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Subject: General Tech | June 19, 2017 - 12:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: atari, nes, Jaguar
It has been over 20 years since Atari launched their Jaguar system, the last piece of hardware that company would make; until now perhaps. There was a mysterious announcement and the launch of a website with little more information than a movie featuring rendered wood grain and plastic. You can sign up at ataribox.com to become the first to know, if Nintendo decides to share more information. It will be very interesting to see what components they have picked to run this new console, considering the high specifications of the new Xbawkx they will either need high end silicon or a much lower price to compete. The video is down below and you can pop over to The Inquirer for more speculation if you so desire.
"The iconic company, which has had more lives than Garfield in a blender, is to release the Ataribox, which so far is shrouded in mystery, aside from the classic wood panelling that lovers of the 2300 and 2600 will know only too well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The AWS Masterclass on Artificial Intelligence by Olivier Klein @ TechARP
- Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs @ The Register
- Is Coinbase Closing Accounts For Paying Ransoms With Bitcoins? @ Slashdot
- Ars enters VR and destroys multiple starships in Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2017 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, hitman
During the most recent SquareEnix financial earnings release (PDF) they announced that they would withdraw from IO Interactive, who makes the Hitman series of video games. Their most recent release, Hitman 2016, is one of our major benchmarks because it was one of the first titles to rework its engines for DirectX 12 (and it’s also a very pretty game). The previous game, Hitman: Absolution, was also featured on one of our live streams because it was an AMD Gaming Evolved / Never Settle title.
IO Interactive has followed-up with their own announcement. As of last Friday, they are now an independent studio, and they were able to negotiate both their management and the Hitman IP. “We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.” In other words, they don’t seem to have any publisher lined up, but the Hitman franchise should be enticing for many AAA-level companies.
Just a couple weeks earlier, IO Interactive also announced that new purchases of Hitman would automatically buy all episodes from the first season. Steam will, however, detect existing episodes and only bill you for the ones you’ve missed. They say that “these changes will help us lay the foundations for our future plans for HITMAN” but it’s unclear what they mean at this point.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | June 17, 2017 - 09:23 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: nicehash, mining, cryptocurrency
Over the last several weeks, we have been experimenting with the most recent GPU-shortage-inducing coin mining craze, with Ken's article as a jumping off point. On a recent podcast, I mentioned the idea of running a community coin mining group that would be used as a way for individuals to contribute to PC Perspective. I received several requests for the wallet and setup information to make this happen, so I thought it would be worth while to gather all the necessary links and info in a single location.
We have been running a Patreon campaign for a couple of years now on the site as a way to provide an avenue for those readers and viewers that find PC Perspective a useful resource to the community and directly contribute. It might be because you want to keep the PCPer staff stable, it could be because you use an ad blocker and are looking for a way to even things out, etc. But there are always some that don't have the ability or desire to sign up for a new service so contributing your empty GPU cycles is another option if you want to donate to the PCPer team.
How do you do it? Ken has created a step by step guide below - thanks for your support in this and all of our previous endeavors!
- Bitcoin: 1HHhVWPRpCUst9bDYtLstMdD7o5SzANk1W
- Ethereum: 0xa0294763261aa85eB5f1dA3Ca0f03E1B672EED87
For those of you who may be curious to try out this mining stuff on your personal computer, we would recommend looking into the NiceHash application.
For those of you who haven't read our previous article, NiceHash is a service that connects buyers of GPU mining power to sellers who have spare hardware that they are looking to put to use.
As a warning, if you are planning to mine please be aware of your power consumption. To get a good idea of this, you can look up the TDP of your given graphics card, multiply that wattage by the hours you plan to mine, divide by 1000 to translate from watts to kilowatts, and multiply that by the rate you pay for electricity (this can be found on your power bill in cents per Kilowatt/Hour in the US). (So it's watts*hours*days/1000*kw/hr rate - Thanks CracklingIce)
Given the current rates of value for these cryptocurrencies, power is a small portion of the gross profit made by mining, but it is important to be aware of this before you are presented with a huge power bill that you weren't expecting.
First, download the latest version of the NiceHash miner application from their website.
After your download has finished, extract the ZIP file and load the NiceHashMiner.exe program.
Once the application has been launched and you've accepted the terms of the EULA, the NiceHash Miner will start to download the appropriate mining applications for your given hardware.
Note: during this installation process, your antivirus program might detect malware. These miner executables that are being downloaded are safe, but many antivirius programs flag them as malware because if they are found on your PC without your permission they are a telltale sign of malicious software.
After the installation process is completed, you be brought to the main screen of the application.
From here, choose the server location closest to you, add the Bitcoin address (in this case: 1HHhVWPRpCUst9bDYtLstMdD7o5SzANk1W), and choose a unique worker name (up to 7 characters long).
From here, hit the benchmark button, select the devices you want to mine on (we would recommend GPUs only, CPUs don't earn very much), and hit the Start button.
Once the benchmarking is done, you'll be brought back to the main screen of the application where you can hit the Start button.
Once you hit the start button, a command prompt window will launch where you can see the miner at work (this can be hidden from the NiceHash setting pane), and you can view the stats of your computer in the original NiceHash application window.
And that's it, your computer will now be mining towards the PCPER community pool!
Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2017 - 02:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming headset, cerebus, audio, asus
The ASUS Cerberus is a little different from other headsets, for instance it uses 53mm drivers and two microphones, a removable boom microphone and an in-line microphone pemanently attached. For audiophiles, the headset has a 32 Ω impedance and 20-20,000 Hz frequency response and a somewhat muddy sound; for gamers it has very heavy bass which can make explosions quiet startling. TechPowerUp were not in love with the audio performance but found the headset to be extremely comforatable so it can be perfect for those who prefer comfort over a beautiful audio space.
"Asus Cerberus V2 is the successor to the company's bestselling headset. Now equipped with a stainless steel headband and the new "Essence drivers", it's supposed to be sturdier and better sounding. However, with its $75 price tag, it faces some stiff competition and doesn't necessarily come out as the victor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cougar Immersa @ techPowerUp
- HyperX CLOUD Revolver S Pro Gaming Headset Review @ NikKTech
- 1MORE Capsule Dual Driver In-ears @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Megara @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2017 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, VR One, htc vive, oculus rift
MSI states their VR One is the world’s lightest and thinnest backpack PC system with high performance, which makes sense considering the utter lack of competition in that area. It may also claim to be the most expensive, as the price ranges from $1700 to $2300 in cost; [H]ard|OCP tested out the high end model in their recent review. Inside is a Kaby Lake Core i7-7820HK, 16GB of 2166MHz DDR4, dual M.2 storage drives, and the mobile version of the GTX 1070; certainly enough to power a Rift or Vive. The battery life is more impressive than you might expect, starting from 92% it lasted 1 hour and 37 and from 96% 1 hour and 41 minutes, with 2 hours required to recharge the battery over 95%. It is an investment but being able to experience VR without tripping on cords is an attractive proposition.
"The MSI VR ONE is quite simply a full PC that comes in the form of a backpack that allows you to connect your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift for a "wireless" VR experience. This VR ONE unit packs a GTX 1070 laptop GPU to hopefully supply us with the needed 90 frames per second performance required for a perfect Virtual Reality experience."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CIA's 'CherryBlossom' hacking tool allows router traffic to be intercepted @ The Inquirer
- Months late, unaudited: ZX Spectrum reboot firm files accounts @ The Register
- Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk @ The Register
- True Cross-play Gaming Could Become A Reality If Sony Wasn’t Holding Out @ Techgage
- Windows Server joins Windows 10 and Office in the bi-annual updates club @ The Inquirer
- Lenovo Reveals The 2017 ThinkCentre Desktop PCs @ TechARP
- EU Poised To Fine Google More Than $1 Billion in Antitrust Case @ Slashdot
- Xtorm EVOKE 10.000mAh Solar Charger Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 15, 2017 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: blame canada, crtc, spineless
Canada's equivalent of the USA's FCC, managed to collect enough backbone to utter a statement about directing Canadian mobile carriers to unlock any of their phones without charging money for doing so. The current going rate is around $50, a bit less if you trust that shady character in the alley.
They also murmured something about how it was inappropriate to allow a child to simply reply yes back to a text from their provider to authorize international roaming charges over $100 a month or data overage fees at $50. They politely inquired if the phone companies might consider following the CRTC's new suggestion that only the authorized account holder have approval, even if the teenager swears their parental unit totally said it was OK.
As is their wont, no mention of penalties was made nor did they seem to have acquired any teeth since last they pulled their heads out into the light. You can read more at Slashdot or the CBC, depending on your preference of comments.
"Canada's telecom regulator has announced that as of December 1st, 2017, all individual and small business wireless consumers will have the right to have their mobile devices unlocked free of charge upon request, while all newly purchased devices must be provided unlocked from that day forward."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | June 15, 2017 - 10:38 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: xps, video, Samsung, Project Scorpio, powerplay, podcast, logitech, G433, g-sync, freesync, destiny 2, dell, cryptocurrency, corsair, Area-51, alienware
PC Perspective Podcast #454 - 06/15/17
Join us for talk about Cryptocurreny mining resurgence, XBox One X, 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison
Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2017 - 01:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, gaming, dawn of war III
Dawn of War 3 released its Linux version earlier this year with support for both OpenGL and Vulkan. Vulkan performance is much better in CPU bound testing with resolutions under 1080p and when gaming above that resolution it utilizes far less CPU resources than OpenGL. Overall on NVIDIA performance is the same on both APIs, with the current Radeon driver you are better off on OpenGL. As is their usual style, Phoronix tested 18 GPUs, a dozen from NVIDIA and six of AMD's cards with differing resolutions and graphics quality settings, all the way up to 4k.
"Today marks the highly anticipated debut of Dawn of War III for Linux (and macOS) ported by Feral Interactive. Here are a number of OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards running Ubuntu Linux with this game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Every PC game announced or trailered at E3 2017 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Bundle E3 2017 Digital Ticket
- Saved Games: Interstate ‘76 is the game worth saving from 1997 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Xbox One X: A High End Console With Fixable Shortcomings @ Techgage
- Bethesda jack in for Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR this year @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Oculus Rift VR Benching – AMD vs. NVIDIA – Part 2 @ BabelTechReviews
- XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen coming August 29th @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Some of the best E3 2017 PC gaming videos so far @ Hexus
- WH40K: Dawn of War 3 adding Dawn of War-ier modes @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2017 - 12:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: irobot, automation, tertill, Kickstarter
While the level of enjoyment that gardening instills in a person varies there is one thing we should be able to agree upon; weeding sucks. The team that brought you the Roomba has a solution in mind and they have launched a Kickstarter for Tertill, the robotic weed destroyer. You can contribute to the project and pick up this solar powered robotic weed eater for as little as $225 for delivery in time for next years gardening season. Instead of using robotic vision, which can have some interesting interpretations of objects, it will munch anything short enough to pass underneath it with its spinning string trimmer, unless it has one of the provided collars around it to protect it. The collar in the video seems to be easily replicable with some wire and pliers if you have enough baby plants you need extra. Drop by to take a look at the campaign and the Tertill in action.
"iRobot veteran and Roomba co-inventor, Joe Jones is a modest man with a big mission: to create robots that make agriculture more efficient, less tedious, and yes, maybe even one day feed the world. After a decade at Harvest Automation building greenhouse robots, his new team at Franklin Robotics has developed Tertill, an affordable, waterproof, solar-powered robot that continuously whacks weeds around your yard."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft Fixes Unsupported AMD Hardware @ [H]ard|OCP
- PCIe speed to double by 2019 to 128GB/s @ The Register
- The 2017 AORUS Gaming Motherboards For Intel & AMD @ TechARP
- Intel announces partnerships for the gaming market @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft patches Windows XP due to 'elevated risk' of WannaCry-style attacks @ The Inquirer
- Open Source TurtleBot 3 Robot Kit Runs Ubuntu and ROS on Raspberry Pi @ Linux.com
- OnePlus 5 mega-leak confirms iPhone-esque design, 3.5mm headphone jack @ The Inquirer
- Linksys LGS124P 24-Port Business Gigabit PoE+ Switch Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2017 - 07:02 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vpro, SFF, sbc, modular computer, Intel, computex, compute card
Launched earlier this year at CES, Intel’s credit card sized Compute Cards will begin shipping in August. Intel and its partners used Computex to show off the Compute Card itself along with prototype and concept devices based around the new platform.
techtechtech opened up the Core M3-7Y30 equipped Compute Card at Computex.
