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+ - Using naval logbooks to reconstruct past weather—and predict future climat-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "What a great idea. The Old Weather Project uses old logbooks to study the weather patterns of long ago, providing a trove of archival data to scientists who are trying to fill in the details of our knowledge about the atmosphere and the changing climate. 'Pity the poor navigator who fell asleep on watch and failed to update his ship’s logbook every four hours with details about its geographic position, time, date, wind direction, barometric readings, temperatures, ocean currents, and weather conditions.' As Clive Wilkinson of the UK's National Maritime Museum adds, 'Anything you read in a logbook, you can be sure that it is a true and faithful account.'

The Old Weather Project uses citizen scientists to transcribe and digitize observations that were scrupulously recorded on a clockwork-like basis, and it is one of several that climate scientists are using to create 'a three-dimensional computer simulation that will provide a continuous, century-and-a-half-long profile of the entire planet’s climate over time'--the 20th Century Reanalysis Project. Data is checked and rechecked by 3 different people before entry into the database, and the logbook measurements are especially valuable because it was compiled at sea. Great story."

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+ - How we'll know whether BICEP2 was right about gravitational waves

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Big Bang takes us back to very early times, but not the earliest. It tells us the Universe was in a hot, dense state, where even the possibility of forming neutral atoms was impossible due to the incredible energies of the Universe at that time. The patterns of fluctuations that are left over from that time give us insight into the primordial density fluctuations that our Universe was born with. But there’s an additional signature encoded in this radiation, one that’s much more difficult to extract: polarization. While most of the polarization signal that’s present will be due to the density fluctuations themselves, there’s a way to extract even more information about an even earlier phenomenon: gravitational waves that were present from the epoch of cosmic inflation! Here's the physics on how that works, and how we'll find whether BICEP2 was right or not."

+ - Interviews: Ask Warren Ellis a Question

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "Warren Ellis is an acclaimed British author of comics, novels, and television who is well known for his sociocultural commentary. The movies Red, and Iron Man 3 are based on his graphic novels. In addition to numerous other comic titles he started a personal favorite, Transmetropolitan. Ellis has written for Vice, Wired UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters, and is co-writing a video project called Wastelanders with Joss Whedon. Warren has agreed to give us some of his time to answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post."

+ - Intel Core i7-5960X Brings 8 Haswell Cores to Enthusiasts->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Today Intel released its updated E-class, enthusiast platform based on Haswell, known previously as just Haswell-E. The Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition CPU is an 8-core processor (addressing 16 threads with HyperThreading) that doubles core count over mainstream Haswell parts and jumps from the 6-core parts in previous E-class platforms. That not only turns into dramatic performance increases in highly threaded applications like rendering and encoding, but Haswell-E is also the first consumer platform to integrate a quad-channel DDR4 memory controller, with frequencies starting at 2133 MHz. The top two tiers of Haswell-E processors also include 40 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 while the lower cost Core i7-5820K will be limited to 6-cores and 28 lanes of PCIe. New motherboards based on the new X99 chipset are required as well and include additional storage options like 14 USB ports and 10 SATA 6.0 Gbps channels. Clearly this is the fastest consumer platform tested but as with all E-class releases, the cost is higher. The Core i7-5960X will set you back $999 and expect to pay at least $500 for a motherboard and 4 DIMMs of the new DDR4 as well."
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+ - AMD R9 290X "up to 1GHz" tests like 727 MHz (base), 850-880 MHz (boost).

Submitted by Phopojijo
Phopojijo (1603961) writes "The recently released AMD Radeon R9 290X has an advertised shader clock rate of "up to 1GHz". The card brought formerly $1000-level performance down to a $550 price point. Its benchmarks tend to fluctuate wildly, however, based on the card's ability to maintain an intended maximum temperature of 95C. By analyzing across a variety of fan speeds, AMD's default settings are characteristic of a 727 MHz base clock with an average boost to 850-880 MHz. At these defaults, the card will not maintain 1GHz for more than a couple of minutes (or less)."

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

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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?"

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

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) 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."

+ - Next Gen Graphics and Process Migration: 20 nm and Beyond->

Submitted by JoshMST
JoshMST (1221846) 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."
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+ - ASUS PQ321Q Monitor Brings Multi-Stream Tiled Displays Forward->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) 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."
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+ - New Apple MacBook Air features next generation ultra fast PCI-Express SSD->

Submitted by boxgamex
boxgamex (824824) writes "Apple may have only mentioned improvements to battery life for the Haswell-based MacBook Air at the WWDC Keynote on Monday, but that isn't all that has improved with this machine. Initial testing reveals Apple has switched to PCI-Express based SSDs for this new Air, which at over 700MB/s read speed outperform the theoretical maximum bandwidth of SATA. After digging into the hardware, it seems this may be just a preview of what is to come from M.2 NGFF SSDs, which are expected to come be released for PC platforms this Summer."
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AMD

+ - GPU Frame Capture Performance Testing Clouds Multi-GPU Results->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "A month ago for the release of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan a new GPU performance technology was introduced called Frame Rating. While at the time only a single game and single instance was tested, PC Perspective has since circled back with a full set of results on both NVIDIA and AMD high-end graphics cards in single and dual-GPU configurations. By using an external hardware-based capture system that can record uncompressed data at 2560x1440 @ 60 Hz and then post-processing software that analyzes the data after capture, the new performance results paint a startling different picture of multi-GPU scenarios, especially from AMD's CrossFire. PC Perspective has also included slow-motion captured video of the games in question for side-by-side comparison and information on how Vertical Sync can affect the results for these new test methods."
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AMD

+ - Hardware-based capture measures GPU performance in a new light->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "A new system for testing performance of graphics cards that has been in the works for over a calendar year is being fully unveiled today, called Frame Rating. This technology uses hardware-based capture to record the output from the graphics card and GPU directly and then uses post processing to measure performance and experiences as the user would see them, not through basic logs recorded on the gaming system itself. This much more accurate representation of performance has revealed some interesting highs and some unfortunate lows for graphics vendors already. AMD's CrossFire and Eyefinity technologies take the brunt of the damage: Frame Rating proves that in many games adding a second GPU to your system will result in essentially zero improvement in performance, frame rate or animation smoothness. PC Perspective has detailed the new testing methodology and posted the first sets of data across several PC titles."
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