Face it, tape backups aren't going anywhere anytime soon

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 03:18 PM |
Tagged: tape, backup, sony

Sony has just raised the bar on tape backup after creating a new process which can create strings of uniformly orientated nanocrystals in a layer less than five micrometers thick, giving the tape a storage density of 148 Gb per square inch.  Compare that to the current market standard of 2Gb per square inch on LTO-6 high-end LTO Ultrium tapes.  Unfortunately there are two questions left unanswered by the statement that The Register linked to; what I/O speeds can this media maintain and what its expected lifetime is.

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"Researchers at Sony have developed a new kind of magnetic tape that can store 74 times the data of current designs, dramatically cutting the amount of room needed for backup libraries."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

NVIDIA Proves the Cake is Not a Lie with Portal on SHIELD

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, shield, Portal, GTC, Cake, lie

Sometimes I feel like this job just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Today is no expection.

Over the years we have gotten plenty of strange guerilla marketing materials in the mail from both AMD and NVIDIA. Apparently, this is one of those days.

After reciving just a tracking number, and no additional information from NVIDIA earlier this week, the mystery package finally arrived today. Upon initial inspection we had no idea what to expect.

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When we opened the box, we were greeted by a polystyrene cooler with the logo of Bake Me a Wish, which only served to confuse us more.

As we opened the cooler, and the subsequent box inside of it, things started to make more sense.

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Inside the box, we were greeted by a chocolate cake, accompanied by a card from NVIDIA.

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As you may remember at this year's GTC Conference, NVIDIA announced that they had ported Valve's Portal to Android and would be releasing it for SHIELD. Today we were greeted with a reminder of that, and the message that we should be able to try it for ourselves.

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A teaser from this year's GTC Keynote

While we can't talk about our experiences with Portal just yet, stay tuned to PC Perspective for more coverage of the NVIDIA SHIELD and Portal very soon!

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA Charity Auction Announcement

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, charity, falcon northwest, phil scholtz

In January of this year, an NVIDIA employee named Philip Scholz died while successfully saving the life of a man who was on the tracks at a Caltrain station in Santa Clara.  His family started the Philip Scholz Memorial Foundation to provide scholarship opportunities to needs based youth and promote physical activity, especially baseball.  The Foundation has been taking donations directly but now his friends at NVIDIA have raised the bar and are auctioning off an impressive system from Falcon Northwest with the proceeds going to the charity.

Check out the video below and consider putting your money towards a great cause!

We’re now auctioning this amazing system to raise funds for the Philip Scholz Memorial Foundation, honoring an NVIDIA brother who was tragically killed earlier this year when he heroically removed an individual from train tracks and was hit.

The Foundation bearing Phil’s name provides scholarships to needs-based youth and promotes outdoor physical activities involving his favorite pastime, baseball.

This amazing PC uses all the latest technology to deliver absolutely raging performance in a cool, quiet platform.

It starts with the award-winning GeForce GTX Titan Black – the world’s fastest single GPU.

And it includes Intel’s latest Core i7 CPU, the 4770K, running on an ASUS z87 Maximus motherboard loaded with 16GB of GSKILL DDR3 memory. The storage system is based on two 1TB M50 SSDs from Crucial. And it’s all wrapped up in the most impressive chassis available today – the Tiki -- custom designed in NVIDIA green, with a laser cutout window so everyone can see the beast that lives within.

This entire system is fully warranted by Falcon Northwest.

To learn more about Phil and the way he changed those around him, see this story from San Jose Mercury News.

The direct auction link is here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=151292393844

Source: NVIDIA

Podcast #298 - Next Generation Intel Motherboards, Crossfire R9 295x2s, Corsair AX1500i Power Supply, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: video, r9 295x2, podcast, nvidia, Next Generation, Intel, corsair, AX1500i, amd, 295x2

PC Perspective Podcast #298 - 05/01/2014

Join us this week as we discuss Next Generation Intel Motherboards, Crossfire R9 295x2s, Corsair AX1500i Power Supply, 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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Morry Tietelman

Program length: 1:22:18
    1. there is a video, and it will be streamed
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

AMD Mantle Private Beta Announced

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 1, 2014 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: Mantle, amd

As our readers are well aware, Mantle is available for use with a few games. Its compatibility begun with the beta Catalyst 14.1 driver and an update for Battlefield 4. AMD was quite upfront about the technology, even granting a brief interview with Guennadi Riguer, Chief Architect of the API to fill in a few of the gaps left from their various keynote speeches.