As a quick refresher, the Compute Card is a full PC in a small card shaped form factor measuring 95mm x 55mm x 5mm that features an Intel SoC, DDR3 RAM, solid state storage, wireless connectivity, and standardized I/O (one USB-C and a proprietary Intel connector sit side by side on one edge of the card). The small cards are designed to slot into devices that will use the Compute Card as their brains for smart home automation, appliances, industrial applications, smart whiteboards, and consumer products such as tablets, notebooks, and smart TVs.
At its Computex press events, Intel revealed details on specifications. The initial launch will include four Compute Card SKUs with two lower end and two higher end models. All four of the cards are equipped with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and either 64GB of eMMC or 128GB SSD storage. The two lower end SKUs use Intel Wireless-AC 7265 while the more expensive models have Intel Wireless-AC 8265 (both are 2x2 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2). Processor options from top to bottom include the 7th generation Intel i5-7Y57, Core m3-7Y30, Pentium N4200, and Celeron N3450. Enterprise customers will appreciate the TPM support and security features. Reportedly, the Compute Cards will start at $199 for the low-end model and go up to $499+ for the higher end cards.
Intel partners Dell, HP, and Lenovo were reportedly not ready to show off any devices but will launch Compute Card compatible devices at some point. ECS, Foxconn, LG Display, NexDock, Sharp, and others did have prototype devices at Computex and have announced their support for the platform. The Compute Card concept devices shown off include tablets, laptops, All In Ones, digital signage, kiosks, and a monitor stand dock that lets the user add their own monitor and have an AIO powered by a Compute Card. Other uses include ATMs, smart whiteboards, mini PCs for desktop and HTCP uses, and docks that would allow business user sand students to have a single PC with storage that they could take anywhere and get work done. Students could plug their Compute Card into a laptop shell, computer lab PC, whiteboard for presentations, their home dock, and other devices..
(My opinions follow:)
It is an interesting concept that has been tried before with smartphones (and Samsung is currently trying with its S8 and docks) but never really caught on. The promise and idea of being able to easily upgrade a smart TV, computer, smart appliance, home security system, ect without having to replace the entire unit (just upgrading the brains) is a great one, but thus far has not really gained traction. Similarly, the idea of a single PC that you carry everywhere in your pocket and use whatever display you have handy has been promised before but never delivered. Perhaps Intel can drive this modular PC idea home and we could finally see it come to fruition. Unexpectedly absent from the list of partners is Asus and Samsung. Samsung I can understand since they are trying to do their own thing with the S8 but I was a bit surprised to see Asus was not out front with a Compute Card support as they were Intel's partner with its Zenfone and they seem like a company with a good balance of R&D and manufacturing power but nimble enough to test out new markets. The other big PC guys (Dell, HP, and Lenovo) aren't ready with their devices yet either though so I guess we will just have to see what happens in terms of support and adoption. The other thing that could hold the Compute Card back is that Intel will reportedly allow manufacturer lock-in where devices and Compute Cards can be made to only work with hardware from the same manufacturer. Restricting interoperability might hurt the platform, but it might aslo creat less confusion for consumers with the onus being on each manufacturer to actually support an upgrade path I guess.
What are your thoughts on the Compute Card?
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2017 - 04:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox, pc gaming, microsoft
Before we begin, the source of this post is a PC Gamer interview with Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, who leads the Xbox team. The tone seems to be relaxed and conversational, so, for now, it should be taken as something that he, personally, wants to see, not what the division is actually planning, necessarily.
Still, after it was announced that the Xbox One would get emulation for original Xbox titles at the Xbox E3 2017 Press Conference, PC Gamer asked whether that feature, like so many others lately, could make it to the PC.
