Mod Tools for The Witcher 3 Released

Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2015 - 08:44 PM |
Tagged: The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED

As CD Projekt Red promised before the game launched, The Witcher 3 received mod tools last week. This was done in partnership with Nexus Mods, allowing users to install and configure user content using the Nexus Mod Manager. Note that this only applies to mods that were created with the official mod kit, not any arbitrary mod that has been created since release.

cdprojekt-2015-witcher3-mods.jpg

CD Projekt Red has also provided four simple samples (serves you right for trying to read my news posts aloud) as a tutorial. “Witcher The Slav” retextures “Geralt's starting outfit”. “Fabulous Roach” modifies the meshes and textures that make up Geralt's horse. “Petard sWitcher”, and the more mundanely named Custom Equipment Sets Mod, each introduces game scripting concepts.

Go forth and mod.

Source: CD Projekt

Microsoft Publishes Build 10525 to Fast Ring Insiders

Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2015 - 08:24 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft

Almost exactly a month ago, Windows 10 Build 10240 was released to both Fast and Slow. This build served as the milestone for an everyperson's operating system, and it gave OEMs something to validate drivers and software against. According to BuildFeed, the first known branches at that build number were compiled on July 9th.

windows-10.png

Today, Windows Insiders on the Fast ring will receive Build 10525 when they next perform a Windows Update. This build was first compiled last week on August 12th, and it represents the first published milestone of the TH2 branch. It contains two new (advertised) features: extra color options for Windows UI elements and improvements to Windows 10 memory management.

I'll talk about Memory Manager first.

As Windows 10 builds were released, there was one where I noticed the System process begun to use a significant amount of RAM -- a whole gigabyte or two. I figured that this was a memory leak that would be fixed in a later build, so I put up with it. Some time later, I noticed that its usage would actually go up and down as I open or close applications. It was also never “fixed” before release.

It turns out that it was an intended feature.

When operating systems decide that a chunk of memory is unlikely to be used, they tend to push them to the hard drive. This could be an application that has been minimized for a while, or portions that were displaced by a big, RAM-hungry program. You will often see this when you switch programs. Sometimes, there's a program that's already open, albeit minimized, but it still takes a few seconds to pop up. This behavior is often because it was pushed out of system memory and Windows (or Mac, Linux, and so forth) wasn't prepared to abruptly fetch it again.

Now, system memory is big and cheap, and Windows is being installed on devices with small banks of flash storage and relatively fast processors. Microsoft now believes that it makes sense to cram old chunks of memory into a container, which resides in RAM, that is compressed (as opposed to just dumping it onto permanent storage). This occurs in the system process, which explains why it tends to inflate when you're doing a lot of things at once.

Build 10525 tweaks this feature a bit in undescribed ways. I could imagine that Microsoft cut development in the public branches to make it robust for Windows 10's launch. They now have an opportunity to point Insiders to the less tested branches.

microsoft-2015-win10-10525-system.png

I think this is interesting, and could make a lot of sense if they successfully manage data into their most efficient storage locations. I do notice that System tends to get large even when a lot of RAM is still available. For instance, I have 55% of my memory unallocated at this point, but System is about 1.2 GB large. There could be very good reasons for this, which might be something that my operating system would know better than I, but it might also be a sign that it's slightly over-aggressive. Maybe my system could benefit from a big, contiguous chunk of available memory, or maybe my PC is being unreasonably taxed. Who knows.

The other major feature is color management. While the three displayed toggles are available in 10240, the user is apparently now able to adjust more colors. Without installing 10525, I cannot figure out what those changes are, but Microsoft asserts that they're there.

If you register as a Windows Insider Fast Ring user, you can now receive 10525.

Source: Microsoft

Tt eSPORTS updated BLACK V2 Gaming Mouse

Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2015 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, thermaltake esports, black v2

The new Black V2 has the high quality OMRON switches common to gaming mice and has been upgraded to use an AVAGO laser sensor which allows you to increment your sensitivity in 100DPI increments up to 5700 DPI.  It sports 7 programmable buttons all of which can be set to send macros, a total of 35 programmable macros across 5 profiles using the included software.  The LEDs which illuminate the logo and indicate the current DPI sensitivity level can be turned on or off and apparently will change depending on how fast you are clicking if you enable Battle Mode.  Five 4.5g weights allow you to modify how the mouse feels in your hand, not a bad set of features for a mouse under $60Check out Mad Shrimps' full review to see what they thought of the Black V2.

intro.png

"During our time with the Black V2, the product seemed quite responsive and comfortable, while the extra buttons can be accessed easily when in-game. The mouse was tested in multiple game genres and here we could count League of Legends, Echo of Soul, The Talos Principle, Serious Sam BFE but also GTA V; thanks to the new AVAGO sensor, the experience was accurate and if we feel that the default DPI steps are not for us in the current game, we can easily reconfigure them from the supplied application."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Mad Shrimps

Move over Twinkies and cockroaches; meet the unkillable cookie

Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2015 - 01:11 PM |
Tagged: super cookie, security

Congratulations, if you use Verizon, AT&T, Bell Canada, Bharti Airtel, Cricket, Telefonica de Espantilde;a, Viettel Peru S.a.c., Vodafone NL or Vodafone Spain as your provider your browsing is being tracked and there is nothing you can do about it.  These providers have assigned your device a unique token which the provider injects into every HTTP request your device makes, the cookie is actually external to your device and so you have no way to remove it.  You will see targeted ads based on your browsing no matter how many times you remove cookies or even factory reset your phone.  Verizon has now made it an opt-out feature and The Register has been told that AT&T no longer injects the 'super cookie' into headers but based on businesses recent behaviour it is probably because they have found a better way to track you.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-15-at-9.09.53-AM.png

"At least nine telcos around the world are using so-called super-cookies to secretly monitor citizens' online behavior, according to a new study."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

How many new machines shipped with Windows 10?

