[H]ard News

Monday May 23, 2016

AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3

AMD has released brand new Crimson Edition 16.5.3 drivers for all you Radeon owners out there. According to AMD, these drivers offer support for Overwatch, Total War: Warhammer and Dota 2 (with Vulkan API). The new drivers also have CrossFire profiles for Overwatch and Total War: Warhammer. Also fixed in this driver release:

  • Fallout 4™ may experience minor stuttering in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode

  • Radeon Settings may be removed from the system if the Radeon Software installer is launched while Radeon Settings is open.

  • Radeon Settings "Additional Settings" option may intermittently fail to launch.

  • Users in Quad AMD Crossfire technology configurations may be unable to re-enable AMD Crossfire mode when using the global AMD Crossfire option in the "Gaming" tab and toggling it from on to off.

  • Some game textures in The Division™ exhibit flickering in AMD Crossfire™ mode.

  • Intermittent stability issues with Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) using AMD XConnect™ Technology are no longer observed.

  • Safe unplugging for AMD XConnect™ Technology no longer results in a random BSOD.

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Insanely Odd Yahoo CEO Cover Photo of the Day

Holy cow, what in the world was Variety thinking when the gave this cover photo the green light? Obviously I haven't read the article yet but what about Marissa Mayer's tenure as CEO of Yahoo would make you think of an image like this? Oh well, I guess the trick worked, here I am posting about it. frown

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: NZXT S340 Razer SE @ pcGameware

Cooling: CRYORIG A40 Hybrid Cooler @ NikKTech

ETC.: SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headset @ BmR

Mobile: MSI GS40 6QE Phantom Notebook @ Play3r

Video: GTX 1080 Key Features Explained @ TechARP

100 CDs vs. Hydraulic Press

I've heard of data compression but this is ridiculous. This gives a new meaning to "compact discs." Ahhh, so many jokes, so little time.

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Congress Is Really Bad At Cybersecurity

Two bipartisan lawmakers decided to do something to help out all the technically illiterate members of congress by sending an email with security tips to help them avoid falling victim to scammers. Something tells me this isn't going to help much but at least someone is trying. This would probably work better if they sent a super scammy "click here for your free subscription" email, at least that way we know they'd at least click on it. wink

The political capital is constantly facing network attacks and hacks from outside hackers and nation states -- and that's before the CIA wages its own wave of targeting intelligence committee members. Most lawmakers have never heard of PGP or even SSL, let alone used it (and most lawmakers still don't). For some, it's an endemic problem that bleeds into the political world -- which might explain why some of its cybersecurity legislation is so ill-conceived and badly thought-out.

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Amazon No Longer Gives Price Drop Refunds

Remember when you could get a refund from Amazon if there was a price drop on an item you recently purchased? Well, thanks to all the apps out there that automatically apply for the refunds, Amazon is no longer offering after-purchase refunds. frown

Amazon has been known to give refunds if the price of an item drops after a purchase and the customer notifies customer service. But it appears that Amazon stopped providing these refunds earlier this month, except for televisions, according to price-tracking companies and customer postings on Reddit.

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Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon Mini PC

Nate and his band of merry men over at Legit Reviews have Intel's NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon mini PC in house for a little review action today. Built around Intel's Core i7-6770HQ ‘SkyLake’ quad-core processor, this thing could be the foundation for an itty-bitty badass build.

If you are a big fan of the Intel NUC mini-PC series, but didn’t think they had enough power for your needs, we have a special treat for you. We’ve spent the past week playing around with the Intel NUC code named ‘Skull Canyon’ that features the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ ‘SkyLake’ quad-core processor and Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (GT4e). This is the first Intel NUC to feature a mighty Intel Core i7 processor and it also sports cutting edge technologies like Thunderbolt 3, two m.2 slots for running SSDs in RAID, support for six USB 3.0 ports, DDR4 memory and more.

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Geek Squad Employee Was Paid FBI Informant

At this point this is all defense attorney allegations versus repeated denials from the FBI but, what isn't in dispute, this Geek Squad employee got paid for turning this guy in to the authorities for having suspicious content on his hard drive.

A doctor in California claims that there are real secret agents in the Geek Squad, and that a paid FBI informant turned him in after finding suspicious material on his hard drive in 2012. While the FBI doesn’t deny that the Geek Squad employee did contact them about the contents of the defendant’s hard drive and that they did pay him, the Bureau insists that it didn’t employ informants working in the Geek Squad repair center to comb users’ computers for porn.

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Star Wars Chase Scene Using Drones

If you have a spare five minutes, you really have to watch this video. Star Wars fan or not, just watching these drones fly is extremely impressive.

