Crossing a Viper with a mechanical Patriot

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2019 - 04:30 PM |
Tagged: input, Viper V765 RGB, patriot, mechanical keyboard, Kailh

If you are rough on your keyboards but aren't willing to simply keep replacing cheap models then take a look at the Patriot Viper V765 RGB keyboard.  It has an IP56 rating which means it is protected well against Cheez-it dust getting in as well as being able to handle any spills short of full immersion.  The Kailh white box switches will feel similar to Cherry MX Blue, if you are familiar with them, and feature RGB backlighting as you probably guessed. 

Modders-Inc were impressed by both the physical keyboard as well as the software to control it; which you can see for yourself here.

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"It seems I end up starting every peripheral review the same way. By saying that peripherals are the most subjective thing that we review and how what I may like, you may not. That’s statement is especially true when it comes to keyboards. Everyone has their preference when it comes to typing and or gaming."

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Source: Modders-Inc

Keep me searching for an atomic heart of gold

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2019 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: Atomic Heart, gaming

You can now watch 10 minutes of gameplay from Atomic Heart, which is currently scheduled to be released some time before the end of the year.  You don't get to see a lot of the game, nor are their much in the way of spoilers but it does give you a feel for the atmosphere, which is quite something to behold.  The various critters encountered are fascinating and completely mysterious, not to mention the cow and chickens.

Pop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a gander.

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"I’ve enjoyed the look of Atomic Heart since its announcement last year and after watching a new ten-minute gameplay video I’m glad to say yep, I still don’t understand its whole ‘strange Soviet sci-fi theme park turns into horrorhell’ thing. That’s good."

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He's got the whole world (wide web) in his phone

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 30, 2019 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: Terabyte, Samsung, eUFS, 1TB, smartphones

Samsung wants to make sure you don't run out of space on your phone by upping their game and providing 1TB of embedded Universal Flash Storage on a single chip.  The new chip is physically similar to the current 512GB version, so you won't have to buy a phablet to download all your 4K cat videos for offline viewing.  They have also increased speeds at the same time, as we have become accustomed to with other flash storage, with Ars Technica reporting sequential reads of up to 1,000Mbps

Rumour has it we might see this as a choice in the upcoming Galaxy S10.

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"The 1TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung."

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Source: Ars Technica

Big trouble in little TSMC

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2019 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: amd, nvidia, TSMC

In case you have yet to hear, TSMC's production line is suffering after ingesting some sub-par chemicals, which has "caused wafers to have lower yield".  It was originally reported that it was the 16n and 14nm process nodes which were effected, used by NVIDIA and MediaTek GPUs as well as AMD's Xbox One X and PS4 APUs.  

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The Inquirer followed up with TSMC who stated the initial reports were incorrect and that it is roughly 10,000 wafers on the 12nm and 16nm nodes at Fab 14B in southern Taiwan which received the bad batch, nodes used by Huawei, MediaTek, and NVIDIA but not AMD. 

TSMC still expects to meet market demands; they have dropped enough from last year that they announced expected Q1 2019 revenue will decline by 22%.  Hopefully this is not the start of another problematic year for TSMC, who had to deal with a WannaCry infection last summer. 

AMD, with their focus on the 7nm node, might have a bit of an opportunity if this does cause any temporary shortages of NVIDIA GPUs on the market. 

Source: The Register

Cooler Master Releases New Tenkeyless Keyboards, the MK730 and CK530

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2019 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged: MK730, CK530, tenkeyless, Gateron, cherry, mechanical keyboard, cooler master, input, RGB

Cooler Master have released two new mechanical TKL keyboards, the CK530 featuring Gateron Red, Blue or Brown switches and the MK730 with Cherry switches of the same flavours. 

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The CK530 features an aluminium body and is designed to fit into a bag so you can take it with you on the road.  The RGBs behind the keys can be programmed on the fly, with each separately programmable to show your choice of the 16.7 million available colours.  You can switch between 6KRO and NKRO in case you are using legacy applications, and macros can be quickly and easily programmed, as well as letting you switch between profiles to enhance your experience.  Those with a fetish for keycaps will be pleased to know CM used standard sizes so you can easily swap out the originals for your preferred type. 

You should be able to find it for sale on Amazon for $70.

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The MK730 looks similar but offers additional features to the ones mentioned above, such as a magnetically attached soft PU leather wrist rest for easing those aching wrists.  It connects with a removable USB-C cord, to ensure it isn't bashed when you are moving it around.  The Cherry switches on this model are hidden behind double-shot PBT keycaps, with the same uniform design to make replacing them with your preferred variety simple. 

The MK730 will set you back a bit more, $120 on Amazon.

Source: Coolermaster

Rust keeps on spinin', spinin', spinin'; into the future

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2019 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: hdd, spinning rust, failure, mtbf

Backblaze have been one of the larger remote backup providers for quite some time now, and running their 104,778 HDDs gives them a lot of insight into drive failures.  They are kind enough to share their data with the public, to give a bit of insight into how many of their various drives have failed.  The data does not represent the findings of a proper scientific study but the sample size is large enough to give an idea how WD, Toshiba, Seagate and Hitachi drives fare in the wild. 

