My new desk mate
Earlier this month at the 2016 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show, Logitech released a new product for the gaming market that might have gone unnoticed by some. The G502 Proteus Spectrum is a new gaming mouse that takes an amazing product and makes it just a little better with the help of some RGB goodness. The G502 Proteus Core has been around for a while now and has quickly become one of the best selling gaming mice on Amazon, a testament to its quality and popularity. (It has been as high as #1 overall in recent days.)
We have been using the G502 Proteus Core in our gaming test beds at the office for some months and during that time I often lamented about how I wanted to upgrade the mouse on my own desk to one. While I waited for myself stop being lazy and not just switching one for the G402 currently in use at my workstation, Logitech released the new G502 Proteus Spectrum and handed me a sample at CES to bring home. Perfect!
|Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Specifications|
|Resolution||200 - 12,000 DPI|
|Max Speed||>300 IPS|
|USB Data||16 bits/axis|
|USB Report Rate||1000 Hz (1 ms)|
|Button rating||20 million clicks|
|Feet rating||250 kilometers|
|Price||$79 - Amazon.com|
The G502 Proteus Spectrum is very similar to the Core model, with the only difference being the addition of an RGB light under the G logo and DPI resolution indicators. This allows you to use the Logitech Gaming Software to customize its color, its pattern (breathing, still or rotating) as well as pair it up and sync with the RGB lights of other Logitech accessories you might have. If you happen to own a Logitech G910 or G410 keyboard, or one of the new headsets (G633/933) then you'll quickly find yourself in color-coordinated heaven.
In the box you'll find the mouse, attached to a lengthy cable that works great even with my standing desk, and a set of five weights that you can install on the bottom if you like a heavier feel to your mousing action. I installed as many as I could under the magnetic door on the underside of the mouse and definitely prefer it. The benefit of the weights (as opposed to just a heavier mouse out of the box) is that users can customize it as they see fit.
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2016 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hifiman, headphones, HE-1000, audio
HiFiMAN have been producing mid level and high end audio products for quite some time, straddling the line between affordable and audiophile quality. The HE-1000 are of the aforementioned audiophile level, at $3000 you really have to have discerning ears to want to pick up these cans. The headset is quite pretty, built with leather, wood, and aluminium with soft cloth for the earcups and a window blind design on the exterior which HiFiMAN claims has a positive effect on the audio quality. techPowerUp tested these headphones out, you can read the description of their experience in the audio soundstage these headphones create in their review ... or not.
"HiFiMAN is constantly developing their planar technology, and today, we will take a look at their latest state-of-the-art headphone. It is dubbed the HE-1000 and features a nanometer thick diaphragm, leather headband, and milled aluminum. We take HiFiMAN's most audacious and pricey headphone for a ride!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Headset @ eTeknix
- Rock Jaw Audio Alfa Genus V2 earphones @ Kitguru
- Corsair VOID USB Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2016 - 12:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, Windows Store, windows 10
If the complaints of the developers in this story over at The Register are accurate then the problem with the Windows Store might not be that there are no good apps but instead that you simply can't find them. If a developer can't find their own app in the store using keywords in the title or description or even the ones they submitted to the store then how can you expect to? If the only good way to find an app is to know its exact name, how many apps are there in the store that no one but the developer has even seen? It is still possible that an improved search function will not help the Windows Store but at this point its reputation could not get all that much worse.
"Looking at the developer forums though, it seems that official guidance and assistance for this issue is not easy to find, which will not help Microsoft in its efforts to establish a strong Windows 10 app ecosystem."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Containers! Containers! Containers! And RHEL 7.2. Employ as you wish @ The Register
- Microsoft launches Office Insider programme for Mac OS X users @ The Inquirer
- Security company RSA wants your plain text Twitter log-in @ The Inquirer
- Alcatel Flash 2 Upgrades @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2016 - 02:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tomb raider, pc gaming, min specs, can it run
Crystal Dynamics has revealed the minimum system requirements for Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC. This latest Lara Croft adventure sees the ever-resilient tomb raider following in the footsteps of her father in search of an artifact said to grant immortality amidst the lost city of Kitezh. Fortunately for gamers, Rise of the Tomb Raider has quite a low bar for entry with modest minimum system requirements. You will need more powerful hardware than its 2013 predecessor (Tomb Raider), but it is still quite manageable.
