[H]ard News

Monday October 24, 2016

[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass @ APH Networks

ETC.: GIGABYTE Force H5 Headset @ Vortez

Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS Keyboard @ pcGameware

Gaming: Battlefield 1 DX12 Benchmarks @ Legit Reviews

Power Supply: InWin Classic Series C 900W @ ocaholic

Video: ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme @ Technic3D

Brutal Doom 64 Gets a Trailer and a Release Date

Brutal Doom 64 is only a week away. If you are not familiar with Brutal Doom 64, watch the trailer below and you'll be sold. Tell me that doesn't look like a lot of fun!


AT&T Buying Time Warner For $85.4 Billion

Does this $85 billion deal remind anyone of the AOL / Time Warner deal sixteen years ago? That deal, considered one of the worst mergers of all time, will no doubt be brought up over and over as the pundits wring their hands over what could go wrong with this deal.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire Time Warner in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. The deal combines Time Warner's vast library of content and ability to create new premium content that connects with audiences around the world, with AT&T's extensive customer relationships, world’s largest pay TV subscriber base and leading scale in TV, mobile and broadband distribution.


HyperX Now Shipping ALLOY FPS Gaming Keyboard

HyperX®, a division of Kingston® Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the HyperX ALLOY™ FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is now shipping in the U.S. and Canada. The full-size mechanical gaming keyboard has a space-saving layout allowing gamers to maximize desktop real estate for FPS mouse movement. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry® MX Blue Mechanical switches to provide the tactile feedback and performance to support extreme gameplay and enable players to be the best gamers possible.

Built with a solid steel alloy frame, the HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches, HyperX red LED backlighting and six preset LED modes – including a custom mode. The keyboard also offers Game Mode to easily disable the Windows key to prevent game play interruptions, along with 100 percent anti-ghosting and full N-Key rollover functionality. For added flexibility and performance, HyperX ALLOY FPS features an easy access USB charging port located on the back of the keyboard, additional HyperX red-colored WASD/1234 keys, a detachable braided cord, and mesh travel pouch for protection and storage on the move.


Using A Drone To Replace A Light Bulb

Replacing a light bulb with a drone is apparently a lot harder than it looks. For some reason, I was just expecting it to fly right up there and screw the bulb in. Nope.


Attacks On The Internet Keep Getting Bigger And Nastier

Do we really need all these networks of connected devices? A refrigerator that can use the internet? Connected thermostats? And, if you do use these devices, how about throwing a little security on them so that they can't be used in attacks like this?

On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. The hacker group claiming responsibility says that the day's antics were just a dry run and that it has its sights set on a much bigger target. And the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc.


Microsoft To Raise Enterprise Prices In UK After Pound Plunges

Businesses in the UK are about to get a double whammy. Due to the fact that the pound has fallen, Microsoft is said to be raising their prices for some enterprise services by up to twenty two percent. So, not only is your money worth less, MS wants more of it. Ouch.

Microsoft plans to increase prices for some enterprise services by up to 22 percent in Britain following the plunge in the pound, likely hitting thousands of companies and government departments who rely on its cloud and software products. Microsoft said it would increase prices for its enterprise software by 13 percent and for its cloud services by 22 percent from Jan. 1 next year, becoming the latest tech company to raise fees in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.


Start Folding With The [H] Today!

Joining the best folding team on the planet (Team #33) is now easier than ever. We don't give you money to join and we can't promise you cash or other incentives, we do this simply because it is our passion and that is why we've had the best folding community around...for years. So, if you want to make a difference with a group of people that honestly care about what they are doing, join team Team #33 today.

Folding is a wonderful way to help your fellow man using your spare CPU cycles and now, thanks to the Quick Setup V7 Guide for Windows, it is easier than ever to get started. Remember to put the number 33 in the "team" field and you’ll be folding with the [H]orde in no time! Thanks to all our team members for the wonderful job they are doing.

Sunday October 23, 2016

BMW Films Returns with "The Escape"

After a 14-year absence, BMW Films is back to flex that advertising budget with new shorts. This time, they hired District 9 director Neil Blomkamp and actors Clive Owen, Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal to demonstrate their new 5 Series.


IBM Replacing PCs With Macs Within The Company

The company is reportedly saving $543 for every PC they are replacing. I’m not sure if we’re getting the whole story here…

IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 - $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. "And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft," Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we’re talking some serious savings. Needless to say, the employees at IBM got it right. And with 73% of them saying they want their next computer to be a Mac, the success will only increase with time.


