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Submission + - Windows 10 Upgrade Strategies, Pitfalls And Fixes As MSFT Servers Are Hit Hard-> 1 1

MojoKid writes: The upgrade cycle begins, with Microsoft's latest operating system--the highly anticipated Windows 10--rolling out over Windows Update for free, for users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. For those that are ready to take the plunge over the weekend, there are some things to note. So far, Microsoft has been rolling out the upgrade in waves and stages. If you are not one of the 'lucky' ones to be in the first wave, you can take matters into your own hands and begin the upgrade process manually. While the process is mostly simple, it won't be for everyone. This guide steps through a few of the strategies and pitfalls. There are two main methods to upgrade, either through Windows Update or through the Media Creation Tool. In either case, you will need to have opted-in for the Windows 10 Free Upgrade program to reserve your license. Currently, the Windows Update method is hit or miss due to the requirement for additional updates needing to be installed first and Microsoft's servers being hit hard, leading to some rather humorous error messages like the oh-so helpful description, "Something Happened". Currently, it would be best to avoid the Windows Update upgrade, at least for the time being. Numerous issues with licensing have been reported, requiring manual activation either through the dreaded phone call, or by running slmgr.vbs /ato at the command prompt to force license registration.
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Submission + - Intel And Micron Unveil 3D XPoint Memory, 1000X Speed And Endurance Over Flash->

MojoKid writes: Today at a press conference in San Francisco, Intel and Micron unveiled 3D XPoint (Cross Point) memory technology, a non-volatile memory architecture so disruptive it could very well change the entire landscape of consumer electronics and computer architectures for years to come. Intel and Micron claim that 3D XPoint memory is 1000 times faster than NAND, boasts 1000x the endurance of NAND, and offers 8 — 10 times the density of conventional memory. 3D XPoint isn't electron based, it's material based. The companies aren't diving into specifics yet surrounding the materials used in 3D XPoint, but the physics are fundamentally different than what we're used to. It's 3D stackable and its cross point connect structure allows for dense packing and individual access at the cell level from the top or bottom of a memory array. Better still, Intel alluded to 3D XPoint not being as cost-prohibitive as you might expect. Intel's Rob Crooke explained "You could put the cost somewhere between NAND and DRAM." Products with the new memory are expected to arrive in 2016 and the joint venture is in production with wafers now.
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Submission + - OnePlus Announces OnePlus 2 'Flagship Killer' Android Phone With OxygenOS->

MojoKid writes: The OnePlus 2 was officially unveiled this evening and it has been announced that the smartphone will start at an competitively low $329, unlocked and contract free. The entry level price nets you a 5.5" 1080p display, a cooler-running 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP rear camera (with OIS, laser focusing and two-tone flash), 5MP selfie camera, and dual nano SIM slots. If you don't mind handing over an extra $60, you'll receive 4GB of RAM to back the processor and 64GB of internal storage. Besides beefing up the internal specs, OnePlus has also paid some attention to the exterior of the device, giving it a nice aluminum frame and a textured backplate. There are a number of optional materials that you can choose from including wood and Kevlar.
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Submission + - Intel Core i7-5775C Desktop Broadwell With Iris Pro 6200 Graphics Tested

bigwophh writes: 14nm Broadwell processors weren’t originally destined for the channel, but Intel ultimately changed course and launched a handful of 5th Generation Core processors based on the microarchitecture recently, the most powerful of which is the Core i7-5775C. Unlike all of the mobile Broadwell processors that came before it, the Core i7-5775C is a socketed, LGA processor for desktops, just like 4th Generation Core processors based on Haswell. In fact, it’ll work in the very same 9-Series chipset motherboards currently available (after a BIOS update). The Core i7-5775C, however, features a 128MB eDRAM cache and integrated Iris Pro 6200 series graphics, which can boost graphics performance significantly. Testing shows that the Core i7-5775C's lower CPU core clocks limit its performance versus Haswell, but its Iris Pro graphics engine is clearly more powerful.

