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Monday September 26, 2016

Gaming [H]eadlines

Battlefield 1 Campaign Trailer Coming Tomorrow @ GameSpot

Overwatch Symmetra Changes Next Month @ Blue's News

Philadelphia 76ers Buy Two eSports Teams @ Shacknews

The Division PTS Goes Live Today @ VG24/7

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G Video Card Review

If you are looking for a highly overclockable GPU with a custom hardware design, high-end components and a killer cooling solution, I would suggest that you read our evaluation of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G. This card has all the features we just mentioned and more. Hit the link for the complete rundown.

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MSI’s GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G video card usher’s in a new line of GAMING video cards from MSI with customized PCB, Twin Froz VI cooling, and enthusiast overclocking potential. We’ll see how it performs out-of-box compared to a Founders Edition and then find out how well this video card overclocks.


Using The Internet Is Like Eating Oreos

Mediacom Senior VP and General Counsel Joseph Young, in a letter to the FCC, compared the internet to Oreo cookies in an attempt to justify why customers should not be given unlimited data. He went on to explain how Netflix, YouTube, Xbox Live and others all charge more for premium services. Here's the quote about Oreo cookies:

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Imagine you are out for a walk and experience a sudden, irresistible craving for Oreo® cookies. You only want to spend two dollars, which means that you will be able to buy a two-pack or maybe even a four-pack but for sure you cannot get the family size of over 40 cookies. For that many, you have to spend more. Of course, it would be nice if your two dollars bought you the right to eat an unlimited number of cookies, but you know that is not the way our economy works.


Counterstrike: Global Offensive's Signature eSports Tournament Is Game Ready

The folks at NVIDIA send word that not only is Counterstrike: Global Offensive's Signature eSports Tournament Game Ready, the company is also the official hardware partner for ESL One New York with a $250,000 prize pool. There are also a number of ways for attendees to win NVIDIA hardware as well, including a scavenger hunt, a chance to win by playing against a world champion player or by simply voting for your favorite AWP player.

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The result of all this work is that our GeForce hardware is the platform of choice for eSports tournaments and participants. Every major eSports tournament uses the NVIDIA GeForce GTX platform for their competition PCs. And behind the scenes, tournament organizers rely on our GPUs to create live feeds of the action watched by millions. Our GPU performance is universally recognized as the best in the industry. Our Game Ready drivers are supported by thousands of engineers — and recognized as the benchmark — they’re timely, reliable and just work.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: AeroCool XPredator II @ NikKTech

Cooling: Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 @ OCInside

ETC.: Speed Error Hold Explained @ TechARP

Power Supply: InWin Classic Series 750W @ eTeknix

Video: Dual GTX Titan X SLI 4K Tests @ TechSpot

EVGA GTX 1080 Classified @ Hardware Asylum

Landmark Map Reveals the Genetic Wiring of Cellular Life

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Donnelly Centre claim to have created the first map showing the global genetic interaction network of a cell. The research team says that this study took 15 years to complete.

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"We’ve created a reference guide for how to chart genetic interactions in a cell," said Michael Costanzo, a research associate in the Boone lab and one of the researchers who spearheaded the study. "We can now tell what kind of properties to look for in searching for highly connected genes in human genetic networks with the potential to impact genetic diseases."


Excellent Short Film of the Day

If you have ten minutes to spare on this wonderful Monday morning, you really should check out this short film by Supamonks Studio. The animation is excellent and it reminds me a bit of Wall-E.


SpaceX Test Fired Raptor Engine

Elon Musk tweeted these images showing off a successful test firing of the Raptor engine. These are the engines that SpaceX plans to use to take humans to Mars. Check out the cool "Mach diamond" pattern in the second shot.

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League of Legends Getting Crowdfunding Support For Prize Pools

Are we already at a point with League of Legends that they need crowdfunding to supplement prize pools? I thought eSports was the latest and greatest thing that was bringing sponsors and money hand over fist?

Starting with Worlds 2016, which starts in just a few days, League of Legends players will be able to add to the prize pool by buying in game items. 25% of revenue from each year’s Championship skin and Championship Ward will be added to the Worlds prize pool, so this year buying Championship Zed will boost the prize pool a small amount. Starting next year 25% of revenue from sales of the Challenger skin will be added to the prize pool for the Mid Season Invitational.


Warner Bros. Settles FTC Charges Over Deceptive YouTube Influencer Campaign

You know what the saddest part was about this whole debacle? Shadow of Mordor was actually a good game that didn't need Warner Bros. showering cash on the likes of PewDiePie. Let's hope they've learned their lesson from this whole thing (probably not).

