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+ - NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming And Possibly The Ultimate 4K Streamer->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA officially launched its SHIELD Android TV set-top device today and it's sort of a "tweener" product, with far more horsepower than something like Roku or Apple TV, but on par with an average game console, and at a more affordable price tag of $199. What's interesting, however, is that it's powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC which features a Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s. The A57 cores are 64-bit, out-of-order designs, with multi-issue pipelines, while the A53s are simpler, in-order, highly-efficient designs. Which cores are used will depend on the particular workload being executed at the time. Tegra X1 also packs a 256-core Maxwell-derived GPU with the same programming capabilities and API support as NVIDIA's latest desktop GPUs. In standard Android benchmarks, the SHIELD pretty much slays any current high-end tablet or smartphone processor in graphics, but is about on par with the octal-core Samsung Exynos in terms of standard compute workloads but handily beating and octal-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. What's also interesting about the SHIELD Android TV is that it's not only an Android TV-capable device with movie and music streaming services like Netflix etc., but it also plays any game on Google Play and with serious horsepower behind it. The SHIELD Android TV is also the first device certified for Netflix's Ultra HD 4K streaming service.
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Comment: The author missed an important detail. (Score 1) 496

by FirstOne (#49794497) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

The Tesla Powerwall battery packs is wired for a 350-400 volt range, and come bare bones except for some equalization circuitry, (no charger nor inverter). Any modifications to the battery pack itself would likely void the warranty. How ever adding a low voltage circuit does have it merits, but the Powerwall will not be a factor.

I have considered running a solar/battery backed up 32-35 volt DC supply into the house, and use a number of 5-pack LM2596S stepdown inverters. The adjustable nature of these DC buck converters can power DC fans, Security system, DVRs, Antenna amps, Sat boxes, night lights, laptops, LCD monitor, door bell, automation system, charging stations, etc. The higher distribution voltage keeps losses to a minimum while providing uninterrupted power.

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+ - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 7

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.


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+ - How Employers Get Out of Paying Their Workers

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: We love to talk about crime in America and usually the rhetoric is focused on the acts we can see: bank heists, stolen bicycles and cars, alleyway robberies. But Zachary Crockett writes at Pricenomics that wage theft one of the more widespread crimes in our country today — the non-payment of overtime hours, the failure to give workers a final check upon leaving a job, paying a worker less than minimum wage, or, most flagrantly, just flat out not paying a worker at all. Most commonly, wage theft comes in the form of overtime violations. In a 2008 study, the Center for Urban Economic Development surveyed 4,387 workers in low-wage industries and found that some 76% of full-time workers were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers and the average worker with a violation had put in 11 hours of overtime—hours that were either underpaid or not paid at all. Nearly a quarter of the workers in the sample came in early and/or stayed late after their shift during the previous work week. Of these workers, 70 percent did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed outside of their regular shift. In total, unfairly withheld wages in these three cities topped $3 billion. Generalizing this for the rest of the U.S.’s low-wage workforce (some 30 million people), researchers estimate that wage theft could be costing Americans upwards of $50 billion per year.

Last year, the Economic Policy Institute made what is, to date, the most ambitious attempt to quantify the extent of reported wage theft in the U.S.and determined that “the total amount of money recovered for the victims of wage theft who retained private lawyers or complained to federal or state agencies was at least $933 million.” Obviously, the nearly $1 billion collected is only the tip of the wage-theft iceberg, since most victims never sue and never complain to the government. Commissioner Su of California says wage theft has harmed not just low-wage workers. “My agency has found more wages being stolen from workers in California than any time in history,” says Su. “This has spread to multiple industries across many sectors. It’s affected not just minimum-wage workers, but also middle-class workers.”

