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News Archives for December 2013

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 07:02AM
Author: bp9801

It's officially December, and there's a few reviews for you to check out to welcome in the final month of the year. There's a new scalable NAS from Synology that could be the heart of your media server, either as your first step into the NAS world or an upgrade over an existing model. Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite gets reviewed to see how the e-reader line does with a backlit eInk screen. We finish today with a look at a couple of handy programs that can automatically download subtitles for movies and TV shows so you don't have to worry about it.

Storage/Hard Drives
Synology DS1513+ Scalable NAS for SMB @ Madshrimps

E-Readers
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite @ Benchmark Reviews

Software
Time Saver: 100% Hands Off Subtitle Downloads in Windows or Mac @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Regenerating Polymer Developed

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 07:13AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Self-healing polymers are pretty cool materials that have the ability to repair cracks, scratches, and cuts on their own. If an object has lost a major piece of itself though, the self-healing property will not be able to do much. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University however have developed a model for materials with the ability to regenerate bulk sections.

Regeneration is not a new concept for science, as many animals are able to regenerate severed limbs. This already-studied process helped the researchers identify the criteria for this work: initiation; propagation; and termination. To allow a material to sense when a portion of itself has been removed, the researchers added nanorods, of which the ones nearest to the new surface, move towards it. These nanorods then will cause polymerization reactions with molecules in a solution, to grow more of polymer. Through the computer model, the researchers also realized how to control the process, so as to stop it when necessary, and ensure the newly-grown material looks like the old one.

As this is currently just a computer model, it could be years before an actual regenerating polymer is created. For now though, the researchers will continue to work to optimize the model for when that polymer is ready to be made.

Source: University of Pittsburgh


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Razer Releases New Evil Geniuses Branded Peripherals

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 05:12PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Razer has been active in the eSports community for some time, sponsoring teams, players, and events. The company has now announced a new array of peripherals carrying the brand of Evil Geniuses, one of the teams sponsored by Razer. Limited edition versions of the Taipan mouse, Goliathus mouse pad, and Black Widow Ultimate keyboard will be available and represent the top of line products from Razer. Members of the Evil Geniuses team were involved throughout the design process to help create products that represent the team and its players. Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield said, "Razer's enthusiasm for a custom line of Evil Geniuses products was a major factor in our decision to partner with them in the first place. It shows that there was an internal commitment at Razer to help us grow as a business." The Goliathus has an MSRP of $19.99, the Taipan will cost $89.99, and the Black Widow Ultimate will sell for $149.99. The Taipan and Goliathus are available now while the Black Widow is expected to be available the second week of December.

Source: Press Release


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Razer Adds New Headphones to Lineup

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 05:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Razer got its start with gaming mice but has since expanded its business to include all sorts of high-end peripherals, with the Kraken Forged Edition headphones as the latest addition. The hand assembled headphones are made from aircraft-grade aluminum with leather ear cups to provide for comfort during extended use. Countless hours of design and test have led to a pair of headphones that "deliver booming bass, clear mids and crisp highs for sound that’s optimized for music and pitch-perfect for gaming." Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said, "These are the best headphones on the market for both music and gaming, period. We’ve made some incredible audio products in our time, and I’m proud to say that we have taken another huge step forward in terms of audio quality in a pair of headphones with phenomenal fit and finish."

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA Releases GeForce Experience 1.8

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 08:45PM
Author: bp9801

NVIDIA just keeps rolling right along, as earlier today it released version 1.8 of GeForce Experience. The new update features "game-changing Optimal Playable Setting functionality", as well as various improvements to ShadowPlay to help make it even better. Optimal Playable Settings can now go up to 3840x2160 resolutions; users can choose between Windowed, Borderless Windowed, and Fullscreen Mode; and there's a handy slider to adjust settings between Optimal, performance, quality, or anything in between. NVIDIA defaults to settings that should give you at least 40 frames per second, however you can move the slider to the left for 60FPS or move it to the right for lower FPS (yet better quality). Of course those FPS numbers can change depending on the game and your specific hardware, but it at least gives you a good baseline.

As for the ShadowPlay improvements, Windows 7 users can now record up to 20 minutes of Shadow Mode footage, just like Windows 8 users. Windows 7 Manual Mode also no longer restricts you to a single 3.8GB file, as now it can record across multiple files until you run out of space (if you so choose). NVIDIA's even added the ability to record game and VOIP audio at the same time, so now you can narrate your footage as it happens. All users have to do is just select the "In-game & microphone" option under Audio in GeForce Experience. Some of the other improvements include reduced stuttering while replaying footage, and the ability to capture footage at native resolutions and aspect ratios up to 1920x1080.

GeForce Experience 1.8 should automatically prompt you to download and install if you're using it already, otherwise you can grab it from GeForce.com.

Source: NVIDIA


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The OverclockersClub 2013 Christmas Contest is Here!

Posted: December 2, 2013 @ time: 10:23PM
Author: bp9801

It's December, which can mean only one thing: the OverclockersClub 2013 Christmas Contest! That's right folks, the annual Christmas Contest has arrived at OCC, with a plethora of prizes up for grabs. There is, of course, a grand prize, and Bosco and the sponsors have truly outdone themselves. The grand prize computer features an Intel Core i7 4960X, three NVIDIA GTX Titans, an ASUS motherboard, a 240GB Kingston SSD, 16GB of Patriot DDR3 RAM, a Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer cooler, and plenty more items. Sounds sweet, right? You know it does! There's more than just the system, like RAM from Mushkin, Kingston, and G.Skill; SSDs from Kingston; cases from Thermaltake and Fractal Design; peripherals from a variety of manufactuers; CPU coolers from Noctua; and really just far too many things to list in here.

There are some requirements to enter of course, but predominantly in the email you send to [email protected]. That email must contain your username, full system specifications, and your full mailing address with phone number. The phone number is particularly important, as the grand prize winner will be getting a call from Bosco himself on Christmas morning. You seriously do not want to miss that call, especially if you don't recognize the number! The 2013 Christmas Contest is open to everyone, but just be sure to enter by December 24.

