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Submission + - DirectX 12 multi-GPU tested, combining GeForce and Radeon graphics cards

jjslash writes: Stardock's Ashes of the Singularity is an upcoming DX12 title that incorporates many of the new API's technologies. Perhaps the most notable of them is 'explicit multi-adapter' (EMA), DirectX 12's multi-GPU technology, which enables support for both AMD and Nvidia GPUs in the same system. This means it's now possible to pair a GeForce GTX 980 Ti with a Radeon R9 Fury to boost performance while having their memory combine into a single larger pool. This means two 4GB cards would essentially have an 8GB memory buffer and this could certainly improve the texture fidelity of future games.

Submission + - Researchers claim success on removing HIV from living cells (nature.com)

ffkom writes: A recent publication of German researchers claims success on removing the HI-Virus from living cells, showing a way to completely cure Aids rather than just suppressing its symptoms (by lowering the amount of viruses) by permanent medication:

Current combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) efficiently suppress HIV-1 reproduction in humans, but the virus persists as integrated proviral reservoirs in small numbers of cells. To generate an antiviral agent capable of eradicating the provirus from infected cells, we employed 145 cycles of substrate-linked directed evolution to evolve a recombinase (Brec1) that site-specifically recognizes a 34-bp sequence present in the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the majority of the clinically relevant HIV-1 strains and subtypes. Brec1 efficiently, precisely and safely removes the integrated provirus from infected cells and is efficacious on clinical HIV-1 isolates in vitro and in vivo, including in mice humanized with patient-derived cells. Our data suggest that Brec1 has potential for clinical application as a curative HIV-1 therapy.

Clinical trials are expected to start in Hamburg, Germany, soon.

Submission + - Apple Is Said to Be Working on an iPhone Even It Can't Hack (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple engineers have already begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California, according to people close to the company and security experts.

If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security — and experts say it almost surely will — the company would create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies, even if the Obama administration wins its fight over access to data stored on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., rampage. The F.B.I. would then have to find another way to defeat Apple security, setting up a new cycle of court fights and, yet again, more technical fixes by Apple.

Submission + - Windows 10 Now Showing Full Screen Ads on Lock Screen (consumerist.com)

Striek writes: Several media outlets are reporting that Windows 10 has now started showing full screen ads on users' lock screens. They can be turned off, but how many people will actually bother with this?

Tips site How-To Geek discovered that Windows Spotlight—which normally rotates between a selection of photographs—was being used to display an ad for Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. Understandably, most people probably don’t want to be hit in the face with a full-screen ad for a video game before they even unlock their computer. If you want to make sure you’re not hit with these ads, follow these steps to disable Windows Spotlight:

Open the Start Menu and search for “Lock Screen Settings.”

Under “Background,” select either Picture or Slideshow, instead of Windows Spotlight.

Scroll down to “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” and this toggle.

Apparently the “and more” is where Microsoft hid the advertisements. (emphasis mine)


Submission + - SPAM: Hands-on guide to HEVC encoding, performance and quality

jjslash writes: While H.264 is doing a pretty good job of delivering compressed videos to users, there’s a better standard out there that offers similar quality at even smaller file sizes. HEVC's (High Efficiency Video Codec) main advantage over H.264 is that it offers roughly double the compression ratio for the same quality. This means that a video file encoded with HEVC can occupy half the space of its H.264 equivalent with no noticeable change in quality, or the same amount of space with improved quality. Sounds pretty good, right?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Sen. Ted Cruz wants minimum H-1B wage of $110,000 (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has morphed from a vocal supporter of the H-1B program to a leading critic of it. He has done so in a new H-1B reform bill that sets a minimum wage of $110,000 for H-1B workers. By raising the cost of temporary visa workers, Cruz is hoping to discourage their use. Cruz also wants to eliminate Optional Practical Training Program (OPT). The co-sponsor of this bill, The American Jobs First Act of 2015, is U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who called the OPT program "a backdoor method for replacing American workers."

Submission + - Locked Intel Skylake CPUs can be overclocked after BIOS update (techspot.com)

jjslash writes: For a few years now, Intel CPU overclocking has been limited to more expensive Core i5 and Core i7 'K' processors. Skylake launched this year with the rumor of strong non-K processor overclocking through an adjustable base clock, but that never eventuated... until now.

In overclocking circles it was rumored that BCLK (base clock) overclocking might become a possibility in Skylake processors, but it would be up to motherboard manufacturers to circumvent Intel's restrictions. Asrock, Asus and a few other motherboard manufacturers are said to be issuing a BIOS update soon that will unlock base clock overclocking on Z170 motherboards. TechSpot has got an early look, overclocking a locked Core i3-6100 to 4.7GHz on air cooling.

