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Tuesday May 24, 2016

[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."


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.


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."


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.


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.


Australia Officially Abandons Three Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme

Australia has abandoned its three strikes anti-piracy scheme. It's not because the plan didn't work (it didn't). It's not because they couldn't catch pirates (they couldn't). In the end, the plan failed because no one could figure who was going to pay for the plan.

After indications earlier this year that copyright holders and ISPs were having serious problems reaching agreement on who will pay for the three-strikes anti-piracy regime, the project has now officially been canned. In a letter to the Australian Media and Communications Authority, the Communications Alliance and rightsholders have confirmed its demise.


Ransomware Hackers Get Their Money, Immediately Ask For More

What do you mean those ransomware hackers got the money they demanded from the hospital but still want more? Normally paying off hackers is a brilliant idea. Wait. No it isn't. I'm not sure why the hospital didn't just go with its "backup plan" in the first place.

According to Hospital President Dr. Greg Durick, Kansas Heart initially paid "a small amount" in ransom, but the hackers refused to decrypt the hospital's hijacked files. The hospital shut down negotiations after the second ransom demand, saying it no longer felt "this was a wise maneuver or strategy." The hospital says patient information was never in jeopardy and operations were never impacted.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst Trailer @ GameSpot

PAC-MAN 256 Next Month @ Blue's News

The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine Trailer @ VG24/7

YouTube To Again Cover E3 @ Shacknews

XFX Radeon R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Video Card Review

If you haven't done so already, make sure you check out our evaluation of the XFX Radeon R9 Fury Triple Dissipation video card today. If you are in the market for a new R9 Fury with a big custom cooler, this card will definitely be of interest to you.

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Today we take a look at the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation video card from XFX, sporting a custom cooler that is sure to keep temperatures cool and operation stable. We will be comparing it with a custom overclocked GeForce GTX 980 video card in head-to-head competition to see which GPU delivers the best performance for the price.


FBI Wants To Keep Its Biometric Database Secret

I don't know about you but, after all we've learned about the FBI, CIA, NSA and other federal agencies over the last few years, I just assume everyone is already in this secret database. Thanks to everyone that sent this one in.

The FBI is proposing keeping information that it stores as part of a massive biometric database private -- even to those whose information is stored in the records. Known as the Next Generation Identification System (NGIS), the database draws in biometric data from passport registration, security checks, and judicial processing -- such as if someone is arrested. The database also includes biometric records on foreigners, such as those who apply for visas, and foreign law enforcement staff.


[H]ardware Round-Up

ETC.: Shuttle XPC Cube SZ170R8 @ MadShrimps

SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage: OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD @ OCC

Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe SSD @ HotHardware

Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe SSD @ PC Perspective

CORSAIR Announces Dominator Platinum ROG Edition

CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components and high-performance gaming hardware today announced the latest addition to its industry leading range of XMP 2.0 certified DDR4 memory kits, the CORSAIR Dominator Platinum ROG Edition. Developed in collaboration with the ASUS Republic of Gamers team, the 16GB 4 x 4GB DDR4 kit is fitted with a unique Republic of Gamers Red and Black brushed aluminum finish, to perfectly compliment the celebrated ASUS Republic of Gamers line of motherboards. Clocked at 3,200MHz for blistering high-bandwidth performance on Intel 100-series motherboards, CORSAIR Dominator Platinum ROG Edition also boasts a custom overclocked ROG XMP 2.0 memory profile only accessible with ASUS Z170 Republic of Gamers motherboards*, pushing the kit to an even faster 3,333MHz with just a single setting.

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Game of Thrones Cast Plays Overwatch

The latest episode of Clueless Gamer has Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey playing Overwatch. While this show can some times be hit or miss, this one is definitely worth watching.


Facebook Says Probe Found No Evidence Of Bias

Facebook announced today that it has completed a thorough investigation of itself and found no evidence of wrongdoing. Ever. For anything. Why is the letter written by Facebook's lawyer? Who cares? They conducted a thorough one week investigation and exonerated themselves and that's all that matters. roll eyes (sarcastic)

Our investigation has revealed no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories included in the Trending Topics feature. Our data analysis indicated that conservative and liberal topics are approved as trending topics at virtually identical rates. We were also unable to substantiate any of the specific allegations of politically-motivated suppression of particular subjects or sources. In fact, we confirmed that most of the subjects mentioned in media reports were included as trending topics on multiple occasions.