Best of luck to everyone, and a Merry Christmas from all of us at OCC.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: December 3, 2013 @ time: 09:29AM
Author: bp9801

There's a lot of good items for you to look over today, including a couple of Intel Z87 motherboards and Noctua coolers. The first Z87 motherboard is the Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H, which comes in at a lower price point than most but certainly isn't lacking for features. Next is the Biostar Z87X 3D motherboard, which is also a more budget-friendly motherboard that packs in a sweet audio solution. As for Noctua, well we have looks at both the NH-U14S and NH-D14 CPU coolers; the first is a single tower cooler while the second is the big daddy dual tower cooler. There's a review on the Lenovo Erazer X700 gaming PC for those who'd rather buy a fully assembled computer that doesn't skimp on the performance. We have a review on the new Moto X smartphone and also an AirPlay speaker from Wren for iOS devices.

Motherboards
Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H @ ThinkComputers
Biostar Z87X 3D @ Bjorn3D

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-U14S @ Frostytech
Noctua NH-D14 @ PC Perspective

Prebuilts
Lenovo Erazer X700 Desktop Gaming PC @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Wren V5AP AirPlay Speaker for Apple iOS Devices @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Moto X on Verizon Wireless @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Protecting Quantum Information by Removing Quantum Information

Posted: December 3, 2013 @ time: 09:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

One of the weird aspects of quantum mechanics is that observing a system can change it, causing information to be lost. This is a challenge for quantum computers, which require information is stored in qubits for extended periods of time. Researchers at NIST and other institutions however have found actually protect the information in qubits by causing them to give up information.

Typically, once information is encoded into the quantum states of particles, forming a qubit, one would want to protect it from the environment and any interference that could cause that information to be lost. What the NIST researchers have done though is taken advantage of that interference to protect the information they want. The researchers used two ultraviolet lasers to entangle two beryllium atoms, forming a qubit, and had two partner magnesium ions nearby. With an ultraviolet laser and microwaves, the researchers caused the qubit to release information to the magnesium ions, but that information only concerned properties of the particles besides their entanglement. The magnesium ions were then cooled with multiple lasers, causing that information to be lost to the environment.

Eventually what happens is the qubit enters a ground state where only the desired entanglement is left, and it is protected from electromagnetic fields. Essentially, everything unwanted about the qubit was removed, so only what the researchers wanted was left, making it hard to destroy. The researchers found they could successfully entangle the correct state within milliseconds, 75% of the time, and with more time the accuracy grew to 89%.

Source: NIST


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BitFenix Expands Colossus Line of Cases

Posted: December 3, 2013 @ time: 05:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

BitFenix has announced the addition of a pair of cases to its Colossus line of cases that was launched three years ago with the Colossus Full Tower. The two new cases are the opposite of the Colossus namesake in size, instead targeting the small form factor market. One case is geared toward Micro-ATX boards and the other accommodates the Mini-ITX form factor. The two cases share a number of design elements including support for long graphics cards and 240mm water cooling radiators, modular hard drive cages, cable management locations, and filtered intake fans. Both cases also offer lighting with three color choices and a pulse mode. Take a look at the video below for an extensive look at the new cases.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Cherry Unveils the MX RGB Switches; Launches in 2014 with Corsair Leading the Way

Posted: December 4, 2013 @ time: 01:37AM
Author: bp9801

Mechanical keyboards are supremely popular in this day and age, with pretty much all of them using one of the many varieties of Cherry MX switches. Today Cherry has something new in store, as it's presenting the Cherry MX RGB switch. It's the first switch specifically designed to take advantage of multicolor LED illumination, as Cherry has applied SMD (Surface Mount Devices) LEDs directly to the circuit board to provide even lighting through the keycaps. This means 16.7 million colors can easily and readily be displayed with the new MX RGB switches, and with no odd illumination on certain keys. Cherry's product developer, Karl-Heinz Müller, explains the new switches thusly:

The illumination of keyboard symbols – especially in terms of their uniformity of illumination – is a technically highly complex and demanding task. The previous solution with the incorporation of 3 mm LEDs led to unsatisfactory results. With our newly developed MX RGB switch, key symbols can be evenly illuminated not only in the widest variety of brightness levels but also in up to 16.7 million different colors. Our new concept of light conductance was implemented through the use of new materials and several patent-pending technical solutions. This innovative, technical concept was implemented only in conjunction with manufacturing processes and sophisticated tool concepts constantly optimized over many years.

Cherry was able to get the even illumination by using a transparent case and a scattering surface lens. It allows for all 16.7 million colors to be displayed at high intensity, so no matter how dark your room is, you won't have an issue. Since the SMD LEDs are directly on the circuit board, production can be fully automated and at a cheaper price, which will hopefully translate to us consumers. The Cherry MX RGB switches will be available in Blue, Black, Red, and Brown varieties, so your favorite switch will soon be able to benefit from the new illumination. Each switch also uses Gold Crosspoint contacts for the utmost precision, as well as high speed, long life, and no dust/dirt build up thanks to their self-cleaning nature.

Corsair, as one of Cherry's partners, will be the first manufacturer to bring the MX RGB switches to market next year. The first products will be shown at CES 2014 in a little over a month, and I imagine those keyboards will be some of the most sought after ones on the market.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Toshiba Acquires OCZ for $35 Million

Posted: December 4, 2013 @ time: 01:41AM
Author: Prunes

Only a few days ago, OCZ filed for bankruptcy. It was sad news for many, since the company's SSDs have been a favorite for many PC builders. But it may not be the end of OCZ's line of SSDs, as it has been confirmed that Toshiba will acquire "OCZ's client and enterprise solid state drive business". And while doing that Toshiba will also be funding OCZ's purchase of NAND, so it can support its customers during the transitional period.

Toshiba will obtain every single part of OCZ, which includes its "proprietary controllers, firmware, and software, as well as the teams responsible for bringing those solutions to market." This is a huge gain for Toshiba's SSD department, since OCZ has extensive knowledge about SSDs and especially its own controller and firmware. Toshiba will also be acquiring OCZ's brand and sales channels, so maybe Toshiba will continue to sell products under the OCZ brand, but it is still unknown.

