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HardOCP Contracting New Video Card Editor

If you read HardOCP.com, and are in the Chattanooga, Tennessee vicinity or surrounding 100 mile area, we are looking for a part time person to author video card evaluations. This is a paid contractor position per review. Please check out the details at this link.

[H]ard News

Tuesday April 21, 2015

Microsoft Releasing 34 Unscheduled Patches Today

Holy cow! Buckle your britches, Patch Tuesday is a whopper! Hit the link for the complete descriptions of each item on the list below:

  • Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2998097)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB3013531)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3013538)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3015696)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB3020370)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3022345)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3033446)

  • Dynamic Update for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3036216)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3037924)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3038002)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3038562)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB3038701)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3042216)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB3043812)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB3044673)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3045717)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3045719)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB3045992)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3046737)

  • Update for Windows RT 8.1 (KB3046743)

  • Update for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 (KB3047254)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3047255)

  • Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3047641)

  • Dynamic Update for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3048100)

  • Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB3048761)

  • Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB3053946)

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Kerbal Space Program Next Week @ Blue's News

Mortal Kombat X DLC Has Free Costumes @ Shacknews

PlayStation 4 Firmware Update 2.51 @ VG24/7

Witcher 3 Map Revealed @ GameSpot

GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-WIFI LGA 1150 Motherboard Review

If you are building a LAN box, HTPC or a Steam Machine, I highly recommend reading our evaluation of the GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-WIFI LGA 1150 motherboard today.

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GIGABYTE’s Z97N WiFi has a lot to offer small form factor PC enthusiasts. Many hardware enthusiasts have gravitated to the "less is more" approach over the years, but it is easier now than ever. GIGABYTE's latest SFF offering proves good things come in small packages and it won't break the bank.

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Google Changes To Mobile Search Could Crush Millions Of Small Businesses

Oh no! Mobilegeddon is upon us! Damn you Google! Damn you for crushing millions of small businesses! Thanks to Zarathustra[H] for the link.

The algorithm will start favoring mobile-friendly websites (ones with large text, easy-to-click links, and that resize to fit whatever screen they're viewed on) and ranking them higher in search. Websites that aren't mobile-friendly will get demoted.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Fractal Design Define S @ techPowerUP!

Fractal Design Define S Window @ Vortez

Cooling: Corsair Hydro H100i GTX @ BmR

PSU: Silverstone Strider 550 S @ Cowcotland

Storage: ADATA Premier Pro @ XtremeHardware

QNAP Turbo Station TS-431 NASA @ eTeknix

The World's Largest USB Thumb Drive

When we say "world's largest thumb drive," we are not talking gigabytes. cool

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I'm Afraid To Die In Games

If you have a hang-up like this, you should probably get a different hobby.

When you die in a game, no one is there to tell you how your work could be better. You’ve simply failed. People tell me you learn the rules of games like Bloodborne. Articles promise me the game itself will teach me how to improve, but I don’t believe them. Every failure brings me no lessons -- just shame and humiliation. Ridicule from other fans, even when I succeed.

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Woman Sues Google Over Google Play Store Hack

You know that refund we said we'd give you for fraudulent charges to your Google Play store account? Just kidding!

In her complaint, filed in a US District Court in Eastern California, Harvey also says that when she reported the incident to Google, representatives from the company didn't believe her claims. Even after she convinced them that the transactions were fraudulent, Harvey alleges the company never made good on its promise to reimburse her.

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Rockstar Social Club Accounts Stolen

If your Rockstar Social Club account has been hijacked, you are not alone. Rockstar states that its network hasn't been compromised and that accounts are being reverted back to the original owners as we speak.

"For the accounts affected, we are in the process of reverting those accounts back to their original owners. As a reminder, it is a good policy to ensure that the Rockstar Games Social Club account username and password is not shared across multiple websites on the internet."

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Mini’s Augmented Reality Goggles Tested

While the goggles may look a bit goofy, I actually like Mini's take on augmented reality. The hardware used to power the goggles is pretty damn impressive as well.

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Mounted on top of the thick, rubberized frame is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset, the same one inside the Samsung Galaxy S5, running Android (4.4 Kit Kat) and using its Vuforia AR software. That processes all the information from the sensors and wireless connection inside the car, while graphics are project onto a second layer of glass through 720p screens – one of the reasons the goggles are so damn thick.

