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

[H] Enthusiast Archives: March 2017 Archive Listing

Thursday March 30, 2017

Windows 10 Creators Update Coming April 11

Microsoft has officially announced that the next big Windows 10 update will be available on Tuesday, April 11. I am still not sure if Creators Update was the right name for this one, since Paint 3D seems to be the one and only feature that justifies itآ—this update is really about the under-the-hood changes and refinements. You may check out the reviews at Ars and Windows Central.

We designed Windows 10 to empower the creator in all of us. To us, that means that everyone has the power to dream big, whether that involves starting a company, developing a lesson plan, inventing a product, developing or broadcasting games, or imagining a whole new world in Minecraft or mixed reality. And we want Windows to be the place you love to create and play, with the tools to help you make your mark on the world.

Discussion

Peek inside Blue Origin's Capsule for Space Tourists

Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin has released interior photos of New Shepard, their vehicle for ferrying tourists into space. The capsule’s innards look pretty sexy, and much of the appeal comes from its windows, which will be the largest that have ever been put into space. But I’m left wondering what happens if I have a bathroom emergency.

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The images show sleek black seats, tilted back so passengers are facing up when the rocket takes off. But the real fun will come when the spacecraft reaches suborbital space and passengers will be able to get out of their seats and experience weightlessness in the roomy cabin. Passengers can also look out the spacecraft's windows, which will be "the largest windows ever in space," the company said. As recently as October 2016, Bezos said the company was on track to make its first human test flights by the end of 2017, with the first customer flights taking place in 2018.

Discussion

Microsoft Rolls out Creators Update for the Xbox One

While Xbox gamers will be losing the Snap feature, the Creators Update for Xbox One makes up for that loss with new features that include a redesigned, speedier interface, a revamped guide that provides quicker access to apps and controls, and Beam streaming for those who are allergic to Twitch for whatever reason.

This is a big release, and includes Beam streaming, an updated Xbox experience with the new Guide, home improvements, and much more. One major goal for this release is to make streaming your Xbox gameplay even easier. And by updating the navigation of the Xbox console through the new Guide, we’re aiming to put the features and experiences you love the most right at your fingertips.

Discussion

Wednesday March 29, 2017

RYZEN 5 1600 & 1400 FOR SALE ON EBAY

Samsung Galaxy 8 Launches Today and the Tame Apple Press is Terrified

TechEye has an editorial documenting the Tame Apple Press at Reuters leaning towards the new Apple iPhone and admonishing the new Samsung S8. Reading the Reuters quotes is hilarious as they keep telling their readers to wait on buying the Samsung S8 for several months to make sure that the battery situation from the Samsung Note 7 has been remedied. Never mind that this is a completely new phone offering from Samsung and they have literally spent $135 million on improvements and studies to make sure that the issue doesn't occur again. The Reuters article pounds the battery safety issue over and over with quotes from consumers stating that what are they looking for most from Samsung is, "A non exploding phone."

The Tame Apple Press at Reuters is so pro Apple that they suggest that Samsung shouldn't delve into the new functionality and features of the new Samsung S8; rather they should concentrate on battery safety at their unveiling. Other quotes from the Reuters article include, "Downplaying the battery safety issue may also be a sensible marketing option as the new quality measures can't guarantee there will be no future problems. Any failure rate would likely be very low at first." Reuters admits that Samsung even pushed back the launch of their new product to ensure safety is their first priority, but that didn't satisfy the Tame Apple Press. They want more than the new X-RAY system that Samsung implemented to ensure battery safety as using X-RAY images to find potential faults isn't good enough for the Tame Apple Press at Reuters.

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How much more wearing of their heart on their sleeves can the Tame Apple Press at Reuters do? TechEye suggests that Samsung should sue them for suggesting that the new phone will catch fire. To what extent are fanboys allowed to write articles on major websites that proclaim to cover the news. Adding humor by highlighting a previous shortcoming is one thing; Reuters was being malicious in my opinion. I think it should be taken down with an apology sent to Samsung. How do you feel about it? How much bias it too much? Don't forget to check out the Samsung S8 features article that was posted earlier. Lots of good stuff in it!

Downplaying the battery safety issue may also be a sensible marketing option as the new quality measures can't guarantee there will be no future problems. Any failure rate would likely be very low at first.

Samsung said last year it confirmed just 140 faulty batteries in more than 3 million Note 7s it sold - fewer than five in every 100,000. "How confident are they that they can actually find a faulty cell with these additional checks," said Venkat Viswanathan, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon and a battery technology expert. "It's sort of finding a needle in a haystack."

Some analysts expect the S8, expected to go on sale next month, to outsell the Galaxy S7, which was Samsung's best seller in its first year from launch. Others, though, say consumers may prefer to wait a few months before buying, just to be sure the new phones are safe.

