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Wednesday February 10, 2016

Micron: GDDR5X Has Arrived

Micron Technology announced yesterday via its company blog that GDDR5X will hit mass production as soon as this summer.

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There have been a variety of rumors in the industry about GDDR5X availability timeframes, so I’d like to clear that up from the beginning: Micron’s GDDR5X program is in full swing and first components have already completed manufacturing. We plan to hit mass production this summer. The team at our Graphics DRAM Design Center in Munich, Germany is doing a fantastic job, too. Not only do we have functional devices earlier than expected, these early components are performing at data rates of more than 13Gb/s!

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Badass Fanless Silent PC Build of the Day

After almost a year in the making, this guy's totally badass fanless PC build is finally done. Just how bad ass is this rig? The copper heatsinks on the i7-4790K, dual GTX 980 SLI are custom made. It packs 32GB of RAM, an Intel PCI-E SSD along with a 512GB M.2 SSD and a 3TB WD Red spinning disk. All in a custom made silent PC case that doubles as a heatsink. cool Thanks to Quartz-1 for the heads up.

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Feds: Google Car’s Computer Can Be Considered A Driver

If the computer in Google's cars can be considered a driver, who is held responsible for stuff like tickets and accidents? If an autonomous car swerves off a cliff to avoid hitting a pedestrian, is it Google's fault if the driver is injured or killed?

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week.

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Lawmakers Seek To Bar States From Mandating Encryption Weaknesses

Bipartisan legislation? Check. Good for the country? Check. Total common sense? Check. Yup this one is bound to fail. big grin

The move marks the latest foray into an ongoing debate over encryption between Silicon Valley and Washington. While tech companies generally oppose weakened security standards, federal authorities have warned about a "going dark" phenomenon in which criminal suspects use powerful encryption in their communications so that investigators cannot access a phone's content, even with a warrant.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

American Truck Simulator Demo @ Blue's News

Destiny’s Crimson Days Loot Detailed @ VG24/7

PlayStation VR Lead Leaves Sony After 17 Years @ GameSpot

SteamVR To Offer Native Unity Support @ Shacknews

How A Fake Video Game Screenshot Is Made

This article on bullshots is pretty interesting. It's mind boggling how game developers and publishers, in this day and age, can think this is a good idea.

Consumers are smarter today than they used to be, but that hasn’t stopped video game publishers from releasing what have become known as "bullshots," doctored images that are meant to show what a video game looks like, but end up being so modified and fancified they’re often nothing of the sort. Think of it as a nip and tuck, only for a video game. While they’re useful for a publisher - the better their games look, the more they’ll sell - they’re the opposite for a gamer, as we’re essentially being told tiny lies, shown one thing then sold something else.

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ID Thieves Attack IRS Website Using 460K Stolen SS Numbers

Why do scumbags like this always try to take people's hard earned money? Hell, if you are going to break into the IRS, why not pay everyone's taxes while you are in there. wink

One of the worst things an identity thief can do with a stolen Social Security number is use it to then claim that person’s tax refunds. The Internal Revenue Service has revealed that ID thieves recently tried to attack IRS.gov in an effort to cash in on 460,000 stolen SSNs. According to the IRS, the automated cyber attack attempted to use malware to trick IRS.gov into generating E-file PINs for the hundreds of thousands of SSNs.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Fractal Design Define Nano S @ CowcotLand

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X @ OCInside

ETC.: GAMDIAS EROS ELITE EQ Headset @ BmR

Hot Keys Project Artisan Keycaps @ LanOC

Mobile: Dell Precision 15 5510 @ HotHardware

Motherboards: ASUS B150 PRO GAMING/AURA @ HwC

New Far Cry Primal Trailer

Ubisoft has released a new Far Cry Primal trailer that primarily focuses on the weapons you will have at your disposal. The blood, gore, and blue painted boobies might make this video NSFW for some.

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The Government Says It Will Use Smart Home Devices For Spying

James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, told a Senate panel yesterday that government agencies might use smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities. eek!

"In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials," Clapper told a Senate panel as part of his annual "assessment of threats" against the US.

