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Thursday February 11, 2016

NYPD Has Used Stingrays More Than 1,000 Times Since 2008

One thousand times since 2008 means that the NYPD has, on average, used a Stingray once every three days for the past eight years. Let that sink in for a few minutes. eek!

The NYPD has confirmed that it owns and operates Stingrays—controversial surveillance devices that spy on cell phones nearby and that can be used to track location—the New York Civil Liberties Union announced today. In response to an NYCLU FOIL request, the NYPD disclosed it used Stingrays nearly 1,016 times between 2008 and May of 2015 without a written policy and following a practice of obtaining only lower-level court orders rather than warrants. This is the first time the extent of the use of Stingrays by the NYPD has been made public.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cooling: CPU Cooler Round-Up @ TechSpot

ETC.: Souris Tesoro Thyrsus Mouse @ CowcotLand

Memory: G.Skill TridentZ 3200MHz DDR4 @ Guru3D

Mobo: ASUS B150I Pro Gaming Aura @ Hexus

Video: EVGA GTX 970 Hybrid @ Legit Reviews

Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury Tri-X OC @ Hardware-Mag

Senate Passes Bill Making Internet Tax Ban Permanent

Finally, after 20 long years, the Senate has voted to keep internet access tax free permanently. The bill is on its way to the White House where the President is expected to sign it into law.

Recent attempts to make this ban permanent — by simply striking out the current end date on the latest of the Tax Freedom Act — had stalled in both the House and Senate. And so, as we reported in December, the language was simply tacked on to HR 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, a piece of legislation authorizing funding for Customs and Border Protection, that was deemed likely to pass. Today, it passed the Senate with a 75-20 vote.

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Quantum Break Coming To Xbox One And Windows 10

I think this is a smart move on Microsoft's part. I am way more interested in Quantum Break now that it is coming to Windows 10 as well as the Xbox One.

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Microsoft Is At It Again

Last time Microsoft used your picture to guess your age. This time around, your face is matched with a dog. Apparently I'm an Irish Setter:

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YouTube Red Removes View Counters From Paid Video

Want to know how many people are watching YouTube Red videos? Is the latest PewDiePie video series a complete flop? You'll never know because YouTube Red has removed view counters from its videos.

There’s one thing about the Red Originals that’s very un-YouTube, though. That place at the bottom-right of the videos on their homepage that used to tick up every time a new fan watched? That view count is gone. Despite YouTube’s insistence that data like watch time and engagement are more valuable, the upshot is that the company is being very careful not to let you know how many people have watched them.

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Aggressive IRS Scammers Resort To Swatting

Scumbag scammers are now actually resorting to swatting people when they refuse to cooperate with their scams. eek!

"I got a scam phone call...saying I owed back taxes," victim Jim Davis said. "And, of course, it scared me, so I decided to go along with it...he said it was 'Officer David Brown' [with the IRS], gave me his badge number, and he told me to go to the bank and get the money so I could pay my back taxes from 2009 to 2013. When I got to the bank, I talked to Shannon, the manager at the bank, and she told me she heard there was a scam going around for IRS tax evasion."

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Livestream Your Gunshot Wound? It May Save Your Life

Seriously, would you guys use an app like this?

Enter GoodSAM, which launched in mid-2014 as an app that lets you alert local medics and transmit your location. On Wednesday, the company added a live-streaming feature that provides an uninterrupted video feed to emergency services. GoodSAM, short for Good Smartphone Activated Medics, is in use around the world, including the UK, India, Malaysia, Australia and the US. The live-streaming tool, nicknamed Emergiscope, will be available globally.

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Cool Star Wars Lambda Shuttle Quad Rotor

You guys have to see this. The working wings is what really makes this thing so awesome.

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Google To Scrub Web Search Results More Widely

Google says it is closing a loophole that allowed Europeans to view search results that have been delisted if the person is searching from the country where the request was filed.

To address the concerns of European authorities, the Internet giant will soon start polishing search results across all its websites when someone conducts a search from the country where the removal request originated, a person close to the company said. That means that if a German resident asks Google to de-list a link popping up under searches for his or her name, the link will not be visible on any version of Google's website, including Google.com, when the search engine is accessed from Germany.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Battlefield Hardline: Betrayal Details @ Shacknews

Hatred Developer's New Greenlight @ Blue's News

New AAA IP Coming From Ubisoft @ GameSpot

Watch Dogs Sequel Coming In 2017 @ VG24/7

Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 120 AIO CPU Cooler Review

Ever heard of an all-in-one cooler that is not only quiet, but has great cooling performance and a budget price? No? Well then, I suggest you read our evaluation of the Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 120 and you will see that it really is possible to have all of the above.

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The Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 120 All-In-One CPU cooler is not exactly anything new, but it is a whole lot of very good existing technology put together into a single package. A proven cold plate, push pull fans, and a huge single radiator come stock, likely how you would spec your own water cooling system.

