Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2016 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gift guide, holiday gift guide
Ryan has started cracking the whip but we haven't quite assembled our picks for the Christmas season so for now you can check out what the gang at The Tech Report has on offer. As you might expect, the HTC Vive appears but you might not have suspected that a pressure cooker and sous-vide machine are on their list. There is a lot more in the way of recommendations, from a CPU delidder to a projector or a 55" 4K TV with HDR if you are more of a traditionalist. Hide your credit cards and check out the whole list.
"The TR staff knows just how hard it can be to find the right gift to please the nerd in your life, so we've compiled a list of the items we've used and enjoyed over the past year. If you're stuck on what to buy for your favorite techie this holiday season, maybe we can help."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GPU Upgrade & New Build Buyer’s Guide 2016 @ Techgage
- Plex Media Player Now Doesn't Require a Subscription; Pass Users Get Kodi Plug-in @ Slashdot
- Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online @ The Register
- Windows 10 on track to claim a quarter of PC market by the end of 2016 @ The Inquirer
- Well, FC-NVMe. Did this lightning-fast protocol just get faster? @ The Register
- Nokia returns to phone biz with first Android smartphones coming in 2017 @ The Inquirer
- Google's New Public NTP Servers Provide Smeared Time @ Slashdot
- How to Build an Email Server on Ubuntu Linux @ Linux.com
- BarrelCool Rifle Chamber Fan @ Benchmark Reviews
- IN £3000 of Gaming Hardware to Build Yourself a New Rig @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2016 - 12:58 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VR, razer, osvr, Khronos
The Khronos Group is the standards body that maintains OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenCL, along with several other APIs and formats. They are made up of several members, which include companies of various sizes along with educational institutions, with a couple of tiers where members of the higher level, Promoter, get board nomination rights.
The lower level, Contributor, has just received a new member: Razer. The Khronos Group published a little statement to their front page, but didn’t provide a way to permanently link it and the Read More just directs to Razer’s homepage. Also, Razer didn’t provide a press release on their website, at least by the time this news was published, so I included the statement below to prevent it from getting buried in a few days:
The Khronos Group is proud to announce that Razer has joined as a Contributor Member. Razer is a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers. Its award-winning design and technology span systems, peripherals, audio and wearable technologies. Razer co-founded OSVR, an open-source platform that integrates VR, AR and mixed reality hardware and software APIs that support a universal VR ecosystem.
Based on this, it’s easy to speculate that Razer is looking to have a say and a vote in how graphics APIs evolve, nudging it as needed for OSVR, their co-founded virtual reality platform. Basically every other VR developer worth mentioning is already a member, including Google, Microsoft, Oculus VR, Samsung, Sony, and Valve. Likewise, Vulkan is undergoing rapid development, and the next version, codenamed Vulkan Next, has VR as one of its “top priorities”. It seems like a good time for Razer to get involved.
Otherwise? Not much to speak of here. Razer is a fairly big company that wants to be active in technology development, and it can easily afford the Khronos Group membership fee. I mean, the amount they spent on USB ports with a specific shade of green would cover about twenty years of membership to the Khronos Group, so it seems within their reach.
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2016 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming mouse, input, dream machines, DM Pro S
The Dream Machines DM1 PRO S gaming mouse uses a Pixart PMW 3360 optical sensor, not one commonly utilized in the market. The DPI of the sensor can be toggled in set increments from 400 up to 12000, with the colour of the light under the logo indicating your current setting; the lack of software precludes manipulation of those presets. The overall design of the mouse looks ambidextrous, however there are only thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse. TechPowerUp were very impressed with the performance of the new sensor, as to the rest of the features you will just have to pop over and read them yourself.
"A few months ago, we reviewed the Dream Machines DM1 PRO, and Dream Machines is now back with the DM1 PRO S. This version has an updated sensor, has been slimmed down to be even lighter, and has a rather nice glossy finish. Improvements, which could be a game changer."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dream Machines DM1 PRO S Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L RGB Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Roccat Skeltr Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Rosewill's RK-9000V2 RGB mechanical keyboard @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2016 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIY, self driving car, comma.ai, geohot
George Hotz, aka [Geohot], created the comma.ai program in an effort to create and sell a program to control self driving cars. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took offence to this, citing the possibility of this endangering humans in a letter sent to his company Comma.Ai. He shut down the project rather than having to deal with lawyers, red tape and regulations. The code survived however and is now available on GitHub. Hack a Day took a look and discovered it is written in Python with some C included and is rather easy to interpret if you are familiar with the language. It is compatible with Acura ILXs or Honda Civic 2016 Touring models, if you are so inclined.
"First there was [Geohot]’s lofty goal to build a hacker’s version of the self-driving car. Then came comma.ai and a whole bunch of venture capital. After that, a letter from the Feds and a hasty retreat from the business end of things. The latest development? comma.ai’s openpilot project shows up on GitHub!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal @ The Register
- INQ's guide to Christmas 2016: Gifts for gamers, geeks and gadget fans
- Intel to push SSD products for 4 major markets in 2017 @ DigiTimes
- Buffer overflow exploit can bypass Activation Lock on iPads running iOS 10.1.1 @ Ars Technica
- Foxconn manager in doodah for pinching 5,700 iPhones @ The Inquirer
- Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators @ The Register
- Parrot Security Could Be Your Next Security Tool @ Linux.com
- D-Link Performace Series DIR-890L AC3200 Enthusiast Router @ eTeknix
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 28, 2016 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: modular psu, in win, in win classic, 750w, 80 Plus Platinum
In Win are a venerable supplier of PSUs who slowly faded into the background as the PSU market has grown to include numerous manufacturers and resellers. They are looking to get back into the minds of shoppers with their new Classic series, sporting a fully modular design, separated 12V rails, alumumium exteriors and an 80 Plus Platinum rating. Inside the unit you will find Nippon Chemi-con and a clean design which impressed [H]ard|OCP. Looks are not the only important thing when choosing a PSU however, check out the full review to see how well the In Win Classic 750W performed.
"It has been years since we have reviewed a computer power supply from In Win. You might remember the In Win name from being a prolific case supplier back in the early enthusiast days of the 1990's. How does In Win stack up in 2016 with its Classic series PSU that has a very sleek look to it and nice feature set?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Smart DPS G 750W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Super Flower Platinum King 650W @ Kitguru
- Enermax Platimax DF 600W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Thermaltake Toughpower SFX 600W @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 04:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, mechwarrior 5, Mechwarrior
Piranha Games, known for the free-to-play MechWarrior Online, has just announced MechWarrior 5: Merceneries. The first thing I noticed is that they revived the Merceneries subtitle, used twice before with expansion packs to MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 4. The second thing I noticed is that it now runs on Unreal Engine 4, despite MechWarrior Online being based on CryEngine.
The third thing I noticed is that, while it’s a bit of a meme to start MechWarrior things with the mech powering up, the video actually begins with the pilot on foot, walking through the hangar. I’m wondering whether this will be expanded upon in the gameplay or narrative. I don’t really see how it could work, but it seems like a fair amount of effort for no real intent. Yes, I’ve played MechAssault 2, but it seems highly unlikely that anything like that will happen.
MechWarrior 5 takes place in 3015, which means that it will have a very small subset of the weapons and equipment that you would see in, say, MechWarrior 3 (~3060) and MechWarrior 4 (~3063). There probably will not be ER weapons, pulse lasers, gauss rifles, ECM, LBX autocannons, or anything like that. I would be surprised to see anything more than standard lasers, PPCs, short-range missiles, long-range missiles, machine guns, and standard autocannons. It will be an interesting change of pace.
MechWarrior 5 also might be single-player only. The teaser site seems to suggest that MechWarrior Online will continue to be updated, which I interpret to mean that it will be its multiplayer companion.
It is expected for release in 2018.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, vulkan, libretro
About half of a year ago, LibRetro added Vulkan support to their Nintendo 64 renderer. This allowed them to do things like emulate the console’s hardware rasterization in software, and do so as an asynchronous shader, circumventing limitations in their OpenGL path trying to emulate the console’s offbeat GPU.
Image Credit: Universal Interactive via Wikipedia
They have now turned their sights (“for the lulz”) to the original PlayStation, creating a Vulkan back-end for emulators like Beetle PSX.
The fairly long blog post discusses how the PlayStation is designed in detail, making it an interesting read for anyone curious. One point that I found particularly interesting is how the video memory is configured as a single, 1MB, 2D array (1024x512x16-bit). At this time, texture resolution was quite small, and frame buffers were between 256x224 and 640x480, so that’s a lot of room to make a collage out of your frame and all textures in the scene, but it’s still odd to think about a console imposing such restrictions now that we’re spoiled by modern GPUs.
In terms of performance, the developer claims that modern GPUs can handle 8k resolutions with relative ease, and four-digit FPS at lower resolutions.
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