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+ - Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection, and what he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed."
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+ - AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To The Test

Submitted by Dputiger
Dputiger (561114) writes "It has been almost two years since AMD launched the FirePro W9000 and kicked off a heated battle in the workstation GPU wars with NVIDIA. AMD recently released the powerful FirePro W9100, however, a new card based on the same Hawaii-class GPU as the desktop R9 290X, but aimed at the professional workstation market. The W9100’s GPU features 2,816 stream processors, and the card boasts 320GB/s of memory bandwidth, and six mini-DisplayPorts, all of which support DP1.2 and 4K output. The W9100 carries more RAM than any other AMD GPU as well, a whopping 16GB of GDDR5 on a single card. Even NVIDIA's top-end Quadro K6000 tops out at 12GB, which means AMD sits in a class by itself in this area. In terms of performance, this review shows that the FirePro W9100 doesn’t always outshine its competition, but its price/performance ratio keep it firmly in the running. But if AMD continues to improve its product mix and overall software support, it should close the gap even more in the pro GPU market in the next 18-24 months."

+ - Gamestop's Brilliant Idea: Require Preorders To Unlock Custom Game Content->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the great universal truths of modern gaming is that preorders suck. The term refers to the practice of ordering a title at some point before it actually ships in order to get access to a variety of minor outfit tweaks, a few starting weapons, or boosts to early game play. Today, some publishers take this practice to truly ridiculous levels; the recent game Watch Dogs has no fewer than nine pre-order options. GameStop, perhaps sensing that there's pressure building against the model, wants to turn the dial up to 11 — and create preorder-locked, GameStop-specific content. According to financial analyst Colin Sebastian, "[GameStop] indicates that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it. For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay." GameStop is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment. The company has captured a greater share of the Xbox One and PS4 market than it held at this point in the console cycle last time around and it's clearly looking to increase the attractiveness of its own business. That's fine but this kind of arbitrary lopping off of content to boost sales at particular shops simply isn't going to sit well with most gamers."
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+ - ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Developers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the trickiest aspects to launching a new platform update is the chicken and egg problem. Without any hardware to test on, developers are leery of committing to supporting new hardware features. Without software that takes advantage of new hardware capabilities, customers aren't willing to pay for new equipment. This is the crux of the issue with respect to the ARMv8 architecture and enabling development for 64-bit Android platrforms. As such ARM is readying their Juno development platform that combines several of ARM's most advanced technologies on a single board. The product supports big.Little in an asymmetric configuration; each board ships with two Cortex-A57s, four Cortex-A53s, and a modest Mali T-624 core. All this hardware needs an OS to run on — which is why ARM is announcing a 64-bit port of Android as part of this new development board. By including AOSP support as well as additional hooks and features from Linaro, ARM wants Juno to be a sort-of one-stop shopping product for anyone who needs to test, prototype, or design a 64-bit product for the ARM ecosystem. The Android flavor that's coming over is based on Linaro Stable Kernel 3.10. At launch, Juno will support OpenGL-ES 3.0, on-chip thermal and power management, up to 8GB of RAM (12.8GB/s of bandwidth), an optional FPGA, and USB 2.0. OpenCL 1.1 will be added in a future product update. The project is positioned as a joint ARM / Linaro launch with ARM handling the hardware and Linaro taking responsibility for the software stack."
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+ - Microsoft Wants To Keep The NSA Out Of Your OneDrive And Outlook Accounts->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Ever since Edward Snowden leaked details on how the government had forced various IT companies to disclose information (or secured their willing cooperation), companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have been desperate to regain their users' trust. Six months ago, Microsoft announced that it would re-engineer its products and services to provide a much higher level of security — today, the company revealed that it has reached an important milestone in that process. As of now, Outlook.com uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to provide end-to-end encryption for inbound and outbound email — assuming that the provider on the other end also uses TLS. The TLS standard has been in the news fairly recently after discovery of a major security flaw in one popular package (gnuTLS), but Microsoft notes that it worked with multiple international companies to secure its version of the standard. Second, OneDrive now uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). Microsoft refers to this as a type of encryption, but PFS isn't a standard like AES or 3DES — instead, it's a particular method of ensuring that an attacker who intercepts a particular key cannot use that information to break the entire key sequence. Even if you manage to gain access to one file or folder, in other words, that information can't be used to compromise the entire account."
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+ - Samsung SSD 850 Pro Drive Features 32 Layer 3D V-NAND Flash->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung has just unveiled its latest series of solid state drives for consumer applications, the SSD 850 PRO. Like the previously-released SSD 845 EVO series, the 850 PRO leverages Samsung's tri-core MEX controller, but these new drives also feature bleeding-edge, 32 layer, 3D V-NAND flash memory that offers better power, endurance, and performance characteristics than traditional MLC NAND. Other features of the Samsung SSD 850 PRO series includes "Device sleep" (DEVSLP), which can maximize battery life in mobile devices and support for Samsung's RAPID mode technology, which leverages system RAM to boost performance. The SSD 850 series drives put up impressive benchmark numbers in a variety of benchmarks, besting many other drives in its class, but they also carry a long 10 year warranty."
