Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2016 - 05:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, Lenovo, hp, dell, crapware, asus, acer
We take a quick break from telling you about all the shiny new things you can't have yet to inform you about problems with things you do have. Bloatware is awful but continues to be popular for sellers of prebuilt systems, both mobile and desktop. It is not just the pop ups telling you to buy the full version of whatever was installed on your system before you bought it, nor the CPU cycles these programs take up; the issue is security. Lenovo and the Superfish issue were in the news recently and now it seems that vulnerabilities have been found in systems sold by Acer, ASUS and Dell as well. 10 devices were tested by Duo Security, all of which had vulnerabilities. Dell and Lenovo had a single problem each, ones which we are already familiar with sadly while Acer and HP both have a pair. You can read about what the vulnerabilities are over at The Inquirer, something to do while you reimage your new machine.
"Duo Security identified 12 vulnerabilities across the vendors' machines. We have approached all of them to see whether they are happy to talk about the problems, which Duo described as significant."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD 7th Gen Bristol Ridge & Stoney Ridge Announcement @ [H]ard|OCP
- Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY @ The Register
- Windows 10: less than 15 per cent of those who can upgrade have bothered @ The Inquirer
- Don't buy Azure in US dollars – it's cheaper in many other currencies @ The Register
- Microsoft Removes 260-Character Path Length Limit In Windows 10 Redstone @ Slashdot
- Panasonic To Stop Making LCD Panels For TVs @ Slashdot
- Oracle and HP face off in court as $3bn Itanium legal battle kicks off @ The Inquirer
- Free Radio On My Phone @ Hack a Day
- Massive Backlash Building Over Windows 10 Upgrades @ Slashdot
- Systemd Starts Killing Your Background Processes By Default @ Slashdot
- ARM's Cortex-A73 chip and Mali-G71 CPU set for 2017's VR-ready smartphones @ The Inquirer
- Anonabox Tunneler & Pro: Helping You Stay Anonymous Online @ Phoronix
- Intel boosts the high-end desktop with its Broadwell-E CPUs @ Tech Tech Report
- Computex 2016 Live Coverage Day 1 @ TechARP
- NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router @ MissingRemote
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S D7800 4x4 802.11ac Router @ Kitguru
- Tech ARP 2016 Power Bank Giveaway #4
New Products for 2017
PC Perspective was invited to Austin, TX on May 11 and 12 to participate in ARM’s yearly tech day. Also invited were a handful of editors and analysts that cover the PC and mobile markets. Those folks were all pretty smart, so it is confusing as to why they invited me. Perhaps word of my unique talent of screenshoting PDFs into near-unreadable JPGs preceded me? Regardless of the reason, I was treated to two full days of in-depth discussion of the latest generation of CPU and GPU cores, 10nm test chips, and information on new licensing options.
Today ARM is announcing their next CPU core with the introduction of the Cortex-A73. They are also unwrapping the latest Mali-G71 graphics technology. Other technologies such as the CCI-550 interconnect are also revealed. It is a busy and important day for ARM, especially in light of Intel seemingly abandoning the sub-milliwatt mobile market.
ARM previously announced the Cortex-A72 in February, 2015. Since that time it has been seen in most flagship mobile devices in late 2015 and throughout 2016. The market continues to evolve, and as such the workloads and form factors have pushed ARM to continue to develop and improve their CPU technology.
The Sofia Antipolis, France design group is behind the new A73. The previous several core architectures had been developed by the Cambridge group. As such, the new design differs quite dramatically from the previous A72. I was actually somewhat taken aback by the differences in the design philosophy of the two groups and the changes between the A72 and A73, but the generational jumps we have seen in the past make a bit more sense to me.
The marketplace is constantly changing when it comes to workloads and form factors. More and more complex applications are being ported to mobile devices, including hot technologies like AR and VR. Other technologies include 3D/360 degree video, greater than 20 MP cameras, and 4K/8K displays and their video playback formats. Form factors on the other hand have continued to decrease in size, especially in overall height. We have relatively large screens on most premium devices, but the designers have continued to make these phones thinner and thinner throughout the years. This has put a lot of pressure on ARM and their partners to increase performance while keeping TDPs in check, and even reducing them so they more adequately fit in the TDP envelope of these extremely thin devices.
