[H]ard News

Saturday April 30, 2016

Microsoft Is Storing Data In 10 Million Strands of DNA

First I have to worry about corruption, and now I have to worry about mutation.

Microsoft has partnered with the San Francisco-based biotech startup Twist to investigate DNA data storage. It’s purchased the rights to ten million strings of DNA on which it will encode data, to assess the technique as a long-term, secure storage system. Microsoft simply hands over the data as a digital DNA sequence, then Twist creates it in physical form using synthetic biology techniques. Then it hands the DNA back to Microsoft to play around with. It’s not clear how much data Microsoft is trying to store, but IEEE Spectrum points out that a single gram of the long-chain molecules can store a zettabyte of data—which is 1 million gigabytes.


Apple Will Analyze iPhone Of Teen Missing At Sea

I don’t quite understand why there was any courtroom drama to begin with, assuming that evidence of the boat being intentionally disabled is legit.

The recovered iPhone belonged to 14-year-old Austin Stephanos, who went missing while on a boat trip with Perry Cohen, also 14, in July. The Coast Guard led an eight-day search in the Atlantic, covering 50,000 nautical miles. The boys' bodies were never found. But Austin's iPhone was on board when the boys' boat was recovered last month about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission gave the recovered iPhone to Austin’s father, Blu Stephanos, but Perry's mother, Pam Cohen, took the issue to court, fighting to hand the phone over to experts.


Puma BeatBot Robotic Running Companion

Getting beaten by a shoebox can’t be good for your self-esteem as an athlete, can it?


Alicia Vikander To Star As Lara Croft In "Tomb Raider"

While Vikander is an Oscar winner, I really don’t see her as the Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft has been found. Alicia Vikander has signed on to star in Tomb Raider for MGM, Warner Bros. and GK Films, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The movie project, which has Roar Uthaug (The Wave) on board to direct, will tell the story of a young and untested Croft fighting to survive her first adventure. MGM and Warner Bros. are co-producing the film, with MGM overseeing production. They acquired the rights from GK Films, which had previously purchased the film rights in 2011 from Square Enix Ltd. Graham King is serving as producer.


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Teaser

Is it just me, or are they trying to make Doom 3 again?


Samsung Working On Standalone Virtual Reality Headset

The current sets aren’t the best option for someone like me who just wants to lay down and watch a movie without being tethered to my PC, so this has my attention.

Samsung’s plans for virtual reality go beyond the company’s current Gear VR headset: The company is working on a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset that will incorporate positional tracking similar to the technologies now available on higher-end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, revealed the company’s head of R&D for software and services Injong Rhee during the company’s developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday. "We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone," Rhee said.


I Installed Windows 95 On My Apple Watch

Great, but everything is so damn tiny. Maybe Deadpool’s baby hand could be useful here.

With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package. On paper, its processor alone is about twenty-five times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid nineties, not memory. As a result, I was feeling confident that the Apple Watch had the ability to run one of the most revered desktop operating systems Redmond has ever produced.


Nobody Has Beaten Doom’s Hardest Difficulty Level

I don’t see what the appeal is about permadeath, but those who do are going to love Doom’s "Ultra Nightmare" mode.

Speaking with Doom Executive Producer Marty Stratton and Creative Director Hugo Martin, IGN has learned that no one at developer id Software has yet managed to complete Doom’s hardest difficulty mode. The new Ultra-Nightmare setting is Doom’s punishing Nightmare mode with a permadeath twist. Screw up once, and you’re dead and back at the beginning of the game, leaving only your helmet as a marker of your progress.


How The Chinese Make Smartphones

If you thought smartphone manufacturing was a trivial process, this video should change your mind.


Cortana Will Now Only Work With Edge And Bing On Windows 10

Want to tap into Google using Cortana? Well, now you can’t.

As Microsoft has frequently pointed out in the past, one of Cortana's key advantages is the assistant's ability to 'get to know you', providing a more personalized experience in its OS. This only really works as a result of Cortana's integration with Microsoft's apps and services, providing an "end-to-end personal search experience" that improves the more you use it. Cortana is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine, and the company's ability to provide that personalization depends upon that integration. But Microsoft said today that that experience is being undermined by third parties replacing Bing as the search provider, and Edge as the web browser that works with Cortana.


PC Gaming Remains More Profitable Than Console Gaming, Mobile Gaming Surpasses Everything

PC gaming will generate almost $32 billion while console gaming will grow to $29.0 billion. On the other hand, mobile gaming (smartphones and tablets) is expected to generate $36.9 billion.