Police Raided Google's Paris Headquarters

It looks like France is trying to turn up the heat on Google. I wonder if they went in with a SWAT team, guns blazing...screaming "STEP AWAY FROM THE SEARCH ENGINE, GET ON THE GROUND!" Then put everyone in zip tie handcuffs. What? That totally could've happened. wink

French investigators raided Google's Paris headquarters on Tuesday as part of a probe into tax evasion and money laundering, the financial prosecutor's office said, confirming media reports. The investigation, which started in June last year, aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has failed in its fiscal obligations in France, the prosecutor's office said in statement.


Social Media Etiquette No Longer Exists

Apparently this lady just discovered the internet. I know it is hard to believe but, since the beginning of time, there are people on the internet that get their kicks by giving away the ending of your favorite TV show or movie before you've had a chance to see it. What kind of moron is reading Twitter while their favorite show is playing anyway?

But then Sunday night rolled around and social media networks — especially Twitter — proved that spoiler culture was indeed still around, and perhaps even worse, it was getting harder to avoid as big-time publications decided to approach livetweeting with a no-holds-barred attitude. Now, however, it's every man or woman for themselves as trying to dodge spoiler-filled bullets has become nearly impossible after 9:01 p.m. ET. For those who don't mind being spoiled, like myself, it's just a bit of an annoyance. But for those that don't want to know anything before getting a chance to watch it themselves, there's only one option: Get off of Twitter. Seriously.


FSP Announces its "Green Power, Intelligent Building, FSP Power Never Ends" Series of Product Solutions at Computex Taipei 2016

Power supply manufacturer FSP Technology Inc. today announces new product launches ahead of COMPUTEX 2016 in Taipei. FSP will showcase the consumer-oriented EMERGY 1000/3000 and commercial ION Mate Energy Storage Systems, comprising their wide-range of eco-friendly power storage solutions, along with a variety of PV inverters. Among their consistently strong gaming lineup, FSP’s booth will also feature new enterprise and home server PSUs.

The EMERGY 1000/3000 stands to revolutionize the way consumers transport and harness power, with the potential to save thousands of watt hours off a single charge. Designed to be portable and silent, the EMERGY series are highly efficient, fanless, energy storage systems with easy-to-use retractable handles. The portable devices have dual AC/PV inputs to easily charge the high-powered 600 watts and 1.5kW inverter.

The ION MATE is FSP’s commercial solution for powergrid failures. It is a stand-alone, self-managed, all-in-one energy storage system. In keeping things "green" the ION MATE is the perfect companion for solar power management. It houses long-living lithium ion phosphate batteries and its power management is run off AC and photovoltaic chargers. DC-AC inverters streamline the conversion from battery to electricity in the home.


ASUS Announces PCE-AC88

ASUS today announced PCE-AC88, a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi PCI Express® (PCIe®) adapter that instantly upgrades a desktop PC to the latest ultra-fast wireless standard. PCE-AC88 is the first PCIe adapter to feature a 4x4 (4 transmit, 4 receive) MIMO design that delivers AC3100-class speeds of up to 2100Mbps on the 5GHz band and 1000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. For the best signal reception, PCE-AC88 includes a magnetic antenna base that allows flexible placement of the four detachable external antennas on any suitable surface. PCE-AC88 allows PC users to take advantage of the latest high-speed 802.11ac routers, which offer wireless speeds that match or exceed wired Gigabit Ethernet networking speeds. When paired with a 4x4 802.11ac router, PCE-AC88 unleashes the full performance and coverage potential of the 4x4 MIMO technology, but it is also backward-compatible with all existing Wi-Fi standards.

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Microsoft Provides Grants To Accelerate The Delivery Of Affordable Internet Access

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced it has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 entrepreneurial businesses to help scale their solutions and business models to increase affordable Internet access in communities around the world. Each company will receive seed grants and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services and technology support to help extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions. Today’s news marks progress on the commitments Microsoft made earlier this year to invest $1 billion to bring the power of cloud technology to serve the public good, including through expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programs.


Intel At X Games Austin 2016 In June

Intel will integrate its technology into performances at the X Games Austin 2016 in June. Data captured during skateboard and BMX events will give athletes and fans a new window into the sports and a new appreciation of the performances. The Intel® Curie™ module will track competing athletes’ speed, jump height, distance traveled, impact upon landing and more in real-time at the Summer X Games in Austin, Texas, for Skateboard Big Air, BMX Big Air and BMX Dirt events.


