Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2015 - 03:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z170-A, z170 deluxe, Z170, video, Skylake, podcast, nvidia, maxwell, logitech g29, Lenovo, lavie-z, Intel, gigabyte, asus, 950ti, 6700k
PC Perspective Podcast #361 - 08/06/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K, Logitech G29 Racing Wheel, Lenovo LaVie-Z 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:45:17
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
1:21:45 Valve's The International 2015
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2015 - 02:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Basemark, crytek, oculus rift
With the release of Oculus Rift and various other head mounted displays you may be wondering if your current machine is powerful enough for you to use one of these devices or if you need to upgrade before you will enjoy the experience.
Basemark and Crytek have joined forces to create a new benchmark to test how your system will fare. The benchmark will give you information on latency, verify your if hardware is able to run at 60, 75, 90 or 120fps with varying levels of graphics detail and even verify if your audio source can properly provide spacial audio cues.
Helsinki (Finland) and Frankfurt am Main (Germany) August 6th, 2015 – Basemark and Crytek today announced a new partnership to help create a definitive PC system test for virtual reality gaming.
The new VR benchmark will enable gamers and PC hardware companies to easily assess the level of experience they can expect when running virtual reality content, and will be the first service available that gives users recognizable, real-world metrics to describe their system’s VR readiness with various HMDs out there.
Developed using Crytek’s CRYENGINE technology, the benchmark will provide detailed feedback in areas such as the best graphical settings to use with a variety of VR headsets. Basemark’s expertise in measuring performance standards will be key as they formulate an objective test that evaluates everything from frame rate capabilities to memory consumption, latency issues, 3D audio performance and much more.
Crytek’s Creative Director for CRYENGINE, Frank Vitz, said: “Basemark is already helping to measure technology standards in other areas of gaming, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them as we work to establish a user-friendly yardstick for VR performance. We believe CRYENGINE can become a go-to tool for developers looking to create compelling VR experiences, and this partnership means players can also count on CRYENGINE as they evaluate whether their PC is ready for the most advanced, cutting-edge VR content available.”
“We wanted to make a real-world VR gaming benchmark as opposed to a theoretical one and hence we’re very excited to announce this partnership with Crytek, the leading game engine company”, said Tero Sarkkinen, founder and CEO of Basemark, “By using CRYENGINE as the base and vetting the test workloads under our rigorous development process involving all the key technology players, we will forge the definitive benchmark for all PC VR gamers.”
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2015 - 12:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIY, turrent, arduino, 3d nand
With Black Hat in full swing anyone with even half a mind on their systems security is already depressed and likely to be even more so by the wrap up. That is why you should all stare at this 3D printed, Arduino powered elastic band turret. At the very least it should cheer you up and at best get you downloading the Thing Files to start printing your own. The full load of 24 rubbers can be launched in a very short time, either automatically if you program the Arduino appropriately or manually with an optional joystick. Head on over to MAKE:Blog to see this new step in desk defence.
"Looking like it would fit in perfectly in the smash hit game Portal, this little turret can launch a barrage of rubber bands on command. Designed by Kevin Thomas, this perky little gatling gun is mostly 3D printed, with an Arduino for a brain."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- At Black Hat: Square Reader To Credit Card Skimmer In 10 Minutes @ Slashdot
- Biggest security update in history coming up: Google patches Android hijack bug Stagefright @ The Register
- Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive users at risk from 'man-in-the-cloud' attacks @ The Inquirer
- Red Hat prepares for the IoT revolution @ The Inquirer
- Planar NAND Development Ends After 26 Years @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, mount & blade ii, mount & blade
TaleWorlds has a cult classic franchise with Mount & Blade. Warband, the follow-up to the first Mount & Blade but didn't earn its own number, placed right behind Skyrim in Ars Technica's Steam Gauge for “Most Played Older Releases (2012 or Before) on Steam”. It is my most played game by far with over 800 hours recorded, albeit over the course of several years. I also participated in (and even hosted) organized events on a regular basis throughout that entire period, too.
The new game looks quite interesting, though. While the previous game's mods were more popular than its default content, its Siege mode drew a lot of attention. Armies were able to push siege towers against fortresses and slowly overtake the defenders -- attackers had unlimited respawns, but defenders did not. Eventually they would take a flag. Mods even played with destructible walls and buildings to force the attackers to create their own ways in, and the defenders to adapt in response. It seems like this version is expanding upon that with battering rams, catapults, and other team-controlled devices. While this is not as effective as a Napoleonic-era cannon, this might lead to the same effect.
