Watch Ken and Allyn (eventually) build the Geeek A50 ITX chassis

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2018 - 04:40 PM |
Tagged: sffpc, SFF, itx, i7-8086k, geeek, b350-i, a50

Apropos of nothing, we decided to turn the studio cameras on this Friday morning and livestream our assembly of the Geeek A50 Mini ITX chassis for an upcoming review.

Join us as we build, and rebuild the chassis from in all of it's aluminum extrusion and acrylic panel glory while answering questions from the chat room along the way. Just try not to be too frustrated when we obviously are messing it all up.

Source: Geeek

Is your surfing experience Baroque lately? Try out Vivaldi 2.0

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2018 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: web browser, vivaldi, vivaldi 2.0

Vivaldi has been around since 2015, but many have never heard of the alternative web browser.  The browser is built on Chromium 69 but the interface offers far more than others; stacked tabs, dual tab view, control suggestions and even enough keyboard control you don't need to use a mouse.  It is also able to synchronize your bookmarks, preferences,  history and even passwords across systems, though as Ars Technica warns, you should ensure you have created a Vivaldi password so that they can encrypt all of that data.

Intrigued?  Check out the details here.

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"Roughly a year and a half later, Vivaldi has recently hit the 2.0 milestone. You can download the latest version from the Vivaldi site or install it through the app store or package manager of your OS. And at first blush, perhaps the most shocking thing about this release is that it's merely 2.0."

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Source: Ars Technica

Get RGB blinkenlichten on that mousepad! Schnell Cooler Master, schnell!

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2018 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, MP860, RGB, mousepad, blinkenlichten, input

Cooler Master have added RGBs to their new MP860 mouse mat, along with the Portal app to control them.  No longer are you forced to shamefully mouse on a boring old pad, for life without breathing, marquee or random blinking lights is no way for a mouse or gamer to live!  For the boring people who actually want to know how this pad is designed, it measures 36.3x26cm (14x10.3") and has both an aluminium and cloth side you can flip between based on your mood. 

The Tech Report will be more than happy to show it off to you here.

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"Cooler Master's MP860 mouse pad jazzes things up with two separate mousing surfaces and a ring of RGB LED zones around its perimeter. We see whether this RGB LED mousing sandwich enhances the gaming experience."

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Samsung has scratched the 7nm itch

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2018 - 01:11 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 7nm

A few short years ago 7nm was a holy grail, something to be sought for but unlikely to be successful.  The richest knight in the kingdom is still seeking their goal, while the squires have already got one.  AMD is doing well with their process but it is Sir Samsung whom has met with the most success.  Their trusty EUV proved up to the task and they are no longer seeking a 7nm process and have moved onto sharing the benefits of their quest with the world.  The new chips will be Low Power Plus, and find their way into smartphones, and cell providers, IoT devices and many other applications in the small endian market.  The Inquirer posted a look at how they got there, as well as some definitions if this is all Gallic to you. 

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"Normally argon fluoride immersion tech is used for chip lithography. But Samsung is touting the advantages of EUV in cutting down the number of masks needed to allow for the stencilling of transistors on silicon in a certain pattern, and thus cuts down on the time and costs of producing chips."

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Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #518 - Join us this week for discussion on the NVIDIA RTX 2070, ARM Neoverse, and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2018 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: rtx 2070 black edition, rtx 2070 armor, RTX 2070, podcast, nvidia, Neoverse, msi, evga, arm

PC Perspective Podcast #518 - 10/18/18

Join us this week for discussion on the NVIDIA RTX 2070, ARM Neoverse, 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: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Ken Addison, Jim Tanous

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 59:46

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 0:51:10 Allyn: Flashlights. Have them.
    2. 0:52:45 Ken: Cheap VESA Arm
  4. Closing/outro

A new player arrives to sow Discord in the game streaming market

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2018 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: gaming, game streaming. discord nitro, discord

Discord, the popular online communications software have finally moved their game shopping and streaming service into beta.   For a $10/month fee you gain access to quite a few games, ranging from the absurd, through old classics to relatively new releases.  If there is a game you are looking for not covered under the subscription fee you may be able to find it for sale in their online store.  If you are interested you can check it out for a month, or subscribe for a whole year to save a bit of cash.  Cheers to [H]ard|OCP for spotting that this morning.

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"Discord Nitro now includes a growing library of critically acclaimed games that we think you and your friends should play. Subscribing to Nitro now costs $9.99 a month. As of today, there's over 60 curated games for you to download and play at a total value of over $1000."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Do Not Track is no more effective than placebo

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2018 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: do not track, placebo, fooled you, security

To the cynics among us it will come as no surprise that the Do Not Track option on your browser does almost nothing to protect your privacy.  The option was conceived as an additional string sent out with your metadata, DNT:1, which the website you connected to would receive and honour.  That, of course, is the rub.  You have to trust sites which depend, at least in part, on advertising revenue to refrain from targeting you with advertisements.  This does not happen apart for a very few exceptions which has led Mozilla to consider incorporating stronger protections in their browser. 

Follow the links from Slashdot to learn more.

