Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

[H]ard News

Monday July 23, 2018

More NVIDIA 1180 GPU Rumors

1180 release date rumors, as well as talk about 10 series overstock.

Discussion

Sunday July 22, 2018

"Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money"

Arguing that modern libraries hold no value anymore and are merely a drain on taxpayers, Forbes thinks Amazon should replace them with their own bookstores in local communities instead. Based on their successes in the book and streaming businesses, the company certainly has the experience to do just that, but many are voicing their outrage at turning community-friendly centers into what would be just another corporate landmark.

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Amazon Books is a chain of bookstores that does what Amazon originally intended to do; replace the local bookstore. It improves on the bookstore model by adding online searches and coffee shops. Amazon Go basically combines a library with a Starbucks. At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries. The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.

Discussion

Samsung Laughs at Apple’s Dongles in Latest Galaxy S9 Ads

Samsung has released four new Galaxy S9 advertisements to poke fun at the alleged shortcomings of the newest iPhones. One video, titled "Dongle," seems pretty accurate, as Apple users are finding they need more and more adapters and cables to access "legacy" devices, particularly if they want to charge devices at the same time.

While the ad is definitely a parody of the Apple Store and the whole Apple Genius concept, it does sound surprisingly like a real conversation a would-be iPhone buyer might have chatting with a friend: "A dongle?" "Yeah, a dongle. It comes in the box." "But what if I just need to charge at the same time?" "Then you're going to need another type of dongle." "Like a double dongle?" "Yeah, a double dongle. I guess."

Discussion

World of Warcraft Now Supports DirectX 12

While DirectX 9 has been dropped from World of Warcraft, its developers have added full support for DirectX 12. It is only viable for AMD users, however, as NVIDIA users may enable it but see a performance hit. Blizzard has also removed fullscreen exclusive mode, leaving only windowed and fullscreen windowed options.

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It appears that Blizzard has made some noteworthy rendering changes to World of Warcraft, as this massive MMORPG does no longer support the DX9 API. Instead, the team has now added full support for Microsoft’s latest API, DirectX 12, meaning that players can now choose between DX11 and DX12.

Discussion

Mobile Phones and Cancer: The Full Picture

Due to the publication’s "highly controversial" piece regarding "the inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones," The Guardian has returned with a follow-up authored by cancer expert and physicist David Grimes, who says it "misrepresented the research and that fears are ill-founded." He argues that if there was a true link, cancer rates would have clearly increased by now due to the exponential adoption of mobiles. Grimes also says there can’t be a conspiracy by the telecoms industry because there isn’t any real scientific evidence to downplay.

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A Danish cohort study followed 358,403 people for 27 years, again finding no link between phone usage and tumor rates. The scientific consensus to date is that there is no evidence linking cancer to mobile phones. To ignore strong evidence against a conjecture while inflating weak studies is textbook cherry-picking, where data that might contradict a particular hypothesis is jettisoned, and only evidence fitting the desired story retained. This is antithetical to science, where the totality of evidence must be assessed in concert.

Discussion

Android Q+ May Use the Vulkan Graphics API to Render the UI

XDA has uncovered evidence that future versions of Android may rely on the Vulkan Graphics API to render the user interface. This follows the company adding an OpenGL hardware-accelerated backend to Android’s 2D graphics engine, Skia, which is also utilized by Chrome and Chrome OS. Users may expect a reduction in frame rendering times due to a cutdown on processing done by the CPU.

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The evidence for this comes from a comment submitted by a Google engineer on the open source Chromium Gerrit. The comment is in reference to a bug report on the upcoming implementation of the Vulkan Graphics API for the Google Chrome browser on Android. The comment states that, sometime in the future, "there will be a requirement" to have Vulkan API support for the Android WebView when the "[Android] framework is going to start using Vulkan for HWUI."

Discussion

Study: Humans Show Racial Bias towards Robots of Different Colors

Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury claim that people display different racial biases towards black robots and white robots. Apparently, people can’t help but "perceive robots with anthropomorphic features to have race," which results in the prejudices that humans experience extending to robots.

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Our study revealed that participants were quicker to shoot an armed black agent than an armed white agent, and simultaneously faster to refrain from shooting an unarmed white agent than an unarmed black agent regardless of whether it was a human or robot. These findings illustrate the shooter bias towards both human and robot agents. This bias is both a clear indication of racism towards black people, as well as the automaticity of its extension to robots racialized as black.

Discussion

QLC SSDs Headed to Desktop PCs This Year

Both Intel and flash partners Toshiba/Western Digital released QLC announcements this week, with the former producing its first QLC SSD for the data center and the latter discussing their 96-layer BICS4 3D QLC NAND chip, which can store up to 1.33 Tb of raw data (166 GB). In contrast to TLC flash, QLC will be cheaper and offer higher capacities, but lower endurance and performance.

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SSDs come with up to 16 die per package, so that means Toshiba and WD will soon be able to pack in a whopping 2.66TB of storage into a single NAND package. The duo plans to begin sampling the BiCS4 QLC NAND in September and mass production is slated for early 2019. More importantly, WD's release clearly states that QLC SSDs will come to the consumer market under the SanDisk brand name. We expect Toshiba to follow suit with its own consumer SSDs.