According to Ralph Schmidt, CEO of OCZ, the causes of OCZ's demise are credit issues, NAND supply issues, and a very competitive SSD market. The last few years the number of SSD manufacturers has grown tremendously, and it now consist of large players, such as Intel, Samsung, Corsair, and many more. Many of these large companies have very deep pockets, which enables them to pour large amounts of money into R&D and advertising. And it appears that it was too much for OCZ.

Source: Ars Technica


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Using Copper Nanowires in Fuel Cells

Posted: December 4, 2013 @ time: 09:13AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For billions of years, plants have been breaking apart water molecules to store solar energy in chemical bonds. Humanity has been trying to achieve a similar feat for considerably less time, and one issue with many of our attempts is the use of the expensive and fragile material, indium tin oxide (ITO). Researchers at Duke University however, have found that films of copper nanowire could do the job as well or better, while being cheaper and more flexible.

Like it or not, ITO has proven to be a very valuable material, thanks to its conductivity and transparency, but the rarity of indium and complicated manufacturing processes make it less than ideal. This has made the search for a replacement material an important one, and copper nanowires could be it. Copper is roughly one thousand times more common than indium, making it considerably cheaper, but also copper nanowires are much cheaper to work with as they can be printed directly onto materials, such as glass or plastic. Also important is that films of copper nanowires are transparent and flexible. Even when coated with nickel or cobalt, metals useful as catalysts for separating water molecules, the nanowires allowed almost seven times more sunlight to pass through them than ITO.

Currently the nanowires have only been used for half of the water splitting process, but the researchers are working on that other half. Once that is achieved, we could eventually see copper nanowires being used to build fuel cells that will fit in backpacks and cars, or being components of OLED lights, displays, and smart glass.

Source: Duke University


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: December 4, 2013 @ time: 09:20AM
Author: bp9801

It's the middle of the week already, and there's a few reviews for you to check out to help get through today. We have a look at the new H Wireless headset from SteelSeries, which marks the company's first foray into wireless headsets for the PC. It's a rather slick looking headset, but looks are just part of the equation, so be sure to check out the review to see how it performs. There's also a look at the new Western Digital Black2 Hybrid drive, which combines an SSD and HDD into a single 2.5" drive. Finally there's the ADATA DashDrive HV620 external hard drive that ranges in capacities from 500GB to 2TB.

Storage/Hard Drives
WD Black2 Hybrid Hard Drive @ TechSpot
ADATA DashDrive HV620 External Hard Drive @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
SteelSeries H Wireless @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Valve Officially Joins The Linux Foundation

Posted: December 4, 2013 @ time: 05:43PM
Author: bp9801

Valve is going all in with Linux, as it has officially joined The Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit group comprised of companies and individuals that promote and advance the open-source OS. Valve's upcoming SteamOS is Linux-based, and its new Linux Foundation membership further cements the investment in gaming on Linux. The membership does give the company some benefits, as Valve can help guide development through workgroups and member councils. Valve's Mike Sartain had the following to say on the move:

Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users.

No details were released on just what Valve paid to join, however corporate membership begins at $5,000 and goes to $20,000 for the lowest Silver tier. Platinum membership is a $500,000 deal, which grants a seat on the board. Right now Valve is the only pure game company in The Linux Foundation, although both Sony and AMD are members. Other members include IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Google, and Samsung, so there are some definite heavy hitters helping advance Linux. Considering how much Valve CEO Gabe Newell is a fan of Linux, it looks like gamers will soon have a worthy OS to use for their favorite hobby (and personal Steam Machine).

Source: Ars Technica


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 07:20AM
Author: bp9801

It's nearly the end of the first week of December, and before it arrives there's a few items for you to look over. We have a review on the HIS R7 250 iCooler Boost Clock video card, which could be an ideal card for those on a tight budget who need something more powerful than integrated graphics. There's also a look at NVIDIA GRID on the SHIELD, which recently arrived in beta, to see how far cloud gaming has come and just what NVIDIA's take on it is like. Finishing things off is a new podcast examining all the happenings and reviews from this week.

Video Cards
HIS R7 250 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB GDDR5 @ Madshrimps

Gaming
NVIDIA GRID Beta Testing on SHIELD - An Optimistic First Hands On @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Podcast #279 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Measuring Distance with Less Light

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 07:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are many situations where you want to measure the distance to an object, such as surveying or controlling an autonomous car. A common tool for those situations is the lidar rangefinder, which reflects laser light off of objects to make the measurement. Researchers at MIT have recently made some clever advances to the system, enabling it to use significantly less light, which should have some interesting benefits.

A typical lidar system will repeatedly fire laser pulses at a position, until it gathers enough consistent data to be confident in the distance, and moves on to another position. The new MIT system however only accepts one photon before moving on, but records number of pulses it fired before receiving the photon. This allows it to generate a map based just on that data, roughly indicating the reflectivity of different objects. Of course, capturing only a single photon puts the system at risk of being fooled by a stray photon, from another source. To correct for that the researchers are applying a statistical trick that takes advantage of the fact that such photons follow a pattern known as Poisson noise. Instead of just filtering out the noise pixel-by-pixel, this system considers how much filtering was required in adjacent pixels, as they will likely have similar reflective properties, at the same depth.

Altogether, this new system should be able to generate a depth map with just a hundredth the number of photons a conventional lidar system uses, and generate an image with one nine-hundredth the number of photons. This should result in energy and time savings, and should prove useful in low-light situations.

Source: MIT


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Func Releases the KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 12:05PM
Author: bp9801

Func is no longer just a company that makes some stellar mouse pads, as it's released a mouse (the MS-3) and now a mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is called the KB-460, and it uses Cherry MX Red mechanical switches with individual key illumination. There's also full N-key rollover on the KB-460, so you won't have to worry about any commands getting missed during a frenetic gaming session. Customization is a key part of this keyboard, as Func not only allows you to adjust the backlighting level, but you can also re-assign the keys to whatever suits you best. Want certain keys remapped or disabled altogether? You can do that! There are five profiles to store your settings, with the 128KB of onboard memory keeping everything there regardless of where you take the KB-460.

