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+ - Dell-Alienware Revamps Area-51 Gaming PC With Unique Trapezoid Chassis Design->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell's enthusiast Alienware brand has always stood out for its unique, other-worldly looks (sometimes good, sometimes, not so good) and there's such a thing as taking things to the next level, this might be it. However, there's more to this refresh than just shock value. It's actually a futuristic aesthetic with a rather purposeful design behind it. Today Alienware gave a sneak peek at their completely redesigned Alienware Area 51 desktop system. This refreshed system is unlike any previous Alienware rig you've seen. With a trapezoidal shape to its chassis, Dell-Alienware says you can place the Area-51 against a wall and not have to worry about thermals getting out of the control. That's because there's a controlled gap and a sharp angle to the chassis that ensures only a small part of the system actually rests near the wall, leaving extra room for hot air to escape up and away. This design also offers users easy access to rear IO ports. Despite the unique design, there's plenty of room for high end components inside. The retooled chassis can swallow up to three 300W double-wide full-length graphics cards. It also brings to the table Intel's latest and greatest Haswell-E in six-core or eight-core options, liquid cooled and nestled into Intel's X99 chipset. No word from Dell on the price but the new Area-51 is slated to start shipping in October."
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+ - Intel Launches 8-Core Haswell-E Core i7-5960X Desktop Processor->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel has officially launched their Core i7-5960X Haswell-E desktop processor today. Unlike Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E, which maxed out at 6 cores (12 threads), Haswell-E is an 8-core machine (16 threads), featuring execution units based on Intel's latest desktop microarchitecture. The Core i7-5960X has a base clock of 3GHz with Turbo Boost speed to 3.5GHz and will have up to 20MB of shared L3 cache. It also features an integrated quad-channel memory controller with official support for DDR4 memory at speeds up to 2133MHz, although higher speeds are possible through overclocking. Haswell-E based processors also feature up to 40 integrated lanes of PCI Express Gen 3.0 connectivity. The chip has a 140W TDP, which is slightly higher than the 130W of Ivy Bridge-E based processors. Although it has the same number of pads (2011) as previous-gen Ivy Bridge-E processors, Haswell-E based processors will require new motherboards equipped with LGA 2011 v3 sockets and support for DDR4 memory. Cooler designs from the previous generation are compatible, however. In general, the Core i7-5960X is faster overall than the previous-gen Ivy Bridge-E based 6-core Core i7-4960X. In single threaded tests, where the Core i7-5960X's additional cache and memory bandwidth aren't fully utilized, the 4960X's higher clocks usually push it ahead. In multi-threaded tests though, the 5960X's two additional cores make it significantly faster. Gaming was also much better on the 5960X."
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+ - Particle physics to aid nuclear cleanup->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Cosmic rays can help scientists do something no one else can: safely image the interior of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.... [M]uon tomography, is similar to taking an X-ray, only it uses naturally produced muons. These particles don’t damage the imaged materials and, because they already stream through everything on Earth, they can be used to image even the most sensitive objects. Better yet, a huge amount of shielding is needed to stop muons from passing through an object, making it nearly impossible to hide from muon tomography.

“Everything around you is constantly being radiographed by muons,” says Christopher Morris, who leads the Los Alamos muon tomography team. “All you have to do is set some detectors above and below it, and measure the angles well enough to make a picture.”

By determining how muons scatter as they interact with electrons and nuclei within the item, the team’s software creates a three-dimensional picture of what’s inside.... To prove the technology, the Los Alamos team shipped a demo detector system to a small, working nuclear reactor in a Toshiba facility in Kawasaki, Japan. There, they placed one detector on either side of the reactor core.

“When we analyzed our data we discovered that in addition to the fuel in the reactor core, they had put a few fuel bundles off to the side that we didn’t know about,” says Morris. “They were really impressed that not only could we image the core, but that we also found those bundles.”

Based on that successful test, Toshiba signed an agreement with Los Alamos and later with Decision Sciences to design and manufacture muon-detector components for use at Fukushima Daiichi."

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+ - IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "The IEEE's Center for Secure Design debuted its first report this week, a guidance for software architects called "Avoiding the Top 10 Software Security Design Flaws." Developing guidance for architects rather than developers was a conscious effort the group made in order to steer the conversation around software security away from exclusively talking about finding bugs toward design-level failures that lead to exploitable security vulnerabilities.
The document spells out the 10 common design flaws in a straightforward manner, each with a lengthy explainer of inherent weaknesses in each area and how software designers and architects should take these potential pitfalls into consideration."