New MacBook Pro and 13-Inch "MacBook" Coming Next Week

Apple will be showing some new stuff on Thursday, and everyone is confident it’ll be new MacBooks. The event should give us our first look at the talked-about OLED touch bar. New desktop products are also in the pipeline but reportedly won’t debut until 2017.

Kuo believes the highlight of the event will be a redesigned MacBook Pro in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, adopting an OLED touch bar and Touch ID sensor, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, and the same butterfly keyboard design introduced on the MacBook in 2015. Beyond the MacBook Pro, Kuo says Apple will also be introducing a "13-inch MacBook," a claim he has shared previously. Rather than being a slightly larger version of the current 12-inch MacBook, however, this is likely to be a MacBook Air, which would align with other rumors claiming that only the 13-inch MacBook Air will be seeing an update with new USB-C ports.


Sweden Effectively Bans Camera Drone Flights

The country’s Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that Swedes may only fly a camera-equipped drone if they are doing so to prevent crimes or accidents, which is questionable because it’s not illegal to record stuff in public places. Enforcing this would also be hard, so some are wondering why they even bothered at all.

…local drone owners are upset. The industry group UAS Sweden contends that the court might be killing Sweden's drone market. Aftonbladet, meanwhile, points out that the ruling doesn't make sense in the context of existing laws. It's legal for Swedes to capture images in public places, so why is it wrong just because that camera is attached to a quadcopter? There are no journalistic exceptions, either, which is odd when other laws allow it.


The Best Seat In Any Movie Theater

The best seat is probably your own living room, but if you do get dragged out to a cinema, you should probably aim for two thirds of the way back (and center, obviously). That would be where primary audio calibration takes place. The more you know…

…it's based on how engineers typically calibrate a theater’s sound system. According to Steve Martz, director of global technology at audio company THX, technicians will take microphone measurements at several locations throughout the theater. "These measurements are averaged together in order to better evaluate what each person hears when they are watching a movie," he says. This bundle of microphones includes a "primary microphone" that is used to set playback levels, speaker timing, and other parameters that require a single location for measurements and calibration.


Bike Lock Makes Thieves Immediately Vomit

Someone decided to make a bike lock that shoots out a gas when it’s cut. Uh, what happens when there are other people around it? My solution was to just buy a bike that didn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

With his co-inventor, Yves Perrenoud, Idzkowski created a U-shaped lock of carbon and steel with a hollow chamber to hold one of three pressurized gases of their own concoction, including one called "formula D_1". When someone cuts about 30% of the way into the lock, Idzkowski said, the gas erupts in the direction of the gash. "It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing," Idzkowski said. "A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray." The inventors have not yet tested the device on an actual would-be thief, but have tested it on themselves and volunteers at distances of two feet (60cm), five feet, 10ft and 20ft. "At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people.


Amazon May Account For 20% To 30% Of All U.S. Retail Goods Sold Online

Amazon, apparently, is a lot bigger than we think. While the company itself would suggest 15% of total U.S. consumer online sales, the number may be double that after considering all of the goods that it also handles for third parties.

Gene Munster, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimates Amazon touches 30% of total e-commerce in the United States, and its share is growing. "Amazon’s just going to slowly grab more and more of your wallet," he said. Given its growth, it's possible to contemplate a future with Amazon as the nation’s largest single retailer, though what that looks like is unclear. Walmart was massively disruptive when it came on the scene, laying waste to local retail districts with each megastore it opened. Amazon, which increasingly can offer delivery in one to two hours, promises to be even more disruptive, said Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce at Razorfish, an e-commerce marketing agency.


Google Quietly Drops Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

While you can still opt out of this stuff, Google has made some changes where web browsing records from other owned services (namely DoubleClick) could be integrated into your account. This means your browsing habits, interests, etc., would be paired with your name and other personal information, making it easy for the company to get an extensive profile of you.

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct. The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.


Galaxy Note 7 Owners May Get Galaxy S8 At Lower Cost

This news is out of Korea and may or may not apply to other countries, but anyone who exchanged their Note 7 with an S7 or Edge may be able to do so again for a Galaxy S8. Let’s hope their next flagship is trouble free.

Samsung Electronics announced on October 21 a new compensation program for those who have purchased a Galaxy Note 7. Under this program, Samsung will allow those who exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge to exchange them again with a Galaxy S8, scheduled to be launched in March 2017 without paying much. Samsung officials said, "The new compensation program is designed to make it easier for those who exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with existing Samsung smartphones, to shift into our next model coming in next year." They added, "We think this could an effective program since it also provides some incentives to smartphone vendors."


Try Star Citizen’s Alpha For Free Until The End of the Month

If you want to see how Star Citizen runs on your PC but don’t want to chalk up $45, now’s your chance. You can check out the alpha for free until the 30th with a promo code.

Cloud Imperium Games announced today that Star Citizen‘s alpha will be free to access for everyone starting today and until October 30th. The alpha includes a large chunk of content, from dogfighting to free flight and a glimpse on the persistent universe in the Crusader system. While it’s by no means content-complete, it’s a good way to give a look to what Star Citizen is all about if you never had a chance to see it running on your own PC. All you have to do is to create an account on the official website, insert the code "FALL2016" in this page, download the client and you’re good to go.


AMD Drops Radeon RX 460, RX 470 Prices

Due to the impending launch of the GTX 1050, AMD is taking 10 bucks off on some of its RX 400-series cards. Competition is good…

As of today, the Radeon RX 460’s "suggested e-tail price" will start at $100 and the Radeon RX 470 will start at $170 "with new holiday programs." An AMD representative couldn’t clarify what "new holiday programs" meant, exactly, but those adjusted costs represent a $10 discount from the launch-day SEPs for both cards. Scanning Newegg this morning, a couple of Radeon RX 460s indeed clock in at $100, while PowerColor’s Red Dragon RX 460 will set you back just $95 after rebate. Most 4GB versions of the RX 460 have also settled down at AMD’s stated $140 SEP for the card after months of pricing inflation.after rebate. Most 4GB versions of the RX 460 have also settled down at AMD’s stated $140 SEP for the card after months of pricing inflation.


The iPod Turns 15: A Visual History

Even if you hate the fruit company, you can’t deny that products like the iPod had a profound impact on their industries. Today is its 15th birthday of the "king of MP3 players," and here is a rundown of all the models from the first-generation iPod to the latest iPod Touch.

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Fifteen years ago today, on October 23rd, 2001, Steve Jobs stood up on stage and announced the original iPod. Since that day, the iPod has changed the way people buy and listen to music, sold millions of devices, and laid the foundation for the powerhouses that Apple has had with the iPhone and iPad. And while the classic iPod design was finally retired two years ago, and the remaining members of the iPod line are less important to Apple’s strategy today than they were years ago, it’s still an integral part of history, both for the company and the larger tech industry.


Google Pixel Scratch, Bend, Burn Test

Remember the drama from JerryRigEverything’s Nexus 6P test? Well, we don’t have much of that this time around, as Google (HTC) did a much better job of building this guy. The main complaint only seems to be that the earpiece mesh is made of cloth.


Saturday October 22, 2016

Director Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds Part Company On "Deadpool 2"

Tim Miller seems like a pretty talented guy, considering Deadpool was his first major movie, which not only got positive reviews but ended up being the highest-grossing R-rated feature ever. Too bad he won’t be coming back for the sequel since he and Deadpool himself aren’t seeing eye to eye. But while they are citing creative differences, I get the sense there is a monetary struggle somewhere.

After a series of creative differences between Deadpool director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds, Miller has exited Deadpool 2. He hadn’t formally signed a deal to continue, but he was developing the script and by all accounts had planned to return behind the camera for a film Fox will release in 2018. I’ve confirmed from studio insiders this exit was over mutual creative differences, but this all ended amicably and the studio is very high on Miller and the expectation is the filmmaker will jump right into another big Fox project: Influx, an adaptation of the Daniel Suarez novel that has a Mark Bomback script and is expected to launch a film trilogy.


Additional Nintendo Switch Details Dribble Out

What’s Nintendo thinking by being so secretive? While price, tech specs, battery life, and more may be a mystery until next year, we do have some idea of what it will or will not support. It is weird how they showed Skyrim on the system when it hasn’t even been confirmed yet.

Nintendo confirmed to IGN that "the main unit of Nintendo Switch is the unit that has the LCD screen." The dock's main functions are TV output and power/charging, Nintendo said, which suggests the dock won't actually have much in the way of additional hardware to enable higher-fidelity play on an HDTV. The Switch can't play physical 3DS or Wii U games: This Destructoid translation of a Japanese Famitsu story confirms that the Switch will not play physical games from Nintendo's most recent consoles.


Blizzard Finally Introduces Native Voice Chat Across All Its Games

Blizzard gamers have an alternative to Skype or Ventrilo now, as the company has launched a built-in voice chat service. The article claims that the voice quality is "remarkable," but you can judge for yourself by simply updating Battle.net to get the feature.

The company has been trying to introduce some form of voice chat into its ecosystem for a while now. There’s been a decent but limited voice chat implementation in World of Warcraft for a long time, but that was only available inside of the MMORPG. But as of right now, everyone using the latest version of the Battle.net app can jump in and use voice chat with friends across all of Blizzard’s titles – and outside of them as well. All a user needs to do is update the Battle.net app to version 1.5.1, Build 8098, or newer. After logging in, you’ll be prompted with a new pop-up informing users that Voice Chat is now available. To enable it, simply head over to the friends list, create a channel with some friends and click on headphone icon.


LG Reportedly Abandoning Modular Phone Strategy After One Try

Those of you with high hopes for modular phones can only count on Motorola now, as LG is giving up on the concept like Google did with their Ara project. LG’s current G5 phone lets you add modules that include camera and DAC add-ons, but the G6 will supposedly drop all of that.

LG seemed to have big plans for its G5 phone, with a nice collection of modules out of the gate and the promise of an ecosystem. We liked some things about the phone, but also found a lot of compromises thanks to the modular design. In June we learned that the phone wasn't doing very well, partly due to the complication of building it... and due to the fact that nobody really wants a modular phone. Then in September Google cancelled Project Ara, so that modular dream is dead. Now that LG has given up on the G5, the (actually good) Moto Z now owns this not-the-greatest-idea-in-the-first-place market.


AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring

It’s only a matter of time until conventional pre-programmed traffic lights are replaced with smarter versions that will intelligently signal based on actual conditions, and this may be the first significant step. Getting to where you need to go faster is well and good, but I really like the emissions-reducing aspect of such technology.

Smith is developing smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. His startup Surtrac is commercializing the technology. In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has gotten impressive results. It reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent. ...The researchers also estimate that the system cuts emissions by 21 percent. It could also save cities the cost of road widening or eliminating street parking by boosting traffic throughput.


Samsung 8GB Micro-RAM Headed For Mobile

Having 4GB of RAM in a flagship device should be old news soon, as Samsung is ready to offer twice that much in LPDDR4 form. Thanks to a 10nm process, these only take up 15 x 15 x 1 mm and can be stacked above or under other chips.

We should start seeing 8GB appearing as standard in flagship mobile phones soon thanks to Samsung’s new silicon that packs 8GB of DRAM in a single tiny package. The RAM uses LPDDR4 technology and the 10nm process. The arrival of 64-bit processors has allowed phone RAM to increase beyond 4GB but few manufacturers could be bothered. Even Samsung passed on it. However, now it seems that with the new generation of RAM Samsung thinks it is worthwhile and will be jumping directly from 4 to 8GB by next year. LPDDR4 is currently the fastest type of low power memory in the mobile market. Samsung says it is the same as PC-class DDR4 RAM and has twice the speed, operating at 4,266 Mbps, versus the PC’s 2,133 Mbps.


iPhone 7 Units With Intel Modems Perform Worse Than Qualcomm Models

If you’ve got an iPhone 7 with an Intel modem, your signal won’t be as great in weak or spotty areas. Analysis would suggest that the Qualcomm modems provide 30% better signal performance.

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...the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone. Considering that the iPhone with the Qualcomm modem is being sold in China, Japan and in the United States only, we can not imagine that modem performance was a deciding factor.


Razer Unveils Blade Pro, The "Ultimate Gaming Laptop"

If you’ve got four grand to blow on a laptop, this is probably it. Razer’s new Blade features a GTX 1080, 3840x2160 display, i7-6700HQ CPU, 32GB of DDR-2133 memory, and a keyboard with mechanical switches.


PS4 Pro Has Replaceable Hard Drive

If the 1TB hard drive that comes with the PS4 Pro isn’t enough storage for you, swapping it out for something bigger and faster will be easy enough. It should also be worth noting that the Pro uses SATA III, so an SSD upgrade may be much more sensible than it was with the original console, which used a slower interface.

As is the case with the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, you will be able to swap out the internal hard drive for the PlayStation 4 Pro if you want to. The company told GameSpot that the PS4 Pro uses a SATA III interface, which supports solid-state drives that users can manually swap in to replace the existing hard drive, to scale up to 6 Gb/s. This is double the speed of the original PS4's SATA II interface, which scales up to 3 Gb/s. Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U do not support swapping out internal hard drives, though you can add extra storage space with external hard drives on those consoles.


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