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News Archives for December 2015

Printing Holograms with an Inkjet

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 06:43AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

We are likely all familiar with rainbow holograms, as they are used to help secure currencies and credit cards. Making these holograms is somewhat difficult, but researchers at ITMO University have managed to significantly simplify the process by bringing it to inkjet printers.

The process of creating a rainbow hologram starts with making a master hologram using a laser to record onto a photosensitive polymer. This polymer is then dried and the unexposed parts are washed out, leaving a stencil that is transferred to a metallic matrix that can emboss the hologram onto a transparent film. All told, this can several days, especially as temperature control and vibration isolation is necessary for creating the master hologram. This new printing method takes just minutes as it only requires printing a nanocrystalline ink onto a microembossed surface, which is later covered by a varnish. The ink has a high refractive index across the visible portion of the spectrum, so even under a varnish or polymer layer the hologram is preserved.

Naturally this discovery could dramatically reduce the cost of these holograms, but also make it possible to create holograms of any size.

Source: ITMOP University


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AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 07:42AM
Author: gebraset

It was reported yesterday that AMD was expected to release a hot fix for its Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver that happened to cause some cards to overheat in various usage scenarios. AMD came through with this expectation, as the company officially released version 15.11.1 of Radeon Software Crimson Edition yesterday. The latest version of the AMD driver specifically fixes the fan problem that caused graphics cards to overheat, and also addresses 15 other issues that the 2.5 million users who downloaded the driver in the last week were able to discover.

Source: Legit Reviews


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New Mighty No. 9 Game Modes Trailer Brings the Fun

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: gebraset

Deep Silver has officially released a new game modes trailer for its upcoming Mighty No. 9 video game title, which offers elements from 8-bit and 16-bit classics in a new and refreshing side-scrolling environment. The trailer successfully shows off the game’s Boss Mode, Challenge Mode, One-Hit Death Mode, and Online Mode, all of which allow gamers to truly have fun while engaging enemies within Mighty No. 9.

Mighty No. 9 will be playable at PlayStation Experience in the media lounge and is currently slated to launch on February 9, 2016. The game features a target audience of kids from age six to 11.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: bp9801

December is upon us and nearly the end of 2015, but not before we have some items for you to check out. There is a review on the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX case, an even smaller version of the typical EVOLV case that could be perfect for a home theater setup. We have a look at the D-Link DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree WiFi camera for a home security system, as it can view a 180° angle and broadcast its view wireless over the 802.11ac spec. Google's Nexus 5X is one of two new Nexus phones released recently, with it being a little more budget friendly while still packing a ton of typical Nexus features to push the boundaries of smartphones. Finishing up today is the SilverStone Hi-Fi Audio Headphone Stand, which can hold two headsets or headphones when you're not using them.

Cases
Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX @ Neoseeker

Gadgets
D-Link DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree WiFi Camera @ ThinkComputers
SilverStone Hi-Fi Audio Headphone Stand @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Google Nexus 5X @ TechSpot


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NVIDIA Releases the Game Ready 359.06 WHQL Driver for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 10:50AM
Author: bp9801

New games keep rolling out each week, and to help your system be as prepared as possible for them, NVIDIA has released a new GeForce Game Ready Driver. This new driver, 359.06 WHQL, is the Game Ready Driver for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege, so whether you're off for some open-world destruction or stopping some terrorists, NVIDIA has you covered. Game Ready optimizations are provided for Just Cause 3, while Rainbow Six Siege receives both those optimizations and an SLI profile. Both games feature incredible graphics and some NVIDIA GameWorks features, with JC3 sporting WaveWorks for some amazing-looking water, and R6S for ambient occlusion and anti-aliasing. NVIDIA has a tweak guide for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege to help you get the most performance possible out of whatever setup you're running.

The NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready 359.06 WHQL Driver can be downloaded now from GeForce.com or through GeForce Experience.

Update: Some users are unable to make SLI work in Just Cause 3, which initially prompted a reponse from NVIDIA saying the game engine isn't compatible with multi-GPU setups. This would mean both NVIDIA and AMD multi-GPU solutions won't increase performance in Just Cause 3. However, some clarification has come about and the game simply needs a driver profile to enable SLI (and CrossFire on the AMD side). There is an SLI profile for JC3 in this new driver, however it is for a "Single-SLI Setup." Both Fallout 4 and Umbrella Corps receive a full SLI profile in the 359.06 drivers, but not Just Cause 3. Once it does, we'll let you know about it.

Source: GeForce


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Patriot Adds Multiple 128GB Flash Drives

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 04:30PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Patriot has announced the addition of 128GB flash drives to multiple lines of its lifestyle USB flash drives. Flash Product Manager Meng J. Choo described the move stating, "With the growing need for more storage, Patriot is excited to expand the storage capacities of our most popular lifestyle lines. These new capacities make it possible to carry even the largest HD videos in your pocket, or easily expand the storage on your current device or platform." The new drives will be coming to the Tab, Vex, Spark, and Supersonic mini lines with USB 3.1 Gen 1, 3.0, and 2.0 compatibility, reaching speeds up to 110MB/s read and 20MB/s write. The drives will be available starting December 14 at an MSRP starting at $49.99.

Source: Press Release


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Grand Theft Auto V Mod Enhances Visuals and Gameplay

Posted: December 1, 2015 @ time: 04:45PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A group of ambitious modders have released the results of their work on Grand Theft Auto V for PC with the Pinnacle of V - World Enhancement Project. The mod started from "ground zero" and "not only upgraded the graphics to mouthwatering eye-candy level, but improved the gameplay as well, in virtually all of its aspects." The team was able to bring realistic visuals along with improved particle physics, volumetric lighting, and 4K textures to the game. The gun mechanics were also improved to be more comparable to their real life counterparts, and perhaps unfortunately the team also improved the "vehicles and population to better simulate rush hour traffic."