They also flaunt time and weather rendering effects, and board games. Still no release date (or even publisher). This information is not even on their website yet. They're not known for rushing, at least.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 5, 2015 - 11:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: corsair, gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard, gaming headset
At Gamescom in Germany, Corsair announced the Strafe RGB mechanical keyboard, the Void RGB headset, and the Scimitar RGB mouse. As you can guess, each of these have colored lighting with a full range of 16.8 million choices. The devices will be trickling out over the coming months, but we should have everything by October and their prices are all competitive.
First is the Strafe RGB mechanical keyboard. This device comes in three versions: Cherry MX RGB Red and Cherry MX RGB Brown for $149.99, or the “Cherry MX RGB Silent” switch for $159.99. What is a “Cherry MX RGB Silent” switch? No idea. I cannot find anywhere that says whether it is tactile or linear, so who knows. It allows 104 key rollover on USB, which means that you could press any combination of keys and each will be recognized. USB has a limit of about six, but Corsair probably registers the keyboard as several input devices to communicate the extra events. They are scheduled to launch in October.
Next up are the Void RGB headsets. The analog stereo one is available at $79.99, 7.1 USB raises the price to $99.99, and wireless 7.1 bumps the price up further to $129.99 (or $149.99 for a special Best Buy edition). The analog one doesn't do RGB backlighting, though. They are scheduled for later this month (August).
Last is the Scimitar RGB Gaming Mouse. This one is more interesting. Basically, Corsair took the number pad layout of the Razer Naga and Logitech G600 and did their own version of it. Its sensor is higher-precision at 12,000 DPI, but that metric has maxed out long ago for basically everyone. The number pad on the thumb side will allow a little more than a quarter inch of adjustment. This means that you can align the buttons slightly to match your grip. Each button is also mechanical, like the Razer Naga 2014, which is good for me because I have a problem with side buttons wearing out. Its price comes in at $79.99 and it will be available in September 2015.
Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2015 - 10:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: libreoffice 5, LibreOffice
On the same day that Intel released Skylake for mainstream enthusiasts, The Document Foundation has published LibreOffice 5.0. This version brings a 64-bit version for Windows, which is another baby-step in the application's trend toward performance and stability improvements. There doesn't seem to be too many features to point to, besides new branding images, but it's the first release in their 5.0 branch. It is also numbered 5.0.5 because pre-releases don't want us to have nice things.
Despite having a supported 64-bit version, the 32-bit x86 build is still default when you go to the download page. If you manually select the x86-64 version's installer, it will erase previous, standard installs of LibreOffice 4 x86. I'm not sure if selecting a custom folder will change that, in case you wanted side-by-side installs for some reason, but it is also nice that the installer cleans up the previous version.
You can download it for free from their site. You will need to scroll down for the 64-bit version.
Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2015 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars Battlefront, gaming
Thankfully a lineup will not be the problem as you will only be able to upgrade to a hero ship by locating a specific power-up present on the map, one hopes there is some randomness to this as otherwise both teams are likely to ignore each other as they battle their teammates to get to the power-up first. There will be two main ship types, the X-Wing and TIE Fighters which have traditionally been the dogfighters and are likely to focus on energy weaponry with limited missile capability. The TIE Interceptor and A-Wing are traditionally faster vehicles intended for scouting or rapid assaults using the A-Wing's concussion missile or the additional laser cannons present on the Interceptor.
According to the links from Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN the rebels will be able to temporarily generate shielding while the Imps will have what is effectively a turbo boost which should vary the tactics used depending on which team you play. Check out the trailer below for a teaser.
"Twenty players will soar through the skies shouting “Zwap! Zwap!” and making noises like a trumpeting elephant driving a car on wet pavement (true story) in Star Wars Battlefront, backed up by more AI ships, in the newly-announced Fighter Squadron mode."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ten Minutes Of Waaagh: Total War – Warhammer In-Game Footage @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Shadow of Mordor Performance: Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux @ Phoronix
- Benchmarking Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor On Linux @ Phoronix
- Endless Space 2 Announced, First Trailer Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Steam survey shows Windows 10 usage is double Linux usage @ HEXUS
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Has A Real Nice Tree Sculpture @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- We've played Dark Souls 3 @ Polygon
Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2015 - 12:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Yet another version of the hoverboard has appeared but once again it is of very limited usefulness. This particular model appeared in a car commercial and did not require any special effects, just a lot of money and liquid nitrogen. By implanting $100,000's of magnets in an area and filling a board containing a pair of powerful magnets which are cooled to superconductivity with liquid nitrogen you can indeed hover for about 10 minutes or so. After that time you will need to top up the LN2 as the boards magnets will gain enough heat to lose their superconducting magnetic levitation. The cost to run it does give a better ride than the Hendo board but also requires a much steeper investment. Still, hoverboard! Check out videos and more via Hack a Day.
