Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2013 - 12:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, borg, omega, emergent
An interesting story over at The Register talks about Google's new Omega cluster management software which will replace the current Borg software in the near future. The topic is one that many are likely familiar with from Science Fiction and biology; emergent behaviour in complex systems. It seems that 10,000 servers Omega controls are displaying even more than Borg did, with opportunistic usage of resources for tasks based on priority, run time and the processing power required to complete the tasks. This behaviour was not specifically programmed, it has come about thanks to some overarching rules which has lead to unexpected benefits. There are links to Google papers in the article if you wish to dig deeper into this topic.
""Emergent" behaviors have been appearing in prototypes of Google's Omega cluster management and application scheduling technology since its inception, and similar behaviors are regularly glimpsed in its "Borg" predecessor, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Register."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | November 4, 2013 - 03:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, Steam Machine, steam os, CES 2014
I guess The Verge, with its Steam Machine photos, prove all three next-gen consoles (trollolol) are designed to look like home theater devices. Of course you will never be able to purchase a Steam Machine from Valve but, since they are releasing their CAD files, I am sure at least one Steam Machine will be exactly to reference spec.
Image Source: The Verge
And, for the record, I think the reference enclosure is classy. Living room appliances suit a lot better than kitchen ones.
On a serious note: pictures of the internals. The beta Steam Machines will contain full desktop components aligned in such a way that each has its own sector to breathe from. The hottest parts intake and exhaust as far away from one another as possible. This makes the chassis relatively wide and short: a video card's length, in depth; about 3 expansion slots, tall; and about 3 PCIe cards height, wide. The actual measurements are 12" x 12" x 3" (W x D x H).
Photo Credit: The Verge
This is mostly possible because the GeForce Titan GPU is mounted upside-down and parallel with the motherboard. I have never experienced a 90-degree PCIe extension slot but, according to Josh Walrath, this is a common accessory in servers (especially 1U and 2U racks). The Titan intakes downward into a relatively unoccupied section of the case and exhausts out the back.
The Verge also had some things to say about the Steam Controller. The design motivations are interesting but I will leave that discussion to the original article (this news post will be long enough when I'm done with it). There are two points that I would like to bring up, though:
The first is a clarification of the original Steam Controller announcement: Valve will produce and sell Steam Controller on its own. This was originally a big question mark as it could water down how "reference" Valve's controller actually is. With Valve taking all-the-reins, the hardware looks more set in stone.
Will Valve still allow OEMs to learn from their design? Who knows.
The second is also interesting.
What Valve left out of the Steam Controller is almost as intriguing as what went in. Though Valve co-founder Gabe Newell told us that the company wanted to put biometric sensors into game controllers, the team discovered that hands weren't a good source of biofeedback since they were always moving around. However, the team hinted to me — strongly — that an unannounced future VR headset might measure your body's reaction to games at the earlobe. Such a device could know when you’re scared or excited, for instance, and adjust the experience to match.
Seeing Google, Valve, and possibly Apple all approach content delivery, mobile, home theater, and wearable computing... simultaneously... felt like there was a heavy link between them. This only supports that gut feeling. I believe this is the first step in a long portfolio integrating each of these seemingly unrelated technologies together. We should really watch how these companies develop these technologies: especially in relation to their other products.
Stay tuned for CES 2014 in early January. This will be the stage for Valve's hardware and software partners to unbutton their lips and spill their guts. I'm sure Josh and Ryan will have no problems cleaning it all up.
Subject: General Tech | November 4, 2013 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's deal is not something you see every day, a WiFi enabled console sized Alienware PC running Ubuntu. For $550 you get a Core i3-3220 @ 3.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD burner, a 1GB GTX 645, and pre-installed UBUNTU Linux 12.04. It also comes with a one year warranty which could come in handy if you are unfamiliar with Linux. This might not be the Linux powered Steambox of rumour, but it will certainly function as one and will provide more fun than speculating on when or if that device will ever be released.
- Alienware X51 4th-gen "Haswell" Core i3 + GeForce GTX 645 mini PC w/ Ubuntu Linux for $549.00 with free shipping(normally $1,249.99 - use coupon code: 5D?0D15W9LP822).
- WD Green 2TB SATA 6G/s 3.5" Hard Drive for $79.99 with Free Shipping (normally $99.99 - use coupon code: EMCYTZT4768).
- Samsung UN40EH5000 40" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $477.99 with Free Shipping (normally $499.99).
