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Moving HardOCP to New Hardware - Flush Your DNS

We are moving HardOCP to new hardware this afternoon. Flush DNS. At command line "ipconfig/flushdns". You Linux guys already know what to do. If you are seeing errors, give us a CTRL-F5 to flush the page cache as we are fixing the little bugs as we go. Feel free to drop me a mail with a screenshot as well to Kyle@HardOCP.com if you do not see your issue go away.

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[H]ard News

Saturday October 22, 2016

Blizzard Finally Introduces Native Voice Chat Across All Its Games

Blizzard gamers have an alternative to Skype or Ventrilo now, as the company has launched a built-in voice chat service. The article claims that the voice quality is "remarkable," but you can judge for yourself by simply updating Battle.net to get the feature.

The company has been trying to introduce some form of voice chat into its ecosystem for a while now. There’s been a decent but limited voice chat implementation in World of Warcraft for a long time, but that was only available inside of the MMORPG. But as of right now, everyone using the latest version of the Battle.net app can jump in and use voice chat with friends across all of Blizzard’s titles and outside of them as well. All a user needs to do is update the Battle.net app to version 1.5.1, Build 8098, or newer. After logging in, you’ll be prompted with a new pop-up informing users that Voice Chat is now available. To enable it, simply head over to the friends list, create a channel with some friends and click on headphone icon.


LG Reportedly Abandoning Modular Phone Strategy After One Try

Those of you with high hopes for modular phones can only count on Motorola now, as LG is giving up on the concept like Google did with their Ara project. LG’s current G5 phone lets you add modules that include camera and DAC add-ons, but the G6 will supposedly drop all of that.

LG seemed to have big plans for its G5 phone, with a nice collection of modules out of the gate and the promise of an ecosystem. We liked some things about the phone, but also found a lot of compromises thanks to the modular design. In June we learned that the phone wasn't doing very well, partly due to the complication of building it... and due to the fact that nobody really wants a modular phone. Then in September Google cancelled Project Ara, so that modular dream is dead. Now that LG has given up on the G5, the (actually good) Moto Z now owns this not-the-greatest-idea-in-the-first-place market.


AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring

It’s only a matter of time until conventional pre-programmed traffic lights are replaced with smarter versions that will intelligently signal based on actual conditions, and this may be the first significant step. Getting to where you need to go faster is well and good, but I really like the emissions-reducing aspect of such technology.

Smith is developing smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. His startup Surtrac is commercializing the technology. In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has gotten impressive results. It reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent. ...The researchers also estimate that the system cuts emissions by 21 percent. It could also save cities the cost of road widening or eliminating street parking by boosting traffic throughput.


Samsung 8GB Micro-RAM Headed For Mobile

Having 4GB of RAM in a flagship device should be old news soon, as Samsung is ready to offer twice that much in LPDDR4 form. Thanks to a 10nm process, these only take up 15 x 15 x 1 mm and can be stacked above or under other chips.

We should start seeing 8GB appearing as standard in flagship mobile phones soon thanks to Samsung’s new silicon that packs 8GB of DRAM in a single tiny package. The RAM uses LPDDR4 technology and the 10nm process. The arrival of 64-bit processors has allowed phone RAM to increase beyond 4GB but few manufacturers could be bothered. Even Samsung passed on it. However, now it seems that with the new generation of RAM Samsung thinks it is worthwhile and will be jumping directly from 4 to 8GB by next year. LPDDR4 is currently the fastest type of low power memory in the mobile market. Samsung says it is the same as PC-class DDR4 RAM and has twice the speed, operating at 4,266 Mbps, versus the PC’s 2,133 Mbps.


iPhone 7 Units With Intel Modems Perform Worse Than Qualcomm Models

If you’ve got an iPhone 7 with an Intel modem, your signal won’t be as great in weak or spotty areas. Analysis would suggest that the Qualcomm modems provide 30% better signal performance.

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...the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone. Considering that the iPhone with the Qualcomm modem is being sold in China, Japan and in the United States only, we can not imagine that modem performance was a deciding factor.


Razer Unveils Blade Pro, The "Ultimate Gaming Laptop"

If you’ve got four grand to blow on a laptop, this is probably it. Razer’s new Blade features a GTX 1080, 3840x2160 display, i7-6700HQ CPU, 32GB of DDR-2133 memory, and a keyboard with mechanical switches.


PS4 Pro Has Replaceable Hard Drive

If the 1TB hard drive that comes with the PS4 Pro isn’t enough storage for you, swapping it out for something bigger and faster will be easy enough. It should also be worth noting that the Pro uses SATA III, so an SSD upgrade may be much more sensible than it was with the original console, which used a slower interface.

As is the case with the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, you will be able to swap out the internal hard drive for the PlayStation 4 Pro if you want to. The company told GameSpot that the PS4 Pro uses a SATA III interface, which supports solid-state drives that users can manually swap in to replace the existing hard drive, to scale up to 6 Gb/s. This is double the speed of the original PS4's SATA II interface, which scales up to 3 Gb/s. Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U do not support swapping out internal hard drives, though you can add extra storage space with external hard drives on those consoles.