The keyboard features a Func Mode (hold the Fn key and hit F12), which activates any re-assigned keys and disables the Windows button. Everything can be configured with the Setting Software, however if everything is already to your liking, you can just plug in the KB-460 and get right to typing/gaming. Func wants users to feel at ease with the KB-460, and to also customize it to their needs (hence the re-assigning function). There are a multitude of key layouts available for the KB-460; so US, UK, Nordic, French, German, and Russian users can have the exact keyboard they need. The vast majority of the pictures below are with the Nordic layout, however you can check out all six on the keyboard's website.

Each Func KB-460 has a 1.8 meter braided cable and two USB 2.0 passthrough ports, plus a palm rest. Retail price on the KB-460 is $99.95 at launch ($119.95 afterwards), with availability starting today.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Increasing Optical Fiber Throughput by a Factor of 10

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 12:35PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

First introduced in the 1970s, fiber optics has provided the world with high speed communication, and is now part of the backbone of the Internet. Since its introduction, the capacity of the technology has increased by an order of magnitude about every four years, through the development of associated technologies. Recently though, that trend has slowed as researchers have hit a bottleneck, but those at EPFL have found a way to greatly improve throughput in one advancement.

A datum traveling through an optical cable is represented by the presence or absence of a light pulse. This is works well for digital data, which is stored as zeroes and ones, but to protect the integrity of the data, each datum must be enough separated from the others that they will not interfere with each other. That means there is a fair amount of empty space in an optical signal. What the EPFL researchers have done is demonstrate an efficient way to reduce the necessary distance between two data. By making the pulses rectangular, so they are equal intensity over a range of frequencies, it is much easier to keep prevent interference, that would otherwise corrupt data.

The idea of creating these 'Nyquist sinc pulses' in optical fibers is not new, but this is the first time it has been achieved with nearly perfect rectangular pulses, and without a complicated infrastructure supporting it. To deploy this solution in an optical fiber network one would just have to replace the transmitters in the system, not the cables, and the new ones would be using technology that has already matured.

Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


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Two Million Passwords Stolen

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 02:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Hackers managed to obtain more than two million passwords from popular online destinations such as Facebook and Gmail in a breach that began on October 21. The attack was carried out by using keylogging software on the users computers and 93,000 sites in total had passwords compromised. Users that had their accounts compromised were notified by the sites in question and were advised to change their passwords. Trustwave, the company that discovered the hack, has stated that there are more servers out there that haven't been found yet, indicating that the hack is likely ongoing. Be sure to keep your computers up to date and mix up your log in information for all of the sites that you frequent to help prevent or minimize the damage that could be done in attacks like these.

Source: CNN


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Google Services Improve Offline Support

Posted: December 5, 2013 @ time: 03:04PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google is in the process of rolling out the ability to download e-mails and calendar appointments from its Gmail and Calendar services with the click of a button to give users access to their data offline. E-mails will be exported in MBOX and Calendar data will be in iCalendar format, two widely accepted and used formats for this type of data. The downloaded data can be used to move to another service in addition to having offline records. Calendar data can be exported immediately while Gmail download support will be rolled out over the next month.

Source: Google


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What Happens When You Entangle Black Holes

Posted: December 6, 2013 @ time: 08:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Black holes have been a part constant of science fiction for as long as I can remember, with storytellers using them as means to travel across the Universe and even to other universes. Of course, these concepts just exist within the realm of fiction. The reality of black holes though may be a bit weirder than expected, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

Quantum entanglement is an interesting phenomenon which links the quantum states of two particles. This means that the properties of one will dictate those of the other, when they are observed, no matter how physically separated the two particles are. What the researchers have done is considered what would happen if two black holes were entangled, and their conclusion is that a wormhole would form. The catch is that you would not be able to transport any information through the wormhole, because black holes do not allow light to escape. However, if you and a friend were to jump into the two black holes, what you would see and experience inside would be identical.

Perhaps this research will dash the hopes of some readers and writers, but it will likely increase our understanding of entangled quantum systems. Forming this theory required showing a relationship between quantum mechanics and classical geometry, which will be a useful tool for other researchers.

Source: University of Washington


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: December 9, 2013 @ time: 06:58AM
Author: bp9801

The second week of December is upon us, and so are a number of reviews and articles for you to check out. We have another look at the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic video card, with its custom cooler and factory overclock to help get you gaming at the best settings possible right away. There's also a review on the NZXT H630 Silent full tower case, which has plenty of room for whatever hardware you'd like to install while keeping it all pretty silent. The Fractal Design Node 304 White computer case gets reviewed too, which is a mini-ITX case for those who want a much smaller footprint than most other computers. There's also a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 Ultrabook, a convertible laptop so users can better take advantage of its touchscreen. Finally there's an article examining whether or not you should get a sound card for your system.

Video Cards
Sapphire R9 280X Toxic @ LanOC Reviews

Cases
NZXT H630 Silent Full Tower Case @ ThinkComputers
Fractal Node 304 White @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 Convertible Ultrabook: An Affordable Convertible @ PC Perspective

Sound Cards
Should You Buy a Sound Card? An Enthusiast's Perspective @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Gravity a Result of Entanglement?

Posted: December 9, 2013 @ time: 09:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Gravity is a very odd phenomenon, in part because we do not really know where it comes from or how it is able to affect spacetime the way it does. Further complicating matters is that the gravity described by the General Theory of Relativity is not compatible with quantum mechanics. Thanks to the recent work of other researchers, some at MIT have developed a new theory concerning worm holes and quantum entanglement, which may explain the source of gravity.

The recent work considered what would happen if two black holes were entangled, and then separated. The conclusion of that work was that a wormhole would form between them, allowing information to be shared by the two objects, no matter how separated they are. The MIT asked a similar question, but worked with quarks, which are sub-nucleonic particles, and what would happen if they were entangled and separated. The researchers first mapped this onto a four-dimensional space, representing the one we live in, but then determined what it would look like in a fifth-dimensional space. The result was a wormhole.