Source: Tech Times


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Defects Removed from Monolayer Semiconductor

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Thin is in for a variety of electronics when it comes to the devices we hold and the components within them. Actually making these thin components can be very difficult though, because defects have a more pronounced impact on thin materials, with monolayer materials being impacted the most. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Berkeley Lab though have discovered a way to remove defects in molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and dramatically improve its photoluminescence quantum yield.

Ultra-thin materials, including molecule-thick monolayers are interesting to scientists because they absorb very little light and are very flexible, making them very resilient. To remove the defects from a monolayer of MoS2 the researchers used the superacid bistriflimide or TFSI. The superacid removes contaminants on the monolayer's surface and by protonation adds protons or hydrogen atoms to fill in the defects. This increased the photoluminescence quantum yield, the ratio of light generated and the amount of energy applied, for MoS2 from less than one percent to 100%, making it optoelectronically perfect.

This perfection should make it an excellent material for creating high performance LED displays, which would also be transparent and flexible. Also, because of how thin monolayers of MoS2 are, it can be highly electrically tunable to the point that pixels made from it could emit different colors just by applying different voltages. Potentially this discovery could also be applied to improving the quality of transistors as they reach to ever smaller sizes.

Source: University of California, Berkeley


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 11:14AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items to help give you greater control of your PC. We have a review on the SteelSeries Apex M800 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, which uses a new mechanical switch design for lower actuation, throw, and force for an easier typing experience. It also has LEDs in the center of the keycap for a more uniform lighting style. Our other keyboard is the Zalman ZM-K700M Gaming Keyboard, another mechanical model, this time with Cherry MX switches, and some impressive lighting modes to take advantage of. On the right side of the keyboard is a lighted gauge that shows your typing speed, so if you've ever been curious on how fast you type (or issue commands in a game), this keyboard may be the one for you.

Keyboards/Mice
SteelSeries Apex M800 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard @ Madshrimps
Zalman ZM-K700M Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers


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Optimizing White Graphene Growth for Future Devices

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 03:26PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ever since the discovery of graphene in 2010, many groups have been working on ways to use it and other two-dimensional materials. Among these other materials is hexagonal boron nitride, which is also known as white graphene, despite having very different characteristics from its carbon-based cousin. Now ORNL researchers have made some useful discoveries concerning the fabrication of white graphene and it could lead to several technological advances.

One of the differences between graphene and white graphene is that the latter is an electrical insulator, which makes it viable as an ultra-thin, strong, transparent, and flexible substrate. Making high quality films of hexagonal boron nitride is challenging though, in part because it is not always hexagonal but can also contain triangles and other shapes. The researchers discovered that typically ignored conditions when producing white graphene can actually influence the process, and with this knowledge are able to create higher quality samples. The researchers are confident the new method they discovered can be scaled up for large production values.

One of the potential uses for white graphene is as a substrate for graphene, as it has been previously discovered that when paired together like this, electron mobility receives a significant boost. This is the actual speed the electrons move at and could translate to data transfers far faster than what is possible today.

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory


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Noctua Announces Chromax Colored Fan Accessories

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 04:18PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Noctua is well known for its high performance heatsinks and cooling fans, and the company is now giving users the ability to add anti-vibration pads in a range of colors. The pads will be available in red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white in two product lines, NA-AV2 and NA-AVP2. The NA-AV2 pads are compatible with all Noctua fans while the NA-AVP2 are limited to NF-F12, NF-S12A, NF-A14, and industrialPPC fans. Noctua CEO Roland Mossig described the new parts stating, "The introduction of our redux and industrialPPC product lines marked a first step towards offering fans that fit in well with the typical colour schemes favoured by today’s overclockers and enthusiasts. With the new chromax line, we’re taking another step by allowing users to colour-customise their fans with red, blue, green, yellow, black or white anti-vibration parts." Both lines will be available "shortly" at an MSRP of $6.90.

Source: Noctua


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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Dual System Holds Two Systems in One Case

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 04:44PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Phanteks designed the Enthoo Mini XL Dual system with the ability for the user to install two full systems using micro ATX or mini ITX in a single Super Micro form factor tower. Users are able to run both systems off a single power supply using the included power splitter. The case has two sets of front panel I/O connectors and space for three 5.25" drives, six 3.5" drives, and eight 2.5" drives. Two 140mm fans are included at the front of the case with a single rear 120mm fan. Additional 120mm and 140mm fans can be installed in the front, top, rear, bottom, side, and HDD cage. Liquid cooling radiators from 140mm to 360mm in size can be accommodated at various mount points along with GPUs up to 410mm in length and CPU coolers up to 215mm in height.

Source: Press Release


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This War of Mine: The Little Ones Gameplay Trailer Released by Deep Silver

Posted: December 2, 2015 @ time: 04:49PM
Author: gebraset

Deep Silver, a company that develops and distributes interactive games for all platforms, has released the official gameplay trailer for This War of Mine: The Little Ones. The title places gamers into an immersive environment that forces them to face the realities of war through the mind of a child. Gamers must not only think about survival throughout This War of Mine: The Little Ones, but must also focus on how to laugh, cry, play with toys, and see the world in a different perspective.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones features a console release of January 29, 2016, and more details on the war driven title can be found on the game’s official website.

Source: Press Release


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New Form of Carbon Discovered with Unusual Properties

Posted: December 3, 2015 @ time: 06:24AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Carbon is an element that just keeps on giving as its various forms possess some wild properties. Diamond is among the hardest natural elements, while graphite is very soft, and graphene has amazing electrical properties. Now Q-carbon has been discovered by researchers at North Carolina State University with its own curious set of characteristics, and provides an avenue to make diamonds at room temperature and pressure.

