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Saturday August 23, 2014

AMD 30 Years of Gaming Rebroadcast Available

If you missed today's #AMD30Live 30 Years of Graphics & Gaming event and the announcement of the R9 285X/285 video card, the rebroadcast is available. Kyle's on at 1:10:50, in case you're curious.

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iPhone 6 Launch Could Be Delayed Due to Supply Chain Woes

No need to delete your 9/9 Apple Media Event placeholder in your calendar yet but be aware. A setback in the backlight production delayed screen assembly earlier this summer and suppliers are working around the clock to make up for the lost time.

It's unclear whether the hiccup could delay the launch or limit the number of phones initially available to consumers, the sources said, as Apple readies larger-screen iPhones for the year-end shopping season amid market share loss to cheaper rivals. But the issue highlights the risks and challenges that suppliers face to meet Apple's tough specifications, and comes on the heels of a separate screen technology problem, since resolved, in making thinner screens for the larger iPhone 6 model.

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Microsoft Looks to Reduce Cloud Lag Effect on Gaming

Cloud Gaming is back in the news with the release of a paper from Microsoft this week talking about DeLorean. We'll let MS define it in their own words. Alas, no mention of a flux capacitor.

In this paper, we present DeLorean, a speculative execution system for mobile cloud gaming that is able to mask up to 250ms of network latency. DeLorean produces speculative rendered frames of future possible outcomes, delivering them to the client one entire RTT ahead of time; clients perceive no latency. To achieve this, DeLorean combines: 1) future input prediction; 2) state space subsampling and time shifting; 3) misprediction compensation; and 4) bandwidth compression.

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State of Oregon Sues Oracle Over Failed Health Care Website

The drama around the failed Cover Oregon online health insurance exchange website has taken a litigious turn as the state of Oregon has sued Oracle and several of its executives.

The lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court in Salem, alleges that Oracle officials lied, breached contracts and engaged in "a pattern of racketeering activity." ...In a statement, Oracle called the lawsuit "a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project."

"The complaint is a fictional account of the Oregon health care project," the company's statement said. "Oracle is confident that the truth - and Oracle - will prevail in this action."

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FCC Filing Reveals Possible Chromecast Rival from Microsoft

Microsoft revealed via an FCC filing that they are working on a device that features WiFi, HDMI support, and a USB connection. Sounds like a Chromecast to me too. PCWorld sources call this HD-10 device "Miracast dongle." I still love saying "dongle." I feel like I'm 8 and sneakily saying something naughty. big grin

A casting dongle for Windows Phone 8.1 is great for starters, but there may be more to this than just smartphones. Microsoft also built Miracast support into Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. That means the upcoming Microsoft Miracast dongle should also work with your laptop, desktop, or Windows tablet.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes Midflight During Test

People in McGregor, TX (go ahead and find it on the map... I'll wait) saw an unusual mushroom cloud in the sky on Friday when one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets blew up during a test flight. I wonder how many Tesla Motors Model S cars that was worth?

According to SpaceX, the rocket's systems detected "an anomaly" that led to an automatic termination of the test. A company spokesperson added that it's analyzing the data for more information on what the anomaly was, and how it occurred.

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25K US Government employee records exposed in USIS breach

Earlier this month, we told you about USIS being hacked. Reuters has more detail about the attack, though the investigation is ongoing.

"Records including this data were exposed to unauthorized users during the cybersecurity intrusion," according to a notification letter obtained by Reuters. "We do not yet know whether the data was actually taken."

One DHS official told Reuters the agency has identified some 25,000 employees whose information it believes were exposed in the breach. "More could be notified in coming weeks as we learn more about the breach," said the official, who asked not to be identified by name.

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Microsoft Azure Releases New Services and Updates

Today Microsoft released a major set of updates to Microsoft Azure. Today’s updates include:

  • DocumentDB: Preview of a New NoSQL Document Service for Azure

  • Search: Preview of a New Search-as-a-Service offering for Azure

  • Virtual Machines: Portal support for SQL Server AlwaysOn + community-driven VMs

  • Web Sites: Support for Web Jobs and Web Site processes in the Preview Portal

  • Azure Insights: General Availability of Microsoft Azure Monitoring Services Management Library

  • API Management: Support for API Management REST APIs

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).

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Friday August 22, 2014

[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 Watch Dogs Performance and Image Quality Review, followed by our evaluation of the Cooler Master GXII 650W power supply. Finally, we wrapped things up with a look at the ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 motherboard.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Streacom FC8 EVO Fanless Chassis @ PureOC

Cooling: Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual @ techPowerUP!