Discussion

Aquaman Official Trailer

Although Justice League underperformed, there seems to be plenty of interest still invested in the DC cinematic universe: case in point, the Aquaman trailer, which WB premiered at their panel during SDCC yesterday and is currently trending #1 on YouTube. While the CG looks like it needs a bit of work, hopes for the film are high, as it is helmed by James Wan of Saw/Conjuring/Insidious fame.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, "Aquaman," starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime -- one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be...a king.

Discussion

Ex-Valve Employee Describes the Company’s Ruthless Internal Politics

Game developer and graphics programmer Rich Geldreich tweeted about the frustrating internal politics he experienced at "self-organizing" companies this week, and while he doesn’t specifically name the employer, PCGamer believes it is Valve, who he worked for from 2009 and 2014. While the company doesn’t operate under a traditional hierarchical management structure, Geldreich paints Valve as "a stressful, difficult place to work, full of backstabbing and manipulation in pursuit of bonuses and job security."

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Geldreich says that "nobody apparently else has the balls, the principles, or the means to push back" and in various ways accuses the press of being pawns of corporations. As for why he does not name Valve directly, Geldreich tells one person that he did not use "the V word" specifically to avoid press. He has criticized Valve by name in the past, however, calling his time there the "worst experience" of his life.

Discussion

Project "Fuchsia": Google Is Quietly Working on a Successor to Android

The existence of Google’s Fuchsia project is nothing new, but Bloomberg has managed to squeeze new details out of the team responsible for the secretive OS. One discovery is that Fuchsia will be capable of running all of Google’s in-house gadgets (e.g., Pixel phones and smart speakers), as well as third-party Android or Chrome OS devices. If all goes to plan, Fuchsia will replace Android entirely.

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According to one of the people, engineers have said they want to embed Fuchsia on connected home devices, such as voice-controlled speakers, within three years, then move on to larger machines such as laptops. Ultimately the team aspires to swap in their system for Android, the software that powers more than three quarters of the world's smartphones, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

Discussion

An Incredibly Suspicious NVIDIA GTX 1170 Leak Surfaces Online

A partially obfuscated 3DMark result of an NVIDIA GTX 1170 is being passed around, but PCGamesN is pretty confident it is fake news. One red flag is the purported memory configuration, which is 16GB: that a little hard to digest, based on the high prices of memory these days.

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The flagship GTX 1180 could reasonably launch with 12GB of GDDR6 and easily outperform the last generation graphics cards currently on the market. I already shudder at what that could mean for the launch price of the flagship graphics card considering GDDR6 memory premiums and general memory supply concerns.

Discussion

Microsoft Plans to Win Back Consumers with "Modern Life Services"

Admitting it has tarnished its image with consumers, Microsoft has announced a plan to win people back with a cross-platform apps and services initiative dubbed "Modern Life Services." Apparently, the company will try to attract the attention of "professional consumers" with new Windows, Outlook, and PowerPoint features that will "make productivity more sexy."

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One example: The Microsoft"Your Phone" app, which Microsoft execs first showed off at the Build 2018 developer conference earlier this year. Your Phone on Windows 10 will allow users to respond to text messages on their Windows desktops, as well as drag and drop photos from their desktops and send them via their phones without actually having to access the phones.

Discussion

Ghost Recon Wildlands Is Crossing Over with Rainbow Six Siege

Following Splinter Cell, the Ghost Recon Wildlands team is teasing a new crossover with yet another Ubisoft property: this time, it’s Rainbow Six Siege. A full trailer will be released tomorrow, which should elaborate on which operators the Ghost Recon team will pair up with and what the mission will entail.

The second large, free update for the second year of the game’s content was revealed days ago with Ubisoft releasing a trailer for Special Operation 2 that previewed a permadeath mode and more. Following up on that teaser is the trailer above from Ubisoft that recaps some of the game’s past crossovers before getting to the Rainbow Six Siege teaser with a "6" badge shown while the tactical shooter’s music plays in the background.

Discussion

Saturday July 21, 2018

Nintendo Sues Console ROM Sites for "Mass" Copyright Infringement

Nintendo is suing popular console ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.com for copyright and trademark infringement. According to the complaint, both are "notorious online hubs for pirated video games" that "reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games."

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Nintendo hopes to shut both sites down. The company requests statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement. This means that, with more than 140 copyrighted titles and 40 trademarks on the record, theoretical damages could go up to a staggering $100 million.

Discussion

Study: Mobile Phone Radiation May Affect Memory Performance in Adolescents

Based on a study involving more than 700 teenagers, researchers at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute say that mobile phones have a detrimental effect on figural memory performance, which is mainly located in the right hemisphere of the brain. Those who held phones to their right ear when making a call saw a decline in the ability to remember abstract forms, and scientists do not believe it is mere coincidence.

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Other aspects of wireless communication use, such as sending text messages, playing games or browsing the Internet cause only marginal RF-EMF exposure to the brain and were not associated with the development of memory performance. "A unique feature of this study is the use of objectively collected mobile phone user data from mobile phone operators." said Roosli. He emphasized that further research is needed to rule out the influence of other factors.

