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Submission + - AMD Zen SR7 CPU Allegedly Will Offer Core i7 5960X Performance At Half The Price (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: AMD needs a win in the high-end processor category badly and if the latest leak turns out to be accurate, AMD could get its much needed victory when its unreleased Zen SR7 processor hits the market sometime in Q1 with eight cores in tow. The octal-core Zen part is said to perform better than Intel's muscular Core i7-5960X, a Haswell-E chip with eight cores clocked at 3GHz to 3.5GHz, 16 threads, and 20MB of cache. Not for the faint of wallet, the Core i7-5960X tops $1,000 in street pricing even when it's on sale. AMD's competing SR7 Summit Ridge part is said to cost half as much at $499. New engineering samples of the potentially game changing Zen chip have been popping up in the wild. These latest revisions feature a 3.2GHz core clockspeed and 3.5GHz turbo frequency. These are noticeable jumps in frequency compared to the previous version AMD showed, which had the core and turbo clockspeeds running at 2.8GHz and 3.2GHz, respectively.

Submission + - Apple Reportedly Throttling iPhone 7 Models With Qualcomm Modems To Match Intel (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: A report has ousted Apple's decision to throttle the Qualcomm modem found in many of its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, to match the performance of the Intel modem found in other versions. The issue involves Apple's need to dual-source the iPhone 7's modem block with either a Qualcomm X12 LTE modem or an Intel XMM 3360 chip. As it turns out, Intel's chip on AT&T or T-Mobile performs at a slight disadvantage behind Qualcomm's modem on Verizon or Sprint. Regardless, as a company that sells millions of smartphones, supply chain consistency is critical, hence the need for multiple sources of key components. Further, even if the same model lineup uses two different chips in a key area of the design, keeping them as close in spec performance-wise to one another means that every iPhone 7 customer will be met with the same experience across devices. Apple, of course, is adamant about the fact that there is no "discernible" difference between any one of the iPhone 7s, but that only tells us that their performance is set to be equal. It doesn't tell us what the Qualcomm chip could deliver if it were left wide open to perform to its fullest potential.

Submission + - Intel Lays Roadmap For 100-Fold AI Performance Boost With Nervana & Knights (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel is laying out its roadmap to advance artificial intelligence performance across the board. Nervana Systems, a company that Intel acquired just a few months ago, will play a pivotal role in the company's efforts to make waves in an industry dominated by GPU-based solutions. Intel's Nervana chips incorporate technology (which involves a fully-optimized software and hardware stack) that is specially tasked with reducing the amount of time required to train deep learning models. Nervana hardware will initially be available as an add-in card that plugs into a PCIe slot, which is the quickest way for Intel to get this technology to customers. The first Nervana silicon, codenamed Lake Crest, will make its way to select Intel customers in H1 2017. Intel is also talking about Knights Mill, which is the next generation of the Xeon Phi processor family. The company claims that Knights Mill will deliver a 4x increase in deep learning performance compared to existing Xeon Phi processors and the combined solution with Nervana will offer orders of magnitude gains in deep learning performance.

Submission + - 'Stranger in a Strange Land' Coming to TV

HughPickens.com writes: EW reports that Paramount TV and Universal Cable Productions are teaming up to develop Robert A. Heinlein's classic 'Stranger in a Strange Land' into a TV series on Syfy. The 1961 sci-fi book, set in the aftermath of a third world war, centers on Valentine Michael Smith, a human born on Mars and raised by Martians, who, as a young adult, has returned to Earth. The true driving forces of the novel are religion and sex, which Heinlein’s publisher at the time wanted him to cut out. But as the author noted to his literary agent, if religion and sex were removed from the text, what remained would be the equivalent of a “nonalcoholic martini.” “From my point of view, Stranger in a Strange Land isn’t just a science fiction masterpiece it also happens to be one of my favorite books ever!” says NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer. “The story is timeless and resonates more than ever in today’s world. As a fan, I can’t wait to see it come to life as a world-class television event.” A previous attempt at adapting Heinlein’s novel came in 1995, when Batman Returns' Dan Waters penned a script designed for Tom Hanks and Sean Connery.