Creating Q-carbon is surprisingly simple, as all it takes is a laser pulse about 200 nanoseconds long being fired at amorphous carbon on a substrate like sapphire, glass, or a plastic polymer. This laser pulse heats the carbon to 4000 K, and it then rapidly cools forming films of Q-carbon that can be between 20 nm and 500 nm thick. Surprisingly it is ferromagnetic, which the researchers did not think was possible, harder than diamond, and has a low work function, meaning it will release electrons easily. In fact the material glows when exposed to low levels of energy.

By changing how fast the carbon cools, the researchers found they could also build small diamond structures, like nano- and microneedles, nanodots, and larger films, within the Q-carbon. While Q-carbon may appear to be superior to diamond, we do not know all of its properties yet, while diamond is well understood, so this simple way of producing diamond is still a significant discovery. The laser used to create both the Q-carbon and diamond is comparable to that used in laser eye surgery, so the process to make the materials is pretty inexpensive.

Source: North Carolina State University


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 3, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 3, 2015 @ time: 11:26AM
Author: bp9801

The third day of December is here, with several items along the way to help you pass the time. We have a review on the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene motherboard, a compact ROG model that still packs in plenty of features for the mATX crowd. If you want something even smaller than mATX, we have a look at the SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Mini-ITX case, a super slim case that can fit a full-size video card. For those wanting some new storage options, there's a guide covering the best SSDs, HDDs, NAS, and more. The Audiofly AF45 In-Ear Headphones get put to the test to see how this budget-friendly option performs. Wrapping things up is a review on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, the company's latest giant phone/tablet.

Motherboards
ASUS Maximus VIII Gene @ PC Perspective

Cases
SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Mini-ITX @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Best in Storage: Solid State, HDD, Home NAS and More @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Audiofly AF45 In-Ear Headphones @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 @ LanOC Reviews


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Wearable Sensor Made from Nanotubes and Chewing Gum

Posted: December 3, 2015 @ time: 03:57PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today it is not uncommon for us to walk around with sensors on our bodies that record steps, monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more. Many of these sensors are relatively rigid though, which can limit their usefulness, so researchers are working on stretchable sensors. As reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a team of researchers have created a new sensor from chewing gum and nanotubes.

Previous work on stretchable and flexible sensors looked to plastics, but while these materials were flexible they were not very sensitive. The new chewing gum sensor however does not suffer such a trade-off. It was made by first chewing the gum for 30 minutes, washing it with ethanol, and then letting it sit overnight. The next day carbon nanotubes were added, which act as the actual sensing material, and by pulling and folding the gum, the nanotubes were aligned. When tested the sensor demonstrated high sensitivity even at a strain of 530% and the researchers found it could detect water humidity changes, which could be applied to track breathing.

 

 

Source: American Chemical Society


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GeForce 359.12 Hotfix Notebook Driver Released by NVIDIA

Posted: December 3, 2015 @ time: 04:56PM
Author: gebraset

Although NVIDIA just released its Game Ready 359.06 WHQL driver for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege two days ago, the company has just made available the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver. The hotfix driver is nearly identical to version 359.06 of the Game Ready driver, but contains fixes that help to mitigate game crashes for GeForce GTX 860M mobile GPU owners. The quick release of the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver shows NVIDIA’s commitment to its user base, something that AMD has also shown recently with its Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 that acted as a hotfix for its users.

Interested GeForce GTX 860M mobile GPU owners can download the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver, which does not offer WHQL certification, from the official GeForce driver website.

Source: TechPowerUp


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Various CPU Coolers Are Likely Damaging Intel Skylake CPUs

Posted: December 4, 2015 @ time: 05:48AM
Author: gebraset

Owners of Intel Skylake processors have begun reporting that their CPUs are being damaged, apparently due to the CPU coolers that are being utilized within system builds. This is due to the substrate on Skylake processors being thinner than that of previous generations, though Intel is claiming that Skylake CPUs still feature the same 50 pound maximum static load as prior generations. Various manufacturers of CPU coolers for Skylake products have publically noted that while their products may be compatible with socket 1151, the mounting pressure as well as the weight of the coolers may potentially cause damage, especially during shipping. Scythe, for example, has revealed that while its mounting system is compatible with Skylake sockets, it is providing owners of its Ashura, Mugen 4, Mugen 4 PCGH-Edition, Fuma, Ninja 4, Grand Kama Cross 4, Mugen Max, and Kotetsu products with a new set of screws that reduces overall mounting pressure, decreasing the risk of damage.

Intel is currently investigating the reports of damaged Skylake CPUs caused by CPU coolers, but did note that it does not test third-party cooling solutions and simply provides vendors with specifications guidelines that they are supposed to follow.

Source: Tom's Hardware


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Improving Medical X-Rays with Kinect

Posted: December 4, 2015 @ time: 06:19AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

We have known for a long time that sometimes a product can take on new and amazing possibilities it was not originally designed for thanks to creative users. The Kinect from Microsoft is an excellent example of this as the motion tracking system was original meant for the Xbox 360, but has also been used with robots. Now the Kinect could find itself in hospitals as a means to improve X-ray precision, thanks to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.

Medical X-rays involve aiming firing the high energy photons at a person's body and capturing them on the other side, to see what they hit along the way. To do this properly the thickness of the patient's body needs to be known and the patient needs to be in the right position. If the patient happens to be a child, these criteria can be hard to meet as body thickness can vary greatly across children of all ages, and some may not want to hold still. Using special software, the Kinect is able to track where the patient's body is before taking the X-ray and is also able to measure body thickness.

By using the Kinect to improve X-rays it will be possible to reduce exposure to the radiation, as fewer images will need to be taken. So far all of the work has been done with the Kinect 1.0, but thanks to new funding this year, the researchers intend to continue their work and update it to use Microsoft Kinect 2.0.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis


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Beast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry Primal

Posted: December 4, 2015 @ time: 08:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in October Ubisoft unveiled the upcoming Far Cry Primal by gradually revealing a cave painting. Now it has revealed one of the game's feature aptly named Beast Master. With this feature, the player will be able to tame the game's various predators, include sabretooth tigers and the honey badger. Once tamed the animals can be summoned to help in combat and assist in taking back Oros,

In addition to this announcement, the Deluxe Edition with SteelBook for North America has also been detailed. Its physical content includes the game, the exclusive SteelBook, a map of Oros, the game's setting, and the official soundtrack. On the digital side it will include all of the Legend of the Mammoth missions, which add almost 45 minutes to the game, four enhancement packs, and the Blood Shasti Club, an unbreakable weapon that cannot be consumed by fire.

Far Cry Primal releases for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 on February 23, and on March 1 for Windows.

 

 

 

 

Source: Press Release and Official Game Site


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, December 4, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 4, 2015 @ time: 11:47AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here at last, with some items for you to check out before you start the weekend. We kick things off with a look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor, a curved 34" monitor featuring NVIDIA G-Sync and a 100Hz refresh rate. There's a review of the Cheero Power Plus 3 13400mAh Portable Charger, so if you're ever low on juice somewhere, this can help you out. A new case mod is highlighted that forgoes a typical case and packs everything into a custom built desk. We end things with a podcast looking back at the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Monitors
Acer Predator X34 @ TechSpot

Gadgets
Cheero Power Plus 3 13400mAh Portable Charger @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Ultimate Custom Desk PC @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #377 @ PC Perspective


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Swift Programming Language Now Open Source

Posted: December 4, 2015 @ time: 02:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Swift is the programming language used by Apple for development on iOS and OS X software, a language that drew inspiration from "Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too many others to list." The company announced that it would remove the proprietary nature of the language at WWDC 2015 and has now officially Open Sourced Swift under the Apache license. This license "allows developers the ability to use the software for any purpose and to distribute their own modified versions of the software without paying royalties to Apple," and by making the language Open Source it "could lead to rapid expansion of its use and functionality in software development."

Source: Apple Insider


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Cease and Desist Letters Issued Over Asetek Cooler Design

Posted: December 6, 2015 @ time: 02:59PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Asetek has sent cease and desist letters to AMD and Gigabyte related to an injunction the company won against Cooler Master regarding liquid cooler designs. Asetek won the ruling for coolers that incorporate a cooling pump and a cold plate in a single unit. The company was receiving a 14.5% royalty from sales on Cooler Master products that infringed on the patent, and it now appears that the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X and Gigabyte GTX 900 Waterforce Series also utilize the infringing technology. Asetek is currently evaluating other GPUs from Gigabyte to determine if they also contain the infringed upon design.

Source: WCCF Tech


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NVIDIA Game Ready 359.06 WHQL Driver Causing SLI Issues with Star Wars: Battlefront

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 04:38AM
Author: gebraset

A wealth of users that make use of SLI have reported that since downloading the NVIDIA Game Ready 359.06 WHQL driver, performance issues surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront are noticeable. Stuttering and unpredictable GPU usage seem to be the main issues with the game and the latest WHQL NVIDIA driver, with the former being quite evident in the video below.

At this point in time, NVIDIA has filed a bug on the issue and has publically stated that it is actively working to fix the user reported Star Wars: Battlefront SLI problems. The company is trying to get a fix included within the next driver release, but for now, the only likely fix for users is to disable SLI or roll back to a previous release of a compatible NVIDIA driver.

Source: TweakTown


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Self-Healing Conductive Gel Developed

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 06:19AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Everybody knows that accidents happen and electronics get broken and for now all you can do is hope the damage is minimal or has an easy fix. In the future though, our devices may have the ability to heal themselves, even if the damage is severe. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have recently created a new self-healing gel that can also be used to improve the flexibility of electronics.

Self-healing materials have been developed before, but they require some kind of external stimulus to work, like light or heat. This gel is able to self-heal on its own though, which increases its potential. It is actually made of two other gels, with one having self-assembling capability and the other is a conductive hydrogel. The conductive hydrogel contains disc-shaped liquid crystal molecule that improves conductivity to be about ten times that of many other polymer hydrogels. The self-assembling gel is what gives the mix its self-healing ability and contains terpyridine molecules and zinc atoms.

While the prospect of electronics that heal damage to them is tantalizing, this gel could also be used to make circuits flexible. By applying it to junction points, the gel could allow the circuit to be bent without breaking. It also has potential inside batteries for storing electrical charge.

Source: University of Texas at Austin


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, December 7, 2015 Edition

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 07:20AM
Author: CheeseMan42

We start the new week with a look at the Shuttle SH170R6, an Intel H170 chipset based barebones system. The system supports the latest sixth generation Core processors based on the Skylake architecture, up to 64GB of DDR4, and an integrated three heatpipe cooling design. The staff at ThinkComputers present their wish lists for the 2015 holiday season, check it out if you are looking for inspiration for yourself or others. Bjorn 3D takes a look at the EVGA Z170 FTW motherboard with support for the latest Intel Core processors, 2-Way SLI, 64GB of DDR4, and eight channel HD audio. Next up is a giveaway from ThinkComputers to get you in the holiday spirit, with the opportunity to win the entire catalog of Valve games on Steam. Finally, Tech Spot takes a look into the past with the Nintendo Virtual Boy as we continue to look to the future with VR technology set to enjoy more success and mainstream acceptance.

Barebones
Shuttle SH170R6 XPC Cube @ Mad Shrimps

Gaming
Valve Games Key Giveaway @ ThinkComputers
Virtual Reality Then: A Look Back at the Nintendo Virtual Boy @ Tech Spot

Miscellaneous
Holiday 2015 Staff Wish List @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
EVGA Z170 FTW Review @ Bjorn 3D


Complete Story


DiRT Rally Launches on Steam Today

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 10:22AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in April, Codemaster's Dirt Rally game was announced and released to Steam Early Access. Today it has exited Early Access and the full version is available on Steam. The Xbox One, Playstation 4, and physical PC release will be on April 5, 2016.

