This is your Yoga on tiger blood; Intel's dual display demo duo

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 7, 2018 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: Tiger Rapids, Intel, kaby lake

Recently seen in the Lenovo Yoga devices, mobile devices with dual screens are attracting attention but so far the implementation has not been without troubles.  Intel showed off two prototype machines at Computex that they believe will offer what this segment of customers is looking for.  The Tiger Rapids machine has a conventional touchscreen on one side and some sort of electronic paper display on the other, which has a bit of give to it so that using a stylus on it gives you some tactile feedback.  It is powered by a Kaby Lake processor of some description, with an SSD and the unfortunately common lone USB Type-C port on it.  At 4.7mm thin it is a fairly impressive design. 

Their second does not bear a code name but resembles the Yoga as it has two traditional touchscreens with one generally displaying a keyboard.   We don't know much about them, but you can take a peek at them over at The Inquirer.

Intelconceptdevice-540x334.jpg

"The first machine codenamed Tiger Rapids - this is Intel after all - mixes one touchscreen panel with an electronic paper display designed specifically for note taking and stylus scribbling, even coming with a slight give to simulate writing on paper."

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Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #502 - Computex coverage and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2018 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: xTend, xps, video, Vega, Threadripper, Snapdragon 850, seasonic, scmd, ROG, qualcomm, podcast, Optane, nvidia, microsoft, logitech, Killer Wireless, Isaac, InWin, Intel, i7-8086k, git, fortnite, EPYC, dell, crystal, corsair, CaseKing, asus, aorus, amd, 7nm

PC Perspective Podcast #502 - 06/07/18

Join us this week for discussion on Computex and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:45:27

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 1:00:40 ASUS all the things
  3. Picks of the Week:
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source:

New New Vegas; Fallout New California is almost upon us

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2018 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: mod, gaming, fallout: new vegas, Fallout: New California

The total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout: New California will be released on October 23rd, or at least the Beta 2.0 version.  We first heard of this mod eight years ago, under the name Project Brazil and from the trailer posted at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN the development team has not been resting on their laurel.  They have managed to make the old engine look much better than it did originally, not to mention the 16,000 lines of dialogue they've recorded.  You can drop by ModDB to keep an eye on the teams progress and sign up for the pre-release beta if you so desire.

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"Originally announced in 2010 as Project Brazil, Fallout: New California is effectively a whole new Fallout game built on top of the New Vegas engine by modding crew Radian-Helix Media, and it’s due for release on October 23rd."

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Intel's displays run on one what?

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2018 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: Intel, display, low wattage, Low Power Display Technology, computex 2018

Intel is not just showing off powerful chips which require a 1HP cooler, they are also demonstrating new kit requiring very low power.  Their Low Power Display Technology reduces the power consumed by your screen by about 50%, assuming it is powered by Intel graphics.  The demonstration was conducted on a Dell XPS 13 and has extended the battery life to 24 hours, with other models capable of reaching 28 hours. 

Check out this and more of Intel's announcements here.

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"Intel today staged its annual keynote at Taiwan’s Computex tech-fest and revealed a new “Low Power Display Technology” that the company said can halve the power consumption of a laptop’s screen."

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Source: The Register

Rivet Networks Introduces Killer Wireless xTend Technology

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2018 - 11:55 AM |
Tagged: wireless, wi-fi, rivet, networking, mesh network, Killer xTend, Killer Networking, killer, gaming

Killer Wireless has introduced Killer xTend Technology, which is a unique solution that promises to help improve home network coverage without having to add network hardware. How is this accomplished? In a nutshell, Killer xTend can let you turn your gaming PC - or even a gaming laptop - into a wireless extender, and do so without penalty thanks to Killer's network prioritization.

KWE_01.PNG

"Killer Wireless xTend introduces powerful MESH network capabilities into computers by leveraging the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 WiFi module to seamlessly clone and extend the home network. This allows Killer-enabled computers to expand the range of the home network and to give network access to nearby wireless devices. The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wi-Fi delivers fast and smooth gaming and entertainment experiences on PCs by prioritizing important Killer traffic such as games, voice, and video above other connected device traffic."

