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+ - ISPs Violating Net Neutrality, Blocking Encryption And Putting Users At Risk->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "In July, VPN provider Golden Frog (creators of the VyprVPN service) debuted front and center in the debate over net neutrality. One of their customers, Colin Nederkoorn, published a video showing how switching to VyprVPN increased his network performance by a factor of 10 on Verizon while streaming Netflix. Now, Golden Frog has filed a brief with the FCC, discussing both this incident and another, more troubling problem for security advocates — the detection of ISPs performing man-in-the-middle attacks against their own customers. According to information cited in the briefing, one wireless provider was caught blocking the use of STARTTLS encryption. STARTTLS is used to encrypt traffic sent over SMTP — email, in other words. Because an email from Point A to Point Z may travel through a number of unsecured routers to reach its final destination, unencrypted email is intrinsically insecure. STARTTLS was developed to mitigate this problem. What Golden Frog documented was the interception and modification of multiple requests to begin using STARTTLS into an entirely different set of commands, thereby preventing the encrypted link from ever being established. The problem of overwritten encryption is potentially far more serious than an issue of Netflix throttling, even if the latter tapped consumer discontent more readily."
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+ - Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs A Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "A new interview with Assassin's Creed Unity senior producer Vincent Pontbriand has some gamers seeing red and others crying "told you so," after the developer revealed that the game's 900p framerate and 30 fps target on consoles is a result of weak CPU performance rather than GPU compute. "Technically we're CPU-bound," Pontbriand said. "The GPUs are really powerful, obviously the graphics look pretty good, but it's the CPU that has to process the AI, the number of NPCs we have on screen, all these systems running in parallel. We were quickly bottlenecked by that and it was a bit frustrating, because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise..." This has been read by many as a rather damning referendum on the capabilities of AMD's APU that's under the hood of Sony's and Microsoft's new consoles. To some extent, that's justified; the Jaguar CPU inside both the Sony PS4 and Xbox One is a modest chip with a relatively low clock speed. Both consoles may offer eight CPU threads on paper, but games can't access all that headroom. One thread is reserved for the OS and a few more cores will be used for processing the 3D pipeline. Between the two, Ubisoft may have only had 4-5 cores for AI and other calculations — scarcely more than last gen, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 CPUs were clocked much faster than the 1.6 / 1.73GHz frequencies of their replacements."
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+ - AMD's Rory Read Steps Down As CEO, Dr. Lisa Su Appointed President And CEO->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD has just announced a new chief and her name is Dr. Lisa Su. She replaces Rory Read, who has stepped down as president and CEO as part of a transition plan that will have him support the new boss in an advisory role. Read will remain with AMD through the end of the year. Read replaced Dirk Meyer as CEO of AMD back in August 2011. While not particularly animated or, quite frankly, all that interesting to listen to during keynotes, Read wasn't brought in to put on a show. His job was to promote the AMD brand and build connections with other industry players, and to his credit, that's what he did during the past three years. He also returned the company to non-GAAP profitability. Dr. Su brings with her an impressive resume that includes prior experience with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Texas Instruments, and IBM, the latter of which she spent 13 years in various engineering and business leadership positions."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches Mobile Maxwell GeForce GTX 980M And GTX 970M Notebook Graphics->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When Nvidia launched their new GeForce GTX 980 and 970 last month, it was obvious that these cards would be coming to mobile sooner rather than later. The significant increase that Maxwell offers in performance-per-watt means that these GPUs should shine in mobile contexts, maybe even more-so than in desktop. Today, Nvidia is unveiling two new mobile GPUs — the GeForce GTX 980M and 970M. Both notebook graphics engines are based on Maxwell's 28nm architecture, and both are trimmed slightly from the full desktop implementation. The GTX 980M is a 1536-core chip (just like the GTX 680 / 680M) while the GTX 970 will pack 1280 cores. Clock speeds are 1038MHz base for the GTX 980M and 924MHz for the GTX 970M, which is significantly faster than the previous gen GTX 680M's launch speeds. The 980M will carry up to 4GB of RAM, while the 970M will offer 3GB and a smaller memory bus. From eyeballing relative performance expectations, the GTX 970M should be well-suited to 1080p or below at high detail levels, while the GTX 980M should be capable of ultra detail at 1080p or higher resolutions. Maxwell's better efficiency means that it should offer a significant performance improvement over mobile Kepler, even with the same number of cores. Also with this launch Nvidia is introducing "Battery Boost" as a solution for games with less demanding graphics, where battery life can be extended by governing clock speeds to maintain playable frames, without overpower the GPU at higher than needed frame rates."