As wormholes are believed to be connected by gravity, and that gravity exists in five dimensions, this conclusion could suggest that gravity originates from quantum entanglement. Just the idea that entanglement leads to some kind of geometry suggests some interesting questions, but if it does indeed lead to gravity, then the answers could be far more intriguing.

Source: MIT


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Frostivus Coming to Dota 2

Posted: December 9, 2013 @ time: 05:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Valve has released a brief teaser for its upcoming holiday event in Dota 2, Frostivus. You may remember that Frostivus was canceled last year and replaced by the Greeviling after it was ruined by those pesky Greevils. The teaser promises that this year will be even better than what was planned last year as Radiant and Dire gather to celebrate Wreath-Night and the Season of Givening. Valve even ends the teaser with a reassuring statement, "There is nothing more to worry about, nothing you need to do. Nothing can possibly go wrong."

Source: Valve


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Telltale Releases Trailers for New Games

Posted: December 9, 2013 @ time: 05:14PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Telltale Games, the studio behind popular episodic games such as The Walking Dead and Sam and Max, revealed that it is working on two new games based on well known franchises, Borderlands and Game of Thrones. The announcement came over the weekend at the VGX awards and today Telltale gave a little extra peak into what is to come with teaser trailers for both games. There isn't much, if anything, revealed about the stories from either game, but I am personally hoping that the Game of Thrones game follows Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark in the events leading up to the first book in that series.

Source: Telltale


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Aluminum May Replace More Expensive Metals for Plasmonics

Posted: December 10, 2013 @ time: 09:19AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

So often it seems in science that technologies start with the most expensive materials and tools, making it nearly impossible to take out of the lab. Of course there are reasons why expensive materials, such as gold and silver are used, but it is always welcome research to find another, cheaper material that can do the job just as well, or even better. Such appears to be the case with plasmonics and aluminum, according to some Rice University researchers.

Plasmons are a kind of quasiparticle, formed by the coupling of a photon and electron. This combination can allow the energy of a photon to flow over a metal as though it were an electrical current, which can be exploited for some interesting optical devices. Gold and silver nanoparticles are often uses in plasmonics, in part because they do not oxidize. Aluminum does naturally oxidize, which has prevented it from being adopted as the materials response to different light frequencies has seemed to change in prior studies. This new research indicates however, that that the optical response of aluminum nanoparticles is partially related to the amount of oxidation. As aluminum oxidizes only to a point, this means that the changes to a nanoparticle's optical properties eventually stabilize, in a predictable way.

The researchers also discovered that plasmons on aluminum nanoparticles will obey quantum mechanics across a larger range than silver or gold nanoparticles. This could have a great impact on the future of plasmonics, in more ways than just reducing costs.

Source: Rice University


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: December 10, 2013 @ time: 10:20AM
Author: bp9801

December keeps rolling right along, and today there's some nice articles for you to check out. There's a look at the SteelSeries 9H headset that builds upon the success of the 7H, yet with a new design and drivers. We also have a review on an external hard drive from ADATA, the DashDrive Choice HC630. ROCCAT has slowly been storming onto the scene in the US, and there's another take on the Tusko Widescreen Monitor Bag to see if it helps make things easier while going to a LAN. Finally the new Futuremark 3DMark v1.2.250 has been released, and we have a handy download link for you to check out and try the new tests.

Storage/Hard Drives
ADATA DashDrive Choice HC630 USB 3.0 Hard Drive @ ThinkComputers

Speakers/Headphones
SteelSeries 9H Headset @ LanOC Reviews

Gadgets
ROCCAT Tusko Widescreen Monitor Bag @ Neoseeker

Software
Futuremark 3DMark v1.2.250 Released @ NGOHQ


Complete Story


System to Help Remember Over 100 Passwords

Posted: December 10, 2013 @ time: 10:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ideally, a user will use a different password for every online account they have, but the reality is that one person can have some many accounts, it is almost impossible for them to remember them all, without help. Some of these solutions though, can actually put your security at risk. Researchers at Carnegie Melon University however, have taken advantage of some cognitive research and built a system to aid a user's memory, without compromising security.

Our memory works by encoding information with connections, and generally the more connections, the more easily you can recall the information. For example, remembering a specific sentence is easier when the sentence is tied to pictures. This is what the researchers are using to help remember passwords, by creating an app that shows a user a few pictures, and asks them to create a story about a sentence long, based on the pictures. The password is then formed from parts of the sentence, such as the first letters. As the story is the key and only known to the user, the pictures do not need to be secured, but for further security, the app associates multiple image groups with one password, so the user will also have multiple stories associated with the password as well.

Currently the app is undergoing development as part of an undergraduate research project, but when finished, it could allow some to generate 126 different passwords, by memorizing just nine stories. There is one flaw to the system though, and that is the reliance on letters, while some sites require numbers, capital letters, or passwords of specific lengths. Just another bit of information to remember.

Source: Carnegie Melon University


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Samsung Releases Version 4.3 of Magician Software

Posted: December 10, 2013 @ time: 11:26AM
Author: Prunes

Samsung recently released the latest edition of its Magician software, which is used to monitor and optimize Samsung SSDs. The newest version, version 4.3, brings two new features that are particularly interesting. One of them is RAPID (Real-Time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data). What that means is that it can boost your sequential read times by up to twice the speed of what it normally is, so some will experience sequential read times over 1 GB/s. The way Samsung achieves this boost is by utilizing a small amount of CPU power and RAM (around 50 MB) to cache frequently used programs, so they are available almost immidiately. The other new feature is TCG/OPAL, which an upgrade in the security department. OPAL protects the user's data against unauthorized access, when the data leaves the owner's control. 

The software is available for download, and I highly recommend it, if you own a Samsung Pro or Evo, since my own sequential read speeds hit 1.2 GB/s after enabling RAPID.