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What is under lock and key, however, is the actual software development kit (SDK). AMD claimed that it was too immature for the public. It was developed in partnership with DICE, Oxide Games, and other, established developers to fine-tune its shape, all the while making it more robust. That's fine. They have a development plan. There is nothing wrong with that. Today, while the SDK is still not public and sealed by non-disclosure agreement, AMD is accepting applications from developers who are requesting to enter the program.

If you want to develop a Mantle application or game, follow the instructions at their website for AMD to consider you. They consider it stable, performant, and functional enough for "a broader audience in the developer community".

AMD cites 40 developers already registered, up from seven (DICE, Crytek, Oxide, etc.).

If you are not a developer, then this news really did not mean too much to you -- except that progress is being made.

Source: AMD

The real S.T.A.L.K.E.R is here! Get the Lost Alpha now

Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: gaming, stalker, lost alpha, kick ass

Reviving old games with new mods has become a popular past time for programmers and gamers alike, with one popular target being S.T.A.L.K.E.R. which has seen it's original form released for free as well as other rather impressive mods.  After a long six year wait, there is another huge mod for the game now available, the Lost Alpha Standalone which does not even require you to own the full game to play as it uses the released original game.  There will be bugs, you will suffer some pain but wasn't that the best part about the game?  Head to Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for links to a preview movie and the official torrent.

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"It’s been in development for five years and is now available, slightly earlier than originally planned. There are download links (including an official torrent) over at Moddb and you won’t need to have the original game installed to play. I want to spend my day in the Zone."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Using TLC flash to offer consumer level pricing to data centers?

Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 12:59 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, ssd, tlc

Samsung has been working with TLC flash for a while now, both the original 840 and the 840 EVO utilize that type of flash, the increased yields offer lower pricing at the cost of a reduced number of writes before the flash begins to fail.   The Register has posted their announcement of a new product line aimed at the data centre; the PM835T family will come in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB models and will also use TLC flash, with pricing predicted to be comparable to consumer level drives.  With Samsung's 10nm-class TLC flash the experts at SMART suspect a 500 phase/erase cycle lifetime however depending on how Samsung has designed the drives the actual number could be much higher, they do offer a 3 year warranty on their current TLC drives.  For now Samsung is not releasing an official expected lifetime for these drives which raises a question, will enterprise feel the short term cost savings are worth the long term replacement costs?

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"Triple-level cell (TLC) flash chips mean fabs can extract more flash capacity from a silicon wafer, and so production costs are lower than for two-level cell MLC technology. Samsung says it gets "a 30 per cent increase in manufacturing efficiency compared to SSDs that use 2-bit NAND flash components."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Post Tax Day Celebration! Win an EVGA Hadron Air and GeForce GTX 750!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 30, 2014 - 10:05 AM |
Tagged: hadron air, hadron, gtx 750, giveaway, evga, contest

Congrats to our winner: Pierce H.! Check back soon for more contests and giveaways at PC Perspective!!

In these good old United States of America, April 15th is a trying day. Circled on most of our calendars is the final deadline for paying up your bounty to Uncle Sam so we can continue to have things like freeway systems and universal Internet access. 

But EVGA is here for us! Courtesy of our long time sponsor you can win a post-Tax Day prize pack that includes both an EVGA Hadron Air mini-ITX chassis (reviewed by us here) as well as an EVGA GeForce GTX 750 graphics card. 

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Nothing makes paying taxes better than free stuff that falls under the gift limit...

With these components under your belt you are well down the road to PC gaming bliss, upgrading your existing PC or starting a new one in a form factor you might not have otherwise imagined. 

Competing for these prizes is simple and open to anyone in the world, even if you don't suffer the same April 15th fear that we do. (I'm sure you have your own worries...)

  1. Fill out the form at the bottom of this post to give us your name and email address, in addition to the reasons you love April 15th! (Seriously, we need some good ideas for next year to keep our heads up!) Also, this does not mean you should leave a standard comment on the post to enter, though you are welcome to do that too.
     
  2. Stop by our Facebook page and give us a LIKE (I hate saying that), head over to our Twitter page and follow @pcper and heck, why not check our our many videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel?
     
  3. Why not do the same for EVGA's Facebook and Twitter accounts?
     
  4. Wait patiently for April 30th when we will draw and update this news post with the winners name and tax documentation! (Okay, probably not that last part.)

A huge thanks goes out to friends and supporters at EVGA for providing us with the hardware to hand out to you all. If it weren't for sponsors like this PC Perspective just couldn't happen, so be sure to give them some thanks when you see them around the In-tar-webs!!

Good luck!

Source: EVGA

Firefox 29 Launches with Australis Interface and Gamepad

Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 03:52 AM |
Tagged: mozilla, gamepad, firefox

After three years' reign, the orange Firefox button has been retired by Mozilla. Firefox 29 introduces the new Australis interface, with its curved tabs and a simple menu button comprised of three horizontal lines (the "Hamburger Icon"). The interface missed its targets a few times but is finally here.

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Obviously, Australis makes the browser look more like Google Chrome (and less like Opera). Users of Mozilla's Thunderbird will also find it more familiar as that program skipped Firefox 4's direction and immediately adopted parts of Australis as they developed. Thunderbird still lacks a few bits and pieces, its development having slowed since its transition to Extended Support. But this is not about Thunderbird -- it is about Firefox.

In terms of actual features, Australis brings a new Bookmarks button, which is basically two buttons, and is pretty slick to both add and access links to favorite web addresses. The little star-dropping animation is a subtle hint to the user that a bookmark has been added to the list, accessed by the right-most button. Many users will be upset by the removal of the Add-on Bar, a place where extensions can leave a button or two without clogging the rest of the interface. Mozilla seems to expect that extensions, if they absolutely must leave a button, will cram it next to the gigantic location bar (or less-gigantic search bar); that, or affected users will just install an Add-on Bar extension.

Also in Firefox 29 is the finalized, and enabled by default, Gamepad API. With it, web games can be controlled with devices such as the Xbox 360 controller. If you want to see a geeky example, one is available at html5gamepad.com. This website lists every compatible game input device and their current state. In my testing, Firefox 29 was able to detect both my Xbox 360 controller and my Thrustmaster T-16000M joystick -- and register their inputs independently.

There's not really anything, from the technical side of things at least, to prevent split-screen gaming in the browser. Detecting the input devices did not even require restarting the browser, although that is a good troubleshooting step, as Firefox detected it immediately after I plugged it in and pressed a button. The flight stick, probably because it has never been attached to this instance of Windows before, required the good old unplug and replug of its USB cord after Windows "Add New Hardware" finished in order to register input. It is not perfect, but still pretty good.

Firefox 29 launched in the middle of the night on Tuesday, April 29th. It is free and, if Firefox is set to automatically update, you probably already have it. If not? Get it.

Source: Mozilla

Like a $3000 Double Double; the HD 295X in CrossFire

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2014 - 06:29 PM |
Tagged: 4k, amd, crossfire, quad crossfire, r9 295x2, radeon, video

Ryan isn't the only crazy one out there stringing 2 PSUs together to power a pair of AMD's massively powerful 295X2s in CrossFire; the gang at [H]ard|OCP did as well after taking the Mickey with a certain Brian.  As with Ryan's experiment they required a second PSU, in this case a 1350W plus an 850W in order to stop the rig from crashing.  Their test components also differed somewhat, a Maximus V Extreme instead of a P9X79 Deluxe and slightly different RAM and Win 8.1 installed on their SSD.  The other reason to check them out is the Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 tests in addition to the 4K tests.

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"Got extra PCIe slots and have no idea what in the world you can do with those? Well if you have $3000 burning a hole in your pocket, wiring in your house that is up to code, a good air conditioning system, and a Type C fire extinguisher that you are not using, AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 QuadFire may be just what the fire marshal ordered."

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Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP