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Submission + - $3000 GeForce GTX TITAN Z Tested, Less Perf than $1500 R9 295X2 (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: NVIDIA announced its latest dual-GPU flagship card, the GeForce GTX Titan Z, at the GPU Technology Conference in late March with a staggering price point of $2999. Since that time, AMD announced and released the Radeon R9 295X2, its own dual-GPU card with a price tag of $1499. PC Perspective finally put the GTX Titan Z to the test and found that from a PC gamers view, the card is way overpriced for the performance it offers. At both 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 (4K) the R9 295X2 offered higher and more consistent frame rates sometimes by as much as 30%. The AMD card also only takes up two slots (though it does have a water cooling radiator to worry about) while the NVIDIA GTX Titan Z is a three-slot design. The Titan Z is quieter and uses much less power, but gamers considering a $1500 or $3000 graphics card selection are likely not overly concerned with power efficiency.

Submission + - Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

cartechboy writes: Speeding is against the law, and yes, even going 5 mph over the speed limit is breaking the law. But everyone does it, right? You do it, your friends do it, heck, your grandmother does it. But what about when you see a cop? Some cops are ticketing people for notifying fellow motorists about speed traps. In Florida, Ryan Kintner simply flashed his high-beams to warning oncoming cars that there was a cop ahead. He was given a ticket for doing so. He went to court to fight the ticket, and a judge ruled that flashing lights are the equivalent of free speech, thus he had every right to flash his lights to warn oncoming cars. So what have we learned here? Basically, if you are a good Samaritan, flash your lights and warn oncoming traffic of speed traps, because this is America ,and we are allowed freedom of speech.

Submission + - Webkit.js - Who Needs A Browser? (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Is this JavaScript's ultimate step towards world domination? Webkit is a full strength industrial HTML rendering engine — and guess what so is webkit.js, only it's a JavaScript program. So who needs a browser?
OK, I admit that webkit.js isn't actually "industrial strength" at the moment, but it is another example of what you can do when you think outside the box. The method is straightforward — take the current WebKit code and feed it through the Emscripten C++/C to JavaScript compiler and the rest is a matter of making it work. In this case "the rest" is quite a lot of work.
The final goal — a JavaScript browser that runs under node.js. Yes you could in theory get away with a "browser" that was 100% JavaScript. There would be no HTML rendering engine just a JavaScript engine and the rest would be JavaScript code. So just JavaScript — it's all you need.

Submission + - Are new technologies undermining the laws of war? (sagepub.com)

Lasrick writes: This is a great read--as the author writes: 'Today, emerging military technologies—including unmanned aerial vehicles, directed-energy weapons, lethal autonomous robots, and cyber weapons—raise the prospect of upheavals in military practice so fundamental that they challenge assumptions underlying long-established international laws of war, particularly those relating to the primacy of the state and the geographic bounds of warfare. But the laws of war have been developed over a long period, with commentary and input from many cultures. What would seem appropriate in this age of extraordinary technological change, the author concludes, is a reconsideration of the laws of war in a deliberate and focused international dialogue that includes a range of cultural and institutional perspectives.'

Submission + - Battlefield 4 DRM Locking Part Of North America Out Of Its Release Date.

An anonymous reader writes: On the whole, Battlefield 4 had a reasonable launch. The have clearly learned from their past experiences with Battlefield 3 and, more notably, SimCity. Still, some customers are unable to access the game (until presumably October 30th at 7PM EDT, 39 hours after launch) because they are incorrectly flagged by region-locking. Do regional release dates help diminish all the work EA has been putting into Origin with their refund policy and live technical support? Should they just take our money and deliver the service before we change our minds?

Submission + - AMD Radeon R9 290X Fixes Pacing with New CrossFire

Vigile writes: AMD is releasing its fastest single GPU graphics card today, the $549 R9 290X based on a new, 6.2 billion transistor GPU called Hawaii. The brand new part has 2,816 stream processors and has a peak theoretical performance of 5.6 TFLOPS. PC Perspective has done a full round of testing on the card to see where it stacks up and it does in fact beat the GeForce GTX 780, a card that costs $100 more. In fact, it also compares well to the $999 GTX TITAN flagship. Maybe more interesting is the completely redesigned CrossFire integration that no longer uses a bridge and fixes the CrossFire + Eyefinity/4K pacing issues that have plagued AMD for some time. As it turns out, with this new hardware, 4K tiled display CrossFire appears to be corrected.

Submission + - Next Gen Graphics and Process Migration: 20 nm and Beyond (pcper.com)

JoshMST writes: So why are we in the middle of GPU-renaming hell? AMD may be releasing a new 28 nm Hawaii chip in the next few days, it is still based on the same 28 nm process that the original HD 7970 debuted on nearly two years ago. Quick and easy (relative terms) process node transitions look to be a thing of the past with 20 nm lines applicable to large ASICs not being opened until mid-2014. This covers the issues that we have seen, that are present, and that which will be showing up in the years to come. It is amazing how far that industry has come in the past 18 years, but the challenges ahead are greater than ever.

Submission + - Bell Canada Will Begin Tracking All Customer Online Activity

theshowmecanuck writes: A report in the Financial Post says: "A move by BCE Inc. to track its cellular customers’ every move and use that information for marketing purposes has prompted public complaints along with an investigation by Canada’s privacy regulator. ... BCE plans to change its privacy policy on Nov. 16 and begin using account and network usage information to serve up personalized advertising it says will be more relevant to users. ... BCE’s policy states it will collect network usage information including: web pages users visit from their mobile devices or home Internet, search terms used, location, app usage, television viewing and calling patterns." BCE == Bell Canada Enterprises. Granted Google and Facebook do this already, but you have a choice to use them or not. With limited competition in the mobility market, when your service provider gets in on the act, it gets increasingly hard for people to opt out of corporate bother's ever watchful eye. Is VPN (or similar mechanism) for all mobile users the answer? Or do we just have to learn to eat whatever they feed us?

Submission + - The Xbox One Also Won't Support Legacy Headsets At Launch (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: Last week we learned that, at launch, USB headsets that work with the PS3 won't work with the PS4 — and the news is worse for Bluetooth headsets, which have no planned update. Now comes word that Xbox 360 owners planning to upgrade to the Xbox One will have a similar problem. While Microsoft is planning to sell an adapter that will allow third-party headsets to work with the Xbox One, it won't be available at launch.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can Valve's Steam Machines Compete Against New Xbox, PS4? (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: Valve has announced SteamOS, Steam Machines, and a Steam controller — the components necessary for it to create a viable living-room gaming experience. Valve’s strategy with these releases seems pretty clear: create a platform based on openness (SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system), in contrast to the closed systems pushed by console rivals such as Sony and Microsoft. If Valve chooses to release "Half-Life 3" in conjunction with its Steam Machines' rollout, it could help create further buzz for the system, given the years' worth of pent-up demand for the next chapter in the popular FPS saga. But can Valve's moves allow it to actually compete against Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony on equal terms? What do you think?

Submission + - Multi-Display Gaming Artifacts Shown with AMD, 4K Affected Too (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Multi-display gaming has really found a niche in the world of high-end PC gaming, starting when AMD released Eyefinity in 2009 in three panel configurations. AMD expanded out to 6 screen options in 2010 and NVIDIA followed shortly thereafter with a similar multi-screen solution called Surround. Over the last 12 months or so GPU performance testing has gone through a sort of revolution as the move from software measurement to hardware capture measurement has taken hold. PC Perspective has done testing with this new technology on AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA Surround configurations at 5760x1080 resolution and found there were some substantial anomalies in the AMD captures. The AMD cards exhibited dropped frames, interleaved frames (jumping back and forth between buffers) and even stepped, non-horizontal vertical sync tearing. The result is a much lower observed frame rate than software like FRAPS would indicate and these problems will also be found when using the current top end dual-head 4K PC displays since they emulate Eyefinity and Surround for setup.

Submission + - AMD releases 13.8 beta driver to implement frame pacing support

Vigile writes: Over the past year AMD has been getting hammered over its CrossFire technology and the issues the multi-GPU scaling solution has with frame pacing — the ability to present frames evenly to the user and create a smooth gaming experience. As new tools have become available to evaluate the performance of graphics solutions (like capture cards and overlays), the battle between CrossFire and NVIDIA's SLI has really taken new life. After denying the problem existed for quite some time, AMD has put out the first beta driver that implements a software frame pacing solution to more evenly produce animations from CrossFire configurations. PC Perspective has done extensive testing with the Catalyst 13.8 beta and found that it has basically solved the single screen pacing problems. More trouble remains for AMD though as they still need to find a way to fix Eyefinity and 4K displays that are exempt from this driver's improvements.

Submission + - ASUS PQ321Q Monitor Brings Multi-Stream Tiled Displays Forward (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: While 4K displays have been popping up all over the place recently with noticeably lower prices, one thing that kind of limits them all is a 30 Hz refresh rate panel. Sony is selling 4K consumer HDTVs for $5000 and new-comer SEIKI has a 50-in model going for under $1000 but they all share that trait — HDMI 1.4 supporting 3840x2160 at 30 Hz. The new ASUS PQ321Q monitor is a 31.5-in 4K display built on the same platform as the Sharp PN-K321 and utilizes a DisplayPort 1.2 connection capable of MST (multi-stream transport). This allows the screen to include two display heads internally, showing up as two independent monitors to some PCs that can then be merged into a single panel via AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround. Thus, with dual 1920x2160 60 Hz signals, the PQ321Q can offer 3840x2160 at 60 Hz for a much better viewing experience. PC Perspective got one of the monitors in for testing and review and found that the while there were some hurdles during initial setup (especially with NVIDIA hardware), the advantage of a higher refresh rate made the 4K resolution that much better.

Submission + - US entertainment industry to Congress: make it legal for us to deploy rootkits (boingboing.net) 3

An anonymous reader writes: The hilariously named "Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property" has finally released its report, an 84-page tome that's pretty bonkers. But amidst all that crazy, there's a bit that stands out as particularly insane: a proposal to legalize the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally. The report proposes that software would be loaded on computers that would somehow figure out if you were a pirate, and if you were, it would lock your computer up and take all your files hostage until you call the police and confess your crime. This is the mechanism that crooks use when they deploy ransomware.

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