Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2014 - 02:11 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, r9 270x, r7 265, r7 260x, podcast, nvidia, fusion-io, arm, amd, A17
PC Perspective Podcast #287 - 02/14/2014
Join us this week as we discuss the release of the AMD R7 265, Coin Mining's effect on GPU Prices, NVIDIA Earnings and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Week in Review:
0:28:45 NVIDIA Posts Solid Quarter
News items of interest:
0:56:15 In a Galaxy far far away?
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Josh: $379 for next few days!
Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 13, 2014 - 10:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Chromebook, google, vmware
Google has just announced a partnership with VMware for "cloud access" to virtualized Windows desktops through Chrome OS. The Verge takes the narrative that Google is looking to hurt Microsoft via their enterprise market. Honestly, I think it just makes sense as a business.
As time passes, the list of tasks which require native applications is diminishing. Legacy applications, which cannot be reprogrammed for copyright or development reasons, are still on a leash to their intended platform, however. Google knows that their customers want access to those programs and utilities. Virtualization is one of the easiest ways, especially since it is already happening.
Some will prefer native apps on a dedicated machine (and that is okay).
Google also notes that Windows XP is nearing its end of life. They claim that Chromebooks and virtualized Windows instances nullifies security vulnerabilities and compatibility woes. Of course, you are never perfectly secure but at least Google puts their money where their mouth is.
VMware Horizon View 5.3 is currently available "as an on-premise service".
Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2014 - 01:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Broadwell
There are many possible reasons why Intel is delaying the arrival of the 14nm Broadwell, from a lack of competition to the slowing of the laptop market to simply wanting to sell more Haswell chips. Regardless of the cause, DigiTimes is reporting that we will not see the first Broadwell chips until the beginning of 2015 with the arrival of Celeron and Pentium branded chips. The first ones to be shipped will be to mobile system builders in the last quarter of this year, limited amounts of U- and Y-series models will be distributed to manufacturers to be sold at the beginning of 2015. That is a long way off, don't give up all hope but don't hold your breath.
"Intel's upcoming 14nm Broadwell-based processors were previously scheduled for mass production at the end of the first quarter for release in the third; however, sources from the upstream supply chain say the processors have recently been delayed and will not be available until the fourth quarter."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- VMware and Google announce Windows applications for Chrome OS @ The Inquirer
- Sandisk announces world's fastest memory card for 4K video @ The Inquirer
- Have a Linksys router? Now's a good time to update that firmware @ The Register
- John McAfee declares war on Android @ The Register
- Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles @ The Inqurier
- An Introduction to the AWS Command Line Tool @ Linux.com
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | February 12, 2014 - 10:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox, xbone, ps4, Playstation, pc gaming
PCMag, your source for Apple and gaming console coverage (I joke), wrote up an editorial about purchasing a gaming console. Honestly, they should have titled it, "How to Buy a Game Device" since they also cover the NVIDIA SHIELD and other options.
The entire Console vs PC debate bothers me, though. Neither side handles it well.
I will start by highlighting problems with the PC side, before you stop reading. Everyone says you can assemble your own gaming PC to save a little money. Yes, that is true and it is unique to the platform. The problem is that the public vision then becomes, "You must assemble and maintain your own gaming PC".
No. No. No.
Some people prefer the support system provided by the gaming consoles. If it bricks, which some of them do a lot, you can call up the manufacturer for a replacement in a few weeks. The same could be absolutely true for a gaming PC. There is nothing wrong with purchasing a computer from a system builder, ranging from Dell to Puget Systems.
The point of gaming PC is that you do not need to. You can also deal with a small business. For Canadians, if you purchase all of your hardware through NCIX, you can add $50 to your order for them to ship your parts as a fully assembled PC, with Windows installed (if purchased). You also get a one-year warranty. The downside is that you lose your ability to pick-and-choose components from other retailers and you cannot reuse your old stuff. Unfortunately, I do not believe NCIX USA offers this. Some local stores may offer similar benefits, though. One around my area assembled for free.
