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[H]ard News

Saturday October 18, 2014

Apple Supplier Shutting Down, 727 Employees Laid Off

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away. Citing the inability to meet Apple’s quota of Sapphire crystal smartphone displays, Apple has withheld a $139 Million dollar payment to GT Advanced Technologies which sent to company into bankruptcy and causing the layoff of over 700 employees, according to AzCentral.

GTAT first filed for bankruptcy after it was revealed that the company had not been able to meet Apple’s demand for sapphire crystal smartphone displays to be used in the recently-released iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

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Microsoft Withdraws Another Buggy Update

It’s Déjà vu all over again. Microsoft is at least becoming consistent with its Patch Tuesday releases, each month patches are being recalled on a regular basis. The culprit this month is Microsoft security update 2949927.

It's been a rough few months for Microsoft's update quality control. September updates for Lync and OneDrive for Business were withdrawn because of bugs in the updates. The August patches were an even bigger mess with four updates withdrawn.

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Opera 25 Arrives with Redesigned Start Page

Lest we forget; there are more browsers out there than just the big three. It wasn’t that long ago that Opera was one of the top contenders in the startup browser community and users even paid for that privilege. Opera has hung in there over the years by offering innovative features not available in other browsers. Check out the latest release of the Opera browser, Opera version 25.

Opera 25 FINAL is available now as a freeware download for Windows and Mac. Linux users can road-test Opera 25 Beta, which can also be installed by Windows and Mac users alongside the existing Opera FINAL installation.

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Cord-Cutters Rejoice: CBS Joins Web Stream

It’s beginning to look like HBO opened the flood gates to subscription streaming. CBS announced on Thursday that the network would begin to offer live programming and a treasure trove of past and present shows on demand with no TV subscription required.

CBS and HBO are not the only two new web-only offerings. Sony is preparing an Internet product expected to include programming from Viacom, the parent of networks like Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. DirecTV also said that it would start an online video service. A similar service from Showtime, the premium cable network owned by CBS, is likely in the "not too distant future."

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FCC Commissioner: Butt-Dialing Is Taxing 911

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has been out on a fact finding mission concerning the surge in cell phone butt-dialing instances across the nation. The number of mistakenly dialed 911 calls has risen in the past few years due to the increase in cell phone use and locations where the phones are being carried and stored.

This is a huge waste of resources, raises the cost of providing 911 services, depletes [Public Service Answering Points] morale, and increases the risk that legitimate 911 calls — and first responders — will be delayed.

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The SIM Card is About to Die

Apple has just sounded the death knell for the ubiquitous SIM card. The company is beginning the switch to a reprogrammable SIM that will enable a change in carriers and networks with a simple software tweak. History indicates where Apple goes, other manufacturers will usually follow.

The wounds are mortal. Within a year or two, you'll probably never see a SIM card in an Apple product again.

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Google Fiber to Launch in Austin in December

Okay all of you Austinites, begin icing down the Champaign and get the Hors d'oeuvres ready, it’s almost time to celebrate. Even though it took Google a little longer than expected, their ultrafast Internet service is set to go live in December.

Austin will be the third location for Google Fiber. The service, which offers Internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second, about 100 times the U.S. average, came to Kansas City, Mo., first and then Provo, Utah.

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Halo: Spartan Strike Coming in December

Halo: Spartan Strike, the follow-up to Spartan Assault has been confirmed for a December release by 343 Industries and Microsoft. The initial release will be on the Windows platform via Steam.

Spartan Strike also ups the ante with longer gameplay—expect four to five hours, over the three to four of Spartan Assault—and extended, more immersive maps. It also comes with additional vehicles to supplement some returning favorites.

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Apple Patches 144 Security Flaws Across Seven Products

If you are old school like many of us, you probably remember the old days when Apple products were considered to be malware-proof by a majority of its users. Those days are now gone for good and Apple is patching its products on a regular basis. Most recently, Apple just released patches for 144 vulnerabilities for seven different product lines.

More security updates may be coming on Monday, October 20 when Apple releases iOS 8.1. Expect many of the bugs fixed in Yosemite also to be fixed in iOS.