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2016 - 05:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, lapdog
You may remember the Nerdytec COUCHMASTER Ryan tested back in 2013? Kitguru received a similar device recently, the Corsair Lapdog for use with K70 and K65 keyboards and with enough space on the side for mousing. Unfortunately the setup is only comfortable for right handed users, lefties will have to hope a sinister model comes out. It has a built in 4-powered port USB 3.0 hub, not just for your peripherals as it supports quick charging for your portable devices. Check out their video review to see if you might want to upgrade from what you currently use when sitting on your couch.
"The Corsair Lapdog is grandly described as a ‘Gaming Control Centre’, however that doesn’t explain things very well as Lapdog is unlike anything we have seen before."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- From ATI to AMD back to ATI? A Journey in Futility @ [H]ard|OCP
- Facebook starts tracking non-users to shove ads in their face @ The Inquirer
- HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO @ The Register
- Foxconn to obtain 66.67% stake in Canada-based Smart Technologies @ DigiTimes
- Dropbox wants access to PC and Mac kernels despite developer outrage @ The Inquirer
We’ve probably all lost data at some point, and many of us have tried various drive recovery solutions over the years. Of these, Disk Drill has been available for Mac OS X users for some time, but the company currently offers a Windows compatible version, released last year. The best part? It’s totally free (and not in the ad-ridden, drowning in popups kind of way). So does it work? Using some of my own data as a guinea pig, I decided to find out.
The interface is clean and simple
To begin with I’ll list the features of Disk Drill as Clever Files describes it on their product page:
- Any Drive
- Our free data recovery software for Windows PC can recover data from virtually any storage device - including internal and external hard drives, USB flash drives, iPods, memory cards, and more.
- Recovery Options
- Disk Drill has several different recovery algorithms, including Undelete, Protected Data, Quick Scan, and Deep Scan. It will run through them one at a time until your lost data is found.
- Speed & Simplicity
- It’s as easy as one click: Disk Drill scans start with just the click of a button. There’s no complicated interface with too many options, just click, sit back and wait for your files to appear.
- All File Systems
- Different types of hard drives and memory cards have different ways of storing data. Whether your media has a FAT, exFAT or NTFS file system, is HFS+ Mac drive or Linux EXT2/3/4, Disk Drill can recover deleted files.
- Partition Recovery
- Sometimes your data is still on your drive, but a partition has been lost or reformatted. Disk Drill can help you find the “map” to your old partition and rebuild it, so your files can be recovered.
- Recovery Vault
- In addition to deleted files recovery, Disk Drill also protects your PC from future data loss. Recovery Vault keeps a record of all deleted files, making it much easier to recover them.
- Disk Drill For Windows - Free download here
The Recovery Process
(No IDE hard drives were harmed in the making of this photo)
My recovery process involved an old 320GB IDE drive, which was used for backup until a power outage-related data corruption (I didn’t own a UPS at the time, and the drive was in the process of writing) which left me without a valid partition. At one point I had given up and formatted the drive; thinking all of my original backup was lost. Thankfully I didn’t use it much after this, and it’s been sitting on a shelf for years.
There are different methods that can be employed to recover lost or deleted data. One of these is to scan for the file headers (or signatures), which contain information about what type of file it is (i.e. Microsoft Word, JPEG image, etc.). There are advanced recovery methods that attempt to reconstruct an entire file system, preserving the folder structures and the original files names. Unfortunately, this is not a simple (or fast) process, and is generally left to the professionals.
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 09:53 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: X99P-SLI, toshiba, revodrive, review, RD400, podcast, pcper, ocz, msi, hardware, gigabyte, fdsoi, computex, amd, AM4, am3, am2, 303, 22nm
PC Perspective Podcast #401 - 05/26/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the Gigabyte X99P-SLI, RevoDrive is back, GPU Drivers, Computex, 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)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 09:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, thermaltake, eSports Level 10M Advanced, gaming mouse
The Thermaltake eSports’ Level 10M gaming mouse is a new version of the original Level 10M, now with a braided USB cable and a thumbrest. The side sports two buttons which function normally, along with a third button that is in fact a 5-axis controller to control mouse features. If you press it in the lights change, left and right will lower or increase the sensitivity and what happens when you push the button up or down will be up to you, as they can be programmed. The overall look of the mouse is unique and the $70 price tag is reasonable, check out Kiguru's full review if you are interested in picking this mouse up.
"Back in 2012, we reviewed Tt eSports’ Level 10M mouse, and now there is an updated ‘Advanced’ edition. With the same striking visuals and customisation options, it will be interesting to see how the Level 10M Advanced fares as a gaming mouse in 2016."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SpeedLink Ledos Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte XM300 @ techPowerUp
- Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Keyboard + Macro Keypad @ eTeknix
- QPAD MK-90 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Gamdias Hermes Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
It seems that taking inspiration from those nasty popups where the X button does not actually close the window was a bad idea for Redmond and thankfully they have listened to reason. No longer will clicking the X on the Win10 nag screen be construed as accepting the upgrade as long as it is a Roman numeral, but will once again return to the clost command which it represents on any and all other windows. The Inquirer was more than a little miffed about this which is perfectly understandable as this particular step was far beyond the pale, the other attempts to forcibly upgrade ranged from reasonable to annoying but this one was just wrong. Thankfully Microsoft has listened and once again it will go back to asking you for a date repeatedly, until you remove KB2952664, acquiesce to its advances or hold out past July 29th when you will have to pay $120 to hang out with it.
"Microsoft has now responded to "customer feedback" and agreed to change the behaviour of the 'X' button back to the more 'piss off' tone that we all know and love."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 3D Printing Metal in Mid Air @ Hack a Day
- Pastejack attack turns your clipboard into a threat @ The Register
- Get Ready To Be Bombarded With Ads When Using Google Maps @ Slashdot
- NVIDIA VRWorks 2016 Technology Updates Explained @ TechARP
- Foxconn Cuts 60,000 Jobs, Replaces With Robots @ Slashdot
- Xiaomi Unveils Budget-Friendly Mi Drone, $460 For 4K Or $380 For 1080p @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars @ The Register
- 8in disks from the 1970s still power nuclear Armageddon @ The Inquirer
- LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords @ The Register
- Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2016 - 07:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, goat simulator, #MakeSpaceGreatAgain
That's right, those insanely beautiful bastards over at Coffee Stain Studios did it again, Goat Simulator: Waste of Space will be arriving tomorrow on Steam as DLC, likely at the $5.00 price point the previous GoatZ and Payday DLCs sold for. It features a lightsabre so impressive it will throw Kylo into a sulk, romance plot lines that put Mass Effect to shame, facehugger spitting goats and plenty of self referential humour as well. The trailer is below and you can read a bit more over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
You are a goat too!
"Then there’s the faux-Schwarzenegger narrator. “Listen to me, you bastards,” he demands. “You will stop at absolutely nothing to make the galaxy great again.” Which evidently involves licking a crew member’s face who has cherry-topped cream cakes covering their nipples."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine launch trailer lands on YouTube @ HEXUS
- The Talos Principle 2 Discreetly Announced @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Stellaris @ Polygon
- Humble Bundle: Grow Home, Gunslinger, Rayman For $1 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Hands on with Civilization 6 ... as the Emperor of China @ Polygon
- Hands On: Civilization VI Is Exciting, Complex & Aggressive @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Platinum’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Systems, Shows and Expos | May 25, 2016 - 06:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, computex 2016, GS63 Stealth Pro
MSI offered a sneak peek at the lineup you can expect to see them showcase at Computex and the list is quite long, with some interesting new additions.
