Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2013 - 12:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: winxp, firefox, chrome, browser
With 160 days remaining until the current official support expiration for WinXP unless you are willing to pay for the privilege of getting critical updates there is only a little time left in which third party providers need to continue support for the aging OS. Two of the most noticeable of these will be Firefox and Chrome, both of which will be discontinuing development for their browsers on WinXP. Their older versions will still work but will slowly succumb to more and more security vulnerabilities as they are discovered but not patched for WinXP. This may not be the straw that breaks XP's back but recall that YouTube abandoning IE6 support was one of the driving forces behind the decline of that browser. Slashdot comments for your entertainment here.
An update to this information does show that you have a while to go before this is a major concern as Firefox does not have a specific date in mind and Chrome is extending development for a few years yet. You should still really consider upgrading to Win7 in the near future.
"While Windows XP is still going strong the sun is rapidly setting on this old platform fast. Firefox plans to end support for XP which means no security fixes or improvements. Chrome is being discontinued a little later as well for Windows XP. Windows XP has its die-hard users refusing to upgrade as they prefer the operating system or feel there is no need to change."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Leak: Almost a Third of Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatches Are Being Returned @ Slashdot
- Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch @ Slashdot
- Building a Hackintosh The Easy Way @ Techspot
- Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Battle Dragon Bag Review @ OCC
- 1Sheeld Uses Your SmartPhone as an Arduino Accessory @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | October 28, 2013 - 10:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: R9 290X, amd
Hawaii launches and AMD sells their inventory (all of it, in many cases). The Radeon R9 290X brought reasonably Titan-approaching performance to the $550-600 USD dollar value. Near and dear to our website, AMD also took the opportunity to address much of the Crossfire and Eyefinity frame pacing issues.
Nitroware also took a look at the card... from a distance because they did not receive a review unit. His analysis was based on concepts, such as revisions to AMD design over the life of their Graphics Core Next architecture. The discussion goes back to the ATI Rage series of fixed function hardware and ends with a comparisson between the Radeon HD 7900 "Tahiti" and the R9 290X "Hawaii".
Our international viewers (or even curious North Americans) might also like to check out the work Dominic undertook compiling regional pricing and comparing those values to currency conversion data. There is more to an overview (or review) than benchmarks.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | October 28, 2013 - 07:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, Haswell-E, Broadwell-K, Broadwell
Ivy Bridge-E was confirmed for this holiday season and Haswell-E was proclaimed to follow in Holiday 2014 bringing good tidings of comfort and joy (and DDR4). Broadwell, the Haswell architecture transitioned to a 14nm process technology, was expected to be delayed until at least 2015 because it was not on any roadmap before that.
Image credit: VR-Zone China
Until recently when something called "Broadwell-K" popped up slated for late Holiday 2014.
VR-Zone China, the site which broke this story (machine translated), cautiously assumes Broadwell-K signifies the platform will first arrive for the mainstream enthusiast. This would align with Intel's current "K" branding of unlocked processors and make sense to be introduced for the Consumer product segment without a Business offering.
If true, which seems likely, the question then becomes why. So let us speculate!
One possible (but almost definitely incorrect) reason is that Intel was able to get the overclocking challenges at 22nm solved and, thus, they want to build hype over what the enthusiasts can accomplish. Josh Walrath, our monitor of the fabrication industry's pulse at PC Perspective, did not bother entertaining the idea. His experiences suggest 14nm and 22nm are "not so different".
But, in the same discussion, Ryan wondered if Intel just could not get power low enough to release anything besides the upper mainstream parts. Rather than delay further, release the parts as they can fit in whatever TDP their market demands. Josh believes that is "as good [of a theory] as any". This also seems like a very reasonable possibility to me, too.
Two other theories: yields are sufficient for the "K" market (but nowhere else) or that Intel could be throwing a bone to the mid-range (lower than Haswell-E) enthusiast by letting them lead. It could also be almost any combination of the above or more.
Or, of course, Broadwell-K could refer to something completely arbitrary. At this point, no-one knows but anyone can guess.
So then, your turn? Comments await.
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2013 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are planning on pre-ordering BF4 but haven't got around to it then maybe today's deal will tempt you. You get a copy of BF4, sans special add-ons, and a $25 Dell gift certificate tossed in for free. The next time you see a good sale on a Dell product here you can make it even better by applying that gift card, sort of a delayed $25 reward for buying the game.