Donald Glover Cast As Lando Calrissian In Young Han Solo Movie

I’ve only seen the guy in The Martian, but most people think Glover will do great as the smooth-talking smuggler. The film will reportedly reveal how Lando lost the Falcon to Han.

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Billy Dee Williams first inhabited the role of Calrissian, who made his appearance as the head of Cloud City, a floating city above the planet Bespin, in The Empire Strikes Back. He has a competitive and strained friendship with Solo, having lost the starship Millennium Falcon to the smuggler and future Rebel commander in a card game. The upcoming film will explore a previously unseen side of Calrissian, with Lucasfilm saying it will show "his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld." Sources say the film will show how the character lost the Millennium Falcon to Solo.


Google Pixel XL Teardown Review

The Pixel phones are beginning to ship out, and iFixit has a look at the innards of the bigger guy. They found that the display assembly could have been better put together, but many components are modular and simple to replace.


The Last Guardian Has Finally Gone Gold

After being almost nine years in development, the successor to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is finally complete. Let’s just hope the quality of the final product is reflective of the time spent on it.

Development on PlayStation 4 game The Last Guardian is finally complete, according to a producer on the game who tweeted today that the long-in-development project has finally "gone gold." Sony Interactive Entertainment producer Jun Yoshino tweeted out the news earlier today, saying "Gone gold. Waddup." Yoshino’s tweet spread quickly, given apprehension that The Last Guardian will actually make its Dec. 6 release date. Given that the game has been in development since 2007, shifted platforms from PlayStation 3 to PS4 and missed its only officially confirmed release date, PlayStation fans were understandably excited that the game was finally done.


Friday October 21, 2016

mGPU Working in Serious Sam VR

Talked to the crew at Croteam today and they let us know that they have mGPU working for AMD GPUs and LiquidVR in Serious Sam VR! It is awesome to see this technology come to life. I have done some quick testing and do have it working. Here is a sneak peek.

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[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: H3VR article, followed by our evaluation of the GIGABYTE XP1200M 1200W power supply. Finally, we wrapped things up with our AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Serious Sam VR:TLH article.

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Silverstone Primera PM01 Case Review

There is a review of the Silverstone Primera PM01 ATX case posted today at Hardware Asylum. According to the review, classic car enthusiasts will most certainly appreciate the styling of this chassis. Here's a quote:

Looking back at previous Silverstone designs you can see that the PM01 is one of their more unique undertakings that can rival some of the early Raven cases. The front bezel looks to be inspired by an automobile. Silverstone clams "supercar" but I would lean more towards 1934 Chevy or custom street rod. Either way the angled look of the metal grill and lighted fans behind give the case a very unique style that is difficult to miss.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Case Mod Friday @ ThinkComputers

Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass @ APH Networks

Gaming: Civilization VI: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUP!

Storage: QNAP TS-451+ 4-Bay NAS @ LanOC

Video: XFX RX 470 RS Black Edition @ TechARP

Facebook Allowing Graphic Content In Timelines If 'Newsworthy'

So Facebook says it will allow 'newsworthy' graphic content in timelines but who decides what is newsworthy? This should be interesting considering Facebook's own algorithm currently can't tell the difference between real and fake news stories.

Facebook rightly came under fire for censoring the iconic, Pulitzer-winning "napalm girl" photo THe Terror of War not that long ago. Now, the social network is altering its course as a direct result. "In the weeks ahead, we're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest -- even if they might otherwise violate our standards," VP of Global Public Policy for the site Joel Kaplan writes.


Executive Accidentally Reveals Layoffs After Hitting 'Reply All'

Well, we can add one more person to the layoff list....this dumb ass. It still sucks to be one of the people affected by the layoffs to find out you are getting the axe via an accidental "reply all" e-mail gaffe.

The email Gerry Baker just sent about wsj buyouts says that dj is offering 1.5x the standard buyout package. Are we planning to go to the employees we are laying off at Barron’s next week and offer them 1x the standard package. That could create some problems. Please advise.


Court Rules Users Can't Demand Refunds After Retrans Blackouts

Crap like this is why you should always read the fine print. I guess it also depends on which cable company you are with as well. When Cox in Las Vegas had a dispute with CBS earlier this year, the company issued a credit to its affected customers.

"You are not entitled to any refund because of deletion, rearrangement or change of any programming, programming packages or other Services" and "Neither we nor out third-party billing agents will be liable for any interruption in any service or for any delay or failure to perform, including without limitation, if such interruption, delay or failure to perform arises in connection with the termination or suspension of DISH network's access to all or any portion of services."


iPhone 7 Bursts Into Flames, Destroys Vehicle

Apple's response will probably be: "The car was holding it wrong." All kidding aside, it's getting to the point now where I don't even want to carry a cell phone in my pocket unless it is in a bomb-proof case.

