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Sunday December 04, 2016

Intel Optane SSDs May Not Be On Shelves Until 2018

There is still plenty of mystery surrounding Optane, like when you’ll be able to buy one or which segment Intel will target first (servers, probably). I wonder if QuantX (Micron’s 3D Xpoint effort) will see further delays as well.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said sample Optane products will ship to more testers next year, and that "it’s really a 2018 ramp for that product," according to a transcript of an October earnings call, posted on Seeking Alpha. As production ramps up next year, the cost of SSDs will come down, Krzanich said. Prototype SSDs are already used in Lenovo's cloud servers, where enterprise applications can be remotely tested. It can sometimes take months until hardware is qualified for use as an end product.


Man Streams 115 MPH Ride On Facebook, Crashes Into Garbage Truck

It really grinds my gears when retards get behind the wheel and put everyone around them in danger.

Rhode Island State Police are investigating a Facebook Live video apparently taken by a driver prior to a serious crash on Route 6, Capt. John Allen confirms. According to Allen, state police believe Onasi Olio Rojas, 20, of Pawtucket, was broadcasting the video before he crashed into a garbage truck in Providence Wednesday morning. The video shows the driver speeding and weaving in and out of traffic – reaching speeds as high as 115 mph – before appearing to lose control of the car.


Chrome 55: Flash Now Blocked For Most Sites

Are there any downsides to Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla just coming to an agreement and blocking Flash universally in one swoop? It seems like the most practical way of getting rid of Flash-only sites; what Google is doing now just seems like postponing things.

In perhaps the most user impacting update to the browser, Chrome 55 will now, by default, block Adobe Flash content in favor of HTML5 as signaled by Google earlier this year. When a user encounters a site lacking HTML5 capability, Chrome will prompt the user and ask them to permit the Flash content to run. However, in order to minimize disruption to the user experience, Google has exempted Flash-only websites in addition to the top ten websites… However, the exemption only applies for a year after which Flash content will be blocked by default for all sites and Chrome users will be required to provide their permission to view such content.


Microsoft Wants To Crush Google Home And Amazon Echo With Home Hub

So if I’m reading this right, Home Hub is a software-based approach to controlling and sharing information throughout your home built into Windows 10, and it can take the place of standalone devices like the Echo. How do I get excited about this stuff, though? Can’t you do the same things using a smartphone, since there is basically an app for everything?

Home Hub isn't a dedicated device that's designed to take on the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, as in the end, Home Hub is just the software. But that software can do everything the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices can, but with one added benefit: a screen. Home Hub is designed to run on Windows 10 PCs, mainly All-In-Ones and 2-in-1's with touch screens, but can work on any Windows 10 machine. Pen and ink support are also part of the plan. Adding a screen to these smart devices makes these things so much more approachable and useful, especially to families. Microsoft's end goal with Home Hub is to make shared PCs much more communal and helpful for multiple people that have to use them.


MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Announced

Wow, we are actually getting a new MechWarrior game in 2018. I like how MechWarrior 4 came out in 2000.

…what we do know is that MechWarrior 5 is a completely standalone singleplayer game being developed by Piranha Games using a separate team than the one currently supporting MechWarrior Online, its multiplayer-only CryEngine game that went into open beta in 2012. MechWarrior 5 will feature "intense PvE ‘Mech combat in an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice." If you're not too familiar with the series, MechWarrior is the tactical FPS offshoot of BattleTech, where players pilot a single BattleMech and issue orders to squads (called 'lances') of AI-controlled allies.


NAND Flash Prices Rise Fast As Demand Outpaces Supply

Smartphone and device makers can’t get enough of the stuff and it’s driving prices up; both MLC and TLC NAND prices have risen as high as 10 percent. Don’t hold your breath when it comes to paying less for an SSD, particularly newer models.

Specialized research outfit DRAMeXchange (via CTimes) says that we might have to pay increasingly steep prices for SSD storage in the coming months. The relationship between demand and supply is a well known principle of economics - and apparently there is very robust demand for NAND from smartphone and device makers. This has caused NAND flash prices to rise in Q3 2016. If the above pressure on pricing wasn't enough, there looks to be a perfect storm brewing to push NAND prices higher. DRAMeXchange also reports that the technological transition from 2D NAND to 3D NAND manufacturing has reduced the industry's overall output. It is unclear how long these effects will last and continue to exert their upwards price pressure.