His responses: “Yes.” and “I want people to be able to play games!”
He also talked about Xbox 360 emulation on PC, specifically how it would be difficult, but he wants games to run across console and PC. “I want developers to be able to build portable games, which is why we’ve been focusing on UWP for games and even apps that want to run on multiple devices.”
You might know my personal opinions about UWP by now, specifically how it limits artistic freedom going forward through signed apps and developers, which is a problem for civil rights groups that either need to remain anonymous or publish expressions that governments (etc.) don’t want to see public, but cross-device is indeed one of the two reasons that it’s seductive for Microsoft. Content written for it (unless it finds an unpatched exploit, like how Apple iOS jailbreaks work) cannot do malware-like things, and they should be abstract enough to easily hop platforms.
But you won’t see me talk ill about preserving old content, especially if it could be lost to time based on a platform decision they made fifteen years ago. I hope that we do see original Xbox games on the PC. I also hope that we develop art in a medium that doesn’t need awkward methods of preservation, though.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | June 13, 2017 - 01:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, free games, evga, destiny 2
Were you a fan of the original Destiny or simply a fan of free games and happen to be shopping for a new NVIDIA GPU? EVGA have just launched a new giveaway, if you pick up one of their GTX 1080 or 1080 Ti's they will provide you with a code that not only provides you with a free copy of Destiny 2 but also allows you access to the beta.
As usual you need to have an EVGA account so you can register your GPU and so the code can be provided to your account. From there head on over to NVIDIA to redeem the code and patiently await the start of the beta and final release of the game.
June 13th, 2017 - Get Game Ready with EVGA GeForce GTX 10 Series and experience Destiny 2 on PC. For a limited time, buy a select EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card and get Destiny 2 at PC Launch and [Early] Access to the PC Beta!
GeForce GTX 10 Series GPUs brings the beautiful world of Destiny 2 to life in stunning 4K. Experience incredibly smooth, tear-free gameplay with NVIDIA G-SYNC™ and share your greatest gameplay moments with NVIDIA ShadowPlay using GeForce Experience.
About Destiny 2:
Humanity's last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city's Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity's scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.
Learn more and see qualifying EVGA cards at https://www.evga.com/articles/01112/destiny-2-game-ready/
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2017 - 12:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, cryptocurrency, Raspberry Pi
If you are using a Raspberry Pi and did not set up two factor authentication or even worse, never changed the default passwords on the system then there is a very good chance you are mining for someone other than yourself. There is a new piece of malware out there, in addition to the many which already exist, targeting Raspberry Pi machines and recruiting them into a mining group, instead of the usual usage which is to enlist them in a botnet for DDOS attacks. Hack a Day has some additional suggestions, over and above the glaringly obvious recommendation to not keep default passwords; at least in this particular case they are not hard coded into the system.
"According to Russian security site [Dr.Web], there’s a new malware called Linux.MulDrop.14 striking Raspberry Pi computers. In a separate posting, the site examines two different Pi-based trojans including Linux.MulDrop.14. That trojan uses your Pi to mine some form of cryptocurrency. The other trojan sets up a proxy server."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ta-ta, security: Bungling Tata devs leaked banks' code on public GitHub repo, says IT bloke @ The Register
- Why Ethereum Is Outpacing Bitcoin @ Slashdot
- WiMax routers from Huawei and ZTE are vulnerable to authentication bypass attacks @ The Inquirer
- Mac ransomware author is giving away malicious code to script kiddies @ The Register
- Biostar, ASRock, Colorful see rising demand for mining motherboards, says paper @ DigiTimes
- Move over, Stuxnet: Industroyer malware linked to Kiev blackouts @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2017 - 07:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: gaming mouse, e3 17, E3, dell, alienware
As mentioned in the Alienware mechanical keyboard news, the brand is pushing back into gaming peripherals at this year’s E3 conference. This announcement is for their pair of RGB-lit gaming mice, the Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse (AW558) and the Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse (AW958), which consists of a base model and a higher-end one variant with more customization.
