with multistream and renegotiation. Even though the general public thinks of WebRTC as a webcam and voice chat standard, it actually allows arbitrary data channels. For example, “BananaBread” is a first person shooter that used WebRTC to synchronize multiplayer state. Character and projectile position is very much not webcam or audio data, but WebRTC doesn't care.