Subject: General Tech | October 8, 2016 - 11:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubisoft, pc gaming, free games, free
This has apparently been going on since June, but I just found out that Ubisoft was giving away some of their older titles for free. Like EA's “On the House” promotion, you can keep the title, but only if you add it to your UPlay account before the cut off date. We're just before the change in months, so, for the next few days, you can add The Crew. Then, starting on October 12th, you can pick up the original Beyond Good and Evil for free.
As expected, you will need to have a UPlay account for this to work. Still, it's an otherwise free game, and a cult classic at that. While this promotion is officially for Ubisoft's 30th anniversary, and two games will go free after Beyond Good and Evil, Ubisoft took the opportunity to announce that a sequel to Beyond Good and Evil is being developed. I guess this means that we'll only have a couple more E3s where journalists write top ten “I want to see announced” lists containing Beyond Good and Evil 2. Yet another thing that will probably be released before Half-Life 2: Episode 3.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 8, 2016 - 11:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce
On Thursday, NVIDIA released their latest graphics drivers to align with Gears of War 4, Mafia 3, and Shadow Warrior 2. The drivers were published before each of these games launched, which allows gamers to optimize their PCs ahead of time. Graphics vendors work with many big-budget studios during their development cycles, and any tweaks that they found over the months and years will be targeted to this release, as usual.
Beyond tweaking for these games, NVIDIA has also announced a couple of fixes. If you were experiencing issues in Overwatch, then these new drivers fix how decals are drawn. The major fix claims to reduce inconsistent performance in multiple VR titles, which is very useful for these applications.
You can get these drivers from their website, or just install them from GeForce Experience.
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2016 - 06:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dream machines, gaming mouse, DM1 Pro
Dream Machines is not a well known brand but do have a line of computer equipment including the newly released DM1 Pro gaming mouse. The mouse uses a Pmw3310dh optical sensor with DPI ranging from 400 to 5000 and indicates your current setting in a unique way, the colour displayed by the LED indicates the current sensitivity. There are six buttons present, including the sensitivity toggle, with thumb buttons positioned for right handed users. Kitguru liked the mouse but were disappointed by the complete lack of software to customize the mouse, take a peek and see what you think.
"The latest mouse to come in for review is the Dream Machines DM1 Pro. A Polish company, you would be forgiven for not having heard of them. However, they supply laptops, speakers and mice so we were pleased to be sent the DM1 Pro mouse. Priced at £39 in the UK, it sports an ambidextrous design and optical sensor – but how does it fare in the real world?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fnatic Gear Rush Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Roccat Skeltr Multi-Format RGB Gaming Keyboard
- Zalman ZM-K900M Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2016 - 05:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift
The Rift just got a lot more expensive to set up for those of you who prefer it to the Vive. The kit has expanded its requirements and prices for those who would like the ability to move around in VR and those who want something more accurate than the basic remote. To upgrade your remote is $199 and the additional sensor to track your body movement is $79. While that is not too bad as they are additional features it seems that Oculus had the incredibly bad taste to use a proprietary audio connector. That means if you want upgraded audio that is receiving from the same source as your video you need to fork over an additional $49. As The Register points out, this is somewhat more than the originally quoted $350 price tag for a functional VR headset.
"It's bad enough that the basic system costs $599 – almost double the expected price of $350. Today, the Facebook-owned biz revealed a range of accessories that will push its cost even higher."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Never explain, never apologize: Microsoft silent on Outlook.com email server grief @ The Register
- Radeon Vulkan Driver Added To Mesa, Fresh Radeon Vulkan vs. OpenGL Benchmarks + AMDGPU-PRO @ Phoronix
- The FBI wants to unlock another iPhone and is making big deal out of it @ The Inquirer
- Kaby Lake and VR to push PC market to growth in 2017 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2016 - 03:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: supercomputer, microsoft, deep neural network, azure, artificial intelligence, ai
Microsoft recently announced it would be restructuring 5,000 employees as it focuses its efforts on artificial intelligence with a new AI and Research Group. The Redmond giant is pulling computer scientists and engineers from Microsoft Research, the Information Platfrom, Bing, and Cortana groups, and the Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. Led by 20 year Microsoft veteran Harry Shum (who has worked in both research and engineering roles at Microsoft), the new AI team promises to "democratize AI" and be a leader in the field with intelligent products and services.
