Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2016 - 12:25 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: webcam, skype, Pro Stream Webcam, logitech, C922x, C922, C920, 720p/60
Logitech has announced the successor to the popular C920 with the C922 Pro Stream Webcam, and this new model includes a 720p/60 mode, along with the 1080p/30 capability of its predecessor.
“C922 Pro Stream Webcam offers full HD quality and features for all streaming needs. At either 1080p 30 FPS or 720p 60 FPS, C922 is the perfect solution for streaming to Twitch, YouTube and any other video streaming application imaginable. Advanced 20-step autofocus through a full HD glass lens with F-stop F 2.8 and 78-degree field of view means no matter what action is happening, C922 can capture those crucial moments in perfect HD clarity.”
Logitech lists these specs for the C922:
- Video streaming or recording: 1080p30 FPS / 720p60 FPS / 720p30 FPS with supported apps
- Video calling: Full HD 1080p with the latest version of Skype for Windows or 720p with
- supported clients
- H.264 video compression (Skype only at this time)
- Full HD Glass lens (F=2.8) with 20-step autofocus
- 78° horizontal field of view
- Dual stereo microphone with automatic noise cancellation
- Automatic low light correction
- Tripod ready universal clip fits laptops and monitors (C922 SKU only)
- Width: 95mm
- Depth: 24mm - 71mm including clip
- Height: 29mm - 43.5mm including clip
- Weight: 162g
- USB cable: 6-ft
The C922 includes a tripod, while the C922x does not
There will be two SKUs of the C922, each of which retail for $99.99:
- C922 - exclusive to Best Buy and bestbuy.com, includes tripod and a 3 month XSplit license
- C922x - available on Amazon.com - does not include the tripod but includes a longer 6 month XSplit license
Both versions are available now.
Full press release after the break.
Subject: Systems | September 29, 2016 - 04:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, BRIX Gaming UHD
Gigabyte did not have a lot of space to fit components into the BRIX Gaming UHD, let alone cooling, as it is 220x110x110mm in size or 2.6L in volume. Into this tiny tower you will find an i7-6700HQ with 16GB of dual channel DDR4-2400 and a 512GB Samsung 950 PRO with two M.2 slots for storage expansion, the third is on wireless duty. Gigabyte chose a 4GB GTX 950 to power the video, not new by any means but able to fulfill gaming duties at 1080p and allows the system to be powered by a 180W power brick. 4k gaming is a bit of a stretch for this but it is impressively designed, check out the benchmarks at Kitguru to see its performance in games.
"Gigabyte’s BRIX line of barebones PCs are typically small and low-powered – at least, when compared with a mini-ITX desktop system, for example. However, the new BRIX Gaming UHD aims to change all of that."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Zoostorm EVOLVE @ eTeknix
- ECS LIVA One Mini-PC (H110/Skylake) @ techPowerUp
- Wired2Fire Diablo Elite GTX 1080 Gaming PC @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2016 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, competition, jen-hsun huang, Founder's Edition
When Microsoft launched the Surface there were negative reactions from vendors who saw this as new competition from what was previously their partner. Today DigiTimes reports that certain unnamed GPU vendors have similar feelings about NVIDIA's Founder's Edition cards. Jen-Hsun responded to these comments today, stating that the Founders Editions were "purely to solve problems in graphics card design".
While he did not say that NVIDIA would not consider continuing practice in future cards he does correctly point out that they did share everything about the design and results with the vendors. Those vendors are still somewhat upset about the month in which only Founder's Editions were available for sale as they feel they lost some possible profits by not being able to sell their custom designed GPUs. Then again, considering the limited supply on the market, the amount of sales they could have made that extra month would certainly have been limited. It will be interesting to see if we hear more about this directly from the vendors in the coming weeks.