KWE_02.PNG

You may be familiar with Killer xTend, announced at last year's Computex, but the new Wireless xTend takes a different approach. The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wi-Fi card is a key component, and the xTend functionality is provided as a value-add, controllable via the Killer Control Center software. What this boils down to is that purchasing a system with this latest Killer Wireless card also provides the ability to extend the range of your home network without any additional cost. Announced partners include Acer, Clevo, Dell, MSI, and Zotac.

KWE_03.PNG

"Killer Wireless xTend is fully integrated into the Killer Control Center. All it takes is a simple click of the button for Killer Wireless xTend to clone and extend the network it is connected to. Nearby devices will automatically connect to Killer Wireless xTend when it provides a stronger signal than the other access points. Users can choose the uplink back to the broadband network – it can be done over wireless or if the computer is using Killer DoubleShot Pro then Killer can deliver the connected devices’ traffic over ethernet."

Full PR after the break.

Computex 2018: AMD Announces New EPYC Design Wins

Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2018 - 10:36 PM |
Tagged: server, EPYC, enterprise, amd

AMD started off its Computex 2018 livestream by announcing three new design wins for its EPYC server processors. Specifically, AMD's EPYC is being picked up by Cisco, HPE, and Tencent for new server products that will be aimed at heavy virtualization workloads where the physical servers will be host to many virtual machines used for all manner of enterprise applications in the both private and public clouds.

Screenshot (831).png

Specifically, AMD notes that Cisco will be using EPYC in a new UCS solution where AMD notes that EPYC offers up 128% more cores, 50% more servers, and 20% more storage per rack than the competition. Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) is a high performance converged platform that combines servers, networking, storage, and management together into a rack-able solution that is all interconnected by a Cisco fabric.

AMD EPYC HPE.png

HPE (the enterprise focused spin off from HP) is also adopting EPYC with the announcement today of its first AMD EPYC powered single socket Proliant server: the HPE Proliant DL325 Gen 10. AMD claims its EPYC processors (up to 32 cores / 64 threads) offers up to 25% lower cost per VM than the leading dual socket competitor. In the datacenter world TCO (total cost of ownership) is king and EPYC does have a core count advantage over Intel in this space.

AMD EPYC Tencent.png

Finally, AMD announced that China-based Tencent SA1 cloud service will begin offering AMD EPYC powered instances as soon as today with EPYC offering up to 30% lower cost per VM to Tencent.

AMD did not go into more specifics on the announcements, but it is nice to see EPYC getting some design wins. If you are still awake at this time, you can catch the AMD livestream on Youtube here. Here is what you have to look forward to according to AMD CEO Lisa Su: AMD Vega graphics, FreeSync, Ryzen, Threadripper 2, and 7nm Radeon Vega GPUs.

AMD Computex 2018.png

Source: AMD

Computex 2018: CaseKing and Der8auer Debut Phase Shift Cooler AIO Prototype

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2018 - 07:42 PM |
Tagged: phase change, overclocking, der8auer, computex 2018, computex, closed loop cooling

Famed overclocker Der8auer and Berlin-based online retailer CaseKing showed off a prototype phase change cooler at Computex 2018. The new cooler is a pressurized and closed system that places a block over the processor and uses a vertical tube to connect to a holding tank and a condenser that is cooled by a copper fin stack and two 90mm fans. While phase change cooling is nothing new, what is interesting about this prototype is that the team plans to bring what they call a Phase Shift Cooler to market as a commercial product like an AIO liquid cooler sometime before the end of the year.

der8auer phase change cooler.jpg

The system uses a 3M Novec-like fluid (it is not Novec, however, according to Gamer's Nexus in speaking with CaseKing at Computex) with a low boiling point. The system is pressurized, and the boiling point can be changed by adjusting the pressure of the cooling “loop”. As the processor heats up, the liquid begins boiling off and gas rises up the tube to the condenser where it cools and changes back into a liquid which then flows back into the CPU block with the help of gravity (which does limit placement of the condenser to vertical case orientations above the CPU. The copper fins of the condenser plate are cooled using two fans that do not need to spin at high RPMs.

