Sourcing and shipping the Superconference badge

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2017 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: tindie, superconference badge, hacking

You may remember Al's reaction to one of the other products being shown on Tindie when we were looking at Ken's pick on Podcast 475.  The Hack a Day Superconference badge is an impressive peice of hardware and people did some pretty impressive things with it, once they got their hands on it.  However, that is not the entire story as Hack a Day have shared the trials and tribulations of sourcing the components, building the badges and shipping them off to participants before the Superconference began.  If you are curious about how this process would work, or are considering creating some hardware which you eventually intend to sell or distribute, you should read through the process and see what they learned and if you can apply it to your own projects.

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"Already we’ve gone over the gory details of what this badge does, and now it’s time to talk about the perils of building large numbers of an electronic conference badge. This is the hardware demoscene, artisanal manufacturing, badgelife, and an exploration of exactly how far you can push a development schedule to get these badges out the door and into the hands of eager badge hackers and con attendees."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Intel Z390 Chipset Spotted on Upcoming SuperMicro Motherboard

Subject: General Tech, Chipsets | November 16, 2017 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Z390, coffee lake, thunderbolt 3

Last month a leaked roadmap appeared online teasing several upcoming Intel chipsets slated for release early next year. The new chipsets were optimized for Coffee Lake processors and include H370, B360, and H310 in the first quarter and Q370 and Q360 (for enterprise customers) in Q2 2018. The most interesting chipset however is Z390 which was mentioned in the roadmap but with hardly any details at all about it. Thanks to a SiSoft database listing and a couple recent leaks there is now slightly bit more information on the upcoming chipset.

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Specifically, the Intel Z390 chipset was spotted in a SuperMicro C7Z390-PGW motherboard along with an undetected 92W Coffee Lake 6 core / 12 thread processor (perhaps SiSoft is simply incorrectly reading a 8700K or it’s an unreleased slightly more power efficient SKU). More interesting though is the continuing tease of possible 8 core (16 thread) consumer Core processors being released for these new Z390 chipset-based motherboards. The rumor mill is going all in on salt futures on this one it seems. What we still don’t know is what architecture these rumored 8 core chips will use, whether Coffee Lake or Cannon Lake (I’m leaning towards CNL but an 8 core Coffee Lake chip, while large, is not out of the question.)

The Z390 chipset will reportedly add a SoundWire digital audio interface with quad core DSP, integrated Intel Wireless AC (Wi-fi + BT CNVi), integrated SDXC 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3.0 with DisplayPort 1.4 support (using the Titan Ridge controller). The chipset further supports C10 and S0ix

In the last bit of Intel chipset rumors for today, rumors are also spreading suggesting that Intel may be moving up the launch of the Z390 chipset to the first quarter of next year to better compete with AMD and its Pinnacle Ridge (Ryzen 2000 / Zen+) processors and Promontory X400 series chipsets (e.g. X470 and B450) which are allegedly coming in January. Basically, it’s going to be a crazy CES for motherboard and processor soft launches and product teases / announcements!

What are your thoughts on Z390 being spotted in the wild this early?

Source: Videocardz

Podcast #476 - Scythe Coolers, Huawei MateBook E, EA for better or worse, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2017 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: video, youtube, wolfenstein, vesa, scythe, phanteks, nvidia shield, nvidia, NVDIMM, micron, matebook, Huawei, fsp, ea, podcast

PC Perspective Podcast #476 - 11/16/17

Join us for discussion on Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 1:44:19

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
    1. 0:06:15 Podcast 475 Recap
  2. 0:37:30 AD BREAK HelloFresh
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  5. Closing/outro

Source:

The Wolfensteins of Vulkan in the spotlight

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2017 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Wolfenstein 2, vulkan, amd, nvidia

[H]ard|OCP took a close look at the new Wolfenstein game, covering the new graphics options which appear in the menus as well as the bugs that could be caused by then, not to mention the benchmarking.  For this Vulkan game they chose three AMD cards and four NVIDIA cards to test with a variety of thsoe options enabled as well as looking at the effect resolution has on your performance.  As we have seen in other recent games, AMD's Vega 64 is a strong contender at 4K resolutions, surpassing the GTX 1080 but not quite matching its 1080 Ti brother.  It is also worth noting this game loves VRAM, in fact 8GB is not enough for Uber settings.  Read through the full review for performance numbers as well as insight into the best graphics settings to chose.

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"Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is out; this new game uses the id Tech 6 game engine and Vulkan API to give you a great gaming experience on the PC with today’s latest GPUs. We will compare performance features, see what settings work best, find what is playable in the game and compare performance among several video cards."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The phones are taking all the DRAM memory

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2017 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged:

Once again we have bad news about RAM prices for consumers and great news for manufacturers.  The price rose an average of 5% this past quarter, continuing the upwards trend we have been seeing for quite some time now.  The supply shortage is due to several factors but the dominant one would be the smartphone industry which has vastly increased overall demand for DRAM.  Currently demand far outstrips supply, though as new fabs come online and current ones complete their upgrades to new process technology we should hopefully see a levelling in prices.  As The Inquirer points out, this is not bad news for Samsung, SK Hynix or Micron who are all seeing very nice profits. 

Next time you are thinking about purchasing that shiny new phone, think about your computer for a moment before pressing add to cart.