"It is definitely real: the Jalopnik writer got to ride it himself, and described it as “Unbelievably difficult yet at the same time unbelievably cool, both because you’re levitating and because the board is filled with magnets more than 300 degrees below zero“."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- LibreOffice 5.0 Released @ Slashdot
- How To Make Your Linux Server More Secure @ Linux.com
- Microsoft offers Windows 'Outlook on the web' users a new look @ The Inquirer
- Seagate flaunts 4TB-ish enterprise SAS flash that can shift 1.5GB/s @ The Register
- John McAfee cuffed by Tennessee cops, faces drug-driving, gun rap @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2015 - 01:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, scary, iot
Likely you caught at least one news story on the remotely disabled Jeep recently, with the attackers able to control system ranging from annoying to life threatening. If that didn't rustle your jimmies, how about a drug infusion system used in hospitals which can be remotely controlled? It is not just that the pump can be used to cut off or overdose a patient on drugs, it is the abysmal security that was put onto the pump. Both telnet and FTP ports were left wide open, two very popular and effective routes into systems you shouldn't necessarily be in and port 8443 which the system uses shipped with a generic password which, like SOHO routers everywhere, was never changed after the pump was installed. Overall an inexcusable affront to those who think about security and a terrifying glimpse into the utter incompetence of providers of devices which were never network connected until recently. You can read more about the Hospira horror story at The Register.
"The US Food and Drug Administration has told healthcare providers to stop using older drug infusion pumps made by medical technology outfit Hospira – because they can be easily hacked over a network."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Tech Report Podcast 182: Something happened
- Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July @ The Register
- Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software @ The Register
- Supercapacitors take the heat @ Nanotechweb
- iPhone 5c successor to feature FinFET chips, say sources @ DigiTimes
- Installing Android Apps on Linux with ARChon @ Linux.com
- Downloading Satellite Images via FM Radio @ Hack a Day
- OS X zero-day flaw leaves Mac users open to hackers @ The Inquirer
- Toshiba FlashAir III Wireless SD Card Review @ Madshrimps
- KitGuru visit Cooler Master HQ in Eindhoven
After spending some time in the computer hardware industry, it's easy to become jaded about trade shows and unannounced products. The vast majority of hardware we see at events like CES every year is completely expected beforehand. While this doesn't mean that these products are bad by any stretch, they can be difficult to get excited about.
Everyone once and a while however, we find ourselves with our hands on something completely unexpected. Hidden away in a back room of Lenovo's product showcase at CES this year, we were told there was a product would amaze us — called the LaVie.
And they were right.
Unfortunately, the Lenovo LaVie-Z is one of those products that you can't truly understand until you get it in your hands. Billed as the world's lightest 13.3" notebook, the standard LaVie-Z comes in at a weight of just 1.87 lbs. The touchscreen-enabled LaVie-Z 360 gains a bit of weight, coming in at 2.04 lbs.
While these numbers are a bit difficult to wrap your head around, I'll try to provide a bit of context. For example, the Google Nexus 9 weighs .94 lbs. For just over twice the weight as Google's flagship tablet, Lenovo has provided a full Windows notebook with an i7 ultra mobile processor.
Furthermore the new 12" Apple MacBook which people are touting as being extremely light comes in at 2.03 lbs, almost the same weight as the touchscreen version of the LaVie-Z. For the same weight, you also gain a much more powerful Intel i7 processor in the LaVie, when compared to the Intel Core-M option in the MacBook.
All of this comes together to provide an experience that is quite unbelievable. Anyone that I have handed one of these notebooks to has been absolutely amazed that it's a real, functioning computer. The closest analog that I have been able to come up with for picking up the LaVie-Z is one of the cardboard placeholder laptops they have at furniture stores.
The personal laptop that I carry day-to-day is a 11" MacBook Air, which only weighs 2.38 lbs, but the LaVie-Z feels infinitely lighter.
However, as impressive as the weight (or lack thereof) of the LaVie-Z is, let's dig deeper into what the experience of using the world's lightest notebook.