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The Game of Thrones Intro Made Using Mold

This is definitely one of the coolest videos you will see all day. The best part is that you don't have to be a Game of Thrones fan to appreciate the video.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Overwatch Launch Details @ Blue's News

Retailers Discount Battleborn Ahead of Overwatch @ GameSpot

The Division 1.2 Conflict Update Details @ Shacknews

Uncharted 4 Sells 2.7 Million Copies @ VG24/7

Running Steam On PS4 Linux

For those of you that haven't seen this yet, some guy got Steam running on a PS4. Personally, I would rather see PlayStation exclusive games running on Steam, but that's just me.

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NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready 368.22 WHQL Drivers

The folks at NVIDIA send word that the brand new GeForce Game Ready 368.22 WHQL drivers are out now. These drivers bring full support for Blizzard's Overwatch (available tomorrow) World of Tanks, and War Thunder. Hit the link above for the new drivers and this link for release notes.

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Oculus Rift Update Enables Full-Scale Piracy

It must suck to release an update designed to remove Vive compatibility but you end up enabling full-scale piracy instead. Maybe Oculus should hire this guy to make sure this doesn't happen again in the future.

On May 22, Oculus released an update that introduced "platform integrity checks" which, among other things, closed the loophole allowing Revive to make Rift games compatible with Vive. Revive's developer, however, has found a workaround that bypasses Oculus' ownership check completely.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Thermaltake Core P5 @ NikKTech

ETC.: Auroza X1 Gaming Chair @ Modders Inc.

Input: GAMDIAS Hermes @ APH Networks

Storage: Mini SSD Performance Comparison @ FunkyKit

Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 @ HiTech Legion

With HoloLens, Microsoft Aims To Avoid Google's Mistakes

And by mistakes, I'm pretty sure they mean no one wants their early adopter customers to be referred to as Glassholes. Personally, I really like where HoloLens is headed and I could actually see myself using a pair if Microsoft can deliver on its promises.

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"They’re taking a more measured approach with HoloLens, and it’s the right strategy," said Tipatat Chennavasin, general partner at the Venture Reality Fund, which invests in augmented-reality and virtual-reality start-ups. "You don’t want to over hype it and get people very disappointed, and that’s what happened with Google Glass."

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Thermaltake Core X31 Case Review

There is a review of the Thermaltake Core X31 case posted today at ThinkComputers. Aside from a few minor quibbles, the crew seemed to really like this chassis, giving it a score of 9 out of 10.

For most of us we want a mid tower that has ample space inside, great cooling support, and looks pretty good. Well look no further as today we have Thermaltake’s Core X31. This mid tower has room inside for long graphics cards and power supplies, two 360 mm radiators, tall CPU coolers and much more.

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JJ Abrams Announces That Paramount To Drop Lawsuit

Finally some good news for Star Trek fans. It looks as though Paramount is dropping its lawsuit against Axanar. JJ Abrams made the announcement yesterday but,according to this blog post, there is still a ways to go before everything is hammered out.

Even though we’re really excited by what JJ Abrams and Justin Lin shared at last night’s Star Trek Beyond event, the lawyers need to do their work (on both sides) before the lawsuit is officially resolved. This means we need to make sure we still meet all of the required filing deadlines for responses, etc. which we will (this takes a great deal of Alec and Winston & Strawn’s time).

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12 People Rescued From Facebook Elevator

When was the last time you were on an elevator with a dozen people? Now, imagine being stuck in that elevator for two hours with an alarm blaring the whole time until you were rescued by the Fire Department using the Jaws of Life. Just another day at Facebook. wink

A dozen employees and guests stuck in an elevator for more than two hours at Facebook's headquarters Friday were rescued by firefighters using the Jaws of Life, according to the fire department. At 12:04 p.m., Menlo Park Fire Protection District firefighters were called to the west lobby of Building 20, which contains the main offices of Facebook's Frank Gehry-designed west campus, according to a news release. Firefighters were called in after a repair technician was unable to get the elevator doors open after trying for more than 90 minutes. It took firefighters 20 more minutes to free the people from the elevator. No one was injured in the incident.

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Start Folding With The [H] Today!

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 cash 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.

Project Alice Using GPUs To Help Businesses Deliver VR

Noitom may spell motion backwards, but the Beijing-based startup is quickly moving forward with plans to deliver a complete virtual reality solution for businesses. With Project Alice, Noitom has created something that’s never been an option for business-to-business initiatives: High-quality, immersive simulation and virtual training environments at a reasonable cost. It’s applicable to a variety of industries, such as entertainment, manufacturing, design, marketing and education.

NVIDIA GPUs are key to this effort because the graphics requirements for VR are so high. Users wearing head-mounted displays need systems able to deliver 90 frames per second, with a display for each eye. The NVIDIA Quadro M5000, M6000 and new mobile M5500 come VR ready for the highest quality professional VR experience.

