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Monday October 24, 2016

Battlefield 1 Video Card DX12 Performance Preview

If you haven't done so already, make sure you take a moment today to read our Battlefield 1 Video Card DX12 Performance Preview. Today's preview pits the AMD Radeon RX 480 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 against one another to find out how these two cards perform using DX11 and DX12 as well as how they stack up against each other.

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The anticipated new game Battlefield 1 is now official released. In this Performance Preview we take the AMD Radeon RX 480 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and find out how DX11 and DX12 compare. We also compare both video cards together in DX11 and DX12 to find out which one rocks this game.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: AeroCool P7-C1 @ NikKTech

ETC.: CHERRY Stream 3.0 @ MadShrimps

HyperX Cloud Core Headset @ Play3r

Intel i5-6600K Processor @ Cowcotland

Mobile: Dell's Rugged PC Line-Up @ HotHardware

Motherboards: ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX R3.0 @ Vortez

Apple Watch Lead Sags As Smartwatch Market Sinks

This is another one of those "we told you so" things where you guys have been saying this would happen all along. Maybe once these things hit bargain basement prices you can get them as stocking stuffers of something.

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The number of smartwatches shipped over the most recent three months has declined 52 percent compared with the same July-to-September period last year, according to a report by IDC wearables analysts. Apple remains the leading smartwatch maker, but it has also seen fewer people interested in its tech-enabled timepiece this year than in 2015. It has lost significant ground to Garmin, thanks to that company's growing portfolio of fitness-focused smartwatches.


Virtual Reality Is Hazardous To Your Health

This just in, virtual reality can be harmful to your health. Well, at least if you are this guy it can be. Go ahead, point and laugh, he has a headset on so he can't see you anyway.


Webcam Maker To Recall Products Linked To Massive DDoS Attack

As bad as this may sound, I am surprised that a Chinese company would issue a recall because their products were used in last week's massive DDoS attacks. Kudos to them for not ignoring the problem and carrying on with business as usual.

Chinese firm Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co Ltd announced the recall of all products — primarily webcams — that contain circuit boards or components from the company that were sold in the U.S. after they were identified as having a part in the recent attack. The company says it will recall some webcams, send users updates for products made before April, and strengthen password functions to lessen the chance the devices will be used as an avenue for future hack attacks. According to Xiongmai, security researchers believe that easy-to-guess default passwords for the devices aided hackers in the massive web attacks on Friday.


Police Confiscate Hundreds of Computers Over Movie Piracy Allegations

Holy crap, they ain't messing around over in Poland. Suspected of illegal file sharing? The cops over there just go to your house and take your computer.

Copyright trolling is usually handled in the civil courts but over in Poland, things are getting out of control. Police have reportedly visited hundreds of homes and seized hundreds of computers, each alleged to have shared a movie without permission. There are fears that up to 40,000 people could eventually be affected.


Intel Quietly Delays 3DXPoint Memory Modules

According to this article, Intel has 'quietly' delayed the introduction of 3DXPoint memory. Most of you will remember that, when we reported on Intel's 3DXPoint technology last year, the company was expecting to ship in 2016 built on a 2-layer, 20nm process in a 128Gbit package. Now that Intel is saying that 3DXPoint memory modules require Cannonlake-EP to work, a late 2018 / early 2019 date is more realistic.

On the Purley platform we're actually starting to sample those products already to some of the leading-edge customers. And they're seeing not only just an overall TCO performance advantage that we typically see with each one of these but this also continues our integration of things like the omni-path fabric, it has more integration of the silicon photonics so it's still the adjacency functions that are quite strong, and they will get more and better as we go through each one of these. There will be a second generation of Purley that includes 3DXPoint. If Intel's upcoming 3DXPoint memory modules require Cannonlake-EP to work, then investors should realistically expect that Intel won't be selling those modules until either late 2018 or in the first half of 2019. I'd be pleasantly surprised if it were the former, as I'm expecting the latter.


UK Store Charging More Than $18 To Try PSVR

I thought the purposes of having in-store demos like this was to get people to buy the product, not making money off people wanting to try it out. I see other retailers having free demos to as a way of luring customers away from stores like this that charge you to try something out.

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Our pay-to-play PlayStation VR experience is a GAME-led initiative. The cost to use the in-store PS4 pod is entirely refundable for customers that go on to buy either the headset or a PS4 console. The payment allows us to ensure that we have dedicated staff manning the PlayStation VR pods who have been fully trained to adhere to best practice demo guidelines. The demos are intended to give our customers access to one of the most exciting new gaming technologies in 2016 and provide them with the opportunity to get a feel for VR before they commit to buy.


Military Warns Chinese Computer Gear Poses Cyber Spy Threat

Normally reports like this shy away from actually naming a company suspected of cyber spying against the U.S. government, instead opting for the generic "Chinese company." That's what makes this report different, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff actually called out Lenovo by name, saying the company was actively trying gain access to classified military information networks.

A recent internal report produced by the J-2 intelligence directorate stated that cyber security officials are concerned that Lenovo computers and handheld devices could introduce compromised hardware into the Defense Department supply chain, posing cyber espionage risks, said officials familiar with the report. The "supply chain" is how the Pentagon refers to its global network of suppliers that provide key components for weapons and other military systems.


Gaming [H]eadlines

SAG-AFTRA Picketing EA Today @ Blue's News

The Division Update 1.4 Patch Notes @ Shacknews

Titanfall 2 Reviews Round-Up @ VG24/7

Watch Dogs 2 Trailer @ GameSpot

Serious Sam VR mGPU AMD RX 480 Follow Up

Those of you interested in seeing mGPU working in a VR title should take a moment today to read our Serious Sam VR mGPU AMD RX 480 Follow Up article. You will no doubt want to read the original article as well, if you haven't done so already.

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We all know that Virtual Reality gaming is still in its infancy and we have seen lots of great gaming moments already. As the content moves forward so is the way game developers are taking advantage of the technologies available to them to make our VR game run better enhancing our VR experience. Croteam has mGPU working now on AMD's RX 480!


MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G Review

There is a review of the MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G video card posted today at Overclockers Club. According to the review, if you plan on overclocking your RX 470, this could be the card for you.

Where you can add FPS performance without compromising the settings you use in-game is by overclocking. MSI builds some headroom into its Gaming series cards and this one is no different. I was able to run the boost clock speed all the way up to 1410MHz using 1120mv and keep it there throughout my testing. No small feat when you look at how easily this architecture from AMD will throttle clock speeds.


Facebook Censored Cartoon Boobs

Is it just me or does Facebook seem to be making more screw-ups like this now after replacing humans with its all-knowing algorithm? To be fair to the algorithm, cartoon boobies are probably very confusing. The square robot ones below seem to be okay though.

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The squares have been allowed to remain thus far, and the controversy the square cartoon breasts generated prompted a response — and an apology — from Facebook. As always, its spokesperson said the company deals with millions of reports every week and sometimes, inevitably, makes mistakes.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass @ APH Networks

ETC.: GIGABYTE Force H5 Headset @ Vortez

Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS Keyboard @ pcGameware

Gaming: Battlefield 1 DX12 Benchmarks @ Legit Reviews

Power Supply: InWin Classic Series C 900W @ ocaholic

Video: ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme @ Technic3D

Brutal Doom 64 Gets a Trailer and a Release Date

Brutal Doom 64 is only a week away. If you are not familiar with Brutal Doom 64, watch the trailer below and you'll be sold. Tell me that doesn't look like a lot of fun!


AT&T Buying Time Warner For $85.4 Billion

Does this $85 billion deal remind anyone of the AOL / Time Warner deal sixteen years ago? That deal, considered one of the worst mergers of all time, will no doubt be brought up over and over as the pundits wring their hands over what could go wrong with this deal.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire Time Warner in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. The deal combines Time Warner's vast library of content and ability to create new premium content that connects with audiences around the world, with AT&T's extensive customer relationships, world’s largest pay TV subscriber base and leading scale in TV, mobile and broadband distribution.


HyperX Now Shipping ALLOY FPS Gaming Keyboard

HyperX®, a division of Kingston® Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the HyperX ALLOY™ FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is now shipping in the U.S. and Canada. The full-size mechanical gaming keyboard has a space-saving layout allowing gamers to maximize desktop real estate for FPS mouse movement. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry® MX Blue Mechanical switches to provide the tactile feedback and performance to support extreme gameplay and enable players to be the best gamers possible.

Built with a solid steel alloy frame, the HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches, HyperX red LED backlighting and six preset LED modes – including a custom mode. The keyboard also offers Game Mode to easily disable the Windows key to prevent game play interruptions, along with 100 percent anti-ghosting and full N-Key rollover functionality. For added flexibility and performance, HyperX ALLOY FPS features an easy access USB charging port located on the back of the keyboard, additional HyperX red-colored WASD/1234 keys, a detachable braided cord, and mesh travel pouch for protection and storage on the move.


Using A Drone To Replace A Light Bulb

Replacing a light bulb with a drone is apparently a lot harder than it looks. For some reason, I was just expecting it to fly right up there and screw the bulb in. Nope.


Attacks On The Internet Keep Getting Bigger And Nastier

Do we really need all these networks of connected devices? A refrigerator that can use the internet? Connected thermostats? And, if you do use these devices, how about throwing a little security on them so that they can't be used in attacks like this?

On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. The hacker group claiming responsibility says that the day's antics were just a dry run and that it has its sights set on a much bigger target. And the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc.


Microsoft To Raise Enterprise Prices In UK After Pound Plunges

Businesses in the UK are about to get a double whammy. Due to the fact that the pound has fallen, Microsoft is said to be raising their prices for some enterprise services by up to twenty two percent. So, not only is your money worth less, MS wants more of it. Ouch.

Microsoft plans to increase prices for some enterprise services by up to 22 percent in Britain following the plunge in the pound, likely hitting thousands of companies and government departments who rely on its cloud and software products. Microsoft said it would increase prices for its enterprise software by 13 percent and for its cloud services by 22 percent from Jan. 1 next year, becoming the latest tech company to raise fees in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.


Start Folding With The [H] Today!

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 cash 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.

Sunday October 23, 2016

BMW Films Returns with "The Escape"

After a 14-year absence, BMW Films is back to flex that advertising budget with new shorts. This time, they hired District 9 director Neil Blomkamp and actors Clive Owen, Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal to demonstrate their new 5 Series.


IBM Replacing PCs With Macs Within The Company

The company is reportedly saving $543 for every PC they are replacing. I’m not sure if we’re getting the whole story here…

IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 - $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. "And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft," Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we’re talking some serious savings. Needless to say, the employees at IBM got it right. And with 73% of them saying they want their next computer to be a Mac, the success will only increase with time.


New MacBook Pro and 13-Inch "MacBook" Coming Next Week

Apple will be showing some new stuff on Thursday, and everyone is confident it’ll be new MacBooks. The event should give us our first look at the talked-about OLED touch bar. New desktop products are also in the pipeline but reportedly won’t debut until 2017.

Kuo believes the highlight of the event will be a redesigned MacBook Pro in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, adopting an OLED touch bar and Touch ID sensor, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, and the same butterfly keyboard design introduced on the MacBook in 2015. Beyond the MacBook Pro, Kuo says Apple will also be introducing a "13-inch MacBook," a claim he has shared previously. Rather than being a slightly larger version of the current 12-inch MacBook, however, this is likely to be a MacBook Air, which would align with other rumors claiming that only the 13-inch MacBook Air will be seeing an update with new USB-C ports.


