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[H]ard News

Scott Herkelman Confirms NVIDIA GPP Tactics

Scott Herkelman, Vice President & GM Radeon Gaming at AMD, has been getting a bit higher profile this week. We dropped you a bit of his backstory earlier this week and how AMD is launching a marketing campaign focused directly on NVIDIA's GPP action. Scott was in London this week working with AMD resellers and he posted something very interesting on Twitter that goes straight to the heart of our article entitled, "GeForce Partner Program Impacts Consumer Choice." If you have doubts that NVIDIA GPP is real, hear what he has to say:

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I wanted to personally thank all of our resellers who are attending our AMD sales event in London this week, it was a pleasure catching up with you and thank you for your support. Many of you told me how our competition tries to use funding and allocation to restrict or block your ability to market and sell Radeon based products in the manner you and your customers desire. I want to let you know that your voices have been heard and that I welcome any others who have encountered similar experiences to reach out to me. Together we can work to ensure that we give gamers what they truly deserve -- freedom of choice.

The emphasis above is mine, but if you have a "GPP" story to tell, Scott wants to hear about it from you.

In other news, NVIDIA PR is now telling hardware reviewers and journalists that HardOCP was paid by AMD to tell you about GPP. The GPP "transparency" continues. For the record, AMD did not. And for the record, NVIDIA continues its lies.


CoD Black Ops 4 and Battlefield 2018 May Have Battle-Royale Modes

Multiple sources have been reporting on rumors for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Battlefield 2018. Fortunately DSOGaming was kind enough to consolidate them to let us know that CoD:Bo4 and BF2018 may feature battle-royale modes because of course they will, with Battlefield's battle-royale likely not available at launch and added after release via a free update.

In addition we are reporting that DSOGaming is reporting that Polygon reported that the new CoD may not feature any single-player whatsoever, with Treyarch focusing on the games multiplayer and zombie modes, further increasing the likelihood that I will not be buying it.

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It appears that 2018 is the year of battle-royale (which is something we’ve expected after the incredible success of both Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). And according to the latest rumours, both Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Battlefield 2018 (codenamed Battlefield V) may feature such a mode.


Fake Ad-Blockers Removed From Chrome Store After 20M Users Download Them

Google has removed several fake ad blockers (Warning auto play video) after research firm AdGuard published a blog showing that over 20 million Chrome users had downloaded them over the last year. I have to say that AdGuard did everyone a service by finding this, but the fact that Google didn't vet these ad blockers well is concerning. I hope some of you [H] readers didn't fall for any of these fake ad blockers.

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The most popular fake ad blocker was AdRemover for Google Chrome, which had over 10 million users, putting a massive botnet of infected browsers at its authors' disposal.


Amazon Receives Patent for Cryptocurrency Tracking

Amazon just received a patent for a product that tracks cryptocurrency transactions. It's going to be a subscription service that agencies can use to identify those that use cryptocurrency. Some of the primary targets that Amazon is going after are law enforcement and the IRS. Whether or not this product actually makes it to the market is still up in the air, but I bet it happens since Amazon loves to make money.

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Amazon imagines that cops will be potential customers. Identifying Bitcoin users is a major project in global law enforcement, and the National Security Agency was working on it in 2013, documents from whistleblower Ed Snowden showed.


Epic Games is Raking in the Simoleons With Fortnite Mobile

Fortnite has only been out on mobile (iOS) since the first of April and it has already raked in $25 million. The only app in Apple's store that has done better is Netflix. Estimates are that Fortnite could earn over $500 million this year alone once it is ported to Android. This game is a money making machine and Epic needs to reinvest it into their other PC franchises and bring us some updated Unreal Tournament action or a Gears of War MMO.

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Epic Games has yet to divulge when Fortnite will launch on Google Play, but, should that happen by summer—and if the title is able to maintain its current hysteria-level popularity among gamers for a few more months—our estimates indicate the game could be poised to gross more than $500 million by the end of 2018 across both platforms combined.


