Featured Articles

[H]ard News

Wednesday November 25, 2015

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 caf 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?

News Image

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.

News Image

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.


Mysterious Cargo Operation In Ohio Might Belong To Amazon

As long as my packages get here in two days, I wouldn't care if Amazon was operating a base out of Guantanamo. big grin

In 2008, DHL abandoned its domestic shipping operations in the United States, putting thousands of employees out of work and leaving behind a very nice air cargo facility at a decommissioned air base in Ohio. A company started using the base recently, shipping unspecified "consumer goods," but no one will identify who it is. One likely suspect is Amazon.


AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Is A Letdown On Linux

The alternative OS gurus over at Phoronix put AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition to the test and came away disappointed.

While leaked slides indicate AMD was planning better gaming on Linux for Crimson, in the end they really didn't deliver. Even for their mentioned games, when testing various Linux OpenGL games on three different systems the performance was largely unchanged.


EPIC Star Wars Battlefront Duel

You don't need to have ever played a video game in your life to know what happened in this video. I'm not sure why I laughed so hard...but I did. big grin


Three Judges Hold The Fate Of The Internet In Their Hands

You guys might want to read up on the three judges that hold the fate of the internet in their hands. It's kind of scary when you think about it.

Three judges from the D.C. Circuit have been named to hear the oral argument on Dec. 4. Much like the Supreme Court, the very makeup of this panel could subtly shape the course of events. What do we know about the judges? Are they familiar with the issues? How might they vote? Below, get briefly acquainted with each one ahead of the big day.


Amazon Force-Resets Some Account Passwords After Password Leak

Now might be a good time to check to see if your Amazon account password has been reset. Mine wasn't but, just to be cautious, I reset mine anyway.

In the email, Amazon said it "recently discovered that your [Amazon] password may have been improperly stored on your device or transmitted to Amazon in a way that could potentially expose it to a third party." It adds: "We have corrected the issue to prevent this exposure." The email said it has "no reason" to believe passwords were improperly disclosed to a third party but issued a temporary password out of an "abundance of caution."


Gaming [H]eadlines

40-Player Star Wars Battlefront Mode Announced @ GameSpot

Destiny Refer-a-Friend Details @ VG24/7

Firefall Developer Layoffs @ Blue's News

Xbox Games With Gold December Line-Up @ Shacknews

Doctors Don't Care About Your Fitness-Tracker Data

According to a recent study, doctors do not care about your stupid fitness-tracker data...and they probably don't like you either. wink

Wearable producers such as Apple, Fitbit, and Pebble will ship more than 76 million of the devices by the end of the year, according to market research firm IDC. Some doctors and researchers, however, remain unimpressed, They question the value of the particular metrics tracked, as well as the validity of the deluge of data these gadgets produce.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: CRYORIG C7 @ techPowerUP!

ETC.: Holiday Gift Guide 2015 @ HotHardware

Gaming: Star Wars Battlefront: Benchmarks @ TechSpot

Storage: HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe @ HardwareAsylum

Video: Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming @ ocaholic

Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Extreme Gaming WaterForce @ Guru3D

Circuit Board Temporary Tattoos

What do you get for that "hard to shop for" wanna-be cyborg in your life? A temporary circuit board tattoo might do the trick.


Blue Origin: Amazon Successfully Launches, Returns Rocket

With the Space X team getting a bit of bad the press lately over failed landing attempts, it has to chap Elon Musk's ass that Bezos beat him to the punch like this.

Launching from Texas on Monday, Bezos' New Shepard crew capsule and propulsion module blasted into space with no passengers on board. After reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet, the vessel returned to Earth, landing upright just four and a half feet from its launch pad, according to Blue Origin.


SilverStone ML08 Mini-ITX Slim Case

If you are building a LAN rig, I would definitely check out this review of the SilverStone ML08 Mini-ITX Slim case at Benchmark Reviews.

SilverStone sent over their latest iteration of the mini-ITX "Z" chassis. Based off of the Raven RVZ02, today we have a chance to look at the Milo version: the ML08B-H. Following the same internal layout the Milo ML08 squeezes the same component clearances into an even slimmer chassis with some new tricks. New tool-less drive trays, a more accessible interior and two completely thermally isolated compartments identify this HTPC-oriented "Z2" case.


