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Thursday March 05, 2015

$415M Offer Advanced in Tech-Wages Case

With a settlement offer on the table of $415 million, it looks as though the class action suit against Apple, Adobe, Google and Intel might finally be coming to an end.

A federal judge indicated she would grant preliminary approval of a $415 million class action settlement in a contentious wage dispute between software engineers and tech giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. The settlement is $35 million more than what was offered and denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh last year. The companies officially upped their offer to $415 million in January.


Office For Mac Preview Is Out Now

All you Mac users out there can finally download the Office for Mac preview.

Welcome to the new and modern Office for Mac! You will receive regular updates automatically until the official release in the second half of 2015. The new Office for Mac user interface is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the latest Mac features, including retina display and full-screen view support.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: be quiet! Silent Base 800 @ Neoseeker

ETC.: PC Perspective Podcast #339 @ PCPer

Sentey Revolution Pro SP @ Bjorn3D

Storage: Plextor M6e PCI Express SSD @ Vortez

Video: Evolve Gameplay And Performance Review @ HotHardware

Lockheed Laser Weapon Destroys Truck From a Mile Away

Lockheed Martin tested its 30-kilowatt laser on a truck . You can see the results in the picture below:

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"This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks," Keoki Jackson, chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.


University Installs Prototype 'Pee Power' Toilet

While the thought of this is kind of nasty, it's actually a pretty good idea. No sense in pissing away free electricity.

A prototype toilet has been launched on a UK university campus to prove that urine can generate electricity, and show its potential for helping to light cubicles in international refugee camps. Students and staff at the Bristol-based University of the West of England are being asked to use the working urinal to feed microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power indoor lighting.


Quote of the Day

I wish I could have been there when this judge told Apple "You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" big grin

Apple Inc told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday that rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should be barred from selling products that infringe on its smartphone patents, but the judges were skeptical. Judge Kimberly Moore was skeptical that Apple was being harmed since it already licenses some technology to other companies. "You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" she said.


Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 16GB 2800MHz

After spending a little quality time with a couple sticks of Patriot's Viper 4 DDR4 16GB 2800MHz, the crew at Bjorn3D seem rather impressed with what they saw.

The Patriot Viper 4 Series DDR4 16GB 2800MHz kit not only looks good it performs well. Nothing about the 2011v3 platform is cheap and the Patriot Viper is no exception at the time of writing the price rang in at $299.99.


How To Make An Electrical Arc Furnace

This is definitely one of the coolest videos you will see all day! You should watch some of this guy's other videos while you are at it. cool


Facebook To Stop Counting Likes From Some Accounts

Facebook announced today that it will remove likes from people who have deactivated their accounts or have died. So far, there have been no complaints from the people that died, have deactivated accounts or both. wink

"It's important to remember...that these removed Likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook," the company said in a blog post. "Everyone benefits from meaningful information on Facebook."


Companies Have Little Incentive To Invest In Cybersecurity

I bet if we started holding companies more accountable there would be a little more incentive to invest in cybersecurity.

When we examine the evidence, though, the actual expenses from the recent and high-profile breaches at Sony, Target and Home Depot amount to less than 1% of each company’s annual revenues. After reimbursement from insurance and minus tax deductions, the losses are even less.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Ashes of the Singularity Announced @ Blue's News

Curt Schilling On 38 Studios Failure @ GamePolitics

Gigantic Coming To Win 10 and XB1 In 2015 @ Shacknews

GTA Online Heists Teaser Video @ VG24/7

Intel Outlines 2015 Gaming News And Initiatives With Key Partners At GDC

As a follow-up the press release we posted this morning, I wanted to give you guys a direct link to this blog post about the announcements made by Intel at the Game Developers Conference. In addition to giving its first 5th gen Intel Core processor with Iris Pro graphics demonstration, the company announced new programs, utilities, tools, and games for Intel owners and developers

Intel is committed to gaming. Whether it’s the hardware that games are played and developed on, the tools that enable developers or the gamers themselves, Intel is driven to deliver the best gaming experience. This week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), we announced new programs, tools, utilities and games that will take advantage of the latest Intel technologies.