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2015 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, sales

With the humorously tight margin between the release of the Windows RTM and the release date for the rest of the world it is not surprising that new laptops and desktops were not available with Windows 10 installed.  All that changed the next week when there were actual machines available of which some were even purchased.  According to the information given to The Register there were 150 machines sold in Europe and while they did not have exact numbers for the North American market it is not going to be significantly different.  It looks like the new OS is not bringing the large surge in PC sales that companies were hoping for immediately, perhaps as more systems become available with new hardware we will start to see the increase.

Windows-10-RTM-Wallpaper.jpg

"No PCs pre-loaded with Windows 10 made their way into distributors’ warehouses in the week before launch of the OS – but by golly, they did in seven days after the 'big event'."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Bad Google! That is not how you patch

Subject: General Tech | August 14, 2015 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: google, stagefright, Android, security

So it would seem that the patch which Google rolled out and carriers have been pushing OTA is not going to be the last that we hear of Stagefright as the patch is not all that effective.  Stagefright is a vulnerability present on all 950 million devices running Android 2.2 to 5.1 and allows certain MMS to be able to execute code on your mobile device.  The recently released patch does not completely ameliorate this vulnerability, an MMS can still cause the library to crash, most likely just preventing you from using the application but possibly allowing other attacks to occur. 

Also of note is the monthly Android patches that Google is providing to various phone manufacturers who are supposed to be pushing them out.  As many Android users will have noticed, up to and including the staff at The Register, you may not have seen the flawed patch yet, let alone the update for the patch.

stagefright03.jpg

"Google's security update to fix the Stagefright vulnerability in millions of Android smartphones is buggy – and a new patch is needed.

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Gameworks VR, NVIDIA's Direct Driver Mode for the Oculus Rift

Subject: General Tech, Displays | August 13, 2015 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, oculus rift, gameworks vr

The news that Oculus SDK 0.7

would incorporate Direct Driver Mode after the August 20th update is not very old and now NVIDA has announced the availability of the beta version of their GameWorks VR.  As mentioned on this podcast, until now your GPU has treated the Oculus as a secondary monitor but with this update your graphics driver will directly talk to the Oculus as a separate device, which should help greatly with latency and development of the tricks and treats yet to be discovered when programming for this type of interface.

vrlock.jpg

NVIDIA's Gameworks VR, as well as AMD's LiquidVR will provide a platform for developers to program for the Oculus Rift as well as the competeing products from other companies.  The new beta SDK from NVIDIA has been updated to support VR SLI and is compatible with the new 350.60 Game Ready drivers.  Programmers working with the Maxwell architecture will benefit from Multi-Res Shading which should increase the performance of your current programs.  Follow the links if you are interested in developing for Oculus, otherwise wait patiently for the day you can pre-order them.

Source: NVIDIA

Meet the Galaxy S6 Edge+

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2015 - 01:37 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Galaxy S6 Edge+

We all knew it was coming and now we have the official information on the Galaxy S6 Edge+ from Samsung.  It is as Edge-y as the non-plus model and sports the same 5.7in 1440x2560 QHD Super AMOLED dual screen.  As you would expect there is a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 inside, using the same 14nm process but the RAM has been upped to 4GB from the previous 3GB.  The metal and glass housing is similar to the Edge but discerning eyes should still be able to tell you forked over money to upgrade to the newest model.  The Inquirer has some of the press release here but don't watch the full release video as it is only slightly less terrible than last years horror show from Blackberry.

galaxy-s6-edge-plus-and-galaxy-note-5-540x334.png

"SAMSUNG HAS SURPRISED NOBODY with the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 Edge+, the firm's latest smartphone for big-handed folk."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #362 - Benchmarking a Voodoo 3, Flash Media Summit 2015, Skylake Delidding and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2015 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: podcast, video, amd, nvidia, GTX 970, Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition, dx12, 3dfx, voodoo 3, Intel, SSD 750, NVMe, Samsung, R9 Fury, Fiji, gtx 950

PC Perspective Podcast #362 - 08/13/2015

Join us this week as we discuss Benchmarking a Voodoo 3, Flash Media Summit 2015, Skylake Delidding 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak

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

The Steam Boy gets a new name and pre-order price

Subject: General Tech | August 12, 2015 - 04:06 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Steam Machine, valve, Smach Zero

The portable Steam machine previously referred to as the Steam Boy is now called the Smach Zero and you can pre-order it starting November 10th for $300.  The device will feature a 5-inch 720p touch screen powered by an AMD Steppe Eagle SoC with a Jaguar-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics.  It will have 4GB of RAM onboard, 32GB of internal storage with more available vis an SD Card Slot and support for USB OTG.  HEXUS was told the device should be able to handle Half-Life 2, Civilization V, Dota 2, Tropico 5, BioShock Infinite or Cities: Skylines on its integral display or outputted via the HDMI port.  Check out more on the Smach Zero here.

692933fe-c1d2-4637-a4a5-2e32f13db182.jpg

"Smach Zero Steam Machine pre-order availability and pricing have both been confirmed by the device maker. Smach published a press release yesterday saying that the handheld will be available on pre-order from 10th November at a special introductory price of $299."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: HEXUS