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Wednesday February 10, 2016

[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Fractal Design Define Nano S @ CowcotLand

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X @ OCInside


Hot Keys Project Artisan Keycaps @ LanOC

Mobile: Dell Precision 15 5510 @ HotHardware

Motherboards: ASUS B150 PRO GAMING/AURA @ HwC

New Far Cry Primal Trailer

Ubisoft has released a new Far Cry Primal trailer that primarily focuses on the weapons you will have at your disposal. The blood, gore, and blue painted boobies might make this video NSFW for some.


The Government Says It Will Use Smart Home Devices For Spying

James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, told a Senate panel yesterday that government agencies might use smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities. eek!

"In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials," Clapper told a Senate panel as part of his annual "assessment of threats" against the US.


Twitter's New Timeline Displays The 'Best Tweets' First

I don't care what people think of this new 'Best Tweets' thing, just the fact that you have to manually turn the feature on makes this a win in my book. cool

Here's how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.


The First YouTube Red Originals Are Now Available

Are any of you paying for YouTube Red? Personally, there is no way I would pay $9.99 a month for this content. That is more than I pay for Hulu and the same price as Netflix. confused

If you're already a subscriber, you can keep up with all the releases at the YouTube Red channel. The service costs $9.99 a month, which includes ad-free and offline YouTube video access, and a subscription to Google Music. It's only available in the US right now, but those abroad in some applicable countries will be able to pay for access to the original videos.


Canada Is A Hotbed For Online Piracy, Rightsholders Claim

Who knew Canada was a hotbed for piracy? I find it kind of funny that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, in its press release compaing about piracy, provided a list of the most popular torrent sites with "attractive, user-friendly interface." Whoops.

The MPAA, RIAA and other entertainment industry groups are unhappy with how the Canadian Government is approaching the problem of online piracy. The country remains very appealing to pirate sites, they claim, while ISPs often fail to warn infringing subscribers effectively.


Intel Shutting Down Skylake Overclocking Loophole

According to this article, Intel will be shipping a new microcode update for Skylake processors that will put an end to overclocking non-K CPUs.

"Intel regularly issues updates for our processors which our partners voluntarily incorporate into their BIOS," an Intel spokesman said. "The latest update provided to partners includes, among other things, code that aligns with the position that we do not recommend overclocking processors that have not been designed to do so. Additionally, Intel does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications."


NVIDIA GRID Boosts Blast Extreme in VMware Horizon

NVIDIA GRID acceleration of Blast Extreme — a new protocol for optimizing the mobile cloud — is now supported in VMware Horizon 7. What’s that mean for IT managers? Reduced latency. Improved performance. And up to 18 percent more users. NVIDIA and VMware have been working together for years to improve the virtualized computing user experience and enable a whole new class of virtual use cases. We were the first to enable hardware-accelerated graphics rendering in VMware Horizon View. Then we enabled the first virtualized graphics acceleration in Horizon with GRID vGPU. Now, using the new Blast Extreme protocol, NVIDIA GRID offloads encoding from the CPU to the GPU. This frees up resources and lowers the demand on network infrastructure, which lets organizations reach more remote users. In tests of key applications like ESRI ArcGIS Pro, scalability increased by up to 18 percent. That’s without investing in new hardware.


Intel A Leader In Gartner Magic Quadrant For Enterprise Data Loss Prevention

Intel Security today announced that leading research firm Gartner, Inc. has positioned the company in the leaders quadrant for its "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Data Loss Prevention" as published on January 28, 2016. According to the report, "By 2018, 90% of organizations will implement at least one form of integrated DLP, up from 50% today." The report also states "[Leaders] have strong management interfaces, and have tight integration with other products within their brands or through well-established partnerships and meaningful integrations."


Tuesday February 09, 2016

Mad Catz Laying Off 37% Of Staff

I guess now we know why the CEO, chairman and general counsel of Mad Catz all jumped ship yesterday. It sounds like it might have been a "quit before you are fired" situation. eek!

At this time last year, Mad Catz reported $809,000 in losses. That number is now $4.36 million. The company attributes the shortfalls to Rock Band 4 sell-through, which was lower than forecast. This has led to both softer than anticipated revenue and higher than expected inventory carrying costs.

