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General News News (1396)

Google Finds New Bug in Last Pass

Category: General News
Posted: March 28, 2017 03:57PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Researcher Tavis Ormandy of Google's Project Zero has found his third Last Pass vulnerability this month, and described it as "a major architectural problem." A proof-of-concept exploit was created and sent to Last Pass by Ormandy, who was thanked by the company in a blog post. The exploit "makes it possible for malicious websites to steal user passcodes and in some cases execute malicious code on computers running the program," but Last Pass has declined to "disclose anything specific about the vulnerability or our fix that could reveal anything to less sophisticated but nefarious parties." While password managers are able to help increase security for users by generating different, complex passwords for all of the sites a user visits, they seem to be an increasing target for malicious users.

Source: Ars Technica



Vulkan Support Added to 3DMark API Overhead Test

Category: General News
Posted: March 23, 2017 07:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With the development of low-level graphics APIs, we have been promised improved performance by way of computer components being more efficiently used. One example of this is the ability to make many times more draw calls thanks to reduced overhead on a CPU. Some time ago Futuremark added to 3DMark an API Overhead feature test to illustrate the difference between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 specifically by increasing the number of draw calls until the framerate dropped below 30 FPS. Now the company has added the Vulkan API to this test, replacing the Mantle API. Vulkan is like DirectX 12 in that it is a low-level API, but it supports multiple operating systems, while DX12 is limited to Windows 10.

The API Overhead test is only available in the Advanced and Professional Editions of 3DMark, and not the Basic Edition or Steam Demo, so if you want to try it out, you will need one of the paid-for editions. Keep in mind though that this is not a test meant to compare performance between different computers or components. The overhead test is meant only to compare the performance of the different APIs on a single system.

 

 

Source: Futuremark



Corsair Tenkeyless K63 Mechanical Keyboard Announced

Category: General News
Posted: March 17, 2017 11:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*


If you are looking for a new mechanical keyboard, Corsair may have just announced what you want. The K63 is a mechanical keyboard using CHERRY MX Red switches with per-key red LED illumination. Using the CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) you can control each key's lighting and assign new commands or macros to them if you wish. It is a tenkeyless keyboard though, so it does not have the number pad, but that also makes for a more compact design, freeing up room for your mouse or in a bag if you need to travel with it.

The K63 comes with a two-year warranty and is available immediately. Corsair's webpage for the keyboard has it listed at $79.99.

Source: Corsair




ARM Powered Servers Coming to Microsoft Azure Cloud

Category: General News
Posted: March 8, 2017 04:48PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Microsoft has been working with Qualcomm and Cavium to create a version of Windows that will run on ARM processors for use in the servers that power its' Azure Cloud service. VP of the Azure Cloud division Jason Zander said the company is "testing these chips for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data," but added that "It's not deployed into production yet, but that is the next logical step." The designs for the servers, known as Project Olympus, will be revealed at the Open Compute Project Summit and the Open Source nature of the design will allow other companies to utilize it in their own servers. While this is good news for Microsoft and for new technology, Intel could find itself in some trouble as the server market is currently its' most profitable segment.

Source: Bloomberg



Amazon Explains S3 Internet Outage

Category: General News
Posted: March 3, 2017 02:26PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Some of you may have noticed part of the Internet was not working earlier this week. This is because Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) for the US-EAST-1 region partially went down and recently the company explained what happened. An S3 team in Northern Virginia was debugging an issue involving the S3 billing system and while following an established playbook during this work, one of the team members accidentally input an incorrect command. You see, S3 is designed to endure a loss of capacity due to removal or failure, and for the work being done, the team was going to take a small number of servers offline. However, the wrong input was used for one of these commands, causing far more servers to shut down than intended.

