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[H]appy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving, the one day of the year we all acknowledge the many things we are thankful for. Whether it is your friends, family and loved ones or your overclocked gaming rig, today is the day to be thankful for those things. Here at [H]ard|OCP, we feel it is important for us to give thanks to you guys because, without you, none of this would be possible. So, from all of us here at the [H], have a Happy Thanksgiving! Go enjoy some food, family and football!

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[H]ard News

Gigabyte Z170X Gaming G1 Review

There is a review of the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming G1 motherboard posted today at Tech Report. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

So, what do you do if you want an abundance of PCIe lanes, but you also want your system to sport the latest Skylake cores? Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard just so happens to tick those two boxes. Selling for $473 at Newegg right now, the Gaming G1 sits right at the top of Gigabyte's Z170 lineup.


Three Goldman Bankers Leave For Uber

It looks like Uber is stocking up on Wall Street Bankers. Any guesses as to what the company is up to?

The bankers are the latest to leave Wall Street banks for Silicon Valley startups, where the lure of more flexible hours - and in some cases stock options and share grants - can be hard to resist. For tech companies, having bankers on staff can help smooth the path to an initial public offering and other capital raisings.


More Thefts Happen on Black Friday Than on Any Other Day

Just a heads up for those of you planning on doing a little Black Friday shopping this year. It would seem that thieves work overtime stealing stuff on that day. eek!

Clothing and apparel, he said, are 40% more likely to be stolen on Black Friday when compared to any other Friday. Toys are three times more likely to be taken on Black Friday in comparison to the average Friday. When Travelers took a closer look inside this category, they found video games thefts are 42% higher on Black Friday when compared to the average Friday. Curiously, theft claims related to electronic items – often the product category that is most splurged upon by Black Friday shoppers – do not significantly differ on Black Friday when put side-by-side with other days.


Thanksgiving [H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Mid-Tower TechnologyX

ETC.: Lenovo Yoga 900 @ HotHardware

MSI Interceptor DS200 Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum RGB @ NikKTech

Motherboards: ASRock Z170 Extreme6 @XtremeHardware

Gigabyte H170N-WIFI @ Hardware Secrets

Power Supply: Cooler Master V550S @ techPowerUP!

Storage: ADATA XPG SX930 @ HiTech Legion

Video: Acer Predator XR341CK @ HardwareCanucks

Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming WaterForce @ Hexus

Hilton Says Some Payment Systems Hit By Malware

This would have been nice to know before everyone hit the road this week to be with family and friends for the holiday. frown

Hotel chain operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it identified unauthorized malware in some payment systems that targeted payment card information. A third-party investigation found that the malware targeted specific payment card information, that included cardholder names, payment card numbers, security codes and expiration dates, Hilton said.


ASUS Announces 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti

ASUS is releasing the GTX 980 Ti version for the 20th Anniversary Golden Edition to celebrate 20 years of making graphics cards. This will be the last chance to get the limited edition gold card. It is not just a GTX 980 Ti in gold, this is the fastest GTX 980 Ti on the planet - even without liquid cooling! Yes, you can buy it, with the GPU base clock set to a whopping 1,266MHz, and 1,367Mhz for GPU boosted clock! To put that in perspective, that is even higher than the mighty ROG Matrix GTX 980 Ti with a base clock of of 1,216 MHz and boosted clock of 1,317Mhz! This translates to 22.1% more performance in Grand Theft Auto V and 20.8% more frames per second in Witcher 3 when compared to reference!

Advanced features such as Memory Defroster for LN2 overclocking, color-coded Load Indicator to display GPU load level, and Safe Mode for instant VBIOS reload are all onboard. DirectCU II with 0dB fan technology provides complete silence for general use, while being 30% cooler and three times quieter than reference during more intensive gaming. Each card is produced using the new environmentally-friendly ASUS AUTO-EXTREME technology, which also makes every card consistently better in quality while increasing overclocking headroom.


University of Toronto Receives $200K NVIDIA Foundation Award for Cancer Research

A team at the University of Toronto, led by Dr. Brendan Frey, is advancing computational cancer research by developing a "genetic interpretation engine" – a GPU-powered, deep learning method for identifying cancer-causing mutations. Today the NVIDIA Foundation, our employee-driven philanthropy arm, awarded Frey and his team a US$200,000 grant to further that work — and help them usher in an era of personal and effective cancer care.

Cancer kills almost 600,000 people each year in the U.S. alone. It can be caused by any one of an endless variety of mutations, across many different genes. This can make it hard to identify quickly and treat in a highly targeted way. As computers grow more powerful, scientists are delving into giant datasets and deploying computer simulations to research how cancer develops. Part of our "Compute the Cure" initiative, the NVIDIA Foundation’s grant will help Frey’s team scale up their GPU-powered methods so they can be applied to a large number of personal genomes in clinical settings, ultimately involving hundreds of thousands of genomes.