Der8auer and CaseKing Phase Shift Cooler.jpg

According to Gamer’s Nexus, Der8auer and CaseKing plan to reduce the size of the cooler and hydralic tubing to make it more in line with a typical 240mm or 360mm AIO liquid cooler and it would be comparable in performance with them without the need for a pump and its associated noise, size, and risk of failure. The Phase Shift Cooler should also be quieter as well, with the planned cooler moving from 90mm to 120mm fans on the final product and the fans not needing to spin up as fast as those high-pressure fans used with water cooling radiators. I have to say that it is an interesting proposition and I am looking forward to more information on this cooler as it progresses!

Also read: 

Who needs switches when you can have buckling springs!

Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2018 - 07:02 PM |
Tagged: input, buckling springs, ibm model m, unicomp, ultra classic

Unicomp describes their Ultra Classic keyboard as hand made, which The Tech Report does not find sufficient to explain a variety of minor flaws in the build of the keycaps and chassis.  The bottom and sides of the otherwise extremely well made keycaps are rough, showing rough marks remaining from the moulding process and the bottom of the keyboard is not particularly flat.  Considering the aesthetics of the IBM Model M, this is unlikely to deter fans from considering purchasing the keyboard.  What really matters is the feel, which when they got around to describing it included the word 'joy'.  The keycaps are replaceable, the red and yellow ones in the picture below are not the originals so the minor marring from the manufacturing process can be resolved if you are as interested in form as you are in function.  Take a gander at the full review and see what you think.

full 1.png

"Unicomp's Ultra Classic keyboard takes the iconic buckling-spring key switch that's been the darling of many a keyboard enthusiast and packages it in a slimmer, sleeker chassis than the original IBM Model M. We got the Ultra Classic under our fingers to see whether it's as timeless as ever."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

The beast with two screens, Lenovo teases us with new AI powered Yoga

Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2018 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo, Yoga 2

The first Yoga book with the Halo keyboard, a touchscreen which shows a keyboard as well as accepting input from a stylus, did not get high marks from Ken when he reviewed it last year.  The concept itself was not the problem, it was the lack of any travel on the trackpad and keyboard, even enabling the tactile feedback was not enough to help with typing or clicking and dragging icons.  For short tasks it was acceptable, once you grow accustomed to the interface, but you wouldn't want to compose a lengthy document.  The next generation will have an faster processor as well as AI to assist with typing, one expects predictive text a la most mobile phones and improved stylus input. 

You can see a bit of the brief tease they offered over at The Inquirer.

LenovoYogaBook2-580x358.png

"Teased during Intel's keynote at Computex, where the chipmaker unveiled a 'limited edition 5GHz Core i7', Lenovo's Yoga Book 2 retains the firm's unusual 'Halo keyboard'. Basically, it's a second screen, with a touchscreen surface acting as a digital keyboard."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

Computex 2018: ASUS Unleashes ROG Phone for Serious Mobile Gamers

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 5, 2018 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, gaming, mobile gaming, game streaming, Gigabit LTE, computex 2018, computex

In addition to the usual Republic of Gamers branded gear, ASUS unveiled the new ROG Phone at Computex which is a high-end Android device aimed at gamers that extends the ROG brand to mobile devices. The new ROG Phone packs a ton of hardware into a six-inch smartphone that can double as a portable gaming machine and is complete with the requisite aggressive ROG aesthetics especially around back where, yes, there is even configurable RGB.

Asus ROG Phone.jpg

ASUS’ new smartphone measures 158.8mm x 76.2mm x 8.6mm (6.25”x3”x0.34”) and weighs in at 200g (0.44 lbs). The device is black with white accents drawing aggressive angles on back along with vents for cooling and both Republic of Gamers branding and a configurable RGB ROG logo. The front of the phone looks fairly standard with a large 6” 18:9 AMOLED display taking up most of the front face and surrounded by dual front facing SmartAmp speakers that can reportedly get quite loud according to the various hands on videos online. The display has a resolution of 2160 x 1080, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a 1ms response time, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and is rated at 108.6% of the DCI-P3 color space. A dedicated image processing chip handles HDR support and the ability of the display to boost the local contrast of certain areas of the display.

As for cameras, there is an 8MP camera in front and dual cameras around back with a main 12MP camera and a 8MP 120-degree wide angle camera.

