Subject: General Tech | July 8, 2016 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: STT-MRAM, nifty
Good news has arrived for those watching the development of the next type of storage medium, there has been new information about Spin Transfer Torque MRAM published. One of the major hurdles in the development of the new type of memory, apart from yields, has been predicting the performance of MRAM cells. The Register have linked to an article on IEEE, jointly published by IBM and Samsung, which details how new STT-MRAM materials fabbed at the 11nm behave. We are still a while off of STT-MRAM hitting the market but it continues to draw closer as researchers try to bring us the next generation of storage media.
"IBM and Samsung scientists have published an IEEE paper demonstrating switching MRAM cells for 655 devices with diameters ranging from 50 down to 11 nanometers in just 10 nanoseconds using only 7.5 microamperes. They say it is a significant achievement towards the development of Spin Torque MRAM."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Capacity limits are utter tosh: Toshiba fattens SSD, disk with flash layers, helium @ The Register
- New DNA 'hard drive' could keep files intact for millions of years @ The Register
- Free Upgrade To Windows 10 Mobile Will Continue Past July 29 @ Slashdot
- Linux Lite 3: The Ideal Platform for Old Hardware and New Users @ Linux.com
- Facebook Messenger is getting end-to-end encryption @ The Inquirer
- Avast woos AVG shareholders with $1.3bn buyout offer @ The Register
- Corsair LAPDOG Gaming Control Center @ techPowerUp
- Asus' RT-AC88U router & RP-AC68U repeater @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 07:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, Avegant Glyph, headset
Why is the AVEGANT Glyph headset referred to as a personal theatre you may ask? That would be because these are headphones and a head mounted display in one package, unfortunately they launched while everyone was gazing at their Vives and Rifts. Instead of providing a VR experience, this headset is intended to give you the view of a 55-60" TV as if you were sitting 3 to 4 meters away. The headset uses a microUSB for power and microHDMI for signal and provides a resolution of 1280x720p per eye and even supports 3D-movies and 3D-Vision when gaming. Unfortunately as Bjorn3D discovered, you need a 720p source, it cannot downscale from 1080p or other resolutions. Check out their full review here.
"So what is the Avegant Glyph? Quite simply it is a headset that can be used as a regular audio headset but also comes with lenses to allow you to use it as your own mobile personal theater. And regardless of some issues it actually works great for this purpose."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Antlion ModMic 4.0 Attachable Headphone Microphone Review @ Techgage
- AntLion ModMic 4.0 Uni-directional with Mute Review @ OCC
- Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds Review @ NikKTech
- Edifier Studio R2730DB Speaker @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 02:20 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: xbox play, video, Thrustmaster, technology, Samsung 840, rx 480, review, radeon 490, radeon, power, Polaris, podcast, pcper, news, Micron 9100 MAX SSD, lenovo thinkpad x1 yoga, Kinetic, gtx 1060, EVO, cooler, coolchip, alcantera
PC Perspective Podcast #407 - 07/07/2016
Join us this week as we discuss RX 480 Power Concerns, X1 Yoga, Thrustmaster, Micron 9100 MAX, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Kaspersky! (promo code pcper)
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Jeremy: Canuck with no patience? Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: UFS, Samsung, microSD
Samsung just announced the first product based on the new Universal Flash Storage standard which will be making microSD cards as obsolete as your old mix tape. They will come in sizes from 256GB down to 32GB but it is the speed of these new storage devices that will impress, not the density. Samsung tells of sequential read speeds of up to 530MB/s, allowing you to dump HD quality video to a PC and random reads of 40,000 IOPS if you have a usage scenario which would read in such a manner. For recording video you can expect up to 170MB/s sequential write speed or 35,000 random IOPS; 4K drone recordings won't be limited by bandwidth anymore.
Unfortunately, as The Inquirer points out, no one can use these yet as we haven't a place to stick them.