"Since Nvidia has restricted its graphics card brand partners from releasing in-house designed graphics cards within a month after the releases of its Founders Edition card, the graphics card vendors are displeased with the decision as it had given Nvidia time to earn early profits without competition."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP Inc: No DRM in our 3D printers, we swear (unlike our 2D ones) @ The Register
- HP offers optional patch to de-bork its printers after EFF rant @ The Inquirer
- macOS 10.12 Sierra vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- Surprise! Leading 4-socket server vendor isn’t Dell or HPE @ The Register
- D-Link DWR-932 B owner? Trash it, says security bug-hunter @ The Register
- Microsoft hails pointless Privacy Shield status for its cloud services @ The Register
- Polish car mechanic is still load-balancing with a Commodore 64 after 25 years @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2016 - 12:48 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, toshiba, Silverstone, S340, rampage v edition 10, podcast, ocz, nzxt, gtx 1070, fsp, Evoluent, evga, asus, AOC, amd, A12-9800
PC Perspective Podcast #419 - 09/29/16
Join us this week as we discuss the Edition 10 of the Rampage V motherboard, a VerticalMouse, a shiny SilverStone case, the AMD A12-9800 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the 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 and Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:05:25
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 29, 2016 - 02:15 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, Firefox OS, firefox
Update: There has been a little confusion. The web browser, Firefox, is still going strong. In fact, they're focusing their engineering efforts more on it, by cutting back on these secondary projects.
Less than a year after their decision to stop developing and selling smartphones through carriers, Mozilla has decided to end all commercial development of Firefox OS. Releases after Firefox OS 2.6 will be handled by third parties, such as Panasonic, should they wish to continue using it for their smart TV platform. Further, source code for the underlying operating system, Boot-to-Gecko (B2G), will be removed from their repository, mozilla-central, so it doesn't hinder development of their other products.
Regardless, Mozilla needs to consider their long-term financial stability, and throwing resources at Firefox OS apparently doesn't return enough value for them, both directly and for its impact on society.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 29, 2016 - 12:38 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, liquid cooler, Intel, copper radiator, be quiet!, amd, AIO
Be Quiet!, a popular German manufacturer of PC cases and power supplies is jumping into the liquid cooling game with the introduction of its new Silent Loop all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers. Through a partnership with Alphacool, Be Quiet! Is launching three new coolers with 120mm, 240mm, and 280mm radiators. It is not clear exactly when they will be arriving stateside but pricing is approximately $124, $143, and $170 respectively.
The Silent Loop 280 AIO liquid CPU cooler.
The new coolers come clad in all black and feature a new pump design paired with copper cold plates and copper radiators. This is nice to see in the wake of aluminum radiators because using the same metals throughout the loop mitigates the risk of galvanic corrosion that will eventually occur in loops that use mixed metals.
The AIO loop is paired with two Silent Wings 2 fans which use rifle bearings and can spin up to 2,000 RPM. To further set the Silent Loop series apart, Be Quiet! uses a nickel plated CPU cold plate, a radiator with a fill port to allow users to top up the fluids over time, and a reportedly innovative (read: not infringing on Asetek IP) "decoupled reverse flow pump" that spins at 2,200 RPM and allegedly reduces noise to nearly inaudible levels. The pump pulls water into the block and over the cold plate and then pulls it through the pump which is in a sectioned off area of the block.
As for the copper radiators, Be Quiet is using 30mm radiators on the Silent Looop 240 and Silent Loop 280 coolers with two fans side by side and a thicker 45mm radiator on the Silent Loop 120 with two fans in a push-pull configuration. Be Quiet! claims that the 120mm, 240mm, and 280mm coolers can handle wattages of 270W, 350W, and 400W respectively (these numbers are likely with the fans cranked to their maximum speeds heh). The included fans can be controlled via PWM and Be Quiet! includes a Y splitter that allows users to attach both fans to one PWM motherboard header – which is good since the CPU_Fan header is sometimes the only "true" PWM header offered.
The liquid coolers use Philips screws throughout for mounting the radiator, fans, and CPU mount and they are compatible with all the usual Intel and AMD sockets.
