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Windows

Windows 10 Launches 194 194

An anonymous reader writes: Today Microsoft officially released Windows 10 in 190 countries as a free upgrade for anyone with Windows 7 or later. Major features include Continuum (which brings back the start menu and lets you switch between a keyboard/mouse UI and a touch UI without forcing you into one or the other), the Cortana digital assistant, the Edge browser, virtual desktops, DirectX 12 support, universal apps, an Xbox app, and security improvements. Reviews of the operating system generally consider it an improvement over Windows 8.1, despite launch-day bugs. Peter Bright writes, "Windows 8 felt unfinished, but it was an unfinished thought. ... Windows 10 feels unfinished, but in a different way. The concept of the operating system is a great deal better than its predecessor. It's better in fact than all of its predecessors. ... For all my gripes, it's the right idea, and it's implemented in more or less the right way. But I think it's also buggier than Windows 8.1, 8, 7, or Vista were on their respective launch days." Tom Warren draws similar conclusions: "During my testing on a variety of hardware, I've run into a lot of bugs and issues — even with the version that will be released to consumers on launch day. ... Everything about Windows 10 feels like a new approach for Microsoft, and I'm confident these early bugs and issues will be addressed fairly quickly."
Patents

MPEG LA Announces Call For DASH Patents 54 54

An anonymous reader writes: The MPEG LA has announced a call for patents essential to the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (or DASH) standard. According to the MPEG LA's press release, "Market adoption of DASH technology standards has increased to the point where the market would benefit from the availability of a convenient nondiscriminatory, nonexclusive worldwide one-stop patent pool license." The newly formed MPEG-DASH patent pool's licensing program will allegedly offer the market "efficient access to this important technology."
Hardware

NVIDIA Tegra X1 Performance Exceeds Intel Bay Trail SoCs, AMD AM1 APUs 55 55

An anonymous reader writes: A NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV modified to run Ubuntu Linux is providing interesting data on how NVIDIA's latest "Tegra X1" 64-bit ARM big.LITTLE SoC compares to various Intel/AMD/MIPS systems of varying form factors. Tegra X1 benchmarks on Ubuntu show strong performance with the X1 SoC in this $200 Android TV device, beating out low-power Intel Atom/Celeron Bay Trail SoCs, AMD AM1 APUs, and in some workloads is even getting close to an Intel Core i3 "Broadwell" NUC. The Tegra X1 features Maxwell "GM20B" graphics and the total power consumption is less than 10 Watts.

Comment The hardware "ecosystem" depends on crap software (Score 3, Interesting) 307 307

I run a P4 3.8GHz single core system as my main desktop, even though I do development with it. Switching to a newer Core i5 system will make it run 10 times as fast, but as the runtime on my huge (tuned) code base is under 5 minutes already, it really won't save me *that* much time compared to *editing* the code. It will save on build time, which is a boon to me, but even that savings is only due to the nature of my build process -- I do full instead of incremental builds.

I do plan on buying a new machine in a few months when I've saved the money, but my main point is that the hardware we use has been "good enough" for a good decade. It is the crappy software the people shovel out that drives hardware upgrades nowadays, not the actual need for faster hardware.

So it is to the hardware manufacturer's benefit that as much software as possible be absolutely incompetently written crap so that people will buy the latest shiny-shiny because their old one is "too slow."

Security

Hacker Set To Demonstrate 60 Second Brinks Safe Hack At DEFCON 147 147

darthcamaro writes: Ok so we know that Chrysler cars will be hacked at Black Hat, Android will be hacked at DEFCON with Stagefright, and now word has come out that a pair of security researchers plan on bringing a Brinks safe onstage at DEFCON to demonstrate how it can be digitally hacked. No this isn't some kind of lockpick, but rather a digital hack, abusing the safe's exposed USB port. And oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that the new safe is running Windows XP either.

Comment Re:Skylake is two weeks away (Score 1) 75 75

Even a megapixel display at 24 bits required 3MB per frame... and a megapixel display has been "low end" for a lot of years now!

Seriously, though -- why does everyone sneer at the fact that not everyone is a gamer? Why are gamers so god damned fucking ARROGANT about their "my dick is bigger than yours" hardware?

Comment Re:May as well ban rain (Score 1) 289 289

The point is to write a "feel good" letter because "we tried to stop them."

Besides, everyone knows the US military and it's mega corp providers are probably the biggest researchers in this area, probably have been for 50+ years, and are unlikely to ever give up their funding just because a bunch of people with degrees think they should do so.

As the letter points out, the technology needed is widely available. That means that even Joe Blow in his basement could work on such AI systems. From there it's just a matter of connecting the AI to a weapons system, and there is no shortage of remotely-controllable weapon systems already. (Drones, anyone?)

Personally I applaud the letter writers for trying. They're incredibly naive to think their letter will have any impact on the decision makers, but they did try! :P

Comment Re:Skylake is two weeks away (Score 1) 75 75

Not everyone wants the noise of an add-on video card. Some of us don't game, and only need "good enough" graphics to drive the display manager requirements. Add on a dollar or two saved on the power bill per year, less money spent on the power supply, and the money saved for the no-longer-necessary add-on graphics card, and built-in CPU graphics sounds like a "win" to me.

I might keep on using my fanless NVidia card on my next box, but I'm going to wait and see whether I can saturate my drive IOs while putting up with the shared memory of the built-in GPU first. If I can saturate the drive, I'll save the power load and stick with the built-in graphics. Besides, Intel has a better reputation for their drivers on Linux than NVidia does. Not that I've ever had problems with the NVidia drivers myself, but in theory they can be a problem.

Google

Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Revealed In MPAA Emails 248 248

vivaoporto writes: Techdirt reports on a plan to run an anti-Google smear campaign via the Today Show and the WSJ discovered in MPAA emails. Despite the resistance of the Hollywood studios to comply with the subpoenas obtained by Google concerning their relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (whose investigation of the company appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves) one of the few emails that Google have been able to get access to so far was revealed this Thursday in a filling. It's an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google.

The lawyers from Hood's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories. One email reads: "Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed."

As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the "plan" states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or "civil investigatory demand") on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood. This makes it pretty clear that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works.

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