Poorly Configured AWS S3 Bucket Exposes More Personal Data Once Again

Once again a poorly configured AWS S3 bucket has exposed millions of users personal data. The culprit this time is social network data aggregator LocalBlox and they left their bucket of 48 million records open for anyone to take a look at. The information contained names, addresses, DOB, Twitter handles, and Zillow real estate data. All of this data was linked by IP addresses. Who knows if or when anyone will be notified if their data was exposed?

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Poorly configured AWS S3 buckets have been an source of shame for Amazon Web Services and its users. Last year, the cloud platform giant introduced a tool to warn customers about insecure storage setups and earlier this year made the business version of the tool free, to avoid embarrassment by association.


Revenge of the Nerds

PlayVS is teaming up with the National Federation of State High Schools Associations to bring eSports to high school. This will allow all of the nerds to finally get that sweet letterman jacket and woo all of the hot girls away from those Neanderthal jocks. Before you know it l337 is going to be better than buff. Now go and get your game on, nerds!

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Like traditional sports, PlayVS isn't free. To participate, each student must pay $16 per month -- which ends up being cheaper on average than the hundreds to thousands of dollars they pay for each traditional sport every year. For that price, students can participate in two 3-month seasons per academic year, with playoffs in the last month culminating in offline regional and state championships, which PlayVS will pay for. Finally, there will be summer competition to bide players' time until the first season starts in fall.


Uber Designing Their Own Batteries for Flying Taxi

Uber has their eyes set on the future with their Uber Elevate flying taxi service. They hope to begin deployment of flying taxis by 2023 and plan to transition them to autonomous capability sometime in the future. The taxi is going to be designed and built by others, but they are doing all of the battery work. To make this happen they hired a former Tesla battery engineer and the new batteries will have sufficient power for VTOL with a 60 mile range. To top that off the battery pack will be refreshed in five minutes to help further increase range. Sounds too good to be true if you ask me, however, if they accomplish what they are trying to do it will be an engineering marvel. Good luck, Uber.

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This is a departure for Elevate, whose model is to contract with other companies, such as Bell Helicopter and Embraer, to develop the craft that ferry its passengers. While those contractors will still build most of each plane, the battery engineering will come from Uber.


Get a Robot if You're Tired of Putting Together IKEA Furniture

A group of researchers have put together a robot that's pretty good at putting together IKEA furniture. In this case it's an IKEA chair and they wanted to see if AI could be competitive with humans in this task. After letting the robot take pictures of everything and ensuring an algorithm for planning the motions was in place they let the robot get to it. It put the chair together in about 20 minutes with the human team beating this time by 50 seconds. When you think about it this is actually a good result for early AI and I can't wait till I have my own AI robot to put things together for me because I hate doing that kind of stuff. Can I haz robot? Watch the robot work below.

Unlike our humans, the chair-building bots were not fully autonomous, as scientists needed to program the sequence of steps they took in advance. But the researchers say that with further advances in artificial intelligence, robots could work this out themselves by communicating with a supervisor—or even by reading the manual.


Intel Jumps Into the Smart Glasses Game and Then Exits Quickly

Just a few months ago Intel decided to put their New Devices Group on the development of smart glasses called Vaunt. All seemed right in the world since no one else has really come out with anything worth a darn in the smart glasses market and Intel with their huge bank account might be able to get it right this time. However, in an amazing turn around Intel has dropped the Vaunt smart glasses project like a hot potato. It was nice to meet you Vaunt. RIP.

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A few months after their flashy online debut, the Vaunt smart glasses are dead, the chipmaker has confirmed. Some things, it seems, are just too beautiful to live - or receive sufficient investment from their parent company.