It seems that "democratizing AI" is less about free artificial intelligence and more about making the technology accessible to everyone. The AI and Research Group plans to develop artificial intelligence to the point where it will change how humans interact with their computers (read: Cortana 2.0) with services and commands being conversational rather than strict commands, new applications baked with AI such as office and photo editors that are able to proof read and suggest optimal edits respectively, and new vision, speech, and machine analytics APIs that other developers will be able to harness for their own applications. (Wow that's quite the long sentence - sorry!)
Further, Microsoft wants to build the world's fastest AI supercomputer using its Azure cloud computing service. The Azure-powered AI will be available to everyone for their applications and research needs (for a price, of course!). Microsoft certainly has the money, brain power, and computing power to throw at the problem, and this may be one of the major areas where looking to "the cloud" for a company's computing needs is a smart move as the up front capital needed for hardware, engineers, and support staff to do something like this in-house would be extremely prohibative. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will win out in the wake of competitors at being the first, but it is certainly staking its claim and does not want to be left out completely.
“Microsoft has been working in artificial intelligence since the beginning of Microsoft Research, and yet we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Shum, executive vice president of the Microsoft AI and Research Group. “Today’s move signifies Microsoft’s commitment to deploying intelligent technology and democratizing AI in a way that changes our lives and the world around us for the better. We will significantly expand our efforts to empower people and organizations to achieve more with our tools, our software and services, and our powerful, global-scale cloud computing capabilities.”
Interestingly, this announcement comes shortly after a previous announcement that industry giants Amazon, Facebook, Google-backed DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft founded the not-for-profit Partnership On AI organization that will collaborate and research best practices on AI development and exploitation (and hopefully how to teach them not to turn on us heh).
I am looking forward to the future of AI and the technologies it will enable!
Subject: Motherboards | October 7, 2016 - 02:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z170, msi, kaby lake, Intel B150, Intel, H110
MSI has announced that it will be supporting Intel's next generation "Kaby Lake" LGA 1151 processors via a BIOS update. The company has updated its website with the new UEFI/BIOS updates that add support for Kaby Lake on all of its 100-series motherboards.
According to MSI, in addition to Kaby Lake support, the updates improve stability and overclocking potential. Currently, the following Z170, B150, and H110 chipset based motherboards have a BIOS update available.
- Z170 Motherboards
- Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION
- Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM
- Z170A GAMING M9 ACK
- Z170A GAMING M7
- Z170A GAMING M6
- Z170A GAMING M5
- Z170A-G45 GAMING
- Z170A GAMING M3
- Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON
- Z170A GAMING PRO
- Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X
- Z170A KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE
- Z170A KRAIT GAMING
- Z170 KRAIT GAMING
- Z170I GAMING PRO AC
- Z170A TOMAHAWK AC
- Z170A TOMAHAWK
- Z170M MORTAR
- B150 Motherboards
- B150 GAMING M3
- B150M NIGHT ELF
- B150M GAMING PRO
- B150I GAMING PRO AC
- B150I GAMING PRO
- B150M MORTAR ARCTIC
- B150M MORTAR
- B150M BAZOOKA PLUS
- B150M BAZOOKA
- B150M BAZOOKA D3
- B150M GRENADE
- H110 Motherboards
- H110M GAMING
- H110M GRENADE
To grab the latest bios, head over to https://www.msi.com/support#support_download and use the drop down menus to search for your motherboard model. The BIOS download will be available towards the top of the list of available downloads.
MSI and ASUS have both announced support for Kaby Lake on their existing motherboards which is nice to see. If leaks are true, Intel is readying Z270 Express chipset for release in late 2016 or early 2017, but it is nice to know that you will not have to upgrade the motherboard if you do not want to just to get the latest Intel CPU.
Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 11:00 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: virtual reality, htc vive, assistive technology
As technology continues to advance, virtual reality is slowly but surely becoming more of a reality. For many readers, VR is the next step in gaming and achieving an immersive (virtual) experience. However, for Jamie Soar virtual reality is being used to allow him to experience what it is like to have "normal" vision in the real world. Mr. Soar lives with a genetic and progressive eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa as well as diplopia (or double vision) which means that he has severely limited night and peripheral vision. Jamie uses a white cane for mobility and needs to get close to things like computer monitors and signs in order to read them.
EIC Ryan Shrout using the HTC Vive to enter a VR world (Job Simulator) during a live stream.
Enter the HTC Vive and its dual lens solution that puts the displays (and the vitrual world) front and center. After donning the virtual reality headset at a PC World demo in the UK, Jamie was amazingly able to experience the virtual world in a similar way to how many people see the real world. His eyes were able to refocus on the close up displays, and thanks to the illusion of depth created by the dual lenses, he was able to look around the virtual world and see everything clearly and in brilliant color both near and far!
Via Blindness.org: An example of what vision is like with Retinitis Pigmentosa in an advanced stage. Peripheral and night vision are generally the first aspects to be lost as photoreceptors (rods) on outer edges of retina die.
In an interview with Upload VR, Mr. Soar had this to say to those with similar visual impairments:
“Try VR . Find a means to try it because I went so long without ever knowing that this extra dimension existed that you can see. Try out as many experiences as possible. It might not be for everyone but it might give people a lot more freedom or independence in what they do.”
This is a very cool story and I am excited for Mr. Soar. The aspiring music producer plans to continue experimenting with VR and I hope that as it continues to advance it can help him even more. My first thought jumped to Scott's desire to use VR for productivity work using an infinite desktop and how it could help Jamie compose and produce his music and get the same – or better – benefits most people get from having mutiple monitor setups without having to lean in to each monitor. I do not have nearly the vision loss that Mr. Soar has, but I can definitely empathize with him on many points. I think that it is awesome that he was able to test out VR and explore how he can use it to help him!
In my case I am more looking forward to AR (augmented reality) and future products built on things like Or Cam, Microsoft's Seeing AI project (which I thought I wrote about previously but can not find it via Google heh), and even things like and AiPoly (iOS) that use neural networks and can identify objects, people and their facial expressions, and even describe what is happening in natural language (we are not quite there yet but are definitely getting there).
Regardless of whether AR or VR, the advances in technology in just my 26 years have been amazing and the assitive technology available now is unbelievable. The future is exciting, indeed and I can't wait to see what comes next!
Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 09:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toughpower DPS G RGB, thermaltake, RGB, modular psu, 850W
Enough is enough marketing departments! The Toughpower branding is recognizable but when it becomes an RGB to the DPS G-unit one starts to wonder if this a PSU or a new professional gaming team. Oh, lest we forget to mention it, the box proclaims this is indeed a VR Ready PSU; perhaps it provides 3D virtual electrons? Aparently the DPS G portion indicates it is compatible with your cellphone as the PSU provides both modular and mobile features. Lastly the RGB portion of the branding; if you guessed it has a fan capable of producing 256 different colours then you got it! It is even possible it creates airflow at the same time.
Does it actually work as a PSU? Does anyone even care when it has all of these wonderous features? Only [H]ard|OCP knows.