One interesting thing as far as I/O is that the phone has two USB-C ports with one in the usual spot on the bottom edge and one on the left edge to make using it in landscape mode easier. The included AeroActive cooler can plug into this port and blow air onto the back of the phone to help cool it and your fingertips while also breaking the USB-C port out into a USB-C and 3.5mm headphone jack. As far as audio, ASUS’ ROG Phone supports Dolby DTS Headphone 7.1 virtual surround sound and Qualcomm aptX for wired and Bluetooth headphones respectively.

Asus has also placed ultrasonic buttons around the edges with two on the left edge corners and one on the bottom right edge that can be used as triggers while in landscape mode for gaming or to do usual Android stuff like taking photos or launching an app.

As far as internal specifications, Asus managed to work out a deal with Qualcomm for binned Snapdragon 845 chips that can run all eight Kryo 385 CPU cores at 2.96 GHz (+160 MHz over stock). The Snapdragon 845 processor also contains the Adreno 630 GPU, Hexagon 685 DSP, Spectra 280 ISP, Qualcomm SPU, Aqstic audio, Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, and 802.11ad Wi-Fi. The chip also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 though I’m not sure which level Asus has enabled as Asus is calling it HyperCharge (up to 20W with the charging IC in the adapter to reduce phone temps). The SD845 is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4X memory and either 128GB or 512GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage. The ROG Phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery that can be charged to 60% in 33 minutes or 85% in an hour with the included charger. The USB-C ports reportedly only support USB 2.0, however so no USB 3 speeds when transferring files – I suppose Asus needs to at least try to keep the pricing in check! Wireless I/O includes 802.11ad 60GHz Wi-Fi, 802.11ac 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and Gigabit LTE.

ASUS ROG Gaming Phone.jpg

ASUS is using a copper heat spreader as well as a 3D vapor chamber to keep the phone cool while gaming and to keep the Snapdragon 845’s CPU and GPU clocked as high as possible for as long as possible. For the serious mobile gamer wanting to keep the frame rates up there is also the clip on AeroActive cooler or “enhanced cooling” in the TwinView dock.

Speaking of docks, ASUS wants gamers to be able to get serious with the ROG Phone by plugging it into docks that will be sold separately. The TwinView dock adds a second display (that is reportedly identical to the AMOLED on the phone itself), physical trigger buttons, and a 6,000 mAh battery while the Mobile Desktop Dock turns the ROG Phone into a portable computer by allowing you to hook it up to a 4K display, keyboard and mouse, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1 channel speakers, and other USB peripherals. For those wanting to game on the big screen to share games with friends there is also a WiGig dock and compatibility with the third-party Game Vice controller that turns the ROG Phone into something resembling the Nintendo Switch with joystick and physical buttons on either side.

The ROG Phone is packed with enough hardware to make it competitive with other high-end smartphones as well as the other gaming-focused phone offerings from Razer, Xiaomi, and other entrants to this market. At launch Asus has the docks and accessories down, but pricing is going to be a major concern as the phone itself is not going to be cheap and after adding the docks it might be equivalent to a budget DIY PC build (well before the GPU and RAM price spikes I guess)! On the other hand, it would be a powerful mobile device for running emulators and Fortnite and PUBG are on mobile now (heh) so maybe there is a market serious enough about mobile gaming willing to pay a premium for the ROG Phone.

What do you think? Will you be picking up the ROG Phone?

If you are curious Hardware Canucks and Austin Evans were able to get some hands-on time with the phone and some of the accessories in Taipei, Taiwan.

The ROG Phone is slated for release later this summer with specific pricing not yet available.

Source: Asus

WWDC 18: OpenGL & OpenCL Are Deprecated on Mac & iOS

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2018 - 10:12 PM |
Tagged: opengl, opencl, apple

Apple has just announced that OpenGL and OpenCL are deprecated for all Apple platforms, starting with macOS 10.14 and iOS 12. The APIs are still available on these operating systems, but their development tools will apparently start to nag you about using it and, eventually, it could disappear. Instead, Apple wants users to move to their Metal API.

Apple-logo.jpg

This kinda bites.

I have a couple thoughts about this.