Submission + - Google's Project Loon Could Interfere With Mobile Operations (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google’s Project Loon, which aims to deliver internet connectivity to far-flung locations using balloons, will damage cellular communications provided by Indian mobile operators, the country’s government claimed today. Telecom Minister Shankar Prasad had argued in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha (RS), the Indian Council of States, that the frequency band proposed for the Loon project is already in use for cellular operations in India. He explained that this clash would lead to interference with mobile transmissions. The response was given in reply to the RS’ query whether technical difficulties would arise from approving the operation of Project Loon in India.

Submission + - Revisiting how much RAM is enough today for desktop computing (techspot.com)

jjslash writes: A hotly debated subject year in and year out, TechSpot is testing how much RAM you need for regular desktop computing and how it affects performance in apps and games, and as it turns out, there's not much benefit going beyond 8 GB for regular programs, and surprisingly, 4GB seems to be enough for gaming in most cases.

Although RAM is cheap these days, and they had to go to absurdly unrealistic settings to simulate high demand for memory outside of virtualization, it's a good read to confirm our judgment calls on what is enough for most in 2015.

Submission + - Multiple Vulnerabilities in Pocket

vivaoporto writes: Clint Ruoho reports on gnu.gl blog the process of discovery, exploitation and reporting of multiple vulnerabilities in Pocket, the third party web-based service chosen by Mozilla (with some backslash) as the default way to save articles for future reading in Firefox.

The vulnerabilities, exploitable by an attacker with only a browser, the Pocket mobile app and access to a server in Amazon EC2 costing 2 cents an hour, would give an attacker unrestricted root access to the server hosting the application.

The entry point was exploiting the service's main functionality itself — adding a server internal address in the "read it later" user list — to retrieve sensitive server information like the /etc/passwd file, its internal IP and the ssh private key needed to connect to it without a password. With this information it would be possible to SSH into the machine from another instance purchased in the same cloud service giving the security researcher unrestricted access.

All the vulnerabilities were reported by the researcher to Pocket, and the disclosure was voluntarily delayed for 21 days from the initial report to allow Pocket time to remediate the issues identified. Pocket does not provide monetary compensation for any identified or possible vulnerability.

Submission + - AMD Continues Giving A Black Eye To Linux Gaming (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AMD's Linux gaming performance has been embarrassingly bad but it doesn't look like there's any quick remedy. Virtual Programming just released Dirt: Showdown for Linux and it's the latest example of AMD's Linux driver issues: AMD's GPUs results are cringe worthy with even the Radeon R9 Fury running slower than NVIDIA's aging GTX 680 and GTX 760. If a racing game doesn't interest you, next week Feral Interactive confirmed they are releasing Company of Heroes 2 for Linux but only NVIDIA and Intel graphics are supported.

Submission + - IRS computer hack bigger than previously thought

schwit1 writes: A hack of IRS taxpayer information was significantly bigger than previously estimated, the IRS revealed today.

An additional 220,000 potential victims had information stolen from an IRS website as part of a sophisticated scheme to use stolen identities to claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Monday. The revelation more than doubles the total number of potential victims, to 334,000.

Well, no matter, this hack is mere chicken feed compared to the 21 million records stolen from the federal Office of Personal Management. And it hardly compares with the recent Pentagon breach, where the Chinese got almost all federal records. No, the IRS is doing a much better job then those other agencies, only being slightly incompetent and screwing up only a little.

Submission + - Breathing Beijing's Air is The Equivalent of Smoking Almost 40 Cigarettes a Day (economist.com)

iONiUM writes: From the economist: "Pollution is sky-high everywhere in China. Some 83% of Chinese are exposed to air that, in America, would be deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency either to be unhealthy or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Almost half the population of China experiences levels of PM2.5 that are above America’s highest threshold. That is even worse than the satellite data had suggested."

They go on to say "Berkeley Earth’s scientific director, Richard Muller, says breathing Beijing’s air is the equivalent of smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day and calculates that air pollution causes 1.6m deaths a year in China, or 17% of the total. A previous estimate, based on a study of pollution in the Huai river basin (which lies between the Yellow and Yangzi rivers), put the toll at 1.2m deaths a year—still high."

Submission + - How to shoot down a drone (popularmechanics.com)

gurps_npc writes: Popular Mechanics has a nice article about how to shoot down a non-military drone. Interestingly enough, a Super Soaker will do the job while a standard paint gun does nothing. It doesn't take much energy as long as it is concentrated. A BB gun can do it as well — if you can hit the the target.

Submission + - Dual GPU battle: GTX 980 Ti SLI and Radeon R9 Fury X Crossfire (techspot.com)

jjslash writes: Nvidia and AMD's high-end GPU parts are plenty fast and while both cards can provide playable performance at 4K, many games dip down to and below 30fps, so folks looking to achieve smooth 4K gameplay will undoubtedly be eyeing dual GTX 980 Ti or Fury X cards to realize their PC gaming machine's full potential. TechSpot puts both cards to the test in SLI and Crossfire modes, at stock and overclocked speeds in over 10 games to see who gets the bragging rights.

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