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Mat Jones says he had left the phone under clothes in his car while taking a surf lesson. When he returned, he was shocked to discover the vehicle filled with smoke. The tech giant Apple wouldn’t comment but said they were aware of the complaint and they are investigating.


Firmware Updates Available For GTX 1070 Memory Issues

After a little detective work by the folks at Guru3D, it looks as though some manufacturers are rolling out firmware updates to address memory issues on graphics cards equipped with Micron memory.

GeForce GTX 1070 cards fitted with Samsung memory do not have any issues, however some manufacturers have or switched towards Micron chips, and these are the culprit of the reported issues. Especially during overclocking of the graphics memory problems will appear fast with bad results like checkerboard patterns. The problem is was found in the the speed of the voltage adjustment from the low power idle P-States to support the memory voltage requirements under load. If you can keep the idle voltage above 0.800V before you apply the overclock you never see the issue.


Nintendo Down 6% After 'Switch' Console Unveil

Apparently investors aren't too thrilled with Nintendo's new Switch console. The maker of all things Mario took a sledgehammer in the turtle shells yesterday in after hours trading.

Shares of Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.T) dropped 6 percent in early trade on Friday after the videogame maker unveiled its next-generation gaming console, called the Nintendo Switch. The stock fell as far as 25,300 yen as of 0101 GMT, its lowest since Sept. 7.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Battlefield 1 Released @ Blue's News

Gears of War 4 Update Details @ Shacknews

Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Gameplay Video @ VG24/7

Video Game Voice Actors Now On Strike @ GameSpot

AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Serious Sam VR:TLH

Our AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Serious Sam VR:TLH article is now online for your VR viewing pleasure. It's time once again for us to get serious with Sam, this time in virtual reality! What kind of hardware truly provides a premium VR gaming experience in SSVR:TLH? Hit the link to find out.

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If battling Gnaars, Kamikaze dudes, Crazy Frogs, Kleers, Lava Monsters, and Bomb Spawners is on your list of things you want to do more of, then Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope might be right up your alley. We see how AMD and NVIDIA do with providing a great VR experience in SSVR.


Massive DDoS Attack Causing Major Problems On The East Coast

If you are on the east coast and having trouble reaching major websites like Twitter, Spotify, Imgur, Pinterest, Wired and so on, you're not alone. The good news is that DNS provider Dyn is aware of the problem and actively trying to fix it.

This attack is mainly impacting US East and is impacting Managed DNS customers in this region. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue. Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cooling: Antec KUHLER H2O H600 Pro @ NikKTech

Reeven Polariz Fan Controller @ Madders Inc.

ETC.: Personalizing Windows 10 Anniversary Edition @ Hardware Secrets

SteelSeries Rival 500 MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse @ Legit Reviews

Storage: PNY CS 1311 240GB SSD @ OCC

Video: Zowie XL2430 24" Monitor @ pcGameware

Cisco Develops System To Automatically Cut-Off Pirate Video Streams

Cisco has developed a system that automatically cuts off pirate video streams in real-time called Streaming Piracy Prevention. Get this, the company claims that its system can be used without the need to send takedown notices to hosting companies.

Cisco says it has developed a system to disable live pirate streams . The network equipment company says its Streaming Piracy Prevention platform utilizes third-party forensic watermarking to shut down pirate streams in real-time, without any need to send takedown notices to hosts or receive cooperation from third parties.


Facebook Adapting Its News Feed To Your Connection Speed

Facebook says that by using a handful of magic tricks and few trade secrets, your news feed will now adapt to your connection speed in an attempt to get rid of "spinners and gray boxes."

Previously, all story ranking for News Feed occurred on the server. After the server-side ranking, batches of stories were sent to the client and then displayed exactly in that order. This architecture had limitations for example, people in emerging markets frequently saw a feed full of spinners and gray boxes because the stories and related media were sent across the network without taking into account the quality of the connection.


NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready 375.57 WHQL Drivers

The folks at NVIDIA send word that the brand new GeForce Game Ready 375.57 WHQL drivers are out now. According to the release notes, these drivers provide an optimal experience for Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, Titanfall 2, and VR experience for Eagle Flight and Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope. Hit the link above for the new drivers and this link for release notes.


Report: AT&T May Be Trying To Buy Time Warner

Imagine how much money it would require to make this deal. Doesn't matter anyway, eventually one company will own everything and we'll all work for it (under the supervision of robots).

No, not Time Warner Cable which Charter already bought, anyway. Time Warner, the company that owns HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network, all of Warner Bros., and a whole bunch of other media brands you know. Bloomberg reports that executives from AT&T and Time Warner have been meeting in "informal talks" during recent weeks to discuss various ways of working together including a possible merger.


Must Have Halloween Gadget

If you are like me, you get stuck at the front door every year being the designated candy giver-outer. Well this year, I say "screw that!" I am going to build one of these, park it at the front door and call it good. That's the plan anyway.


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