First, of course, relying upon Apple for APIs if you’re expecting to make a timeless work of art… is a bad idea. They are not quite as bad as a console could be, and Microsoft has been flirting with killing Win32 since Windows 8, but you shouldn’t expect that your content will be around forever. They do stuff like this. This is the stuff they do. I know I’ve said it before, but they’ve even sent the Khronos Group a legal notice for attempting to expand the usage of OpenCL, which they own the trademark and several patents for. It’s fine to use Apple products and platforms, but don’t be shocked when stuff like this happens.

Moving on…

Second, I wonder how much of this has to do with the Imagination Technologies announcement from last year. At the time, I said, “Apple already has their own low-level graphics API, Metal, so they might have a lot to gain, although some macOS and iOS applications use OpenGL and OpenGL ES. We’ll find out in less than two years.”

One year later, and it looks like part of Apple’s strategy was, in fact, to deprecate OpenGL and OpenGL ES. I can see a tiny chance that Apple will, in the future, release GPUs that cannot run OpenGL / OpenGL ES / OpenCL software, because they want to own the whole stack from software to hardware. This sounds like something Apple would do, although I’m not sure if owning their own GPU is enough of a draw for them. After all, they will be fighting against an industry that uses PC-compatible hardware, so it runs the risk of stagnating like a lot of RISC companies (except ARM, which was also a battleground of multiple vendors) that just couldn’t keep up to the x86 war.

But it seems like something Apple would do… I don’t know.

Third, this announcement lines up well with recent Valve’s Vulkan-through-Metal (via MoltenVK) release through Dota2. I’m now wondering what Valve was trying to accomplish by pushing that news out five days before Apple pushed against OpenGL. You would think that Valve would have to have known about this, and timed their announcement appropriately… but to what effect?

So those are my three thoughts. What do you think?

Source: Apple

AORUS RGB's all the things at Computex

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Memory, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2018 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: RGB, M5, m3, h5, gigabyte, computex 2018, aorus

Gigabyte went full spectrum RGB at this years Computex, announcing an entire gamut of equipment with dancing colourful lights.  The first of these are are the four piece AORUS RGB 16GB DDR4-3200MHz memory kit, which ships with two 8GB DIMMs and a pair of dummies.

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The dummies, as you are no doubt asking yourself, are to let you populate all four DIMM slots and yet keep the price down to ~$230.   The dummies are not dim, they have the same lighting features as the DIMMs do, making the rave in your case even more impressive.

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The Aorus M5 and M3 mice also give off illumination which will satisfy dedicated RGB enthusiasts, especially when paired with the Aorus P7 RGB mousemat. 

mousehouse.PNG

The M5 contains a Pixart 3398 optical sensor, capable of up to 16,000 DPI as well as removable weights which let you pick your preferred heft, at least between 18g to 130.5g.  The M3 uses a Pixart 3988 sensor, which tops out at 6400 SPI which is honestly quite sufficient for the vast majority of users.  The two mice are both able to function while slightly lifted about a surface and can produce 16.7 million hues with their RGBs.

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Now that the inside and outside of your computer as well as the mouse and its mat are glowing away in glorious technicolour, you should not leave yourself out of the show.  Strap on the Aorus H5 headset and become part of the show as you sync your ears with the patterns produced by your other peripherals.  As with the other components the H5 is not just eye candy, the 50mm beryllium magnets in the headset will deliver your ear candy as well. 

Keep an eye out for more from Gigabyte and Aorus.

 

Source: Gigabyte

Computex 2018: NVIDIA Launches Isaac Development Platform for AI-Powered Robotics

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2018 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, ai, robotics, machine learning, machine vision, jetson, xavier

NVIDIA launched a new platform for programming and training AI-powered robots called NVIDIA Isaac. The platform is based around the company’s Xavier SoC and supported with Isaac Robotics Software which includes an Isaac SDK with accelerated libraries, NVIDIA developed Isaac IMX algorithms, and a virtualized training and testing environment called Isaac SIM.