Submission + - Hacker: The Auto Industry is Taking the Wrong Approach to Securing Vehicles->

Lucas123 writes: Charlie Miller, the security expert who with his friend Chris Valasek, proved Chyrsler's UConnect telematics system can be remotely hacked and the vehicle's critical driving systems controlled, said the auto industry can't protect vehicles through firewalls. Instead, Miller and others, say detection software and hardware based encryption on electronic control units is the best way to stop hackers from successful cyber attacks. Over a year-long effort, Miller and Valasek were able to hack the UConnect head unit, which allowed them to access a Jeep Cherokee's controller area network (CAN), which then allowed them to send messages to vital components, like the brakes, transmission and ignition. Any vehicle's CAN bus is very simple and the messages on it are very predictable, Miller said, adding that "when I start sending messages to cause attacks and physical issues, those messages stand out very plainly." No one will ever build a bullet-proof telematics platform, so knowing when it has been hacked is better than trying to prevent the penetration in the first place. "It would be very easy for car companies to build a device or build something into existing software that can detect CAN messages we sent and not listen to them or take some sort of action."
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Submission + - Pocket SCiO Spectrometer Sends Chemical Composition Of Anything To Smartphones->

MojoKid writes: Is that a tricorder in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? All joking aside, the handheld SCiO could truly make you feel like a member Bones McCoy's medical team. The SCiO turns science fiction into science fact by shrinking mass spectrometry technology used in traditional lab settings into a device small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. While pricey handheld spectrometers have been available for researchers, the SCiO is the first such device marketed directly at consumers. To get the SCiO down to a reasonable price point, Consumer Physics uses near-IR spectroscopy and optics typically found in smartphones to measure the light reflected from any given object. Held at a distance of 5 to 15 mm from the intended target, SCiO captures reflected spectrum data and uploads it to its own cloud platform. The company's proprietary algorithms then analyze the data and send the information back down to your smartphone (SCiO require a Bluetooth connection). Reportedly, this whole process occurs within 1.5 seconds. The hope is to empower consumers to learn more about the world around them and even about the things that we put in our mouth. You'll be able to ascertain nutritional information about the foods you eat without having to rely on labels, or even determine the ripeness of fruits and vegetables with the push of a button. The Whole Foods crowd will be all over this, one would think.
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Submission + - Since Receiving Satellite Tags, Some Sharks Have Become Stars of Social Media->

Lucas123 writes: A research project that tags the world's most dangerous sharks with four different tracking devices and then offers all the data to the public through a online and mobile apps has taken off, garnering hundreds of thousands of users; one shark even has more then 80,000 followers on Twitter. OCEARCH, a non-profit shark tracking project, has tagged about 130 sharks, from great whites and tigers to hammerheads and makos, and open sourced the data in the hope that it will create citizen scientists who will follow the animals and care about what happens to them. To further personify the apex predators, the researchers at OCEARCH have also given the sharks names such as Katharine and Mary Lee, two sharks that are more than 14 feet long and weight more than a ton. OCEARCH's shark tracker has garnered 10 times the traffic it had last year, and it's expected to grow 20 times more by the end of this year. Along with data from satellite, acoustic and accelerometer tags, the project expects to begin using big data analytics to offer more granular data about the animals and their lives to scientists and the public at large.
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Submission + - Emotionally Aware Apps That Respond To Feelings Are On The Horizon->

bigwophh writes: Machine learning has helped a multitude of different technologies become a reality, including emotion-detection. Most examples to date have been rather simple, such as being able to detect a smile or a frown. But with today's super-fast computers, and even mobile devices, we're now able to detect emotion with far greater accuracy and nuance. Facial recognition expert Rana el Kaliouby recently gave a talk at TED to highlight just how accurate emotion-detection has become, and depending on your perspective, the result is either amazing, or downright scary. To accurately detect someone's emotion, Rana's software detects eight different factors, which include frowning, showing disgust, engaged, and raised eyebrows, among other things. Through research with this software, a couple of interesting factoids are revealed. In the United States, women are 40% more likely to smile than men. But the technology is ultimately destined for software that will detect the user's emotion and react accordingly.
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Submission + - Marshall Amp Cranks It To 11 With First Android Smartphone Called 'London'->