For laptops you can expect to see the new GS63 Stealth Pro, with a Core i7 6700HQ and GTX970M inside. The cooling system is also new, a five heatpipe system called the Cooler Boost Trinity with Whirlwind Blades pushing hot air out the exhaust ports. We should hear more about what this system actually is during the show.
The GT83 and GT73 Titan SLI laptops are built with VR in mind, as well as supporting output to multiple monitors and 4K resolutions; though perhaps not both at once. The GT83 contains desktop class GTX 980s while the GT73 uses the mobile versions, the GTX 980M or a single desktop GTX 980 if you prefer.
The GS73 focuses on a slimmed down design while still incorporating a GTX970M and the aforementioned Cooler Boost Trinity system. It will also sport a SteelSeries gaming keyboard, an ESS SABRE HiFi headset AMP and Nahimic 2.0 sound system.
Something far more unique is the 'Backpack PC', allowing you to strap a Core i7 and GTX 980 to your back so that you are not tied to a desk when using VR. With that amount of power you will still need mains power as the weight of the battery required to power that system for more than a few minutes would be prohibitive. On the other hand the cables from your VR headset and controllers would be connected to the backpack which would theoretically direct the cables out of your way.
The Aegis Gaming Desktop is a far more familiar desktop machine, though it too offers a nod towards VR usage by locating an HDMI connection at the front of the 19.6L case. It will also have a Dragon Button, reminiscent of the old Turbo button from the original 8086 processor, which will boost your 'speed and performance' by 15%. Likely this is an overclocking preset which one assumes can be enabled on the fly.
The Vortex G65 SLI desktop is a little less plain, a round case which is a mere 6.5L in volume but still contains two GTX 980s and an i7-6700K, with their proprietary Silent Storm Cooling system. MSI continues the pattern of building systems around VR compatibility with the Vortex.
Continuing on to their Cubi 2 Plus, a SFF system powered by a Skylake-S class processor a wee 5x5" mini-STX motherboard. The CPU is not BGA and so can be upgraded and there is enough space in the system for a 2.5" SSD upgrade, albeit just barely.
On to their motherboards, first up is the X99A GAMING PRO CARBON which offers a few new features to tempt users to upgrade. Not only does it have USB Type-C connectors but they are described as being located at the front, presumably on a header. It also sports Audio Boost 3, Turbo M.2 32 Gb/s, SEx ports and Dynamic Mystic Light, an LED systems with software that supports more than 16.8 million colors.
For those more concerned with overclocking than having an impressive light show, the X99A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM features Military Class 5 components and a specially designed thermal system to ensure a solid overclock. It also has support for U.2 32Gb/s drives.
The last of the trio of motherboards will be the Z170A MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM, similar to the X99A model apart from the socket. You will get all the features of the TITANIUM series for your LGA1151 processors.
Expect to see much more information about these products and others once Computex gets underway.
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2016 - 05:43 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: crytek, CRYENGINE V, CRYENGINE
So, a few months ago in March, Crytek announced that CRYENGINE V would be licensed under a “pay what you want” business model, which extends down to free -- nothing up front and no royalties. It supports DirectX 12 and a Mono-based framework, which they're calling CE# Framework, that allows gameplay code to be programmed in C#. Since it's done in Mono, it looks like it can be used in all supported platforms, but I could be wrong. While C++ is typically more desirable for AAA-style games, other engines, especially Unity, have attracted a lot of attention with their C# parsers.
The engine doesn't appear to support Vulkan, though, at least not yet.
Hold the phone...
Today's news? The source code is now on GitHub, and not even as a private repository. It's just... there. CRYENGINE V is licensed under a typical EULA, of course, so they impose a few restrictions on how it can be used. Content must not be sexual explicit, vulgar, or “in a reasonable person's view, objectionable.” I expect that this will not be enforced too strictly in terms of violence and cursing, but it differs from, say, Unreal Engine 4, which officially permits Adult content (although they'll occasionally ask to have their trademarks removed, so their logos do not appear to be endorsements).
Crytek also prevents their engine from being used in simulation, science, and architecture. I assume those are intended to be pushed into a separate licensing structure. It would seem silly for them to just outright ban those applications.