Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2014 - 12:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, virtualization, linux, container, Linux Containerization, docker, Red Hat, ubuntu
Docker has put the libcontainer execution engine of their Linux Containerization onto Github, making it much easier to adopt their alternative virtualization technology and modify it for specific usage scenarios. So far Google, Red Hat and Parallels have started adding their own improvements to the Go based libcontainer; adding to the Ubuntu dev team already at work. This collaboration should help containerization become a viable alternative to virtual machines and hopefully be included as a feature in future Linux distros. Read more over at The Register.
"Docker has spun off a key open source component of its Linux Containerization tech, making it possible for Google, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Parallels to collaborate on its development and make Linux Containerization the successor to traditional hypervisor-based virtualization."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Semiconductor boffin: 3D NAND don't need NO STEENKIN' TSVs @ The Register
- Alienware's Alpha Steam Machine will arrive running Windows 8.1 @ The Inquirer
- Sosecure seeks funding for world's first smartphone controlled SSD @ The Inquirer
- Stuff Wireless Charging Into a Nook’s Crannies @ Hack a Day
- EnerPlex Kickr II Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 11, 2014 - 02:44 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Steam Machine, E3 14, E3, dell, alienware alpha, alienware
While "Steam Machines" are delayed, Alienware will still launch their console form-factor PC. The $550 price tag includes a black Xbox 360 wireless controller (with receiver) and Windows 8.1 64-bit. Alienware has also designed their own "Console-mode UI" for Windows 8.1, which can be navigated directly with a controller. It will ship Holiday 2014.
Apparently PC-based consoles equate to dubstep and parkour.
About the "Console-mode UI", it will apparently be what the user sees when the Alpha boots. The user can then select between Steam Big Picture, media, and programs. They also allow users to boot into the standard Windows 8.1 interface.
As for its specifications:
|Base Model ($550)||Upgrade Options|
|Processor||Haswell-based Intel Core i3||Core i5, Core i7 (user accessible)|
|GPU||"Custom" Maxwell-based, 2GB GDDR5
(see next paragraph)
|(none) (not user accessible, soldered on)|
|System Memory||4GB at 1600 MHz||8GB (user accessible)|
|HDD||500GB SATA3||1TB or 2TB (user accessible)|
|Wireless||Dual-band 802.11ac||(user accessible)|
The GPU is not specified, or even given a similar part to refer to. PC World claims that it will be comparable to the performance found on the two next-gen consoles. Since the 750 Ti has around 1.3 TeraFLOPs of performance, this GPU is probably near that, or slightly above it. PC Gamer says that it will be based on mobile Maxwell, so it might be similar to an current or upcoming laptop GPU.
One thing that has not been addressed is the HDMI-in port. We know that it supports passthrough for low latency, but we do not know what it will do with the input video. Alienware has several of these set up at their booth on the show floor, so we might hear more soon. While its specifications are a bit on the light side, particularly on the default amount of RAM (although that is easily and cheaply upgraded), its $550 price, which includes a wireless controller and its adapter, is also pretty good.
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2014 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, 3PAR 7450
If you are looking for extreme storage you can't top HP's 3PAR 7450 server at this time. With a total capacity of 460TB you can have the largest and fastest commercially available storage for whatever you need stored. There are some very interesting enterprise level features on this device, from deduplication to Adaptive Sparing which allows the 7450 to recover some of the over-provisioned storage on the drive used to replace failed flash. They also offer a 5 year warranty on the drives inside as well as guaranteeing six 9's of reliability which works out to less than a minute of downtime per year. According to what HP told The Register you can expect to pay $2/GB; it is nice to dream isn't it?
"The drives actually have 1.6TB of raw flash capacity but, using this aforementioned technology, HP says it can recover some of the over-provisioned storage – so the effective capacity of the 7450 SSDs is up to 1.92TB. Note the “up to” in HP’s statement; a cue for lots of fierce examination of Megsco’s capacity uplifting claims by competing suppliers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP explores new territory with Apollo supercomputer @ The Inquirer
- Android 4.4 Kitkat, Blackberry 10.2.1 and Chrome OS get updated security guidance @ The Inquirer
- Moon Swirls May Inspire Revolution In the Science of Deflector Shields @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 9, 2014 - 11:31 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, GTA5, GTA Online
So my best guess is that Rockstar was waiting on the "next-gen" assets before they bothered releasing Grand Theft Auto V on the PC. The game will be released this fall, alongside Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports. They do not mention distribution platforms, but Steam is a fairly safe assumption, at least now that Games for Windows has been given its final rest.
Hopefully, this delay in releasing a PC version will be a temporary hiccup due to the overlapping console generations. With Grand Theft Auto IV, the same could not be said. The problem is, with how secretive Rockstar is, we cannot really tell whether the above assumption is true, or whether they were just non-committal to the PC platform until now. At either rate, until the PC version is launched, Rockstar has not and will not get my money. Of course, there is always that danger that, by the time the game does launch, I will not be able to afford its time or expense.
That's why you should always release the PC version as early as possible.
Subject: General Tech, Memory, Storage | June 9, 2014 - 11:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: kingston, ssd, hyperx
Kingston, known primarily for RAM, flash drives, and SSDs, discussed the health of their company. VR-Zone reported on the interview and highlighted the company's sentiments about the PC industry. Long story short, Kingston sees growth in sales of PC gaming hardware -- apparently 20% year-over-year. The company expects that this growth comes primarily from SSD upgrades, either from rotating media or, they claim, replacing years-old, entry-level SSDs with more modern (probably in both speed and size) options.
