Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | February 11, 2015 - 08:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google io 2015, google io, google
Or is that Left Shark Eggs? Yup, pay attention near the end of the post for an Easter Egg.
Every year, Google hosts their I/O developer conference, which often involves the launching of new hardware and services. This year, it will take place on May 28th and May 29th. Registration to register will open on March 17th at noon ET and it will end on the 19th. If you do not get in, many keynotes and sessions will be broadcast over the internet... because it's Google.
Note how I said “Registration to register”? That was not a typo. You are putting your name into a randomizer that will select candidates to actually register and purchase their tickets. Last year, tickets sold out in less than an hour. Apparently Google believes that it is better for the tickets to go to the luckiest individuals, rather than the best F5ers.
I hope this made your day as bright as mine. Basically, I HOPE I RUINED YOUR DAY TOO!
Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2015 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, ea, battlefield hardline
Battlefield Hardline is in public beta for those who have tired of Battlefield 4 and are looking for a new online Frostbite 3 shooter to play and [H]ard|OCP has run benchmarks to show you what kind of performance you can expect. They gathered together three cards from the two companies, a GTX 980, 970 and 960 as well as an R9 290X DD, 290 and 285 with a mix of default and factory overclocked frequencies. As of yet there is no Mantle support in the beta so both vendors are using DX11 in the tests, with the top four cards at 2560x1440 and the remaining two at 1080p, all set to 4X MSAA and Ultra settings except for the Dustbowl map. The GTX 980 takes top spot but the most interesting results are the 290X and 970; the difference is so minuscule that they essentially perform at the same level and the same can be said of the pricing. Also worthy of note is that in only one test did the cards use more than 3GB of RAM and never hit 3.5GB.
"We hopped on the open public beta of Battlefield Hardline this past week and tested performance in all three maps with six video cards to find out how this game performs. We will talk about each map in the beta, and our experiences in terms of performance and gameplay experience so that you will know what to expect in the full game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- A Beautiful Relic: 37 Mins of Homeworld Remastered @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Atari reboots Asteroids as a sandbox survival PC game @ HEXUS
- Early Access Impressions: Darkest Dungeon @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Sunless Sea @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Premature Evaluation: Besiege @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Sid Knows Best: Poppa Meier Builds Starships @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2015 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, open source
"SWELLING THE RANKS of fruity-themed computers, the Raspberry Pi 2 is an upgraded version of the popular single-board computer, sporting a new processor and double the memory of previous models."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- VLC Acquiring Lots of New Features @ Slashdot
- Which Light Weight, Open Source Web Server is Right for You? @ Linux.com
- Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs @ The Register
- AKRACING Premium Gaming Chair (AK-7002-CS) Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech, Processors | February 11, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, amazon
So allegedly Amazon UK sold some AMD A8-7600 APUs, but they actually shipped Athlon 64 X2 5200+ CPUs. Despite what you would think, it was actually “dispatched and sold” by Amazon UK itself, rather than a dishonest seller who has some explaining to do. For those affected, Amazon is apparently handling customer service well, as expected, and promptly replacing the parts. It does not seem to affect other regions, and the problem started just a short time ago.
Unless you're Sebastian, these processors will not even fit in the motherboard socket. PC World has an interesting side-by-side comparison of the two pin configurations. They do not look alike at all. You should not have a hard time identifying the problem if you are careful enough to look before you insert, which is obviously something that you shouldn't have to do. Also, AMD refers customers to their authenticity support page for a few extra ways to be sure that the box that you got came from AMD.
What would be the most interesting part of this story is finding out what happened. Unfortunately, we probably will never know, unless it turns into a famous legal battle of some sort.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | February 11, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shieldtuesday, shield, nvidia, gridtuesday, grid, graphics drivers, geforce, drivers
Update: Whoops! The title originally said "374.52", when it should be "347.52". My mistake. Thanks "Suddenly" in the comments!
Two things from NVIDIA this week, a new driver and a new game for the NVIDIA GRID. The new driver aligns with the release of Evolve, which came out on Tuesday from the original creators of Left4Dead. The graphics vendor also claims that it will help Assassin's Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, and War Thunder. Several SLi profiles were also added for Alone in the Dark: Illumination, Black Desert, Dying Light, H1Z1, Heroes of the Storm, Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell, Total War: Attila, and Triad Wars.
On the same day, NVIDIA released Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons on GRID, bringing the number of available games up to 37. This game came out in August 2013 and received a lot of critical praise. Its control style is unique, using dual-thumbstick gamepads to simultaneously control both characters. More importantly, despite being short, the game is said to have an excellent story, even achieving Game of the Year (2013) for TotalBiscuit based on its narrative, which is not something that he praises often.
I'd comment on the game, but I've yet to get the time to play it. Apparently it is only a couple hours long, so maybe I can fit it in somewhere.
Also, they apparently are now calling this “#SHIELDTuesday” rather than “#GRIDTuesday”. I assume this rebranding is because people may not know that GRID exists, but they would certainly know if they purchased an Android-based gaming device for a couple hundred dollars or more. We could read into this and make some assumptions about GRID adoption rates versus SHIELD purchases, or even purchases of the hardware itself versus their projections, but it would be pure speculation.
Both announcements were made available on Tuesday, for their respective products.
Subject: General Tech | February 10, 2015 - 02:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, rumour
We may see Windows 10 RTM as early as June of this year on new machines and likely as an upgrade option to those running Windows 7 or 8, with the trademarking of Windows 365 lending credence to this rumour. The Register had a chance to try and parse the most mysterious part of this new OS, the Windows-as-a-service model and what that will mean for users. Microsoft has explained that when a user buys a device with Windows 10 they will "continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge." Unfortunately it is not clear what is meant by the 'supported lifetime' nor what happens when that time expires; it is likely that a subscription will need to be renewed or that you will have to get a new device. It is also unclear how this model will work for serial upgraders, in the past you could simply re-license your installation of Windows a finite time before needing to contact Microsoft to ask them to activate your license again.