Jetson Xavier Module_NVIDIA Isaac.jpg

According to NVIDIA, Isaac will enable a new wave of machines and robotics powered by artificial intelligence aimed at manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction, and other industrial and infrastructural industries. Using the Jetson Xavier hardware platform for processing along with a suite of sensors and cameras, Isaac-powered robots will be capable of accurately analyze their environment and their spatial positioning within it to be able to adapt to obstacles and work safely in hazardous areas and/or alongside human workers.

NVIDIA notes that its new Jetson Xavier platform is 10-times more energy efficient while offering 20-times more compute performance than the Jetson TX2. It seems that NVIDIA has been able to juice up the chip since it was last teased at GTC Europe with it now being rated at up to 30 TOPS and featuring 9 billion transistors. The 30W module (it can also operate in 10W and 15W modes) combines a 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor cores, two NVDLA deep learning accelerators, an 8-core 64-bit ARM CPU (8MB L2 + 4MB L3), and accelerators for image, vision, and video inputs. The Jetson Xavier can handle up to 16 camera inputs along with supporting sensor inputs through GPIO and other specialized interfaces. It supports three 4K60 display outputs, PCI-E 4.0, 10 Gbps USB 3.1, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, UFS, UART, SD, I2S, I2C, SPI, and CAN for I/O.

The virtual world simulation with Jetson Xavier in-the-loop testing sounds interesting if it works as described which would help accelerate development of software to run these promised smarter production lines, more efficient building of homes and other infrastructure like bridges, and easier and more cost effective home package delivery using adaptable and smarter robotics.

The Isaac development platform will be priced at $1,299 and will be available starting in August to early access partners.

What are your thoughts on NVIDIA Isaac?

Previously:

Source: NVIDIA

Git outta here! Microsoft just bought the largest open source repository hosting service?

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2018 - 01:54 PM |
Tagged: open source, purchase, microsoft, github

It is true, barring any legal challenges to the purchase, Microsoft will soon own GitHub, everyone's favourite source for open source software projects.  This might not come as a complete surprise to those who remember Microsoft working with GitHub to create the Git Virtual File System to scale up the versioning and other features Git offers to be able to handle Enterprise sized storage, including the Windows development.  Microsoft's in house solution, CodePlex was shut down recently with all code moving to Git, perhaps not a great sign.  There is also the fact that Microsoft has tended in the past to scale support directly with the cost of a license, which is less than encouraging for those who strictly contribute to the open source community on Git. 

We shall see what the coming months bring; Ars Technica offers insight into how the leadership at GitHub will change if this deal goes through.

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"Microsoft has reached an agreement to buy GitHub, the source repository and collaboration platform, in a deal worth $7.5 billion. The all-stock deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval in the US and EU."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Ars Technica

Rumor: Microsoft May Be Acquiring GitHub

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2018 - 07:46 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, github

Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft has decided to acquire GitHub for an unknown amount. Some people are reporting that the deal was worth $2 billion USD, although they might have misread the Bloomberg post, which was talking about a $2 billion USD valuation during a round of private investments back in 2015. That said, the price seems right for what GitHub is, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that was what Microsoft paid.

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And, of course, now people are also promoting alternatives. Personally, I use BitBucket and GitLab for work, but my personal projects are still on GitHub. While the new ownership doesn’t seem too bad to me, at least in the short term, I don’t say that with 100% confidence. In fact, just last year, Microsoft shut down CodePlex, which is like GitHub although it launched back in 2006. Bloomberg also reports that GitHub has been bleeding money in recent years, citing three quarters of 2016, so maybe it wouldn’t have lasted much longer to begin with.

There’s also some irony in Microsoft buying a company whose namesake, git, was created by Linus Torvalds.

Source: Bloomberg

Cutting the cord; painless or not? Corsair's HS70 7.1 headset

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2018 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: wireless, stereo, review, music, HS70, headset, gaming, corsair, audio, 7.1 channel

In case you missed the launch this week, Corsair have released a new set of wireless headphones, the $100 HS70.  Sebastian has already offered his impressions of this headset, slapping an Editor's Choice sticker on them but audio quality is quite subjective and you might not have the same ears.  The Tech Report and others also tested these cans out, finding them as good as the less expensive HS50s without the need for wires, which was both good and bad in their eyes.  Check out their review and recommendations here.