"Flashy lights are cool if you are into that kind of thing, but we want to know about the new Thermaltake power supply beyond the pretty hues of red, green, and blue. Toughpower units have weighed in well in the past, but how about in today's market as it is a lot more competitive now."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Seasonic Flagship PRIME 850W @ [H]ard|OCP
- InWin Classic Series 750W Fully-Modular 80 Plus Platinum @ eTeknix
- Cougar GX-S 550 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 07:26 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Xavier SoC, video, Silverstone Strider Platinum 550W, REVEEN JUSTICE, podcast, logitech, GTX 1050 Ti, Drobo 5C, Crimson 16.10.1, C922
PC Perspective Podcast #420 - 10/06/16
Join us this week as we discuss the REVEEN JUSTICE Air Cooler, Silverstone Strider 550W PSU, NVIDIA Xavier SoC, Google Pixel, Logitech C922, 1050Ti, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:21:45
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 6, 2016 - 07:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windforce, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, gigabyte
Gigabyte is launching a new graphics card with a blower style cooler that it is calling the GTX 1080 TT. The card, which is likely based on the NVIDIA reference PCB, uses a lateral-blower style single “WindForce Turbo Fan” fan. The orange and black shrouded fan takes design cues from the company’s higher end Xtreme Gaming cards and it has a very Mass Effect / Halo Forerunners vibe to it.
The GV-N1080TTOC-8GD is powered by a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector and has a 180W TDP. Despite not using more than one external power connector, the card does still have a bit of overclocking headroom (a total of 225W from the PCI-E spec, though overdrawing on the 8-pin has been done before if the card is not locked in the BIOS to not do so heh). External video outputs include one DVI, one HDMI, and three DisplayPorts. I wish that the DVI port had been cut so that the blower cooler could have a much larger vent to exhaust air out of the case with, but it is what it is.
Out of the box the Gigabyte GTX 1080 TT runs the Pascal-based 2560 CUDA core GPU at 1632 MHz base and 1772 MHz boost. In OC Mode the GPU runs at 1657 MHz base and 1797 MHz boost. The 8 GB of GDDR5X memory is left untouched at the stock 10 GHz in either case. For comparison, reference clock speeds are 1607 MHz base and 1733 MHz boost. As far as factory overclocks go, these are not bad (they are usually at least this conservative).
The heatsink uses three direct contact 6mm copper heat pipes for the GPU and aluminum plates on the VRM and memory chips that transfer heat to an aluminum fin channels that the blower fan at the back of the card uses to push case air over and out of the case. It may be possible to push the card beyond the OC mode clocks though it is not clear how stable boost clocks will be under load (or how loud the fan will be). We will have to wait for reviews on that. If you have a cramped case this may be a decent GTX 1080 option that is cheaper than the Founder's Edition desgin.
There is no word on pricing or an exact release date yet, but I would estimate it at around $640 at launch.
Subject: Mobile | October 6, 2016 - 05:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, pixel, pixel xl, nougat, Android 7.1
The Inquirer had a chance to lay their hands on the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL and have shared their experiences here. We have covered the specs of the phone previously and so will not reiterate them here, check out Tim's coverage for the details. The impression that The Inq immediately had upon grasping the phone is that it feels very much like a slimmer HTC 10, which they were not overly impressed by. That HTC phone was rated 88 in DxOMark, the Pixel an 89 while the iPhone 7 garnered a rating of 86, if you follow that particular benchmark tool. They had a strong feeling that Google may have missed too many marks on this phone to justify the pricing, read on to see if you agree with their experiences.
"On first impressions, we can't help but feel that the Pixel is a bit of a wasted opportunity. The handset has a largely boring design, doesn't offer much in the way of innovation and is expensive compared with previous Nexus smartphones."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra @ Tech ARP
- Xtorm AL450 Power Bank Essential 12.000mAh Review @ NikKTech
- Hands On Look At The Tencent QQ Watch @ Tech ARP
Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 04:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: blackberry, Android, licensing
The Register sat down with Alex Thurber, a BlackBerry senior VP, to discuss the companies plans to license their particular flavour of Android to other phone manufacturers. Thurbur has worked at Cisco, McAfee after Intel's purchase of the company as well as a firewall company called WatchGuard so he has had some experience with locking down kit. We will still see two more BlackBerry devices before they finally stop selling hardware but you should expect to see other brands running Blackberry licensed versions of Android soon. They will have NIAP (National Information Assurance Partnership) certification, the same certification that Samsung's KNOX and LG's GATE qualify for. Drop by for deeper look into what they discussed.