Monday May 23, 2016

AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3

AMD has released brand new Crimson Edition 16.5.3 drivers for all you Radeon owners out there. According to AMD, these drivers offer support for Overwatch, Total War: Warhammer and Dota 2 (with Vulkan API). The new drivers also have CrossFire profiles for Overwatch and Total War: Warhammer. Also fixed in this driver release:

  • Fallout 4™ may experience minor stuttering in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode

  • Radeon Settings may be removed from the system if the Radeon Software installer is launched while Radeon Settings is open.

  • Radeon Settings "Additional Settings" option may intermittently fail to launch.

  • Users in Quad AMD Crossfire technology configurations may be unable to re-enable AMD Crossfire mode when using the global AMD Crossfire option in the "Gaming" tab and toggling it from on to off.

  • Some game textures in The Division™ exhibit flickering in AMD Crossfire™ mode.

  • Intermittent stability issues with Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) using AMD XConnect™ Technology are no longer observed.

  • Safe unplugging for AMD XConnect™ Technology no longer results in a random BSOD.


Insanely Odd Yahoo CEO Cover Photo of the Day

Holy cow, what in the world was Variety thinking when the gave this cover photo the green light? Obviously I haven't read the article yet but what about Marissa Mayer's tenure as CEO of Yahoo would make you think of an image like this? Oh well, I guess the trick worked, here I am posting about it. frown

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: NZXT S340 Razer SE @ pcGameware

Cooling: CRYORIG A40 Hybrid Cooler @ NikKTech

ETC.: SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headset @ BmR

Mobile: MSI GS40 6QE Phantom Notebook @ Play3r

Video: GTX 1080 Key Features Explained @ TechARP

100 CDs vs. Hydraulic Press

I've heard of data compression but this is ridiculous. This gives a new meaning to "compact discs." Ahhh, so many jokes, so little time.


Congress Is Really Bad At Cybersecurity

Two bipartisan lawmakers decided to do something to help out all the technically illiterate members of congress by sending an email with security tips to help them avoid falling victim to scammers. Something tells me this isn't going to help much but at least someone is trying. This would probably work better if they sent a super scammy "click here for your free subscription" email, at least that way we know they'd at least click on it. wink

The political capital is constantly facing network attacks and hacks from outside hackers and nation states -- and that's before the CIA wages its own wave of targeting intelligence committee members. Most lawmakers have never heard of PGP or even SSL, let alone used it (and most lawmakers still don't). For some, it's an endemic problem that bleeds into the political world -- which might explain why some of its cybersecurity legislation is so ill-conceived and badly thought-out.


Amazon No Longer Gives Price Drop Refunds

Remember when you could get a refund from Amazon if there was a price drop on an item you recently purchased? Well, thanks to all the apps out there that automatically apply for the refunds, Amazon is no longer offering after-purchase refunds. frown

Amazon has been known to give refunds if the price of an item drops after a purchase and the customer notifies customer service. But it appears that Amazon stopped providing these refunds earlier this month, except for televisions, according to price-tracking companies and customer postings on Reddit.


Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon Mini PC

Nate and his band of merry men over at Legit Reviews have Intel's NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon mini PC in house for a little review action today. Built around Intel's Core i7-6770HQ ‘SkyLake’ quad-core processor, this thing could be the foundation for an itty-bitty badass build.

If you are a big fan of the Intel NUC mini-PC series, but didn’t think they had enough power for your needs, we have a special treat for you. We’ve spent the past week playing around with the Intel NUC code named ‘Skull Canyon’ that features the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ ‘SkyLake’ quad-core processor and Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (GT4e). This is the first Intel NUC to feature a mighty Intel Core i7 processor and it also sports cutting edge technologies like Thunderbolt 3, two m.2 slots for running SSDs in RAID, support for six USB 3.0 ports, DDR4 memory and more.


Geek Squad Employee Was Paid FBI Informant

At this point this is all defense attorney allegations versus repeated denials from the FBI but, what isn't in dispute, this Geek Squad employee got paid for turning this guy in to the authorities for having suspicious content on his hard drive.

A doctor in California claims that there are real secret agents in the Geek Squad, and that a paid FBI informant turned him in after finding suspicious material on his hard drive in 2012. While the FBI doesn’t deny that the Geek Squad employee did contact them about the contents of the defendant’s hard drive and that they did pay him, the Bureau insists that it didn’t employ informants working in the Geek Squad repair center to comb users’ computers for porn.


Star Wars Chase Scene Using Drones

If you have a spare five minutes, you really have to watch this video. Star Wars fan or not, just watching these drones fly is extremely impressive.


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