FCC: Average U.S. Broadband Speed Rising

The latest report indicates that median broadband download speeds have nearly quadrupled from 2011 (10Mbps) to 2015 (39Mbps). Other good news is that ISPs are actually delivering on the speeds they are advertising. DSL and satellite connections have basically remained stagnant, however.

This year’s report shows that broadband speed offerings to the average consumer continue to increase at a rapid pace, and broadband service providers generally are delivering actual speeds that meet or exceed advertised speeds. However, results are not uniform across technologies. The report finds a growing disparity in advertised download speeds between many DSL-based broadband services and most cable- and fiber-based broadband services. Average DSL speeds have increased only slightly over the past five years and satellite speeds, over a shorter time interval, have remained constant.


President-Elect Urged To Train 100,000 Hackers

With computer hacking being more common and dangerous than ever, the incoming administration is being advised to create a "national cybersecurity workforce program" that would deliver computer scientists and other specialists to defend against such attacks. Some experts are urging government intervention in matters such as consumer devices, many of which are insecure and would require legal ramifications for manufacturers to take action.

Train 100,000 cybersecurity specialists by 2020. This is a huge number that some cybersecurity experts think is unrealistic. There's currently a severe shortage of computer scientists who know how to hack -- and to defend from hackers. As a result, salaries are skyrocketing, making it even harder for the government to hire cybersecurity experts. In fact, lots of the talented hackers at the FBI and NSA are leaving for the private sector. It's something FBI Director James Comey has voiced concern about. Security specialists tell CNNMoney they're worried that rushing to flood the job market would merely result in lower quality, less talented workers -- not the elite cybersecurity experts the country needs.


Aggressive Design Caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Battery Explosions

It has been determined that the Note 7 fiasco was a result of too much bravado from Samsung engineers, as they tried to pack too much technology into a limited space. Basically, they were struggling to maximize capacity and put less emphasis than they should have toward component boundaries and other protective guidelines, which resulted in compressed batteries.

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What’s interesting is that there is evidence in the design of an intellectual tension between safety and pushing the boundaries. Samsung engineers designed out all of the margin in the thickness of the battery, which is the direction where you get the most capacity gain for each unit of volume. But, the battery also sits within a CNC-machined pocket -- a costly choice likely made to protect it from being poked by other internal components. Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally.


Panasonic Announces OLED-Like IPS Display Technology

The beauty of OLED is that each pixel can be manipulated individually, and Panasonic has figured out how to do that in an LCD display. The bad news is that this technology seems destined only for the expensive professional sector.

…it's making an LCD panel with the precision backlighting capabilities of an OLED. Thanks to a new backlight technology, these panels can turn off the backlight on a per-pixel basis, granting them an advertised " over 1,000,000:1" contrast ratio. Meaning that blacks will be absolutely black while whites could be eye-searingly bright — within the same image — and HDR and colors should look incredibly life-like.


HP Unveils New Supercomputer Up To 8,000 Times Faster Than Existing PCs

Announced two years ago, HP’s supercomputer "The Machine" is meant to be the world’s first demonstration of memory-driven computing. Calculations will rely on memory rather than traditional processors.

The Machine prototype that has been shown is proof of concept of the real world applications of this amazing technology. The business focused side of the corporation; HP Enterprise stated that in simulations the machine has shown speed up to 8,000 times faster than your conventional computers. If this is really true then this is a huge leap in this field of technology. Don’t get too excited though because the machine is still many years away from its market release. Plus it will be targeting mostly high-end servers that companies like Facebook use and not your day to day PCs.


Saturday December 03, 2016

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer

Kurt Russel, Sylvester Stallone, and Nathan Fillion are in this? I’m sure the movie will be fun, but talk about a colossal waste of acting talent.


Samsung To Release 4TB 850 Pro At CES 2017

Any bets on how much it will cost? The EVO version would suffice for me, although that already costs $1,499.