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked 2GB GDDR5 Video Card + Free $75 value in-game coupon for $159.99 with free shipping (normally $179.99).
- Roku 3 1080p Wireless Streaming Media Player for $94.97 with free shipping (normally $99.99)
- Gentle Giant Star Wars Chess Set for $599.99 wifh Free Shipping
Subject: General Tech | November 4, 2013 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, linux, open source, Broadwell
Over the weekend 62 patches to the Linux kernel were released, enabling Broadwell GPU support well ahead of the processors scheduled release date. Not only is this great news for open source enthusiasts who appreciate it when large companies like Intel release detailed driver code but also means that Broadwell should function well with Linux on its release date. Phoronix also reports that more code is scheduled to arrive this week to enable other features which are unique to Broadwell, keep your eyes peeled for any specifications we can infer from the code as it becomes available
"While Intel's Broadwell processors won't be launching until 2014 as the successor to Haswell, this weekend the initial open-source Linux GPU kernel driver was published ahead of the Linux 3.13 kernel merge window. The changes are massive and it's looking like the Broadwell graphics improvements will be astonishing and provide significant improvements over Haswell and earlier generations of Intel graphics."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Netflix starts 4K TV trial ahead of 2014 rollout @ The Inquirer
- Linux 3.12 Released, Linus Proposes Bug Fix-Only 4.0 @ Slashdot
- Google announces another partially fixed security flaw @ The Inquirer
- Google teaches Chrome Canary to sing when it sniffs dodgy downloads @ The Register
- Ding-dong! Who's at the door now with a big wad of cash, BlackBerry? @ The Register
- TRENDnet AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | November 1, 2013 - 04:49 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows rt, Surface 2
The Surface 2 is what happened to the Surface RT. Microsoft decided that "RT" has no place on this product except, of course, its software ("Windows RT") because they painted themselves into a corner on that one. The message is something like, "It's Windows RT 8.1 but not Windows 8.1; in fact, you cannot run that software on it". I expect, and you probably know I have voiced, that this all is a moot point in the semi-near future (and that sucks).
Microsoft's "Official" Surface 2 overviews.
Paul Thurrott down at his Supersite for Windows reviewed Surface 2 in terms of the original Surface RT. The inclusion of Tegra 4 was a major plus for him yielding "night and day" improvement over the previous Tegra 3. In fact, he thinks that everything is at least as good as the original. There is not a single point on his rubric where the Surface RT beats its successor.
Of course there is a single section where the Surface 2 lacks (it is shared with the Surface RT and I think you can guess what it is). The ecosystem, apps for Windows RT, is the platform's "Achilles Heel". It is better than it once was, with the inclusion of apps like Facebook, but glaring omissions will drive people away. He makes this point almost in passing but I, of course, believe this is a key issue.
It is absolutely lacking in key apps, and you will most likely never see such crucial solutions as full Photoshop, iTunes, or Google Chrome on this platform. But if we're being honest with ourselves here, as we must, these apps are, for better or worse, important. (The addition of Chrome alone would be a huge win for both Windows RT and Surface 2.)
You are paying Microsoft to not let you install third party browsers. Literally.
Not only does this limit its usefulness but it also reduces the pressure to continue innovation. Why add developer features to Internet Explorer when you can control their use with Windows Store? Sure, Internet Explorer has been on a great trajectory since IE9. I would say that versions 10 and especially 11 could be considered "top 3" contenders as app platforms.
The other alternative is the web, and this is where Internet Explorer 11 plays such a crucial role. While many tier-one online services—Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player and Prime Video, and so on—are lacking native Windows RT aps, the web interfaces (should) work fine, and IE 11 is evolving into a full-featured web app platform that should present a reasonable compromise for those users.
Only if Microsoft continues their effort. No-one else is allowed to.
Now that I expanded that point, be sure to check out the rest of Paul Thurrott's review. He broke his review down into sections, big and small, and stuck his opinion wherever he could. Also check out his preview of the Nokia Lumia 2520 to see whether that (if either device) is worth waiting for.
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2013 - 03:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today is a more powerful model of Dell XPS on sale, featuring a Core i5-3230M, 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive + 32GB mSATA SSD and a 1GB GeForce GT 630M. The screen is a full 1080p, though it is not touch capable which is a drawback as this will be a Win8 machine.