- Today Only! Toshiba 50L1350U 50" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $529.99 with Free Shipping (normally $649.99).
- Seagate Barracuda 1TB Internal 3.5" Hard Drive (ST1000DM003) for $57.99 with Free Shipping(normally $69.99 - use coupon code: EMCYTZT4722).
- Refurb Linksys EA6500 Smart Wireless-AC Dual-Band Gigabit Router for $109.99 with free shipping(normally $199.99).
- Microsoft Xbox 360 E 250GB Kinect Console Holiday Value Bundle for $239.99 with free shipping (normally $399.99)
- Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Membership Card + $20 Gift Card for $59.90 wifh Free Shipping
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2013 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, secure, remote access
Sick of the Logmein.com email 'updates'? Annoyed that join.me isn't for Linux and aren't sure what the alternatives are? Linux.com has put up the second in their series of how to remotely control PCs running Linux with this installment focusing on Network Manager which is an OpenVPN client. Windows users may find Network Manager a little hard to grasp at first as it does not pop up a GUI of a remote computer so the article offers a good analogy, "think of OpenVPN as a virtual Ethernet cable to your server or LAN, all wrapped in a nice stout layer of encryption". Using OpenVPN creates a secure tunnel to the remote PC which you can then use to run secure (or insecure) applications such as SSH to interact with the remote machine.
"Greetings fellow Linux users, and welcome to the second part of our glorious OpenVPN series. When last we met we learned how to set up a simple OpenVPN encrypted tunnel between a home server and a remote node, such as a laptop. Today we're adding refinements such as how to daemonize OpenVPN so we don't have to start it manually, use Network Manager for easy connecting to our remote server, and access services."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 144: Flagship cards and broken backs
- Facebook reveals 700TB of tiered RAM and flash power Graph Search @ The Register
- Play Elite, Pitfall right now: Web TIME PORTAL opens to vintage games, apps @ The Register
- Netgear router admin hole is WIDE OPEN, but DON'T you dare go in, warns infosec bod @ The Register
- Ubuntu Linux Gaming Performance Mostly On Par With Windows 8.1 @ Phoronix
- Backing Up Your PC & Some tips @ CoD
- $2,200 in prizes up for grabs in TR's Dear Diary contest @ The Tech Report
ShadowPlay is NVIDIA's latest addition to their GeForce Experience platform. This feature allows their GPUs, starting with Kepler, to record game footage either locally or stream it online through Twitch.tv (in a later update). It requires Kepler GPUs because it is accelerated by that hardware. The goal is to constantly record game footage without any noticeable impact to performance; that way, the player can keep it running forever and have the opportunity to save moments after they happen.
Also, it is free.
I know that I have several gaming memories which come unannounced and leave undocumented. A solution like this is very exciting to me. Of course a feature on paper not the same as functional software in the real world. Thankfully, at least in my limited usage, ShadowPlay mostly lives up to its claims. I do not feel its impact on gaming performance. I am comfortable leaving it on at all times. There are issues, however, that I will get to soon.
This first impression is based on my main system running the 331.65 (Beta) GeForce drivers recommended for ShadowPlay.
- Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
- 16 GB DDR3 RAM
- Windows 7 Professional
- 1920 x 1080 @ 120Hz.
- 3 TB USB3.0 HDD (~50MB/s file clone).
The two games tested are Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Battlefield 3.
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2013 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
With an aluminium shell just under 1" thick, just deep enough to accommodate a DVD burner, the Dell Latitude 15 3000 Series is stylish and easy to carry around. Inside is a Core i3-4010U @ 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive running Windows 7 Professional. You can upgrade to an i5-4200U, 1080p screen and Radeon HD 8900 series GPU for an extra $190, there is no SSD option but that doesn't mean you can't put your own in there.
- Dell Latitude 15 3000 Series 4th-gen Core i3 Laptop for $489.00 with free shipping(normally $841.43 - use coupon code: $BVV$XQF73HPFT).
- Acer G226HQLBbd 21.5" LED-backlight LCD Monitor for $109.99 with Free Shipping (normally $159.99).
- Pre-Order Battlefield 4 (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, & PS4) + $25 Dell eGift Card for $59.99 with Free Shipping
- Kwikset Kevo 925 Bluetooth Deadbolt (Pre-Order) for $219.00 with free shipping(normally $1,460).
