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Friday March 06, 2015

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the Corsair Hydro Series H110 280mm AIO CPU cooler, followed by our ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card review. Finally, we wrapped things up with a look at the GIGABYTE X99 SOC Champion LGA 2011-v3 motherboard.

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NZXT S340 Mid-Tower PC Case

The NZXT S340 mid-tower PC case is on the test bench at Legit Reviews today. If you are case shopping on a budget, this review is for you.

As with most computer components, PC cases come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and of course prices. The key is finding the right case at a price that’s right for you. Today I have the pleasure of looking at a new chassis from NZXT that is available from Amazon for $69.99 shipped, the S340. The NZXT S340 is a sleek looking chassis that isn’t going to break the bank.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Case Mod Friday @ ThinkComputers

DeepCool Steam Castle @ XtremeHardware

Cooling: CRYORIG H5 CPU Cooler @ NikKTech

ETC.: USB 3.1 Performance @ Tech Report

PSU: SilverStone Strider Gold S 1500W @ XtremeHardware

Storage: SanDisk Ultra II 240GB @ APH Networks

Video: Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP

U.S. Companies Are Stashing $2.1 Trillion Overseas To Avoid Taxes

Hey, maybe all of us can try doing this and see what happens! What do you mean we'll all go to jail? That doesn't seem fair. frown

Eight of the biggest U.S. technology companies added a combined $69 billion to their stockpiled offshore profits over the past year, even as some corporations in other industries felt pressure to bring cash back home. Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Google Inc. and five other tech firms now account for more than a fifth of the $2.10 trillion in profits that U.S. companies are holding overseas, according to a Bloomberg News review of the securities filings of 304 corporations.


Three Defendants Charged With One Of The Largest Data Breaches In U.S. History

An indictment was unsealed yesterday against two Vietnamese citizens who resided in the Netherlands, for their roles in hacking email service providers throughout the United States. The guilty plea of one of the defendants was also unsealed at the same time. In addition, a federal grand jury returned an indictment this week against a Canadian citizen for conspiring to launder the proceeds obtained as a result of the massive data breach.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney John A. Horn of the Northern District of Georgia, Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Reginald Moore of the United States Secret Service’s (USSS) Atlanta Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) made the announcement.


Man Arrested For Refusing To Unlock Phone At Border

We've already had a few cases like this here in the United States, so it will be interesting to see how this case in Canada plays out.

A Quebec man charged with obstructing border officials by refusing to give up his smartphone password says he will fight the charge. Alain Philippon, 38, of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., refused to divulge his cellphone password to Canada Border Services Agency during a customs search Monday night at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.


Apple Expects You To Use Its Watch In 10-Second Bursts

What is the point of this thing having apps if you can only use them for ten seconds at a time?

Apple doesn't want you to spend a lot of time with Watch apps. Specifically, if you're looking at your Cupertino-device adorned wrist for more than 10 seconds, that isn't ideal according to Bloomberg's sources.


Blizzard's Answer To Stereotypical Female Characters

I don't know where I stand on this new Overwatch character. Fighting "stereotypes" with one of the most overused stereotypes on the planet (female Russian powerlifter) was an odd direction to take. Your thoughts?

They want to see gender diversity, they want to see racial diversity, they want to see diversity along the lines of what country people are from. There is also talk about diversity in different body types in that not everybody wants to have the exact same body type always represented. And we just want you to know that we're listening and we're trying hard and we hope Zarya is a step in the right direction.


Associated Press To Use 'Robot Journalists'

All I'm saying is, when the Terminator shows up to cover women's volleyball and kills everyone at the event, just remember I told you so.

"This will mean thousands of more stories on the AP wire, which will remain unmatched in the industry," Barry Bedlan, AP's deputy director of sports products said in a statement. "Every college sports town will have some level of coverage."


WordPress Wins $25,000 From DMCA Takedown Abuser

Although $25,000 is a paltry sun when it comes to stuff like this, at least the person abusing the DMCA takedown system lost the case.

WordPress has scored an important victory in court against a man who abused the DMCA to censor an article of a critical journalist. The court agreed that the takedown request was illegitimate and awarded WordPress roughly $25,000 in damages and attorneys fees.