As it turns out, these servers that were inadvertently taken offline supported two S3 subsystems, the index subsystems and the placement subsystem. The index subsystems is necessary for all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests, while the placement subsystem is needed for allocating storage during a PUT request. Because of how many servers were removed, both of these subsystems needed to be restarted, and during that time S3 could not take requests. The restarting process also took a long time because of all the safety checks that needed to be done to validate the metadata and how much S3 has grown in recent years. Once the index subsystem was up the GET, LIST, and DELETE APIs were functional and then the placement subsystem could start recovering. Once this was done, S3 was operating normally, but some services needed to catchup on a backlog of work from the disruption.

To prevent this from happening again, the tool that shut down the servers has been changed to remove capacity more slowly and has safeguards to prevent capacity from dropping below a minimal level. Other tools are also being audited to add similar checks. Finally, a plan to partition S3 subsystems into smaller cells later this year has been moved up to happen immediately, as smaller partitions will limit the radius of future failures and improve recovery.

Source: Amazon



YouTube TV is Coming

Category: General News
Posted: March 1, 2017 10:22AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

I do not recall when I saw the first rumor, but it is not official that YouTube TV is coming to the United States. It is another cord-cutting TV streaming service that allows you to watch various television channels, while costing significantly less than many cable plans. For just $35 a month you get access to over 40 networks, some local stations, and YouTube Red Originals, and just one YouTube TV memberships comes with six accounts, with each having its own recommendations and DVR. The cloud DVR has unlimited storage and will keep shows for nine months, so you have plenty of time to catch up on what you missed or just watch something again. YouTube TV, when it launches, can be watched on mobile, tablet, or computer screens, and naturally Chromecast will support it as well.

Follow the source link to find a list of all of the networks YouTube TV has access to, and you can sign up to be notified when it becomes available in your market. Availability will start soon in the largest US markets and expand from there.

Source: YouTube Official Blog



AMD and Bethesda Form Strategic Partnership

Category: General News
Posted: March 1, 2017 09:57AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The Game Developers Conference is a time we see many announcements come out from various companies, and yesterday AMD had its turn at its Capsaicin event. Among the reveals at the event was that AMD and Bethesda Softworks have formed a long-term strategic partnership with the purpose of advancing the games industry. With game developers and graphics companies working together, "the pace of progress can advance exponentially."

Together the companies will work to develop and implement new technologies, including low-level APIs like Vulkan, and to fully utilize the power of Ryzen CPUs, Radeon GPUs, and AMD server solutions across Bethesda franchises. The potential for such collaboration between the two companies has already been demonstrated with the DOOM, where the use of Vulkan enabled unprecedented performance and made it the first AAA title to fully utilize the API.

Source: AMD



Twitch to Add Ability to Purchase Games

Category: General News
Posted: February 27, 2017 11:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

I will admit that I have been motivated to purchase at least one game after watching some let's plays in it (Saints Row The Third to be specific) and I doubt I am the only one that can say this. Twitch though is looking to capitalize on phenomenon in Spring when it launches the ability to purchase the game being streamed directly from the channel page. To help sweeten the deal, purchases over $4.99 will come with a Twitch Crate, containing random digital loot, ranging from game-specific emotes to some Bits. If you make the purchase from a partnered streamer's channel, and they are opted into the program, they will receive 5% of the revenue.

When this feature rolls it, purchases will be available world-wide and made through an Amazon account, but the pricing will be in US dollars. More currencies will be supported in the coming months. Games purchased this way can be downloaded and played through the Twitch launcher, or through existing services. Here is a list of the game-creator launch partners for this feature:

  • Ubisoft
  • Telltale Games
  • Digital Extremes
  • Hi Rez Studios
  • Double Fine Games
  • Fred Wood
  • 11Bit
  • Jackbox Games
  • tinyBuild
  • Raw Fury
  • Devolver Digital
  • Gambitious
  • Trion Worlds
  • Blue Mammoth Games
  • iNK Stories
  • Versus Evil
  • Proletariat
  • Paradox Interactive
  • Vlambeer
  • Campo Santo