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In Win D-Frame Mini

Modders Inc. has the In Win D-Frame Mini on the test bench today. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

We have all heard the saying "good things come in small packages". Sometimes this is true while other times it is not even close. With the move to smaller is better in the world of computers, there are times when you have to give something up to gain the small form factor. It might limit you to the type of hardware you can use, or the style and even overall usability.

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Flash Player Bug Allows Video, Audio Recording Without User Consent

Adobe Flash Player having a vulnerability? That's unheard of. This must be some sort of mistake.

A vulnerability in some versions of Adobe Flash Player could be exploited by ill-intended actors to spy on user activity via built-in webcam and microphone, without generating a notification that the components are accessed.

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AMD Exceeds 5 Year Environmental Goals for Air, Water and Waste

AMD successfully completed its five-year environmental goals spanning 2009 to 2014. At non-manufacturing sites, greenhouse gas emissions declined 24 percent (compared to a 5 percent goal), water use per employee declined 55 percent (compared to a 20 percent goal), and waste diverted from landfills reached 74 percent worldwide (compared to a 70 percent goal).

AMD achieved these results through a variety of methods including consolidating data centers, facility conservation projects, sourcing renewable energy, and employee green team projects. AMD’s data center consolidation project (2012-2014) moved servers to AMD’s LEED™ certified data center in Atlanta, Georgia1, creating one of the largest internal cloud computing infrastructures in the world at the time. The project saved 14,000 megawatts of energy, equivalent to 6,650 metric tons of CO2 emissions, and over $1 million USD in energy costs. Additionally, AMD implemented programs to optimize office space, like adjusting work station layouts and establishing a formal telework program in North America.

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Intel Recognized As A Top 10 Top Corporate Citizens By CR Magazine

Intel was named one of the world's best corporate citizens by Corporate Reputation Magazine (CR Magazine) in their annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking. Intel moved up the list to number 7. The list ranks companies based on environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy. Check out Intel's Corporate Responsibility Report to learn more about Intel's efforts.

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Monday April 20, 2015

Politician Promises Legislation To Combat Swatting

While no real specifics were given, at least one politician is calling for "increased jail time and restitution" for anyone convicted of swatting.

Sen. Schumer issued a press release today announcing that he is introducing legislation in the Senate that would increase penalties for those engaging in swatting, make those convicted of related crimes pay restitution to police, and close a loophole in federal law that would make it illegal for these wrongdoers to evade the law by disguising their identity.

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Twitter Adds 'Receive Direct Messages From Anyone' Option

Who in the world would use this option? Unless you want an avalanche of Twitter spam, I'd leave this box unchecked. frown

  • A setting that allows you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you don’t follow them. To change your settings follow these instructions.

  • Updated messaging rules so you can reply to anyone who sends you a Direct Message, regardless of whether or not that person follows you.

  • A new Direct Message button on profile pages on Android and iPhone. You’ll see it on the profiles of people you can send Direct Messages to.

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IBM Sales Fall For 12th Quarter

If only IBM had some kind of giant supercomputer that could tell them what to do. big grin

International Business Machines Corp reported a 12 percent fall in first-quarter revenue as the technology company continues to shed unprofitable businesses to focus on cloud-computing initiatives. Shares in the world's largest technology services company flitted around the unchanged mark in after-hours trading.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: BitFenix Aegis @ ThinkComputers

ETC.: ASUS EeeBook X205TA @ PC Perspective

ASUS Strix Pro Gaming Headset @ Tweak.dk

Storage: Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe @ HotHardware

Samsung SM951 PCIe SSD @ Legit Reviews

Samsung SM951 PCIe SSD @ TechSpot

Google Lets You Download Your Search History

Google has added a new feature to Google accounts that allows you to download a copy of your past searches. The process didn't work for me but your mileage may vary.

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When you download your past searches, a copy of your history will be saved securely to the Takeout folder in Google Drive. You can download the files to your computer if you want a copy on your computer. Depending on the amount of data you’re downloading, you may be have more than one file in your Takeout folder with your history in it.

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Uber Must Face Lawsuit Claiming Bias Against The Blind

Arguing that the National Federation of the Blind lacked standing to sue under the ADA is an interesting tactic. I think Uber might want to invest a little money in lawyers that specialize in these types of lawsuits. stick out tongue

In a decision late Friday night, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California, said the plaintiffs could pursue a claim that Uber is a "travel service" subject to potential liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The judge also rejected Uber's arguments that the plaintiffs, including the National Federation of the Blind of California, lacked standing to sue under the ADA and state laws protecting the disabled.