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"According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, a quarter of American adults use "Do Not Track" to protect their privacy. (Our own stats at Gizmodo Media Group show that 9% of visitors have it turned on.) We've got bad news for those millions of privacy-minded people, though: "Do Not Track" is like spray-on sunscreen, a product that makes you feel safe while doing little to actually protect you. "

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Source: Slashdot

ARM Unveils "Neoverse" Infrastructure

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2018 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: UMC, TSMC, Samsung, Neoverse, cosmos, cortex, arm, Ares, A76, 7nm, 7+nm, 5nm

This morning ARM is announcing their new design and technology push called "ARM Neoverse". Neoverse is aimed at providing scalable solutions utilizing ARM technology from the edge to the core datacenter. ARM obviously is well known for the end user solutions that we see in phones, tablets, and now laptops. What most do not realize is that ARM has a significant reach in much of the infrastructure that powers the entire user experience. ARM currently holds around a 30% marketshare for powering high end routers and switches used at the enterprise level. The type of equipment we are talking about here are not the home routers or generic switches, but rather the heavy lifting units that literally power the internet after the requests get out of users houses or from their mobile devices.
 
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The Neoverse roadmap consists of four platforms stretching from now til 2021. Each platform is expected to receive around a 30% increase in overall performance due to a combination of architectural changes as well as process technology improvements. The current architecture is codenamed "Cosmos" and it is based on current 16nm parts. This is followed by the "Ares" platform which will utilize the latest Cortex A76 designs and 7nm process. In 2020 this will transition to the "Zeus" platform which will leverage the latest improvements in 7nm+ process technologies. Finally they expect to release the "Poseidon" platform in 2021 which will be based on a cutting edge 5nm process.
 
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ARM has been slowly building up their technology base through the past several decades to include more and more functionality and features across their entire portfolio. Of great interest is how seriously ARM considers security. The latest designs include some of the most robust security measures integrated on chips. From TrustZone to CryptoIsland, ARM has a very well thought out and implemented security suite that is absolutely necessary for the next generation of connected devices. This again extends from handheld devices to the depths of the data center. We are surrounded by stories of compromised devices and software, so having the extensive security measures designed from the ground up available to partners helps to cement ARM's place in trusted computing.
 
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The amount of IP available to partners is impressive. ARM not only offers the core technologies of CPUs and GPUs, but also the latest machine learning units and encryption accelerators. The fabric that holds it all together is also flexible and scalable from mobile solutions to 100G+ ethernet. This also includes memory controllers that can scale up to 8 units delivering TBs/sec of bandwidth.
 
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It really is impressive to see how far ARM has come in the past decade since the launch of the first iPhone. What was once considered a small, but still important CPU design firm is now the power behind billions of shipping products that power the mobile experience and beyond. ARM has taken the momentum from its first big successes and is now a major force for change that stretches far beyond those initial mobile and low power products. The Neoverse only adds to this. ARM has already found success in powering much of the infrastructure of our modern day networks, but this is looking to take things to another level. Partners will have access to cutting edge IP and solutions to quickly bring specialized and high performing products to market in very short periods of time.
 
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Going forward we will start hearing more about these Neoverse implementations starting with current Cosmos products and spreading quickly throughout the next year with Ares. ARM has so far continued to execute on their roadmaps and provide new and compelling products to their partners on a yearly basis. This does not look to change anytime soon.
Source: ARM

but ... it's only illegal for the other printer companies to disable ink cartridges!

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2018 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: dirty pool, ink, epson

Unsatisfied with charging more for ink by weight than a variety of rare metals, once again a printer maker is disabling your ability to use third party ink cartridges.  The most recent attempt at this was by Lexmark, who blocked the use of refilled cartridges until the US Supreme Court ruled this to be illegal and forced them to stop.  Before them it was HP who attempted this, though at least they backed off before a court case was filed; not that they don't attempt to do it again occasionally.

Today it is Epson attempting these shenanigans, after sneaking in a way to block the use of third party cartridges in an update they claimed was actually to improve the security of their printers.  Apparently they are hoping that this time they will succeed in monopolizing their ink, even with the previous failures mentioned.  The EFF have already sent a letter to the Texas Attorney General and are looking for customers in other locations to lodge complaints so they can file in other districts.

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"Printer maker Epson is under fire this month from activist groups after a software update prevented customers from using cheaper, third party ink cartridges. It's just the latest salvo in a decades-long effort by printer manufacturers to block consumer choice, often by disguising printer downgrades as essential product improvements."

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Source: Slashdot

Meet TCL's Palm Palm, a kitten like phone

Subject: General Tech | October 15, 2018 - 01:23 PM |
Tagged: palm, tcl, mobile phone

As strange as it seems, TCL is launching a new Palm product which is thankfully not running a new version of WebOS but instead has gone with Android 8.1.  The phone is very cute, with a tiny 3.3" display, and a body of 96.6x50.6mm (3.8x2") in total.  Inside you will find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, 3GB of RAM, and an 800mAh battery, for connectivity USB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE.  This Palm will fit in your hand and you won't get a lot of things done with the minimalist hardware, providing the similarity to a kitten, including the powerful attraction some will feel towards it.

Ars Technica has the rest of what is known about the Palm Palm here, including what TCL imagines you will use it for.

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"If you recall, Palm, creator of the Palm Pilot and WebOS, bombed out of the smartphone market and was purchased by HP. Palm died at HP after a short run of tablets and smartphones, and eventually Chinese smartphone company TCL snatched up the rights to the Palm brand in 2014, and things have been quiet since then."

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Source: Ars Technica