The Daring Young Bits on the Flying Trapeze

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2016 - 06:15 PM |
Tagged: koruza, infrared, LiFi

Transmitting data over light beams is not a new idea, we've even covered flourescent light LANs in the not too distant past, however these solutions have tended to be expensive. Over at Hack a Day is news about a project working on a less expensive solution, beaming data over infrared light.  They use Raspberry Pi powered machines with motorized lenses in a 3D-printed chassis to project the signal.  A green light is used for rough aiming of the devices, once they are pointed at each other a web interface allows you to fine tune the IR emitter and receiver, with real time feedback to show how the signal is changing.  As with other LiFi networks you are limited by line of sight and people walking in between the transmitter and receiver can cause dropped packets but it is still a lot cheaper than running fibre optics through your building.  Check out this project and several other similar solutions over at Hack a Day.

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"The Koruza project is an open-source, “inexpensive” system that aims to transmit 1 Gb/sec over distances around 100 meters, using modulated infrared light. The intended use-case is urban building-to-building communication at speeds that would otherwise require laying fiber-optic cables."

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Source: Hack a Day

Splitting the difference, Corsair's Void Surround

Subject: General Tech | March 10, 2016 - 10:20 PM |
Tagged: audio, corsair, VOID Surround, 7.1

The new VOID Surround from Corsair sits between the Void Stereo and Void USB in price, but has some features which might make it more appealing to a wider crowd.  It ships with both a four-pole 3.5-mm jack for mobile devices, consoles and PCs as well as a Dolby Headphone USB adapter for which supports Dolby 7.1 virtual surround.  The mute button and volume wheel are on the left side of the headset as opposed to being on the cord which is a handy design, although it does make confirming you are muted a bit difficult.  The Tech Report tried it out and found it usable, albeit they were not overly fond of the microphone or the virtual Dolby 7.1 implementation.  Check out the full review before you decide if you like this headset or not.

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"Corsair's Void Surround headset promises universal device compatibility and surround-sound immersion, thanks to an included Dolby 7.1 USB dongle that works with Corsair's CUE software to do its thing. We put the Surround to the test with games and music to see whether it offers a more immersive experience than the average stereo headset."

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Just when you thought Patch Tuesday couldn't get any more absurd

Subject: General Tech | March 10, 2016 - 09:32 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, patch tuesday, windows 10

Microsoft is trying a lot of new things with Windows 10, unfortunately they seem to be things no one has asked for.  We have seen them about face on providing Knowledge Base information on updates, from hiding the actual updates which were being installed to providing a way for admins to actually see which updates were being pushed.  Then they tried out reinstalling and resetting default programs during updates, again something not particularly well received and so was discontinued.   Now Microsoft has found yet another trick to advertise the availability of Win10 to those who have not yet upgraded.  After this latest patch opening a new blank tab gives you a nice blue bar with the text 'Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10.' ... because the pop up and emails were apparently not enough.

The Inquirer might be stretching it a bit when they refer to it as adware but it is certainly not the security patch it is billed as.  For a bit of added class you will never see KB3146449 in your list of installed updates, the only way you will know is if you get that message.  The hidden update is the real worry here, if a patch is released which you cannot determine is actually installed the difficulty to troubleshoot problems is vastly increased.  Advertise if you want but please don't make a habit of pushing hidden updates, OK?

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"JUST WHEN YOU thought Microsoft had stooped as low as it could with Updategate, along comes another low blow. This time it's an advertising payload hidden in a security patch."

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Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #390 - ASUS Z170 Sabertooth Mk1, Corsair Carbide 400C, more about Windows Store Games, and more!

Subject: General Tech | March 10, 2016 - 07:10 PM |
Tagged: podcast, video, asus, z170 sabertooth, corsair, carbide 400c, Windows Store, uwp, dx12, amd, nvidia, directflip, 16.3, 364.47, 364.51, SFX, Seagate, OCP, NVMe

PC Perspective Podcast #390 - 03/10/2016

Join us this week as we discuss the ASUS Z170 Sabertooth Mk1, Corsair Carbide 400C, more about Windows Store Games, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Ashes of the Singularity Goes Live on March 31st

Subject: General Tech | March 9, 2016 - 10:40 PM |
Tagged: Oxide Games, ashes of the singularity, Star Swarm, dx12, DirectX 12

Ashes of the Singularity, by Oxide Games and Stardock, the RTS that spawned from the Star Swarm demo, will be released on March 31st. Unless something sneaks in before then, this will pretty much be our first look at DirectX 12 in a full, released game, and pretty much the only one to take advantage of its ability to draw many simple objects.

