[H]ard News

Wednesday May 25, 2016

Canada Using Special Camera Scope To Bust Distracted Drivers

This is the most ridiculous looking thing I've ever seen but, according to this article, it works like a charm. Apparently the goofy camera scope allows the camera to take pictures of distracted drivers up to three quarters of a mile away.

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"It's not always safe or it doesn't always make sense to stand where drivers can see us," said Wutke. "So we'll stand back where we're not necessarily being noticed right off the bat and we'll train the scope on the windshield of the vehicle so as vehicles are coming up, stopped at a light or stopped at a stop sign, we can be looking inside that vehicle and then, when we see a violator, we can have them pulled over once they're back on their way again."

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MSI To Headline COMPUTEX TAIPEI

The 36th COMPUTEX is just around the corner in its count down to the big moment this May 31 to June 4. Over 1,600 exhibitors will be using over 5,000 booths to showcase their products and services. With a new position on "Building Partnerships in Internet Computing Ecosystems", the show focuses on four main pillars: IoT applications, innovation & startups, business solutions, and gaming. This year, accommodating with the fast-growing competitive gaming and eSports industry worldwide, COMPUTEX focuses on gaming for the very first time. The separate focus on gaming has attracted more than 30 leading exhibitors in the industry to present their latest gaming products. MSI, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, will have its full range of VR-ready gaming laptops, gaming desktops, top-notch gaming motherboard, high-end graphics card, and gaming peripherals on display. Eric Kuo, MSI Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, says "Celebrating our 30th anniversary, MSI will present the latest gaming products, including the popular Virtual Reality (VR) devices at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2016." MSI has also planned sereral VR experience zones which are going to be the icing on the cake for content consumers. What MSI has to offer is sure to satisfy your voracious appetite!

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Enermax Thormax Giant @ Technic3D

ETC.: Corsair Lapdog Gaming Control Center @ Play3r

SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Toshiba Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 @ NikKTech

Gaming: Fallout 4 Review @ Real Hardware Reviews

Storage: OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Legit Reviews

Tesla Model S Driver Caught Sleeping At The Wheel

I don't know what everyone is all worked up about, isn't this what we are all going to be doing eventually anyway? This guy is just a little ahead of the curve. big grin

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Google Built An Escape Room That Requires Apps To Get Out

Be honest, does stuff like this appeal to any of you? They make it look all exciting but I can't see paying good money to be locked in a room with my friends. Well, unless there is alcohol involved, but then no one would be trying to escape. wink

Created by We Are Social, Première Pièce will open at an undisclosed location in the heart of Paris. The campaign builds on the escape room trend, in which you and a bunch of friends pay to get locked in a room for an hour or two, left to solve puzzles and work in collaboration to find a way out. Last month, the Toronto Film Festival built an escape room that lives on Instagram. (Google's is a physical room, but uses virtual tools as a central conceit.)

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CORSAIR Launches BULLDOG 4K Living Room PC

First announced as a prototype at Computex 2015, the CORSAIR BULLDOG set PC enthusiast imaginations racing with the prospect of finally bringing a full-performance, liquid cooled PC into the living room. Continuously developed since and collecting a Best of CES 2016 Honoree distinction, CORSAIR BULLDOG finally realizes the potential of a full-performance liquid-cooled PC in the living room.

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Available as both a kit and via select configured systems from Micro Center in North America, BULLDOG includes a trio of innovations right in the box to bring the enthusiast PC to a living-room friendly form factor. Sleek industrial design and a console-sized case fit right in with the rest of your home entertainment gear, the multi-award winning CORSAIR SF600 SFX power supply powers the most ambitious of builds and the low-profile CORSAIR H5SF liquid cooler efficiently cools the CPU. BULLDOG comes with an Intel Z170 mini-ITX motherboard (specific model varies between retailer) right in the box, so all you need to do is add the CPU, memory, graphics card and storage to build a true living room gaming PC, with no compromises on performance. While BULLDOG comes pre-configured for easy assembly and compatibility, it’s also been built with upgrades in mind. Supporting up to three 2.5in SSDs or one 2.5in and one 3.5in HDD mount, BULLDOG carries all the features you’d expect from a CORSAIR case. Builder-friendly layout, tool-free fittings and a standard mini-ITX form factor makes upgrades easy. What’s more, BULLDOG can mount not just the H5SF low-profile CPU cooler, but also a host of compatible all-in-one graphics card liquid-coolers such as the Corsair HG10 and H55, providing the benefits of liquid cooling to not just the CPU, but the power-hungry GPU as well.

