Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 06:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
It's unclear which changes will make it into the general release November update, but Insiders are still getting features early. Microsoft has just published Build 10576, which contains a few interesting additions, but one that stands out. Microsoft Edge will be able to cast (unprotected) content to any Miracast and DLNA device on your network. This could be something like a WDTV Live or an Amazon Fire TV. It might even work with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, but that's just speculation from a quick Google search.
So basically, it works with YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, and other sources. It will not work with Netflix or Hulu, which use EME, though.
There are quite a few Known Issues with this build, though. Volume gets ducked when the system gets a notification, some devices will bluescreen if their display resolution is odd, a few codecs are still missing (although that last issue was around for a couple of builds).
If I were to guess, I would expect that these features are targeted for Threshold 2 in November. I doubt that we have seen anything scheduled for Redstone 1 yet, but I could be wrong.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 05:40 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: twitch.tv, twitch, bob ross
Today would have been Bob Ross's 73rd birthday. He passed a little over twenty years ago, in July 1995, after a few years of battling lymphoma. He was best known for his long-running TV series, The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS (and elsewhere) for just over eleven years.
I mention this because Twitch broadened their horizons a bit, creating a category for users to broadcast creative works, called “Creative”, such as painting and pumpkin carving. This seems like a large pivot from playing games, although it isn't really. For a long time, Twitch allowed users to publish game development in their Game Development “game”. I, personally, have been doing this for a little under a year, creating a game called “Check It!” entirely on video stream (it's like Chess, but with designed levels that could be even based on a 64 x 64 or larger grid, have holes and corridors, etc.). The “Creative” channel is really a just a tip-toe away from that. It's also something that people have been doing on sites like LiveStream (and probably even Justin.TV back in the day) for a long time.
Kicking off the “Creative” group is a channel for Bob Ross. Twitch purchased all 403 episodes of The Joy of Painting, and are playing them in a marathon that started at 5pm ET. As of this publishing, they just started episode 2. I don't know what they will do when they run out, but we'll probably find out in a little over a week. Hopefully it will be on a loop or something.
Hopefully, now more people will know it's there.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 03:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, Samsung, 950 PRO, NVMe, asus, ROG Swift, pg279q, g-sync, nvidia, amd, steam, steam link, valve
PC Perspective Podcast #373 - 10/29/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Samsung 950 Pro, ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q, Steam Link 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, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:25:18
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: open source, arm, Cortex A9, debian, Novena
A pair of engineers in Singapore, Andrew "Bunny" Huang and Sean Cross, have developed a working laptop which was designed to be completely open sourced, with no proprietary drivers or software of any kind. The Novena laptop is powered by a Cortex A9 and an FPGA and runs Debian, even communications are handled by a software-defined radio board. This is more of a proof of concept than a marketable machine but the links at The Register will take you to the details on how you could build one yourself. Even the bezel is open source and modifiable, it is a laptop with an upgradable screen!
"This week, the pair developing the Novena open laptop have provided an update on their work. The idea is to develop a usable system that is completely open to customization and scrutiny – from the electronics to the firmware to the operating system to the applications."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery @ The Register
- Siri Won't Answer Some Questions If You're Not Subscribed To Apple Music @ Slashdot
- Microsoft fires Arrow, it's first official Android Launcher @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 10:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, pc gaming
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller launched yesterday, and mine arrived in the early afternoon by mail. It was not a review unit, I bought it at retail, but I intend to publish my thoughts on the device in the near future. I am currently thinking up tests and benchmarks to run it through. Be sure to look out for that. It will be told from the perspective of a PC gamer who does not own an Xbox One console, and who does not intend to get one.
I have been using it over the last two days, off and on, however. I must say, it is pretty solidly built from what I can tell. The thumb sticks rolls around with basically zero grinding sensation, and the D-Pad feels precise (although that will need to be actually tested). It does feel just a bit awkward for games that center on the D-Pad though, because my left thumb feels more natural somewhere between it, the left thumb stick, and the “view” (back) button. It is certainly better than a standard Xbox 360 gamepad for “16-bit” style games, but probably not a step-up from USB-based knock-off SNES controllers for enthusiasts who go for that sort of thing.