What we do know for sure for the Enterprise version is that will be several Long Term Servicing contracts, which provide security and critical updates for a 5 year mainstream contract followed by a 5 year extended support contract. There will also be a Current Branch for Business which will receive updates via Windows Update or WSUS after patches have been distributed to consumers and fully tested. To be able to use Windows 10 a company must maintain a subscription for Software Assurance as opposed to being limited to the nebulous "supported lifetime" of their machines.
"Windows chief Terry Myerson proclaimed the advent of Windows-as-a-service at an event last month. But what does that mean? A more recent post from Enterprise and Security Directory Jim Alkove offers some clues."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 8K display standard renders all your new technology obsolete @ The Inquirer
- Faster Raspberry Pi 2 Says Yes to Ubuntu and Windows, But Where's Android? @ Linux.com
- Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust @ The Register
- Quantum-dot TVs seed a bright future @ Nanotechweb
- Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out @ The Register
- This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway @ TechARP
Microsoft Filed for "Windows 365" Trademark in Late January. Jeremy Prepares to File for Windows 340 through 364?
Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 10, 2015 - 12:55 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 365, windows 10, windows, office 365, microsoft
While it is trivial for a large corporation to file for a trademark, there are fairly strict guidelines with how they are used (or, more accurately, not-used). Because trademarks can be forever, the law outlines numerous procedures that can classify them as abandoned, which lets Coca Cola be a known, legitimate source of Coca Cola for as long as Coca Cola makes Coca Cola, while preventing businesses from being created that do nothing but license names.
Patents! I'm looking at you!
So the news is that Microsoft filed for the trademark, “Windows 365”. Knowing their trademark on Office 365, people are assuming that this will lead to a subscription version of Windows. The trademark filing is then compared to the statements made by Terry Myerson about Windows as a Service and the free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x for a year. You can see where this is headed.
But I have another idea. Perhaps this is intended to lead into their not-yet-disclosed enterprise licensing arrangement for Windows 10 (and related services)? Despite its consumer sound, Office 365 seems to have a fairly large adoption rate with business and education customers. As an example, which is not statistically relevant but is still interesting, the local public school board where I live has licensed a non-commercial, 5-PC license for every staff and student in their organization. This concept has a lot of potential for those customers.
If, of course, they give us a per-device and system builder license option, too.
Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2015 - 11:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: folder sync, file syncing, bittorrent sync, bittorrent, backup
The team at BitTorrent Labs has released a new Sync beta build that incorporates all of the planned Sync Pro features and allows users to update from the stable Sync 1.4 build while importing all of their folders. The latest build, version 2.0.51, is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs as well as Android (Sync 2.0.34) and Kindle Fire mobile devices. Users can grab the download from this Sync forum thread.
Sync 2.0.51 was deployed to test the upgrade and folder import path from 1.4. Unfortunately, the new build is not compatible with any previous Sync 2.0 (alpha) builds so users that are already testing will have to start from scratch whereas if you are just now jumping in as a tester you can keep your folders set up as is.
The latest Sync beta turns on all of the Sync Pro features (image from Sync blog).
I was able to successfully update to the new build on my main PC and Android smartphone. Unfortunately, I can not go into many details regarding my experience as testers have been asked to not talk publicly about the builds until further along in development. You are welcome to try it out for yourself though.
Sync 1.4 (left) users can upgrade to the new Sync 2.0.51 beta (right) and import their folders.
The public forum thread does mention that the new build includes a trial of Sync Pro features including a private identity that allows you to easily link all of your devices together and a selective syncronization feature that uses placeholder files and allows you to choose which files you want to download for offline access on a per device basis (a feature that caused controversy for Microsoft over OneDrive removing placeholder files in Windows 10). A new permissions engine is also in effect and you are able to change permissions after the fact now without generating a new link.
In all, Sync is still in development and they have some neat features in the works that will make it more competitive with other file syncing services.
Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2015 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb 3.1, usb type-c
The speed difference between USB 3.1 and 3.0 is not quite as significant as the difference between 2.0 and 3.0, it only doubles the speed to 10Gbps but it offers other advantages as well. For instance no longer will you need to flip your device three times to plug it in, the backwards compatible Type C connector will fit in either orientation which is seemingly a small thing until you spend a lot of time reaching under desks trying to plug peripherals in. Kitguru tested the speed of two Intel 730 SSDs in RAID 0 on the MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK which has USB 3.1 provided by the ASMedia ASM1142 chipset. The test results came close to the theoretical maximum, easily beating USB 3.0. Check out the full review here.
"And that's where USB 3.1 comes in. A 10Gbps link speed, up to 100W of power delivery, and upcoming widespread application of a new Type-C connector are some of the key features that the new version will usher in."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Silicene takes on graphene as next transistor wonder-stuff @ The Register
- Windows 10 support on the Raspberry Pi 2 could shape the future of IoT @ The Inquirer
- Bankrupt RadioShack to close up to 2,900 stores, share others with Sprint @ The Register
- Farmers Struggling With High-Tech Farm Equipment @ Slashdot
- How To Activate The Samsung Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch Without A Samsung Smartphone @ Tech ARP
Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2015 - 02:05 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, g-sync, GTX 970, gigabyte, brix s, broadwell-u, Intel, nuc, arm, Cortex-A72, mediatek, amd, Godavari, Raspberry Pi, windows 10
PC Perspective Podcast #335 - 02/05/2015
Join us this week as we discuss Mobile G-Sync, GTX 970 SLI, a Broadwell Brix 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
Program length: 1:28:13