Intel recently introduced our 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors resulting in a wave of products built on Intel’s industry-leading 14nm process technology. In a new disclosure at GDC, Intel showed the first 5th Generation Core LGA-socketed CPU with Intel® Iris™ Pro graphics. This 65 watt unlocked desktop processor, available mid-2015, will bring new levels of performance and power efficiency to Mini PCs and desktop All-In-Ones. Since 2006 the 3D performance of Intel Graphics has increased nearly 100 fold (Intel 3DMark06 measurements) and powerful form factors from Acer, Medion and Intel’s own NUCs are becoming available with 5th Generation Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Graphics.

Ongoing Discussion

GIGABYTE X99 SOC Champion LGA 2011-v3 Review

Those of you in the market for a new X99 based motherboard should definitely read our evaluation of the GIGABYTE X99 SOC Champion LGA 2011-v3 motherboard.

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The X99 SOC Champion LGA 2011-v3 socketed motherboard from GIGABYTE has all the ingredients for record breaking performance, rock solid stability, and outstanding performance. GIGABYTE's hardware design has been moving in the right direction lately so how does this "Super OverClocking" motherboard hold up to stress?


Phil Harrison To Leave Microsoft

Rumor has it that Phil Harrison is leaving Microsoft. The company isn't commenting just yet, so maybe they are holding out until next week to make the announcement on Harrison's third anniversary with Microsoft. smile

"I don't, no. I'm sorry, I don't think I can say anything about that," Xbox boss Phil Spencer told Eurogamer when asked today at GDC. Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox also refused to comment - with a Microsoft spokesperson stepping in to say Charla wasn't the person to ask about staffing issues, and that the company does not comment on rumour or speculation.


"HBO Now" Coming This Spring For $15 Per Month

How many of you out there would pay $15 a month for HBO Now? Seems a bit steep when you compare it to Netflix.

A source speaking to the International Business Times said that HBO will launch its standalone streaming service, called HBO Now, for $15 per month this spring with the premier of Game of Thrones. The company is also working with Apple to make Apple TV one of the launch partners for the service, the sources said.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cooling: Noctua NH-D9L @ ThinkComputers

Reeven Okeanos CPU Cooler @ pcGameware

ETC.: Cougar 600K @ Modders Inc.

Kingston HyperX Cloud II Headset @ OCC

Memory: Kingston HyperX Savage @ Bjorn3D

Video: ASUS PB279Q @ XtremeHardware

Facebook Posts Land US Contractor In Emirates Jail

Be careful what you say about your employer on Facebook, you never know when it might land you in jail in a foreign country. eek!

"I just couldn't register it in my head because as an American growing up in the United States, the First Amendment right is just ingrained in my brain," he said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I never even entertained the fact that I would wind up in prison out here for something I put on Facebook in the United States."


Why This Tech Bubble is Worse Than the Tech Bubble of 2000

Mark Cuban's latest blog post outlines the reason he thinks the current tech bubble is far worse than the tech bubble of 2000.

So why is this bubble far worse than the tech bubble of 2000? Because the only thing worse than a market with collapsing valuations is a market with no valuations and no liquidity. If stock in a company is worth what somebody will pay for it, what is the stock of a company worth when there is no place to sell it?


[H] Reader Interviewed At GDC By The Epic Games Team

Long time [H] reader and forum member KazeoHin was interviewed yesterday at GDC by the Epic Games Team about his contribution to UT4. Hit the link to watch the full interview on Twitch (fast forward to the 4:50 mark).

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2014 A Record Year For Malware

w00t! 2014 was a record year! Sure, it was a record year for malware, but it's still a record. big grin

In an annual report released Monday (PDF), Panda said that in 2014 it detected and eliminated 75 million samples of malicious software -- harmful code also known as malware, which includes things like computer viruses and worms. That's more than double the 30 million new malware strains recorded in 2013 by the company, which provides both home and business computer-security services. On average, 200,000 new malware strains were detected daily in 2014, the firm said.


Microsoft Wants Devs To Use Windows 10 To Ease Xbox One Development

I think a strategy that focuses on cross-platform gaming could be huge for Microsoft if they do it right.

Spencer wants to see unified gaming across all Windows 10 devices, including the Xbox One. This allows gamers that play on any Windows 10 device to play with those on Xbox One. No longer will there be a divide, which is great for multiplayer games. This means if someone is playing on PC, they can play with Xbox One users as well. Everything will crossover.