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Newzoo has released the latest quarterly update of its Global Games Market Report, revealing some interesting sales figures about mobile, PC and console gaming. According to the stats, PC gaming remains more profitable than console gaming in 2016. However, mobile gaming has now surpassed everything, and is expected to grow even further in the next couple of years.


Seagate Begins Shipping Helium-Filled HDDs, Reveals Final Specs

According to Seagate, helium has allowed the company to substantially increase hard drive capacity and lower power consumption while using current magnetic recording technologies.

The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 helium-filled hard drive is based on the company’s brand-new hermetically-sealed platform feature fourteen heads and seven perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platters with up to 1.43 TB capacity each. Seagate claims that the new HDD platform is based on a special wide-weld hermetically sealed drive enclosure with a design based on a multi-step forging process. Besides, it uses a motor attached to both top and bottom covers, in order to better handle vibrations and maximize reliability. Sensors for humidity, temperature and helium pressure ensure that the helium-filled drive is always being monitored for reliable operation.


Friday April 29, 2016

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the Corsair H80i v2 high performance liquid CPU cooler, followed by our coverage of the AMD Radeon Pro Duo announcement. Finally, we wrapped things up with a review of the EVGA 600B entry level power supply.

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Battleborn Launch Trailer

Gearbox Entertainment put out a new Battleborn launch trailer today for those of you interested. Speaking of interest, by a show of hands, how many of you plan on picking this one up next week? I'm still on the fence with this one.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Lian Li PC-J60 @ ocaholic

Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition @ Hardware Asylum

ETC.: Hakko FX-888D Soldering Station @ OCInside

PSU: SilverStone Strider Titanium ST80F-TI @ APH Networks

Video: AOC C3583FQ 35" Curved Monitor @ pcGameware

Sapphire Radeon R9 390 Nitro 8GB @ Hardware-Mag

The Mass Effect Theme Park Attraction Opens Next Month

As announced on the California Great America Twitter page, the Mass Effect theme park attraction opens in just three short weeks. You can finally pretend that, instead of going to California, you are actually travelling to a distant planet. Thanks to Darunion for the heads up!

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Ubisoft Says They’re Cracking Down On The Division Cheaters

Tom Clancy’s The Division is plagued with cheaters and, until now, no one new exactly what Ubisoft planned to do about the rampant cheating. The company finally made a post on the game's official blog today stating that they are taking the matter seriously and have already implemented some fixed to help detect and ban cheaters.

First, we have implemented new cheat detection methods that have allowed us to identify many more players currently using cheat engines in the game. We have already caught more cheaters in the last few days than we had in total during the previous weeks. As a result, we will be handing out the biggest wave of suspensions and bans to date over the course of the next few days. Second, when cheaters are caught, we will now apply a suspension of 14 days on first offense (instead of the previous 3 day initial suspension). Second offense will always be a permanent ban. We anticipate these two changes will noticeably improve your experience. New upgrades on cheat detection are underway.


Canadian Movie Pirates Targeted in Reverse Class Action

Leave it to the folks north of the border to come up with this idea. Who knows if that will even work (I don't know Canadian law), but you have to admit that it's kinda funny.

U.S.-based movie company Voltage Pictures has initiated fresh legal action in Canada aimed at forcing settlements from alleged pirates. Unusually, Voltage is seeking remedy via a reverse class action, demanding an injunction, damages and costs against an unspecified number of Internet users.


Noctua NH-C14S Review

The crew at Overclockers Club just published a review of the Noctua NH-C14S low-profile CPU cooler today. If you need a short cooler that is long on performance and short on noise, this could be the cooler for you.

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The NH-C14S takes the already great design of the NH-C14 and refines it to a new level. What does the NH-C14S bring to the table? It gets the job done with a single, more powerful fan, and the new offset of the fin stack provides clearance for the first PCIe slot on your motherboard. It really needs to be an industry standard in my opinion.


Coffee Delivery By Drone For $3

Coffee delivery by drone for only $3 is coming. Hell, I think the $3 delivery fee is worth it just have the drone show up at my house everyday and freak out my neighbors. smile

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Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a flying cappuccino! A new UAV service wants to give local vendors, such as restaurants, minimarts, and coffee shops, the ability to deliver products locally by drone. The deliveries will cost $3 each and the drones will travel to doorsteps up to six miles from participating vendor locations.


Cool Video of the Day

Bored? Nothing to do? Grab a blowtorch and melt a rock. I was kinda hoping for lava but the end result was pretty good anyway.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Arma 3 Reconnaissance Guide @ Shacknews

Battlefield Reveal Next Week? @ Blue's News

New GTA 5 Online Mode Announced @ GameSpot

Xbox One Hardware Announcement At E3? @ VG24/7

Large Hadron Collider Shut Down By A Weasel

Seriously folks, you can't make stuff like this up. The Large Hadron Collider has been shut down because a weasel chewed through a power cable. Power should be back online in a few days. Services for the mighty little mustelid will be held out back behind the tool shack. RIP weasel.

According to internal documents placed online, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva has suffered a power outage after the critter chewed on a 66-kilovolt electrical transformer. The unfortunate animal was fried and caused a CERN-wide power cut. "I can confirm that we had some issues overnight with electrical trouble," says CERN spokesperson Arnaud Marsollier. "We suspect it might be due to a small animal." It will likely take a few days to bring the collider back online, says Marsollier, but the equipment is fine and should be easily fixed.


Romero Delays Blackroom Kickstarter To Finish Off Gameplay Demo

It looks as though that Kickstarter for Blackroom has been put on hold until John Romero and Adrian Carmack can get a demo of the game ready. I don't know about you but I think it is a smart move to delay fundraising until they can show some actual gameplay.

"All the comments we’ve heard from people say that they want to see some gameplay," Romero told Develop. "They like the idea, they think it’s really cool but they want to see some of it." A demo is already in the works, but isn’t due to be finished before the Kickstarter campaign ends. While Romero acknowledged that the team could "work around the clock" to do so, entering such levels of crunch is "not what we do".


Supreme Court Approves Rule Change That Expands FBI's Hacking Abilities

Yesterday the US Supreme Court approved a rule change that makes it easier for the Department of Justice to obtain warrants for computers and electronic devices. Congress has until December 1st to reject or change the rule. If no action is taken by then, the rule immediately goes into effect.

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts transmitted the rules to Congress, which will have until Dec. 1 to reject or modify the changes to the federal rules of criminal procedure. If Congress does not act, the rules would take effect automatically.


[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Case Mod Friday @ ThinkComputers

Cooling: Silverstone Argon AR06 @ Modders Inc.

ETC.: Corsair M65 PRO RGB Mouse @ Tweak.dk

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE @ Legit Reviews

GameSir 3G Wireless Game Controller @ FunkyKit

Video: ASUS GTX 950 2GB @ techPowerUP!

Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review

The Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU cooler is on the test bench at NikKTech today. Does this cooler live up to the "macho" name? Hit the link to find out.

With already 14 models in the Macho line one would think that Thermalright has covered every consumer out there but they obviously don't seem to think that so the Macho 120 SBM is placed right after the Macho 90 in terms of size (slightly thinner yet wider compared to the original Macho 120 Rev.A model) and is aimed primarily towards users with small ATX/Micro-ATX cases. A 130mm low-noise PWM fan (TY-TR127 model) completes the package and as with most Macho models (if allowed by the case itself) it can be used in push & pull configuration with another fan.


Google Filed Patent For Injecting A Device Directly Into Your Eyeball

I'm not saying Google totally wants to place ads directly onto your eyeball, but Google totally wants to place ads directly onto your eyeball. How does this tiny eyeball computer get its power? From an "energy harvesting antenna." eek!

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The planned device injected into the eye contains a number of tiny components: storage, sensors, radio, battery and an electronic lens. The eyeball device gets power wirelessly from an "energy harvesting antenna." The patent describes what looks like an external device to interface with the eyeball computer. The two will communicate through a radio and the "interface device" contains the processor to do the necessary computing. According to the patent, the electronic lens would assist in the process of focusing light onto the eye’s retina.


PayPal’s Venmo Payment Service Under Federal Investigation

It would seem that Venmo, PayPal's peer-to-peer payment service, is currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. PayPal says it received the notice back in March and that it is cooperating with federal regulators.

In its quarterly earnings report PayPal discloses that it received a Civil Investigative Demand from the Federal Trade Commission on March 28 as part of the FTC’s "investigation to determine whether we, through our Venmo service, have been or are engaged in deceptive or unfair practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act."


Amazon Profit Crushes Estimates As Cloud-Service Revenue Soars

While everyone else seems to be turning in disappointing earnings, Amazon seems to be doing just fine. In fact, the company did so well that its shares were up almost thirteen percent after the closing bell on Wall Street yesterday.

The results draw a sharp contrast to the disappointing fourth quarter Amazon reported in January, which renewed worries among some shareholders about the company's comparatively thin profit margins. Shares of the world's biggest online retailer jumped nearly 13 percent to $679 in extended trading on Thursday. Amazon's performance also assuaged concerns about a broader slowdown among tech and internet companies after Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Intel (INTC.O) all reported disappointing earnings.


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