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+ - Intel And Micron Build New Xeon Phi Processor With Hybrid Memory Cube Technology->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel today made a splash at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany by revealing new details about its next-generation Xeon Phi processor technology. You may better recognize Xeon Phi by its codename, Knights Landing. No matter what you call it, this represents a significant leap in High Performance Computing (HPC) that will deliver up to three times the performance of Intel's previous generations while consuming less power. A big part of the reason for this is the construction of a new high-speed interconnect technology called Intel Omni Scale Fabric, which Intel has been a bit cagey about, though reportedly it is comprised of silicon photonics interfaces as well as IP from Cray and QLogic. This will be integrated into the next generation of Xeon Phi processors as well as future general-purpose Xeon chips. At launch, more than 60 HPC-enhanced Silvermont-based cores will connect with up to 16GB of on-package, high-bandwidth memory designed in partnership with Micron, which leverages the fundamental DRAM and stacking technologies found in Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) product."
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+ - How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The transistor is one of the most profound innovations in all of human existence. First discovered in 1947, it has scaled like no advance in human history; we can pack billions of transistors into complicated processors smaller than your thumbnail. After decades of innovation, however, the transistor has faltered. Clock speeds stalled in 2005 and the 20nm process node is set to be more expensive than the 28nm node was for the first time ever. Now, researchers at NASA believe they may have discovered a way to kickstart transistors again — by using technology from the earliest days of computing: The vacuum tube. It turns out that when you shrink a Vacuum transistor to absolutely tiny dimensions, you can recover some of the benefits of a vacuum tube and dodge the negatives that characterized their usage. According to a report, vacuum transistors can draw electrons across the gate without needing a physical connection between them. Make the vacuum area small enough, and reduce the voltage sufficiently, and the field emission effect allows the transistor to fire electrons across the gap without containing enough energy to energize the helium inside the nominal "vacuum" transistor. According to researchers, they've managed to build a successful transistor operating at 460GHz — well into the so-called Terahertz Gap, which sits between microwaves and infrared energy."
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+ - EA Offers Free Titanfall Trial, No Constraints, No Feature Reductions->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "If you're bored this weekend with a fast Internet connection and some time to kill, EA is offering a free download of Titanfall to everyone, no questions asked, for the next two days. The game is the full version — you won't have any feature restrictions or locked-off areas. While it's being billed as a weekend offer, that's not the case — EA has said that you've got 48 hours to play the game from when you first launch it, not just over the next two days. This offer is good for PC users only but is open to anyone whose system can handle the game. This program is part of EA's new Origin Game Time service — once you start the game for the first time, the 48 hour clock starts counting down in real-time — meaning you get 48 hours of real-time to play the game, not 48 hours of play . If you like the game and want to buy it, you can do so — your progress will be saved when the trial ends and you'll be able to pick up where you left off."
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+ - Intel To Offer Custom Xeons With Embedded FPGAs For The Data Center->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For years, we've heard rumors that Intel was building custom chips for Google or Facebook, but these deals have always been assumed to work with standard hardware. Intel might offer a different product SKU with non-standard core counts, or a specific TDP target, or a particular amount of cache — but at the end of the day, these were standard Xeon processors. Today, it looks like that's changing for the first time — Intel is going to start embedding custom FPGAs into its own CPU silicon. The new FPGA-equipped Xeons will occupy precisely the same socket and platform as the standard, non-FPGA Xeons. Nothing will change on the customer front (BIOS updates may be required), but the chips should be drop-in compatible. The company has not stated who provided its integrated FPGA design, but Altera is a safe bet. The two companies have worked together on multiple designs and Altera (which builds FPGAs) is using Intel for its manufacturing. This move should allow Intel to market highly specialized performance hardware to customers willing to pay for it. By using FPGAs to accelerate certain specific types of workloads, Intel Xeon customers can reap higher performance for critical functions without translating the majority of their code to OpenCL or bothering to update it for GPGPU."