Discussion

Twitch Adds 1080p/60fps Video Support and 6000 kbps Ingest Capabilities

Twitch.tv has added 1080p/60fps streaming capabilities to their service by increasing the allowed ingest bitrate to 6000 kbps. This will allow for much more fluid video playback on channels where it has been enabled. Those channels will have lower bitrate options also! It is coming to all of Twitch in the coming weeks, but for now they are rolling it out slowly to a few channels. To test and see if your channel supports the new higher bitrate formats, visit Twitch Inspector and see if your channel supports "Transcode V2." If so then you're ready to test the higher bitrates and increased quality streams. There are several guides on this Twitch support page to ease the transition to higher quality video.

This is the perfect time for a new Intel X99 or AMD Ryzen build as they recommend a "slow" CPU preset. The slow setting should really tax the encoding capabilities of your hardware and I'm wary that a quad core will suffice if gaming on the system at the same time. Awesome time for a new hardware build with more cores!

Your Twitch streams will soon look finer than ever thanks to our new 1080p/60fps video support.

For starters, we’re no longer limiting our ingest bitrate to 3.5 megabits. We officially recommend 3آ–6 megabits for most streams, skewing toward the higher end for 1080p broadcasts or faster, more demanding games.

We’re also rolling out a new set of numbered quality options (transcodes, if you’re fancy), starting today. Viewers now have more choices, and you won’t have to worry about them dropping to 480p when "source quality" is unavailable. Combined with our recent transcode updates, it’s never been easier to stream higher quality video to more people.

Discussion

[H]ardware Round-Up II

Intel i7-7700K vs. AMD Ryzen R7 1700 in Gaming (7700K-$309 / 1700-$329) @ Lan OC Reviews

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MSI GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X Review @ Guru 3D

AMD RX 580 and RX 570 Spy Pics @ [H]ardForum

Samsung Pours Out Galaxy S8 Information

For all you phone guys out there, Samsung has let loose with a ton of Galaxy S8 information this morning.

S7 vs S8 Infographic - Smartphones Without Limits - The Galaxy S8 Design and UX - Bixby, the Galaxy S8 Intelligent Interface - The Galaxy S8 Camera - The Galaxy S8 Infinity Display - 8 Galaxy S8 Features You Should Know About

Might want to stop by Amazon to check on fire suits as well. Cheap shot...

Discussion

The Darker Side of Black - Vantablack

I saw this come across Twitter this morning, and it was just one of those things that had a really big cool factor in terms of technology and I wanted to share. At first you will think that someone got bit crazy with Photoshop and this photo, but what you see in the picture is actually a sphere that has been painted with a substance called Vantablack. A quick Google image search will bring up all sorts of cool images as well.

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To enhance the flexibility of applying super-black coatings, Surrey NanoSystems has developed a spray-on version called Vantablack S-VIS with a reflectance of typically 0.2% in the visible spectrum (@700nm). This allows super-black coatings to be applied to almost any stable material surface - such as polymers - as well as to large and complex shapes (objects just need to be able to fit into a spray painting booth). The application process is much more flexible than original Vantablack, which is applied in a vacuum chamber using low temperature chemical vapour deposition (CVD).

And a shout out to Texas Hippie Coalition for the news tag line.

Discussion

Intel Crosses an Unacceptable Ethical Line

Charlie Demerjian at Semiaccurate has an editorial posted where he questions Intel's ethics in regards to their recent P4800X enterprise SSD and the M.2 Xpoint based consumer Optane Memory announcement webcast. It seems that Intel put out a briefing with a slide deck, data points, and fine print showing real world testing of their new product performing better than it really was capable of. After the webcast the slide deck was amended to hide the outlandish performance numbers by selectively removing those slides from the release slide deck. When questioned as to why, Intel dodged the answer until Charlie was finally told that it was done intentionally. Here is a quote from the editorial in his words, "A later phone call with other Intel personnel confirmed that the removal was intentional. Again, completely unacceptable with intent to mislead."

The original deck had 50+ slides detailing performance and the press release deck only had 31. The editorial includes data from some of the omitted slides that show ambiguous testing where the conditions of the test aren't fully known. Or even worse; testing of products in a manner that would never have been a real world situation. Then Intel skipped testing their new product against a consumer grade NAND SSD for fear of it painting their product in a bad light. Instead they created scenarios such as Windows 10 Kaby Lake systems with 4GB of ram outfitted with a mechanical drive going against the P4800X SSD. Then Intel proclaimed their Optane product performance multitudes faster than the competition. By hiding the slides and videos from the presentation, the tech press can only go on memory when writing articles about the product. Charlie implies that it is deceitful and a PR stunt to mislead.

This editorial on Semiaccurate is a must read as it contains many details and some of the missing slides! How do you feel when corporations intentionally mislead their customers and the tech press? Are we just used to it? I think it was sleazy to do so in such a manner as to use the tech press to push your deceitful numbers and dubious testing methodology. Other corporations have done this in the past and it's never okay. Again this is an editorial that deserves a good reading!

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What did Intel do? They put out a briefing with lots of slides, data points, and fine print in the briefing. These gave the impression that the products were far better and more impressive than they were. When the slides were released, several key ones on the P4800X were absent, including almost every one that had real world non-synthetic test results. Worse yet on the M.2 SSD slides, over half were missing including every single one that contained testing data, configurations, and information necessary to back up the claims made in the webcast. This is unacceptable behavior in the best of circumstances.

Moving on, numerically backwards, to the P4800X slides we have the one above, also pulled. It may look innocuous but to legal it probably isn’t. Slides that state benefits without backing data are usually forbidden because it invites lawsuits. Here Intel made three distinct statements for the P4800X and didn’t back them up. Pulling it was probably right but presenting it to the press, making those claims, and then pulling the slides was probably intended to make the press write the claims ‘in their own words’. This is what we called the sleaziest of PR tactics, trying to get the press to write things you know you can’t legally say or claim. Unethical in the extreme.

Discussion

‘Pirate’ Movie Streaming Sites Declared Legal By Italian Court

In 2015 an Italian court ruled against the owners of filmakers.biz, filmaker.me, filmakerz.org, and cineteka.org citing them for running a pirate movie operation and generating revenue through the sale of advertising. In February 2017, the $600,000 judgement against the owners was reversed through appeal as it was determined that advertising on a website, that provides only links to pirate material, does not necessarily make it a for profit business. The prosecution must also show that profit activity is connected to an individual. The advertising on the website didn't provide financial gain for the owners, thus it was ruled to be simply file sharing. File sharing the court ruled is a saving of expense and not a for profit business. Thus the penalties of Copyright Law and associated sanctions aren't applicable in this case.

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The repercussions of the ruling will undoubtedly be felt across Europe as Italy is a Member state of the European Union. With the NFL, NBA, and other American sporting corporations seeking to generate a fan base in the EU, I'd think that it may even affect our laws. What is the incentive for paying to watch a game when you can stream it from Italy? If the stream is simple file sharing in Italy, then how does that affect the legality of watching it in America? This was truly an interesting ruling coming out of Italy! What do you think?

"The Judge has recognized as lawful the portals’ activities, and this despite the presence of advertising banners," Sarzana says. According to the lawyer, it is not enough to simply show that the ‘pirate’ site generates income. The prosecution must also show that profit activity is connected to an individual. If it does not, the sharing aspect could be considered as merely avoiding an expense rather than a for-profit activity designed to generate "significant gain". In the event, that’s exactly what happened.

"In fact, the Judge ruled that file sharing, i.e the sharing of files protected by copyright, is a saving of expense and not a for-profit business. Therefore, in these cases you cannot apply the penal provisions of copyright law and the resulting administrative sanctions," Sarzana notes.

Discussion

AMD Threadripper is a 16-Core 32 Thread Monster [Rumor]

Turkish tech website Donanimhaber (translator needed) has leaked some new rumors about the specifications of the upcoming AMD Threadripper 16-core / 32 thread processors. While the upcoming 32-core Naples family is destined for servers, the new 12-core and 16-core AMD Threadripper line is for end users. AMD has developed the 16-core Ryzen processors for end users by combining the MCM (Multi-Chip Module) or the 8-core dual processor core in the same module. Of course the 12-core variant will have one core per CCX disabled. This lineup is meant to rival the Intel Core i7-6950X.

There is a four-channel memory controller on tap so that these processors can better compete with Intel's best. We already covered the X390 and X399 chipsets here that AMD Threadripper processors will run on. Currently AMD is expecting these processors to have a 140W TDP for the 12-core and a 180W TDP for the 16-core. 64 PCIe lanes will be available and the lineup sports a 32MB Level 3 memory cache. These processors are going to use the B2 revision of the Ryzen core which fixes errata and the current engineering samples are running at 3.2GHz / 3.4GHz with a 3.7GHz turbo. AMD expects to increase this to a 3.6GHz base with a 4.0GHz turbo by launch. The Cinebench score is around 2500 points.

The author of the article expects to see more information on these at Computex and a release of June or July assuming that everything stays on schedule. This leak sounds like AMD is about to unleash the Kraken on Intel. I can't wait to see some workstations showcased on [H]ardocp with these new Threadripper processors in them. Of course this is all rumor, so don't jump on the hype train just yet. The thought of competition in the CPU space is always wonderful news.

According to Elime, the launch of Threadripper Ryzen processors with 16 cores and 32 tracks will be done during the Computex Fair and will be sold in late June or July, possibly in the following period. Of course, I would like to remind you that AMD has the right to make changes in the launch date and sales schedule without notice because of the early stage information. The price issue is unclear for now, but I know AMD has different scenarios on which to work, but the most powerful processor with 16 cores will cost a bit more than twice the size of the Ryzen 1800X.

Discussion