The benefits of the PC is always choice. You can assemble it yourself (or with a friend). You can have a console-like experience with a system builder. You can also have something in-between with small businesses. It is your choice.
Most importantly, your choice of manufacturer does not restrict your choice in content.
As for the consoles, I cannot find a rock-solid argument that will always be better on them. If you are thinking about purchasing one, the available content should sway your decision. Microsoft will be the place to get "Halo". Sony will be the place to get "The Last of Us". Nintendo will be the place to get "Mario". Your money should go where the content you want is. That, and wherever your friends play.
But, of course, then you are what made the content exclusive.
Note: Obviously the PC has issues with proprietary platforms, too. Unlike the consoles, it could also be a temporary issue. The PC business model does not depend upon Windows. If it remains a sufficient platform? Great. If not, we have multiple options which range from Linux/SteamOS to Web Standards for someone to develop a timeless classic on.
Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 10:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: screen sharing, remote utilities, remote support, logmein
After the free version of LogMeIn shut down (on rather short notice), I started to look for alternatives for the occasional remote support session with family and friends. One alternative I was directed to on a forum I frequent was a software utility called Remote Utilities. The developers recently announced (in response to LogMeIn Free's shutdown) that their Remote Utilities software is available with a free license good for business or personal use on up to 10 PCs. It seemed interesting, so I decided to give it a try for myself.
The Remote Utilities Viewer GUI.
The download weighs in at 16.4MB and comes in a zipped folder with two installers for the viewer and host along with a single page quick start guide (PDF). Installation of both programs was simple enough, and it would be easy enough to guide someone through over the phone. The host installer defaults are decent. It will ask the user to enter a password that will be required to access the PC remotely.
It will also offer to create an "Internet ID" which is a code that can be emailed or otherwise given to the support technician. It is used to connect to the client PC without needing to figure out the IP and port forwarding situation of the client PC. Alternatively, you can choose to connect directly via IP without going through Remote Utilities connection servers.
My desktop connecting to my laptop using the Remote Utilities application.
Once the host PC is setup and the viewer application is installed on the other PC, you can connect to, and log into the remote PC. The application allows file transfer, terminal (or command prompt) access, screen sharing, and full GUI remote control of the PC. You can remotely restart and install applications as well. Needless to say, there are a lot of advanced settings and tools for those that like to dive into things while being easy to use in a default state. For a free application, it is very fully featured and easy to use. Performance of the remote control session was very smooth, particularly over the same LAN (naturally). It was at least as responsive as Crossloop and noticeably better than the VNC options I've tested in the past.
As far as encryption options for the connection, Remote Utilities claims to use RSA 2048 asymmetric + AES 256 symmetric (Microsoft Crypto API) for all data sent over the network. The encryption is enabled by default, and cannot be turned off (heh).
This is by no means a full review, and I do not intend for it to be. However, I do believe that it to be an interesting alternative to LogMeIn that is worth sharing. If you are still looking for a free remote support tool, I encourage you to check this one out.
You can grab the free download from: http://www.remoteutilities.com/
What is your favorite free remote support tool?
Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 09:10 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, microsoft
PC Gamer reports that Jason Holtman has left Microsoft after being there just six months. Little is known about his departure, or even what he accomplished at Microsoft beyond his "Head of PC Gaming and Entertainment Strategy" title, but the publication hopes to have more details soon.
It does appear as if he chose to leave.
Image Credit: Microsoft-News
Prior to joining Microsoft, Holtman served as the director of business development for seven years at Valve. He is credited with a lot of Steam's success, from content deals to their wildly successful "Summer Sales".
We do not really have much beyond that, yet.
Readers, how do you think this reflect Microsoft's stance toward PC gaming?
Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 12, 2014 - 08:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubuntu, SteamOS, nuc, Intel, debian
Two days ago, Intel added a new BIOS for the NUC to their download center. Its main update addresses a problem with booting some operating systems, such as SteamOS. Ars Technica published an editorial a couple of weeks ago about using the Haswell-based NUC with four Linux distributions. It basically comes down to the NUC not seeing a bootloader file that Debian-based OSes leave in their own branded folder. The BIOS was available less than two weeks later.
