How much does the driver matter when playing Forza 7?

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2017 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: forza motorsport 7, amd, nvidia, vega 64, vega 56, gtx 1070, GTX 1080, gtx 1080 ti, gaming

[H]ard|OCP recently used Forza 7 in their GPU benchmarks and discovered that AMD's Vega 64 outperformed the GTX 1080 by a noticeable margin.  NVIDIA responded by releasing two new drivers in quick succession, claiming performance improvements of up to 25% in this title, which prompted [H] to revisit there results with the newest drivers from both companies.  They tested at both 1440p and at 4K and saw changes, though perhaps not as great as NVIDIA first announced.  Take a look at the review here and consider the question they pose in their conclusions.

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"Forza Motorsport 7 gaming performance has changed, video cards stack up differently when compared. We take Forza Motorsport 7 and apply new NVIDIA GeForce 387.92 and AMD Crimson ReLive 17.10.1 drivers to find out how these compare, what performance differences there are, and if AMD Radeon RX Vega is still king in this game."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Stalkers can choose to spend $1000 on a mobile ad instead of a private eye

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2017 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: security, spooky

Forget big brother tracking you via your phone, anyone with a bone to pick can stalk you via ad supported apps on your phone for around $1000.  Researchers conducted some disturbingly effective experiments where they created a banner which displayed geo-targeted ads and went through the usual process of paying to have it displayed inside an app, in this case Talkatone.  If the app was left open for more than four minutes, or opened twice in that same amount of time, they were able to pinpoint that phones location within 25 feet.  That let them map out a daily route, work and home addresses as well as many of the locations visited by the person bearing the phone.  Read the full article over at Wired and reconsider this the next time you are pondering installing an ad supported app on your phone.

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"They then used that DSP to place a geographic grid of location-targeted ad buys around a three-mile square section of Seattle, which for their tests they set to appear on the popular ad-supported calling and texting app Talkatone."

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Source: Wired

The new Windows 10 VR update falls upon us

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2017 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, creators update

Today marks the launch of the Windows 10 Fall Creators update which will be pushed out to your machine some time in the near future.  Microsoft will be taking it slowly, so if you do not see the update yet do not fret as it will come to you eventually.  If you can't possibly wait another second, you can install it manually instead of waiting for the recommended process via Windows Update.  The update includes Paint 3D and Story Remix, which brings back capabilities similar to the old MovieMaker, along with enhanced VR support and much more.  You can read some of the highlights over at The Inquirer.  

Remember patience is a virtue.

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"But the main update involves virtual reality (VR) support ready for the wealth of cheapish headsets that are on the way supporting Windows Holographic. Devices from HP and Acer lead the charge."

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Source: The Inquirer

Someone out there will be excited, Logitech's brand new MX Ergo trackball

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2017 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: trackball, logitech, MX Ergo, wireless, input

You do not see trackballs every often anymore; new product launches even less.  There are a group of users who will be very interested in this updated trackball from Logitech, either due to personal preference or a run in with carpal tunnel they never wish to repeat.  The trackball sits on a magnetic base plate with a pivot point that allows you to tilt the body up to 20o for greater comfort.  Logitech added basic Bluetooth connectivity in addition to their proprietary driver and dongle for those who do not wish yet another USB port occupied as well as switching to a rechargeable battery.  If you want to know more about what has been added, you can read The Tech Report's full review here.

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"It's been seven years since Logitech released a new trackball into the world. Join us to find out what Logitech has learned with time and whether it's kept up with some new blood."

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Report: Laptop Powered by AMD Ryzen APU Revealed in HP Datasheet

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2017 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: Vega M, Ryzen 5 2500U, ryzen, laptop, hp, Envy x360, APU, amd, 2-in-1

Details on the first notebook featuring an AMD Ryzen APU were revealed by HP from a data sheet on an upcoming Envy x360 2-in-1 notebook, though the PDF was subsequently pulled and now the page leads to a 404. Thankfully, VideoCardz.com has a screen capture:

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HP datasheet capture via VideoCardz.com

In addition to the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core CPU with integrated Radeon Vega M graphics, the notebook as configured offered just a single 8GB stick of DDR4-2400 - and we all know APU’s like memory bandwidth, so hopefully this will be offered with a dual-channel option (memory “up to 16GB” is offered).

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The current HP Envy x360 2-in-1 design (image credit: HP)

Storage for this Ryzen 5-powered 2-in-1 is listed as a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and the convertible design offers a 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS multi-touch display, premium B&O sound, and of course runs Windows 10.

Naturally, we'll have to wait for some official word from HP on this, as the page and document were apparently put up in error - but not before a few outlets (other than VideoCardz posts include ComputerBase and PC Gamer) released the details from the datasheet. Perhaps that will prompt an announcement? (Here's hoping.)

Don't let todays WiFi security Krack drive you into a panic

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2017 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: krack, wifi, security

If you are running Windows 7 or a more recent version and applied the patches from last Tuesday then you are essentially immune to KRACK attack, however older Android OS, Chromium, Linux, OpenBSD and Android Wear 2.0 are. There are several attacks that can be carried out via this vulnerability but all rely on modifying the key which connected devices use to protect data transferred over the wireless network.  KRACK replaces that key with one which the attacker has crafted, which allows them to intercept and decrypt packages sent over the wireless network, or to send there own disguised as an authenticated system.  Depending on the security you use and the OS you are on the attacker can carry out a variety of tasks, which Ars Technica describes in full.

If you are running an older Android device, especially one which no longer receives regular updates you should be concerened, Apple will offer a patch soon as will Google; for now if you have an up to date installation of Windows, the risks have been minimized thanks to the recent patches from Microsoft.

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"While Windows and iOS devices are immune to one flavor of the attack, they are susceptible to others. And all major operating systems are vulnerable to at least one form of the KRACK attack. And in an addendum posted today, the researchers noted that things are worse than they appeared at the time the paper was written."

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Source: Ars Technica

Want another reason to dump that HDD? It can be used as a microphone

Subject: General Tech | October 13, 2017 - 01:01 PM |
Tagged: security, paranoia, microphone, hdd, hack

Some of you may remember the days when it was inadvisable to yell at a HDD array, the latency issue has been mostly overcome with the advances in technology over the last decade.  That does not mean it is completely gone, as the read head in a HDD cannot read from a disk that is oscillating due to external input such as sound, and those tiny delays are how this researcher was able to use the HDD as a low quality microphone.  He also found a tone which created even more latency than in that video; enough to have a system drop the disk as bad.  There are links to the research over at Slashdot, including the new improved way to verbally abuse your storage devices.

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"It's not accurate yet to pick up conversations," Ortega told Bleeping Computer in a private conversation. "However, there is research that can recover voice data from very low-quality signals using pattern recognition. I didn't have time to replicate the pattern-recognition portion of that research into mine. However, it's certainly applicable."

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Source: Slashdot

Hollywood Plexes it's muscles and now offers a digital movie locker and store

Subject: General Tech | October 12, 2017 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: movies anywhere, plex, Amazon Video, google play, itunes, vudu

Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Entertainment have teamed up to offer Movies Anywhere, a service that provides access to stores for purchasing movies as well as a place to store and watch them.  The access to stores is what differentiates this from Plex, as Amazon, Google, iTunes, and Vudu all use the same DRM technology this new service will show you the results of a movie search on all four of those providers and let you purchase them using your existing accounts.  If you link those accounts to your Movies Anywhere account, any previously purchased movies will appear under your new account.  Currently there is an offer for a few free movies for those who sign up; there is no fee to do so.  Check out more information at Ars Technica.

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"Signing up for a Movies Anywhere account gives you access to the digital locker, which you can then populate with purchased or redeemed movies by logging in to the accounts you have with those online retailers."

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Source: Ars Technica

Podcast #471 - Intel Coffee Lake, Lenovo ThinkPad, and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 12, 2017 - 01:04 PM |
Tagged: Z390, Z370, windows 10 mobile, video, ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25, Thinkpad, strix, Q370, Q360, podcast, Mechwarrior, maximus x, Lenovo, Hydro 750W, H370, H310, GTX 1070Ti, fsp, evga, enermax, edge, coffee lake, B360, asus

PC Perspective Podcast #471 - 10/12/17

Join us for discussion on Intel Coffee Lake, Lenovo ThinkPad, 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, Jermey Hellstrom, Ken Addison, Sebastian Peak

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:40:25

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
        1. 6.8Ghz under load
  2. News items of interest:
      1. Consumer: H310, H370, and B360
      2. Server / Workstation Q370 and Q360
      3. Maybe a Z390 to replace Z370?
      1. ICQ is still around though! With stickers!
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  4. Closing/outro

 

Source:

MechWarrior returns

Subject: General Tech | October 11, 2017 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: gaming, mechwarrior 5, unreal engine 4

There will still be a long wait for a new mech game, but at least now we are waiting on a definite product or two.  Piranha Games have started showing off gameplay of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and those who have tried it have been quite impressed.  MechWarrior Online has been somewhat satisfying but there are many that have missed a campaign based single player game.  This new game will share the DNA of previous Mercenary releases, putting you in complete charge of a mercenary lance of mechs, searching for contracts that bring in enough money to keep your mechs repaired and provide your pilots salaries.  PC Gamer had some hands on time with the new game as well as a discussion with the developers.  Head on over to take a peek.

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"To that end, MechWarrior 5 will feature an unprecedented number of mechs to choose from. "Most MechWarrior games have had maybe 12 to 15 different mech chassis," Bullock explains. “We’re looking at having upwards of 60 chassis with 300 to 400 variants. You could probably play the game multiple times within just one Great House’s space and see different combinations on the free market.""

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Source: PC Gamer