While available in Early Access, players raced in some 3 million clean stages, covering 60 million miles, and performed almost 2.4 million barrel rolls. Over these eight months the developers took in their community's feedback and with it brought the game up to a 92% positive user score. With the title ready for launch, its final version has been released, and everyone who was part of the Early Access program naturally will be updated to this version. This update also adds the Hyundai Rally and Volkswagen Polo Rally, and the Winter Wonderland rally. The snow-filled stages use Codemaster's soft edge technology to simulate the density of snow, which players can take advantage of as they push for new records. Steam Workshop support has also been added, allowing players to share Car Setup and Force Feedback settings.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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AMD AM4 Platform Could Launch in March 2016

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 05:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The AM4 platform will power the next generation of AMD systems, including CPUs and APUs, and it will be available starting March 2016 according to the latest rumors. This could include x86 Zen based processors in the FX series, previously known as Summit Ridge, and APUs, previously known as Bristol Ridge. These new systems "will be focused at powering high-performance desktop PCs with new I/O capabilities, DDR4 memory support and a broad range of updates over the aged AM3+ platform." It will be interesting to see if AMD can finally get some good news as it has been struggling against both Intel and NVIDIA lately.

Source: WCCF Tech


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Epic Games Shows Off Two Trailers for Upcoming Game Paragon

Posted: December 7, 2015 @ time: 05:16PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Epic Games has given the gaming world classics from the Unreal Tournament series as well as providing a number of game engines that have powered games from other developers, with the Unreal Engine 4 the latest incarnation. The next game from the company will be an entry into the increasingly crowded MOBA genre entitled Paragon. Paragon will mix the familiar three lane MOBA map with a third-person perspective and multiple tiers to each lane. Take a look at the announcement and gameplay trailers below to see if Paragon is for you.

Source: PC World


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Version 5.60 of AIDA64 Released by FinalWire

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 04:12AM
Author: gebraset

FinalWire has officially released version 5.60 of AIDA64, a feature rich PC diagnostic utility that showcases detailed information about hardware and software of individual or networked computers. The latest version of the utility includes a wealth of support for various hardware and software, such as Windows 10 TH2, OpenCL 2.1, Farbwerk water-cooler sensors, Crucial BX200 and Lite-On MU II SSDs, and Corsair HXi, Corsair RMi, and Enermax Digifanless power supplies. AIDA64 5.60 also boasts preliminary support for AMD Zen Raven Ridge APUs and Summit Ridge CPUs, as well as Intel Apollo Lake, Broxton, Kaby Lake CPUs. GPU details for the AMD Radeon R9 380X along with the GeForce 945M, Quadro M3000M, and Quadro M5000M by NVIDIA are now available within the latest version of AIDA64, and auto detect information and SMART drive health monitoring for Samsung NVMe SSDs is included too.

Interested PC enthusiasts can retrieve version 5.60 of AIDA64 from the official download page for the software.

Source: Press Release


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Means Found to Prevent Information Loss of Qubit in Semiconductor

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 07:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Some day we may see quantum computers running algorithms and models no modern computer could hope to complete, but there is still a lot to do before that day comes. Part of that work is figuring out how to protect the quantum information because the states that store it are very fragile. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Stanford University however have found a way to protect qubits held between two semiconductor materials.

Qubits are analogous to the electronic bits in modern devices, but store information using quantum states, like spin, and superposition, which is a phenomenon allowing one particle to be in multiple states at the same time. The qubits the researchers were working with were made by putting a layer of indium gallium arsenide on a gallium arsenide substrate. These two materials have different structures, which puts strain on the interface between them, resulting in quantum dots. By cooling the system and optically exciting it, single electrons can be trapped in each dot, and then the spins of these electrons can store the quantum information. When they did this though, the researchers found that the qubits would lose their information after a few hundred nanoseconds because of tiny electric fields that formed and affected the spins of the atomic nuclei around the electrons.

This discovery led the researchers to find other ways information could be lost, but they also found the loss could be avoided by applying a magnetic field to the system, about the strength of a strong permanent magnet. The field acts to stabilize the nuclear spins and thus protects the electron spins. Because the qubits are stored within semiconductor quantum dots, they have potential for being integrated into current computer technology, and could even have electrical contacts applied, so voltages instead of light pulses could be used to manipulate them.

Source: Technical University of Munich


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Edition

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 07:49AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Our Roundup today features several key components for creating a new system. Bjorn 3D takes a look at an all-in-one liquid cooling solution from NZXT, the Kraken X61. The X61 utilizes a 280mm radiator and is compatible with both Intel and AMD CPUs. Benchmark Reviews puts the MSI Z170A GAMING M7 through its paces, presenting another option for sixth generation Skylake Intel Core processors. Bjorn 3D returns with a look at the XFX R9 Fury Pro Triple Dissipation video card. The card pairs a Fiji core with 4GB of High Bandwidth Memory and a massive cooling system to help set it apart from the reference design. Finally, ThinkComputers shares a review of a new ATX form factor case from Corsair, the Carbide Series 600Q.

Cases
Corsair Carbide Series 600Q Case Review @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
NZXT Kraken X61 Review @ Bjorn 3D

Motherboards
MSI Z170A GAMING M7 Review @ Benchmark Reviews

Video Cards
XFX R9 Fury Pro Triple Dissipation Review @ Bjorn 3D


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Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy Finishing Next Year

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 12:28PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China released in April and was the first part of the 2.5D Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy. Today Ubisoft has announced the release dates for the final two episodes, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India and Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia, as January 12 and February 9, 2016 respectively. The Trilogy Pack that comes with all three games will also launch on February 9, and all of the titles will be available for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and the PC.

While all three titles have their own setting, style, and story they are linked narratively. In Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India the player will visit the country in 1841 when the Sikh Empire is preparing for its war with India. The player's mission will be to retrieve a mysterious item the recently arrived Master Templar has brought with them. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia tasks you with recuing an artifact from the Tsar's family, while they are being held by the Bolsheviks. You cannot save the whole family, but you will be able rescue Princess Anastasia.