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GIGABYTE Hosts X99 CHAMPION CHALLENGE On HWBOT

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced another great competition for the overclocking community with the GIGABYTE X99 CHAMPION CHALLENGE, to be hosted this May on HWBOT.org. This new challenge gives the community a chance to test their skills on the GIGABYTE X99 platform by tweaking both the CPU and graphics side of things. By participating, overclockers have the chance to win $2,800 USD in cash prizes and some exciting hardware, including the leader of them all, the X99-SOC Champion!

Attention overclocker nation. You have until May 1st 2015 to get your platform ready and jump in to become the X99 Champion! To make your way up to the grand prize of $1,500 USD, you’ll have to collect the most points by submitting your best scores in 6 different stages designed to test both your CPU and Graphics card overclocking skills. Do you feel up to the challenge? Good luck to all!!

Points will be given to the top ranking scores in each stage. The top 3 participants with the most points at the end of the challenge will win cash prizes. You also have the chance to win some great hardware via 3 lucky draws. Lucky Draw #1 will be rewarding participants that submitted scores with temperatures set above 25 Celsius, Lucky Draw #2 will be rewarding participants that submitted scores with temperatures set below 25 Celsius, and Lucky Draw #3 will be rewarding participants that submitted the lowest score. Please see the contest rules for more details.

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The World Produced 41.8M Tons Of E-Waste In 2014

Surprisingly enough, the U.S. isn't the biggest generator of e-waste on the planet.

"E-waste" is defined as any device with a battery or electric cord, which the owner doesn’t intend to reuse. A report released by the United Nations University on Sunday revealed that in 2014 alone, citizens world over generated an epic 41.8 million tonnes of it. Depressingly, of that, roughly only 6.5 million tonnes were taken in for recycling. As the toxic legacy of our digital age, e-waste stands to affect everything from our health to our environment.

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Scythe Mugen Max SCMGD-1000 Heatsink

The crew at FrostyTech has posted a review of the Scythe Mugen Max SCMGD-1000 today. If you are cooler shopping, head on over and check out the full review.

"Scythe's Mugen Max heatsink weighs 870grams and stands 166mm tall. The heatsink is constructed around six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes which are soldered to a 2mm thick nickel plated copper base plate. The heatpipes are swaged into a 113x145x84mm aluminum fin stack which is roughly broken up into four nearly-separate cooling towers.

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Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013

According to this Bloomberg article, Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google for $6 billion back in 2013. eek!

He proposed that Google buy Tesla outright — with a healthy premium, the company would have cost about $6 billion at the time — and pony up another $5 billion in capital for factory expansions. He also wanted guarantees that Google wouldn’t break up or shut down his company before it produced a third-generation electric car aimed at the mainstream auto market. He insisted that Page let him run a Google-owned Tesla for eight years, or until it began pumping out such a car. Page accepted the overall proposal and shook on the deal.

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DIY Star Wars BB-8 Droid

Some guy built a Star Wars BB-8 droid for less than $50. cool

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Gaming [H]eadlines

GTA V PC Patch Details @ Shacknews

New Halo 5 Trailer @ GameSpot

Orcs Must Die! Unchained Beta 2 @ Blue's News

Xbox One May Update In Beta @ VG24/7

Grand Theft Auto V Video Card Performance Preview

We have just posted our Grand Theft Auto V Video Card Performance Preview for those of you interested. If you haven't done so already, make sure you take a moment today to give it the once over.

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Grand Theft Auto V has finally been released on the PC. In this preview we will look at some video card comparisons in performance, maximize graphics settings at 1440p and 4K. We will briefly test AMD CHS Shadow and NVIDIA PCSS shadow and talk about them. We will even see if SLI and CrossFire work.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: SilverStone Kublai KL05 @ APH Networks

Cooling: Phanteks PH-TC12LS & PH-TC14S @ PureOC

Silverstone FQ and FW Fans @ Technic3D

ETC.: Asus Strix 7.1 Gaming Headset @ LanOC

Neet Cable Keeper @ TechnologyX

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO M.2 & mSATA SSD @ Guru3D

Congress Cannot Be Taken Seriously On Cybersecurity

Congress can't be taken seriously on cybersecurity? Wait, when could members of Congress be taken seriously on anything?

Members of Congress - most of whom can’t secure their own websites, and some of whom don’t even use email - are trying to force a dangerous "cybersecurity" bill down the public’s throat. Everyone’s privacy is in the hands of people who, by all indications, have no idea what they’re talking about.

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