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Tuesday July 26, 2016

China's LeEco Acquires VIZIO For $2B

This deal could be good and it could be bad, I guess it all depends on how you look at the situation. My immediate thought is that a Chinese company buying an American privately held company kinda sucks. What are your thoughts?

Based in Irvine, CA and founded in 2002, VIZIO is a leading consumer electronics brand in North America, with #1 unit share in Smart TVs1 and #1 unit share in Sound Bars2. The company is focused on delivering the ultimate home entertainment experience through its ecosystem of hardware, software and services. The acquisition benefits both companies with VIZIO offering LeEco a steady install base of users and a brand that is both popular and successfully distributed throughout major North American retail channels. LeEco provides VIZIO immediate global scale to bring its innovations to consumers worldwide. Like LeEco, VIZIO shares a similar vision of creating premium products with the latest innovations and making them accessible for everyone – from budget-minded students to custom home theater cinephiles – without sacrificing quality or performance.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cooling: Reeven Ouranos RC-1401 @ Hardware Asylum

ETC.: Creative Sound BlasterX H7 @ eTeknix

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Mouse @ NikKTech

Tesoro Excalibur V2 Mechanical Keyboard @ Play3r

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200 RGB @ FunkyKit

Network: Tenda AC15 AC1900 Router @ HotHardware

Video: Gigabyte GTX 1060 G1 GAMING @ Guru3D

WTHDIJS Video of the Day

While this video is NOT tech related in any way shape or form, a Lamborghini pulling a trailer full of goats definitely qualifies this as the "what the hell did I just see" video of the day. *WARNING* Limp Bizkit soundtrack.


Twitter's Growth Remains Flat As Its Profit Continues To Dip

Twitter posted another loss. Make fun of Twitter all you want for having never turned a profit but, you have to admit, at least the company is consistent when it comes to posting massive losses. big grin

Twitter's Q2 2016 earnings report tells a story we've heard many times before: namely, flat growth and a net loss in terms of profit. For the quarter ending June 30th, Twitter saw revenue of $602 million but a net loss of $107 million. The service boasted 313 million monthly active users, up 3 percent over the previous year. Last quarter, Twitter reported 310 million monthly active users.


New Details Released In Fatal Tesla Crash

A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board released today says that the Tesla involved in that fatal crash back in May was traveling at 74mph in a 65mph zone. NTSB investigators say they will continue to collect and analyze the data and say that all aspects of the crash remain under investigation.

Tesla system performance data downloaded from the car indicated that vehicle speed just prior to impact was 74 mph. System performance data also revealed that the driver was operating the car using the advanced driver assistance features Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane keeping assistance. The car was also equipped with automatic emergency braking that is designed to automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of or assist in avoiding frontal collisions.


Study: Even Watching TV Can Kill You

If the data from this study is accurate, binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix will be the leading cause of death by 2020. Thanks Netflix. Thanks a lot. mad

Japanese scientists studied the viewing habits of 86,000 people between 1988 and 1990 - then monitored their health over the next 19 years. They discovered that every additional two hours of TV per day increased the chance of a fatal pulmonary embolism - or blood clot in the lungs - by 40%. Those who watched five hours or more were more than twice as likely to die than those watching less than 2.5 hours.


Gunman Shot After Trying to Rob Pokémon Go Players

Just so you know, Pokemon Go players in my town don't mess around. Both the player and the dumbass that tried to rob him were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. I wish I could have seen this. You know the robber was like "Gotta catch em' al...*pop* *pop* *pop* ...nevermind." big grin

A group of six people were at Big League Dreams park after 4 a.m. Monday playing the game when the man and a driver came up in an SUV and demanded their possessions at gunpoint, according to police. A player who has a concealed weapons permit pulled out his gun, and both sides exchanged fire, officials said.


Facebook’s Answer to Silicon Valley Housing Crunch: Build Apartments

Could you imagine living in an apartment owned by Facebook? I know the housing situation in Silicon Valley is tight but damn, apartment owned by Facebook just seems really weird. This would have been better back in the MySpace days.