Under the terms of the FTC’s settlement, Warner Bros. will have to clearly identify its sponsorship of marketing videos published on YouTube in the future. The FTC order mandates that Warner Bros. will disclose material connections between itself and influencers and will not misrepresent such influencers as independent users in the future. Warner Bros. will be responsible for informing influencers that they must disclose material connections in their video reviews and establishing a system to monitor video content and social media posts for such disclosures. The order will remain in place for 20 years or longer if the FTC files a new complaint alleging violation of its order.


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.

AMD Announces Early Results of Cash Tender Offers and Consent

AMD today announced the early results of its previously announced cash tender offers for certain of its outstanding 6.75% Senior Notes due 2019, 7.75% Senior Notes due 2020 (the "7.75% Notes"), 7.50% Senior Notes due 2022 (the "7.50% Notes") and 7.00% Senior Notes due 2024 (the "7.00% Notes" and, collectively, the "Notes"), subject to any applicable Tender Cap (as defined below). According to information received from D.F. King & Co., Inc., the Tender Agent and Information Agent in connection with the tender offers, as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on Sept. 22, 2016 (that date and time, the "Early Tender Date"), AMD had received valid tenders from holders of the Notes as outlined in the table below.


Sunday September 25, 2016

"Microsoft Should Pay Compensation For User Upgrade Woes"

A consumer rights group based out of the UK thinks that people deserve money from Microsoft due to all of the problems that the Windows 10 upgrade has caused. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only guy who ran into absolutely no issues.

The group said some respondents had paid technicians to repair problems that appeared after the Windows 10 upgrade, which in some cases took place despite users declining Microsoft's upgrade notifications. Which? members complained of being "nagged" by Microsoft alerts to install the update. "Which? is shining a light on the problem and calling on Microsoft to improve its customer service and repair and compensate its customers where appropriate," it said.


AT&T Sues Nashville In Bid To Stall Google Fiber

Nashville has a neat rule, One Touch Make Ready, which goes as far as allowing new ISP companies to move pre-existing utility pole wiring set by companies such as Comcast with their own crews. AT&T is suing because they think Google is incompetent and will mess up their property or, worse, inadvertently create service interruptions.

AT&T has complained that Google Fiber crews don’t always follow safety codes and outlined potential consequences in its lawsuit. "If a copper feeder cable were damaged, 1,000 or more residential customers could lose service, and business customers without redundant service would also lose service," AT&T wrote in its court complaint. "Some of AT&T’s aerial fiber facilities are used to provide high-capacity switched Ethernet services to various customers including police and fire stations, and to wireless carriers that use the fiber to carry wireless traffic to and from their cell towers. Damage to these facilities could knock out service to emergency responders, and take a cell tower out of service."


Reconfigurable Chaos-Based Microchips Offer Possible Solution To Moore’s Law

Researchers are attempting to get "more out of less" by applying chaos theory to transistor circuits, which allows them to be programmed to perform different tasks. 100 million transistors could perform work equivalent to three billion transistors.

"In current processors you don't utilize all the circuitry on the processor all the time, which is wasteful," Kia says. "Our design allows the circuit to be rapidly morphed and reconfigured to perform a desired digital function in each clock cycle. The heart of the design is an analog nonlinear circuit, but the interface is fully digital, enabling the circuit to operate as a fully morphable digital circuit that can be easily connected to the other digital systems." The researchers have produced an alternative approach for computing that is compatible with existing technology and utilizes the same fabrication process and CAD tools as existing computer chips, which could aid commercial adoption.


Nvidia Job Postings Suggest Chips Returning To Apple Macs

Job listings suggest that the return of Nvidia tech in Apple systems is a great possibility. The last time a Mac had a Nvidia GPU was, what, 2013?

Current Mac computers feature graphics chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Nvidia, which is the leading manufacturer of high-end graphics chips used in gaming machines, hasn’t been an option for multiple generations of computer models from Cupertino, California-based Apple. Nvidia, in a job ad for a software engineer, said a successful applicant will "help produce the next revolutionary Apple products." The role would require "working in partnership with Apple" and writing code that will "define and shape the future"’ of graphics-related software on Macs.


Google Self-Driving Car T-Boned By Interstate Delivery Truck

A Google self-driving Lexus was in "one of the worst" accidents that any of their cars have ever been in. A van ran a red light and struck the car, even though the light was green for the Google vehicle at least six seconds before it entered the intersection.