Source: Twitch



Zenimax Requests Injunction Against Oculus

Category: General News
Posted: February 24, 2017 01:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like almost anytime there is a lawsuit between two large companies, things are not over yet. The suit between ZeniMax and Oculus over whether ZeniMax proprietary code was illegally used in creating the Oculus Rift VR headset ended not too long ago. ZeniMax won a $500 million judgement and the jury said that while trade secrets were not stolen, Oculus uses copyrighted code without permission and an NDA was violated. While $500 million is a fraction of the billions ZeniMax had sought in damage, it opened the door for requesting an injunction against the code being used, and now the company has done just that. As this code has already been made available to developers to use by Oculus, such an injunction could have a significant impact on the whole of VR.

There is some speculation that ZeniMax might actually be trying to use the pressure of such an injunction, if it is granted, to force Oculus, and its owner Facebook, to reach a settlement. Only time will tell what will come of this, but for now we know the story and legal battle will continue.

Source: Reuters



Valve Brings Linux Support to SteamVR

Category: General News
Posted: February 22, 2017 05:13PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Linux support has finally been added to SteamVR nearly a year after the initial release of the software through a development build. To start getting their hands dirty, developers will need the "latest Steam Beta Client and a Vulkan-friendly beta driver from Nvidia or AMD." As this is a development build of the software, it may not be as stable and full featured as the Windows version, but it will still be interesting to see what users can come up with. Valve also announced that it will no longer charge $3,000 for a training course for SteamVR hardware development, opting to give away the courses for free.

Source: PC World



Verizon Looks to Lower Offer for Yahoo

Category: General News
Posted: February 15, 2017 04:47PM
Author: Nick Harezga

It was reported late last year that Verizon might be having some second thoughts about its acquisition of Yahoo after the latest hacking scandal compromised up to one billion Yahoo accounts. Verizon isn't looking to abandon the deal altogether, but is reported to be close to a new deal that would knock $250 million off the initial offer of $4.8 billion. As part of the new agreement, the two companies will share responsibility for any damages related to the hack rather than having Yahoo absorb the majority of the impact.

Source: Bloomberg



Madden NFL 17 Predicts New England Patriots Victory in Super Bowl LI

Category: General News
Posted: February 1, 2017 11:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today the Madden NFL 17 prediction for Super Bowl LI has been released and it says the New England Patriots will defeat the Atlanta Falcons with a score of 27-24. The details of the game can be read at the source, and if it turns out to be true, this should be a very entertaining game as initially Atlanta's offense will be dominate but in the second half New England will start exploiting a weakness in their opponent's defense. With four minutes left in the game, Atlanta had a 24-20 lead, but then Tom Brady was able to get that need touchdown in the end, which you can see in the embedded video below.

Of course we will have to wait until Sunday to see how accurate this prediction ends up being, but the last time the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl it was especially correct. At that time it got the final score correct, that New England would overcome a 10-point deficit, and was within three yards of one player's final receiving yardage total.

 

 

Source: EA



ASUS Announces Tinker Board

Category: General News
Posted: January 24, 2017 05:05PM
Author: Nick Harezga

ASUS has announced the "Tinker Board" as a competitor to single board computers like the Raspberry Pi 3. The board measures just 8.5cm x 5.3cm but manages to pack a 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A17, ARM Mali-T764 GPU, and 2GB of DDR3 into that small space. The Tinker Board lags the latest Raspberry Pi in CPU power and only supports 32-bit instructions, but might make up for it with a more powerful GPU with "hardware support for H.265 4K decoding instead of just 1080p." It is worth pointing out that a Windows 10 PC with an Intel Kaby Lake is still required for streaming Netflix content in 4K. ASUS has developed its own OS based on Debian Linux and is "working on support for the likes of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and Kodi, but has offered no release date."