+ - AMD Details High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM, Pushes Over 100GB/s Per Stack->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Recently, a few details of AMD's next-generation Radeon 300-series graphics cards have trickled out. Today, AMD has publicly disclosed new info regarding their High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) technology that will be used on some Radeon 300-series and APU products. Currently, a relatively large number of GDDR5 chips are necessary to offer sufficient capacity and bandwidth for modern GPUs, which means significant PCB real estate is consumed. On-chip integration is not ideal for DRAM because it is not size or cost effective with a logic-optimized GPU or CPU manufacturing process. HBM, however, brings the DRAM as close to possible to the logic die (GPU) as possible. AMD partnered with Hynix and a number of companies to help define the HBM specification and design a new type of memory chip with low power consumption and an ultra-wide bus width, which was eventually adopted by JEDEC 2013. They also develop a DRAM interconnect called an "interposer," along with ASE, Amkor, and UMC. The interposer allows DRAM to be brought into close proximity with the GPU and simplifies communication and clocking. HBM DRAM chips are stacked vertically, and "through-silicon vias" (TSVs) and "bumps" are used to connect one DRAM chip to the next, and then to a logic interface die, and ultimately the interposer. The end result is a single package on which the GPU/SoC and High Bandwidth Memory both reside. 1GB of GDDR5 memory (four 256MB chips), requires roughly 672mm2. Because HBM is vertically stacked, that same 1GB requires only about 35mm2. The bus width on an HBM chip is 1024-bits wide, versus 32-bits on a GDDR5 chip. As a result, the High Bandwidth Memory interface can be clocked much lower but still offer more than 100GB/s for HBM versus 25GB/s with GDDR5. HBM also requires significantly less voltage, which equates to lower power consumption.
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+ - Court of Appeals says Samsung's legal payments to Apple should be reduced->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Patent lawsuits in the world of technology are nothing new, and the case between Apple and Samsung resulted in one of the largest fines ever being handed down. Samsung was order to pay $930 million in damages after a court found that the company had violated Apple patents with its smartphone and tablet designs.

Today the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned part of the original ruling, saying that the jury was wrong to say that Samsung infringed on Apple's trade dress intellectual property. The exact details of what this will mean are yet to come out, but it should lead to a fairly hefty reduction in Samsung's legal costs.

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+ - "Eco-friendly" Buffett Seeks to "Squash" Nevada Rooftop Solar->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.

Berkshire's NV Energy, the state's dominant utility, opposes the proposal to increase a cap on the amount of energy that can be generated with solar panels by residents who sell power back to the grid in a practice known as net metering.

While the billionaire's famed holding company has reaped tax credits from investing in wind farms and solar arrays, net metering is often seen by utilities as a threat. Buffett wants his managers to protect competitive advantages, said Jeff Matthews, an investor and author of books about Berkshireâ¦

In an April presentation to investors, NV Energy laid out its strategy for addressing the growth of home solar. The utility said it would "lobby to hold the subsidized net-metering cap at current 3 percent of peak demand"...

Sellers of rooftop-solar panels are pushing Nevada legislators to raise the cap, and one plan called for the ceiling to be lifted to 10 percent. Nevada State Senator Patricia Farleysaid she is proposing that Nevada's utility regulator study the issue before lawmakers act.

"Across the country the utility industry is pressuring regulators and elected officials to limit solar energy's growth, and the same thing is happening in Nevada," said Gabe Elsner, executive director of the Energy & Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based clean energy think tank. "NV Energy is trying to protect their monopoly by squashing competitors."

The bottom line: it's all about the bottom line for Buffett.

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+ - Gates, Zuckerberg Promising Same Jobs to US Kids and Foreign H-1B Workers? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: Over at the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-bankrolled Code.org, they're using the number of open computing jobs in each state to convince parents of the need to expand K-12 CS offerings so their kids can fill those jobs. Sounds good, right? But at the same time, the Gates and Zuckerberg-bankrolled FWD.org PAC has taken to Twitter, using the number of open "STEM" jobs in each state to convince politicians of the need to expand the number of H-1B visas so foreign workers can fill those jobs. While the goal of Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy is to kill two birds [K-12 CS education and H-1B visas] with one crisis, is it cool for organizations backed by many of the same wealthy individuals to essentially promise the same jobs to U.S. kids and foreign H-1B workers?

+ - ITT Educational Services charged with fraud over student loan program->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: Things are tense in the world of for-profit colleges.

The latest to face problems is ITT Educational Services, which was charged with fraud Tuesday. The Securities & Exchange Commission said the company’s chief executive and chief financial officer misled investors and auditors with “outright misstatements” and “half-truths” about its student loan program.

ITT Educational Services allegedly created a fraudulent scheme to show that it was doing better financially than it really was. Students had been defaulting on their loans in droves, but CEO Kevin Modany and CFO Daniel Fitzpatrick hid the real cost from investors, the SEC said.

More than 51,000 students take online courses or attend the 135 ITT Technical Institute campuses located in 39 states. ITT also runs the Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire.

The charges comes on the heels of financial problems at Corinthian College, which was recently shuttered, affecting about 74,000 students.