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+ - Modder Hacks Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO Client, Changes In-Game Data->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When Star Wars: The Old Republic made news in September, it was for announcing that one of the mythos' most enduring antiheroes, the onetime Sith Lord Revan, would be making an appearance in the MMO. Now, a new bug could wipe some of that goodwill off the map. Modder and TOR enthusiast SWTorMiner has created a video that shows him fixing a simple visual bug (introduced in one of the recent game patches) to make a character's eyewear render properly. SWTorMiner doesn't claim to have discovered the bug himself, but he's drawing attention to it precisely because it allows for much larger hacks than just replacing a bit of cosmetic detail. In theory, this same exploit could be used to allow access to areas of the game that are currently locked out, either because previous bosses haven't yet been killed, or because PvP battlegrounds are still in warm-up periods. These are the kinds of problems that can rapidly balloon and challenge the fundamental nature of the game."
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+ - Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has The Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Buried in the details of Microsoft's technical preview for Windows 10 is a bit of a footnote concerning the operating system's requirements. Windows 10 will have exactly the same requirements as Windows 8.1, which had the same requirements as Windows 8, which stuck to Windows 7 specs, which was the same as Windows Vista. At this point, it's something we take for granted with future Windows release. As the years roll by, you can't help wondering what we're actually giving up in exchange for holding the minimum system spec at a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit chip with just 1GB of RAM. The average smartphone is more powerful than this these days. For decades, the standard argument has been that Microsoft had to continue supporting ancient operating systems and old configurations, ignoring the fact that the company did its most cutting-edge work when it was willing to kill off its previous products in fairly short order. what would Windows look like if Microsoft at least mandated a dual-core product? What if DX10 — a feature set that virtually every video card today supports, according to Valve's Steam Hardware Survey, became the minimum standard, at least on the x86 side of the equation? How much better might the final product be if Microsoft put less effort into validating ancient hardware and kicked those specs upwards, just a notch or two?"
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+ - Micron Launches First SSD Based On 16nm NAND Flash->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung made some waves earlier this year with the introduction of its 850 Pro family of solid state drives and the first commercial use of 3D stacked NAND Flash memory. Micron is striking back today with a lower manufacturing process geometry in conventional NAND, however, and a new Flash technology it claims, will accelerate performance more effectively than other competing solutions. The new Micron M600 family of solid state drives will launch at capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB across multiple form factors including 2.5-inch SATA drives, mSATA, and the PCIe-capable M.2 platform. The M600 uses Micron's newest 16nm TLC NAND, which allows the drive to hit a better cost-per-GiB than previous generation drives. The drives are built around the Marvell 88SS9189 SATA 6Gbs controller, which has been used by a variety of other SSD manufacturers as well. The M600 family of solid state drives performed relatively well throughout a battery of tests, though it couldn't quite catch Samsung's 850 Pro. Pricing for the M600 reportedly will be competitive at approximately $.45 — $.55 per GiB."
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+ - Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist To Capture The Moment->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Over the past couple of years, drones have become popular enough to the point where a new release doesn't excite most people. But Nixie is different. It's a drone that you wear, like a bracelet. Whenever you need to let it soar, you give it a command to unwrap, power it up, and let it go. From the consumer standpoint, the most popular use for drones is to capture some amazing footage. But what if you want to be in that footage? That's where Nixie comes in. After "setting your camera free", the drone soars around you, keeping you in its frame.Nixie is powered by Intel's Edison kit, which is both small enough and affordable enough to fit inside such a small device."
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+ - Acer Launches First 4K Panel With NVIDIA G-Sync Technology On Board->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Save for a smattering of relatively small, 3K and 4K laptop displays, we haven't quite gotten to the same type of pixel density on the PC platform, that is available on today's high-end ultra-mobile devices. That said, the desktop display space has really heated up as of late and 4K panels have generated a large part of the buzz. Acer just launched the first 4K display with NVIDIA G-Sync technology on board. To put it simply, G-SYNC keeps a display and the output from an NVIDIA GPU in sync, regardless of frame rates or whether or not V-Sync is enabled. Instead of the monitor controlling the timing and refreshing at say 60Hz, the timing control is transferred to the GPU. The GPU scans a frame out to the monitor and the monitor doesn't update until a frame is done drawing, in lock-step with the GPU. This method completely eliminates tearing or frame stuttering associated with synchronization anomalies of standard panels. There are still some quirks with Windows and many applications that don't always scale properly on high-DPI displays, but the situation is getting better every day. If you're a gamer in the market for a 4K display, that's primed for gaming, the Acer XB280HK is a decent new option with this technology on board, though it does come at a bit of a premium at $799 versus standard 28-inch panels."
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+ - Users Report Warping Of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus And It's Not A "Feature"->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Apple's iPhone 6 Plus packs a bevy of improvements into its phablet-sized frame — its battery life dwarfs all previous iPhones, its screen quality and resolution are excellent, it's just six ounces, and a scant 7.1mm thick. As an added bonus, according to a number of users, it has a hidden feature — it bends! And no, we don't mean it bends in a "Hey, what an awesome feature!" sort of way. More like a "Hey, the entire phone is near to snapping" kind of way. What's even more troubling is that many of the users who are reporting bent devices also claim that they were carrying it in front pockets or in a normal fashion as opposed to sitting on it directly. Either some of the iPhone 6 Plus hardware is defective (the vastly preferable option) or it's because the tests run by other venues are putting different kinds of stress on the chassis.It's not clear what the story is. Hopefully Apple will clarify in the very short term."
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+ - Warpgate: iPhone 6 Plus Users Reporting Bent Phones From Seemingly Normal Use->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus packs a bevy of improvements into its phablet-sized frame. Its battery life dwarfs all previous iPhones, its screen quality and resolution are excellent, it's just six ounces, and a scant 7.1mm thick. As an added bonus, according to a number of users, it has a hidden feature — it bends. And not in a good way, unfortunately. What's even more troubling is that many of the users who are reporting bent devices also claim that they were carrying it in front pockets or in a normal fashion as opposed to sitting on it directly. Either some of the iPhone 6 Plus hardware is defective (the vastly preferable option) or it's because these early reports illustrate that users are putting different kinds of stress on the chassis that either is or is not typically seen in normal use. Either way, it probably shouldn't be happening. It's not clear what the story is but hopefully Apple will clarify things soon and address the issue."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 And GeForce GTX 970 GPUs->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA has launched two new high-end graphics cards based on their latest Maxwell architecture. The GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 are based on Maxwell and replace NVIDIA's current high-end offerings, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780, and GTX 770. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 are somewhat similar as the cards share the same 4GB frame buffer and GM204 GPU, but the GTX 970's GPU is clocked a bit lower and features fewer active Streaming Multiprocessors and CUDA cores. The GeForce GTX 980's GM204 GPU has all of its functional blocks enabled. The fully-loaded GeForce GTX 980 GM204 GPU has a base clock of 1126MHz and a Boost clock of 1216MHz. The GTX 970 clocks in with a base clock of 1050MHz and Boost clock of 1178MHz. The 4GB of video memory on both cards is clocked at a blisteringly-fast 7GHz (effective GDDR5 data rate). NVIDIA was able to optimize the GM204's power efficiency, however, by tweaking virtually every part of the GPU. NVIDIA claims that Maxwell SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors) offer double the performance of GK104 and double the perf per watt as well. NVIDIA has also added support for new features, namely Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR), Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA), and Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI). Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 980 is the fastest single-GPU powered graphics card ever tested. The GeForce GTX 970 isn't as dominant overall, but its performance was impressive nonetheless. The GeForce GTX 970 typically performed about on par with a GeForce GTX Titan and traded blows with the Radeon R9 290X."
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+ - Netropolitan Is A Facebook For The Affluent, And It's Only $9000 To Join->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Facebook has become too crowded and too mundane. With around 1.3 billion Facebook users, it's understandable to be overwhelmed by everything and want to get away from it all. However, unlike Facebook which is looking to connect everyone to the internet, there is a new site called Netropolitan that focuses more on exclusivity and privacy. The site was founded by composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra James Touchi-Peters who wanted to provide a social media site for affluent and accomplished individuals. People wishing to join need only pay a mere $9,000 to join. Of that amount, $6,000 is the initiation fee and the remaining $3,000 is for the annual membership fee which users will continue to pay. So what does the initiation and annual fee get you? For starters, Netropolitan will offer an ad-free experience and will not promote any kind of paid promotions to its members. However, it will allow the creation of groups by businesses in which members can advertise to each other under certain guidelines. $9K just to join? There must be another hook..."
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+ - Tables Turn: Samsung Disses Apple iPhone 6 As A Big Imitation->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, though Apple certainly wasn't flattered when it accused Samsung of copying the look and feel of the iPhone with its Galaxy line. Instead, the cranky Cupertino outfit took Samsung to court in several territories and at one point won a $1.05 billion verdict (it was later reduced in half). Well, turnabout is fair play, and now Apple's the one being called a copycat by its South Koren nemesis. Samsung's U.S. arm is taking swings at Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in a series of ads. Interestingly enough, Samsung is willing to dole out some collateral damage in the process by taking certain members of the press to task for not recognizing how forward-thinking Samsung might have been by jumping into the phablet category several years ago."
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+ - First Intel 14nm Broadwell Core M Benchmarks Unveiled->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel Execs out at IDF this week in San Francisco have let slip some actual benchmark run results on Intel's just-released Broadwell Core M processor platform. Intel has gone into detail on Broadwell's architecture and features previously and has discussed power consumption and performance expectations. However, now we finally have some cold, hard numbers, rather than just percentage comparisons versus previous generation Intel platforms. Intel was demonstrating a 12.5-inch Broadwell-based, Core M 5Y70-powered Windows tablet live and the benchmark runs look promising, with 3DMark scores in the 50K range. The Cinebench results shown place the CPU on par with full-fledged Core i5 notebook variants in the 15 Watt power envelope, but powered by the new 4.5 Watt Broadwell Y Core M processor that will be employed mostly in 2-in-1 hybrid devices and high end tablets."
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