ETC.: ASUS Strix Pro Headset @ XtremeHardware

Elite Screens ezCinema Plus 100" @ LanOC

PC Perspective Podcast #314 @ PC Perspective

Motherboards: ASUS Maximus VII Impact @ ocaholic

PSU: Bitfenix Fury 750W @ HiTech Legion

Technology Gone Wrong

Finally! Someone has found a way to use technology to take all that pesky "exercise" thingy out of roller skating! And they only cost $500 - $700 a pair!

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Most People Wouldn't Pay $235 A Year For An Ad-Free Web

I am shocked that no one wants to pay an extra $235 a year for an ad-free internet. Shocked! SHOCKED!! rolleyes:

The vast majority of web users would not be willing to pay to browse the internet without advertisements. An ad-free internet would cost each user at least £140 a year – a sum that the vast majority of UK web users say they would never pay, according to new research.

More Than 1,000 Businesses Affected By Same Attack That Hit Target

It's nice to know that almost all of the 1,000 business affected by this still haven't notified their customers. You'd think there would be some kind of law that required businesses to notify customers of data breaches. frown

More than 1,000 American businesses have been affected by the cyberattack that hit the in-store cash register systems at Target, Supervalu and most recently UPS Stores. The attacks are much more pervasive than previously reported, and hackers are pilfering the data of millions of payment cards from American consumers without companies knowing about it, according to a new Department of Homeland Security advisory released Friday afternoon.

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Google's Self-Driving Cars Required To Have Steering Wheels

The bad news? Self-driving cars are required to have manual controls in the state of California. The good news? Google will have to redesign that ugly ass car it built. big grin

New California DMV rules say the search giant's software-powered car prototypes need physical controls -- a decision that forces Google back to the drawing board.

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White House Cybersecurity Chief Proud To Know Nothing About Cybersecurity

Where do they keep finding these morons? I half expected him to say "Cybersecurity? Nope. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night." roll eyes (sarcastic)

The White House cybersecurity co-ordinator has revealed that he's not technically-minded, but that he doesn't "have to be a coder in order to do really well." He added that "being too down in the weeds at a technical level could actually be a bit of a distraction."

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Facebook Awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

I was hoping this $50,000 prize was for developing a way to defend the internet against Facebook. Sadly, I was mistaken.

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications. Johannes Dahse and Thorsten Holz from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany on Wednesday won the new cash award for a paper outlining how to find flaws hackers could exploit.

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In Win 901 Case

There is a review of the In Win 901 case posted today at techPowerUP! that is certainly worth a look if you are in the market for a new chassis.

First off, lets make one thing clear: The In Win 901 is not a gamer's chassis. It is for those who want a beautiful-looking system first and foremost. Sure, you can install fully sized components into the chassis, but its unique design limits it somewhat in terms of cooling choices. Even so, the 901 does offer a good mixture of extras, so you won't be left wondering if you have given up too much to use a chassis with such a beautiful design. I

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Gaming [H]eadlines

A Fistful of Gun Announced @ Blue's News

Dishonored Free To Play On Steam @ Shacknews

Play Titanfall Free On Origin @ Joystiq

Sony Ending PlayStation Home In Japan And Asia Polygon

Apple Removes Secret App From Brazilian App Store

So much for supporting anonymous free speech. You can't really blame Apple but it would have been nice to see them put up some sort of fight. frown

Following a recent ruling that Apple would have ten days to remove the anonymous social app Secret from its Brazilian App Store, Apple has complied with the order. The justification for the removal, according to a source close to the situation, can be found in section 22.1 of the App Store Guidelines.

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Hack Your Fiends in Watch Dogs

The patch notes for the latest latest Watch Dogs update are out and our friends at Blue's News have all the info.

Multiplayer Added Features:

  • HACK YOUR FRIENDS – You can now select available friends via the grid and hack or tail them without their knowledge. This can be disabled under online options. – (ALL PLATFORMS)

  • CTOS MOBILE – Mobile players disconnecting will no longer result in the gameplay ending for the console/PC player. Console and PC players will play their match to the end and receive some Notoriety points for doing so. – (ALL PLATFORMS)

  • MULTIPLAYER BAD BEHAVIOR – Players who are frequently disconnecting from multiplayer matches will be pooled together and paired only against players with similar online behaviors. – (ALL PLATFORMS)

If you’re playing against someone else who disconnects unfairly, you will get the same amount of Notoriety as if you had won at that moment. The disconnector will not receive any Notoriety.

On a related note, you can read our Watch Dogs Performance and Image Quality Review right here, if you haven't done so already.

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Bungie Ordered To Give Fired Music Chief His Stock Back

Marty O'Donnell has another win under his belt after Bungie was ordered to restore his rights as a shareholder.

The arbitrator found that O’Donnell demonstrated substantial likelihood of proving that he was one of seven founders of Bungie (which originally had the name Arete Seven LLC) and that the company gave him 1.27 million shares of class B shares in October 2007. Those shares were converted into 336,375 shares of Bungie’s Series B-1 Preferred Stock in 2010, when Activision started making a lot of noise about Destiny. He was also issued 48,000 shares of Bungie’s common stock. And in December 2010, O’Donnell signed a contract extending his employment through 2020.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: XFX Type-01 Bravo @ Vortez

ETC.: Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Headset @ BmR

Input: CM Storm Mizar Mouse @ pcGameware

Motherboards: ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger @ Tweak.dk

Storage: Kingston V310 SSD @ Hardware Heaven

Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB @ CDRLabs

Over 100 New Streetside And 3D Cities Go Live On Bing Maps

Bing Maps just got a major update that adds Streetside views to sixty four new cities, and 3D maps to twenty nine new cities.

With this release, the Bing Maps team passed the 100-city mark and continues on. Our count today is over 125 highly detailed 3D cities viewable through the Bing Maps Preview app available exclusively on Windows 8.1. Have you been to any of these vacation spots? See the end of this post for a complete list of all the new 3D cities on Bing Maps.

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Fast & Furious 6 Pirate Sentenced to 33 Months Prison

What kind of idiot continues to sell and distribute pirated movies after they have already been busted? Meet inmate number 007. eek!

A man who recorded the movie Fast & Furious 6 in a UK cinema and uploaded it to KickassTorrents and other sites has been jailed for 33 months. The man, who TF interviewed last year following a large police raid, was blamed for 700,000 subsequent downloads and millions in losses.

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New Trailer For The Crew

Part of me is really looking forward to this game. The other part of me is afraid they are really going to screw this up. Your thoughts?

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Women Significantly Outnumber Teenage Boys In Gamer Demographics

Did you hear that? Women significantly outnumber teenage boys in gamer demographics. Wait, what definition of "gamer" are we using here?

Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S., according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry. While men still account for the majority of the U.S. gaming population, the number of women playing games on both consoles and mobile devices is up to 48 percent, from 40 percent in 2010.

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Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper

Your Kindle is making you dumb. Here comes the science:

A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were "significantly" worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.

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Xbox One ‘Free Play Day’ Posting Made ‘In Error’

Damn, this sucks. I actually thought this was a good idea. frown

"A promotional tile for ‘Max: Curse of the Brotherhood’ was posted briefly on the US dash in error yesterday," a Microsoft spokesperson told us via email. "We apologize for any inconvenience. We’re constantly exploring different ways to offer more benefits to our Xbox Live Gold members and will keep them updated when special offers become available."

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G.SKILL Officially Announces Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory Kits

G.SKILL International Co., Ltd., the leading high performance memory designer and manufacturer, reveals the long awaited next generation Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 memory kits! Featuring all new redesigned heatspreaders in three different colors, high performance frequencies, high capacity, DDR4 quad-channel ready, and ultra low voltages, the Ripjaws 4 series is all the benefits of DDR4 rolled into one sleek package.

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With a standard of 2133MHz, DDR4 is the next generation definition of performance. Also available in 2400MHz, 2666MHz, 2800MHz, 3000MHz, and 3200MHz, the starting lineup is continuing where DDR3 left off. With capacities starting at 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8) and 64GB (8GBx8), your new X99 platform will have more memory space to do what you need it to do. That’s not all! Ripjaws 4 also has an ultra low voltage rating of 1.2V for kits under 2800MHz and 1.35V for 3000/3200MHz!

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Thursday August 21, 2014

ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 Motherboard

If you are looking for a motherboard with great quality and features for your next system build, you'll definitely want to read our evaluation of the ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 motherboard.

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While ASUS is usually known for motherboards like the Maximus and Rampage Extreme series’ or even feature rich solutions like the Z97-Deluxe it is motherboards like the Z97-A that are ASUS’ bread and butter. Shopping for an inexpensive motherboard doesn’t have to mean accepting poor quality feature stripped solutions.

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