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"Corsair's HS70 wireless headset starts with a proven wallet-friendly design and removes the potential annoyance of having to plug in a permanent cord when it's time to game. We jammed out with these cans to see whether that improvement alone justifies the HS70's higher price tag."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Why we can't have nice things, part infinity ... Samsung escapes security support

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2018 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, security, lawyers

It is unlikely you spend much time following Dutch court cases; thankfully The Register had an ear out though as this particular case is of interest to many.  The Dutch Consumers Association launched a case which would have made Samsung legally responsible for providing security updates to phones for up to four years after launch, two years after sale.  A judgment in favour of this would have meant an appeal, of course, but could eventually have meant Android updates for all as it would be a bizarre decision on Samsung's part to geographically limit security updates.  We should expect to see more cases, hopefully somewhere is a judge that does not consider a maximum of six years of security updates unacceptably onerous for Samsung to provide.

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"The case could have had far-reaching impacts, since there's little point in writing software for only one market. The Consumentenbond wanted the court to force the smartphone giant to provide security updates for four years after a product was launched, and/or two years after a product was sold."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

.NET Core 2.1 Released

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2018 - 10:31 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, .net

Oh hey… Visual Studio wants to update again.

Microsoft and the .NET Foundation has just released .NET Core 2.1. This one is a long-term support (LTS) release, although they are expecting to stuff some extra features in the next couple months before the metaphorical train leaves the station. So, basically, expect a nice, stable version of .NET Core by the end of summer that will be good until around 2021.

microsoft-dotnet-foundation.png

The headlining feature of this version is Span<T>. This struct allows C# to view into an existing buffer without copies, but also with type- and memory-safety. If you’re interfacing with a native DLL, you will no longer need to use the unsafe keyword if you operate on the Span. I’m guessing this will be useful for enterprise applications, although that might just be my personal experience clouding my world-view.

For a little extra background, .NET comes in two flavors: .NET Core and .NET Standard. They are kept up to date in parallel, but .NET Core is a multi-platform subset that ignores a lot of stuff like WPF / Windows Forms, etc. That way you can develop cross-platform applications to a specific standard, while Windows-centric developers can do their own thing with windows and buttons and stuff.

It’s available in Visual Studio 2017 (15.7) so click on that yellow flag.

So Fortnite Is a Big Game...

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2018 - 08:36 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, fortnite

According to the market research firm, SuperData, Fortnite brought in $296 million USD across all platforms (which currently means PC, console, and iOS) for the month of April. Just April. If you add March and April together, then it would be over half of a billion dollars.

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If it’s not clear why Epic’s other game, Paragon, was shut down with full refunds

This news comes a few days after Epic Games announced that it earmarked $100 million for Fortnite eSports competitions. The prize pool will be spread out over multiple events in the 2018-2019 season. I… I think I know where they got the money from. It still seems to be on the rise, too.

And yet, it’s still only 5th place on the PC ranking list, with League of Legends still at the top.

Source: SuperData

NVIDIA in the news

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2018 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: jen-hsun huang, GTC, HPC, nvswitch, tesla v100

Jen-Hsun Huang has a busy dance card right now, with several interesting tidbits hitting the news recently, including his statement in this DigiTimes post that GPU development is outstripping Moore's law. The GPU Technology Conference kicked off yesterday in Taiwan 2018, with NVIDIA showing off their brand new HGX-2 GPU which contains both AIs and HPCs with Deep Learnings a sure bet as well.  Buzzwords aside, the new accelerator is made up of 16  Tesla V100 GPUs, a mere half terabyte of memory and NVIDIA's NVSwitch.   Specialized products from Lenovo and Supermicro, to name a few, as well as cloud providers will also be picking up this newest peice of kit from NVIDIA. 

For those less interested in HPC, there is an interesting tidbit of information about an event at Hot Chips, on August 20th Stuart Oberman will be talking about NVIDIA’s Next Generation Mainstream GPU with other sessions dealing with their IoT and fabric connections.

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"But demand for that power is "growing, not slowing," thanks to AI, Huang said. "Before this time, software was written by humans and software engineers can only write so much software, but machines don't get tired," he said, adding that every single company in the world that develops software will need an AI supercomputer."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: NVIDIA