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Saturday February 06, 2016

Doom’s Box Art Is Terrible

There seems to be a unanimous hatred toward the cover art for the Doom reboot. I have not been following the game’s development and am surprised at how the main character is a Master Chief reject.

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That art is painfully boring and dull. You have a generic-looking robot soldier in front of what appears to be fire. It looks like something you'd find in the portfolio of a talented artist who was trying to show they could do a particular style without trying to use the imagery of any specific game. It's lifeless and dull.


Morocco Unveils Massive Solar Power Plant In The Sahara

Even if you don’t know a thing about solar technologies, you can probably appreciate the level of symmetry that went into this.

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The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants. When the next two phases, Noor II and Noor III, are finished, the plant will be the single largest solar power production facility in the world.


Zuckerberg: Facebook Will Have 5 Billion Users By 2030

That is an impressive estimate, but how many of those will be fake accounts?

By 2030, Facebook aims to have 5 billion of the world’s 7 billion humans connected to its social network, a 3.5-billion jump that could be accomplished in part by deploying autonomous planes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the comments Monday during an event at the company’s new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters designed to celebrate Facebook’s 12th anniversary Thursday, which it has dubbed Friends Day.


Batman v. Superman: The Batman Suite Music Sample

Hans Zimmer tasked Junkie XL with composing a new Batman theme since he already did that to death for the Nolan films. As I expected, Zimmer’s original work with Newton Howard is way better.


Teen Sues TV Station For Broadcasting His Genitals

"Ars has been unable to locate the offending footage…" Why would you even go looking for it?

A South Carolina teenager has sued a Colorado television station over allegations the station broadcasted a picture of his erect penis taken from a cell phone video uploaded to YouTube. The case, known as Holden v. KOAA, asks for $1 million in damages and accuses the station, its reporter, its parent companies (NBC and Comcast), and other defendants of violating federal child pornography laws, invasion of privacy and negligence, and other allegations.


Twitter To Introduce Algorithmic Timeline As Soon As Next Week

In light of this news, the hashtag "#RIPTwitter" is currently trending. Why can’t they introduce features that actually make sense, like an easier way to search within a specific user feed?

Say hello to a brand new Twitter. The company is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News has learned. The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order. It is unclear whether Twitter will force users to use the algorithmic feed, or it will merely be an option.


Street Fighter V Live-Action Dance Battle

Capcom UK has decided to celebrate the impending release of Street Fighter V with poor cosplay. At least the music is tolerable.

…Capcom UK…hired London-based Hip-Hop dance theatre troupe ZooNation to perform a live round-robin-style dance battle called "Street Fighter V Hits London" at a launch event for their game Wednesday. The group dressed up as six fighters, including four classic characters — Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy — and newcomers Laura and Rashid. The fighting is … Well, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a promotional dance performance inspired by a video game.


Is Steve Ballmer The Unsung Hero Of Microsoft’s Resurgence?

This editorial argues that Microsoft is still very much what it was under Ballmer’s leadership, despite Satya Nadella’s "recalibrations."

…despite Nadella's eschewing of that mantra and repositioning the company as "mobile first, cloud first," Microsoft still looks a lot like the company Steve Ballmer left behind: bursting with hardware inspiration that’s leading a once reluctant, usually monolithic and boring OEM contingent into a new era. Just look at the improved hybrid hardware from Dell, HP, Lenovo and even Asus. Moreover, Dell and HP have agreed do the unthinkable: resell and support Microsoft Surface in the enterprise. And Apple made the iPad Pro, a conspicuous Surface follower.


Film Coating Transforms Contact Lenses Into Computer Screens

Societal detachment continues with the possibility of future contact lenses doubling as electronic displays. At least no one will call you a Glasshole.

Scientists from the University of South Australia's Future Industries Institute have successfully completed "proof of concept" research on a polymer film coating that conducts electricity on a contact lens, with the potential to build miniature electrical circuits that are safe to be worn by a person. UniSA researcher from the FII, Associate Professor Drew Evans said the technology was a "game changer" and could provide one of the safest methods to bring people and their smart devices closer together.


Verizon Betrays Net Neutrality By Excluding Video App From Data Caps

Verizon’s go90 video platform will no longer count against customers’ data caps, but this decision is regarded by many to be a violation of the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Verizon and other carriers have argued that zero-rating programs, like the one snuck in today, are beneficial to consumers and do not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules — but their arguments are based on a market of artificial scarcity they have created, and now intend to exploit.


iPhones "Disabled" If Apple Detects Third-Party Repairs

It seems that Apple is now your only option if your iPhone needs repair. Apple has already hit back, claiming that the decision was made to protect your security.

Thousands of iPhone 6 users claim they have been left holding almost worthless phones because Apple’s latest operating system permanently disables the handset if it detects that a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician. Relatively few people outside the tech world are aware of the so-called "error 53" problem, but if it happens to you you’ll know about it. And according to one specialist journalist, it "will kill your iPhone".


Malware Museum Lets You Run Old MS-DOS Viruses

The Internet Archive has published a collection of old viruses that you can run under emulation to see their effects.

The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually viruses, that were distributed in the 1980s and 1990s on home computers. Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected. Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.


Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient

This comes straight from the company’s Executive VP, who said that "the best pure technology improvements we can make will bring improvements in power consumption but will reduce speed."

Intel has said that new technologies in chip manufacturing will favour better energy consumption over faster execution times – effectively calling an end to ‘Moore’s Law’, which successfully predicted the doubling of density in integrated circuits, and therefore speed, every two years.


Friday February 05, 2016

H1Z1 Money Grab Begins with Game's Split?

TechLarry, long time cynical [H] reader, makes the point that the H1Z1 developers are out to grab more money for the stupid and wandering lifeless masses...and you too. Actually what is happening is that the makers are splitting its yet-to-really-be-released game H1Z1 into two games, each costing $20 in the very near future. However, if you buy H1Z1 before February 18th, you still get both versions of the game for $20

So, we’ve decided to do just that – we’re excited to announce that the survival game will now be called H1Z1: Just Survive, with a renewed focus on truly delivering a persistent, open-world zombie survival experience where scavenging, crafting, and base building are the difference between life and death.

We’re also excited to announce that the fast-paced shooter comprised of multiple, fight-to-the-death game modes, including Battle Royale, will be called H1Z1: King of the Kill (KotK).

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Thermaltake Launches 3DMakers Site

Can't find the exact part you are looking for in your latest PC build? Thermaltake is looking to make that a situation that will never happen again. 3DMakers.com allows users to upload and download free 3D printable PC mods of all kinds. If you are into 3D printing, and you might be soon, you will be glad to learn that all of the files are in a 3D-print-ready STL format. While this is in its infancy, I can see this getting big in the coming years. You know, before the death of the PC. Thermaltake already has a some files ready for download to 3D print that you can use to further modify your new Core P5 Thermaltake chassis.


Rise of the Tomb Raider Patch

I have yet to get into a good gaming session of Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I do know that Brent is working on an article right now to look at gaming performance. However it looks like all of his work just got pushed towards File 13 since this ROTR patch was just released and it does address a lot of graphics issues. While there are many more fixes listed than just these, these are the ones that stuck out to my eye.

New graphics option 'Specular Reflection Quality' to enhance resolution and reduce aliasing of specular reflections, at some performance cost.

New graphics option to disable film-grain independently from 'Screen Effects'.

Improved HBAO+ quality, including better occlusion for distant objects.

Improved NVIDIA SLI performance. (Steam only)

Fixed SLI glitches during water/snow effects. (Steam only)

Then I got to thinking, "What about Laura Croft...naked?" And I found this to share. Thank you ObsoleteGamer.com page with nothing on it, but bigger thanks to Google for the image cache. (Possibly NSFW, but SFW if no one is looking, you know what I mean.)

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Custom Lego Computer Chassis

This is not even close to the first time we have seen this done, but Mike Schropp over at TotalGeekdom has put together one of the most elegant Lego computer chassis examples I have ever seen. Typically the builders go with a bit of an overbright or corny look. Mike has not done that at all. I like this guy because he has gone beyond just putting bricks around his components, but also is custom re-building some of his components to work better in his system. Build you own PC in seconds at PC Hound, don't think you can prebuy a Lego case though you lazy bastard!

My thinking therefore took a turn to the "what if…" What if the design of the case was built to try to match the hardware better, to be more efficient in its packaging and system cooling? So I started looking into where improvements could be made. The thing that really stood out to me the most at this point was the inherent design drawbacks in system cooling. Here the standard box cases are, again, adequate. They rely on convection and usually an intake and exhaust fan (or more) cycling air through the system, exchanging fresh air for heated air. The downside of this system is that it doesn’t really control where the air is directed, and in most cases you end up with a lot of localized hot spots within the case because they do not have direct airflow. This allows for certain components to run hotter and, as a result, be less stable in a highly stressed system and more prone to failure.

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IRS Back Up and Running! Yea!

Well maybe not "yea," but the IRS did spend some time in our forums last night and get all its hardware questions answered today...obviously...because the IRS fixed its hardware problems.


NVIDIA Looking HOT to nVestors

While many have questioned NVIDIA business moves over the last few years outside of it main consumer GPU realm, it seems as though some folks are making some big bets on NVIDIA in the coming months. Dorsey Wright & Associates purchased over $3.5M worth of NVIDIA stock in Q4. However they are not alone, as ClariVest Asset Management LLC purhased over $20.5M worth of stock.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. ClariVest Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in NVIDIA during the fourth quarter worth approximately $20,651,000. Acadian Asset Management increased its position in shares of NVIDIA by 3,321.5% in the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management now owns 330,960 shares of the computer hardware maker’s stock worth $10,908,000 after buying an additional 321,287 shares during the last quarter.