Source: Ars Technica



Hyptothermia Holding Xbox One S Giveaway

Category: General News
Posted: January 23, 2017 04:56PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Tech news and review site Hypothermia is holding an Xbox One S giveaway until January 27, with the prize being a 500GB version of the console. Entry is as simple as sending an email as the site believes users "shouldn't have to jump through a bunch of hoops to have the chance to win something." The site is also planning future weekly giveaways for prizes including a Call of Duty Black Ops 3 PS4 bundle, CPU/motherboard combos, and a "Killer Gaming Rig." Head to the site for full details.

Source: Hypothermia



Apple Suing Qualcomm Seeking $1 Billion

Category: General News
Posted: January 23, 2017 11:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On Saturday Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming it has been charging royalties for technologies the company does not have a connection to and is seeking $1 billion. This follows the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming unfair patent licensing practices and back in December Korean regulators fined the company $854 million for unfair trade practices.

According to Apple it pays Qualcomm five times more than it pays all the other cellular patent licensors it has agreements with combined. Qualcomm is one of the many companies that developed basic cellular standards and many other technologies. Apple is also claiming that Qualcomm is withholding almost $1 billion as retaliation for Apple answering questions in the Korean investigation.

Qualcomm's has not finished reviewing the complaint, but feels Apple's claims are baseless and that it has "intentionally mischaracterized" the agreements, negotiations, and the value of Qualcomm's inventions. The company even says it welcomes these claims being heard in court, where Apple's practices will be up for robust examination as well.

Source: CNBC



Raspberry Pi Upgrades Compute Module

Category: General News
Posted: January 17, 2017 05:26PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has upgraded the CM3 Compute Module, a device "designed for embedded computing and industrial users wanting to produce customized products powered by the microprocessor." The CM3 is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 with a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Users will be able to choose from two models, one with 4GB eMMC onboard storage and one that requires the user to add their own storage. It has the same pin layout as the previous Compute Module and allows users to easily port programs that run on the Raspberry Pi 3. The CM3 with included storage has an MSRP of $30 while the version without storage costs $25.

Source: Tech Crunch



Oculus-ZeniMax Lawsuit Heating Up and Zuckerberg to Testify

Category: General News
Posted: January 17, 2017 01:33PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A lot of lawsuits come and go without most people hearing about them, but the current one between ZeniMax and Oculus has recently had good reason to pop up on news sites. The lawsuit alleges that when John Carmack left Id Software, which is owned by ZeniMax Media (as is Bethesda Softworks) he brought with him technology and computer code owned by ZeniMax that Oculus then used. The reason this news may be popping up again is that ZeniMax is now claiming Oculus has destroyed evidence to cover-up their wrongdoing and because Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook which now owns Oculus, is to testify.

In Carmack's testimony he stated there were talks in which ZeniMax was originally going to share this code with Oculus, but these negotiations broke down over how much ownership stake ZeniMax would get in Oculus. Following this Carmack was told to stop working on VR, which is what eventually led to him leaving for Oculus. Once there, Carmack says he rewrote the code used in the Oculus and Gear VR headsets from scratch.

ZeniMax wants to get $2 billion in damages, which happens to match the amount Facebook paid for Oculus when it purchased the company in 2014.

Source: Ars Technica



Microsoft to Cease Security Bulletins Next Month

Category: General News
Posted: January 16, 2017 04:47PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Microsoft has been issuing security bulletins detailing patches and vulnerabilities for 20 years, a practice the company plans to end next month. Users won't be left entirely out in the cold as the company is merely switching its procedure to a searchable database that will provide the same information as the security bulletins. A preview of the database has been operational since November, when the decision to move away from bulletins was first announced. Microsoft described the motivation to make the switch, stating "Our customers have asked for better access to update information, as well as easier ways to customize their view to serve a diverse set of needs."