Serious Sam: Planet Badass Teaser Trailer Available Now

I have just the game for you if you've been looking for another fix for your video game splatter fetish. Yes, Serious Sam is back and he's not taking any prisoners once again. This game should have lots of gibbation for you hard core video game freaks. Keep an eye on the steam page for availability and check out the teaser below. Thanks again, cagey.


YouTuber Hits 6 ghz with Ryzen 2700X on ASUS Crosshair VII Hero Using LN2

YouTuber der8auer has set a new Geekbench record with his overclocked Ryzen 2700X running on an ASUS Crosshair VII Hero motherboard with LN2 cooling. His 6ghz with the 2700X is a new record for the Ryzen family of processors. All in all this is a great thing for AMD and it seems like the new 2700X is going to be a real winner. Stay tuned for more reviews to hit the web. Also, don't forget to check out the [H] review. Thanks, cageymaru.


Wednesday April 18, 2018

Intel Releases 10 TFLOPS Chip

In a newsroom post, Intel announced today the Intel Stratix 10 FPGA. This special chip is the fastest chip of it's kind in the world, boasting 10 trillion calculations per second. Field programmable gate arrays differ from standard CPUs as they can be re-programmed on the fly to perform specialized computing tasks.

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That is some incredible power for sure, a handful of those could give the HardOCP DC team a boost. I look forward to snagging one on eBay in a few years wink

The Stratix 10 contains about 30 billion transistors – more than triple the number of transistors in the chips that run today’s fastest laptops and desktops – and can process the data equivalent to 420 Blu-ray Discs in just one second.


Cryptocurrency Exit Scam Robs Investors of $50 Million

Not even a week after an ICO scam cost investors $660 Million, another exit scam has occurred costing investors $50 million. CoinTelegraph is reporting that the founder German-based startup Savedroid, Yassin Hankir, has absconded with the money raised from an initial coin offering, as well as private funding. The CEO tweeted earlier today "Thanks guys! Over and out!" apparently while in Egypt.

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The coins website, , has been replaced with a full-screen South Park "Aannnd It's Gone" meme. While not quite as clever as simply leaving "penis" it gets the point across nicely. The whole "A fool and his money" seems apt when talking about ICOs. Thanks to @modi123 for the story.

According to what appears to be Savedroid’s only official online presence left standing with an explanation of what the startup is, subreddit /r/savedroid_ico describes Savedroid as "building a user interface that will make a cryptocurrency investment just as simple as a savings account. Our mission is to eliminate adoption barriers and make cryptocurrencies accessible for everyone!"


NVIDIA Starts Disinformation GPP Campaign

Interesting rumors are now coming out that "Kyle was paid" big bucks for breaking the NVIDIA GPP story. And apparently NVIDIA's disinformation campaign to discredit the story around GPP is rubbing some folks the wrong way. Elric mentions below that "his name is also Brian," so I have to assume that PR at NVIDIA is starting this nastiness. No, I did not get paid for GPP, but I wish I would have. Hell, AMD even gave credit to PCPer for breaking story in its Freedom promo video. Interesting thoughts from Elric below.

Also worth mentioning is that I can tell you for sure that two of the things that NVIDIA told me about GPP are simply lies. Brian Burke of NVIDIA told me this about GPP before we wrote our initial story:

There is no commitment to make any monetary payments, or discounts for being part of the program.

That is a lie. I have it in writing that is not true. NVIDIA is withholding MDF monies as well as rebates and discounts if you don't go GPP. I have had conversations with people that have confirmed exactly what I have in writing.

NVIDIA is quickly painting itself into a corner, and I can say is that the silence from NVIDIA is deafening, and the rest of us know that too. If GPP was so great for the consumer as NVIDIA states, it would have already put hundreds of thousands of dollars into a PR campaign instead of going silent and telling the tech world it has "moved on" from the GPP story. They want this to just die and go away. Telling fellow journalists in the community that I am a paid mouthpiece of AMD is not below NVIDIA, and that is just a shame. And apparently some other folks don't like the way they are handling all of this either.