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As Gamers Age, The Appeal Of Competition Drops The Most

A recent study seems to suggest that, as we get older, competition is less important than strategy when gaming with other players online. I'm actually the opposite of what this study suggests, I've gotten more competitive as I got older. What about you?

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Among the 12 motivations we measure in our model, the interest in Competition changes the most with age. In our framework, Competition is the appeal of competing with other players in duels, matches, or team-vs-team scenarios. The gender difference in Competition is large at first among younger gamers, but then disappears with age. As gamers get older, the appeal of Competition declines, but this happens more rapidly for men than for women. Thus, by the time we’re past 45, the difference between men and women largely disappears.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Phanteks Eclipse P400S @ HwC

Cooling: CRYORIG A80 AIO Cooler @ FunkyKit

ETC.: Feenix Autore Keyboard @ XtremeHardware

G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 MX Keyboard @ Hardware Asylum

Memory: GeIL Super Luce DDR4-3000C16 @ ocaholic

Video: ASUS PB328Q 32" VA-Panel Monitor @ PCPer

Microsoft Upgrades Windows 10 Powers Of Control

It looks as though Microsoft has done a U turn on Windows 10 background telemetry. The company says it is releasing updates later this year that will give you full control over all background telemetry and data tracking. Thanks to Executioner for the link.

Contacting me again a Microsoft spokesperson explained the company now wanted to speak about the issue. In short: Microsoft is taking action. It has decided to release updates "later this year" which will enable users to fully control all background telemetry and data tracking and, if desired, disable it completely. Microsoft also asked me to stress that disabling these background operations is something it would "strongly recommend against".

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To Save The iPad, Apple Needs To Copy Microsoft

Apple needs to copy Microsoft to save the iPad? Uh oh, thems is fightin' werds. I'm sure iPad owners are going to have something to say about that. wink

Apple might be able to sell more iPad Pro tablets than Microsoft shifted Surface units -- IDC estimates numbers in the region of 2 million for the iPad Pro compared to some 1.6 million for the Surface -- but with iPad sales falling, Microsoft may hold the key to the future of the iPad.

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How Airbnb's Data Hid The Facts In New York City

If this report is accurate, Airbnb might have played around with its numbers to show a more "flattering picture" of its business. I'm sure this doesn't matter to Airbnb users, as long as they get the room they want, they are happy. Any of you use the service?

A major part of Airbnb's recent data release was a snapshot of New York City listings as of November 17, 2015. This report shows that the snapshot was photoshopped: in the days leading up to November 17, Airbnb ensured a flattering picture by carrying out a one-time targeted purge of more than 1,000 listings. The company then presented November 17 as a typical day in the company’s operations and mis-represented the one-time purge as a historical trend.

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AMD's Zen 32 Physical Cores In A Single Socket Explained

Earlier this month a leaked Linux patch suggested that AMD's Zen processors would feature 32 physical cores. Well, a video presentation from two weeks ago at CERN has surfaced that details AMD's upcoming x86 processors. One of the slides (at the 12:32 mark) does confirm a single socket 32 core CPU, Symmetrical Multi Threading, 8 channels of DDR4 and support for PCIe gen 3.0. The catch, according to the engineer giving the presentation, is that AMD is putting two 16 core CPUs on the same die to get 32 cores in a single socket. The video below has everything you need to know. Thanks to Pieter3dnow for the heads up.

For those of you that can't download or view the video, this is the slide in question:

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VR Version Of Duck Hunt

This is quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever seen. Okay, maybe not the "greatest," but this is still awesome. Want to sell a bunch of VR headsets? Bring back all the best games from the past with a VR twist like this guy did. cool

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Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition

Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition is now out on Steam. Those of you with the season pass can download it now, everyone else will have to pony up $59.99. New features include; a new map as large as the original game, drivable vehicles, a new story, new weapons, new moves and more. Thanks to cageymaru for the heads up.

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NVIDIA GRID 2.0 Now Available On Cisco Blade And Rack Servers

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 with the NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPU accelerator is now supported on the Cisco UCS C240 M4 rack server. And, in a first for GRID-based Cisco blades, Cisco is supporting NVIDIA GRID 2.0 with the NVIDIA Tesla M6 on its UCS B200 M4 blade server. These combinations bring unparalleled graphics performance to high-end applications on any device, anywhere. Organizations can expand their virtualization footprint without compromising performance, user experience or security. They can boost employee productivity with faster access to files and real-time collaboration. And they can centralize IT, so all workloads can be managed and delivered from the data center.

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Microsoft And Acer Expand Partnership

Microsoft Corp. and Acer Inc. announced on Wednesday the expansion of their global partnership to bring Microsoft mobile productivity services to more consumers. From the second half of 2016, Acer will begin pre-installing Microsoft services and apps on its portfolio of Android smartphones and tablets. Specifically, customers will benefit from the productivity tools including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on select Android smartphones and tablets from Acer.