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Intel Expands Partnership with NBA

Intel Corporation’s unique three-dimensional 360-degree replay technology is being used during the NBA Conference Finals and The Finals as part of national broadcast games on ABC, ESPN and Turner Sports. Intel’s 360 replay technology was also used during the 2016 NBA All Star Game in Toronto. Intel’s technology, installed in several playoff arenas, brings fans closer to the action through thrilling 360-degree replays and highlights. A single video replay using massive data collected from ultra-high-definition cameras will enable viewers to virtually fly around the action and see it from almost every conceivable angle, providing unparalleled views into the game.

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Sunday May 22, 2016

What To Expect From Computex 2016

Computex will be taking place May 31–June 4 this year. Expect Broadwell-E X99 motherboards, AMD Polaris updates, and AIB versions of the GTX 1080.

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A Future Without Windows Is A Dystopian Nightmare

This guy hates the idea of systems like Chrome OS and thinks they will lead us into an age of locked-down computing. Is he right?

Imagine a future where the world is divided between builders and users. Builders create the applications and content that users consume. Today, we live in a world where most people are users, even if they have Windows or Mac OS. But at least with those desktop platforms, there's the opportunity to take the reins and start coding an app, building your own website from scratch or installing software that's not been endlessly sandboxed and prescreened for you. With Chrome OS, you're a passive player who cannot take full control of your device or your experience.

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Court: Google Doesn't Have First Amendment Right To Drop Site From Search Results

Can a spammy company sue Google for dropping its sites by accusing them of being anti-competitive? A court in Florida may be entertaining the idea, although the case is young and the author’s points may be greatly exaggerated.

Google's web spam team decided that e-ventures was spamming as well, and removed its website. The company sued under a variety of theories, but mainly claims that it did nothing that violated any of Google's stated rules -- and furthermore that Google was misleading in some of its public statements about what it will and won't remove from the web, as well as how it alerts people to those removals. Google hit back with two responses in a motion to dismiss. First, it said that it's protected under CDA 230 for removing content and second that the choices it makes on how the search results are ranked are protected by the First Amendment. Somewhat surprisingly, the district court has rejected both of these arguments.

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Gran Turismo Sport Gameplay Trailer

It’s not Gran Turismo 7, but GT Sport will serve as the franchise’s debut on PS4. Apparently, a lot of people are disappointed with the graphics.

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Nvidia GTX 1080 Pre-Orders Sell Out In Minutes

If you managed to snag a GTX 1080 pre-order—congratulations, I guess. You can hit the link in the article for stock information.

Retail availability is set to occur on May 27th this coming Friday but several e-tailers started their first round of pre-orders today. Despite only popping up for a few minutes, Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy all sold out of their pre-orders within minutes. This went for all brands like MSI, ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, Zotac and PNY. I guess when they are all reference model Founders Edition, it doesn’t matter too much which card you buy.

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Overwatch Animated Short "Hero"

Blizzard has released their final Overwatch animated short, which stars Soldier: 76.

Soldier: 76 is pure chaotic-goodness, the gold-hearted, grizzled vet who will never abandon his mission. His origin trailer debuted in July (it's below) and positions him as a pivotal figure in the Overwatch story: commander of the good guys, distrusted or taken for granted by the citizens, doomed in a raid on Overwatch HQ and now believed dead. Soldier: 76's gravelly nihilism may be an action-movie trope, but there's still enough optimism to keep him in the business of saving children and blowing the bullies away. Verdict: Good dude and a sweet trailer.

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Oculus Kills App That Let Vive Owners Play Rift Exclusives

A recently released update prevents exclusives from running on non-Oculus hardware. Previously, a "compatibility layer," Revive, allowed the HTC Vive to run Oculus software.

Those who purchased software via the Oculus store who now own software they can no longer use are frustrated. Many comments in the Reddit thread on the subject point out how taking steps to ensure Oculus games don’t run on non-Oculus software flies in the face of a statement Oculus founder Palmer Luckey made back in December: "If customers buy a game from us, I don’t care if they mod it to run on whatever they want."

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Windows 7 Updating Is Still Broken

This guy put Microsoft’s new Convenience Rollup (CR) for a spin and found that things didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. The CR was recently released for Windows 7 users as a more practical way of updating the OS.

Based on the feedback I received on Twitter yesterday, this issue–where Windows Update just sits there saying "Checking for updates…" but not actually doing anything—is common in Windows 7. Naturally, I’ve been largely unaware of this since I long since moved in turn to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and now Windows 10. But for the subset of those several hundred million people who do in fact use Windows 7 every single day and need to reinstall the OS from time to time, this is obviously a problem. For those who need to update the OS on multiple machines, it’s a freaking nightmare.

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