Napolitano Brings Big Brother to U of California

It looks as if University of California President Janet Napolitano was looking to keep this on the down-low, but that is not going to happen now as some of the other academic elite seem to have a high regard for privacy. Hit up the Daily Bruin, we read it every day, for all the 411.

The University of California Office of the President has installed computer hardware capable of monitoring email transactions among computers across the University of California system.

In the email sent out to members of faculty, Ligon said the UCOP asked members of the committee to keep this monitoring a secret. He added he thinks as a member of a UC Academic Senate committee, continued silence on behalf of the committee will make them an accomplice in violation of policies of shared governance and academic freedom.


Get Off Your Ass and Help this Guy

Dude! You know when a guy that lurks this hard comes out into the daylight to ask a question, well, you know it is friggin' important. This is Eruden's third post in the HardForum in the last 10 years. So you computer audio experts get in there and help this guy out.

Clueless Gamer Super Bowl Edition: "Doom"

This edition of Clueless Gamer has Conan playing DOOM with a couple NFL players. I'll admit, this installment isn't very funny and there isn't a lot of game footage either but I'll take what I can get.


Most Windows Security Flaws Mitigated By 'Removing Admin Rights'

According to a new report, almost ninety percent of vulnerabilities targeting Windows last year could have been prevented by removing administrative rights.

The report, released on Thursday by security firm Avecto said a total of 85 percent of critical flaws affecting the operating system could've been stopped at the gate, and prevented from spreading deep into system files. Administrator accounts are common among consumer and home PCs, because they give users access to everything on the computer. But malware, when it strikes, also gets the same privileges. That means malware or hackers can modify core Windows files, and steal or destroy data.


Robot That Changes Color To Blend Into Its Surroundings

Just great, now we won't be able to see them coming when they try to KILL US ALL! At least it moves really slow. I'm pretty sure I can still get away from that by just walking fast.


ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Horus GK2000

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Horus GK2000 mechanical gaming keyboard. It has a built-in 32-bit micro-programmed control unit (MCU) and 4MB of onboard memory, plus an intuitive ROG user interface that allows users to customize macro and function keys for complex multi-key commands with just a single keystroke. ROG Horus GK2000 has a premium, high-quality feel and has CNC-processed aluminum accents with a special topcoat finish. It also features a removable palm rest, 2-way adjustable feet, and a detachable stand for mobile devices.


Thursday February 04, 2016

Google Now Testing Self-Driving Cars In Washington

If you live in Kirkland, Washington you should keep your eyes out for Google's self-driving cars starting next month. Google must want to see how those things handle in the rain.

The company's Google unit has conducted autonomous vehicle testing for six years in Mountain View, California, where it is based, and it expanded testing to Austin, Texas last summer. Google said in a statement that one reason for the new site in the northwest United States is to gain experience in "different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions."


Apple Ordered To Pay $625M In FaceTime Patent Lawsuit

A federal jury in Texas decided Apple must pay VirnetX Holding Corp. more than $625 million for using the patent licensing company's internet security technology without permission in FaceTime and iMessage. eek!

VirnetX has been a thorn in Apple's side (and a good chunk of the tech industry) for the better part of this decade. It first sued Apple in 2010 over the alleged use of virtual private network (VPN) patents in FaceTime video chats, and has been successful enough in court to wring hundreds of millions of dollars out of the folks in Cupertino. And today, it's striking again: a court has ordered Apple to pay $625 million dollars for purportedly using VirnetX's security tech in both FaceTime and iMessage. That's actually more than the $532 million VirnetX had wanted, and a huge windfall for a company that has little business outside of lawsuits (aka a patent troll).


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Bitfenix Pandora @ CowcotLand

ETC.: G.Skill Ripjaws SR910 7.1 @ Hardware Asylum

Zotac NEN SN970 Steam Machine @ ThinkComputers

Storage: Micron M600 512GB SSD @ NikKTech

OCZ TRION 150 240GB SSD @ Guru3D

Video: Gainward GTX 960 Phantom 4GB @ Legion Hardware

EU Clears Western Digital Acquisition Of SanDisk

The European Commission has given a green light to Western Digital's acquisition of SanDisk. The EU approved the deal after finding that the takeover wouldn’t negatively impact competition in Europe.

In October, Western Digital agreed to buy SanDisk in a $19 billion deal that will increase its ability to make flash memory storage chips used in smartphones and tablets. "I am pleased that we have been able to ensure that this multi-billion dollar deal in a fast-developing industry can go ahead without delay," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a statement.


Date Site Users Regularly Scammed

Scammers are using dating sites to take advantage of people? Who knew? Remember back in the old days when you had to meet your date face to face before you were scammed, robbed or beaten. Ahhh, those were the days. wink

Research showed that 48% of those questioned in the UK, France and Germany for the survey had received spam and scam messages from others on dating services. Around 32% had received requests for cash from the people they got talking to and 28% had been catfished - ie tricked by someone who had assumed a fake identity by stealing images or videos. About 32% had been threatened with the release of compromising images they had shared and 11% had seen this content put online without their consent.


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