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Graphics

Submission + - Futuremark's New 3DMark Introduces Cross-Platform Testing (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "For 14 years, Futuremark's 3DMark benchmarks have served as a reliable point of comparison for PCs with a vast range of CPU and GPU configurations. Now, the company is branching out into cross platform testing. The new 3DMark (there's no year or modifier attached) is designed to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons across Android, iOS, Windows RT and Windows X86 devices. Only the PC version of the test is being made available today, but associated technical documentation tell how the cross-platform testing will be handled. Ice Storm is designed for tablets, ultra portables and entry level PCs. Cloud Gate is for notebooks and home PC with integrated graphics. Fire Strike is for gaming PC and high-end components, while Fire Strike Extreme is for multi-GPU systems."

Submission + - FCC Proposal Could Save Net Neutrality (northmobilepost.com)

nmpost writes: The FCC’s proposal to create large, public WiFi networks across the nation would do more than bring internet to masses. Such a network could save the free and open internet as we know it. The big telecoms, who are staunchly opposed to the idea, have been pushing to end net neutrality, which is the idea that all data on the net should be treated equally. They seek to create a tiered system where sites that pay more would receive faster service on their networks. Abolishing net neutrality would also allow the telecoms to push their own sites and services ahead of third party competitors. A free public option to internet would change all of that. While the big telecoms would still offer faster speeds, and thus keep some customers, a public option would force them to become more consumer friendly. Internet providers typically have a monopoly in a given town. A free public alternative would create competition, which is almost always better for the consumer.
AMD

Submission + - AMD Revamps Never Settle Game Bundle with More Top Titles (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "AMD has decided to roll out another interesting offer for gamers considering the purchase of a new graphics card. The Sunnyvale chip designer just announced the arrival of its "Never Settle: Reloaded" game bundle, the sequel to last year's "Never Settle" bundle, which allows gamers to receive download codes for triple AAA titles with the purchase of select Radeon HD 7800 and 7900 Series graphics cards. Gamers living in the U.S. who purchase any Radeon HD 7800 Series graphics card from a qualified vendor will receive codes for Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider (2013). Purchase any Radeon HD 7900 Series card, also from participating vendor, and you'll receive Crysis 3 and Bioshock: Infinite. Should you decide to indulge yourself with CrossFire, AMD is offering six free games with the purchase of any two Radeon HD 7900 Series graphics cards. Those games include Crysis 3, Bioshock: Infinite, Tomb Raider (2013), Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs."
Games

Submission + - Mobile Gaming Threatens Console Market, As Next Gen Systems Wait In The Wings (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Console sales (hardware and software) have tumbled for the second year in a row, even as game purchases from tablets and smartphones have soared. These factors would be troubling in any context, but the economics of new console launches are particularly brutal. Sony and Microsoft historically take a bath on console launches and hope to make up the difference in software sales. If we start counting in 2005, Microsoft's last quarter of results finally brought the company into the black in terms of total costs and losses for the Entertainment division and we can safely assume that Sony is much deeper in the red than Microsoft over the lifetime of the PS3. Few people would argue that Angry Birds is a replacement for Mass Effect 3, but mobile games are typically $2-$5 compared to $60 or more for premium titles. The question isn't whether or not hardcore gamers will buy new platforms — they absolutely will — but whether occasional gamers or media enthusiasts will opt to invest in a next-generation device when cheaper products offer increasingly sophisticated entertainment and media capabilities."
Microsoft

Submission + - The Battle Between Microsoft and Apple Could Kill Office for iOS (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: "It has been over six years since Apple introduced the iPhone. Millions of apps have been written for the platform in that time, with collective downloads into the billions. Apple's App Store is a thriving marketplace with a huge amount of software available on virtually any topic you can think of. But not Microsoft Office. There's a version of Office for iOS supposedly in the works, but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer threw cold water on the idea when asked about upcoming events for the Office suite after launching the new Office 2013 / Office 365 products earlier this week. Revenue sharing is reportedly a major sticking point. Microsoft is trying to push people towards yearly subscriptions with Office 2013 and Office 365, but Apple requires a 30 percent profit share on the sales of any application. Microsoft reportedly isn't thrilled at the idea of sharing that much revenue with Cupertino. It's ironic, really — when Bill Gates agreed to port Office to the Mac nearly 20 years ago, it was seen as a lifeline for the beleaguered manufacturer. Now, Microsoft is knocking on the door of Apple's business — and Cupertino seems disinclined to share."
Graphics