The update also addresses (PDF) fan speed control, a bug with disk encryption passwords, a couple of BIOS settings, and a system hang with certain USB thumb drives.
If you have a NUC and want to make it a SteamOS (or Ubuntu, etc.) device, this should fix your woes. I mean, there was already a workaround involving four terminal commands but it is that much easier nonetheless. It is available now at Intel's store.
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | February 12, 2014 - 05:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mediatek, arm, cortex, A17
Our Josh Walrath wrote up an editorial about the Cortex-A17 architecture less than two days ago. In it, he reports on ARM's announcement that "the IP" will ship in 2015. On the same calendar date, MediaTek announced their MT6595 SoC, integrating A17 and A7 cores, will be commercially available in 1H 2014 with devices in 2H 2014.
Of course, it is difficult to tell how ahead of schedule this is, depending on what ARM meant by shipping in 2015 and what MediaTek meant by devices based on the MT6595 platform in 2H 2014.
There are two key features about the A17: a 40% power reduction from A15 and its ability to integrate with A7 cores in a big.LITTLE structure. MediaTek goes a little further with "CorePilot", which schedules tasks across all eight cores (despite it being a grouping of two different architectures). This makes some amount of sense because it allows for four strong threads which can be augmented with four weaker threads. Especially for applications like web browsers, it is not uncommon to have a dominant main thread.
The SoC will also support LTE and HSPA+ mobile and 802.11ac wireless connections. It will not integrate the Mali-T720 GPU (DX11/OpenGL ES 3.0), but instead use the Power VR Series6 GPU (DX10/OpenGL ES 3.0 unless it is an unannounced design). MediaTek does not explain why they chose the one licensed GPU over the other.
MediaTek claims the MT6595 platform will be available in the first half of 2014 with devices coming in the second half.
Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 04:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows Phone RT, Windows Phone 8.1, Blue
Before we begin: rumors, rumors, rumors.
We all know the troubles that Microsoft had when they created the Surface RT. It was a branding nightmare. It is Windows but it will not run the library of applications that your stack of installation media represents. Of course I need to be fair, between the iPhone announcement and its release, multiple people claimed to me that they wanted it to run OSX software because "it is based on OSX". Even Apple had this branding problem. They clearly survived it.
Image Source: AngelWZR Twitter.
The latest leaks claim that Windows Phone 8.1, formerly Windows Phone Blue, will be released as Windows Phone RT. This build is not expected to be the unification with Windows RT.
The apparently leaked SDK also claims various features, such as Internet Explorer 11 (now with 100% less Silverlight), display out, VPN support, and so forth. Check out Dailytech.com for their large list of features and screenshots.
Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, goat simulator
For $10 you can pre-order Goat Simulator on Steam as it has gone from a wacky physics engine demonstration to a real ... goat simulator. They've even added a brand new feature to the tongue we saw sticking out of the goats mouth in the original video. If you lick something it will stick to your tongue, which was put to the obvious use of chasing humans around while wielding an axe. We can only hope that there will be a Troll Bridge add-on in the near future; how can you not buy this?
"Hmm, I worry that it’s ever so slightly less entertaining now it’s a real thing with a pricetag, as opposed to an out-of-nowhere joke. Now it’s got the Snakes On A Plane problem – it has to live up to its concept. Still, we (including I) asked for it, so down Goat Simulator’s rabbit hole we must go."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Titanfall beta registration opens for Xbox One and PC gamers @ The Inquirer
- Double Dragon: Neon Now Available on Steam
- Gouraud Shading In The Myst: Myst Remake Gets Remade @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefield 4: Second Assault rumoured to launch on 18th Feb @ HEXUS
- Video Impressions: Titanfall’s Beta @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Garrett Expectations: Another Thief Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Hands-On: Age Of Wonders III @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
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