Source: MaximumPC


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Qualcomm Goes 64-bit for New System-on-a-Chip

Posted: December 10, 2013 @ time: 01:26PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 410, is the first in the processor line to feature 64-bit capable ARM cores. Built using the Cortex-A53 CPU and the ARMv8 architecture, the new SoC will run at around 1.2GHz. The Cortex-A53 is paired with the Adreno 306 GPU and four cores are packed into a single Snapdragon 410. The 28nm LP manufacturing process is used and results in a power efficient chip that should make its way into mobile devices in the second half of next year with retail prices under $150 a strong possibility.

Source: Tech Spot


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Mass Production of Thermoelectric Materials Coming

Posted: December 11, 2013 @ time: 10:30AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Anyone who works with computers, cars, and many other devices can tell you how hot they get, and all of that heat is coming from wasted energy. For some time, people have been trying to reduce or capture that wasted energy, and thermoelectric materials, which can convert heat into electricity, can help. Sadly, thermoelectric materials are hard to produce, and thus have been limited to laboratories, but now researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM may be changing that.

For a thermoelectric material to be useful at capturing wasted energy, it has to have certain properties. Among these is ZT value, which relates to their efficiency, higher than one and the ability to withstand high temperatures without increasing resistance. One family of materials, called half-Heusler compounds, can satisfy these requirements, but have never been produced cost effectively before. That is what the researchers and their partners have changed by successfully producing the material, with most of the needed properties, in kilogram quantities.

With so many systems generating large amounts of wasted heat every day, it is obvious just how important this research could become. Hopefully it will not be long before these materials are fully, industry-ready.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: December 11, 2013 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: bp9801

We're somehow nearly to the halfway point of December, yet there's no shortage of reviews for you to check out. There's a look at the Cooler Master CM Storm Reaper gaming mouse that features a unique design, a customizable back, and an Avago 9800 laser sensor. We also have another take on the company's Nepton 280L liquid CPU cooler to see how well it stacks up to the competition. There's a review on the Thermaltake Commander F5 multi-fan controller so you can fine tune just how much cooling your case fans provide. We finish things off with the ASUS USB-AC56 wireless adapter, which is a dual-band adapter that requires a USB 3.0 port.

CPU Cooling
Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews

Keyboards/Mice
Cooler Master CM Storm Reaper Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Cooling
Thermaltake Commander F5 Multi-Fan Controller @ Neoseeker

Networking
ASUS USB-AC56 Wireless Adapter @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Kingston Announces New Enterprise Solid State Drive

Posted: December 11, 2013 @ time: 04:07PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced a special edition of the SSDNow KC300 SSD that is targeted at business and enterprise users. This special edition drive is compliant with the Opal 1.0 specification of the Trusted Computing Group. The drive offers the ability to centrally manage security policies, password recovery, automatic updates, and user creation and deletion. The drive is self-encrypting, offering an additional layer of security. The KC300 is compatible with a number of enterprise management applications including WinMagic SecureDoc and McAfee Endpoint Encryption. It will be available in capacities of 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Holiday Themed Borderlands 2 DLC Available Next Week

Posted: December 11, 2013 @ time: 04:26PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The third Headhunter DLC pack for Borderlands 2 has been announced and is titled How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day. The DLC will be available on PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Mac on December 17 at a price of $2.99. The DLC features an additional mission and several cosmetic unlockables. Set in the town of Gingerton in Frost Bottom, players are tasked with investigating a missing train full of guns and fighting snowman boss Mr. Tinder Snowflake.

Source: IGN


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Semimetal Polymer Discovered

Posted: December 11, 2013 @ time: 07:45PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In most situations, we find that plastics are electrical insulators, but in the seventies it was discovered that some were actually semiconductors. Now researchers at Linköping University, and many other institutions around the world, have found a polymer that is a semimetal, which could affect the future use of thermoelectric devices.

Semimetals are a family of materials resting between metals and semiconductors, characterized by a small bridge between the conduction electron bands of their atoms, and the valence band. This means they do not have a band gap, but they also do not have much room for electrons at the energy level needed to conduct. The idea that a polymer can be a semimetal was first hypothesized a few years ago, when a high thermoelectric effect was measured in a polymer. This indicated it was a semimetal, but was not proof on its own. Bow the team of twenty scientists from around the world have confirmed that a doped version of the plastic PEDOT is a semimetal.

The high thermoelectric effect could have some interesting implications, in part because polymers are cheaper to manufacture, while the metals used in thermoelectric devices are quite rare and expensive. Now that we know the job can be done with polymers, a new field of organic electronics could grow.

Source: Linköping University


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3D Motion Tracking Through Walls and with High Accuracy

Posted: December 12, 2013 @ time: 09:07AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While I doubt that physical controls such as keyboards and mice will ever go away, motion controls are growing more common and popular. The many motion control systems currently available use a variety of technologies, but most if not all rely on being able to see the user. That is not the case with WiTrack, a new system developed by MIT researchers as it can capture your motion through walls.

This is not MIT's first venture into motion tracking through walls, but the previous attempt, called Wi-Vi, relies on Wi-Fi signals. The new WiTrack system instead uses lower energy signals that allow for much higher accuracy. Specifically, it is able to determine a person's position to within ten to twenty centimeters. The hardware achieving this includes one transmitter and three receivers, while the software uses algorithms capable of filtering out echoes and identifying when the pulse of radio waves was emitted. Combined this is able to not only follow you behind a wall but also track gestures, so you can turn lights off in another room, just by pointing in the right direction.

It is easy to see the WiTrack technology being used for video games as well as monitoring elderly people at risk of falls, but its true potential may be far greater. This is in part because the radio signals it uses are of very low power (100 times less than Wi-Fi and 1000 times less than what cell phones use) and the physical technology is already cheap to produce, and could be made cheaper.