Wednesday November 25, 2015

Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 Too Sexist For Europe And US

A rep for Koei Tecmo says that he’s aware of how the industry wishes to portray women in video games but that the company did not want to talk about such issues.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, the voyeuristic beach volleyball game, will not be released in the US or Europe due to its publisher's apparent concerns over how Western audiences will respond to its depictions of women. The game, which features a sun-tanning system and options to dress its full-figured characters in various costumes, is currently set for launch in Japan on PS Vita and PlayStation 4 in February 2016.


iPhone 8 May Sport OLED Display

Well, this is definitely one way to get me to switch from Android to Apple. I also hope it happens so I can make fun of Apple for bashing the technology not too long ago.

"Samsung Display has recently renewed talks with Apple to supply its small-sized OLED displays for the next iPhones to be released in a few years, which I believe is around 2018," an anonymous industry executive told The Korea Times.


Wu-Tang Clan Sells Single-Copy Album For Millions

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin: Six years in the making, only one copy in existence, and housed in an epic package of materials ranging from silver to black cow leather. But is it better than Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers?

According to a release by Paddle8, the upstart auction house that sold the double-album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has been sold to a "private American collector" for a price "in the millions." The sale was agreed upon in May, but it took months to finalize contracts and legal protections for the unusual record.


$10 Tool Can Guess (And Steal) Your AMEX Credit Card Number

AMEX claims this is a non-issue while others claim the number generated is obvious, but this seems like a substantial security issue to me.

His watch-sized gadget, which he calls MagSpoof, can store more than a hundred credit card numbers and emit an electromagnetic field that’s strong enough to hit a credit card reader’s sensor from close proximity, sending a signal that imitates a credit card being swiped. Kamkar’s device also includes a button that implements his prediction algorithm; if a criminal using MagSpoof were to find that a credit card they tried to spoof had been cancelled, the device could immediately generate the victim’s next card number.


Google Lets You Awaken The Force Within

Google has set up a fun Star Wars tie-in that lets you skin Gmail and other apps with light side or dark side stuff with the click of a button. The lightsaber noises on YouTube drove me nuts so I ended up turning it off, but some of you may find it interesting. Also search "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away" for something neat.


FBI Has Lead In Probe Of 1.2 Billion Stolen Web Credentials

Well, look on the bright side; it could have been two or three billion credentials that were stolen.

The FBI investigation was prompted by last year's announcement by Milwaukee-based cybersecurity firm Hold Security that it obtained information that a Russian hacker group it dubbed CyberVor had stolen the 1.2 billion credentials and more than 500 million email addresses.


Mars May Become A Ringed Planet Someday

Looks like the Red Planet may be joining Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the esteemed ring club.

In a few tens of millions of years, the Red Planet may completely crush its innermost moon, Phobos, and form a ring of rocky debris, according to the new work. Phobos is moving closer to Mars every year, meaning the planet's gravitational pull on the satellite is increasing. Some scientists have theorized that Phobos will eventually collide with Mars, but the new research suggests that the small moon may not last that long.


Neural Network Describes Video In Real Time

This is obviously nowhere near perfect, but it’s accurate enough to freak me out.

The text in the video by U.S. artist and coder Kyle McDonald was generated in real time by a neural network. McDonald's network -- which was based off a system called NeuralTalk developed by Stanford Ph.D. student Andrej Karpathy -- analyzes live webcam footage from the laptop and then transcribes what it's seeing in text form.


Steam Autumn Sale Is On

Just a heads up that Steam’s Exploration Sale is now active. I see that a "highlighted deals" section now takes the place of the daily sales and flash sales slot of previous iterations.

Why is it called the Exploration Sale? Because you can "discover thousands of great deals". Much like a giant baleen whale sifting the ocean for krill. Only in this instance the krill are actually surprisingly affordable games. And the water is the internet. Or Gaben's secret bank account. I might be reading to much into the accompanying promotional image, honestly.


Future Smartphone Screens May Hardly Need Any Power

I don’t know if this is it, but I have a hunch that we’ll solve that pesky issue of a display using so much power sooner or later.

The innovation, based on the technology that is used for rewritable DVDs, uses electrical pulses to create vivid, hi-tech displays that require no power and can be viewed clearly, even in direct sunlight.


Smartphones Overtake Desktops For Holiday Shopping

Apparently I’m the only one who wants to blow his brains out when he has to browse a site on a smartphone, particularly retail ones with tons of bloat.

Mobile traffic during the five-day start to what is typically the busiest shopping period of the year is expected to reach 56.9 percent of total traffic, up from 48.5 percent last year, according to IBM Watson. And even though everyone who "window shops" on their phones isn't going to buy, mobile sales are jumping too. Mobile sales are expected to account for 36.1 percent of online sales, up from 27 percent last year, according to IBM Watson Trend.


Woman Missing Since 2005 And Feared Dead Was Living In Internet Cafes For A Decade

I guess this one will serve as the strange headline of the day.