So in an effort to shore up city support, Facebook earlier this month made an unusual pledge for a tech company. It would build at least 1,500 units of housing, meant not specifically for Facebook employees, but for the general public. The novel move is a gesture intended to address a growing frustration in the region: too many workers, too few homes.


How Americans View New Technologies That ‘Enhance’ Human Abilities

Although most people aren't too keen on some of these technologies, many believe that they will come to pass in the next fifty years. Just by a show of hands, how many of you believe artificially made organs will be routinely available for transplant by the year 2066?

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While the public expresses more worry than enthusiasm about human enhancements, most expect many enhancements will happen within the next 50 years. Fully 81% of U.S. adults expect artificially made organs to be routinely available for transplant by the year 2066. Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Americans say scientists will probably or definitely cure most forms of cancer within 50 years.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Blizzard Schedules Hearthstone Announcement Shacknews

More GTA Online Cunning Stunts @ Blue's News

No Man’s Sky News, Gameplay And More @ VG24/7

Street Fighter V: Character Introduction Series GameSpot

Flaws In Wireless Keyboards Let Hackers Snoop On Everything You Type

For some reason this story is all over the news again today. I'm not sure if this story is a repeat from six months ago (same researchers, same problem) but I guess it is better to be safe than sorry.

Here's how it works: a number of wireless keyboards use proprietary and largely unsecured and untested radio protocols to connect to a computer -- unlike Bluetooth, a known wireless standard that's been tried and tested over the years. These keyboards are always transmitting, making it easy to find and listen in from afar with the right equipment. But because these keystrokes aren't encrypted, a hacker can read anything on a person's display, and directly type on a victim's computer.


Presidential Policy Directive United States Cyber Incident Coordination

At long last, the White House has finally released new guidelines that outline how the federal government plans to respond to "cyber incidents." But, as with anything the government puts in place, it sounds like a whole lot of talk, not a lot of action.

United States preparedness efforts have positioned the Nation to manage a broad range of threats and hazards effectively. Every day, Federal law enforcement and those agencies responsible for network defense in the United States manage, respond to, and investigate cyber incidents in order to ensure the security of our information and communications infrastructure. The private sector and government agencies have a shared vital interest in protecting the Nation from malicious cyber activity and managing cyber incidents and their consequences. The nature of cyberspace requires individuals, organizations, and the government to all play roles in incident response. Furthermore, effective incident response efforts will help support an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that promotes trade and commerce, strengthens international security, fosters free expression, and reinforces the privacy and security of our citizens.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Streacom F7C Alpha Mini-ITX @ OCInside

Cooling: Tt Pacific RL360 D5 RGB @ ThinkComputers

ETC.: Razer Naga Hex V2 Mouse @ Vortez

Storage: OCZ TR150 120GB & 240GB SSDs @ FunkyKit

Video: MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8GB @ Play3r

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP! Edition @ Modders Inc.

Streamer Gets Swatted While Playing Pokemon Go

This guy hit the nail on the head when he said that the police are just doing their jobs when responding to crap like this. All is well, apparently the cops were "super cool" about the whole thing.


Marissa Mayer Could End Up With $219M

It's funny how the whole CEO thing works isn't it? If you were a bus driver and all you did was give your friends rides (hire friends, buy their companies) then crash the bus repeatedly until it is a broken down hulk that barely lumbers along, do you think that would translate into a big fat payday?

One thing's for sure: Mayer, a star recruit from Google when she took the helm in 2012, has been paid handsomely during her tenure at the company. And the number will only grow if she indeed eventually leaves after Yahoo changes hands. A new analysis by Equilar, the executive compensation research firm, attempted to tally up her paydays. It finds that Mayer could stand to receive total compensation valued at $218.9 million from her Yahoo tenure if she ultimately receives a severance payment as a result of the change in ownership.


Microsoft Will Make Steam "Progressively Worse" With Windows 10 Patches

Epic's Tim Sweeney continues his year-long rant against Microsoft and its UWP framework. This time around Sweeney seems to think that Microsoft is intentionally trying to break Steam and this is how he claims they will do it:

"Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seems like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan, but they’re certainly trying."