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Specifically, we’re told the crash happened in Mountain View, California, at the corner of W El Camino Real and Calderon Ave. We’re told that no one was hurt in the crash and all airbags deployed. "I only saw the tail-end of the crash, and the dazed Google employees sitting around afterwards waiting for their tow-truck. I had to be on my way," a witness told us. The witness also mentioned that, based on their perspective, the self-driving car was not at fault. "From what I could see, it was the van’s fault entirely," they said.


VR Devs Pull Support For Oculus Rift Until Palmer Luckey Steps Down

Many seem unpleased with the Oculus founder’s political views and are retaliating. Wait, why does it even matter which candidate Mr. Luckey wants to support?

Several virtual reality game developers have announced that they will stop supporting Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset until its founder Palmer Luckey steps down. Developers announced that they will stop supporting the Oculus Rift after The Daily Beast revealed that Luckey raised money for a pro-Donald Trump non-profit through a convoluted Reddit scheme. As Motherboard reported on Friday, Luckey’s Twitter activity has been sympathetic to the alt-right and the bigotry that defines it since March of this year.


Valve Outlines Changes To Address Increasingly Unwieldy Steam Store

Changes are coming to the Steam Store, per notifications delivered to SteamWorks developers. It seems that we will now have the option of filtering out things like Early Access games and non-gaming stuffs like software applications and movies.

A new option to set "Global Customer Preferences" could turn out to be the most significant. Steam's dominance on the PC and its relatively open nature means its home page regularly gets flooded with "Early Access" games in the initial stages of development or virtual reality games, which comparatively few Steam users have access to. This is a problem with Steam in general: so many new games are added to the platform every day, players have a hard time finding the games they want to play.


Apple Acknowledges iOS 10 Security Flaw

iOS 10 has a security flaw that allows hackers to crack passwords 2,500 times faster. Apple is working on a fix, but for now, the company recommends that users ensure their devices are protected with strong passwords.

"We’re aware of an issue that affects the encryption strength for backups of devices on iOS 10 when backing up to iTunes on the Mac or PC. We are addressing this issue in an upcoming security update. This does not affect iCloud backups," an Apple spokesperson said. "We recommend users ensure their Mac or PC are protected with strong passwords and can only be accessed by authorized users. Additional security is also available with FileVault whole disk encryption."


China Powers Up World's Largest Telescope

It’s time to start hunting for aliens. FAST, which measures 500 meters in diameter, is now officially in operation and offers great potential for scientists to detect signs of life on other planets or galaxies.

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The 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) science mega-project is named after its huge dimensions: the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST. Built within a valley surrounded by naturally-formed karst hills in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province, the FAST radio telescope's huge dish is equal in size to 30 football pitches and was built from 4,000 individual metal panels. It also required the relocation of 10,000 people living in the vicinity of the huge structure. The feasibility study for the telescope was carried out over 14 years and construction took more than five years to complete.


Microsoft Will "Solve" Cancer Within Next 10 Years By Treating It Like A Computer Virus

The company is attempting to crack the code of diseased cells so they can be reprogrammed back to a healthy state. While most of this may be in the realm of possibility, are certain industries going to let them pull this off?

The ultimate goal of this computational approach: to program biology like we program computers. That’s a breakthrough that would open all sorts of possibilities for everything from treating diseases to feeding the world with more efficient crops. "All aspects of our daily lives will be affected," said Andrew Phillips, who heads the Biological Computation Research Group. Phillips said one approach is to create a kind of molecular computer that you would put inside a cell to monitor for disease. If the sensor detected a disease, it would actuate a response to fight it.


HDR Bugs Are Ruining The Movie Experience On Xbox One S

There are two issues with HDR on the new Xbox that exist but haven’t been patched yet. First, Netflix is engaging HDR mode for all movies (even non-HDR content), which is leading to messed up colors, and second, there is light bleed during 4K Blu-ray playback because the BD app is not properly engaging HDR for HDR content.

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Like the Netflix bug, this new Blu-Ray bug isn’t a deal breaker, but is definitely irritating and unattractive. It’s also nearly ruinous if you’re the kind of person who has dropped thousands of dollars on a UHD TV and Xbox Ones S and would like it all to play back exactly right. Fortunately, both bugs can be resolved with a software update from Microsoft. Yet, with the Netflix bug having been around since launch in early August, it’s anyone’s guess when the bugs will be resolved.


Android-Chrome OS "Andromeda" May Be Teased On October 4

Is there anything that Google isn’t showing at their upcoming event? Word is that we will finally get a glimpse of the next evolution of Android, which is expected to meld with Chrome OS. I hope that it runs as smoothly as the latter.