Yun said she had lived in several places over the last ten years, including Jinhua, Jiangxi, and Hangzhou, and had survived through donations from fellow internet café users. A decade of playing CrossFire had made Yun so good at the game other users would pay her to teach them the best tactics. She had also occasionally worked as a cashier in some of the cafes to earn extra money.


Teen Solves Rubik’s Cube In Under 5 Seconds

I thought the kid was using a mutant power or something for a second.

Lucas Etter, 14, solved a Rubik’s Cube in under five seconds — 4.90 to be exact — Saturday at the River Hill Fall 2015 competition in Clarksville, Maryland. The World Cube Association told TIME it is still in the process of verifying the record, but confirmed that the "speedcuber" Etter achieved a faster time than the current world record holder Collin Burns, who solved one in 5.25 seconds.


Windows-Based Tablet Adoption Expected To Nearly Double By 2019

I’ll be the first in line when someone, anyone, puts Windows on an AMOLED tablet.

…Analytics projects the growth of Windows-based tablets to jump to 18% by end-of-year 2019 - nearly double the current tablet marketshare for Windows. The success of Windows tablets can be mostly attributed to the success of the Surface line, which crowned the new Surface Pro 4 as the tablet flagship for Microsoft. On top of that, 2-in-1 devices from partners like ASUS, Acer and Lenovo offer great utility at low price points, making it cheaper for consumers to give Windows on tablets a try.


Wikipedia Founder: All Internet Traffic To Be Encrypted Soon

Mr. Wales thinks that most if not all of the web will have adopted SSL in the near future, which is probably a good thing. Thanks to those who sent this in.

According to data company Sandvine, 29.1% of data packets sent over the internet in April 2015 were encrypted. By 2016, this number is expected to jump to 64.7%, as Netflix switches completely to SSL. Wales believes that this will prompt a steady move across the web, until only the very smallest sites remain, as he calls it, ‘in the clear’.


Amazon Pulling Ads Suggesting Nazis From NYC Subways

Wait, you mean people weren’t comfortable with sitting on the flags of Nazi America and Imperial Japan?

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…New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio called the ads "irresponsible and offensive" in remarks provided to the New York Daily News. The Anti-Defamation League told the New York blog Gothamist that the ads appeared out of context; straphangers would not immediately recognize they were meant to re-create the atmosphere of the Amazon program, not put symbols once ascribed to Nazi Germany in front of riders’ eyes.


PS4 Sales Hit 30 Million Worldwide

Sony claims this is the "fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation hardware history," and I’m sure they are going to sell a lot more with all the $299 deals this holiday.

The 30 million sales milestone was achieved just weeks after a series of PS4 price cuts across North America, Australia, Japan, and Europe. Andrew House, the group chief executive at PlayStation said: "We are sincerely grateful that gamers across the globe have continued to choose PS4 as the best place to play since launch two years ago."


Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Marvel has finally dropped the first trailer for what some are dubbing "Avengers 2.5." Highlights include our first glimpses of Black Panther, and Iron Man getting his butt handed to him.


Windows 10 November Update Pulled Due To Privacy Setting Bug

Bug, eh? I’ll take Microsoft’s word for it. But I hear that there is still that little issue of random programs being uninstalled for no reason, though…

Microsoft told WinBeta the update was pulled due to issues with privacy concerns. More specifically, upon installing the update, Windows would not remember the users had set privacy settings, meaning Windows would simply default them. While not a huge bug, it did raise a few privacy concerns amongst those upgrading.


Tuesday November 24, 2015

Radeon R9 Nano Small Form Factor Competition Review

If you haven't done so already, make sure you guys take a moment to check out our Radeon R9 Nano Small Form Factor Competition Review. If you are considering the Radeon R9 Nano for your next SFF build, this article definitely is a must read.

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Our second installment covering our AMD Radeon R9 Nano in a Small Form Factor chassis is finally done. We will upgrade the case to a Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini ITX PC Case and compare the R9 Nano to price competitive video cards that can be installed. We game at 1440p and 4K for the ultimate small form factor experience.


Li-Fi Is 100x Faster Than Wi-Fi?

Wow, it's been a few years since we've heard anything about Li-Fi. I didn't realize they were still working on this.

Li-Fi, a super-fast alternative to Wi-Fi, is finally moving from research labs to the real world after an Estonian startup implemented the technology within a commercial context. Velmenni, a recent finalist at the Slush 100 startup competition in Helsinki, revealed that it has begun trialling the technology within offices and industrial environments in Tallinn.


Microsoft's Female Workforce Shrank 2% Last Year

Men are to blame for this. I don't know how or why, but men are to blame.

The decline was due to layoffs from the restructuring of the phone businesses Microsoft acquired from Nokia last year, Gwen Houston, Microsoft's general manager of global diversity and inclusion, wrote in the report. As part of the restructuring, the company eliminated many manufacturing jobs at factories outside the US. Those jobs were held by a high percentage of women, she said.


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