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+ - After 40 Years As A Shoulder-Level Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Les Baugh, a Colorado man who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, is looking forward to being able to insert change into a soda machine and retrieving the beverage himself. But thanks to the wonders of science and technology — and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) — he'll regain some of those functions while making history as the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPLs). "It's a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and the hand," explained Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi, M.D. "By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform.""
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+ - Google Now Brings Voice Control To Nest Smart Thermostat->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Earlier this year, Google made a big splash with its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs. In the months following the announcement, Google tossed around less interesting ideas of displaying ads on your thermostat or fridge and began the process of harvesting data from Nest Thermostat users. However, the Google-Nest Labs hook-up is beginning to make more sense as the couple closes in on one year post-acquisition. Google just announced that voice control is coming to the Nest Thermostat via Google Now for both Android and iOS users. All you have to do is say "OK Google" to being the process. Once prompted, you can say, "turn the thermostat to 67 degrees" and your command will be sent directly to the internet-connected Nest Thermostat. At this time, you don't appear to be able to issue voice commands for anything other than changing the temperature, so saying something like "set system to away" or "turn system off" doesn't appear to be in the cards, yet."
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+ - Touring A Carnival Cruise Simulator: 210 Degrees Of GeForce-Powered Projection-> 2

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Recently, Carnival cruise lines gave tours of their CSMART facility in Almere, the Netherlands. This facility is one of a handful in the world that can provide both extensive training and certification on cruise ships as well as a comprehensive simulation of what it's like to command one. Simulating the operation of a Carnival cruise ship is anything but simple. Let's start with a ship that's at least passingly familiar to most people — the RMS Titanic. At roughly 46,000 tons and 882 feet long, she was, briefly, the largest vessel afloat. Compared to a modern cruise ship, however, Titanic was a pipsqueak. As the size and complexity of the ships has grown, the need for complete simulators has grown as well. The C-SMART facility currently sports two full bridge simulators, several partial bridges, and multiple engineering rooms. When the Costa Concordia wrecked off the coast of Italy several years ago, the C-SMART facility was used to simulate the wreck based on the black boxes from the ship itself. When C-SMART moves to its new facilities, it'll pick up an enormous improvement in processing power. The next-gen visual system is going to be powered by104 GeForce Grid systems running banks of GTX 980 GPUs. C-SMART executives claim it will actually substantially reduce their total power consumption thanks to the improved Maxwell GPU. Which solution is currently in place was unclear, but the total number of installed systems is dropping from just over 500 to 100 rackmounted units."
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+ - Snowden Leaks Prompt Internet Users Worldwide to Protect Their Data->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "A new International survey of Internet users from 24 countries has found that more than 39% of them have taken steps to protect their data since Edward Snowden leaked the NSA's spying practices. The survey, conducted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), found that 43% of Internet users now avoid certain websites and applications and 39% change their passwords regularly. Security expert Bruce Schneier chastised the media for trying to downplay the numbers by saying "only" 39%" have taken action and "only 60%" have heard of Snowden. The news articles, "are completely misunderstanding the data," Schneier said, pointing out that by combining data on Internet penetration with data from the international survey, it works out to 706 million people who are now taking steps to protect their online data. Additionally, two-thirds (64%) of users indicated they are more concerned today about online privacy than they were a year ago. Another notable finding: 83% of users believe that affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right."
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+ - Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive ->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Seagate's just-announced a new 'Archive' HDD series, one that offers densities of 5TB, 6TB, and 8TB. That's right, 8 Terabytes of storage on a single drive and for only $260 at that. Back in 2007, Seagate was one of the first to release a hard drive based on perpendicular magnetic recording, a technology that was required to help us break past the roadblock of achieving more than 250GB per platter. Since then, PMR has evolved to allow the release of drives as large as 10TB, but to go beyond that, something new was needed. That "something new" is shingled magnetic recording. As its name suggests, SMR aligns drive tracks in a singled pattern, much like shingles on a roof. With this design, Seagate is able to cram much more storage into the same physical area. It should be noted that Seagate isn't the first out the door with an 8TB model, however, as HGST released one earlier this year. In lieu of a design like SMR, HGST decided to go the helium route, allowing it to pack more platters into a drive."