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Again, I'm excluding released games based on engines Unreal Engine 4, because you don't have full DirectX 12 support if your engine provider doesn't claim full DirectX 12 support. I'm pretty sure they just enabled Epic's experimental feature, rather than beat them to overhauling their hardware interfaces. I'm also ignoring Gears of War Ultimate Edition because of the state it launched in.

It seems like the only source for this news is PC Gamer. Stardock hasn't officially said what will change in this launch from the previous beta release (Beta 2). The game currently supports mixed multi-GPU on DirectX 12, and a variety of other features, which will be interesting to see in official software. Unless we get a surprise in the official announcement, it looks like Vulkan might be a “patch after launch” thing, though.

Source: PC Gamer

Forget Skyrim, check out how Skywind is doing

Subject: General Tech | March 9, 2016 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: gaming, skywind, mod

Of all the Elder Scrolls games many choose Morrowind as their favourite; the overarching story is similar to other releases but there was just something special about Morrowind.  The Skywind project have been working for quite a while now, bringing the home of the Dunmer into the Skyrim engine.  As you can see in the video that Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have posted the project is quite advanced with much of the assets completed and even new audio recordings.  They are currently looking for sound engineers, Creation Kit users, 3D modellers, texture artists and other creatives that can help bring Skywind to fruition; if you have the talent and the time follow the link from RPS to apply.

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"Skywind, then. It’s an attempt to re-build Morrowind within Skyrim’s engine, with re-build environments, textures, models and more. The latest update video shows just how far the project has come, while aiming to recruit more members to help finish it."

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Testing the performance of 15 different Linux distros on Skylake

Subject: General Tech | March 9, 2016 - 06:14 PM |
Tagged: linux, Fedora, ubuntu, debian, CentOS, opensuse, Antergos, Sabayon, Void Linux, Zenwalk, KaOS, Clear, Alpine, Skylake

Phoronix have just wrapped up a marathon benchmarking session comparing 15 different flavours of Linux on a system with a Skylake based Xeon E3-1280 v5 and a MSI Radeon R7 370.  They tested a long list of programs, from SQLite through OpenGL based games and multi-threaded ray-tracer benchmarks.  They wrap up the reveiw with a table showing all the results in an easy to see format for you to reference when choosing your preferred Linux distro.  If you know what tasks your machine will be assigned to, you can see which of these 15 distros will offer you the best performance, as not every Linux machine is used for the same purpose.

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"Succeeding January's 10-way Linux distribution battle is now a 15-way Linux distribution comparison on an Intel Xeon "Skylake" system with Radeon R7 graphics. Distributions part of this Linux OS performance showdown include Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE, Antergos, Sabayon, Void Linux, Zenwalk, KaOS, Clear Linux, and Alpine Linux."

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Source: Phoronix

Talking VR, Gaming and Cyborgs with David Hewlett

Subject: General Tech | March 9, 2016 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged: video, sol, David Hewlett, cyborgs

As a part of our Streaming Out Load 12-hour live streaming event, fellow geek David Hewlett stopped by to talk with us about his changing opinion on VR, what games he plays with his son and how our cyborg future is beginning.

Talking VR and the HTC Vive with Polygon.com's Ben Kuchera

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 9, 2016 - 03:18 AM |
Tagged: video, polygon.com, ben kuchera, VR, htc, vive, Oculus, rift

During our 12-hour live streaming event cleverly titled "Streaming Out Loud", we invited Ben Kuchera from Polygon.com to stop in and talk about a subject he is very passionate about: virtual reality. Ben has been a VR enthusiast since the beginning, getting a demo of the first Rift prototype from John Carmack himself. He was able to bring over the HTC Vive Pre unit to the office for some show and tell, answer questions about the experiences he has had so far, hardware requirements and much more.

Logitech's G810 Orion Spectrum for those who seek illumination

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2016 - 08:07 PM |
Tagged: input, logitech, G810 Orion Spectrum, RGB LED

Logitech's G810 Orion Spectrum utilized their own proprietary Romer-G switches, they are non-linear with a 1.5mm travel and an actuation force of 45g; they also allow for an impressive light show.  The software which controls the LEDs is quite impressive, the Freestyle mode allows you to change the illuminated portion on everything on the keyboard up to and including the logo, media keys and even the three Lock keys.  You can read about how Hardware Canucks felt about these switches as well as watch a video showing off the RGB LEDs in their review.

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"The Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum includes multiple improvements over previous G-series keyboards, including the new Romer-G switch, RGB lighting and a simpler, more efficient design."

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