Submission + - Samsung Launches SSD 960 EVO NVMe Drive At 3GB/Sec And Under .50 Per Gigabyte (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: When Samsung announced the SSD 960 PRO and SSD 960 EVO NVMe drives a few months back, their specifications, which included transfer speeds in excess of 3.2GB/s, were among the fastest for consumer-class M.2-based Solid State Drives currently. Testing proved out the SSD 960 Pro as one of the fastest NVMe drives on the market and like that drive, Samsung's just-launched SSD 960 EVO is packing the company's latest 5-core Polaris controller, but it features lower cost 3rd-gen 3-bit MLC V-NAND flash memory and a newly revamped version of Samsung TurboWrite technology. Though the SSD 960 EVO family's pricing places it firmly in the mainstream segment for NVMe-based solid state drives, its performance still targets enthusiasts but with lower endurance ranging from 100 — 400 TBW (Terabytes Written), depending on capacity. The new Samsung SSD 960 EVO comes in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities and is still able to hit 3GB/sec in testing. Though it does trail the SSD 960 Pro in spots, it also drops in at a 15 — 20 percent lower price point.

Submission + - Jaguar Unveils 400HP I-Pace EV With Dell And HTC Powering VR Vehicle Experience (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Tesla isn't the only automaker that's staking a claim in the EV market. The American car company is getting some fresh competition from an unlikely source: Jaguar Land Rover (JLV). The British luxury and sports car maker tonight unveiled the I-Pace Concept electric vehicle (EV), which looks like Jaguar's take on SUV "coupes" like the BMW X4 and X6. The I-Pace — the company's very first EV — definitely shares its design language with current Jaguar vehicles, including the XE, F-Type and F-Pace. Powering the I-Pace are dual electric motors — one at each axle — which together provide 400 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque. Combined with the 90 kWh lithium-ion battery, Jaguar says that the I-Pace can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and has a driving range of 310 miles (European NEDC test cycle). To help showcase the I-Pace Concept to the press, Jaguar was able to connect members of the press located in both Los Angeles and London so that they could interact with presenters Ian Callum and Ian Hoban during the live unveil. Participants were able to do so in virtual reality with the help of HTC Vive VR headsets powered by Dell Precision workstations. For those that own an HTC Vive at home, you'll be able to take your own VR tour of the I-Pace using JLV's VR app, which will be available directly from Viewport and Steam.

Submission + - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Allegedly Spotted In Shipping With 10GB Of Memory (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Earlier this week there were rumblings that NVIDIA was rumored to be readying the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, a follow-on high end GPU targeted at bringing Titan X class performance to gamers and enthusiasts at a price point somewhere between the Titan X and the GeForce GTX 1080. Though rumored for a CES 2017 unveil, we're also now learning more specifics and possibly even a confirmation of the 1080 Ti's actual existence. Initially spotted on a shipping manifest, details in the shipment of a computer graphics card targeting a destination Indian shipping port via Bangalore Air, point to the NVIDIA nomenclature of PG611 for the GPUl, which designates NVIDIA's GP102, the very same NVIDIA graphics processor that powers NVIDIA's Titan X. The description of the product notes a device dubbed PG611 with the SKU 0010 GPU, that has a 384-bit memory bus and 10240MB GDDR, or 10GB of RAM. Definitively, we can't say that this is confirmation of the GeoForce GTX 1080 TI but a shipment is out there that went from China to India on Novmeber 8th, with a product that very much fits what should its description.

Submission + - De Beers Scientists Fight the Growing Threat of Man-Made Diamonds 1

HughPickens.com writes: The WSJ reports that a small team of scientists working for De Beers is scrambling to stave off a looming threat that could tarnish the luster of natural-mined diamonds: high-quality man-made stones. For now, while synthetics make up just a fraction of the market, they have growing appeal to younger buyers — a headache for mine owners, who are under pressure to cut supply and lower prices, because traders, cutters and polishers are struggling to profit amid a credit squeeze and languishing jewelry sales. Synthetic producers can make 250,000 carats to 350,000 carats of rough diamonds annually, according to industry estimates, compared with about 135 million rough carats mined every year. But Martin Roscheisen, chief executive of Diamond Foundry Inc., a San Francisco synthetic-diamond producer with a capacity of 24,000 carats, says he believes nearly all diamonds consumers purchase will be man-made in a few decades. To counter the threat, last year De Beers helped launch a trade association with other producers to market the attraction of natural diamonds. At a plant about 30 miles west of London, De Beers scientists have been working to detect synthetic diamonds for years. The company has its own synthetic-diamond facility, called Element Six, which produces synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes, such as drilling, and helps De Beers keep up with technological developments. It also started marketing a new, cheap detector called PhosView, that uses ultraviolet light to detect lab-grown stones that quickly screens tiny synthetic diamonds. “We’re very focused on detection,” says Simon Lawson, head of Technologies U.K. at De Beers. “It underpins the integrity of natural diamonds and ensures that consumers cannot be duped into buying a synthetic diamond.” Despite the increased competition, De Beers has no intention of selling synthetics. “De Beers’ focus is on natural diamonds,” says Lawson. “We would not do anything that would cannibalize that industry.”