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+ - We Don't Need No Stinkin' 4K, LG Says Its Bringing 8K Love->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the most in-your-face buzzwords of the past year has been "4K," and there's little doubt that the forthcoming CES show in early January will bring it back in full force. As it stands today, 4K really isn't that rare, or expensive. You can even get 4K PC monitors for an attractive price. There does remain one issue, however; a lack of 4K content. We're beginning to see things improve, but it's still slow going. Given that, you might imagine that display vendors would hold off on trying to push that resolution envelope further – but you just can't stop hardware vendors from pushing the envelope. Earlier this year, both Apple and Dell unveiled "5K" displays that nearly doubled the number of pixels of 4K displays. 4K already brutalizes top-end graphics cards and lacks widely available video content, and yet here we are looking at the prospect of 5K. Many jaws dropped when 4K was first announced, and likewise with 5K. Now? Well, yes, 8K is on its way. We have LG to thank for that. At CES, the company will be showing-off a 55-inch display that boasts a staggering 33 million pixels — derived from a resolution of 7680x4320. It might not be immediately clear, but that's far more pixels than 4K, which suggests this whole "K" system of measuring resolutions is a little odd. On paper, you might imagine that 8K has twice the pixels of 4K, but instead, it's 4x."
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+ - AMD Offers A Performance Boost, Over 20 New Features With Catalyst Omega Drivers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD this week just dropped its new Catalyst Omega driver package that is the culmination of six months of development work. AMD Catalyst Omega reportedly brings over 20 new features and a wealth of bug fixes to the table along with performance increases both on AMD Radeon GPUs and integrated AMD APUs. Some of the new functionality brought with the Catalyst Omega driver includes Virtual Super Resolution, or VSR. VSR is "game- and engine-agnostic" and renders content at up to 4K resolution, then displays it at a resolution that your monitor actually supports. The very nature of VSR allows it to be used across a wide spectrum of applications including games and even the Windows desktop. AMD says that VSR allows for increased image quality, similar in concept to Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA). Another added perk of VSR is the ability to see more content on the screen at once. To take advantage of VSR, you'll need a Radeon R9 295X2, R9 290X, R9 290, or R9 285 discrete graphics card. Both single- and multi-GPU configurations are currently supported. VSR is essentially AMD's answer to NVIDIA's DSR, or Dynamic Super Resolution. In addition, AMD is claiming performance enhancements in a number of top titles with these these new drivers. Reportedly, as little as 6 percent improvement in performance in FIFA Online to as much as a 29 percent increase in Batman: Arkham Origins can be gained when using an AMD 7000-Series APU, for example. On discrete GPUs, an AMD Radeon R9 290X's performance increases ranged from 8 percent in Grid 2, to roughly 16 percent in Bioshock Infinity."
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+ - Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung just took the wraps off a new family of mainstream solid state drives, targeting the market segment previously occupied by its popular SSD 840 EVO series. The new Samsung SSD 850 EVO series is the follow-up to the company's current flagship SSD 850 PRO, but the new EVO is Samsung's first to pack 32layer 3D VNAND 3-bit MLC flash memory. The move to 32layer 3D VNAND 3-bit MLC flash brings pricing down to the .50 to .60 per GiB range, but doesn't adversely affect endurance because the cell structure doesn't suffer from the same inherent limitations of planar NAND, since the cells are stacked vertically with the 3D VNAND. The new 850 EVO drive performs well with large sequential transfers and also offered very low access times. The compressibility of the data being transferred across the Samsung SSD 850 EVO had no impact on performance and small file transfers at high queue depth were fast. Small file transfers with low queues depths, which is what you'd expect to see with most client workloads, were also very good. The Samsung SSD 850 EVO drives also put up excellent numbers in trace-based tests like PCMark 7."
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+ - Sony Employees Receive Email Threat From GOP, 'Your Family Will Be In Danger'->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It appears that things are going from bad to worse when it comes to the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment breach. Sony experienced a security breach last month and the fallout from the attack continues to mount. Not only has sensitive financial information been released — including the salaries of high-ranking Sony executives — but more damaging personal information including 47,000 Social Security numbers of employees and actors have been leaked to the internet. We're now learning some even more disturbing details, unfortunately. Guardians of Peace (GOP), the hackers claiming responsibility for infiltrating Sony's computer network, are now threatening to harm the families of Sony employees. GOP reportedly sent Sony employees an email, which just so happened to be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, that read in part, "your family will be in danger.""
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+ - Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions Of Violence Against Women->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "There's no such thing as an official Grand Theft Auto game until there's been a bit of controversy leading to its removal from at least one set of store shelves. It's a right of passage for the GTA series, if you will, and GTA V just earned its place among the franchise's previous titles by ruffling feathers in Australia, leading to its ousting from Target stores. At issue this time around is the "game's depictions of violence against women." Jim Cooper, general manager of corporate affairs for Target, explained that customers have voiced a "significant level of concern about the game's content." Separate reports say Target Australia received a petition with nearly 40,000 signatures demanding the game be removed. According to the petition, the game gives players plenty of "incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points.""
