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Sunday October 04, 2015

Transformers 5, 6, 7, And 8 Confirmed By Hasbro

I bet even Michael Bay is sick of doing these by now, regardless of how much he gets paid. I’d actually like to see Megan Fox back in one of these; it was weird how Bay had creep shots of an underage girl in the last one.

A Hasbro executive was the keynote speaker at the MIP Junior Conference 2015 (via TFW2005) and during the Q&A session he revealed that the Transformers writers room came up with enough material that he can confidently confirm four more Transformers sequels are on the way.


Xilinx Starts To Ship 16nm FinFET+ Chip Ahead Of Schedule

Some people seem to think that we’ll be seeing Nvidia’s upcoming lineup sooner based on news like this. Thanks to NoNRG for the link.

Xilinx, a leading maker of programmable gate arrays as well as special-purpose system-on-chip solutions, this week said that it had made the first customer shipment of its Zynq UltraScale+ processing solution. The chip is made using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s second-generation 16nm FinFET process technology (CLN16FF+) with increased performance and lowered power consumption.


Is Sony Declaring Defeat On Handheld?

This isn’t too surprising, due to the ubiquity of smartphones. And I don’t think the Vita was ever that successful, anyway. It’s suggested that they will continue to support mobile gaming, but on Xperia devices, however.

The likelihood of another handheld console from Sony turning up in the foreseeable future is considered to be incredibly low by almost everyone, and it's notable that there's never been so much as a whisper about what such a successor might look like or comprise; it's so vanishingly unlikely to come to pass, why even bother speculating on what might be? Yet for commentators and analysts to dismiss the notion of Sony carrying on in handheld is one thing; for such a senior figure at the company to seemingly join in that dismissal is another.


Saturday October 03, 2015

StarCraft 2: Legacy Of The Void Collector's Edition Contents Detailed

Per previous Blizzard collector’s editions, I can do without the other stuff, but the soundtrack is probably a must-have.

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In addition to a version of the game on DVD, collector's edition buyers get an exclusive two-disc behind the scenes set (both on DVD and Blu-ray) consisting of "over an hour of bonus features." This includes a StarCraft retrospective and a deconstruction of shots from the game's cinematics, among other things.


Book Reveals New Details About Stealth Black Hawks Used In Bin Laden Raid

I don’t know much about these helicopters, other than the fact that they look cool.

According to the book, the two stealth Black Hawks had questionable performance, with the weight penalties resulting from their stealth modifications making them hard to control under certain conditions, especially in a hover. Naylor states multiple times that the aircraft were not of the SEALs choosing and that they were pushed on the elite special operators.


US Government Publishes Official Web Design Standards

I’ll assume that this page is a reflection of what the US government wants all its websites to look like. They generally look clean, but I’m getting a little bored of how most responsive web sites look the same, with their gigantic elements.

Built and maintained by U.S. Digital Service and 18F designers and developers, this resource follows industry-standard web accessibility guidelines and reuses the best practices of existing style libraries and modern web design. It provides a guide for creating beautiful and easy-to-use online experiences for the American people.


iPhone 6S Plus Vs. Galaxy Note 5 Speed Test

I’m an Android guy, but tests like these make me curious as to how an iPhone could perform if it had even better hardware.


Japan Display Crammed 8K Into A 17-Inch LCD

That’s 510 PPI. I really hope this doesn’t give smartphone display manufacturers any ideas; my battery life needs to go up, not down.

The manufacturer says that the high resolution will offer an element of depth to images, and that it could be ideal for video-editing, medical displays and even as gaming screens. Unfortunately, that's all we know for now, but the LCD will be at CEATEC 2015 with all its millions of pixels on show.


Hurricane Joaquin From The International Space Station

Here’s what the hurricane looked like from the ISS’s POV. Has Joaquin affected you in any way?

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"Vigilante" Malware Protects Routers Against Security Threats

It turns out that not all malware is bad. Do we need a new term for something like this?

"Wifatch’s code does not ship any payloads used for malicious activities, such as carrying out DDoS attacks, in fact all the hardcoded routines seem to have been implemented in order to harden compromised devices. We’ve been monitoring Wifatch’s peer-to-peer network for a number of months and have yet to observe any malicious actions being carried out through it."


DDR3 And DDR4 Prices Keep Falling

RAM may be becoming cheaper to buy but sales haven’t gone up, and this article suggests that manufacturers will likely suffer in the long run.

…a recent study from DRAMeXchange showed that SO-DIMM module prices keep falling every few months, with just a 3% price reduction for 4GB DDR4 SO-DIMMs from August to September, while an even greater reduction occurred from May to August of 4.76%. These sort of numbers add up over time, and show how badly affected were the hardware manufacturers this year…


Comcast User Hit With 112 DMCA Notices In 48 Hours

…I’ve never even heard of this band.

The complaint comes from Rotten Records who state that the account holder behind a single Comcast IP address used BitTorrent to share the discography of Dog Fashion Disco, a long-since defunct metal band previously known as Hug the Retard.


Surface Pro 4 May Have Ultra-Thin Bezel, Size Changes Between Modes

We’ll see what happens when the device is officially revealed this Tuesday. I believe the "size changing" capability is actually an artificial (software) bezel that appears when the device is switched to tablet mode, which will give the user more space to hold the device.

Something not so believable is their claim that the Surface Pro 4 will feature something they refer to as a "smart frame" that will physically change size depending on the mode Windows 10 is in (desktop or tablet). The rumor states that when the device is in desktop mode or has a keyboard attached, the frame will sit at around 13 inches but when switched to tablet mode it would shrink to 12 inches to assist the user in holding the device in their hands.


Google’s "Don’t Be Evil" Becomes Alphabet’s "Do The Right Thing"

Should I be worried that their new motto is even more vague?

Google’s code of conduct, of course, is best-known for its first line, which was also included in Google’s 2004 filing for its initial public offering: "Don’t be evil." Alphabet’s code doesn’t include that phrase. Instead, it says employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries "should do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect."


Palmer Luckey Explains Why Oculus Rift Will Cost Over $350

It sounds like the Oculus will cost at least $400. Will you be willing to pay that to experience VR?

In the humble beginnings of Oculus, the company sought to create an affordable consumer VR headset that would fall around the $300/$350 price point of the Rift DK1 and DK2 development kits. Much has changed since then and in recent years the company has shied away from specific price claims, but Oculus founder Palmer Luckey closed the gap on one end of the spectrum regarding the price of the Oculus Rift.


Goodbye MagStripe, Hello Chip Cards

The deadline for retailers to upgrade to chip-card readers has passed, marking the beginning of the end of magnetic stripe. Have you guys gotten your chip cards yet? I just want to know why that "beep" you hear from the new card readers always comes out sounding like an error.

A safer alternative are chip cards, which communicate with the card readers to create unique data every time they are used. Even if a hacker managed to somehow grab that data and create a counterfeit card, it would be useless for future transactions. And they can be used in combination with a PIN, instead of just a signature, making it harder for even thieves who steal physical cards to use them.


Fan Who Threw Pokémon-Themed Party Hit With Lawsuit

Where were these lawyers when the other four parties happened? Suing little kids for having Pokémon-themed lemonade stands?

…Pokémon’s lawyers took issue with a poster and Facebook post for the event that contained pictures of Pikachu and Snivy, two of Pokémon’s copyrighted characters. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington, Pokémon’s lawyers say they aim to "put an end to and obtain redress" for the "blatant and willful infringement."


Microsoft's Antivirus Scores Soar

It was reported this week that Windows Defender has achieved a huge increase in score and ranking. It still has a long way to go if it intends to compare to the likes of Kaspersky and Bitdefender, however.

Other than ESET going from 14 to 14.5 points, Microsoft was the only success story this time around. Its 9.5 point score in the previous test didn't even make the cutoff for certification. This time around, Microsoft brought up its protection score by 2.5 points and its performance score by 2.0 points, for a new total of 14 points overall.


Friday October 02, 2015

G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Those of you looking for a mechanical keyboard should check out this review of the G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 at Overclockers Club today.

Upon first look at the KM780, I was taken aback by the design. The bars looked odd to me, but in use they didn't bother me, in fact I had many ideas as to possible uses for them including using them as tie downs for traveling, such as to LAN parties, and for locking the keyboard down to a surface using clamps on the bars – great for systems where the keyboard will move a lot such as gaming PC chair rigs.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Case Mod Friday @ ThinkComputers

In Win 909 Aluminum Chassis @ CowcotLand

ETC.: Mionix Castor Mouse @ LanOC

PC Perspective Podcast #369 @ PCPer

Storage: AData XPG SX930 240GB SSD @ HwC

Video: MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G @ Real Hardware Reviews

Megaupload Prosecutor Wraps Up Extradition Arguments

The prosecution in the Megaupload extradition hearing has wrapped up its case. The defense is expected to present its case next week.

"They deliberately introduced copyright-infringing material to their website," Gordon told the court. "They deliberately preserved that material. They deliberately took steps to profit from that material, and made vast sums of money."


AT&T Accuses Rivals Of Launching Wi-Fi Calling Without FCC Approval

AT&T has sent a letter to the FCC accusing its competitors of launching WiFi calling without approval. T-Mobile CEO John Legere didn't seem to concerned.

In a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler seen by The Verge, AT&T's legal SVP James Cicconi says that T-Mobile and Sprint started offering Wi-Fi calling services despite the commission not having granted a waiver for TTY (teletypewriter) support; Cicconi says AT&T faced a "Hobson's choice" of either following its competitors' lead or developing a technical alternative while asking the FCC for a temporary waiver. TTY can be less reliable on certain Wi-Fi networks.


Scottrade Falls Victim To Hackers

You have to feel pretty damn stupid when you find out that your company has been hacked...two years ago.

Discount broker Scottrade said on Friday that it was the victim of a cyber attack from late 2013 to early 2014 that compromised client names and addresses in a database with information on some 4.6 million customers.


Is The New iPhone 6S Is Waterproof?

Did Apple add waterproofing to its new iPhone 6S without telling anyone? The crew at iFixit seems to think so.

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We had our suspicions, based in part on Apple patent filings in one particular area: waterproofing. Apple has been investigating a waterproof (or, more accurately, liquid proof) iPhone for at least the last several years. If that strip of sticky goop on the 6s wasn’t put there to hold the display in, then maybe—just maybe—it was designed to keep liquids out. Like a gasket!


Snowden Gets Hammered With 47GB Of Twitter Notification Emails

47GB of notification emails? How big are Twitter email notifications? Think about how many it must have taken in order to eat up almost 50GB of hard drive space. eek!

No, he admitted that he'd made a Twitter Faux-pas. "I forgot to turn off notifications," he tweeted. "Twitter sent me an email for each." You might think this was a lot of e-mails. Snowden revealed it was "47 gigs of notifications." He added the hashtag #lessonlearned.


Awesome 'Harder Better Faster Stronger' Cover

For no other reason than the fact that it's Friday, I give you this cover of Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger. Dude nails it.


Havok Acquired By Microsoft

According to this press release, Microsoft has purchased Havok from Intel. Thanks to Mike Lafser for the link.

Today, we are proud to announce that Microsoft has acquired Havok, the leading provider of 3D physics, from Intel. As we welcome Havok to the Microsoft family, we will continue to work with developers to create great games experiences, and continue to license Havok’s development tools to third party partners. We believe that Havok is a fantastic addition to Microsoft’s existing tools and platform components for developers, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Microsoft Azure.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Batman: Arkham Knight Back On Sale This Month @ Blue's News

Destiny: Xur Location And Inventory For 10-2-2015 @ VG24/7

Ghostbusters Animated Film in Development? @ GameSpot

Rock Band 4 Legacy DLC Now Available @ Shacknews

State Trooper Vehicles Hacked

While it may be possible to hack into a police car, who would actually be that stupid?

A state trooper responding to a call starts his vehicle, but is unable to shift the gear from park to drive. The engine RPMs suddenly spike and the engine accelerates, no foot on the pedal. Then the engine cuts off on its own. The unmarked 2012 Chevrolet Impala from the Virginia State Police's (VSP) fleet has been hacked -- but luckily, by good hackers.


AMD To Cut 500 Global Jobs

According to Reuters, AMD is cutting 500 jobs. Most of the jobs being eliminated are white-collar jobs and will take place across the company's global operations.

Struggling chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc said it would cut about 500 jobs, or 5 percent of its global workforce, as it looks to rein in costs amid weak demand for its chips used in personal computers and intense competition. AMD said it expects to take a charge of $42 million, with $41 million of that recorded in the just-ended third quarter. AMD said it expected savings of about $58 million in 2016 from the restructuring plan.


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