Several sites already have reviews of the new coolers including Kit Guru and Guru3D. According to Leo Waldock from Kit Guru, the Be Quiet! Silent Loop 240 is a "funky and nice piece of hardware" and while it did not blow him away it is competitively priced and performs very closely to the Corsair H100i V2. Out of the box the cooler was reportedly inaudible but with lackluster cooling performance; however, once the fans were cranked up from their normal 1,100 RPM to 1,400 RPM cooling performance greatly improved without sound getting too out of control.
In all it looks good aesthetically and appears to be easy to install. If you are in the market for an AIO and do not need fancy extras (LEDs, monitoring software, ect), the Silent Loop coolers might be worth looking into. Hopefully we can get one in for review so that Sebastian or Morry can take it apart... I mean test it! (heh).
Subject: Mobile | September 28, 2016 - 09:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, recall, galaxy note 7
Bloomberg is reporting that a 25-year-old customer from China, Hui Renjie, claims to have received a replacement Galaxy Note 7, and that it caught fire within 24 hours. A representative of the company immediately visited him and asked to take the phone to investigate, but the customer wished to go public first, assuming that he wouldn't get any answers if he just gave up the phone silently. The explosion allegedly caused minor burns to two of the customer's fingers, as well as damaged his MacBook.
Naturally, Samsung is very interested in what happened. The previous incident involved Samsung-developed batteries. The manufacturing process accidentally pushed some the battery batch's two terminals together. Shorting out a battery causes it to release energy quickly as heat, which is often undesirable, to say the least.
Samsung is waiting to examine the device before they comment further. If you have also receive a replacement, then you might want to keep it powered off and disconnected from the charger until we find out what happened.
Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 07:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Machine translation is quite difficult, especially between certain pairs of languages that vary greatly in how they handle implied context and intonation. At Google, the current translation system picks out known words and phrases, converts them to the target language, and blindly outputs them. This, unfortunately, ignores how the phrases are structured together.
Google has been working toward a newer system, though. Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) considers whole sentences, rather than individual words and phrases. It lists all possible translations, and weighs them based on how humans rate their quality. These values are stored and used to better predict following choices, which should be a familiar concept to those who have been reading up on deep learning over the last couple of years.
This new system makes use of Google's “TensorFlow” library, released to the public last year under a permissive, Apache 2.0 license. It will also be compatible with Google's custom Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) ASICs that were announced last May at Google I/O. The advantage of TPUs is that they can reach extremely high parallelism because they operate on extremely low-precision values.
The GNMT announcement showed the new system attempting to translate English to and from Spanish, French, and Chinese. Each pairing, in both directions, showed a definite increase, with French to English almost matching a human translation according to their quality metric. GNMT is currently live to the public when attempting to translate between Chinese and English, and Google will expand this to other languages “over the coming months”.
Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 06:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: hp, DRM
Recently, HP released a firmware update for some inkjet printers that disabled certain third-party cartridges. The claim is that the customer “is exposed to quality and potential security risks” when using counterfeit cartridges. I'm curious why HP is claiming that users shouldn't trust HP's abilities to secure their devices against attacks from malicious cartridges, but that's probably not an implication that HP considered when publishing this press release.
Also, if the intent was to inform users about counterfeit and potentially malicious cartridges, you would think that they would have provided an override method from the start. Thankfully, they are now. HP is preparing an optional firmware update that does not check cartridges. They claim that it will be available in a couple of weeks, and provide a link to where it will be hosted.
So yeah, they are doing the right thing now. Still... come on.
Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR, sword master vr, htc vive, gaming
With the amount of VR benchmarks coming out of [H]ard|OCP lately we wonder if they are in danger of becoming the worlds first VR addicts. They tested the usual suite of two AMD cards and five NVIDIA to determine the amount of dropped frames and average render times in this particular game. As it turns out the game is harder on the player than it is the GPU, all were able to provide decent experiences when swashbuckling. The developer recommends you clear a 2x1.5m area to play this game and from what [H]ard|OCP experienced while playing this is no joke; you will get exercise while you are duelling some of the harder opponents.