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Pizza Hut Adding Robots To Restaurants In Asia

Pizza Hut is adding robots to its restaurants in Asia? I guess that's pretty cool but who actually goes into a Pizza Hut? Isn't that the stuff they bring to your house? Robot delivery would be impressive. wink

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"Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut," Vipul Chawla, Managing Director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia, said in a statement. "With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalized ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout, and have a fun, frictionless user experience."

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Former Valve Employee Is Suing The Company For $3.1M

A lawsuit has been filed against Valve by a former employee claiming wrongful termination. According to the article, the ex-employee is seeking $1 million for general damages, $1 million for loss of earnings, $1 million for special damages, and another $150k for unpaid wages. Valve has denied all allegations.

The employee, who is only identified by her initials, was primarily a Spanish translator. Prior to 2012, the then-employee requested to work remotely from Los Angeles, where she would be undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Valve accommodated this request so she could work from home due to this as well as depression and "other socialisation issues" she was suffering from.

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Microsoft Announces Streamlining Of Smartphone Hardware Business

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs. As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million, of which approximately $200 million will relate to severance payments. Microsoft anticipates this will result in the reduction of up to 1,350 jobs at Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland, as well as up to 500 additional jobs globally. Employees working for Microsoft Oy, a separate Microsoft sales subsidiary based in Espoo, are not in scope for the planned reductions. As a result of the action, Microsoft will record a charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 for the impairment of assets in its More Personal Computing segment, related to these phone decisions.

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Technology Leaders Join Forces to Bring an Open Acceleration Framework to Data Centers and Other Markets

Advanced Micro Devices, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Mellanox, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Xilinx, Inc. have joined forces to bring a high-performance open acceleration framework to data centers. The companies are collaborating on the specification for the new Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX). For the first time in the industry, a single interconnect technology specification will ensure that processors using different instruction set architectures (ISA) can coherently share data with accelerators and enable efficient heterogeneous computing – significantly improving compute efficiency for servers running data center workloads.

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Intel Awards $1 Million Grand Prize to America’s Greatest Makers

Team Grush was voted the winner and awarded a $1 million prize on tonight’s season 1 finale of the tech reality TV challenge America’s Greatest Makers. All three members of Team Grush are parents and invented the interactive digital toothbrush based on their experiences of trying to get their kids to brush. The invention transforms teeth brushing into a series of fun and virtual games, entertaining and motivating children while allowing adults to digitally track brushing habits. Grush beat 23 other teams with inventions in areas as diverse as healthcare, sports and fashion – all built on Intel technology. America’s Greatest Makers is produced by MGM Television with Emmy®-winning producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, Shark Tank, The Voice) serving as executive producer. MGM is the international distributor and the show is broadcast on TBS.

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Tuesday May 24, 2016

Overwatch Hit Sounds Made From Opening Beer Bottles

It's always interesting to discover what sound designers use to make certain video game sound effects. For the "hit-pip" sound effect, Overwatch developers used the sound made when you open a beer. smile

Another extremely challenging sound is the "hit-pip." When you hit someone, you need to know you made contact. The sound needs to cut through the mix but not feel like it comes from any hero. It went through tons of iteration. Finally, one night I thought, " It should be satisfying to hit an enemy." Just think about what's satisfying: beer. So I literally opened a beer bottle. pssht. The sound is reversed and tweaked a little, but that sound is our hit-pip.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

ETC.: Gigabyte XM300 Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUP!

Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 @ NikKTech

Tt eSPORTS LEVEL 10 M Advanced @ Vortez

Storage: 6TB - 8TB HDD Round-Up @ Hardware-Mag

Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Legit Reviews

Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe @ Guru3D

Google Maps Directions Adding Ads For Nearby Businesses?

I'm not sure where I stand on this just yet. I guess I'd have to see it in action but, for the most part, seeing ads for local businesses that are in the area I'm searching doesn't really bother me at all.

To help advertisers reach consumers searching for physical business locations, we’re introducing new local search ads across Google.com and Google Maps. Advertisers using location extensions will be able to prominently showcase their business locations when consumers search for things like "shoe store" or "car repair near me."

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Jurors To Use VR Headsets To View Crime Scenes?

As if viewing crime scene photos while on jury duty wasn't bad enough, researchers are now saying that virtual reality technology could soon be used to recreate crime scenes for juries.

Jurors could use virtual reality technology to enter 'crime scenes' in the first project of its kind in Europe, it's reported. The concept uses green screens, the latest virtual reality headsets and technology from gaming, engineering and computing to help "transport" jurors to crime scenes. It's a project being tested by Staffordshire University and one that police say could become significant.

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Big Frickin Laser Quote of the Day

Blowing stuff up with a truck mounted laser sounds like an awesome job but, don't take my word for it, listen to what the program manager in charge of the project said:

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In April 2016, the ground combat branch deployed a truck-mounted laser cannon to a trial at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During the exercise, troops used the beam to torch a tiny, quadcopter-type drone , the kind you can buy online. "We did a lot of preparation … seeing if we could track the airborne targets among ground clutter," Adam Aberle, the program manager in charge of the High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, or HELMTT, told Army reporters. "We absolutely blew lots of stuff up."

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Lawmaker Wants Porn Blocked On Cellphones

Regardless what you think of this guy's idea, you have to admit that you chuckled when he said cell phones are a "vending machine for porn."

Following Utah's resolution declaring pornography a "public health crisis," a lawmaker is drafting bills to mandate anti-porn filters on cellphones and computers at public libraries. In an interview with FOX 13, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said he is drafting legislation that would require cellphone makers to install porn-blocking filters on their devices, which would be removed if it's verified the owner is over 18.

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Huawei Sues Samsung Over Cellphone Patents

Oh crap, not this again. No sooner than it settled its patent disputes with Apple, Samsung is now being sued by Huawei for patent infringement. To cover all its bases, Huawei has filed lawsuits in both California and China.

Huawei has sued Samsung in both China and the US for allegedly violating its patents on cellular technology and software through its cellphones. Unlike what you see in many such lawsuits, though, the Chinese tech leader isn't demanding a straight financial penalty -- it wants a cross-licensing deal where the two sides share patents, much like the ones it has with "dozens" of other partners.

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Australia Officially Abandons Three Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme

Australia has abandoned its three strikes anti-piracy scheme. It's not because the plan didn't work (it didn't). It's not because they couldn't catch pirates (they couldn't). In the end, the plan failed because no one could figure who was going to pay for the plan.

After indications earlier this year that copyright holders and ISPs were having serious problems reaching agreement on who will pay for the three-strikes anti-piracy regime, the project has now officially been canned. In a letter to the Australian Media and Communications Authority, the Communications Alliance and rightsholders have confirmed its demise.

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Ransomware Hackers Get Their Money, Immediately Ask For More

What do you mean those ransomware hackers got the money they demanded from the hospital but still want more? Normally paying off hackers is a brilliant idea. Wait. No it isn't. I'm not sure why the hospital didn't just go with its "backup plan" in the first place.

According to Hospital President Dr. Greg Durick, Kansas Heart initially paid "a small amount" in ransom, but the hackers refused to decrypt the hospital's hijacked files. The hospital shut down negotiations after the second ransom demand, saying it no longer felt "this was a wise maneuver or strategy." The hospital says patient information was never in jeopardy and operations were never impacted.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst Trailer @ GameSpot

PAC-MAN 256 Next Month @ Blue's News

The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine Trailer @ VG24/7

YouTube To Again Cover E3 @ Shacknews

XFX Radeon R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Video Card Review

If you haven't done so already, make sure you check out our evaluation of the XFX Radeon R9 Fury Triple Dissipation video card today. If you are in the market for a new R9 Fury with a big custom cooler, this card will definitely be of interest to you.

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Today we take a look at the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation video card from XFX, sporting a custom cooler that is sure to keep temperatures cool and operation stable. We will be comparing it with a custom overclocked GeForce GTX 980 video card in head-to-head competition to see which GPU delivers the best performance for the price.

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FBI Wants To Keep Its Biometric Database Secret

I don't know about you but, after all we've learned about the FBI, CIA, NSA and other federal agencies over the last few years, I just assume everyone is already in this secret database. Thanks to everyone that sent this one in.

The FBI is proposing keeping information that it stores as part of a massive biometric database private -- even to those whose information is stored in the records. Known as the Next Generation Identification System (NGIS), the database draws in biometric data from passport registration, security checks, and judicial processing -- such as if someone is arrested. The database also includes biometric records on foreigners, such as those who apply for visas, and foreign law enforcement staff.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

ETC.: Shuttle XPC Cube SZ170R8 @ MadShrimps

SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage: OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD @ OCC

Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe SSD @ HotHardware

Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe SSD @ PC Perspective

CORSAIR Announces Dominator Platinum ROG Edition

CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components and high-performance gaming hardware today announced the latest addition to its industry leading range of XMP 2.0 certified DDR4 memory kits, the CORSAIR Dominator Platinum ROG Edition. Developed in collaboration with the ASUS Republic of Gamers team, the 16GB 4 x 4GB DDR4 kit is fitted with a unique Republic of Gamers Red and Black brushed aluminum finish, to perfectly compliment the celebrated ASUS Republic of Gamers line of motherboards. Clocked at 3,200MHz for blistering high-bandwidth performance on Intel 100-series motherboards, CORSAIR Dominator Platinum ROG Edition also boasts a custom overclocked ROG XMP 2.0 memory profile only accessible with ASUS Z170 Republic of Gamers motherboards*, pushing the kit to an even faster 3,333MHz with just a single setting.

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Game of Thrones Cast Plays Overwatch

The latest episode of Clueless Gamer has Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey playing Overwatch. While this show can some times be hit or miss, this one is definitely worth watching.

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Facebook Says Probe Found No Evidence Of Bias

Facebook announced today that it has completed a thorough investigation of itself and found no evidence of wrongdoing. Ever. For anything. Why is the letter written by Facebook's lawyer? Who cares? They conducted a thorough one week investigation and exonerated themselves and that's all that matters. roll eyes (sarcastic)

Our investigation has revealed no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories included in the Trending Topics feature. Our data analysis indicated that conservative and liberal topics are approved as trending topics at virtually identical rates. We were also unable to substantiate any of the specific allegations of politically-motivated suppression of particular subjects or sources. In fact, we confirmed that most of the subjects mentioned in media reports were included as trending topics on multiple occasions.

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Police Raided Google's Paris Headquarters

It looks like France is trying to turn up the heat on Google. I wonder if they went in with a SWAT team, guns blazing...screaming "STEP AWAY FROM THE SEARCH ENGINE, GET ON THE GROUND!" Then put everyone in zip tie handcuffs. What? That totally could've happened. wink

French investigators raided Google's Paris headquarters on Tuesday as part of a probe into tax evasion and money laundering, the financial prosecutor's office said, confirming media reports. The investigation, which started in June last year, aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has failed in its fiscal obligations in France, the prosecutor's office said in statement.

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Social Media Etiquette No Longer Exists

Apparently this lady just discovered the internet. I know it is hard to believe but, since the beginning of time, there are people on the internet that get their kicks by giving away the ending of your favorite TV show or movie before you've had a chance to see it. What kind of moron is reading Twitter while their favorite show is playing anyway?

But then Sunday night rolled around and social media networks — especially Twitter — proved that spoiler culture was indeed still around, and perhaps even worse, it was getting harder to avoid as big-time publications decided to approach livetweeting with a no-holds-barred attitude. Now, however, it's every man or woman for themselves as trying to dodge spoiler-filled bullets has become nearly impossible after 9:01 p.m. ET. For those who don't mind being spoiled, like myself, it's just a bit of an annoyance. But for those that don't want to know anything before getting a chance to watch it themselves, there's only one option: Get off of Twitter. Seriously.

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FSP Announces its "Green Power, Intelligent Building, FSP Power Never Ends" Series of Product Solutions at Computex Taipei 2016

Power supply manufacturer FSP Technology Inc. today announces new product launches ahead of COMPUTEX 2016 in Taipei. FSP will showcase the consumer-oriented EMERGY 1000/3000 and commercial ION Mate Energy Storage Systems, comprising their wide-range of eco-friendly power storage solutions, along with a variety of PV inverters. Among their consistently strong gaming lineup, FSP’s booth will also feature new enterprise and home server PSUs.

The EMERGY 1000/3000 stands to revolutionize the way consumers transport and harness power, with the potential to save thousands of watt hours off a single charge. Designed to be portable and silent, the EMERGY series are highly efficient, fanless, energy storage systems with easy-to-use retractable handles. The portable devices have dual AC/PV inputs to easily charge the high-powered 600 watts and 1.5kW inverter.

The ION MATE is FSP’s commercial solution for powergrid failures. It is a stand-alone, self-managed, all-in-one energy storage system. In keeping things "green" the ION MATE is the perfect companion for solar power management. It houses long-living lithium ion phosphate batteries and its power management is run off AC and photovoltaic chargers. DC-AC inverters streamline the conversion from battery to electricity in the home.

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