PC gamers will need a 64-bit version of Windows, a dual core Intel Core i3-2100 (2 core, 4 thread at 3.1 GHz) or, for example, AMD FX 4100 processor, 6 GB of system memory, 25 GB of storage space for all the game files, and, of course, a graphics card with 2 GB of video memory such as the NVIDIA GTX 650 or AMD Radeon HD7770. Naturally, hardware with higher specifications/capabilities will get you better performance and visuals, but the above is what you will need to play.
Minimum PC System Requirements:
- Dual Core Processor (e.g. Core i3-2100 or FX 4100)
- 6 GB RAM
- 25 GB Available Storage Space
- 2 GB Graphics Card (e.g. GTX 650 or Radeon HD7770)
For those curious, Tomb Raider (2013) required XP SP3 32-bit, a dual core Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 or Athlon 64 X2 4050+ CPU, 1 GB of RAM (2 GB for Vista), and an NVIDIA 8600 or AMD HD2600 XT GPU with 512MB of video memory.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will reportedly add new stealth and crafting components along with new weapons and options for close quarters combat. Further, the game will feature day and night cycles with realistic weather which should make for cold snow-filled nights in Siberia as well as opportunities to sneak up on unwitting guards freezing their buns off!
The game is set to release on January 28th for the PC and joins the the Xbox One version that launched back in November 2015 where it will be a timed exclusive (it will come to the PS4 later this year).
Personally, I am excited for this game. I picked up its predecessor during a Steam sale for super cheap only to let it sit in my inventory for about a year. It was one of those 'I'll play it eventually, but it's not really a priority' things where the price finally got me (heh). Little did I know how wrong I was, because once I finally got around to firing up the game, I played it near constantly until I beat it! It was a surprisingly fun reboot of the series, and I am hopeful that RofTR will be more of the same!
Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2016 - 06:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
I wasn't planning on reporting every Windows 10 Insider build, but I actually have something to say about this one. The last couple of builds were examples of Microsoft switching to a faster release cycle for preview users, although the known issues list were quite benign. The semi-frequent upgrade cycles would shake users away from the Insider program, or transition to Slow.
They now seem ready to start rolling back to less QA for Fast users.
Five issues are known about build 11102. First, internal changes to the Windows Graphics architecture cause some games to crash on launch, full screen, or resolution changes. The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed, and Metal Gear Solid V are known to be affected by this bug, but other games (and maybe even other software) could be affected too. Second, screen readers and other accessibility software may crash randomly. If you require those accommodations, then this build could make your device functionally unusable to you.
Beyond those two, big issues, three other ones are present. There is an error message on login with a workaround, a breaking change for old wireless drivers that you should probably upgrade beforehand if you rely upon wireless to download drivers, and “The Connect button does not show up in Action Center.”
Microsoft is currently updating the deep insides of the OS, which means that they will be poking around the source code in weird places. Once it's completed, this should make Windows more maintainable, especially for multiple types of hardware. But again, if you're not wanting to be a part of this, switch to Slow or leave Insider.
Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2016 - 02:34 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x99-m, X170, X150, video, Silent Base 800, Q4 2015, Predator X34, podcast, gigabyte, g-sync, freesync, earnings, be quiet, asus, amd, acer
PC Perspective Podcast #383 - 01/21/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the Acer Predator X34, ASUS X99-M, AMD Q4 Earnings 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 (audio only)
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:25:53
Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2016 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, intel driver update utility, security
The Intel Driver Update Utility is not the most commonly found application on PCs but someone you know may have stumbled upon it or had it installed by Geek Squad or the local equivalent. Since Windows Vista the tool has been available, it checks your system for any Intel parts, from your APU to your NIC and then looks for any applicable drivers that are available. Unfortunately it was doing so over a non-SSL URL which leaves the utility wide open to a man in the middle attack and you really do not want a compromised NIC driver. The Inquirer reports today that Intel quietly updated the tool on January 19th to resolve the issue, ensuring all communication and downloads are over SSL. If you know anyone using this tool, recommend they update it immediately.
"Intel has issued a fix for a major security vulnerability in a driver utility tool that could have allowed a man-in-the-middle attack and a malware maelstrom on victims' computers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet! @ The Register
- Solus Project: No Longer Just A Chrome OS Alternative @ Linux.com
- Google Chrome is getting a speed boost of up to 25 percent - and soon @ The Inquirer
- E-Mail Spam Goes Artisanal @ Slashdot
- Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us @ The Register
- IRS 'inadvertently' wiped hard drive Microsoft demanded in audit row @ The Register
- Synaptics IronVeil Fingerprint Security Technology @ eTeknix
- Through The Looking Glass - Questions Of VR's Viability On The PC @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2016 - 02:59 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google, chrome
Web browsers are typically on rapid release cycles so they can get features out frequently. The Web is changing on a constant basis to help it become an effective application platform, which is cross-compatible with competing implementations. A common complaint is that the cycle is to yield high version numbers for marketing, to give a false sense of maturity, but I'd expect that frequent, breaking changes are kind-of necessary to synchronize features between implementations. If Google lands a feature a month after Mozilla publishes a new version, should they really wait two years for their next one? Granted, they probably knew about it pre-release, but you get the idea. Also, even if the theory is true, artificially high version numbers is one of the most benign things a company could do.