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Sony Unveils V 2.0 of PS4 OS, Biggest Update Yet

Sony is turning up the heat on Microsoft in their ongoing console war. With the PS4 already outselling the Xbox One by a wide margin, Sony has announced the unveiling of the newest update to the PS4, OS 2.0 codenamed Masamune, by way of the PlayStation Blog

The update will address some of the users’ biggest complaints while bringing some UI changes and new functionality to the console.

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Friday October 17, 2014

[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 evaluation of the XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB video card, followed by our Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate AIO CPU cooler review. Finally, we wrapped up the week with a look at the GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 LGA 2011-v3 motherboard.

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Will Android And Chrome Marry?

This just sounds so wrong. wink

The WSJ reported that "Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s vice president of engineering for its Android mobile-operating system, is now also overseeing the engineering team behind Google’s Chrome operating system." The paper believes that is a sign that Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome and Apps since 2013, plans on merging the two operating systems sooner rather than later.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

ETC.: Compro TN900W IP Camera @ Vortez

PC Perspective Podcast #322 @ PCPer

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Headset @ Vortez

Motherboards: ASUS X99-A Motherboard @ ocaholic

Storage: QNAP SilentNAS HS-251 2-Bay NAS @ eTeknix

Synology DiskStation DS415+ NAS @ Tweak

Video: MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G @ HT4U

Philips 288P6 4K Monitor @ pcGameware

Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition @ Hardware.Info

Apple Banishes Bose From Its Online Store

While Apple removing Bose products from its online store isn't going to come as a shock to anyone, I am a bit surprised that it took this long.

You can't buy Bose products from Apple's online store anymore. As spotted by 9to5Mac, headphones from Bose's QuietComfort series and speakers including the SoundLink Mini and SoundLink III have completely vanished from Apple's web storefront. A search for "Bose" now points you to refurbished Apple routers and other non-related items.

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GeForce GTX 980M Performance Testing

The crew at PC Perspective have posted a GeForce GTX 980M performance testing article today that is certainly worth reading. Here's a quote to get you started:

Just like the desktop models, GTX 980M and GTX 970M are built on the 28nm process technology and are tweaked and built for power efficiency - one of the reasons the mobile release of this product is so interesting. With a CUDA core count of 1536, the GTX 980M has 33% fewer shader cores than the desktop GTX 980, along with a slightly lower base clock speed. The result is a peak theoretical performance of 3.189 TFLOPs, compared to 4.6 TFLOPs on the GTX 980 desktop.

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MasterCard Making A Credit Card With A Fingerprint Sensor

MasterCard has just announced the world’s first biometric contactless payment card with integrated fingerprint sensor.

The Zwipe MasterCard payment card is the world’s first fingerprint authenticated contactless payment card. It includes an integrated biometric sensor and the Zwipe secure biometric authentication technology that holds the cardholder’s biometric data. It contains an EMV certified secure element and MasterCard’s contactless application.

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How Facebook Keeps Passwords Secure

In a blog post today, Facebook says it can tell if your password is stolen without knowing what your password is.

To do this, we monitor a selection of different 'paste' sites for stolen credentials and watch for reports of large scale data breaches. We collect the stolen credentials that have been publicly posted and check them to see if the stolen email and password combination matches the same email and password being used on Facebook. This is a completely automated process that doesn't require us to know or store your actual Facebook password in an unhashed form.

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Former Google Lawyer Nominated To Lead USPTO

Former Google lawyer or not, the fact that this lady is for patent reform is a good sign.

The Obama administration has recently nominated former Google lawyer Michelle Lee to be the next permanent director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, which could mean bad news for patent trolls. Lee, who was appointed as the department's deputy director in January, was Google's first ever head of patents and patent strategy and has long been a strong proponent for patent reform.

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United States Hosts Most Pirate Sites

We're number one! We're number one!

The latest UK IP Crime Report reveals that significant progress is being made in the fight against online piracy but still many challenges remain. One of the main problems traces back to U.S. hosting companies, who according to the report give shelter to most of the investigated pirate sites.