Lockheimer's tweet means little standing on its own. But with the right context? We believe this is the best evidence yet that Google plans to tease the long-fabled merger of Android and Chrome OS on October 4th. That project is known internally at Google as Andromeda, and even if we don't see Andromeda demoed on the 4th, we can assure you it's quite real. While rumors that Android and Chrome OS would merge are seemingly as old as the coexistence of the operating systems themselves, those rumors began solidifying nearly a year ago, thanks to a report from The Wall Street Journal. In it, the Journal claimed that Google was planning to "fold" Chrome OS into Android to better suit the latter to running on a wider variety of hardware.


Saturday September 24, 2016

Forza Horizon 3 At 4K 60fps Is "Simply Breathtaking"

Based on the Forza Horizon 3 reviews so far, people seem to be really liking Playground Games’ latest attempt at an open-world racer. I can’t believe you need to pay $100 to play it a week early, but the PC port is apparently pretty good, with no real game-breaking issues.


Intel Kaby Lake 7700K and 7600K CPU Clock Speeds

If you are making bets on what the Kaby Lake processors will run at, you should probably go with 4.2GHz and 3.8GHz, which is what a retail site had accidentally revealed. I wonder how many of you who wanted to upgrade just said "screw it" and bought a Skylake chip due to the recent Monoprice sale.

As far as specifications go, the 7700K is going to be the usual 4 core/8 thread configuration, with 8MB of L3 cache, and a 95W TDP. While all of that was expected, Intel has apparently made some changes to clock rates according to this leak, with the 7700K running at 4.2GHz base and boosting up to 4.5GHz, which is higher than earlier rumours pointed to. That said, it makes sense, given a 4.5GHz overclock has been fairly achievable on Intel’s unlocked desktop CPUs for some time now. The Intel Core i5 7600K will also be a quad-core chip, though it will not have hyper threading. This one will be running at 3.8GHz base with a 4GHz boost clock.


London Police Chief Wants To Be Able To Stop Your Car Remotely

Speaking on police tactics and how technology could be used to aid law enforcement, officials from across the pond want the privilege of disabling a vehicle with the push of a button. I can already picture compromised cars coasting straight into civilians, signs, trees, and storefronts.

The commissioner seemed to be suggesting that cars could be equipped with a police-accessible system that would allow the authorities to take control of the vehicle if needed. Clearly showing he doesn’t understand how modern, internet-technology works, Hogan-Howe’s suggestion would seem to slightly tread over the line of civil liberties and individual freedom, not to mention the right to privacy. But even if those aspects are completely ignored, the technological challenges involved in creating such a system and keeping it secure are huge. The question is reminiscent of the debate for a specially created backdoor into secure programs, that many governments would like to see implemented into our technology.


What May Be The Last Nokia Phone Costs Only $37

Microsoft had two surprises earlier this week: one, that it was still making Nokia phones, and two, that it cost under $50. While this will officially only be available in India, there should be plenty of ways for collectors to get their hands on what could be the last Nokia device.

The Nokia 216 packs a 2.4-inch display with a 320 x 240-pixel resolution. It offers just 16MB of RAM, expandable storage, Bluetooth, and a swappable 1020mAh battery that promises 18 hours of talk time. Microsoft also included a pair of 0.3-megapixel cameras with flash in front and back. The device runs Nokia’s Series 30 software. You also get the Opera Mini Browser and the Opera Mobile Store, which offers access to Facebook along with other apps and mobile games. The design looks like a classic Nokia candy bar with a physical keypad. It comes in black, gray or light blue with a plastic frame and a rear-facing speaker.


Sword Master VR Gameplay Video

If you’ve got a Vive and are in the mood for a little medieval swordplay, Sword Master should be right up your alley. The game seems like it should give you a pretty good workout since you actually need to use weight in your strikes.


Twitter Reportedly In Talks With Google, Salesforce For Potential Sale

I have no idea how Twitter managed to do so poorly for a platform that is so popular. It is hard to say who will win the bid for the company, but a buyout seems very possible, despite board members being against it. Even Verizon is interested.

…the social company is in talks with the likes of Google and cloud computing company Salesforce, among others, and may receive a formal bid soon. The suiters courting Twitter are said to be interested in the data the company generates from its 313 million active users. However, sources say that, while conversations are ongoing and picking up steam, there's no assurance that a deal will be inked. As a result, Twitter's stocks have soared as high as 23 percent based on the news. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that the company has just lost two key staffers, including head of TV Andrew Adashek.


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