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Submission + - Obama Directs FCC to Mandate All Cell Phones Be Unlocked (washingtonpost.com) 1

globaljustin writes: "Several months after calling for legislation to unlock cellphones, the White House filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices so that users can easily switch between carriers."

This move should be met with universal acclaim from cell phone users, right?

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 + - 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 + - U.S. secret surveillance court rules phone metadata collection lawful (zdnet.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. secret surveillance court has ruled the mass collection of telephone call data by the U.S. government as lawful, despite fears that the practice may fall in breach of Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted searches.

Submission + - New technology claims to chill drinks in 45 seconds (siliconrepublic.com)

An anonymous reader writes: With all the talk of climate change and reducing our carbon footprint, a company called RapidCool has developed a technology to rapidly cool drinks, from room temperature to 4C/39F, at the point of sale and thus saving as much as 80% compared to current methods & cooling technologies.

Submission + - WeChat IM application could disclose your password to attackers (emaze.net)

soulflyz writes: Security researchers found some security issues in WeChat, a popular instant messaging application developed by the Chinese company Tencet. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, any other application installed on the user's phone can force WeChat to send the user's password hash (in plain MD5 format) to an external web server, controlled by the attacker. Android versions of WeChat up to 4.5.1 are confirmed to be vulnerable, but similar issues could interest also other versions of the application. According to recent statistics, WeChat should have about 300 million registered users.

Submission + - Intel Bay Trail Brings New Architecture and Performance to Atom (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, the company officially released the Atom Z3000 series of SoCs (Bay Trail) based on the Silvermont architecture. Unlike previous Atom designs, the Z3000 and Silvermont is a completely re-architected product from the ground up and is no longer based on legacy processors. Changes include a move to an out-of-order x86 architecture with drastically improved single threaded performance but the removal of Intel's HyperThreading technology. Dual-core modules with 1MB of shared cache can be paired up to create a quad-core SoC that also includes upgraded graphics design. Intel is no longer depending on PowerVR for a GPU and has integrated a 4 EU (execution unit) Intel HD Graphics design that is very similar to the one used in Ivy Bridge. As a result, as tested at PC Perspective in both Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2, the Bay Trail part is as much as 4x faster in single threaded tasks and 3.5x faster in gaming and graphics. Power consumption remains nearly the same as it did with Clover Trail (Atom Z2760) but with improved power gating and support for Connected Standby, Intel's new Atom looks and feels completely different than any before it.

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 + - NVIDIA SHIELD is first with Tegra 4, merging mobile and PC gaming

Vigile writes: First shown at CES in January, NVIDIA SHIELD is a purpose built Android gaming device with a few interesting features that help it stand out from your normal phones or tablets. First, it is the only available device to be powered by the Tegra 4 SoC, NVIDIA's latest processor. Second, it merges a console-grade controller with a 5-in touch screen in an attempt to standardize Android gaming with reliable and solid input. Third, users with GeForce GTX graphics cards can stream PC games on their home network to the SHIELD to play games remotely. PC Perspective has published a review of SHIELD and found that not only is Tegra 4 incredibly powerful but that SHIELD actually makes Android gaming interesting for the first time.

Submission + - New Samsung 840 EVO with TurboWrite TLC Technology (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Samsung continues with strong releases into the SSD market with the new 840 EVO today. Based on the same TLC (triple level cell) flash that the original Samsung 840 drive used when it launched last year, Samsung has improved the write speeds of this new drive by implementing something called TurboWrite. By accessing a portion of that TLC memory as if it were SLC, it can be written to much faster that MLC or TLC allowing the drive to dump all writes to that area initially and then migrate the data to TLC when idle or when the cache is full. Initial write speeds of this write-back cache can be as high as 520 MB/s but after it's full (during sustained writes) it will drop to as low as 140 MB/s. Through testing at PC Perspective they found that average "flush times" of the cache will change based on the drive capacity and cache sizes which range from 3-12GB.

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.

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