Both mice are built on a nine-button, right-handed chassis. It’s difficult to tell from the photos, but it looks like the mouse has three buttons on the thumb side, two on the pinky side, and an extra button on the top (as well as left, right, and scroll wheel click, of course). I could be wrong about this, though. The RGB lighting, two strips of it below the buttons and one going up the palm rest, forming a triangular crosshair, is available on both models.
So what’s different about the Elite? The higher-end mouse can have its side-grips replaced to change up the form and feel of the thumb buttons. It can also have weights added to it, which should help twitch gamers get used to it quicker, because they can make it feel slightly more familiar. Interestingly, the higher-end model (AW958) can store five DPI profiles, while the lower-end one (AW558) can only store three. I don’t know why they didn’t just let both choose five.
The Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse (AW558) has an MSRP of $49.99 USD and the Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse (AW958) has an MSRP of $89.99 USD. They are available on June 13th.
E3 2017: Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard (AW568) and Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard (AW768) Announced
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2017 - 07:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, e3 17, E3, dell, alienware
Alienware has announced a pair of mechanical keyboards at E3 this year. While the company has made gaming mice and keyboards before, its been quite a while. After a little Googling, the most recent entries that I’ve seen were over five years old, those being the TactX mouse and keyboard. If you look on their website recently, though, you can’t really see anything first-party -- just brands like Razer and Roccat.
These two keyboards, the Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard (AW568) and the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard (AW768), are based on a similar design, with a few differences. First, the similarities. Both of these are mechanical keyboards that are based on brown switches from Kailh, which are very similar to Cherry MX Brown switches. Each key is also isolated in the key matrix, which Alienware claims is N-key rollover, but it’s unclear whether they just mean to the keyboard’s controller, or whether the PC will stop registering buttons after some multiple of USB limitations. (Typically, NKRO requires PS/2, although keyboards started doing things like registering as multiple keyboards to extend this limit... but it’s hard to find a USB keyboard that can literally handle every button independently.)
As for the differences, the main changes are, surprise surprise, RGB backlighting and a volume roller on the AW768 (versus no backlight and volume buttons on the AW568). Interestingly, Alienware claims onboard memory for the AW768, to store macros, although they just advertise the Alienware Control Center for the AW568. This might mean that the AW568 doesn’t have onboard memory, requiring the driver for custom macros, but it could just be an awkwardly-worded press release.
The Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard (AW568) has an MSRP of $89.99 and the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard (AW768) has an MSRP of $119.99. They will be available in the US on June 13th.
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2017 - 03:34 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox, xbox one, controller, gamepad
When the original Xbox launched, back in 2001, it was bundled with a massive controller in most regions, which was eventually nicknamed “Duke”. While some users loved this form factor, Microsoft decided to make the “S” controller (the default for Japanese Xboxes) the international default about a year later. Duke ended up a cult classic.
Now, at E3 2017, Hyperkin Games Inc. is launching an Xbox One controller with a very similar design, which will also be compatible with Windows 10. A few liberties were taken to add and subtract buttons that didn’t exist on the opposing side of the Xbox 1 - Xbox One design fence. Hyperkin consulted with Seamus Blackley, one of the original developers of the Xbox console, who approved the remake.
No word on pricing, but it will be available this holiday season (2017).
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2017 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, sata, NVMe, M.2, computex 2017, adta
Adata had a flashy booth at Computex, focusing on their upcoming storage and memory products which The Tech Report spent some time at. They had quite a lineup to show off, a pair of Enterprise class NVMe M.2 drives, the IM2P33E8 powered by Silicon Motion's upcoming SM2262 controller which is reputed to hit 3000 MB/s read, 1500 MB/s write as well as the SATA IM2S33D8 using the SM2259 controller.
For high end users there are the NVMe XPG SX9000, XPG SX8000 and XPG SX7000, the former with a Marvell controller and Toshiba's evergreen 15-nm MLC NAND, the latter pair with a Silicon Motion controller and IMFT 3D MLC flash. For the price sensitive they have launched an M.2 drive which only uses two PCIe lanes, it will not be as the high end drives but should leave a HDD or older SSD in the dirt.