Submission + - Can A New GPU Rejuvenate A 5 Year Old Gaming PC? (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "New video card launches from AMD and NVIDIA are almost always reviewed on hardware less than 12 months old. That's not an arbitrary decision — it helps reviewers make certain that GPU performance isn't held back by older CPUs and can be particularly important when evaluating the impact of new interfaces or bus designs. That said, an equally interesting perspective might be to compare the performance impact of upgrading a graphics card in an older system that doesn't have access to the substantial performance gains of integrated memory controllers, high speed DDR3 memory, deep multithreading or internal serial links. As it turns out, even using a midrange graphics card like a GeForce GTX 660, substantial gains up to 150 percent can be achieved without the need for a complete system overhaul."
Apple

Submission + - Ebay Selling Limits Attempts to Limit Counterfeits (ebay.com)

scosco62 writes: Ebay has been sending it's customers emails informing them of selling limits. This may well be triggered by the sales of multiple units of Apple products. Has anyone else been selling their old gear, and then received a limit notice from ebay?
Books

Submission + - For Aaron: eBook on Teaching Adults Put in the CCommons (howtoteachadults.com)

danspalding writes: "To commemorate the life and passing of Aaron Swartz, a number of publications have been put in the Creative Commons. Here's one more: The eBook How to Teach Adults, at www.howtoteachadults.com, was CC'ed today in honor of Aaron. (A question about how to best distribute this book was previously posted to Ask Slashdot. Here's the answer.)"
Security

Submission + - At Davos the Elite Ponder Stale Cybersecurity Issues—and Charlize Theron (cio.com)

Curseyoukhan writes: "At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland—where the elite meet to secrete—much of the talk is about cybersecurity. Specifically, attendees are wondering if the U.S. government should be doing more to protect American companies. And, as is frequently the case at gatherings like this, the talk is out of date.

In case you are unfamiliar with the WEF, it’s where the rich and powerful and Charlize Theron* get together to discuss Very Important Issues without having to listen to the opinions of the hoi polloi.

Cybersecurity is on the minds of the Davos-ians because it could cost them money. Apparently they have just learned that "there is barely a large company out there today which has not had its infrastructure and systems breached.""

Chrome

Submission + - Lenovo's ThinkPad Gets Chromed, ThinkPad X131e Announced (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Lenovo added to its education portfolio with the release of the ThinkPad X131e, a Chromebook designed to withstand the substantial abuse doled out by kids in grades K-12. The laptop includes a rubberized bumper around the top cover, reinforced corners for the inevitable drops, and strengthened hinges and brackets that are built to be opened and closed 50,000 times before giving out. Being a Chromebook, this ThinkPad taps into Google Apps for Education and the Chrome Web Store, giving students cloud-powered applications with a back end that is conveniently managed by Google instead of by schools. That said, school IT departments are able to manage the security and scalability of deployed ThinkPad Chromebooks from a single dashboard."
AMD

Submission + - AMD Announces Facebook Open Compute Platform Support (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Nearly two years ago, Facebook launched the Open Compute Project. The initiative was intended to rethink all aspects of data server design, including cooling, racks, and server configuration. The coalition has gathered steam and support from a number of companies. AMD announced its own Open 3.0 Platform at today's OCP Summit. AMD's hardware is designed to meet the OCP's Open Rack standard and to be much more configurable than typical servers. One of the hallmarks of the Open Compute Project is to create common tool sets that can run on platforms from multiple vendors. The long-term goal is to create management frameworks that can handle servers from Intel, ARM, and AMD."
News

Submission + - On Second Thought: IAEA re-categorizes 47 of Japan's nuclear reactors (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: In an unprecedented move, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today retroactively re-categorized 47 Japanese nuclear reactors from "in operation" to "long-term shutdown" in its Power Reactor Information System. Thus, the global number of nuclear reactors listed as "in operation" drops from 437 to 390, a number not seen since Chernobyl-year 1986.
Science

Submission + - Scientists Create New Gasoline Substitute Out of Plants (sfgate.com)

destinyland writes: California scientists have just created a new biofuel using plants that burns just as well as a petroleum-based fuel. "The discovery, published in the journal Nature, means corn, sugar cane, grasses and other fast-growing plants or trees, like eucalyptus, could be used to make the propellant, replacing oil," writes the San Francisco Chronicle, and the researchers predict mass marketing of their product within 5 to 10 years. They created their fuel using a fermentation process that was first discovered in 1914, but which was then discontinued in 1965 when petroleum became the dominant source of fuel. The new fuel actually contains more energy per gallon than is currently contained in ethanol, and its potency can even be adjusted for summer or winter driving.
Education

Submission + - US Educational Scores Not So Abysmal (phys.org)

DavidHumus writes: The much-publicized international rankings of student test scores — PISA — rank the US lower than it ought to be for two reasons: a sampling bias that includes a higher proportion of lower socio-economic classes from the US than are in the general population and a higher proportion of of US students than non-US who are in the lower socio-economic classes.

If one were to rank comparable classes between the US and the rest of the world, US scores would rise to 4th from 14th in reading and to 10th from 25th in math.

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