"BlackBerry says it won’t license its brand and security hardened Android “to any Tom Dick and Harry” as it tries to maintain the value of its brand."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- New Linux Kernel 4.8 -- Plus a Kernel-Killing Bug @ Linux.com
- Microsoft releases patch for Windows 10 Anniversary Update installation borkage @ The Inquirer
- Intel-backed boffins demo long-lived silicon qubit @ The Register
- Micron scrambling up wall of revenues pit @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 6, 2016 - 01:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, frame pacing, DirectX 12
When I first read this post, it was on the same day that AMD released their Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 drivers, although it was apparently posted the day prior. As a result, I thought that their reference to 16.9.1 was a typo, but it apparently wasn't. These changes have been in the driver for a month, at least internally, but it's unclear how much it was enabled until today. (The Scott Wasson video suggests 16.10.1.) It would have been nice to see it on their release notes as a new feature, but at least they made up for it with a blog post and a video.
If you don't recognize him, Scott Wasson used to run The Tech Report, and he shared notes with Ryan while we were developing our Frame Rating testing methodology. He was focused on benchmarking GPUs by frame time, rather than frame rate, because the number of frames that the user sees means less than how smooth the animation they present is. Our sites diverged on implementation, though, as The Tech Report focused on software, while Ryan determined that capturing and analyzing output frames, intercepted between the GPU and the monitor, would tell a more complete story. Regardless, Scott Wasson left his site to work for AMD last year, with the intent to lead User Experience.
We're now seeing AMD announce frame pacing for DirectX 12 Multi-GPU.
This feature particularly interesting, because, depending on the multi-adapter mode, a lot of that control should be in the hands of the game developers. It seems like the three titles they announced, 3D Mark: Time Spy, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Total War: Warhammer, would be using implicit linked multi-adapter, which basically maps to CrossFire. I'd be interested to see if they can affect this in explicit mode via driver updates as well, but we'll need to wait and see for that (and there isn't many explicit mode titles anyway -- basically just Ashes of the Singularity for now).
If you're interested to see how multi-GPU load-balancing works, we published an animation a little over a month ago that explains three different algorithms, and how explicit APIs differ from OpenGL and DirectX 11. It is also embedded above.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 6, 2016 - 12:37 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: graphics drivers, amd
Earlier today, AMD has released their Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 drivers. These continue AMD's trend of releasing drivers alongside major titles, which, this time, are Mafia III (October 7th) and Gears of War 4 (October 11th). Both of these titles are multiple days out, apart from a handful of insiders with advanced copies, which makes it nice for gamers by letting them optimize their machine ahead of time, on their own schedule, before launch.
The driver also includes a handful of interesting fixes. First, a handful of games, such as Overwatch, Battlefield 1, and Paragon, should no longer flicker when set to CrossFire mode. Also, performance issues in The Crew should be fixed with this release.
You can download AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 from their website.
Subject: Storage | October 5, 2016 - 11:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ssd, mozilla, google, firefox, endurance, chrome
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a post pop up on Twitter a few times about Firefox performing excessive writes to SSDs, which total up to 32GBs in a single day. The author attributes it mostly to a fast-updating session restore feature, although cookies were also resource hogs in their findings. In an update, they also tested Google Chrome, which, itself, clocked in over 24GB of writes in a day.
This, of course, seemed weird to me. I would have thought that at least one browser vendor might notice an issue like this. Still, I passed the link to Allyn because he would be much more capable in terms of being able to replicate these results. In our internal chat at the time, he was less skeptical than I was. I've since followed up with him, and he said that his initial results “wasn't nearly as bad as their case”. He'll apparently elaborate on tonight's podcast, and I'll update this post with his findings.
Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2016 - 10:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LGA 1151, kaby lake, asus
ASUS is releasing UEFI updates for 87 LGA 1151 motherboard models which will add support for Intel's Kaby Lake processors. They have a table listing all models and UEFI versions which you should update to in order to get full support for the new processors. If you are wondering about picking up one of these motherboards during the inital release of Kaby Lake, ASUS has tested and verified that their USB BIOS flashback tool will enable you to update your UEFI even if it does not want to immediately boot with a Kaby Lake processor installed.