Source: Computer World



Arrest Warrant Sought for Samsung Vice Chairman

Category: General News
Posted: January 16, 2017 09:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For those of you not aware, South Korea is in the middle of a large political corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of the country's president. Now it appears Samsung is involved in this scandal, as prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for the Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jar-yong. The alleged connection between the company and the scandal relates to a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, which strengthened Lee's position in the company. Supposedly Lee and Samsung attempted to bribe a confidante of the South Korean president to secure government support for the merger by giving millions to certain organizations. Also the former National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo has been accused of pressuring the pension fund to support the merger, and it is a major shareholder in one of the Samsung affiliates.

Samsung disputes the allegations, stating that it "did not make contributions in order to receive favors."

Source: CNN



Stolen Razer Laptops for Sale in China

Category: General News
Posted: January 12, 2017 04:46PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan reported earlier this week that two of its Project Valerie prototype three screen laptops were stolen from its CES booth. The good news is that they appear to have been found, but the bad news is that they are currently for sale in China for the low price of $21,733. Razer was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to criminal charges, but the fact that the laptops are in China make it seem unlikely that any charges might be brought against the offender. At least the company can save a bit of money if it instead chose to buy the laptops back from the thieves.

Source: WCCF Tech



Razer Prototypes Stolen From CES Booth

Category: General News
Posted: January 9, 2017 05:36PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan revealed in a post on his personal Facebook page that two prototypes of the Project Valeria three screen laptop were stolen from the company booth at CES at around 4PM on Sunday. Tan added that all of the necessary forms were filed and the company is offering a $25,000 reward for "original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect." While it is possible that the thieves just wanted to get their hands on the latest technology, Tan is open to the possibility of industrial espionage. Tan added that the latter possibility "is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart."

Source: Min-Liang Tan Facebook via PC Magazine



HDMI 2.1 Spec Announced

Category: General News
Posted: January 6, 2017 10:10AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before any of the advanced technologies we use today could enter consumer products, their specifications had to be set first, and in many cases these specs have been improved and updated over time, adding new features and capabilities. The High Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI is no exception to this and version 2.1 of the spec has been announced with a number of forward-looking goodies.

First up of these new features is support for 8K resolutions at 60 Hz and 4K and 120 Hz, so viewers can enjoy both great detail and smooth action. There is also support for Dynamic HDR, which means that in addition to support more values for color, contrast, and brightness, these values can change from scene to scene, or even frame to frame, if the image calls for it. All of these features so far require a lot of information, so HDMI 2.1 also has a new 48 Gbps cable for uncompressed data transmission. The spec maintains backwards compatibility with previous versions though, so those cables can be used with older devices and an HDMI 2.1 port may still work with older cables as well, but likely not with all of the features enabled.

Two more features coming with HDMI 2.1 is eARC support and Game Mode VRR. With eARC advanced audio formats can be used, including object-based audio which allows sounds to be placed in a virtual space and then recreated by the appropriate speakers, instead of relying on fixed audio channels requiring properly placed speakers. Game Mode VRR allows variable refresh rates to be used, reducing lag, stutter, and frame tearing like what PC gamers can enjoy with FreeSync and G-Sync, with the appropriate hardware.

The HDMI 2.1 spec should be released early Q2 2017 and all HDMI 2.0 Adopters will be notified when this happens, so they can start finding ways to add it to devices.

Source: HDMI



DEEPCOOL Shows Off Several New Products at CES

Category: General News
Posted: January 5, 2017 05:02PM
Author: Nick Harezga

DEEPCOOL is using CES as an introduction for four new computer cases and multiple cooling products. The four cases are the Quadstellar, New Ark 90, Earlkase Liquid, and Baronkase Liquid. The Quadstellar is split into four separate compartments for the graphics card, motherboard, power supply, and hard drives to provide for excellent cooling performance. An automatic air intake system helps to further improve performance through intelligent temperature sensors. The New Ark 90 has tempered glass top and side panels and a preinstalled Captain 280EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Earlkase Liquid has a tempered glass side panel with integrated RGB lighting and a preinstalled Captain 140EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Baronkase Liquid has similar features to the Earlkase in a slightly smaller frame with a preinstalled Captain 120EX AIO liquid cooling system.