Sweden Effectively Bans Camera Drone Flights

The country’s Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that Swedes may only fly a camera-equipped drone if they are doing so to prevent crimes or accidents, which is questionable because it’s not illegal to record stuff in public places. Enforcing this would also be hard, so some are wondering why they even bothered at all.

…local drone owners are upset. The industry group UAS Sweden contends that the court might be killing Sweden's drone market. Aftonbladet, meanwhile, points out that the ruling doesn't make sense in the context of existing laws. It's legal for Swedes to capture images in public places, so why is it wrong just because that camera is attached to a quadcopter? There are no journalistic exceptions, either, which is odd when other laws allow it.


The Best Seat In Any Movie Theater

The best seat is probably your own living room, but if you do get dragged out to a cinema, you should probably aim for two thirds of the way back (and center, obviously). That would be where primary audio calibration takes place. The more you know…

…it's based on how engineers typically calibrate a theater’s sound system. According to Steve Martz, director of global technology at audio company THX, technicians will take microphone measurements at several locations throughout the theater. "These measurements are averaged together in order to better evaluate what each person hears when they are watching a movie," he says. This bundle of microphones includes a "primary microphone" that is used to set playback levels, speaker timing, and other parameters that require a single location for measurements and calibration.


Bike Lock Makes Thieves Immediately Vomit

Someone decided to make a bike lock that shoots out a gas when it’s cut. Uh, what happens when there are other people around it? My solution was to just buy a bike that didn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

With his co-inventor, Yves Perrenoud, Idzkowski created a U-shaped lock of carbon and steel with a hollow chamber to hold one of three pressurized gases of their own concoction, including one called "formula D_1". When someone cuts about 30% of the way into the lock, Idzkowski said, the gas erupts in the direction of the gash. "It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing," Idzkowski said. "A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray." The inventors have not yet tested the device on an actual would-be thief, but have tested it on themselves and volunteers at distances of two feet (60cm), five feet, 10ft and 20ft. "At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people.


Amazon May Account For 20% To 30% Of All U.S. Retail Goods Sold Online

Amazon, apparently, is a lot bigger than we think. While the company itself would suggest 15% of total U.S. consumer online sales, the number may be double that after considering all of the goods that it also handles for third parties.

Gene Munster, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimates Amazon touches 30% of total e-commerce in the United States, and its share is growing. "Amazon’s just going to slowly grab more and more of your wallet," he said. Given its growth, it's possible to contemplate a future with Amazon as the nation’s largest single retailer, though what that looks like is unclear. Walmart was massively disruptive when it came on the scene, laying waste to local retail districts with each megastore it opened. Amazon, which increasingly can offer delivery in one to two hours, promises to be even more disruptive, said Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce at Razorfish, an e-commerce marketing agency.


Google Quietly Drops Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

While you can still opt out of this stuff, Google has made some changes where web browsing records from other owned services (namely DoubleClick) could be integrated into your account. This means your browsing habits, interests, etc., would be paired with your name and other personal information, making it easy for the company to get an extensive profile of you.

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct. The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.


Galaxy Note 7 Owners May Get Galaxy S8 At Lower Cost

This news is out of Korea and may or may not apply to other countries, but anyone who exchanged their Note 7 with an S7 or Edge may be able to do so again for a Galaxy S8. Let’s hope their next flagship is trouble free.

Samsung Electronics announced on October 21 a new compensation program for those who have purchased a Galaxy Note 7. Under this program, Samsung will allow those who exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge to exchange them again with a Galaxy S8, scheduled to be launched in March 2017 without paying much. Samsung officials said, "The new compensation program is designed to make it easier for those who exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with existing Samsung smartphones, to shift into our next model coming in next year." They added, "We think this could an effective program since it also provides some incentives to smartphone vendors."


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