- Dell XPS 15 Core i5 1080p Ultrabook w/ GeForce GT 630M for $649.99 with free shipping(normally $1,249.99).
- Seiki SE39UY04 39" 2160p 4K LED HDTV for $569.00 with Free Shipping (normally $569.00 - use coupon code: UHD4K).
- Toshiba 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $99.99 with Free Shipping (normally $139.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXW22).
- Turtle Beach Ear Force Z Seven Tournament Series Headset for $209.99 with free shipping (normally $249.99).
- BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Wireless Router for $39.99 with free shipping (normally $59.99 - use coupon code: EMCWXTW63)
- Pacific Rim (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraViolet Combo Pack) for $23.99 wifh Free Shipping(normally $35.99)
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2013 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, ssd
Toshiba made a quick announcement today covering a new line of drives they will be releasing which have much greater endurance than their previous models. The limited lifespan of flash memory has been a concern for many and this drive should reassure users as it could survive 5 full drive writes per day for 5 years. As the vast majority of users are unlikely to fully fill a drive 5 times that 5 year estimate is lower than most would see. The drives will also be relatively speedy, The Register reports 130,000 random 4K read IOPS, 42,000 random write ones and 410 MiB/sec sequential write bandwidth.
"This SSD is made from Tosh’s 24nm enterprise-class NAND (eNAND) and comes in 100GB, 200GB, 400GB and 800GB capacity points. The 30 drive writes/day stat applies to all models. It means that, for example, the 800GB product can have 43.8PB written to it during its 5-year warranted life."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2013 - 03:48 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, R9 290X, amd, radeon, 290x crossfire, 280x, r9 280x, gtx 770, gtx 780, arm, mali, Altera
PC Perspective Podcast #275 - 10/31/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon R9 290X, ARMTechCon 2013, NVIDIA Pricedrops 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
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2013 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
You can go several different ways with today's top deal but the base 15.6" system is very acceptable with a Haswell Core i7-4700MQ @ 2.3GHz, 8GB DDR3, a 1TB Hard Drive and Blu-ray. The base system has a 1366x768 display but this can be upgraded to a proper 1080p display with a 2GB GeForce GT 740M which raises the price but offers a more attractive deal for gamers.
- HP ENVY TouchSmart 15t-j100 Quad Edition Core i7 "Haswell" Touchscreen Laptop for $754.99 with free shipping(normally $899.99 - use coupon code: EMCYTZT4735).
- Acer 21.5" 1080p IPS-panel LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $119.99 with Free Shipping (normally $269.99 - use coupon code: MU2713).
- Western Digital 4TB Red IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $179.99 with Free Shipping (normally $219.99 - use coupon code: EMCWXTW22).
- EVGA GeForce GTX 770 DUAL SuperClocked 4GB Video Card + Free 3 Games for $379.99 with free shipping (normally $409.99).
- Edimax BR-6258n 150Mbps Wireless-N Nano Size Router for $19.99 with free shipping (normally $49.99 - use coupon code: EMCWXTW64)
- Seiki SE50UY04 50" Ultra High Definition 4K2K LED HDTV for $1,299.99 wifh Free Shipping(normally $1,699.99)
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2013 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, azure, office 365, fail
For the better part of yesterday a good portion of Microsoft's Azure was down across the globe, with no geographic location left unaffected. Azure is not only Microsoft's cloud storage service but also handles authentication for Office 365 and hosts the Exchange servers used by the new office suite. Thankfully it was not a complete outage but the scope of the problem is quite worrisome, Microsoft has always claimed that Azure is partitioned geographically to prevent these types of global outages; their FTP service also failed during this outage adding credence to the lack of partitioning and possibility of cascading failures. A failure of this magnitude on a business critical service is quite worrying but allowed The Register to give us a new term, "Blue Sky of Death".
"Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud was hit by a worldwide partial compute outage today, calling into question how effectively Redmond has partitioned its service.
The problems emerged at 2.35AM UTC, and were still ongoing as of 10.20PM UTC the same day, according to the company's service dashboard."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Hackaday Interview with Amal Graafstra, Creator of xNT Implant Chip @ Hack a Day
- WD slips bullet between teeth, gets ready to hand $706 MEELLION to Seagate @ The Register
- Intel announces first commercial availability of 4G LTE modem; introduces module for 4G connected tablets and ultrabooks @ DigiTimes
- Use Your Smartphone as a Microscope for Less Than $10 @ Hack a Day
- Zetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder @ NikKTech
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