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+ - Alienware Alpha Windows-Based Steam Machine Alternative PC Console Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Valve's Steam Machine was all the rage at CES 2014 but as we enter 2015, the SteamOS gaming platform (and Valve's Steam Controller) are still works in progress. SteamOS hasn't been written off, but Dell, which was one of the first PC makers to build a custom console-sized system for SteamOS, made it clear they weren't waiting around. Dell's Alienware gaming brand launched the Alienware Alpha, which is targeted as a living room gaming PC. The Alienware Alpha plugs the holes left by Valve with standard PC and Microsoft hardware, Microsoft-powered software and a simple 10-ft UI developed in house. Instead of shipping with a Steam Controller, for example, the Alpha features an Xbox 360 wireless controller. The 10-foot user interface, which would have been handled by SteamOS, comes courtesy of Dell's custom Alpha UI. And that software, in turn, runs on Windows 8.1, though you can choose to boot directly to Windows if you wish. You can also boot to Steam Big Picture mode. Prices on the various Alpha models currently available range from $499 to $899. The processor selection includes Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs and 8GB of memory. For graphics, Alpha relies on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The system can handle most modern game titles at 1080p resolution with medium to high image quality. It's a decent little gaming rig that looks good and blends in well with a home theater setup."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA is launching a new Maxwell desktop graphics card today, targeted at the sweet spot of the graphics card market ($200 or so), currently occupied by its previous gen GeForce GTX 760 and older GTX 660. The new GeForce GTX 960 features a brand new Maxwell-based GPU dubbed the GM206. NVIDIA was able to optimize the GM206's power efficiency without moving to a new process, by tweaking virtually every part of the GPU. NVIDIA's reference specifications for the GeForce GTX 960 call for a base clock of 1126MHz and a Boost clock of 1178MHz. The GPU is packing 1024 CUDA cores, 64 texture units, and 32 ROPs, which is half of what's inside their top-end GeForce GTX 980. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory on GeForce GTX 960 cards is clocked at a speedy 7GHz (effective GDDR5 data rate) over a 128-bit memory interface. The new GeForce GTX 960 is a low-power upgrade for gamers with GeForce GTX 660 class cards or older that make up a good percentage of the market now. It's usually faster than the previous generation GeForce GTX 760 card but, depending on the game title, can trail it as well, due to its narrower memory interface."
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+ - First Look At Dell Venue 8 7000 And Intel's Moorefield Atom Performance->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell has been strategically setting-up their new Venue 8 7000 tablet for cameo appearances over the past few months, starting back at Intel Developer's Forum in September of last year, then again at Dell World in November and at CES 2015. What's interesting about this new device, in addition to Intel's RealSense camera is its Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, which is based on Intel's latest Moorefield architecture. Moorefield builds upon Intel's Cherrytrail Atom feature set and offers two additional CPU cores with up to a 2.3GHz clock speed, an enhanced PowerVR 6430 GPU and support of faster LPDDR3-1600 memory. Moorefield is also built for Intel's XMM 7260 LTE modem platform, which supports carrier aggregation. Overall, Moorefield looks solid, with performance ahead of a Snapdragon 801 but not quite able to catch the 805, NVIDIA Tegra K1 or Apple's A8X in terms of graphics throughput. On the CPU side, Intel's beefed-up quad-core Atom variant shows well."
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+ - Paralyzed Patients Could Learn To Walk Again With e-Dura Spinal Implant->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For decades, one of the most-studied and elusive cures in medical science has been biotechnology that would allow humans to walk again after spinal cord trauma. Other prosthetic devices have advanced enormously over the last 50 years, thanks to the integration of miniaturized motors, space-age materials, and cutting edge fabrication, while repairing damage to the nervous system has advanced at a comparative snail's pace. Now, a group of researchers has demonstrated a new device that allows paralyzed rats to walk again, and they're hoping it can do the same for humans. The implant material, known as eDura, is built to allow the device to shift with the body's natural movement without causing abrasion. When a neuron in the central nervous system is damaged, the neuron's support cells (glia) move in. Astrocytes, one kind of glial cells, build up scar tissue around the damaged region to protect it from further damage. This combined formation is what's known as a glial scar. One of the complications that has prevented previous classes of implants from being effective long term, is that these same glial cells appear shortly after implants are inserted into patients. Devices may work in the short term, but in the long term the body takes action to isolate the implants and prevent them from functioning. What the e-Dura's manufacturers hypothesized was that it was the stiffness of the implants that caused neural damage that led to glial cell formation. Even partial success with eDura technology could be revolutionary for those living with paralysis."
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Comment: What happens if someone else's drive crashes? (Score 2) 331

by Dputiger (#48789709) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

One of the fallacies of modern cloud and backup providers is that they actually provide a backup service. Most, including popular services like Backblaze, Mozy, Carbonite, etc contain prominent statements in their contracts that absolve them of any liability in the event of data loss. Your recoverable value in the event they lose your data is limited to either 12 months of service or is explicitly defined as nothing.

Now plenty of people pay for service with these companies, so I'm not claiming they don't make some effort to provide a genuine backup, but we're *starting* from a position where they explicitly have no liability as defined in the ToS. Now, add in the idea of storing critical or merely important files on someone else's hard drive. What happens if the drive you're storing on is a 5400 RPM Quantum Fireball from circa 1999? When that drive fails, what happens to you?

It's the same lack of guarantee with a *further* risk factor. No thanks.

+ - Intel 5th Gen Core Series Performance Preview With 2015 Dell XPS 13->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's strategically timed CES 2015 launch of their new 5th Gen Core Series processors for notebooks was met with a reasonably warm reception, though it's always difficult to rise above the noise of CES chatter. Performance claims for Intel's new chip promise major gains in graphics and more modest increases in standard compute applications. However, the biggest bet Intel placed on the new Broadwell-U architecture is performance-per-watt throughput and battery life in premium notebook products that are now in production with major OEM partners. A few manufacturers were early out of the gate with new Core i5 5XXX series-based machines, however, none of the major players caught the same kind of buzz that Dell received, with the introduction of their new XPS 13 Ultrabook with its near bezel-less 13-inch WQHD (3200X1800) display. As expected, the Core i5-5200U in this machine offered performance gains of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, in round numbers, depending on the benchmark. In gaming and graphics testing is where the new 5200U chip took the largest lead over the previous gen Core i5-4200U CPU, which is one of the most common processors found in typical ultrabook style 13-inch machines."
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+ - Dell Outs XPS 13 Ultrabook With Near Bezel-less QHD Display->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell took the wraps of their new XPS 13 ultrabook at CES today, which the company says is the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world. Dell claims it achieved this feat by employing what it calls an infinity display that is virtually borderless (the bezels measure just 5.2mm), allowing the XPS 13 to maintain the external dimensions of an 11-inch notebook but with a 13-inch Quad-HD display (3840X2160). Dell also says that the XPS 13 has the longest battery life of any 13-inch notebook, clocking in at 15 hours on a charge. In addition, the machine was spotted at an Intel event streaming 4K video wirelessly to a 4K HDTV via Intel's next gen WiDi technology. Other interesting notables from Dell today, included a 34-inch wide-aspect, curved monitor dubbed the UltraSharp U3415W that sports a 2560X1440 WQHD resolution."
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+ - NVIDIA Announces Tegra X1 Chip And Drive CX And PX Automotive Platforms->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For the last few years, NVIDIA has taken advantage of the lead-up to the Consumer Electronics Show to announce new Tegra-powered mobile architectures and this year we're being treated to more of the same. Today, NVIDIA unveiled its upcoming Tegra X1 system on a chip (SoC) and a few automotive computer systems leveraging the chip. Tegra X1 is a significant departure from the previous-gen Tegra K1 in that it features a 256 core Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s in a big.LITTLE configuration. NVIDIA claims the Tegra X1 offers up to 2x the performance of the Tegra K1 in a similar power envelope, thanks to improved efficiency in the CPU and GPU cores and because the chips will be built using TSMC's 20nm manufacturing process. In addition to the Tegra X1 itself, NVIDIA also announced some new automotive computing platforms, the NVIDIA Drive CX Digital Cockpit Computer and Drive PX Auto-Pilot Platform, along with the Drive Studio software suite for developing in-car infotainment systems and autonomous driving systems."
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+ - Hackers Leak Xbox One SDK Claiming Advancement In Openness And Homebrew->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Microsoft, it seems, just can't catch a break. Days after a major hack took its servers offline on Christmas day, and after being lambasted in multiple stories for shipping games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection in nigh-unplayable condition, the company's Xbox One SDK has been leaked to the public by a group calling itself H4LT. H4LT, which apparently objects to being called a hacker group, offered this explanation when asked why it was distributing the SDK. The group claims that "the SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One." To be clear, what H4LT has done is a far cry from groups like Lizard Squad. The SDK for any given product is typically available behind some degree of registration, but they don't necessarily cost anything. The SDK is one small component of creating the ecosystem that would be necessary to get homebrew up and running on the platform. Whether or not users will ever pull it off is another question."
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+ - Hackers Steal And Leak Xbox One SDK Claiming Advancement In Openness->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Microsoft, it seems, just can't catch a break. Days after a major hack took its servers offline on Christmas and after being lambasted in multiple stories for shipping games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection in nigh-unplayable condition, the company's Xbox One SDK has been leaked to the public by a group calling itself H4LT. H4LT, which apparently objects to being called a hacker group, offered this explanation when asked why it was distributing the SDK. The group claims that "the SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One." To be clear, what H4LT has done is a far cry from groups like Lizard Squad. The SDK for any given product is typically available behind some degree of registration, but they don't necessarily cost anything."
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+ - Security Research At The Hague, Netherlands: Mobile Network And Internet Threats->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is the official title of a collaborative effort between Netherlands businesses, their federal government and multiple research institutions, to identify emerging security threats, share best practices, and foster collaboration between industry, governments, and universities. One of the most pressing issues they're tackling is that of mobile network and internet security. One point that the Netherlands' officials made repeatedly is that the country is essentially the "digital gateway" to Europe. This might seem like hubris but once you look at the arrangement of undersea cables between the US and Europe, it makes a lot more sense. The Netherlands is far from the only transatlantic connection hub between the US and Europe, but it certainly accounts for a significant chunk of total cable capacity. One of the brainchildren of the HSD is the creation of what it calls the "Trusted Networks Initiative" that would allow direct denial of service attacks originating from specific countries to be cut off. By creating a network "bridge" that can be raised and lowered, the idea is that content and visitors can be cleanly isolated from the bad actors launching an attack. There's an intrinsic assumption here — specifically, the idea that attackers are gathered into a group of systems that can cleanly be split from the so-called "trusted" networks that would continue to operate. It is however, an interesting concept to thwart broad-scale DDoS attacks."
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+ - 6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green And Seagate Enterprise 6TB->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The hard drive market has become a lot less sexy in the past few years thanks to SSDs. What we used to consider "fast" for a hard drive is relatively slow compared to even the cheapest of today's solid state drives. But there are two areas where hard drives still rule the roost, and that's overall capacity and cost per gigabyte. Since most of us still need a hard drive for bulk storage, the question naturally becomes, "how big of a drive do you need?" For a while, 4TB drives were the top end of what was available in the market but recently Seagate, HGST, and Western Digital announced breakthroughs in areal density and other technologies, that enabled the advent of the 6 Terabyte hard drive. This round-up looks at three offerings in the market currently, with a WD Red 6TB drive, WD Green and a Seagate 6TB Enterprise class model. Though the WD drives only sport a 5400RPM spindle speed, due to their increased areal density of 1TB platters, they're still able to put up respectable performance. Though the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB (also known as the Constellation ES series) drive offers the best performance at 7200 RPM, it comes at nearly a $200 price premium. Still, at anywhere from .04 to .07 per GiB, you can't beat the bulk storage value of these new high capacity 6TB HDDs."
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+ - Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "As a power user, you notice certain things that the average person might not. One of those is the difference between typing on a sweet mechanical keyboard with luxurious key action, versus pounding away on a run-of-the-mill squishy plank that relies on membrane switches to register your keystrokes. The difference may seem subtle to the uninitiated, though even casual typists can recognize that there's something inherently superior about a mechanical keyboard. Of course, it's the mechanical key switches that are responsible for elevating the typing experience. These are better than the rubber domes found in membrane keyboards in a number of ways, including feel, responsiveness, and durability. Mechanical keyboards are growing in popularity, as word is spreading about how good they are. In turn, keyboard manufacturers have responded by feeding more mechanical models into what was once a niche market. If you go out in search of a mechanical keyboard, you'll now find a mountain of options. This roundup further reinforced something we've known for a long time, which is that mechanical keyboards are the superior choice for both gaming and daily typing chores. That doesn't mean they're all created equal — there are different key switches to choose from, and features vary from one plank to the next. The choice of key switch type is highly subjective but we can say that Cherry MX key switches are indeed of higher quality than knock-offs like the Kailh switch. That's not to say Kailh switches are bad, just that you can discern a difference when going from one to the other."
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+ - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Curved Edge Display Proves Itself A Useful Innovation->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Differentiation is difficult in the smartphone market these days. Larger screens, faster processors, additional sensors and higher resolution cameras, all are nice upgrades but are only iterative, especially when you consider the deluge of products that come to market. True innovation is coming along with less frequency and Samsung, more so perhaps than some other players, is guilty of punching out so many different phone models that it's hard not to gloss over new releases. However, the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge may offer something truly useful and innovative with its supplementary 160 pixel curved edge display. The Note Edge is based on the same internal platform as the Galaxy Note 4, and features a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC with Adreno 420 graphics and 3GB of RAM. What makes the Galaxy Note Edge so different from virtually all other smartphones on the market is its curved edge display and what Samsung calls its "revolving UI" that offers app shortcuts, status updates, data feeds and features all on its own, but integrated with the rest of the UI on the primary display. You can cycle through various "edge panels" as Samsung calls them, like shortcuts to your favorite apps, a Twitter ticker, news feeds, and a tools panel for quick access to the alarm clock, stop-watch, a flashlight app, audio recorder and even a digital ruler. The Galaxy Note Edge may not be for everyone, but Samsung actually took curved display technology and built something useful out of it."
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+ - Samsung Announces Production Of 20nm Mobile LPDDR4, Faster Than Desktop DDR4->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung announced today that it has begun volume production of its 8Gb LPDDR4 memory chips, with expected commercial shipments in 2015. The announcement is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, one of the most important characteristics of a modern mobile device is its battery life, and moving to a new memory standard should significantly reduce the memory subsystem's power consumption. Second, however, there's the clock speed. Samsung is claiming that its LPDDR4 will hit 3.2GHz, and while bus widths on mobile parts are significantly smaller than the 64-bit channels that desktops use, the higher clock speed per chip will help close that gap. In fact, multiple vendors have predicted that LPDDR4 clock speeds will actually outpace standard DDR4, with a higher amount of total bandwidth potentially delivered to tablets and smartphones than conventional PCs will see. In addition, the power savings are expected to be substantial."
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You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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