"What UFS does mean already is that we'll start to see a bottleneck lifted in storage speeds in phones and tablets. As we've already seen, MicroSD doesn't cut it in the speed stakes, and it doesn't seem so long ago that we reported on torn down phones with 'internal' memory that was really just an SD card hidden away."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NVIDIA Announces The GeForce GTX 1060, Linux Tests Happening @ Phoronix
- Official NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Announcement @ [H]ard|OCP
- Symantec admits it won't patch 'catastrophic' security flaws until mid-July @ The Inquirer
- Hackers Can Use Smart Watch Movements To Reveal A Wearer's ATM PIN @ Slashdot
- Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open @ The Register
- ⌘+c malware smacks Macs, drains keychains, pours over Tor @ The Register
- TP-Link abandons 'forgotten' router config domains @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 05:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, tf2
Conveniently just after Overwatch received its Competitive Play update, Valve has announced the Meet Your Match update to Team Fortress 2. This update includes Competitive Mode, which is a ranked, 6v6 gametype, which sounds even more like Overwatch. Only the first day has been revealed thus far, as Valve likes to break update posts into chunks and release them over the course of a week, but it includes three maps, two achievements, and the official launch of the PASS Time game mode. The second part of the update is coming soon.
PASS Time was originally announced last year, in collaboration with Bad Robot (J.J. Abrams' production company) and Escalation Studios. While I've never played it (yes, I pretty much only play 2Fort...) it sounds similar to game modes like Bombing Run or Grifball. Obviously, those game modes are typically for more individual shooters, not TF2's class system, so it's interesting to see how, for instance, a Level 3 Sentry plays into it.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 03:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLAN party, vlan, kick ass, gaming, fun, fragging frogs
That's right, it is time for another Fragging Frog VLAN, this time lucky number 13, kicking off this Saturday morning. If you are at all interested in having the best possible Saturday ever then head to the forums and put your name in the list of attendees. If you are not a member of the Forums for some bizarre reason you need to sign up ASAP as it is members and contributors of PCPer and the Fragging Frogs who are given first shot at games and prizes. To that end you will need to post at least 5 times to our Forums between now and Saturday; pictures of SPAM not included.
The list of possible games is already quite long, from UT2K4 up to the newly released Overwatch, by way of Battle both field-ish and Front-ian with many more on the list. If you don't see one of your favourites post it to the thread and we will add it on. Before joining in, make sure to check out this thread here for the information you need to hop onto the TeamSpeak server so you can chat with your fellow gamers. You also need to join into the channel if you want to win any of the prizes which will be given away during the event.
That's right, prizes and gaming! The wonderful folks at AMD have sent over some mysterious parts for you to have a chance to win and several of the staff of PCPer have dug through their closets and sent out some of the gear we have reviewed recently. What could these be? Only one way to find out; see you on Saturday!
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ThinkPwn, Lenovo, gigabyte, 68-UD3H, z77x-ud5h, Z87MX-D3H, Z97-D3H, Intel, SMM
The ThinkPwn vulnerability which has been in the news lately, which allows attackers to disable Secure Boot and bypass Virtual Secure Mode on Win10 Enterprise as well as disabling flash write protection turns out not to be yet another questionable Lenovo feature. Instead the problem lies with the motherboards UEFI, specifically the Intel System Management Mode implemented on Gigabyte motherboards. So far the issue has been located on Z68-UD3H, Z77X-UD5H, Z87MX-D3H, and Z97-D3H but it is possible that the vulnerability exists on far more motherboards, perhaps even beyond Gigabyte as the flaw is in the Intel code. The Register also postulates this could effect HP Pavilion machines as they use these boards as well.
"Gigabyte has been swept into turmoil surrounding low-level security vulnerabilities that allows attackers to kill flash protection, secure boot, and tamper with firmware on PCs by Lenovo and other vendors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft wants to push biz users onto Windows 10 Enterprise Edition @ The Inquirer
- Build A 3D Printer Workhorse, Not an Amazing Disappointment Machine @ Hack a Day
- KDE Plasma 5.7 Released @ Slashdot
- Mac OS X malware threat lets hackers access webcams via Tor backdoor @ The Inquirer
- Word hole patched in 2012 is 'unchallenged' king of Office exploits @ The Register
The New Corinthian Leather?
I really do not know what happened to me, but I used to hate racing games. I mean, really hate them. I played old, old racing games on Atari. I had some of the first ones available on PC. They did not appeal to me in the least. Instant buyer’s remorse for the most part. Then something strange happened. 3D graphics technology changed that opinion. Not only did hardware accelerated 3D help me get over my dislike, but the improvements in physical simulations also allowed a greater depth of experience. Throw in getting my first force feedback device and NFS: Porsche Unleashed and I was hooked from then on out.