Discussion

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Official Trailer

Legendary Pictures has released the first trailer for the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. While Kaiju fans panned the first film for not showing enough of the titular lizard, that appears to have been largely rectified in the sequel: expect plenty of monster-on-monster action, as at least three other eminent Toho characters can be spotted in this footage alone.

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species -- thought to be mere myths -- rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Discussion

Hello Games Received Death Threats, Bomb Threats after Release of No Man’s Sky

Sean Murray and Hello Games have crawled out of the woodwork to touch upon the drama following No Man’s Sky release, which was heavily criticized for not living up to the developer’s promises. While the team is candid about some of the controversy and describes the "frightening" harassment they received, those who felt betrayed and cheated won’t find any apologies here. Thanks Master_shake_.

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"I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game. I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.’"

Discussion

The C43J89 Is Samsung’s Latest Ultra-Wide Monitor

Samsung’s newest monstrosity is a 43" 32:10 curved monitor suitable for both gamers and business workers: the C43J89 not only offers a 3000:1 contrast ratio and 120 Hz refresh rate, but also picture-in-picture, built-in KVM switch, and two USB Type-C ports. This display was actually introduced earlier this year, but increasing coverage would suggest that release is near.

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The diagonal length of the 32:9, 49-inch curved screen is a whopping 124cm! The first thing we thought was, "Can we see everything on screen without turning our heads?" But our doubts vanished quickly once we sat in front of it. The usual procedure with dual monitors is to turn one’s head to and fro. With the CJ89, however, we could see everything effortlessly.

Discussion

Windows 10 Is Still Installed on under 700 Million Active Devices

It appears that Windows 10 installations have gone stagnant. Back in March, former Windows chief Terry Myerson announced the OS was on nearly 700 million devices, but months later, that number hasn’t changed: Satya Nadella held an earnings call this week and reiterated W10 being installed on "nearly 700 million" devices.

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We've been at nearly 700 million devices for almost four months, so growth of the OS install base is either completely stagnant, or Microsoft has been very loose with the word "nearly". When Windows 10 was first introduced, Microsoft said that it planned to have the OS installed on over a billion devices within two to three years. The company retracted that promise a year later, saying that it won't achieve the goal, but the three years will be up in 10 days.

Discussion

Bethesda: The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield Are "Gonna Take a While"

While Bethesda is doubling down on their single-player pledge with a proper Elder Scrolls sequel and brand-new IP Starfield, these titles are apparently nowhere near release: director Todd Howard mentioned to The Guardian that "everyone should be very patient. It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out." He also suggested there would be no more outsourcing of Fallout games, a la New Vegas. Thanks Montu.

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In 2010, Bethesda plugged the long gap between its own Fallout games by letting another developer, Obsidian, give the series a spin. The result was Fallout: New Vegas, a game that used Bethesda’s technology but had a different style of writing and characterization, filling in more shades of grey in the game’s moral choices. "I wouldn’t say never," he says. "[But] now that our company is so big, it’s always better to keep stuff internal ... it becomes less likely, but I could never say never. I thought the Obsidian guys did a fabulous job."

Discussion

Russia May Put Androids in Orbit Next Year, State Media Says

According to Russian state media, the Roskosmos space agency is sending a pair of humanoid robots to the International Space Station in August 2019. Largely intended as a PR move, the FEDORs (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) will fly to the ISS as crew members and not as cargo in the transport compartment. They are reportedly capable of doing push-ups, lifting weights, power drilling, driving, fist-bumping, and shooting guns.

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"This was initially designed as a proof of concept -- and the space role for this robot was implied from the beginning. It does make for a very effective military ‘android’ in official videos where its shooting guns, but ultimately it’s a dual-use work frame for hard-to-do projects like working in space or in other hazardous environments," noted Sam Bendett, an associate research analyst at CNA and a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Discussion

James Gunn Fired from "Guardians of the Galaxy" Franchise over Offensive Tweets

Disney has fired James Gunn after tweets involving pedophilia and rape were uncovered on the Guardians of the Galaxy director’s twitter account. Gunn made a name for himself in his early career as a provocateur who would make outrageous movies and tell taboo jokes for shock value, but the studio deemed the offensive attitudes and statements on his feed "indefensible."

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Among the tweets that forced Disney and Marvel’s hand were: "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place." Another: "The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’" There were others that made satirical comments about the 9/11 attack, AIDS and the Holocaust. Yet another described a monkey masturbating on a young child, and his commentary that it made him "extremely happy."

Discussion

Western Digital Formats Hard Disk Drive Factory as Demand Spins Down

Western Digital is closing its hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya due to declining demand for HDDs. While two manufacturing plants will remain in Bang Pa-In and Prachinburi, the company is increasing its focus on NAND flash with a new, second SSD facility in Penang.

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The data technology industry is undergoing substantial change. This market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDD applications. The change has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs. Consequently, Western Digital plans to expand SSD manufacturing in Penang.

Discussion


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