MojoKid writes: Marshall may be better known for its music equipment, but that isn't stopping the company from bringing a better audio experience to the smartphone market with its London handset. Given its highly customizable nature, it should come as no surprise that London runs Google's Android operating system (Lollipop 5.0.2). The London features dual front-facing speakers, a Wolfson WM8281 sound processor, Bluetooth atpX support, and a gold-tinged scroll wheel on the right side of the device that handle volume control, which Marshall says offers "tactile precision [that] allows you to find that sweet spot of sonic goodness." Once you get past the audio-centric functionality, there's a lot of lower-end hardware under the hood of the London. You'll find a 4.7-inch 720p display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, LTE connectivity, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and a removable 2500 mAh battery. In other words, those specs make the London more in line with the Moto G.
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Submission + - Lenovo ThinkPad W550s 5.5 lb Mobile Workstation Delivers 18 Hrs Of Battery Life->

MojoKid writes: Mobile workstation notebooks typically offer a fair degree of performance but usually at the expense of battery life. It comes with the territory for machines that are configured with higher-end processors with discrete graphics chips, as well as high-end displays that take more power to light up. Lenovo, however, seems to have found a way to strike a better balance with their new ThinkPad W550s machine, that comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-5600U CPU, an NVIDIA Quadro K620M GPU and a 15.5 inch IPS display that sports 2880X1620 native res. With that kind of horsepower and that many pixels to push, you would think untethered up-time wouldn't be its strong suit but Lenovo configured a snap-in extended battery for the W550s. The 6-cell extended battery, in combination with its 3-cell internal battery was able to power them machine for over 18 hours of light duty web browsing in real-world testing (Lenovo claims up to 20 hrs of battery life). The machine also lasted over 5 hours under heavy load Battery Eater testing and the extended battery is unobtrusive, tilting the keyboard up slightly toward the user but keeping well inside the machine's footprint. As is standard for workstation-class ThinkPads, it's not the sexiest machine style-wise but the ThinkPad W550s offers the performance high-end components and battery life too boot, along with classic ThinkPad workhorse build quality.
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Submission + - Why a Chinese Buyout of Micron Is Not Likely to Succeed->

Lucas123 writes: A reported $23 billion offer to purchase U.S.-based Micron, one of the largest DRAM and memory makers in the world, by a Chinese state-owned chip maker isn't likely to succeed for several reasons, not the least of which is that the U.S. government is unlikely to approve it and Micron has no reason to sell. Tsinghua Unigroup, a somewhat enigmatic company that is funded by Tsinghua University in China, offered $21 a share for Micron, which is a 19.3% premium over Micron's closing price on Monday. Micron's market cap is currently $20.7 billion. Micron has denied it received an offer from Tsinghua, but a Wall Street Journal report claimed the offer was real. Industry analysts however, believe Tsinghua may have used the WSJ as a trial balloon for an offer. Analysts also say rumors of a deal for Micron have been floating around for more than a month. Still, the possibility of a deal surprised some in the industry who expected China to organically grow its own DRAM and memory businesses. By acquiring Micron, however, China would instantly become a big player in what is a robust market. Fang Zhang, an IHS memory analyst, said Micron will not likely accept a buyout offer because the company has been performing well and expects to continue to do so. Additionally, the U.S. government considers chip technology vital to national security, so approval of the deal would at the very least take months if not more than a year during a time when the Chinese economy is at risk of collapse.
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Submission + - Air-Cooled AMD Radeon R9 Fury Arrives For $100 Less With Fury X-Like Performance->