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Wednesday February 10, 2016

Simple Sidebar Diagnostics For Windows

Since there didn't seem to be a simple sidebar diagnostics tool out there for Windows, this guy decided to make his own. The layout is great, works on multiple monitors and can be customized but, at least for some people, it seems to have a few glitches when it comes to displaying some system information. Hit the link if you want to give it a try. Thanks to primetime for the heads up! Here's a screenshot of what it looks like on my work rig:

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Yahoo Trims 15 Percent Of Workforce

Yahoo has announced the first round of layoffs as it trims its workforce by fifteen percent. Unfortunately the layoffs do not include the CEO and other top brass. frown

Yahoo Inc announced Wednesday it will lay off 107 employees in the first of what is expected to be more than 1,500 job cuts. The layoffs take effect April 11 and affected employees received 60-day advance notice of the move, Yahoo said in a notice filed with the California Employment Development Department. The layoffs were spread across a range of departments and job titles.

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The Maximus VIII Formula Turns 10

2016 marks ten years of ROG. When we formed the ROG brand in 2006, DFI and ABIT had enjoyed reasonable success catering to enthusiasts. However, these companies operated with limited resources; the motherboards of the era were complicated to use and buggy, which limited their appeal. Consumers were looking for motherboards that made performance readily available, without complications. The modding scene had also grown, so aesthetics were becoming increasingly important. We saw a gap in the market and put additional resources behind our R&D and BIOS teams to create a range of motherboards for various segments of the enthusiast community. We started out by introducing models aimed at the top-end of the enthusiast market. These models were well-received by end-users and media alike. The next step was to distil key features of the high-end models down to a lower price point.

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In 2007, the Maximus Formula series joined the ROG motherboard stack. The Formula’s role was to fill a hole between mainstream gamers and extreme enthusiasts; many of the overclocking features of the Extreme series were distilled down to the Formula, albeit with a tilt towards air and water cooling, rather than phase change or LN2. As there was a distinct attempt to lure gamers, the board also shipped with a dedicated soundcard that mitigated the noise issues associated with onboard audio. The first Maximus Formula iteration laid a solid foundation for the future, with plenty of room for improvement. Obviously, the brand was still in its infancy; the de-facto red and black theme that later become synonymous with ROG wasn’t yet employed. Back then, ROG aesthetics were centred around copper colored heatsinks, an uninspiring logo, and classic blue/white ASUS color theme.

For the latest Maximus Formula, click HERE.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Aerocool DS Cube mATX @ FunkyKit

ETC.: GAMDIAS EROS ELITE EQ Headset @ BmR

NZXT HUE+ Advanced PC Lighting @ pcGameware

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB Keyboard @ NikKTech

SteelSeries Apex M800 Illuminated Keyboard @ Techgage

Storage: Samsung PM863 240GB SSD @ ocaholic

Video: GIGABYTE GTX 980Ti G1 & XTREME GAMING @ Vortez

Hitman PC System Requirements

Anyone planning on playing the upcoming Hitman game will want to check out the minimum and recommended system requirements on the game's Steam page. I posted the specs below for those of you that can't access Steam from work / school.

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Twitter Isn't Attracting Enough New Users

Twitter is worried about not attracting new users? If I was the head of a company that has lost money every single year since it went public, I'd be focused on making money first. What are they doing with all that money anyway?

Twitter's had a busy fourth quarter. It's been dropping new features like Moments and today's best tweets announcement. Also it's Jack Dorsey's first full quarter as CEO. So how did it do? Well it made $710 million in total revenue a 48-percent year-over-year increase. But it's still not profitable. It had a loss of $90 million which is still better than last year's loss of $125 million. The company also noted that monthly active users remained flat 320 million. Not a good sign when it's trying to gain new users with new features like Moments.

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Micron: GDDR5X Has Arrived

Micron Technology announced yesterday via its company blog that GDDR5X will hit mass production as soon as this summer.

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There have been a variety of rumors in the industry about GDDR5X availability timeframes, so I’d like to clear that up from the beginning: Micron’s GDDR5X program is in full swing and first components have already completed manufacturing. We plan to hit mass production this summer. The team at our Graphics DRAM Design Center in Munich, Germany is doing a fantastic job, too. Not only do we have functional devices earlier than expected, these early components are performing at data rates of more than 13Gb/s!

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Badass Fanless Silent PC Build of the Day

After almost a year in the making, this guy's totally badass fanless PC build is finally done. Just how bad ass is this rig? The copper heatsinks on the i7-4790K, dual GTX 980 SLI are custom made. It packs 32GB of RAM, an Intel PCI-E SSD along with a 512GB M.2 SSD and a 3TB WD Red spinning disk. All in a custom made silent PC case that doubles as a heatsink. cool Thanks to Quartz-1 for the heads up.

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