Gaming [H]eadlines

RollerCoaster Tycoon World Coming Mid-2015 @ Shacknews

Steam Machine Prices Listed @ Steam

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Gameplay @ VG24/7

Zombie Army Trilogy Invades @ Blue's News

DDoS Attacks On Xbox Live Were 'A Learning Experience'

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, says recent DDoS attacks on Xbox Live were a learning experience and that his company is working with Sony and Nintendo to prevent future attacks.

Spencer also shared that he's been having conversations with other companies, like Sony and Nintendo, about this very topic. He says working and learning together can only benefit everyone. "I don't think it's great when PSN goes down," Spencer says. "It doesn't help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that's out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we're learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great."


Comcast Blocking HBO Go App On PS4

Any Comcast subscribers out there having this problem?

The app launched on the PS3 a year ago, but hasn’t been available for Sony’s latest console until now. Unfortunately, Comcast customers apparently can’t activate the service. The comment thread for the announcement is full of complaints from Comcast users angrily noting that the service can’t be used on either the PS3 or PS4 if you’re a Comcast subscriber.


Unreal Engine 4 Open World Cinematic

According to the description, this video showcasing the Unreal Engine 4 is rendered in real-time at 30fps and includes fully dynamic lighting, cinematic post effects and procedurally placed trees and foliage.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Silverstone Sugo SG13Q @ ocaholic

ETC.: HiFiMAN HE-400i Headphones @ techPowerUP!

Memory: Patriot Viper 4 16GB PC4-24000 @ OCC

Storage: EDGE Boost Pro Micro SSD @ SSD Review

VisionTek USB Pocket SSD @ Bjorn3D

Warning: EpicScale "Riskware" Silently Installed With Latest uTorrent

If you are a uTorrent user, you might want to read this forum thread that claims the latest build of the software is installing EpicScale without permission. I can't access the uTorrent forums right now but I managed to grab this screenshot before they went down.

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Microsoft Not Charging For Xbox Live Gold On Windows 10

For those of you wondering, Major Nelson has confirmed that Microsoft is not charging for Xbox Live Gold on Windows 10 PCs and phones.

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Netflix Says It Still Supports Net Neutrality

Netflix says that comments made by its CFO "were taken out of context" and that the company definitely still supports net neutrality.

"Netflix supports the FCC's action last week to adopt Title II in ensuring consumers get the Internet they paid for without interference by ISPs," Anne Marie Sequeo, a spokeswoman for Netflix, said Thursday. "There has been zero change in our very well-documented position in support of strong Net neutrality rules."


3-Way Budget Mid-Tower Shootout

The crew over at TechSpot has rounded-up cases from a couple different manufacturers and put them to the test in this 3-way budget mid-tower shootout.

Mid-towers are by far the most popular case form factor, supporting most full-sized hardware including the ever abundant ATX motherboards and power supplies, while typically costing only $50 to $75. In most situations, anything in that range will be adequate for a standard build, but Silverstone, Corsair and In Win have launched new contenders that are said to deliver the build quality, design, features and performance of pricier models without breaking the bank.


FSP AURUM PT 1000W Power Supply Review Update

Update - 3/6/2015: The FSP AURUM PT 1000W is now available from Newegg for $229.99 and shows to soon be available from Amazon for $229.99 with Free Shipping. Given that it is coming in $10 below its MSRP is a certainly a positive as we felt it was a bit overpriced. At the $229.99 price we feel as though the FSP AURUM PT 1000W is worthy of a HardOCP Editor's Choice Silver. We feel as though its value would be much better represented at $209.99

When we look at competing units we have reviewed, we see that the AURUM PT 1000W manages to solidly beat the Enermax Platimax 1000W, the Corsair HX1000i, and the Seasonic PLATINUM-1050 which is a nice group to finish ahead of in this test. Interestingly, this unit then ends mixed compared to the Antec HCP-1000 Platinum and the Kingwin LZP-1000 with it trailing no units we have reviewed recently. So, by my math, that makes this unit tied for the best DC output quality we have seen recently among comparable units and that is simply excellent.


CryEngine Sticking With Paid Subscription Model

With Epic giving away Unreal Engine 4 for free, you'd think that Crytek would follow suit. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case.