But at the end of the day, if the worst thing NVIDIA can say about me is that I get paid to tell the truth, I guess I can live with that.


Major Tech Companies Pledge To Never Help Governments Launch Cyber Attacks

33 tech companies have pledged to never help governments launch cyberattacks in what the New York Times calls the "Digital Geneva Accord." Inquisitr summarizes the pledge dubbed the "Cybersecurity Tech Accord," which in addition to not helping governments launch a cyber attack, pledges to have a stronger defense against cyber attacks to protect all customers globally regardless of the motivation for attacks.

Companies in the accord include ABB, Arm, Cisco, Facebook, HP, HPE, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and Trend Micro. We will see how much difference this makes going forward. You can check out the full pledge at the Cybersecurity Tech Accord website.

"The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together." said Microsoft President Brad Smith. "This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path towards more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world."


Amazon Finally Shares Prime Membership Numbers

Since 1997 Jeff Bezos has published a shareholder letter, which is considered to be a must-read by many business professionals. The Amazon CEO published his years letter earlier today, outlining the importance of having high standards according to a CNBC report. In the report Bezos, for the first time ever, disclosed that Amazon Prime membership now exceeds 100 million members worldwide. And in 2017 alone Amazon shipped over five billion items through it's Prime service.

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Some of those numbers are just hard to fathom. Now I just want the drone delivery, much lower chance of accidentally receiving a pee bottle. I however maintain that Jeff Bezos is Dr. Evil.

"How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There's no single way to do it – it's a combination of many things. But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it," Bezos wrote in the letter.


Piracy Problem? Block the Entire App Store

Apps that enable users to watch IPTV services are nothing new. However now BGR is reporting that two Australian media companies are looking to reduce the use of paid pirate IPTV boxes, not by going after the manufacturers or sellers, but by shutting down the app stores that they use. The stores are an alternative to the Google Play store, and provide APKs for all sorts of legitimate Android apps, however a Hong Kong based TV firm and Roadshow Films don't seem to care.

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Sweeping legislation like this could be a very slippery slope. Only time will tell if this gets passed, and if it does, what ramifications it will end up having.

The company acknowledged that many of those marketplaces, which are somewhat akin to the Play marketplace offered by Google for Android devices, contain apps that aren’t specifically focused on copyright infringement - for example, Netflix and YouTube apps.

However, the company argues that the primary purpose of the marketplaces is to facilitate copyright infringement and that the non-infringing apps can be downloaded elsewhere.


Janitor Gets Jailed Over Data Theft

OK....yeah, you should not be stealing data drives from where you work just because you want some extra storage on your XBone. However, Andru Reed was a janitor at the Florida Department of Revenue, and the drives he stole contained "secret information about taxpayers." I am not sure that this guy should be getting charged with third degree felonies though. It seems like the jackasses at the Florida Dept. of Revenue should be feeling a little bit of pain as well, since they leave data drives with "secret information" anywhere that the janitor can steal those. "As a result of the Department of Revenue's thorough processes and procedures to monitor and maintain equipment, we were able to rapidly identify and report the property missing." Too bad they did not use all their processes and procedures to secure the data they are responsible for in the first place. Thanks @cageymaru.

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The four hard drives contained confidential taxpayer information. Reed indicated that he had connected the hard drives to his Xbox to download video games without knowing what was on the hard drives. At this time in the investigation, it appears that the information on the hard drives was not used or further shared, but computer forensic examinations continue.


Hunt Showdown Bullet Physics System

As you might have noticed lately, we are big fans of Hunt Showdown around here. I think it is without a doubt one of the best games I have played since BorderLands 2, although the games in term of genre are not truly comparable. I have already racked up 160+ hours myself, and have the bags under my eyes to prove it. Hunt Showdown is a first per shooter, 2-man co-op, somewhat battle royale-ish, PvP and PvE type of game, set in the Louisiana swamps in the late 1800s. You are hunting demons from Hell for cash and prizes, and Hunters are hunting you all the time as well, or vice versa. It is a Crytek title using its own game engine, CryEngine. David West of Crytek, has just published an article that gives a dive into the physics systems that affect bullet travel in Hunt. If you think these guys have not put a lot of thought into just how all this works, think again. But they tackle the most asked question, "Why no bullet drop?" And it has the most awesome theme song.

Furthermore, the weapons in Hunt use iron sights. Games that incorporate more modern equipment usually can rely on an array of red-dot scopes and mid-range combat optics, as well as sniper, night-vision and thermal scopes. Because Hunt is set in the age of iron sights, you won't aim through a scope for most of your shots. With bullet drop, you would have to aim above the target, which forces the shooter to effectively have to guess where to shoot. That isn't something we want players to have to do in Hunt. We always want Hunters to feel like they are in full control of a situation, and that if they miss a shot, it is due to their mistake and not a random element in the game. Every shot counts in Hunt, and Hunters needed to know that if they make the right calculation on each shot, they will reliably hit the target.


Telegram Goes on the Offensive Against Russian Govt

Yesterday we talked about how Russia was blocking 1.7M IP addresses in order to block Telegram operations since the company would not turn over encryptions keys so the Russian government could spy on encrypted messaging through the Telegram application. Given that most of Telegrams IPs had been blocked, the only way to continue to use the application in Russia reliably would be through VPN. Here we are day later and it looks as if Telegram founder, Pavel Durov is not sitting around on his hands waiting and watching the for his communication app to become irrelevant. Pavel is now saying that he will donate millions of dollars in order to fund usable VPN infrastructure to keep Telegram alive. You have to appreciate that sort of action! He is also suggesting that a full 15M IPs have not been blocked.

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"I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally."


Samsung Gear VR Lens Mod for HTC VIVE

The latest rage is voiding your HTC VIVE and PRO's warranty by ripping the fresnel lenses out and replacing those with the clear lenses from the Samsung Gear VR headset that you would use with your smartphone. The upside is that you get rid of some of the banding associated with fresnel lenses of the VIVE, but the downside is that you lose some field of view and of course you probably want to do this work in a near dust free environment. There are some software issues you have to work through, which are not incredibly difficult, and you will need to have some parts 3D printed to install your new lenses in the VIVE. It looks to be near impossible to get rid of barrel distortion doing it this way, but some folks are getting very close to perfect and a lot of folks seem to like the non-fresnel view much better. There is another build video here for the non-PRO and the guy includes all the links for outsourcing the 3D printed parts as well. And most importantly, a lot of VR gamers are finding that the tradeoffs are good with them. Thanks @Monte.


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1180 Rumor Mill

The rumor mill is turning over at WCCF about the upcoming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1180 complete with GPP! The card, based on NVIDIA's new Turing architecture at 12nm is expected for release this year, and as you see carries GTX 11XX branding. Specs are said to be as follows.

According to the latest leaks, rumors and information provided to wccftech the GeForce GTX 1180 is powered by a 104 class GPU, codenamed GT104. The GPU measures around ~400mm, features 3584 CUDA cores, a 256-bit GDDR6 memory interface and 8 to 16 gigabytes of 16Gbps GDDR6 memory. The graphics card is expected to have a core clock of around ~1.6GHz and a boost clock of around ~1.8GHz. The TDP of this graphics card is unconfirmed to date, but is expected to be somewhere between 170-200W.

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The FP32 performance is expected to come in at around 13 TFLOPS. This would theoretically give us a new GeForce card that would be a bit faster in gaming than the TITAN Xp and GTX 1080 Ti. The way to think about it would likely be a TITAN Xp gaming performance at significantly better power consumption. If you have to have a new video card today, may we suggest the TITAN V for the rich and famous? Thanks @cageymaru.


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