ASUS Wins Ten 2015 iF Design Awards

ASUS products won 10 prestigious iF Product Design Awards at a ceremony held on 27th March, 2015 at the BMW Welt Event Forum in Munich. The award-winning products represent the ASUS commitment to design and engineering excellence, and were selected from a competitive field of 4,783 entries from 53 countries. The winners include Transformer Book Chi, ZenFone 2, ZenWatch, ZenBook UX305, Chromebook C, Republic of Gamers (ROG) GX 500, ROG G20, ROG Swift PG278Q, ASUS MX27A, and the ASUS Smart Home System. iF Design Awards are recognized worldwide as seal of quality for products that excel in specific criteria including design quality, degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics and more. An independent jury of 53 experts from all over the world assesses products and selects winners.


Advancements In Gaming Unveiled By Intel At GDC

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Intel announced new programs, tools, utilities and games available for Intel users and developers taking advantage of Intel’s latest CPU and graphics platform capabilities. Intel demonstrated the first desktop 5th gen Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® Iris™ Pro graphics, coming this summer. Applications from key ISVs such as Codemasters*, Ubisoft*, and Funcom* as well as Microsoft* DirectX 12 applications running smoothly on Intel graphics were demonstrated and a new developer program "Achievement Unlocked" was announced. The company also announced a leading gaming software utility from Raptr* available for the first time on Intel graphics that automatically adjusts a PCs’ game settings for optimal gameplay.


Wednesday March 04, 2015

Double Fine Adventure Documentary

Tim Schafer and the crew at Double Fine have put their three part documentary on YouTube for all to see (for free).

The collaboration between 2 Player Productions and Double Fine Productions that launched a historic Kickstarter campaign is nearing its conclusion! In anticipation of the release of Act 2 of "Broken Age", episodes of the Double Fine Adventure will be released to Youtube every Tuesday and Thursday starting March 3rd.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Silverstone Precision PS11B-Q @ Tweak.dk

Cooling: Phanteks PH-TC14S @ Modders Inc.

ETC.: Homeworld Remastered Benchmarked @ TechSpot

Storage: WD Red 6TB NAS HDD @ eTeknix

Video: NVIDIA GTX 960 Round-Up @ Hardware.Info

EA Closes SimCity Studio

Electronic Arts released a statement today saying that the company has closed down SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville.

The news was revealed on Twitter by SimCity lead gameplay scripter and designer Guillaume Pierre, and confirmed in a statement by EA. "Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville," Pierre tweeted earlier this afternoon. In subsequent tweets, he clarified that "the shop is closing down," and "Everyone's out of a job."


Netflix Hits Australia, Forgets Its Net Neutrality Principles

Oh come on, all that net neutrality stuff Netflix complained about before doesn't apply in Australia does it? wink

"Working with iiNet to offer quota-free Netflix content gives more people the opportunity to familiarise themselves with who we are and what our service offers," Netflix said in an announcement. The company is working on striking similar deals with Optus and other Australian ISPs, giving the streaming operator a leg up over other services.


Goodyear Concept Tire Charges Electric Cars On The Go

You know, the idea behind these new concept tires from Goodyear is pure genius, assuming they actually work.

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The first concept – named "BHO3" – offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tire into electrical energy. The second concept – named "Triple Tube" – contains three tubes that adjust tire inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of performance and versatility.


US Files For Default Judgment On Dotcom’s Cash And Cars

It looks like our government has once again turned up the heat on Dotcom.

After a U.S. court ruled that Kim Dotcom is not entitled to contest the forfeiture of his assets because he is a "fugitive" facing extradition, the government has just tightened the noose. In a filing before the same court yesterday, the U.S. requested a default judgment to seize the assets of Dotcom, his co-defendants, and their Megaupload empire.


Latest PhysX Source Code Now Available For Free

NVIDIA, in an attempt to accelerate the adoption of PhysX, is now giving away its PhysX source code for free on GitHub.

NVIDIA today put more than a decade of research, development and investment in gaming physics into the hands of game developers – by offering free source code for NVIDIA PhysX on GitHub. This will accelerate the adoption of PhysX, the premier physics engine in gaming. And it will help game developers by lowering the barrier of entry to putting world-class physics effects in their games. Used in more than 500 games on multiple platforms, NVIDIA PhysX is one of the most popular physics engines for game development.


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