Samsung is planning to introduce a 4TB version of its 850 Pro SSD at the CES 2017 show in Las Vegas. If you thought that US $1,499 priced 4TB 850 EVO SSD was cool, you will be impressed to know that Samsung plans to introduce a 4TB version of its flagship 2.5-inch SATA 850 Pro SSD at CES 2017 show in Las Vegas which kicks off on January 5th. This will also be the first 4TB MLC (2-bits per cell) SSD on the market, which will bring both better performance and more reliability.


Hisense A2: Dual-Screen Phone With AMOLED And E-Ink Displays

This is not the first device to do this, but an e-ink display seems like a pretty smart way to conserve battery life when you realize it is suitable for a lot of content you would normally be perusing on your mobile.

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The TENAA filing describes the phone as a handset with a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display on one side and a 5.2 inch, 960 x 540 pixel E Ink screen on the other. Advantages of the E Ink screen include sunlight visibility, low power consumption, and the ability to display a static image without using any power — so you can load up a shopping list, directions, boarding pass, or other notes and it’ll stay on the screen indefinitely even if your battery dies. You could also use that screen to read eBooks or other documents. The phone’s other features include a 1.4 GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card reader, a 3,000 mAh battery, a 16MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and Android 6.0 software.


Hulu Is Now Streaming In 4K

The service now supports 4K streaming, but I am still looking for a reason to subscribe. As far as I know, its catalog is looking pretty pathetic in comparison to the competition.

…you can stream 4K content from Hulu on Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Pro. But the selection of shows and movies available at launch is pretty underwhelming compared to rivals Netflix and Amazon Video, who’ve both been offering 4K for some time now. Hulu’s first batch of 4K includes the company’s lineup original shows and 20 James Bond films. So while that’s pretty good news for 007 fanatics, well, it doesn’t do much for everyone else. Hulu Originals (11.22.63, The Path, Chance, etc.) aren’t exactly the same award-winning critical darlings we’ve seen from the service’s competitors.


"F**k Konami," Guillermo Del Toro Says

Apparently, the director is still angry about Silent Hills being cancelled. I have no idea what he’s doing in Kojima’s new game, though. Is movie directors starring in games going to be the new thing, now?

Film director Guillermo del Toro, who was working with Hideo Kojima on a new Silent Hill game before it got canceled, has lashed out at publisher Konami. Writing on Twitter today, the Pan's Labyrinth director did not hold back. "F**k Konami," he said. This was the caption for a tweet that included a link to the newest trailer for Kojima's nex game, Death Stranding. The very weird trailer aired during The Game Awards last night, and it featured none other than del Toro himself alongside Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen.


Some New MacBook Pros Suffer From Major Graphics Issues

It seems that plenty of new MacBook Pros are acting up when they are being pushed with intensive tasks, and Apple isn’t sure whether it is a software or hardware issue. Makes for a pretty decent screensaver, though. increasing number of early adopters have reported serious graphics issues on Apple's latest notebooks. The glitches and other problems appear to be most prevalent on built-to-order 15-inch models, but standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations are also affected. MacRumors reader Jan Becker, for example, said the graphics began to glitch on his new high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics, while transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder in Premiere Pro. The notebook subsequently crashed.


The Slow Death Of The Manual Transmission

How sad will you guys be to see manual transmissions go? Or do some of you think shifting gears is overrated?

By the end of the next decade, my beloved manual transmission may no longer be an option. In the United States, gas-powered vehicles have been moving away from clutches for years. The perpetually growing SUV (which are almost exclusively fitted with automatic transmissions) market is accelerating that trend. But the real death of the stick shift will be electric vehicles. Because of the nature of electric motors, a gear box is unnecessary. These cars are capable of accessing their torque at all times. You don't have to downshift to fourth to access the extra power needed to pass a slow-moving car; you just stomp on the accelerator, and there it is.


PlayStation Experience 2016 Live Stream

The event has just kicked off in Anaheim. I heard rumors that we may be seeing a new PaRappa or Marvel vs. Capcom game…


EA Says No Battlefield Next Year, New Star Wars Battlefront Instead

You’ll have to wait for a new Battlefield, but the next Battlefront is expected to come out in the Fall. Expect much more content, including source material that goes beyond the original trilogy—will I finally be able to play as Jar Jar?

EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen stated that a new Battlefield title wouldn’t be releasing for a "couple of years." Instead EA will be pushing Star Wars Battlefront‘s sequel (Star Wars Battlefront III 2, maybe) as their big fall shooter. The latest title in EA’s bread-and-butter Battlefield franchise came out last month to excellent reviews and high sales. However, for now, EA hasn’t announced any future plans for the series aside from the four expansion packs that will be coming to Battlefield 1 over the next year.


Friday December 02, 2016

[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 In Win Classic Series 750W power supply, followed by our Serious Sam VR mGPU NVIDIA GTX Pascal Follow Up article. Finally, we wrapped things up with part one of our Watch Dogs 2 Video Card Performance Review.

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Free TV-Show Streaming Hurts Online Sales, Research Finds

As crazy as this may sound, people actually chose free streaming content over paying for it. In other news, water is wet, sky is blue, wasting money on studies like this is nothing new.

New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that online piracy is not the only worry for TV distributors. Based on Downton Abbey streaming and sales data provided by PBS, the researchers find that free legal streams can significantly reduce download sales. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that free streaming options should be banned.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Contest: ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer 3.1 Giveaway @ OCInside

ETC.: Creative iRoar Go Speaker @ Vortez

D-Link Performace Series Enthusiast Router @ eTeknix

TP-Link Archer Tri-Band Router @ FunkyKit

Motherboards: GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming @ TechGage

Storage: WD My Passport 4TB @ Legit Reviews

Facebook Exec: We Resisted Having Standards On Fake News

Blah, blah, blah, more lip service, blah, blah, blah, making stuff up as we go along, blah, blah, blah, pulling stuff out of our ass, blah, blah, saying what you want to hear, blah, blah. -Facebook

"For so long, we had resisted having standards about whether something’s newsworthy because we did not consider ourselves a service that was predominantly for the distribution of news. And that was wrong!" Schrage said during a panel on the media’s role in the election. He added: "We have a responsibility here. I think we recognize that. This has been a learning for us."


‘Avalanche’ Network Dismantled In International Cyber Operation

Europol, along with a number of other international agencies, says that it has brought down the Avalanche botnet platform. The four year investigation resulted in five arrests, 37 premises searched and 39 servers were seized while an additional 221 servers were taken offline.

The global effort to take down this network involved the crucial support of prosecutors and investigators from 30 countries. As a result, 5 individuals were arrested, 37 premises were searched, and 39 servers were seized. Victims of malware infections were identified in over 180 countries. Also, 221 servers were put offline through abuse notifications sent to the hosting providers. The operation marks the largest-ever use of sinkholing[1] to combat botnet[2] infrastructures and is unprecedented in its scale, with over 800 000 domains seized, sinkholed or blocked.


Atlas Robot Getting Better At Chasing Sarah Connor

Sure, this video doesn't specifically mention Sarah Connor by name but you and I both know that's where this is heading.


FCC: AT&T's DirecTV Plan Violates Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has written a letter to AT&T warning the company that its DirecTV plan violates net neutrality rules. The company has two weeks to respond. Again, if there were no data caps, this wouldn't be an issue. frown

"We have therefore reached the preliminary conclusion that these practices inhibit competition, harm consumers, and interfere with the ‘virtuous cycle’ needed to assure the continuing benefits of the Open Internet," FCC wireless bureau chief Jon Wilkins writes in the letter, which requests a response from the company by December 15th. "These are incredibly popular free services available to millions of customers," AT&T said in a statement. "Once again, we will provide the FCC with additional information on why the government should not take away a service that saves consumers money."


ZeniMax Threatens Fan-Made DOOM Rougelike With Takedown Notice

It's kind of odd that these guys got a takedown notice but the crew behind Brutal DOOM has Zenimax's full support. I guess it doesn't matter, a "spiritual successor" has already been launched and, thanks to the free publicity, the Kickstarter for the renamed project is almost certain to hit its goal.

Zenimax Media, parent company of Bethesda, has threatened legal action against DoomRL, a free browser-based Doom roguelike inspired by the popular FPS. The email states that DoomRL is intentionally seeking to attract users using a Zenimax trademark, and asks that all such trademarks and references to the IP be pulled immediately.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Announced @ Blue's News

Dead Rising 4 Official Launch Trailer @ Shacknews

GTA 5 Online's Next Update Announced @ GameSpot

New Andromeda Initiative Video @ VG24/7

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