Uber Creates Safety Advisory Board

As far as public perception goes, I think creating a safety advisory board is a smart move for Uber. Whether or not it will make an actual difference remains to be seen.

The six-member board is made up of outsiders such as former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis; former deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation John Barton; and National Network to End Domestic Violence executive vice president Cindy Southworth. They will advise Uber’s internal safety and security teams.


Apple's iPad Pro Is A Big Fat Enterprise Failure

Ouch, that's not a very nice thing to say. wink

While I enjoy using the device, and it's an impressive piece of technology, I have come to the conclusion that like all other iPads that have come before it, the unit is totally inappropriate and undesirable for enterprise use.


Judge Rules Cox Not Absolved From User Piracy

It looks as though Cox might have suffered a bit of a setback in its case against Rightscorp. frown This is what Cox had to say to the judge about the ruling:

"Rightscorp and Plaintiffs tried to abuse Cox’s system," Cox told the judge. "Rightscorp sells shady services to copyright holders. It shakes down ISP customers for money without regard to actual liability, and it tries to enlist ISPs in its scheme. Cox explained it would not accept Rightscorp’s wrongful notices and asked Rightscorp to fix its notices. Rightscorp refused, instead dumping thousands of notices per day on Cox. As a result, Cox blocked Rightscorp’s notices. This suit is Rightscorp’s retribution, with Plaintiffs’ complicity, for Cox’s refusal to participate in Rightscorp’s scheme."


Just Cause 3 Dev Diary: Engine

Avalanche Studios put out a new Just Cause 3 dev diary that covers the actual game engine. As always, if you are looking forward to the game, this is interesting stuff.


AMD Launches New Graphics Software, Radeon Software Crimson Edition

AMD today released its completely reimagined graphics software suite, Radeon Software Crimson Edition, giving users an exceptional new user experience, 12 new or enhanced features, up to 20 percent more graphics performance1, adjustability that can nearly double generational energy efficiency2, and rock-solid stability across the full spectrum of AMD graphics products. The release is the first from the Radeon Technologies Group, which recently announced a renewed focus on software placing it on par with hardware initiatives.

Radeon Software Crimson Edition includes:

  • Radeon Settings A new, streamlined user interface: Engineered to get the best performance on AMD graphics hardware, the user-friendly and feature-rich Radeon Settings is lightning fast, starting up 10 times faster3 and initializing displays 3 times faster4 than the AMD Catalyst driver. It also offers a more intuitive navigation, a new game manager, new overdrive, and new video, display and AMD Eyefinity technology sections letting users easily apply game settings, adjust performance settings, and apply various features and configurations to their computing experience.

  • 12 new or enhanced features: A wide range of new and augmented capabilities help ensure that users enjoy the best experience possible across gaming, video and productivity applications.

  • Supercharged performance and energy efficiency: Radeon Software Crimson Edition enables up to 33 percent faster game load times5, up to 20 percent more game performance1, and up to 1.8 times more energy efficiency capability2 than its predecessor which can increasing system performance-per-watt by as much as 23 percent.6

  • First public support of AMD LiquidVR technology: GCN’s Asynchronous Compute Engine helps to dramatically improve frames per second (FPS), responsiveness and latency in Virtual Reality applications for an exceptionally smooth gaming experience on all GCN-based hardware.

  • Seamless stability: With twice the number of test cases across 15 percent more system configurations than AMD Catalyst Omega, and the implementation of a huge number of community-driven requests, Radeon Software Crimson Edition delivers exceptional stability across a range of experiences.

Download HERE.


Intel CEO Brian Krzanich Games for Good at Intel Extreme Masters

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich played a charity League of Legends match against Texas technology billionaire Mark Cuban at the Intel Extreme Masters eSports tournament in San Jose, California on Nov. 21, 2015. The match between Krzanich and Cuban raised $38K for The Cybersmile Foundation. Watch the highlight video from the match to see some of the exciting action.

News Image


Monday November 23, 2015

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

If you are looking for a new mid-tower ATX case that is easy on the eyes, ears and wallet, make sure you read our evaluation of the Thermaltake Suppressor F31.

News Image

Thermaltake is upping its computer case game with the new Suppressor F31 chassis. It is nice and wide at 250mm and has plenty of features. "Leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance."


Previous News