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+ - Proposed Senate Bill Would Block Internet Fast Lanes, Mandate Net Neutrality->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Ever since Tom Wheeler unveiled a plan last month that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge for paid content prioritization, accusations have flown thick and fast that the proposed rules would effectively kill net neutrality. On the side of "Scrap Wheeler's net neutrality plan" you have more than 100 corporations including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter. On the side of "Allowed paid prioritization" you have... well, the ISPs who see it as a marvelous way to increase profits without improving the quality of their product. Now, a pair of Democrats — Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Doris Matsui (D-Cali) have introduced a bill to the House and Senate that would require the FCC to enforce net neutrality. The bill, the charmingly named "Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act," would require the FCC to prohibit fast lane access agreements between ISPs and companies like Netflix or their own traffic. All streams would be equal. What's odd about this bill is that while it mandates the FCC to accomplish these tasks, it does not give the FCC any additional authority to do so. This is a rather puzzling omission, since the FCC's previous attempt to regulate net neutrality, weak, and riddled with loopholes as it was, was still flung out of court. The same toxic stew of blatant non-competition, consolidation, and rent-seeking behavior will persist into the future, as the US continues to fall further and further behind other nations that don't allow lobbyists to become the head of the government organizations responsible for their own regulation."
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+ - Poor Watch Dogs PC Performance? Here's Why And How To Fix It->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Over the past few weeks, I've spent a significant amount of time with Watch Dogs. The game is infamous for not running very well on PCs. After some legwork, I've figured out a hefty chunk of the reason why. Ubisoft royally screwed up its suggested VRAM (graphics card frame buffer) settings. Watch Dogs sucks down far more frame buffer memory than many modern PC games currently. In the past, VRAM usage in games like Guild Wars, Battlefield 4, and Total War: Shogun 2, with all detail levels maxed out, was about 1.5GB. BF4 will break 2GB if you use the supersampling option to render the game internally in 4K mode. Ubisoft claims that Watch Dogs' "High" texture detail setting requires a 2GB frame buffer while its "Ultra" textures need 3GB of frame buffer memory. That might technically be true, but these figures should be treated as a minimum, not a max. Playing the game through with High Textures and "Ultra" details systems stutter repeatedly with jerky slowdowns while running a mid range GeForce GTX 770. Switching to "High" Details improved the situation, but didn't resolve it. Unfortunately, the best way to improve performance in Watch Dogs is to ignore Ubisoft's recommendations altogether and opt for lower detail levels, depending on your configuration and monitor resolution. Ubisoft has said that a patch is coming that may address some of these issues. In the mean time, this article covers suggested settings with various graphics card frame buffer sizes, for better performance."
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+ - Samsung Debuts Thin Galaxy Tab S With Super AMOLED 2560X1600 Display->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung unveiled its latest flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S, at an event in New York City tonight, and the new device is thin, lightweight, and sports a killer Super AMOLED display. Samsung boasts that the Galaxy Tab S's 2560x1600 display has 73% better color reproduction than conventional LCD displays and can match colors up to 94% of "nature's true palette" with deeper blacks and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. The 10.5-inch device weighs just 467g and measures a mere 6.6mm in thickness (and there's an 8.4-inch version, too). Under the hood, the Galaxy Tab S features Android KitKat 4.4, 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage with a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB. The front camera is 2.1MP and the rear 8MP camera has an LED flash. No word on the exact processor on board just yet, other than it's a quad-core SoC. It's likely a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 though an Exynos variant or perhaps even Tegra 4 wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility."
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+ - Google Unveils Project Tango 3D Tablet DevKit Powered By NVIDIA's Tegra K1->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Google's Project Tango tablet is a 3D mapping and spatially-aware device that, with number of cameras and sensors on it, can detect its surroundings and your movements in three dimensions. As such, you can utilize the device to develop applications and uses that integrate the physical world around you in a virtual representation on screen. From augmented reality, to gaming and terrain mapping, the things you could conceivably do with a device like this are rather fascinating. Until today, we haven't gotten a lot of detail regarding exactly what makes Project Tango tick but the folks at NVIDIA have helped, along with Google, to let the cat out of the proverbial bag. It appears that the just announced Project Tango development kit is based on a 7-inch Android tablet with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and it's powered by NVIDIA's new Tegra K1 integrated processor and SoC (System On a Chip). Interestingly, previous versions of Project Tango have been torn down, revealing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 under the hood. However, it appears Google needed a bit more juice and is also going with NVIDIA's new low power mobile beast. Word is Google's Project Tango Developer's Kit will be available "later this year" and will cost exactly $1024. Wouldn't you know it, that price fits neatly into a 1KB memory space. Think they meant to do that?"
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+ - Microsoft Confirms Disconncecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Microsoft confirmed a development rumor that's been swirling around its next-generation console ever since it announced Kinect would become an optional add-on rather than a mandatory boat anchor. Lifting that requirement will give game developers 10 percent additional graphics power to play with and help close the gap between the Xbox One and PS4. The story kicked off when Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted that June's Xbox One dev kit gave devs access to more GPU bandwidth. Further, another Microsoft representative then confirmed that the performance improvement coming in the next version of the Xbox SDK was the result of making Kinect an optional accessory. No matter how Microsoft may try to spin it, cancelling Kinect isn't just a matter of giving game developers freedom, it's a tacit admission that game developers have no significant projects in play that are expected to meaningfully tap Kinect to deliver a great game experience — and they need those GPU cycles back."
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