The Register is quite impressed with the overall durability of the drives, including the Toshiba 5TB drives, none of which have failed since the 45 of them were deployed in Q2 2016.

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"Just 139 out of 10,000 12TB Seagate drives fail a year, and Western Digital's HGST brand has an even better rate of 51 in 10,000, according to cloud backup service provider Backblaze, which has 104,778 drives spinning in its data centre."

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Source: The Register
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

The Cherry MX Low Profile Difference

The market for mechanical gaming keyboards is exploding. Everyone, even companies you would never expect (I’m looking at you Creative Labs!), seems to have their own line of PC gaming accessories. But what really sets them apart? The answer is, sadly, not much; the existence of media keys or a volume roller, how good the software is, the occasional quirky layout.

Then there are the unique keyboards. We’ve looked at a few of them here. Today we’re adding another one to the list with the Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile Gaming Keyboard.

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The SK630 features a flat, slimmed down design that could make any Apple fan feel right at home. Add to that full RGB backlighting, brand new Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Red switches, and massive amounts of software-free programmability and you can begin to see why this might catch more than a few eyes. With a list price of $119.99 this is not exactly a budget option, so let’s dive in and see if it’s worth the cost of entry.


Specifications

  • Switch Type: Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Switch
  • Actuation Point: 1.2mm
  • Travel Distance: 3.2mm
  • Switch Lifespan: 50M actuations
  • Material: Aluminum/Plastic
  • Color: Gunmetal Black
  • LED Color: RGB
  • Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
  • Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
  • MCU: 32-bit ARM Cortex M3
  • Onboard Memory: 512KB
  • On-the-fly System: Yes, for multimedia, Macro recording, and lighting control
  • Multimedia Keys: Through Function Key (FN)
  • Cable: 1.8m, USB Type-C Detachable & Braided
  • Software Support: Yes, through Portal
  • Dimensions: 353.5 x 125.5 x 29.8 mm (L*W*H)
  • Product Weight (without cable): 552g
  • Weight: 593g
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • List Price: $119.99

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Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile keyboard.

I can hear the RGBs!

Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2019 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: optoacoustic effect, audio

There are a variety of ways to send targeted audio, which can only be heard when standing in  a specific are.  Generally this is accomplished by broadcasting sounds at a frequency to high to be perceived by humans, until it encounters specific interference which lowers the frequency into an audible range.  This is currently used for targeted advertising, or for driving people nuts if you consider the two separate. 

Today The Register posted a new way to provide targeted audio, which uses light instead of high frequency audio to transmit the signal.  Previously this was used in medical imaging techniques, this particular application is new.  The light interacts with water in the atmosphere to provide audio to a specific location, using what is termed the optoacoustic effect.  The moisture in question is insignificant, the humidity in the air and that produced by exhalation is enough for this to be effective.  Pop by for more information on this; though there is no confirmation that wearing an RGB headset will enhance or interfere with transmission.

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"Water is among a class of materials that can emit sound after they absorb light, and according to a paper in Optics Letters, a correctly tuned laser can be modulated to deliver human-audible sounds this way."

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Source: The Register

That's the first rule of Input Club, Kira!

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2019 - 05:31 PM |
Tagged: input, NovelKey, mechanical keyboard, kira, Kailh, input club, Hako, cherry

Input Club Inc, which should be called InC Inc, successfully kickstarted the "ultimate full size mechanical keyboard" which they named Kira.  The designers obviously have strong feelings about keyboards as TechPowerUp alludes to some interesting behind the scenes drama involving the design team's past.  If you also share a passion for specific keyboard designs then you might want to check out their review.  The Kira offers you a lot of choice in addition to a compact design, you can choose from a variety of Cherry, Kailh, Hako, and NovelKey switches and you can easily reprogram every single key via their software if you prefer Dvorak, Colemak or other layouts than the default QWERTY. 

It is rather expensive, $169–$259 to pre-order and is thoroughly infested with RGBs, but there is a price to pay for loving keyboards this much.

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"The Input Club Kira keyboard arose as a design with lofty goals and even higher expectations from the community that helped crowdfund it. Now as a retail product, it is available in a variety of switches, case frames, colors, and even as a kit. No matter the choice, the final product does justice to light, its name, in more ways than one."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Remember when steganography was going to be used for good?

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2019 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: steganography, Java, security, ios, VeryMal

In the ancient times before the turn of the millennia, steganography was going to be the way to stick it to the man, offering a way to hide secrets in plain sight by embedding data in pictures.  It is much older than that, dating back thousands of years but it wasn't until the mid-80's that it was brought to mainstream computing.  It is in the headlines today as Confiant and Malwarebytes have detected it being used to hide code in banner ads and taking advantage of a JavaScript vulnerability on Macs to redirect browsers to a site where you get the opportunity to install a Flash 'update'.  It looks to have been most active between January 11th and 13th, but evidence suggests it was active since December, so make sure to update your protection ASAP.

If you are interested in how VeryMal works, The Register has a good write up here.

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"A strain of malware has been clocked using steganography to run malicious JavaScript on Macs via images in online banner ads, it was claimed this week."

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Source: The Register