Miami Judge Rules Bitcoin Is Not Money

Good news for anyone busted selling bitcoin to the cops, a judge in Miami has ruled that bitcoin isn't money. What do you think about her ruling in this case? Did this guy just dodge a huge bullet after selling bitcoin to undercover cops that claimed they were going to use it to buy stolen credit cards or, is it like the judge said, until we can clearly define the law on this subject, this was just one person selling his property to another?

This Court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, that Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money. This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning.


New Quake Champions Trailer

There is a new Quake Champions trailer out that, while it doesn't offer any new gameplay footage, id Software’s Studio Director Tim Willits does go into a little detail about each of the four characters we've seen so far.


Patriot Expands Viper 4 And Viper Elite DDR4 To Include 3733MHz

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of high performance computer memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals, consumer flash storage solutions and mobile accessories, today announced the immediate release of its new extreme performance Viper 4 and high performance Viper Elite DDR4 in 3733MHz dual kits. Expanding Patriot’s extreme performance and high performance DDR4 memory lines, the 3733MHz Viper 4 and Viper Elite dual channel kits are designed for optimal use with the latest Intel® X99 and 100 series motherboards. With consumers utilizing more taxing professional applications, large capacity PC games and having a need for higher memory optimization, the Viper 4 and Viper Elite will present unsurpassed performance and reliability that only 30 years of DRAM experience can deliver.


AMD Introduces New Professional Graphics Vision and Strategy

At an exclusive event for some of the world’s top artists, designers and engineers, AMD today unveiled powerful new solutions to address modern content creation and engineering: the new Radeon™ Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards. The new brand, targeting ten million professional graphics users, harnesses the award-winning Polaris architecture and is designed to deliver exceptional capabilities for the immersive computing era. Transformational inflection points are changing the way content is created:

  • Rise of real-time game engines

  • Emergence of virtual reality

  • Popularity of new low-overhead APIs, such as DirectX® 12 and Vulkan™

  • Trends to open-source tools and applications, evidenced by the Radeon Open Compute platform, and today’s announcement of Radeon ProRender

The new Radeon Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards represent a revolutionary approach for professionals rooted in a commitment to open, non-proprietary software and high performing, feature-rich hardware that empowers people to truly create "the art of the impossible".


AMD Open Sources Professional GPU-Optimized Photorealistic Renderer

AMD today announced that its powerful physically-based rendering engine is becoming open source, giving developers access to the source code. As part of GPUOpen, Radeon ProRender (formerly previewed as AMD FireRender) enables creators to bring ideas to life through high-performance applications and workflows enhanced by photorealistic rendering. Alongside Radeon ProRender, developers also have access to Radeon Rays on GPUOpen.com, a high-efficiency, high-performance, heterogeneous ray tracing intersection library for GPU, CPU or APU on virtually any platform. GPUOpen is an AMD initiative designed to assist developers in creating ground-breaking games, professional graphics applications and GPU computing applications with superior performance and lifelike experiences, using no-cost open development tools and software.


Monday July 25, 2016

Facebook, Twitter Co-Operated With Brazil Probe Of Alleged Militants

According to the judge presiding over the case, both Facebook and Twitter co-operated with investigators by providing information that led to the capture of about a dozen militants in Brazil. Not sure why any of these idiots thought using social media was a good idea.

In an interview late Sunday with Fantastico, a weekly news program on the Globo television network, Judge Marcos Josegrei da Silva said cooperation by both companies, after a judicial order tied to the investigation, was instrumental to understand the nature of discussions carried out by the suspects, a 12th of whom was detained late Sunday. "The companies began to provide data related to the content of the conversations and data about where those conversations were posted," the judge said, without providing more details.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

ETC.: GAMDIAS Hephaestus v2 Gaming Headset @ BmR

Motherboards: ASUS Rampage V Edition 10 @ ocaholic

Storage: Kingston UV400 480GB SSD @ Myce

LaCie 2TB Porsche Design External HDD @ BigBruin

Video: Gigabyte GTX 1070 Xtreme Gaming @ Modders Inc.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING X @ Vortez

The Razer HDK2 Virtual Reality @ Hardware Secrets

Audi Is Trying To Beat Tesla At Its Own Game

Audi is trying to beat Tesla at its own game? I say good luck with that. Unless they come out with a quality vehicle with a price tag well below competing Tesla vehicles, I just don't see it happening. I'm not saying it can't be done but, to be honest, the entire auto industry was asleep at the wheel when it came to electric vehicles. Had it not been for Tesla, the electric car industry wouldn't be where it is now. So, in my opinion, everything these other car makers are doing right now amounts to playing catch up.

Audi's ramping up its electric car plans and hopes to have three models by 2020. It'll also form a new subsidiary to work on autonomous cars. The company's chief executive Rupert Stadler told Reuters that Audi's renewed push for electric cars is a direct result of the emissions scandal that embroiled its parent company Volkswagen. Stadler wasn't spilling the beans on the new cars, but did say there would be a subcompact among them.


3D Art Using The HTC Vive

While this may look a bit silly, there is no arguing that the end result is pretty damn cool. Obviously you need a bit of artistic talent to do something like this, it's not like you can just strap a HTC Vive to your melon and instantly become Rembrandt, but it still looks fun either way. cool


MSI Brings RX 480 Graphics Cards To New Levels Of Cool

MSI is proud to present brand new graphics cards based on AMD’s Polaris architecture. Both the Radeon™ RX 480 GAMING X 8G and Radeon™ RX 480 GAMING X 4G cards brandish the imposing TWIN FROZR VI thermal design to keep the 14 nm FinFET GPU cooler than ever before. The new levels of cool allow for higher core and memory speeds for increased performance in games up to 1440p and VR. The recognizable shapes of the eye-catching TWIN FROZR cooler are intensified by a fiery red GAMING glow piercing through the cover, while the MSI GAMING dragon RGB LED on the side can be set to any of 16.8 million colors to match your mood or build. A completely new custom 8-phase PCB design using Military Class 4 components with an 8-pin power connector enables higher overclocking performance to push your graphics card to the max. The classy matte black solid metal backplate gives the card more structural strength and provides a nice finishing touch.


Sammy Corporation Selects AMD for New 3D Gaming Machine

AMD today announced that Sammy Corporation in Japan is using the AMD Embedded R-Series APU for its new pachislot machine, named "Pachislot Hokuto no Ken: Shura no Kuni." Much like other gaming options, pachislot systems are increasingly compute intensive and graphically immersive, requiring high performance 3D graphics for the modern game player. Sammy has announced that the new machine is expected to launch in pachislot parlors across Japan beginning in fall, 2016. The strong visual element and growing need for quality graphics in gaming machines are an ideal match for AMD Embedded R-Series processors that combine high performance x86 CPUs and with leading graphics capabilities.


Google Maps Has Been Updated

Google announced today that it has updated Google Maps with a cleaner, less cluttered look and new features like "areas of interest" that highlight active neighborhoods.

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Yahoo's Homepage Through The Years

Network World is taking a trip down memory lane today with a slideshow showing Yahoo's homepage throughout the years. Be honest, when is the last time you visited Yahoo for anything? Accidental clicks don't count. wink

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Judge Says Uber May Have Engaged In Criminal Conduct

Laws? What laws? If we have learned anything from Uber by now it is that the company does whatever the hell it wants and then asks permission later (usually after being compelled by the courts).

A federal judge on Monday banned Uber Technologies Inc and its Chief Executive Travis Kalanick from using information from a background check on a passenger bringing a price-fixing lawsuit, saying the investigative firm conducting the probe may have engaged in criminal conduct. "The court finds perfectly appropriate an order enjoining defendants from making use of the fruits of their own troubling conduct," Rakoff wrote. "The court cannot help but be troubled by this whole dismal incident."


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