It's definitely the best offering that I've used for titles like Super Meat Boy, though... even as far back as Windows 98/XP era. Granted, I didn't dip too far into the niche companies.
So keep an eye out for our later review. It will probably be one of the few that exclusively focus on the PC, and was written by someone who could potentially see themselves buying one... because I did. A word of warning though -- the controller's firmware still cannot be updated without an Xbox One console (although the Xbox Accessories app to customize it is available for free in the Windows Store). I've reached out to Xbox PR asking for any update on that situation, and the answer will probably be a big part of the review.
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 02:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars Battlefront, gaming
EA continues to tease us before the November 17th launch date of Star Wars Battlefront, now with a brand new launch trailer which you can watch below. Enjoy the trailer, fondly remember the open beta and put that credit card down! If you don't want Day 1 DLC, games that are only mostly ready for Primetime at launch and Deluxe Pre-order Editions that cost over $100 then don't pre-order games! If you don't encourage them by buying things sight unseen then the problem will go away.
"This is the News You Are Looking For."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kooky Ooky: I Am Bread & Goat Simulator Team Up @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Spooky games, spooky deals @ GoG
- Become A Weapon: Deus Ex – Mankind Divided @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Total War: Warhammer Out April 28th, Bringing Chaos @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- No Man's Sky lands on PC and PS4 in June 2016 @ HEXUS
- Vaporware Dreams – Infinity: Battlescape On Kickstarter @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 01:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, AT-AT, 3d printing
You will need some experience to build this AT-AT successfully as there are a total of 69 individual parts in 28 STL files and you will need to wire in a 9V battery, a 90 rpm motor, and a switch to make it walk. The finished design will stand about 12" tall and walk on flat surfaces, you will need to modify the design if you want sound effects or a lightsaber created hole in the bottom to insert explosives but the basic design is more than impressive. You can see the AT-AT in action at MAKE:Blog and the creator, Dan Olson, has posted the full project at Thingiverse if you want to build your very own.
"This is a walking model of an AT-AT from the Star Wars films. It is powered by a 9V battery, a 90 rpm motor, and a switch. Everything else is 3d printed using roughly 750 grams of filament."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google is reportedly following in Apple's footsteps and making its own chips @ The Inquirer
- Oracle Java 'no longer the greatest risk' to US Windows PC users @ The Register
- Oracle ships first Sparc M7 systems with security in silicon @ The Inquirer
- Intel sprinkles Saffron on its chips, to satisfy its Big Data appetite @ The Register
- Template Management in LibreOffice 5 @ Linux.com
- Micron’s had its chips … and expects even more. Thanks Intel! @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2015 - 05:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: MakerBot Replicator, 3d printer
Some university boffins have been using their melons to modify a commercially available 3D printer to print out a variety of organs with collagens, alginates and fibrins. They modified a MakerBot Replicator with a custom syringe-based extruder, which they made on the MakerBot and have provided the STL files for anyone who wants to make one. Their process is much different than current organ printing techniques, instead of printing live cells on a existing scaffold they print the organs in a hydrogel support bath which keeps the cells alive and also acts as a support structure. They call the bath FRESH and it is of a consistency that allows the print head to move through the gel easily but holds the extruded cells firmly where they are printed, making it possible to print with much greater accuracy and flexibility that you would when printing freely suspended in the air. Their full article is available to those who are interested if you click through the link at The Inquirer.
"A RESEARCH TEAM FROM Carnegie Mellon University has hacked a commercial 3D printer to create models of hearts, arteries, bones and brains out of biological material."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Immersion Cooling Drives Server Power Densities To Insane New Heights @ Slashdot
- Ubuntu 15.10: Wily Werewolf – not too hairy, not too scary @ The Register
- Android Security: How's BlackBerry going to fix it? @ The Register
- Mac OS X applications are leading the PC @ The Inquirer vulnerability war
- ARM64 Vs ARM32 -- What's Different For Linux Programmers? @ Slashdot
- ASRock G10 Gaming Router @ Kitguru
- With Intel at Shoreditch Studios, London @ Kitguru
- Oracle and Intel team up to torment IBM @ The Inquirer
- Russian subs prowling near submarine cables: report @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway #8 : Dell Portable HDD!