The front of the box shows the lovely Ferrari 599XX supercar with the wheel in the foreground.
The itch to improve the driving experience only grows as time goes on. More and more flashy looking titles are released, some of which actually improve upon the simulation with complex physics rewrites, all of which consume more horsepower from the CPU and GPU. This then leads to more hardware upgrades. The next thing a person knows they are ordering multiple monitors so they can just experience racing in Surround/Eyefinity (probably the best overall usage for the technology).
One bad thing about having a passion for something is that itch to improve the experience never goes away. DiRT 2 inspired me to purchase my first FFB wheel, the TM Ferrari F420 model. Several games later and my disappointment for the F420’s 270 degree steering had me pursue my next purchase which was a TX F458 Ferrari Edition racing wheel. This featured the TX base, the stock/plastic Ferrari wheel, and the two pedal set. This was a tremendous upgrade from the older TM F420 and the improvement to 900 degrees of rotation and far better FFB effects was tremendous. Not only that, but the TX platform could be upgradeable. The gate leading to madness was now open.
The TX base can fit a variety of 2 and 3 pedal systems, but the big push is towards the actual wheel itself. Thrustmaster has several products that fit the base that feature a materials such as plastic, rubber, and leather. These products go from $120 on up to around $150. These are comprised of three GT style wheels and one F1 wheel. All of them look pretty interesting and are a big step up from the bundled F458 replica that comes standard with the TX set.
The rear shows the rim itself at actual size.
I honestly had not thought about upgrading to any of these units as I was pleased with the feel and performance of the stock wheel. It seemed to have fit my needs. Then it happened. Thrustmaster announced the Ferrari 599XX EVO wheel with honest-to-goodness Alcantara ™ construction. The more I read about this wheel, the more I wanted it. The only problem in my mind is that it is priced at a rather dramatic $179. I had purchased the entire TX F458 setup on sale for only $280 some months before! Was the purchase of the 599XX worth it? Would it dramatically change my gaming experience? I guess there is only one way to find out. I hid the credit card statement and told my wife, “Hey, look what I got in for review!”
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX
Well this is interesting. Razer has announced the BlackWidow X Tournament Edition, which is a new tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Blue switches. This is interesting, because it does not use Razer's own switches -- not even as a customization (like the BlackWidow X Ultimate). You must use Cherry MX Blue. It's an interesting change, and I'm not sure why they did that, but they did.
Beyond that, it's a fairly standard keyboard. It doesn't have a number pad, but it does have a button to record macros on it. I personally do not like those ever since my original Razer BlackWidow. I would accidentally press the button, not realize it, then have everything I typed get spammed out for the next half hour, including passwords. I would assume Razer has fixed that issue in the last four-or-so years, but I haven't used their keyboards in a while. There might have even been an option to prevent it back then, but I never found it. Also, for some, a macro button is probably a nice feature, seeing as they've consistently included it.
The talk about Cherry Switches and Macro Keys aside, the keyboard seems like a pretty decent value. The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition costs $69.99 and ships next week.
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox, windows 10, microsoft
Microsoft is launching Xbox Play Anywhere this fall, which allows games that are purchased on Xbox Store and Windows Store to be available on the other for no additional cost.
To our site, this means that these games will also be available on Windows 10. Moreover, Microsoft has announced that “every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.” So this means that, starting with Re-Core, Microsoft should publish all of their games on the PC.
Update (July 6th @ 3:33pm EDT): Turns out that it was updated to clarify "at this year's E3". So the list of games on XboxPlayAnywhere is all they're announcing so far.
That said, it will all be done through Windows Store, and so we'll need to remain concerned about the openness of that platform. The obvious example is when Games for Windows Live was shut down, bricking all software that the developer didn't patch out (or patch over to Steam). There's also concern about people being able to distribute software independently and anonymously as well.
That said, Microsoft is free to publish their own software however they like, and it's nice to see them supporting the PC again. I just want to make sure a strong, alternative platform exists (like Win32 or a strong Web standard) that cannot be (legally or technically) pivoted into Windows RT (or iOS), which forced all browsers to be re-skins of Internet Explorer (or Safari in iOS's case), forced content guidelines on games, etc. Someone will abuse any restrictions that are made, now or in the future.