 

 

Source: MIT


Complete Story


Corsair Adds White to Carbide Air 540 Color Choices

Posted: December 12, 2013 @ time: 04:26PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Carbide Air 540 from Corsair is a mid tower case designed with a high airflow layout. The case was initially available in silver and black and is now available in arctic white. The case has two side-by-side chambers and as a result is wider than most cases. This gives enough room for the Direct Airflow Path layout which is "optimized to limit obstructions and streamline airflow from the intake fans to the hottest PC components." One chamber is home to the motherboard, GPU, and hot swap 3.5" drives while the other houses the power supply, SSDs, and 5.25" drives. The arctic white Carbide Air 540 is available now at an MSRP of $149.99.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


ECS Details Durathon Extreme Temperature Resistance

Posted: December 12, 2013 @ time: 04:40PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS introduced the Durathon suite of testing standards to set its motherboards apart from the competition from a reliability standpoint. With the Extreme Temperature Resistance testing conducted by ECS, motherboards are put through testing at temperatures ranging from 50°C to -10°C, which is 10°C higher and lower than industry standards. The wide range of temperatures used in testing shows that ECS motherboards are capable of operating under the most extreme environments at both ends of the temperature spectrum. When combined with the other Durathon tests, ECS hopes to have proven that its boards can be trusted to perform.

Source: ECS


Complete Story


New Morphing Material Discovered

Posted: December 12, 2013 @ time: 06:00PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Changing shape can be a very useful ability in many situations, but can also be hard to achieve. After all, most materials will only deform when a force is applied to them, which means a mechanism is needed to apply that force. Researchers at Rice University though have created a composite material that can change its shape when heated.

The composite is made of two layers. One layer is a simple but important polystyrene, and the other is a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE). The elastomer is made of cross-linked polymers that align to an axis called the nematic director. When heated, the LCE will expand or contact along that axis, but because of the polystyrene, the expanding material cannot stay flat, but bends, wrinkles, or folds the entire material. By controlling the geometry of the polystyrene and the temperature it was applied at, the researchers found they could control the shapes the composite will take.

The ability to have a material change shape based on environmental conditions has potential applications in optics, biology, and medicine. For example, scaffolds and substrates for cells to grow on could be designed to react to different stimuli, and expand or contract as needed.

 

 

Source: Rice University


Complete Story


SteamOS Arrives Tomorrow; Steam Machines Shipping to 300 Lucky Beta Testers

Posted: December 12, 2013 @ time: 07:00PM
Author: bp9801

It wasn't too long ago when Valve unveiled its Linux-based SteamOS and Steam Machines. Both are designed to make gaming more accessible in the living room, as well as introduce more people to the joys of PC gaming. At the time, Valve didn't say when exactly we could get our hands on these products, but now we know: SteamOS arrives tomorrow. The Steam Machine and Controller prototypes are also heading out tomorrow to the 300 lucky beta testers, who should already have received their confirmation email letting them know they were selected. These prototypes are high-end systems, however there will be a range of setups for any number of budgets.

Regarding SteamOS' impending arrival, Valve is warning that despite it launching tomorrow, "unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out." So, it kind of sounds like the initial launch of SteamOS is an early version, probably with some manual compiling required. None of the Steam Controllers will be available outside of the ones for the 300 Steam Machines beta testers, so the full experience will be a bit limited. In any case, SteamOS is nearly here, as are the Steam Machine prototypes. Full specifications of the Steam Machines will be revealed during a CES press conference on January 6, so be sure to tune in for that!

Source: Steam Community


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: December 13, 2013 @ time: 06:51AM
Author: bp9801

There's plenty to get to today, so let's get right to it on this Friday the 13th. We have a look at the ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP video card with its customer cooler, factory overclock, and plenty of ASUS features to set it apart from the crowd. There's also a preview of NVIDIA G-Sync and first impressions of the new technology to show just what it's capable of. We have a review on the Tt eSPORTS Battle Dragon bag that can do double duty as a messenger bag or backpack to hold all your gear. Corsair's Flash Voyager GS 128GB flash drive gets put through the ringer, as does the X2 XPAD Pro XXL MP03 mouse pad. We also have an article looking back at infamous tech industry predictions, and a new podcast.

Video Cards
ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
NVIDIA G-Sync Tech Preview and First Impressions @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Flash Voyager GS 128GB USB Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Gadgets
Tt eSPORTS Battle Dragon Bag @ Neoseeker

Mouse Pad
X2 XPAD Pro XXL MP03 @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
In Hindsight... Infamous Tech Industry Predictions and Quotations @ TechSpot
Podcast #280 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


New Means for Affecting Magnetism Discovered

Posted: December 13, 2013 @ time: 07:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Everybody is familiar with magnets and there is a good chance many of us are also familiar with what happens when a magnet breaks; you get two magnets. The reason breaking a magnet gives you two is that the magnet itself is made up of many smaller magnets, but when you get down to the size of atoms, magnetism is not as well understood. Researchers at the London Center for Nanotechnology have recently made a discovery about the directionality of magnetic atoms that could have many impacts.

For the magnets we deal with on a daily basis, the directionality or anisotropy or the magnet is determined by its shape. As atoms are incredibly small, it is hard to characterize a shape for them, which makes it hard to manipulate their magnetic anisotropy. At least that is what had been believed, but the LCN researchers have discovered the Kondo effect can also impact this property. The Kondo effect comes from a magnetic atom and metal coupling, and the researchers discovered the relationship measuring the anisotropy with a scanning tunneling microscope of cobalt atoms between a copper surface and atomically thin sheet of copper nitride.

Being able to affect the magnetic anisotropy of an atom could be very powerful, especially as the Kondo effect can be controlled and tuned electrically. This could lead to new kinds of magnets that rival the strength of rare earth magnets, without the rare and expensive metals.

Source: London Center for Nanotechnology


Complete Story


OCC Needs News Editors

Posted: December 13, 2013 @ time: 08:22PM
Author: bp9801

OverclockersClub is hiring again, and we're looking for News Editors. It involves posting all the news you read about here on the main page of OCC, and it can be about pretty much anything. Computer hardware, video games, software, or any interesting technology items relevant to our interests will work out just fine. We're looking for individuals who can post between three and five articles a day, and more is always welcome. You do need to have a strong grasp of grammar and spelling, as it's vital to have properly written articles on our site. It's also a fairly serious committment, because the more news we have, the more people there are checking out OCC.

If you're interested in applying, feel free to send me a PM or email and we'll take it from there. There's a trial period involved where we see how you can handle the duties of a News Editor, and if you pass, then it's free game. So, don't hesitate to apply!


