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+ - Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles in Dragon Age Inquisition->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "BioWare's long-awaited Dragon Age Inquisition has dropped in for the PS4, Xbox One, and PCs. To say folks are excited would be an understatement. What's really interesting, however, is a comparison of the visuals in key scenes between all three platforms (Xbox One, PS4 and PC) shows that while the PC variant clearly looks the best in multiple areas (as it should), there's evidence of good, intelligent optimization for consoles and PCs alike. After the debacle of Assassin's Creed Unity, Inquisition could provide an important taste of how to do things right. As expect though, when detail levels are increased, the PC still comes away with the best overall visuals. The Xbox One and PS4 are largely matched, while PC renders of characters have better facial coloring and slightly more detailed textures. The lighting models are also far more detailed on the PC version with the PS4 following behind. The Xbox One, in contrast, is rather muddy. Overall, the PC and PS4 are closest in general detail, with the Xbox One occasionally lagging behind."
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+ - Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile And PC Divisions->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For the past year, Intel has pursued what's known as a "contra-revenue" strategy in its mobile division, where product is deliberately sold at a loss to win market share and compete effectively. This has led to a huge rise in tablet shipments, but heavy losses inside Intel's mobile division. Today, the company announced that it would take steps to fold its mobile and conventional processors into a single operating division. While this helps shield the mobile segment from poor short-term results, it also reflects the reality that computing is something users now do across a wide range of devices and multiple operating systems. Intel may not have hit anything like the mobile targets it set out years ago, but long-term success in laptops, tablets, and smartphones remains integral to the company's finances. Desktops and conventional laptops are just one way people compute today and Intel needs to make certain it has a robust long-term presence in every major computing market."
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+ - Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgrade flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs. We say "effectively" because while third-party SSDs will still work, they'll no longer perform the TRIM garbage collection command. Being able to perform TRIM and clean the SSD when its sitting idle is vital to keeping the drive at maximum performance. Without it, an SSD's real world performance will steadily degrade over time. What Apple did with OS X 10.10 is introduce KEXT (Kernel EXTension) driver signing. KEXT signing means that at boot, the OS checks to ensure that all drivers are approved and enabled by Apple. It's conceptually similar to the device driver checks that Windows performs at boot. However, with OS X, if a third-party SSD is detected, the OS will detect that a non-approved SSD is in use, and Yosemite will refuse to load the appropriate TRIM-enabled driver."
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+ - Intel Claims Chip Suppliers Will Flock To Its Mobile Tech But Can They Deliver?->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It has been over six years since Intel first unveiled its Atom CPUs and detailed its plans for new, ultra-mobile devices. The company's efforts to break into smartphone and tablet sales, while turning a profit, have largely come to naught. Nonetheless, company CEO Brian Krzanich remains optimistic. Speaking to reporters recently, Krzanich opined that the company's new manufacturing partners like Rockchip and Spreadtrum would convert entirely to Intel architectures within the next few years. Krzanich has argued that with Qualcomm and MediaTek dominating the market, it's going to be tougher and tougher for little guys like Rockchip and Spreadtrum to compete in the same spaces. There's truth to that argument, to be sure, but Intel's ability to offer a competitive alternative is unproven. According to a report from JP Morgan, Intel's cost-per-wafer is currently estimated as equivalent to TSMC's average selling price per wafer — meaning TSMC is making money well below Intel's break-even. Today, Intel is unquestionably capable of building tablet processors that offer a good overall experience but the question of what defines a "good" experience is measured in its similarity to ARM. It's hard to imagine that Intel wants to build market share as an invisible partner, but in order to fundamentally change the way people think about Intel hardware in tablets and smartphones, it needs to go beyond simply being "as good" and break into territory that leaves people asking: "Is the ARM core just as good as the Intel chip?""
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+ - Mac OSX Users Report iCloud Uploads Local Temp Data, Even Confidential Stuff->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "There's a fine line to balance when it comes to providing users with a comprehensive backup service and providing that service in a manner that fundamentally compromises the security of the people it's supposed to be protecting. According to security researchers, iCloud has thoroughly breached that barrier thanks to unwelcome changes baked into OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). Here's the problem: Prior to now, if you were working in an application, even a basic application like TextEdit (the Mac version of Notepad), and you quit the application, the machine would automatically save your documents and open the application with your previously-entered information when you relaunched it. It turns out that in the latest version of OS X, previous working states aren't just saved to your local system, they're saved to documents and uploaded to iCloud. That might seem like a way to help users synchronize documents across a system but it's also a gaping security hole. Unsaved documents in plaintext, as well as images are now uploaded to Apple's servers."
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Comment: Re:left/right apocalypse (Score 1) 495

by Dputiger (#48275523) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Read the original comment, please: ""We have not, even one time, seen a case where climate change has caused long term economic damage. At the very worst bad weather has caused localized destruction that is, in every single case, completely recovered within a decade. "

Not "CO2-related climate change," or "Man-made climate change." Just climate change. And furthermore, a follow-up accusation that the worst-case scenario is "bad weather causing localized destruction... completely recovered within a decade."

No. That's not true. And *that's* what I refuted, with a handful from dozens of examples.

We could argue whether the drought that killed 10 million Benghalis counts as bad weather or climate change, but it certainly caused a catastrophic scenario that did NOT recover within 10 years. My larger point is that bad weather and climate change can have long-lasting effects and have done so for all of recorded history. The Irish Potato Famine may not be directly linked (I likely shouldn't have included it), but millions of Irish immigrated to America as a result. We have an entire population of people today who would not be here if not for a famine and subsequent upheaval.

Saying things "recovered within a decade" obscures the very real damage and millions of lives lost that many of these events caused.

Comment: Re:left/right apocalypse (Score 5, Interesting) 495

by Dputiger (#48266993) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

"We have not, even one time, seen a case where climate change has caused long term economic damage. At the very worst bad weather has caused localized destruction that is, in every single case, completely recovered within a decade. "

You're hilariously wrong on this point. I'll grant you that it may depend on your scope and scale, but I trust you're aware that the Middle East used to be referred to as the "Fertile Crescent." What happened? Climate changed. It's theorized that the Mongols were able to cross the Asian steppes in the first place because significant rainfall patterns over several years greened the countryside enough to support a large foraging army as it traveled. And history is full -- literally *full* of examples of kingdoms toppled, countries overthrown, and civil unrest and destruction as a result of climate changes.

1770 Benghal: Famine kills 10 million people. Cause? Drought. One third of the population dead. Recovered in ten years? Not bloody likely.

1630-1631: Famine kills two million in China. Repeated drought-related disasters feed unrest and lead to the collapse of the entire Ming Dynasty in 1644.

1844-1849: Great Irish Potato Famine. Kills over one milion Irish, leads to the emigration of 1.5-2 million more. Irish demographics permanently shifted as a result, Irish populations seeded in other countries including a significant population in America.

1972-1973: Famine in Ethiopia kills 60,000 people, leads to the downfall of King Haile Selassie. Clearly this is a non-issue today, because Ethiopia is now a lush land of plenty and abundance.

1816-1817: Year Without A Summer: Has a huge number of impacts on innovation and culture, as well as killing several hundreds thousand more people worldwide. Wikipedia has the full list of interesting details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y...

So, no, you're just wrong about this. Multi-year weather patterns and long-term climate shifts have killed tens of millions of people throughout history. Famine and drought have toppled nations, destroyed city-states, and crushed empires. In some cases, the economic impacts of these events continue to reverberate in modern history.

+ - Alienware's Triangular Area-51 Re-Design With Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 980, Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For some folks, Alienware gaming PC designs can be an either "you love it or hate it" affair. Along these lines, Dell's Alienware division recently released a radical redesign of their Area-51 gaming desktop. With 45-degree angled front and rear face plates, that are designed to direct control and IO up toward the user, in addition to better directing cool airflow in, while backside warm airflow is directed up and away from the rear of the chassis, this triangular-shaped machine grabs your attention right away. In testing and benchmarks, the Area-51's new design enables top-end performance with thermal and acoustic profiles that are fairly impressive versus most high-end gaming PC systems. The chassis design is also pretty clean, modular and easily servicable. Base system pricing isn't too bad, starting at $1699 with the ability to dial things way up to an 8-core Haswell-E chip and triple GPU graphics from NVIDIA and AMD. The test system reviewed at HotHardware was powered by a six-core Core i7-5930K chip and three GeForce GTX 980 cards in SLI. As expected, it ripped through the benchmarks, though the price as configured and tested is significantly higher."
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+ - 'PiPads' Are Coming, Raspberry Pi Tablets To Arrive By Year End->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Since the Raspberry Pi mini-computer hit the market in early 2012, the company behind it has wanted to release a touch display that perfectly complements it. RPi's founder, Eben Upton, revealed at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference that it's finally on its way. Get ready to build your very-own "PiPad". Admittedly, to call anything a tablet that's simply a touchscreen connected to a small motherboard is trying too hard, but clunkiness aside, the possibilities here are endless. Assuming that the price is kept low, just like the RPi is, this could be a huge boon to those wanting to implement touch into their projects."
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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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+ - 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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Comment: Is he wrong? (Score 1) 267

by Dputiger (#48023765) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Tesla *is* a fringe brand right now. So is Mercedes. So is BMW. So are Porsche and Lamborghini and a host of other high-end luxury car manufacturers. Tesla, like these other companies, builds a product that many would like to own and fairly few can afford.

It seems like what Lutz is saying is "If Tesla wants to meaningfully impact the way the average American gets from Point A to Point B, it needs to build a car that the average American can afford." I don't think there's anything untrue about that statement. I love the Model S and I'd love to *own* a Model S, but there's no foreseeable point in my life when I'll be rich enough to drop $80K on a car. That's why I'm hoping Tesla's midrange offering is a great vehicle with sensible compromises to bring the price down.

+ - 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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+ - Euclideon Teases Photo-Realistic Voxel-Based Game Engine->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Not many would argue that current console and PC graphics technologies still haven't reached a level of "photo-realism." However, a company by the name of Euclideon is claiming to be preparing to deliver that holy grail based on laser scanning and voxel engine-based technologies. The company has put together a six-minute video clip of its new engine, and its genuinely impressive. There's a supposed-to-be-impressive unveil around the two minute mark where the announcer declares he's showing us computer-generated graphics rather than a digital photo — something you'll probably have figured out long before that point. Euclideon's proprietary design purportedly uses a laser scanner to create a point cloud model of a real-world area. That area can then be translated into a voxel renderer and drawn by a standard GPU. Supposedly this can be done so efficiently and with such speed that there's no need for conventional load screens or enormous amounts of texture memory but rather by simply streaming data off conventional hard drives. Previously, critiques have pointed to animation as one area where the company's technique might struggle. Given the ongoing lack of a demonstrated solution for animation, it's fair to assume this would-be game-changer has some challenges still to solve. That said, some of the renderings are impressive."
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