MojoKid writes: When AMD launched the liquid-cooled Radeon Fury X, it was obvious the was company willing to commit to new architecture and bleeding edge technologies (Fiji and High-Bandwidth Memory, respectively). However, it fell shy of the mark that enthusiasts hoped it would achieve, unable to quite deliver a definitive victory against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti. However, AMD just launched their Radeon R9 Fury (no "X" and sometimes referred to as "Fury Air"), a graphics card that brings a more compelling value proposition to the table. It's the Fury release that should give AMD a competitive edge against NVIDIA in the $500+ graphics card bracket. AMD's Radeon R9 Fury's basic specs are mostly identical to the liquid-cooled flagship Fury X, except for two important distinctions. There's a 50MHz reduction in GPU clock speed to 1000MHz, and 512 fewer stream processors for a total of 3584, versus what Fury X has on board. Here's the interesting news which the benchmark results demonstrate: In price the Fury veers closer to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, but in performance it sneaks in awfully close to the GTX 980 Ti.
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Submission + - OCZ Toshiba Breaks 40 Cent Per GiB Barrier With New Trion 100 Series SSD->

MojoKid writes: OCZ is launching a brand new series of solid state drives today, dubbed the Trion 100. Not only are they the first drives from the company to use TLC NAND, but they're also the first to use all in-house Toshiba technology with the drive's Flash memory and controller both designed and built by Toshiba. That controller is paired to A19nm Toshiba TLC NAND Flash memory and a Nanya DDR3 DRAM cache. Details are scarce on the Toshiba TC58 controller but it does support Toshiba's QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Correction — a Toshiba proprietary error correction technology) and the drives have a bit of SLC cache to boost write performance in bursts and increase endurance. The OCZ Trion 100 series is targeted at budget conscious consumers and users still contemplating the upgrade from a standard hard drive. As such, they're not barn-burners in the benchmarking department, but performance is still good overall and a huge upgrade over any HDD. Pricing is going to be very competitive as well, at under .40 per GiB for capacities of 240GB, 480GB and 960GB and .50 per GiB for the smallest 120GB drive.
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Submission + - NVIDIA Shakes Its Flowing Mane With Life-Like HairWorks 1.1 Demo->

MojoKid writes: Previously, you might not have thought much about a wig on a manikin, but checking out NVIDIA's latest tech demo, as a gamer or 3D graphics artists, hair can be pretty interesting. The video is of NVIDIA HairWorks 1.1, a simulation and rendering tool for creating lifelike hair and fur in video games. In the clip, NVIDIA shows off a Fabio-style hairdo with about 500,000 hairs that bounce and sway as the camera circles and forces move the hair. If this was a real wig, it might unseat one of the most boring videos ever. However, as an example of what modern 3D graphics can do with hair physics, it's pretty darn cool. Previous demos of HairWorks showed up to 22,000 strands of hair, making the jump to half a million much much more significant. The video was recorded with ShadowPlay on a GeForce GTX 980, which has some serious muscle, though it's not the most powerful card in NVIDIA's lineup. What's cooler than making life-like human hair? Putting flowing manes on vicious monsters, of course. Apparently, NVIDIA HairWorks simulation technology also plays a role in bringing more than a dozen creatures to life in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
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Submission + - The IRS and Obama administration planned to criminally prosecute its opponents

An anonymous reader writes: New Justice Department documents released today show that in 2010 the Obama administration and the IRS were conspiring to criminally prosecute opponents of the Obama administration.

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official "DOJ Recap" report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups — or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States — as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, "This revelation likely means that the IRS — including possibly Lois Lerner — violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department."

This bears repeating: It is illegal for the IRS to give the confidential tax returns of citizens to anyone, including the Justice Department. Worse, having done so the IRS has given the very partisan Obama administration a giant treasure-trove of data it can use to smear and destroy its opponents.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark

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