When they launch, the episodes will be available for $9.99 each and the Trilogy Pack will cost $29.99 when it releases on February 9, 2016.

Source: Press Release


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Fallout 4 Patch Disables Mod Support

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 04:14PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The ability to use game mods has long been a popular feature of games from Bethesda, with both The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series benefiting from the efforts of the community. Fallout 4 players have had access to mod support since the game was released, but it appears that the first official update to the game, Patch 1.2, has broken this support. Gamers have found a pair of workarounds to re-enable mod support with little effort and perhaps a bit of inconvenience. The first method involves setting a file named plugins.txt to read-only while playing, but this fix requires the user to remove the read-only restriction to set the mods they wish to use. Another fix requires the use of Nexus Mod Manager and the full procedure can be found by following the link below.

Source: WCCF Tech


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Google Fiber Evaluating Chicago and Los Angeles

Posted: December 8, 2015 @ time: 04:21PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google has some good news for citizens of Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA as it has announced that it is "exploring the possibility of bringing its super-fast Internet service" to the two major metropolitan areas. Chicago and LA would be the largest markets to receive the 1 Gb/s Internet service, joining Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, among other towns. Director of Google Fiber expansion Jill Szuchmacher stated, "Today, we're inviting Chicago and Los Angeles to explore bringing Google Fiber to their cities. As we’ve explored bringing Fiber to other metros across the U.S., we’ve worked to refine our checklist and prepare for building our network in different places. Now, we’re ready to use that same process to work with two of the biggest cities in the country. Home to a combined 6+ million people, Chicago and L.A. are the two largest metros we’ve engaged with to date. And with the help of gigabit Internet, Chicago and L.A. can boost their creative cultures with Internet speed to match their size."

Source: USA Today


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COUGAR Attack X3 Arrives for Gamers

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 05:15AM
Author: gebraset

COUGAR is a leading brand in eSports and computer peripherals, and the company is looking to maintain its status with the arrival of the Attack X3 mechanical gaming keyboard. The keyboard features the standard components and features that other gaming keyboards enjoy, such as N-Key Rollover capabilities, a 1000Hz polling rate, and Cherry MX mechanical switches, but is unique in multiple ways. The first unique quality of the COUGAR Attack X3 is its ability to function with the COUGAR UIX System, which allows gamers to configure up to ten macro keys and define the function of any key. The onboard memory is capable of storing these settings, allowing gamers to take their configurations with them wherever they choose to play. The second unique quality of the Attack X3 by COUGAR is its aluminum frame that covers the keyboard and provides an elegant design, especially in conjunction with the strong red backlights.

The COUGAR Attack X3 is scheduled to be released this month in the European Union, while United States customers will have to wait until the first quarter of next year to purchase the gaming peripheral.

Source: Press Release


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Seeing Nanoscale Features with Optical Microscopes

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 06:35AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are many important steps to the production of computer chips, including inspection of the chips to check on any defects. As the features on the chips reach ever smaller sizes though, new techniques are necessary for inspecting them, and some of these are hard to implement in a production line. Ideally optical microscopes would be used, because they can very quickly examine an object and now researchers at NIST have found a way to make that possible.

Due to the wavelength of light there is a limit on how small a feature can be resolved, and with visible light having wavelengths in the hundreds of nanometers it cannot be used to see the ten nanometer features on a chip. However, light will still scatter when it strikes these miniscule features and instead of ignoring this scattering, the NIST method captures that scattered light and uses it to build a picture. Scatterfield imaging works similar to CT scans by taking slices of interfering light waves and processing them into images. It also benefits from knowing what it may be looking at, so it can compare what it captures against a modeled version.

So far this method has been able to measure features on a wafer some 30 times smaller than the light's 450 nm wavelength. Next the researchers want to translate this method to ultraviolet wavelengths, which will be able to see features as small as 5 nm.

Source: NIST


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 10:02AM
Author: bp9801

December is rolling along, as is the reviews we have for you. We have a review on the HIS R9 380X IceQ X2 Turbo video card, featuring a custom cooler and factory overclock to help you reach a new level in your games. There is another look at Corsair's new Carbide 600C case, sporting a different style than most others on the market and potentially appealing to many people. The Tt eSPORTS Cronos AD Gaming Headset gets put to the test to find out if this should be your next audio upgrade. Wrapping things up is a look at the Radeon Technologies Group Update 2016, covering FreeSync over HDMI and HDR.

Video Cards
HIS R9 380X IceQ X2 Turbo @ Madshrimps
Radeon Technologies Group Update 2016: FreeSync and HDR @ PC Perspective

Cases
Corsair Carbide 600C @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Tt eSPORTS Cronos AD Gaming Headset @ ThinkComputers


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Internet Access Makes Us Doubt Our Knowledge

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 03:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It is not uncommon for someone to pull out a smartphone or use a computer to quickly check some small fact. Is it possible that this use of the Internet is actually reducing our confidence in what we know? According to researchers at the University of Waterloo, this may just be the case.

The researchers performed a study where they asked two groups of people if they knew the answer to general-knowledge questions. One of the groups was allowed access to the Internet, and if they said they did not know the answer they were to look it up, while the other did not have access. Those in the group with Internet access were 5% more likely to report not knowing the answer, and in some cases even said they knew less than those without access.

The researchers suggest two possible answers, with the first being that Internet access makes us less acceptable for saying we know something, only to be wrong. The second is that we make choices to receive the reward of finding the answer when we do an Internet search, including doubting what we know.