As for what is below? Why that is an XPG Spectrix S10 drive which is the world's first RGB infected SSD.
"Without high-end motherboards or funky case concepts to show off, Adata focused its Computex presence on its strong point: storage. Join us as we walk through the company's upcoming SSD offerings."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The AMD Vega Memory Architecture Q&A With Jeffrey Cheng @ TechARP
- Researchers find super flaw in Virgin Media Super Hub routers @ The Inquirer
- Alphabet offloads bot businesses Boston Dynamics and SCHAFT @ The Register
- Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming @ The Register
- Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2017 - 03:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: powerplay, logitech g, logitech, lightspeed, g903, g703
Logitech has finally released what I can only describe as the holy grail of mouse technologies. By combining the well-established and high performance wireless connectivity of the G900 mouse with a while-in-use wireless CHARGING system for new Logitech gaming mice, Logitech is promising to be bring us “unlimited gaming” and a life that no longer requires cables, battery notifications, or location-based timeouts.
Rather than bury the lead by diving into the new mice that go along with the technology, let’s first discuss PowerPlay, both the brand and the product name that Logitech is giving to the wireless charging mat that makes this all happen. Wireless charging is not a new idea, and it has been implemented on other products prior, but not to this scale. With Logitech PowerPlay you are not required to leave the mouse over a certain section of the surface and pause usage to charge. Instead, PowerPlay, when paired with one of the two mice launching with the technology, affords you continuous power that keeps you charged WHILE you are gaming!
This is a significant advancement and one that leads to quite a few improvements for gamers. First, overcoming the need to be placed and still, PowerPlay creates the largest single surface for charging any device I have seen. The size of the surface is 275mm x 320mm and closely mirrors other Logitech G mouse surfaces. Getting a surface that large, with enough power to guarantee the mouse will be provided more power than it can consume while in use, took a long time to engineer. And going above anything this size will be even more difficult as EMI restrictions from governmental bodies around the world come into play.
Implementation of PowerPlay is a USB-attached power input that has a hard surface that goes on your desk or table. Logitech then provides a soft surface that go over it to suit your preference. The mice that support PowerPlay (shown below) will still have USB connections on them for charging or use while away from your main PC, so you aren’t stuck in one place or lugging around the added hardware if you don’t need it.
The amount of charging power on PowerPlay provides wasn’t stated exactly, but it is definitely lower than a direct USB connection. I asked Logitech engineers how I could compare the performance of both power input methods. From a zero-state on the mouse to a full charge, the USB cable takes about 2 hours, while the PowerPlay would charge it in close to 14 hours. That’s significant difference, but Logitech assured me that a user could game forever with this system assuming no interruptions in power to the pad itself. The power delivery has multiple steps and Logitech says it will charge faster when in idle.
I can’t tell you how often I have asked for a feature like this, or how often the idea has been brought up by readers. Logitech has delivered – though it will cost you $99, plus the cost of a new mouse, to get up and running.
Speaking of those new mice, Logitech is bringing two options today that will work just fine with, or without, the PowerPlay feature. The G903 is the successor to the incredibly popular and well-reviewed G900, a wireless-based gaming mouse that has exceeded my expectations in performance at each turn. Second is the G703, a successor to the G403. These mice are priced at $149 and $99, respectively. The PowerPlay technology is supported by a small module that is put in place on the underside of the mouse. That opening can also house a 10g weight for users that would prefer a heavier model; note that you cannot use both the weight and utilizing wireless charging.
Finally, Logitech has used this opportunity to brand the wireless data technology that first debuted in the G900 as Lightspeed. I have talked about the engineering and design that went into Logitech’s release of its wireless gaming hardware previously, and it does bear repeating and a deeper dive coming soon. But gamers that worry about wireless not being as fast or as accurate as wired gaming mice should be convinced through the testing and science behind Logitech’s implementation.
In total, this hardware from Logitech provides what I feel is the most robust and feature rich gaming mouse package that exists today. The G903 and the G703 retain their superior design and capability (with some improvements along the way) while the PowerPlay wireless charging mat offers a new feature that gamers, and PC enthusiasts of all kinds, have been clamoring at for years.