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+ - Microsoft Ships Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs 1

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Microsoft has re-released its botched MS14-045/KB 2982791 'Blue Screen 0x50' patch, only to introduce more problems, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. 'Even by Microsoft standards, this month's botched Black Tuesday Windows 7/8/8.1 MS14-045 patch hit a new low. The original patch (KB 2982791) is now officially "expired" and a completely different patch (KB 2993651) offered in its stead; there are barely documented revelations of new problems with old patches; patches that have disappeared; a "strong" recommendation to manually uninstall a patch that went out via Automatic Update for several days; and an infuriating official explanation that raises serious doubts about Microsoft's ability to support Windows 9's expected rapid update pace.'"

+ - Think It's Funny 'Swatting' Your Gaming Buds? Twitch Shows Police Not Amused->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Twitch streamer and YouTuber Jordan "Kootra" Mathewson is the latest victim in a trend called "Swatting." People who tuned into The Creatures' Twitch channel this past Wednesday to watch Mathewson play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive witnessed SWAT officers enter the room and arrest Mathewson in response to a false report of an active shooter. Mathewson was live-streaming on The Creatures, a group of gamers who create content for YouTube, Twitch channel at the group's office building when SWAT busted in. Police received an anonymous call, via landline, that claimed there was an active shooter. Streamers watched for about six minutes as the police officers arrested Mathewson, searched him, and briefly questioned him before the stream was turned off. Police are still investigating the call that was made, which led to Mathewson's arrest, and are looking for the party responsible. In the meantime, a person that goes by @ScrewPain on Twitter has claimed responsibility on his account for the swatting prank."
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+ - Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "If you're a classic gamer, you've probably had the unhappy experience of firing up a beloved older title you haven't played in a decade or two, squinting at the screen, and thinking: "Wow. I didn't realize it looked this bad." The reasons why games can wind up looking dramatically worse than you remember isn't just the influence of rose-colored glasses — everything from subtle differences in third-party hardware to poor ports to bad integrated TV upscalers can ruin the experience. One solution is an expensive upscaling unit called the Framemeister but while its cost may make you blanch, this sucker delivers. Unfortunately, taking full advantage of a Framemeister also may mean modding your console for RGB output. That's the second part of the upscaler equation. Most every old-school console could technically use RGB, which has one cable for the Red, Green, and Blue signals, but many of them weren't wired for it externally unless you used a rare SCART cable (SCART was more common in other parts of the world). Modding kits or consoles cost money, but if you're willing to pay it, you can experience classic games with much better fidelity."
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+ - Seagate Ships World's First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Seagate announced today that it has begun shipping the world's first 8 Terabyte hard drive. The 8TB hard drive comes only five months after Western Digital released the first ever 6TB HDD. Up until then, Seagate's high capacity HDDs had been shipping only to select enterprise clients. The 8TB HDD comes in the 3.5-inch form factor and, according to the manufacturer, features a SATA 6Gbps interface and multi-drive RV tolerance which makes it suitable for data centers. It's unclear what technology the drive is based on, or if PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) or low-resistance helium technology was employed."
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+ - Pwned By A Girl! Women Gamers Now Outnumber Teenage Boys->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The Entertainment Software Association has just released its 2014 report on the state of the video game industry, and as the title of this post suggests, there have been some significant shifts since the last report. Let's tackle the most interesting one first: Females have nearly become the dominant gamer, claiming 48% of the pie currently. That's impressive, but perhaps more so is the fact that women over the age of 18 represent 36% of the game-playing population, whereas boys aged 18 and under claim a mere 17%. Statistics like these challenge the definition of "gamer". Some might say that it's a stretch to call someone who only plays mobile games a "gamer" (Candy Crush anyone?). Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer."
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+ - Smartphone Kill Switch A Consumer Safe Haven Or Just More Government 'Tyranny'?->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "We're often told that having a kill switch in our mobile devices — mostly our smartphones — is a good thing. At a basic level, that's hard to disagree with. If every mobile device had a built-in kill switch, theft would go down — who would waste their time over a device that probably won't work for very long? Here's where the problem lays: It's law enforcement that's pushing so hard for these kill switches. We first learned about this last summer, and this past May, California passed a law that requires smartphone vendors to implement the feature. In practice, if a smartphone has been stolen, or has been somehow compromised, its user or manufacturer would be able to remotely kill off its usability, something that would be reversed once the phone gets back into its rightful owner's hands. However, such functionality should be limited to the device's owner, and no one else. If the owner can disable a phone with nothing but access to a computer or another mobile device, so can Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia or Apple. If the designers of a phone's operating system can brick a phone, guess who else can do the same? Everybody from the NSA to your friendly neighborhood police force, that's who. At most, all they'll need is a convincing argument that they're acting in the interest of 'public safety.'"