Submission + - Blizzard Remaking Diablo For Diablo 3 Engine In The Darkening Of Tristram Update (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: It has been twenty years since the release of Diablo, and Blizzard is celebrating with some very special new content. The team is recreating the original Diablo inside Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls with its "The Darkening of Tristram" update. The Darkening of Tristram will offer a sixteen-level dungeon with the four main bosses from Diablo. The name of the bosses have not been clarified yet. There is speculation, however, that they will be the Butcher (Level 2), King Leoric (Level 3), Archbishop Lazarus (a secret lair adjacent to Level 15), and Diablo or the "Lord of Terror." The art style is reminiscent of the original game and comes with visual filters that make the game look pixelated and grainy. Frank Pearce, Blizzard's chief development officer, remarked, "we call it "glorious retrovision." He also stated that the best way to experience the update is to start the game with a fresh character, although the content will be available for all characters. The Darkening of Tristram will also appear on Diablo 3's Public Test Realm next week, though a target formal release date has not been set.

Submission + - All New 'Starship Troopers' Reboot in the Works 1

HughPickens.com writes: Hollywood Reporter reports that Columbia Pictures is rebooting Starship Troopers, the 1997 sci-fi film directed by Paul Verhoeven. The studio is not remaking the film but is said to be going back to the original Heinlein novel for an all-new take and no personnel from the 1997 film are involved. Verhoeven’s film, which starred Casper van Dien and Denise Richards, received critical acclaim for its surprising satire but was a disappointment at the box office, making just $121m worldwide from a $105m budget. The original movie, considered a mixed success at the time of its release went on to achieve a cult following and during the DVD boom of the 2000s, it became a mini-franchise for the studio, which produced three additional direct-to-DVD movies. The newly announced reboot is said to be more faithful to Robert A. Heinlein's original book, but is that a good idea? "Starship Troopers has been decried as promoting fascism and being racist in its creation of a society where democracy has been severely restricted and warfare against the alien "bugs" comes with its own coded terminology that hews too closely to real-world racism for many," says Graeme McMillan. "The question then becomes: in updating Starship Troopers to make it more acceptable to today's audience, can it still manage to remain faithful enough to Heinlein's original to please the existing fan base?"

Submission + - Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7600K Desktop CPU Details And Benchmarks Leaked (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: We weren't expecting to see Intel release Kaby Lake desktop SKUs until a couple months from now, but a new leak has the enthusiast community buzzing with a look at what one of those chips will offer with regards to performance compared to its immediate predecessor. The Intel Core i5-7600K, which is reportedly the top-end SKU in the Kaby Lake Core i5 family is still based on 14nm FinFET technology (or rather, 14nm Plus) and has a base frequency of 3.8GHz that can Turbo Boost to 4.2GHz. It has 6MB of L3 cache and has a rated TDP of 91W. For comparison, the Skylake-based Core i5-6600K, which the Core i5-7600K will be replacing, has a base frequency of 3.5GHz and can Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz. Like its successor, it too has 6MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 91W. On the graphics front, the new Kaby Lake processor has an integrated Intel HD 630 graphics core, which will be clocked slightly higher than the HD 530 core found in its Skylake counterpart. While operating within the same power envelope as the Core i5-6600K, the Core i5-7600K offers roughly a 7 percent to 10 percent performance advantage over its predecessor, which can mainly be attributed to the increase in clock speeds.

Submission + - Dell Teases Dial Driven System To Compete With Microsoft Surface Studio (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: One of the most talked about tech products of past few weeks is likely Microsoft's Surface Studio all in one PC. Microsoft made a splash with its 28-inch content creation machine that comes with an innovative Surface Dial accessory that allows you to invoke menus and controls in various applications. Today at the Adobe MAX conference, Dell teased its own content creation system, and it looks intriguing with its dual displays. There's a primary display that you would find in a typical all-in-one machine, but there's also a secondary display that can be used for touch input. You can swipe and perform multi-touch gestures with your fingers, use the on-screen keyboard, and even pick up a stylus to draw or write on the display. However, the most interesting aspect of this unnamed device is that Dell seems to have its own version of Microsoft's Surface Dial and it appears to operate in the exact same way. It's odd that both Microsoft and Dell are demonstrating such similar input devices in such a short period of time. And though Microsoft has the advantage of being the first in market with this technology, word on the street is that Dell has been developing it for a very long time.