Source: University of Waterloo


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Intel Skull Canyon NUC Could be Available Soon

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 04:21PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is Intel's entry into the small form factor prebuilt system market, and having just recently bought one I find it to be a great system for the price. Unfortunately, currently available NUCs rely on sub par integrated graphics and aren't the best choice for gaming systems. According to a leaked PDF obtained by CMT Labs, Intel is looking to change that with Skull Canyon powered NUCs in Q1 2016, providing the most powerful NUC graphics option to date. The Skull Canyon system would "boost the present Iris Graphics 540's potential by 50 per cent on a clock-for-clock basis, pushing potential throughput to over 1TFLOPS for the first time." If anyone out there is looking to buy a small form factor system in the near future, it might be worth waiting a little while to see if Intel delivers on the rumors.

Source: Hexus


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Grand Theft Auto Online Adds New Adversary Mode

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 04:36PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Rockstar has announced the addition of a new Adversary Mode for Grand Theft Auto Online on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One called Every Bullet Counts. In this new mode, four players are each equipped with a Marksman Pistol and two bullets. Simple math dictates that you won't be able to eliminate all three of your opponents using the pistol and you are therefore left to hope for some help eliminating the competition or utilizing "crafty melee attacks with your Hatchet or Machete to make it out alive." Players are encouraged to stay on the move as idling for more than five seconds will cause your location to appear on the map for your opponents to see. Rockstar will be holding a stream on both YouTube and Twitch on Friday at 5PM EST to demonstrate the new mode with some yet to be announced guests.

Source: Rockstar Games


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SteamBoy Resurfaces as SMACH Z, the World's First Handheld Steam Machine; Kickstarter Now Live

Posted: December 9, 2015 @ time: 08:43PM
Author: ClayMeow

Depending on how good your memory is, you may recall an intriguing teaser during E3 2014 for a handheld device running SteamOS called SteamBoy. I hadn't heard much since my email correspondence shortly thereafter divulged a few more details, but now that all changes. Earlier today, a Kickstarter campaign launched for the world's first handheld Steam Machine, rebranded the SMACH Z.

The SMACH Z is powered by AMD's latest generation of Embedded G-Series SoC with a "Jaguar"-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics containing 2GB of dedicated GPU RAM. The base model will feature 4GB of system RAM and up to 64GB of internal memory if a €1M Stretch Goal is reached (otherwise 32GB), while the PRO model will feature 8GB of system RAM and 128GB of internal memory. Both versions will handle expansion in the way of MicroSD, have a 5" touch screen at 720p or 1080p, depending on whether the latter's €1.25M Stretch Goal is reached, and feature USB 3.0 type C, configurable tactile gamepads, HDMI video output, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The PRO model will also support 4G mobile network connectivity and contain a front-camera. And while you'll obviously need a network connection on install the games, a network connection isn't required to play Steam games in offline mode, giving this a leg up on the NVIDIA SHIELD's GameStreaming functionality. That being said, you can also stream games from your PC over Wi-Fi if you're in your home network, thus taking advantage of your PC's likely beefier specs. All this with a promised five hours of battery life, with the option of doubling it by adding an extra battery that attaches to the back.

The layout of the device is "similar to the official Steam Controller, making use of two touch pads, a joystick, 4 action face buttons, 4 trigger buttons and 2 additional action buttons in the rear-back." But what's even cooler is the addition of what the team is calling Magic Z-Pads. Magic Z-Pads are adapters that attach to either touch pad, allowing you to configure the device to fit your needs or relive precious retro memories. That's right - along with the basic joystick, face buttons, and d-pad, there will also be Retro Magic Z-Pads available separately that feature such classic layouts like the GameCube, Genesis, and more. Imagine playing emulators on-the-go with the proper button configurations! If a €1.5M Stretch Goal is reached, the SMACH Z will ship with "plenty emulators ready to use." There's also a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, giving you additional control methods.

Along with the standard Deep Black color, the SMACH Z will also be available in up to seven other colors: Silver, Pearl White, Red Fire, Radioactive Green, Indigo, a special Gold edition for those willing to drop €900 (~$977 USD) or more, and an additional color decided by backers in the development forums. The SMACH Team is seeking €900,000 (~$976,796 USD) in its Kickstarter campaign. Along with the aforementioned first three Stretch Goals of €1M (more memory), €1.25M (1080p), and €1.5M (emulators), there are also the following: €1.75M "we will integrate KODI, a great multimedia platform"; €2M "all the backers will become VIP SZ members, and they will receive each month special offers about SZ and free games"; €2.5M "free shipping worldwide"; €3M "we will develop a game exclusively designed for SMACH Z; €3.5M "3 years of warranty for backers"; €4M "we'll give official support to install Windows"; €5M "we won't sell the company to Facebook, ever"; and €6M with a giant question mark.

The standard pledge starts at €299 (~$325 USD) for the vanilla version and €499 (~$487 USD) for the PRO, with several Early Bird options available as well. There are various tiers that offer additional items, such as an extra battery, Magic Z-Pads, a carrying case, and more; but as of the time of this writing, there is no mention of whether those things will be available as separate add-ons at all tier levels. I am guessing this is simply an oversight by the SMACH Team during all the excitement surrounding the launch of the campaign, so expect those optional accessories to appear as add-ons before the campaign ends. And speaking of, the campaign ends on Wednesday, January 15, 2016 at 12:05PM EST. That's more than a month to scrounge up the cash.

Source: Press Release and Kickstarter


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AMD Acknowledges High-End Desktops in 2016 will Feature Zen CPUs

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 04:54AM
Author: gebraset

AMD has chosen to use the Raymond James Technology Investors Conference, which included the company’s CFO, Devinder Kumar, to confirm that its upcoming Zen processors will be featured in high-end desktops in late 2016. The news comes just days after it was reported that the AM4 platform by AMD, which will be what Zen based high-end desktop FX processors will utilize, could be launching in March of 2016. The launch of Zen for high-end desktops sometime next year will allow the company to drive towards more sustainable profitability for years to come, as it will bring renewed competition in the CPU market.