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Twitter's New Timeline Displays The 'Best Tweets' First

I don't care what people think of this new 'Best Tweets' thing, just the fact that you have to manually turn the feature on makes this a win in my book. cool

Here's how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.

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The First YouTube Red Originals Are Now Available

Are any of you paying for YouTube Red? Personally, there is no way I would pay $9.99 a month for this content. That is more than I pay for Hulu and the same price as Netflix. confused

If you're already a subscriber, you can keep up with all the releases at the YouTube Red channel. The service costs $9.99 a month, which includes ad-free and offline YouTube video access, and a subscription to Google Music. It's only available in the US right now, but those abroad in some applicable countries will be able to pay for access to the original videos.

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Canada Is A Hotbed For Online Piracy, Rightsholders Claim

Who knew Canada was a hotbed for piracy? I find it kind of funny that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, in its press release compaing about piracy, provided a list of the most popular torrent sites with "attractive, user-friendly interface." Whoops.

The MPAA, RIAA and other entertainment industry groups are unhappy with how the Canadian Government is approaching the problem of online piracy. The country remains very appealing to pirate sites, they claim, while ISPs often fail to warn infringing subscribers effectively.

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Intel Shutting Down Skylake Overclocking Loophole

According to this article, Intel will be shipping a new microcode update for Skylake processors that will put an end to overclocking non-K CPUs.

"Intel regularly issues updates for our processors which our partners voluntarily incorporate into their BIOS," an Intel spokesman said. "The latest update provided to partners includes, among other things, code that aligns with the position that we do not recommend overclocking processors that have not been designed to do so. Additionally, Intel does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications."

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NVIDIA GRID Boosts Blast Extreme in VMware Horizon

NVIDIA GRID acceleration of Blast Extreme a new protocol for optimizing the mobile cloud is now supported in VMware Horizon 7. What’s that mean for IT managers? Reduced latency. Improved performance. And up to 18 percent more users. NVIDIA and VMware have been working together for years to improve the virtualized computing user experience and enable a whole new class of virtual use cases. We were the first to enable hardware-accelerated graphics rendering in VMware Horizon View. Then we enabled the first virtualized graphics acceleration in Horizon with GRID vGPU. Now, using the new Blast Extreme protocol, NVIDIA GRID offloads encoding from the CPU to the GPU. This frees up resources and lowers the demand on network infrastructure, which lets organizations reach more remote users. In tests of key applications like ESRI ArcGIS Pro, scalability increased by up to 18 percent. That’s without investing in new hardware.

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Intel A Leader In Gartner Magic Quadrant For Enterprise Data Loss Prevention

Intel Security today announced that leading research firm Gartner, Inc. has positioned the company in the leaders quadrant for its "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Data Loss Prevention" as published on January 28, 2016. According to the report, "By 2018, 90% of organizations will implement at least one form of integrated DLP, up from 50% today." The report also states "[Leaders] have strong management interfaces, and have tight integration with other products within their brands or through well-established partnerships and meaningful integrations."

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Tuesday February 09, 2016

Mad Catz Laying Off 37% Of Staff

I guess now we know why the CEO, chairman and general counsel of Mad Catz all jumped ship yesterday. It sounds like it might have been a "quit before you are fired" situation. eek!

At this time last year, Mad Catz reported $809,000 in losses. That number is now $4.36 million. The company attributes the shortfalls to Rock Band 4 sell-through, which was lower than forecast. This has led to both softer than anticipated revenue and higher than expected inventory carrying costs.

Ongoing Discussion

[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Aerocool DS Cube mATX @ FunkyKit

ETC.: CM Storm QuickFire XT @ APH Networks

Ozone Neon Precision Laser Mouse @ Neoseeker

Mobo: Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable @ HotHardware

Storage: ASUSTOR AS5002T 2-Bay NAS @ Missing Remote

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD @ Hexus

PNY CS1311 480GB SSD @ SSD Review

FPV Drone Racing In A Warehouse

First person view drone racing looks like a blast! Anyone got a warehouse like this we can use? cool

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PayPal Shoots Self In Foot 'White Knighting' For Netflix

I don't know if I would call this "shooting itself in the foot." Let's be honest, how much money could PayPal possibly lose over this situation?

Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction. This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.

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The Division Closed Beta Stats

Ubisoft has released an infographic today that contains a bunch of interesting stats on The Division's closed beta. 621,653,358 minutes played during the 120 hour long beta is just crazy. eek!

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Why Apple Fans Are Really Coming To Hate Apple Software

The Los Angeles Times explains why Apple fans are starting to hate Apple software. Are things really as bad as this article makes it sound? I don't use Apple products, so I wouldn't know.

The last few weeks have seen an explosion of discontent with the quality of the core apps of Apple's iPhones, iPads and Mac computers -- not only its OS X and iOS operating systems, but programs and services such as iTunes, Music, iCloud and Photos. Not only do the programs work poorly for many users, but they don't link Apple devices together as reliably as they should. These complaints aren't coming merely from users but several widely followed tech commentators who used to fit reliably in the category of Apple fans.

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Microsoft Now Offers Release Notes For Windows 10 Updates

Microsoft has announced a new Windows 10 Update History website that provides users with detailed information on Windows 10 updates as they are rolled out.

We're committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10. In response to this feedback, we’re providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You'll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released.

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Kim Dotcom’s Extradition Appeal Set For August

It would seem that Kim Dotcom will remain a free man for a few more months as his extradition appeal was pushed back to August.

The United States government will have to wait another six months for the appeal in the Kim Dotcom extradition case to be heard. A judge in the High Court in Auckland has just denied US requests for Dotcom's appeal to be fast-tracked, instead setting a date for this coming August.

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Amazon Announces Free 'Lumberyard' Game Engine

Amazon Games has launched Lumberyard, a free cross-platform game engine with AWS support and native Twitch integration. Hit the link for the complete rundown.

Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for you to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you can spend more of your time creating great gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Black Desert Online 2nd Closed Beta Details @ Shacknews

Fallout 4 Update 1.3 Out Now On Consoles @ VG24/7

Halo 5 Adding Grifball This Month @ GameSpot

The Division Open Beta Next Week @ Blue's News

SilverStone Tundra TD-02 Slim AIO CPU Cooler Review

If you are in need of a thin all-in-one CPU cooler that won't break the bank, make sure you read our evaluation of the SilverStone Tundra TD-02 Slim.

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One obstacle that often stands in the way of adding an AIO to your system is space to do so. In a smaller computer chassis, many times the thickness of the radiator can be an issue. Silverstone is looking to solve your space issues with a new Tundra series All-In-One cooler that is specific to this footprint need.

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Concerned By Cyber Threat, The White House Seeks Big Increase In Funding

Maybe the age old tactic of throwing money at a problem might work in this case. Who knows? I mean, they've done a bang-up job so far, why not give them more money. roll eyes (sarcastic) Given the opportunity, how would you guys beef up our nation's cybersecurity?

In his fiscal 2017 budget proposal, Obama asked for $19 billion for cyber security across the U.S. government, an increase of $5 billion over this year. While the White House's overall fiscal plan faces tough going in the Republican-controlled Congress, increased cyber security funding has won bipartisan support of lawmakers in the past. The request comes as the Obama administration has struggled to address the growing risk posed by criminals and nation states in the digital world.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: NZXT Manta @ ThinkComputers

Cooling: Swiftech H220 X2 Prestige @ techPowerUP!

ETC.: ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals @ eTeknix

Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum Mouse @ XtremeHardware

Motherboards: ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Extreme @ Guru3D

Storage: PNY CS1311 SSD @ SSD Review

France To Facebook: Stop Moving User Data Overseas

The French Data Protection Authority has told Facebook to, among other things, stop collecting data on people that visit Facebook without an account and to give account holders a way to opt out of data collection.

The Chair of the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Liberts (CNIL) issued formal notice to FACEBOOK to fairly collect data concerning the browsing activity of Internet users who do not have a FACEBOOK account. FACEBOOK must also provide account holders with the means to object to the compiling of their data for advertising purposes.

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