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen-To-Body Ratio Could Surpass 90%, Near Bezel-Less Design (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: There aren't many phones on the market currently that can boast an edge-to-edge display with minimal or no bezel on top and bottom, save for perhaps Xiaomi's recently unveiled Mi MIX. However, word on the web is that the field will expand by at least one more next year, and specifically with Samsung's Galaxy S8. This runs contrary to a previous rumor that the Galaxy S8 might only come with a curved edge display. That would be surprising since Samsung needs to sell as many Galaxy S8 phones as possible after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Only offering a curved edge model could be counterproductive to that goal, though offering an edge-to-edge display could be the spark Samsung needs. Park Won-sang, a principal engineer at Samsung Display noted the division would roll out a full-screen smartphone display with a "display area ratio [that] reaches more than 90 percent next year," during the iMiD 2016 display exhibition in Seoul last week. The engineer added that Samsung may even extend the display area ratio to 99 percent in the years ahead, which would mean virtually the entire front of the phone would be the screen. In case you're wondering, most of today's smartphones utilize a display area to bezel ratio of around 80 percent.

Submission + - Netgear Orbi AC3000 Mesh WiFi System Tested, Blankets Up To 4000 Square Feet (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Consumer WiFi router products are classified by three major performance characteristics: overall throughput or bandwidth, multi-client performance, and range. Although throughput and multi-client bandwidth has scaled-up over the years, range hasn't improved quite as robustly. Even the most powerful WiFi routers, with active antennas, can still leave dead spots in large home or office installations. That's where the recent crop of mesh router technologies, that startups like Eero and Google with Google WiFi, are making significant advancements. By spreading out multiple, interconnected router access points across a WiFi network, you blanket the area with a stronger, more contiguous signal. If you need to go the distance, mesh WiFi routers are the new way to go and Netgear is now entering the fray with a 3Gbps tri-band setup called Orbi. Where the Orbi is different from recent mesh networking products is its 5GHz, 1733Mbps backhaul connection between its satellite and the base router. A combined two unit system offers a 2X2, 866Mbps, 5GHz AC connection and a 2x2, 400Mbps, 2.4GHz link. However, in between, including Gig-E wired devices that you can plug into a satellite, there's a 4x4, 5GHz dedicated backhaul link that lets client connections stretch their legs. Tested against a powerful standard AC5300 router, the Orbi mesh setup delivered consistent performance well north of 130Mbps, through multiple floors, and upwards of 300Mbps at longer distances, up to 4,000 square feet, with the Orbi satellite on the same level as the client PC.

Submission + - A Radiologist Has the Fastest Home Internet In the US (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Jason Koebler via Motherboard has interviewed James Busch — a radiologist and owner of "the first 10 Gbps residential connection in the United States" — at a coffee shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Motherboard reports: "For reference, the Federal Communications Commission officially classifies 'broadband' as 25 Mbps. His connection is 400 times faster than that. Busch found a way to make good use of his 1 Gbps connection, and now he's found a use for 10 Gbps, too. 'An X-ray averages around 200 megabytes, then you have PET scans and mammograms—3D mammograms are 10 gig files, so they’re enormous,' Busch said. 'We go through terabytes a year in storage. We’ve calculated out that we save about 7 seconds an exam, which might seem like, ‘Who cares,’ but when you read 20,000 or 30,000 exams every year, it turns out to be something like 10 days of productivity you’re saving just from a bandwidth upgrade.' While 10 gig connections sound excessive at the moment, Busch says his family quickly started using all of its 1 gig bandwidth. 'We ballooned into that gig within eight or nine months. With my kids watching Netflix instead of TV, with me working, we did utilize that bandwidth,' he said. 'There were situations where my daughter would be FaceTiming and the others would be streaming on the 4K TVs and they’d start screaming at each other about hogging the bandwidth. We don’t see that at 10 gigs.' So why does Busch have a 10 Gbps and the rest of us don’t? For one, 10 Gbps offerings are rare and scattered in mostly rural communities that have decided to build their own internet networks. Most companies that have the technology offer gigabit connections (a still cutting-edge technology only available in a handful of cities) at affordable prices and 10 Gbps connections at comparatively exorbitant ones. In Chattanooga, 1 gig connections are $69.99 per month; 10 gig connections are $299. Thus far, 10 Gbps connections are available in Chattanooga; parts of southern Vermont; Salisbury, North Carolina; and parts of Detroit and Minneapolis. But besides Busch, I couldn’t find any other people in the United States who have signed up for one. EPB, the Chattanooga government-owned power utility that runs the network, confirmed that Busch is the city’s only 10 Gbps residential customer. Rocket Fiber, which recently began offering 10 Gbps in Detroit, told me that it has 'no customers set in stone,' but that it’s in talks with prospective ones. Representatives for US Internet in Minneapolis and Fibrant in Salisbury did not respond to my requests for comment. Michel Guite, president of the Vermont Telephone Company, told me his network has no 10 Gbps customers, either."

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