Nathan Su, APAC (Asia-Pacific) director of Kingston, believes that "many users" have experienced low-tier SSDs and, it seems, would be willing to invest in the full thing. He does not clarify what he means, whether he is talking about SSD caching, or just a really small (or slow) SSDs from drive generations past.
There is a bit of a concern that SSD prices will continue to fall, with some drives reaching under 40c/GB in recent sales. As a consumer, I (selfishly) hope that prices continue to drop, while still remaining profitably sustainable for the manufacturers. Hopefully Kingston is accounting for this and will continue to see growth at the same time.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 9, 2014 - 09:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, GOG, gog galaxy
Good Old Games (GOG), a subsidiary of CD Projekt RED, is releasing an online gaming manager similar to Steam and Origin. The difference is that everything about it is DRM-free and completely optional. Galaxy will manage game updates, provide achievements, and host communication between friends... if you want. If you don't? That's okay. Have fun.
Obviously, their most popular competitor is Valve. Steam has a history of being nice to their customers and erring on their side. GOG, historically, takes it to the consumer-friendly extreme. If it lives up to their statements, this is no exception. The hope seems to be just that people will remember GOG more often and have more happy customers.
Basically, most platforms are give-and-take. This is take what you want.
When will it launch? What will it look like? Who knows. We will get more news this year, which suggests that we will not get the software until at least next year. Hopefully they will take their time and get it right. I mean, it is not like they need to rush. It is not a mandatory DRM platform - it is not a DRM platform at all. I do expect they will try to target The Witcher 3's launch window (February 2015) for marketing purposes, though.
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 05:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sentey, gaming keyboard, Phoenix Extreme Gamer Series, input
Overclockers Club offers an alternative look at the extreme gaming keyboard market which most seem to have accepted as a reasonable product now. There are many who will pay a high price for a mechanical keyboard with good switches as they do make a difference for frequent typers though arguably not as much for gamers. Then there are the $50 gaming keyboard with common gel switches but a fancy exterior, eye catching colours and backlighting which generally come with bottle openers and fridge magnets. The Sentey Phoenix Extreme Gamer is one such keyboard and if you consider it reasonable to spend $50 on a pretty keyboard you probably don't want to read this review. Those who agree with the author and would rather kill 5 generic keyboards over time will probably crack at least one smile while they read.
"The keyboard ultimately is a joke to my hands and for the $50 asking price, I'd rather burn through five generic builder series keyboards instead. This keyboard has no home on my desk and shouldn't on yours either. I'm happy to be done with the review, simply for the sake of never using it again. Fortunately, the carry bag will prevent me from picking up shattered keys in my driveway later; good thinking Sentey."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Deck 87 Francium Pro Mechanical Keyboard @ NikKTech
- Roccat Siru gaming mousepad @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Mouse @ Kitguru
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse @ Legit Reviews
- Gamdias Demeter GMS5010 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- EVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Mionix NAOS 7000 and NAOS 8200 Review @HiTech Legion
- SteelSeries RIVAL Optical Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- Mionix NAOS 7000 gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- iRocks M05 Spirit Cocoon Mouse @ Kitguru
- Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Hybrid Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse Review – A Serious Gamer’s Tool @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 04:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3 14, E3, beta, battlefield hardline, battlefield
Quick message: The Battlefield Hardline Closed Beta is accepting applications now on a first-come-first-serve basis. Hardline is Battlefield in a cops and robbers universe. Think of PayDay 2 with Battlefield 4 graphics and gameplay elements, basically. It is developed by Visceral Games, the studio known for Dead Space.
Note: The signup page is a bit glitchy, likely because of server load. If you are interested, hop in quick, before all of the slots are gone. The beta is open now, although it apparently takes a little bit of time before Origin recognizes that you are in it. You will know you are in when you get an email "invoice" for the Battlefield Hardline beta with a $0 transaction.
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 03:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, steelseries, sentry
SteelSeries has announced Sentry, a device which tracks the user's eye movement. Since so much of professional gaming is perception and attention, it can be valuable to acquire feedback on how your eyes scan the display. This is not exactly a new service for teams. Some StarCraft 2 tournaments have even broadcast eye-tracking data to the audience.
This is obviously a niche product, but that is not reason to discredit it. One of the leading reasons for purchasing a high-speed camera is to analyze golf swings (I avoided the "driving reasons" pun, for your sanity). More subtly, SteelSeries is a major sponsor of several gaming teams. They might consider their personal needs as a form of subsidization, depending on if their business arrangement with Tobii and their investment in the Sentry. If it is not significantly more expensive than licensing a different service for their players, or that service is missing critical features, then why not make it and sell part (or all) of it as a product?
Currently no pricing or availability yet.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 9, 2014 - 02:10 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shield tablet, shield, nvidia, E3 14, E3
The Tech Report had their screenshot-fu tested today with the brief lifespan of NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet product page. As you can see, it is fairly empty. We know that it will have at least one bullet point of "Features" and that its name will be "SHIELD Tablet".
Image Credit: The Tech Report
Of course, being the first day of E3, it is easy to expect that such a device will be announced in the next couple of days. This is expected to be based on the Tegra K1 with 2GB of RAM and have a 2048x1536 touch display.
It does question what exactly is a "SHIELD", however. Apart from being a first-party device, how would they be any different from other TegraZone devices? We know that Half Life 2 and Portal have been ported to the SHIELD product line, exclusively, and will not be available on other Tegra-powered devices. Now that the SHIELD line is extending to tablets, I wonder how NVIDIA will handle this seemingly two-tier class of products (SHIELD vs Tegra OEM devices). It might even depend on how many design wins they achieve, along with their overall mobile market share.
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