Rumour time; Ryzen Whitehaven specs

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: whitehaven, s3, ryzen, rumour, amd

wccftech is reporting on two engineering samples of new AMD processors which feature 16 cores and 32 threads with a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz and a base clock of 3.0GHz.  They have pictures of the architecture you can look over contained in this post.  This chip will also use a new socket, called S3, marking a nice change in a company that stuck with the AM3(+) chipset for the better part of a decade.  The chips will support quad channel DDR4 as well as expanded PCIe lanes to offer better storage options as well as PCIe slots.  AMD is aiming at offering some competition to Intel's upcoming release of Skylake-X, we should know more at Computex at the end of this month as AMD is expected to officially announce the product at that show.

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"AMD’s upcoming 16 core enthusiast Ryzen “Whitehaven” CPUs have been spotted. The new processors will come in variations of up to 16 cores and 32 threads and will support quad-channel DDR4 memory."

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Source: wccftech

Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver, get high quality audio from your podcasts, radio and more

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: WFT-3 Digital Receiver, Sangean, audio

The Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver looks like most stereo equipment until you look at the inputs.  There you will find an ethernet port, WiFi antenna and USB plug in addition to a radio antenna and various audio out plugs.  It connects to the internet to provide you access to your podcasts and Spotify, as well as being able to play directly off of a USB drive or receive local FM radio signals if you are a fan of any particular stations.  Drop by NikKTech for a look.

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"Thanks to its ability to receive Internet / DAB / DAB+ and FM-RDS radio and also function as a Network and USB audio media player the WFT-3 digital receiver by Sangean packs quite a punch especially when compared to similar products."

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Source: NikKTech

Even the coffee cups might make you Prey

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:16 PM |
Tagged: gaming, prey

Ars Technica is exploring Talos I, the setting of the game Prey and are having a great time.  Similar to the other reviews below this is a quick look at the beginning of the game for Bethesda did not provide any reviewers with an advanced copy.  After the introduction you find yourself equipped with nothing but a wrench and a "Gloo gun", in a station filled with alien Typhon Mimics which can turn into any inanimate object and lay in wait for you.  If you are undecided if this game is worth picking up then read through the article and decide for yourself.

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"Owing to Bethesda's recently enacted policy of withholding review copies until just before release, we've barely had five hours of in-game time with Prey prior to the game's launch today. Consider these impressions a review-in-progress as we work toward the game's conclusion. This piece includes spoilers for some very early portions of the game."

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Source: Ars Technica

Meet Google's Fuchsia OS

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: fuschia, google, Android, iot

Fuchsia is still a work in progress which has been available on Github for a while now but we haven't really seen a  demonstration of it in action.  A Texan enthusiast has been working on creating one and you can take a peek at it in this video over at The Register.  The tiny OS is design to run on almost anything, from smart light bulbs to phone and even full sized computers.  It is based on BSD with additional resources developed at MIT and will be backwards compatible with current Android libraries.

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"When Fuchsia broke cover last August, we noted the project's ambition. The presence of a compositor indicated it was capable of running on more than lightbulbs and routers, although the tiny new Magenta kernel also allows it go there too."

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Source: The Register

Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so buggy ... then Microsoft called it off

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: security essentials, security, microsoft, fud, endpoint, defender

You have probably already read about the bug which effects all Microsoft's security programs, from basic home apps like Defender through to professional level Forefront Security for SharePoint discovered by Google Project Zero researchers.  It was certainly a bad one, utilizing the act of scanning a file for malware as the infection vector, striking similar to the way some viruses hijack our own immune systems. 

The good news is that Microsoft started pushing out a fix for the bug on Monday; as the bug was hinted at publicly on Friday someone must have put in a long weekend.  This quick turnaround is very nice to see and demonstrates the usefulness of publicly announcing the existence of a threat, without revealing the details to the public immediately.  Bug bounty programs are a good thing but if they involve NDAs it can lead to delays in resolutions as there is little pressure on the software developers to push out an immediate fix.  As The Register states, responsibly disclosing the existence of a bug, especially a major one such as this, you get a quick turn around like we saw from Microsoft. 

Update if you got 'em!

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"On the second point, well, we hate to break it to you but all software has bugs – especially Microsoft's code. There are any number of horrible remote code execution flaws in Windows and Office right now, sitting there waiting for white and black hats to find and exploit. Being told, yes, there is definitely a bad bug lurking in among the ones and zeroes doesn't make you less secure."

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Source: The Register

A keyboard for the accident prone, Zalman's Z-Machine K650WP

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: input, waterproof, zalman, aluminium, Z-Machine K650WP, keyboard

The K650WP is a membrane keyboard with a PS/2 plug and USB adapter so for those who need to click while they type you may want to skip this review.  For everyone else, the membrane design allowed Zalman to waterproof the keyboard by adding holes to allow spilled liquids to quickly drain away from the keys, as well as coating the aluminium stiffener inside with hydrophobic film and some strategically placed insulation.  TechPowerUp dumped the contents of a 250 mL water bottle into the keyboard to test this feature out and it worked a charm, they only wiped off the keys as the remainder of the liquid drained through the bottom and the keyboard continued to work.  At $27, even if you do manage to damage the keyboard you are not out a lot of money.  Check it out here.

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"The Z-Machine K650WP from Zalman is a membrane keyboard that comes in at a price point where there is really no competition from branded mechanical keyboards. At the same time, it offers a waterproof design, dedicated volume-control buttons, and an internal aluminum plate for structural rigidity, making it great value for the money."

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Source: TechPowerUp

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches Project Dream Machine

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, behave, Project Dream Machine

The ASUS Republic Of Gamers is asking for your input on what you would like to see on their upcoming products and have opened up a thread on their forums which will be monitored by their staff.   Raja Koduri has responded to several posts relating to GPUs and other ASUS staff have responded to suggestions about other components. 

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By participating in Project Dream Machine, you not only get a chance to make suggestions about the capabilities and features you would like to see added to the next generation of products you might even have a chance to consult in the design process as well as being one of the first to bne able to use your suggested product.  Do keep your comments polite, they are asking for your suggestions, not your opinion on what others have suggested.  The more detailed and interesting your suggestions the more likely ASUS will continue to request input on their next generation of  products such as extra cooling, peripherals or even overclocking software.

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Fremont, CA (May 8, 2017) -- For more than a decade, Republic of Gamers (ROG) has delivered exemplary design and performance to the world’s best gamers and enthusiasts. Our ROG staff includes competitive players, hardcore overclockers, and general gaming and tech enthusiasts. From engineering to design to marketing, we share a passion for creating the best PC hardware for gamers — and ourselves. Our passion isn’t unique; many in the PC gaming and hardware communities have the same drive and enthusiasm, and we want to harness it to make better products that everyone can enjoy.

ASUS ROG Corporate VP Joe Hsieh summarizes the project well: “ROG’s main goal is to provide gamers with the ultimate gaming hardware, and we’re constantly striving to develop products that gamers need. We believe that great products start with great design, and great design always starts from an incredible idea. We want to hear what gamers want in their dream machine, and we’ll work towards making that dream come true.” Now, we want to know what you want. The Project Dream Machine forum thread is open for everyone to discuss their dream machine along with ideas for other ROG gear. It will be monitored by our staff, providing a direct link between the community and our internal R&D teams. This is your chance to influence the development of PC gaming hardware. We hope to make two community-driven products per year, and we’re excited to have you be a part of the process.

Source: ASUS

The winners of the first stage of The HackaDay Prize

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: hack, DIY, nifty

The first of the five rounds of The Hackaday Prize has completed and the winners announced.  This stage is the Design Your Concept stage, often the most important factor in determining the success of the build project you intend to sit out on.  The winners are an eclectic bunch, from heart monitoring devices to printing bones on a 3D printer to a hand portable braille printing press.  It is worth taking a look at these, even if the project does not strike your fancy you can learn a lot on how the create an effective design of a concept for your own projects.  There are still four more rounds to go so expect even more interesting designs over the coming weeks,

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"Today we’re excited to announce the winners of the Design Your Concept phase of The Hackaday Prize. These projects just won $1000 USD, and will move on to the final round this fall."

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Source: Hack a Day

Dell Executive Projects Five-Year Growth in Gaming PCs

Subject: General Tech | May 6, 2017 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, dell

DigiTimes published a couple of statements from Dell’s senior vice president of Consumer Product Marketing, Raymond Wah, regarding the company’s view on the PC gaming industry. We’ll start with the two quotes, below.

Electronic sports (e-sports) and VR (virtual reality) are main growth drivers for gaming PCs, Wah said, adding gaming is becoming e-sports and this is a global trend. Continual gaming content updates push hardware developers to upgrade the specifications of gaming PCs, Wah indicated. The number of e-sports fans will increases to 145 million in 2017.

In line with gaming PC marketing, Dell has sponsored e-sports events and cooperated with movie producers, Wah indicated. Dell has also begun to set up gaming PC retail outlets at Best Buy chain stores in the US and plans to set up 50 outlets in total.

The article also mentions that he expects that the demand for gaming PCs will continue for five years, unlike the rest of the PC market, which is projected to shrink. It goes on to add that the company is pushing gaming products under two brands now, both Alienware and their general public-focused Inspiron line.

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Many of our readers are probably comfortable assembling their own PCs, but getting OEMs involved adds the whole segment of users who would be comfortable sacrificing cost or performance to offload that hassle. That’s a positive note that I think is often lost on PC enthusiasts. Just because shaving out middle-people makes the transaction more efficient, doesn’t mean that there’s no valid reason to pay a big OEM, or even a small business, local computer store, to handle it.

If he’s right, the next five-plus years should be good for us, too.

Source: DigiTimes

Rocket League Free Weekend and Sale

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2017 - 07:13 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming

Just a quick note for our readers: Rocket League is having a free weekend, accompanied by a 30%-off sale. If you haven’t played the game, Steam says that you currently have one day and twenty hours (and 45 minutes) left to download, install, and play the title.

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The 30%-off promotion applies equally to the base game, the four-pack, and the Game of the Year edition. Each of these deals outlives the free weekend by a day, so you can spend Sunday afternoon deciding whether rocket-powered car-soccer is worth your hard-earned cash.

The free weekend ends at 4PM EDT on Sunday, while the sale goes until 1PM EDT on Monday.

Source: Steam