"Do you want to fight the Black Knight in a sword fight? There is not exactly a "Black Knight" in Sword Master VR, but you can certainly get that feeling. In fact, you can fight him and a couple of his friends at the same time if you are up to the challenge. Just pull the sword from the stone for $10."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Electric Heart: Deus Ex Story DLC System Rift Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefield 1 single player uses a 'war story' anthology format @ HEXUS
- Erected: Civilization VI System Requirements Finalised @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Respawn provides detailed Titanfall 2 PC specs @ HEXUS
- For The Emp, Er, Uh: WH40k Eternal Crusade Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wasteland 3 will have multiplayer, XCOM-style cinematic camera @ Polygon
- Back to school sale @ GOG
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War 3 Shows Off Eldar @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Memory | September 28, 2016 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition, corsair, ddr4, ddr4-3200, DHX
Corsair's DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition series comes in 32GB kits, either four 8GB DIMMs or a pair of 16GB DIMMs, in your choice of Chrome or Blackout finishes. All kits are DDR4-3200MHz but with the 10-layer PCB and DHX heatsinks Corsair feels that reaching 3600MHz will be trivial and higher frequencies possible for talented tweakers. They will be available directly from Corsair, $330 for the quad-channel kit and $300 for the dual channel.
You can read the full PR by clicking below.
Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: USB 3 Type-C, headphones
There will be an improvement in audio support on Type-C USB connections which will decrease power demands, as USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specifications have just been announced. When compared to the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB audio is a power hog which will shorten the amount of time your battery will last on a phone or other mobile device but it seems that the USB-IF have been working to overcome this issue. Product manufacturers are looking forward to this as USB can be isolated from other internals far more effectively than the 3.5mm jack which would allow them to waterproof their devices.
Hopefully the new compliance testing regime brought about after the consequences of using a bad cable to charge your laptop will ensure we do not have any related problems with audio devices. The Register does remind us that Bluetooth 5 is yet to be commonly found on mobile devices and could offer yet another 3.5mm nail in the coffin.
"Hear that, children? That's the sound of another set of nails in the coffin of headphone jacks in mobile devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- BlackBerry throws in the towel on building its own smartphones @ The Inquirer
- Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark @ The Register
- Microsoft makes massive changes to MCSE and MCSD @ The Register
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 28, 2016 - 11:16 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, S340 Elite, S340, nzxt, enclosure, case, atx
NZXT has released a new, premium version of their excellent S340 mid-tower enclosure (which we reviewed last year), and the S340 Elite features a tempered-glass side panel, while case I/O now offers an HDMI port for VR builds.
"Expanding on the S340’s renowned durability, the S340 Elite features a tempered glass panel to showcase builds with crisp clarity. The top IO panel has been optimized with an HDMI port and additional USB ports for a streamlined VR experience. It includes a magnetic cable management puck to conveniently store VR or audio headsets with fast and flexible mounting access. The S340 Elite is strong, compact, and takes the S340 chassis to new heights."
NZXT lists the S340 Elite's main features, all new with this version of the enclosure:
- Tempered glass side panel: showcase your build
- VR cable management puck: move freely & clean cables
- Front VR accessibility: plugging your VR headset is easy & convenient
- Interior cable management clamps: easy cable management
- Additional SSD tray: increase storage options
As strong a performer as the original S340 was considering its affordable $69.99 price tag, and for a case with a full tempered-glass side panel the Elite version is priced very competitively at $99.99. A $30 premium for the added features seems like a very good tradeoff, and we already have one of these new S340 Elite enclosures in for testing, so expect a full review soon!
Introduction and Specifications
The Primera Series PM01 is a new tower enclosure from SilverStone which combines sleek looks and integrated LED lighting.
It's been a little while since we've taken a look at a new case from SilverStone, and the company has certainly not been idle during this time. The case we have for you today is the first model from the new Primera Series, which offers "the feel of a luxurious supercar" from its angular lines and mesh grills, and it features an impressive piano black high gloss finish (a white version is also available).
The PM01 is also equipped with a trio of 140 mm intake fans, which in our black review sample are outfitted with red LED lights (the white version contains blue lighting). In addition to the front fans, the case has integrated LED lighting strips above and beneath the large side panel window, and the lighting effects can be controlled with a 4-position selector button on the top of the case.
SilverStone lists these features for the PM01 enclosure:
- Includes three 140mm LED fans and built-in LED strips for stunning visual impact
- Oversized front panel mesh design inspired by supercar intake grill
- Support two 240/280/360mm radiator for AIO liquid cooler or custom water cooling
- Reserved water tank mounting holes for water cooling setup
- Removable filters with positive air pressure design for dust reduction
- Built-in 4-segment LED light controller to adjustable brightness and modes
- Super clean internal look with PSU and drive bay cover
- Includes 10-in-1 fan hub for fan cable management
The metal mesh front and rear exhaust suggest excellent airflow, and we will find out just how effectively this new case can cool a gaming build - and how quietly it does so.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 27, 2016 - 10:04 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, pascal, hybrid cooler, gtx 1070, GP104, evga
EVGA is preparing to launch the GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid which is a water cooled card that pairs NVIDIA's GTX 1070 GPU with EVGA's Hybrid cooler and custom FTW PCB. The factory overclocked graphics card is currently up for pre-order for $500 on EVGA's website.
The GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid uses EVGA's custom PCB that features two 8-pin power connectors that drive a 10+2 power phase and dual BIOS chips. The Hybrid cooler includes a shrouded 100mm axial fan and a water block that directly touches both the GPU and the memory chips. The water block connects to an external 120mm radiator and a single fan that can be swapped out and/or powered by a motherboard using a standard four pin connector. Additionally, the cooler has a metal back plate and RGB LED back-lit EVGA logos on the side and windows on the front. Display outputs include one DVI, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort connectors.
As far as specification go, EVGA did not get too crazy with the factory overclock, but users should be able to push it quite far on their own assuming they get a decent chip from the silicon lottery. The GP104 GPU has 1920 CUDA cores clocked at 1607 MHz base and 1797 MHz boost. However, the 8 GB of memory is clocked at the stock 8,000 MHz. For comparison, reference clock speeds are 1506 MHz base and 1683 MHz boost.
Interestingly, EVGA rates the GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid at 215 watts versus the reference card's 150 watts. It is also the same TDP rating as the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid card.
The table below outlines the specifications of EVGA's water cooled card compared to the GTX 1070 reference GPU and the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid.
|GTX 1070||GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid||GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid|
|Rated Clock||1506 MHz||1607 MHz||1721 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1683 MHz||1797 MHz||1860 MHz|
|Memory Clock||8000 MHz||8000 MHz||10000 MHz|
|TDP||150 watts||215 watts||215 watts|
|MSRP (current)||$379 ($449 FE)||$500||$730|
According to EVGA, the Hybrid cooler offers up GPU and memory temperatures to 45°C and 57°C respectively compared to reference temperatures of 80°C and 85°C. Keeping in mind that these are EVGA's own numbers (you can see our Founder's Edition temperature results here), the Hybrid cooler seems to be well suited for keeping Pascal GPUs in check even when overclocked. In reviews of the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid, reviewers found that the Hybrid cooler allowed stable 2GHz+ GPU clock speeds that let the card hit their maximum boost clocks and stay there under load. Hopefully the GTX 1070 version will have similar results. I am interested to see whether the memory chips they are using will be capable of hitting at least the 10 GHz of the 1080 cards if not more since they are being cooled by the water loop.
You can find more information on the factory overclocked water cooled graphics card on EVGA's website. The card is available for pre-order at $500 with a 3 year warranty.
Pricing does seem a bit high at first glance, but looking around at other custom GTX 1070 cards, it is only at about a $50 premium which is not too bad in my opinion. I will wait to see actual reviews before I believe it, but if I had to guess the upcoming card should have a lot of headroom for overclocking and I'm interested to see how far people are able to push it!
Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 06:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TN, ips, g-sync, AOC, AGON, AG271QX, AG271QG, adaptive sync, 1440p
AOC has announced two new 27" 1440p gaming monitors specifically designed to minimize input lag and to support the higher refresh rates than many gamers now demand. The model numbers are similiar but the monitors themselves are very different and each wears a red or green stripe proudly.
The AG271QX is a TN panel with a 1ms response time and a top refresh rate of 144Hz, it supports Adaptive Sync for those using AMD GPUs. This panel is great for those who place zero lag ahead of colour reproduction and viewing angle. It is to retail at $600.
The AG271QG is an IPS panel with four times the response time, still a mere 4ms, a top refresh rate of 165Hz and support for G-SYNC. This one should have a better colour gamut and truer blacks for those more concerned with fashion over function. You should expect to see this model at $800.
Full PR below the specs.
Subject: Storage | September 27, 2016 - 05:51 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: toshiba, tlc, TL100, ssd, sata, ocz, 2.5
Toshiba launched the OCZ TL100 series today:
These are TLC SSDs aimed at the budget sector. They are using the ever more common SLC cached TLC hybrid configuration, and come in at bargain basement pricing. Here are the specs:
- Capacity: 120 / 240 GB
- Sequential read / write: 550 / 530 MB/s
- Random read / write: 85k / 80k IOPS
- Warranty: 3 years with advance replacement
- Endurance (120/240GB): 30 / 60 TBW (27 / 54 GB/day)
- 120GB: $45 ($0.38/GB)
- 240GB: $68 ($0.28/GB)
Yes, that's $0.28/GB and a 240GB SSD at less than $70 bucks. The endurance is on the low side, but if these perform even half way decently, they will be a great low-cost way to go for most budget PC builds. We'll be testing these shortly on a new suite of tests with workloads that have been specifically optimized to more closely resemble real usage. These tests allow hybrid SSDs to use their SLC cache as opposed to flooding the drives with IO and forcing TLC writes. Don't be surprised if these perform surprisingly well for their cost. No guarantees as we haven't tested them yet, but we will soon!
Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2016 - 05:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: seti, science, radio telescope
The Chinese officially began searching the stars around noon local time on Sunday using the newly completed FAST radio telescope which has surpassed Arecibo in being the world's largest single aperture telescope. Nestled in the natural Dawodang (limestone) depression in the remote and mountainous Pingtang county, Guizhou province, the Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) will search the heavens to catalog pulsars, investigate dark matter, gravitational waves, and fast radio bursts, and assist in the search for extraterrestrial life and natural hydrogen in distant galaxies.
The $180 million project has been in development for 14 years with construction beginning in 2011. The massive scientific endeavor required the relocation of several villages and 10,000 people living in the vicinity. Further, the remote area required the telescope to be constructed without the use of heavy machinery and the dish had to be constructed manually. FAST is modeled after the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and uses 4,450 triangular reflector panels supported by a steel mesh suspended over the limestone valley using large steel towers anchored to the surrounding hills. FAST deviates from Arecibo when it comes to reflecting and receiving radio signals, however. While Arecibo uses a 900 ton movable receiver with a complex set of mirrors that make up a sub reflector, FAST uses 2,250 actuators (winches) that pull on up to 300m sections of the dish to create a parabola that can move in real time to track signals as the Earth rotates and reflect them back to the receiver which is reportedly much lighter and can contain more instruments than Arecibo.