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+ - Scientists Find Alarming Deterioration In DNA of the Urban Poor

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Nico Pitney reports that the urban poor in the United States are experiencing accelerated aging at the cellular level, and that chronic stress linked both to income level and racial-ethnic identity is driving this physiological deterioration. Researchers analyzed telomeres, tiny caps at the ends of DNA strands that protect cells from aging prematurely, of poor and lower middle-class black, white, and Mexican residents of Detroit and found that low-income residents of Detroit, regardless of race, have significantly shorter telomeres than the national average. "There are effects of living in high-poverty, racially segregated neighborhoods — the life experiences people have, the physical exposures, a whole range of things — that are just not good for your health," says Nobel laureate. Dr. Arline Geronimus, the lead author of the study, described as the most rigorous research of its kind examining how "structurally rooted social processes work through biological mechanisms to impact health." White Detroit residents who were lower-middle-class had the longest telomeres in the study. But the shortest telomeres belonged to poor whites. Black residents had about the same telomere lengths regardless of whether they were poor or lower-middle-class. And poor Mexicans actually had longer telomeres than Mexicans with higher incomes. Geronimus says these findings demonstrate the limitations of standard measures — like race, income and education level — typically used to examine health disparities. "We've relied on them too much to be the signifiers of everything that varies in the life experiences of difference racial or ethnic groups in different geographic locations and circumstances."

One co-author of this new study is Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn who helped to discover telomeres, an achievement that won her the Nobel Prize in physiology in 2009. Blackburn ticked off a list of studies in which people's experiences and perceptions directly correlated with their telomere lengths: whether people say they feel stressed or pessimistic; whether they feel racial discrimination towards others or feel discriminated against; whether they have experienced severely negative experiences in childhood, and so on. "These are all really adding up in this quantitative way," says Blackburn. "Once you get a quantitative relationship, then this is science, right?"

Comment: Re:Where is the support for ECC RAM? (Score 2) 166

by FirstOne (#49637865) Attached to: AMD Outlines Plans For Zen-Based Processors, First Due In 2016

Nearly all AMD CPU/APU's support ECC memory, you just need the right Mother Board... ASUS bios's have consistently supported AMD/ECC memory combinations for many years.

Not long ago, I configured a number of Phenom II X6 1045t and FX-8320 systems with 8-16GB of ECC memory on ASUS M4A88T-M and M5A78L-M motherboards. This link indicates the Zen series will support 4 channel ECC/DDR4.

+ - SpaceX Lauch Abort Test Successful->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: As we discussed yesterday, SpaceX launched a prototype this morning to test its Dragon passenger capsule in an aborted launch. The test was a success — the capsule separated cleanly, propelled itself to a safe distance, deployed its parachutes, and floaty gently down to a water landing, where it remained floating. You can watch video of the test on SpaceX's website — skip to 15:40 to get right to it. Externally, everything seems to have gone fine. I'm sure we'll hear in the coming weeks whether the downrange distance was ideal, and whether they hit their splashdown target — and how the crash test dummy inside the capsule weathered the abort!
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+ - SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: On Wednesday, SpaceX will be performing the first test of a prototype for its passenger capsule escape system. Most rockets have a launch abort system that will save the lives of its crew within the first few minutes of launch, but not beyond a relatively low altitude. SpaceX is designing the new system to be able to return astronauts safely from the ground all the way up into orbit. The Dragon capsule will fire eight SuperDraco thrusters, each capable of producing 120,000 lbs of axial thrust in under a second. With that amount of thrust, the capsule can get half a kilometer away from a failing rocket in under 5 seconds. SpaceX will have 270 sensors about the prototype, including a crash test dummy. The main mission goals include determining the best sequencing for the launch abort timeline, getting all eight thrusters to fire in unison, and seeing how an aborted launch affects both the inside of the capsule and the area around it. The test is planned to start at 7 a.m. EDT (11:00 UTC), but they have a 7.5-hour window if there are minor delays.
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Comment: First thing I do is disable all updates. (Score 0) 434

by FirstOne (#49625181) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

After I rooted a new android phone. System updates have a nasty habit of screwing up my root access. Likewise, I've found most app updates usually screw up more than they fix. Thus, I opp for stability and predictability over the latest and greatest.

I pick and choose which app's & versions I will use, then I stick with that decision until I'm convinced otherwise. No need to follow the rest of the herd.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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