Some versions introduce some fairly interesting features, though. This one, Google Chrome 48, deprecates RC4 encryption for HTTPS, which forces web servers to use newer cyphers or they will fail to load.
Another major one, and probably more interesting for our audience, is the introduction of VP9 to WebRTC. This video codec is Google's open competitor to H.265. At similar quality settings, VP9 will use about half of the bandwidth (or storage) as VP8. WebRTC is mostly used for video conferencing, but it's really an open platform for webcam, microphone, audio, video, and raw, peer-to-peer data connections. There are even examples of it being used to synchronize objects in multiplayer video games, which has nothing to do with video or audio streaming. I'm not sure what is possible with this support, but it might even lead to web applications that can edit video.
Google Chrome 48 is available today. Also, as a related note, Firefox 44 should release next week with its own features, like experimental rendering of WebGL images offscreen and multi-threaded. The full changelog for Google Chrome 48 from Git is about 42 MB large and, ironically, tends to crash Firefox.
Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2016 - 07:06 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vulkan, ue4, nvidia, Intel, gdc 2016, GDC, epic games, DirectX 12, Codemasters, arm, amd
The 30th Game Developers Conference (GDC) will take place on March 14th through March 18th, with the expo itself starting on March 16th. The sessions have been published at some point, with DX12 and Vulkan prominently featured. While the technologies have not been adopted as quickly as advertised, the direction is definitely forward. In fact, NVIDIA, Khronos Group, and Valve have just finished hosting a developer day for Vulkan. It is coming.
One interesting session will be hosted by Codemasters and Intel, which discusses bringing the F1 2015 engine to DirectX 12. It will highlight a few features they implemented, such as voxel based raytracing using conservative rasterization, which overestimates the size of individual triangles so you don't get edge effects on pixels that are partially influenced by an edge that cuts through a tiny, but not negligible, portion of them. Sites like Game Debate (Update: Whoops, forgot the link) wonder if these features will be patched in to older titles, like F1 2015, or if they're just R&D for future games.
Another keynote will discuss bringing Vulkan to mobile through Unreal Engine 4. This one will be hosted by ARM and Epic Games. Mobile processors have quite a few cores, albeit ones that are slower at single-threaded tasks, and decent GPUs. Being able to keep them loaded will bring their gaming potential up closer to the GPU's theoretical performance, which has surpassed both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, sometimes by a factor of 2 or more.
Many (most?) slide decks and video recordings are available for free after the fact, but we can't really know which ones ahead of time. It should be an interesting year, though.
Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2016 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Kickstarter, consortium
That is a hell of a tagline which will be hard to live up to as trying to live up to the fond memories of the original Deus Ex while figuring out how to make Die Hard playable is not a trivial task. The original ($2.99 on GoG right now) had mixed reviews, some loving the way you are dumped into an immersive story with no introduction and others frustrated by a lack of tutorial. It was certainly different than your usual game in 2014. The second game in the developers planned trilogy is Consortium: The Tower and seems to be more focused on being a single person stealth/action game than the team based experience of the first but the trailer does seem to have some of the same flavour as the first when it comes to the story and dialogue. You don't often see a player choose to drop his weapons and then attempt to dialogue with the bad guys, except in cut scenes of which there will be none in this game. Check out the trailer, read what the gang at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN had to say about it and see if you think it is worth tossing in on the Kickstarter campaign.
We could have talked about FarCry Primal but Ubisoft is too busy being themselves by taking down trailers and generally making it hard to have nice things.
"As pitches go, Consortium: The Tower has a bloody good line up its sleeve. Like its predecessor, it’s a science fiction game set in a single environment. You can talk, fight or sneak your way past or through encounters, and many events will happen even if you’re not there to see or influence them."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wot I Think: Tharsis @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Fallout 4 amazes and annoys @ The Tech Report
- Humble Store Winter Sale
- Humble Firaxis Games Bundle offers $211 worth of games @ HEXUS
- Far Cry Primal Trailer Confirms It’s A Far Cry Game @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN