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+ - Intel Integrated Iris Pro Graphics Closes The Performance Gap Vs. AMD->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Over the years, Intel's integrated graphics engine in their Core series processor haven't exactly been known to be very robust. Before Intel's Haswell series processors arrived, it could be argued that Intel integrated graphics weren't good for much more than some video rendering and maybe some low resolution, entry-level gaming at best. However, with Intel's recent Haswell release with Iris Pro 5200 Graphics on board, the company appears to have dramatically closed the gaming and graphics performance gap between their solutions and competitive integrated solutions from AMD and even entry level discrete graphics performance. In the benchmarks with the new Gigabyte BRIX Pro small form factor system, Intel's Core i7-4770R with Iris Pro 5200 Graphics on board, is actually able to maintain very playable frame rates in recent DX11 titles, right up to 1080p resolution, even with a bit of AA turned on. It will be interesting to see what Intel's follow-on Broadwell chip can do at 14nm. If Intel can maintain consistent driver updates the future looks bright for Intel integrated graphics."
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+ - Google Project Ara Design To Employ Electro-Permanant Magnets To Lock In Modules->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Google's Project Ara, an effort to develop a modular smartphone platform, sounded at first as much like vaporware as anything but Google is actually making it happen. In a whimsical upbeat video, Dave Hakkens (the guy who created the Phonebloks design that appears to be the conceptual basis for Project Ara) visited the Google campus to see what progress is being made on the project. The teams working on Project Ara have figured out a key solution to one of the first problems they encountered, which was how to keep all the modules stuck together. They decided to use electro-permanent magnets. In terms of design, they've decided not to cover up the modules, instead making their very modularity part of the aesthetic appeal. 3D Systems is involved on campus, as they're delivering the 3D printing technology to make covers for the modules."
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+ - 500GB To 1TB On An mSATA Stick - Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Shortly after 2.5-inch versions of Samsung's SSD 840 EVO drives hit the market, the company prepared an array of mSATA drives featuring the same controller and NAND flash. The Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA series of drives are essentially identical to their 2.5" counterparts, save for the mSATA drives' much smaller form factor. Like their 2.5" counterparts, Samsung's mSATA 840 EVO series of drives feature an updated, triple-core Samsung MEX controller, which operates at 400MHz. The 840 EVO's MEX controller has also been updated to support the SATA 3.1 spec, which incorporates a few new features, like support for queued TRIM commands. Along with the MEX controller, all of the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA series drives feature LPDDR2-1066 DRAM cache memory. The 120GB drive sports 256MB of cache, the 250GB and 500GB drive have 512MB of cache, and the 750GB and 1TB drives have 1GB of cache. Performance-wise, SSD 840 EVO series of mSATA solid state drives performs extremely well, whether using synthetic benchmarks, trace-based tests like PCMark, or highly-compressible or incompressible data."
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+ - NVIDIA Unveils Next Gen Pascal GPU With Stacked 3D DRAM And GeForce GTX Titan Z

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off today in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies. Two new NVIDIA innovations will be employed in their next-gen GPU technology, now know by its code named "Pascal." First, there's a new serial interconnect known as NVLink for GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU communication. Though details were sparse, apparently NVLink is a serial interconnect that employs differential signaling with embedded clock and it allows for unified memory architectures and eventually cache coherency. It's similar to PCI Express in terms of command set and programming model but NVLink will offer a massive 5 — 12X boost in bandwidth up to 80GB/sec. The second technology to power NVIDIA's forthcoming Pascal GPU is 3D stacked DRAM technology.The technique employs through-silicon vias that allow the ability to stack DRAM die on top of each other and thus provide much more density in the same PCB footprint for the DRAM package. Jen-Hsun also used his opening keynote to show off NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card to date, the absolutely monstrous GeForce GTX Titan Z. The upcoming GeForce GTX Titan Z is powered by a pair of GK110 GPUs, the same chips that power the GeForce GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti. All told, the card features 5,760 CUDA cores (2,880 per GPU) and 12GB of frame buffer memory—6GB per GPU. NVIDIA also said that the Titan Z's GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and feature dynamic power balancing so neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck."

+ - Microsoft Confirms DirectX 12 Is Alive And Well, Demo Coming At GDC->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Buzz has been building for the last week that Microsoft would soon unveil the next version of DirectX at the upcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC). Microsoft has now confirmed that its discussion forums at the show won't just be to discuss updates to DX11, but that the company is putting a full court press behind DirectX 12. The company responded sharply over a year ago, when an AMD executive claimed that future versions of the API were essentially dead, but it has been over four years since DX11 debuted. To date, Microsoft has only revealed a few details of the next-generation API. Like AMD's Mantle, it will focus on giving developers "close-to-metal" GPU resource access and reducing CPU overhead. Like Mantle, the goal of DirectX 12 is to give programmers more control over performance tuning, with an eye towards better multi-threading and multi-GPU scaling. Unlike Mantle, DirectX 12 will undoubtedly support a full range of GPUs from AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm. Qualcomm's presence is interesting. With Windows RT all but moribund, Qualcomm's interest in that market may have seemed incidental. However, the fact that the company is involved with the DX12 standard could mean that the handset and tablet developer is serious about the Windows market in the long term."
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+ - At RSA Conference, Android security chief discusses how Google fights malware->

Submitted by smaxp
smaxp (2951795) writes "@ the Black Hat Conference last year and Android vulnerability was the center of the presses attention — This year it was Apple.

Android Security chief discussed new big data and app behavior technology that "looks for the malware needle in the haystack" that might no show up in AV scans during a retrospective of the Android Masterkey Vulnerability."

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+ - Bitcoin-exchange CEO found dead->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "SINGAPORE—The CEO of a virtual-currency exchange was found dead near her home in Singapore.

A police spokesman said Thursday that initial investigations indicated there was no suspicion of “foul play” in the Feb. 26 death, meaning officers do not suspect murder.

The spokesman said police found 28-year-old Autumn Radtke, an American, lying motionless near the apartment tower where she lived.

Police have so far classified the death as “unnatural,” which can mean an accident, misadventure, or suicide."

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+ - Microsoft Confirms DirectX 12 Lives, Will Showcase Technology At GDC->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Buzz has been building for the last week that Microsoft would soon unveil the next version of DirectX at the upcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC). Microsoft has now confirmed that its discussion forums at the show won't just be to discuss updates to DX11, but that it's putting a full court press behind the DirectX 12 brand and concept.This is something of a reversal for Microsoft, which has previously been mum on its plans for the API. It responded sharply over a year ago, when an AMD executive claimed that future versions of the API were essentially dead, but it has been over four years since DX11 debuted. To date, Microsoft has only revealed a few details of the next-generation API. Like AMD's Mantle, it will focus on giving developers "close-to-metal" access and reducing CPU overhead. Like Mantle, the goal of DirectX 12 is to give programmers more control over performance tuning, with an eye towards better multi-threading and multi-GPU scaling. Unlike Mantle, DirectX 12 will undoubtedly support a full range of GPUs from AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm. Qualcomm's presence is interesting. With Windows RT all but moribund, Qualcomm's interest in that market has seemed incidental. The fact that the company is involved with the DX12 standard could mean that the handset and tablet developer is serious about the Windows market in the long term."
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+ - Under Siege: VFX Studios Rise-Up Against Ruthless Industry Exploitation->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Over the past 20 years, special effects houses (known as VFX studios) have risen from an occasional tool used in science fiction or fantasy movies to a mainstay of the entire industry. Given that most Hollywood movies now rely so heavily on VFX, you'd think that VFX studios would be the toast of the town. Instead, they've been under increasingly desperate pressure. Rhythm and Hues, the Oscar-winning studio behind Babe, the Golden Compass, and Life of Pi filed for bankruptcy last year after winning an Oscar for the latter film. Hollywood studios have viciously pressed VFX houses — refusing to pay for multiple renders of a scene, refusing to pay for weeks of overtime, and threatening to use foreign VFX businesses if domestic ones won't compete on contract costs. Hollywood has gone to great lengths to keep this problem under the radar, deliberately cutting off Bill Westenhofer's acceptance speech for the Life of Pi's Oscar in an attempt to silence him. The VFX industry's fight against unfair off-shoring of their talent, however, has just gotten an unintentional boost from the unlikeliest source imaginable — the MPAA. In a recent amicus filing to a court case involving 3D printers, the MPAA strongly argued that goods transmitted digitally as "articles" should be considered to be governed by US trade laws and subject to strong protections against foreign subsidies and unfair pricing. According to the letter, "The use of electronic means to import into the United States infringing articles threatens important domestic industries such as the motion picture and software industries, as well as U.S. consumers and the government at all levels."
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+ - Intel Launches Overclocked SSD 730 Series Enthusiast Class Solid State Drive->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The new Intel SSD 730 will be the company's latest flagship consumer-targeted SSD. The drive, however, features technology gleaned from Intel's experience in data centers, and is actually quite similar to the DC S3500 series. Intel is doing a few things to set this drive apart, though. The SSD 730's controller and NAND components are have gone through additional qualification at the factory and the drive's firmware is tuned for high performance. The Intel SSD 730 series will initially be offered in 240GB and 480GB flavors and in the common 2.5" form factor. Intel is binning the parts used in the SSD 730 series to ensure maximum reliability, high-performance and low latency. To that end, the controller's clock speed has been boosted by 50% and the NAND is clocked 20% higher as well. You'd think that boosting the clocks might affect the long-term reliability of the drive, but Intel is offering a full 5-year warranty and rating the drive for 70GB writes/day. Performance of the new Intel SSD 730 series is top-notch, with the drive scoring at the top of the pack versus leading SSDs on the market currently with the best overall performance."
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+ - Lenovo's Revamped ThinkPad X1 Carbon With Haswell And Adaptive F-Key Row Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon series cuts through the traditional ThinkPad's stuffy corporate facade, offering something for the conference room or coffee shop with a sleeker physique. The original ThinkPad X1 Carbon was initially released back in 2012 and at the time, its carbon fiber-infused chassis offered a combination of build quality and light-weight durability that Lenovo could still call a "ThinkPad," though the original X1 Carbon felt a little bit flimsy in spots. New for 2014, Lenovo has completely revamped the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, from the 4th generation Intel Haswell Core series processor under its hood, to its higher density carbon fiber-filled polymer skins, a higher resolution 2560X1440 display and some major upgrades to the keyboard area. One of the hallmark features of the new X1 Carbon design is Lenovo's adaptive function row display strip above the keyboard. This is actually a liquid crystal display that allows for various icon patterns to be displayed even in bright lighting conditions. Lenovo achieves this with an electroluminescent layer behind the display. Though some of the functions offered are more of a novelty, other functions like Brightness, Volume, Screen Snip, Search and some of the browser functions, are valuable additions for accessibility and usability with Windows 8."
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+ - Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Expansion Pack - Better, Faster, More Fun->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "In about six weeks, Blizzard will launch Reaper of Souls, the first expansion pack for Diablo 3. This new expansion comes with the usual slew of goodies — a new Act for the game, new quests, a new enchanting ability, and a new skill for each existing class, as well as a new Crusader class to experiment with. What's more important about Reaper of Souls is that it makes core changes to the way Diablo III feels and plays, changes that, in aggregate, have made the game a great deal more fun. Higher drop rates and the new Adventure Mode make it easy to leap into a game and run a quick dungeon or pair up with friends for an evening of demon carnage. If you liked the Paladin from Diablo II, you'll likely love the Crusader, and the two classes share a common storyline according to in-game lore. In addition, Reaper of Soul's new Adventure Mode is a great way to experience the game in small slices while still working towards rewards."
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+ - You Can't Make This Up: 'Goat Simulator' A Real Game Available For Pre-Order->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For the record, Goat Simulator was never meant to be a real game. It was just a silly bit of code that spilled out of the brains of the game developer staff at Coffee Stain Studios. But then the Internet caught a glimpse of the rough simulator and viewers unanimously agreed that this had to happen. And so it has. Goat Simulator is exactly as it sounds — you're a goat and you run around doing naughty goat-like things. Judging by the trailer, you also have the ability to defy physics for more goat mayhem than you thought possible. We're talking giant leaps off of trampolines with some crazy acrobatics. When it comes down to it, though, the real fun is wreaking havoc on humans."
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