They have spent the last few months with samples of Kaby Lake chips and have tested them for compatibility as well as enhancing the features the motherboard can take advantage of to ensure you get the most out of your shiny new CPU. Regardless if you use a Z170, H110 or even a C232 chipset your motherboard will be compatible. Get out your USB drives and download the new versions to flash to or use EZ Flash 3's Internet option to get the latest version right from ASUS.
Subject: Mobile | October 5, 2016 - 10:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy note 7
Last week, we passed along a Bloomberg report about a Galaxy Note 7 that caught fire in China. It was allegedly a replacement device from Samsung's recall, which was supposed to fix this issue. We have not heard anything about this phone since, but, at the time, we suggested keeping your replacement device powered off and disconnected from the charger until we receive further info.
Now a second, allegedly post-recall device has caught fire. This time, it occurred this morning on a plane. The Boeing 737 was about ten minutes from take-off when the passenger, who claims the phone was both shut down and in his pocket, noticed the device begin to smoke. He tossed it onto the floor when it begun to billow a thick, gray-green smoke, and burned through the carpet. He claims that it had the green battery icon to indicate that it was a fixed device, which should rule out a pre-recall Note7 getting incorrectly classified as post-recall by, for instance, a retail store goof.
All of that said, we don't know if either of the two cases are accurate yet. Samsung's released a statement over today's issue, which we include below via The Verge, that basically says no comment until they can perform their own investigation.
- Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.
Obviously, we could speculate over a number of things that could be to blame. Part of the issue is just physics -- you're storing a lot of energy in a small volume. This is inherently difficult, and a rapid release of a lot of energy tends to be explosive. It's always good to remember this, even though it's the company's responsibility to produce devices that are safe from all but the most unreasonable of uses.
Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2016 - 04:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, hack, iot
The good news about this hack is that you would need good timing and physical proximity to the wireless remote which instructs the pump to administer insulin; the bad news is that this is all that is needed and it could result in the death or hospitalization of the target. The vulnerability stems from the usual problem, the transmission between the remote and pump is done in the clear letting anyone who is looking retrieve serial numbers and codes. With that information you can then trigger a dose to be delivered or quite feasibly change the default amount of dosage the pump delivers, as was done previous with a different model.
IoT security as it applies to fridges and toasters is one thing; medical devices quite another. News of unauthorized access to pacemakers and other drug delivery systems which could result in death is not uncommon, yet companies continue to produce insecure systems. Adding even simply encryption to transmissions as well as firmware based dosage sizes should be trivial after the release of a product and even easier before it is released. Keep this in mind when you are seeking medical care, choosing devices which are less likely to kill you because of shoddy security makes sense. You can pop by Slashdot for links to some stories or wade into the comments if you so desire.
"Johnson and Johnson has revealed that its JJ Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump is vulnerable to hackers, who could potentially force the device to overdose diabetic patients -- however, it declares that the risk of this happening is very low."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Let's not meet up with JPEG 2000 – researchers find security hole in image codec @ The Register
- Apple's Use Of 'Sapphire' in iPhone Camera Lens Questioned in New Tests @ Slashdot
- DRAM contract prices to rise nearly 30% in 4Q16, says DRAMeXchange @ DigiTimes
- Win Loot with the Enlightened Raspberry Pi Contest @ Hack a Day
- Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones @ The Register
- KNOXout: Samsung Knox vulnerabilities give hackers 'full control' of devices @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2016 - 03:47 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb-c, Snapdragon 821, pixel, Kryo, google, android assistant, adreno 530, 802.11ac
Google introduced its own premium smartphone today in the form of the Pixel and Pixel XL. Running Android Nougat 7.1, the Pixel smartphones will not only run the latest operating system but will be the new premium experience with the best Android features including Google Assistant and Smart Storage with unlimited cloud storage of photos and videos.