The MF120GT case fan is built with a "specially optimized aluminum alloy" to provide "excellent vibration damping capability." The fan incorporates RGB lighting and can vary RPM from 500-2200. The MF120 has the same features as the MF120GT with the exception of using a frameless design. Both fans allow for lighting control through an app. The Captain 120EX RGB and Captain 240EX RGB retain all of the features of the non-RGB versions, with the addition of a variable RGB lighting system, providing pump and LED strip lighting.

Source: Press Release



HyperX Adds to Line of Gaming Accessories

Category: General News
Posted: January 3, 2017 05:03PM
Author: Nick Harezga


Kingston is showing off the addition of several new products to its HyperX line of gaming peripherals at CES this week. The new items include the Revolver S headset, Pulsefire Gaming Mouse, three ALLOY keyboards, and a set of DDR4 memory. The Revolver S is the first headset to feature plug and play Dolby 7.1 Surround and is "designed for comfort and competitive performance with crisp sound and wide soundstage." The Pulsefire mouse utilizes an optical sensor with four DPI settings ranging from 400 to 3200. The ALLOY RGB keyboard offers up to 16 million colors with dynamic lighting profiles and media keys. The ALLOY FPS keyboards offer the option of Cherry MX Red or Brown switches in a full size frame. The HyperX Predator DDR4 LED memory is the first set of memory with RGB lighting from HyperX and can take full advantage of motherboards that have RGB lighting controls such as Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light Sync.

Source: Press Release




AMD Announces Radeon FreeSync 2 for HDR Monitors

Category: General News
Posted: January 3, 2017 12:52PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Later this week at CES 2017 AMD is expected to reveal more information about its upcoming Ryzen CPUs and Vega-based GPUs, which have not been formally announced yet, but today a new technology has been announced by the company. This technology is Radeon FreeSync 2, but it is not necessarily what you expect. FreeSync allows the refresh rate of a supporting monitor to match the framerate a supporting GPU is providing, thereby preventing screen tearing without introducing input lag. Just as recently as the Crimson ReLive drivers released last month, FreeSync received a significant update by allowing games run in a borderless window to benefit from the technology. FreeSync 2 builds on this base, keeping the rates aligned, but is actually targeting HDR monitors and games.

High dynamic range, or HDR is a technology that has been seeing interest grow of late as it presents a wider color gamut and greater range of brightness to the user. Basically whenever you look at an image on a modern monitor, the image can only contain so many colors and the contrast between white and black can only be so great, but HDR monitors support more colors and more contrast. However, there is still going to be some tone mapping from an HDR source to match what the monitor can show and this is where FreeSync 2 steps in. This new API is able to send the information from the monitor about what it is capable of to the GPU, where it can leverage its power to map the luminance, contrast, and colors, to those capabilities, instead of leaving the display's hardware to do the work. This accelerates the process, thereby allowing users, especially gamers, to enjoy HDR gameplay with low-latency.

All Radeon GPUs that currently support FreeSync will also support FreeSync 2, and FreeSync 2 monitors are expected to be available in this first half of 2017. These monitors will support HDR, FreeSync, and Low Framerate Compensation. Since a Samsung vice president is quoted in the AMD press release, we can probably expect to see at least one of these monitors from them and I would not be surprised if others are present at CES 2017.

 

 

Source: AMD and Radeon.com




Verizon Getting Cold Feet After Latest Yahoo Hack

Category: General News
Posted: December 15, 2016 05:05PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Verizon announced a deal to purchase Yahoo in July 2016 for $4.83 billion. After the recent reveal of another hack against Yahoo that will impact up to one billion users, it appears that Verizon is reevaluating that deal. It is being reported that Verizon is looking to lower its' offering or abandon the deal altogether. One of the important issues that Verizon is concerned with is not absorbing any of the fallout from the latest hack, instead leaving that to fall on Yahoo.