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+ - Dragon Age: Inquisition Possibly The Best RPG In A Decade, Reviewed, Benchmarked->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "To say that BioWare has something to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition is an understatement. The first Dragon Age: Origins was a colossal, sprawling, unabashed throwback to classic RPGs. Conversely, Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't just tell an epic story, it evolves in a way that leaves you, as the Inquisitor, leading an army. Creating that sense of scope required a fundamentally different approach to gameplay. Neither Dragon Origins or Dragon Age 2 had a true "open" world in the sense that Skyrim is an open world. Instead, players clicked on a location and auto-traveled across the map from Point A to Point B. Thus, a village might be contained within a single map, while a major city might have 10-12 different locations to explore. Inquisition keeps the concept of maps as opposed to a completely open world, but it blows those maps up to gargantuan sizes. Instead of simply consisting of a single town or a bit of wilderness, the new maps in Dragon Age: Inquisition are chock-full of areas to explore, side quests, crafting materials to gather, and caves, dungeons, mountain peaks, flowing rivers, and roving bands of monsters. And Inquisition doesn't forget the small stuff — the companion quests, the fleshed-out NPCs, or the rich storytelling — it just seeks to put those events in a much larger context across a broad geographical area. Dragon Age: Inquisition is one of the best RPGs to come along in a long time. Never has a game tried to straddle both the large-scale, 10,000-foot master plan and the small-scale, intimate adventure and hit both so well. In terms of graphics performance, you might be surprised to learn that a Radeon R9 290X has better frame delivery than a GeForce GTX 980, despite the similarity in the overall frame rate. The worst frame time for an Radeon R9 290X is just 38.5ms or 26 FPS while a GeForce GTX 980 is at 46.7ms or 21 FPS. AMD takes home an overall win in Dragon Age: Inquisition currently, though Mantle support isn't really ready for prime time."
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+ - Intel Core M Notebooks Arrive, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's 14nm Core M Broadwell architecture was announced a few months ago but to date, 2-in-1 hybrid devices and laptops have only trickled out to the market. Lenovo recently took the wraps off their Yoga 3 Pro 13-inch ultralight notebook and it's one of the few devices on the market right now that offers a glimpse of what Intel's Core M processor is capable of in performance and battery life testing. The 4.5 Watt TDP Core M 5Y70 actually keeps pace with 15 Watt previous generation Core i5 mobile chips in testing, but with significantly better battery life. It also enables very thin and light designs like the 2.6 pound Yoga 3 Pro, which is an interesting machine. Its watchband hinge allows it to contort into various positions for tablet, tent, stand and standard modes. The hinge is sort of a "you either love it or hate it" kind of thing but with its 3200X1800 IPS display, Intel's Core M on board and its wafer thin frame, the Yoga 3 Pro is definitely a bit more stand-out than most in the crowded notebook market."
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+ - Sony Comes To A Screeching Halt Targeted By Massive Ransomware Hack->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It appears that Sony has become the victim of a massive ransomware hack which has resulted in the company basically shutting down. An unnamed source has noted this, claiming that the company shut down after its computers in New York and around the nation were infiltrated. The source is an ex-employee of Sony Pictures who has a friend that still works for the company. According to the source's friend, allegedly, every computer in Sony's New York Office, and every Sony Pictures office across the nation, bears an image from the hacker with the headline "Hacked By #GOP" which is then followed by a warning. The hacker, or group, claims to have obtained corporate secrets and has threatened to reveal those secrets at 11:00 PM GMT tonight if Sony doesn't meet their demands. What those demands are and what is #GOP has yet to be determined."
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+ - Multiple Manufacturers Push Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, But Can They Catch Tesla?->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "After years of working on prototype vehicles, multiple car companies have announced a major push for hydrogen fuel cell automobiles. At the LA Auto Show last week, Toyota showed off its Mirai, a four-door passenger sedan with a $57,500 base sticker price and a hydrogen-only fuel system. Honda recently delayed its hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle until 2016, while Hyundai is planning to build 1000 fuel-cell powered Tucson's by the end of the year. Currently, most proposed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are actually combined hydrogen-electric designs. Hydrogen gas, under enormous pressure, is used to drive a generator, which then charges a lithium-ion battery. Toyota plans to sell up to 3,000 Mirai a year by 2017, which would put it well below Tesla's own sales projections for its Model S — but at a lower overall price point. The pressurized fuel tanks in the Mirai can hold a total of 122 liters of hydrogen for an estimated range of 300 miles. A standard gasoline-powered car with a 122L capacity at 30mpg would be capable of traveling 960 miles. Proponents of hydrogen point to the vastly improved fueling time (roughly equal that of gasoline) as opposed to the 20-60 minutes required to recharge a vehicle like Tesla's Model S."
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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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