While Arecibo, with its 305 meter dish, can track signals up to 20° from the zenith, FAST can track signals up to 26° from the zenith at 300 meter parabola sizes and up to 40° with smaller parabola sizes making it rather versatile. The massive dish combines the benefits of a large single fixed dish and a smaller dish (or dishes which could be combined to provide higher resolution using interferometry) that can tilt and rotate.
Specifically, Dennis Normile quoted experts in saying:
Single dishes excel at observing point sources like neutron stars and at scanning a multitude of frequencies in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, says astronomer Li Di, a FAST project scientist, who previously worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Another advantage is that, compared with the multiple dishes in an array, single dishes are “relatively cheap and relatively straightforward to upgrade,” says George Hobbs, an astronomer at CSIRO. “You just keep building better receivers.” (Dennis Normile at Science Magazine)
FAST is quite the accomplishment and I am interested to see what the scientists are able to discover using the world's largest radio telescope. Hopefully it will continue to receive adequate funding!
- World’s largest radio telescope will search for dark matter, listen for aliens (Science Mag)
- Chinese FAST Telescope to Surpass Arecibo (infographic)
- FAST: China's great space telescope begins operations (close-up photos of reflector panels)
- Arecibo Observatory (Wikipedia)
The Handshake Approach
Evoluent is a maker of ergonomic mice and keyboards, and we received one of the company's vertical mice for review. At a glance you can see that it's a very different design than the typical mouse, as it is intended to be used with the arm in a "handshake" position.
"The patented ergonomic shape supports your hand in an upright neutral posture that eliminates forearm twisting. Many users said the Evoluent VerticalMouse provides superior comfort and even relieved their wrist pain."
The vertical design has been implemented to reduced strain on the arm and wrist, but how much of an adjustment is there in moving to this orientation? How sensitive and accurate is the sensor? Depending on your workload, precision might trump comfort, but if the VerticalMouse can provide both it would be quite an achievement.
To test it out I resolved to use the VerticalMouse with my PC exclusively for a week. It was a startling change at first, feeling quite foreign in the first minutes. For someone who uses a standard mouse hours a day (sound familiar?) I felt like I wasn't in control as I attempted to move the cursor around, and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to adjust. But I pushed on, and rapidly began to grow accustomed to the feeling.
Switching to something that promises to ease discomfort doesn't always mean instant gratification, as any seller of orthopedic shoes can tell you. There is going to be a period of adjustment, with the end result outweighing any initial hesitation - when it's effective, of course. I could spoil the review a bit here and tell you if I'm still using the mouse after a week (I am), but I'll fully describe my impressions below.
Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pimax, vr headset, steam vr
As Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN asks in the title, can the $300 Pimax VR headset be too good to be true? It ships without headphones, or you can buy the $350 which includes audio of moderate quality or provide your own if they fit comfortably under the headset. It also does not ship with any controllers, which means that Steam games which require anything other than a mouse and keyboard will simply not work; not an empty catalogue of games but definitely more limited than the two more expensive competitors.
The headset does offer better resolution, 1920x2160 per eye, which the reviewer noticed immediately as being clearer than the competition ... as long as you were looking directly at the text or object. There were issues at the edges of your view however, as well as with quickly turning your head which is likely due to the 60fps refresh rate. This is less than the 90fps the Vive or Rift can manage as well as creating concerns about reprojection and dropped frames. There were a few other concerns mentioned in the review which you should familiarize yourself with, but the Pimax is very interesting, a light VR headset with great resolution and only two connecting cord for $300.
"In the interim, here’s Chinese outfit Pimax, who are selling what they label as the first 4K VR headset for PC, which works with SteamVR. It’s also $350 (or $300 without headphones), compared to the Rift’s $599 and Vive’s $799"
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- From The Wirecutter: The best 4K monitors (so far) @ Ars Technica
- BenQ XR3501 Curved Gaming Monitor @ Kitguru
- Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge U2417H 24in Monitor @ Kitguru