Source: Bloomberg



Radeon Instinct Announced by AMD to Accelerate Machine Intelligence with Vega

Category: General News
Posted: December 12, 2016 02:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Not even half way done and December is already proving to be a very interesting month for AMD. It launched the Crimson ReLive drivers, will be having its New Horizons event focusing on the upcoming Zen CPU architecture tomorrow, and now it has revealed its Radeon Instinct program. This program includes both hardware and open-source software to advance machine intelligence, a field becoming ever more interesting and important as more and more data is collected. Creating both high performance GPU and x86 silicon, AMD sees itself as being in a strong position to fulfill the needs of the datacenters that implement machine intelligence methods.

Providing the GPU power behind Radeon Instinct are three new accelerators, the MI6, MI8, and MI25. The MI6 is based on the Polaris architecture, has 16 GB of memory, and is capable of 5.7 TFLOPS of FP16 performance at just 150 W of board power. The MI8 uses the Fiji Nano GPU with 4 GB of HBM to provide 8.2 TFLOPS of peak FP16 performance while drawing less than 175 W. You may have noticed a pattern to the names here, but I am not seeing a clear statement that the MI25 is capable of ~25 TFLOPs, but it would make sense. What AMD does say about the MI25 though is that it is based on the Vega GPU architecture, its next generation GPU architecture not expected until the first half of next year, and uses less than 300 W. All of these accelerators use passive cooling, support AMD MxGPU hardware virtualization, and 64-bit PCIe addressing for multi-GPU peer-to-peer support.

On the software side, AMD has the MIOpen GPU-accelerated library and ROCm. MIOpen is a free and open source library for GPU-tuned implementations of standard routines and should be available Q1 2017. The ROCm platform provides acceleration for several frameworks, so programmers can focus on training neural networks instead of the otherwise necessary performance tuning.

 

 

Source: AMD and Radeon.com



Offline Viewing Comes to Netflix

Category: General News
Posted: November 30, 2016 03:56PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Online streaming service Netflix is finally going to allow users to download and watch some of its content while offline, just in time for the next big holiday travel season. Users can gain access to this feature on Android or iOS devices with an update to their app. The amount of content available for download is currently limited, and I would imagine that Netflix original content is the most likely to be immediately available.

Source: Coming Soon



Future Amazon Echo to Include Touch Screen

Category: General News
Posted: November 29, 2016 05:01PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The latest rumors about the next iteration of the Amazon Echo digital assistant indicate that it is expected to have a 7" touchscreen, a significant difference from the current cylindrical design of the Echo and Echo Dot. Sources familiar with the matter have said the screen would make it "easier to access content such as weather forecasts, calendar appointments, and news." The screen is said to tilt upwards, allowing for viewing while standing. Also to be included are upgraded speakers to provide better quality sound. It is believed that an official announcement could come as soon as the first quarter of 2017.

Source: Bloomberg



Ubisoft VP Describes Change to DLC Plans for Publisher

Category: General News
Posted: November 22, 2016 01:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like it or not, downloadable content is here to stay in the game industry as it is a means to rejuvenate and grow player bases with the additions, and in turn bring in more revenue. There are different kinds of DLC though, with some potentially fragmenting the community between those with it and those who lack access to the additional content. According to a GamesIndustry.biz interview with Ubisoft's VP of Live Operations, the publisher has decided it will no longer sell DLC that is required for gamers to get the whole experience.

The VP uses an analogy of an amusement park, where you are able to enjoy all the rides and then purchase food or various merchandise if you want. If all you want is to ride the rides, they are all accessible to you. This approach to DLC is already being used in Rainbow Six: Siege where extra maps are available for free, while character customization and new characters are what can be purchased.

According to this interview, Ubisoft intends to support its games for five to ten years, which will require keeping players engaged for that entire time. Achieving this will require the right balance of monetization methods, but will not include any DLC that needs to be purchased for the full experience.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz



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