Corsair's KATAR is an Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse with Pro Features

Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2015 - 12:05 AM |
Tagged: KATAR, gaming mouse, DPI tuning, corsair, ambidextrous, 8000 DPI, 1000 Hz polling rate

Corsair has introduced their new Katar gaming mouse, designed with input from professional gamers and boasting an 8000 DPI optical sensor and 1000 Hz polling rate. And the Katar also features an ambidextrous design and a retail of just $39.99.


Not many gaming mice are geared towards both right and left-handed players, and Corsair’s compact Katar mouse is also very lightweight – which may not be everyone’s preference, but still a feature for longer sessions.

“Katar’s compact and ultra-lightweight 85g ambidextrous design makes it supremely comfortable to play with all day, whether you’re left or right-handed, and its rubber side grips mean gamers always have a firm hold, no matter how intense the action gets.”

The mouse also features “Pro Player Mode”, which Corsair explains “allows gamers to take advantage of pre-configured performance and tuning settings used by the world’s top players”. There are also 4 programmable buttons and on-the-fly DPI tuning on top of the 1000 Hz polling rate and 8000 DPI sensor, making this seem like a very capable little gaming mouse.


Here are the specifications from Corsair:

  • Designed for winning: Created with the help of top pro-gaming teams around the world.
  • Pro player mode: Get up to speed with preconfigured performance and tuning settings customized by the world’s top players.
  • Compact, ultra-light weight design: At just 85 grams, it can help you react more quickly and reduce fatigue.
  • 8,000 DPI optical sensor: Extreme accuracy for FPS and MOBA gaming.
  • Zero lag interface: 1,000Hz polling rate pushes the limits of the USB protocol.
  • Ambidextrous Shape: Optimized textured rubber sides grips for left and right handed players.
  • Four programmable buttons: Take control with extensive customization -- anything from simple remaps to complex macros.
  • On-the-fly DPI tuning: Instantly adapt your mouse speed to the situation for total command of any environment
  • MSRP: $39.99


More information is available at Corsair’s product page, and the Katar will be available for purchase in November. Corsair has a pre-order page up here, and Newegg already has a product page up, with availability listed as November 16.

Source: Corsair

Just Picked Up: Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 09:36 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, xbox, windows 10

As some have noticed, my recent “Just Delivered” post for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller was not very... wireless. Simply put, the Elite does not come with a wireless adapter for Windows, because that would be useless for the console-only crowd, and its price was already high enough. While it was released on October 20th, the Xbox Canada website gave a server error for its product page until the 22nd.

It seemed like a bit of a rushed launch, to say the least.


Well, when I popped into EB Games on my walk today, I was surprised to find that they have stock. Yay. Installation was relatively simple. Open the box, stick it into an available USB port, wait for Windows 10 to recognize it, put batteries in your gamepad, turn the controller on, press both sync buttons, and wait until the Xbox logo (on the controller) turns a solid glow. From then on, you just need to turn the gamepad on and off by pressing and holding the Xbox logo, which takes about a count of fifteen to turn off.

A couple of additional notes. First, the adapter is said to support up to eight controllers. This is great, especially for indie developers who are interested in party games. Also, the ability to update controller firmware will be added via the “Xbox Accessories” app from Windows Store, which is the same one used to rebind gamepad inputs. That update will be available on November 12th (see "Headset audio issues through the controller"). Thanks to an anonymous comment for this info!

Also, this means that you pretty much should not get Xbox One accessories unless you're planning to run Windows 10.

Microsoft Publishes Windows 10 Build 10576 to Fast Insiders

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 06:23 PM |
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.

Source: Microsoft

So Twitch Bought All 403 Episodes of Joy of Painting...

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged:, 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.

Source: Twitch

Podcast #373 - Samsung 950 Pro, ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q, Steam Link and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 03:22 PM |
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!

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: - 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, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak

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


This laptop is open source from the hardware up

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 02:16 PM |
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."

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Source: The Register

Just Delivered: Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 10:02 PM |
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.

Here's a launch trailer for you, watch it instead of pre-ordering

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 02:04 PM |
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."

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Source: EA

What better way to celebrate the release of Star Wars Battlefront than making a motorized AT-AT

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 01:00 PM |
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."

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Source: MAKE:Blog

Now that's a hack, print your own organs with a modified MakerBot Replicator

Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2015 - 05:17 PM |
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."

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Source: The Inquirer