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Candy Corn In Space

Candy corn.....IN SPAAAAACE! This definitely qualifies as the cool video of the day! cool

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Battlefield Hardline Changing Based on Beta @ Blue's News

More Destiny DLC Information Leaks @ VG24/7

PlayStation Network Suffering Outage @ Shacknews

Project Cars Delayed To March 2015 @ Joystiq

Epic Games Distances Itself From Hatred

You know a game is bad when Epic wants its logo removed from any of the marketing associated with the game. eek!

"Epic Games isn’t involved in this project," a statement from the company reads. "Unreal Engine 4 is available to the general public for use ‘for any lawful purpose,’ and we explicitly don’t exert any sort of creative control or censorship over projects. However, the video is using the trademarked Unreal Engine 4 logo without permission from Epic, and we’ve asked for the removal of our logo from all marketing associated with this product."

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Comcast Sued By Customer They Had Fired From Job

Remember the guy that says Comcast had him fired from his job? Well, you guessed it, he has decided to file a lawsuit against Comcast.

Last week, we brought you the story of former Comcast customer Conal O’Rourke, who lost his job at renowned accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers after someone from Comcast called his employer with details of Mr. O’Rourke’s numerous — and valid — complaints about his cable service. Comcast has subsequently apologized for the myriad billing and service problems but maintains it did not intend to have O’Rourke fired.

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Robot Performs Brain Surgery Through The Cheek

Stories like this one only make my irrational fear of robots worse. eek!

They decided it would be possible. Because the area of the brain involved is the hippocampus, which is located at the bottom of the brain, they could develop a robotic device that pokes through the cheek and enters the brain from underneath which avoids having to drill through the skull and is much closer to the target area.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: NZXT S340 Mid-Tower @ Tweak.dk

ETC.: Intel Core i7-5820K @ Cowcotland

Motherboards: ASUS AM1M-A @ Hardware Secrets

PSU: Chieftec Navitas 1250W @ ocaholic

Storage: Kingston M.2 2280 SSD @ HwC

Twitpic Is Shutting Down After All

Twitpic announced today that it is shutting down. Seriously, this time it's for real. Well, unless they change their minds again.

The reports of Twitpic’s survival were greatly exaggerated. Despite claiming it had found an acquirer to save it from death following a trademark complaint from Twitter, the photo sharing service today announced that didn’t happen and it’s game over on October 25th. Users can now export their photos until the 25th, at which point they’ll vanish into the void.

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Crowdfunded Half Life 3 Campaign To Pressure Valve

Only an ad agency could come up with an idea like this. frown

A pair of interns at the New Mexico-based ad agency McKee Wallwork & Co. have a crazy idea. They started a crowdfunding project on the website Indiegogo to raise money to help it lobby Valve to make and release a new Half-Life shooter game.

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Google Is 'On The Right Side of History'

Eric Schmidt says that Google is on "the right side of history." And, if not, they can just remove any search results that point to times when they weren't. wink

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has responded to recent controversy by asserting that, "as long as we're on the right side of producing value for citizens of the world we're on the right side of history."

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FBI Director To Citizens: Let Us Spy On You

If you don't have anything to hide, this is a totally reasonable request. roll eyes (sarcastic)

In a post-Snowden plea for a policy more permissive of spying, FBI Director James B. Comey raised the specters of child predators, violent criminals, and crafty terrorists to argue that companies should build surveillance capabilities into the design of their products and allow lawful interception of communications.

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Start Folding With The [H] Today!

This is your end of the week reminder that joining the best folding team on the planet (Team #33) is now easier than ever. We don't give you money to join and we can't promise you prizes or other incentives, we do this simply because it is our passion and that is why we've had the best folding community around...for years. So, if you want to make a difference with a group of people that honestly care about what they are doing, join team Team #33 today.

Folding is a wonderful way to help your fellow man using your spare CPU cycles and now, thanks to the Quick Setup V7 Guide for Windows, it is easier than ever to get started. Remember to put the number 33 in the "team" field and you’ll be folding with the [H]orde in no time! Thanks to all our team members for the wonderful job they are doing.


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