As far as pricing goes, changing from the current royalty-free $9.90 a month isn't in the cards. "At this point we see no reason," Bowman said. "We want to get that right before we try to do a different model that requires a different support system." "$9.90 is a lunch here in San Francsico," Bowman said. "If you're treating your team to lunch once a month, you might as well treat them to our engine."


Start Folding With The [H] Today!

This is your end of the week reminder that joining the best folding team on the planet (Team #33) is now easier than ever. We don't give you money to join and we can't promise you prizes or other incentives, we do this simply because it is our passion and that is why we've had the best folding community around...for years. So, if you want to make a difference with a group of people that honestly care about what they are doing, join team Team #33 today.

Folding is a wonderful way to help your fellow man using your spare CPU cycles and now, thanks to the Quick Setup V7 Guide for Windows, it is easier than ever to get started. Remember to put the number 33 in the "team" field and you’ll be folding with the [H]orde in no time! Thanks to all our team members for the wonderful job they are doing.

NVIDIA TITAN X Drives VR Demos Across GDC Show Floor

Every show needs a star. And the Game Developers Conference’s star is virtual reality. And just as every star has a "man behind the curtain" helping to make the magic happen, that supporting role here is being played by NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX processors. Our GPUs are on stage this week behind a whole troupe of VR power players, including:

  • Crytek with Back to Dinosaur Island

  • Epic Games and WETA Digital with Thief in the Shadows

  • Epic Games with Showdown

  • Oculus with Return to Dinosaur Island, Thief in the Shadows, Showdown

  • Unity with Unity 5

  • Valve with Portal, Job Simulator, TheBluVR and the Gallery demos

The preparation for VR’s GDC coming out party started months ago when NVIDIA began working with partners on their next-gen VR demos. To create content that’s richer than the current state of the art in VR, they needed something faster than the world’s fastest GPU, the NVIDIA GTX 980. They needed a TITAN.


Thursday March 05, 2015

$415M Offer Advanced in Tech-Wages Case

With a settlement offer on the table of $415 million, it looks as though the class action suit against Apple, Adobe, Google and Intel might finally be coming to an end.

A federal judge indicated she would grant preliminary approval of a $415 million class action settlement in a contentious wage dispute between software engineers and tech giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. The settlement is $35 million more than what was offered and denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh last year. The companies officially upped their offer to $415 million in January.


Office For Mac Preview Is Out Now

All you Mac users out there can finally download the Office for Mac preview.

Welcome to the new and modern Office for Mac! You will receive regular updates automatically until the official release in the second half of 2015. The new Office for Mac user interface is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the latest Mac features, including retina display and full-screen view support.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: be quiet! Silent Base 800 @ Neoseeker

ETC.: PC Perspective Podcast #339 @ PCPer

Sentey Revolution Pro SP @ Bjorn3D

Storage: Plextor M6e PCI Express SSD @ Vortez

Video: Evolve Gameplay And Performance Review @ HotHardware

Lockheed Laser Weapon Destroys Truck From a Mile Away

Lockheed Martin tested its 30-kilowatt laser on a truck . You can see the results in the picture below:

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"This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks," Keoki Jackson, chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.


University Installs Prototype 'Pee Power' Toilet

While the thought of this is kind of nasty, it's actually a pretty good idea. No sense in pissing away free electricity.

A prototype toilet has been launched on a UK university campus to prove that urine can generate electricity, and show its potential for helping to light cubicles in international refugee camps. Students and staff at the Bristol-based University of the West of England are being asked to use the working urinal to feed microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power indoor lighting.


Quote of the Day

I wish I could have been there when this judge told Apple "You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" big grin

Apple Inc told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday that rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should be barred from selling products that infringe on its smartphone patents, but the judges were skeptical. Judge Kimberly Moore was skeptical that Apple was being harmed since it already licenses some technology to other companies. "You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" she said.


Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 16GB 2800MHz

After spending a little quality time with a couple sticks of Patriot's Viper 4 DDR4 16GB 2800MHz, the crew at Bjorn3D seem rather impressed with what they saw.

The Patriot Viper 4 Series DDR4 16GB 2800MHz kit not only looks good it performs well. Nothing about the 2011v3 platform is cheap and the Patriot Viper is no exception at the time of writing the price rang in at $299.99.


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