- Revell Enzo Ferrari Plastic Model Kit for $21.99 with free shipping (normally $24.99)
- Monsters University (Blu-ray Combo Pack) for $23.99 wifh Free Shipping(normally $39.99)
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2013 - 01:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, skype, API
If you have used third party software to bring extra functionality to Skype like call recording or integrating the ability to integrate in a non-standard way then you better enjoy it now as you only have until December before you are cut off. At that time Microsoft will be blocking access of all third party apps to Skype which will break not only your own applications but will reduce Skype's compatibility with some headsets. You can follow the link to the Change.org petition that is in The Inquirer's coverage of this decision.
"ANGRY DEVELOPERS, a breed not unlike Angry Birds but without the desire to fling themselves at naughty pigs, have started a petition asking Microsoft to withdraw its plan to switch off the desktop API for Skype."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- LinkedIn’s New Mobile App Called ‘A Dream for Attackers’ (and doesn't integrate with MSExchange) @ [H]ard|OCP
- Microsoft: Ha ha ha, Wall Street friends - THIS time the victory is OURS @ The Register
- NVIDIA 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' 2013 Press Event @ OCC
- UK Police Seize 3D-Printed 'Gun Parts,' Which Are Actually Spare Printer Parts @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2013 - 04:17 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: consolitis, call of duty
I will preface this with a statement: I neither love nor hate Call of Duty. I completed the first Modern Warfare campaign once on the PC and have not touched the franchise since; the fourth was my only experience (this was due, in part, to Activision being the first to raise PC game prices up to console parity -- too expensive for what it was worth to me). If you like Call of Duty then by all means enjoy it. I even like a couple Michael Bay films (The Rock and the parts of Armageddon with Steve Buscemi and Bruce Willis).
NVIDIA, on the other hand, loves Call of Duty. It was the showcase for several aspects of the GeForce Experience as they were announced, from game optimization to SHIELD streaming. They also announced the minimum specifications for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts before Activision even acknowledged them.
@SolomonNE2 No tech specs for min requirements have been released yet, sorry! We'll update when we have more info. ^LM
— Activision Support (@ATVIAssist) October 9, 2013
As it turns out, they were basically spot on (go figure). The only mistake NVIDIA made was accidentally demanding users reserve 50GB of Hard Drive Space when the game only requires 40GB.
The actual minimum specifications are:
- 64-bit Windows 7 or 8
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHz or AMD Phenom X3 8750 2.4 GHz
- 6 GB RAM
- 40 GB Free Storage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or AMD Radeon HD 5870
- Broadband connection for Steam and Multiplayer.
Needless to say these specifications are... high. It looks, at least to me, like Infinity Ward decided to design the PC version entirely around the Xbox One and PS4 version. I can see this becoming a very big problem for laptop gamers. Of course, desktop users can get more RAM (even Micro ATX LGA 775 motherboards can support 8GB of it). Then again, some users might want to save the $80-or-less buying whatever sticks they need to top up to 8GB. Last Holiday season, 8GB was just $30.
Call of Duty: Ghosts arrives November 5th.
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2013 - 07:23 PM | Scott Michaud
These new high-end videocards are fast! How about Minecraft in windowed mode?
The latest version of the voxel-based sandbox (and dirtbox, and stonebox) game will be launch Friday morning for us North Americans. While several of the features might be paradoxical if you think about it, "Less ocean, more awesome" vs "Fishing!", this is an absolutely gigantic release. Most importantly, they have overhauled their world generation code and completely rewrote their networking systems.
If you currently run a server, be sure to make a pit-stop at version 1.6.4 before upgrading to 1.7.1. The release highlights for 1.6.4 contain:
This update fixes world generation bugs that would appear in 1.7. It is recommended that you use this version and load up important areas of your world before heading into Minecraft 1.7 ((Emphasis mine))
I would follow this advice very carefully. (But what do I know?)
The update also adds several new blocks: stained glass, packed ice, red sand, podzol, new types of wood, and so forth. Stained glass, in particular, was once an April Fool's 2013 joke (like Block of Coal or, to some extent, horses) which made its way into the game proper. This should hopefully address some of the more bland designs caused by the limitations of glass.
Minecraft 1.7.1 will drop Friday at 15:00 CEST. Because PC Perspective is a North American company, this translates to 9am EDT and 6am PDT.
Get notified when we go live!