MojoKid writes: Microsoft just made a major announcement with regards to Windows on ARM processors that power so many of the world's mobile devices. The company has enable the ability to support the complete Windows 10 ecosystem with x86 emulation on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Unlike Windows RT, this is a full version of Windows 10 that is compiled to run on Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware. That means that customers aren't limited to only running Universal Windows apps (as was the case with Windows RT). Users get all of the features and capabilities that you would expect with Windows 10 and will also be able to run Win32 apps (only 32-bit x86 support will offered initially). In the video demo, you can see Microsoft demonstrating Windows 10 running on a Snapdragon 820 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. The device has the ability to join a domain (something that wasn't possible with Windows RT), run Adobe Photoshop CC, Office and even play Windows games.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MojoKid writes: It has been rumored for months that Microsoft would be unveiling a new Windows 10-powered all-in-one flagship but today Microsoft's ever-exuberant Panos Pay unveiled the Microsoft Surface Studio officially at the company's Windows 10 event in New York. The forged aluminum Surface Studio is an all-in-one that features a 28-inch PixelSense touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 192 pixels per inch over a 4500x3000 resolution. According to Panay, this is the thinnest LCD display ever built at just 1.3mm thick. The machines will be powered by Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7 or Core i5 processors, up to 32GB of memory, 1 or 2TB hybrid drives (SSD and HDD) and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M or GTX 965M GPU. For connectivity, you'll find four USB 3.0 ports on the back, GbE, mini DisplayPort and a Secure Digital slot. The Surface Studio has a trick up its sleeve as well and the display can collapse down, bringing it closer to your desk, with a 20-degree drafting angle, employing its zero-gravity hinge. According to Panay, this design "Turns your desk into a studio." The display can then interact with the Surface Dial, which is a radial input accessory that incorporates haptic feedback. When placed on the display, a radial menu pops out around the device, allowing you to adjust things like ink color or line thickness. It can also be used as a standalone media control device, allowing you to adjust the volume, brightness, or flip through pages in a document. Surface Dial also works with the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, while the Surface Studio supports Surface Pen input. Microsoft Surface Studio Starts at $2,999 and is available for pre-order today and is expected to ship in limited quantities during the 2016 holiday season.
MojoKid writes: As we quickly approach the November 8th elections, email leaks from the Clinton camp continue to loom over the presidential candidate. The latest data dump from WikiLeaks shines a light on emails between Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. In one email exchange, dated June 6th, 2015, Sandberg expresses her desire for Clinton to become president, writing to Podesta, "And I still want HRC to win badly. I am still here to help as I can." While that was a private exchange, Sandberg also made her zest for seeing Clinton as the 45th President of the United States publicly known in a Facebook post on July 28th of this year. None of that is too shocking when you think about it. Sandberg has every right to endorse whichever candidate she wants for president. However, a later exchange between Sandberg and Podesta showed that Mark Zuckerberg was looking to get in on the action a bit, and perhaps curry favor with Podesta and the Clinton camp in shaping public policy. Donald Trump has long claimed that Clinton is too cozy with big businesses, and one cannot dismiss the fact that Facebook has a global user base of 1.7 billion users. When you toss in the fact that Facebook came under fire earlier this year for allegedly suppressing conservative news outlets in the Trending News bar, questions begin to arise about Facebook's impartiality in the political race.
MojoKid writes: Whether you use Linux at home or manage a Linux server, you should waste no time in making sure your OS is completely up-to-date. An exploit called "Dirty COW" has now been revealed, and while it's not the most dangerous one ever released, the fact that it's been around for nine years is causing alarm throughout the Linux community. Dirty COW might sound like an awfully bizarre name for an exploit, but it's named as such because the Linux function it affects is "copy-on-write." COW happens when more than one system call references the same data. To optimize the amount of space that data uses, pointers are used (as with data deduplication). If one call needs to modify the data, that's when the data is copied entirely. As a privilege escalation exploit, code execution could happen after this bug is exploited. Imagine, for example, if someone gains access to a system via SQL injection, but lands as a normal user. With this exploit, the equivalent of root access could be gained, at which point the OS is at the mercy of its attacker.