Source: WCCFtech


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Metal Powders Proposed as Clean Fuels

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 07:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For a number of reasons, from efficiency to cost and security, there is significant interest in replacing various fuels, but several of the proposed alternatives have significant disadvantages. Researchers at McGill University though have a novel suggestion though, which is to use metal powders as a fuel. Combustion with these powders results in solid oxides that are also stable, non-toxic, and are easily recyclable.

The combustion of metal powders has been used for centuries in fireworks and is also put to use in modern rocket fuels, but it has not been suggested as a recyclable fuel before. The McGill researchers found that it is possible to create a stable flame that burns metal particles suspended in the air, and that the energy and power densities are comparable to that of modern fossil-fuel internal combustion engines. A metal powder engine would be an external combustion engine though, like the coal-fired engines of the Industrial Era and what you can find at several power plants today.

Iron powders are strong candidates as a possible fuel as recycling methods for it are already well-established and millions of tons are already produced each year for multiple industries. The next step for this work is to create a prototype burner combined with a heat engine.

Source: McGill University


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 10, 2015, Edition

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 09:30AM
Author: bp9801

The first full week of December is drawing to a close, and if you're looking for a new computer case, we certainly have you covered with today's items. There is a review on the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Galaxy Silver case, variant of the standard Enthoo Evolv case, just with a rather gorgeous Galaxy Silver paint job. If you need something to hopefully contain your hardware noises, perhaps the be quiet! Silent Base 600 case is the option for you. And if all you need is a large case that can house as much hardware as you can afford, the Antec Performance Series P380 Full Tower case is it. We also have an article looking back at the best CPUs of 2015 in categories such as best value and best one for gaming.

Cases
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Galaxy Silver @ Benchmark Reviews
be quiet! Silent Base 600 @ ThinkComputers
Antec Performance Series P380 Full Tower @ PC Perspective

CPUs
Best CPUs of 2015 @ TechSpot


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Jack the Ripper DLC for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Dated Dec. 15 & 22

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 09:43AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In the latest entry of the Assassin's Creed franchise, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, players are able to visit Victorian London and meet several historical figures, including Charles Dickens, Darwin, and Alexander Graham Bell. Now we know that the Jack the Ripper add-on content is releasing for consoles on December 15 and on December 22 for PC. It will cost $14.99, but is included with the Season Pass and the Gold Edition of the game.

The add-on is set twenty years after the events of the main game and tasks the player, as Assassin Evie Frye, with hunting down one of the most famous serial killers in history. With her return to the city, Evie comes with new skills to assist her investigation within the Whitechapel district.

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog


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BIOSTAR Helps Bring Father & Son Closer Through Gaming

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 04:24PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It's always nice to hear stories of companies giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate among us, and BIOSTAR is the latest company to help out. The company recently helped Michael Gaughan, a father that had suffered a stroke four years earlier placing him on a long road to recovery, build a "dream PC" for his son serving in the US Army. Gaughan sought BIOSTAR's help to make the PC in order to play the latest games with his son like they used to in the past, helping him to cope with the stress of active military duty. He described the experience of working with BIOSTAR stating, "I built this with the help from very generous people and companies like BIOSTAR, who came through with the missing parts for the motherboard. They have been very supportive in this process from start to finish. I want to thank BIOSTAR for all their help and support in making this happen."

Source: Press Release


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Intel Broadwell-E to be Unveiled at Computex 2016

Posted: December 10, 2015 @ time: 04:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Specifications for the next generation of High End Desktop (HEDT) processors from Intel began to leak last month, noting that the CPUs would fall under the Broadwell-E lineup and use the X99 chipset. It was also revealed that the chips available at launch would have up to ten physical cores, but we were left wondering when the new CPUs would be officially revealed. Worry no longer, the launch date is now known. According to Benchlife, the CPUs will launch at Computex 2016, taking place from May 31 to June 4 in Taiwan. Four models will be available at launch, the i7-6950X, i7-6900K, i7-6850K, and i7-6800K. The CPUs will range from ten cores for the i7-6950X to six cores for the i7-6850K and i7-6800K at prices ranging from less than $450 to $999.

Source: Benchlife via WCCF Tech


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Budget-Friendly 700B Power Supply Announced by EVGA

Posted: December 11, 2015 @ time: 04:54AM
Author: gebraset

EVGA has officially announced a new 700W power supply that is aimed at those building systems on a budget. The latest PSU offering from EVGA includes connectors that consist of two 6+2 pin PCI-e, a 4+4 pin EPS, 24-pin ATX, nine SATA, three Molex, and one Berg. The EVGA 700B PSU also offers fixed cabling, 80 PLUS Bronze certification, and a single 56A +12A rail that allows for a wealth of graphics cards to be utilized. Common electric protection features are included with the EVGA 700B PSU, such as over/under-voltage, overload, overheat, and short-circuit protection.

The EVGA 700B PSU comes with a three-year warranty and is priced at just $49.99.

Source: TechPowerUp


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Means Found for Changing the Colors of Metal Nanoparticles

Posted: December 11, 2015 @ time: 08:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are a variety of display technologies available now, and each has their advantages and disadvantages. Many more technologies are also being developed now to satisfy different needs, such as efficiency, brightness, and color accuracy. Among these technologies are displays that utilize nanoparticles to produce colors, and researchers at Rice University have discovered the first reversible method for changing the color between metal nanoparticles.

Originally the researchers were working on dimers made from gold nanoparticles, because theory predicted that changes in charge density would result in color changes. While this work was successful, the changes were small and differed from the predictions. They investigated and found the difference was because the silver also used in the experiments was oxidizing and forming bridges between the gold nanoparticles. Instead of searching for a way to remove these bridges, the researchers decided to work with these bridges and found they could control the distance between the nanoparticles via these bridges. It just took changing the voltage applied to the nanoparticles to alter the bridge.

By changing the distance between the gold nanoparticles, the plasmon coupling between them changes, and that affects what color of light scatters from them. Potentially this could be used to create displays and many other plasmonic devices, such as switches and modulators that would have many other applications.

Source: Rice University


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