Complete Story


OCZ Launches Intrepid 3000 Solid State Drives

Posted: December 14, 2013 @ time: 08:33AM
Author: CheeseMan42

OCZ has announced a new series of solid state drives targeted at enterprise users, the Intrepid 3000 Series. The new drives use the SATA 3 standard and are able to achieve read and write speeds up to 520MB/s and 470MB/s, respectively. The drives will also be able to handle 91,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) for random reads and 40,000 IOPS for random writes, up to five times faster performance than previous enterprise offerings from the company. Senior VP of Product Management Daryl Lang said, "Our new Intrepid 3000 Series leverages in-house firmware with an impressive enterprise feature-set to enable customers with unprecedented performance, data management, endurance and reliability, and cost flexibility resulting in an optimal storage environment." A number of reliability and data integrity features are also included in the drives including multi-level BCH error correction coding, 256-bit AES encryption, and end-to-end data path protection. With capacities up to 800GB available, the Intrepid 3000 Series is also the highest capacity SATA 3 enterprise offering from OCZ to date. The drives are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2014.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


MSI Unveils GTX 780Ti GAMING Video Card

Posted: December 15, 2013 @ time: 06:45AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The GTX 780Ti GAMING video card is the latest offering from MSI and it boasts plenty of power. Alongside the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780Ti GPU is 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a customized PCB. The inclusion of Military Class 4 components helps to ensure that the card will hold up under the toughest circumstances and that it will last for years. MSI has also included its own Twin Frozr IV cooling system, featuring two 10cm fans armed with MSI's patented Propeller Blade Technology to help keep the components running cool for optimal performance. A software application gives users a simple way to switch between different settings.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


3DMark Receives a Software Update

Posted: December 15, 2013 @ time: 06:51AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest version of benchmarking software 3DMark is receiving an update with multiple fixes and enhancements. Hardware detection and monitoring have been improved, and the Advanced and Professional editions "will again generate an interactive graph of CPU and GPU clock speeds and temperatures recorded during the tests." The Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark has been added for Windows 8 tablets and it can be compared to the benchmark run across other compatible Operating Systems. Steam versions of the software will update automatically while standalone users will be prompted to upgrade. Futuremark has also re-launched the benchmark ticker, allowing you to see benchmark scores as they are submitted to the database.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: December 16, 2013 @ time: 08:12AM
Author: bp9801

December keeps marching right along, as we're already at the halfway mark. To help get you through another Monday, there's a look at the EVGA Z87 Stinger Mini ITX motherboard that packs in a wealth of features into its small stature. We also have a review on the Logitech G930 wireless headset and the Corsair Raptor M40 gaming mouse, for those who need something new for their games. If you just want to keep your mobile devices charged, the Patriot FUEL+ 7800mAh mobile rechargeable battery should do the trick. Speaking of mobile, we have the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch up for review to see how this interesting device works. Finally, for those of you interested in trying out the initial release of SteamOS, we have a handy guide on how to install and configure it.

Motherboards
EVGA Z87 Stinger Mini ITX @ PC Perspective

Gaming
Video: How to Install and Configure SteamOS Beta @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair Raptor M40 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Logitech G930 Wireless Headset @ LanOC Reviews

Gadgets
Patriot FUEL+ 7800mAh Mobile Rechargeable Battery @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Samsung Galaxy Gear @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


New Type of Tunneling Transistor Created

Posted: December 16, 2013 @ time: 09:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At almost regular intervals, the size of the transistors used in our modern electronics decreases, which allows for more to be fit onto chips. This has the effect of increasing performance, but not necessarily power usage, as that value does not decrease quite as well as the size. Researchers at Penn State, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and IQE however have developed a new type of transistor that can offer considerable reductions in power usage, without sacrificing operating frequency.

The new transistor type is called a near broken-gap tunnel field effect transistor and it takes advantage of the quantum mechanical phenomenon known as tunneling. Tunneling is an interesting phenomenon that allows quantum particles, such as electrons, to pass through barriers they technically should not be able to. It also enables the electrons to flow at significantly lower energies than those used in conventional CMOS transistors.

While it is probably quite easy to see how this could be applied in our computers, other electronic devices should also be able to benefit from this. For example, medical implants that cannot put out too much heat and that require surgery to replace batteries could be greatly improved by these more efficient transistors.

Source: Penn State


Complete Story


Reducing Samples for Fourier Transforms

Posted: December 16, 2013 @ time: 02:52PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

One of the most important algorithms discovered last century was the fast Fourier Transform, or FFT. With it a computer can quickly decompose a signal into its distinct frequencies, and that ability has made many other technologies possible. Now researchers at MIT have finally found a new algorithm that can perform Fourier Transform better than FFT.

Last year the researchers revealed an algorithm that could outperform FFT by hundreds of times, in some situations, and now they have improved it by reducing the necessary number of samples it needs. What that means is that the new algorithm can perform the Fourier Transform with less information than typically required. It is still not at the theoretical minimum number of samples, but is still a large step forward.

Technologies that could potentially benefit from this new algorithm include MRI machines and radio telescopes. Both rely on taking multiple Fourier samples and processing them together, to form a complete image. By reducing the number of samples taken, the time spent in an MRI machine or the number of telescopes being used could also be reduced.

Source: MIT


Complete Story


Android Antivirus Protection Scores Soar

Posted: December 16, 2013 @ time: 02:59PM
Author: gebraset

After recent testing that was done on Android devices by the independent lab AV-Test, six total antivirus applications scored perfect across the board. AV-Test not only looks at the detection of malware on the Android Operating System platform, it also looks at usability and included extras. The six security applications to score perfect include avast!, Avira, ESET, Ikarus, Kaspersky, Kingsoft, Trend Micro, and TrustGo. Other applications scored well in usability and extras, but were unable to detect all of the malware samples presented during testing. While these results are promising and represent good news within the Android security community, malware is on the up rise. In the last year and a half, samples have grown to a total of two million, with a million new samples coming within the past six months alone.

Source: PC Magazine


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