Ongoing Discussion

[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Aerocool DS Cube mATX @ FunkyKit

ETC.: CM Storm QuickFire XT @ APH Networks

Ozone Neon Precision Laser Mouse @ Neoseeker

Mobo: Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable @ HotHardware

Storage: ASUSTOR AS5002T 2-Bay NAS @ Missing Remote

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD @ Hexus

PNY CS1311 480GB SSD @ SSD Review

FPV Drone Racing In A Warehouse

First person view drone racing looks like a blast! Anyone got a warehouse like this we can use? cool


PayPal Shoots Self In Foot 'White Knighting' For Netflix

I don't know if I would call this "shooting itself in the foot." Let's be honest, how much money could PayPal possibly lose over this situation?

Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction. This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.


The Division Closed Beta Stats

Ubisoft has released an infographic today that contains a bunch of interesting stats on The Division's closed beta. 621,653,358 minutes played during the 120 hour long beta is just crazy. eek!

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Why Apple Fans Are Really Coming To Hate Apple Software

The Los Angeles Times explains why Apple fans are starting to hate Apple software. Are things really as bad as this article makes it sound? I don't use Apple products, so I wouldn't know.

The last few weeks have seen an explosion of discontent with the quality of the core apps of Apple's iPhones, iPads and Mac computers -- not only its OS X and iOS operating systems, but programs and services such as iTunes, Music, iCloud and Photos. Not only do the programs work poorly for many users, but they don't link Apple devices together as reliably as they should. These complaints aren't coming merely from users but several widely followed tech commentators who used to fit reliably in the category of Apple fans.


Microsoft Now Offers Release Notes For Windows 10 Updates

Microsoft has announced a new Windows 10 Update History website that provides users with detailed information on Windows 10 updates as they are rolled out.

We're committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10. In response to this feedback, we’re providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You'll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released.


Kim Dotcom’s Extradition Appeal Set For August

It would seem that Kim Dotcom will remain a free man for a few more months as his extradition appeal was pushed back to August.

The United States government will have to wait another six months for the appeal in the Kim Dotcom extradition case to be heard. A judge in the High Court in Auckland has just denied US requests for Dotcom's appeal to be fast-tracked, instead setting a date for this coming August.


Amazon Announces Free 'Lumberyard' Game Engine

Amazon Games has launched Lumberyard, a free cross-platform game engine with AWS support and native Twitch integration. Hit the link for the complete rundown.

Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for you to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you can spend more of your time creating great gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Black Desert Online 2nd Closed Beta Details @ Shacknews

Fallout 4 Update 1.3 Out Now On Consoles @ VG24/7

Halo 5 Adding Grifball This Month @ GameSpot

The Division Open Beta Next Week @ Blue's News

SilverStone Tundra TD-02 Slim AIO CPU Cooler Review

If you are in need of a thin all-in-one CPU cooler that won't break the bank, make sure you read our evaluation of the SilverStone Tundra TD-02 Slim.

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One obstacle that often stands in the way of adding an AIO to your system is space to do so. In a smaller computer chassis, many times the thickness of the radiator can be an issue. Silverstone is looking to solve your space issues with a new Tundra series All-In-One cooler that is specific to this footprint need.


Concerned By Cyber Threat, The White House Seeks Big Increase In Funding

Maybe the age old tactic of throwing money at a problem might work in this case. Who knows? I mean, they've done a bang-up job so far, why not give them more money. roll eyes (sarcastic) Given the opportunity, how would you guys beef up our nation's cybersecurity?

In his fiscal 2017 budget proposal, Obama asked for $19 billion for cyber security across the U.S. government, an increase of $5 billion over this year. While the White House's overall fiscal plan faces tough going in the Republican-controlled Congress, increased cyber security funding has won bipartisan support of lawmakers in the past. The request comes as the Obama administration has struggled to address the growing risk posed by criminals and nation states in the digital world.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: NZXT Manta @ ThinkComputers

Cooling: Swiftech H220 X2 Prestige @ techPowerUP!

ETC.: ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals @ eTeknix

Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum Mouse @ XtremeHardware

Motherboards: ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Extreme @ Guru3D

Storage: PNY CS1311 SSD @ SSD Review

France To Facebook: Stop Moving User Data Overseas

The French Data Protection Authority has told Facebook to, among other things, stop collecting data on people that visit Facebook without an account and to give account holders a way to opt out of data collection.

The Chair of the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) issued formal notice to FACEBOOK to fairly collect data concerning the browsing activity of Internet users who do not have a FACEBOOK account. FACEBOOK must also provide account holders with the means to object to the compiling of their data for advertising purposes.


It's Safer Internet Day

Today is Safer Internet Day. Those of you that are truly dedicated to making the internet a safer place should unplug from the internet immediately and do whatever people do when they aren't on the internet. We'll hold your spot until you come back. smile

Welcome to the official site of Safer Internet Day U.S., hosted by ConnectSafely.org. Safer Internet Day, an awareness-raising campaign that started in Europe more than a decade ago, is now celebrated in more than 100 countries. Globally, it’s coordinated by the Brussels-based Insafe Network for the European Commission and is marked on the second Tuesday of February each year. For Safer Internet Day 2016, we’ll host a livestream event at the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood.


Overwatch Beta Resumes

Closed beta testing of Overwatch resumes today. Those of you that were in the previous beta are all set to go, everyone else has to sign up on Battle.net and wait for an invite. Thanks to Blue's for the news.


G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB Memory Review

The review crew at Overclockers Club just published a review of G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB memory kit. If you are memory shopping, you'll want to read the full review.

In every test run, the Trident Z modules finished first in every test but three. In those three tests the performance gap was minimal at best between the top two sets of high speed DDR4 modules. When overclocked, the Trident Z modules followed the Patriot modules in only three tests. Again with margins small enough that you could call it a draw. All in all a very impressive performance from this set of memory from G.Skill.


Google CEO Receives Stock Grant Worth $199M

Whoa, as part of a promotion to CEO you get a $199 million stock grant? I think we are all in the wrong business.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai received restricted stock worth about $199 million, according to a regulatory filing by Google parent company Alphabet Inc. Pichai, who took over in August, received a grant for 273,328 Class C Google stock units on Feb. 3. The valuation is based on the stock's closing price on that date.


Jack Dorsey Tries To Quell #RIPTwitter Outrage

Responding to the controversy sparked by rumors that Twitter planned to reorder timelines next week, CEO Jack Dorsey took to Twitter to deny the reports.

The cause of the commotion was a report from Buzzfeed stating that Twitter would soon prioritize the Tweets that appear on a user's timeline based on algorithms. Essentially, under the reported new system, you'd see Tweets that Twitter thinks you'd like, rather than in the current reverse-chronological order, similar to how posts on Facebook timelines are organized.


Mad Catz Chairman, CEO, General Counsel Resign A Day Before Earnings Report

Sure, you can say that this many company executives leaving on the same day is just a "management shake-up" but, no matter how you spin it, all of them jumping ship one day before the company's earnings report can't be a good sign. eek!

Darren Richardson, Thomas Brown, and Whitney Peterson depart Rock Band 4 co-publisher on eve of quarterly earnings release. Big changes are afoot at Mad Catz. The peripheral maker and Rock Band 4 co-publisher today announced that chairman Thomas Brown, president and CEO Darren Richardson, and senior VP of business affairs/general counsel Whitney Peterson have all resigned from the company.


ASUS Announces RP-AC68U

ASUS today announced RP-AC68U, its top-of-the-range 802.11ac (AC1900) dual-band Wi-Fi repeater. The compact and stylish RP-AC68U features four internal high-performance antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive) and allows users to easily extend coverage of an existing 802.11ac Wi-Fi network with ultra-fast speeds of up to 1900Mbps. RP-AC68U is equipped with a USB 3.0 port for connecting storage devices. This high-performance port supports ASUS AiCloud and delivers up to 10-times (10X) faster data transfers than USB 2.0.

Five Gigabit Ethernet ports add great flexibility for connecting wired devices, and combined with the convenient Media Bridge mode they allow users to convert any wired network devices to wireless operation. RP-AC68U can also be used in Access Point mode to add ultra-fast Wi-Fi convenience to any existing wired network. The compact RP-AC68U has a sophisticated and stylish design, with illuminated red accents that can be turned on or off by a convenient touch sensor incorporated in the ASUS logo on the front. With its simple one-touch setup and LED signal strength indicators for optimized installation, RP-AC68U is the hassle-free way to extend ultra-fast Wi-Fi coverage to any part of a home or office.


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