We should have our sample units in very shortly, with availability starting in late June for the mice and in August for the mat!
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2017 - 04:56 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: Xbox Scorpio, xbox, microsoft, E3
At its E3 2017 keynote Sunday, Microsoft finally unveiled the official details for its upcoming "Project Scorpio" console, now called "Xbox One X." The console, surprisingly smaller than even the Xbox One S, will launch November 7, 2017 and, as expected, will be priced at $499, the same launch price of the original Xbox One in November 2013.
With a maximum 6 teraflops of GPU horsepower and a class-leading 326GB/s memory bandwidth, Microsoft is hoping that its significant performance advantage over Sony's $399 PS4 Pro, as well as its ability to play UHD Blu-ray discs, will help justify the $100 price difference for consumers.
|Xbox One X||PS4 Pro|
|2.3GHz 8-Core||2.16 GHz 8-Core|
|GPU||6 TFLOPS||4.2 TFLOPS|
|Memory||12GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||326 GB/s||218 GB/s|
|Storage||1TB HDD||1TB HDD|
One of the criticisms of the PS4 Pro is that many of the games "optimized" for the system do not utilize 4K assets or run at true 4K resolution. In response, Microsoft clarified repeatedly throughout its keynote that many games designed for Xbox One X will indeed run at 4K/60fps. While Microsoft will likely ensure that its own house-published titles and those from close partners will hit this mark, it remains to be seen how well cross-platform games from third parties will fare.
As for those who don't have 4K displays, Xbox One X will use supersampling to increase perceived resolution and quality at 1080p. The popular Xbox 360 backwards compatibility feature (which will soon include original Xbox games) will also benefit from the Xbox One X's increased horsepower, with Microsoft promising faster load times and improved anti-aliasing.
As with the PS4 Pro, all games will support both console generations, with many titles going forward "enhanced for Xbox One X." One of Sony's biggest problems is the lack of games that truly take advantage of the PS4 Pro's unique features, so Microsoft's ability to bring third party developers on board will be key to the Xbox One X's success.
We'll need the console to hit the market to get a more detailed look at its technical specifications, but based on Microsoft's claimed performance numbers, the Xbox One X looks like a relatively good deal from a hardware perspective. The console's 6 TFLOPS of graphics processing power compares to an NVIDIA GTX 1070, which currently retails for just over $400. Add in the 1TB hard drive, custom 8-core CPU, and UHD Blu-ray player, and the price is suddenly not so unreasonable. Of course, newer cards like the AMD Radeon RX 580 also hit around 6 TFLOPS for ~$220, but you won't be able to find one of those these days. At a $100 premium over the PS4 Pro, however, it's unclear how the console community will value the Xbox One X's hardware advantage.
One thing that is clear is that Microsoft's Xbox team wasn't too happy to be the source of mockery based on performance and sales for the past four years, and they're highly motivated to come out swinging this fall.
Preorders for Xbox One X have yet to be announced, but you'll find the Amazon pre-order page here when orders go live.
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2017 - 02:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Windows 10 S, security
Microsoft recently pointed out that their new lite version of Windows 10 for students, Windows 10 S, is completely immune to all known malware. This does make sense, the OS is simply unable to install anything that is not from the Windows Store, which does not host any official malware, even if some of the available programs are not entirely useful. That security will last as long as no one figures out a way to fake the file validation and the connection to Microsoft's online store, or manages to get a malware infected file approved for sale on the store. Apple has had some experience which prove that is not an impossibility. Pop by Slashdot for more.
You could also chose to go with the OS of choice for financial institutions and various other industries, Windows XP Embedded with the Enhanced Write Filter. Generally secure and can be reset with a simple reboot ... in most cases.
"However, if you want to guarantee your safety from ransomware, then Microsoft points out there's an even more secure option to consider -- Windows 10 S. The new, hardened Windows 10 variant only runs apps from the Windows Store, which means it can't run programs from outside Microsoft's ecosystem, and that includes malware. Which is why, as Microsoft says, "No known ransomware works against Windows 10 S."
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