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+ - AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD is launching a new family of products today, but unless you follow the rumor mill closely, it's probably not something you'd expect. It's not a new CPU, APU, or GPU. Today, AMD is launching its first line of solid state drives (SSDs), targeted squarely at AMD enthusiasts. AMD is calling the new family of drives, the Radeon R7 Series SSD, similar to its popular mid-range line of graphics cards. The new Radeon R7 Series SSDs feature OCZ and Toshiba technology, but with a proprietary firmware geared towards write performance and high endurance. Open up one of AMD's new SSDs and you'll see OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller on board—the same controller used in the OCZ Vector 150, though it is clocked higher in these drives. That controller is paired to A19nm Toshiba MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND flash memory and a DDR3-1333MHz DRAM cache. The 120GB and 240GB drives sport 512MB of cache memory, while the 480GB model will be outfitted with 1GB. Interestingly enough, AMD Radeon R7 Series SSDs are some of the all-around, highest-performing SATA SSDs tested to date. IOPS performance is among the best seen in a consumer-class SSD, write throughput and access times are highly-competitive across the board, and the drive offered consistent performance regardless of the data type being transferred. Read performance is also strong, though not quite as stand-out as write performance."
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+ - Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Right on schedule, Microsoft rolled-out an onslaught of patches for its "Patch Tuesday" last week, and despite the fact that it wasn't the true "Update 2" for Windows 8.1 many of us were hoping for, updates are generally worth snatching up. Since the patch rollout, it's been discovered that four individual updates are causing random BSoD issues for its users, with KB2982791, a kernel-mode related driver, being the biggest culprit. Because of the bug's severity, Microsoft is recommending that anyone who updated go and uninstall a couple of the specific updates, or rollback using Windows Restore. You can uninstall these updates in much the same way you uninstall any app; the difference is that once you're in the "Programs and Features" section, you'll need to click on "View installed updates" on the left. While it's mostly recommended that you uninstall 2982791, you may wish to uninstall the others as well, just in case."
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+ - Solid State Drives Break The 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Though solid state drives have a long way to go before they break price parity with hard drives and may never with, at least with the current technology, the gap continues to close. More recently, SSD manufacturers have been approaching 50 cents per GiB of storage. OCZ Storage Solutions, with the help of their parent company Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND, just launched their ARC 100 family of drives that are priced at exactly .5 per GiB at launch and it's possible street prices will drift lower down the road. The ARC 100 features the very same OCZ Barefoot 3 M10 controller as the higher-end OCZ Vertex 460, but these new drives feature more affordable Toshiba A19nm (Advanced 19 nanometer) NAND flash memory. The ARC 100 also ships without any sort of accessory bundle, to keep costs down. Performance-wise, OCZ's new ARX 100 240GB solid state drive didn't lead the pack in any particular category, but the drive did offer consistently competitive performance throughout testing. Large sequential transfers, small file transfers at high queue depths, and low access times were the ARC 100's strong suits, as well as its low cost. These new drives are rated at 20GB/day write endurance and carry a 3 year warranty."
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+ - NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out Of Order->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Ever since Nvidia unveiled its 64-bit Project Denver CPU at CES last year, there's been discussion over what the core might be and what kind of performance it would offer. Visibly, the chip is huge, more than 2x the size of the Cortex-A15 that powers the 32-bit version of Tegra K1. Now we know a bit more about the core, and it's like nothing you'd expect. It is, however, somewhat similar to the designs we've seen in the past from the vanished CPU manufacturer Transmeta. When it designed Project Denver, Nvidia chose to step away from the out-of-order execution engine that typifies virtually all high-end ARM and x86 processors. In an OoOE design, the CPU itself is responsible for deciding which code should be executed at any given cycle. OoOE chips tend to be much faster than their in-order counterparts, but the additional silicon burns power and takes up die area. What Nvidia has developed is an in-order architecture that relies on a dynamic optimization program (running on one of the two CPUs) to calculate and optimize the most efficient way to execute code. This data is then stored inside a special 128MB buffer of main memory. The advantage of decoding and storing the most optimized execution method is that the chip doesn't have to decode the data again; it can simply grab that information from memory. Furthermore, this kind of approach may pay dividends on tablets, where users tend to use a small subset of applications. Once Denver sees you run Facebook or Candy Crush a few times, it's got the code optimized and waiting. There's no need to keep decoding it for execution over and over."
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We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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