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"Prices, according to DRAMeXchange, increased by around five per cent in the third quarter, and buyers can expect to pay even more in the foreseeable future."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

A win for the rebels against EA's Empire

Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2017 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: gaming, ea, Star Wars Battlefront 2

Loot boxes may look good on paper as a way to generate extra revenue from a game but in reality they are incredibly unpopular with those who buy games.  Originally EA had set the price of unlocking your first playable hero at 60,000 in game credits.  According to the math done in the article Slashdot linked to, that would entail around 40 hours of gameplay assuming you never used any for the various other unlocks EA charges credits for.  As EA limits the amount of credits you can earn at one time in arcade mode, most of those hours would need to be spent in multiplayer games as opposed to enjoying the game in peace and quiet.  Of course, you could always pay money for them, $450 or so would unlock a hero.

In this case EA actually listened to their prospective customers, dropping the credit requirements for heroes by 75%; the loot boxes remain of course.

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"Most importantly, Electronic Arts today announced that they are reducing the number of credits needed to unlock top characters in the game by 75 percent. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now cost 15,000 credits. Emperor Palatine, Chewbacca and Leia Organa will now cost 10,000 and Iden will cost 5,000."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Iceberg Interactive

A quiet facade

Iceberg Interactive, whom you may know from games like Killing Floor or the Stardrive series have released a new strategy game called Oriental Empires, and happened to send me a copy to try out.

On initial inspection it resembles recent Civilization games but with a more focused design as you take on a tribe in ancient China and attempt to become Emperor, or at least make your neighbours sorry that they ever met you.  Until you have been through 120 turns of the Grand Campaign you cannot access many of the tribes; not a bad thing as that first game is your tutorial.  Apart from an advisor popping up during turns or events, the game does not hold your hand and instead lets you figure out the game on your own.

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That minimalist ideal is featured throughout the entire game, offering one of the cleanest interfaces I've seen in a game.  All of the information you need to maintain and grow your empire is contained in a tiny percentage of the screen or in a handful of in game menus.  This plays well as the terrain and look of the campaign map is quite striking and varies noticeably with the season.

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Spring features cherry blossom trees as well as the occasional flooding.

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Summer is a busy season for your workers and perhaps your armies.

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Fall colours indicate the coming of winter and snow.

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Which also shrouds the peaks in fog.  The atmosphere thus created is quite relaxing, somewhat at odds with many 4X games and perhaps the most interesting thing about this game.

In these screenshots you can see the entire GUI that gives you the information you need to play.  The upper right shows your turn, income and occaisonally a helpful advsor offering suggestions.  Below that you will find a banner that toggles between displaying three lists.  The first is of your cites and their current build queues and population information, the second lists your armies compositions and if they currently have any orders while the last displays any events which effect your burgeoning empire.  The bottom shows your leader and his authority which, among other things, indicates the number of cities you can support without expecting quickly increasing unrest. 

The right hand side lets you bring up the only other five menus which you use in this game.  From top to bottom they offer you diplomacy, technology, Imperial edicts you can or have applied to your Empire, player statistics to let you know how you are faring and the last offering detailed statistics of your empire and those competing tribes you have met.

Next, a bit about the gameplay mechanics.

Speed Metal on the Desktop

Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2017 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: 3d printing, metal, Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal's new printer follows the same design process as current 3D metal printing, layers of metal powder, wax and a plastic binding agent are sprayed out by an inkjet-like device.  Upon completion of the print, the item is submerged in a debinding fluid which disolves the wax and then spends some time in a furnace to burn off the binding agent and set the powder leaving the final product between 96 and 99.8% metal.  This process is currently handled much more quickly via traditional tool and die, however Desktop Metal told The Register their new printer operates at 100 times the speed of the competition and at a very competitive price to either tool and die or 3D printing.  It will be interesting to see if this applies to a wide enough variety of prints and provides high enough quality to unseat the incumbent processes.

DM_logo.jpg

"Desktop Metal, based in Boston, USA, has opened up pre-orders for its Studio System which uses inkjet-like technology, rather than laser-based techniques, to produce precision metal parts."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: YouTube

YouTube TV for NVIDIA SHIELD

When YouTube TV first launched earlier this year, it had one huge factor in its favor compared to competing subscription streaming services: local channels. The service wasn't available everywhere, but in the markets where it was available, users were able to receive all of their major local networks. This factor, combined with its relatively low subscription price of $35 per month, immediately made YouTube TV one of the best streaming options, but it also had a downside: device support.

At launch YouTube TV was only available via the Chrome browser, iOS and Android, and newer Chromecast devices. There were no native apps for popular media devices like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. But perhaps the most surprising omission was support for Android TV via devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD. Most of the PC Perspective staff personally use the SHIELD due to its raw power and capabilities, and the lack of YouTube TV support on Google's own media platform was disappointing.

youtube-tv-shield-home.jpg

Thankfully, Google recently addressed this omission and has finally brought a native YouTube TV app to the SHIELD with the SHIELD TV 6.1 Update.

Check out our overview of the YouTube TV on SHIELD experience.

Podcast #475 - Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2017 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: video, titan xp, teleport, starcraft 2, raja koduri, radeon, qualcomm, podcast, nvidia, Intel, centriq, amplifi, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #475 - 11/09/17

Join us for discussion on Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:29:42

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. 0:35:30 CASPER
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:13:40 Allyn: Relatively cheap Samsung 82” (!!!) 4K TV
    2. 1:23:45 Josh: 1800X for $399!!!!!
    3. 1:24:50 Ken: The Void Wallet
  5. Closing/outro

Source: