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Wednesday May 25, 2016

America Uses A Staggering Amount Of Mobile Data

It would seem that people in the U.S. really like their mobile porn vending machines. According to a new study, Americans used twenty billion gigabytes of data, twice as much as we did last year. eek!

Americans are so committed to their smartphones and tablets that they used nearly 10 billion gigabytes of mobile data last year, according to a new study published by a top industry trade group. That's more than double the amount of data we used the year before. It reflects the tremendous explosion in mobile browsing — particularly online streaming music and video, both of which require lots of data.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cooling: SFF CPU Cooler Round-Up @ MadShrimps

ETC.: Corsair Lapdog @ Vortez

Corsair Lapdog @ TechSpot

Cooler Master Devastator II @ OCInside

HyperX Cloud Revolver Headset @ LanOC

Storage: Corsair Force LE 240GB @ Cowcotland

Facebook Working On Detecting Mirror Selfies

I wish Facebook would work on a way of just eliminating selfies altogether. That solves the "mirror selfie" problem and does the world a gigantic favor at the same time. big grin

"If you show it a mirror, we can nail it," Zitnick said, pointing to an image like the one above. "To detect the mirror in [a mirror selfie], you need to have a much more deep understanding of the world. You have to understand how selfies are taken, so unfortunately it’s really difficult."

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Tesla Towing A Car Beats Alfa Romeo 4C In 1/4 Mile

Motor Trend took a Tesla Model X P90D, hooked it up to a car trailer (with a car on it) and drag raced an Alfa Romeo 4C. Yes, the Tesla won. Skip ahead to the four minute mark to see the race.

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Apple Explores Charging Stations For Electric Vehicles

I want to crack jokes about this (just to be a jerk) but I think this might be something Apple could be really good at. Maybe this is what Apple has been working on the whole time that people thought the company was developing an electric car.

Apple Inc is investigating how to charge electric cars, talking to charging station companies and hiring engineers with expertise in the area, according to people familiar with the matter and a review of LinkedIn profiles. The moves show Apple responding to a key shortcoming of electric vehicles: "filling up" the batteries. A shortage of public charging stations, and the hours wasted in charging a car, could be an opportunity for Apple, whose simple designs have transformed consumer electronics.

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Apple CEO Saw An iPhone In A 350-Year-Old Painting

During the Start-up Fest event in Amsterdam, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he saw an iPhone in a 350 year old painting. If you see a man handing a woman a letter, you'd be right. That also happens to be the name of the painting, so it is doubtful that it is an iPhone. Now, had the name of the painting been something like "you're holding it wrong" or "it's impossible to decrypt an iPhone," it would be more believable. wink

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"Do you happen to know Tim, where and when the iPhone was invented?" Kroes asked Cook on stage. The Apple chief executive explained that in one painting at the museum he thought he saw the subject holding an iPhone. "You know, I thought I knew until last night. Last night Neelie took me over to look at some Rembrandt and in one of the paintings I was so shocked. There was an iPhone in one of the paintings," Cook jokingly explained.

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Foxconn Replaces 60,000 Factory Workers With Robots

A government official in China just announced that Foxconn has replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots. How long before other companies do the same? Robots are cheaper, work 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no overtime, can't call in sick....kinda like human employees in China, just less robotic.

Former McDonald's chief executive Ed Rensi recently told the US's Fox Business programme a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would make companies consider robot workers. "It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries," he said.

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Thermaltake Core X71 + Pacific DIY Cooling Combo Review

I guess you can call this review of the Thermaltake Core X71 chassis and the Thermaltake Pacific cooling system a bit of a combo review. If you are a first-timer to water cooling using hard lines, this review will be of interest to you.

Thermaltake has been kind enough to provide us with the Core X71 along with all the necessities for our first DIY loop cooling system. We’re sure a lot of you out there are thinking this looks way too technical and complicated for the average person. Well, we are going to put those thoughts to rest with a explanation on our first DIY loop cooling build.

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AMD Radeon R9 480 3DMark11 Benchmarks?

The crew at VideoCardz have what they claim are AMD Radeon R9 480 benchmarks and, if these numbers are to be believed, the results aren't very encouraging. As always, take what you see here with a grain of salt, but it does give all of us something to talk about until AMD actually launches its Polaris 10 based cards. Thanks to gamerk2 for the heads up.

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AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 Macau China Event

So lots of tech press folks are flying out today for Macau China where AMD will be showing off its Polaris 10 and 11 architecture over the next few days. Just FYI, HardOCP was NOT INVITED to this event. When I reached out to confirm with AMD that we were not invited, and our invitation had not just gotten lost in the mail, AMD PR refused to answer the question. I guess that sums it up!

Honestly, there is likely not much to miss here, as we do not think AMD has any answer for GTX 1080, but the middle of the product stack will surely get revamped if GlobalFoundries and crank out the 14nm parts.

You can check out our GlobalFoundries Tour from 2011 as it has some pretty nifty insight.

We were even there to watch them building the fab 5 years ago.

So all in all, I am not sure HardOCP will be on the cusp for AMD's next Paper Launch, but we were hoping so. All in all, things will work out and I think we might have some big AMD news for you in the next couple of days anyway, Macau or not.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Bridge Constructor Trains Expansion @ Blue's News

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine Reviews @ VG24/7

Titanfall 2 Coming In October? @ Shacknews

Two New Xbox One Consoles Coming? @ GameSpot

Verizon Hangs Up On You When You Record Them Back

Wait a second, if the call is already being recorded by Verizon for "quality control purposes" why don't they allow you to record the call at the same time? What about, as a customer, asking for copy of the recorded call? Seems a bit on the shady side if you ask me.

"The breezy @verizon guy then asks me whether I’m ok with being recorded. I tell him I am, because I am also recording the call," Olivier writes as part of a series of Tweets recounting his experience. "There’s a pause. Then breezy @verizon guy tells me Verizon DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR REPS TO BE RECORDED so he has to hang up."

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Canada Using Special Camera Scope To Bust Distracted Drivers

This is the most ridiculous looking thing I've ever seen but, according to this article, it works like a charm. Apparently the goofy camera scope allows the camera to take pictures of distracted drivers up to three quarters of a mile away.

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"It's not always safe or it doesn't always make sense to stand where drivers can see us," said Wutke. "So we'll stand back where we're not necessarily being noticed right off the bat and we'll train the scope on the windshield of the vehicle so as vehicles are coming up, stopped at a light or stopped at a stop sign, we can be looking inside that vehicle and then, when we see a violator, we can have them pulled over once they're back on their way again."

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MSI To Headline COMPUTEX TAIPEI

The 36th COMPUTEX is just around the corner in its count down to the big moment this May 31 to June 4. Over 1,600 exhibitors will be using over 5,000 booths to showcase their products and services. With a new position on "Building Partnerships in Internet Computing Ecosystems", the show focuses on four main pillars: IoT applications, innovation & startups, business solutions, and gaming. This year, accommodating with the fast-growing competitive gaming and eSports industry worldwide, COMPUTEX focuses on gaming for the very first time. The separate focus on gaming has attracted more than 30 leading exhibitors in the industry to present their latest gaming products. MSI, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, will have its full range of VR-ready gaming laptops, gaming desktops, top-notch gaming motherboard, high-end graphics card, and gaming peripherals on display. Eric Kuo, MSI Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, says "Celebrating our 30th anniversary, MSI will present the latest gaming products, including the popular Virtual Reality (VR) devices at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2016." MSI has also planned sereral VR experience zones which are going to be the icing on the cake for content consumers. What MSI has to offer is sure to satisfy your voracious appetite!

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Enermax Thormax Giant @ Technic3D

ETC.: Corsair Lapdog Gaming Control Center @ Play3r

SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Toshiba Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 @ NikKTech

Gaming: Fallout 4 Review @ Real Hardware Reviews

Storage: OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Legit Reviews

Tesla Model S Driver Caught Sleeping At The Wheel

I don't know what everyone is all worked up about, isn't this what we are all going to be doing eventually anyway? This guy is just a little ahead of the curve. big grin

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Google Built An Escape Room That Requires Apps To Get Out

Be honest, does stuff like this appeal to any of you? They make it look all exciting but I can't see paying good money to be locked in a room with my friends. Well, unless there is alcohol involved, but then no one would be trying to escape. wink

Created by We Are Social, Première Pièce will open at an undisclosed location in the heart of Paris. The campaign builds on the escape room trend, in which you and a bunch of friends pay to get locked in a room for an hour or two, left to solve puzzles and work in collaboration to find a way out. Last month, the Toronto Film Festival built an escape room that lives on Instagram. (Google's is a physical room, but uses virtual tools as a central conceit.)

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CORSAIR Launches BULLDOG 4K Living Room PC

First announced as a prototype at Computex 2015, the CORSAIR BULLDOG set PC enthusiast imaginations racing with the prospect of finally bringing a full-performance, liquid cooled PC into the living room. Continuously developed since and collecting a Best of CES 2016 Honoree distinction, CORSAIR BULLDOG finally realizes the potential of a full-performance liquid-cooled PC in the living room.

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Available as both a kit and via select configured systems from Micro Center in North America, BULLDOG includes a trio of innovations right in the box to bring the enthusiast PC to a living-room friendly form factor. Sleek industrial design and a console-sized case fit right in with the rest of your home entertainment gear, the multi-award winning CORSAIR SF600 SFX power supply powers the most ambitious of builds and the low-profile CORSAIR H5SF liquid cooler efficiently cools the CPU. BULLDOG comes with an Intel Z170 mini-ITX motherboard (specific model varies between retailer) right in the box, so all you need to do is add the CPU, memory, graphics card and storage to build a true living room gaming PC, with no compromises on performance. While BULLDOG comes pre-configured for easy assembly and compatibility, it’s also been built with upgrades in mind. Supporting up to three 2.5in SSDs or one 2.5in and one 3.5in HDD mount, BULLDOG carries all the features you’d expect from a CORSAIR case. Builder-friendly layout, tool-free fittings and a standard mini-ITX form factor makes upgrades easy. What’s more, BULLDOG can mount not just the H5SF low-profile CPU cooler, but also a host of compatible all-in-one graphics card liquid-coolers such as the Corsair HG10 and H55, providing the benefits of liquid cooling to not just the CPU, but the power-hungry GPU as well.

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Pizza Hut Adding Robots To Restaurants In Asia

Pizza Hut is adding robots to its restaurants in Asia? I guess that's pretty cool but who actually goes into a Pizza Hut? Isn't that the stuff they bring to your house? Robot delivery would be impressive. wink

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"Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut," Vipul Chawla, Managing Director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia, said in a statement. "With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalized ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout, and have a fun, frictionless user experience."

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Former Valve Employee Is Suing The Company For $3.1M

A lawsuit has been filed against Valve by a former employee claiming wrongful termination. According to the article, the ex-employee is seeking $1 million for general damages, $1 million for loss of earnings, $1 million for special damages, and another $150k for unpaid wages. Valve has denied all allegations.

The employee, who is only identified by her initials, was primarily a Spanish translator. Prior to 2012, the then-employee requested to work remotely from Los Angeles, where she would be undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Valve accommodated this request so she could work from home due to this as well as depression and "other socialisation issues" she was suffering from.

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Microsoft Announces Streamlining Of Smartphone Hardware Business

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs. As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million, of which approximately $200 million will relate to severance payments. Microsoft anticipates this will result in the reduction of up to 1,350 jobs at Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland, as well as up to 500 additional jobs globally. Employees working for Microsoft Oy, a separate Microsoft sales subsidiary based in Espoo, are not in scope for the planned reductions. As a result of the action, Microsoft will record a charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 for the impairment of assets in its More Personal Computing segment, related to these phone decisions.

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Technology Leaders Join Forces to Bring an Open Acceleration Framework to Data Centers and Other Markets

Advanced Micro Devices, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Mellanox, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Xilinx, Inc. have joined forces to bring a high-performance open acceleration framework to data centers. The companies are collaborating on the specification for the new Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX). For the first time in the industry, a single interconnect technology specification will ensure that processors using different instruction set architectures (ISA) can coherently share data with accelerators and enable efficient heterogeneous computing – significantly improving compute efficiency for servers running data center workloads.

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Intel Awards $1 Million Grand Prize to America’s Greatest Makers

Team Grush was voted the winner and awarded a $1 million prize on tonight’s season 1 finale of the tech reality TV challenge America’s Greatest Makers. All three members of Team Grush are parents and invented the interactive digital toothbrush based on their experiences of trying to get their kids to brush. The invention transforms teeth brushing into a series of fun and virtual games, entertaining and motivating children while allowing adults to digitally track brushing habits. Grush beat 23 other teams with inventions in areas as diverse as healthcare, sports and fashion – all built on Intel technology. America’s Greatest Makers is produced by MGM Television with Emmy®-winning producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, Shark Tank, The Voice) serving as executive producer. MGM is the international distributor and the show is broadcast on TBS.

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Tuesday May 24, 2016

Overwatch Hit Sounds Made From Opening Beer Bottles

It's always interesting to discover what sound designers use to make certain video game sound effects. For the "hit-pip" sound effect, Overwatch developers used the sound made when you open a beer. smile

Another extremely challenging sound is the "hit-pip." When you hit someone, you need to know you made contact. The sound needs to cut through the mix but not feel like it comes from any hero. It went through tons of iteration. Finally, one night I thought, " It should be satisfying to hit an enemy." Just think about what's satisfying: beer. So I literally opened a beer bottle. pssht. The sound is reversed and tweaked a little, but that sound is our hit-pip.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

ETC.: Gigabyte XM300 Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUP!

Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 @ NikKTech

Tt eSPORTS LEVEL 10 M Advanced @ Vortez

Storage: 6TB - 8TB HDD Round-Up @ Hardware-Mag

Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Legit Reviews

Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Guru3D

Google Maps Directions Adding Ads For Nearby Businesses?

I'm not sure where I stand on this just yet. I guess I'd have to see it in action but, for the most part, seeing ads for local businesses that are in the area I'm searching doesn't really bother me at all.

To help advertisers reach consumers searching for physical business locations, we’re introducing new local search ads across Google.com and Google Maps. Advertisers using location extensions will be able to prominently showcase their business locations when consumers search for things like "shoe store" or "car repair near me."

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Jurors To Use VR Headsets To View Crime Scenes?

As if viewing crime scene photos while on jury duty wasn't bad enough, researchers are now saying that virtual reality technology could soon be used to recreate crime scenes for juries.

Jurors could use virtual reality technology to enter 'crime scenes' in the first project of its kind in Europe, it's reported. The concept uses green screens, the latest virtual reality headsets and technology from gaming, engineering and computing to help "transport" jurors to crime scenes. It's a project being tested by Staffordshire University and one that police say could become significant.

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Big Frickin Laser Quote of the Day

Blowing stuff up with a truck mounted laser sounds like an awesome job but, don't take my word for it, listen to what the program manager in charge of the project said:

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In April 2016, the ground combat branch deployed a truck-mounted laser cannon to a trial at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During the exercise, troops used the beam to torch a tiny, quadcopter-type drone , the kind you can buy online. "We did a lot of preparation … seeing if we could track the airborne targets among ground clutter," Adam Aberle, the program manager in charge of the High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, or HELMTT, told Army reporters. "We absolutely blew lots of stuff up."

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Lawmaker Wants Porn Blocked On Cellphones

Regardless what you think of this guy's idea, you have to admit that you chuckled when he said cell phones are a "vending machine for porn."

Following Utah's resolution declaring pornography a "public health crisis," a lawmaker is drafting bills to mandate anti-porn filters on cellphones and computers at public libraries. In an interview with FOX 13, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said he is drafting legislation that would require cellphone makers to install porn-blocking filters on their devices, which would be removed if it's verified the owner is over 18.

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Huawei Sues Samsung Over Cellphone Patents

Oh crap, not this again. No sooner than it settled its patent disputes with Apple, Samsung is now being sued by Huawei for patent infringement. To cover all its bases, Huawei has filed lawsuits in both California and China.

Huawei has sued Samsung in both China and the US for allegedly violating its patents on cellular technology and software through its cellphones. Unlike what you see in many such lawsuits, though, the Chinese tech leader isn't demanding a straight financial penalty -- it wants a cross-licensing deal where the two sides share patents, much like the ones it has with "dozens" of other partners.

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