Google is definitely taking a greater interest in promoting Pixel than they have with even their Nexus devices. It will be interesting to see how other Android manufacturers react to this news but I would imagine that they are not all that pleased and Google will be in a similar position to Microsoft with its Surface products and Nvidia with it's Founder's Edition graphics cards.
Google's Pixel lineup includes the Pixel (5.6 x 2.7 x 0.2-0.3") and the Pixel XL (6 x 2.9 x 0.2-0.34") that wrap their respective 5-inch 1080p (441 PPI) and 5.5-inch 1440p (534 PPI) displays in a full aluminum and glass unibody design that will come in one of three colors: Very Black, Quite Silver and Really Blue. The smartphones feature curved corners and rounded edges with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and half of the back. Google has put a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone and power, volume, three microphones, a USB-C port, and, yes, a 3.5mm audio jack.
There are both front and rear cameras and Google is claiming that the rear camera in particular is the best smartphone camera yet (with a DxOMark score of 89 points). The rear camera (which sits flush with the back of the phone) is rated at 12.3 MP with a f/2.0 aperture, and 1.55µm pixels. The camera further features an IMX378 sensor. electronic image stabilization, and both phase detection and laser auto focus. The Pixel can take HDR+ photos and videos at up to 4K30, 1080p120, or 720p240. Users can adjust white balance and use automatic exposure or auto focus locking. The front camera is less impressive at 8MP with fixed focus lens and f/2.4.
Internally, Google has opted to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996) which is a 2+2 design that pairs two Kryo cores at 2.15 GHz with two Kryo cores at 1.6 GHz along with an Adreno 530 GPU, an impressive 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, and either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage which is regrettably non-expandable. The smartphones can tap into up to Category 11 LTE (Cat 9 in the US), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. Sensors include GPS, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, and hall sensors.
The Pixel features a 2,770 mAh battery and the Pixel Xl uses a slightly larger 3,450 mAh battery. In either case, Google rates the Pixel and Pixel XL at 13 hours and 14 hours of internet browsing and video playback respectively. Further, the batteries are able to be quick charged enough for up to "seven hours of use" after just 15 minutes of charging time using the included 18W USB-C charger.
Pricing works out to $649 for the 32GB Pixel, $749 for the 128GB Pixel, $769 for the 32GB Pixel XL, and $869 for the 128GB Pixel XL. In the US Google has partnered with Verizon for brick-and-mortar availability in addition to it being available on the Google store and other online retailers.
Google is banking a lot on these devices and asking a very premium price tag for the unlocked phones. It is certainly a gamble whether users will find the unique features enough to go with the Pixel over other flagships. What do you think about Google's increased interest in the smartphone space with the launch of its own hardware? How well will Pixel fit into the existing environment – will Pixel lead Android hardware and the OS to success or simply fragment it more?
I do like the look of the Pixel (especially the blue one) and the feature lists sounds good enough that maybe I could live without a removable battery and non-expandable storage (I'll be holding onto my old T-Mobile unlimited plan for as long as possible! heh). Pricing is a bit steep though and I think that will trip a lot of people up when searching for their next device.
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 09:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: powerlink, pascal, evga, deals
EVGA sent along a newsletter which is worth mentioning as there are a few good deals to be had, even if you have already picked up one of their cards. Anyone who recently bought a Pascal based EVGA card or is planning to in the near future can get up to four EVGA Powerlink cable management ... thingies. It is for your PCIe power connectors and wraps around your GPU, allowing you to power your card without exposing those wires and connectors, great for modders or those who prefer a clean looking build. You do need to create an EVGA account and register your card, do keep that in mind.
The PCIe power connectors on the Powerlink are adjustable, no matter which card you purchased you will be able to use the adapter. There are capacitors inside which are intended to help ensure smooth power delivery, so this not simply an extenstion cord. They also have some deals on previous generation NVIDIA cards as well as their TORQ mouse.
There is also a rather unique deal for those who game on the go as well as at home. As it says below, every purchase of an EVGA SC17 980m laptop (758-21-2633-T1) comes with a free GTX 1070 FTW as long as supplies last.