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2015 - 11:22 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Strafe RGB Silent, mechanical keyboard, keyswitches, keycaps, gaming keyboard, corsair, Cherry MX Silent, Cherry MX
Corsair has introduced the Strafe RGB Silent mechanical keyboard, which is the first keyboard to use the Cherry’s new MX Silent keyswitches.
“With a sophisticated noise dampening system integrated into each key, the Strafe RGB Silent offers all the legendary precision and feel of German-engineered Cherry MX mechanical key switches, but up to 30% quieter.”
Corsair says that “you simply won’t find a Cherry MX Silent keyswitch anywhere else”, so if the noise from mechanical key-switches bothers you (or those around you) this looks like a great alternative. So how is it silent? Corsair explains:
“Rather than using rubber O-rings or other quick-fix external fittings to reduce key noise, the Cherry MX Silent uses a patented fully-integrated noise reduction system built into every key, greatly reducing key bottoming-out and spring-back noise. The result is a keyswitch that’s up to 30% quieter, making Strafe RGB Silent the ideal choice for gamers that demand the tactile feel of a mechanical key, but prefer a quieter operation to not disturb their partner, kids or co-workers.”
The keyboard also features full RGB lighting powered by Corsair’s on-board controller, and offers “individual multi-color dynamic backlighting for nearly unlimited lighting customization, effects and personalization”. Lighting profiles can also be downloaded using Corsair’s RGB Share service.
Corsair lists these other features for the new keyboard as well:
- USB pass-through port allows the easy connection of a mouse, gaming headset or phone to a PC
- Full-length soft-touch wrist rest offers comfort for even the longest gaming sessions
- Gaming grade circuitry provides 100% anti-ghosting and full 104 key rollover ensuring every critical key press registers
- Two included sets of custom textured and contoured keycaps, vital keys offer enhanced grip and feel for FPS or MOBA games
The Strafe RGB Silent carries a 2-year warranty from Corsair and is available now with an MSRP of $159.99 from Corsair’s web store, or exclusively at Best Buy (in North America).
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2015 - 12:08 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, valve, steam link, steam hardware, Steam Controller, steam, game streaming
Last week we posted a video that looked over the new Valve Steam Controller and I offered some feedback and input on the new hardware. It was interesting, to say the least, and took some getting used to, but in the end I was surprised by how easy some things were, and how different other things felt. It's an interesting experiment for $50 or so, but it definitely is not a product I recommend all of our readers invest in immediately.
But what about the Steam Link device? This second piece of the puzzle is a small unit that sits near your TV or entertainment system, with an HDMI output, USB inputs, integrated wireless connectivity and Ethernet support. The goal is to stream Steam games from your primary PC without the need for a second computer. Instead, much like the NVIDIA GameStream technology that we have seen for a couple years now, the Steam Link receives a video stream from the gaming PC, accepts input from a controller or keyboard/mouse, and loops it all back.
Specifications (from Valve website):
- 1080p resolution at 60 FPS
- Wired 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet and Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO) networking abilities
- 3 USB 2.0 ports
- Bluetooth 4.0
- HDMI out
- Supports Steam Controller (sold separately,) Xbox One or 360 Wired Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710, or keyboard and mouse
In the Box
- Steam Link
- Power cable and adapter
- HDMI 2.0 cable
- Ethernet cable
To get my full take on it, and to see me test out a handful of games using the Steam Link in our office, check out the video above. The short answer is that game streaming technology is still hit or miss: some titles work great others are an immediate turn off. Want to play a fast paced FPS game? You're going to hate it if you have any kind of PC gaming experience already. Maybe you need to catch up on those recent indie games released on the PC but want to sit on your couch? Steam Link will do the trick.
Again, the device is only $50, so it's not a significant investment for most people, and it might be worth trying if you have some time and are interested in checking out the technology out for yourself.